1) “Our thoughts limit our experience. When you can let go of your thoughts, you can be fully alive in the present moment. The answers you seek lie beyond thought.”
2) “My name doesn’t matter; neither does yours. What is important is what lies beyond names and beyond questions.”
3) “The birth of the mind is the death of the senses”
4) “Satori is the warrior’s state of being; it occurs at the moment when the mind is free of thought, pure awareness; the body is active, sensitive, relaxed; and the emotions are open and free.”
5) “Remember, every-moment satori.”
6) “The warrior is Here, Now.”
7) “You have to ‘lose your mind’ before you can come to your senses.”
8) “Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for. The warrior is here, now. Your sorrow, your fear & anger, regret & guilt, your envy and plans and cravings live only in the past, or in the future.”
9) “Your business is not to ‘get somewhere’ — it is to be here.”
10) “You have been immortal since before you were born and will be long after the body dissolves. The body is Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind — your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity — is all that ends at death.”
1) “We often believe that words are facts, but in the end, words are just another thing created by humans!”
2) “When you look at it(anything) or hold it and let it be without imposing a word or mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you.It’s essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you…
…This is what great artists sense and succeed in conveying in their art…
…When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life that was lost a long time ago when humanity, instead of using thought, became possessed by thought. A depth returns to your life. Things regain their newness, their freshness.”
3) “And the greatest miracle is the experiencing of your essential self as prior to any words, thoughts, mental labels, and images.”
4) “So does TV watching create inner space? Does it cause you to be present? Unfortunately, it does not…
…Your mind is inactive only in the sense that it is not producing thoughts. It is, however, continuously absorbing thoughts and images that come through the TV screen. This induces a trancelike passive state of heightened susceptibility, not unlike hypnosis…
…That is why it lends itself to manipulation of “public opinion,” as politicians and special-interest groups as well as advertisers know and will pay millions of dollars to catch you in that state of receptive unawareness. They want their thoughts to become your thoughts, and usually they succeed…
…Television has this in common with alcohol and certain other drugs. While it provides some relief from your mind, you again pay a high price: loss of consciousness. Like those drugs, it too has a strong addictive quality.”
5) “Nobody can tell you who you are.”
6) “Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem.”
7) “It’s okay to try and figure out about yourself, but don’t confuse knowing about yourself with knowing yourself…
…The psychoanalysis tells you about yourself, they tell you about how your past has conditioned your behavior and thoughts but it is not you Tolle says. It is content, not essence. Going beyond ego is stepping out of content. Knowing yourself is being yourself, and being yourself is ceasing to identify with content.”
8) “Knowing yourself deeply has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around in your mind. Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind.”
9) “You are not the ego, so when you become aware of the ego in you, it does not mean you know who you are – it means you know who you are not. But it is through knowing who you are not that the greatest obstacle to truly knowing yourself is removed.”
10) “We need to bear in mind here that nothing we say about the nature of the universe should be taken as an absolute truth…
…Neither concepts nor mathematical formulae can explain the infinite. No thought can encapsulate the vastness of the totality. Reality is a unified whole, but thought cuts it up into fragments. This gives rise to fundamental misperceptions, for example, that there are separate things and events, or that this is the cause of that…
…Only the whole is true, but the whole cannot be spoken or thought. Seen from beyond the limitations of thinking and therefore incomprehensible to the human mind, everything is happening now…
…As an illustration of relative and absolute truth, consider the sunrise and sunset. When we say the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, that is true but only relatively. In absolute terms, it is false…
…Only from the limited perspective of an observer on or near the planet’s surface does the sun rise and set. If you were far out in space, you would see that the sun neither rises nor sets, but that it shines continuously. And yet, even after realizing that, we can continue to speak of the sunrise or sunset, still see its beauty paint it, write poems about it, even though we now know that it is a relative rather than an absolute truth…
…So let us continue to speak for a moment of another relative truth: the coming into form of the universe and its return to the formless, which implies the limited perspective of time, and see what relevance this has to your own life…
…The notion of “my own life” is, of course, another limited perspective created by thought, another relative truth. There is ultimately no such thing as “your” life, since you and life are not two, but one.”
11) “There may be a period of insecurity and uncertainty. What should I do? As the ego is no longer running your life, the psychological need for external security, which is illusory anyway, lessens…
…You are able to live with uncertainty, even enjoy it. When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change…
…The Roman philosopher Tacitus rightly observed that ‘the desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise…’
…If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity…
…Many years ago, as a result of a strong inner impulse, I walked out of an academic career that the world would have called ‘promising,’ stepping into complete uncertainty; and out of that, after several years, emerged my new incarnation as a spiritual teacher.”
12) “Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. And what is that? There is a sense of quality in what you do, even the most simple action. Quality implies care and attention, which comes with awareness. Quality requires your Presence.”
1) “Look into their minds, at what the wise do and what they don’t.”
2) “Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, ‘why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?’ You’ll be embarrassed to answer.”
3) “God sees all our souls freed from their fleshly containers, stripped clean of their bark, cleansed of their grime. If you learn to do the same, you can avoid a great deal of distress.”
4) “You can discard most of the junk that clutters your mind—things that exist only there—and clear out space for yourself: —By comprehending the scale of the world. —By contemplating infinite time. —By thinking of the speed with which things change—each part of everything; the narrow space between our birth and death; the infinite time before; the equally unbounded time that follows.”
5) “Nothing that goes on in anyone else’s mind can harm you. Nor can the shifts and changes in the world around you. —Then where is harm to be found? —In your capacity to see it. Stop doing that and everything will be fine. Let the part of you that makes that judgment keep quiet no matter what the body attaches itself to.”
6) “The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.”
7) “Beautiful things of any kind are beautiful in themselves and sufficient to themselves. Praise is extraneous. The object of praise remains what it was—no better and no worse.—Is an emerald suddenly flawed if no one admires it???”
8) “Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, thats when he has you in his spell.”
9) “Things are wrapped in such a veil of mystery that many good philosophers have found it impossible to make sense of them. Even the stoics have trouble. Any assessment we make is subject to alteration—just as we are ourselves.”
10) “That nothing belongs to anyone. Children, body, life itself—all of them come from the same source.”
11) “Characteristics of the rational soul: Self-perception, self-examination, and the power to make of itself whatever it wants. —It reaps its own harvest. —It reaches its intended goal, no matter where the limit of its life is set. No matter which task you pick-it has fulfilled its mission, done its work completely. So that it can say, ‘I have what I came for.’—
—It surveys the world and the empty space around it, and the way its put together. It delves into the endlessness of time to extend its grasp and comprehension of the periodic births and rebirths the world goes through. It knows that those who come after us will see nothing different, and those who came before us saw no more than we do.—Affection for its neighbors. Truthfulness. Humility. Not to place anything above itself.”
12) “Give yourself a gift: the present moment.”
13) “If you can cut yourself—your mind—free of what other people do or say, of what you’ve said or done, of the things that you’re afraid will happen, the impositions of the body that contains you and the breath within, so the mind is freed from fate, brought to clarity, and lives life on its own recognizance—doing what’s right, accepting what happens, and speaking the truth—
—If you can cut free of impressions that cling to the mind, free of the future and the past—can make yourself ‘a sphere rejoicing in its perfect stillness’ And concentrate on living what can be lived (The present moment) —-then you can spend the time you have left in tranquility. And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you.”
14) “Alexander and Caesar and Pompey. Compared with Diogenes, Heraclitus, Socrates?? The philosophers knew the what, the why, the how. Their minds were their own. —The others?? Nothing but anxiety and enslavement.”
15) “People ask, have you ever seen the gods you worship? How can you be sure they exist? Answers—Just look around….I’ve never seen my soul either, and yet I revere it —I Know they exist because I’ve felt their power over and over.”
16) “So keep this refuge in mind: the back roads of your self. Above all, no strain and no stress. Be straightforward. Look at things like a man, like a human, like a mortal.”
17) “External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.”
18) “So too a healthy mind should be prepared for anything. The one that keeps saying ‘Are my children all right?’ Or ‘everyone must approve of me’ is like eyes that can only stand pale colors, or teeth that can handle only mush.”
19) “Wash yourself clean. With simplicity, with humility, with indifference to everything but right and wrong.”
20) “Don’t be disturbed. Un-complicate yourself. Something happens to you. Good. It was meant for you by nature, woven into the pattern from the beginning.”
21) “Pray for others and pray not to feel fear, or desire, or grief… —Isn’t it better to do what’s up to you?? Like a free man! —Start praying like this and you’ll see.
