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Over the years, one of the most popular features on TZF has been “Here’s A Thought”. It was first suggested by a regular visitor in the early days of TZF’s presence on the web. As I recall, he or she suggested we include a feature offering inspired or, at least, inspiring, quotations, that would be changed daily. I liked the idea, and so I did so; except, instead of daily, I updated the page on a weekly basis. But, as I wrote on the “Editor’s Desktop” (on January 20, 2020), I have now reached an age where it makes sense to retire a bit from TZF. And, besides that, Nancy and I have placed on the site pretty much all we have to share about our spiritual experience. What remains within us is, at least for now, beyond our ability to put into words.

Anyway, HAT, as it came to be called, accumulated a lot of good stuff over the years. I have compiled some of it here. As I continue to comb through the past, I will add others as I come across them.

The Zoo

Miss Brinklow, however, was not yet to be sidetracked.
“What do the Lamas do?” she continued.
“They devote themselves, madam, to contemplation and to the pursuit of wisdom.”
“But that isn’t doing anything.”
“Then, madam, they do nothing.”

– “Lost Horizon” by James Hilton

You teach others how to treat you.

Attributed to Oprah Winfrey

A questioner at Ramana Maharshi’s Ashram (Arunachala) expressed concern about losing his accustomed self-reliance on account of his hearing becoming defective.

Ramana Maharshi responded, “You were not self-reliant; you were ego-reliant. It is good that ego-reliance is banished, and that you become truly Self-reliant.”

– “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi” Talk 151

I do not know how to distinguish between our waking life and a dream.

Are we not always living the life that we imagine we are?

– Henry David Thoreau

On the morning of the Eighth Day,

after enjoying a day of Divine Repose,

now imagining post-Edenic humanity,

and perceiving the predictable,

God created the eraser.


Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

– William Bruce Cameron (sometimes misattributed to Albert Einstein)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

– Voltaire (Questions sur les miracles)

Of Law there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world. All things in heaven and earth do her homage, – the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power.

– Richard Hooker

I am increasingly persuaded that there is a dimension of the human organism, and indeed of all creation, that we do not understand, and will not explore because old-fashioned science says it can’t happen.

– “The Bishop in The West Wing” by Andrew M. Greeley

What matters it what went before or after? Now with myself I will begin and end.

– “A Certain Justice” by PD James

A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.

– Charles Evans Hughes, 11th Chief Justice, USSC

Issa (Jesus) said to his disciples, “In truth I say to you …

– he often used to say, ‘In truth I say to you’ –

those among you who sorrow most in misfortune, are the most attached to this world.”

– “The Muslim Issa (Jesus)” translated by Tarif Khalidi

I was wondering why people seem to read Scripture a lot more as they get older.

Then, it dawned on me: We’re cramming for the final exam.

– Arlo Hansen, dear friend of TZF

The mind is not a thing.
Neither is it a place.
The mind is thought.
Constant, mostly uncontrolled, often random, thought.


I am in the world but not concerned with the world.

I am going through the marketplace, but not as a purchaser.

– Kabir, quoted by Neem Karoli Baba in “Miracle of Love”

That which you see now is an illusion: it is truly naught but the Self, but perceived by the mind which has not been purified and which has not realized the Truth. There is nothing outside the Self: just as the tree is in the seed, all this is already in the mind, and the mind sees it as if it is outside.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

Politicians and diapers must be changed often,

and for the same reason.

– Mark Twain

When asked if he could say the Creed,

Bishop James Albert Pike replied,

“No, but I can sing it.”

– Source uncertain

All this is nothing more than the play of ignorance and delusion.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of Ribena, they lay down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up, and tell me what you see,” he said.

Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”

“What does that tell you?” Holmes asked.

Watson pondered for a bit, and then answered. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we have a beautiful day ahead.”

Then Watson asked, “What does it tell you, Holmes?”

Sherlock Holmes replied, “Someone has stolen our tent.”

– Original source unknown

You do not have to be talking about God to be talking about God.


I mean that [it is] foolish [to say] that you bear all the cares, burdens, and responsibilities of life. The Lord of the universe bears the whole burden. You only imagine that you do. You can hand over all your burdens to Him. Whatever you have to do, you will be made an instrument for doing it at the right time. Do not imagine that you cannot do it unless you have the desire to. It is not desire that gives you the necessary strength. The strength is the Lord’s.

