Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Inspiration Is All Around

For me, one of the beauties of the blogging experience is having the opportunity to find inspiration from the thoughts and writings of others. While many blogs resemble nothing but talk radio (i.e., shout, shout, shout), there are just as many that deal with key and important issues in a respectful and thought-provoking way.

If I daily listed all the blog posts that inspire me, I wouldn't have the time to write anything of my own. Still, from time to time, I like to share with others a few of the blog entries that have inspired me. Who knows? Maybe they will inspire you too. Use the provided links to read the entirety of one or more of the posts listed below.

(Note: I've turned the comments feature off for this post simply because, if you have the desire to comment, I'm directing you to post your comments on the appropriate blogs.)
from The Yoga Loft
"Looking Away From Suffering" Jan 30, 2006
In America we have been taught to look away from suffering. I can remember when I was very little, my mother and I would shop in Pasadena and she would tell me not to look at the homeless people who were begging for money. My mother was teaching me not to care. When we look away from suffering, we deny ourselves the opportunity to understand about existence, our own existence. Since suffering exists in every aspect of life, choosing to not look at or experience suffering is choosing to not have all of life--to live superficially.

from The Useless Tree
"Curing His Addiction to Life" Jan 31, 2006
If we hold on to life too strongly, if we insist on seeing life as LIFE (an inflated image of what it really is), then we are not fully living but simply moving toward the realm of death. But if we let go of our overblown expectations of what we might accomplish in our lives, and simply live the life that is before us, there will be "no place for death" in us...

from Open Text
"It's Not Either/Or" Jan 29, 2006
God doesn't bother me, and I don't bother Him. He's happy for me to be a freelance Taoist.

Taoism's just the best thing. For example it teaches that nothing in life is black and white. Or I should say, everything is black and white.

There is nothing that is 100% good. Or 100% bad. Everything contains some good and some bad. Mother Theresa wasn't all saint, she used to like killing flies. Adolf Hitler was a monster, but he was kind to dogs and even kids.

from Transcendental Floss
"Flosstown Hall: Work" Jan 31, 2006
Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
–Zen proverb attributed to Wu Li

The latest in our Flosstown Hall series of discussion posts, it’s time to talk about work.

Do you subscribe to Wu Li’s teaching, that even the most ordinary daily tasks can be part of a spiritual journey? Or, are you more partial to the idea that true happiness is found by doing what you love? Are these two concepts even really at odds?

from Church of the Churchless
"Atheists in Foxholes Do Exist" Jan 16, 2006
Religious belief or faith is almost always individualistic. That’s a paradox, considering that humility and loss of ego usually is considered to be a religious virtue. It’s self-centered to believe that a God, guru, angel, Buddha, or whoever is going to bestow upon us the blessing of a miracle that isn’t available to all.

We are special. Divinity cares more about us than others. These beliefs underlie every intercessionary prayer. For if we merely wanted God to give us what is natural, normal, lawful, and regular, we’d merely say “thy will be done” (which, in my opinion, is the best prayer—if you feel the need to pray at all).