The Secret to Happiness

The “secret” to happiness is a consistent mindset of:



And helping others

This will greatly diminish negative thoughts and attitudes, and being self-absorbed. In turn, this will result in greater expression of your spirituality.

Pillars of Spirituality

Spiritual Radiations

It seems likely that most people would consider love and compassion as universal qualities of a spiritual person. At the same time, study of the life of prominent spiritual figures such as Jesus and Buddha demonstrate other important attributes of a spiritual being.

The Four Immeasurables, also known as the Four Perfect Virtues, or as I prefer to call them, the Divine Virtues, are part of a more expansive integrated and intertwined spiritual wholeness. In my view, they are the four pillars of spirituality. The Divine Virtues can be seen as composing the “body” of the spirit. They are “internal organs” of the spirit. They keep it healthy, alive, and functioning the way it is intended.

The Divine Virtues of love, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity interact with, and inform one another. They are mutually inclusive. There is no need to reconcile one with the other; they all comprise a single being and a singular way of being.

Our personal joy and happiness arise naturally from practice of the Divine Virtues. Empathetic joy refers to joy in us arising from witnessing the special talents, successes, and good fortune of others. Empathetic joy radiates our love for the person being observed, and our gratitude for their God-given gifts.

Equanimity is mental calm, composure, and even temper in all situations. In the context of  spirituality, it is a state of inner peace from which we are able to view the world objectively, without prejudice, judgement, or emotional reaction. It is a place from which love and compassion radiate.

The inner peace that fosters equanimity can be achieved through meditation, prayer, and for some, through Chinese internal energy arts such as qigong which incorporate mindfulness into the practice. All of these serve to calm and nurture the spirit, mind, and body.

Love and compassion go hand-in-hand and lead to joy and happiness. There can be no compassion if the element of love is missing and vice versa.

How can one have empathetic joy for the happiness and special gifts we see in others without love?

How can one have love, compassion, or joy in the midst of one’s own anger, hate, jealousy, greed, fear, or emotional reaction to difficult situations?

Through equanimity, we tame our emotions and reactions so that we can clearly and objectively hear and see what is before us, and seek understanding and appreciation through patience, love, and compassion. Equanimity provides the peaceful environment within which the other three Divine Virtues thrive, grow, and radiate.


As discussion of spiritual radiation can be found here


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The Four Immeasurable Minds

How is My Divine Self Revealed?

Spirituality as a State of Being

The Trilogy of Harmony

Graceful Harmony
by Sara Goodnough

Those interested in spirituality—what it is and how to become a spiritual person—sooner or later come across the notion of harmony between spirit, mind, and body . What exactly does it mean and how do you get there? To get there one has to cultivate each of its three aspects of being. Achievement of this Trilogy of Harmony leads to sustained peace, joy, and equanimity.

A healthy, physically fit body is one of the pillars of attaining harmony between spirit, mind, and body. As an example, if we don’t feel well, or we’re weak, frail, or sick it is difficult to think clearly. Likely we are concerned about our health which takes a further toll on our mind.

In turn our spirit is also affected. We may be unable to experience lasting joy and happiness. Our worries, guilt, and regret prevent us from finding peace and equanimity.

Mental products such as our attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and actions can either feed and elevate the spirit or damage and debilitate it. This is governed by the Law of Cause and Effect. The health of our spirit is determined in large part by the way we treat other people. One should always strive to live a life characterized by honesty, integrity, compassion, and ethical behavior.

We can cultivate the mind by meditation, striving to be wholly present through mindfulness and working to stop the constant train of useless thoughts so many of us experience. It is also important to allow only wholesome thoughts, and to maintain a positive and virtuous outlook.

A cultivated mind and body naturally leads to a greater expression of our spirit in everyday life. Buddha’s Four Immeasurables well illustrate the essence of spiritual expression and the results of the Trilogy of Harmony. The Immeasurables are: love, compassion, equanimity, and empathetic joy. These four are also known as the four sublime or extraordinary states of mind, which to me, illustrate the affect the spirit can have on the mind.

I hope from this discussion you begin to see the importance of achieving the Trilogy of Harmony for a happy, healthy, rewarding, and productive life, and how the spirit, mind, and body support and interact with each other. If any one of these three pillars of harmony is not in a healthy, positive state, then the trilogy is broken. As we all know, each of the three components can function independently, but without the elevated state of being (especially of the spirit) that the Trilogy of Harmony brings. You cannot give yourself a gift greater than the fulfillment, happiness, joy, and peace that achieving this harmony will create.

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A Path from Darkness
How Does One Sustain a Spiritual Outlook?

One Man’s Sabbath

Water by Rosalyn Stock Source:

Water by Rosalyn Stock

This man’s Sabbath begins looking out my kitchen windows at the beautiful golden early morning light shining through the trees. I think about how beautiful it is and wonder how much more beautiful God’s light would be in heaven.

I watch the swirls, ripples, and reflection of light in the lovely blue water and imagine that the quality of spirit may be likened to that of water—free flowing and yielding; yet, its flow cannot be stopped by anything in its path as any impediments will eventually yield to its power.

I get in touch with my body and its internal energy as I do my daily tai chi practice. At the same time, I listen to the birds songs heralding the new day and God’s glory.

Before breakfast I say my morning prayers which begin with the Lord’s Prayer. This is followed by prayers for world harmony, and  prayers for the delivery of the people of the world from evil. Lastly, I pray for mercy for all those who have, are, and will be directly affected by the many disasters and tragedies that have been happening around the world. I also ask for healing for the survivors and for those who lost loved ones.

I usually listen to popular music in the background during the day when I am home. However, on this day, if I listen to music, it is soft instrumental music that does not demand my attention and ideally gives a somewhat ethereal ambiance.

I do not surf the web, look at Facebook, or watch TV. I refrain from doing errands and work. Instead, I try to free my mind from worldly concerns or desires and focus on spiritual matters. I have no plans for the day and just embrace the quiet and solitude. I may read from a diversity of religious books and writings to mine for spiritual truths and expand my spiritual vision.

As evening approaches, I do my qigong practice and meditate to further enhance harmony between spirit, mind, and body. The evening meal marks the end of this man’s Sabbath that I leave with a conscious desire and intent to continue this day’s devotions throughout the coming week.

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Prayers for Harmony

Copyright 2014 by Blair Atherton

Copyright 2014 by Blair Atherton

In world of divisiveness and fear, I offer the following prayers for harmony. I hope that many of you will join me in saying these prayers on a daily basis. There is so much evil in the world today and so many misguided and lost souls that need our prayers. Thank you.

Prayer for World Harmony

My dear Lord,

I pray for peace, harmony, security, equality, and freedom for all of the children of Earth.

We long for the time when goodness and light will once again prevail over the evil and darkness which have ruled the earth for far too long.

I pray that your sacred light will continually grow ever brighter and purge the earth of all shadows and darkness where evil abides.

May we come to understand that our salvation will not come through blind adherence to the doctrines and edicts of our religious faith.

But rather, simply by loving you and living a life of unselfish goodness and virtue.

May harmony between spirit, mind, and body found by the one extend to the many and
result in peace among nations and a spiritual renewal and awakening of the people of the world.

Lord hear my prayer!


The foregoing expresses aspirations for all people. The following prayer seeks harmony within us as individuals.

Prayer for Harmony

Dear God,

I strive to make myself whole, and by doing so come closer to you.

I wish to find the sacred harmony between spirit, mind, and body.

My only desire is to serve and honor you by expression of my spirit
through acts of love and compassion.

I pray that my spirit may one day become attuned with, and radiate your divine love for all things.


Author’s note

My second prayer is an excerpt from a previous article “Harmony Between Spirit, Mind, and Body.”

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