the power of the comparative lens

"The biggest mistake people make when first beginning to look at unfamiliar perspectives is immediately to make comparisons between the familiar and the unfamiliar. The power of the comparative lens comes not from making positive and negative comparisons; rather, it comes from seeing each perspective clearly, in its own right. In other words, one gets a deeper understanding of one’s own perspective by understanding how others understand their own perspective."

Rita Gross, “Buddhist to Buddhist”, tricycle.com


I would teach it to each and every person

“Tam sniffed. “The flame and the void aren’t about archery.” 
“Yes, I know. They are a swordsman’s technique.” 
“They’re not about swords either,” Tam said, strapping the sword onto his belt. 
"The flame and the void are about center,” Tam said. “And about peace. I would teach it to each and every person in this land, soldier or not, if I could.” 

- Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson. “A Memory of Light.” Tom Doherty Associates.


wish true happiness for your enemy

“it is worth considering that it is in fact eminently possible and practical to wish true happiness for your enemy

Sharon Salzberg. “Love Your Enemies.” Hay House, 2013-09-11.


willing to be intimate with fear

"If we’re afraid of who we are, we continually feel frantic about filling that space, anything to avoid that persistent unease beneath the surface of our lives. The fearlessness of the warrior comes from stepping again and again into open space, with body, breath, and heart exposed. It is the fearlessness that is willing to be intimate with fear."

Aura Glaser, “Into the Demon’s Mouth”, tricycle.com


the past is past

"You see, the past is past, and the future is yet to come. That means the future is in your hands—the future entirely depends on the present. That realization gives you a great responsibility."

- H.H. the Dalai Lama, "The Experience of Change", tricycle.com


cultivating skillful attitudes of mind

"Skillful attitudes of mind are the key to facing potentially explosive situations and the ongoing highs and lows of life and practice. In fact, recognizing these attitudes and cultivating their antidotes is the foundation for all spiritual growth. By cultivating skillful attitudes of mind, we will respond to more and more of life with awareness and wisdom."

Steve Armstrong, “Got Attitude?”, tricycle.com


what the world needs

“What the world needs is not more oil or food, but more love and generosity, less greed and more kindness and understanding.”

Jack Kornfield. “Bringing Home the Dharma.” Shambhala Publications.


here and now is it

“Now isn’t preparation for later. Here and now is it. There is a spaciousness, an acceptance of what is in the moment, that says, “Yes, ah so!” to everything, whether it’s ugly, beautiful, boring, confused, dead, angry, the dark night of the soul, or the brilliant light of the spirit. This is just the way it is.”

- Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das. “Polishing the Mirror.” Sounds True.

we can always try a little more

"It’s definitely the case that we can practice at any given moment. We can always try a little more to be kind, to be compassionate and be careful about what we do and say and so forth."

Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, "Keeping a Good Heart.", tricycle.com


pay attention

"Life is profound if you’re awake to see it. It’s one thing to draw from culture, it’s another thing to be drawn so deeply into the culture that your true nature disappears. Wisdom is not merely something to be gained with old age. One can be wise in every stage of one’s life. To manifest wisdom means simply to step back and see—to reflect, inquire, be aware, be disciplined, and be focused not once in a while, but all of the time, moment to moment. This life is precious and fleeting. Pay attention."

Seido Ray Ronci, "The Examined Life", tricycle.com


it is better to give unasked

“It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;”

Kahlil Gibran. “The Prophet.” Vigo Books, 2010-11-01.


you and I are paying the price

“You and I are paying the price for having grown up in a materially oriented society that values people in terms of their products, their achievements, and their ability to consume, instead of cultivating the quality of their being.”

- Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das. “Polishing the Mirror.” Sounds True.


love is our true nature

“Love is our true nature, but it is often covered over by a protective layer of fear.”

Jack Kornfield. “Bringing Home the Dharma.” Shambhala Publications.


emotional suffering

“a lot of your emotional suffering is created by your models of how you think the universe should be and your inability to allow it to be as it is.”

- Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das. “Polishing the Mirror.” Sounds True.


how you think it ought to be

“As long as you have some desire about how you think it ought to be, you can’t hear how it is.”

- Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das. “Polishing the Mirror.” Sounds True.


how the child turns out

“Your job is to love and nurture, feed and clothe, take care and guard the safety of the child, and guide him or her with your moral compass. But how the child turns out is how the child turns out. Ultimately he or she is not your child; who they turn out to be is up to God and their own karma.”

- Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das. “Polishing the Mirror.” Sounds True.


one breath at a time

“If you have to let go of distractions and begin again thousands of times, fine. That’s not a roadblock to the practice—that is the practice. That’s life: starting over, one breath at a time.”

