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 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.
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...
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 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.
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.
With churches closed and annual pilgrimages cancelled, Christians across the world are wondering how to give thanks to God this Easter.
Holidays and holy days are always difficult times if things aren't going well. Yet, these can be times of healing. For the heart can be opened more easily at any time that a people's traditions...
On April 8, Jewish families and their friends will be celebrating the first night of the week of Passover, with the most convivial gathering of the year: the Seder meal.
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.
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?
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.
It's up to us. We can spend our lives cultivating our resentments and cravings or we can explore the path of the warrior -- nurturing open-mindedness and courage. Most of us keep strengthening our negative habits and therefore sow the seeds of our own suffering.
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.
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.
As the world faces the greatest disruption of our lifetimes, Muslims throughout the world are also grappling with the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic
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.
Sometime in the late second century A.D., Christians in the city of Rome organized a collection to send to the followers of Jesus in the city of Corinth.
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.
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.
'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...
"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 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.
While many agree that we are currently in our cultural adolescence, there is also clear evidence of higher chakra development in the realms of communication (fifth chakra), vision (sixth chakra), and spirituality (seventh chakra).
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...
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..
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.
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...
For 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.
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...
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.
Just a brief introduction to mindfulness helps people deal with physical pain and negative emotions, according to a new study.
Meditation may offer a way to make you less prone to mistakes, researchers report.
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!
From 1984 to 2018, the number of journal articles published annually on mindfulness jumped from two to 842, according to the American Mindfulness Research Association.
Even the most secular people and societies usually have their behaviour shaped by religion. We can see its influence in behavioural codes that set out what is considered right and wrong.
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?
Life is a prayer in the sense that it is a continuous request to the universe. God understands our desires not just through the occasional utterances that we call "prayers" in the traditional sense, but through every thought we think, every word we speak, and everything we do.
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.
It is often assumed that life wages a battle to the last against death. But is it possible, as you suggest, to come to terms with death?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is a long tradition of scientists and other intellectuals in the West being casually dismissive of people’s spiritual experiences
To experience timelessness, you need to focus intently on the moment at hand. You cannot allow your mind to wander over events of the past or wallow in deep concern over the future.
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 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...
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.
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.”
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...
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.
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....
It is one of the most widely known and often retold stories in human history.
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.
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.
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.
Belief in the virgin birth comes from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Their birth stories are different, but both present Mary as a virgin when she became pregnant with Jesus.
Menorahs have now become ubiquitous features around the world during Hanukkah, from Berlin to New York to Melbourne.