Friday, February 28, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Monday, December 2, 2013
by a matrix of
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Be glad all over!
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
I responded: ...there is just as much waste in charitable organizations as in government, maybe far more. Government keeps salaries down for the most part. Check out some of the salaries of the staff of non-profits. And check out how much is spent for fund raising. Sometimes 90 per cent. Government gets a bad rap these days. It doesn't deserve it. People are so misinformed.
He responded: "I agree with you that some charitable organizations are wasteful and some to the point they are being deceptive. ... but in general, the government does not do a good job of distributing funds properly or knowing if funds should be given out at all. The government gets a bad rap because it has earned it."
I responded:The poverty rate was cut in half during the years that the Great Society was well funded. Funding has been reduced over and over again since the late 70s.
And then Barrett blew me away with this remarkable post:
"The gospel is neutered of its radical nature in such a context. Salvation is reduced to individual afterlife concerns and morality is reduced to private sexual concerns. It is assumed that Jesus has nothing to critique about the most basic, fundamental values of our society (which basically boil down to works righteousness). Material wealth is implicitly (if not explicitly) associated with God's blessing (and therefore approval of one's lifestyle).
"Also within this system of assumptions, aid given to the poor is considered 'charity': an extra expense freely given out of one's surplus whenever the giver feels so inclined. These funds are usually the first to be cut in a perceived crisis. There is no room in such a philosophy for a moral obligation to give. Furthermore, the 'charity' serves only to underwrite the status quo of the current economic order, making the wealthy appear benevolent and generous. This creates a dynamic where the egos of the rich must be stroked if one wants to really help the poor.
"I believe that Jesus advocated a transformation that goes far deeper than either government-based relief or private charitable giving. The revolutionary coming of God's kingdom 'on earth as it is in heaven' involves a total reversal of the status quo in the re-ordering of human society: 'The last will be first and the first will be last.' As white, middle-class Americans, this should quite literally scare the hell out of us. The prophet Amos talks pretty extensively about this as well (see Amos 5:18-24). It seems to me that God is interested in justice, not charity (or even worship): 'Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.'
I responded: Amen! Such a compelling and compassionate and comprehensive statement, Barrett. TYSM. / copying your statement onto my journal and now asking permission to blog it.
Barrett responded: "Permission granted."
Monday, May 20, 2013
Join Caring People Trying to Save the Planet > Elemental, a deeply spiritual documentary directed by Gayatri Roshan and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, opens this weekend in New York and L.A., followed by openings in other areas and availability on iTunes. It presents profiles of three dedicated environmental activists on three continents. Through their personal stories, it reveals the immense challenges faced by those who want to change attitudes and spur citizens to band together in a communal effort before it is too late. We encourage you to support this film and support these people! |
Thursday, May 9, 2013
+ I really enjoyed an e-course on InterSpiritual Meditation which ended about a month ago. I wrote a 17 page paper for the course and sent it to the teacher, Ed Bastian, on April 29. Ed is the founder and president of the Spiritual Paths Institute based in Santa Barbara CA.
Here is an excerpt from the web page on the curriculum: "The Spiritual Paths Institute curriculum on InterSpiritual Wisdom is a course of study with respected teachers of contemplative wisdom and applied spirituality that combines intellect, heart, and spiritual practice. It was developed by an InterSpiritual team of exceptional teachers, each authenticated within their respective traditions. The program is based on an intellectual inquiry and contemplative experience of the teachings of the worlds sacred traditions combined with personally mentored spiritual practice."
On another page, there is this information about Ed's books and current courses: "Ed Bastian, who has led our group programs over the past ten years, is presenting a series of retreats, classes, and online courses that summarize the underlying shared wisdom offered by our teachers and courses. These courses are based on the following books and workbooks that he has authored, co-authored, or published: Living Fully Dying Well, InterSpiritual Meditation, Meditations for InterSpiritual Wisdom and Creating Your Spiritual Path"
+ Spirituality and Practice offers its latest 12s gallery. It's on Forgiveness. Inspirational and challenging. Humanity needs this desperately. And don't forget to forgive yourself.
