Spirituality – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: Spirituality

Title: Cnidaria, MultiView Light Sheet Microscopy (3 of 4) | Author: Helena Parra | Source: ZEISS Microscopy | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Evolution of Consciousness

My wife sometimes accuses me of selective engagement. She says I am much more open to conversation with people whom I find physically attractive, intellectually stimulating, emotionally responsive, or spiritually evolved.

Guilty as charged. As it turns out, the idea of selective engagement goes back 500 million years.

Image Credit: Eleanor Caves and Claire Spottiswoode | Source: African Cuckoos

Shams and Shame

In the book, Mark Twain and the Art of the Tall Tale, Henry Wonham quotes Twain as saying, “the moral responsibility of the American humorist is ‘the deriding of shams, the exposure of pretentious falsities,’ and ‘the laughing of stupid superstitions out of existence.’” Thus, he said, “the humorist is the natural enemy of royalties, nobilities, privileges, and all kindred swindles, and is the natural friend of human rights and liberties.” Twain offered high praise Read More

The Fragility of Freshness

“If you can’t smell the fragrance, don’t come into the garden of love.”  –Rumi “Let me not die while I am still alive.” –Hasidic prayer   Knowing when to cut your avocado is a tricky task. One day too early and the fruit inside is too hard. One day too late, and it turns brown and mushy. Finding optimal freshness is a challenge with fruit and with life. I hate it when my strawberries get Read More

Title: Window of St. Mary’s Cathedral in linz | Author: Magdalena Sick-Leitner | Source: Ars Electronica | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sin and Spin

There is no greater sin than desire, No greater curse than discontent, No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself. Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. —Tao Te Ching, Chapter 46 It seems to me that religions focus too much on sin; and politics focuses too much on spin. They may both be guilty of the sin of spin and the spin on sin. Religions specifically call out the Read More

Does one size fit all? Title: Generic Luncheon Loaf | Author: Nikol Lohr | Source: sugarpants on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Meditation and Mindfulness

What’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation?

The traditions in Asia have language that is much more precise in capturing the nuances of different practices and states of consciousness, and all of this gets lost in translation into English using one catch-all generic bucket word, “meditation.”

Credit: goldbug | License: CC0

The Rudder and the Soul

The executive function represents the highest level of mental competence. It is the ability to plan ahead, anticipate consequences, derive abstract meaning, and arrive at appropriate judgments.

Read my assessment of the various competencies necessary for strong leadership and find out how Donald Trump’s skills stack up against my criteria.

line dancing

2020 World Culture Vision

The TV show “Downton Abbey” demonstrates as well as anything I have ever read or seen how an all-pervasive cultural code can produce strange and incomprehensible behaviors in people. People will do abnormal things to look “normal” by complying with the unwritten rules of the game.

Just as financial reports need to be audited, so also do the norms and values of the culture.

Tu m' by Marcel Duchamp (Photo Credit: Yale University Art Gallery)

Taming Tourette

When I was 30 years old, I was diagnosed as having Tourette syndrome (TS).

It was a huge relief to me to finally have a name for what had been tormenting me since I was about 13 years old. I was also depressed to know that I would be dealing with this neurological disorder for the rest of my life.

Animal Locomotion; Eadweard J. Muybridge (American, born England, 1830 - 1904); 1887; Collotype; 17.8 x 39.4 cm (7 x 15 1/2 in.); 84.XM.628.49. Courtesy of The Getty Museum

Thinking about Thinking

My wife often asks me, “What were you thinking?!!!” My response is usually, “I have no idea!”

But thinking about the way we think is a crucial part of making our lives, and the world around us, better.

[ C ] Chuck Close - Dalai Lama (2005) | Credit: cea+

Helping or Hurting

It’s Day One after the election of 2016. I feel sick and scared. Who better to suggest a remedy for our spiritual malaise and existential crisis than the Dalai Lama? In a recent article in the New York Times (November 4, 2016), the Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks co-authored a column: “Behind our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded.” It seems like an odd couple to me, but their message is profound. They point out Read More

My grandchildren, Annie and Ezra, on their first day of Pre-K

Imperfect Friends

No friend is perfect. Some let you down. Some disappear in a crisis. Some say the wrong words in their attempts to be helpful. Some just move on. And yet, as individuals, we need friends to survive and grow; and, as a society we need more civility, respect, and acceptance of differences if we are going to resolve the divide that plagues us. In a recent column, David Brooks said: “The great challenge of our Read More

"Lego Wars," Credit: FFCU on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/free_for_commercial_use/ (License: CC BY-SA 2.0)

Letting Go and Letting In

It seems like we always have to let go of stuff. As babies, at some point, we have to give up our pacifiers or security blankets. As young adults, we have to let go of our dependence on parents and become independent. As we grow older, we need to let go of our defensiveness in order to let in constructive feedback. Over the course of our lives, our security blankets and dependencies change, but we Read More

Stepping into the moment

Deepak Chopra describes stepping into the moment as those rare times when our mind is in the present – it becomes silent or generates the vibration “aah.” He suggests that present moment experiences reflect gaps in our perpetual, inner dialogue. Meditation is a way to enter that gap directly. Robert Carkhuff, whose groundbreaking work in helping and human relations led to a revolution in interpersonal skills training , writes that the “immediacy” response is one Read More

Title: Patterns of your past | Author: Aristocats-hat | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC 2.0

Wishing and Willing

I am. I can. I wish. “I am” is being. “I can” is becoming. “I wish” is aspiring. Gurdjieff suggested that using these words could motivate us to tune into our higher selves. In his book, Life is Real Only Then, When “I Am”, Gurdjieff said these three impulses must arise and manifest themselves in an evolving person. These words are essential for “the entire sensing of the whole of oneself.” These words reflect the genuine “I” of a person who has reached responsible age.

