Quotes

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and as anyone who’s been to Vietnam or South East Asia in general will attest, he is one of many. What sets Thích Nhất Hạnh apart from other monks is his reach. Thích Nhất Hạnh’s teachings and writings have spread around the world, he has spent time as a professor in the US and his peace activism during the Vietnamese-American War saw him sent into exile from Vietnam and eventually settle in France.

 

A legendary teacher of Buddhist notions of mindfulness and interbeing, Thích Nhất Hạnh offers simple, measured advice on how to live a sincere and rewarding life in the 21st century. Central to his work is the question of how to reach your full potential as one component of a vast and interconnected universe.

 

Read on for 7 wise quotes from Zen Buddhist teacher Thích Nhất Hạnh on how to love

 

1) To Feed Your Own Happiness is to Love

 

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2) To Understand Suffering is to Love

 

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3) Your Actions are All you Own so Use them Wisely

 

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4) Love for You is Love of the Whole Cosmos

 

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5) True Love is Freedom

 

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6) Freedom Can Lead to True Love

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7) You are Both Made of Stars

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There is no better cure for what ails you than an afternoon spent in the safe, warm glow of a Studio Ghibli film. The godfather of Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation film studio based in Tokyo, Japan, is Hayao Miyazaki, a unique and masterful storyteller who brought the world such classics as My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away.

 

At the heart of most of Miyazaki’s fantastical stories is a deep respect for nature, a belief in the innate goodness of mankind and a plea for peace. To the horror of Ghibli fans everywhere Miyazaki recently retired leaving as his legacy 11 perfect tales of friendship, courage and magic. And it is to these tales we can turn whenever we need a moment’s respite from the hardships of the world.

 

Read on for 11 quotes from Studio Ghibli that will make your day.

 

 

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The Beatles knew it and Miyazaki knows it, all you need is love. Taken from the first film officially created and produced by the Studio Ghibli team, Castle in the Sky, this quote comes from Sheeta, an orphaned farm-girl who turns out to be the rightful princess of Laputa.

 

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A firm favourite of highbrow cinephiles and four year-old film fans alike, My Neighbour Totoro is arguably the most famous Studio Ghibli film ever. This quote is from Tatsuo Kusakabe, the father of Mei and Satsuki, the two girls who are lucky enough to meet Totoro.

 

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Miyazaki rarely gives interviews but when he does he often highlights the importance of instilling courage in children and encouraging them to believe in themselves. This quote is taken from The Cat Returns, a super-bizarre tale of a girl who ends up being transported to the Kingdom of the Cats.

 

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I don’t recall Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid expressing the same sentiment about Ariel’s inconvenient scales.

 

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Taken from the most recent and my personal favourite Studio Ghibli film, The Wind Rises, a moving, biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, a passionate young man who dreamed of flying airplanes and created a ground-breaking Japanese World War II bomber.

 

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Chihuro, the protagonist of Spirited Away, has a lot of remembering to do when she is transported to the spirit world where she will remain unless she can identify her parents in their new pig form, break her curse and return to the human world.

 

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Good things can come in teeny, tiny packages. Inspired by The Borrowers, The Secret World of Arrietty teaches that you don’t need to be big to be bold.

 

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Spoken like a true forest princess. The first film to be created by the founding members of Studio Ghibli, Princess Mononoke explores the struggle of the natural world in the face of encroaching urbanisation.

 

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In Japanese, this title of this film translates literally as ‘if you listen closely’ and tells the tale of a young girl who falls in love with a violin-makers and is centred around a quest for creative fulfilment, talking cats and a magical antique shop, of course.

 

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Only Merida, female protagonist of Disney’s Brave can even hope to match up to the fearlessness of Princess Mononoke.

 

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It wouldn’t be right to end on anything but a quote from the big man himself. Miyazaki forever.

