Ebook Quotes

The music of our lives

Not without design does God write the music of our lives.

~ John Ruskin

The creative Wisdom of all things has established marvelous and ineffable harmonies

The creative Wisdom of all things has established marvelous and ineffable harmonies by which all things come together in a concord or friendship or peace or love or however else the union of all things is to be designated.

~ John the Scot

This tune has truth in it

The flute of interior time is played
whether we hear it or not,
What we mean by "love"
is its sound coming in.
When love hits the farthest edge of
it reaches a wisdom.
And the fragrance of that knowledge!
It penetrates our thick bodies,
it goes through walls-
its network of notes has a structure
as if a million suns were arranged inside.
This tune has truth in it.
Where else have you heard a sound like

~ Kabir

The parallelism of the psalms is a key to praying them

The parallelism of the psalms is a key to praying them. Just as the rhythm of music invites us to join in a dance, the rhythm of the psalms invites us to join in a dance, the rhythm of the psalms invites us to step into them with our whole self ... Repetition in prayer is a way of holding God in remembrance. The images of such prayer lodge deep within us and surface at other periods of our life. When we move quickly from one idea to another, it is difficult to let any one thought sink in and deepen within us. By quietly reiterating a theme or image, a psalm calms our restless hearts and gently leads us into a prayerful attitude.

~ from THE INNER RAINBOW by Kathleen R. Fischer

I hear the bluebird's song

Silent and still
my father stands
before our summer shelter

He is thinking a prayer
to the Holy Ones,
asking them
this day
to keep our feet
on the trail of beauty.

Filling the silence
of my father's prayer
I hear the bluebird's song.

~ "Morning Prayer" by Ann Clark from A QUEEN'S QUEST by Edith Wallace

The music of the stars

Peter Matthiessen in "Earth and Spirit" speaks of reclaiming our harmony with the universe:

As a first step we might consider this Great Mystery that is all about us ... It is the music of the stars, the color of the winds, the dead stillness between tides ... It is no less and no more strange than our life itself.

~ "Parabola" Winter 1980

The music in the Universe seeks to be expressed

The people sing individually, in groups and often in harmony. I realized some of the songs were as old as time. These people repeat chants created here in the desert before the invention of the calendar. But I also experienced new compositions, music being composed just because I was there. I was told, "Just as a musician seeks musical expression, so the music in the Universe seeks to be expressed." ... A musician carries the music within.


Chanting as a prelude to silence

In a cave, all outer sounds are smothered by rock and earth, but this makes the sounds of one's own heartbeat and breath audible. In the same way, contemplative stillness turns us away from everyday clamor but allows us to hear the subtle in our own lives. When listening not with the ear but with the spirit, one can perceive the subtle sound. By entering into that sound, we enter into supreme purity. That is why so many religious traditions pray, sing, or chant as a prelude to silence. They understand that the repetition and absorption of sound leads to sacredness itself. The deepest sound is silence. This may seem paradoxical only if we regard silence as an absence of life and its opposites. It is both sound and soundlessness, and it is in this confluence that the power of meditation emerges.

~ from 365 TAO by Deng Ming-Dao with thanks to Anne Strader

Music attracts

Music attracts the angels in the universe.
~ Bob Dylan

A perfect pitch of attunement

If we surrender who and what we think we are, we may come to such a perfect pitch of attunement that each note struck within us is an everlasting example of the first note, the first sound, from which all music extends ... J.S. Bach once said, "When the right notes are struck at the right time, the instrument plays itself." We are the instruments of God. We must never forget this if we are to truly be of service ... We are asked to be open, to be aware, to be in love with the Beloved with a passion that defies all reason. The expression of love that shatters the discursive mind is the music of life, if we will only listen, if we will only be receptive and awake.

~ from STEP TO FREEDOM by Reshad Feild

Divinity sings this song to our soul

God takes such delight in the human person that
Divinity sings this song to our soul:

O lovely rose on the thorn!
O hovering bee in the honey!
O pure dove in your being!
O glorious sun in your setting!
O full moon in your course!

From you,
I you God
will never
turn away.


All we have

All we have
All we are
From All That Is,
A gift.

One without wonder
Will not see It
While the eyes of the grateful
Will reflect It.

~ Tao of Healing by Haven Trevino

The essence of prayer

The essence of prayer is thanksgiving.
~ Nan Merrill

Practice random kindness

Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty ...
~ Anne Herbert

Gratitude is a memory of the heart

GRATITUDE is a memory of the heart. Whatever goodness the heart receives, the heart never forgets.

