edited by Peter Holleran
"Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return." - Franz Kafka
Patience and perseverance have always been considered primary virtues for those on the paths of devotion and self-knowledge. For our benefit many of the wise have spoken volumes on these qualities. We are indeed fortunate to be able to resort to their helpful words.
René A. Schwaller de Lubicz
”But first the disciple must pass through the complexity in order to exhaust the various possibilities until the awakening of the consciousness which leads toward simplicity: would he be able to bear the intermediate phase between his dream and reality."
Tsou-hsin to his master Houei-nan, after having satori:
"If the truth of Zen is what I now possess, why do you make us swallow all those old tales and exhaust us in efforts to find out the meaning of them?"
The master said:
"If I did not make you fight in every possible way in order to find the meaning and lead you to a state of non-fighting and no-effort from which you can see with your own eyes, I am sure you would lose every chance of discovering yourself."
Leon Baptiste Alberti
“No art, however minor, demands less than total dedication if you want to excel in it.”
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with great talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
"Whoever strives with all his power, we are allowed to save," saith the Angels.
"Whoever strives with all his power, we are allowed to save," saith the Angels.
"Remember you come here having already understood the necessity of struggling with yourself—only with yourself. Therefore thank everyone who gives you the opportunity."
"One of the best means for arousing the wish to work on yourself is to realize that you may die at any moment. But first you must learn how to keep it in mind."
H.H. the XIVth Dalai Lama
“Never give up. No matter what is going on. Never give up. Develop the heart. Too much energy in your country is spent developing the mind instead of the heart. Be compassionate. Not just to your friends but to everyone. Be compassionate. Work for peace in your heart and the world. Work for peace and I say again, never give up. No matter what is happening. No matter what is going on around you. Never give up.”
"Compassion is the real essence of religion..I myself feel and also tell other Buddhists that the question of nirvana will come later. There is not much hurry. But if in day to day life you lead a good life, honestly with love, with compassion, with little selfishness: then automatically it will lead to nirvana."
(from Kindness, Clarity, and Light)
"The spiritual path is twenty-five percent the disciple's effort, twenty-five percent the guru's effort on his behalf, and fifty percent the grace of God. Don't forget...that the twenty-five percent that is your part represents one hundred percent of your own effort and sincerity."
"The desires on incarnations keep one endlessly wandering. Once, however, a sincere longing for God awakens in the heart, liberation is already assured, even though the process takes more incarnations. For that longing for God, too, is a desire, and must be fulfilled eventually."
(from The Essence of Self-Realization, p. 94)
“You don’t lose unless you quit. As long as you’re in there fighting, you’re not losing. But if you quit, you lose!...The point here is very simple: As long as you do not admit you’re defeated, even if you are losing, that’s what counts, that you don’t admit defeat....It’s not pride; it’s endurance. No matter how many times you get knocked down to the canvas - and you will get knocked down enough times - you keep getting up. Even if you take a count of nine, get up. Don’t quit.”
"If you spend your whole life trying to become a sage, you're not going to be reborn as a bum."
“When the time comes, if you haven’t done the work you won’t know it. But if you have done that work, and there comes a moment where the situation arises where you have to surrender the ego, that makes it possible for you to give up the ego - or at least recognize that this is what’s being called for. But you have to do the work first. You’re not going to give up the ego just like that..But an occasion may arise, when the possibility of surrendering the ego will take place: in meditation, some crisis, or something. And if you haven’t struggled all the time with it, you certainly will not at that time attempt to surrender it...you're not going to get rid of your ego until you have sufficiently developed it, purified it, and brought it under the higher discipline, the higher philosophy...Actually, you don't get rid of it, you have to transform it...the ego has to be evolved, matured. It won't be capable of that sacrifice until it does reach that maturity..[Is it possible that true surrender takes place without your really knowing it?] Don't worry, you'll know it. It will be the most agonizing thing you've ever gone through....The ego will not destroy itself. Even if you're in the process of going through certain spiritual disciplines which are attempting to reduce the ego's strength, the ego will resist....[But] you reach a certain level or a certain stage of contemplative exercise and it's taken out of your hands. It's the King within that starts guiding the whole process, the individual ego would never be able to do that. That Grace takes over and directs, and of course you'll be aware of that intuitively, that it's doing it.”
