Tuesday, February 2, 2016



+ I will let Brother Wayne have the last word in this exploration of the spiritual practice of humility

+ There is no possibility of a mature spiritual life without humility. Nor is it possible to be a successful human being without it. Humility is also, most fundamentally, a relationship of truth with ourselves. Humility begins with self-honesty about our actions, attitudes, and speech. It compels us to accept the fact that we are capable of being wrong, perhaps even when we are convinced we are right. It means that we acknowledge our mistakes, not years from now, but when they are made.

We must be willing to own up to these mistakes before others and not simply ourselves. Such humility is a basic operating principle of ordinary life. Without it, we can hardly move at all, since the mystical process is based on honesty and humility of heart. Search your experience and examine if humility is at work in you.

+ As you “search your experience,” remember to be very gentle with yourself, forgiving yourself again and again and again. Yes, examine yourself but don’t be harsh.  All too often, we judge ourselves too critically.  Humility requires diligence but not destructive thoughts and actions.

+ We have reached the final post of the Journey of the Mind section of this exploration.  Next we will build on our mind practices as we explore the Journey of the Heart.  The heart practices we will explore are silence, discernment and healing

The categories of Mind, Heart, Body and Soul are not new but, the idea of connecting these practices with the paths of Mind, Heart, Body and Soul came to me as I read The Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure by Elizabeth Lesser, a truly amazing book. She uses these four categories which she calls Landscapes. She offers great wisdom and many useful practices for each of the landscapes: Mind, Heart, Body, Soul.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html



+ [Ramakrishna said] ‘Adore and honor yourself humbly as my child.’ Not as your small self, not as your ego, not the false self, the constructed self, the biographical self, the self that wants power, but as the Divine Self, the Divine Child who through love, through adoration of the Mother and of each being as the child of the Mother, develops the awakened mystic senses of divine childhood. Honor yourself humbly as my child. Worship the body in which you are having this experience. Protect it. Worship your hair, your knuckles, your feet, and the strange little bones you have in secret places. Bless each aspect of your being, including those aspects that you have been taught to feel ashamed of. Bless them, release them all into the light and embrace of the Mother. Adore yourself, honor yourself, revere yourself. Salute yourself. Bow down to her in you, and to the divine childhood in you that is waiting to be born.
— Andrew Harvey in The Return of the Mother

+ Adore yourself?  Honor yourself?  Is this what humility is about? YES.

But remember what Max Wertheimer, a pioneer of Gestalt Psychology said: “An adult is a deteriorated child.” It is essential that we return to our original state of divine simplicity.  As we continue to practice, practice, practice stillness and detachment, we return to our authentic or real self.  Humility is the practice of being real, being honest, being sincere, being compassionate, being childlike.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html



+ It is a mystery we are dipped into. Two-thirds of Jesus' teachings are about forgiveness. A good third of Jesus' parables are about forgiveness, directly or indirectly. Forgiveness has nothing to do with logic. It is the final breakdown of logic. It is a mystical recognition that human evil is something we are all trapped by, suffering from, and participating in. It calls forth weeping, humility, and healing much more than feverish attempts to root out the evil. The transformation happens through the tears much more than through threats and punishments.
-- Richard Rohr in Everything Belongs

+ As I write this reflection today, February 1, 2016, I am aware of synchronicity which is a great topic in itself and an important theme James Redfield has featured in his efforts on behalf of the Celestine Vision.  Today, I received Lesson 10 in the current Spirituality and Practice e-course: Learning to Accept Grief as a Lifelong Companion.  This course will be available for some time and it is one of the best e-courses I have experienced.  The February 1 lesson in the course is on Forgiveness.  This is the  synchronicity or divine coincidence which I experienced.  God is always teaching us, guiding us, challenging us and comforting us.  

It takes humility to forgive.  The hardest person to forgive is yourself.  Humility allows us to engage the process where we can face the reality of the situations and events of our lives where we need to forgive ourselves.  If you are like me, there are plenty.  We can forgive others as we progress in the important process of forgiving ourselves.



+ Masters of the Japanese tea ceremony use the term kokoro ire, or "inclusion of the heart's spirit." The best tea ceremonies have nothing to do with fancy surroundings or making a good impression; the determinant of success is the sincere and humble heart of the host.
-- Philip Toshio Sudo in Zen 24/7

+ In their book review of 24/7, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat say the author is “A master teacher of the way of enlightenment (who) makes everyday spirituality come alive.”  Here is an excerpt from the review:

With an ease that comes from spiritual maturity, Sudo delivers one marvel after another in this astute reading of zen truths residing in work, exercise, eating, laughter, and sleep.

