Less Personal

"Meditation does not necessarily make the craziness go away; it just makes it less personal. You just have more space and the less you identify with it, the less likely you are to get stuck in it. You 'demagnatize' so that all the stuff can arise in the mind, but the awareness does not implode and contract and become identified with all the stuff in the mind. But the stuff still arises."
- Stephen Levine,


Cooperative Dance

The universe is an inseparable pattern of relationships and the mind is not separate from any other part of the body -- even the simplest cell, and evolution is a cooperative dance in which creativity and constant emergence of change are the driving forces.
Charlene Spretnak


Secret of Aikido

"The secret of Aikido is to harmonize ourselves with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself. He who has gained the secret of Aikido has the universe in himself and can say, " I am the universe." I am never defeated, however fast the enemy may attack...When an enemy tries to fight with him, the universe itself, he has to break the harmony of the universe. Hence at the moment he has the mind to fight with me, he is already defeated.
Winning means winning over the mind of discord in yourself... Then how can you straighten your warped mind, purify your heart, and be harmonized with the activities of all things in nature? You should first make God's heart yours. This is a Great Love Omnipresent in all quarters and in all times of the universe. There is no discord in love. There is no enemy of Love."
- Morehei Uyeshiba


Wisdom Sits in Places

Do you want to have a long life? Well, you will need to have wisdom. You will need to think about your own mind. You will need to work on it. You should start doing this now. You must make your mind smooth. You must make your mind steady. You must make your mind resilient. If your mind is not smooth, you will fail to see danger. If your mind is not steady, you will be easily angered and upset and arrogant and proud. If your mind is not resilient, you will be unclear and easily startled.
Dudley Patterson, Apache Elder, from the book Wisdom Sits in Places by Keith Basso


Das ist komisch

[T]he horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home. … [E]nvision us approaching and pounding on this door, increasingly hard, pounding and pounding, not just wanting admission but needing it; we don’t know what it is but we can feel it, this total desperation to enter, pounding and ramming and kicking. That, finally, the door opens…and it opens outward — we’ve been inside what we wanted all along. Das ist komisch.
Franz Kafka

Empathetic listening

"If you want to interact effectively with me, to influence me -- your spouse, your child, your neighbor, your boss, your coworker your friend -- you first need to understand me. And you can't do that with technique alone … you have to build the skills of empathic listening on a base of character that inspires openness and trust."
(Stephen Covey, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"


Making the Paradigm Shift

These persons of tomorrow are seekers. They wish to find meaning and purpose in life that is greater than the individual, (and) … are examining all the ways by which humankind has found values and forces that extend beyond the individual. … Persons with these characteristics will be at home in a world that consists only of vibrating energy, a world with no solid base, a world of process and change, a world in which the mind, in its larger sense, is both aware of, and creates, the new reality. They will be able to make the paradigm shift. Carl Rogers


For a simple and effective method to clear and focus your mind throughout the day, shift into a receptive listening mode. It is so quick and easy! "The mystery, the essence of all life is not separate from the silent openness of simple listening," says Zen teacher Toni Packer. Simply pause for a few minutes and be mindful of the sounds around you. Notice the phone ringing, horns honking, the sounds of voices, the roar of traffic, the chirping of birds. Let your mind be like a sensitive antenna--a listening, receptive space of awareness in which sounds come and go, rising and falling into silence. Let your listening awareness effortlessly receive sound like an ocean receives rain or earth receives water. Without needing to think about them, just let the sounds come and flow. The moment you notice that you've spun off into thinking, smile to yourself and mentally say: "Listen )))" Notice how all sounds come out of silence--and dissolve back into silence. Notice how your listening mind is like the deep, clear sky which can contain limitless different sounds without any of them getting in the way. Just breathe, listen, and smile for a few deep refreshing moments.
Excerpted from "Wisdom at Work" by Joel & Michelle Levey


Without a Global Revolution

"Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as humans, and the catastrophe towards which this world is headed - be it ecological, social, demographic or a general breakdown of civilization - will be unavoidable. . . The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and in human responsibility."
Vaclev Havel


Giving thanks

Give Thanks! 

When we arise in the morning, 
give thanks for the morning light,
 for our lives and strength.

 Give thanks for our food 
and for the joy of living.

 If we see no reason for giving thanks,
 the fault lies in ourselves.

~ Tecumseh ~

Raise your sails

"The winds of grace are always blowing, but it is up to you to raise your sails." Rabindinath Tagor

The Wise Heart

"The quieting of our mind is a political act. The world does not need more oil or energy or food. It needs less greed, less hatred, less ignorance. Even if we hae inwardly taken on the political bitterness or cynicism that exists externally, we can stop and begin to heal our own suffering, our own fear, with compassion. Through meditation and inner transformation, we can learn to make our own hearts a place of peace and integrity. Each of us knows how to do this. As Gandhi acknowledged, 'I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills." It is our inner nobility and steadiness that we must call on in our personal and collective difficulties.'
- Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart


The Art of Peace

"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter."—Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, from The Art of Peace.

For Heaven and future's sakes

“...But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.”
Robert Frost

The Psyche Needs to Know

In the same way that the body needs food, and not just any kind of food but only that which suits it, the psyche needs to know the meaning of its existence-not just any meaning, but the meaning of those images and ideas which reflect its nature and which originate in the unconscious. C. G. Jung


Loving humility

"At some ideas we stand perplexed, especially at the sight of human sins, uncertain whether to combat it by force or by human love. Always decide, 'I will combat it with human love.' If we make up our minds about that once and for all, we can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is the strongest of all things and there is nothing like it."
--Fyodor Dostoyevsky

What Makes Us Human?

All evolutionary processes depend on information being copied with variation and selection. Most living things on Earth are the product of evolution based on the copying, varying, and selection of genes. However, once humans began to imitate, they provided a new kind of copying and so let loose an evolutionary process based on the copying, varying, and selection of memes. This new evolutionary system co-evolved with the old to turn humans into more than gene machines. We alone on this planet, are also 'meme' machines. We are selective imitation devices in an evolutionary arms race with new replication processes. This is why we are so different from other creatures, this is why we alone have big brains, language, and complex culture.
Susan Blackmore, in "What Makes Us Human?"


A Question of Story

"It is all a question of story, we are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The old story, the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it, is no longer effective. Yet we have not yet learned the new story. Our traditional story of the Universe sustained us for a long period of time. It shaped our emotional attitudes, provided us with life purpose and energized action. It consecrated suffering and integrated knowledge. We awoke in the morning and knew where we were. We could answer the questions of our children. We could identify crime, punish transgressors. Everything was taken care of because the story was there. It did not necessarily make people good, nor did it take away the pains and stupidities of life or make for unfailing warmth in human associations. It did provide a context in which life could function in a meaningful manner.
-- Thomas Berry

Nature's Best Beings

Giving Birth,
Nourishing life,
Shaping things without possessing them,
Serving without expectation of reward,
Leading without dominating:
These are the profound virtues of nature,
And of nature's best beings.
--The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu

Personal identity is not all we are

"We each have a personal identity but often fool ourselves into thinking this is all we are. The ego is a harsh taskmaster who often has us on remote control, unconcerned with life's grand perspective. The inner self can lead us out of the prison of separation. As we come to understand our motives, we gain choice and are not obligated to operate from our prior automatic response patterns." Andrew Beath

When asked

When asked on his deathbed for his advice about life, Aldous Huxley, England's preeminent scholar and wise elder, simply said, "Just try to be a little kinder."