Posts Tagged ‘spiritual practice’

Take a Cue from the Chinese Bamboo Tree

December 15, 2010

Chinese bamboo trees

Spiritual growth and immediate gratification are mutually exclusive concepts. You must perform your spiritual practice with infinite patience. God will respond in God’s time, not yours. Just because you have not yet attained the ultimate goal of self-realization, in which you blissfully melt into oneness with the divine, does not mean you are not making significant progress.

In the Summer 2007 issue of Self-Realization magazine, a quarterly magazine devoted to healing of body, mind and soul, Swami Smaranananda, Joint General Secretary of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, offered this analogy.

When the Chinese bamboo tree is planted, it is watered and fertilized, but for four (more…)

The Pain of Discipline

June 29, 2010




Spiritual growth requires daily recommitment. Great changes will occur when you resolve to be a little more positive, a little more loving, every day. A daily spiritual practice can elevate your consciousness, instill a sense of harmony with life’s rhythms, and promote a subtle but enduring state of joy and gratitude.



But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
Albert Camus

The operative word is “daily.” You cannot maintain a higher consciousness by meditating, chanting, praying, or reading inspirational content sporadically. You might as well prepare for a career as a concert pianist by playing ten minutes of Mozart every other day.

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or (more…)

Your Spiritual Practice Made Visible

February 2, 2010


Your integrity is the revelation of your personal power. Personal power, the polar opposite of power over others, is defined by your capacity to live in harmony with the divine mind.

He who does not desert his principles when threatened with the loss of every earthly thing, even to the loss of reputation and life, is the man of power.
James Allen




You reach every decision, choose every action as if God’s hand were on your shoulder. Day by day, the foundation of your integrity grows ever stronger.

Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good (more…)

Be Healthier, Look Younger, With The PLJ Plan

February 26, 2009

celebrating-life-joy-arms-raisedA week ago, I was eating dinner at Ecopolitan, the raw-food restaurant in Minneapolis that I frequent frequently. Ecopolitan is the kind of place where diners feel comfortable starting conversations with each other. A couple of young women at a nearby table began asking me about the raw-food diet. It’s nice to see young people interested in eating right, so I asked how old they were. One said twenty, the other said twenty-seven.

They asked me how old I was. I paused, then asked them how old they thought I looked. One guessed twenty-nine,  the other guessed thirty. Considering that my daughter will be thirty in a few months, and that I’ll turn fifty-two a couple weeks after that, I couldn’t help laughing. Sure, that was nice to hear, but twenty-nine is pushing it. Most people guess that I’m in my mid-to-late thirties.

People have asked me what the secret is to looking young. In my view, (more…)

“Autobiography of a Yogi” Changed My Life

August 19, 2008

Reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda at the age of forty-two was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. From the beginning chapter, I felt like I had finally come home. This was the life I had always wished was possible but never dreamed it could be! After finishing it, I sent away to Self-Realization Fellowship, the organization Yogananda founded in 1920, for the three-and-a-half years’ worth of bimonthly lessons on “right living” and follow Yogananda’s teachings today as part of my daily spiritual discipline.

autobiography-of-a-yogi-book-coverI just now finished listening to Chapter 23 in my car. I’ve listened to the audiobook version, read by Ben Kingsley, three times now and it never fails to thrill me. Everything in this book resonates in harmony with who I am and who I wish to become. I was already teaching spiritual classes by the time I encountered this book and was amazed at how much deeper it took me in my knowledge and practice.

Yogananda teaches that direct contact with God is (more…)