In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
Poem by John O’Donohue
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye
“I wanted to start a revolution, using art to build the sort of society I myself envisioned.”
“With just one polka dot, nothing can be achieved. In the universe, there is the sun, the moon, the earth, and hundreds of millions of stars. All of us live in the unfathomable mystery and infinitude of the universe. Pursuing ‘philosophy of the universe’ through art under such circumstances has led me to what I call ‘stereotypical repetition.”
“I am putting every effort toward creating my works from morning till night on every single day.”
“More and more, I think about the role of the arts, and as an artist, I think that it’s important that I share the love and peace.”
Art and quotes by Yayoi Kusama
“Peace is not important; absence of suffering is important.”
“The meditating mind stays with the awareness, not with the experience.”
“Mindfulness only happens now, not in the future.”
“Many yogis tell me that meditation is difficult. What they are actually saying is that they cannot get what they want.”
“When meditation is difficult, craving is the problem.”
“If we know nature, we can use nature. The mind is also nature.”
“Awakening is equated by the Buddha with understanding. Understanding comes somatically, affectively and cognitively.”
“Craving always wants the result. Wisdom pays attention to the causes.”
“You will get attached to whatever you do again and again without awareness and wisdom. This is the nature of delusion.”
“When you do any investigation, you must always remember that the mind is doing its own work. If you identify with this process, it becomes very complicated.”
“When awareness is weak, the mind cannot learn.”
“Just ask the question, don’t look for the answer. The answer will come as soon as the mind has gathered enough data.”
All quotes by Sayadaw U Tejaniya
“You can wait for your purpose to come to you, or you can teach yourself what that purpose should be.”
“You can’t test courage cautiously.”
“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”
“Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?”
“The painter, in other words, does not fit the paints to the world. He most certainly does not fit the world to himself. He fits himself to the paint. The self is the servant who bears the paintbox and its inherited contents.”
“How can people think that artists seek a name? There is no such thing as an artist – only the world, lit or unlit, as the world allows.”
All quotes by Annie Dillard