4. A to Z Contemplations

Ideas that might inspire. Some quotes on spirituality, wholeness and positive psychology.

Acceptancedevawings lava fields iceland

“Only by first coming to know and accept ourselves as we are, can we begin to move towards change and transformation”   (Tarajyoti Govinda)

“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed”   (Ram Dass)

“When you become a lover of what is, the war is over”   (Byron Katie, ‘1,000 Names for Joy’)

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain”   (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)


“Be the change you want to see in the world”   (Mahatma Gandhi)


“As I get older, I find increasingly, that what sustains the human will, in individual or common struggle, is genuine affection”   (Lobsang Tsering, Gyoto Monks of Tibet, ‘Heal Your Heart’)

devawings reflections 23All Is Well

“Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep … They never understand the lovliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. You know, all mystics, no matter what their religion – are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well…. Tragically, most peeople never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare”   (Anthony DeMello, ‘Awareness’)


“You can get angry at someone as long as you don’t throw them out of your heart.”   (Maharaj-ji as remembered by Ram Dass in ‘Be Love Now’)


“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”   (Dr. Seus)

Art of Living

“If you contact and commune with God in the Inner Temple of Silence,
you will have mastered the true art of living. Then health, prosperity, wisdom, love and joy will be added unto you”   (Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)


“For every teacher, every life experience, everything we notice in the universe is but a reflection of our attachments. That is just the way it works”   (Ram Dass)

“It is the mental tendency to cling that creates anxiety, suffering, and fear, and once we’re able to identify what we are attached to, we are able to take the first steps toward freeing ourselves, regardless of the particular difficulty”   (Ram Dass ‘Still Here’)



“Awake in God, true saints effect changes in this dream-world by means of a will harmoniously attuned to the Creative Cosmic Dreamer”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul rejoices for what it has found”   (a Sufi saying)


“We never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born”   (Albert Einstein)


“When you work for God, not self, he said, it is just as good as meditation. Then work helps your meditation and meditation helps your work. You need the balance. With meditation only, you become lazy. With activity only, the mind becomes worldly and you forget God”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda’)

devawings reflections 10Beginnings

“Always begin with pure heart and good motivation”   (Gyoto Monks of Tibet, Heal Your Heart)




“When you are young, doing doing. Now I can be”   (Ram Dass)

Being Love

“Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act”   (Ram Dass)


“When you don’t believe your thoughts, there’s only laughter and peace”   (Byron Katie)

Breath of Creationdevawings reflections 21

“In that moment, when the sun disappears behind the horizon, it is as if the entire world were united in the worship of God; all creatures seem to be drawn together in the harmony of the spirit, and once more a world weary with toil and suffering, returns to the Divine rest from which it awakened at dawn; the Breath of Creation returns”   (Van Der Leeuw, ‘The Fire of Creation’)


“Lack of calm in the daily life prevent the teachers on egoic levels from reaching you. Endeavour, therefore, to remain quiescent as life unrolls; work, toil, strive, aspire, and hold the inner calm. Withdraw steadily into interior work and so cultivate a responsiveness with the higher planes. A perfect stillness of inner poise is what the masters need in those whom They seek to use”   (A.A. Bailey, ‘Ponder on This’)


“… take active part in life, and life will repay you with a thousand lessons learned and more to come …. ”   (Ananda Tara Shan, ‘Living Word of the Hierarchy’)


“When we realise the everlasting truth of ‘everything changes,’ and find our composure in it, we find ourselves in Nirvana”   (Suzuki Roshi)

“We must become the change we want to see in the world”   (Mahatma Gandhi)

photo by elizabeth gadd

photo elizabeth gadd


“When all your desires are distilled; You will cast just two votes: To love more, And be happy”   (Hafiz)

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle”   (Albert Einstein)

“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it”   (Thich Nhat Hanh)


“When you look deeply, you see the pain and suffering in the world, and recognise your deep desire to relieve it. You also recognise that bringing joy to others is the greatest joy you can have, the greatest achievement”   (Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘The Art of Power’)


“Essentially it is through conflict that we find our wholeness”   (Tarajyoti Govinda, ‘Becoming Whole’)

Conflict resolution

“To see your drama clearly, is to be liberated from it”   (Ken Keyes Jnr.)