Sharon Salzberg. “Real Happiness - Enhanced Ebook Edition.” Workman Publishing, 2010.


relaxed perseverance

"The desire to know something is wisdom at work. Being mindful is not difficult. But it’s difficult to be continuously aware. For that you need right effort. But it does not require a great deal of energy. It’s relaxed perseverance in reminding yourself to be aware. When you are aware, wisdom unfolds naturally, and there is still more interest."

Sayadaw U Tejaniya, "The Wise Investigator", tricycle.com


those that lead to insight and balance

“I like the Buddhist tradition of replacing the modifiers “good” and “bad” to describe human behavior with “skillful” and “unskillful.” Unskillful actions are those that lead to pain and suffering; skillful actions are those that lead to insight and balance.”

Sharon Salzberg. “Real Happiness - Enhanced Ebook Edition.” Workman Publishing, 2010.


always right where you are

“You don’t have to rush off to India, because the guru and the teaching are always right where you are, right here, right now.”

- Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das. “Polishing the Mirror.” Sounds True.


you can trip over tomorrow

“Always plan ahead...but worry too hard over next year, and you can trip over tomorrow”

Robert Jordan. “Crossroads of Twilight.” Tom Doherty Associates.


there is a way

"Fearlessness is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to walk into it. When I walk into my fear, practice there, sit upright in the middle of it, completely open to the experience, with no expectation of the outcome, anything is possible. When our circumstances look impossible or terrifying, there is a way."

- Judith Randall, "The Hidden Lamp", tricycle.com


we muddle ahead together

"At our best, we muddle ahead together, hoping to get things right occasionally and trying not to do too much damage along the way. It is in the muddling that we find our humanity, and in doing so, if we are lucky, we find each other."

Andrew Cooper, "Sex in the Sangha . . . Again", tricycle.com


straightening out the mind

"Like the archer straightening his arrow and perfecting his aim, the practitioner of meditation straightens out the mind while aiming his or her attentional energy at its object. Learning to drop what we’re doing, however momentarily, and to genuinely pay attention in the present moment, without attachment or bias, helps us become clear, just as a snow globe becomes clear when we stop shaking it and its flakes settle."

Lama Surya Das, "The Heart-Essence of Buddhist Meditation", tricycle.com


love is the doorway

“Love is the doorway to oneness with all things, to being in harmony with the entire universe.”

- Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das. “Polishing the Mirror.” Sounds True.


the eternal present

“To live in the here and now is to have no regrets about the past, no worries or expectations for the future. To be fully present in each moment of existence is to live in total contentment, in peace and love. To enter into this presence is to reside in a different state of being, in a timeless moment, in the eternal present.”

- Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das. “Polishing the Mirror.” Sounds True.


quieting the mind

“Ram Dass again went on the road, lecturing tirelessly for two and a half decades. Over and over, he conveyed, with humor and stories and quotes, a shift from the Western achievement model of “making it happen” and “just doing it” to quieting the mind and being in the moment, being present and attentive and loving—just being.”

- Ram Dass & Rameshwar Das. “Polishing the Mirror.” Sounds True.


when we see new possibilities

“life holds moments when our perspective dramatically shifts, when our assumptions are deeply challenged, when we see new possibilities or sense for the first time that whatever has been holding us back from freedom or creativity or new ventures might actually be overcome.”

Sharon Salzberg. “Real Happiness - Enhanced Ebook Edition.” Workman Publishing, 2010.

don’t regret what cannot be changed

"In a classic sutra, the Buddha had said that if someone shoots you in the foot, don’t pick up the bow and shoot yourself in the foot again. Don’t make your suffering worse by arguing with what’s so. That’s a second arrow. Accept pain. Don’t criticize yourself, or others, for feeling pain: that is a second arrow. Don’t regret what cannot be changed, or try to predict what cannot be known."

Katy Butler, "A Life Too Long", tricycle.com


unconditional openness

"Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth—it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened."

Pema Chödrön, "Unlimited Friendliness", tricycle.com


emotional engagement

“The tragedy here is that a man may be doing his best to answer his wife’s concerns by offering advice and solutions, not understanding that what she is really seeking from him is emotional engagement. His engagement is the solution for her.”

Sue Johnson. “Hold Me Tight.” Little, Brown and Company, 2008-04-08.


bring each other close

“Once partners know how to speak their need and bring each other close, every trial they face together simply makes their love stronger.”

