~ Featured Quote ~

It may take a little self-discipline.
Be simple, be kind, stay rested.
Attend to your inner health and happiness.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

More Inspiration

“On Healing”

Everything pleasing in Nature has healing power. If a child is hurt, healing power is on the lap of mother. A good, pleasing movie is healing when one is fatigued. Everything charming in Nature has healing power. But Transcendental Meditation has the greatest healing power because it heals the mind, the body, and the soul all at once. All life must be healed, not just a part. All life must be soothed, must be harmonious.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Don’t chase after your fulfillment. The search for the highest value, the search for truth.. for answers about life, are not to be found on the outside, but inside—within our Self.

Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR


Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

Henry David Thoreau


“The Poet”

There is a Poet who lives in me
Sonnets sweet with melodies
She whispers in my ears.

I let her. I love her. For when she comes
I feel complete.

She rhythms and rhymes inside me
Sometimes flowing so fast
I must stop and remember to breathe
As I race for the words to paper.

She knows me.
And I her.
She trusts me.
And I her.

Her Source is Divinity –
Pure and True.
Like a Child’s voice to the ears
Of one who loves it.

She’s with me now,
And I am grateful.

“Graciousness is your middle name,” she says.

And I listen, and I write
Transfixed in her beauty as She pours herself into my pen.

She whispers love into me.

“Are you an Angel?” I ask,

“Yes,” she says.

“Aren’t you All?”

“Aren’t we All?”

Edie Allen


“Still Here”

I have been scarred and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me,
Sun has baked me,

Looks like between ’em they done
Tried to make me

Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’-
But I don’t care!

Langston Hughes


You are the sky. The rest is just weather.

Pema Chodron


Happiness and freedom begin with one principle: Some things are within your control and some are not.

Epictetus, Stoic philosopher


“Autumn River Song”

The moon shimmers in green water.
White herons fly through the moonlight.

The young man hears a girl gathering water-chestnuts:
into the night, singing, they paddle home together.

Li T’ai-Po


The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.

Leo Tolstoy


One minute of patience, ten years of peace.

Greek proverb


One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.

Chinese Proverb


“Introduction to Poetry”

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Billy Collins, US Poet Laureate


“One Art”

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop


The Early Morning

The moon on the one hand, the dawn on the other:
The moon is my sister, the dawn is my brother.
The moon on my left and the dawn on my right.
My brother, good morning: my sister, good night.

Hilaire Belloc (July 27, 1870–July 16, 1953), one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century.


“The Peace of Wild Things”

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


“Honey, I Love”

I love
I love a lot of things, a whole lot of things
Like

My cousin comes to visit and you know he’s from the South
‘Cause every word he says just kind of slides out of his mouth
I like the way he whistles and I like the way he walks
But honey, let me tell you that I LOVE the way he talks
I love the way my cousin talks

and
The day is hot and icky and the sun sticks to my skin
Mr. Davis turns the hose on, everybody jumps right in
The water stings my stomach and I feel so nice and cool
Honey, let me tell you that I LOVE a flying pool
I love to feel a flying pool

and
My uncle’s car is crowded and there’s lots of food to eat
We’re going down the country where the church folks like to meet
I’m looking out the window at the cows and trees outside
Honey, let me tell you that I LOVE to take a ride
I love to take a family ride

and
It’s not so late at night, but still I’m lying in my bed
I guess I need my rest, at least that’s what my mama said
She told me not to cry ’cause she don’t want to hear a peep
Honey, let me tell you I DON’T LOVE to go to sleep
I do not love to go to sleep

But I love
I love a lot of things, a whole lot of things
And honey,
I love you, too.

I love
I love a lot of things
A whole lot of things
And honey,
I love ME, too

Eloise Greenfield, American children’s book and biography author and poet, famous for her descriptive, rhythmic style and positive portrayal of the African-American experience.


“Beauty In Nature”

a sonnet in every tree,
a tale in every lifetime
it’s just for you to see…

there’s a lyric in every brook
as it rushes over rocks,
there’s an ode in every nuance,
as loves wonder unlocks,

there’s rhythm in every sound,
every beating of a heart,
there’s poetry in every union
and every couple who are apart

and just as there is wonder
in every new life created
there is sadness and regret,
for the unsaid and unfeted

just listen for the music
that your ears cannot hear,
just strain yourself for the melody
that’s so far and yet so near

the wonder of the creator,
the magic of the divine
is there to feel, for all of us,
to soon be yours and mine

Arti Chopra


Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself.
You may not be perfect, but you are all you’ve got to work with.
The process of becoming who you will be begins first with the
total acceptance of who you are.

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana


“The Naming Of Cats”

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey–
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter–
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover–
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

T. S. Eliot


“The Good News”

They don’t publish
the good news.
The good news is published
by us.
We have a special edition every moment,
and we need you to read it.
The good news is that you are alive,
and the linden tree is still there,
standing firm in the harsh Winter.
The good news is that you have wonderful eyes
to touch the blue sky.
The good news is that your child is there before you,
and your arms are available:
hugging is possible.
They only print what is wrong.
Look at each of our special editions.
We always offer the things that are not wrong.
We want you to benefit from them
and help protect them.
The dandelion is there by the sidewalk,
smiling its wondrous smile,
singing the song of eternity.
Listen! You have ears that can hear it.
Bow your head.
Listen to it.
Leave behind the world of sorrow
and preoccupation
and get free.
The latest good news
is that you can do it.

Thich Nhat Hanh


If I asked you to name all the things you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?

Sana Dabbas


“All Nature Has A Feeling”

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There’s nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal is its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.

John Clare (1783-1864)


“My Soul Has A Hat”

I counted my years and realized that I have less time to live by, than I have lived so far.

I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first, he ate them with pleasure but when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.

I have no time for endless meetings where the statutes, rules, procedures and internal regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done.

I no longer have the patience to stand absurd people who, despite their chronological age, have not grown up.

My time is too short: I want the essence; my spirit is in a hurry. I do not have much candy in the package anymore.

I want to live next to humans, very realistic people who know how to laugh at their mistakes and who are not inflated by their own triumphs and who take responsibility for their actions. In this way, human dignity is defended and we live in truth and honesty.

It is the essentials that make life useful.

I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.

Yes, I’m in a hurry. I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.

I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts. I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far.

My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

We have two lives and the second begins when you realize you only have one.

Mario de Andrade (1893-1945), Poet, novelist, essayist and musicologist. He was one of the founders of Brazilian modernism.


Meditation practice is like piano scales, basketball drills, ballroom dance class. Practice requires discipline; it can be tedious; it is necessary. After you have practiced enough, you become more skilled at the art form itself. You do not practice to become a great scale player or drill champion. You practice to become a musician or athlete. Likewise, one does not practice meditation to become a great meditator. We meditate to wake up and live, to become skilled at the art of living.

Elizabeth Lesser, The Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure


“The Breeze at Dawn”

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)


“This Morning I Pray for My Enemies”

And whom do I call my enemy?
An enemy must be worthy of engagement.
I turn in the direction of the sun and keep walking.
It’s the heart that asks the question, not my furious mind.
The heart is the smaller cousin of the sun.
It sees and knows everything.
It hears the gnashing even as it hears the blessing.
The door to the mind should only open from the heart.
An enemy who gets in, risks the danger of becoming a friend.

Joy Harjo


“Morning Poem”

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches–
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead–
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging–

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted–

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly,
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

Mary Oliver


“Will There Really Be a Morning?”

Will there really be a “Morning”?
Is there such a thing as “Day”?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?
Has it feet like Water lilies?
Has it feathers like a Bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I have never heard?
Oh some Scholar! Oh some Sailor!
Oh some Wise Men from the skies!
Please to tell a little Pilgrim
Where the place called “Morning” lies!

Emily Dickinson


“Railway Carriage”

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,

Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;

And charging along like troops in a battle,

All through the meadows the horses and cattle:

All of the sights of the hill and the plain

Fly as thick as driving rain;

And ever again, in the wink of an eye,

Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,

All by himself and gathering brambles;

Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;

And there is the green for stringing the daisies!

Here is a cart run away in the road

Lumping along with man and load;

And here is a mill and there is a river; 

Each a glimpse and gone forever!

Robert Louis Stevenson


Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.

Joseph Campbell


“Our True Heritage”

The cosmos is filled with precious gems.
I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning.
Each moment you are alive is a gem,
shining through and containing earth and sky,
water and clouds.
It needs you to breathe gently
for the miracles to be displayed.
Suddenly you hear the birds singing,
the pines chanting,
see the flowers blooming,
the blue sky,
the white clouds,
the smile and the marvelous look
of your beloved.
You, the richest person on Earth,
who have been going around begging for a living,
stop being the destitute child.
Come back and claim your heritage.
We should enjoy our happiness
and offer it to everyone.
Cherish this very moment.
Let go of the stream of distress
and embrace life fully in your arms.

Thích Nhất Hạnh


In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.

Not many years ago, it was access to information and movement that seemed our greatest luxury; nowadays it’s often freedom from information, the chance to sit still, that feels like the ultimate prize.

Pico IyerThe Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere


“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”

“’Hope’” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
 
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
 
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Emily Dickinson


Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.

Alphonse Karr


Don’t meditate to fix yourself, to improve yourself, to redeem yourself; rather, do it as an act of love, of deep warm friendship to yourself. In this way there is no longer any need for the subtle aggression of self-improvement, for the endless guilt of not doing enough. It offers the possibility of an end to the ceaseless round of trying so hard that wraps so many people’s lives in a knot. Instead there is now meditation as an act of love. How endlessly delightful and encouraging.

Bob Sharples


And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food.  Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary.  Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.

Ezekiel 47:12


“Beannacht”
 
On the day when
the weight deadens on your shoulders
and you stumble, 
may the clay dance
to balance you.
 
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss 
gets into you,
may a flock of colours, 
indigo, red, green
and azure blue,
come to awaken in you 
a meadow of delight.
 
When the canvas frays
in the currach (kerach) of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters 
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
 
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of the light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection the ancestors be yours. 
 
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life. 
 
John O’Donohue


The oak tree
loves patience,
the mountain is
still looking,
as it has for centuries,
for a word to say about
the gradual way it
slides itself
back to the
world below
to begin again,
in another life,
to be fertile.
When the wind blows
the grass
whistles and whispers
in myths and riddles
and not in our language
but one far older.
The sea is the sea is
always the sea.
These things 
you can count on
as you walk about the world
happy or sad,
talky or silent, making
weapons, love, poems.
The briefest of fires.

Mary Oliver


I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others—rather than to be false and to incur my own abhorrence.

Frederick Douglass


I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others—rather than to be false and to incur my own abhorrence.

Frederick Douglass


Love is taking a few steps backward, maybe even more, to give way to the happiness of the person you love.

Winnie the Pooh


I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. Knowing what must be done does away with fear.

Rosa Parks


You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice,
it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Franz Kafka


To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent
people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest
critics and endure the betrayal of false
friends; to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others,
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social
condition; To know even one life has
breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Just as life is made up of day and night, and song is made up of music and silence, friendships, because they are of this world, are also made up of times of being in touch and spaces in-between. Being human, we sometimes fill these spaces with worry, or we imagine the silence is some form of punishment, or we internalize the time we are not in touch with a loved one as some unexpressed change of heart. Our minds work very hard to make something out of nothing. We can perceive silence as rejection in an instant, and then build a cold castle on that tiny imagined brick. The only release from the tensions we weave around nothing is to remain a creature of the heart. By giving voice to the river of feelings as they flow through and through, we can stay clear and open. In daily terms, we call this checking in with each other, though most of us reduce this to a grocery list: How are you today? Do you need any milk? Eggs? Juice? Toilet paper? Though we can help each other survive with such outer kindnesses, we help each other thrive when the checking in with each other comes from a list of inner kindnesses: How are you today? Do you need any affirmation? Clarity? Support? Understanding? When we ask these deeper questions directly, we wipe the mind clean of its misperceptions. Just as we must dust our belongings from time to time, we must wipe away what covers us when we are apart.

Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life you Want by Being Present to the Life You Have


Love is not blind – it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.

Rabbi Julius Gordon


Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

Oscar Wilde


Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.

Oscar Wilde


If you feel pain, you’re alive.

If you feel other people’s pain, you’re a human being.

Leo Tolstoy


“Who You Are”

Who you are is so much more than what you do. The essence, shining through the heart, soul, and center, the bare and bold truth of you does not lie in your to-do list. You are not just at the surface of your skin, not just the impulse to arrange the muscles of your face into a smile or a frown, not just boundless energy, or bone wearying fatigue. Delve deeper. You are divinity; the vast and open sky of spirit. It’s the light of God, the ember at your core, the passion and the presence, the timeless, deathless essence of you that reaches out and touches me. Who you are transcends fear and turns suffering into liberation. Who you are is love.

Danna Faulds


Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.

A. A. Milne (1882-1956), creator of Winnie the Pooh


What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.

A. A. Milne


“Merry Autumn”

It’s all a farce,—these tales they tell
About the breezes sighing,
And moans astir o’er field and dell,
Because the year is dying.

Such principles are most absurd,—
I care not who first taught ’em;
There’s nothing known to beast or bird
To make a solemn autumn.

In solemn times, when grief holds sway
With countenance distressing,
You’ll note the more of black and gray
Will then be used in dressing.

Now purple tints are all around;
The sky is blue and mellow;
And e’en the grasses turn the ground
From modest green to yellow.

The seed burs all with laughter crack
On featherweed and jimson;
And leaves that should be dressed in black
Are all decked out in crimson.

A butterfly goes winging by;
A singing bird comes after;
And Nature, all from earth to sky,
Is bubbling o’er with laughter.

The ripples wimple on the rills,
Like sparkling little lasses;
The sunlight runs along the hills,
And laughs among the grasses.

The earth is just so full of fun
It really can’t contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.

Don’t talk to me of solemn days
In autumn’s time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.

Why, it’s the climax of the year,—
The highest time of living!—
Till naturally its bursting cheer
Just melts into thanksgiving.

Paul Laurence Dunbar
Note: Dunbar was born on June 27, 1872 to two formerly enslaved people from Kentucky. He became one of the first influential Black poets in American literature.


That’s what I consider true generosity: You give your all and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.

Simone de Beauvoir


You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.

Jan Glidewell


“Red Brocade”

The Arabs used to say,
When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way, he’ll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.

Let’s go back to that.
Rice? Pine nuts?
Here, take the red brocade pillow.
My child will serve water
to your horse.

No, I was not busy when you came!
I was not preparing to be busy.
That’s the armor everyone put on
to pretend they had a purpose
in the world.

I refuse to be claimed.
Your plate is waiting.
We will snip fresh mint
into your tea.

Naomi Shihab Nye


But listen to me. For one moment
quit being sad. Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
around you.

