“I can’t believe that,” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the Queen said, in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath and shut your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

Things that are good are good, and if one is responding to that goodness one is in contact with a truth from which one is getting something. . . . The truth of the sunshine, the truth of the rain, the truth of the fresh air, the truth of the wind in the trees . . . and if we allow ourselves to be benefited by the forms of truth that are readily accessible to us instead of rejecting . . . them as “merely natural” we will be in a better position to profit by higher forms of truth when they come our way.

Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action

He knew that in so far as one denies what is, one is possessed by what is not, the compulsions, the fantasies, the terrors that flock to fill the void.

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

The soul is light, the mind is light, and the body is light — light of different grades; it is this relation which connects man with the planets and stars.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Actualization of self cannot be sought as a goal in its own right . . . rather, it seems to be a by-product of active commitment of one’s talents to some cause, outside the self, such as the quest for beauty, truth, or justice.

Sidney M. Jourard

Of course there’s a lot of knowledge in universities. The freshmen bring a little in; the seniors don’t take much away; so knowledge sort of accumulates.

Dr. A. Lawrence Lowell

Everyday, happiness means getting up in the morning, and you can’t wait to finish your breakfast. You can’t wait to do your exercises. You can’t wait to put on your clothes. You can’t wait to get out — and you can’t wait to come home, because the soup is hot.

George Burns

The bold and handsome young Samurai warrior stood respectfully before the aged Zen master and asked, “Master, teach me about Heaven and Hell.” The master snapped his head up in disgust and said, “Teach YOU about Heaven and Hell!? Why, I doubt that you could even learn to keep your own sword from rusting! You ignorant fool! How dare you suppose that you could understand anything I might have to say!” The old man went on and on, becoming even more insulting, while the young swordsman’s surprise turned first to confusion and then to hot anger, rising by the minute. Master or no master, who can insult a Samurai and live? At last, with teeth clenched and blood nearly boiling in fury, the warrior blindly drew his sword and prepared to end the old man’s sharp tongue and life all in a moment. The master looked straight into his eyes and said gently, “That’s Hell.” At the peak of his rage, the Samurai realized that this was indeed his teaching; the Master had hounded him into a living Hell, driven by uncontrolled anger and ego. The young man, profoundly humbled, sheathed his sword and bowed low to this great spiritual teacher. Looking up into the wise man’s aged, beaming face, he felt more love and compassion than he had ever felt in his life, at which point the master raised his index finger as would a schoolteacher, and said, “And that’s Heaven.”

The Hanuman Foundation’s Prison-Ashram Newsletter; author unknown