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Past Thoughts of the Day from Interlude: An Internet Retreat

12/1/13 to the present

If everybody's opinion of us matters so much, it should be a short leap to "I care about everybody." Turn fear to love and you are there.

Tom Barrett

When one realises one is asleep, at that moment one is already half-awake.

P.D. Ouspensky

There is one art of which man should be master, the art of reflection.

Samuel Coleridge

When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.

Byron Katie

Good work and joyous play go hand in hand. When play stops, old age begins. Play keeps you from taking life too seriously.

George Byron

Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear.


In the healthiest organizations the taboo is not on making mistakes, it's on concealing them.

John Cleese

Looking foolish does the spirit good. The need not to look foolish is one of youth's many burdens; as we get older we are exempted from more and more, and float upward in our heedlessness, singing Gratia Dei sum quod sum (Thanks be to God that I am what I am).

John Updike

Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.

Corrie Ten Boom

Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.

Mahatma Gandhi

Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.

Lord Chesterfield

If you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains; if you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains.


Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

Henry David Thoreau

But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day.

Benjamin Disraeli

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

Elbert Hubbard

The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is. Self-knowledge has no end, you don't come to an achievement, you don't come to a conclusion. It is an endless river.

J. Krishnamurti

The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.

Mahatma Gandhi

We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.

John Dryden

Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.

Joseph Addison

Virtues are virtues because they give joy once they are practiced. If a virtue does not give joy, it is not a virtue.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

If you give your life as a wholehearted response to love, then love will wholeheartedly respond to you.

Marianne Williamson

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.

Aart Van Der Leeuw

Life is short and no one knows what the next moment will bring. Open your mind while you have the opportunity, thereby gaining the treasures of wisdom, which in turn you can share abundantly with others, bringing them happiness.


Old cranks have practiced all their lives, just as old saints have likewise practiced all their lives. They just practiced different life principles.

John Powell

In and through community lies the salvation of the world.

M. Scott Peck

A great source of calamity lies in regret and anticipation; therefore a person is wise who thinks of the present alone, regardless of the past or future.

Oliver Goldsmith

A lifetime without Love is of no account
Love is the Water of Life
Drink it down with heart and soul!

Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.

Aldous Huxley

When you feel yourself in the grip of an emotion such as jealousy or anger or sorrow, detach yourself from it. Take a step back. When you do that, you can allow the emotion to run through you without causing negative thoughts or actions.

Gary Zukav

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.


You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

Dale Carnegie

One must know oneself. If this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better.

Blaise Pascal

We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense.

Carl Sagan

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

Galileo Galilei

The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is.

Baruch Spinoza

Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.

Horace Greeley

The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he's born.

William R. Inge

Character is simply habit long continued.


Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.

James Thurber

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.

Calvin Coolidge

If someone is too tired to give you a smile, leave one of your own, because no one needs a smile as much as those who have none to give.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

Things are beautiful if you love them.

Jean Anouilh, Mademoiselle Colombe

Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all---the apathy of human beings.

Helen Keller

No one can give a definition of the soul. But we know what it feels like. The soul is the sense of something higher than ourselves, something that stirs in us thoughts, hopes, and aspirations which go out to the world of goodness, truth and beauty. The soul is a burning desire to breathe in this world of light and never to lose it-to remain children of light.

Albert Schweitzer

The Zen master Ling Chi said that the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth. You breathe in. You become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet. The greatest of all miracles is to be alive.

Thich Nhat Hanh

When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.

Roy E. Disney

You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving.

St. Francis De Sales

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

It is an illusion to think that more comfort means more happiness. Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.

Storm Jameson

What was once called the objective world is a sort of Rorschach ink blot, into which each culture, each system of science and religion, each type of personality, reads meaning only remotely derived from the shape and color of the blot itself.

Lewis Mumford

If you affirm the positive, the negatives will drop off by themselves.

Ramana Maharishi

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Anne Frank

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.

Meister Eckhart

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.

Betty Smith

To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.

Stephen Covey

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

Carl Gustav Jung

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shapes of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience, and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.

Joseph Addison

Our separation from each other is an illusion of consciousness.

Albert Einstein

Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear but around in awareness.

James Thurber

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Soft sweet speech is the expression of genuine Love. Hate screeches, fear squeals, conceit trumpets, but love sings lullabies; it soothes, it applies balm. Practice the vocabulary of love.

Sathya Sai Baba

We see ourselves as broken, and then set out on a long and frustrating journey to fill our emptiness. But it is not fixing that we require; it is awakening.

Alan Cohen

Spread love everywhere you go; first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor...Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.

Mother Teresa

In-between stimulus and response is a space. In that space lies our power and freedom to choose. How we wield those choices determines our happiness.

Steven R. Covey

What would our world be like if we ceased to worry about 'right' and 'wrong,' or 'good' and 'evil,' and simply acted so as to maximize well-being, our own and that of others? Would we lose anything important?

Sam Harris

You don't create your mission in life. You detect it.

Victor Frankl

Enjoy everything that happens in your life, but never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to any person, place or thing.

Wayne Dyer

While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles, I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he were sure of it. If at the end your cheerfulness in not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful.

H. G. Wells

You may follow one stream. Know that it leads to the Ocean, but do not mistake the stream for the Ocean.


The witness is always in the here and now and it lives in each instant of living. To be in the witness is to listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without clinging, without opinions.

Ram Dass

Habit is the best of servants, or the worst of masters.

Nathaniel Emmons

Put from you belief that "I have have been wronged," and with it will go the feeling. Reject your sense of injury, and the injury itself disappears.

Marcus Aurelius

The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

Charles Mayes

To drop into being means to recognize your interconnectedness with all life, and with being itself. Your very nature is being part of larger and larger spheres of wholeness.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

To teach another is the best way to learn for yourself.

Tryon Edwards

For as long as every man holdeth this right, of doing anything he liketh, so long are all men in the condition of war.

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the stuff Life is made of.

Benjamin Franklin

It's hard to detect good luck - it looks so much like something you've earned.

Frank A. Clark

Relationship is understanding. It is the process of self-revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself -- To be is to be related.

Bruce Lee

If you are yourself at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world. Then share your peace with everyone, and everyone will be at peace.

Thomas Merton

Intense love does not measure. . . it just gives.

Mother Teresa

Truth never damages a cause that is just.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice.

Robert F. Kennedy

There is hope in men, not in society, not in systems, not in organized religious systems, but in you and in me.

J. Krishnamurti

We do not receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

Marcel Proust

Love is repaid by love alone.

St. Therese of Lisieux

Peace comes from attending to every part of my world in a sacramental way.

Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB from Wisdom Distilled from the Daily

How can you come to know yourself? Never by thinking always by doing. Try to do your duty and you will know right away what you amount to. And what is your duty? Whatever the day calls for.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Rhythm is the basis of life, not steady forward progress. The forces of creation, destruction, and preservation have a whirling, dynamic interaction.


In the making of peace, the first thing you must do is expunge the word failure from your vocabulary. It takes perseverance; it takes patience. And anyone can claim failure at any point short of success.

Senator George Mitchell

When the mind goes back to the present moment, it also goes back to the body; body and mind are united. Breathing is the bridge between body and mind.

Thich Nhat Hanh

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.

The Dhammapada

The human heart refuses to believe in a universe without purpose. What are the aims which are at the same time duties? They are the perfecting of ourselves and the happiness of others.

Immanuel Kant

For only as we ourselves, as adults, actually move and have our being in the state of love, can we be appropriate models and guides for our children. What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become.

Joseph Chilton Pearce from Teaching Children to Love

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.

Mark Twain

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.

Oprah Winfrey

Celebrate what you want to see more of.

Tom Peters

It were happy if we studied nature more in natural things, and acted according to nature, whose rules are few, plain, and most reasonable.

William Penn

Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you're no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn't just a means to an end but a unique event in itself.

Robert Pirsig

The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.

Ralph Waldo Emmerson

The mind ought sometimes to be diverted that it may return to better thinking.


Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

Calvin Coolidge

A great source of calamity lies in regret and anticipation; therefore a person is wise who thinks of the present alone, regardless of the past or future.

Oliver Goldsmith

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

Lao Tzu

With good will for the entire cosmos, live with a limitless heart. Above, below, and all around, unobstructed, without hostility or hate.

Sutta Nipata

Human beings are afraid of dying. They are always running after something: money, honor, pleasure. But if you had to die now, what would you want?

Taisen Deshimaru

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.

John F. Kennedy

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.

John Lennon

I don't know whether my life has been a success or a failure. But not having any anxiety about becoming one instead of the other, and just taking things as they came along, I've had a lot of extra time to enjoy life.

Harpo Marx

Sincerity is the fulfillment of our own nature, and to arrive at it we need only follow our true self. Sincerity is the beginning and end of existence; without it, nothing can endure. Therefore, the mature person values sincerity above all things.

Tzu Ssu

Keep your feet on the ground and your thoughts at lofty heights.

Peace Pilgrim

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

Bertrand Russell

To lose patience is to lose the battle.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Mind is like a candle flame: unstable, flickering, constantly changing, fanned by the violent winds of our thoughts and emotions. The flame will only burn steadily when we can calm the air around it; so we can only begin to glimpse and rest in the nature of mind when we have stilled the turbulence of our thoughts and emotions.

Sogyal Rinpoche

Live each season as it passes; Breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit---and enjoy the influences of each.

Henry David Thoreau

If I can line up the people who, back through the ages, have gone at life in ways I greatly admire, then I can feel their strength supporting me, all their standards and values pointing the way in which I am to go.

Bonaro W. Overstreet

Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.

Denis Waitley

Choice of attention - to pay attention to this and ignore that - is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.

W. H. Auden

Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

Desmond Tutu

Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.

Nelson Mandela

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.

Indira Gandhi

I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.

Booker T. Washington

Take away the cause and the effect ceases.

Miguel de Cervantes

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Bishop Desmond Tutu

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched ... but are felt in the heart.

Helen Keller

The story of the human race is characterized by efforts to get along much more than by violent disputes, although it's the latter that make the history books. Violence is actually exceptional. The human race has survived because of cooperation, not aggression.

Gerard Vanderhaar


©2013 Tom Barrett