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Before You Know What Kindness Really Is, by Naomi Shihab Nye

FaceBook  On Apr 21, 2011 Pavi wrote:

 Nye is a magician-poet. She turns words into wisdom. Gentle and sharp at the same time. The first time I stumbled across this poem it prompted me to scribble this one: Before you know gratitude really is You must accumulate things, yes Feel your possessions pile up in a moment Like feather mattresses for a princess. Walking, what you clutch in your hands What you heave onto your back must Grow unbearably heavy Turning your footsteps towards That place where thankfulness  Becomes necessity and all Burdens turn into butterflies Rising in colorful clouds From your shoulders.   ***************************   in gratitude :) pavi  See full.

 Nye is a magician-poet. She turns words into wisdom. Gentle and sharp at the same time.

The first time I stumbled across this poem it prompted me to scribble this one:


Before you know gratitude really is
You must accumulate things, yes
Feel your possessions pile up in a moment
Like feather mattresses for a princess.
Walking, what you clutch in your hands
What you heave onto your back must
Grow unbearably heavy
Turning your footsteps towards

That place where thankfulness 
Becomes necessity and all
Burdens turn into butterflies
Rising in colorful clouds
From your shoulders.
 
***************************
 
in gratitude :)
pavi

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Rude Awakenings, by Helen Keller

FaceBook  On Sep 10, 2007 Pavi wrote:
Dark night of the soul illumined by a solitary brightness of moon -- the strikingly quiet drama of spirit shining over circumstance. I like how the photograph mirrors this thought.
 

Awake or Asleep, by Terri O'Fallon

FaceBook  On Aug 16, 2006 pavi wrote:

Notes from Wednesday's Circle of Sharing: Couple questions: quote from Kosmos journal. in what were the formative experience she listed 4 things. 1) I was three or four lved n afarm no running water or elec really had to rely on nature. used to have a playmate horse and tao- interesting thing was she was the only one who could see it. very real to her. she grew up in montanaremembers being very connected to living things. in her late 20s she decides to work with physically challeeged in svere ways but no institutionalised and learned to communicate without words. got a phD- before that she moved to native american reservation and learned te value of collective wisdom and connection to nature. fourth thing- she got her phd in something or another and created this process of dialogue and continues to learn from that. one of the questions i leave is: what is the formative experience of your life that shaped your beliefs or values. another question: asleep or dreaming? final questio we're all connected across time and space in so many ways. question for the newletter if you had to express kindness to someone physcically far away how would you do it? viral: concept of dialogue in away what we have here an intersting form of dialogue is interesting whatkinds of things arise and what i'm learning from what i'm experinecing in work is there's a faith that needs to be there in order for dialogue to arise. am coming into this project arwy as fresh eyes and looking at what are the things we need to achieve and it's interesting through the process of stepping back you find new things that trigger new things in other people. what happens in a conversation- one of the experiences i had a ot in formal ylearning years in the process of describing it to someone a solution arises a different part of pur brin gets actiated in explantation. research. one of the things that struck me was arising to the practice of the day and night was thining of what that meant and it reminded  See full.

Notes from Wednesday's Circle of Sharing:

Couple questions: quote from Kosmos journal. in what were the formative experience she listed 4 things. 1) I was three or four lved n afarm no running water or elec really had to rely on nature. used to have a playmate horse and tao- interesting thing was she was the only one who could see it. very real to her. she grew up in montanaremembers being very connected to living things. in her late 20s she decides to work with physically challeeged in svere ways but no institutionalised and learned to communicate without words. got a phD- before that she moved to native american reservation and learned te value of collective wisdom and connection to nature. fourth thing- she got her phd in something or another and created this process of dialogue and continues to learn from that. one of the questions i leave is: what is the formative experience of your life that shaped your beliefs or values. another question: asleep or dreaming? final questio we're all connected across time and space in so many ways. question for the newletter if you had to express kindness to someone physcically far away how would you do it?

