What’s Love Got to Do with It? Everything.

What are we supposed to accomplish during this lifetime? It goes without saying that we need to love and support our families in every way possible, but that’s just the baseline. Once we have that box checked, what’s next? I would argue that the next most important thing we can do has nothing to do with getting ahead in business or achieving a self-centered personal goal. It has to do with spreading love to those around us, outside of our… Read more

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 received through… 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… 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 Thomas. Of all the Gnostic texts, Thomas has the most credibility with religious scholars. Many believe it predates the four gospels in the Bible… 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 Teresa who for years felt not the presence of God in her life, but the absence. In her words “as for me, the silence and the… 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 that the real Walt was perhaps our greatest American poet. In 1855, at the age of 37, Whitman first published what was to become his masterwork, Leaves of Grass. He… 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 Meade In 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 proverb, “When death finds you, may it find you alive.” At first glance the words seem meaningless, of course you’re alive before you die. But Meade… 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 background: Gandhi was the leader of the Indian independence movement that challenged British rule during the 1930s and 1940s. Through nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi helped lead India to independence,… 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 know that’s not good. You see, like you, I’ve got friends and family members on the other side. And the easy thing… 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 first published in 1958. There is a well-worn copy sitting on my bookshelf and I refer to it when I need a quick lesson or refresher on… Read more

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