"From a hidden place, unite with your enemies from the inside, fill the inner void. That makes them swell outwardly and fall out of rhythm; instead of progressing, step by step, they stop and start harshly, out of time with you. Bring yourself back into rhythm within. Find the moment that mates with theirs--like two lovers creating life from the dust. Do this work in secret, so they don't know. This kind of love creates, it doesn't emote."
--Neil Douglas-Klotz (translation from the Aramaic of Jesus' words "Love your Enemies")
"At present, people create barriers between each other by their fragmentary thought. Each one operates separately. When these barriers have dissolved, then there arises one mind, where they are all one unit, but each person also retains his or her own individual awareness. That one mind will still exist even when they separate, and when they come together, it will be as if they hadn't separated. It's actually a single intelligence that works with people who are moving in relationship with one another. . . . If you had a number of people who really pulled together and worked together in this way, it would be remarkable. They would stand out so much that everyone would know they were different."
~David Bohm (physicist, philosopher, & mystic)
"Both ancient teachings and modern medical research agree that one of the quickest, most direct routes to restoring harmony and balance in our lives is to foster gratitude and appreciation. The moment you shift from a mindstate of negativity or judgment to one of appreciation, there are immediate effects at many levels of your being: brain function becomes more balanced, harmonized, and supple; your heart begins to pump in a much more coherent and harmoniously balanced rhythm; and biochemical changes trigger a host of healthful balancing reactions throughout your body.
In the healing ways of indigenous people, the restorative power of gratitude was well understood. Giving thanks was the first step for many indigenous communities to any meeting, celebration, or gathering. A heart filled with gratitude generates actions and prayers that complete the circle between the gift offered to us, the receiver of the gift, and the sacred source of the gift. To offer prayers of thanksgiving is a gesture of rejoicing in discovering the many gifts that life brings us.
It is said "First in the mind, then in the body." The abdomen relaxes, then the Qi sinks into the bones. The spirit is relaxed, and the body calm. It is always in the mind. Being able to breath properly leads to agility. The softest will then become the strongest.
-Wu Yu-hsiang, ca. 1850
"Our true nature is far more ancient and encompassing than the separate self defined by habit and society. We are as intrinsic to our living world as the rivers and trees, woven of the same intricate flows of matter/energy and mind. Having evolved us into self-reflexive consciousness, the world can now know itself through us, behold its own majesty, tell its own stories-and also respond to its own suffering."
--Joanna Macy - see her wonderful books including World as Love, World as Self - and - Widening Circles
"...our freedom is never in question. We're born free. The true nature of our mind is enlightened wisdom and compassion. Our mind is always brilliant awake and aware. Nevertheless, we're often plagued by painful thoughts and the emotional unrest that goes with them. We live in states of confusion and fear from which we see no escape. Our problem is that we don't see who we truly are at the deepest level. We trust the reality we see before our eyes and accept its validity until something comes along-an illness, accident, or disappointment-to disillusion us. Then we might be ready to question our beliefs and start searching for a more meaningful and lasting road to freedom.
On this road, what we free ourselves from is illusion, and what frees us from illusion is the discovery of truth. To make that discovery, we need to enlist the powerful intelligence of our own awake mind and turn it toward our goal of exposing, opposing, and overcoming deception. That is the essence and mission of 'rebel Buddha;: to free us from the illusions we create by ourselves, about ourselves, and from those that masquerade as reality in our cultural and religious institutions."
-- Punlop Rinpoche in his wonderful new book - Rebel Buddha
"Since Universe is Energy, part of the process of understanding, at least as I experience it, is to learn to 'see' flows of energy and specificities of energy. Both are necessary. Because, you see, Universe is both Whole and Specific. Western science is beginning to understand this through explorations about particle and wave. Both particle/particularity/specificity of Universe and the wave/flow of Universe were aspects I was encouraged as a child to apprehend and understand. I was asked to 'see' the dancing points of light and then to apprehend the shift from location to flow. Much of shamanic practice has to do with developing the ability to enter and use this shift."
-- Paula Underwood Spensor, describing her childhood training in the Indigenous wisdom of the Oneida tradition.
"Gaia's main problems are not industrialization, ozone depletion, over-population, or resource depletion. Gaia's main problem is the lack of mutual understanding and mutual agreement ... about how to proceed with those problems. We cannot reign in industry if we cannot reach mutual understanding and mutual agreement based on a worldcentric moral perspective concerning the global commons. And we reach that worldcentric moral perspective through a difficult and laborious process of interior growth and transcendence." - Ken Wilber
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours. You will not find me in stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor synagogues, not in cathedrals; Not in masses, nor kirtan, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables. When you really look for me, you will see me instantly - you will find me in the tiniest house of time. What is God? It is the breath inside the breath.
"I had an experience I can't prove, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real. It was part of something wonderful, something that changed me forever; a vision of the Universe that tells us undeniably how tiny, and insignificant, and how rare and precioius we all are. A vision that tells us we belong to something that is greater than ourselves. That we are not, that none of us, are alone."
"Most everybody is overwhelmed. And they respond with various defense mechanisms. Denial, isolation, increased greed (I'll get it while I can), righteousness (It's their own fault). There are a whole set of mechanisms that people use to keep from being open, because the quality of the human heart uncontrolled by the mind is that it will give away everything. . . We have to find ways to exercise the compassion of our hearts, and at the same moment learn how to know what the limits are and be able to say no without guilt."
--- Ram Dass -see "How Can I Help" by Paul Gorman and Ram Das for many more inspirations.
"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacriﬁce, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places--and there are so many--where people have behaved magniﬁcently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an inﬁnite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in deﬁance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
Howard Zinn, from "The Optimism of Uncertainty"
"In ancient times, various holistic sciences were developed by highly evolved beings to enable their own evolution and that of others. These subtle arts were created through the linking of individual minds with the universal mind. They are still taught by traditional teachers to those who display virtue and desire to assist others. The student who seeks our and studies these teachings furthers the evolution of mankind as well as her own spiritual unfolding. The student who ignores them hinders the development of all beings."
Lau Tzu, Inner Chapters, Hua Hu Ching, #54
This from Chapter Five of the Koran: For each of you we have appointed a law and a way. And if God had willed it, he would have made you one nation. But He willed it otherwise, that He may put you to the test in what He has given you. So, vie with one another in good works; unto God will we be brought back, and He will inform us about that wherein we differed.
"Nature ever flows, stands never still. Motion or change is her mode of existence. The poetic eye sees in Man the Brother of the River and in Woman the Sister of the River. Their life is always transitions. Hard blockheads only drive nails all the time; forever... fixing. Heroes do not fix, but flow, bend forward ever and invent a resource for every moment."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Do you wish to free yourself of mental and emotional knots and become one with the Tao? If so, there are two paths available to you. The first is the path of acceptance. Affirm everyone and everything. Freely extend your goodwill and virtue in every direction, regardless of circumstances. Embrace all things as part of the Harmonious Oneness, and then you will begin to perceive it. The second path is that of denial. Recognize that everything you see and think is a falsehood, an illusion, a veil over the truth. Peel all the veils away, and you will arrive at the Oneness. Though the paths are entirely different, they will deliver you to the same place: Spontaneous awareness of the great Oneness. Once you arrive there, remember: it isn't necessary to struggle to maintain unity with it. All you have to do is participate in it."
Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tsu (Trans. Brian Walker)
“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Beyond its scientific impact and its technological applications, clear evidence of an active role of consciousness in the establishment of reality holds sweeping implications for our view of ourselves, our relationship to others, and to the cosmos in which we exist. These in turn must inevitably impact our values, our priorities, our sense of responsibility, and our style of life. Integration of these changes across society can lead to a substantially superior cultural ethic, wherein the long-estranged siblings of science and spirit, of analysis and aesthetics, of intellect and intuition, and many other subjective and objective aspects of human experience will be productively reunited."
Robert G. Jahn, Dean of the Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Science
"In the spacious mirror of reflective consciousness we begin to catch glimpses of the unity of the interwoven fabric of the cosmos and our intimate participation within the living web of existence. No longer is reality broken into relativistic islands of pieces. If only for a brief moment at a time, existence is glimpsed and known as a seamless totality. To explore our gradual awakening to the aliveness and unity of the universe ... awakens the intuition that a living presence permeates the universe."
--Duane Elgin - in The Living Universe
Each one of us is so amazing. Right now we have in us one quadrillion cells. That's one hundred trillion times one thousand. About nine hundred trillion of those cells are not human. They're virus, bacteria, and microorganisms. What makes us human, ironically, is not human. If they were not there we would rot like a piece of fruit in a few days. So be grateful for those free riders. But I want you to experience something, because every second in our bodies, one septillion things are happening. That's a one with 24 zeros. Another way to imagine one septillion is it's ten times more than all the stars and planets in the known universe. Now, let me ask a question: Can you feel it? Seriously. One septillion interactions. It's called life. You can feel it. Except we talk and we get busy and we ignore that feeling.