Sue Johnson. “Hold Me Tight.” Little, Brown and Company, 2008-04-08.


braver than we expect

“We are always more afraid than we wish to be, but we can always be braver than we expect.”

Robert Jordan. “Lord of Chaos.” Tom Doherty Associates.


just get up

“That’s just the way it is. As many times as you trip and fall, i.e., give in to a desire—just get up. There is a tendency when we fall for many of us to sit around and feel guilty and wallow in self-recrimination...Such self-recrimination is just more of the ego dance. Let it go by and get on with it. After all, if you were finished, you wouldn’t need to begin. Just accept where you are in the here and now and proceed full speed.”

Ram Dass. “Be Here Now (Enhanced Edition).” HarperCollins, 2010-10-26.

no reason to be unhappy

"Whether we are suffering at present or have suffered in the past, there is no reason to be unhappy. If we can remedy it, then why be unhappy? And if we cannot, there's no use in being unhappy about it—it's just one more thing to be unhappy about, which serves no purpose at all."

H.H. the Dalai Lama, "Enduring the Fires", tricycle.com


every part of your life is sacred

“All aspects of your life are your field of practice, the precise place to find freedom and compassion. From politics and parenting to meditation and education, from sex and drugs to poetry and art, every part of your life is sacred.”

Jack Kornfield. “Bringing Home the Dharma.” Shambhala Publications.


we balance each other

“As lovers, we poise together delicately on a tightrope. When the winds of doubt and fear begin blowing, if we panic and clutch at each other or abruptly turn away and head for cover, the rope sways more and more and our balance becomes even more precarious. To stay on the rope, we must shift with each other’s moves, respond to each other’s emotions. As we connect, we balance each other. We are in emotional equilibrium.”

Sue Johnson. “Hold Me Tight.” Little, Brown and Company, 2008-04-08.



“our assumptions keep us from appreciating what’s right in front of us”

“Assumptions bind us to the past, obscure the present, limit our sense of what’s possible, and elbow out joy.”

Sharon Salzberg. “Real Happiness - Enhanced Ebook Edition.” Workman Publishing, 2010.


part of who we are

"A basic law of the psyche is that whatever we try to exclude from conciousness will keep trying to regain entry, until we recognize and include it as part of who we are."

- John Welwood. "Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love." HarperPerennial, 1996

unconditional love

"Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being."

- Ram Dass


get the self out of the way

"The more we can get the self out of the way, the more clearly we can see the effect of our thoughts, words, and action upon ourselves and others."

Andrew Olendzki, “Moral Health”, tricycle.com


locked in our separateness

"I would say that most of us stay locked in our separateness and we are very frightened of coming out of it, we feel very vulnerable. In truth you’re not vulnerable at all. Who you think you are is vulnerable. Who you are is not vulnerable. This is the truth of it."

- Ram Dass


the challenge is to stay in the middle

"Anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state. It's the kind of place we usually want to avoid. The challenge is to stay in the middle rather than buy into struggle and complaint. The challenge is to let it soften us rather than make us more rigid and afraid."

Pema Chodron, “The In-between State”, tricycle.com


whatever experience is most helpful

"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness."

- Eckhart Tolle


mindfulness refines our attention

“Mindfulness refines our attention so that we can connect fully and directly with whatever life brings.”

Sharon Salzberg. “Real Happiness - Enhanced Ebook Edition.” Workman Publishing, 2010.


you must learn to ride fate

“You must learn to ride fate. Only by surrendering to the Pattern can you begin to have some control over the course of your own life. If you fight, the Pattern will still force you, and you will find only misery where you might have found contentment instead.”

Robert Jordan. “The Fires of Heaven.” Tom Doherty Associates.


the interrelatedness of everything

“if you can get into that place
where you see the interrelatedness of
And: you see the oneness in it all
Then: no longer are you attached
to your polarized position”

Ram Dass. “Be Here Now (Enhanced Edition).” HarperCollins, 2010-10-26.


stories that get in the way of direct experience

“Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience.”

Sharon Salzberg. “Real Happiness - Enhanced Ebook Edition.” Workman Publishing, 2010.


we miss a great deal

“We miss a great deal because our attention is distracted or because we’re so sure that we already know what’s going on that we don’t even look for new, important information.”

Sharon Salzberg. “Real Happiness - Enhanced Ebook Edition.” Workman Publishing, 2010.

don't compare or compete

"When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you."

- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching


everything changes all the time

“meditation has taught me how to cope with the profound truth that everything changes all the time.”

Sharon Salzberg. “Real Happiness - Enhanced Ebook Edition.” Workman Publishing, 2010.

we need very little to be happy

"Nature teaches us simplicity and contentment, because in its presence we realize we need very little to be happy."

