{ Book Words }

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Below is a list of excerpts from books I've read that earned a highlight, underline or earmark.  

If you have read the book yourself and have some insight or points of discussion, please, do share in the comments!!

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Momma Zen | Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller

pg. 7 

" The life of a mother is the life of a child: you are two blossoms on a single branch.  It's only my egocentric point of view that is limited -- the view that I am over here and she is over there driving me crazy.  To be a fuller, a more compassionate and even-minded mother, live as though there were no gap and become the child. "


pg. 8

" Time and again you'll be stripped of your preconceptions, judgments, ideas, theories and opinions of motherhood and left to go straight on through the inexplicable experience itself.  These gulfs of incomprehension bring the opportunity for spiritual growth and self-acceptance. "


pg. 10

" There is a certain attitude, perhaps unavoidable, that most of us seem to adopt as we grow up.  It is a kind of self-satisfied conclusion that our parents didn't love us.  Oh, they might have loved us, but they didn't love us enough.  They didn't love us the right way.  The didn't love us just so.  Have your own child and you will penetrate into the utter absurdity of that idea.  You will love your child as your parents loved you and their parents loved them.  With a love that is humbling and uncontrived, immense and indestructible.  Parents err, of course, and badly.  They can be ignorant, foolish, mean and far worse, in ways that you can come to forgive in them and try to prevent in yourself.  But this whole-sale shortage of parental love at the crux of everyone's story must be the product of shabby and self-serving recollections.  Now that you are a mother, set that story aside, forgetting everything you thought you knew about love. "

- I couldn't pick just one part of this paragraph, it is too right-on to leave any part of it out.


pg. 15

" From its first bloated moment, pregnancy had seemed to me a lesson in losing it, a lesson in letting go.  So it is.  Can you imagine any other scenario in which you would pack on fifty extra pounds and never once pause to flick a speck of powdered sugar off your doughnut?  Where you would fall so effortlessly, so helplessly to sleep before sunset? …  it all comes down to letting go. "

- YES! Goodness, yes! 


pg. 25

"We can handle anything when we exchange our worries and fears for alertness and spontaneity, when we focus solely on what is in front of us, and when we leap into the sheer wonder of the unplanned life. "


pg. 34

"Singing was not something that I was otherwise prone to.  I'm not about to do anything that I'm not 'good' at, and no on head asked me to sing since third-grade choir.  This new singing was a kind of mindless chirping spring from -- where exactly? It was sometime later that I recognized singing as the entry point to pure being, an utterly empty, nonthinking state of mind that is the ultimate coping strategy.  Every moment I was humming along, letting the music and words tumble out, was a moment I wasn't thinking dreary thoughts.  I wasn't thinking anything at all.  

"Singing also activates another overlooked coping strategy: breathing.  Singing is breathing, and breathing lis life. "


pg. 39

"Motherhood could be an unflattering mirror, and I resolved every day to try harder and be softer.  Be kind to yourself and others. "


pg. 40

" What is a mistake without the self-critical label?  It is just what it is.  It is always perfection in action -- not perfect as in better than something else but perfect as in complete.  Your actions need nothing -- not analyzing, not punishment, not instant replay.  It is impossible not to do your best, you just don't think it's your best. "

-I really love how she incorporated her Buddhism into her book, how she uses her experiences as a mother and helps the reader to incorporate some simple but profound Buddhist ideals, all for the betterment of ourselves as people and as parents.


pg. 41

" Practice acceptance on yourself so you can be kinder with your child.  Practice nonjudgmental awareness of your life so you can save your loved ones from the cruelty of your own impossible standards and your hard-hearted disappointment.  Practice greater faith and lesser blame.  Take this blink of time when you are still stumbling at the gate, still awkward at the tasks, to turn down the sound and tumble freely in a state of grace. 

