If we have to walk across rough and thorny ground, one way of protecting our feet is to cover the whole ground with leather, but this is not very practical. We can achieve the same result in a much simpler way—by covering our feet. Similarly, if we wish to protect ourself from suffering we can either try to change the whole world to make it conform to our wishes, or we can change our mind. Until now we have been trying to change the world, but this clearly has not worked. Now we need to change our mind.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Eight Steps to Happiness
Living is the constant adjustment of thought to life and life to thought in such a way that we are always growing, always experiencing new things in the old and old things in the new.
Thus life is always new.
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
I have become my own version of an optimist.
If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door.
Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.
Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts.
We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center.
So we lost our center and have to find it again.
Each person can take one of two attitudes: to build or to plant.
The builders might take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they’re doing. Then they find they’re hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses its meaning when the building stops.
Then there are those who plant. They endure storms and all the many vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But, unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener’s constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure.
Paulo Coelho, Brida
Thoreau, Campbell, and Euripides ask the same question for the same reason:
What myth is playing out now in your life?
What sacred, spiritual drama is in play in what appears to be secular life?