Food for Thought
Throughout the ages, in all cultures, there have been people who have realised their true nature and have left messages behind to help the rest of us seek and become true to our deepest essence, our highest calling. No greater gift than this possible. Below is a selection of quotations from a few well known teachers.
There are two ways in which we read; intellectually and spiritually. Intellectual reading is what we learned in school. It is about understanding concepts and committing them to memory for future use. It is about gathering information to add to our store of facts and theories and ideas. It is about building up our mental prowess.
Spiritual reading is in the opposite direction. It is about using a concept to examine the concepts( usually hidden) we already hold in mind. It’s about testing our already held ideas and beliefs in relation to the new idea. It’s about absorbing the new idea, not only intellectually but actively into our daily lives. It’s about acting on the idea and testing its validity in our actual experience.
It’s a slower deeper type of reading. It is much more that the act of simply reading the words and understanding what is being said intellectually. This type of reading is sometimes referred to as contemplation or meditation.
To truly absorb or contemplate the idea that “the kingdom of heaven is within you” is likely to lead to a shift in where you use your energy. Testing out the belief that happiness or the kingdom of heaven is to be found in external activities, in your own experience is what is meant by this statement. The process of testing your daily activities in your search for happiness is likely to show you that some activities are not working and so a waste of energy but this statement also carries the message that happiness is to be found elsewhere, within you.
Each of the quotations below, absorbed and tested in your actual experience is a path to deeper understanding of yourself and a movement in the direction of your true nature where the happiness you seek is to be found.
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” The Bible, Mark 8:36-38
There are two rules on the spiritual path: Begin and Continue. —Sufi saying
“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.” Blaise Pascal, Human Happiness
“When people ask me are you happy, I’d say that isn’t quite the question. The real question is am I still growing? Have I become a finished creation? Am I dead or am I still growing? Is my life still an adventure, an adventure full of trouble, full of joy, full of pain, full of cataclysm. Am I still living dangerously? So am I still growing is the real question.” John Moriarty, Dreamtime
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” Friedrich Nietzsche
“What is reality? We can only know the truth by teaching ourselves to face the truth in all things. If we encourage our computer to come up with erroneous answers, because they are more desirable, then we are developing a computer that we may never be able to trust. Truth is that which Is.” Richard Rose, TAT Foundation
“The obstacles to Self-realization are disease, inertia, doubt, carelessness, procrastination, laziness, sense cravings, false perception, inability to concentrate, and inability to stabilize higher states when attained.” Bart Marshall, The Perennial Way
“Recognizing what you truly are takes work – possibly years or a lifetime of work. I doubt if anyone puts in the necessary effort unless they come to see (i.e., intuit) that it’s the only solution to their deepest question, desire or dissatisfaction.” Art Ticknor,
TAT Forum February 2011
“The fundamental prerequisites are: an inner need, right relation to the Inner Way, a persevering will, total participation, and the capacity for keeping silence and, above all, a turning to the Divine. Only when practice is completely imbued with and supported by the aspirant’s submission to the Divine will the door open to those experiences of Being which will permit further progress on the Inner Way.” Karlfried Graf Durckheim
“To undertake a genuine spiritual path is not to avoid difficulties but to learn the art of making mistakes wakefully, to bring to them the transformative power of our heart.”
Jack Kornfield, Buddhist Teacher
“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.” Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart.
“It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy, truth liberates.” Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That.
“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us”. Marcel Proust