(from Standing In Your Own Way)
"That's one side of the equation--persistence. The one you have control over. The other side is grace. A person on the path has help. Once a person makes a commitment to the Truth--I mean truly demonstrates a sincere desire to find his Real Self at all cost--then this commitment will attract assistance and protection. Opportunities arise. Blocks are removed. Decisions may even be made for you."
My thoughts were incoherent and confused but I couldn’t stop asking questions. "But who...? What makes these decisions? I mean, where does this help...?"
"I won't presume to name it. All I’m saying is that there are levels of intelligence that help other levels of intelligence. There is an interpenetration of dimensions. But you can't count on this help or get too secure in the knowledge that it's there. Just when you think you need it most, it will desert you and leave you to suffer the ‘dark night of the soul,’ as John of the Cross calls it. Because despair is necessary. Despair is part of the final formula for cracking the head. You have to maintain a state of between-ness the whole time. Because no matter how hard you push, in actuality, you can't change your being. You're being is changed for you.”
(from After the Absolute)
“This whittling away of the ego may occupy the entire lifetime and not seem very successful even then, yet it is of the highest value as a preparatory process for the full renunciation of the ego when - by Grace - it suddenly rises up in the heart.”
"He must not give up. ..Although he may really fail a thousand times, it may be that he is destined to succeed the thousand-and-first time. So he must try, because he never knows which of his efforts is going to be a successful one; and if he persists, there will come a time when this effort will and must succeed. It is as though the gods like to play with him for a while to try his patience and endurance, just to see how keenly he wants this attainment. if he gives up at the first few hindrances or rebuffs, it means that he is not so keen after all; but if he can endure and keep on, and keep on, and still keep on, no matter what happens, well, the gods say, here is someone who really wants truth, so we must give it to him. That is the attitude which he must develop. It doesn't matter how troubled he is personally or how dark circumstances are: they will change because they must change..."
"After the optimists have had their say and the Advaitins have preached, the hard fact will be echoed back by experience: The goal is set so far, his powers so limited, that he has to call on the quality of patience and make it his own."
"Despite the high idealistic talk of oneness, brotherhood and egolessness, each of us is still an individual, still has to dwell in a body of his own, to use a mind of his own and experience feelings of his own. To forget this is to practise self-deception. Each will come to God in the end but he will come as a purified, transformed and utterly changed person, lived in and used by God as he himself will live in and be conscious of the presence of God."
“He cannot bring this enlightenment into being - much less permanent being - by his own will power. It can only come to him. But although striving for it may probably end in failure, the masses’ indifference to it is worse. For whereas he will at least be open to recognize and accept it when it does come, their doors of perception will be shut to it, or, bewildered and frightened, they will run away from it.”
“If a man has conscientiously followed this fourfold path, if he has practised mystical meditation and metaphysical reflection, purification of character and unselfish service, and yet seems to be remote from the goal, what is he to do? He has then to follow the admonition of Jesus: "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you." He has literally to ask for Grace out of the deep anguish of his heart. We are all poor. He is indeed discerning who realizes this and becomes a beggar, imploring of God for Grace.”
“Before [the higher self] sheds the sunshine of grace upon his way, it will test his perseverence in this effort and try his faith to a point of anguish which at times seems beyond endurance...If always he returns to the right path in a humble, chastened and repentant mood, he will be given the needful help to redeem his past and safeguard his future....But it comes to this in the end - that all lesser loves have necessarily to be thrust out of the heart to make room for the supreme love which it inexorably demands of him. There is little virtue in surrendering what means nothing to him, only in surrendering what means everything to him. Consequently the test will touch his heart at the tenderest points.”
"Perhaps the most wonderful thing which the illuminate discovers is that his independence from the infinite life power never really existed and was only illusory, that his separation from the Overself was only an idea of the imagination and not a fact of being. Even the desire to unite with the Overself was only a dream, and consequently all lesser desires of the ego were merely dreams within a dream...That initial realization has henceforth to be established and made his own under all kinds of diverse conditions and in all kinds of places. Hence his life may be broken up for years by a wide range of vicissitudes, pains, pleasures, tests, temptations, and tribulations."
"It is easier to glimpse the truth than to stay in it. For the first, it is often enough to win a single battle; for the second, it is necessary to win a whole war."
“If he fails but persists despite the failures, one day he will find himself suddenly possessed of the power to win, the power to achieve what had hitherto seemed impossible for his limited ability. This gift - for it is nothing else - is grace.”
"There is no steady, smooth progression to the goal. It is not an easy path. He walks, and there is no possibility of moving towards the goal without meeting with hindrances and rebuffs. And he has to learn to be patient and to be tolerant with himself, not to withdraw because he meets with those rebuffs or because he becomes dissatisfied with himself. He must not give up. He can wait, and then he can continue, and even if he fails, still he can say he will try again. Although he may really fail a thousand times, it may be that he is destined to succeed the thousand-and-first time. So he must try, because he never knows which of his efforts is going to be a successful one; and if he persists, there will come a time when this effort will and must succeed. It is as though the gods like to play with him for a while to try his patience and endurance, just to see how keenly he wants this attainment. If he gives up after the first few hindrances or rebuffs, it means that he is not so very keen after all; but if he can endure and keep on, and keep on, and still keep on, no matter what happens, well then, the gods say, here is someone who really wants truth, so we must give it to him. That is the attitude which he must develop. It doesn't matter how troubled he is personally or how dark circumstances are: they will change because they must change. The wheel of destiny is turning all the time."
“When he has worked and worked upon himself as well as he is able, but comes in the end to acknowledge that success in getting rid of his weaknesses is beyond his power, he is ready to realize his need for Grace. And if it comes - for which such realization is essential - he will discover that final success is easy and, sometimes, even instantaneous with Grace.”
“We are all children of God: there are no special favorites. Grace can come to all who seek it, but they must first make themselves ready to receive it. If they thirst, hunger, and seek with their whole heart and body, and if in addition they make the gestures of penance, self-denial, and purification both to prove their sincerity and to help achieve readiness, it is inconceivable that the grace will not come to them in the end.”
“Indeed the hour may come when, purified from the ego’s partiality, he will kiss the cross that brought him such agony and when, healed of his blindness, he will see that it was a gift from loving hands, not a curse from evil lips. He will see too that in his former insistence on clinging to a lower standpoint, there was no other way of arousing him to the need and value of a higher one than the way of unloosed suffering. But at last the wound has healed perfectly leaving him, as a scar of remembrance, greatly increased wisdom.”
“The Overself’s grace will secretly be active within and without him long before it shows itself openly to him.”
“Lift up your eyes from the ground to the sun of a justified hope. We have it on the authority of Jesus that there is mercy or forgiveness for the worst of sinners if they set about obtaining it in the right way. And as you do not come anywhere near that category, surely there is some hope and some help for you too.”
“He needs to hold the sacred conviction that so long as he continues to cherish the Ideal his higher self will not abandon him.”
“The ability to hold on during a single dark period, when the frustrations and humiliations of poverty seem unbearable, may turn the fortunes of one’s entire life for the better.”
"The psychological laws governing the inner development of spiritual seekers often seem to operate in most mysterious ways. The very power whose presence he may think has been denied him - Grace - is taking care of him even when he is not conscious of this fact. The more the anguish, at such a time, the more the Higher Self is squeezing the ego. The more he seems to be alone and forsaken, the closer the Higher Self may be drawing him to Itself."
"The Overself's grace will be secretly active within and without him long before it shows itself openly to him...The grace may be barely felt, may come on slowly for many months, so that when he does become aware of its activity, the final stage is all he sees and knows."
"He may be disappointed because he is not more consciously aware of being helped. The forms which spiritual help takes may not always be easily recognizable because they may not conform to his wishes and expectations. Moreover, the kind of help given in this manner may require a period of time to elapse between its entry on the subconscious level and its manifestation on the conscious level. This period varies in actual experience with different individuals, from a few days to a number of years. Its exact duration is unpredictable because it is individual in each case. God alone knows what it is, but its final eruption is sure."
"It is the making the man ready, the preparation of his mind and heart which take so much time, so many years even in many cases; but the enlightenment itself is a single short happening: the effect remains permanently."
“You are in the Overself’s hands even now and if the fundamental aspiration is present, your development will go on without your having to be anxious about it. Let the burden go. Do not become a victim of too much suggestion got from reading too much spiritual literature creating an artificial conception of enlightenment.”
“..the Overself is with him here and now. It has never left him at any time. It sits everlastingly in the heart. It is indeed his innermost being, his true self. Were it something different and apart from him, were it a thing to be gained and added to what he already is or has, he would stand the risk of losing it again. For whatever may be added to him may also be subtracted from him. Therefore, the real task of this quest is less to seek anxiously to possess it than to become aware that it already and always possesses him.”
"There is however an unpredictable element in the pattern of human life, which increases rather than decreases as the quality of that life rises above the average. We see it markedly in the case of a maturing aspirant who has to undergo tests and endure ordeals which have no karmic origin but which are put across his path by his own higher self for the purpose of a swifter forward movement. They are intended to promote and not delay his growth, to accelerate and not impede his development. But they will achieve this purpose only if he recognizes their true aim. Such recognition is impossible if he persists in clinging to the lower ego's standpoint or if, sensing the unearned character of his suffering, he treats them with resentment rather than with comprehension, with bitterness rather than with resignation. Thus human life is not wholly confined within the rigid bounds of karmic law. The Overself, which is after all its real essence, is free. He who has entered his name in this high enterprise of the quest, must be prepared to trust his whole existence into its sacred hands, must be ready to accept and eager to understand the tribulations and afflictions which its deeper wisdom may see fit to impose upon him."
"If there is any law connected with grace, it is that as we give love to the Overself so do we get grace from it. But that love must be so intense, so great, that we willingly sacrifice time and thought to it in a measure which shows how much it means to us. In short, we must give more in order to receive more. And love is the best thing we can give."
"The intuition cannot be completely cultivated in a few weeks, the passions cannot be overcome successfully in a few months, the thoughts cannot be brought to a standstill finally in a few years, the ego's deeply rooted point of view cannot be changed permanently in many years. the disciple's growth needs time and therefore needs patience. if he cannot shake the old Adam forever out of his mind and heart as quickly as he would like to, there will be other births in which he can take up the work again and continue it."
"The path is tremendously difficult and the Gita reminds us that few succeed in finishing it successfully. It is enough to know that we have found it and that we are making valiant efforts to overcome the adverse influences which surround mankind and seem so determined to keep us from the goal. However, philosophy teaches that every sincere seeker finds a certain compensation - in a beautiful and ethereal world after death - for the failures, disappointments, and miseries which make up so much of the stuff of the human story."
“He is happy even though he has no blessed consciousness of the Overself, no transcendental knowledge of it, but only secondhand news about it. Why, then, is he happy? Because he knows that he has found the way to both consciousness and knowledge. He is content to wait, working nevertheless as he waits; for if he remains faithful to the quest, what other result can there be than the attainment? Even if he has to wait fifty years or fifty lifetimes, he will and must gain it.”
(from The Notebooks of Paul Brunton   and   Essays on the Quest)
"For myriad of ages, measureless, uncounted,
Your body has been cut, impaled,
Burned, flayed - for times past numbering!
Yet none of this has brought you buddhahood.
The hardships suffered on the path to buddhahood
Are different, for their span is limited,
And likened to the pain of an incision
Made to cure the harm of hidden ailments."
(from The Way of the Bodhisattva, or the Bodhicharyavatara)
"Don't be disappointed if you can't apply patience right away. Even after years of practice, you may find that you're still losing your temper. It's all right. But you will also notice that the power of anger has weakened, that it doesn't last as long, and does not as easily turn into hatred.
Looking back and evaluating is important. Your own achievement is one of your best inspirations. When you realize you have achieved something, it is one of your most reliable sources of strength."
(from Good Life, Good Death
Coach John Wooden
"I am not what I ought to be, not what I want to be, not what I am going to be, but I am thankful that I am better than I used to be. It's important to keep trying to do what you think is right no matter how hard it is or how often you fail. You never stop trying."
(from Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations On and Off the Court
"A good beginning is the best guarantee of perseverance. It is very much easier to continue in the same way than to change it."
"It is but just that we should wait God's time, since we have kept Him waiting so long, and the great graces we ask of Him deserve to be desired and waited for with patience and perseverance."
"Do not trouble yourself about your troubles; do not be uneasy about your uneasiness; do not be discouraged because you are discouraged."
"When, in spite of yourself, you feel irritated, bear this trouble patiently, and when you feel impatient, then it is the time to make greater effort to have patience to endure this impatience, and to resign yourself to the want of resignation."
"You say that God often deprives you of the feeling of being in a state of grace. To whom among His dearest friends has he given continually this sensible support? Do you aspire by any chance to be so highly privileged than so many saints whom he has deprived of it for a much longer time than you? What had they to depend upon then save only the light of faith, and of a faith the same as ours which seems like darkness? And amidst the darkness of their temptations and the tumult of their passions they knew no more than we do whether God was satisfied with them. Faith teaches us that, unless by particular revelation, the saints themselves were not able to be perfectly certain about it; and you complain because you do not possess this certainty. See how far this unhappy self-love goes. To satisfy it God would have to work miracles...It is we, ourselves, who compel God to overwhelm us with our miseries to make us humble and to increase our self-contempt. If, inspite of this, we have so little humility and so much self-esteem, what would it be if we found ourselves free from these trials?"
(from Spiritual Counsels)
"It is hard to convince us of the goodness of God in loading those whom he loves with crosses. "Why," we say, "should he take pleasure in causing us to suffer? Could he not make us good without making us miserable?" Yes, doubtless he could, for all things are possible with God. In his all-powerful hands he holds our hearts, and he turns them as he will, as the skill of the workman can give directions to the stream at the summit of a hill. But able as he may be to save us without crosses, he has not chosen to do so, just as he has not seen fit to create people at once in the full vigor of adulthood, but has allowed them to grow up by degrees amid all the dangers and weaknesses of childhood and youth. In this he is the Master: we have only to adore in silence the depths of his wisdom without understanding it...In this process of detaching us from our self-life and in destroying our self-love, it would take a powerful miracle to keep the work of grace from being painful. Neither in his gracious nor in his providential dealings does God work a miracle lightly. It would be as great a wonder to see a person full of self become in an instant dead to all self-interest and all sensitiveness, as it would be to see a slumbering infant wake up in the morning a fully developed adult."
"God renders the working of grace slow and obscure, then, so that he may keep us in the darkness of faith...All [his] dealing appears perfectly natural, and it is by this succession of natural means that we are burned as by a slow fire. We would like to be consumed at once by the flames of pure love, but such an end would scarcely cost us anything. It is only an excessive self-love that desires to become perfect in a moment and at so cheap a rate."
(from The Complete Fenelon)
"Once we come to a Master, where is the question of losing faith? Remember he has taken a vow never to leave or forsake us until he has taken us to our eternal Home. But we should also realize that we must go through the stage when we feel abandoned, when we feel that the Master has deserted us. This is one of the features of the path of mystic love. We must go through this stage without a grumble on our lips, for this stage is in reality a gift from the Master himself to help us grow. Ultimately, it is for our benefit, for our own salvation. There is a divine purpose behind everything the Master does. We may have to spend a lifetime of tears to get his love. We cannot demand the gift supreme from our beloved. The gift descends at the appointed hour...This is a path on which we have to leave behind all impatience and impetuosity and wait for the divine will to have its way in the realization of our dreams, in the realization of the supreme objective of our life. This is a path on which we have to surrender our will to the supreme will of God. We also have to realize that with all our creative powers, all our hard work, all our consistency, all our persistence, we are still not worthy of attracting the grace of God, of catching the eye of a saint who is Word-made-flesh. With all our attainments we not only fall short of the requirements, but we are very much below the minimum standards which a Master sets for traversing the path of spirituality."
[One is reminded of Ramana Maharshi saying that it is entirely possible that not one person exists on earth who satisfies all the qualifications for discipleship as given in the scriptures.]
"In order to make something of great value and beauty of the lovers, the Beloved sometimes shakes up the hearts. Not all the lovers can withstand it. Many hearts become crushed and broken in this process. But those who are able to submit to the Beloved's shake-up, and who surrender to it, are not broken - instead they come out whole and give forth the sweetest taste. Such lovers who have surrendered to the Beloved's treatment, be it gentle or vigorous, are the most fortunate."
(from Spiritual Awakening by Darshan Singh)
Robert Adams (direct disciple of Ramana Maharshi)
"Never be discouraged. Always return to Love, Compassion and Humility. In this way you will be protected. Always be involved in alleviating the suffering of others, asking nothing for yourself. Do good deed anonymously. Daily. This is your True Nature. "
"If you are angry, egotistical, debating all the time, you will attract teachers and environments of this consciousness. If your heart is pure, you will attract pure hearted teachings and people in your life."
"Keep Unswervingly Devoted to Good. Here You Will Find Your True Self."
“The Universe lies waiting in sweet repose for you to remember who you are.”
You want the results of the saints and sages, but they did their homework. If you seek self aggrandizement and acknowledgement by others, you will become very unhappy. For this is not your True Nature. Live correctly, do daily practices, spread sunshine and love to others, and these things will awaken Grace and Forgiveness in your life. This will make it easier to experience your True Self. This will become a beautiful reality for you. Live in Brotherhood with all, and live according to scriptural precepts. You cannot escape this. Live correctly. Live in Brotherhood with all. Without this, you will not alleviate your own suffering."
"Do not participate in spiritual disputes, debates or discussions. ...this is a waste of time, this is of the ego. Instead, use this time you have left on earth to experience the truth of which you speak."
“A devotee went to Ramana and said, "I've been with you for 25 years, doing “Who am I,” and nothing has happened yet, so Ramana said, "Try it another 25 and see what happens." Forget about time. Forget about when something is going to happen. Even if nothing happens in this life, you are ahead of the game, for if you've been sincere, and if you've really been working on yourself, you will come back to an environment that is conducive for your realization, and at that time you may have realization when you're about 12 or 13 years old, because you’ve earned it. But if you're like most people and go around minding everybody’s business and saying, "I have no time to do this. I've tried it for two hours and it doesn't work," then you keep coming back again, and again, and again, going through all kinds of experiences, until one day, maybe 10,000 years from now you may actually get it and start working on yourself diligently, what you should be doing now....as you continue practicing, and practicing, and practicing, the day will come when you're home free. That's why I said do not look at time, even if it takes more than a lifetime. You're still ahead of the person going bowling.”
"It is therefore not enough to say you understand the theories of Advaita; you may grasp idealism and Mandukya but it is not enough. The next stage after this ultimate mastery is the constant final practice of Gnana yoga. It involves the pondering over and over again upon the subject until whatever object you find before you is seen as Brahman: this must become so firmly rooted that one's body seems like the body of another person."
"Those impatient persons who are carried away by emotions and demand a direct answer to a philosophical question which can only be approached after preliminary questions are answered, are unfit for philosophy. How can they expect a sage to reveal immediately all that he has to say?"