Rumi


“Untamed”

I can feel everything and survive. What I thought would kill me, didn’t. Every time I said to myself: I can’t take this anymore — I was wrong. The truth was that I could and did take it all — and I kept surviving. Surviving again and again made me less afraid of myself, of other people, of life. I learned that I’d never be free from pain but I could be free from the fear of pain, and that was enough.

Glennon Doyle


“When Giving Is All We Have”

One river gives
Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

Alberto Ríos


True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost.

Arthur Ashe


Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Arthur Ashe


“Move Eastward, Happy Earth”

Move eastward, happy earth, and leave
Your orange sunset waning slow;
From fringes of the faded eve,
O, happy planet, eastward go;
Till over thy dark shoulder glow
Thy silver sister-world, and rise
To glass herself in dewy eyes
That watch me from the glen below.

Ah, bear me with thee, smoothly born,
Dip forward under starry light,
And move me to my marriage-morn,
And round again to happy night.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Be glad of life
because it gives you the chance
to love and to work and to play
and to look up at the stars;
to be satisfied with your possessions;
to despise nothing in the world
except falsehood and meanness,
to fear nothing except cowardice;
to be governed by your admirations
rather than by your disgusts;
to covet nothing that is your neighbor’s
except his kindness of heart and gentleness of manners;
to think seldom of your enemies,
often of your friends,
to spend as much time as you can,
with body and with spirit, out of doors,
these are the little guideposts on the footpath to peace.

Henry Van Dyke


“Teach me to feel another’s woe, to hide the fault I see, that mercy I to others show, that mercy show to me.”

Alexander Pope


“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”

Abraham Lincoln


The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute to God Himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

Portia in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice


“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Albert Einstein


Seeking happiness outside ourselves is like waiting for sunshine in a cave that faces north.

Tibetan proverb


The Brook

I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip’s farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

by Alfred Tennyson


“May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know it’s beauty all the days of your life.”

Apache Blessing


Famous

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,

which knew it would inherit the earth

before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds

watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom

is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,

more famous than the dress shoe,

which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it

and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men

who smile while crossing streets,

sticky children in grocery lines,

famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,

or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,

but because it never forgot what it could do.

Naomi Shihab Nye (Naomi Shihab Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit)


“Before you heal someone, ask him if he is willing to give up the things that made him sick.”

Hippocrates


“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together there is something you must always remember… You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you.”

Christopher Robin to Winnie-the-Pooh
by A. A. Milne


Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Lau Tzu


Self

Once I freed myself of my duties to tasks and people and went down to the cleansing sea...

The air was like wine to my spirit,

The sky bathed my eyes with infinity,

The sun followed me, casting golden snares on the tide,

And the ocean—masses of molten surfaces, faintly gray-blue—sang to my heart...

Then I found myself, all here in the body and brain, and all there on the shore:

Content to be myself: free, and strong, and enlarged:

Then I knew the depths of myself were the depths of space.

And all living beings were of those depths (my brothers and sisters)

And that by going inward and away from duties, cities, street-cars and greetings,

I was dipping behind all surfaces, piercing cities and people,

And entering in and possessing them, more than a brother,

The surge of all life in them and in me...

So I swore I would be myself (there by the ocean)

And I swore I would cease to neglect myself, but would take myself as my mate,

Solemn marriage and deep: midnights of thought to be:

Long mornings of sacred communion, and twilights of talk,

Myself and I, long parted, clasping and married till death.”

James Oppenheim


“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

Albert Camus


"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”

John Keats, from To Autumn


"Boundaries"

The universe does not
revolve around you.
The stars and planets spinning
through the ballroom of space
dance with one another
quite outside of your small life.
You cannot hold gravity
or seasons; even air and water
inevitably evade your grasp.
Why not, then, let go?
You could move through time
like a shark through water,
neither restless nor ceasing,
absorbed in and absorbing
the native element.
Why pretend you can do otherwise?
The world comes in at every pore,
mixes in your blood before
breath releases you into
the world again. Did you think
the fragile boundary of your skin
could build a wall?
Listen. Every molecule is humming
its particular pitch.
Of course you are a symphony.
Whose tune do you think
the planets are singing
as they dance?

Lynn Ungar


"Autumn Fires"

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Robert Louis Stevenson


"The Brain"

The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.
The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.
The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

Emily Dickinson


"So Much Happiness"

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to
pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs
or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

Naomi Shihab Nye


“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Viktor Emil Frankl
(Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, author, and Holocaust survivor)


“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

James Baldwin


”Shoulders”

A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo
but he’s not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE.

His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy’s dream
deep inside him.

We’re not going to be able
to live in this world
if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing
with one another.

The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.

Naomi Shihab Nye
(Naomi Shihab Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit)


Song for Autumn

In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think

of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

Mary Oliver


"Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
Socrates


Aimless Love

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door—
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor—
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

Billy Collins


Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks

I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years...

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper...

When the young girl who starves
sits down at a table
she will sit beside me...

I am food on the prisoner's plate...

I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills...

I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden...

I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge...

I am the heart contracted by joy...
the longest hair, white
before the rest...

I am there in the basket of fruit
presented to the widow...

I am the musk rose opening
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit...

I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name...

Jane Kenyon


”To be great, be whole;
don't exaggerate
Or leave out any part of you,
Be complete in each thing.
Put all you are Into the least of your acts.
So too in each lake, with its lofty life,
The whole moon shines.“

Fernando Pessoa


The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

William Butler Yeats


Self-Observation without Judgment

Release the harsh and pointed inner
voice. it’s just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.
Let go of self-judgment, the old,
learned ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.
Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift
out of inner criticism and life
suddenly looks very different.
i can say this only because I make
the choice a hundred times a day
to release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real me.
What’s needed here isn’t more
prodding toward perfection, but
intimacy – seeing clearly, and
embracing what I see.
Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquility and change.

Danna Faulds


"Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible.”

Dalai Lama


If I accept the sunshine and warmth, then I must also accept the thunder and lightning.

Khalil Gibran


Maharishi on the past, present and future

We cannot forego the importance of the present even if we are accepting the importance of the past. Whatever we are today, this is because we are a product of the past—we are a product of our own actions

This is important: We did something in the past and because of that we are who we are today.

At the same time. as a result of what we do today, we will be something new in the future.

So, whatever I did in the past, it’s well and gone. But whatever we are doing now is in my hands. So we must handle the present, and in handling the present the future is handled automatically.

We do this just for the simple reason that in the present we are more evolved than what we had been in the past. The present state of life is more evolved and therefore our actions in the present will be more powerful. That is why we rely more on our present actions—we rely more on the present.

Another point in this regard is: it’s well and good to think of future and think of our evolution, but we don’t try so much for evolution in the future that we lose the joy of who we are today—of our present state of consciousness. It’s very important.

There was one very wise businessman in a country, in the beginning days of the Movement who met me. He started to meditate, he felt so good and one day he gave me his theory of life. He said, “I am managing this business, and I am getting two thousand dollars for something. I am always on the lookout for a job that will bring four thousand dollars, but I don’t search so intensely for that four thousand dollar job that I lose the charm of the present two thousand."

This also is very important. We want to evolve but we don’t want to dissolve the present state for the sake of some future higher state of consciousness.

Every day is important for life. We make maximum use of today, we enjoy to the maximum every day. This is very important. Not all of life should be sacrificed for the sake of some future hope. The present is more important. Every day is important. Every moment is important.


Bapuji Says

My beloved child,
break your heart no longer.
Each time you judge yourself
you break your own heart.
You stop feeding on the love,
which is the wellspring of your vitality.
The time has come, your time
To live, to celebrate…
and to see the goodness that you are…
Let no one, no thing, no idea or ideal obstruct you
If one comes, even in the name of “Truth”,
forgive it for its unknowing
Do not fight
Let go
And breathe – into the goodness that you are.

Swami Kripalvananda


"Dawn Revisited"

Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don’t look back,
the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits –
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours
to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You’ll never know
who’s down there, frying those eggs,
if you don’t get up and see.

Rita Dove

(American poet and essayist, Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate in the nineties who received the Gold Medal in Poetry in 2021 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters – the first female African-American poet in the medal’s long history.)


"Dawn Revisited"

I sometimes forget
that I was created for Joy.

My mind is too busy.
My Heart is too heavy
for me to remember
that I have been
called to dance
the Sacred dance of life.

I was created to smile
To Love
To be lifted up
And to lift others up.

O' Sacred One
Untangle my feet
from all that ensnares.
Free my soul.
That we might
Dance
and that our dancing
might be contagious.

Hafiz


“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.”

Charlie Chaplin


"Blessing in the Chaos"

To all that is chaotic
in you,
let there come silence.

Let there be
a calming
of the clamoring,
a stilling
of the voices that
have laid their claim
on you,
that have made their
home in you,
that go with you
even to the
holy places
but will not
let you rest,
will not let you
hear your life
with wholeness
or feel the grace
that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you
cease.
Let what divides you
cease.
Let there come an end
to what diminishes
and demeans,
and let depart
all that keeps you
in its cage.

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
possible
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

Jan L. Richardson


“In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is wanting.”

John Lubbock


"Life is a very simple game, and in that simplicity you enjoy. Life is not for over-thinking. It is to be lived and enjoyed. And if we think too much then we complicate the heart and mind and we spoil the game."

Maharishi


"Earth Verse"

Wide enough to keep you looking
Open enough to keep you moving
Dry enough to keep you honest
Prickly enough to make you tough
Green enough to go on living
Old enough to give you dreams

Gary Snyder

(Note: Born in 1930, Gary Snyder is an American poet, essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist. He is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award.)


"Unconditional"

Willing to experience aloneness,
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.
Each condition I flee from pursues me,
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed
Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so,
Who has crafted this Master Game;
To play it is purest delight –
To honour its form, true devotion.

Jennifer Paine Welwood


"The Lesson of the Falling Leaves"

the leaves believe
such letting go is love
such love is faith
such faith is grace
such grace is god
i agree with the leaves

Lucille Clifton


"Halfway Down the Stairs"

Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn't any
other stair
quite like
it.
i'm not at the bottom,
i'm not at the top;
so this is the stair
where
I always
stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn't up
And it isn't down.
It isn't in the nursery,
It isn't in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn't really
Anywhere!
It's somewhere else
Instead!

A.A. Milne


"We Are Of A Tribe"

We plant seeds in the ground
And dreams in the sky,
Hoping that, someday, the roots of one
Will meet the upstretched limbs of the other.
It has not happened yet.
We share the sky, all of us, the whole world:
Together, we are a tribe of eyes that look upward,
Even as we stand on uncertain ground.
The earth beneath us moves, quiet and wild,
Its boundaries shifting, its muscles wavering.
The dream of sky is indifferent to all this,
Impervious to borders, fences, reservations.
The sky is our common home, the place we all live.
There we are in the world together.
The dream of sky requires no passport.
Blue will not be fenced. Blue will not be a crime.
Look up. Stay awhile. Let your breathing slow.
Know that you always have a home here.

Alberto Ríos, Arizona’s poet laureate


"A Prayer"

I want to be ever a child
I want to feel an eternal friendship
for the raindrops, the flowers,
the insects, the snowflakes.
I want to be keenly interested in everything,
with mind and muscle ever alert,
forgetting my troubles in the next moment.
The stars and the sea, the ponds and the trees,
the birds and the animals, are my comrades.
Though my muscles may stiffen, though my skin may
wrinkle, may I never find myself yawning
at life.

Toyohiko Kagawa


When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless.” We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.

Timothy Gallwey


“Therefore, the pure righteous do not complain of the dark, but increase the light; they do not complain of evil, but increase justice; they do not complain of heresy, but increase faith; they do not complain of ignorance, but increase wisdom.”

“The greater you are, the more you need to search for your self. Your deep soul hides itself from consciousness. So you need to increase aloneness, elevation of thinking, penetration of thought, liberation of mind — until finally your soul reveals itself to you, spangling a few sparkles of her lights.

Then you find bliss, transcending all humiliations or anything that happens, by attaining equanimity, by becoming one with everything that happens, by reducing yourself so extremely that you nullify your individual, imaginary form, that you nullify existence in the depth of yourself.

‘What are we?’ Then you know every spark of truth, every bolt of integrity flashing anywhere.

Then everything gathers to you, without hatred, jealousy, or rivalry. The light of peace and a fierce boldness manifest in you. The desire to act and work, the passion to create and to restore your self, the yearning for silence and for the inner shout of joy — these all band together in your spirit, and you become holy.”

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook


"Your book of life doesn't begin today, on Rosh Hashanah. It began when you were born. Some of the chapters were written by other people: your parents, siblings, and teachers. Parts of your book were crafted out of experiences you had because of other people's decisions: where you lived, what schools you went to, what your homes were like. But the message of Rosh HaShanah, the anniversary of the creation of the world, is that everything can be made new again, that much of your book is written every day---by the choices you make. The book is not written and sealed, you get to edit it, decide what parts you want to emphasize and remember, and maybe even which parts you want to leave behind. Shanah tovah means both a good year, and a good change. Today you can change the rest of your life. It is never too late."

Rabbi Laura Geller


Opening the Heart

At the year’s turn,
in the days between,
we step away
from what we know
into spaces
we cannot yet name.

Slowly the edges
begin to yield,
the hard places
soften,
the gate to forgiveness
opens.

Marcia Falk


Talent is nurtured in solitude; character is formed in the stormy billows of the world.

Johan Wolfgang von Goethe


What Would Happen…?

What would happen
if we removed the word ‘anxious’
and just paid attention
to these flickering sensations in the belly?
What would happen
if we took away the concept ‘lonely’
and simply became fascinated
with this heavy feeling in the heart area?
What would happen
if we deleted the labels ‘sick’
or ‘broken’ or ‘bad’
and just got curious about
the tightness in the throat
the pressure in the head
the ache in the shoulders?
What would happen
if we stopped looking for solutions
and checked to see
if there was actually a problem here?
Let’s come out of the exhausting storyline.
It’s not true. It was never true.
Commit sacred awareness to a single living moment.
Come closer to yourself, Now.
Bring warmth to the tender places.
Infuse sensation with the light of attention.
It’s never as bad
as we think.
And always,
always more alive.

Jeff Foster


The Avowal

As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace

Denise Levertov


Let Go (Or “Six Words of Advice”)

Let go of what has passed.

Let go of what may come.

Let go of what is happening now.

Don’t try to figure anything out.

Don’t try to make anything happen.

Relax, right now, and rest.

Tilopa, a 10th century teacher


Wind on a Hill

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

It’s flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn’t keep up with it,
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes . . .
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.

A.A. Milne


Yes

And sometimes
it all arrives at once.

The anxiety, the fear,
the voices that scratch
your confidence like
a chalkboard and somehow
all the oxygen in the room
suddenly becomes water
and you begin to wonder if
you have what it takes
to grow gills. You wonder
if you can blend in with the fish.
You wonder if you
will ever breathe again.

And the answer is
not every building that shakes
will collapse.

The answer is
not everything that chips
will crumble.

