31. Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor. Alexis Carrel
30. Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape. Charles Dickens
29. I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing. Anais Nin
28. If you dwell only in your suffering you will miss paradise. Don’t ignore your suffering but don’t forget to enjoy the wonders of life, for your sake and the benefit of many beings. Thich Nhat Hanh
I liked this quote for today. This week I’ve been in contact with quite a few people expressing their suffering. As I have written you have to honor your feelings, your pain. But you can also enjoy the wonders of life for moments in between.
27. The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves. Allan Watts
26. …when we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings. Sogyal Rinpoche
25. The mind may be said to be of two kinds, Pure and Impure. Driven by the senses it becomes impure; but with the senses under control, the mind becomes pure.
It is the mind that frees us or enslaves. Driven by the senses we become bound; master of the senses we become free. Those who seek freedom must first master their senses.
When the mind is detached from the senses one reaches the summit of consciousness.
Mastery of the mind leads to wisdom. Practice meditation. Stop all vain talk.
The highest state is beyond the reach of thought, for it lies beyond duality.
These are versus 1-6 of the Amritabindu Upanishad.
24. In our lives, change is unavoidable, loss is unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change, lies our happiness and freedom. Buddha
22. Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. Lao Tzu
21. People have different natural characteristics. You cannot make a gregarious person live like a hermit or make a solitary person into a chatterbox. But all extremes, such as absolute solitude or continual company, are unnatural and should be avoided. Chuang Tzu
I chose this because part of my work on right speech is geared at making me quieter. Although I still believe it a good goal, I need to remember I will never be the silent type.
20. Something too hard snaps. Something too soft folds. Too much kindness becomes weakness. Too much discipline becomes harshness. Too much love becomes indulgence. Too much punishment becomes cruelty. This is why harmony is best. Lao Tzu
19. If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation. Lao Tzu
18. Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?
It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will.
A statement endowed with these five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people.
Vaca Sutta: A Statement. Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Quotes on “Right Speech” are hard to come by. This might be it for now. Hopefully I can apply it without quoting it daily.
17. In one moment of quiet, you have experienced Tao firsthand. Deng Ming-Dao
This is accomplished after you have stopped talking compulsively, and then moved beyond thought to the silence that lies beneath the chatter. But I wanted something on being less talkative, so…
15. Before you speak ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, it is true, does it improve upon the silence? Shirdi Sai Baba
I’ve been on a Right Speech kick (but doing horribly at it, although maybe there has been some minor improvement). This is the perfect quote for it, and maybe if I ask myself this some of the time, there will be more improvement.
14. We are not made to do one thing. We are made to do one thing at a time. Lou Marinoff, Ph.D, Plato Not Prozac
13. The very act of being fully present in our lives is spirituality enough, for being present is to acknowledge that everything is spiritual. Deng Ming-Dao
12. The true opponent in a debate on emptiness is your own ego. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
11. Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people. Spencer Johnson
10. To be completely honest with yourself is the very best effort a human being can make. Sigmund Freud
9. Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes. Alan Watts
8. Truth is victorious, never untruth. Truth is the way, truth is the goal of life, reached by sages, who are free of self will. The Mundaka Upanishad
7. Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. Steve Jobs
To understand why he said it, watch the commencement here.
6. You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever — because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path. Steve Jobs, 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford
5. Let not then the fruit of thy action be thy motive; nor yet be thou attached to inaction. Bhagavad Gita
4. We’re all in this together now, as we all fall apart.And we’re swapping little pieces now, of our broken little hearts. Dr. Dog, Jackie Wants a Black Eye
3. If you fail to achieve freedom in this life, when do you expect to achieve it? While still alive, you should be tireless in practicing contemplation. The practice consists of abandonments. “The abandonment of what?” you may ask. You should abandon all the workings of your relative consciousness, which you have been cherishing since eternity; retire within your inner being and see the reason of it. As your self-reflection grows deeper and deeper, the moment will surely come upon you when the spiritual flower will suddenly burst into bloom, illuminating the entire universe. Wu-hsin
2. Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is. Eckhart Tolle
1. Put this question to yourself: should I use everyone else to attain happiness, or should I help others gain happiness? The Dalai Lama