Quotes

“Everything we think and feel (and keep thinking and feeling) creates, deep within, the brain we have.”

— Joseph LeDoux

“And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now.”

— Rilke

“When we have arrived at the question, the answer is already near.”

— Emerson

” Medicine tells us as much about the meaningful performance of healing, suffering and dying as chemical analysis tells us about the aesthetic value of pottery”

— Ivan Ilyich

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

— Emerson

“When the soul is attuned to G-D, every action becomes music.” -Hazrat Inyat Kahn

“It is only within the heart that one can see rightly what is invisible to the eye.” -Antoine de Sant-Eusepry

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius power and magic in it.” -Goethe

“Until we lose ourselves there is no hope finding ourselves.” -Henry Miller

“Trust is a lot easier when you quit worrying about what could go wrong and remember how much life you’re going to live no matter what happens.”  -Brian Andreas

“There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.” -Herman Hesse

“Silence is the mother of sound and sound…the mother of silence.” -unknown

“Joy is exactly what is happening right now, minus our opinion of it.” -Charolette Joko Beck

“Light or luminosity is created by the way elements are juxtaposed. They become reflective and a radiance comes from putting different things together.” -Merce Cunningham

“Only indiscriminate love can make us free.” -Babatunde Olatunji

“….O listen- listen more carefully to what is inside you right now. In my world all that remains is the wonderous call to dance and prayer. Rising up like a thousand suns out of the mouth of a single bird.” -unknown
“Events that happen in our lives are less important than what we become through our experience of them.”-Jacqueline Westhead

“Words that come from the heart, enter the heart.” -Miles Krassen

“No safety without risk and what you risk reveals what you value.” -unknown

“Life happens while we are making other plans.” -John Lennon

“Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who is there.”-Rumi

“The essence of healing does not lie in the efficiency with which my life can be restored to its strength. It lies in the meaning that is added as I suffer difficulty.” -David Wolf-Blank

“Often it is the journey itself,not the destination, that is the real reason of setting forth.” -unknown

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” -Leonardo DeVinci

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” -Socrates

“Rhythm is a means of organizing sound into specific energy formulas to harmonize the mind and body. Chanting, rhythmic breathing and drumming form an ancient technology for directly synchronizing the mind/body complex, creating conditions for psychological and physical healing.” -Layne Redmond

“This sound is the sorce of all manifestation….. the knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole universe.” -Hazrat Inyat Kahn

“Sometimes it is the inquiry itself that offers the answer.” -Jacqueline Westhead
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King

“To be present in the here, this now. The place where Divine light is shining, this moment, is where love comes to meet you. Love reflects and supports this light and meets you right where you are.” -Jacqueline Westhead

“Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Faith is a passionate intuition.” -Wordsworth

“Let him who would move the world first move himself.” -Socrates

“All life is an experiment.” -Emerson

“A person of faith is like a bed of coals. As long as a single spark remains, a great fire can be kindled.” -Chassidic teaching

“In our spiritual work we need not create anything new. All we need is to illuminate that which is already hidden within us.” -Rebbe of Kotsk

“I love…..and then there I am dissolving my fears…..walking on rocks smooth and round. My blood is pumping, beats and roars, like the ocean…..like the ocean.” -Jacqueline Westhead

“The quest is to become all that you already are.” -unknown

“We do not sing to create music. We sing in order to release the urge that already exists within us.”- Frank Barker
“The ultimate aim of dancing is to be able to move without thinking, to be danced.”- John Blacking

“The cure for the part should not be attempted without treatment of the whole.”- Plato

“Our only job in every situation is to merely let go of our resistance to love.” – Anonymous

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”- Emerson

“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, he who can no longer wonder and stand rapt with awe, is as good as dead.”- Albert Einstein

“Every object, thought and feeling has pourousness, fluidity and motion… nothing need define us forever.” – Anonymous

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

“The river taught us how to listen with a silent heart, with a waiting open soul…”- Herman Hesse

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

“At the root of all power and motion, there is music and rhythm, the play of patterned frequencies against the matrix of time. More than 2,500 years ago, Pythagoras told his followers that a stone is frozen music, an intuition fully validated by modern science; we now know that every particle in the physical universe takes its characteristics from the pitch and pattern and overtones of its particular frequencies, its singing. And the same thing is true of all radiation, all forces great and small, all information. Before we make music, music makes us…the way music works is also the way the world of objects and events works…the deep structure of music is the same as the deep structure of everything else.” – George Leonard

“Come, I will show you a new way to the Lord, not with words but with song.”- Chassidic masters

“We may listen to our inner self–and still not know which ocean we hear roaring.”-Martin Buber

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”-Emily Dickinson

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”- Ursula K LeGuin

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how…the artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.”-Agnes DeMille

“Grace fills empty spaces but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.” – Simone Weil
” In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to the details around us.”-Virginia Woolf

” The body is a sacred garment. It is your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and depart life with and it should be treated with honor “-Martha Graham

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”-George Eliot

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an unchartered land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” -Helen Keller

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which really you stop and look fear in the face…..you must do the thing you cannot do. ”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“And the day came when the risk (it took) to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to open.”-Anais Nin

