2007 Wisdom Scrolls

Posted by Nipun Mehta on Dec 29, 2007
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It's become a holiday tradition of sorts -- Rev. Heng Sure on the last Wednesday of the year.

Whether it was watching an ordinary family room morph into a playground of silence, whether it was Rev. Heng Sure's talk rooted in direct experience, or the ambiance of pay-it-forward trust that permeated the atmosphere, or an anonymous donor's gift of a 'paramita' CD full of wisdom songs, or the offering of food that takes dozens of man hours to prepare, the hallway conversations or the carpool epiphanies between seeming strangers, or the goodwill-song from two hosts of the night or simply a sense of huddling with 85 like-hearted friends ... it made for a delightful night.

And the program ends with another tradition -- wisdom scrolls!  Small quotes printed in a unique font on fancy paper rolled up with a festive ribbon and a silent wish of goodwill.

Some frame them, some pin them up on their office billboard, some have a series from last couple years posted on their walls, some take one for their young ones, some take two for "double the wisdom", some pass it on.  The stories of serendipity behind those little scrolls are always precious.

Here are the quotes for 2007...

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love. --Rainer Maria Rilke 

We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late. --Marie Edith Beynon

When you help, you see life as weak.  When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole.  Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul. --Rachel Naomi Remen

Fear comes from the selfish idea of cutting oneself off from the universe. --Swami Vivekananda

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. --Nelson Henderson

I have spent my days, stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung. --Rabindranath Tagore
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. --Meister Eckhart

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. --Thornton Wilder

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails. --Author Unknown

Education is an admirable thing but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught. --Oscar Wilde

The success of love is in the loving; it is not in the result of loving.  Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.  --Mother Teresa

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.  --Nathaniel Hawthorne

I don't always win. Sometimes just finishing is the best I can do. But with each race, I feel that I further define my capacity for living. That's why I ride, and why I try to ride hard, even when I don't have to. --Lance Armstrong

Acting with compassion is not doing good because we think we ought to. It is acting from our deepest understanding of what life is, listening intently for the skillful means in each situation, and not compromising the truth. It is working with others in a selfless way, in a spirit of mutual respect. --Ram Dass

No matter where you go, there you are. --Buckarro Banzai

When it's cold, water freezes into ice; when it's warm, ice melts into water. Similarly, when you are confused, essence freezes into mind; when you are enlightened, mind melts into essence. --Muso Kokushi

If you take the responsibility for your life you can start changing it. Slow will be the change, only in the course of time will you start moving into the world of light and crystallization, but once you are crystallized you will know what real revolution is. Then share your revolution with others; it has to go that way, from heart to heart. --Osho 

Others are mirrors of you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the best of you. --Author Unknown

This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. --Dalai Lama

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair. --G.K. Chesterton

When you just sit down, real peace immediately appears. Before any object called "peace" appears, peace appears. So there is no room to even discuss peace. If you truly want peace, be peace, right now. Peace is not simply about keeping away from weapons. Real peace is to be peace now -- immediately -- in this moment.  --Dainin Katagiri

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. --Rabindranath Tagore

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order,confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. --Melody Beattie
I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings.  My wisdom flows from the Highest Source.  I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love. --Gandhi's Prayer For Peace

Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  --Saint Francis of Assisi

Walk around feeling like a leaf.  Know you could tumble any second. Then decide what to do with your time. --Naomi Shihab Nye

I'm a pilgrim of life, so from that point of view, I'm on a pilgrimage every day. Once one lives as a pilgrim, one lives lightly on the earth, with both detachment and engagement.  It's all a pilgrimage. --Satish Kumar

I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes awing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit. --Dawna Markova

Only our searching for happiness prevents us from seeing it. It's like a vivid rainbow which you pursue without ever catching, or a dog chasing its own tail. Nothing to do or undo, nothing to force, nothing to want, and nothing is missing. --Lama Gendun Rinpoche
Does a flower, full of beauty, light and loveliness say, ‘I am giving, helping, serving?’  It is!  And because it is not trying to do anything it covers the earth. --Krishnamurti

We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results. --Herman Melville

Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time. --Marion Wright Edelman

Go to the truth beyond the mind.  Love is the bridge. --Stephen Levine

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness can we be present with the darkness of others.  Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. --Pema Chodron
Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles, and the water is clear?  Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?  --Lao Tzu

Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely. --The Land Before Time

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being.  Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. --Albert Schweitzer

If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.  --Alex Noble
What has for centuries raised humanity above the beast is not the cudgel but an inward music; the irresistible power of unarmed truth, the powerful attraction of its example. --Boris Pasternak

Miracles seem to rest, not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from far off, but upon our perceptions being made finer so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear that which is about us always.  --Willa Cather

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.  --Viktor Frankl
We are each given a block of marble when we begin a lifetime, and the tools to shape it into sculpture.   We can drag it behind us untouched, we can pound it into gravel, we can shape it into glory. ~~Richard Bach

As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  --Marianne Williamson
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult. --Seneca

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. --Thomas Merton
There is vitality, a life force that is translated through you into action.  And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. --Martha Graham

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. --Carl Jung

To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe.  --Eckhart Tolle
You can't lose what you serve.  That's the secret. What you serve, you can't lose. What you don't serve and what you try to hold onto, you can't hold onto.  It's always slipping out of your fingers. --Adyashanti

When you are intensely sensitive and watchful to everything within and without, you begin to see, sense and hear more sharply and closely, without thought.  This means you become alert.  You become awake, sensitive and alive.  You see and feel without any will of thought.  Such a state of alert watchfulness, that state of choiceless perception, which is mere attention and anonymous existence, is meditation. --Dada
You will find as you look back upon your life, that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love. --Henry Drummond
I don't know what your destiny will be, but ONE thing I DO know: the only ones among you who will be really HAPPY are those who have sought and found a way to SERVE.  --Albert Schweitzer

I will make love my greatest weapon and none on who I call can defend against its force ... my love will melt all hearts liken to the sun Your browser may not support display of this image.whose rays soften the coldest day.  --Og Mandino

Do not FOLLOW where the path may lead; go instead where there is NO PATH and leave a trail. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and LISTEN. You need not even listen, simply WAIT. You need not even wait, just learn to be quiet, and still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.  --Franz Kafka

Our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  --Marianne Williamson

There is no way to peace, PEACE is the Way. There is no way to happiness, HAPPINESS is the Way. There is no way to love,  LOVE is the Way. --Dan Millman
It is better to travel well than to arrive. --Buddha

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. UP AGAIN, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose. --Gandhi 

There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in your heart.  --Chandogya Upanishad
The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a  smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises. --Leo Buscaglia

Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received - only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.  --St. Francis of Assisi

Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much. For on the smiles, the thanks we give, our little gestures of appreciation, our neighbors build their philosophy of life. --A.J. Cronin

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. --Anthony J D'Angelo

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. --Mary Ann Radmacher

When your fear touches someone's pain, it becomes pity. When your love touches someone's pain, it becomes compassion. --Stephen Levine

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage --pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically-- to say 'no' to other things.  And the way you do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside.  --Stephen Covey

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.  --Rabindranath Tagore

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.  The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.  --Lin Yutang

It is perfectly possible to get what you think you want and be miserable.  It's possible too, to never get it but deeply enjoy the process of trying.  In this world, there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.  --Oscar Wilde

We must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time; we can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment.  But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions. --Dorothy Day

Of all those people who went before to prepare the way for us, most of those people will not ask us to pay them back.  But what they do ask of us is to pay it forward - that we make this world a better place for those who come after us in just the way that they made this a better place for us.  --Naomi Tutu

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough. --Meister Eckhart

If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes. --Albert Einstein

In the beginners' mind there are many possibilities; In the experts' mind there are few. --Shunryu Suzuki

Beauty lies in the total abandonment of the observer and the observed, and there can be self-abandonment only when there is total austerity.  There is no ladder to climb; there is only the first step and the first step is the everlasting step. --Krishnamurti

The highest reward for a man's toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it. --John Ruskin

A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world.  Everyone you meet is your mirror. --Ken Keyes

When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open and love steps forth to heal everything in sight. --Michael Bridge

The winds of grace are always blowing, but it is YOU that must raise your sails. --Rabindranath Tagore
Even after all this time, The Sun never Says "You Owe me." Look, What happens with a love like that.  It lights up the Whole Sky. --Hafiz
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. --John F. Kennedy

In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal.  In every heart, there is the power to do it.  --Marianne Williamson

P.S. And here's the audio of the prayer offering from my parents.

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