What is “Freedom”? // Matthieu Ricard

“To be free is to be master of oneself. For many people, such mastery involves freedom of action, movement and opinion, the opportunity to achieve the goals they have set themselves. This conviction locates freedom primarily outside oneself and overlooks the tyranny of thoughts. Indeed, it is a commonplace….that freedom means being able to do… Read More »

What is the Bhagavad Gita about? // Juan Mascaro

“We find in the Gita that there is going to be a great battle for the rule of a Kingdom; and how can we doubt that this is the Kingdom of Heaven, the kingdom of the soul? Are we going to allow the forces of light in us or the forces of darkness to win?… Read More »

The Buddha’s realisation & Teaching // Yuval Noah Harari

“….he came to the realization that suffering is not caused by ill-fortune, by social injustice, or by divine whims. Rather, suffering is caused by the behaviour patterns of one’s own mind. Gautam’s insight was that no matter when the mind experiences, it usually reacts with craving, and craving always involves dissatisfaction. When the mind experiences… Read More »

The message of Buddha // Juan Mascaro

“Buddha avoided metaphysical questions. He might have answered them in the words of Jesus: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’…. It is said that once a man of arms undertook a long journey to see a holy follower of Buddha, and asked… Read More »

The Universe of Possibility // Rosamund & Benjamin Zander

“On the whole, resources are likely to come to you in greater abundance when you are generous and inclusive and engage people in your passion for life. There aren’t any guarantees, of course. When you are oriented to abundance, you care less about being in control, and you take more risks. You may give away… Read More »

Seeds of Anger and Compassion in us // Thich Nhat Hanh

“Every one of us has a seed of anger. Every one of us has a seed of compassion. We have all kinds of seeds in our store of consciousness. To practice meditation is to practice mindful watering of the seeds in us. We don’t want the negative seeds to manifest often because every time a… Read More »

The Buddha on Love// Juan Mascaro

“This is how the Buddha speaks of love in the Majjhima Nikaya: Buddha spoke thus once to his disciples: The words of men to you can be of five kinds: at the right time or at the wrong time, true or false, gentler or bitter, profitable or unprofitable, kindly or resentful. If men speak evil… Read More »

“The Buddha was never melancholy or gloomy.” // Walpola Rahula

“The Buddha was never melancholy or gloomy. He was described by his contemporaries as ‘ever-smiling’ (militia-pubbamgama). In Buddhist painting and sculpture the Buddha is always represented with a countenance happy, serene, contented and compassionate. Never a trace of suffering or agony or pain is to be seen…. Although there is suffering in life, a Buddhist… Read More »

“…bad actions are unannihilatable.” // Aldous Huxley

“The truth is, of course, that non-attachment can be practised only in regard to actions intrinsically good or ethically neutral. In spite of everything that Krishna or anyone else may say, bad actions are unannihilatable. They are unannihilatable because, as a matter of brute psychological fact, they enhance the separate, personal ego of those who perform.… Read More »

“….self-help books….rarely much help…. // Oliver Burkeman

“For a civilisation so fixated on achieving happiness, we seem remarkably incompetent at the task. One of the best-known general findings of the ‘science of happiness’ has been the discovery that the countless advantages of modern life have done so little to life our collective mood. The awkward truth seems to be that increased economic… Read More »

“Science….cannot make human life more reasonable….” // John Grey

“In science, progress is a fact, in ethics and politics it is a superstition. The accelerating advance of scientific knowledge fuels technical innovation, producing an incessant stream of new inventions; it lie behind the enormous increase in human numbers over the past few hundred years. Post-modern thinkers may question scientific progress, but it is undoubtedly… Read More »

“….think of life as a prototype.” // Tim Brown

“….think of life as a prototype. We can conduct experiments, make discoveries, and change our perspectives…..We can learn how to take joy in the things we create whether they take the form of fleeting experience or an heirloom that will last for generations. We can learn that reward comes in creation and re-creation, not just… Read More »

“Square astronaut, round hole.” // Chris Hadfield

“The windows of a spaceship casually frame miracles. Every 92 minutes, another sunrise; a layer cake that starts with orange, then a thick wedge of blue, then the richest, darkest icing decorated with stars. The secret patterns of our planet are revealed…. Floating in the airlock before my first spacewalk, I knew I was on… Read More »

“Organisations are rife with group-think.” // Charles Handy

“Organisations are rife with group-think. They not only read the same news-papers, they wear the same clothes, tell the same jokes. They even glory in it, calling it ‘shared values’. Shared values are great, of course. if the values are great. But those shared values can also lull you into a sort of moral anaesthesia,… Read More »

“Love is the only rational act.” // Stephen Levine

“We all know that we’re dying…day by day we’re getting closer to our death. The best way to deal with that is to live in a fully conscious, compassionate, loving way. Many people close to dying have said that same thing, and I think there is a lot of truth in it. Don’t wait until… Read More »

“May your trails be crooked, winding….” // Edward Abbey

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through… Read More »

“We are responsible….for all that lives.” // Stephen Batchelor

“We are responsible not merely for ourselves but for all that lives, for everything that is capable of calling out to us. The path of compassion means to silence the roar of our own internal chatter as to be attentive to the gestures, hints, declarations, and appeals of others. The response that comes from such… Read More »

“No evil is….similar to anger.” // Shantideva

“No evil is there similar to anger, No austerity to be compared with patience, Steep yourself, therefore, in patience, In various ways , insistently.” — Shantideva (quoted by Matthieu Ricard in “On the Path to Enlightenment: Heart Advice from the Great Tibetan Masters”)