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Spiritual Quotes: Developing a Spiritual Life


When your life is filled with the desire to see the holiness in everyday life, something magical happens: ordinary life becomes extraordinary, and the very process of life begins to nourish your soul!  Rabbi Harold Kushner

God is to me that creative force, behind and in the universe, who manifests Himself as energy, as life, as order, as beauty, as thought, as conscience, as love.  Henry Sloane Coffin

 [Whilst] everything around me is ever changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and recreates.  That informing power or spirit is God....And is this power benevolent or malevolent?  I see it as purely benevolent.  For I can see that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists.  Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth, Light.  He is Love.  He is the supreme Good.  Mahatma Gandi

That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.  Albert Einstein

Instead of an intellectual search, there was suddenly a very deep gut feeling that something was different...seeing that Sun...set in the background of the very deep black and velvety cosmos, seeing - rather, knowing for sure - that there was a purposefulness of flow, of energy, of time, of space in the cosmos - that it was beyond man's rational ability to understand, that suddenly there was a nonrational way of understanding that had been beyond my previous experience...On the return trip home, gazing through 240,000 miles of space toward the stars and the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, harmonious.  Edgar Mitchell

Your mind cannot possibly understand God.  Your heart already knows.  Emmanuel


Every hardship; every joy; every temptation is a challenge of the spirit; that the human soul may prove itself.  The great chain of necessity wherewith we are bound has divine significance; and nothing happens which has not some service in working out the sublime destiny of the human soul.  Elias A. Ford

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.  There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.  Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

It is through solving problems correctly that we grow spiritually.  We are never given a burden unless we have the capacity to overcome it.  If a great problem is set before you, this merely indicates that you have the great inner strength to solve a great problem.  There is never really anything to be discouraged about, because difficulties are opportunities for inner growth, and the greater the difficulty the greater the opportunity for growth.  Peace Pilgrim

...Spiritual opening is not a withdrawal to some imagined realm or safe cave.  It is not a pulling away, but a touching of all the experience of life with wisdom and with a heart of kindness, without any separation.  Jack Kornfield

Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you.  They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion.  Buddha

Qualities like love and compassion are not just abstract virtues that are the property of saints and adepts.  Anyone can develop these qualities in themselves by doing spiritual practices.  As the Buddha said, Come and see.  Joanna Macy


Big-heartedness is the most essential virtue on the spiritual journey.  Matthew Fox

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.  What is essential is invisible to the eye.  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

What is a loving heart?  A loving heart is sensitive to the whole of life, to all persons; a loving heart doesn't harden itself to any persons or things.  Anthony de Mello

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always hopes, always perseveres.  The Bible

Compassion...is an understanding of the unity of all things.  It is an awareness that I is not separate from thou, that whatever is happening to the planet, or to another person, is happening to me.  Compassion is total empathy, an absolute sense of connection.  Paul Rezendes

...everywhere I look I see myself.  There I go: that bald man, this angry child, that fearful cat, that cool stone, that bubbling brook, that worm struggling for its life, that bird desperate to feed her hungry babies, that one trapped in his rage, this one anxious but fearful of finding out why.  Hardly strangers!  Empathy is the life of the soul, I think, because the soul that allows us to see the one in the other is the soul that finds joy.  Claudia Michele

The heart is like a garden.  It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love.  What seeds will you plant there?  Buddha


Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.   Thich Nhat Hanh

Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.  Herman Hesse

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.  Saint Francis de Sales

Other people do not have to change for us to experience peace of mind.  Gerald Jampolsky

Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.  Mahatma Gandhi

Inner peace is found by facing life squarely, solving its problems, and delving as far beneath its surface as possible to discover its verities and realities.  Peace Pilgrim

If peace is our single aim in all we do, we will always know what to do because we will do whatever will protect and deepen our peace.  Gerald Jampolsky

Every time we experience a single day of inner stillness and joy, we are empowered to expand it into a second and a third day.  A space opens in our hearts, and when two hearts recognize and acknowledge each other, a connection happens.  It happens again and again as other hearts are joined in this stillness.  LaUna Huffines


There is nothing so much like God in all the universe as silence.  Meister Eckhart

We need silence to be alone with God, to speak to him, to listen to him, to ponder his words deep in our hearts.  We need to be alone with God in silence to be renewed and transformed.  Silence gives us a new outlook on life.  In it we are filled with the energy of God himself that makes us do all things with joy.  Mother Teresa

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

Silence of the heart is necessary so you can hear God everywhere--in the closing of a door, in the person who needs you, in the birds that sing, in the flowers, in the animals.  Mother Teresa

To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.  Henri Nouwen

Settle yourself in solitude, and you will come upon Him in yourself.  Saint  Theresa

To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society.  I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me.  But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars....One might think the atmosphere was made transparent...to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime.  Ralph Waldo Emerson


Prayer is...Love's tender dialogue
Between the soul and God.  John Richard Moreland

Prayer is the recovery of the souls breathing.  Gerald Heard

Prayer at its highest is a two-way conversation--and for me the most important part is listening to God's replies.  Frank C. Laubach

Prayer is the spirit speaking truth to Truth.  Philip James Bailey

No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered.  George Meredith

Prayer is the most powerful form of energy one can generate....It supplies us with a flow of sustaining power in our daily lives.  Alexis Carrel

They who have steeped their souls in prayer
Can every anguish calmly bear.  Richard Monckton Milnes

...whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Jesus

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.  Lord Alfred Tennyson


When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without words than thy words without heart.  John Bunyan

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Become aware of God, in whose presence you are while you pray . . . Then take a formula of prayer and recite it with perfect attention both to the words you are saying and to the Person to whom you are saying them.  Saint John Climacus

One of the most powerful ways to pray, and a method used throughout the world, is the repetition of the name God.  Krishan Chopra

Using an inspirational passage...helps to slow down the furious, fragmented activity of the mind so that we can gain control over it...Whatever we drive deep into consciousness, that we become...I usually recommend the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.  Eknath Easwaran


Meditation is to be aware of what is going on - in our bodies, in our feelings, in our minds, and in the world. Each day...children die of hunger.... Yet the sunrise is beautiful, and the rose that bloomed this morning along the wall is a miracle. Life is both dreadful and wonderful. To practice meditation is to be in touch with both aspects. Please do not think we must be solemn in order to meditate. In fact, to meditate well, we have to smile a lot.  Thich Nhat Hanh

To meditate is to listen with a receptive heart.  Buddha

When one devotes oneself to meditation, mental burdens, unnecessary worries, and wandering thoughts drop off one by one; life seems to run smoothly and pleasantly.  A student may now depend on intuition to make decisions.  As one acts on intuition, second thought, with its dualism, doubt and hesitation, does not arise.  Nyogen Senzaki

Looking deeply at life as it is in this very moment, the meditator dwells in stability and freedom.  Buddha

Meditation is not a means to an end.  It is both the means and the end.  J. Krishnamurti

People seek out retreats for themselves in the country, at the seaside, on the mountains...but nowhere can a person find a retreat more full of peace than one's own soul.  Make use then of this retirement continually and regenerate thyself.  Marcus Aurelius

Half an hour's meditation is essential except when you are very busy.  Then a full hour is needed.  Saint Francis de Sales


Let the mind be empty, and not filled with the things of the mind.  Then there is only meditation, and not a meditor who is meditating . . . The mind must be clear, without movement, and in the light of that clarity the timeless will be revealed.  J. Krishnamurti

Your thoughts are a veil on the face of the Moon.
That Moon is your heart, and those thoughts cover your heart.
So let them go, just let them fall into the water.  Rumi

Pay no attention [to your thoughts].  Don't fight them.  Just do nothing about them, let them be, whatever they are.  Your very fighting them gives them life.  Just disregard.  Look through.  You need not stop thinking.  Just cease being interested.  Stop your routine of acquisitiveness, your habit of looking for results and the freedom of the universe is yours.  Nisargadatta

Empty yourself of everything.
Let the mind rest at peace.
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.  Lao Tzu

You do not need to leave your room.  Remain sitting at your table and listen.  Do not even listen, simply wait.  Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary.  The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.  Franz Kafka

...Where and when God finds you ready, he must act and overflow into you, just as when the air is clear and pure, the sun must overflow into it and cannot refrain from doing that.  Meister Eckhart


We often confuse spiritual knowledge with spiritual attainment.  Spirituality is not a matter of knowing scriptures and engaging in philosophical discussions.  It is a matter of heart culture, of unmeasurable strength.  Mahatma Gandhi

By love He may be gotten and holden, but by thought and understanding, never.  Cloud of Unknowing

Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it.  Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.  Huang Po

The more you know the less you understand.  Lao Tzu

Don't keep searching for the truth, just let go of your opinions.  Master Sengstan

I want to know God's thoughts...the rest are details.  Albert Einstein

I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.  Jesus

The best way to know God is to love many things.  Vincent van Gogh


Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself among deep mountain and hidden valleys to restore your link to the source of life.  Morihei Ueshiba

If you wish to know the divine, feel the wind on your face and the warm sun on your hand.  Eido Tai Shimano Roshi

All wilderness seems to be full of tricks and plans to drive and draw us up into God's light.  John Muir

In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life is always a child. . . .Standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, - all mean egotism vanishes.  I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

The deeper we look into nature, the more we realize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in nature. . . . From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship to the Universe.  Albert Schweitzer

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.  John Muir


Without nourishing our own souls, we can't nourish the world, for we cannot give what we do not have.  As we attend to our souls, we emanate invisibly and involuntarily the light we have received.  Marianne Williamson

You must have a room or a certain hour of the day...a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are, and what you might be...At first you may find nothing's happening...But if you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen.  Joseph Campbell

Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.  We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.  Maya Angelou

Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where.  Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars.  This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.  John Muir

Come out of the circle of time
And into the circle of love.  Rumi

The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves.  We hate others when we hate ourselves.  We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves.  Eric Hoffer

Do not judge yourself harshly.  Without mercy for ourselves we cannot love the world.  Buddha


...the first step in a spiritual practice is the cultivation of a "wakeful presence."  Thich Nhat Hanh

When we pay attention, whatever we are doing...is transformed and becomes part of our spiritual path.  Rick Fields

In this very breath that we take now lies the secret that all great teachers try to tell us.  Peter Matthiessen

Those who are awake live in a state of constant amazement.  Buddha

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.  Henry Miller

To be awake is to be alive.  I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.  How could I have looked him in the face?  Henry David Thoreau

To awaken, sit calmly, letting each breath clear your mind and open your heart.  Buddha


We are not human beings trying to be spiritual.  We are spiritual beings trying to be human.  Jacquelyn Small

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:   
The Soul that rises with us, our life's star,   
Hath had elsewhere its setting,    
And cometh from afar:   
Not in entire forgetfulness,   
And not in utter nakedness,   
But trailing clouds of glory do we come   
From God, who is our home...  William Wordsworth

Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.  Maya Angelou


A man is the facade of a temple wherein all wisdom and all good abide....the soul, whose organ he is, would he let it appear through his action, would make our knees bend.  When it breathes through his intellect, it is genius; when it breathes through his will, it is virtue; when it flows through his affection, it is love.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

We're fields of energy in an infinite energy field.  e.e. cummings

Our original nature is...void, omnipresent, silent, pure; it is glorious and mysterious peaceful joy - and that is all.  Enter deeply into it by awakening yourself.  Huang Po


And I have felt...a sense sublime     
Of something far more deeply interfused,    
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,     
And the round ocean and the living air,      
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;     
A motion and a spirit, that impels      
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,        
And rolls through all things.  William Wordsworth

...there were no boundaries or borders.  It was as if my mind had once long ago made up a story about separate objects with boundaries but the story wasn't true.  The true story is that there is a luminous, spacious energy that flows through everything all the time.  It's within matter, within things as well as within space, and you can tune in to it at any time, just like changing the frequency on the radio.  There is no distance between this essence and ourselves.  It is not otherworldly.  it is right here, closer than our own flesh.  Vijali Hamilton

Atoms are composed of vibrating energy packets [quantum] that have no solidity at all, no mass or size, nothing for the senses to see or touch....At the quantum level nothing of the material world is left intact....Even at the atomic level all objects are revealed as 99.9999 percent empty space.  On its own scale, the distance between a whirling electron and the nucleus it revolves around is wider than the distance between the earth and the sun.  But you could never capture that electron anyway, since it too breaks down into energy vibrations that wink in and out of existence millions of times per second.  Therefore the whole universe is a quantum mirage, winking in and out of existence millions of times per second.  Deepak Chopra

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.  William Blake



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

As to me I know of nothing else but miracles...  Walt Whitman

Open your eyes and the whole world is full of God.  Jakob Böhme

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

The subtlest of subtleties, this is the gateway to all mysteries.  Lao Tzu

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.  Buddha

To see a world in a grain of sand   
And a heaven in a wild flower,  
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand  
And eternity in an hour.   William Blake

The whole of life lies in the verb seeingTeilhard de Chardin

Open yourself to the miracle of life going on around you.  Sense your intimate part in the great scheme of it...  Kristen Zambucka



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