zen

 

 

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”

“Life is a journey. Time is a river. The door is ajar”

“I’m simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I’m saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you. Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes. It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say “this is good, this is bad,” you have already jumped onto the thought process. It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher. And this process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty. That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being.”

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling.”

“Life is more or less a lie, but then again, that’s exactly the way we want it to be.”

“The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?”

“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.”

“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.”

“Not being tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”

“…it’s like this. Sometimes, when you’ve a very long street ahead of you, you think how terribly long it is and feel sure you’ll never get it swept. And then you start to hurry. You work faster and faster and every time you look up there seems to be just as much left to sweep as before, and you try even harder, and you panic, and in the end you’re out of breath and have to stop–and still the street stretches away in front of you. That’s not the way to do it. You must never think of the whole street at once, understand? You must only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else. That way you enjoy your work, which is important, because then you make a good job of it. And that’s how it ought to be. And all at once, before you know it, you find you’ve swept the whole street clean, bit by bit. what’s more, you aren’t out of breath. That’s important, too… (28-29)”

“Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”

“Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.”

“Letting go is the lesson. Letting go is always the lesson. Have you ever noticed how much of our agony is all tied up with craving and loss?”

“It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually–if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning– you’re not something that’s a result of the big bang. You’re not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as–Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so–I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that, too. But we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it. ”

“But when you’re in front of an audience and you make them laugh at a new idea, you’re guiding the whole being for the moment. No one is ever more him/herself than when they really laugh. Their defenses are down. It’s very Zen-like, that moment. They are completely open, completely themselves when that message hits the brain and the laugh begins. That’s when new ideas can be implanted. If a new idea slips in at that moment, it has a chance to grow.”

“Many have died; you also will die. The drum of death is being beaten. The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only sayings of the wise will remain.”

“The world is filled with love-play, from animal lust to sublime compassion.”

“Where there are humans, You’ll find flies, And Buddhas.”

“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.”

“A student, filled with emotion and crying, implored, “Why is there so much suffering?” Suzuki Roshi replied, “No reason.”

“When you catch yourself slipping into a pool of negativity, notice how it derives from nothing other than resistance to the current situation.”

“A great tree develops over time and can tell stories not only those of happiness, but also those that contain pain from what it has seen over the years, and as a result is the wise ancient tree that it is today. As the seasons change, the tree naturally goes through changes as well: where the leaves turn yellow and orange in the fall, falling by the Winter, returning in the Spring, and with full set of new leafs by the Summer. Love is no different in that there will be times when we are fully naked in the Winter, and left to wonder about Spring when it seemed so easy to love, yet the wise tree knows that no winter will last forever no matter how cold it may be.”

“For your past, for your flaws, and ultimately for your stress; I judge no one whom I’ve met along the way because in a sense we were all wounded in our own ways.”

“Some we proudly display on our arms, while others we shyly conceal. Tattoo the moments of sorrow as well as the moments of splendor and beauty. Tattoo in an acknowledgment and tribute to home, and tattooing your beliefs that define who you are. Whether we intended to or not, every moment of our lives are tattooed to our heart.”

“As I naturally go through a full range of emotions in my life, I mustn’t feel ashamed for feeling lost, for it is honest and human to feel such.”

“One day in my shoes and a day for me in your shoes, the beauty of travel lies in the ease and willingness to be more open.”

“Silence is the language of Om. We need silence to be able to reach our Self. Both internal and external silence is very important to feel the presence of that supreme Love.”

“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”

“It is easy to believe we are each waves and forget we are also the ocean.”

“Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?”

“When you’ve understood this scripture, throw it away. If you can’t understand this scripture, throw it away. I insist on your freedom.”

“Like vanishing dew, a passing apparition or the sudden flash of lightning — already gone — thus should one regard one’s self.”

“Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself. Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs by the fireplace. Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment? Listening to the night rain on my roof, I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.”

“Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.” “Sir?” “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.” “Sir?” “That’s practically zen.”

“Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen.”

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

“When the mind is exhausted of images, it invents its own.”

“The more you know, the less you need.”

“I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color–something which exists before all forms and colors appear… No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea.”

“We become so absorbed in our flaws and faults that we forget that it is better to be a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. To have flaws is beauty in itself, a fact so frightening that we hurry to hide them from sight and tarnish the whole in the process of comparing ourselves to others.”

“When composing a verse let there not be a hair’s breath separating your mind from what you write; composition of a poem must be done in an instant, like a woodcutter felling a huge tree or a swordsman leaping at a dangerous enemy.”

“When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

“It is a wretched thing that the young men of today are so contriving and so proud of their material posessions. Men with contriving hearts are lacking in duty. Lacking in duty, they will have no self-respect.”

“Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.”

“This accidental meeting of possibilities calls itself I. I ask: what am I doing here? And, at once, this I becomes unreal.”

“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”

“To preserve the silence within–amid all the noise. To remain open and quiet, a moist humus in the fertile darkness where the rain falls and the grain ripens–no matter how many tramp across the parade ground in whirling dust under an arid sky.”

“I have no news of my coming or passing away– the whole thing happened quicker than a breath; ask no questions of the moth.”

“Then we’re just sitting there, staring at each other. Which has been happening a lot lately. It’s like whatever wall there was between us, however she was holding herself back from me . . . all of that pretense is gone. “And when you find a soul mate,” Sara says, “it’s undeniable. You have to be together.” “That’s my philosophy.” I look back at her. “You have to go with the flow.” “Exactly. I think the universe guides you to make the right choices.” “Do you believe in fate?” “I guess, but . . . it’s more about creating the life you want so you can make that fate a reality. You know?”

“Consider your own place in the universal oneness of which we are all a part, from which we all arise, and to which we all return.”

“Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation. To be humble is not to make comparisons. Secure in its reality, the self is neither better nor worse, bigger nor smaller, than anything else in the universe. It *is*–is nothing, yet at the same time one with everything. It is in this sense that humility is absolute self-effacement. To be nothing in the self-effacement of humility, yet, for the sake of the task, to embody its whole weight and importance in your earing, as the one who has been called to undertake it. To give to people, works, poetry, art, what the self can contribute, and to take, simply and freely, what belongs to it by reason of its identity. Praise and blame, the winds of success and adversity, blow over such a life without leaving a trace or upsetting its balance.”

“Your life is your practice. Your spiritual practice does not occur someplace other than in your life right now, and your life is nowhere other than where you are. You are looking for answers, insight, and wisdom that you already possess. Live the life in front of you, be the life you are, and see what you find out for yourself.”

“Real haiku is the soul of poetry. Anything that is not actually present in one’s heart is not haiku. The moon glows, flowers bloom, insects cry, water flows. There is no place we cannot find flowers or think of the moon. This is the essence of haiku. Go beyond the restrictions of your era, forget about purpose or meaning, separate yourself from historical limitations—there you will find the essence of true art, religion, and science.”

“Until today, it really pissed me off that I’d become this totally centered Zen Master, and nobody had noticed. Still, i’m doing the little FAX thing. I write little HAIKU things and FAX them around to everyone. When i pass people in the hall at work, I get toally ZEN right in everyone’s hostile little FACE.”

“Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.”

“we’re lost where the mind can’t find us utterly lost”

“Nothing can be gained by extensive study and wide reading. Give them up immediately.”

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few”

“When you blame, you open up a world of excuses, because as long as you’re looking outside, you miss the opportunity to look inside, and you continue to suffer.”

“Preoccupied with a single leaf you won’t see the tree.”

“The baby looks at things all day without winking; that is because his eyes are not focused on any particular object. He goes without knowing where he is going, and stops without knowing what he is doing. He merges himself within the surroundings and moves along with it. These are the principles of mental hygiene.”

“In pale moonlight / the wisteria’s scent / comes from far away.”

“What is first seen as a loss is now seen as a gain. For he finds solitude, not in far off, quite places; he creates it out of himself, spreads it around him, wherever he may be, because he loves it and slowly he ripens in this tranquility. For the inner process is beginning to unfold, stillness is extraordinarily important.”

“But people of the deepest understanding look within, distracted by nothing. Since a clear mind is the Buddha, they attain the understanding of a Buddha without using the mind.”

“There had to be something wrong with my life. I should have been born a Yugoslavian shepherd who looked up at the Big Dipper every night.”

“When you paint Spring, do not paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots, but just paint Spring. To paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots is to paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots – it is not yet painting Spring.”

“What we can change is our perceptions, which have the effect of changing everything.”

“What happens to the drop of wine That you pour into the sea? Does it remain itself, unchanged? It is as if it never existed. So it is with the soul: Love drinks it in, It is united with Truth, Its old nature fades away, It is no longer master of itself. The soul wills and yet does not will: Its will belongs to Another. It has eyes only for this beauty; It no longer seeks to possess, as was its wont– It lacks the strength to possess such sweetness. The base of this highest of peaks Is founded on nichil, Shaped nothingness, made one with the Lord.”

“He knows not where he’s going, For the ocean will decide, Its not the destination, It’s the glory of the ride”

“Pardon all runners, All speechless, alien winds, All mad waters. Pardon their impulses, Their wild attitudes, Their young flights, their reticence. When a message has no clothes on How can it be spoken.”

“Who we are now is all that really matters.”

“Doffing the ego’s safe glory, he finds his naked reality.”

“Here’s an example: someone says, “Master, please hand me the knife,” and he hands them the knife, blade first. “Please give me the other end,” he says. And the master replies, “What would you do with the other end?” This is answering an everyday matter in terms of the metaphysical. When the question is, “Master, what is the fundamental principle of Buddhism?” Then he replies, “There is enough breeze in this fan to keep me cool.” That is answering the metaphysical in terms of the everyday, and that is, more or less, the principle zen works on. The mundane and the sacred are one and the same.”

“Consider this: 1. Would you ride in a car whose driver was on the consciousness-expanding “entheogenic” drug LSD? And here’s a bonus question: 2. Why does an “expanded consciousness” include the inability to operate a motor vehicle?”

“don’t wait for the man standing in the snow to cut off his arm help him now”

“A falcon hovers at the edge of the sky. Two gulls drift slowly up the river. Vulnerable while they ride the wind, they coast and glide with ease. Dew is heavy on the grass below, the spider’s web is ready. Heaven’s ways include the human: among a thousand sorrows, I stand alone.”

“When mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend it ceases to exist in the old way. When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.”

“What makes human life–which is inseparable from this moment–so precious is its fleeting nature. And not that it doesn’t last but that it never returns again.”

“Like wind– In it, with it, of it. Of it just like a sail, so light and strong that, even when it is bent flat, it gathers all the power of the wind without hampering its course. Like light– In light, lit through by light, transformed into light. Like the lens which disappears in the light it focuses. Like wind. Like light. Just this–on these expanses, on these heights.”

“This will never come again”

“Zen is not some fancy, special art of living. Our teaching is just to live, always in reality, in its exact sense. To make our effort, moment after moment, is our way. In an exact sense, the only thing we actually can study in our life is that on which we are working in each moment. We cannot even study Buddha’s words.” – “So we should be concentrated with our full mind and body on what we do; and we should be faithful, subjectively and objectively, to ourselves, and especially to our feelings. Even when you do not feel so well, it is better to express how you feel without any particular attachment or intention. So you may say, “Oh, I am sorry, I do not feel well.”

“The dizziness in the face of les espaces infinis–only overcome if we dare to gaze into them without any protection. And accept them as the reality before which we must justify our existence. For this is the truth we must reach to live, that everything is and we just in it.”

“Earth, mountains, rivers, hidden in this nothingness. In this nothingness, earth, mountains, rivers revealed. Spring flowers, winter snows. There’s no being or non-being, nor denial itself.”

“A boddhisattva is someone who is on the way to becoming a buddha. All of us become boddhisattvas as soon as we start to take our Zen work seriously and the work we do contributes to creating a world in which all good actions become more efficacious.”

“The point of the spiritual life is to realize Truth. But you will never understand the spiritual life, or realize Truth, if you measure it by your own yardstick.”

“Humility before the flower at the timber line is the gate which gives access to the path up the open fell.”

“The thinking brain influences the body’s responses and it makes a neat little loop.”

“The effects you will have on your students are infinite and currently unknown; you will possibly shape the way they proceed in their careers, the way they will vote, the way they will behave as partners and spouses, the way they will raise their kids.”

“Zen is a liberation from time. For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality.”

“Courage is often associated with aggression, but instead should be seen as a willingness to act from the heart.”

“that stone Buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind”

“I’d love to give you something but what would help?”

“14. Muddy Road Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unble to cross the intersection. “Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carriedher over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he could no longer restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?” “I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”

“it isn’t that we’re alone or not alone whose voice do you want mine? yours?”

“Vulnerability really means to be strong and secure enough within yourself that you are able to walk outside without your armor on. You are able to show up in life as just you. That is genuine strength and courage. Armor may look tough, but all it does is mask insecurity and fear.”

“To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know.”

“What is the purpose of writing music? One is, of course, not dealing with purposes but dealing with sounds. Or the answer must take the form of a paradox: a purposeful purposeless or a purposeless play. This play, however, is an affirmation of life–not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and one’s desires out of its way and lets it act of its own accord.”

“Do not seek for the truth, only stop having an opinion.”

“tahiya hote pavan nahin pani, tahiya srishti kown utpati; tahiya hote kali nahin phula, tahiya hote garbh nahi mula; tahiya hote vidya nahin Veda, tahiya hote shabd nahin swada; tahiya hote pind nahin basu, nahin dhar dharni na pavan akasu; tahiya hote guru nahin chela, gamya agamya na panth duhela. Sakhi: avigati ki gati ka kahown, jake gawn na thawn gun bihuna pekhana, ka kahi lijai nawn In that state there is no air or water, and no creation or creator; There is no bud or flower, and no fetus or semen; There is no education or Vedas, and no word or taste; There is no body or settlement, and no earth, air or space; There is no guru or disciple, and no easy or difficult path. Sakhi: That state is very strange. I cannot explain it. It has no village or resting place. That state is without gunas (qualities). What name can on give it? ”

“The object of your desire is not an object.”

“A pity it is evening, yet I do love the water of this spring seeing how clear it is, how clean; rays of sunset gleam on it, lighting up its ripples, making it one with those who travel the roads; I turn and face the moon; sing it a song, then listen to the sound of the wind amongst the pines.”

“[Y]ou are here to learn something. Don’t try to figure out what it is. This can be frustrating and unproductive.”

“You don’t think your way back to joy; you open to it.”

“Hearing a crow with no mouth Cry in the deep Darkness of the night, I feel a longing for My father before he was born.”

“For the unified mind in accord with the Way all self-centered striving ceases. Doubts and irresolutions vanish and life in true faith is possible. With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold nothing. All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind’s power.”

“We are searching for the core of our lives; our culture intuits that writing, that ancient activity, might be the pathway…Awakening does not feed ego’s needs and desires; it pulverizes the self. Our society couldn’t knowingly bear such reduction, so we’ve tricked ourselves into the same path but call it writing.”

“One thing, all things: move among and intermingle, without distinction. To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.”

“When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?”

“Relationships are steppingstones for the evolution of our consciousness. Each interaction we have, be it one of joy or contrast, allows us to learn more about who we are and what we want in this lifetime. They bring us into greater alignment…as long as we continue to move forward and do not get attached to hurt, anger, or being a victim.”

“We took a bus to the nearby monastery of one of the last great Tang dynasty Chan masters, Yun-men. Yun-men was known for his pithy “one word” Zen. When asked “What is the highest teaching of the Buddha?” he replied: “An appropriate statement.” On another occasion, he answered: “Cake.” I admired his directness.”

“As we live out of such a mind, we become generous, with no sense of tolerance. We become patient, with no sense of putting up with anything. We become compassionate, with no sense of separation. And we become wise, with no sense of having to straighten anyone out.”

“Accept the past as the past and realize that each new day you are a new person who doesn’t need to carry old baggage into the new day with you. It’s amazing how many people ruin the beauty of today with the sorrows of yesterday. Yesterday doesn’t exist anymore! For example, if ever I feel foolish or guilty about something I’ve done, I learn from it and attempt to do better the next time. Shame or guilt serves no one. Such feelings actually keep us down, often lowering the vibrations of those around us, as well. Living in the present moment is the recurring baptism of the soul, forever purifying every new day with a new you.”

“Your Treasure House is in yourself, it contains all you need”

“Love is being able to view a situation without adding duality to it.”

“Winslow bounced over on the balls of his feet, clearly not experiencing any sort of crash. ‘Aren’t your guys nervous? I’m nervous as all hell.’ ‘There’s nothing to be nervous about,’ Beck said, joining them. ‘Nerves are only useful when they can spur you on to work harder, faster, better. Once the work is done, they become pointless.”

“Whatever the world dishes up, we take it on–not on our own terms, but on the world’s.”

“It takes courage to become authentic. So many talk about the light but not enough speak the truth about the struggles it takes to get there and the tools to overcome it all.”

“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinion for or against. The struggle of what one likes and what one dislikes is the disease of the mind.”

“1. A Cup of Tea Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), recieved a university professor who came to inqure about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!” “Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your up?”

“13. A Buddha In Tokyo in th Meiji era there lived two prominent teachers of opposite characteristics. One, Unsho, an instructor in Shingon, kept Buddha’s precepts scrupulously. He never drank intoxicants, nor did he eat after eleven o’clock in the morning. The other teacher, Tanzan, a professor of philosophy at the Imperial University, never observed the precepts. When he felt like eating he ate, and when he felt like sleeping in the daytime he slept. One da Unsho visited Tanzan, who was drinking wine at the time, not even a drop of which is supposed to touch the tongue of a Buddhist. “Hello, brother,” Tanzan greeted him. “Won’t you have a drink?” “I never drink!” exclaimed Unsho solemnly. “One who never drinks is not even human,” said Tanzan. “Do you mean to call me inhuman just because I do not indulge in intoxicating liquids!” exclaimed Unsho in anger. “Then if I am not human, wht am I?” “A Buddha,” answered Tanzan.”

“there is no problems, only solutions”.”

“clouds very high look not one word helped them get up there”

“born born everything is always born thinking about it try not to”

“To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute: the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and clinging cannot be limited: even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going. Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed.”

“The love of nature is religion, and that religion is poetry; these three things are one thing. This is the unspoken creed of haiku poets.”

“The importance and unimportance of the self cannot be exaggerated.”

“Once Seung Sahn Soen-sa and a student of his attended a talk at a Zen center in California. The Dharma teacher spoke about Bodhidharma. After the talk, someone asked him “What’s the difference between Bodhidharma’s sitting in Sorim for nine years and your sitting here now?” The Dharma teacher said, “About five thousand miles.” The questioner said, “Is that all?” The Dharma teacher said, “Give or take a few miles.” Later on, Soen-sa asked his student, “What do you think of these answers?” “Not bad, not good. But the dog runs after the bone.” “How would you answer?” “I’d say, ‘Why do you make a difference?’ ” Soen-sa said, “Not bad. Now you ask me.” “What’s the difference between Bodhidharma’s sitting in Sorim for nine years and your sitting here now?” “Don’t you know?” “I’m listening.” “Bodhidharma sat in Sorim for nine years. I am sitting here now.” The student smiled.”

“Every day Zuigan used to call out to himself, “Master!” and then he answered himself, “Yes, Sir!” And he added, “Awake, Awake!” and then answered, “Yes, Sir! Yes, Sir!” “From now onwards, do not be deceived by others!” “No, Sir! I will not, Sir!” ”

“Nothing divides one so much as thought.”

“There is a bench in the back of my garden shaded by Virginia creeper, climbing roses, and a white pine where I sit early in the morning and watch the action. Light blue bells of a dwarf campanula drift over the rock garden just before my eyes. Behind it, a three-foot stand of aconite is flowering now, each dark blue cowl-like corolla bowed for worship or intrigue: thus its common name, monkshood. Next to the aconite, black madonna lilies with their seductive Easter scent are just coming into bloom. At the back of the garden, a hollow log, used in its glory days for a base to split kindling, now spills white cascade petunias and lobelia. I can’t get enough of watching the bees and trying to imagine how they experience the abundance of, say, a blue campanula blosssom, the dizzy light pulsing, every fiber of being immersed in the flower. … Last night, after a day in the garden, I asked Robin to explain (again) photosynthesis to me. I can’t take in this business of _eating light_ and turning it into stem and thorn and flower… I would not call this meditation, sitting in the back garden. Maybe I would call it eating light. Mystical traditions recognize two kinds of practice: _apophatic mysticism_, which is the dark surrender of Zen, the Via Negativa of John of the Cross, and _kataphatic mysticism_, less well defined: an openhearted surrender to the beauty of creation. Maybe Francis of Assissi was, on the whole, a kataphatic mystic, as was Thérèse of Lisieux in her exuberant momemnts: but the fact is, kataphatic mysticism has low status in religious circles. Francis and Thérèse were made, really made, any mother superior will let you know, in the dark nights of their lives: no more of this throwing off your clothes and singing songs and babbling about the shelter of God’s arms. When I was twelve and had my first menstrual period, my grandmother took me aside and said, ‘Now your childhood is over. You will never really be happy again.’ That is pretty much how some spiritual directors treat the transition from kataphatic to apophatic mysticism. But, I’m sorry, I’m going to sit here every day the sun shines and eat this light. Hung in the bell of desire.”

“5. If You Love, Love Openly Twenty monks and one nun, who was named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain Zen master. Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her. One of them wrote her a love letter, insisting upon a private meeting. Eshun did not reply. The following day the master gave a lecture to the group, and when it was over, Eshun arose. Addressing the one who had written her, she said: “If you really love me so much, come and embrace me now.”

“I did not believe in stalemates. I believed in resolutions, one way or another, and if I found myself on the losing end, so be it. Losing meant quiet, and forgetting quickly, and giving up nothing of any real worth to me. I did not debate restaurant bills, politics, wrongly delivered mail, divorces. These things were officiously loud, and silence was always best.”

“The real ugliness lies in the relationship between people who produce the technology and the things they produce, which results in a similar relationship between the people who use the technology and the things they use.”

“The eternity of “anytime” shines in this moment “now” while the unlimitedness of “anyplace” is manifested in the limits of “here.” When the universality of “anyone” dances out in the individual “I,” for the first time you have the world of Zen.”

“Canning is a whole world of a thing to do. It requires that you get out of your head. It’s a Zen thing. You cannot be wondering about your inadequacies and how they drove Bob off and be making jelly. You’ll wind up with big, cylindrical jujubes.”

“I’m a practicing Zen Buddhist and I’m influenced by my readings in that tradition, such as the notion that everyone is born a perfect being and we spend most of our lives with a clouded vision trying to realize our perfection,” he says. At critical moments in the book, T.S. registers his inkling of this realization. When he makes his maps, it feels like taking down dictation from the universe.”

“God is the ultimate ground of Being, and this ultimate ground of Being is YOU. For one who realizes their true nature as God, as Consciousness, life becomes a joy without end.”

“The world exists because your mind exists. If your mind didn’t exist, there would be no world. As you look at these words, you see them in what appears to be a reality outside of you. What you are really seeing is the image that your mind is creating from the electrical signals being sent to your brain. While they may appear to be outside of you, this is an illusion, they exist within your own mind, and are being projected to appear as if they are outside of you. This apparent reality that is projected by our minds, is maya, and to believe that maya is the ultimate reality is a result of ignorance, or avidya in Sanskrit.”

“It’s all about reprogramming our minds to focus more on what brings us joy.”

“It’s true that many overly negative people actually fear letting go of their negativity, and it’s because it has become a part of their identity. If this is the case, make it a smoother transition by releasing and replacing one negative opinion at a time. It certainly is an identity shift, but it’s one that brings greater fulfillment and life satisfaction.”

“Zen is a path of liberation. It liberates you. It is freedom from the first step to the last. You are not required to follow any rules; you are required to find out your own rules and your own life in the light of awareness.”

“True wisdom is not borrowed knowledge it must be based on my own experience. That which I learn from others is memory, not wisdom”

“Well, there would be no sound if we shout on the background.”

“Practice bravery every day and the self-worth will come.”

“Bravery is listening even when you don’t want to hear it.”

“Bravery is the choice to show up and listen to another person, be it a loved one or perceived foe, even when it is uncomfortable, painful, or the last thing you want to do.”

“Eventually, it boils down to two choices – do I wish to experience this physical reality primarily through joy or do I want to experience it through suffering? That’s all there is to it. And since each person eventually works their way toward the realization that conscious expansion can happen through joy rather than suffering – enlightenment is a natural byproduct.”

“True Love is when you are able to see yourself in another, when you recognize that there is no separation between you and any other Being in the Universe.”

“All of Nature follows perfectly geometric laws. The Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Peruvian, Mayan, and Chinese cultures were well aware of this, as Phi—known as the Golden Ratio or Golden Mean—was used in the constructions of their sculptures and architecture.”

“Have you ever had a dream that you were certain was real, only to wake up and realize that everyone and everything in the dream was really you? Well this is how many mystics describe the nature of our reality, as a dream in which we think we are individual personalities existing in the physical universe. But eventually, like in all dreams, we will wake up. Except in this dream we do not wake up to realize we are still in the world, we awake from the world to realize that we are God.”

