Food for Thought
Practical ideas for raising your spirits
Inspirational quotes and prayers
Music to soothe the soul
Having cancer can be a frightening and stressful business. You will not only need practical help, but also emotional and spiritual support if you are going to get through the ups and downs of treatment. Here we have collected some sayings, prayers, and images which we hope you will find inspiring and uplifting. We have also made suggestions for music to feed the soul, including mediation and relaxation selections. If things are getting you down, sit a moment and read, think, enjoy the beautiful images. Give yourself time to recharge your spiritual batteries.
Inspirational WordsSayings & Prayers
There is more to life than increasing its speed.
The more you are focused on time – past and future – the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.
Why is it the most precious thing? Firstly, because it is the only thing. It’s all there is. The eternal present is the space within which your whole life unfolds, the one factor that remains constant. Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.
Secondly, the Now is the only point that can take you beyond the limited confines of the mind. It is your only point of access into the timeless and formless realm of Being.
Have you ever experienced, done, thought, or felt anything outside the Now? Do you think you ever will? Is it possible for anything to happen or be outside the Now? The answer is obvious, is it not?
Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, book and CD
“Every day, God gives us the sun – and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we haven’t perceived that moment, that it doesn’t exist – that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like putting our front-door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. But that moment exists – a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perform miracles.”
Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
With wings which I have won for myself,
In love’s fierce striving,
I shall soar upwards
To the light which no eye has penetrated!
Its wing that I won is expanded,
and I fly up.
Die shall I in order to live.
Rise again, yes, rise again,
Will you, my heart, in an instant!
That for which you suffered,
To God will it lead you!
Gustav Mahler’s continuation of the poem Die Auferstehung by Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock written for his 2nd symphony, known as the Resurrection Symphony.This is a beautiful, stirring piece of music.
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving…
TS Eliot, Burnt Norton from the Four Quartets
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.
M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
From Psalm 121: 1-2
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, no. 6
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18
Every time you make a decision, something happens. When you make a different decision, something different happens. What happens depends on what you decide. Wherever you look, all that your five senses can see is the movie. You can’t see outside the theater, but you can decide what the movie is about. You do that with each of your decisions. This is a very important thing to know because your life is the movie.
Every decision you make causes something to happen. Sometimes it happens right away. Sometimes it takes a while. Either way, you choose. Once you understand this, you can make your movie the way you want it to be.
Gary Zukav, Soul Stories
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6, 34
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
John Donne, Death Be Not Proud
Music & Meditation
Relaxation & Meditation
Seven Metals – Singing bowls of Tibet, Ben Lobst
1, Tibet – Nada Himalaya, 2, Deuter (1 also good, but 2 is fantastic.)
Dawn Chorus, recordings of birds at dawn in Britain. British Library
Sound Bath, Tom Kenyon
Alpha Relaxation System, Relaxation Company
Yogi Marlon site for a wide range of yoga DVDs and books
Guided Meditations on CD
Meditations for Life, Rod Stryker, from Pureyoga.com
Meditations for Inner and Outer Peace, Rod Stryker
Relax into Greatness, Rod Stryker.
Chet Baker – In Paris
Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde
John Lennon – Imagine
Tina Turner – Simply the Best
Albinoni: Adagio for Organ and Strings
Johann Sebastian Bach: Air from Suite No. 3 in D major
Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings
Violin sonatas Nos: 5, 8, 9
Symphony No 4 in B flat Major
Berlioz: La damnation de Faust
Elgar: Enigma Variations
Handel: Water Music Suite No 1 for orchestra in F Major
Mahler: Symphonies 2 and 5
Mozart: Anything by him, but these are some favourites:
Requiem Mass in C Minor
Operas: Cosi Fan Tutte
The Magic Flute
The Marriage of Figaro
Schubert: Quintet in C Flat, Allegro
Sibelius: Symphony No 2 (Finlandia)
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending