Gayla Groom Résumé




My book-editing projects include Alcohol Can Be a Gas! for The International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, The Biochar Solution and Your Green Home for New Society Publishers, The Hand-Sculpted House for Chelsea Green Publishing, and Water Storage and Rainwater Harvesting for Oasis Design. Alcohol credited me with doing “a great job of wrestling the book into shape,” and Hand-Sculpted called me the “patron saint” who contributed “priceless editorial assistance just when the project had reached its darkest hour.” I am very good at organizing books. I have also done substantive and copy editing for various clients on a wide range of other book and non-book projects, and was editor of The Design Exchange newsletter for the Ecovillage Network of the Americas.


I have worked as a freelance writer since 1995, creating grant proposals, brochures, sales copy, press kits, news releases, website content, articles, books, video scripts, and more for mostly not-for-profit clients including The Cob Cottage Company, The Global Ecovillage Network, The Ecovillage Training Center, The Farm School, Blue Mountain School, Mushroompeople, Stephen Gaskin, Ina May Gaskin, Rocinante, and Kids to the Country. From 1987 to 1995, I worked as staff writer for Macintosh software developer Blue Sky Research in Portland, Oregon, where I wrote promotional materials and technical manuals and was responsible for ensuring the quality of all written materials produced by the company.


I laid out the book Alcohol Can Be a Gas! — 640 complex large-format pages, including hundreds of graphics and endnotes. Among other layout projects, I have created brochures and display materials for Kids to the Country, Blue Sky Research, and The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project.


From 2003 to 2010, I partnered with intentional community icon Stephen Gaskin to administer the nonprofit Rocinante, and served on the Board of Directors. I was Executive Director of the Ecovillage Network of the Americas in 1996–97, working with nodes in Latin America and with the parent Global Ecovillage Network to set policy and direction. I also helped manage the Ecovillage Training Center, from strategic planning to the coordination of day-to-day functioning.


  • WordPress, InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, FileMaker, Premier Pro, Acrobat, etc.
  • Conversion of books to Kindle format
  • Promotion and orchestration of classes, workshops, and meetings
  • Online promotion techniques
  • Planning and execution of marketing, fundraising, and public relations campaigns
  • Knowledge of Spanish and French
  • Video production and editing experience
  • Studied accounting and computer programming at Illinois Central College, photography at Bradley University, and modern languages at Barnard College and the University of Paris.

Expectations and the Afterlife

alpha-tree-800x450When I see quotes from famous smart people, such as Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan, saying they have no expectation of an afterlife, I worry – because there is a very convincing school of thought that says your expectations determine your afterlife.

Scientist Rupert Sheldrake points out that near-death experiences are most likely identical to actual death experiences – and that NDEs vary according to what the experiencer believes is going to happen.

Christians might have a happy reunion with Grandma in the afterlife; Hindus might find themselves embroiled with bureaucrats.

And atheists might get nothing at all — at least for a while.

If our consciousness survives our death — and there is much evidence that it does — it seems to reside in our dream body, the same “body” present in NDEs — and the same “body” we’re all familiar with occupying in our nightly dreams (also familiar to some people from out-of-body experiences).

Sheldrake suggests that when we die, we go on dreaming, but we can’t wake up.

According to Tibetan Buddhism, our nightly dreamworld is the same place we experience after death. According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”

We control our afterlife dream to a greater or lesser extent, depending on our consciousness and our ability to manage our minds. Tibetans practice dream yoga — lucid dreaming; Sheldrake says they consider it “like practicing for when you’re dead”.

“The kind of after-death experience we might have depends on what kind of person we are,” says Sheldrake. “What kind of fears we have, what kind of beliefs we have, what kinds of things we expect… and what our religious faith is…. If we’re used to praying regularly then in our dreams or in our after-death life we may be able to go on praying, and that would enable us to contact a spiritual realm beyond the more limited realm we’re confined to in this post-mortem dream state.” And it doesn’t matter if the entities you pray to are “real” or not, as long as you believe in them – they will be real in your dreamworld.

According to the article The Tibetan Buddhist and Spiritualist Views of After-Death States:

[Religious and spiritual people] both have a distinct advantage over the secular individual because they expect to enter into a positive afterlife (heaven), and expectations have great power in the inner worlds. This expectation combined with love and devotion towards some religious ideal can propel the religious individual towards a heavenly state just as the practice of spiritual travel does. The secular individual with no faith or expectation of heaven is more likely to flounder after death and get stuck in some intermediate gray area surrounded by thoughts and emotions from the past waiting for something to happen.

The afterlife dreamworld state may be like the Catholic concept of purgatory or the Hindu concept of bardo, an intermediate state where we have experiences and change. Some people believe we then go on from there to be reincarnated, or maybe to travel to other dimensions, or be promoted to heaven.

The power of belief is awesome — you can design a fascinating afterlife for yourself. It seems to me that the classic advice is good: Think about where you want to go after you die!

Classic Wisdom: The Golden and Silver Rules

Everyone knows the Golden Rule — often stated as, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you — and many people have also heard of what is sometimes called the Silver Rule — Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.

Adherents of Christianity know the Golden Rule from Jesus’s statements:

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.

Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

That has to be some of the best advice ever, so it’s not surprising it’s been around for a very long time. Although the term Golden Rule has only been used since 1670, the idea of ethical reciprocity has long been employed by cultures and religions around the world.

The Old Testament, or Torah, states the Rule pre-Jesus.

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

The Egyptian story The Eloquent Peasant takes a stab at the Rule circa 2000 BCE:

Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.

That reminds me of my friend who always thought that if she helped other people, they would help her when she needed it. Not necessarily so! Numerous interpretations of the Golden Rule — the ethic of reciprocity — make it clear that you are supposed to treat people right whether they treat you right or not.

By circa 300 BCE, Egyptian papyri clearly stated the Silver Rule:

That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.

In the 5th century BCE, in the scriptures called Tripitaka, Buddha said:

Udanavarga 5:18 Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

In the Analects, circa 500 BCE, Confucius say:

XV.24 Zi gong (a disciple of Confucius) asked: “Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?”
The Master replied: “How about ‘shu’ [reciprocity]: never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself?” —translated by David Hinton

One of the prophet Muhammad’s hadiths, or sayings, was:

That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.

The Jainist text Suman Suttam, a modern-day rendering of ancient texts, says:

Verse 150 Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others. Knowing this principle of equality treat others with respect and compassion.

Numerous philosophers have objected to the Golden Rule, saying that since you can’t know what the other person wants, you may be being unkind instead of kind by treating him the way you’d want to be treated. Other philosophers say that — since you wouldn’t want someone treating you the way they thought you wanted to be treated if it wasn’t how you wanted to be treated — the Golden Rule tends to be “self-correcting” and work out pretty well.

It all comes down to empathy. I might not know what food to buy you to make you happy (I like Voodoo Doughnuts and you really don’t), but we are all human — and we all need forgiveness and understanding and patience and respect and love. Even after thousands of years, kindness is still the highest truth.

Did Not See Nothing

greyhound-busI’m getting PTSD thinking about my bus trip from Veracruz to Eugene, so I’ll make this quick. I remember halfway through the five days looking into a middle-of-the-night bus station mirror, and my coloring was flushed and clear, like I was far into a juice fast or an acid trip. I looked good. My sinus infection was glowing rosy pink.

I took up smoking for the U.S. part of the trip, Greyhound and cigarettes being a classic combination. I bought a pack of good tobacco at a 10-minute stop-and-stretch somewhere between San Antonio and El Paso, which is also where I noticed the Ethiopian for the first time. I didn’t know where he was from, but it was clearly somewhere else. In retrospect, I see that his thin pullover sweater – patterned with big yellow and green diamonds – was uniquely African. I see him striding, running, dancing, almost doing flips, the length of the parking lot, arms flapping, unabashedly limbering up after the cramp of the bus, while everyone else just stands. His face is joyful, open. I think, he’s the smart one of us.

This was Thursday. On Tuesday morning I’d left Jalcomulco, Mexico, impelled north by the heat. A couple of buses later, Wednesday morning, I board another bus in Tampico, and before we reach the edge of town two guys in white t-shirts – no submachine guns for a change – get on and take off three young men – “Miami migracion” wants to talk to them. The bus’s 10 video screens show Fast Five, Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shooting up Latin America in fluent Spanish.

Wednesday evening I pass over the border from Matamoros to Brownsville – it’s a lot like changing planets, except Spanish is the language spoken on both. I am the only passenger on a bus every crevice of which is inspected by granite-faced U.S. soldiers; it’s a joke; it’s a farce; drugs or illegal immigrants don’t merit this stony evil. Something else is going on. Meanwhile, border agents – automatons, U.S. or Mexican, I can’t tell – paw through my bags and ask me questions personal enough for answers like “$200” and “clean undies.”

At first I mistake Brownsville for heaven, since I can buy biscuits and the bathroom has no turnstile. The bus station is Texas-big, three stories tall, almost all of it empty vertical space. Soon my head is railing. The sound system is for shit. Who knows even what language that is? There is no clock, and I don’t have a phone, so how lame must I be.

Hours later, just south of San Antonio, far from the Mexican border, in the middle of the night, my Greyhound Americanos bus pulls over to the freeway shoulder, the lights come on, and two border patrol soldiers invade us, armed, belligerent. The name B Copp is stenciled on one cop’s khakis; he pushes himself into each passenger’s personal space, examines IDs. “What’s your name? What’s your mother’s name? What are you doing on this bus? Where does your sister live? This picture doesn’t look like you. Why are you wearing different kind of clothes now? What kind of fabric is that? Are you in the military?” I look back; the other soldier has his hand in a pink suitcase in the overhead bin, feeling around. “Is this your suitcase, ma’am?”

On my next bus, I’ll overhear a young black woman: “Police are just gangs with uniforms.”


For Greyhound, every day is like the first day it ever tried to run a bus company, or worse. The U.S. fleet – which is owned by a Scottish corporation – is roughly equivalent to a Mexican second-class bus line, or maybe third-class – as one Greyhound rider put it, “There are chickens on this bus somewhere; we just haven’t seen them.” While Greyhound buses do have the toilets that Mexican second-class buses usually lack, it’s almost as if they’re not really there, unless you’re sitting in the back of the bus, or the bathroom door breaks.

A grey plastic seat is suspended above a sea of blue liquid that smells like fake cotton candy mixed with urine and feces, and which is always sloshing. When the bus turns a corner or changes lanes, the waves get huge and you don’t know what’s coming at you. You are warned not to let your kids fall in. And the bathrooms have no actual water. Nothing can be cleaned; messes can only be redistributed.

The upshot is that everybody saves it for the rest stops, saves it beyond human endurance. But the rest stops, with often-vile and always-inadequate bathrooms – a single toilet for everyone on the bus? – are scheduled for every three to five hours, and are short, 10 or 15 minutes, cut to the bone to make up time when the bus is behind schedule, which is mostly always.

Greyhound seats are hard and narrow, the aisles are narrow, most vestiges of comfort have been disabled or deleted – curtains, vents, seat adjustments, drink holders, foot room; windows don’t open. It’s almost as if the bus company knows that buses are for poor people and for the under-documented, knows you wouldn’t be riding Greyhound if you had any choice, and knows you will put up with vast amounts of subhuman treatment to please just get to wherever it is you originally thought was a good idea to go.

