Friday, December 30, 2011

New Meaning ~ The Quaker Dharma


"My understanding of simplicity continues to evolve.For a long time, I thought it was about having very little in the way of material objects. And, what was owned was not to be very ornate. I call this aesthetic simplicity and it is really only a part of the picture, if even a part. Now, simplicity is starting to mean something else to me. Simplicity is a form of freedom and an opportunity to heal. It really no longer has to do with whether something I own or use is ornate or not. In fact, complex physical objects, objects as art, are taking on new meaning and importance for me. No, simplicity is a means, an opportunity to discover who I am and what’s meaningful in my life."

"
More at  http://thequakerdharma.blogspot.com/2005/03/simplicity.html

We Choose to Love ~ M. Scott Peck

"Love is the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth... Love is as love does. Love is an act of will -- namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.”

― M. Scott Peck



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Complete Emotions ~ Virginia Woolf

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past. ”

― Virginia Woolf


VirginiaWoolf and the Quakers  http://hayquaker1.blogspot.com/2010/11/virginia-woolf-and-quakers.html

Free eBooks and Kindle editions by Virginia Woolf
http://www.manybooks.net/authors/woolfvir.html

Quiet to the Mind ~ Jonathan Edwards

“Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts; the sight of the deep-blue sky and the clustering stars above seems to impart a quiet to the mind.”

― Jonathan Edwards

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Take Hold ~ Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

"Take hold of your own life. 
See that the whole existence is celebrating. 
These trees are not serious, these birds are not serious. 
The rivers and the oceans are wild, 
and everywhere there is fun, 
everywhere there is joy and delight. 
Watch existence, 
listen to the existence and become part of it." 


~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh




Monday, December 26, 2011

Failed Beneath the Bitterness ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

"Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life. Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend."

— Charles H. Spurgeon



Sunday, December 25, 2011

On Christmas Day ~ Thomas Traherne



Shake off thy Sloth, my drowsy Soul, awake;
With Angels sing
Unto thy King,
And pleasant Music make;
Thy Lute, thy Harp, or else thy Heart-strings take,
And with thy Music let thy sense awake.
See how each one the other calls
To fix his Ivy on the walls.

Transplanted there it seems to grow
As if it rooted were below:
Thus He, who is thy King,
Makes Winter, Spring.

 'On Christmas Day' by Thomas Traherne (1652-1674)

More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Traherne

Saturday, December 24, 2011

With the Gate Open ~ Henry Van Dyke

 “Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weaknesses and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself if you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open? Are you willing to do these things for a day? Then you are ready to keep Christmas!” 


― Henry Van Dyke






More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_van_Dyke

Christmas-time ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder



Friday, December 23, 2011

Able to Drink ~ Henri Nouwen

"We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it."

— Henri Nouwen

The Life of Things ~ William Wordsworth

"With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things."

— William Wordsworth



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Simple and True ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

"Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it."

— Rainer Maria Rilke

Growth and Possibilities ~ Shannon L. Alder

“When you see people only as personalities, rather than souls with life missions to fulfill, you forever limit the growth and possibilities of what God has in store for another person.”

~ Shannon L. Alder


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What the Donkey Saw ~ U.A. Fanthorpe

No room in the inn, of course,
And not that much in the stable
What with the shepherds, Magi, Mary,
Joseph, the heavenly host –
Not to mention the baby
Using our manger as a cot.
You couldn’t have squeezed another cherub in
For love or money.

Still, in spite of the overcrowding,
I did my best to make them feel wanted.
I could see the baby and I
Would be going places together.

U.A. Fanthorpe

Snatched from Life~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


“Satiety depends not at all on how much we eat, but on how we eat. It's the same with happiness, the very same...happiness doesn't depend on how many external blessings we have snatched from life. It depends only on our attitude toward them. There's a saying about it in the Taoist ethic: 'Whoever is capable of contentment will always be satisfied.”

~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sweetness of this Solitude ~ Michel de Montaigne

“When I dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep; yes, and when I walk alone in a beautiful orchard, if my thoughts drift to far-off matters for some part of the time for some other part I lead them back again to the walk, the orchard, to the sweetness of this solitude, to myself.”

― Michel de Montaigne

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bless Yourself ~ Henry David Thoreau

"If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched."

— Henry David Thoreau




Friday, December 16, 2011

Good is an Overflow ~ Iris Murdoch

"I know how much you grieve over those who are under your care: those you try to help and fail, those you cannot help. Have faith in God and remember that He will is His own way and in His own time complete what we so poorly attempt. Often we do not achieve for others the good that we intend but achieve something, something that goes on from our effort. Good is an overflow. Where we generously and sincerely intend it, we are engaged in a work of creation which may be mysterious even to ourselves - and because it is mysterious we may be afraid of it. But this should not make us draw back. God can always show us, if we will, a higher and a better way; and we can only learn to love by loving. Remember that all our failures are ultimately failures in love. Imperfect love must not be condemned and rejected but made perfect. The way is always forward, never back." 

— Iris Murdoch





Prize Life ~ Charlotte Brontë

"God surely did not create us, and cause us to live, with the sole end of wishing always to die. I believe, in my heart, we were intended to prize life and enjoy it, so long as we retain it. Existence never was originally meant to be that useless, blank, pale, slow-trailing thing it often becomes to many, and is becoming to me, among the rest."

— Charlotte Brontë

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Inborn Sense of Wonder ~ Rachel Carson

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in." 

~ Rachel Carson

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Free Man In Powys: Less Pleased you than the Stars? ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: Less Pleased you than the Stars?: The Ancient Celts had some strange ideas. However, strange is not necessarily bad, and value does not usually depreciate with age, so perha...


Alchemy in Sorrow ~ Pearl S. Buck

"Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness."

— Pearl S. Buck

I Have no Wit ~ Christina Rossetti


I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb'd too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm'd with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall--the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish'd thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.


~ Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Seeds and Water of Compassion ~ Herb Walters

"....Listening is both a spiritual and a social change process. It is a process of opening to the potential and the goodness of other people. It’s a process of understanding the basic differences that separate us and the common human values that connect us. Thus we can appreciate and care about other people. We can learn to love, not because we think we should be loving, but because we experience empathy – the ability to truly understand the other person. Understanding and listening are the seeds and water of compassion. That’s something that we as Friends can strive for in all areas of our lives. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have to use listening in my work and I am continually challenged by my need to incorporate listening into my personal life."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Subtle Feelings ~ Gustave Flaubert

"What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright...Haven't you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you've had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?"

— Gustave Flaubert





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Understand More ~ Woody Allen

"We're all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, Human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation. it is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even try to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more"

— Woody Allen


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Fox ~ Wendell Berry

"Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection."

— Wendell Berry



More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Berry

Full text  http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC30/Berry.htm

God's Echo ~ Sean Stewart

“Look for Joy: that's God's echo, and his footprint. Happiness and wittiness and cleverness do not count for much when the darkness falls. Joy is tougher.”

~ Sean Stewart


Saturday, December 10, 2011

To Forget is a Form of Suicide ~ Madeleine L'Engle

"I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be... This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages...the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide... Far too many people misunderstand what 'putting away childish things' means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I'm with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don't ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child's awareness and joy, and 'be' fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup." 

— Madeleine L'Engle




More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_L'Engle

Friday, December 9, 2011

It Was Winter ~ John Milton

"It was the winter wild,
While the Heav'n-born child,
  All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in awe to him
Had doffed her gaudy trim,
  With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the Sun, her lusty paramour."




More at http://shakespeareauthorship.com/xmas/jm.html (If you have the time the reward is great.)

Done With Love ~ Vincent van Gogh

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done with love is well done.”

― Vincent van Gogh





More at (get your eyes ready for a feast) http://www.vangoghgallery.com/

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Someone Else's Music ~ Oscar Wilde

"To influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one's self. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. "

~ Oscar Wilde





More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde

Free eBooks and Kindle editions from Oscar Wilde at
http://www.manybooks.net/search.php?search=Oscar+Wilde

A Word to the Wise ~ James Thurber


“Do not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
― James Thurber

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everyone else?”
― James Thurber

“All men should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”
― James Thurber

"A word to the wise is not sufficient if it doesn't make sense.”
― James Thurber


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where the Wind Hit Heavy on the Borderline... ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: Where the Wind Hit Heavy on the Borderline...: I am a borderliner. I live so close to a border that my cats regularly travel from one country to another by paw... take a look around and ...


The Voice Inside ~ Betty Friedan

“It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question 'who am I' except the voice inside herself.”

― Betty Friedan

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What are You Whispering? ~ Virginia Woolf

“The melancholy river bears us on. When the moon comes through the trailing willow boughs, I see your face, I hear your voice and the bird singing as we pass the osier bed. What are you whispering? Sorrow, sorrow. Joy, joy. Woven together, like reeds in moonlight.”

― Virginia Woolf


VirginiaWoolf and the Quakers  http://hayquaker1.blogspot.com/2010/11/virginia-woolf-and-quakers.html

Free eBooks and Kindle editions by Virginia Woolf
http://www.manybooks.net/authors/woolfvir.html

Simple Sorrows, Simple Joys ~ Lewis Carroll

"Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days."

