Ebook Quotes

The perfectest herald of joy

Silence is the perfectest herald of joy.

~ by Shakespeare

Seeing joy where I expect only sadness

I have made a friend who is so deeply connected with God that he can see joy where I expect only sadness. He travels much and meets countless people. When he shares, he tells of the hidden joys he has found: someone who brought him hope and peace, little groups of people who are faithful to each other in the midst of turmoil, the small wonders of Gexhilerating od. At times I realize that I am disappointed because I want to hear "newspaper news," exciti9ng and stories. But he never responds to my need for sensationalism. He keeps saying: "I saw something very small and very beautiful, something that gave me much joy."

~ from RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON by Henri Houwen

Just itself must have been the impelling force

I felt first of all joyous. I felt that which joy is made of, and I realized that Joy itself must have been the impelling force, that which was before we were there, and that somehow Joy was in every part of our making. When the world was an ooze without any shape or direction, there must have been Joy reaching out and expressing itself everywhere.

~ from SILENCE AND LIGHT by Louis I. Kahn

A life of joy is not in seeking happiness

A life of joy is not in seeking happiness, but in experiencing and simply being the circumstances of our life as they are.

~ by Charlotte Joko Beck

The uncovering of deeper levels of joy

The spiritual life is the uncovering of deeper and deeper levels of joy until that joy that streams from the God-head itself is realized and known in every breath. Every increase in joy is an increase in strength and peace of soul and an increase in all the powers of creativity that reveal life as a divine dance.

~ from THE MYSTIC VISION by Andrew Harvey and Anne Baring

Joyful are the poor

Listen and I will tell you who are the people open to Joy whom God has blessed. Joyful are the poor, for nothing stands between them and the Realm of Love. Tilled with Joy are the sorrowful, for their souls are made strong through suffering. In Joyful surrender are the humble, for they receive the whole world as a gift. Joyful are they who long for holiness as one longs for food, for they shall enjoy Love's plenty. Joyful are the mercifully judged.  Filled with Joy are they who establish peace for they share God's very nature. Joyful are the single-hearted for they know Love.

~ by Dorothy R. Sayers, adapted thanks to Elsa Walberg

Joy is the happiness of the soul

Happiness is the joy of the heart;
joy is the happiness of the soul.

~ by Daphne Rose Kingma

Joy and woe are woven fine

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
Under every grief and pine,
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so,
We were made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.

~ by William Blake

The fulness of joy

The fulness of joy is to behold God in all things.

~ by Julian of Norwich

Full of you, full of joy

O thou dweller in my heart,
Open it out, purify it, make it bright, beautiful,
Awaken it, prepare it, make it fearless,
Make it a blessing to others,
Rid it of laziness, free it from doubt,
Unite it with all, destroy its bondage,
Let thy peaceful music prevade all its works,
Make my heart fixed on thy holy feet
And make it full of you, full of joy, full of joy,.

~ by Mohandas Gandhi

The joy of discovering that joy exists

Jeremy found joy in the midst of Block 57. He found it during moments of the day where we found only fear. And he found it in such great abundance that when he was present we felt it rise in us. Inexplicable sensation, incredible even, there where we were: joy was going to fill us. Imagine this gift which Jeremy gave us! ... The joy of discovering that joy exists, that it is in us, just exactly as life is, without conditions and which no condition, even the worst, can kill. We did not understand, but we thanked him, time and time again.

~ from AGAINST THE POLLUTION OF THE I by Jacques Lussayran

The practice of joyousness

Practice is everything; you practice to acquire facility in every art; but not one of these will repay you to the extent that the practice of joyousness will.  Fall asleep at night, awaken in the morning; in the silence know, "All is joy." Then one day it will begin to work within you; you'll retain that joy as a permanent consciousness. Seek ye the realm of joy -- one of Love's holy attributes!

~ by Cyril Scott

Joy is our goal

Joy is our goal, our destiny. We cannot know who we are except in joy. Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things can be. Joy is not necessarily what happens when things unfold according to our own plans... Joy demands that we have the audacity to embrtavce the knowledge of just how  beautiful we really are and how infinitely powerful we are right now -- without changing a thing -- through the grace that's consistently born and reborn in us.

~ by Marianne Williamson

The only true joy on earth

The only true joy on earth is the escape from the prison of our own false selse, and enter by Love into union with the Life who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls.

~ by Thomas Merton

An upwelling of heart-opening joy

When we are able to accept being accepted, able to receive the loving, listening presence of God b oth embodied in others and hidden in their hearts, we experience God as Love, resulting spontaneously in gratitude, praise and joy. I mean an upwelling of heart-breaking, heart-opening thankfulness and joy that such Love could be, that we could be in it, that it could be in us, that we are all in it together.

~ from LISTENBING SPIRITUALITY, Vol. 1 by Patricia Loring

Joy is both in the front row and in the bleachers

The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that Love is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, Love is under the porch as well as on the top of the mountain, and JOY is both in the front row and in the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.

~ from THE BOOK OF AWAKENING by Mark Nepo

The flow to the Spirit will rush in and there will be freedom

If we can be perfectly quiet and perfectly still with no attempt to overcome, destroy, remove, or escape from any situation or condition, the flow to the Spirit will rush in and there will be freedom.

~ Joel Goldsmith

Music has always been intimately connected with the numinous

For a composer silence is something pregnant with expectation ... the most naturally spiritual medium. The music grows in the spiritual life: the silence of monks, the silence of meditation, the silence of not knowing something, the terrible silence of God when we are confronted with evil in the world. Music has always been intimately connected with the numinous and the immaterial. I increasingly believe that the non-corporeal quality of music can be a direct challenge to the world and its materiality.

~ James MacMillan on "Silence," Symphony No. 3 with thanks to Frances Kellog

That which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music

After Silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

~ Aldous Huxley

There is always music amongst the trees in the garden

There is always music amongst the trees in the garden,
but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.

~ M. Aumonier

The songs of whales ring wistful, even melancholy, to the human ear

The songs of whales ring wistful, even melancholy,
to the human ear. Perhaps this tone belongs to all
who plumb the depths.

~ Linda Sussman

Nothing remained in the world save this bird and God: God, and a beak that was singing.

A small bird with a red bonnet on its head came and perched on a rock opposite us. It waved its tail, turned its head anxiously in all directions, then glanced directly at us and as it did so, it grew bold and began to whistle softly, tauntingly at first; but soon it threw back its head, swelled its throat, and gazing at the sky, the light, burst into song with abandon. Everything vanished; nothing remained in the world save this bird and God: God, and a beak that was singing.

~ from ST. FRANCIS by Nikos Kazantzakis

We're walking temples of noise

And we began to sing, "Why should I feel discouraged? Why do the shadows fall? "And Ranola watched Ken rather skeptically for a moment, and then her face began to melt and contort like his, and she went to his side and bent down to lift him up — lifted up this white rag doll, this scarecrow. She held him next to her, draped over and against her like a child while they sang. And it pierced me. I can't image anything but music that could have brought about this alchemy. Maybe it's because music is about as physical as it gets: your heartbeat; your essential sound, the breath. We're walking temples of noise, and when you add tender hearts to this mix, it somehow lets us meet in places we couldn't get to any other way.

~ from TRAVELING MERCIES by Anne Lamott

I am carried by the movement of the sound

I am carried by the movement of the sound.
I go with it, listening.
It is a flow of music through the universe,
A flow of music into me.
It is a flow of harmonies,
Vast, beyond me.
Tremendum. A great word, a sound,
The music of life playing in the spheres beyond.
In the Silence, in the Silence.

~ from THE STAR/CROSS by Ira Progoff

Music comes first from my heart

Music comes first from my heart, and then goes
upstairs to my head where I check it out.

~ Roberta Flack

You ARE the music while the music lasts

Music heard so deeply,
it is not heard at all:
You ARE the music
while the music lasts.

~ T. S. Eliot

You ARE the music while the music lasts

Music heard so deeply,
it is not heard at all:
You ARE the music
while the music lasts.

