Love Will Dissolve It All

There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer,
no disease that enough love will not heal;
no door that enough love will not open;
no gulf that enough love will not bridge;
no wall that enough love will not throw down;
no sin that enough love will not redeem . . .
It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble;
how hopeless the outlook;
how muddled the tangle; how great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.
If only you could love enough you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world.
—— Emmet Fox

Beyond Birth and Death

We go on believing we are separate. We are not—not even for a single moment. Drop the idea of separation—and the fear of death disappears. If you become one with the whole, you will live forever.
You will go beyond birth and death. . .
—Rajneesh

As Powerful as the Ocean

The drop of water is only weak when it is removed from the ocean; replace it. and it is as powerful as the ocean….If a portion of one unit excludes itself from the whole, it makes no difference to Principal Being, but it makes a vast difference to the unit. The ocean is not conscious of the removal of a drop of water, but the drop is very conscious of the ocean when it is returned… —Baird Spalding

Inward States

Heaven and hell are inward states. Sink into self and all its gratifications, and you sink into hell; rise above self into that state of consciousness which is the utter denial and forgetfulness of self and you enter heaven.
—James Allen

Accepting Your Reality Right Now

The first step to change,… is accepting your reality right now. Honoring your process. Compassionate self-awareness leads to change; harsh self-criticism only holds the pattern in place, creating a stubborn and defensive Basic Self. Be gentle with yourself as you would with a child. Be gentle but firm. Give yourself the space to grow. But remember that the timing is in god’s hands, not yours.
? Dan Millman, Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior

Love is a Warrior’s Sword

You haven’t yet opened your heart fully, to life, to each moment. The peaceful warrior’s way is not about invulnerability, but absolute vulnerability–to the world, to life, and to the Presence you felt. All along I’ve shown you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is a warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.
? Dan Millman

Motherhood is a Choice you Make Everyday

Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.
? Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm

Only One

Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends — but only one mother in the whole world.
—Kate Douglas Wiggin

We Are Meant to Grow, Like the Lotus

I wonder if the world’s fascination has less to do with the flower itself, and more with the muck that it flourishes in. The Lotus flower is of an unparalleled beauty in its elegance and grace, yet its’ origins are of an environment that is a stark contrast. We cannot help but ponder such strange juxtaposition. However, there is something telling in this natural contrast between the flower and its environment: we are meant to grow, like the Lotus, and not dirty our hands in the mud that surrounds us.
—Forrest Curran, Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love

A Lotus Grows in the Mud

The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering… The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.

The Buddha Within

Please don’t run away from your suffering. Embrace it and cherish it. Go to the Buddha, (the Buddha within us all) sit with him, and show him your pain. He will look at you with loving kindness, compassion, and mindfulness, and show you ways to embrace your suffering and look deeply into it. With understanding and compassion, you will be able to heal the wounds in your heart, and the wounds in the world. The Buddha called suffering a Holy Truth, because our suffering has the capacity of showing us the path to liberation. Embrace your suffering, and let it reveal to you the way to peace.—Thich Nhat Hanh , 

The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy and Liberation

Nothing at All

The Buddha was asked skeptically, “What have you gained through meditation?” The Buddha replied, “Nothing at all.” “Then, Blessed One, what good is it?” “Let me tell you what I lost through meditation: sickness, anger, depression, insecurity, the burden of old age, the fear of death. That is the good of meditation, which leads to nirvana.” ? Gautama Buddha

Put Your Hands on the Ground

The pathway is open to you, it leads to the heart. There are many treasures to be found there….

Spend more of your time away from the diversions of your culture and commune deeply with your land. You are of it and it will respond to your sincere attention. Come to it for counsel–the trees, the plants Spirits, the animal Spirits, and the elementals.

Put your hands on the ground and send your intention…The more you offer honoring Mother Earth, the more wisdom you will receive…

—Shonagh Home from Ix Chel Wisdom: 7 Teachings from the Mayan Sacred Feminine

The Earth is Our Origin and Destination

The earth is our origin and destination. The ancient rhythms of the earth have insinuated themselves into the rhythms of the human heart. The earth is not outside us; it is within: the clay from where the tree of the body grows.
When we emerge form our offices, rooms and houses, we enter our natural element. We are children of the earth: people to whom the outdoors is home. Nothing can separate us from the vigour and vibrancy of this inheritance.
In contrast to our frenetic, saturated lives, the earth offers a calming stillness. Movement and growth in nature takes it time. The patience of nature enjoys the ease of trust and hope.
There is something in our clay nature that needs to continually experience this ancient, outer ease of the world. It helps us to remember who we are and why we are here.
—John O’ Donohue from Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

The Yellow Brick Road

And so we can choose to walk our paths consciously or unconsciously. We can choose to listen to the guidance of our spirit, or we can ignore it. The yellow brick road is laid out before us to follow or stray from, to walk along or to sit at the curbside. As we make wise choices, we evolve and grow, learning what works and doesn’t work, and eventually we awaken in Kansas.

—Darren Main,  Spiritual Journeys along the Yellow Brick Road

A Hole in the Sidewak

I walk down the street.There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost… I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes me a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in. It’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault. I get out immediately.
walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.
I walk down another street.

—Portia Nelson

God’s Protest Against Unrighteousness

This is the significance of the Passover for the Israelite. But it has a message also for the conscience and the heart of all mankind…. God’s protest against unrighteousness, whether individual or national. Wrong, it declares, may triumph for a time, but even though it be perpetrated by the strong on the weak, it will meet with its inevitable retribution at last…. This is a truth which mankind has still to lay to heart even in these days. The world is thousands of years older than it was when the first Passover was celebrated; but the lessons taught by the ancient Deliverance retain their original force.
—Morris Joseph, “Passover, Judaism as Creed and Life

Easter is not a time for groping. . .

Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal.  It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown.
—Author unknown, as quoted in the Lewiston Tribune

Perfection That I Want to be Connected to.

You want to know the truth? I don’t really care about the stats, or the trophy or the cup or anything like that. In fact, not even the game is that important to me—not really. What matters to me is the perfect through, making the perfect catch. . . . Perfection. That’s what it’s about. It’s those moments. When you can feel the perfection of creation. The beauty of physics, you know, the wonder of mathematics. The elation of action and reaction, and that is the kind of perfection that I want to be connected to.
– Sam Anders, Battlestar Galactica

You Gradually Struggle Less 

Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.— Thomas Merton

The Obstacle Race

Remember, Yoga practice is like an obstacle race: many obstructions are purposely put on the way for us to pass through. They are there to make us understand and express our own capacities. We all have that strength, but we don’t seem to know it. We seem to need to be challenged and tested in order to understand our own capacities. In fact that is the natural law. If a river just flows easily, the water in the river does not express its power. But once you put an obstacle to the flow by constructing a dam, then you can see its strength in the form of tremendous electrical power.
—Swami Satchidananda

Everything I Needed

I asked for strength and was given challenges to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and was given problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity and was given brain and braun to work.
I asked for courage and was give danger to overcome.
I asked for love and was given troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and was given opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted.
I received everything I needed.
——Author Unknown

We Call It a Practice

“Why dowe call yoga a practice? The yoga poses of life—the grief, the fear, the uncertainty—rarely offer us the option of coming to child pose or modifying the posture. The yoga mat offers us a safe and controlled environment in which we can witness our challenges, embrace our discomfort, and hold space for our struggles. A yoga practice doesn’t prevent the storms of life, but it does teach us to weather those storms more gracefully”
Darren Main “The River of Wisdom.”.

Develop the Courage

If you don’t develop the courage to do that which has been give to you to do, or if you just go around trying to convince other people or get their approval, what will happen is you will lose your nerve, and other people will convince you that what you are doing doesn’t have any value and you’ll give up on your dream. How much time do you have left? When you start thinking about that you will realize that you don’t know. Most of us don’t use the stuff that we have brought into the universe, so stop wasting valuable time in the wake of others opinions. If you want something, you have got to be relentless. You’ve got to learn how to become resourceful. You’ve got to learn how to become creative. The power to hold on in spite of everything. In spite of every excuse your mind can conceive of. The power to endure, this is the winners quality. The ability to face defeat and failure again and again without giving up. There’s greatness in you! And you’ve got learn how to tune out the critics outside, and more importantly the critic inside! Most people give up on themselves easily. Did you know the human spirit is powerful? It’s hard to kill the human spirit! You are unstoppable! Live your life with passion, and with some drive!
—Les Brown

What If?

What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words
What if the temple was the Earth
If forests were our church
If holy water—the rivers, lakes, and ocean
What if meditation was our relationships
If the teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being.

—Ganga White

A Place Within Me Opens

Sometimes, during my early-morning meditation, a place within me opens and parts of myself let go that I didn’t even know were holding on. In these moments I feel all the hard places in my heart and body yield to a great softness carried on my breath, and I am filled with compassion for the part of me that is always trying, always organizing, problem solving, anticipating. My mind stops and simply follows my breath. A great faith washes through me; a knowing that everything that needs to get done will get done. My shoulders drop an inch and the small but familiar ache in my chest eases—The moment stretches. There is enough: enough time, enough energy, enough of all that is needed. A great tenderness for myself and the world opens inside me, and I know that I belong to this time, to these people, to this earth and to something that is both within and larger than all of it, something that sustains and holds us all. I do not want to be anywhere else. I am filled with a commitment to, and a compassion for myself and the world.—Oriah Mountain Dreamer from the book The Invitation

The Breath Inside the Breath

Are you looking for me?  I am in the next seat.

