"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Truly, I say to you, as you do to even one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you do it to me."
Jesus in Mathew verse 25
"Each time a man (or a woman) stands up for an ideal, acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he (or she) sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples can create a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
The great Tao flows everywhere. All things are born from it, yet it doesn't create them. It pours itself into its work, yet it makes no claim. It nourishes infinite worlds, yet it doesn't hold on to them. Since it is merged with all things and hidden in their hearts, it can be called humble. Since all things vanish into it and it alone endures, it can be called great. It isn't aware of its greatness; thus it is truly great.
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
- Wendell Berry
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life… I think that what we’re really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we can actually feel the rapture of being alive."
"Our evolution has been an awesome journey of fifteen billion years. Every entity that ever moved or swam or crawled or flew, every being that lived to reproduce itself, all the vast numbers of species now extinct and presently living who have invented the amazing capability which we have inherited as our eyes, our ears, our organs, our very atoms, molecules and cells - all of those preceding us are represented in our emergence now. We bow down in awe and gratitude for the past. Without all that came before us, none of us would be awakening now!"
- Barbara Marx Hubbard
"It is a commonly held view that meditation is a way to shut off the pressures of the world or of your own mind, but this is not an accurate impression. Meditation is neither shutting things out nor off. It is seeing clearly, and deliberately positioning yourself differently in relationship to them."
There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? We appeal as human beings, to human beings: remember your humanity and forget the rest. - Bertrand Russell
"The mental act of focusing attention stabilizes the associated brain circuits...Over time, paying enough attention to any specific brain connection keeps the relevant circuitry open and dynamically alive...The power is in the focus."
- Daniel Siegel, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
"The world is moving very rapidly into the changing that many of us have seen in our visions, and we see that many prophecies have come to fulfillment. Dear friends, we strongly urge you to be as self-reliant as possible... Our vision is of people coming together to learn to share and work with each other and from these permanent alliances people can come together with like hearts and minds."
"The deliberate use of reflective thought or inquiry can reveal a set of unconscious assumptions, habits, and compulsions that we have set in motion. This can be very helpful and can yield great insight. We establish a steady, open mindfulness and then ask: 'What is it that knows this? What is aware of this moment? Who is it that feels pain? Who is it that is having this fantasy? Who is it that is wondering about supper?' At that moment a gap opens up. Milarepa once said something along the lines of, 'When the flow of discursive thinking is broken, the doorway to liberation opens.' In exactly the same way, when we pose that kind of question, it is like an awl being worked into a knotted tangle of identification and loosening its strands. It breaks the habit, the pattern of discursive thinking. When we ask "who" or "what," for a moment the thinking mind trips over its own feet. It fumbles. In that space, before it can piece together an answer or an identity, there is timeless peace and freedom. Through that peaceful space the innate quality of mind, mind-essence, appears. It's only by frustrating our habitual judgments, the partial realities that we have unconsciously determined into existence, that we are forced to loosen our grip and to let go of our misguided way of thinking."
- Achan Amaro Bhikku
Even the Neanderthals with such careful burials understood the visible material world was not the only reality. From the very beginning we invented stories that enabled us to place our lives in a larger setting that revealed an underlying pattern, and gave us a sense that against all the depressing and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value. -Karen Armstrong-
The true essence of humankind is kindness. There are other qualities, which come from education or knowledge, but if one wishes to be a genuine human being and impart satisfying meaning to one’s existence, it is essential to have a good heart. -The 14th Dalai Lama-
The Tao is the center of the universe, the good man's treasure, the bad man's refuge. Honors can be bought with fine words, respect can be won with good deeds; but the Tao is beyond all value, and no one can achieve it. Thus, when a new leader is chosen, don't offer to help him with your wealth or your expertise. Offer instead to teach him about the Tao.
We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away. Men honor what lies within the sphere of their knowledge, but do not realize how dependent they are on what lies beyond it. Flow with whatever may happen and let our minds be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever we are doing. This is the ultimate.
Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Love is the roots that grow towards each other underground, slowly and determined. And when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, you find you are no longer two, but one.
