The Phoenix


 

φοῖνιξ

   G31

Bennu HumaGaruda
Phoenix

It’s interesting to note that ancient cultures must have had similar experiences when devising this myth from what I presume out of their own desires and thus assign the sentiment with mythological cadence that is still prevalent in cultures today.  Consider our use of the comic book, and the characters in these stories.  Part entertainment, part wonderment, with the only difference that we now can monetize these ideas and sell them for money.  We are only following a tradition that has been going on for a millennia and probably longer.  Challenging the human condition by testing the boundaries of our abilities often played out in the Olympic fields of Greece, as well as an understanding of the limitations of the human being. We are mortal, and we have always known that.

The verbal traditions of story-telling may be lost to many of us today simply because those traditions died out many, many generations ago.  Prior to the written languages, we spoke and told stories to others to pass on knowledge, culture, and tradition.  The only remaining evidence we have of what they have thought are only in ancient texts, and thus written accounts of these mythologies are all we have left since nothing else exits.

To bring about a change in a person, to develop a kind of philosophy that can motivate someone to rise up out of the ashes from a former existence is a powerful talisman that many would like to employ to reach a new beginning and start again from a foiled past.  One must think of what is possible.  One must align with a rejuvenated sense of themselves to enact and embark on a new path that allows them to achieve planned goals.  The desire to reinvent themselves leaving behind them the dead weight which had possibly bogged them down and hindered their personal growth from a shadowy past is a very strong motivator if it led to the creation of an anthropomorphic myth.  In these times I’m sure that it was probably a matter of life or death, when facing some challenging goal against another tribe, country, or nation.  One can only wonder the kind of ethic that operated during ancient times when the myth’s were conceived and told.

Questing to overcome obstacles and reexamining our strategy can bring about newer ideas on how we can master these impediments.  When the paradoxical question of an unstoppable force meets an immovable object comes to mind in our accounts of life, we are either left to consider that they would surrender to one another, or that it was the cause of our unsuccessfully mastering our former failed plans.  The human mind always considers the boundaries and sometimes it does not.  The paradox arises because it rests on two premises—that there exist such things as irresistible forces and immovable objects—which cannot both be true at once.  If there exists an irresistible force, it follows logically that there cannot be any such thing as an immovable object, and vice versa.  Thus even the ancients were playing language games back in the day.  The thought of exposing oneself revealing their vulnerabilities has persisted in these timeless tales of myth and defines us since we create these extensions of human thought that reach out to us even in this day.  Instead of Zeus, the topic instead may be replaced by the fictions of Marvel comics or movies.

One can argue that the myths and legends were believed and thought to be true by the ancients, whereas, we today know that they are just simple stories for entertainment, but I suggest that this is irrelevant and thus believing in them does not refute the nature of them despite their truthfulness.  The fact that they are conceived in the first place is all that matters, since we as mortal beings define what it is to be human, or god, or superhero.  It does not matter whether we create myth to explain our universe in a language that we can understand prior to a scientific knowledge, but the fact that we still continue to create an explanation given whatever understanding we do have that can make sense out of it continues to define us as human.  Do we not project explanations such as ghosts, spirits, and demons to this day?

However these interpretations affect us, the use of mirth and woe are common in such tales, and we are surely linked by this expressive human idiosyncrasy.  With few exceptions, I don’t believe that a second passes without someone of our kind who does not ponder their relationship to themselves and to the human condition that binds our experience in this world.  This is the quintessential human undertaking that faces us all.  How we choose to deal with it, is up to us.

Egyptian

Bennu –or Heron
Phoenix
in hieroglyphs
G31
G32

The earliest representation of the phoenix is found in the ancient Egyptian Bennu bird, the name relating to the verb “weben,” meaning “to rise brilliantly,” or “to shine.” Some researchers believe that a now extinct large heron was a possible real life inspiration for the Bennu. However, since the Bennu, like all the other versions of the phoenix, is primarily a symbolic icon, the many mythical sources of the Bennu in ancient Egyptian culture reveal more about the civilization than the existence of a real bird.

One version of the myth says that the Bennu bird burst forth from the heart of Osiris. In the more prevalent myths, the Bennu created itself from a fire that was burned on a holy tree in one of the sacred precincts of the temple of Ra.  The Bennu was supposed to have rested on a sacred pillar that was known as the benben-stone. At the end of its life-cycle, the phoenix would build itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignited; both nest and bird burned fiercely and would be reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arose.  The new phoenix embalmed the ashes of the old phoenix in an egg made of myrrh and deposited it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (“the city of the sun” in Greek).

The Bennu was pictured as a grey, purple, blue, or white heron with a long beak and a two-feathered crest.  Occasionally it was depicted as a yellow wagtail, or as an eagle with feathers of red and gold.  In rare instances the Bennu was pictured as a man with the head of a heron, wearing a white or blue mummy dress under a transparent long coat. Because of its connection to Egyptian religion, the Bennu was considered the “soul” of the god Atum, Ra, or Osiris, and was sometimes called “He Who Came Into Being by Himself,” “Ascending One,” and “Lord of Jubilees.”  These names and the connection with Ra, the sun god, reflected not just the ancient Egyptian belief in a spiritual continuation of life after physical death, but also reflected the natural process of the Nile River‘s rising and falling, which the Egyptians depended upon for survival. The Bennu also became closely connected to the Egyptian calendar, and the Egyptians kept intricate time measuring devices in the Bennu Temple.

Persian

The Huma, also known as the “bird of paradise,” is a Persian mythological bird, similar to the Egyptian phoenix. It consumes itself in fire every few hundred years, only to rise anew from the ashes.  The Huma is considered to be a compassionate bird and its touch is said to bring great fortune.

The Huma bird joins both the male and female natures together in one body, each sharing a wing and a leg.  It avoids killing for food, rather preferring to feed on carrion. The Persians teach that great blessings come to that person on whom the Huma’s shadow falls.[1]

According to Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Kahn,

The word huma in the Persian language stands for a fabulous bird.  There is a belief that if the huma bird sits for a moment on someone’s head it is a sign that he will become a king.  Its true meaning is that when a person’s thoughts evolve so that they break all limitation, he then becomes a king.  It is the limitation of language that it can only describe the Most High as something like a king.[2]

Greek

The Greeks adapted the word bennu and identified it with their own word phoenixφοινιξ’, meaning the color purple-red or crimson.  They and the Romans subsequently pictured the bird more like a peacock or an eagle.  According to Greek mythology, the phoenix lived in Arabia next to a well.  At dawn, it bathed in the water of the well, and the Greek sun-god Apollo stopped his chariot (the sun) in order to listen to its song.

Detail from mosaic Semis de roses et phénix Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Oriental

The phoenix (known as Garuda in Sanskrit) is the mystical fire bird which is considered as the chariot of the Hindu god Vishnu. Its reference can be found in the Hindu epic Ramayana.

In Tibet, the phoenix is also called Garuda, which means “the bird of life” and is depicted as a conglomerate of the typical brightly colored bird, eagle, and human.[3]

In China, the phoenix is called Feng-huang and symbolizes completeness, incorporating the basic elements of music, colors, nature, as well as the joining of yin and yang.  It is a symbol of peace, and represents fire, the sun, justice, obedience, and fidelity.  The Feng-huang, unlike the phoenix which dies and is reborn, is truly immortal although it only appears in times of peace and prosperity.[4]

Judaism and Christianity

In Judaism, the phoenix is known as Milcham or Chol (or Hol): The story of the phoenix begins in the Garden of Eden when Eve fell, tempted by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit. According to the Midrash Rabbah, upset by her situation and jealous of creatures still innocent, Eve tempted all the other creatures of the garden to do the same. Only the Chol (phoenix) resisted. As a reward, the phoenix was given eternal life, living in peace for a thousand years and then being reborn from an egg to continue to live in peace again, repeating the cycle eternally (Gen. Rabbah 19:5). Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki, better known as Rashi, commented that death has no power over the phoenix, “because it did not taste the fruit from the tree of knowledge.”[5]

The phoenix also appears in the Book of Job: “I shall multiply my days as the Chol, the phoenix” (Job 29:18), again indicating long life if not immortality. This reference, however, is controversial since chol has been translated as phoenix, sand, and palm tree in different versions.[6]

The phoenix became a symbol of Christianity in early literature, either from the ancient Hebrew legend or from the incorporation of Greek and Roman culture, or from a combination of both. In any case, the ideology of the phoenix fit perfectly with the story of Christ. The phoenix’s resurrection from death as new and pure can be viewed as a metaphor for Christ’s resurrection, central to Christian belief. The phoenix is referenced by the early Christian Apostolic Father Clement in The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. Most of the Christian-based phoenix symbolism appears within works of literature, especially in Medieval and Renaissance Christian literature that combined classical and regional myth and folklore with more mainstream doctrine.

In Greek mythology, a phoenix (Greek: φοῖνιξ  phoinix) is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn.  Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.  The phoenix is a sign of rebirth, The image of the mythological bird rising from the ashes is understood the world over as being a symbol of resurrection.

Meanings known

  • Life
  • Time
  • Magic
  • Purity
  • Clarity
  • Rebirth
  • Renewal
  • Longevity
  • Creativity
  • Protection
  • Immortality
  • Resurrection
  • Reemergence
  • Transformation

According to the Greek historian Herodotus (b: 484 BC), the phoenix was a mythical bird from Ethiopia. It was spectacularly large, beautiful and adorned with mind-blowing plumage. The historian also reported that the phoenix made a nest cypress branches. Rather preparing to lay eggs, the phoenix was preparing to die. While sitting in the nest, the bird created a great deal of heat, and set itself on fire from its own heat with the cypress serving as kindling. After three days, the phoenix emerged from its own ashes – reborn and released from the sentence of death, able to live on forever.

Herodotus may have borrowed some of his impressions about the meaning of the phoenix from the Greek poet, Hesiod, (b: 700 BC) who proclaims the phoenix as a brilliant bird who could outlive nine generations of ravens. That’s about 90,000 years in Hesiod-time.

In Rome, the phoenix was a symbol of the perpetual continuation of the Roman Empire, and the bird was featured on Roman coins as a reminder of the indomitable strength of the Empire. That didn’t pan out too well – the Empire didn’t last forever, but the legend of the phoenix certainly did.

Because of its ability to die and come back to life, the meaning of the phoenix has a foundation of resurrection. To wit, the phoenix was a symbol of Christ in the Middle Ages – specifically, His resurrection – having died on the cross and returned from death in three days, just as the legend of the phoenix.

In Egypt, the meaning of the phoenix is connected with the sun and the Nile. Their version of the phoenix was a Bennu, which was part heron, and part falcon. The Bennu was said to control the cycle of the sun each day. It flew with the sun in its beak, plucking it from its sleeping place at dawn, and putting it to rest at sunset. In this way, the Bennu is symbolic of the daily death and birth of the sun. This symbolic connection is far-reaching, it implies the Bennu affected life and death for the Egyptians, as there would be no food crops without the Bennu establishing the rising and setting of the sun. The Egyptian phoenix continues its life-giving role with the Nile. The Egyptians felt the Bennu was responsible for the annual flooding of the Nile. This flooding was relied upon to sustain agriculture in this region. In short, the Egyptian meaning of the phoenix deals primarily with themes of life and death associated with provision.

In addition to the Nile, the art of alchemy also runs through the land of Egypt. Ancient alchemists employed the Egyptian Bennu in their alchemical rituals concerning life, death and renewal. In alchemical texts, the phoenix is connected with powerful correspondences. Here are a few…

Phoenix Correspondences in Alchemy

  • Direction: South
    Southern symbolism (and hence phoenix symbolism in alchemy) deals with purity, renewal, strength, health and the present moment in time.
  • Element: Fire
    Fire in alchemy is a symbol of transformation, purification, life, creation/creativity, consumption.
  • Celestial: Sun
    Much like fire, the sun’s connection to the phoenix in alchemical practice is akin to the cycle of time and cycles of life. It’s also symbolic of clarity, illumination, immortality and expression.
  • Season: Summer
    The summer season in alchemy is the same for almost every other cultural wisdom. It equates to growth, rejuvenation of the earth, continuation of life, and the symbolic celebration of the strength of the sun after being weakened though winter.
  • Chemical: Sulfur
    Alchemy is a practice that incorporates physical, mental, mythical. Red sulfur and phoenix energy would be simultaneously invoked in ceremonies intended to influence the universal principal of life. The element of sulfur in alchemy is synonymous with the animus (the soul), and is a powerful chemical representative of existence.

In Chinese wisdom, the phoenix is commonly seen in twos, male and female.  But it’s not as simple as gender identification.  Two phoenixes together represent yin and yang.  Now we’re talking about symbolic themes of balance, duality and polarity.  The female meaning of the phoenix deals with yin energy.  Yin phoenix is passive, intuitive, moon, winter.  Conversely the yang (male) phoenix is iconic of assertion, action, sun, summer.  These are just a few of a long list of yin-yang meanings.  As a whole, a dynamic phoenix duo is an emblem of divine, immortal partnership.  In fact, a display (illustration, embroidery, etc) of two phoenixes were commonly extended as a wedding gift.  It was said to be an auspicious gift, insuring a happily-ever-after lived marriage.

More Words of Wisdom


 

Image

 

“We are each of us angels with only one wing.  And we can only fly embracing each other”.
-Luciano De Crescenzo-

“There comes a time in some relationships when no matter how sincere the attempt to reconcile the differences or how strong the wish to recreate a part of the past once shared, the struggle becomes so painful that nothing else is felt and the world and all its beauty only add to the discomfort by providing cruel contrast”.
-David Viscott-

“We have been poisoned by fairy tales.”
-Anais Nin-

“Fallen myths can distill venom”.
-Denis De Rougemont-

“Man is but a network of relationships and these alone matter.”
-St Exupery-

“These things I command you, that yea love one another.”
-John 15:17-

“Tenderness emerges from the fact that the two persons, longing, as all individuals do, to overcome the separateness and isolation to which we are all heir because we are individuals, can participate in a relationship that, for the moment, is not of two isolated selves but a union.”
-Rollo May-

“We have developed communications systems to permit man on earth to talk with man on the moon.  Yet mother often cannot talk with daughter, father to son, black to white, labor with management, or democracy with communism.”
Haley Read-

“Human communication, as the saying goes, is a clash of symbols, it covers a multitude of signs.  But it is more than media and messages, information and persuasion; it also meets a deeper need and serves a higher purpose.  Whether clear or garbled, tumultuous or silent, deliberate or fatally inadvertent, communication is the ground of meeting and the foundation of community.  It is, in short, the essential human connection.”
The Human Connection, -Ashley Montagu, Floyd Matson-

“Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
-Legal Oath-

“There is no such thing as an absolute truth, that is absolutely true.”
-Anonymous-

“And Pilate said, “what is truth?” (he cunningly didn’t wait for an answer.)”

“Being honest in a relationship is at times exceedingly difficult and painful.  Yet the moment a person evades the truth, central fibers of the self pull away and the person initiates a process of deception – a way of manipulating the other person by preventing the person from discovering “real thoughts and real feelings.”
Creative Living, -Clark Mustakas-

“The truth, as best as we know it, must be our goal, no matter where it leads us.  Every self-deception causes erroneous judgements, and bad decisions follow, with unforeseen consequences to our lives.  But more than that, every protective self-deception is a crevice in our psyche with a little demon lurking in it ready to become an episode of unexplained anxiety which life threatens.  The self deceptions which are designed to protect us from pain actually end up delivering more pain.  We fortify our deceptions to protect them from the natural corrections of daily life.  The larger the area of our mind we find it necessary to defend, the more our thinking processes will suffer, we will not allow our mind to roam freely because new information might contradict our self-deceptions.  The larger the self-deceptions, the larger the section of the world we are excluded from.”
Transformations, -Dr. Roger Gould-

“Since nothing we intend is ever faultless, and nothing we attempt ever without error, and nothing we achieve without some measure of finitude and fallibility we call humanness, we are saved by forgiveness.”
-David Augsburger-

“Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times would I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered “I tell you not seven, but seventy times seven.”
-Matthew 18:21-22-

“Hate, bitterness and vindictiveness are overpowering, self-defeating and intellectually as well as emotionally depleting.”
Love is letting go of fear, -Dr. Gerald Jampolsky-

“Forgiveness is letting what was be gone; what will be, come; what is now, be.”
-David Augsburger-

Never Do this below (EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL – GENEROUS BENEFACTOR TO THE INFERIOR SINNER)
“I have examined, weighed, judged you and your behavior and found you sorely lacking in qualities that are worthy of my respect.  I have these qualities at this point in time, but you do not.  I humbly recognize my superior moral strength and your weakness, my consistent moral behavior and you inconsistency of immorality.  I forgive you your trespasses.  We will henceforth have a relationship based on the recognition of my benevolence in the hour of your neediness, my generosity in the face of your guilt.  You will find some suitable way to be dutifully grateful from this day forward.”
One-Up Forgiveness, -David Augsburger-

“The only thing worth having in an earthly existence is a sense of humor.”
-Lincoln Stefens-

“Happiness is a man’s greatest achievement; it is the response of his total personality to a productive orientation toward himself and the world outside.”
-Eric Fromm-

“No man is happy unless he believes he is.”
-Publibius Syrus, 50BC-

“I thought that jealousy was an idea; it isn’t.  It’s a pain.  But I didn’t feel as they do in a Broadway melodrama. I didn’t want to kill anybody.  I just wanted to die.”
-Floyd Dell-

“Jealousy is delightful during courtship, practically essential to the first year of marriage, but after that, chinese torture.”
-Secudes, 1957-

“They are given to pointing the finger of blame outside themselves at some other person as if that person were responsible for their discomfort and their feelings of inadequacy.  No one, of course, is ever destroyed by another person in this sense.  A jealous individual, or any disturbed individual, is destroyed only from inside himself”
The Mark of Cain: -Marguerite and Willard Beecher-

“Every time you meet a situation, though you think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it, you find that forever after you are freer than you were before.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt-

“The moment we indulge our affections the earth is metamorphosed.”
-Emerson-

“Talk not of wasted affection, affection never was wasted.”
-Longfellow-

“We have lost sight of the fact that we human beings are, in one respect, like small animals without even any fur or sharp teeth to protect us.  What protects us in not our viciousness, but our humanity; our ability to love others and to accept the love that others want to offer us.  It is not our toughness that keeps us warm at night, but our tenderness which makes others want to keep us warm.”
-Harold Lyon-

“Hugging can lift depression, enabling the body’s immune system to become tuned-up.  Hugging breathes fresh life into a tired body and makes you feel younger and more vibrant.  In the home, daily hugging will strengthen relationships and significantly reduce friction.”
-Dr. Harold Voth-

Leo Buscaglia Quotes
“Don’t think in terms of forever. Think of now and forever will take care of itself.”

“Grow up together, constantly.”

“Expect to invest a great deal of time and energy in your relationships, they just don’t happen, they are created.”

“Recognize that all relationships cannot be forever. Recognize their temperate quality, but continue to act as if they are permanent.”

“Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations.”

“Take your time.”

“Remove price tags from people. Everyone has worth; the excitement lies in the discovery of their value.”

“Don’t be afraid of giving.  You can never give too much, if you’re giving willingly.”

“Don’t feel as if you are required to spend your every waking hour with those you love.  Move aside from time to time and allow them a separate space, too.”

“Never force anyone to do anything for you ‘in the name of love.’  Love is not to be bargained for.”

“Don’t be afraid.”

“Don’t overanalyze your relationships.”

“Realize that you always have choices. It’s up to you.”

“Remember that a relationship is a pooling of resources.  That means that with eAch relationship you are not only giving, you are becoming more.”

“Don’t allow experience to harden your heart; rather use it to become more aware and sensitive.”

“Don’t smother each other.  No one can grow in shade.”

“Don’t lose touch with the craziness in you.  This, with a large dose of caring, will assure that your relationship will never be boring.”

“Don’t brood.  Get on with living and loving.  You don’t have forever.”

“Don’t hold on to anger, hurt or pain.  They steal your energy and keep you from love.”

“Always start a relationship by asking: Do I have ulterior motives for wanting to relate to this person?  Is my caring conditional?  Am I trying to escape something?  Am I planning to change the person?  Do I need this person to help me make up for a deficiency in myself?  If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, leave the person alone.  He or she is better off without you.  There are times when you may want to give up on a relationship, but never give up on relating.”

“See people as good and beautiful, even when they seem to be trying hard not to appear so.”

“If you take the time to talk together each day you’ll never become strangers.”

