The quotes of spiritual heroes are a bit intimidating. They faced such staggering challenges, and our challenges can seem mundane in comparison. But I cherish these quotes, because they inspire the rise of our consciousness.
“I stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds,” said Paramhansa Yogananda, who came to America from India in 1920 knowing no one. He sparked a spiritual revolution, teaching yoga and meditation to Americans through World War II.
Mahatma Gandhi stood up to the British government with fierce love: “If we are arrested every day, if we are exploited every day, if we are trampled over every day, don’t ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love.”
I don’t know that I am ready to face down tanks and torture with love, yet. Whether it’s the breaking news these days, or the daily trials of life, my worlds do crash and I do shake.
As a working mom, the last three weeks was a crash. My son was home sick for a week, and then it dawned on me that the next two weeks he would be home for Spring Break. All the while, I was trampled with details in a new job. I didn’t have 3 weeks free time to be with him. At first, I hated the competition for my attention.
There had to be a harmonious solution. I took this conflict and request for help into mediation and prayer. I decided that, no matter what, I would get-r-done and respond to every request from my son, and my colleagues, with love. I would be present to a million little moments, and trust that support would come.
Mommy and son took breaks and naps. We looked into each other’s eyes, laughed and played, then went back to work. Friends came forward with play dates.
I felt my ire rise a few times when too many details were hanging in the air, but I opened my heart and served the dear ones before me. I dropped a few details, but people were kind, and I picked them back up again.
My worlds didn’t actually break. More than that—my crash became a blessing as my consciousness lightened to let it all flow and be in the moment.
When we commit to living with higher consciousness, to being fully present in each moment, we have to start where we are. Mundane or monumental, it’s all practice.
The little sweats tone our hearts, without contracting them. We become more resilient, able to stumble without falling. Compassion expands—for ourselves and for those around us. Someday, we face down a tank.
As the great Kriya yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya said “Solve all your problems though meditation…The Divine voice has the answer to every dilemma of life.”
When someone has opened their heart in response to the toughest challenges the world can dish out, I listen more closely. Like being shot in the face, and responding, “My soul is telling me: be peaceful and love everyone.” I’m listening, Malala Yousafzai. My consciousness rises with your response an intense personal and political attack.
Gandhi is one of our most famous spiritual heroes, but not the first, the only, nor the last. Spiritual heroes in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Yoga, Buddhism, Sufism, Native American traditions and more have all called for our higher selves to rise up.
We need the inspiration of spiritual heroes.
May these 15 quotes help us all be the change we wish to see in the world.
- “Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” ~ Saint Francis of Assisi
- “Darkness must always be combatted positively.” ~ Paramhansa Yogananda
- “If we want to save the world, we must have a plan. But no plan will work unless we meditate.” ~ The Dalai Lama
- “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Effective action always proceeds from a sense of inner peace.” ~ Swami Kriyananda
- “If we have the energy of compassion and loving kindness in us, the people around us will be influenced by our way of being and living.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
- “Don’t be discouraged by your incapacity to dispel darkness from the world. Light your little candle and step forward.” ~ Amma
- “The deeper the Self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations.” ~ Sri Yukteswar
- “My soul is telling me: be peaceful and love everyone.” ~ Malala Yousafzai
- “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~ Rumi
- “World peace will spread one person at a time. It begins with your own spiritual search and uplifted consciousness.” ~ Nayaswami Jyotish
- “Solve all your problems though meditation…The Divine Voice has the answer to every dilemma of life.” ~ Lahiri Mahasaya
- “Let us join together in this wave of social transformation, and through our practice of meditation, create a spirit of global unity that can lead to lasting peace.” ~ Nayaswami Devi
- “Words are but the shell; meditation is the kernel.” ~ Bahya ibn Paquda
- “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.” ~ Chief Seattle