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…)

Two from Stephen

“There is nothing so lowly or mundane that it is unworthy of being embraced by mindful attention.  Mindfulness accepts as its focus of inquiry whatever arises in one’s field of awareness, no matter how disturbing or painful it might be.  One neither seeks nor expects to find some greater truth lurking behind the veil of appearances.  What appears and how you respond to it:  that alone is what matters.”


“Siddhattha Gotama rejected the idea that freedom or salvation lay in gaining privileged access to an eternal, non-contingent source or ground, whether it be called Atman or God, Pure Consciousness or the Absolute.  Freedom, for Gotama, meant freedom from greed, from hatred, and from confusion.  Moreover, such freedom (nirvana) was to be found not by turning away from the world but by penetrating deep into its contingent heart.”

from “Confession of a Buddhist Atheist”

Stephen Batchelor


“…its contingent heart,” like Susan’s wild strawberries