"The word EMPATHY is derived from the ancient Greek empatheia, which was formed from the words for in and pathos. A century ago, German philosophers borrowed empatheia to create the German word Einf├╝hlung, “feeling into,” which was later translated into the English word empathy. Interpersonal empathy describes the capacity that nearly all of us have to include another being into our awareness in a way that enables us to sense what they might be experiencing physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Empathy, literally taken, is feeling into another, while compassion is feeling for another, accompanied by the aspiration to take action that benefits the other. Empathy is often a precursor to compassion and part of compassion, but it is not compassion. Whereas empathy is a good thing in the right dose, I believe that we cannot overdose on compassion."

- Joan Halifax



“What you are is what you have been.
What you will be is what you do now.
If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition.  
If you want to know your future,
Look at your present actions.”  
The Buddha




“My presence acted as a check
upon petty bickerings.” ~ Gandhi
"There is a famous sutra in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a classic text on meditation and its effects from somewhere around the Second Century BCE, that states (and I paraphrase): 'In the presence of one in whom nonviolence is established, hostility drops away' (III.35). That does not mean, of course, that all we have to do to resolve a conflict is show up—or even all that Gandhi had to do. But it does mean, as Gandhi said, that there is a 'living force' within us which is 'invisible in its effects'
but always works to bring peace to those around us,
to the extent that we have, as the sutra says,
managed to establish nonviolence within us.
Modern science is beginning to find ways to measure
at least the effects of this force and the physical mechanisms within us that respond to it."



“Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.”
“In silence man can most readily preserve his integrity.”
(Meister Eckhardt)
“There is in all visible things ... a hidden wholeness which is silent." (Thomas Merton) 

Be tolerant


True Name

Call Me By My True Names

"Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow— 
even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: every second I am arriving to be a bud
on a Spring branch, 
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings, 
learning to sing in my new nest, 
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, 
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, to fear and to hope. 
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive.
I am a mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river. 
And I am the bird that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.
I am a frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond. 
And I am the grass-snake that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, 
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks. 
And I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, 
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped
by a sea pirate.
And I am also the pirate, my heart not yet capable 
of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands. And I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my people dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.
My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom
all over the Earth. 
My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names, 
so I can wake up 
and the door of my heart could be left open,
the door of compassion."

- Thich Nhat Hanh


Gramma's Hands

"More than almost anything else, each of us yearns to belong. Within each human body is this deep, raw, aching desire.
Here is what makes white-body supremacy so pervasive
and so intractable: Beneath all the exclusion and constriction and trauma, white-body supremacy offers the white body a sense of belonging...We will not end white-body supremacy -- or any form of human evil -- by trying to tear it to pieces. Instead, we can offer people better ways to belong
and better things to belong to."

Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother's Hands.



Kabir says

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think . . . and think . . . while you are alive. 
What you call “salvation” belongs to the time before death.
If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think ghosts will do it after?
The idea that the soul will rejoin with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten—
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now,
in the next life you will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!
Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that
does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.

 ~~ Kabir


Daily Prayer

“As long as space endures,
As long as sentient beings remain,
Until then, may I too remain,
And dispel the miseries of the world.”
~ Shantideva, 8th Century

(a daily prayer of the Dalai Lama)