Quotes for Peace

Kozo’s Recent Post reminded me of so many things that have been in my reading and in the fore-front of my mind lately.  Each of these quotes came to mind as I read his words so it might make more sense to read his post first, and then come back to this.

Seemed like a good First Post for Peace.

I hope that you may find one of these to be of use to you…

“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”

—Alan Watts

“The path itself does not lie there waiting for you to walk along it.  It needs to be cultivated, nurtured—literally, “brought into being.”  Such a path might open up in a revealing moment of insight, only to be lost again through subsequent neglect.  To believe in a path is not enough.  One has to create and maintain it.  The practice of the eightfold path is a creative act.”

—Stephen Batchelor

“Failure is the key to success.  Every mistake teaches us something.”

—Morihei Ueshiba

“To know, deep in your bones, how everything you experience is fleeting, poignant, and unreliable undermines the rationale for trying to grasp hold of, possess, and control it.  To fully know suffering begins to affect how you relate to the world, how you respond to others, how you manage your own life.  For how can I seek lasting solace in something that I know is incapable of providing it?  Why would I stake all my hopes for happiness on something that I know will finally let me down?  To embrace the suffering world challenges my innate tendency to see everything from the perspective of self-centered craving.

Craving is not something I can willfully discard, no matter how hard I tell myself to stop.  In keeping with the principle of conditioned arising, to be free from craving requires the removal of the conditions that produce it.  In the Buddha’s analysis, the root of craving lies in the misconception that lasting, non-contingent happiness is to be found in a fleeting, contingent world.  As you come to realize how impossible this is, craving starts to subside and fall away of its own accord.”

—Stephen Batchelor

“To have compassion for others when their suffering is clear to us is natural and easy. To have compassion for one who injures us from the place of their own suffering is a practice. To look past the acts of hurt and ugliness, to see the whole picture of a person’s life and how they have incarcerated themselves behind the bars of their illusions of who they are, is to give them a dignity that opens a space for understanding.

To have compassion for ourselves in this way is perhaps the most difficult work of all.

The word “forgiveness” is laden with expectations, doubts, and “shoulds”. Compassion means opening a crack, letting a little light in, letting some air circulate, and making a space – even a tiny one – for healing to begin.”

—Zen Doe (@The Wind Horse Blog, if you’re not reading her, you should be…)

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14 thoughts on “Quotes for Peace

  1. Wow, powerful post for Peace, Johnny. Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, is one of my heroes. Zen Doe just followed my blog; I’m definitely going to have to check out her blog. Thank you for this very insightful and thought-provoking post.

    • Thank YOU Kozo! Every one of these quotes is directly tied to /came to me because of something you said in your post. I have a little Shambala pocket book of Ueshiba quotes that I often re-visit. Do you practice? I have never done any Aikido but I have practiced Taiji on and off for many years.
      Thanks again —

      • Funny thing, Johnny. I was heading towards a black belt in Aikido, but my sensei said that I will never get a black belt unless I start meditating more. (This is when they didn’t “sell” black belts to anyone willing to pay for them.) I got offended and quit.
        Now I meditate everyday, but don’t do Aikido. Another blogger just posted an incredible video of modern Aikido. So I’m thinking that I will start practicing again in the Spring. Your quotation from Ueshiba is well timed and not coincidental. What an incredible web we weave.
        P.S.
        My father-in-law is a qigong master. Lots of power there.
        P.P.S.
        Aikido helped me cool my anger issues.

  2. I found myself, again, taken with Stephen Bachelor’s words. However, the last quote is one that resonates the most deeply. I have twice lived across from/ beside very mean-spirited, angry, troubled people. And both times those people have directed their hatred toward me (I am dealing with this right now). I think I understand their prison; practising understanding is, of course, much more difficult.

    • I hear you Jeremy. I have anger issues and have often been an opinionated bastard. Self-righteous etc. so I’m trying to keep in mind when I feel like raging at someone for being a jerk that at some point, I’ve probably been just as big of a jerk. I think it’s also important to remember that none of us can ever truly know what living must be like for someone else. What is simple and obvious for us may be excruciatingly difficult for someone else.
      I definitely recommend you check out ZenDoe. I will be re-blogging her soon…
      Thank you for your words–

  3. Pingback: Living Love: Day 21 – Heart Wisdom | heartflow2013

  4. Pingback: Destination Peace…. | Tracie Louise Photography

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