+ The current emphasis at Inner Frontier is Wisdom. There is plenty of illuminating and inspiring and challenging wisdom in these weekly Inner Work practices. This week the focus is on Spiritual Efficacy. Here is an excerpt: "Teachers can help by instructing us in spiritual practices. They can also help by being examples that ordinary people, no different than us, can enter true spiritual transformation. Teachers can help by easing our way into deeper experiences through the quality of their energy, when we practice in person with them. And teachers can inspire us. All of that is important, useful, perhaps even pivotal in setting our feet on the path. But it masks a fundamental truth: the spiritual path is within us, it cannot be shown, it can only be discovered."
+ (posted yesterday on Coffee Break 371 on my John A Wilde blog):
“Religion Beyond the Right" by Frank Bruni is an outstanding NY Times Op Ed column pointing out that there really are a lot of biblical values associated with the Left and the Center. Bruni focuses on the controversy surrounding the Boy Scouts ban on gays. Excerpt: "'I find it perplexing the way the "moral values" phrase is used,' said the Rev. Mark Greiner... (a Presbyterian pastor)... 'Concern for the environment, concern for workers’ rights: those are moral values,' he told me. 'But the phrase ends up being limited to matters of human sexuality, as if Jesus was primarily concerned with what people did with their reproductive parts. It’s crazy-making.' Greiner wants the ban on gay scouts and leaders lifted." | Read the article
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
+ Gratefulness.org offers a mini-course in grateful living by Patricia Campbell Carlson. Excerpt: "For most of us, awakenings come as glimpses. A moment of supreme aliveness on a mountaintop can inform our experience for months or years, even though we wish we could recapture its initial vividness. To hold on to that vividness requires practice." | Go to mini-course
+ "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Rejoicing today, I celebrate my participation in 2 current internet courses I am taking, both challenging, informative, inspiring: "InterSpiritual Meditation" taught by Ed Bastian of Spiritual Paths and "Becoming a Wise Elder" taught by Angeles Arrien along with Mary Ann and Fred Brussat of Spirituality and Practice.
+ Another one of my favorite lists which did not get included in my recent post is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People of Stephen Covey. Here is a summary I just found in Wikipedia:
Friday, March 1, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
By John A Wilde (as of 2/10/13)
Most of these lists are linked to a web page where you can see the list.
+ 112 techniques of meditation from the Ancient Indian text, Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
+ 37 Spiritual Practices offered by Spirituality and Practice | Chart | Self-Test
Attention | Beauty | Being Present | Compassion | Connections | Devotion | Enthusiasm | Faith | Forgiveness | Grace | Gratitude | Hope | Hospitality | Imagination | Joy | Justice | Kindness | Listening | Love | Meaning | Nurturing | Openness | Peace | Play | Questing | Reverence | Shadow | Silence | Teachers | Transformation | Unity | Vision | Wonder | X-The Mystery | Yearning | You | Zeal
+ 25 Reasons Why Twitter is Spiritual by Frederic Brussat
+ The 14 Precepts of Thich Nhat Hanh
+ Twelve Practices leading to our Realization that We are a Heavenly Being by John A Wilde
+ The Twelve Pathways to Higher Consciousness by Kenneth Keyes
+ Spirituality and Practice offers The 12s which are loaded with wise quotes and images on a variety of spiritual themes.
+ The Ten Commandments
+ Ten Sufi Thoughts from The Way of Illumination by Hazrat Inayat Khan
+ “Ten Reasons Gandhi is my Hero” by Frederic Brussat
+ The 9 Attributes of Heaven by John A. Wilde
+ The Beatitudes
+ The Eight Points of Progressive Christianity
+ The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism
+ Another Version of the Noble Eightfold Path offered at The Big View
+ Seven Centers of Consciousness by Kenneth Keyes
+ Seven Chakras of Hinduism
+ Seven Step Processs of InterSpiritual Meditation
+ Seven Social Sins of Mohandas K Gandhi
+ The Four Noble Truths ofBuddhism
+ The Trinity or the Triune God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit
+ The 3 objectives of the Sufi path by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
+ What Ray heard The Voice say in Field of Dreams:
· If you build it, he will come.