—Not “some way to sleep with her” but a way to stop wanting to.
—Not “some way to get rid of him” but a way to stop trying.
—Not “some way to save my child” but a way to lose your fear.
REDIRECT your prayers like that, and watch what happens.”
22) “I am part of a world controlled by nature. I have a relationship with other, similar parts. And with that in mind I have no right, as a part, to complain about what is assigned me by the whole. Because what benefits the whole can’t harm the parts, and the whole does nothing that doesn’t benefit it.”
23) “And why is it so hard when things go against you? If it’s imposed by nature, accept it gladly and stop fighting it. And if not, work out what your own nature requires, and aim at that, even if it brings you no glory.”
24) “That no one can say truthfully that you are not a straightforward or honest person. That anyone who thinks that believes a falsehood. The responsibility is all yours; no one can stop you from being honest or straightforward. Simply resolve not to go on living if you aren’t. It would be contrary to the logos.”
25) “Four habits of thought to watch for, and erase from your mind when you catch them. Tell yourself:
—This thought is unnecessary.
—This one is destructive to the people around you.
—This wouldn’t be what you really think.
—That the more divine part of you has been beaten and subdued by the degraded mortal part—the body and its stupid self-indulgence.”
26) “Because to be drawn toward what is wrong and self-indulgent, toward anger and fear and pain, is to revolt against nature. And for the mind to complain about anything that happens is to desert its post. It was created to show reverence-respect for the divine—no less than to act justly.”
27) “If this evil is not of my doing, nor the result of it, and the community is not endangered, why should it bother me? Where is the danger for the community?”
28) “As you move forward in the logos, people will stand in your way. They can’t keep you from doing what’s healthy; don’t let them stop you from putting up with them either. Take care on both counts. Not just sound judgments, solid actions—tolerances as well, for those who try to obstruct us or give us trouble in other ways.”
29) “It’s normal to feel stress and pain as a human, as a normal human being. And if it’s normal how can it be bad?”
30) “That it’s about how you choose to see things. That the present is all we have to live in. Or to lose.”
31) “If the problem is you’re not doing something you think you should be doing, why not just do it?”
32) “The mind in itself has no needs, except for those it creates itself. Is undisturbed, except for its own disturbances. Knows no obstructions, except those from within.”
33) “Keep in mind that when the mind detaches itself and realizes its own nature, it no longer has anything to do with ordinary life-the rough & the smooth.”
34) “Stop perceiving the pain you imagine and you’ll remain completely unaffected.”
35) “Comparing a man who people are mocking and a spring of clear water: —”A man standing by a spring of clear, sweet water and cursing it. While the fresh water keeps on bubbling up. He can shovel mud into it, or dung, and the stream will carry it away, wash itself clean, remain unstained. — To have that. NOT A CISTERN BUT A PERPETUAL SPRING. — HOW?? BY WORKING TO WIN YOUR FREEDOM. HOUR BY HOUR. THROUGH PATIENCE, HONESTY, HUMILITY.”
36) “You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought: everything random, everything irrelevant. And certainly everything self-important or malicious. Get used to winnowing your thoughts so you aren’t ashamed of what you’re thinking.”
37) “The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all. And before long you’ll be no one, nowhere—like Hadrian, like Augustus.
The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.”
38) “People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like….By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful-more free of interruptions- than you own soul An instants recollection and there it is: complete tranquility (think of pleasant memories). A quick visit to this mindful place will be enough to ward off all nonsense and send you back ready to fave what awaits you.”
39) “The mind without passions is a fortress. No place is more secure. Once we take refuge there we are safe forever. Not to see this is ignorance. To see it and not seek safety means misery.”
1) Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
2) How do you find the divine power in yourself? The word enthusiasm means ‘filled with a god,’ so what makes you enthusiastic? Follow it. So I have a little word: follow your bliss. The bliss is the message of God to yourself. That’s where your life is.
3) To find your own way is to follow your bliss. This involves analysis, watching yourself and seeing where real deep bliss is — not the quick little excitement, but the real deep, life-filling bliss.
4) I have found that you have only to take that one step toward the gods, and they will then take ten steps toward you. That step, the heroic first step of the journey, is out of, or over the edge of, your boundaries, and it often must be taken before you know that you will be supported.