" Life is full of fits and starts.  Some things are easy; some are not.  Some things go and some things stop.  Do your work; then set it down.  There are no failures.  Forgive and forget yourself. "


pg. 51

" Your child is a tireless teacher, constantly probing  your self-imposed limits and boundaries, your self-centeredness, your sheer stubbornness.  It is a thankless job, and who would want it?  But each day your child comes to work again, taking up the monumental task. "

-Certainly a new way of looking at it! 


pg. 64

" Are you aware that your breathing weaves a uniform pattern, your heart beats in faultless cadence, and your body functions in continuous, self-regulated flow? Your baby doesn't need you to impose a schedule, least of all one from a Web site or a book; your baby is a schedule of sequential events at predictable times.  What she needs is for you to see it.  Your baby doesn't need an imperious schedule maker but an attentive timekeeper. "


pg. 73

" I can trust that everything my family truly needs -- every opportunity my daughter needs to fulfill herself -- is already present and will be.  Satisfaction is never the future outcome of some hoped-for event.  Satisfaction always lies right where you are. "


pg. 84

" When you can do anything as though you work at nothing, you have the best days of your life. "


pg. 85

" When you're not looking, you will spoon-feed your child all of your hang-ups about food.  Even if you are looking, you will still do it. "


pg. 87

" Letting food be food means that when your child eats, that's all there is to it.  When he doesn't eat, that's all there is to it.  When he has a cookie, that's all there is to it.  When he has homemade steamed organic yams mashed by your own doting hands, that's all there is to it. "


pg. 100 

" I lose it all the time.  We all lose it all the time.  The point is not that we lose our cool, the point is how quickly we find it again. "


pg. 102

" Want your child to learn to handle difficult emotions and overcome fears?  Then do likewise.  Express yourself calmly, own up to your feelings, and don't be afraid to be honest.  If you don't believe you have the capacity to administer your child's welfare, he or she won't believe it either.  Want your child to be good?  Then be good. "


pg. 107

" Words are magic.  All words are, not just please and thank you.  The words my daughter will use are the ones she hears; the words I want to her to use she must hear from me.  So when I'm alarmed by her annoying use of the imperative, her bossy instructions to me whiteout the sweetening of a 'please,' I listen to myself for a while.  How much of what I say to her is a curt command?  Nearly all of it. "


pg. 129

"Children are exemplars of the art of being.  Wherever they are, they are completely immersed: in mud, in make-believe, in laughter, in tears, or in spaghetti sauce up to their eyeballs.  Without a bit of self-consciousness, they lose themselves in what they are; they literally throw themselves away.  This is the kind of losing in which everything is found.

"We, on the other hand, rarely lose ourselves in activity but we are plenty lost nonetheless.  We lose ourselves in mental distractions; we disconnect our words from our actions.  Caught up in our own nonstop internal commentary, we confuse what is happening in our heads with what is really happening.  We habitually choose to do this because our thoughts seem to be so much more entertaining, elevating, urgent and important that what is occurring in front of us.  I didn't want to play in her make-believe because I was too busy concocting my own.  Leave it to an intractable preschooler to point out what was obvious except to me: thinking is not at all the same as being. "

-another couple of paragraphs that would be less powerful only a sentence at a time.  

pg. 130

" We mistakenly think everything is produced by thought, when in fact thinking only produces more thinking!  What you really accomplish in your day you do almost entirely without thinking: breathing, digesting, standing, moving about,, writing, driving, scratching your head, speaking, sorting laundry, screaming, sweeping floors, making dinner from limp celery and garbanzo beans, sewing miniature mermaid fins from a turquoise sock.  Untold, countless, miraculous, and utterly unfathomable deeds. "


pg. 138

"The power of intuition moves through a mother like a silent and gathering storm, amassing such potency, such precision, that when you stop searching elsewhere for the answers, they begin to appear in certitude before you.  These are not always the answers that you want -- and to that degree you might overlook them in hopeful confusion. But they are sufficient to correct your direction if you trust your eyes, ears, and gut. "


pg. 145

"You don't have to work so hard at this.  You don't have to do so much.  You don't have to endeavor to be natural, normal and good.  It happens by itself when you least expect it.  If you are confused about what you should be doing, try this.  Stop what you are doing.  Take care of what is in front of you, when it is in front of you, and the confusion will pass.  This is called the effort of no effort.  No effort is what powers the universe. 