Mark Coleman, "A Breath of Fresh Air", tricycle.com


start appreciating

"Stop fighting with your family members, spouse, or friends. Start appreciating. Enjoy each other. Stop looking at the other’s faults. Start to appreciate each other’s qualities. Life is short. Even if you live one hundred years, how long will you live with all your faculties intact? The period we have to appreciate each other is quite limited."

Gehlek Rimpoche, "An Interview with Gehlek Rimpoche", tricycle.com


advocating peace is not enough

"A hallmark of a genuine Buddhist practitioner is a truly peaceful mind. Advocating peace is not enough. One must have a mind that remains unflustered and nonaggressive even in extreme circumstances, including when one is provoked."

- Rita M. Gross, "Buddhism and Religious Diversity", tricycle.com

love is our bulwark

“Love is our bulwark, designed to provide emotional protection so we can cope with the ups and downs of existence.”

Sue Johnson. “Hold Me Tight.” Little, Brown and Company, 2008-04-08.


concentrate the mind on the present moment

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

- Gautama Siddhartha


a pattern that is all one color is no pattern

“The Creator is good, Perrin. The Father of Lies is evil. The Pattern of Age, the Age Lace itself, is neither. The Pattern is what is. The Wheel of Time weaves all lives into the Pattern, all actions. A pattern that is all one color is no pattern. For the Pattern of an Age, good and ill are the warp and the woof.”

Robert Jordan. “The Dragon Reborn.” Tom Doherty Associates, 1991.

the truth is not solid

"Just as being truly compassionate doesn’t mean always being sweet and nice (sometimes it means being cold, harsh), being truly honest doesn’t mean speaking your thoughts and feelings as they arise. Other awarenesses and intention must be at work—and a recognition that the truth is not solid."

Susan Piver Browne, “Right Speech”, tricycle.com


judging our emotions

"There isn’t any such thing as a negative emotion. There are negative things that we do with our emotions, but our emotions themselves are neither negative nor positive."

Robert Augustus Masters, "From Spiritual Bypassing", tricycle.com


communicate from the heart

"The next step is to learn to communicate with the people that you feel are causing your pain and misery - not to learn how to prove them wrong and yourself right but how to communicate from the heart. This is a lifetime's journey, and a profound one; it's not something that happens quickly or easily." 

- Pema Chödrön. "Start Where You Are."


take life as it comes

“Relax, lad. Take life as it comes. Run when you have to, fight when you must, rest when you can.”

Robert Jordan. “The Eye of the World.” Tom Doherty Associates.


the main point is not to get in trouble again

"The whole point of karma is to recognize how our actions determine our future, so that we can begin to act properly. It’s not just a cosmological or philosophical matter. It’s entirely practical. The main point is not to get in trouble again."

Matthieu Ricard, "Karma Crossroads", tricycle.com


happiness is never won that way

"Whatever realization may come by way of silence, our happiness is never won that way. Happiness is not happiness unless it is shared. For happiness is the one thing in all the world that comes to us only at the moment we give it, and is likewise increased by being given away."

Clark Strand, “The Wisdom of Frogs”, tricycle.com


do we come back?

"The important question is not whether we go away sometimes, but whether we come back. Although we may never be able to handle everything that comes along perfectly, it is the intention to face what is happening that allows a relationship to keep moving forward."

- John Welwood. "Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love." HarperPerennial, 1996


a better time on the trip

"In the long run the pessimist may be proven right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip." 

- Daniel L. Reardon


stop and notice

“Until we stop and notice what is happening in the present moment, we cannot generate joy, awareness, or compassion.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh. “Work.” Parallax Press.

this is all there is right now!

“But I’m so young!
I have so many things to do yet!
Well! that’ll sure keep you from
Being here & now
Life is passing me by!
But, if I live just in the here & now
won’t there be chaos? What happens
if the telephone rings?
Well: the here & now is the fact
that the telephone is ringing!
Pick it up!
Well: what if somebody wants to
make an appointment to see me
3 weeks from now?
Write it down. That’s here & now
Well, what happens 3 weeks from now?
3 weeks from now there’s that
appointment. Then: that is here & now.
When your child comes down the stairs
This is the first moment all over again
This is
Buddha meeting Buddha
Over toast & coffee
Over milk & porridge
Over mu tea & brown rice
We never had breakfast before!
This is it!!
This is all there is
Right now!
If it’s not good enuf, man, it’s not good enuf”

Ram Dass. “Be Here Now (Enhanced Edition).” HarperCollins, 2010-10-26.


a respectful awareness

“Mindfulness is this kind of attention. It is a nonjudging, receptive awareness, a respectful awareness.”

