~ 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


Friday, September 16, 2022

For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.

Oscar Wilde


Friday, September 16, 2022

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss

To love is to risk not being loved in return,

To hope is to risk despair,

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live. Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom. Only a person who risks is free.

William Ward


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Four Keys to Happiness

Friendship towards the joyful.

Compassion towards the suffering.

Happiness towards the pure.

Undisturbed towards the impure.

Upanishads


Thursday, September 15, 2022

So plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.

Jose Luis Borges

Borges, 1899-1986, was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet, and translator, as well as a key figure in Spanish-language and international literature.


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.

Brandi Snyder


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

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

Pat Schneider was born in rural Missouri in 1934 and is the author of nine books of poetry.


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

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


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

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

Indian Proverb

“A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.”

Spanish Proverb


Monday, September 12, 2022

I Am In Need Of Music

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

Elizabeth Bishop

This sonnet by one of the twentieth century’s greatest American poets reflects on the ‘magic made by melody’, the healing power that music has over our emotions. The imagery in the sonnet’s closing sestet is like a visual description of the sensual power of music, which at its best seems to transcend the traditional senses.


Monday, September 12, 2022

This Is the Time to Be Slow

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


Sunday, September 11, 2022

WORDS OF THE DAY

Widdershins: Another way to say something is moving counter-clockwise or something is moving in the wrong direction.

Pandiculation: What happens when you wake up in the morning and stretch. As you stretch, your muscles might go rigid for a short time.

Abibliophopia: Refers to someone who has the fear of running out of things to read.


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Friday, September 10, 2022

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”

Maya Angelou


Thursday, September 9, 2022

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

All’s Well That Ends Well, 1:2

“Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”

Twelfth Night, 3:1

“It’s not enough to speak, but to speak true.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ 5:1


Thursday, September 9, 2022

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,
and disappears when it wants to.
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: Naomi is an American poet, editor, songwriter, and novelist. Born to a Palestinian father and an American mother in 1952, she began composing her first poetry at the age of six. In total, she has published or contributed to over 30 volumes of poetry.


Thursday, September 8, 2022

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark

This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty. Like living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma of our world. So don’t be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger or fear, for these responses arise from the depth of your caring and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings. To “suffer with” is the literal meaning of compassion.

Joanna Rogers Macy


Friday, September 2, 2022

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

Henry Ward Beecher


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


Thursday, September 1, 2022

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.

William Shakespeare

(Note: “The quality of mercy” is a speech given by Portia in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (Act 4, Scene 1 ). In the speech, Portia, disguised as a lawyer, begs Shylock to show mercy to Antonio. The speech extols the power of mercy, “an attribute to God Himself.” )


September

The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.
The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.
The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook.
From dewy lanes at morning
the grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.
By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1865), American poet and writer who became an activist on behalf of improved treatment of Native Americans by the United States government. She described the adverse effects of government actions in her history, A Century of Dishonor.


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

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


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


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

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

C. S. Lewis


The Room of Ancient Keys

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


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

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


Monday, August 29, 2022

A List of Praises

Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing,
Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches,
Mad with the joy of the Sabbath,
Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun,
Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes,
A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous poetry
living wild on the Streets through generations of children.

Give praise with the sound of the milk-train far away
With its mutter of wheels and long-drawn-out sweet whistle
As it speeds through the fields of sleep at three in the morning,
Give praise with the immense and peaceful sigh
Of the wind in the pinewoods,
At night give praise with starry silences.

Give praise with the skirling of seagulls
And the rattle and flap of sails
And gongs of buoys rocked by the sea-swell
Out in the shipping-lanes beyond the harbor.
Give praise with the humpback whales,
Huge in the ocean they sing to one another.

Give praise with the rasp and sizzle of crickets, katydids and cicadas,
Give praise with hum of bees,
Give praise with the little peepers who live near water.
When they fill the marsh with a shimmer of bell-like cries
We know that the winter is over.

Give praise with mockingbirds, day’s nightingales.
Hour by hour they sing in the crepe myrtle
And glossy tulip trees
On quiet side streets in southern towns.

Give praise with the rippling speech
Of the eider-duck and her ducklings
As they paddle their way downstream
In the red-gold morning
On Restiguche, their cold river,
Salmon river,
Wilderness river.

Give praise with the whitethroat sparrow.
Far, far from the cities,
Far even from the towns,
With piercing innocence
He sings in the spruce-tree tops,
Always four notes
And four notes only.

Give praise with water,
With storms of rain and thunder
And the small rains that sparkle as they dry,
And the faint floating ocean roar
That fills the seaside villages,
And the clear brooks that travel down the mountains

And with this poem, a leaf on the vast flood,
And with the angels in that other country.

Anne Porter (1911 to 2011)


Monday, August 29, 2022

WORDS OF THE DAY

Abibliophobia
This refers to someone who has a real and profound phobia of running out of reading material.

Flibbertigibbet
This refers to someone who is silly and who talks incessantly. The first known usage of this word is the 15th century and used to be spelled flepergebet. This word also refers to a person who is flighty.

Smellfungus
(plural: smellfunguses or smellfungi—not kidding! ) This refers to someone who is a faultfinder, complainer, or a grumbler.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

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 Angel Bocelli, OMRI OMDSM

(Note: Bocelli is an Italian opera singer, songwriter, and record producer. Celine Dion has said, ”If God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli.” Andrea was born with poor eyesight and became completely blind at age 12, following a football accident. )


WORDS OF THE DAY

Ruhe
(German ) – Peace and quiet, when nothing around you bothers you and you feel calm and good.

Bhava
(Sanskrit ) – When you’re in a mental state of bliss or peace, a oneness that seeps into you.

Uitbuiken
(Dutch )- Literally translates as “outbellying”—to relax, satiated, between courses or after a meal.


Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Fountain

Into the sunshine,
Full of the light,
Leaping and flashing,
From morn till night!

Into the moonlight,
Whiter than snow,
Waving so flower-like
When the winds blow!

Into the starlight,
Rushing in spray,
Happy at midnight,
Happy by day!

Ever in motion,
Blithesome and cheery,
Still climbing heavenward,
Never aweary;

Glad of all weathers,
Still seeming best,
Upward or downward,
Motion, thy rest;

Full of a nature
Nothing can tame,
Changed every moment,
Ever the same;

Ceaseless aspiring,
Ceaseless content,
Darkness or sunshine
Thy element;

Glorious fountain!
Let my heart be
Fresh, changeful, constant,
Upward like thee!

James Russell Lowell, one of the most noted of American poets; also well known as an essayist and lecturer. He was born at Cambridge, Mass., in 1819, and died there in 1891.


Finding My Fortitude

I am finding my fortitude,
embracing my strength,
though no one but me
might notice the change.
Maybe that’s all I have
to say today, no need for
long explanations, just
finding my fortitude,
embracing my strength.
I would never have described
myself as courageous,
but it takes a certain something
to face adversity and not run
the other way. I am standing
my ground with as much
love as I can muster.

Danna Faulds


Friday, August 26, 2022

Lost Dog

It’s just getting dark, fog drifting in,
damp grasses fragrant with anise and mint,
and though I call his name
until my voice cracks,
there’s no faint tinkling
of tag against collar, no sleek
black silhouette with tall ears rushing
toward me through the wild radish.

As it turns out, he’s trotted home,
tracing the route of his trusty urine.
Now he sprawls on the deep red rug, not dead,
not stolen by a car on West Cliff Drive.

Every time I look at him, the wide head
resting on outstretched paws,
joy does another lap around the racetrack
of my heart. Even in sleep
when I turn over to ease my bad hip,
I’m suffused with contentment.

If I could lose him like this every day
I’d be the happiest woman alive.

Ellen Bass


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


Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Mountain Poem

If the mountain seems too big today then climb a hill instead
if the morning brings you sadness it’s okay to stay in bed
if the day ahead weighs heavy and your plans feel like a curse
there’s no shame in re-arranging 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 okay 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
so climb it in your own time and love yourself til then.

Laura Ding-Edwards, author and artist, residing in rural Herefordshire. Her poetry book The Mountain was released in October 2019.


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

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC to 43 BC), Roman lawyer, writer, and orator, famous for his orations on politics and society, as well as serving as a high-ranking consul.


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

Jan Glidewell


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.

Leonardo da Vinci


Life well spent is long.

Leonardo da Vinci


The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

Leonardo da Vinci


If I Were in Charge of the World

If I were in charge of the world
I’d cancel oatmeal,
Monday mornings,
Allergy shots, and also Sara Steinberg.

If I were in charge of the world
There’d be brighter night lights,
Healthier hamsters, and
Basketball baskets forty eight inches lower.

If I were in charge of the world
You wouldn’t have lonely.
You wouldn’t have clean.
You wouldn’t have bedtimes.
Or ‘Don’t punch your sister.’
You wouldn’t even have sisters.

If I were in charge of the world
A chocolate sundae with whipped cream and nuts would be a vegetable
All 007 movies would be G,
And a person who sometimes forgot to brush,
And sometimes forgot to flush,
Would still be allowed to be
In charge of the world.

Judith Viorst, American writer, newspaper journalist, and psychoanalysis researcher. Judith is known for her humorous observational poetry and for her children’s literature.


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

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, Temporary and Permanent


On the Beach at Night Alone

On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future.

A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, all inanimate forms,
All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.

Walt Whitman


Monday, August 22, 2022

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


Morning Prayer

Now another day is breaking,
Sleep was sweet and so is waking.
Dear Lord, I promised you last night
Never again to sulk or fight.
Such vows are easier to keep
When a child is sound asleep.
Today, O Lord, for your dear sake,
I’ll try to keep them when awake.

Ogden Nash


We have thousands of opportunities every day to be grateful: for having good weather, to have slept well last night, to be able to get up, to be healthy, to have enough to eat. There’s opportunity upon opportunity to be grateful—that’s what life is.

David Steindl-Rast, American Benedictine Monk


Sunday, August 21, 2022

Every poem is a momentary stay against the confusion of the world.

Robert Frost


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


The Word

Down near the bottom
of the crossed-out list
of things you have to do today,

between “green thread”
and “broccoli,” you find
that you have penciled “sunlight.”

Resting on the page, the word
is beautiful. It touches you
as if you had a friend

and sunlight were a present
he had sent from someplace distant
as this morning—to cheer you up,

and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure
is a thing

that also needs accomplishing.
Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds

of love, and love
is no less practical
than a coffee grinder

or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly
without a clue,

but today you get a telegram
from the heart in exile,
proclaiming that the kingdom

still exists,
the king and queen alive,
still speaking to their children,

—to any one among them
who can find the time
to sit out in the sun and listen.

Tony Hoagland


Saturday, August 20, 2022

Messenger

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Mary Oliver


WORDS OF THE DAY

Aspaldiko
(Basque ) – Translates as “long ago” and is used to describe the euphoria and happiness felt when catching up with someone you haven’t seen in a long time.


Mít kliku
(Czech ) – Translates as “to have a door handle” and is used to mean “to have luck on your side or be lucky enough to achieve something.”


BLEEZER’S ICE CREAM

I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
I run BLEEZER’S ICE CREAM STORE,
there are flavors in my freezer
you have never seen before,
twenty-eight divine creations
too delicious to resist,
why not do yourself a favor,
try the flavors on my list:

COCOA MOCHA MACARONI
TAPIOCA SMOKED BALONEY
CHECKERBERRY CHEDDAR CHEW
CHICKEN CHERRY HONEYDEW
TUTTI-FRUTTI STEWED TOMATO
TUNA TACO BAKED POTATO
LOBSTER LITCHI LIMA BEAN
MOZZARELLA MANGOSTEEN
ALMOND HAM MERINGUE SALAMI
YAM ANCHOVY PRUNE PASTRAMI
SASSAFRAS SOUVLAKI HASH
SUKIYAKI SUCCOTASH
BUTTER BRICKLE PEPPER PICKLE
POMEGRANATE PUMPERNICKEL
PEACH PIMENTO PIZZA PLUM
PEANUT PUMPKIN BUBBLEGUM
BROCCOLI BANANA BLUSTER
CHOCOLATE CHOP SUEY CLUSTER
AVOCADO BRUSSELS SPROUT
PERIWINKLE SAUERKRAUT
COTTON CANDY CARROT CUSTARD
CAULIFLOWER COLA MUSTARD
ONION DUMPLING DOUBLE DIP
TURNIP TRUFFLE TRIPLE FLIP
GARLIC GUMBO GRAVY GUAVA
LENTIL LEMON LIVER LAVA
ORANGE OLIVE BAGEL BEET
WATERMELON WAFFLE WHEAT

I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
I run BLEEZER’S ICE CREAM STORE,
taste a flavor from my freezer,
you will surely ask for more.

Jack Prelutsky


Friday, August 19, 2022

Quest

My goal out-distances the utmost star,
Yet is encompassed in my inmost Soul;
I am my goal – my quest, to know myself.
To chart and compass this unfathomed sea,
Myself must plumb the boundless universe.
My Soul contains all thought, all mystery,
All wisdom of the Great Infinite Mind:
This is to discover, I must voyage far,
At last to find it in my pulsing heart.

Carrie Williams Clifford (1862-1934)


Human Family

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

Maya Angelou


Thursday, August 18, 2022

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


We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

(Note: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ was a French Jesuit priest, scientist, paleontologist, theologian, philosopher and teacher. He was Darwinian in outlook and the author of several influential theological and philosophical books. He took part in the discovery of Peking Man. Born: May 1, 1881, Orcines, France. Died: April 10, 1955, New York, NY )


Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Wedesday, August 17, 2022

No one can see their true reflection in running water.
It is only in still water that we can see.

Taoist proverb


What Makes You Human

Truth be told, and don’t be always telling it,
I don’t really know
What this means, “I’m only human.”

I’ve said it myself.

Is it a kind of shorthand for
“Well, we all make mistakes.”

Then, there’s the poet who asks
you to understand the “human truths”
of our experience.

What does that even mean?
Is he asking, “How are you feeling?”

How are you feeling?

So, you want to be happy.
You don’t want to suffer.

As a baby, when you cried,
Someone changed your diaper.
When you laughed, someone laughed with you.

This much is true, this is all to say
that happiness exists right here,
right now.
Right?

Emily Lewis Penn


ABOUT CROWS

The old crow is getting slow.
The young crow is not.
Of what the young crow does not know
The old crow knows a lot.
At knowing things the old crow
Is still the young crow’s master.
What does the slow old crow not know?
How to go faster.
The young crow flies above, below,
And rings around the slow old crow.
What does the fast young crow not know?
Where to go.

John Ciardi, 1961


TWO KINDS OF INTELLIGENCE

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

Rumi (1207-1273)


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

“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


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.

Kālidāsa, a classical Sanskrit scholar, considered one of ancient India’s greatest poets and playwrights. He lived during the 4th and 5th centuries CE.


Monday, August 15, 2022

You have control over action alone, never over its fruits

Bhagavad Gita


“Bob Roth said something before going into a meditation that was a game changer for not only my TM practice but also my life.

On one of Bob’s group meditation calls (which I highly recommend) just before the meditation started he said:

‘Start the meditation without any expectation of any results.’

Hm. That landed on me and left an instant imprint. The idea of meditating and not expecting was an idea the ego did not like. And that’s how I knew it was a good idea.”

Michael Cinquino writes about one of his recent meditation experiences for the TM.org blog. Read his full blog entry here.


The Tables Turned

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun above the mountain’s head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless—
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

Wiliam Wordsworth


Sunday, August 14, 2022

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.

Friedrich Nietzsche


One who cannot tolerate small misfortunes can never accomplish great things.

Chinese proverb


If I keep a green bough in my heart the singing bird will come.

Chinese proverb


SHE LET GO

Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear.
She let go of judgments.
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 just let go. She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of 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.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
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. 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 forevermore.