Meeting Barack Obama

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Every morning in my daily meditation, I give thanks for the earth, water, the sun, air, the time I have on this planet, the knowledge I have access to, the vastness of space, the healing energy of Light, my ability to think and process, sounds that I hear, love that I feel, hope that I cling to, the senses that let me experience the world, my sexuality, and my roots. Yup, starting the day with Read More

Photo by Joe Beck

Mindful and Joyful Living, Learning, and Working

My four-year old grandson is an old soul. He is one of the most loving, sensitive, kind and joyful people I know.   He also has a hyper-active body, an incredibly curious mind, and relentlessly intense feelings. It’s a lot for a child to manage. It’s a lot for anyone to manage. The question is: how can we help our kids and each other stay in touch with the unfettered joy and love we were born Read More

Mirror Pond at Belton House, by Flickr user Rich Bamford (https://www.flickr.com/photos/myrialejean/)

Awareness with Acceptance

Call it serendipity. Call it luck. Call it random events that just happened to be connected. Call it anything you want, but I just experienced a strange coincidence that boggles my mind a bit. I had been thinking about a new post (yes, that’s what I do with most of my free time) about the notion of awareness and acceptance. Incidentally, my process for writing posts is to latch onto an idea from something I have read, Read More

“Modernism 2.0,” by Nick Stathopoulos http://www.nickstath.com

Timelessness and Transcendence

“This trip had dimension and tone. It was a thing whose boundaries seeped through itself and beyond into some time and space that was more than all the Gulf and more than all our lives.” -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez We just returned from the Sea of Cortez on a trip with National Geographic to watch the whales migrate from the tip of Mexico to the Bering Strait. The beauty of Read More

"The Sad Hulk," by Thomas Hawk

Connect, Create, Collaborate

I recently attended a week-end workshop on Calm Clarity conducted by Due Quach (pronounced Zway Kwok), a Vietnamese boat refugee who grew up in a drug infested and gang ridden inner city and then went on to: graduate with honors at Harvard, complete a Masters Degree at Wharton, work for one of the most prestigious consulting firms in the country, scour Asia for the most enlightened spiritual sources, and create the Calm Clarity organization which Read More

Title: NYC0812 034 Sol LeWitt at MoMA | Author: watz | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Slow Dancing

Remember being back in high school and waiting for the slow dances to play so you could cuddle closely with your friend and enjoy the sweetness of the connection? And how sweet it was. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to create that magical moment without going back to the teenage angst that overwhelmed those tingling feelings? An ever-increasing percentage of people are finding that meditation is one way to capture that feeling of Read More

"Stools," by Ai Weiwei | Photo Credit: Daniel Silliman

Stages and States

I just completed an on-line course through MindValley Institute entitled “Beyond Seeking” taught by Ken Wilber, whom I mentioned in my last post. The course triggered so many ideas that I wanted to filter them through my lens and write a post. So here it is. As the title of this post indicates, throughout our lives, we can experience many stages and many states. In my last post, Spiritual Awakening, I constructed scales for Wilber’s Read More

"Falling Leaves, Winter" by torbakhopper

Consciousness: Physics, Philosophy, and Possibilities

Since I am turning 70 today, I thought I would post a bold article on the possibilities and potential of expanded consciousness. Carl Jung once said, “In history, everything depends on consciousness.” There are, however, many conflicting views on consciousness, how it can be defined, and its relationship to the brain.

"Polycistina" by Frederick H. Evans (British, 1853 - 1943); about 1883; Lantern slide; 7.1 x 7.1 cm (2 13/16 x 2 13/16 in.); 84.XH.1616.1. Courtesy of the Getty Museum. http://www.getty.edu/art/

THIS and That

After reading a plethora of books on science and spirituality, it strikes me that science attempts to explain things to us and spirituality encourages us to experience events within us. The real conflict between the two is the difference between explanation and experience. Scientists want to explain our experience and spiritualists want us to experience our explanations.

Bryce root

Two-Dimensional Taoism

What a jarring juxtaposition. My wife and I had just spent 10 days hiking in the natural beauty of Yosemite, Zion, and Bryce National Parks. We ended this delightful vacation with a one-night layover in Las Vegas—the capital of decadent artificiality. It shocked our systems and sensibilities to move so abruptly from the real to the unreal. Ironically, I had also spent the evenings of our day hikes on the spectacularly beautiful trails of our Read More