Revealing the mystical secrets of Kabbalah.

Kabbalah is the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible. It has been said it can take decades to study and truly comprehend Kabbalah’s lessons. Fortunately, I found a short cut. The author and religious scholar Daniel C. Matt studied Kabbalah for decades and condensed his knowledge into an easy-to-read book titled The Essential Kabbalah. Matt points out that the word kabbalah means “receiving” or “that which has been received.” And while it refers to knowledge being r … [Read More...]

Life is good. Life is bad. Either way, you’re right.

How do you see life? Do you look at it as a series of struggles to overcome? Or do you view life with wonder and focus on the small and big moments that bring you joy and passion and love. It’s funny how our frame of mind shapes our world, how when we expect bad things to happen they often do, and how when we expect things to turn out for the best we are often right. The old saying appears to be true: Life is a mirror and it reflects back to us what we think into it. “You find what you look … [Read More...]

Is the key to knowing God, knowing yourself?

Did you read my last story about the hidden nature of God? I wrote about how it can sometimes seem that God is MIA—and how sages from Socrates to Meister Eckhart have told us the best way to find God is to look within ourselves.Nowhere is this message stronger than in the Gnostic Gospel of T … [Read More...]

Does God have a secret hiding place?

Every now and then, we can have the feeling that God is missing in action. We feel the presence of God one day, usually when things are going well, and by the next day, the Divine has seemingly departed the premises, leaving us to our own devices.This feeling even struck the saintly Mother … [Read More...]

Walt Whitman on God, America and Life.

In my neck of the woods, the name Walt Whitman is associated with a bridge that connects the southern part of Philadelphia with Camden, New Jersey. You’ll usually hear about “the Walt Whitman” in connection with traffic jams or lane closures. But while reading Mary Oliver’s Upstream, I was reminded t … [Read More...]

Will You Live “Your Own Damn Life” Before You Die?

The role of a fully realized human being is to arrive at the door of death having become oneself. ~Michael MeadeIn an old issue of Sun magazine, I ran across an article that featured the words of the author and storyteller Michael Meade. They struck a chord. Meade tells us about an African … [Read More...]

21 Simple Rules to Live By (by Mahatma Gandhi).

Do you have a code or set of rules you live by? I often resort to my favorite authors and books for guidance, but I recently came across a short, but compelling 21-point list from a legendary figure that I’m going to put into my spiritual arsenal. It comes from Mahatma Gandhi.First, some b … [Read More...]

Let’s Fight the Good Fight–with Kindness.

Could we be any more divided as a country? It seems like Americans are now standing on two sides of a divide as wide as the Grand Canyon—and it’s impossible to get inside the heads of the side that doesn’t agree with you. What are they thinking?I’m as outraged as anyone. But on a certain level, I … [Read More...]

“Dear God, I’m doing the best I can.” (Remembering Huston Smith)

Perhaps the great religious scholar of our time died last week in Berkeley, California. His name was Huston Smith and he lived until the age of 97.I know Smith primarily through the book The World’s Religions. Originally titled The Religions of Man, it has sold over 3 million copies since it was … [Read More...]

Three steps to a more fulfilling 2017 (circa 1660).

Blaise Pascal was a true Renaissance man. A Frenchman who lived during the 1600s, Pascal was a mathematician, inventor, physicist and philosopher. And right before his death, at the too-young age of 39, he was writing a book that was posthumously published as Pensees (which translates to … [Read More...]

A Christmas Eve Tradition: Lighting Up the Plastic Baby Jesus.

Do you have a family ritual you engage in each Christmas? In The Soul of Christmas, Thomas Moore mentions how each year he takes on the task of stringing up Christmas lights both inside and outside his home. He sees it as a way to “shed light on the world and dispel a little darkness.”In our hom … [Read More...]

How to Become a Mystic—with One Simple Practice.

Christmas offers an opportunity to get in touch with your mystical side. We are all potential mystics. ~Thomas Moore, The Soul of ChristmasThere’s a section in Thomas Moore’s new book that’s titled “A Mystical Christmas” and it tells us how, with a simple practice, we can become a mystic this hol … [Read More...]

Moving from the darkest of days to the light of Christmas.

During the dark, heavy days of late-fall and winter, I find myself retreating within, spending more time at home, often in contemplation. It’s the time of year when I enjoy curling up with a good book, though the types of books I read are different from other seasons. I’m attracted to stories that do … [Read More...]

The Secret of Life according to the Bhagavad Gita.

The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Hindu spiritual text whose name means “the song of the Lord”. Hindus believe the book, which they often refer to as the Gita, contains “the direct message of God” and it is common to find it on bedside tables in hotels in India, much like we find the Bible in hotels in … [Read More...]