Rev. Safire Rose


Saturday, August 13, 2022

NEW FRIENDS AND OLD FRIENDS

Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test-
Time and change—are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray;
Friendship never knows decay.
For ‘mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die;
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast-
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.

Joseph Parry


Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.

Hello, you who made 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 the 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


Friday, August 12, 2022

Lakota Prayer

Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery,
teach me how to trust
my heart,
my mind,
my intuition,
my inner knowing,
the senses of my body,
the blessings of my spirit.
Teach me to trust these things
so that I may enter my Sacred Space
and love beyond my fear,
and thus Walk in Balance
with the passing of each glorious Sun.


Chinook Prayer

May all I say and all I think
be in harmony with Thee,
God within me,
God beyond me,
Maker of the trees.


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

Henry David Thoreau


Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.

Abraham Lincoln


I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.

Mahatma Gandhi


BODY LANGUAGE

Said my feet, “Hey, let’s go dancin’.”

Said my tongue, “Let’s have a snack.”

Said my brain, “Let’s read a good book.”

Said my eyes, “Let’s take a nap.”

Said my legs, “Let’s just go walkin’.”

Said my back, “Let’s take a ride.”

Said my seat, “Well, I’ll just sit right here,

‘Til all of you decide.”

Shel Silverstein


FOOT REPAIR

I walked so much I wore down my feet–

Do you know how weird that feels?

I went to the cobbler. “Aha,” says he,

“You need new soles and heels.”

So he took some tacks

And some thick new skin,

And quick as quick could be,

He stitched and he clipped

And he glued and he snipped,

And he shined ‘em up for me,

But when he said, “Ten dollars, please,”

It almost knocked me flat

“Ten dollars? Just for heels and soles?

I could have bought new feet for that.”

Shel Silverstein


Thursday, August 11, 2022

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

Mandy Hale


Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.

Pema Chödrön


Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small steps.

David Lloyd George


There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Lord Byron (1788-1824)


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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


One Soul

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.

Donna Faulds


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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

(Note: Nelson Mandela regularly recited this poem, Invictus, during his 27 years of imprisonment in South Africa. Invictus means “inconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin. )


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


Monday, August 8, 2022

Never, no, never did Nature say one thing and wisdom say another.

Edmund Burke


Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.

Erwin Schrödinger, a founder of quantum theory


The common division of the subject and object, inner world and outer world, body and soul, is no longer adequate and leads us into difficulties.

Werner Heisenberg, founder of quantum theory and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle


The stuff of the world is mind-stuff.

Sir Arthur Eddington, provided experimental evidence of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity


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.

Bertrand Russell


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


Sunday, August 7, 2022

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

Immanuel Kant


Patience is the companion of wisdom.

Saint Augustine


It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

Henry David Thoreau


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

Maya Angelou


EMPATHY

Let me
hold the door for you.
I may have
never walked
in your shoes,
but I can see
your soles are worn,
your strength is torn
under the weight of a story
I have never lived before.
Let me hold the door for you.
After all you’ve walked through,
It’s the least I can do.

Morgan Harper Nichols


SUNDAY MORNING POETRY!

DEEP IN OUR REFRIGERATOR

Deep in our refrigerator,
there’s a special place
for food that’s been around awhile…
we keep it, just in case.
‘It’s probably too old to eat,’
my mother likes to say.
‘But I don’t think it’s old enough
for me to throw away.’

It stays there for a month or more
to ripen in the cold,
and soon we notice fuzzy clumps
of multicolored mold.
The clumps are larger every day,
we notice this as well,
but mostly what we notice
is a certain special smell.

When finally it all becomes
a nasty mass of slime,
my mother takes it out, and says,
‘Apparently, it’s time.’
She dumps it in the garbage can,
though not without regret,
then fills the space with other food
that’s not so ancient yet.

Jack Prelutsky


PANCAKE?

Who wants a pancake,
Sweet and piping hot?
Good little Grace looks up and says,
“I’ll take the one on top.”
Who else wants a pancake,
Fresh off the griddle?
Terrible Theresa smiles and says,
“I’ll take the one in the middle.”

Shel Silverstein


SNOWBALL

I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I’d keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first—it wet the bed.

Shel Silverstein


UNDERFACE

Underneath my outside face
There’s a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me.

Shel Silverstein


HALFWAY DOWN

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!

AA Milne


Saturday, August 6, 2022

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


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?
Rapidly, merrily,
Life’s sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily
Enjoy them as they fly!
What though Death at times steps in,
And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O’er hope, a heavy sway?
Yet Hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair!

Charlotte Bronte


Friday, August 5, 2022

For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons and your properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue come money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, my influence is ruinous indeed. But if anyone says that this is not my teaching, he is speaking an untruth. Wherefore, O men of Athens, I say to you … either acquit me or not; but whatever you do, know that I shall never alter my ways, not even if I have to die many times.

Socrates (470 to 399 BCE)


The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways — I to die, and you to live. Which is better, God only knows.

Socrates


What Are Heavy?

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


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


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


How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Anne Frank


Thursday, August 4, 2022

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

Thomas Merton


WORDS OF THE DAY

​​Poronkusema
(Finish ) – The distance a reindeer can comfortably travel before taking a break to urinate. In case you were wondering, it’s around, 4.7miles / 7.5km. Poronkusema was once an official unit of measurement until the metric system was introduced in the late nineteenth century.

Dożywocie
(Polish ) – A contract between parents and children, guaranteeing lifetime care in exchange for real estate.


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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.

Ancient Sanskrit poem


Do Not Let the Day Slip Away

Do not let the day slip through your fingers, but live it fully now, this breath, this moment, catapulting you into full awareness. Time is precious, minutes disappearing like water into sand, unless you choose to pay attention. Since you do not know the number of your days, treat each as if it is your last.
Be that compassionate with yourself, that open and loving to others, that determined to give what is yours to give and to let in the energy and wonder of this world. Experience everything, writing, relating, eating, doing all the little necessary tasks of life as if for the first time…pushing nothing aside as unimportant. You have received these same reminders many times before, this time, take them into your soul. For if you choose to live this way, you will be rich beyond measure, grateful beyond words, and the day of your death will arrive with no regrets.

Danna Faulds


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, New King James Version of the Bible


What Life Should Be

To learn while still a child
What this life is meant to be.
To know it goes beyond myself,
It’s so much more than me.

To overcome the tragedies,
To survive the hardest times.
To face those moments filled with pain,
And still manage to be kind.

To fight for those who can’t themselves,
To always share my light.
With those who wander in the dark,
To love with all my might.

To still stand up with courage,
Though standing on my own.
To still get up and face each day,
Even when I feel alone.

To try to understand the ones
That no one cares to know.
And make them feel some value
When the world has let them go.

To be an anchor, strong and true,
That person loyal to the end.
To be a constant source of hope
To my family and my friends.

To live a life of decency,
To share my heart and soul.
To always say I’m sorry
When I’ve harmed both friend and foe.

To be proud of whom I’ve tried to be,
And this life I chose to live.
To make the most of every day
By giving all I have to give.

To me that’s what this life should be,
To me that’s what it’s for.
To take what God has given me
And make it so much more

To live a life that matters,
To be someone of great worth.
To love and be loved in return
And make my mark on Earth.

Patricia A. Fleming


Monday, August 1, 2022

Quest

My goal out-distances the utmost star,
Yet is encompassed in my inmost Soul;
I am my goal – my quest, to know myself.
To chart and compass this unfathomed sea,
Myself must plumb the boundless universe.
My Soul contains all thought, all mystery,
All wisdom of the Great Infinite Mind:
This is to discover, I must voyage far,
At last to find it in my pulsing heart.

Carrie Williams Clifford (1862-1934), writer and activist who was an important figure in the early days of the US Civil Rights movement; she was also a champion of women’s rights.


WORD OF THE DAY

Monachopsis
(Greek ) The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, of not fitting in.
(I think we’ve all had that experience in life! )


Sunday, July 31, 2022

It is a serious thing

Just to be alive

On this fresh morning

In the broken world.

Mary Oliver


The Sparrow

A little bird, with plumage brown,
Beside my window flutters down,
A moment chirps its little strain,
Ten 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.

So birds of peace and hope and love
Come fluttering earthward from above,
To settle on life’s window–sills,
And ease our load of earthly ills;
But we, in traffic’s rush and din
Too deep engaged to let them in,
With deadened heart and sense plod on,
Nor know our loss till they are gone.

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)


Happiness and freedom begin with one principle, Somethings are within your control and some are not.

Epectetus (55-155 AD), Stoic philosopher


Saturday, July 30, 2022

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


All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French philosopher, mathematician, inventor and Christian writer


WORD OF THE DAY

Meraki
(Greek ) To do something with soul, creativity or love. To leave a piece and essence of yourself in your work.


My future starts when I wake up every morning.

Miles Davis


I THANK YOU GOD FOR MOST THIS AMAZING DAY

I thank You God for most this amazing day
For the leaping greenly spirits of trees
And a blue true dream of sky
And for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes

e.e. cummings


Friday, July 29, 2022

No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is within their power not to want what they don’t have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.

Seneca


Receive without pride, let go without attachment.

Marcus Aurelius


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, Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection (Green Writers Press)


Thursday, July 28, 2022

We are often more frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.

Seneca


It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.

Marcus Aurelius


You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.

Marcus Aurelius


If anyone can refute me—show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective—I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone.

Marcus Aurelius


If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, ‘He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.

Epictetus


If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.

Marcus Aurelius


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Lester

Lester was given a magic wish
By the goblin who lives in the banyan tree,
And with his wish he wished for two more wishes-
So now instead of just one wish, he cleverly had three.
And with each one of these
He simply wished for three more wishes,
Which gave him three old wishes, plus nine new.
And with each of these twelve
He slyly wished for three more wishes,
Which added up to forty-six — or is it fifty-two?
Well anyway, he used each wish
To wish for wishes ’til he had
Five billion, seven million, eighteen thousand thirty-four.
And then he spread them on the ground
And clapped his hands and danced around
And skipped and sang, and then sat down
And wished for more.
And more…and more…they multiplied
While other people smiled and cried
And loved and reached and touched and felt.
Lester sat amid his wealth
Stacked mountain-high like stacks of gold,
Sat and counted — and grew old.
And then one Thursday night they found him
Dead — with his wishes piled around him.
And they counted the lot and found that not
A single one was missing.
All shiny and new — here, take a few
And think of Lester as you do.
In a world of apples and kisses and shoes
He wasted his wishes on wishing.

Shel Silverstein


WORD OF THE DAY

Fjaka
(Croation ) – Translates to “The sweetness of doing nothing.” In a society that champions the ability to multitask above all else, not trying to check the next item off your to-do list can seem indulgent. But if you do manage to surrender your mind and body to not doing anything at all, it can feel almost euphoric. Croatians call this all-encompassing relaxation fjaka. If you can experience it, Croations consider fjaka “a gift from God.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

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


WORD OF THE DAY

Charmolypi
(Greek ) – Translates as “sweet, joy-making sorrow.” This is how you feel when you send your last child off to college or you say goodbye at memorial service to a beloved friend who lived a good and long life. There is a deep sadness for your loss but a joy at a life (young or old) well lived.


Monday, July 25, 2022

LET IT GO

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold:
the holding of plans or dreams or expectations – Let it all go.
Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now will
only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts
to flee from the very energy you long for. Let go.
Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes
through your days whether you received it gently
or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on faith; the mind may never find the
explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward
nonetheless. Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry
you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams
or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of
rest and peace, and certain transformation.

Danna Faulds


Of Being

I know this happiness
is provisional:
the looming presences—
great suffering, great fear—
withdraw only
into peripheral vision:
but ineluctable this shimmering
of wind in the blue leaves:
this flood of stillness
widening the lake of sky:
this need to dance,
this need to kneel:
this mystery:

Denise Levertov


Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Summer Sun Shone Round Me

THE summer sun shone round me,
The folded valley lay
In a stream of sun and odour,
That sultry summer day.

The tall trees stood in the sunlight
As still as still could be,
But the deep grass sighed and rustled
And bowed and beckoned me.

The deep grass moved and whispered
And bowed and brushed my face.
It whispered in the sunshine:
“The winter comes apace.”

Robert Lewis Stevenson


May you love as long as you want to,
and want to as long as you live.

May you be poor in all misfortunes,
But rich in the love you give.

May you be slow to make enemies,
But quick in the making of friends.

May you always be full of happiness,
A happiness that never ends.

Irish Blessing


Saturday, July 23, 2022

Forever Young

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the light surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Bob Dylan


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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.

Rainer Maria Rilke


Friday, July 22, 2022

Say first to yourself:

May I feel protected and safe.
May my heart remain open.
May I awaken to the light of my true nature.
May I be healed, and be a source of healing for the world.

Next, thinking of someone who needs love:

May you feel protected and safe.
May your heart remain open.
May you awaken to the light of your true nature.
May you be healed, and be a source of healing for the world.

Lastly, to all beings everywhere:

May we feel protected and safe.
May our hearts remain open.
May we awaken to the light of our true nature.
May we be healed, and be a source of healing for the world.

Ancient Buddhist prayer


Sometimes you win—and sometimes you learn.

Anonymous


We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use the that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.

Maya Angelou


Thursday, July 21, 2022

Start Close In

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
simple.

To find
another’s voice
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
listening
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step you don’t want to take.

David Whyte


We wait for stuff to get easier. It will never get easier. What happens is you handle hard better.

Kara Lawson, Duke University’s women’s basketball head coach


We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

Marcel Proust


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Praise the Rain

Praise the rain; the seagull dive
The curl of plant, the raven talk—
Praise the hurt, the house slack
The stand of trees, the dignity—
Praise the dark, the moon cradle
The sky fall, the bear sleep—
Praise the mist, the warrior name
The earth eclipse, the fired leap—
Praise the backwards, upward sky
The baby cry, the spirit food—
Praise canoe, the fish rush
The hole for frog, the upside-down—
Praise the day, the cloud cup
The mind flat, forget it all—

Praise crazy. Praise sad.
Praise the path on which we’re led.
Praise the roads on earth and water.
Praise the eater and the eaten.
Praise beginnings; praise the end.
Praise the song and praise the singer.

Praise the rain; it brings more rain.
Praise the rain; it brings more rain.

Joy Harjo

(Note: Joy Harjo is an American poet, musician, playwright, and author. She served as the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold that honor. )


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.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody too?
Then there’s a pair of us! – don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know!
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring Bog!

Emily Dickinson, 1891


it was when i stopped searching for home within others

and lifted the foundations of home within myself

i found there were no roots more intimate

than those between a mind and body

that have decided to be whole

Rupi Kaur


A lovely summer poem for children (and adults)…

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


Monday, July 18, 2022

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

(Note: Rupi Kaur is a Canadian poet, illustrator, photographer, and author. Born in Punjab, India, Kaur emigrated to Canada at a young age with her family. She began performing poetry in 2009 and rose to fame on Instagram, eventually becoming a popular “Instapoet” through her three collections of poetry. )


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


Sunday, July 17, 2022

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’s Scars

They say the world is round, and yet
I often think it square,
So many little hurts we get
From corners here and there.
But one great truth in life I’ve found,
While journeying to the West-
The only folks who really wound
Are those we love the best.

The man you thoroughly despise
Can rouse your wrath, ’tis true;
Annoyance in your heart will rise
At things mere strangers do;
But those are only passing ills;
This rule all lives will prove;
The rankling wound which aches and thrills
Is dealt by hands we love.

The choicest garb, the sweetest grace,
Are oft to strangers shown;
The careless mien, the frowning face,
Are given to our own.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.

