i am that idiot

I love George Saunders, says when he sees people, the writer George Saunders, who is a practicing Buddhist as well, but he says whenever he sees somebody acting out, he has a name for them, a special name for them. And that name is me on a different day.

Elizabeth Gilbert

how to open a door

When I pick up a book or open a door, I want to invest myself in this act 100 percent. This is what I learned during my monastic training, when my teacher taught me how to offer a stick of incense. A stick of incense is very small and very light, yet the right way to hold it is with two hands. When offering the incense, you have to invest 100 percent of your being in your hands and in two of your fingers—the energy of mindfulness must be concentrated there. This may look like a ritual, but it is a really an act of concentrated awareness. I put my left hand on my right hand, and during this time, I concentrate 100 percent. The incense is an offering to the Buddha, but does the Buddha really need incense? This is actually an offering of peace, of joy, and of concentration.

—Thich Nhat Hanh, You Are Here

wake me up before i go go

Life is too precious for us to lose ourselves in our ideas and concepts, in our anger and our despair. We must wake up to the marvelous reality of life. We must begin to live fully and truly, every moment of our daily lives.

—Thich Nhat Hanh, You Are Here

how to have joy and happiness

Joy and happiness are born of concentration. When you are having a cup of tea, the value of that experience depends on your concentration. You have to drink the tea with 100 percent of your being. The true pleasure is experienced in the concentration.

—Thich Nhat Hanh, You Are Here

wisdom in one sentence – on death

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!
—Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman

People living deeply have no fear of death.
—Anaïs Nin

Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.
—Benjamin Franklin

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Dying is a wild night and a new road.
—Emily Dickinson

If you don’t know how to die, don’t worry; Nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. She will do this job perfectly for you; don’t bother your head about it.
—Montaigne

one way to know the next direction of your life

“eat, pray, love would not exist without The Artist’s Way…

One of the things that happens when you do it is that various ways she asks on almost every single exercise, she’s asking you various interpretations of if there was one talent that you wish you had, what would it be? If there was one skill that you would love to learn, what would it be? If there’s something you wish you had studied when you were younger, what is it? If you could have five talents that you have now, what might they be? If you could have five — and she keeps asking these questions in various ways and you answer them again and again and again.

And when you’re done doing The Artist’s Way, you go back and you read through all your journals and you see what keeps showing up because that’s your clue as to what the next direction of your life was.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert

everybody look up Byron Katie

“Everybody look up Byron Katie, she’s amazing. And if you have the means and if you have the chance to ever take her nine-day School for The Work, it’s the most important thing I’ve ever done for myself.

… she has a whole day in the nine-day School for The Work, which is about the simple no. The simple note is ways to say no. It always begins with, “Thank you,” and there’s never a “But,” because she feels that the word but is very cruel. It’s just an “And.” So it’s “Thank you” and “No.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

i’m the happiest person anybody knows

“If you listen to people, if you just sit and listen, you’ll find that there are patterns in the way they talk about themselves. There’s the kind of person who is always the victim in any story that they tell. Always on the receiving end of some injustice. They’re the person who’s always kind of the hero of every story they tell. The smart person, they delivered the clever put down there. There are lots of versions of this, and you’ve got to be very careful about how you tell these stories because it starts to become you, that you are in the way you craft your narrative, kind of crafting your character. And so I did at some point decide, “I am going to adopt self-consciously as my narrative, that I’m the happiest person anybody knows.”

Michael Lewis

wisdom in one sentence – how to be happy

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.
― Mark Twain

The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach.
― Seneca

The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it’s the small things that count.
― Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
― Epictetus

I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory!
― Audrey Hepburn

The key to happiness is finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life.
– Paul Dolan, Happiness by Design

People are unhappy, the Stoics argue, in large part because they are confused about what is valuable.
– William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life

Your joy, your happiness, your satisfaction and your ability to dance with life depend solely on what you pay attention to.
– Susan Jeffers