Tag Archives: Learning

What is empathy? // Roman Krznaric

“….empathy is the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions. So empathy is distinct from expressions of sympathy — such as pity or feeling sorry for somebody — as these do not involve trying to understand the other person’s… 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 »

“….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 »

“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 heart of dialogue is a simple but profound capacity to listen.” // William Isaacs

“Everywhere we look, myopic vision, petty misunderstandings, and small deceits escalate into gross, wasteful calamities that seem like they could be avoided if only people talk to each other  with a different kind of conversational presence…. The heart of dialogue is a simple but profound capacity to listen. Listening requires we not only hear the… Read More »

The first tenet of Non-Violent Communication // Marshall B. Rosenberg

“I can handle your telling me what I did or didn’t do. And I can handle your interpretations, but please don’t mix the two.   If you want to confuse any  issue, I can tell you how to do it: Mix together what I do with how you react to it.   Tell me that… Read More »

“For the most part, we see our conversations as….arenas to win points.” // William Isaacs

“Another word for ‘not thinking’ is “memory.” Human beings live out of their memories, insulated from direct experience. Memory is like a tape recording; it plays back a once-experienced reality that may or may not apply well to the current situation. Like a tape, memory is limited. The parameters of its responses are already set.… Read More »

“There is nothing more beautiful than goodness….” // Somerset Maugham

“There is nothing more beautiful than goodness, and it has pleased me very often to show how much of it there is in persons who by common standards would be relentlessly condemned. I have shown it because I have seen it. It has seemed to me sometimes to shine more brightly in them because it… 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 »

“Complex bullshit is full of feats of abstract reasoning that would astonish a medieval theologian….” // Laura Penny

“Complex bullshit is also known as bafflegab or jargon, and it is the native argot of modern bureaucracy…. Complex bullshit is full of feats of abstract reasoning that would astonish a medieval theologian….Even business types have become alarmed by their own flights of jargoneering. In 2003, Deloitte & Touche released a new software program called… 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 »

“We may be powerless to alter certain events, but we remain free to choose our attitude towards them…” // Alain de Botton

“The wise will learn to identify what is necessary and follow it at once, rather than exhaust themselves in protest. When a wise man is told that his suitcase has been lost in transit, he will resign himself in seconds to the fact….. It may sound like a recipe to passivity and quietude…. But Seneca’s… 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 »

“I think this is how we are supposed to be in the world — present and in awe.” // Anne Lamott

“Let’s think of reverence as awe, as presence in and openness to the world. The alternative is that we stultify, we shut down. Think of those times when you’ve read prose or poetry that is presented in such a way that you have a fleeting sense of being startled(italics) by beauty or insight, by a… Read More »

“Except in pure mathematics, nothing is known for certain….” // Carl Sagan

“The scientific way of thinking is at once imaginative and disciplined. This is central to to its success. Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which best fit the facts. It urges on us… 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 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 »

“….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 »

“….the best among us….do not occupy that perch because they were born with some innate talent….” // Anders Ericsson

“In my introduction to this book I spoke of how deliberate practice can revolutionize our thinking about human potential. I do not see this an exaggeration or overstatement. That revolution starts when we realize that the best among us in various areas do not occupy that perch because they were born with some innate talent… Read More »

“Parents think they can hand children permanent confidence….” // Carol S. Dweck

“Parents think they can hand children permanent confidence — like a gift — by praising their brains and talent. It doesn’t work, and in fact has the opposite effect. It makes children doubt themselves as soon as anything is hard or anything goes wrong. If parents want to give their children a gift, the best… Read More »

“A widely held myth suggests that creative geniuses rarely fail.” // Tom Kelley & David Kelley

“A widely held myth suggests that creative geniuses rarely fail. Yet according to Professor Dean Keith Simonton of the University of California, Davis, the opposite is actually true: creative geniuses, from artists like Mozart to scientists like Darwin, are quite prolific when it comes to failure — they just don’t let that stop them. His… Read More »