Posts Tagged ‘humility’

Let Me Play It Today with Joy!

September 9, 2013
Jim Ballard

Jim Ballard

I love this wise and witty update posted by Jim Ballard, a fellow Self-Realization Fellowship devotee. I’m glad that Jim, author of the lovely little book, Little Wave and Old Swell: A Fable of Life and Its Passing, chose to share his epiphany. You may be getting older, Jim, but you still have some swell stories!

I woke up this morning and had what we used to call a BFO (a Blinding Flash of the Obvious). However, that was used in the material sense, as when you are looking all over for your keys while they’re clipped to your belt (an affliction not limited to those of us who are aging). So maybe I should call what I had an SBFO—a Spiritual BFO.

My SBFO happened immediately on opening my eyes. It was so clear and obvious, I laughed and said, “I see, Master, it’s only a Show!” I mean, we devotees know Master [Paramahansa Yogananda] tells us that we’re to look on the world as a dream, a movie, and not get wrapped up in it. But this was not a thought, it was a Get. I sat up on the side of the bed and looked around and thought, “And I am playing the part of an Old Man. Let me play it today with Joy!”

That’s the thing when the body’s seen eighty loops of (more…)

Whatever You Do, Do It to Please God

July 22, 2012

In church this morning, the minister said that when he was a young monk, he had taken two or three weeks to completely rewrite a booklet that he was asked to revise. After submitting it, a senior monk called him and, not knowing he was talking to the monk who had written it, told him that the original was better written and that all it had needed was a little revision here and there.

The minister said he resisted the impulse to feel frustrated and resentful. Instead, he told himself that this is what God wanted and that that was all that mattered. Cheerfully, and with greater (more…)

Are You Dying of Thirst?

October 18, 2011

Are you unhappy with what you have or with where you are  in life, and feel like you deserve better because you played by the rules and did everything right? Well, if you’re referring to the unwritten rules that required you to work hard, buy a home, raise a family and build your retirement account, it’s unfortunately time for a reality check. While those activities are undeniably worth striving for, the “rules” that supported them have been rendered irrelevant by societal and financial upheaval. What are the new rules? There are none.

Here’s the good news: It was never about social status, job security and financial security to begin with. It was never about your intended results, it was always about (more…)

Only By Loving Do We Wake to Love

July 28, 2011

Hugh Prather

I find it interesting that those who profess to be spiritually awake are often just as asleep at the wheel as people who don’t have a clue that they don’t have a clue about life. Spirituality encourages direct contact with God; yet, without a disciplined commitment to self-awareness, seekers on the road to truth may miss the turn for humility and veer off toward arrogance.

I came across a thought-provoking essay by Hugh Prather about this phenomenon. Hugh discusses the role of the ego as it relates to the spiritual path in the context of the A Course in Miracles teachings. But his observations apply to spirituality in general. Here are some excerpts:

The day you started your spiritual path, your ego started it also, and for every spiritual motive you have, there is an ego motive as well. This is not reason to be afraid, but it is reason to be more aware.

Those individuals we know intimately who we believe are close to being awake, seem to have no interest in (more…)

Are You Sentencing Yourself to Continuous Frustration?

July 24, 2011

Surrendering to God floods your heart with peace and invigorates your weary spirit. With humility and gratitude, you place your goals in God’s hands.

It constantly happens that the Lord permits a soul to fall so that it may grow humbler.
Saint Teresa of Avila

You boldly and confidently move forward, trusting that (more…)

Everyone Is Fighting a Hard Battle

July 1, 2011

Kindness, by definition, requires humility, purity of intent, and a willingness to put another person’s needs before your own.

Humility must accompany all our actions, must be with us everywhere; for as soon as we glory in our good works they are of no further value to our advancement in virtue.
Saint Augustine

An act of kindness tainted by your ego’s desire for recognition or reward will karmically (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…)

Why Were You Not Zusya?

February 19, 2011

Do not make the mistake of comparing your life’s work with anyone else’s. With gratitude and humility, do what you can with the talent you have, knowing that all destinies are equal in God’s eyes.

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
Henry van Dyke

Your skills were designed to perfectly correspond with your circumstances and yours alone.

In the world to come, I shall not be asked, “Why were you (more…)

Let Your Work Speak for Itself

December 20, 2010

Mindfully engaging in your right livelihood with a spirit of humility and service is an integral element of your journey toward enlightenment.