5) The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. Fear of the unknown is our greatest fear. Many of us would enter a tiger’s lair before we would enter a dark cave. While caution is a useful instinct, we lose many opportunities and much of the adventure of life if we fail to support the curious explorer within us.
6) The world is full of people who have stopped listening to themselves or have listened only to their neighbors to learn what they ought to do, how they ought to behave, and what the values are they should be living for.
7) There are something like 18 billion cells in the brain alone. There are no two brains alike; there are no two hands alike; there are no two human beings alike. You can take your instructions and your guidance from others, but you must find your own path.
8) Breaking out is following your bliss pattern, quitting the old place, starting your hero journey, following your bliss. You throw off yesterday as the snake sheds its skin.
9) Questing is not an ego trip; it is an adventure to bring into fulfillment your gift to the world, which is yourself. There is nothing you can do that’s more important than being fulfilled. You become a sign, you become a signal, transparent to transcendence; in this way you will find, live, become a realization of your own personal myth.
10) You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path…Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path. You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realize your potential.
11) Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital; your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer. There IS a track just waiting for each of us and once on it, doors will open that were not open before and would not open for anyone else.
12) What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There’s always the possibility of fiasco. But there’s also the possibility of bliss.
13) If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.
14) The achievement of the hero is one that he is ready for and it’s really a manifestation of his character. It’s amusing the way in which the landscape and conditions of the environment match the readiness of the hero. The adventure that he is ready for is the one that he gets.
15) When you are on the right path, invisible hands will come to your aid.
16) Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.
17) Follow your inner heart and the world moves in and helps.
18) When you go through life…it all seems accidental at the time it is happening. Then when you get on in your 60s or 70s and look back, your life looks like a well-planned novel with a coherent theme…Incidents that seemed accidental, pure chance, turn out to be major elements in the structuring of this novel. Schopenhauer says, ‘Who wrote this novel? You did.’
19) A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder. Fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won.
1) “‘But what if I can’t?’
‘Then you’ll die in the midst of trying to realize your destiny. That’s a lot better than dying like millions of other people, who never even knew what their destinies were.’”
2) “‘Why don’t people’s hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?’
‘Because that’s what makes a heart suffer most, and hearts don’t like to suffer.’”
3) “He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”
4) “‘And what went wrong when other alchemists tried to make gold and were unable to do so?’
‘They were looking only for gold. They were seeking the treasure of their destiny, without wanting actually to live out the destiny.’”
5) “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.”
6) “And anyone who interferes with the destiny of another thing never will discover his own.”
7) “My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer.’
‘Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering it self. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.’”
8) “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
9) “It’s true; life really is generous to those who pursue their destiny.”
10) “…When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.”
11) “To do that successfully, I must have no fear of failure. It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the Master Work. Now, I’m beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years.”
12) “‘Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,’ his heart said. ‘We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”
13) “The boy told himself that, on the way toward realizing his own destiny, he had learned all he needed to know, and had experienced everything he might have dreamed of.”
1) “You don’t need a reason to be happy. If you do that reason can be taken away.”
2) “‘What do I do then, now? Where do I go from here?’ Dan asked Socrates.
‘Who cares?’ He yelled gleefully. ‘A fool is ‘happy’ when his cravings are satisfied. A warrior is happy without reason. That’s what makes happiness the ultimate discipline—above all else I have taught you.’”
3) “Reality never matched their dreams; happiness was just around the corner — a corner they never turned. And the source of it all was the human mind.”
4) “There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, just be happy. You are already free!”
5) “Sometimes sorrow, sometimes joy. But beneath it all remember the innate perfection of your life unfolding. That is the secret of unreasonable happiness.”
6) “And so I awoke to reality, free of any meaning or any search. What could there possibly be to search for? All of Socrate’s words had come alive with my death. This was the paradox of it all, the humor of it all, and the great change. All searches, all achievements, all goals, were equally enjoyable, and equally unnecessary.”
7) “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
8) “Act happy, be happy, without a reason in the world. Then you can love, and do what you will.”
1) “The ego could be defined simply in this way: a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment.”
2) “Making yourself right and others wrong is one of the principal egos mind patterns, one of the main forms of unconsciousness.”
3) “In Zen they say: ‘Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions.’ What does that mean? Let go of identification with your mind. Who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself.”
