April 28, 2014:

Here is the quote for contemplation this week: 

I don't know if fury can compete with necessity as the mother of invention,
but I recommend it.

Gloria Steinem

 

April 21, 2014:

There is nothing happier than work, and love, precisely because it is the supreme happiness, can be nothing other than work.  So those who love must try to act as if they had a great work to accomplish; they must be much alone and go into themselves and gather and concentrate themselves; they must work; they must become something.

Rainer Marie Rilke

April 14, 2014:

If human affairs are controlled, as we believe, by Almight Rectitude and Impartial Goodness, then to hope for happiness from wrongdoing is as insane as to seek health and prosperity by rebelling against the laws of nature, by sowing our seed on the ocean, or making poison our common food.

William Ellery Channing, Slavery (1835)

April 7, 2014:

For men in particular, the first step lies in understanding that we need relational skills at all, that while falling in love is primarily about spontaneity, staying in love demands craftsmanship.  And craftsmanship must be learned. . . . And even though it is true that maintaining your commitment to skilled, crafted behavior happens to be your best means of keeping the relationship vital, at bottom that's not why you do it.  Fundamentally, you preserve your maturity for your own sake, because you deserve it, whether it makes your partnership better or not.  And, perhaps, you remember that your children are watching.

Terry Real

March 31, 2014:

We are to live so that no harm or pain is caused by our thoughts, words, or deeds to any other being.

Patanjali

March 24, 2014:

In order to make America a more just and fair society, I would boil it down to the single greatest crisis.  If we don't address this issue, we really can't deal with the other issues.  And that primary, critical issue is a concept of what it means to be a man.  If we don't fix our understanding, and get some proper definition of masculinity and manhood, I don't think we can address other issues. . . . What it really means, or ought to mean, to be a man: First and foremost is the ability to enter and maintain meaningful relationships.

Jeffrey Marx    Season of Life

March 17, 2014:

Treat people as if they were what they could be, and help them become what they are capable of being.

A Sage

March 10, 2014:

In the long run people hit only what they aim at.  Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.

Henry David Thoreau

March 3, 2014:

Women are unhappy in their marriages because they want men to be more related than most men know how to be.  And men are unhappy in their marriages because their women seem so unhappy with them.

Terry Real 

February 24, 2014:

Children absorb the emotional maturity or immaturity of the parent, and they absorb the parent's moral character.

Harville Hendrix

February 17, 2014:

A couple, Norma and Gordon Yeager, 90 and 94, was hospitalized after a car accident just outside of Marshalltown, Iowa.  They were given a shared room in the ICU where they held hands in adjacent beds.  At a certain point Gordon's breathing stopped.  Though he was no longer alive, his heart monitor continued to register a beat.  The nurse told Gordon and Norma's son Dennis that the monitor was beeping "because they're holding hands, and Norma's heartbeat is going through them."  Norma died exactly one hour later.  "They just loved being together," said Dennis.  "My father always said, 'I can't go until she does because I gotta stay here for her.'  And she would say the same thing." 

February 10, 2014:

The joys of marriage are the heaven on earth,
Life's paradise, great princess, the soul's quiet
Sinews of concord, earthly immortality,
Eternity of pleasures; no restoratives
Like to a constant woman.

John Ford   (1586-1639)

February 3, 2014:

Many people in our society are being driven to addictions because there is no collective container for their natural spiritual needs.  Their natural propensity for transcendent experience, for ritual, for connection to some energy greater than their own, is being distorted into addictive behavior.

Marion Woodman

January 27, 2014:

'Cause a real man knows a real woman when he sees her
And a real woman knows a real man ain't afraid to please her
And a real man knows a real woman always comes first
And a real man just can't deny a woman's worth

Alicia Keyes

January 20, 2014:

What excuses do you use not to do what you're supposed to do?  An excuse is worse than a lie.

A sage

January 13, 2014:

Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.

Anonymous

January 6, 2014:

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.  Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.

Mother Teresa

December 30, 2013:

The content of your character is your choice.  Day by day, what you choose, what you think, what you do--is who you become.  Your integrity is your destiny.  It is the light that guides your way.

Heraclitus

December 23, 2013:

It is a great advantage for us to be able to consult someone who knows us, so that we may learn to know ourselves. . . . There is no one who knows himself as well as he is known by those who see him if they observe him lovingly and are anxious to help him.

St. Teresa of Avila

December 16, 2013:

If ever two were one, then surely we
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee
If ever wife was happy in a man
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.

Anne Bradstreet  (1612-1672), "To My Dear and Loving Husband"

December 9, 2013:

The purification of the intellect and the heart from year to year is the real marriage, foreseen and prepared from the first, and wholly above their consciousness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson    (Love)

December 2, 2013:

Compassion is the divine impulse that stirs within you when you come across someone's ignorance or pain.  As you put forth the effort of letting compassion be your guide, you find yourself being rocked in the cradle of your own heart.  Compassion is the spiritual consciousness of another person's pain, and a feeling of unselfish tenderness directed toward that person.  This supreme compassion exists in everyone.  To be compassionate, you must learn to think well of yourself and others.

A sage

November 25, 2013:

It's a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than "Try to be a little kinder."

Aldous Huxley

November 18, 2013:

Always look for the good in yourself.  Focus on that good, highlight it.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

November 11, 2013:

Praise is literal food for feminine qualities.  If you want your woman to grow in her radiance, health, happiness, love, beauty, power, and depth, praise these qualities in her.  Praise them often.

David Deida

November 4, 2013:

The great man does not think beforehand of his words that they may be sincere, nor of his actions that they may be resolute--he simply speaks and does what is right.

Mencius

I leave this rule for others when I'm dead: Be always sure you're right, then go ahead.

Davy Crockett

October 28, 2013:

The expressions "too sensitive," "hypersensitive," and "oversensitive" are used by people who hurt other people and don't want the other people to say, feel, or even notice that they're being hurt.  The hidden message of these terms is that there's something wrong with you for feeling hurt when I hurt you.

Robert Alter (How Long Till My Soul Gets It Right?)

 

October 21, 2013:

We are to live so that no harm or pain is caused by our thoughts, words, or deeds to any other being.

Patanjali  (Yoga Sutras)

October 12, 2013:

Many women do not recognize themselves as being discriminated against; no better proof could be found of the totality of their conditioning.

Kate Millett

October 7, 2013:

I know some good marriages--marriages where both people are just trying to get through their days by helping each other, being good to each other.

Erica Jong

There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage.

Martin Luther

September 30, 2013:

Here is the quote for contemplation this week: 

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.  When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.

Helen Keller

September 23, 2013:

I'm going to measure my masculinity--and it's really about my humanity--based on how successful I am as a husband.  If I blow it there, or if I blow it as a dad, nothing else really matters.

Joe Ehrmann

September 16, 2013:

When I get that feeling, I want sexual healing.
Oh, baby, makes me feel so fine.
Helps to relieve my mind.

Marvin Gaye (Sexual Healing)

September 9, 2013:

Whoso commiteth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding.

Proverbs 6:32

Leave all women, save your wife, alone.

Liberian love poem

September 2, 2013:

Surely nothing is so astonishing, so unaccountable, as a woman's endurance. No, there is nothing comparable to the endurance of a woman.

Mark Twain

Summer, 2013:

Marriage is a most noble act, which is very close to God. The husband and wife should love each other with such intensity that they merge themselves in each other.  The husband and wife should live together as long as the sun and moon exist, looking upon each other as divine, as essentially one.  The husband should not turn away from the wife, or the wife from the husband.  Until the very last moment of their lives, until their very last breath, they should live together in peace and harmony.  An ideal spiritual union is one in which the husband and wife have become so absorbed in each other that when the husband eats, the wife is satisfied, and when the wife eats, the husband is satisfied.  Each should live for the benefit of the other.

Baba Muktananda

Everyone wants to be loved.  But first we must make ourselves lovable. We must prepare ourselves to be loved.  We do this by becoming ourselves loving, disciplined human beings.

M. Scott Peck

The hardest work in changing habitual patterns in marriage must be done by men.  But many of us must be jolted, confronted, or in some way awakened to the need to do our part of that work.  And this is a job that still falls predominantly to women.

Augustus Napier

July 1, 2013:

Everything is laid out for you.  Your path is straight ahead of you.  Sometimes it's invisible, but it's there.  You may not know where it's going, but you have to follow that path.  It's the path to the Creator.  It's the only path there is.

Chief Leon Shenandoah

Sages say the path is narrow and difficult to tread, narrow as the edge of a razor.

Katha Upanishad

June 24, 2013:

All you ever gotta do is be a good man one time to one woman, and that will be the end of the road.

Janis Joplin  ("Cry Baby")

June 17, 2013:

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask, it isn't wine.  If you wish your heart to be bright, you must do a little work.

Jalaluddin Rumi

June 10, 2013:

There is a certain criterion by which you can judge whether the thoughts you are thinking and the things you are doing are right for you.  The criterion is: Have they brought you inner peace?  If they have not, there is something wrong with them.

Peace Pilgrim

June 3, 2013:

Though they may outwardly appear to be adults, even successful adults, perhaps, the majority of 'grown-ups' remain until their death psychological children who have never truly separated themselves from their parents and the power that their parents have over them.

M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled)

We are really fundamentally still children in grown-up bodies, and what we have to do is finish the task of growing up.

Harville Hendrix  (audio tape Safety)

May 27, 2013:

For one human being to love another human being: that is, perhaps, the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

Rainer Maria Rilke

May 20, 2013:

In a successful marriage, there is no such thing as one's way.  There is only the way of both, only the bumpy, dusty, difficult, but always mutual path!

Phyllis McGinley

May 13, 2013:

I'm going to see you through getting tired, getting sick, getting old.  And there's nobody else in my mind.  Just you.

Beau Bridges, playing Sonny Webster, to Sally Field in the movie Norma Rae

May 6, 2013:

Come, let's be a comfortable couple and take care of each other!  How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to talk to and sit with.  Let's be a comfortable couple!

Charles Dickens

April 29, 2013:

There is no better definition of love: To be able to cradle the other's experience within our own compassionate understanding.

Augustus Napier

April 22, 2013:

I have tried it: When I feel nothing, when I am incapable of praying or practicing virtue, then is the moment to look for small occasions, nothings that give God more pleasure than the empire of the world, more even than martyrdom. For example, a smile, a friendly word, when I would much prefer to say nothing at all.

St. Therese of Lisieux

April 15, 2013:

What is better than gold?  Jasper. What is better than jasper?  Wisdom.  And what is better than wisdom?  Woman.  And what is better than a good woman?  Nothing.

Geoffrey Chaucer

April 8, 2013:

Greatness of soul is not so much mounting high and pressing forward, as knowing how to put oneself in order and circumscribe oneself.  To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct.  Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately.

Michel De Montaigne

April 1, 2013:

George: Now you listen to me.  You're coming to this meeting.  You're going to put on some make-up.  You're going to be home at six o'clock every night, and you're going to have dinner ready on this table.
Betty: No, I'm not, sweetie.

from the movie "Pleasantville"

March 25, 2013:

I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts.  A thoughtless word hardly ever escapes my tongue or pen.  Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. We find so many people impatient to talk.  All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world. It is so much waste of time.  My shyness has been in reality my shield and buckler. It has allowed me to grow.  It has helped me in my discernment of truth.

Mahatma Gandhi

March 18, 2013:

The unconscious purpose of marriage, for people who fall in love, is to help each other finish childhood.  To get the love they want, partners in a relationship must bring this unconscious purpose into awareness and mutually commit to giving each other the nurturing and validation they did not receive from their parents.  When the energies of romantic passion are contained and stabilized by commitment and discipline, marriage becomes an emotional bond and a transformative process equal to any other structure for personal growth yet devised by human beings, including psychotherapy and religion.

Harville Hendrix

March 11, 2013:

The best of all forces, which can overcome all difficulties on the way, is the love that knows how to give without need to bargain for a return.  There is nothing that love cannot achieve, and there is nothing that love cannot sacrifice.  All other essential qualities will come to a person if s/he follows faithfully the whisperings of the unerring voice of love that speaks from the heart, shedding light on the path.  The practical way for the average person to express love is to speak lovingly, think lovingly, and act lovingly toward all humankind, feeling God to be present in everyone.

Meher Baba

March 4, 2013:

The perfect knight, the chevalier sans reproche, lives an amorous ethic of service to his lady.  The overwhelming force of his adulatory passion for her is the source of all excellence and endeavor in him.  He is inspired by his love for her and is bound to her service.

Louis de Bourbon

February 25, 2013:

Marriage is not by any means to be entered into unadvisedly, or lightly, but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God.

Book of Common Prayer

February 18, 2013:

Cause a real man knows a real woman when he sees her
And a real woman knows a real man ain't afraid to please her
And a real man knows a real woman always comes first
And a real man just can't deny a woman's worth
If you treat me fairly, I'll give you all my goods
Treat you like a real woman should

Alicia Keys  (A Woman's Worth)

February 11, 2013:

Whatever you do, do it with love.  As a thought arises in your mind, check--Is there love in it?  When you're about to speak, stop yourself and check--Is there love in it? When you do something, check--Is there love in it?