viral: concept of dialogue in away what we have here an intersting form of dialogue is interesting whatkinds of things arise and what i'm learning from what i'm experinecing in work is there's a faith that needs to be there in order for dialogue to arise. am coming into this project arwy as fresh eyes and looking at what are the things we need to achieve and it's interesting through the process of stepping back you find new things that trigger new things in other people. what happens in a conversation- one of the experiences i had a ot in formal ylearning years in the process of describing it to someone a solution arises a different part of pur brin gets actiated in explantation. research. one of the things that struck me was arising to the practice of the day and night was thining of what that meant and it reminded me that there is a kind of reassertion of that intent to practice whether it is daily hourly minutely or memetly there is an arising of that intention. i remember wathching waking life and one of the questions posed in it is are we sleep walking through are waking moments or - lucidity is the state of dreaming with awareness so you can control your dreams. stanford lucidity inst train execs to lucid dream and try out your scenarios because your subconscious knows more than you.

seema: not realated to quote. in this dialogue everyone says positive things and i can;t imagine people saying they hate the quote it's because the quotes are positive- why would you disagree with something positive. negativeity gives you a ot more room to be negative in response.

manoj: difficult quote for me. maybe listening can explain it valerie: took me awhile to put my arms aorund it. are we awake or not i question thatall thetime and there are certainmoments when you feel awake and there and there are times when your life just passes you by and you can;t explain it it's odd...

sashi: legitimate reason to pass first time here quick comment: dreaming and awake some moments seem to last hours and others that go fleetingly by.

ambika going to pass for now

nina the part i like the best was when they talked about beginning the practice of the day and if you cna think of the day as how we practice we can see it as an opportunity

bala: dreaming that kids cont the next day

ragu: this quote to me is more like sometime when you talk to someone days later you don't remember the ontent but it leaves behind a certain energy in you. i read rebecca years ago the opening is about a woman walking into the woods and that remained with me for years this quote leaves behind a certain green fresh image in the heart the thing about what one can do for someone at a distance: thebrining to the person's attention things that are difficult face to face if you send something they can readit at their leisure. lucid dreaming: an example a friend told me- this guy came and told people he could contol his dreams and he discovered it himself because he was dreaming that he was swalkingin themountians and there was snow al aournd and he was wearing a tshirt and asking hmself why he wasn't cold. devised alot of methods i can influence certain blips in my dreams. another story is about: Jesus CEO a book title. wman having a dream chased by a lion sweating oanting lion standing at her head roaring and she yells are you going to eat me and the lion says this is your dream you decide.

manju: person who wrtote must be in a rich environemnt. it would be interssting for an industrial person to talk abt the same expereince. am takin a vedanta class. the dream state is what the universe was created in we are creating universes every time we go to sleep. that;s how god created the universe thats what we're doing every night.

this monday someone asked me this question. wats the formative thing)

george: is ineresting the question ab dreaming or not carlos cast in his books about don juans teachings they call a section the art of dreaming when they try and manipulate dreams so they can gain cntrol over thmselves and thier environment- if in our waking life we attemptt o control things what are the relationships there it seems like the quote in a sense is saying to not affect it but to observe and be it awre amaybe that is - gently down the stream life is but a dream. a very qise poem.

nisha: beautiful thought every morning i try to wak up to my practive but thier are days i forget or days when even when i look at it it doesn't have the impact- thaart of practicing is the only thing this reinforces that feel awake whenerver i am in good energy space day or night and i have glimpses of what he is talking abt light and heavy and driting its very epaceful but when energy is not high im not able to be anywhere near this beautiful way of sleeping and waking. last ewek i artifically stretched myself out redoing tickets and put my life in suspension and didnt do anything cherries rganes really ashamed for ife not lived in those two days.

thank you. i seem to need thess reminders to ratcvcer the whole- ive got back a lot more and was amazed that i di- vivekanad says (i didn't know i had that identituy

vijay: i'd rather control my waing life and leave dreams on autopilot. i'd just wish that i could make them continue but i wouldn't want to desgn the dream- its hard enough to control waking life. on the formative years the key thing i've observed is that your core persoality is determined by the age of 8 or so and ive obsered that in my kids and its a functions of neihgbors envronment and school am sure theres a butterfly effect in this process - haven't figured out that part yet so if you ahevlet me no.

