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 »

A Definition of Freedom That May Surprise You

April 11, 2015

Paramahansa Yogananda in 1924 (Courtesy of Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, California)




In Journey to Self-realization, Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of Self-Realization Fellowship, wrote:

True freedom lies in doing what you should do when you ought to do it.


If that sounds like the opposite of freedom to you, you’re not alone. Yogananda noted that “many people think that whatever comes into their brains they may do—and believe that to be freedom.”




It’s not. Until you Read the rest of this entry »

Free to Soar Once More

March 25, 2015

Ernest and Anneke Robinson’s son, Matthew, suffered from multiple ailments due to a lack of oxygen at birth. He was paralyzed from the neck down, blind and only able to speak a few words. His parents placed this uplifting statue on Matthew’s tombstone in Salt Lake City in 2000 in honor of their brave son and of those like him who continue to struggle on this earth.

Matthew Robinson's tombstone

The tombstone of Matthew Robinson


Ernest and Anneke experienced so many obstacles and brick Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Equinox 2015 Update From Astrologer Laurie Baum

March 21, 2015

Laurie Baum

If you enjoy astrology, you will like this Spring 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 Read the rest of this entry »

Seriously, Why Wait One More Minute?

March 16, 2015

return-from-tomorrow-george-ritchie-book-cover





In Return from Tomorrow, George Ritchie’s detailed and inspiring account of his near-death experience as a nineteen-year-old soldier, he writes:









I was not sure when the light in the room began to change; suddenly I was aware that it was brighter, a lot brighter, than it had been. I whirled to look at the night-light on the bedside table. Surely a single 15-watt bulb could not turn out that much light?

I stared in astonishment as the brightness increased, coming from nowhere, seeming to shine everywhere at once. All the light bulbs in the ward could not give off that much light. All the bulbs in the world could not! It was impossibly bright: it was like a million welders’ lamps all blazing at once. And right in the middle of my amazement came a prosaic thought, probably born of Read the rest of this entry »

Is There Life After Delivery?

February 26, 2015

pregnant-woman


Those who do not believe in God because they do not see evidence of God’s existence in the surface events of life would do well to consider these wise words from Charles Webster Leadbeater:

It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.





I do not know who wrote the following allegory, but it is certainly delivers Leadbetter’s message loud and clear.



IS THERE LIFE AFTER DELIVERY?

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other, “Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than Read the rest of this entry »

Turn Off Your Phones!

February 15, 2015

woman-holding-phones-cords-wrappedin church today, the minister offered a nice analogy. He said that if you ask a friend to call you but you’re always on the phone with others, your friend won’t be able to reach you.

So it is with God. If your five “sense telephones” are ceaselessly relaying information and perceptions about Read the rest of this entry »

A Bullying Story with a Happy Ending

February 13, 2015

This lovely little story was posted by someone with the screen name mrsparkuhlah on the Kindness Blog, which celebrates the angels of kindness that walk among us every day. Never underestimate the power of kindness; even the smallest gesture can be tremendously healing and affirming for the recipient.


THE NOTE

Group student in classroom near blackboard.My mother was an English teacher for several years. One day in one of her classes she began a discussion on bullying. This was actually well before bullying became a major topic, but my mom had experienced some bullying in her own life and didn’t want to see her students go through the same thing.

In the discussion she decided to open up and use a real-life example. She told the class about how she was a little chubbier when she was in junior high and had very few friends. Virtually the entire class picked on her.

One day she came back into class from recess and found a note on her desk.

It read in bold letters: “These people hate you,” and around the letters every single student in the classroom had signed their name.

Of course, this Read the rest of this entry »

A Letter a Year from Grampo

February 12, 2015

Grampo was so proud of his little man

Grampo was so proud of his little man

In an earlier post, I encouraged parents to write a birthday letter to their kid every year. These letters quickly become a cherished tradition and are treasured by the child who receives them.

It doesn’t take much time to create something so precious. For example, here are the letters my grandfather (my sister and I would come to call him Grampo) wrote to me on the day I was born and my first eight birthdays. Use them as a model if you wish. But no matter what, write something each year! This tradition will bring great joy to both you and your child!


On the day I was born, Grampo wrote me this letter:

grampo-bd-letter-1957-1-of-2
grampo-bd-letter-1957-2-of-2

Here is Grampo’s birthday letter to me when I turned one:
Read the rest of this entry »

Two Wild and Crazy Guys . . . 35 Years Later!

December 31, 2014
Tom Endres and me . . . in 1979 and in 2014!

Tom Endres and me . . . in 1979 and 2014!

The plan: recreate a 1979 photo with college buddy Tom Endres from our days emceeing events at St. Cloud State University.

Clothes? Check. Props? Check. Hmmm, something’s Read the rest of this entry »


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