4) “The more people identify with their minds, the more they suffer…
…If the sufferer could look at her body without the interfering judgments of her mind or even recognize those judgments for what they are instead of believing in them—or if she could feel her body from within—this would initiate her healing…
…Those who identify with their good looks, strength, or abilities experience suffering when those attributes begin to fade and disappear, as of course they will.”
5) “‘I’ always leads to suffering sooner or later. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn’t mean that you neglect, despise, or no longer care for it. Enjoy and appreciate its attributes while they last. Right nutrition and exercise too.”
6) “Your personality, which is conditioned by the past, then becomes your prison. Your memories are invested with a sense of self, and your story becomes who you perceive yourself to be. This ‘little me’ is an illusion that obscures your true identity as timeless and formless Presence.”
7) “The ego isn’t wrong; it’s just unconscious. When you observe the ego in yourself, you are beginning to go beyond it. Don’t take the ego too seriously. When you detect ego behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh.”
8) “Your Being then does not shine through form anymore – or only barely. Through nonresistance to form, that in you which is beyond form emerges as an all-encompassing Presence, a silent power far greater than your short-lived form identity, the person. It is more deeply who you are than anything in the world of form.”
9) “It comes as no surprise that those people who work without ego are extraordinarily successful at what they do. Anybody who is one with what he or she does is building the new earth.”
10) “When you make the present moment, instead of past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do – and with it the quality of your life – increases dramatically.”
11) “All truly successful action comes out of that field of alert attention, rather than from ego and conditioned, unconscious thinking.”
12) “To sum up: Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work toward, becomes enthusiasm. Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose…
…Make sure your vision or goal is not an inflated image of yourself and therefore a concealed form of ego, such as wanting to become a movie star, a famous writer, or a wealthy entrepreneur. Also make sure your goal is not focused on having this or that, such as a mansion by the sea, your own company, or ten million dollars in the bank. An enlarged image of yourself or a vision of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don’t empower you…
…Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as to the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows form the unmanifested Source of all life through you for the benefit of all.”
13) “Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.”
14) “Many people don’t realize until they are on their deathbed and everything external falls away that no thing ever had anything to do with who they are…
…In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless…
…They also realize that while they were looking throughout their lives for a more complete sense of self, what they were really looking for, their Being, had actually always already been there, but had been largely obscured by their identification with things, which ultimately means identification with their mind…
…‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven.’
Poor in spirit means no inner baggage, no identifications. Not with things, nor with any mental concepts that have a sense of self in them…
…The kingdom of heaven can be the profound joy of Being that is there when you let go of identifications and so become ‘poor in spirit…’
…This is why renouncing all possessions has been an ancient spiritual practice in both East and West. Although this will not automatically free you of the ego…
…The EGO will attempt to ensure its survival by finding something else to identify with, for example, a mental image of yourself as someone who has transcended all interest in material possessions and is therefore superior, is more spiritual than others.”
15) “Each person is so identified with the thoughts that make up their opinion, that those thoughts harden into mental positions which are invested with a sense of self. In other words: Identity and thought merge. Once this has happened, when I defend my opinions (thoughts), I feel and act as if I were defending my very self. Unconsciously, I feel and act as if I were fighting for survival and so my emotions will reflect this unconscious belief. They become turbulent. I am upset, angry, defensive, or aggressive. I need to win at all costs lest I become annihilated. That’s the illusion. The ego doesn’t know that mind and mental positions have nothing to do with who you are because the ego is the unobserved mind itself.”
16) “Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms.”
17) “The ego is always on guard against any kind of perceived diminishment. Automatic ego-repair mechanisms come into effect to restore the mental form of ‘me’…
…When someone blames or criticizes me, that to the ego is a diminishment of self, and it will immediately attempt to repair its diminished sense of self through self-justification, defense, or blaming. Whether the other person is right or wrong is irrelevant to the ego. It is much more interested in self-preservation than in the truth. This is the preservation of the psychological form of ‘me.’ Even such a normal thing as shouting something back when another driver calls you ‘idiot’ is an automatic and unconscious ego-repair mechanism. One of the most common ego-repair mechanisms is anger, which causes a temporary but huge ego inflation. All repair mechanisms make perfect sense to the ego but are actually dysfunctional. Those that are most extreme in their dysfunction are physical violence and self-delusion in the form of grandiose fantasies.”