mita- i think alot of it is about being prsent when youre awake.very tactile in its imagery connecting the concept with your phelping people far away wishing them good thoughts

dreamer dream share dreams eric

neeta dogs hike trails

micahel: honored to be here its my first ime. have heard the theory that dreaming is a product of the subconsc trying to work out anxieties and problems and you get images and ideas off of that. and that's true not just during the night but during the day things bubbling up from your subcon. im a mathem and have definitely ahd the experience of wakin up to have the problem solved. sleep pon it peopel say and it made me think about how on 'es thoughts are in a bg sense going on their own beyond our control and in relation to other people not to be so harsh in judging what tey think or say becuase in a sense a lot of that is jst going on on its own.

neeta: am hnored to be here first time

sonesh: don't have anything to say abt te quote. formative exper as very limited landmark few events i think in addition many normal average moments can have the same transformative power and it depends how open we are in that moment two or three days ago i was feeling really really sad and was loooking at my feet not paying attnetion andi didn't have a good expression smile young man smile. looked up and it was a homeless guy in berkeley. and he said good now keep smiling and keep walking. in a fine state if someone had said that i wou;ldn't have thought about it- i would have lost the transformative power of that...so many moments going on what am i losing. waking life first day first time wow cool later total trash. ongoing now is now.

kripa: article in NY times about a story of a housemaid who had been a housemaid for a very long time. as she was groing up her father married her off to someone twice her age strangles her sister has three kids - comes across a retired professor who gives her a paper and pen and she writes her whole life story down it's published in english as well and the interesting part is just what she went through without the sense of rage and anger and reminds me of how strongthe human spirit s what happens when you are surrounded by so much negativity and can still find peace and share your story without anger.

hafiz: i felt the author took a step back from her own body she could feel herself going into the dream state and coming out of it...we wake up with a thud also made me think of how many evels of dreams can we have and when do the levels stop in our dream can we have a dream

next i can dream of something for three monthsin a row i have peculiar dreams. entire lifestory of a baseball player i lay fantasy baseball.. i can continue the dream on my way to office don;t know why. when im mediating can hear the tick of the clock now i can't.

santosh: relly enjoyed the quote. its a good reminder to take advantage of the days. i am not an early waker have the leisure of waking when i fel like but now i have an alarm clock that wakes me up at 4 every morning. (kicking).

pratiba: hearing this passage was reminded of what happens in nature everyday dawn and dusk and the experience is if we choose to experience it that way but if we just hurry on we miss it.

umesh: i have two very young children now so i haven't slept much less dreamt for the last three years but i think what george said is important i had one lucid dream and it was exciting powerful and scary because n the dream state you think you can use your powers of logic but they don't apply so i think if you can observe as opposed to tryihng to control i think youcan do more.

rishi: one diff between people who are really aware are more able to interpret their enviromnnet but in a dream youre bocking off the external. when you're awake youre taking in more not just like a sage up in the mountains. i used to lucid dream as a kid all the time and i don't know- it's fun i guess. i think people prolly do it more than they realize. if you wake up naturally you'll naturally have waken up after your dream is done. if you sleep erratically and wake up in themiddle you;; definitely know what was going on.

janani: i dn't know abt lucid dreaming - i seem to be in a twilight zone all the time and i can't imagine a time when i can stay real about maternity because i can find so many ways to stay connected to my mom after being seriously separated from her geographically. i ahven't failed much in life except in

dinesh: the way i grew up dreaiming has a negative connotation my mohter would say either you're afraid of something thats why you're dreaming or you need a laxative.

karen: am very interstd in dreams andtook some classes in it and most teaching these classes say you can ifnd out everything about youself if you undestand your dreams. you really cant get up in themornnig and write 45 pages and do anything else. ive had a lot of lucid dreams and if you want to remember your dreams you canif you have the intetnion but you may not like it. tried atape recorder to time consuming. interesting that some say its everything others not.

mummy: how do you reach someone who is far: by sending our good energy or good wishes. do it out of a pure space like meditation or doing an act of kindness for that person. butterfly effect.