~ Cerita

As we slow down we come to realize that we are persons called in time and space

As we slow down we come to realize that we are persons called in time and space TO BE freely and fully human and that therein is our sanctity. We see that an individual life is a GIFT entrusted to us freely and generously by God. When I struggle to live a life of affirmation, I must ultimately let go of trying to control all the variables of existence and surrender in faith to the freeing power of the providential plan. This only happens when I emphasize in my day-to-day life the time and place TO BE alone, TO BE with friends, TO BE with other workers and TO BE with God.

~ from HAPPY ARE YOU WHO AFFIRM by Thomas A. Kane

Benediction is a formative experience

Benediction is a formative experience, whether we bless others or receive a blessing from them. It comes in the form of an inner or outer word or gesture arising from a loving heart. In blessing we express gratitude to God for the divine inherent in other persons. We ask God in effect to bring this form to its fullness.


Appreciation is a natural gift

Appreciation is a natural gift. It is meant to lead us to God ... Appreciation naturally appears the moment our self-concern is relinquished. It cannot be possessed and it cannot be earned; it simply IS, a free gift, available everywhere. Life is known then more as art than task. The greatest task becomes our work to help others realize such wonder. The wonder is so great that we are in danger of overfascination. We easily become focused on the gifts as an end in themselves; they do not always lead us to the Giver. We subtly become attached to the felt beauty and miss not only the initial invitation to thanksgiving, but the yet deeper invitation: to release ourselves to God as we are enabled and let rise that full quality of awareness that is beyond felt beauty, beyond self-reflective appreciation.


The story of a saint is always a love story

The story of a saint is always a love story. It is a story of a God who loves, and of the beloved who learns how to reciprocate and share that "harsh and dreadful love". It is a story that includes misunderstanding, deception, betrayal, concealment, reversal, and revelation of character. It is, if the saints are to be trusted, our story. But to be a saint is not to be a solitary lover. It is to enter into deeper community with everyone and everything that exists.

~ from MAKING SAINTS by Kenneth L. Woodward

You will hardly believe your ear

You will hardly believe your ear, since,
as You know, I like to divide my time equally
between feeling sorry for myself,
and asking You to make things better for me.

But just this once, I'd like to thank You for
all those things, beginning with the gift
of life itself, You have showered on me for
no earthly reason that I can see,
except that inexplicably in the face of
selfishness and ingratitude of monumental
proportions and endurance,
You love me.

~ from THE THOMAS MORE BIBLE PRAYER BOOK with thanks to Dolores Ross

Gratitude begets gratitude

GRATITUDE is the most fruitful way of deepening your consciousness that you are not an "accident", but a divine choice. It is important to realize how often we have had chances to be grateful and have not used them. When someone is kind to us, when an event turns out well, when a problem is solved, a relationship restored, a wound healed, these are very concrete reasons to offer thanks... When we keep claiming the light, we will find ourselves becoming more and more radiant. What fascinates me so much is that every time we decide to be grateful, it will be easier to see new things to be grateful for. Gratitude begets gratitude, just as love begets love.

~ from BECOMING THE BELOVED by Henri J.M. Nouwen

Take, O take, has now become my cry

Time after I came to your gate with raised hands asking for more yet more. You gave and gave, now in slow measure, now in sudden excess. I took some, and some things I let drop; some lay heavy on my hands; some I made into playthings and broke them when tired; till the wrecks and hoard of gifts grew immense, hiding You, and the ceaseless expectations wore my heart out.

Take, O take, has now become my cry. Shatter all from the beggar's bowl. Put out this lamp of the importunate watcher; hold my hands, raise me from the still-gathering heap of your gifts into the bare infinity of your uncrowded presence.

~ Rabindranath Tagore thanks to Mary Novotny

To pray is to regain a sense of the Mystery that animates all beings

To pray is to regain a sense of the Mystery that animates all beings. The Divine margin in all attainments. Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living. It is all we can offer in return for the Mystery by which we live. Who is worthy to be present to the constant unfolding of time amidst the meditation of mountains, the humility of flowers, wiser than all alphabets ... clouds that die constantly for the sake of God's glory. We are hating, hunting, hurting. Suddenly we feel ashamed of all our clashes and complaint in the face of the tacit glory in nature. It is so embarrassing to live. How strange we are in the world and how presumptuous our doings. Only one response can maintain us: GRATEFULNESS for witnessing the wonder; for the gift to our unearned right to live ... to adore ... to fulfill. It is GRATEFULNESS which makes the soul great.

~ from I ASKED FOR WONDER by Abraham Heschel with thanks to Kathy Harkins

All of nature is in us

All of nature is in us, all of us is in nature,
This is as it should be.

~ Lame Deer

The direct experience of silence, stillness, solitude, simplicity, ceremony and vision

The wisdom of the peoples of elder cultures can make an important contribution to the post-modern world, one that we must begin to accept as the crisis of self, society and the environment deepens. This wisdom cannot be told, but it is to be found by each of us in the direct experience of silence, stillness, solitude, simplicity, ceremony and vision.