Sleep deprivation is a big part of the experience. It is fun to watch people who’ve never stayed up past 2 a.m. deal with dawn coming up and them not having slept. It’s just a little bit like they got just a little bit of mind-expanding drug in the Gatorade. After a couple of days, I can sleep sitting up. But the best sleep requires two seats together. You have to seize the opportunity and try to hold onto it. I’d brought a pillowcase stuffed with clean undies. Put it atop my handbag on the seat, against the wall, scoot my butt to the farthest aisle-side padding, bend myself in half, feet on the floor, head hits the pillow, and ooh-boy that’s good snoozin’.

But more often I sit shoulder to shoulder with strangers in the dark – the crybaby-man who’d had an extra seat and hates that I’m now in it, the plump old Mexican gentleman who seems glad the middle armrest is put away, so we can mingle our avoirdupois enough for some slight comfort in the tiny, rigid confines.

The Greyhound experience is a zen place, where disoriented, physically constrained people get whacked with boards again and again and just take it. Most deal by invoking their genetic-cultural heritage of patient endurance in the face of being treated like donkey shit. “This too shall pass.” “This yoke will be off my neck in three days.” Some riders deal with it by smoking a little crack in the back of the bus. Some spin themselves into spasms of worry in their seats, and return themselves to functionality with a quick cigarette at every stop. Caffeine is big, bags of chips. Bus stations, bus stops, towns, cities, all full of vending machines, mini-marts, soda, candy.


The food I packed in Mexico on Tuesday morning is gone, and the thrill of non-chile-flavored Cheetos has worn thin. Which is why I am so happy late Thursday night; somewhere between El Paso and Phoenix, the bus has stopped at a McDonald’s.

Carlos is the driver on this bus. Earlier, in El Paso, when he accepted my ticket to Phoenix, he told me I should not have detached it; he could now choose to declare all my tickets all the way to Eugene void. That’s what I wanted to hear, since I’d just gotten off an all-night bus from hell, was really looking forward to the scheduled 45 minutes in El Paso to eat, brush teeth, buy water, maybe even poop, but instead had one minute to get on Carlos’s prison bus, which has been waiting, delayed, for us, and whose marquee says it’s going to St. Louis.

Carlos is an older black man who speaks so black and enunciates so poorly that half the time even the blackest people on the bus have no idea what he’s saying. Everyone’s straining, trying to figure it out. And when asked to repeat it in Spanish, Carlos shrugs. But we get some of it.

Right off, he sets the tone by pointing out everything that has ever gone wrong on his route and warning that nobody better do it. “This is the feds we’re talkin’ ‘bout, and they’ll lock you up. They’ll take you off to prison, so don’t go thinking you’ll just be sneakin’ a little beer because I’ll put your sad self off this bus in the middle of the freakin’ desert.”

This goes on forever. And, just when I’ve figured out how to defeat the overhead holes blowing nonstop full-out cold air, “Don’t y’all think about stuffin’ no paper up them airholes, be startin’ no fires that way.”

Like most Greyhound drivers, Carlos is a basically good guy who has seen too much and been worked too hard. He’ll get on the mike late at night and wake everyone up telling someone to keep her voice down, people are trying to sleep.

Now, in the McDonald’s parking lot, he’s doing a variation on his leave-you-behind rant. “Now there don’t be time for everybody to get cooked for, so don’t go tellin’ me they be cookin’ yo’ food because when this bus goes, it goes. Ain’t everybody gonna get served. You can stay and eat, or you can get on the bus. And don’t go runnin’ down the road trying to flag down the bus when it’s only your own fault you got left behind.”

By the time I get off the bus and across the parking lot to the McDonald’s, there’s a long line. I weigh my options, opt to pee. I fantasize about organizing the bus riders to demand more than 10 minutes. I don’t think Carlos would leave 47 people’s sad selves stranded in the freakin’ desert, if only because that’s a lot of paperwork.

We pile back on the bus, some with food, grinning, some without, and a tall skinny white guy with a couple dozen ear piercings says, “Who took my clothes?”

To Carlos’s credit, he doesn’t say, “I tolchu so.” (“Don’t leave none of your belongin’s on the bus when you take your break. Don’t leave nothin’ behindchu.”)

The guy’s bag is found, but minus a jacket. The jacket is in the bag of the homeless-looking man I’d seen buying a quart of beer at the previous stop. He denies taking it. Huge drama, huge delay.

Everybody can deboard for another 10-minute stretch or smoke, while the investigation proceeds – 10 minutes, no time for McDonald’s, you will be left behind.

We pile back on the bus. Carlos has decided to kick the homeless-looking man off. He hands out paper to everyone on board. “Put down whatever you seen. If you didn’t see nothin’, jus’ put down you didn’t see nothin’.” The Latinos around me are not liking this. As Carlos moves down the aisle tearing off pieces of paper, a smiling hispanic passenger collects them, including mine, in his wake, and carefully prints in block letters on each one: DID NOT SEE NOTHING.

We get off the bus for another 10-minute break because Carlos decides to call Dallas, but there’s no time to order at McD’s – if you go to McD’s you will be left behind. I go to McD’s and ask them what they have already prepared but there is nothing. It’s late and they’re ready to close.

As a smoker I share a club, hang out in the same parking lots as the gangbangers and partiers, the ones who willingly squeeze together in the back of the bus on bench seats next to the bathroom. Half a dozen inner-city black people, mostly in their 20s, mostly on their first trip away from Baton Rouge, have claimed the back since San Antonio.

In the McD’s parking lot, a Baton Rouger motions a friend to meet him behind the dumpster wall. Emerging a minute later, he sees that I see him. He strides up to me, says, “That guy who took the jacket must be smoking crack. Still, he took just the jacket, you know, he must have needed it real bad.”

“But still it wasn’t his,” I say.

“But still it wasn’t his,” he says.

A couple of white SUVs show up, talk talk talk. There’s enough doubt about whether the homeless-looking guy – or someone else – took the jacket that he’s let back on the bus, seated right up front and warned not to cause no trouble at all.


The whole ride, the Baton Rouger has been fixated on the Ethiopian – whom he thinks is from Jamaica because of his accent and his Rasta knowledge. Baton Rouge alternately taunts him and expresses goodwill, calling halfway across the bus off and on for hours, competitive, explaining American culture, saying show me your dance moves – and when he does – “Are you a homosexual?” The Ethiopian looks like he’s ready to discuss homosexuality, and I’m thinking, don’t. Homosexuality is punishable by prison in Ethiopia, by death in neighboring Sudan. He decides not to open his mouth, instead playfully runs his tongue around his lips. He’s a good sport.

“Me,” says Baton Rouge, “I like two buns and a couple of sardines.” Later, in high spirits after a smoke break, he takes the Ethiopian by the shoulders: “You come live with me, my boy, you’ll have happiness forever.”

The African’s name is CC; he is painfully aware it is a funny name to the Spanish speakers. His Spanish is pretty good. He tells me later that he learned to speak it during four months imprisoned at the Port Isabel detention camp in Texas. His English is decent but halting.

Thursday night, he is stretching his legs, standing in the aisle next to his seat, looking through his bag on the overhead rack. The back of the bus yells at him to sit down. He ignores; they yell more; he doesn’t understand why. Discussion gets heated. Cultural insults are exchanged.

A Latina in the seat behind CC tries to explain. “Have you spent much time around blacks? American blacks?” He shakes his head. “It make black people nervous to see someone the only one standing. They don’t know what you gone to do. You could have a bomb.”

Still, CC wants to stand up.

Carlos gets on the P.A. “That’s enough standin’ in the aisle now. Sit down.”

CC sits. He says, “I have learned something I did not want to know.” Then he says, “I came to America to be myself.”


Sometime after the McDonald’s stop at which I did not get food, the bus settles down for sleep. All the personal overhead spotlights are off except CC‘s. It is too bright and spills over far past his seat. He is studying a booklet on Catholicism and taking notes, while a beautiful young Latina sits next to him with her eyes closed. A Rhoda-like hispanic woman across the aisle tells him, “Turn off the light and let her get some sleep.”

“She is fine. The light is not bothering her.”

The woman being discussed seems too shy to speak for herself. Rhoda says, “Of course it’s bothering her. She’s obviously been trying to sleep.”

“I have asked her to sit with me and she has agreed,” CC says. “She has allowed me to wrap her in my blanket. I have everything she needs: shelter, food, water, warmth. She is my woman, and she is happy that I am working beside her.”

Rhoda is trying to pick her jaw up from the floor; CC doesn’t understand why she is lecturing him about how to treat his woman who has expressed no discontent. He can only figure Rhoda must be envious, she must wish she were sitting in his woman’s place. That suggestion is not popular. And now Rhoda’s husband and random riders are getting involved from further back in the bus. And now the beautiful Latina is so embarrassed she flings herself across the aisle, across Rhoda, into an empty seat, her hands covering her face.

CC, alone now, returns to his reading.

Carlos gets on the P.A. and tells him to turn off the light.

CC cocoons himself in his blanket, lying fetus-like on the double-seat.


We arrive in Phoenix in the middle of the night, three hours late, although it looks like only two, due to the time zone change. But our connecting tickets are still sort of okay because, we’re told, all of Greyhound’s buses are late. People are standing in a dozen lines longer than the station building. The restaurant is closed. We switch from Carlos to a new driver here, so we’ve had to get off the bus and presumably at some point we get to reboard. We are supposed to have an hour layover, but since we are three hours late, we’re told to get in the reboard line immediately.

Half the people in the reboard line are not from our bus, so we’re feeling insecure. At every station, we’re never sure our bus isn’t currently leaving without us. We’re bonding. Everybody’s gathering to pool information and share rumors, to grouse. An invigorating ethnic blindness takes place as hundreds of shades of blacks, whites, hispanics, asians come together as human beings just trying to make it through the night. We say right out loud that nobody would be treating us this way if we weren’t poor.

The bus to L.A. says it’s going to San Francisco, but the new driver, Jerome, assures me with a chuckle that it’s not. He’s a nice guy, seems personally hurt that someone would be smoking in the back when he’d told them it was against federal rules. He offers to, in future, pull over to the shoulder for two or three minutes if someone needs a smoke that bad (sweet but irrelevant since he surely was not meaning to extend that offer to crack), and begs us not to set the fuel lines on fire by smoking onboard.

There are not enough seats, so a white teenager with piercings all over his face, a tiny malnourished Eminem, is squeezed, by Jerome, into the back bench seat. He seems petrified, literally. But, I’m stuck one row up, and soon I hear him laughing. The back of the bus never stops talking. I learn that “condoms are so white.” I hear about all the friends who got shot, all the friends who got AIDS – “My daddy had AIDS and he got shot” – plus a lot about one guy’s big dick, and uses for vegetables. I hear instructions from a white woman who’d been put off a bus to Las Vegas for mouthing off to a driver – she says he made a lot of it up – involving a sprayed substance and a cotton ball saturated with lighter fluid.

I hear the Baton Rougers take in a desert sunrise, speculate about the animals that live there, what they eat, raccoons, coyotes, chameleons. “Real mountains are hot at the bottom and cold at the top.” “All I ever want is a yard with one of those machines in it that tells which way the wind is blowing.” Nobody can think of the name of it. “My dream is to sit by the Pacific Ocean in a rose garden.”

In the morning, CC is smiling again. He is strolling up and down the aisle looking for his wallet. “I must have lost it.” The Baton Rouger grins and flashes a thick wallet at his friends as he disappears into the bathroom. CC has lingered by the seat of the beautiful Latina, is maybe making a little progress there. He is charming. He sings a snatch of Spanish love song.


In the last hour before we reach L.A., CC leans across the aisle to me. “What does the word ‘humble’ mean?”

I reply by asking if he knows what “ego” is, and with a sick look on his face he assures me he does. “Without ego,” I say.

He’s been avoiding conversation with me. I’d helped him with a couple of schedule questions when no one else would, and he clearly wonders why. I’m almost 60. It’s obvious his man-woman interactions are all about sex and built on favors traded. I see him wondering whether this old woman is coming on to him. If he accepts my friendship, what does he owe me?

His dream, as I’ll soon learn, is to teach men throughout Ethiopia to pleasure their wives with their mouths, so that divorces won’t happen so often and thus the children will not be disadvantaged. He feels called by God to do this, and believes that in America God will help him find a way.

He asks me about Sacramento. He says he was given a bus ticket to anywhere he wanted to go. He chose California because he felt it in his heart. He chose Sacramento because it was the capital and he figured big things could happen there. He always wanted to live by the ocean, and he’s sorry to hear Sacramento is not on the coast. He asks me what a sacrament is. I tell him it’s like he’d told the Baton Rougers earlier, “I eat the human body, but it is the body of Christ. I hope you understand.”

We talk all the way to L.A. He tells me about landing at a U.S. airport, being taken to the detention camp, two times being thrown in the hole; he shows me the books that found him there and sustained him – one about the oneness of light, truth, good, and God, the other a biography of Edgar Cayce. We talk about God for a long time, and when he finally asks he is shocked to learn I’m not religious. I write down my website URL in his notebook so he can read the book I wrote about what a jerk Yahweh was. I give him my email address.

When he asks if I believe in reincarnation, I write down The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot. He tells me he studied physics. He tells me – “since you are talking as a friend to me” – “I went mad.” He glances away, ashamed. He describes his madness, and it sounds like manic depression. ” I lost my job as a high school teacher. I lost everything. I did not want to live any more. I could not find a life for me in Ethiopia.” But now he is in America. In the detention camp, he read a book about Ronald Reagan and quotes him now, saying, “You can never become a Frenchman. You can never become a German. But you can become an American.” I agree but suggest Reagan was evil and in America it’s a good idea to read one book, then read one that’s the opposite, and then see what you think.

Somewhere he’s read that “America has no culture,” and I encourage him to quit going around saying that. We talk about his oral sex mission from God, and I impress upon him please be slow to talk about sex, especially with the religious folks. I think, he needs help. I try to think who I know in Sacramento, what I can tell him that would be helpful, but no one, nothing. He has his wallet back now, and he shows me a piece of folded notebook paper, on which he has written the names of two orders of nuns in Sacramento, and one in Oakland. None of these people have any idea he exists.


Around noon, the bus pulls into L.A. The terminal is a spirits-lifting surprise – attractive, clean, intelligently designed; the staff are nice, competent; the food is healthy and good.

greyhound-bus-coverWe have arrived so late most of us have to get reticketed. Massive drama. Bonding galore. Many of us are lucky: A bus to Sacramento was scheduled to leave 15 minutes ago, so is still at the station. This means we’ll reach Sacramento at the earliest four hours late, at nightfall. CC had been counting on arriving hours before dark, since he has no place to stay. He takes a deep breath and puts his trust in God.

It’s my first time driving through the Hollywood Hills, and they’re a treat. Beautiful buildings, high-quality art, competence, accomplishment. I’m being chauffeured by David, who navigates the freeway while talking into the mike: “If there is a traffic jam, we will not be at your destination on time. If there is an accident, we will not be at your destination on time. If there is a mechanical failure, we will not be at your destination on time…”)

The air conditioning fails a few miles north of L.A. Every Greyhound driver is separated from the riders by a plastic shield, and no one is allowed to talk to him when he’s driving. If there’s an emergency, we’re supposed to shout and wave our arms to get his attention. We try. The bus is hot enough people are falling in the aisles making dying-from-the-heat gestures, but David never looks in the mirror. Finally, he gets on the loudspeaker: “Is it just me or is this bus getting hotter?” But all he can do is open the two emergency hatches in the roof as we head up the Sacramento Valley in 115-degree heat.

I notice CC is eating only water and chips all day, and I wonder if his wallet came back to him with any money in it, or had any to start with. At some point I give him a quarter of my beat-up leftover L.A. turkey sandwich. “Thank you, my friend, I should be giving to you.” He asks me for a “paper,” and I hand him a napkin. He spends a lot of the trip standing in the aisle in the back of the bus, working it out with the Baton Rougers. Their trip is almost over, too.

The bus pulls into Sacramento at 8 p.m. As we’re standing in the aisle waiting to get off, CC sings a few words of love towards the beautiful Latina 20 people away, and she twirls her fingers in a cuckoo sign at her temple.

I’m off the bus, waiting. It’s taking forever to unload people. I want to say goodbye to CC, see if I can help him get launched in a good direction. But I have to go pee.

When I get back, he’s standing outside the bus door, talking to David the driver (who is black) – oh shit, CC’s asked for advice – and now half a dozen beefy white guys in grey security shirts are circling. They surround CC and hustle him into their room.

“Don’t talk to people in uniforms.” That would have been something helpful I could have offered him. And how could I have forgotten that having no place to stay the night is a crime in the U.S.?

I think he’s lost. Some kind of jail is going to happen. Maybe they’ll send him back to the detention camp, or back to Africa. I don’t see any way I can help. I don’t have money to buy him a room. I go brush my teeth, perform a toilette known as the “whore’s bath.” My pillow is filthy; I turn it inside out.

I go outside to the smoking area. Blessed surprise, a pleasant security guy is letting CC out through the gate, CC is showing him the nuns’ addresses, and the cop is pointing. “About eight blocks straight ahead.”

CC and I shake hands through the propped-open gate. “It was a pleasure getting to know you,” I say. “Send me an email.” He wheels his suitcase down the road. Skyscrapers are a mile straight ahead. The security guy goes back inside the station.

At the first intersection, CC turns right, walks quietly into the dusk.

A minute later, I’m finally having a smoke, when another security guy comes out of the station and says, “Where did he go? Maybe he got out the gate.” The bus station is surrounded by an iron fence. He goes back inside.

One more minute, and the pleasant security guy comes back out, calling over his shoulder, “I didn’t know. I’ll go get him.”

And he and another security guy get in a car and go cruising for CC.


I flop my head against my pillow, left, right, on the bus from Sacramento north. I peed, and CC’s life went into the toilet. I feel like a failure. I feel a need for redemption.

I really hate the woman in the seat in front of me, just hate her. I’m feeling my PTSD kick in right now as I mention this and I am not going to talk about my trip much more, or about the reasons I hate her. For hours, I try to stretch my compassion to include her. But I just fucking hate her. I’m ashamed of her. I want her to quit fanning her revolting air over the seatback at me. I want her to die. And in my Greyhound zenness, I know with a low-level dread that will crystallize into horrifying detail she is just like me. I am just like her. I’m pretty sure this is not what I signed up for.

This bus, which left Sacramento around 10 Saturday night is where Spanish finally stops being the main language. I wake up in the predawn to watch hundreds of miles of tree-covered mountains become illuminated, and to watch the watchers fill up with Oregon’s beauty.

Eugene arrives at 7 a.m. I give a little cheer.

The station is locked tight since it’s Sunday. We’re a half-hour ahead of schedule, thanks to our driver “Andretti,” and my ride’s not here yet.

I’m hanging outside Starbucks with my smoking buddy whose name I don’t know – he asked me for a cigarette in some dark parking lot last night, and it quickly became a tradition. I give him my last five cigarettes since it’s the end of my trip, and he’s a happy, grinning man.

When I first met him, I couldn’t understand what he was saying. The 24-hour Taco Bell guy knew, though: “What is there for under a dollar?” The answer was pastry, which my buddy was cool with.

I like him a lot. He is 49 years old, gangly, sweet, headed to Olympia to live with his father. Eugene is as far as his money will take him right this minute, though, and he is so delighted to be here. He knows where he might be able to get a ticket tomorrow, or he can hitchhike. He does jumping jacks on the sidewalk and push-ups in the parking lot. It was so hot in Ukiah he couldn’t think. He couldn’t talk, he couldn’t move. Here, the air is cool. He can talk just fine. He feels reborn. He is so happy.


Quotes from Stephen Gaskin

Spiritual teacher Stephen Gaskin died on July 1, 2014. Here is a collection of some of my favorite quotes from him. This first batch is from This Season’s People, which has been called a modern Diamond Sutra, followed by another batch from Sunday Morning Services, Volume I.


  • The real secret is: The most energy you can have is uncontained.

  • The more agreement there is about putting your attention into reality, the stronger and healthier everybody will be. It’s better to pay attention to what is, because that’s better mind food. A little attention to what is not is like spice for your mindfood, to keep you from getting dull and not thinking anything new. But if you put all your attention into what is not, then your mind is going to get jaded and dull, and lose sensitivity to reality.

    On the other hand, while you’re soliding up your reality, you can’t be so square as to make it so miracles don’t work. You can’t get so rigid you can’t do miracles, can’t do healings. You want your reality just loose enough that you can do a little miracle now and then. But not so loose that it starts getting chancy and problematical for the kids and the folks out on the fringes. It has to be good and solid for everybody.

  • Your mind thinks in Gestalt flashes—The question is how quickly can you forget all that and go on to the next flash.

  • The Universe is a vibratory entity, and you can affect the vibrations one way or another by what you do. Everything has vibrations. Colors are vibrations, sounds are vibrations; so is concrete. So is thought. So is the Universe, God—all vibrations. And if that’s what it’s all made out of, then you have a technology for learning how to deal with vibrations….

    …Non-space/time has a clear set of vibrations and rules of its own which are just as real and just as reliable as the fact that something falls 32 feet per second per second. If you behave in certain ways in the material plane, you will resonate with certain of those vibrations from the nonmaterial plane.

    If you resonate a vibration that is very high—love everybody, willing-to-lay-your-life-on-the-line-for-mankind, we’re-all-in-it-together, nobody’s-going-to-live-off-of-anybody—you are going to resonate that pure vibration out of the non-space/time place that we call Christ Consciousness, or the Consciousness of the intermediary between God and man.

  • Get your mind unbound and free; and then, from the loosest, highest, best place you have, with the fastest and most humorous mind you can get together, you can reach out and make a try at understanding Spirit.

    It’s so subtle that you have to be quick; you can’t have been thinking of yourself. It passes in the blink of an eye.

  • You can’t define God, and you can’t contain God. But you can, if you don’t look at yourself, be God. The way to keep from looking at yourself is to be so busy doing your best that you don’t have anything left over to look with.

    You can’t know the totality of God with your finite mind, because God is infinite, and your material plane intelligence is finite—it cannot contain an infinite thing. But if you aren’t pressing about the totality, and just relax and observe what’s in front of you, you are knowing God, because that’s all there is to know.

    There is nothing else to know; and the knowledge, the knower, the thing known, and the act of knowing are all one and are all God.

    You are the eyes with which God looks, and the mind through which God understands itself.

  • If you but know it, in your highest and your finest and your most honest places in your own heart, God is speaking to you. Even now. All the time, in your highest and finest places.

  • Here are the keys to heaven: Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    And here are the keys to hell: “Well, I know I got to take care of everybody, but I just want to get a little for myself first.”

  • You have to clean your heart. If you want to communicate with people at that level, you can’t have an impure thought about them. It muddies it up and makes it so unclear that you can’t communicate. We found that you have to really try to be pure in your heart to experience Holiness.

