H.E. Davey Quotes
“A positive attitude is most easily arrived at through a deliberate and rational analysis of what’s required to manifest unwavering positive thought patterns. First, reflect on the actual, present condition of your mind. In other words, is the mind positive or not? We’ve all met individuals who perceive themselves as positive people but don’t appear as such. Since the mind is both invisible and intangible, it’s therefore easier to see the accurate characteristics of the mind through a person’s words, deeds, and posture.
For example, if we say, “It’s absolutely freezing today! I’ll probably catch a cold before the end of the day!” then our words expose a negative attitude. But if we say, “The temperature is very cold” (a simple statement of fact), then our expressions, and therefore attitude, are not negative. Sustaining an alert state in which self-awareness becomes possible gives us a chance to discover the origins of negativity. In doing so, we also have an opportunity to arrive at a state of positiveness, so that our words and deeds are also positive, making others feel comfortable, cheerful, and inspired.”
“Emotional baggage,” which is carried over from the past, colors our perceptions. Likewise, past conclusions and beliefs, based on reasoning that may or may not have been accurate, also tint our perception of reality. Retaining our capacity for reason is common sense, but definite conclusions and beliefs keep us from seeing life as it really is at any given moment.
Emotional reactions can be unreasonable, and reason can be flawed. It’s difficult to have deep confidence in either one, especially when they’re often at war with each other. But the universal mind exists in the instant, in a moment beyond time, and it sees the universe as it literally is. It’s the universe perceiving itself. It is, moreover, something we can have absolute confidence in, and with that confidence, we can maintain a genuinely positive attitude.”
“A strong life force can be seen in physical vitality, courage, competent judgment, self-mastery, sexual vigor, and the realization of each person’s unique talents and purpose in life. To maintain a powerful life force, forget yourself, forget about living and dying, and bring your full attention into this moment.”
“By means of personal experimentation and observation, we can discover certain simple and universal truths. The mind moves the body, and the body follows the mind. Logically then, negative thought patterns harm not only the mind but also the body. What we actually do builds up to affect the subconscious mind and in turn affects the conscious mind and all reactions.”
“In Japan, a number of time-honored everyday activities (such as making tea, arranging flowers, and writing) have traditionally been deeply examined by their proponents. Students study how to make tea, perform martial arts, or write with a brush in the most skillful way possible to express themselves with maximum efficiency and minimum strain. Through this efficient, adroit, and creative performance, they arrive at art. But if they continue to delve even more deeply into their art, they discover principles that are truly universal, principles relating to life itself. Then, the art of brush writing becomes shodo—the “Way of the brush”—while the art of arranging flowers is elevated to the status of kado—the “Way of flowers.” Through these Ways or Do forms, the Japanese have sought to realize the Way of living itself. They have approached the universal through the particular.”
“Relaxing the shoulders is vital for relaxation in general. However, owing to the effects of gravity, relaxation is problematic unless we let the shoulders remain in their natural place. Let the shoulders drop, or settle in harmony with gravity, into their most comfortable position. It isn’t too difficult to do this for a moment, but to sustain this condition unconsciously in our lives is another matter. We raise our shoulders unnaturally when we lean on a desk or hold the telephone between our shoulders and ears, when we are shocked by a loud noise, and who knows how many other times throughout the day. And the unsettling of the shoulders doesn’t have to be large to produce anxiety, stiff necks, and headaches. Just slightly raising them will create tension, and this tension throws the nervous system out of balance.
When do we raise the shoulders in daily life? What are we feeling at that moment and leading up to that moment? Remembering that the body reflects the mind, and that the raising of the shoulders not only creates tension but also is a physical manifestation of psychological tension itself, what are the roots of this tension? Bringing the mind into the moment, let’s observe ourselves in a state free of preconceived ideas or beliefs. Don’t guess at these questions. Observe yourself in relationship to others and the universe”
“Each action we take is an act of self-expression. We often think of large-scale or important deeds as being indications of our real selves, but even how we sharpen a pencil can reveal something about our feelings at that moment. Do we sharpen the pencil carefully or nervously so that it doesn’t break? Do we bother to pay attention to what we’re doing? How do we sharpen the same pencil when we’re angry or in a hurry? Is it the same as when we’re calm or unhurried?
Even the smallest movement discloses something about the person executing the action because it is the person who’s actually performing the deed. In other words, action doesn’t happen by itself, we make it happen, and in doing so we leave traces of ourselves on the activity. The mind and body are interrelated.”
“Our past cannot be changed, and to be preoccupied with it is inefficient in time and effort. Likewise, by fretting over the future, we only exhaust ourselves, making us less able to effectively respond when the future is actually upon us. By worrying about a mishap that may or may not take place, we’re forced to undergo the event twice—once when imagining it and once again if and when we actually experience it.”
“If we fail to realize our full potential as human beings, we live more on an animalistic level. This is fine for dogs, cats, and chimpanzees but doesn’t work quite so well for women and men. Without the capacity to freely shape our own lives, much as a sculptor might carve stone, we inevitably slip into negativity and depression.”
“The undiscovered is not far away. It’s not something to be found eventually. It is contained within what is right in front of us. The essence of reality is being born right now. It has never existed before. Reality is constant creation and destruction, and in this constant change is something unborn and undying, something that cannot be approached through the known or the past. It isn’t seen through striving to become something based on ideals stemming from former experiences. It comes to that which is being, not striving. In this state of being in the moment, without the known, without knowing at all, with neither past nor future, is a space that is not filled with time. And in this space, the undiscovered and ever-changing moment exists—a moment containing all possibilities, the totality of existence, absolute reality. Reality is now, and in the now, we can experience the true nature of the universe and the universal mind.”
