Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Beyond the "small self"

    Wisdom is deep understanding & practical skill in the central issues of life, especially existential & spiritual issues.
    Existential issues are those crucial & universal concerns all of us face simply because we are human. They include finding meaning & purpose in our lives; managing relationships & aloneness; acknowledging our limits & smallness in a universe vast beyond comprehension; living in inevitable uncertainty & mystery; and dealing with sickness, suffering, & death. A person who has developed deep insights into these issues – and skills for dealing with them – is wise indeed.”
    Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield. “Seeking the Heart of Wisdom. The Path of Insight Meditation.” Shambhala, 2001.

    Our task is to discover a freedom that's independent of all circumstances & times. Jack Kornfield, Paul Breiter. "A still forest pool. The insight meditation of Achaan Chah." Quest Books, 1985.

    “As we travel through life, we are all seekers
after something larger than ourselves…” Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer PhD

    “The only real purpose of being here on this earth is to learn or to re-remember our original nature state of no limitations.” Lester Levenson

    “Only a very few people alive today can make me smile just to think of them: the Dalai Lama is one and Huston Smith is another. And when I reflect on it, I realize that this is partly because both celebrated teachers are voracious in their pursuit of wisdom and able to push back their own assumptions in order to learn from everyone they meet; both radiate a calm & openness that can come only from an inner shrine that is unwavering. More deeply, with both of them the sense of wisdom is infectious because they are light in every way: alive with mischief & sparkle, unimpressed with themselves and ready to see, and bear out in their every action, that delight is as much a part of life’s adventure as is sober rumination.”
    Dana Sawyer “Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper. Living the World’s Religions. The Authorized Biography of a 21st Century Spiritual Giant.” Fons Vitae, 2014.

    "The most important factor in maintaining peace within oneself, in the face of any difficulty, is one's mental attitude. If it is distorted by such feelings as anger, attachment, or jealousy, then even the most comfortable environment will bring one no peace. On the other hand, if one's attitude is generally calm & gentle, then even a hostile environment will have little effect on one's own inner peace. Since the basic source of peace & happiness is one's own mental attitude, it is worthwhile adopting means to develop it in a positive way." Dalai Lama

    “When everything that can be let go of is let go of, what remains is what we desire above all else.” Rupert Spira

    After you let go of enough ego, you naturally feel the peace & joy of your Self.” Lester Levenson

    "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern." William Blake

    "If we could really, really, really see right now, all that we really, really, really are, we’d see the infinite mystery of God pouring itself out and giving itself away as the intimate immediacy of all that we really are. That vivid state, in the fullness of that state, would be the unitive mystical experience. And then we can learn to be habituated in that state and translate it into love for other people."
Finley WONDERFUL Interview

    "It was when I was loving that I was happiest. That happiness equated to my capacity to love rather than to being loved." Lester Levenson

    “You know you have loved someone
when you have glimpsed in them
that which is too beautiful to die.” Gabriel Marcel

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am."
    Rainer Maria Rilke - Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29 Translated by Joanna Macy

    “When you came into this world, you cried and everyone else smiled. You should so live your life that when you leave, everyone else will cry, but you will be smiling.”
Yogananda, quoted in Dana Sawyer “Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper. Living the World’s Religions. The Authorized Biography of a 21st Century Spiritual Giant.” Fons Vitae, 2014.


  1. Awesome. Thanks John for sharing these words of wisdom.

  2. You're most welcome - it's my deep pleasure to share what I find meaningful! Namaste!