As a member of Eckhart Tolle’s website I receive emails alerting me to his latest teachings and talks. The June teaching focuses on using boredom for spiritual growth.
Using boredom? Seems crazy, right? It’s not. Eckhart shows how boredom provides a profound opportunity for entering a state of presence. How?
First, let’s define what we mean by boredom. It’s how we feel when nothing is happening. You’re sitting in your car at a red light and there’s nothing going on. A commercial comes on when you’re watching a live television show. …
I’ll confess at the outset that Seinfeld is my favorite show of all time. A conservative estimate is that I’ve seen every episode at least four times. George, Elaine, Kramer, the Soup Nazi, Puddy…I love it all.
The show ended in 1998. And yet…When I’m feeling overwhelmed or highly perturbed about something, I’ll borrow from the George Costanza hospital room scene when he thinks he’s had a heart attack and is going to die, and say to my wife, as George did to Jerry:
“Kill me, Jerry. I want you to kill me.”
My four year old daughter even blurts…
Ram Dass captivated an entire generation of spiritual seekers back in the 1960s and 1970s, a period of intense cultural turbulence. His Be Here Now, published in 1971, is in any conversation of the most influential spiritual books of the past 100 years. It’s a must-read for anybody interested in spiritual growth (here’s the Amazon link.)
Born Richard Alpert in Boston in 1931, he had a privileged upbringing as the son of a railroad president. Academic success led to teaching stints at Stanford and Harvard. It was in the early 1960s at Harvard that Ram Dass famously (infamously?) …
I’m visiting my brother Dan in Pauma Valley, California, this weekend. About forty miles inland from San Diego, Pauma is located in a stunningly beautiful valley surrounded by two mountains, one of them Palomar, atop which sits one of the great observatories in the world.
It also has one of the best golf courses in California. With its mixture of natural beauty, great golf and remoteness, it’s no wonder that the likes of Bill Murray and Huey Lewis own homes here.
As I get ready to play a round with my brother, it seems like the right place and time…
I’ve written about the life path/purpose of life in other articles. This one focuses on how much better we’d all feel on a daily basis if we struck a certain path.
First, let’s examine the more common paths people take in the 21st century world we live in. In America, sadly, the culture pushes a path that can best be described as ‘be successful.’
Be the best!
This translates mostly to being successful in a career. And that translates to being the ‘highest’ you can be. CEO. Nobel Prize winning doctor. Hall of Fame baseball player. Gazillionaire entrepreneur. …
At the ripe old age of fifty, Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship last week, becoming the oldest player to win one of golf’s four major tournaments (U.S. Open, British Open, Masters and PGA). He said that meditation was the key factor in his victory.
Why? What did meditation do to help him turn around a disappointing past few years on the tour? It boils down to one word:
For those of you who don’t know much about golf, consider this. In a four hour round a player spends roughly three minutes performing golf shots. That leaves 237 minutes…
In the past few years of writing about and teaching meditation, I get one question more than any other:
“Are you saying that thinking is bad?”
No. I’m not. Nor are Michael Singer, Eckhart Tolle or Thich Nhat Hanh.
How does this come up? Well, meditation is about quieting our minds by placing attention on something other than our thoughts. Breathing, sounds, bodily sensations. All in the service of redirecting attention away from our thinking minds.
The mind as kidnapper
That thinking that we’re trying to avoid, or at least observe when we meditate, is what I call unintentional thinking…
Grievances. We all have them. What do I mean by grievances? I’ll define it as harboring bad feelings about others.
And here’s what matters: They do us absolutely no good and all harm. Try this. Take a moment and think about someone you currently have a grievance with. Now ask yourself: Is anything good coming to me by feeling this way?
Poisonous packets of pus
The answer is, in just about every case, a resounding NO. Not only does nothing good come from it, but we actually pay a price. Because every grievance manifests as a packet of psychic, poisonous…
On March 27, 1975, Denzel Washington was hanging out in his mom’s beauty parlor in Mount Vernon, New York. He’d dropped out of Fordham University after his less-than-stellar 1.7 GPA led the higher-ups to “suggest” he take some time away to get his act together. He had no idea what his next move was. He was lost.
In his rousing commencement address given at Dillard University in 2015, Washington relates that at the beauty parlor that day was an elderly woman with her hair under a dryer who kept looking at him. Finally, she called out, “Everybody. I have a…
Yogananda was one of the towering Indian saints of the 20th Century. Born in 1894, he spent almost the entirety of his life in America between 1920 and his death in 1952.
His service in bringing Hindu and yoga teachings to the West was foretold by Lahiri Mahasaya, his guru’s guru. Mahasaya told his disciple, Sri Yukteswar, that a special devotee would seek him out someday and that he should send this person to America to spread the teachings. Several decades later, long after Mahasaya’s death, Yogananda came upon Sri Yukteswar who informed him of his long foretold fate.