“Examples of fractals are everywhere in nature. They can be found in the patterns of trees, branches, and ferns, in which each part appears to be a smaller image of the whole. They are found in the branch-like patterns of river systems, lightning, and blood vessels. They can be seen in snowflakes, seashells, crystals, and mountain ranges. We can even see the holographic and fractal-like nature of reality in the structure of the Universe itself, as the clusters of galaxies and dark matter resemble the neurons in our brain, the mycelium network of fungi, as well as the network of the man-made Internet.”

“You are not limited to this body, to this mind, or to this reality—you are a limitless ocean of Consciousness, imbued with infinite potential. You are existence itself.”

“When we see one another as different aspects of ourselves—as ourselves experiencing a different situation and circumstance—we develop a love, a connection, and a unity that allows us to see beyond the various forms, as well as the various ways that someone may act out when they have forgotten their connection and their formless nature. If you look at another in this light, you will see a Being that is just like you, looking back at you”

“You do not have an existence independent of your environment, but rather you are your environment, and your environment is you.”

“You are just as connected to the Universe as a finger is to a hand, or as a branch is to a tree. The entire cosmos is expressing itself through your being.”

“Buddhist philosophy points out that the true nature of all forms is essentially formless. Forms do not have an existence of their own, but rather they arise together, and are mutually dependent on one another. Everything in the world of form is constantly changing, constantly dying, and constantly being reborn—which is why Buddhists say that there is no-self; no form that has an existence in and of itself.”

“According to Zen Buddhists, all things have their existence in The Void. The Void is that which is no-thing, but contains all things within it, or as some Christian mystics state, “God is Nothing; He is Utterly Other; He is the VOID.”

“We fail to see the oneness of all things, and because of this, we unknowingly cause a lot of harm to ourselves. We pollute the Earth that we live on, cut down the trees that produce our oxygen, destroy the ecosystems of nature and the animals that maintain them, and we mistreat and harm each other, thinking that these destructive actions will not have a direct effect on us.”

“Every being experiences themselves as the center of their experience. Consciousness is what lies at our very core, and connects us all to each other. We may appear to be separate and individual because of the various forms our Consciousness inhabits, but below the surface the substance of our being is one and the same.”

“We are so fascinated by the complexity and beauty of the various forms in nature, that we have been led away from the formless dimension of Consciousness that lies at our very center. When you look at a person, you see many differences in their unique form, and often we compare, contrast, and judge one another because of the forms that we inhabit. But if you look beyond the various qualities and characteristics of form, and look another person in the eyes, you see a Being, and it is this Being that lies beneath the surface of form that connects us all. That is why the eyes are often referred to as the gateway to the soul, because they allow us to see and feel the presence of another Being, and realize our oneness.”

“We are like waves in the ocean, each with a unique character and quality on the surface, but deep down we are eternally connected to one another and to the ocean as a whole. If you practice looking beyond the surface of appearances, you will begin to see the true Being that lies within each form. You will see your Consciousness looking through the eyes of another, and it is when you see yourself in another that you cannot help but develop compassion for them; because in Truth, there is no “them,” there is only YOU, experiencing yourself from an inconceivable amount of perspectives.”

“We are only able to disrespect, mistreat, and harm one another when we forget that the other person is us; when we only see the objects of form, and not the subjective Consciousness that lies within. Lust, greed, violence, selfishness—all arise from perceiving others in terms of their individual differences, seeing them only as bodies, and what we can get from them as bodies, rather than acknowledging the Being that lies within the body.”

“When we look at a tree, we do not see the tree for what it really is. We see how it appears to us on the surface, and we dismiss it as being just another form in the Universe. We fail to realize that the tree is connected to the Universe on every level; that all of nature is expressing itself through that single form. There can be no tree without the earth that it grows from, the sun that gives it energy, the water that nourishes its growth, and the millions of fungi and bacteria fertilizing its soil. Looking deeply into anything in nature, we realize that it is connected to the whole. We see that nature is one seamless web, and the notion that things have an existence of their own is merely an illusion.”

“We only suffer when we falsely identify with the objects that arise in our awareness, rather than with the awareness itself—when we identify with our thoughts, with our emotions, our personal history, and the many stories we tell ourselves. When you reconnect to your source—the essence of your being, the pure and impartial witness—you become free from all of the troubles of the material world; free from the world of form. You no longer feel the desire to cling to forms or depend on them for your happiness. Instead, you are free to enjoy form, free to let form be, and free to allow all forms to come and go as they please. All forms are impermanent and changing, but your consciousness, being formless, is eternal, and exists regardless of the forms that it gives life to.”

“Your body and my body are both totally made up of and dependent upon the elements of the earth—the water, the air, the heat, the land, the soil and the food it produces—as well as all of the elements that these elements are dependent upon—the sun, the stars, the galaxies, and a vast field of energy and space to contain them in. Nature is our extended body, and the elements outside of our skin are just as important to our health as the elements within our skin. Our bodies are connected to the universe as a whole, and consequently to each other and the many ways in which we influence our shared environment.”

“Jehovah, the Christian name for God derived from the Hebrew Yahweh, (from the letters YHWH), is translated as “I AM.” YOU ARE the essence of life—the Cosmic Consciousness that creates, lives in, and destroys all things. In Buddhism, your true nature is referred to as your “Buddha Nature.” Muslims refer to it as Allah, Native tribes have often called it the Great Spirit, Taoists refer to it as the Tao, and numerous other cultures throughout history have all created their own distinctive names for it. But the one eternal reality that these cultures point to remains the same—and this reality is YOU.”

“You are not a small and unimportant creature confined to the form of this physical body, contrary to popular belief. At the core of your being you are pure awareness, and this awareness is the same source from which everything in the Universe arises, exists as, and returns to. Consciousness is the dimension of yourself that you have forgotten you are, and of which you long to return to.”

“Everything we perceive to be solid and static is made up of almost entirely empty space.”

“Subject and object are not separate—so-called objective reality is projected by our subjective Consciousness.”

“When we perceive the stars, the stars are the object of our perception—they exist within us. When we perceive the ocean, the ocean is also within us. The idea that things exist outside of our Consciousness is an illusion. Ancient wisdom traditions have known this for centuries, and even modern science has recognized that our sense organs merely receive information and project it within our own minds. Vision does not take place in the eye, but in an area located in the back of the brain. Everything that we perceive to be “out there” is being experienced “in here.”

“Negative means separating energies, while positive means unifying energies. It’s not about being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – energy is quite neutral, actually… one just feels better. Simply imagine that being negative creates distance between the hearts of two people, while being positive brings them closer together.”

“Our beliefs shape how we perceive reality to be, and the belief that shapes our current perception of reality was adopted by the worldview of Newtonian physics, which asserts that reality is objective—that there is a material universe existing outside of our experience. But this isn’t true; there is no material universe outside of you; the Universe takes form through you.”

“Everything exists as information in a field of infinite possibilities, and it is our Consciousness that renders the information and causes it to appear as the material world.”

“The consciousness inhabiting your body is exactly the same as the consciousness inhabiting my body. We are one. The delusion that we are separate beings comes from identifying with the world of form—with our names, our bodies, our roles, our beliefs, our thoughts, and all of the mental constructs that we have created; but even these are more connected to the universe than we realize.”

“If your consciousness is without form, without quality, and without characteristics of any kind, would that not imply that the consciousness in every other being is also formless? And if they are all without form, how can you distinguish their consciousness from your own? What forms would you use to compare them? Isn’t the observing you exactly the same as the observing them?”

“Your true being, as Consciousness, is ever at peace, ever at rest, eternally existing in the dimension of here and now. It is the formless and eternal quality within you that expresses itself through the world of form.”

“In Advaita Vedanta, and in many other ancient wisdom traditions, the world is said to be an illusion. This illusion is commonly referred to as maya, a Sanskrit name which refers to the apparent, or objective reality which is superimposed on the ultimate reality in order to generate the phenomena of what we call the material world. Maya is the magic by which we create duality—by which we create two worlds from one. This creation is an illusory creation—it is not real—it is an imaginary manifestation of the one Universal Consciousness, appearing as all of the various phenomena in objective reality. Maya is God’s, or Consciousness’s, creative power of emptying or reflecting itself into all things and thus creating all things—the power of subjectivity to take on objective appearance.”

“WU WEI flow of Life governed by Tao flow of change spontaneous natural effortless acting through non-action connecting with Earth and Moon and Sun through being not inert or lazy or passive but swimming swiftly within the current merging Life with Tao quiet and watchful not-interfering receptive alert directly connected acting without action trusting detached without desire spontaneous natural effortless Living”

“Until we heal the root cause of our suffering, and awaken to our true nature, our inherent confusion will continue to manifest itself in the world around us.”

“50 Zen, read shit…. BECOME MASTER!”

“Seduto in silenzio, senza fare nulla, arriva la primavera e l’erba cresce da sola.”

“Why are the desert blooms that spring to life after a monsoon so magnificent? The answer is – their impermanence. The lush growth and blooming flowers do not last very long here in the desert, and this new growth only happens once a year. If this growth was never-ending, we would soon take it for granted. Likewise, our human lives. What makes them so special and unique? Our fleeting impermanence.”

“The one who praises you is a thief. The one who criticizes you is your true friend.”

“Love is not the answer, peace is. Throughout my whole life I have experienced and seen others use love as a reason to treat people with unkindness by being controlling, jealous, shouting in anger, and projecting guilt and shame. If you love someone but there is not peace in your heart when you think of that person then your work is not done. Do not stop at love, continue all the way towards the freedom of inner peace. Love starts when peace begins. Without peace love is simply a mask for our insecurity, judgment, and egoic attachments.”

“The standard-brand religions […] are — as now practiced — like exhausted mines: very hard to dig. With some exceptions not too easily found, their ideas about man and the world, their imagery, their rites, and their notions of the good life don’t seem to fit in with the universe as we now know it, or with a human world that is changing so rapidly that much of what one learns in school is already obsolete on graduation day.”

“Love starts when peace begins.”

“Keep Calm and Find Your Zen-ity”

“An alternative — and better — definition of reality can be found by naming some of its components: air, sunlight, wind, water, the motion of waves, the patterns of clouds before a coming storm. These elements, unlike 20th-century office routines, have been here since before life appeared on this planet, and they will continue long after office routines are gone. They are understood by everyone, not just a small segment of a highly advanced society. When considered on purely logical grounds, they are more real than the extremely transitory lifestyles of the modern civilization the depressed ones want to return to.If this is so, then it follows that those who see sailing as an escape from reality have their understanding of sailing and reality backward. Sailing is not an escape, but a return to and a confrontation of a reality from which modern civilization is itself an escape. For centuries, man suffered from the reality of an Earth that was too dark or too hot or too cold for his comfort, and to escape this he invented complex systems of lighting, heating and air conditioning.Sailing rejects these and returns to the old realities of dark and heat and cold. Modern civilization has found radio, television, movies, nightclubs and a huge variety of mechanized entertainment to titillate our senses and help us escape from the apparent boredom of the Earth and the Sun, the wind and the stars. Sailing returns to these ancient realities.”

“The zenith of the peak of mountains has to be balanced by the nadir of the depth of the seas.”

“You see, from where I stand, there are a couple of ways. You continue your journey and you will find your path or the path is already there and you aren’t just able to see it.”

“She trailed behind Baba and Jiji as they left the palace, nightingales singing a sad farewell.”

“If I knew then what I know now I guess it’d make no difference; Fate’s sure in the way somehow. What’s important is the essence. Although we still have free will We also have a whole lot to deal.”

“One time Marian showed me some sand. When she gave it to me, she said, “These are very interesting stones.” It just looked like sand, but she asked me to took through a magnifying glass. Then those small stones were as interesting as the stones I have in my office. The stones in my office are bigger, but under the glass the sand was quite similar. If you say, “This is a rock from the moon”, you will be very much interested in it. Actually I don’t think there is a great difference between rocks we have on the earth and those on the moon. Even if you go to Mars, I think you will find the same rocks. I am quite sure about it. So if you want to find something interesting, instead of hopping around the universe like this, enjoy your life in every moment, observe what you have now, and truly live in your surroundings.”

“All beliefs are equally valid.”

“If we feel good, we can keep going in the direction of the reality we’re creating. If we don’t feel good, we may reflect upon our beliefs and change them according to the reality we do wish to create.”

“When using the Law of Attraction to manifest one’s more desired reality, it is not simply enough to shift one’s conscious thoughts – for it is actually our beliefs that ‘attract’ the reality. Our thoughts are of our Conscious Mind, while our beliefs rest within our Subconscious Mind. The Conscious Mind acts as the objective observer and receiver of information, while the Subconscious Mind acts as storage and the subjective projector of reality. Projector meaning that the Subconscious Mind projects out, or creates, the perceived reality we see by 1) attracting the vibrational matching experiences in alignment with our beliefs, and 2) coloring the film (information) received through the Conscious Mind in accordance with our belief systems (perception). How we see reality is strongly hued by the beliefs imbedded within us. Thus: shift a belief – shift reality. For example: We are treated exactly the way we expect to be treated by the world and its people. Call to Action: Adopt beliefs that are empowering, heart-connecting, and full of gratitude and peace.”

“We are treated exactly the way we expect to be treated by the world and its people.”

“Because we feel ourselves to be separate from the world in which we live, we have also grown to feel quite alone in this world. Our sense of loneliness and isolation not only makes us feel depressed and miserable, but it also causes us to be anxious and afraid of the world and everyone in it. Because of this inherent fear, we put up all kinds of barriers to protect us from the world—barriers that we have created to keep us safe, but that really end up making us feel more alone, more miserable, and more afraid, as they prevent us from being our natural selves.”

“We have become disconnected from our true selves, and naturally, this has produced a deep sense of lack in our lives, causing us to endlessly search for happiness in objects, experiences, and people to fill the emptiness and make us feel whole again. We crave pleasure, material riches, and stimulating experiences—anything that will distract us from this inherent lack of connection. But no matter how hard we try to escape it, eventually the sensation returns. And that is because we are looking for the answer to our freedom in all the wrong places. We are looking for freedom in the world, when the answer to ending our suffering lies within us. Until we heal the root cause of our suffering, and awaken to our true nature, our inherent confusion will continue to manifest itself in the world around us.”

“One time Marian showed me some sand. When she gave it to me, she said, “These are very interesting stones.” It just looked like sand, but she asked me to took through a magnifying glass. Then those small stones were as interesting as the stones I have in my office. The stones in my office are bigger, but under the glass the sand was quite similar. If you say, “This is a rock from the moon”, you will be very much interested in it. Actually I don’t think there is a great difference between rocks we have on the earth and those on the moon. Even if you go to Mars, I think you will find the same rocks. I am quite sure about it. So if you want to find something interesting, instead of hopping around the universe like this, enjoy your life in every moment, observe what you have now, and truly live in your surroundings.”

“It is because we feel that we are separate from nature that we also feel it is okay to manipulate it, pollute it, and cause it harm. We project our inner turmoil onto the planet, causing outer turmoil. Nearly all of the disasters of our time—war, famine, oppression, social injustice, environmental pollution, extinction—arise from this delusional belief that we have an existence independent of the world we live in. All of this misery, all of this destruction, all of this pain and suffering, is caused by our failure to realize that there is no separation and that really we are all one.”

“We often try to force the experience we want to have, instead of allowing the experience we were meant to have, and in doing this, we miss out on gaining any new insight or understanding.”

“We cannot learn if we are stuck in our mind’s conditioned way of thinking. We must be open to discovering the Truth, whatever it may turn out to be. This requires a state of openness, curiosity, and sincerity, a state of pure awareness, a state of observing reality without jumping to conclusions about what reality is. This state of direct experience is known in Zen as “beginner’s mind,” and it is essential to embody this state when we want to understand our experience.”

“No label can define the immensity of your True nature. You are the awareness that precedes every label, the awareness that is perceiving these words and turning them into thoughts, the awareness that creates the world with every act of observation.”

“You cannot be aware of yourself, for you are awareness itself. How can a witness witness itself? That is like trying to see your own eyes without a reflection, or cut a knife with the tip of its own blade—it is impossible. The subject can only observe the object; it cannot make an object out of itself. But by the very act of observing, you indirectly know yourself as the observer, as the subject. No witnessing of the witness is needed to prove its existence.”

“The modern scientist attempts to step outside of himself in order to observe himself, an attempt that is always doomed to failure. You cannot make an object out of your subjective experience, but you know that consciousness exists, simply because you exist.”

“This witnessing consciousness, this formless dimension of yourself, is the awareness in which your experience happens, yet it remains untouched by this experience at all times. It is similar to the background of white on which you are reading these words. This white background allows any and every word to exist within it, yet it is not confined to any of these words. Similarly, your awareness allows any and every form to exist within it, but it is not bound to any of these forms.”

“A teacher I once had told me that the older you get, the lonelier you become and the deeper the love you need. Loneliness creates an appetite for deeper love, and the entire predicament deepens. And as a result of suffering, your capacity to love deeply increases.”

“Be honest. This applies to every area of your life. Sketchiness is not an attractive trait. No more trying to cover up your baggage, sweeping things under the rug, withholding truth, blatant lying, or even telling seemingly ‘harmless’ white lies or half-truths – release the need to lie completely! Start NOW.”

“Be vulnerable! It is not someone else’s responsibility to break down your walls to get to you. It is your responsibility to let them in. This is crucial. Be more vulnerable with people in your life today. Know that being vulnerable is not a weakness – vulnerability means you are strong and secure enough within yourself to walk outside without your armor on.”

“Happiness will be fleeting if you constantly search for it in places that can be taken away. It’s an inside job.”

“Light and flow is what shifts the world’s vibration, not the stagnation and resistance that comes with opposition.”

“Consider the sunlight. You may see it is near, yet if you follow it from world to world you will never catch it in your hands. Then you may describe it as far away and, lo, you will see it just before your eyes. Follow it and, behold, it escapes you; run from it and it follows you close. You can neither possess it nor have done with it. From this example you can understand how it is with the true Nature of all things and, henceforth, there will be no need to grieve or to worry about such things.”

“Respect everyone who crosses your path, even if you feel they don’t deserve it.”

“Find something beautiful to focus on daily and allow Inspiration to have its way with you.”

“If you lack open communication and honesty in your life – It’s time to look within. Are you someone who handles heavy, emotional, or tough information well or do you often get excessively agitated, upset, or depressed? My rule of thumb is that no topic ‘should’ ever be off limits with a loved one. That is the goal to work towards. The point being, if you’re easy to talk to, people will talk to you! If you’re not, then they won’t!”

“Harmony is our natural state of being, and so, when our energies become too stagnant, chaos is thrown into the mix to stimulate what will eventually result in balance and invite flow. The trick is to not let chaos trap or define you… simply allow it to create movement in the vehicle of your life so that you can snap your eyes open and take back control of the wheel. Do not lose yourself in the storm, instead, be the calm in the storm.”

“The more I can accept the fact that change is moving all the time, and that the change I am experiencing right now is just the change of this moment and that this moment will change into the next and the next, the less need I will have to clutch in fear.”

“Be YOU. There is nothing sexier than someone who is confident enough to be themselves, quirks and all. It is often your unique nature that separates you from the crowd in the best way possible for your romantic match to notice you.”

“Modern man, in so far as he is still Cartesian (he is of course going far beyond Descartes in many respects), is a subject for whom his own self-awareness as a thinking, observing, measuring and estimating “self” is absolutely primary. It is for him the one indubitable “reality,” and all truth starts here. The more he is able to develop his consciousness as a subject over against objects, the more he can understand things in their relations to him and one another, the more he can manipulate these objects for his own interests, but also, at the same time, the more he tends to isolate himself in his own subjective prison, to become a detached observer cut off from everything else in a kind of impenetrable alienated and transparent bubble which contains all reality in the form of purely subjective experience. Modern consciousness then tends to create this solipsistic bubble of awareness – an ego-self imprisoned in its own consciousness, isolated and out of touch with other such selves in so far as they are all “things” rather than persons.”

“We need to cease allowing the past to define us. We are evolving as a human race, and just because war and aggressive competition has always been a part of our heritage, that doesn’t mean we are forever destined to war and engage in aggressive competition. We are moving forward to a time when the heart will guide us. We once had to fight to survive, and some still do. Yet now it is time to lay down our weapons and open our hearts to the expansive potential of human compassion and creativity. Where our attention goes, energy flows. Do we continue to focus on opposition and give it our energy? Or do we begin to focus our energy on our own authentic freedom to shine and help to illuminate the world? The choice is ours. There are no mistakes – you are exactly where you need to be, and you were born with the precise gifts needed to transform a dying world into a thriving planet.”

“All instruction is but as a finger pointing to the moon; and he whose gaze is fixed upon the pointer will never see beyond.”

“Find and foster your Passions in life! People who are passionate about what they do are in alignment with Spirit and become magnetic to those around them. This also applies to those already in long-term relationships. How do you keep the love and intimacy alive? Keep your personal Passions alive and the rest will fall into place. We can’t share passions with others unless we first have it within ourselves.”

“It is this kind of consciousness, exacerbated to an extreme, which has made inevitable the so called “death of God.” Cartesian thought began with an attempt to reach God as object by starting from the thinking self. But when God becomes object, he sooner or later “dies,” because God as object is ultimately unthinkable. God as object is not only a mere abstract concept, but one which contains so many internal contradictions that it becomes entirely nonnegotiable except when it is hardened into an idol that is maintained in existence by a sheer act of will. For a long time man continued to be capable of this willfulness: but now the effort has become exhausting and many Christians have realised it to be futile. Relaxing the effort, they have let go the “God-object” which their fathers and grandfathers still hoped to manipulate for their own ends. Their weariness has accounted for the element of resentment which made this a conscious “murder” of the deity. Liberated from the strain of willfully maintaining an object-God in existence, the Cartesian consciousness remains none the less imprisoned in itself. Hence the need to break out of itself and to meet “the other” in “encounter,” “openness,” “fellowship,” “communion”.”

“We die, he said. We die, I said. And knowing this how do we live? Knowing this, we live. We live.”

“Being the people we are, and feeling the way that we do, getting excited about going somewhere new can be terrifying. Of course it is, I get it! But if you don’t travel, you’ll regret it. Your soul will forever be empty.”

“Be aware of the type of humor you use in your daily life. Just because people are laughing doesn’t mean it is creating positive vibes.”

“Hard to restrain, unstable is this mind; it flits wherever it lists. Good it is to control the mind. A controlled mind brings happiness.”

“The story of the Fall tells us in mythical language that “original sin” is not simply a stigma arbitrarily making good pleasures seem guilty, but a basic inauthenticity, a kind of predisposition to bad faith in our understanding of ourselves and of the world. It implies a determined willfulness in trying to make things be other than they are in order that we may be able to make them subserve, at any moment, to our individual desire for pleasure or for power. But since things do not obey our arbitrary impulsions, and since we cannot make the world correspond to and confirm the image of it dictated by our needs and illusions, our willfulness is inseparable from error and from suffering. Hence, Buddhism says, deluded life itself is in a state of Dukkha, and every movement of desire tends to bear ultimate fruit in pain rather than lasting joy, in hate rather than love, in destruction rather than creation. (Let us note in passing that when technological skill seems in fact to give man almost absolute power in manipulating the world, this fact is no way reverses his original condition of brokenness and error but only makes it all the more obvious. We who live in the age of the H-bomb and the extermination camp have reason to reflect on this, though such reflection is a bit unpopular.)”

“As a matter of face, Zen is at present most fashionable in America among those who are least concerned with moral discipline. Zen has, indeed, become for us a symbol of moral revolt. It is true, the Zen-man’s contempt for conventional and formalistic social custom is a healthy phenomenon, but it is healthy only because it presupposes a spiritual liberty based on freedom from passion, egotism and self-delusion. A pseudo-Zen attitude which seeks to justify a complete moral collapse with a few rationalizations based on the Zen Masters is only another form of bourgeois self-deception. It is not an expression of healthy revolt, but only another aspect of the same lifeless and inert conventionalism against which it appears to be protesting.”

“In our practice we have no particular purpose or goal, nor any special object of worship.”

“Chaos brings movement to whatever is stagnant in your life. Stagnation leads to apathy, numbness, illness, suffering, etc. Be grateful for the situations in your life that may seem chaotic in the present moment, and realize that, in the greater scheme of things, chaos is Spirit giving you an opportunity… or possibly pushing you to move, grow, and be in the flow.”

“Yes, you are creative and in slow, languid times, creativity peers out of your soul like a field mouse from its burrow at night.”

“Who are you without your labels and attachments to the issues you are passionate about? Remove the emotions, remove the beliefs and associations, and simply focus on the rational and practical applications that promote peaceful progression.”

“Have you ever thought; whilst looking all this time for the magic in the world, it’s been inside you all along? No matter how far you travel, how wide you spread your wings and learn to fly if you have no idea what treasures hide within you you’ll be searching your entire life.”

“Observe things as they are and don’t pay attention to other people. There are some people just like mad dogs barking at everything that moves, even barking when the wind stirs among the grass and leaves.”

“With silence comes mindfulness, and thus we become better at choosing our words with kind intent before we express them.”

“Wild woman are an unexplainable spark of life. They ooze freedom and seek awareness, they belong to nobody but themselves yet give a piece of who they are to everyone they meet. If you have met one, hold on to her, she’ll allow you into her chaos but she’ll also show you her magic.”

“Always ask yourself: “What will happen if I say nothing?”

“How much does he lack himself who must have many things?”