· Ease his pain.
· Go the distance.
+ Two Natures of Christ: Divine & Human
+ The Great Commandment:
· Love God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul.
· Love your neighbor as you love yourself
+ The Great Polarity of Taoism:
Yin and Yang
+ One God
+ One Universe
+ One Earth
+ One Sun
+ One Common Humanity
+ This is a great video. Take an hour and enjoy Peter Russell lecturing on The Primacy of Consciousness.
+ Spirituality and Practice offers A Quote on the Heart from Awake Mind, Open Heart by Cynthia Kneen:
The Strong Heart
"When we say a person has HEART, it doesn't mean they are weak and sentimental. We mean they are willing to be exposed, willing to be touched nakedly by the world. They are strong enough not to wear a suit of armor. They are not afraid of their own experience. In this sense heart is the one hundred percentness of experience. It is a strength and fullness in you that come from putting your awareness in the actual experience you are experiencing. This is true even of negative experiences. With a strong heart you are able to be gentle and sympathetic to all your experiences, not only the pleasant ones." | See the S&P map of The Heart
+ At Inner Frontier, a new Inner Work series has begun: WHO AM I? Here are 2 excerpts from the Introduction: “The question “Who am I?” in its various forms, has beset human beings from time immemorial. You would think it would be so easy and obvious, that it would not really arise as a question. But it has and keeps doing so, for good reason. Indeed, some spiritual paths and practices have this question at their center, because it is the key question of our life.” | "There is an answer to this question who am I. But it is not an answer that can be readily formulated in words. It is, however, an answer that we can become. We can be who we truly are. It is at the same time obvious, accessible, and hidden."
Last week, the series on LEARNING TO BE came to an end with Joseph Naft offering some profound thoughts on Love. Excerpts: "Love is union of the will, a union much deeper than the physical union of sex or the emotional union of attachment. Love asks for nothing in return, not even reciprocity, whereas attachment does ask. If it is union, if it is love, how could we ask something in return from our Self? Attachment competes with love for space in our heart and mind. For that reason, the inner work of love, of becoming able to love, consists of allowing oneself to be imposed upon." | "We look for and create opportunities to show our love. We act on them. What does this person want? What does this person need? What would delight this person? How can I provide something toward that?"
I know I have a lot to learn, a lot of detaching to do and humility to achieve as I continue on this amazing journey.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
+ On February 6 I found 2 wonderful recent posts on The Living Stones Community Blog. Sarah wrote "Waiting: A Liturgy" and David wrote "David Norling (Spiritual Story)". Here is an excerpt from David's profound post: "I'm currently seeking to find out what it means to feel called to a ministry that doesn't exist, that is, Pastor of Listening. I made up the title and wrote my own job description, at the encouragement of God's spirit, as far as I can tell. I've sought counsel from several pastors. And while most could see the legitimacy of my vision and even my capacity to fulfill it, there seems to be a consensus that the programmatic nature of modern American Christianity can't conceive of the role that I seek to fill."
+ Spirituality and Practice offers "10 Reasons Why I Love Reading and Reviewing Spiritual Books" by Frederic A Brussat.
+ February is Heart Month. Spirituality and Practice offers a heart quote each day. Here is an excerpt from the Intro page: "We chose to salute heart knowledge because of the heartlessness of these violent times and because of the growing number of people who feel disheartened."
And on February 1, the following quote was offered:
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
+ Spirituality and Practice offers "Ten Reasons Why Gandhi is My Hero" by Frederic Brussat. I particularly like Reason Number 5:
5. He practiced compassion in creative ways.
"One day Gandhi stepped aboard a train as it started to move, and one of his shoes slipped off and dropped on the tracks. Unable to retrieve it, he calmly took off his other shoe and threw it back along the track to land close to the first. When an amazed passenger asked why he had done that, Gandhi smiled and said, 'The poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track will now have a pair he can use.' With the eyes of his imagination, Gandhi saw a man with bare feet, saw him coming across a lone shoe and desperately searching for the other, and saw the disappointment on his face when he didn't find it; seeing these things, Gandhi did what he could to help."
— Donald McCullough in Say Please, Say Thank You | Read all of the reasons
+ A wonderful eCourse, Choosing to Love, is coming to an end. Today, after listening to Brother David Steindl-Rast, I posted the following in the practice circle in response to the suggestion of using a photo to see your true Self. The aim is to see your Self in all others with the same curiosity as seeing your self. Hard to explain. Oh well. Here is my post:
At http://www.pbase.com/abundancetrek/image/147079702 you will see "Rose" & me & "Wendy" & Mary at the Great Wall last October.
After a couple of days we began calling "Rose" and "Wendy" by their real names. They chose "Rose" and "Wendy" as their names in English. We were treated to amazing hospitality by these 2 young women for almost 4 days. We became one as we visited The Great Wall, The Forbidden City and The Summer Palace.
"Rose" and "Wendy" go to the Beijing University of Medicine School of Nursing. They were chosen to be our guides because their English is pretty good. They enjoyed having the time with us to practice.
Mary was invited by the Dean to give a lecture. The Dean was a guest professor at The University of Rochester a couple of years ago. We reached out to her and she reciprocated.
Some of Mary's favorite colleagues and students are from China. We have been blessed by this new and wonderful connection in our life.
Something wonderful happened during our time with the 2 students. We went through the Gate of Heavenly Peace and into the Forbidden City in more ways than one. We connected. We became one. It's impossible to explain. They would do anything for us with a smile, with simplicity and grace. They helped us figure out what to eat, something which had eluded us for the most part in the previous few days in Beijing. They helped us use chopsticks with skill. But far more than that was this sense of harmony and unity which I have learned is a Chinese trait from years of reading the ancient wisdom of The Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tse and a great book, The Tao of Abundance by Laurence G. Boldt. Also I do Chi Lel Chi Gong, a type of Tai Chi for physical and spiritual healing.
But, now, The Tao and the Tai Chi mean more than great books and great quotes and great body stretches. It means hospitality and communion which Mary and I will remember forever. We were blessed. We were surprised by grace. It was an amazing 4 days.
The Tao is an orientation to life based on balance and harmony, unity of all things, following the path of least resistance, letting chi (energy) circulate freely, being over doing, "trusting and embracing the organic pattern of your life" (Boldt).
You can see more photos from those glorious days at http://www.pbase.com/abundancetrek/chinaoctober2012
love, john + www.abundancetrek.com + “Everything that is in the heavens, on earth, and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness.” — Hildegard of Bingen quoted in The Sun & Moon Over Assisi by Gerard Thomas Straub
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
+ A Poverty Awareness Month Quote: Spirituality and Practice offers a quote by Gustavo Gutierrez on Compassion, Poverty, Hunger, Understanding and Abuse from his book We Drink from Our Own Wells.
+ A Poverty Awareness Month story: Spirituality and Practice offers a story about a woman who stole a loaf of bread and how a Judge dealt with the matter.
+ January is Poverty Awareness Month and Spirituality and Practice offers abundant resources which show how we really can end poverty if we put our mind to it.
+ Fred Brussat of Spirituality and Practice always offers great tweets on his Twitter page. I often retweet them on my twitter page. Daily he offers wonderful spiritual quotes and usually offers links to great movie and book reviews and book excerpts. Today, January 29, his tweets led to a book review and a book excerpt I found particularly important.
