Quotes and Quick Inspiration

Volume Nine



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 rose,
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 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 alone is.

-Mundaka Upanishad



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.


- Goethe


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 to be.

"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.

- Galileo


God is identical with His attributes, so that it may be said that He is the knowledge, the knower, and the known.

- 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 becomes hard.

-Standing Bear





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, you know,
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.

- Unknown


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 alone is.

-Mundaka Upanishad


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."

-Digha Nikaya




Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.




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 possessed.

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.

-Walt Whitman



There are two ways to look at life. One is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything is.

-Albert Einstein



Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand.

-Neil Armstrong


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.

-Maxim Gorky

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.

- Sadi


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 ourselves.

-David Orr


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