These pages contain nondual quotations, many of which I originally posted on the nondual quotes group on Yahoo!
While the concept of oneness may be intellectually appealing, it is
nevertheless difficult to put into practice. It’s no hardship to feel
oneness with great and noble beings or those we already love. It’s
also not too much of a stretch to experience a sense of unity with
the trees, the ocean, and the sky. But most of us balk at experiencing
oneness with the cockroach or the rat-let alone the obnoxious co-worker
whom we barely tolerate. Yet this is precisely where we need to apply
Vedanta’s teachings and realize that all these manifold aspects of
creation are united in and through divinity. The Self that is within me,
the Atman, is the same Self that is within you-no matter whether the
“you” in question is a saint, a murderer, a cat, a fly, a tree, or that
irritating driver at the four-way stop.
Death is a favor to us,
But our scales have lost their balance.
The impermanence of the body
Should give us great clarity,
Deepening the wonder in our senses and eyes
Of this mysterious existence we share
And are surely just traveling through.
If I were in the Tavern tonight,
Hafiz would call for drinks
And as the Master poured, I would be reminded
That all I know of life and myself is that
We are just a mid-air flight of golden wine
Between His Pitcher and His Cup.
If I were in the Tavern tonight,
I would buy freely for everyone in this world
Because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty
Of time and space cannot endure very long.
Death is a favor to us,
But our minds have lost their balance.
The miraculous existence and impermanence of
Always makes the illumined ones
Laugh and sing.
The subject tonight is Love – 60 wild and sweet poems of Hafiz
Versions by Daniel Ladinsky
When you look into a mirror you see your face as it is; you may
wish that some parts of it were different, but the actual fact
is shown in the mirror. Now, can you look at your conditioning
in a similar way?
~ J. Krishnamurti
You must understand the whole of life, not just
one little part of it. That is why you must read,
that is why you must look at the skies, that is
why you must sing and dance, and write poems,
and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.
From: Kensho – The Heart of Zen Ed. Thomas Cleary
Wan-sung says: “Someone who presented a jewel in the matrix three
times to a king did not escape punishment. Thrown a luminous pearl,
few are those who do not react defensively. There may be a sudden
guest, but not a sudden host; what may be suitable temporarily is not
suitable in reality. If rarities and treasures cannot be used, bring
forth something whose price can’t be named.”
From: Kensho – The Heart of Zen Ed. Thomas Cleary
Emperor Wu of Liang asked the great teacher Bodhidharma,
“What is the ultimate meaning of the holy truths?”
Bodhidharma replied, “Empty, without holiness.”
‘The emperor said, “Who is in my presence?
Bodhidharma answered, “Don’t know.”
Having realized the Self, which is soundless, intangible, formless,
undecaying, and likewise tasteless, eternal, and odorless; having
realized That which is without beginning and end, beyond the Great,
and unchanging–one is freed from the jaws of death.
Katha Upanishad 1.3.15
There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment.
A man’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully
understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and
nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.
Everyone lets the present moment slip by, then looks for it as though he
thought it were somewhere else. No one seems to have noticed this fact. But
grasping this firmly, one must pile experience upon experience. And once one
has come to this understanding he will be a different person from that point
on, though he may not always bear it in mind.
When one understands this settling into single-mindedness well, his affairs
will thin out.
from Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo
*Abandon Every Idea About Enlightenment*
In order to be successful in your quest for Freedom, it is imperative
that you unconditionally abandon every idea that you have about
Enlightenment. As long as you think that Enlightenment is something that
can be understood by the mind, the cycle of blindly perpetuating your own
ignorance will never cease.
from Enlightenment is a Secret By Andrew Cohen
Where one sees nothing but the One, hears nothing but the One, knows
nothing but the One–there is the Infinite. Where one sees another, hears
another, knows another–there is the finite. The Infinite is immortal,
the finite is mortal.
It is written, He who has realized eternal Truth does not see death, nor
illness, nor pain; he sees everything as the Self, and obtains all.
Chandogya Upanishad 7.23, 27
To love is to know Me,
My innermost nature,
The truth that I am.
Bhagavad Gita 18.55
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
and the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall feed;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as waters cover the sea.
The Call of the Beloved
Every morning a voice comes to thee from
‘When thou lay’st the dust of the way, thou
win’st thy way to the goal.’
On the road to the Ka’ba of Union, lo, in every
Are thousands slain of desire who manfully
yielded up their lives.
Thousands sank wounded on this path, to whom
there came not
A breath of the fragrance of Union, a token from
the neighbourhood of the Friend.
~ Rumi (trans F Hadland Davis)
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
and what you do are in harmony.”
~ Mohandas K. Gandhi
The Rhodora: On Being Asked, Whence
Is the Flower?
In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool,
Made the black water with their beauty gay;
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Why thou wert there, 0 rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask, I never knew:
But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self same Power that brought me there brought you.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Thich Nhat Hanh
The leaf tips bend
under the weight of dew.
Fruits are ripening
in Earth’s early morning.
Daffodils light up in the sun.
The curtain of cloud at the gateway
of the garden path begins to shift:
have pity for childhood,
the way of illusion.
Late at night,
the candle gutters.
In some distant desert,
a flower opens.
And somewhere else,
a cold aster
that never knew a cassava patch
or gardens of areca palms,
never knew the joy of life,
at that instant disappears-
man’s eternal yearning.
Those who practice the Art of Peace must protect the
domain of Mother Nature, the divine reflection of
creation, and keep it lovely and fresh. Warriorship
gives birth to natural beauty. The subtle techniques
of a warrior arise as naturally as the appearance of
spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Warriorship is
none other than the vitality that sustains all life.
~ Morihei Ueshiba
Inside this clay jar there are meadows and groves and the One
who made them.
Inside this jar there are seven oceans and innumerable stars, acid
to test gold, and a patient appraiser of jewels.
Inside this jar the music of eternity, and a spring flows from the
source of all waters.
Kabir says: Listen, friend! My beloved Master lives inside.
Translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Hass
The world is no more than the Beloved’s single face;
In the desire of the One to know its own beauty, we exist.
Each place, each moment, sings its particular song of not-being
Without reason, the clear glass equally mirrors wisdom and
Those who claim knowledge are wrong; prayer just leads to
Appearance and faith are mere lees in the Unknowing Wine.
Wherever the Footprint is found,
that handful of dust holds the oneness of worlds.
This earth, burnished by hearing the Name, is so certain of Love
That the sky bends unceasingly down, to greet its own light.
Even at prayer, our eyes look inward;
If the gate to the holy is shut, we just turn away.
The One is only the One, everyone knows —
What mirroring icon could hold it face to face?
Held back unvoiced, grief bruises the heart;
Not reaching the river, a raindrop is swallowed by dust.
If a story brings only tears and not blood to the eyes,
It is simply a lovers’ tale.
Whoever can’t see the whole in every part plays at
blind man’s buff;
A wise man tastes the entire Tigris in every sip.
Original Face is the reality of realities:
Stretch your hand to the winging bird.
Vertical nose, horizontal eyes – and then?
What if your mind is empty?
~ Tokugaku (15th Century)
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia.
If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?
It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they’re better left unsung
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow
Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men
There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone
You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone
If you should stand then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.
Man should discover his own reality
and not thwart himself.
For he has the self as his only friend,
or as his only enemy.
A person has the self as a friend
when he has conquered himself,
But if he rejects his own reality,
the self will war against him.
Bhagavad Gita 6.5-6
See with your eyes, hear
with your ears.
Nothing is hidden.