“Yes, silence is painful, but if you endure it, you will hear the cadence of the entire universe.”

“Zen gives you tremendous dignity. There is no authority anywhere. Freedom is utter and ultimate.”

“Zen is a single step—the journey of one single step. You can call it the last step or the first step, it doesn’t matter. It is the first and it is the last, the alpha and the omega. The whole teaching of Zen consists of only one thing: how to take a jump into nothingness, how to come to the very end of your mind, which is the end of the world.”

“Forgiveness is a transformative act because it asks you to be a more empathetic and compassionate person, thereby making you better than the person you were when you were first hurt.”

“Why wait to forgive and let go only after you have sufficiently wallowed in your despair? Why not forgive and let go now?”

“Zen is magic. It gives you the key to open the miraculous. And the miraculous is in you and the key is also in you.”

“The only path wide for us all is love.”

“We sit to express our true nature”

“Three or four times, I have had the great death but my life is lived in the million tiny moments that make up the one dance”

“The changeless is what knows the change, the changeless is unconditioned”

“There is no other space, no other time. This moment is all. In this moment the whole existence converges, in this moment all is available.”

“With life the truth is not what is right or wrong, but with life the truth is the process, where life unfolds in every individual, and takes him to the whole.”

“You integrate something by first of all accepting it. To resist any aspect of your past is to keep yourself fragmented, and to keep yourself fragmented is exactly what the built-in mechanisms of the negative beliefs in your unconscious mind are designed to do. To become whole within yourself, you must treat each and every experience that you have and ever will have as simply a stepping stone because there’s always a bigger picture. Something challenging may be happening to you right now, and you may have no conscious recognition or idea of why it’s happening, but let me assure you that you will know why one day. How many times have you said to yourself, “Wow, so that’s why it happened?” The issue isn’t really what’s going on in the present moment or what has happened back in the past, the issue is the way you’re defining or looking it…”

“That’s just the trouble, you make an effort to think about it. Concentrate entirely on your breathing, as if you had nothing else to do!”

“The more you condemn yourself for thinking or feeling a certain way, the more you feel stuck within your own body and mind.. What if you went the other way and embraced it so totally that it was as if there was never any alternative experience to be reached for? What happens when the conflict ends?”

“The more you condemn yourself for thinking or feeling a certain way, the more you feel stuck within your own body and mind. What if you went the other way and embraced it so totally that it was as if there was never any alternative experience to be reached for? What happens when the conflict ends?”

“Morra para o passado a cada instante”

“I use the terms “sky” and “earth” because as a human I cannot imagine those elements not being there. It is a way to give substance to nothingness.”

“On my journey from the fantastical to the practical, spirituality has gone from being a mystical experience to something very ordinary and a daily experience. Many don’t want this, instead they prefer spiritual grandeur, and I believe that is what keeps enlightenment at bay. We want big revelations of complexity that validates our perceptions of the divine. What a let down it was to Moses when God spoke through a burning bush! But that is exactly the simplicity of it all. Our spiritual life is our ordinary life and it is very grounded in every day experience. For me, it is the daily practice of kindness, mindfulness, happiness, and peace.”

“«Un antiguo sabio dijo: “una persona buena es como caminar bajo la niebla y la llovizna, aunque la ropa no se empape se va volviendo cada vez más húmeda.”» (4-4, Shobogenzo)”

“When we attach to a problem, we make the problem worse. When we attach to a solution, we make the problem worse.”

“Zen probably won’t solve a single one of our problems. What it might do is help us relate differently to what we consider problems.”

“Render unto meditation the things that are meditation’s, and unto medication the things that are medication’s.”

“Nearly all samurai practice Zen – it is the Way of Enlightenment.” “Possibly the light of Zen is so strong that it has blinded me to its virtue.” Yoshitoki smiled. “It is very good discipline for the mind, as the martial arts are for the body.” Kenmotsu looked very smug as he said this. “I do Zazen twice a week.” “I think it will do no-one any harm, though personally I find it more pleasant to think than to empty my mind of thought.”

“My thatched hut; the whole sky Is its roof The mountains are its hedge, And it has the sea for a garden. I’m inside with nothing at all, Not even a bag, And yet there are visitors who say “ It’s hidden behind a bamboo door” — Muso Soseki”

“Careful! Even moonlit dewdrops, If you’re lured to watch, Are a wall before the Truth. — Sogyo”

“Perfectionists are neurotic people. The world is perfectly beautiful in its imperfection.”

“The beauty of death is that it is a constant reminder of the limited time we spend here in this unique life on Earth. It is the ongoing wakeup call that reminds us to be joyous, to laugh, to love, to be compassionate and grateful, and most of all – to forgive.”

“Your judgments about another person say more about your own character than the character of the person you are pointing a finger at. This is the key and one of the most fundamental insights about the ‘red flags’ that we often dismiss regarding the people in our lives. If someone complains a lot to you about other people, guess what? That is part of their current character. And, as quickly as the tide changes, you can just as easily become the person they target and criticize, point fingers at, and negatively judge. Forever and always, until vibrations are raised, this will be the cycle of the relationship. So, it’s your choice to continue to engage in the cycle with them, or to move on. There are plenty of people who do not criticize, point fingers, or judge. THIS is the kind of character we want to foster within ourselves. THIS is the character of the kind of people we DO want to develop close relationships with.”

“Zen is the purest of meditations: just sit silently, doing nothing.”

“You worry yourself unnecessarily. Put the thought of hitting right out of your mind!”

“Your judgments about another person say more about your own character than the character of the person you’re pointing a finger at.”

“Conflict forces us to be fully present because it shatters our ego – stripping away all hope of escape or sugar coating. It removes everything that is nonessential to our authentic being; it removes all superficial layers. Conflict is painful because it wakes us up out of our created illusions. And if we lean into it, conflict can be the catalyst to our enlightenment.”

“How bittersweet is it to realize that we are the creators of our realities and that we have allowed others to do the creating for us for so many years? So much time wasted…so much guilt, regret and bitterness. It can be easier to numb that pain than face it. Yet once we face our pain and take responsibility, we gain the freedom to move forward and unleash our Divine Potential. We also gain the freedom to move forward and respond to life with Divinity; thus, we alter the very fabric of the collective realities experienced on our planet.”

“The greater the time of grief or stress the greater reason we have to be in alignment with peace.”

“…being able to wait without purpose in the state of highest tension…without continually asking yourself: Shall I be able to manage it? Wait patiently, as see what comes – and how it comes!”

“What he’s looking for, what he wants, is all around him, but he doesn’t want that because it is all around him. Every step’s an effort, both physically and spiritually, because he imagines his goal to be external and distant.”

“For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. The more you look the more you see.”

“Dare to be vulnerable, walk outside without your armor on and say YES to your heart.”

“I invite each of you to let go of your fears for just one day and say YES to life… say YES to love… say YES to You! You can always go back to saying ‘no’ another day.”

“My conscious mind must have its roots and origins in the most unfathomable depths of being, yet it feels as if it lived all by itself in this tight little skull.”

“There is no reason good enough for us to ever be out of alignment with Peace, and there is no reason good enough for us to ever be out of alignment with Love.”

“Pity moment, blah! Let’s turn it around! We do not even need to go into the story of it. We acknowledge this moment and release it. We love and accept and forgive ourselves. And we acknowledge that this is a tiny stitch, a brief pinprick in the needlepoints we are creating of our lives. And we also acknowledge that this lifetime of ours is but a tiny little stitch in the ever-expanding, infinite needlepoint of the Universe. Self-pity is not a reason good enough for us to be out of alignment with peace.”

“Your sweet-toting and sugarcoating is of no service to anyone! Do not sugarcoat reality; it only gives the people in your life a sweet-tooth that then makes it more challenging for them to later bite down on the hardness of life. Do not tote and tout sweets either – you’re malnourishing people! Instead give them the truth. What is the truth you may ask? Authentic expression of who you really are, how you really feel, without projecting the labels of right or wrong.”

“She was strangely unaware that she could look and see freshly for herself, as she wrote, without primary regard for what had been said before.”

“To doubt the literal meaning of the words of Jesus or Moses incurs hostility from most people, but it’s just a fact that if Jesus or Moses were to appear today, unidentified, with the same message he spoke many years ago, his mental stability would be challenged. This isn’t because what Jesus or Moses said was untrue or because modern society is in error but simply because the route they chose to reveal to others has lost relevance and comprehensibility. “Heaven above” fades from meaning when space-age consciousness asks, Where is “above”? But the fact that the old routes have tended, because of language rigidity, to lose their everyday meaning and become almost closed doesn’t mean that the mountain is no longer there. It’s there and will be there as long as consciousness exists.”

“… the Master’s warning that we should not practice anything except self-detaching immersion.”

“You don´t have to let it linger Within the palm of your hand, The tip’s already in your finger: All beginning comes to an end.”

“A Buddha doesn’t observe precepts. A Buddha doesn’t do good or evil. A Buddha isn’t energetic or lazy. A Buddha is someone who does nothing, someone who can’t even focus his mind on a Buddha. A Buddha isn’t a Buddha. Don’t think about Buddhas.”

“Zen is a double-edged sword, killing words and thoughts, yet at the same time, giving them life. Although beyond human intellect and philosophy, Zen is their root and source.”

“When engaging in simple everyday banter and communications, this rule of thumb can really help suppress a lot of our negative word ‘vomit’ since we often mindlessly chat about the things we don’t like. If we refrain from expressing our negative opinions about things unless they’re directly asked for, we can train ourselves to respond rather than react the second we see or hear something and then feel we must verbalize our views about it. Remember, even if we don’t agree with someone or something, we can still speak about the subject at hand in a positive light to encourage growth rather than guilty motivation. I like to say I express more “inspirations” than “opinions” with each passing day.”

“[W]hen you practise right meditation, you ‘cease from practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words and following speech, and learn the backward step that turns your light inwardly to illuminate your self.”

“Zen opens a man’s eyes to the greatest mystery as it is daily and hourly performed; it enlarges the heart to embrace eternity of time and infinity of space in its every palpitation; it makes us live in the world as if walking in the garden of Eden”

“This is shaping up even worse than you anticipated. Still, you feel a measure of detachment, as if you had suffered everything already and this were just a flashback. You wish that you had paid more attention when a woman you met at Heartbreak told you about Zen meditation. Think of all of this as an illusion. She can’t hurt you. Nothing can hurt the samurai wh enters combat fully resolved to die. You have already accepted the inevitability of termination, as they say. Still, you’d rather not have to sit through this.”

“The path of Tao is not that of sudden enlightenment. It is not like Zen. Zen is sudden enlightenment, Tao is gradual growth.”

“Keep your opinion to yourself unless it’s asked for.”

“Feeling guilt dims our light. Instead of dimming our light to make others feel more comfortable, we could just continue to shine and foster the rise of the vibrations of those around us. Being Happy and Feeling Good does not mean you have no compassion for the misery of those around you. It simply means you won’t dim your light to make them feel comfortable – instead, you’re going to help light the way. At first, your light may be a bit too bright for others and it may hurt their eyes, yet it’s far better to shine rather than to hide your light. When you hide your light for too long, it extinguishes and you slip right back into darkness…unable to find your way until someone ‘shiny’ comes along to light your way and help you to find the light you still possess within, your Soul’s Magnificence.”

“When you change the way you feel, it changes the way you think. When you change the way you think, you change the way you deal with everything in life.”

“Dwelling on the past is like dragging a boat over dry land.”

“The expensive car you bought doesn’t matter, but the way you treated the salesman did.”

“Dwelling on the past is like dragging a boat over dry land.”

“Sometimes you’re going to shine like the sun; sometimes you’re going to crumble to pieces. Either way, it’s okay.”

“When the ego is in the driver’s seat, we judge. When our spirit, our authentic self, is in control, we practice listening (without judging), compassion, and love.”

“Everything is in the root. If you pick the weed without getting the root out of the soil, be assured, it is going to grow back.”

“The chaos doesn’t end, you kinda’ just become the calm.”

“You have the power to change the happiness level in someone’s life and in the process you change your mind-set and the level of your own happiness. Practicing kindness and compassion will change your life, your environment, your outlook on your future, and how you view what has happened in your past.”

“Taoism is simply the complete acceptance of yourself as you are right in this moment. It’s about rolling with the changes, whether they are perceived as good or bad. Tao reminds us to live life through good actions (important for past karma and karma you are presently creating); through practicing things that engage our mind, body, and spirit.”

“You know that you won’t remain Centered all the time, and it is a normal part of human life to drift left or right of Center sometimes.”

“When I think of Tao, I think of the artist Bob Ross and his famous painting techniques. I can hear him say, “It’s your tree, you can make it look any way you want to.”

“But until then, and right now, the sun is bright, the air is cool, my head is clear, there’s a whole day ahead of us, we’re almost to the mountains, it’s a good day to be alive. It’s this thinner air that does it. You always feel like this when you start getting into higher altitudes.”

“In the strictest sense, we cannot actually think about life and reality at all, because this would have to include thinking about thinking, thinking about thinking about thinking, and so ad infinitum. One can only attempt a rational, descriptive philosophy of the universe on the assumption that one is totally separate from it. But if you and your thoughts are part of this universe, you cannot stand outside them to describe them.”

“Happiness lies even in little tiny butterflies. You just have to cpen up your eyes and see where beauty flies to beautify your world lenghtwise.”

“Taoism is simply the complete acceptance of yourself as you are right in this moment. It’s about rolling with the changes, whether they are perceived as good or bad. Tao reminds us to live life through good actions (important for past karma and karma you are presently creating); through practicing things that engage our mind, body, and spirit.”

“[A] book is not merely a book, it is the sun as well.”

“It’s about letting yourself feel, but not wallow; it’s about leaning into love, not fear, as the preferred force in your life.”

“It’s about letting yourself feel, but not wallow; it’s about leaning into love, not fear, as the preferred force in your life.”

“When the ego is in the driver’s seat, we judge. When our spirit, our authentic self, is in control, we practice listening (without judging), compassion, and love”

“When you change the way you feel, it changes the way you think. When you change the way you think, you change the way you deal with everything in life.”

“Everything is in the root. If you pick the weed without getting the root out of the soil, be assured, it is going to grow back.”

“You have the power to change the happiness level in someone’s life and in the process you change your mind-set and the level of your own happiness. Practicing kindness and compassion will change your life, your environment, your outlook on your future, and how you view what has happened in your past.”

“Sometimes you’re going to shine like the sun; sometimes you’re going to crumble to pieces. Either way, it’s okay.”

“You know that you won’t remain Centered all the time, and it is a normal part of human life to drift left or right of Center sometimes.”

“Life is an all-encompassing art gallery. From the seasons ushering in change to the way a body moves during dance; from the way one smile paints another to the waddle of a street rat – every facet of life is art in motion. Every time a bird takes flight from a branch the scene changes; each time the winds shift brings new perspective.”

“To “know” reality you cannot stand outside it and define it; you must enter into it, be it, and feel it.”

“Happiness lies even in ltiny ittle butterflies. You just have to open up your eyes and see where beauty flies to beautify your world lenghtwise.”

“Happiness lies even in tiny little butterflies. You just have to open up your eyes and see where beauty flies to beautify your world lenghtwise.”

“Newton invented a new form of reason. He expanded reason to handle infinitesimal changes and I think what is needed now is a similar expansion of reason to handle technological ugliness. The trouble is that the expansion has to be made at the roots, not at the branches, and that’s what makes it hard to see.”

“When you get shy, you’re simply thinking of yourself. Stop it. Step out of yourself.”

“It is very possible to acknowledge another person’s concerns without entering into their vibration.”

“The expensive car you bought doesn’t matter, but the way you treated the sales man did.”

“Even the most aware of us do not realize the infinite power we possess or the magnitude of the ability we have to create, transmute, and transcend.”

“Absolute freedom comes when we make the choice to wake up and master our individual minds, bodies, hearts, and spirits. When we have this true freedom, we no longer act upon our impulsive thoughts or emotions. We gain the capability of controlling them within ourselves, which unlocks our greatest potential to create, transmute, and transcend the Mundane reality.”

“Just dabbing pieces of my heart into things that make me shine, my little young simple life.”

“[W]e have endless opportunities to forget the self – in planting a tree for future generations; in creating a poem, a meal, a vessel of clay;”

“A single thought can shift your entire world.”

“When we take our clothes in our hands and fold them neatly, we are, I believe, transmitting energy, which has a positive effect on our clothes. Folding properly pulls the cloth taut and erases wrinkles, and makes the material stronger and more vibrant. Clothes that have been neatly folded have a resilience and sheen that can be discerned immediately, clearly distinguishing them from those that have been haphazardly stuffed in a drawer. The act of folding is far more than making clothes compact for storage. It is an act of caring, an expression of love and appreciation for the way these clothes support your lifestyle. Therefore, when we fold, we should put our heart into it, thanking our clothes for protecting our bodies.”

“I’m not here to disagree with people or try to change anyone’s mind. I’m just here to accept and love others right where they are – no matter their belief systems or backgrounds.”

“A ‘caring’ judgment is still a judgment. And any form of judgment creates blocks and stagnation.”

“I am not a victim of circumstance, situation, nor any external condition of life. I am an active participant in the creation of my reality, meaning, I am actively participating in the creation of what I think, what I feel, what I spend my time on, who I spend my time with, what I consume mentally and physically, and all the blessings and contrastive experiences that come my way. Every effect has a cause and every cause has an effect, all of which include me because it is my life to live, my life to use, and my life to enjoy.”

“Good and bad aren’t absolutes. They are beliefs, judgements, ideas based on limited knowledge as well as on the inclinations of our minds.”

“If your idea of good opposes something else, you can be sure that [it] is not absolute or certain.”

“We imagine that things come into existence, endure for a while, and then pass out of existence”

“There’s nothing you can find – … nothing you can even imagine – that doesn’t originate, develop, or exist in relation to other things.”

“To forget the self is to remember that we don’t exist alone, but in relation to other people, to other creatures, to the planet, and to the universe.”

“[F]ocus not on ourselves as a force in charge of the manipulation of others, but on how our lives interpenetrate those of others – and … all creatures of a dynamic universe.”

“We are evolving beyond the need for instinctual survival. No longer do we need to rely on our instincts of fight or flight, because our stresses today are not life-threatening. We have the recourse to remain at peace and in tune with the Universe. No longer do we need to be blinded by our impulsive human behaviors and reactions. We are coming to a time of transcendence in which we can choose to unplug ourselves from our predictable reactions and create a new future. Right now, our futures are easily calculable by those who understand the formula for humanity. Yet, what is missing from the formula is humanity’s ability to awaken and begin to truly exercise free will.”

“It’s okay to experience the flow of all emotions; however, if we get caught up in feeling pity for others and take on the responsibility of being their ‘savior’, we often take away their power to ‘save’ themselves. If I see someone as ‘messed up’ then I am projecting my ‘messed up’ vibration onto them, so I am unable to hold space. Yet, if I already view them as whole, well, and beautiful – then I am able to be a vibrational key (vessel of Spirit) that uplifts their energy so that it may come into alignment with being whole, well, and beautiful. It’s not that I do any of the healing; I’m simply a mirror reflecting acceptance and loving them for exactly who they are, right where they are. That is all that is ever truly asked of us, to accept and to love.”

“[H]ow can something cease to exist that has no solid existence in the first place?”

“How can a hard and fast view of a world that is never hard and fast possibly be accurate?”

“There’s no rule in the end, but only the situation and the inclination of your mind”

“Truth is not … something to believe or disbelieve. The things we believe are always less than Truth[.]”

“[A] view of the world is nothing more than a set of beliefs, a way to freeze the world in our mind. … [T]his can never match Reality, … because the world isn’t frozen.”

“We do not want to deny existence. Yet we also do not want to limit existence. Thus, we observe and honor without forming opinion, labeling, or adding a story to the object of our observation.”

“The only way we can be free in each moment is to become what each moment is.”

“Results for “What are the maintenance requirements of the human being? Life, Liberty, the pursuit of happiness and food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Keeping us confused and divided against one another about these rights, the multinational power elite teaches us in America that only life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights. In socialist nations they promote the view that only food, clothing, shelter and medical care are rights.”

“Good times come and go. And bad times do the same.”

“[E]ven in getting the wonderful things we long for, we tend to live in want of something more[.]”

“Pain is inevitable, yet suffering is optional. It is our heart connections that make all the difference. When we experience mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual pain – love is the one medicine that transcends any synthetic or organic drug we use to suppress pain.”

“The more we surrender to what cannot be, the better we control what can be.”

“What is your heart worth to you? The answer is ‘everything’. Our hearts are worth the World.”

“There is no excuse good enough to ever be out of alignment with love. You’re going to get hurt, and you will feel pain. Yet your purpose is to keep loving, anyway. Keep moving forward with an open heart. Love is a Divine gift given to humanity. Wasting it is no longer an option. Love is what brings light to a dark place. Love is what transforms a dying world into a thriving planet.”

“Good… Bad? I’m not here to judge where you’re at or where you’ve been. I’m simply here to encourage you in where you would like to go. You have the map; I’ll shine the light on it so you can better read it. And eventually, the sun will rise again in your life and you’ll no longer need my light to assist you.”

“When I was a kid my mom would send me off to school each day with the words, ‘Remember: be happy! The most important thing today is that you are happy!”

“The Law of Attraction takes into account all of your doubts. So, if you say you practice the Law of Attraction yet always carry an extra parachute with a Plan B, C, & D for those ‘just in case’ scenarios… you may be tricking yourself into believing that you believe when, in actuality, you are quite insecure. If you always have a backup plan ready – though it may come off as ‘prepared’ and ‘smart’ – it also implies that you do not fully trust that Spirit will always provide.”

“Are you able to remain humble and kind when things do not go the way you want or expect? Be kind when you are in pain; be kind even when your life seems to be falling apart around you. Be humble not only when you succeed but also when you fail. Kindness in word and action, and humble in thought and belief. It is important to not only say and do the ‘right’ thing, it is important to also think and believe it – which is being genuine in nature of peace embodiment.”

“The wind plays its own music.”

“[T]here is really nothing ‘out there’ to get because, already, within this moment, everything is whole and complete.”

“We can only be here. We can’t leave. We are always here.”

“it’s always good to know that you have been the best even though deep inside you know you will never be better than that.”

“Fear and paranoia create many of our worldly struggles. We get something in our minds and our distorted perception sculpts the reality of what we see. Even though what we see isn’t really there, we tend to act as if it is. We then begin to put people and things into boxes, labeling them, and limiting them due to our fears.”

“Belief is at best an educated, informed conjecture about Reality.”

“It’s important to have a vision of the long run and make wise decisions for our highest good in the present moment; however, we don’t want to become attached to how everything must look. When we show up in good faith, life provides. And when we trust, we are always in the flow of manifestation.”

“[I]mpermanence [is] the very thing that makes [life] vibrant, wonderful, and alive.”

“And the question of Wester religion,” Flattery said, “is: What lies beyond death? But the question of the Zen master is: What lies beyond waking?”

“When faced with contrast, take nothing personally and don’t try to defend yourself. Defending one’s self is a vibrational relative of guilt. People will think what they like; do not feed fuel to the fire by reacting. Simply ask questions for clarity and in response say ‘Is that so?’ Take responsibility for the energy you brought to the situation, acknowledge the illusions without attachment, and move forward. Other people’s opinions are none of your business. Remember that each person is on their own unique path, and the mirror of contrast you hold up to them may be exactly what is necessary for their conscious growth at that time.”

“Leave no livid life in your days but vivid days in your life”

“Contrast is not ‘bad’ since the contrast we experience still causes us to learn and grow. Expansion never ceases, and that is a beautiful thing. Contrast allows us to see what is not in alignment with our Authentic Selves, and then presents us with opportunity after opportunity to respond from a place of compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, love, joy, gratitude, etc. Thus, when we break the karmic loop we swing back into alignment with Spirit.”

“Fairy tales and stories of fantasy bridge the gap and inspires the heart and mind wherever religious thought reaches its limits or meets a dead end. In other words, fairy tales are spiritual in nature, rising above set dogmas and traditions to provide a modern and universal spiritual nourishment for the human soul.”

“It’s very possible to live life without disliking anyone. It’s all vibration. We can get to the point where ‘dislike’ does not even register as an option in the default settings of our minds. Some may wonder, ‘What does it matter if I like or dislike people?’ In my perception, it matters greatly since dislike influences our entire energetic body. It becomes part of our vibrational aura, what we’re emitting and receiving in return from the world. How we respond to the world is how the world will treat us.”

“The impossibility of arriving at Truth by giving up your own authority and following the lights of others. Such a path will only lead to an opinion.”

“Close your eyes and trust; go in the direction of what makes you feel authentically lighter and brighter. There is no good or bad. Retribution feels vibrationally better than desperation. It’s better than sitting still because your energy has movement. Frustration is better than retribution, because now you’re not projecting negative energy outward, you’re processing it within. Apathy is better than frustration; at least you’ve reached some form of detachment. Optimism is better than apathy. Optimism becomes happiness. Co-creative inspiration follows… and then comes joy.”

“Energy does not judge, it merely creates.”

“The war going on within you is a reflection of every war that has ever taken place… past, present, and future. Each individual is a Spiritual Warrior and there is only one demon you must conquer…your SELF. You are the devil and you are the savior. You are a human with free will, and every morning you wake up and you make a choice.”

