True Self

Wanting to reform the world

without discovering one’s true self

is like trying to cover the world with leather

to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns.

It is much simpler to wear shoes.

~Ramana Maharshi

(1879 to 1950 Advaita Vedanta Mystic)


All of us need to begin by respecting ourselves

and see how we can spread that respect around

to include everyone we encounter,

everyone we practice with,

everyone we see on the street.

To understand their suffering when they’re suffering,

knowing that they have feelings just as we do.

To be kind to them and to be kind to ourselves.

To take care of their suffering

as we take care of our own suffering.

To see how intimately we are woven together

with each being and to embrace ourselves

as we are and to embrace everyone

as she or he is.

And if someone needs some improvement,

work with the person.

I could use a little improvement.

Help me.

If you could use a little improvement,

ask for help.

~Zenkei Blanche Hartman

(1926-2016, Soto Zen teacher,

co-abbess of the San Francisco Zen Center)

Awaken Together

May we trust and live

from the purity of our boundless,

radiant heart.

And may we hold hands

as we awaken together,

bringing our shared caring

to this precious, troubled, mysterious,

and beautiful world.

~Tara Brach

(1953 to pres., Psychologist and Buddhist Teacher)

Rapturous Listening

Those who speak much

and waste their precious energy

in the idle and loose talk

cannot listen to the Heavenly Melody.

It is the inner single-minded devotion and attention

which grants this Rapturous Listening.

~Sant Kirpal Singh

(February 06, 1894 to August 21, 1974

Mystic Adept, Spiritual Teacher,

Organizer of World Conference on Unity of Man,

President of the World Fellowship of Religions,

and Sant Satguru of Surat Shabd Yoga)


The wonderful thing about patience,

unlike commodities,

is the more we use it,

the more we offer it,

the more we have.

~Allan Lokos

(Interfaith minister, meditation teacher, and author,

director of the Community of Peace and Spirituality)

I’m Enough

It’s about waking up

in the morning and saying:

No matter what gets done

and how much is done

and how it’s done,

I’m enough,

and I’m worthy

of belonging and love and joy.

~Brené Brown

(1965 to pres., Research Psychologist)

Present Experience

We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized

by the illusion of time,

in which the so-called present moment

is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline

between an all-powerfully causative past

and an absorbingly important future.

We have no present.

Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied

with memory and expectation.

We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be

any other experience than present experience.

We are therefore out of touch with reality.

We confuse the world as talked about,

described, and measured

with the world which actually is.

We are sick with a fascination

for the useful tools of names and numbers,

of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.

~Alan W. Watts

(1915-1973, British Zen Buddhist teacher)


An important point

is to meet yourself with kindness,

be present with your human self,

just like you would be patient and kind

with a small child you care about.

Criticizing yourself

simply adds to the difficulty.

~Lama Palden Drolma

(1952 to pres., founder and spiritual director

of Sukhasiddhi Foundation,

cofounder of the Feminine Wisdom School) 

True Elders

As human beings we are meant

to go through transitions

throughout our phases of life

in order to become fully human,

to become true elders

who have wisdom to pass down the generations.

With each transition in our life,

we go through a descent

where we let go of an old identity

so that the energies and the motivation

for the new can emerge.

One of the reasons we go on retreat

and keep a daily practice

is because we’re training in descent.

We go into liminal space, between worlds,

where we separate from what we know

as we are birthed into a new phase of life.

~Erin Selover

(Therapist, Strategic Coach,

Consultant with Courageous Leadership,

serves on the Teachers Council

at Spirit Rock Meditation Center)