some of our favorite quotes

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all beings never be parted from freedom’s true joy.
May all beings dwell in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion.

Traditional Tibetan Prayer

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, 
and may my thoughts and my actions somehow contribute to that freedom for all.

Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant? ...We are all shape-shifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves.


What you are, the world is. And without your transformation, there can be no transformation of the world.


Rainforest Poem

What If?
a poem by Ganga White

What if our religion was each other?
If our practice was our life?
If prayer was our words?
What if the Temple was the Earth?
If forests were our church?
If holy water—the rivers, lakes and oceans?
What if meditation was our relationships?
If the Teacher was life?
If wisdom was self-knowledge?
If love was the center of our being

©1998 Ganga White, Santa Barbara All Rights Reserved
- Written at the Rainforest Benefit, NYC April 1998

Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice.


As the Sun shines upon my heart, so may my heart shine upon others!


The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you. Please don't go back to sleep.


We arrive empty handed, and leave empty handed. 

So then, how do we want to spend the time in between?


Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.


Begin doing what you want to do now.

We are not living in eternity.

We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand

- and melting like a snowflake.


We don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
– Howard Zinn

Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. (A person is a person because of other people).


Rather than asking what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go out and do it. 

Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.


Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart...
Maya Angelou

It doesn't take much--it can be just giving a smile. The world would be a much better place if everyone smiled more.


If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.


Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past.


There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe. The horizontal threads are in space. The vertical threads are in time. At every crossing of the threads, there is an individual, and every individual is a crystal bead. And every crystal bead reflects not only the light from every other crystal in the net, but also every other reflection throughout the entire universe.


Be humble for you are made of Earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.


The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Nothing in life is to be feared, only understood. 

Now is the time to understand more, so we may fear less.


History may be read as the story of the magnificent rearguard action fought during several thousand years by dogma against curiosity.
– Robert Lynd, writer (20 Apr 1879-1949)

It may be that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.


Enveloped in Your Light, may I be a beacon to those in search of Light. Sheltered in Your Peace, may I offer shelter to those in need of peace. Embraced by Your Presence, so may I be present to others.


To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe.


Kindness does wonderful things to a face.


Within us is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the universal beauty, the eternal One.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist (25 May 1803-1882)

I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being!


"The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff.

We are a way for the Universe to know itself." 

CARL SAGAN wings to the mind, a soul to the universe, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, a life to everything.


Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.


Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

God sleeps in stones, breathes in plants, dreams in animals, and awakens in human beings.


The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.


{We can believe in ourselves when} someone reveals that something deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.


Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
Jalaluddin Rumi

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.


O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.


Today you are you! 

That is truer than true! 

There is no one alive 

who is you-er than you!
 - Dr. Suess

How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty? It felt the encouragement of Light against its being; otherwise we all remain too frightened.


From Padama:

In Sanskrit:

कायेन वाचा मनसेन्द्रियैर्वा
बुद्ध्यात्मना वा प्रकृतेः स्वभावात्
करोमि यद्यत् सकलं परस्मै
नारायणायेति समर्पयामि //


kAyena vAchA manasE-ndriye-irvA
buddhyAAthmanA vA prakrutEha svabhAvAt
karomi yadhyat sakalam parasme-i
nArAyanAyEti samarpa-yAmi

Translation (literal word-meaning in parenthesis): 

With my actions (body), speech, thoughts (mind), feelings (sense-organs), 
Reasoning (intellect), inner spirit, and instincts (inherent nature); 
Whatever I do with all of these,  
I offer selflessly to the Divine Spirit.

“As it is, we are merely bolting our lives—gulping down undigested experiences as fast as we can stuff them in—because awareness of our own existence is so superficial and so narrow that nothing seems to us more boring than simply being. If I ask you what you did, saw, heard, smelled, touched and tasted yesterday, I am likely to get nothing more than the thin, sketchy outline of the few things that you noticed, and of those only what you thought worth remembering. Is it surprising that an existence so experienced seems so empty and bare that its hunger for an infinite future is insatiable? But suppose you could answer, “It would take me forever to tell you, and I am much too interested in what’s happening now.” How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such a fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself as anything less than a god? And, when you consider that this incalculably subtle organism is inseparable from the still more marvelous patterns of its environment—from the minutest electrical designs to the whole company of the galaxies—how is it conceivable that this incarnation of all eternity can be bored with being?”~ Alan Watts

Look at your feet. You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth.
– Diane Ackerman

When the waves close over me, I dive down to fish for pearls.


The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.


Not one single atom opposes us.
Zen Master Hongzhi

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well...for

 there is a Force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will

 never let us go.


Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something

 makes sense, regardless of how it turns out...

The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own

 life, but that it bothers him less and less...
Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone

 who can consistently laugh at himself does not.

