"Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. I mean do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage. How are we to be patient in dealing with our neighbor's faults if we are impatient in dealing with our own? He who is fretted by his own failings will not correct them. All profitable correction comes from a calm, peaceful mind."
--St. Francis de Sales
"A leader is a person who has an unusual degree of power to project on other people his or her shadow or his or her light. A leader is a person who has an unusual degree of power to create the conditions under which other people must live and move and have their being-conditions that can either be as illuminating as heaven or as shadowy as hell. A leader is a person who must take special responsibility for what's going on inside him or her self, inside his or her consciousness, lest the act of leadership create more harm than good. The problem is that people rise to leadership in our society by a tendency towards extroversion, which means a tendency to ignore what is going on inside themselves. Leaders rise to power in our society by operating very competently and effectively in the external world, sometimes at the cost of internal awareness. I've looked at some training programs for leaders. I'm discouraged by how often they focus on the development of skills to manipulate the external world rather than the skills necessary to go inward and make the inner journey."
Parker Palmer: founder and senior partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal.
“I then went to sit on a solitary wooden bridge and meditated thre every day. At first, I heard the stream flowing very clearly, but as time passed I could hear the sound only if I willed it. If I stirred my mind, I could hear it, but if I kept my mind still I head nothing. One day, while sitting on the bridge, I suddenly felt that I had no body. It had vanished, together with the sound around me. Since then I have never been disturbed by any sound. My daily food was a gruel of bran, weeds, and rise water. When I first came to the mountain someone had given me three packs of rice, which lasted for more than six months. One day, after having my gruel, I took a walk. Suddenly I stood still, filled with the realization that I had no body and no mind. All I could see was one great illuminating Whole, omnipresent, perfect, lucid, and serene. It was like an all-embracing mirror from which the mountains and rivers of the earth were projected as reflections. When I awoke from this experience, I felt as “clear-and-transparent” as though my body and mind did not exist at all. From then on, both inward and outward experience became lucidly clear. Sounds, voices, visions, scenes, forms, and objects were no longer hindrances. All my former doubts dissolved into nothing. When I returned to my kitchen, I found the cauldron covered with dust. Many days had passed during my experience, of which I, being alone, was unaware.”
"I don't think that faith, whatever you're being faithful about, really can be scientifically explained. And I don't want to explain this whole life business through truth, science. There's so much mystery. There's so much awe. I mean, what is it that make the chimpanzees do these spectacular displays, rain dances, I call them, when-- waterfall dances at the foot of this waterfall. And then sit in the spray and watch the water that's always coming and always going and always here. It's wonder. It's awe. And if they had the same kind of language that we have, I suspect that would turn into some kind of animistic religion."
"Whatever your age, your upbringing, or your education, what you are made of is mostly unused potential. It is your evolutionary destiny to use what is unused, to learn and keep on learning for as long as you live. To choose this destiny, to walk the path of mastery, isn't always easy, but it is the ultimate human adventure. Destinations will appear in the distance, will be achieved and left behind, and still the path will continue. It will never end."
I was there, and saw the half-ton rope
of human hair coiled like a python,
glinting. I don’t know when the war was fought,
why, or where it stopped, but believe
in the mighty engine perspiring behind the screen
and as much as I can
in the notion of good. I find less to praise.
I’ve been to the Sinai, to Kiyomizu-dera.
I went to Hiroshima and didn’t cry. I know pretty well
what my promises are worth,
know the worth of material things.
Just this summer I heard a raven sing
and thought of a stone rebounding
down a bottomless jar.
From Charms Against Lightning
by James Arthur
"That oneness is the true feeling of who we are. We are not the personality, or any particular aspect of essence. We are the whole thing, including emptiness and space, and we experience everything in complete harmony. When this happens, there is a sense of intimacy, an exquisite, personal intimacy, nothing excluded, nothing rejected. We also feel that we are both a person and a universal existence, that what is personal and what is universal are completely harmonious and can coexist. When our whole organism is in harmony on all its levels, there is no conflict. Love emanates from us like the scent from a rose."