Love

We live within a great paradox that God created otherness which is the source of sin, the source of suffering, but is the prerequisite for Love; to love one another. When we open ourselves to great Love, we also open ourselves to great suffering. Yet, Love has little to do with emotions, sentiments, desires, romance, or adoration. Love has everything to do with intentions – commitment to openness and to serve one another. Love is the full and unconditional commitment to another’s “completion,” to another’s being all that she or he can and wants to be. This is why Paul Read More …

Freedom

A miscellany of freedom. Today, most of us try to find personal and individual freedom even as we remain inside of structural boxes and a system of consumption that we are then unable or unwilling to critique. Our mortgages, luxuries, and privileged lifestyles control our whole future. Whoever is paying our bills and giving us security and status determines what we can and cannot say or even think. Self-serving institutions that give us our security, status, or identity are considered “too big to fail” and are invariably beyond judgment from the vast majority of people. Evil can hide in systems Read More …

Creating the New Moral Norm

“When mores are sufficient, laws are unnecessary; when mores are insufficient, laws are unenforceable.” ― Émile Durkheim As a interfaith/interspiritual minister and organizational psychologist, I often consider the overlapping schemas of culture and spirituality. My primary spiritual path is contemplative Christianity and it fosters an expanding new awareness about the interesting mergers between culture and spirituality through the work of many prominent authors and researchers. Among the list is social psychologist and moral researcher Jonathon Haidt, Franciscan and author Father Richard Rohr, philosopher and author Ken Wilber, and the authentic leadership research of Avolio, Luthans, Seligman, George, and others. It Read More …

What do we mean by prayer?

What do we mean by prayer? We tend to think of it as something we do, but it is much more something we are. Prayer is less about saying prayers and more about becoming a prayer. Prayer is looking out from a different set of eyes, which are not comparing, competing, judging, labeling, and analyzing, but receiving the moment in its wholeness. That’s what #contemplation means. Whatever we do, in conscious loving union with God and “what is,” is prayer. The deepest meaning of prayer is beyond words. Prayer is a resonance. It’s something that happens to you. Thus, our Read More …

Aspects of Interbeing

The insight of inter-being will help remove discrimination, fear, and the dualistic way of thinking. We inter-are — even suffering and happiness inter-are — and that is why the insight of inter-being is the foundation of any kind of action that can bring peace and brotherhood, and help remove violence and despair. That insight is present in every great spiritual tradition. We need only to go home to our own tradition, and try to reveal that, to revive that. — Thich Nhat Hanh It can be helpful to think of Interbeing as made up of, or the interaction of, four Read More …

Folly of the Social Mirror

When man[kind] found the mirror, he began to lose his soul (Emile Durkheim). When the social mirror becomes the fundamental source of self-esteem, integrity and leadership deteriorate. A person cannot do right in one department of life while attempting to do wrong in another department, life is one indivisible whole (Gandhi). One can only lead from a foundation of trustworthiness and integrity, character and competence, wisdom, and compassion. Trustworthiness will not exist if personal image is more important than integrity. Integrity cannot exist in the presence of duplicity. If the only vision we have of ourselves comes from the social Read More …

Stop Demonizing

Demonize is a unique verb that affects both the subject and object of a statement. This isn’t a claim of grammar; moreover, it is a claim of human relationships. When a person demonizes another person, it is an attack to remove the other person’s humanity (to make them a demon). Perhaps this thought may be helpful to consider: In some languages HU means “divine essence”. Dehumanizing another person is an attempt to remove their HU (without HU a person does not have divine essence and the noun we have for that is demon). Demonizing (dehumanizing) is a former of violence Read More …

Wholeness is not Perfection

Parker Palmer writes “Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness [embracing feeling fragmented] as an integral part of life. ….wholeness need not be a utopian dream… we can use devastation [and mistakes] as a seedbed for new life.” It isn’t by taking away the brokenness or fragments it is by experiencing the fragments and finding God’s strength inside of the fragmentation and the brokenness. Paul spoke of this in terms of being “transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Romans 12:2) and “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) https://goo.gl/XEW2z5 Healing Read More …

How do you experience God?

God? Remember the only language available to religion is metaphor. There is no other way to attempt to describe the ineffable, the mysterious, the more. The word God can create negative or positive images for people; the loving benevolent source of life and love or the grey bearded judge in the sky waiting to inflict punishment. To anthropomorphize God is to to reduce God to a human image instead of a divine image. In contrast, we may use the word Spirit, Mystery, Ultimate, Reality, Divine, or others in place of the word God. Often our discussions about God–or whatever word Read More …