“Belief may serve as a useful stopgap measure in the absence of actual experience, but once you see … [it] becomes unnecessary.”

“Actually I’ve never seen a cycle-maintenance problem complex enough really to require full-scale formal scientific method. Repair problems are not that hard. When I think of formal scientific method an image sometimes comes to mind of an enormous juggernaut, a huge bulldozer-slow, tedious, lumbering, laborious, but invincible. It takes twice as long, five times as long, maybe a dozen times as long as informal mechanic’s techniques, but you know in the end you’re going to get it. There’s no fault isolation problem in motorcycle maintenance that can stand up to it. When you’ve hit a really tough one, tried everything, racked your brain and nothing works, and you know that this time Nature has really decided to be difficult, you say, “Okay, Nature, that’s the end of the nice guy,” and you crank up the formal scientific method.”

“We have all sorts of stories about heaven and hell, about oblivion and nothingness, about ‘coming back,’ and so on. But they are all stories.”

“Yes, contrast teaches us a great many things and there is purpose for it. Yet it is time to transcend your everyday dramas that are but drops in an ocean. Cease focusing on your droplets of water and look around you. Everything you say and touch and do sets into motion ripples that either heal and create or curse and destroy. Let me repeat: Everything.”

“On the road to success there is absolutely no room for criticism of self or others. Insecurity and fear masquerade as jealousy and judgment. Finding faults in others wastes time as we attempt to remove the bricks from other people’s foundations – time that could be better spent building our own. And worrying about what other people think about us also wastes the time that could be better spent expanding upon what we have built.”

“The moment we accept our pain is the moment we release our suffering. Suffering is created when we offer life resistance, and what we resist most are the experiences that bring us pain.”

“Isn’t it funny how we make rational excuses for being out of alignment? We say, “Well, this ____ and that ____ happened, so it makes perfect sense for me to be feeling like this ____ and wanting to do this ____.” Yet, to this day, I have never met a happy person who adheres to those excuses. In fact, each time I – or anyone else – decide to give in to “rational excuses” that justify feeling bad – it’s interesting that only further suffering is the result. There is never a good enough reason for us to be out of alignment with peace. Sure, we can go there and make choices that dim our lights… and that is fine; there certainly is purpose for it and the contrast gives us lessons to learn… yet if we’re aware of what we are doing and we’re ready to let go of the suffering – then why go there at all? It’s like beating a dead horse. Been there, done that… so why do we keep repeating it? Pain is going to happen; it’s inevitable in this human experience, yet it is often so brief. When we make those excuses, what happens is: we pick up that pain and begin to carry it with us into the next day… and the next day… into next week… maybe next month… and some of us even carry it for years or to our graves! Forgive, let it go! It is NOT worth it! It is NEVER worth it. There is never a good enough reason for us to pick up that pain and carry it with us. There is never a good enough reason for us to be out of alignment with peace. Unforgiveness hurts you; it hurts others, so why even go there? Why even promote pain? Why say painful things to yourself or others? Why think pain? Just let it go! Whenever I look back on painful things or feel pain today, I know it is my EGO that drives me to “go there.” The EGO likes to have the last word, it likes to feel superior, it likes to make others feel less than in hopes that it will make itself (me) feel better about my insecurities. Maybe if I hurt them enough, they will feel the pain I felt over what they did to me. It’s only fair! It’s never my fault; it’s always someone else’s. There is a twisted sense of pleasure I get from feeling this way, and my EGO eats it right up. YET! With awareness that continues to grow and expand each day, I choose to not feed my pain (EGO) or even go there. I still feel it at times, of course, so I simply acknowledge it and then release it. I HAVE power and choice over my speech and actions. I do not need to ever “go there” again. It’s my choice; it’s your choice. So it’s about damn time we start realizing this. We are not victims of our impulses or emotions; we have the power to control them, and so it’s time to stop acting like we don’t. It’s time to relinquish the excuses.”

“Truth falls from the heavens like rain, gently carving many channels in the earth. Your truth may be different from my own, yet both are still true.”

“Your call to power is to slow down and reflect within. Gather the peace within yourself before you go out and act among the world. The feel good feeling that lasts is only achieved when you yourself know peace. Nothing is more powerful. This is why you have the highs and lows, the mood swings, the transcendent ecstasy followed by the crash. It is because you have yet to develop a foundation of peace for yourself that acts as an unmovable anchor in your life. Establish this peace in your life and you will experience a whole new reality of the world that flows with you in every way possible, rather than against you.”

“Learn to observe your emotions without needing to act or distract yourself from them. Within that stillness your truest most vulnerable thoughts will arise and it is these thoughts that will show you where your healing work must begin.”

“Every day I wake up and ask myself, ‘How can I accept myself and others more fully?”

“Every day, I take steps to resolve all my karmic ties, live with intention, smile and laugh often, express my love, and act on what brings me fulfillment. Why wait until we have one foot in the grave to suddenly become spiritual, forgiving, and at peace with the world?”

“Being under stress is like being stranded in a body of water. If you panic, it will cause you to flail around so that the water rushes into your lungs and creates further distress. Yet, by calmly collecting yourself and using controlled breathing you remain afloat with ease.”

“Everything that brings us well being is achieved through allowing ourselves to flow with life and be in harmony. Pain happens, it is our attachment to the pain and our resistance to change that causes suffering.”

“Your Ego tells you that you were wronged and it validates your separation. Your Higher Self tells you that you were blessed and it validates your expansion.”

“Peace does not demand that everyone like or want the same reality.”

“Enlightenment isn’t about reaching a destination of “knowing”, it is about developing consistent vibrational harmony within one’s self and with the surrounding world.”

“Every emotion in the human spectrum is actually a teacher that is here to show us the degree in which we are either resisting life or flowing with life.”

“Peace never hurries. To rush or force is contradictory to the very essence of peace.”

“Unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life are common themes in the American culture today. Folks sometimes mistake my meaning when I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, because they all too often rush to drop everything that is weighing them down. They quit the job, ditch the unhappy marriage, cut out negative friends and family, get out of Dodge, etc. I do not advocate such hastiness; in fact, I believe that rash decision-making leads to more problems further down the road. Another unsatisfying job manifests; another unhappy relationship results. These people want a new environment, yet the same negative energy always seems to occupy it. This is because transformation is all about the internal shift, not the external. Any blame placed on outside sources for our unhappiness will forever perpetuate that unhappiness. Pointing the finger is giving away your power of choice and the ability to create our best life. We choose: “That person is making me unhappy” vs. “I make myself happy.” When you are in unhappy times of lack and feelings of separation – great! Sit there and be with it. Find ways to be content with little. Find ways to be happy with your Self. As we reflect on the lives of mystics past and present, it is not the things they possess or the relationships they share that bring them enlightenment – their light is within. The same light can bring us unwavering happiness (joy). Love, Peace, Joy – these three things all come from within and have an unwavering flame – life source – that is not dependent on the conditions of the outside world. This knowing is the power and wisdom that the mystics teach us that we are all capable of achieving. When I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, I am not referring to external conditions; I am referring to the choice you have to look inward and discover the ability to transform the lead of the soul into gold. Transformation is an inner journey of the soul. Why? Because, as we mentioned above, wherever we go, ourselves go with us. Thus, quitting the job, dumping relationships, etc. will not make us happy because we have forgotten the key factor that makes or breaks our happiness: ourselves. When we find, create, and maintain peace, joy, and love within ourselves, we then gain the ability to embrace the external world with the same emotions, perspective, and vibration. This ability is a form of enlightenment. It is the modern man’s enlightenment that transforms an unsatisfying life into one of fulfillment.”

“We cannot dim another person’s light without first extinguishing our own.”

“Your anger – about matters that you think are personal and yours alone – is, in fact, the fuel for the machines of war. Your kindness towards strangers on the street is, in fact, the grace and serenity that brings millions of people together to work towards the common good of all.”

“Our goal in life is to carry with us the wisdom of experience, yet treat each new day as its own unique reality, rather than comparing what currently is to what has been in the past. When we compare, we plant expectations that then become self-fulfilling prophesies through the Law of Attraction.”

“The present moment is all that ever is, and in each new moment we die and are reborn. For example, people block love and close off their hearts out of fear of being hurt again. If they lived in the present moment, there would be no fear and they would walk forward in life with confidence and certainty that there is the joy of new experiences to be had.”

“On the road to success, there is always room to share appreciation and gratitude for other people’s successes. Feeling gratitude for other people raises our own vibration, while adding cement to the bricks we lay. Finding the best qualities in others allows us to build those qualities within ourselves. And when we focus on our personal growth with open hearts and minds, the speed with which we construct dramatically increases, because all the while, we are attracting more like energy and like-minded people into our lives to assist us.”

“Like a sponge, we absorb, not liquid, but energy. Each morning we wake up as a fresh, dry sponge, ready to take in the world around us. Throughout the day, we interact with people, various energies, and a range of vibration. Each time, we absorb energy – either a small amount or a great deal – depending on whether the contact is direct or residual. And when we are filled to the point that we can absorb no more, we sometimes feel like we might explode. We know this bursting point – it reveals itself in our over-stimulated, over-stressed, near-crazy minds. Sleep often releases the energetic buildup, yet meditation works just as well. Meditation throughout the day “wrings out” our soggy, spongy selves. Deliberate mindfulness in the present moment can keep us from absorbing things we don’t resonate with, so that we no longer reach the point of mental breakdowns or emotional overloads.”

“All that exists is the present moment”

“Master Teachers who genuinely embody an enlightened state of being never stop “doing the work”. The ego is what assumes it knows enough, causing cessation of these daily practices, and therefore, Masters without attachment to ego are forever students of the Universe. The Masters attain an illuminated state of “Being” as the outcome, yet it is the consistent “doing” that promotes and maintains their enlightenment.”

“Through transcendence of duality, we foster greater unity in our lives, which brings about inner peace and the sprouting of unconditional LOVE.”

“The actual, expanded consciousness, reality of our planet is that all of life is LOVE; our very existence is LOVE. Everything that exists is just varying degrees of this LOVE; polar absolutes do not exist. Good versus evil is pure illusion. Even the most seemingly “negative” person with ill intent is still in the spectrum of love.”

“Our call to action is to be in the flow of life, accepting life as it is and as it comes. We must allow life to be life in all its impermanent grandeur. Nothing remains the same, and those who fight change, or are in denial of it, create chaos within their own lives and the lives of those they have influence over.”

“When we allow ourselves to be authentically free, it raises our vibration.”

“When we can accept reality as it is and are okay with it without needing to change it, we then can begin to take steps toward creating a brighter reality for ourselves and others, coming from a place of understanding. But when we are motivated to change reality due to our discomfort with it, we do not think clearly. The reason that there is so much suffering in the world is because people are too busy judging everyone and everything, and through the judgments they perpetuate the suffering. People are so focused on changing outside conditions, all the while forgetting the judgment and separation within their own heart.”

“Judgment is contrary to the vibration of unconditional love”

“Detachment is being apathetic or aloof to other people, while un-attachment is acknowledging and honoring other people, while choosing not to let them influence your emotional well being. Detached would mean I do not care, while un-attached means I care, although I am not going to alter my emotional state due to your emotions, words, or actions.”

“Never close the door of your heart to anyone. They may not be in vibrational alignment today, so you must place physical distance between you and them for your own well-being, but later in life, they may awaken and seek forgiveness, understanding, and peace. If you close the door to your heart, when they come seeking later on, they will find their way blocked and may walk away without knocking, since it took all the courage they had to just approach. Yet, if you leave the door open to your warm heart and they see that you are full of welcoming energy, co-creation will always be the reward, allowing you to make together a more beautiful world for all.”

“You listen to people, you listen so deeply that you can hear their past lives, The crackle of their funeral pyres,”

“Living in the present moment is the recurring baptism of the soul, forever purifying every new day with a new you.”

“Compassion dissolves ignorance.”

“People who suffer the most often inflict the most pain onto others. Compassion can be found through understanding this. When someone is internally suffering, sometimes the only reality they know is that of pain and thus their only knowledge is how to be a victim or an abuser. That’s all they are able to communicate. Holding onto the thorn of resentment does not help them or you, but fostering compassion and forgiveness will.”

“Ignorance is an illusion; we seek understanding. Compassion paves the way towards understanding and understanding paves the way towards acceptance.”

“People can only perceive you through their own vibration, not through your vibration. Your vibration certainly influences theirs, though they are the primary creators of their reality and they perceive an aspect of you into existence that is unique to their reality. Any energy spent worrying about what other people think about you is wasted energy due to all the simultaneous, co-existing realities which you have no control over. What you do have control over are your thoughts and your own vibration. And through this control, you can train your mind to create the most uplifting reality possible. When you do so, the people not in vibrational alignment with your reality will either unconsciously raise their vibration to meet you or simply fall away because they no longer match the vibration necessary to exist in your deliberately created reality.”

“Everyone is doing the best they can with what they know, and we are all here to learn and grow.”

“When we ourselves are not truly in a place of peace and we go out and try to create peace in the world, it becomes a fragmented and sometimes even corrupt form of peace. This happens because only peace can create peace, and unless we are the embodiment of it, we are projecting our bias of what peace should look like onto other people’s lives. To be at peace means to accept reality as is. Embodying peace is, in fact, the very essence of what it means to be free, as well as offering this freedom to others.”

“Positive simply means unifying energies, while negative simply means separating energies. It’s not about what’s good or bad, right or wrong. It’s about embracing what feels good and brings us closer to peace.”

“The energy of our thoughts, words, actions, and emotions collectively create the frequency of our vibrational aura.”

“How ironic it is then, to realize how many of we humans are masochists! That even when we are placed in paradise, the majority of us would, by choice, focus on everything outside the present moment and make ourselves suffer by thinking about Dis-Ease! Too many of us would dwell on a past that no longer exists while everything in the present moment is wonderful. What great paradoxes we as humans are capable of!”

“It is often the simple daily practices that influence our lives in dramatic ways.”

“Our reality is colored by our vibration and belief systems. In other words, the experiences we have in the world with other people are dictated by the energy we bring with us wherever we go.”

“Many people have the confused idea that peace will happen when all the colors in the palette are the same. The actuality of peace is accepting each color’s differences and seeing the beauty each possesses.”

“Mastery of impulse is achieved through taking pauses during life’s contrasting situations. Mastery of impulse is about developing strong willpower that can be used to redirect the flow of energy in any situation. Mastery of impulse is about responding to the world with a sense of reason and peace.”

“Mastering my mind one thought at a time.”

“itt was snowing as if you could hear wolves howling”

“We are each responsible for our own emotional well being.”

“Mastery of impulse is all about self-discipline and choice. The mind is a powerful tool with which we have the ability to be in control of ourselves.”

“But the ones who go posing as moralists are the worst. Cost-free morals. Full of great ways for others to improve without any expense to themselves. There’s an ego thing in there, too. They use the morals to make someone else look inferior and that way look better themselves. It doesn’t matter what the moral code is — religious morals, political morals, racist morals, capitalist morals, feminist morals, hippie morals — they’re all the same. The moral codes change but the meanness and the egotism stay the same.”

“Un-attachment (as opposed to detachment) is the acceptance that each and every person is responsible for his or her own reality, and that our joy, peace, security, and sense of love is not dependent on any other person or situation. We are each responsible for our own emotional well being.”

“Mastering our thoughts can only be achieved after we truly understand what reality is. Thus, it is time to shatter your pre-conceived concept of reality. First, the majority of what you perceive as reality exists only in your mind, and, chances are, you spend most hours of your life in this illusion.”

“Have no fear. Trust in the vibrational currents of your life.”

“Illusions can and do create PHYSICAL Dis-Ease within our bodies. So it’s most important to master our thoughts, to become cognizant of what we are spending our precious mental energy on each moment of every day.”

“Vibration can be shifted through the mastery of thought”

“What we are is what we receive. It is not about waiting for something outside ourselves to change – we must actively be the change if we wish to see the result.”

“No person is ever wrong in how they experience their reality.”

“When people of different religions or countries harm people as a means to create peace, it’s out of the compulsion to make all colors the same. This is also why people think that war is a logical avenue towards creating peace. People who do not have or know inner peace perpetuate these shards of illusions. Thus, they are projecting their fragmented concepts of peace out onto the world.”

“The blossoms fall just once each winter, yet in our memories, they fall every day.”

“For there is never anything but the present, and if one cannot live there, one cannot live anywhere.”

“A big group of daily friends or a white painted house with bills and mirrors, are not a necessity to me—but an intelligent conversation while sharing another coffee, is.”

“People of this world are deluded. They’re always longing for something-always, in a word, seeking. But the wise wake up. They choose reason over custom. They fix their minds on the sublime and let their bodies change with the seasons. All phenomena are empty. They contain nothing worth desiring.”

“The mind is the root from which all things grow if you can understand the mind, everything else is included. It’s like the root of a tree. All a tree’s fruit and flowers, branches and leaves depend on its root. If you nourish its root, a tree multiplies. If you cut its root, it dies. Those who understand the mind reach enlightenment with minimal effort.”

“Well-being, or wholeness, implies integrity and harmony between all existing elements, providing freedom for the whole.”

“Soldiers falling fast Battle of white and scarlet Blossoms on the ground”

“Build your home in small moments of joy, and you will always feel at home.”

“You’re throwing stones across my water but my inner sea stay calm, whatever happens. The peaceful sound of the moving water makes everything fade . . . and if waves will grow it will be just to wash everything away. A clean surface will rise, sand returns white. My heart is see-through with brand new intentions. I’m floating with no reason, and I’m so fucking good baby. And he softly whispered: Too many tides will destroy your beauty but it’s not your fault, it’s the moon to blame.”

“Recovery through sleep isn’t going to happen if the majority of the components of your being aren’t getting enough stimulation or resistance to work against. Your brain may be tired after work, but if your body and emotions haven’t been challenged through the day, they’re going to keep irritating you even if you’re asleep. They don’t need rest; they need work for real recovery to take place.”

“The quality of our lives is determined by the focus of our attention.”

“I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life.”

“Once upon a time, there was a Zen sign at every small railway crossing in America Stop. Look. And listen.”

“To see the positive or not to see the positive, this is the question.”

“The most expected thing you can expect is what’s unexpected.”

“Water doesn’t know where it’s going to flow, it just flows.”

“People generally believe that stress is responsible for depletion, but apathy and uninspired systematic repetition are equally responsible. Or rather, systematic repetition produces as much or more stress and anxiety as anything else.”

“[I]t would seem that to be incapable of sitting and watching with the mind completely at rest is to be incapable of experiencing the world in which we live to the full. For one does not know the world simply in thinking about it and doing about it. One must first experience it more directly, and prolong the experience without jumping to conclusions.”

“If you’re ignoring a high percentage of the elements of your entire being, and the range of qualities they can naturally engage, there will be no real recovery or progress until you do. The typical relentless worker is just as lazy as the typical indulgent idler; they’re both just going through the habitual motions. To break the repetitive pattern, and discover more energy and effectiveness, one simply must stretch out in all directions, rotating focus and application of the qualities that make up one’s natural versatility.”

“This is not a philosophy of not looking where one is going; it is a philosophy of not making where one is going so much more important than where one is that there will be no point in going.”

“Physical well-being necessitates listening to what you already know, and then taking it seriously enough to act accordingly. When you wake up and feel the impulse to arch your back, stretch and exhale with a loud sigh, for God’s sake, do it.”

“Everything real is in the present moment. Only here can we find happiness and harmony, feel alive and do something that will change our future. Only here can we be with the people we love, enjoy the things we like and see beautiful places.”

“Often we suffer because we don’t realize what’s essential. We may want to be rich, but the rich are lonely. We see all those people on TV that have won the lottery and want to be at their place, but studies show that they are even more miserable after having won the big check. They don’t really know what to do with all that money, take poor decisions on how to spend them, change themselves and their friends don’t see them in the same way.”

“There’s a void inside most people. It’s been created by not being contented with who we are, not being happy with what we have, not being present and looking for something more, better, more exciting out there. And we’ve always been trying to fill this void with something external.”

“Kids want to be grown ups, adults want to be young and careless again. Single people desperately want a relationship, but those who are in one still complain almost all the time and wish for freedom. The poor want money, the rich want more of it. This means that changing your situation doesn’t prevent you from suffering, doesn’t make your desires go away. So you need to change something on the inside.”

“Zen has a pronounced iconoclastic tendency, and regards the study of texts, doctrines, and dogmas as a potential hindrance to spiritual awakening, relying instead on humour, spontaneity, unconventionality, poetry, and other forms of artistic expression to communicate the idea of enlightenment”

“It has been said that if you have Zen in your life,you have no fear, no doubt, no unnecessary craving, no extreme emotions. Neither illiberal attitudes nor egotistical actions trouble you. You serve humanity humbly, fulfilling your presence in this world with loving-kindness and observing your passing as a petal falling from a flower. Serene, you enjoy life in blissful tranquility. Such is the spirit of Zen.—Zen flesh, Zen bones.”

“[I]t is typical of Zen that its style of action has the strongest feeling of commitment, of “follow-through.” It enters into everything wholeheartedly and freely without having to keep an eye on itself. It does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”

“Suffering builds character and impels you to penetrate life’s secrets. It’s the path of great artists, great religious leaders, great social reformers. The problem is not suffering per se, but rather our identification with our own ego: our divided, dualistic, cramped view of things. “We are too ego-centered,” Suzuki tells Cage. “The ego-shell in which we live is the hardest thing to outgrow. We seem to carry it all the time from childhood up to the time we finally pass away.” Adolescent love gives us the first chance to break the shell. Sexual love makes the ego lose itself in the object it loves. “When the ego-shell is broken and the ‘other’ is taken into its own body, we can say that the ego has denied itself or that the ego has taken its first steps towards the infinite.…The religious consciousness is now fully awakened, and all the possible ways of escaping from the struggle or bringing it to an end are most earnestly sought in every direction. Books are read, lectures are attended, sermons are greedily taken in, and various religious exercises or disciplines are tried.” Suzuki says that sexual love is a vehicle of liberation? A crack in the ego shell? A path to the infinite? At this point, if I were Cage, I would buy the book and take it home.”

“To be the body-mind or not to be the body-mind, this is the question.”

“The typical image of a depressed, lazy and tired person is someone hunched over and inert. Often, the assumption is that if one had more enthusiasm and inspiration, he would then stand up straight and move. In many cases, this equation is backward. But, as with everything related to one’s physicality, balance is the key. An overly erect and rigid posture may convey confidence and power to some, but it also causes a subtle accumulation of tension and rigidity on various levels, including psychological and emotional.”

“Laughter has got to be the single healthiest activity one can perform. Just think how healthy you would be if you could sincerely laugh at that which now oppresses you.”

“If one follows what is in one’s heart (let’s leave out mind for the moment), one ends up with what one truly values and loves in life—and one acts accordingly. One’s own private indulgent cyclic habitual reactive subjective transitory feelings are, hopefully, not at the head of that list.”

“In my experience, most people are actually seeking recovery from the monotony and anxiety of qualitative repetition. This applies to body, emotions and mind. And that monotony and anxiety involves inertia just as much as over-use, meaning inertia in some areas and over-use in others.”

“Ironically, many of the institutions that run the economy, such as medicine, education, law and even psychology are largely dependent upon failing health. If you add up the amounts of money exchanged in the control, anticipation and reaction to failing health (insurance, pharmaceutical research and products, reactive or compensatory medicine, related legal issues, consultation and therapy for those who are unwilling to improve their physical health and claim or believe the problem is elsewhere, etc.), you end up with an enormous chunk. To keep that moving, we need people to be sick. Then we have the extreme social emphasis placed on the pursuit and maintenance of a lifestyle based on making money at any cost, often at the sacrifice of health, sanity and well-being.”

“No one will improve his health significantly without accurately perceiving priorities, knowing clearly what is at stake if those are not attended to and what is to be gained if acted on correctly. That’s the basic homework before any change can come about. Then that knowledge has to be transformed into a sustainable motivation.”

“Getting down to the gym a couple days a week and having low-fat milk in your morning latte isn’t going to make much of a dent in a system or lifestyle that is essentially, well, unwell.”

“Appreciation, affection, focus and intention fill up the space of self-reflection, and one loses oneself in the engagement. And what a relief it is when you get there.”

“If I were to make a list of focus for well-being, I would begin with lifestyle (the totality of one’s circumstance and how that is engaged, including job and relationships, and proximity to nature), attending to the physical functions correctly (posture, breathing, exercise, food, rest, etc.), consistent expression of your natural range of qualities, working and playing well and hard, and designing things so that you are doing what compels you. Obviously, you can’t give this list out as a prescription for physical problems and diseases, but then again, it is probably the correct prescription. If one were to follow it, any specific problem, even extreme, would almost certainly resolve itself.”

“It’s highly refined stuff—holding to one’s purpose and focus, but also intuiting the value of being a piece in a larger design and evolution. The balance between these two rhythms is where and when true harmony is achieved and magic happens. Often, just the release of the obsession for personal preferences and to personally gain opens the door.”

“If you, one, loves something or someone, that means that one is willing to, and does, sacrifice for it. That is, one chooses to do and give what is better to the being or thing one loves than to sacrifice the loved one for the personal emotion that is unrelated to or even hinders the giving. In other words, the way to transform an emotion is with a deeper one. This involves discernment and, yes, discipline, which are both frowned upon and seen as emotionless and less important. Which is immaturity, plain and simple, and is the fundamental aspect of human growth from child to adolescence to adult.”

