The art of happy living
Life’s joys are like quicksilver: Tighten your grip
on them, and they will fly from your grasp.
To hold on to happiness
simply receive it,
as it were, in the cup of your hand.
Don’t clutch it with attachment.
Attachment, like an unripe fruit,
clings to whatever nourishes its hopes of fulfillment
even when fierce winds of tragedy buffet it.
Non-attachment, on the other hand, releases
those hopes at the very first breath of
disappointment, knowing that such is, indeed,
the nature of this world.
a healing balm;
it can soothe troubled hearts,
and win cooperation
even from the hostile.
The secret of right understanding
Understanding comes by sympathy,
and still more by empathy.
As undampened notes on a piano
will resonate with the notes
played on other instruments,
so kindness and generosity
remove the “damper” of egotism,
helping one to
“resonate” with others
in their pains and difficulties.
First, be true to yourself
Inner peace is like oil:
It lubricates the machinery of life, and enables
everything to function smoothly.
People mirror back to you
the feelings you hold toward them.
If you want to be liked, first of all,
show others that you like them.
The loving heart
The heart is like
the door of a building:
The air and light of truth can enter only
when the door is kept open wide.
Face life’s trials
Trials are like dogs:
They lose heart
when we confront them, but give eager chase
the moment we turn and flee.
Spiritual progress should
be relaxed and natural,
not forced. Think of it as a growing tree
reaching out gradually to touch
a greater reality. One reason for not
judging others is that one learns thereby
not to judge himself. Remember:
Nature never makes sudden leaps.
Make loyalty the
rudder of your barque of life.
If you stand firmly by high principles, not even
the strongest gales of wrong opinion will be able to
blow you off course. Be loyal above all to
truth as you most deeply understand it. You will
then keep growing in strength and understanding.
The wise have ever said that
one should place his full
trust only in God.
To rely too much on outer circumstances
is like expecting stability of a ship at sea.
You are part of the vastness of life
Accept reality as it is,
and try to harmonize yourself with it.
Truth, like Mohammed’s mountain,
won’t come to you: You must go to it.
In another sense, of course, there is
neither coming nor going:
the pilgrimage you must make is
to plumb your own inner depths.
Dogmatism is like still photography.
True understanding is like cinematography:
It helps one to perceive constant change,
and then to observe that change
as proceeding from a single beam of eternal light
Our bridge of ascension
Divine grace, like a ray of light, is needed
to illuminate the darkness of this world.
Only on rays of grace can we rise,
and only by so ascending can we escape
the dense fog of cosmic delusion.