Tips for dealing with the shorter days of winter

Everyone is affected by the seasons. That’s not a disorder. That’s being human. As the nights grow longer, check out these great tips for dealing with the shorter days of winter. [Read more…]

SAD That DST is Ending

This weekend marks the end of daylight-saving time for the year. (Literally) overnight, most of us will start getting off work to find it already dark. Check out these helpful tips to make the transition smooth and jet lag-free. [Read more…]

Cultivating presence

I often hear people talking about living in the present moment as if it is a struggle, some cosmic game of attempting to grasp something that is fleeting, illusory. They say things like, “the moment I have it, it’s gone.” While this is true and can be frustrating, the last thing present moment awareness is about is grabbing serenity. Reducing worry and stress is just a happy side effect of cultivating presence, though; it’s not the point. The point of living in the moment is that the present moment is where reality is, where God is. When you remove the obstacles to being fully present, fully awake, you remove the obstacles to seeing the glorious reality of life, the presence of God’s love. [Read more…]

The Gossip Test — How to tell if your interest is justified

Last week I talked about the harm done by gossip — especially the harm we do to ourselves by creating separation between ourselves and an “other” and so creating separation from God’s love. OK, you’re saying, sure rumormongering and slander are bad, but I don’t see the harm in a little talking about people’s business when they’re not around — not in a hateful way, just being a little nosy. I’m trying to be helpful. And it’s fun. [Read more…]

Gossip hardens our hearts

Gossip originally meant godparent (from God + sibb). To gossip means to take an interest in the personal affairs of someone who isn’t a family member as if they were in fact a relative. A godparent takes on that role righteously. A gossip does so when they shouldn’t. Many people know rumormongering is technically bad, but feel justified if it involves someone they don’t like. That doesn’t make it OK, any more than it would justify physically attacking them — spreading rumors or slander about a person is an act of verbal violence and it’s never justifiable.

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Why to meditate

In a famous exchange, Dan Rather asked Mother Teresa of Calcutta what she says in prayer and she replied, “I don’t say anything. I listen.” Rather asked, “Well, then when you pray, what does God say?” She said, “He doesn’t say anything either. He listens.”

I often describe meditation in this way: Imagine you and a loved one on the couch, each sitting quietly, not talking, just being in each other’s presence. Not thinking, simply loving. You don’t need to talk. Meditation in the Christian tradition is sitting in the presence of God — not expecting answers, just being. And like sitting with a loved one, this simple act is heartening and strengthening. [Read more…]

The Serenity Prayer

“God, grant me the serenity…” Recited by people of faith and seekers alike, the Serenity Prayer is part of our culture. But it can become meaningless through repetition. So I want to share this wonderful spiritual tool with those who don’t know it, and encourage those who say it regularly to take a moment and look at it fresh. If you can follow this prayer, you are a long way towards living rightly. [Read more…]

6 Tools to Maintain Your Spiritual Condition

Here are 6 spiritual tools to help you maintain your spiritual fitness in the face of life’s many challenges and distractions. [Read more…]

Spiritual Recovery

If you are an alcoholic or addict, being spiritually unfit can be fatal. If not literally fatal then, as in my case, a living death. One definition of Hell is being alive and active in this world, feeling separated from God. And I spent years there. I could easily explain my own alcoholism by pointing to genetics and circumstances; but the root cause is spiritual — that God-shaped hole, that feeling of brokenness and alienation I was trying to assuage. I’ve met other alcoholics who had no obvious “causes” but I think we all share a spiritual longing.

Carl Jung wrote to Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson that “craving for alcohol” is “the equivalent on a low level of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness,” famously concluding the letter “spiritus contra spiritum” — the Spirit against spirits.

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Radical Honesty

How honest are you? While most of us consider honesty a virtue, few of us adhere to it without question. What if we really attempted to live out the challenge to let our ‘yes’ mean yes and our ‘no’ mean no? Is that even the right thing to do? Take a walk through the what it means to be honest, with teachings of St. Augustine, the Dalai Lama, Scott Peck and others. [Read more…]