Love does not grow on every tree,
Nor true hearts yearly bloom.
Alas for those who only see
This cut across a tomb!
But, soon or late, the fact grows plain
To all through sorrow’s test:
The only folks who give us pain
Are those we love the best.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (November 5, 1850 – October 30, 1919)

(Note: Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. Her works include Poems of Passion and Solitude, which contains the lines “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.” Her autobiography, The Worlds and I, was published in 1918, a year before her death. )


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not the beloved is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning


I do not forget any good deed done to me and I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning


Peckin’

The saddest thing I ever did see
Was a woodpecker peckin’ at a plastic tree.
He looks at me, and “Friend,” says he,
“Things ain’t as sweet as they used to be.”

Shel Silverstein


Thursday, July 14, 2022

I Wave Good-bye When Butter Flies

I wave good-bye when butter flies
and cheer a boxing match,
I’ve often watched my pillow fight,
I’ve sewn a cabbage patch,
I like to dance at basket balls
or lead a rubber band,
I’ve marvelled at a spelling bee,
I’ve helped a peanut stand.

It’s possible a pencil points,
but does a lemon drop?
Does coffee break or chocolate kiss,
and will a soda pop?
I share my milk with drinking straws,
my meals with chewing gum,
and should I see my pocket change,
I’ll hear my kettle drum.

It makes me sad when lettuce leaves,
I laugh when dinner rolls,
I wonder if the kitchen sinks
and if a salad bowls,
I’ve listened to a diamond ring,
I’ve waved a football fan,
and if a chimney sweeps the floor,
I’m sure the garbage can.

Jack Prelutsky

(Note: Jack Prelutsky is an American writer of children’s poetry who has published over 50 poetry collections. He served as the first U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate from 2006–08 when the Poetry Foundation established the award.)


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

When eating fruit remember the one who planted the tree.

Vietnamese proverb


We have been impossible right from the beginning and we must continue to be impossible because we are raising a voice against suffering which has been considered to be the nature of life. It is our joy to be considered impossible – and it is our greater joy to make the impossible a living reality.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


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

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.

Dalai Lama


I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Sir Isaac Newton


One must divide one’s time between politics and equations. But our equations are much more important to me, because politics is for the present, while our equations are for eternity.

Albert Einstein


When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Walt Whitman


Monday, July 11, 2022

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 Paine Welwood


If you retaliate against 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


Sunday, July 10, 2022

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 (1834-1913), British banker, politician, philanthropist, scientist and polymath


Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Anon


Ode to the Wonder of Life

I have thought about these things so many times alone that I hope you will excuse me if I remind you of some thoughts that I am sure you have all had — or this type of thought — which no one could ever have had in the past, because people then didn’t have the information we have about the world today.

For instance, I stand at the seashore, alone, and start to think. There are the rushing waves . . . mountains of molecules, each stupidly minding its own business . . . trillions apart . . . yet forming white surf in unison.

Ages on ages . . . before any eyes could see . . . year after year . . . thunderously pounding the shore as now. For whom, for what? . . . on a dead planet, with no life to entertain.

Never at rest . . . tortured by energy . . . wasted prodigiously by the sun . . . poured into space. A mite makes the sea roar.

Deep in the sea, all molecules repeat the patterns of one another till complex new ones are formed. They make others like themselves . . . and a new dance starts.

Growing in size and complexity . . . living things, masses of atoms, DNA, protein . . . dancing a pattern ever more intricate.

Out of the cradle onto the dry land . . . here it is standing . . . atoms with consciousness . . . matter with curiosity.

Stands at the sea . . . wonders at wondering . . . I . . . a universe of atoms . . . an atom in the universe.

Richard Feynman

(Note: Richard Feynman (1918-1988) was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as his work in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. )


Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

Dr. Maya Angelou


This is a wonderful day, I have never seen this one before.

Dr. Maya Angelou


Saturday, July 9, 2022

Happiness, not in another place but this place… not for another hour, but this hour.

Walt Whitman


When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. One fancies a heart like our own must be beating in every crystal and cell, and we feel like stopping to speak to the plants and animals as friendly fellow mountaineers. Nature as a poet, an enthusiastic workingman, becomes more and more visible the farther and higher we go; for the mountains are fountains — beginning places, however related to sources beyond mortal ken.

“One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature — inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.

John Muir

(Note: John Muir (1838-1914), also known as “John of the Mountains” and “Father of the National Parks”, was an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, botanist, zoologist, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States of America. )


Aware

When I found the door
I found the vine leaves
speaking among themselves in abundant
whispers.
My presence made them
hush their green breath,
embarrassed, the way
humans stand up, buttoning their jackets,
acting as if they were leaving anyway, as if
the conversation had ended
just before you arrived.
I liked
the glimpse I had, though,
of their obscure
gestures. I liked the sound
of such private voices. Next time
I’ll move like cautious sunlight, open
the door by fractions, eavesdrop
peacefully.

Denise Levertov


Friday, July 8, 2022

Thus, without expectation,
One will always perceive the subtlety;
And, with expectation,
One will always perceive the boundary.

Tao Te Ching


Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

1. Is it true?
2. Is it necessary?
3. Is it kind?

Buddha


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


Thursday, July 7, 2022

What Are You Waiting For?

What powerful seeds
lie dormant
deep within you,
longing
to break through
the surface
and reach
their slender stems
toward the light?

What tender buds
are swelling
inside you,
yearning to unfurl
their radiant petals
and reveal their
hidden beauty?

What songs and stories
are swirling
deep within
your breast?
What wild
and magical dreams
are stirring your soul?

What are you
waiting for,
dear one?
The world is hungry
for your beauty,
calling you
to bring forth
your deepest gifts.

Kai Siedenburg


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


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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 S. Keyes

(Note: Hokusai (1760-1849) was known as the leading expert on Chinese painting in Japan. He is best-known for the woodblock print series 36 Views of Mount Fuji, which includes the iconic image, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Roger Keyes, art historian and Hokusai scholar, wrote “Hokusai Says” as he was making notes for the “Young Hokusai” paper he was to give at a symposium on Hokusai in 1990. )


WORDS OF THE DAY

Pa’a ka waha
(Hawaiian ) Literally means to “close the mouth.” If words are exiting your mouth then wisdom cannot come in. Ancient advice for modern active listening!


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Things You Can 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


“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


Monday, July 4, 2022

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1776

On this 246th anniversary of America, let’s resolve to make these words a living reality for all people.


… that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863


Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.

Rumi


Sunday, July 3, 2022

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


What do you think is the biggest waste of time?
“Comparing yourself to others,” said the mole.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
“Kind,” said the boy.

What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said? asked the boy.
‘Help,” said the horse. “Asking for help isn’t giving up. It’s refusing to give up.”

Is your glass half empty or half full? asked the mole.
“I think I’m grateful to have a glass,” said the boy.

We often wait for kindness…but being kind to yourself can start now.

Do you have any other advice? asked the boy.
“Don’t measure how valuable you are by the way you are treated,” said the horse.

Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse


My soul at once becomes recollected and I enter the state of quiet or that of rapture, so that I can use none of my faculties and senses. . . .
Everything is stilled, and the soul is left in a state of great quiet and deep satisfaction.

St. Teresa of Avila


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


A door opens in the center of our being, and we seem to fall through it into immense depths, which although they are infinite—are still accessible to us. All eternity seems to have become ours in this one placid and breathless contact.

Thomas Merton


Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.

Howard Thurmon, mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr


Saturday, July 2, 2022

Always with Love

I don’t care if you live your “best” life.
I hope you live your freest life.
Your most unburdened life.
Your lightest life.

I hope your life is a patchwork of lessons and trials and joys and mistakes and
growth and evolution and expansion.

I hope you understand that rejection, failure, disappointment means you care
you’re trying, you’re out there in life, alive to it.
I hope your life feels beautiful to you more than it looks beautiful to everyone
else.

I hope you’re free and that you keep freeing yourself ~
From who you thought you should be,
From who society told you to be.
From heavy expectations and weighty ambition.

I hope you know when you’re in a moment you’ll remember forever.
I hope you know how good you have it when it’s good ~ and I hope your life is an
ongoing evolution, a constant becoming.

I hope you shrug off old selves with ease.
I hope you leave empty space in your life for the Unknown, the Magic, the
Surprises, the Unexpected.

I hope you don’t just aim for the “best” and instead aim for Full, Whole, Ever
evolving, Unconfined and Unrestrained.

Mostly,
I hope you take the path that is meant for you,
Not the one expected of you.

Jamie Varon


Friday, July 1, 2022

Stopping by Woods on a Snowing Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

(Note: Robert Frost said he wrote this poem while experiencing what researchers today would now call “the flow state.” Some preliminary research indicates that listening to the recitation of this poem may help facilitate this state in the listener. )


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Dr. Seuss


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


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at it’s most spectacular moments, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meaning no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but ‘steal’ some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. You need to breathe. And you need to be.

Albert Camus


A Friend’s Greeting

I’d like to be the sort of friend
that you have been to me;
I’d like to be the help that you’ve been
always glad to be;
I’d like to mean as much to you
each minute of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine,
to me along the way.

I’d like to do the big things
and the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray out of your skies
and leave them only blue;
I’d like to say the kindly things
that I so oft have heard,
And feel that I could rouse your soul
the way that mine you’ve stirred.

I’d like to give back the joy
that you have given me,
Yet that were wishing you a need
I hope will never be;
I’d like to make you feel
as rich as I, who travel on
Undaunted in the darkest hours
with you to lean upon.

I’m wishing at this Christmas time
that I could but repay
A portion of the gladness
that you’ve strewn along the way;
And could I have one wish this year,
this only would it be:
I’d like to be the sort of friend
that you have been to me.

Edgar Guest (1881-1959), known as the “People’s Poet”


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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


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


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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 (1913)


Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.

Judy Garland


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

Monday, June 27, 2022

On Reason and Passion

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.
If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.
For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;
And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

Kahlil Gibran


Windows

I looked through others’ windows
On an enchanted earth
But out of my own window–
solitude and dearth.

And yet there is a mystery
I cannot understand–
That others through my window
See an enchanted land.

Jessie B. Rittenhouse (1869-1948)

(Note: A well-known critic, poet, and lecturer in the early decades of the 20th century, Jessie was an advocate for modern poetry, who edited many anthologies that brought contemporary poets, such as Robert Frost, Sara Teasdale, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, to a wider audience. )


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way

Viktor Frankl


All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French philosopher, mathematician, inventor, theologian


Saturday, June 25, 2022

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


Friday, June 24, 2022

If you feel pain you are alive. If you feel other people’s pain you are a human being.

Leo Tolstoy


If you feel joy you are alive. If you feel other people’s joy you are a human being.

Anon


Thursday, June 23, 2022

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


WORDS OF THE DAY

Pihentagyú
(Hungarian, adj ) – Literally meaning “with a relaxed brain,” which describes quick-witted people who can come up with sophisticated jokes or solutions.

Orenda
(Huron, n ) – A power that pervades nature which can be harnessed through human will to change the world despite powerful forces such as fate.


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Birthright

Despite illness of body or mind, in spite of blinding despair or habitual belief, who you are is whole.

Let nothing keep you separate from the truth.

The soul, illumined from within, longs to be known for what it is.

Undying, untouched by fire or the storms of life, there is a place inside where stillness and abiding peace reside.

You can ride the breath to go there.

Despite doubt or hopeless turns of mind, you are not broken.

Spirit surrounds, embraces, fills you from the inside out.

Release everything that isn’t your true nature.

What’s left, the fullness, light and shadow, claim all that as your birthright.

Danna Faulds


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

Anais Nin


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.

Pablo Neruda


The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
And the realist adjusts the sails.

William Arthur Ward


June

The sun is rich
And gladly pays
In golden hours,
Silver days,

And long green weeks
That never end.
School’s out.
The time Is ours to spend.

There’s Little League,
Hopscotch, the creek,
And, after supper,
Hide-and-seek.

The live-long light
Is like a dream,
and freckles come
Like flies to cream.

John Updike


The Thing Is

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you down like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

Ellen Bass, American poet and co-author of The Courage to Heal


Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare


Monday, June 20, 2022

IT’S HOT

It’s hot!
I can’t get cool,
I’ve drunk a quart of lemonade.
I think I’ll take my shoes off
And sit around in the shade.

It’s hot!
My back is sticky.
The sweat rolls down my chin.
I think I’ll take my clothes off
And sit around in my skin.

It’s hot!
I’ve tried with ’lectric fans,
And pools and ice cream cones.
I think I’ll take my skin off
And sit around in my bones.

It’s still hot!

Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic


Gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
Chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
A house into a home,
A stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
Brings peace for today,
And creates a vision for tomorrow.

John O’Donohue, Irish poet, author and Catholic priest


Sunday, June 19, 2022

QUOTES FOR JUNETEENTH

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


A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.

Nelson Mandela


Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

Maya Angelou


Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.

Maya Angelou


We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

Maya Angelou


If you are going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.

Maya Angelou


QUOTES FOR FATHERS

Softer than the flower where kindness is concerned.

Stronger than thunder where principles are at stake.

Upanishads


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

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) “You shall be happy” in this world, “and you shall prosper” in the world to come.

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).


No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child.

Abraham Lincoln


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

William Shakespeare


Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.

Charles Kettering


Saturday, June 18, 2022

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,
and disappears when it wants to.
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


Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.

Aldous Huxley


Truth does not change because it is. or is not, believed by a majority of the people.

Hypatia of Alexandria

(Note: Hypatia (born c. 350–370 AD; died 415 AD) is famous for being the greatest mathematician and astronomer of her time at a time when there were few, if any, women mathematicians. She lived in Alexandria, Egypt. )


Friday, June 17, 2022

RISK

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing
your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams
before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk to failure.

But risks must be taken because
the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave
who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

William Arthur Ward


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


Thursday, June 16, 2022

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill


Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.

Hermann Hesse


Our True Heritage

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.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

One of the nicest benefits of meditation is that it allows us to love the details of our lives. This poem speaks of the love that is possible in ordinary days doing ordinary things – where the kind of attention we pay makes moving through life into something intimate and precious.

Daily

These shriveled seeds we plant,
corn kernel, dried bean,
poke into loosened soil,
cover over with measured fingertips
These T-shirts we fold into
perfect white squares
These tortillas we slice and fry to crisp strips
This rich egg scrambled in a gray clay bowl
This bed whose covers I straighten
smoothing edges till blue quilt fits brown blanket
and nothing hangs out
This envelope I address
so the name balances like a cloud
in the center of sky
This page I type and retype
This table I dust till the scarred wood shines
This bundle of clothes I wash and hang and wash again
like flags we share, a country so close
no one needs to name it
The days are nouns: touch them
The hands are churches that worship the world

Naomi Shihab Nye


I thank You God for this most amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky which is natural which is infinite which is yes.

E.E. Cummings


Three ancient Greek maxims on a column at the entrance of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi:

Know thyself.

Nothing in excess.

Certainty brings ruin.


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Starlight

How good it is to step forth into the night after a day of rain and see that the sky is clear, the stars are gleaming in their accustomed places. A sky that clears by daylight is full of radiance, but when it clears in darkness there is glittering promise in every winking ray of starlight. There is reassurance in such stars, hung in a night sky washed clean and made ready for clear days to come.

Work is done by sunlight; but it is under the stars that great dreams are dreamed. There is warmth and life in the day’s sunshine; but it is the stars that lure man’s mind to the endless immensity of a universe so broad that tangible reality can never span it.

No night is so dark as a starless night, nor is any life more drab than that of one who has never known the thrill of starlight after storm, the comfort of it and the soothing reassurance of stars once more in order. Give a sailor a star to steer by and he will come home to port. Give an airman the company of a star shining clear and you have given him both certainty and direction. Give any man a star on which to fix his eye and he can reach as far as his imagination points the way.

The rains come, and the dark days of a perverse season; and the sky clears at evening. There is a sweet smell to the darkness, the fresh fragrance of a rain-washed world. And there is the brilliance of a thousand galaxies overhead, starlight in a clear night sky.

Hal Borland, “Sundial of the Seasons,” June, 1945

(Note: Mr. Borland (May 14, 1900 – February 22, 1978) was an American writer, journalist and naturalist. In addition to writing many non-fiction and fiction books about the outdoors. )


In celebration of Kelly and David Minnick’s 25th wedding anniversary

If I had a flower for every time thought of you… I could walk through my garden forever.

Alfred Tennyson


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

C. S. Lewis


You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.

C. S. Lewis


Monday, June 13, 2022

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

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)


When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor Frankl

(Note: Frankl was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, writer, and Holocaust survivor, who was the founder of logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy that describes a search for a life’s meaning as the central human motivational force. )


For the ignorant, old age is winter. For the learned, old age is harvest.

Hasidic proverb


Sunday, June 12, 2022

Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey

… that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,—
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

William Wordsworth (1798)


When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones and all growing things and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.

Hasidic saying


Ode to Joy
(English translation)

O friends, no more of these sounds!
Let us sing more cheerful songs,
More songs full of joy!
Joy!
Joy!
Joy, bright spark of divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire-inspired we tread
Within thy sanctuary.
Thy magic power re-unites
All that custom has divided,
All men become brothers,
Under the sway of thy gentle wings.
Whoever has created
An abiding friendship,
Or has won
A true and loving wife,
All who can call at least one soul theirs,
Join our song of praise;
But those who cannot must creep tearfully
Away from our circle.
All creatures drink of joy
At natures breast.
Just and unjust
Alike taste of her gift;
She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,
A tried friend to the end.
Even the worm can feel contentment,
And the cherub stands before God!
Gladly, like the heavenly bodies
Which He sent on their courses
Through the splendor of the firmament;
Thus, brothers, you should run your race,
Like a hero going to victory!
You millions, I embrace you.
This kiss is for all the world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
There must dwell a loving father.

Do you fall in worship, you millions?
World, do you know your creator?
Seek Him in the heavens;
Above the stars must he dwell.

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, German poet (1785)

(Note: “Ode to Joy” was first performed in Beethoven’s Ninth Choral Symphony 200 years ago, on May 7, 1824.
Regarding the line referencing “Daughter of Elysium” –
Elysium, according to Greek mythology, is the dwelling place of virtuous people after death or, another definition, any place or condition of ideal bliss or complete happiness, paradise. )


Saturday, June 11, 2022

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

Simone Weil


Sometimes

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

Sheenagh Pugh


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 Rios


Perhaps the World Ends Here

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

Joy Harjo


The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow.
It goes among things that change.
But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

William Stafford


Friday, June 10, 2022

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

(Note: Service (1874-1958) was a British-Canadian poet and writer, often called “the Bard of the Yukon” and the “Canadian Rudyard Kipling.” )


WHO DOES HE THINK SHE IS?

I asked the Zebra:

Are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?

And the zebra asked me:

Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?

And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.

I’ll never ask a zebra

About stripes

Again

Shel Silverstein


BEAR IN THERE

There’s a polar bear
In our Frigidaire-
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He’s nibbling the noodles,
He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda,
He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he’s in there-
That polary bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

Shel Silverstein


Thursday, June 9, 2022

INNER PEACE

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can get going without pep pills,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can overlook when those you love take it out on you when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him,

If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,

If you can face the world without lies and deceit,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

If you can say honestly that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics,

Then, my friend, you are probably your family dog!

(Unknown author)


WORD OF THE DAY

Merak
(Serbian ) – A feeling of satisfaction, even bliss, and the sense of oneness with the universe that comes from the simplest of pleasures, the pursuit of small, daily pleasures that all add up to a great sense of happiness and fulfillment.


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

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.

Vedic proverb


Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.

Simone Weil


Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Marthe Troly-Curtin, from her 1911 novel, Phrynette Married


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

I Dream a World

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!

Langston Hughes


Leisure

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

W. H. Davies

(Note: William Henry Davies was a Welsh poet and writer. He spent much of his life as a tramp or hobo in the United Kingdom and the United States, yet became one of the most popular poets of his time. He lived from July 3, 1871 to September 26, 1940. )


Monday, June 6, 2022

A Tree Knows How

I think I am air.
I think I am dirt.
When I am both.
When I am neither –
like a tree.

Only,
a tree knows how
to be solid trunk and
strong, flexible limbs.

To silently speak,
with thousands of tongues,
that reach for both sunlight and rain.

To be fed by roots
that thread between rocks
and find their place in the earth.
To grow in two directions at once.

To touch clouds
without floating in them.

To be grounded, not buried.

To never know what a tree is.

To simply be one.

Lea Seigen Shinraku


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

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel


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

Voltaire


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


Sunday, June 5, 2022

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told the apprentice 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 the same 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 master said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young 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 apprentice, 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.”

(Unknown)


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 Bronte (1816-1855)


Saturday, June 4, 2022

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.

Einstein


When We Plant a Rose Seed in the Earth

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.

W. Timothy Galley


Friday, June 3, 2022

WORDS OF THE DAY

Ruhe
(German ) Peace and quiet, when nothing around you bothers you and you feel calm and good.


Woohitike
(Lakota ) The inner bravery that is found in every human spirit.


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 (1927-1948)


Reverie in Open Air

I acknowledge my status as a stranger:
Inappropriate clothes, odd habits
Out of sync with wasp and wren.
I admit I don’t know how
To sit still or move without purpose.
I prefer books to moonlight, statuary to trees.

But this lawn has been leveled for looking,
So I kick off my sandals and walk its cool green.
Who claims we’re mere muscle and fluids?
My feet are the primitives here.
As for the rest—ah, the air now
Is a tonic of absence, bearing nothing
But news of a breeze.

Rita Dove


Thursday, June 2, 2022

Happiness

If luck you chase, you have not grown
enough for happiness to stay,
not even if you get your way.

If, what you lost, you still bemoan,
and grasp at tasks, and dash and dart,
you have not known true peace of heart.

But if no wishes are your own,
and you don’t try to win the game,
and Lady Luck is just a name,

then tides of life won’t reach your breast
and all your strife
and all your soul will rest.

Hermann Hesse


Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When the nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
How could he see where to go,
If you did not twinkle so?

In the dark blue sky you keep,
Often through my curtains peep
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveler in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Jane Taylor (September 23, 1783 – April 13, 1824)

(Note: Taylor was an English poet and novelist best known for the lyrics of the widely known “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” which was published in 1806 under the title of “Little Star.”)

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

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

(Note: Considered the most popular poem by Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud” was inspired by an event on April 15, 1802 when Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came across a “long belt” of daffodils while wandering in the forest. Wordsworth said he wrote the poem from memory from that experience around 1804 and it was published in 1807 and revised for a second publication in 1815. )


PUT SOMETHING IN

Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.

Shel Silverstein


CRYSTAL BALL

Come see your life in my crystal glass—
Twenty-five cents is all you pay.
Let me look into your past—
Here’s what you had for lunch today:
Tuna salad and mashed potatoes,
Green pea soup and apple juice,
Collard greens and stewed tomatoes,
Chocolate milk and lemon mousse.
You admit I’ve told it all?
Well, I know it, I confess,
Not by looking in my ball,
But just by looking at your dress.

Shel Silverstein


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Outside is the joy of the drop. Inside is the joy of the ocean.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


A loving heart, a heart full of love, is the precious essence of human life.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


UNIVERSAL TRUTH OF THE GOLDEN RULE

Christianity
In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
Jesus, Matthew 7:12, and Confucianism

Judaism
What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.
Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a

Islam
Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.
The Prophet Muhammad, Hadith

Buddhism
Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
The Buddha, Udana-Varga, 5.18

Hinduism
This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.
Mahabharata, 5:1517


WORD OF THE DAY

​​Hoʻoponopono
(Hawaiian ) An interaction where all parties practice forgiveness and restitution.


Monday, May 30, 2022

To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

Howard Zinn


Each Moment Is Precious

Live in the moment,
Just take it all in.
Pay attention to everything,
Right there and right then.

Don’t let your mind wander
To what’s coming next.
Cherish this moment
And give it your best.

Don’t let tomorrow
Make you rush through today,
Or too many great moments
Will just go to waste.

And the person you’re with,
In that moment you share,
Give them all of your focus;
Be totally there.

Laugh till it hurts,
Let the tears drop.
Fill up each moment
With all that you’ve got.

Don’t miss the details;
The lesson is there.
Don’t get complacent;
Stay sharp and aware.

It can take but a moment
To change your life’s path.
And once it ticks by,
There is no going back.

In just 60 seconds,
You may make a new friend.
Find your true love,
Or see a life start or end.

You become who you are
In those moments you live.
And the growth’s not in taking
But in how much you give.

Life is just moments,
So precious and few.
Whether valued or squandered,
It’s all up to you!

Patricia A. Fleming


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Have You Earned Your Tomorrow

Is anybody happier because you passed his way?
Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today?
This day is almost over, and its toiling time is through;
Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?

Did you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along?
Or a churlish sort of “Howdy” and then vanish in the throng?
Were you selfish pure and simple as you rushed along the way,
Or is someone mighty grateful for a deed you did today?

Can you say tonight, in parting with the day that’s slipping fast,
That you helped a single brother of the many that you passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said;
Does a man whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead?

Did you waste the day, or lose it, was it well or sorely spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent?
As you close your eyes in slumber do you think that God would say,
You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today.

Edgar Guest

(Note: Known as the People’s Poet, Guest’s poem was first published in 1916 in the Detroit Free Press. )


Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Dalai Lama


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Sea-Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

John Masefield


If I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use.

Charles Darwin


WORD OF THE DAY

Apnapan
(Hindi ) Having a quality where you accept people as they are, think of them as your own, take care of the ones you love, not expecting anything in return…


Friday, May 27, 2022

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


It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

Confucius


Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Confucius


Thursday, May 26, 2022

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.

Winnie the Pooh


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

Winnie the Pooh


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

People like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live. What I mean is we never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born.

Albert Einstein, written to his old friend, Otto Juliusburger, in September 1942


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


Don’t Rush Me Please

I am a snail—

Don’t rush me, please.

I’m heading for

Those cherry trees.

I have no place

I have to be,

No pressing thing

I have to see.

I like this speed;

I like being slow;

It gives me time

To get to know

All the flowers

That I pass,

Every blade

Of every grass.

I am a snail;

This is my way.

Don’t rush me, please.

We’ve got all day.

Barbara Vance

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

There are good ships and there are wood ships, there are ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships—and may they always be.

Old Irish Proverb


There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein


WORD OF THE DAY

Fargin
(Yiddish, n ) Wholeheartedly and fully expressing your pride and happiness at another person’s success.


Monday, May 23, 2022

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 jut 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


Invitation

Oh do you have time

to linger

for just a little while

out of your busy

and very important day

for the goldfinches

that have gathered

in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,

to see who can sing

the highest note,

or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,

or the most tender?

Their strong, blunt beaks

drink the air

as they strive

melodiously

not for your sake

and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning

but for sheer delight and gratitude –

believe us, they say,

it is a serious thing

just to be alive

on this fresh morning

in the broken world.

I beg of you,

do not walk by

without pausing

to attend to this

rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.

It could mean everything.

It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:

You must change your life.

Mary Oliver


Sunday, May 22, 2022

FOUND

Maybe it’s all utterly meaningless.
Maybe it’s all unutterably meaningful.
If you want to know which,
pay attention to
what it means to be truly human
in a world that half the time
we’re in love with
and half the time
scares the hell out of us…
The unexpected sound of your name on somebody’s lips.
The good dream.
The strange coincidence.
The moment that brings tears to your eyes.
The person who brings life to your life.
Even the smallest events hold the greatest clues.

Frederick Buechner, 95, American writer, ordained Presbyterian minister, author of more than thirty published books, and winner of the O. Henry Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Christianity and Literature Belles Lettres Prize.


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

(Note: Nelson Mandela was jailed 27 years for his anti-apartheid activism and in 1994 became President of South Africa. Mandela said he regularly recited the poem, Invictus, during his imprisonment, to sustain his hope, resilience, and strength against considerable odds. Invictus, which means “unconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin, was written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley. )


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 S. Keyes


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Only the open gate can receive visitors.
Only the open hand can receive gifts.
Only the open mind can receive wisdom.
Only the open heart can receive love.
Our doors are open to you.

Anonymous


WORD OF THE DAY

Zindabad
(Urdu ) “Long live.” You can put the name of a person or a country before “zindabad” as a phrase of encouragement.


In zazen, leave your front door and back door open. Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.

Shunryu Suzuki


Friday, May 20, 2022

ARTICLE: COVID Burnout? Turn Off Your Mind, Relax, and Float Downstream
(click here to read)


In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the times comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver


UNDERFACE

Underneath my outside face
There’s a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me.

Shel Silverstein, Every Thing On It


DIVING BOARD

You’ve been up on that diving board
Making sure that it’s nice and straight.
You’ve made sure that it’s not too slick.
You’ve made sure it can stand the weight.
You’ve made sure that the spring is tight.
You’ve made sure that the cloth won’t slip.
You’ve made sure that it bounces right,
And that your toes can get a grip—
And you’ve been up there since half past five
Doin’ everything… but DIVE.

Shel Silverstein, Falling Up


Thursday, May 19, 2022

There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one’s mind rest on that and not rest on anything else.

Upanishads


There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heaven, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the Light that shines in our Heart.

Upanishads


WORD OF THE DAY

Schwellenangst
(German ) The excitement or fear of beginning a new chapter in one’s life.


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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


Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

(Note: In 1992, Walcott became the first Caribbean writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. )


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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


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


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


Monday, May 16, 2022

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

Leonard Cohen


My future starts when I wake up every morning.

Miles Davis


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Thus, without expectation,

One will always perceive the subtlety,

And, with expectation,

One will always perceive the boundary.

Tao Te Ching


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


When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

Maya Angelou


Saturday, May 14, 2022

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


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


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 thorps, 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 forever.

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 silver water-break
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.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Friday, May 13, 2022

A Day of Sunshine

O gift of God! O perfect day:
Whereon shall no man work, but play;
Whereon it is enough for me,
Not to be doing, but to be!

Through every fibre of my brain,
Through every nerve, through every vein,
I feel the electric thrill, the touch
Of life, that seems almost too much.

I hear the wind among the trees
Playing celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.

And over me unrolls on high
The splendid scenery of the sky,
Where through a sapphire sea the sun
Sails like a golden galleon,

Towards yonder cloud-land in the West,
Towards yonder Islands of the Blest,
Whose steep sierra far uplifts
Its craggy summits white with drifts.

Blow, winds! and waft through all the rooms
The snow-flakes of the cherry-blooms!
Blow, winds! and bend within my reach
The fiery blossoms of the peach!

O Life and Love! O happy throng
Of thoughts, whose only speech is song!
O heart of man! canst thou not be
Blithe as the air is, and as free?

Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

(Note: Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” and was one of the fireside poets from New England. He lived from 1807-1882. )


One who cannot tolerate small misfortunes can never accomplish great things.

Chinese proverb


One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries!

AA Milne


Thursday, May 12, 2022

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


​​Sneezles

Christopher Robin
Had wheezles
And sneezles,
They bundled him
Into
His bed.
They gave him what goes
With a cold in the nose,
And some more for a cold
In the head.
They wondered
If wheezles
Could turn
Into measles,
If sneezles
Would turn
Into mumps;
They examined his chest
For a rash,
And the rest
Of his body for swellings and lumps.
They sent for some doctors
In sneezles
And wheezles
To tell them what ought
To be done.
All sorts and conditions
Of famous physicians
Came hurrying round
At a run.
They all made a note
Of the state of his throat,
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles
Came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezle
Came first.
They said, “If you teazle
A sneezle
Or wheezle,
A measle
May easily grow.
But humour or pleazle
The wheezle
Or sneezle,
The measle
Will certainly go.”
They expounded the reazles
For sneezles
And wheezles,
The manner of measles
When new.
They said “If he freezles
In draughts and in breezles,
Then PHTHEEZLES
May even ensue.”

Christopher Robin
Got up in the morning,
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look in his eye
Seemed to say to the sky,
“Now, how to amuse them to-day?”

A.A. Milne


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Still Here

I 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!
I’m still here!

Langston Hughes


One day the sun admitted,

I am just a shadow.
I wish I could show you the Infinite Incandescence
That has cast my brilliant image!

I wish I could show you,
when you are lonely or in darkness,

The Astonishing Light
of your Own Being!

Hafez


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

William Butler Yeats, Irish poet, dramatist, prose writer, and one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.


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

William Shakespeare


Monday, May 9, 2022

When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about the part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see, or hear, or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate. Peace that rises triumphant over war. And justice that proves more powerful than greed. So, in all that you do in all of your life, I wish you the strength and the grace to make those choices which will allow you and your neighbor to become the best of whoever you are.

Fred Rogers, of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, from the closing remarks of his commencement address at Dartmouth College in 2002 (from NPR’s “Best Commencement Speeches Ever.”)


it was when I stopped searching

for home within others

and lifted the foundations

of home within myself

I found there were no roots

more intimate than those

between a mind and body

that have decided to be whole.

Rupi Kaur


Sunday, May 8, 2022

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


On Children

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.

And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran


Saturday, May 7, 2022

Give Me Strength

This is my prayer to thee, my lord—strike,
strike at the root of penury in my heart.

Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.

Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.

Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.

Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.

And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

Rabindranath Tagore


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

Anais Nin


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Plato


Friday, May 6, 2022

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, Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor from the 2nd century CE


WORD OF THE DAY

Meraki
(Greek ) When you pour yourself wholeheartedly into doing something with your soul, creativity or love. It’s when you leave a piece of yourself in your work.


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Birthright

Despite illness of body or mind,

in spite of blinding despair or habitual belief,

who you are is whole.

Let nothing keep you separate from the truth.

The soul, illumined from within,

longs to be known for what it is.

Undying, untouched by fire or the storms of life,

there is a place inside where stillness and abiding peace reside.

You can ride the breath to go there.

Despite doubt or hopeless turns of mind, you are not broken.

Spirit surrounds, embraces, fills you from the inside out.

Release everything that isn’t your true nature.

What’s left, the fullness, light and shadow,

claim all that as your birthright.

Danna Faulds


Dear you,
You who always have
so many things to do
so many places to be
your mind spinning like
fan blades at high speed
each moment always a blur
because you’re never still.
I know you’re tired.
I also know it’s not your fault.
The constant brain-buzz is like
a swarm of bees threatening
to sting if you close your eyes.
You’ve forgotten something again.
You need to prepare for that or else.
You should have done that differently.
What if you closed your eyes?
Would the world fall
apart without you?
Or would your mind
become the open sky
flock of thoughts
flying across the sunrise
as you just watched and smiled.

Kaveri Patel


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Don’t meditate to fix yourself, to heal 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.

Rob Sharples


“Golden Slumbers” (1969)

Once there was a way
To get back homeward
Once there was a way
To get back home
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

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

Once there was a way
To get back homeward
Once there was a way
To get back home
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

Paul McCartney, Abbey Road, 1969

Golden Slumbers (1603)

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,
And I will sing a lullaby,
Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

Thomas Dekker, with Henry Chettle and William Haughton, 1603


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Planet

This morning this planet is covered by winds and blue.
This morning this planet glows with dustless perfect light,
enough that I can see one million sharp leaves
from where I stand. I walk on this planet, its hard-packed

dirt and prickling grass, and I don’t fall off. I come down
soft if I choose, hard if I choose. I never float away.
Sometimes I want to be weightless on this planet, and so

I wade into a brown river or dive through a wave
and for a while feel nothing under my feet. Sometimes
I want to hear what it was like before the air, and so I duck
under the water and listen to the muted hums. I’m ashamed

to say that most days I forget this planet. That most days
I think about dentist appointments and plagiarists
and the various ways I can try to protect my body from itself.

Last weekend I saw Jupiter through a giant telescope,
its storm stripes, four of its sixty-seven moons, and was filled
with fierce longing, bitter that instead of Ganymede or Europa,
I had only one moon floating in my sky, the moon

called Moon, its face familiar and stale. But this morning
I stepped outside and the wind nearly knocked me down.
This morning I stepped outside and the blue nearly

crushed me. This morning this planet is so loud with itself—
its winds, its insects, its grackles and mourning doves—
that I can hardly hear my own lamentations. This planet.
All its grooved bark, all its sand of quartz and bones

and volcanic glass, all its creeping thistle lacing the yards
with spiny purple. I’m trying to come down soft today.
I’m trying to see this place even as I’m walking through it.

Catherine Pierce


Living in the Now

What’s gone has made you what you are
So don’t fear what’s ahead
Put trust in what will be, will be
And choose to live instead

Don’t live in the now worrying
What may or may not be
Take this moment in your time
And live it totally

There’s no time like the present
Breathe deep and feel alive
Living in the here and now
Will help you rise and thrive

Now is all there ever is
It’s the only time that’s real
Let the future take it’s course
And leave the past to heal

Vanessa Hughes


Monday, May 2, 2022

Walk Don’t Run

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 everyday, 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


You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.

Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet, diplomat and politician who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971


Sunday, May 1, 2022

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 or 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


The Rainbow

Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas;
But clouds that sail across the sky
Are prettier far than these.

There are bridges on the rivers,
As pretty as you please;
But the bow that bridges heaven,
And overtops the trees,
And builds a road from earth to sky,
Is prettier far than these.

Christina Rossetti


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

Aesop


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

Meister Eckhart


Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.

Henry Ward Beecher


Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.

Marcus Tullius Cicero


Friday, April 29, 2022

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 Bronte


​​Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

Maya Angelou


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


Thursday, April 28, 2022

When I Run After What I Think I Want

When I run after what I think I want,
my days are a furnace of distress and anxiety,
if I sit in my own place of patience,
what I need flows to me, and without any pain,
from this, I understand that what I want also wants me,
and is looking for me and attracting me,
there’s a great secret in this for all who can grasp it.

Rumi


All Rivers at Once

What is the body? Endurance.
What is love? Gratitude.
What is hidden in our chests? Laughter.
What else? Compassion.

Rumi


On the Turn

I am so small I can barely be seen.
How can this great love be inside me?
Look at your eyes. They are small,
But they see enormous things.

Rumi


Doing as others told me,
I was blind.
Coming when others called me,
I was lost.
Then I left everyone,
myself as well.
Then I found everyone,
myself as well.

Rumi


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 Paine Welwood


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


My soul at once becomes recollected and I enter the state of quiet or that of rapture, so that I can use none of my faculties and senses. . . . Everything is stilled, and the soul is left in a state of great quiet and deep satisfaction.

St. Teresa of Avila

(Note: St. Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus (1515 —1582), was a Spanish nun, one of the great mystics and religious women of the Roman Catholic Church, and author of spiritual classics. )


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and right-doing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

Rumi


Wind on the 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.

AA Milne


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.

Anne Lamott


To live without hope is to cease to live.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.

Anonymous


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


Put Something In

Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.

Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic


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, A Light in the Attic


Monday, April 25, 2022

I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.

Mary Oliver


Instructions On Not Giving Up

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

Ada Limon


Sunday, April 24, 2022

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

Jane Kenyon


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


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Tree of Life Blessing

May you choose outrageous actions that challenge
who you are and encourage who you are becoming.

May you take one step, however small, toward that which
you have always longed for. Now is the “right time.”

May you recognize the unique and powerful contribution
that you bring to the people whose lives you touch.

May you be as wonderful as you really are,
and do things because you want to, not just because you should.

May you celebrate your creativity and believe that you are an artist
with a unique vision that no one else has.

May you find peace and purpose and possibility
amidst the chaos while remaining aware of the unrest in the world.

May you reach towards the Spirit with a longing that
keeps you awake to the miracles available all around you.

May your faith move any mountains that stand in your way |
and bring you great teachers to awaken your understanding.

May you give up shame, guilt and self-neglect and
replace them with qualities like freedom, integrity and self-nurturing.

May you offer the gifts and blessings of your soul to beings
of the world when the time is ripe for you to release them.

May you passionately and deeply love and be loved
by someone who can see who you really are.

May your body speak to you and teach you
how to care for the temple that houses your bright spirit.

May you walk gently on the earth and honor
your hearth and family with your action and your rest.

May you find and enjoy the fruit of abundance
so that your life path can be fortified and furthered.

May you embrace the Tree of Life and be informed
by the wisdom and she brings to those on her path.

May LOVE be at the center of all your choices and may you,
with me, send this blessing to all beings.

Amen.

Shiloh Sophia McCloud


Though we may be learned by another’s knowledge, we can never be wise but by our own experience.

Michel de Montaigne


Sometimes it is a good choice not to choose at all.

Michel de Montaigne

(Note: Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance.)


Friday, April 22, 2022

The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

(Note: Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist who wrote the monumental novel In Search of Lost Time, originally published in French in seven volumes between 1913 and 1927. He is considered by critics and writers to be one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. )


The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the trail of the sun,
the strength of fire,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.
And my heart soars.

Chief Dan George

(Note: Chief Dan George OC was a chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, a Coast Salish band whose Indian reserve is located on Burrard Inlet in the southeast area of the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. )


WORD OF THE DAY

Shinrin-yoku
(Japanese ) “Shinrin” in Japanese means “forest,” and “yoku” means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

Mary Oliver


​​The first sign of war is the presence of abusive language.

African proverb


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

Indian proverb


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

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 (1874-1958), British Canadian poet and writer often called the “Bard of the Yukon” and the “Canadian Rudyard Kipling.”


There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

Turkish proverb


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

Native American proverb


Alone

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Maya Angelou


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Stars Are Built by Nature’s Hand

The stars are mansions built by Nature’s hand,

And, haply, there the spirits of the blest

Dwell, clothed in radiance, their immortal vest;

Huge Ocean shows, within his yellow strand,

A habitation marvellously planned,

For life to occupy in love and rest;

All that we see–is dome, or vault, or nest,

Or fortress, reared at Nature’s sage command.

Glad thought for every season! but the Spring

Gave it while cares were weighing on my heart,

‘Mid song of birds, and insects murmuring;

And while the youthful year’s prolific art–

Of bud, leaf, blade, and flower–was fashioning

Abodes where self-disturbance hath no part.

William Wordsworth


Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Monday, April 18, 2022

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


“What day is it?” asked Pooh.

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

AA Milne


Sunday, April 17, 2022

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

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


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

Gwendolyn Brooks

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


The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.

Luke 17:21


But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33


Let everything you do be done in love.

1 Corinthians 16:14


Listen … incline the ear of your heart.
(“Obsculata inclina aurem cordis tui.” )

The Rule of St. Benedict


Saturday, April 16, 2022

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


To All My Friends

That I could be this human at this time
breathing, looking, seeing, smelling

That I could be this moment at this time
resting, calmly moving, feeling

That I could be this excellence at this time
sudden, changed, peaceful, & woke

To all my friends who have been with me in weakness
when water falls rush down my two sides

To all my friends who have felt me in anguish
when this earthen back breaks between the crack of two blades

To all my friends who have held me in rage
when fire tears through swallows behind tight grins

I know you
I see you
I hear you

Although the world is silent around you

I know you
I see you
I hear you

HAUNTIE (May Yang)


You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.

Pema Chödrön


Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.

Pema Chödrön


Friday, April 15, 2022

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)


This is true freedom: Our ability to shape reality. We have the power to initiate, create and change reality rather than only react and survive it. How can we all educate our children to true freedom? Teach them not to look at reality as defining their acts but to look at their acts as defining reality.

Rabbi Yaacov Cohen


I love Passover because for me it is a cry against indifference, a cry for compassion.

Elie Wiesel, Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor


Thursday, April 14, 2022

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


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


The Hippopotamus

Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.

Peace, peace, thou hippopotamus!
We really look all right to us,
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippopotami.

Ogden Nash


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


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

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


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

Rumi


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

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, American a poet, essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist, born in 1930. He is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award.


Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

Socrates (470-399 BC), Greek philosopher


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

Epictetus (55-135 AD), Stoic philosopher


Monday, April 11, 2022

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


Listen To The Mustn’ts

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me—
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

Shel Silverstein


Yesees And Noees

The Yesees said yes to anything
That anyone suggested.
The Noees said no to everything
Unless it was proven and tested.
So the Yesees all died of much too much
And the Noees all died of fright,
But somehow I think the Thinkforyourselfees
All came out all right.

Shel Silverstein


Sunday, April 10, 2022

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


Human Family

I note the obvious differences

in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

Maya Angelou


Saturday, April 9, 2022

One day the sun admitted,
I am just a shadow.
I wish I could show you the Infinite Incandescence
That has cast my brilliant image!
I wish I could show you,
when you are lonely or in darkness,
The Astonishing Light
of your Own Being!

Hafez


The lamps are different, but the light is the same.

Rumi


Underface

Underneath my outside face
There’s a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me.

Shel Silverstein


Hug O’War

I will not play tug o’ war.
I’d rather play 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


Friday, April 8, 2022

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


Thursday, April 7, 2022

​​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


Invitation

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
melodiously
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

Mary Oliver


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring—all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Walk slowly

It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as I
forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly into the mystery.

Danna Faulds


Monday, April 4, 2022

When you love someone, you have to offer that person the best you have. The best thing we can offer another person is our true presence.

Thich Nhat Hahn


Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.

Thich Nhat Hahn


How brave a ladybug must be!
Each drop of rain is big as she.
Can you imagine what you’d do,
if raindrops fell as big as you?

Aileen Fisher


A small speckled visitor wearing a crimson cape,
brighter than a cherry, smaller than a grape.
A polka-dotted someone, walking on my wall,
a black-hooded lady in a scarlet shawl.

Joan Walsh Anglund


You know who must be very secure in their masculinity?
Male ladybugs.

Jay Leno


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Ramadan is considered one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims. In Ramadan, Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Qur’an, and fast from food and drink during the sunlit hours as a means of drawing closer to God and cultivating self-control, gratitude, and compassion for those less fortunate. Ramadan is a month of intense spiritual rejuvenation with a heightened focus on devotion, during which Muslims spend extra time reading the Qur’an and performing special prayers. Ramadan is celebrated April 2, 2022 to May 2, 2022.

Two traditional wishes:

May Allah bless you with a peaceful and prosperous life. Wish you a happy Ramadan. Keep me in your prayers.

Let’s have a peaceful Ramadan. May Allah show us the right path and answer our prayers. Ramadan Mubarak.


You don’t have a soul. You are a soul—you have a body.

CS Lewis


A wise person once said that we can count how many seeds there are in each apple but not how many apples there are in each seed.

Wendy Mass


The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.

Buddhist Sutra


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


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low but 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 queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many failures turn about
When we might have won had we stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow…
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out…
And you can never tell 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.

Edgar A. Guest (1881 – 1959), British-born American poet who became known as the “People’s Poet.” His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life.


The Purple Cow

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.

Frank Gelett Burgess (1866 – 1951), American artist, art critic, poet, author and humorist. He is best known as a writer of nonsense verse, such as “The Purple Cow. He coined the term “blurb.”


Friday, April 1, 2022

Everyone should consider his body
as a priceless gift from one whom he loves above all,
a marvelous work of art,
of indescribable beauty,
and mystery beyond human conception,
and so delicate that a word, a breath,
a look, nay, a thought may injure it.

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), Serbian-American inventor and engineer who invented the first alternating current (AC) motor and developed AC generation and transmission technology.


Thursday, March 31, 2022

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 Paine Welwood


Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.