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

February 4, 2013:

My mother once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women's feet and asked for forgiveness.  This is true all over the world, in the jungles of Mexico, in the back streets of Shanghai, in New York cocktail bars, husbands are getting drunk while the women stay home with the babes of their ever darkening future.  If these men stop the machine and come home and get on their knees and ask for forgiveness and the women bless them, peace will suddenly descend on the earth with a great silence like the inherent silence of the apocalypse.

Jack Kerouac

January 28, 2013:

All gates to pleading for God's intervention in human relationships are locked, except the gates of hurt feelings.

  Ima Shalom

January 21, 2013:

Feminine consciousness is evolving in many men and women.  It is now coming to consciousness as a cultural phenomenon.  It is our responsibility not only to hear it, but to act on it and accept the consequence of our lives being turned inside out by it.  If we choose to abandon it, it turns its dark face--revengeful, depressed, suicidal.

Marion Woodman

January 14, 2013:

Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.

Hebrews (Chapter 13, verse 4)

January 7, 2013:

The best of all forces, which can overcome all difficulties on the way, is the love that knows how to give without need to bargain for a return.  There is nothing that love cannot achieve, and there is nothing that love cannot sacrifice.  All other essential qualities will come to the aspirant if he follows faithfully the whisperings of the unerring voice of love that speaks from his own heart, shedding light on the path.

Meher Baba

December 31, 2012:

No matter how much violence or how many bad things we have to go through, I believe that the ultimate solution to our conflicts, both internal and external, lies in returning to our basic or underlying human nature, which is gentle and compassionate.  In fact, it is one of my fundamental beliefs that not only do we inherently possess the potential for compassion, but I believe that the basic nature of human beings is gentleness.

Dalai Lama

December 24, 2012:

The discovery now being celebrated by men in mid-life of the importance of intimacy, relationships, and care is something that women have known from the beginning.  The women hold the truth of an ethic of care, the tie between relationship and responsibility, and the origins of aggression in the failure of connection.

Carol Gilligan

December 17, 2012:

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies.  My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.

Dalai Lama

December 10, 2012:

All the things that God would have us do are hard for us to do.  And if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves; and it is in this disobeying ourselves wherein the hardness of obeying God consists.

Father Mapple, in Herman Melville's Moby Dick

December 3, 2012

We judge others because we feel insecure within ourselves, and judging others somehow makes us feel better.  So if we don't feel insecure, then there is no reason to judge or be harsh, unless we are bringing home a teaching or making a point, without any selfishness.

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

November 26, 2012

Masculinity is not in its essence abusive.  We men have within us the innate potential to use our masculine power for blessing, stewardship, and servant leadership.

Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette   (The King Within)

I sensed each one of my steps.  They resonated on the ground; their echo produced the indescribable euphoria of being a man.

Carlos Castaneda  (The Teachings of Don Juan)

November 19, 2012:

The first bond of society is marriage; the next, our children; then the whole family; and all things in common.

Cicero

November 12, 2012:

Women feel deeply frustrated when they know they are not getting what they need, that is, to be listened to, understood, affirmed; yet feel guilty because they are not at all clear that it is reasonable to want something different from what they are getting.

Stone Center

I understand the rising up of women in our time to be the human race's response to the threat of its own self-annihilation and the destruction of the planet.

Sally Miller Gearhart

November 5, 2012:

Marriage is a relationship.  When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you're sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.  You're no longer this one alone, your identity is in a relationship.  Marriage is not a simple love affair, it's an ordeal, and the ordeal is the sacrifice of ego to a relationship in which two have become one.

Joseph Campbell

October 29, 2012:

Eternal Woman draws us upward.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

October 22, 2012:

We are to live so that no harm or pain is caused by our thoughts, words, or deeds to any other being.

Patanjali

October 15, 2012:

Whoso commiteth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding.

Proverbs 6:32

Leave all women, save your wife, alone.

Liberian love poem

October 8, 2012:

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.  To make a deep physical path, we must walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

Henry David Thoreau

October 1, 2012:

Everybody is good at something, and the something I'm good at is everything.

My 9-year-old granddaughter Gracie  (a lesson in self-esteem)

September 24, 2012:

In a true marriage where there is true connection between the partners, the sexual relationship is connected to all the other parts of the relationship.  The hug in the morning, the phone call or e-mail or text or tweet in the afternoon, the conversation at dinner, the walk holding hands in the evening--the warm smiles, looks, words, touches, and kindnesses--the warm hearts that radiate between you during the day ignite the hot sex that burns between you at night.  In a true marriage, the whole relationship is a long rolling wave of human connection that frequently rises into spectacular erotic connection.  In such a marriage, everything you do with each other, everything you say to each other, on one level, is a form of foreplay.

Robert Alter  (How Long Till My Soul Gets It Right?)

September 17, 2012:

What a mess we are, I thought.  But this is usually where any hope of improvement begins, acknowledging the mess.

Anne Lamott

September 10, 2012:

The love that you receive from others is not going to last.  It waxes and wanes.  It depends on the other person.  It is not a reliable support.  It is feeble and temporary.  You should experience the love that is in your own heart. . . . Then you will not have to make an effort to love another person.  You will not have to indulge in all the hysterics that you call love.  You will not have to cry at the top of your voice, "I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  My love is true!"  That is nothing but a theatrical, melodramatic affair.  You will really know what love is only when you begin to love yourself.

Baba Muktananda

September 3, 2012:

Do everything in moderation--eat, drink, talk, think.  If a mosquito lands on your arm, be calm--either watch it bite you, flick it off, or if you're a violent person, kill it, but don't freak out, don't make a big deal out of it.

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

July 9-August 20, 2012:

But we are married until death
and are betrothed to change.

Wendell Berry

No matter how much violence or how many bad thins we have to go through, I believe that the ultimate solution to our conflicts, both internal and external, lies in returning to our basic or underlying human nature, which is gentle and compassionate.

Dalai Lama

Not to hurt any living thing is no doubt a part of ahimsa.  But it is its least expression.  The principle of ahimsa is hurt by every evil thought, by undue haste, by lying, by hatred, by wishing ill to anybody.  Ahimsa really means that you may not offend anybody, you may not harbor an uncharitable thought, even in connection with one who may consider himself to be your enemy.

Mahatma Gandhi

Just to live a simple life, you have to become a witness.  It's when you become a witness that you can really enjoy what is happening.  A husband and wife have to become witnesses.  Otherwise, one of them wants one thing and the other wants something else.

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

There is no greater illusion than fear.  Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.

Lao Tzu

This is how we make important changes--barely, poorly, slowly.

Anne Lamott

When the energies of romantic passion are contained and stabilized by commitment and discipline, marriage becomes an emotional bond and a transformative process equal to any other structure for personal growth yet devised by human beings--including psychotherapy and religion.

Harville Hendrix

July 2, 2012:

From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven, and when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together, and a single, brighter light goes forth from their united being.

Baal Shem Tov

June 18, 2012:

The ordinary objects of human endeavor--property, outward success, luxury, have always seemed to me contemptible.  I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves. Such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine.  The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Albert Einstein

June 11, 2012:

We years ago were lovers.  We are now parents; a new relation has taken place.  The love of our offspring has opened up fresh fountains of love for each other.  We look forward now to life, not for ourselves only, but for our children.  I loved you for your beauty, and grace and loveliness of your person.  I love you now for the richness and surpassing excellence of your mind.  One love has not taken the place of the other, but both stand side by side.  I love you now with a fervor and truth of affection which speech cannot express.

Edwin Stanton (Lincoln's Secretary of War) in a letter to his wife

June 4, 2012:

There are really no men at all.  There are grown-up boys, and middle-aged boys, and elderly boys, and even sometimes very old boys.  But the essential difference is simply exterior.  Your man is always a boy.

Mary Roberts Rinehart

May 28, 2012:

In my next life I want to live my life backwards.  You start out dead and get that out of the way.  Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day.  You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day.  You work for forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement.  You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school.  You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play.  You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born.  And then you spend your last nine months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day, and then Voila! you finish off as an orgasm.  I rest my case.

Woody Allen

May 21, 2012:

Don't forget: God loves us exactly the way we are; and God loves us too much to let us stay like this.

Anne Lamott's friend from Texas

May 7, 2012:

I am slow to learn and slow to forget that which I have learned.  My mind is like a piece of steel, very hard to scratch anything on it, and almost impossible after you get it there to rub it out.

Abraham Lincoln

April 30, 2012:

Women do have a much greater and more refined ability to encompass others' needs and to do this with ease.  The trouble comes only when women are forced to serve others' needs or when they are expected to do so because it is the only thing women are good for.

Jean Baker Miller

April 23, 2012:

Our job is to assess the damage we have inside ourselves, and fix it, to make the world whole.

Richard Gere

April 16, 2012:

It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced by the ideal of service.

Albert Einstein

April 9, 2012:

The capacity to admire and praise others is the hallmark of mature psychological structures.  A consolidated sense of self is full enough that it can overflow and touch others with its radiance.

Douglas Gillett

April 2, 2012:

The deepest principle of human nature is the desire to be appreciated.

William James

March 26, 2012:

The truth.  When I'm interested in a truth, it's really a Truth truth, one hundred percent.  And that's a terrible truth to be interested in.

Lenny Bruce

March 19, 2012:

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it--but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

March 12, 2012:

And when women do not need to live through their husbands and children, men will not fear the love and strength of women, nor need another's weakness to prove their own masculinity.  They can finally see each other as they are.  And this may be the next step in human evolution.

Betty Friedan

March 5, 2012:

The Lord does not look so much at the magnitude of anything we do as at the love with which we do it.

St. Teresa of Avila

February 27, 2012:

Pillowed on your thighs in a dream garden
little flower with its perfumed stamen
singing, sipping from the stream of you
sunset, moonlight
our song continues . . .

Ikkyu Sojun

February 20, 2012:

When the energies of romantic passion are contained and stabilized by commitment and discipline, marriage becomes an emotional bond and a transformative process equal to any other structure for personal growth yet devised by human beings.

Harville Hendrix

February 13, 2012:

We do not have to become heroes overnight.  Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.

Eleanor Roosevelt

February 6, 2012:

To realize that patriarchy was set in place, stone by stone, is to realize that it can be broken apart, too, stone by stone.  It's also to realize, of course, that thinking it will ever take itself apart is sheer folly.

Carole Lee Flinders

January 30, 2012:

I began to really live life when I began to look at every situation, and think about how I could be of service in that situation.

Peace Pilgrim

January 23, 2012:

If you have been tyrannized, you can be fairly sure you will be tyrannizing somebody else, or yourself.  Because as we are treated, so we treat ourselves and others.

Marion Woodman

January 16, 2012:

Woman is a nature older than I and commanding from me a vast amount of veneration.

Henry David Thoreau

January 9, 2012:

I am not an optimist--because I am not sure that everything ends well.  Nor am I a pessimist--because I am not sure that everything ends badly.  I just carry hope in my heart.  Hope is a feeling that life and work have a meaning.  You either have it or you don’t, regardless of the state of the world that surrounds you.  Life without hope is an empty, boring, and useless life.  I cannot imagine that I could strive for something if I did not carry hope in me.  I am thankful to God for this gift.  It is as big a gift as life itself.

Vaclav Havel

January 2, 2012:

Self-esteem in woman, as well as in man, can only be based on real capacity, competence, and achievement, on deserved respect from others, rather than unwarranted adulation.

Betty Friedan

December 26, 2011:

Were we to conceive, deliver, and bring up our young within the bonds of love, where our young would feel unconditionally wanted and accepted and were never betrayed by their outer world, our full human nature might unfold with no more struggle than any other aspect of our growth.

Joseph Chilton Pearce

December 19, 2011:

It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.

John Andrew Holmes

December 12, 2011:

In the early stages of your spiritual journey, it may seem that Heaven is rejecting you and spurning all your efforts.  Stay on course.  Don't give up.  In time, all barriers will disappear.

Rebbe Nachman of Bretslov

December 5, 2011:

"I can say this to you.  Live in the present.  Do the things that need to be done.  Do all the good you can each day.  The future will unfold."

Peace Pilgrim

November 28, 2011:

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.

Carl Jung

November 21, 2011:

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.

Winston Churchill

November 14, 2011:

The best piety is to enjoy--when you can.  You are doing the most then to save the earth's character as an agreeable plantet.  And enjoyment radiates.  It is of no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight.

George Eliot   (Middlemarch)

November 7, 2011:

Whenever your relationship is not working, whenever it brings out the 'madness' in you and your partner, be glad.  What was unconscious is being brought up to light.  The relationship then becomes your sadhana, your spiritual practice.

Eckhart Tolle  (The Power of Now)

October 31, 2011:

There are no unsacred places. 
There are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Wendell Berry

October 24, 2011:

When we have taken all things into consideration, we realize that we should never neglect our appointed duty.  But do not desire the fruit of action, and avoid action which is prohibited.  Perform right action with no thought for the result. . . . Your right is to action alone, never to its fruits at any time.

Jnaneshwar Maharaj

October 17, 2011:

Three things in life are important.  The first is to be kind.  The second is to be kind.  The third is to be kind.

Henry James

October 10, 2011:

Give me a man who is man enough to give himself just to the woman who has wed him.

Sienna Miller, playing Francesca Bruni in the movie Casanova

October 3, 2011:

An ideal spiritual union is one in which the husband and wife have become so absorbed in each other that when the husband eats, the wife is satisfied, and when the wife eats, the husband is satisfied.  Each should live for the benefit of the other.