One root, One tree, One Love."- By Louis de Bernieres, from Captain Corelli's Mandolin
As Suzuki Roshi, a great contemporary Zen master,
wrote in his classic book, Zen Mind Beginners Mind:
“When you are practicing Zazen meditation, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears that the something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer . . . Many sensations come, many thoughts and images arise but they are just waves from your own mind. Nothing comes from outside your mind . . . If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called Big Mind.”
A great nation is like a great man. When he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts." (Lao Tse)
When I was born in 1895, reality was everything you could see, smell, touch and hear. The world was thought to be absolutely self-evident. When I was three years old, the electron was discovered. That was the first invisible. It didn't get in any of the newspapers; (nobody thought that would be important!) Today 99.99 percent of everything that affects our lives cannot be detected by human senses. We live in a world of invisibles. The fact that humanity does not understand nature is the prime reason for humanity's failure to exercise its option to attain universally sustainable physical success on this planet I am confident that humanity's survival depends on all our willingness to comprehend feelingly the way nature works."
"Bless those who challenge us to grow, to stretch, to move beyond the knowable,to come back home to our elemental and essential nature. Bless those who challenge us for they remind us of doors we have closed and doors we have yet to open. They are big medicine teachers for us."
Humans are in the midst of a millennium closure. In the next millennium we will shift from the cause and effect pattern recognition paradigms to understanding “how the universe works” in acausal, symmetrical, and synchronous and cognitive terms. Earth People will lead the way because Earth People understand divination; which taps subatomic underpinnings without inevitable illusions, and Earth People provide myths, rituals and secret societies to assist in re-membering the whole picture. Yet, what lies behind us and what lies before us are insignificant compared to what lies within us. What lies within each of us is the awareness of very profound knowledge, which the Holy Ones use in their divinations.
The first photographs of the Earth taken from outer space by a satellite, showing the whole blue orb with spirals and whorls of cloud, was a great landmark for human consciousness. We now know that we live in a system that is enclosed in a certain way; that has its limits, and that we are interdependent with it. -Stewart Brand-
"Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lay defeat and death. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never to allow despair to have the last word."
"Great ideas...come into the world as gently as doves...if we listen attentively, we shall hear, amid the uproar...a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope. Some say that this hope lies in a nation; others, in a man. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished by millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day negate... the crudest implications of history. As a result there shines forth fleetingly the ever threatened truth that each and every one of us,
on the foundation of our own sufferings and joys, builds for all."
-- Albert Camus
Some say that my teaching is nonsense. Others call it lofty but impractical. But to those who have looked inside themselves, this nonsense makes perfect sense. And to those who put it into practice, this loftiness has roots that go deep. I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are our greatest treasures. Simple in actions and in thoughts, we return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, we accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward ourselves, we reconcile all beings in the world.
"The unhappiness and suffering that we experience arise through our inability to control our own minds,and the happiness that we wish to achieve will only be achieved by learning to control our minds. Physics has provided the basis for the design of the fission and fusion bombs, biology -- germ warfare, chemistry -- nerve gas. And all of them have helped bring us to the brink of doom. But they still do not provide keys to ultimate power. If we do destroy ourselves, it will be the minds of human beings,
the unhealthy emotions of individuals, the fear, the hate, the jealousy and the greed of individuals that will trigger these horrors. . . . Obviously these emotions can only be controlled, reshaped and rechanneled by each individual with techniques developed from a comprehensive, precise and effective Inner Science. For this reason, the Inner Scientist focuses on the language of "mind", and on its understanding and control. As the world knows, our outer sciences display an admirable determination to deal with each problem in a rigorous, rational and technically exacting manner. We can apply this same determination to a renewed study of the intangibles of the mind, even the religious territory of the spirit and soul. If we do so with fearless persistence, then there is absolutely no question that we can succeed in triumphing over the great danger of global holocaust. We can use Inner Science to educate each individual to understand ourselves, to control our negative emotions and distorted notions, and to cultivate our highest potentials of love and wisdom. And we can keep improving our Outer Sciences to better understand, control and beautify the environment for the greater benefit of all beings. There is an enormous amount of work to be done. Let us begin it here and now."
The Dalai Lama at Harvard
"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."
-Uyeshiba Sensai, founder of Aikido
Soul awakens as things seem to fall apart and the soul would have us each find our path in life even as the world around becomes more troubled. The soul is the light inside the dark, the hidden quintessence secretly holding things together inside each of us and within the world.