Or as the author puts it — "Zen teaches that our approach to today determines our whole approach to life. The Japanese call this attitude Ichi-nichi issho: 'Each day is a lifetime.'

+ So, then, this state of humility we are working on could be considered everyday hospitality.  It is an attitude to be practiced 24/7.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

Saturday, January 30, 2016



Knock. And He’ll open the door.
Vanish. And He’ll make you shine like the sun.
Fall. And He’ll raise you to the heavens.
Become nothing. And He’ll turn you into everything.
-- Rumi.
+ There are many great wisdom teachers in all traditions who offer the same basic message as Rumi did, as Jesus did, as The Buddha did, as Muhammad did.  You become your Real Self when give up your false self.  These practices are essential.  The Real Self is a given but it is received only by the humble, those who vanish and become nothing. 

I am an advocate of InterSpirituality, particularly as offered in the pioneering work of Ed Bastian of Spiritual Paths.  But Rumi, back in the twelfth century, was definitely a much earlier pioneer of InterSpirituality.  I believe it was his humility which made it possible for him to be radically open to the teachings and traditions of other cultures and religions.  In the early twentieth century, in that same Sufi tradition, Hazrat Inayat Khan also promoted what we are now calling InterSpirituality.  You can see it blossoming in his Ten Sufi Thoughts:

There are ten principal Sufi thoughts which comprise all the important subjects with which the inner life of man is concerned:
1) There is one God, the Eternal, the Only Being; none else exists save God.
2) There is one Master, the Guiding Spirit of all souls, who constantly leads all followers towards the light.
3) There is one Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature, which truly enlightens all readers.
4) There is one Religion, the unswerving progress in the right direction towards the ideal, which fulfils the life's purpose of every soul.
5) There is one Law, the law of Reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience together with a sense of awakened justice.
6) There is one human Brotherhood, the Brotherhood and Sisterhood which unites the children of earth indiscriminately in the Fatherhood of God.
7) There is one Moral Principle, the love which springs forth from self-denial, and blooms in deeds of beneficence.
8) There is one Object of Praise, the beauty which uplifts the heart of its worshipper through all aspects from the seen to the unseen.
9) There is one Truth, the true knowledge of our being within and without which is the essence of all wisdom.
10) There is one Path, the annihilation of the false ego in the real, which raises the mortal to immortality and in which resides all perfection.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html



+ It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility.
 -- Rachel Carson

+ Human and humility and humus come from the same root.  We are rooted in the soil, the ground, the dirt, the fragile layer of earth which sustains creation as we know it.  It is awesome, wonderful, delightful, fascinating, fantastic.  Yet, we all too often take it too much for granted.  We are part of this fragile layer and we are responsible for its vitality.  Clearly we have messed up and must face the consequences of this failure.  We can and must do better.  Humility is essential if we are to correct this situation and we need to do this ASAP.  “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5 NRSV



+ The spirit of liberty is the spirit of not being too sure you are right.
 – Judge Learned Hand

+ This has been one of my favorite quotes for a long time.  We need to have beliefs, values, opinions and loyalties.  No doubt about it.  But we keep running into people with different beliefs, values, opinions and loyalties, don’t we? When they differ from ours, are they always wrong?  I don’t think so. 

Trust the process. Be as open and tolerant and accepting as much as you can as you relate to others.  Listen.  Share.  Listen.  Share.  Listen.  Share. 

It is likely that at least some of your beliefs, values, opinions and loyalties will change as the result of sincere and authentic contact with people who differ from you.  Isn’t this a good thing?  Isn’t variety the spice of life?  Isn’t diversity a gift? 

It is good to share your beliefs, values, opinions and loyalties as long as it is done with great humility and acceptance of others.  That traditional taboo against speaking about sex, politics and religion has some merit since misunderstanding is likely when people speak without humility.  But society needs honest conversation about these things.  Humility makes it possible for us to speak about difficult topics in a way which builds trust.  Don’t be afraid to be who you are.  Let others know you want them to be who they are.  We are creating a more compassionate society through these practices.  This is so important. 

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html



+ Humility frees us up to use all our gifts and talents to the best of our abilities by enabling us to accept our limitations and vulnerabilities as well as our strengths. With humility we can enjoy our achievements without unnecessary ego-inflation or -deflation; we are neither full of ourselves nor do we pick ourselves apart. And being humble doesn't mean that we stop trying to better ourselves. We are all works in progress!

+ When we are truly humble, we can rejoice in the successes and achievements of others knowing that we are not superior or inferior to any other person. 

The practices of stillness and detachment have brought us to this amazing state of acceptance and unconditional love.  In this state of humility, we are given the gift of unlimited compassion to unwrap and share.  Enjoy and be glad all over.    

Friday, January 29, 2016



+ Humility is the disposition to view oneself as basically equal with any other human being even if there are objective differences in physical beauty, wealth, social skills, intelligence, or other resources. … It is the ability to keep one's talents and accomplishments in perspective, to have a sense of self-acceptance, an understanding of one's imperfections, and to be free from arrogance and low self esteem.
— Janis Abrahms Spring in How Can I Forgive You? Excerpted from  http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/quotes/features/view/27978/quotations-on-humility

+ The Good News is that true humility is true love. Be humble, really humble and Heaven in all its glory is yours, ours, mine. You become loving. You become love. You know you are loved unconditionally even with all of your faults which are many.

But now as you practice being humble, your faults fall away and your perfection is realized. This is an amazing thing. Enjoy.

Humility is the door to heaven because it is the great equalizer, the great uniter. We are all perfect. We are all imperfect. None of us can achieve heaven on our own as individual human beings. We need each other. Don’t think for a minute that you can get there on your own.

In humility we begin to know that our real identity is heavenly with all of the joy that means. This means we begin to know that we are not separate from each other. We experience ourselves in a new and indeed startling way as one humanity rather than 7 billion separate humans. In a totally mysterious way we become The Other, even those we think we detest. That’s what humility does for us. There are no opposites any more, no enemies. We become the enemy and then we can no longer define someone as the enemy. The enemy in any form disappears. There is peace, Heavenly Peace. It is wonderful. ONE-DERFUL. But words don’t really work here. Be still and Know. Be detached and Know. Be humble and Know.



+ Humility is an attitude of honesty with God, oneself, and of all reality. It enables us to be at peace in the presence of our powerlessness and to rest in the forgetfulness of self.
 -- Thomas Keating in The Sun and the Moon over Assisi by Gerard Thomas Straub excerpted from  http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/quotes/features/view/27978/quotations-on-humility

+ We are all humbled by events from time to time and that’s a good thing, isn’t it? But as we practice humility, we can go deeper and deeper and find an amazing intimacy with God and all creation.  This is bliss. This is peace.  This is heavenly.  

This practice moves us into presence.  For plenty of wisdom on the practice of presence, I invite you to explore the Spirituality and Practice practice of Being Present and, also, to ponder the illuminating reflections of Joseph Naft on Presence.



+ Once again I turn to that great Sufi teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan (see SE posts 22, 31, 45 and 46):

There is a story of a dervish who spoke with a young man who was very interested in his words of wisdom. The young man said, 'If I come to your part of the world, I will come to see you. Will you tell me where you live?' The dervish replied, 'I live in the place of the liars'. ... When he went to that country and asked for the dervish, the people said, 'We do not know any place of liars, but there is a dervish living somewhere here'. So they took him near the graveyard where the dervish lived.

The first question the young man asked was, 'Why did you give me a name which is not the name of the place?' The dervish replied, 'Yes, this is a place of liars'. It was the graveyard. He said, 'Come with me, I shall show you. This here is a tomb, they say, of a general. Where is his sword, where is his power, where is his voice, what is he now? Is he a general? Here, this one was called a prime-minister. Where is his ministry, where is his office, where is his pen, where is his power? In the same ground! This person was called a judge. Whom is he judging now? He is in the ground. Were they not liars? Did they not tell a lie saying I am so and so, and I am such and such?'

There is a beautiful story told of the King Akbar that when he was grieving with an almost ungovernable grief over the death of his mother, his ministers and friends tried to comfort him by influence and power. Akbar replied, "Yes, that is true, and that only makes my grief greater; for while I have everyone to bow before me, to give way to me, to salute me and obey me, my mother was the one person before whom I could humble myself; and I cannot tell you how great a joy that was to me."

