In our society we have confused liking with loving. We are taught when we really, really like something, we say we love it. Which means if I don’t like something, then there’s no way I can love it. This use of language distorts and limits our view, trapping us in the fallacy of love being equated to pleasure.
Mindfulness may not help people from “sweating the small stuff,” according to new research. The findings, which measured the cardiovascular responses of 1,001 participants during stressful performance tasks, run contrary to previous research ...
In homes across the U.S., families increasingly know someone who has been sick or hospitalized with COVID-19. The death toll passed a quarter-million Americans on Nov. 18, 2020, less than 10 months into the pandemic.
76% of white evangelical voters supported Trump in the 2020 election. It’s clear American evangelicals value something other than his religious devotion.
The 'Way of the Circle' is passed down from generation to generation, from Native American Elders to the children in the form of stories, traditions, customs, and teachings. What follows is a general collection of these teachings, which can be embraced by anyone seeking the way of...
The elements of awareness encompass conscious knowing, the ability to read hearts, to be a healing, loving, compassionate presence, situated in the Now. They also encompass practical wisdom in every situation, the ability to enlarge perspective, to affirm others and promote dialogue and mutual..
As many Indian Americans celebrate the election of the first Black and South Asian woman, Kamala Harris, to the White House, many will also be celebrating the festival of Diwali on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.
In the sixteen-century, people suffered from hunger, disease, hatred, and war. "How could God allow such terrible things to happen? Perhaps," Luria suggested, "it is because God needs our help." When you see something that is broken, fix it...
While watching the documentary film Stephen Jobs, Hippy Billionaire, I was tickled to learn that as a young adult Jobs was significantly influenced by Baba Ram Dass and his book Be Here Now. I also credit Ram Dass as one of the most valued mentors in my life. He led millions of spiritual seekers to higher awareness and is considered by many to be the “Father of the New Age.”
Everybody on this planet has a spiritual support team. This group is our backup in the game of life. We come into the world with this team, and build on it through our spiritual practices and experiences.
Grief is a bittersweet emotion. Even though it hurts we subconsciously long for the grief to continue. We are willing to put up with the pain if we can still have the remnants, at least, of a loved one who now exists only in memory. We want the connection without the pain, but the two coexist.
Notwithstanding the pandemic, witches in pointy black hats appear in the windows of stores and homes across my city this Halloween.
Halloween seems an appropriate time of year to share the story of the Chaffin family and how a ghost helped decide a dispute over an inheritance.
The present is what is happening when you strip away all the resentments of your past and all the worries you have about your future. To live in the present is to live as if the past never existed and as if the future were irrelevant. Living in the present is a vision for life that is achievable in any...
Once upon a time there was a Lodgekeeper who managed a mountain resort. Many people visited the area to hike and enjoy the natural splendor of the mountain. One day, a guest checked in and after getting settled, he told the Lodgekeeper he was going out hiking. The Lodgekeeper advised him to...
During an NHL hockey game, the average ice time for a player per shift is 30 seconds. When a player hits the ice, he gives all of his strength and his full focus, because in 30 seconds, multiple goals can be scored, and games can be won or lost. Then he sits for a few minutes and gets up to do it again.
Although I am primarily a Christian, a Catholic contemplative, my heart and life are now totally open to wherever and whenever mystical graces take me. My inner life has been the drama of the divine mystery communicating its presence and love to me, and saturating my being.
It’s important to realize that everyone’s process — everyone’s sense of tragedy, loss, and grief — will be different. Some feel as if they are going crazy, or they feel absolutely lost. Some find handrails — like faith, community, a spouse — that keep them grounded. There is no one way.
Exhaustive research has shown that meditation is an excellent antidote against stress, hyperactivity, and fear related themes. It has been found to increase your energy, as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate. Meditation can also be used as a successful tool to accompany many medical, psychological and alternative healing therapies...
The world of distraction spins around and around, while moving continuously to keep itself amused and entertained. It transports us to a world of fantasy, or a world of controversy, or competition, or of just about anything other than the one true existence that is right before us. Distraction keeps...
Intention is the ability to decide what it is we want to achieve and then setting out to achieve that goal. We use the power of intention in business, politics, and education. Can we use it in healing our pain?
The Living Sea of Waking Dreams, Richard Flanagan’s eighth novel, is one of a slew of novels one expects to emerge from the shadow of the 2019–2020 bushfire season that darkened the skies of eastern Australia for weeks on end...
In this era of increasing diversity and the breaking of long-rigid political-demographic barriers, there is no self-identifying atheist in national politics.
Most of us are living through a year that is unprecedented in our lifetimes. Too young to remember the Spanish flu, we’ve grown up in a world where we take Western wonder drugs and life-saving vaccines for granted.
