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...

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

The
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.

The Greatest Christmas Gift: The Socks Seemed Empty but...

The Greatest Christmas Gift

One of my most cherished Christmas memories involves a Christmas when the only gifts I received came without gift-wrap. The socks hung exactly as we had left them, lifeless and flat. "There's nothing there," I sobbed...

We Invented The Bogey Man--We Don't Have To Keep Him Alive

The Bogey Man Within: He Isn't Real, Never Was
Think of a problem or challenge that you may be experiencing at this time. Where did it originate? Out of a belief in two powers. We grew up with this belief. As children, we had battles to fight, pains to alleviate, losses to compensate for, and...

Why Some People Distrust Atheists

Why Some People Distrust Atheists
An ad featuring Ron Reagan, son of the Republican former President Ronald Reagan, surprised some viewers of the recent Democratic primary debates.

Empowering Yourself by Choosing Your Underlying Attitude Toward Life

Empowering Your Life by Choosing Your Underlying Attitude Toward Life
To empower your life, you have to seize responsibility for it. You cannot wait and hope that God or yet another 'miracle pill' will somehow solve the problems of pain, dissatisfaction, and depression. You will not change your state by doing nothing about it or by blaming other people for your pain.

PTSD/Meditation Breakthrough: Forgiving Myself and Forgiving God

PTSD/Meditation Breakthrough: Forgiving Myself and Forgiving God
I began the final day of the meditation workshop with a strange, unexpected intention: to forgive myself, and to forgive God. James and Ken told us that no matter what happened, we were supposed to keep our eyes closed, keep breathing, and keep going.

How Old Would You Want To Be In Heaven?

How Old Would You Want To Be In Heaven?
Many religious faiths propose different versions of heaven as a location: There are walled gardens with streams, flowers, pleasing scents, pretty angels, rapturous music or delicious accessible food.

How to Change with Joy and with Ease

How to Change with Joy and with Ease
All the theory in the world is useless unless we know how to apply it and make a change. Sometimes when we try to release a pattern, the whole situation seems to get worse for a while. This is not a bad thing. It is a sign that the situation is beginning to move. Our affirmations are working, and we need to keep going.

Mindfulness Could Lower Your Blood Pressure

Mindfulness Could Lower Your Blood Pressure.
Mindfulness could reduce blood pressure, a new study finds. As the leading cause of death in both the United States and the world, heart disease claims nearly 18 million lives every year, according to the World Health Organization.

If Everything Is Perfect, Why Don't I Feel Perfect?

If Everything Is Perfect, Why Don't I Feel Perfect?
Some of the most difficult questions I've ever been asked are: If we are one with God, then why wouldn't God have created us with that thought to begin with? What is the purpose of not knowing? Why don't we feel perfect?

Sympathetic Joy: Delighting In The Joy Of Others

Sympathetic Joy: Delighting In The Joy Of Others
By appreciating the happiness of others, we do tend to improve our chances of joy by about seven billion to one! I don’t gamble, but I do know those are good odds. Sympathetic joy means the heart is like kindling, ready for sparks of happiness wherever gladness and success are found.

Effortless Meditation To Go From Fear Into Courage and Intuition

Effortless Meditation to Move From Fear Into Love
Fold your hands together in your lap, with the right hand underneath the left hand -- the position is important because the right hand is joined with the left brain, and fear always comes from the left brain. The left hand is joined with the right brain, and courage comes from the right side.

You Must Either Love or Fear. Which Is It?

You Must Either Love or Fear. Which Is It?
"In the name of God" we have created more atrocities than any one person or group could ever think up. In truth, all of it has been in the name of idolatry, not God. Please ask yourself, why are we worshiping a god of fear? Of vengeance? Where is the God of love, the One who lovingly put us here?

Beginning To See Within: The Ways of the World

Beginning To See Within: The Ways of the World
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.

Be One with the Earth

Be One with the Earth
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.

Choices and Non Interference: Practicing Patience and Respect

Choices and Non Interference: Practicing Patience and Respect
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.'

Love Makes Life Worthwhile

Love Makes Life Worthwhile
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.

How To Develop Mindfulness: Do Tasks As Though For The First Time

Developing Mindfulness: Doing Tasks As Though For The First Time
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...

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FROM THE EDITORS

InnerSelf Newsletter: September 27, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
One of the great strength of the human race is our ability to be flexible, to be creative, and to think outside the box. To be someone other than we were yesterday or the day before. We can change...…
What Works For Me: "For The Highest Good"
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something…
Were You Part Of The Problem Last Time? Will You Be Part Of The Solution This Time?
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Have you registered to vote? Have you voted? If you are not going to vote, you will be part of the problem.
InnerSelf Newsletter: September 20, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
The theme of the newsletter this week can be summed up as "you can do it" or more specifically "we can do it!". This is another way of saying "you/we have the power to make a change". The image of…
What Works For Me: "I Can Do It!"
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something…