~ Sogyal Rinpoche

Spirituality is that quality of being

Spirituality is that quality of being that expresses the bonding of all living and non-living things into an evolutionary unity.

~ from MIND OF OUR MOTHER by Bob Samples

Everything was God, holy

George Leonard in THE SILENT PULSE shares the sense of unity and harmony with the planet that a young man of seventeen experienced:

"Even though physically separate, I knew a tree, grains of sand, sea, flying birds. Everything was God, holy; as God is total, so the driftwood branch was holy. This must be the stuff religion is made of. Never before or after have I felt so alive."

~ from THE SILENT PULSE by George Leonard

There are three walls that divide us from one another

There are three walls that divide us from one another and from the realization of Unity for which we yearn... These are the walls of envy, resentment and pride... Everything is reaching towards the light, and just as the trees and the beautiful flowers seek out the light, so does Beauty herself seek out the light within us. As long as Beauty is covered by these walls, She cannot be one with the Light who created Her in the first place... When you can watch and observe and be honest about the sense of separation that we all feel, you will come closer to the walls. And then, gently, you can reach out to each stone and brick that needs to be removed ... stones and bricks that can be washed and transformed in love.


Optical delusion of our consciousness

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the "Universe", a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

~ from IDEAS AND OPINIONS by Albert Einstein

We are earth of this earth, and we are bone of this bone

Spirit that hears each one of us,
hears all that is --
Listens, listens, hears us out --
inspire us now!
Our own pulse beats in every
stranger's throat.
And also within the flowered ground
beneath our feet.
We can hear it in water, in wood, and
even in stone.
We are earth of this earth, and
we are bone of this bone.
This is a prayer I sing, for we
have forgotten this and so
the earth is perishing.

~ Barbara Deming

We can only start to grow in being when we take time to be still

We can only start to grow in being when we take time to be still, even if it is only a few minutes each day, and open ourselves to God, like a flower opening its pedals to the sun, and receiving the strengthening rays of light. With continual practice, we can actually know that the spirit of Divine Love -- the Love of the omniscient creator of the entire universe -- is in us. ... Being still and experiencing the presence of God is the most important thing we can possibly do; for in this state of passivity we receive directive and strength for the day's action.

~ from GROWTH INTO BEING by Margaret Holmes

As long as it talks, I am going to listen

What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, intelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows! Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks, I am going to listen.

~ Thomas Merton

Many of us need the wilderness

Many of us need the wilderness as a place to listen to the quiet, to feel at home with ancient rhythms that are absent in city life, to know the pulse of a river, the riffle of the wind, the rataplan of rain on the slickrock.

~ from WIND IN THE ROCK by Ann H. Zwinger

My first remembered experience of the numinous

My first remembered experience of the numinous occurred when I was barely three... The sun was shining, and as I walked along the dusty lane I became acutely aware of the things around me. I noticed a group of dandelions on my left at the base of a stone wall. Most of them were in full bloom, their golden heads irradiated by the sun, and suddenly I was overcome by an extraordinary feeling of wonder and joy. It was as if I was part of the flowers, and stones and dusty earth. I could feel the dandelions pulsating in the sunlight, and a timeless unity with all life.

~ from THE ORIGINAL VISION by Edward Robinson

God is the friend of silence

God is the friend of silence. See how nature -- trees, flowers, grass -- grow in silence; see the stars, the moon, the sun, how they move in silence... The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. We need silence to be able to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say, but what God says to us and through us. All our words will be useless unless they come from within.

~ from SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL FOR GOD by Malcolm Muggeridge

Why does a bird sing?

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
~ Chinese Proverb

We know that we are part of this grand orchestra

Within this life we live and have our being; this is the power, the wisdom and the love in which we are encompassed. And yet bodily we remain in shadow because we are clothed in the darkness of the earth. But no one need ever remain a prisoner; it only requires the will to aspire and so to know the wisdom of the divine -- and the prisoner is free! And so we ascend in spirit, and being raised, we then step forth into a life heavenly in its beauty and are encompassed by a heavenly concourse... We may become conscious of music -- delicate, gentle, sweet music beyond all description -- which may swell in grand crescendo to embrace the great universal music of all creation. And we know that we are part of this grand orchestra.

~ from SPIRITUAL UNFOLDMENT 4 by White Eagle

My musical productions came into existence through understanding and pain

My musical productions came into existence through understanding and pain. Those which pain has brought forth seem to please the world most ... (out of pain comes new birth ... new life).