  • The practice of real love and impeccable correctness and politeness and care among each other is only the beginning stage of the kind of peaceful society in which you may talk seriously about spiritual enlightenment.

    What we expect is to be truthful; to be kind; to try to share; to try to love one another. Some folks don’t recognize that as a discipline: They say, “Oh, that old stuff….” And it may not sound too difficult, unless you’ve ever tried it. But if you ever try it, you’ll know it’s an exacting discipline.

  • I know something. I know we’re all One. I know it so well that if I’m falling out of a tree, I know we’re all One before I hit the ground. I’m not going to forget it; I can’t give it up.

  • It is vitally important that we evolve some common philosophical religious assumptions—in order that mankind may survive. Without them, there’s a good chance we won’t.

    There are a lot of differences among the religions at the lower levels. At the highest level, they become One… Religion only seems different if you’re dealing with a retailer. If you deal with a wholesaler, they all get it from the same distributor.

  • Your religion is how you really get along with folks — not what you may claim your religion is.

    Your religion ought to make a difference to you in your daily life; it ought to make it easier for you, not in the sense that you don’t have to try, but that it makes sense for you. If you’re not getting along with your kid, it ought to help you out with your kid. It ought to help you out during childbirth; it ought to help you during the death of somebody who’s close to you. It ought to help you through the heavy passages in life.

  • Attention is energy. What you put your attention on, you get more of. Each one of us is a fountain of energy, a valve through which universal life energy is metered into the world, and we can each point our self at whatever we want to. We add life force to our surroundings—to everything we pay attention to. If you put your attention on the best, highest, finest, most beautiful thing that you can, that will be amplified.

  • Keep your attention in the here-and-now. Don’t past-trip. Putting your attention in the past means that here-and-now is continuing on without you. The more time you spend in the past, the farther and farther out of register you are.

    Don’t put your attention into the future other than a reasonable amount of plans which you intend to carry out. Putting your attention out into the future is like when a squirrel runs out on a tree limb—when he gets way out into the small limbs, It gets very shaky. When you get out into the thin possibilities, it gets very unlikely and it tends to get you paranoid.

    So tripping in the past gets you schizophrenic, and tripping in the future tends to get you paranoid. Hang out in the here-and-now. It is healing. When you’re in the here-and-now, accept it as reality. Don’t think about it or run it through your mind-filter when it’s coming in. Accept it.

    A meditative state is pure perception: not being conceptual about the here-and-now. That’s what most Zen discipline is about: not past-tripping, not future-tripping, and not being conceptual in the here-and-now.

  • Within each one of us is a spark of God. Some people call it inborn intelligence: a capacity to look out and see something. That capacity is so strong that if you look at someone and you see something in them that you like, you don’t have to say anything, or give them a bouquet or write them a poem or send them a card. If you just see something in them that you like, that thing will become stronger and it will come out at you; and they will do it more for you.

    Everybody needs attention—it’s a human requirement, just like oxygen and water. The need for it begins as soon as we’re born, and if we don’t get it in a fair way, we’ll learn outlaw habits of getting it. People will do outrageous things to get attention, because it is life force and energy. The reason to be discriminating about what you give your attention to, is to give real help to a person. That’s how we all be each other’s teachers: what we dig in each other, we reinforce.

    Paying attention to what we choose to pay it to is probably the greatest freedom we have.

    We all control what happens in the future by what we pay attention to in the present. If you perceive it to be improving and a groove, it improves and is a groove.

    If you see that something should be a way, assume it’s going to be that way.

  • In Zen, they say you should learn to interact with the world, instead of leaving it. Incorporate the distraction, because the distraction is also Buddha.

  • Helping man is a good place to start your search for God.

  • If you’re not steering your mind, it’s running on automatic pilot and goes a million times faster than you can steer it.

    Rather than figuring it out, and saying, “Is this right?” or “Where would this be in the light of contemporary philosophy?”—that first flash is your best bet. I try to trust myself and trust myself until I can just move on that first flash. If we all moved together in our interaction on that first flash, we would be incredibly fast and smart. If every time you asked a question, the next thing that came back was the answer instead of “Huh?” or if they just said, “I don’t know,” and let you clear the circuit to do the next thing—if we just all answered honestly and correctly the first time, it would be so easy, so incredibly fast and smart—we would just be fabulous.

    You have to learn to trust your mind—don’t try to force it and push it in various ways. the more you trust it and the more you let it run on its automatic pilot, the faster and smarter and heavier it gets. It lets you out when you trust it. It’s a good one—trust it.

    Any time something is hard for you to do, bring yourself to bear; pay attention to it. Concentrate yourself. Come on to it with all your energy focused. That’s all karate and breaking bricks is—is having all your attention focused when you hit. You can break bricks if your attention is focused. If your attention is not focused and the swing is the same, you might break your hand.

  • One of the highest and Holiest religious experiences that is available to mankind is to get outside your head for a couple of seconds and realize that the sun doesn’t rise and set in your armpit.

  • …Contrary to modern psychology, you can know your brother. Psychology teaches that communicating is like taking a rock and wrapping a note around it and throwing it, and the other person catches the rock and unwraps it and reads the note. They say that’s all you can know about somebody—and that’s not true. One person can know another person. You can go to that place where you share souls and you can know somebody, and you are not alienated and you do not live in a box.

    We are all really one thing, and we’re all in this together, and no matter how we make it look, we are really and truly going to share fortunes.

  • Your intelligence varies according to your condition, your sanity, and how much energy and Holy Spirit you’re able to get together—you can change your intelligence and you can get smarter.

    Sometimes you realize something that’s so heavy and makes you so much smarter on the spot that you realize you just got smarter, and you notice how dumb you were before. It’s a very humbling experience. It gets you high, just because it gets you so much smarter to understand that. That kind of heavy realization can be called kensho.

  • Magicians studying will are learning to contain an immense amount of energy with their ego. The most energy that you can possibly contain with your ego is less than not having ego and being open to everybody else, because then you have access to everybody’s energy—the Universe’s energy—and it is so much more than anybody can possibly contain.

    Anybody who keeps their energy to themselves for a certain length of time gets stagnant, and they really need a little fresh water to come through. They may get a little irritable and a little dumb from getting stagnant. It’s a helping and a healing if you can get them to open up and let a little clean stuff flow through their system.

  • This Season’s People

    You are the people.
    You are this season’s people—
    There are no other people this season.
    If you blow it, it’s blown.


  • Energy is just like that old television station out there. If you get your television fixed, you will get the picture.

  • One of the reasons for the spiritual practice of non-attachment—trying not to be personally attached about your thing, or pain or whatever happens to you—is so that you school yourself so that nothing can happen to you from the outside that can make you lose your energy, because as long as you have your energy on, you can do it.

  • The way I got revolutionary is by following love and truth. And by following love and truth you see that if you know what’s going on and you can do something, then you have to.

  • We are profoundly affected by our surroundings. It’s not a mystery to be affected that way. There are actual vibrations that do things to you. Your body is a semi-hard jelly. Its technical name is a colloid solution. Quicksand and silly putty are colloid solutions. So is protoplasm. Colloid solutions get harder or softer depending on what you do to them. If you hit silly putty with a hammer, it goes rigid and breaks up. If you leave it alone, it runs into a puddle. The stuff you’re made out of is like that, too, and in the city, you’re subjected to a constant series of physical and psychic shocks, just hitting on you all the time. Somebody on the other side of the block is getting mugged and putting out just incredible stuff and it’s too far away for you to hear it, but it isn’t too far away to feel the vibes. Vibes go a real long way. You’re getting hit with stuff like that all the time when you’re in the city… You get out into the middle of Chicago and New York City and GRRRR! the ground shakes under your feet. Monkey wants to hold onto a tree.

  • There isn’t really supposed to be an intermediary between you and God; although some religions teach the necessity of an intermediary. Some religions think of Jesus as a gateman to Heaven—who you have to get straight with before you can go in—instead of being the spiritual vibration itself, which if you are in contact with, you automatically become in contact with Heaven—and if you’re in good enough shape to touch it, it will touch you back.

  • Courage is useless without something to have courage about — courage depends on a certain sort of Universe in the same way that soap depends on dirt. As Pogo Possum said, ‘Soap without dirt is only bad-tasting cheese.’

  • It doesn’t matter if you live to be a thousand years old if you just live the same day over and over again.

  • I maintain that this is the freest place you can find. You cannot check my statement while you are inhibited. If you want to find out how free it is you have to let yourself out.

  • A useful teaching seems to be: To be sure enough of what you’re doing in your own heart that you’re not going to be ruined, destroyed, devastated, or run off to tears because somebody doesn’t like what you’re doing. So I say, “Let the buyer beware.” — you just have to be strong and know what you’re doing.

  • Nothing has to get out of hand if you take care of it when it’s still in its beginning stage. What it takes to take care of a situation when it’s in its beginning stage is that kind of courage which you ought to cultivate like it was a rare and strange grass plant. You ought to think it isn’t at all weird, or funny, or sentimental to think, “Well, I’ll be Mighty Mouse.” It doesn’t matter if it’s corny, if it gets the rent paid.

  • Every time I get into one of those long complicated things about how to do it, it comes down to the real simple ones like, “Love your God with all your heart and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. This shall be the whole of the law.”

  • In the teachings of the Tibetan yoga, they have a saying that adversity, being a teacher of the true way and likely to turn one toward a spiritual life, is not necessarily to be avoided.

  • It seems that the Universe is made of positives and negatives, about half each, and it seems that if you’re going to taste anything very high and very fine, you have to have the nerve, which probably came to you from having tasted something that was heavy or hard to handle or hard on you or hard to accept, that you had to learn to accept. That’s what gave you strength of character to get to the other place.

  • There’s laying on of hands, and then there’s making love, which is laying on of everything you have.

  • You have to be sure you’re not pretending to don’t be confident so that nobody will think you’re on a trip. Some people go around pretending that they don’t know where it’s at so that nobody will think they’re on a trip, when they do sometimes really know where it’s at. But they don’t really know where it’s at because they pretend not to. If you’re doing a good thing, swing on; get heavy.

  • When there’s nothing happening I might not know what to do next, but when it’s heavy I always know what to do next. You really do too, if you’ve got the nerve to just up and do what you know you have to do when it’s heavy. People do it all the time. The tabloids have a story every now and then of some lady who tears the doors off a wrecked semi and drags the truck driver out.

  • I can sit and watch some people smooch and it’s very pretty and a gorgeous thing to watch. And I know other people that I see come on so lustful that it makes me think they’re spreading germs.

  • Energy can be transmitted between people…. [A] thing about healing is that you have to put some energy on somebody and then teach them how to maintain it, because you aren’t going to be able to sit around and give them some all the time. They ought to learn how to maintain their own.

  • You have a better chance of really having a good marriage if you have a good head of steam on and a lot of juice on when you go into it. It’ll naturally help you be with who your right person is, because of a couple of folks who have a lot of juice on will just spark together and do it. So some folks are saving the cake, and they don’t want anybody sticking their finger through the icing.

  • [That therapist doesn’t believe in vibrations, so he doesn’t realize that] turning anger out on people just makes you self-indulgent….

  • When somebody’s running something around their mind.., they’re putting out the vibration of it on everybody, just like a wood stove throws off heat when you put wood in it. You ought to be able to put together a few little experiments to communicate… that there are such things as vibrations.

  • Anger is never necessary. Anger is always a failing. When you do it it’s a failing. But, as Hazrat Inayat Khan said, certain pieces of information are best conveyed in a relatively loud tone and in a lively rhythm. Just so long as you know that that’s what you’re doing, and don’t get carried away and get mad.

