John O'Donohue Quotes

Enjoy the top 253 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by John O'Donohue.

John O'Donohue Quotes

The silence of landscape conceals vast presence. Place is not simply location. A place is a profound individuality. With complete attention, landscape celebrates the liturgy of the seasons, giving itself unreservedly to the passion of the goddess. The shape of a landscape is an ancient and silent form of consciousness. Mountains are huge contemplatives. Rivers and streams offer voice; they are the tears of the earths joy and despair. The earth is full of soul ... Civilization has tamed place. Left to itself, the curvature of the landscape invites presence and the loyalty of stillness.
— John O'Donohue —

If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.

— John O'Donohue

There is the solitude of suffering, when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense, and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so distant and different from what you are actually suffering.

— John O'Donohue

Transience is the force of time that makes a ghost of every experience. There was never a dawn, regardless how beautiful or promising, that did not grow into a noontime. There was never a noon that did not fall into afternoon. There was never an afternoon that did not fade toward evening. There never was a day yet that did not get buried in the graveyard of the night. In this way transience makes a ghost out of everything that happens to us.

— John O'Donohue

When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you. Your forgotten or neglected wealth begins to reveal itself. You come home to yourself and learn to rest within. Thoughts are our inner senses. Infused with silence and solitude, they bring out the mystery of inner landscape.

— John O'Donohue

I do not wish to criticize any system that can nourish people's spirits, but I find that a lot of New Age writing cherry-picks the attractive bits from the ancient traditions and makes collages of them; it usually excises the ascetic dimension. In general it is not rigorously thought out, but is what I would call "soft" thinking.

— John O'Donohue

This earth is the only constant in our lives. It has been here for millions of years before us. It was his gift to unearth its riches; that this "human-come-lately" is but the latest link in the chain of evolution.
We must become aware of our present stage of "becoming" and to do this we need to look back at our history.

— John O'Donohue

To be wholesome, we must remain truthful to our vulnerable complexity. In order to keep our balance, we need to hold the interior and exterior, visible and invisible, known and unknown, temporal and eternal, ancient and new, together. No one else can undertake this task for you. You are the one and only threshold of an inner world. This wholesomeness is holiness. To be holy is to be natural, to befriend the worlds that come to balance in you. Behind the facade of image and distraction, each person is an artist in this primal and inescapable sense. Each one of us is doomed and privileged to be an inner artist who carries and shapes a unique world.

— John O'Donohue

The interplay between farmers and the elements was a poem without words, the echo which would always return to him.
The air could hold the "breeze of the rain" or the "wind of warmth" to the discerning nose.
The stone carved its memory deep into the hands that chiseled it.
Fire was life in the hearth which was the center of home.
Water introduced itself to us from its most natural source in streams and wells.

— John O'Donohue

Human presence is a creative and turbulent sacrament, a visible sign of invisible grace.

— John O'Donohue

When we hear the word 'beauty', we inevitably think that beauty belongs in a special elite realm where only the extraordinary dwells. Yet without realizing it, each day each one of us is visited by beauty. When you actually listen to people, it is surprising how often beauty is mentioned. A world without beauty would be unbearable.

— John O'Donohue

When you are compassionate with yourself, you trust in your soul, which you let guide your life. Your soul knows the geography of your destiny better than do.

— John O'Donohue

In our rapid and externalized world, language has become ghostlike, abbreviated to code and label. Words that would mirror the soul carry the loam of substance and the shadow of the divine. The sense of silence and darkness behind the words in more ancient cultures, particularly in folk culture, is absent in the modern use of language. Language is full of acronyms; nowadays we are impatient of words that carry with them histories and associations.

— John O'Donohue

To be holy is to be home, to be able to rest in the house of belonging that we call the soul.

— John O'Donohue

Each morning we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. At birth we were awakened and emerged to become visible in the world. At death we will surrender again to the dark to become invisible. Awakening and surrender: they frame each day and each life; between them the journey where anything can happen, the beauty and the frailty.

— John O'Donohue

I have never seen white so absolute / And alone, glistening in awkward form / Dreaming across the water a bright path. / As it stirs and changes I see what it is: / Two swans have found the mirror in the lake / Where a V of horizon lets light through / To make them light-source and light-shape in one. / Now they swim and fade through windows of reed / And disrobe the lake of apparition.

— John O'Donohue

Thought is an amazing thing: it can be a mirror, a lens, a bridge, a wall, a window, a ladder or a house. There is nothing in the world that has the cutting edge of a new thought.

— John O'Donohue

Belonging is a circle that embraces everything; if we reject it, we damage our nature.The word 'belonging' holds together the two fundamental aspects of life: Being and Longing, the longing of our Being and the being of our Longing.

— John O'Donohue

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