John O’Donohue


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

My life has been full of terrible misfortunes—most of which never happened.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), prominent philosopher of the French Renaissance


Every storm runs out of rain.

Maya Angelou


A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25


As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Proverbs 23:7


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

​​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, Chinese Zen master


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, Sri Lankan Buddhist Monk


Monday, March 28, 2022

​​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


Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

Maya Angelou


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Let It Go

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold:
the holding of plans or dreams or expectations – Let it all go.
Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now will
only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts
to flee from the very energy you long for. Let go.
Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes
through your days whether you received it gently
or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on faith; the mind may never find the
explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward
nonetheless. Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry
you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams
or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of
rest and peace, and certain transformation.

Danna Faulds


Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.

George Bernard Shaw


Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Hare and the Tortoise

A Hare was making fun of the Tortoise one day for being so slow.

“Do you ever get anywhere?” he asked with a mocking laugh.

“Yes,” replied the Tortoise, “and I get there sooner than you think. I’ll run you a race and prove it.”

The Hare was much amused at the idea of running a race with the Tortoise, but for the fun of the thing he agreed. So the Fox, who had consented to act as judge, marked the distance and started the runners off.

The Hare was soon far out of sight, and to make the Tortoise feel very deeply how ridiculous it was for him to try a race with a Hare, he lay down beside the course to take a nap until the Tortoise should catch up.

The Tortoise meanwhile kept going slowly but steadily, and, after a time, passed the place where the Hare was sleeping. But the Hare slept on very peacefully; and when at last he did wake up, the Tortoise was near the goal. The Hare now ran his swiftest, but he could not overtake the Tortoise in time.

The race is not always to the swift.

Aesop


My Hero

Just as the hare is zipping across the finish line,
the tortoise has stopped once again
by the roadside,
this time to stick out his neck
and nibble a bit of sweet grass,
unlike the previous time
when he was distracted
by a bee humming in the heart of a wildflower.

Billy Collins


WORD OF THE DAY

Ukiyo-e
(Japanese ) This word literally means “floating world,” but it’s used to describe people who don’t take a second of their life for granted. They live in the present and don’t let the small things get to them.


And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful that the risk It took to blossom.

Anais Nin


Friday, March 25, 2022

For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


We are gatherers,
the ones who pick up sticks and stones
and old wasp’s nests fallen by the
 door of the barn,
walnuts with holes that look like
 eyes of owls,
bits of shells not whole but lovely
 in their brokenness,
we are the ones who bring home
 empty eggs of birds
and place them on a small glass shelf 
to keep for what?
How long?
 It matters not.
What matters
 is the gathering,
the pockets filled with remnants
 of a day evaporated,
the traces of
 certain memory,
a lingering smell,
 a smile that came with the shell.

Nina Bagley


Thursday, March 24, 2022

There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heaven, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the Light that shines in our Heart.

Chandogya Upanishad


Whenever you do something that is not aligned with the yearning of your soul—you create suffering

Anais Nin


We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.

Anais Nin


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

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


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

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


WORDS OF THE DAY

Cavoli Riscaldati
(Italian ) – The result of attempting to revive an unworkable relationship. Translates as “reheated cabbage.”

Cotisuelto
(Caribbean Spanish ) – A word that describes a fashion trend among some men who wear their shirt tail outside of their pants.

Age-otori
(Japanese ) – The feeling one gets after leaving a salon or barbershop looking worse than you did going in. The feeling combines regret, suffering and shame.


Monday, March 21, 2022

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (a poem by Bilbo Baggins to describe Aragorn)


I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


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

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Sunday, March 20, 2022

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


Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

William Wordsworth, (1798)


Saturday, March 19, 2022

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, Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor from the 2nd century CE


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


Friday, March 18, 2022

The Moon in Kyiv

Who knows if the moon
in Kyiv
is as amazing
as the one in Rome,
who knows if it’s the same moon
or perhaps just a sibling…
“But it’s me, it’s me you’re seeing!”
– it heartily protests–
“did you think
I was a night cap
for wearing on your head?
And travelling up here
I shed light on one and all,
from India to Zaire
from the Tiber to the Dead Sea,
my rays need no passport
to travel freely.”

Gianni Rodari


The Moon

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)


Thursday, March 17, 2022

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,—
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,”
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish,—
Never afraid are we!”
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam,—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
‘Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought ’twas a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:—
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

Eugene Field

(Note: “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” was a popular poem for children written by American writer and poet Eugene Field and published on March 9, 1889. The poem is a fantasy bed-time story about three children sailing and fishing among the stars from a boat which is a wooden shoe. The names suggest a sleepy child’s blinking eyes and nodding head. )


A mother understands what the child does not say.

Jewish proverb


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

​​Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go into the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


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 Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

I Worried

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

Mary Oliver


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

Albert Schweitzer


Monday, March 14, 2022

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


We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.

C.S. Lewis


Sunday, March 13, 2022

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


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…

“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


Saturday, March 12, 2022

Question: What are the fundamentals of success?

Maharishi: Conviction and persistence.


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

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


All shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things, 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


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


Friday, March 11, 2022

​​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, Temporary and Permanent


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


Thursday, March 10, 2022

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


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 (1852-1933), American author, educator, diplomat, and Presbyterian clergyman


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

WORD OF THE DAY

Ikigai
(Japanese, n ) – Translates as “a reason for being” or “a reason to get up in the morning.” Ikigai is one’s passion, purpose, something one lives for. It can be a person, a pet, a project or even a thing!


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Human Family

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

Maya Angelou


Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

George Orwell


Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.

Hermann Hesse


Monday, March 7, 2022

The Stream of Life

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves
of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death,
in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood
this moment.

Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali (Song Offerings), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913


WORD OF THE DAY

Kummerspeck
(German ) – Roughly translates to “grief bacon” or “sorrow fat.” This term refers to the emotional eating — and possible unhealthy weight gain — after a pain-inducing event, like a relationship breakup, or the sadness or confusion of living through a particularly difficult time in the world.


Sunday, March 6, 2022

If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.

Confucius


Mr. Grumpledump’s Song

Everything’s wrong,
Days are too long,
Sunshine’s too hot,
Wind is too strong.
Clouds are too fluffy,
Grass is too green,
Ground is too dusty,
Sheets are too clean.
Stars are too twinkly,
Moon is too high,
Water’s too drippy,
Sand is too dry.
Rocks are too heavy,
Feathers too light,
Kids are too noisy,
Shoes are too tight.
Folks are too happy,
Singin’ their songs.
Why can’t they see it?
Everything’s wrong!

Shel Silverstein

Note: Shel’s poem is for those days when nothing goes right! (And we all have them…)


Saturday, March 5, 2022

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver


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


Friday, March 4, 2022

Two Kinds of Intelligence

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

Rumi


It’s all I have to bring today

It’s all I have to bring today—

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

Some one the sum could tell—

This, and my heart, and all the Bees

Which in the Clover dwell.

Emily Dickinson


Thursday, March 3, 2022

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

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Slow down, you’ll get there faster.

Katherine King


Wednesday, March 2, 2022

“A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his child. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you.”

The child thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win?”

The old man replied simply, “The one you feed.”

Wendy Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life


The Dream Keeper

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


Tuesday, March 1, 2022

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

(Note: Chief Seattle was a great Suquamish and Duwamish warrior and chief. The city of Seattle was named after him. )


When eating the fruit, remember the one who planted the tree.

Vietnamese proverb


Monday, February 28, 2022

My Symphony

To live content with small means.
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion.
To be worthy not respectable,
and wealthy not rich.
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,
act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,
and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.

William Ellery Channing


WORD OF THE DAY

Noonchi
(Korean, n ) – The ability to be in tune with, or intuit, someone else’s feelings, thoughts and emotions to properly gauge and react to a situation. Someone with good noonchi can read another’s body language or tone of voice to understand their real feelings. Comparatively, someone with bad noonchi is said to lack tact or observational skills.


Sunday, February 27, 2022

​​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


Time to Be Slow

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


Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

(Tribe unknown)


It is no longer good enough to cry peace. We must act peace, live peace, and live in peace.

Shenandoah proverb


In meditation and in our daily lives there are three qualities that we can nurture, cultivate, and bring out. We already possess these, but they can be ripened: precision, gentleness, and the ability to let go.

Pema Chodron


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Don’t Go Back To Sleep

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


WORD OF THE DAY

Polepole
(Swahili, adj ) “po-lay po-lay” – Translates as “slowly.” It’s a good word to know if you are with someone who is always in a hurry. It is most often used when asking someone to slow down when driving, walking, talking, or working on something.


Friday, February 25, 2022

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.

Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali

(Note: Rabindranath Tagore [1861-1941], Bengali poet, novelist, educator, was considered the greatest writer in modern Indian literature. )


I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.

Rabindranath Tagore


Lakota Instructions for Living

Friend do it this way – that is,
whatever you do in life,
do the very best you can
with both your heart and mind.

And if you do it that way,
the Power Of The Universe
will come to your assistance,
if your heart and mind are in Unity.

When one sits in the Hoop Of The People,
one must be responsible because
All of Creation is related.
And the hurt of one is the hurt of all.
And the honor of one is the honor of all.
And whatever we do affects everything in the universe.

If you do it that way – that is,
if you truly join your heart and mind
as One – whatever you ask for,
that’s the Way It’s Going To Be.
Passed down from White Buffalo Calf Woman

(Note: The Lakota are a Native American people. Also known as the Teton Sioux, they are one of the three prominent subcultures of the Sioux people. Their current lands are in North and South Dakota. )


Thursday, February 24, 2022

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 any manner of thy friends 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


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.

Ancient Chinese Proverb


WORD OF THE DAY

Iktsuarpok
(Inuit, n ) – The anticipation and excitement you feel when you are waiting for someone special to arrive; So you keep going to the window, or door, or outside to check if they have arrived.

(Note: The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic and subarctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. )


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

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 is an American poet, musician, playwright, and author. She is the incumbent United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold that honor. She is also only the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to serve three terms. Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Nation. )


Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, and gave it neither power nor time.

Mary Oliver


WORD OF THE DAY

Desenrascanço
(Portuguese, n ) – To artfully disentangle oneself from a troublesome situation


Monday, February 21, 2022

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live. Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom. Only a person who risks is free.

William Ward


I am loath to close [these inaugural remarks]. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861, Presidential Inaugural Address


Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?

Abraham Lincoln


America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln


I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.

Abraham Lincoln


When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.

Abraham Lincoln


Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.

Abraham Lincoln


The best way to predict your future is to create it.

Abraham Lincoln


Sunday, February 20, 2022

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


WORD OF THE DAY

Jentacular
(Latin, adj ) – Related to breakfast.
Grace took a post-jentacular walk to settle her stomach after a large breakfast. (Now, lets see you use this word in a sentence today!)


Saturday, February 19, 2022

Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear.
She let go of judgments.
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 just let go. She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of 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.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
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. 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 forevermore.

Rev. Safire Rose


Set your sights on a place higher than your eyes can see.

Rumi


Friday, February 18, 2022

Do Not Let The Day Slip Away

Do not let the day slip through your fingers, but live it fully now, this breath, this moment, catapulting you into full awareness. Time is precious, minutes disappearing like water into sand, unless you choose to pay attention. Since you do not know the number of your days, treat each as if it is your last. Be that compassionate with yourself, that open and loving to others, that determined to give what is yours to give and to let in the energy and wonder of this world. Experience everything, writing, relating, eating, doing all the little necessary tasks of life as if for the first time…pushing nothing aside as unimportant. You have received these same reminders many times before, this time, take them into your soul. For if you choose to live this way, you will be rich beyond measure, grateful beyond words, and the day of your death will arrive with no regrets.

Danna Faulds


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


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Walk Don’t Run

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 everyday, 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


ah, kindness.
what a simple way
to tell another
struggling soul
that there is love
to be found
in the world.

Alison Malee


But When

We are going to do a kindly deed,
Sometime, perhaps, but when?
Our sympathy give in a time of need,
Sometime, perhaps, but when?
We will do so much in the coming years;
We will banish the heartaches and doubts and fears,
And we’ll comfort the lonely and dry their tears,
Sometime, perhaps, but when?

We will give a smile to a saddened heart,
Sometime, perhaps, but when?
Of the heavy burdens we’ll share a part,
Sometime, perhaps, but when?
Sometime we’re going to right the wrong;
Sometime the weak we will help make strong;
Sometime we’ll come with Love’s old, sweet song,
Sometime, perhaps, but when?

E. A. Brininstool


Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

L.R. Knost, award-winning author of many gentle parenting books


Grace

Grace
gives me a day
too beautiful
I had thought
to stay indoors
and yet
washing my dishes
straightening
my shelves
finally
throwing out
the wilted
onions
shrunken garlic
cloves
I discover
I am happy
to be inside
looking out.
This, I think,
is wealth.
Just this choosing
of how
a beautiful day
is spent.

Alice Walker


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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


Your world is as big as you make it.
I know, for I used to abide
In the narrowest nest in a corner,
My wings pressing close to my side.
But I sighted the distant horizon
Where the skyline encircled the sea
And I throbbed with a burning desire
To travel this immensity.
I battered the cordons around me
And cradled my wings on the breeze,
Then soared to the uttermost reaches
With rapture, with power, with ease!

Georgia Douglas Johnson, writer, musician, and educator during the Harlem Renaissance


Monday, February 14, 2022

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


In the solitude of my inner silence I have found the paradise of unending joy.

Paramahansa Yogananda


All love is directed to the Self.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Sunday, February 13, 2022

A Blessing of Angels

May the Angels in their beauty bless you.
May they turn toward you streams of blessing.
May the Angel of Awakening stir your heart
To come alive to the eternal within you,
To all the invitations that quietly surround you.
May the Angel of Healing turn your wounds
Into sources of refreshment.
May the Angel of the Imagination enable you
To stand on the true thresholds,
At ease with your ambivalence
And drawn in new direction
Through the glow of your contradictions.
May the Angel of Compassion open your eyes
To the unseen suffering around you.
May the Angel of Wildness disturb the places
Where your life is domesticated and safe,
Take you to the territories of true otherness
Where all that is awkward in you
Can fall into its own rhythm.
May the Angel of Eros introduce you
To the beauty of your senses
To celebrate your inheritance
As a temple of the holy spirit.

May the Angel of Justice disturb you
To take the side of the poor and the wronged.
May the Angel of Encouragement confirm you
In worth and self-respect,
That you may live with the dignity
That presides in your soul.
May the Angel of Death arrive only
When your life is complete
And you have brought every given gift
To the threshold where its infinity can shine.
May all the Angels be your sheltering
And joyful guardians.

John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us


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


Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

Maya Angelou


WORD OF THE DAY

Troost
(Dutch and German, n ) – “Confidence,” “trust,” “solace,” “consolation.” It is a name for one who comforts, one who brings solace to a person at a time when he or she is in dire need.


To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

Howard Zinn


Saturday, February 12, 2022

Metta Practice

May I feel protected and safe.
May my heart remain open.
May I awaken to the light of my true nature.
May I be healed, and be a source of healing for the world.

May you feel protected and safe.
May your heart remain open.
May you awaken to the light of your true nature.
May you be healed, and be a source of healing for the world.

May we feel protected and safe.
May our hearts remain open.
May we awaken to the light of our true nature.
May we be healed, and be a source of healing for the world.


WORD OF THE DAY

Ailyak
(Bulgarian ) – A beautiful word for the subtle art of doing everything calmly and without rushing, while enjoying the experience and life in general.


Friday, February 11, 2022

The ego searches for shortcomings and weaknesses. Love watches for any sign of strength. Love sees how far each one has come and not how far one has to go.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Life is all business. Spend your energy to get joy, happiness, evolution, and to gain more ability to enjoy. We never use our time, energy, speech, or ability to do something that doesn’t help us grow and improve our life. It’s not worth it.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Thus, without expectation,
One will always perceive the subtlety,
And, with expectation,
One will always perceive the boundary.

Tao Te Ching


WORD OF THE DAY

Livsnjutare
(Swedish, n ) – Literally, “Enjoyer of life.” Someone who loves life deeply and lives it to the extreme.


Wednesday, February 9, 2022

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


Bear in There

There’s a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire–
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He’s nibbling the noodles,
He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda,
He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he’s in there–
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

Shel Silverstein

(Note: “Bear in There” by the Oscar-nominated, Grammy-winning poet Shel Silverstein was published in 1981 in Silverstein’s collection of poem “A Light in the Attic”.)


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

The 14th Dalai Lama


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead


My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.

Maya Angelou


To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.

Confucius


If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickinson


Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face

Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you’d be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place–
be glad your nose is on your face!

Jack Relutsky


Monday, February 7, 2022

The one who asks the questions does not lose the way.

Proverb from Ghana


A wise person changes his mind, a fool never will.

Proverb from Spain


Sunday, February 6, 2022

Each Moment Is Precious

Live in the moment,
Just take it all in.
Pay attention to everything,
Right there and right then.
Don’t let your mind wander
To what’s coming next.
Cherish this moment
And give it your best.
Don’t let tomorrow
Make you rush through today,
Or too many great moments
Will just go to waste.
And the person you’re with,
In that moment you share,
Give them all of your focus;
Be totally there.
Laugh till it hurts,
Let the tears drop.
Fill up each moment
With all that you’ve got.
Don’t miss the details;
The lesson is there.
Don’t get complacent;
Stay sharp and aware.
It can take but a moment
To change your life’s path.
And once it ticks by,
There is no going back.
In just 60 seconds,
You may make a new friend.
Find your true love,
Or see a life start or end.
You become who you are
In those moments you live.
And the growth’s not in taking
But in how much you give.
Life is just moments,
So precious and few.
Whether valued or squandered,
It’s all up to you!

Patricia A. Fleming, October, 2018

(Note: Ms. Fleming was the middle child of three and had a middle-class upbringing. She worked as a psychiatric social worker for 36 years and after retiring, she began writing inspirational poems about life. )


WORD OF THE DAY

Ubuntu
(Nguni, South African, n ) – Literally translates as “humanity.” It is the belief that we are all defined by our compassion and humanity towards others.


God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Saturday, February 5, 2022

Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

Maya Angelou


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


This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.

Maya Angelou


Friday, February 4, 2022

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


Birthright

Despite illness of body or mind,
in spite of blinding despair or habitual belief,
who you are is whole.
Let nothing keep you separate from the truth.
The soul, illumined from within,
longs to be known for what it is.
Undying, untouched by fire or the storms of life,
there is a place inside where stillness and abiding peace reside.
You can ride the breath to go there.
Despite doubt or hopeless turns of mind,
you are not broken.
Spirit surrounds, embraces, fills you from the inside out.
Release everything that isn’t your true nature.
What’s left, the fullness, light and shadow,
claim all that as your birthright.

Danna Faulds


Thursday, February 3, 2022

WORD OF THE DAY

​​Gigil
(Filipino Tagalog, n ) – The irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze something or someone because they are loved or cherished—and because they are unbearably cute!


Gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
Chaos to order, confusion to clarity.


(full quote)

Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

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


WORD OF THE DAY

Nakupenda sana
(Swahili) – “I love you very much”


Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The purpose of life is to matter,
to have it make some difference that you have lived at all….
Happiness then, in the ancient, noble sense, means self-fulfillment,
And is given to those who use to the fullest whatever talents
God or luck or fate has bestowed upon them.
Happiness lies in stretching to the farthest boundaries
of that which we are capable
the resources of the mind, the heart, the spirit…

Leo Rosten, American humorist in the fields of scriptwriting, storywriting, journalism, and Yiddish lexicography.


​​If you live in harmony with nature you will never be poor; if you live according what others think, you will never be rich.

Seneca (1 BCE – 65 CE)


Monday, January 31, 2022

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


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

Chinese proverb


Sunday, January 30, 2022

Do the duty which lies nearest to you, the second duty will then become clearer.

Thomas Carlyle


Dust If You Must

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.

Rose Milligan


Friday, January 28, 2022

Honesty without kindness, humor, and good-heartedness can be just mean.

Pema Chödrön


Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.

Pema Chödrön


One who cannot tolerate small misfortunes can never accomplish great things.

Chinese proverb


Thursday, January 27, 2022

Remember Me As A Time of Day

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


​​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

(Note: Nelson Mandela, the anti-Apartheid leader who was jailed 27 years for his activism and in 1994 became President of South Africa, regularly recited the poem Invictus during his imprisonment. Invictus, meaning unconquerable or undefeated in Latin, was written by Henley in 1875.


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.

Pema Chödrön


When the roots are deep there is no reason to fear the wind.

Lebanese proverb


Enough is a feast.

Buddhist proverb


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.

Montaigne


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

Tibetan proverb


As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Proverbs 23:7, The Bible


Monday, January 24, 2022

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


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


Sunday, January 23, 2022

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


He who binds himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise

William Blake


WORDS OF THE DAY

Ataraxia
(Greek, n.) “at-uh-rak-see-uh” – A transcendent state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; Tranquility or untroubled mind

Meraki
(Greek, v.) “may-rah-kee” – To do something with soul, creativity, or love; to leave a piece and essence of yourself in your work


Saturday, January 22, 2022

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’s interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child, every one of us is ancient, every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one 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.
Peace is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you

Roger Keyes


Many people think excitement is happiness…But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.

Thich Nhat Hahn


Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.

Thich Nhat Hahn


Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I’m afraid that sometimes you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win, cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone! Whether you like it or not,
Alone you will be something quite a lot.

And when you’re alone. There’ a very good chance
You’ll meet some things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
That can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go, though the weather be foul,
On you will go, though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many a frightening creek,
Though your arms may get sore
And your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike.
And I know you’ll hike far
And face up to your problems
Whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
As you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure where you step.
Step with care and great tact
And remember that life’s a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

Dr. Seuss


There is no greater barrier to understanding than the assumption that the standpoint which we happen to occupy is a universal one.

H. Richard Neibuhr, Christian theological ethicist


Friday, January 21, 2022

​​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


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Inner Peace

Well below your ego
There’s a place that doesn’t care
What people say or think or do
It’s very peaceful there

This place is deep inside you
It’s way beneath your skin
The stillness that surrounds you there
Is you without the spin

It’s soul, unspoilt, it’s raw
Untouched by human mind
Affected not by boxes
Or labels of any kind

When you can find your inner peace
Anytime or place
No matter what is happening
You have your own calm space

Vanessa Hughes


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Pablo Neruda


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

Tibetan proverb


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

Native American proverb


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.

Hafez


Monday, January 17, 2022

Full Moon
Above the tower — a lone, twice-sized moon.
On the cold river passing night-filled homes,
It scatters restless gold across the waves.
On mats, it shines richer than silken gauze.

Empty peaks, silence: among sparse stars,
Not yet flawed, it drifts. Pine and cinnamon
Spreading in my old garden . . . All light,
All ten thousand miles at once in its light!

Du Fu (712-770 AD)


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Sunday, January 16, 2022

Inside each of us is a voice. It is a quiet voice. It is a guiding voice. If we listen for it, it will guide us, and help us avoid disaster. It is especially active when we are afraid, when we are in doubt, when we are scared, when we need help, and when we get angry. If we are excited emotionally, it is hard to hear this voice. If we are angry, it’s hard to hear this voice because this voice is usually quiet. The best thing we can do is to practice getting quiet. If we don’t get quiet, there is another voice called the judge. It tells us to attack or say bad things to other people or to judge ourselves. This voice is loud and usually gets us into trouble.

Creator, Great Mystery, help me listen for the quiet voice. Let me know this voice of Yours. Your ways are gentle. Guide me with this voice.

Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D., PENOBSCOT


Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Who Turns

Who turns this into that?
Sound into noise?
Aroma into odor?
Taste into pleasure or disgust?
Who turns yes into no?
Grace into disgrace?
Who turns the present into the past?
Who turns the now into the not-now?
As-it-is into as-it-should-be?
Silence into restlessness?
Stillness into boredom?
The ordinary into the menial?
Who turns pain into suffering?
Change into loss?
Grief into woe?
Woe into the story of your life?
Who turns stuff into sentiment?
Desire into craving?
Acceptance into aversion?
Peace into war?
Us into them?
Who turns life into labor?
Time into toil?
Enough into not-enough?
Who turns why into why not?
Who turns delusion into enlightenment?
Who thinks?
Who turns?

All practice is the practice of making a turn in a different direction.

Karen Maezen Miller


Whenever you do something that is not aligned with the yearning of your soul—you create suffering.

Anais Nin


Friday, January 14, 2022

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 Paine Welwood


​And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful that the risk It took to blossom.

Anais Nin


Thursday, January 13, 2022

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


Outside is the joy of the drop. Inside is the joy of the ocean.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


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

Rabbi Julius Gordon


Learning
I’m learning to say thank you.
And I’m learning to say please.
And I’m learning to use Kleenex,
Not my sweater, when I sneeze.
And I’m learning not to dribble.
And I’m learning not to slurp.
And I’m learning (though it sometimes really hurts me)
Not to burp.
And I’m learning to chew softer
When I eat corn on the cob.
And I’m learning that it’s much
Much easier to be a slob.

Judith Viorst


Wednesdayday, January 12, 2022

There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heaven, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the Light that shines in our Heart.

Chandogya Upanishad


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

William Stafford


WORD OF THE DAY

Whakakoakoa (Māori, v.): To cheer up.


Monday, January 10, 2022

Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.

Pema Chödrön


Sunday, January 9, 2022

What Does It Mean?

What does it mean to be me?
What does it mean to be you?

What does it mean to learn from mistakes?
What does it mean to try harder?

What does it mean to just be?
What does it mean to live and let live?

What does it mean to love your neighbor?
What does it mean to let bygones be bygones?

What does it mean to Thank God?
What does it mean to make sense of it all?

What does it mean to find your true calling?
What does it mean to fall in love?

What does it mean to forgive and forget?
What does it mean to honor and never forget?

What does it mean to begin again?
What does it mean to be a beginner?

What does it mean to be a friend?
What does it mean to give and receive?

What does it mean to tell the truth?
What does it mean to be kind?

What does it mean to tell your story?
What does it mean, anything is possible?

Emily Lewis Penn


Saturday, January 8, 2022

For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which one can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of humanity is through love and in love.

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning


By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind retains its undisturbed calmness.

Patanjali, Yoga Sutra 1.33


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


My Symphony
To live content with small means.
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion.
To be worthy not respectable,
and wealthy not rich.
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,
act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,
and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.

William Ellery Channing


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

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

Glennon Doyle


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver, from In Backwater Woods


WORD OF THE DAY

Arbejdsglæde (Danish – ah-bitts-gleh): Literally translates to “happiness at work”—when your work is a source of joy and happiness.


Monday, January 3, 2022

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


​​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


Sunday, January 2, 2022

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


Do we not know the feeling that overtakes us when we are in the presence of a particular person and, roughly translates as, The fact that this person exists in the world at all, this alone makes this world, and a life in it, meaningful.

Victor Frankl


The kinder and the more thoughtful a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people. Kindness enriches our life; with kindness mysterious things become clear, difficult things become easy, and dull things become cheerful.

Tolstoy


There are more things … likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality. 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


If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Saturday, January 1, 2022

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 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, OMRI OMDSM, is an Italian opera singer, songwriter, and record producer.
Note: Celine Dion has said, ”If God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli.” Andrea was born with poor eyesight and became completely blind at age 12, following a football accident.


The New Year

The New Year comes—fling wide, fling wide the door
Of Opportunity! the spirit free
To scale the utmost heights of hopes to be,
To rest on peaks ne’er reached by man before!
The boundless infinite let us explore,
To search out undiscovered mystery,
Undreamed of in our poor philosophy!
The bounty of the gods upon us pour!
Nay, in the New Year we shall be as gods:
No longer apish puppets or dull clods
Of clay; but poised, empowered to command,
Upon the Etna of New Worlds we’ll stand—
This scant earth-raiment to the winds will cast—
Full richly robed as supermen at last!

Carrie Williams Clifford
(Note: Carrie Williams Clifford was born in September 1862 in Chillicothe, Ohio. A poet and activist, she is the author of Race Rhymes (R. L. Pendleton, 1911) and The Widening Light (Walter Reid, 1922). A co-founder and the first president of the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women, Clifford hired Black women for the Niagara Movement, a predecessor of the NAACP.)


Friday, December 31, 2021

May everyone be happy.
May everyone be free of disease.
May auspiciousness be seen everywhere.
May suffering belong to no one.
Peace.

Upanishads


Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne

We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit
Sin days of auld lang syne

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn
Frae morning sun till dine
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin days of auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp
And surely I’ll be mine
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere
And gie’s a hand o’ thine
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne


Compassionate listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart. Even if he says things that are full of wrong perceptions, full of bitterness, you are still capable of continuing to listen with compassion. Because you know that listening like that, you give that person a chance to suffer less.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Thursday, December 30, 2021

Softer than the flower where kindness is concerned.
Stronger than thunder where principles are at stake.

Upanishads


Fifteen, Maybe Sixteen Things to Worry About

My pants could maybe fall down when I dive off the diving board.

My nose could maybe keep growing and never quit.
Miss Brearly could ask me to spell words like stomach and special.
(Stumick and speshul?)
I could play tag all day and always be “it.”

Jay Spievack, who’s fourteen feet tall, could want to fight me.
My mom and my dad—like Ted’s—could want a divorce.
Miss Brearly could ask me a question about Afghanistan.
(Who’s Afghanistan?)
Somebody maybe could make me ride a horse.

My mother could maybe decide that I needed more liver.
My dad could decide that I needed less TV.
Miss Brearly could say that I have to write script and stop printing.
(I’m better at printing.)
Chris could decide to stop being friends with me.

The world could maybe come to an end on next Tuesday.
The ceiling could maybe come crashing on my head.
I maybe could run out of things for me to worry about.
And then I’d have to do my homework instead.

Judith Viorst


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

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


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

Henry David Thoreau


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

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


Never say you have no time to be still, to find that inner peace. There is time for everything when you put first things first and are willing to sacrifice to make time. When your desire is great enough, you will stop at nothing to make time to be alone with yourself. This time spent alone with yourself need not interfere with your daily round. You can do all that has to be done far better when you have taken time to get into tune with yourself, before the start of a busy day.

Eileen Caddy, founder of Findhorn


Monday, December 27, 2021

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


Sunday, December 26, 2021

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 a poet, essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist. He is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award.)


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


Saturday, December 25, 2021

But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33


I entered into the innermost part of myself… I entered and I saw with my soul’s eye (such as it was) an unchangeable light shining above this eye of my soul and above my mind… He who knows truth knows that light, and he who knows that light knows eternity. Love knows it. O eternal truth and true love and beloved eternity!

St. Augustine


My soul at once becomes recollected and I enter the state of quiet or that of rapture, so that I can use none of my faculties and senses… Everything is stilled, and the soul is left in a state of great quiet and deep satisfaction. From this recollection there sometimes springs an interior peace and quietude which is full of happiness, for the soul is in such a state that it thinks there is nothing that it lacks. Even speaking — by which I mean vocal prayer and meditation — wearies it: it would like to do nothing but love. This condition lasts for some time, and may even last for long periods.

St. Teresa of Avila


A door opens in the center of our being and we seem to fall through it into immense depths which, although they are infinite, are all accessible to us; all eternity seems to have become ours in this one placid and breathless contact…

You feel as if you were at last fully born.

Thomas Merton


Psalm 23

1. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

King James Version


THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE GOLDEN RULE

Christianity: King James Version 7:12 “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

Buddhism: Udanavarga 5:18 “Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”

Judaism: Leviticus 19:18 “Thou shalt Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Hinduism: Hitopadesa “One should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated.”

