Meditation Time is a philosophical essay that centers on the meaning of life and the art of living, and also deals with many different but related topics, like the nature of human knowledge and the fundamental principle of the universe. Readers should regard this book as an opportunity to embark on a thinking adventure, a kind of treasure hunt whose success depends on their willingness to actively participate. The book’s contribution to this adventure consists of salutary insights gleaned over the course of 40 years of meditation and study. They are clues that are strewn along the way to help readers navigate the difficult terrain of existence. At times they will choose to follow these clues; at other times they will challenge them on the basis of contrary intuitions. Whatever works to bring them ever closer to the coveted treasure is the right course. What exactly is this treasure? It is a eureka moment thanks to which the world makes sense and life is worth the struggle.
“We are sentient beings who are extremely vulnerable at the psychological level, and our so-called rational nature is greatly overstated. What we cannot process psychologically, for lack of accepting it, we cannot process rationally, with the result that we fail to acknowledge the truth and instead indulge in wishful thinking.”
“The so-called easy way out is always chock-full of unforeseen difficulties.”
"In the limited framework of time, every yes is a token of commitment to something whose full expression demands a no, as a token of detachment toward everything else. Likewise, we cannot build a home without settling on a preferred combination of location and style that proves both selective and restrictive."
"The end of life as we know it is not truly the end of life if we can learn new ways to live meaningfully and joyfully."
"Aspects of reality are regularly considered in isolation or raised to the status of absolutes, when they ought to be taken as relative parts of a complex totality."
"Consider every new thing, every second of every day: a thought, a word, a gesture, an arrangement or happening of some sort, whatever. Acknowledge the fact that, prior to its occurrence, it was nowhere to be found. And yet, voilà! out of this nowhere—in the intervening space between old things—comes the new thing, like a dove out of an empty hat. Magic!"
"The wind of change is only contrary relative to the adverse angle of your mindset, comparable to a sail. Adjust this mindset appropriately and it will propel you toward new horizons that are both intimidating and promising."
"Pick love, not fear, as the driving force behind your decisions. Love vitalizes, whereas fear paralyzes, and there can only be regret and sadness in prolonged idleness."
"The master of wisdom is a happy slave."
"There is nothing trivial about the eternal source of creation whose many distinguishable features should not distract us from its fundamental unity. No disjointed medley of forces could ever produce a human being, comprising every aspect of the universe and functioning as a unified if manifold whole. And so the proper stance toward the eternal source of creation—that can be ascertained but never explained—is humble reverence."
"Liberation from the cycle of misery doesn’t have to take the form of avoidance, spiritual or mundane; on the contrary, it can be a more enlightened sense of engagement in the worthwhile, albeit hazardous, adventure of life."
"Nothing, however desirable, can be retained indefinitely any more than water can be trapped by clenching hands. Hence, life is not for the faint of heart; but for those who value and practice the virtue of courage and go the distance to minimize suffering and maximize happiness for themselves and fellow human beings (not to mention fellow living forms), a world of purpose and joy is available to them."
It is not the duration of life but its quality that matters most."