Give up revenge! I see any desire to “prove myself” as a sort of revenge, an angry rebuttal to someone else’s expectations. Only act out of joy.

Elizabeth Rose Campbell

The poor long for riches and the rich for heaven; but the wise long for a state of tranquility.

Swami Rama

This comes up all the time in mechanical work. A hang-up. You just sit and stare and think, and search randomly for new information, and go away and come back again, and after a while the unseen factors start to emerge.

Robert Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

A woman can’t be, until a girl dies. . . . I mean the sprites that girls are, so different from us, all their fancies, their illusions, their flower world, the dreams they live in.

Christina Stead

It saddens me to become once again an independent woman. It was a deep joy to depend on his insight and guidance.

Anaïs Nin

My father understands that my willingness to explore everything is a sign of strength. The weak ones have prejudices. Prejudices are a protection.

Anaïs Nin

For a small reward a man will hurry away on a long journey, while for eternal life many will hardly take a single step.

Thomas à Kempis

The kind of work we do does not make us holy but we may make it holy.

Meister Eckhart

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet it is one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.

Elise Boulding

It is life near the bone where it is sweetest.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.

Thomas Merton

We say that we cannot bear our troubles but when we get to them we bear them.

Ning Lao T’ai-t’ai

But this dark is deep:
now I warm you with my blood, listen
to this flesh.
It is far truer than poems.

Marina Tsvetayeva

Civilization begins at home.

Henry James

God gives food to every bird, but does not throw it into the nest.

Montenegrin Proverb

A man must have aunts and cousins, must buy carrots and turnips, must have barn and woodshed, must go to market and to the blacksmith’s shop, must saunter and sleep and be inferior and silly.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plants bear witness to the reality of roots.


She had been so wicked that in all her life she had done only one good deed — given an onion to a beggar. So she went to hell. As she lay in torment she saw the onion, lowered down from heaven by an angel. She caught hold of it. He began to pull her up. The other damned saw what was happening and caught hold of it too. She was indignant and cried, “Let go — it’s my onion,” and as soon as she said, “My onion,” the stalk broke and she fell back into the flames.

E.M. Forster, The Hill of Devi

The empiricist . . . thinks he believes only what he sees, but he is much better at believing than at seeing.

George Santayana

What we give to the poor for Christ’s sake is what we carry with us when we die.

Peter Maurin

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Victor Frankl