Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
 
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit

Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
While Dr. Friedman is no longer with us, there are still many helpful resources on his site. Articles and resource links have been relocated to the top. His family hopes you might find them helpful. But since this site is no longer being updated, some links may no longer work.

 


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Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)

Categorized by Process | Topic

From His Book | Meditations For Life | The Flow of Money, Business and Innovation | Transpersonal/Mind-Body | Approaches, Worldview and Will-isms

Skills For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | Feeling, Thought, Communication & Action

Strategies/Distinctions For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free

Awakening Stories/Metaphors For Life: The Core Playing Field | Free the Ego, and You Are Free | The Way It Is

Holiday Family Gatherings | Cartoons, Jokes and Humor | Poems and Quotes | Song Lyrics, Wit and Wisdom

Poems and Quotes

Quotes For Life 5
 

The question is not what you look at but what you see.

—Henry David Thoreau

*

Insanity—a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.

—R. D. Laing

*

NO ENLIGHTENED INDIVIDUALS

Enlightenment is essentially a process in the totality of functioning of manifestation. It starts with the impersonal (or universal) consciousness identifying itself with the individual body-mind mechanism, and ends with the dis-identification taking place at the appropriate time in an appropriate body-mind mechanism. The individuals concerned in this process are merely instruments thorough which it occurs. It should be noted that the process itself takes several "lives" (not of the same individual) for the evolution of a suitable psychosomatic apparatus which could be capable of sustaining the experience called enlightenment. To think of an individual achieving enlightenment through his own efforts is to miss the point altogether: the individual and enlightenment are contradictory terms.
—Ramesh Balsekar

*

I walked up to an old, old monk and asked him, "What is the audacity of humility?" This man had never met me before, but do you know what his answer was? "To be the first to say 'I love you.'

—Theophane The Monk

*

All a sane man can ever care about is giving love.

—Hafiz

*

Every microbe is precisely at the center of the universe.

—Yosy A. Flug

*

Perfection is a state in which things are the way they are and are not the way they are not. As you can see, this universe is perfect. Don't lie about it.

—Werner Erhard

*

Obviously the truth is what's so. Not so obviously, it's also so what.

—Werner Erhard

*

To study the Way, is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things.
To be enlightened by all things is to remove the barriers between one's self and others.

—Zen proverb

*

The mind that projects the world, colors it its own way. When you met a man, he is a stranger. When you marry him, he becomes your own self. When you quarrel, he becomes your enemy. It is your mind's attitude that determines what he is to you.

—Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

*

Don't ask the mind, which always limits itself with definitions, ask the heart, which cannot name it but always is it. Rest in being.

—Stephen Levine

 

George Demont Otis     Valley Creek

 

Nonduality" means, as the Upanishads put it, "to be freed of the pairs." That is, the great liberation consists in being freed of the pairs of opposites, freed of duality-and finding instead the nondual One Taste that gives rise to both. This is liberation because we cease the impossible, painful dream of spending our entire lives trying to find an up without a down, an inside without an outside, a good without an evil, a pleasure without its inevitable pain.

—Ken Wilber

*

Just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy.

—Abraham Joshua Heschel

*

The holiest thing you can do is whatever task needs to be done.

—Source Unknown

*

The chief cause of problems is solutions."

—Eric Sevareid

*

One can never become a Buddha. One can only wake up from the illusion one was ever anything else.

—Zen saying

*

When you take photographs, just before you click the shutter, your mind is empty and open, just seeing without words. When you stand in front of a blank sheet of paper, about to make a painting or a calligraphy, you have no idea what you will do. Maybe you have some plan for a painting, or you know what symbol you want to calligraph, but you don't actually know what will appear when you put brush to paper. What you do out of trust in open mind will be fresh and spontaneous. Opening to first thought is the way to begin any action properly.

—Jeremy Hayward, from Tricycle, Vol. IV, #3

*

The inner silence is self-surrender. And that is living without the sense of ego.