Confidencedevawings reflections 08

“You who don’t have enough confidence in yourself, you go around seeking these things outside. You need to have confidence that you have the capacity to become a Buddha, the capacity of transformation and healing”   (The Zen patriach Lin Chi)


“In my experience, confusion is the only suffering. Confusion is when you argue with what is”   (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand Names for Joy’)


“You don’t need the help of anything or anyone else to change yourself; just change your consciousness. Very simply, all you have to do is to think away the thoughts you want to destroy, by replacing them with constructive thoughts. This is the key to heaven in your hands”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, Journey to Self-Realisation)


“Plain living and high thinking make for contentment”   (Paramahansa Yogananda)

devawings reflections 25Cosmic Intelligence

“The factory behind creation is beyond imagination; the whole universe is a single thought in the mind of God! So simple, yet the galaxies are guided by mathematics inconceivable by man. Everything runs in perfect order. What tremendous intelligence is manifested in creation! The infinite is working in everything. All the different eddies of motion called life are controlled by that Cosmic Intelligence.”   (Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)

Cosmic Mind

“My master (Mahasaya) asked me to meditate whenever I saw an expanse of water. Here its placidity reminds us of the vast calmness of God. As all things can be reflected in water, so the whole universe is mirrored in the lake of the Cosmic Mind.”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“How can you walk the Path without courage, when the one you will meet on your way towards Maitreya is yourself, in hundreds of appearances and disguises? To face yourself demands the strongest courage, the strongest faith, the strongest steadfastness”   (Ananda Tara Shan, ‘Living Word of the Hierarchy’)

Destinydevawings reflections 16

“Man is the architect of his own destiny. One can almost predict what he will be in his next life by analysing his dominant interests and habits in this one.”   (Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)


“Dwell as near as possible to the channel in which your life flows”   (Henry David Thoreau)

“Once you’ve seen what you can be, there’s no turning back, even if it takes you lifetimes.”   (Ram Dass, ‘Be Love Now’)

Divine Law

“The Law is only fully understood when love blossoms in the heart, and mind is purified from practising the Living Word. Then the understanding of the Law unfolds, and with that understanding comes about oneness with God”   (Ananda Tara Shan, ‘The Living Word of the Hierarchy’)

Divine Love

“The Divine Life loves all the children that it sends into the world, no matter what their position, nor how low the grade of their evolution. For the Love of the Divine that emanated all has nothing outside itself”   (Annie Besant, ‘From the Outer Court to the Inner Temple’)

Divine Universal Plan

“God is Love … Every saint who has penetrated to the core of Reality has testified that a divine universal plan exists and that it is beautiful and full of joy”   (Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)


“A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts”   (Sri Ramana Maharshi)


“Ryokan rests in the understanding heart. No longer seeking anything from the world, he trusts the Tao. Enlightenment is his own presence, and his response to the world is compassionate and natural”   (Jack Kornfield, ‘After the Ecstasy, the Laundry’)

“When asked how to get enlightenment, Maharaj-ji said, “Bring your mind to one point, and wait for grace.” Bringing the mind to one point entails working through the thought forms that are the result of karma. The end of karma is a quiet mind completely concentrated on God, and what takes you beyond that is truly grace. At that point, where the reaching up toward God meets the rain of grace, they’re both the same”   (Ram Dass, ‘Be Love Now’)


“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend”   (Martin Luther King, Jr.)


“I do not expect anything from others, so their actions cannot be in opposition to wishes of mine”   (Swami Sri Yukteswar, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“The only hiding place for fear is in your own lack of self-esteem”   (Gyoto Monks of Tibet, ‘Heal Your Heart’)

“the soul doesn’t have fear. If you make a shift of consciousness from the ego level to the soul level, the fear goes away”   (Ram Dass)

” And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”   (Five of Wands, Inner Child Cards)

Fear of Death

“The ego is frightened of death, because ego is part of the incarnation and ends with it. That’s why we learn to identify with our soul, because that will reduce the fear of death, as the soul continues after death. For the soul, death is just another moment.”   (Ram Dass, ‘Be Love Now’)

Finding the Beloved

“Know that when you lose yourself, you will reach the beloved. There is no other secret to be learned, and more than this is not known to me.”   (Ansari of Herat)