– Sri Ramana Maharshi in “The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi” by Arthur Osborne

I never see a thing without seeing God before it.

– Abu Bakr, Companion of Muhammad, in “The Niche of Lights”

God is the Light in which I see.

– “A Course in Miracles” Workbook for Students #44

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

– “You’ve Got To Be Taught” by Oscar Hammerstein II

Words are heavy. If birds talked, they couldn’t fly.

– “Northern Exposure” television series

You carry
All the ingredients
To turn your life into a nightmare —
Don’t mix them!
You carry all the ingredients
To turn your existence into joy,
Mix them, mix

– “The Gift – Poems by Hafiz”

It is clear that so drastic a process of unselfing is not likely to take place without stress. It is the negative aspect of “deification” in which the self, deprived of “perception, knowledge, will, work, self-seeking” – the I, the Me, the Mine – loses itself, denies itself, unforms itself, drawing “ever nearer” to the One, till “nothing is to be seen but a ground which rests upon itself” – the ground of the soul, in which it has union with God.

– Evelyn Underhill in “Mysticism”

To get any meaning out of the mass of incongruity we call human life, we have to transcend our reason, but we must do it scientifically, slowly by regular practice, and we must cast off all superstition. We must take up the study of the superconscious state just like any other science. On reason we must lay our foundation. We must follow reason as far as it leads, and when reason fails, reason itself will show us the way to the highest plane.

– Swami Vivekananda in “The Yogas and Other Works”

One spring, our vegetable garden seemed nearly overrun by slugs, and fervently we prayed for relief. A few days later, our problem appeared only to have worsened when we discovered a colony of beetles taking up residence beneath a rotting log by the lettuce patch. Certain of the damage they could surely wreak, we did them in, each and every one.

Later, we looked up the species in an insect guide, and determined they had been ground beetles. Actually, a particular kind of ground beetle. One which feeds on slugs!

Prayers are always answered, but not necessarily as we imagine and hope. In some ways, the greater part of praying for help is being open and receptive to unexpected solutions.


The world is not what it appears in the eyes of the ignorant.
What is real in the eyes of the enlightened is indescribable.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

All the paths take you to the purification of the mind. The impure mind is opaque to truth. The pure mind is transparent; truth can be seen through it easily and clearly.

– “Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

It’s origin is unknown.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

One day in Paradise, Adam sees Eve for the first time.
“I am Adam,” he says to her.
“Yes, I know,” Eve replies, “so am I.”
“Are you real?” he asks. “No,” she replies.
“Am I real?” he asks. Again, she responds, “No.”
At that, they both laugh.
Neither of them fully understands. Alone and apparently separate, they cannot fully understand anything. But they know it does not matter; in Paradise, nothing matters.
Presently, Adam and Eve embrace. Gently, they kiss, tentatively at first; then, as each gives way to the experience of sensation, with increasing ardor.
Soon, like adolescents, they are hopelessly distracted. They forget who they are, where they are, and how they got there.
The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

– SCN in In The Beginning

Yesterday evening, a chartered Boeing 737 skidded into the St. John’s river in Jacksonville, Florida with 143 persons aboard. Remarkably, there were no fatalities. An NBC-TV reporter, talking on-air with a member of Jacksonville’s fire and rescue team, used the word “miraculous” to describe the outcome. The Jacksonville official responded, “Oh, I don’t take that kind of approach to anything. I’m much more of a secular kind of guy.”

Too cool.

– TV news item

“Call no man father” means, you are who and what you think your parents are.

– Matthew 23 & SCN

The reading of the word of God should be performed in solitude, in order that the whole mind of the reader might be plunged into the truths of the Holy Scripture, and that from this he might receive warmth, which in solitude produces tears; from these a man is wholly warmed, and is filled with spiritual gifts, which rejoice the mind and heart more than any word.

– Seraphim of Sarov

In the vision of the knowers of truth,
there is nothing other than the pure and infinite consciousness,
and the objective universe is completely and totally non-existent.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

When will I be able to look upon the diverse activities of people with the playfulness of a child?

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

– Elie Weisel

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.

– General of The Army Omar Bradley

You have knowledge of the scriptures,
yet you are not at rest within yourself as a stone rests in the ocean.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

Silence your thoughts,
Discard your memories,
Release your expectations.
What remains is indefinable, intangible and unspeakable:
Your very Self.
Seek it tirelessly


Knock, And He’ll open the door.
Vanish, And He’ll make you shine like the sun.
Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heavens.
Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.