  • One of the teachings about kids is that you don’t bribe them, and especially you don’t bribe them with food, because it gives them a weird, desirous, lustful attitude about food and makes it hard for them to eat what’s good for them. If kids are going to have candy, they should just at some arbitrary time or other have some, so it isn’t a big deal. It’s the big deal made about it that makes it into a lust object and something that they’ll do a lot of behind your back. Food should be something we don’t have praise/blame about.

  • If we converted massive amounts of action in the world to non-profit collective hippie-type enterprises out of the profit-making ones, we could get into the action big enough to disturb some folks. If we did that and were obnoxious and armed ourselves, we’d be squashed for it. But if we were really harmless, really honest and really sincerely religious and cared about other people and were not doing it just for ourselves, we might get so far down the line before anybody noticed, that it would be too late.

  • More and more I’m beginning to like Mahatma Gandhi. He said he wanted the millions of people in India to be happy and to be healthy in order that they may grow in Spirit. What our teaching is becomes clearer and clearer to me, in the sense that to develop a cheap and livable and graceful lifestyle is one of the most important and heaviest things that we can pass on to mankind, as a teaching to everyone. That includes how to get along together; how to think beautifully and accurately; how to learn to govern ourselves. Govern yourself.

  • The materialist economic viewpoint is the least amount of work that you can do for the most possible amount of money. [E.F. Schumacher] also says that there’s a Buddhist economic viewpoint in which the functions of work are defined as a laboratory wherein a person may improve himself by working out against the Universe: a field of endeavor where people can reduce their ego by working together with other people for a common cause, and produce the amount of stuff it takes for the people to make it.

  • I keep saying I am not political and I’m really not. I’m really spiritual. I find myself out in the middle of economics from meditating about Spirit and God as hard as I can.

  • There’s all kinds of esoteric religious teachings about how to clear your mind by doing a mantra. Om mani padme Hum, or Lord Jesus, forgive me, a sinner. You run them through your head to blank out your thought so you don’t be self-conscious. It’s also quite difficult to be self-conscious while handling a chain saw. It’s very difficult to be self-conscious while giving your best to a child. It’s difficult to be self-conscious while doing a good job at anything.

  • [There are] shooting galleries and roller-coasters [to exercise the senses]. But we already have the world here which needs all this stuff done, in which we can try ourselves out, and grow and exercise ourselves in every way.

  • Real old-fashioned, sweet and innocent pure love has the most electricity in it. It is the best kind, the one with the most juice. The folks who were into black leather, and whips and stuff like that were not the sexual experts, but were the people who didn’t know anything—they were trying to get off in some blinded fashion.

  • There are two ways to not be self-conscious. One is to not notice yourself. The other is to be so totally looking out that you never look back.

  • God is not separate from the Universe. God is only One. The Universe itself is God’s mind; and the flow of everything is God’s thoughts. And praying to us really means to try to be an intelligent synapse in God’s mind, a synapse that is not going to trigger for violence, no matter what. Love, connect. And we affect the mind of God by being free will synapses.

  • Why are people being that way to each other? Any people? Anywhere? Why is that happening? Well, it’s ego, ain’t it now? Ain’t it just that some folks think it’s okay to do it to some other folks, over anything—no matter what the cost, no matter who those folks are. That’s ego. So what can you do about it? The first thing you can do about it is to see about your own.

    You may not think that’s connected, or that it makes a difference. But a thing happened while we were up in New York that was really a beautiful teaching. We were parked out by the trucking docks down by the Hudson River. It was morning, and Albert was going to talk to the Farm on the ham radio. Well, the way the antennas are wired up on the Greyhound, the whole bus is an antenna. It’s long and has a big old flat side to it. Albert said, “Fire up the bus and move a little bit.” So we fired it up, and started driving around the parking lot in a tight little circle. So we came around that circle, we turned around and around and around, and sudenly the radio started coming on loud—and it got louder and louder and louder until we got to a point. And when we went past that point it started to fade again, and we backed up to that place again. We were lining the bus up with a piece of wire strung out by the barn in Tennessee—a piece of wire that was a thousand miles away. And when it was lined up, it was a lot stronger.

    If you bring a loving and egoless place into your heart—if you be really loving, and really open, and really want to help out your brother—you can line yourself up with a giant antenna. And it will make your signal a lot stronger. It will make the signal itself a lot stronger, too, because you’d be a repeater station: one of those microwave antennas out there on the hilltop that picks up the signal coming this way and amplifies it and puts it back out.

  • If you can go into your heart of hearts and get really quiet and really kind and really truthful with yourself, you can feel a little something. [It’s like that sunshine.]

  • I really know we’re all One. And I really know if we’re trying to do a good thing that we’ll get a lot of help. We’re standing in a really nice position to be a lot of help to a lot of people. And that gives me so much strength and so much contentment that, even with the condition the world is in, there’s a certain amount of contentment. Not that it’s all covered. Not that it’s cool. But that there’s something you can do; and that it’s within your power to do it, and it makes a difference if you do it.

  • McLuhan talks about the medium as the message—that it isn’t just what’s on the television set; it’s the fact that the information is being transmitted at all, no matter what it is: the medium is the message. We’re trying to derive a discipline that is an exact and real discipline of how to move and how to do it, that embodies in every way the principles we try to live by—not just as a set of motions you perform with numbers on each motion on the stage, but every way you move. Everything you be. Every way you do it with somebody. Every way you deal with yourself. What we are trying to evolve here is a free and open pattern of sanity—but nonetheless a pattern—in order that people may be sane in a cultural context that supports them for being sane, rather than supporting them for not being sane, as a matter of cultural knowledge that every little kid and everybody in the community should share as they grow up. Now it used to be that way. Lao Tsu said the governments were invented when people forgot how to be on the natch.

  • Ambition is a personal drive. A person driven by ambition will just walk on everybody on the way. If you are going to be driven, be driven by something that’s for everybody. Ambition causes you to have tropisms toward evil things. I’ll give you an example of that. Somebody who’s ambitious may not realize the principle that you can’t climb very high in an unafraid society. If the society is not afraid, one man can’t climb very far above the rest of the people—not in a sense of attainment, but in a sense of power and ambition. But if he scares the people, the people become a more rigid structure, and he can climb higher and farther; so he will tend to condition towards a rigid structure in order to keep his ladder solid. That’s how Hitler got in: he just conditioned the whole society into a pyramid that he could climb, be on top of, and do his number from. It was a terrified society.

  • We need to have a massive religious revival and enlightenment across the country. The country’s spiritual technology has fallen into disuse and rust, from so many years of neglect, to the point where we’re so ignorant about Spirit and God and love and free will, that some people are just pretty much suckers for anything that comes by, because they want something so badly. It’s not just that we want something. It’s that we need it.

  • We are just as radical as we can be—back to the root. We are trying to preserve thousands-year-old knowledge. It’s not the chant you chant; it’s not the name that you name God: it’s how you live. And this is a school about how to live.

  • The best way to love yourself is to love all things in the Universe, not forsaking yourself…. And you have to realize that harming yourself is the same as harming someone else. Because we’re all One. And being bad to yourself is just as bad as being bad to somebody else. Because it puts that into the world. As far as your personality goes, if you don’t pay any attention to it, maybe it will go away by itself.

  • We have reasons for most of the stuff we’re doing: we’ve made most of the mistakes known to mankind so far, and we may make the rest of them before we get done. We hope to make them in such a pattern that it doesn’t waste us.

  • Some people talk about bliss and think it means all day long with your tongue hanging out the side of your mouth going ha-ha-ha. But there’s a line I’ve heard some old Christians say which was really good: the sober consciousness of waking bliss. You’re sitting right there, you’re perfectly sane, you’re perfectly awake, you’re perfectly together, you know where it’s at anyway, and it’s cool.

  • The thing about consciousness is that the folks who know the least about consciousness are the ones who are the most affected by changes of it. Some folks don’t know anything about consciousness at all, and it never occurs to them to think, “What’s this level of consciousness like; is this a good level of consciousness? Is there a higher one I could be in? Could I get out of this level and change it? There are people who never think things like that, who never, ever think, “Could I be in a better place than this? Is this the best place I could be, considering what’s happening?” Some of those people you find in places like the penitentiary. That’s how come they get there. They go through changes ranging from “Wow, I had a good time last night, Wow I really got off,” to “Muther, don’t come and touch me again, I’m gonna get you,” running from one level to another and never being aware that they are moving in a medium, and that they have a choice of whether to be in those places or not.

  • Your mood [while tripping] can be controlled by you if you want to, and you don’t have to be in this place if you don’t want to.

  • Sometimes I find myself sloshing around in levels of consciousness that are not real exalted. But I always know that I don’t have to do that, even if it may take me a little while to figure a way out of it. Maybe I might be in a place where I can’t just up and change. Maybe I have a whole bunch of karma that I have to move first. But I can know that I can change, and it can change, and I can change it and improve it and make it better.

  • A blessing is what comes out of your heart, not your mouth; and if your heart’s pure and untroubled, then your blessings are pure and untroubled. If your heart’s pure and strong, crying babies will stop crying for you, skittery horses will hold still and let you catch them. And if you didn’t know anything about consciousness you’d have no control over those blessings that come from your heart. If you don’t know about consciousness, you can walk around with anger in your heart, which is like walking around with a colored filter on you; so everything that comes out of you is a little anger-flavored, if you walk around with anger in your heart. It doesn’t matter if you don’t really express it or jump up or cuss people out and hit people. If you just have it in your heart and walk around mad, you get mad about something.

  • Righteous indignation is kind of like plutonium—there’s a certain amount of value in it, but it has disastrous side effects to it. And if you aren’t a really fancy technician, you can’t handle it without getting burnt. Righteous indignation is seductive. It feels so powerful; it feels like if you can go to bat for a good cause, you can really pull out the stops. Be Careful. How righteous is it? It’s really dangerous.

  • As the various negative emotions hit you—when you’re scared or you’re losing it or you’re getting out of control—you have to look at it, and to face it, taste it; if you run from experiencing it, it’ll scare you, and it’ll keep scaring you. You have to stop and face it, and when you do, naturally you’re stronger in a way, you’re more real.

  • …that’s like when you drive a car on ice and start losing it, what you do when you start losing it makes a difference whether you make it or spin right on out. Most people who have never driven on ice have a tendency to turn the wrong way, and you have to learn to turn the other way, because your tendency, your instincts are to turn the wrong way, which will make you spin out worse, and you have to teach yourself to turn the way that doesn’t spin you out. And you don’t know when you’re going to break loose. You don’t know when you’re going to run into some ice, so you have to develop a reflex that turns you the correct way right away. You can teach yourself just like you teach yourself to play the guitar or something—you have to teach yourself.

  • What did Jesus mean about throwing pearls before swine? “Cast not your pearls before swine, nor give your precious things to the dogs, lest they turn and rend you.” And what he meant by that was that you can’t come on to people too fast. It’s an unfortunate quotation, I’ve always thought, because there’s a way it can be taken which sounds like the people are swine. And that is not what it’s about. But some of the things I’ve said this morning, if I went into Nashville and gave pretty much the same rap I gave this morning, I’d be commitable. In the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a belief in God and having seen hallucinations are considered to be classic symptoms of schizophrenia. And if you went and told people a lot of metaphysical stuff that they didn’t understand, without very carefully preparing them and really giving them a groundwork so that you wouldn’t insult their intelligence or make them have to believe something they have no groundwork for believing in….

    What would a pig know to do with a pearl? The pearl would be un-understandable. That’s all it really means.

    And the thing about “…and your precious things to the dogs lest they turn and rend you,”—man, a lot of self-taught prophets have a very short life span. They go out and lay a bunch of heavy stuff on people until they burn them out and make them mad and scare them and make them weird, and then somebody comes and does them up. It’s important. It’s not just your own tail that you’re supposed to be thinking aobut saving when you’re doing that. It’s that you’re trying to not make a bad scene happen around the teachings. You don’t want to have a bad scene happen around the teachings. You don’t want the teachings to have a bad vibe that’ll ever turn anyone away, because the teachings are so rare.

  • What leads to self-deception? Self-deception is stuff like telling yourself you were cool when you weren’t. You can tell yourself you’re cool when you weren’t because your ego doesn’t want to say you weren’t cool. The person who’s in that kind of place can rarely admit, in the here-and-now, in the transaction, that they were wrong. They have to fight it out, stop the transaction, go away somewhere and cool off for a while, and then come back and admit they were wrong. That’s because they deceive themselves to such a point that in the midst of the action they are unable to say, “Well, I was wrong.” Another kind of self-deception is to tell yourself that something you want to do—because you like to do it—is cool because you want to do it.

  • Anger is volitional. It knocks on the door, but you have to open the door and let it in. And you have to say “No,” when it knocks at the door. But you have to be self-aware enough to catch it at the place where it knocks at the door.

    You have to make a moral judgment and say, “Anger is lethal.” Anger is like poison. It has effects on people like radiation or strychnine, and if you do it to people it has those effects on them. And you have an obligation to no more unleash that on somebody than you would walk up and, say, punch them in the mouth. In fact, you can do more damage to somebody with your vibrations and your anger than you can by walking up to them and punching them in the mouth….

    Really it’s the question of what will is for. Some folks think will is for getting what they want. A tycoon of industry uses his will to get what he wants. Will is powerful, but that isn’t what you use it for. What you use will for is to don’t be angry. What you use will for is to don’t throw anything damaging into the situation, to leave the situation as clean as possible in order that you can look at it cleanly.

  • …[Don’t] act like you’re not angry when you’re angry… Don’t be angry; it requires will of the order that John Paul Getty used to corner the market for the money he made; it requires the kind of will that an Olympic weightlifter puts out. It ain’t hard to do. You can do it. And the more you do it, the better at it you get, just like anything else.

  • When you’re talking about imagination, you’re not talking about a cartoon, or something ephemeral. You have to understand that when you’re talking about imagination, you’re talking about bringing something into being in your mind and having a clear enough vision of it and understanding it in all its parts well enough that you can bring it about into reality. And if you have a cheap, hurried vision, if you have a cartoon vision, if you have a vision that doesn’t have your full attention and love in it—if you have a vision that you do not put as much good time and attention into as if you were building a regulation outhouse, for example—then you will make a cheap vision; and when you try to bring it forth into reality, it will be complicated and messy and fuzzy, and it won’t work right and you’ll have to patch it up a lot—it’ll be a low-quality vision, one of those visions it’s hard to get anything to happen with.

  • Evil isn’t anything except what you give it. As far back as St. Augustine and even previous to him, they pointed out that good has an intrinsic existence and that evil doesn’t. Because good can be in it for the sake of good only, but evil is in it for the money, for the power, for the social position, for nice sexual partners and stuff like that. Evil is not in it for the sake of evil. No one is ever in evil for the sake of evil. Ego gratification, money; but not the sake of evil. So evil doesn’t exist except insofar as people put their energy into it at that level. It has no separate existence other than what is carried in the minds of mankind. To the extent that something is good, it can exist; because nothing exists that is not good; because it’s all a part of God.

    So you should put your energy where it’s going to come back to you. It’s like playing music against a wall where the music comes back and you can hear it, or just playing out into an emptiness where it just goes and doesn’t come back and you don’t know.

  • What long hair is for on the Farm is to keep your ears warm; but off the Farm what long hair is for, is to keep you from getting any airs or ideas of social position—to remind you where you’re at and who you are. It’s a very helpful part of our yoga; you never know when you are going to get a little teaching at that level…. We don’t cut our hair because the only people that care if you cut your hair is the army and businesses and people like that; and one of the things I’m symbolizing by having hair this long is that I obviously haven’t worked for the military industrial complex in a long time.

  • If you feel a necessity to intimidate your lady, go do it to someone else’s wife and see what it gets you. Maybe that will help clear up the nature of the situation in your mind as to what it’s really about. And as Ina May has said over the telephone to several men in the last few weeks, “I am moraly certain that you wouldn’t treat your lady that way if you weren’t bigger than she is.”

  • Rather than sit in a cemetery as a yogi to conquer your fear of death, you love everyone very much, and the odds are that you’re going to lose one now and then; and you try to learn to don’t fear death. And instead of sending a certain amount of money that you make at your job in tithing to help other people less fortunate than yourself, you dedicate all your work to those less fortunate than yourself. Dedicated to the all, to everybody, to work without attachment to the fruits of your labors.

  • Working with Spirit is like working with farming: putting the manure in the field and seeing the plants blossom and flower is all part of farming, and talking the truth even if maybe it doesn’t seem spiritual because it’s so nitty-gritty about things, is like putting manure on the field. Let’s grow a flower next year… let’s come on heavy.

Words of Wisdom for Hard Times

  • Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The world is so full of care and sorrow that it is a gracious debt we owe to one another to discover the bright crystals of delight hidden in somber circumstances and irksome tasks. — Helen Keller
  • Drink champagne for defeats as well as for victories. It tastes the same, and you need it more. — Edmund Ward
  • If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments. — Earl Wilson
  • He who has a why to live can bear with any how. — Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The most dangerous thing in the world is to try to leap a chasm in two jumps. — David Lloyd George
  • The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook. — William James
  • The satisfactions of this life are many; but there comes a time when we have had a sufficient measure of its enjoyments, and may well depart contented with our share of the feast. I am far from regretting that this life was bestowed on me; and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have employed it in such a manner as not to have lived in vain. In short, I consider this world as a place which Nature never intended for my permanent abode; and I look on my departure from it, not as being driven from my habitation, but simply as leaving an inn. — Cicero
  • Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours. — Richard Bach
  • Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the Grace to tell them so. — 17th-century nun
  • Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence. — Henry David Thoreau
  • It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. — Charles H. Spurgeon
  • Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. — Foster C. McClellen
  • The great lesson is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends and family, in one’s backyard. — Abraham Maslow
  • Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome. — Isaac Asimov
  • Anger is never necessary. Anger is always a failing. When you do it it’s a failing. But, as Hazrat Inayat Khan said, certain pieces of information are best conveyed in a relatively loud tone and in a lively rhythm. Just so long as you know that that’s what you’re doing, and don’t get carried away and get mad. — Stephen Gaskin
  • When it is dark enough, men see the stars. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. — Carl Sagan
  • People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think big anyway. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for some underdogs anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People really need help but may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway. Give the world the best that you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway. — Anonymous
  • You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Learn to hold loosely all that is not eternal. — A. Maude Royden
  • If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. — Henry David Thoreau
  • There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. — Frank Zappa
  • Materialistically, the valuable person is the one who has money or tools to use or to lend, or potatoes or skills to sell. Intellectually, the valuable person is the one who has knowledge and understanding which are available to others in search of knowledge and understanding. Spiritually, the valuable person is the one who, by reason of a love of righteousness, discovers some of the divine principles of the universe and becomes able to impart to others that which he has perceived…by deed as well as by word. — Leonard E. Read
  • Blessed is the man who has discovered that there is nothing permanent in life but change. — A.P. Gouthey
  • Old age is fifteen years older than I am. — Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • A man is what he thinks about all day long. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. — Mahatma Gandhi
  • Confessed faults are half mended. — Scottish saying
  • A man may smile, and smile, and be a villain. — William Shakespeare
  • In order to destroy a man, it is only necessary to give his work the character of uselessness. — Schopenhauer
  • When you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you. — Friedrich Nietzsche
  • If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart. — Socrates
  • A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature. — Seneca
  • Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. — Henry David Thoreau
  • The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the domination of outward conditions. — Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. — Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. — Calvin Coolidge
  • Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. — Dale Carnegie
  • Better be poor than wicked. — Proverb
  • If you could see the potential within you it would amaze you to see all that you are capable of being. — Catherine Pulsifer
  • As many suffer from too much as too little. —Christian N. Bovee
  • Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket? — Bumper Sticker
  • It has done me good to be somewhat parched by the heat and drenched by the rain of life. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. — Mahatma Gandhi
  • The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. — Albert Einstein
  • The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. — Richard Bach
  • Perfect love casteth out fear. — I John 4:18
  • It is sometimes necessary to play the fool to avoid being deceived by clever men. — La Rochefoucauld
  • The road to hell is paved with good intentions. — Proverb
  • No good deed goes unpunished. — Proverb
  • When you row another person across the river, you get there yourself. —Anonymous
  • Show me a woman who doesn’t feel guilty and I’ll show you a man. — Erica Jong
  • When in doubt, tell the truth. — Mark Twain
  • The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. — Niels Bohr
  • It is never too late to tread the path of honesty. — Seneca
  • Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • I steer my bark with hope in the head, leaving fear astern. — Thomas Jefferson
  • The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. — Samuel Johnson
  • Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged. — Thomas Alva Edison
  • Nothing is more terrible to see than ignorance in action. — Goethe
  • Think of the ills from which you are exempt. — Joseph Joubert
  • When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. — Buckminster Fuller
  • It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. — Upton Sinclair
  • It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. — James C. Thurber
  • I’ve had a wonderful time, but this wasn’t it. — Groucho Marx
  • Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. — Albert Einstein
  • Knowledge is an antidote to fear. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow. — Chinese Proverb
  • Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. — Will Rogers
  • The rules of life are found within yourself. Ask yourself constantly, “What is the right thing to do?” — Anonymous
  • When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity. — John F. Kennedy
  • As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way. — Henry David Thoreau
  • Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship. — Omar N. Bradley
  • When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. — John Ruskin
  • If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. —
    Abraham Maslow
  • The world has to learn that the actual pleasure derived from material things is of rather low quality on the whole and less even in quantity than it looks to those who have not tried it. — Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation. — H. H. Munro (Saki)
  • Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. — Sydney J. Harris
  • Money often costs too much. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The love of money is the root of all evil. — I Timothy 6:10
  • The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge. — Daniel J. Boorstin
  • That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. — Henry David Thoreau
  • I know what pleasure is, for I have done good work. — Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Turn your wounds into wisdom. — Oprah Winfrey
  • Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. — Albert Einstein
  • There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. Who knows what man can become? — Buckminster Fuller
  • Poverty…is life near the bone, where it is sweetest. — Henry David Thoreau
  • You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. — Kahlil Gibran
  • To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. — Bertrand Russell
  • Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. — Pablo Picasso
  • If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my ax. —Abraham Lincoln
  • Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. — George Eliot
  • Please all, and you will please none. — Aesop
  • Energy can be transmitted between people…. [A] thing about healing is that you have to put some energy on somebody and then teach them how to maintain it, because you aren’t going to be able to sit around and give them some all the time. They ought to learn how to maintain their own. — Stephen Gaskin
  • A problem well-stated is a problem half-solved. — Charles F. Kettering
  • Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future. — Swami Sivananda
  • Bad promises are better broken than kept. — Abraham Lincoln
  • Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. — Thomas A. Edison
  • It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done, compared with what he might have done. — Samuel Johnson
  • Relaxed attitudes are the means towards the greatest happiness as well as the greatest efficiency in life. Make sure you take time out (now and then) to fish and think, and you will learn serenity, and how transitory are human affairs. — Michel de Montaigne
  • The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • If you want to know how rich you really are, find out what would be left of you tomorrow if you should lose every dollar you own tonight. — W.J. Boetcker
  • The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul. — Wayne Dyer
  • Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body. — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Our life is frittered away by detail…Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! — Henry David Thoreau
  • Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Sincerity is to speak as we think, to do as we pretend and profess, to perform what we promise, and really to be what we would seem and appear to be. — John Tillotson
  • Believe me, every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Conflict cannot survive without your participation. — Wayne Dyer
  • The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. — Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? — Mark 8:36
  • As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do. — Andrew Carnegie
  • You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. — Brian Tracy
  • It is no use saying, “We are doing our best.” You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary. — Sir Winston Churchill
  • There is only one road to true human greatness…the road through suffering. — Albert Einstein
  • Tears are the safety valve of the heart. — Anonymous
  • Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Remember that when you’re in the right you can afford to keep your temper, and when you’re in the wrong you can’t afford to lose it. — Mahatma Gandhi
  • It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than watch it accumulate. — Gloria Steinem
  • Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. — John F. Kennedy
  • Don’t act like you’re not angry when you’re angry…. Don’t be angry; it requires will of the order that John Paul Getty used to corner the market for the money he made; it requires the kind of will that an Olympic weightlifter puts out. It ain’t hard to do. You can do it. And the more you do it, the better at it you get, just like anything else….

