Whatever living experiments you may choose to pursue in the future will be a function of the present state of your environment, your technologies and creative capacities, and the lens through which you are viewing reality.
Resilience practices and culturally rooted health traditions show promise for overcoming trauma in real-life settings.
He had not recognized that this had been the case all along with everyone he had met or known. Each person had a connection to each other through their God force, and Manuka was symbolizing that for him right before his eyes. Why haven’t I seen that before? Now it’s so clear that it’s as if I had always known it.
Without learning to manage your mind, inner peace is impossible. The key to making your mind your ally, rather than your enemy, is to become aware of how you produce and direct your very own cinema of the absurd. Then you can choose to...
In today’s stressful world, mindfulness – a type of popular spirituality that strives to focus on the present moment – promises to soothe away the anxiety and stress of modern life.
Whenever you have the opportunity, lie down on the earth -- in a meadow, in the forest, on the bank of the river... Just lie down on the earth and feel one with it. That will give you much energy, fresh energy.
I was raised as a Quaker, but around the age of 20 my faith faded. It would be easiest to say that this was because I took up philosophy – my lifelong occupation as a teacher and scholar.
The highest form of respect for another person is respecting his or her natural right to be self-determining. This means not interfering with another person's ability to choose. Every experience holds a valuable lesson. Noninterference means caring in a respectful way. And it is the way of 'right relationship.'
Imagine a life without love. Sadly, so many people feel a despairing lack of love, even some who are successful and surrounded by friends. Over 50% of Americans report they have no one they can confide in. 25% live alone. An epidemic of loneliness is sweeping the world, spiking suicide rates.
So often we do not have our minds on what we are doing -- our bodies are doing one thing and our minds are on a totally different tack, which creates disharmony. In order to turn off our “automatic pilot”, we need to develop more awareness of what we are doing...
You do not come into earth to meditate. You come into earth to think, feel, act, and do. Thus, the primary impulse from your soul is not to meditate, but to love, to create harmony and goodness, and to heal. Now, the forces of God will love you no matter what you do, whether you meditate or not, whether you...
I had believed in reincarnation as a child. It was almost a knowing, as I recall. I once had a sense of a place and culture where I’d been many centuries ago, though no recollection of past lives. I just recall a frisson of recognition as I was reading a history book and came across a passage about Chichén Itzá, the pre-Columbian city built by the Mayans...
The beloved children’s television icon Fred Rogers – who is played by actor Tom Hanks in the upcoming film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” – entered the world of children’s programming during an era of massive political and cultural upheaval.
Mindfulness techniques and methadone may reduce cravings and pain among people experiencing opioid addiction and chronic pain, research finds.
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.
Loving-kindness and compassion are of utmost importance at this time for humanity. Love and compassion for one another, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, and gender, need to take precedence over ideology and our superficial differences. We must come together and cooperate with one another in order to survive the global challenges facing us.
I now feel with such a depth of certainty, of spiritual groundedness that Love is the ultimate reply to all and any problem, be it personal, social or a world issue. And you and I are one with that Love. We are literally welded to Love and nothing will ever be able to change that, even our own doubts and fears.
The film The Portal follows six individuals who undergo a personal transformation from trauma and struggle to calmness, self-acceptance, and compassion towards others.
When seeing or hearing the word alchemy, one might think of old men in funny hats working at furnaces in ancient chemistry labs seeking to turn minerals into gold, create the philosopher’s stone, or find the elixir of life. However, these popular modern stereotypes of the ancient alchemists are but a tiny fragment of alchemy.
These days, the term “fundamentalism” is often associated with a militant form of Islam. But the original fundamentalist movement was actually Christian. And it was born in the United States a century ago this year.
Go forth on your Path in life with honor and dignity and do whatever good you can. As long as it lasts, life can be full of wonderful memories if you wish. Everyone is unique and changing and all have the right to reach their full potential in all their abilities.
I never gave much importance to my father's death and its effect on my life. I tucked it away under the category something unfortunate that happened when I was a kid. It felt as though I put all those unexpressed feelings, words and emotions into a little invisible jar and screwed the cap on tightly. My mind must have known...
Marianne Williamson speaking on the Spirit of America. A viewer's comment: "This may be the most powerful spiritual and social justice speech delivered since Martin Luther King's. I Have a Dream."
Following sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, there is a worldwide push to end the guarantee of secrecy of confession – called “the seal of the confessional.”
Since Canada legalized Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in 2016, as of Oct. 31, 2018, more than 6,700 Canadians have chosen medications to end their life.
Anytime I had ever talked about receiving signs or other information from the spirit world, Dad laughed, joked, or scoffed. For personal and religious reasons, he never could understand why I had passed on a surefire career as an opera singer in favor of one as a psychic medium.
When I was little, my mother used to ask me if I would jump out the window just because my friends were doing it. The question made me mad, but she was trying to teach me an important lesson about life. Learn to think for yourself and listen to your heart, or you're likely to get into trouble.
It was the bag of Fritos that gave me away. As a secular Jewish kid whose family did not belong to a synagogue, I did not think twice about riding my bike to the convenience store around the corner during the afternoon of Yom Kippur.
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.
My most vivid adolescent memories of the Jewish High Holy Days are the painful rumbling of my empty stomach as I fasted on Yom Kippur, and the sharp blasts of the shofar – the ram’s horn – sounding from the synagogue pulpit.
“I guess darkness serves a purpose: to show us that there is redemption through chaos. I believe in that. I think that’s the basis of Greek Mythology.” -- Apollo
Jewish theologian Martin Buber said, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” The ego’s destinations are always material. The spirit’s destinations run deeper. We believe we are here to get somewhere physically, while we are really here to get somewhere spiritually.
In the fall, Catholics and some other Christian churches celebrate the Feast of the Holy Cross.
Buddhism explains the profound truths of life. But it also provides an immensely practical method for overcoming obstacles and transforming oneself. It can be applied to every area of your existence: family, work, relationships, health. And it can be applied by anyone. Each and every human being contains the inherent capacity to be a Buddha
Meditation is not another “thing” to do, it’s an expression of who you are. Like all authentic spiritual practices it makes life easier by removing the barriers that keep you from being the person you came here to be.
An elderly Sikh gentleman in Northern California, 64-year-old Parmjit Singh, was recently stabbed to death while taking a walk in the evening.
It is of interest that the current spiritual reawakening is mainly happening outside the carefully patrolled borders of our organized religions.
When we practise Mindfulness, we get to know ourselves better; and in particular we get to know more about our habitual patterns of thought and behaviour. It is a bit like turning a dimmer switch up in a room. In a similar way, Mindfulness increases our inner awareness and this starts to reveal more and more of what is in the room of our mind.
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 23rd Psalm is one of the most popular prayers in the Western world. This beautiful collection of words can be the key to reclaiming spiritual power. Most of us recognize the 23rd Psalm's familiar phrases, but what we don't often appreciate is the impact of the principles contained in the Psalm, probably because it doesn't fit the model of what we've been taught a prayer should be.
None of us will ever forget where we were on 9/11, or how we learned about the attacks on our country. Our hearts, and our innocence, were shattered on that awful day.
Many religions urge their adherents to be charitable toward those in need.
When most of us are introduced to the practice of meditation and mindfulness, usually our opinion is that thinking is bad. After all, we reason, our thinking and ideas have become a layer between the present moment and ourselves. Our mind has convinced us that we are isolated. At least, that is how we often perceive the situation.
Fear of dying – or death anxiety – is often considered to be one of the most common fears. Interestingly though, neither of the two widely used diagnostic psychiatric manuals, DSM-5 or ICD-10, has a specific listing for death anxiety.
Certainly there are injustices to be named in this world, and hate-filled situations to be changed, and inequities to be remedied. There is appropriate treatment to be demanded, without prejudice or fear. But can we do these things without destroying ourselves through anger?
Practiced daily, this basic activation exercise enables you to gradually shift the center of your being to your heart. The ideal is to start your day with it, but you can do it at any other time, including just before going to sleep.
Mystics very often see the links of all things – not only between all humans, but between humans and nature, and sometimes they feel a total immersion with the Ground of Being that upholds the universe and every living being. More and more, modern science stresses the same reality, and that apparent divisions are a socially conditioned illusion.
In Northern Ireland, Catholics and Protestants are frequently segregated, with some neighborhoods divided by barbed wire fences, reflecting deep historical conflicts between the faiths.
No one can give you a specific technique for how to surrender. You have to find out for yourself what surrender is, and the way you respond to the felt current of the life force as it makes its way through the conduit of your body will be unique to you. Your dance won’t look like anybody else’s...
The number of people who bury their dead relatives without any official ceremony is increasing rapidly in Sweden, up from less than 2% a decade ago to 8% this year.
Over the past few decades, vacant and underutilized churches have become a familiar sight in American cities.
Many people who are struck with sudden, progressive or terminal illness are kept alive mechanically, while families and doctors make decisions about treatment.
If we can begin to understand how the Spirit operates continuously in our lives, then our daily existence will become less stressful and more relaxed, filled less with drudgery and more with enchantment, and we in turn can become more creative and begin to enjoy a new sense of purpose, fulfillment, and enthusiasm.
The purpose of meditation is to slow down so that we can see clearly into the nature of the mind, making it possible for us to become fully present in each moment, to gain understanding of the way things truly are. It can give rise to the deep sense of calm that comes from really knowing something for yourself.
What goes on in the external world cannot change who we are or affect our true nature. No matter what happens to our body, personality, relationships, career, finances, or worldly politics, external events cannot affect who we are at our core. Our divinity remains intact.
People over 50 who attend religious services and pray privately may notice better memory performance, researchers report.
The political power of the American Christian right naturally leads to interest and speculation about the influence of similar groups in Canada.
One of the most important celebrations for Hindus throughout the world: Rakshabandhan, a ceremony honoring the bond between sisters and brothers.
The unicorn is an enduring image in contemporary society: a symbol of cuteness, magic, and children’s birthday parties.
Unconditional love is loving people freely, fully and openly, with no expectations, demands or restrictions. It gives total acceptance and respect and does not criticize or judge. Unconditional love is constant and is not turned on and off as in conditional love.
We all start out as a closet case. We have a secret life with secret pain that we keep under wraps in this closet. We bolt the door and hide the key, keeping our dark side hidden away, and we work very hard to function over the top of that pain, fear and anguish and go on somehow with our lives, perhaps thinking we are the only ones with secret pain.
Buddhists believe that all our actions are dependent on our state of mind. A mind that is not well controlled is liable to cause a great deal of harm to itself and others, while a peaceful mind creates a comfortable atmosphere for itself and everyone around.
In mountains of Bosnia, a community of mystics who call themselves the Emissaries of Light, said to me: "Our role is not to bring peace to where it is not, but to reveal peace where it is hidden." Peace, the Emissaries said, is not something that can be understood with the mind, but must be experienced with the heart.
In the Kabbalah of the Jewish tradition, the soul is not something that needs curing from some affliction so much as needing tikkun, to be repaired. It is said that if one person truly knew how to fix the soul by celebrating the Divine Presence in life, then that person would repair the whole world.
People travel to the Amazon to learn from the shamans or to India to practice yoga to expand their minds’ capacities. They delve deeper into the knowledge of the people and nature of the Himalayas, and they replace conventional diet and medicine with their organic and holistic equivalents.
For many of us, the idea of sitting quietly is painful. Many of us like being busy. In our American culture, we are applauded for checking as many items as we can off our to-do lists. It makes us feel we have accomplished much, that we’re going places fast. But many of us are running on empty. We are just whirling, twirling.
In this essay I will explore another view of what modern people can draw from the ceremonial approach to life. This alternative is not a substitute for the rational, pragmatic approach to solving personal or social problems. It is a reunion of the ceremonial with the pragmatic built upon a profoundly different way of seeing the world.
The sky is blue and you are walking through a park, speaking with a colleague, discussing a new project. You feel energised, puffing slightly as your pace speeds up with the excitement of tossing around ideas as you walk among the trees.
If I had to mention one single thing which I believe the most important by very very far, for not only the survival but the harmonious evolution of mankind, it is simply LOVE. And the best place to find it might be in ourselves!
Misunderstanding, not being heard, and missing key information due to poor listening are at the crux of societal ills. One of the main reasons we listen poorly is because our internal noise levels are so turbulent and obtrusive that they mask most of what others are saying. Only bits and pieces of their message survive the...
The battle now raging in several American states over women’s reproductive rights is a direct result of the Christian right’s efforts to impose its religious values on the family and in politics.
We are born into this life to give it shape and to be powerful. Whether you’re simply fixing lunch or dreaming of leading a self-sufficient life in the country, these are all ideas waiting to be put into practice in the best possible way.
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..
Although we may feel like we have no real say about how we spend our time, a careful and honest examination reveals this cannot literally be true. We make choices each day that explicitly reflect our personal values and individual priorities. When...
Algebra, alchemy, artichoke, alcohol, and apricot all derive from Arabic words which came to the West during the age of Crusades.
Having practiced psychotherapy for thirty-five years and Buddhism for fifteen years, I have noticed striking similarities as well as differences between the two. Buddhism and psychotherapy share a common ground of concern with suffering and the means of relief and release from suffering. This is the foundation and raison d'être of both. That they share this common ground is neither a coincidence, nor a minor consideration.
Mysticism has been associated in the popular mind mostly with monasteries, retreats, ashrams, caves, and similar places where novices and would-be yogis foregathered. Thus it came to be looked upon as a way of escape from the domestic difficulties, business troubles, and emotional disappointments that seem so inseparable from human existence.
If you have the human optical ability to see color, and you are taught the names of different colors, no one will have to prove to you that (on clear June days) the sky is blue. Truth is self-evident. So it is with angels: if you allow them into your heart, mind, and life, angels will help you to transform your life. Ask them for help with this transformation, and see what happens.
Buddha is sitting in a relaxed, yet contemplative position and there is a big smile on his face. Is he laughing at me...? Martin E. Segal helps the reader understand how to live life to the fullest and why the Buddha is smiling.
At any given moment we decide if we are available to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit. This is a bit like God's radio station always broadcasting. Yet we must tune in to be able to listen.
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...
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of Tibet, is turning 84 on July 6. With his advancing age, the question of who will succeed him, has become more pressing.
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.
A Benedictine monk had used almost exactly the same words as a Hindu ascetic – Swami Ambikananda had also mentioned that we could meditate for 22 hours a day but that during those two remaining hours all kinds of un-enlightened selfish actions were possible. (It also brought to mind a prisoner I’d met who told me that he had been a Buddhist for years and meditated daily – but was nevertheless in prison for recently committing a violent armed robbery.)
When we cheer the spirit of the true athlete, what we applaud is a demonstration of all of the significance's the word spirit entails for us: courage, tenacity, commitment, alignment with principle, demonstration of excellence, honor, respect, and humility. To inspire implies filling with spirit...
Like a mirror, your soul reflects the pure light of the Divine. But over time every mirror becomes dusty—caked and encrusted with the negative conditioning of material reality. Eventually, without attentive upkeep, it may become so grimy that it reflects little to no light. This is when we feel depressed, materialistic—even mean and violent. We see the mud and not the mirror. We identify with the grime, not knowing that just below it the mirror is there, ready to reflect the sun and shine if we only give it a chance.
In July, hundreds of pilgrims will make their way to an isolated town in the northwest of Haiti, called Anse-à-Foleur or Ansafolè.
Southern Baptists are arguing again over the role women should play in the church.
Our perceptions are based on our beliefs, and those beliefs influence how we see the world, which dictates our sense of reality. If we're open minded, we'll see the world through a much clearer and wider lens, and be more accepting, tolerant and compassionate. But if we're closed off or small minded, we're not going to be as tolerant, and can make snap judgments before we even give something or someone a chance.
Nowadays meditation is sometimes confused with other activities. Meditation is not simply relaxing the body and mind. Nor is it imagining being a successful person with wonderful possessions, good relationships, appreciation from others, and fame. This is merely daydreaming about objects of attachment.
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.
How you breathe reflects your self-esteem. How you breathe directly correlates to your enjoyment and satisfaction in life. If you breathe deeply, you imbibe of life and what it has to offer. If you are a shallow breather, perhaps you are not confident and feeling safe.
The ongoing TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale has done much to remind us of the astonishing pertinence of Margaret Atwood’s novel – which was first published in 1985 and is soon to be followed by a sequel
In our contemporary world, noise pollution has reached dangerous levels. The World Health Organization has argued that “excessive noise” is a serious threat to human health.
How can we break the silence about what happens when we’re dying?
There really is no explanation nor prescription for loving, for being with and available to those you love until the last breath and then on. And there is no one way to provide the best possible care for your loved one or for yourself and others who are the caregivers.
Following the terror attack on two New Zealand mosques in March 2019, many Muslim communities across the world gathered as usual for their most important weekly ritual – Friday prayers.
Modern neuroscience has now found that altruism brings us happiness in addition to being a stress reliever. This mirrors Buddhist teachings. Through our meditations and practice of loving-kindness and compassion, we gradually come into an experiential sense of our basic goodness.
Once you decide to see only love, you can relinquish judgment and see people for what they are. In the end, everyone benefits, including you. As it says in A Course in Miracles, “You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment.”
Spiritual development doesn’t happen automatically. You may want enlightenment very badly, but it only happens through your daily application of spiritual principles. One of these principles is sankalpa, which means "will power" in Sanskrit.