– “Jalal al-Din Rumi

If we want things to stay as they are,
things will have to change.

– Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa in “The Leopard” (Il Gattopardo)

Riddle Me This:
How is it that there is God, but there is not a God?


To set up what you like against what you dislike,
this is the disease of the mind.

– Buddhist saying, in “Letters of Aldous Huxley”

Sri Nisargadatta: The inner Guru is not committed to non-violence. He can be quite violent at times, to the point of destroying the obtuse or perverted personality
Questioner: Has one to be afraid of his own self?
Sri Nisargadatta: Not afraid, for the self means well. But it must be taken seriously. It calls for attention and obedience; when it is not listened to, it turns from persuasion to compulsion

– Sri Nisargadatta in “I Am That”

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

– Yoda in “Star Wars”

You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image
when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

– Anne Lamott

Such intellectual knowledge is not knowledge. Unattachment to wife, husband, son, daughter, and house, equanimity in pleasure and pain, love of solitude, being firmly established in self-knowledge — this is knowledge, all else is ignorance. Only when the egosense is thinned out does this self-knowledge arise.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

No human thing is of serious importance.

– Plato

For where the instrument of thinking mind
Is joined to strength and malice, man’s defense
Cannot avail to meet those powers combined.

– Dante Alighieri in “The Divine Comedy” Hell, ix:35-37 translated by Dorothy Sayers

All the means we take to reach God are true: it is only like trying to find the pole-star by locating it through the stars that are around it.

– Swami Vivekananda in “The Yogas and Other Works”

Remain at peace within yourself, seeing the one infinite being in all. You will achieve the impossible if you are able to remain firm in your knowledge of the truth, and if you engage yourself in appropriate action in a life characterized by effortless experiencing of the natural course of events.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

I am amazed at the seeker of purity
who when it’s time to be polished
complains of rough handling. …
That harshness isn’t toward you,
but toward the harmful qualities within you.
When someone beats a rug,
the blows are not against the rug,
but against the dust in it.

– Jalaluddin Rumi in “The Rumi Collection” edited by Kabir Helminski

Those persons who worship Me, meditating on their identity with Me, and ever devoted to Me – to them I carry what they lack and for them I preserve what they already have.

– Bhagavad Gita 9:22 translated by Swami Nikhilananda

Realizing that everything is the one Self, one should worship the Self in this spirit. One should look with equal vision upon that which is pleasant and beautiful through and through, and that which is unendurably unpleasant.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

Do you love your Creator?
Love your fellow beings first.

– “The Sayings of Muhammad” in Wisdom of The East Series

There is no need to run outside
For better seeing,
Nor to peer from a window. Rather abide
At the center of your being;
For the more you leave it, the less you learn.
Search your heart and see
If he is wise who takes each turn.
The way to do is to be.

– ”The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu“ translated by Witter Bynner

I do not understand anything I see in this room,
— on this street, from this window, in this place.
(Whatever you see is a proper subject for applying the idea.)

– “A Course in Miracles” Workbook for Students, Lesson 3

When I sent man out in creation, I gave him two paths by which he could retrace his steps to Me – discrimnination and right action. Both take man on the right course toward salvation. But when the devotee is nearing ultimate freedom, then wisdom and meditative action merge into one inner highway to Self-realization, the culmination of which is union of the soul with Spirit.

– The Bhagavad Gita, 3:iii translated & interpreted by Paramahansa Yogananda

This Self can be attained by a hundred ways and means;
yet, when it is attained, nothing has been attained.
It is the Supreme Self; yet it is nothing.

– “Vasistha’s Yoga” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

That nothing save the light of truth allays
Our intellect’s disquiet I now see plain —
God’s truth, which holds all truth within its rays.

– Dante Alighieri in “The Divine Comedy” (Paradise) iv:124-126

Just give full attention to what in you is crude and primitive, unreasonable and unkind, altogether childish, and you will ripen. It is the maturity of heart and mind that is essential. It comes effortlessly when the main obstacle is removed – inattention, unawareness. In awareness you grow.

– Sri Nisargadatta

The absolute cannot be realized or experienced by another; only the absolute can realize itself.

