"there is no more ridiculous custom than the one that makes you express sympathy once and for all on a given day to a person whose sorrow will endure as long as his life. such grief, felt in such a way, is always "present" and it is never too late to talk about it, never repetitious to mention it again."
"we were surprised and disappointed that people we thought were good friends became distant, uneasy, and seemed unable to help us. others who were casual acquaintances became suddenly close, sustainers of life for us. grief changes the rules, and sometimes rearranges the combinations."
“You’ll get over it…” It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?”
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”
"Each one of us here today will, at one time in our lives, look upon a loved one in need and ask the same question: We are willing Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true that we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give, or more often than not, that part we have to give... is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us... But we can still love them... We can love—completely—even without complete understanding..."
"We carry with us the wonders, we seek without us: There is all Africa, and her prodigies in us; we are that bold and adventurous piece of nature, which he that studies, wisely learns in a compendium, what others labour at in a divided piece and endless volume."
"While many people tend to think of spirituality as looking up, toward the heights of perfection or saintliness, the Steps remind us that we must first look down, into the darkness of our souls, and see and accept our shadow before we attain an honest and authentic spiritual life."
"We are the greatest thing that will ever happen to us. Believe it. It makes life much easier.
It is time to stop this nonsense of running around picking on ourselves.
We may have walked through much of our life apologizing for ourselves either directly or indirectly—feeling less valuable than others, believing that they know better than we do, and believing that somehow others are meant to be here and we are not.
We have a right to be here.
We have a right to be ourselves.
We are here. There is a purpose, a reason, and an intention for our life. We do not have to apologize for being here or being who we are.
We are good enough, and deserving.
Others do not have our magic. We have our magic. It is in us.
It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in our past. We all have a past, woven with mistakes, successes, and learning experiences. We have a right to our past. It is ours. It has worked to shape and form us. As we progress on this journey, we shall see how each of our experiences will be turned around and used for good.
We have already spent too much time being ashamed, being apologetic, and doubting the beauty of ourselves. Be done with it. Let it go. It is an unnecessary burden. Others have rights, but so do we. We are neither less than nor more than. We are equal. We are who we are. That is who we were created and intended to be.
That, my friend, is a wonderful gift.
God, help me own my power to love and appreciate myself. Help me give myself validity instead of looking to others to do that."
"From the ultimate perspective, True practice is all the same practice. There's zazen in the morning, work, zazen and then sleep. Throughout zazen and work and sleep there's always your mind, your thoughts and opinions and emotions drifting by like clouds. There's your attitude and attention, which is the only thing you can really control: how you relate to people, how you chop vegetables, the quality of your interaction with the world around you. There are doubts and fears and then letting go of those doubts, and continuing with practice. The water is clear right down to the bottom, and fish swim like fish."
"A human being is a part of the whole called by us 'the universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
"We are meant not to wait for moments of love to randomly arise but to be always cultivating love like a garden. We need to till the soil so that the seed of our love can open, sprout and break through. If we water it and give it air and sunshine, it will grow."
“I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.”
"Once when golfer Bobby Jones was playing in a big tournament, he inadvertently moved his ball a few inches in the rough. He penalized himself based on what had happened. When someone pointed out to him that no one else had seen the ball move, he said, 'I saw it move, and that is all that matters.'"
Fun becomes fun, love becomes love, life becomes worth living. And we become grateful.
Wait, and expect good things—for yourself and your loved ones.
When you wonder what is coming, tell yourself the best is coming, the very best life and love have to offer, the best God and His universe have to send. Then open your hands to receive it. Claim it, and it is yours.
See the best in your mind; envision what it will look like, what it will feel like. Focus, until you can see it clearly. Let your whole being, body and soul, enter into and hold onto the image for a moment.
Then, let it go. Come back into today, the present moment. Do not obsess. Do not become fearful. Become excited. Live today fully, expressing gratitude for all you have been, all you are, and all you will become.
Wait, and expect good things.
Today, when I think about the year ahead, I will focus on the good that is coming."
"Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control. We can love and care for others but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family, or friends. We can assist them, pray for them, and wish them well, yet in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and actions, not on our wishes."
"Indifference pretends to create peace, but it is based on not caring, a silent resignation. It is a movement away, a separation fed by a subtle fear of the heart. We pull back, believing that what happens to others is not our concern. Our courage leaves us. Indifference is a misguided way of defending ourselves."
"Think of the things that are killing us as a nation: drugs, brainless competition, recreational sex, the pornography of violence, gambling, alcohol, and the worst pornography of all - lives devoted to buying things, accumulation as a religion."
"If you look into your mind, you will see it's like thousands of butterflies whirling about! You can hardly trace a single idea in this complexity. A way to bring clarity to the mind is to write down your immediate thoughts and feelings in response to the events of the day, and then ponder them. If you emphasize one particular problem in this writing, it will gradually lead to all others."
"One day Mullah Nasrudin was sitting in the market in front of a big basket of red hot chili peppers. With tears streaming down his cheeks, eyes bloodshot, face red, and nose running, he kept eating one after another. Every now and then he let out a big howl they were so hot! One of his students approached him and asked, 'Mullah! What on earth are you doing? Why do you keep eating them?'
"It occurs to me in this vulnerable state that regardless of the practice, the teachings, or what I attain or don't attain, I can't control this body. It will get sick, grow old, and die whether I like it or not, whether I am enlightened or not, and, most especially, whether I am ready or not."
"Coming empty-handed, going empty-handed — that is human.
When you are born, where do you come from?
When you die, where do you go?
Life is like a floating cloud which appears.
Death is like a floating cloud which disappears.
The floating cloud itself originally does not exist.
Life and death, coming and going, are also like that.
But there is one thing which always remains clear.
It is pure and clear, not depending on life and death.
"Strengthen your will; reprimand yourself; reprove your own laziness. Know your faults and turn toward what is good. Reform and repent your bad conduct; train and control your mind. Cultivate earnestly and the power of contemplation will grow; train continuously and your practice will become increasing pure."
"I've discovered a secret about this nowness. In this place we can clean up our karma, the muck we've created in our lives that needs scrubbing. When we see clearly we don't need to whine about anyone else, to blame them, or to run away. We just need to see. And then start scrubbing."
"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmmmm? Hmmmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship."
"We cook, eat, and appreciate the meal, whereas if we just sit around bitching about all the things we don't have and not eating anything, we'd starve. And that goes for life, too. Look at the ingredients you have, make the best meal possible, and offer it. Don't forget to offer it. If you make the meal just for yourself, you don't get the same pleasure."
"I understand that trouble is just something that has been filed in the wrong place. That is what Jung was explaining of course - as the chaos of our unconscious contents drive to find their rightful place in the index of consciousness."
"I was going to be away, free, or so it seemed, but you always take it with you. It takes much longer to leave the psychic place than the physical place."
I look across the open plain
sun burning – glinting.
I see the wildebeest
chasing the lion…
propelling her forward
and releasing her.
No longer bound to her
instinctual herding principle.
She has awakened.
She has left her children
to be protected by her clan.
She will no longer fight
only when attacked.
She will safeguard our future…
the lion senses this power shift
and is overwhelmed.
My huntress has caught her prey.
She rips into Screaming flesh.
The sound eternally seared onto
She ravages her kill
I cannot avert my gaze.
The wildebeest looks up at me
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." ~Steve Jobs~
"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so." ~William Shakespeare~
"When you begin to worry, go find something to do. Get busy being a blessing to someone; do something fruitful. Talking about your problem or sitting alone, thinking about it, does no good; it serves only to make you miserable. Above all else, remember that worrying is totally useless. Worrying will not solve your problem." ~Joyce Meyer~
"An old Cherokee is teaching her grandson about life...
"A fight is going on inside me," she said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
"One is evil - it is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.
"The other is good - it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, gratitude, trust, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandmother,
"Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee smiled and said,
"The one you feed."