Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: September 2010 (Page 1 of 3)

What Is the True Meaning of Zen?

The True Meaning of Zen

Every time I turn around these days there’s a new blog with “Zen” in its title.

“Zen” is being linked to everything from copywriting, web design, and business strategy to personal development, food, and far more.

Some bloggers are genuinely trying to express what they believe to be the spirit of Zen via their work and their blog. Others may simply be riding the popularity wave from Zen Habits

And some credit should go to the icons who introduced Zen into mainstream consciousness starting in the ’50’s:  Jack Kerouac with the book The Dharma Bums, the philosopher and writer Alan Watts, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, and Robert M. Pirsig known for Zen and the Art of Motorcycle.

But just to set the record straight, Zen is not…

  • a habit
  • simplicity
  • a state of peace
  • a state of mind
  • a minimalist aesthetic
  • living simply
  • a destination
  • nor is it just being in the moment

These are merely popular concepts about Zen.  In reality, true Zen is far beyond concepts.

What is the True Meaning of Zen?

Zen is a remarkable wisdom tradition.

It is a path to fully awaken to your original nature, which is present right here, right now.  It is the essence of wisdom and compassion embodied in spiritual masters like Shunryu Suzuki-roishi and Thich Nhat Hahn.  It is a living lineage of tradition passed on since the time of the Buddha.

What is Zen? Find out its true meaning. #zen #zenbuddhism #suzukiroishi #suzukiroishiquotes #zenmind

“Zen” is actually shorthand for Zen Buddhism.   According to the Random House Dictionary 2010, Zen is “…a Mahayana movement, introduced into China in the 6th century and into Japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means.”

Zen is practiced mainly in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam although there are many Zen centers in the United States as well.

The word Zen is derived from the Chinese word “chán” and the sanskrit word “dhyana,” which mean “meditation.” In sanskrit, the root meaning is “to see, to observe, to look.”

Zen is a noun. Zenic is an adjective.

It’s not uncommon to misunderstand Zen even when you study and practice it. That’s why it helps to have a teacher.  The great spiritual master Shunryu Suzuki-roishi once said:

“And this misunderstanding—the misunderstanding you have about Zen, I think—when we say:  Zen, oh, Zen is wonderful [laughs].  Whatever you do, that is Zen [laughing].  Even though you are doing something wrong, that is Zen.  Whatever you do is Zen.  That is why I like Zen.  [Laughs, laughter.]  This kind of misunderstanding I think you will have about Zen.  But what we actually mean is quite opposite.”

There is nothing imprecise about Zen.  At the same time, it’s almost impossible to put your finger on true Zen.

“Zen mind is one of those enigmatic phrases used by Zen teachers to make you notice yourself, to go beyond the words and wonder what your own mind and being are. This is the purpose of all Zen teaching—to make you wonder and to answer that wondering with the deepest expression of your own nature.” – from the introduction to Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki-roishi.

Zen mind cannot be understood from the perspective of our ordinary, dualistic mind.

“We say “big mind,” or “small mind,” or “Buddha mind,” or “Zen mind,” and these words mean something, you know, but something we cannot and should not try to understand in terms of experience. We talk about enlightenment experience, but it is not some experience we will have in terms of good or bad, time or space, past or future. It is experience or consciousness beyond those distinctions or feelings.  …Enlightenment cannot be asked for in your ordinary way of thinking. When you are not involved in this way of thinking, you have some chance of understanding what Zen experience is.” –  from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki-roishi.

Zen practice may calm our mind, bring more clarity, and infuse us with greater kindness.  But the ultimate goal of Zen isn’t seeking or clinging to peace.  Calming the mind is just one part of the story. The purpose of Zen isn’t to put an end to the activity of mind.  That would be impossible anyway.  As Shunryu Suzuki-roishi explains when he speaks about zazen (sitting meditation),

“When you are practicing zazen, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer.”

“Even though waves arise, the essence of your mind is pure; it is just like clear water with a few waves. Actually water always has waves. Waves are the practice of the water.. To speak of waves apart from water or water apart from waves is a delusion. Water and waves are one.” –  from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki-roishi.