18) “An emotion is the body’s response to a thought…
…Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness.”
19) “In addition, gossiping often carries an element of malicious criticism and judgment of others, and so it also strengthens the ego through the implied but imagined moral superiority that is there whenever you apply a negative judgment to anyone…
…If someone has more, knows more, or can do more than I, the ego feels threatened because the feeling of ‘less’ diminishes its imagined sense of self relative to the other. It may then try to restore itself by somehow diminishing, criticizing, or belittling the value of the other person’s possessions, knowledge, or abilities. Or the ego may shift its strategy, and instead of competing with the other person, it will enhance itself by association with that person, if he or she is important in the eyes of others.”
20) “All you need to know and observe in yourself is this: whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you.”
21) “The stronger the ego in you, the more likely it is that in your perception other people are the main source of problems in your life. It is also more than likely that you will make life difficult for others. But, of course, you won’t be able to see that. It is always others who seem to be doing it to you…
…The more the sufferer sees himself persecuted, spied on, or threatened by others, the more pronounced becomes his sense of being the center of the universe around whom everything revolves, and the more special and important he feels as the imagined focal point of so many people’s attention. His sense of being a victim, of being wronged by so many people, makes him feel very special. In the story that forms the basis of his delusional system, he often assigns to himself the role of both victim and potential hero who is going to save the world or defeat the forces of evil.”
According to an ancient Sufi story, there lived a king in some Middle Eastern land who was continuously torn between happiness and despondency. The slightest thing would cause him great upset or provoke an intense reaction, and his happiness would quickly turn into disappointment and despair.
A time came when the king finally got tired of himself and of life, and he began to seek a way out. He sent for a wise man who lived in his kingdom and who was reputed to be enlightened. When the wise man came, the king said to him, “I want to be like you. Can you give me something that will bring balance, serenity, and wisdom into my life? I will pay back any price you ask.”
The wise man said, “I may be able to help you. But the price is so great that your entire kingdom would not be sufficient to pay for it. Therefore it will be a gift to you if you honor it.” The king gave his assurances and the wise man left.
A few weeks later, he returned and handed the king an ornate box carved in jade. The king opened the box and found a simple gold ring inside. Some letters were inscribed on the ring. The inscription read. This too will pass. “What is the meaning of this?” asked the king. The wise man said, “Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch this ring and read the inscription. That way you will always be at peace.”
This too will pass. What is it about this simple words that makes them so powerful? Looking at it superficially, it would seem while those words may provide some comfort in a bad situation, they would also diminish the enjoyment of the good things in life.
“Don’t be too happy, because it won’t last.” This seems to be what they are saying when applied in a situation that is perceived as good.
…this story points to the fact of impermanence which, when recognized, leads to non-attachment. Non-resistance, non-judgment, and non-attachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.
Those words inscribed on the ring are not telling you that you should not enjoy the good in your life, nor are they merely meant to provide some comfort in times of suffering. They have a deeper purpose: to make you aware of the fleetingness of every situation, which is due to the transience of all forms- good or bad. When you become aware of the transience of all forms, your attachment to them lessens, and you dis-identify with them to some extent. Being detached does not mean you cannot enjoy the good that the world has to offer. In fact, you enjoy it more. Once you see the transience of all things and the inevitability of change, you can enjoy the pleasures about the future. When you are detached, you gain a higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them.
I first heard this story from Eckhart Tolle.
1) “Don’t pay attention to other people’s minds. Look straight ahead, where nature is leading you, through the things that happen to you through your own actions.”
2) “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and unfriendly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”
3) “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”
4) “God did not intend my happiness to rest with someone else.”
5) “Welcoming wholeheartedly whatever comes- whatever were assigned—not worrying too often, or with any selfish motive, about what other people say, or do, or think.”
6) “Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people—unless it affects the common good. It will keep you from doing anything useful. You’ll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what they’re up to, and all the other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.”
7) “You want praise from people who kick themselves every 15 minutes, the approval of people who despise themselves…why do you want approval from people who don’t know where or who they are on this planet?”
8) “The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say, or think, or do. Only what you do. Asking yourself: Is this fair? Is this the right thing to do?”
9) “Why do unskilled and untrained souls disturb souls with skill and understanding?”