The answer is
this is temporary,
and yes, you will.

Rudy Francisco


What they call you is one thing. What you answer to is something else.

Lucille Clifton


HAPPINESS

Happiness cannot be found
through great effort and willpower,
but is already here, right now,
in relaxation and letting go.
Don’t strain yourself, there is nothing to do.
Whatever arises in the mind
has no importance at all,
because it has no reality whatsoever.
Don’t become attached to it. Don’t pass judgement.
Let the game happen on its own,
emerging and falling back – without changing anything –
and all will vanish and begin anew, without end.
Only our searching for happiness prevents us from seeing it.
It is like a rainbow which you run after without ever catching it.
Although it does not exist, it has always been there
and accompanies you every instant.
Don’t believe in the reality of good and bad experiences;
they are like rainbows.
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you relax this grasping,
there is space – open, inviting and comfortable.
So make use of it. Everything is already yours.
Search no more,
Don’t go into the inextricable jungle
looking for the elephant who is already quietly at home.
Nothing to do,
nothing to force,
nothing to want
and everything happens by itself.

Lama Gendun Rinpoche


NATURE IS WHAT WE SEE

"Nature" is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Thunder—the Cricket—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

Emily Dickinson


Try to be the rainbow in someone’s cloud.

Maya Angelou


A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.

John Lubbock


WITNESS

Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day,
to reconfirm
that witnessing presence.

Denise Levertov


Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

John Lubbock


RECIPE OF LIFE

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

rupi kaur


Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.

Shakespeare
(Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene II)


Blessing The Boats

(at St. Mary’s)
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

Lucille Clifton


“Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.”

Langston Hughes


Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.

William Arthur Ward


Look Well to This Day

Look to this day,
for it is life – the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities
and realities of your existence:
the bliss of growth,
the glory of action,
the splendor of beauty.
For yesterday is already a dream
and tomorrow is only a vision;
but today, well-lived,
makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
Such is the salutation of the dawn.

By Kālidāsa who was a classical Sanskrit scholar considered to be one of ancient India's greatest poets and playwrights. He lived during the 4th and 5th centuries CE.


The Patience Of Ordinary Things

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?

Pat Schneider


This is a poem for someone
who is juggling her life.
Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.

It needs repeating
over and over
to catch her attention
over and over,
as someone who is juggling her life
finds it difficult to hear.

Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.
Let it all fall sometimes.

Rose Cook


SHAKESPEARE

All's Well That Ends Well, 1:2
Countess of Roussillon shares this bit of simple wisdom with her son as he sets out for court far away:

"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."

Twelfth Night, 3:1
Olivia speaks these lines to express the joy of unexpected love, rather than that which is pined for:

"Love sought is good, but given unsought is better."


It is very strange that the years teach us patience - that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.

Elizabeth Taylor, A Wreath of Roses


Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher, theologian, and poet


May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

John O'Donohue


If the only prayer you ever say In your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.

Meister Eckhart, 13th century German Christian theologian


The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 – 1955), French Jesuit priest, scientist, paleontologist, theologian, philosopher and teacher.


"Your Birthday"

For my grandson

It was a day like any other,
Except, for this, you were born.
Three days later, I walked into the room
Where you were sleeping, as newborns
do, most of the time.
For entering this world is no easy task,
And the tears started flowing.
Mine, not yours.
What I mean to say is this –
The tears were like a cup overflowing.
I knew, in those moments, that love
is the answer, that it is love that heals,
That it is love that makes the broken whole.

Emily Lewis Penn


“The New City”

A man goes to a Zen master and says, “I would like to move to this city. What do you think of the people here?”

And the Zen master says, “What were the people like in your old city?”

And the man says, “They were awful, mean, spiteful.”

The Zen master says, “They are the same here. You shouldn’t move here.”

Then another person goes to the Zen master and says, “I’d like to move to your city. What do you think of the people here?”

And the Zen master says, “What were the people like in your old city?”

And the man says, “They were very nice people. Very smart. I enjoyed being around them.”

And the Zen master says, “They are the same here. You will enjoy it here.”


Each minute we spend worrying about the future and regretting the past is a minute we miss in our appointment with life—a missed opportunity to engage life and to see that each moment gives us the chance to change for the better, to experience peace and joy.

Thích Nhất Hạnh


“The Lily”

Night after night
darkness
enters the face
of the lily
which, lightly,
closes its five walls
around itself,
and its purse
of honey,
and its fragrance,
and is content
to stand there
in the garden,
not quite sleeping,
and, maybe,
saying in lily language
some small words
we can’t hear
even when there is no wind
anywhere,
its lips
are so secret,
its tongue
is so hidden –
or, maybe,
it says nothing at all
but just stands there
with the patience
of vegetables
and saints
until the whole earth has turned around
and the silver moon
becomes the golden sun –
as the lily absolutely knew it would,
which is itself, isn’t it,
the perfect prayer?

Mary Oliver


Patience is the companion of wisdom.

Saint Augustine


When you plant seeds in the garden, you don’t dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet. You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time. Similarly, just do your daily practice and cultivate a kind heart. Abandon impatience and instead be content creating the causes for goodness; the results will come when they’re ready.

Thubten Chodron


“Help Yourself to Happiness”

Everybody everywhere seeks happiness, it’s true,
But finding it and keeping it seem difficult to do.
Difficult because we think that happiness is found
Only in the places where wealth and fame abound.
And so we go on searching in palaces of pleasure
Seeking recognition and monetary treasure,
Unaware that happiness is just a state of mind
Within the reach of everyone who takes time to be kind.
For in making others happy we will be happy, too.
For the happiness you give away returns to shine on you.

Helen Steiner Rice


We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don't allow our bodies to heal, and we don't allow our minds and hearts to heal.

Thích Nhất Hạnh


If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having.

Henry Miller


This is really why I made my daughters learn to garden – so they would always have a mother to love them, long after I am gone.

Robin Wall Kimmerer


All powers have two sides, the power to create and the power to destroy. We must recognize them both, but invest our gifts on the side of creation.

Robin Wall Kimmerer


"Desiderata"

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, 1952.



If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.

William Blake

(Little known cultural fact: The ‘60s rock band, The Doors, chose the band's name after lead singer Jim Morrison read Aldous Huxley's “The Doors of Perception,” which got its title from this quote by Blake.)


A compilation of quotes from The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius:

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. … Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see. … At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’”


We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.

Gwendolyn Brooks
(Note: Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950, making her the first Black American to receive that prestigious honor.)


"Hokusai Says"

Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it is interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says everyone of us is a child,
everyone of us is ancient,
everyone of us has a body.
He says everyone of us is frightened.
He says everyone of us has to find
a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive–
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn’t matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.
Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.

Roger Keyes


"Autobiography In Five Chapters"

1. I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… It’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4. I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5. I walk down another street.

Portia Nelson


"Come from Gratitude"

To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe–to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it–is a wonder beyond words. Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Furthermore, it is a privilege to be alive in this time when we can choose to take part in the self-healing of our world.

Joanna Macy


"My Inner Life"

‘Tis true my garments threadbare are,
And sorry poor I seem;
But inly I am richer far
Than any poet’s dream.
For I’ve a hidden life no one
Can ever hope to see;
A sacred sanctuary none
May share with me.

Aloof I stand from out the strife,
Within my heart a song;
By virtue of my inner life
I to myself belong.
Against man-ruling I rebel,
Yet do not fear defeat,
For to my secret citadel
I may retreat.

Oh you who have an inner life
Beyond this dismal day
With wars and evil rumours rife,
Go blessedly your way.
Your refuge hold inviolate;
Unto yourself be true,
And shield serene from sordid fate
The Real You.

Robert William Service, British-Canadian poet and writer, often called "the Bard of the Yukon" and the “Canadian Rudyard Kipling.”


My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can't be loved as I am.

Anais Nin


A test of a society is how it behaves towards the elderly. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the elderly, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel


"Dare to Vision"

Out of this darkness a new world can arise, not to be constructed by our minds so much as to emerge from our dreams. Even though we cannot see clearly how it’s going to turn out, we are still called to let the future into our imagination. We will never be able to build what we have not first cherished in our hearts.

Joanna Rogers Macy, environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecologist


"I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud"

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth


All through the physical world runs that unknown content, which surely must be the stuff of our consciousness. Here is a hint of aspects deep within the world of physics, and yet unattainable by the methods of physics. And moreover, we have found that where science has progressed the farthest, the mind has but regained from nature that which the mind has put into nature. We have found a strange foot-print on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origin. At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the foot-print. And Lo! It is our own!

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician. "The Eddington Limit," the natural limit to the luminosity of stars, is named in his honor.


When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.

Abraham Joshua Heschel, Polish-born American rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians and Jewish philosophers of the 20th century.


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets


Find the good and praise it.

Betty Shabazz


"Limitless"

Sun says, “Be your own
illumination.” Wren says,
“Sing your heart out,
all day long.” Stream says,
“Do not stop for any
obstacle.” Oak says,
“When the wind blows,
bend easily, and trust
your roots to hold.”
Stars say, “What you see
is one small slice of a
single modest galaxy.
Remember that vastness
cannot be grasped by mind.”
Ant says, “Small does not
mean powerless.” Silence
says nothing. In the quiet,
everything comes clear.
I say, “Limitless.” I say,
“Yes.”

Donna Faulds


Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.

Leonardo da Vinci


Art is never finished, only abandoned.

Leonardo da Vinci


"No Man Is an Island"

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s

Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

John Donne


“The Rose Family”

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.

Robert Frost


Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

‘You owe me.’

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.

Hafiz


Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.

Rumi


There’s another door in every home, wherever we are. We can go in and out of it without fear or taking extra precautions; we can travel, visit our loved ones, and meet innumerable new people. Opening it requires only the willpower to take a moment of complete silence and ask ourselves what is really important, and what isn’t. The key to this other door can be found at the crossroads of the head and the heart: if you want to find it, you will.
There is a home within each of us that is like no other, beautiful and welcoming, full of sunlight, with a blooming garden, a doorway to the world and a balcony that looks over an infinite universe. A home made up of wonder, the desire the share, love, and the certainty that this whole earthly realm is one big family.
Let’s use this obligatory stay at home to seek it out, to discover the immeasurable beauty of what we hold inside and everything that we are.

Andrea Angel Bocelli


To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.

Simone Weil


"The River Cannot Go Back"

It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.
She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.
And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.
But there is no other way.
The river cannot go back.
Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.
The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.

Kahlil Gibran


The one who has entered a solitary place
Whose mind is calm and sees the way
To that one comes insight and truth
And rapturous joy transcending any other.

Dhammapada
(Note: The Dhammapada is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist texts.)


There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.

Leonardo da Vinci


Pain and suffering are a kind of currency passed from hand to hand until they reach someone who receives them but does not pass them on.

Simone Weil


"The Fire"

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.
So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible
We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

Judy Brown


If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.

Chinese Proverb


People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. I always wish that I could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like.

By going within.

Nowhere you can go is more peaceful—more free of interruptions—than your own soul. … An instant’s recollection and there it is: complete tranquility. And by tranquility I mean a kind of harmony.

So keep getting away from it all—like that. Renew yourself. But keep it brief and basic. A quick visit should be enough to ward off all anxiety and send you back ready to face what awaits you.

Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180 AD and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors, and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire.


All meditation where the intellect works, fatigues the body. There are other meditations… which are restful, full of peace for the intellect, without labor for the interior faculties of the soul, and which are performed without either physical or interior effort. I had experienced such extreme satisfaction since beginning to make use of this method of meditation that I did not think it possible to experience gentler or more innocent joys in life.

Renee Descartes, French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who invented analytical geometry, linking the previously separate fields of geometry and algebra.


Let difficulty transform you
And it will. In my experience,
We just need help in learning
how not to run away.

Pema Chodron


“While you live, shine

Have no grief at all

Life exists only for a short while

And time demands its toll.”

Seikilos Epitaph
(Note: Lyrics to a Greek song from the first century A.D.)


Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.

Albert Einstein


Everyone has some good and some bad in them and, if we admire them for the good that they have, then we have seen the good first. When we see good in a person we receive the reflection of the good. If, on the other hand, one tries to see bad in someone, one receives the reflection of the bad which pollutes one’s own mind and heart.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Science of Being and Art of Living


Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.

Khalil Gibran


Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

Henry David Thoreau


Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.

James Baldwin


Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin


We must not wish for the disappearance of our troubles but for the grace to transform them.

Simone Weil


To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.

Simone Weil


"The Sparrow"

A little bird, with plumage brown,
Beside my window flutters down,
A moment chirps its little strain,
Then taps upon my window-pane,
And chirps again, and hops along,
To call my notice to its song;
But I work on, nor heed its lay,
Till, in neglect, it flies away.

Paul Laurence Dunbar


Rivers do not drink their own water;
trees do not eat their own fruit;
the sun does not shine on itself
and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves.
Living for others is a rule of nature.
We are all born to help each other.
No matter how difficult it is. . . .
Life is good when you are happy;
but much better when others are happy because of you.

Sanskrit proverb


May I have the courage today

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.

John O'Donohue


The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.

Albert Einstein


All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge.

Albert Einstein


Intuition is a very powerful thing—more powerful than intellect.

Steve Jobs


Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside of our control, the less control we have.

Epictetus


Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

Simone Weil


"Fireflies in the Garden"

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.

Robert Frost


Hearing is not knowing;

Knowing is not understanding;

Understanding is not believing;

Believing is not doing.

Dr. Mohan Singh


"Life"

Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall?

Charlotte Brontë


If you don't know where you are going, then any road will do.

Tibetan Proverb


Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

Japanese Proverb


Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

Voltaire


"Primary Wonder"

Days pass when I forget the mystery.

Problems insoluble and problems offering

their own ignored solutions

jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber

along with a host of diversions, my courtiers, wearing

their colored clothes; cap and bells.

And then

once more the quiet mystery

is present to me, the throng’s clamor

recedes: the mystery

that there is anything, anything at all,

let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,

rather than void: and that, O Lord,

Creator, Hallowed One, You still,

hour by hour sustain it.

Denise Levertov


Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.

Native American Proverb


There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

Turkish Proverb


Do not base your life on the likings and dislikings or whims of others. What you are in life – whether you enjoy or suffer – it is your own responsibility. Be regular in your meditation and do not postpone for a later date your striving for developing your full creative potential—your enlightenment.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


If I accept the sunshine and warmth, then I must also accept the thunder and lightning.

Khalil Gibran


As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace.

Denise Levertov


When I Am Among the Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Mary Oliver


Life should be a festival of disruptions.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


GOLDEN SLUMBERS

Note: Memorably used by The Beatles as the lyrics for their song of the same name on the Abbey Road LP, "Golden Slumbers" is a lullaby from Thomas Dekker’s 1603 play Patient Grissel, written with Henry Chettle and William Haughton. This is one of the most soothing short Renaissance poems – and perhaps the best-known Renaissance lullaby, or "cradle song," out there.

"Golden Slumbers"

"Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
Smiles awake you when you rise.
Sleep, pretty wantons; do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby:
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

"Care is heavy, therefore sleep you;
You are care, and care must keep you;
Sleep, pretty wantons; do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby:
Rock them, rock them, lullaby."

Thomas Dekker

Paul McCartney’s version:

Golden slumbers fill your eyes
Smiles await you when you rise
Sleep pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby


See the job. Do the job. Stay out of the misery.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.

Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can’t be loved as I am.

Anais Nin


You cannot save people. You can only love them.

Anais Nin


The purpose of religion should not only be to indicate what is right and
what is wrong, but its purpose should be to elevate man to a state of life
so that he will only go for that which is right and by nature will not go
for that which is wrong. The true spirit of religion is lacking when it
counts only what is right and wrong and creates fear of punishment and
hell and the fear of God in the mind of man. The purpose of religion
should be to take away all fear from man. It should not seek to achieve
its purpose through instilling fear of the Almighty in the mind.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Allah understands our prayers even when we can’t find the words to say Them.

Muslim Proverb

Serving your parents in their old age is as good as opening the doors of Paradise, so don’t miss out.

Muslim Proverb

Practicing Islam beautifies once character. if it’s making you intolerable, impatient and grumpy then you’re doing it wrong.

Muslim Proverb


"I Didn't Go To Church Today"

I didn't go to church today,
I trust the Lord to understand.
The surf was swirling blue and white,
The children swirling on the sand.
He knows, He knows how brief my stay,
How brief this spell of summer weather,
He knows when I am said and done
We'll have plenty of time together

Ogden Nash


"A Word To Husbands"

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.

Ogden Nash


"Listen To The MUSTN'TS"

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT'S
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be

Shel Silverstein


"Temporary and Permanent"

Most people in your life were only meant for dreams, and summer laughter. They stay till the wind changes, the tides turn, or disappear with the first snow. And then there are some that were forged to weather blizzards and pain with you. They were cast in iron, set in gold and never ever leave you to face anything alone. Know who those people are. And love them the way they deserve. Not everyone in your life is temporary. A few are as permanent as love is old.

Nikita Gill


“Self-Observation Without Judgement”

Release the harsh and pointed inner
voice. it's just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.

Let go of self-judgment, the old,
learned ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.

Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift
out of inner criticism and life
suddenly looks very different.

i can say this only because I make
the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real me.

What's needed here isn't more prodding toward perfection, but
intimacy - seeing clearly, and
embracing what I see.

Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquility and change.

Danna Faulds


“On Aging”

When you see me sitting quietly,
Like a sack left on the shelf,
Don’t think I need your chattering.
I’m listening to myself.
Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!
Hold! Stop your sympathy!
Understanding if you got it,
Otherwise I’ll do without it!
When my bones are stiff and aching,
And my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.
I’m the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.

Maya Angelou


“Apples”

Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers,
the rind mapped with its crimson stain.

The russet, crab and cottage red
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.

They lie as wanton as they fall,
and where they fall and break,
the stallion clamps his crunching jaws,
the starling stabs his beak.

In each plump gourd the cidery bite
of boys’ teeth tears the skin;
the waltzing wasp consumes his share,
the bent worm enters in.

I, with as easy hunger, take
entire my season’s dole;
welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour,
the hollow and the whole.

Laurie Lee


Stand up to the fury
Let the torrents rage
Keep things moving forward
Stand firm and turn the page
It’s just part of the story
A challenge to be won
A dragon for the slaying
So as to meet the morning sun
Tomorrow brings another
And more each passing day
It’s about how we get through it
It’s how we find a way
This strength reveals resilience
To deal with what lies in store
Facing each day’s challenge
And coming back for more

Robert Longley


"If you retaliate against the one who committed a wrong, you lower yourself to the level of the wrong. Rather, let the wrong be just a drop in the ocean of your virtue."

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


“For A New Beginning”

In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

John O’Donohue


“The Swing”

How do you like to go up in a swing, Up in the air so blue? Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a child can do! Up in the air and over the wall, Till I can see so wide, River and trees and cattle and all Over the countryside— Till I look down on the garden green, Down on the roof so brown— Up in the air I go flying again, Up in the air and down!

Robert Lewis Stevenson


Doubt, disappointment, and rejection.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on what causes the deepest stress in a person. He then added that transcending to your innermost Self is the simplest, most powerful and effective way to heal the stress.


Whoever answers before listening is both foolish and shameful.

Proverbs 18:13


If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.

Turkish Proverb


There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.

Rumi


Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.

Khalil Gibran


All action should be to nourish the fine feeling developed in your meditation. That is why we say ‘speak the truth’ but see that you are speaking delicately. Do not speak non-truth and do not speak in a non-sweet way. The whole effect of activity is to enrich the feeling of the other. Be as delicate as possible. If communication accomplishes something on the gross but damages something on the level of feeling then it is a spiritual loss! The feeling is more important for life. Nourishment of the feeling level is the basis for growth of the holistic spiritual value. Delicate behavior on the surface should be such as to nourish, uphold and enhance the inner Transcendental value where feelings merge into a common source. Do not oppose. Opposition is dangerous to immortality.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


"Old Friends"

I do not say new friends are not considerate and true,
Or that their smiles ain't genuine, but still I'm tellin' you
That when a feller's heart is crushed and achin' with the pain,
And teardrops come a-splashin' down his cheeks like summer rain,
Becoz his grief an' loneliness are more than he can bear,
Somehow it's only old friends, then, that really seem to care.
The friends who've stuck through thick an' thin, who've known you, good an' bad,
Your faults an' virtues, an' have seen the struggles you have had,
When they come to you gentle-like an' take your hand an' say:
'Cheer up! we're with you still,' it counts, for that's the old friends' way.

The new friends may be fond of you for what you are today;
They've only known you rich, perhaps, an' only seen you gay;
You can't tell what's attracted them; your station may appeal;
Perhaps they smile on you because you're doin' something real;
But old friends who have seen you fail, an' also seen you win,
Who've loved you either up or down, stuck to you, thick or thin,
Who knew you as a budding youth, an' watched you start to climb,
Through weal an' woe, still friends of yours an' constant all the time,
When trouble comes an' things go wrong, I don't care what you say,
They are the friends you'll turn to, for you want the old friends' way.

The new friends may be richer, an' more stylish, too, but when
Your heart is achin' an' you think your sun won't shine again,
It's not the riches of new friends you want, it's not their style,
It's not the airs of grandeur then, it's just the old friend's smile,
The old hand that has helped before, stretched out once more to you,
The old words ringin' in your ears, so sweet an', Oh, so true!
The tenderness of folks who know just what your sorrow means,
These are the things on which, somehow, your spirit always leans.
When grief is poundin' at your breast — the new friends disappear
An' to the old ones tried an' true, you turn for aid an' cheer.

Edgar Albert Guest (20 August 1881 – 5 August 1959), British-born American poet who became known as the People's Poet.


If we are strong and stable, we can set our sail with any wind in the world that comes along. We make up our own direction. If we are not strong, we are like a leaf in the wind and the world’s winds will take us where they wish, not where we wish. So we meditate, every day, regularly, and gain Transcendental Being in our everyday life and then we are strong. This inner Being is the wind resister and the sail-setter.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


You cannot do kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Be kind whenever it’s possible.
It’s always possible.

Dalai Lama


“Bed in Summer”

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

Robert Lewis Stevenson


“Song of Myself, 4”

Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself or ill-doing or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Whitman is the author of Leaves of Grass and, along with Emily Dickinson, is considered one of the architects of a uniquely American poetic voice.


“Remember”

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Remember.

Joy Harjo
(Note: Joy Harjo was appointed the new United States poet laureate in 2019. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1951, Harjo is a member of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation. She is the author of several books of poetry, including An American Sunrise, which is forthcoming from W. W. Norton in 2019, and Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (W. W. Norton, 2015). She is a current Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.)


“Trees”

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer


Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.

Rachel Carso


If I had influence with the good fairy …. I should ask that her gift to each child in the world would be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.

Rachel Carson, American marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose influential book "Silent Spring" and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.


“How Many, How Much?”

How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live ’em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give ’em.

Shel Silverstein


“Friendship”

I’ve discovered a way to stay friends forever—
There’s really nothing to it.
I simply tell you what to do
And you do it!!

Shel Silverstein
(Note: Shel Silverstein is the king of children’s poetry. His works, which were often accompanied by his creative illustrations, have been translated into 30 different languages and have sold 20 million copies.)


“A Time To Talk”

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, 'What is it?'
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit

Robert Frost


There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one's self, the very meaning of one's soul.

Edith Wharton


“Blossoms”

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road
where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside, to carry within us an orchard,
to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to impossible blossom,
to sweet impossible blossom.

Li-Young Lee


“A Simple Prayer for Remembering the Motherlode”

We do not become healers.
We came as healers. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not become storytellers.
We came as carriers of the stories
we and our ancestors actually lived. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not become artists. We came as artists. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not become writers.. dancers.. musicians.. helpers.. peacemakers. We came as such. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not learn to love in this sense.
We came as Love. We are Love.
Some of us are still catching up to who we truly are.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, The Contemplari
(Note: Clarissa is a first-generation American writer and Jungian psychoanalyst. She is the author of Women Who Run with the Wolves, which remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 145 weeks and has sold over two million copies.)


"For One Who Is Exhausted, A Blessing"

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

John O'Donohue


I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

Maya Angelou


“A Prayer Among Friends”

Among other wonders of our lives, we are alive
with one another, we walk here
in the light of this unlikely world
that isn't ours for long.
May we spend generously
the time we are given.
May we enact our responsibilities
as thoroughly as we enjoy
our pleasures. May we see with clarity,
may we seek a vision
that serves all beings, may we honor
the mystery surpassing our sight,
and may we hold in our hands
the gift of good work
and bear it forth whole, as we
were borne forth by a power we praise
to this one Earth, this homeland of all we love.

John Daniel


The way you treat your dog in this life determines your place in Heaven.

Ancient Arctic Chukchi Proverb


“Never Go Back On A Friend!”

In the pathway of life,
Mid its trials and strife,
There's a motto to you I commend:
In life's ups and its downs,
In its crosses or crowns,
You must never go back on a friend!

Thou your friends may be few,
Let them feel that in you
And your word they can ever depend;
To preserve your good name
From contumely and shame
You must scorn to go back on a friend!

There are times when you can't
Keep engagements you want;
Don't neglect explanations to send;
Just as true as you live,
They will freely forgive
And not say you went back on a friend!

Should a friend be in need
Of advice or kind deed,
Don't begrudge him your comfort to lend;
He will bless you at last,
When his troubles are past
In adversity stand by your friend!

Thou the seas ebb and flow,
Let your friends ever know,
You are faithful and true to the end;
Should misfortune betide,
They will stand by your side,
For YOU never went back on a friend!

John Imrie (1846-1902), Canadian poet


"On Pleasure"

And now you ask in your heart,
"How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?"
Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,
But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.

People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet


The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.

Robert M. Pirsig, Author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values


The Brain — is wider than the Sky —

For — put them side by side —

The one the other will contain

With ease — and You — beside —

The Brain is deeper than the sea —

For — hold them — Blue to Blue —

The one the other will absorb —

As Sponges — Buckets — do —

The Brain is just the weight of God —

For — Heft them — Pound for Pound —

And they will differ — if they do —

As Syllable from Sound —

Emily Dickinson


“On Waking”

I give thanks for arriving
Safely in a new dawn,
For the gift of eyes
To see the world,
The gift of mind
To feel at home
In my life.
The waves of possibility
Breaking on the shore of dawn,
The harvest of the past
That awaits my hunger,
And all the furtherings
This new day will bring.

John O’Donohue


"Important"

We hurry through the so-called boring things

in order to attend to that which we deem

more important, interesting.

Perhaps the final freedom will be a recognition that

everything in every moment is "essential"

and that nothing at all is "important."

Helen M. Luke


“Best Season of Your Life”

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,

a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.

If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,

this is the best season of your life.

Wu Men


There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.

R. Buckminster Fuller


We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

Maya Angelou


We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.

Carl Sagan


Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.

Alan Cohen


“Unglove”

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.

It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.

Mark Nepo


I have only to break into the tightness of a strawberry, and I see summer — its dust and lowering skies.

Toni Morrison


“Why I Wake Early”

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Mary Oliver


“I’ll Meet You There”

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field. I will meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

Rumi


It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Frederick Douglas


Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6


Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:7


When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.

Jewish Proverb


The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.

Proverbs 20:7


“Ring The Bells”

Ring the bells that can still ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen


“Two Wolves”

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One wolf is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

"The other wolf is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

"This same fight is going on inside you,” the chief told his grandson, "and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

"Which wolf will win?"

The old chief simply replied,

"The one you feed."

Cherokee Parable


“Small Kindnesses”

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”

Danusha Laméris


As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and I will hit rock bottom. Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won't let my spirit be destroyed.

Banana Yoshimoto (her original name was Yoshimoto Mahako)


“Absolute”

The summer I was ten a teenager
named Kim butterflied my hair. Cornrows
curling into braids
behind each ear.

Everybody’s wearing this style now, Kim said.

Who could try to tell me
I wasn’t beautiful. The magic
in something as once ordinary
as hair that for too long
had not been good enough
now winged and amazing
now connected

to a long line of crowns.

Now connected
to a long line of girls
moving through Brooklyn with our heads
held so high, our necks ached. You must
know this too – that feeling

of being so much more than
you once believed yourself to be

so much more than your
too-skinny arms
and too-big feet and
too-long fingers and
too-thick and stubborn hair

All of us now

suddenly seen
the trick mirror that had us believe
we weren’t truly beautiful
suddenly shifts

and there we are

and there we are

and there we are again

and Oh! How could we not have seen
ourselves before? So much more

We are so much more.

Jacqueline Woodson


“Unconditional”

Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.

Each condition I flee from pursues me,
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed
Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so,
Who has crafted this Master Game;
To play it is purest delight;
To honor its form – true devotion.

Jennifer Welwood


Be loving. And if you don't feel loving, be kind. Kindness is simply love in her daily clothes.

Alexandra K. Trenfor


You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks.

Winston Churchill


From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men [and women], both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.

Albert Einstein


Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.

Rumi


Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

Rumi


“The Guest House”

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


Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.

Anais Nin


“WALK DON’T RUN”

Q: If you could give any advice for the day, what would it be?

Walk, don’t run. That’s it.
Walk, don’t run.

Slow down, breathe deeply,
and open your eyes because there’s
a whole world right here within this one. The bush doesn’t suddenly catch on fire, it’s been burning the whole time.

Moses is simply moving
slowly enough to see it. And when he does, he takes off his sandals.

Not because
the ground has suddenly become holy,
but because he’s just now becoming aware that the ground has been holy the whole time.

Efficiency is not God’s highest goal for your life, neither is busyness,
or how many things you can get done in one day, or speed, or even success.

