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Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness. Meister Eckhart (1260)
A little time alone in your own room will prove more valuable than anything else that could even be given to you. Jalal Al Din Rumi (1207)
Silence is a solvent that destroys personality, and gives us leave to be great and universal. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803)
Let us be silent, for so are the gods. Ancient Sayings
You are not surprised at the force of the storm, you have seen it growing...
Now you must go out into your heart as onto a vast plain. Now the immense loneliness begins...
Through the empty branches the sky remains. It is what you have.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
More than all things, love silence: it brings you a fruit that tongue cannot describe. In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then there is born something that draws us to silence. May God give you an experience of this "something" that is born of silence. If you only practice this, untold LIGHT will dawn on you in consequence. ... After a while a certain sweetness is born in the heart of this exercise and the body is drawn almost by force to remain in silence. Isaac Of Nineveh
Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend, the cold, obscure shelter where moult the wings which will bear it farther than suns and stars. He who would inspire and lead his race must be defended from traveling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily, time-worn yoke of their opinions. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803)
But to come to the land of love, you must pass through the pains of death, for to love persons means to die to the need for persons, and to be utterly alone. Anthony De Mello (1931)
Eternity alone understands about compassion; if you therefore wish to learn to understand compassion, you must learn it from eternity. But if you wish to understand the eternal, then there must be quiet about you, while you absolutely center your attention on inwardness. Soren Kierkegaard (1813)
Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self. Anthony De Mello (1931)
The most powerful prayer, one well-nigh omnipotent and the worthiest work of all, is the outcome of a quiet mind. The quieter it is the more powerful, the worthier, the deeper, the more telling and more perfect the prayer is. To the quiet mind all things are possible. What is a quiet mind? A quiet mind is one which nothing weighs or worries, which, free from ties and all self-seeking, is wholly merged into the will of God, and dead as to its own. Meister Eckhart (1260)
Love your solitude and bear with sweet-sounding lamentation the suffering it causes you. For those who are near you are far, you say, and that shows it is beginning to grow wide about you. And when what is near you is far, then your distance is already among the stars and very large; rejoice in your growth, in which you naturally can take no one with you, and be kind to those who remain behind, and be sure and calm before them and do not torment them with your doubts and do not frighten them with your confidence or joy which they could not understand. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
But if then you notice that it is great, rejoice because of this, for what (ask yourself) would solitude be that had no greatness. There is but one solitude, and that is great, and not easy to bear, and to almost everybody come hours when they would gladly exchange it for any sort of intercourse, however banal and cheap, for the semblance of some slight accord with the first comer, with the unworthiest... But perhaps those are the very hours when solitude grows, for its growing is painful as the growing of boys and sad as the beginning of spring-times. But that must not mislead you. The necessary thing is after all but this: solitude, great inner solitude. Going into oneself and for hours meeting no one -- this one must be able to attain. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875)
Those that make you return, for whatever reason,
to God's solitude, be grateful to them.
Worry about the others, who give you
delicious comforts that keep you from prayer.
Friends are enemies sometimes,
and enemies friends.
Jalal Al Din Rumi (1207)
This is a country whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. You do not find it by travelling but by standing still. Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity. Thomas Merton (1915)
All this talk and turmoil and noise and movement and desire is outside the veil; inside the veil is silence and calm and peace. Abu Yazid Al-Bistami (804)
If you wish to grow in your spiritual life, you must not allow yourself to be caught up in the workings of the world; you must find time alone, away from the noise and confusion, away from the allure of power and wealth. Thomas A. Kempis (1379)
Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. Henri J.M. Nouwen (1932)
But those who are inwardly alone, whose minds and hearts are free from the ache of loneliness -- they are real people, for they can discover for themselves what reality is, they can receive that which is timeless. J. Krishnamurti (1895)
It is not necessary to go off on a tour of great cathedrals in order to find the Deity. Look within. You have to sit still to do it. Albert Schweitzer (1875)
Settle yourself in solitude, and you will come upon Him in yourself. St. Teresa (1515)
It is an extraordinary fact and an extraordinary piece of evidence for the truth of religion, that long hours spent in silent communication with God who never directly answers is nevertheless manifestly a two-way communication. Such a person is gradually and permanently altered in the depths of his personality in ways which would be inconceivable if there was really nothing there at all. Anonymous
Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. Isaiah 26:3 (800 B.C.E.)
God never ceases to speak to us; but the noise of the world without, and the tumult of our passions within, bewilder us, and prevent us from listening. All must be silent around us, and all must be still within us, when we would listen with our whole souls to this voice. It is a still, small voice, and is only heard by those who listen to no other. Alas! How seldom is it that the soul is so still that it can hear when God speaks to it! Francois Fenelon (1651)
Who is there who can make muddy waters clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually clear itself. Lao Tse (604 B.C.E.)
"God Almighty has made us all. "- Red Cloud, Oglala Sioux
"Above all, avoid falsehood, every kind of falsehood, especially falseness to yourself. Watch over your own deceitfulness and look into it every hour, every minute. "- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
"Man is a mystery: if you spend your entire life trying to puzzle it out, then do not say that you have wasted your time. I occupy myself with this mystery, because I want to be a man. "- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
"The bamboo shadows Sweep the steps But raise no dust. "- Alan Watts
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. "- American Indian
""Is there anything that I can do to make myself enlightened?" "As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning." "Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?" "To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise." "- Anthony De Mello
"If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao's Gift!), If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get, If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood, You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek. To know when to stop, To know when you can get no further by your own action, This is the right beginning! "- Lao Tse
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