Jack Kornfield. “Bringing Home the Dharma.” Shambhala Publications.


giving in to anger

"When you give in to aversion and anger, it’s as though, having decided to kill someone by throwing him into a river, you wrap your arms around his neck, jump into the water with him, and you both drown. In destroying your enemy, you destroy yourself as well."

Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, "Putting Down the Arrow", tricycle.com


take life as it comes

“Relax, lad. Take life as it comes. Run when you have to, fight when you must, rest when you can.”

- Robert Jordan. “The Eye of the World.” Tom Doherty Associates.


why be upset about it?

"If you can do something to change the circumstances, why be upset about it? And if you cannot do anything to change the circumstances, why be upset about it?"

- Ogyen Trinley Dorje, "Your Own Noble Heart," Tricycle Magazine, Summer 2013

in the pursuit of enlightenment

"In the pursuit of knowledge, something is added every day. In the pursuit of enlightenment, something is dropped every day."

- Lao Tzu


feeling grateful for what we already have

“Feeling grateful for what we already have, being aware that we have more than enough conditions for happiness in the present moment is very important. It is good to start the day with this sort of awareness.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh. “Work.” Parallax Press.


learning how to think

“'Learning how to think' really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think.

It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.”

- David Foster Wallace. “This Is Water.” Little, Brown and Company, 2009-04-14.

when two people connect being-to-being

"The ground of a strong and lasting commitment is the passionate connection between two people whose beings say yes to each other. When two people connect being-to-being, they experience a deep 'soul-resonance' that goes beyond mere romance or desire."

- John Welwood. "Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love." HarperPerennial, 1996


disengaging from confusion

"Once we taste the freedom that comes with independence, it gets easier. We realize how much we have lost by desperately holding on, and we know how much there is to gain through disengaging from confusion. We can do this while expanding our most precious qualities: our good heart and our compassion for others."

Dzigar Kongtrul, “Old Relationships, New Possibilities”, tricycle.com


you start to go for something deeper

"And you start to go for something deeper. You start to go to meet another human being in truth. And truth is scary. Truth has bad breath at times; truth is boring; truth burns the food; truth is all the stuff. Truth has anger; truth has all of it. And you stay in it and you keep working with it and your keep opening to it and you keep deepening it."

- Ram Dass, ramdass.org

trying to control the future

"Trying to control the future is like trying to take the master carpenter's place...chances are that you'll cut your hand."

- Lao Tzu


keep alive your understanding

"The seeds of anger are always there. But when you notice, when you keep alive your understanding, they have no chance to manifest. Understanding is something that stays with you, and practicing the precepts, practicing meditation, helps you deepen your understanding all the time."

- Thich Nhat Hanh, “Interbeing with Thich Nhat Hanh”, tricycle.com


choosing to work with obstacles

"Commitment means choosing to work with those obstacles that interfere with the free flow of love, both in ourselves and in the relationship."

- John Welwood. "Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love." HarperPerennial, 1996

act with skillful intentions

"The teaching on karma starts with the principle that people experience happiness and sorrow based on a combination of their past and present intentions. If we act with unskillful intentions either for ourselves or for others, we’re going to suffer. If we act with skillful intentions, we’ll experience happiness. So if we want to be happy, we have to train our intentions to always be skillful."

- Thanissaro Bhikkhu, “Head & Heart Together”, tricycle.com


changing ourselves

"Changing ourselves involves learning how to develop those states, behaviors, and dispositions that are healthy, while allowing the unhealthy ones to atrophy from neglect."

- Andrew Olendzki, "Turning the Corner", tricycle.com


the collective act of getting over it

"that’s what progress is -- the collective act of getting over it."

- Kevin Arnovitz

keep on keeping on

"The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keeping on"

- Bob Dylan


giving up all freedom

"One of the worst kinds of elevation of the self is playing the victim. There are times when we actually are victims, when actual blame is appropriate, but to take on the identity of a victim and be stuck blaming is something else. Surprisingly, it is actually a subtle form of elevation—I’m not responsible, you are. This is giving up all freedom."

- Nancy Baker, "The Seventh Zen Precept", tricycle.com


baby, this is the way it is

“You see: The opposite of craving is saying
Baby, this is the way it is yeah
ok here & now this is it
I Accept The Here & Now
• as • it • is •
Right at this moment !!!”

