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Spiritual Quotes

Insights & observations on spirituality and the meaning of life

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Wellbeing Quotes


Anon
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

We are afraid of things that cannot harm us, and we know it. And we long for things which cannot help us and we know it. But actually it is something within us that we are afraid of, and it is something within ourselves we long for

No one ever finds life worth living - he has to make it worth living

A vision without a task is but a dream, a task without a vision is drudgery, a vision and a task is the hope of the world

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body but to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'wow..what a ride!'

Life is a daring adventure or nothing

Douglas Adams
There is a theory which states that if ever for any reason anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.

He hoped and prayed there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realised there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped there wasn't an afterlife

Life is wasted on the living

Carl Ally
Either you let your life slip away by not doing the things you want to do, or you get up & do them

Maya Angelou
Life loves the liver of it

Aristotle
In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.

The Good of man is the active exercise of his soul's faculties in conformity with excellence or virtue, or if there be several human excellences or virtues, in conformity with the best and most perfect among them.

Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way... you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.

No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.

The gods too are fond of a joke.

Roberto Assagioli
Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.

Saint Augustine
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe

Marcus Aurelius
The whole universe is change and life itself is but what you deem it

Your life is what your thoughts make it

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing

Niels Bohr
Every valuable human being must be a radical and a rebel, for what he must aim at is to make things better than they are

There are two sorts of truth: trivialities, where opposites are clearly absurd, and profound truths, recognised by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth

Oh what idiots we have all been, this is just as it must be 

Mel Brooks
I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive you've got to flap your arms & legs, you've got to jump around a lot for life is the very opposite of death and therefore you must at the very least think noisily and colourfully, or you're not alive

Buddha
All that we are is a result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change

There is one thing that, when cultivated and regularly practiced, leads to deep spiritual intention, to peace, to mindfulness and clear comprehension, to vision and knowledge, to a happy life here and now, and to the culmination of wisdom and awakening. And what is that one thing? It is mindfulness centred on the body

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment

Come and see...place no head above your own

Joseph Campbell
The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature

Albert Camus
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life

Lydia Child
The cure for all ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows and the crimes of humanity all lie in the one word 'love'. It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life

Confucius
Without Goodness one cannot enjoy enduring happiness

Love should start from people close to us, then be extended to other people, to strangers, and eventually to the world

Love thy neighbor as thyself: Do not do to others what thou wouldst not wish be done to thyself: Forgive injuries. Forgive thy enemy, be reconciled to him, give him assistance, invoke God in his behalf.

First there must be order and harmony within your own mind. Then this order will spread to your family, then to the community, and finally to your entire kingdom. Only then can you have peace and harmony.

To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness

Dr Robert Conroy
Cultivate optimism by committing yourself to a cause, a plan or a value system. You'll feel that you are growing in a meaningful direction which will help you rise above day-to-day setbacks

Quentin Crisp
You fall out of your mother's womb, crawl across country under fire and drop into your grave

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow
The foremost reason that happiness is so hard to achieve is that the universe was not designed with the comfort of human beings in mind...It seems that every time a pressing danger is avoided a new and more sophisticated threat appears on the horizon...Whether we are happy depends on inner harmony, not on the controls we are able to exert over the great forces of the universe

Dalai Lama
We are visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety, a hundred years at most. During that period we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. Try to be at peace with yourself and help others share that peace. If you contribute to other people's happiness you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples. My philosophy is kindness.

Charles Darwin
A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life

William Henry Davies
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Dhammapada
What you are now is the result of what you were. What you will be tomorrow will be the result of what you are now. The consequences of an evil mind will follow you like the cart follows the ox that pulls it. The consequences of a purified mind will follow you like your own shadow. No one can do more for you than your own purified mind - no parent, no relative, no friend, no one. A well-disciplined mind brings happiness.

John Donne
Reason is our soul's left hand, faith her right

Thomas Dreier
The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are. If you are loving, if you are friendly, if you are helpful, the world will prove loving and friendly to you. The world is what you are.

Umberto Eco
But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had some underlying truth

Albert Einstein
A human being is a part of the whole we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books---a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts

George Eliot
Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right, decide on what you think is right and stick to it

Henry Ellis
The art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on

Ralph Waldo Emerson
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment

If you can not find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

A great man is always willing to be little

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction

Harvey Fierstein
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself

Viktor Frankl: Man's search for meaning
The meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day, and from hour to hour. What matters therefore is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.

Live as if you were already living for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!

View life as a series of movie frames, the ending and meaning may not be apparent until the very end of the movie, and yet, each of the hundreds of individual frames has meaning within the context of the whole movie.

View your life from your funeral, looking back at your life experiences, what have you accomplished? What would you have wanted to accomplish but didn't? What were the happy moments? What were the sad? What would you do again, and what you wouldn't

Sigmund Freud
Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness

Erich Fromm
Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies

Galileo Galilei
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense,  reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use

Mahatma Gandhi
Each one has to find his peace from within. And for peace to be real it must be unaffected by outside circumstances

If you don't find God in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for him further

One man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is one indivisible whole.

Silence is a great help to a seeker after truth. In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth, and the soul requires inward restfulness to attain its full height

There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics

Jose Ortega y Gasset
Life is a series of collisions with the future. It is not the sum of what we have been but of what we yearn to be

Bhante Gunaratana
Prayer and contemplation are both exercises in concentration. The normal deluge of conscious thought is restricted and the mind is brought to one conscious area of operation. The results are those you find in any concentrative practice: deep calm, a physiological slowing of the metabolism and a sense of peace and wellbeing

Real peace comes only when you stop chasing it. When you relax your driving desire for comfort, real fulfillment arises. When you drop your hectic pursuit of gratification, the real beauty of life comes out. When you seek to know the reality without illusion, complete with all its pain and danger, that is when real freedfom and security are yours.

David Hawkins
We change the world not by what we say or do but as a consequence of what we have become

Werner Heisenberg
There is a fundamental error in seperating the parts from the whole, the mistake of atomizing what should not be atomized. Unity and complementarity constitute reality

Whenever we proceed from the known to the unkown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word 'understanding'

It will never be possible by pure reason to arrive at some absolute truth

Heraclitus
Character is destiny

Hermann Hesse
If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us

Everything that is thought and expressed in words is one-sided, only half the truth; it all lacks totality, completeness, unity. When the Illustrious Buddha taught about the world, he had to divide it into Samsara and Nirvana, illusion and truth, into suffering and salvation. One cannot do otherwise, there is no other method for those who teach. But the world itself, being in and around us, is never one-sided. Never is a man or a deed wholly Samsara or wholly Nirvana; never is a man wholly a saint or a sinner. This only seems so because we suffer the illusion that time is something real.

J H Holmes
The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent

Karen Horney
Fortunately analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist

Henry James
Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact

William James
Life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it

Carl Jung
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves

Contemporary man is blind to the fact that, with all his rationality and efficiency, he is possessed by "powers" that are beyond his control. His gods and demons have not disappeared at all; they have merely got new names. They keep him on the run with restlessness, vague apprehensions, psychological complications, an insatiable need for pills, alcohol, tobacco, food – and, above all, a large array of neuroses

Soren  Kierkegaard
Life must be understood backwards; but...it must be lived forward 

Helen Keller
It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If only they would spend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui

Thomas a Kempis
Judge yourself and beware of passing judgement on others. In judging others we expend our energy to no purpose; we are often mistaken and easily sin. But if we judge ourselves our labour is always to our profit.

If you wish to live in peace and harmony with others, you must learn to discipline yourself in many ways.

Anne Lamott
You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out he hates all the same people you do

Barry Long
You can’t realise love or yourself until you are still enough to drop down through the restlessness and frustrations into that deeper level of your being

Martin Luther King
The time is always right to do what is right

J Krishnamurti
If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation

Robert Macfarlane
We are fallen mostly into pieces but the wild returns us to ourselves

Antonio Machado
By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind sees the path

Orison Marden
Our destiny changes with our thoughts; we shall become what we wish to become, do what we wish to do, when our habitual thoughts correspond with our desires

H L Mencken
The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line

Thomas Merton
The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them

Arthur Miller
Life is an endless, truly endless struggle. There's no time when we're going to arrive at a plateau where the whole thing gets sorted. It's a struggle in the way every plant has to find it's own way to stand up straight. A lot of the time it's a failure.  And yet it's not a failure if some enlightenment comes from it. 

Thomas Moore
Let us imagine the care of the soul, then as the application of poetics in everyday life..care of the soul is a fundamentally different way of regarding daily life and the quest for happiness. The emphasis may not be on problems at all. One person might care for the soul by buying or renting a good piece of land, another by painting his house of his bedroom. Care of the soul is a continuous process that concerns itself not so much with fixing a central flaw as with attending to the small details of everyday life

Native American Story
A native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt.
He said 'I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart.
One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one.
The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.'
The grandson asked him, 'Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?'
The grandfather answered: 'The one I feed.'

John Henry Newman
To live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often

Reinhold Niebuhr: The Serenity Prayer 
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference

Eugene O'Neill
Obsessed by a fairy tale we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace

Nietzsche
One must still have chaos in onself to give birth to a dancing star

Anais Nin
And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom

Oracle at Delphi
Know thyself

M Scott Peck
Nirvana or lasting enlightenment or true spiritual growth can be achieved only through persistent exercise of real love.

William Phelps
The fear of life is the favorite disease of the 20th century

Philippians 4:8
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious ... think about these things

Plato
Life must be lived as play

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle

Henri Poincarre
Doubting everything and believing everything are two equally convenient solutions that guard us from having to think

Terry Pratchett
In the beginning there was nothing, then it exploded

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it

Sogyal Rinpoche
Perhaps the deepest reason we are afraid of death is that we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity; but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our "biography", our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit card ... It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are?

Jake Roberts
Every moment is an experience

Sanskrit Proverb
Look to this day, for it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all, the realities and verities of existence,
The bliss of growth, The splendor of action, The glory of power.
For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision.
But each today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day

Jean Paul Sartre
Everything has been figured out, except how to live

Mahmud Sahbistari
When "I" and "You" are absent, I've no idea if this is a mosque, synagogue, church or temple

Erwin Schrodinger
No self is of itself alone

Charles Schulz
I think I've discovered the secret of life - you just hang around until you get used to it

Alexander Solzehnitsyn
In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers . . . we are ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations

Michael Strassfield
Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space.
It does not seek anything in return;
it asks not whether you are friend or foe.
It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished

Jonathan Swift
May you live every day of your life

John Templeton
The commitment of giving your best at all times, in all circumstances and under all conditions, can enable you to find value in, and lend value to, every experience.

If you are curious as to what your future may hold, you can look into a mirror. What is reflecting back? Does a sparkle in your eyes indicate excitement about new adventures and opportunities? Does a smile on your lips portray an inner happiness and abundant goodwill towards others?

Henry Thoreau
The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation

Ralph Trine
Peace is to be found only within,
and unless one finds it there he will never find it at all.
Peace lies not in the external world.
It lies within one's own soul

Desmond Tutu
When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'let us pray'. We closed our eyes. When we opened them they had the land and we had the Bible

Mark Twain
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest

Lao Tzu
When I let go of what I am I become what I might be

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like

To attain knowledge, add things every day
To attain wisdom, remove things every day

To love someone deeply gives you strength. To be loved by someone deeply gives you courage

At the center of your being you have the answer, you know who you are and you know what you want

Mark Vernon
Finding happiness is not as simple as having good friends or a full social life. The crunch issue is our ability, or inability, to find within ourselves a sense of meaning or deeper purpose, something not found in everyday life.

Leonardo da Vinci
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Vishvapani
The issue for Buddhism isn't how we can make ourselves happy, but how we can live in accordance with reality so that happiness naturally arises

William Wallace
Every man dies. Not every man lives

E B White
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. Which makes it hard to plan the day

Marion Woodman
If you are living for an ideal and driving yourself as hard as you can to be perfect - at your job or as a mother or as a perfect wife - you lose the natural, slow rythmn of life. There's a rushing, trying to attain the ideal; the slower pace of the beat of the earth, the state where you simply are, is forgotten

William Wordsworth
Faith is a passionate intuition

Zoroaster
Your good thoughts, good words and good deeds alone will be your intercessors. Nothing more will be wanted. They alone will serve you as a safe pilot to the harbour of Heaven, as a safe guide to the gates of paradise.

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