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Past Thoughts of the Day from Interlude: An Internet Retreat

12/1/15 to 5/31/16

The spiritual aspirant must swim upstream, against the current of habit, familiarity and ease.

Eknath Easwaran

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.

Washington Irving

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

William Penn

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Bonnie Jean Wasmund

Adapt yourself to the environment in which your lot has been cast, and show true love to the fellow-mortals with whom destiny has surrounded you.

Marcus Aurelius

Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.

James Bryce

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

William Shakespeare

Controversy equalizes fools and wise men and the fools know it.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Once you begin to acknowledge random acts of kindness - both the ones you have received and the ones you have given - you can no longer believe that what you do does not matter.

Dawna Markova

Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.

Henri Frederick Amiel

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

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.

Hermann Hesse

Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the 'why' for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any 'how.'

Victor Frankl

You live longer once you realise that any time spent being unhappy is wasted.

Ruth E. Renkl

In everything the middle course is best: all things in excess bring trouble to men.


Life is what we make it, and the world is what we make it. The eyes of the cheerful and of the melancholy man are fixed upon the same creation; but very different are the aspects which it bears to them.

Albert Pike

Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Mahatma Gandhi

When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they'll remember and be kind to someone else. And it'll become like wildfire.

Whoopi Goldberg

So long as I am acting from duty and conviction, I am indifferent to taunts and jeers. I think they will probably do me more good than harm.

Winstin Churchill

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is not death that man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.

Marcus Aurelius

Should you fail to pilot your own ship, don't be surprised at what inappropriate port you find yourself docked.

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

The best way to do good to ourselves is to do it to others; the right way to gather is to scatter.


Pain is the father, and love is the mother, of wisdom.

Ludwig Borne

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.

William Makepeace Thackeray

Only your compassion and your loving kindness are invincible, and without limit.

Thich Nhat Hanh

If you are searching for permanence in this world, look to the rose in bloom and the changing seasons. The fragrance of one, the reign of the other, are like cloud's breath and then gone.

Sarmad, 17th century Indian poet

Everyone has the power for greatness, not fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.

Vincent Van Gogh

Be kind and honest. If they conflict, opt for kindness.


I have no knowledge of myself as I am, but merely as I appear to myself.

Immanuel Kant

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


It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.

Agnes Repplier

One of the first things to do, is to love everybody ... with love, all things are possible ... and the one who has learned to love all people will find plenty of people who will return that love.

Ernest Holmes

Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

The Dalai Lama

People see the world not as it is, but as they are.

Al Lee

If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.

Jim Rohn

Waste no more time talking about great souls and how they should be. Become one yourself!

Marcus Aurelius

The world is not to be put in order; the world is order, incarnate. It is for us to harmonize with this order.

Henry Miller

The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.

Erich Fromm

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

Otto Rank

Who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.

Marcus Aurelius

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Habits are cobwebs at first; cables at last.

Chinese Proverb

We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.

Marcel Proust

Once gone, a day will never return.
Therefore, one must strive to do good in every moment.
We reach the goal of the great life by good works.

from the Jain scriptures

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Thich Nhat Hanh

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

George Bernard Shaw

The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

Robert Byrne

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart ... Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

Carl Jung

Always say 'yes' to the present moment... Surrender to what is. Say 'yes' to life - and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.

Eckhart Tolle

Throughout the world powerful leaders have wanted to leave monuments to themselves through statues and buildings named after them. Kings and conquerors have even named large cities after themselves. But names can very easily be changed and then nothing is left. The good deeds of a person and his spiritual attainments are the only true everlasting monuments.

Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch

A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.


The heart is the first feature of working minds.

Frank Lloyd Wright

If I were to begin life again, I should want it just as it was; only I would open my eyes a little more.

Jules Renard

Before we can make friends with anyone else, we must first make friends with ourselves.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Excellence is not a destination; it is a continuous journey that never ends.

Brian Tracy

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?

Martin Luther King, Jr.

That which we do not confront in ourselves we will meet as fate.

Carl Jung

Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows. It is only when the mind refuses to flow with life, and gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes a problem.

Manuel Hernandez

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

Willy Wonka

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with the important matters.

Albert Einstein

Do not follow where the path may lead... Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love should be our motivation, but unconditional love should be our desire. Show love, create love and walk in the light, and we will all be guided wisely.

Marion du Feu

On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him; if he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom.


Prayer is like the turning-on of an electric switch. It does not create the current; it simply provides a channel through which the electric current may flow.

Max Handel

Fate is the endless chain of causation, whereby things are; the reason or formula by which the world goes on.


Desire blinds us, like the pickpocket who sees only the saint's pockets.

Jack Kornfield

Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the fletcher whittles and makes straight his arrows, so the master directs his straying thoughts.


Scared is what you're feeling. Brave is what you're doing.

Emma Donoghue, Room

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

Rosa Parks

Peace between countries must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals.

Mahatam Gandhi

Before you speak, ask yourself: is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?

Shirdi Sai Baba

The diversity in the family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.

From the Baha'i scriptures

I have begun to think of life as a series of ripples widening out from an original center.

Seamus Heaney

When a sparrow sips in the river, the water doesn't recede. Giving charity does not deplete wealth.

Punjabi proverb

One of the greatest moments in anybody's developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is.

Norman Vincent Peale

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

Albert Einstein

Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you be able to hear the deeper vibration. Listen carefully.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.

Abraham Lincoln

As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life. But life has no meaning; it cannot have meaning because meaning is a formula; meaning is something that makes sense to the mind. Every time you make sense out of reality, you bump into something that destroys the sense you made. Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.

Anthony de Mello

Always meet petulance with gentleness, and perverseness with kindness. A gentle hand can lead even an elephant by a hair. Reply to thine enemy with gentleness. Opposition to peace is sin.


What we are looking for is what is looking.

St. Francis of Assisi

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.

Kurt Vonnegut

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.


A finger points at the moon, but the moon is not at the tip of the finger. Words point at the truth, but the truth is not in words. To seek illumination through words is to get lost in the web of words and not see the truth.


Matter is less material and the mind less spiritual than is generally supposed. The habitual separation of physics and psychology, mind and matter is metaphysically indefensible.

Bertrand Russell

Having failed to distinguish thoughts from things, we then fail to distinguish words from thoughts. We think that if we can label a thing we have understood it.

Maha Sthavira Sangharakshita

It takes a real storm in the average person's life to make him realize how much worrying he has done over the squalls.

Bruce Barton

The world gives itself to us. It gives itself freely to us, if we just allow it. It showers us with gifts.

David Steindl-Rast

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

Bertrand Russell

People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.

Andy Rooney

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up.

Anne Lamott

At any given moment, life is completely senseless. But viewed over a period, it seems to reveal itself as an organism existing in time, having a purpose, trending in a certain direction.

Aldous Huxley

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.

Vaclav Havel

When I have a toothache, I discover that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing. That is peace.

Thich Nhat Hanh

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

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.

Joseph Chilton Pearce

You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.

Ethel Barrymore

In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.

Robert Ingersoll

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Helen Keller

The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

Charles DuBois

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Bruce Lee

Truly loving another means letting go of all expectations. It means full acceptance, even celebration of another's personhood.

Love is the mortar that holds the human structure together.

Karen Casey

Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Only when you awaken do you realize you were dreaming.

John Wareham

Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.


All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible.

George Santayana

The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully have been Kindness, Beauty and Truth.

Albert Einstein

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.

Thomas Merton

Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.


Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

William James

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.


True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire.

Cesar Chavez

If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.

Dan Millman from The Way of the Peaceful Warrior

You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.

Richard Branson

A brave man is a man who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is a Devil.

James A. Garfield

Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.

Baltasar Gracian

The most complete revenge is not to imitate the aggressor.

Marcus Aurelius

Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment.

Mohandas Gandhi

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over the self.


Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.

James Barrie

To be "viable," livable, or merely practical, life must be lived as a game--and the "must" here expresses a condition, not a commandment. It must be lived in the spirit of play rather than work.

Alan Watts

People only see what they are prepared to see.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.

William James

All rising to great place is by a winding stair.

Francis Bacon

Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.

William James

Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

Dr. Seuss

The secret of forming a successful relationship is for both parties to win.

John Gray

To develop understanding, you have to practice looking at all living beings with the eyes of compassion. When you understand, you love. And when you love, you naturally act in a way that can relieve the suffering of people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.

Coretta Scott King

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

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others

Mahatma Gandhi

Sacred refers to that which helps take us out of our little selves into the whole mountains-and-rivers mandala universe.

Gary Snyder

I often compare the mind in meditation to a jar of muddy water: The more we leave the water without interfering or stirring it, the more the particles of dirt will sink to the bottom, letting the natural clarity of the water shine through.

Sogyal Rinpoche

Love is eternal--the aspect may change, but not the makes one calmer about many things, and that way, one is more fit for one's work.

Vincent Van Gogh

The wise man does not lay up his treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.


When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as though they were his own, he or she has attained the highest spiritual union.

Bhagavad Gita

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Thich Nhat Hanh

The highest wisdom is kindness.


Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.

George Eliot

Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.

Alfred A. Montapert

We must all live so that our children do not have to pay for our deeds.

Andrejs Upits

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

Mahatma Gandhi

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Marcus Aurelius

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Valor grows by daring, fear by holding back.

Publilius Syrus

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Bertrand Russell

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

Louis L’Amour

When you stand outside my thatched hut, could you guess how spacious it is inside? There is a galaxy of worlds in here. And space for as much love as I can find.

Ishikawa Jozan

When a deep injury is done us, we can never recover until we forgive.

Alan Paton

An alive, aware citizenry will not lessen the need for leaders; it will ensure better leadership. Good constituents produce good leaders.

John Gardner

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

The return makes one love the farewell.

Alfred de Musset

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world's busy life and become more interested in people than in things.

Thomas S. Monson

It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.

Mother Teresa

We lift ourselves by our thought, we climb upon our vision of ourselves. If you want to enlarge your life, you must first enlarge your thought of it and of yourself. Hold the ideal of yourself as you long to be, always, everywhere - your ideal of what you long to attain - the ideal of health, efficiency, success.

Orison Swett Marden

A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Three candles dispel the darkness: truth, knowledge, and the ways of nature.

Chinese proverb

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.

Deepak Chopra

The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.

William Penn

If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Evil (ignorance) is like a shadow-it has no real substance of its own, it is simply a lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, stomp on it, by railing against it, or any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it.

Shakti Gawain

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

The Dalai Lama

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Meditation is not a technique of practice but a universal state of Being, where the Soul abides in the Ocean of the Now.

Aziz Kristof

Accustomed long to contemplating Love and Compassion, I have forgotten all difference between myself and others.


The great man is one who never loses his child's heart.


It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good.

Margaret Mead

Hold fast to time! Use it! Be conscious of each day, each hour! They slip away unnoticed all too easily and swiftly.

Thomas Mann

Mindfulness refers to keeping one's consciousness alive to the present reality. It is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves.

Thich Nhat Hanh

I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without you and be happy.

Anne Frank

The meaning of life is not to be found in a distant world of abstraction, but in paying attention to everyday happenings and details in one's life. One's perception has to be in the field of living. In contemplating where the truth may be found, it just might be right before you.

Yuezhou Quianfeng

When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.

Helen Keller

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

William James


©2015-2016 Tom Barrett