“Basically, if the mind stays in the present, it’s impossible to worry. Upon careful consideration, it becomes clear that human beings are capable of worrying only about an event that has already transpired or one that may take place in the future (although the occurrence might have just happened or may be about to happen in the next instant). The present moment contains no time or space for worry.”
“Memorizing someone else’s explanation of the truth isn’t the same as seeing the truth for yourself. It is what it is—the memorization of second-hand knowledge. It is not your experience. It is not your knowledge. And no matter how much material is learned by rote, and no matter how eloquently we can speak about the memorized information, we’re clinging to a description of something that’s not ours. What’s more, the description is never the item itself. By holding onto our impression of certain descriptions, we frequently are unable to see the real thing when it’s right before our eyes. We are conditioned by memorizing and believing concepts—the truth of which we’ve never genuinely seen for ourselves.”
“Realizing that our minds control our bodies while our bodies reflect our minds amounts to understanding the most fundamental aspects of ourselves. It further equals a comprehension of the relationship between our “tools.” And since the mind and body are interrelated, this understanding makes it easier to see why coordinating them is a practical way of using these tools to greatest effect—a way of using the mind and body to live our lives as art.”
“By keeping the mind in the present, unless you deliberately want to contemplate the past or future, it’s possible to firmly face life without fear. Then, no thoughts of past failures or future problems will exist in the mind, and a truly positive mental state will result—fudoshin, the “immovable mind.”
“Just as there’s usually a space or interval between people passing on the street, even if it sometimes seems very small, a space also exists between thoughts. In your meditation, see if you can perceive this gap between thoughts. What is it, and does it belong to the realm of time? If it does not, then it’s unborn and undying, beyond all conditioning, which is a psychological carry-over from the past to the present.
Whatever thoughts or internal conflicts come up—do nothing. Do not try to force them to cease or change. And don’t “do nothing” to still the mind, quiet fears, or resolve conflicts—all of this is doing something. It only leads to more struggling and prevents you from seeing the actual nature of thought and internal conflict. Genuine attention has no motive.
This observation or listening doesn’t involve effort. Effort merely distracts you from what’s taking place in the instant. A kind of concentration exists that’s not forced. We’ve all experienced listening or paying attention to something we truly enjoyed. At that moment, was effort required for concentration to take place?”
“Using the combined, integrated force of the mind and body is more efficient than using one without the other. Since the body can only exist in the present, that’s where the mind should be too (unless we deliberately choose to contemplate the past or future). At the same time, the body needs to be healthy and in optimum operating condition so that it can respond effectively to the mind’s directives.”
“Humankind has accumulated generation upon generation of knowledge, the culmination of which is the vast and useful technological array we see everywhere in modern society. Despite this great accumulation of knowledge and technology, we still suffer from starvation and war. The difference between the past and the present is the difference between throwing rocks and shooting missiles. We are still in conflict. Suffering on a fundamental level hasn’t ceased. But we nevertheless persist in the notion that if we just amass a bit more knowledge, we’ll all be o.k. Maybe a new philosophy will do the trick, or a new system of government. But all of this has been tried many times.
Knowledge builds on the past and has its place. Wisdom is beyond time. It’s the direct perception of reality as it is. And in this direct seeing of what is lies the potential of transformation—a transformation that is not merely a redecoration of the past but a transformation of humanity that embodies the eternally new.”
“Plants or animals rarely behave in an unnatural manner that’s contrary to their true makeup. Human beings are also natural beings, but at the same time, we’re conscious entities. We therefore have free will and must make the choice not merely to be part of nature, but also to follow faithfully the “laws of nature.”
“While we can learn or study techniques for almost anything we might want to accomplish, real understanding is not the mere accumulation of knowledge. Understanding cannot be realized by listening or reading about the realization of others. It must be achieved firsthand via substantive, direct perception in the moment.”
“All creations are one with the universe. Look at the world around you. Can you effectively separate yourself from everything else? After seriously pondering this, most of us rapidly conclude that we cannot. To even make the statement that I exist as a unique entity requires comparison with something else. (If you exist as a distinct being, your distinctiveness is in comparison to other creations. No other creations, no individual you.)”
“It’s clear that if we use the mind attentively, mental power is increased, and if we concentrate the mind in the moment, it is easier to coordinate mind and body. But in terms of mind and body unity, is there something we can concentrate on that will reliably aid us in discovering this state of coordination?
In Japan, and to some degree other Asian countries, people have historically focused mental strength in the hara (abdomen) as a way of realizing their full potential. Japan has traditionally viewed the hara as the vital center of humanity in a manner not dissimilar to the Western view of the heart or brain. I once read that years ago Japanese children were asked to point to the origin of thoughts and feelings. They inevitably pointed toward the abdominal region. When the same question was asked of American children, most pointed at their heads or hearts. Likewise, Japan and the West have commonly held differing views of what is physical power or physical health, with Japan emphasizing the strength of the waist and lower body and Western people admiring upper body power. (Consider the ideal of the sumo wrestler versus the V-shaped Western bodybuilder with a narrow waist and broad shoulders.)
However, East and West also hold similar viewpoints regarding the hara, and we’re perhaps not as dissimilar as some might imagine. For instance, hara ga nai hito describes a cowardly person, “a person with no hara.” Sounds similar to our saying that so-and-so “has no guts,” doesn’t it?”