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Integrity Grows From A Humbling Realization, by Mark Gerzon

FaceBook  On Aug 16, 2006 Pavi wrote:

Notes from Wednesday's circle of sharing: integral vision reminded me of ken wilber, who talks about holons and holarchy: everything in nature is whole in and of itself, but they create other things, which are whole unto themselves, going to infinity. so the holarchy is the hierarchy building onto each other. This reminds me of a trap I've found myself getting into, which is that everything is equal. And this may be a reaction to a dominant paradigm that is off, but it's still not true. Also, the quote started with knowing yourself, and that reminds me of another ken wilber thought: everything has three layers -- first person, second person, and third person. and integral purpose is to develop along all of these lines. i don't know what integrity is, but when i do something with integrity, i know it. But i do have a sense of it: in general, it used to be that my sense of feeling it was dependent on external representations of myself, like always being on time. But now, i don't define my integrity in that way, and it's much more internally driven. If i feel something is right, and know that I've considered everybody involved, then there's much more of a sense of integrity. So waiting for the right thing to arise is more of mu definition of integrity right now. I just ordained as a buddhist monk two months ago, and in a monastery, everyone really helps keep each other in the space of integrity. And when i walk on the streets, i realize that i am representing something way bigger than me, a bigger whole that i'm an integral part of and i don't want to mess up on. And so even jaywalking is something i don't feel like doing anymore. i really like this thought. but i wanted to share some experiences this weekend. I had the great privilege of visiting the Seva cafe in long beach. The idea is that everyday of the week, this cafe is a normal restaurant where people come in, eat and pay and leave. But on saturdays, they come in, and they are served by volunteers,  See full.

Notes from Wednesday's circle of sharing:

integral vision reminded me of ken wilber, who talks about holons and holarchy: everything in nature is whole in and of itself, but they create other things, which are whole unto themselves, going to infinity. so the holarchy is the hierarchy building onto each other. This reminds me of a trap I've found myself getting into, which is that everything is equal. And this may be a reaction to a dominant paradigm that is off, but it's still not true. Also, the quote started with knowing yourself, and that reminds me of another ken wilber thought: everything has three layers -- first person, second person, and third person. and integral purpose is to develop along all of these lines.

i don't know what integrity is, but when i do something with integrity, i know it. But i do have a sense of it: in general, it used to be that my sense of feeling it was dependent on external representations of myself, like always being on time. But now, i don't define my integrity in that way, and it's much more internally driven. If i feel something is right, and know that I've considered everybody involved, then there's much more of a sense of integrity. So waiting for the right thing to arise is more of mu definition of integrity right now.

I just ordained as a buddhist monk two months ago, and in a monastery, everyone really helps keep each other in the space of integrity. And when i walk on the streets, i realize that i am representing something way bigger than me, a bigger whole that i'm an integral part of and i don't want to mess up on. And so even jaywalking is something i don't feel like doing anymore.

i really like this thought. but i wanted to share some experiences this weekend. I had the great privilege of visiting the Seva cafe in long beach. The idea is that everyday of the week, this cafe is a normal restaurant where people come in, eat and pay and leave. But on saturdays, they come in, and they are served by volunteers, food that is made by volunteers. and at the end of the night, the bill comes and says zero dollars, because someone else paid for their meal. and at the end of the night, they are given an envelope if they wish to pay it forward. and i had the privilege to make the food, and i don't know what it is, but i just love to give someone the food i made. something about providing someone nourishment. the people coming in were all over the place. one of the people was the 8th grade teacher of a volunteer. there was a young boy who usually worked at the cafe, who brought his whole family. it was a really incredible environment, and i just feel so blessed to receive all these acts of kindness all around me, here and everywhere. the last thought i wanted to share: one of the guys who started seva cafe was very adamant about how the seva cafe didn't start there, but it started the first time someone invited a guest to there home, and every week we get this here. thank you.