The legacy of Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, commonly known as Leo Tolstoy, is that of one of the greatest authors of all time. Tolstoy spent almost an entire decade writing the defining novel of his career, War and Peace, and followed it up a few years later with the exquisite Anna Karenina. But far from rejoicing in his financial and critical success, Tolstoy entered a deep depression in his fifties, an experience that inspired him to write autobiographical memoir, A Confession.

 

No matter how hard he tried, Tolstoy could not leave the question of the meaning of life alone and spent the remainder of his years attempting to answer the most seemingly simple but paralyzing question of all – why am I here?

 

Philosophers and writers drive themselves insane pondering the infinite to that we more cheerful folk don’t have to. So read on for 13 quotes from Leo Tolstoy that’ll touch your soul.

 

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Anna Karenina, the one sane voice in the madness of upper class 19th century Russian society.

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Count Vronsky and Anna Karenina – the greatest love story of all time?

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Taken from Anna Karenina.

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Wise words from Tolstoy on loss and grief.

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Wisdom is an acknowledgement that you have none, from War and Peace.

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Well, is it? If Tolstoy can’t answer that question there’s no way I can. Taken from Anna Karenina.

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Good advice, indeed.

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If you want to get anything at all done it’s best to leave your soul well alone. Also from Anna Karenina.

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Tolstoy always had a lot to say on politics and the freedom of man and this quote, taken from a collection of essays, best sums up his revolutionary position.

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There’s no magic to it. No complex secret code that took Tolstoy a lifetime to decipher. If you want to be happy, just be.

The history of the indigenous people of the Americas is tragic, no doubt, but it is also rich in stories of struggle and triumph. Native Americans have a heritage unique in the west for its deep spirituality and sense of interconnectedness with the natural world. Take a moment’s respite from the immediate concerns of how you’re going to pay your gas bill, how many vacation days you have left and how many calories you’ve eaten today to contemplate humanity’s role on this planet, the plight of the natural world and the true meaning of life.

Read on for 11 Native American quotations that’ll touch your spiritual side.

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Black Elk was of the Sioux (Oglala Lakota) tribe. A famous holy man, he lived to be 87 years old. Black Elk travelled far and wide, safe in the knowledge that the Holy Land could be found wherever he went.

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A saying of the Sioux people, this quote is sadly as relevant now as it was in the 17th century, before the Great Sioux Nation ever came into contact with the white man.

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The Hopi are a Native American tribe whose land is in North Eastern Arizona. The Hopi tribe observe traditional ceremonies for the benefit of the entire world.

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It’s not clear who White Elk was or which tribe he belonged to but his wise words have touched many hearts. (By touched many hearts I of course mean created many re-pins and retweets.)

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A timely lesson in optimism. This is a traditional Native American quote with no known provenance but, really, does it matter where it came from?

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Silence can be a little scary, can’t it? I mean, who knows what previously blissfully ignored thoughts might bubble to the surface. This beautiful poem from Chief Dan George of the Tseil-Waututh Nation wishes that you may find strength in silence.

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From Crowfoot, a Blackfoot tribe warrior and orator who lived in the nineteenth century, this quote makes me want to watch the sunset.

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An Apache saying, this quote is an altogether more dynamic way of saying actions speak louder than words.

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The Arapaho tribe are from the plans of Colorado and Wyoming and this Arapaho saying dates back to before environmentalism was even a word.

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The Tuscarora are a Iroquoian-language speaking peoples and while I have no idea what this quote may read like in their native language, in English it’s refreshingly plain – make your mind up and stick with it.

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As you may have guessed, the city of Seattle was named after Chief Seattle, chief of the Duwamish (Dkhw’Duw’Absh) tribe. I don’t know about you but I find this quote so comforting. Everything is bound together. All things connect.

Writers spend more time than anyone else pondering the whats, hows and whys of love. Natural observers, some writers keep one eye on their relationship and one eye on the page they’re filling with descriptions of it. Great for those of us who want intimate insight into the lives of others, not so good for the boyfriends or girlfriends of writers whose innermost secrets might end up on a best-sellers list.

Learn all there is to know about love from a safe distance by reading on for 11 writers sharing all they know about relationships.

 

There’s no such thing as a book-lover who ‘likes’ Murakami. People who are into Murakami, the Japanese author of 13 novels, numerous short stories and winner of almost every literary prize under the sun, are generally into Murakami in a very big way. I know I am.

Murakami, like any great novelist, takes you somewhere else when you read his novels, somewhere you’ve never been before, somewhere imagined but that feels so real. Whether you’re a hard-core Murakami-lover or, lucky you, you’ve never heard of the guy and have all that magic to come, read on for 11 Haruki Murakami quotes that’ll take you somewhere else.

 

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Murakami’s subtle plea for bigger and better libraries, taken from the sublime Norwegian Wood.

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No one does memory like Murakami. Taken from heart-rending mind-bend Kafka on the Shore.

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Romantically melancholy is the best way to describe some of Murakami’s work. Also from Kafka on the Shore.

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Love transcending death. Again. From Kafka on the Shore.

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One of the most quotable things Murakami has ever written, when you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who went in.

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From Sputnik Sweetheart, the first Murakami novel ever read.

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Another Sputnik Sweetheart gem spoken by missing protagonist Sumire.

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Murakami’s characters aren’t always watching cats, listening to jazz and cooking fine food, sometimes they talk trash too. From Norwegian Wood.

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Pure, intergalactic romance from South of the Border, West of the Sun.

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The only tag attached to this quote on Goodreads is ‘depressing’. Says it all, really.

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Closing with a note of quiet optimism from Norwegian Wood.

 

In his book Blue Mind, published in 2014, Wallace J. Nichols extols the virtues of a life lived more in tune with the water that surrounds us. Convinced that we can use water as a way of detoxifying ourselves from the dryness of digital information overload, Nichols urges us all to spend some time on the Slow Coast, fifty miles of Californian pacific just south of San Francisco, to get our ‘blue mind on’.

And for all his hippy pop psychology I think Nichols may have a point. Sitting by a stream, paddling a surfboard out into the ocean or just watching your washing machine cycle go round and round and round, water and its movement have a uniquely meditative effect on the human mind.

So think ‘flow’ and read on for 9 quotes about the sea that’ll stimulate your ‘blue mind’.

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From Anne of Green Gables,

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I’m English so I’m with Burton this one. Being at the seaside never fails to make you want to leave the land behind.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, The Secret of the Sea is enough to make you want to sell up and move to that one-bedroom beachfront condo today.

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Taken, somewhat bizarrely, from a speech made by J.F.K. at a dinner for the America’s Cup Crews in 1962, this quote is a reminder that we came from the oceans and, one day, we may return.

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From Douglas Adams’ The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide, this quote is so calming and soporific I think might just take a nap.

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I think all women have a little of the Aphrodite in them. Taken from Margot Datz’s A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids.

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Hermann Broch was a Modernist writer who was born in Austria and but died in New Haven, Connecticut

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From the great John Steinbeck’s novel Tortilla Flat. A clepsydra is an ancient Greek water clock, by the way.

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From the beautiful E. E. Cummings poem, ‘maggy and milly and molly and may’.

Sometimes all you need to do to turn a situation from unbearable to enjoyable is to change your perspective. Yes, winter can be grim in many places and it can be difficult to put a positive spin on a season marked by cold, dark and wet skies but here at Wordables we like a challenge and so have trawled the archives of the written word to find writers with good things to say about bad weather.

Read on for 13 beautiful weather quotes that’ll help to make the winter bearable.

 

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Next time you wake up in the morning and groan at the sight of snow, making your driveway an ice rink and your commute a nightmare remember J. B. Priestley’s words and see the enchantment of a world created anew.

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I feel sometimes that I have lived my entire life so far wearing unsuitable clothing, jeans in summertime, t-shirts in wintertime. One day I’ll get it right and I’ll be perfectly dressed to deal with the demands of the weather on any given day and then, and only then, will I be a real adult.

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Always go with making snow angels but, in relation to the quote above, be sure to wear weather-suitable attire.

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Yes, this quote is a little ‘sunshine and lollipops’ but there’s a truism in it too. You carry your happiness with you and only you can decide whether today is a good day or not.

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Now ‘snow’, not frozen water or a huge white blanket of inconvenience, from now on think of snow as nature’s radiance and enjoy the beauty of it as much as William Sharp did.

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From Vernon’s The Beauty of Rain (1863) this quote is the most beautiful ode to rain I have ever read.

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For me, reading Dr. Seuss is like reading my own thoughts, the man just makes such perfect sense, don’t you think?

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I had never heard of Pema Chödrön before today. Chödrön is an American Tibetan Buddhist nun and if she has more thought like this to put out into the world then I’m very glad to have made her acquaintance.

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The sound of the rain, the sight of a lightning storm, the smell of the earth after a long-awaited rainfall, all of these things are universal.

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No matter what the weather the important thing is to maintain your sense of dry, dark humour.

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Yes. Whatever the weather, what a wonderful thing it is to be alive to experience it.

 

All it takes these days to create a quote is the simple addition of quotation marks at either end of a sentence. With that small job done you can spread your new quote to the farthest reaches of the internet in minutes. But is this democratization of repetition-worthy words and sentences really such a bad thing?

 

We haven’t got a clue who first said or wrote these words but who cares! Read on for 11 anonymous quotes that’ll definitely move you.

 

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Throw in taking a break from the walking to get a coffee and a bagel and they’re my favorite too.

 

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Even if you’re in contact with your significant other all day on whatsapp/viber/facebook/twitter/email/good old SMS and they have a pretty good idea of what kind of day you’ve had they should always have time to let you explain why.

 

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Or, Good Evening, beautiful. Some of us have to get to work in the mornings.

 

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In other words, live a messy life because if your life is too tidy chances are it’s just like everyone else’s.

 

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We all spend time going over events of the past, hoping that if we just analyze what happened from a different perspective it will all make sense. Thing is, it never does and there is never anything new to see. Start living in the now.

 

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Imagine if someone said this to you in real life? I can’t decide if I would be completely creeped out if someone said this to me or I’d think it was beautiful and immediately show them my misshapen big toe.

 

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If you’re going to cry with thoughts do I properly and drink scotch and smoke a cigarette at the same time

 

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So perfect and so true. I’d swap Romeo and Juliet’s two-day fling for my grandparent’s fifty-year slog any day.

 

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Whoever wrote this was definitely an all or nothing kind of guy. Probably a poet.

 

We all have those weird days where we don’t feel like ourselves. Something just feels wrong. You don’t seem able to put the words together to express what it is you’re trying to say and when you look in the mirror you’re not at all sure who it is that’s staring back at you. But what if you felt this way every day? What if you never felt like you were really living the life you were supposed to, like you were never really, truly, sincerely, you? Sound familiar?

Read on for 7 quotes about becoming who you’re really supposed to be.

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The search is over. It’s time stop looking for yourself and set about actively creating yourself. (You might want to roll your sleeves up and put an apron on.)

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The first task is to work out what it is that you truly love, only then can you relax and let yourself be drawn in by its pull.

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Maybe becoming who you are really supposed to be is not solo endeavour but a group effort, a process that is helped along by all the people who contribute to your life and make your world a happier place to be.

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Little bit harsh perhaps from Richard Dawkins but you can’t deny the man has a point. Your becoming is nobody’s responsibility but your own.

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If you can endure the highly unpleasant imagery that comes along with the idea of giving birth to yourself this is a good quote to remember any time you feel unfulfilled. We are all reborn time and time again – life demands it of us.

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Trust Walt Whitman to bring this whole thing back into perspective. You already are who you are supposed to be. You are already enough.

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Why is it that ‘anonymous’ always seems to say it best? Maybe the journey is less about becoming who you’re supposed to be and more about stripping back the layers of who you think you are and ‘unbecoming’ who you’re supposed to be.