Karmacology: Mindful Living, Sacred Practice

The Ways of Truth and Love

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it -- always.
-- Mahatma Gandhi

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Find Something Creative

My future starts when I wake up every morning... Every day I find something creative to do with my life.
-- Miles Davis

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Every Child Comes With the Message

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
-- Rabindranath Tagore

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Nothing is Left Undone

Learning builds daily accumulation, but the practice of Tao builds daily simplification. Simplify and simplify, until all contamination from relative, contridictory thinking is eliminated. Then one does nothing, yet nothing is left undone. One who wins the world does so by not meddling with it. One who meddles with the world loses it.
-- Tao te Ching, 48. Lao-Tzu

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Train of Thought

Real, constructive mental power lies in the creative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental conduct produces power for change in your life. Develop a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your life as well as your happiness depends upon the direction in which that train of thought is going.
-- Laurence J. Peter

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Your Presence is a Gift

The most precious gift we can offer others is presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they bloom like flowers.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

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Thinking About a Peaceful Planet

“What we're thinking about is a peaceful planet.
We're not thinking about anything else.
We're not thinking about any kind of power.
We're not thinking about any kind of struggles.
We're not thinking about revolution or war or any of that.
That's not what we want.
Nobody wants to get hurt.
Nobody wants to hurt anybody.
We would all like to be able to live an uncluttered life.
A simple life, a good life.
And like think about moving the whole human race ahead a step, or a few steps.”
-- Jerry Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995)

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Living in Agreement

The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.
-- Zeno

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The Glass is Already Broken

“You see this goblet?” asks Achaan Chaa, the Thai meditation master. “For me this glass is already broken. I enjoy it; I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on the shelf and the wind knocks it over or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ When I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.”
-- Mark Epstein, Thoughts Without a Thinker

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All is a Miracle

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

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The Highest Reward

The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.
-- John Ruskin

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Aim at the Sun

Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.
-- Joel Hawes

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Alter Lives; Alter Attitudes

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
-- William James

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Every Day You May Make Progress

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
-- Sir Winston Churchill

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You Have to Actually Practice

Cultivating mindfulness is not unlike the process of eating. It would be absurd to propose that someone else eat for you. And when you go to a restaurant, you don’t eat the menu, mistaking it for the meal, nor are you nourished by listening to the waiter describe the food. You have to actually eat the food for it to nourish you. In the same way, you have to actually practice mindfulness in order to reap its benefits and come to understand why it is so valuable.
-- John Kabat-Zinn, from Letting Everything Become Your Teacher: 100 Lessons in Mindfulness

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You Are That One

There is a tale among us, a legend preserved by the old tellers from the farthest distance of our past... It is said that upon the edge of the Earth at the end of time stands a lone man who holds the meaning of it all... It is said that he has mastered all skill and prowess that we desire, all restraint and calm, and has become perfection -- passion and mastery like unto the poised grandeur of mountains. And it is said, should ever one of us seek him out... and contest with him, we will learn the measure of our worth, in defeat or triumph. Therefore we are a seeking people. In each heart among us beats a yearning for this test and the knowledge it offers.

Yet the path which leads to him is unknown, has never been known. It is said that this path must not be known -- that it may only be found by one who knows without knowledge and has not come seeking the thing he seeks.

You are that one.
-- Stephen R. Donaldson, from The One Tree

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The Menu is not the Meal

Cultivating mindfulness is not unlike the process of eating. It would be absurd to propose that someone else eat for you. And when you go to a restaurant, you don’t eat the menu, mistaking it for the meal, nor are you nourished by listening to the waiter describe the food. You have to actually eat the food for it to nourish you. In the same way, you have to actually practice mindfulness in order to reap its benefits and come to understand why it is so valuable.
-– John Kabat-Zinn, from Letting Everything Become Your Teacher

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The Belief Principle

You have been created for some specific work. Nobody else has been entrusted with your role in human history. If you do not play your part, your part will go unplayed.

Foster the belief that you were born for a reason...and with every passing day you will begin to see the reason unfolding before your eyes.

All you have to do is prepare yourself and cooperate by choosing the-best-version-of-yourself in the moments of each day.
-- Matthew Kelly, from The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose

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Trust the Body

The body is shaped, disciplined, honored, and in time, trusted.
-- Martha Graham

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No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.
-- Thomas Mann

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Courage is Resistance to Fear

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
-- Mark Twain

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Changing the Inner Attitudes

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
-- William James

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The Essence of Encouragement

Each person has an ideal, a hope, a dream which represents the soul. We must give to it the warmth of love, the light of understanding and the essence of encouragement.
-- Colby Dorr Dam

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Uncreative Moments

One must also accept that one has 'uncreative' moments. The more honestly one can accept that, the quicker these moments will pass.
-- Etty Hillesum

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Nothing is Really Work

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.
-- James M. Barrie

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Following Your Deepest Instinct

It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient and thin.
-- Katharine Butler Hathaway

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Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs.
-- Joan Didion

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Freedom Lies in Wildness

Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.
-- Charles Lindbergh

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Your Own Inner Voice

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
-- Steve Jobs

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You Only Lie When You're Afraid

I never lie because I don't fear anyone. You only lie when you're afraid.
-- John Gotti

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Do What Lies Clearly at Hand

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.
-- Thomas Carlyle

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The Path in a Clearer Light

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.
-- Mahatma Gandhi

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Act Like a Man of Thought

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
-- Henri Bergson

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I Am Here for a Purpose

I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.
-- Og Mandino

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We the Meek are All in One

I cry out to God seeking only his decision
Gabriel standing and confirms
I've created my own prison

So I held my head up high hiding hate that burns inside
Which only fuels their selfish pride
We're all held captive out from the sun
A sun that shines on only some
We the meek are all in one
-- Creed, "My Own Prison"

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A Light and a Power

Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power.
-- Henry George

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With a Clenched Fist

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
-- Indira Gandhi

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To Do Nothing At All

There is one piece of advice, in a life of study, which I think no one will object to; and that is, every now and then to be completely idle - to do nothing at all.
-- Sydney Smith

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Silence Reveals Where We are

Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary.
-- Peter Minard

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Yours is the Earth

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
-- Rudyard Kipling

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Wonderful What We Can Do

It's wonderful what we can do if we're always doing.
-- George Washington

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Learn the Art of Patience

Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.
-- Brian Adams

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The Chain Reaction of Evil

The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Even in the darkness, every color can be found

Even in the darkness, every color can be found. And every day of rain brings water flowing to things growing in the ground.
-- Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

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Pray That the Way Be Long

You must pray that the way be long, full of adventures and experiences.
-- Constantine Peter Cavafy

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Eat as Becomes You

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.
-- Epictetus

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