1. I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.
2. Sex, whatever else it is, is an athletic skill. The more you practice, the more you can, the more you want to, the more you enjoy it, the less it tires you.
3. For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
4. Music is a proud, temperamental mistress. Give her the time and attention she deserves, and she is yours. Slight her and there will come a day when you call and she will not answer. So I began sleeping less to give her the time she needed.
5. Rage — whether in reaction to social injustice, or to our leaders’ insanity, or to those who threaten or harm us — is a powerful energy that, with diligent practice, can be transformed into fierce compassion.
6. You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.
7. The practice of love offers no place of safety. We risk loss, hurt, pain. We risk being acted upon by forces outside our control.
8. You can do something extraordinary, and something that a lot of people can’t do. And if you have the opportunity to work on your gifts, it seems like a crime not to. I mean, it’s just weakness to quit because something becomes too hard.
9. What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises—no matter the mood! Mood’s a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It’s not for fighting.
10. Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.
11. No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear.
12. If you want to find the real competition, just look in the mirror. After awhile you’ll see your rivals scrambling for second place.
13. A photograph shouldn’t be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.
14. It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.
15. Practice giving things away, not just things you don’t care about, but things you do like. Remember, it is not the size of a gift, it is its quality and the amount of mental attachment you overcome that count. So don’t bankrupt yourself on a momentary positive impulse, only to regret it later. Give thought to giving. Give small things, carefully, and observe the mental processes going along with the act of releasing the little thing you liked. (53)
(Quote is actually Robert A F Thurman but Huston Smith, who only wrote the introduction to my edition, seems to be given full credit for this text.)
16. A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.
17. Champions keep playing until they get it right.
18. Religion is not about accepting twenty impossible propositions before breakfast, but about doing things that change you. It is a moral aesthetic, an ethical alchemy. If you behave in a certain way, you will be transformed. The myths and laws of religion are not true because they they conform to some metaphysical, scientific or historical reality but because they are life enhancing. They tell you how human nature functions, but you will not discover their truth unless you apply these myths and doctrines to your own life and put them into practice.
19. You cannot forgive just once, forgiveness is a daily practice.
20. Love and magic have a great deal in common. they enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.
21. An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory.
22. The only way we could remember would be by constant re-reading, for knowledge unused tends to drop out of mind. Knowledge used does not need to be remembered; practice forms habits and habits make memory unnecessary. The rule is nothing; the application is everything.
23. You need mountains, long staircases don’t make good hikers.
24. Indubitably, Magick is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgement and practice than in any other branch of physics.
25. One may not always know his purpose until his only option is to monopolize in what he truly excels at. He grows weary of hearing the answer ‘no’ time and time again, so he turns to and cultivates, monopolizes in his one talent which others cannot possibly subdue. Then, beyond the crowds of criticism and rejection, the right people recognize his talent – among them he finds his stage.
26. Mere philosophy will not satisfy us. We cannot reach the goal by mere words alone. Without practice, nothing can be achieved.
27. What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve.
28. Yoga practice can make us more and more sensitive to subtler and subtler sensations in the body. Paying attention to and staying with finer and finer sensations within the body is one of the surest ways to steady the wandering mind.
29. Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions. But that spontaneity is possible only when everyone first engages in hours of highly repetitive and structured practice–perfecting their shooting, dribbling, and passing and running plays over and over again–and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court. . . . spontaneity isn’t random.
30. There are two ways to do great mathematics. The first is to be smarter than everybody else. The second way is to be stupider than everybody else — but persistent.
31. Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men. Therefore atheism did never perturb states; for it makes men wary of themselves, as looking no further: and we see the times inclined to atheism (as the time of Augustus Cæsar) were civil times. But superstition hath been the confusion of many states, and bringeth in a new primum mobile, that ravisheth all the spheres of government. The master of superstition is the people; and in all superstition wise men follow fools; and arguments are fitted to practice, in a reversed order.
32. The practice of forgiveness is very much like the practice of meditation. You have to do it often and persist at it in order to be any good.
33. It is time to reverse this prejudice against conscious effort and to see the powers we gain through practice and discipline as eminently inspiring and even miraculous.
34. It helps to remember that our spiritual practice is not about accomplishing anything—not about winning or losing—but about ceasing to struggle and relaxing as it is.
35. Meditation practice is not about later, when you get it all together and you’re this person you really respect.
36. Creativity is the brain’s invisible muscle — that when used and excercised routinely — becomes better and stronger.
37. It is only by working the rituals, that any significant degree of understanding can develop. If you wait until you are positive you understand all aspects of the ceremony before beginning to work, you will never begin to work.
