Do You Have to Choose Between Being Spiritual or Practical?

Do You Have to Choose Between Being Spiritual or Practical?
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Do you ever think that you're not good enough to act compassionately? Not quite holy enough, so maybe you would rather leave that sort of behavior to the saints and sages, the ministers and priests. After all, aren't these the people who are in charge of communications with God?

We recently read a story about the Dalai Lama. He was performing a ceremony and a monk interrupted him, whispered in his ear, and the Dalai Lama broke down weeping. He had just found out the Chinese had killed over 100 monks and nuns in Tibet.

He stopped weeping, looked at the crowd, told them the news, and then said, "Let us pray for the Chinese".

He wasn't being holy, he was being practical. He was trying to create the type of world he wanted to live in, a world of compassion, not a world of hatred. By saying let's pray for the Chinese, he was not pardoning their actions, he was choosing between grief and compassion, and he chose compassion. He didn't want a world filled with grief and hatred, he wanted a world filled with compassion.

Making The Choice Is Sometimes Difficult

Our thoughts are things. Our emotions reflect those thoughts -- our world reflects our thoughts. So begin creating the world you want to live in.

Making the choice is sometimes difficult. You may have to overcome some familiar habits or reactions:

The next time someone does something that would ordinarily be annoying, be mindful of the world you'd like to live in, and instead of just automatically being annoyed, choose patience, or love, or laughter. It is up to you.

The next time you read in the newspaper of someone who opposes your beliefs, think of the world you'd like to live in.

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The next time you see a murderer on TV, think of what world you would like to live in.

Use these provocations to remind yourself of what you believe, and what you desire. This is not insincerity. This is taking control of your own life and making a better world for all of us.

You don't have to be holy, just be practical.

Recommended book

Ethics for the New Millennium
by the Dalai Lama.

Ethics for the New MillenniumIn a difficult, uncertain time, it takes a person of great courage, such as the Dalai Lama, to give us hope. Regardless of the violence and cynicism we see on television and read about in the news, there is an argument to be made for basic human goodness. According to the Dalai Lama, our survival has depended and will continue to depend on our basic goodness. Ethics for the New Millennium presents a moral system based on universal rather than religious principles. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, irrespective of religious beliefs. Though he himself a practicing Buddhist, the Dalai Lama's teachings and the moral compass that guides him can lead each and every one of us—Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, or atheist—to a happier, more fulfilling life.

Info/Order this book. Al;so available as a Kindle edition and as an Audio CD

More books by the Dalai Lama

About The Authors

Peter and Helen Evans are ministers under the auspices of the Church of Religious Science. They are counselors, practitioners of Therapeutic Touch and teachers of Integral Yoga, based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. Their principal aim is to bring Love to Life, in whatever way they can. Find out more at


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