The deepest sense of “self” is what guides us, heals us, and ultimately helps us find our purest inner direction on the outward path of life. Here are several thoughts from notable teachers on the significance of listening to the voice that speaks from inside each person, ourselves especially.

Thich Nhat Hanh:

You are what you want to become. Why search anymore? You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you.
This thoughtful meditation helps us see that all of us must be in the world for a certain reason. Even if we can’t see it clearly yet, there is a definite path taking form inside of us, a direction we can begin to follow if we stop and listen often enough.

Dalai Lama:

When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.

One key concept of the Dalai Lama’s message (regardless of religion) is the need for compassion in our lives – especially compassion towards oneself. When we understand ourselves, we understand that happiness is possible in everything and everyone we interact with, no matter what else is going on.

Swami Vivekananda:

All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of anyone. Stand up and express the divinity within you.

We often overestimate the abilities of others while underestimating our own potential. Sometimes it can take an outside viewpoint for us to realize just how much we are capable of achieving; our dreams, goals, and wishes are much more important than we give them credit for being.


Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.

What most of us search for every day is not so much a door to the world as a door within our hearts. If we can begin to see our real influence on everything that exists around us, we become closer to realizing what we achieve in the world.

Closing thought: Good teachers can show us the doorway, yet only we can walk through it. We hope to balance inspiration and wisdom with personal intention and action – we seek to learn, then also seek to live.