38. Smartass Disciple: Master, what did you do to earn wisdom ?
Master of Stupidity: Well, I forget. Shit happened, life goes on.
39. If you’ve ever tried meditation and didn’t stay with it, I recommend you try it again. Some time has passed. In the interim, you may have developed the discipline of mind or the patience you were short on before. Let these qualities aid your practice.
40. We are our own greatest teachers. One way to follow our daily bliss is to let our inner guidance system to imagine and acknowledge, all our blessings. This determines the criteria of our day, which is JOY. It puts us in tune with the positive constructive energy and raises our vibration. Making a conscious decision to creating our day and enjoy feeling good takes some good practice but the end result is worthwhile
41. It’s hard to learn to listen to your instincts. It’s easier for some who have a natural ability to follow that little voice inside, but for others it takes practice.
42. The key in letting go is practice. Each time we let go, we disentangle ourselves from our expectations and begin to experience things as they are.
43. Being content is perhaps no less easy than playing the violin well: and requires no less practice.
44. Forget perfect on the first try. In the face of frustration, your best tool is a few deep breaths, and remembering that you can do anything once you’ve practed two hundred times.
45. Spiritual literature can be a great aid to an aspirant, or it can be a terrible hindrance. If it is used to inspire practice, motivate compassion, ad nourish devotion, it serves a very valuable purpose. If scriptural study is used for mere intellectual understanding, for pride of accomplishment, or as a substitute for actual practice, then one is taking in too much mental food, which is sure to result in intellectual indigestion.
46. What makes you wise is not what you learn, but what you practice. What makes you wealthy is not what you earn, but what you invest. So, invest in what to practice, and practice what to invest.
47. Boxing’s not that straightforward,” said Eldric. “You can practice and practice, but the real experience will always be different. Lots of things are like that, actually.
48. Depending on their psychic make up, for some people, closing the eyes or being quiet produces anxiety and increases mental agitation. In such situations it is better to undertake the practice of yoga–whether physical yoga or meditation–with other people with whom one is comfortable and at ease. Gradually, as we see more and more clearly their roots, the fears and the imaginings will diminish. Mental distractions are harder to overcome when practicing alone.
49. Patanjali says that we can meditate on anything that our heart desires. The important thing is not what we meditate on, but more that we meditate. And then gradually to meditate more and more on what corresponds to the innermost longing of our heart. The practice of meditation . . . gradually works its magic in stilling the mind.
50. Theology is just not important in Judaism, or in any other religion, really. There’s no orthodoxy, as you have it in the Catholic Church. No complicated creeds to which everybody must subscribe. No infallible pronouncements by a pope. Nobody can tell Jews what to believe. Within reason, you can believe what you like… We have orthopraxy instead of orthodoxy. Right practice rather then right belief. That’s all. You Christians make such a fuss about theology, but it’s not important in the way you think. It’s just poetry, really, ways of talking about the inexpressible.
51. Winners were not born winners; they learnt and practiced how to win and they have it! Everyone who gives a great testimony about his/her life begins with a beginning that was “inadequate” until something happened… an a breakthrough became evident!
52. IMPERMANENCE means that the essence of life is fleeting. Some people are so skillful at their mindfulness practice that they can actually see each and every little movement of mind—changing, changing, changing.
53. This assumption of the intrinsically repressive nature of collective experience and redemptive power of individuation is a staple of contemporary art theory and criticism. I would argue that a closer analysis of collaborative and collective art practices can reveal a more complex model of social change and identity, one in which the binary oppositions of divided vs. coherent subjectivity, desiring singularity vs. totalizing collective, liberating distanciation vs. stultifying interdependence, are challenged and complicated.
54. If you dread ending up in the bunker, practice these tricky out-of-the-sand shots until you master them. Think of it as insurance—we all have learned that, once you know you can make that shot easily, you will seldom need to!
55. Illegally firing whistle blowers is standard practice in the USA.
56. First of all, people are always pretending to be what they are,” said his father. “That’s basically a philosophical question. Part of being something is pretending to be it.
57. Experts were once amateurs who kept practicing.
58. Practice without thought is blind. Thought without practice is empty.
59. Punching your companions is unhelpful. Go into the forest and practice unarmed combat against a tree.
60. Progress comes with practice, and practice comes with purpose. Know your “why.