—Ramana Maharshi, The Gospel of Marharshi

*

There is no mind to control if the Self is realized. The Self shines forth when the mind vanishes.

—Ramana Maharshi, The Gospel of Marharshi

*

Things are not as they appear; but neither are they otherwise.

—Zen saying

*

One millionth of one percent false is completely false. Everything in duality is false -- false as in not true, not true as in bullshit. There are not exceptions. Black and white, no shades of gray. Truth is one, is non-dual, is infinite, is one-without-other. Truth is dissolution, no-self, unity. There's nothing to say about it, nothing to feel about it, nothing to know about it. You are true or you're a lie, as in ego-bound, as in dual, as in asleep.

—Jed McKenna in Spiritual Enlightenment, The Damnedest Thing

 

George Demont Otis     Marin Homestead

 

One of the most difficult things to learn is that mindfulness is not dependent on any emotional or mental state. We have certain images of meditation. Meditation is something done in quiet caves by tranquil people who move slowly. Those are training conditions. They are set up to foster concentration and to learn the skill of mindfulness. Once you have learned that skill, however, you can dispense with the training restrictions, and you should. You don't need to move at a snail's pace to be mindful. You don't even need to be calm. You can be mindful while solving problems in intensive calculus. You can be mindful in the middle of a football scrimmage. You can be mindful in the midst of a raging fury. Mental and physical activities are no bar to mindfulness. If you find your mind extremely active, then simply observe the nature and degree of that activity. It is just a part of the passing show within.

—Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

*

Do your best. Then, don't worry, be happy.

—Meher Baba

*

When you talk and God listens, it is Prayer.
When you listen and God talks, it is Meditation."

—Sri Chinmoy

*

God created human beings, not human doings.

—Source Unknown

*

Listen to this...First you don't exist... at all. Then you're born and you live your whole life, then you die, then you go back to not existing again, ... forever. So first you don't exist, then you exist, then you don't exist. So this whole thing is just an interruption from not existing.

—Steven Wright, from One Soldier

*

Learn the difference between thinking and awareness. Thinking connects with the past, with memory, and works by opposites, such as good and bad, you and I. It is rightly used in everyday matters, such as cooking. It is wrongly used when one tries to gain a self-identity, like labeling oneself a success or a failure.

Awareness is an impartial observation of the whole of life. It does not proceed from a sense of individuality; it is the whole tree, not just branches which are opposed to roots. Awareness is sanity, peace.

—Vernon Howard, Esoteric Mind Power

*

'One day I will be free of the ego.' Who is talking? The ego. To become free of the ego is not really a big job but a very small one. All you need to do is be aware of your thoughts and emotions-as they happen. This is not really a 'doing,' but an alert 'seeing.' In that sense, it is true that there is nothing you can do to become free of the ego. When that shift happens, which is the shift from thinking to awareness, an intelligence far greater than the ego's cleverness begins to operate in your life.

—Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

It is false to speak of realization. What is there to realize? The real is as it is always. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long samskaras [innate tendencies] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone."

—Ramana Maharshi

*

All the Buddha's of all the ages have been telling you a very simple fact: Be-don't try to become. Within these two words, be and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.

—Osho

*

When you surrender to what is and so become fully present, the past ceases to have any power. You do not need it anymore. Presence is the key. The Now is the key.

—Eckhart Tolle

*

Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now-always.

—Albert Schweitzer

*

The body is a sensing instrument of consciousness. Without the body and the mind, the trees couldn't see themselves. Usually we think that we are looking at a tree, but the tree is looking at itself through us. Without this instrument, the tree doesn't get to see itself. We are the sensing instruments of the Divine.

—Adyashanti

*

A student once said: "When I was a Buddhist, it drove my parents and friends crazy, but when I am a buddha, nobody is upset at all."

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

*

Don't think, be.

—Ramana Maharishi

*

Don't think, but be.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein

*

When you lose touch with your inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.
Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.
Stillness is your essential nature. What is stillness? The inner space or awareness in which the words on this page are being perceived and become thoughts. Without that awareness, there would be no perception, no thoughts, no world.
You are that awareness, disguised as a person.

