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Origins of Harmony – 12 Insights about the Yin Yang

Origins of Harmony – 12 Insights about the Yin Yang

The yin yang is one of the most well known symbols in Eastern philosophy, seen across art, literature, music, philosophy and science over thousands of years. Rooted in history, the yin yang is also a useful and highly relevant concept for modern life – teaching balance, harmony, and peaceful opposition Here are 12 insights into the legendary wisdom this powerful symbol evokes: 1. The yin yang first appeared in Chinese philosophy as early as 3rd Century B.C. 2. The yin yang is always shown as...

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Meditation in Different Traditions

Meditation in Different Traditions

    Meditation brings to mind traditional methods and iconography – yet at its heart, the practice is a personal exploration, a search for meaning undiluted by variation on cultures. Here are just a few examples of how and where meditation practice exists within a vast medley of traditions Baha’i faith holds meditation as a gateway for uniting oneself with the divine forces present in the universe. While reading of texts is recommended as an entry point, there are no set forms...

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4 Teachings to Guide Us Within

4 Teachings to Guide Us Within

    The deepest sense of “self” is what guides us, heals us, and ultimately helps us find our purest inner direction on the outward path of life. Here are several thoughts from notable teachers on the significance of listening to the voice that speaks from inside each person, ourselves especially.   Thich Nhat Hanh: You are what you want to become. Why search anymore? You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible....

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Zen Story: The Stone Mind

Zen Story: The Stone Mind

        The wise Zen teacher was walking on the mountain pass with one of his young students. The teacher kept silent while the student spoke the entire time of Zen and the mind. After some distance the two men reached a giant boulder. The teacher inquired softly of the student, “There is a big stone. Do you consider it to be inside or outside your mind?” The student replied confidently, “In Zen everything is an objectification of the mind. Therefore I would say that...

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Zen Story: The Warrior’s Question

Zen Story: The Warrior’s Question

  A noble warrior went to the Zen temple seeking peace. Upon finding the master in calm meditation, the warrior was overcome with sadness. Though he knew he had fought bravely and justly his entire life, he feared that he would never possess the grace of the man before him. “Why do I feel so inferior?” asked the warrior. “I know I have fought with honor, defended the weak, and I have nothing to be ashamed of. Yet seeing you just now, I felt my life had no significance...

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Zen Story – Great Waves

Zen Story – Great Waves

    Long ago there lived a famous wrestler whose name meant “Great Waves.” He was massively strong and knew the art of wrestling. In private bouts he defeated even his teacher, yet in public was so bashful that even his students threw him down. Troubled, the wrestler decided to visit a Zen temple for help. There, a wise teacher advised him. “Great Waves is your name,” said the teacher. “So spend tonight in the temple. Imagine that you are water. You are no longer a wrestler...

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Zen Story: Practice

Zen Story: Practice

  Thought: If we look at life as a circular path, a line without beginning or end, then we can learn to shift or focus away from the “final destination” at the end of the road and towards the gently curving slope of the absolute present moment.     One day a small boy was playing near the river when he saw an old man with a long beard seated in the sand. The boy moved closer and watched as the old man drew a perfect circle into the sand. “Hey, old man, how did you draw...

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10 Thoughts on Human Connections and Spirituality

10 Thoughts on Human Connections and Spirituality

  On our spiritual journey, friends and strangers intersect our path time and time again. Here are 10 thoughts from different teachers on how nurturing these human connections can transform lives besides our own.   1. Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity – Khalil Gibran 2. With every true friendship, we build more firmly the foundations on which the peace of the whole world rests – Gandhi 3. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent...

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Purpose and Use of Spiritual Tools

Purpose and Use of Spiritual Tools

  Spiritual tools are practical items that help us discover and nurture inner peace. They have been used for thousands of years to enhance meditation rituals, prayer and personal reflection time. Today their relevance is stronger than ever – in our over-scheduled lives, a few minutes of peaceful practice can strengthen our spiritual identity and improve our health of mind.     Mala Beads Mala beads, or rosaries, are used during meditation as a way to balance the mind. Malas...

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Zen Story: Life’s Purpose in a Drop of Water

Zen Story: Life’s Purpose in a Drop of Water

    A Zen master asked a young student to bring him a pail of water to cool his bath. The student brought the water, and after cooling the bath, threw the remaining water over the ground. “Think,” said the master to the student. “You could have watered the temple plants with those few drops you have thrown away.” The young student understood Zen in that exact moment. He changed his name to Tekisui, which means drop of water, and lived to become a wise Zen master...

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