    Anger is volitional. It knocks on the door, but you have to open the door and let it in. And you have to say “No” when it knocks at the door. But you have to be self-aware enough to catch it at the place where it knocks at the door.

    You have to make a moral judgment and say, “Anger is lethal.” Anger is like poison. It has effects on people like radiation or strychnine, and if you do it to people it has those effects on them. And you have an obligation to no more unleash that on somebody than you would walk up and, say, punch them in the mouth. In fact, you can do more damage to somebody with your vibrations and your anger than you can by walking up to them and punching them in the mouth….

    Really it’s the question of what will is for. Some folks think will is for getting what they want. A tycoon of industry uses his will to get what he wants. Will is powerful, but that isn’t what you use it for. What you use will for is to don’t be angry. What you use will for is to don’t throw anything damaging into the situation, to leave the situation as clean as possible in order that you can look at it cleanly. — Stephen Gaskin

  • Thought is the seed of action. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • We magnetize into our lives whatever we hold in our thought. — Richard Bach
  • My pride fell with my fortunes. — William Shakespeare
  • Change your thoughts and you change your world. — Norman Vincent Peale
  • I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive. — Henry Miller
  • You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. — James Allen
  • Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you. — Wayne Dyer
  • I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money. — Pablo Picasso
  • Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it. — Lou Holtz
  • Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. — Philippians 4:8
  • The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. — Joseph Campbell
  • Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old Time is still a-flying;
    And this same flower that smiles today,
    Tomorrow will be dying.
    —Robert Herrick
  • Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them — that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. — Lao Tzu
  • To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. — Ecclesiastes III, 1-8
  • Righteous indignation is kind of like plutonium—there’s a certain amount of value in it, but it has disastrous side effects to it. And if you aren’t a really fancy technician, you can’t handle it without getting burnt. Righteous indignation is seductive. It feels so powerful; it feels like if you can go to bat for a good cause, you can really pull out the stops. Be Careful. How righteous is it? It’s really dangerous. — Stephen Gaskin
  • A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. — Charles Darwin
  • Deficiency motivation doesn’t work. It will lead to a life-long pursuit of try to fix me. Learn to appreciate what you have and where and who you are. — Wayne Dyer
  • Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. — Benjamin Franklin
  • Write it in your heart that every day is the best day of your year. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. — Michelangelo
  • Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity. — Og Mandino
  • In the morning fix thy good purpose; and at night examine thyself what thou hast done, how thou hast behaved thyself in word, deed and thought. — Thomas a Kempis
  • Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes. — Henry David Thoreau
  • The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it. — John Ruskin
  • It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. — John Steinbeck
  • Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. — Theodore Roosevelt
  • We are profoundly affected by our surroundings. It’s not a mystery to be affected that way. There are actual vibrations that do things to you. Your body is a semi-hard jelly. Its technical name is a colloid solution. Quicksand and silly putty are colloid solutions. So is protoplasm. Colloid solutions get harder or softer depending on what you do to them. If you hit silly putty with a hammer, it goes rigid and breaks up. If you leave it alone, it runs into a puddle.

    The stuff you’re made out of is like that, too, and in the city, you’re subjected to a constant series of physical and psychic shocks, just hitting on you all the time. Somebody on the other side of the block is getting mugged and putting out just incredible stuff and it’s too far away for you to hear it, but it isn’t too far away to feel the vibes. Vibes go a real long way. You’re getting hit with stuff like that all the time when you’re in the city… You get out into the middle of Chicago and New York City and GRRRR! the ground shakes under your feet. Monkey wants to hold onto a tree. — Stephen Gaskin

  • Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise. — Sigmund Freud
  • Be happy. It’s one way of being wise. — Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
  • Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts. — Soren Kierkegaard
  • There is only one thing to do when confronted by tragedy of any kind, caused by circumstances beyond human control…and that’s to start rebuilding and remaking one’s life as best one can. This, in any unforeseen adversity, I resolve to do. — Harold Sherman
  • I am a part of all that I have seen. — Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • With pride, there are many curses. With humility, there come many blessings. — Ezra Taft Benson
  • A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. — David Brinkley
  • God does not take away trials or carry us over them but strengthens us through them. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • It is the mark of a great man to treat trifles as trifles, and important matters as important. — Gotthold E. Lessing
  • When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. — Confucius
  • You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. — C. S. Lewis
  • Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. — Napoleon Hill
  • One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they seem to sense, once hate is gone, that they will be forced to deal with pain. — James Baldwin
  • By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. — Confucius
  • Thus, the smallest circumstances may determine destruction. As trains are destroyed by the movement of a switch no more than the tenth part of an inch, so trifles sometimes determine, in a critical hour, men’s fate for time and eternity. — H.F. Kletzing
  • Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you. — Aldous Huxley
  • One of the worst things about life is not how nasty the nasty people are. You know that already. It is how nasty the nice people can be. — Anthony Powell
  • History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. — Abba Eban
  • Human blunders usually do more to shape history than human wickedness. — A.J.P. Taylor
  • The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. — F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Be as you wish to seem. — Socrates
  • But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant. — H.L. Mencken
  • Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. — Arthur Ashe
  • Keep on truckin’. — Robert Crumb
  • He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright. — Blaise Pascal
  • In accumulating property for ourselves or our posterity, in founding a family or a state, or acquiring fame, even we are mortal; but in dealing with truth we are immortal, and need fear no change nor accident. — Henry David Thoreau
  • Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living? — Bob Marley
  • Expect problems and eat them for breakfast. — Alfred A. Montapert
  • And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. — John 8:32
  • It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance. — Thomas Sowell
  • You can’t lead a cavalry if you think that you look funny riding a horse. — John Peers
  • When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out — because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside. — Wayne Dyer
  • The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. — Bertrand Russell
  • Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are — chaff and grain together — certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. — Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
  • When I eventually met Mr. Right I had no idea that his first name was Always. — Rita Rudner
  • Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed. — Dale Carnegie
  • Measured objectively, what a man can wrest from Truth by passionate striving is utterly infinitesimal. But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest. — Albert Einstein
  • Be faithful to that which exists within yourself. — André Gide
  • I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them. — Baruch Spinoza
  • What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds. — Wayne Dyer
  • I have heard there are troubles
    of more than one kind.
    Some come from ahead
    and some come from behind.
    But I’ve bought a big bat.
    I’m all ready you see.
    Now my troubles are going
    to have troubles with me!
    — Dr. Seuss
  • When deeds speak, words are nothing. — Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  • This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. — George Bernard Shaw
  • The components of anxiety, stress, fear, and anger do not exist independently of you in the world. They simply do not exist in the physical world, even though we talk about them as if they do. — Wayne Dyer
  • If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character…Would you slow down? Or speed up? — Chuck Palahniuk
  • A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there. — Meister Eckhart
  • Let your daily wisdom of life be in making a good use of the opportunities given you. — William Blackie
  • One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. — William Feather
  • Relationships based on obligation lack dignity. — Wayne Dyer
  • A wise man should have money in his head but not in his heart. — Sir Francis Bacon
  • What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it — would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have. — Ralph Marston
  • We know the worth of a thing when we have lost it. — French Proverb
  • I’m sorry to say so but, sadly it’s true
    that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.
    — Dr. Seuss
  • I find, where I thought myself poor, there was I most rich. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. — Soren Kierkegaard
  • You’re always free to change your mind and choose a different future. —Richard Bach
  • All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Each of us is capable today, at this moment, of discovering a whole new way of life. — Leddy Schmelig
  • Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life. — Wayne Dyer
  • Beware the barrenness of a busy life. — Socrates
  • Nothing is impossible to the man who can will, and then do; this is the only law of success. — Mirabeau
  • Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life. — Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • The most evident sign of wisdom is continued cheerfulness. —Michel de Montaigne
  • I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Remember thy prerogative is to govern, and not to serve, the things of the world. — Thomas a Kempis
  • Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. — Lucille Ball
  • There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever. — Mahatma Gandhi
  • A man has to learn that he cannot command things, but that he can command himself; that he cannot coerce the wills of others, but that he can mold and master his own will: and things serve him who serves Truth; people seek guidance of him who is master of himself. — James Allen
  • What is the mark of liberation? No longer being ashamed in front of oneself. — Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Do something wonderful, people may imitate it. — Albert Schweitzer
  • Worry is unbelief; one cannot have faith and doubt. And worry is doubt. Worry never fixed anything, cured anything, or changed anything, only for the worse. — A.P. Gouthey
  • Never, never, never give up. — Winston Churchill
  • Everybody is striving for what is not worth having. — William M. Thackeray
  • Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you. — Wayne Dyer
  • Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. — Albert Einstein
  • No man’s private fortune can be an end any way worthy of his existence. — Sir Francis Bacon
  • Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy. — Robert A. Heinlein
  • I did not flee from men, but from affairs. We have lived long enough for others; let us live the rest for ourselves. Let us disentangle ourselves from the clutch of things which hold us elsewhere and keep us from ourselves. The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to yourself. — Michel de Montaigne
  • Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. — Henry Ford
  • We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. — George Bernard Shaw
  • Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come. — Ellen DeGeneres
  • One of the reasons for the spiritual practice of non-attachment—trying not to be personally attached about your thing, or pain or whatever happens to you—is so that you school yourself so that nothing can happen to you from the outside that can make you lose your energy, because as long as you have your energy on, you can do it. — Stephen Gaskin
  • Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. — Benjamin Franklin
  • In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive. — Lee Iacocca
  • He who angers you conquers you. — Elizabeth Kenny
  • When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous. — Wayne Dyer
  • Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep. — Mahatma Gandhi
  • When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear. — Mark Twain
  • Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. — William Congreve
  • You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger. — Buddha
  • Nothing has to get out of hand if you take care of it when it’s still in its beginning stage. What it takes to take care of a situation when it’s in its beginning stage is that kind of courage which you ought to cultivate like it was a rare and strange grass plant. You ought to think it isn’t at all weird, or funny, or sentimental to think, “Well, I’ll be Mighty Mouse.” It doesn’t matter if it’s corny, if it gets the rent paid. — Stephen Gaskin
  • Successful people make money. It’s not that people who make money become successful, but that successful people attract money. They bring success to what they do. — Wayne Dyer
  • Anger repressed can poison a relationship as surely as the cruelest words. — Dr. Joyce Brothers
  • There isn’t really supposed to be an intermediary between you and God; although some religions teach the necessity of an intermediary. Some religions think of Jesus as a gateman to Heaven—who you have to get straight with before you can go in—instead of being the spiritual vibration itself, which if you are in contact with, you automatically become in contact with Heaven—and if you’re in good enough shape to touch it, it will touch you back. — Stephen Gaskin
  • You must be the change you wish to see in the world. — Mahatma Gandhi
  • I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world. — Mahatma Gandhi
  • There is a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. — Edmund Burke
  • The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude. — Oprah Winfrey
  • The only thing constant in life is change. — François de la Rochefoucauld
  • It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. — Charles Darwin
  • Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable. — Denis Waitley
  • We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. — Stacia Tauscher
  • It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are. — e.e. cummings
  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. — Dale Carnegie
  • True friends stab you in the front. — Oscar Wilde
  • Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. — Abraham Lincoln
  • Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. — Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up. — Mark Twain
  • Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. — Ambrose Redmoon
  • Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend. — Albert Camus
  • Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules. — Wayne Dyer
  • Misfortune shows those who are not really friends. — Aristotle
  • Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” — Mary Anne Radmacher
  • Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. — Albert Einstein
  • You must do the things you think you cannot do. — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • No one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. — Plato
  • It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. — Aristotle
  • Your mood can be controlled by you if you want to, and you don’t have to be in this place if you don’t want to. — Stephen Gaskin
  • It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come. — Dalai Lama
  • People tell you the world looks a certain way. Parents tell you how to think. Schools tell you how to think. TV. Religion. And then at a certain point, if you’re lucky, you realize you can make up your own mind. Nobody sets the rules but you. You can design your own life. — Carrie-Anne Moss
  • Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. — Oscar Wilde
  • What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it. — Frank Howard Clark
  • Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. — Miguel Angel Ruiz
  • Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. — Robert Heinlein
  • It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. — Friedrich Nietzsche
  • There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. — Will Rogers
  • The thing about consciousness is that the folks who know the least about consciousness are the ones who are the most affected by changes of it. Some folks don’t know anything about consciousness at all, and it never occurs to them to think, “What’s this level of consciousness like — is this a good level of consciousness? Is there a higher one I could be in? Could I get out of this level and change it?” There are people who never think things like that, who never, ever think, “Could I be in a better place than this? Is this the best place I could be, considering what’s happening?” — Stephen Gaskin
  • If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. — Wayne Dyer
  • To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. — Lao Tzu
  • If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. — Jim Rohn
  • Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill
  • Eighty percent of success is showing up. — Woody Allen
  • You can do anything, but not everything. — David Allen
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. — Aristotle
  • The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure. — Sven Goran Eriksson
  • Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. — Thomas Edison
  • That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. — Friedrich Nietzche
  • No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. — Henry Ford
  • A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. — Sir Winston Churchill
  • Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems. — René Descartes
  • In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. — Thomas Jefferson
  • Do, or do not. There is no “try”. — Yoda
  • Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. — Wayne Dyer
  • God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. — Voltaire
  • I criticize by creation — not by finding fault. — Cicero
  • Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame. — Benjamin Franklin
  • Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain. — Friedrich von Schiller
  • Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. — Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. — Swami Sivananda
  • Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into. — Wayne Dyer
  • If you are going through hell, keep going. — Sir Winston Churchill
  • It is never too late to be what you might have been. — George Eliot
  • Change your thoughts and you change your world. — Norman Vincent Peale
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go. — Oscar Wilde
  • Everyone who has ever built anywhere a new heaven first found the power thereto in his own hell. — Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed. — Wayne Dyer
  • Nobody can bring you peace but yourself. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. — Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is
    ready. — Henry David Thoreau
  • For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • In the teachings of the Tibetan yoga, they have a saying that adversity, being a teacher of the true way and likely to turn one toward a spiritual life, is not necessarily to be avoided. — Stephen Gaskin

