Friday, May 22, 2015


Life and death are of supreme importance. 
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. 
Each of us should strive to awaken. 

Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.

~ Dogen

Thursday, May 21, 2015

First Sip

Hello, my friends in First Sip! I want to thank you so much for joining me each day to contemplate a small dose of great wisdom. It means so much to me to have so many kindred spirits sharing this adventure with me.

I've been investigating ways to share some of these wonderful passages in a more lasting, real-life, bookish way. I've been stymied, though, by the prospect of seeking permissions from the many different sources that would be required. In the meantime, I hope you'll use the site as I do, not just taking in each day's quote, but using the search function to seek out poems and passages that might suit a particular mood or exploration you have in mind. Seeking inspiration? Search on "breath" or "love" or "happiness" or "mindful." Looking for a particular poet? Search on Mary Oliver or Wendell Berry or Rumi, and see what you might find. There are almost 1,500 quotes here to explore!

Many of you know that in addition to collecting quotes, I also study and teach yoga and meditation. I want to invite you to join me on a new adventure I've been working on this spring called Presence: A 30-Day Meditation Immersion. I've used many of the wise words found in First Sip to help me craft an online exploration for new and experienced meditators hoping to cultivate a clear mind and an open heart. The immersion, which is offered online, begins June 1. I've posted a bit more about the course, as well as information about how to enroll, here. I hope you'll consider joining me.

And, of course, I look forward to many more First Sips ahead. The world is full of beautiful and inspiring words, and I can't wait to see what gems we discover together next.


You are whole and also part of 
larger and larger circles of wholeness
you many not even know about.
You are never alone.

And you already belong.
You belong to humanity.
You belong to life.
You belong to this moment, this breath.

~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Impermanence is both a process of continual loss,
in which things exist and then disappear.
And it is also a process of continuous rebirth or creativity,
in which things that do not exist suddenly appear.

~ Joseph Goldstein

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Waking Up

Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. 

You know - all mystics - Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion - are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.

~ Anthony De Mello

Monday, May 18, 2015

Listen To Your Life

If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything
I was trying to say, it would be something like this: Listen to your life.
See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.

In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness:
touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it
because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

~ Frederick Buechner

Friday, May 15, 2015


People think I'm disciplined. 
It is not discipline. It is devotion. 
There is a great difference. 

~ Luciano Pavarotti