Archive for the ‘Spiritual Disciplines’ category


February 10, 2012

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.–Dalai Lama

This is another take on “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. It’s every bit as correct. Whether you are a Christian, a Buddhist, a secular humanist or whatever is irrelevant. This is the way human beings are built. Whether you can believe compassion works like this or not, practice it as a spiritual discipline and it will become true for you.

The Tao Te Ching

February 1, 2012

I’ve decided to start a new personal adventure wrestling with the Tao Te Ching. What I’m going to do is read through it line by line and develop a new version, my own version with commentary. It’s a page on my Spiritual Heimlich blog. Only one Stanza so far.


December 21, 2011

When we are young other people: parents, teachers, friends write on the slate of our personality. As we grow we need to examine what is written there. We need to edit, to rewrite it in our own hand in order to become our own person.–me

Problem is it’s written on the walls of the catacombs deep below where we currently live. It’s dark, and damp and scary down there. Not telling what you might find there, or what might find you. The purpose of most spiritual disciplines is to strengthen you, to provide a bit of light as you venture into your own depths.


October 2, 2011

Life is a riddle. Unfortunately, the answer’s not written on the back of anything.

Scripture, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or something else, points the way but cannot provide a direct answer. The thing is that each individual has their own unique answer. That answer is a state of being not something that can be written down. Zen uses koans which are manifestations of the riddle to help students find their answer. You work on your koan until you become one with the question. You continue working until you become the answer. So, be the question…and the answer.


September 28, 2011

If there is no wind, row.–Latin Proverb

Often the universe fails to provide support for efforts to achieve our goals, even our most noble goals. Whether you believe that the universe is testing our resolve or merely indifferent is irrelevant. The question is will you continue pursuing them or give up.

Karma yoga, the path of selfless action, suggests that we act without thought of success. In other words, it suggests that we continue to act whether or not our actions are rewarded by the results we desire.


September 4, 2011

There is nothing you can Do to Be saved.–Dr. William Kerley

See page: “What Must I Do to Be Happy”

As I reread that page preparing to write this, I was struck by the similarity between happiness, or rather joy, and salvation. It seems possible that joy and salvation are two different words for the same state of being. Both can be experienced as something that arises through regular practice of a spiritual discipline. Both come and go until they finally become part of who we are. Said another way through practice of one or more spiritual disciplines we become Joy, we become Salvation not only for ourselves but for all that is and all that is not.


September 3, 2011

The goal of advertising is to engender dissatisfaction, to make us believe that we are not responsible for our own mental state, rather we must have or use their product in order to be content.–me

I’m not at all sure that contentment is a feeling like happiness, but many of the same concepts apply. There’s nothing you can do, nothing you can have to be content. To be content, you must become the kind of person who is content. To me contentment is the state of being that results from accepting that what is, is and what ain’t, ain’t. Acceptance does not mean that we like what is (or what isn’t). It doesn’t even man we won’t try to change things. It means we have relinquished our illusion of control. It means accepting the fact that we are not God. In this context, contentment can be a lasting experience where happiness (and other feelings) cannot.


August 21, 2011

We experience the kingdom of heaven by living in the hand of God (rather than by taking life into our own hands).–me

The question is how. I believe we do this by taking responsibility our actions and how we experience the results, but not for actual outcomes. To me this is the intent behind Karma Yoga as well as the Islamic concept inshallah. We are responsible for our actions, for acting in ways that are likely to produce good outcomes. But results come from God, this is the meaning of inshallah (as God wills so be it). We are also responsible for how we experience the outcomes, gratitude for the good ones, learning from the bad ones.

For more, see the Holding on to Happiness Page.