Swami Muktananda

September 26, 2011:

t's easy to criticize others and make them feel unwanted.  Anyone can do it.  What takes effort and skill is picking them up and making them feel good.

Rebbe Nachman of Bretslov

September 19, 2011:

The lesson of history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change.  The government may try to deceive the people, politicians and pundits and the newspapers and television may do the same, but the truth has a way of coming out.  The truth has a power geater than a hundred lies.

Howard Zinn

September 12, 2011:

Kindness is active love.  Do you wonder why it is that we are not kinder than we are?  How much the world needs kindheartedness!  How easily it is done!  How instantaneously it acts!  How infallibly  it is remembered!  Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination--if all would be kind!

Alan Rosenvall

September 5, 2011:

Women are unhappy in their marriages because they want men to be more related than most men know how to be.  And men are unhappy in their marriages because their women seem so unhappy with them.


Terry Real

July 25-August 22, 2011:

Ch'ui the draftsman
Could draw more perfect circles freehand
Than with a compass.
His fingers brought forth
Spontaneous forms from nowhere. His mind
Was meanwhile free and without concern
With what he was doing.
No application was needed.
His mind was perfectly simple
And knew no obstacle.
So, when the shoe fits
The foot is forgotten.
When the belt fits
The belly is forgotten.
When the heart is right
"For" and "against" are forgotten.
No drives, no compulsions,
No needs, no attractions:
Then your affairs
Are under control.
You are a free person.
Easy is right. Begin right
And you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy
Is to forget the right way

And forget that the going is easy.

Chuang Tzu

July 11 and July 18, 2011:

Marriage is an attempt by the unconscious to heal the wound of Nature--the wound of Nature is you and me and the collective human species.  We are Nature's most wounded place. . . . The unconscious purpose of marriage, for people who fall in love, is to help each other finish childhood.  To get the love they want, partners in a relationship must bring this unconscious purpose into awareness and mutually commit to giving each other the nurturing and validation they did not receive from their parents. . . . When the energies of romantic passion are contained and stabilized by commitment and discipline, marriage becomes an emotional bond and a transformative process equal to any other structure for personal growth yet devised by human beings, including psychotherapy and religion.

Harville Hendrix   (Getting the Love You Want)

July 4, 2011:

The United States of America is a shining example for the whole world. The greatness of the United States is unparalleled.  It's a country that can achieve the impossible.  In God We Trust.  Their vision was focused on the highest, to see the light of God in all.  Every country has a duty to live up to its highest ideal.

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda   

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you.  Never excuse yourself.

Henry Ward Beecher

June 27, 2011:

The whole duty of man is to perfect your own unique self--every stroke of the chisel must enter your own flesh and bone. . . . It is the art of mankind to polish the world, and everyone who works is scrubbing in some part.

Henry David Thoreau

June 20, 2011:

I have often mentioned this, and now I repeat and ask that you always have courageous thoughts.  As a result of them, the Lord will give you grace for courageous deeds.  Believe that these brave thoughts are important.

St. Teresa of Avila   (1515-1582)

June 13, 2011:

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open.

Muriel Rukeyser

June 6, 2011:

True listening, total concentration on the other, is always a manifestation of love.

M. Scott Peck

May 30, 2011:

Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.  And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

Proverbs 5: 18-20

May 23, 2011:

Even if you are filled with sorrow, offer a smile to others.  Others' sorrows are much deeper than yours.  Be happy.  Always think of doing something wonderful, no matter what your state of mind.  Don't wait for your mind to become happy to do something good.  Go ahead and do something good now.  Then your goodness will shine forth . . .

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda   (Enthusiasm)

May 16, 2011:

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

J.R.R. Tolkien

May 9, 2011:

Making the decision to have a child--it is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Elizabeth Stone

May 2, 2011:

Use the means of love and respect even if the result seems far off or uncertain.  Then throw yourself heart and soul into the campaign.  Every reverse, every defeat, will send you deeper into your own deepest resources.

Mahatma Gandhi

April 25, 2011:

There is no way to tell people that they are walking around shining like the sun.

Thomas Merton

April 18, 2011:

But realize this: just as dustgrains shine in sunlight coming through this window, so there's a light of reality within which ideas, hidden hypocrisies, and the qualities of every action become clear.  All you've done and will ever do will be seen in the light of that sun.

Jalaluddin Rumi

April 11, 2011:

I saw her first in the form of an ivory miniature in her brother Charley's stateroom in the steamer Quaker City, in the Bay of Smyrna, in the summer of 1867, when she was in her twenty-second year.  I saw her in the flesh for the first time in New York in the following December.  She was slender and beautiful and girlish--and she was both girl and woman.  She remained both girl and woman to the last day of her life.  Under a grave and gentle exterior burned inextinguishable fires of sympathy, energy, devotion, enthusiasm, and absolutely limitless affection.  She was always frail in body, and she lived upon her spirit, whose hopefulness and courage were indestructible.  Perfect truth, perfect honesty, perfect candor, were qualities of her character which were born with her.  Her judgments of people and things were sure and accurate.  Her intuitions almost never deceived her.  In her judgments of the characters and acts of both friends and strangers, there was always room for charity, and this charity never failed.  I have compared and contrasted her with hundreds of persons, and my conviction remains that hers was the most perfect character I have ever met.  And I may add that she was the most winningly dignified person I have ever known.  Her character and dispostion were of the sort that not only invite worship but command it. . . . She was always cheerful, and she was always able to communicate her cheerfulness to others.  During the nine years that we spent in poverty and debt, she was always able to reason me out of my despairs and find a bright side to the clouds and make me see it.  In all that time I never knew her to utter a word of regret concerning our altered circumstances, nor did I ever know her children to do the like, for she had taught them, and they drew their fortutude from her.  The love which she bestowed upon those whom she loved took the form of worship, and in that form it was returned. . . . She poured out her prodigal affection in kisses and caresses, and in a vocabulary of endearments of speech, and caresses, and hers broke upon me as the summer waves break upon Gibraltar. . . . She had the heart-free laugh of a girl.  It came seldom, but when it broke upon the ear it was as inspiring as music.  I heard it for the last time when she had been occupying her sick-bed for more than a year, and I made a written note of it at the time--a note not to be repeated.

Mark Twain, writing about his wife Olivia (1845-1904), in The Autobiography of Mark Twain

April 4, 2011:

The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.  Action from principle, the perception and performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary.

Henry David Thoreau,  "Essay on Civil Disobedience"

March 28, 2011:

For every girl who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a boy tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable.  For every boy who is burdened with the constant expectation of knowing everything, there is a girl tired of people not trusting her intelligence.  For every girl who is tired of being called oversensitive, there is a boy who fears to be gentle, to weep.  For every boy for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity, there is a girl who is called unfeminine when she competes.  For every girl who throws out her E-Z-Bake oven, there is a boy who wishes to find one.  For every boy struggling not to let advertising dictate his desires, there is a girl facing the ad industry's attacks on her self-esteem.  For every girl who takes a step toward her liberation, there is a boy who finds the way to freedom a little easier.

JT Bunnell and Irit Reinheimer (based on a poem by Nancy R. Smith)

March 21, 2011:

God has given me the grace of having no fear of a fight.  I will do my duty at any cost.

St. Therese of Lisieux

March 14, 2011:

The ultimate goal of life remains the spiritual growth of the individual, the solitary journey to peaks that can be climbed only alone.

M. Scott Peck

When the energies of romantic passion are contained and stabilized by commitment and discipline, marriage becomes an emotional bond and a transformative process equal to any other structure for personal and spiritual growth yet devised by human beings, including psychotherapy and religion.

Harville Hendrix

March 7, 2011:

A friend is one who incessantly pays us the compliment of expecting from us all the virtues, and who can appreciate them in us.

Henry David Thoreau    (A Week on theConcord and Merrimack Rivers)

February 28, 2011:

The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions.  It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations, but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.

Winston Churchill

February 21, 2011:

[Responding to a query concerning his well-being, John Quincy Adams wrote:]

John Quincy Adams is well.  But the house in which he lives at present is becoming old.  It is tottering upon its foundation. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it.  Its roof is pretty well worn-out.  Its walls are much shattered, and it trembles with every wind.  I think John Qunicy Adams will have to move out soon, but he himself is quite well.  Quite well.

John Quincy Adams

February 14, 2011:

It takes a great deal of elevation of thought to produce a little elevation of life.

Like a bird which alights nowhere, but hops perpetually from bough to bough, is the Power which abides in no man or woman, but for a moment speaks from this one, and for another moment from that one.

February 7, 2011:

Dear God, teach me to embody those ideals I would want my children to learn from me.  Let me communicate wisely in ways that will draw their hearts to kindness and decency, and to true wisdom.  Let me pass on to my children only the good.  Let them find in me the values and the behavior I hope to see in them.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

January 31, 2011:

The goal ever recedes from us.  The greater the progress, the greater the recognition of our unworthiness.  Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment.  Full effort is full victory.

Mahatma Gandhi

January 24, 2011:

Come, let's be a comfortable couple, and take care of each other!  How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to talk to and sit with.  Let's be a comfortable couple!

Charles Dickens

January 17, 2011:

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise.

Emily Dickinson

January 9, 2011:

May I forgive myself for being human.
May I forgive myself for making mistakes.
May I forgive myself for being a learner in this lifetime.

Buddhist prayer

January 2, 2011:

Every new beginning is beautiful, filled with extraordinary opportunities, like a door opening on a whole new life.  In beginnings there is a childlike innocence, and this innocence is filled with humility, filled with patience.  On the spiritual path, these two virtues are paramount: humility and patience.  To a beginner they are readily available.
    A beginner knows he doesn't know, so there is humility.  A beginner knows for certain something is going to happen, so there is patience.  With humility and patience as her support, a beginner advances into the unknown to discover a glorious event that is yet to occur.
      A beginning is forever full of magic, enchantment, and treasures to be explored.  No matter what the occasion, a new beginning must be approached with a mystical awareness of its potential.

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

December 27, 2010:

Every action of our lives touches some chord that vibrates in eternity.  It isn't that in this minute you perform a particular action and then it fades away, forgotten.  Whatever action you perform reverberates throughout the cosmos.  Whether this action is performed through the body, through the mind, or through your speech, it will sound in eternity.  It is never forgotten, nor is it overlooked.  For this reason we must watch our thoughts and actions.  We must be aware of how we are living our lives.

A sage from India

December 20, 2010:

Today family breakups, broken promises, marital infidelity, bad parenting, child abuse, male domination, violence against women, lack of living family wages, and the choice of material over family values are all combining to make the family norm in America more and more unhealthy.  A critical mass of healthy families is absolutely essential to the well-being of any society.

Jim Wallis   (God's Politics)

December 13, 2010:

Women are fluvial.  Things are always flowing out of them.  Feelings flow out of them, babies flow out of them, milk flows out of them, menstrual blood flows out of them, sexual juices flow out of them, tears flow out of them, caretaking and nurturance and sympathy flow out of them, love flows out of them.  Every time you turn your head, something else is flowing out of a woman.

Bernard Clayton

December 6, 2010:

When a parent looks at a child with love, the child receives the look as a constituitive glance.  The child feels real by virtue of being seen.

Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette  (The King Within)

November 29, 2010:

Ordinarily we have a burning desire to make a good impression on people and to make others think well of us. Sooner or later we must learn that it doesn't matter.  It doesn't help us in any way if others think well of
us--it doesn't help in ordinary life, and it certainly doesn't help in spiritual life.  What others think of us is of such little importance, of such small significance, that it is not worth considering.

A spiritual teacher

November 22, 2010:

O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!

William Shakespeare

November 15, 2010:

It's so simple to be wise: Just think of something stupid to say, and then don't say it.

Sam Levenson

November 8, 2010:

In the midst of an abstract discussion it is vexing to hear a man say, You think thus and so because you are a woman, but I know that my only defense is to reply, I think thus and so because it is true.

Simone DeBeauvoir

November 1, 2010:

The hope for a better human future lies not in an endless succession of technological developments but in a realistic grappling with the fundamental issue of the quality of human relationships; and central to that fundamental task I see the urgent need to make the achievement of a deeply satisfying and rewarding relationship possible for an emerging number of married couples.

David Mace   (Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, April, 1987)

October 25, 2010:

Only one thing endures, and that is character.

Horace Greeley

October 18, 2010:

In patriarchy, a woman is taught from birth to subordinate her will to the will of the man.  She develops acute sensory skills to ascertain what the will of the man is, and then practices a silent and secret subordination to that will.  She gets so good at perceiving the man's will and then subordinating her will to it that the woman's subordination of will to the man disappears from sight and operates thenceforth as one of the hidden master gears that drives the whole patriarchy.

Quentin Ramsey

October 11, 2010:

See, the problem is that God has given men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.

Robin Williams

October 4, 2010:

In my view, the hardest work in changing habitual patterns in marriage must be done by men.  But many of us must be jolted, confronted, or in some way awakened to the need to do our part of that work.  And this is a job that still falls predominantly to women.

Augustus Y. Napier    (The Fragile Bond)

September 27, 2010:

He who has so little knowledge of his own nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.

Samuel Johnson

September 20, 2010:

I know of no more  encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.