“Value yourself.   The only people who appreciate a doormat are people with dirty shoes.”

“Write down all the reason’s why you love each person you relate with.  Then, when the going gets tough, take the list out and reread it.  It resolves problems quickly.”

“Don’t make the other’s problems yours.  It only makes solving it twice as difficult.”

“Don’t be afraid of disagreements and arguments, the only people who don’t argue are people who don’t care or are dead.  In fact, don’t have short arguments.  Make certain they are throughly over and done with.”

“After an argument is over, forget it.”

“Learn to bend.  It’s better than breaking.”

“Don’t become involved in pettiness, ego and childish hurts.  These will only serve to degrade your relationships and prevent closeness.”

“Watch for little irritations, they grow into destructive monsters.  Verbalize them at once.”

“Let go of pride.  It is usually false, creates barriers and prevents closeness.”

“Exercise feelings.  Feelings have meaning only as they are expressed in action.”

“Increase tenderness and intimacy.  They are a powerful source of nourishment to relationships.”

“Be compassionate.  It is the sure way to understanding and acceptance.”
“See all criticism as positive for it leads to self evaluation.  You are always free to reject it if it is unfair or does not apply.”

“Expect what is reasonable, not what is perfect.”

“Since love can be created, there is no reason to be loveless.”

“Don’t allow anyone to put you on a pedestal.  It’s to easy to fall off.”

“Don’t be concerned about what you can get from a relationship.  Instead, concern yourself with what you can bring to it.”

“Remember that moral and spiritual values don’t restrict, they protect.”

“Forming good relationships takes a lot of looking.  But looking can be fun.”

“Relationships are not sporting events.  Stop wrestling for control.  No one ever wins this kind of match except divorce lawyers.”

“Perhaps it’s not too bad to do some things you’d rather not if it makes another happy.”

“What you learn about yourself will infinitely help in trying to understand others.”

“See problems as small miracles which can bring about knowledge and change.”

“Don’t fall in love with love, you’ll drown in its complexities.”

“Be polite, Love does not give license for rudeness.”

“You are at the center of all your relationships, therefore you are responsible for your self-esteem, growth, happiness and fulfillment.  Don’t expect the other person to bring you these things.  You must live as if yo are alone and others are the gifts offered to help you to enrich your life.”

“Don’t allow your relationships to die of neglect.”

“In a social environment that is ever crowded and impersonal, it is becoming increasingly important to reconsider the value of close personal relationships before we are driven to ask the forlorn question, ‘whatever happen to Love?”
-Despond Morris-

“Everything that lives…Lives not alone..Nor for itself.”
-William Blake-

“Relationships seldom die because they suddenly have no life left in them.  They wither slowly, either because people do not understand how much or what kind of upkeep, time, work, love and caring they require or because people are to lazy or afraid to try.  A relationship is a living thing.  It needs and benefits from the same attention to detail that an artist lavishes on his art.”
-David Viscott-

Decembre 3, 1987
Judi 9:57PM
Quotes
“Short visits make long friends.”
-Anonymous-

“Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is difficult for talent is genius.
-Amiel-

“The promise of freedom requires the courage of thought.”
-Clay Springer-

“Yesterday’s hits won’t win todays ball game.”
-Anonymous-

“There are two sides to every argument, until you take one.”
-Anonymous-

“It is a great deal better to do all the things you should do than to spend the rest of your life wishing you had.”
-Anonymous-

“Unfinished business is usually finished – you just didn’t like the way it came out.”
-Anonymous-

“My life seems like one long-obstacle course with me as the chief obstacle.”
-Jack Paar-

“Our friends see the best in us and by that very fact call forth the best from us.”
-Black-

“Just because everything is different, doesn’t mean anything has changed.”
-Irene Peter-

“There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn as in doing it.”
-Seneca-

“Confusion is the doorway to a new understanding.”
-Anonymous-

“I never found the companion that was so companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
-Henry David Thoreau-

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”
-Mother Teresa-

“Bring back the little children dancing behind your eyes.”
-Joe Tanenbaum-

“Believe nothing against another but on good authority; nor report what may hurt another, unless it be a greater hurt to conceal it.”
-William Penn-

“Those who make the worse use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.”
-Jean De La Brupere-

“One meets his destiny often in the road he takes to avoid it.”
-French Proverb-

“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, that is your success.”
-Henry David Thoreau-

“A vacation in what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.”
-Earl Wilson-

“Memory is the power to gather roses in winter.”
-Dr. Ewen Cameron-

“In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.”
-Christopher Morley-

“I would rather lose in a cause that I know some day will triumph than to triumph in a cause that I know some day will fail.”
-Wendell L. Willkie-

“Praise can give criticism a lead around the first turn and still win the race.”
-Bern Williams-

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things in which smiles and kindnesses, given habitually are what win and preserve the heart.”
-Sir Humphrey Davy-

“Sixty years ago I knew everything; how I know nothing.  Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
-Will Durant-

“Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.”
-Ralphs Walled Emerson-

“The one thing more difficult than following a regimen is not imposing it on others.”
-Marcel Proust-

“Few things are impossible to diligence and skill…Great works are performed, not by strength, but perseverance.”
-Samuel Johnson-

“There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.”
-Alfred Korzybski-

“And only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live in every experience painful or joyous: to live in gratitude for every moment, to live abundantly.”
-Dorothy Thompson-

“Originality is simply a fresh pair of eyes.”
-Woodwork Wilson-

“A thousand words will not leave so an impression as one deed.”
-Hernia Ibsen-

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
-William James-

“The remedy for wrongs is to forget them.”
-Publibius Syrus-

“Our purpose in life is not to get ahead of other people, but to get ahead of ourselves.”
-Anonymous-

“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes-

“He who is false to the present duty breaks a thread in the loom, and you will see the effect when the weaving of a lifetime is unravelled.”
-William Ellery Channing-

“Between tomorrow’s dream and yesterday’s regret, is today’s opportunity.”
-Anonymous-

“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.”
-Daniel J. Boorstin-

“The face of a man gives us fuller and more interesting information than his tongue, for his face is the summary of all he will ever say.”
-Authur Schopenhauer-

“Imagination is the true magic carpet.”
-Norman Vincent Peale-

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”
-Henry David Thoreau-

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
-Henry Ward Beecher-

“Friendship is almost always the union of a part of one mind with a part of another; most are friends in spots.”
-George Santayana-

“The growth of the human mind is still adventure, in many ways the highest adventure on earth.”
-Norman Cousins-

“I have never met a man who has given me as much trouble as myself.”
-Dwight L. Moody-

“Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.”
-Mahatma Gandhi-

“First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.”
-Thoms A. Kempis-

“There’s no point in speaking unless you can improve on silence.”
-Edmund Muskie-

“Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
-Robert Brault-

“When opportunity knocks, you’d better have your bags packed.”
-Anonymous-

“Truth has no special time of its own.  Its hour is now- always.”
-Albert Schweitzer-

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.  Don’t let yourself indulge in vain wishes.”
-Rabindranath Tagore-

“The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.”
-Bret Harte-

“If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought.”
-Dennis Roth-

“For good or ill, your conversation is your advertisement.  Every time you open you mouth, you let me look into your mind.”
-Bruce Barton-

“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.”
-Abraham Lincoln-

“Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.”
-Bernard M. Baruch-

“The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well and doing well whatever you do.”
-Anonymous-

“The discontented man finds no easy chair.”
-Benjamin Franklin-

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”
-Mark Twain-

“The absence of Alternatives clears the mind marvelously.”
-Henry A. Kissinger-

“He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad examples builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.”
-Francis Bacon-

“You are young, and as the years go by, time will change, and even reverse many of you present opinions.  Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters.”
-Plato-

“Silence is one great art of conversation.  He is not a fool who knows when to hold his tongue.”
-William Hazlitt-

“The greatest of all pleasure is to give pleasure to one we love.”
-Jean De Boufflers-

“Life is the childhood of our immortality.”
-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe-

“Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life.  Don’t let them scare you unduly for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.”
-RI Fitzhenry-

“There are glimpses of heaven to us in every act, or thought, or word, that raises us above ourselves.”
-Authur P. Stanley-

“There’s no place Like Home”

“Each day is a gift to you. Make it blossom and grow into a thing of beauty”

“The Miracle is this…the more we share, the more we have.”
-Leonard Nimoy-

“A person who aims at nothing has a target he can’t miss.”

“Better than being the head of the family is being the heart of it.”

“Behind the idea that one calls one’s own are the thoughts and efforts of many.”

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
-Oscar Wilde-

“When you’re through changing, you’re through.”

“The first essential of doing a job well is the wish to see the job done at all.”
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt-

“Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future. We make discoveries about ourselves.”

“It is good to let a little sunshine out as well as in.”

“Time Flies; but remember, you are the navigator.”

“Some things have to be believed to be seen.”
-Ralphs Hodgkin

“We see through others only when we see through ourselves.”
-Eric Hoffer-

“Advise would be more acceptable if it didn’t always conflict with our plans.”

“You can’t expect an empty bag to stand up straight.”

“The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.”

“Those who are ashamed of the past and afraid of the future don’t find the present so hot either.”

“We are like trees; we must create new leaves new directions, in order to grow.”

“Don’t be content with being average. Average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top.”

“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.”
-Richard L. Evans-

“Nothing will happen if we all wait for others to do it first.”

“The heart must have its time of snow…to rest in silence, and then to grow.”

“When day is done you frequently discover that little else is.”

“Time is nature’s way of preventing everything from happening at once.”

“Great visions often start with small dreams.”

“Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”

“The beginnings of all things are small.”
-Cicero-

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
-Helen Keller-

“You deep on getting what you’ve been getting when you keep on doing what you’ve been doing.”

“Friendship is like a rainbow between two hearts.”

“The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.”
-Sir William Osler-

“We need people with the artistry to live in simplicity as the hummingbird does, enjoying with nectar without bruising the flower.”

“Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.”
-Friedrich Shiller-

“A smile is a passport that will take you anywhere you want to go.”

“If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.”

“Incomplete terminations interfere with new beginnings.”

“For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.”
-The Bible-

“it is what we are that gets across, not what we try to teach.”

“We can’t all be shinning examples, but we can at least twinkle a little.”

“One loving spirit sets another on fire.”
-St. Augustine-

“Sometimes it is better to be open and feeling than closed and wise.”