"Everyone is anxious to get at the truth at once, is impatient to receive it all at a first conversation. Such is the vanity of people. They have not stopped to inquire whether they have got the capacity to understand, even if we told them. There must be a gradual course of leisurely analysis over time and many lessons."
"Even if your studies have brought you no realization, do not give up. Keep on inquiring, everything you do should remind you of Brahman. How do you know the future? You must not predict that you will not get it. A man who is trying to memorize a passage may succeed suddenly after failure, (subconscious mind at work). Seeds must take time to mature into trees. Hence persevere despite disappointments."
(from Commentaries, edited by Mark Scorelle, 1999)
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
"When ignorance becomes obstinate and hard and the character gets perverted, effort and the pain of it becomes inevitable. In complete obedience to nature there is no effort...Freedom to do what one likes is really bondage, while being free to do what one must, what is right, is real freedom."
M: It is the urge, the hidden motive that matters, not the shape it takes. Whatever he does, if he does it for the sake of finding his own real self, will surely bring him to himself.
Q: No need of faith in the efficacy of the means?
M: No need of faith which is but expectation of results. Here the action only counts. Whatever you do for the sake of truth, will take you to truth. Only be earnest and honest. The shape it takes hardly matters.
Q: Then where is the need of giving expression to one's longing?
M: No need. Doing nothing is as good. Mere longing, undiluted by thought and action, pure, concentrated longing, will take you speedily to your goal. It is the true motive that matters, not the manner.
Q: Unbelievable! How can dull repetition in boredom verging on despair, be effective?
M: The very facts of repetition, of struggling on and on and of endurance and perseverance, in spite of boredom and despair and complete lack of conviction are really crucial. They are not important by themselves, but the sincerity behind them is all-important.
M: It is only when you are satiated with the changeable and long for the unchangeable, that you are ready for the turning round and stepping into what can be described, when seen, from the level of the mind, as emptiness and darkness. For the mind craves for content and variety, while reality is, to the mind, contentless and invariable.
D: It looks like death to me.
M: It is. It is also all-pervading, all-conquering, intense beyond words. No ordinary brain can stand it without being shattered, hence the absolute need for sadhana, Purity of body and clarity of mind, non-violence and selflessness in life are essential for survival as an inelligent and spiritual entity."
(from I AM THAT)
"It’s not up to you how much suffering arises, which is devastating news to who you think you are if you are trying to get out of suffering. The good news is that it is up to something that is incredibly, profoundly wise, something that can see that the shortest path between two points goes through Hell sometimes. And sometimes it goes through heaven. It has no preference. It just sees where this unfoldment needs to go right now, and it doesn’t hold back. That’s what has been happening all along anyway. Has your life ever stopped unfolding in spite of how often it seems not to have gone where you wanted it to go? It still goes, right? Something is in there steering it, unfolding it....
The reason we don’t dive in with gratitude in moments of suffering or pain is because there is a mistaken attitude that if we do that, things will stay the same. We think that by loving this moment the way it is and all of its pain (if that’s what is present), we will get stuck, when actually the opposite is true. When we resist what is, it sticks around. When we embrace the moment, it naturally unfolds into the next new experience. For example, it can seem to make sense for us to want to go to battle with our conditioning, which is behind our suffering, because our conditioning is so obviously a lie and it doesn’t feel enlightened to have that conditioning, but when you fight it, it makes it seem really big. You’ve made it into something, as if it had anything to do with who you really are....
It really isn’t up to you how many times your conditioning keeps appearing. If it were up to you, it would have been done a long time ago, right?"
"Because you have had success in knowing many things, you hope that if you just work hard enough, you will succeed. But the realization of true freedom is the opposite of working hard mentally. The perseverance you need here is to give up the hope that the mind can deliver freedom; give up the hope that the mind can deliver the heart, which is love; give up the hope that the mind can deliver enlightenment, which is truth. In that recognition, surrender can naturally follow."
(from The Diamond in Your Pocket)
“The Higher Power knows what to do and how to do it. Trust it.”
“He who has earned the Grace of the Guru will undoubtedly be saved and never forsaken, just as the prey that has fallen into the tiger’s jaws will never be allowed to escape.”
“Let one not doubt whether God’s grace, the great support, has been bestowed on one or not, for the fact that one’s mind is very interested in enquiry, having a great liking for release from bondage, is itself proof.”
“God, Guru, and Self are all synonymous and also eternal and immanent...These questions arise because of the feeling that having been here for so long, heard so much, tried so hard, one has not gained anything. The work proceeding within is not apparent. In fact, the Guru is always within you.”
“Surrender to Him and abide by His will whether he appears or vanishes; await His pleasure. If you ask Him to do as you please, it is not surrender but command to Him. You cannot have Him obey you and yet think that you have surrendered. He knows what is best and when and how to do it. Leave everything entirely to Him. His is the burden; you have no longer any cares. All your cares are His. Such is surrender. This is bhakti.”
“It will all come right in the end. There is the steady impulse of your determination that sets you on your feet again after every downfall. Gradually all the obstacles are overcome...Everything comes right in the end. Steady determination is what is required.”
“Why do you say that you are a sinner? Your trust in God is sufficient to save you from rebirths. Cast all burden onto Him. In the Tiruvachakam it is said: “Though I am worse than a dog, you have graciously undertaken to protect me. This delusion of birth and death is maintained by you. Moreover, am I the person to sift and judge? Am I the Lord here? Oh Maheswara! It is for you to roll me through bodies (by births and deaths) or keep me fixed at your own feet.” Therefore have faith and that will save you.”
(from Talks with Ramana Maharshi)
"Your resolutions and aims now and then are fulfilled so that through hope your heart might form another intention which He might once again destroy. For if He were to keep you completely from success, you would despair; how would the seed of expectation be sown? If your heart did not sow that seed, and then encounter barrenness, how would it recognize its submission to Divine will? By their failures lovers are made aware of their Lord. Lack of success is the guide to Paradise; Pay attention to the tradition, "Paradise is encompassed with pain."
"Are you fleeing from Love because of a single humiliation? What do you know of Love except the name? Love has a hundred forms of pride and disclaim, and it is gained by a hundred means of persuasion. Since Love is loyal, it purchases one who is loyal; it has no interest in a disloyal companion."
"Sorrow pulls up the rotten root that was hidden from sight. Whatever sorrow takes away or causes the heart to sacrifice, it puts something better in its place -- especially for one who is certain that sorrow is the servant of the intuitive...Whenever sorrow comes again, meet it with smiles and laughter, saying, 'O my Creator, save me from its harm; and do not deprive me of its good. Lord, remind me to be thankful, let me feel no regret if its benefit passes away.' And if the pearl is not in sorrow's hand, let it go and still be pleased. Increase your sweet practice. Your practice will benefit you at another time; someday you will be suddenly fulfilled."
(Reflections from the Mathnavi, from The Pocket Rumi, ed. by Kabir Helminski)
Peter Deunov (Master Beinsa Duono)
"When Nature puts someone in constraints, She has in mind his good and aims to awaken the hidden forces within him. All suffering, constraints and trials in a man's life aim to awaken the higher consciousness within him. When Nature imposes sorrow, we feel wrongly towards it. When a mother puts the child in the tub to bathe him, he cries and thinks that this is bad for him. The child does not understand that his mother means to do well for him.....When one suffers, his way of thinking gradually becomes straight. When the thinking is straight, the consciousness awakens. Through suffering, comes a new consciousness in man. This is the meaning of suffering. The offering which the living Nature gives to man are the meaningful tribulations. Within them are hidden the experiences which enable man to develop. The fruits of these tribulations are the impulses which help him to grow. To every man are given as many trials as are necessary for the development of his soul. These trials are not arbitrary. When I speak about them, I am referring to the mindful suffering. Man has come to his present development thanks to his hardships and trials. These are what prepare man for the Coming of Love."
“The game of love is God’s game: if you win, you get Him; if you lose, He gets you.”