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-this one, I will put up on my wall.  


pg. 150

" Your life is a garden.  And you are the only gardener."


pg. 158

" There are many things you can do in life, but the things that you accomplish are those to which you commit."


pg. 164

"Happy matters most of all.  And here's the surprise ending.  You don't have to wait for happiness, because there's no time but now to be happy.  You don't have to go somewhere else, because there's no place but here to find it.  You don't' have to do something else, because there's nothing more to it.  You don't have to get something else, because everything you already have is enough.  You just have to be happy. "


pg. 165

"When you drop your expectations, lose your selfishness, forget your grievances, give up your worries, abandon the plan, stop your stirring, let it out, let it go, let things pass, take a breath, take a break, quiet down, be still, empty your mind, open your heart, and come alive, what else is there to be but happy?  If you can answer otherwise, it's time to read the is paragraph again and see what you've overlooked. "

-I can not imagine a better way to end this summary! 


Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids | How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham

pg. 23 

" Consider that this thought that's driving your upset almost certainly comes from fear.  That means it isn't as true as the interpretation of the situation that comes from love. "

- This is part of Dr. Markham's Minute 1 of 3 in the Process to Shift Yourself From Upset to Peace.  When our children's actions trigger something in us that causes fear (fear they aren't respecting us, fear they won't ever get it, fear they are going to be that mean kid), she suggests that our reaction then may be lacking the love that their behavior actually needs/deserves/is yearning for.  In other words, try to react with respect and kindness to your child's needs.  


pg. 24

" Most of us learned as children that our feelings were unacceptable, even dangerous.  So when our child has a meltdown, the little one inside us gets triggered.  Danger signs flash.  As always when danger looms we feel a sense of panic.  We just want to get away (that's flight) or we feel a sudden rage -- we want to make him shut up (that's fight) or we go numb (that's freeze). "

- She goes over this point, again and again in the book.  So I think I finally came around to understanding this concept by its end.  The word "dangerous" is what I had to wrap my head around.  Don't stifle their emotions, they might learn that they shouldn't feel those emotions, that they are "dangerous" emotions to have. Instead, help them through their (scary, to them) feelings.  See pg. 111 below


pg. 26

" Once he feels his emotions, they'll evaporate. "


pg. 28

" The number one resolution of parents everywhere?  Be more patient.  But having to summon up your patience is a signal that your cup is already dangerously empty.  Willpower takes us only so far.  The real job is keeping your cup full so you have plenty of joy and presence to share with your child.  Kids love our joyful presence and bcome happier and more cooperative. "


pg. 33

" The most important parenting secret: Discipline, despite all the books written on it, doesn't work. "

- HUH?  WTH?  So, as I read on, it doesn't mean that you don't have guidelines, that you don't set boundaries.  But when they overstep those lines, Dr. Markham recommends empathy and guidance/limits instead (see below).  This one will take me some time to digest.


pg. 39

" And as for Regulating Yourself, your own emotional wholeness will determine how deeply you can connect with your child. "


pg. 40

" In fact, your ability to enjoy your child may be the most important factor in his development. "


pg. 45

" Your patience with his emotional meltdowns is the key to his overcoming any earlier hurts.  It just becomes even more important to remember that his challenging behaviors are a red flag that he needs your emotional help.  The understanding you give your child is always healing. "


pg. 58

" Play is one of the most reliable ways to smooth the tensions and build trust with your child. "


pg. 61

" No one can take your place in your child's heart; you will always be her parent.  She may seem to have hardened her heart to you, but your sweet little girl is in there, waiting to be reconnected with you. "

- in talking about rebuilding connection with your child.