—Eckhart Tolle

*

What is the secret of your serenity?"
Said the Master, "Wholehearted cooperation with the inevitable."

—Anthony de Mello, S.J.

*

Psychological inquiry is about content, and it's directed towards solving some problem.
Spiritual inquiry, however, is about context, and it's more directed towards discovering who has the problem.

—Chuck Hillig

*

Don't be a customer to your mind's concepts.

—Nisargadatta Maharaj

*

All the things that truly matter-beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

—Eckhart Tolle

*

The truth is that you already are what you are seeking. You are looking for God with his eyes. This truth is so simple, shocking and radical that it is easy to miss among one's flurry of seeking. He is here to shake his students awake and not to ask them to dream better. We must wake up to the fact that we are all already living Buddha's. We are the emptiness, the infinite nothing. Let go of all ideas and images in our minds: they come and go and are not even generated by us.

—Adyashanti

*

Breaking through is what breaks through.

—Dorothy Hunt

*

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.

I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.

—Socrates

*

The door to God is the insecurity of not knowing anything.
You don't come to know by knowing; you come to know by not knowing.

—Adyashanti

*

In Buddhism, knowledge is regarded as an obstacle to understanding.

—Thich Nhat Hanh

*

In every speck of dust are Buddhas without number.

—Author Unknown

*

The Heart is the only Reality.
The mind is only a transient phase,
To remain as one's Self is to enter the Heart."

—Ramana Maharshi

*

So many of us define ourselves by what we have, what we wear, what kind of house we live in and what kind of car we drive....If you think of yourself as the woman in the Carrier watch and the Hermes scarf, a house fire will destroy not only your possessions but your self.

—Linda Henley

*

The mind turned inwards is the Self; turned outwards,
it becomes the ego and all the world.
Cotton made into various clothes we call by various names.
Gold made into various ornaments, we call by various names.
But all the clothes are cotton and all the ornaments gold.
The one is real, the many are mere names and forms.

—Ramana Maharshi

 

George Demont Otis     A Marin Farm

 

A painting of a rice cake does not satisfy hunger.

—Zen saying

*

I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. You must climb towards the Truth. It cannot be 'stepped down' or organized for you. You cannot discover the path, because there is no path, Truth is a thing that is living, and to a living thing there is no path-it is only to dead things that there can be a path.

Truth being pathless, to discover it you must be adventurous, ready for danger…

—Jiddu Krishnamurti

*

There is no system, method or technique by which to approach reality, it reveals itself when all technique and systems fail and the futility of volition is seen. Then the mind comes into a state of innocent surrender.

—Jean Klein, The Ease of Being

*

We are all saints and sinners, adults and children, and no one is anyone's superior or judge. We have all been awakened with the Buddha, crucified with Christ, and we have all killed and robbed with Genghis Khan, Stalin and Hitler.

—Erich Fromm

*

Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.

—Alan Watts

*

You see the ball, you hit the ball. They hit the ball, you catch the ball. You catch the ball, you throw the ball. That's it."

—Kirby Puckett's Zen of Baseball

*

Walk when you walk, talk when you talk, eat when you eat, drink water when you drink water, wash dishes when you wash dishes, empty trash when you empty trash, and breath when you breath. Be wholly present. Do one thing at a time. Serenity.

—Adapted from various Zen sayings

*

Do I contradict myself? All right, I contradict myself. There are multitudes within me.

—Walt Whitman

*

The limitations of words are clearly seen when they try to remind the Absolute of its true nature. Being merely the expression of thought, they can neither expose ignorance, which is non-existent, nor reveal the Absolute to which they owe their existence. For this purpose words are as useless as a lamp at midday, which can neither dispel the darkness that is not there nor reveal the light of the sun.

— Ramesh Balsekar

*

There are two ways of achieving surrender. One is looking into the source of the 'I' and merging into that source. The other is feeling, 'I am helpless myself, God alone is all powerful, and except by throwing myself completely on Him, there is no other means of safety for me'; and thus gradually developing the conviction that God alone exists and the ego does not count. Both methods lead to the same goal. Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation.

—Ramana Maharshi, Gems from Bhagavan, selected by A. Devaraja Mudaliar

*

The spirit demands soaring. It doesn't matter who does it.

—e. e. cummings

*

God, whose love and joy
are present everywhere,
can't come to visit you
unless you aren't there."

—Angelus Silesius (1624-1677)

*

Using the mind to look for reality is delusion.
Not using the mind to look for reality is awareness.

—Bodhidharma

*

To ask the mind to kill itself is like making the thief the policeman. He will go with you and pretend to catch the thief, but nothing will be gained. So you must turn inward, and see from whence the mind rises and then it will cease to exist.

—Ramana Maharshi, Gems from Bhagavan, selected by A. Devaraja Mudaliar

*

Listen behind your listening!

—Dorothy Hunt

*

Think before you think!

—Stanislaw Lec

*

The best guide in life is strength. In religion, as in all other matters, discard everything that weakens you, have nothing to do with it.

—Swami Vivekananda

*

Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.
You must return with the bliss and integrate it.

The return is seeing the radiance is everywhere.

—Joseph Campbell

*

Self-preservation is only the second law of life. The first law is that you and the other are one.

—Joseph Campbell

Tat tvam asi. [meaning "Thou art That," "You are That," "I am That" or "That is you" or even "You yourself are It."]

*

Before I came to Zen, mountains were only mountains, rivers only rivers, trees only trees. After I got into Zen, mountains were no longer mountains, rivers no longer rivers, trees no longer trees. But when enlightenment happened, mountains were again only mountains, rivers again only rivers, trees again only trees.

—Zen koan

*

First there is the mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

—Donovan Leitch, song "There is a Mountain"

*

After enlightenment nothing changes, but everything is somehow different.

—Zen Saying

*

Leave your ego at the door.

—Popular saying in the late 1960's and early 1970's

*

…First there are conceptual mountains, then there are no concepts, then there are perceptual mountains.

—Jean Klein, I AM

*

There are three parts of the journey: the journey from God, the journey to God, and the journey in God.

—Sufi saying

*

The only difference between a baby and an enlightened master is that the baby is in bliss without understanding and a spiritual master is in bliss with understanding.

—Deepak Chopra

*

It is not that an individual is first an ego and then may become a Buddha-it is that he was first Buddha and then became an ego.

—Ken Wilber, The Atman Project

*

Suffering is the sandpaper of our incarnation. It does its work of shaping us.

—Ram Dass, (Richard Alpert), One Liners

*

The mind is an amusement park, full of thrills and spills and curiosities. It is also a theater of the absurd for the drama of feelings and social identifications. It is an 'act' in that it is a personal characterization, dramatization, and display.

—David R. Hawkins, I

*

The world is a looking-glass,
and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.
Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you;
laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind companion….

—William Makepeace Thackeray, from Vanity Fair

*

Familiarity with the more compassionate viewpoints of life tends to potentiate them; thus, the traditional spiritual advice to 'mingle with holy company' and avoid negative companions.

—David R. Hawkins, The Eye of the I

*

The world is like a reflection in the mirror. Where did the reflection come from? From nowhere because it doesn't really exist. You cannot try to grab the image in the mirror, for you grab the mirror. When you awaken, you understand that you are the mirror. And the reflection of the world is like the water in the mirage, like the snake in the rope, like the sky is blue.

—Robert Adams, Silence of the Heart

*

Truth is what remains after the total extinction of all beliefs and hopes, fears, ideas and convictions; but first of all forsaking of all distinctions.

—Yosy A. Flug

*

There is no reaching the Self. You are already the Self. You are already 'That.'

