February 23, 2022

In Western society, we don’t like to talk much about death. It’s something we try to avoid, even though at some point in time it will touch each of our lives and the lives of those we love. The same might be said for death’s close cousin, grief—the deep and seemingly unbearable pain caused by the death of someone close to us. Much like death, grief has no boundaries. It’s something that all of us, no matter our stature in... Read more

February 16, 2022

What do you want from life? As you grow older and move into the second half of life, have your priorities also changed? Are you satisfied with your current way of living or do you yearn for a more connected, less distracted way of life? These are some of the questions you might find yourself asking upon reading the new book From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. It’s by social scientist Arthur C. Brooks whose popular, standing... Read more

February 9, 2022

If you’re like me, you’ve long dismissed koans as silly wordplay. I mean, what’s one to make of questions like “What’s the sound of one hand clapping?” To understand them better, I did a little digging and now have a better idea of the concept behind koans—and why some spiritual practitioners find them valuable. Carol Kuruvilla, writing in HuffPost, describes koans as “a riddle or puzzle that Zen Buddhists use during meditation to help unravel greater truths about the world... Read more

February 2, 2022

What if I told you I had a lengthy message from Jesus? Only it’s not something I read in the Bible, or even a Gnostic text. It was personally told to me over the past couple of years by Jesus himself. He talked. I merely wrote down the words. That’s the story behind the book The Freedom Transmissions by Carissa Schumacher who over a period of several months claimed Jesus was talking to her and wanted her to spread his... Read more

January 26, 2022

I’ve written about meditation many times at Wake Up Call. In fact, so many times that you might get the idea that I meditate on a regular basis. I do not—though I do go through phases where I meditate daily. The issue with meditation? It’s hard to find time to do the recommended two 20-minute sessions a day. I know, there’s the old saying that if you can’t find 20 minutes to meditate, you need to set aside an hour.... Read more

January 19, 2022

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 author Michael Meade. A natural storyteller, Meade tells us about an African proverb with the following moral: “When death finds you, may it find you alive.” At first glance, the words don’t seem to make sense. Of course, death will find you alive. You’ve got to... Read more

January 12, 2022

Have you ever tried origami? It’s the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures, usually long-necked cranes. According to mindfulness master Michael James Wong, it’s also a valuable spiritual practice, akin to meditation. In the book Senbazuru, One Thousand Steps to Happiness, Fold by Fold, Wong details the 12 steps it takes to make a crane out of paper, accompanied by beautiful illustrations. But that is only one small aspect of the book. Between each step Wong... Read more

January 3, 2022

Have you ever heard of Blaise Pascal? A true Renaissance man, he was a mathematician, an inventor and a spiritual philosopher who lived in France during the mid-1600s. Pascal was also an avid journaler and used to carry around a notebook in which he’d jot down his thoughts and ideas. After his death in 1662 at the age of 39, his notebook was turned into a book and published under the title Pensees, which translates to Thoughts. The book shows a... Read more

December 28, 2021

Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up. ~Dorothy Day Ari Weinzweig is the owner and co-founding partner of a Jewish deli called Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have not yet tried one of Ari’s many gourmet delicacies, though I have been savoring a steady diet of the wisdom he purveys in a weekly email newsletter called Ari’s Top 5. (Thanks, Kerry.) The e-newsletter features tasty-sounding food items like Hungarian Walnut Beigli,... Read more

December 22, 2021

Do you love Christmas movies as much as my family? There are certain movies we watch again and again and count Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Elf, A Christmas Story, Holiday Inn and It’s a Wonderful Life among our favorites. Not only are the stories entertaining and put us in the Christmas spirit, they also include underlying messages on the importance of love, friends and family during this beautiful season. With a big assist from The Everything Family Christmas Book... Read more

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