Take rest; a field that has rested
gives a beautiful crop.



Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

John Lubbock

Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.

Indra Devi

What do I want to take home from my summer vacation?  Time.  The wonderful luxury of being at rest.  The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander.  The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are.  Summer is my period of grace.

Ellen Goodman

Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.

Ashleigh Brilliant


Rest is a fine medicine.  Let your stomachs rest, ye dyspeptics; let your brain rest, you wearied and worried people of business; let your limbs rest, ye children of toil!

Thomas Carlyle


I still need more healthy rest in order to work at
my best.  My health is the main capital I have
and I want to administer it intelligently.

Ernest Hemingway


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Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you
come back to your work your judgment will be surer.  Go some
distance away because then the work appears smaller and more
of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and
proportion is more readily seen.

Leonardo Da Vinci


Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest
we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in
prayer for five short minutes.

Etty Hillesum


They that can take rest are greater
than they that can take cities.

Benjamin Franklin

Rest when you're weary.  Refresh and renew yourself,
your body, your mind, your spirit.  Then get back to work.

Ralph Marston

Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work
is necessary, and he gives us hands and strength to do it. The
enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It
is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just
as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make
food and drink such pleasures.

Elisabeth Elliot
Discipline: The Glad Surrender


The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally,
is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room,
not try to be or do anything whatever.

May Sarton


No rest is worth anything except the rest that is earned.

Jean Paul

A good rest is half the work.




My dear friend, Bonnie, is a person who rests and, consequently, earned
my ire early in our relationship.  Her ability to rest eventually taught me
incredibly valuable lessons about the art of taking time-outs.  To this day,
Bonnie is astutely aware of times when her energy dips too low and
resolutely honors her need to rest.  To boost her energy, she's been known
to sit quietly with a cup of tea, adjourn a workshop we were co-facilitating
to take a five-minute breather, or slip out of her own wedding reception
to be restored by a few minutes of solitude in the sun.

Sue Patton Thoele

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.

Spanish Proverb

Don't think of rest as giving in.  Rather, consider a nap, or even closing
your eyes for five minutes, as something you've worked hard for,
something you've earned, like the interest in a bank account.  Instead
of banishing the nap, try to find ways to comfortable fold it into your
life.  View the nap as you might perceive vitamins and exercise.
Remove words like slothful and lazy from your nap vocabulary.
Replace them with declarations like "Naps are good for my
soul" and "A little rest will make me feel like a million bucks."

Leslie Levine
Ice Cream for Breakfast


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Activity and rest are two vital aspects of life. To find a balance in them
is a skill in itself. Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have
activity, and how much of each to have. Finding them in each other--
activity in rest and rest in activity--is the ultimate freedom.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Celebrating Silence

There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest.
Use both and overlook neither.

Alan Cohen

A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful
to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed
to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some
use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor--
such is my idea of happiness.

Leo Tolstoy
Family Happiness


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The mind should be allowed some relaxation, that it
may return to its work all the better for the rest.

The first time I heard the term "strong back, soft front" was from Joan Halifax.  We were doing an event together at the Omega Institute in New York--one of my favorite places.  I'll admit that I was a little intimidated to meet her; Dr. Halifax is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, activist, and author of several books on Engaged Buddhism.  We met for the first time during the technical rehearsal for our evening talk.  She was down-to-earth and, what I remember most, she was funny as hell.  As we were leaving, I said, "I'm wiped, but I guess it's off to the meet-and-greet."

She looked at me and said, "I'm going to my room to rest before tonight.  Why don't you do the same?"

I told her that sounded great, but I felt bad saying no.  I'll never forget what she said back to me.  "Tonight we will exhale and teach.  Now it's time to inhale.  There is the in-breath and there is the out-breath, and it's easy to believe that we must exhale all the time, without ever inhaling.  But the inhale is absolutely essential if you want to continue to exhale."

Brené Brown
Braving the Wilderness


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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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