pg. 64

" But try as we might, all of us sometimes have less than optimal interactions with our children, and our relationship balance dips into the red.  That's when children develop attitude, whether they're two or ten.  So if you notice some friction with your child, it's time ot check your account balance.  Do this even if you think your child is just going through a difficult stage. You might be surprised by how much easier that stage is once your child feels more connected to you. "


pg. 67

In suggesting ways to have Special Time with your child, "Give your child 100 percent of your attention with no agenda and no distractions.  Just follow his lead…Resist the urge to judge or evaluate your child.  Don't suggest your own ideas unless she asks.  Refrain from checking your cell phone.  Just show up and give your dhild the tremendous gift of being seen and acknowledged. "

- this one spoke to me on many levels!


pg. 72

In suggesting daily habits for strengthening relationships with your kids, " Don't let little rifts build up.  Your relationship with your child should feel good.  Children need to know deep in their bones that their parents adore them and take delight in their company.  If that's not how you feel, get whatever support you need to work it through positively.  Chosing to withdrawl (except temporarily, strategically) when your child seems intent on driving you away is always a mistake.  Every difficulty is an opportunity to get closer, as you extend understanding and your child feels truly seen, heard and accepted. "


pg. 74

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- another reminder


pg. 81

In giving advice on how to get your child to listen to you, " Don't repeat yourself.  If you've asked once and not gotten a response, don't just repeat yourself.  You don't have your child's attenion.  Go back to step one. " (step one: Don't start talking until you have your child's attention).

- GUILTY. Yikes.


pg. 88

" Most parents think it's our job to control our children, but when we try we're bound to fail.  We find ourselves being powerless, casting about for a bigger stick or carrot to persuade our child.  We respond to our child's behaveior with force or threats to gain compliance ("Don't ou speak to me that way, young lady!"), leaving her to figure out for herself how to learn self-management skills. "

- Yes, I have said, something very similar.  Several times.  


pg. 92

She talkes about what an EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) is comprised of: the ability to self soothe, emotional self-awareness and acceptance, impulse control and empathy. 


pg. 93

" But sometimes we neglect two more important lessons all children need to know: how to manage their feelings (and therefore their behavior), and how to understand other people's feelings.  These two skills form the core of what psychologiets have come to call EQ, or the emotional intelligence quotient.  It's a core part of human devlopment, and while it sounds complicated, it's important for parents to wrap their arms around it. "


pg. 108, 109, 110

In talking about Elementary schoolers (6-9 yrs): Emotional Self Awareness 

" The kids who aren't sure they can count on adults to help the self-regulate have "big feelings" that burst out easily.  The kids who are now quite sure they can't count on adults may seem more controlled, but they're more fragile than they look: their hearts race even when they act nonchalant.   The lucky kids who've had responsive parenting have become conversant with their own emotions and are able to regulate them much of the time, which means they can now often regulate their own behavior. "

" These years are often easier for parents.  After age six, the brain confers much better impulse control.  Because of this improved emotional control and the focus on school, many parents doen't even notice their child's inner emotional struggles … Unfortunately, rather than seeing off-track behavior as a cry for help, most parents discipline with 'consequences' and other punishment.  They miss the opportunity to help their child process the fears and unmet needs that drive 'bad' behavior and build EQ. "


pg. 111

" Most of us were brought up thinking that emotions are dangerous.  If we can't tolerate our own sadness or anger, we can't tolerate our child's.  And if we can't accept our child's disappointment, or anger, or greif, we give him the message that his feelings are too dangerous to allow. "


pg. 113

"Your acceptance and understanding of what he's feeling helps him recognize and accept his own emotions.  That's what allows the feelings to lose their charge and begin to dissipate.  We don't have to act on emotions or even like them; we need merely to acknowledge their presence to liberate ourselves from them.  

