Are There Any Questions?

November 28, 2015

it-was-on-fire-when-i-lay-down-on-it-book-cover-robert-fulghum





This simple story, from Robert Fulghum’s book, It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It, is a profound reminder of the healing, purifying and transformative power of forgiveness and the innate goodness of humankind.








ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS?
by Robert Fulghum

“Are there any questions?” An offer that comes at the end of college lectures and long meetings. Said when an audience is not only overdosed with information, but when there is no time left anyhow. At times like that you sure do have questions. Like, “Can we leave now?” and “What the hell was this meeting for?” and “Where can I get a drink?”

The gesture is supposed to indicate openness on the part of the speaker, I suppose, but if in fact you do ask a question, both the speaker and the audience will give you drop-dead looks. And some fool—some earnest idiot—always asks. And the speaker always answers. By repeating most of what he has already said.

But if there is a little time left and there is a little silence in response to the invitation, I usually ask the most important question of all: “What is the Meaning of Life?”

You never know, somebody may have the answer, and I’d really hate to miss it because I was too socially inhibited to ask. But when I ask, it’s usually taken as a kind of absurdist move—people laugh and nod and gather up their stuff and the meeting is dismissed on that ridiculous note.

Once and only once, I asked that question and got a serious answer. One that is with me still.

First, I must tell you where this happened, because the place has a power of its own. In Greece again.

Near the village of Gonia, on a rocky bay of the island of Crete, sits a Greek Orthodox monastery. Alongside it, on land donated by the monastery, is an institute dedicated to human understanding and peace, and especially to rapprochement between Germans and Cretans. An improbable task, given the bitter residue of wartime.

This site is important, because it overlooks the small airstrip at Maleme where Nazi paratroopers invaded Crete and were attacked by Read the rest of this entry »

Loving Liz

November 27, 2015

Preston and Liz Palmer

Preston and Liz Palmer





When I introduced Preston and Liz to each other at our favorite restaurant some years back, I didn’t realize I was setting in motion an epic love story! Liz recently posted this letter from Preston and gave me permission to share it.

BONUS: Click here to see the secretly spectacular and spectacularly secret wedding of Preston and Liz Palmer.





Here is what Liz wrote:

This morning I woke up and found an envelope on the shelf next to my toothbrush … It contained a letter from my husband and these earrings. The letter said:

Lizzy, I went for a ride after my meeting last night. Driving aimlessly for a while, I ended up at Hard Times Cafe, where a sweet, wrinkly old Native American Indian woman with a braid in her hair approached me with a small collection of earrings. Her husband was sitting outside on the curb making more by hand. I told her I didn’t really see any that I thought my wife would love. She asked in a way you can imagine an old Indian woman in her wise voice would ask, “What is it your wife loves?”

preston-liz-palmer-earringsI thought for a second and responded with reserved pride in my cleverness, secretly hoping to stump Read the rest of this entry »

Awake: The Life of Yogananda

November 25, 2015

AWAKE: THE LIFE OF YOGANANDA TRAILER



awake-yogananda-dvd-graphic





Click here to order the Awake DVD.

Click here to choose a one-time digital rental of Awake for $4.99.










Co-director Paola di Florio

Co-director Paola di Florio







Awake: The Life of Yogananda, the documentary exploring the life of Indian guru Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, opened in theaters nationwide in the fall of 2014.









Co-director Lisa Leeman

Co-director Lisa Leeman







The film quickly gained great acclaim, winning prestigious awards at major film fests, including the Read the rest of this entry »

Adele Impersonates Adele . . . to Perfection!

November 21, 2015



Teaming up with the BBC’s Graham Norton, the superstar singer disguised herself as an Adele impersonator and hung out with a bunch of other Adele impersonators. The result? Priceless!


