Aphorisms and Other Insights


A few diamonds from Subhan with a touch of whit!

Only by risking going too far can you find out how far you can go…

A simple, yet profound possibility: Be in agreement with nature.

I have found that identifying my habitual behavior is the first step to breaking the habitual pattern. For example, I am a very visual person and a while back I noticed how easy it was for me to get caught (and lost) in watching TV. That experience and the growing understanding that came from it led me to turn the TV off. I found that the less I watched it, the less I needed it. And that gave me a whole lot more room for life to happen!

Suggestion for Today: Praise as much as you judge or criticize today…

A heartfelt message for all of us: Find what makes your heart sing…and do it!

Want to eliminate about 58% of your anxiety? It’s simple: Just stop trying to change people – especially your spouse or partner…

Here is one of those statements that the mind can dismiss as ‘given’, but which really has depth and wisdom in it if it is understood: If you want peace, stop fighting…

Here’s something to reflect on (and act on?) today: Dare to stretch your giving and receiving to new levels! Every stretching gives us new understandings about ourselves…

photo by Sudheer

Isn’t it amazing how we take most things in life for granted?! For instance, when was the last time you thanked your heart for not taking a vacation? Or that time when you dropped something heavy and it missed your foot?

Be aware of advice based on someone’s fear. That includes our own inner voices that move us to act in a certain way – out of fear. I remember hearing Osho say: “Never act out of fear.” This has been a touchstone for me. It reminds me to check in and see if I am acting out of fear.

Experience tells me that a significant part of intelligence is to stop asking people for things they cannot give me.

Growing old is no big deal. Lots of people have done it. The trick is to grow up instead of grow old. That can be done at any time of life.

“Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it.” Anon
I like the breakdown…and when I add it up, it comes to 100% my response-ability!

A shift in my life happened when I really understood that the journey was my life and the goal was just a concept. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it this way: “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”

Have you ever noticed that many – if not most – shortcuts are not shorter? Another way of saying it is that the ‘longcut’ has a good chance of actually being the shortcut in the long run! When it is available, my awareness tells me which is which.

Have you ever noticed that nothing we call very bad or very good ever lasts too long? Another way of saying this is that “this too shall pass….”

What is the benefit of worry? How many things that we worry about actually happen? Put another way: “Worry is misuse of the imagination.” Anon

Today: rediscover your lover…

The quieter you become, the more you can hear…

photo by Sudheer

Here’s the way I have learned to resolve many situations that carry anxiety in them: Just begin…. Take a step in the direction of the situation or issue; because without this, the mind stays caught in circular thinking. And with a step, the circle is broken…

Ram Dass said something very strong – “Your problem is you are too busy holding on to your unworthiness.” You might want to inquire into the truthfulness of this for you! And if it’s true, then what keeps us holding on to a belief that we are unworthy?

“We find what we look for in this world.” Anon […So be aware of what you’re looking for!]

Many, many things happened to me between my birth and seven years of age that I have no memory of. But of course they are there, hidden away in my body and mind. And every day, in a thousand different ways, I can experience the result of these things. One thing I now know: it was much harder, more scary and painful, and had much more impact being a child than I previously remembered.

I have discovered that to one part of the mind, a good idea will almost always seem to be too risky. So the question is not how to convince that part that it isn’t so. Rather it is how to support the part of us that sees it as an adventure and wants to move in that direction.

I discovered that the quality of my life is directly proportionate to the amount of “have to’s” and “want to’s” in my life. The more things I want to do, the more joy; the more I have to do, the more pain. You can write down all the things that need doing and experience which category they’re in. And if you can’t avoid the “have to” thing, perhaps you can choose to want to do it instead!

A good lesson I am continually learning is to look where the energy is when someone wants me to do something. Is it my energy to do it? Or is it the person’s energy? If it’s not mine, I’m more able to say no to it because I’ve learned that if I don’t, I usually don’t have my heart in it and I resent doing it.

When I think about something, it can become ‘about’ and ‘about’. Round and round, and never getting anywhere. I’ve discovered that the way out of this circle is to make a decision – any decision – and then, just begin! This can be so exhilarating! And it has often changed my life in ways that are unimaginable!

At times I look at the ‘useful’ things I have, like pens, kitchenware, clothes, etc.; and I ask myself if I am really enjoying them. If not, I look for new ones that I enjoy. After many years, I now have a ‘core’ group of things that I enjoy. I still find myself accumulating unaesthetic things – like ball point pens! – which I get rid of. It feels wonderful to surround myself with things that I genuinely enjoy using!

I have heard that everything is sacred, and I have even had moments where the truth of that swallowed me up for a moment or two. To remind me of this experience, I have what I call a sacred space in our house, where the rest of the world disappears and stillness comes out of its hiding place…

When I catch myself creating an expectation of what should happen, I sometimes remember something that tends to put it all in perspective. That is: that the sun will set without my assistance, and the weather will be what it is, regardless of how I want and expect it to be otherwise…! (That is especially true in Seattle!)

photo by Sudheer

In those sudden, unexpected moments, I am flooded with something I call love. It overwhelms me… and brings the feeling of having come back home and tears to my eyes. And then, like a thief, it disappears out the back door and into the night. I’ve looked everywhere for it; and when I get exhausted, it sometimes sneaks back in. Now I know, I can only set the table, turn the porch light on, and wait for its return…

In my 30’s I decided to “grow.” Little did I know what I was in for! “Growth means being in constant communion with existence, being nude with existence, hiding nothing, keeping no secret, remaining available and vulnerable, remaining open to all kinds of risks and dangers. Only then does growth happen.” Osho
I am forever grateful that Osho prodded me in this direction!

I read a funny quote: “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” So the only way to have everything is to… be everything! And if/when that happens, there won’t be a ‘you’ to have anything. It’s like we are people made of salt, and as we walk into the ocean, we disappear into it and become the ocean…

We have forgotten that the earth was here before humans ever existed…and it did perfectly well without us! In fact it flourished until we arrived…. “If all the insects on earth disappeared, within 50 years all life on earth would disappear. If all humans disappeared, within 50 years all species would flourish as never before.” Jonas Salk

In the past, I became aware of a ‘pecking order’ where it was easier for me to express frustration or displeasure with those I felt were in a ‘weaker position’ than me. My learning has led me to express myself in whatever situation I’m in, regardless of who the ‘other’ is. That’s given me the freedom to find what is real inside, instead of letting the outside dictate what I say or do.

One of the most significant insights to ever hit me was this: Everything – and I do mean everything! – that I have…is borrowed! (That includes my body….) When I’m aware of this, I don’t hold on to things and experiences nearly so much, and my gratefulness breaks through.

Life is a big canvas, so paint away… to your heart’s content!

Meditation has given me the ability to watch the judgments, worries, fears, pettiness and arrogance of the mind. From a distance, they are seen for what they are – as temporary, habitual thoughts that pass through like clouds. And the more they are witnessed, the less power they have. What a blessing that is….


SubhanSubhan took sannyas in 1979, lived on the Ranch for four years, and spent many years in Poona from 1979-1997. He co-founded the Osho Marketplace Network in Poona, and facilitated several groups there, including: Finding the Work You Love, Finding the Life You Love, and Transforming Tension. He sang and played keyboard in Oregon and in Poona. He was a lawyer at the Ranch and is now a certified counselor and Meditation facilitator in Seattle. worldofmeditation.com


Photos by Sudheer – reproduced with permission – www.michaelsudheer.com

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