Henry David Thoreau  (Walden)

September 13, 2010:

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.  What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.  From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats.  A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. . . . But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

Henry David Thoreau  (Walden)

September 6, 2010:

Gentleness is one of the faces of God. . . . Although gentleness may assume the appearance of meekness, it is definitely not spineless.  Gentleness may seem to be soft and delicate, but make no mistake about it, true gentleness cannot be taken advantage of.  Gentleness may be moderate, tender, light, easy, and sweet, but none of this implies any lack of strength.  Not at all.  There is nothing helpless about gentleness.  In fact, as a French saint says: "Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength."  Think about it.  When you truly feel strong, don't you experience gentleness?  You don't feel like showing off your strength.  In fact, your gentleness shines forth.  And when you are feeling very gentle, you don't feel weak, you feel strong, you feel all the gods and goddesses are by your side.

Swami Chidvilasananda   (Enthusiasm)

July 11-Labor Day, 2010:

say little
love much
give all
judge no one
aspire to all that is pure and good
and keep on going . . .

A great sage

July 4, 2010:

The United States of America is a shining example for the whole world. The greatness of the United States is unparalleled.  It's a country that can achieve the impossible.  In God We Trust.  Their vision was focused on the highest, to see the light of God in all.  Every country has a duty to live up to its highest ideal.

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda   

June 28, 2010:

What is the meaning of fighting against circumstances?  It means that a person is continually revolting against an effect without, while all the time he is nourishing and preserving its cause in his heart.

James Allen  (As a Man Thinketh)

One should have faith in one's destiny.  I have unflinching faith that destiny provides one with all that one needs.

Baba Muktananda  (Satsang with Baba)

June 21, 2010:

Why should we ever go abroad, even across the way, to ask a neighbor's advice?  There is a nearer neighbor within us incessantly telling us how we should behave.

Henry David Thoreau    (Letter to Harrison Blake, Dec. 19, 1854)

June 14, 2010:

As a dad, if you want to send a boy into the world with a sense of masculinity based on the importance of relationships, being a man built for others rather than a man living only for himself, then you really need to be there for him as a model and a teacher.

Joe Ehrmann

June 7, 2010:

You need justice in all relationships.  Cheating on your wife or your girlfriend, not treating other people fairly, taking advantage of a situation that might benefit you but also hurts someone else in the process, that's all relationally unjust. . . .   Wherever there is injustice, we ought to show up, stand up, and speak up.

Joe Ehrmann (former NFL lineman and now coach and teacher to young men--in Season of Life)

May 31 , 2010:

I am tired of frivolous society.  I would fain walk on the deep waters, but my companions will only walk on shallows and puddles.  One talks to me of his apples and pears, and I depart with my secret untold.

Henry David Thoreau  (Journal)

May 24 , 2010:

The truth is true whether you wanna believe it or not, it doesn't need you to make it true.  That lie about everybody having their own truth inside of them has done a lot of damage and made people crazy.

Bob Dylan  (Biograph)

:May 17 , 2010:

 There is probably no better definition of love: To be able to cradle the other's experience within our own compassionate understanding.

Augustus Napier  (The Fragile Bond)

May 10 , 2010:

  One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.  One is Bad.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, false pride, superiority, selfishness, and egotism.  The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, respect, and faith."
      The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"
      The old Cherokee replied, "The one you feed."

Cherokee Legend  (in Catherine Royce, Wherever I Am, I'm Fine)

:May 3 , 2010:

But listen to me: for one moment
quit being sad. Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
around you. Love.

Jalaluddin Rumi

April 19 , 2010:

Patriarchy is driven by a powerful and self-perpetuating dynamic between control and fear.  This dynamic is coupled to a system of male privilege that is paradoxically grounded in competitive solidarity among men.  As in every social system, patriarchal paths of least resistance can make it seem natural, even invisible.  These paths encourage men to perpetuate an oppressive system that privileges them at women's expense, and encourage women to accept the terms of their own oppression even to the extent of resisting change.

Allan G. Johnson   (The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy)

:April 12 , 2010:

To demonstrate that gender privilege and oppression exist, we don't have to show that men are villains, that women are good-hearted victims, that women don't participate in their own oppression, or that men never oppose it.  If a society is oppressive, then people who grow up and live in it will tend to accept, identify with, and participate in it as "normal" and unremarkable life.

Allan G. Johnson ( The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy)

March 29 , 2010:

Apart from her personal pain-body, every woman has her share in what could be described as the collective female pain-body. . . . This consists of accumulated pain suffered by woman partly through male subjugation of the female, through slavery, exploitation, rape, childbirth, child loss, and so on, over thousands of years.

Eckhart Tolle

March 22 , 2010:

There's nothing better than good sex.  But bad sex:?  A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex.

Billy Joel

March 15 , 2010:

And we are put on earth a little space
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.

William Blake

:March 8 , 2010:

I am woman. 
I am strong. 
I am so tired.

Anonymous

March 1 , 2010:

Our whole life is taxed for the least thing well done.  How we eat, drink, sleep, and use our desultory hours, now in these indifferent days, with no eye to observe and no occasion to excite us, determines our authority and capacity for the time to come. 

Henry David Thoreau

February 22 , 2010:

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart,
and try to love the questions themselves.
Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now
because you would not be able to live with them.
And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then someday far in the future
you will gradually, without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke   (German poet)

I have no answer for anything, really.  I have shelves and shelves of books in my apartment, but none of them has answers--only questions.  In the word 'question' there is a beautiful word--quest.  I love that word.  We are all partners in a quest.  The essential questions have no answers.  You are my question and I am yours--and then there is dialogue.  The moment we have answers, there is no dialogue.  Questions unite people.

Elie Wiesel   (Holocaust survivor)

February 15 , 2010:

If women take care of themselves, things go much better.

A female client, in a therapy session

February 8 , 2010:

Personal relations are the important thing, for ever and ever.

E.M. Forster

February 1 , 2010:

The nakedness of woman is the work of God.

William Blake

Engage her first in conversation  that puts her heart and mind at ease, and gladdens her. . . . Hurry not to arouse passion until her mood is ready . . .

Rabbi Moses ben Nachman

January 25 , 2010:

The law cannot do it for us.  We must do it for ourselves.  Women in this country must become revolutionaries.  We must refuse to accept the old, the traditional roles and stereotypes.  We must replace the old, negative thoughts about our femininity with positive thoughts and positive action.

Shirley Chisolm  (1st African-American woman elected to Congress: 1968; candidate for President: 1972)
                               (1924-2005)

:January 18 , 2010:

Widening your heart, make the interests of others your own and serve them as much as you can by sympathy, kindness, giving, and so forth.  Whenever you have the opportunity, give to the poor, feed the hungry, nurse the sick.  Do this service as a religious duty, and you will come to know by direct perception that  the person served, the one who serves, and the act of service are one and the same.

Anandamayi Ma  (Indian holy woman, 1896-1981)

January 11 , 2010:

The Vedic definition of a spiritual person is: softer than the flower where kindness is concerned; stronger than the thunder where principles are at stake.

Paramahamsa Yogananda

:January 4 , 2010:

If we come in conflict with a disagreeable person, let us never grow discouraged and abandon them.  Let us always have the sword of the spirit in our mouths in order to correct their faults.  Don't allow the matter to pass over just for the sake of peace, but fight even when there is no hope of gaining victory.  What does it matter if we're successful or not?  We have to do our duty to the very end.

St. Therese of Lisieux

December 28, 2009:

For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm.  The web is fashioned of love, yes, but many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow-growing devotion and, playing through these, a constantly rippling companionship.  It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences.  It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts, of triumphs and disappointments.  It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language, too; a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental.  It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day-to-day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction.  It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh,  Gift from the Sea

December 21, 2009:

Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 
Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe;
let her breasts satisfy thee at all times,
and be thou ravished always with her love. 
And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman,
and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

Proverbs 5:18-20

December 14 , 2009:

If I could only learn to always turn to you
Instead of thinking I always know what to do,
Why does it take the darkness for my eyes to see
There's never been a time when you weren't there for me?

Paul Overstreet  ("Calm Within My Storm")

December 7 , 2009:

For years I've been taking for granted the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me.  You!  I've never shown you the appreciation you deserve, Alice.  Baby, you're the GREATEST!

Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) in The Honeymooners

November 30 , 2009:

     When you offer pure forgiveness, it does not replace the need for repentance to arise in the heart of the other person.  True forgiveness is not like giving candy to a crying baby so that he will stop crying.  Just because you are able to forgive someone does not obviate their need to confront their misdeeds.  They must do their own inner work.  Forgiveness is not putting a warm blanket over someone and saying, "It's okay.  Really, it's okay."  No.  Each person must go through the fire of repentance.
     And repentance, understand, is not about sobbing like a wounded victim or telling the whole world your sad story.  Repentance is a deep--a very, very deep--contemplation.  It is entering the sanctum sanctorum of your own soul, going deep inside where no one else has access but you and your own God.  Not even your closest friend, your most loved one, can go there. . . .

     If your forgiveness prevents or short-circuits the other person's repentance, their deep contemplation, then it is not pure forgiveness.  It is complicity.  Of course, the one who forgives also has to give up something--the feeling of being victimized by the person who has done something harmful.

A sage

November 23 , 2009:

They who aspire to love worthily subject themselves to an ordeal more rigid than any other.

Henry David Thoreau

Marriage is a relationship.  When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you are sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.  You're no longer this one alone; your identity is in a relationship.  Marriage is not a simple love affair, it's an ordeal, and the ordeal is the sacrifice of ego to a relationship in which two have become one.

Joseph Campbell

November 16 , 2009:

The six most important words are: "I admit that I was wrong.
The five most important words are: "You did a great job."
The four most important words are: "What do you think?"
The three most important words are: "Could you please?"
The two most important words are: "Thank you."
The one most important word is: "We."

Advice to a married couple from a sage

November 9 , 2009:

Woman's sense of self and of worth is grounded in the ability to make and maintain relationship.  Most women find a sense of value and effectiveness if they experience all of their life activities as arising from a context of relationships and as leading on into a greater sense of connection rather than a sense of separation.  For women the primary experience of self is relational; that is, the self is organized and developed in the context of important relationships.

The Stone Center   (Wellesley College)

November 2 , 2009:

Apart from her personal pain-body, every woman has her share in what could be described as the collective female pain-body. . . . This consists of accumulated pain suffered by women partly through male subjugation of the female, through slavery, exploitation, rape, childbirth, child loss, and so on, over thousands of years.

Eckhart Tolle    (The Power of Now)

October 26 , 2009:

Each person must be concerned with themselves, with making themselves whole.  We have lessons to learn, each one of us.  They must be learned one at a time, in order.

Brian Weiss    (Many Lives, Many Masters)

October 19 , 2009:

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is.  I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.

Rebecca West

October 12 , 2009:

In a successful marriage there is no such thing as "one's way."  There is only the way of both, only the bumpy, dusty, difficult, but always mutual path.

Phyllis McGinley

October 5 , 2009:

The number of women who are now approaching the fully conscious state exceeds that of men, and will be growing ever faster in the years to come.

Eckhart Tolle   (The Power of Now)

September 28 , 2009:

Put the woman in charge, I say. . . . Place the single greatest issue in the brief span of human existence, the question whether to use or get rid of nuclear weapons, squarely in the laps of the world's women.  I haven't any doubt at all what they will do with this issue, possessing as they do some extra genes for understanding and appreciating children.

Lewis Thomas  (American physician and writer)

September 21 , 2009:

The first great step is to like yourself enough to pick someone who likes you too.

Jane O'Reilly

September 14 , 2009:

Ooooo Owwww
This is what a woman wants . . .

Any man of mine better be proud of me
Even when I'm ugly he still better love me
And I can be late for a date, that's fine
But he better be on time

Any man of mine'll say it fits just right
When last year's dress is just a little too tight
And anything I do or say better be okay
When I have a bad hair day

And if I change my mind
A million times
I wanna year him say
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I like it that way

Any man of mine better walk the line
Better show me a teasin' squeezin' pleasin' kinda time
I need a man who knows how the story goes
He's gotta be a heartbeatin' finetreatin'
Breathtakin' earthquakin' kind
Any man of mine

Shania Twain................Any Man of Mine

September 7 , 2009:

Don't deny anything, and don't misrepresent the facts of your life.  Denial is what the demons want.

Jalaluddin Rumi

September 1 , 2009:

When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence--that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.

Henry David Thoreau  (Walden)

July 27-August 24 , 2009:

Marriage is a relationship.  When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you're sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.  You're no longer this one alone, your identity is in a relationship.  Marriage is not a simple love affair, it's an ordeal, and the ordeal is the sacrifice of ego to a relationship in which two have become one.

Joseph Campbell

All about this universe that is feminine worships what is masculine.  And the sole purpose of all about this universe that is masculine is to serve the feminine through the adoration and animation of the beauty that lies in her heart.

Ken Carey

Let him obey, please, and honour his lady with all reverence, and hold her dearer than himself, and prefer her convenience and pleasures to his own.

Baldesar Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier

To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something.  Not to be onto something is to be in despair.

Walker Percy

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right.  But do not care to convince him--Men will believe what they see. Let them see.

Henry David Thoreau

July 20 , 2009:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Alcoholics Anonymous Serenity Prayer

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor Frankl

July 13 , 2009:

An important function that man readily entrusts to a woman is the weighing of values--she is a privileged judge--to be ratified by her, to confer an absolute value upon his life, his enterprises, and himself.

