On Surrender, from Rumi

Taken from God’s Slave is Free:

When you forget your own scheming,
happiness will come to you from your spiritual guide.
When you forget your self,
you are remembered by God.

When you have become His slave,
only then are you set free.

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief

Spotted on Facebook:

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. ~ The Talmud

This one lands pretty well with me because I am often daunted by how screwed the world seems to be and how little I can do about it. In fact, that thought is paralyzing and keeps me from doing anything, and often, from allowing myself to take in the sadness of some things.

This quote reminds me that we have small opportunities each day to be, at the very least, kind to other people.

Rick Hanson – Change Your Brain!

I’m becoming quite a fan of Rick Hanson. Combining neuroscience with mindfulness is a philosophical cocktail that I can get on board with 🙂

In this video he explains how simply focusing on a positive thought or experience for 15 seconds or more can help create beneficial pathways in the brain:

Learning Happiness

For me, happiness is a habit to be learned, an inner state to be actively cultivated. Actually ‘happiness’ is a loaded word for me. I prefer to think of contentment. Happiness sounds too grand and flowery, like something out of the movies, not real life.

For a long time I think I was under the impression that happiness meant that everything in your life was perfect. You had the right job, a comfortable amount of money, friends, a partner etc etc.  So naturally, happiness felt like an elusive concept. Or like somehow I was doing it ‘wrong.’ Now I realize that perfection is not the goal, or the point. In fact if you stop looking for everything to be perfect I think you will find more contentment – a general ‘ok-ness’ with the way things are. Continue reading “Learning Happiness”

Science and Spirituality on a Collision Course

Eye-opening news which will of course delight both skeptics and believers. Skeptics will surely love to expound on the impossibility of such a concept, but believers will take delight in seeing how the accepted boundaries of science are slowly coming apart at the seams. The following is excerpted from Deepak Chopra’s post on Intent.com – link to full article at the bottom. Enjoy!

The scientific world went into spasms last week when a Nobel laureate announced that he had, in effect, teleported DNA.  That was the sound bite, but of course the story was more complicated.  A French team headed by Luc Montagnier, previously known for his work on HIV and AIDS,  took two test tubes, one of which contained bacterial DNA, the other pure water. After the test tubes were surrounded by an electrical current, analysis showed that an imprint of the DNA was detectable in the water. The outrageousness of this claim echoes a finding from over a decade ago that water has memory.

Fact #1: Everything in existence is experienced through our consciousness, including subatomic particles and distant galaxies. The universe exists in our consciousness. There is no proof of an objective universe, which is taken on faith, as pure assumption. Fact #2: If there is a universe outside our consciousness, we can have no knowledge of it.

You can perform thousands up thousands of experiments while still ignoring these two facts. But eventually there’s a limit, and when you reach it, you have to ask some key questions: Is the universe conscious? Is everything happening in the mind of God? Does the mind exist outside the brain? Once preposterous, these questions seem to hold the key to the future, in both physics and biology. There is much more to say on the subject, but for the moment, we can at least afford a smile at the notion that DNA can teleport itself and that water can remember things. Out of delight and imagination most of the world’s great ideas were born.

Read the full article by Deepak Chopra: Spirituality Is the New Science | Intent.com.

Cyborgs, Second Selves, Oneness

Lately on some of the blogs that I read, there’s been a lot of talk inspired by Amber Case’s TED talk entitled “We Are All Cyborgs Now”, which is truly fascinating.

The discussion has largely been around second selves ,digital personas and the like. I’m won’t rehash the whole topic except to summarize that clearly the importance of digital is ever expanding in our lives, and enabling whole new income streams, lifestyles and concepts of self. The thing that got me thinking was Everett Bogue’s use of the term ‘second self’. From reading his blog I know he’s an avid yogi, therefore presumably seeking oneness, so I’m wondering how the ‘second self’ concept fits in with that, or how he reconciles the two. After all the phrase has duality built right in. So perhaps it’s just semantics, or perhaps I’m missing his point in some way, but I can’t help but feel that a second self isn’t the answer. Most of us have a hard enough time uniting the one self we already have. Whatever we create is an extension of ourself but if we think of it as separate it seems problematic. Continue reading “Cyborgs, Second Selves, Oneness”

Being The Empty Tea Cup

The Zen tea cup story goes a little something like this:

“A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen.

The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself.

“It’s overfull! No more will go in!” the professor blurted. “You are like this cup,” the master replied, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”  via RenegadeZen

I am trying to be more humble, more like the empty tea cup. It is forcing me to look at how I relate to the world – things I think I’m knowledgeable about (for me it’s usually work-related things), situations where I think I know what’s up, or where I think I’ve got somebody all figured out (whether or not I actually know that person!) or any number of other ways in which I take for granted my own point of view and my own essential right-ness about things. Continue reading “Being The Empty Tea Cup”

Karen Armstrong on Compassion

Karen Armstrong is a religious historian who has written books like “A History of God.” Her newest book is “Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life” which I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on. She was on NPR recently to discuss the book and the importance of compassion.  It’s a huge topic and the interview below can only scratch the surface. But what I enjoyed about the conversation is not only the discussion of compassion from a religious/spiritual perspective, but the need for public policy to be informed by it as well.

Stripping Away The Ego and Dealing With The “Unconscious” World

Since reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, I’ve definitely been more conscious of my own ego. The thing about it is that, the more you start to peel back the layers and recognize the ego, the more you realize just how ego-driven you are, no matter how conscious, shy, kind etc you may think you are- and therefore just how much work you have to do to become truly ego-free! So I’m realizing just how driven by ego I still am and how vigilant I must be in order to stop it taking over at every turn.I do generally consider myself to be more conscious than average. I consider other people’s feelings, I’m respectful of others, I try to treat people without judgment etc. However, what I’ve noticed about myself is that when I encounter people who are blatantly disrespectful or selfish, it really gets to me and elicits a lot of angry or annoyed thoughts. It’s not just because it represents an attack on my identity in some way because these things anger me even when they are not directed AT me, for example, when I see them happening around me to other people. Continue reading “Stripping Away The Ego and Dealing With The “Unconscious” World”

What Is The Ego?

What Is The Ego?

I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s latest book “A New Earth” and it’s been very inspiring. This man is truly enlightened, and once you begin to delve into the book and his ideas, it becomes clear that there is a distinction between true spiritual leaders like himself & Dr Wayne Dyer, and the “motivational coaches” such as James Ray and others. The distinction I would make is that while Ray and others focus on helping you get what you want in your life, in a spiritual manner, Tolle is talking about a much deeper understanding of spirituality and the connection between yourself and the world and the rest of humanity. I’m not knocking one approach over the other – I’ve found a lot of Ray’s writing to be very helpful and motivational and for me, as I’m sure with others, it provides a gateway into a deeper spiritual life which Tolle & Dyer discuss in more depth.

One of the main concepts that Tolle discusses in the book, is the distinction between our ego, and our true self or spirit. In order to break it down, I hope I’m not butchering his concepts too much 😉

Continue reading “What Is The Ego?”

Are you seeing 11:11 ?

This is weird. For the past couple of months I’ve been happening to look at the clock at times when the numbers are all the same, e.g 2:22 and in particular I’ve been noticing 11:11 a lot. I’m not one to be overly superstitious or read meaning into every little thing, so I didn’t think much more of it than a quirky coincidence. Then, a couple of days ago, this article was delivered to my Inbox via the excellent DailyOM. I’ve never been that much into numerology, but this definitely has piqued my interest. Anyone else noticing such repeating patterns?