– “The Concise Yoga Vasistha” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

To think is not your real nature

– “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi” Talk 184

This entire universe is forever the same as the consciousness that dwells in every atom, even as an ornament is not different from gold. Just as an ornament potentially exists in gold, the object exists in the subject. But when this notion of the object is firmly rejected and removed from the subject, then consciousness alone exists without even an apparent or potential objectivity. When this is realized, evils like attraction and repulsion, love and hate, cease in one’s heart, as do false notions of the world, you, I, etc. Even the tendency to objectify ceases. This is freedom.

– “The Concise Yoga Vasistha” translated by Swami Venkatesananda

The ego is not what you think of yourself. The ego is that you think of yourself; that you believe there is a yourself separate and distinct from other selves. That is the ego.


Burn, O Good Lord, the thorns of my transgressions,
cleanse my soul, and purify all my thoughts.
Ever shelter, guard, and keep me in your love.

– “Simeon Metaphrastes

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.

– George Bernard Shaw

By religion I do not mean outward things, but inward states, I mean perfected manhood. I mean the quickening of the soul by the beatific influence of the divine Spirit in truth, and love, and sympathy, and confidence, and trust.

– Henry Ward Beecher

What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.

– Ezra Pound

The Teachings need to be studied, reflected on, and practiced in order to realise their true meaning. They are “discourses on the right way of living” or contemplations on the “way things are.” They are not meant to be “sacred scriptures” which tell us what to believe. One should read them, listen to them, think about them, contemplate them, and investigate the present reality, the present experience with them. Then, and only then, can one insightfully know the Truth beyond words.

– Adapted from the Foreword to “The Long Discourses of The Buddha”

No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs; we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power.

– P.J. O’Rourke

It is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when they don’t have to.

– Walter Linn

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.

– Mitch Ratliffe

When you are not thinking about who you are, who are you?

– Sonja Margulies in “Meetings with Remarkable Women” by Lenore Friedman

At a recent ecumenical meeting with spokespeople from every world religion, including Native Americans, … everyone concurred that the three requisites for spiritual evolution in human beings were gratitude and humility and humor.

– “Meetings with Remarkable Women” by Lenore Friedman

Life is short,
but it comes with a blessing:
It is thy turn to meet God.

– Sant Kirpal Singh in “Love Everyone” by Parvati Markus

A rule of thumb:
If you come across a form of address for God that makes you uncomfortable, it is probably time for you to adopt it.


Put no limits on God.


Whatever the problem, the solution is spiritual.

– SCN in “There Is A Way” (out of print)

Therefore, we must always remember that external practices have value only as they help to develop internal purity. It is better to have internal purity alone, when minute attention to external observances is not practicable. But woe unto the man, and woe unto the nation, that forgets the real, internal, spiritual essentials of religion, and mechanically clutches with death-like grasp all external forms, and never lets them go! The forms have value only so far as they are the expressions of life within. If they have ceased to express life, crush them out without mercy.

– Swami Vivekananda in “The Yogas and Other Works”

There is no path that does not lead to Him.

– “A Course in Miracles” Text – Chapter 31

In whatever way people are devoted to Me,
in that measure I manifest Myself to them.
All men [and women], in every manner of seeking Me,
pursue a path to Me.

– “Bhagavad Gita” IV.11, translated by Paramahansa Yogananda

It is a fine thing to establish one’s own religion in one’s heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.

– D. H. Lawrence

God is free for the taking.

– Movie “Navigating The Heart”

Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

– “The Four-Way Test” of Rotary International by Herbert J. Taylor

Silence is the unbearable repartee.

– G. K. Chesterton attributing to Charles Dickens

Seek not from God anything other than Himself, and attach not the power of the heart’s intention to anything other than Him. And if everything in the universe should be spread before you, receive it graciously – but do not stop there. Persist in your quest.

– Ibn ’Arabi

Ten percent of those performing every human endeavor – whatever, wherever – are artists. The rest are mechanics. The difference is, the artists are being what they do, the mechanics are doing what they do. Happiness lies in finding the artist in ourselves, and being that. So it seems to me.


Ramana: All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it comes into existence. The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward, and renounce activities there.
Questioner: Are only the important events in a man’s life predetermined, or are trifling acts also, such as taking a cup of water or moving from one part of the room to another?
Ramana: Everything is predetermined.

– Sri Ramana Maharshi from “The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi” by Arthur Osborne

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.

– Eric Hoffer

Choices have consequences.


I am aware that no man is a villain in his own eyes.

– James Baldwin

When you dance with the devil, the devil don’t change. The devil changes you.

– Attributed variously, including the movie “Eight Millimeter”

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. If there is not a new man, how can the new clothes be made to fit? If you have any enterprise before you, try it in your old clothes. All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be. Perhaps we should never procure a new suit, however ragged or dirty the old, until we have so conducted, so enterprised or sailed in some way, that we feel like new men in the old, and that to retain it would be like keeping new wine in old bottles.

– Henry David Thoreau in “Walden” (Chapter 1)

Let there be light.

– Bereishit, Genesis

Now here was a lesson. If you think that you or I have something, we cannot give. You must think of it as God’s, that only He can give. You are only the ladle, the leaf on which it is being given.

– Dada Mukerjee in “By His Grace” (about Neem Karoli Baba)

What is divine in Man is elusive and impalpable, and he [she] is easily tempted to embody it in a collective form – a church, a country, a social system, a leader – so that he [she] may realize it with less effort and serve it with more profit. Yet the attempt to externalize the kingdom of heaven in a temporal shape must end in disaster. It cannot be created by charters or constitutions, nor established by arms. Those who set out for it alone will reach it together, and those who seek it in company will perish by themselves.

– Hugh Kingsmill in “The Poisoned Crown” quoted in “Issa (Jesus) Rediscovered” by Malcolm Muggeridge

Sooner or later, all the peoples of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

All of your body is in your mind, but not all of your mind is in your body.

– Jack Schwarz

Through my short span of the unending days
Let me be one of His mysterious ways.

– Noel Hudson Stearn in “Application For Secret Service”

God is the perfect poet,
Who in his person acts his own creations.

– Robert Browning, Paracelsus, ii

Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our god alone. I enquire after no man’s and trouble none with mine; nor is it given to us in this life to know whether yours or mine, our friend’s or our foe’s, are exactly the right.

– Thomas Jefferson

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,
These three alone lead life to sovereign power.
Yet not for power (power of herself
Would come uncalled for), but to live by law,
Acting the law we live by without fear;
And, because right is right, to follow right
Were wisdom in the scorn of consequence.
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Oenone)

Self of my Self, for Thou art but I,
Self of my Self, for I am but Thou,
Twain of us in one shall never die,
What do they matter – the why and how?
– Lalleswari (sometimes, Lalla Yogiswari, Lal Diddi, Lal Ded) in “Women Saints – East and West”

Perhaps the deepest reason we are afraid of death is that we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity; but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our “biography”, our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit card … It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are?

– Sogyal Rinpoche in “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be so beautiful, talented, gorgeous, fabulous?” Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. This is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fears, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Marianne Williamson in “A Return to Love”

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
– John Dryden

From silly devotions and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.

– Teresa of Avila In“Martyrs & Miracles”

Both what you run away from – and what you yearn for – is within YOU.

– Anthony De Mello

I want to help others. Who is there for you to help? Who is the “I” that is going to help others? First clear up that point, and then everything will settle itself.

– Ramana Maharshi in “The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi”

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.

– Francis Bacon

Religion is a river, not a monument.

– Diana Eck in “Encountering God”

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

– Attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt

The light of the sun is seen in its full brilliance only when the clouds are totally removed. Likewise, the true glory of the Self is perceived only when the mind remains free from all tendencies created by its good as well as its evil actions.

– Swami Nikhilananda in his introduction to “The Bhagavad Gita”

This onward movement of the ego from the seat of the Kundalini to the lotus of myriad petals has been found to be of five kinds, like that of an ant, a fish, a snake, a frog, or a monkey, according to the intensity of its desire to realize the goal. … This is the usual method of realizing highest Truth. But the soul, being really infinite, cannot have any motion; for how can infinity go from one place to another, it having no outside and so nowhere to go? Hence, whenever motion is ascribed to the Infinite Being, we do it out of our ignorance of Its true nature. But a jnani, who has been able to understand clearly his [her] infinite nature intellectually, from whom all desires have fallen off and who has thus been left pure and single, does not need to go from one place to another, from a lower to a higher center. He [she] knows that his [her] true home is the heart where he [she] unceasingly resides in the three conditions of waking, dream, and sleep, whether he [she] knows it or not. In the heart alone the Unmanifested Being of infinite power manifests Itself as soul and ego, both of which never go out of it really, although they imagine them to be outside it.

