In the 12/27/13 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King ends his review of the book, The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer, with this:
The Interestings addresses one of fiction’s great themes: how we make peace with our own shortcomings and make the best of ordinary lives.
It’s a great theme in real life as well: How do people rearrange and rebuild their lives when dreams die hard?
Like most people, I’ve seen countless friends and acquaintances aim for careers and stardom in creative fields like acting, singing, painting and writing, only to end up frustrated and disillusioned. The cold, hard truth is that most of (more…)
Anyone who considers themselves a spiritual person will affirm sincerely that every person is a child of God and is worthy of respect and reverence. Indeed, the word “namaste,” which is used so casually and ubiquitously, means “The divinity in me bows to the divinity in you.”
Intellectual understanding is one thing. Authentically applying that understanding is another. Whenever you treat someone with anything other than love and acceptance, you are only paying lip service to the concept of namaste. This oft-told story nicely captures this truth:
A guru asked his disciples how they could tell when the night had ended and the day begun.
One said, “When you see an animal in the distance and can tell whether it is a cow or a horse.”
“No,” said the guru.
“When you look at a tree in the distance and can tell if it is a fig tree or a mango tree”.
At one point, while Leo was living at Lake Shrine, a temple and spiritual sanctuary owned by Yogananda’s organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, he professed a desire to go for a car ride with Yogananda (who was called “Master’ by devotees).
Here is an excerpt that tells how Leo’s desire was granted:
I was thinking I would finally get my ride with Master. I would just be there with him and enjoy his presence. So we got in the car and headed for the Lake. I waited for him to bless me and tell me some stories. But he didn’t do that. He was looking at a newspaper! Then he would put the paper down and see a car coming. Then he would ask me, “What kind of car is that?” Now when I was a kid, I was pretty interested in cars. I used to go down to the showrooms and see the new models and all of that stuff. I’d tell Master what kind of car it was and then I’d sit quietly again. Then he’d do the same thing!
Another car came and another. It seemed like he did that six, eight, ten times! And finally it came to the point where I realized, “Well, I’m not going to be able to meditate and just be with him like I thought I would. I might just as well relax.” I thought I would start to figure out what kind of car it was as it approached. That way, Master wouldn’t have to wait for the answer. I stopped trying to meditate and started watching the approaching cars. Right at that point, he reached (more…)
Given 30 seconds to say what is most important in life, it’d be simple: give yourself to God.
God gets a mixed review, obviously a favorable spin from religious or spiritual types, but still one with vague undertones of uncertainty. The advice I gave sounds good but what does it really mean, why is it important, and how should one go about doing it?
Let’s cut to the chase. Life on earth isn’t easy. Even when wealthy or healthy, people may be miserable. With no way to know what’ll happen one minute to the next, control and security are illusory. Money, power, fame, sex, etc. promise happiness but inevitably disappoint because they lead nowhere. And more, they distract us from (more…)
From the unfathomable mysteries in the ocean depths to the dance of life in the densest jungles to the celestial constellations of distant stars, the exquisite order and breathtaking beauty of the natural world offers compelling evidence of a governing intelligence.
I wrote this eBook because I’ve heard so many people claim that it’s not logical to believe in God. I think the opposite is true!
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Not believing in God because you don’t see evidence of God’s existence when you look at the surface events of life is like not believing in (more…)
God knoweth best what is needful for us, and all that He does is for our good. If we knew how much He loves us, we should always be ready to receive equally and with indifference from His hand the sweet and the bitter. All would please that came from Him.
Pray remember what I have recommended to you, which is, to think often on God, by day, by night, in your business, and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone. You would think it rude to leave a friend alone who came to visit you; why, then, must God be neglected? Do not, then, forget Him, but (more…)
In the depth of winter, Nicholas Herman, an eighteen-year-old impoverished solider in the French army, stopped to gaze upon a tree. The thoughts that occurred to him in those few moments changed the course of his life and would serve to inspire countless souls in the centuries to come.
Like the tree, stripped of its leaves, Herman felt barren and hopeless. But come spring, he realized, the tree would once again blossom with leaves and fruit. In that instant, the leafless tree “first flashed in upon [his] soul the fact of God” and his soul blossomed with the hope and expectation that the turn of seasons in his own life would bring fullness, and that he too would be renewed through the mercy of God’s grace.
Not long after, a near-fatal injury to his sciatic nerve, which left him crippled and in chronic pain the rest of his life, forced Herman’s retirement from the army. After a stint as a self-described “footman who was clumsy and broke everything,” he entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Paris around the year 1635 and took the name (more…)
That all things are possible to him who believes; that they are less difficult to him who hopes; that they are more easy to him who loves, and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues.
At the core of this teaching is the liberation and joy that come with surrender. And the more you love and trust God the easier it will be for you to surrender, which will generate a virtuous circle: By relinquishing control, you become more trusting, which frees (more…)
So many people resolve to be kinder and more loving, but consistently fall short of that goal. The busier life gets, the further their mind drifts from such lofty intentions. Later, in quieter moments, they chastise themselves for not living up to the promise they made to themselves.
The solution? What works for me is looking at every individual as if they were my own son or daughter. Then it doesn’t matter what they look like or act like. I see nothing but the indescribable beauty of their soul.
However, as you’ve surely already discovered for yourself, setting a general intention is not enough. The missing link that moves me from intending to be more loving to actually following through is the (more…)
Today, I attended a memorial service for a most remarkable man. Gulab Singh, a fellow usher at the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple in Encinitas, California, had been felled by a heart attack on Saturday, January 26, at the age of fifty-nine. I loved serving with Gulab. He was a model of sincerity and devotion, and I’m very glad I told him all that in an e-mail just five days before his passing.
Gulab’s memorial service was heartfelt, moving and poignant. I teared up a number of times, and I know I was not alone in doing so. Gulab was the magnetic center of a large, extended family of more than two dozen people, and was dearly loved, respected and admired by all.
To know Gulab was to be uplifted, for he had undergone a wondrous transformation in the last six months of his life. As his loved ones explained in their eulogies, he had become a pure vessel of divine love, offering love and kindness to all who crossed his path. At the end of the service, a friend of Gulab’s came to the podium to share a story. He had had lunch with Gulab three weeks before Gulab passed away. The friend, who had been out of town for a number of months, told Gulab that he had heard of his spiritual transformation and asked him what the source of it was. He said Gulab got very quiet; he tried to speak but got choked up and needed a few moments to compose himself. Finally, he said, very simply, “I realized that (more…)
It was a joy talking to Julie Geigle for her Lifeclass Book Club. Here are the seven interviews we did, from January 7 through February 11, 2014. The videos average about thirty minutes each.
INTERVIEW WITH JULIE GEIGLE (1 OF 7)
INTERVIEW WITH JULIE GEIGLE (2 OF 7)
INTERVIEW WITH JULIE GEIGLE (3 OF 7)
INTERVIEW WITH JULIE GEIGLE (4 OF 7)
INTERVIEW WITH JULIE GEIGLE (5 OF 7)
INTERVIEW WITH JULIE GEIGLE (6 OF 7)
INTERVIEW WITH JULIE GEIGLE (7 OF 7)
I had a great time talking about intuition and spiritual principles with Lindsay Marino on her show, Intuitive Guidance with Lindsay Marino, on December 9, 2013. Click on the audio player below to hear our 39-minute interview.
My interview with Greg Voisen of Inside Personal Growth on May 10, 2013, was a stimulating Q&A session. Click on the audio player below to hear our 37-minute interview.