Just when I thought I’d seen everything that could amaze me, along comes Miyoko Shida, who performed an astonishing (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘beauty’
To introduce you to my book, Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, I am pleased to present excerpts from all nineteen chapters.
But first, a bonus excerpt. In the book, I’ve included a personal story at the end of every chapter that offers an example of how to apply the wisdom contained in that particular chapter. So let’s begin with one of those stories.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
“LIVING THE LESSON” STORY
At thirty-four, I was unemployed with a wife and twelve-year-old daughter to support. I didn’t have highly marketable skills and was feeling more desperate by the day. Two months after I lost my job, my tax guy told me I needed to make a $2,500 payment to the IRS in thirty days. I was already heavily in debt and had no idea how I was going to pay that month’s rent, much less the looming IRS bill. I had to repeatedly remind myself to keep breathing.
A few weeks later, my dad asked me to meet him for lunch. We lived seventy miles apart so we met at a Wendy’s in Monticello, a town halfway in between. We sat down and, without question, without judgment, he handed me a check for $2,500. I was stunned. I knew he couldn’t afford to give me so much. As I sat there, blinking back tears, he told me he believed in me and that he loved me. It was the most unexpected, generous, and loving gift I had ever received, and it deepened the already strong bond between us.
Fast-forward nearly six years. I asked my dad to meet me at the Wendy’s in Monticello at three o’clock. He hadn’t a clue why. We sat down, and I thanked him again for that day and told him how much his loving gesture had meant to me. Then I handed him a check for $2,500. It was his turn to be stunned. He tried to thank me but was too overcome with emotion, so much so that he lowered his head to the table and began sobbing. Tenderly, I leaned over and kissed the top of his head. The gift of that moment remains one of the highlights of my life.
I am now grateful for those dark days of no job and no money. Enduring such a stressful period, with fear gnawing at the pit of my stomach for days on end, was a small price to pay for such beautiful moments of love, grace, and redemption. My dad is gone now, but the memories of those lunches at Wendy’s continue to nourish me and feed my soul. Even if I were in debt the rest of my life, I’d still consider myself the richest man on earth.
And now, on to the chapter excerpts!
(Please note that the size of the type is much larger in the book!)
CHAPTER ONE: RETHINK YOUR WORLDVIEW
CHAPTER TWO: YOU ARE NOT SEPARATE FROM GOD
CHAPTER THREE: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND (more…)
If you want the world to be a more beautiful place, the solution is simple: Think, speak and act in more beautiful ways.
It is within your power to choose how much purity, love, beauty, and spiritual joy you will express, not (more…)
In a March 2 online article for Entertainment Weekly, the newly minted Top 13 American Idol finalists were asked, “What sets you apart from the other contestants? Jeremy Rosado replied, “I know that I have the favor of God, and that’s gonna get me farther than anything else.” Now, I don’t know exactly what Jeremy meant by that, but I imagine his comment alienated more than a few of the voting viewers. Come across as “holier than thou” on a TV talent show, even if that’s not what you intended to convey, and you might as well press the Eject button yourself. Sure enough, last night Jeremy became the first singer to be eliminated. Even though he wasn’t the most talented singer in the bunch, my heart goes out to him. I can only imagine the anguish and humiliation that come with being rejected on live TV, and especially at such a young age.
So what does “having the favor of God” really mean? Anyone can attain the favor of God simply by striving to live in attunement with peace, love, truth and beauty. As Hazrat Inayat Khan wrote:
Everyone shows harmony or disharmony according to how open he is to the music of the universe. The more he is open to all that is beautiful and harmonious, the more his life is tuned to that universal harmony, and the more he will show a friendly attitude towards everyone he meets, his very atmosphere will create music around him.
Having the favor of God is all about internal rewards, not external results. Loving God won’t directly help you win a singing contest, a football game or a book contract. What it will help you win is a (more…)
Nineteeth-century English novelist Dinah Maria Craik masterfully put into words the joy and beauty of friendship. Her description is spot-on. A real friend is on the same wavelength, so you need not guard your words; even if you do not say what you mean, your friend will know what you mean to say. May those you love and feel safe with be with you always.