“The essential dynamic underlying almost every elite and esoteric physical art is work with the breath, so there’s information available. I would only add that it’s unfortunate that so much work is done with it, and not much play. Laughter has got to be the single healthiest activity one can perform. Just think how healthy you would be if you could sincerely laugh at that which now oppresses you. I’ve mentioned before that one good measure of someone’s depth of spirituality is how long it takes before they become offended. Imagine laughing hysterically at the criticisms, complaints and impositions you receive. At the least, you’d be breathing well.”

“Yearning often does not provide a sense of attainment or “peace,” as it is fuel for one’s personal purpose, to in some specific way give or create; to do that is not necessarily easy or peaceful.”

“Everyone claims to want the truth. If you really want it, I’d suggest investing seriously in humor and this mysterious skill of transforming bad news into good. Otherwise, you’ll only get more frustrated.”

“On the high-end spectrum of emotions, which are innately connected to intuition and direct comprehension as well as imagination and creativity, meaning true empathy and knowledge, appreciative realization, transformation and invention, one finds a richer and more voluptuous combination of experience. Unfortunately, to “get there,” one has to be willing to sacrifice what is known for what is not.”

“True balance, and harmony, necessitates finding a way to override the addictive, reactive emotions that are the fabric of one’s subjective illusion, and discover emotions that correspond to actuality.”

“The transitory and random quality of emotions (“Well, that’s just the way I feel about it”) is deeply connected to, and largely the cause of, random engagement of one’s values and priorities. This very randomness and inconsistency is actually the cause of deeper suffering, primarily through the accumulation of addictions and the indulgence in reactions that are disproportionately small in comparison to what is really being sacrificed for them. Curiously—and a major theme in my own work over decades—the casual association of emotions to love is part of the insanity in all this.”

“The subjective experience of intense pain (“That’s all I can take”) corresponds exactly to one’s subjective experience in relation to truth (“That’s all I can take”).”

“As I’ve mentioned too often before, we are governed, and specifically our physicality is governed, by fairly strict rules, which are easily observable in nature. We have some freedom to manipulate some of these, but really not by very much. Everyone knows, or at least has the information, about the horrors of ignoring health issues and expecting your body to do what you want it to do with the least investment in it. Another “authority” telling you what you should do is not the answer.”

“Although each of us has the right to believe we are suffering, I suppose, there is a definite and ultimately essential distinction to be made between actual suffering, its cause and resolution, and invented or imagined suffering.”

“There is an actual and palpable hierarchy of emotional, mental and physiological intensity that corresponds to the actual capacities and limitations of human beings. In other words, there does exist a real and definable scale of suffering, and of joy.”

“On a psychological and physiological level, the habits of contraction are often caused by the desire to control or acquire, even to acquire generosity or devotion or emptiness. These are subtle and take time to identify and release. Under this is the desire for self-gain or improvement, to win something or better something. Those intentions are healthy enough up to a point, but to really see and engage what you have in front of you, you have to intend that it gains or wins.”

“Traditionally, true contemplation involves an act of devotion, wherein self-consciousness is removed by transferring consciousness onto the thing at hand. The better you perceive it, the less you observe yourself doing that. In other words, you could say that, at least for the extended moments of engaging it, you love it more than yourself.”

“Besides having been identified recently as the single most important factor in what men find sexy in women, the list of how correct posture influences internal organs and systems, and also mood and general energy, is very long indeed. Your internal environment depends on the efficiency of the flow of elements within it. Obviously, this includes oxygen, blood, hormones and nutrients, but also all interaction between nerves and the brain. The spine, which is your foundation and support, has a natural position that guarantees the efficiency of movement and interaction of the related elements. Your internal organs are all right alongside the spine and depend on its correct position to function well. Any prolonged restriction or deviation from this natural position will result in some, at least partial, dysfunction. Over a long time, the results can be devastating.”

“Like all things organically formed, there does exist a harmony, interrelated patterns, intuitive logic, and purpose, but these are subtle and you can’t find them exclusively by emotional or intellectual analysis. At first glance it’s all too complex and liquid-like, and our minds and emotions look for control and relief. To know water, you have to get wet; you can’t just sit back and analyze its components. So, do try to enjoy the swim, and don’t be afraid to just sit back and drink now and then—the water’s clean.”

“The depth and complexity of the questions we’ve recently been engaging tend to ignite associated questions very quickly. The family members of these subjects—purpose, responsibility, devotion, commitment, trust, yearning—and their neighbors—frustration, jealousy, ambition, sloth, etc.—get all excited and have things to say to each other. Because of the pressure and tension between them, one has to negotiate the dialogue carefully and use a lot of patience, tolerance and other unsexy qualities. Otherwise, we’ve got another war on our hands.”

“The human body, like the human mind, is best at versatility and adaptability. This is our greatest skill and our greatest chance to unlock natural potential. What that means in terms of physical movement is that a fairly equal amount of time and effort should be allocated to the widest possible range of activity. That includes strength, flexibility, precision and endurance, but it certainly doesn’t stop there.”

“A balanced diet” is not so much about protein/fat/carbohydrate ratios. The real ratios to consider, at least for the typical American or European, are energy consumption/expenditure, pleasure/actual need, food/everything else.”

“I look at the idea of rest as rotating one’s qualitative focus, not just doing less or changing activity. The role of rest is recovery. If you keep pushing the same quality button (fast or slow, concentrated or dispersed, hard-working or lazy…) for the same component all the time, of course it’s going to become depleted, just like if you keep working a single muscle in the same fashion or don’t use it at all.”

“The trick is in genuinely appreciating the elements of apparent resistance while you are engaging them. Not to oppose or remove them as much as to creatively fold them into one’s linear line of movement, exploiting them and making the necessary adjustments as you go.”

“The highest goodness is like water. Water is beneficial to all things but not contend. It stays in places which others despise. Therefore it is near Tao. The weakest things in the world can overmatch the strongest things in the world. Nothing in the world can be compared to water for its weak and yielding nature; yet in attacking the hard and strong nothing proves better than water. For there is no alternative to it. The weak can overcome and the yielding can overcame the hard. This all the world knows but does not practice. This again is the practice of ‘wu-wel’ and nonviolence. Water may be weak, pliable, fluid, but its action is not one of running away from an obstacle. On the contrary, it gives at the point of resistance, envelopes the object and passes beyond it. Ultimately it will wear down the hardest rock. Water is a more telling symbol than land… crossing the river to get to the other side is, again, attaining the state of enlightenment.”

“Virtually everyone defines their identity—or constructs their belief of who they are—through their specific combination of desires and suffering. Or, desires obtained (apparent subjective success at the sacrifice of something else), desires unobtained (suffering), and desires still left as questions (to be obtained or not). And…most of the desires, and the suffering, are themselves by-products of others, established by society and the rules of each sect of society.”

“Truth, or mystery basically, seeks the expression of itself. That is, evolution exists to create more mystery, not to answer or end the existing mysteries. This is why with every “truth” revealed, or every answer given, all that actually occurs is the creation of yet a more complex and mysterious question.”

“You have everything already inside you necessary for the true response to any challenge you will meet. Usually, it’s just a question of assembling some elements in a way that you didn’t think to do before (which brings us to intuition…).”

“Every brilliant theory in physics, for example, has been proven mainly wrong, except for the most recent ones, which will be. The big players, like Newton and Copernicus, gave us answers that were later proved more wrong than right. What they did—and why they are valued—is direct our attention to more piercing and compelling questions or possibilities. (I’d suggest the same holds true for the big spiritual players, but that’s a different letter.)”

“By its nature, what you yearn for is most often intimidating. It produces, and itself is, a question, and one that is not easy to engage or answer.”

“In making a clear distinction between desire (answer) and yearning (question), we inevitably end up back at personal purpose.”

“Mastery of anything is, more than anything else, the transformation of work into play. Giving orders and answers, never making mistakes, and having around you others with the opinion that you are great has nothing at all to do with it. Read carefully: to yearn for, to be compelled by, is being called to play.”

“This pace and rhythm I speak of is constantly adjusting through discernment and sensitivity to all aspects of our life and being. As you notice more joy and resolution in your life through the movement toward what you yearn for, you naturally adjust in such a way that you invest more in that direction. If the idea of yearning and acting on what you yearn for causes more aggravation and suffering, you’re not looking at the elements accurately, or the idler is fighting against it.”

“Once you get off the bandwagon of believing that truth is your enemy and is bad news with all kinds of associated unhappy obligations, you can then afford to take it on with some enthusiasm and start to have some fun with it. You can begin to trust yourself and play with mystery and big questions without the need for a crutch of an answer to lean on and sell to others (“Here you go, this crutch worked for me.”). And you then begin to see these big words, like imagination, fearlessness and truth as signposts to more fun, instead of the reverse as you do now. To start the engine, just follow what you yearn for, make a contract with that which compels you, and fulfill the trust of that contract through choice and action.”

“We live in a dimension where it is necessary to find a balance between wants and needs, or desires and yearning, or answers and questions. The totality of these makes up what we know as reality or truth, at least adolescent truth—facts. The fact of the matter is, you have to live in society one way or another, and there’s a reason for that, so the base of engagement begins with acceptance of the variables as they actually are.”

“You may have noticed that the questions asked are better than the answers given. What do you expect? Perhaps we could submit these answers in a game and see if anyone could figure out what the hell the question was. “Ahh, how to be happy?”

“My intention is not to define a perfect life and then cause an unhappy analysis of what you are not doing correctly or are incapable of doing.”

“Like everyone on the planet, one identifies and looks toward a vision of improvement or refinement, but/and one has to find a way to engage both of those—what is so, and what can be—with an appropriate harmony that is itself the hallmark of wholeness. In essence, we are looking to create a harmony between the existing elements, not a more severe dichotomy between what we want and what we should be doing.”

“If you are “playing” too much or “working” too much, you will have a reaction on the other side, which indicates your pace is off, too slow or too fast.”

“Once you get off the bandwagon of believing that truth is your enemy and is bad news with all kinds of associated unhappy obligations, you can then afford to take it on with some enthusiasm and start to have some fun with it.”

“The question under all this: How to get the idler to accept and engage the yearning? And that, my friends, is a deep and subtle question that will take a while to master, and the mastering of it will require redefining the presumption of what mastery even is. It is certainly not control. Mastery of anything is, more than anything else, the transformation of work into play. Giving orders and answers, never making mistakes, and having around you others with the opinion that you are great has nothing at all to do with it. Read carefully: to yearn for, to be compelled by, is being called to play.”

“Think clearly here—desire does not produce fun, but yearning does. To identify the transition point between these two, look at desire as accumulating or consuming, and yearning as letting go of or giving. You don’t collect truth or love, for example, you give them, and in the giving they come into being. And you have fun. Real fun, guilt-free fun, resentment-free fun, doubt-free fun; you experience and become the questions you engage—discipline and strength, imagination, independence, fearlessness, trust and freedom, knowledge, truth.”

“Now, if you open the treasure chest of desire, what do you find there? What do all the desires have in common? You. Go ahead and stop here and test it for a few days if you are really serious about the question. After you get past the first thousand, you begin to enter into a subtle territory, known as the border between desire and yearning. Or, if you want, between answers and questions. The defining quality, or essence, of desire is that it is engaged as if it were an answer.”

“I hope that I am making myself understood. The Golden Temple once more appeared before me. Or rather, I should say that the breast was transformed into the Golden Temple.”

“The challenges are illusions, but necessary ones to determine if you can see through them.”

“Nothing stands still, even if it looks as though it does. Look at a light in the room you are in right now. It appears to be stationary, while the fact is that millions of rays are moving towards you at the speed of light (299,792,458 kilometres per second). Even in every “inanimate” object, particles are moving rapidly and constantly. Nothing within or outside of you remains completely still.”

“The experience of yearning is a composite of Nature’s purest impulse in you (the need for radical movement; think of all the analogies in all the religions and philosophies concerning the truth and beauty of light; if you take it literally, that means to become truth, beauty, light, get moving at 299,792,458 kilometres per second) combined with your unique qualities and talents of past/present/future (experiences, potentials, attractions and distractions, imagination, etc.). Simply put: need for radical movement in a definite direction.”

“There exists a direct link, or harmony, between the past, the present and the future. This has been misinterpreted, or exaggerated in both directions, either by the assumption that everything is random, or that there is already a predetermined destiny. There is an actual link, and there is a lot of mystery or room to play and invent.”

“What you have to do to achieve what you want necessitates the creative actualization of the totality of your being as it is. Nothing more, but also nothing less.”

“The temptations and reactions that can cause non-creativity, imbalance and distraction are many. Let’s start with the prejudice everyone has against imposed challenges. It’s a concept that people associate with an accusation, a kind of guilty until proven innocent. Or, you’re not good enough until you prove it, with the implication behind this that you will probably fail or are unworthy. If you settle for this association at the expense of perceiving the actuality and necessity of challenge, or Creative Resistance, in hundreds or thousands of situations in every day of your life, and in anything worthy of your attention, you bought into the illusion sold basically to keep you small, in control, like those and safe for those who sell it.”

“The essential war within, and the cause of suffering, begins with the presumption that yearning, impulse and curiosity, desire and question, exist so as to end them. To attain, to acquire, to answer.”

“The nature of yearning is urgent so as to guarantee evolution, change.”

“As we move through time, we age, with the general speed of everything and the chaos that that produces in us in the form of anxiety, fear, confusion and negotiating an already-existing war, there is little time and space left to adjust to our developing relationship to yearning. In other words, as our needs are met, the question answered, we don’t then move on to the next question.”

“The experience of frustration comes from the separation we impose between our yearning and our fear. Generally, we yearn for that which we fear, or at least fear the unknown (mystery, and therefore and paradoxically, truth) that will be caused through the pursuit of yearning. The more the separation between these two, yearning and fear, the more frustration if you are conscious, or the more neurosis if you are not (literally, “I can’t stand the frustration, I’m going crazy”).”

“Transcendence is more about the personal act of not engaging the enemy, finding a way out of the cage that is being designed for you at a particular moment by others, circumstance, or your own bad habits and ignorance.”

“What is at the base of shame or guilt? It is the consciousness of an imbalance, or of an action in the past that has caused, and probably continues to cause, suffering.”

“Sometimes I wonder how much of our suffering we allow or impose on ourselves simply in search of our worthiness to accept our own respect and appreciation. I’d written before some years ago that we often cause suffering in another so that we can then love them, as in, “You have suffered for me, so I can love you now.” The eventual shock of realizing the sacrifice made for you destroys the walls of self-righteousness and protection. The suffering sacrifice of another creates the willingness and capacity to do the same. Finally, love and respect (respect is part of the body of love) come from the recognition of something else already given up for them. Within the individual, you or me, a similar process takes place toward oneself. It is as if we know some- where that we are not worthy of our own love or respect until we have earned the right to it, and that is mainly through some kind of suffering. That suffering may be generic, as in a life lived in which tragedy after tragedy accumulate, or it may be specific, as in the constant sacrifice of other easier things for a being or vision. Or, perhaps more correctly, it is either consciously chosen or not.”

“Sometimes I wonder how much of our suffering we allow or impose on ourselves simply in search of our worthiness to accept our own respect and appreciation.”

“The infinite possibilities that exist in any given moment cause infinite possibilities in response. The wording is correct here; the possibilities exist already, and have already caused the existing possibilities of response.”

“The exact proportion and combination of the qualities within you, as they are, even while you search and struggle for them to be different or better, is a unique beauty.”

“Transformation, on the other hand, is creating beauty from horror or destruction (or, for beginners, an actually pleasant evening with the usual family problems).”

“Transcendence is a word I don’t use often; I prefer transformation. Why? Because the essential game is about using what is in front of you and in you exactly as it is, but finding a way to do something with that that is surprising and an expression of inspiration and intuition. You engage reality and make something out of it that only you can, alchemizing limitation, conflict or what appears to be bad into something else.”

“The ability to remain constant, whole and playful, even while working technically, concentrating and upholding urgency, is essential to achieve a state of balance that will allow for this to happen. This has to come to life, and cannot stay just an idea or hope or intention or imitation, or ignored. The guarantee and proof that this balance and power is real is in its actualization. That is, that it manifests in functional reality. As in any intention, whether that be vague or specific, an ambition or desire, a goal or state of being, a question or hope, a curiosity or purpose, there exist natural and unnatural obstacles to its realization.”

“One could make a nice link between imagination and spirit. To make that link, all we need is some inspiration. Essentially, imagination has the innate potential to compel or inspire and to set in motion causation. That’s why it exists.”

“True strength. There is no conflict with vulnerability or humility. Indeed, vulnerability and humility are essential here, and ultimately what makes strength true. One does not don the mask of strength in response to fear, which is a con, like those crazy small reptiles that stand up on their hind legs and spread useless wings to intimidate as a last resort. You stand there in self-respect for Christ’s sake and take it with some courage, responding in accordance with your honest values, taking sincere responsibility for them. Stand up for who you truly are, not the image you would like to sell, nor shrink to fit into the false harmony around you.”

“In the quest for a functional and direct interaction between imagination and reality, and the evolution of them both, there is in place a natural resistance, which I have referred to as Creative Resistance, because it demands just that: creativity. Much of this calls for redefining, or refining, one’s relationship with time, and all the qualities and skills that will only come from engaging time more creatively and effectively. As such, part of the bargain is about acquiescing to a rhythm that is subtler and has more definite purpose to it than one’s subjective preferences.”

“Your purpose, and its specific expressions, expands and accelerates as it becomes more similar to Nature’s purpose. The tools you need to apply it you collect along the path in discovering what that is. Time is there to provide you with the “opportunities” to find more creative responses to things like frustration, confusion and self-righteousness. As you gently, oh so gently and delicately, adjust to the requirements that exist in your actual circumstance, you are given the tools needed to surpass them.”

“The seed of all this is imagination. But when you think of imagination, it helps to view it more as it exists in the rest of nature, rather than as we tend to see it in humans. That is, that imagination is actual and a need, immediately searches for expression, and con- sequently, is intimately connected to yearning and its instantaneous application. This is also the case in human beings, but we generally associate it with unnecessary, or extra, expression, such as an ability to make something more attractive or stimulating (the current view of art, for example), or the creative use of “free time” (time left over after you have done what you had to do).”

“In an animal’s or a plant’s expression of imagination (let’s leave out the rest for now, so we don’t have to deal with the question of consciousness in, for example, minerals), there is always purity in the connection between need and evolution. That which is created is a response to reality and very specific, essential concerns. This then is the origin of the union between what is so and mysterious harmony—truth and beauty. The bridge between them is inspired intuition and the actions it causes. Or, imagination causes inspiration causes intuition causes beauty, which then causes imagination again…”

“Through the realization of the potentials and possibilities within and outside of you, one connects imagination with reality. What could be becomes so. You transform what exists, causing not only its evolution, but determining to a large part the course of its evolution. It’s a kind of alchemy in that what you create has not existed before, you give birth to other potentials and possibilities, which continues and expands the program. Perhaps more importantly, the very core of existence is touched and celebrated, that being creation itself.”

“Preceding the birth of every religion, there was someone who was an incarnation of this process: imagination causes inspiration causes intuition causes beauty, which causes imagination…the dynamic that takes place in the dimension of spirit. That is, for whatever reasons that will remain mysterious, although they are suggested in various schools of thought, someone got the cause thing down right, and the rest flowed. After the fact, an effort was made, almost always by others, to control both the impact of this and the possible benefits from it. Ambition and desire took over. Where you had an exact presentation, or manifestation, of beauty and truth, somebody began using it for other purposes.”

“If your curiosity reaches a breaking point (compelled actually means that you only have the remaining choice to act on it, having tried all the other options before), and becomes fascination with mystery or truth, you find what you need. Maybe it’s a person, maybe it’s a tragedy, maybe it’s an explosive recognition that, “My God, I’m still alive.”

“Life will give you what you need once you will do something with it. It may not give you what you want so as to be as comfortable as you want, as Nature’s concern is need as it relates to evolution. In my humble opinion, Nature is too kind, but, as I say, the game is big, and the challenges and temptations absolute. And this is a fascinating aspect of the totality of beauty; it gives more than is only necessary. The generosity is mind- and heart boggling.”

“It takes a relative amount of courage just to get out of bed each day. There are those who are stronger in their courage, and they help to compel us along a little further in the fulfillment of our faith.”

“Through the realization of the potentials and possibilities within and outside of you, one connects imagination with reality. What could be becomes so.”

“The simple, external acts in which you resolve shame and guilt, and set right a debt, by passing by them all and giving something grander even so and instead of. You end the circle by leaving it behind. Conscience brings awareness of the need to change something, but the source of your actions must become inspiration and devotion. You’re not doing it to get out of debt; you are doing it because you know it to be the thing to do.”

“In the construction of one’s life, we define ourselves largely by the problems we engage and the debts we incur. The greater and more sophisticated the problems, the greater and more sophisticated the person. True resolution, or transcendence of endless dichotomy, is rare indeed. To truly make a debt vanish requires, in a way, a certain kind of magic. In all traditions, this is looked upon as one of the great mystical tricks. It is not forgotten, fixed, or hidden perfectly; it disappears. To have this occur, one must do more than simply forgive (another or oneself), although in action that’s an important step. One intuits the value of the problem as the birth of possibility.”

“We have been trained to feel shame and guilt basically as a means to cause fear and hesitation, to control behavior, or to oppress real freedom and joy. The origins of that are communal fear, jealousy and the desire for power over others. Consequently, many people have the addiction of using shame or guilt simply to avoid possibilities in life, and have, at the same time, a reason to avoid them—if you act spontaneously or feel joy, the result will eventually bring suffering, so you had better watch out, and don’t ever forget the past shame and guilt.”

“Of course, the self-righteous demand and expectation for love, and exactly how it should be expressed, is not the most streamlined method for producing it in another for you. That is, it does not compel or create the love itself. You’re neither loving nor producing that which would compel the love toward you. You’re compressed between them both and incapable of accepting either. And rightly so. Which then accelerates the accumulating suffering.”

“The composite of what you know to do—that which compels you, that which you are naturally already drawn to, that which exploits the unique potentials inside you, that which you know you are capable of doing, that which will build a bridge between imagination and reality—causes a relationship that obliges sacrifice.”

“Because as you become better at everything, as the innate skills actually manifest in reality, the bar rises for the next jump. The core demand for evolution is relentless, and respect, happiness, love and joy are irrevocably tied to it.”

“One of the great images to come down to us through Zen Buddhism is the encounter between an enlightened master and an advanced apprentice during the course of a shared meal. The apprentice, becoming fed up with the stress and waiting and the master’s apparent disregard for him, demands an explanation without complication of exactly how to become enlightened. The master asks, “Have you finished your rice?” “Yes,” says the apprentice. “Then go wash your bowl.”

“My take on personal evolution is largely about the spirit of connecting and disconnecting things, relating to what I call “the gap” or time and space between things. It is also about becoming practical in all this, developing the power and precision to simply bring the grand ideas home, to compress the paradigm of perception/choice/action/result into a single gesture.”

“Contemplation is purer still, yet more sophisticated. This comes from a strongly developed base of concentration—basically, constancy—through any temptation, including altered states of consciousness, that leads one to meditation (effortless engagement), from which is born an intuitive connection to that which is being focused upon (often, the nature of being in the moment, which is the default “focus”). Some people can attain this state accidentally through some combination of surprising events, which is sometimes called revelation. Fewer still can cause this to happen intentionally, mainly because you have to surprise yourself to have it occur. In any case, it requires a real sense of the value of paradox. One leaves a single position behind (such as “I like this” or “I don’t like this”) and expands in comprehension to simultaneously experience its opposite as well. From there, one rises above the two through a creative burst of intuition, and looks down on them both. What you might call transcendence, although I prefer mildly amused.”

“If you know what life really wants, and if you know what you really want, you can begin to create the relationship.”

“Ironically, to “inspire” means to breathe, to infuse life by breathing. As with a lot of things that have the capacity to inspire, it takes some time to get past the apparent boredom and find the hidden secrets. I figure if I keep harping on it, maybe someone will eventually explore the possibility long enough to realize just how breathtaking it is.”

“On an even subtler dimension, clarity, intuitive knowledge and contentment are primarily determined by chemical and hormonal balances in the body and brain. Most of this is entirely manipulable through fairly simple physical exercises that anyone can do.”

“Whether or not we personally do impact some ultimate evolution beyond ourselves, we can definitely influence what happens today. To choose to waste a day, or a lifetime, is opposed to the essential spirit of life, expressed, sacrificed for, and upheld through every perceivable interaction in nature. It’s also opposed to every human expression of spirit throughout history. We know to live up to our potential, to fulfill the trust of creation by moving forward, even if we don’t believe it or feel like it or know why.”

“The primary reason that I’m not a representative of specific groups or schools of thought is that that choice gives me the freedom to look at these groups and thoughts from the inside and the outside. I’m trying to be honest in that role—what really works here and what does not? That is, I have nothing to sell or win by any given position. I’m promoting a similar process for any person I interact with in my work, including toward me. Investment in a given idea or group tends to immediately shut down options for perception, and then choice. Prejudice, bigotry and arrogance breed from that. One is forced to think a certain way to stay within the group or thought, and then to defend against apparent opposition. This constructs and feeds the kinds of adamant separation and conflict we see so many manifestations of on every level. In many cases, it’s also the cause of deep internal conflict in most individuals, yet it isn’t really addressed.”