Movies that suck for an hour then end well are remembered as good movies. Those that are decent for an hour but suck at the end take their place in history as bad movies. So, how is your life going to end?
When purpose and pleasure are brought together work becomes play. Every bit of work done in this spirit strengthens the man who does it. It is recreative as well as creative.
Pope Francis has delivered a message to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and people of goodwill everywhere which aims to soothe the fear caused by the coronavirus pandemic and unite communities riven by racism, inequality and climate change.
Rituals can hold the core beliefs of a culture and provide a sense of control in an otherwise helpless situation. I came to understand this when I lost my mother last year and participated in the primary Hindu rituals of death and grief.
Spiritual creativity is a way of life, a way of wholeness. It is a path of integrity. Integrity entails not just a few beliefs or specific acts, but an attitude that we adopt and practice in our everyday lives...an ongoing process that can bring you much joy.
Hands over the heart in prayer pose. A little bow of the head. A gesture of respect. An acknowledgment of our shared humanity. And no touching.
An unfeeling heart has even been admired by many, as evidence of a "scientific outlook". The truth is that without love no one can penetrate deeply into the heart of things. For while emotions can cloud the mind, calm pure love clarifies it, and makes possible the subtlest intuitions.
I am probably the last person that should be saying how, when, and where to meditate. I have set a goal of daily meditation at least a hundred times, and I haven't succeeded for more than three consecutive days. It isn't a matter of not liking to meditate. I do..
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something that will work for you.
How do you feel about the idea of dying? Is it something you think about often? Or does it make you feel anxious? These are questions many of us have pondered in recent times.
'GRAAANDMAAA, BUY ME A PAIR OF JORDACHE JEANS,' my voice would sing out in a whine. Back then, every season demanded new clothes: back to school clothes, summer clothes, spring clothes, birthday clothes.... Now I live on the holy banks of the Ganges, in Rishikesh, India.
As the coronavirus pandemic hit New York in March, the death toll quickly went up with few chances for families and communities to perform traditional rites for their loved ones.
Real spirituality is beyond hope. Hope means there is a chance things may turn out as we wish, and if we are lucky we may get what we want. Inner knowing, on the other hand, proceeds from the awareness that...
If you let your mind run riot on its own, your ego will keep you in the illusory world of the future and past and this, my friend, is chaos. By meditating, creating space, becoming still in your mind, you create a natural environment where your creativity can flourish and clarity takes over your soul.
Black Lives Matters (BLM) has been portrayed by its detractors as many things: Marxist, radical, anti-American. Added to this growing list of charges is that it is either irreligious or doing religion wrong.
Each culture sees human life as a progression through a series of stages... in an attempt to understand the evolution of human beings. Those people on the outer circle are just holding onto life; for them it is a matter of survival.
Throughout antiquity, from the Mediterranean to Egypt and today’s Middle East, people believed that misfortune, including accidents, diseases, and sometimes even death, were caused by external forces.
Grief is a natural reaction to loss and is something each of us will go through at some point in our lives, whether it is due to the loss of a loved one, a job, or even a belief. When something we love is taken away, grief is our natural, suffering-based response, which can affect not only our emotions, but also our physical and mental health.
It is hard to describe to those wholly invested in the spiritual path that at a certain point the obsessive and all-encompassing nature of the path gives way to utter simplicity. We attend to the human form and realize how precious life is, how we are meant to connect.
When faced with the death or serious illness of a loved one — whether a parent, son or daughter, spouse, or long-time friend — we are almost always shaken, often to the core. When the death is unexpected or sudden, our grief, anger, and confusion can be overwhelming...
U.S. Christians, especially evangelical Christians, identify as environmentalists at very low rates compared to the general population.
Many doctors are continuing to provide end-of-life patients with needless treatments that only worsen the quality of their last days, new research shows.
It’s hard to predict events in the final days and hours of a person’s life. Some deaths are wonderful – a gentle decline preceding a gracious demise.
Soon after we found out Anthony had died I was showering and could hear him screaming at me... I’m OK, Ma! I’m OK! The shock hit me. A glass wall separated us and he was screaming for me to hear him.
Seemingly everyone has an opinion on masks: when to wear them, how to wear them, which ones are best and even whether we should be wearing them at all.
I grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. I had nothing in common with my family, let alone with my neighbors and classmates. I always felt alienated there, as if I were in a prison biding my time until my great escape. It never felt like home. But where was home?
When someone comes to me with a particular dis-ease or ailment, that they want to eliminate, my first feeling is to cure them – to relieve them of all pain. That isn’t always the case however. Sometimes the healing that takes place, within a certain human being, is not exactly the way you perceive it to be. Let me explain what I mean by this...
Day after day, I sink deeper into peace, absorbing all the many gifts nature has to offer. I sing more than ever. I write in my journal, sometimes composing songs. I talk with God and the angels, and try my best to hear their message for my life.
For spiritual growth to take place in your life, you must change. You must let go of some areas in your life and personality -- especially the areas that are not working well or are out of balance -- and allow them to heal. This process is not always easy and often takes courage -- but the rewards are more than worth the effort.
She has been the precocious “little dead girl” admired by distinguished men; the white-clad, solitary spinster languishing alone in her bedroom; and, in more recent interpretations, the rebellious teenager bent on smashing structures of power with her torrential genius.
In the Western world, we are not very good at talking about death. It’s almost as if it has become a taboo subject. One of the ways we demonstrate our uncomfortableness on this subject is to use euphemisms for death.
Maybe that is the problem with the world. Everyone is treating their neighbors (whether individuals or countries) the same way they treat themselves. In other words, if you criticize yourself, pollute your body, and don't take time to respect your own needs -- then your "neighbor" is in for a rough time.
While I thought my biggest fear was of the unknown, of losing control, of being horrified by the darkness inside and around me, it turns out that darkness had been my friend all along. Darkness, my most cryptic ally, pointed me toward light and connection. Darkness showed me — and still shows me — the Bright Way.
President Trump claimed recently that the prospect of a Biden presidency would “hurt God.”
"I am here for you. Remember, I love you always." Jackie awoke from her dream with a start. However, she could only manage to recall the last few sentences of his long message to her, but how powerful that voice felt! She wrote down as much as she could recall...
People die every day. Most will know they are at the end of their lives. Hopefully they had time to contemplate and achieve the “good death” we all seek.
And common fact it is — about 160,000 Australians die in the course of each year —though every death is a particular death and no single death can be quite like another.
Everything in our lives -- including all the crappy things -- is a choice that we have made for urselves. That is a difficult fact to face for most of us, since it's much easier to blame random circumstances in our lives than to accept responsibility for our own actions
Breath has the ability to take you to the place that all the words—voiced so differently but so similar in intention—point directly to: the source, the ground state, the wide-open dimension, the God.
Houston physician and pastor Stella Immanuel – described as “spectacular” by Donald Trump for her promotion of unsubstantiated claims about anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for COVID-19 – has some other, very unconventional views.
Many major religious pilgrimages have been canceled or curtailed in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
When you justify the old— “Well, we have always done it as such, so this must be the way”— you are a follower, you are sheep. And, in fact, the Divine Self as you is not a sheep, but a shepherd.
The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years.
It is hard for us to fathom the true significance of the unique events taking place on Earth, but they are unprecedented and profound. You and I have each been preparing for thousands of years for this moment.
A recent Pew Research poll found that religious faith had deepened for a quarter of Americans because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Our energy level and mental programs are the major contributing factors to how we interpret what's going on in our lives. That's why the most important tool I have to offer to increase self awareness is daily meditation. Meditation keeps our energy up high enough so that we have the clarity...
Humans often spend an inordinate amount of time and energy avoiding the fact that there is an elephant in the room. This phrase refers to an important topic which everyone is aware of but which isn’t discussed due to the topic being perceived as uncomfortable to talk about.
My mother, my great encourager and supporter, listened patiently as I read her the last chapter of this book, and she did what every daughter prays for at such a moment. She cried and then looked at me with an expression of such admiration and pride. As my mother gave me this gift, she asked a question that would give me one more...
Consider a challenge you may now perceive - a financial struggle, relationship issue, or health problem. If you regard these matters as troubles or you feel smaller than them, that is what they will become. Yet with but a slight shift in perspective, they become opportunities to shine.
On July 27, 2020, the president and his son Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted a viral video featuring Dr. Stella Immanuel, in which the Houston pediatrician rejected the effectiveness of wearing face masks for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and promoted hydroxychloroquine to treat the disease.
At sundown on July 29, 2020, Jews around the world will observe Tisha B’av, the most somber of Jewish holidays.
There are many ways we can learn to tap into the wisdom within us. One way is to allow yourself to make contact with an image of a very wise being who is your adviser, your spirit guide, your helper, your counselor, your guardian angel, whatever you want it to be...
The fear was so intense that he could feel his heart beating in his throat. Moments before he had been enjoying the company of his two older female cousins (16 and 18 years old). It had become a normal Sunday practice to play with them after escaping from visiting next door with the adults. They were engaged in their weekly naughty behavior of playing poker, sipping wine, and smoking his aunt's non-filtered cigarettes.
We need to avoid dwelling on any judgments, decisions, or internal commentary that may arise based upon the feelings we are observing. We must be careful not to identify with the feelings and consider them "ours". The following contemplations support the arising of insight into the nature of feelings and the ways in which we react to those feelings....
We are aware that we suffer from optical delusions, but we still suffer, nonetheless. We can see that there has been a breakdown somewhere along the way, but by what practical means are we going to heal ourselves?
It was three days after I met with her that I realized Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch is a small woman. Her fathomless eyes, her great good humor and the magnitude of the peace that effortlessly flows from her heart convey a physical presence that reaches far beyond her diminutive frame. She is warm beyond measure, mercurial and deeply connected to the Earth...
What does Buddhism teach? Don't worry, I won't give you a history of Buddhism. There are many dull accounts of this history and a few not-so-dull ones. For now, let's get right to the living center of Buddhism: what the Buddha saw, felt, and taught to his disciples.
Next to the chair where I sit in meditation is my puja table, where I keep various items of spiritual significance to me -- including a stone-carved Buddha. Buddha is sitting in a relaxed, yet contemplative position and there is a big smile on his face.
What is karma? What is its purpose? How do you create it and how do you resolve it? The more you know about karma, the greater your ability to complete it and reduce its control over your life.
Surrendering doesn't mean you don't have to make plans. You do. I call this doing my homework -- I do my best to look at the situation, then I make one or two or three plans, and then I wait to see what the Divine has to say about all this.
Simply by meditating, people have been able to reduce the amount of stress they feel in their lives, alleviate physical pain, deepen awareness, relax muscle tension, improve mind-body coordination, achieve a sense of peace and joy, see more possibilities, and even reduce biological age.
We can travel a long way and do many different things, but our deepest happiness is not born from accumulating new experiences. It is born from letting go of what is unnecessary, and knowing ourselves to be always at home. True happiness may not be at all far away, but it requires a radical change of view as to where to find it.
From the 11th century onwards, the Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat enjoyed a popularity in the medieval West attained perhaps by no other legend.
The Buddha's teaching of simple mindfulness or awareness as a way to enlightenment is particularly suitable for people today. The whole secret of mindfulness can be summed up in the two words: "Remember" and "Awareness."
When you practice mindful breathing, you become truly present. Mindful eating is very pleasant and is a very deep practice. Mindful walking is healing and transformational. Mindfulness brings healing to past and future generations as well as to our own selves. All of us can do it. By the third or fourth day, you will have seen the difference.
It takes some training to equate complete letting go with comfort. But in fact, 'nothing to hold on to' is the root of happiness. There's a sense of freedom when we accept that we're not in control. By not knowing, not hoping to know, and not acting like we know what's happening, we begin to access our inner strength.
Hajj Cancellation Due To Coronavirus Is Not The First Time Plague Has Disrupted This Muslim Pilgrimage
Saudi Arabia has effectively canceled the hajj for most of the world’s Muslims, saying the obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca will be “very limited” this year due to the coronavirus.
I was born in 1960 and my formative years were spent worrying about the Vietnam War, race riots, and the nuclear threat. My earliest memory is John F. Kennedy's assassination. Sadly, my daughter was about the same age on September 11, 2001 as I was on the day JFK died. Will she be haunted by the continuous Technicolor loop of doom and destruction...
While speaking to a friend who has recently 'lost' a dear one to death, I was reminded that we sometimes don't feel comfortable around such situations. The thoughts come up: 'What do I say? How can I make her feel better? Is it better to speak or to be silent?'
Fears are the biggest blocks that keep people from achieving the level of mastery they desire. The subconscious mind draws to us whatever we think about. Fear is a very strongly energized thought and has a lot of power to create undesirable conditions in our lives. "Like attracts like" and if you are always thinking of fearful things, the very things you fear will be attracted to you.
While millions of people across Europe and beyond have been forced into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, some artists have used their time in isolation to create work using religious imagery as a way to tell the story of the crisis.
What if Joyce dies before me? This is one of my greatest vulnerabilities. Sure, I could die first. Statistically, women live longer than men. Even though we’re both healthy in the important ways, we are still seventy years old. We are now in our senior years. Death of our bodies is no longer something that can be ignored.
Waking up to the first faint suggestion of light, I don’t want to leave my bed. And so I don’t. I just let myself lie there under the warmth of the thick covers and turn my attention to my breath. I become aware of it. I start feeling it. I start letting go to it.
Hindus in India have had a helping hand – several in fact – when it comes to fighting deadly contagions like COVID-19: multi-armed goddesses co-opted to help contain and kill pestilence.
One of the most difficult and rewarding things you will ever learn is how to live in the moment. Quite simply, if you are to have power to create the reality you want you must learn how to live in the moment.
The first time I actually saw a rainbow, its quiet beauty struck my heart with such awe that it touched something deep within me. Just seeing a rainbow catches you quite off guard and somehow just makes you stop and look ... and wonder.