"Your acceptance of his emotions teaches your child that his emotional life is not dangerous, is not shameful, and in fact is universal and manageble … He learns that he isn't alone to cope with the crush of his powerful emotions. "


pg. 117

A great bulleted list of some signs that your child needs help with emotions (hint: when they are constantly doing things to get on your nerves or annoy you!).


pg. 119

" One of the most important messages we can give our children about emotion is that anger is a universal human feeling that can be managed and contorlled.  How do we do that?  By acknowledging and responding to their anger, rather than ignoring it or punishing it. "


pg. 123

In meeting your child's deepest needs : " Children can't name these needs, but when they're not met, they dont thrive.  They seem unhappy, uncooperative, insatiable.  Nothing feels like enough to them.  So they demand more, more and more.  More time before bedtime.  More treats than their siblings.  More material possessions. "


pg. 131

In emotion-coaching your child through a meltdown, she recommends choosing a scheduled meltdown.  

- I don't really understand this concept.  Would love to ask her! 


pg. 148

" If you want a cooperative, ethical, self-disciplined child whom you can trust to do the right thing, even as she becomes a teenager, you should never punish.  No spanking, no time-outs, no yelling, no parent-contrived consequences.  Really.  No punishment of any kind. "

- if this blows your mind it did mine too.  

" The word discipline actually means 'to guide' but virtually everything we think of as discipline is punishment.  And punishment erodes your relationship with your child, which destroys the only motivation she has to behave as you'd like. "


pg. 153

" Punishing our child discharges our own frustration and worry, and makes us feel better. "

-yikes.  wow.  okay.


pg. 154

" Your goal in disciplining your child is actually to help him develop self-discipline, meaning to assume responsibility for his actions, including making amends and avoiding a repeat, whether the authority figure is present or not.  Isn't that the lesson we're hoping to teach when we punish?  Loving guidance actually accomplishes this goal better than punishment or discipline. "


pg. 161

For the preschool years age 3-5, bulleted list on how they are learning self management

- a good reminder and reinforcer for some of the things May is going through right now.


pg. 165, 166

Good description of Authoritarian vs. Permissive vs. Neglectful vs. Authoritative* parenting styles and their effects on children


pg. 184

" When your child defies you, focus on the relationship, rather than on discipline. "


pg. 187

Twelve alternatives to wean off consequences are listed. 


pg. 193, 194

How to empower kids to make amends with the 3 Rs: reflection, repair and responsibility. 

" Unlike punishment or forced apologies, the three Rs of making amends give your child the foundation to manage both her emotions and her behavior.  Worried that your hild won't learn to apologize?  If you apologize to her, she'll learn from your example how to apologize to you and to others. "


pg. 211

In laying down a foundation for your child to acheive mastery, she recommends " Don't rush to teach.  Instead, let your child learn by experimenting. "  She goes on to quote Jean Piaget, "Every time we teach a child something, we keep him from inventing it himself. "

- goes a bit against anything I had thought prior…maybe there is a happy/healthy medium between teaching and allowing them to invent/experiment?


pg. 228

She quotes Peggy O'Mara of Mothering Magazine,          " The way we talk to our child will become their inner voice. " 


pg. 231

"…praise as we usually offer it to children is not unconditional at all.  Conventional praise -- 'Good job!…I'm proud of you! … Beautiful painting!' -- evaluates our child agains standards that we determine.  Studies show that children who are frequently praised in this way conclude that someone is constantly evaluating their performance.  They become more insecure about expressing their own ideas and opinions, worried about whether they'll measure up.  Instead of taking pride in their own behavior and achievements, they look outside for affirmation.  Praise kills the joy we take in our own accomplishments and makes us dependent on emotinal handouts from others. "

--  Um.  WOW.  Trying new ways to encourage my girls has been a struggle and a challenge!!

-- Also, I'm not sure I think traditional praise is horrible, either.


pg. 232

" Instead of labeling or evaluating our child, what if we simply connect with him, using our empathy, our willingness to be fully present and notice him, our joy in the relationship? What might we say? " 

- she goes on to list some good suggestions, including "you must be so proud of yourself!"  I can do that. 


pg. 241

In creating a no-blame household, " Blame is simply anger looking for a target, and it never helps us toward a solution". 

A New Earth | Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

pg. 7

" An essential part of the awakening is the recognition of the unawakened you, the ego as it thinks, speaks, and acts, as well as the recognition of the collectively conditioned mental processes that perpetuate the unawakened state. "


pg. 9

" … so to sin means to miss the point of human existence. "


pg. 17

"In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual dimension within yourself. Many 'religious' people are stuck at that level.  They equate truth with thought, and they are completely identified with thought (their mind), they claim to be in sole possession of the truth in an unconscious attempt to protect their identity.  They don't realize the limitations of thought. "


pg. 18

" Partly as a result of the spiritual teaching that have arisen outside the established religions, but also due to an influx of the ancient Eastern wisdom teachings, a growing number of followers of traditional religions are able to … realize that how 'spiritual' you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of consciousness.  This, in turn, determines how you act in the world and interact with others. "


pg. 22

" You then no longer derive your identity, your sense of who you are, from the incessant stream of thinking that in the old consciousness you take to be yourself.  What a liberation to realize that the 'voice in my head' is not who I am. "

" Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought form … this results in a total unawareness of my connectedness with the whole, my intrinsic oneness with every 'other' as well as with the Source. "


pg. 23

" We need to understand that heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness. "


pg. 26

" The quicker you are in attaching verbal or mental labels to things, people, or situations, the more shallow and lifeless your reality becomes, and the more deadened you become to rarity, the miracle of life that continuously unfolds within and around you. "


pg. 28

" The good news is: If you can recognize illusion as illusion, it dissolves.  The recognition of illusion is also its ending.  Its survival depends on you mistaking it for reality.  In the seeing of who you are not, the reality of who you are emerges by itself. "


pg. 30

" Most people are still completely identified with the incessant stream of mind, of compulsive thinking, most of it repetitive and pointless.  There is no 'I' apart from their thought processes and the emotions that go with them.  This is the meaning of being spiritually unconscious. "

- guilty of this 


pg. 38

"… I suggest that you investigate your relationship with the world of things through self-observation, and in particular, things that are designated with the word 'my'. "


pg. 41

" … sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. "

" One thing we do know: Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. "


pg. 42

" The ego isn't wrong; it's just unconscious … Don't take the ego too seriously.  When you detect egoic behavior in yourself, smile … If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that's just more ego. "


pg. 44

"…making yourself right and others wrong is one of the principal egoic mind patterns, one of the main forms of unconsciousness. "


pg. 45

" The ego lives through comparison.  How you are seen by others turns into how you see yourself … The ego's sense of self worth is in most cases bound up with the worth you have in the eyes of others. "

" Attachment to things drops away buy itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. "


pg. 47

"Most egos have conflicting wants … except that they don't want what is: the present moment. "


pg. 48

" The thought forms of 'me' and 'mine,' of 'more than,' of 'I want,' 'I need,' 'I must have,' and of 'not enough' pertain not to content but to the structure of the ego.


pg. 50

" In either case, ugly or beautiful, people derive a significant part of their identity, be it negative or positive, from their body.  To be more precise, they derive their identity from the I-thought that they erroneously attach to the mental image or concept of their body. "

"Equating the physical sense-perceived body that is destined to grow old, wither and die with 'I' always leads to suffering sooner or later. "


pg. 51

"If you don't equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or entity in any way.  In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the formless dimension, the light of consciousness, can shine more easily through the fading form. "


pg. 52

" This is done not by trying to convince yourself that you are not your body, but by shifting your attention from the external form of your body and from thoughts about your body -- beautiful, ugly, strong, weak, too fat, too thin -- to the feeling of aliveness inside it … it is an intensely alive energy field. "


pg. 54

" When every thought absorbs your attention completely, when you are so identified with the voice in your head and the emotions that accompany in that you lose yourself in every thought and every emotion, then you are totally identified with form and therefore in the grip of ego. "


pg. 55

" When you are aware that you are thinking, that awareness is not part of thinking.  It is a different dimension of consciousness … When you know you are dreaming, you are awake within the dream.  Another dimension of consciousness has come in. "


pg. 57

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- This was a new perspective for me, in reading this book. 