- Ram Dass. “Be Here Now (Enhanced Edition).” HarperCollins, 2010-10-26.


it’s useless to fight

“The next time you are caught in traffic, whether on the highway or in the middle of the city, don’t fight. Just accept it. It’s useless to fight. Sit back and smile to yourself. Know that you’re alive and that the present moment is the only moment of life available to you. Don’t waste it. Know that this moment has the potential to be a wonderful one.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh. “Work.” Parallax Press.


having your buttons pushed

"Every time your buttons get pushed is like a big mirror showing you your own face..."

- Pema Chodron


come back to the center

“Wherever you get attached, let go and come back to the center. With balanced awareness, you can be here now, gracious, awake, present, and free.”

- Jack Kornfield. “Bringing Home the Dharma.” Shambhala Publications.


the power of perspective

"Only a being’s perspective leads to suffering. Two people in the exact same situation, according to their outlook and expectations, can have completely different experiences. Turn that around, and any conditions can be a vehicle for bondage—or freedom and awakening."

- Vinny Ferraro, "The Heartful Dodger", tricycle.com


work on ourselves

We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves.

- Pema Chödrön


you shall be free indeed

“You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief,

But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.”

- Kahlil Gibran. “The Prophet.” Vigo Books, 2010-11-01.

look for the helpers

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."

- Fred Rogers


your own inner voice

“If you listen to your own inner voice, it will tell you where you are now, and which method will work best for you in your evolution towards the light.”

- Ram Dass. “Be Here Now (Enhanced Edition).” HarperCollins, 2010-10-26.


the heart becomes free

“We pay attention with respect and interest, not in order to manipulate, but to understand what is true. And seeing what is true, the heart becomes free.”

- Jack Kornfield. “Bringing Home the Dharma.” Shambhala Publications.


be present

"We cannot be present and run our story-line at the same time."

- Pema Chodron

simple as that!

“The only way to get away
Change Your Head!
Simple as that!
You want to change your environment?
Change Your Head!!”

- Ram Dass. “Be Here Now (Enhanced Edition).” HarperCollins, 2010-10-26.


letting go is not a dramatic moment

"The starting point is realizing that letting go is not a dramatic moment we build up to some time in the future. It is happening now, in the present moment—it is not singular but ongoing. Letting go is based on our present realization of the reality of impermanence."

- Judy Lief, “Letting Go”


a good plan is only step one

“Success isn’t making a good plan and following it no matter what. Success is understanding that a good plan is step one on a long journey, and then moving on to step two when the time comes.”

- Kelly McCullough. “Crossed Blades.” Penguin Group, USA, 2012-11-08.


a part-time Buddha

“You don’t need to become a full-time Buddha. You don’t need to be fully enlightened. A part-time Buddha is good enough.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh. “Work.” Parallax Press.


let it wake us up

"Everything in our lives can wake us up or put us to sleep, and basically it’s up to us to let it wake us up."

- Pema Chodron


an instrument of peace

“When you practice mindfulness and generate peace and joy, you become an instrument of peace, bringing peace and joy to yourself and to others.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh. “Work.” Parallax Press.


it takes only a few breaths

“It takes only a few breaths to generate the energy of mindfulness and to bring us back to the present moment.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh. “Work.” Parallax Press.

the best thing we can do for the future

“We should live the present moment in such a way that peace and joy are possible in the here and the now—that love and understanding are possible. That is the best thing we can do for the future.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh. “Work.” Parallax Press.


no amount of sitting will get you there

"...wisdom which may never get stale, but no amount of sitting will get you there until you just experience it standing up."

- Stacia Trask, "Hot Cross Buns, Magnum PI's Grin, & the Anger That Arises in Meditation (w Yin-Tangy, Not Quite White Icing)," www.peacefoodlove.com


our true sense of sameness

"With so much verbiage flying about this week over same-sex marriage, and so much in the news about gendered play and toys, it occurred to me that it's we, the supposed grown-ups, who have lost our true sense of sameness."

- Stacia Trask, "Yolking It Together: from Play Therapy to Dancing With the Star Wars," www.peacefoodlove.com


the principle of warriorship

"This is the principle of warriorship: overwhelming odds do not daunt us. In fact, as more challenges arise, the courage and vigor of the warrior increase. So with the proper training, we are able to see the confusion of this dark age as an opportunity to sharpen our weapons of gentleness, fearlessness, and precision."

- Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, "Are We Basically Good?", Shambhala Sun, May 2013


love penetrates our usual shield of defenses

"A relationship that has any depth and power at all will inevitably penetrate our usual shield of defenses, exposing our most tender and sensitive spots, and leaving us feeling vulnerable--literally, 'able to be wounded.'"