“Nice guys may appear to finish last, but usually they are running a different race.”

“Treasure is not always a friend, but a friend is always a treasure.”

“Success consists in doing the common things of life uncommonly well.”

“Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

“Live to make the world less difficult for each other.”
-George Eliot-

“To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.”

“If you don’t know where you are going, you may miss it when you get there.”

“The closer we are to that which surrounds us, the closer we are with ourselves.”

“So long as enthusiasm lasts, so long is youth still within us.”

“He lives in wisdom who sees himself in all and all in him”
-Bhagavad Gita-

“It is better to be alone than in bad company.”

“And this I have learned…grownups do not know the language of shadows.”
-Opal Whiteley-

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
-Khalif Gibran-

“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?”
-Michel De Saint Pierre-

“Contentment consists not in treat wealth, but in few wants.”
-Epictetus-

“By the time you have figured out the right way to raise a child, he’s all grown up.”

“If you don’t enjoy what you have, how could you be happier with more?”

“Each day slowly shapes our lives, as dripping water shapes the stone.”

“Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.”
-Goethe-

“Do more than listen; Understand.”
-John H. Rhoades-

“The only thing of value we can give kids is what we are, not what we have.”
-Leo Buscaglia-

“Life is a mystery to be lived; not a problem to be solved.”

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
-William Jennings Bryan-

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
-Helen Keller-

“There’s a part of every living thing that wants to become itself, the tadpole into the frog. The chrysalis into the butterfly, a damaged human being into a whole one. That is spirituality..” – Ellen Bass

“It seems to me that before we set out on a journey to find reality, to find God, before we can act, before we can have any relationship with another….it is essential that we begin to understand ourselves first.” – Krishnamurti

“Whatever your age your upbringing, or your education, what you are made of is mostly unused potential.” – George Leonard

“Spiritually speaking, everything that one wants, aspires to and needs is ever-present, accessible here and now – for those with eyes to see.” – Sure Das

“Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.” – Maya Angelo

“The great metaphors from all spiritual traditions – grace, liberation, being born again, awakening from illusion – testify that it is possible to transcend the conditioning of my past and do a new thing.” – Sam Keen

“So not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.” – Spinoza

“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that spirits us from ourselves?” – Thomas Merton

“If men knew themselves. God would heal and pardon them.” – Pascal

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” – Herman Hesse

“He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is wise.” – Lao Tzu

“Learn what you are and be such.” – Pindar

“Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West – and then seek.” – Gurdjieff

“Remember yourself always and everywhere.” – Gurdjieff

“The spirit is the true self, not that physical figure which can be pointed out by your finger.” – Cicero

“Spiritual development is a long and arduous journey, an adventure through strange lands full of surprises, joy, beauty, difficulties, and even dangers.” – Roberto Assagioli

“Man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.” – St. Augustine

“……the neurotic process…….is a problem of the self. It is a process of abandoning the real self for an idealized one; of trying to actualize this pseudo-self instead of our given human potentials.” -Karen Horney

“The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.” – Dostoyevsky

“Whenever a man awakes, he awakes from the false assumption that he has always been awake, and therefore the master of his thoughts, feelings, and actions.” – Henry Trachol

“The very things we wish to avoid, neglect, and flee from turn out to be the ‘prima materia’ from which all real growth comes.” – Andrew Harvey

“All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.” – James Thurber

“We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes.” – Proust

“We are serving a life sentence in the dungeon of self.” – Cyril Connolly

Be here now
Live in the moment
Go out of the mind
guilt (past) Resentment
mind
Fears (future) Hopes
The mind confuses thoughts about people, things, and events with people, things, and event themselves – must transcend.
Out of mind and into direct, immediate experience.
Zen masters have often used dramatic techniques, including verbal insults, physical violence, and absurd theatrics, to jolt students out of mental preoccupation and thrust them back into the moment.
“Wake up!” “Wake up!”
Zen cries out!
“Mo Chich Ch’u” = “Going ahead without hesitation”
Just do what you are doing without thinking about it
just be where you are without holding on or running away
give up judging and spectating and dive into this moment
If yo can’t find it here where will you o to find it? and when?

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it!”
-Ralphs Waldo Emerson-

“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble!”
-Yun Men-

“If you want to be happy, be.”
-Henry David Thoreau-

“The only why to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
-Alan Watts-

“The Tao is near and people seek it far away.”
-Mencius-

“Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all o what is present.”
-Albert Camus-

“May you live all the days of your life”
-John Swift-

“I exist as I am, that is enough.”
-Walt Whitman-

“The present is great with the future”
-Gottfried Leibnitz-

“When one is engaged in a favorite pursuit or a subject absorbingly interesting, the normal conception of labor or time and artificial social distinctions disappear from the mind.”
-G. Koizumi-

“We look backward too much and we look forward too much; thus we miss the only eternity of which we can be absolutely sure – the eternal present, for it is always now.”
-William Phelps-

“To be where we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson-

Beginner’s Mind
Child’s Mind
Children learn so rapidly because they are neither afraid of not knowing nor convinced that they already know what they don’t. Unlike most adults, in our defensiveness, we act as though we know, even when we know we don’t. When we love and except ourselves as we are, we engage in the vulnerable act of learning without the fear of looking foolish. We can profit from the knowledge and experience of others because we love ourselves enough to put our desire to grow ahead of defending our ignorance. The beginner’s mind applies not only to learning the new skills, activities, or information but to all we think we know about life. Many of us walk around about life. Many of us walk around with deeply ingrained beliefs that limit our experience. We think you can’t really trust people, or you can’t really do or have what you want in life. Of course, we can insist on these kinds of beliefs, select out supportive incidents from the past, and build cases for why they are so; but this only shuts the door on now experience. As only an empty cup can be filled, so only a heart emptied of the pride of what it thinks it knows can be open to new experience and receive the gifts of wisdom. When we embrace the humility to meet life head-on, whiteout the baggage of what we think we know, we make room for ourselves to grow.

“To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.”
-Lao Tzu-

“The trouble with most of us is that we know au much that Ain’t so.”
-Mark Twain-

“The chief object of education is not to learn things but to unlearn things.”
-G. K. Chesterton-

“Real learning comes about when competitive spirit has ceased…This is true not only of competition with others, but competition with yourself.”
-J. Krishnamurti-

“He who can copy can do.”
-Leonardo Da Vinci-

“The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to the use of its own powers, rather than fill it with the accumulation of others.”
-Tyron Edwards-

“Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.”
-William Butler Yeats-

“Everyone is ignorant, only in different subjects.”
-Will Rogers-

“The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.”
-Albert Einstein-

“Learning is the very essence of humility.”
-J. Krishnamurti-

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn…and change.”
-Carl Rogers-

“A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep or taste not the pierian spring.”
-Alexander Pope-

“Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me and I’ll understand.”
-Chinese Proverb-

“When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.”
-Confucius-

“The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart.”
-Mencius-

“A man only learns in too ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
-Will Rogers-

“A man should never be ashamed to own he has been wrong. Which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.”
-Alexander Pope-

“Much learning does not teach a man to have intelligence.”
-Heraclitus-

“A person’s errors are his portals of discovery.”
-James Joyce-

“A man must have a certain amount of intelligent ignorance to get anywhere.”
-Charles Kettering-

“Its better to know nothing than to know what ain’t so.”
-Josh Billings-

“Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.”
-Winston Churchill-

“Men are wise in proportion not to their experience, but in their capacity for experience.”
-George Bernard Shaw-

“In the beginner’s mind their are many possibilities, but in the experts, there are few.”
-Shunryu Suzuki-

Courage
No greater enemy than fear
It hems us in, sucks the joy out of life, and leaves us with disgust for ourselves. Nothing of importance can be undertaken or achieved without facing, challenging, and finally mastering fear. If it takes great courage to attempt and accomplish things of real merit, it takes even more to be what we truly are.
Friedrich Nietzsche described a threefold process in the maturation of consciousness.
1) Camels – hoisted upon us the load of social conditioning, habit, and convention
2) Lions – roaring against societal “thou shalts”
3) The child – a fully human being, capable of spontaneously, intuitively, and competently responding to the world.
The courage of the lion is the courage to find your own path in life. It requires that you examine the conventions, ideals, and programs of society, as well as the habits and routines you have unconsciously accumulated, and determine or yourself what to accept and what to reject.
The measure of our courage is reflected in the vision of life we choose and in how much it takes for us to become discouraged. Too often we think of ourselves as weak candles that can be blown out by the slightest wind of frustration or disappointment. Better if….”I will become a bonfire an dare the world to put me out.”

“What a new face courage puts on everything.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”
-Amelia Earhart-

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
-William James-

“To see what is right and not do it is want of courage.”
-Confucius-

“A man with outward courage dares to die. A man with inward courage dares to live.”
-Lao Tzu-

“No one knows what he can do until he tries.”
-Syrus-

“There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity, and courage.”
-Fushan Yuan-

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it.”
-Tagore-

“There’s nothing in the world so admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage.”
-Seneca-

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
-Anais Nin-

“A warrior only takes care that his spirit is never broken.”
-Shissai-

“Fortune and love befriend the bold.”
-Ovid-

“It is difficulties that show what men are.”
-Epictetus-

“No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”
-Alan Watts-

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”
-Ambrose Redmoon-

“Discontent is what of self reliance; it is infirmity of will.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“A man of courage is also full of faith.”
-Cicero-

“Whatever you do or dream you can do – begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”
-Johann Goethe-

Right Thinking
Buddhist noble eightfold path
“Thoughts” as Emerson put it, “rule the world” for the simple reason that thoughts determine feelings and actions. We can think ourselves into happiness or a deep depression. We can think ourselves into health or illness.
We can think ourselves into a narrow, limited world characterized by procrastination and paralysis, or we can think ourselves into a noble creative life and the actions that give it shape and substance. If we only take care of our thoughts, our feelings and actions will take care of themselves.
For better or worse, we give to others the fruits of our own thinking by the same token, we are influenced by the thinking of those with whom we associate. It certainly helps to make friends with people who have made friends with their own minds. Observe people who are chronically bored or depressed, and you will find they dwell on negative thoughts. Observe people who are consistently happy, creative, and productive, and you will find remarkable similarities in the quality of their thinking. By our thinking, we create our individual and collective experience of reality. Changing our thinking for the better improves the quality of our own lives, and in doing, uplifts all around us.

