There was an old Zen master called Nonoko who lived alone in a hut at the foot of a mountain. One night while Nonoko was sitting in meditation, a stranger broke into the hut and, brandishing a sword, demanded Nonoko's money.

He also helped himself to a precious vase he found on the shelf.

"Carry that vase with care," said Nonoko. "It will crack easily."

The stranger looked around the small barren room once more and was going to leave.

"You haven't said thank you," said Nonoko.

The man said thank you and left. The next day the whole village was in turmoil. Many people claimed they had been robbed. Someone noticed the vase missing from the shelf in Nonoko's hut and asked if he, too, had been the victim of the burglar.

Nonoko did not interrupt his meditation while he addressed the man:

"All my money is in a bowl on the shelf up there. Take all you need, but leave me five yen. I have to pay my taxes next week. "

The stranger emptied the bowl of all the money it held and threw five yen back into it.

"You haven't said thank you," said Nonoko.

The man said thank you and left. The next day the whole village was in turmoil. Many people claimed they had been robbed. Someone noticed the vase missing from the shelf in Nonoko's hut and asked if he, too, had been the victim of the burglar.

"Oh, no," said Nonoko. "I gave the vase to a stranger, along with some money. He thanked me and left. He was a pleasant enough sort of fellow, but a bit careless with his sword!"

– Story by Anthony de Mello

Quotes That Inspire Meditation Practice

"Some people think that meditation takes time away from physical accomplishment. Taken to extremes, of course, that's true. Most people, however, find that meditation creates more time than it takes." – Peter McWilliams

"When we meditate, what we actually do is enter into the deeper part of our being. At that time, we are able to bring to the fore the wealth that we have deep within us." – Sri Chinmoy

"Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom." – Buddha

"Mindful meditation has been discovered to foster the ability to inhibit those very quick emotional impulses." – Daniel Goleman

"Thus meditating you will no longer strive to build yourself up in your prejudices, but, forgetting self, you will remember only that you are seeking the Truth." – James Allen

"Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening for the answer." – Edgar Cayce

"What's encouraging about meditation is that even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly that we're closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance." – Pema Chodron

"The best attitude for doing the meditation is to forget about results. Forget about what will happen when you do the meditation – just do it. When you meditate, you might not feel your Presence, but that is fine.

"Just the doing of the meditation is what is needed. Sometimes you will feel present, sometimes you won't. Sometimes you will feel wonderful, sometimes you'll feel miserable.

"These factors do not determine the value of meditation.

"What determines the value of meditation is that you do the meditation. If you really do it, in time you'll become present mainly because you will not go along with the judgments and preferences of the ego." - A.H. Almaas

What meditation quotes would you add to this list?

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