- John Welwood. "Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love." HarperPerennial, 1996

don't resist change

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow."

- Lao Tzu


fully live the life that is arriving

"The problem with our life does not lie in the individual circumstances or occurrences of our day-to-day existence. It’s not that they’re inherently meaningless and boring. The problem is that we make them meaningless and boring; because we are so invested in maintaining our own sense of self, we actually don’t relate to anything in a direct way. Unwilling to fully live the life that is arriving in our bodies moment by moment, we find ourselves left with no real life at all."

- Reggie Ray, "Touching Enlightenment"


secret of happiness

"The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles."

- William Penn

the obstacle is fear

"In order to practice, we have to surrender, we have to take a risk. Otherwise what we’re doing is standing back in order to judge, in order to feel superior. Often the obstacle is fear: we don’t think we’ll ever succeed. And so we’d rather stand apart and be cynical, to feel protected in that way, not having to try."

- Sharon Salzberg, "Sitting on the Fence"


love only responds to love

“Ram loves only love,” which means that love only responds to love. There can be no manipulation in love. You can’t rip a heart open, or force a heart to feel love. When we know that, then we know the truth, and when we open to that love, we allow it to flow.”

- Krishna Das. “Chants of a Lifetime.” Hay House, Inc., 2012-07-14.


the path is about love

“Even so, it’s not about the concept of God for me. The path is about love; it’s about being connected, feeling that presence, and being in that love. That’s the place I sing to. And that place is always here because it’s not outside—it’s inside. So all I have to do is remember to look for it and move into it.”

- Krishna Das. “Chants of a Lifetime.” Hay House, Inc., 2012-07-14.

true freedom

"True freedom comes when we follow our Buddha nature, the natural goodness of our heart."

- Jack Kornfield

allow joy to come out

"Joy is not something we have to manufacture. It is already in us when we come into the world. We need only release the layers of contraction and fear that keep us from it."

- James Baraz, “Lighten Up!”


be grateful for your mistakes

"It’s only our mistakes that bring us to the place where we should have been all along."

- Pico Iyer, "My Bad"


something will happen

"Without concentration, our minds spin off into the future in a way that isn't like skillful planning but more like exhausting rumination. When I see my own mind beginning that arc of anxiety, I have a saying I use to help restore me to balance: 'Something will happen.' ...Something will happen. I can't figure it all out right now."

- Sharon Salzberg, "Meditation: Start Here," Mindful Magazine, April 2013

don't hold on

"We don't have to let go, we simply have to not hold on."

- Joseph Goldstein, "Empty Phenomena Rolling On"


how we speak to ourselves

"The Buddha saw that we are always engaged in relationships, starting with that most significant relationship: the one with ourselves. On the cushion we notice how we speak to ourselves—sometimes with compassion, sometimes with judgment or impatience. Our words are a powerful medium with which we can bring happiness or cause suffering." - Allan Lokos, "Skillful Speech"


your strongest link

“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link. This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link.” - Kahlil Gibran. “The Prophet.” Vigo Books, 2010-11-01.


not too tight and not too loose

"Once when the Buddha was asked about the optimal way to be, he answered, using the analogy of a stringed instrument, 'Not too tight and not too loose.' Even the Buddha could not define or formulate this state; he could only say what it was not, and invite his questioner to find it for himself." - John Welwood. "Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love." HarperPerennial, 1996

enlightenment is found where you are

“Enlightenment and liberation are not found in the Himalayas, nor in some ancient monasteries. They are only found where you are.” - Jack Kornfield. “Bringing Home the Dharma.” Shambhala Publications.


when love comes down to earth

"When love comes down to earth--bringing to light those dark corners we would prefer to ignore, encompassing all the different parts of who we are--it gains depth and power." - John Welwood. "Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love." HarperPerennial, 1996


learning to balance "we" and "me"

"Giving ourselves to a loving partnership while remaining true to ourselves, learning to balance "we" and "me," is the central challenge of intimate relationships." - John Welwood. "Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love." HarperPerennial, 1996

our shelter within

"When we can be secure in our inner source for true happiness, we don’t expose ourselves to the devastation that comes when outside hopes for happiness and security are dashed. We have our shelter, our place of security, inside. And we needn’t be afraid that this is an escapist shelter. When the basis of our well-being is firm within, we can act with true courage and compassion for others, for we’re coming from a solid position of calmness and strength." - Thanissaro Bhikkhu, “What We’ve Been Practicing For”


learning not to panic

"Sticking with uncertainty, relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path." - Pema Chodron


when love beckons to you follow him

“When love beckons to you follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.”