“Not he is great who can alter matter, but he who can alter my state of mind.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“For one who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends. But for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be his greatest enemy.”
-Bhagavad Gita-

“One comes to be of just such stuff as that on which the mind is set.”
-Upanishads-

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”
-Buddha-

“Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
-William James-

“As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
-Proverbs 23:7-

“The ills from which we are suffering have had their seat in the very foundation of human thought.”
-Teilhard De Chardin-

“A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.”
-Abraham Lincoln-

“All that is, is the result of what we have thought.”
-Buddha-

“Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.”
-James Allen-

Reality
Things are not what they seem, including us. How happy can you be when you spend most of your time worrying about something that doesn’t even exist? Something = ego; the confused jumbled thoughts and desires we mistake for the self. Reality and the true perception of it lie beyond this narrow band of socially conditioned consciousness.
“Get Real” = Get out of ourselves, release the identification with ourselves as a thing apart. A part is in conflict with other parts; but the whole cannot be against itself.
In reality, there is no better, no worse, no difference. There is no loss or gain, nothing old or new. There is nothing to compare with anything else. Everything in the universe is the one same stuff, taking on various forms of disguises. The Zen realization of “emptiness” comes with the release of the identification with and attachment to forms including the physical form we call the body and the mental form we call the ego and mistake for the self.
The deeper realization is that form is emptiness; emptiness, form. In other words, the spiritual reality reality is manifest in the physicality of the world. As Jesus said in the gospel according to Thomas, “The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth and men do no see it.”

“Love is a living reality.”
-Albert Schweitzer-

“In the world of reality there is no self. There is no other-than-self.”
-Seng T’San-

“Every man takes the limits of his field of vision for the limits of the world.”
-Arthur Schopenhauer-

“Attachment is the greatest fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.”
-Simone Well-

“He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“What is Reality? – Selflessness!”
-Sufi Saying-

“If you realize what the real problem is – losing yourself – you realize that this itself is the ultimate trial.”
-Joseph Campbell-

“Everything passes and what remains of former times, what remains of life, is the spiritual. In everything we do, the claim of the absolute is unchanging.”
-Paul Lee-

“The words of truth are always paradoxical.”
-Lao Tzu-

“All are but parts of one stupendous whole whose body nature is, and God the soul.”
-Alexander Pope-

“If the mind makes no discriminations, all things are as they really are.”
-Seng T’san-

“God is infinite and his shadow is also infinite.”
-Meher Baba-

“Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.”
-William James-

“Ego-Soul is the seed of birth and death, and foolish people call it the true man.”
-Zuigan-

“The religious idea of God cannot do full duty for the metaphysical infinity.”
-Alan Watts-

“First there is a mountain then there is no mountain, then there is.”
-Zen Saying-

“Being and nonbeing create each other.”
-Lao Tzu-

“Do not cling to the notion of voidness but consider all things alike.”
-Saraha-

“Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.”
-Vietnamese Buddhist Precept-

Responsibility
One of the great lessons of Zen is to take total responsibility for your own life. Unfortunately, many of us have been conditioned to believe, feel, and act as though the world owes us something. We complain that, as George Bernard Shaw put it, “The world will not devote itself to making us happy.” Zen says, “Why waste time and energy with regrets and whining? We have the gift of life and the opportunities of this moment.”
When we truly celebrate and do not regret our birth, we embrace the whole of our lives. All the suffering and disappointments in life, at the imperfections in ourselves and others have come from the fact that we have been born into this world. As the Taoist say, all things have mutually arisen. What we call the “bad” has arisen with what we call the “good”; what we call the “happy”, with the “sad”. Yet in truth, as the poet said, “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.” When we give up the habit of making mental comparisons, we release our psychological investment in what we like and dislike and say yes to life- total and complete.

“You must push yourself beyond your limits, all the time.”
-Carlos Castaneda-

“The difficulty in life is the choice.”
-George Moore-

“It is not enough to be busy, So are the ants. The question is what are we busy about?”
-Henry David Thoreau-

“Let him who would move the world first move himself”
-Seneca-

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on it this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”
-George Bernard Shaw-

“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.”
-Sophocles-

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
-Mahatma Gandhi-

“Self-knowledge and self-improvement are very difficult for most people it usually needs great courage and long struggle.”
-Abraham Maslow-

“Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creature of men.”
-Benjamin Disraeli-

“The injuries we do and those we suffer are seldom weighed in the same scales.”
-Aesop-

“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.”
-Confucius-

“let us not underestimate the privileges of the mediocre. As one climbs higher, life becomes even harder; the coldness increases, responsibility increases.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche-

“Things do not get better by being left alone.”
-Winston Churchill-

“This is a world of action, and not for moping and groaning in.”
-Charles Dickens-

Be Yourself
Most western psychological theories confuse the ego with the self. As a result, we view the self as an object in need of adaptation, or correction. On the other hand, most eastern philosophies including Zen, distinguish the ego from the authentic self. The self is to be realized, not perfected. It cannot be improved upon or in any way altered, for it remains ever transcendent to time and space and all the changes that transpire within them. In Zen, the ego (or mask of personality), is not to be corrected but released. The ego is the fictional social self we must lose in order to find, or realize, the authentic self. Losing the ego does not mean disposing or annihilating it but rather severing our identification with it. In Zen, releasing identification with ego brings spontaneous realization of the “original” or “unborn” self, the true or one self in all.
Yet being yourself is more than clinging to the emptiness of spiritual oneness. It is also participating in your becoming in the world of time and space. While we are all one in spirit, each of us is unique in nature. Being yourself means recognizing and celebrating your particular nature, your unique gifts and abilities. There is no point in trying to be somebody else or in letting concern with what other people think dictate your life. We must each find our own path and discover for ourselves the joy of being what we are.

“Resolve to be thyself, and know that he who finds himself, loses his memory.”
-Coventry Patmore-

“It is the chiefs point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.”
-Erasmus-

“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
-Shakespeare-

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“Know Thyself”
-Thales-

“For what profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
-Mark 8:36,37-

“Know yea not…that the spirit of God dwelt within you?”
-1 Corinthintians 3:16-

“A musician must make his music, an artist must paint, a poet must write write if he is to ultimately be at peace with himself.”
-Abraham Maslow-

“To be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
-E.E. Cummings-

“If I am not I, who will be?”
-Henry David Thoreau-

“Thus to be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition achieving anything great…”
-G.W.F. Hegel-

“The tragedy of a man’s life is what dies inside of him while he lives.”
-Henry David Thoreau-

Work
Dharma & Do
Dharma = working in accord with your nature, doing what you were born to do, embracing your calling in life.
Do = Manner and approach with which you engage your work. It means to do what you do with full attention and total commitment.
Recognition of your dharma – Listening to and trusting your own heart, allowing your innate compassion to guide you to the least use of your inborn talents. Not what you “should” do, as well as limiting beliefs about what you “would” do, and following your intuition. The Do, or art of work is a matter of bringing awareness, grace and excellence to the way we work. The essence of art is self-forgetfulness, becoming so absorbed in, so at one with, the work that we lose all sense of “otherness”

“Your work is to discover our work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”
-Buddha-

“Such gardens are not make by singing:…”Oh, how beautiful” and sitting in the shade.”
-Rudyard Kipling-

“Blessed is he who has found his work. Let him ask no other blessing.”
-Thomas Carlyle-

“There’s no substitute for hard work.”
-Thomas Edison-

“Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.”
-Leonardo Da Vinci-

“It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.”
-Pablo Picasso-

“Work banishes those three great evils: Boredom, Vice, and Poverty.”
-Voltaire-

“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vacation.”
-Aristotle-

Creativity
To live is to create. Creativity is not a special genetic endowment reserved for a favored few; neither is it the objects or events it produces. Creativity is fundamentally an attitude toward life. It requires equal parts receptivity and resourcefulness-an openness to intuitions and ideas and a readiness to put them to work. We have all that we need, if we but know what to do with it. Nothing drains creativity like the thought that we are lacking, either in our inner or outer resources. Yet it is on precisely these kinds o thoughts that we too often dwell. The innate creativity which every human being is heir to returns to all who give up complaining about the hand they have been dealt and learn to play the one they have.

“You see things and say, “why?”, but I dream things that never were and say, “why not?”
-George Bernard Shaw-

“All life is an experiment.”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes-

“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.”
-G.K. Chesterton-

“Discovery consists in seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought.”
-Albert Szent-Gyorgyi-

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.”
-George Bernard Shaw-

Humor
Humor is often the result of looking at painful situations from a place of detachment. Buddha says “life is suffering”. We suffer because we loose. We loose respect and companions; we loose possessions and titles; we loose health and wealth; and ultimately, we loose life itself. Grief is the feeling associated with loss. Originally grief meant “heavy” – we become “weighed down” or “depressed” by the grief that attends every life. Humor lifts us above the isolation of our individual grief and reminds us that pain is something we share with all sentient beings. Zen reminds us how silly we are to seek permanence in impermanence, how foolish to seek in the outside world that which resides within.
We are all a little ridiculous – and all the more so when we forget it.

“A man isn’t poor if he can still laugh!”
-Raymond Hitchcock-

“We must laugh at man to avoid crying for him.”
-Napoleon Bonaparte-

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
-Victor Borge-

“If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man..just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.”
Foyer Dostoyevsky-

“Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think laughable.”
-Johann Goethe-

“You grow up the day you can have your first real laugh – at yourself.”
-Ethel Barrymore-

“The burden of the self is lightened when I laugh at myself.”
-Tagore-

“I have often been asked what I thought was the secret of Buddha’s smile. It is- it can only be- that he smiles at himself for searching all those years for what he already possessed.”
-Paul Brunton-

Self Confidence
Respect the dignity and inherent worth of all human beings, regardless of their station in life or outer accomplishments, and you will respect yourself. Recognize the resourcefulness, creativity, and ability inherent in all human beings, and you can’t help but value your own gifts and abilities. The opposite of self confidence is not insecurity or inadequacy but self-consciousness. Feelings of insecurity and inadequacy are only symptoms, the inevitable result of self-conscious thinking. Stop the mental chatter and your natural self confidence returns. Meditation and the Zen notion of single-mindedness come into play. Single-mindedness means simply doing what we are doing, without daydreaming, on the one hand, or self consciously observing ourselves, on the other. Nothing destroys self-confidence like being selfish and petty. Perhaps the greatest boost to self-confidence is the embrace of a larger-than-self purpose. Instead of worrying about how we are being perceived or judged by others, we can devote ourselves to important work – without assuming self-importance or pretentiousness. Again, self-consciousness is nothing special. It is the absence of self-consciousness, nothing more, nothing less.