“There are some things that don’t function as one would assume. For example, the impulse and linear thinking associated with the search for happiness most often produce questions like, “What’s in it for me?” or “How do I get what I want?” Paradoxically, if you will, that very question pushes authentic happiness away. Now, to try to explain that to someone in such a way that they hear and are interested by the idea is going to probably involve some paradox and non-linearity.”

“Freedom and responsibility themselves are at stake. One does not find freedom or enact responsibility by surrendering to another’s conceptualization of these ideas. Living out the rules of conscience laid down by someone else for the attainment of an unquestioned goal, a freedom designed and articulated by someone else, is the surrender of human imagination and intuition. In the more extreme versions of this, we end up with a collective momentum resulting in events such as Nazi extermination of millions of Jews, the Inquisition, or similar events recently in Africa and elsewhere. That comes from allocating one’s conscience to someone else, not attending to one’s own deeper intuitive sense of right and wrong.”

“Each religion has provided a tremendous service in defining elements of conscience. They have made it possible for us to live together in a society, to work toward common goals, and to learn how to accept or tolerate relative opposition to our own opinions. I also think that this has been done much as a parent needs to provide a similar service for an adolescent. Internal and external conflict requires discipline to organize and structure some form of minimizing the chaos imposed on others.”

“There is a pivot point, however, to become an adult. That transition comes from recognizing and acting in accordance with your own deepest impulses. On the responsibility front, that means acting in harmony with your conscience, not because you’re going to be punished if you don’t, or paid for it if you do (heaven, enlightenment, salvation, or whatever), but because you know it to be right. On the freedom front, that means acquiescing to your deepest inspirations, following what truly compels you, even when it’s difficult to do so. These two principles brought together in the same time and space is what integrity is all about. And it is only through such integrity that you resolve conflict between the two of them: what you “know to do” and what you “want to do.”

“Whether or not one believes in the accelerating dangers of the climate crisis, the end of fossil fuels, or the permanent annihilation of species of plants, insects and animals that essentially cover our ass by maintaining an inconceivably complex environment in which we have the freedom and responsibility to do pretty much whatever we’d like, it’s not too difficult to at least perceive the dangers of heightened tensions between cultures that now, for the first time, have the power to annihilate each other or the entire planet.”

“We all understand the value of sacrifice, even if that only involves setting aside dessert so as to lose weight, or putting money in the bank so as to later buy a house. Progress or achievement in any arena requires choices that often oppose what one feels like doing. The trick in truly succeeding with this in the long run is locating enough depth of feeling that the experience of conflicting desires dissolves. For that to happen, one has to learn how to think emotionally and physiologically.”

“Traditional stoicism, indifference to pleasure or pain, is a form of imposing conscience so as to block more immediate desires. The problem is that it eventually collapses on itself because natural emotional and physiological impulses are being ignored or repressed. To pass beyond that dichotomy—”I want to eat ice cream, and yet I don’t”—requires conceiving and creating an integrated mind in which our passions and childlike impulses find expression through conscience. In other words, what we feel like doing and what we “should” do become one and the same.”

“We don’t know how to feel with conscience. Ideas like integrity or devotion remain abstract, theoretically correct and good, but lacking the ability to produce immediately fulfilling emotions or sensations. What I mean by learning to think emotionally and physiologically is rediscovering the visceral joy of investing in what we already love, the kind of unquestioned spiritual relentlessness we had as kids. As adults, that demands an internal dialogue through which we transpose the search for pleasure onto a platform that is in harmony with our conscience and real responsibilities. We find the pleasure in applied conscience. That’s a lot easier than it sounds. Basically, it’s about recognizing and feeling passion for what we really want to do in our lives.”

“On those who try to make me their guru or master, my approach is to start destroying that from the first moment we meet. It probably seems naive and idealistic, but I rely on basic, old-fashioned qualities in keeping my interactions clean: integrity, chivalry, honesty. In my experience, it’s not that difficult to eliminate the guru paradigm and stereotype, if one really wants to. Finally, it comes down to simply not accepting a role or the associated temptations offered.”

“General attitude and outlook—the way we perceive and experience anything—is more influenced by our physical state than anything other single factor. I’d guess that for most of us, at least 50% of our struggles and discontent are brought on by being physically out of balance. The causes of that imbalance are many, but at the core, there’s an insensitivity or inability to locate and maneuver essential physical processes within us: how to breathe, how to sit, stand and walk, how to see and hear, how to slow down or speed up, how to relax, how to sleep, how to eat, how to adjust our physiological responses to the different circumstances we find ourselves within. This kind of removal or abstraction from our physicality causes an enormous amount of problems on many levels. One key result of it is a distrust in our own ability to influence our emotional state and our energy and perspectives in general; we often feel that we can’t get our hands on the control switches, as if most of life just happens and we can’t do much about it.”

“We survive largely because of the existence and recognition of high-end qualities—compassion, integrity, courage, humility, etc. These are how we perceive spirit. Even the most cynical and fatalistic bastard will snap out of self-absorption, abuse and hopelessness when confronted by an extreme expression of any one of these qualities. (Case studies show that this also applies even to rapists and murderers, not always, but more so than any other technique or therapy.) That is, beyond belief, the desire to feel good, or even hope or despair, there does exist an essential intuitive value system in each of us. This runs through and across every culture, and even every species. I don’t believe that those intuitive values are there to fool us into occupying ourselves so as to feel good while waiting for the inevitable to happen. Nature is not so decadent. Or cynical.”

“In my work, I try to create situations in which we take ideas, information, experiences and qualities to a pragmatic arena. Then within those, to relearn or experiment with how we respond to internal and external variables. There’s no point to understanding something but remaining incapable of applying it. I think real knowledge and understanding is experiential, and the easiest way to access those is through our physical being.”

“I think that as a species we’ve played at being the self-indulgent, spoiled adolescent way too long, and now there are permanent damages and absolute risks that most people are ignoring.”

“Resolution of conflicting interests within each of us—the desire to fulfill a personal purpose versus the desire to forget about it and just go have fun, for example—takes time and focus and application of a lot of qualities, like playing a difficult piece of music with two hands on the piano. Many people are looking for a simple pill to make that apparent dichotomy go away. Once they discover it doesn’t exist, it’s very frustrating.”

“The purest definition of “religious” is: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality.”

“There are so many stereotypes, prepackaged concepts and platitudes out there in our thinking on the divine, and the associated emotions those produce; it’s very difficult to transcend. But that’s ultimately what experiencing the divine is all about: transcending stereotypes, concepts and platitudes. As soon as one falls back on an acceptable definition or understanding, it disappears. It’s like water; the moment you try to grasp it, you lose it.”

“Accurately perceiving and following one’s intuition is, I think, the essential human spiritual process. The distractions, confusion, misinterpretations and temptations that oppose that process are enormous. At the same time, there are always clues for how to go about it. The divine is a mystery, so the impulse to really discover, like a child, has to be the core response to anything; that’s the only way beyond the habits, presumptions and prejudices that feed ignorance and fear. To question well, instead of hiding behind a belief or answer, requires the application of the most valued of all human qualities, such as compassion, courage, imagination, respect, humility, devotion, and ultimately love of life itself. This kind of passionate questing is evident in the most admired and, if you will, divine individuals in every culture, religion, and skill throughout history.”

“I don’t really consider myself to be a teacher, although I understand that others do. There’s a certain restriction or reduction in that stereotype that doesn’t ring true. Especially the underlying assumption that I know something that others don’t, and my job is to give them what I know. That’s simply not true.”

“More focus has been placed on these subjects through human history than on anything else—mystery and mysticism, God, imagination, intuition, the nature of relationships, human purpose, happiness and salvation…”

“In terms of achieving what I call “being in the right place at the right time,” one has to know balance. Not from the outside as an observer, but from the inside out. For every individual, that requires creating a successful balanced interface between what one is compelled by and the essential principles of nature, which we comprehend through our intuitive conscience. Those are our clues to the mystery. When one gets it right, there it is.”

“Breathing is the fundamental act of being alive. One can go without thoughts, emotions or sensations, sleeping, talking or any other activity for a long time, without food for weeks, without water for days. But if you stop breathing, you’ll be dead before you finish reading this letter. Because it is the essence of life, some focus upon it seems appropriate.”

“There’s a long tradition in many disciplines regarding the breath, so I’m certainly not the first to suggest its importance. Unfortunately, though, having so much tradition, that gives the sense to many that there’s nothing really new there, nothing extraordinary to discover. The traditions themselves in most cases haven’t really evolved and haven’t succeeded in compelling the general public. Everyone knows to “take a deep breath” when stressed, but the immediate impact is minimal at best (actually, a deep breath is not much help; a long, smooth, slow exhale is, however). And the idea of another obligation, studying or relearning how to breathe, lacks inspiration.”

“We do have some capacity to determine how things evolve, and how we evolve, individually and as a community or race. That’s a tremendous freedom and a tremendous responsibility.”

“Historically, techniques to attain altered states of consciousness, usually called meditation, or sometimes prayer, actually involve various forms of concentration, the first level of this kind of internal work. The linear scale of progression is Concentration, then Meditation, and finally Contemplation. Virtually all categories of meditation are, in actuality, forms of concentration. What makes them so are the innate “goals” or ambitions attached to them: to achieve a state or to acquire something, like relaxation, insight or “advancement.” This then constructs a dichotomy, or dualism, between the pursuer and the thing pursued. That is, you are conscious of or believe in something “better,” you are separate from it, and there is effort to attain it.”

“Meditation, in contrast, is the accidental moments of actual harmony that arrive anyway when you are trying to get something, even in trying to get harmony or calm. This often happens outside of the intention to meditate, and most people access the beginnings of this through other events, such as walking, working, athletic activities, or transitional moments, such as between waking and sleeping. The effect, in brief, is one of harmony and well-being, from which other insights or intuitive glimpses can naturally emerge. The moment you notice this, the meditation is over.”

“The universe and the law of attraction speak a language that knows no words, only discerning your intent through sacrifice and what you are willing to give up.”

“Being scared to fail inspires creativity; heartbreak inspires creativity; being hurt by others inspires creativity; being lost inspires creativity. Your masterpiece isn’t something that you will have made in the colorful, it is understood in the darkness. Use the anxiety within and let it serve you.”

“With the notion that we can open up our world by opening our minds, realize that home is the land that is least explored, and that adventure is a notion not determined by location, but is ultimately a state of mind.”

“Nobody thought it could be done, so nobody had tried before. Standing with one foot in the abyss and the other with a foothold in her dreams, she stood on the edge of a cliff. She took one look behind and with one last deep breath, she leapt with reckless certainty and decisive confidence. Blurring through the sky, for a moment she looked like she would fade into darkness, but in the very last moment when everyone else had given up on her, from her back spread wings. With a leap of faith, she learned to fly.”

“When we fail to tend to the fragilities of a flower as we become distracted by the noise of our minds, our plant is essentially dying. The quintessence of dying in the sense that we are failing to be mindful of the present moment, for life is the paradox of both living and dying concurrently. Just as we are living each moment, we are dying with every moment, and the essence of living is within each breath that ultimately comprises life as a whole.”

“The beauty of traveling is understood along the way rather than at the end of the journey, just as the purpose of marriage isn’t about becoming Mr. and Mrs.’s, but is about the love that is expressed on a daily basis between two lovers. A journey is not made up of the destinations that we arrive at, but is composed within every step and each breath we make.”

“With maps and globes decorated around your room as a child and with passport and ticket in hand in the present, it is your world to explore. To travel is to ask for a complex mix of the new and the old, hellos and goodbyes, and sadness and happiness. Leave your shoes behind at home and to walk in the footsteps of others for a while.”

“When we are in a foreign country we live with a fervor rooting from knowing that our days there are numbered, yet if the number of days in lives is numbered, are we not to live our everyday lives with that same zeal?”

“Your life is your artwork and you are to paint life as a beautiful struggle. With your brush, paint the colors of joy in vibrant shades of red. Color the sky a baby blue, a color as free as your heart. With rich, earthy tones shade the valleys that run deep into the ground where heaven meets hell. Life is as chaotic as the color black, a blend of all colors, and this makes life a beautiful struggle. Be grateful for the green that makes up the beautiful canvas, for nature has given you everything that you need to be happy. Most of all, don’t ever feel the need to fill the entire canvas with paint, for the places left blank are the most honest expressions of who you are.”

“Is the sunrise of Mount Fuji more beautiful from the one you see in the countryside a bit closer to home? Are the beaches of Indonesia really that much more serene than those we have in our own countries? The point I make is not to downplay the marvels of the world, but to highlight the notion of the human tendency in our failure to see the beauty in our daily lives when we take off the travel goggles when we are home. It is the preconceived notion of a place that creates the difference in perception of environments rather than the actual geological location.”

“Allowing both negative and positive thoughts to arise in life and acknowledging them for what they are, a secondary reaction within to what is happening outside, we grant our emotions free passage within without allowing external influences to impede our personal happiness. We cannot have control over everything that occurs in life, but that is simply not the goal, for we have control only over our relationship that we have with life.”

“To commit to the present moment is to accept our inability to control the future and accept that many of our fears and reactions are just what they are, thoughts and emotions that are irrationally internalized. We will never be completely void of the temptations to look into the future when we are in the present; however, one must come to the understanding that by looking too far off into the future, we taint the future by creating an artificial expectation of what the future should hold, and are emotionally drained when it holds something else. Focus on the present, and you will come to have more control over the future naturally.”

“The journey is made up of the most genuine and honest wonders of the mind, but also includes unfathomable sorrow and despair; yet, this is what makes up a journey as well as the human experience in entirety.”

“Sure, the Leaning Tower of Pisa leaned like everyone else said it would, the mountains of Tibet were more beautiful than you had ever expected, and the Pyramids of Egypt stood mysteriously in the sea of sand like in the pictures; yet is it the environment or rather the openness in mindset, that makes up the elusive essence of happiness that we experience when we travel?”

“Sacrifice is a terribly difficult thing to do, of which you will be asked to do many times along your path. Only with genuine love will you be able to make these sacrifices because often times you will simply want to refuse the sacrifices that the universe asks of you to make. When you close one door, another opens; that is how the universe works and through sacrifice we are given the keys to the next door in life.”

“Although the future is indiscernible, we often feel the need to plan for what cannot be planned, and attempt to react to things that never happened. Our overemphasis in the future is a mere illusion, which often makes us foolishly blind to the beauty of the present moment, and is the root of creating the worst case scenarios and the what- if situations that plague the mind.”

“Our journey is our breath that makes up the seconds, the emotions that are in the minutes, and our purpose that make up the hours. Stay true to yourself in each moment, and remain vigilant to your purpose in every instant. Our journey begins with the first breath and thereby by every breath that follows.”

“Tomorrow, today will be yesterday, and tomorrow will be today. By the nature of time when tomorrow will shift to become today, we demystify the notion that we are powerless in the face of the future, as the future will become the present moment naturally. On the basis that tomorrow will also eventually become yesterday, we can fundamentally note that time converges through yesterday, today, and tomorrow to where the essence of our very existence converges in the present moment.”

“These five values are the organic origins of what could be called intuitive conscience. They are also what we experience personally as our core, essential yearnings, however distorted or confused we may interpret them: to care and be cared for; to share equally in freedom and responsibility; to belong, and to trust that what we belong to will continue; that there exists an objective hierarchy of virtue and wisdom; that there exists that which is unquestionably sacred or divine.”

“It is both dangerous and absurd for our world to be a group of communions mutually excommunicate.”

“My hope and intent is to provide a wide range of resources and ideas that provoke real questions and considerations under the surface of common dialogue. With a definite thrust toward clues for moving beyond limiting patterns that restrict our personal and communal evolution and experience of, as well as effectiveness in, life. Part of that is about giving different angles of insight into the why and how of developing skills, whatever they may be. I think the larger discussion, or maybe the more relevant one surrounding skills development, involves what quality of fuel is being used to run the skill. Inevitably, and very quickly, this enters into considerations of how much of oneself one brings to the show. For example, anyone can learn a sophisticated skill in an extremely short period of time, once they’re completely convinced of the need, benefit and value of doing so and find enough full-bodied conviction to engage it accordingly (“You never hear anyone practicing a language; they simply listen and then begin to speak.” — Wade Davis).”

“What is it that we do here? By easing away from the mania that pulls on us, recalling and reconnecting with our essential spirit and callings, we regenerate our core inspiration and faith in Life and our place within it…with a purposeful eye toward facilitating evolution toward ‘More capable human beings,’ meaning grander, freer, more authentic and meaningfully effective. How do we do that? By delving into pockets of rituals that have, across traditions and cultures, produced superior forms of insight and understanding, healing, evolution and resolution. One could call these tunnels into beauty, truth and love. And we can find access to them in any given day of our lives.”

“My personal sense of presence that I kind of carry around with me is along the lines of “Somebody has to be there first before acting.” The more one is there, the better the results in whatever you’re doing — more precision, subtlety, relevance…and much less dispersion and depletion. When you watch someone who is good at this, you can sometimes feel like they’re actually stretching out the walls of possibility in a given situation, literally creating open space. Much of this comes only through time and experience, eventual understanding that how one does something, not the specifics of action, is what impacts others most.”

“Do not be too interested in Zen.”

“There’s a tunnel between our external skill sets and our deepest longings and passions. People with the highest developed skills always know how to traverse that tunnel. That is, personal integration and wholeness — and consequent accomplishment and fulfillment — are largely about “enlightening” the tool with the best we have in us. The tool could be anything — a voice or body, a musical instrument or paint brush, a trowel or computer. But skill is made up of capability, and that requires practiced familiarity over time with how to inject into the moment our unique talents, virtues and qualities.”

“Recent discoveries in developmental psychology and other behavioral disciplines have shown that babies are born with a “first draft” of a moral mind. Among others, brain scientist, Gary Marcus, has described this moral understanding as “already defined and organized before experience.” Evolutionary psychologist, Jonathan Haidt, describes this first draft of the moral mind as consisting of five primary values. Modern cross-cultural anthropologists point to these same five primary values as the foundation of all cultures, currently and historically, and 21st century ethologists suggest the same values apply to most if not all species.”

“Zen is nothing to get excited about.”

“There is something mysterious yet definitely accessible to us all under the agitated waves of difficulty that allows us to feel and flow along a more comprehensive intuitive and spiritual understanding of true meaning. And to find solace, accepting serenity and even beauty within it.”

“It’s misleading or deceptive in a way that such skills are learned like any other — simple practice, sincere investment over time. Yes, like small steps, one at a time, to cross the bridge. Just a single step today.”

“The sweet spot is a term used by audiophiles and recording engineers to describe the focal point between two sources of sound, where an individual is fully capable of hearing the audio mix the way it was intended to be heard by the musicians. Different static methods exist to broaden the area of the sweet spot. Sound engineers also refer to the sweet spot of any sound-producing body that may be captured with a microphone. Every individual instrument and voice has its own sweet spot, the perfect location to place the microphone or microphones in order to obtain the best sound. In tennis, baseball, or cricket, a given swing will result in a more powerful impact if the ball strikes the racquet or bat on the sweet spot, where a combination of factors results in a maximum response for a given amount of effort. The actual sweet spot on a racquet or bat is a very small area, where dispersing vibrations and spin in multiple directions are canceled out, resulting in a perfect contact point between incoming and outgoing energies.”

“Synchronize each breath with the present moment and become intertwined with happiness. Breathing in, we are grateful for the opportunities that are given to us; breathing out, we let go of the depression and anxiety that hold us back.”

“Sex is a powerful intent to create: the creation of pleasure, creation of love, and ultimately the creation of life. It connects and syncs two beings emotionally, physically, and mentally and is one of the strongest expressions of love that exists in this World.”

“Breathe in, breathe out. Without the fire, the phoenix never rises from the ashes. Let the fire scorch the skin and burn the soul, allowing yourself to absorb the pain and understand the sincerity of the pain. Breathe in, you are not the past, you are not the future; breathe out, you are simply each breath, the present moment. As you breathe in and breathe out, acknowledge all the trials you have overcome thus far, and that you can continue to overcome all else without doubt. Breathe in, breathe out.”

“Breathe in, breathe out. All the blessings of the universe that we may overlook are contained in the entirety of a breath. Breathe in, breathe out. Each breath is the sun flowering our earth, fresh water filling our oceans, and the blue skies clearing our minds. Infinite emotions are contained within every breath, and by the breath we can always realize the beauty within it all. Breathe in, breathe out.”

“Love is a seed that we diligently plant and requires tender care and watering in order for the tree to ever grow. Just as we cannot foresee the future and what is to become of this love later in life, the tree cannot tell what the weather will be like in the future. The strongest of winds and pouring rain may befall on the tree, however as long as the foundation and roots remains strong, love is able to exist.”

“Give yourself freedom to grow through love, as love is the most natural direction for humans to grow, just as every tree grows upward towards the sky. Don’t try to control the way that love moves, as any attempt will be futile, for love grows like the branches, wildly growing by the laws of nature, rather than by human rational. Let love grow by her own nature.”

“Only in the moments of being alone in the darkness on the raft, will you have the space to speak, listen, and to act from the heart. Only in the moments of pain, do we begin to empathize with humankind. Only when you are lost, you will find new meaning. Float on.”

“Freedom from stress, freedom from anxiety, freedom from depression; freedom is autonomy from all that stagnates growth in this ever complex and noisy world. By the fear of being in the unknown, we often overlook and forget the serene view of being on the raft: the glowing virgin stars, the gentle ways that the waves moves, and the endless possibilities that exist under the sun. The fundamental principle of freedom is to be lost and our state of mind never differs too far from this analogy of being stranded in the middle of the ocean.”

“I didn’t know that the times we spent together on the weekends, the times that we laughed together, and the times you helped me out was your way of silently wishing me a beautiful goodbye.”

“If you want to be free of the wars of the world, begin by resolving the wars within you. If you want to see the world at peace, create peace within your mind.”

“The law of attraction is synonymous to the law of sacrifice, in which you get in return what you are decisively choose to give up. The universe in all her infinity beauty generously opens up gates that you had no idea existed when you close others, but she requires you to walk through the gates solely on your own will and strength, with the other doors that you have left behind often times being forever locked and eternally inaccessible.”

“Let the people talk, let people doubt, and let people question you, but never allow yourself to quit walking your path. Their path is their own and the path you walk is that of your own. Sweet child of mine, be the brave child of mine.”

“The tallest and oldest trees that seemed to have just have casually always been there, hold the greatest love: as it nurtures love for others: providing shade for two lovers, becoming home for birds to build a nest, and giving food to the squirrels whom scurry upon it.”

“What initially began as a couple of pieces that fitted together from first dates, slowly expands with time and for a moment the puzzle actually looks like it will be realized. Heartbreak is when the puzzle is nearly finished and you suddenly realize that pieces are missing. Perhaps they were never in the box in the first place or perhaps they went missing along the way; regardless, the puzzle remains undone. You frantically search the box and your surroundings, desperately trying to find the missing pieces, anxiously looking to fill the void, but you search for what cannot be found.”

“Acknowledge and accept that there will be chaotic times while being on your raft from being lost in true freedom. Engulfed by darkness at sea, we are consumed by a great loneliness that has consistently existed even when people surrounded us, and that is when we must throw all that is heavy into the water, and float independently through to the present.”

“Life was the gift that you were given the day you were born, and in turn you are the gift to life. Only in the moments of being alone in the darkness on the raft, will you have the space to speak, listen, and to act from the heart.”

“Without the fear of occasional gaffes, the willingness to be perfectly imperfect, and the heart of a child who creates chaos first thing in the morning for a parent; you are not allowing our inner child to grow. You grow in pain, not in years, and you must cross the bridge without knowing of the pain, the tears, or the trials and tribulations that you will come to have to face, but sweet child of mine, stay the happy child of mine.”

“By creating an image of low self- esteem within ourselves, we bomb and terrorize our true self. When we refuse to forgive, we create an insensible war from old grudges. When we allow stress to impede our healthy flow of energy, we create the weapon of destruction that kills humanity.”

“Morality and righteousness is based on intent, love, and in giving; yet, how is it that we as humans have come to view the act of sex with a different set of arbitrary laws? Specifically pigeonholed as an act between man and women, and with righteousness based on an unsystematic number of people we have slept with; as a civilization we have come to bind society with a set of laws largely advantageous to a specific sex, with the minority heavily antagonized and chastised. The universe knows not what sexual morality is, only what is right and wrong. The same principles that dictate morals also command the virtues of sex. Is it with the right intent? Is it based on love? Is it based on giving?”

“Love was never meant to be contained solely in our hearts, just as life in a seed was always meant to break through into the world and become beauty to be shared.”

“With nowhere to go, we have everywhere else to go.”

“Apples to oranges, the act of comparing your life to another’s is more like comparing an elephant to an apple, it makes no sense to compare someone’s life that you have no knowledge about to that of your own, of which in all earnest is not something that you completely understand yourself.”

“Wisdom comes from not only in the understanding that often times we say no to things too easily and quickly, but also in knowing that that ‘no’ for the sake of your physical and mental wellbeing can also be a reasonable and grounded decision for which you shouldn’t feel the need to feel guilty.”

