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They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."
He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine this moment."
Gospel Of Thomas (110)
The religious life is not on the other side of the river. It is on this side, the side of the whole travail of man. The truth is in everyday life. J. Krishnamurti (1895)
Men esteem Truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God Himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all ages. Henry David Thoreau (1817)
Who would claim that they are living according to God who throughout whole days or even months and years do not sigh out to God and do not aspire to God? A clear sign of death is not breathing. If this breathing is prayer, not to pray is a sign of death. The spiritual life, by which we are children of God, is rooted in love. . . . Who loves without wanting to see the person he loves?
God asks nothing of the highest soul but attention.
The stakes are high for real prayer.
You must gamble yourself
and be willing to lose.
When you have done this,
and your self shakes off
what you believed your self to be,
then no prayer remains,
only a sparkle of the eyes.
Knower and known are one.
If you penetrate the center of time and space,
you can bypass the addictions of the world:
You can become the world yourself.
Mahmud Shabistari (1250)
New Testament: 'whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God'. I Cor. 10.21 (57)
Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, do all as if for me. Bhaghavad-Gita (500 B.C.E.)
Practice not doing and everything will fall into place. Tao Te Ching (650)
Prayer that craves a particular commodity, -- anything less than all good, -- is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg. He will then see prayer in all action. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803)
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
When you sincerely enter into prayer, you will come forth with all your prayers answered; but a hundred prayers that lack sincerity will leave you still the bungler that you are, your work a failure; prayers said from habit are like the dust that scatters in the wind. The prayers that reach God's court are uttered by the soul. Hakim Sanai (1080)
The mind then transcends prayer. . . . (It) does not pray a definite prayer, but finds itself in ecstasy in the midst of incomprehensible realities. It is indeed an ignorance superior to knowledge. Isaac Of Nineveh
It is sometimes necessary to speak to this might All, and be ready for our nothing to face an encounter with something. St. Francis De Sales (1567)
If you cannot pray over a thing, and cannot ask God to bless you in it, don't do that thing. A secret that you would keep from God is a secret that you should keep from your own heart. Open thy heart to God, if He be there, the outspread world will be thy book of prayer. Fredrick A. Tholuck (1799)
Walk in my presence and you will be perfect. Anonymous
We loosely talk of Self-realization, for lack of a better term. But how can one realize that which alone is real? All we need to do is to give up our habit of regarding as real that which is unreal. All religious practices are meant solely to help us do this. Ramana Maharshi (1879)
Above all temples You chiefly prefer Oh Spirit
The heart upright and pure.
Instruct me You who know
For You were present from the first.
You sat dove like with might and outspread wings
Brooding over the vast abyss and made it pregnant.
Oh Spirit what in me Is dark Illumine.
O most high, almighty, good Lord God, to Thee belong praise, glory,
honour, and all blessing!
Praised be my Lord God with all His creatures; and specially our brother
the sun, who brings us the day, and who brings us the light; fair is he,
and shinning with a very great splendour: O Lord, he signifies to us
Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, and for the stars, the which
He has set clear and lovely in heaven.
Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind, and for air and cloud,
calms and all weather, by the which Thou upholdest life in all
Praised be my Lord for our sister water, who is very serviceable unto us,
and humble, and precious, and clean.
Praised be my Lord for our brother fire, through whom Thou givest us
light in the darkness; and he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty,
Praised be my Lord for our mother the earth, the which doth sustain us
and keep us, and bringeth forth divers fruits, and flowers of many
colours, and grass.
St. Francis Of Assisi (1181)
You will never be able to have perfect interior peace and recollection unless you are detached even from the desire of peace and recollection. You will never be able to pray perfectly until you are detached from the pleasures of prayer. Thomas Merton (1915)
The contemplation of Eternity maketh the Soul immortal. Thomas Traherne (1637)
By prayer I mean not that which is only in the mouth, but that which springs up from the bottom of the heart. In fact, just as trees with deep roots are not shattered or uprooted by storms... in the same way prayers that come from the bottom of the heart, having their roots there, rise to heaven with complete assurance and are not knocked off course by the assault of any thought. That is why the Psalm says, "Out of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord." Psalm 130.I (999 B.C.E.)
...If we desert the true for the pleasant, we shall lose both the pleasant and the true; but if we desert the pleasant for the true, the peace of truth will soothe away our sorrow. If we barter the higher for the lower, emptiness and anguish will overtake us, and then, having abandoned the Eternal, where is our rock of refuge? But if we yield up the lower for the higher, the strength and satisfaction of the higher will remain with us, fullness of joy will overtake us, and we shall find in truth a rock of refuge from the evils and sorrows of life.
Everything comes if a man will only wait. I've brought myself by long meditation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will that will stake even existence for it's fulfillment.
Do not await the fulfillment of the divine cause you serve, but know that none of your efforts are fruitless, for they all advance the cause. Leo Tolstoy (1828)
To the persevering mortal, (Zoroaster) the blessed Immortals are swift. Ancient Sayings
One must strive to become what one is. Goethe (1749)
True seekers keep riding straight through,
whereas big, lazy, self-worshiping geese
unload their pack animals in a farmyard
and say, "This is far enough."
Jalal Al Din Rumi (1207)
"The power men possess to annoy me, I give them by a weak curiosity. No man can come near me but through my act. "- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Absolutely Clear Don't surrender your loneliness So quickly. Let it cut more deep. Let it ferment and season you As few human Or even divine ingredients can. Something missing in my heart tonight Has made my eyes so soft, My voice So tender, My need of God Absolutely Clear. "- Hafez
"To those who seek truth in conventionalized religion: Until college and minaret have crumbled this holy work of ours will not be done. Until faith becomes rejection And rejection becomes belief There will be no true believer. "- Abu Said
"If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. "- New Testament
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. "- American Indian
"If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao's Gift!), If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get, If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood, You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek. To know when to stop, To know when you can get no further by your own action, This is the right beginning! "- Lao Tse
""Is there anything that I can do to make myself enlightened?" "As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning." "Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?" "To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise." "- Anthony De Mello
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