Adele’s lark is reminiscent of this awesome Jewel prank when she went undercover at Read the rest of this entry »

We Are All Refugees

November 20, 2015

I am proud to share this beautiful essay by my beautiful daughter, Erin, who posted it yesterday on social media. It is well thought out, well articulated and well-crafted, which is no surprise given that Erin is a smart, loving and amazing human being.

Here is Erin’s essay.

refugees-running-silhouetteMy very existence was determined by multiple ancestry strains leaving their homelands, searching for safety and security. The blood that runs in my veins encompasses numerous nationalities, religions, and legacies of people who left all they knew. Of people whose hearts were never the same after their families, friends, and neighbors were murdered. Of people who didn’t speak the language of their new “home” and were never welcomed.

The blood that runs in my veins is also the blood of the people left behind, the ones who couldn’t Read the rest of this entry »

A Life Saved, A Humble Hero

November 19, 2015

firefighter-silhouette




This incredible story is from my good friend and chiropractor, Pete L’Allier. Thank God for unsung heroes who are willing to put themselves at risk to help others in need. May we all be so noble and brave should life ask us to be.






I looked at a patient’s X-ray today and told him he had a compression fracture in his spine that had occurred some time ago. He was unaware he had this injury, but I told him it had to have been the result of trauma. I asked him if he remembered any type of trauma that could have caused it. He immediately said yes, but then explained that it was hard to talk about and apologized if he Read the rest of this entry »

4th Impact Makes a Huge Impact!

November 16, 2015

4TH IMPACT: AUDITION (BANG BANG)

The four sisters of 4th Impact

The four sisters of 4th Impact


I enjoy watching singing auditions on TV talent shows, but it’s been a long while since I’ve been this impressed and enthusiastic about an audition.

I love this four-girl group not only because they have powerhouse vocals, amazing harmonies and imaginative choreography, but also because they’re four sisters! I can’t even imagine the depth of the bond they have with each other and how special it must be to perform with cherished family members. Did I mention their infectious joy in performing and their over-the-top passion for performing?

Almira, Irene, Mylene aand Celina flew over from their native Philippines to audition for The X Factor on August 29, 2015. They are admirably following in the footsteps of  Read the rest of this entry »

Autumn Equinox 2015 Update From Astrologer Laurie Baum

September 23, 2015

Laurie Baum

If you enjoy astrology, you will like this Autumn Equinox update written by my good friend Laurie Baum, MSW, a psychological astrologer and psychotherapist in practice in Encinitas, California.

Laurie writes a free astrological newsletter about how planetary alignments affect our lives on earth. Click here to e-mail Laurie to subscribe at no cost, or visit Laurie’s website and click on “Free Email Newsletter.”

Laurie is a former newspaper and news magazine reporter who is profiled in the books Psychic New York and The 100 Top Psychics in America. She is the author of five books:

A to Z Acrophonology: Discover the Power of the Letters in Your Name

Everything You Need to Know About Your Astrology Sign

Whispers from the Cosmos

Sacred Mysteries of Egypt

Astrological Secrets for the New Millennium

Laurie also offers counseling appointments by phone. She will answer your questions about major life decisions and talk with you about the reasons you have incarnated, the lessons you are here to learn, where you are on the wheel of karma, and the psychological developmental cycles you have been through and are going through. She will look at current influences on your health, finances, relationships, career, and any relocation plans that may be necessary. She also will look ahead with you at the next seven years of your life. A reading with Laurie can help you take the next step in your life. Sessions, which are available via landline phone or Skype (audio or video), are digitally recorded.

To make an appointment, click here to e-mail Laurie or call her at (760) 753-7676. Click here to visit Laurie’s website for more information.


autumn-equinox


AUTUMN EQUINOX UPDATE

The Autumn Equinox, the traditional harvest season, when the light of day equals the dark of night, arrives on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Light is strongest when it bends, as it does at every change of season. So please use the powerful energy of the Sun for positive manifestation of your highest intentions as the light intensifies the potency of your energy field. Remember, your thoughts, prayers and affirmations are very powerful in this equinox season!

The highlight of the fall season is a Total Eclipse of the Moon on September 28, 2015. This Lunar Eclipse will be visible from North and South America, Europe, India, Western Asia and Africa. You will see new perspectives that will facilitate Read the rest of this entry »

When I Was the Forest

September 20, 2015

god-and-heart-in-sandThis beautiful love poem to God by medieval German theologian Meister Eckhart succinctly and eloquently expresses the unity of all creation, the origin of all life and the essence of our very being. Of course, those three subjects are simply expressions of the one truth: Everything is God.

The only distance between you and God is the thought that there is distance between you and God. Expand the scope of your vision by looking through God’s eyes, and no matter what you look at, it will be brimming over with God’s loving presence.



WHEN I WAS THE FOREST
by Meister Eckhart

When I was the stream, when I was the
forest, when I was still the field,
when I was every hoof, foot,
fin and wing, when I
was the sky
itself,

no one ever asked Read the rest of this entry »

A Few Caring Words

July 21, 2015

man-grieving-in-park-trees

Who among us has not at times been out and about, feeling sad and lonely and in need of a kind word or comforting hand on our shoulder? How grateful would you be if someone passing by had stopped and, with genuine concern, asked, “Are you okay?” Such a simple, caring gesture would add a little more light, a little more hope to your day.

You can be that bringer of light, that beacon of hope, to others. All it takes is an awareness of others and a loving heart.

A person with the screen name Tomo840 shared how just a little effort made a big, big difference to a distressed man in a city park. Tomo840 was feeding deer when he saw the man in the photograph above sobbing uncontrollably. He wrote:

Families out walking and others in the park scuttled past him awkwardly trying to avoid him.

I watched Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Solstice 2015 Update From Astrologer Laurie Baum

June 21, 2015

Laurie Baum


If you enjoy astrology, you will like this Summer Solstice update written by my good friend Laurie Baum, MSW, a psychological astrologer and psychotherapist in practice in Encinitas, California.

Laurie writes a free astrological newsletter about how planetary alignments affect our lives on earth. Click here to e-mail Laurie to subscribe at no cost, or visit Laurie’s website and click on “Free Email Newsletter.”



Laurie is a former newspaper and news magazine reporter who is profiled in the books Psychic New York and The 100 Top Psychics in America. She is the author of five books:

A to Z Acrophonology: Discover the Power of the Letters in Your Name

Everything You Need to Know About Your Astrology Sign

Whispers from the Cosmos

Sacred Mysteries of Egypt

Astrological Secrets for the New Millennium

Laurie also offers counseling appointments by phone. She will answer your questions about major life decisions and talk with you about the reasons you have incarnated, the lessons you are here to learn, where you are on the wheel of karma, and the psychological developmental cycles you have been through and are going through. She will look at current influences on your health, finances, relationships, career, and any relocation plans that may be necessary. She also will look ahead with you at the next seven years of your life. A reading with Laurie can help you take the next step in your life. Sessions, which are available via landline phone or Skype (audio or video), are digitally recorded.

To make an appointment, click here to e-mail Laurie or call her at (760) 753-7676. Click here to visit Laurie’s website for more information.



summer-solstice


SUMMER SOLSTICE UPDATE

The Summer Solstice arrives on Sunday, June 21, and coincides with Father’s Day, a celebration of the protective, benevolent virtues of fatherhood, in the United States, India, England and many other nations. Coincidentally, the planetary alignments of the summer season also open the way for us to take greater initiative and leadership in our own lives, a reflection of the positive qualities we attribute to fathers.

The Summer Solstice also marks the zenith of the Sun’s light, which corresponds with the longest period of daylight in the entire year. Use the growing light of the Sun in the days leading up to the Summer Solstice to focus your energy on your positive visualizations for the next season of your life. The Solstice is an auspicious time for meditation, contemplation, affirmation and prayer. It is a law of physics that light is strongest when it bends, as it does at the change of seasons. Harness the power of the Sun in days leading up to the Summer Solstice to energize your own positive thoughts and affirmations.

