What is the value of subduing the earth, the water, the air, of conquering space and time, of understanding what laws govern the mirages that rise from the burning deserts of the mind, their appearance and reappearance? I have one longing only: to grasp what is hidden behind appearances, to ferret out that mystery which brings me to birth and then kills me, to discover if behind the visible and unceasing stream of the world an invisible and immutable presence is hiding.
- Nikos Kazantzakis
Sometimes we become a person we don't even recognize. A certain craving takes over and, as the Buddha says, craving leads to becoming. And what is becoming? It's the act of creating an identity in a certain world of experience or taking on an identity based on your desires. The identity here is either the 'you' who's going to enjoy the results of the desire, or the 'you' who's going to be able to produce those results. This is why the Buddha has us ask every day, "Days and nights fly past, fly past. What am I becoming right now?" Whatever you're becoming, it grows out of your desires and your cravings. And if you don't know them, then even what 'you are' flies out of your control...
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Breath is the bridge that connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Don't meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go.
- Ajahn Chah
The same immense energies that create the symptoms of trauma, when properly engaged and mobilized, can transform the trauma and propel us into new heights of healing, mastery, and even wisdom. Trauma resolved is a great gift, returning us to the natural world of ebb and flow, harmony, love, and compassion.
- Peter A. Levine
Peter A. Levine, "Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma" (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1997), 21.
Don't you know that afflictions are nothing more than wisdom And that the purest of blossoms emerges from the mire? If someone were to come and ask me what I do: After eating my gruel and rice, I wash my bowl. Don't worry about a thing! Don't worry about a thing! You may play all day like a silly child in the sand by the sea, But you must always realize the truth of your original face! When you suffer the blows delivered by the patriarchs' staff, If you can't say anything, you will perish by the staff, If you can say something, you will perish by the staff. In the end, what will you do If you are forbidden to travel by night but must arrive by dawn?
- Benming 本明
Daughters of Emptiness: Poems of Chinese Buddhist Nuns, p.37 Purchase Book Here

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