~ T. S. Eliot

After listening to the music I was able to pray again

I am one of a new breed, a hospital musician. Last week a doctor who had come out of a difficult eight-hour surgery heard the piano and stopped to rest. He said the aria I was playing from Bach's Goldenberg Variations revived him by reminding him of the larger picture. He said he felt more accepting of the outcome of the operation he'd performed. The man who'd received a new kidney said, "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony reminded me how much I want to live, how much I love life. After listening to the music I was able to pray again."

~ from THE NATURE OF MUSIC by Maureen McCarthy Draper

It's a wonder to behold how human beings feel after making their own music

It's a wonder to behold how human beings feel after making their own music. It's been well-documented throughout history that people really put themselves on a higher spiritual level when they involve themselves in music or any of the allied arts. Our lives are so affected by what we do artistically. But too often we hold back because of our limiting image of success thinking: I don't know how to do this. We need to give ourselves the freedom to create our own sounds of music.

~ from "Playing for the Fun of It" by Jeff Wangenheim

Hear the sound of the Love to which you belong

Nothing prepared me for what I saw. I realized that the young voice was coming from 83-year-old Jonas, who was singing the "Sanctus" by Beethoven, with a beauty that could not be explained. It was like the Soul of all life summoning each spirit who listened: Here! Here is the sound of all that is true. Hear the sound of the Love to which you belong. That afternoon I learned that Jonas had been sent to Siberia as a young man because of that voice. Because of the remarkable gift he had been sent to build roads and live in obscurity. Now he was an elderly man, but the voice had never aged. Truly, it existed apart from any space and time.

~ from A NEW SET OF EYES by Paul D'Arcy

How can I keep from singing?

My life goes on in endless song
above Earth's lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul;
How can I keep from singing?

~ Traditional hymn

The world as symphony

The imagination is one of every thing in the universe as a song of praise ... the world as symphony. If one note in a musical composition is played off-key, the whole composition is off. If a musician decides to go his or her own way in the middle of a symphony in order to express freedom, the free play of the whole is destroyed. On the other hand, musicians find true freedom when their individuality harmonizes with the whole.

~ from LOVE AND THE SOUL by Robert Sardello

When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or no

When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or not. Freedom attracts wherever it appears. A free man or a free woman creates a space where others feel safe and want to dwell. Our world is so full of conditions, demands, requirements, and obligations that we often wonder what is expected of us. But when we meet a truly free person there are no expectations, only an invitation to reach into ourselves and discover there our own freedom. Where true inner freedom is, there God is. And where God is, there we want to be.

~ Henri Nouwen, with thanks to James V. Dolson

True freedom

Compassionate action is a requisite to true freedom.

~ Anonymous

The tapestry of our lives is colored with freedom

There's such beauty in sharing the distinctive songs of our own souls as we dance with the grand web of life, each of us embodying particular forms, energies, and rhythms, bringing into the world our unique purposes, passions, and gifts. The tapestry of our lives is colored with freedom when we are guided by our own creativity and knowing.

~ JoAnne Dodgson

Find an inner freedom

Consider freedom: find an inner freedom and then,
however constraining the circumstances are,
it will not diminish your internal freedom.

~ Pir V. I. Khan

The struggle must be continuous, for freedom is never a final act

In the last years of his life, Rultin was fond of repeating a statement attributed to A. Philip Randolph: "The struggle must be continuous, for freedom is never a final act. "A few months before Rultin died, a young admirer asked how he kept hopeful in dismally conservative times. "I have learned a very significant message from the prophets," Rultin replied. "They taught that God does not require us to achieve any of the good tasks that humanity must pursue. What is required of us is that we not stop trying."

~ from LOST PROPHET by John D'Emilio

To live in its knowledge is to know yourself to be free

The inner spirit is who I really am. My body is alive in this nature and exists in its frame. I do not need to be spiritual to find this. I only need to stop believing that the ego, the small self, is me. If I do, a different knowing emerges which has a largeness and a certain beauty. It is an expression of power and love beyond the usual definitions. To live in its knowledge is to know yourself to be free.

