I see ‘philosophy’ as the intelligent application of knowledge—moment by moment—something to be tested in everyday life.
It is impossible for anyone to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.
Epictetus (Greek philosopher)
The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Stuckness shouldn’t be avoided. It’s the psychic predecessor of all real understanding.
Robert M. Pirsig, from “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”
The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness Expert
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.
When you get rid of your fear of failure, your tensions about succeeding… you can be yourself. Relaxed. You’ll no longer be driving with your brakes on.
Anthony De Mello
What is the hardest thing of all? That which seems easiest for your eyes to see. That which lies before your eyes.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Inscribed in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
We want to be poets of our life – first of all in the smallest most everyday matters.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
You’ll never change your life until you change something that you do daily. The secret to your success is found in your daily routine.
John C. Maxwell
It’s not about perfection.
Eshin Godfrey, Zen Master, Zen Centre of Vancouver
Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
You have capacities within you that are phenomenal, if you only knew how to release them.
David Bohm, legendary quantum physicist
The unexamined life is not worth living.
If you cannot risk, you cannot grow. If you cannot grow, you cannot become your best. If you cannot become your best, you cannot be happy. And if you cannot be happy, what else matters?
Dr. David Viscott
No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature’s answer.
Wisdom begins with wonder.
I find that the sensation of myself as an ego inside a bag of skin is really a hallucination.
Alan W. Watts
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw
We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.
If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.
Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.
It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
Henry David Thoreau
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
True effectiveness requires balance.
Stephen R. Covey
To bankrupt a fool, give him information.
If you want to fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
Love, work and knowledge are the wellsprings of our life. They should also govern it.
Dr. Wilhelm Reich – Pioneering Scientist and Psychotherapist
Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
If anyone can refute me—show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective—I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone.
First, say to yourself what you would be; then do what you have to do.
You cannot understand a system unless you change it.
Dr. Otto Scharmer
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
Henry David Thoreau
The only Zen you find on tops of mountains is the Zen you bring there.
Robert M. Pirsig
Power is the ability to control the way others play; strength is the ability to allow others to play as they wish.
James P. Carse (from the book “Finite and Infinite Games”)
The most dangerous risk of all: The risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.
Allan W. Watts
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.
In every moment of life you have a choice; to live the life of spiritual practice, or retreat into comfort and security.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Viktor E. Frankl in “Man’s Search For Meaning”
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Master
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!
William Hutchison Murray, Scottish mountaineer
You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things – to compete. You can just be an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.
Sir Edmund Hillary, first man to reach the top of Mount Everest
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.
That’s essentially what Zen practice is about: functioning from moment to moment.
Charlotte Joko Beck, Zen Master
The important thing is this: To be ready in every moment to sacrifice who we are for who we could become.
Charles Du Bos
Be the change you wish to see.
No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don’t have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.
What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.
Jonas Salk, discovered one of the first successful polio vaccines
Life is a perpetual instruction in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.
Alan W. Watts, Philosopher
In all activities of life, the secret of efficiency lies in an ability to combine two seemingly incompatible states: a state of maximum activity and a state of maximum relaxation.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.
Worrying is a misuse of the imagination.
I have known a thousand scamps; but I never met one who considered himself so. Self-knowledge isn’t so common.
What are you complicating right now?
Dave Robens, Men’s Group Vancouver
Each one of you is perfect as you are. And you all could use a little bit of improvement.
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Master
Mastery is practice.
One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.
For me adventure is when everything goes wrong…that’s when the adventure starts.
Yvon Choinard, Patagonia Founder and CEO
Nothing in this world is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.