A number of active planetary alignments this summer will make this a good time to Read the rest of this entry »

A Heartwarming Message from Daya Ma on Her 100th Birthday

June 11, 2015

lake-shrine-heart-cloud

This photo was taken at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple on January 31, 2014. Why is that date significant? It is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sri Daya Mata, who served as the beloved president of SRF from 1955 until her passing on November 30, 2010.

Sri Daya Mata

Sri Daya Mata







On the night before Daya Ma’s guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, left this world, he told her, “When I am gone, only Read the rest of this entry »

Today’s Missed Opportunity Is Tomorrow’s Regret

May 29, 2015

super-8-movie-reelsThis afternoon I popped in a VHS tape of some super 8 movies I filmed twenty-five years ago. There on the screen were some family members who are no longer on this earth. Of course, I wished I could step through the screen and give them one last kind word and hug.

The day I filmed them was just an ordinary day, just like today is an ordinary day. Watching that tape was another reminder of how Read the rest of this entry »

Philip Goldberg Explains “Spiritual But Not Religious”

May 25, 2015

Phil Goldberg

Phil Goldberg




This brilliant commentary on the growing numbers of people who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious” was written for Huffington Post by Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda, which explores how India’s spiritual wisdom seeped into America’s cultural bloodstream.




SPIRITUAL BUT NOT RELIGIOUS:
MISUNDERSTOOD AND HERE TO STAY

A great deal has been written about that ever-expanding group of Americans who check “none” when asked about their religious affiliations. The segment of nones who call themselves “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) now constitute at least 20 percent of the population, and 30 percent of those under 30 years of age. I have interviewed hundreds of this important cohort for my books, and I find that the media commentary about them is riddled by misconceptions.

One problem concerns why people disconnect from the religious tradition of their birth. The most prevalent explanation is the one favored by scholars Robert Putnam and David Campbell, authors of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. They attribute disaffiliation mainly to the perceived link between religion and conservative politics—a turnoff to liberal-minded youth in particular.

I don’t buy it. There is no doubt that the judgmental moralizing of right-wing preachers has alienated a great many Christians, but that doesn’t explain SBNR. Believers who disdain fundamentalism have plenty of left-leaning denominations and apolitical congregations to turn to. I see it as more of a spiritual issue than a political one. The “S” in SBNR means something. In varying degrees, SBNRs are serious about their spiritual development, and they wish to pursue it wherever it leads them. The search itself is Read the rest of this entry »

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

May 7, 2015

Photo of Paramahansa Yogananda, courtesy of Self-Realization Fellowship



Today is the National Day of Prayer, an annual observance inviting people of all faiths to come together to pray and to heal. This year’s theme is “Lord, Hear Our Cry,” which asks us to place our faith in the power of God and reach out through prayer during our darkest hours.

Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, spoke often of the power of prayer.

In this passage from In the Sanctuary of the Soul: A Guide to Effective Prayer, he reminds us that we can and should seek help through prayer:





in-the-sanctuary-of-the-soul-paramahansa-yogananda

God does help those who help themselves. When your mind is calm and filled with faith after praying to God in meditation, you are able to Read the rest of this entry »

Pulverize Your Bad Habits!

April 30, 2015

two-hands-molding-clay


Do you have a bad habit you would like to get rid of? You can eliminate it in a moment. All you have to do is put your mind to it.





In the booklet, Remolding Your Life, Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of Self-Realization Fellowship, wrote:

Most people who make up their minds to stop smoking or to stop eating so many sweets will continue with those actions in spite of themselves. They do not change because their minds, like blotting paper, have soaked up habits of thought. Habit means that the mind believes it cannot get rid of a particular thought.

The nature of habit can be understood by this analogy: Clay can be molded into a vase; and while the clay is Read the rest of this entry »


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