But walking,
which leads to seeing,
now that’s something.
That’s the invitation for every one of us today,
and every day, in every conversation, interaction, event, and moment: to walk, not run. And in doing so, to see a whole world right here within this one.

​Rob Bell


This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.

John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings


"Don't Quit"

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit—
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)
(Note: Whittier was an American Quaker poet and advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. Frequently listed as one of the fireside poets, he was influenced by the Scottish poet Robert Burns.)


All living things must yield;
the cycle is revealed.
A leaf, once green, turns brown
then, falling to the ground,
dissolves to fertilize
a seedling on the rise.
As rain becomes the dew,
so every end is new.

Susan Noyes Anderson


I can almost feel it coming. It usually happens on one of those days when everything is just right, when the crowd is large and enthusiastic and my concentration is so perfect it almost seems as though I’m able to transport myself beyond the turmoil on the court to some place of total peace and calm. I know where the ball is on every shot, and it always looks as big and well defined as a basketball. Just a huge thing I couldn’t miss if I wanted to. I’ve got perfect control of the match, my rhythm and movements are excellent, and everything’s just in total balance. It’s a perfect combination of a violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility . . . And when it happens, I want to stop the match and grab the microphone and shout, "That’s what it’s all about.”

Billie Jean King, tennis great (and fellow meditator), describing her experience of being in the “zone” during a tennis match.


You are the sky. The rest is just weather.

Pema Chodron


If you don’t become the ocean, you will get seasick every day!

Leonard Cohen


One who knows others is intelligent.
One who knows himself is enlightened.

Lau Tzu, c. 600 BCE, China


Be still and know that I am God

Psalm 46:10, c. 500 BCE, Israel


Know thyself.

Temple of Apollo at Delphi, c. 500 BCE, Greece


Be a lamp unto your own feet;
Do not seek outside yourself.

Gautama Buddha, c. 300-500 BCE, Nepal and India


What the superior man seeks, is in himself;
What the ordinary man seeks, is in others.

Confucius, c. 551-479 BCE, China


Behold, the kingdom of Heaven is within you,

Jesus Christ, c. 30 CE, Israel


The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men.

Albert Einstein


You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. That’s how prayer works.

Pope Francis


I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am in that place within me, we shall be one.

Crazy Horse Oglala


"Limitless"

Sun says, “Be your own illumination.”

Wren says, “Sing your heart out, all day long.”

Stream says, “Do not stop for any obstacle.”

Oak says, “When the wind blows, bend easily, and trust your roots to hold.”

Stars say, “What you see is one small slice of a single modest galaxy. Remember that vastness cannot be grasped by mind.”

Ant says, “Small does not mean powerless.”

Silence says nothing. In the quiet everything comes clear.

I say, “Limitless.” I say, “Yes.”

Danna Faulds


I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.
Maya Angelou


I searched for God
and found only myself.
I searched for myself
and found only God.

Sufi Proverb


Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Albert Camus


Gitanjali, Poem, 35

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action–
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabrindranath Tagore


What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

Henry David Thoreau


Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.

Martin Luther King Jr.


As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.

Nelson Mandela


Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.

Cornell West


And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?

Sana Dabbas


The elimination diet: Remove anger, regret, resentment, guilt, blame and worry. Then watch your health and life improve.

Charles F. Glassman


You only live once? False. You live every day. You only die once.

Bobby Darin


One day or day one. You decide.

Paulo Coelho


Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.

Mandy Hale


My grandmother once gave me a tip:
In difficult times, you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by little.
Don't think about the future, or what may happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Remove the dust.
Write a letter.
Make a soup.
You see?
You are advancing step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Rest a little.
Praise yourself.
Take another step.
Then another.
You won't notice, but your steps will grow more and more.
And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.

Elena Mikhalkova


You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

C. S. Lewis


The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure.

Tibetan proverb


Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility… It is therefore able to undertake all things.

St Thomas Aquinas


If you feel like you're
losing everything,
remember that trees
lose their leaves every
year and still stand tall
waiting for better
days to come.

Anon....


“Shabbat”

Shabbat is the pause button between
last week and next week.

Shabbat is the white space on the page:
it creates the letters, the words, the poem.

Shabbat is the cup from which you drink
the potable water of wells and lakes.

Shabbat is creation from which everything
and everyone springs, it is summer, fall,

and winter. Shabbat is where and when,
how and why I begin, and you end.

It is my beloved and me, we, in love,
and time with no beginning, no end.

Emily Lewis Penn


"Where the Sidewalk Ends"

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein


I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

Albert Einstein


God gave us mouths that close and ears that don’t…that should tell us something.

Eugene O’Neill


Meditation practice is like piano scales, basketball drills, ballroom dance class. Practice requires discipline; it can be tedious; it is necessary. After you have practiced enough, you become more skilled at the art form itself. You do not practice to become a great piano scale player or basketball drill champion. You practice to become a musician or athlete. Likewise, one does not practice meditation to become a great meditator. We meditate to wake up and live, to become skilled at the art of living.

Elizabeth Lesser


“The Arrow And The Song”

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Love is wise; hatred is foolish. In this world, which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don't like. We can only live together in that way. But if we are to live together, and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance, which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.

Betrand Russell


In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth—and have begun striving for ourselves.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish historian, writer, philosopher and mathematician


The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves that we find in them.

Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk


“It's all I have to bring to-day”

It's all I have to bring to-day,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget, --
Someone the sum could tell, --
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.

Emily Dickinson


One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…” I made a difference for that one.”

Loren Eisley
(Note: Eiseley was an American anthropologist, educator, philosopher, and natural science writer, who taught and published books from the 1950s through the 1970s. He received many honorary degrees and was a fellow of multiple professional societies.)


The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.

Henry Ward Beecher
(Note: American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker, known for his support of the abolition of slavery, Beecher’s hetorical focus on Christ's love has influenced mainstream Christianity to this day.)


In every good marriage, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf. I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital relationship nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one's ability to persuade.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg


Go back and take care of yourself.
Your body needs you, your feelings need you,
Your perceptions need you.
Your suffering needs you to acknowledge it.
Go home and be there for all these things.

Thich Nhat Hanh


May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life.

Apache Blessing


I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou


A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader,
a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.

Eleanor Roosevelt


All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.

Albert Einstein


When you talk, you are repeating something you already know. But when you listen, you may learn something new.

Dalai Lama


Sitting silently, doing nothing,
the spring comes,
the grass grows,
all by itself.

Lao Tzu


The things I carry are my thoughts. That’s it. They are the only weight. My thoughts determine whether I am free and light or burdened.

Kamal Ravikant
(Note: Ravikant has meditated with monks in the Himalayas, served as a US Army Infantry soldier, co-founded several tech-companies and a Venture Capital firm in Silicon Valley and written numerous books. But one of the hardest and most transformative things he's ever done is learn to love himself.)


“I Love Being Me”

I can’t run the fastest
I can’t swim the sea
I can’t type the quickest
but I love being me
I can’t kick a ball
or even climb a tree
I can’t roll in the grass
but I still love being me
You see, this is my life
as others would see
they don’t know what it’s like
to really be me
So next time I’m about
rolling down the street
don’t think of me disabled
but someone cool to meet
I have lots I can teach you
I have loads I can share
you will never gain my wisdom
if you just point and stare
So maybe I can’t run the fastest
maybe I can’t kick a ball
but I wouldn’t change being me
not for you, not at all

Gemma Hayton


“Twilight”

Soft comes the hush of eventide
And songbirds hide
In limbs of budded trees
To bid farewell to setting sun
With lullabies they’ve sung
Each night for centuries.

A lark is winging swiftly home –
Black dot alone –
Beneath auroral clouds.
All nature makes a homeward rush
As twilight’s rosy blush
The eyes of night arouse.

Margaret Yacavace


Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.

Maya Angelou


The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.

Thomas Merton


“ALLOW”

There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

Danna Faulds


So the unwanting soul
sees what's hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul
sees only what it wants.

Lao Tzu


We dance around in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

Robert Frost


There’s another door in every home, wherever we are. We can go in and out of it without fear or taking extra precautions; we can travel, visit our loved ones, and meet innumerable new people. Opening it requires only the willpower to take a moment of complete silence and ask ourselves what is really important, and what isn’t. The key to this other door can be found at the crossroads of the head and the heart: if you want to find it, you will.

There is a home within each of us that is like no other, beautiful and welcoming, full of sunlight, with a blooming garden, a doorway to the world and a balcony that looks over an infinite universe. A home made up of wonder, the desire the share, love, and the certainty that this whole earthly realm is one big family.

Let’s use this obligatory stay at home to seek it out, to discover the immeasurable beauty of what we hold inside and everything that we are.

Andrea Angel Bocelli


Once upon a time, when women were birds,
there was the simple understanding that
to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk
was to heal the world through joy.
The birds still remember
what we have forgotten,
that the world is meant to be
celebrated.

Terry Tempest Williams


No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.

Helen Keller


There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea
A solitude of death, but these
Society shall be
Compared with that profounder site
That polar privacy
A soul admitted to itself—
Finite infinity!

Emily Dickinson


How yearns the solitary soul
To melt into the boundless whole,
And find itself again in peace!
The blind desire, the impatient will,
The restless thoughts and plans are still;
We yield ourselves—and wake in bliss!

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


“The Peace of Wild Things”

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


If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.

William Blake


The search for the highest value, the search for truth, the search for the ultimate reality is within our self. If you repeat the experience of transcending and you repeat it, and repeat, then it becomes just simply part of who you are. And that is how you experience the Self—not only during meditation, but it becomes a reality even after meditation. This happens because more and more of the Self is now within your self— meaning, that the field of pure consciousness becomes available to us during our daily activity also.

Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR


Tomorrow is tomorrow. Future cares have future cures…
We must mind today.

Sophocles


Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something.

Winnie the Pooh


Be humble for you are made of earth.
Be noble for you are made of stars.

Serbian proverb


Silently, one by one,
in the infinite meadows of the heaven,
blossomed the lovely stars,
the forget-me-nots of the angels.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Whoever it was who searched the heavens with a telescope and found no God would not have found the human mind if he had searched the brain with a microscope.

George Santayana


May peace, safety, good health and prosperity be yours. Eid Mubarak!

Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.

The Holy Quran


It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.

Brené Brown


It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.

Mahatma Gandhi


Non nobis solum nati sumus.
(“Not for ourselves alone are we born.”)

Marcus Tullius Cicero


Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Buddha


When you learn, teach. When you get, give.

Maya Angelou


Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


People who need help sometimes look a lot like people who don’t need help.

Glennon Doyle


In every human Breast, God has implanted a Principle, which we call Love of Freedom; it is impatient of Oppression, and pants for Deliverance.

Phillis Wheatley, first African American to publish a book of poetry


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt


Go then if you must, but remember, no matter how foolish your deeds, those who love you will love you still.

Sophocles


The truth is always the strongest argument.

Sophocles


Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.

Sophocles


She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Proverbs 31:26


“The Summer Day”

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver


A mother understands what a child does not say.

Jewish Proverb


An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.

Spanish proverb


"A Thank You Note"

You have told me

All the things

I need to hear

Before I knew

I needed to hear them

To be unafraid

Of all the things

I used to fear,

Before I knew

I shouldn’t fear them.

Lang Leav


“Salt"

My

mother

was

my first country,

The first place I ever lived.

Nayyirah Waheed


"To My Mother"

To-day's your natal day;

Sweet flowers I bring:

Mother, accept, I pray

My offering.

And may you happy live,

And long us bless:

Receiving as you give

Great happiness.

Christina Rossetti


"I Will Have to Wait 'Till I'm Mother"

I struggle so deeply

to understand

how someone can

pour their entire soul

blood and energy

into someone

without wanting

anything in

return

I will have to wait till I’m a mother

Rupi Kaur


"Only One Mother"

Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of lambs in the sunny weather.
Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.

George Cooper


“On the Ning Nang Nong”

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

Spike Milligan (1918-2002)


You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice,
it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Franz Kafka


Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

Carl Jung


Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:
“Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”

Rumi


Just as life is made up of day and night, and song is made up of music and silence, friendships, because they are of this world, are also made up of times of being in touch and spaces in-between. Being human, we sometimes fill these spaces with worry, or we imagine the silence is some form of punishment, or we internalize the time we are not in touch with a loved one as some unexpressed change of heart. Our minds work very hard to make something out of nothing. We can perceive silence as rejection in an instant, and then build a cold castle on that tiny imagined brick. The only release from the tensions we weave around nothing is to remain a creature of the heart. By giving voice to the river of feelings as they flow through and through, we can stay clear and open. In daily terms, we call this checking in with each other, though most of us reduce this to a grocery list: How are you today? Do you need any milk? Eggs? Juice? Toilet paper? Though we can help each other survive with such outer kindnesses, we help each other thrive when the checking in with each other comes from a list of inner kindnesses: How are you today? Do you need any affirmation? Clarity? Support? Understanding? When we ask these deeper questions directly, we wipe the mind clean of its misperceptions. Just as we must dust our belongings from time to time, we must wipe away what covers us when we are apart.

Mark Nepo


The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.

Alexandra K. Trenfor


Be loving. And if you don't feel loving, be kind. Kindness is simply love in her daily clothes.

Alexandra K. Trenfor


Meditation accepts us just as we are-in both our tantrums and our bad habits, in our love and commitments and happiness. It allows us to have a more flexible identity because we learn to accept ourselves and all of our human experience with more tenderness and openness. We learn to accept the present moment with an open heart. Every moment is incredibly unique and fresh, and when we drop into the moment, as meditation allows us to do, we learn how to truly taste this tender and mysterious life that we share together.

Pema Chodron


"Reluctant Light"
(in memory of Maude Selena Hilton Long)

Mother, I didn’t mean to slight you
but it wasn’t you that I adored.
You hid your energy in shadows
and I was dazzled by the sun.

I idolized the one whose voice soared to prophetic heights,
whose words rejuvenated epics of the ages. Some fine June Sundays,
slender and magnificent in morning coat, he would electrify the pulpit
with eloquent pronouncements of doom and glory so divine
the very gates of heaven seemed to part, bathing the atmosphere in crystal light.
Seeking his favor, I rehearsed raising my hand like his in benediction,
earning the childhood name of Preacher, shortened in time to Prete.

You gave us daily sustenance but there was never
a choir’s fanfare or the soulbeat of the mighty to grant applause.
You baked the bread for which we seldom thanked you,
canned pears for winter and mended Depression-weary clothes,
scrubbing sheets on a washboard, humming hymns to lift your sagging spirit,
and cultivating beauty in endless flower pots.
The summer when he toured the streets of ancient Palestine and Rome,
you consoled yourself by painting pictures of the Appian Way
using the kitchen table for an easel.
You coached me with my homework, rejoiced
in my small triumphs and prepared me to confront the enemy,
tapping your umbrella against my fifth grade teacher’s desk
to punctuate your firm demand for justice. I didn’t recognize

your subtle power that led me through blind, airless caves,
your quiet elegance that taught me dignity – nor could I know
the wind that bore him high into the sunlight
emanated from your breath. I didn’t want your journey,
rebelled against your sober ways.

But I have walked through my own shadows and, like you,
transcended glitter. I have learned
that I am source and substance of a different kind of light.

Now when they say I look like you and tell me
that I have deepened to your wisdom, softened
to your easy grace, I claim my place with honor
in that court of dusky queens whose strength and beauty
invented suns that others only borrow. And Mother,
I am glad to be your child.

Naomi Long Madgett

Note: Born Naomi Cornelia Long in Norfolk, Virginia, Naomi moved to Detroit in 1946. She had been Detroit's poet laureate since 2001 and was awarded a Kresge Foundation Eminent Artist fellowship in 2012. Her poems appear in numerous journals and more than 180 anthologies. She passed away in 2020 at the age of 97.


"Shoulders"

A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world's most sensitive cargo
but he's not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE.

His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy's dream
deep inside him.

We're not going to be able
to live in this world
if we're not willing to do what he's doing
with one another.

The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.

Naomi Shihab Nye, poet, songwriter, and novelist

Note: Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother. She began composing her first poem at the age of six and has published or contributed to over 30 volumes. Her works include poetry, young-adult fiction, picture books, and novels.


Ben Zoma said:
Who is wise? He who learns from every man, as it is said: “From all who taught me have I gained understanding.” (Psalms 119:99).

Who is mighty? He who subdues his [evil] inclination, as it is said: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:3).

Who is rich? He who rejoices in his lot, as it is said: “You shall enjoy the fruit of your labors, you shall be happy and you shall prosper.” (Psalms 128:2).

Who is he that is honored? He who honors his fellow human beings as it is said: “For I honor those that honor Me, but those who spurn Me shall be dishonored.” (I Samuel 2:30).

Pirkei Avot, a compilation of the ethical teachings and maxims from Rabbinic Jewish tradition. It is part of didactic Jewish Åethical literature. Because of its contents, the name is sometimes given as “Ethics of the Fathers.”


"One Morning"

One morning
we will wake up
and forget to build
that wall we’ve been building,

the one between us
the one we’ve been building
for years, perhaps
out of some sense
of right and boundary,
perhaps out of habit.

One morning
we will wake up
and let our empty hands
hang empty at our sides.

Perhaps they will rise,
as empty things
sometimes do
when blown
by the wind.

Perhaps they simply
will not remember
how to grasp, how to rage.

We will wake up
that morning
and we will have
misplaced all our theories
about why and how
and who did what
to whom, we will have mislaid
all our timelines
of when and plans of what
and we will not scramble
to write the plans and theories anew.

On that morning,
not much else
will have changed.

Whatever is blooming
will still be in bloom.

Whatever is wilting
will wilt. There will be fields
to plow and trains
to load and children
to feed and work to do.

And in every moment,
in every action, we will
feel the urge to say thank you,
we will follow the urge to bow.

Rosemerry Trommer


People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like. By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful—more free of interruptions—than your own soul. An instant’s recollection and there it is: complete tranquility. … But keep it brief and basic. A quick visit should be enough to ward off all anxiety and send you back ready to face what awaits you.

Marcus Aurelius, Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor from the 2nd century.


The flower doesn't dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.

Mark Nepo


The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased.

Mark Nepo


When you talk, you are repeating something you already know. But when you listen, you may learn something new.

Dalai Lama


It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.

Brene Brown


If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for?

Langston Hughes, African-American poet, novelist and playwright


"The Swing"

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

Robert Louis Stevenson


When you focus on the good, the good gets better.

Abraham Hicks


"I Bet God"

If He
let go of my hand, I would
weep so loudly,

I would petition with all my might, I would cause
so much trouble

that I bet God would come to His senses
and never do that
again.

Meister Eckhart


"She Let Go"

Pause... Take a breathe… Read...
See what arises.
She let go.
She let go.

Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgements.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the 'right' reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry,
she just let go.

She didn't ask anyone for advice.
She didn't read a book on how to let go.
She didn't search the scriptures.
She just let go.

She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of all the planning and all of the calculations
about how to do it just right.
She didn't promise to let go.
She didn't journal about it.

She didn't write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn't check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.

She didn't analyse whether she should let go.
She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn't do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn't call the prayer-line.
She didn't utter one word.
She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn't good and it wasn't bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone
forever more...

Safire Rose


"Angels"

History will record
that among us
walked certain angels

whose wings
wove patterns
of laughter
in the air

whose songs
salted the humdrum
of our days

whose dance
lifted us
made our lives
lighter

History will record
too late
our indifference
to their difference:
all these strange
odd, eccentric
ethereal angels
who once
walked among us...

Cecil Rejendra


"What I Weigh"

I weigh the sea
I weigh the storm
I weigh a thousand stories long.
I weigh my mother's fortitude and my father's eyes
I weigh the way they look at me with pride
I weigh strength and fearless and the warrior in me.
I weigh all the pain and trauma that made me see
that I have more galaxies inside me than tragedies.
We all weigh joys and darkness and goodness and sin
you see, we are infinite within this skin we are in.
So when they ask you what you weigh
you don't need to look down at any scale.
Instead, simply tell them the truth,
tell them how you
weigh whole universes
and storms and scars and stories too.

Nikita Gill


There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.

Nikki Giovanni Jr., African-American writer and educator


Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.

Camille Pissarro


Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

Anais Nin


Don't let one cloud obliterate the whole sky.

Anais Nin


You cannot save people. You can only love them.

Anais Nin


I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.

Anais Nin


To the world you might be one person, but to one person, you might be the world. Kindness is the golden chain by which our world is bound together.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Nine requisites for contented living: Health enough to make work a pleasure. Wealth enough to support your needs. Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them. Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them. Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished. Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor. Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others. Faith enough to make real the things of God. Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Correction does much, but encouragement does more.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Oblivion is full of people who allow the opinions of others to overrule their belief in themselves.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Too many parents make life hard for their children by trying, too zealously, to make it easy for them.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive.

Charlotte Bronte


We have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins, carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains. 93 percent stardust, with souls made of flames, we are all just stars that have people names.

Nikita Gill
Note: Nikita Gill is a poet and writer. She has written and curated six volumes of poetry and has been described as one of the most exciting young writers working today. Gill's work was first published when she was twelve years old. Her work was rejected for publication 137 times.


A reminder that healing is not linear, does not happen overnight and sometimes you discover wounds that you didn’t even know were there. Setbacks are a part of your journey. Be easy on yourself.

Nikita Gill


“Temporary and Permanent”

Most people in your life
 were only meant 
for dreams,
 and summer laughter. 

They stay till the wind changes, 
the tides turn, 
or disappear
 with the first snow.

 And then there are some 
that were forged
 to weather blizzards
 and pain with you.

 They were cast in iron,
 set in gold
 and never ever leave you
 to face anything alone.

 Know who those people are. 
And love them the way they deserve.
 Not everyone in your life is temporary. 
A few are as permanent as love is old.

Nikita Gill


“Earth Day”

I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.

And just as I
Need every bit
Of me to make
My body fit,
So Earth needs
Grass and stone and tree
And things that grow here
Naturally.

That’s why we
Celebrate this day.
That’s why across
The world we say:
As long as life,
As dear, as free,
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.

Jane Yolen


The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard but must be felt with the heart.

Helen Keller


Anger—it's a paralyzing emotion. You can't get anything done. People think it's an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling. I don't think it's any of that. It’s helpless, it's absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers. Anger doesn't provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.

Tony Morrison


"The Infinite"

The Infinite always is silent:
It is only the Finite speaks.
Our words are the idle wave-caps
On the deep that never breaks.
We may question with wand of science,
Explain, decide, and discuss;
But only in meditation
The Mystery speaks to us.

John Boyle O'Reilly


I can’t afford to hate anyone. I don’t have that kind of time.

Akira Kurosawa


We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

Maya Angelou


"Wild Geese"

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver


Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.

Ancient Indian Proverb


Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

Rumi


When will our conscience grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?

Eleanor Roosevelt


Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.

Rumi


"Self-Observation Without Judgment"

Release the harsh and pointed inner
voice. it's just a throwback to the past,
and holds no truth about this moment.

Let go of self-judgment, the old,
learned ways of beating yourself up
for each imagined inadequacy.

Allow the dialogue within the mind
to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift
out of inner criticism and life
suddenly looks very different.

i can say this only because I make
the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to
acknowledge the real me.

What's needed here isn't more prodding toward perfection, but
intimacy - seeing clearly, and
embracing what I see.

Love, not judgment, sows the
seeds of tranquility and change.

Danna Faulds


Don’t do with love what a child does with a ball, ignoring it when they have it and crying when they’ve lost it.

Pablo Neruda


"Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand"

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and
changing everything carefully
spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and
without breaking anything.

E.E. Cummings


Riches are not from an abundance of worldly good but from a contented mind.

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)


"The Guest House"

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


Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake
of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever
I am contradicted.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


The mind at times fashions for itself false shapes of evil when there are no signs that point to any evil; it twists into the worst construction some word of doubtful meaning; or it fancies some personal grudge to be more serious than it really is, considering not how angry the enemy is, but to what lengths he may go if he is angry. …

What I advise you to do is, not to be unhappy before the crisis comes; since it may be that the dangers before which you paled as if they were threatening you, will never come upon you; they certainly have not yet come.

Accordingly, some things torment us more than they ought; some torment us before they ought; and some torment us when they ought not to torment us at all.

We are in the habit of exaggerating, or imagining, or anticipating, sorrow.

Seneca, Roman Stoic Philosopher


Don’t let your past weigh more than your hopes.

Persian proverb


I feel that the object of life at seventy is practically the same as it was at twenty. Only one thing had been Added. One thing. Beneath the surface waves and storms of youth, beneath the backward and forward fluctuations, deep down, there has been added the calm of inner realization and union. I know now that these two primordial and foundational things (or perhaps they are one) are there. Our union with Nature and humanity is a fact, which — whether we recognize it or not — is at the base of our lives; slumbering, yet ready to wake in our consciousness when the due time arrives. With this assurance one certainly discovers that life — even in old age — may be delightful.

Edward Carpenter


The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing

Galway Kinnell, from "Saint Francis and the Sow"


What are heavy? sea-sand and sorrow.
What are brief? today and tomorrow.
What are frail? spring blossoms and youth.
What are deep? the ocean and truth.

Christina Rossetti


"If I Had My Life to Live Over"

I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd
have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly
and sanely hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I've had my moments and if I had it to do over
again, I'd have more of them. In fact,
I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments.

One after another, instead of living so many
years ahead of each day.

I've been one of those people who never go anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat
and a parachute.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.

If I had it to do again, I would travel lighter next time.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.

Nadine Stair (age 85)


I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.

E.B. White


"Still Water"

We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us, that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.

W.B. Yeats


"Important"

We hurry through the so-called boring things
in order to attend to that which we deem
more important, interesting.

Perhaps the final freedom will be a recognition that
everything in every moment is "essential"
and that nothing at all is "important."

Helen M. Luke


“The Sparrow”

A little bird, with plumage brown,
Beside my window flutters down,
A moment chirps its little strain,
Then taps upon my window-pane,
And chirps again, and hops along,
To call my notice to its song;
But I work on, nor heed its lay,
Till, in neglect, it flies away.

Paul Laurence Dunbar
(Note: Dunbar was born in 1872 to freed slaves from Kentucky. He became one of the first influential Black poets in American literature.)


“The Hippo”

The hippo floats in swamp serene,
some emerged, but most unseen.

Seeing all and only blinking,
Who knows what this beast is thinking.

Gliding, and of judgment clear,
Letting go and being here.

Seeing all, both guilt and glory,
Only noting. But that's MY story.

I sit here hippo-like and breathe,
While inside I storm and seethe.

Would that I were half equanimous
As that placid hippopotamus.

Steven Hickman, Founder and Executive Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness


"The Breeze at Dawn"

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are moving back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

Rumi
(translated by Coleman Barks)


The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. . . Live each moment completely and the future will take care of itself. Fully enjoy the wonder and beauty of each moment.

Paramahansa Yogananda


Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Just think of any negativity that comes at you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.

John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings


“Mindful”

Every day
I see or I hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It is what I was born for –
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world –
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these –
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

Mary Oliver


Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Matthew 7:7


It is not your passing thoughts or brilliant ideas so much as your plain everyday habits that control your life… Live simply. Don’t get caught in the machine of the world— it is too exacting. By the time you get what you are seeking your nerves are gone, the heart is damaged, and the bones are aching. Resolve to develop your spiritual powers more earnestly from now on. Learn the art of right living. If you have joy you have everything, so learn to be glad and contented....Have happiness now.

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)


“What To Eat, And What To Drink, And What To Leave For Poison”

I.
Only now, in spring, can the place be named:
tulip poplar, daffodil, crab apple,
dogwood, budding pink-green, white-green, yellow
on my knowing. All winter I was lost.
Fall, I found myself here, with no texture
my fingers know. Then, worse, the white longing
that downed us deep three months. No flower heat.
That was winter. But now, in spring, the buds
flock our trees. Ten million exquisite buds,
tiny and loud, flaring their petalled wings,
bellowing from ashen branches vibrant
keys, the chords of spring's triumph: fisted heart,
dogwood; grail, poplar; wine spray, crab apple.
The song is drink, is color. Come. Now. Taste.

Camille T. Dungy, Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry


The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of contemporary violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activity neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968), American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion
Note: On May 26, 1949, Merton was ordained to the priesthood and given the name "Father Louis.”


Neither birth nor sex forms a limit to genius.

Charlotte Bronte


Criticism is something we can avoid easily
by saying nothing, doing nothing,
and being nothing.

Aristotle


During a crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams.

Nigerian Proverb


“Today”

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

Billy Collins


You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9


The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:34


“The New Colossus”
Bronze plaque on the Statue of Liberty

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)


“I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud (Daffodils)”

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not be but gay,
in such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth


ON CONSCIOUSNESS AS THE ULTIMATE REALITY

All through the physical world runs that unknown content, which surely must be the stuff of our consciousness. Here is a hint of aspects deep within the world of physics, and yet unattainable by the methods of physics. And moreover, we have found that where science has progressed the farthest, the mind has but regained from nature that which the mind has put into nature. We have found a strange foot-print on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origin. At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the foot-print. And Lo! It is our own!

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, astronomer, physicist and mathematician, who became world-famous in 1919, when his observations of the bending of starlight near the eclipsed sun confirmed predictions made by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity.


It will remain remarkable in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of the consciousness is an ultimate reality.

Eugene Wigner, Nobel physicist, who helped lay the foundations for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics.


