Renunciation is not getting rid of the things of this world,
but accepting that they pass away.

Aitken Roshi
Our modern Western culture only recognises the first of
these, freedom of desires. It then worships such a freedom by enshrining
it at the forefront of national constituitions and bills of human rights.
One can say that the underlying creed of most Western democracies is to
protect their people’s freedom to realise their desires, as far as this
is possible. It is remarkable that in such countries people do not feel
very free. The second kind of freedom, freedom from desires, is celebrated
only in some religious communities. It celebrates contentment, peace that
is free from desires.

Ajahn Brahm (Opening the Door of Your Heart)


Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
What you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing.

If you haven’t wept deeply, you haven’t begun to meditate.

Ajajn Chah

The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that
they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough
to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at
ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s
Pema Chodron

View all problems as challenges.
Look upon negativities that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow.
Don’t run from them, condemn yourself, or bury your burden in saintly silence.

You have a problem? Great.
More grist for the mill. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate.
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Mindfulness in Plain English"

If you live the sacred and despise the ordinary,
you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion.
Zen Master Lin-Chi

Meditation is not to escape from society,
but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on.
Once there is seeing, there must be acting.
With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to

If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment,
we miss everything. When a child presents himself to you with
his smile, if you are not really there – thinking about the
future or the past, or preoccupied with other problems – then
the child is not really there for you. The technique of being
alive is to go back to yourself in order for the child to
appear like a marvellous reality. Then you can see him smile
and you can embrace him in your arms.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Suttas are not meant to be ‘sacred scriptures’ that tell us what to believe.
One should read them, listen to them, think about them, contemplate them,
and investigate the present reality, the present experience with them. Then,
and only then, can one insightfully know the truth beyond words.
Venerable Sumedho
All happiness comes from the desire for others to
be happy.
All misery comes from the desire for oneself to be happy.




  1. 1 Thomas
    February 6, 2009 at 21:32

    I particularly like the quote from Venerable Sumedho. I think many of us start meditating out of a mistaken assumption that there is a magic formula to follow or believe. The Venerable Sumedho describes a truth beyond those assumptions.Thank you for the quotes.Tom C

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