i was struck by the part where it says that wherever there is conflict, there is a limited view. and even physically, we are limited by our view, and our vocabulary reflects that ("do you see?"). but it's really hard to realize this when there is strong emotion. Quote I like: "No one knows what spirits are fighting where the bone meets the flesh." and no one can see the whole picture, but we can give it the space to see a wholer picture. the other aspect is that no matter where we look, we are looking only in one direction. and today i visited a children's hospice, and i started the day with my own conflicts, but this reminded me of the bigger whole.

namaste is an interesting word that means that the divinity within me recognizes the divinity within me. and someone recently was telling me that this is a hindu concept and that hindus should get the credit for it. and this thought recognizes that when we try to categorize, we alienate those who don't identify with it in the same way, which is much like the academic world i come from. i was recently reading a book called ishmael, and there's a passage where they talk about man's story and man's story on earth. and the myth is that man is here to conquer the world. and ishmael says that if that's true, we have essentially killed ourselves. it's like the quote: "if you've come here to save me then go away. but if you've come because your liberation is tied up with mine, then let's work together."

i got introduced to this wholeness concept in the foundation series by asimov. and in it, there's a character who refers to herself as i-we-gaia (where gaia is all of life). and i've been coming across this in hindu shastras, ken wilber, bucky fuller. but what i was thinking now is that all of us have a huge amount of experience in being i, but not many with being we or being gaia. and so the more i allow the experience of we, and hopefully some day the gaia, until i experience that feeling that i am more than the i, this body. but until then, i won't ever realize these concepts. so i need to experience the we more often, and only then there's hope for wholeness.

integrity to me is about the golden rule: do unto others what you would have them do unto you. to realize that even our worldviews are not complete.

i was just brainstorming about things that are divisive, and some things are group identity and relativism. often we are slaves to emotions instead using them for something bigger.

this last weekend, i went to see a friend who was having a baby. and her husband was talking about how his wife needed to separate herself from her family in order to be fully with him, which i found a very strange feeling, because the feeling of belonging is missing.

it's interesting, because i actually dread serving food that i prepare, and that's actually a time that i try to say we we we. loved this quote, and it was interesting, because i didn't associate the word integral with integrity. and it so happens that this week i happened to be dumbfounded by lack of integrity in certain places. and the system breaks down. we talk about really hi-fi concepts and think that will connect us to humanity. but we don't follow our basic humanity. and sometimes all we have to do is simple acts of kindness. anyway, this isn't resolved still.

whenever i have found myself being in situation with a lack of integrity, and in those times i look to unconventional sources of wisdom. i was thinking back to a time when i did something very inappropriate, and i shared it with someone i respect, and he said, "sometimes we need to understand wrong in order to understand what is right." and that really touched me. apart from this, about holistic-ness: a wise man once asked, what if everything he talked about was wrong? he pauses and says so be it.

i tried reading the quote 3 or 4 times and didn't understand it. one problem was the difference between integrity and integral. and as people talk about it, i'm understanding it more. and i'm associating my own life with people's reflections. and the thought about i-we-gaia, for most of my life has been about i. and i've tried to work on the we, and it's been very hard. when i started grad school. i was considered very arrogant. i used to try so hard to get my point across, until i realized that there's a personality associated with my name. and it's taken a lot of time to get away from that. and luckily i've been around a lot of people who have guided me: one professor said that the most important thing when you talk to people is the pause. and that pause has a huge effect. when somebody is speaking, it lets you digest what you're saying. and when you're speaking, it gives you a chance to become more coherent. i'm far from integriy, but i think in going toward that, a pause if very helpful. two is listening to people. and three is a blank mind. a blank mind is very helpful because you can just forget about what happened in the near past and in the next moment you don't associate things with the past. these are some little things that i have come across and i wanted to share it.

i didn't look up the dictionary, but this is a new application of the word integrity. the way i understood is that integrity is being true and honest and concept. this passage seems to be talking more about selflessness and the enlightened view. so i'm wondering how these actually connect to the word integrity. regardless, it's always good to consider other people's views, but there's a big gap between theory and practice. you do still have to keep centered on yourself. to think that the rights of the mosquito are the same as mine -- i have trouble with that.

i started working for the first time this summer, and in middle school and high school, people cheat all the time. it seems that that doesn't happen in the workplace. and i don't think people are smarter or anything, but i think it becomes harder to lie because you are working with a small group of people. and if you spoil a relationship, then it could have ramifications. i guess if you don't lie you don't have to keep track of things.

my understanding of the interpretation of the word was also different, but thinking about it now, people who feel wholeness within express it in their lives, and that's their definition of integrity.

for me, the biggest judge is myself. i know it when i have integrity. when i was young, i found myself always wanting things to be just: everyone should be represented. and now, things are fuzzier, and i feel like there was a deeper knowing back then. when that integrity is in place, i know it, and i can't fake it to myself. regarding different viewpoints, i was talking with a friend who's a philosophy professor. and we were talking about how people tend to be around those who reinforce their own views. and so thinking about it now, one of our biggest fears is not knowing. the same is true of views. for me these days it's really rare to be in the space where you can truly listen to all views.

knowing yourself is a full time occupation. that's what i like about reincarnation: you get to come back again.

integrity is being true to yourself and it's an ongoing process.

it's been kind of a rich day. integrity has played a huge role, because separateness, which is the opposite of integrity, has been a big part of myself. reminds me of a job interview and at the end of it, they said "you're really arrogant. we like you," and they gave me a great offer. a year later, when i was miserable, i realized it was because that place and that profession, was based on separateness. and these types of experiences really took me to humility. and a friend told me that humility comes from the latin humus, which is about the earth. and i really felt in my heart that integrity, humility and gratitude are the mainstay of life. and when i'm there, life is easy. and i'm not in that place right now. i recently heard my teacher say that many people come to spirituality because of suffering. and another funny thing happened today. i came across a guy who has been doing a peace walk. and i'd like to share a passage from his website. [ ... ] this is really an inside job.

i like the concept of we because i've heard it a lot but i don't think about it. wednesdays make you actually think about it. jealousy is one of those things where you wonder how you can get rid of it. and in jealousy, both people are trying to get to the same thing. and this we concept is useful there because at least when both of you are trying to do the same thing, the we would make sense to implement. and i'm going to try it.

integrity feels like me being true to truth itself. the truth that surrounds us and we are part of and we live in. and so the practice is to come back to that place within us. and when we're there: "we're little windows through which god shines light" -- merton. and only then can we have a complete view that's whole. so when the window is dirty the view is blurred. and we have to have this integrity in every moment.

integrity has to be in every moment -- you just can't separate is as one moment full of integrity and the other moment not. if you are the eldest child, you're told that you have more responsibility, you will be given more, but you will share with others. so if there's one piece of candy, then you will enjoy it more if you share it with others. and this is true even now. when you have more, you have the privilege to accept more responsibility.

it's been nice listening to everyone. i was looking in the room and i realize that there's so much richness.

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Go Placidly Amid the Noise and Haste, by Max Ehrmann

FaceBook  On Jul 28, 2006 Pavi wrote:

Notes From A Circle of Sharing: To relate the quote to my own life- I’ve been working for this new company at a new job and it’s been interesting to see how I’ve been put in positions where I’m expected to know what others don’t- there’s a pressure that comes from that- and the realization that in order to be useful you have to essentially ‘go placid’- and learn to have faith in what’s unfolding. Also that part about taking counsel from the years- it recently occurred to me in this way when I was doing dishes and asked my wife if she felt like she’d ‘arrived’- she asked me the same question back, and in that moment, I actually did. And maybe ‘taking counsel from the years’ is really about - re-arriving in every moment. Which reminds me of the ‘Waking Life’ quote: “ The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure, while always arriving- saves on introductions and goodbyes.” To me happiness isn’t something to be pursued- it’s something that ensues. There’s lots of fixation over wanting to ‘be happy’. Seeking it outside. The part of the passage that stayed with me was the part that says- ‘Be peaceful’. Peace is a state of being from which one can allow things to pass through- whether it’s happiness or sadness. And that state is more valuable than trying to seek happiness. Inspite of broken dreams and everything ‘it’s still a beautiful world’ I really like that. One of the things you do most often- that you know you do- is comparing yourself to other people- it’s conscious. It seems like there's pressure to act a certain way. And when you're a teenager you're not sure sometimes whether you’re supposed to act like a kid or an adult- so not comparing is about being yourself not trying to be what you're “supposed to" This reminds me of a story: Avery dedicated student goes to a monk to find peace. And the monk says to him- “I’  See full.

Notes From A Circle of Sharing:


To relate the quote to my own life- I’ve been working for this new company at a new job and it’s been interesting to see how I’ve been put in positions where I’m expected to know what others don’t- there’s a pressure that comes from that- and the realization that in order to be useful you have to essentially ‘go placid’- and learn to have faith in what’s unfolding.

Also that part about taking counsel from the years- it recently occurred to me in this way when I was doing dishes and asked my wife if she felt like she’d ‘arrived’- she asked me the same question back, and in that moment, I actually did. And maybe ‘taking counsel from the years’ is really about - re-arriving in every moment. Which reminds me of the ‘Waking Life’ quote: “ The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure, while always arriving- saves on introductions and goodbyes.”


  • To me happiness isn’t something to be pursued- it’s something that ensues. There’s lots of fixation over wanting to ‘be happy’. Seeking it outside. The part of the passage that stayed with me was the part that says- ‘Be peaceful’. Peace is a state of being from which one can allow things to pass through- whether it’s happiness or sadness. And that state is more valuable than trying to seek happiness.

  • Inspite of broken dreams and everything ‘it’s still a beautiful world’ I really like that.


  • One of the things you do most often- that you know you do- is comparing yourself to other people- it’s conscious. It seems like there's pressure to act a certain way. And when you're a teenager you're not sure sometimes whether you’re supposed to act like a kid or an adult- so not comparing is about being yourself not trying to be what you're “supposed to"

  • This reminds me of a story: Avery dedicated student goes to a monk to find peace. And the monk says to him- “I’m not who you're looking for,” and he tells him to go visit a certain king. The student is disappointed but he goes and he finds the king is busy with various cultural festivities being held. But the king gives him his chariot to travel around town in for two weeks and says- “Just do me this one favor- take this lamp with you as you travel around and enjoy the sights and just make sure it doesn’t blow out”. Two weeks later the student returns and the king asks him- “So how was the party?” And the student replies, “What party? You gave me this task- and all I know is the lamp is still on!” Shows you that peace doesn't depend on what’s happening outside.

  • Several weeks ago I went to visit my parents, they’ve just moved back to the States and they were taking things out of storage that had been in storage for 8 years. They had me go through boxes and boxes of this “noise” if you will- boxes of stuff that was just marked Boy’s Room Boy's Room Boy’s Room. Things from all the way back in kindergarten and all the years after that- basically my whole life in these boxes and I had to sort through them and decide what to keep and what to let go of. How to decide what to keep- I threw away so much stuff- it was an exercise in finding peace.

  • To me happiness is talking to my mom. For my peers talking to your mom includes gossip- did you wash your clothes, and that kind of stuff- but this morning on the phone she goes- “Whichever part of the body there is pain- the pain is felt only in the brain”.

  • This quote touched me in so many ways. I love the focus on placidity. When I am that things feel richer and better.

  • Every single line is a gem. You find yourself going- Wow. Wow. Wow. I especially loved the line that said, “whether or not it is clear to you the universe is unfolding as it should.”

  • I liked the part about going easy on yourself. I’m my own worst critic and the harder I am on myself the harder I am on everyone around me.

  • Happiness lies in what other people perceive of you. How do you get over thinking like this?