If you would like a taste of true Zen, a good place to start would be with Suzuki Roishi’s spiritual classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.

The Allure of the Word “Zen”

There’s no turning back from the fact that Zen has acquired a “colloquial” meaning in modern life.  Maybe it’s the zip and zing of the actual word “Zen” that is part of its allure.  And, it conveniently rhymes with a whole range of other words making for ever so zingy blog titles.  Chances are there will be many more blogs with “Zen” in their title and many other enterprises too.

This is just a gentle reminder, amidst the pull of popular trends, let us not forget the profound and true meaning of Zen.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra


21 Ways to Simply Be

Naked in Eden

Do you ever long to just be?

Robin Easton perfected the art of being while living in the rainforest. Wild adventure, travel tale, love affair with nature, personal awakening, profound healing.  Her book –  Naked in Eden, My Adventures and Awakening in the Australian Rainforest has it all.

Many wonderful life lessons await you on these pages. In this post, I’ll focus on just one – the art of being – and allow you to discover the incredible mystery and magic of this captivating book on your own.

Robin didn’t go to the rainforest to awaken or to heal. She blithely following her partner, their shared inspiration, and the call of destiny. It’s nothing short of a miracle that they survived their youthful naiveté and raw confidence. Imagine sleeping in the open – well, under a truck – next to crocodile infested waters or driving down the side of cliff.

The rainforest blessed Robin with many gifts. One of the greatest was the rare opportunity to just be. She’s describes a month when she “sat and browsed together every dawn” with a wallaby.

“In the end, all I did was sit, watch, and heal.” – Robin Easton, Naked in Eden

Can you imagine just allowing yourself to be in that way? Or does it seems impossible to part from your schedule, agenda, commitments, to-do list, cell phone and computer?

Our culture demands that we live in a swirl of motion. The effect of high expectations, endless activity, and constant pressures is an unnerving addiction to speed, results, consumption, over-thinking, and the corresponding adrenaline rush that occurs.

Living in constant stimulation like this will eventually lead to serious illness.  But even when people become ill, they feel compelled to continue with business as usual. Our conditioning is just that strong. Rarely do people  allow themselves time and space to heal.

But even the Energizer Bunny needs his batteries recharged now and then. If you’re smart, you’ll swim against the tide of convention and find ways to balance being vs. doing now – long before illness becomes your unwelcome cohort.

I know it’s not easy. It’s not easy for me!  But only you can decide “enough is enough” and take steps toward a saner and more satisfying life.

21 ways to simply be

So, how do you start just being?

First, take your watch off and try to keep your eyes off the clock.

Take a few moments to recall the qualities of a relaxed state of being.  Allow them to gradually permeate your body, mind, and spirit.

  • Aimless rather than goal oriented
  • Observant rather than engaged
  • Receptive rather than active
  • Slow rather than quick
  • Intuitive rather than logical
  • Quiet rather than loud
  • Spacious rather than focused
  • Timeless rather than timebound

Then, simply be!  Here are 21 ways to simply be that I enjoy:

  1. Spend time with your body. Lightly place your attention on the sensations in your body.  Then follow them about. Try a guided body scan or an exercise in progressive relaxation.
  2. Focus on your breathing. Just feel your belly as it rises and falls.
  3. Take a full day of rest each week.
  4. Awaken your senses: listen to the sounds around you, see the panorama of images in front of your eyes, inhale the scents, feel the textures, notice the tastes.
  5. Take a quiet break from work regularly throughout the day.  Just pause. Let your mind and body rest.
  6. Take a real lunch break, devoid of work activity or personal tasks.
  7. Eat your meals in silence. Savor the tastes and be aware of the sensations of chewing and digesting.
  8. Take a 10-minute break after every meal.
  9. Get a massage. Just a simple message.
  10. Enjoy a digital and electronic retreat. Turn off all the phones, the computer, television, radio, etc.
  11. Play with children. Dare to be silly and have fun.
  12. Play with a pet or enjoy watching your pet.
  13. People watch. In a train station, a park, anywhere.
  14. Take a meandering walk. Wander with no destination in mind.
  15. Enjoy a bath.
  16. Relax into meditation.
  17. Watch the clouds drift by in the sky.
  18. Float in water in a pool, a pond, a river, an ocean.
  19. Take a nap.
  20. Immerse yourself in nature. Here are 40 wonderful ways to experience nature.
  21. Listen to relaxing or uplifting music.

The idea isn’t to eradicate doing altogether – just to bring more balance into your life.  Start with small doses and then add on.

You too can find the same joy, contentment, inspiration, and good health that Robin found in the rainforest.

“The presence of wild creatures filled my life with joy. My untamed friends taught me how to be human again by helping me to find the benevolent or humane part of myself. They also showed me how to be an animal again and how to listen to my heart’s wild hunger.”  Robin Easton, Naken in Eden

The inspiration I found amidst these beautifully written pages reawakened my own desire to simply be.  Thank you so much Robin for reminding me.

It may be sad to say, but so true:  our sanity and the preservation of the environment depends upon our ability to rediscover the natural ability to just be.

I would love to hear your suggestions about how to just be!

For full reviews of Naked in Eden, please visit:

Image from Wikipedia.

If you liked this article please share the link with others via Stumble Upon, Twitter, or your favorite network.  Thanks! Sandra

Like a Flash of Lightning in the Sky

As the seasons slowly change, it seems opportune to reflect on impermanence.

Although we all know that life is impermanent, most of us function like this body and brain are immortal.

When, out of the blue, impermanence strongly touches our life, we are often overcome by shock and fear.  But it usually doesn’t last long.  Swiftly, we return to our illusion of permanence.

Ironically, there are many benefits to remembering and befriending impermanence as a daily reflection.

Recalling the transient nature of this existence can:

  • help us get our priorities straight;
  • remind us to celebrate each precious moment;
  • be an impetus to use our time wisely;
  • unlock love and compassion from our heart;
  • motivate us to examine the nature of reality and seek that which is true and unchanging.

Gradually and gently, we can make peace with the mortality of this body and come to know the unending, deathless nature of mind.

Reflections on impermanence

Here are two of my most treasured quotations on impermanence for our Sunday reflection.

“This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.

To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.

A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky.

Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.”

-the Buddha

“The birth of a man is the birth of his sorrow.  The longer he lives, the more stupid he becomes, because his anxiety to avoid unavoidable death becomes more and more acute.  What bitterness!  He lives for what is always out of reach.  His thirst for survival in the future makes him incapable of living in the present.”

-Chuang Tzu

How do you relate to the idea of impermanence?  Do you find reflecting on impermanence beneficial?

If you enjoyed this article, please share the link with your others.  Thanks so much! Sandra


Breathing May Be Bad for Your Health! IgG Delayed Sensitivities.

Delayed reactions to inhalants can make you illHere’s another best kept medical secret.

Particles in the air you are breathing may be making you ill in the form of delayed inhalant hypersensitivities causing a whole range of systemic symptoms.

Medical doctors – for the most part – only treat classic IgE immediate-onset allergies.  In fact, the current definition of “allergy” only includes this well known IgE meditated response.  These are immediate reactions to substances like pollens, mold spores, animal danders, dust, foods, insect venoms, latex, and drugs.

Here’s the kicker: your body could be making IgG antibodies causing delayed reactions – occurring several hours to several days later – to these very same substances.  These IgG – Type III hypersensitivity reactions can cause a range of  of inflammatory symptoms like joint and muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, rashes, sore throats, rhinitis, and so on.  They may also exacerbate co-occurring inflammatory conditions or autoimmune diseases.

I’m sorry if this sounds complex or confusing.  It’s really quite simple.  There’s a whole range of inhalant allergies – and food sensitivities too – that allopathic doctors don’t recognize or treat.  They will never mention them to you. You may suffer endlessly without ever finding the true cause.

