Quote Collection

This is the collection of quotes that form Contemplative Interbeing’s “Random Quote” on the right of our webpage.

 
We would like to include your favorite Contemplative or Interbeing quote. Please send us your favorite quotes. Thank you.

Material and infinite are inseparable
Appreciating their interconnectedness
is the gateway to understanding

— Lao Tzu

I am you and you are me; it is obvious we inter-are.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

The insight of inter-being will help remove discrimination, fear, and the dualistic way of thinking. We inter-are — even suffering and happiness inter-are — and that is why the insight of inter-being is the foundation of any kind of action that can bring peace and brotherhood, and help remove violence and despair. That insight is present in every great spiritual tradition. We need only to go home to our own tradition, and try to reveal that, to revive that.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.

— Thich Naht Hanh

Our full presence brings about the full presence of life, of the environment. What I would like to say here is that our mind and our body inter-are, they do not exist separately as two entities. The first fact we would like to make is to look deeply into the nature of our body and of our mind. We’ll find out that their nature is the nature of inter-being. The mind cannot be there without body and the body cannot be there without mind…

— Thich Nhat Hahn

Contemplatives invite consciousness, attend, and grow in ways that are not just conscious.

— Rev Linda Hurley

The happiness and suffering of all humans and all other species is our own happiness and suffering. We inter-are. As practitioners we see we are part of and not separate from the whole of human civilization. As human beings we see that we are children of the Earth and not separate from the soil, the forests, rivers and sky. We share the same destiny.

— Thich Nhat Hahn

The only way to get rid of misconceptions about contemplation is to experience it.

— Thomas Merton

Only love can bring individual beings to their perfect completion as individuals, because only love takes possession of them and unites them by what lies deepest within them.

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.

— Wayne Dyer

What a man takes in by contemplation, that he pours out in love.

— Meister Eckhart

What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.

— Meister Eckhart

Contemplation is an alternative consciousness that refuses to identify with or feed what are only passing shows. It is the absolute opposite of addiction, consumerism or any egoic consciousness.

— Richard Rohr

If we know the divine art of concentration, if we know the divine art of meditation, if we know the divine art of contemplation, easily and consciously we can unite the inner world and the outer world.

— Sri Chinmoy

The man who fears to be alone will never be anything but lonely, no matter how much he may surround himself with people. But the man who learns, in solitude and recollection, to be at peace with his own loneliness, and to prefer its reality to the illusion of merely natural companionship, comes to know the invisible companionship of God. Such a one is alone with God in all places, and he alone truly enjoys the companionship of other men, because he loves them in God in Whom their presence is not tiresome, and because of Whom his own love for them can never know satiety.

— Thomas Merton

What distinguishes – in both senses of that word – contemplation is rather this: it is a knowing which is inspired by love. “Without love there would be no contemplation.” Contemplation is a loving attainment of awareness. It is intuition of the beloved object.

— Josef Pieper

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-“ with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Love is a nondualistic experience…Love is neither equality nor otherness, neither one nor two.

— Raimon Panikkar

Within contemplation, you stand under an immense waterfall of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness.

— Richard Rohr

Contemplation does not defeat the soul; moralism (read “perfectionism”) always does. Contemplation invites humanity forward; moralism excludes and condemns itself and most others.

— Richard Rohr

Come now, noble souls, and take a look at the splendor you are carrying within yourselves! But if you do not let go of yourself completely, if you do not drown yourself in this bottomless sea of the Godhead, you cannot get to know this divine light.

— Meister Eckhart

Enthusiasm is a power that can give dreams to the dreamless, life to the lifeless, and hope to the hopeless.

— Ravi V. Melwani

Silent prayer: it’s not something you ‘do’ (like a task or a chore). It is something you ‘allow.’ Give yourself the gift of regular silence.

— Carl McColman

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposite ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

Contemplation helps us to rest in God’s love; as we gradually take on the likeness of love, we will see love over there too. What you see is what you are.

— Richard Rohr

Virtually every spiritual tradition that holds a vision of human transformation at its heart also claims that a practice of intentional silence is non negotiable. You just have to do it. Whether it be the meditation of the yogic and the Buddhist traditions, the zikr of the Sufis, the devekut of mystical Judaism, or the contemplative prayer of the Christians, there is a universal affirmation that this form of spiritual practice is essential to spiritual awakening.

— Cynthia Bourgeault

The most important thing you can do for your contemplative teaching is to deepen your own practice.

— Arthur Zajonc

The source of love is deep within us, and we can help others realize a lot of happiness…if love is in our heart, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle. Because understanding is the very foundation of love, words and actions that emerge from our love are always helpful.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

This present moment, since it knows neither past nor future, is itself timeless, and that which is timeless is Eternal. Thus the eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.

— Ken Wilber

Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.

— Frederick Buechner

At any moment the fully present mind can shatter time and burst into Now.

— David Steindl-Rast

Wintz says, “We are a part of the Creation, not apart from it.” To love something is to be present to its inmost core and dignity. That might well be a definition of contemplation.

— Richard Rohr

CONTEMPLATION: A form of wordless prayer in which mind and heart focus on God’s greatness and goodness in affective, loving adoration; to look on Jesus and the mysteries of his life with faith and love.

— Catholic Catechism

The combination of observation along with love—without resistance, judgment, analysis, or labeling—is probably the best description of contemplation I can give. You simply participate in “a long, loving look at the Real.”

— Richard Rohr

We are built for contemplation. Communion with God in the silence of the heart is a God-given capacity, like the rhododendron’s capacity to flower, the fledgling’s for flight, and the child’s for self-forgetful abandon and joy. If the grace of God that suffuses and simplifies the vital generosity of our lives does not consummate this capacity while we live, then the very arms of God that embrace us as we enter the transforming mystery of death will surely do so. This self-giving God, the Being of our being, the Life of our life, has joined to Himself two givens of human life: we are built to commune with God and we will all meet death.

— Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation

What we plant in the soil of contemplation we shall reap in the harvest of action.

— Meister Eckhart

Contemplative spirituality integrates the mysteries of our faith with spiritual practice, so that we can embody that which we believe.

— Phileena Heuertz

While philosophers tend toward universals and poets love particulars, mystics and contemplative practice teach us how to encompass both.

— Richard Rohr

InterSpirituality – the sharing of spiritual resources across traditions in a willingness to touch and taste the mystical depth in another tradition; not a synthesis of existing religions or new religion

Contemplation is learning how to* abide in* and *with* the Witnessing Presence planted within you…

— Fr Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance

Contemplation is training you to see the overlooked wholeness in all things.

— Fr Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance

The positive, loving, and non-argumentative savoring of the moment is called contemplation.

— Richard Rohr, Divine Dance

Contemplation hastens the evolution of the human species. Whoever finds this out and practices it will hasten the evolutionary future of the human family.

— Thomas Keating

If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you,
then I am I and you are you.
But, if I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I,
then I am not I and you are not you.

— R’Mendel of Kotzk known as the Kotzker Rebbe

To be a contemplative means to look at reality with much wider eyes than mere usability, functionality, or self-interest; it is to experience inherent enjoyment for a thing in itself, as itself, and even by itself.

— Richard Rohr

What is the relation of [contemplation] to action? Simply this. He [or she] who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love will not have anything to give others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas. There is nothing more tragic in the modern world than the misuse of power and action. . . .

— Thomas Merton

Contemplation is deepening our self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love.

— Thomas Merton

Greatly ought we to rejoice that God dwells in our soul; and more greatly ought we to rejoice that our soul dwells in God. Our soul is created to be God’s dwelling place, and the dwelling of our soul is God. . . . [This is what some call inter-being.]

— Julian of Norwich

Contemplation is giving one’s self to Love by resting in the presence of Love so that one may experience a taste of Love and become Love in the presence of others and one’s Self. That is, ‘Love God…Love your neighbor as yourself.’

— Rev Robert Ferrell

Infused contemplation is a divinely given, general, nonconceptual, loving awareness of God.

— Thomas Dubay

Christian contemplation is never simply meditation on something but is necessarily the deepening of relationship with Someone.

— Vincent Pizzuto

[Contemplation] is very far from being just one kind of thing that Christians do: it is the key to prayer, liturgy, art and ethics, the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world and other subjects in the world with freedom—freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that come from them. To put it boldly, contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit. To learn contemplative prayer is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly. It is a deeply revolutionary matter.

— Rowan Williams

Contemplation has been well-described as “a long, loving look at the Real.” Contemplata in Latin means to gaze at something eagerly or with intense interest. You gradually learn to hold everything—attractive and non-attractive alike—together in one accepting gaze. This is divine seeing. Contemplation is another word for prayer, a kind of prayer that doesn’t seek to fix, control, or explain but surrenders to Presence and synthesizes the full reality.

— Richard Rohr

Contemplation nips negativity, hatred, and violence in the bud. It begins by retraining your initial thoughts, because if you let the mind operate in a paranoid, angry, and resentful way, you aren’t going to get very far. You’re not going to see clearly. At the same time, if you spend your time only in contemplation without moving toward positive engagement, you end up with what many call spiritual constipation. I am afraid it is quite common.

— Richard Rohr

Contemplation (and mysticism) are not about “experience” but rather point to a transfigured consciousness which enables us to love as God loves and to bring God’s presence to the world.

— Carl McColman

To enter into the realm of contemplation, one must in a certain sense die: but this death is in fact the entrance into a higher life. It is a death for the sake of life, which leaves behind all that we can know or treasure as life, as thought, as experience, as joy, as being. Every form of intuition and experience die to be born again on a higher level of life.

— Thomas Merton

The contemplative mind can see things in their depth and in their wholeness instead of just in parts. The binary mind, so good for rational thinking, finds itself totally out of its league in dealing with things like love, death, suffering, infinity, God, sexuality, or mystery in general.

— Richard Rohr

Contemplation is nothing else but a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which, if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love.

— St. John of the Cross

Contemplation is beyond the normal consciousness of the mind, granting access to the mystery, known only by love. Here, the normal activities of the human personality come to rest, in order to hear what has remained unheard and to see what has been hidden or veiled.

— Beverly Lanzetta

Contemplation is very far from being just one kind of thing that Christians do: it is the key to prayer, liturgy, art and ethics, the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world and other subjects in the world with freedom—freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that comes from them. To put it boldly, contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit. To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly. It is a deeply revolutionary matter. [Contemplation is a stance that makes prayer possible.]

— Rowan Williams

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