How Does One Sustain a Spiritual Outlook?

Sunrise at Goblin Valley

A friend recently asked me, “How does one sustain their spirituality?” The answer to that question will be somewhat different for each person. Some may say that participation in religious practice and/or community are needed to sustain one’s spirituality. Those things can have role, but what we’re addressing here is a continuity of spirituality throughout everyday of our lives.

For me, spirituality is not only a way of living, but also a state of mind. It is that state of mind or spiritual presence that is the key to sustaining one’s spirituality. In some ways it is like being in a constant state of prayer or contact with God and the spiritual realm.

As we move through our day, we should always be silently expressing our gratitude and thanks for every little thing we see, experience, and receive. We should strive to always be present and to take notice of the many expressions and beauty of God all around us. We should allow feelings of love and compassion to come forth naturally, unfiltered by the intellect or prejudice.

When we do these things; when we allow our spirit to express and commune with God and His holy spirits, we find ourselves in a constant state of grace, happiness, and bliss.

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Disasters: An Awakening

Spiritual Awakening
Artist unknown

With regard to those directly affected by disasters such as the recent hurricanes and the earthquakes in Mexico, I think it’s important to maintain the right perspective. These events can lead to great suffering and many people lost all of their possessions. But in the midst of this, it is important for those directly affected to reflect and give thanks to God for what was, for what and who survived, and for what will be, going forward.

After the devastation of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines some years back, a journalist came upon a man standing in front of a pile of rubble that was once his home. He asked the man how he felt about the destruction. The man simply said, “Blessings, [God’s] blessings.”

These events often bring out the best in people. It’s as if they have had a spiritual awakening or renewal and realized who they really are and how they are intended to live. We heard about neighbors helping neighbors and how volunteers flooded into devastated areas to help any way they could. Others organized or contributed to the collection of relief supplies.

These acts of love and compassion are expressions of one’s spirit. They give us joy and happiness like nothing else can. For some, experiencing a disaster is a life-changing experience and they make a commitment to always help people whenever they can as they go forward with their lives. For others, their old ways of living quickly return and sadly, an opportunity for spiritual transformation is lost.

 

Something Wonderful

Some Thoughts on Relationships

I think we have to allow ourselves to be emotionally vulnerable. How else can we really be genuine? To do so is taking a chance, but how can a relationship, whether friendship or love, really grow if we are not willing to let our guard down and open up?

Letting someone in is a big deal, yes, but more often than not it helps us to grow, assuage our insecurities, and build a stronger relationship. Sometimes we get hurt; sometimes we are ridiculed. But sometimes it opens the door to something wonderful.

It’s Been a While

Indian Summer by Sergey Lutsenko httpwww.picture-russia.ruenpicture46977

 

#weekendcoffeeshare

It’s been a while since I last joined you for coffee. I have been busy preparing my new book for publication in paperback and as an eBook. It was a substantial project that is now complete. Yay!

Hopefully, I will find my way back into writing again soon. After completing a book project, there is often a concern as to whether you still have more to write about. It’s kind of like when you have been engaged in a long conversation with someone about something and you both suddenly find yourselves in an uncomfortable, awkward silence wondering where the conversation should go next.

Anyway, it’s good to be free of major projects so my mind is free to wander. I look forward to seeing what you guys have been up to.

Sleeping to Dream

 

#weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee together, I would tell you that my wedding anniversary is on Valentine’s Day. I wanted to share this song with you because it is so appropriate for how I am feeling right now.

You see my wife passed away just shy of 11 years ago. The song, Sleeping to Dream (about her) by Jason Mraz, is shared as a tribute to my wife and the love I have for her.

Number to Treat

#weekendcoffeeshare

Source: misterimmortal.com

Source: misterimmortal.com

It’s been a while since we had coffee together. I would like to share with you something surprising about the effectiveness of prescription drugs discussed in the four-minute video below.

It has to do with the total number of prescriptions that must be given out for a particular drug in order to find one patient for whom the drug actually works. Said another way, it is the proportion of patients treated with a drug that will experience its benefits.

Here, let’s watch the video

Why is this important? When a physician prescribes a drug, many patients assume that it is necessary to mange their condition and that it will have positive effects since the drug was ostensibly designed to treat their particular ailment. Therefore, they believe that they must follow doctor’s orders and keep taking the drug even though it may not actually be having beneficial effects for them.

What should patients do? When a drug is prescribed, ask your doctor what percentage of patients treated with the drug benefit from it. Ask what you should be looking for to know that the drug is effective in treating your condition. Discuss side effects and any risks if you stop taking the drug because it does not work for you.

There is so much we don’t know about health issues and the myriad angles used by pharmaceutical companies to boost sales. I hope the video was valuable to you. Hope to see you again soon!

An Interesting Take on the Existence of God

The following is an article from livingwithconfidence.net. As a scientist, I find Dan’s view on issues surrounding the existence of God very interesting.

January 2, 2017

I Call B.S. On Atheism

By Dan Pedersen
(Reblogged here)

I have a theory that there are no true atheists. That everyone, somewhere deep inside, believes that God exists. Somewhere in all of us is a flame of hope — hoping that this life is not the whole story. That when we die we will continue to exist as something more than just atoms and a memory in the minds of those we leave behind.

There’s nothing to be lost by acknowledging to ourselves that we know very little about the nature of reality. It’s perfectly reasonable to accept the possibility God exists in some way — in a way that’s hard for us to comprehend. It’s perfectly reasonable to believe the order and intelligence of this universe are no accident. The chances of it being an accident are so low that no one would take that bet if there were consequences for being wrong. If you had to bet your life’s savings on it you wouldn’t.

As Robert Lanza has said:

“The laws of physics seem to be exactly balanced for life to exist. For example, if the Big Bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful, the cosmos would have rushed out too fast for the galaxies and stars to have developed. There are over 200 physical parameters like this that could have any value but happen to be exactly right for us to be here. These fundamental constants of the universe aren’t predicted by any theory — all seem to be carefully chosen to allow for the existence of life and consciousness.”

The Big Bang Theory may very well be true (though even this is shrouded in doubt: one example here), but what happened before the Big Bang? Where did the matter come from that caused the Big Bang? How was there once nothing and then there was something? It’s about as easy to comprehend as being attracted to a frog. As neuroscientist David Eagleman has said “there are thoughts you cannot think”.

Everything is a miracle. The mere fact that we’re here, in all our complexity, is a miracle. If it’s all by chance why does chance exist in the first place? Why does Natural Selection exist? Where did that intelligence come from? Why should there be any natural “laws” at all? Why aren’t they random and subject to constant change?

As Einstein once said (about quantum mechanics), “God does not play dice with the universe.” Einstein may have meant that metaphorically, but if God doesn’t exist why doesn’t nature play dice?