~ from A NEW SET OF EYES by Paula D'Arcy

Freedom from the mundane and ordinary, from the rational and need to know

Play is our contact with our love for life. It brings us back into our joy at being alive and shows us where our freedom is. Play moves us out of our fixed mindsets: it offers freedom from the tyranny of habit, freedom from the mundane and ordinary, from the rational and need to know and be in control. It is freedom from rigid identification with race, class, gender, and even species.

~ Gwen Gordon in "EarthLight," Vol. 13, No. 3

Those who are disciplined with joy and light

Those who are disciplined with joy and light within become one with God and reach the freedom that is God.

~ Bhagavad Gita

In the spiritual life, freedom is for nothing other than love

Freedom is not an end in itself. It is not just freedom from something; it must also be freedom for something. In the spiritual life, freedom is for nothing other than love. Human beings exist because of love, and the meaning and goal of our lives is love.

~ from THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL by Gerald May

That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free

Someone was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool streams gushed over one hand, she spelled into the other the word "Water," first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly, I felt a misty caress as of something forgotten—a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!

~ from THE STORY OF MY LIFE by Helen Keller

Spirit's gift of freedom comes to us as a conscious rhapsody of being chosen and choosing

Spirit's gift of freedom comes to us as a conscious rhapsody of being chosen and choosing. We are journeyed through life by mysterious Spirit that will not let us be till we grasp our freedom, with fear and fascination, till we say yes or no. This is the glory of being human: experiencing being chosen to decide, and deciding, again and again, endlessly. This is the conscious rhapsody of our lives.

~ from OUR UNIVERSAL SPIRIT JOURNEY by John P. Cock

To lie fallow is a gift

To lie fallow is a gift. We don't really know how to do it. Rather we are done by it or undone by it. The moments we are allowed to be in that condition are times of gratitude. It is from these that our freedom comes. It is where authentic being exists. Any fruitfulness arises from that surrendered openness. It is there that God makes each of us a fertile ground, a bearing soil.

~ from A MYSTIC GARDEN by Gunilla Norris

Most people want solitude because they want to discover their unconditional freedom

Most people want solitude because they want to discover their unconditional freedom, where they are free of all definitions.

~ William Irwin Thompson

Wings of freedom

Resting in the heart of God
births
wings of freedom.

~ Sue Robinson

How can we discern the true freedom of our soul

How can we discern the true freedom of our soul, the freedom in which everything is given, from the promises and practices of personal liberation? Mystics who have given themselves to love know what is beyond the borders of culture and conditioning. They inhabit a region of the soul where love and service are given freely and there is neither striving nor achievement. Living a relationship of oneness, they recognize that the deepest longing of their heart belongs not to themselves but to their Beloved... Belonging neither to this world or the next, they are servants of love and carry the wisdom that comes from a commitment to love.

~ from THE SIGNS OF GOD by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

May Work with Meaning flourish on Earth

As we enable others to work
with meaning, mutual
fulfillment becomes a
building block to peace
and smiles become contagious.

We are asking,
May Work with Meaning
flourish on Earth.

~ from PEACE PLANET: Prayers for Our World by Nan Merrill

All work is empty

All work is empty save when there is love.

~ Kahlil Gibran

In order to continually re-imagine ourselves through our work lives

In order to continually re-imagine ourselves through our work lives, we must have a part of us that belongs to something beyond the status quo. Something over the horizon or, paradoxically, beneath us, in the ground of our life. Something as yet hidden, yet to be brought to light. Something which is governed by other laws than the ones we so assiduously obey every day. Something to do with the laws that govern the way we belong to this stubborn and beautiful world.

~ from CROSSING THE UNKNOWN SEA by David Whyte

So my secret is to start right away doing whatever little work I can do

If we just worry about the big picture, we are powerless. So my secret is to start right away doing whatever little work I can do. I try to give joy to one person in the morning, and remove the suffering of one person in the afternoon. If you and your friends do not despise the small work, a million people will remove a lot of suffering.