Everything has its “that,” everything has its “this.” From the point
of view of “that” you cannot see it, but through understanding you
can know it. So I say, “that” comes out of “this” and “this” depends
on “that”–which is to say that “this” and “that” give birth to each
other. But where there is birth there must be death; where there is
death there must be birth. Where there is acceptability there must be
unacceptability; where there is unacceptability there must be
acceptability. Where there is recognition of right there must be
recognition of wrong; where there is recognition of wrong there must
be recognition of right. Therefore the sage does not proceed in such
a way, but illuminates all in the light of Heaven. He too recognizes
a “this”, but a “this” which is also “that”; a “that” that is
also “this”. His “that” has both a right and a wrong in it;
his “this” too has both a right and a wrong in it. So, in fact, does
he still have a “this” and “that”? Or does he in fact no longer have
a “this” and “that”? A state in which “this” and “that” no longer
find their opposites is called the Hinge of the Way. When the hinge
is fitted into the socket, it can respond endlessly.
Chuang Tzu 2
All composite things are impermanent,
They belong in the realm of birth and death;
When birth and death is trancended,
Absolute tranquillity is realized and blessed are we.
Zen and Japanese Culture D.T. Suzuki
The body is not the Real Man; neither is the mind, for the mind waxes
and wanes. It is the Spirit beyond, which alone can live forever. The
body and mind are continually changing and are, in fact, only names
of series of changeful phenomena, like rivers whose waters are in a
constant state of flux, yet present the appearance of unbroken streams.
Every particle in this body is continually changing; no one has the same
body for many minutes together, and yet we think of it as the same body.
So with the mind: One moment it is happy, another moment unhappy;
one moment strong, another weak-an ever-changing whirlpool. That
cannot be the Spirit, which is infinite. Change can only be in the limited.
To say that the infinite changes in any way is absurd; it cannot be. You
can move and I can move, as limited bodies; every particle in this uni-
verse is in a constant state of flux. But taking the universe as a unit, as
one whole, it cannot move~ it cannot change. Motion is always a
relative thing. I move in relation to something else. Any particle in this
universe can change in relation to any other particle. But take the whole
universe as one, and in relation to what can it move? There is nothing
besides it. So this infinite Unit is unchangeable, immovable, absolute, and
this is the Real Man. Our reality, therefore, consists in the Universal and
not in the limited. These are old delusions, however comfortable they are,
to think that we are little limited beings, constantly changing.
from: Vedanta – Voice of Freedom
That by which our hearts are held,
whole worlds love it too.
I can’t deny the truth –
many ways lead to the One.
Those whom the Beloved loves,
we must also love.
If someone is a friend to the Friend,
how can we afford not to be friends?
If you would be a lover,
befriend him who loves your Friend;
and if you cannot,
don’t call yourself a friend of mine.
Whomever you tend to despise,
hold dear instead.
Don’t belittle others, respect them.
This is where the path leads.
If your heart is filled with love,
your way is sacrifice.
Through sacrifice you will find your place
in the ranks of Love.
Hearts which truly love the Truth,
Truth will open a door wide.
Dismantle the house of selfishness.
Put away your self-regard.
High and low, enemy, neighbor,
the Friend serves them all.
Whoever wants to spread this word
must first go out of his home.
This counsel that Yunus gives
is like buried gold.
Those who love the Friend
find peace in both worlds.
The Drop That Became the Sea Translated by Kabir Helminski & Refik Algan
Every day, mindful practice. When the mind is disciplined then the Way can
work for us. Otherwise, all we do is talk of Tao; everything is just words;
and the world will know us as its one great fool.
~Loy Ching-Yuen, The Book of the Heart
How could the love between Thee
and me sever?
As the leaf of the water abides on the
water: so thou art my Lord, and
I am thy servant.
As the night-bird Chakor gazes all
night at the moon: so Thou art
my Lord and I am Thy servant.
From the beginning until the ending
of time, there is love between
Thee and me; and how shall such
love be extinguished?
Kabir says: ‘As the river enters into the
ocean, so my heart touches Thee.’
Allspirit Quotations Index