Benjamin Hoff quotes

  • Lots of people talk to animals... Not very many listen, though... That's the problem.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Love #Inspiring #Dog

  • When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Life #Fun #Block

  • Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you've got.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Cheer Up #Taoism #Want

  • But isn't the knowledge that comes from experience more valuable than the knowledge that doesn't? It seems fairly obvious to some of us that a lot of scholars need to go outside and sniff around - walk through the grass, talk to the animals. That sort of thing.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Animal #Needs #Grass

  • A clever mind is not a heart. Knowledge doesn't really care, wisdom does.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Clever #Heart #Mind

  • The surest way to become Tense, Awkward, and Confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard - one that thinks too much.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Confused #Thinking #Awkward

  • The honey doesn't taste so good once it is being eaten; the goal doesn't mean so much once it is reached; the reward is no so rewarding once it has been given. If we add up all the rewards in our lives, we won't have very much. But if we add up the spaces *between* the rewards, we'll come up with quite a bit. And if we add up the rewards *and* the spaces, then we'll have everything - every minute of the time that we spent.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Mean #Space #Goal

  • Thousands of years ago, man lived in harmony with the rest of the natural world. Through what we would today call Telepathy, he communicated with animals, plants, and other forms of life-none of which he considered "beneath" himself, only different, with different jobs to perform. He worked side by side with earth angels and nature spirits, with whom he shared responsibility for taking care of the world.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Jobs #Responsibility #Angel

  • Things just happen in the right way, at the right time. At least when you let them, when you work with circumstances instead of saying, 'This isn't supposed to be happening this way,' and trying harder to make it happen some other way.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Trying #Way #Circumstances

  • Without difficulties, life would be like a stream without rocks and curves – about as interesting as concrete. Without problems, there can be no personal growth, no group achievement, no progress of humanity. But what mattes about problems is what one does with them.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Curves #Rocks #Interesting

  • Reality is what one makes it. And the more negative reality one nurtures and creates, the more of it one has.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Reality #Negative #Nurture

  • The masters of life know the way, for they listen to the voice within them, the voice of wisdom and simplicity, the voice that reasons beyond cleverness and knows beyond knowledge.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Voice #Simplicity #Way

  • If people were superior to animals, they'd take good care of them," said Pooh.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Nature #Animal #People

  • Like silence after noise, or cool, clear water on a hot, stuffy day, Emptiness cleans out the messy mind and charges up the batteries of spiritual energy. Many people are afraid of Emptiness, however, because it reminds them of Loneliness.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Spiritual #Loneliness #People

  • How can you get very far, If you don't know who you are? How can you do what you ought, If you don't know what you've got? And if you don't know which to do Of all the things in front of you, Then what you'll have when you are through Is just a mess without a clue Of all the best that can come true If you know What and Which and Who.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Justice #Clue #All The Best

  • The wise know their limitations; the foolish do not.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Wise #Foolish #Limitation

  • Wisdom, Happiness, and Courage are not waiting somewhere out beyond sight at the end of a straight line; they're part of a continuous cycle that begins right here. They're not only the ending, but the beginning as well.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Sight #Waiting #Lines

  • You'd be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Simple #Reality #Squares

  • The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can't save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Simple #Saving #Problem

  • We don't need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified Spiritual Superman, or sit around and wait for Fate to come knocking at the door. We simply need to believe in the power that's within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Spiritual #Believe #Responsibility

  • Within each of us there is an Owl, a Rabbit, and Eeyore, and a Pooh. For too long, we have chosen the way of Owl and Rabbit. Now, like Eeyore, we complain about the results. But that accomplishes nothing. If we are smart, we will choose the way of Pooh. As if from far away, it calls us with the voice of a child's mind. It may be hard to hear at times, but it is important just the same, because without it, we will never find our way through the forest.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Children #Smart #Voice

  • Many people are afraid of Emptiness, however, because it reminds them of Loneliness.  Everything has to be filled in, it seems-appointment books, hillsides, vacant lots-but when all the spaces are filled, the Loneliness really begins.  Then the Groups are joined, the Classes are signed up for, and the Gift-to-Yourself items are bought.  When the Loneliness starts creeping in the door, the Television Set is turned on to make it go away.  But it doesn't go away.  So some of us do instead, and after discarding the emptiness of the Big Congested Mess, we discover the fullness of Nothing.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Loneliness #Book #Class

  • By the time it came to the edge of the Forest, the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and, being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Running #Rain #Rivers

  • A saying from the area of Chinese medicine would be appropriate to mention here: "One disease, long life; no disease, short life." In other words, those who know what's wrong with them and take care of themselves accordingly will tend to live a lot longer than those who consider themselves perfectly happy and neglect their weakness. So, in that sense at least, a Weakness of some sort can do you a big favor, if you acknowledge that it's there.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Short Life #Acceptance #Medicine

  • The Universe knows what it's doing. So don't develop a big ego, and don't be afraid.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Ego #Bigs #Big Ego

  • "What's that?" the Unbeliever asked. "Wisdom from the Western Taoist,"I said. "It sounds like something from Winnie-the-Pooh ," he said. "It is," I said. "That's not about Taoism," he said. "Oh, yes it is," I said."
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Words Of Wisdom #Taoism #Sound

  • To Buddha, the second figure in the painting, life on earth was bitter, filled with attachments and desires that led to suffering.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Attachment #Suffering #Desire

  • Everything has its own place and function. That applies to people, although many don't seem to realize it, stuck as they are in the wrong job, the wrong marriage, or the wrong house. When you know and respect your Inner Nature, you know where you belong. You also know where you don't belong.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Jobs #People #House

  • Modern man's difficulties, dangerous beliefs and feelings of loneliness, spiritual emptiness,and personal weakness are caused by his illusions about, and separation from, the natural world.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Spiritual #Loneliness #Men

  • Life itself, when understood and utilized for what it is, is sweet.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Sweet #Understood

  • And when you try too hard, it doesn't work. Try grabbing something quickly and precisely with a tensed-up arm; then relax and try it again. Try doing something with a tense mind. The surest way to become Tense, Awkward, and Confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard-one that thinks too much.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Confused #Thinking #Awkward

  • There was a man that hated his footprints and his shadow, so one day he thought that if he ran fast enough, his footprints and shadow would not be able to follow him and then he never ever had to look at them again. He ran and he ran as fast as he could, but the shadow and the footprints had no problems keeping up to him. And he ran even faster and all of a sudden he fell dead to the ground. But if he been standing still there hadn't been any footprints and if he had been resting under a tree his shadow had been swallowed of the trees shadow.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Men #Tree #Shadow

  • From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times. As Piglet put it in Winnie-the-Pooh, "Pooh hasn't much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right."
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Block #Silly #Simple

  • We simply need to believe in the power that's within us, and use it.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Believe #Needs #Use

  • Through working in harmony with life's circumstances, Taoist understanding changes what others may percieve as negative into something positive.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Appreciation #Understanding #Negative

  • When we give up our images of self-importance and our ideas of what should be, we can help things become what they need to be.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Giving Up #Self #Ideas

  • Treat gain and loss the same.' Don't be Intimidated. Don't make a Big Deal of anything - just accept things as they come to you.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Loss #Gains #Accepting

  • Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully. "Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever." "And he has Brain." "Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain." There was a long silence. "I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Clever #Hair #Long

  • Unfortunately complaining is one thing Eeyores are not afraid to do. They grudgingly carry their thimbles to the Fountain of Life, then mumble and grumble that they weren't given enough.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Complaining #Enough #Fountain

  • It is very hard to be brave," said Piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." Rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "It is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Writing #Adventure #Animal

  • A way of life that keeps saying 'Around the next corner, above the next step,' works against the natural order of things and makes it so difficult to be happy and good.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Order #Next Steps #Way

  • There are things about ourselves that we need to get rid of; there are things we need to change. But at the same time, we do not need to be too desperate, too ruthless, too combative. Along the way to usefulness and happiness, many of those things will change themselves, and the others can be worked on as we go. The first thing we need to do is recognize and trust our own Inner Nature, and not lose sight of it.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Sight #Needs #Way

  • Now, scholars can be very useful and necessary, in their own dull and unamusing way. They provide a lot of information. It's just that there is Something More, and that Something More is what life is really all about.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Dull #Information #Way

  • While Eeyore frets ... ... and Piglet hesitates ... and Rabbit calculates ... and Owl pontificates ...Pooh just is.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Owl #Piglet #Rabbits

  • The play-it-safe pessimists of the world never accomplish much of anything, because they don't look clearly and objectively at situations, they don't recognize or believe in their own abilities to overcome even the smallest amount of risk.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Believe #Play #Risk

  • In the story of Ugly Duckling, when did the Ugly Duckling stop feeling Ugly? When he realized that he was a Swan. Each of us has something Special, a swan of some sort, hidden inside somewhere. But until we recognize that it's there, what can we do but splash around, treading water? The Wise are Who They Are. They work with what they've got and do what they can do.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Wise #Swans #Ugly Duckling

  • To know the way, we go the way, we do the way. The way we do, the things we do, it's all there in front of you. But if you try too hard to see it, you'll only become confused. I am me and you are you. As you can see; but when you do the things that you can do, you will find the way. The way will follow you.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Confused #Trying #Way

  • The major lesson Tiggers need to learn is that if they don't control their impulses, their impulses will control them. No matter how much they do, Tiggers are never satisfied because they don't know the feeling of accomplishment that eventually comes when one persistently applies one's will to the attaining of non-immediately-reachable goals.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Accomplishment #Goal #Feelings

  • Sourness and bitterness come from the interfering and unappreciative mind. Life itself, when understood and utilized for what it is, is sweet. That is the message of The Vinegar Tasters.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Sweet #Mind #Bitterness

  • The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can't save time. You can only spend it wisely or foolishly. The Bisy Backson has practically no time at all, because he's too busy wasting it by trying to save it. And by trying to save it, he ends up wasting the whole thing.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Simple #Trying #Saving

  • The urge to grow and develop, present in all forms of life, becomes perverted in the Bisy Backson's mind into a constant struggle to change everything (the Bulldozer Backson) and everyone (the Bigoted Backson) else but himself, and interfere with things he has no business interfering with, including practically every form of life on earth.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Struggle #Mind #Earth

  • Cleverness, after all, has its limitations. Its mechanical judgments and clever remarks tend to prove inaccurate with passing time, because it doesn't look very deeply into things to begin with
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Clever #Looks #Judgment

  • But down through the centuries, man has developed a mind that separates him from the world of reality, the world of natural laws. This mind tries too hard, wears itself out, and ends up weak and sloppy. Such a mind, even if of high intelligence, is inefficient. It drives down the street in a fast-moving car and thinks its at the store, going over a grocery list. Then it wonders why accidents occur.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Moving #Thinking #Reality

  • The Eeyore Educational System sees childhood as a waste of time, a luxury that society cannot afford . . . Put children in school at the earliest age possible; load them down with homework; take away their time, their creativity, their play, their power; then plug them into machines.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Education #Children #Creativity

  • There is more to knowing than just being correct
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Knowing #Just Being

  • In the Age of Perfect Virtue, men lived among the animals and birds as members of one large family. There were no distinctions between superior and inferior to separate one man or species from another. All retained their natural Virtue and lived in a state of pure simplicity.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Animal #Men #Perfect

  • Carefully observe the natural laws in operation in the world around you, and live by them. From following them, you will learn the morality of modesty, moderation, compassion, and consideration (not just one society's rules and regulations), the wisdom of seeing things as they are (not of merely collecting "facts" about them), and the happiness of being in harmony with the Way (which has nothing to do with self-righteous "spiritual" obsessions and fanaticism). And you will live lightly, spontaneously, and effortlessly.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Spiritual #Compassion #Self

  • Whether many people realize it yet or not, man, the Inferior Animal, has by now proved himself incapable of keeping his own species - and others - alive for very much longer. So the earth has begun its own plan to set things right.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Animal #Men #People

  • As our planet takes action to cast out its manmade poisons and heal its man-caused wounds, many human inhabitants will no doubt give way to fear. Many will cling to seemingly powerful we're-God's-chosen-people religions, hoping that by so doing they will be saved from the wrath of a Vengeful God (not recognizing that the approaching "vengeance" will in reality be man's own actions coming back at him - and not recognizing that the Infinite Universal Power is far more than the narrow-minded gatekeeper of an exclusive Spiritual Country Club).
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Country #Spiritual #Powerful

  • Eeyore religion says that the earth isn't worth saving, anyway, and that when it comes to an end, the Faithful will be transported instantly to heaven. No problem. We'd like to see them explain things to Saint Peter at the Gate, when he asks them what they did with the world that God entrusted to them. That might get a bit sticky.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Heaven #Faithful #Saint

  • Well, it takes all kinds to make a mess.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Order #Kind #Wells

  • No matter how useful we may be, sometimes it takes us a while to recognize our own value.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #May #Matter #Sometimes

  • It's not surprising, therefore, that the [Bisy] Backson thinks of progress in terms of fighting and overcoming. One of his little idiosyncrasies, you might say. Of course, real progress involves growing and developing, which involves changing inside, but that's something the inflexible Backson is unwilling to do.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Real #Fighting #Thinking

  • The Christmas presents once opened are Not So Much Fun as they were while we were in the process of examining, lifting, shaking, thinking about, and opening them. Three hundred sixty-five days later, we try again and find that the same thing has happened. Each time the goal is reached, it becomes Not So Much Fun, and we're off to reach the next one, then the next one, then the next.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Fun #Thinking #Goal

  • A well-frog cannot imagine the ocean, nor can a summer insect conceive of ice. How then can a scholar understand the Tao? He is restricted by his own learning.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Summer #Ocean #Ice

  • Those who think that the rewarding things in life are somewhere over the rainbow 'burn their toast a lot,' said Pooh
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Thinking #Rainbow #Said

  • Enjoy the simple, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Simple #Simplicity #Natural

  • One sometimes gets the impression that those intimidating words are there to keep us from understanding. That way, the scholars can appear Superior, and will not likely be suspected of Not Knowing Something.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Knowing #Understanding #Way

  • I think, therefore I am confused.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Confused #Thinking #I Am Confused

  • From the Taoist point of view, the natural result of this harmonious way of living is happiness.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Views #Way #Natural

  • As any old Taoist walking out of the woods can tell you, simple-minded does not necessarily mean stupid.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Stupid #Mean #Simple

  • It means that Tao doesn't force or interfere with things, but lets them work in their own way, to produce results naturally. Then whatever needs to be done is done.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Mean #Done #Way

  • Pooh is able to accomplish what he does because he is simpleminded.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Doe #Able #Accomplish

  • Under Confucianism, the use of precisely measured court music, prescribed steps, actions, and phrases all added up to an extremely complex system of rituals, each used for a particular purpose at a particular time.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Phrases #Use #Steps

  • Practically everything from hairstyles to lifestyles is endorsed as some sort of drug to be taken Now for Instant Relief.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Taken #Drug #Relief

  • Phonographic. It goes around and around. Sometimes it gets stuck. That's why I remember things so well.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Remember #Sometimes #Stuck

  • Inner Nature, when relied on, cannot be fooled.  But many people do not look at it or listen to it, and consequently do not understand themselves very much.  Having little understanding of themselves, they have little respect for themselves, and are therefore easily influenced by others.
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #People #Understanding #Looks

  • "When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?" "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?" "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet . Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said. "What's that?" the Unbeliever asked. "Wisdom from the Western Taoist,"I said. "It sounds like something from Winnie-the-Pooh ," he said. "It is," I said. "That's not about Taoism," he said. "Oh, yes it is," I said."
    -- Benjamin Hoff

    #Wisdom #Morning #Taoism