Simone DeBeauvoir,     The Second Sex

July 6 , 2009:

The crux of the matter is, nothing great comes easily.  You have to work for it; you have to put forth self-effort.  It is as simple as that.  You must make the effort.

A sage

June 29 , 2009:

The great French Marshal Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree.  The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for a hundred years.  The Marshal replied, "In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!"

John F. Kennedy

June 22 , 2009:

It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.

Vince Lombardi  (famed football coach)

Failure is impossible.

Susan B. Anthony  (famed suffragist)

June 15 , 2009:

Each person is good in God's sight.  It is not necessary for eagles to be crows, or meadowlarks to be hawks.

Sitting Bull (Lakota Sioux Chief)

June 8 , 2009:

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio:

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most requested column I've ever written:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone.  It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's okay to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's okay to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry: God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative--dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

June 1 , 2009:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then you win.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

May 25 , 2009:

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won.  There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.  Think of it--always.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

May 18 , 2009:

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I've lost almost 300 games.  26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot, and missed.  I've failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan

May 11 , 2009:

  Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.

Muhammad Ali

May 4 , 2009:

The human soul is virtually indestructible, and its ability to rise from the ashes remains as long as the body draws breath.

Alice Miller,  For Your Own Good

April 27 , 2009:

   It is the law of nature that a person should work.  You must do your duty.  By not working, you cannot live.  Even the bodily functions need work to sustain them.
     How then can one escape the bondage of work? By performing work as a sacrifice. Give up your attachments and work as though you are performing a sacrifice for the general good. That is the secret of work well done. Work should be done so that others may benefit by it. Dedicate all the work to service.

Mahabharata

April 20 , 2009:

It is obvious that the love of husband and wife is pleasant, but it must be bound up with good too; which is the reason why a reciprocal love does survive the enjoyment of its delights, and, not only persists, but grows continually, through its participation in the good.  Moreover, the good and pleasurable elements in married love are supplemented by that of advantage; for each of the spouses is ever deriving benefit from the other, which greatly contributes to the fostering of their love.  Thus, married love, being pleasureable essentially, is preserved by its connections with both advantage and good.

Leone Ebreo (son of 15th-century biblical commentator Isaac Abrabanel)

April 13 , 2009:

Let him obey, please, and honour his lady with all reverence, and hold her dearer than himself, and prefer her convenience and pleasures to his own.

Baldesar Castiglione,     The Book of the Courtier

April 6 , 2009:

Then they retired to the nuptial chamber.  The moon was showering cool rays.  The nuptial bed was made of fragrant flowers.  They ascended this bed and consummated their wedding. . . . Her hair encircled him.  With her hands she held his face.  Their mouths were joined to each other in a fervent kiss.  They were obviously very excited with passionate love for each other.  With every movement of their limbs they expressed their extreme love for each other.  On their faces danced the delight of their hearts. The chest  of one was beating against the chest of the other.  They were utterly oblivious of their surroundings.

Description of marital sex in a 7th century Hindu spiritual text, the Yoga Vasishtha

March 30 , 2009:

One day a man approached Ikkyu and asked, "Master, will you please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?"  Ikkyu took his brush and wrote, "Attention."  "Is that all?" asked the man.  Ikkyu then wrote, "Attention.  Attention."  "Well," said the man, "I really don't see much depth in what you have written."  Then Ikkyu wrote the same word three times: "Attention.  Attention.  Attention."  Half-angered, the man demanded, "What does that word 'Attention' mean anyway?"  Ikkyu gently responded, "Attention means attention."

Zen story from Japan

The principal form that the work of love takes is attention.  When we love another, we give him or her our attention, we attend to that person's growth.

M. Scott Peck,   The Road Less Traveled

March 23 , 2009:

May the roof overhead be well thatched, and those inside be well matched.

Irish Blessing

March 16 , 2009:

The spirit of marriage is the spirit of help.  On one level, marriage is nothing but help--the wanting, requesting, offering, providing, and receiving of help.  If we are not willing to help our partners in marriage, then we are not really married, despite what the minister, priest, or rabbi said.

Alfred Barrington

March 9 , 2009:

We must travel in the direction of our fear.

John Berryman

March 2 , 2009:

The whole education of women ought to be relative to men.  To please men, to be useful to them, to make themselves loved and honored by them, to educate them when young, to care for them when grown, to counsel them, to make life sweet and agreeable to them, these are the duties of women at all times, and what should be taught them from their infancy.

Jean-Jacques Rosseau, L'Emile

February 22 , 2009:

The kernel of true manhood is the ability to abandon sensual indulgences.

Jalaluddin Rumi

Greatness of soul is not so much mounting high and pressing forward, as knowing how to put oneself in order and circumscribe oneself.

Michel de Montaigne

February 15 , 2009:

My wife told me she wants me to listen to her more.  At least, I think that's what she told me.

Anonymous

February 8 , 2009:

I'm going to measure my masculinity--and it's really about my humanity--based on how successful I am as a husband.  If I blow it there, or if I blow it as a dad, nothing else really matters.

Joe Ehrmann (former NFL lineman and now coach and teacher to young men), in Season of Life

February 1 , 2009:

To realize that Patriarchy was set in place, stone by stone, is to realize that it can be taken apart too, stone by stone.  It's also to realize, of course, that thinking it will ever take itself apart is sheer folly.

Carol Lee Flinders, At the Root of This Longing: Reconciling a Spiritual Hunger with a Feminist Thirst

January 26, 2009:

Ignorance does not yield to attack, but it dissipates in the light, and nothing dissolves ignorance and dishonesty faster than the simple act of revealing the truth.  The only way to enhance one's power in the world is by increasing one's integrity, understanding, and capacity for compassion.  The displacement of the false by the true is the essence of the healing of all things visible and invisible.

David R. Hawkins,  Power vs. Force

January 19, 2009:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.

First John, Chapter 4, Verse 7

January 12, 2009:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.  If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.  If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.  What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.  The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway.  Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give the world the best you've got anyway.  You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.

Mother Teresa

January 5, 2009 :

 Who is more wicked than the man who in his ignorance invents a lie about God to mislead humankind?  

The Koran

January 1, 2009:

Renounce old habits so the new path can be illumined.  Be prepared to let go of old sorrows and welcome a new beginning with an open heart--no concepts and no limitations.
     If you're still hanging on to the old year, let it go back into its Source.  We're ready for something new!  Let yourself breathe in the newness, the freshness, the fragrance of the new year.
      The new year contains everything you've ever wanted . . .

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda,  Resonate with Stillness

December 22 , 2008:

A Christmas Message from a Married Couple

     There is great motivating power in telling the good in others.  In an atmosphere of praise, compliments, and love expressed openly, our world blossoms. When we are the recipients of such goodwill, we suddenly like ourselves better than before, and we see our Godly possibilities mirrored in the eyes of others.
      A compliment is an expression of our esteem, affection, and admiration for a person.  Compliments provide an element of grace in our contacts with one another and give a boost to our morale.  Mark Twain once said he could go two months on a good compliment.
     Our Heavenly Father gave the ultimate compliment to Jesus when He openly expressed His love and approval with these words: "This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."  Jesus told his disciples that He loved them and called them his friends.  He had that spiritual sense of touch we call tact, that gift of finding the point of contact with all sorts of people.  He was a Master of creative listening, listening with his whole attention, a great compliment to the one speaking, for it makes them feel that who they are and what they have to say is of value.  As Jesus listened, He saw in each man and woman a Being in the process of becoming. Then, when pauses in the conversation came, He was able to speak constructively to people, leading them on and up "until with unveiled face" they came to reflect the pure and perfect image of the Father in whose likeness all are made.
       David O'McKay made this observation: "The noblest aim in life is to make the lives of others happier. The world is full of people to uplift, encourage, and teach, and love."
      Let us resolve this Christmas season and in the coming New Year to speak approving and cheerful words to all we come in contact with.  For those who are dearest to our hearts, let us speak openly of our love for them, and be kind and understanding in our communication, while their ears can still hear and their hearts can be thrilled and their lives made happier.

Alan and Peggy Rosenvall

December 15 , 2008:

I'm just average, common too,
I'm just like him, the same as you,
I'm everybody's brother and son,
I ain't different from anyone.

It ain't no use a-talkin' to me
It's just the same as talkin' to you.

Bob Dylan, I Shall Be Free #10

I'm nobody.
Who are you?
Are you nobody too?

Emily Dickinson

December 1 , 2008:

Go placidly amid the noise & haste, & remember what peace there may be in silence.  As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.  Speak your truth quietly & clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.        Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.  If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater & lesser persons than yourself.  Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.          Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.  Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.          Be yourself.  Especially, do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass.        Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.  Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.  But do not distress yourself with imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness.  Beyond a wholsome discipline, be gentle with yourself.         You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.           Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive God to be, and whatever your labors & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.          With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be careful.  Strive to be happy.

Found in Old Saint Paul's Church, Baltimore; Dated, 1692

November 24 , 2008:

Follow the three R's: Respect for Self; Respect for Others; Responsibility for all your Actions.

Dalai Lama (attributed)

November 17 , 2008:

Whoever acts with respect will get respect.
Whoever brings sweetness
will be served almond cake.

Jalaluddin Rumi

November 10 , 2008:

And I wouldn't be standing here without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady, Michelle Obama.

Barack Obama  (Victory Speech, Grant Park, Chicago, November 4, 2008)

November 3 , 2008:

Come, let's be a comfortable couple, and take care of each other!  How glad we shall be, that we have someone we are fond of always, to talk to and sit with.  Let's be a comfortable couple!

Charles Dickens

October 27 , 2008:

 Know this, my boy, that it is neither fasting nor vigil nor bodily effort nor any other laudable action that pleases God so that He appears to us, but only a soul and heart that is humble, simple, and good.

Symeon the Pious in a letter to Symeon the New Theologian

October 20 , 2008:

   It is easy to forget how profound the parent-child relationship is.  Children are completely dependent on their parents' goodwill and nurturing.  Parents are the people who make it possible, literally, to stay alive. They provide the home, they provide the food.  Parents are also a primary source of a child's sense of self-worth.  When the people who are supposed to love them the most hurt them the most, children often conclude that there must be something dreadfully wrong with them--"I must be bad, sick, or crazy."

Alice Miller

October 13 , 2008:

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.

Thomas a Kempis

October 6 , 2008:

Two persons love in one another the future good which they aid one another to unfold.

Margaret Fuller (Transcendentalist  philosopher, feminist), Woman in the Nineteenth Century

September 29 , 2008:

I don't know why you're here, but the reason I'm here is to help people feel good about themselves, and the closer they are to me, the greater my responsibility to help them.

Herschel O'Rourke

September 22 , 2008:

A young man went up to the mountains, found a cave, and wandered in.  He found a pearl of great price in the cave, but it was in the claws of a dragon so overwhelming that he knew there was no chance of getting the pearl.  He went away sadly, reconciling himself to an ordinary life, which was uninspiring once he had seen the pearl.  He married, had his family, worked, and then, in old age, when his children were gone and he had retired, he said, "Before I die, I will go back and look again at the pearl." He found his way back, looked inside the cave, and there was the pearl, as lovely as ever, but the dragon had shrunk to almost nothing.  He picked up the pearl and carried it away.  He had been fighting the dragon all of his life in the very practicalities of his daily existence as a husband, father, and provider."

Robert Johnson, She

September 15 , 2008:

Words do not matter.  What matters is Dharma--what matters is action rightly performed.

Buddha

September 8 , 2008:

Underneath the paranoia and propaganda that drive the patriarchal power structure is the fear that someone else will have a bigger, more effective penis than one's own.  This is the tyranny to which men have been conditioned: They have to compete with each other in a tournament that has only one measure of success.

Marion Woodman and Eleanor Dickson, Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness

September 1 , 2008:

Anything you can do to get your spouse to feel better about herself.  Any way you can help change a negative image your wife may have gotten about herself.  Just be compassionate.  Just take the time to be with her.  She doesn't need any special techniques.  She will start to tell you what's bothering her as soon as she knows you care and are really listening.  So you're there and you're compassionate and your wife starts to tell you what the problem is.  She doesn't understand something.  She feels bad about something.  Sometimes all you need to do is  let her tell you that.  She just needed to tell somebody. 

Ron Kurtz

July 14-August 24, 2008:

Being a husband is a full-time job.  That is why so many husbands fail.  They cannot give their entire attention to it.

Arnold Bennett

Making the decision to have a child--it's momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.      Elizabeth Stone

First say to yourself what you would be--and then do what you have to do.     Epictetus

The person you thought you knew the best in the world is changing radically.  Her feelings, her interests, her behavior, and her reponses to you are all changing.  You find yourself thinking, "She's not the person I thought she was."  And in a way you're right.  She's discovering a part of herself that she left far behind.  It's been buried for years.  Yet it's as much a part of her as all the rest.  If you're in shock over these revelations and changes, you need validation.  The fact is, your world has changed.  You're not crazy.  The bottom has dropped out of your world.  You didn't choose it, but your life and your relationship have changed.  Things aren't ever going to be the way they were before.      Laura Davis, Allies in Healing.

