Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

Down the Shady Lane We Go

December 24, 2014
Frederick and Augusta Kent

Frederick and Augusta Kent

While I was at my mother’s home in Minnesota for three months this fall, I finally tackled a huge family history project: I scanned and organized more than 3,000 family photos, newspaper clippings and letters. When I came across this photo in an old, lovingly assembled albium, it took my breath away.

Frederick Henry Kent

Frederick Henry Kent

The couple in the photo are my great-great-grandparents, Frederick Henry Kent and Augusta Osborn Kent, who lived in Huron, South Dakota. The above photo was taken during a family trip to southern (more…)

The Secret to a Balanced Life

May 14, 2014

In a talk at the Self-Realization Fellowship World Convocation entitled Bringing Our Lives Into Balance, Brother Achalananda blended faith and logic to articulate a compelling prescription for finding balance in our daily lives:

The more complex our lives become, the more we need to realize that there is only one reliable point of balance—and that is (more…)

This Is What Beauty and Courage Look Like

April 14, 2014
Cancer patients Rylie, Rheann and Ainsley (photo by Lora Scantling)

Cancer patients Rylie, Rheann and Ainsley (photo by Lora Scantling)

This stunning photograph shows three-year-old Rylie, six-year-old Rheann and four-year-old Ainsley sharing a special moment. Incredibly, the three girls hadn’t met each other before the photo shoot.

Photographer Lora Scantling conceived the photo shoot to raise awareness about the struggle faced by children who are diagnosed with cancer. “I just wanted something that showed the strength and the bond and that they weren’t alone,” she told Oklahoma City’s KOCO News. Watch KOCO’s video report here.

As for the girls, Rheann is stricken with brain cancer, Rylie is (more…)

Perfectly Beautiful, Beautifully Perfect

December 5, 2013

This profoundly moving video delivers a powerful message that we all pay lip service to: Everyone is perfectly beautiful just as they are. But how many of us truly see perfection in the imperfect?

The models and their mannequins

The models and their mannequins

The following article by Anna Hodgekiss of the Daily Mail provides the details of this extraordinary project.


A Swiss charity has created mannequins based on the bodies of disabled people in a bid to raise awareness that no one has a perfect body.

Pro Infirmis, an organisation for people with disabilities, worked with people suffering from scoliosis (a curved spine), shortened limbs and a woman in a wheelchair.


Each had a mannequin made to perfectly reflect their body shape—which, to their delight, was then displayed in a high (more…)

The Logic of God’s Existence

July 29, 2013

starry-skies-waterFrom 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.

By definition, belief in God requires a leap of faith; but it’s a leap that is amply supported by logic and reason. Given that persuasive evidence points to the existence of a complex web of intelligent consciousness that expresses itself as an entanglement inherent in all creation, it follows that God—the formless intelligence that created us—is (more…)

A Featherweight Performance

May 18, 2013

Just when I thought I’d seen everything that could amaze me, along comes Miyoko Shida, who performed an astonishing (more…)

Through God’s Eyes: Chapter Excerpts

May 9, 2012

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.

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. Let’s begin with one of those stories.


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!)




Look for Beauty and You Will Find It

April 2, 2012

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…)

Fallen Idol

March 9, 2012

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…)

The Breath of Kindness

January 24, 2012

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…)

The Beauty of Nature, the Peace of Gratitude

January 9, 2012

Louie Schwartzberg

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…)

The Majesty of a Falling Leaf

June 19, 2011

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.
Rabbi Elimelech

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…)

Everything Has Beauty

June 18, 2011

Look beyond the illusory “negative” aspects of an event and you may discover the golden nugget of divine wisdom lying just beneath the details.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Seek to find beauty in everything you look at and you (more…)

Doors Everywhere

February 27, 2011

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…)

Untold Treasures and Endless Mysteries

February 8, 2011

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…)

The Delight of Detachment

January 27, 2011

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…)