~ Schubert

The spirit alone truly lives in the artists' incessant creative activity

Dr. Eaglefield Hull describes Scriabin's attitude to music: His first symphony is a "Hymn to Art" and joins hands with Beethoven's Ninth. His third, the "Divine Poem", expresses the spirit's liberation from its earthly trammels and the consequent free expression of purified personality; while his "Poem of Ecstasy" voices the highest of all joys -- that of creative work. He held that in the artists' incessant creative activity, the constant progression towards the ideal, the spirit alone truly lives.

~ Dr. Eaglefield Hull

In the new creation souls will sing together like this

Late that afternoon I listened to Thomas Tallis's SPEM IN ALIUM, a motet written in the 16th century for forty voice, forty separate parts... I was sitting in my chair looking at Ma's photograph as I listened. At once, as the music began, the photograph started to emit great waves of Light. The Light possessed my mind and body, and I heard the music not without me but within my heart.

Her voice: In my stillness all the voices of the world rise in ecstasy. In my silence all the voices of the world are reconciled.

Each voice in the sublime motet sang in perfectly lucid ecstatic harmony with every other voice, forming endlessly changing transforming masses of illumined ripe sound.

In the new creation souls will sing together like this.

I heard spiral after spiral of ascending glorious sound rise calmly, with a passion at once detached and supremely intense, from its bed of Silence, rise, commingle in bliss, and finally culminate in the vast prolonged cry of Light on Light at the end of the work, a cry that does not end but seems to reverberate throughout the cosmos forever.


Music is always in the air

Music is always in the air, particularly at night, for nature (being born of it) is necessarily more sensitive at night to the beautiful.

~ Hargrave Jennings

If you sing from deep within you, transformation happens

When I sing I feel ecstatic, as if in communion with God. Maybe, when I sing, that's when I feel and experience it most in my life -- that lack of separation from God... I think that a song, if you allow it into your heart, can remind you that you are whole, that you are not just a fragment, but everything. If people sing, if they let themselves really sing, they can feel that inside... No matter who you are, if you sing from deep within you, transformation happens. A song, whether you are singing or listening, can let your heart open to the spiritual world.

~ Susan Osborn

God is a singing sound in the heart of silence

I woke up from a dream several years ago and wrote the words, "God is a singing sound in the heart of silence." ... Silence is not an absence. It is a presence. Listen to the bird. Its sound comes from and returns to silence. Trees are surrounded by silence. They grow from silence. All things in nature are children of silence... At the core of my being there is an open road, and three words to guide me, TRUSTING/BREATHING/ATTENDING. Trusting that the universe is a friendly place. Breathing from the deepest part of myself. Attending to the process of becoming. These three guiding words of wisdom call me to travel the open road. To attend, breathe and trust in the heart of silence. To listen for the singing sound of God.

~ from "In the Heart of Silence" by Kalichi

Work is what we do for love

A job is what we do for money;
Work is what we do for love.

~ Marysarah Quinn

To work is to pray

A story of three brick masons illustrates the great difference our attitude toward our work makes:

The first person, when asked what he was building, replied gruffly, without even looking up, "I'm laying bricks."

The second person answered, "I'm building a wall."

But the third person said enthusiastically and with obvious pride and wonder, "I'm building a cathedral."


The work you do out of love without a thought of reward is the work of God.

~ Tolstoy

It's the doing itself that is contemplation

Contemplation is not something that is done alongside or before and after our everyday action. It's the doing itself that is contemplation because you yourself are so united with God that you are simply living the divine life; you are God living and doing you in the world. You are God's manifestation ... a movement of consciousness from God, with God, in God, as God, out in the world, a movement in which the divine conscious and my conscious, flowing together, stream out in love and in creative, healing, beautifying energy to create the world and to make it ever better.

~ from RADICAL OPTIMISM by Bernice Bruteau

Contemplation is an excellent practice for integrating our meditations into everyday life

Contemplation is an excellent practice for integrating our meditations into everyday life... Simply reading one line of something inspirational each morning can provide excellent material for contemplation if we design a practice that helps to encourage contemplative moments throughout the day... For people in a busy, active environment, it is perhaps the most accessible spiritual practice. A few moments of contemplation can be accomplished even in the middle of a business meeting. This experience is not like a passing daydream, but affects the quality of life, deepening our spiritual connections, drawing us into reflection and constant realization of the soul's quest to be at one with its divine source at all times and in all places.


Act without doing

Act without doing,
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

The master never reaches for the great
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn't cling to her own comfort;
thus problems are no problem for her.

~ from TAO TE CHING ed. by Stephen Mitchell

The ultimate work is an engagement with soul

Nicholas of Cusa described human creativity as a participation in the act of God creating the cosmos. God creates the cosmos, we create the microcosmos, the "human world". As we do our daily work, make our homes and marriages, raise our children, and fabricate a culture, we are all being creative... The ultimate work is an engagement with soul, responding to the demands of fate and tending the details of life as it presents itself. We may get to a point where our external labors and the OPUS of the soul are one and the same, inseparable. Then the satisfactions of our work will be deep and long lasting, undone neither by failures nor by flashes of success.