I can feel everything and survive. What I thought would kill me, didn't. Every time I said to myself: I can't take this anymore — I was wrong. The truth was that I could and did take it all — and I kept surviving. Surviving again and again made me less afraid of myself, of other people, of life. I learned that I'd never be free from pain but I could be free from the fear of pain, and that was enough.

Glennon Doyle, Untamed
Note: Glennon Doyle, previously known as Glennon Doyle Melton, is an American author and activist known for her #1 New York Times bestsellers  Untamed and  Love Warrior, and bestseller  Carry On, Warrior.


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22


Cast away sadness and melancholy. Life is good, short in days and now is the only time to enjoy it.

Frederico Garcia Lorca


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.

Margaret Atwood


In Perpetual Spring
Gardens are also good places
to sulk. You pass beds of
spiky voodoo lilies
and trip over the roots
of a sweet gum tree,
in search of medieval
plants whose leaves,
when they drop off
turn into birds
if they fall on land,
and colored carp if they
plop into water.

Suddenly the archetypal
human desire for peace
with every other species
wells up in you. The lion
and the lamb cuddling up.
The snake and the snail, kissing.
Even the prick of the thistle,
queen of the weeds, revives
your secret belief
in perpetual spring,
your faith that for every hurt
there is a leaf to cure it.

Amy Gerstler


Don’t use the word “impossible” if you want to accomplish something in life. There’s nothing that exuberant will can’t do.

Pío Baroja, Spanish writer


[in Just-]

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and          wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it's
spring
and

the

goat-footed

balloonMan               whistles
far
and
wee

E. E. Cummings


Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life. That is why man is even ready to suffer, on the condition, to be sure, that his suffering has meaning.

Viktor Frankl


It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.

Rainer Maria Rilke


“May We Raise Children Who Love the Unloved Things”

May we raise children
who love the unloved
things–the dandelion, the
worms and spiderlings.
Children who sense
the rose needs the thorn
& run into rainswept days
the same way they
turn towards sun…
And when they’re grown &
someone has to speak for those
who have no voice
may they draw upon that
wilder bond, those days of
tending tender things
and be the ones.

Nicolette Sowder


My Mississippi Spring
My heart warms under snow;
flowers with forsythia,
japonica blooms, flowering quince,
bridal wreath, blood root and violet;
yellow running jasmin vine,
cape jessamine and saucer magnolias:
tulip-shaped, scenting lemon musk upon the air.
My Mississippi Spring—
my warm loving heart a-fire
with early greening leaves,
dogwood branches laced against the sky;
wild forest nature paths
heralding Resurrection
over and over again
Easter morning of our living
every Mississippi Spring!

Margaret Walker


The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and you—beside—

The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As sponges—Buckets—do—

The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—

Emily Dickinson, c. 1862


“Messy Room”

Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
His underwear is hanging on the lamp.
His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,
And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.
His workbook is wedged in the window,
His sweater's been thrown on the floor.
His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,
And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.
His books are all jammed in the closet,
His vest has been left in the hall.
A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,
And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
Donald or Robert or Willie or--
Huh? You say it's mine? Oh, dear,
I knew it looked familiar!

Shel Silverstein


“Lineage”

My grandmothers were strong.
They followed plows and bent to toil.
They moved through fields sowing seed.
They touched earth and grain grew.
They were full of sturdiness and singing.
My grandmothers were strong.

My grandmothers are full of memories
Smelling of soap and onions and wet clay
With veins rolling roughly over quick hands
They have many clean words to say.
My grandmothers were strong.
Why am I not as they?

Margaret Walker (July 7, 1915 – November 30, 1998), American poet and writer.
Walker was part of the African-American literary movement in Chicago, known as the Chicago Black Renaissance. Her notable works include For My People (1942) which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition, and the novel Jubilee (1966), set in the South during the American Civil War.


An aging master grew tired of his apprentice's complaints. One morning, he sent the apprentice to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told the student to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

"How does it taste?" the master asked.

"Bitter," said the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the apprentice to take a similar handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled the handful of salt in the water, the old man said, "Now drink from the lake."

As the water dripped down the apprentice’s chin, the master asked, "How does it taste?"

"Fresh," remarked the apprentice.

"Do you taste the salt?" asked the master.

"No," said the apprentice. At this the master sat beside this serious young student, and explained softly,

"The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake."


“I Choose The Mountain”

The low lands call

I am tempted to answer

They are offering me a free dwelling

Without having to conquer

The massive mountain makes its move

Beckoning me to ascend

A much more difficult path

To get up the slippery bend

I cannot choose both

I have a choice to make

I must be wise

This will determine my fate

I choose, I choose the mountain

With all its stress and strain

Because only by climbing

Can I rise above the plain

I choose the mountain

And I will never stop climbing

I choose the mountain

And I shall forever be ascending

I choose the mountain

Howard Simon


“Monet Refuses the Operation”

Doctor, you say that there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and changes our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

Lisel Mueller


12 Lakota Virtues

1. Humility (Unsiiciyapi)

2. Perseverance (Wowacintanka)

3. Respect (Wawoohola)

4. Honor (Wayunonihan)

5. Love (Cantognake)

6. Sacrifice (Icicupi)

7. Truth (Wowicake)

8. Compassion (Waunsilapi)

9. Bravery (Woohitike)

10. Fortitude (Cantewasake)

11. Generosity (Canteyuke)

12. Wisdom (Woksape)


Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be 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 towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

His Holiness The XIVth Dalai Lama


“Mind Wanting More”

Only a beige slat of sun
above the horizon, like a shade
pulled not quite down. Otherwise,
clouds. Sea rippled here and
there. Birds reluctant to fly.
The mind wants a shaft of sun to
stir the grey porridge of clouds,
an osprey to stitch sea to sky
with its barred wings, some dramatic
music: a symphony, perhaps
a Chinese gong.

But the mind always
wants more than it has—
one more bright day of sun,
one more clear night in bed
with the moon; one more hour
to get the words right; one
more chance for the heart in hiding
to emerge from its thicket
in dried grasses—as if this quiet day
with its tentative light weren't enough,
as if joy weren't strewn all around.

Holly Hughes


Somewhere deep within
there is a
firmer, simpler, warmer
human being.
This human being trusts
this human being accepts both
the limits that give a human dignity,
and the talents that the world awaits.
Somewhere deep within
there is a purpose that cannot be shaken,
a love that no longer fears,
and a wisdom that ennobles life.
This human being is both
the instrument,
and the profound expression
of life.

Author Unknown


“THE KEYS TO A PEACEFUL MIND”

Through meditation we cultivate attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked. In this way the mind retains its deep undisturbed calm.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


“The Apache don't have a word for love," he said.

"Know what they both say at the marriage?"

"Tell me."

"Varlebena. It means forever. That's all they say.”

Louis L’Amour, Hondo


"Coming"

On longer evenings,

Light, chill and yellow,

Bathes the serene

Foreheads of houses.

A thrush sings,

Laurel-surrounded

In the deep bare garden,

Its fresh-peeled voice

Astonishing the brickwork.

It will be spring soon,

It will be spring soon—

And I, whose childhood

Is a forgotten boredom,

Feel like a child

Who comes on a scene

Of adult reconciling,

And can understand nothing

But the unusual laughter,

And starts to be happy.

Philip Larkin, prominent 1950s British poet


All the stars in the sky have the same face.

Lawrence Weiner, renowned artist, from his public installation on the façade of the Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue, New York, NY


There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient.

Marilynne Robinson, American novelist and essayist
Across her writing career, Robinson has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005, National Humanities Medal in 2012, and the 2016 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.


“Enough”

Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.
Until now

David Whyte


“AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE CHAPTERS”

1. I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… It’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4. I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5. I walk down another street

Portia Nelson
From Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying


what is the greatest lesson a woman should learn

that since day one

she's already had everything she needs within herself

it's the world that convinced her she did not

Rupi Kaur


Haiku

“Old pond”

an ancient pond
a frog jumps in
the splash of water

Matsui Basho, famous Japanese poet

“The first cold shower”

The first cold shower
Even the monkey seems to want
A little coat of straw

Basho

“On a leafless branch”

On a leafless branch
A crow comes to rest –
Autumn nightfall

Basho

“Along this road”

Along this road
Goes no one,
This autumn eve

Basho

“I write, erase, rewrite”

I write, erase, rewrite,
Erase again, and then
A poppy blooms

Hokushi


26 Things That Are Completely Under Your Control

Your beliefs
Your attitude
Your thoughts
Your perspective
How honest you are
Who your friends are
What books you read
How often you exercise
The type of food you eat
How many risks you take
How you interpret the situation
How kind you are to others
How kind you are to yourself
How often you say “I love you.”
How often you say “thank you.”
How you express your feelings
Whether or not you ask for help
How often you practice gratitude
How many times you smile today
The amount of effort you put forth
How you spend / invest your money
How much time you spend worrying
How often you think about your past
Whether or not you judge other people
Whether or not you try again after a setback
How much you appreciate the things you have

Caleb LP Gunner


Life Lessons from the works of William Shakespeare
(Click here for Lifehack's original article.)

“It is not in the Stars to hold our Destiny but in ourselves”
Julius Caesar in Julius Caesar

“Go wisely and go slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.”
Romeo in Romeo and Juliet

“Strong reasons make strong actions.”
Lewis in King John

“How poor are they that do not have Patience?”
Iago in the Tragedy of Othello

“We know what we are but know not what we may be.”
Ophelia in Hamlet

“Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.”
Cressida in Troilus and Cressida

“It is a tale; full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Macbeth in Macbeth

“And often times excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.”
Pembroke in King John


“There Is Another Sky”

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

Emily Dickinson


That it will never come again is what makes life sweet. Dwell in possibility. Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.

Emily Dickinson


It's a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.

Germany Kent


"KINDNESS"

All that matters is kindness
I know it sounds obvious
But it's true
Think of all the bad things in the world
And then think of you
Think about all of the troubles you've faced
And then think of all the kind faces
That pulled you through
It's them that reminded
You of your power
And on the days you feel you've got little purpose
Remember as humans it's as basic as showering
Others with kindness
Compassion
Lashings
Of love
Regardless of race, sex, location and material stuff
It's kindness in its simplest sense
That will take us from this dark present
Into a more hopeful, prospecting tense.

Charly Cox


Meditation accepts us just as we are-in both our tantrums and our bad habits, in our love and commitments and happiness. It allows us to have a more flexible identity because we learn to accept ourselves and all of our human experience with more tenderness and openness. We learn to accept the present moment with an open heart. Every moment is incredibly unique and fresh, and when we drop into the moment, as meditation allows us to do, we learn how to truly taste this tender and mysterious life that we share together.

Pema Chodren


Haiku

well now,
if I am to be alone
I’ll take the moon as a friend

Yosa Buson

Note: A haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables which is written in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.


"LOOK IT OVER"

I leave behind even
my walking stick. My knife
is in my pocket, but that
I have forgot. I bring
no car, no cell phone,
no computer, no camera,
no CD player, no fax, no
TV, not even a book. I go
into the woods. I sit on
a log provided at no cost.
It is the earth I’ve come to,
the earth itself, sadly
abused by the stupidity
only humans are capable of
but, as ever, itself. Free.
A bargain! Get it while it lasts.

Wendell Berry


If you can let go of passion and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might lead you to your passion.

Elizabeth Gilbert


All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer


"Hug O' War"

I will not play at tug o' war

I'd rather play at hug o' war,

Where everyone hugs

Instead of tugs

Where everyone giggles

And rolls on the rug,

Where everyone kisses

And everyone grins

And everyone cuddles

And everyone wins.

Shel Silverstein, Author of "A Light in the Attic"


"The Mountain Poem"

If the mountain seems too big today
then climb a hill instead
if the morning brings you sadness
it’s ok to stay in bed

If the day ahead weighs heavy
and your plans feel like a curse
there’s no shame in rearranging
don’t make yourself feel worse

If a shower stings like needles
and a bath feels like you’ll drown
if you haven’t washed your hair for days
don’t throw away your crown

A day is not a lifetime
a rest is not defeat
don’t think of it as failure
just a quiet, kind retreat

It’s ok to take a moment
from an anxious, fractured mind
the world will not stop turning
while you get realigned

The mountain will still be there
when you want to try again
you can climb it in your own time
just love yourself til then

Laura Ding-Edwards, 2019


US TWO
In this poem, A.A. Milne (1882-1956), the creator of Winnie the Pooh, shows that having a friend by your side provides strength and courage. It also removes the fear we experience when we are alone. This is a narrative poem that tells a story.

Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
"Where are you going today?" says Pooh:
"Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too.
Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.
"Let's go together," says Pooh.

"What's twice eleven?" I said to Pooh.
("Twice what?" said Pooh to Me.)
"I think it ought to be twenty-two."
"Just what I think myself," said Pooh.
"It wasn't an easy sum to do,
But that's what it is," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what it is," said Pooh.

"Let's look for dragons," I said to Pooh.
"Yes, let's," said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
"Yes, those are dragons all right," said Pooh.
"As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That's what they are," said Pooh, said he.
"That's what they are," said Pooh.

"Let's frighten the dragons," I said to Pooh.
"That's right," said Pooh to Me.
"I'm not afraid," I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted "Shoo!
Silly old dragons!"- and off they flew.

"I wasn't afraid," said Pooh, said he,
"I'm never afraid with you."

So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. "That's how it is," says Pooh.

AA Milne


Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
"On True Leadership,"
Chapter 66

Why is the sea king of a hundred streams?
Because it lies below them.
Therefore it is the king of a hundred streams.

If the sage would guide the people, he must serve with humility.
If he would lead them, he must follow behind.
In this way when the sage rules, the people will not feel oppressed;
When he stands before them, they will not be harmed.
The whole world will support him and will not tire of him.

Because he does not compete,
He does not meet competition.

(Tao Te Ching is a classic Chinese text that is translatable as "The Book of the Way and its Virtue.” It was written by the Chinese master Lao Tzu around 600 BCE.)


Earth is what we all have in common.

Wendell Berry


Preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, it's the only home we've ever known.

Carl Sagan


Land really is the best art.

Andy Warhol


There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual- become clairvoyant. We reach then into reality. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. It is in the nature of all people to have these experiences; but in our time and under the conditions of our lives, it is only a rare few who are able to continue in the experience and find expression for it.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit


Think before acting; and whilst acting, still think.

Bulgarian proverb


Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it most.

Swedish proverb


When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; When doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage. So long as mists envelop you, be still; Be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists, as it surely will. Then act with courage.

Ponca Chief White Eagle


“Cookie Thief”

A woman was waiting at the airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene
She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,
As the gustly "cookie thief" diminished her stock
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I'd blacken his eye!"
With each cookie she took, he took one too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he'd do.
with a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, and he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, "Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he's also so rude,
Why, he didn't even show any gratitude!"
She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate,
Refusing to look at the "thieving ingrate".
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise.
There were her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!
"If mine are here," she moaned with despair.
"Then the others were his and he tried to share!"
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!!!!

