Quotes and Quick Inspiration

Volume Five


From Tom Spencer's Soul of the Garden




Hope is like a road in the country; there wasn’t ever a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.

- Lin Yutang


God brings men into deep waters not to drown them, but to cleanse them.

- Aughey

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.


-  Martin Luther King, Jr.



Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

- George Bernard Shaw


The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.

- W.M. Lewis

It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.

- James Douglas




Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light

- Plato

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest to all of us.

- Meister Eckhart



People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


A person getting enlightened is like the moon reflecting in the water. The moon does not get wet, the water is not disturbed. Though it is a great expanse of light, it reflects in a little bit of water; the whole moon and the whole sky reflect even in the dew on the grass; they reflect even in a single drop of water. Enlightenment not disturbing the person is like the moon not piercing the water. A person not obstructing enlightenment is like the dewdrop not obstructing the heavens.

- Dogen, "Flowers Fall"




In the ocean of being
There is only one.

There was and there will be
Only one.

You are already fulfilled.
How can you be bound or free?

Wherever you go,
Be happy.

-Ashtavakra Gita 15:18





I look upon all creatures equally; none are less dear to me and none more dear. But those who worship me with love live in me, and I come to life in them.

- Bhagavad Gita 9:29
Excerpted from The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Eknath Easwaran



I am the goal of life, the Lord and support of all, the inner witness, the abode of all.

I am the only refuge, the one true friend; I am the beginning, the staying, and the end of creation; I am the womb and the eternal seed. I am heat; I give and withhold the rain. I am immortality and I am death; I am what is and what is not.

- Bhagavad Gita 9:18-19



Humbly accept the word  planted in you.


- James 1:21



The continuous and unbroken awareness of the indwelling presence, the inner light of consciousness, is the supreme meditation and devotion.



Love is selflessness
—self is lovelessness.

- Sai Baba

Nevertheless, it means much to have loved,
To have been happy, to have laid my hand on
The living Garden, even for one day.



- Jorge Luis Borges

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

- Pablo Picasso



Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.

-Thich Nhat Hanh, "Miracle of Mindfulness"

What is here is also there; what is there,
Also here. Who sees multiplicity
But not the one indivisible Self
Must wander on and on from death to death.

- Katha Upanishad




My opinion is that you never find happiness until you stop looking for it.

-  Chang Tzu


A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

- Nietzsche


Sitting peacefully on a cushion day and night seeking to attain Buddhahood, rejecting life and death in hopes of realizing enlightenment, is all like a monkey grasping at the moon reflected in the water.

- Shoitsu

Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

- Ernest Gaines



Wouldn't it be better to simply live what you believe, and teach by example . . . rather than by preaching.


- Daryl Ryman





All religions will pass, but this will remain: simply sitting in a chair and looking in the distance.

-  V.V. Rozanov


Life is a child playing around your feet, a tool you hold firmly in your grip,
a bench you sit down upon in the evening, in your garden.

- Jean Anouilh


Almost any garden, if you see it at just the right moment, can be confused with paradise.


- Henry Mitchell




We never care for the present moment. We are so foolish that we wander in times that are not ours, and never think of the only time that belongs to us; we are so frivolous that we dream of the days that are not, and thoughtlessly pass over the only one that exists. We never live, but hope to live; and since we are always preparing to be happy it is inevitable that we shall never be so.

- Blaise Pascal



I thank You God for this most amazing day; for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.

- e.e. cummings

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.


- Albert Schweitzer




Let's be grateful for those who give us happiness; they are the charming gardeners who make our soul bloom.

--Marcel Proust


Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.

- Seneca


Gratitude is heaven itself.

- William Blake



Now, there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems. So, when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude. It is rare. Just as having unexpectedly found a treasure in your own house, you should be happy and grateful to your enemy for providing that precious opportunity.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama



Loneliness is a poignant homing instinct, like that of migratory birds. It guides us back towards this assurance: We are not meant to live cut off from each other, from ourselves, or from the Universal Reality which gives us life. We are meant to dwell in love, which is a wholehearted “yes” to belonging.


- www.gratefulness.org



Today’s world requires us to accept the oneness of humanity. In the past, isolated communities could afford to think of one another as fundamentally separate. Some could even exist in total isolation. But nowadays, whatever happens in one region eventually affects many other areas. Within the context of our inter-dependence, self-interest clearly lies in considering the interest of others.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama



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