— Lewis Carroll



Monday, December 5, 2011

Joy and Sorrow ~ Joseph Conrad

"Joy and sorrow in this world pass into each other, mingling their forms and their murmurs in the twilight of life as mysterious as an overshadowed ocean, while the dazzling brightness of supreme hopes lies far off, fascinating and still, on the distant edge of the horizon"

— Joseph Conrad




Free e-books and kindle editions of Joseph Conrad works at;

Seed Time ~ Lorraine Anderson

"Nature offers us a thousand simple pleasers - plays of light and color, fragrance in the air, the sun's warmth on skin and muscle, the audible rhythm of life's stir and push- for the price of merely paying attention. What joy! But how unwilling or unable many of us are to pay this price in an age when manufactured sources of stimulation and pleasure are everywhere at hand. For me, enjoying nature's pleasures takes conscious choice, a choice to slow down to seed time or rock time, to still the clamoring ego, to set aside plans and busyness, and to simply to be present in my body, to offer myself up."

— Lorraine Anderson


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Elastic String ~ John Steinbeck

"Man is ... related inextricably to all reality, known and unknowable ... plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time. It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again."

~ John Steinbeck



Friday, December 2, 2011

What we Have ~ Daniel Defoe

"I learned to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side, and to consider what I enjoyed, rather than what I wanted : and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that I cannot express them ; and which I take notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them, because they see and covet something that he has not given them. All our discontents about what we want appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have." 

— Daniel Defoe




Free Daniel Defoe e-books and Kindle editions

Thursday, December 1, 2011

True Comfort ~ John Woolman

"First, my dear friends, dwell in humility; and take heed that no views of outward gain get too deep hold of you, that so, your eyes being single to the Lord, you may be preserved in the way of safety. Where people let loose their minds after the love of outward things, and are more engaged in pursuing the profits and seeking the friendships of this world, than to be inwardly acquainted with the way of true peace, they walk in a vain shadow, while the true comfort of life is wanting. Their examples are often hurtful to others; and their treasures thus collected do many times prove dangerous snares to their children…."

John Woolman

Free Man In Powys: Is it a Gift to be Simple? ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: Is it a Gift to be Simple?: It is a dingy South London classroom, sometime in the past - my past. In the room are at least two people; one of them is Miss O’Keefe, my ...


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Afternoon of Life ~ Carl G. Jung

“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” 

― C.G. Jung



Jung and Quakerism ~ http://fcrp.quaker.org/yungblut.html 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Painful Happiness ~ Elizabeth Berg

“There are random moments - tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children's rooms - when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.” 

― Elizabeth Berg



Monday, November 28, 2011

Love and Help ~ William Penn

"There is one great God and power that has made the world and all things therein, to whom you and I and all people owe their being and well being, and to whom you and I must one day give an account for all that we do in this world. This great God has written his law in our hearts, by which we are taught and commanded to love and help and do good to one another, and not to do harm and mischief one unto another."

~William Penn



Free e-books and kindle editions from William Penn
http://www.manybooks.net/authors/pennw.html
Artwork from Gustave Baumann
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Baumann

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grasp of the Harmony ~ Marcus Aurelius

"Let it make no difference to thee whether thou art cold or warm, if thou art doing thy duty; and whether thou art drowsy or satisfied with sleep; and whether ill-spoken of or praised; and whether dying or doing something else. For it is one of the acts of life, this act by which we die: it is sufficient then in this act also to do well what we have in hand.

Look within. Let neither the peculiar quality of anything nor its value escape thee.

All existing things soon change, and they will either be reduced to vapour, if indeed all substance is one, or they will be dispersed....


In conformity to the nature of the universe every single thing is accomplished, for certainly it is not in conformity to any other nature that each thing is accomplished, either a nature which externally comprehends this, or a nature which is comprehended within this nature, or a nature external and independent of this.

The universe is either a confusion, and a mutual involution of things, and a dispersion; or it is unity and order and providence. If then it is the former, why do I desire to tarry in a fortuitous combination of things and such a disorder? And why do I care about anything else than how I shall at last become earth? And why am I disturbed, for the dispersion of my elements will happen whatever I do. But if the other supposition is true, I venerate, and I am firm, and I trust in him who governs.

When thou hast been compelled by circumstances to be disturbed in a manner, quickly return to thyself and do not continue out of tune longer than the compulsion lasts; for thou wilt have more mastery over the harmony by continually recurring to it."


— Marcus Aurelius (Translated George Long)



Free Marcus Aurelius e-book or Kindle edition

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Food to Grow On ~ May Sarton

“In the middle of the night, things well up from the past that are not always cause for rejoicing--the unsolved, the painful encounters, the mistakes, the reasons for shame or woe. But all, good or bad, give me food for thought, food to grow on.” 


― May Sarton

Friday, November 25, 2011

What We Are ~ Meister Eckhart

"People should not worry as much about what they do but rather about what they are. If they and their ways are good, then their deeds are radiant. If you are righteous, then what you do will also be righteous. We should not think that holiness is based on what we do but rather on what we are, for it is not our works which sanctify us but we who sanctify our works."

~ Meister Eckhart

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