we are conscious of being part of a wider universe, we can begin
to see that what we do matters. Every
action we take has a consequence somewhere,
whether good or bad. Everything
that happens affects a part of the whole body of life. Having this knowledge of being part of something larger may motivate
us to contribute
to the greater good in whatever ways we
people who are aware of themselves are henceforward independent;
and they are never bored, and life is only too short,
and they are steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate
all have within us a deep sense of what we need, and what is
and true for us. To access this we need to pay
attention to our feelings
and our intuition. We need
learn to listen deeply to ourselves and to
trust what we hear.
And we need to risk acting on what we feel to be true. Even if we make mistakes, we must do this
in order to learn
and grow. -Shakti Gawain
Why do some people always see beautiful
and grass and lovely flowers and incredible human
while others are hard-pressed to find anything or
any place that is beautiful? -Leo Buscaglia
|Be on the lookout for
mercies. The more we look for them,
the more of them we
will see. . . . Better to lose count
while naming your
blessings than to lose your blessings
to counting your
troubles. -Maltbie D. Babcock
| When I see someone smile, I know immediately that he or she is
dwelling in awareness. This half-smile, how many artists have labored to bring it to the lips
of countless statues
and paintings? I am sure the same smile must have been on the
faces of the sculptors
and painters as they worked. Can you imagine an angry painter
giving birth to such a smile? Mona Lisa's smile is light, just a hint of a smile. Yet even a
smile like that is enough to relax
all the muscles in our face, to banish all worries and fatigue.
A tiny bud of a smile on our lips
nourishes awareness and calms us miraculously. It returns us to
the peace we thought we had lost.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
keep my eyes open, I see bugs and snakes and intricate
tiny flowers and cool rocks and nice smiles and beautiful
architecture and gentle kindness. If I keep my heart young
I notice great places to play, nice sunsets, cool hideouts,
neat ice formations, and strange and unusual birds and animals. Life is never ordinary. We can make it seem ordinary
by closing our eyes and hearts to its wonder, but that's not
life's fault. I prefer to notice the little things and then
them be--never trying to take them with me or preserve
them--because that's what life's supposed to be, and
that's what makes me happy and keeps away disappointment.
thank You God for this most amazing day;
for the leaping greenly spirits
of trees and a blue true
dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which
is infinite which is yes. -e.e. cummings
the past eighty years I have started each day in the same
manner. It is not a mechanical routine, but something essential
to my daily life. I go to the piano, and play two preludes and
fugues of Bach. I cannot think of doing otherwise. It is a
sort of benediction on the house. But that is not its only
meaning for me. It is a rediscovery of the world
of which I have
the joy of being a part. It fills me with awareness
wonder of life, with a feeling of the incredible marvel
of being a
human being. -Pau
The person who cannot wonder is
a pair of
which there is no eye. -Thomas Carlyle
One day, after a drawing exercise, one of my
students said in amazement,
"Every time I draw something I fall in love!" I wasn't
surprised to hear this,
because I know that when we wake up to the world around us in full
with vivid colors, lines, and shapes, we become filled with awe and
wonder. It is easy to fall in love with the things we've walked past so many
because we realize that the world is offering itself to us like a
for our embrace and recognition. Receiving the universe in all
allows us a new self-appreciation, and coming to a level of
and self-love prepares us to love the world in return. When this
awareness lives at our core, celebration becomes a way of life.
We have only this moment,
like a star in our hand. . .
and melting like a snowflake.
Let us use it before it is too late.
-Marie Edith Beynon
A greater poverty than
that caused by lack of money is the poverty of
unawareness. Men and women go about the world unaware of
the beauty, the goodness, and the glories in it. Their
souls are poor. It is better to have a poor pocketbook
than to suffer from a poor soul. -Jerry
I have walked with people whose eyes
are full of light but who see nothing
in sea or sky,
nothing in city streets, nothing in books. It were
to sail forever in the night of blindness with
sense, and feeling, and mind,
than to be content with the
mere act of seeing. The only lightless dark
night of darkness in ignorance and insensibility.
If I had influence
with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening
of all children I should ask that her gift to each child be a sense of wonder so
indestructible that it would last throughout life, an unfailing antidote against the boredom
and disenchantment of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial,
the alienation from the sources of our strength.
aware that you already possess all the inner wisdom,
creativity needed to make your dreams come
true. This is hard for most of us
to realize because the
source of this unlimited personal power is buried so
deeply beneath the bills, the car pool, the deadlines,
the business trip, and the
dirty laundry that we have
difficulty accessing it in our daily lives. When we can't
access our inner resources, we come to the flawed
conclusion that happiness
and fulfillment come only from
external events. That's because external events
bring with them some sort of change. . . .We can learn to
be the catalysts
for our own change. . . .you already
possess all you need to be genuinely happy.