“”If we could…recognize our common humanity…that our destinies are bound up in one anothers……that we can be free only together….then a glorious world would come into being where all of us lived together as members of one family, the human family”” – unknown

“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field it beholds, every hour, a picture which has never been seen before and which shall never be seen again.”” – Emerson

“”I profess the religion of love wherever its caravan turns, along the way that is the belief, the faith I keep.”” – Ibn Arabi

“”We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”” – T.S Elliot

“a person is a person through (other) persons” (umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu)

“A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”” – UBUNTU: South African philosophy of life

“There was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
“Nothing, I just helped him cry.²”
“Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth
“You owe me”
Look what happens with a love like that,
It lights the whole sky..”” -Hafiz

“It is not revolutions and upheavals that clear the road to….better days, but revelations, and lavishness….of someone’s soul, inspired and ablaze.”
-Boris Pasternak

“Anyone or anything that does not bring you alive is too small for you”
-David Whyte

“I do not want to be folded for where I am folded, there I am a lie.”
-Rilke

“Jonathan Livingston Seagull…was no ordinary bird. Most gulls don’t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight- how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else, Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly.”
-Richard Bach

“The need to be normal is the predominant anxiety disorder in modern life.”
-Thomas Moore

“The way of the creative is to win others’ hearts through following the truth within ourselves.”
-I Ching

“The longing for happiness and freedom from suffering expresses the great natural potential for mind.”
-Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

“The one who asks questions doesn’t lose their way.”
-African proverb

“When we have arrived at the question, the answer is already near.”
-Emerson

“You are what you think about all day.”
-Allen Ginsberg

“We can still astonish the gods in humanity and be the stuff of future legends, if we but dare to be real, And have the courage to see that this is the time to dream
The best dream of them all.”
-Ben Okri

“How you get so fly?…from not being afraid to fall out of the sky.”
-Jay Z

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
-Saint Thomas

“Losses aren’t cataclysmic if they teach the heart and soul their natural cycle of breaking and healing. A real tragedy? That’s the loss of the heart and soul themselves. If you’ve abandoned yourself in the effort to keep anyone or anything else, unlearn that pattern. Live your truth, losses be damned. Just like that, your heart and soul will return home.”
-Martha Beck

“When your fear touches someone’s pain, it becomes pity; when your love touches someone’s pain, it becomes compassion. To train in compassion then, is to know all beings are the same and suffer in similar ways, to honor all those who suffer, and to know you are neither separate nor superior to anyone.”
-Stephen Levine

“Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing.”
-Emerson

“If you tell a true story you can’t be wrong.”
-Kerouac

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
-Albert Schweitzer

“Of all the fires, love is the only inexhaustible one.”
-Pablo Neruda

“Your way begins at the other side
Become the sky
Take an axe to the prison wall,
Escape
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color
Do it now”
-Rumi

“The ability to start out upon your own impulse is fundamental to the gift of keeping going upon your own terms…Getting started again, keeping going, getting started again-in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm.”
-Seamus Heaney

“You are in the perfect position to get there from here.”
-Abraham Hicks

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”-Rilke

“The whole universe is change and life itself is but what you deem it”
-Marcus Aurelius

“Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.”
Anais Nin

“We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world.”
-Marcel Proust

“Above all, he learned from it how to listen, to listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgment and opinions”
-Herman Hesse (Siddartha)

“Most of our energy goes into upholding our importance. If we were capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things would happen to us. One, we would free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur; and two, we would provide ourselves with enough energy to catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the universe.” ~ Carlos Castaneda

A Transformative Spiritual Experience
Using the vehicle of silence and a variety of Jewish meditation approaches, we will look more deeply into our own lives, casting light on our pain; seeing more clearly how easily we shut down, hurting ourselves and those around us; and coming to a place of greater wisdom, joy and compassion. Glimpse the divine presence that pervades all of life from this expanded state of awareness.

As with any creative endeavor, originality in thinking, in being, requires a heightened state of alertness, a bridging of the poles, a show of fearlessness and willingness to forfeit the known for the unknown, the learned for the experienced. It requires a trust deeper than the sea, for what it asks for is a letting go, an unmooring from the safe harbor of certainty for a journey into the mists of mystery and possibility…The solutions to the crises of our time do not lie dormant in one individual. They live like seeds in every one of us. It is not a savior who will rescue us from the plight and perils we face, but a communion of saints who go by our names.

Jan Phillips

The imagination is an organ of understanding. And the imagination needs all the faculties at hand, all the sensibility, all the conscious and unconscious intelligence it can galvanize to fulfill its luminous mission.

Edward Hirsch

Works of art always spring from those who have faced the danger, gone to the very end of an experience, to the point beyond which no human being can go. The further one dares to go, the more decent, the more personal, the more unique a life becomes.

Rainer Maria Rilke

“Curiosity does, no less than devotion, pilgrims make”. Abraham Cowley

“Listen to your life. see it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than the excitement and gladness. Touch,taste, smell your way to the hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace”
Fred Buechner

“That which sings and contemplates in you still dwells within the bound of that first moment that scattered the stars into space”. –Gibran

Rumi who says, 
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment!