Valerie Cox


“Hokusai Says”

Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it is interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says everyone of us is a child,
everyone of us is ancient,
everyone of us has a body.
He says everyone of us is frightened.
He says everyone of us has to find
a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive–
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn’t matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.
Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.

Roger Keyes


“When Death Comes”

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver


“Praying”

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Mary Oliver


There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a larger vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendships between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality almost impossible to describe.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


May we have compassion for ourselves and others at this unprecedented time.
May we have the courage to ask for support when we need it.
May we offer support from a resourced body, heart, and mind.
May we trust that we are doing the best we can in each moment.
May we have humility, take responsibility, and make amends when we cause harm.
May we discern with wisdom what is true and act as skillfully as we can.
May we forgive ourselves and each other for our humanity.
May we remember when we forget.

La Sarmiento, Lovingkindness


Just for Now,
Without asking how, let yourself sink into stillness.
Just for now, lay down the weight
You so patiently bear upon your shoulders.
Feel the earth receive you,
And the infinite expanse of the sky grow even wider,
as your awareness reaches up to meet it.
Just for now,
Allow a wave of breath to enliven your experience.
Breathe out whatever blocks you from the truth.
Just for now,
Be boundless, free, with awakened energy tingling in your hands and feet.
Drink in the possibility
Of being who and what you really are –
So fully alive that the world looks different,
Newly born and vibrant, just for now.

Danna Faulds


When we consider peace, we realize that there is individual peace and there is collective peace—which is peace within a society, peace within a nation, peace among nations. They seem to be two different things, but they are profoundly and intimately connected. Many individuals in a society, if they are stressed, and strained, and incoherent, they create an incoherent, stressed, and strained society. It is very important that society has individuals that are balanced, that are peaceful in order for society to be peaceful.

Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR


"Invictus"

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley


Thus, without expectation,
One will always perceive the subtlety,
And, with expectation,
One will always perceive the boundary.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching


Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1927


Don't look back, you’re not going that way.

Anonymous


To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent
people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest
Critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Be glad of life
because it gives you the chance
to love and to work and to play
and to look up at the stars;
to be satisfied with your possessions;
to despise nothing in the world
except falsehood and meanness,
to fear nothing except cowardice;
to be governed by your admirations
rather than by your disgusts;
to covet nothing that is your neighbor's
except his kindness of heart and gentleness of manners;
to think seldom of your enemies,
often of your friends,
to spend as much time as you can,
with body and with spirit, out of doors,
these are the little guideposts on the footpath to peace.

Henry Van Dyke


And the time came when the risk to remain a tight in a bud was more painful that the risk It took to blossom.

Anais Nin


Whenever you do something that is not aligned with the yearning or your soul—you create suffering.

Anais Nin


Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. But concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”

William H Murray


These days are like a strong wind on a young tree. It drives the roots deep.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.

Joseph Campbell


Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.

Robert Louis Stevenson


If diet is wrong, medication is of no use.
If diet is correct, medication is of no need.

Charak, Ayurveda


Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.

Hippocrates


Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep to the original oneness?
Can you let your body become
supple as a new born child’s?
Can you cleanse your inner vision
until you see nothing but the light?
Can you love people and lead them
without imposing your will?
Can you deal with the most vital matters
by letting events take their course?
Can you step back from your own mind
and thus understand all things?

Giving birth and nourishing,
having without possessing,
acting with no expectations,
leading and not trying to control,
this is the supreme virtue

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching ("The Book of the Way and its Virtue")


Rivers do not drink their own water, trees do not eat their own fruit. The sun does not shine on itself, and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is… Life is good when you are happy, but life is much better when others are happy because of you.

Pope Francis


The greater you are, the more you need to search for your self. Your deep soul hides itself from consciousness. So you need to increase aloneness, elevation of thinking, penetration of thought, liberation of mind — until finally your soul reveals itself to you, spangling a few sparkles of her lights.

Then you find bliss, transcending all humiliations or anything that happens, by attaining equanimity, by becoming one with everything that happens, by reducing yourself so extremely that you nullify your individual, imaginary form, that you nullify existence in the depth of yourself.

“What are we?” Then you know every spark of truth, every bolt of integrity flashing anywhere.

Then everything gathers to you, without hatred, jealousy, or rivalry. The light of peace and a fierce boldness manifest in you. The desire to act and work, the passion to create and to restore your self, the yearning for silence and for the inner shout of joy — these all band together in your spirit, and you become holy.

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook


Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible networks, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.

However, I am not an atheist... The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It doesn’t know how. It doesn’t understand the languages in which they were written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being towards God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellation.

Albert Einstein


How yearns the solitary soul
To melt into the boundless whole,
And find itself again in peace!
The blind desire, the impatient will,
The restless thoughts and plans are still;
We yield ourselves—and wake in bliss!

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


There is in the blind as well as in those who see an Absolute which gives truth to what we know to be true, order to what is orderly, beauty to the beautiful, touchableness to what is tangible. Reality, of which visible things are the outward symbol, shines before my mind. While I walk about my chamber with unsteady steps, my spirit sweeps skyward on eagle wings and looks out with unquenchable vision upon the world of eternal beauty.

Helen Keller


"The Peace of Wild Things"

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


I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.

Plutarch


Daffodils
for oft when on my couch i lie,
in vacant or in pensive mood

they flash apon that inward eye
which is the bliss of solitude

& then my heart with pleasure fills
& dances w/ the daffodils

William Wordsworth


Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

"You owe me."

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.

Hafiz, Persian poet


In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.

Pico Iyer, from The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere


Not many years ago, it was access to information and movement that seemed our greatest luxury; nowadays it’s often freedom from information, the chance to sit still, that feels like the ultimate prize.

Pico Iyer


This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”

John O'Donohue, from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings


We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.

Maya Angelou


No matter how full the river, it still wants to grow.

Congolese proverb


One whose seeds have not sprouted does not give up planting.

Kenyan proverb


Within us is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the universal beauty, the eternal One.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


All meditation where the intellect works, fatigues the body. There are other meditations… which are restful, full of peace for the intellect, without labor for the interior faculties of the soul, and which are performed without either physical or interior effort. I had experienced such extreme satisfaction since beginning to make us of this method of meditation that I did not think it possible to experience gentler or more innocent joys in life.

Renee Descartes, Mathematician, scientist, inventor of the Cartesian coordinate system


I feel that the object of life at seventy is practically the same as it was at twenty. Only one thing had been Added. One thing. Beneath the surface waves and storms of youth, beneath the backward and forward fluctuations, deep down, there has been added the calm of inner realization and union. I know now that these two primordial and foundational things (or perhaps they are one) are there. Our union with Nature and humanity is a fact, which--whether we recognize it or not--is at the base of our lives; slumbering, yet ready to wake in our consciousness when the due time arrives. With this assurance one certainly discovers that life--even in old age — may be delightful.

Edward Carpenter, Writer, poet, educator


Maggie and Milly and Molly and May
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and Maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles, and
Milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and Molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and
May came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

E.E. Cummings


One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said… “I made a difference for that one.

Loren Eisley, Anthropologist, educator, philosopher, and natural science writer


Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.

Albert Einstein


To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.

Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher and writer, founder of Taoism


Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalms 46:10


The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Stop trying to calm the storm. Calm yourself and the storm will pass.

Anonymous


Outside is the joy of the drop. Inside is the joy of the ocean.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


If we think of defeat, that's what we will get. If we are undecided then nothing will happen for us. We must just pick something great to do, and then do it. Never think of failure at all, for as we think now, that's what we will get.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


But, first, a hush of peace—a soundless calm descends;
The struggle of distress, and fierce impatience ends;
Mute music soothes my breast—unuttered harmony,
That I could never dream, till Earth was lost to me.
Then dawns the Invisible; the Unseen its truth reveals;
My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels:
Its wings are almost free—its home, its harbour found,
Measuring the gulph, it stoops and dares the final bound.
Oh! dreadful is the check—intense the agony—
When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins to see;
When the pulse begins to throb, the brain to think again;
The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain.

Emily Brontë


There’s a door in every home, wherever we are. We can go in and out of it without fear or taking extra precautions; we can travel, visit our loved ones, and meet innumerable new people. Opening it requires only the willpower to take a moment of complete silence and ask ourselves what is really important, and what isn’t. The key to this other door can be found at the crossroads of the head and the heart: if you want to find it, you will. There is a home within each of us that is like no other, beautiful and welcoming, full of sunlight, with a blooming garden, a doorway to the world and a balcony that looks over an infinite universe. A home made up of wonder, the desire to share, love, and the certainty that this whole earthly realm is one big family. Let’s use this obligatory stay at home to seek it out, to discover the immeasurable beauty of what we hold inside and everything that we are.

Andrea Bocelli


All shall be well... for there is a force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go.

Julian of Norwich, 14th century English mystic


Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.

Robert Louis Stevenson


Self

Once I freed myself of my duties to tasks and people and went down to the cleansing sea...
The air was like wine to my spirit,
The sky bathed my eyes with infinity,
The sun followed me, casting golden snares on the tide,
And the ocean—masses of molten surfaces, faintly gray-blue—sang to my heart...
Then I found myself, all here in the body and brain, and all there on the shore:
Content to be myself: free, and strong, and enlarged:
Then I knew the depths of myself were the depths of space.
And all living beings were of those depths (my brothers and sisters)
And that by going inward and away from duties, cities, street-cars and greetings,
I was dipping behind all surfaces, piercing cities and people,
And entering in and possessing them, more than a brother,
The surge of all life in them and in me...
So I swore I would be myself (there by the ocean)
And I swore I would cease to neglect myself, but would take myself as my mate,
Solemn marriage and deep: midnights of thought to be:
Long mornings of sacred communion, and twilights of talk,
Myself and I, long parted, clasping and married till death.

James Oppenheim


People seek retreats for themselves — in the country, by the sea, in the hills — and you yourself are particularly prone to this yearning. But all this is quite on the surface, when what is open to you, at any time you want, is to retreat into yourself. For nowhere is there more quiet or more freedom from trouble than when you retire into your own soul ….

Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and stoic philosopher


At the heart of every winter,
there is a quivering spring;
and behind the veil of each night
there is a smiling dawn.

Kahlil Gibran


Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.

Epictetus


As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace.

Denise Levertov


He who would do great things should not attempt to do them alone.

Seneca proverb


It does not require many words to speak the truth.

Chief Joseph, Nez Perce Tribe, 1840-1904


Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but a thread within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

Chief Seattle, Duwamish Tribe, 1780-1866


In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decision on the next seven generations.

Iroquois maxim


I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am in that place within me, we shall be one.

Crazy Horse Oglala, Lakota Sioux Tribe, 1840-1877


In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better, pushing right back.

Albert Camus


If I keep a green bough in my heart
the singing bird will come.

Chinese proverb


There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea
A solitude of death, but these
Society shall be
Compared with that profounder site
That polar privacy
A soul admitted to itself—
Finite infinity!

Emily Dickinson


Still there are moments when one feels free from one’s own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments, one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable: life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only being.

Albert Einstein


“Peeling an Egg”

at my kitchen sink,
looking out the window,
as I do each morning,
  I think -
 
What is there to say
  that hasn’t been said?
What is there to write
  that hasn’t been written?
 
“No one,” you answer,
  but you, has seen
  this egg, this light,
  nor heard these birds
  this morning, only you.
 
You are the only one
  who can tell your story.”

— Emily Lewis Penn


"2x Daily"

sometimes
it's as if I am very tiny

happily sitting on a single mostly white
illuminated pink and yellow rose

petal with a yellow and green stem
tributaries orchestrating

sweet fragrant tones
of drunken joy

celebrating
living love and beauty


“Spring’s Rebellion”

Yesterday we did all those things one does at the conclusion of a long winter campaign.
            We mowed. 
                    We pruned.
                             We raked.
                                    We waged war with the ants.
            We thought smugly of ourselves,
                    All organized and in control,
                             Of all those messy outside things.
                                    We credited ourselves with a pat on the back and a job well done.
Today we awoke.
            After the rain.
                    After the wind.
                             After the sun fought back and won victoriously.
            Awoke to the rebellion of Spring.
                    To the violent uprising of lush uneven green.
                             To the explosion of color, of weeds and winter crops abloom,
                                    To the drone of bees and gnats and all manner of airborne things.
We are under siege.
            Or perhaps…
                    We are just out-of-step with a festive celebration.
                             Of exuberant alleluias,
                                    Hands and voices raised to the skies.    
                             Of ticker-tape and confetti parades,
                                    With firecrackers and shouts of joy.                                                             
Today I will kick off my shoes.
            Run barefoot on the grass.
                    Warm my face in the sun.
                             Gather a bouquet of wildflowers and herbs.
                                    Pick the last tender leaves of lettuce and winter greens.
            I will lay down my weapons and give thanks,
                    For all wondrous things I cannot control,
                             And perhaps,                           
                                    Even strike a truce with the ants.

— Diana Shima


Haiku from our meditators

“Winter Meditation”

Walking the woods path
Glistening in the warm sun
Frost thaws on the lake

— Tyler Principe

Bowing to the sea
I offer my gratitude.
Waves, as life, pass by.

— Smita Vyas Kumar


Take a dip in the clear, deep, refreshing water.
Allow it to soothe your tired body, your aching heart and your distressed mind.
Return to your day rejuvenated and renewed.
Allow yourself to spill forth into everything you do, radiating onto all you encounter.
Returning to the water whenever you find it necessary for the source is eternal.
There you will find no agenda, no goals to meet, no questions to answer or issues to resolve.
It is nothing and yet it is everything and it is here for us, in this moment, in the state that we are in.
Ever present, ever waiting to accept you and envelop you just as you are.

— Chris Vitello


I close my eyes
And I pray
In the silence, I instantly rush to a first thought
And then a second
And a third
Rapid fire
"You are not there"
"You do not care"
This anxiety and raging mind - could it be blind?
It is not kind
The surface waves crash, making thunderous sounds
Crashing and crashing
Upon the shore, and the surface of the sea
That is my mind
It is not me

I close my eyes
And I struggle
There is knocking at my heart
I hurt to even glimpse down towards chest wall
It aches for something I cannot comprehend
Not with these thoughts rushing through
And crashing
I want distraction, some temptation to guide me away
From this hurt
From this heart
From this head
And the knocking

I close my eyes
Keeping them shut
I do not move; I do not quake
I allow the waves to overtake me
As ... I ... awake
As I am submerged
Into the deeper place
A different space
Below the surface of the sea
In a world sublime
Colors
Coral

In stillness
Sunbeams silent hitting ocean floor
Could there be more?

I close my eyes
And though chaos rolls all around this bubble
That is my cave underwater
Yes
I am there
And yes I do care
It's all I really need
As heartaches soften into silence
And peace arises without a word
All that is left is all that I can be
Nothing really more to hear, think or say
It is me
Of this I pray

— Jim Ellis