“Zen is above all a matter of personal experience. The student is asked to accept nothing the truth of which he cannot demonstrate for himself, with his own mind and body.”
“Long, uninterrupted, alert practice is the firm foundation for restraining the fluctuations of the consciousness.”
~ Patanjali (via Iyengar)
“True concentration is an unbroken thread of awareness. Yoga is about how the Will can free us from the wavering mind and outwardly directed senses. This is how asana serves us.”
~ B.K.S. Iyengar
I’ve known about Ram Dass for a long time, but I don’t think I considered his work too much until I stumbled across the book, Polishing The Mirror, which I now consider to be the best spiritual book I’ve ever read.
“I believe the key to self-sufficiency is breaking free of the mindset that someone, somewhere, owes you something and will come to your rescue.”
“Self-sufficiency,” wrote Epicurus, “is the greatest of all wealth.” Epictetus added that “wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
~ two quotes from this Farnam Street blog post
“Man is drawn between two paths: One drags him downwards towards fulfillment of desires and sense gratifications, leading to bondage and destruction; the other guides him upwards towards purity and realization of his inner Self. Desires fog his mind and veil his true Self. It is the mind alone which leads to bondage or to liberation. It is his reason which either controls his mind or allows itself to be dominated.”
~ from the book, Light on Pranayama
“Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of consciousness. The still mind is by definition, pure.”
“Is this the end? Are we there yet? No. There remains the ego, the self, the known self, the impersonator of the Soul. He is the last actor to leave the stage. He lingers even for the very final hand clap of applause. What forces him off the stage? Silence, and retention of the breath.”
I usually just encourage people to meditate so they can learn to relax, but there’s another good reason to meditate: It helps you find out who you are. Since you were born, you’ve been programmed by your parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, and teachers; meditation is a way undoing all of that programming. Once you shed that programming, what remains is your true self.