Quotes and Quick Inspiration
From Tom Spencer's Soul of the Garden
The most important function of art and science is to awaken the cosmic religious feeling and keep it alive.
- Albert Einstein
We are in the cosmos and the cosmos is in us.
- Matthew Fox
Earth and heaven are in us
- Mahatma Gandhi
We want to worship a living
God. I have not seen anything but God all my life, nor have you... He is
everywhere, saying, "I am." The moment you feel "I am," you are conscious of
Existence. Where shall we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts
and in every living being?
That which God said to the
and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty,
He said to my heart,
and made it a hundred times more beautiful.
- From "Jewels of Remembrance," by Rumi, selected and translated by Camille and Kabir Helminski
Contemplate the wonders of
creation, the Divine dimension of their being, not as a dim configuration that
is presented to you from a distance, but as the reality in which you live.
- Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe... The whole wilderness is unity and interrelationship is alive and familiar.
- John Muir
...if we know anything for certain about Jesus, it is that he was in love with the birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the fishes, sheep, and goats, the sun and the rain falling, the mustard seeds and the fig trees. That is to say, he was in love with them enough to pray to them, which means to enter into them, to be transformed by them.
- Matthew Fox
The Lord of Love is before and
He extends to the right and to the left.
He extends above; he extends below.
There is no one here but the Lord of Love.
He alone is; in truth, he alone is.
Theology: that madness gone
systematic which tries to crowd God's fullness into a formula and a system!
- Rabbi Joel Blau
What sort of God would it be, who only pushed from without.
A Religion is as much a
progressive unlearning of false ideas concerning God as it is the learning of
the true ideas concerning God.
- Mordecai Kaplan
His revelation is
continuous. New aspects of the Torah unfold constantly. The more we study it,
the more it expands.
- Judah Arieh, "Sefat Emet"
The ideal of man is to be a
revelation himself, clearly to recognize himself as a manifestation of God.
- Baal Shem Tov
When we say, "I take refuge in
the Buddha," we should also understand that "The Buddha takes refuge in me,"
because without the second part the first part is not complete. The Buddha needs
us for awakening, understanding, and love to be real things and not just
concepts. They must be real things that have real effects on life. Whenever I
say, "I take refuge in the Buddha," I hear "the Buddha takes refuge in me."
-Thich Nhat Hanh, "Being Peace"
Because the fool wants to
become God, He never finds him. The master is already God, Without ever wishing
- "The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita," by Thomas Byrom
Seek the good in everyone,
and reveal it, bring it forth.
- Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav
Listen, open a window to God and begin to delight yourself by gazing upon Him through the opening. The business of love is to make that window in the heart, for the breast is illumined by the beauty of the Beloved. Gaze incessantly on the face of the Beloved! Listen, this is in your power, my friend!
- From "Jewels of Remembrance," by Rumi, translated by Camille and Kabir Helminski
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
God is identical with His
attributes, so that it may be said that He is the knowledge, the knower, and the
- Maimonides, "Eight Chapters"
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.
- Anne Frank
Nature can be trusted to
work her own miracle in the heart of any man whose daily task
keeps him alone among her sights, sounds, and silences.
- Gene Stratton Porter
The day I see a leaf is a marvel of a day.
- Kenneth Patton
Man's heart away from nature
To be rooted is perhaps the
most important and least recognized need of the human soul.
- Simone Weil, "The Need for Roots"
Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
- Rabindranath Tagore
Sometimes I come across a tree which seems like Buddha or Jesus: loving, compassionate, still, unambitious, enlightened, in eternal meditation, giving pleasure to a pilgrim, shade to a cow, berries to a bird, beauty to its surroundings, health to its neighbors, branches for the fire, leaves for the soil, asking nothing in return, in total harmony with the wind and the rain. How much can I learn from a tree? The tree is my church, the tree is my temple, the tree is my mantra, the tree is my poem and my prayer.
-- Satish Kumar, editor Resurgence magazine
I did however used to think,
in the woods walking,
and as a kid playing the the woods,
that there was a kind of immanence there -
that woods, and places of that order,
had a sense, a kind of presence, that you could feel;
that there was something peculiarly, physically present,
a feeling of place almost conscious ... like God.
It evoked that.
- Robert Creely
Everything in nature contains all the power of nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am ever present to those who
have realized me in every creature. Seeing all life as my manifestation, they
are never separated from me. They worship me in the hearts of all, and all their
actions proceed from me. Wherever they may live, they abide in me.
-Bhagavad Gita 6:30-31
The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don't have to gain, develop, or attain them. We're like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight. We don't need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we really are -- as soon as we quit pretending we're small or unholy.
Revelation is the silent,
imperceptible manifestation of God in history. It is the still, small voice: it
is the inevitableness, the regularity of nature.
- Herbert Loewe, "Rabbinic Anthology," 1938
The Lord of Love is before and
behind. He extends to the right and to the left. He extends above; he extends
below. There is no one here but the Lord of Love. He alone is; in truth, he
Sakka asked: "What is the cause
of self-interest?" The Buddha answered: "It is perception of the world as one's
object." "How does one overcome this perception of the world as apart from
oneself?" "By acting for the increase of goodness and happiness. It is in this
way that the world ceases to be one's object."
Observe the wonders as they
occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be
All the delightful things of
the world--sweet sounds, lovely forms, all the pleasant tastes and touches and
thoughts--these are all agreed to bring happiness if they are not grasped and
But if you regard them merely as pleasures for your own use and satisfaction and do not see them as passing wonders, they will bring suffering.
- from "Buddha Speaks," edited by Anne Bancroft
To me every hour of the day and
night is an unspeakable perfect miracle.
There are two ways to look at
life. One is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything
Mystery creates wonder and
wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand.
To make the poem of our faith, we must learn not to settle for a false certitude but to embrace ambiguity and mystery.
- Kathleen Norris
Happiness always looks small
while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big
and precious it is.
A true believer loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
Love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise--then you will discover the fullness of your life.
-Brother David Steindl-Rast
He who loves brings God and
the World together.
- Martin Buber, "At the Turning"
He places a seed in the dust
for the reason
That it may in the day of distress, give fruit.
Don't judge each day by the
harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
When we heal the earth, we heal
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