pg. 58

" The central core of all your mind activity consists of certain repetitive and persistent thoughts, emotions and reactive patterns that you identify with most strongly.  This entity is the ego itself. "


pg. 62, 63

" Resentment means to feel bitter, indignant, aggrieved or offended … The ego loves it.  Instead of overlooking unconsciousness in others, you make it into their identity … Who is doing that?  The unconsciousness in you, the ego. "

" Nonreaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego … Nonreaction is not a weakness but a strength. Another word for nonreaction is forgiveness.  To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through. "


pg. 65

" One strong grievance is enough to contaminate large areas of your life and keep you in the grip of the ego. "


pg. 70

" Thought can at best point to the truth, but it never is the truth.  That's why Buddhists say 'The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.'"


pg. 71

" The very Being that you are is Truth. "


pg. 74

"Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you … Only if you mistake it for who you are can observing it within you be threatening to your sense of self. "


pg. 74, 75

" Fighting unconsciousness will draw you into unconsciousness yourself … Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists. "

- WOW!


pg. 78

" Spiritual realization is to see clearly that what I perceive, experience, think, or feel is ultimately not who I am, that I cannot find myself in all those things that continuously pass away. "


pg. 86

" Many people fluctuate between feelings of inferiority and superiority, depending on situations or the people they come in contact with.  All that you need to know and observe in yourself is this: Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that's the ego in you. "


pg. 90

" What really matters is not what function you fulfill in this world, but whether you identify with your function to such an extent that it takes you over and becomes a role that you play.  When you play roles, you are unconscious. "

- Can be true about motherhood


pg. 91

"Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose  yourself in a role. "


pg. 96

" The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. "


pg. 99

" Awareness is the greatest agent for change. "


pg. 101

" [Your children] come into this world through you, but they are not 'yours'. "


pg. 102

" One of the ego's many erroneous assumptions .. is 'I should not have to suffer.' … 'My child should not have to suffer.' … Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego. "


pg. 105 

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-- Aaah.  I love this.  Since I've read this quote, I see it all the time in the interactions of my family. 


pg. 108

" You are most powerful, most effective, when you are completely yourself.  But don't try to be yourself.  That's another role. "


pg. 109

" Give up defining yourself -- to yourself or to others … And don't be concerned with how others define you.  When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it's their problem.  Whenever you interact with people, don't be there primarily as a function or a role, but as a field of conscious Presence. "


pg. 111

"Whenever you are in a negative state, there is something in you that wants the negativity … if you can be aware at that moment that there is something in you that takes pleasure in it or believes it has a useful purpose, you are becoming aware of the ego directly … This means the ego is shrinking and awareness is growing. "


pg. 115

" How to be at peace now?  By making peace with the present moment. "


pg. 116

" Watch out for thoughts that appear to justify or explain this unhappiness but in reality cause it. "


pg. 119

" The stronger the ego in you, the more likely it is that in your perception other people are the main source of problems in your life.  It is also more than likely that you will make life difficult for others.  But, of course, you won't be able to see that.  It is always others who seem to be doing it to you. "


pg. 121

" Let go of identification with your mind.  Who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself. "


pg. 128

" So there is no such thing as 'my life' and I don't have a life.  I am life.  I and life are one. "


pg. 129

"The greater part of most people's thinking is involuntary automatic, and repetitive … Strictly speaking, you don't think: Thinking happens to you.