~ from CARE OF THE SOUL by Thomas Moore

We lose ourselves in our love of the task before us

Responsible work is an embodiment of love, and love is the only discipline that will serve in shaping the personality, the only discipline that makes the mind whole and constant for a lifetime of effort.  There hovers about a true vocation that paradox of all significant self-knowledge -- our capacity to find ourselves by losing ourselves.  We lose ourselves in our love of the task before us and, in that moment, we learn an identity that lives both within and beyond us.

~ Theodore Roszak

ou do not need to stop working, but you need to strive for a new relationship with your work

To create from joy, to create from wonder, demands a continual discipline, a great compassion. It demands a severity of mind towards all vanity and posturing of the ego that loves its suffering, and clings to its despairs and depressions and fears; it demands a continual objectivity of spirit, a continual looking out at, and beyond, the world created by the senses, towards a spiritual reality, whose lineaments only emerge slowly, after years of experience and meditation. You do not need to stop working, but you need to strive for a new relationship with your work... With time and sincerity you will discover a way to work that does not harm you spiritually, does not tempt you to vanity, that is the deepest expression of your spirituality.

~ from A JOURNEY IN LADAKH by Andrew Harvey

How I like things to be done quietly and without fuss

How I like things to be done quietly and without fuss... Let truth be done in silence "till it is forced to speak," and then should it only whisper, all those whom it may concern will hear.


A vision and a task

A vision without a task is but a dream,
A task without a vision is drudgery,
And a vision and a task is the hope of the world.

~ from a church in Sussex, England (c. 1730)

Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts

Another will is greater, wiser and more intelligent than my own. So I wait. Waiting means that there is Another whom I trust and from whom I receive. My will, important and essential as it is, finds a Will that is more important, more essential. .. In prayer we are aware that God is in action and that when the circumstances are ready, when others are in the right place and when my heart is prepared, I will be called into action. Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts. Waiting is our participation in the process that results in the "time fulfilled".

~ from EARTH & ALTAR by Eugene H. Peterson

It is not right to acquiesce in the notion that our lives are divided

It is not right to acquiesce in the notion that our lives are divided into the time we spend on our work and the time we spend in serving God. We must be able to serve the Divine Plan, and the work itself must be accepted and respected as the medium of divine creation... Every maker and worker is called to serve God in their profession or trade -- not outside it.

~ from CREED OR CHAOS? by Dorothy L. Sayers

The One who gives

In sharing, the meaning of our lives
is given back to God:
The One who gives
The One who receives
The One who is.

~ Gunilla Norris

Filled with gratitude

When you are filled with wonder at God's beauty, not only in nature, but in the amazing structure of your own body and mind, you are filled with gratitude. Thankfulness becomes an integral part of your daily living -- for the restoring benefit of sleep; for the dawning of yet another day; for the guidance you have received, and the opportunities of serving others, and for the strength to do this. Even if you are limited in your environment and your physical ability, you can still marvel. For you can enter your inner world, with its thoughts and memories, and reach out in prayer just where you are... To live without wonder is to wonder what living is all about.

~ Margaret Holmes

God weaves the threads of difficulty, serendipity, challenge, and blessing together in our lives

It is often difficult for us to see how, or sometimes even to believe that, God weaves the threads of difficulty, serendipity, challenge, and blessing together in our lives. That is why it is important at times to stop and look with fresh eyes and open hearts at what our Creator has been weaving around, within, and through us. From this new perspective, this vantage point of grace, we begin to discern God's artistry, the extraordinary ways in which unruly, unwanted, and unexpected threads are being woven deftly into a strong, resilient, and beautiful fabric. We see not only how the various threads of our individual lives are woven together, but also how they are woven into the lives of others.

~ from "The Weaving and Wedding of Our Lives" By Jean M. Blomquist

O Gracious Creator

O Might Counselor, speak to us
within our hearts;
let your voice be heard.

And as we listen and heed your Word,
joy will be our song of thanks.

As You lead us into the Silence,
we become friends with solitude.

With trust in You, our lives become simple,
assurance and peace leaving
no room for fear.

All that we have is gift from You,
O Gracious Creator,
all that we are is Yours as well.

May we come to see that all
we give to others,
we give to ourselves and You.


Honoring gifts in action with gratitude

The Great Source is always reaching out for people who are moved by the spirit of love rather than fear. And blessed are those who are willing to hear the teachings of peace and pass their inspirations along to the world with courage and confidence. Would that more of us trusted the inner voice of healing and honored its gifts in action with gratitude.

