“In the happy moments, praise God. In the difficult moments, seek God. In the quiet moments, trust God. In every moment, thank God.”
Fig¹. Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash
Fig¹. Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash
Come down from your energy high, your doerism, your list. Your take-care-of -the-top-priorities-at-work, and get-done-with-all-your email focus. Don’t go to the drycleaners or grocery store. Stop cleaning your home, pushing yourself on your career, helping your kids (for a moment), trying to have kids, networking, volunteering, or getting a match.com date.
Stop worrying. Stop thinking about the future.
Stop your TV show. Your podcast. Your Spotify.
Just honor that other person in front of you, in a space of servitude, awe and love. The people in our lives are amazing. Be amazed.
Ram Dass teaches us to honor the divine in everyone, regardless of their background, religion, ethnicity, or thoughts. He’s practiced this at Harvard, India and all over, striving to bring peace to the world, person by person.
So, who do you see the divine in today? Who amazes you today?
For me, it is my Mom. She is a great person, a great mom, a sincere friend a shining light of care for others. She is that peacegiver of divine love, loving others, all the time.
Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert; April 6, 1931) is an American contemporary spiritual teacher and the author of the seminal 1971 book Be Here Now. He is known for his personal and professional associations with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960s, for his travels to India and his relationship with the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, and for founding the charitable organizations Seva Foundation and Hanuman Foundation.
During his psychedelic research, Ram Dass traveled to India in 1967 and met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as Maharajji, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.” Since 1968, Ram Dass has pursued a panoramic array of spiritual methods and practices from potent ancient wisdom traditions. He has also practiced karma yoga or spiritual service, which opened up many other souls to their deep yet individuated spiritual practice and path. His unique skill in getting people to cut through and feel divine love without dogma is still a positive influence on many people from all over the planet. He now resides on Maui, where he shares his teachings through the internet and through retreats on Maui. His work continues to be a path of inspiration to his old students and friends as well as young people and newcomers.
－ Warren Bennis
I was honored to work in Leadership under Warren Bennis, a wonderful Business Leader. Ever calm and so very experienced, he taught us to look at life from an evaluative outlook.
What can I learn from this today?
How can I become better?
How will my life be better once I implement what I have learned?
Take each step of life with great step of gratitude, goodness, and desire to grow. And upwards you go! With grace and peace. Thank you, dear Warren Bennis.
Warren Bennis was a pioneer in Leadership studies, writing numerous influential books on the subject, including Leaders and Leading For a Lifetime. He was raised in New Jersey and he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943. During his time in the U.S. Army, he received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. After his time in the military, he went on to attend Antioch College, receiving his B.A. in 1951. He continued his education at the London School of Economics before receiving his Ph.D. from MIT in 1955. His focus was on Economics. He was a business professor at the University of Southern California. In 2007, BusinessWeek named him one of the top ten thought leaders in business. He has been married twice and has 4 children.
Bio Source: Wikipedia
Fig¹. Photo by Lucas on Pexels
Fig². Photo by bruce mars on Pexels
We’re not going to be defeated. We are not going to be down. We are not going to be swayed into disagreements. We are going to focus on unity. We are going to focus on love.
We are not to going to get into a negative mindset. We are not going to follow the crowd of negativity. We are going to believe, we are going to love, we are going to give even if it hurts, even if it’s hard, even if we’re going against the pattern of the current tide.
Thank you for helping me and all of us — focus on a great sense of unity and love for the entire world. We can do it together, hand in hand.
We are not going to accept the negative train of thought, we’re going to focus on positivity.
I will not be swayed by negative politics, I will use politics for a positive voice.
I will not by swayed by sexual harassment, I will keep my life and my mind pure. I will not be swayed by selfish business dealings, I will do business for the good of the world.
I will not be swayed by evil, I will make ethical choices at all points. I will not be saddened by divorce, I will be loving to everyone I meet.
Do not accept what the world is telling, love instead.
In 1919 Armenian George Gurdjieff founded the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Tbilisi, Georgia, in order to serve men in peace. Yet Mr. Gurdjieff’s commitment to helping others began with himself. It was about complete self awareness; absorption in meditation; and pushing oneself to a higher attunement to the Spirit. In so doing, we are then able to be conscious of our own spirituality as foremost in thought.
From that standpoint, we can then go on to help others. We see everyone connected in spirit. We wish the best for others as we strive for peace and perfect alignment for spirit for ourselves. So we focus first on our own spiritual commitment, before we focus on helping other’s spirit, in this wonderful journey of life.
