Beyond doubt, the worshipper of God shows ignorance when he criticizes others on account of their beliefs. If he understood the saying of Junayd, “The color of the water is the color of the vessel containing it,” he would not interfere with the beliefs of others, but would perceive God in every form and in every belief.
There are three material things, not only useful, but essential to life. No one “knows how to live” till he has got them. These are pure air, water and earth. There are three immaterial things, not only useful, but essential to life. No one knows how to live till he has got them also. These are admiration, hope and love. Admiration - the power of discerning and taking delight in what is beautiful in visible form and lovely in human character; and, necessarily, striving to produce what is beautiful in form and to become what is lovely in character. Hope - the recognition, by true foresight, of better things to be reached hereafter, whether by ourselves or others; necessarily issuing in the straightforward and undisappointable effort to advance, according to our proper power, the gaining of them. Love - both of family and neighbor, faithful and satisfied.
We have today to learn to get back into accord with the wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea. To say that the divinity informs all things is condemned as pantheism. But pantheism is a misleading word. It suggests that a personal god is supposed to inhabit the world, but that is not the idea at all. The idea is… of an undefinable, inconceivable mystery, thought of as a power, that is the source and end and supporting ground of all life and being.
All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things. In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.
Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.
The water you touch in a river is the last of that which has passed, and the first of that which is coming. Thus it is with time present.
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
It is true that water will flow indifferently to east and west, but will it flow equally well up and down? Human nature is disposed toward goodness, just as water tends to flow downwards. There is no water but flows downwards, and no man but shows his tendency to be good. Now, by striking water hard, you may splash it higher than your forehead, an by damming it, you may make it go uphill. But, is that the nature of water? It is external force that causes it to do so. Likewise, if a man is made to do what is not good, his nature is being similarly forced.
Money bears the same relation to social solutions that water does to blood.
Death is not the end: it is temporary emancipation... the land to which souls go at death - they enjoy a freedom such as they never knew during their earthly life. So don’t pity the person who is passing through the delusion of death, for in a little while he will be free. Once he gets out of that delusion, he sees that death was not so bad after all. He realizes that his mortality was only a dream and rejoices that now no fire can burn him, no water can drown him; he is free and safe.
Water is the most precious, limited natural resource we have in this country... But because water belongs to no one - except the people - special interests, including government polluters, use it as their private sewers.
Who, in this world, can be called pure? He whose mind is pure. Who can be called wise? He who can discriminate between the real and the unreal. Who is the greatest hero? The person who is not terror-stricken by the arrows which shoot from the eyes of a beauty. Who is poor? He who is not contented. What rolls quickly away, like drops of water from a lotus leaf? Youth, wealth and the years of a person’s life.
Awakening is not possible so long as the mind is constantly distracted from Truth by remaining habitually egocentric, by instinctively seeking personal gratification. Divine Grace, the healing and illuminating energy that rains down ceaselessly upon the human mind, heart, and soul, cannot be absorbed or assimilated by the high, rocky hill of personal interest and personal importance. This precious, life-giving water runs off the high ground of ego, without ever penetrating its hard, barren soil.
We need harmony, we need peace. Peace is based on respect for life, the spirit of reverence for life. Not only do we have to respect the lives of human beings, but we have to respect the lives of animals, vegetables, and minerals. Rocks can be alive. A rock can be destroyed. The earth also. The destruction of our health by pollution of the air and water is linked to the destruction of the minerals. The way we farm, the way we deal with our garbage, all these things are related to each other.
Chopping wood is meditation. Carrying water is meditation. Be mindful 24 hours a day, not just during the one hour you may allot for formal meditation or reading scripture and reciting prayers. Each act must be carried out in mindfulness. Each act is a rite, a ceremony. Raising your cup of tea to your mouth is a rite. does the word “rite” seem too solemn? I use the word in order to jolt you into the realization of the life-and-death matter of awareness.
The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.
A drop of water is as powerful as a thunder-bolt.
No matter how burning the thirst, we must always take the time to honor the gift of water, for it is sacred. It is a gift of life. It is in the times of dire thirst, when the body craves the water the most, we should especially take the time for prayer and thanksgiving... If you do not honor and cherish the waters, then how can you ever expect others to?
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.
From Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, there came a great unifying life force that flowed in and through all things - the flowers of the plains, blowing winds, rocks, trees, birds, animals - and was the same force that had been breathed into the first man. Thus all things were kindred, and were brought together by the same Great Mystery. Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue. The animals had rights - the right of man’s protection, the right to live, the right to multiply, and the right to freedom, and the right to man’s indebtedness - and in recognition of these rights the Lakota never enslaved an animal, and spared all life that was not needed for food and clothing. This concept of life and its relations was humanizing, and gave to the Lakota an abiding love. It filled his being with the joy and mystery of living; it gave him reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all. The Lakota could despise no creature, for all were of one blood, made by the same hand, and filled with the essence of the Great Mystery. In spirit, the Lakota were humble and meek. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” - this was true for the Lakota, and from the earth they inherited secrets long since forgotten. Their religion was sane, natural, and human.