There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work, whether of head or hands. Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in reverie, amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sang around. I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been. They were not time subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Quiet I bear within me.
I bear within myself
Forces to make me strong.
Now will I be imbued
With their glowing warmth.
Now will I fill myself
With my own Will’s resolve.
And I will feel the quiet
Pouring through all my being
When, by my steadfast striving,
I become strong
To find within myself
The source of strength
The strength of inner quiet.
~ Rudolf Steiner, meditation verse
Better is one’s own dharma
though imperfectly carried out,
than the dharma of another
carried out perfectly.
Better is death in the fulfillment
of one’s own dharma,
for to follow the dharma of another
brings great spiritual peril.
~ Krishna to Arjuna, Bhadavad Gita
When we give ourselves the chance to let go of all our tension, the body’s natural capacity to heal itself can begin to work. Animals in the forest know this; when they get wounded, ill or overtired, they know what to do. They find a quiet place and lie down to rest. They don’t go chasing after food or other animals — they just rest. After some days of resting quietly, they are healed and they resume their activities.
We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal. It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing.
Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems. We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.
– Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh