The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone.
The answer to helplessness is not so very complicated. A man can do something for peace without having to jump into politics. Each man has inside him a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a man to listen to his own goodness and act on it. Do we dare to be ourselves? This is the question that counts.
We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.
“A pier,” Stephen said. “Yes, a disappointed bridge.”
Pleasure has desire in it. Desire is pain. There is no satisfaction. So pleasure is pain.
Freedom of will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do.
I was right not to be afraid of any thief but myself, who will end by leaving me nothing.
Problems you may be having, even those of global implication, seem to many of us here only trivial sidetrips. You are off on a winding road, which you conceive to be wide and straight, an Autobahn you can travel at your ease. Is it any use for me to tell you that all you believe real is illusion? I don’t know whether you’ll listen, or ignore it. You only want to know about your path, your Autobahn.
Just when I found out the meaning of life, they changed it.
When a man has compassion for others, God has compassion for him.
God is not found in the soul by adding anything but by a process of subtraction.
a touch is enough to let us know we’re not alone in the universe, even in sleep
More! More! is the cry of a mistaken soul.
To endure oneself may be the hardest task in the universe.
Can we rely on it that a “turning around will be accomplished by enough people quickly enough to save the modern world?” This question is often asked, but whatever answer is given to it will mislead. The answer “yes” would lead to complacency; the answer “no” to despair. It is desirable to leave these perplexities behind us and get down to work.
No one can witness another’s despair for more than a quarter of an hour without losing patience.
“How are you?”
“Perfect, thank you. I’m traveling incognito.”
“Oh? As what are you disguised?”
“I am disguised as myself.”
“Don’t be silly. That’s no disguise. That’s what you are.”
“On the contrary, it must be a very good disguise, for I see it has fooled you completely.”
Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war.
It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
Once his brother asked Ryokan to visit his house and speak to his delinquent son. Ryokan came but did not say a word of admonition to the boy. He stayed overnight and prepared to leave the next morning. As the wayward nephew was lacing up Ryokan’s sandals, he felt a drop of warm water. Glancing up, he saw Ryokan looking down at him, his eyes full of tears. Ryokan then returned home, and the nephew changed for the better.