  • I really liked this quote because it was optimistic but not preachy, I found myself thinking about what a balanced state of mind he must have been in to write this. I was reminded of a time when Bo Lozoff was visiting and we were having dinner. He was telling us about a 40-day retreat that he had done and at one point he said it was so intense so that all he could do was- pray. I asked him what he prayed for- and he said that he didn’t harm anyone. I thought that was such an interesting way of looking at prayer. Generally there is a selfish element to it. Recently that’s something I’ve been asking myself- is I really consciously living? Are there negative ramifications to any of my thoughts, speech or actions?

  • This world is a beautiful place.... In California we don't see it because we’re so busy commuting, thinking of work and all that- my cousin came to visit and since he was driving I got to see what the bay area looked like. I told him “Hey I’ve never seen those hills before!” I’ve tried to notice more and more things since then...and I realize that I notice more when I’m not thinking of other things- or when I’m silent.

  • About the comparisons that are a problem that’s not going to go away because this society is based on comparisons. When you apply for a job or to college or make an offer for a house you’re going to be compared with others. It’s foolish to ignore that reality. But the way I see it- everyone is not better than you in every single respect. Each of us is better in one way or the other- health or service etc. So we’re free to choose one or two fields of endeavor to excel in.

  • The part about listening resonated with me. Everyone has a story no matter who they are- the other day on quote-a-day I got so engrossed in reading about the biography project- everyone really does have a story.

  • “Strive to be happy,” he says. As a father and pet owner I see two creatures in my house everyday who aren't striving for happiness at all- they just- Are. We all had that ability at one point and then we lost it along the way. I think it’s not about striving to be something- it's about dropping things to get back to that natural state that we all have.

  • Such an honest, simple approach. A real contrast to most of the thoughts we read with their eloquently worded, philosophical musings. This was very direct and I was reminded of the last lines of one of Robert Frost’s poems. “The woods are lovely dark and deep, But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.” I found myself wondering how this writer would have phrased the same thing- probably something like; “Don’t get distracted. Be serious in your work.”

  • If happiness was really All in the mind then we'd just all lie down right where we were wouldn’t we, and be dead in three weeks from not eating.

  • Dogs can teach you what happiness is.

  • My happiest moment is being here.

  • The passage reminds me of a quote: “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way”.

  • I really like the part where he says you’re a child of the universe; you have a right to be here, like a tree, or a flower- that was reassuring. A lot of times we would go into some secluded woods- some national forest and I would get this feeling that the trees deserved to be there but somehow I was out of place. I was trying to think why that feeling arose in me and I think maybe coming from a populous country like India where there is a one-child norm- I’m the second child. And I always wondered why my parents had me. So this is good- to know I have a right to be here. And the other thing that came to me after reading this passage was that- I think if I could feel and believe and act like the universe was unfolding the way it should maybe then it becomes true not just for us- but for others around us.

  • There is a story about a generous man who would always cast his eyes down when placing food in another person’s hand. People used to wonder why he acted so ashamed of his generosity. And one day Tulsidas asks him why and he answered that it was because it wasn’t he that was giving but the Lord giving through him. “I look down because I am grateful to be a means of giving”. This passage reminded me of treating everyone like that- because you don’t know who is coming to you as the Lord.

  • The very first line really struck me. It brought to mind a performance I was at recently. It started at 7pm after work, in this big room where people were gathered; it was bustling with energy, so much so that when the performers came in no one noticed. There were three of them and they entered from different angles, with a quiet kind of stillness and made their way across the room- and by the time they had reached the stage the room was quiet. Through silence, their gestures and art they’d somehow imposed placidity on this whole group of people and it made me think of what kind of impact we can have on other people through how we present ourselves.

  • I think we have limited vision- do we really know what is bad and good for us? It’s best not to label. As for beauty unfolding I think we should see that beauty in every individual we encounter and in all different events in our life, we should feel it even with our enemies- and that would maybe be a confirmation that we are in a truly balanced state of mind.

  • Happiness is being in the moment with no past or future.

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