-Sarah Ban Breathnach
An enlightened mind is not
it is not shut up in a
gloomy prison till
it thinks the walls of its dungeon the
limits of the
universe, and the reach
of its own chain the outer verge of intelligence.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The miracles of the church seem
to me to rest
not so much on faces or voices or healing power
suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our
perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment
our eyes can see and our ears can hear
what is there about us always. -Willa Cather
The most beautiful
thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the
source of all true art and science. Those to whom
emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder
and stand rapt in awe, are as good as dead: their eyes are
What else is going on
right this minute while ground water creeps under my feet?
The galaxy is careening in a slow, muffled widening. . .
. The sun's surface is now exploding; other stars implode
and vanish, heavy and black, out of sight. Meteorites are
arcing to earth invisibly all day long. On the planet the
winds are blowing. . . .Somewhere, someone under full
sail is becalmed, in the horse latitudes, in the doldrums;
in the northland, a trapper is maddened, crazed, by the
eerie scent of the chinook, the snow-eater, a wind that
can melt two feet of snow in a day. The pampero blows,
and the tramontane, and the Boro, sirocco, levanter,
mistral. Lick a finger: feel the now.
can know nothing of mankind without knowing
something of ourselves. Self-knowledge is the property
of those people whose passions have their full play, but
who ponder over their results. -Benjamin Disraeli
joy of life is in the little things taken on the run. Let
us run if we must--even the sands do that--but let us
keep our hearts young and our eyes open that nothing
worth our while shall escape us. -Victor
Two things fill me with constantly
increasing admiration and awe,
the longer and more
earnestly I reflect on them: the starry heavens without
and the moral law within. -Immanuel
I saw Fair Haven Pond
with its island, and meadow between the island and the
and a strip of perfectly still and smooth water in
the lee of the island, and two hawks,
fish hawks perhaps,
sailing over it. I did not see how it could be improved.
Yet I do not see
what these things can be. I begin to see
such an object when I cease to understand it
and see that
I did not realize or appreciate it before, but I get no
further than this. How adapted these forms and colors to
my eye! A meadow and an island! What are these things?
Yet the hawks and the ducks keep so aloof! and Nature so
reserved! I am made to love the pond and the meadow,
the wind is made to ripple the water.
A person is alive
only to the degree that he or she is aware. To make the most of
we must constantly strive to be aware of the importance of being
Be Aware of
Yourself: We should be aware of who we are and what we want to
be. We should be aware of our ideals and purposes and our
relationship to the Infinite.
Be Aware of Your
Senses and Use Them: So often we are distracted and unconscious
of the riches our senses can pour into our lives. We eat food
without tasting it,
listen to music without hearing it, smell without
experiencing the pungency of odors
and the delicacy of perfumes, touch
without feeling the grain or texture,
and see without appreciating the
beauty around us.
Be Aware of
People: This calls for sensitivity, an empathy that will make us
of the inner thoughts of people--sadness, loneliness,
discouragement, joy. This is often an extrasensory
awareness. We should see people not as part
of a crowd, but as
individuals with needs, longings, and aspirations.
Be Aware of Our
Environment: We should be aware of our surroundings, both
our community and our country, and of the influences that now mold our
world so that
we can play our part in the life of our times. We
should be aware of significant events
in politics, science, and
religion and find in them the true and meaningful.
The secret of being
more vitally alive is to be more aware. Starting today, from
this moment, become aware of awareness!
Wilferd A. Peterson
Let us not
look back in anger
or forward in fear, but around
awareness. -James Thurber
your eyes and you will know what I mean by thought
entombed in darkness.
Light comes through the
senses, and not only through the sense of sight.
you see without feeling, you are still partly blind; you
lack the inner light
that brings awareness. Awareness
requires the interplay of every faculty,
the use of your
entire being as an eye. -Charles A. Lindbergh
is a rhythm in life, a certain beauty which
operates by a
variation of lights and shadows,
with sorrow, content with discontent, distilling
process of contrast a sense of satisfaction,
that can be captured and pinned down only
by those who
possess the gift of awareness.