“When you allow life to flow like water, you become that water”  (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand Names for Joy’)


“you must have the ideal before you in order that you may reflect it. That on which the mind is constantly dwelling will inevitably be that which man shall become”   (Annie Besant, ‘From the Outer Court to Inner Sanctum’)


“To see something to forgive is to see blame”   (Gyoto Monks of Tibet, Heal Your Heart)


“You must be free – unenslaved by habits, or the wish to please society, or anything else. To be able to do, not what you want to do but what you should do for your own highest welfare, that is freedom”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Journey to Self-Realisation’)


“Even after all this time The sun never says to the earth, “You owe Me.” Look what happens with a love like that, It lights the Whole Sky”   (Hafiz)

“A realized one sends out waves of spiritual influence in his aura, which draw many people towards him. Yet he may sit in a cave and maintain complete silence”   (Sri Ramana Maharshi)

“In our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating.”   (Tagore)

Giving Advice

“I don’t give advice. I know that everyone knows his own way, and I trust that”   (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand Names for Joy’)

Give Yourself

“Give yourself wholly to Service, keeping nothing back; help, wherever help is possible; work, wherever opportunity of work is seen; give yourself to some great ideal; follow it through cloud and sunshine; walk by it in storm and in peace.”   (Annie Besant, ‘Initiation’)

God / Great Spirit

“The first peace, which is most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realise their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realise at the centre of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this centre is really everywhere. It is within each of us”  (Black Elk)

“The masters of India have always said, ‘First know Him’ … “then whatever you desire to know, He will reveal to you. This is His kingdom; this is His knowledge”  (Yogananda)

Good Fortune

“When we harness the forces of harmony, joy and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease.”  (Lao Tsu)


“Goodwill unites all in the work for the one purpose of bringing peace to planet Earth, breaking down the divisions that too often seem to separate people of different race, creed, religion, doctrine, and politics”   (Ananda Tara Shan, ‘Aslala’)

“Goodwill is man’s first attempt to express the love of God. Its results on earth will be peace”   (A.A. Bailey, ‘Serving Humanity’)


“Gratitude is heaven itself”   (William Blake)

“We are surrounded by a remarkable universe that we mostly take for granted. When we give ourselves over to and relish what we already have, our lives are full beyond measure and we nuture the miraculous”   (Matthew and Terces Engelhart ‘Abounding River Workbook’)


“Habits of thought are mental magnets that draw to you certain things, people and conditions. Good habits of thought enable you to attract benefits and opportunities”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘The Law of Success’)

“The initiative to undertake your most important duty in life is often buried beneath the accumulated debris of human habits.”   (Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)

“You yourself made your habits, and you can change them.”   (Paramahansa Yogananda)

Happiness (see also Unhappiness)

“There is no path or road to happiness… It’s there…. Within you… It needs to be recognized. Its a pathless way to infinite truth”   (Satish Kaku)

“The secret of happiness is not to become attached to anything. Enjoy the smell of a flower, but see God in it”   (Paramahansa Yogananda)

“Take a step towards happiness by acting authentically in the moment”  (Lobsang Tsering, Gyoto Monks of Tibet, ‘Heal Your Heart’)

“Happy derives from the verb ‘to happen’ … If you cannot be happy at the prospect of lunch, you are not likely to find happiness anywhere”   (Robert A Johnson, ‘Transformation’)

“The present social miseries are inevitable conditions which will gradually disappear when men have learned that real happiness does not lie in the physical world”   (Annie Besant, ‘The Search for Happiness’)

Happiness (True)

“Wrath springs only from thwarted desires. I do not expect anything from others, so their actions cannot be in opposition to wishes of mine. I would not use you for my own ends; I am happy only in your own true happiness.”   (Sri Yukteswar, quoted in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)

Heart Flow

“From Maitreya’s Heart, the Love of the greater Heart flows to all hearts on Earth. This flow is Heart Flow, and it is felt like a stream of goodness and loving kindness to all who will accept it and who will happily and joyfully allow it to bring them to the centre of their inner being where all is clear and peaceful.”    (Ananda Tara Shan, ‘On Meditation’)


“The way she helps people is by living out of don’t-know, can’t know, no-need-to-know, not-possible-to-know, nothing-to-know. People are attracted to a life lived with such weightlessness, such lightness of heart. They begin to notice where they are, who they are, looking into the living mirror without their stressful thoughts”   (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand Names for Joy’)

Here and Now

“Where are you going other than where you are right now? ?How can you go anywhere else??The direct path means realising that?the beginning and the end of every journey ?is where you always are”   (Byron Katie, ‘1,000 Names for Joy’)


“There are more illusions than you’ll ever need to get enlightened. You just use the illusions you karmically need to get there. When you are fully realised, you will recognise the illusions for what they are – relative reality, symbolic reality. You recognise them and are part of them.”   (Ram Dass, ‘Be Love Now’)

Imagination and Well-being

“Imagination is the door through which  disease as well as healing enters. Disbelieve in the reality of sickness even when you are ill; an unrecognised visitor will flee.”   (Sri Yukteswar, quoted in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“The deeper the Self-Realisation of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux.”   (Sri Yukteswar, quoted in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)

Inner Beauty

“It is said that the heart is like a mirror that reflects our deepest being. If the mirror is covered with dust, the reflection is not clear. ?The mirror of the heart is covered with the dust of our “stuff”: selfish desires, anger, greed, shame, fear and attachment. ?As we let go of these, our inner beauty begins to radiate and shine”   (Krishna Das, ‘Chants of a Lifetime’)


“Through the child, our journey brings us back to witness with amazement and love the natural unfolding of all that lives. The Buddha declares, “This world and the pure heart that perceives it are luminous.” When we allow ourselves to open into innocence, all existence becomes sacred”   (Jack Kornfield, ‘After the Ecstasy the Laundry’)


“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering”   (Saint Augustine)

“The inquiry “who am I” turns the mind introvert and makes it calm”   (Sri Ramana Maharshi)

Inner Beauty

“It is said that the heart is like a mirror that reflects our deepest being. If the mirror is covered with dust, the reflection is not clear. The mirror of the heart is covered with the DUST of our “stuff”: selfish desires, anger, greed, shame, fear and attachment. As we let go of these, our inner beauty begins to radiate and shine”   (Krishna Das, Chants of a Lifetime’)


“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”   (Patanjali)


“Intuition is soul guidance, appearing naturally in man during those instants when his mind is calm.”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“Seek ye the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:31) Despite all the tests I have gone through for Him, in the end God has given me everything I wanted or needed in this world. And I have given it all back, for He has bestowed on me a gift infinitely greater: Divine Joy, day and night. In that Joy all desires that come into my heart are satisfied” (Paramahansa Yogananda)

“Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are”   (Marianne Williamson)

Joy and Bliss

“Till, at the last sound of the cosmic drum (Aum) – Vanish the grosser lights into eternal rays – Of all-pervading bliss. – From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi’)

Joy of Service

“The scientist seldom knows contemporaneous reward; it is enough to possess the joy of creative service.”   (Jagadis Chandra Bose, quoted in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“What we sow, is what we reap.”   (Swami Vivekananda)


“No patents will ever be taken. The spirit of our national culture demands that we should forever be free from the desecration of utilising knowledge only for personal gain.”   (Jagadis Chandra Bose, quoted in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“The process of liberating human consciousness consists in training it by study, affirmations, concentration, and meditation to turn its attention away from the vibrations of the gross body with its ceaseless fluctuations of thought and emotion, and to feel the subtler and more stable vibrations of life energy and of higher mental states”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Scientific Healing Affirmations’)


“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle”  (Albert Einstein)

“Life is worthwhile when you are accomplishing the most essential work, which is to find out the meaning and true values of your existence.”   (Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)

“Everything happens for you, not to you”   (Byron Katie, ‘1,000 Names for Joy’)

“It wasn’t the way he’d planned. It was perfect instead”   (Byron Katie, ‘1,000 Names for Joy’)

Life and Death

“… Reflect that some day you will suddenly have to leave everything in this world – so make the acquaintance of God now”   (Lahiri Mahasaya, quoted in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)

“The attitude of the conquering man is unafraid: “I am a child of God. I have nothing to fear.” So fear nothing. Life and death are only different processes of your consciousness”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)