" That voice in the head has a life of its own.  Most people are at the mercy of that voice; they are possessed by thought, by the mind.  And since the mind is conditioned by the past, you are then forced to reenact the past again and again.  The Eastern term for this is karma. "

-I had no idea this is what karma was. 


pg. 132

" So emotion is the body's reaction to your mind. "


pg. 133

" An instinctive response is the body's direct response to some external situation.  An emotion, on the other hand, is the body's response to a thought. "


pg. 140

" We can learn to break the habit of accumulating and perpetuating old emotion by flapping our wings, metaphorically speaking, and refrain from mentally dwelling on the past, regardless of whether something happened yesterday or thirty years ago. "


pg. 160

" There is only one perpetuator of evil on the planet: human unconsciousness. "


pg. 186

" Knowing yourself deeply has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around in your mind.  knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind. "


pg. 190

" Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance. "


pg. 192

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pg. 195

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pg. 198

" To be in alignment with what is means to be in a relationship of inner nonresistance with what happens.  It means not to label it mentally as good or bad, but to let it be. "


pg. 200

"Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the wold will determine your happiness and unhappiness. " 


pg. 201

" If your relationship with the Now is dysfunctional, that dysfunction will be reflected in every relationship and every situation you encounter … Become friendly toward it, welcome it no matter in what disguise it comes, and soon you will see the results.  Life becomes friendly toward you; people become helpful, circumstances cooperative. "


pg. 210, 211

" You are present when what you are doing is not primarily a means to an end (money, prestige, winning), but fulfilling in itself, when there is joy and aliveness in what you do.  And of course, you cannot be present unless you become friendly with the present moment. "


pg. 213

" People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness, that is to say, dependent on form.  They don't realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe.  It changes constantly. "


pg. 215

" When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute non reaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize that nothing real has been diminished, that through becoming  'less,' you become more.  "


pg. 216

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pg. 225

" Nonresistance, nonjudgment and non attachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living. "

-- WOW.

" Once you see and accept the transience of all things and the inevitability of change, you can enjoy the pleasures of the world while they last without fear of loss or anxiety about the future.  When you are detached, you gain an higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them. "


pg. 228

" Awareness implies that you are not only conscious of things (objects), but you are also conscious of being conscious. "


pg. 236

" … Become conscious of being conscious.  Say or think 'I Am' and add nothing to it.  Be aware of the stillness that follows the I Am. "


pg. 243

" The greatest impediment to the discovery of inner space, the greatest impediment to finding the experiencer, is to become so enthralled by the experience that you lose yourself in it.  It means conscious is lost in its own dream. " 


pg. 244

"Being aware of your breathing takes attention away from thinking and creates space.  It is one way of generating consciousness. "

--So simple, so true. 


pg. 254

He talks about ways people unconsciously try to emphasize their form-identity (ego), and includes a great list:

"demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry or upset if you didn't get it; trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illness or making a scene; giving your opinion when nobody has asked for it and it makes no difference to the situation; being more concerned with how the other person sees you than with the other person, which is to say, using other people for egoic reflection or as ego enhancers; trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good looks, status, physical strength and so on; bringing about temporary ego inflation through angry reaction against something or someone; taking things personally, feeling offended; making yourself right and others wrong through futile mental or verbal complaining; wanting to be seen, or to appear important.

--long list, but man, who isn't guilty of at least one of these?


pg. 258

" Your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose.  Inner purpose concerns Being and is primary.  Outer purpose concerns doing and is secondary. "


" Finding and living in alignment wit the inner purpose is the foundation for fulfilling your outer purpose.  It is the basis for true success. "


pg. 260

" Living up to an image that you have you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living -- another unconscious role the ego plays. "


pg. 266

" Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and you lost sight of your inner purpose.  You have forgotten that your state of consciousness is primary, all else is secondary. "


" The paradox is that the foundation for greatness is honoring the small things of the present moment instead of pursuing the idea of greatness. "


pg. 267

" But why did anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. "


pg. 269

" So be true to life by being true to your inner purpose."


pg. 295

" The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm…if you are not in the states [above], look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others. "


pg. 302

" Stress always diminishes both the quality and effectiveness of what you do under its influence.  There is also a strong link between stress and negative emotions, such as anxiety and anger.  It is toxic to the body and is now becoming recognized as on of the main causes of the so-called degenerative disease such as cancer and heart disease. "



 © Houseman 2013