My shoulder is against yours.

You will not find me in stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor in cathedrals; not in masses nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables.

When you really look for me, you will see me instantly —you will find me in the tiniest house of time.Kabir says:  Student, tell me, what is God? “He is the breath inside the breath.”

—  Kabir

 

The Simplest Thing in the World

Breathing is one of the simplest things in the world. We breathe in, we breathe out. When we breathe with real freedom, we neither grasp for nor hold on to the breath. No effort is required to pull the breath in or push the breath out. Given the simplicity of breathing one would think it was the easiest thing to do in the world. However if it were truly so easy there would be few unhappy or unhealthy people in the world. To become a welcome vessel for the breath is to live life without trying to control, grasp, or push away. And how easy is this? The process of breathing is the most accurate metaphor we have for the way that we personally approach life, how we live our lives, and how we react to the inevitable change that life brings to us.
— Donna Farhi

The Mountain Top

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter to me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop . . . And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.
So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!
——Martin Luther King, Jr. (spoken on the eve of his death)

Brotherhood

Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.
–Martin Luther King, Jr., Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution

Willpower

In order to make progress in any aspect of life, it is essential to develop your will power and your personal strength. Often, however, when you decide to develop your willpower, you may resolve to do dramatic things, but this can actually cause problems for you, because if you can not yet do what you resolve, then you will find that your strength and your willpower are being damaged rather than developed. If you sincerely want to develop personal strength and willpower, you should first learn to keep yourself open and be an observer of yourself until you observe that your willpower has become dynamic. Instead of making such dramatic resolutions, simply make yourself open to observing yourself and decide to experiment in observing yourself.
—Swami Rama

A Prisoner of Habits

You have been a prisoner of your habits and it has not been good for you. It is because of wrong habits of thinking and doing in this and other lives that your bodily kingdom yields not to invasions of disease, troubles, moods and ignorance. From now no say, “I am not the slave of the body. I am the director of my own kingdom. My thoughts are going to be exactly as I wish them to be.”
Once you have changed your habits, you will say to yourself, “How simple it was to do it. How unkind I have been to myself for not exchanging my soul-stultifying habits for those that bring happiness.”
—Paramahansa Yogananda

From Illusion to Truth

Sanskrit
Asato maa sat gamaya
Tamaso maa jyotir gamaya
Mrytor maa amritam gamaya
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

English
Lead me from Illusion to Truth
Lead me from darkness to Light;
Lead me from the cycles of birth and death to spiritual Liberation.
OM peace, peace, peace

—Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Belleau Wood

Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence
Over Belleau Wood that night
For a Christmas truce had been declared
By both sides of the fight
As we lay there in our trenches
The silence broke in two
By a German soldier singing
A song that we all knew

Though I did not know the language
The song was “Silent Night”

Then I heard my buddy whisper,
“All is calm and all is bright”
Then the fear and doubt surrounded me
‘Cause I’d die if I was wrong
But I stood up in my trench
And I began to sing along

Then across the frozen battlefield
Another’s voice joined in
Until one by one each man became
A singer of the hymn

Then I thought that I was dreaming
For right there in my sight
Stood the German soldier
‘Neath the falling flakes of white
And he raised his hand and smiled at me
As if he seemed to say
Here’s hoping we both live
To see us find a better way

Then the devil’s clock struck midnight
And the skies lit up again
And the battlefield where heaven stood
Was blown to hell again

But for just one fleeting moment
The answer seemed so clear
Heaven’s not beyond the clouds
It’s just beyond the fear
—Garth Brooks
from the song Belleau Wood

The Great Spiritual Tension

The great spiritual tension between the contemplative life of the monk and spiritual activism in the world dissolves entirely with one word—namaste— the light in me bows to the light in you.
When meditation reveals the light in ourself we naturally want to bow to the light in all beings—to act on their behalf in reverence and devotion.

When we truly see the light in another, our own light shines forth dissolving the seemingly eternal ache in our hearts and the near constant struggle of the ego mind. To see the light in one being—your own light or that of another, is to win the cosmic game of hide and seek and ease the suffering of the world.
—Darren Main, The River of Wisdom: Reflections on Yoga, Meditation, and Mindful Living