Think then of the far greater joy of humbling oneself before the Father-Mother God on Whose Love one can always depend. A spark only of love expresses itself in the human father and mother; the Whole of Love in God. In whatever manner a man humbles himself it can never be enough to express the humility of the limited self before Limitless Perfection. Self-denial is not renouncing of things, it is denying the self; and the first lesson of self-denial is humility.

+ These paragraphs were included in the Bowl of Saki for November 8.

+ So, as you can see, Hazrat Inayat Khan clearly links humility to detachment,  or renunciation.  Yes, stillness and detachment lead to humility and humility is heavenly.  So, remain committed to those foundational mind practices.  You can return again and again to SE posts 1 to 48 for inspiration and illumination on these practices.  Spiritual Exploration often means returning again and again to places already explored since there is always more to learn and to share.

If you have any inclination to write at all, I urge you to write about your spiritual practice.  Writing often leads to greater clarity and deeper motivation to continue on this journey.  You are invited to share your insights.  Send them to john@abundancetrek.com and be sure to write Spiritual Explorations in the subject line.



+ Be humble for you are made of Earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.

+ This Serbian Proverb was the Gratefulness Word for the Day on 9/14/15.

+ Being humble does not mean that you are diminished in any way.  Indeed you are fantastic and your humility reveals just how fantastic, wonderful and fascinating you are.  In this state, we can see clearly. 

There’s a song for this one. I invite you to enjoy ”I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash



+ Humility is the key to wonder. As humility grows, wonder deepens. You will see yourself as a temporary expression of God's infinite and timeless unfolding. Aware of your impermanence, you become brother and sister to all life. You realize the common fate of all beings and find in that realization a compassion that embraces all beings. – Rabbi Rami Shapiro in The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness excerpted from  http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/quotes/features/view/27978/quotations-on-humility

+ We are heavenly beings having a temporary human experience.  This human experience is wonderful.  Moments when we experience the greater life of heaven are more wonderful still.  Let this practice become the key to infinite possibilities.   See what emerges as you go deeper and deeper into this realm of peace and joy.  Enjoy becoming one with everything.  Humility is the great equalizer and connector making life heavenly.  Practicing humility is the key to the wonderful realization that “compassion .. embraces all beings.”



+ Humility is not one virtue among others, but an attitude by which we stand on the ground alongside things. From this position we can be reconciled with all things and begin a truly cosmic democracy.
-- Leonardo Boff in Living the Wisdom of St. Francis by Wayne Simsic excerpted from  http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/quotes/features/view/27978/quotations-on-humility

+ What a vision Leonardo Boff offers us.  This is exciting.  Practicing humility certainly is not something to bring us down.  On the contrary, this practice lifts us up.  This is the new creation envisioned by prophets and apostles and visionaries and dreamers and activists.  It is such a joy to be a human being made of earth but also made in heaven.  We can do amazing things as we go deeper into this practice.  Wow.



He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
-- Micah 6:8 NRSV

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
-- Matthew 5:5 NRSV

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
-- James 4:10 NRSV

… lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
 with all humility and gentleness,
 with patience, bearing with one another in love,
 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
-- Ephesians 4:1b-3 NRSV

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
clothe yourselves with 
compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
-- Colossians 3:12 NRSV

My religion is kindness.
-- The Dalai Lama

The (true) servants of (God) the Most Gracious
are those who walk on the earth in humility,
and when the ignorant address them, reply with (words of) peace.
-- The Holy Quran, 25:63.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said
“(God) has revealed to me that you should adopt humility so that no one oppresses another."
-- Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 1589.

+ Humility is more than an essential spiritual practice.  It is an essential attribute of holiness, of  heavenliness.  The teachers of the great wisdom traditions emphasize being humble over and over again.  It is an attitude which makes it likely that you will see every person including yourself, indeed every creature, as divine and absolutely neither inferior nor superior.  When we are humble, we can see clearly.    

The essential spiritual practices of stillness and detachment lay the foundation for the practice of humility which makes it possible to live according to the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html



+ My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.
-- Albert Einstein

+ Humility is a wonderful thing.  If you do not already know that, I hope these 16 posts on the practice of humility will convince you of its power and joy.  And if you do, then I hope you will be inspired anew and motivated to go even more deeply into this practice.

