In our society we have confused liking with loving. We are taught when we really, really like something, we say we love it. Which means if I don’t like something, then there’s no way I can love it. This use of language distorts and limits our view, trapping us in the fallacy of love being equated to pleasure.
In the sixteen-century, people suffered from hunger, disease, hatred, and war. "How could God allow such terrible things to happen? Perhaps," Luria suggested, "it is because God needs our help." When you see something that is broken, fix it...
While watching the documentary film Stephen Jobs, Hippy Billionaire, I was tickled to learn that as a young adult Jobs was significantly influenced by Baba Ram Dass and his book Be Here Now. I also credit Ram Dass as one of the most valued mentors in my life. He led millions of spiritual seekers to higher awareness and is considered by many to be the “Father of the New Age.”
Pope Francis has delivered a message to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and people of goodwill everywhere which aims to soothe the fear caused by the coronavirus pandemic and unite communities riven by racism, inequality and climate change.
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.
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 that will work for you.
Real spirituality is beyond hope. Hope means there is a chance things may turn out as we wish, and if we are lucky we may get what we want. Inner knowing, on the other hand, proceeds from the awareness that...
It is hard to describe to those wholly invested in the spiritual path that at a certain point the obsessive and all-encompassing nature of the path gives way to utter simplicity. We attend to the human form and realize how precious life is, how we are meant to connect.
I grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. I had nothing in common with my family, let alone with my neighbors and classmates. I always felt alienated there, as if I were in a prison biding my time until my great escape. It never felt like home. But where was home?
Day after day, I sink deeper into peace, absorbing all the many gifts nature has to offer. I sing more than ever. I write in my journal, sometimes composing songs. I talk with God and the angels, and try my best to hear their message for my life.
For spiritual growth to take place in your life, you must change. You must let go of some areas in your life and personality -- especially the areas that are not working well or are out of balance -- and allow them to heal. This process is not always easy and often takes courage -- but the rewards are more than worth the effort.
Maybe that is the problem with the world. Everyone is treating their neighbors (whether individuals or countries) the same way they treat themselves. In other words, if you criticize yourself, pollute your body, and don't take time to respect your own needs -- then your "neighbor" is in for a rough time.
While I thought my biggest fear was of the unknown, of losing control, of being horrified by the darkness inside and around me, it turns out that darkness had been my friend all along. Darkness, my most cryptic ally, pointed me toward light and connection. Darkness showed me — and still shows me — the Bright Way.
"I am here for you. Remember, I love you always." Jackie awoke from her dream with a start. However, she could only manage to recall the last few sentences of his long message to her, but how powerful that voice felt! She wrote down as much as she could recall...
Everything in our lives -- including all the crappy things -- is a choice that we have made for urselves. That is a difficult fact to face for most of us, since it's much easier to blame random circumstances in our lives than to accept responsibility for our own actions
Breath has the ability to take you to the place that all the words—voiced so differently but so similar in intention—point directly to: the source, the ground state, the wide-open dimension, the God.
Many major religious pilgrimages have been canceled or curtailed in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
When you justify the old— “Well, we have always done it as such, so this must be the way”— you are a follower, you are sheep. And, in fact, the Divine Self as you is not a sheep, but a shepherd.
The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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).
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.
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.”
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.
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...
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...
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.
Thanksgiving is a tricky holiday for me, and for many Americans. While I love the concept of a holiday dedicated to gratitude, celebration of the harvest, and spending time with loved ones, I am also aware of the issues of...
Perhaps you've believed, as many do, that wisdom comes with age. That the older you get, the wiser you get. And while that can generally be true, recently so many wise young voices have come to the forefront, that the uniqueness of this belief is being challenged.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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...
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
What keeps us from reaching that state of continuous expansion and joy? What stands in the way of experiencing that place of no separation? What gets in the way of experiencing ourselves filled with light? What stops us from living life with gales of laughter?
"When I have a problem and I dance, at the end the problem is gone!" Ultimately, I am convinced that it is the connection to one’s sense of the spiritual that infuses dance with the power to heal and transform.
For someone on the spiritual path, one of the most beautiful discoveries is that everything becomes inwardly simpler and simpler as she or he progresses in their quest. The complexities of social relations just vanish in the discovery that the essence of every being is divine.
High rates of mental ill health among students, including some tragic cases of suicide, have highlighted the vulnerability of many young people facing the pressures of higher education while away from home for the first time.
It has been tremendously helpful for me to understand the difference between consciousness and spirituality. Spirituality is one type of energy — the energy that links us to our deepest essential nature and to the universal source. Consciousness is the awareness of all of the energies within us..
Within all of us, there’s a light that shines like a lantern’s bright flame. We may call it love, divine energy, or an expression of our Source. No matter what name we give it, that light never goes out.
This planet needs as many of you as possible to create the consciousness shift now occurring. And how you feel it! It can feel beautiful, wonderful, joyous, humorous, light, fun. It can also feel torturous and wretched. The shift involves a whole spectrum of emotional states.
Scrolling through news of the Notre Dame fire on social media feeds was like watching a real-time archive of grief in the making, as people expressed their dismay and sorrow at the damage wrought.
These two practices, seeing similarities and offering kindness, are incredibly rich in terms of building inner resources and incredibly valuable for loosening our fears and biases and allowing us to see that we are all one tribe, one family — the human family.
'What words adequately express the pain and suffering of 50 men, women and children lost, and so many injured?' asked New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern during her address at a memorial service
I have these words on the bulletin board above my desk: Expect Miracles. In my healing and animal communication practice, I am incredibly blessed to be able to witness miracles almost every day.
African-American women comprise more than 70 percent of the active membership of generally any African-American congregation one might attend today. According to one Pew study, African-American women are among the most religiously committed of the Protestant demographic – eight in 10 say that religion is important to them.
Many people have this fear of the city. It's understandable. Each night, on the evening news, the major emphasis seems to be on the latest stabbings, shootings, rapes, and suicides. The good news is often not heard. But fear of personal danger isn't the only problem people have with the city, and out-of-towners are not the only ones guilty of misconceptions.
Is it likely for most of us that past life, early childhood, and then community experiences all generate doubts and self-imposed limits that cloud our ability to see that we can be a successful creator of a terrific life. Further, such experiences cause us to question our own lovability and the goodness of the universe.
Have you felt the deep inner calling of hidden truth? Do you feel sacred knowledge is just waiting for you to grab it? The Mayas believe this is a time when everyone will begin to remember. In the spring of 1995, we entered a new cycle of time that the Mayas believe to be deeply profound and exceptionally transforming.
We live from our heart or we do not live at all. Here is a benchmark by which you can assess the quality of your actions and make important decisions: What is your intention? If you truly seek to serve and give love, you cannot fail.
A man came to a guru and challenged him, "I will give you an orange if you can show me where God is." The guru thought for a moment, then answered, "I will give you two oranges if you can show me where God is not."
Each of the major religions has the same goal: to provide us with a way to know and experience God. The only difference lies in the instructions for accomplishing this knowing. It's very hard to know where to focus my attention to find peace. I am sad to discover that I can't find it in my morning New York Times.
The breaking open that is happening right before our eyes and under our feet is actually creating conditions, situations, and circumstances that are ripe for transformation. It’s up to us to be clear and intentional about how we respond to what is happening.
This is a shamanic method practiced by the shamans in Siberia and Mongolia who believe a man will lead a hard life until he takes his spirits with him. The most powerful expressions of the soul are the spirits, the so-called power images...
Each of us is encouraged to become our own Elijah by simply doing something nice for someone else. Elijah is a Biblical prophet who appears throughout history to spread light in the midst of darkness. He is the person who comes into your life and makes your day!
Although we human beings can sometimes be selfish and competitive, we can also be extraordinarily kind and selfless. However, the materialist worldview tends to downplay the benevolent aspects of our nature, and even explain them away.
I have spent nearly twenty-five years of my adult life searching through the spiritual culture -- during which time I have worked as a body-mind-spirit publisher, a historian of alternative spirituality, and an individual seeker, sampling and struggling with many of the ideas of self liberation and self-development on the current spiritual scene (and working with the originators of some of these ideas).
The Pittsburgh neighborhood in which the recent horrific mass shooting took place isn’t only the home of the Tree of Life synagogue. Squirrel Hill was also Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, the place where he lived and ultimately chose to die in his own home.
Halloween is a time when ghosts and spooky decorations are on public display, reminding us of the realm of the dead. But could they also be instructing us in important lessons on how to lead moral lives?
Scientist and philosopher may argue to the end of time, but meanwhile the human soul thirsts, and psychologist, priest, and mystic have the temerity to suggest that there may be ways of approach to the ultimate mysteries other than laboratory observation and pure logic. For while scientist and logician dissect and analyze, the mystic looks for meaning in the whole.
Blessing is a way of sending unconditional love, peace, healing, goodness to a person or a situation, or simply seeing them bathed in that love. Blessing isn’t associated with any religious denominations. It can be practiced by anyone, and I have an atheist friend who purchased my first edition of The Gentle Art of Blessing, and even gave copies away!
A story about the "Shining One" who explains the reason behind human cruelties and struggle: "Below me the hills and valleys were thick with humans, and the moon swung low that I might see what they did."
Where do we go between births? One can look at this a different way and see birth as a death—a dying to the world of light, a suppression of those memories. Which is our true home? Which is the real going out: our visits to earth or our visits to the world of light?
While driving home one day, I noticed that someone had posted some cardboard signs along the roadside, leading guests to a party on my street. At every important choice point, there was a sign. It occurred to me that this is how Spirit gives us guidance -- we get signs when we need them...
Our identity, or ego, is the aspect of ourselves that attempts to control and plan our present and future experience. But as we all know, no matter how hard you try to control life, it somehow has a way of changing those plans.
Are you experiencing a lag in your spiritual life? Have you been practicing for a long time and consider yourself a spiritual veteran, but are lacking in enthusiasm? Are you new to meditation, but can’t seem to commit to a regular practice?
Everyone works with people they like -- and with people they dislike. We dislike some of them intensely. Seldom is there the luxury of working only with people who are friends or who are in total agreement with us. Since conflict cannot be totally eliminated, it is important to learn how to deal with conflicting wants and needs.
Although the majority of people may well wish things were different, the fact is that we live in a dual world here on Earth. Our lives subsume day and night, light and dark, good and evil, hot and cold, male and female, light and heavy, yin and yang, above and below, feast and famine…
"According to Spinoza, "Peace is not an absence of war. It is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, trust, and justice." Even if all weapons were to disappear from the earth that would not guarantee peace. We must actively cultivate peace as a virtue...
The outside world, as constructed by the ego, is one gigantic multiple personality disorder. Therefore, disillusionment, or giving up on the world, is an imperative prelude to mystical awareness. American author Dan Millman, in his book Way of the Peaceful Warrior, says that disillusionment is the best thing that can happen to someone...
Years of ongoing shamanic and spiritual training have taught me many lessons. Perhaps the main lesson is that life is a never-ending learning process. Although we reach a certain level in our growth and development, there is always something new to learn, to experience...
While checking out at a grocery store I noticed that a cashier had an unusual tattoo on her forearm. “What is that tattoo?” I asked Ciani. She smiled. “It’s a copy of the EKG of my grandmother’s last heartbeat.” Suddenly the checkout process faded to background. I wanted to hear more.
I am astonished and delighted at how the universe works. I am learning more and more about how to live in what I call “The Flow of Grace.” For me, this is learning to allow, rather than push; to accept and receive, rather than hold myself closed out of fear; to expand, rather than contract; and to...
In Africa, Zulu elders teach that there is vital significance in the appearance of the White Lions in Timbavati at this time. As with all the other White Spirit Animals, the White Spirit Lions have come to warn us of dramatic Earth changes, encouraging us to work together in these perilous times.
We carry with us into our future an extraordinary and enormous potential. We have all the equipment that we need to face our breathtaking tomorrows. We have the technology, and the ingenuity to create even greater...