Self-Control. Earnestness.

Act with discipline and courage and never lose your heart. Teachings of Babaji.

YATATAMA DRIRNISHCHAY. He who has control over himself, who is of determined mind, will succeed in life. Teachings of Babaji, P.91.

(...) For the love of God, discipline yourself in body and spirit so that you preserve your health as long as you can. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.101.

The monk leaves the world with its false freedom, and by renouncing the weakness of will that drives him to obey every impulse and satisfy all his passions, he disciplines himself in obedience to the will of God, strengthens his soul in love, which brings him to a purer knowledge of God, unites himself more closely in pure charity with his brethren until his soul rests in that tranquil peace which is the sign that there are no longer any significant obstacles to frustrate his desire for truth.  And where does he find this truth?  In fulfilling the end for which his nature was created: that is to say in pleasing God by a love which responds to the free love of God with a love equally pure, and disinterested and free. Merton, Thomas. The Silent Life. PP. 25, 26 Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn  <ghorn@uswest.com>

(...) the authentic practitioner never renounces prematurely the precious disciplines of his tradition - daily prayers, ceremonial worship, study and chanting of scriptures, silent meditation, and selfless service to fulfill the physical and spiritual needs of conscious beings. The genuine aspirant remains in a constant state of inward and outward pilgrimage until actually reaching the one goal of true pilgrims - complete God-consciousness, full awakening as Truth. Ramakrishna, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.44.

Once a monk made a request of (Zen Master) Joshu: "I have just entered the monastery," he said, "please give me instructions, Master." Joshu said: "Have you had your breakfast?" "Yes, I have," replied the monk. "Then," said Joshu, "wash your bowls."
Quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.99.

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich ... Tao Te Ching 33, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom. P.163.

People seldom learn true self-control (...). To be able to do things when and because you ought to do them, and to refrain from doing what you know is injurious - these are keys to real success and happiness. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.78.

(...) through spiritual discipline we prevent the world from filling our lives to such an extent that there is no place left to listen. Henri Nouwen, God in All Worlds - An Anthology of Contemporary Spiritual Writing. Submitted to Merton-L Discussion Group by bluemesa.

(...) the only way to health and happiness, and the sanest way, is self-control. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.104.

Mankind is like a large zoo - so many people behaving so differently, most of them having no real control over themselves. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.145.

The second way to cosmic consciousness is the way of self-discipline. (...) Enjoy things, but don't be attached to them. Be free. Be pleasant and self-controlled. Avoid becoming a slave to wrong habits, and act only according to your righteous convictions. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.170.

God does not bestow great spiritual powers on devotees until they show Him they have conquered their human weaknesses. Otherwise they might hurt other persons, even destroy whole nations, by misuse of the divine might. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.234.

Keep cheerful, lead a religious life, cherish elevating thoughts, be merry, but never indulge in pleasures which tax the body or for which you will feel remorse afterwards; then all will be well. (...) Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.49.

The undisciplined man doesn't wrong himself alone -
he sets fire to the whole world.
Discipline enabled Heaven to be filled with light;
discipline enabled the angels to be immaculate and holy.

Rumi, Mathnawi I, 79,91, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.17.

Abbot Pambo questioned Abbot Anthony saying: What ought I to do? And the elder replied: Have no confidence in your own virtuousness. Do not worry about a thing once it has been done. Control your tongue and your belly. Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert, P.25.

No virtue makes flesh-bound man so like a spiritual angel as does self-restraint, for it enables those still living on earth to become, as the Apostle says, 'citizen of heaven' (9cf. Phil. 3:20). St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.74.

He who always concentrates on the inner life will acquire self-restraint. he will also be able to contemplate, theologize and pray. (...) St. Hesyhios the Priest (8th or 9th Century), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.174.

Purify yourself by a well-ordered and useful life. Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. This will clear your vision. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.27.


To influence events, you need not know the causes. What a roundabout way of doing things! Are you not the source and the end of every event? Control it at the source itself. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.41.


In the case of a beginner the practice of Yoga is often deliberate and requires great determination. But those who are practicing sincerely for many years, are intent on self-realization all the time, whether conscious of it or not. Unconscious sadhana is most effective, because it is spontaneous and steady. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.74.


See your world as it is, not as you imagine it to be. Discrimination will lead to detachment; detachment will ensure right action; right action will build the inner bridge to your real being. Action is a proof of earnestness. Do what you are told diligently and faithfully and all obstacles will dissolve. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.80-1.

Last updated: 2013/06/03

See the related subjects: Alertness, Composure, Courage, Duty, Fear of God, Moderation, Patience, Proper Life, Purpose, Saints, Service, Will