Being self luminous
You cause everything to shine;
Delighting in your form
You fill the universe with delight;
Rocking with your own bliss
You make the whole world
Dance with Joy
-Utpaladeva

“At certain key moments in this life, you must find courage in yourself, in order to move forward… It is like a muscle and it must be exercised, first a little, and then more and more. All the really exciting things possible… require a little more courage than we currently have. A deep breath and a leap.”
John Patrick Shanley

“There are no mistakes. What happens during the process of making something is sacred and organic.”
Vicki Noble

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

“If the story is in you, it has got to come out.
”
William Faulkner

“Believe in the merit of every breath simply for taking it”-
Jacqueline Westhead

“True forgiveness and love arise naturally, effortlessly,
from the silence of the heart broken all the way open.” 
Gangaji

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
Albert Einstein

“There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.”
Lao Tzu (ancient Chinese philosopher):

“Living a life is an opportunity to remember our authentic self”
Jacqueline Westhead

ABRAHAM LINCOLN:
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

ALBERT EINSTEIN:
True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.

ALICE WALKER:
Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.

ANAIS NIN:
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.

ANAIS NIN:
The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.

ANNIE DILLARD:
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

BARRY LOPEZ:
If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.

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

CAPTAIN JEAN-LUC PICARD:
Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT:
I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

ELIE WIESEL:
The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. 
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. 
And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

F. FORRESTER CHURCH:
Religion is the human response to being alive and having to die.

FRANKLIN P. JONES:
Love doesn’t make the world go ’round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

FREDERICK BUECHNER:
The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE:
And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
HELEN KELLER:
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

HENRI FREDERICK AMIEL:
Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.

ISADORA DUNCAN:
People do not live nowadays – they get about ten percent out of life.

JOAN BAEZ:
You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.

MARCUS AURELIUS:
The universe is transformation; our life is what our thoughts make it.

MARK TWAIN:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

MARK TWAIN:
There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy and a tragedy.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.:
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

MARY OLIVER:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

MARY OLIVER:
To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go. Blackwater Woods

MATTHEW ARNOLD:
Is it so small a thing 
To have enjoy’d the sun, 
To have lived light in the spring, 
To have loved, to have thought, to have done…

MOHANDAS K. GANDHI:
Where there is love there is life.

NADINE STAIR (ATTRIBUTED, PROBABLY ERRONEOUSLY):
If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax; I’d limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after the other, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had it to do over again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over again, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances; I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES:
Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES:
A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve.

OSCAR WILDE:
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

RABINDRANATH TAGORE:
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers. It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow. I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

RALPH ELLISON:
Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON:
We are always getting ready to live but never living.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON:
Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON:
Life is a succession of lessons, which must be lived to be understood.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON:
Life is a progress, and not a station.

RAYMOND CHARLES BARKER:
The principle of life is that life responds by corresponding; your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be.

ROBERT BYRNE:
The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

SARAH BAN BREATHNACH:
An authentic life is the most personal form of worship. Everyday life has become my prayer.

STEPHEN COVEY:
Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, and power.

THOMAS JEFFERSON:
It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.

UNKNOWN:
Life would be much easier if I had the source code.

ZENO:
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.

WILLIAM JAMES:
These, then, are my last words to you: Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create that fact

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
-Harold Whitman

“Use what talent you poseess- the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”
-Henry Van Dyke

“Our trials are not meant to punish us. They are meant to awaken us.”

“Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.”
Anais Nin

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”
-From the Alchemist

“Errors like straws upon the surface flow; she who would search for pearls must dive below.”
-John Dryden

“It’s better to see God in everything thento figure it all out.”
-Maharishi Neem Karoli Baba

“Scientist and mystic accept everything cannot be known but always seek new wisdom.”

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear as it is…..infinite”
-Blake

The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper
-eden phillpotts

“Most people search all og their lives
For someplace to belong to
As you said
But I look instead
Into the eyes of anyone
Who talks to me”
-June Jordan

“sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment”
-Rumi

“In the middle of the difficulty lies opportunity”
-Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge”
_Einstein

“with courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate and the wisdom to be humble. courage is the foundation of integrity”
-keshavan Nair

“True life is lived when tiny changes occur”
-Leo Tolstoy

“living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. the artist never entirely knows. we guess.we may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark”
-agnes de mille

“words are a form of action influencing change”
-ingrid bengis

“at the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidescope of new possibilities’
-jean Houston

“nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small it takes time-we haven’ time-and to see takes time like to have a friend takes time”
-georgia okeefe

“The greatest revolution starts with loving yourself”
Jacqueline Westhead

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Anais Nin

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less important if I am afraid.”

Audre Lorde

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Albert Einstein

“….to chase the glowing hours with flying feet…”

Lord Byron

“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”

Angela Monet

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are gone.”

Oscar Wilde

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

Plato

“At the height of laughter the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.”

Jean Houston

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage.”

“The highest form of wisdom is kindness.”

Talmud

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

Morrie Schwartz

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent.

You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning.

It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them.

But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is.

That is home. That is happiness.

-Ode to Trees, Herman Hesse