Our Soul Animates Our Body and Mind

The Soul Animates Body and Mind

The Soul Animates The Body and Mind

The soul is the essence of the man” – Socrates (470-399 BC)

It has been said that our soul exists before we are born, and will continue to exist after we die.

The soul is an elusive concept, yet every culture recognizes a spiritual part of us that is separate from the physical body, and way beyond the mind. Stone carvings from Ancient Greece depict souls leaving the body.

When we get in touch with the everlasting part of our inner self, through meditation or quiet reflection, we feel joy, that is unaffected by outside circumstances. Our soul tells us everything about us, if we LISTEN. The soul is a great teacher.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
― Rumi

When I was young, the religion I was brought up with, taught me to pray for souls, but didn’t teach me what a soul was. I later learned that a soul is a spiritual, rather than merely a religious concept – even some atheists believe they have a soul.

It is the ageless, timeless, part of us, that animates our bodies and minds.

It feels like the souls of the people and animals that I know don’t die; they move to another room that I can’t access. They continue to live in my heart rather than my memory. Their image is fresh, and evolving, as if I am experiencing their presence with my senses.

While the body and mind age, the soul is ever new. We don’t have a soul, we ARE souls. The soul is bigger than our biological parts or our physical form, and is filled with lofty and utopian ideas that are so pure and loving, they are not of this world.

The soul is the force within that connects us to others, nurtures, heals, protects, teaches, forgives, uplifts, motivates, enlightens and loves.

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The Embodiment of Faith

 

A Catholic's View of faith

Mother Teresa Embodied Faith

 

As I travel along my spiritual journey, I explore the subject of Christianity and touch on the Catholic faith, as I am familiar with it.

I became a Catholic upon my baptism at 2 months old.

For children, Catholic masses can seem long, especially high mass.  When I was 4 years old, with my dangling feet swinging back and forth below the church pew, I learned the meaning of eternity, as I was told to sit quietly during the mass for over an hour in all my rambunctiousness.

When you are born into a religion, you learn what to believe.  But  I was also curious about what other religions taught.

I attended Anglican and Baptist church services (both Protestant) with my friends, to see how they worshipped.  I learned that they taught similar messages to the Catholic faith.

Faith in Jesus is the route to salvation for all Christians, but Catholics also believe good works have merit, and there is a place called purgatory separating heaven and hell.  Protestants believe adherence to Scripture has more merit than good works.

Catholics, like all Christians, believe that God so loved the world that he sent us his only son Jesus to give us everlasting life.  Salvation hinges on your faith in Jesus, not your religious or church affiliation, as many people in the world do not have access to churches.

As the Dalai Lama says, all religions are good, and are all based on love and compassion.  I do not view the Catholic Church as better than any other church, but it is what I know, so am using it as an example.  It taught us to be humble, forgiving, compassionate and loving.  The overriding message was:  “to be a good person”.

I respect all religions.  They may not be perfect, but they are run by humans trying to build a human family to follow the wishes of God, and they help a lot of people in need.

 

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/200questions/article_9.aspx

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The Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism condensed

Detachment Ends Suffering

 

My spiritual journey continues, with the study of Buddhism.  While condensing the vast religion is difficult, it is based on The Four Noble Truths from The Buddha, or “Awakened One” who lived in India 2500 years ago.

Buddhists don’t pray to God, but rely on the self. Buddha recognized that suffering was part of the human condition, and created The Four Noble Truths so his followers would have a spiritual solution to suffering .

The Four Noble Truths:

  1. The truth of suffering  – physical and mental pain
  2. The truth of the origin of suffering – our desires, our  ignorance of self, our cravings for something outside ourselves to make us happy, our frustration when things don’t turn out the way we expect, and our wish to hold onto things that are constantly changing.
  3. The truth of the cessation of suffering –  ending the craving for outside things to achieve Nirvana.
  4. The truth of the path that frees us from suffering – by ending the chase for satisfaction, we achieve enlightenment.

 

The Buddha said that to achieve peace and wisdom, we must know ourselves, do no harm to others, and concentrate, so we can cut through our delusions.

To achieve this, we must walk the Eightfold Path:

  1. Right View
  2. Right Intention
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration

 

These ancient beliefs are still relevant today.  By borrowing from the Buddhist philosophy, we can ease our own suffering by looking into our own souls and tempering our desires, letting go of our attachment to things and beliefs that no longer serve us, and detaching until we learn that within ourselves we have all we need.

Ann.

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Starfish Poem

 

making a difference

Every Starfish matters

STARFISH POEM


One day an old man was walking down the beach just before dawn.  In the distance he saw a young man picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea.  As the old man approached the young man, he asked, “Why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?”  The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun.  The old man exclaimed, “But there must be thousands of starfish.  How can your efforts make any difference?”  The young man looked down at the starfish in his hand and as he threw it to safety in the sea, he said,” It makes a difference to this one!”

(I love this poem because, as Philip Kocisko observed, we are all at times a bit like the starfish who needs a little help,the old man who doesn’t see the purpose to his actions, and the young man who believes he is making a difference.} There are many versions, the author is unknown, but the poem is inspired by the writing of Loren Eiseley

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What is ego?

Uncovering the ego in yourself is confusing and complicated.  Eckhart Tolle has studied the ego, and describes it as that “voice in the head”, the “incessant thinking and the emotions that are associated with it”, it comes from the “thinker” in us, and is not who we really are.

The egoic thoughts always contain  the “sense of self” in every thought, says Eckhart.  They are based on “Identification with previously held opinions, our nationality, race, religion,etc. or items that make us feel separate from other groups, either superior to, or not as good as, but in any case they separate us from the rest of the world in some way.

The native philosophy was based on the oneness or circle of life that connects us all, and this folktale says what ego is in a simple story:

The ego is identification with thoughts of self

The ego is identification with thoughts of self

 

What is Your Calling and Your Purpose in Life?

 

Suddenly you know your purpose

Suddenly you know your purpose

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”

George Bernard Shaw

Everyone wants to make a difference,  but how do you recognize your calling and your purpose in life?

Your calling is WHAT you have been called to do. You are good at it, time flies when you’re doing it, and you may be lucky enough to earn your living at it. It may be different from your job,(surveys show that 80 percent of people are unhappy at their jobs).

You know deep inside what your calling is.  No one else can tell you what it is. There is no list of callings, because you are unique, and your calling may not exist until you create it.

Your purpose is WHY you are here. You don’t need to find your purpose, says spiritual teacher Caroline Myss, because it isn’t lost, it has always been with you; you only need to recognize it. It’s something only you can do – It may be something you already do well, and don’t realize it, like being a mom.

Eckhart Tolle says: you have to “awaken” to your life’s purpose. Your purpose involves serving yourself and others in some way. It is letting the power come through you like a light, and it is an “awakened doing with great presence.” And, only you know what it is that is shining through you.

You will use your special talents and gifts to contribute to the world. and will greatly enjoy doing what is your true purpose, says Eckhart, “and it is not based on desire, or an egoic means to an end, it is totally based on enjoyment”.  He says it’s not simply “doing”, but “awakened doing” that will bring great presence into your everyday life. 

There is a lot of inner power when you recognize what you are supposed to do and why you are here.