~ Reshad Feild

I understood the importance of thanking God for the things we receive

I understood the importance of thanking God for the things we receive. Gratitude is an eternal virtue. In humility we ask, and in gratitude we receive. The more we give thanks for the blessings we receive, the more open we become for further blessings. God's desire to bless is full to overflowing. If we will open our hearts and minds the receive blessings, we too will be filled to overflowing ... We may become like the angels themselves, helping others who are in need. In prayer and service our lights will always shine. Service is the oil to our lamps generated by compassion and love.

~ from EMBRACED BY THE LIGHT by Betty J. Eadie

Gratitude is a choice that becomes a habit

GRATITUDE is a choice that becomes a habit. It is a major ingredient in the alchemy of transformation and is closely related to love... Gratitude creates a combustion of energy that powers our living cells. That's why all spiritual traditions teach the importance of gratitude. It certainly isn't because the deity needs any reassurance. Rather it's because when we are in the state of gratitude, we're affirming our faith in our own highest good and denying authority to the paralyzing, constricting energy of fear.

~ from WHERE TWO WORLDS TOUCH by Gloria D. Karpinski

To live in gratitude for every moment

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live in every experience, painful or joyous; to live in gratitude for every moment, to live abundantly.

~ Dorothy Thompson

For me, prayer is a lifting up of the heart, a simple glance towards Heaven

For me, prayer is a lifting up of the heart, a simple glance towards Heaven, a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy. It is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to God.

~ Therese of Lisieux

Within my being lives a silent power

Within my being lives a silent power,
A firm, sound frame of wise and compassionate strength.
How often do I deny this gift,
This blessing from my Source?
Perhaps as the outward power of the sun recedes
in winter,
I will learn to own the strength within.

~ from ESSENE BOOK OF DAYS by Danaan Parry

The attitude of gratefulness

And, how do you express your gratitude? -- by simply having the attitude of gratefulness... Gratitude and attitude! These two thoughts are similar, in that gratitude is an attitude, one that keeps you inside the flow of All Good, which is God. When you can maintain the attitude of gratefulness throughout each day, you are well on your way to growth, spiritually and in every other area.
~ from MESSAGES TO OUR FAMILY by Annie and Byron Kirkwood

I nourish my spiritual life

I nourish my spiritual life, for therein lie my anchor. My understanding deepens; my faith that life has meaning grows.

~ Unknown


Becky and Ephraim's youngest child, Annie, was born with a severe physical handicap. "Annie ... Annie", they squealed as everyone in the family touched and hugged her, never treating her as a hothouse flower, always as a normal healthy child. It was a laying-on-of-hands, a healing going on every moment.

I wasn't sure I could have stayed focused on the joy, but Becky was also realistic, understanding that something could go wrong and "Annie might be taken away from us." For now, God has given them a gift. Annie was their Treasure, their miracle.

~ from PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Sue Bender

No coward soul is mine

No coward soul is mine,
No trembles in the world's
storm-troubled sphere;
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And faith shines equal,
arming me from fear.

~ Emily Bronte

Agape is the love that consumes

Agape is the love that consumes ... in one form: enthusiasm. For the ancients, enthusiasm meant trance, or ecstasy -- a connection with God. Enthusiasm is agape directed at a particular idea or a specific thing. We have all experienced it. When we love and believe from the bottom of our heart, we feel ourselves to be stronger than anyone in the world, and we feel a serenity that is based on certainty that nothing can shake our faith. This unusual strength allows us always to make the right decision at the right time, and when we achieve our goal, we are amazed at our own capabilities... We blame the world for our boredom and for our losses, and we forget that it was we ourselves who allowed this enchanting power to diminish -- the manifestation of agape in the form of enthusiasm.

~ from THE DIARY OF A MAGUS by Paulo Coelho

Faith is the prayer of words unsaid

Faith is the prayer of words unsaid,
The tear that falls upon the bed.
Faith is the hope of one "Amen",
The will that trusts and tries again.
Faith is the day made fresh and new
When evening draught absorbs the dew.
Faith is the thought that lifts to bless
The One beyond the arms' caress.
Faith is the sky that leaves its gray
To welcome in a sunny day.
Faith, in a moment, dares the thing
The heart petitions God to bring.

~ Roxie L. Smith

Faith that comes from spiritual knowledge

Faith that comes from spiritual knowledge is rooted in the Silence of the heart.
~ Unknown

The knowledge of the holy

Only the Spirit of the Holy One can impart to the human spirit the knowledge of the holy. Yet as electric power flows only through a conductor, so the Spirit flows through Truth and must find some measure of Truth in the mind before It can illuminate the heart. Faith wakes at the voice of truth but responds to no other sound... Still, there must be humble penitence in the heart before Truth can produce faith.


Open-eyed trust

To be in harmony does not mean that upheaval and upset don't occur, but that their very occurrence is used, fully used, as a gift of purification that leaves one in a deeper harmony with the dictates of one's core of being. Implicit in this is trust, open-eyed trust... True trust obeys no moral code, however archaistic. It is but the unexploitable, awakened faith of one who has left the promises of the mind for the already-present glory of their heartland. It is a joy, a fertile brilliance, a holy renewal, a yes that has room for every no, a yes both paradoxical and devastatingly simple, a yes wherein the elements dance and die, a yes aflame with the transcendence of blame, a yes already alive in you.

~ from THE WAY OF THE LOVER by Robert Augustus Masters

Stand firm in what you yourself believe

Stand firm in what you yourself believe. Hold to your own conviction of the Truth above any other source... The truth that is YOUR truth is written on the scrolls of your heart, for there too abides the Living God. Seek only to LIVE that truth, to hold your own light high so that those who grope in darkness may see, and to tread the path that you believe your life has set before you. If you remain true to yourself, if you believe in the right, and if you place your hand into the hand of God, then no evil, no lasting sorrow, and no permanent pain will ever befall you.

~ from SEASONS OF THE SPIRIT by Hilarion

My faith is tested many times a day

I believe that Spirit is one and is everywhere present. That it never leaves me. That in my ignorance I may withdraw from it, but I can realize its presence the instant I return to my senses... My faith is tested many times a day, and more times than I'd like to confess, I'm unable to keep the banner for faith aloft... I begin to doubt God and God's love. I fall so miserably into the chasm of disbelief that I cry out in despair. Then the Spirit lifts me up again, and once more I am secured in faith. I don't know how it happens, save when I cry out earnestly I am answered immediately and am returned to faithfulness. I am once again filled with Spirit and firmly planted on solid ground.


The movement of God's Spirit is very gentle

The movement of God's Spirit is very gentle, very soft -- and hidden. It does not seek attention. But that movement is also very persistent, strong and deep. It changes our hearts radically. The faithful discipline of prayers reveals to you that you are the blessed one and gives you the power to bless others.

~ from THE ESSENTIAL HENRI NOUWEN by Henri Nouwen and Robert A. Jonas

Each soul must meet the morning sun

Each soul must meet the morning sun,
the new sweet Earth and the Great Silence alone.

~ Ohiyesa

Nature is your friend

Nature is your friend; cherish her reverently in your silent moments, and she will bless you in secret.

~ Paul Brunton

Then a tree becomes a mystery

In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each person a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.

~ Dag Hammarskjold

The food of the soul

~ Unknown

I part the out thrusting branches

I part the out thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent
there is singing around me.
Though I am dark
there is vision around me.
Though I am heavy
there is flight around me.

~ "Woods" by Wendell Berry

I ceased to exist

I walked out onto a dock in the Gulf of Mexico. I ceased to exist. I experienced being a part of the sea breeze, the movement of the water and the fish, the light rays cast by the sun, the colors of the palms and tropical flowers. I had no sense of past or future. It was not a particularly blissful experience; it was terrifying. It was the kind of ecstatic experience I'd invested a lot of energy in avoiding. I did not experience myself as the SAME as the water, the wind, and the light, but as participating with them in the SAME SYSTEM of movement. We were all dancing together.

~ from THE PROTEAN BODY by Don Johnson

Spiritual consciousness is the highest form of politics

A chief must never forget the Creator, never forget to ask for help. The Creator will guide our thoughts and strengthen us as we work to be faithful to our sacred trust and restore harmony among all peoples, all living creatures, and Mother Earth. We were instructed to carry a love for one another and to show great respect for all the beings of this earth. In our ways, spiritual consciousness is the highest form of politics. When people cease to respect and express gratitude for these many things, then all life will be destroyed... These are our times and our responsibilities. Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes. In order to do this, we must recognize the enemy -- the one within us. We must begin with ourselves.

~ Leon Shenandoah, in WISDOM KEEPERS by Steve Wall and Harvey Arden

May the music of nature sing to you

May the music of nature sing to you

softly in the whispering of the wind ...
sweetly in the melodies of the songbird ...
peacefully in the rustling of the leaves ... and,
lovingly in ways that touch your heart.

In the country it seems as if every tree said to me "Holy! Holy!"
Who can give complete expression to the ecstasy of the woods!
O, the sweet stillness of the woods!
~ Beethoven

My heart leaps out of my mouth at the sound of the winds in the woods

My heart leaps out of my mouth at the sound of the winds in the woods. I, whose life was but yesterday so desultory and shallow, suddenly recover my spirits, my spirituality, through my hearing... Ah! if I could so live that there would be no desultory moments ... I would walk, I would sit and sleep, with natural piety. What if I could pray aloud, or to myself, as I went along by the brookside, a cheerful prayer, like the birds! And then, to think of those I love, who will know that I love them, though I tell them not ... I thank you, God. I do not deserve anything ... and yet the world is gilded for my delight ... my path is strewn with flowers... O keep my senses pure!

~ Thoreau, in THE SPIRITUAL ATHLETE edited by Ray Berry

To become one with nature and other people

It is time to touch the Silence, to become one with nature and other people. When we go into the Silence, we learn to hear the rhythm of the great Mystery, the heartbeat of Earth. Going into the Silence, we learn to be alone with our thoughts:

To hear the Silence
To listen and to see the Silence
To listen and to taste the Silence
And, with closed eyes, to feel the Silence.

It is in quiet moments that we find our heartbeats. When we let go and search the dark warmth of our silence, we feel the rhythmic beat of the Earth vibrating, flowing toward us.


Our home that must be defended like a holy relic

What struck me most was the silence. It was a great silence, unlike any I have ever encountered on Earth, so vast and deep that I began to hear my own body... There were more stars in the sky than I expected. The sky was deep black, yet at the same time bright with sunlight. The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home that must be defended like a holy relic.

~ Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov

Beyond the island of ego

Grandfather continued, "Beyond the island of ego, the prison, lies the world of the spirit-that-moves-in-all-things, the force that is found in all things. It is a world that communicates to all entities of Creation and touches the Creator ... a world that expands our universe and helps us fuse ourselves to the earth... There is a bridge, which I call the 'Sacred Silence', that not only brings one to the ultimate purity of the spiritual mind and opens a clear communication, but also transports one to those worlds beyond the island of flesh... The pure mind is a common truth to all philosophies and religions, so the Sacred Silence, is found in all philosophies, though it is called by another name. That name is meditation.

~ from AWAKENING SPIRITS by Tom Brown Jr.

I chose my responsibilities

It came as no great revelation or dramatic insight. Just a simple reminder that I chose my responsibilities and that behind each of them is love. They are not burdens or chores; they are expressions of love. When I am not caught up in anxiety, I enjoy the activities they require. And of all my chosen tasks and commitments, those that bring the greatest challenges, frustrations, joy and satisfaction are those that are born of my deepest love, my love for those who depend on my labor.

~ from FLAT ROCK JOURNAL by Ken Carey

Two hands full of toil

Better a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
~ Unknown

Free to learn wisdom

Unless we are rooted in God, and rooted in the only sure way of listening to God -- namely, silence -- then we are doomed to spend our lives standing at the window of life and watching the world go by... It strikes me that most of the first part of our lives is spent filling our heads with information. The last part -- and the most important part -- is spent emptying our heads of all the trivia so that our hearts may be free to learn wisdom -- in silence.


In living for others I come to life

My mind is still; my ego has been set at rest. The peace in my heart matches the peace at the heart of nature... No longer am I a feverish fragment of life; I am indivisible from the Whole. I live completely in the present, released from the prison of the past with its haunting memories and vain regrets; released from the prison of the future with its tantalizing hopes and tormenting fears. All the enormous capacities formerly trapped in past and future flow to me here and now, concentrated in the hollow of my palm. No longer driven by the desire for personal pleasure or profit, I am free to use all these capacities to alleviate the suffering of those around me. In living for others I come to life.

~ from CLIMBING THE BLUE MOUNTAIN by Eknath Easwaran

The source of loving service for others

The source of loving service for others is a heart that is aware, sensitive and conscious of one's own feelings and the feelings of others -- this is the goal of meditation.

~ from CHANGING THE WORLD WITHIN by Joseph A. Grassi

We must begin where we are

We must begin where we are. For many people the heavy responsibilities of home and family and earning a living absorb all their time and strength. Yet such a home -- where love is -- may be a light shining in a dark place, a silent witness to the reality and the love of God. We must begin where we are, but once we have put ourselves and our lives into God's hands to be used when and where God wills, we must be on the alert, peacefully busy, but inwardly watching for signs of the will of God in the ordinary setting of our lives. To ears which have been trained to wait upon God in silence, and in the quietness of meditation and prayer, a very small incident, or a word, may prove to be a turning-point in our lives, and a new opening for God's love to enter our world, to create and redeem.

~ from PRAYER by Olive Wyon

Where the spirit does not work with the hand

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

~ Leonardo da Vinci

Our work is the love of God

Our work is the love of God. Our satisfaction lies in submission to the Divine Embrace.
~ Ruysbroeck

There are some things that require no work

There are some things that require no work... You don't have to work to achieve a silent mind; you don't have to work to find the old wounds. All these things are a given, once they are uncovered. The uncovering begins wherever you are now, but its goal is always the same -- the revelation of wholeness that unites body, mind and Spirit as one.

~ from JOURNEY INTO HEALING by Deepak Chopra