“There was nothing and everything. And I laughed and laughed in astonishment. I knew the mind of my teacher, I knew the age of the world. My body was transparent, the blowing of the wind was my breath, my steps were the earth moving herself. After this, life was so joyful, alive, and my oldest fears were washed away, just gone. I was finally truely alive. And even though I was smiling for weeks and months, it was an odd thing. I didn’t tell anyone in the community what was happening because I knew somehow that people would feel left out. In that way I immediately became aware of all the painful limitations in this world, how even within the great openness, the limitations must absolutely be respected.”   (a Zen Master, quoted in ‘After the Ecsatasy, the Laundry’ by Jack Kornfield)


“Again, the lesson of spiritual practice is not about gaining knowledge, but about how we love. Are we able to love what is given to us, to love in the midst of all things, to love ourselves and others? Are we able to see the illumination offered by the sun every morning?   (Jack Kornfield, ‘After the Ecstasy, the Laundry’)

“… the important thing is not to think much but to love much, and so to do whatever / best awakens you to love”   (St. Teresa of Avila)

Love Everybody

“The shift from the ego to the soul happens through love. You realise that love comes from your soul and the other emotions come from your ego. When Maharaj-ji said, “Love everybody,” that’s a way into the soul, where soul awareness and love come together.”   (Ram Dass, ‘Be Love Now’)

Man of God

“Softer than the flower where kindness is concerned; stronger than the thunder, where principles are at stake.”   (Vedic definition of a man of God, quoted in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“Everything in the Universe is thought in material form”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)

“The masters of India have always said, “First know Him.” Then, whatever you desire to know, He will reveal to you. This is His kingdom, this is His knowledge”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)

Meaning of Life

“The meaning of life is to embody the Transcendent”   (H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, as quoted by Andrew Harvey in ‘Heart Yoga’)

“Can you tell me who has built this house of ours? And where do you hurry to before your death? Can you find the thing of true value in this world?”   (Kabir)


“we do not meditate in order to become meditator’s , we meditate in order to become free”   (Ram Dass)


“The mind’s natural condition is peace. Then a thought enters, you believe it, and the peace seems to disappear”   (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand names for Joy’)

“… when your mind opens, what is beyond knowing, what is older than “God,” streams in as a gift. There is no end to that gift”   (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand Names for Joy’)


“And as to me, I know of nothing else but miracles”   (Walt Whitman)


“Ajahn Buddhadasa invited his students to sit with him in the coolness of the trees. “Nirvana,” he would say, “is the coolness of letting go, the inherent delight of experience when there is no grasping or resistance to life”   (quoted in Jack Kornfield ‘After the Ecsatasy, the Laundry’)

“At this moment, is there anything lacking? Nirvana is right here now before our eyes. This place is the lotus land. This body now is the Buddha”   (Hakuin)

No mind

“Before you name anything, the world has no things in it, no meaning. There’s nothing but peace in a wordless, question-less world. It’s the space where everything is already answered, in joyful silence”   (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand names for Joy’)


No past or future

“There is no past or future, save in the mind.”   (Sri Ramana Maharshi)

Nothing lacking

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you”  (Lao Tzu)


“In the mandala of wholeness we have discovered the awakened heart’s willingness to open to all the dimensions of life”   (Jack Kornfield, ‘After the Ecstasy, the Laundry’)


“If you wish to know the truth, only cease to cherish opinions”   (The Third Zen Patriach)

“Seeing misery in views and opinions, without adopting any, I found inner peace and freedom. One who is free does not hold to views or dispute opinions. For a sage there is no higher, lower, nor equal, no places in which the mind can stick”   (the Buddha, ‘Sutta Nipata’)

Opposing Forces

“When two great forces oppose each other, the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield”   (Tao Te Ching)

Paradise Lost

“Outward longings drive us from the Eden within; they offer false pleasures that only impersonate soul happiness. The lost paradise is quickly regained … through divine meditation.”   (Sri Yukteswar)


“Turn the mind inward and cease thinking of yourself as the body; thereby you will come to know that the self is ever happy. Neither grief nor misery is experienced in this state”   (Sri Ramana Maharshi)


“Cease from sin; get virtue; purify the heart; serve the world.”   (Buddha)


“Don’t pray for anything of this world. Enjoy only what the Lord gives you. All else leads to delusion. Man has come on earth solely to learn to know God, he is here for no other reason”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Search’)


“The simple truth is that what happens is the best thing that can happen. People who can’t see this are simply believing their own thoughts, and have to stay stuck in a limited world, lost in the war with what is”   (Byron Katie, ‘1,000 Names for Joy’)


“Presently the Soul begins to understand that if it would ever traverse the Outer Court and reach the gateway that is shinning ahead, it must get rid of all this intellectual ambition and pride, and everything that makes it separate from its brother Souls. Then it will begin to purify its intellectual nature, to scrutinise the motives which impel it to effort, to look at itself carefully in the light that is ever coming through the Temple windows and illuminating this Outer Court with rays of spiritual light”   (Annie Besant, ‘From the Outer Court to the Inner Sanctum’)


“Krishna said, Thou hast seen now face to face my form divine so hard to see:
Only by love can men see me, and know me, and come unto me.
He who works for me, who loves me, whose End Supreme I am,
free from attachment to all things, and with love for all creation,
he in truth comes unto me”   (Bhagavad Gita 53-55)

“As the attachments of the mind begin to disappear, even the awe is transcended as the separation begins to dissolve between the guru and the devotee. Form after form of the guru is acknowledged, honoured, and released, as the seeker sinks deeper and deeper into the guru, into the Self, as the space between them decreases. It is like two intimate friends sitting together on the banks of the ganges, and after a while there is only the river. Finally comes the mystic union of seeker and God, lover and Beloved. The grace of the guru is the catalyst for that merging. After fulfilling the function of midwife or arranger of the marriage, the guru disappears as a separate entity, and the journey is complete.”   (Ram Dass, ‘Be Love Now’)


“… Reflect that some day you will suddenly have to leave everything in this world –  so make the acquaintance of God now.”   (Lahiri Mahasaya, quoted in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“It requires continual deliberate focusing upon the positive aspects of any relationship to maintain the good-feeling productivity of it over time”   (Abraham-Hicks)


“Sri Nisargargadatta used to laugh and ask, “How can you not trust? You’re on your way home.” He went on, “When you worry about renouncing the world, it is a mistake. You need not renounce the world, only renounce striving and fear; you renounce the smaller pleasures for the greater pleasure of the Divine”   (Jack Kornfield, ‘After the Ecstasy, the Laundry’)


“a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can do without.”   (Henry David Thoreau)


“When we allow ourselves to open into innocence, all existence becomes sacred”   (Jack Kornfield, ‘After the Ecstasy, the Laundry’)


“The certain test of sanity is if you accept life whole, as it is”   (Lao Tzu)

Seeking God

“No mortal can glorify God. The only honour that man can pay his Creator is to seek Him”   (Sri Yukteswar)

Selfless Service

“Solitude is necessary to become established in the Self, but masters then return to the world to serve it. … The great ones, each in his own way and often against bitter opposition, strive selflessly to inspire and uplift their fellows.”    (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“In self-forgetfulness he serves; in self-abnegation he walks the earth, and he gives no thought to the magnitude or the reverse of his accomplishment, and has no preconceived ideas as to his own value or usefulness. He lives, serves, works and influences, asking nothing for the separated self”   (A.A. Bailey, ‘Serving Humanity’)

“True service is the spontaneous outflow of a loving heart and an intelligent mind…”   (A.A. Bailey, ‘Serving Humanity’)

“Do what you can with what you have, where you are”   (Theodore Roosevelt)

“In this life we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love”   (Mother Teresa)

“It is the intensity of the longing that does all the work.”   (Kabir, Indian mystic)

“Think big; start small”   (Ananda Tara Shan)

“The soul understands that before it can reach even the Outer Court of the Temple it must pass through that gateway and realise that life is meant for service and not for self-seeking, that the only way to climb upwards more swiftly is to climb for the sake of those who are lagging; in order that from the Temple more effective help may be sent down to the climbers than otherwise would be possible”   (Annie Besant, ‘From the Outer Court to the Inner Temple’)

