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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released what it calls “general considerations” on safe actions for reopening houses of worship, but worship communities can accept or reject those considerations.
‘Despite all our medical advances,’ my friend Jason used to quip, ‘the mortality rate has remained constant – one per person.’
In shamanic cultures it’s the task of the shaman to travel out of body to other worlds, experience new realities, and then bring knowledge back to the tribe in order to heal and restore balance. To experience a different reality and remain silent about it is simply not an option.
The soul often whispers to us through synchronistic events. A synchronistic event occurs when we recognize that two or more causally unrelated events resemble each other and catch our attention. When we don't pay attention, the message has to be more powerful, perhaps in the form of an accident.
When I began to study Huna in 1982, the first subject we dealt with was forgiveness, for good reason: it cleared the way for a larger current of energy to flow through us. It takes effort to hold on to old guilt, grief, and pain, just as grudges and gripes contribute to stress. Forgiveness is releasing rather than accepting. It frees up energy that has been holding stressful...,
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.
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.
As I write this, the UK government has just announced that 13,729 people have died in hospitals from COVID-19. Care England estimates more than 1,400 people have now died in care homes.
Disputes about the existence of God — like most disputes about religion, politics, and sex — almost always generate heat but not light.
I returned to the UK after a four-year absence to find that the popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) had increased dramatically.
May we realize that with every single glance we transmit a message of rejection, indifference, or love. May we have the awareness that the words we say can carry messages that communicate hope and healing rather than disinterest or negativity.
The saying “There are no atheists in foxholes” suggests that in stressful times people inevitably turn to God (or indeed gods).
I walk with the Great Spirit, with God. I talk to Him. The Great Spirit guides me in my life. Wakan-Tanka, that's what we call him in Lakota. You can call Wakan-Tanka by any name you like. In English I call Him God or the Great Spirit. So call Wakan-Tanka whatever you like. Just be sure to call Him. He wants to talk to you.
From the Black Death and AIDS to COVID-19, whenever societies have suffered outbreaks of disease, there have always been those who are quick to seek both religious explanations and solutions.
I have several ways that I use to clear the darkness from my mind when I find it has crept in. One is gardening, or spending time in nature. The other is silence. Another way is reading. And one that lets my spirit soar is music and dancing.
Our society is death-phobic, a particularly harmful trait when it comes to helping children process the death of someone close to them.
Faced with a range of serious patient reactions to the COVID-19 disease, doctors and nurses have sometimes struggled to find viable treatment options.
Take three to five minutes to center yourself. It’s a good idea to turn off your phone and set a timer. That way you can truly let go.
Despite the manifest differences in how they practise their religions, Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God.
There have been many books written on spiritual unfoldment and developing one's awareness. I recommend that you research and experiment to find out what really works for you. The following techniques have worked for me and have...
Grieving is not something done to us, but rather something we do. Thus, grief demands a response from us, one other than resignation. An active process specifies choices and presumes change. More than anything, the process of grief is about transformation.
I see the Little Soul as a small child. When a child is intimately connected to a loving, wise, nurturing caretaker (Big Soul), it is fun to go out and explore the world and then come back and share what it has learned. If a child discovers something scary or confusing...
At one time in his life Benjamin Franklin decided to try to lead a life of moral perfection. He deeply believed that virtue was its own reward and that no qualities were so likely to make a poor man's fortune as those of probity and integrity. These are the virtues that he decided to live up to in accordance with his own definitions of them...
Problems do not limit your aliveness or happiness. They are simply challenges that give you opportunities to make choices and grow. As you increasingly open to yourself, happiness wells up from deep inside you. Feel it. Find yourself being completely peaceful. Feel well-being coming from the deepest part of you, filling your entire being...
The technique of the "Inner Advisor" brings forth an image that represents wisdom, love, support, and safety. This image can be anything. Inner advisors can be guardian angels, imaginary friends, or simple intuition -- that important small voice within.
A lot of what we've been taught by well-meaning parents, teachers, and clergy, is not conducive to self-realization. We've been taught how to fit in, get by and do what we're told. That's fine for children. But there comes a time in everyone's life when you have to start thinking for yourself.
Who or what grows our fingernails and beats our heart even as we sleep? What is this force that keeps the planets in place and hurls our world through the galaxy at a breathtaking speed? Spirit is what I have chosen to call the formless, invisible energy...
In 2005, a documentary called Into Great Silence was released, which portrayed life in a monastery in the French Alps.
The hardest thing that we ever have to learn, even though Jesus said it 2,000 years ago, is to love your neighbor as yourself. Most of us don't have a problem loving other people; the problem we have is loving ourselves. We equate that with selfishness.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, most European countries have imposed unprecedented confinement measures on their populations, banning social gatherings and closing public spaces.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and lasts either 29 or 30 days, depending on when the new crescent moon is, or should be, visible.
When you look at a painting, whether the Mona Lisa, the Birth of Venus or anything you find beautiful, where is the beauty coming from? Where is the source of the beauty? It is obviously not coming out of the painting, or everyone would agree that one painting is beautiful and another is ugly...
The COVID-19 pandemic and the wall-to-wall news coverage that has come with it has changed many of our lives seemingly overnight.
“How can someone stop thinking about his or her dead parents? Is this really possible?” Mirka, by email.
Calls for social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic have forced churches to cancel weekly gatherings, with many church leaders moving worship online.
My grandma was dying. I was afraid. I was afraid of death. I was afraid to be with her when she died. I was afraid of all the grief I was going to feel. And I was afraid of everyone else's pain, too. I knew I could stay in California and let her die without me, but I couldn't do that...
Catastrophes have always touched people’s lives. With these words, the prophet Jeremiah addressed a disaster of his time, centuries before the common era.