“They conquer who believe they can.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“To believe that what has not occurred in history will not occur at all, is to argue disbelief in dignity of man.”
-Mahatma Gandhi-

“I have learned this at least by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau-

“”Man is what he believes.”
-Anton Chekhov-

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
-Plato-

“Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne-

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt-

“Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.”
-Nathaniel Branden-

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved accept by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.”
-John Barton-

“They can because they think they can.”
-Virgil-

“Ask and it shall be given unto you. Seek and yea shall find.”
-Luke 11:9

“Speak the affirmative; emphasize your choice by utterly ignoring all that you reject.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“He who hesitates is lost.”
-English Proverb-

“So long as a man imagines that he cannot do this or that, so long is he determined not to do it.”
-Benedict Spinoza-

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt-

“Whether you think you can or you can’t – you are right.”
-Henry Ford-

“In the long run you will hit only what you aim at. Therefore, though you should fail immediately you had better aim at something high.”
-Henry David Thoreau-

Compassion
Compassion is not sentimentality being nice, polite, or pleasing. Indeed it may often take on a wrathful form or manifest itself in a tough love. There can be no compassion (Karuna) without wisdom (Prajna) and no true wisdom without compassion. Genuine compassion arises with the realization of identity. When we experience the sufferings of others as our own and respond in love, we are acting from compassion.
From the Buddhist perspective, compassion ultimately generates the desire to liberate others from samsara, the cycle of rebirth. Bodhisattva- who, having gained his or her own release, postpones it for the sake of freeing others.

“Love is love’s reward.”
-John Dryden-

“One learns through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect.”
-Mark Twain-

“Without love the acquisition of knowledge only increases confusion and leads to self-destruction.”
-J. Krishnamurti-

“He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
-John 4:16-

“We are all born for love… It is the principle of existence and its only end.”
-Benjamin Disraeli-

“Take away love and our earth is a tomb.”
-Robert Browning-

“Virtue is to love men.”
-Confucius-

“All the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.”
-Helen Keller-

“Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one… There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, hope, and its endurance. Love will never come to an end.”
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8-

Joy
Ananda Bliss), is our natural state. It is not something that we achieve or win, find or acquire. In fact, the irony of happiness is that the more we chase it, the more it flees us. The enduring joy is the one inherent in our being. It is not to be found in a person, condition, or object. It is part and parcel of the consciousness of life. To the extent that we live in consciousness, we live in joy. To the extent we are unconscious, we miss the bliss. Starting from the recognition that we are complete, we experience a bliss transcendent to pleasure and pain. Beyond the ups and downs, the inevitable turns of fortune, we embrace the whole of our lives in gratitude. Dostoyevsky called man “The ungrateful biped.” But also “Man is unhappy because he doesn’t realize he’s happy…if anyone finds out, he’ll become happy at once.”
In Zen, there is a practice of awareness referred to as “inhibiting the inhibition”, or “blocking the block.” If, as all the enlightened masters have said, true joy is our natural state of being, then we needn’t do anything to acquire it. Rather, we have only to become aware of how we are blocking it by insisting on the fulfillment of some condition before we can be happy. This awareness itself blocks the block and returns us to our natural state of bliss.

“What a wonderful live I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”
-Collette-

“Perfect happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.”
-Chuang Tze-

“Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.”
-John Stuart Mill-

“Happiness doesn’t depend on what we have, but it does depend on how we feel towards what we have. We can be happy with little and miserable with much.”
-W.D. Hoard-

“One joy scatters a hundred griefs.”
-Chinese Proverb-

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
-Proverbs 17:2-

“Within your own house dwells the treasure of joy; so why do you go begging from door to door?”
-Sufi Saying-

Discipline
Simply a matter of doing what we must, without wasting time or energy worrying about whether or not we feel like it. When we develop the habit of plunging in without whining, complaining, or procrastinating, we are on our way to genuine freedom. The choice is self-discipline or dependency, boss yourself or be bossed. We require a boss because we lack the discipline to boss ourselves. We resent the boss because he or she reminds us of our dependency. Resentment in turn, robs us of our creative power we need to break the yoke of dependency.
As we break through the comfort zones of limited thinking and habitual behavior, we discover that freedom is not the ability to do what we feel like doing but the ability to choose what to do and follow through. Discipline is enlightened tenacity. Wisdom separates discipline from stubborn pride or obsessive compulsion. Too often we waste our fight. If we will but listen, the wisdom of the heart will tell us what is worth fighting for and what isn’t. Then it is simply a matter of mustering the courage and tenacity to stay the course.

“Choose always the way that seems the best, however rough it may be, custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.”
-Pythagorus-

“He who cannot obey himself will be commanded. This is the nature of living creatures.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche-

“The disciplined man masters thoughts by stillness and emotions by calmness.”
-Lao Tzu-

“No man is free who cannot command himself.”
-Pythagoras-

“There never has been, and cannot be, a good life without self-control.”
-Leo Tolstoy-

“Mens natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”
-Confucius-

“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”
-Aristotle-

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.”
-Michelangelo-

“Practice is the best of all instructions.”
-Aristotle-

“No man is more miserable than he that hath no adversity.”
-Jeremy Taylor-

Wonder
Every child is full of simple wonder. How have we become so numb? Part of the numbing is the result of having shut down from past psychological pain, and part is a function of the culture in which we live. In our efforts to protect ourselves from physical and emotional pain, we shut down to life and shut out the wonder of it. We cannot dull ourselves to the pains of life without at the same time dulling ourselves to its simple pleasures.
Return to the simplicity of the child, to once again see and appreciate the joys and mysteries of this life. The wonder is all around us.

“Life is a series of surprises.”
-Ralphs Waldo Emerson-

“The most beautiful thing we can experience in the world is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”
-Albert Einstein-

“The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, it is a reality to be lived.”
-Van Der Leeuwarden-

“Nothing is more simple than greatness. Indeed, to be simple is to be great.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“The Tao’s principle is spontaneity.”
-Lao Tzu-

The Game of Life
Zen tells us that getting caught up in the cravings of the ego breeds tension, anxiety, and resentment, turning this wonderful play of life into a deadly serious affair. Most of all ego craves attention. Freeing ourselves from the feelings of dependency and resentment that result from seeking the approval of others or from defending ourselves against their ridicule restores a youthful innocence and exuberance to life.
Playing the game of life with buoyancy and zest requires the release of attachment to externals – to people, places, things, or events as the source of our happiness. We find it easier to concentrate on what we are doing when we are no longer using our actions to solve our psychological problems or to fulfill unmet needs for love and approval that we have carried since childhood. We can play the game of society or career without believing that “success”, or the social approval and status it brings, make us any better as human beings, or that we are any worse for failing to achieve these, the irony is that the more we feel we need to win, the less likely we are to, or to enjoy it, if we do. When we do what we do for its own sake, it remains play. When we love and enjoy what we are doing, we do it well- naturally.

“Not to be bound by rules, but to be creating one’s own rules – this is the kind of life when zen is trying to have us live.”
-D. T. Suzuki-

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely player.”
-William Shakespeare-

“This then, is the human problem; there is a price to be paid for every increase in consciousness. We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.”
-Alan Watts-

“The only difference between a wise man and a fool is that the wise man knows he’s playing.”
-Fritz Perls-

“Life must be lived as play.”
-Plato-

“The plays the thing.”
-William Shakespeare-

“The wayfarers of all times, the right strategy for skillfully spreading the way lies in adapting to communicate. Those who do not know how to adapt stick to the letter and cling to doctrines, get stuck on forms and mired in sentiments – none of them succeed in strategic adaptation.”
-Zhantang-

“Zen is the game of insight, the game of discovering who you are beneath the social masks.”
-R. H. Blyth-

“The world is his who can see through its pretension. What deafness, what stone-blind custom, what ever-grown error you behold, is there only by sufferance – your sufferance. See it to be a lie, and you have already dealt it it’s mortal blow.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

Integrity

“Wholeness” – Integrity not a matter of molding ourselves to fit abstract moral concepts of what we should be or do, but of responding to life in a natural and authentic way. The Cha’n or Zen, tradition developed in China as a kind of fusion between Buddhism and Chinese Taoism.
What is good is what is intuitive and natural. Codes of ethics and moral standards to live by are not demonstrations of integrity, but evidence that it has already been lost. When we have lost touch with our genuine integrity and no longer trust our natural or basic goodness, we resort to concepts of right and wrong, good and bad.
When our hearts are open, we are in touch with a profound intuitive intelligence – “prajna” or Wisdom of the heart.”

“The goody – goodies are the thieves of virtue.”
-Confucius-

“Be not simply good – be good for something.”
-Henry David Thoreau-

“The superior man understands what is right; the inferior understands what will sell.”
-Confucius-

“Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is what determines or rathe, indicates, his fate.”
-Henry David Thoreau-

“Don’t listen to friends when the friend inside you says ‘Do This’.”
-Mahatma Gandhi-

Selfless Service

The spirit of compassion in action being true to who and what we are, responding to the innate spontaneous impulse to spread joy and eliminate suffering in the lives of others. Yet a life dedicated to service to our fellow beings can only arise from the ashes of the ego.
When, once and for all, we have seen the vanity and futility of ego-based desires, when we admit we have nothing to protect, when we give up trying to acquire and hold, we realize there is nothing to do, only then can we find true beauty, the genuine poetry in life that gives rise to selfless service.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
-Albert Einstein-

“In nothing do men approach so nearly to the gods as in doing good to men.”
-Cicero-

“And whosoever of you will be chiefs shall be the servant of all.”
-Mark 10:44-

“Whosoever shall speak to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”
-Luke 17:33-

“The most sublime act is to set another before you.”
-William Blake-

“A person starts to live when he can live outside of himself.”
-Albert Einstein-

The Art of Zen
Art of Life – Creating “to arrange” (latin)

When we are at one with the the creative principle, we recognize that the universe is for us and with us, and we allow it to do what it is doing through us, without resisting or holding on.