- Kahlil Gibran. “The Prophet.” Vigo Books, 2010-11-01.

love springs spontaneously

“Love has to spring spontaneously from within: and
it is in no way amenable to any form of inner or outer
- Ram Dass. “Be Here Now (Enhanced Edition).” HarperCollins, 2010-10-26.


the art of being wrong

"Peace and kindness have their best shot at establishing themselves when we accept our own inadequacy, when limitation and error become aspects of ourselves we can embrace rather than strive to mask." - Henry Shukman, "The Art of Being Wrong"


real intimacy

"When we try to make relationships fit into a familiar, conventional fantasy we lose the spice that brings out the richest flavors of love: the unknown. Real intimacy is, first and foremost, a journey into this unknown." - John Welwood. "Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love." HarperPerennial, 1996

love the questions themselves

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” - R. M. Rilke


only the present moment

"Every moment in life is absolute in itself. That's all there is. There is nothing other than this present moment; there is no past, there is no future; there is nothing but this. So when we don't pay attention to each little this, we miss the whole thing. " - Charlotte Joko Beck, "Attention Means Attention"


worry robs today

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only robs today of its joy." - Leo Buscaglia

relaxed awareness

"When the thinking mind takes a break for even a few seconds, a kind of relaxed awareness replaces the usual stream of thoughts. We need to encourage this and not fill this space with anything else; just let it be" - Tsultrim Allione, "Feeding Your Demons"


you’ve got to go at the rate you can go

“you’ve got to go at the rate you can go.
You wake up at the rate you wake up.
You’re finished with your desires
at the rate
you finish with your desires.
The disequilibrium comes into harmony at the rate it comes into harmony.
You Can’t Rip
The skin off
The snake. The snake must moult
the skin. That’s the rate it happens.”

- Ram Dass. “Be Here Now (Enhanced Edition).” HarperCollins, 2010-10-26.


the true path

“The true path is one of letting go and allowing the process of awakening to open us to every moment without attachment.” - Jack Kornfield. “Bringing Home the Dharma.” Shambhala Publications.


"There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot." - Plato


"If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is." - Unknown

changing directions

"Mindfulness allows us to watch our thoughts, see how one thought leads to the next, decide if we’re heading toward an unhealthy path, and if so, let go and change directions." - Sharon Salzberg, "Mindfulness and Difficult Emotions"


a foundation of presence

"Through mindfulness, we develop greater composure and a heightened sensitivity to nonverbal communication. Then, to the extent that we ourselves are present, we can radiate that same quality outward to the people around us. It is hard to be generous, disciplined, or patient if we are not fully present. If we are present and attentive, and our mind is flexible, we are more receptive to the environment around us." - Judy Lief, “On the Contagious Power of Presence”


planting the seeds of goodness

"When you plant seeds in the garden, you don’t dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet. You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time. Similarly, just do your daily practice and cultivate a kind heart. Abandon impatience and instead be content creating the causes for goodness; the results will come when they’re ready." - Thubten Chodron, “Meditator’s Toolbox”


perfect moments

"Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect." - Unknown


marriage as a conscious relationship

"In marriage as a conscious relationship, the container is the commitment to stay with it no matter how difficult is is, the willingness 'to bring awareness to whatever is going on, rather than acting out your conditioned patterns from the past. You take everything, all the challenges in the relationship, as opportunities to become more fully awake, to become more fully present, loving, and giving.'" - Andrea Miller citing John Welwood, "When Ego Meets Non-Ego," Shambhala Sun, March 2013

what you do right now is what matters

"Don’t get caught up in hopes of what you’ll achieve and how good your situation will be some day in the future. What you do right now is what matters." - Pema Chodron, “Bite-Sized Buddhism”

right knowledge

Right knowledge is seeing things as they really are by direct experience, not as they appear to be, nor as the practitioner wants them to be, but as they truly are. - Buddhist teaching


"When you admit to yourself, 'I must make this change to be more happy'—not because the Buddha said so, but because your heart recognized a deep truth—you must devote all your energy to making the change. You need strong determination to overcome harmful habits. But the payoff is happiness—not just for today but for always." - Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

being happy

"Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections." - Unknown

drive all blames into one

"'Drive all blames into one' means that you can't blame anyone for what happens. Even if it's actually someone's fault, you really can't blame them. Something happened, and since it did, there is nothing else to be done but to make use of it." - Norman Fischer, "Life is Tough: Six Ways to Deal With It," Shambhala Sun, March 2013