The deep secrecy of my own being is often hidden from me by my own estimate of what I am. My idea of what I am is falsified by my admiration for what I do. And my illusions about myself are bred by contagion from the illusions of other men. We all seek to imitate one another’s imagined greatness.
If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants to be. Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I really wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to become. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seems to admire, I would really begin to live after all. I would be liberated from the painful duty of saying what I really do not think.
~ Thomas Merton
Be positive and enjoy more, laugh more, dance more, sing more. Become more and more cheerful, enthusiastic about small things, even very small things. Life consists of small things, but if you can bring the quality of cheerfulness to small things, the total will be tremendous.
So don’t wait for anything great to happen. Great things do happen — it is not that they don’t — but don’t wait for the something great to happen. It happens only when you start living small, ordinary, day-to-day things with a new mind, with new freshness, with new vitality, with new enthusiasm. Then by and by you accumulate, and that accumulation one day explodes into sheer joy.
But one never knows when it will happen. One has to just go on collecting pebbles on the shore. The totality becomes the great happening. When you collect one pebble, it is a pebble. When all the pebbles are together, suddenly they are diamonds. That’s the miracle of life.
There are many people in the world who miss because they are always waiting for something great. It can’t happen. It happens only through small things: eating your breakfast, walking, taking a bath, talking to a friend, just sitting alone looking at the sky or lying on your bed doing nothing. These small things are what life is made of. They are the very stuff of life.
~ Osho, Day 120, Everyday Osho
I drink the way I used to swim: all or nothing. Truthfully, “nothing” was never an option. It was always “all.”
~ Nancy Stearns Bercaw
In Yoga philosophy, as with all the great faiths, God could never be captured in words. But if you tried, you might say God is an intelligence akin to the Force in Star Wars or what Voltaire seems to have been getting at when he wrote that “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.”
I know there are as many yogic philosophies as there are scientific theories. Samkhya, Vedanta, Tantra. There is probably now a yoga philosophy they sell exclusively online for just $99.99 with a limited edition organic recycled yoga mat. Humans love to brand and argue. But the truth of our original nature must be singular. And yogis would note that meditation, religion, service, science, philosophy, and those funny pretzel poses are all paths to God. But none of those paths or methods encapsulates God. And none is better than the others. The paths are simply fingers pointing at the moon, rafts across the ocean of suffering, different strokes for different folks. Or to use my favorite metaphor, the paths — like all things subject to birth and death — are waves.
God is the sea.
~ Jaimal Yogis, All Our Waves Are Water: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment and the Perfect Ride
A shadow is never created in darkness. It is born of light. We can be blind to it and blinded by it. Our shadow asks us to look at what we don’t want to see.
~ Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
Gratitude goes beyond the ‘mine’ and ‘thine’ and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
~ Henri J. M. Nouwen
Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.
~ Alan W. Watts