A Lotus Grows in Brooklyn

Autumn Wisdom
October 27, 2010, 8:50 am
Filed under: Photography, Quotes | Tags: , , , ,


When I walked out my door this morning it struck me that the leaves on the trees in Fort Tryon Park are suddenly changing. Against the dim gray sky and slick black rocks there are brilliant yellows and reds. Perhaps it’s been happening subtly for a time now, but today the transformation is arresting. It got me thinking that one, I wished I could just walk among the trees and not be going to work, and two, that we can look to a natural phenomenon such as this for inspiration to undertake necessary changes in our own lives. On that note, here are some of the better quotes I culled this morning on personal growth. Happy autumn!

“We are either progressing or retrograding all the while. There is no such thing as remaining stationary in this life.”

— James Freeman Clarke

“The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.”

— W.E.B. Du Bois

“To change one’s life, start immediately, do it flamboyantly, no exceptions.”

— William James

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

— Anais Nin

Photo by harold.lloyd on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.


Morning Wisdom
October 6, 2010, 8:57 am
Filed under: Buddhism, Photography, Quotes | Tags: , , , ,

“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

Love this quote. I feel it’s something I could repeat to myself in the mornings and find inspiration to try to be my best self every day.

Photo by apdk on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Morning Wisdom
August 18, 2010, 8:34 am
Filed under: Photography, Quotes | Tags: , , , ,

“Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means.”

—Robert Louis Stevenson

I read this quote this morning and though I realize it smacks of cheesy inspirational crap, it made me release the breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding and smile. Because I can do that.

Photo taken by me July 31 in the Shakespeare Garden, Central Park.

Morning Wisdom
June 3, 2010, 9:44 am
Filed under: Photography, Quotes | Tags: , , , ,

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunrise lotus flower photo by by FarTripper on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

Happy Earth Day 2010!

John Muir said:

“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”

“Brought into right relationships with the wilderness, man would see that his appropriation of Earth’s resources beyond his personal needs would only bring imbalance and begat ultimate loss and poverty by all.”

“The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls. ”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama said:

“As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility towards others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it.”

There is so much I could say about what Earth Day means. Let me just say this:

Please take the time today to reflect on how your choices of consumption, transportation, lifestyle, and diet affect the world around you.

Some wonderful resources:

Earth Day 2010

Environmental destruction caused by the meat industry

Buddhist ideas for saving the planet

Earth Day events in NYC

Treehugger.com: A great general environmental site

More amazing and inspiring quotes by John Muir (I ♥ him!)

My favorite green organizations (donate! volunteer!):

The Nature Conservancy

Sierra Club

Save-the-Redwoods League

Natural Resources Defense Council

Environmental Defense Fund

The Wilderness Society

Photo of tender new heart-shaped leaf taken by me in a church courtyard a couple days ago. Photo of nifty video suspended globe at OMSI by my brother Steven. See more at his blog.

March 24, 2010, 7:10 pm
Filed under: Hinduism, Photography, Quotes | Tags: , , ,

This evening I walked to Union Square and was struck by the magnolia blossoms suddenly framing the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi said, among many other wonderful things:

“Love never claims, it ever gives; love never suffers, never resents, never revenges itself. Where there is love there is life; hatred leads to destruction.”

Where there is love, there is life. I like that.

Tuesday Wisdom
March 23, 2010, 9:57 am
Filed under: Photography, Quotes | Tags: , , , ,

A bit of rain has fallen into my life lately, and I find comfort and inspiration in the following quotes I’ve compiled that speak of love, acceptance, hardship, forgiveness, and moving forward. I hope you find them thought provoking as well.

Photos are by my brother Steven. Please see more of his photography over at his blog, Passing Perception.

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” 
                                —Epictetus, Greek Stoic philosopher

“Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.” 
                                —D.H. Lawrence, English author

“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.” 
                                 —John Newton, English Anglican clergyman

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” 
                                —Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
                                 —Ralph Waldo Emerson, American transcendentalist

“Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.” 
                                —Rainer Maria Rilke, Austrian poet

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved—loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” 
                                —Victor Hugo, French novelist

“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.” 
                                —Joan Didion, American author

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.” 
                                —George MacDonald, Scottish poet

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” 
                                — Marcus Aelius Aurelius, Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher