Every Footstep Is The Journey On Our Sacred Trail

Every Footstep Is The Journey On The Sacred Trail

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.

How To Be As Safe As Possible In Your House Of Worship

How To Be As Safe As Possible In Your House Of Worship

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.

The Mystic’s Journey: Life Is An Illusion

The Mystic’s Journey: Life Is An Illusion

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.

Freedom Through Self Awareness: You Are A Blessing

Freedom Through Self Awareness

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.

Accidents and Synchronicities: The Big Stuff and the Little Stuff

Accidents and Synchronicities: The Big Stuff and the Little Stuff

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.

Forgiveness Meditation: Clearing the Ties that Bind

Forgiveness Meditation: Clearing the Ties that Bind

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...,

Allies in the Spirit World: Your Spiritual Support Team

Allies in the Spirit World: Your Spiritual Support Team

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.

How Coronavirus Has Transformed The Grieving Process

How Coronavirus Has Transformed The Grieving Process

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.

Why We Should Keep Asking if God Exists

Why We Should Keep Asking if God Exists

Disputes about the existence of God — like most disputes about religion, politics, and sex — almost always generate heat but not light.

All We Do Has a Planetary Impact: Handling the Belief of Dualism

All We Do Has a Planetary Impact: Handling the Belief of Dualism

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.

Calling Great Spirit: Visions, Dreams, and Miracles

Calling Great Spirit: Visions, Dreams, and Miracles

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.

A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul

A Song to Uplift Heart and Soul

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.

Awareness Tune-Up: Meditation and Telepathy Exercises

Awareness Tune-Up: Meditation and Telepathy Exercises

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: Why Men and Women Handle It Differently

Grieving: Why Men and Women Handle It Differently

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.

How Our Little Soul Loses Its Way

How Our Little Soul Loses Its Way

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...

Is Perfection a Valid Goal?

Is Perfection a Valid Goal?

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...

Meditation: It Is Good To Be Alive

Meditation: It Is Good To Be Alive

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...

Dark Night of the Soul: How To Traverse The Darkness Before the Dawn

Dark Night of the Soul: The Darkness Before the Dawn

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

The Inner Advisor Technique: How To Connect with the Inner Healer

The Inner Advisor Technique: How To Connect with the Inner Healer

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.

The Inner Journey: Seeing Through the Illusions

Evolve Yourself: Evolution Equals Growth, Development and Transcendence

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.

Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself: Can You Have One Without the Other?

Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself: Can You Have One Without the Other?

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.

Why Ramadan Is Called Ramadan

Why Ramadan Is Called Ramadan

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.

The Common Sense Antidote to Suffering

The Common Sense Antidote to Suffering

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...

A Most Magnificent Journey: Death, Grief, Love and Support

A Most Magnificent Journey: Death, Grief, Love and Support

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...

The Rock Balancer’s Guide to Mindfulness and Peace of Mind

The Rock Balancer’s Guide to Mindfulness and Peace of Mind

We experience a state of physical and mental clarity whenever we stop to simply breathe for a few moments. This state of being is mindfulness, reached by quieting the booming voice of the ego to listen to the true voice of our soul as it interacts with the wisdom of the Earth.

How To Celebrate Easter Under Lockdown

How To Celebrate Easter Under Lockdown

With churches closed and annual pilgrimages cancelled, Christians across the world are wondering how to give thanks to God this Easter.

Why A Virtual Passover May Be The First For Many

Why A Virtual Passover May Be The First For Many

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, it is affecting how families celebrate important religious events such as Easter, Passover and Ramadan, which would normally involve the gathering of families.

Closer Than You Think: Learning to Work with Your Inner Spirit

Closer Than You Think: Learning to Work with Your Inner Spirit

Have there ever been times in your life when you needed some guidance?... some direction in life, or a bit of help making a major decision? Where did you turn? To a trusted friend? A family member? An astrologer or psychic? Did you ever wish that there was a higher source of wisdom and guidance you could turn to?

A Shamanic Perspective: The Corona Virus Seen Through A Shaman's Mind

A Shamanic Perspective: The Corona Virus Seen Through A Shaman's Mind

At this tumultuous time on the planet, many of us are yearning for a spiritual context for the devastating Corona Virus and for higher guidance to show us the part that we are each to play in the global crisis that we now face. There are no easy or “pat” answers to these deep and troubling questions.

Moving through the 7 Grief Stages of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Moving through the 7 Grief Stages of the Coronavirus Pandemic

As we’ve had to give up our normal lives for the foreseeable future, many of us are also feeling a type of grief similar to mourning the death of a loved one. The coronavirus has caused the death of a way of life we were used to.

Can Slot Machines Be Influenced by Positive Thoughts and the Human Heart?

Casinos as a Spiritual Tool: God's Love in the Form of Money

Slot machines, as outrageous as it might seem, are a powerful vehicle to help you learn how to keep your heart open. Since the brain and, in fact, the entire body, is a package of electrochemical impulses, it shouldn't seem so far-fetched that we can influence electronic devices.

The Physicist and The Inner Self

The Physicist and The Inner Self

I just read a wonderful article by Alan Lightman, a writer and physicist who teaches at MIT. Alan is the author of "In Praise of Wasting Time". I find it inspiring to find scientists and physicists speaking and writing about "inner self" related topics.

Choose Joy -- Again and Again and Again

Choose Joy -- Again and Again and Again
If you were to observe yourselves very carefully and observe the choices that you allow yourselves to make in your existence, you would observe the limits to which you yourselves choose to impose on the joy of your existence. You would observe the degree to which you limit your joy of existence.

A Simple Meditation To Start Your Day: The Shepherd’s Psalm

A Simple Meditation To Start Your Day: The Shepherd’s Psalm
There is a brief text which is one of the most universal, ecumenical texts in the world spiritual literature. Be you a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, follower of shamanist practices, this text speaks to any open heart. The reason is that it is pure poetry, being composed solely of metaphors.

Starting From Nowhere with Beginner's Mind

Starting From Nowhere with Beginner's Mind
'Start from where you are' is generally good advice in any undertaking. But, like many travelers on the highway, sometimes we don't even know that we don't know where we are and yet we are unwilling to admit it. Instead, lost as we may be, we keep driving, ashamed to ask...

The Force Is With You -- You Are The Force

The Force Is With You -- You Are The Force
"May The Force be with you." We first heard that phrase in Star Wars and it quickly went viral, entering the mainstream as a description of the invisible power that runs the universe, presumably imbued with some kind of ethic. Another term immediately arose: "the dark side of the force."

What Is The Soul If Not A Better Version Of Ourselves?

What is the soul if not a better version of ourselves?

What is the point of gaining the whole world if you lose your soul? Today, far fewer people are likely to catch the scriptural echoes of this question than would have been the case 50 years ago.

Four Simple Steps to Attain Inner Peace

Four Steps to Attain Inner Peace
How can you find some of that inner peace you hear the saints of old attained? Train your heart to function and perform and you will find that you can more easily handle day to day stress -- which leads to the ability to not lose your peace of mind. This is a great secret...

Meditating 101 Do's and Dont's: Simple, Quick, Easy

Meditating 101: Simple, Quick, Easy Do's and Dont's
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..

What Is It That Draws A Person To Spiritual Life?

What Is It That Draws A Person To Spiritual Life?
When we are faced with a variety of spiritual teachings and practices, we must keep a genuine sense of inquiry. What is the effect of these teachings and practices on myself and others? In his last words, the Buddha said we must be a lamp unto ourselves.

Choosing To Be In The World, But Not Of The World

Choosing To Be In The World, But Not Of The World
Without doubt, there is great value in spirituality that emphasizes and supports withdrawal from society. But in our time, with its special needs, we require a spirituality of intense involvement and radical engagement with the world. It is in the real world that awakening...

4 Things To Know About Ash Wednesday

4 Things To Know About Ash WednesdayFor Christians, the death and resurrection of Jesus is a pivotal event commemorated each year during a season of preparation called Lent and a season of celebration called Easter.

The "Us vs. Them" Monotheism and the #SheToo Comeback of the Goddess

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For centuries the worship of just one God has been seen as the ultimate in religious sophistication, exemplifying the progress of civilization. But the most cursory glance at monotheism’s track record tells a very different story. The elevation of one God—and the rejection of all others—goes hand in hand with intolerance of outsiders or those with a different perspective...

Active Meditation: Focusing on the Moment

Active Meditation
If you watch carefully, you will notice that the best figure skaters are those who just let go and focus completely on the present state of their body. Other top athletes must also exercise this same type of meditation in order to compete at the peak of their abilities. They may not call it meditation, but that's what it is.

Attain A Peaceful and Relaxed Mind Through This Simple Breathing Technique

A Simple Breathing Technique To Attain A Peaceful And Relaxed Mind
A peaceful and relaxed mind is a prerequisite to meaningful meditation. Breathing techniques as they are taught in Tibetan tradition are millennia-old methods with great contemporary appeal because they harmonize body and soul quickly and effectively. Breathing brings about life!

A Spiritual Life Game: Living According To Your Highest Principles and Beliefs

A Spiritual Life Game: Living According To Your Highest Principles and Beliefs
Many people don't think about their spiritual lives until they're faced with a crisis such as a life-threatening illness. Then they decide to embark on spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer. Are you ready to turn "later" and "someday" into "now" when it comes to attending to your spiritual life?

Recognizing and Practicing Wholeheartedness

Recognizing and Practicing Wholeheartedness
The concept of wholeheartedness is a lot like love; it’s a feeling that comes and goes. We may work hard to be wholehearted, and, as with any other kind of fitness, the more one works at it, the better one gets.

Why Dying Inspires So Many Writers And Artists

Why Dying Inspires So Many Writers And Artists

It may seem paradoxical, but dying can be a deeply creative process. Public figures, authors, artists and journalists have long written about their experience of dying.

What's In A Title: Are You The Buddha? Are You The Messiah?

What's In A Title: Are You The Buddha?
One of his students asked Buddha, "Are you the messiah?" "No", answered Buddha. "Then are you a teacher?" "No, I am not a teacher." "Then what are you?" "I am awake", Buddha replied. The goal of Buddhism, like any self-respecting spiritual path, is not to have titles or to make distinctions between degrees of holiness; it is to wake up.

Beginning and Endings: The Reality of Life and Death

Beginning and Endings: The Reality of Life and Death
Learning to live with the death of a person or persons I love is teaching me more about myself and about living. I am more complex than I realized, and yet I'm honest about my weaknesses. I am in the process of learning that weakness is strength, not a flaw.

Bits of Laughter, Tears, and Love... At The End

Bits of Laughter, Tears, and Love... At The End
Having joyful things to think about is helpful. We all know, though, that we have many times where tears are helpful, too. Tears can release feelings, can be eye lubricants, and can sometimes remove stress or improve moods. They do not erase the reason we are sad, but they clear the path to remember our joy - our love.

How To Develop Mindful Empathy, True Morality, Deep Compassion and Lasting Awareness

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How To Develop Empathy, True Morality, Compassion and Awareness
As we open to the full range of experiences within ourselves, we become aware of what we perceive in each moment, no longer denying some feelings while clinging to others. By coming to know our own pain, we build a bridge to the pain of others. Knowing that someone will suffer if we perform a harmful action or say a hurtful word, we find we do these things less and less.

Why Some Grief Takes Much Longer To Heal

Why Some Grief Takes Much Longer To Heal
It’s a tragic fact of life that most of us will experience the loss of a loved one. Approximately 50 to 55 million people die worldwide each year, and it is estimated that each death leaves an average of five bereaved individuals.

Mindfulness In Action: Avoidance Is Natural But Self-Defeating

Mindfulness In Action: Avoidance Is Natural But Self-Defeating
Of course, we are each of us in charge of our own lives. But more to the point, gaps we identify at work, whatever our job, often relate to gaps we experience at home, in relationships, as parents, and so on. Gaps of pain and possi­bility exist in every realm, and sometimes, when we recognize a gap in one area, it can open up a flood of recognition that goes far beyond our original focus.

Three Questions For Reflecting On All Relationships

All About You: Three Questions For Reflecting On All Relationships
What have I received from_______? What have I given to_______? What troubles and difficulties have I caused? _______. These questions provide a foundation for reflecting on all relationships, including those with parents, friends, teachers, siblings, work associates, children, and partners.

There’s No App For Enlightenment

There’s No App For Enlightenment
There’s no app for enlightenment. There’s no bypass to its attainment. But it is a worthwhile state toward which to aspire. And keep it mind: as you make progress along the way, you will incrementally derive the benefits.

Breathing Exercise To Increase Your Vitality and Stability

Breathing Exercise To Increase Your Vitality and Stability
Breathing is synonymous with being alive. If we stop breathing we stop living, and if we breathe well we can increase our vitality and stability. Most meditation practices, yoga, and the martial arts encourage breathing from the...

Mysticism and Politics: Fulfillment Through Contemplation, Action, and Service

Mysticism and Politics: Fulfillment Through Contemplation, Action, and Service
There is a common belief that writers on a higher thought should avoid politics, but it is a belief common only among the mystically inclined or monastically minded, not among the philosophically trained. It is, however, part of the business of philosophy to examine political principles and ethical problems.

Be The Light That You Are and Set Your Self Free

Be The Light That You Are and Set Your Self Free
My book is called Be the Light that You Are. It’s an imperative. You are the light, now be that light in the world. Don’t ignore that part of yourself. Don’t be falsely humble and pretend that you’re not good enough. Don’t buy into the collective “I don’t matter.”

Entering the New Year Gradually and Gently

Entering the New Year Gradually and Gently
If other species are aware of seasons of the year and hours of the day, they don’t make a big deal about it. We humans, on the other hand, have arranged our lives around the calendar and the clock, all culminating at midnight, December 31, when one year ends and a new year begins...

How To Be Free of the Tyranny of the Monkey Mind

How To Be Free of the Tyranny of the Monkey Mind
Our minds tend to chatter away, describing all manner of disastrous possibilities and outcomes, particularly when faced with difficult tasks or decisions. Barraged by complaints, criticisms, and doomsaying, it is no wonder that we can become paralyzed and unwilling or unable to take any action at all.

Eating and Drinking Consciously: Out of Your Head and Into Your Senses

Eating and Drinking Consciously: Out of Your Head and Into Your Senses
We eat very unconsciously, automatically, robot-like. If the taste is not lived, you are just stuffing. Go slow, and be aware of the taste. Do not just go on swallowing things. Taste them unhurriedly and become the taste. When you feel sweetness, become that sweetness....

Why Bother Making An End of Life Plan?

Why Bother Making An End of Life Plan?
Let’s face it, there is never going to be a good time to address anything to do with dying, death or grief. When you’re fit and healthy, the last thing on your mind is the end of your life.

Healing the Separation Between Me and Everything Else

Healing the Separation Between Me and Everything Else
It’s as though the egoic mind, for its survival, needs to remain eternally quarantined inside the head, afraid to step outside its domain, afraid to let go and let God. On its inner throne it reigns supreme, but the price we pay for laying claim to this throne, and never leaving it, is that we forfeit our direct participation in God.

A Place to Rest: Green Cemeteries and Backyard Burials

A Place to Rest: Green Cemeteries and Backyard Burials
The basic tenets of environmentally friendly living are now being posed for environmentally friendly dying. Green burial is all about sustainability and developing funeral practices that support and heal nature rather than disrupt and harm it.

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FROM THE EDITORS

Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice.
A Change Is Gonna Come...
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
(May 30, 2020) As I watch the news on the events in Philadephia and other cities in the country, my heart aches for what is transpiring. I know that this is part of the greater change that is taking…
A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
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…
Why Donald Trump Could Be History's Biggest Loser
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, of people will die prematurely as a direct…
Mascot for the Pandemic and Theme Song for Social Distancing and Isolation
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I came across a song recently and as I listened to the lyrics, I thought it would be a perfect song as a "theme song" for these times of social isolation. (Lyrics below the video.)