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From the wisdom traditions, the dharma, and the perennial philosophers:

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

-- Carl Jung

“There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting.”  

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.” ― Meister Eckhart


“Ask not of things to shed their veils. Unveil yourselves, and things will be unveiled.” ― Mikhail Naimy


“As long as we feel emptiness inside, we cannot help living in insecurity; so we cannot help manipulating others in an attempt to fill that emptiness. Wherever there is manipulation, love cannot enter; in fact, when we try to use others to fill our own emptiness, even the little love we had is likely to vanish. To give freely, we have to be full, and this kind of fullness comes ultimately from the Divine within.” ― Eknath Easwaran


“Doffing the ego's

safe glory, we find

our naked reality.” ― Dag Hammarskjöld


From The Enneagram:

“The Virtues are essential qualities of the awakened heart and are embodied in us when we are abiding in Essence—in the non-dual nature of reality. As one loses awareness and presence, falling away from Essence into the trance of the personality, we lose contact with our Virtue.


By getting out of the way of Grace, we actively allow the Virtues to arise in us, and with that, our hearts are reoriented away from personality and toward the Real. We are able to reconnect with ourselves and others, and, for the awakened heart, to be a conduit for Grace and healing to flow into the world.”  

—Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson


"If you can sit quietly after difficult news; if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm; if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy; if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate; if you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill; if you can always find contentment just where you are: you are probably a dog.

Read by Jack Kornfield on retreat (some years ago).


Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.

Mary Sarton

There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge and to maintain balance within it a precarious business. But I must not forget that, for me, being with people or even with one beloved person for any length of time without solitude is even worse. I lose my center. I feel dispersed, scattered, in pieces. I must have time alone in which to mull over my encounter, and to extract its juice, its essence, to understand what has really happened to me as a consequence of it.

Love opens the doors into everything, as far as I can see, including and perhaps most of all, the door into one's own secret, and often terrible and frightening, real self.

Mary Sarton


Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.

- Maya Angelou


Perhaps ultimately, spiritual simply means experiencing wholeness and

interconnectedness directly, a seeing that individuality and the totality are

interwoven, that nothing is separate or extraneous. If you see in this way, then

everything becomes spiritual in its deepest sense. Doing science is spiritual. So is

washing the dishes. It is the inner experience which counts. And you have to be

there for it. All else is mere thinking.

- Jon Kabat-Zinn


Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky. Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but

the moon is always behind them. Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly. So

don't worry about clear mind: it is always there. When thinking comes, behind it is

clear mind. When thinking goes, there is only clear mind. Thinking comes and goes,

comes and goes. You must not be attached to the coming or the going.

- Seung Sahn


Undirected attention will tend to stray to old familiar grooves such as anxiety and

depression. Such painful places can inspire us to tend to attention and keep it where

we want it to be, with appreciation and gratitude for thisherenow.

- Cheri Huber


“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh, Being Peace


“At the point of meaningful rest when sleep has not yet come and external wakefulness vanishes, at this point being is revealed.” (Vijñana Bhairava Tantra)


Tao can be talked about, but not the Eternal Tao.

Names can be named, but not the Eternal Name.

As the origin of heaven-and-earth, it is nameless:

As “the Mother” of all things, it is nameable.

So, as ever hidden, we should look at its inner essence:

As always manifest, we should look at its outer aspects.

These two flow from the same source, though differently named;

And both are called mysteries.

The Mystery of mysteries is the Door of all essence.

Lao Tzu


The Sanskrit word for faith is śraddhā, which literally means "placed in the heart". Where are you placed? Are you trusting that the pattern of the universe has greater wisdom than your mind's preferences? Or are you convinced that getting what you (think you) want is the path to happiness? The Sanskrit word for trust is viśvāsa, which literally means "breathing freely".

Christopher Wallis


In Tattvagarbhastotra or Hymn to the Womb of Reality (as quoted in the Heart of Recognition), we find "kecit paramārthānusārina.h" or "those who pay close attention to (or closely follow) the real nature of things" -- it is said that "they never lose access to the light of their own true nature" (svarūpasya svajyoti.s.tvam na lupyate).

Christopher Wallis


The Vintage Man





Between a good artist

And a great one



The novice

Will often lay down his tool

Or brush

Then pick up an invisible club

On the mind’s table

And helplessly smash the easels and



Whereas the vintage man

No longer hurts himself or anyone

And keeps on





What We Want

By Linda Pastan

What we want
is never simple.

We move among the things

we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names—
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms,
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don’t remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.


From the Bhagavad Gita


“Freedom from activity is never achieved by abstaining from action. Nobody can become perfect by merely ceasing to act. In fact, nobody can ever rest from his activity even for a moment. All are helplessly forced to act. . . .

A man who renounces certain physical actions but still lets his mind dwell on the objects of his sensual desire, is deceiving himself. He can only be called a hypocrite. The truly admirable man controls his senses by the power of his will. All his actions will be disinterested.

Activity is better than inertia. Act, but with self-control. If you are lazy, you cannot even sustain your own body.”

Bhagavad Gita


“The happiness which comes from long practice, which leads to the end of suffering, which at first is like poison, but at last like nectar - this kind of happiness arises from the serenity of one's own mind.”

Ved Vyasa, The Bhagavad Gita


“The nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons.They arise from sense perception,and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.”

Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita


“कालो ऽस्मि लोकक्षयकृत्प्रवृद्धो..... ( I am Time, the great destroyer of the world ~Bhagavad Gita 11.32)”

Ved Vyasa, The Bhagavad Gita


“You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself - without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat.”

Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita


We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.

~ Robert Brault Quotes from The Bhagavad Gita


It is better to perform one's own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief.

~ Krishna Quotes from The Bhagavad Gita


No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.

~ Krishna Quotes from The Bhagavad Gita


Reshape yourself through the power of your will...


Those who have conquered in peace, alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, praise and blame...To such people a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same...Because they are impartial, they rise to great heights.

~ Krishna Quotes from The Bhagavad Gita


The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.

~ Krishna Quotes from The Bhagavad Gita


  • It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma. But competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity.~ Krishna Quotes from The Bhagavad Gita

Dharma Quotes
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