Oh, the comfort—the inexpressible comfort of (more…)
Louie Schwartzberg, an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer, has chronicled nature’s beauty through time-lapse photography for thirty years. In the above ten-minute TEDx video, he offers this profound wisdom:
When people see my images, a lot of times they’ll say, “Oh, my God.” Have you ever wondered what that meant?
The “Oh” means it caught your attention, makes you present, makes you mindful.
The “my” means it connects with something deep inside your soul. It creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard.
And “God”? God is that (more…)
In time, viewing every moment as a gift orchestrated by divine intelligence becomes ingrained in your consciousness. No matter where you are, no matter what is in front of you, you see the hand of God at work.
Whoever does not see God in every place does not see God in any place.
Look at the world through God’s eyes and the beauty and majesty of a falling leaf will leave you breathless.
We look too much to museums. The (more…)
Do you want to see evidence of God’s presence? Open your eyes. Open your mind. Open your heart. God is everywhere and in everything you see. Paramahansa Yogananda promised his devotees that they would find God by following the trail of beauty. In this poem from his book, Whispers From Eternity, Yogananda beautifully conveys the omnipresence of the divine.
O Father, when I was blind I found not a (more…)
Nine o’clock at night. I just returned from doing energization exercises on the beach—standing there in the dark, not another soul in sight, the waves rolling in, engulfed by the ceaseless roar of the ocean, awed by the magnitude and magnificence of the view. The miles and miles of water in front of me concealed worlds upon worlds, all of them throbbing with life and brimming over with untold treasures and endless mysteries. How can anyone gaze upon this sight and feel anything but reverence?
Tomorrow night will find me on the sand once again. I could get used to not (more…)
Every spiritual teacher intones the same three-word mantra, “Detach from outcomes.” Perhaps you’ve recoiled at the thought. After all, who wants to go through life detached, like a ghost walking through a vibrant, festive party filled with laughter and all the delights this world has to offer?
Ah, but detaching from outcomes does not mean that you are apathetic and unmotivated. Quite the contrary. Detachment means that you (more…)
Just got back from a mile-long barefoot walk on the beach on a warm, sunny day in Encinitas. Funny how when the waves lap over your feet and then recede again how your heels drop deeper into the sand. Standing still as the water ebbed away, I felt like I was on a treadmill, moving backward, as if I were moonwalking without moving my feet. A little surreal, but a little cool too.
As the waves rolled in, I pulled my cap low to shield out the sun and gazed down the shoreline in both directions. Endless water. Pure blue sky. Cotton-candy clouds. I’ve been coming down to the ocean nearly every day for five weeks and I still can’t come close to drinking this all in. It’s all so overwhelmingly . . . majestic.
Soaking in this panoramic paradise, I thought how wonderful it would be if people could access the beauty of their inner world so easily. Some years back, I was sitting with (more…)
In her book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron wrote:
I have a friend dying of AIDS. Before I was leaving for a trip, we were talking. He said, “I didn’t want this, and I hated this, and I was terrified of this. But it turns out that this illness has been my greatest gift.” He said, “Now every moment is so precious to me. All the people in my life are so precious to me. My whole life means so much to me.” Something had really changed, and he felt ready for his death. Something that was horrifying and scary had turned into a gift.
As a naive high schooler, I was in awe of pretty girls. I thought they were pretty much perfect creatures who could get lovestruck boys to satisfy their every whim just by batting their eyelashes. Did I mention I was naive? With a capital N?
As I grew older, I realized that good looks, like lots of money or superior intellectual or athletic ability, are no guarantee of happiness and offer no protection from psychological and emotional challenges. Indeed, those who seem to be “the chosen ones” often view their supposed advantages as more curse than blessing.
Meditation is not an emptying of the mind. It is the highest form of concentration in which the mind is focused entirely on God. What we call happiness is negligible compared to the inner peace and exultation of spirit we attain in meditation.
Happiness, the province of the ego, is fleeting. Joy, the (more…)