It is wisdom to embrace change. We should not block distractions or give in to them. Instead, I should welcome them as friends: Hello fear! Hello itch...more It is wisdom to embrace change. We should not block distractions or give in to them. Instead, I should welcome them as friends: Hello fear! Hello itch! How are you? Why don't you stick around a while so we can get to know each other?" This practice of welcoming thoughts, emotions, and sensations is commonly referred to as mindfulness, drenpa in Tibetan language, that is, to become conscious. Once I offer to make friends with my mind, it's astonishing to discover how shy it soon becomes. When I no longer resist a powerful emotion like fear, I am free to channel that energy in a more constructive direction. When I hire problems as my bodyguard, allied with me not against me, they show me how powerful my mind is. Their very fierceness will make me aware of how strong I am. The reason behind the anxiety is not the problem I might be having because, in reality, the problem is not the problem but the real problem is the thoughts I may be having about the problem. It is my perspective-the way I choose to look at my situation. Troubles, sufferings offer an opportunity to discover a more vivid sense of peace, clarity, and compassion. The problem is the solution. Simply stay with the situation, look at it directly. This allows a bit of space to spontaneously open up around it, allowing us to see it as an endless ocean in which experience is nothing more than one among a series of waves- now rising, now falling-never separate from a limitless expanse. (less)
To begin with, the author does have the gift of teaching and he an excellent communicator at that. He is the kind I can hear for hours at a time and n...moreTo begin with, the author does have the gift of teaching and he an excellent communicator at that. He is the kind I can hear for hours at a time and never get bored. It is evident that he is gentle and warm-hearted. He starts from the very basic and makes meditation really enjoyable and not as intimidating as I thought it might be. The main chapter that explains the how-to is chapter 4 "Connecting with the Breath". Indeed, meditation can be done and it has lots of benefits according to all well-documented, scientific research. (less)
Another good book by Joseph Murphy, and if you read his most prominent works you would catch onto his thought pattern and wonderful inspiring ideas. T...moreAnother good book by Joseph Murphy, and if you read his most prominent works you would catch onto his thought pattern and wonderful inspiring ideas. This book is saying that your mind can work miracles and it is up to you in how you use your subconscious i.e. mind. I particularly enjoyed the chapter "The Subconscious Mind and Health". We are blessed to have a pdf copy of this book online: http://www.surrenderworks.com/miracle... I particularly liked this quotes from the book:
Our prayers are not a begging for health, but are affirmations of the healing of the unhealthy element the patient wants to attack stated in such a positive, repetitious manner that eventually it sinks into the subconscious, and becomes a part of that person,' Dr. Parker said.
I would like to stress a few important factors here relative to the workings of the subconscious mind. A man came to me one time and asked me why it was when he kept on saying to himself, "I have no headache," that the pain did not go away? The sub- conscious mind will not easily accept this contradiction; it accepts only what you believe and feel as true, or accept, as possible. If you mentally accept the possibility of the execution of your idea, the subconscious will cooperate. In order to impress the sub- conscious mind, you must gain its cooperation. If you can convince the subconscious mind you have no headache, the headache will go away.
I suggested to him this method: Declare: "It is passing away," over and over again quietly and peacefully. In this way he would be better able to sell the idea or conclusion to the wise, deep self, called the subconscious mind. He got results; he added something to it, "It will never return." For years he has never had any migraine attacks from which he suffered frequently. He had a belief or an expectancy that every Tuesday and Saturday morning, he would get migraine attacks. This feeling acted as an auto- suggestion to his subconscious mind; the latter obliged him by seeing to it that he would have a headache at the time specified. It simply said, "It is Tuesday morning; the boss wants a headache." The negative suggestion was removed by the above counter suggestion. (less)
The body should be seen in perspective, not underestimated, not overestimated. We should seek to develop a healthy view of our body. Martini is sheer...moreThe body should be seen in perspective, not underestimated, not overestimated. We should seek to develop a healthy view of our body. Martini is sheer joy and sheer delight for me to read. For his sake I hope to learn Italian and read every word of his writings in his native tongue. I grew up as a Muslim with an inferior view of the body as the source of evil and most of it is termed in Islam as "`awra" i.e. a cause of shame. We should never be ashamed of our bodies, and that is the true message of Christianity. The body is for the Lord and the Lord is for the body. God is not an enemy to our bodies but, if anything, he is FOR our bodies, taking our side.