~ S. Chan Khong , thanks to Liz Stewart

What is my Work? Is my present action leading to my Work?

Twenty years ago, when I was near death from a life-threatening illness, a vivid dream was more real than life. Floating out of my body, I rose up, up, and up inside the clouds above. With no door visible, I nevertheless knocked, repeatedly demanding entry. The sky whitened with my greeting as a Large Voice stated, "You have got a lot of work to do. "It sent me down, down back into my body with the life-long question: What is my Work? Is my present action leading to my Work?

~ Rosie Rosenzweig

To rediscover through passionate work those one or two images

A person's life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through detours or art, or love, or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which that person's heart first opened.

~ Albert Camus

The wise work diligently without allegiance to words

The wise work diligently without allegiance to words.
They teach by doing, not by saying;
they are genuinely helpful,
not discriminating,
positive, not possessive.
They do not proclaim their accomplishments,
and because they do not proclaim them,
credit for them can never be taken away.

~ Tao Te Ching

Be a gardner, dig a ditch, toil and sweat

Be a gardner.
Dig a ditch,
toil and sweat
and turn the earth upside down
and seek deepness
and water the plants in time.
Continue this labor
and make sweet floods to run
and noble and abundant fruits
to spring.
Take this food and drink
and carry it to God
as your worship.

~ Julian of Norwich

Freed enough from the addictions of the world that I can be true to my Work sent from above

For me, the question is whether my encounter with death has freed me enough from the addictions of the world that I can be true to my Work as I now see it "sent" from above. It clearly involves a call to prayer, contemplation, silence, solitude, and inner detachment. I have to keep choosing my "not belonging" in order to belong, my not being from below in order to be from above. For, the taste of God's unconditional love quickly disappears when the addictive powers of everyday existence make their presence felt again.

~ from BEYOND THE MIRROR by Henry T. Nouwen

Each person, no matter how old, has an important work to do

Each person, no matter how old, has an important work to do. This good work not only accomplishes something needed in the world, but completes something in us. The work we do in the world, when it is true vocation, always corresponds in some mysterious way to the work that goes on within us.

~ Elizabeth O'Connor

A vast work, born of the spirit

I was invited to a barn raising near Wooster, Ohio. A tornado had leveled 4 barns and acres of prime Amish timber. In just three weeks the downed trees were sawn into girders, posts and beams and the 4 barns rebuilt and filled with livestock donated by neighbors to replace those killed in the storm. I watched the raising of the last barn in open-mouthed awe. Some 400 Amish men and boys, acting and reacting like a hive of bees in absolute harmony of cooperation, started at sunrise with only a foundation and floor and by noon, BY NOON, had the huge edifice far enough along that you could put hay in it -- a vast work, born of the spirit.

~ Gene Logsdon in AMISH ROOTS by John A. Hostetler

Not to have and hold, but to give and serve

The purpose of this world is not to have and hold, but to give and serve.

~ Wilfred T. Grenfell

These moments move us beyond the ordinary labors of our lives

Douglas Steere writes in WORK AND CONTEMPLATION of occasional moments of transcendence, as "ripples of ecstasy, when our deepest creative impulse, our spring of freedom, is drawn upon and released . . . And in such moments of utter self-absorption, we are lifted above both pain and pleasure. "These moments move us beyond the ordinary labors of our lives. They often occur when we have been in the company of strangers. They require time, and they invite Love.

~ from ATHENA'S DISGUISES by Susan Ford Wiltshire

Think of your work not as a place to make a living, but as an opportunity to make a life

Think of your work not as a place to make a living, but as an opportunity to make a life. Think of yourself as a channel through which creative activities flow.

~ from SPIRITUAL ECONOMICS, by Eric Butterworth

Integrity also means wholeness, Oneness

The word integrity has two meanings. The first is "honesty. "We have to be honest in facing our limitations, in facing the sheer complexity of the world, honest in facing criticism even of things which are deeply precious to us. Integrity also means wholeness, Oneness, the desire for a single vision, the refusal to split our minds into separate compartments where incompatible ideas are not allowed to come into contact. An undivided mind looks in the end for an undivided truth, a Oneness at the heart of things. The whole quest for integrity presupposes that in the end we are all encountering a single reality and a single truth.

