Being

When we are doing nothing in particular, it is then that we are living through all our being. Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Last update: 12 March 2021

Being

It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Marcus Aurelius

When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ... 

Each of us lives only now, this brief instant

Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see. The span we live is small—small as the corner of the earth in which we live it. Small as even the greatest renown, passed from mouth to mouth by short-lived stick figures, ignorant alike of themselves and those long dead.

The ability to observe without evaluating

The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.

Freeing yourself from all other distractions

Concentrate every minute on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. 

Do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life

Yes, you can if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that’s all even the gods can ask of you.

You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think. — Marcus Aurelius

Epictetus

How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer.

From now on, then, resolve to live as a grown-up who is making progress

From now on, then, resolve to live as a grown-up who is making progress, and make whatever you think best a law that you never set aside. And whenever you encounter anything that is difficult or pleasurable, or highly or lowly regarded, remember that the contest is now: you are at the Olympic Games, you cannot wait any longer…

Remember that you are an actor in a drama

Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of such a kind as the author pleases to make it. If short, of a short one; if long, of a long one. If it is his pleasure you should act a poor man, a cripple, a governor, or a private person, see that you act it naturally. For this is your business, to act well the character assigned you; to choose it is another's.

Try to be as kind to yourself as possible

Try to be as kind to yourself as possible. Do not measure yourself against others or even against your ideal self. Human betterment is a gradual, two-steps-forward, one-step-back effort.

I want to be that which I am

While I stay on this earth I want to be that which I am.

A half-hearted spirit has no power

A half-hearted spirit has no power. Tentative efforts lead to tentative outcomes.

You are a little soul carrying around a corpse. Epictetus

Werner Erhard

Whatever you are pushing
against, you are stuck to.

Realize you're all right the way you are

If you're not all right the way you are it takes a lot of effort to get better. Realize you're all right the way you are, and you'll get better naturally.

Who you know yourself to be” is simply one way of being that is available to you

Who you know yourself to be” is simply one way of being that is available to you, and you are not stuck with that way of being.

Being and action are distinct yet inseparable

Just like the front and the back of the hand, being and action are distinct yet inseparable.

Here's my definition of a hero

Here's my definition of a hero. A hero is an ordinary person given being and action by something bigger than themselves. One thing I'm sure about is I'm real ordinary. Yet I've had the chance to touch the lives of a lotta people.

Until what is significant is created by you, you aren’t living your life

Until what is significant is created by you, you aren’t living your life, you are living some inherited life.

Eventually your word is law in the universe

If you keep saying it the way it really is, eventually your word is law in the universe.

Health is a function of participation. — Werner Erhard

Rinzai Gigen

The best way to do is to be.

The flow of the six senses never ceases

Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking (mental activities). In the eye, it is called seeing; in the ear, hearing; in the nose, smelling; in the mouth, talking; in the hands, grasping; in the feet, walking. Fundamentally, it is one light; differentiated, it becomes the six senses. When one's whole heart comes to a full stop, one is delivered where one stands.

Voidness is that which stands right in the middle between this and that

The void is all-inclusive, having no opposite - there is nothing which it excludes or opposes. It is living void because all forms come out of it and whoever realizes the void is filled with life and power and the love of all human beings.

A man of no things, or of no affairs

Who can see it like that is, for all his life, a man who has nothing further to seek. Literally a man of no things, or of no affairs. Nothing further to do has a connotation of inactivity; Nothing further to seek" seems appropriate.

Nothing is more precious than to be a man who has nothing further to seek. Just do not give rise to any fancies, and be your ordinary selves.

Just do not give rise to any fancies, and be your ordinary selves. Just be your ordinary selves and refrain from fanciful imaginings.

Just be your ordinary selves with nothing further to seek, relieving nature, wearing robes and eating. When tired I sleep. Fools laugh at me, the wise understand.

You can no longer be driven around by circumstance

If you master any situation you are in, wherever you stand, all becomes true; you can no longer be driven around by circumstance.

The real being, with no status, is always going in and out through the doors of your face. Rinzai Gigen

Eugen Herrigel

The more a human being feels himself a self, tries to intensify this self and reach a never-attainable perfection, the more drastically he steps out of the center of being.

Being able to wait without purpose

Being able to wait without purpose in the state of highest tension...without continually asking yourself: Shall I be able to manage it? Wait patiently, as see what comes - and how it comes!

This exquisite state of unconcerned immersion

This exquisite state of unconcerned immersion in oneself is not, unfortunately, of long duration. It is liable to be disturbed from inside. As though sprung from nowhere, moods, feelings, desires, worries and even thoughts incontinently rise up, in a meaningless jumble.... The only successful way of rendering this disturbance inoperative is to keep on breathing quietly and unconcernedly, to enter into friendly relations with whatever appears on the scene, to accustom oneself to it, to look at it equably and at last grow weary of looking.

