Spirituality Articles

4 More Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the Holidays

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

4 More Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the HolidaysAs the holiday season winds up for its last big week before Christmas, here are a few spiritual tips to help you remember what the season’s all about. This is part two of a two-part article (part one is here).

4. Celebrate your truth.

I have a friend named Wayne who had an awful life. He was maybe 12 years old when, looking around the dinner table, he finally did the math that estranged him from his family.

You see, Wayne had four older brothers, each a year apart, and Wayne was born four years after the last. He knew immediately that he wasn’t supposed to be there; he knew immediately that he was an accident. Even worse, he knew that everyone in that household hated and resented his existence.

Interfaith Relationships During The Holidays

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Interfaith Relationships During The HolidaysNavigating though religious faith differences can be tricky in the best of times. However, keeping the holidays stress-free may require extra effort and compromise.

Ideally, planning ahead and discussing potential problem areas would begin before a couple’s relationship is solidified, in premarital counseling. One of the biggest oversights a couple can make is denying that differences even exist, or believing conflicts will not occur.

Discussing all possible scenarios ahead of time can help prevent future troubles from developing — or becoming worse.

3 Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the Holidays

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

3 Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the HolidaysAs the holiday season winds up for its last big week before Christmas, here are a few spiritual tips to help you remember what the season’s all about. This is part one of a two-part article.

1. The reason for the season.

I don’t care what religious denomination you call your own. The holidays are always about giving and giving back, which — if you really think about it — is the cornerstone of every thriving belief system.

For me, giving has a very specific look. It starts with hour after hour spent poring over the gift lists my wife and I have compiled, followed by standing in line after line at toy stores, department stores, and jewelry shops all over the city.

Actualizing the American Dream: What If Wise People Ran the Country?

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Old CoupleThere’s an assumption in American politics that our best candidates have a legal or business background. Indeed, an astounding 43% of our representatives and senators are lawyers. What does it say about America that we look to legal and business professionals to guide our nation forward?

This is not to slam attorneys or business-people, nor to minimize a place for law, order, and good financial decisions. But using psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a model, our concerns about rules, regulations, and financial health are limited to our most basic needs for safety and security. The values that American’s claim to hold dear, such as loving our neighbor, creating vibrant communities, and actualizing our spiritual potential have few representatives in Washington.

Mindfulness & Meditation: Resting in Stillness

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Meditation womanI’ve written much about the benefits of meditation, from stress management to mood stability, from increased creativity to breakthroughs in psychotherapy.

Mindfulness and Transcendental Meditation are all the rage right now, and they seem the therapy of choice for many of our ills.

But it’s a lot of work.

The Spiritual Crisis Underlying American Politics

Monday, October 14th, 2013

exit from crisis signAmerica is a very religious nation. But sadly, we’re not a very spiritual one. Mother Teresa’s disquieting words resonate throughout the land: “You in the West have the spiritually poorest of the poor. . . . I find it easy to give a plate of rice to a hungry person . . . but to console or to remove the bitterness, anger, and loneliness that comes from being spiritually deprived, that takes a long time.”[i]

While it is obvious to anyone who graduated from sixth grade that America is reeling from a chronic political crisis, it may not be as apparent that the disabling political warfare is fueled by an underlying spiritual crisis. Disconnected from our human and spiritual roots, we flail around in a world that is oblivious to the suffering of others. Lacking a gentle mindfulness toward our own feelings and vulnerability, we quickly look away from those who are suffering or the environmental havoc we’re creating.

The Lesson that Transformed My Meditation Practice

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

The Lesson that Transformed My Meditation PracticeWhew. This morning’s meditation session was a hard-fought grudge match between peace of mind and monkey mind.

I’ve been trying to establish a regular meditation practice, 20 minutes a day, with the same approach I bring to exercising: Suit up and show up. Every morning, I sit on my pillow, queue up a favorite guided meditation app, and do my best. Sometimes my mind cooperates; sometimes the monkey runs the show.

There have been times when my monkey has been so persistent, I’ve found myself leaping up and running from the effort before even realizing what I was doing. One minute I’m sitting quietly, the next I’m on my feet, in a pointless panic.

But recently, in a beginners’ class at a local meditation center, I learned something that changed everything.

Reincarnation or Just Ancestral Facets?

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Reincarnation or Just Ancestral Facets? Ever wonder, as I have, how people who believe in reincarnation reconcile the individuality of every person, the uniqueness of the spirit?

I have nothing against those who believe. Really. But I just never could quite feel that within one’s person there might be spirits of a distinctly different one.

Now, I am sure I got that a little wrong, my understanding and defining of actual reincarnation. But no matter, as I’ll never quite be able to believe that I was once of another time and place completely unrelated to my own genetic material.

Fresh Perspectives from Shambhala

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Fresh Perspectives from ShambhalaOne of my treasured books from favorite author Linda Schierse Leonard, “The Wounded Woman,” had the most beautiful, sacred, royal-looking design on a deep purple cardstock page insert, simply announcing the name of the publishing company, Shambhala.  That card, alone, I remember, was as fascinating to me as the book’s title and the mysterious, wise teachings of Carl Jung, brought to life by the woman author devoted to sharing archetypal insights.  (“The Call to Create” and “Creativity & the Veil of Addiction” are just two others Schierse-Leonard penned.)

Back in the ‘80s — before the age of websites — I filled out the card and sent it in to receive their catalog of books and see what else they had up their sleeve.  Over the years, it seemed I’d only sporadically receive a brochure (as fits and starts to publishing houses’ marketing efforts came into the digital age). 

Having the same effect as the cardstock insert, though, as soon as the first one arrived some 20-plus years ago, I was captivated anew.

3 Creative Ways to Bring Comfort & Connect to Your Spirituality

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

3 Creative Ways to Bring Comfort & Connect to Your Spirituality According to interfaith minister and author Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon, when we immerse ourselves in creative acts, we can quiet the noises around us from our “wild and wired world,” and truly calm ourselves. With these creative acts, we also can cultivate a spiritual practice.

In her book Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation, Oman Shannon quotes the 20th-century Catholic priest Henri Nouwen, who said, “Through the spiritual life we gradually move from the house of fear to the house of love.”

Oman Shannon believes the same can be said about the creative life. Through creating, she writes, “we can enter the stillness that characterizes prayer and the ‘house of love.’ We can open ourselves and experience spaciousness.”

Introducing Divine Intuition

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Introducing Divine IntuitionWe all have intuition, but we may not all recognize it — some may be …

Connecting to Your Intuition to Enhance Your Life

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Connecting to Your Intuition to Enhance Your LifeEveryone has intuition, a “wise inner guiding system,” according to Lynn A. Robinson, M.Ed., an international expert on intuition, and author of six books on the topic, including her latest book Divine Intuition: Your Inner Guide to Purpose, Peace and Prosperity.

And everyone can develop their intuition and use it to navigate their daily lives, make fulfilling decisions and discover and realize their dreams.

That’s because “when we pay attention to our intuition, it points us in the right direction.” Intuition “provides an additional level of information that does not come from the analytical, logical, and rational side of the brain,” Robinson writes in Divine Intuition. She describes intuition as “a way of knowing, of sensing the truth without explanations.”

Intuition can take many forms. According to Robinson, it might be an image, feeling or physical sensation, like goose bumps. Or it might arrive in a dream. Also, “Some people say they just know the answer.”

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