From Here to There: Women and Their Spiritual Journey

Ananya Sri Ram Rajan – USA

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As a young woman, I was fortunate to spend time in the presence of the spiritual teacher, J. Krishnamurti. “Krishnaji,” as he was known to some, spent his whole life studying the Self and the human condition. He is famously known for telling his followers that “Truth is a pathless land,” and constantly asking his audience “Who are you?” and “Why are you here?” While his questions were not unusual for a spiritual leader to ask, his method of addressing those questions was unique, because he did not provide a direct answer. As he spoke, Krishnaji would address how our mind works. He would talk about how we look to others for answers, an authority of some kind to tell us what to do. And he would include himself in this category and say, “Don’t listen to the speaker. Think for yourself.”

Read more: From Here to There: Women and Their Spiritual Journey

Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 27

Leo Babauta – USA

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“The field of consciousness is tiny. It accepts only

one problem at a time.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery (photo) 

Parents might have the most difficult challenges when it comes to finding focus. Whether you’re working all day and coming home to your kids, or you stay home taking care of all the household needs and very demanding children, there’s almost never a quiet moment, almost never a time when you can relax, find focus, attain inner peace.

I’m a father of six children, so I know. Kids tend to turn up the volume on life, increase the chaos of this already chaotic world by an order of several magnitudes. And while I’ve found that it gets easier as kids get older, it never gets easy — they still need you to drive them around a million places, to help them with a million problems, to meet their basic needs and more.

That’s OK — chaos and work are some of the joys of being a parent. But what if we want to find focus and still be awesome parents? There’s the challenge, and I’d like to offer a short guide to doing just that.

Read more: Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction: Part 27

Experiences of 'ultimate reality' or 'God' confer lasting benefits to mental health

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People over the millennia have reported having deeply moving religious experiences either spontaneously or while under the influence of psychedelic substances such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms or the Amazonian brew ayahuasca, and a portion of those experiences have been encounters with what the person regards as “God” or “ultimate reality.” In a survey of thousands of people who reported having experienced personal encounters with God, Johns Hopkins researchers report that more than two-thirds of self-identified atheists shed that label after their encounter, regardless of whether it was spontaneous or while taking a psychedelic.

Moreover, the researchers say, a majority of respondents attributed lasting positive changes in their psychological health ¾ e.g., life satisfaction, purpose and meaning ¾ even decades after their initial experience.

Read more: Experiences of 'ultimate reality' or 'God' confer lasting benefits to mental health

People with a sense of oneness experience greater life satisfaction

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People who believe in oneness – the idea that everything in the world is connected and interdependent – appear to have greater life satisfaction than those who don't, regardless of whether they belong to a religion or don't, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“The feeling of being at one with a divine principle, life, the world, other people or even activities has been discussed in various religious traditions but also in a wide variety of scientific research from different disciplines,” said Laura Marie Edinger-Schons, PhD, of the University of Mannheim and author of the study. “The results of this study reveal a significant positive effect of oneness beliefs on life satisfaction, even controlling for religious beliefs.”

Read more: People with a sense of oneness experience greater life satisfaction

A Practical Guide to Death and Dying – part 5

John White – USA

[A Practical Guide to Death and Dying was originally published by QUEST books in 1980. This particular version was previously published in the Theosophical Digest, y1992 v4 i2-p90.] 

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Growing Old Gracefully 

Growing Old Gracefully: The Phenix Society. 

I’m associated with the Phenix Society. I became part of it fourteen years ago because, after writing about it as a journalist, I sincerely felt it was doing valuable work in helping people to find meaning and direc­tion in life. That includes dealing with the fear of dying. The Phenix Society was born in 1973 when a handful of southern Connecticut residents began to meet regularly in search of a positive approach to aging. They were all older people who’d been through a wide variety of life’s shocks. Hobbies and week­ly bridge games for the senior citizens’ center weren’t enough to satisfy them. They vaguely sensed there was a better way, but it wasn’t until one of them read a passage in Carl Jung’s Modern Man in Search of a Soul that the answer stood out clearly. Jung wrote:

“A human being would certainly not grow to be seventy or eighty years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species to which he belongs. We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning.”

Read more: A Practical Guide to Death and Dying – part 5

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