Sunshine is delicious, rain is
wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating;
there is really no such thing as bad weather,
different types of good weather.
takes a certain amount of intelligence and imagination to
realize the extraordinary queerness and mysteriousness of
the world in which we live. -Aldous
ultimate value of life depends upon awareness,
power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.
of the disease in Central Africa called sleeping sickness.
. . .
There also exists a sleeping sickness of the soul.
Its most dangerous aspect
is that one is unaware of
its coming. That is why you have to be careful.
As soon as you notice the slightest sign of
indifference, the moment
you become aware of the loss of
a certain seriousness, of longing,
of enthusiasm and zest,
take it as a warning.
You should realize your soul
suffers if you live superficially. -Albert Schweitzer
We must work on our souls, enlarging
and expanding them.
We do so by experiencing all of life--
the beauty and the joy as well as the grief and
Soul work requires paying attention to life,
to the laughter and the sorrow,
the enlightening and the
the inspiring and the silly. -Matthew Fox
next message you need
is always right where you are.
everywhere with your eyes; but with your soul never look
at many things, but at one. -V.V. Rozanov
knows what each day is going to bring. The important
thing is to be open and ready for it.
Most of the time, if
you're not really paying attention,
you're someplace else.
So your child might say, "Daddy,
I want this,"
and you might say, "Just a minute, I'm busy."
Now that's no big deal--we all get busy, and kids
frequently ask for attention. But over your child's
entire youth, you may have
an enormous number of such
moments to be really, fully present, but because you thought
you were busy, you didn't see
the opportunities these
moments presented. . . . People carry around an enormous
amount of grief because they missed the little things.
-Jon Kabat- Zinn
were to prescribe one process
training of people which is
to success in any
ongoing training in the habit
observation. It is
which every one of us
seeking evermore to perfect.
our full attention to another person is itself stimulating.
they might appear to be, the person you're with right now is a human
with a full set of human qualities that you can respond to. If you
those qualities in them at first, ask yourself: Am I looking
attending closely enough? When people feel that they have your
sometimes they blossom before your eyes. Even if the communication
only lasts three minutes, it can make a big difference to both of your
and Dominic Houlder
All of us tend to put off living. We
are all dreaming
of some magical
horizon instead of enjoying the roses
that are blooming
outside our windows today. -Dale Carnegie
present moment is significant, not as the bridge between
past and future,
but by reason of its contents, which can
fill our emptiness and become ours,
if we are capable of
receiving them. -Dag Hammarskjold
opportunities come to all, but many do not know
they have met them.
The only preparation to take
advantage of them is . . .
to watch what each day
If we face our unpleasant feelings with care,
affection, and nonviolence,
we can transform them into a kind of energy that is healthy and has
the capacity to nourish us. By
the work of mindful observation,
our unpleasant feelings can illuminate so much for us, offering us
insight and understanding into ourselves and society.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
unthankful heart . . . discovers no mercies; but let the
sweep through the day and, as the magnet
finds the iron, so it will find,
in every hour, some
heavenly blessing. -Henry Ward Beecher
The best things are nearest:
your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at
duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not
grasp at the stars,
but do life's plain,
common work as it comes, certain that
daily duties and
are the sweetest things of life.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
To have an open self is to provide a free channel
for the infinite goodness of God.
To have an open self is to keep yourself aware, alert and
to the beauty and wonder of life.
Godís love will flow through you
into the world when you are open.
You enlarge the dimensions of your life
when you keep yourself open to the highest and best. The key to Godís
infinite riches is within you; open yourself and you will receive.
-Wilferd A. Peterson
Too many people miss
the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
person curses the rain that falls upon their heads,
and know not that it brings abundance
away hunger. -Saint Basil
different from what we are,
we must have some awareness of what we
are. -Bruce Lee
Isn't it splendid
to think of all the things there are to find out about?
makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world.
world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our
senses to grow sharper.
-John Keats (also attributed to Eden Phillpotts)
sitting still on a lawn can open up to you a whole
new world, if you look long enough and closely enough.
There is a great deal of life available to you in such a place,
but we usually miss it as we walk quickly over it. Once I taught
in a building that had a tree growing right next to it, so from
our third-floor window we had a great view of the top of the
tree and all the bugs and birds that lived there or were stopping
by for visits. That close view taught me a lot about the tops
of trees, and I can't look at trees in exactly the same way any more.
today and look. Learn. Appreciate. See. Touch.
Feel. Looking closely is nothing more than using our
powers of observation, a gift that we were given that
we let lie unused far too often. If we do this, the
world becomes an awesome, incredible place.
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