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Past Thoughts of the Day from Interlude: An Internet Retreat

12/1/22 to the present

Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference–in our own lives and those of others.

Sharon Salzberg

Doing is the great thing. For if, resolutely, people do what is right, in time they will come to like doing it.

John Ruskin

Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

Edwin Hubbel Chapin

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.

Anthony Robbins

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.

Ralph W. Emerson

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.

Shunryu Suzuki

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.

Dalai Lama

This is the only meditation I know.
While I eat, I eat.
While I walk, I walk.
And while I feel sleepy, I sleep.
Whatsoever happens, happens.
I never interfere.


Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs

Perpetual inspiration is as necessary to the life of goodness, holiness and happiness as perpetual respiration is necessary to animal life.

Andrew Bonar Law

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

Baruch Spinoza

Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.

Swami Sivananda

Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never brought a man to the goal of any of his best wishes.

Miguel de Cervantes

We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.

Tom Robbins

Through meditation and by giving full attention to one thing at a time, we can learn to direct attention where we choose.

Eknath Easwaran

We are fallible. We certainly haven't attained perfection. But we can strive for it, and the virtue is in the striving.

Carlos P. Romulo

You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success–or are they holding you back

Clement Stone

If you are called to be a streetsweeper, you should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

Yogi Berra

Associate with those who help you believe in yourself.

Brooks Robinson

Treat those who are good with goodness,
And also treat those who are not good with goodness.
Thus goodness is attained.


Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

Mary Anne Radmacher

True peace is not the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.

Martin Luther King, Jr

The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.

David Starr Jordan

The world is a spell, an enchantement, an amazement, an arabesque of such stunning rhythm and a plot so intriguing that we are drawn by its web into a state of involvement where we forget that it is a game.

Alan Watts

Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Evil is not an actual substance, but absence of good; just as darkness is nothing but absence of light.

Abba Evagrius

Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.

Saint Bernard of Clairvoux

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.


I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.

Abraham Lincoln

A good indignation brings out all one's powers.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.

Chinese Proverb

To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

Helen Keller

When I dare to be powerful–to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.

Audre Lorde

Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Finding inner peace, this is a point of no return. You can never go back into the struggle. The struggle is over now because you will to do the right thing, and you don't need to be pushed into it.

Peace pilgrim

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


Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.

Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros

When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability…To be alive is to be vulnerable.

Madeleine L'Engle

I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

Robert A. Heinlein

If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition;
if you want to know your future life, look at your present actions.


Giving thanks for abundance is sweeter than the abundance itself.


Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your misfortunes, of which all men have some.

Charles Dickens

Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.

Helen Keller

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Mohandas Gandhi

Good judgment comes from experience…and a lot of that comes from bad judgment!

Will Rogers

Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.

Eric Hoffer

Thought held in mind reproduces after its kind, just like a seed in the ground that's nourished reproduces after its kind. In this moment, you are free to plant again.

Mary Manin Morrissey

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

Carl Jung

To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.

J. Krishnamurti

Happiness is a quality of mind. It is something we possess within…if we do not have it within, nothing outside can give it to us.


The wise see in every form the divine form; in every heart they see the divine light shining.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

It is impossible for the human mind to remain completely without thought for long times. On the other hand, too many small, unimportant thoughts can fill the mind to the extent that no meaningful thought takes place.

Tomio Hirai in Zen Meditation Therapy

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

Gloria Steinem

Learn to watch your drama unfold while at the same time knowing you are more than your drama.

Ram Dass

We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.

Richard Bach

Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

Albert Camus

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

John Muir

In those whom I like, I can find no common denominator; in those whom I love I can: they all make me laugh.

W.H. Auden

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

William James

Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.


If you see good in people, you radiate a harmonious loving energy which uplifts those who are around you. If you can maintain this habit, this energy will turn into a steady flow of love.

Annamalai Swami

Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.


An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.


We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.

Henry David Thoreau

The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.

Leo Tolstoy

It is not from reason that justice springs, but goodness is born of wisdom.

Maurice Maeterlinck

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Joanne Kathleen Rowling

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie

Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good.

Bertolt Brecht

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.

G. K. Chesterton

If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time.

Edith Wharton

Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.

Mignon McLaughlin

Observation, not old age, brings wisdom.

Publius Syrus

Everything we do is infused with the energy with which we do it. If we're frantic, life will be frantic. If we're peaceful, life will be peaceful. And so our goal in any situation becomes inner peace.

Marianne Williamson

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

Carl Gustav Jung

To undertake a genuine spiritual path is not to avoid difficulties but to learn the art of making mistakes wakefully, to bring to them the transformative power of our heart.

Jack Kornfield

True love is no game of the faint-hearted and the weak. It is born of strength and understanding.

Meher Baba

And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.

Helen Keller

You can't do what you want till you know what you're doing.

Moshe Feldenkrais

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The contemplation of truth and beauty is the proper object for which we were created, which calls forth the most intense desires of the soul, and of which it never tires.

William Hazlitt

Consequently: he who wants to have right without wrong, order without disorder, does not understand the principles of heaven and earth. He does not know how things hang together.

Chuang Tzu

Mastery of the world is achieved by letting things take their natural course.

Tao Te Ching

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!

Hamilton Wright Mabie

If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.

Arabian Proverb

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little–do what you can.

Sydney Smith

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall–think of it, ALWAYS.

Mahatma Gandhi

If you cannot be compassionate to yourself, you will not be able to be compassionate to others.

Thich Nhat Hanh

If you keep saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.

Isaac B. Singer

Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.

Jonathan Swift

The more we know, the better we forgive. Those who feel deeply feel for all living beings.

Madame De Stael

Remember that if the opportunities for great deeds should never come, the opportunities for good deeds are renewed day by day. The thing for us to long for is the goodness, not the glory.

F.W. Faber

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.

Anton Chekhov

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

Robert Kennedy

Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

John Muir

What you see in yourself is what you see in the world.

Afghan proverb

The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart–this you will build your life by, and this you will become.

James Allen

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.

Napoleon Hill

When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Abraham Maslow

We are realizing that in an interconnected world, not only are problems interwoven, but the solutions are interconnected as well, which means whatever we do to help ourselves and our world, we must do it together.

David Spangler

If there was already a path it would have to be someone else's; the whole point is to find your own way.

Joseph Campbell

We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone–but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.

Walter Anderson

I began to understand that the promises of the world are for the most part vain phantoms, and that to have faith in oneself and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.


If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.

Ancient Buddhist Saying

By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world. By practicing reverence for life we become good, deep, and alive.

Albert Schweitzer

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labour, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?

George Eliot

©2022 Tom Barrett