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“The great lesson from the true mystics, from the Zen Monks, and now also from the Humanistic and Transpersonal psychologists—that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s back yard, and that travel may be a flight from confronting the sacred—this lesson can be easily lost. To be looking elsewhere for miracles is to me a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous.”  Abraham Maslow

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“The slogan “Don’t misinterpret” means don’t impose the wrong notion of what harmony is, what compassion is, what patience is, what generosity is. Don’t misinterpret what these things really are. There is compassion and there is idiot compassion; there is patience and there is idiot patience; there is generosity and there is idiot generosity. For example, trying to smooth everything out to avoid confrontation, to not rock the boat, is not what is meant by compassion or patience. That’s what is meant by control. Then you are not trying to step into unknown territory, to find yourself naked with less protection and therefore more in contact with reality. Instead, you use the idiot forms of compassion and so forth just to get ground.

When you open the door and invite in all sentient beings as your guests, you have to drop your agenda. Many different people come in. Just when you think you have a little scheme that is going to work, it doesn’t work. It may be very beneficial to one person, but when you try it on the next person, he looks at you as if you’re crazy, and when you try it on somebody else, she gets insulted. Coming up with a formula won’t work. You don’t know what’s going to help, but all the same you need to speak and act with clarity and decisiveness. Clarity and decisiveness come from the willingness to slow down, to listen to look at what’s happening. They come from opening your heart and not running away. Then your actions and speech accord with what needs to be done – for you and for the other person.”  Pema Chödrön

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“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”  Rachel Remen 

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“I’m not fascinated by people who smile all the time. What I find interesting is the way people look when they are lost in thought, when their face becomes angry or serious, when they bite their lip, the way they glance, the way they look down when they walk, when they are alone and smoking a cigarette, when they smirk, the way they half smile, the way they try and hold back tears, the way when their face says they want to say something but can’t, the way they look at someone they want or love… I love the way people look when they do these things. It’s… beautiful.”  Clemence Poesy

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“So each of us has a choice. You have a choice. Your thoughts can make you and the world around you suffer more or suffer less. If you want to create a more collegial, harmonious atmosphere in your… community, don’t start by trying to change other people. Your first priority should be to find your own quiet space inside so you can learn more about yourself. This includes getting to know and understand your own suffering. When your practice is solid and you’ve already harvested some of the sweet fruits of getting to know yourself, you can consider ways you can make more room to bring silence, deep looking, understanding, and compassion into your… community.”   Thich Nhat Hanh

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“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.”  Henry Miller

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“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could spare them from all suffering? No, it wouldn’t. They would not evolve as human beings and would remain shallow, identified with the external form of things. Suffering drives you deeper. The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form. A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego—but not until you suffer consciously.”  Eckhart Tolle

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“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.” Cheryl Strayed

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“Great people will always be mocked by those who feel smaller than them. A lion does not flinch at laughter coming from a hyena. A gorilla does not budge from a banana thrown at it by a monkey.  A nightingale does not stop singing its beautiful song at the intrusion of an annoying woodpecker. Whenever you should doubt your self-worth, remember the lotus flower. Even though it plunges to life from beneath the mud, it does not allow the dirt that surrounds it to affect its growth or beauty.”  Suzy Kassem