First the author discusses what it means to have a healthy body at all costs. We should not worship our bodies to the point of obsession, or this would be the "religion of the body". We have to be careful not to lose our soul for our body (p. 14). All around us we have shrines and sacred rituals intended for the recovery of health, beauty, strength, and youth. In our age, more than any other time ever before, we believe we have the means to be healthy all the time and we are not content for less. We have a made a god out of technology and have refused to accept limitations. In fact we treat technology as omnipotent. The doctor can't come up with the ideal cure and we get upset and rebellious. Illness becomes an accuser to us: What did I do wrong? Why did it have to happen to me? In sickness, are are brought to reflect more on ourselves, our bodiliness, the frailty of the human condition, of my being a creature, I question everything, that is. I would even wonder whether life is worth living as is when, after all, we eventually die. In essence, I simply ask: What is my body? Aha, I see, I am not my own master, not the master of my body or my destiny. I am not even the master of my end. This body has an end: the body is meant for the Lord. The Lord here should be the main goal of my life (1 Cor. 6: 13). Even Jesus experienced fear of death, and like Him we also should turn it all into prayer: My Father, if this is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want, but what you want" (Matt. 26: 39). We should be careful not to make an idol out of technology, because it is just a means, not an end. Martini announces that sickness for us should be a call for help, for love, and for meaning. Physical pain can become an opportunity for interaction instead of a loss of meaning, an opportunity for sharing instead of isolation, an opportunity for accepting our own differences and those of others (p. 24). Suffering can be an opportunity for us to experience conversion, to be more transformed like Jesus. But we still have to want that and seek meaning to our existence in the midst of sickness. Life is not a journey towards nothingness as Sartre claims, but a journey towards the Lord God Almighty who is coming to meet us. Do we pray because we are seeking results or because we enjoy conversing with God? When we are sick, we can choose to allow sickness to inspire us so that we suffer together with Jesus, in the awareness of completing what is lacking in Christ's affliction for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (Col. 1: 24).
Just as the body of Jesus is a revelation of glory, the Invisible made visible, the narration of God among humankind, so our body, a totality comprised o flesh and spirit, is meant to be a mirror in which divine beauty is reflected (p. 39).
The book is written with a high degree of precision, words are carefully chosen in a highly concise yet poetic manner. I would read paragraph over and over and feel I am getting something new and apply it to my own setting for the present moment. Each paragraph of his can be expanded into books and you would wish he would speak more but you just have to keep reading and that is Martini for you, a man of a golden heart and mouth. My prayer is to be able to read all his books, even those in Italian, and it is for his sake primarily that I am working on my learning of Italian so I can savor every word he says. He is definitely a high mentor of mine in all his teachings. (less)
الكتاب دراسة أكاديمية ممتازة حول الكهانة عند الساميين وهذا يشمل العرب فيما قبل الإسلام ويبين التشابه ما بين الكهانة العربية والكهانة الإسلامية التي تظ...moreالكتاب دراسة أكاديمية ممتازة حول الكهانة عند الساميين وهذا يشمل العرب فيما قبل الإسلام ويبين التشابه ما بين الكهانة العربية والكهانة الإسلامية التي تظهر في أبهى حلية لها في سور القرآن الكريم إذ كثير من سوره ليست إلا كهانة بدوية من الطراز الأول. يميل الكتاب إلى الاقتضاب حيث وجب التفصيل وبالطبع الطابع الأكاديمي له يجعله مملاً أحيانا ويخاطب فئة الدارسين الجامعيين وهذا يفقده عنصر التشويق في بعض الأحيان.. الترجمة جيدة وعيبها أن المترجم يجهل السريانية ويجهل العبرانية وهذا يوقعه في مازق فيترجمة كلمة "الرائي" الأرامية "حازي" كما هي وكأننا نستخدم كلمة حازي كل يوم وهذا جهل يؤسف له من جانب المترجم.. الفعل "حزا" بالأرامية يعني "يرى " بالعربية وكان من الواجب ترجمة كلمة حازي على أنها "الرائي" إذ أن النبي في المجتمع البدوي كان هو الحكيم الرائي الكاهن أبو العريف والعليم ببواطن الأمور ومش بعيد يطلع الطبيب والباشتمرجي كمان.(less)
No more of this book! You may wonder why no more with this book. Well, Turn to surat Nissa (women chapter), and read the fourth chapter, verse 34, and...moreNo more of this book! You may wonder why no more with this book. Well, Turn to surat Nissa (women chapter), and read the fourth chapter, verse 34, and put yourself in my place when you discover this books permits the male to read the woman, just because she is not a male. Here is the whole verse: "If you fear high-handednessb from your wives, remind them [of the teachings of God:], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them."