~ from CONFESSIONS OF A CONSERVATIVE LIBERAL by John Habtood

And everything comes to One

. . And everything comes to One
As we dance on, dance on, dance on.

~ Theodore Roethke

But when the One returns to all things, even the pebbles sparkle

When all things return to the One, even gold loses its value.
But when the One returns to all things, even the pebbles sparkle.

~ John Wu

An interconnectedness and Oneness that ancient cultures have never abandoned


It may seem difficult to believe that a simple culture in the Himalaya has anything to teach our industrialized society. But our search for a future that works keeps spiraling back to an ancient connection between ourselves and the earth, an interconnectedness and Oneness that ancient cultures have never abandoned.

~ Helena Norberg-Hodge

Our religion is Oneness

I long for the day when the statement,
"Our God is love, our race is human,
and our religion is Oneness,"
is more than the musings of my mind,
but is the creed of the heart of the human family.

~ R. Jim Rosemergy

Our deep and fundamental interdependence and Oneness with each other

May we all attend to reuniting our heads, hearts, and hands, taking time to be receptive, suspending judgment, and awaiting patiently for insights that arise, unbidden. May we practice being still and really listening – to ourselves, to each other, and to the gentle whispers of the living intelligences of the natural world.

If we can do that, we will build a contagious energy that will ultimately lead to real healing and restoration – the restoration of our wholeness, as a global community – of our deep and fundamental interdependence and Oneness with each other, other species and the whole interwoven web of creation.

~ Nina Simons

The Spirit in all when all become One

The Spirit in all
when all become One,
Peace reigning on earth.

~ Dermot O'Brien

The thoughts of the earth are my thoughts

The thoughts of the earth are my thoughts.
The voice of the earth is my voice.
All that belongs to the earth belongs to me.
All that surrounds the earth surrounds me.
It is lovely indeed, it is lovely indeed.

~ a Navajo Song

One with All

O, Blessed Peacemaker
You make your Home in our hearts
as Loving Companion Presence.
With unreserved, radical trust,
our path is made sure.
Bonded in Love, we become empowered
to serve with mercy and justice:
One with You…
One with All.
Blessed are You, O Life of our lives.

~ from LUMEN CHRISTI, HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill

Spiritual evolution reunites the many with the One

Creation separates the many from the One.
Spiritual evolution reunites the many with the One.

~ Jerry Thomas

The Oneness of each to all through God is real, objective, existential

The Oneness of each to all through God is real, objective, existential. It is an eternal relationship which is shared in by every stick and stone and bird and beast and saint and sinner of the universe. On all, the wooing love of God falls urgently, persuadingly.
 

~ from A TESTAMENT OF DEVOTION by Thomas Kelley

One great web of life over this round earth

"We did not weave the web of life," wrote Ted Perry in the spirit of Chief Seattle. "We are only a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourself. "The part can no longer make believe that it does not belong to the Whole or contribute to the life or death of the Whole. We are One great respiration, One great circulation, One great web of life over this round earth.

~ from CIRCLES OF HOPE by Bill Cane

A beautiful silent Onenes

Insects singing, larvae, pupae, seeds celebrating their fecundity, cones opening, draped boughs undulating from trunks connecting earth to sky, everything vital, everything expressing a divine Spirit, God filling all space. A single swirl of energy–birth, growth, feeding, breeding, decay–all of it continuous Life, teeming with mystery, and she a part of it.

She felt an incoming and an unfurling, a momentary mindlessness, a long-awaited union, a beautiful silent Oneness, and she was left with an unutterable calm.

~ from THE FOREST LOVER by Susan Vreeland

The people of the world are limbs from one body, sharing one essence

The people of the world are limbs from one body,
sharing one essence.
When a single limb is oppressed,
all the others suffer agony.

~ Sa'adi of Shiraz

Oneness with the Great Web we call Creation

To be fully human, we must recognize the full humanity of all other people. Each of us will be fully human only when we recognize the Aliveness of all Creation, when we learn to speak of God in Everything, and to humbly admit our interdependence and Oneness with the Great Web we call Creation.

~ Lisa Lofland Gould

The experience of separation is a kind of optical delusion of one's consciousness

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

~ Albert Einstein

Service, gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted

Service, gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted or solved with God's help, the knowledge that at home or in the world we are partners in a common effort, the well understood fact that in God's light all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given surely brings a full return ... These are permanent and legitimate satisfactions of right living for which no amount of pomp and circumstance, no heap of material possessions, could possibly be substitutes.

True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and to walk humbly under the grace of God.

~ from SEEDS OF GRACE by S. Molly Monahan

Even the simplest tasks can be invested and imbued with sacred energy

The greening spirit that is the shape of our sacred world is ever present, ever near to us. Our daily life can start to feel like a daily grind, causing us to forget this precious greening spirit of life. The Celtic Way banishes the heavy energies of a banal existence by sanctifying every moment with soul energy and purpose. Even the simplest tasks can be invested and imbued with sacred energy.

~ from THE MIST-FILLED PATH by Frank MacGowen

The interturning of thought, intuition, and work to the highest possible good

That there is no separation between you and all that is good and true. Grace. A moment in thought where you are not alone, for you realize that you are part of a living, breathing creation. A moment where you understand that the unfolding of your life has meaning. Grace. The interturning of thought, intuition, and work to the highest possible good.

~ from THE DANCE OF THE DOLPHIN by Karyn D. Kedar

My work now is to give water to the trees

"My upside days are over, Greg Sahib," he said. "I'd like to work with you for many more years, but Allah, in his wisdom, has taken much of my strength. "

Mortenson hugged this may who'd helped him so often to find his way. Despite Mouzafer's talk of weakness, his arms were still strong enough to squeeze the breath out of a large American. "What will you do?" Mortenson asked.

"My work now," Mouzafer said simply, "is to give water to the trees."

~ from THREE CUPS OF TEA by G. Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Blessed are you who work with goodness

Blessed are you
who work with goodness
who stand for the right
who live in truth.
For you come to know the Friend
who dwells in the secret room
of your heart.

You are like an acorn planted
in fertile soil
that grows into a mighty oak.
Your work blesses others,
you radiate love;
joy delights your heart.

~ from MEDITATIONS AND MANDALAS by Nan C. Merrill

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.

~ Phillips Brooks

As the day brings us the petty round of irritating duties

As the day brings us the petty round of irritating duties, help us perform them with laughter and a kind face; give us to go blithely on our business.

~ Martin and Micah Marty

To view work as a pilgrimage is to put our heart's desires to hazard

To view work as a pilgrimage is to put our heart's desires to hazard, because merely by setting out, we have told ourselves that there is something bigger and better, or even smaller and better – above all something more life giving – that awaits us in our work, and we are going to seek it. We look around to see what we have for the journey and find at bottom that we possess only intuitions and imagination.
 

~ from CROSSING THE UNKNOWN SEA by David Whyte

There is no separation between work and prayer

Work is work and there's harmony in it when the dignity it deserves is allowed to thrive naturally. The greatest teaching manual labor provides a contemplative practice is that there is no separation between work and prayer: work is prayer and prayer is work.

~ from HUMILITY MATTERS by S. Mary Margaret Funk

Never again will your work be a burden

When yonever again will your work be a burdenu can find something in your work that is in the nature of a service to be performed, . When you have found something into which you can put your heart and soul and you can pour out some measure of service, even if in the beginning it is the most menial of labors, it will lead you to the joy of expressing yourself. If your consciousness is filled with service and cooperation, then your activity regardless of its nature will express the service and cooperation in your consciousness, and it will be a steadily expanding and unfolding activity.