Letting inspiration come to him through meticulous observation

He grows daily more capable of following any inspiration without technical effort, and also of letting inspiration come to him through meticulous observation.

This, then, is what counts: a lightning reaction which has no further need of conscious observation

This, then, is what counts: a lightning reaction which has no further need of conscious observation. In this respect at least the pupil makes himself independent of all conscious purpose.

Purposeless tension

By letting go of yourself, leaving yourself and everything yours behind so decisively that nothing more is left of you but a purposeless tension. 

We should not practice anything except self-detaching immersion. Eugen Herrigel

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Here is my secret: I don't mind what happens.The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.

You know, if we understand one question rightly, all questions are answered

You know, if we understand one question rightly, all questions are answered. But we don't know how to ask the right question. To ask the right question demands a great deal of intelligence and sensitivity.

Here is a question, a fundamental question: is life a torture? It is, as it is; and man has lived in this torture centuries upon centuries, from ancient history to the present day, in agony, in despair, in sorrow; and he doesn't find a way out of it.

Therefore he invents gods, churches, all the rituals, and all that nonsense, or he escapes in different ways. What we are trying to do, during all these discussions and talks here, is to see if we cannot radically bring about a transformation of the mind, not accept things as they are, nor revolt against them. Revolt doesn't answer a thing.

You must understand it, go into it, examine it, give your heart and your mind, with everything that you have, to find out a way of living differently. That depends on you, and not on someone else, because in this there is no teacher, no pupil; there is no leader; there is no guru; there is no Master, no Saviour.

The ability to observe without evaluating

The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.

You yourself are the teacher and the pupil; you are the Master; you are the guru; you are the leader; you are everything. And to understand is to transform what is. — Jiddu Krishnamurti

Friedrich Nietzsche

Become who you are!

Every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth

At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.

In a real man there is a child hidden

In a real man there is a child hidden: it wants to play. Up then, you women, and discover the child in man!

There is more wisdom in your body

There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy. There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom.

Whatever happens, we are bound to lose it

One has to take a somewhat bold and dangerous line with this existence: especially as, whatever happens, we are bound to lose it.

Glance into the world just as though time were gone: and everything crooked will become straight to you.

Glance into the world just as though time were gone: and everything crooked will become straight to you.

No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life

No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!

Go your ways! and let the people and peoples go theirs! Friedrich Nietzsche

Taizan Maezumi Roshi

Practice is this life, and realization is this life, and this life is revealed right here and now.

Where you are, that's what your life is right there

Where you stand, where you are, that's what your life is right there, regardless of how painful it is or how enjoyable it is. That's what it is.

When you expect something ...

When you expect something, when you aim at something, right there you dilute your energy; you split your energy, you split your attention and it becomes more than the place of yin and yang. You do not only divide, but you create the problem.

Just live that life

Just live that life. It doesn't matter whether it is life or hell, life of the hungry ghost, life of the animal, it's okay; just live that life, see. And as a matter of fact no other way. Where you stand, where you are, that's what your life is right there, regardless of how painful it is or how enjoyable it is. That's what it is.

Have good trust in yourself

Have good trust in yourself … not in the One that you think you should be, but in the One that you are. 

Emptiness is in fact form when we forget the self. There's nothing in the universe other than ourself. Nothing to compare, name, or identify. When it's the only thing there is, how can we talk about it? Taizan Maezumi

Rumi

We carry inside us the
wonders we seek outside us.

Understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me

When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of distress and anxiety; If I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without any pain. 

From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret in this for anyone who can grasp it.

Achieve some perfection yourself

Achieve some perfection yourself, so that you may not fall into sorrow by seeing the perfection in others.

You are the entire ocean, in a drop

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop. Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Let silence be the art you practice

Let silence take you to the core of life. When I am silent, I fall into the place where everything is music. Keep silent, because the world of silence is a vast fullness.

Sing like the birds sing

I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.

Let the beauty we love be what we do. Rumi

Jean-Paul Sartre

If you're lonely when you're alone,
you're in bad company.

I exist. It is soft, so soft, so slow

I exist. It is soft, so soft, so slow. And light: it seems as though it suspends in the air. It moves.

Being is in-itself

Being is. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is.

Choices

We are our choices.

Exist slowly, softly, like these trees

Exist slowly, softly, like these trees, like a puddle of water, like the red bench in the streetcar.

To be fully alive

To be fully alive is to be properly aware of reality

I am myself and I am here. — Jean-Paul Sartre

Derek Sivers

Most people don't know why they're doing what they're doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own.

Never forget why you’re really doing what you’re doing.

Are you helping people? Are they happy? Are you happy? Are you profitable? Isn’t that enough?

Pay close attention to what excites you

Just pay close attention to what excites you and what drains you. Pay close attention to when you're being the real you and when you're trying to impress an invisible jury.

Grow (and thrive!)

You grow (and thrive!) by doing what excites you and what scares you everyday, not by trying to find your passion.

Hell yeah or no

If I’m not saying ‘Hell Yeah!’ to something, then I say no.

In the end, it's about what you want to be, not what you want to have. Derek Sivers

Shunryu Suzuki

Treat every moment as your last.
It is not preparation for something else.

When you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind

When you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do. You should do it completely, like a good bonfire. You should not be a smoky fire. You should burn yourself completely. If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do.

You should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do

In order not to leave any traces, when you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do. You should do it completely, like a good bonfire. You should not be a smoky fire. You should burn yourself completely. If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do. You will have something remaining which is not completely burned out.

Moment after moment you should devote yourself to your practice.

So our practice is not a matter of one hour or two hours, or one day or one year. If you practice zazen with your whole body and mind, even for a moment, that is zazen. So moment after moment you should devote yourself to your practice.

Each of you is perfect the way you are ... and you can use a little improvement. Shunryu Suzuki

Alan Watts

Existence - the physical universe, is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever.

How are we to find security and peace of mind in a world whose very nature is insecurity, impermanence, and unceasing change?

How are we to find security and peace of mind in a world whose very nature is insecurity, impermanence, and unceasing change? All these questions demand a method and a course of action. At the same time, all of them show that the problem has not been understood. We do not need action yet. We need more light.

Light, here, means awareness to be aware of life, of experience as it is at this moment, without any judgement or ideas about it. In other words, you have to see and feel what you are experiencing as it is. And not as it is named. This very simple "opening of the eyes" brings about the most extraordinary transformation of understanding and living, and shows that many of our most baffling problems are pure illusion. This may sound like an over-simplification because most people imagine themselves to be fully enough aware of the present already, but we shall see that this is far from true.

Because awareness is a view of reality free from ideas and judgements, it is clearly impossible to define and write down what it reveals. Anything which can be described is an idea, and I cannot make a positive statement about something-the real world-which is not an idea. I shall therefore have to be content with talking about the false impressions which awareness removes, rather than the truth which it reveals. The latter can only be symbolized with words which mean little or nothing to those without a direct understanding of the truth in question.

Existence is basically a kind of dancing or music

Existence is basically a kind of dancing or music--an immensely complex energy pattern which needs no explanation other than itself--just as we do not ask what is the meaning of fugues by Bach or sonatas by Mozart. We do not dance to reach a certain point on the floor, but simply to dance. Energy itself, as William Blake said, is eternal delight--and all life is to be lived in the spirit of rapt absorption in an arabesque of rhythms.

Timing and hurrying are … mutually exclusive

For the perfect accomplishment of any art, you must get this feeling of the eternal present into your bones — for it is the secret of proper timing.

There is indeed such a thing as “timing” — the art of mastering rhythm — but timing and hurrying are … mutually exclusive.

You are basically the fabric and structure of existence itself

What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself. When you look out of your eyes, at nature happening out there, you’re looking at you. That’s the real you. The you that goes on of itself.

Your soul is not in your body; your body is in your soul. Alan Watts

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Make a list of what is really
important to you. Embody it.

This journey is uniquely yours, no one else's.

Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else's. So the path has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else's journey and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor your uniqueness in this way?

Allow yourself to be exactly as you are

Give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are.

If you stop trying to make yourself more than you are, out of fear that you are less than you are, whoever you really are will be a lot lighter and happier and easier to live with, too.

When it comes right down to it, wherever you go, there you are

Guess what? When it comes right down to it, wherever you go, there you are. Whatever you wind up doing, that’s what you’ve wound up doing. Whatever you are thinking right now, that’s what’s on your mind. Whatever has happened to you, it has already happened. The important question is, how are you going to handle it? In other words, “Now what?

Give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome

To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking. It's akin to letting your palm open to unhand something you have been holding on to.

Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling

Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. Notice any labels you attach to crying or feeling vulnerable. Let go of the labels. Just feel what you are feeling, all the while cultivating moment-to-moment awareness, riding the waves of “up” and “down,” “good” and “bad,” “weak” and “strong,” until you see that they are all inadequate to fully describe your experience. Be with the experience itself. Trust in your deepest strength of all: to be present, to be wakeful

See for yourself whether letting go when a part of you really wants to hold on doesn't bring a deeper satisfaction than clinging. Jon Kabat-Zinn

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