A book supposedly sacred encourages me to beat a woman because I am a male is no sacred in the least! (less)
I have always been a big fan of Francis de Sales for his deep piety and intimacy with Christ. To know that he had had spiritual friendship with women...moreI have always been a big fan of Francis de Sales for his deep piety and intimacy with Christ. To know that he had had spiritual friendship with women and corresponded with them is even more appealing to me as I know what a woman is capable of spiritually and how much she can add to a relationship. Women generally tend to see what men can't see; women can see behind the corners because the Lord has given them the sixth sense. While we men see with just our two eyes, women definitely tend to have 3 eyes, if only they would choose to use them by constantly connecting with the divine. In this book you will not meet a woman and a man walking around with a halo on their heads, too holy to be touched, but instead you will meet real people like you and me. What took place between 1567 and 1641 is possible to occur once again in our too busy world where our loneliness increased more than ever before. From this book I learn that you can experience real close and mutuality with a woman if Jesus the center of this relationship, and here love would be pure, and not driven by hormones. Indeed, such loved can be attested to as having "the bond of perfection" as the Bible says. But your relationship with a lady has to be anchored in your common love for God. A lady is not just your friend, girlfriend, wife, lover, etc. but she is somebody with whom you enjoy spiritual friendship, and so you enjoy mutually your spiritual gifts and support each other in your commitment to faithfulness. You are there to assist each other humbly as you grow together day after day in your companionship of Jesus, seeking to be more and more like Jesus, to be perfect as our Father who is in Heaven is perfect. Because of Jesus, you will recognize tendencies to become possessive of each other which lead to violence. Jesus is there to purge us of that because the the relationship from the beginning is founded on Jesus. Because of Jesus, you will respect each other as individuals and your spiritual friendship will bear fruit. Francis and Jane will here teach us that the deepest intimacy we may experience as men is not in having just "a partner" in our lives but Christ is here in our midst and gives us to each other, and we together incarnate divine love. The relationship has to be also founded upon mutuality in sharing and confession. To share is to confess. To confess is to be vulnerable and completely open to the other person. This produces healing, genuine intimacy and reconciliation.
There is no doubt I can read this book over and over again and NEVER get bored. Francis de Sales is a man after my own heart. He offers practical advice that shows how much God is a God of grace and to be loved and not to be anxious about. These letters are written as if they are written by a friend I have known for a long time. So human a man and so human are also his words. It makes me want to get more serious and read the rest of his works in French. They can be all accessed here: http://www.google.com/search?client=s...
I expected a lot more out of Fr Thomas Michel, S.J. in this book. The book is mesh-mash of everything. When talking about whether to proclaim or diaol...moreI expected a lot more out of Fr Thomas Michel, S.J. in this book. The book is mesh-mash of everything. When talking about whether to proclaim or diaoluge, he doesn't mind tucking in the Tao and "coming to harmony with the eternal Tao, realizing the Buddha nature in oneself" (p. 20). Fr Tom, is that a Buddhist view of Islam? Or a general course in the study of religion? When I go to Muslims, I hope I am going with my head up high, not compromising and not talking about the Tao of Buddha. This mesh mash of religions and the universalistic trend that runs throughout the whole book is terribly frustrating. I am thankful I converted to Christianity before reading that book!!(less)
That book was a disappointment to me because the title says "holiness" and it is supposedly a set of lectures given to Carmelite nuns. My mouth waters...moreThat book was a disappointment to me because the title says "holiness" and it is supposedly a set of lectures given to Carmelite nuns. My mouth waters when I hear Carmelite spirituality and those who read the Bible prayerfully, Lectio Divina. Yet it turns out it is a piece of excessively universalistic literature. Well, if I want to get my dose of Buddhism I am going to turn to Buddhist masters and scholars and get inspired from there. But this book is a mesh-mash of all these religions and non-religions and and on the cover of the book he slaps the title "holiness". Either it is deceptive or too compromising. But if it is meant to address my Christian sentiments, it MUST always bring me back on my knees before Christ or we are laughing at ourselves. The book was translated into Arabic by Dar Al Machreq and since it was originally written in English I checked it out of the library via inter-library loan. It was so boring. It felt wish-washy and Jesus will spit out the wishy washy. (less)
The author has for his foundation the hypothesis that God will save everyone. It is a sweet sentiment on his part, but in order for this "open buffet"...moreThe author has for his foundation the hypothesis that God will save everyone. It is a sweet sentiment on his part, but in order for this "open buffet" theology to take place, the person needing salvation has to ask for help in order to get saved. Salvation is not just one of these things that are too available for everybody but a person has to cry to the Lord in order to help him. He has to say, "Please help, I need help. I need being saved. Save me from myself". Even such a cry vocally is not enough to get saved. The person has to reach out his hand and heart to receive salvation from the One who saves those who distinctly make it known to Him that they "need" him. The trouble with this theology of "God will save everyone" is that they think that they are making reservations up there in Heaven as if they are booking a flight and making reservations to Hawaii or something. Salvation is simply the gift of eternal life which we don't have at a later point in life but we either have it now or not. This is an eternal life we receive from the hands of Christ as we put our trust in Him, not for having this kind of fancy idea here or there.
The author preaches "universal salvation" which means God will save everybody. This theology pathetically presents God as a "gate-keeper" who has the keys and he is letting everybody in, as a sweet granny giving away cookies to everybody. Well, God is not a "gate-Keeper" that would let this in or send this person into Hellfire as a Muslim might believe. Salvation is best expressed along the lines of the Early Fathers of the Church term "synergia" i.e. working together in synergy. Yes, God offers salvation, but to whom? Answer: Only to the person that reaches out to receive it. He is a God who comes to us by Himself and keeps knowing at the door and we either let him in or shut the door in his face. In both cases he is a gentleman of a Lord. He never pushes Himself on anybody. We either let him in and thus receive his salvation OR shut the door in his face and a few minutes keep crying like a child, "Look, he's left me. He is gone by. He passed me by". This is exactly the complaint of the bride in the Song of Songs, "I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had turned away, and was gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer." (Song of Songs 5: 2-6). This passage from the Sacred Scripture is an excellent refutation of this allegation of "universal salvation". It is not his fault that we shut the door and refused to let him in. It is our own fault. If we let him in as the Lover of our souls, He gives us salvation, day by day till we meet him face to face. If we shut the door, he simply goes away in sadness and grief over our separation from him. It is sufficient to read about his passionate love for us in the "Prophets" by my beloved rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
I am not impressed with this author as he has people who invent a Christianity of their own imagination such as Marcus Borg and John Shelby Spong. He sees Christianity through the rigid structured eyes of people like Borg and Spong. It is a narcissist Western view that seeks to fashion God after its own pattern. You see it in talk shows and modern American psychology and so on. Faith is to be received and lived, not for theorizing or theologizing. These people have reduced our Saviour to an idea of their own and made a saviour on their own and in their own image. The Bible is to be read as a whole as the message of the God of love. It was unfortunate that he faulted the Bible when he should have faulted his own insecurities which he has projected on the Bible. Frankly I have no patience with that type of books.
I used to have a picture of Martin Luther in my room with pride and great admiration but when I read such hateful things he would have to say about th...moreI used to have a picture of Martin Luther in my room with pride and great admiration but when I read such hateful things he would have to say about the Jews, it broke my heart and I lost all respect for Martin Luther with his Nazi views. (less)