Zoroastrianism: Shast-na-shayast 13:29 “Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others.”

Confucianism: Analects 15:23 “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”


THE WORK OF CHRISTMAS

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman


Frisday, December 24, 2021

Whenever we meditate we come back home… to ourself.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Thursday, December 23, 2021

Mother Doesn’t Want a Dog

Mother doesn’t want a dog.
Mother says they smell,
And never sit when you say sit,
Or even when you yell.

When you come home late at night
And there is ice and snow,
You have to go back out because
The dumb dog has to go.

Mother doesn’t want a dog.
Mother says they shed,
And always let the strangers in
And bark at friends instead

They do disgraceful things on rugs,
And track mud on the floor,
And flop upon your bed at night
And snore their doggy snore.

Mother doesn’t want a dog.
She’s making a mistake.
Because, more than a dog, I think
She will not want this snake.

Judith Viorst


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. 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 favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come his way.

William Hutchison Murray


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

There is no such thing as darkness, only the absence of light.

Albert Einstein


I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.

Mark Twain


Truth is within ourselves

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise from
outward things, what e’er you may believe.
There is an inmost center in us all,
Where truth abides in fullness…

Robert Browning


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Monday, December 20, 2021

Thus, without expectation,
One will always perceive the subtlety,
And, with expectation,
One will always perceive the boundary.

Tao Te Ching


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


Sunday, December 19, 2021

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


To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

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


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


When the rose gets bigger the thorns get bigger.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


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

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


And Then You Are Gone

This morning I sit at the kitchen table,
as is my custom, and look again, outside,
and watch you, Dear Bird, as you swoop
down tentatively until you enter
the birdhouse this cold December day.

You feast with abandon until I look up
from my papers, startled, by the sounds
of your flapping wings.
And then you are gone.

Should I focus now on this brief time
we spent together – though apart?
You held my attention for a short while.
Or on the emptiness I feel of your absence,
your uncanny ability to live,
or so it seems, to my untrained eyes,
in only the here,
and only the now?

Emily Lewis Penn


Saturday, December 18, 2021

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)


Friday, December 17, 2021

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, written at age 85


You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.

A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh


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


Thursday, December 16, 2021

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 Einsein


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

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Empathy

Let me hold
the door for you.
I may have
never walked
in your shoes,
but I can see
your soles are worn,
your strength is torn
under the weight of a story
I have never lived before.
Let me hold the door for you.
After all you have walked through,
it is he least I can do.

Morgan Harper Nichols


“A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his son. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you.”

The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win?”

The old man replied simply, “The one you feed.”

Wendy Mass


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Lessons In Meditation

The bird is the tree;
The tree is the bird.
The bison is the moon
The stars are its herd.
The petal is the dream
Fulfilled in the loam
The wind taps my eardrum;
Its code feeds the bones.

The myth drives the ritual
Ascending in smoke;
The trick is in the knowing
Not everything’s broke.
The spear is the fire;
The fire is the chant.
The chant is the mantra
That brings forth the dance.
This stark revelation
At long last I’ve learned…
I am the tree;
I am the bird.

Michael Dellger


Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

Maya Angelou


Monday, December 13, 2021

​​I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Isaac Newton


Sunday, December 12, 2021

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


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 every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one 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


If all insects disappeared, all life on earth would perish. If all humans disappeared, all life on earth would flourish.

Jonas Salk, biologist who discovered the polio vaccine


Saturday, December 11, 2021

The only meaningful thing we can offer one another is love. Not advice, not questions about our choices, not suggestions for the future, just love.

Glennon Doyle


Dreams

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes


Friday, Decemeber 10, 2021

Shantideva Prayer

May I become at all times, both now and forever
A protector of those without protection
A guide for those who have lost their way
A ship for those with oceans to cross
A bridge for those with rivers to cross
A sanctuary for those in danger
A lamp for those without light
A place of refuge for those who lack shelter
And a servant to all in need
For as long as space endures,
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.

Shantideva, 8th century Indian Buddhist monk


​​If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.

Turkish Proverb


Thursday, December 9, 2021

Walk Slowly

It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as I
forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly into the mystery.

Danna Faulds


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, which somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs


Monday, December 6, 2021

Beannacht / Blessing

For Josie, my mother

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 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 light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of 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, Echoes of Memory


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


Monday, December 6, 2021

To the world you may be just one person-but to one person you may be the world.

Brandi Snyder


There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein


We are gatherers,
the ones who pick up sticks and stones
and old wasp's nests fallen by the
door of the barn,
walnuts with holes that look like
eyes of owls,
bits of shells not whole but lovely
in their brokeness,
we are the ones who bring home
empty eggs of birds
and place them on a small glass shelf
to keep for what? How long?
It matters not. What matters
Is the gathering,
the pockets filled with remnants
of a day evaporated, the traces of
certain memory, a lingering smell,
a smile that came with the shell.

Nina Bagley


“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.

Marry Oliver

“TODAY”

Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.

Mary Oliver

Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

Mary Oliver


Grief, I've learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.

Jamie Anderson

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


“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


If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.

Mark Twain


​​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


That which you hate, do not do unto your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah.

Masechet Shabbat, 31a


There always were two ways to live in a world that is often dark and full of tears. We can curse the darkness or we can light a light, and as the Chassidim say, a little light drives out much darkness. May we all help light up the world.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z”l

Hanukkah is about the freedom to be true to what we believe without denying the freedom of those who believe otherwise. It’s about lighting our candle, while not being threatened by or threatening anyone else’s candle.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z”l

Note: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom for 22 years and served as an eloquent teacher of Torah and spokesman for Torah values within the Jewish community and beyond.


The lamp of God is the soul of man.

Proverbs 20:27


Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

Langston Hughes


“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


23rd Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


“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


“Lovingkindness”

May we have compassion for ourselves and others at this unprecedented time.
May we take refuge in the present moment as it holds what is most true.
May we remember that we are not alone.
May we have the courage to ask for support when we need it.
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


All shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things, shall be well.

Julian of Norwich

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


Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.
All things break. And all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.
So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world awaits in darkness for the light that is you.

L. R. Knost


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

Albert Schweitzer


Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

William Shakespeare


“The Fountain”

Don't say, don't say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts.
I have seen

the fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes

found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.

The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched -- but not because
she grudged the water,

only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were
refreshed.

Don't say, don't say there is no water.
That fountain is there among its scalloped
green and gray stones,

it is still there and always there
with its quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,

up and out through the rock.

Denise Levertov


Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address

Greetings to the Natural World

The People
Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.
Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother
We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Waters
We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms- waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.
Now our minds are one.

The Fish
We turn our minds to the all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Plants
Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.
Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants
With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs
Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.
Now our minds are one.

The Animals
We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are honored by them when they give up their lives so we
may use their bodies as food for our people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.
Now our minds are one.

The Trees
We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.
Now our minds are one.

The Birds
We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds-from the smallest to the largest-we send our joyful greetings and thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds
We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.
Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers
Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We are thankful that they keep those evil things made by Okwiseres underground. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.
Now our minds are one.

The Sun
We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.
Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon
We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.
Now our minds are one.

The Stars
We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to the Stars.
Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers
We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.
Now our minds are one.

The Creator
Now we turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.
Now our minds are one.

Closing Words
We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.
Now our minds are one.


He is wise who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.

Epictetus


Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

Maya Angelou


"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 Rios


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

Native American Proverb


"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 plane

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


"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 every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one 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


All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.

Martin Buber


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

Tibetan proverb


"Gratitude to the Unknown Instructors"

What they undertook to do
They brought to pass;
All things hang like a drop of dew
Upon a blade of grass.

WB Yeats


"Snow Geese"

Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
to ask
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
a flock of snow geese, winging it
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun
so they were, in part at least, golden. I
held my breath
as we do
sometimes
to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us
as with a match,
which is lit, and bright,
but does not hurt
in the common way,
but delightfully,
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt.
The geese
flew on,
I have never seen them again.
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won't.
It doesn't matter.
What matters
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.

Mary Oliver


"Lost"

Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you go is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers
I have made this place around you
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two branches are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

Native American Elder story, translated by David Waggoner


"In Admiration of Weeds"

What, you say, did weeds ever do for the world?
Fennel and dandelion
arrowdock and thistle
rye grass and bridal creeper
bindii and burr:
opportunists, invaders, nutrient-sapping neighbours
to the desired, the beautiful, the planned and the tame.

Shudder at the clash of soursob’s tangy yellow
against the dusty rose of hellebore.
Wince as asparagus fern’s delicate tracery
pierces the peaceable hydrangea.
Rend the soft lace of foul-named fumitory
embracing the fashionably grotesque ponytail.

These runaway successes
capeweed, Spanish broom
taunt you
Salvation Jane, plantain
haunt you
onion grass, pampas grass
tease you with their rampant, illicit growth.
Enough!

As you rip them out
and poison them
and dig them out
swearing as they tear you with defiant thorns
enjoy their blatant beauties
reclaim their stolen food value
honour your enemy’s incorrigible persistence
that draws the same from you.

To the weeds!

Claire Belberg


"Perhaps The World Ends Here"

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

…It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

Joy Harjo


"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


"Jabberwocky"

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll


"How Good to Center Down"

How good it is to center down
To sit quietly and see one’s self pass by!
The streets of our minds seethe with endless traffic;
Our spirits resound with clashing, with noisy silences,
While something deep within hungers and thirsts for the still moment and the resting lull.
With full intensity we seek, ere thicket passes, a fresh sense of order in our living;
A direction, a strong sure purpose that will structure our confusion and bring meaning in our chaos.
We look at ourselves in this waiting moment—the kinds of people we are.
The questions persist: what are we doing with our lives?—what are the motives that order our days?
What is the end of our doings? Where are we trying to go? Where do we put the emphasis and where are our values focused? For what end do we make sacrifices?
Where is my treasure and what do I love most in life?
What do I hate most in life and to what am I true? Over and over the questions beat upon the waiting moment.
As we listen, floating up through all of the jangling echoes of our turbulence, there is a sound of another kind—
A deeper note which only the stillness of the heart makes clear.
It moves directly to the core of our being. Our questions are answered,
Our spirits refreshed, and we move back into the traffic of our daily round
With the peace of the Eternal in our step.
How good it is to center down!

Howard Thurman (1899-1981), American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. As a prominent religious figure, he played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century.


"What Do We Know"

The sky cleared
I was standing
under a tree.

and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment

at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain —
imagine! Imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.

Mary Oliver


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 labours 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.

Max Erhmann


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

C. S. Lewis


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


"The Way It Is"

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

William Stafford


This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.

Maya Angelou


"Love After Love"

The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other's welcome,

And say, sit here, Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott


"Let Evening Come"

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

Jane Kenyon


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

Brené Brown


Avert the danger that has not yet come.

Sanskrit proverb


You have control over action alone never over its fruits

Bhagavad Gita


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


The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.

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


Find ecstasy in life. The mere sense of living is joy enough.

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


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


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 Bronte


Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family — in another city.

George Burns


"Gratitude"

I thank thee, friend, for the beautiful thought
That in words well chosen thou gavest to me,
Deep in the life of my soul it has wrought
With its own rare essence to ever imbue me,
To gleam like a star over devious ways,
To bloom like a flower on the drearest days­
Better such gift from thee to me
Than gold of the hills or pearls of the sea.

For the luster of jewels and gold may depart,

And they have in them no life of the giver,
But this gracious gift from thy heart to my heart
Shall witness to me of thy love forever;
Yea, it shall always abide with me
As a part of my immortality;
For a beautiful thought is a thing divine,
So I thank thee, oh, friend, for this gift of thine.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)
Note: Montgomery is best-known for her classic novel for children, Anne of Green Gables, set in Montgomery’s own country of Canada (on Prince Edward Island). But Montgomery was also a poet, and in this short poem she thanks her friend for the most valuable gift of all – a beautiful thought.


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)


“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.”

Danna 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


A message from Vaitiare, who connects in regularly for the twice-daily Zoom meditations…

As we say in Tahitian, “Mauruuru," meaning “Thank you” for the daily TM sessions. They are so wonderful.

It's been about 5 months since I started TM meditation. Being a cancer survivor for two years, I have always meditated since my early 20's. I am now a 57 years old woman and for the past 20 years it has been a daily part of my life.

I must say that I have tried different meditations trying new things. I know it helped me in so many ways with my cancer. Being cancer free from a stem cell bone marrow transplant two years ago, fighting, accepting and embracing all, I was feeling a lot of anxiety more than ever. I have done a lot of spiritual healing but I was feeling suddenly depressed, scared and not knowing what to do with my life early this year. I had gone not only through cancer, the pandemic but also a terrible divorce and then losing my father last year and being unable to attend his funeral in the homeland of Tahiti. I have two beautiful children and I would do anything for them. But my depression and fears left me scared, lost and I wanted to withdraw.

It was one lovely morning walking with my dog, when he decided to stop at this particular corner of the street and to watch people. Nothing new, I let him sit for about ten minutes as I scrolled through my photos. I had lost all my hair and my son had just taken new photos of me with my new hair, new body and self feeling pretty good at that moment. A stranger walked by and I decided to ask him a question. (So unlike me). My walks are my sacred moments for prayer, meditation, reflection and being with nature. but I felt my guides gave me a push and told my dog to sit there! Let's say it wasn't by accident…LOL

I had just completed a 21 days meditation challenge and that day happened to be the last day. I knew I needed to go to a deeper level. But what, where, who? I asked my angels, the universe to show me? I trust the universe will deliver. This total stranger that I suddenly asked if he would be so kind as to help me choose a photo (laughed kindly)... and long story short, he told me about TM, he had been doing TM for 40 years and even wrote a book. My prayers were answered.

It's been so great since I have been doing TM. I felt the anxiety go away, I didn't wake up with a huge knot in my chest or stomach anymore, my sleep improved, and I felt I could work through it with love and confidence. Something magical was happening. The fear subsided and I even started a new job three months ago. I feel connected with my second life and my new purpose. I feel good and doing my morning and afternoon meditations is life saving. I feel grounded, refreshed and more aware and better able to handle the daily life events without fear. Overall it's been truly amazing!

I apologize for this extremely long email. Just wanted to say thank you and that I am so grateful to have found TM in my life.

Have a blessed day,

Vaitiare

(Note: Vaitiare means “waterflower” in Tahitian. )


A letter from Natalia, who connects in regularly for the twice-daily Zoom meditations…

Hello Bob!

In 2021 I sent you a message from ICU. I have Covid again, but I am doing well. It took me about a year of reflection to recognize how TM may have contributed to my survival. Most of the nurses shared their stories of hardship and how they came to America, got educated, and found careers in nursing. Although we could not touch, there was a bond, a human connection that I read about when learning of soldiers in the trenches in WWI, Holocaust survivors who huddled together for warmth, and the comradery of New Yorkers since 9/11. I experienced history from the trenches instead of reading about it or heading to a museum.

It is this interconnectedness of humanity that group meditation offers. We don’t touch or see the group, and yet we are together. We are connected. I calmly asked one nurse if he wouldn’t mind holding my hand should death be near - with a glove of course. He warmly replied, “of course, any of us would.” It made me realize that I didn’t need my family there. I love my “family” dearly. But we are all family. What an epiphany. Thank you for the Group Meditations.

Also, TM enabled me to live more fully – take chances, travel to new places, meet new friends, sprint to the nearest museum, and read voraciously. I even adopted a puppy. We adore her. I have had a wonderful life, but TM made me a better person who flourishes. How could death be so bad if I had lived so fully? Who wants to live forever? Vampires don’t seem too happy.

“Death twitches my ear; live, he says, I am coming.” - Virgil

“You can come, but let me finish this group meditation.” - Natalia

— Natalia Weatherbie


“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