“For man is by nature an artist.”
-Tagore-

“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.”
-Sigmund Freud-

“Art is not an end in itself, but a means of addressing humanity.”
-M.P. Moussorgski-

Perseverance

For every worthwhile goal “perseverance furthers” (I Ching)
Perseverance requires equal parts commitment to purpose and detachment from results. The means are the ends; the journey, the destination.

“God is with those who persevere.”
-The Koran-

“Its not the size of the dog in a fight, It’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
-Kit Raymond-

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier – not that the nature of the task has changed, but an ability to do it has increased.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

Letting Go

Surrender the ego, acceptance of insecurity, constant change – so nothing to hold on to. Release attachment to the ego. It is not the failure to fulfill these desires that brings unhappiness. It is the desires themselves.
Cravings = trishna” – Origin of human suffering.

“There is no security in life, only opportunity.”
-Mark Twain-

“Everything is in flux.”
-Heraclitus-

“Life can be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
-Søren Kierkegaard-

“Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop then when we soar.”
-William Wordsworth-

Meditation

Stop the course of the mind, tame the mind – stop the flow of automatic subconscious thinking. To achieve quietness of mind, Zen uses two types of meditation (Japanese) – 1) KOAN: question or puzzle that essentially uses the mind to exhaust the mind, 2) ZAZEN: attention to the breath in a siting meditation (still the mind)
Rinzai school emphasizes Koan
Soto school emphasizes Zazen

“All human evil comes from a single cause, man’s inability to sit still in a room.”
-Blaise Pascal-

“Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it.”
-Huang Po-

“Silence is the garden of meditation.”
-Ali-

“Seeking the mind with the mind. – Is not this the greatest of all mistakes?”
-Seng-T’San-

“A mind that is fast is sick. A mind that is slow is sound. A mind that is still is divine.”
-Meher Baba-

“The seed of mystery lies in muddy water. How can I perceive this mystery? Water becomes clear through stillness. How can I become still? By flowing with the stream.”
-Lao Tzu-

“Be still, and know that I am God.”
-Psalms 46:10-

Mindfulness

The practice of attention – wake up! Awareness transforms experience. There is no right or wrong way; there is only being more or less conscious. The goal is to become more fully conscious of ourselves, not to correct ourselves. Because they rely on memory, efforts at self-correction are always removed from the immediacy of the moment.
Jealousy – unconsciously give way to hatred. Struggle against it by, thinking = guilt. We must instead examine the thought itself and attempt to understand the context. Thought and feelings can then become windows to awakening.

“Nothing divides one so much as thought.”
-R.H. Blyth-

“Zen is mind-less activity, that is, mind-ful activity, and it may often be advisable to emphasize the mind, and say, ‘Take care of the thoughts and the actions will take care of themselves’.”
-R.H. Blyth-

“Awaken the mind without fixing it anywhere.”
-Diamond Sutra-

“You with to see; listen. Hearing is a step toward vision.”
-St. Bernard-

“Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.”
-William James-

Enlightenment

Zen does not like to speak of enlightenment. Yet it must as Lao Tzu says of this paradox…..”Those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know.”
Our likelihood of getting caught in a net of words or lost in a labyrinth of concepts and missing the reality they are pointing at. This is the paradox: to say nothing shows lack of compassion; to say too much risks leading astray. Zen masters rely on direct pointing – abrupt physical actions or irrational statements that pitch the questioner out of intellect and into “the suchness” of things.

“He who knows others is wise; He who knows himself is enlightened.”
-Lao Tzu-

“The attainment of enlightenment from the ego’s point of view is extreme death.”
-Chogyam Trungpa-

“Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water; after enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.”
-Zen Saying-

“When we’re not attached to anything, all things are as they are: with activity there is no going, no staying.”
-Seng-T’San-

“The reward of all action is to be found in enlightenment.”
-Bhagavad Gita-

“When people reach the highest perfection, it is nothing special; it is their normal condition.”
-Hindu Saying-

Everyday Zen

Zen is not a religion, rather it is poetry of life. It is meeting our everyday responsibilities with energy and cheerfulness. Everyday Zen means dealing with the world as it is, not insisting that it be the way we think it should be before we will love and embrace it. The greed, the violence, the pettiness, the stupidity we see all around us – these cry out for our love and understanding, not our condemnation. If in a selfish world I remain compassionate, in a violent world I remain peaceful, in a shallow world I maintain depth and sincerity, in a world of ingratitude I celebrate the gift of life, then I have done what i can do.
A Zen attitude frees us from ideas of victimization that permeate popular culture an reminds us that we are the “them” we so often complain about. It says, “Don’t spend you time in idle complaint; roll up your sleeves and get to work.”

“It is preoccupation with possessions more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”
-Bernard Russell-

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”
-Shunryu Suzuki-

“A noble person attracts noble people, and knows how to hold onto them.”
-Johann Goethe-

“Every minute you are angry, you loose sixty seconds of happiness.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

“There’s no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.”
-George Santayana-

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.”
-Sophocles-

“Simplify!”
-Henry David Thoreau-

Words of Wisdom


 

Here is a collection of some notable quotations that I thought were meaningful.

The self that we are now contains the actualization potential which will fulfill us.
(Leo Buscaglia: Personhood)

I realize today that nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself.
(Herman Hess: Demian)

Down the many roads among the stars must man propel himself in search of the final secret? The journey is difficult, immense, at times impossible, yet that will not deter some of us from attempting it….We have joined the caravan, you might say, at a certain point; we will travel as far as we can, but we cannot in one lifetime see all that we would like to see or to learn all that we hunger to know. (Loren Easily The Immense Journey)

But where shall I start? The world is so vast, I shall start with the country I know best, my own. But my country is so very large. I had better start with my street, No my family, never mind, I shall start with myself.
(Elie Diesel Souls on Fire)

The manifestation of every person and the world in which we live is the minimum requirement of our existence, its major purpose and its only hope.
(L. Buscaglia: Personhood)

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s long 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 theirs 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.
(Kahn Gibran: The Prophet)

Childhood is a time for play, for experimentation. Everything is curious. Few of us have been able to escape the fascination (and frustration) of watching a child explore. No place is too perilous, no object too valuable, no obstacle too insurmountable. They braille their way fearlessly over the world seeing, listening, responding. The mystery the child is searching for is itself.
(L. Buscaglia: Presented

The adult with a capacity for true maturity is one who has grown out of childhood without losing childhood’s best traits. He has retained the basic emotional strengths of infancy, the stubborn autonomy of tottered the capacity for wonder and pleasure and playfulness of the preschool years, the capacity for affiliation and the intellectual curiosity of the school years. The idealism and passion of adolescence. He has incorporated these into a new pattern of development dominated by adult stability, wisdom, knowledge, sensitivity to other epode responsibility, strength, and purposiveness.
(Joseph Stone and Joseph Church: Childhood and Adolescence)

Maturity is not a goal, but rather a process.
(L. Buscaglia: Presented

The Buddhas and the Christ’s are born complete. They neither seek love nor give love, because they are love itself. But we who are born again and again must discover the meaning of love, must learn to live as love, must love as the flower lives beauty.
(Henry Miller: Insomnia)

True intimacy is a positive force only if it is a combining of strengths and energies with other mature persons for the continued growth of each.
(L. Buscaglia: Personhood)

The afternoon of life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life’s morning.
(Carl Jung)

Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should burn and rage at close of day.
(Dylan Thomas)

The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.
(Oscar Wilde)

If life’s meaning is to be discovered, it is intrinsic in each stage as we assume the challenge of actualizing every moment of every day as we live it.
(L. Buscaglia: Personhood)

Man has come to control all other forms of life because he has taken more time in which to grow up; when he takes still more time, and spends this time more wisely, he may learn to control and remake himself.
(Will Durant: The study of Philosophy)

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
(Eleanor Roosevelt)

If name be needed, wonder names them both; from wonder into wonder existence opens.
(Lao Tzu: The way of the life – biennia translation)

As to the way – the intelligent man goes beyond it, the imbecile does not go far enough.
(Confucius: from the chang youg, 4)

Confucius said: When a man carries out the principals of conscientiousness and reciprocity he is not far from the universal law. What you do not wish others should do unto you, do not unto them.
(From the golden mean of tsesze XIII)

A wicked man who reproaches a virtuous on Eli like one who looks up and spits at heaven; the spittle soils not the heaven but comes back and defiles his own person.
(Buddha: The sutra of forty two sections)

There are two extremes, O brethren which a holy man should avoid the habitual practice of…. Self-indulgence, which is vulgar and profitless….and the practice of self-mortification, which is painfully and equally profitless.
(Buddha: The sermon at Benares)

The religious life, Malunkyapulta, does not depend on the dogma that the world is eternal; not does the religious life, malunkyapulta, depend on the dogma that the world is not eternal. No matter what the dogma….There still remains birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief and despair. And it is against these here on earth that I am prescribing.
(Buddha: The Majjhima Nikaya)

Know the self to be sitting in the chariot, the body to be the chariot, the intellect the charioteer, and the mind the reins. The senses they call the horses, the objects of the senses their roads. When he is in union with the body, the senses, and the mind, then wise people call him the enjoyer.
(The Upanishads, V)

Depend not on another, but lean instead on thyself…True happiness is born of self reliance…
(The Laws Of Man)

Knowledge is the holiest of holies, the God of God’s, and commands the respect of crowned heads: shown of it a man is but an animal. The features and furniture of one’s house may be stolen by thieves, but knowledge the highest treasure, is above all stealing.
(The Pureness II)

There is no fault in those who believe and do deeds of righteousness – God Loves the good Doers.
(The Koran)

Thou sets the evildoers going in fear of what they have earned, that is about to fall on them; but those who believe and do righteous deeds are in meadows of the gardens.
(The Koran)

I do not ask of you a wage for this, except love for the kinfolk; and whosoever gains a good deed, we shall give him increase of good in respect of it.
(The Koran)

More flesh, more worms;
More wealth, more worry;
More women, more witchcraft;
More concubines, more lechery;
More slave, More thievery.
But, More law, more life;
More study, more wisdom;
More counsel, more enlightenment,;
More Righteousness, More peace.
(The Talmud from Mishna)

Four classes of men will never see God’s face: The scoffer, the liar, the slanderer, and the hypocrite.
(The Tallied sata h, 24a)

Choose life, that you my live, you and your descendants
(Deuteronomy 30:19)

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest; for wherein thou judgest, thou condiments thyself; for you that judges doeth the same things.
(The Epistle of Paul Romans 2:1-2)

But I say unto you which hear, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smitten thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give every man that asketh of thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as yea would that men should do to you, do yea also to them likewise.
(Luke 6:27-31)

Know yea not that yea are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelt in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall god destroy: for, the temple of God is holy, which temple yea are.
I Corinthians 3:16,17)

We do not exist for ourselves (as the center of the universe), and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others. What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean, first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give others.
(Thomas Merton)

He who isn’t busy being born is busy dying!
(Bob Dylan)

Perhaps the fact of life most conductive to living fully as a person is an honest awareness and acceptance of death.
(L. Buscaglia: Personhood)

When we can embrace death as simply another aspect of the life cycle, we sill give appreciation and value to each life encounter knowing that it will never occur again.
(L Buscaglia: Personhood)

Love not what you are but only what you may become.
(Cervantes)

No man is an island of itself. Each is a piece of the continent a part of the main.
(John Donne)

He who enters the sphere of faith (the state of being ultimately concerned) enters into the sanctuary of life.
(Paul Tillich)

Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see. On the contrary everything is sacred.
(Teilhard De Chardin)

When we cling to pain, we end up punishing ourselves.
(Leo Buscaglia: Personhood)

“Each day is a gift to you. Make it blossom and grow into a thing of beauty”

“The Miracle is this…the more we share, the more we have.”
-Leonard Nimoy-

“A person who aims at nothing has a target he can’t miss.”

“Better than being the head of the family is being the heart of it.”

“Behind the idea that one calls one’s own are the thoughts and efforts of many.”

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
-Oscar Wilde-

“When you’re through changing, you’re through.”

“The first essential of doing a job well is the wish to see the job done at all.”
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt-

“Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future. We make discoveries about ourselves.”

“It is good to let a little sunshine out as well as in.”

“Time Flies; but remember, you are the navigator.”

“Some things have to be believed to be seen.”
-Ralphs Hodgkin

“We see through others only when we see through ourselves.”
-Eric Hoffer-

“Advise would be more acceptable if it didn’t always conflict with our plans.”

“You can’t expect an empty bag to stand up straight.”

“The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.”

“Those who are ashamed of the past and afraid of the future don’t find the present so hot either.”

“We are like trees; we must create new leaves new directions, in order to grow.”

“Don’t be content with being average. Average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top.”

“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.”
-Richard L. Evans-

“Nothing will happen if we all wait for others to do it first.”

“The heart must have its time of snow…to rest in silence, and then to grow.”

“When day is done you frequently discover that little else is.”

“Time is nature’s way of preventing everything from happening at once.”

“Great visions often start with small dreams.”

“Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”

“The beginnings of all things are small.”
-Cicero-

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
-Helen Keller-

“You deep on getting what you’ve been getting when you keep on doing what you’ve been doing.”

“Friendship is like a rainbow between two hearts.”

“The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.”
-Sir William Osler-

“We need people with the artistry to live in simplicity as the hummingbird does, enjoying with nectar without bruising the flower.”

“Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.”
-Friedrich Shiller-

“A smile is a passport that will take you anywhere you want to go.”

“If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.”

“Incomplete terminations interfere with new beginnings.”

“For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.”
-The Bible-

“it is what we are that gets across, not what we try to teach.”

“We can’t all be shinning examples, but we can at least twinkle a little.”

“One loving spirit sets another on fire.”
-St. Augustine-

“Sometimes it is better to be open and feeling than closed and wise.”

“Nice guys may appear to finish last, but usually they are running a different race.”

“Treasure is not always a friend, but a friend is always a treasure.”

“Success consists in doing the common things of life uncommonly well.”

“Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

“Live to make the world less difficult for each other.”
-George Eliot-

“To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.”

“If you don’t know where you are going, you may miss it when you get there.”

“The closer we are to that which surrounds us, the closer we are with ourselves.”

“So long as enthusiasm lasts, so long is youth still within us.”

“He lives in wisdom who sees himself in all and all in him”
-Bhagavad Gita-

“It is better to be alone than in bad company.”

“And this I have learned…grownups do not know the language of shadows.”
-Opal Whiteley-

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
-Khalif Gibran-

“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?”
-Michel De Saint Pierre-

“Contentment consists not in treat wealth, but in few wants.”
-Epictetus-

“By the time you have figured out the right way to raise a child, he’s all grown up.”

“If you don’t enjoy what you have, how could you be happier with more?”

“Each day slowly shapes our lives, as dripping water shapes the stone.”

“Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.”
-Goethe-

“Do more than listen; Understand.”
-John H. Rhoades-

“The only thing of value we can give kids is what we are, not what we have.”
-Leo Buscaglia-

“Life is a mystery to be lived; not a problem to be solved.”

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
-William Jennings Bryan-

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
-Helen Keller-

The sayings of the Sages
Wisdom from the East

Honor thy father, and thy son will honor thee.

When a consuming desire to steal another’s goods is transformed into action, the result is endless woe.

If you keep looking for faults, at last even your relatives will leave you.

A learned man who gives good advice to others and forgets of himself is to be compared with the wick of a lamp which spends light to others, while its own self wastes away.

Three are not to be trusted: the steadiness of a horse, the favor of a king and the faith of women.

The prudent takes no poison even if he possesses the antidote.

Do not act too familiarly with the noble, for he will feel offended; nor with the vile, for he will become insolent toward thee.

A fool gives a nut to him who has to teeth. He gives advice to one who has not the means to follow it.

Not he who can extricate himself from difficulties is the prudent one, but he who cautiously bewares not to intricate himself.

It is better that thou shouldst guard thy secret than that another one should guard it.

He who proves things by experience increases his knowledge, he who believes blindly increases his error.

The following are good when joined together: Learning joined with the fear of God, memory with genius, beauty with kindness, nobility of decent with good morals, joy with security, riches with contentment and endeavor with the help of God.

A Smiling enemy is like a colocynth, it has green leaves, but its taste kills.

Men eat greedily; more greedily, however, time eats them.

Two are not to be satiated: he that seeks knowledge and he that seeks riches.

To refuse in a kind manner is better than to make promises which are not kept.

Beware of thy enemy once, of thy friends a thousand times.

Thy secret is thy prisoner if thou keepest it; thou are it prisoner if thou divulgest it.

A wound inflicted by speech is more painful than a wound inflicted by the sword.

Bad morals destroy what the ancestors have built.

Eloquence consists in making the speech comprehensible to the multitude and agreeable to the learned.

Water is the most indifferent thing as long as we have it, – the most precious as soon as we want it.

On entering every one feels embarrassed; the remedy is a friendly greeting.

Envy is like rust on iron, that leaves it not until it corrodes it.

To be inclined to anger is in the nature of boys; to mourn the past is in the nature of women.

If traveling in the land of one-eyed, put out one of thy eyes.

Mankind consists of two men; one who takes heed, the other of whom heed is taken.

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.

When the son’s beard begins to grow shave thy own beard.

Be submissive in thy childhood that thou mayest be respected in thy old age.

If you can solve the knot with the tongue, do not solve it with the teeth.

He who excuses himself without having given offense makes himself suspected of it.

Do not trust who lies for thee, for he is as ready to lie against thee.

Who asks more of a friend than he can bestow deserves to be refused.

Every bird rejoices in its own voice.

Three make lean – a slow messenger, a lamp that does not shine, and the expectation to dine at the table of him who is yet to come.

Beware of too much laughter, for it deadens the mind and produces oblivion.

The beginning of anger is madness; the end is penitence.

A man cannot be blamed for not being of noble origin.

Old age is sickness enough.

thy right hand shall not inflict injury upon thy left hand. (Be just to thy own kind.)

Treat thy subordinate with kindness, thy equal with justice and thy superior with prudence.

Do unto thy brother as thou wouldst have him do unto thee.

A friendly smile is a key to security and a lamp to benevolence.

Instruction in the time of youth is like the sculpture on a stone.

A face without bashfulness is like a log whose bark has been peeled off, and like a lamp whose oil has been consumed.

He who fatigues his body brings peace to his mind.

Nothing that comes from heaven is more bitter than the cup of blindness.

Speech is a beautiful net in which souls are caught.

The enemy of thy father, as long as he lives, will never be thy friend.

For three things there is no remedy: Poverty associated with laziness, sickness coupled with old age, and enmity mixed with envy.

Weakness married laziness and their progeny was poverty.

None will scratch my back but my own nail, and none will hasten my business but my own foot.

The egg of today is better than the hen of tomorrow.

He who accepts the promise of security from an enemy is not free from danger.

Why is the flap of the ear soft? That one may press it into the cavity of the ear when he hears objectionable words.

The friend of a king is like one that rides on a lion: men fear him, and he fears the animal on which he rides.

He who administers to a king should enter blind and leave mute.

A little bread is better than a thousand words.

Not every one who is covered with a leopard skin is a hero.

When the hawk grows old the sparrows mock him.

Two are to be pitied: the noble in the power of the vile, and the wise in the power of the fool.

Every moment of time carries away a part of thy life.

Thy morning time is a fox, thy evening a wolf. In youth we are beguiled by time; in old age we are devoured by it.

Be not of those who publicly curse the devil, and secretly serve him.

Beauty is the wisdom of women, and wisdom is the beauty of men.

The avaricious is the guardian of his riches and the treasurer of his heir.

Knowledge is like a mountain: difficult to ascend but easy to descend.

He who buys bread with borrowed money, have compassion of him; he who buys meat with borrowed money, thrown at him a stone.

When thy neighbor shaves his beard, soap thou thine.

Not every one who searches finds, and not every one who flees escapes.

Riches and all worldly things perish; good deeds remain.

When the rich man tells a lie all say, “It is true;” and when he dances all say, “How beautiful it is!”

The fox favored by fortune conquers the lion favored by strength.

Riches are like water in the house, whose channels are obstructed; if it finds no exit it drowns the owner.

If thou hast not what thou desirest, desire what thou hast.

The greatest delight for the inhabitants of paradise is the consciousness that it will not end.

Health is better than medicine; not to sin is better than to be forgiven.

How many poor are rich in mind, and how many rich are poor in mind?

To abstain from the prohibited is better than to seek after the permitted.

The best of men is he who sees his own faults and does not see the faults of others.

The remedy for him who has no remedy is patience.

He is the wise man whose action, word, and thought are one and the same.

Riches and all worldly things perish; good deeds remain.