“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

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One of my favorite things about meditation, mindfulness, prayer, whatever you choose to call it, is the wonderful unity I feel once I’m at peace and all the thoughts emptied from my head.  I can feel that I’m part of something bigger, a wave of souls all feeling and trying to do good, now and forever.  The ego goes, the pride goes, finally the thought goes and then I can hear what I need to hear – the still, small voice speaks.  Not every time, but enough to give me hope.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from my favorite Buddhist, Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen monk, author and peace activist.

“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

“When you say something really unkind, when you do something in retaliation your anger increases. You make the other person suffer, and he will try hard to say or to do something back to get relief from his suffering. That is how conflict escalates.”

 

 

Another favorite who inspires by his quotes AND his life – Diedrich Bonhoeffer.  I lived an hour and a half from where he was murdered at the end of World War II.

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

“In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…”

This is one I think of often before I visit friends who’ve lost someone.  “Where God tears great gaps we should not try to fill them with human words.”

Quotes are little inescapable truths that we recognize when someone else says them, don’t you think?

 

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