True Dharma seekers who live in the world use their daily activity as a polishing tool. Outwardly they may appear to be very busy, like flint striking steel, making sparks everywhere. But inwardly they silently grow. For although they may be working very hard, they are working for the  (more…)

Bumbling is Humbling

October 31, 2010

Once I get past my initial dismay over making a dumb mistake or a poor decision, I feel gratitude for having made it. Rather than beat myself up for my errors, I challenge myself to look for the lessons in the mess I just made. Whether you believe that specific things happen in order to deliver specific lessons is irrelevant. No matter what the circumstances are, a brief excursion into introspection never fails to produce ideas on how I can become better and how I can avoid screwing up like that the next time the opportunity presents itself.

It constantly happens that the Lord permits a soul to fall so that it may grow humbler.
Saint Teresa of Avila

My mistakes remind me that perfection is an unreasonable goal and that humility is a necessary portal to enlightenment. Humility in no way (more…)

The Only Real Mistake

September 17, 2010

Embrace absolute integrity and you will find that guilt and regret are inevitably replaced by peace and serenity as naturally as winter gives way to spring.

Just as surely as distress must follow self-deceit, healing must follow self-honesty.
Vernon Howard

On those occasions when you do fall short of your expectations, you (more…)

To See Ourselves As Others See Us

September 4, 2010

When you live with integrity, you accept compliments gracefully, letting each one serve as a reminder to practice humility. A compliment then becomes useful and serves a greater purpose.

Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself. It means you think of yourself less.
Ken Blanchard

You actively solicit constructive criticism in both personal and professional circles, viewing it as (more…)

The Pretense of Perfection

July 6, 2010

While you discern that life is unfolding perfectly as you walk your spiritual path, you do not make the egotistical, spiritually arrogant assumption that you yourself are perfect.

There is no worse sickness for the soul, o you who are proud, than this pretense of perfection.

On a soul level, of course, you are indeed perfect, but your spiritual development in the physical world requires (more…)

Stand High and Tall and Noble

April 23, 2010

Aligning your will with God’s will calls forth your own innate divinity and dissolves any blocks between your consciousness and divine consciousness. This divine attunement strengthens your resolve and reinforces your capacity to do, to achieve, to become.

Believe in the nature within you, the divine nature, that you are in very deed a son or daughter of the living God. There is something of divinity with you, something that stands high and tall and noble.
Gordon B. Hinckley

No matter what comes your way, you accept it with humility and gratitude, with this three-word homage to God always on your lips: (more…)

Every Soul I See Is Beautiful

April 14, 2010

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been humbled by life time and time again . . . or because I’m getting older and wiser . . . or because I’ve been feeling more vulnerable lately . . . or because I am getting more adept at seeing the underlying unity of everyone and everything.

Whatever the reason, the first thing I’ve been noticing about people is not their strengths but their weaknesses . . . and their weaknesses are beautiful. Why? I now know that behind every flaw, every insecurity, every fragility lies the doorway to growth, understanding and enlightenment.

When you feel strong and in control, your attention is completely focused on the external world and your ego assumes command. When you feel weak and insecure, you’re more likely to think, (more…)

GOATs are Human Too!

December 5, 2009

Albert Einstein

When it comes to physicists, Albert Einstein is widely perceived to be the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). Indeed, the iconic Father of Relativity was a global rock star in his lifetime. When he visited Japan in 1922, adoring crowds streamed after him wherever he went.

Einstein was always ill at ease with such adulation. He was so revered that people tended to see him as superhuman. His self-deprecating manner and comments did nothing to puncture his image as the most brilliant man who ever lived.

In today’s celebrity-crazy culture, we routinely deify anyone and everyone who has even the slightest combination of talent and fame. Such idol worship is not only a disservice to them but to us as well, because by elevating these essentially normal human beings above ourselves, we devalue our own lives.

By all accounts, Einstein was a kind, gracious and down-to-earth man. He loved the peace and isolation he found at Princeton University, probably the only place on earth where he could walk around and not be praised and gushed over by passersby every other step.

The following Einstein quotes from the book The New Quotable Einstein offer a revealing glimpse into the humble nature of this legendary figure.

Thanks to my having hit upon the fortunate idea of introducing the relativity principle into physics, you (and others) enormously overestimate my scientific abilities, to the point where this makes me somewhat uncomfortable.
Letter to Arnold Sommerfeld, January 14, 1908 (age 29)

WIth fame I become more and more stupid, (more…)