To plunge the world into the great joy of coupling, God became both man and woman, and graciously performed the act of marrying.  Who can comprehend the acts of a Lord who does all this for us?   Parancati Muivar, The Secret Marriage of Shiva and Parvati

As a dad, if you want to send a boy into the world with a sense of masculinity based on the importance of relationships, being a man built for others rather than a man living only for himself, then you really need to be there for him as a model and a teacher.    Joe Ehrmann, former pro football star turned teacher, Season of Life

The kernel of true manhood is the ability to abandon sensual indulgences.  Jalaluddin Rumi

July 7, 2008:

I shall venture the assertion that, until women assume the place in society which good sense and good feeling alike assign to them, human improvement must advance but feebly.  Men will ever rise and fall to the level of the other sex.

Frances (Fanny) Wright--Scottish born utopian thinker, abolitionist--1824

June 30, 2008:

A life of the spirit brings not peace but a sword, as Jesus put it, a sword that is going to cut away every vestige of the nonsense that disturbs our wholeness, development, and power.

Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Bond of Power

June 23 , 2008: 

The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation.  It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through all eternity.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

June 16 , 2008: 

I would never see anything but Pleasure in your eyes, Love on your lips, and Happiness in your steps.

John Keats, in a letter to his beloved Fanny Brawne, July 8, 1819

June 9 , 2008: 

The secret to living peacefully is the performance of dharmic [righteous] action: doing what is right in every situation and offering it to God.  When you give yourself fully to righteous action, a peace arises inside that allows you to go beyond the mind.  Actions and thoughts that are not dharmic create an unsettled feeling in us, and as a result, our own mind won't let us go to that pure state.  But when we begin to do whatever is necessary in our lives and to give ourselves fully with love to every action, then we experience peace inside.  We feel that we've done our part.  As a result, our whole inner being allows us to enter the state of stillness.  This willingness to give ourselves to our world, to live with dharma, opens us to grace.

Swami Ishwarananda

June 2 , 2008: 

In your worldly life, people may be impressed by your family or by other external factors, but as far as God is concerned, God pays absolutely no attention to your body, to its beauty, or to your facial features.  God doesn't pay attention to your sense organs.  God only values the feelings in your heart.  God only sees your heart and the love in it.

Baba Muktananda

May 26 , 2008: 

The best of all forces, which can overcome all difficulties on the way, is the love that knows how to give without need to bargain for a return.  There is nothing that love cannot achieve, and there is nothing that love cannot sacrifice. All other essential qualities will come to the aspirant if s/he follows faithfully the whisperings of the unerring voice of love that speaks from the heart, shedding light on the path.

Meher Baba

May 19 , 2008: 

Where woman is held in honor, there the gods are well pleased.  Where she receives no honor, all holy acts are void and fruitless.

Manu

May 12 , 2008: 

The capacity to admire and praise others is the hallmark of mature psychology.  A strong sense of self is full enough that it can overflow and touch others with its radiance.

Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, The King Within 

May 5 , 2008: 

You can wake a man only if he is really asleep.  No effort that you may make will produce any effect upon him if he is merely pretending to sleep.

Mahatma Gandhi

Those of you whose work it is to raise the dead, get up.  This is a work day.

Jalaluddin Rumi

April 28 , 2008: 

[On his 80th birthday, John Quincy Adams responded to a query concerning his well-being:]

John Quincy Adams is well.  But the house in which he lives at present is becoming delapidated.  It is tottering upon its foundation.  Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it.  Its roof is pretty well worn out.  Its walls are much shattered, and it trembles with every wind.  I think John Qunicy Adams will have to move out soon, but he himself is quite well.  Quite well.

John Quincy Adams

April 21 , 2008: 

    There's so much energy in the penis and it's so strong that unless it's tempered and tamed and restrained by love it can go berserk.  That's what rape and violence and killing and death and destruction and war are: the energy in the penis, untempered, untamed, and unrestrained by love, going berserk.  When that energy is not a servant of love, it becomes a servant  of death and a weapon of death.  The Hebrew word for "penis" and "weapon" are the same.  Which is why all the weapons of death on our planet--guns, bombs, missiles, knives, swords, spears, cannons--look like erect penises.
     The task of every man on the planet is to develop his ability to love until the energy of his love is greater than, and in control of, the energy in his penis. Not until he has accomplished this has he achieved mature manhood.

Robert Alter, "The MANual"

April 14 , 2008: 

They who aspire to love worthily subject themselves to an ordeal more rigid than any other.

Henry David Thoreau

Marriage is a relationship.  When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you're sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.  You're no longer this one alone; your identity is in a relationship.  Marriage is not a simple love affair, it's an ordeal, and the ordeal is the sacrifice of ego to a relationship in which two have become one.

Joseph Campbell

April 7 , 2008: 

Be it in the name of national defense, or in the holy name of God, war or the preparation for war serve not only to reinforce male dominance and male violence, but also to reinforce andocracy's systems component, authoritarianism.  Times of war provide justification for "strongman" leadership; they also justify the suspension of civil liberties and rights.

Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade

March 31 , 2008: 

I don't know whether poetry changes anything.  But neither do I know how or whether bombing or even community organizing changes anything when we are pitted against a massive patriarchal system armed with supertechnology. . . . At moments I can conceive of a women's movement that will show the way to humanizing technology and fusing dreams and skills and visions and reason to begin the healing of the human race.  But I don't want women to take over the world and run it the way men have, or to take on--yet again!--the burden of carrying the subjectivity of the race.  Women are a vanguard now, and I believe will increasingly become so, because we have--Western women, Third World women, all women--known and felt the pain of the human condition most consistently.  But in the end it can't be women alone.

Adrienne Rich

March 24 , 2008: 

Okay, dear ones, are you ready?
Are you braced?
Well then: Who can hear the angels sing
if that dog between your legs
is barking?
Who can hear Buddha sing
if that canine between your thighs
still wants to do circus tricks?

Hafiz

March 17 , 2008: 

As I see through a mist, One with inexpressible completeness, sanity, beauty,
See the bent head and arms folded over the breast,
the Female I see.

Walt Whitman

March 10 , 2008: 

My wife and I have been married for 41 years.  We think of ourselves as being happily married--and we are.  But the dominance is there.  It means that in my relationship with my wife, I am almost totally the boss.  When we have a discussion, more often than not it is I who declares when the end of it arrives.  If we make a plan together and she does most of the work on the plan, it is given to me for approval.  If I do most of the work on the plan, I submit it to her for her information. That doesn't mean that I make all the decisions, control all the funds, make all the choices, talk louder than she does. I don't have to.  It simply means that I do not have to ask my wife for permission to do anything.

Sy Chassler (former editor-in-chief of Redbook)

March 3 , 2008: 

Women are motivated and empowered when they feel cherished.  When a woman does not feel cherished in a relationship, she gradually becomes compulsively responsible and exhausted from giving too much.  On the other hand, when she feels cared for and respected, she is fulfilled and has more to give as well.

John Gray, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

February 25 , 2008: 

    The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove.

Samuel Johnson

February 18 , 2008: 

  Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice deep looking directed toward the person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly.  Understanding is the essence of love.  If you cannot understand, you cannot love. . . . If a husband, for example, does not understand his wife's deepest troubles, her deepest aspirations, if he does not understand her suffering, he will not be able to love her in the right way. Without understanding, love is an impossible thing.
       What must we do in order to understand a person?  We must have time; we must practice looking deeply into this person.  We must be there, attentive; we must observe; we must look deeply.  And the fruit of this looking deeply is called understanding.  Love is a true thing if it is made up of a substance called understanding.

Thich Nhat Hanh,  True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart

February 11 , 2008: 

Impatience is a phase of violence.

Mahatma Gandhi

February 4 , 2008: 

The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman's heart.

J.G. Holland

January 28 , 2008: 

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly and wants to rip to shreds all our erroneous notions of truth.  The Beloved sometimes wants to do us a great favor: Hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.

Hafiz

January 21 , 2008: 

Western culture has been dominated by patriarchy, rule by the men, of the men, for the men.  Patriarchy is rooted in hierarchy, obession with power, control, and government by violence.  Warfare, rape, and ecological destruction of mother nature are rooted in patriarchal habits of thought and modes of social organization.  Misogyny and gynophobia, a devaluation of all things considered feminine, form the subtext of western history.

Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man

January 14 , 2008: 

In the midst of an abstract discussion it is vexing to hear a man say, "You think thus and so because you are a woman," but I know that my only defense is to reply, "I think thus and so because it is true."

Simone DeBeauvoir

January 7 , 2008: 

I have offended many people, for as soon as I saw that they did not understand me, that was the end of the matter so far as I was concerned.  I had to move on.  I had no patience with people, aside from my patients.  I had to obey an inner law which was imposed on me and left me no freedom of choice.  Of course I did not always obey it.  How can anyone live without inconsistency? . . . I am fond of you, indeed I love you, but I cannot stay.  There is something heartrending about that.  And I myself am the victim; I cannot stay.

Carl Jung,  Memories, Dreams, Reflections

December 31 , 2007: 

If you were to see yourself as you really are, you would realize that you are neither man nor woman; you don't belong to any religion or caste or creed.  You are really and truly the most fascinating, beautiful light of God.  The highest Truth exists within your heart.

A sage

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with obvservation; Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Luke 17: 20-21

December 24 , 2007: 

An interesting definition of courage from a spiritual Master:
        Having courage means engaging in every single situation as a blessing from God, as a loving gesture of nature.  Courage means rising to meet the demands of each moment with total delight, knowing you are equal to it.  Courage means having faith that within you is an innate force whose essence is never depleted by external events.  Live your life courageously, dharmically, knowing that whatever you are faced with is not stronger than you are.  You are equal to each other.  Your problem is not greater than you are, nor is it smaller.  This approach is a dharmic way of living.  This is courage.  You look at your problem as your equal, never greater or smaller.  And therefore, you can rise to the demands of each moment.  With great delight you are able to face and accept whatever comes your way.

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Sadhana of the Heart, Volume I

December 17 , 2007: 

One of the paradoxes of genuine love is that the lover freely wishes to bind him or herself irrevocably to the beloved.  It was this mysterious feature of love that moved Mother Teresa to seal the total offering of herself by means of a vow and thus tangibly express her longing to be fully united with her Beloved.  To the one less advanced on the road of love, this total surrender and complete conformity to God's will might seem a complete loss of freedom.  But the one who truly loves seeks to realize the desire of the beloved, to fulfill his or her expectations even to the least detail.  Thus for Mother Teresa the vow was the means of strengthening the bond with the One she loved and so experiencing the true freedom that only love can give.

[Read this week's quotation twice--once as a description of Mother Teresa's surrender to her beloved, God, and then as a description of a husband's surrender to his beloved, his wife.  Sounds nice, yes?]

Brian Kolodiejchuk, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the 'Saint' of Calcutta

December 10 , 2007: 

These are the lyrics of the great song "Take Me There" by the Rascal Flatts (this is the kind of interest we men should take in the women we love):

There's a place in your heart nobody's been,
Take me there.
Things nobody knows, not even your friends,
Take me there.
Tell me 'bout your momma, your daddy, your hometown,
Show me around,
I want to see it all, don't leave anything out.

I want to know everything about you then.
And I want to go down every road you've been.
Where your hopes and dreams and wishes live,
Where you keep the rest of your life hid,
I want to know the girl behind that pretty stare,
Take me there.

Your first real kiss, your first true love, you were scared.
Show me where
You learned about life, spent your summer nights, without a care.
I want to roll down Main Street, the back roads,
Like you did when you were a kid,
What made you who you are,
Tell me what your story is.

I want to know everything 'bout you then.
And I want to go down every road you've been.
Where your hopes and dreams and wishes live,
Where you keep the rest of your life hid,
I want to know the girl behind that pretty stare,
Take me there.

Yeah, I want to know everything about you,
Yeah, everything about you, baby.
I want to go down every road you've been,
Where your hopes and dreams and wishes live,
Where you keep the rest of your life hid,
I want to know the girl behind that pretty stare.
Take me there, take me, take me there.
 

   Rascal Flatts, "Take Me There"

December 3 , 2007: 

The return of God is one of the most ancient expectations of the human race.  Every world religion has presented itself as preparing for his return.  Every religion still awaits it.  What does this expectation imply?  We already know God in his outward manifestation, by his laws, his commands, his word. That is the Logos, the masculine side of God.  What we await in the Second Coming is what we lack: God's inner dynamic or process. This--God in his creativeness rather than in his creation--is the essence of the feminine traditionally enacted in the ancient Mysteries.  The return is therefore the emergence of the feminine side of God, which has been gradually taking shape for centuries in what we call the unconscious.  The time has now come when we can deal creatively with the concept of God as the union of opposites, and therefore see the feminine no longer darkly through a masculine glass, but face to androgynous face.