Shadow nature

“when I looked within, there I found the map for my journey. As I went within, following my map, I did not always like where it took me, or what I found inside. I discovered anger, fear, guilt, grief, ambition, pride, jealousy, doubt, resentment, arrogance and depression. All of these I was not so keen on. But they were there in my shadow and I strove to bring them, into the light, into my consciousness, so that I would come to know myself in truth“   (Tarajyoti Govinda, ‘Becoming Whole’)

“I also found goodness in my shadow – skills, talents and abilities I had repressed as they did not suit my self-image (a task too big to confront all at once)”   (Tarajyoti Govinda, ‘Becoming Whole’)


“Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?”   (Shirdi Sai Baba)

“Practising silence means to silence all desires that try to percolate into your consciousness from outside, so you can go deeper within to feel your soul”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)


“Solitude is necessary to become established in the Self, but masters then return to the world to serve it”   (Yogananda, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“It is a beautiful and enjoyable world, but even the experience of heaven is not the highest state. man attains final beatitude when he overpasses the phenomenal spheres and realsies God, and himself, as Absolute Spirit”  (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda’)

Spiritual Development

“Spiritual development means purifying the personality and building into it qualities that are positive and one with the purpose of the soul“   (Ananda Tara Shan, ‘Fears and Depression’)

Spiritual Effort

“Forget the past. The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now”   (Sri Yukteswar, quoted in ‘Auto of a Yogi’)

Spiritual Life (the true task of)

“The true task of spiritual life … asks of us a welcoming spirit, to greet all that life presents to us with a wise, respectful, and kindly heart. We can bow to both beauty and suffering, to our entanglements and confusion, to our fears and to the injustices in the world”   (Jack Kornfield, ‘After the Ecstasy, the Laundry’)

Spiritual Practice

“Learn to be calmly active and actively calm, carrying into your daily activities the calmness gained in the spiritual activity of meditation.” “Expand your love for family and country to include love and service to people of all nations. See God in all men of whatever race or religion”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Man’s Eternal Quest’)

“Perhaps this is the best we can do: to help when we can; to witness each other with kindness; to offer our presence; to show the trust we have in life. Spiritual life is not about knowing much, but about loving much”   (Jack Kornfield ‘After the Ecstasy, the Laundry’)

“Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act”   (Ram Dass)

“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it”   (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Spiritual Training

“Almost all spiritual training takes place from the inner levels, and thus all spiritual children will, from an early age, be trained, even if their parents know nothing about it”   (Ananda Tara Shan, ‘Freedom’)


You are the story teller. You have become the stories you told yourself. And you are what lives prior to every story”   (Byron Katie, ‘1,000 Names for Joy’)


“You can make of yourself whatever you want to be. It is what you have attained within that determines your success. If you have nothing within, you have no happiness. And if you have nothing outside, but are happy within, you have all success”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Journey to Self-Realisation’)

“There is only one kind of success that really matters: the success of transforming ourselves, transforming our afflictions, fear, and anger. This is the kind of success, the kind of power, that will benefit us and others without causing any damage”   (Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘The Art of Power’)

“Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful”   (Albert Schweitzer)


“The most frequent entryway to the sacred is our own suffering and disatisfaction. Countless spiritual journies have begun in an encounter with the difficulties of life”   (Jack Kornfield, ‘After the Ecsatasy, the Laundry’ )

“There are many reasons for suffering. One reason is to prevent man from learning too much of others and not enough of himself. Pain eventually compels human beings to wonder: Is a cause-effect principle operating in my life? Are my troubles due to my wrong thinking?”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘ Sayings of Yogananda’)

“If you are going through hell, keep going”   (Sir Winston Churchill)

“The biggest contribution to end the world’s suffering is to end your own suffering”   (Lobsang Tsering, Gyoto Monks of Tibet, ‘Heal Your Heart’)

“Suffering is an unavoidable result of a disciple walking the Path, but humour makes many experiences bearable. Never lose your connection to the inner wellspring of joy, for it will carry you through the water and fire of the pain and agony which always follows in Christ’s footsteps. Let joy raise your consciousness past all suffering. Let the Risen One raise your cross to His infinite joy. Forget yourself, but never Him”   (Ananda Tara Shan, ‘Living Word of the Hierarchy’)


“On the devotional path, to be completely immersed in the Loving Presence is called surrender. … We don’t ‘do’ surrender; it happens as we ripen in love. … Surrender is the same as being fully in the moment.”   (Krishna Das ‘Chants of a Lifetime’ )

“If one surrenders completely, there will be no one left to ask questions … surrender can never be regarded as complete as long as the devotee wants this or that from God”   (Sri Ramana Maharshi)

The Past

“The worst thing that ever happened exists only in the past, which means that it doesn’t exist at all. Right now, it’s only a stressful thought in your mind”   (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand Names for Joy’)


“When you don’t believe your own thinking, life becomes effortless”   (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand names for Joy’)

“Any thought that causes stress is an argument with reality”   (Byron Katie, ‘1,000 Names for Joy’)


“Thoughts are universally and not individually rooted; a truth cannot be created, but only perceived.   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“Everything happens ‘for’ you, not ‘to’ you”   (Byron Katie ‘A Thousand names for Joy’)


“One learns people through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect. If you want to know me, look inside your heart”   (Mother Teresa)

“The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.”   (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves”   (Carl Jung)

“When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained”   (Mark Twain)

Understanding and Liberation

”The mind should be kept in the heart as long as it has not yet reached the Highest End.?This is wisdom, and this is liberation.? Everything else is only words”   (Maitri Upanishad 6:24)


“… It would indeed be well if out of the heart of every one could drop that ancient superstition which causes so much unhappiness, that there is something more or less wrong in being happy, something more or less to be ashamed of in enjoying happiness; that the Divine Being is pleased with sadness rather than with joy, and that He, whose innermost being is Bliss, can in any sense grudge the enjoyment of happiness by His children”   (Annie Besant, ‘The Search for Happiness’)


“It is the duty of a true poet to take the fragmented world that we find ourselves in and to make unity of it”   (Robert A. Johnson, ‘Owning Your Own Shadow’)

Unity with the Creator

“Men, one by one, escape from creation’s prison of duality as they awaken to consciousness of their inseverable divine unity with the Creator.”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)

Universal Love

“God gives you loved ones that you might learn to expand self-love to include love for others. And He allows death and other circumstances to take away dear ones that you do not confine your love to only a few, but learn to give it to all. The more universal your love becomes, the more your expanded consciousness will be filled with the joy of His omnipresent Being” (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Journey to Self-Realisation’)


“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens”   (Carl Jung)


“At this moment, is there anything lacking? Nirvana is right here now before our eyes. This place is the lotus land. This body now is the Buddha”   (Hakuin)


“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his 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 whole of nature in its beauty.”   (Albert Einstein)


“Awake in God, true saints effect changes in this dream-world by means of a will harmoniously attuned to the Creative Cosmic Dreamer”   (Paramahansa Yogananda ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)


“Verily there exists in this earth nothing more sanctifying than wisdom. In due course of time, the devotee who is successful in yoga [meditation] will spontaneously realize this truth within his own heart”   (Bhagavad Gita IV:38)

“Information involves the acquisition, organisation, and dissemination of facts; a storing up of physical data. But wisdom involves another equally crucial function: the emptying and quietening of the mind, the application of the heart, and the alchemy of reason and feeling. In the wisdom mode, we’re not processing information, analytically or sequentially. We’re standing back and viewing the whole, discerning what matters and what does not, weighing the meaning and depth of things. This quality of wisdom is rare in our culture.” (Ram Dass, ‘Still Here’)

Wisdom and Liberation

“The mind should be kept in the heart as long as it has not yet reached the Highest End. This is wisdom, and this is liberation. Everything else is only words”   (Maitri Upanishad 6:24)


If we look carefully, we can see that the energy of awakening, compassion, and understanding is already there inside us”   (Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘The Art of Power’)

“Turn the mind inward and cease thinking of yourself as the body; thereby you will come to know that the self is ever happy. Neither grief nor misery is experienced in this state”   (Sri Ramana Maharshi)


“… the goal of yoga science is to calm the mind, that without distortion it may hear the infallible counsel of the Inner Voice.”   (Paramahansa Yogananda, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”   (Henry David Thoreau)

“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there”   (Rumi)

“You must not get over-drunk with ecstasy. Much work yet remains for you in this world. Come, let us sweep the balcony floor; then we shall walk by the Ganges.”   (Sri Yukteswar, quoted in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’)