I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got, but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see - and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look!
Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty - beneath its covering - that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.
And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.
(Fra Giovanni 1513
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
(Rainier Maria Rilke)
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. -Rumi
"Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites - polar opposites - so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love. We've got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love. It is precisely this collision of immoral power with powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our time."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I have no doubt whatever that most people live whether physically, intellectually, or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness. . . Much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. . .We all have reservoirs of life to draw upon, of which we do not dream!"
"Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself. To expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts toward others, I am not going to get angry, or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can."
The Dalai Lama
"If [man] thinks of the totality as constituted of independentfragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overallwhole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow anorderly action within the whole."
David Bohm, in Wholeness and the Implicate Order
"To be a spiritual warrior means to develop a special kind of courage, one that is innately intelligent, gentle, and fearless. Spiritual warriors can still be frightened, but even so they are courageous enough to taste suffering, to relate clearly to their fundamental fear, and to draw out without evasion the lessons from difficulties."
- Sogyal Rinpoche
"People of today relate to time in a way that is surely unique in our history. The technologies and economic forces unleashed by Industrial Growth Society radically alter our experience of time. It is like being trapped in an ever-shrinking box, in which we race on a treadmill. The economy and its technologies depend on decisions made at lighting speed for short-term goals, cutting us off from nature's rhythms and from the past and future, as well. Marooned in the present, we are progressively blinded to the sheer ongoingness of time. Both the company of our ancestors and the claims of our descendants become less and less real to us....To make the transition to a life-sustaining society ...we need to attune to longer, ecological rhythms and nourish a strong, felt connection with past and future generations..."
There do in fact exist creators, seers, sages, saints, shakers, and movers ... even if they are uncommon and do not come by the dozen. And yet these very same people can be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, and/or depressed. To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it.
"No, sitting for hours on end is not necessary. Some people think that the longer you can sit, the wiser you must be. I have seen chickens sit on their nests for days on end! Wisdom comes from being mindful in all postures. Your practice should begin as you awaken in the morning. It should continue until you fail asleep. Don't be concerned about how long you can sit. What is important is only that you keep watchful whether you are working or sitting or. . . Each person has his own natural pace. Some of you will die at age fifty, some at age sixty-five, and some at age ninety. So, too, your practice will not be all identical. Don't think or worry about this. Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become quieter and quieter in any surroundings. It will become still like a clear forest pool. Then all kinds of wonderful and rare animals will come to drink at the pool. You will see clearly the nature of all things in the world. You will see many wonderful and strange things come and go. But you will be still. Problems will arise and you will see through them immediately."
Ven. Ajahn Chah
"For me to be active in the cause of the people and of the earth and just to be - is to be alive. There is no compartmentalization. It's all one thing. It's not like I just exist to go into a little room and write. People have that image of writers, that that's how we live, but it's not really accurate, not the kind of writing that I do. I know that what I write has a purpose, even if it's just for me, if I'm just trying to lead myself out of a kind of darkness. So it broadens everything, being active in the world. You see the world. It's like, you know, I'm learning to paint now, and what I realize, learning to paint, is that I'm learning to see. And activism is like that. When you are active, and you must know this so well, that the more you are active, the more you see, the more you go to see. You know, you are curious. One thing leads to another thing, and it gets deeper and deeper, too. And there's no end to it."
"When the heart is completely liberated, it's impossible to deliberately harm another being. It's impossible to act acquisitively. It's impossible to take advantage of another being sexually or use your sense world indulgently. It is simply impossible. You can't lie or use speech in a harmful or deceitful way. It's as if the force of spiritual gravity won't allow it. There's nothing there that could cause you to bend the truth. . . Goodness feels good because the attitude resonates with reality. Lying and harming feel bad because they are dissonant with that reality of what we are. It's as simple as that."
"The Lakota notion of living creatures is that trees, buffalo and man are temporary energy swirls, turbulent patterns...You find that perception registered so many ways in archaic and primitive lore. I say that it is probably the most basic insight into the nature of things, and that our more common, recent Occidental view of the universe as consisting of fixed things is out of the main stream, a deviation from basic human perception."
-- Gary Snyder
Today's problems come from yesterday's solutions The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back Behavior grows worse before it grows better The easy way out usually leads back in The cure can be worse than the disease Faster is slower Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space Small changes can produce big results--but the areas of highest leverage are the least obvious
from The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge
"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of wo/men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe, and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of women."