Marion Woodman, Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride

November 26 , 2007: 

Here is Joe Ehrmann, former NFL all-star lineman and now a minister and mentor for boys in the Baltimore area, speaking to a group of high school football coaches (with commentary from Jeffrey Marx, author of Season of Life, a book about Joe [highly recommended!]:

I think that's the challenge, really, facing us in this society, is how we learn to come together, across all racial, economic, and geographical divisions, to make this society a much better place. . . . I would say that in order to make America  a more just and fair society, I would boil it down to the single greatest crisis.  If we don't address this issue, we really can't deal with the other issues.  And that primary, critical issue is a concept of what it means to be a man.  If we don't fix our understanding and get some proper definition of masculinity and manhood, I don't think we can address other issues. . . . I think that the boys you are coaching--all
boys--are given in our culture a threefold criteria for what it means to be a man.  I think those are a lie, and I think they lead to tremendous dysfunction both in marriages and relationships, and in the social problems of America. 
Joe discussed the three components of what he termed "false masculinity": athletic ability, sexual conquest, and economic success.  After debunking the supposed value of that triumvirate, he introduced his own paradigm for masculinity.  Masculinity, first and foremost, ought to be defined in terms of relationships.  It ought to be taught in terms of the capacity to love and to be loved. If you look over your life at the end of it, life wouldn't be measured in terms of success based on what you've acquired or achieved or what you own.  The only thing that's really going to matter is the relationships that you had.  It's gonna come down to this: What kind of father were you?  What kind of husband were you?  What kind of coach or teammate were you?  What kind of son were you?  What kind of brother were you? What kind of friend were you? Success comes in terms of relationships. And I think the second criterion--the only other criterion for masculinity--is that all of us ought to have some kind of cause, some kind of purpose in our lives that's bigger than our own individual hopes, dreams, wants, and desires. At the end of our life, we ought to be able to look back over it from our deathbed and know that somehow the world was a better place because we lived, we loved, we were other-centered, other-focused.

November 19 , 2007: 

The best way to help women is to work on your fellow men.  That's where the real struggle is--getting enlightenment through the concrete block known as a man's head.

Michael Moore

November 12 , 2007: 

INTEGRITY: If it's not right, don't do it.  If it's not true, don't say it.
       
   (Sign seen on a church bulletin board)

November 5 , 2007: 

[This is some dialogue from the 2006 Adam Sandler movie Reign on Me; it is a short phone conversation near the end of the movie between Alan Johnson, played by Don Cheadle, and his wife Geneen, played by Jada Pinkett Smith]

Alan: "Geneen, I got to tell you something, babe.  I don't know how I got to the place where I'm not letting you in--you're right, I'm not.  That's wrong.  I got to open up to you.  I don't want to be that guy, baby.  Don't want to be that guy.  I don't know if anything I just said even makes any sense."

Geneen: (long pause, she's visibly moved) "Alan, just come home.  I love you.  And I know I probably don't tell you that enough, but I do, I love you.  Can you pick the girls up and come home?"

Alan: "I love you too.  I'll be home in a minute, okay?"

October 29 , 2007: 

The other day my wife Jane walked into the reception area of the clinic where she works to get something from the receptionist, but she forgot what she had come in for, stood there for a moment, and asked herself out loud, "What am I doing?"  A uniformed policeman who happened to be there at that moment answered her, "Just hanging out and enjoying the day."  My wife smiled and said, "I think I'll take that as an instruction for the day! . . . You too!"
     The policeman smiled back and said, "That's how I do every day."

October 22 , 2007: 

  "You are not the man to help me in that.   I must do that for myself.  And that is why I am going to leave you now. ...... I must stand quite alone if I am to understand myself and everything about me.  It is for that reason that I cannot remain with you any longer."

Nora, in Ibsen's "A Doll House"

October 15 , 2007: 

Surely fathers are indispensable for this sea change, but we must start with mothers and women at large.  Males, it seems, have lost their moorings, leaving Plato's words more true today than ever: "Give me a new mother, and I'll give you a new world."  Laying the foundations of a new mind and a new world has been her task from the beginning, and substitutes just haven't worked.  Partriarchy has failed us.
    The revolution comes not from knights in shining armor and mighty exploits of strength and courage, or even the wisdom of sages and seers, but through the gentle gesture of the eternal She, whose nurturing kiss alone can save him from himself.

Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Biology of Transcendence

October 8 , 2007:

I understand the rising up of women in our time to be the human race's response to the threat of its own self-annihilation and the destruction of the planet.

Sally Miller Gearheart

I'm at a point in my life where I'm convinced women should run everything.

Bill Clinton

October 1 , 2007:

Always you have to contend with the stupidity of men. . . . The stupid you have always with you.

The whole duty of man is to perfect your own unique self.  Every stroke of the chisel must enter our own flesh and bone.

Henry David Thoreau

September 24 , 2007:

The principal form that the work of love takes is attention.  When we love another, we give him or her our attention. We attend to that person's growth.

M. Scott Peck,   The Road Less Travelled

      One day a man approached Ikkyu and asked, "Master, will you please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?"   Ikkyu took his brush and wrote, "Attention."  "Is that all?" asked the man. 
Ikkyu than wrote, "Attention.  Attention."  "Well," said the man, "I really don't see much depth in what you have written." Then Ikkyu wrote the same word three times: "Attention.  Attention.  Attention."  Half-angered, the man demanded, "What does the word 'attention' mean anyway?"  Ikkyu gently responded, "Attention means attention."

Japanese story

September 17 , 2007:

For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. . . . When they love, they must not forget that they are beginners, bunglers of life, apprentices in love--they must learn love, and that, like all learning, takes calm, patience, and composure.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

September 10 , 2007:

I was going along doing everything I should have been doing, and then, unexpectedly, I woke up.  I collided with the patriarchy within my culture, my church, my faith tradition, my marriage, and also within myself.  And this collision changed everything.  I began to wake up to a whole new way of being a woman.

Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the
Sacred Feminine

September 3 , 2007:

I believe life is a school.  All the universe is a university in which all our souls must take all the courses in the curriculum.  The name of the curriculum is Love, and we keep taking courses in Love until we know everything there is to know about it, including that we, in our essential nature, are Love.  Some of the courses are: Introduction to Happiness; Niceness 101; Intermediate Patience; Advanced Surrender; The Theory and Practice of Humility; and The Principles of Purification.  There are other courses in Respect and Reverence for All; Compassion and Contentment; Sucking It Up: Discipline, Perseverance, and Sacrifice; Forgiveness; Personal Power; Overcoming Self-Hatred (a 79 year seminar); and Service to Humanity.  And there are other courses that don't look or sound at like Love--like Behaving Yourself; Get Over It: An Honors Practicum; and Pain and Suffering: A Comprehensive Survey--but they're part of the currciculum of Love too.  We keep taking and retaking a course, and intermediate and advanced and graduate levels of that course, until we've learned the material, and then we can move on to the next course.  We are always taking several classes simultaneously, and some of us are carrying a very heavy course load.  When we at last learn to love everything there is--our spouse, our neighbor as ourself, ourself, our earth, life, and God--we've completed the currciculum.

Robert and Jane Alter, How Long Till My Soul Gets It Right? (HarperCollins, 2001, p. 209)

July 30, 2007:

Give me a man who is man enough to give himself just to the woman who has wed him.

Sienna Miller, playing Francesca Bruni in the movie Casanova

*******************************

My mother once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women's feet and asked for forgiveness.  This is true all over the world in the jungles of Mexico, in the back streets of Shang Hai, in New York cocktail bars, husbands are getting drunk while the women stay home with the babes of their ever darkening future.  If these men stop the machine and come home and get on their knees and ask for forgiveness and the women bless them, peace will suddenly descend on the earth with a greal silence like the inherent silence of the apocalypse.

Jack Kerouac,  in the original manuscript scroll of On the Road

********************************

     Women are like apples on trees.  The best ones are at the top of the tree.  Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt.  Instead they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy.  The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing.  They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.
      Now Men.  Men are like a fine wine.  They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the shit out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Sent in by a male reader with the comment, "Is this CLOSE?"

July 23, 2007:

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.  To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world: . . . He has endeavored in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life. . . . Resolved, that woman has too long rested satisfied in the circumscribed limits which corrupt customs and a perverted application of the Scriptures have marked out for her, and that it is time she should move in the enlarged sphere which her great Creator has assigned her.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions

July 16, 2007:

To keep your marriage brimming
with love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it,
Whenever you're right, shut up.

Ogden Nash

July 9, 2007:

   What a battle a man must fight everywhere to maintain his standing army of thoughts, and march with them in orderly array through the always hostile country!  How many enemies there are to sane thinking!

Henry David Thoreau, Letters to Harrison Blake

July 2, 2007:

  Of our care givers, and ourselves in care-giving roles, I think we expect, ideally at least, something resembling unconditional and unstinting love; the compassion and tenderness, in short, of a mother, a perfect mother.  Consciously we might know this is unrealistic, a child's fantasy of how life ought to be, but the expectation persists and shapes our behavior throughout life.  We are hurt when we do not meet it in others; we feel inadequate when we cannot muster it ourselves.
     The mystic's response . . . is that our dream is not impossible at all.  There is nothing infantile or unrealistic about it, for such unconditional love does exist. Our only error is in thinking we can extract it from someone else or dish it out
from ourselves in our present limited state.  The source of such love . . . is deep within; it is God's love, and once we have tapped into it, it can pass through us to others.

Carol Lee Flinders, Enduring Grace: Portraits of Seven Women Mystics

June 25 , 2007:

That which the person is and that which the person could be exist simultaneously.  The human being is simultaneously that which s/he is and that which s/he yearns to be.

Abraham Maslow

June 18 , 2007:

Only he who obeys can command.
         
The Vedas

No one can firmly command save he who has learned gladly to obey.
            Thomas a Kempis

June 11 , 2007:

    I thought about [my husband's] question, about the global phenomenon that had taken place probably beginning in the third millennium B.C.E., some kind of patriarchal revolution that spanned around 2500 years, during which there was a massive shift from female Goddess to male God.
     "She disappeared," I said. "In some cases she was conquered, sometimes violently by cultures worshiping a male sky God. Basically she went through a series of demotions, as the male God ascended, until finally she got demoted out of sight. Not only that, but her memory was maligned, distorted, and suppressed. She was hardly mentioned in history books."
     We walked on in silence.  I was thinking how her passage into oblivion had happened not only historically, but also deep within the psyches and consciousness of human beings.  With her disappearance came a sweeping demotion in women's status.  Concepts of female inferiority and subordination began to develop in earnest.

Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine

If God is male, then male is God.

Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women

June 4 , 2007:

Every person should stand for a force which is perfectly irresistible.

Henry David Thoreau

May 28, 2007:

Once a young woman asked me, "How does it feel to be a man?"
And I replied, "My dear, I am not so sure."
Then she said, "Well, aren't you a man?"
And this time I replied, "I view gender as a beautiful animal
that people often take for a walk on a leash
and might enter in some odd contest
to try to win strange prizes. My dear,
a better question for Hafiz would have been
'How does it feel to be a heart?'
For all I know is love,
and I find my heart infinite, and everywhere.
"

Hafiz

May 21, 2007:

We can begin to transcend the conventional polarities between right and left, capitalism and communism, religion and secularism, even masculinism and feminism.  All modern, post-enlightenment movements for social justice, as well as the more recent feminist, peace, and ecology movements, are part of an underlying thrust for the transformation of a dominator to a partnership system--part of our species' evolutionary thrust for survival.

Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade  

I understand the rising up of women in this century to be the human race's response to the threat of its own self-annihilation and the destruction of the planet.

Sally Miller Gearhart

May 14, 2007:

She was intensely sympathetic.  She was immensely charming.  She was utterly unselfish.  She excelled in the difficult arts of family life.  She sacrificed herself daily.  If there was chicken, she took the leg; if there was a draft, she sat in it--in short, she was so constituted that she never had a mind or wish of her own, but preferred to sympathize always with the minds and wishes of others. . . . I did my best to kill her.  My excuse, if I were to be had up in a court of law, would be that I acted in self-defense.  Had I not killed her, she would have killed me.

Virginia Woolf, "Professions for Women"  (quoted in Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

Quote of the WeekShare Your Experiences
Click here for larger image.
 
 
The latest book by Robert Alter
SWAMW
Sex with a Married Woman

May 7, 2007:

We cannot develop a sense of worth unless the people important to us convey that they recognize and acknowledge our experience.  Adults often do this for infants and children, of course.  If a child expresses distress, adults try to figure out what the matter is, and to respond.  Is the child afraid or tired or hungry?  Or, if a child is joyous or just 'hanging out,' they join the child in that mode or mood, and the child feels attended to and recognized.  This attention and recognition are just as vital for adults and must be present all through life.

Jean Baker Miller and Irene Pierce Stiver, The Healing Connection

April 30 ,2007:

Elders in tales and legends are always depicted as being temperate, wise, and gentle, even when others do wrong.  Why?  These elders perceive that gentleness is more beneficial than severity in helping others to grow and improve.

A Sage from India

April 23 ,2007:

Our love is kind of stalled, baby
But it ain't about the sex
I'd trade the roses and the negligees
If we could just connect.

Bonnie Raitt, "Meet Me Halfway"

April 16 ,2007:

     No face which we can give to a matter will stead us so well at last as the truth. This alone wears well.  For the most part, we are not where we are, but in a false position.  Through an infirmity of our natures, we suppose a case, and put ourselves into it, and hence are in two cases at the same time, and it is doubly difficult to get out.  In sane moments we regard only the facts, the case that is.  Say what you have to say, not what you ought.  Any truth is better than make-believe.  Tom Hyde, the tinker, standing on the gallows, was asked if he had anything to say. "Tell the tailors," said he, "to remember to make a knot in their thread before they take the first stitch."  His companion's prayer is forgotten.

