mrs. neal's not-so-conventional MEDITATION [CLASS] for TEENS...

...the book and the recorded meditation


Imagination is more important than knowledge.
For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand,
while imagination embraces the entire world,
and all there ever will be to know and understand.

– Albert Einstein (5)


I like to think that there is a lesson in every challenge.

You may have noticed that there are a lot of quotations and stories included in this book — hopefully, you will find them as thought-provoking as I do.

I went on a journey around the world (through my computer) in order to gain permissions to use some of these inspirational treasures, and was blessed to encounter a number of wonderful people during the course of this adventure, some of whom shared additional information about a few of the quotations that I would like to share this with you. (I just can’t resist turning any moment into a teaching moment!)

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Anyone who knows me knows that I have long admired Albert Einstein. You will find several of his more well-known quotations throughout this book, including the one above.

I learned a little history of those quotations which was passed along to me from Princeton University, and greatly enhanced by the Information Officer, Albert Einstein Archives, at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. I am beyond grateful for the assistance I received from Jerusalem, and this knowledge that was shared, which I now share with you!

If you take a look at the Einstein quotes in this book, you will see a little number next to his name. Following is an explanation of each of those, as explained to me:


(1)  “Great spirits ...”

The complete and accurate quote was furnished to me by the Information Officer at the University of Jerusalem; frequently the last line of this quote is omitted when you see it. It is Einstein’s statement on behalf of Bertrand Russell, first published in New York Times, March 19, 1940.


(2)  “Everything is determined...”

This quote is taken from an interview* George Sylvester Viereck published in The Saturday Evening Post on October 26, 1929.


(3)  “I want to know how God...”

Recalled by Einstein’s Berlin student Esther Salaman, quoted in Salaman, “A Talk with Einstein,” Listener 54 (1955


(4)  “Science without religion...”

This is from “Science, Philosophy, and Religion,” Einstein’s contribution to a symposium held in New York; first published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, NY, 1941.


(5)  “Imagination is more important...”

This quote, also, is taken from the interview* George Sylvester Viereck published in The Saturday Evening Post in October, 1929.


*The following information also was shared with me about the Viereck interview published in The Saturday Evening Post on October 26, 1929:

In 1929, George Sylvester Viereck, an American journalist of German descent, interviewed Einstein in Berlin.

Because the conversation was conducted in German, and because Viereck’s was notorious for his rather casual handling of his notes — and for filling in some gaps with his own words and ideas — the reliability of the article about Einstein is undermined with various facts contained therein being identifiably doubtful or inaccurate. Therefore, it is a legitimate question whether Einstein actually said what Viereck eventually published.

Because of this, we can neither verify nor deny it; he may have said it this way or with different words.


I included a couple of quotations in this book that initially I had believed were Einstein’s, but found out that they have been falsely attributed to Einstein; the actual author is unknown. (The Information Officer at the Albert Einstein Archives in Jerusalem clarified this for me.)

The quote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid” is one of them; it is not an authentic Einstein quote.

The other falsely attributed quote is, “There are two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” which was allegedly published in 1931; however, it, too, can not be authenticated, nor can the publication. While these are wonderful quotes, they are not the words of Albert Einstein.

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The quote “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret...” is an excerpt from THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint-Éxupery, translated from the French by Richard Howard.

Reprinted by permission (for U.S.A. and Canada) of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Copyright 1943 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Copyright (c) renewed 1971 by Consuelo de Saint-Exupery, English translation copyright ©2000 by Richard Howard.

Permission granted to use this quotation world-wide came from Foreign Rights, Editions Gallimard, Paris, France.

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The quote “Breath is the bridge...” is a lovely quote from a Vietnamese Zen Monk. It is from “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh. Permission was readily granted, with the request to include the following: Copyright © 1975, 1976 by Thich Nhat Hanh; English translation Copyright © 1975, 1976, 1987 by Mobi Ho. Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press, Boston.

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The Biblical scriptures found throughout this book came from my personal and very old copy of the Holy Bible — a King James version. Fortunately, the King James Holy Bible is considered to be in public domain, so copyright permission is not required.

My beloved King James version of the Holy Bible was published by The World Publishing Company, Cleveland and New York, and it was “manufactured in the United States of America.”

There is no date in it, but it’s an oldie. I would love to share more information about it, but that’s all there is. Well, other than the many bookmarks, the lightly-yellowed pages, and the tattered edges on the cover.

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In Closing...

I had wanted to include more of these inspirational tidbits, as well as more mental exercises (optical illusions, riddles, word games, etc. — such as the ones I use in class; however, permission could not be granted by the copyright holders (some were unknown and some were un-findable), and apparently, “fair use” does not apply.


May I suggest that you find books or websites with mental exercises and work out your brain on a regular basis!

And! Remember the “THINK TIME” suggestion in Chapter 28? Take time to find your own inspirational words and create your own “Inspiration Wall.”






Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, author





God bless you, kids,

and remember:

You are in my prayers…