Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

John Welwood

American Author, Teacher and Psychotherapist

"Life is like the ocean, forever trying to wear away our narrow self-concepts, which compromise its freedom and vastness."

"Look at our present life circumstances, whatever they may be, as the raw material of our learning... We must stop regarding ourselves as victims of circumstances, and start to acknowledge that we are not here purely by accident. The master within is trying to help us wake up by confronting us with our current life situation, which contains all the lessons we need to learn in order to grow into more fully developed human beings."

"Relationship as a path leads us on a journey of the heart - which involves becoming more fully human, more available to life as a whole. Intimate relationships are ideally suited as this kind of path because they inspire our heart to open, while at the same time showing us where we are most stuck."

"Genuine love is nurturing because it affirms our being, and thus inspires us to be more present."

"It is only in the stillness and simplicity of presence - when we are aware of what we are experiencing, when we are here with it as it unfolds - that we can really appreciate our life and reconnect with the ordinary magic of being alive on this earth... Our life is unsatisfactory only because we are not living it fully, because instead we are pursuing a happiness that is always somewhere else, other than where we are right now."

"Viewing health as something to achieve gives rise to effort and striving, which create stress. And this can interfere with the natural healing tendencies already present within us. The meditative traditions see things differently; they regard health as intrinsic to our nature, and thus already fully present within us... Dis-ease results from a loss of connection with our intrinsic health, caused by ignorance, distraction or confusion."

"We do not have to hold on to our identity to survive... We see that no states of mind are solid; they only become solid when we weave them into a story. We discover that opening to the vast open space of awareness does not destroy us. We learn to trust in the unknown as a guide to what is most fresh and alive in the moment."

"Whatever pain or problem we have, it helps us find a quality of presence - where we can open to it, see it, feel it, and find the truth concealed in it - that is our healing."

"Only awareness can free us from our thoughts. In the moment we become aware that our thoughts are just thoughts, rather than reality itself, we wake up from their spell and can return to presence. It is empowering to dispel and can return to presence. It is empowering to discover that we are not enslaved by our thoughts, by how our mind interprets reality."

"A soul connection is a resonance between two people who respond to the essential beauty of each other's individual natures, behind their facades, and who connect on this deeper level. This kind of mutual recognition provides the catalyst for a potent alchemy. It is a sacred alliance whose purpose is to help both partners discover and realize their deepest potentials. While a heart connection lets us appreciate those we love just as they are, a soul connection opens up a further dimension -- seeing and loving them for who they could be, and for who we could become under their influence. This means recognizing that we both have an important part to play in helping each other become more fully who we are....A soul connection not only inspires us to expand, but also forces us to confront whatever stands in the way of that expansion."

"The most powerful agent of growth and transformation is something much more basic than any technique: a change of heart."