“Whether between man and women, man and man, or woman and woman; look not towards any system that binds society created by man for guidance, but be guided by the principles of love. Love is the only law that commands this universe, and is the only language that is understood universally.”

“Not basing your principles of sex based on the judgment of other or on hearsay, uphold yourself to virtues that you believe in. Before any laws created by man, religion, and culture; the universe has always held us under the principles of love in all endeavors in life, and this applies to sex as well. Sex is a very personal experience and the morals you follow under this act are a personal notion that you create yourself for the sake of your personal happiness.”

“There is a specific feeling that comes about during the dying embers of a relationship. Different from the Monday morning quarrels before work because you two are tired, different from the “I’m not going to talk to you for a while because I am mad at you” silences. Breaks ups happen instantly, yet the process occurs over a gradual period of time, with tear by tear until what was once whole, rips into two. Breakups are the disappointment we feel when we wanted our lover to finish the story with an exclamation mark, but instead are left with a question mark.”

“Sometimes people come into our lives to make us a softer person, other times they come to teach us to let go, and occasionally the relationship wasn’t a lesson about the relationship ‘us’, but a lesson about the relationship you have with yourself.”

“Your value and self-worth is not found in your former lover, not in the loving words of they spoke, not in the gentle ways that they held you, not in the sweetness of their kiss; but found in the love that you have for yourself.”

“The drive, the ambition, the art; it all comes to me when I close my eyes and think about the sacrifices my Mom made for me.”

“Without waiting for others acknowledge your purpose, remaining balanced when things don’t work out, and uncompromising in your effort; realize that you have a piece of the universe for which she cannot exist without.”

“At times we will be asked to let go of things that we have always wanted to keep for ourselves, or things that we would never have thought that we would to have to let go of, such as the loss of a loved one or the betrayal of a dear friend. A tree never hesitates to shake off her leaves during fall, and so we must take another lesson given to us by the nature: let go when it is time. Although such losses can be difficult and painful, rise above this suffering. Focus within your mind, the image of the Lotus prospering above mud. We are the lotus; rise above.”

“The Lotus in Buddhism is a sacred symbol that represents purity and resurrection as attributes that develop through a spiritual awakening of the self. With humble beginnings in swamplands, the Lotus flower exquisitely blooms, pure and untainted, from this murky world it thrives in. The Lotus flower represents a higher state of mind, a strong spirit cultivated far from the suffering and temptations of this muddied world that personifies beauty through the present moment.”

“Plunging into the depths of hell, re-opening the gates to wounds and emotions that we have long tried to keep sealed and locked within, we discover that that the devil is not the Herculean ruler of darkness that we had imagined, but only a vulnerable and devastated child. With honesty and without judgment, we must muster the courage to meet this innocent child with whom we have come to label as the devil.”

“Have no fear in the devil and acknowledge the insecurities, mistakes of the past, and disappointments that you have long failed to accept as new beginnings and see the child within you begin to heal.”

“Hell is not a place, but a state of mind born from stress. Hell holds our insecurities, our fears, and it is ultimately the domicile of the devil within. The devil breathes and thrives in the fragment of our hearts that we dare not visit; yet, we can only make peace with ourselves by diving into the pits of hell and having an honest conversation with the devil himself.”

“In life hard times will befall you that will create doubt in yourself, and life will ask questions of the authenticity of the person you are. Carrying the lotus means being true to yourself and in the realization that you were always meant to grow above this mud. We are meant to grow, progress, and evolve in this relentless environment of the World and through it all achieve happiness with grace in letting go. Carry the Lotus within; grow and rise above from the harsh and remorseless world beneath you.”

“Do not desperately seek refuge in heaven and delve in blissful ignorance; discover the fires and infernos of hell that have sprung inside of you.”

“I wonder if the world’s fascination has less to do with the flower itself, and more with the muck that it flourishes in. The Lotus flower is of an unparalleled beauty in its elegance and grace, yet its’ origins are of an environment that is a stark contrast. We cannot help but ponder such strange juxtaposition. However, there is something telling in this natural contrast between the flower and its environment: we are meant to grow, like the Lotus, and not dirty our hands in the mud that surrounds us.”

“All is contained within the silence of death, the quietest and the loudest sound in the universe.”

“Although at times you might want to detract from the path, realize that how you treat yourself becomes the foundation as to how you treat others; although we may want to resort to violence in words during conflict, understand that how you speak to others becomes the basis of how you speak to yourself; although we may want to give up; do not be fooled in the idea that ease and comfort is where your true path lies.”

“All you do is think. Because all you do is think, you’ve constructed two separate worlds—one inside your head and one outside. Just the fact that you tolerate this enormous dissonance—why, that’s a great intangible failure already.”

“How simple it is to acknowledge that all the worry in the world could not control the future. How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now, and that there will never be a time when it is not now.”

“Om is the things, Om is the ingredient, Om is the container and the content of this universe.”

“Letting go takes a lot of courage sometimes. But once you let go, happiness comes very quickly. You won’t have to go around search for it.”

“Om is that God of love. Like a loving mother Om cleans us of our clutters collected through many incarnations.”

“When it comes down to it, government is simply an abandonment of responsibility on the assumption that there are people, other than ourselves, who really know how to manage things. But the government, run ostensibly for the good of the people, becomes a self-serving corporation. To keep things under control, it proliferates law of ever-increasing complexity and unintelligibility, and hinders productive work by demanding so much accounting on paper that the record of what has been done becomes more important than what has actually been done. […] The Taoist moral is that people who mistrust themselves and one another are doomed.”

“…one lives and analyses data within a frame, unaware that the solution is most often just outside of that frame. Never underestimate the depth of your subjectivity.”

“In Zen, there is an old saying: The obstacle is the path. Know that a whole and happy life is not free of obstacles. Quite the contrary, a whole and happy life is riddled with obstacles-they simply become the very stepping-stones that help lift us to a new perspective. It is not what happens to us in this life that shapes us, it is how we choose to respond to what happens to us.”

“As a soul, you have the freedom – and earned responsibility – to transpose your personal process of evolution, to manifest your greatest talents and vision, into the work that matters to you most as a means to personal redemption.”

“We’re all in this together and we don’t have much time.”

“Mountains like these and travelers in the mountains and events that happen to them here are found not only in Zen literature but in the tales of every major religion. This allegory of a physical mountain for the spiritual one that stands between each soul and its goal is an easy and natural one to make. Like those in the valley behind us, most people stand in sight of the spiritual mountains all their lives and never enter them, being content to listen to others who have been there and thus avoid the hardships. Some travel into the mountains accompanied by experienced guides who know the best and least dangerous routes by which they arrive at their destination. Still others, inexperienced and untrusting, attempt to make their own routes. Few of these are successful, but occasionally some, by sheer will and luck and grace, do make it. Once there they become more aware than any of the others that there’s no single or fixed number of routes. There are as many routes as there are individual souls.”

“There’s surprising relief and regeneration in finding ourselves within a moment of genuine grace, however small or temporary it may be.”

“One master defines Zen as the art of feeling the polar star in the southern sky. Truth can be reached only through the comprehension of opposites.”

“All the drain leads to the ocean… So chill out and enjoy the motion!”

“Life is eternal game, there are no rules. Indulge yourself.”

“If you don’t practice presence, you never learn how to have busyness facilitate accomplishment.”

“The title of this Chautauqua is “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” not “Zen and the Art of Mountain Climbing,” and there are no motorcycles on the tops of mountains, and in my opinion very little Zen. Zen is the “spirit of the valley,” not the mountaintop. The only Zen you fin on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.”

“Omul perfect își folosește mintea ca pe o oglindă. Nu apucă nimic; nu refuză nimic. Primește, dar nu păstrează.”

“In the name of Him Who created and sustains the world, the Sage Who endowed tongue with speech. He attains no honor who turns the face from the doer of His mercy. The kings of the earth prostate themselves before Him in supplication. He seizes not in haste the disobedient, nor drives away the penitent with violence. The two worlds are as a drop of water in the ocean of His knowledge. He withholds not His bounty though His servants sin; upon the surface of the earth has He spread a feast, in which both friend and foe may share. Peerless He is, and His kingdom is eternal. Upon the head of one He placed a crown another he hurled from the throne to the ground. The fire of His friend He turned into a flower garden; through the water of the Nile He sended His foes to perdition. Behind the veil He sees all, and conceal ed our faults with His own goodness. He is near to them that are downcast, and accepts the prayers of them that lament. He knows of the things that exist not, of secrets that are untold. He causes the moon and the sun to revolve, and spreads water upon the earth. In the heart of a stone hath He placed a jewel; from nothing had He created all that is. Who can reveal the secret of His qualities; what eye can see the limits of His beauty? The bird of thought cannot soar to the height of His presence, nor the hand of understanding reach to the skirt of His praise. Think not, O Saadi, that one can walk in the road of purity except in the footsteps of Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him)”

“Sharpen your sword daily , and let it serve your true master: YOU. You and the Master are one”

“There is nowhere to arrive except the present moment.”

“Anywhere we go, we will have our self with us; we cannot escape ourselves.”

“Before we were born we had no feeling; we were one with the universe. This is called “mind-only,” or “essence of mind,” or “big mind,” After we are separated by birth from this oneness, as the water falling from the waterfall is separated by the wind and rocks, then we have feeling. You have difficulty because you have feeling. You attach to the feeling you have without knowing just how this kind of feeling is created. When you do not realize that you are one with the river, or one with the universe, you have fear. Whether it is separated into drops or not, water is water. Our life and death are the same thing. When we realize this fact we have no fear of death anymore, and we have no actual difficulty in our life.”

“Stay in the center, and you will be ready to move in any direction.”

“To travel is to be alive, but to get somewhere is to be dead.”

“The idea of Zen is to catch life as it flows. There is nothing extraordinary or mysterious about Zen. I raise my hand ; I take a book from the other side of the desk ; I hear the boys playing ball outside my window; I see the clouds blown away beyond the neighbouring wood: — in all these I am practising Zen, I am living Zen. No wordy discussions is necessary, nor any explanation. I do not know why — and there is no need of explaining, but when the sun rises the whole world dances with joy and everybody’s heart is filled with bliss. If Zen is at all conceivable, it must be taken hold of here.”

“I’m born with wild horses in my head.. With an imagination to conquer this world.. I will not settle for comforts of a golden cage.”

“Be aware of yourself without thinking or looking in the mirror”

“When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist. When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish. Things are objects because of the subject; the mind is such because of things. Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world. If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.”

“Two monks were once travelling together down a wet and muddy road. The rain was torrential, making it almost impossible to walk along the path. As the two men were trudging along, a beautiful girl dressed in silk appeared. She was unable to cross the path and looked distressed. “Let me help you”, said the older monk. He picked her up and carried her over the mud. His younger male companion did not utter a word that night until they reached their lodging temple. Then after hours of restrained conversation, the younger monk exclaimed: “We monks do not touch females; it is too tempting for us and can create a bad outcome”. The older monk looked into the younger monks eyes and said, “I left the girl on the road. Are you still carrying her?” This ancient Zen story illustrates beautifully how so many of us are trapped in the habit of constantly “re-living” the past in our minds, thus dishonouring the present moment. The young monk wasted hours distressing himself with judgment, speculation, anxiety, resentment and ultimately self-perpetuated unhappiness as a direct result of not being mindful.”

“Every hour of your life that ticks by, there are numerous points and moments when you can choose to pause – and be aware of your mental and physical state. At any given point, you can freeze the flow that is your life, and be fully conscious for a moment.”

“Travel is such a wonderful experience! Especially when you forget you are traveling. Then you will enjoy whatever you see and do. Those who look into themselves when they travel will not think about what they see. In fact, there is no distinction between the viewer and the seen. You experience everything with the totality of yourself, so that every blade of grass, every mountain, every lake is alive and is a part of you. When there is no division between you and what is other, this is the ultimate experience of traveling.”

“what is not true does not exist in this moment.”

“It’s kind of like a Zen thing. Like playing the piano, or being a centipede in Heaven.”

“To think, or not to think…This is the true question.”

“I am not important. If I take a break, no one dies. And this is A Good Thing.”

“Zen is the period of time during which a person has true clarity of vision.”

“We grow up to believe that we are supposed to somehow “become” who we are meant to be through the trial-by-fire that is life here on planet Earth. Reality is…there’s no “becoming”. It’s actually all an “un-becoming”, only to reunite with who you were born to be in the first place before society told you otherwise.”

“If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease. If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence. To understand the mystery of this One essence is to be released from all entanglements. When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached. No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state. Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, both movement and rest disappear. When such dualities cease to exist Oneness itself cannot exist. To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.”

“Don’t read books! Don’t chant poems! When you read books your eyeballs wither away leaving the bare sockets. When you chant poems your heart leaks out slowly with each word. People say reading books is enjoyable. People say chanting poems is fun. But if your lips constantly make a sound like an insect chirping in autumn, you will only turn into a haggard old man. And even if you don’t turn into a haggard old man, it’s annoying for others to have to hear you. It’s so much better to close your eyes, sit in your study, lower the curtains, sweep the floor, burn incense. It’s beautiful to listen to the wind, listen to the rain, take a walk when you feel energetic, and when you’re tired go to sleep.”

“To practice with an end in view is to have one eye on the practice and the other on the end, which is lack of concentration, lack of sincerity.”

“The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is simply to release any images and emotions.”

“During this journey it was as if he again thought over his whole life and reached the same old comforting and hopeless conclusion: that there was no need for him to start anything, that he had to live out his life without doing evil, without anxiety, and without wishing for anything.”

“You know you have arrived when you have stopped caring about the destination”

“To speak conventionally – and I think it is easier for the general reader to see Zen thus presented – there are unknown recesses in our minds which lie beyond the threshold of the relatively constructed consciousness. To designate them as “sub-conciousness” or “supra-consciousness” is not correct. The word “beyond” is used simply because it is a most convenient term to indicate their whereabouts. But as a matter of fact there is no “beyond”, no “underneath”, no “upon” in our consciousness. The mind is one indivisible whole and cannot be torn in pieces. The so-called terra incognita is the concession of Zen to our ordinary way of talking, because whatever field of consciousness that is known to us is generally filled with conceptual riffraff, and to get rid of them, which is absolutely necessary for maturing Zen experience, the Zen psychologist sometimes points to the presence of some inaccessible region in our minds. Though in actuality there is no such region apart from our everyday consciousness, we talk of it as generally more easily comprehensible by us.”

“*Breathing in, I know this is my in-breath. Breathing out, I know this is my out-breath.* It’s very simple, but very effective. When we bring our attention to our in-breath and our out-breath, we stop thinking of the past; we stop thinking of the future; and we begin to come home to ourselves…Don’t think this practice doesn’t apply to you. If we don’t go home to ourselves, we can’t be at our best and serve the world in the best way… Our quality of being is the foundation for the quality of our actions. *Breathing in, I’m aware of my whole body. Breathing out, I’m aware of my whole body.* Breathing mindfully brings us back to our bodies. We have to acknowledge our bodies first because tension and suffering accumulate in the body. Breathing in this way, we create a kind of family reunion between mind and body. The mind becomes an embodied mind. …We can’t do our best if we don’t know to release the tension and pain in ourselves. *Breathing in, I’m aware of the tension in my body. Breathing out, I’m aware of the tension in my body.* When we look at the suffering around us, at poverty, violence, or climate change, we may want to solve these things immediately. We want to do something. But to do something effectively and ethically, we need to be our best selves in order to be able to handle the suffering… *Breathing in, I am aware of a painful feeling arising. Breathing out, I release the painful feeling.* This is a nonviolent and gentle way to help our bodies release tension and pain. It is possible to practice mindful breathing in order to produce a feeling of joy, a feeling of happiness. When we are well-nourished and know how to create joy, then we are strong enough to handle the deep pain within ourselves and the world.”

“If you have mindfulness, if you feel safe, you recognize that you have plenty of conditions to be happy already, and that you don’t need to run into the future in order to get a few more conditions.”

“If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease. If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence. To understand the mystery of this One essence is to be released from all entanglements. When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached. No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state. Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, both movement and rest disappear. When such dualities cease to exist Oneness itself cannot exist. To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.”

“The brush must draw by itself. This cannot happen if one does not practice constantly. But neither can it happen if one makes an effort.”

“Does one really have to fret About enlightenment? No matter what road I travel, I’m going home.”

“Po: Maybe I should just quit and go back to making noodles. Oogway: Quit, don’t quit? Noodles, don’t noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.”

“Zen has been called the “religion before religion,” which is to say that anyone can practice, including those committed to another faith. And that phrase evokes that natural religion of our early childhood, when heaven and a splendorous earth were one. But soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, at the bottom of each breath, there is a hollow place filled with longing. We become seekers without knowing that we seek, and at first, we long for something “greater” than ourselves, something apart and far away. It is not a return to childhood, for childhood is not a truly enlightened state. Yet to seek one’s own true nature is “a way to lead you to your long lost home.” To practice Zen means to realize one’s existence moment after moment, rather than letting life unravel in regret of the past and daydreaming of the future. To “rest in the present” is a state of magical simplicity…out of the emptiness can come a true insight into our natural harmony all creation. To travel this path, one need not be a ‘Zen Buddhist’, which is only another idea to be discarded like ‘enlightenment,’ and like ‘the Buddha’ and like ‘God.”

“The best way for you to get that new experience is to change your response to what happens.”

“Who you allow into the circle of your life will make the difference in the quality of your life.”

“…it should be remembered that men always prize that most which is least enjoyed.”

“Life is very simple. Just sometimes put your head away, sometimes behead yourself, sometimes look with no clouds in the eyes – just look. Sometimes sit by the side of a tree – just feel. By the side of a waterfall – listen. Lie down on the beach and listen to the roar of the ocean, feel the sand, the coolness of it, or look at the stars, and let that silence penetrate you. Or look at the dark night and let that velvety darkness surround you, envelop you, dissolve you. This is the way of the simple heart.”

“The more you engage in any type of emotion or behavior, the greater your desire for it will become.”

“If you are surrounded by people who not only don’t believe in your goals and your positive outlook on life, but who also continually try to tear you down, it will be extremely challenging for you to hold firmly in mind that you will succeed and that you can be happy.”

“What determines each person’s state of happiness or unhappiness is not the event itself, but what the event means to that person.”

“Again, all of life presents us with two basic ways to treat events. We can either label them “god for us” or “bad for us.” The event is only an event. It’s how we treat the event that determines what it becomes in our lives. The event doesn’t make that determination- we do.”

“The mind’s best trick is the illusion that it exists.”

“If the feet of enlightenment moved, the great ocean would overflow; If that head bowed, it would look down upon the heavens. Such a body has no place to rest. . . . Let another continue this poem.”

“You can be happy if you are willing to let go of your past and leave yourself unencumbered so you can fly freely.”

“In general, I call her every night, and we talk for an hour, which is forty-five minutes of me, and fifteen minutes of her stirring her tea, which she steeps with the kind of Zen patience that would make Buddhists sit up in envy and then breathe through their envy and then move past their envy.”

“АДАЖИО „Светлината си свети навън от сутрин до вечер, без да съзнава, че е светлина. Високите дървета вдишват тишина, без да е нужно да дирят дълбоката същност на дървесината. Пустите степи се излягат по гръб и протягат снага до безкрай, без да се питат за патоса на своята пустота. Подвижни пясъци просто се движат, не мислят за нищо, докога, накъде. Цялото това удивително съществувание е удивително, без то самото да е удивено. Червената луна прилича на разцепено око, прогаря мрака на небето, без да се чувства изненадана от свойта самота. И котка дреме на оградата. Спи, диша. Толкоз. Вятърът не спира нощ след нощ, духа над гори и планини. Вихри се безспир. И духа. Не се замисля и не се оплаква. Само ти, о, тленна плът, пишеш цяла нощ и триеш, търсиш смисъл и причина да поправиш.”

“You are not your thoughts!! This simple yet powerful statement can greatly change the quality of your life.”

“The true source of happiness is within each of us.”

“But I looked out at the waves far below the bluff. They looked violent, erupting against the cliff. I watched them rising – up, up, higher, higher – then falling, crashing, swirling into chaos, passing away. I breathed deeply. I tried to breathe space between my thoughts, find the space between the anger.”

“In a Zen retreat we have a format for working with these quicksilver changes: we sit with them, we pay attention to them… Being steady with mindfulness as an anchor for all the changes we go through is the way we practice forbearance. And you can employ this same method anywhere anytime: just pay close attention to the details of what is going on internally and externally. Don’t flinch, don’t run away. Trust what happens. Take your stand there.” (71)”

“So, without telling any of my Zen-snob buddies, I liked to pretend everything was the Pure Land, that my life was already perfect as it was.”

“Your actions create an “energy vortex” that draws in the necessary ingredients for your venture.”

“Life is full of highs and lows. We need them both to grow to our fullest potential. Just hang on tight & enjoy the ride.”

“Every belief that you hold manifests itself in some manner by either causing you to take some form of action or by preventing you from taking action. If you don’t believe something is possible, you won’t even attempt it.”

“Mindfulness is attainable when one can embrace life, not its circumstances.”

“Stress comes from the way you relate to events or situations.”

“If you feel depressed for an hour, you’ve produced approximately eighteen billion new cells that have more receptors calling out for depressed-type peptides and fewer calling out for feel-good peptides.”

“The answers are never “out there.” All the answers are “in there,” inside you, waiting to be discovered.”

“Zen movement is a meditative practice.”

“A strong personal philosophy does more than sustain us through the tragedies of life. It also stains us daily in everything we think and do. It gives us optimism and hope.”

“— Нет, мы пойдем в сад дзен. Войдя в сад дзен, я попятился. В десятиметровом прямоугольнике, окруженном скамьями из посеревших досок, среди прочесанного гравия и песка, выровненного граблями, лежали замшелые камни. Идиотизм! Мало того, что этот каменный сад был безжизненным, я к тому же не мог взять в толк, как работа для ленивого садовника может улучшить мою собственную жизнь или избавить меня от решения моих проблем. — Садись и наблюдай. Из почтения к Сёминцу я был обязан сделать некоторое усилие, я присел с краю этого абсурдного пространства. Сжав зубы и наморщив лоб, я подпер голову руками и, чтобы не гневать учителя, изобразил сосредоточенность. Из скуки или же чтобы развеять ее, мысли мои перескакивали с одного на другое. Я думал об Асёрю, о матери. Вдруг я утратил равновесие, потому что сознание мое перетекло в сознание моего отца, я пережил его последние мгновения на балконе, перед прыжком… Мне показалось, что я падаю вместе с ним. Я встревоженно огляделся, чтобы удостовериться, что не вскрикнул и не привлек внимания сидевших по периметру прямоугольника; никто из них не заметил моего смятения, и я успокоился. Чтобы вернуть прежнее состояние, я сосредоточил внимание на следах, оставленных на песке граблями. Я равнодушно проследил изгибы. И тут это свершилось. Сначала я решил, что мне дурно. Я по-прежнему сидел, но у меня возникло странное ощущение. Все перевернулось. Во мне. И вокруг меня. Я уже не понимал, несет меня волной или же я сам стал волной. Подступало нечто странное, огромное, громоподобное. Потом возникла какая-то сила, наполнила меня, подняла вверх. Я ощутил мягкий взрыв, не болезненный. Напротив, мое тело вспыхнуло наслаждением, вырвалось из кожи, плоть моя множеством кусков разнеслась над садом. Сам сад изменился в размерах, обычный камень превратился в гору, гравий — в озера, а песок — в море облаков. Видимый сад уступил место незримому, излучавшему благодатную энергию. В одно мгновение я пробудился от владевшего мной кошмара, я вспомнил забытую реальность, то, из чего мы состоим. Я был уже не Джун, а космос, замкнутый, неподвижный и меж тем пребывающий в движении. Мне показалось, что я стал пустотой между предметами, пустотой между людьми, между утратившими значение словами, пустотой между потухшими мыслями и образами. Я покинул собственное тело, превратился в пустоту надо мной, пустоту, которая и есть истинный центр мира.”

“The things I carry are my thoughts. That’s it. They are the only weight. My thoughts determine whether I am free and light or burdened.”

“When you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do. You should do it completely, like a good bonfire. You should not be a smoky fire. You should burn yourself completely. If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do.”

“The true tragedy in most people’s lives is that they are far better than they imagine themselves to be and, as a result, end up being much less than they might be.”

“Today most scientists would agree with the ancient Hindus that nothing exists or is destroyed, things merely change shape or form…the cosmic radiation that is thought to come from the explosion of creation strikes the earth with equal intensity from all directions, which suggests either that the earth is at the center of the universe, as in our innocence we once supposed, or that the known universe has no center.”

“Indicating his twisted legs without a trace of self-pity or bitterness, as if they belonged to all of us, he casts his arms wide to the sky and the snow mountains, the high sun and dancing sheep, and cries, ’Of course I am happy here! It’s wonderful! Especially when I have no choice!’ In its wholehearted acceptance of what is;I feel as if he had struck me in the chest. Butter tea and wind pictures, the Crystal Mountain, and blue sheep dancing on the snow-it’s quite enough! Have you seen the snow leopard? No! Isn’t that wonderful?”

“Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way”

“We will be entering the beautiful world of a Zen master’s no-mind. Sosan is the third Zen Patriarch. Nothing much is known about him- this is as it should be, because history records only violence. History does not record silence- it cannot record it. All records are of disturbance. Whenever someone becomes really silent, he disappears from all records, he is no more a part of our madness. So it is as it should be. Ch. 1: The Great Way Is Not Difficult”

“I grow into these mountains like a moss. I am bewitched. The blinding snow peaks and the clarion air, the sound of earth and heaven in the silence, the requiem birds, the mythic beasts, the flags, great horns, and old carved stones, the silver ice in the black river, the Kang, the Crystal Mountain. Also, I love the common miracles-the murmur of my friends at evening, the clay fires of smudgy juniper, the coarse dull food, the hardship and simplicity, the contentment of doing one thing at a time… gradually my mind has cleared itself, and wind and sun pour through my head, as through a bell. Though we talk little here, I am never lonely; I am returned into myself. In another life-this isn’t what I know, but how I feel- these mountains were my home; there is a rising of forgotten knowledge, like a spring from hidden aquifers under the earth. To glimpse one’s own true nature is a kind of homegoing, to a place East of the Sun, West of the Moon- the homegoing that needs no home, like that waterfall on the supper Suli Gad that turns to mist before touching the earth and rises once again to the sky.”

“Amazingly, we take for granted that instinct for survival, fear of death, must separate us from the happiness of pure and uninterpreted experience, in which body, mind, and nature are the same. This retreat from wonder, the backing away like lobsters into safe crannies, the desperate instinct that our life passes unlived, is reflected in proliferation without joy, corrosive money rot, the gross befouling of the earth and air and water from which we came.”

“Left alone, I am overtaken by the northern void-no wind, no cloud, no track, no bird, only the crystal crescents between peaks, the ringing monuments of rock that, freed from the talons of ice and snow, thrust an implacable being into the blue. In the early light, the rock shadows on the snow are sharp; in the tension between light and dark is the power of the universe. This stillness to which all returns, this is reality, and soul and sanity have no more meaning than a gust of snow; such transience and insignificance are exalting, terrifying, all at once…Snow mountains, more than sea or sky, serve as a mirror to one’s own true being, utterly still, utterly clear, a void, an Emptiness without life or sound that carries in Itself all life, all sound.”

“We should live every day like people who have just been rescued from the moon.”

“For eternally and always there is only now, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end.”

“The son needs the father to have access to his source, and the father needs the son to have access to the future and the infinite.”

“What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, no matter how well selected, or the best society, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen?”

“The central feature of the practice of meditation and hard work known as Zen is that, as Matthiessen says, it “has no patience with mysticism, far less the occult.” Nor does it have any time with moralism, the prescriptions or distortions we would impose on the world, obscuring it from our view. It asks, it insists rather, that we take this moment for what it is, undistracted, and not cloud it with needless worries of what might have been or fantasies of what might come to be. It is, essentially, a training in the real…”the Universe itself is the scripture of Zen.” Pico Iyer from introduction.”

“All other creatures look down toward the earth, but man was given a face so that might turn his eyes toward the stars and his gaze upon the sky.”

“They asked a wise man: Why don’t we ever hear you backbiting and slandering? He said: I’m still not happy with myself to start with others.”

“I discovered that those who seldom dwell on their emotions know better than anyone else just what an emotion is.”

“The glass is neither half empty, nor half full. The glass is just a glass and it’s content can perpetually change with your perception.”

“The ignorant eschew phenomena but not thought; the wise eschew thought but not phenomena.”

“I sit in meditation…and soon all sounds, and all one sees and feels, take on imminence, an immanence, as if the Universe were coming to attention, a Universe of which one is the center, a Universe that is not the same yet not different from oneself: within man as within mountains there are many parts of hydrogen and oxygen, of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and other elements. ‘You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself flows in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars…’(Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditation) The secret of the mountains is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no ‘meaning,’ they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share.”

“The object of our lives is to look at, listen to, touch, taste things. Without them—these sticks, stones, feathers, shells—there is no Deity.”

“The mystical perception (which is only “mystical” if reality is limited to what can be measured by the intellect and senses) is remarkably consistent in all ages and all places. All phenomena are processes, connections, all is in flux…have the mind screens knocked away to see there is no real edge to anything, that in the endless interpenetration of the universe, a molecular flow, a cosmic energy shimmers in all stone and steel as well as flesh…”

“Life is a river,” a wise friend told me. “It’s flowing. You’re never at the same place twice.”

“It is as if I have entered what the Tibetans call the Bardo-literally, between-two-existences- a dreamlike hallucination that precedes reincarnation, not necessarily in human form…In case I should need them, instructions for passage through the Bardo are contained in the Tibetan book of the dead- a guide for the living since it teaches that a man’s last thoughts will determine the quality of his reincarnation.”

“The present is always the best, even when its rough.”

“For us life is a fact, no less, and, above all, no more.”

“Zen is a journey of exploration and a way of living that, in and of itself, does not belong to any one religion or tradition. It is about experiencing life in the here and now and about removing the dualistic distinctions between “I” and “you” between “subject” and “objective”, between our spiritual and our ordinary, everyday activities.”

“Although you may have never sat down and defined what your philosophy is, it is fully operative and working in your life at all times. It deals with what you believe about the world in which you live, about its people and events, about how you affect them.”

“Shall you live authentically who you are or will you spend your allotted living the life of someone you imagine your self to be?”

“A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself.”

“The most dangerous thing about an academic education is that it enables my tendency to over-intellectualize stuff, to get lost in abstract thinking instead of simply paying attention to what’s going on in front of me.”

“Learning how to think’ really means learning how to exercise some control over how & what you think. It means being conscious & aware enough to choose what you pay attention to & to choose how you construct meaning from experience.”

“Maybe the Buddha was right: pain and suffering are the only true constants in life.”

“Zazen is better than a home. Zazen is a home that you can’t ever lose.”

“See for yourself whether letting go when a part of you really wants to hold on doesn’t bring a deeper satisfaction than clinging.”

“What you know can never be the beyond. Whatever you experience is not the beyond. If there is any beyond, this movement of ‘you’ is absent. The absence of this movement probably is the beyond, but the beyond can never be experienced by you; it is when the ‘you’ is not there. Why are you trying to experience a thing that cannot be experienced?”

“When mountain-climbing is made too easy, the spiritual effect the mountain exercises vanishes into the air.”

“I have found so many angels trapped inside undisputed jargon that I find myself digging at the words, in order to release them, from the books that unfairly captured their soul.”

“What is personal death? Asking this question and pausing to look inward – isn’t personal death a concept? Isn’t there a thought-and-picture series going on in the brain? These scenes of personal ending take place solely in the imagination, and yet they trigger great mental ad physical distress – thinking of one’s cherished attachments an their sudden, irreversible termination. Similarly, if there is ‘pain when I let some of the beauty of life in’ – isn’t this pain the result of thinking, ‘I won’t be here any longer to enjoy this beauty?’ Or, ‘No one will be around and no beauty left to be enjoyed if there is total nuclear devastation.’ Apart from the horrendous tragedy of human warfare – why is there this fear of ‘me’ not continuing? Is it because I don’t realize that all my fear and trembling is for an image? Because I really believe that this image is myself? In the midst of this vast, unfathomable, ever-changing, dying, and renewing flow of life, the human brain is ceaselessly engaged in trying to fix for itself a state of permanency and certainty. Having the capacity to think and form pictures of ourselves, to remember them and become deeply attached to them, we take this world of pictures and ideas for real. We thoroughly believe in the reality of the picture story of our personal life. We are totally identified with it and want it to go on forever. The idea of “forever” is itself an invention of the human brain. Forever is a dream. Questioning beyond all thoughts, images, memories, and beliefs, questioning profoundly into the utter darkness of not-knowing, the realization may suddenly dawn that one is nothing at all – nothing – that all one has been holding on to are pictures and dreams. Being nothing is being everything. It is wholeness. Compassion. It is the ending of separation, fear, and sorrow. Is there pain when no one is there to hold on? There is beauty where there is no “me”.”

“With passions stilled and one’s nature firm, all destinies are in harmony; When the full moon of contemplation is reached you will be pure.”

“May we exist like a lotus, / At home in the muddy water. / Thus we bow to life as it is.”

“Become the person of no rank. Become the noble soul, and live in this awakened way, not imitating anyone. Whatever the circumstances your life asks of you, respond to them in your own individual Zen-spirited way. Don’t waste any time trying to be someone else…We are not here to have someone else’s experience. We are here to have our own vivid experience. So please don’t cling to yesterday, to what happened, to what didn’t happen. And do not judge today by yesterday. Let us just live today to the fullest! Moment after moment, each sitting is the only sitting.”

“Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind. You should not say, “I know what Zen is,” or “I have attained enlightenment.” This is also the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner.” – “When you are sitting in the middle of your own problem, which is more real to you: your problem or you yourself? The awareness that you are here, right now, is the ultimate fact. ” – “Knowing that your life is short, to enjoy it day after day, moment after moment, is the life of “form is form and emptiness is emptiness.” – “You may feel as if you are doing something special, but actually it is only the expression of your true nature; it is the activity which appeases your inmost desire. But as long as you think you are practicing zazen for the sake of something, that is not true practice.” – “The most important thing is to forget all gaining ideas, all dualistic ideas. In other words, just practice zazen in a certain posture.”

“Even in zazen you will lose yourself. When you become sleepy, or when your mind starts to wander about, you lose yourself. When your legs become painful—“Why are my legs so painful?”—you lose yourself. ” – “You just sit in the midst of the problem; when you are a part of the problem, or when the problem is a part of you, there is no problem, because you are the problem itself. The problem is you yourself. If this is so, there is no problem.” – “When you start to wander about in some delusion which is something apart from you yourself, then your surroundings are not real anymore, and your mind is not real anymore. If you yourself are deluded, then your surroundings are also a misty, foggy delusion. Once you are in the midst of delusion, there is no end to delusion. You will be involved in deluded ideas one after another. Most people live in delusion, involved in their problem, trying to solve their problem. But just to live is actually to live in problems. And to solve the problem is to be a part of it, to be one with it.”

“When something comes from within, when it is a part of you, you have no choice but to live it, to express it.”

“Cooking gives you the opportunity to meet the things you eat. You can touch each carrot or olive and get to know its smell and texture.You can feel its weight and notice its color and form. If it is going to become part of you, it seems worthy, at least, of acknowledgment, respect, and thanks. It takes much time and care in order for things to grow, and many labors are needed to bring these ingredients to the kitchen. There is a lot to be grateful for that takes place between the wheat field and the dumpling.”

“Walk slowly through the world and pay attention”

“There are no mistakes in Zentangle, so there is no need for an eraser. If you do not like the look of a stroke you have made, it then becomes only an opportunity to create a new tangle, or transform it using an old trusty pattern. A Zentangle tile is meant to be a surprise that unfolds before the creator’s eyes, one stroke at a time.”

“You see something or hear a sound, and there you have everything just as it is. […] Whatever you do, it should be an expression of the same deep activity. We should appreciate what we are doing. There is no preparation for something else.”

“When the cart doesn’t move, do you goad the cart or the ox?”

“Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs. In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production. Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things – wealth, fame, power, sex – and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal. Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness. Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, ‘I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.’ Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature. Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.”

“No bow can be strung indefinitely, for it will surely break”

“The cats were relaxing in a patch of sunlight on the rug without a thought in their sleek brown heads. What matter to them that it was Sunday-or even Thursday? Every day was Today in their scheme of things, and there was no such thing as Yesterday or Tomorrow.”

“Why are you here? Where am I? You have come to this place… to lie in the ground? The derision in the question was clear. I have come to this place to find peace. And what is peace? Laughter in the recesses of his mind. This is peace. Perhaps it is. I don’t know. A pause. Talking to yourself, eh? There is no one else around. That is the beginning of wisdom. And what of it? Who are you? I am Peter. What are you? I… I am that which says I. Clever. Sometimes. He sparked a cigarette, nicotine bringing a touch of stability to his otherwise entirely too excited cognitions. What is I? I am. That is all? I don’t know. Where is I? Where am I? I am between this and that. This is again wisdom. He laughed aloud now, pulling deeply on his smoke, exhaling through clenched teeth. I am space. Of a sort. I am a character in a story. Sometimes. Nothing more? A page of your life turns. Do you see it? Sometimes. The blank of the page, the openness of its margins, do you see? Yes. This is the void of your unfolding imagination. Indeed. Would you fill it with your own story? I am void. I am between. I am neither this nor that. I am an idea of a between. What story would you have? Whatever I can. I am nothing. That is enough? No. What would you be? A man. This is also wisdom.”

“if only people stopped acting like they’ve been asked to donate a lung every time somebody asks for something the world would be a better place”

“For some reason when I type the word “love” in my iPad it keeps autocorrecting to “live”. I find it oddly profound. My ipad IS. My iPad is ZEN: “Only the iPad that autocorrects can write the true thing.”

“Có một thi sĩ làm thơ hô hào những nhà sáng tác, những ca sĩ từ bỏ lối sáng tác và ca hát đau thương đứt ruột. Ông ta viết những câu này, tôi còn nhớ: Đừng kể nữa những mảnh tình tan tác, Hãy đứng lên, nhạc sĩ, với tôi đi! Tôi ghét anh ưa giọng hát sầu bi, Và tung mãi những tâm hồn thường trụy lạc. Hãy đứng dậy! Vứt chiếc cầm áo não! Tôi cần nghe những khúc nhạc rất hùng, Thét ngựa lòng phi mãi chẳng chồn chân, Sáng như gươm tuốt, mạnh như luồng bão. Ôi nhạc sĩ! Thật anh người thậm tệ! Quan hoài chi những khúc hát mê ly, Những câu ca không đẹp lại không thi Của kỹ nữ vọc cuộc đời ê trệ? Hãy cung kính nhượng những người tuổi tác, Những bản đàn nhịp hát thiếu tinh thần. Hãy ra xem sõng vỗ với mây vần, Và sáng chể cho tôi vài điệu khác. Nếu chúng ta cứ hát những bài khóc gió than mây và cứ nghe những bài độc huyền thì có thể ‘vận cái rủi’ vào số mạng của mình, tưới tẩm những hạt giống đau buồn, điều đó không tốt.”

“Clarity clattered into my thoughts and brought about a satori, an enlightenment, if you will.”

“Amazing how the most obvious things escape your notice. Maybe the truth is exactly the things you don’t notice. Maybe the aim to see and tell the truth is inherently futile, a contradiction in terms, and it’s exactly those things about oneself and the world that are invisible because they are woven into one’s fabric that are the truth. Just like a person can’t see his own eyes. You search and search and search, and the truth, by definition, is exactly that which you don’t find. You don’t see the truth, you are the truth. “Habits of attention are reflexes of the complete character of an individual.” And how could you notice your own habits of attention? By writing. Well, at their most profound level? It doesn’t make any difference. That is the point. It’s like Zen. The truth is not straining for the truth, the truth is in effortlessness. The truth is in being, not trying. Aw hell, that doesn’t leave much too chew on.”

“The problem with all students, he said, is that they inevitably stop somewhere. They hear an idea and they hold on to it until it becomes dead; they want to flatter themselves that they know the truth. But true Zen never stops, never congeals into such truths. That is why everyone must constantly be pushed to the abyss, starting over and feeling their utter worthlessness as a student. Without suffering and doubts, the mind will come to rest on clichés and stay there, until the spirit dies as well. Not even enlightenment is enough. You must continually start over and challenge yourself.”

“I am Not, but the Universe is my Self.”

“To escape from the world means that one’s mind is not concerned with the opinions of the world.”

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion.”

“He who fights is powerless, but he who loves is power itself.”

“Let me give you a wonderful Zen practice. Wake up in the morning…look in the mirror, and laugh at yourself.”

“To enter the Buddha Way is to stop discriminating between good and evil and to cast aside the mind that says this is good and that is bad.”

“One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world.”

“Regarding the creative: never assume you’re the master, only the student. Your audience will determine if you’re masterful.”

“Every man possesses the Buddha-nature. Do not demean yourselves.”

“The sacred stillness of your brilliant heart has as the myriad wonders masqueraded. But if you knew this secret from the start, then you’d have quit this Game before you played it.”

“Let whatever happens, be what needs to happen, so that I may awaken.”

“The object of Zen is not to kill all feelings and become anesthetized to pain and fear. The object of Zen is to free us to scream loudly and fully when it is time to scream.”

“The awareness that seeks to know is the very object of its own seeking.”

“Perfection itself is not the ultimate goal but the ultimate condition of life.”

“Sometimes it takes a miracle to remind us that the only permanent condition is that of impermanence.”

“And what impels him to repeat this process at every single lesson, and, with the same remorseless insistence, to make his pupils copy it without the least alteration? He sticks to this traditional custom because he knows from experience that the preparations for working put him simultaneously in the right frame of mind for creating. The meditative repose in which he performs them gives him that vital loosening and equability of all his powers, that collectedness and presence of mind, without which no right work can be done.”

“We find what’s in our own heads.”

“You want to know my name? –a hill, a tree. An empty drifting boat.”

“He said he’d heard the sound of one hand clapping. He said, once his mind took in the wondrous no-sound of holy oneness, the empty echo of eternal bliss, he was never the same. He could hear it still, he said, resounding in the ether and tickling the back of his brain. Something not normal was going on with his brain. No argument there.”

“Search not for happiness outside yourself, for nothing could be further from the truth.”

“We are all part of a universal game. Returning to our essence while living in the world is the object of the game. The earth is the game board, and we are the pieces on the board. We move around and around until we remember who we really are, and then we can be taken off the board. At that point, we are no longer the game-piece, but the player; we’ve won the game.”

“The essence of your mind is not born, so it will never die. It is not an existence, which is perishable. It is not an emptiness, which is a mere void. It has neither colour nor form. It enjoys no pleasures and suffers no pains. I know you are very ill. Like a good Zen student, you are facing that sickness squarely. You may not know exactly who is suffering, but question yourself: What is the essence of this mind? Think only of this. You will need no more. Covet nothing. Your end which is endless is as a snowflake dissolving in pure air.”

“Here, then, is the last moment of true perception, a man fishing in a red jacket and a cloudy sky reflected on opaque water.”

“We have to make a consideration: emotional states are deeply influenced by external events, and here lies the problem. Since the external events are unstable, namely, that they are in perpetual change – a situation that Buddhist tradition defines as “impermanence” – they are very difficult to be managed, and this bring people to panic. This difficulty to experience a reality in which nothing is permanent, that all is in constant motion- change, belongs to the human incapacity to accept the discontinuity of an occurrence of events that are always unpredictable and new. Impermanence is a principle that is a natural thing, but, in relation to the social and interhuman fields, this becomes a problem: especially in the last ten years, we can witness scenarios where instability, turbulence and uncertainty, frantically increase and continue to increase. Instability and change are perceivable everywhere – from the personal interaction between people to economic instability: in poor words, we don’t know what the future will bring to us and we feel a continuous pressure. People feel a need for safety and stability, but this is an impossible thing in the conditions in which society finds itself, and here lies one of the main reasons why tensions, anxiety, and panic have became common situations.”

“A peaceful mind appreciates the present moment as the living embodiment of naked perfection, rather than a means to future attainment.”

“Can the water in the valleys ever stop and rest? When the water finally reaches the sea, it becomes great waves.”

“When I was young, I lacked certainty, too,” he says. “I have the certainty, now, of not needing certainty. I have the certainty, of uncertainty. The peace, with being uncertain. All is good. All is holy. Whatever you choose, it can be fine. Hatred never ceases with hatred, but with love alone is healed. Rejection never ceases with rejection, but with acceptance alone is healed.”

“The way is not clear, and it is when you do not have clarity, when this is allowed, that you will finally have clarity.”

“Ao relacionar-se com o mundo objetivo, por intermédio de suas faculdades, o mundo exterior torna-se real para o homem, e de fato é só o “amor” que faz o homem verdadeiramente crer na realidade do mundo objetivo a ele extrínseco. Sujeito e objeto não podem ser separados . “O olho transformou-se em olho humano quando seu objeto se converteu em um objeto humano, social, criado pelo homem e a este destinado… Eles [os sentidos] se relacionam com a coisa devido a esta, mas a coisa em si mesma é uma relação humana objetiva para si própria e para o homem, e vice-versa. A necessidade e o gozo perderam, assim, seu caráter egoísta, e a natureza perdeu sua mera utilidade pelo fato de sua utilização ter-se transformado em utilização humana. (Com efeito, só posso relacionar-me de maneira humana com uma coisa quando esta se relaciona de maneira humana com o homem)” Esta última afirmação é quase exatamente a mesma feita no pensamento do budismo Zen, assim como por Goethe. De fato o pensamento de Goethe, Hegel e Marx se acha intimamente ligado ao do Zen. O que há de comum neles é a ideia do homem superar a cisão entre sujeito e objeto; o objeto é um objeto, mas no entanto cessa de ser objeto , e nesta nova abordagem o homeme se funde com o objeto, conquanto ele e o objeto continuem a ser dois. O homem ao relacionar-se humanamente com o mundo objetivo, supera a alienação de si mesmo.”

“Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.”

“No praise, no blame. Just so.”

“I am everything. I am nothing. I am powerful. I am forgotten.”

“Almost everything that I’ve ever worried about has never happened ..”

“Your body is like a dew-drop on the morning grass, your life is as brief as a flash of lightning. Momentary and vain, it is lost in a moment. (From ‘Fukan zazengi’)”

“If you have time to be mindful, you have time to meditate.”

“Life gives you exactly what you need to awaken.”

“Don’t think of what you have to do, don’t consider how to carry it out!” he exclaimed. “The shot will only go smoothly when it takes the archer himself by surprise.”

“You will bring yourself the suffering you need to bring yourself so that you may awaken.”

“In your big mind, everything has the same value…In your practice you should accept everything as it is, giving to each thing the same respect given to a Buddha. Here there is Buddhahood”

“I don’t know where I’m going on this path. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. You had to be lost, before you could be found. These are the truths. You had to be confused, before you could find clarity; you had to suffer, before you could find peace. These were the only ways, life could happen. Of course you were confused before you found clarity. If you weren’t confused, then you would already be clear. Of course you were lost before you were found. If you were already found, then you wouldn’t be lost. Of course there would be suffering before peace. If there was already peace, then there wouldn’t be suffering. One necessarily came before the other.”

“Every answer you ever need lies within your own silence..”

“The prospect of future lives in remote heavens as a compensation for the inadequacy of our present lives is a bad tradeoff for losing out on the present.”

“The right art,” cried the Master, “is purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede. What stands in your way is that you have a much too willful will. You think that what you do not do yourself does not happen.”

“Maybe it’s something which can’t be defined,” Enso Roshi says. “Maybe it’s a question, to be lived.”

“When angry, count to Zen.”

“Umasi kept walking, out of sight and into the glittering night. Meahwhile, Zen lay alone, defeated on the cold ground, knowing that he had truly been left behind. Then the memories returned, and for the first time in his life, he cried.”

“No such thing as time travel, he’d rumbled patiently, once. Only live with what you’ve done, and try in the future to do what you’re happy to live with.”

“You have described only too well,” replied the Master, “where the difficulty lies…The right shot at the right moment does not come because you do not let go of yourself. You…brace yourself for failure. So long as that is so, you have no choice but to call forth something yourself that ought to happen independently of you, and so long as you call it forth your hand will not open in the right way–like the hand of a child.”

“The mind is limitless, in its creations.”

“Sing before the spirits and dance with the earth deities And you will be able to compose your own tune. Then you and I, united, will clap hands joyously, Singing ‘tum-tiddly-um tum-tiddly-um-tum.”

“It is the rub that polishes the jewel,” Enso Roshi says. “Nobody ever gets to nirvana without going through samsara. Nobody ever gets to heaven, without going through hell. The center of all things, the truth, is surrounded by demons.”

“Nothing needs to be done, and things get done.”

“Hand over your responses to the man who triggers them, and you have already lost the battle for self. Look beyond, and find yourself there instead.”

“The Buddha is found in other people – even the ones we do not like very much.”

“To Mr. Jones, she said, imagine you’re looking up at a blue sky, and imagine a tiny airplane skywriting the letter Z. Then let the wind erase the letter. Then imagine the plane writing the letter Y. Let the wind erase it. Then the letter X. Erase it. Then the letter W. Let the wind erase it.”

“This, then, is what counts: a lightning reaction which has no further need of conscious observation. In this respect at least the pupil makes himself independent of all conscious purpose.”

“There were so many beliefs which we had about the world, which then influenced everything, everything, about how we saw the world and interacted in the world and were with others. Everything. It was profound to me, amazing, the ramifications, the implications, the far-reaching impact that one’s beliefs could have on the world. It was actually mind-blowing for me. Figuratively speaking. Like, it was just, holy shit. Look at that. And nobody, hardly anybody sees it. They’re just ideas. Ideas. And yet, I’d believed them for so long, and still, was still shirking free of them. How was it that we believed in them, so readily, so easily?”

“Shigemori’s body of work is a compelling manifesto for continuous cultural renewal.”

“A walk with a two-year-old is very Zen; it is not about the end but the journey. He needs to pet the dog someone is walking; to roll down the slight incline to the church basement, and then roll again, and again, and again; to remind me of the place where the wasps (he calls them bees) live, then zoom past it.”

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