I had no idea there are IgG inhalant hypersensitivities.  My IgE is remarkably low, indicating – in the world of allopathic medicine – that I have no allergies whatsoever.

Surprise, surprise. When I took the 16-Inhalant IgG Antibody Assessment it turns out I have delayed hypersensitivities to dust mites and mold.  Believe me, a light bulb turned on when I saw those results.  It explained so much about what was happening in my body.  This test might also be extremely helpful to you, especially if you have many mysterious, unexplained symptoms.

IgG antibodies:  what do they do?

Here’s a brief explanation of the function of IgG antibodies:

‘IgG antibodies represent the most prevalent class found in the blood. It is produced after reimmunization, or secondary response to antigen. It is the primary mediator of the memory immune response. Often involved in Type III delayed hypersensitivity reactions, IgG forms an immune complex with the allergen. This antibody/antigen complex activates complement (a group of small proteins found circulating in the blood stream that are involved in the release of inflammatory mediators), and enhances phagocytosis by opsonization. The inflammatory process is gradual and may take anywhere from several hours to several days, which is why this type of reaction is termed, delayed. Although immune cells called macrophages dispose of these immune complexes immediately, they only have a finite capacity to do so. Excess antigen may saturate the macrophages capacity resulting in the prolonged circulation of complexes and their deposition into the body tissues. Depending on which tissues are involved, it is thought that these complexes may be implicated in many different conditions/symptoms.”

There are two important points that standout for me:

  • The inflammatory process is gradual and may take anywhere from several hours to several days, which is why this type of reaction is termed, delayed.
  • Depending on which tissues are involved, it is thought that these complexes may be implicated in many different conditions/symptoms.

IgG reactions are difficult to assess because they occur so long after exposure to an aeroallergen or the intake of an allergenic food.  Your body might feel like a constant war zone and you have no idea why.  You literally have to be Nancy Drew to figure it out.  Testing is an excellent resource to aid the investigation.

IgG Antibody Testing:  the cutting edge of science

IgG antibody testing is one among a number of tests that are considered to be of “unknown efficacy” by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).  These tests are considered investigational because the scientific evidence is not conclusive regarding their effects on health outcomes.

In other words, it’s too early to know if these test are effective.  It’s the cutting edge of science.

Nevertheless, IgG Antibody testing is helping people each and every day discover the true causes or contributors to their chronic illnesses.  Are they 100% accurate? Of course not.  Is any medical test 100% accurate?  The standard Skin-Prick Test used by conventional allergists is notoriously unreliable.

How to get an IgG Antibody Assessment

IgG Antibody Assessment tests are available through physicians who practice integrative medicine, clinical ecology, and naturopathy.  A blood sample is taken and sent to a lab for assessment.  Most alternative labs also conduct IgE and IgA Antibody Assessment as well if you wish to have a complete assessment for immediate-onset and delayed reactions.

Following is a sample report for the 16-Inhalant Panel IgG/IgA Assessment from U. S. BioTek Laboratories in Seattle.   IgG antibody testing is not yet available for tree pollens and a number of other substances, but the 16-Inhalant panel is a good start.

IgG Inhalant Antibody Assessment Test

IgG Inhalant Antibody Assessment Test

Grass IndoorMolds
BahiaCat AntigenAlternaria tenuis
BermudaCockroach, GermanAspergillus fumigatus
Brome, SmoothDog EpitheliaCladosporium herbarum
JohnsonDust Mite MixPenicillium notatum
Rye, PerennialHouse Dust
Sweet Vernal

U. S. BioTek is the only lab I know of that provides an IgG Inhalant Panel, whereas IgG Antibody Testing for food sensitivity is common in alternative labs.  If you know of other labs that provide IgG Inhalant testing, please let me know.

The benefit of IgG Antibody Testing

I’ve spoken with a number of people who have benefited greatly from taking an IgG hypersensitivity test.  They were able to pinpoint their hypersensitivities, reduce exposure to one or more allergens, and decrease their symptoms accordingly.

Often, IgG sensitivities are not forever.  People are sometimes able to overcome or greatly improve an IgG hypersensitivity by eliminating exposure for an extended period of time.  But the first step is finding out what your sensitivities are, and that’s where testing can be an invaluable guide.

I suspect this type of testing may be extremely useful to many people with chronic illness, especially when inflammation is an issue or an autoimmune condition is in play.  Why add fuel to the fire by eating foods or breathing substances that are unknowingly making you ill?

Naturally, there’s a cost involved as well as the chance of spending money only to discover that IgG hypersensitivities are not a problem for you.  On the other hand, identifying sensitivities could make a world of difference for your health and your whole life.  The best approach is to discuss the option with an alternative medical practitioner who understands your condition and can help you assess whether this testing may be relevant for you.

I would love to hear your own experience with delayed sensitivities and how you discovered your triggers.

P. S. I’m not a doctor, only sharing research and what has helped me.  Please check with a doctor regarding testing and treatments.

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thanks so much! Sandra


100 inspirational quotes to celebrate 100 blog posts

100 quotes – to inspire, challenge, encourage, remind, enlighten, reassure, soothe, and delight.

In celebration of 100 blog posts on Always Well Within!

Many thanks to my wonderful readers and subscribers. It’s such a privilege and a joy to write for you.  I am also deeply grateful to all those who have supported, encouraged, and taught me along the way since the inception of Always Well Within. The connections I’ve made in the blogosphere have greatly enriched my life, more than you will ever know.

Please enjoy this feast of wisdom!

  • “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
  • “If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.” -Arabian Proverb
  • “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” Aristotle
  • “Action is the antidote to despair.” – Joan Baez
  • “You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can decide how you’re going to live now.” Joan Baez
  • “People see God every day, they just don’t recognize him.” – Pearl Bailey
  • “I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for the truth; and truth rewarded me.” Simone de Beauvoir
  • “We are what we think, and all that we are rises with our thoughts.  With our thoughts we make the world. Speak and act with a pure mind and happiness will follow.” – Buddha
  • The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill
  • “To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” – Confucius
  • “The way we see the problem is the problem.” – Stephen Covey
  • “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -Dalai Lama
  • Noticing a single shortcoming in ourselves is far more useful than seeing a thousand in someone else. When it is our own: we can correct it. – Dalai Lama
  • “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” –Teilhard de Chardin
  • Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold.  For it you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you.  So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will be powerless to vex your mind.” – Leondardo Da Vinci
  • “Adventure is worthwhile.” Amelia Earhart
  • “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” -Albert Einstein
  • “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” -Albert Einstein
  • “A human being is part of a whole called by us the universe.” Albert Einstein
  • “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
  • “If there is any religion would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.” – Albert Einstein
  • “The one thing in the world of value is the active soul.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Men are disturbed not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen. Epictetus
  • “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”  Anne Frank
  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank
  • “The best way out is always through.” Robert Frost
  • “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Ghandi
  • “They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “My life is my message.” Mahatma Gandhi
  • A Western journalist asked, “Mr. Gandhi, you have been working fifteen hours a day for fifty years. Don’t you think you should take a vacation?” Gandhi smiled and replied, “I am always on vacation.” Mahatma Gandhi
  • As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.” Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Anxiety is nothing but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance. What a waste.” Seth Godin
  • “As the amount of inputs go up, as the number of people and ideas that clamor for attention continue to increase, we do what people always do: we rely on the familiar, the trusted and the personal. The incredible surplus of digital data means that human actions, generosity and sacrifice are more important than they ever were before.” – Seth Godin
  • “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” Jane Goodall
  • “The body is a sacred garment.” Martha Graham
  • “Loving ourselves creates miracles in our lives.” Louise Hay
  • “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”William James
  • “The fullness of Joy is to behold God in everything.” Julian of Norwich

