Vocatus atque non vocatus Deus aderit (Bidden or unbidden, God is present)   Erasmus, a favorite saying of Carl Jung, carved on his tombstone

Advice to a truth-seeker:  “Rather than continue to seek the truth, simply let go of all of your views.”  The Buddha 563-483 B.C.E.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God … Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”  1 John 4:7, 11-12

All who have attained any real religious experience never wrangle over the form in which the different religions are expressed.  They know that the soul of all religions is the same and so they have no quarrel with anybody just because he/she does not speak in the same tongue.  Swami Vivekananda  1863-1902  India

Forgiveness is the final form of love.  Reinhold Niebuhr  (1892-1971)

“Religion is a guy in church thinking about fishing.  Spirituality is a guy out fishing thinking about God.”   author unknown

Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering.  There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.   Leonard Cohen

A dream that is not interpreted is like a letter that is not read.  The Talmud

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.  Carl Justav Jung 1875-1961

Jesus said, What is hidden to you will be disclosed to you.  For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.  Split a piece of wood; I am there.  Raise the stone, and you will find me there.   The Coptic Gospel of Thomas

Some people wish to see God with the same eyes they see a cow with, and want to love God as they would love a cow.  So they love God for the sake of outer riches and inner comfort, but such folk do not rightly love God.   Meister Eckhart (1260-1327, Germany) 

Who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea; who made the Bear and the Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south; who does great things beyond understanding, and marvelous things without number.  Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.  Job 9 8-11

Faith is daring the soul to go farther than it can see.  William Newton Clark

The real miracle is not to walk on water. The real miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment.  Thich Nhat Hanh   

 

Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.   Walt Whitman

 

I honor the place within you where, if you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.   Namaste

 

Forget every touch and every sound that did not teach you how to dance!   Rumi

 

I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, I am a Muslim, I am a Jew.   Gandhi

The heart of every religion is the religion of the heart.   Br. David Steindl-Rast 

In April, Chaucer tells us, “Men long to go on pilgrimage.” Longing for pilgrimage is the deepest impulse of our spiritual life. It’s what our souls are made of. Chaucer doesn’t say, “Men long to arrive in Jerusalem.” He simply says, we long to be on the way.

 

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children   Gibran

In this world to win is right, to gain is right.  In this world, with the human mind, to gain is the only thing, to acquire, to accumulate, to build up your personal life, your material possessions.  Winning is what counts.

In the authentically spiritual life – the only kind of worthwhile life that there is that any human being can find – losing is winning – losing everything that you now value that is keeping you in the tornado.

Now look already, the utter reversal of the process – see how difficult it is for you to grasp, because you all your life, and everyone you’ve associated with has pressed down upon your mind the idea that accumulation is the way of life. This is the way you’re happy, this is the way you’re secure. And to lose, according to the world, is the enemy.

Something higher than the human mind says:  to lose everything that you now call right and valuable is the one way to be a free and truly decent happy human being.  Author Unknown

 

You can spend your time struggling, in vain, to make others into what you want them to be, or you can see the inherent flaw in thinking this way, and — rather than trying to change others to suit your needs — see through the false idea that someone else is responsible for your fulfillment.

 

You can let go of those resentful feelings toward your job, because the treadmill isn’t what you are doing but the way you are thinking.

You can let go of trying to change other people, because you are what is bothering you about them.

You can let go of the fear of unforeseen changes or challenges, because all you really ever have to face in any challenging moment is yourself.

Best of all, you can let go of the impossible and unbelievably self-punishing task of thinking that you are responsible for the way the world turns. The only world you are responsible for is your inner world: the world of your thoughts and feelings, impulses and desires.

You are always right where you need to be to take the next step beyond yourself.   Guy Finley

God is closest to those with broken hearts   author unknown

 

Seek Within:  Essentially there is only one inner Call, but the different religions have devised different methods to make man aware of it. Once a man awakes to it there is no more need to cry out again and again. Truly speaking it is not you who call Him, but He who calls you. Just as in the hushed silence of night the sound of distant temple bells and conches can be clearly heard, even so, when through intense and undivided devotion to Him the hunger of the senses is stilled, His call will find response from your inmost depths and reverberate through your whole being. Then and then only will true prayer spontaneously flow from your heart.  Sri Anandamayi Ma

 

Love manifests towards those whom we like as love; towards those whom we do not like as forgiveness.   author unknown

 

Give us a place to rest, O God.
Shelter us in the long, soft, evening shadows of Your truth.
You are true protection and safety,
in Your Presence we find love and acceptance.
Watch over us as we go forth.
Prepare for us as we return.
Spread over us Your shelter of peace,
over all we love — over our Jerusalem and Yours.

