Monthly Archives: October 2013

Callings by Gregg Levoy

” I define a calling as any urging, prompting or imperative from the deep self that tells you the course correction to make in your life in order to keep aligned with your purpose and passion. But, by definition, a calling is also a challenge, an adversity, in the sense that it’s a messenger calling you to change or awaken in your life. This calling is a challenge, because most of us are conservatives when it comes to change. We generally want to preserve the status quo, to protect our investments – whether they are investments in a job, in a relationship, or in the beliefs we have about ourselves. A calling just comes and tips over the apple cart. “



It is strange that men will talk of miracles, revelations, inspirations, and the like, as though past, while love remains.

When an early twilight ushered in a long evening in which many thoughts had time to take root and unfold themselves.

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names…..Love your life, poor as it is.

The poet is a man who lives at last by watching his moods. An old poet comes at last to watch his moods as narrowly as a cat does a mouse.

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies, and so a man.

What a man thinks of himself….determine. or rather indicates his fate.

You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one.

Let your capital be simplicity and contentment.

None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life, but from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty.

Kindness to children, love for children, goodness to children — these are the only investments that never fail.

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

Denise Levertov

Variation on a Theme by Rilke
Denise Levertov

A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me–a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day’s blow
rang out, metallic–or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.


The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.

The inside always manifests itself on the outside.

I hear and forget. I see and remember. I do and I understand.

When good is in danger, only a coward would not defend it.

You can deprive an army of its commanders, but you can never deprive a man of his will.

Honour your Father and Mother. Be noble in your work. Be loyal and honest to your friends. Never, and nowhere, can these laws be broken.

It is difficult not to complain when one is poor, but easy to be humble when rich.

Be correct yourself, before you correct others.

A great man is hard on himself. A small man is hard on others.

I have seen people drown and burn, but I have never seen anyone harmed by doing what is right.

The man who, in the view of gain thinks of righteousness, who in the view of danger is prepared to give up his life, and who does not forget an old agreement however far back it extends, such a man may be reckoned a complete man.

The gentleman first practices what he preaches and then preaches what he practices.

Do not worry if others do not understand you. Worry if you do not understand them.

If I give a student one corner of a subject and he cannot find the other three, the lesson is not worth teaching.

Going too far is as wrong as falling short.

In ascent or descent there is no fixed rule, except that one must do no evil.

If there be righteousness in the heart,
There will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
There will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
There will be order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world

An inconvenience is an unrecognized opportunity.

Zigong asked: ” Is there any single word that could guide one’s entire life? ” The master replied: ” Should it nor be reciprocity? What you do not wish for yourself, not do to others.”
The more a man knows, the more he forgives.

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.


After Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher and teacher died in 479 BC his many beliefs and thoughts were collated and titled THE ANALECTS. This work, although small in volume, contains profound wisdom which is still a source of inspiration for us today. Below is a selection from that work…..

If I give a student one corner of a subject and he cannot find the other three, the lesson is not worth teaching.

The Master said: ” At fifteen I set my heart on learning, at thirty I took my stand, at forty I came to be free from doubt, at fifty I understood the Decree of Heaven, at sixty my ear was attuned, at seventy I followed my heart’s desire without overstepping the line.”

Some seeds sprout but never bloom. Some bloom but never bear fruit.

Great things have no fear of time.

Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Do not worry if others do not understand you. Worry if you do not understand them.

The nature of people is always the same; it is their habits that separate them.

The master said: ” Not to mend one’s ways when one has erred, is to err indeed.”

The master said: ” When faced with the opportunity to practice benevolence
do not give precedence even to your teacher.”

The master said: ” If, on examining himself, a man finds nothing to reproach himself for, what worries and fears can he have? ”

The master said: ” The Odes are three hundred in number. They can be summed up in one phrase…..Swerving not from the right path.”

The master said: ” Yu, shall I tell you what it is to know? To say you know when you know, and to say you do not when you do not, that is knowledge.”

The master said; ” In his errors a man is true to type. Observe the errors and you will understand the man.”

The master said: ” He has not lived in vain who dies the day he discovers the Way.”

The master said: ” The gentleman understands what is moral, the small man understands what is profitable.”

The master said: ” The gentleman desires to be halting in speech but quick in action.”

The master said: ” Virtue never stands alone. It is bound to have neighbours.”

The master said: ” Make it your guiding principle to do your best for others and to be trustwothy in what you say. Do not accept as your friend anyone who is not as good as you.”

The master said: ” Men are close to one another by nature. They diverge as a result of repeated practice.”

What is past is beyond help.
What is to come is not yet lost.

Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action.Twice would have been quite enough