Monthly Archives: July 2013

Change – A Personal Journey


We have real difficulty here because everyone thinks of changing the world, but where, oh where, are those who think of changing themselves?  People may genuinely want to be good, but seldom are they prepared to do what it takes to produce the inward life of goodness that can form the soul.  Personal formation into the likeness of Christ is arduous and lifelong.

– Richard Foster


For the past year, I have been on a personal spiritual journey to try to effect a major change in my life;  one that was fostered by the recognition that there was the possibility for a more more meaningful life experience than simply existing in the “physical” from day-to-day.  More than just a religious, dogmatic experience, I’m talking about one that cuts to the core of the being.  It was a nagging desire that had been looming within for years and one that I could not quite understand.  Inspired by a close friend, who suggested that I participate in a bi-weekly session with others that had a similar interest in spiritual completeness, enlightenment, and in developing an understanding that there was the possibility to connect to the spiritual world in a manner different from that experienced exclusively through a religion-based connection.  With some trepidation, I embarked on that journey and after the year can only summarize it and the results as “Remarkable”.

Without going into great detail, I can only say that the precepts, ideas, and learning about spirituality and self have given me a much greater appreciation and clearer state of mind.  The results have been more than anticipated and the impact on my personal life, state of mind, and sense of being have deepened substantially.  Perhaps that’s because of the connection that I now see between the life events and me are much more closely coupled, knitted together in a manner more tightly than I ever realized. The learning has been life changing and my only wish is that I would have embarked upon this journey years ago; but, I have embarked and am now living in the here and present.

The first learning that I want to share is pretty basic, yet far reaching:  What we think, believe, espouse, we have the ability to manifest – our thoughts do control our personal being, the external influences on our life, and the things that ultimately come our way.  So, the first fundamental that I’ve realized is that maintaining a positive state of mind keeps us physically, emotionally, and spiritually in a positive place.  I would encourage you to try and be present in your thoughts for just a week and notice / observe the difference in what happens – how others treat you, and how outcomes of events change for just a week.  It probably seems obvious; but, it took a lot of time, introspecion, and recognition that you need to live in the moment, observe your inner self/spirit and understand that there is a higher calling and that higher calling is for your better good.

Understanding, Tolerance, and Compassion

I don’t particularly look for this topic; but it keeps coming up over and over.  Saying “pay attention, there’s something here.”  I’ve posted my own versions of these three life attributes and it’s always interesting for me to find another persons view and to see how they resonate with me.  Enjoy this one that I found last week.

When we see the shortcomings and the faults of other people it is important to realize that we’re not free from them either. When we judge others, when we give minuses to other people, when we give advice to other people, we tend to forget that we also have similar qualities ourselves.

There’s a very simple aspect in the Buddha’s teaching in relation to human behavior. It is said that human beings have three strong drives which are motivating them to act in particular ways. One is greed, another is hatred, and a more subtle and difficult one is delusion. We all have those three drives in us, and the Buddha said that unless and until we really overcome our subjugation to these drives completely, we are still crazy. We relate to the outer world, the external world, through a private world that we have constructed ourselves. In other words, we are being subjective and not objective.

Our problem is that we take this crazy, subjective world very seriously, we believe it to be true. If you can really understand that we are living in such a world, a world where there is such a lot of delusion, such a lot of grief and such a lot of hatred, that we live in a world where human beings are imperfect simply because they are still human, then you learn to see yourself and others in an entirely different way. I would suggest that this is real loving-kindness. When you see the shortcomings and faults of other people and you can remember that both you and they are living in a subjective world colored with so much delusion, then you’ll be relating to them with more understanding, tolerance and compassion.

via Understanding, Tolerance and Compassion | Friends of Godwin Samararatne.