The review is on Our Day to End Poverty: 24 Ways You Can Make a Difference by Shannon Daley-Harris, Jeffrey Keenan and Karen Speerstra. | Read the review
The excerpt is from Spiritual Genius: The Mastery of Life's Meaning by Winifred Gallagher. Here is an excerpt from the excerpt:
"All of us use spiritual genius some of the time, but some of us use it all of the time. This book explores our human gift through the lives of such spiritual geniuses, because in them we see our own potential writ large. No matter how extraordinary they seem, these men and women differ from us only quantitatively, not qualitatively. Religion has many names for them — saints, tzaddiks, bodhisattvas are just a few — and describes them as 'holy,' or intensely aware of the sacred grand design; as 'good,' which means not just moral but compassionate; and as 'charismatic,' or able to inspire others. Using different language, psychology describes the same individuals as visionary leaders who share the respected statesman's altruism and social skills and the artist's capacity for transcendent experience." | Read the whole excerpt |Read the S&P review
+ Today, January 29, 2013, I begin a new focus. I will dwell for a while on stage 1 of my spiritual practice model.
Stage 1 is STILLNESS which leads to DETACHMENT which leads to HUMILITY. And, for the first time in a long time, you should begin to see additions, revisions, improvements of the web pages devoted to these practices. There are four stages altogether leading to our full embrace of our true identity as a heavenly being, far more important, infinitely more important than our identity as a human being. When you practice stillness you begin to realize this. Maybe only an inkling. Sooner or later a mystical experience which radically transforms our awareness of who we really are.
Looking ahead, sooner or later I will get to the 3 next stages which are:
STAGE 2: SILENCE which leads to DISCERNMENT which leads to HEALING
STAGE 3: SOLITUDE which leads to DEVOTION which leads to HOLINESS
STAGE 4: SIMPLICITY which leads to DELIGHT which leads to HEAVENLINESS.
Attributes or characteristics of the state of HEAVENLINESS are: ABUNDANCE, JOY, WISDOM, BEAUTY, LOVE, TRUTH, PEACE, JUSTICE, FREEDOM. I have a web page devoted to each of those 9. Click on the word.
The Bing search engine lists 65,500 results for STILLNESS DETACHMENT HUMILITY. The first 2 bring you to 2 of my pages. How about that? Connecting these 3 practices as a first stage of spiritual practice seems to be my invention. I think there is a logic to the progression I am advocating but maybe it only works for me or just a few of us. That's OK. If it works for you, please let me know.
I found a lot of wisdom on detachment at 2 of the early results in the Bing search. Here are excerpts:
In Buddha & Eckhart: On Detachment, the blogger G writes: "The teachings of Meister Eckhart (c.1260-1327) have much in common with those of the Buddha. One subject upon which they have the greatest of convergence is that of detachment." | Read the whole post
In Detachment vs Apathy, a forum contributor writes: "Detachment is a word that conjures up different meanings to different people and seldom is associated with being virtuous. In psychology it is referred to as dissociation or apathy. But to some people detachment is the noblest of all virtues. Meister Eckhart said of it, as “He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment.” He also described it as the most noble of all virtues, higher even than humility or Love." | Read the whole post
Monday, January 21, 2013
+ TRANSFORMATION is the theme of THE TWELVES for this month. Mary Ann and Fred say: "There is an inherent human quest for transformation. We seek wholeness for ourselves so that we can then be agents of change to help heal the world. We offer 12 quotes to help ignite your personal transformation." | See the 12
+ I never thought I would hear "Namaste" at a Presidential Inauguration. What a fabulous poem Richard Blanco wrote and delivered on Monday: ONE TODAY. Excerpt:
One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.
Read it all | Watch the video
+ A new lesson for a new week in the Inner Frontier Inner Work series on Learning to Be. Here is an excerpt from "Affirming the Higher:" "Having seen through our false I and continuing to look for who we are, we find that one in us who does what we do and sees what we see, the one who lives our life, the one beyond all the myriad thoughts and emotions, beyond all the noise of our personality and false I. Here I am, as myself. If we could be, just be, really be, we would be ourselves, our true I. That is a revolution in our inner world, because instead of being driven by our automatic reactions to what happens to us, the flow of our actions begins with us, with our real self."