Category Archives: Spirituality

“….the fires of hell as a manifestation of God’s love.” // Joseph Campbell

“Dante saw even the fires of hell as a manifestation of God’s love. You will have heard the old legend of how, when God created the angels, he commanded them to pay worship to no one but himself; but then, creating man, he commanded them to bow in reverence to this most noble of his… Read More »

“….the well-intentioned urge to preserve a religion runs the risk of mummifying it.” // Stephen Batchelor

“….the well-intentioned urge to preserve a religion runs the risk of mummifying it. Although you might succeed in preserving its institutions and dogmas for a while, you cannot preserve a path any more than you can preserve the current of a river or the whistling of a wind. Insidiously, Mara attempts to secure what by… Read More »

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 »

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” // Mary Oliver

“Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is… Read More »

“Why do you shiver because of last year’s snow storm?” // Swami Sarvagatananda

“Why do you shiver because of last year’s snow storm? Last year you were driving on the highway, there as a big snowstorm and the car was covered with snow, you couldn’t get out, you were locked in, shivering. That was last year, now you remember it and you shiver now — why do you… Read More »

“Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse.” // Albert Einstein

“I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse.… Read More »

“….we need to get rid of the illusion of believing that we have “our whole life ahead of us.” // Matthieu Ricard

“Every moment of our lives has tremendous value. Yet we let the time go by, like gold dust running through our fingers. What is sadder than coming to the end of one’s life empty-handed? We need to be aware that every second of our life is inestimably precious and have the intelligence to decide to… Read More »

“….the disparity between outward allegiance and inward betrayal.” // S Radhakrishnan

“Religions, at their best, insist on behaviour more than on belief….We must have religion in truth and deed and mot merely profess it in words. There is a difference today between our belief and our behaviour….evident from the disparity between outward allegiance and inward betrayal. Religion is confused with the mechanical participation in the rites… Read More »

“….the significance of all temples and holy places….” // Swami Vivekananda

“Every day of our lives we throw out a mass of good or evil, and everywhere we go the atmosphere is full of these materials….Here, therefore, is the significance of all temples and holy places….their holiness depends on holy people congregating there. The difficulty with man is that he forgets the original meaning , and… Read More »

“An opinion as to what truth is, is not truth….” // J Krishnamurti

“Can you understand anything if you have already made up your mind about it, or if you repeat the conclusions of another? To find the truth of this matter, must we not come to it afresh, with a mind that is not clouded by prejudice? Which is more important, to be free from conclusions, prejudices,… Read More »

“….the art of obtaining freedom….” // Huston Smith on Aldous Huxley

  “Not needing triumph, adulation, or disciples, he could bypass them for truth….”It’s rather embarassing,” he said, “to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and to find that one has little more to offer by way of advice than, Try to be a little kinder.” If, as he had earlier observed,… Read More »

“….in Zen doubt is transformed into the path….// Stephen Bachelor

“….in Zen doubt is transformed into the path…. The Zen tradition often speaks of three factors that need to be cultivated along the path: great faith, great doubt, and great courage. Thus faith and doubt are brought together. Clearly, doubt in this context does not refer to the kind of wavering indecision in which we… Read More »

“….every atom of hatred added to the world makes it an even more inhospitable place….” // Etty Hillesum

“I know that those who hate have good reason to do so. But why should we always have to choose the cheapest and easiest way? It has been brought home forcibly to me here how every atom of hatred added to the world makes it an even more inhospitable place…. I see no other solution.… Read More »

“The hero’s journey always begins with the call.” // Joseph Campbell

“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, “Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you here.” And… 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 goal of life is a deep state of well-being and wisdom at all moments….” // Matthieu Ricard

“Living on a pendulum between hope and doubt, excitement and boredom, desire and weariness, it’s easy to fritter away our lives, bit by bit, without even noticing, running all over the place and getting nowhere. Happiness is a state of inner fulfillment, not the gratification of inexhaustible desires for outward things…. ….the goal of life… 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 »

“….our first duty ought to be to look into our own souls should and find whether we really want it.” // Swami Vivekananda

“Many times in our life, somebody dies whom we loved; we receive a blow; for a moment we think that this world is slipping between our fingers, and that we want something higher, and that we are going to be religious. In a few days that wave passes away, and we are left stranded where… Read More »

“….love and caring are marbled even into the worst life has to offer.” // Anne Lamott

“Mercy, grace, forgiveness, and compassion are synonyms, and the approaches we might consider taking when facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves — our arrogance, greed, poverty, disease, prejudice. It includes everything out there that just makes us want to turn away, the idea of accepting life as it presents… Read More »

“….the notion of God can also be used to prop up and inflate the ego….” // Karen Armstrong

“….the notion of God can also be used to prop up and inflate the ego….If we imagine God to be a being like ourselves writ large, with likes and dislikes similar to our own, it is all too easy to make ‘him’ endorse some of our most uncharitable, selfish and even lethal hopes, fears and… 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 life of wisdom begins with….practice.” // Epictetus

“The life of wisdom begins with learning how to put principles , such as “We ought not to lie,” into practice. The second step is to demonstrate the truth of the principles, such as why it is we ought not to lie. The third step, which connects the first two, is to indicate why the… 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 »

“Viewed superficially, love and attachment look alarmingly similar….” // Swami Tyagananda

“Viewed superficially, love and attachment look alarmingly similar. When we look deeply, however, their differences become obvious. The first thing we notice is that a person in the grip of attachment is primarily attached to “I”, his or her pampered self, whereas one who is truly in love seldom thinks of the “I” — it’s… Read More »

“”Love” is a beautiful word, and we have to restore its meaning.” // Thich Nhat Hanh

“”Love” is a beautiful word, and we have to restore its meaning. When we say, “I love hamburgers,” we spoil the word. We have to make the effort to heal words by using them properly and carefully. True love includes a sense of responsibility and accepting the other person as she is, with all her… Read More »

“My life has become an uninterrupted dialogue with You, Oh God…” // Etty Hillesum

“My life has become an uninterrupted dialogue with You, oh God, one great dialogue. Sometimes when I stand in some corner of the camp, my feet planted on Your earth, my eyes raised towards heaven, tears sometimes run down my face, tears of deep emotion and gratitude.” — Etty Hillesum (quoted by Patrick Woodhouse in… 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 »

“…….it’s not by ceremony that you become a Buddhist. It is by committing to practice.” // Thich That Hanh

“Buddhism is made of mindfulness, concentration, and insight. If you have these things, you are a Buddhist. If you don’t, you aren’t a Buddhist. When you look at a person and you see that she is mindful, she is compassionate, she is understanding, and she has insight, then you know that she is a Buddhist.… 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 »