"Once again we citizens of America confront the farce of another make believe election. Tweedledum, tweedledee and tweedledoo - the bad, the worse, the ridiculous. Once again we are supposed to try to figure out which is the lesser evil. In truth there is no choice, all of the major candidates are financed by corporate money, all of them support and promote the industrial expansion and commercial greed which is gradually destroying this country. Politics has become a game for millionaires or the cronies of millionaires; no wonder that our quisling officials work for the interest of the rich and powerful. As Will Rogers once said, 'We have the best politicians that money can buy.'
To vote in such a rigged scheme amounts to tacit consent. If it were not for the presence on the ballot of some propositions deserving our support (placed there by the citizens, of course, not by our cowardly politicians), one would be tempted to ignore the whole sick comedy. But there is one more rule worth considering: when in doubt, when there is little choice, always vote against the incumbent. Keep the rascals rotating. The one thing worse than a hack politician is a hack politician entrenched in power. Power corrupts, and the longer in power, the more corrupt they become."
"I've imagined that maybe at the moment of death, the mind experiences the glory of eternity in that very instant. In that flash between life and death. And then everything shuts off but doesn't know that it shuts off because the last conscious perception was the realization of eternity. Then the body decays and its elements meld with other forms of matter."
"it is as if the intensity of grief fused the distance between you and the dead. or perhaps, in reality, part of one dies. like orpheus, one tried to follow the dead on the beginning of their journey. but one cannot, like orpheus, go all the way, and after a long journey one comes back. if one is lucky, one is reborn."
"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."