Becoming a Good Person

"Memorize a passage on kindness, on goodness, and then drive it inward every day, deeper and deeper into consciousness. If you persist, you will become that kind, good person on which you meditate; it cannot fail."
Original Goodness: Eknath Easwaran on the Beatitudes

A Formula for Abiding Joy

"Rama, Gandhi's mantram, is a formula for abiding joy. Gandhi used to walk for miles every day repeating it to himself until the rhythm of the mantram and his footsteps began to stabilize the rhythm of his breathing, which is closely connected with the rhythm of the mind. When fear or anger threatened him, clinging to Rama used the power of these emotions to drive this formula for joy deep into Gandhi's mind.

"Gandhi said: 'The mantram becomes one's staff of life and carries one through every ordeal.' "
Gandhi The Man: The Story of His Transformation

The Gift of Irritation

"If you find somebody irritating, don't avoid that person: you would be missing a precious educational opportunity. Being with people is an essential part of the course. Most of us, when we see someone exasperating coming up our front steps, want to get into the closet, pull an overcoat in front of us, and call out, 'There's no one home!' If you really want to learn patience, however, you will say, 'Great! This is Lesson 10 in the course,' and open the door."
Love Never Faileth: On St. Francis, St. Paul, St. Augustine, and Mother Teresa

A Habit of Hostility

"Millions of people get angry every day over trifles; when this goes on and on, the mind develops a disposition for anger. It doesn't really need a reason to lose its temper; anger is its chronic state. But we should never look on angry people as inherently angry. They are simply people whose minds have been conditioned to get angry, usually because they cannot get their own way. Instead of benevolence they have developed a habit of hostility."
Original Goodness: Eknath Easwaran on the Beatitudes

Kindred Feeling

"I have come to have an all-consuming passion for every creature on earth: for all countries, all races, all animals. My appeals to help save the elephants in Africa, in danger of extinction from poaching because of consumer demand for ivory, is a natural art of the unitive vision. It is said of Margery Kempe, an English mystic of the fourteenth century, that 'if she saw a man with a wound, or a beast, or if a man beat a child before her, or smote a horse with a whip, she saw our Lord being beaten or wounded.' Sri Ramakrisha, one of the greatest of India's mystics, used to feel such wounds on his own body."
Original Goodness: Eknath Easwaran on the Beatitudes

Like a Coconut Tree

"I began to remember something my Granny had often told me: 'In your life, try to be like the coconut tree.'

"Indeed, the coconut tree is a perfect symbol for the aspirations of a trustee. Every part of the tree is useful and beneficial. Coconut palms grow tall all over my native state of Kerala, and in the years of my childhood they provided us with everything from shelter to food: the branches were used for building roofs, the trunk for pillars, the roots for medicines, the water inside for drinking, the oil for cooking, the fruit for eating, the shell to make ladles and bowls, and the fiber for rope."
The Compassionate Universe: The Power of the Individual to Heal the Environment

Love Notes

" 'If your heart were sincere and upright,' says Thomas a Kempis, 'every creature would be unto you a looking-glass of life and a book of holy doctrine.' . . .

"The Lord has left us love notes, wondrous billets doux, scattered extravagantly across creation. Hidden in the eye of the tiger, the wet muzzle of the calf, the delicacy of the violet, and the perfect curve of the elephant's tusk is a very personal, priceless message: 'God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.' "
Original Goodness: Eknath Easwaran on the Beatitudes

One Purpose

"The mystics tell us that we are born for one purpose: to expand our awareness until we see everyone on the face of the earth as our very own, our kith and kin."
Original Goodness: Eknath Easwaran on the Beatitudes

Regard Everybody as Yourself

"Seen from the aspect of eternity, each of us is but a mode of one infinite reality that dwells in the heart of every finite creature. When you are always aware of this deep, underlying unity, how can you be upset by apparent differences? Who can make you feel threatened or insecure? The message of all great religions is the same: Regard everybody as yourself because everybody is you. Whatever others may say or do, you will know that the Lord lives in them, and you will always treat them accordingly."
Original Goodness: Eknath Easwaran on the Beatitudes

Remember the Ninety-Nine Kindnesses

"If somebody is kind to us ninety-nine times and then does one hurtful thing, we are likely to forget the ninety-nine good things and remember the one bad thing. . . .

"This is not to say that we should close our eyes when someone is unkind to us. But if we can turn our attention away from that one act of unkindness and turn it to all the kindnesses we have received down the years, the incident will fall into its proper place.
Words To Live By: A Daily Guide to Leading an Exceptional Life

A Tremendous Opportunity

"If we have a particular weakness, life has an uncanny way of trying us at just that vulnerable spot. The man who is anger-prone finds himself forced to work with aggravating people. The woman who can't resist sweets can find no job but one as a pastry cook.

"This can seem like sheer perversity on a cosmic scale, until we catch sight of the tremendous opportunity it provides. Between our inner need for growth and our external circumstances, a kind of dovetailing can often be detected. There almost seems to be a master hand behind it all, thrusting us time and time again into the same frustrating situation until finally we relent: 'All right, you win — I'll grow if you insist!' This is all that is really expected of us. Once we have made the firm resolve to get ourselves out of the old trap, we will be amazed how quickly our circumstances begin to change, how quickly new opportunities open up for us."
Words To Live By: A Daily Guide to Leading an Exceptional Life

The Value of Criticism

"Being intolerant of other views, Mahatma Gandhi used to say, is a sign that we don't have enough faith in our own. To get agitated and angry when opposed shows a certain insecurity. If we really believe what we believe, we will not be shaken when someone challenges us.

"Gandhi was an excellent example of this. It is said that he was at his best when he was criticized; it made him even more respectful and compassionate, and made him reach deeper into himself and find new ways of answering."
Original Goodness: Eknath Easwaran on the Beatitudes

Read more quotations by Eknath Easwaran.