Quotes from “A Monk’s Way”

Jean Moreau, monk and hero of this book, is a deep thinker.  Here are some of his best quotes from  A Monk’s Way, available now.

“Mindfulness is a quiet mind, an aware mind. Mindfulness itself is not about ‘arriving,’ but about being.” 

“Which was the genuine me? Could both lay claim to be a part of me — one part with a very human and primitive desire for a soul mate, in this case a woman, and the other consumed with the desire to live a life dedicated to honoring and loving a gracious God? …

“Creation is always an act of affirmation, a lust for life or activity, a restlessness accompanied by art.    That art is what pleases and invigorates and mystifies me.” 

“I felt her hold on me tighten.  I turned to look at her and she was turning to look at me at that same moment.   I looked into her eyes and saw a look that could only mean one thing…”   

“I believe simply that the prime relationship to be developed in the spiritual quest is that relationship between a man or woman and God, not the relationship between one and one’s Church or its clergy.”  

“Freedom of will is our birthright.”

“I know that some think that an abbey is just a retreat from the world. I can tell you that it is hardly that. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. It is an embracing of life in all of its depth, in all of its complexities…”

“Father Moreau, what I have to say to you is grave…you are on probation with me and this community.”  

“What if I had followed up on this wonderful relationship with Elena? What if I hadn’t gone to become a priest, but instead shared my life with her? I remember the unmistakable thrill of goose bumps running up my spine and down my arms as those thoughts materialized.”

“Perhaps I had become complacent during those twenty years, thinking that my battles with passions — the extreme expression of emotion — were over. Vigilance had been lacking, and I fell at the first assault.” 

“It only matters that we do awaken. Liberation comes first in the mind.” 

“God’s [creation] contains the Realm of all Possibilities. In that realm, it is energy that is the key player.   The energetic vibration is full of life.   It is thought, it is intention, and ultimately Awareness, a type of perception, the great teacher.   It is the font of wisdom, Awareness.”

“Mindfulness is a quiet mind, an aware mind. Mindfulness itself is not about ‘arriving,’ but about being.” 

“Under the fire of the Enemy are forged man’s noblest characteristics, or greatest failures.     The tempering of the earthly man through his many difficulties and challenges is where he can learn to connect to his own divine soul, his Higher Self, to the Divine.     It is this connection to the Divine that gives humanity its only true possibility for happiness in a world incapable of delivering it by itself.   We eventually come to realize that earthly life should not be taken too seriously, and that all works for our good.” 

“Divine connection – there cannot be happier or more satisfying moments in any human experience.    The peace that pervades us is not of this world.   It is a contentedness, a lack of fear or anger, a state of complete satisfaction.   It is the prelude, a glimpse of what we can expect in our coming life in Eternity.”   

Connectedness by its very nature will eventually become Understanding, the recognition first of the possibility, and then of the reality of the temporary nature of life on earth and its sufferings – Awareness.    Understanding is also that place where Love and Compassion begin.  It is the place from which one can really begin to experience the Godhead, Who encompasses those virtues.”

“What can be more difficult for a person than to be alone with him or herself without distraction, hour after hour, day after day?”

 “Man needs God to sustain his life. God is ever-near, though not ever-apparent.”

“There is an effort to be made to get to that truth before it is ultimately revealed to us. There are lifetimes to live, much experience to gain, good decisions to be made, emotions to deconstruct, and love to be given and received. Then, and only then, will we understand creation in all of its subtlety, depth, and mystery.”