10) “So other people hurt me? That’s their problem. Their character and actions are not mine.”
11) “So remember this principle when someone threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.”
12) “When someone seems to have injured you: ‘But how can I be sure?’ And in any case, keep in mind: —That he’s already been tried and convicted-by himself, like scratching your own eyes out.—That to expect a bad person not to harm others is like expecting fig trees not to secrete juice, babies not to cry, horses not to neigh—the inevitable not to happen.”
13) “When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger.”
14) “If they’ve injured you, then they’re the ones who suffer for it.”
15) “People do things that upset you, but it can’t harm your mind. People do boorish things, what’s strange or unheard of about that?? Isn’t it yourself you should reproach—for not anticipating that they’d act this way??—It was you who did wrong by assuming that someone with those traits deserved your trust.”
16) “Other people’s mistakes? Leave them to their makers.”
17) “Leave other peoples mistakes where they lie.”
18) “If anyone can refute me-show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective—I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.”
19) “People out for posthumous fame forget that the Generations To Come will be the same annoying people they know now. And just as mortal. What does it matter to you if they say x about you, or think y?”
20) “When faced with people’s bad behavior, turn around and ask when you have acted like that. When you saw money as good, or pleasure, or social position. Your anger will subside as soon as you recognize that they acted under compulsion.”
21) “If someone despises me—that’s their problem. Mine—not to do or say anything despicable. If someone hates me—that’s their problem. Mine—to be patient and cheerful with everyone, including them. Ready to show them their mistake. Not spitefully, or to show off my own self-control, but in an honest, upright way. That’s the way we should be like inside, and never let the gods catch us feeling anger or resentment.”
22) “That kindness is invincible, provided it’s sincere—not ironic or an act. What can even the most vicious person do if you keep treating him with kindness and gently set him straight—if you get the chance—correcting him cheerfully at the exact moment that he’s trying to do you harm..
‘No, no my friend. That isn’t what we’re here for. It isn’t me who’s harmed by that. It’s you.’ And show him gently without pointing fingers that it’s so.”
23) “That it’s not what they do that bothers us: that’s a problem for their minds, not ours. It’s our own misperceptions. Discard them. Be willing to give up thinking of this as a catastrophe…and your anger is gone. How do you do that? By recognizing that you’ve suffered no disgrace.”
24) “That you don’t know for sure it is a mistake. A lot of things are means to some other end. You have to know an awful lot before you can judge other people’s actions with real understanding.”
25) “It never ceases to amaze me: We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”
26) “The despicable phoniness of people who say, ‘listen, I’m going to level with you here.’ What does that mean?? It shouldn’t even need to be said. It should be obvious—written in block letters on your forehead. It should be audible in your voice, visible in your eyes, like a lover who looks into your face, and takes in the whole story at a glance. A straightforward honest person should be like someone who stinks: when you’re in the same room with him, you know it. But false straightforwardness is like a knife in the back. False friendship is the worst. Avoid it at all costs. If you’re honest and straightforward and mean well, it should show in your eyes. It should be unmistakable.”
27) “Or is it your reputation thats bothering you? But look at how soon we’re all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us-how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region in which it all takes place. The whole earth a point in space-and most of it uninhabited.”
28) “To live life in peace, immune to all compulsion…Let them scream whatever they want.”
29) “Not to be distracted by their darkness. To run straight for the finish line, unswerving.”
30) “Don’t be put off by other people’s comments and criticism.”
1) If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.
—Bishop T.D. Jakes
2) Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
— Steve Jobs
3) I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.
— Georgia O’Keefe
4) If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.
— Nora Roberts
5) A year from now you may wish you had started today.
6) How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
— Anne Frank
7) Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
— Mark Twain
8) You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
— C.S. Lewis
9) Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
— Joseph Campbell
10) When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
— Helen Keller
11) Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
12) There are those who work all day. Those who dream all day. And those who spend an hour dreaming before setting to work to fulfill those dreams. Go into the third category because there’s virtually no competition.
— Steven J. Ross
13) The Man Who Has Confidence In Himself Gains The Confidence Of Others.
— Hasidic Proverb
14) The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
— Amelia Earhart
15) Follow your own passion—not your parents’, not your teachers’—yours.
16) All progress takes place outside of your comfort zone.
— Michael Bobak
17) The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.