The Siddur advises:   “Recited only at night, this final benediction…is a prayer for divine protection as we sleep.”:  “Mishkan T’Filah, A Reform Siddur.”

Are you looking for me?  I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
You will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals.
Not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me, you will see me instantly —
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath.
 ~Kabir

Invocation:

Toward the One
the Perfection of
Love, Harmony and Beauty,
the Only Being,
United with all the illuminated Souls,
who form the Embodiment of the Master,
the Spirit of Guidance.

Amen.

Khatum

O Thou,
Who art the Perfection of
Love, Harmony, and Beauty,
The Lord of heaven and earth,
Open our hearts,
That we may hear Thy Voice,
Which constantly cometh from within.
Disclose to us Thy Divine Light,
which is hidden in our souls,
that we may know and understand life better.
Most Merciful and Compassionate God,
Give us Thy great Goodness;
Teach us Thy loving Forgiveness;
Raise us above the distinctions and
differences which divide us;
Send us the Peace of Thy Divine Spirit,
And unite us all in Thy Perfect Being.

Amen

The word “Khatum” can be translated as “Closing Recital” and “Placing a Seal.”  Both of these are prayers from Hazrat Inayat Khan, a teacher of is often called Universal Sufism, who came from India to the United States in 1910 and later to Europe.

Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. All things are passing. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God. God alone suffices  St. Teresa of Avila

Sacred Ones, thank you for the land and the night sky; for the sunshine and the blessed rain; for all the plants and animals; for Mothers’ milk and Fathers’ tears. Blessed be!   source unknown
 
There’s an old Jewish tale about pocket reminders:  In one side pocket there’s “dust and ashes”.  On the other side there’s “for me the world was created”   The art of living a Jewish life is to balance them….. 
 
The whole purpose of the Bible, it seems to me, is to convince people to set the written word down in order to become living words in the world for God’s sake. For me, this willing conversion of ink back to blood is the full substance of faith.   Barbara Taylor Brown in Leaving Church

I have a thousand brilliant lies

For the question:

How are you? 

I have a thousand brilliant lies 

For the question:

What is God?

If you think that the Truth can be known

From words,

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean

Can pass through that tiny opening

Called the mouth,

O someone should start laughing!

Someone should start wildly laughing –

Now!  –Rumi

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.
 
Reinhold Niebuhr

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. – Henri Nouwen

 

There are things you can’t reach. But you can reach out to them, and all day long. The wind, the bird flying away.  The idea of God.  And it can keep you as busy as anyting else, and happier.   Mary Oliver

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul. – Johann Wolfgang von GoetheThere is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. ~Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms, 1989 

The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom

The independent hearts of Celtic descendants everywhere still yearn for the solitary place, still rejoice in the goodness of creation, still see the Lord beside them as they walk, still see Him in the face of friend and stranger. The gospel light with its eastern fire still gleams. The truth still lingers in the heart.  Pat Robson – The Celtic Heart

People are itchy and lost and bored and quick to jump at any fix. Why is there such a vast self-help industry in this country? Why do all these selves need help?

They have been deprived of something by our psychological culture. They have been deprived of the sense that there is something else in life, some purpose that has come with them into the world.- -James Hillman

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.  –George Orwell

We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice: – we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Never for the sake of peace and quiet deny your own experience or convictions.
–Dag Hammarskjöld

If you want to build a ship don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

For what are we, without hope in our hearts, that someday we’ll drink from God’s blessed waters?”
-Bruce Springsteen

“Sometimes grace works like waterwings when you feel you are sinking.”
-Anne Lamott

“A prayer may be a wordless inner longing, a sudden outpouring of love, a yearning within the soul to be for a moment united within the infinite and the good, a humbleness that needs no abasement or speech to express it, a cry in the darkness for help when all seems lost, a song, a poem, a kind deed, a reaching for beauty, or the strong, quiet inner reaffirmation of faith. A prayer in fact can be anything that is created by God that turns to God.” —  Paul Gallico

God does not die when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.  —Dag Hammarskjold

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.”  ― Paul Hawken
The greatest religious challenge of our age is to hold together social action and spiritual disciplines. This is not just a theological necessity, dictated by the need to integrate all of life around the reality of the living God.  It is a matter of sheer survival.  The evils we confront are so massive, so inhuman, so impervious to appeals and dead to compassion, that those who struggle against them face the real possibility of being overwhelmed by them.  ~ Theologian Walter Wink
One day you will ask me which is more important?  My life or yours?  I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.  ~ Khalil Gibran
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