Inspiring view

  • “It’s a terrible thing to see and have no vision.” – Helen Keller
  • “You will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles. – Helen Keller
  • “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
  • We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.” Helen Keller
  • “We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.” C.S. Lewis
  • “People who think they are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones who do.” Jack Kerouac
  • What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.” J. Krishnamurti
  • “I’m fulfilled in what I do… I never thought that a lot of money or fine clothes — the finer things of life — would make you happy. My concept of happiness is to be filled in a spiritual sense.” Coretta Scott King
  • “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” Coretta Scott King
  • “Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “You have very little morally persuasive power with people who can feel your underlying contempt.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”John Lubbock
  • “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination” Nelson Mandela
  • “Never doubt the power of a small group of committed people to change the world for, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade
  • “One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload.  There’s always more than you can cope with.” –  Marshall McLuhan
  • “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
  • “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
  • “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

Uplifting rainbow

  • You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
  • “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” Rosa Parks
  • “Figure who you are; then do it on purpose.” Dolly Parton
  • “Just because you don’t take an interest in politics, does not mean politics does not take an interest in you” Pericles
  • The worst prison would be a closed heart. Pope John Paul II
  • “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato
  • “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato
  • “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” Christopher Reeve
  • “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” – Franklin D.Roosevelt
  • “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.”Theodore Roosevelt
  • “The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime.” Sogyal Rinpoche
  • “Tertön Sogyal, the Tibetan Mystic, said that he was not really impressed by someone who could turn the floor into the ceiling or fire into water.  A real miracle, he said, was if someone could liberate just one negative emotion.” Sogyal Rinpoche
  • “Simply let experience take place very freely, so that your open heart is suffused with the tenderness of true compassion.”  Tsoknyi Rinpoche III
  • “Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.” Saint Augustine
  • Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.  Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.” St. Francis de Sales
  • “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” St. Frances de Sales
  • “What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it.” Antoine de Saint-Exupry
  • “Other people see things and say: why?  But I dream things that never were and say: why not?”  George Bernard Shaw
  • “Everybody gets so much information all daylong that they lose their common sense.” Gertrude Stein
  • “May my soul bloom in love for all existence.” – Rudolf Steiner

  • “If you mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.  In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” Shunryu Suzuki Roishi
  • “Love is the fruit in season at all times and within reach of every hand.” – Mother Teresa
  • “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Mother Teresa
  • “Peace begins with a smile.” Mother Teresa
  • “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” Mother Teresa
  • “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” Mother Teresa
  • “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”Mother Teresa
  • “Smile, breathe, go slowly.” Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy
  • “My piece of bread only belongs to me when I know that everyone else has a share, and that no one starves while I eat.” Leo Tolstoy
  • “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”Lily Tomlin
  • “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Mark Twain
  • “Whoever is happy will make others happy, too.” Mark Twain
  • “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” Mark Twain
  • “Love does not cause suffering, what causes it is the sense of ownership, which is love’s opposite.”  A. de Saint-Exupery
  • “Most of my life has been one tragedy after another, most of which hasn’t happened.” – Voltaire
  • “Everything’s in the mind. That’s where it all starts. Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it.” – Mae West
  • “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars…” – Oscar Wilde
  • As a woman, I have no country.  As a woman, I want no country.  As a woman, my country is the world.”Virginia Woolf

I hope these quotes will bring you joy, positivity, and inspiration each and every day.  Which one is your favorite?

You might also like:  101 Inspirational Quotes to Light Up Your Life

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra


The Dreamlike Qualities of Life

Understanding the illusory quality of reality is a potent idea but, for most of us, not easily accomplished.

Indeed, it is spiritual truth that usually requires repeated contemplation to actualize its full meaning.  Yet the more you glimpse this truth, the more you will find spaciousness and ease as new companions in your life.

Today, I invite you to contemplate this beautiful heart advice from Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. In these words, Rinpoche elucidates how the realization of the dreamlike quality of life helps to free us from attachment and aversion while also giving birth to more good heart and compassion.

“Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion.  Practice good-heartedness toward all beings.  Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you.  What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream.  The trick is to have positive intention during the dream.  This is the essential point.  This is true spirituality.”

from Life in Relation to Death by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

If you would like to explore this idea further, you might like to read these related articles:

Have you ever thought about the illusory quality of life? What insights do these words spark in you?

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