+ Einstein isn’t the only one who advocates humility for humans.  In this exploration of the essential spiritual practice of humility, we will encounter a host of wisdom teachers who tell us how important practicing humility is.  Jesus to name one.  The prophet Micah.  The prophet  Muhammad.  The apostles Paul and James.  That great Sufi teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan.  The Dalai Lama.  Rachel Carson.  That InterSpirituality pioneer, Brother Wayne Teasdale.  Rumi.  Richard Rohr.  Father Thomas Keating.  Ramakrishna.  Joseph Naft.  St. Benedict.  St. Francis. Henri Nouwen.  Rabbi  Rami Shapiro.  Judge Learned Hand.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016



+ Detachment doesn’t mean not loving. It means to be free to love with God’s love. Without detachment we are not free. We are bound to our limited selves, our egos, and when we are bound we project onto others, grasp after them, and/or reject them. Without detachment we cannot be fully aware of others or fully present to them. So we love selfishly, at least partly, and in self-serving ways.

Detachment enables us to be aware of and engage reality as it really is. It enables us to welcome and embrace the unfolding of reality and be present and responsive to the Spirit at work within it. Without detachment we cannot see truth, cannot realize or actualize the truth.

Detachment requires skillful, intentional humility and vulnerability because detachment does not come naturally to us; it is a supernatural gift, a grace, though we can practice making ourselves available to it. My prayer for myself and for our community is that we continue to grow in loving others with awareness, humility, and skill. And this, I think, requires detachment.

+ This was posted by Rickey Cotton (RC) at the Living Stones Blog on June 29,2009. The blog has ceased to exist or has moved but you can still find this post at  http://livingstonesweb.blogspot.com/2009/06/thoughts-on-detachment.html and many more great posts by this community.  I found his website > http://rickeycotton.tripod.com/

+ Detachment is liberating.  It opens the door to amazing grace, grace upon grace upon grace.  Humility is the glorious outcome of this practice “… and Whatdoes the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God?” --Micah 6:8

But before we move on to the practice of humility, the next practice beginning with the next post, be sure you make a commitment to continue to practice, practice, practice stillness and detachment, the required practices which make humility happen.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html



Do not look for innate knowledge
In the mind that has already gone astray.
Look for it in the mind
Before it has gone astray.
The essence of mind is our true
Nature. We cannot depart
From our true nature.
So how can mind get lost
And go astray?
When we say we have lost it,
It means it is frantically
Pursuing things.
- Qian Dehong (1495-1574) in DailyZen 12/20/15

+ Detachment, letting go, allows us to become who we really are.  The practice of stillness has led us here.  It’s different.  It’s heavenly.  It’s reality.   Are you ready, willing and eager to explore heaven here on earth day after day, breath after breath? Am I?  Are we?

Detachment means Letting Go and Letting God. It means accepting the fact, the reality, that our earthly life with all of its delights and disappointments is temporary.  There is a greater reality worth finding, exploring, sharing, creating.  What will you create even as you let go?  I hope you will share your intentions and accomplishments with us. 



+ It is not the actual literal renunciation which counts, it is the personal abandonment of belief in the importance of transient things. ... If there is such a thing as saintly renunciation, it is renouncing small gains for better gains; not for no gains, but seeing with open eyes what is better and what is inferior. Even if the choice has to lie between two momentary gains, one of these would always be found to be more real and lasting; that is the one that should be followed for the time. When we take the torch of wisdom to show us our path through life, we will end by realizing what is really profitable in life and what is not.
-- Hazrat Inayat Khan excerpted from http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VII/VII_15.htm

+ Hazrat Inayat Khan (see SE posts 22, 31 and 45) wisely points out that detachment, or renunciation, is a process in itself which can lead to more and more profitable experiences in this life.  Discernment, a practice we will soon explore more thoroughly, can’t happen without it. 

As we move through these practices, more fruits become available to us.  Detachment, based so much on the practice of stillness, is a way to true abundance, not scarcity, a way to more, not less.  Deprivation is not what this practice is about.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html



+ He who can be detached enough to keep his eyes open to all those whom circumstances have placed about him, and see in what way he can be of help to them, he it is who becomes rich - he inherits the kingdom of God.
-- Hazrat Inayat Khan, Bowl of Saki, June 12

+ Hazrat Inayat Khan was a twentieth century Sufi teacher who in so many ways was as InterFaith and InterSpiritual as any human can be.  I have found his wisdom on so much of life to be a wonderful source of inspiration and illumination.  Practically every day I go to the Bowl of Saki for a feast of compassion and wisdom.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html