~ from THE ART OF SPIRITUAL HEALING by Joel Goldsmith

All work that is worth anything is done in faith

No ray of sunshine is ever lost,
but the green which it awakens
into existence
needs time to sprout,
and it is not always granted
for the sower to see the harvest.
.
All work that is worth anything is done
in faith.

~ Albert Schweitzer

Works of love are the way to peace

Works of love are the way to peace. And where does this love begin? Right in our hearts. We must know that we have been created for greater things, not just to be a number in the world, not just to go for diplomas and degrees, this work and that work. We have been created in order to love and to be loved.

~ Mother Teresa

Work for the sake of accomplishing the task at hand and understanding

Work for the sake of accomplishing the task at hand and understanding; in the beginning, the work is more important than the worker. When you finish your task, look at what you have achieved. If you have worked with your heart, you will be pleased with the results. These results will make you want to achieve even more in your next endeavor. The results are the true rewards of our labors.

~ from THE LIVING TAO by Stephen F. Kaufman

It felt like my chest could explode and be the sun and the clouds

I was looking at the sky, just watching. I don't know how to say it, but I felt everything was perfect and connected--it's like there was no room even to think. It felt like my chest could explode and be the sun and the clouds.

~ Debbie, age 11

We each were birthed by this glorious universe

Made of the stuff of probability waves, starlight, planetary cycling, mighty mountains, continents, and oceans of our silver blue sphere, genetic journeys, language, learning, and loving, we each were birthed by this glorious universe that continues to show us its awesome majesty with each year cycling, each day dawning, each breath repeated, and each moment unfolding. We can only be joyous with the realization that so much of this awesome majesty is reflected in human consciousness. It is precisely this fact that enables us to call ourselves Sparks of God.

~ from "Meditations on Our Deep Roots" by Morty Breier in "Tikkun" Sept/Oct 1998

Each creature that Love made

Each creature that Love made must live its own true nature.

~ Mechtild of Magdeburg

The earth is at the same time mother, she is mother of all that is natural

The earth is at the same time mother,
she is mother of all that is natural,
mother of all that is human.
She is the mother of all,
for contained in her are the seeds of all.
The earth of humankind contains all moisture,
all verdancy, all germinating power.
It is in so many ways fruitful.
All creation comes from it.
Yet it forms not only the basic raw materials
for humankind, but also
the substance of Incarnation.

~ Hildegard of Bingen

These are the eyes of the earth

If we will think of ourselves as coming out of the earth, rather than having been thrown in here from somewhere else, we see that we are the earth, we are the consciousness of the earth. These are the eyes of the earth. And this is the voice of the earth.

~ Joseph Campbell

Nature is the great teacher

Nature is the great teacher, the book of life to be read and understood. That's why it is important not just to protect the natural world, but to guide it to the highest level of perfection. Our task as spiritual people is to foster an intimate bond between the world of nature--rivers, mountains, oceans, animals, forests--and our own felt nature. When one is thriving, the other will find needed support.

~ from THE LOST SUTRAS OF JESUS ed. by Riegert and Moore

Unexpected encounters in nature

Nothing has the potential to move us off dead center quite as powerfully as unexpected encounters in nature. From the meadows to the mountaintops, from the devoted pet to the flight of the bumblebee--the ways that nature nurtures us bring tears to our eyes and resolve to our hearts. And we are often brought into the place of allowing the spirit to finally get through to us. The possibilities are endless--the motion of the tides, the cleansing of a rainstorm, the dormancy of winter--all remind us that a force greater than ourselves turns the clock of this universe. Nature immerses us in that power.

~ from HOW CAN I LET GO IF I DON'T KNOW I'M HOLDING ON by Linda Douty

There is no frantic separation between the creatures of the forest and the gentleness of our hearts

When we enter the Stillness and listen, we feel the aliveness that is all around us. We give ourselves the opportunity to be a part of the vibrant, living, natural world. The Stillness brings a deep serenity into our hearts and a vital life force into our bodies. When we practice Entering the Silence in nature, there is no frantic separation between the creatures of the forest and the gentleness of our hearts.

~ from GRANDFATHER by Tom Brown