– Saint Seraphim of Sarov in “The Spiritual Instructions of Saint Seraphim”

As long as the bee is outside the lotus, so long will it have to fly round and round and buzz, but once it gets into the flower, and tastes the honey there, both its wanderings and buzzings cease. So, as long as man remains outside the lotus of his [her] heart, he [she] has to wander in search of pleasure in vain, but once he [she] goes inside it, and tastes the nectar of Divine communion, all his [her] wanderings cease once and for all.

– Sri Ramakrishna

People seeking mystical attainment expect it on their own terms, and hence generally exclude themselves from it before they start. Nobody can hope to arrive at illumination if he [she] thinks that he [she] knows what it is, and believes that he [she] can achieve it through a well-defined path which he [she] can conceive at the moment of starting.

– Idries Shah in “The Sufis”

What you can do or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It’s amazing stuff. Our neurons fire a few micro-volts of electricity, and we call it thought. At the same time, all of us are constantly bathed in massive waves of electro-magnetic fields … and for every field, there are millions of harmonics. It makes me tingle just thinking about it!

– Don McKillop AKA Merlin

I am totally safe in the Universe. I am at peace everywhere. I trust life.

– Louise L. Hay in “Heal Your Body”

It is our duty — as men and women — to behave as though limits to our ability do not exist. We are co-creators of the Universe.

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The supreme experience is staggering, enrapturing, blissful, and inspiring, but at the same time inexplicable and ungraspable by the intellect. The experience is supremely illuminating because it reveals the grandeur, sublimity and the eternal nature of the soul, but beyond that – what? All that is beyond lies out of the reach of the intellect, and hence cannot be translated into any language devised by the mind.

– Gopi Krishna in “Living with Kundalini”

It is a mistake to assume that God is interested only, or even chiefly, in religion.

– Attributed to William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury (1942-1944)

“Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked.
“Begin at the beginning” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end; then stop.”
– Lewis Carroll in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

Life, the problem, can be solved by the soul, the solution; but for that, one has first to be awakened from within.

– Sri Chinmoy in “Commentaries on the Vedas”

Sooner or later, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

– Nancy Horan in “Under the Wide and Starry Sky”

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Psalm of Life”

We cannot live according to a human standard of life and at the same time reap the fruitage of the spiritual life: We cannot live according to an-eye-for-an-eye and a-tooth-for-a-tooth philosophy, nor depend upon treasures laid up where moth and rust corrupt; we cannot live according to the human code and at the same time pray to God for spiritual light, spiritual bread, spiritual wine, and spiritual water.

– Joel S. Goldsmith in “The Thunder of Silence”

Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.

– Malcolm Muggeridge in “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do” by Peter McWilliams

Not to increase His good, which cannot be,
But that His splendour, shining back, might say:
Behold, I am.

– Dante Alighieri in “The Divine Comedy” Paradise (29:13) translated by Dorothy Sayers & Barbara Reynolds

He who bends to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.

– “Eternity” in “From A Grain of Sand” Poems by William Blake selected by Rosemary Manning

After a trip to Canada, Roy Rogers, the cowboy singer and actor, was asked what he had learned about faith there. Rogers replied, “I reckon the most important thing I learned about faith in Canada was the most important thing I have learned about faith in Hawaii, the British Isles, and all over – it works!”

– “The Answer is God” A biography of Roy Rogers & Dale Evans by Elise Miller Davis

The beginning of Wisdom is this: “I don’t know, and I can’t find out”.


Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself: “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

– “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones” by Paul Reps

As frightened children look everywhere for the imaginary ghost, so sick humanity sees danger in every direction, and looks for relief in all ways except the right one. Darkness induces fear. The adult, in bondage to his beliefs, no more comprehends his real being than does the child; and the adult must be taken out of his darkness, before he can get rid of the illusive sufferings which throng the gloaming.

– Mary Baker Eddy in “SCIENCE & HEALTH” Chapter XII

No sacrifice is worth the name unless it is a joy. Sacrifice and a long face go ill together.

– Mohandas K. Gandhi

… he dropped on me something whose logic never would get out of my head. He said, No man has believed perfectly until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.

– Malcolm X speaking of Dr. Mahmoud Youssef Shawarbi in “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”

If the God you worship fits into your mind,
it is too small.


If you give your life to God, then it is no longer yours.


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