HTML and CSS Cheat Sheet

Here’s an HTML and CSS cheat sheet for formatting Kindle books. You could use this info together with info from my book Control Your Kindle Book Formatting: Simple Step-by-Step Instructions, to help troubleshoot your Kindle conversion efforts. Even better would be to buy the book, or read it for free via Kindle Unlimited.

HTML and CSS Cheat Sheet for Formatting Kindle Books
Formatting with HTML Occurs in document at spot formatting is needed. Usually affected text is surrounded by begin and end tags < > and </>.
Formatting with CSS Using “internal” CSS stylesheet (shown in this book), create style definitions (to apply to elements or spans) between <style> and </style> tags in .html document <head> section. Can specify style classes in stylesheet and then “call” for them in document at spot where formatting is needed.
p.alert {color: red;}
<p class=”alert”>I want everything in this paragraph to be red.</p>

“Inline” CSS style characteristic(s) can be specified on a one-by-one basis in the text, without having to create a style definition in your document <head>. For instance, maybe you want just one or a few paragraphs in your book right-aligned. You could specify the alignment, using CSS attributes, inside HTML tags around the relevant paragraphs.
<p style=”text-align:right”>I want this paragraph to be right-aligned.</p>


Page breaks <mbp:pagebreak /> (special Kindle code)
Paragraphs HTML <p>text</p>
<p align=”justify”>I want this paragraph justified.</p>
Paragraphs CSS You can create style definitions to format paragraphs.

p.sans-serif {color: blue; font-size: 14px; text-align: center; font-family: Arial;}
<p class=”sans-serif”>This paragraph will be blue text, 14 pixels, centered, Arial.</p>

Line breaks To be used sparingly for special occasions, such as to break lines of poetry.
<br />


Headings and subheadings HTML <h1>The Pacific Northwest</h1>
<h2>The Oregon Coast</h2>
Headings and subheadings CSS Style definitions can be used to format headings and subheadings.

h1 {color: orange;}
<h1>This heading will show up orange in my book.</h1>


Bold HTML <strong>text</strong>
Bold CSS Can be specified in a style definition:

h1 {font-weight: bold;}
Makes all 1st-level headings bold.

Italic HTML <em>text</em>
Italic CSS Can be specified in a style definition:
h2 {font-style: italic;}
Makes all 2nd-level headings italic.


Center (horizontally) HTML <div align=”center”>text</div>
<p align=”center”>text</p>

Or instead of text, you can center an image:
<p align=”center”><img src=”imagename.gif”></p>

Center (horizontally) CSS Can be specified in a style definition:

p {text-align: center;}
Centers the contents of all paragraphs that are surrounded by <p> and </p> (which would be all your default paragraphs, i.e., most your book). Amazon will override this.

To center only some paragraphs:
p.centered {text-align: center;}
Centers the contents of all paragraphs that are surrounded by <p class=”centered”> and </p>.

To center all images:
img {display: block;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;}

To center only some images:
img.centered {display: block;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;}

Then, in your document, for the images you want centered:
<img class=”centered” src=”nameofyourgraphic.jpg” />


Bold, italic, and centered HTML <p align=”center”><strong><em>text</em></strong></p>
<div align=”center”><strong><em>text</em></strong></div>
<h1 align=”center”><em>text</em></h1>
Bold, italic, and centered CSS Can be specified in a style definition:

{text-align: center;
font-weight: bold;
font-style: italic;}

Makes all 3rd-level headings centered, bold, and italic.


Symbols For instance, &copy; to get ©, &#233; to get é. See webmonkey for list.
Subscripts and superscripts <sub>text</sub>


Bulleted lists <ul> <li>text</li> </ul>
Numbered lists <ol> <li>text</li> </ol>
Tables <table> <tr> <td>text</td> </tr> </table>


Links <a href=””> text</a>

Link to spot within same document:
<a href=”#george”>click here to go to George</a>

Anchors <a name=”george”>George</a>
Footnotes At the footnote location in the text:
<a href=”#fn1″ name=”fnref1″><sup>1</sup></a>

At the location of the footnote contents:
<a href=”#fnref1″ name=”fn1″>1</a> K.D. Kirby and C.J. Mardon, “Solid Phase Fermentation”.


Insert graphics <img src=”imagename.jpg” />


Indented text blocks HTML <blockquote>text</blockquote>
Indented text blocks CSS Style definitions can be used to format the <blockquote> tag:
blockquote {margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;
width: 6em;}

Then, in your document, for the text blocks you want indented:
<blockquote>This paragraph will be a centered block of text (individual lines will not be centered), 6 ems (96 pixels) wide.</p>

You can also define and apply a class for special indents for specific blocks of text:
p.quotation {padding-left: 10%;
display: block; color: blue;}

Then, in your document, for the text blocks you want indented:
<p class=”quotation”>This paragraph will be a block of text indented 20px from the left margin.</p>

Indented first lines of paragraphs CSS Can be specified in a style definition:
p {text-indent: 15%;}
For all paragraphs (unless overridden by another style), indents first line.

p {text-indent: 0;}
For all paragraphs (unless overridden by another style), no first-line indent.

Odd indentations HTML &nbsp;
Inserts a nonbreaking space.


Different font faces HTML <font face=”helvetica”>text</font>
Different font faces CSS Can be specified inline:
<p style=”font-family: verdana”>I want this paragraph to be in Verdana.</p>

Can be specified in a style definition:

p.sans {font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif;}

For all paragraphs that are surrounded by <p class=”sans”> and </p>, makes text Verdana; if that’s not available makes text Geneva; if that’s not available, makes text any sans-serif font.

.sans {font-family: “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;}

For all text that is surrounded by <span class=”sans”> and </span>, makes text Times New Roman; if that’s not available makes text Times; if that’s not available, makes text any serif font.


Different font sizes HTML <small>text</small>
<font size=”140%”>text</font>
<font size=”2em”>text</font>
<font size=”32px”>text</font>
Different font sizes CSS Can be specified inline:
<p style=”font-size:20px”>I want this paragraph to be in type that’s 20 pixels high.</p>

Can be specified in a style definition:
p.mysmalltype {font-size: .8em;}
For all paragraphs that are surrounded by <p class=”mysmalltype”> and </p>, makes font size .8 em (1 em is 16 pixels).

.ridiculouslybig {font-size: 300%;}
For all text that is surrounded by <span class=”ridiculouslybig”> and </span>, makes text 300% size of main font.


Colored text HTML <font color=”red”>text</font>
<font color=”#ff0000″>text</font>
Colored text CSS Can be specified inline:
<p style=”color: purple”>I want the text in this paragraph to be purple.</p>

Can be specified in a style definition:

.green {color: green;}
For all text that is surrounded by <span class=”green”> and </span>, makes text green.


Styles with multiple specifications CSS Can be specified in a style definition:
.style1 {text-align: center;
font-size: 200%;
font-weight: bold;
font-style: italic;
color: orange;}

Applies specified formatting to all text surrounded by <span class=”style1″> and </span>.
Drop caps CSS Can be specified in a style definition:
span.dropcaps {float: left; font-size: 3em; margin-bottom: -0.3em; margin-top: -0.3em;}

Creates drop cap from text character surrounded by <span class=”dropcaps”> and </span>.

For more information on how to convert your book to Kindle using simple HTML, see my book Control Your Kindle Book Formatting: Simple Step-by-Step Instructions.