Inspirational Quotations

 I have been collecting quotations for years...
Here are some of my favorites, very loosely arranged in approximate chronological order : )

The Bible
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven..... ~Ecclesiastes 3:1
Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened to you. ~Matthew 7:7-9

The Qur'an
Believers, Jews, Sabaeans or Christians - whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right - shall have nothing to fear or regret.

And mankind is naught but a single nation.

Lao Tzu
He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

A journey of a thousand leagues must begin with a single step.

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them -- that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Even when walking in a party of no more than three I can always be certain of learning from those I am with. There will be good qualities that I can select for imitation and bad ones that will teach me what requires correction in myself.

Only the supremely wise and the ignorant do not alter.

Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life.

Sun Tzu
It does not take sharp eyes to see the sun and the moon, nor does it take sharp ears to hear the thunderclap. Wisdom is not obvious. You must see the subtle and notice the hidden to be victorious.

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

Learn to wish that everything should come to pass exactly as it does.

The Buddha
There is only one moment in time when it is essential to awaken. That moment is now.

Cultivate compassion for those who are suffering, joy for those who have happiness, and a feeling of equanimity towards all beings.

To understand everything is to forgive everything.

When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.

The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.

Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Cato the Elder
Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

Katha Upanishad
When all the knots which strangle the heart are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal.

The Talmud
A quotation at the right moment is like bread to the famished.

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow.'”

The end result of wisdom is... good deeds.

Loving kindness is greater than laws; and the charities of life are more than all ceremonies.

The highest form of wisdom is kindness.

To live in harmony with himself a man must labor to untie the knots which bind his soul, and this is a personal matter between man and himself; then he must seek through contemplation an understanding of the Name of God which is the timeless relationship between man and God. ~attributed to Rabbi Abulafia, Kabbalah Master b. 1240 CE, by James Michener in The Source

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
There is no reality but God.

Only from the heart can you touch the sky.

I died a mineral, and became a plant. I died a plant and rose an animal. I died an animal and I was man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.

Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.

Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of moon.

Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl.

Close both eyes to see with the other eye.

I was a tiny bug. Now a mountain. I was left behind. Now honored at the head. You healed my wounded hunger and anger, and made me a poet who sings about joy.

No mirror ever became iron again; No bread ever became wheat; No ripened grape ever became sour fruit. Mature yourself and be secure from a change for the worse.

Become the light.

Thirst drove me down to the water where I drank the moon's reflection.

Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more - more unseen forms become manifest to him.

We rarely hear the inward music, but we're all dancing to it nevertheless.

Zen Proverbs and Stories
After ecstasy, the laundry.

They came to a stream. There stood a girl unable to cross for fear of ruining her dress. The first monk picked her up and carried her across. The monks continued their journey in silence. After a few hours the second monk turned and asked, "How could you pick her up when we have made vows not to even look at a woman?" The first monk replied, "I left her back at the stream but you seem to be still carrying her."

How can we ever lose interest in life?
Spring has come again
And cherry trees bloom in the mountains.

Move and the way will open.

Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your opinions.

If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

The obstacle is the path.

To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master.

Knock on the sky and listen to the sound.

Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

William Shakespeare, proud man
Drest in a little brief authority....
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep. - Measure for Measure

Baal Shem Tov
Alas! The world is full of enormous lights and mysteries, and man shuts them from himself with one small hand!

Matsuo Bashō
The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.

Mizuta Masahide
My barn having burned to the ground, I can now see the moon.

While I walk on
the moon keeps pace beside me:
friend in the water.

William Blake
For everything that lives is holy. Life delights in life.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is working within limits that the craftsman reveals himself.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
With stammering lips and insufficient sounds, I strive and struggle to deliver right the music of my nature....

Henry David Thoreau
It is not that we love to be alone, but that we love to soar, and when we do soar, the company grows thinner & thinner till there is none at all…. We are not the less to aim at the summits, though the multitude does not ascend them.

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson
The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me and I to them.

Rev. Dr. Samuel Reynolds Hole
He who would have beautiful roses in his garden must first have beautiful roses in his heart.

William James
Man alone is the architect of his destiny. The greatest revolution in our generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the other aspects of their lives.

John Burroughs
How beautifully the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.

Marcel Proust
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Rainer Maria Rilke
If I don’t manage to fly, someone else will. Spirit wants only that there be flying.

For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

Kahlil Gibran
I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.

Attributed to Peter Pan by Sir James Barrie
If you can't teach me to fly, teach me to sing.

Rabindranath Tagore
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door - or I'll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.

Mahatma Gandhi

Action expresses priorities.

Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.

We must become the change we want to see.

What do I think of Western civilisation? I think it would be a very good idea.

God has no religion.

When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.

Andre Gide
Seize from every moment its unique novelty and do not prepare your joys.

Paramahansa Yogananda
Change yourself and you have done your part in changing the world.

The beauty of the sky and of all Nature makes a proper altar for the worship of the Infinite.

Albert Einstein
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

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

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

Isak Dinesen
The cure for anything is salt water-- sweat, tears, or the sea.

W.E.B DuBois
Believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.

Coco Chanel
If you were born without wings, no nothing to prevent their growth.

Anaïs Nin
The enemy of love is never outside… it’s what we lack in ourselves.

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Mary Pickford
If you have made mistakes... there is always another chance for you... you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.

Calvin Coolidge
"Press On"
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Henry Miller
The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.

William Arthur Ward
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

Viktor Frankl
What is to give light must endure burning...

The salvation of man is through love and in love.

Mother Teresa
We can do no great things- only small things with great love.

Marilyn Ferguson
Uncertainty is the necessary companion of all explorers.

John A. Shedd
A ship is safe in harbor- but that’s not what ships are for.

Doris Lessing (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2007)
We are all creatures of the stars and their forces, they make us, we make them, we are part of a dance from which we by no means and not ever may consider ourselves separate.

...two [partners] would chose each other, because they were complementary,
and this was judged always by how they stood in relation to stars,
planets, the dance of the heavens, the forces of the earth,
the moon, our sun... being together was a sacrament,
in the sense that everything contributed to the harmony...
through them flowed the lives of stars,
and through them flowed the substance of the earth to the stars....

Maya Angelou
My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama
... we can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion.... This, then is my true religion, my simple faith. In this sense, there is no need for temple or church, for mosque or synagogue, no need for complicated philosophy, doctrine or dogma. Our own heart, own mind, is the temple. The doctrine is compassion. Love for others and respect for their rights and dignity, no matter who or what they are: ultimately these are all we need. So long as we practice these in our daily lives, then no matter if we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in Buddha or God, or follow some other religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.

When I see beings of wicked nature, oppressed by violent misdeeds and afflictions, may I hold them dear as if I had found a rare and precious treasure.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.

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

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

In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Ely Fuller
If you enter into healing, be prepared to lose everything. Healing is a ravaging force to which nothing seems sacred or inviolate. As my original pain releases itself in healing, it rips to shreds the structures and foundations I built in weakness and ignorance. Ironically and unjustly, only I can pay the price of having lived a lie. I am experiencing the bizarre miracle of reincarnating, more lucidly than at birth, in the same lifetime.

Gary Zukav
If you choose unconsciously, you evolve unconsciously. If you choose consciously, you evolve consciously.

A conscious lifetime… is a treasure beyond value.

The illusion holds power over you when you are not able to remember that you are a powerful spirit that has taken on the physical experience for the purpose of learning.

The Universe backs the part of you that is of clearest intention.

The place to begin the task of eliminating evil is within yourself.

What is behind your eyes holds more power than what is in front of them.

Knowledge is power, and for each level of knowledge, you are held responsible for how you use it.

With each choice that you make to align yourself with the energy of your soul, you empower yourself. Authentic power is built up step by step, choice by choice. It cannot be meditated or prayed into being. It must be earned.

Prayer is moving into a personal relationship with Divine Intelligence.

Humble spirits are free to love and to be who they are. They have no artificial standards to live up to.

Choice is the engine of our evolution.

Attributed to Don Juan Matus by Carlos Casteneda 
To be angry at people means that one considers their acts to be important. It is imperative to cease to feel that way. The acts of men cannot be important enough to offset our only viable alternative: our unchangeable encounter with infinity.

Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy and vain. To be a warrior one needs to be light and fluid.

Everybody has enough personal power for something. The trick for the warrior is to pull his personal power away from his weaknesses to his warrior’s purpose.

Self-importance is man’s greatest enemy. What weakens him is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of his fellow men. Self-importance requires that one spend most of one’s life offended by something or someone.

Shamans have unmasked self-importance and found that it is self-pity masquerading as something else.

Carol Pearson, PhD
Maturity comes with that curious mixture of taking responsibility for one’s prior choices while being as imaginative as possible in finding ways to continue one’s journey.

Heroism is…. Not only moving mountains but knowing mountains; being fully oneself and seeing, without denial, what is, and being open to learning the lessons life offers us.

When people have integrated most of their Shadows, they spend less energy repressing and denying their internal reality..... They spend less time fighting external battles because they don't so often project their Shadows onto others.

Attribute to peaceful warrior Socrates, by Dan Millman
Know yourself; prepare yourself; develop the clarity, the courage, and the sensitivity to exert the right leverage, in the right place, at the right time. Then act.

Daily Word
I no longer try to change outer things. They are simply a reflection. I change my inner perception and the outer reveals the beauty so long obscured by my own attitude. I concentrate on my inner vision and find my outer view transformed. I find myself attuned to the grandeur of life and in unison with the perfect order of the universe.

Adam Smith
In terms of a learning process, unless a mistake is fatal, it isn’t fatal.

Richard Wolkomir
The possibility for evil requires no more than ignorance of another's pain.

Sylvia Boorstein 
Just don’t do something, sit there.

Robert Hand
Wisdom (is) knowing what is true for oneself and the world and operating so as to give everything its due and no more. The wise are not constantly overwhelmed by inner signals urging them to actions that are inappropriate as judged by the results.

Joseph Campbell
Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a God; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had though to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

Florence Griffith Joyner
You never fail until you stop trying.

Billy Joel
Out of respect for the things that I was never destined to do, I have learned that my strengths are a result of my weaknesses, my success is due to my failures, and my style is directly related to my limitations.

Ganga White
What If?
What if religion was each other?
If our practice was our life?
If prayer was our words?
What if the Temple was the Earth?
If forests were our church?
If holy water—the rivers, lakes and oceans?
What if meditation was our relationships?
If the Teacher was life?
If wisdom was self-knowledge?
If love was the center of our being?
What if God was oneself, and all?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.

Attributed to Gildor Inglorien by J.R.R. Tolkien
Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill.

Unknown Authors
The only way out is in.......

If God had forgotten the rocks, how would the brook ever sing?

Joy is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.

Indeed we are running away all the time to avoid coming face to face with our real selves.

Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.