—Ramana Maharshi

 

George Demont Otis     Where the Water

 

If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

—Dogen

*

The secret is that there is no secret. Everything is just what it seems to be. This is it! There are no hidden messages. Before he is enlightened, a man gets up in the morning to spend the day tending his fields, returns home to eat his supper, goes to bed, makes love to his woman, and falls asleep. But once he has attained enlightenment, then a man gets up each morning to spend the day tending his fields, returns home to eat his supper, goes to bed, makes love to his woman, and falls asleep.

—Sheldon B. Kopp, If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him

*

My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak, throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)

He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.
What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Propositions 6.45 and 7

*

Shakyamuni Buddha confirms This in the Diamond Sutra: "…my teachings are a raft to be abandoned when you see true being."

*

Author Carlos Castaneda describes this experience of turning off the thinking mind with its continual conceptual activity as "stopping the world." He writes that once our mind stops, the pristine clarity of sensory phenomena and feeling of a sacred euphoria and flowing peace breaks through.

*

If you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all.

—Yogi Bhajan

*

Once upon a time, I, Chuang-tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, flittering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly...suddenly I awoke... Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

—Chuang-tzu

*

What is the ego? But a dream of what you really are. The ego is the mind's belief that it is completely on its own.

—The Course in Miracles

*

As long as you want power, you can't have it.

The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible.

—Ram Dass

*

The ego is my best teacher; it just doesn't remember what the lessons are.

—Richard Stromer

*

We don't live in the real world. We live in a world we make up.

—Frank Oppenheimer

*

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.

—John Lennon

*

What you are looking for is who is looking.

—St. Frances of Assisi

*

The eye with which I see God is the same eye which God sees me.

—Meister Eckhart

*

Since the house is on fire, let us warm ourselves.

—Italian proverb

*

I have one major rule: everybody is right. More specifically, everybody, including me, has some important pieces of the truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace.

—Ken Wilber, Introduction, Collected Works of Ken Wilber, vol. VIII

*

There are three parts of the journey: the journey from God, the journey to God, and the journey in God.

—Sufi saying

*

Take away your opinion, and there is taken away the complaint "I have been offended."

Take away the complaint "I have been offended" and the offense is gone.

—Marcus Aurelius

*

The word 'now' is like a bomb through the window, and it ticks.

—Arthur Miller

*

If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the present.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosphicus

*

Every moment is of infinite worth, for it is representative of a whole eternity."

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

*

Eternity is not the hereafter…this is it. If you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere.

—Joseph Campbell

*

I have come not to teach but to awaken.

—Meher Baba

*

I am not a teacher but an awakener.

—Robert Frost

*

Mankind is notoriously too dense to read the signs that God sends from time to time.

We require drums to be beaten into our ears, before we should wake from our trance and hear the warning

and see that to lose oneself in all, is the only way to find oneself.

—Mahatma Gandhi

*

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."

—Sir Edmund Hillary

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

—Oliver Wendell Holmes

*

The only way to make the mind cease its outward activities is to turn it inward.

—Ramesh S. Balsekar

*

Jesus said: The seeker should not stop until he finds.
When he does find, he will be disturbed.
After having been disturbed, he will be astonished,
Then he will reign over everything.

Gnostic Bible, The Gospel of Thomas, 2

*

Peace, peace! He is not dead, he doth not sleep.
He hath awakened from the dream of life.

—Percy Bysshe Shelley

*

Mind is to soul what wave is to ocean.

—Author unknown

*

When men dream, each has his own world.
When they are awake, they have a common world.

—Heraclitus

*

In the Bible, it says Adam fell asleep-and nowhere does it say that he woke up. (…) We have been asleep without knowing it, taking part in a great forgetting-of who we are, what our power is, where we come from, and what we truly need."

—Marianne Williamson, The Gift of Change

*

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall-think of it, ALWAYS.

—Mahatma Gandhi

*

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV…

—John Lennon, "Working Class Hero"

*

Life is what happens while you are making other plans.

—John Lennon 



George Demont Otis     Windswept Trees

 
 

 


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