Václav Havel

Former President of Czechoslovakia

I Got Kin


Plant - So that your own heart will grow.

Love - 
So God will think,"Ahhhhhh,

I got kin in that body! I should start inviting that soul over for coffee 

and rolls."

Sing - 
Because this is a food Our starving world Needs.

Laugh - 
Because that is the purest Sound.


People often say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.
Salma Hayek

Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly.

G.K. Chesterton

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
Joseph Addison

The way you come to fully appreciate the infusion of the Spirit is to more and more come fully into the moment, where this moment is enough.
Ram Dass

The Good News 
by Thich Nhat Hanh

The good news 
we do print. 
We have a special edition every moment, 
and we need you to read it. 
The good news is that you are alive, 
that the linden tree is still there, 
standing firm in the harsh winter. 
The good news is that you have wonderful eyes 
to touch the blue sky. 
The good news is that your child is there before you, 
and your arms are available: 
hugging is possible. 
They only print what is wrong. 
Look at each of our special editions. 
We always offer the things that are not wrong. 
We want you to benefit from them 
and help protect them. 
The dandelion is there by the sidewalk, 
smiling its wondrous smile, 
singing the song of eternity. 
Listen. You have ears that can hear it. 
Bow your head. 
Listen to it. 
Leave behind the world of sorrow, 
of preoccupation, 
and get free. 
The latest good news 
is that you can do it.

In the time of your life, live — so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.
William Saroyan

The Time of Your Life

Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Try pausing right before and right after undertaking a new action, even something simple like putting a key in a lock to open a door. Such pauses take a brief moment, yet they have the effect of decompressing time and centering you.


Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous.
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

Alchemical Wisdom

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all

 your life.


Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing, life reveals just the opposite: that letting go is the real path to freedom.
Sogyal Rinpoche

Glimpse After Glimpse

The unthankful heart...discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! 
Henry Ward Beecher

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything God has given us
 - and God has given us everything. 
Thomas Merton

Thoughts in Solitude

Hope is like a road in the country: there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
Lin Yutang

The only way to live is to accept each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.
Margaret Storm Jameson

Within us is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the universal beauty, the eternal One.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Few things are so important that they cannot wait for a moment of breath... 

T.K.V. Desikachar

Enveloped in Your Light, may I be a beacon to those in search of Light. 

Sheltered in Your Peace, may I offer shelter to those in need of peace. 

Embraced by Your Presence, so may I be present to others.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro

"I Shall Look At The World Through Tears.

Perhaps I Shall See Things That, Dry-Eyed, I Could Not See".

Nicholas Wolterstorff.

Look at your feet. You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth.
– Diane Ackerman

Serenity Prayer - Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;  

and the wisdom to know the difference."

"Wisdom is knowing we are all One.
Love is what is feels like. 

Compassion is what it acts like."

Ethan Walker III

"Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. 

It is part of the isness of the Now. You can't argue with what is. 

Well you can but if you do you suffer."

 Eckhart Tolle

Nothing we see or hear is perfect. 

But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.

Suzuki Roshi

Thankfulness is the soul of beneficence; 
abundance is but the husk, 
for thankfulness brings you to the place where the Beloved lives.

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. 
In that space is our power to choose our response. 
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Viktor E. Frankl

Endlessly raveling and unraveling, 

thought combines colorful yarns to clothe each moment.

Consciousness is the great poem of matter.

Diane Ackerman

 "Ring the bell that can be rung, 
forget your perfect offering, 
There’s a crack in everything, 
that’s how the light gets in.... 
That’s how the light  gets in....”

-Leonard Cohen

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, 

those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.


Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera and oneness with your world is your film.
– Ansel Adams

“There has never been an ordinary human being born on this planet. But while there has never been an ordinary child born on this earth, the undeniable tragedy is that most of us die after having lived painfully ordinary lives. Every child is born with his own genius, her unique creativity. Every human being is brimming with divine potential. Every one of us is born with an artisan soul. It was Picasso who said, “Every child is born an artist. The problem is staying an artist as you grow up.”

Erwin Raphael McManus. “The Artisan Soul.”

Spring Giddiness


Today, like every other day, we wake up empty

and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study

and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

I would love to kiss you.

The price of kissing is your life.

Now my loving is running toward my life shouting,

What a bargain, let’s buy it.

Daylight, full of small dancing particles

and the one great turning, our souls

are dancing with you, without feet, they dance.

Can you see them when I whisper in your ear?

All day and night, music,

a quiet, bright

reedsong. If it


we fade.

Gratitude takes nothing for granted, 

is never unresponsive, 

is constantly awakening to new wonder.

Thomas Merton

The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, 

known suffering, known struggle, known loss,

and have found their way out of the depths. 

These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an 

understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness,

 and a deep loving concern.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Check out wisdom commons

Tom S,
Aug 14, 2014, 5:14 PM