Thursday, May 28, 2020

What Part of Me Is Immortal?

There is a part of each of us that is mortal, and a part that is immortal. The body is mortal. It will die sooner or later, and its elements will be returned to nature. It is harder to identify that in us which is immortal. Should I include the influences I have had on others as part of the "me" that will survive my physical death? On the understanding that ripple effects never completely vanish, perhaps. My DNA also will continue to exist as DNA for as long as I have descendants. But the really interesting question is whether there is something called a "soul" or a spiritual aspect of me that will not die with the body, but will exist forever as "me" in some form. 

Constant Mindfulness

The constant practice of mindfulness is necessary in order to maintain focus on the spiritual life. For most people mindfulness does not come naturally. 

To be mindful does not necessarily mean to be focused, nor does it mean to be distracted.  Life is replete with potential distractions, and the mindful life even more so. I would define a distraction as something that draws your consciousness away from whatever it is centered on at a given moment. Since mindfulness involves being aware of what is happening around you as well as within your own mind, it is easy to see how the mindful person must be especially on guard against distracting influences. There is a practice of noting the distracting event without focusing on it – merely allowing it to pass through one’s awareness without being evaluated or judged – that can help us maintain centered equanimity, either to focus on a subject of our own choosing, or to remain in the passive, unfocused state that invites the guidance of Spirit to enter in.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Compassion or Manipulation?

A disciple came to the Teacher and said: “This person is taking advantage of you! How can you allow that?”

The Teacher replied: “In your Universe people take advantage of each other. In mine, people take care of each other. When a person in need comes to me for help, I give it to them. I do not judge whether the need is ‘genuine.’  It is a privilege for me to fulfill another’s need, even if what they truly need is just to know that I care about them. No one can take advantage of me, because I freely and willingly give what is asked.”

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Teachings of Love and Comfort

One reason for Spontaneous Beauty is to bring teachings of love and comfort to people who are struggling with some aspect of life.  Most of us struggle daily with one thing or another, especially in these trying times.  

I would like to share a selection of teachings with those who may find them helpful.  Please be aware that these are for the most part meant to be food for meditation and contemplation, not platitudinous thought-bites.  If you take them seriously, you risk changing your life in the way they have changed mine.  I believe the change brings greater peace. As you will see, the central principle is Love.

Here are some relevant posts.

Affirmation for Difficult Times

Please join me in this affirmation:

I am well at the core of my being.

I am connected to the Source of universal love.

There are many people I love, and who love me.

We support each other.

We are one in our essence.

All that I need is provided to me.

Nothing can harm my essence.

Whatever happens, I can handle it.

I react to all events with equanimity.

Because I can handle anything, 

And I know I am safe, 

Equanimity comes easily to me.

I am surrounded by love that is all powerful.

I am at peace.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Is the Devil loose among us?

I have to remind myself frequently that all souls deserve love. Jesus and Buddha both taught this. A certain segment of American politics today seems to be completely ruled by egotism, greed, and hate, to the point that it seems to evidence some sort of demonic possession. To blame any kind of devil is to externalize evil and deny that the cause of hateful and destructive behavior lies within all of us. The cure is also within, and it is the pure essence of Love that is the life-giving manifestation of the universal Spirit. What has been cast as a struggle between good and evil is really between Spirit and ego, between Love and not-Love. A leader who expresses pure ego is dangerous because his example encourages the expression of unloving egoic traits in others. You could say he makes hatred acceptable. The temptation to resist hate with hate is strong, but that in itself is an ego response. Putting the blame for our negative impulses on any outside influence only keeps us from acknowledging our own responsibility to turn our backs on those impulses. The best we can do is to resist ego by accepting Love as the source of our attitudes and our behavior. Surrender is an essential spiritual practice, but we must be mindful at all times to surrender to Love and not to ego.

This blog contains a great deal of guidance on this subject.  For convenience, some posts are listed (and linked) below.

Love Is Still the Answer -- "Each of us is responsible to look into our own soul and ask whether we are contributing to the problem or to the solution through the energies we resonate to and broadcast."

Spirit and Politics -- "Even if government becomes cold and selfish, we must remain loving and compassionate, even redoubling our efforts."

Ending Xenophobia -- "It has become increasingly clear over the last several decades that humanity will not survive much longer as a species unless all of our disparate members are able to live peaceably together."

Compassion for the Uncompassionate --  "You are mistaken if you think compassion is a gift that you bestow upon others. Compassion is your obeisance to God, the recognition of the universal spirit that unites you with the other. If you lack compassion for any child of God you are choosing to separate yourself from God to that extent."

Are There Demons? -- "Belief in the Devil is seductive, because it allows us to blame our negative feelings and our misfortunes on an outside influence."

What Part of Me Is Immortal?

There is a part of each of us that is mortal, and a part that is immortal. The body is mortal. It will die sooner or later, and its elements...