Tag Archives: Wisdom

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

By | 19th February 2018

  “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

By | 22nd January 2018

“….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

By | 18th January 2018

“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

By | 17th January 2018

“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

By | 15th January 2018

“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

By | 14th January 2018

“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 »

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

By | 13th January 2018

“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

By | 12th January 2018

“….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 »

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

By | 9th January 2018

“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

By | 3rd January 2018

“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 »

“All ethical systems, in the last analysis, depend upon weapons of war.” // Bertrand Russell

By | 2nd January 2018

“There is no impersonal reason for regarding the interests of human beings as more important than those of animals. We can destroy animals more easily than they can destroy us; that is the only sold base of our claim to superiority. We value art and science and literature, because these are things in which we… Read More »

The message of Buddha // Juan Mascaro

By | 1st January 2018

“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

By | 30th December 2017

“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

By | 29th December 2017

“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

By | 28th December 2017

“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 »

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

By | 26th December 2017

“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 »

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

By | 25th December 2017

“….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 »

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

By | 25th December 2017

“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 countless advantages of modern life have done so little to life our collective mood.” // Oliver Burkeman

By | 18th December 2017

“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 Universe of Possibility // Rosamund & Benjamin Zander

By | 7th December 2017

“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 »

The Buddha on Love// Juan Mascaro

By | 27th November 2017

“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

By | 26th November 2017

“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

By | 25th November 2017

“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

By | 25th November 2017

“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

By | 15th August 2017

“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 »

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

By | 15th August 2017

“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 »

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

By | 4th August 2017

“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

By | 2nd August 2017

“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

By | 2nd August 2017

“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 »

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

By | 1st August 2017

“….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

By | 1st August 2017

“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 »

“..we must give up, at least temporarily, our attachment to our desired goal.” // Thomas M Sterner

By | 23rd July 2017

“When you focus on the process, the desired product takes care of itself with fluid ease. When you focus on the product, you immediately begin to fight yourself and experience boredom, restlessness, frustration, and impatience with the process. The reason for this is not hard to understand. When you focus your mind on the present… Read More »

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

By | 8th July 2017

“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

By | 7th July 2017

“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 »

“….cleverness has increased, wisdom has decreased….” // Bertrand Russell

By | 7th July 2017

“In the modern world there is hardly any leisure, not because men work harder than they did, but because their pleasures have become as strenuous as their work. The result of that, while cleverness has increased, wisdom has decreased because no one has time for the slow thoughts out of which wisdom, drop by drop,… Read More »