George Gurdjieff was an Armenian mystic and philosopher. He traveled in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia as a young man.
He was born to a Caucasus Greek father, and an Armenian mother in Alexandropol (now Gyumri). Early influences on him included his father, a carpenter and amateur ashik or bardic poet. The young Gurdjieff avidly read Russian-language scientific literature. Influenced by these writings, and having witnessed a number of phenomena that he could not explain, he formed the conviction that there is a hidden truth not to be found in science or in mainstream religion.
He taught in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and in 1919 he founded the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia. In 1922 he reestablished the institute at Fontainebleau, France, gathering a group of followers who lived communally, engaging in philosophical dialogue, ritual exercises, and dance. His basic assertion was that ordinary living was akin to sleep and that through spiritual discipline it was possible to achieve heightened levels of vitality and awareness. The Fontainebleau centre closed in 1933, but Gurdjieff continued to teach in Paris until his death.
Bio source: Wikipedia
Fig¹. Paola Chaaya on Unsplash
Fig². Josh Appel on Unsplash
My beloved Oma was one of my best friends. And yet she is with me constantly. It’s not easy, it never will be, but it changes. I am learning to become more natural in my connection with her, even though I can’t see her. I can still feel her presence, I can still feel her love.
I spoke this from memory at her service, and I still love it to this day. Oma, I know you are “just around the corner.” I love you, Oma.
—Henry Scott Holland
Henry Scott Holland was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford. He was also a canon of Christ Church, Oxford.
Henry was born at Ledbury, Herefordshire the son of George Henry Holland of Dumbleton Hall, Evesham, and of the Hon. Charlotte Dorothy Gifford, the daughter of Lord Gifford. He finished his studies in Balliol College in Oxford, England where he had the Oxford degrees of DD, MA, and Honorary DLitt. He was elected as a Student (fellow) of Christ Church, Oxford after graduation and later went to St Paul’s Cathedral where he was appointed canon in 1884.
He was keenly interested in social justice and formed PESEK (Politics, Economics, Socialism, Ethics and Christianity) and tried to heal urban poverty. In 1889, he formed the Christian Social Union. In 1910, he was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, a post he held until his death in 1918. While at St Paul’s Cathedral, Holland delivered a sermon in May 1910 following the death of King Edward VII, titled Death the King of Terrors, in which he explores the natural but seemingly contradictory responses to death: the fear of the unexplained and the belief in continuity. It is from his discussion of the latter that perhaps his best-known writing, Death is nothing at all, is drawn:
“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”
The affinity of Holland’s passage to St. Augustine’s thoughts in his 4th Century letter 263 to Sapida is clear. In it St. Augustin writes that Sapida’s brother and their love, although he has died, still are there, like gold that still is yours even if you save it in some locker.
Bio source: Wikipedia
Fig¹．Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash
Wealth is a state of mind and life. We tend to associate poverty with money. But poverty can be mental, emotional or Spiritual Poverty. I am often struck by this in my travel and volunteering in developing nations. Often, the divorce rates are low. Families not only stay together, but also spend time together. They gather food from the fields together, cook together and share meals together.
Contrast us: 15 minute family dinners if we are lucky. Fast-food and food distanced from its natural base. We eat alone; we eat in our cars. Divorces are easier to get, and in our mind it can be easier to allow those thoughts in as a possibility, rather than work through critical issues. So we lose the connection to family. We lose the connection to the local farm. We can lose the connection to long-term commitment.
We lose our greatest asset in natural wealth: relationships. Relationships with ourselves, our families, the earth. This wealth creates happy, balanced, productive, lower stress lifestyles, because we are connected in the way we are meant to be.
Further, we often pass by our heritage and where we come from. In many emerging nations, and especially in the continent of Africa, we see tribes value their connection to their heritage as primary importance even above their nationality. There is a deep-rooted connection to rituals and history which keeps people grounded in who they are, and the deeper, long-term meaning of being a part of a larger community in their lives.
Poverty is about money, at times. It has to be addressed as people should have the opportunity to live productive lives and make choices about what they would like to devote their lives to. Poverty is also about our well-being. Often when we get beyond “money poverty,” we forget “well-being poverty,” and get trapped in a go-go-go consumer culture.
I hope we can celebrate the healthy wealth that is accessible to us all in positive, committed relationships with ourselves, one another, our families, our earth, our communities and our heritage. How wonderful this is available to us all.
Fig. 1: Photo by Lee Myungseon on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Sai De Silva on Usnplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Ramdan Authentic on Unsplash
Fig. 4: Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash