"I stop writing the poem to fold the clothes. No matter who lives or who dies, I'm still a woman. I'll always have plenty to do. I bring the arms of his shirt together. Nothing can stop our tenderness. I'll get back to the poem. I'll get back to being a woman. But for now there's a shirt, a giant shirt in my hands, and somewhere a small girl standing next to her mother watching to see how it's done."
"Now I am thirty-six and I am in Nepal and I am finally remembering what I was told I would forget. The voice inside the mountain speaks to me, tells me again not to be afraid, tells me that there is only love in this world. Our choice is to be in love or to be in fear. But to choose to be in love means to have a mountain inside of you, means to have the heart of the world inside you, means you will feel another’s suffering inside your own body and you will weep… . You will understand that this pain is your own because you are not separate, from life, or from anyone or anything else. But you will fall into a forgetting. You may die before you remember. You will forget that you know this, again and again. Do not be afraid. The body remembers, it never forgets. It is your own knowing that you hide from and do not know."
"From diamonds nothing is born, from dung flowers bloom."
"It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart."
"I hold myself to be incapable of hating any being on earth. By a long course of prayerful discipline, I have ceased for over forty years to hate anybody. I know this is a big claim. Nevertheless, I make it in all humility."
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
"I never said, 'I want to be alone.' I only said, 'I want to be left alone.' There is all the difference."
"Every one of us lives this life just once, if we are honest, to live once is enough."
"Mr. Hitler was big on me. He kept writing and inviting me to come to Germany, and if the war hadn't started when it did, I would have gone and I would have taken a gun out of my purse and shot him, because I am the only person who would not have been searched."
"I mean, whatever kills you kills you, and your death is authentic no matter how you die."
"I got a feeling your statements are true but all they add up to is one big lie."
"When I lose my temper, honey, you can't find it any place."