Henry David Thoreau, "Conclusion,"  Walden

April 9 ,2007:

What is better than gold?
Jaspre.
What is bettre than jaspre?
Wisedoom.
And what is bettre than wisedoom?
Womman.
And what is bettre than a good womman?
Nothyng.

Geoffrey Chaucer

April 2 ,2007:

It happens all the time in heaven
and some day it will begin to happen again on earth:
That men and women who are married
and men and men who are lovers
and women and women who give each other light
often will get down on their knees
and while so tenderly holding their lover's hand
with tears in their eyes
will sincerely speak, saying, "My dear,
how can I be more loving to you, how can I be more
kind?

Hafiz

March 26,2007:

Cultures need to coax and trick soldiers into participating in combat--an extremely difficult challenge--and gender presents a handy means to do so by linking attainment of manhood to performance in battle.  In addition, cultures directly mold boys from an early age to suppress emotions in order to function more effectively in battle.  This system, supported in various ways by most women, produces men capable of fighting wars, but emotionally impaired.  The militarized masculinity of men who fight wars is reinforced by women's symbolic embodiment of "normal" life and by women's witnessing of male bravery.

Joshua S. Goldstein, War and Gender

March 19, 2007:

I am the woman who holds up the sky
The rainbow runs through my eyes
The sun makes a path to my womb
My thoughts are in the shape of clouds
But my words are yet to come.

A poem of the Ute Native Americans

March 12, 2007:

And when women do not need to live through their husbands and children, men will not fear the love and strength of women, nor need another's weakness to prove their own masculinity.  They can finally see each other as they are.  And this may be the next step in human evolution.

Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique

March 5, 2007:

The discovery now being celebrated by men in mid-life of the importance of intimacy, relationships, and care is something that women have known from the beginning.  [The women hold] the truth of an ethic of care, the tie between relationship and responsibility, and the origins of ag`gression in the failure of connection.

Carol Gilligan

February 26, 2007:

It is the most momentous question a woman is ever called upon to decide: Whether the faults of the man she loves are beyond remedy and will drop her down, or whether she is competent to be his earthly redeemer and lift him to her own level.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

February 19, 2007:

Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe.  Let her breasts satisfy thee at all times, and be thou ravished always with her love.  And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

Proverbs 5:18-20

February 12, 2007:

Masculinity is not in its essence abusive.  We have within us the innate potential to use our masculine power for blessing, stewardship, and servant leadership.

Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, The King Within

February 5, 2007:

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.  The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle.  Power concedes nothing without a demand.  It never did and it never will.

Frederick Douglas (1857), quoted in Howard Zinn, People's History of the United States

January 29, 2007:

One of the major tasks of manhood is to explore the unconscious feelings that surround our various images of WOMAN, to dispel false mystification, to dissolve the vague sense of threat and fear, and finally to learn to respect and love the strangeness of womankind......And these archetypical creatures--goddesses, bitches, angels, Madonnas, castrators, witches, Gypsy maidens, earth mothers--must be exorcised from our minds and hearts before we can learn to love women.  So long as our house is haunted by the ghost of WOMAN we can never live gracefully with any woman........Men are sunk deep in an unconscious relationship with a falsely mystified figure who is composed of unreal opposites: virgin-whore, nurturer-devouring mother, goddess-demon.

Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man

January 22, 2007:

In order to make America a more just and fair society, I would boil it down to the single greatest crisis.  If we don't address this issue, we really can't deal with the other issues.  And that primary, ciritical issue is a concept of what it means to be a man.  If we don't fix our understanding, and get some proper definition of masculinity and manhood, I don't think we can address other issues.

Joe Ehrmann, Season of Life

As movement overcomes the cold, and stillness, heat, the Wise Man, pure and still, will rectify the world.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

January 15, 2007:

This is the time of teaching.  What you teach at this time, through your every word and acting right now, will remain as indelible lessons in the hearts and minds of those whose lives you touch, both now, and for years to come.

The Dalai Lama

Our children are watching us, they put their trust in us, they're gonna be like us . . . It's okay for us to disagree, we can work it out lovingly . . .

The Dixie Chicks, "I Hope"

January 8, 2007:

Conflict is a necessity if women are to build for the future.....Conflict is inevitable, the source of all growth, and an absolute necessity if one is to be alive......Women are not creating conflict, they are exposing the fact that conflict exists......Conflict becomes more obvious when people try to do new things; they are breaking up old patterns........The best conflicts are those that lead to more and better connection rather than disconnection.

Jean Baker Miller, Toward a New Psychology of Women

January 1, 2007:

If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

Numbers 30:2

That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform.

Deuteronomy 23:23

It is most odious in God's sight that you should say one thing and do another.

Koran 61:1

December 25, 2006:

Jesus' teachings [are] that we must elevate "feminine virtues" from a secondary or supportive to a primary and central position.  We must not be violent but instead turn the other cheek; we must do unto others as we would have them do unto us; we must love our neighbors and even our enemies.  Instead of the "masculine virtues" of toughness, aggressiveness, and dominance, what we must value above all else are mutual responsibility, compassion, gentleness, and love.

Riane Eisler, THE CHALICE AND THE BLADE

December 18, 2006:

Withdraw into yourself and look.  And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: s/he cuts away here, smoothes there, s/he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has gown upon the work.  So do you also: Cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring to light all that is overcast, labor to make all one glow of beauty, and never cease chiseling your statue until there shall shine out on you from it the divine splendor of virtue, until you shall see the perfect goodness established in the stainless shrine.

Plotinus

December 11, 2006:

We know how rough the road will be, how heavy here the load will be, we know about the barricades that wait along the track; but we have set our soul ahead upon a certain goal ahead, and nothing left from hell to sky shall ever turn us back.

Vince Lombardi

December 4, 2006:

Don't make the same mistake as all those people who give up trying to change because they feel stuck in their habits. If you truly want to, and are willing to work hard enough, you can overcome them.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

A sage, when asked if it is very difficult to get rid of things like lust, anger, arrogance, and fear, replied, "If you really want to get rid of them, it is not very difficult.  If you really do not want to get rid of them, it is incredibly difficult."

Swami Muktananda

November 27, 2006:

Somebody says something to you that is rude or designed to hurt.  Instead of going into unconscious reaction and negativity, such as attack, defense, or withdrawal, you let it pass right through you.  Offer no resistance.  It is as if there is nobody there to get hurt anymore. . . . In this way you become invulnerable.  You can still tell that person his or her behavior is unacceptable, if that is what you choose to do.  But that person no longer has the power to control your inner state.  You are then in your power, not in someone else's.

Eckardt Tolle

November 20, 2006:

Married life develops so many points of contact between two souls that severance of all connection would mean the unsettlement and derangement of practically the whole tenor of life.  Since this difficulty of breaking away from one another invites and precipitates inner readjustment, marriage is really a disguised opportunity for the souls to establish a real and lasting understanding which can cope with the most complex and delicate situations.

Meher Baba

November 13, 2006:

The truth.  When I'm interested in a truth, it's really a truth truth.  One hundred percent truth.  And that's a terrible kind of truth to be interested in.

Lenny Bruce

November 6, 2006:

Like a bird which alights nowhere, but hops perpetually from bough to bough, is the Power which abides in no man and no woman, but for a moment speaks from this one, and for another moment from that one.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

October 29, 2006:

For he who is so tormented by carnal passion that he cannot embrace anyone in heartfelt love, but basely lusts after every woman he sees, is not called a lover but a counterfeiter of love and a pretender, and he is lower than a shameless dog. Indeed, the man who is so wanton that he cannot confine himself to the love of one woman deserves to be considered an ass.

Andreas Cappelanus, The Art of Courtly Love

October 22, 2006:

Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: The artist cuts away here, smoothes there, makes this line lighter, this other purer until a lovely face has grown upon the work. So do you also: Cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring to light all that is overcast, labor to make all one glow of beauty, and never cease chiseling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendor of virtue, until you shall see the perfect goodness established in the stainless shrine.

Plotinus

October 15, 2006:

When you offer your pure forgiveness, it does not replace the need for repentance to arise in the heart of the other person. True forgiveness is not like giving candy to a crying baby so that he will stop crying. Just because you are able to forgive someone does not obviate their need to confront their misdeeds. They must do their own inner work. Forgiveness is not putting a warm blanket over someone and saying, "It's okay. Really it's okay." No. Each person must go through the fire of repentance.

And repentance, understand, is not about sobbing like a wounded victim or tellng the whole world your sad story. Repentance is a deep--a very, very deep--contemplation. It is entering the sanctum sanctorum of your own soul, going deep inside where no one else has access but you and your own God. There is a place inside you that is pure, sacred, tranquil. Only you and your God can go there. . . . If your forgiveness prevents or short-circuits the other person's repentance, their deep contemplation, then it is not pure forgiveness. It is complicity. Of course, the one who forgives also has to give up something--the feeling of being victimized by the person who has done something harmful.

Swami Chidvilasananda

October 8, 2006:

Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means rather that the evil act is no longer a barrier to the relationship.

Martin Luther King Jr.

October 1, 2006:

True women's liberation does not mean seeking equality within a masculine world; it means liberating the divine feminine aspects of a woman's personality and using them for the benefit of all humankind. Women need to clamor for their rights because the world insists on it for its cosmic well-being.

A Jewish Rebbe

September 24, 2006:

What's a man created to do? He's created to be a son, a father, a husband, a brother, and so on. And all a man does, he lives into those relationships. So I'm going to measure my masculinity--and it's really about my humanity--based on how successful I am as a husband. If I blow it there, or if I blow it as a dad, nothing else really matters. All the power and prestige and possessions in the world will never make up for failed relationships.

Joe Ehrmann (ex-NFL football player--in the book Season of Life)

September 17, 2006:

So the crisis is not just about how we raise our children; it's about a hundred million people who look like adults, talk and dress like adults, but are actually adult children. These adult children run our schools, our religions,, and our government. They also create our familes.

John Bradshaw

September 10, 2006 :

The beaut y of the female body has been prostituted for the pleasure of men. Women have learned to value themselves in relation to men rather than in relation to their inner selves.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

September 3, 2006 :

Whatever you give, that's what you receive. Nothing else. This is a law of nature.

Swami Muktananda

July 31, 2006 :

Say little . . . Love much . . . Give all . . . Judge no one . . . Aspire to all that is pure and good . . . And keep on going.

A Sage

July 24, 2006 :

We are to live so that no harm or pain is caused by our thoughts, words, or deeds to any other being.

Patanjali

July 17, 2006 :

Women stay with, build on, and develop in a context of connnections with others. Indeed, women's sense of self becomes very much organized around being able to make and then to maintain affiliations and relationships. Eventually, for many women the threat of disruption of connections is perceived not as just a loss of a relationship but as something closer to a total loss of self.

Jean Baker Miller

July 10, 2006 :

Talking with one another is loving one another.

Kenyan love poem

July 3, 2006

Women feel deeply frustrated when they know they are not getting what they need--that is, to be listened to, understood, affirmed--yet feel guilty because they are not at all clear that it is reasonable to want something different from what they are getting.

The Stone Center

June 26, 2006:

Before the tongue can speak, it must have lost the power to wound.

Peace Pilgrim

June 19, 2006:

Bear in mind, Child, and never for an instant forget that there are higher planes, infinitely higher planes, of life than this thou art now traveling on. Know that the goal is distant, and upward, and is worthy of all your life's efforts to attain to.

Henry David Thoreau

And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.

Bob Dylan

June 12, 2006:

I will be the mere instrument of pleasure to no man. He must make a friend and companion of me, or he will lose me.

June 5, 2006:

Don't think it's easy to open the letter of the heart. Otherwise, everyone would readily discover the secret of the heart. How difficult it is to open that letter! It's only for the strong, not for those playing games.

Jalaluddin Rumi

May 29, 2006:

Within the form of every creature is a force impelling it to ascend to a higher form. .....Ralph Waldo Emerson.

A million million men, or twelve men, must crash the barrier to the next higher form.........Jean Toomer

May 22, 2006:

Of course I wish I'd found just one husband, also capable of redefinition, to make the whole journey with, but self-redefinition is harder for most men, especially since in a patriarchy they are not supposed to need it.

Jane Fonda

May 15, 2006:

Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.

Simone De Beauvoir

May 8, 2006:

After marriage all things change.
And one of them better be you.

        Elizabeth Hawes

May 1, 2006:

"No one can undergo violations of her own experience and longterm threats to connection without serious anger."
         Jean Baker-Miller

April 22, 2006:

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn't wine.
If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.


         Jalaluddin Rumi

April 17, 2006:

Ray: I'm sorry I've been such a jerk, and I promise not to be one anymore . . . if you'll help me.
Debra: [putting her wedding ring on] I will.
        Everybody Loves Raymond, "The Wedding, Part II"

April 11, 2006:

How beautiful maleness is, if it finds its right expression.
         D.H. Lawrence

March 27, 2006:

If you treat me fairly, I'll give you all my goods
Treat you like a real woman should...
        
Alicia Keys

March 20, 2006:

A million million men, or twelve men,
Must crash the barrier to the next higher form.

        Jean Toomer, “The Blue Meridian”

March 13, 2006:

The experience of the feminine is the psychological key to both the sickness of our time and its healing.
        Marion Woodman, Addiction to Perfection

March 6, 2006:

Perhaps what my husband or wife lacks, what my children lack, what my parents lack, is not clothes or food.  Perhaps they lack love—because I do not give it to them.       
        Mother Teresa