Saturday, November 10, 2018

Don't Resist

     I've ranted before about how resistance is futile in combating the social and political changes we see in our world these days (you can read about it here.)  Remember, resistance only breeds resistance.  We need a different way.

     I found a wonderful quote by the Zen teacher Normal Fischer who addresses this very issue:
As a spiritual practitioner you are more committed to caring for others than you are to a side or a cause.  Caring for others doesn't mean caring only for the ones you are sympathetic to; it means all others.  If it's only some, then you're gong to end up being aggressive toward the others who seem to behave unjustly toward the ones you care about.  And aggression breeds aggression.  You might win with aggression, but there is always backlash, and pretty soon you lose.  I have seen this many times.  I am convinced that only real, heartfelt nonaggression works in the long run.  And this isn't something you can just decide you are going to feel.  It is challenging to be genuinely caring and loving.  It takes spiritual work, psychological work, meditation, cultivation.  But there is no doubt that, for me, this is the only way.
     Wow, what a challenge.  But it really is the only way.  And it is the necessary foundation for the next step.  More on that next week.

(image courtesy of


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Let Your Voice Be Heard

     Here in the United States, we face an important election in the next few days.  I think far too many still have the attitude that we should let "others" make the decisions and then live with the results as best we can.

     May I offer a different point of view?

     Imagine if you were in a band, and as a flute player, you decided that you wouldn't play because you didn't feel like it.  Or maybe you felt that your little instrument wasn't as big and loud and impressive as a tuba or French horn.  Or maybe you felt that you didn't have as many years of lessons as the oboist and were an inferior musician.  Or maybe you were just feeling ornery or lazy.

     What would the band sound like without your flute?

     Probably not great.  Every voice matters.  Every point of view matters.  You matter.


(image courtesy of

Saturday, October 27, 2018

An Oldie But Goodie, Part 2

     Last week I was recommending a good book to read, Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul: 101 True Stories of Angels, Miracles, and Healings, edited by Arielle Ford.  For those of us interested in spiritual and mystical experiences, this is a good pick.

     I think my favorite section was "Romances of the Soul."  Of course, some of the stories touched on my favorite theme, Twin Souls.  For example, Tom Youngholm's story, "Redhead," explores why he continually dated the same type of woman -- blond, about his height -- but that the relationships never worked out.  Finally, he had a vision of a woman in the 1800s who was dancing with him.  What did she look like?  Blond, about his height.  She told him that she was his soul mate (Twin Soul, in my estimation).  When she said this, he broke down in tears.  He recounts:
[She] told me that we were soulmates -- that our energies complemented one another, and that when we were together, we were truly One.  I questioned her:  I thought one was supposed to find a soulmate here on Earth?  She chuckled, and said most soulmates are not together in the same lifetime.
     She continued, saying that the reason he was having so much trouble finding a mate in this lifetime was because he was still searching for her.  She said to let that go.  She visited him several times after that, but he was able to let go of his obsessive search for her and to find a new type of woman in his life.  A redhead.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

An Oldie But Goodie

     Low on funds (and room) for a new book to read, I searched my bookshelves for an old book to re-read.  And, what a nice find!  It's Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul: 101 True Stories of Angels, Miracles, and Healings, a collection edited by Arielle Ford.

     The stories are grouped by categories which include "Mystical Places, Magical Moments," "Divine Guidance and Inner Direction," "Romances of the Soul," "Spiritual Healing," "Help from Above," "Vision," and "The Other Side."  The stories run the gamut from very personal visionary experiences to recollections of extraordinary situations that occurred to several people.  It's also very easy to read.

     To be honest, I think I enjoyed the stories that included other people's experiences besides the authors' because some of the personal visionary stuff was a little hard to relate to in some instances.  It's like when someone tells you their dream -- they may have been very moved by it, but you may have a hard time relating because the symbolism is very personal.  Still, if you want to measure your own visionary experiences against some other people's, this may be a good book for you.  All in all, if you have a mystical bent, this is a terrific book to pick up.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

A Thought for Our Times

     This quote is from David Krieger, and is so relevant to our times.
     Peace is active, not passive.  You can't sit back and wait for peace to come to you.  You must work for it.  You must shake off your apathy and demand it.  This is not always easy in a culture of war, such as we have in the U.S., but it is necessary.      
     It is clear that war makes great demands on its participants.  We need to think of peace in the same way.  Peace is not the absence of war or the space between wars; it is a goal to be achieved by actively demanding that the world's governments find nonviolent means of settling disputes.
     Go forth, peace warriors.
(image courtesy of


Saturday, October 6, 2018

A Terrific Quote

     Here's a wonderful quote I recently ran across.  How true it is!
The time has come . . . to resist the impulse to control, to command, to force, to oppress, and to begin quite humbly to follow the guidance of the larger community on which all life depends.  Our fulfillment is not in our isolated human grandeur, but in our intimacy with the larger earth community, for this is also the larger dimension of our being.  (Thomas Berry)
(image courtesy of