Meditation is the practice of focusing attention on a particular thought or object for a period of time. It involves letting go of internal thoughts. It can involve breathing exercises, visualization, and other techniques to help you stay in the present moment. Meditation is part of some religious and spiritual traditions, and is also practiced for more secular purposes of emotional and physical health and relief of stress.

Each time you focus on your breath, each time you relax and listen to your feelings, you open yourself to the present.

— Yoga Journal

I find working with glass meditative, almost therapeutic. I can leave the world behind, and focus… The simplicity of form, the drama of rich, intense colour, the joy of challenge, and the challenge of endurance… The piece, when it is over, is not what is made, but how it is made.

— Andrew Kuntz

Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us.

— Bill W.

Swimming is the trifecta for me—exercise, meditation, and alone time. When I’m swimming laps you can’t call me or talk to me, it’s just me and the black stripe. The only thing that can ruin a swim is when I shift my attention from my lane to what’s happening in the lanes next to me. It’s embarrassing, but if I’m not paying attention, I can catch myself racing the person next to me, or comparing our strokes, or figuring out who has the best workout set. When I go into comparison, I completely lose the meditation and alone time I need. And I once hurt my shoulder trying to race a twentysomething triathlete in the next lane.

— Brené Brown

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows, like a shadow that never leaves.

— Buddha, The Dhammapada

Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form.

— Buddha

Meditation is applying mindfulness without feelings of being hurried or under pressure.

— Christopher Titmuss

To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.

— Chuang-tsu

Mindfulness is both a state of being and a daily spiritual practice, a form of meditation.

— David Richo

Compassion will no longer be seen as a spiritual luxury for a contemplative few; rather it will be viewed as a social necessity for the entire human family.

— Duane Elgin

Meditation is not an end in itself; it is merely one component of a larger process of spiritual unfoldment, and is deeply effected by and influential upon our daily interactions with others.

— Edward Bastian

To meditate is to intentionally develop a finely honed consciousness that is tranquil, focused, refined, and open to the infinite depths (and heights) of our most profound potentiality.

— Edward Bastian

The practice of meditation is not really about establishing inner stillness… The moments of stillness are one of meditation’s byproducts, not the practice itself.

— Erik Walker Wikstrom

There are certain ways in which I cultivate awareness, both through mindful yoga and taking care of my body and taking time to actually drop as deeply as possible into stillness, into whatever is unfolding in the present moment.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

There are certain ways in which I cultivate awareness, both through mindful yoga and taking care of my body and taking time to actually drop as deeply as possible into stillness, into whatever is unfolding in the present moment.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else’s. So the path has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else’s journey and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor your uniqueness in this way?

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

If you think of your body as a musical instrument, the body scan is a way of tuning it.
If you think of it as a universe, the body scan is a way to come to know it.
If you think of your body as a house, the body scan is a way to throw open all the windows
and doors and let the fresh air of awareness sweep it clean.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing something about who that is. It is about coming to realize that you are on a path whether you like it or not, namely, the path that is your life. Meditation may help us see that this path we call our life has direction; that it is always unfolding, moment by moment; and that what happens now, in this moment, influences what happens next.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are

Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally… in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret, cravings, frustration, fatigue. Let go of the need for approval. Let go of old judgments and opinions. Die to all that, and fly free. Soar in the freedom of desirelessness. Let go. Let Be. See through everything and be free, complete, luminous, at home — at ease.

— Lama Surya Das

He who does not observe the movements of his own mind must of necessity be unhappy.

— Marcus Aurelius

The kind of spirituality I value is one in which you get great joy out of contributing to life, not just sitting and meditating, although meditation is certainly valuable. But from the meditation, from the resulting consciousness, I would like to see people in action creating the world that they want to live in.

— Marshall Rosenberg

Peace is an invitation to breathe deep, right here, in the uncertainty.

— Morgan Harper Nichols

When negative mental tendencies arise, contemplate their opposites.

— Patanjali

We should so provide for old age that it may have no urgent wants of this world to absorb it from meditation on the next.

— Pearl S. Buck

Acknowledge whatever arises without judgment, let the thoughts simply dissolve, and then go back to the openness of this very moment.

— Pema Chödrön

Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.

— Pema Chödrön

When egolessness arises, we recognize it as a fresh moment, a clear perception of a smell or a sight or a sound, a feeling of opening to emotions or thoughts.

— Pema Chödrön

Working with our mind is the only means through which we’ll actually begin to feel happy and contented with the world that we live in.

— Pema Chödrön

The range of what we think and do
Is limited by what we fail to notice
And because we fail to notice
There is little we can do
To change
Until we notice
How failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds.

— R.D. Laing

Spirituality exists wherever we struggle with the issue of how our lives fit into the greater cosmic scheme of things. This is true even when our questions never give way to specific answers or give rise to specific practices such as prayer or meditation. We encounter spiritual issues every time we wonder where the universe comes from, why we are here, or what happens when we die. We also become spiritual when we become moved by values such as beauty, love, or creativity that seem to reveal a meaning or power beyond our visible world. An idea or practice is ‘spiritual’ when it reveals our personal desire to establish a felt-relationship with the deepest meanings or powers governing life.

— Robert C. Fuller

Let your eyes relax and rest. Feel the relaxation enveloping your entire body. Become aware of the steady, slow beating of your heart and of your breath as it flows in and out.

— Robert F. Allen

A key to developing the capacity for inner awareness is the ability to differentiate felt energy in the body from thought, stories or interpretations. This ability to differentiate brings a more open, free inner space so we can more readily feel our authentic experience.

— Robert Gonzalez

Stop trying to distinguish the joy of meditation from the messiness of life. Begin to see the divine in everything. She is in the joy just as much as the misery.

— Rod Stryker

If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently… And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.

— Saint Francis de Sales

Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference — in our own lives and those of others.

— Sharon Salzberg

We are uncomfortable because everything in our life keeps changing — our inner moods, our bodies, our work, the people we love, the world we live in. We can’t hold on to anything — a beautiful sunset, a sweet taste, an intimate moment with a lover, our very existence as the body/mind we call self — because all things come and go. Lacking any permanent satisfaction, we continuously need another injection of fuel, stimulation, reassurance from loved ones, medicine, exercise, and meditation. We are continually driven to become something more, to experience something else.

— Tara Brach

Meditation has taught me to be in the present moment and observe the present moment at the same time. Just breathe, follow your breath, and your intuition can take you from there.

— Tara Stiles

Sleep is the best meditation.

— Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.

— Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

You who are journalists, writers, citizens, you have the right and duty to say to those you have elected that they must practice mindfulness, calm and deep listening, and loving speech. This is universal thing, taught by all religions.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

— William Henry Davies, “Leisure” in Songs of Joy and Others, 1911

These alternate forms of consciousness might in spite of all the perplexity, be indispensable stages in our approach to the final fullness of the truth.

— William James
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