You may be trying to attain power in this world, then you start trying to attain power in that world. First you want to attain wealth in this world, then you try to attain wealth in that world. But you remain the same, and the mind and the functioning and the whole scheme remains the same: Attain! Reach! This is the ego trip. The achieving mind is the ego.
I tried to establish order over the chaos of my imagination, but this essence, the same that presented itself to me still hazily when I was a child, has always struck me as the very heart of truth. It is our duty to set ourselves an end beyond our individual concerns, beyond our convenient, agreeable habits, higher than our own selves, and disdaining laughter, hunger, even death, to toil night and day to attain that end. No, not to attain it. The self-respecting soul, as soon as he reaches his goal, places it still further away. Not to attain it, but never to halt in the ascent. Only thus does life acquire nobility and oneness.
When you try to attain something, your mind starts to wander about somewhere else. When you do not try to attain anything, you have your own body and mind right here.In Buddhism it is a heretical view to expect something outside this world. We do not seek for something besides ourselves.
Amongst democratic nations men easily attain a certain equality of conditions: they can never attain the equality they desire. It perpetually retires from before them, yet without hiding itself from their sight, and in retiring draws them on. At every moment they think they are about to grasp it; it escapes at every moment from their hold. They are near enough to see its charms, but too far off to enjoy them; and before they have fully tasted its delights they die.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Suddenly she hated them all because they were different from her, because they carried their losses with an air that she could never attain, would never wish to attain. She hated them, these smiling, light-footed strangers, these proud fools who took pride in something they had lost, seeming to be proud that they had lost it.
Who can attain to anything great if he does not feel in himself the force and will to inflict great pain? The ability to suffer is a small matter: in that line, weak women and even slaves often attain masterliness. But not to perish from internal distress and doubt when one inflicts great suffering and hears the cry of it that is great, that belongs to greatness.
Become aware, awake. Then you will see that everything comes and goes, all things come and pass. Life is a flux. Your consciousness is the only thing that is immovable, that is eternal. To attain it is freedom. To attain it is the goal of life. If you miss it you have missed your life and you have missed a tremendously great gift, a great opportunity.
Welfare policies never attain those - allegedly beneficial - ends which the government and the self-styled progressives who advocated them wanted to attain, but - on the contrary - bring about a state of affairs which - from the very point of view of the government and its supporters - is even more unsatisfactory than the previous state of affairs they wanted to 'improve.'
Ludwig von Mises
A sacred pride should grip us of not being satisfied with the mediocre but to strive (for we can do it, if we want to) with the exertion of all our strength to attain the highest. Let us scorn what is of this earth, let us ignore what is of heaven, let us leave absolutely everything worldly behind us in order to hasten to the abode out of this world, in the proximity of the sublime deity. We do not need to think of stepping back. Of being satisfied with second rank, let us strive for dignity and glory. To attain the highest.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
If you want to attain salvation, learn and keep in your heart all that the holy Church teaches and, receiving heavenly power from the mysteries of the Church, walk the path of Christ's commandments, under the direction of lawful pastors, and you will undoubtedly attain the Heavenly Kingdom and be saved. All of this is naturally necessary in the matter of salvation, necessary in it entirety and for all. Whoever rejects or neglects any part of it has no salvation.
Theophan the Recluse
Christ wishes to raise men up to heaven, and has given them all the means to attain this; whilst the Devil, who himself for his pride was cast down from heaven into the dominions of the air, wishes by every means to attach men to earthly,- sensual, transitory things, and, in order to attain this end, he employs the most powerful, most prodigious means.
John of Kronstadt
With all thy getting, get understanding, is the banner under which these Forbes editorials have appeared since the first issue of the publication. We have no illusions about what great wealth can do and what it cannot do. We believe in the worthwhileness of striving by all worthy means to attain success and to attain wealth. Simply because we are convinced that no amount of money is worth the sacrifice of one's better instincts, of one's self-respect-of one's soul, if you wish-simply because we are convinced that riches not gained legitimately and decently are not worth having....
B. C. Forbes
Surely, our greatest parental hope is that our children attain a state of righteousness. It is the only sure road to happiness. But to attain such a state requires that they be decent as well as compliant. I know many, many young people who are not "righteous" in the usual sense. But they are wonderfully decent people with many praiseworthy qualities. They are not "devout" in the sense that they attend church faithfully, dress or groom themselves traditionally, or publicly declare their devotions, but they are kind, honest, hard working, concerned for others, and unselfish.
Glenn I. Latham
When we want a cup of tea our main wish is to drink tea, but to fulfill this wish we naturally develop the secondary wish to find a cup. In a similar way, the main wish of those who have great compassion is to protect all living beings from their suffering, but to fulfill this wish they know they must first attain Buddhahood themselves and so they naturally develop the secondary wish to attain enlightenment.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Historically, techniques to attain altered states of consciousness, usually called meditation, or sometimes prayer, actually involve various forms of concentration, the first level of this kind of internal work. The linear scale of progression is Concentration, then Meditation, and finally Contemplation. Virtually all categories of meditation are, in actuality, forms of concentration. What makes them so are the innate 'goals' or ambitions attached to them: to achieve a state or to acquire something, like relaxation, insight or 'advancement.' This then constructs a dichotomy, or dualism, between the pursuer and the thing pursued. That is, you are conscious of or believe in something 'better,' you are separate from it, and there is effort to attain it.
My meditation techniques ARE dangerous. In fact there cannot be any meditation techniques which are not dangerous. If they are not dangerous, they are not meditation techniques, they are tricks. Just like Transcendental Meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They are mental tricks. Just consolatory. No danger. At the most they can give you good sleep, that's all. If you miss, you don't miss anything, you remain the same. If you attain, you attain to good sleep, that's all. No danger involved.
Whenever learners or those beyond learning awaken the mind, for the first time they plant one buddha-nature. Working with the four elements and five clusters, if they practice sincerely they attain enlightenment. Working with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment. This is because the four elements and five clusters and plants, trees, fences and walls are fellow students; because they are of the same essence, because they are the same mind and the same life, because they are the same body and the same mechanism.