Archive

Archive for June, 2012

Exploring and Channeling the Ego


This is my fifth post in a series, where each Monday I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during every day life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.

My son rocking out to an iPod, and weaving a tangled web! 😉
(C) Shelby Hurst Photography- 2010

E= Exploring and Channeling the Ego: This is a topic that I have explored in-depth before in a post titled, “Subduing the Ego“, and off and on throughout several posts. However, I think learning to properly develop and channel the ego is essential for anyone undertaking a path of personal and/or spiritual development, or someone who simply wants to live a happier and more fulfilled life.

The ego has numerous definitions and classifications in psychology and spiritual communities. When I refer to the ego, I am referring to the part of ourselves that drives our wants and desires, and to a large extend our self-image. The ego is the devil on our soldier telling us to pursue our every desire, and that having nice things, looking good in front of others, and receiving praise are the ultimate goals, and that their obtainment is justified by any means. Since the ego drives our desires and self-image, it is no coincidence that so many people engage in a constant negative cycle of empty desires and destructive behaviors.

Too many people believe that by obtaining a certain material object or accolade, or by hanging out with a certain crowd they will look “good”, and therefore be happy. However, obtaining a material object or receiving praise can never bring happiness if it causes harm to others, because the object or achievement will be forever tainted. Also, even if the material object or accolade is obtained through no harm to anyone or anything else, they still can never bring true happiness, because happiness cannot come from the outside. Also, associating (hanging out) with what we perceive to be “high-caliber” people cannot bring happiness, because these relationships can simply cover up our own insecurities, and once again happiness in an internal manifestation, not external.

Read more…

Wordless Wednesday: Wayback Throwback


Jessica & I on our wedding day!

Wordless Wednesday: Wayback Throwback.

I know I am breaking up my series a bit here, but please take a look at this great post that my wife composed for “Wordless Wednesday” on her blog, where she journeys through our decade together through photos. I am the luckiest guy in the world to have such a loving and supporting wife. She has loved and supported me through my undergraduate studies, law school, and my countless years as a spiritual vagabond.  🙂

Please take a moment to visit:

Sweet ‘N’ Scrappy: Wordless Wednesday – Wayback Throwback

See everyone on Monday for the next installment of “Reflections and Insights A through Z“!

Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

Discovering the Divinity Within


This is my fourth post in a series, where each Monday I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during every day life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.

My silly son wearing a stocking cap and gloves in June!

D= Divinity Within:I can vividly remember the day that I came to the realization that each of us possess a divine piece, a divine spark, from God. The realization came to me rather unexpectedly after I had finished a meditation session and my dog came and simply laid her head in my lap. I remember thinking how it was really odd how comfortably humans and animals can coexist with each other. Then it hit me, that in reality every living being was created by God; therefore, on a fundamental level, every living thing is interrelated. In hindsight this really doesn’t seem like such a stretch because almost every religion teaches that some sort of creator created every living being by giving some sort of breath of life. Even those that are more agnostic teach that all of creation is interrelated; and therefore, no harm should be done to another living/sentient being.

Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Read more…

Compassionate Character Development


This is my third post in a series, where each Monday I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during every day life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.

Used with permission from: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

C= Compassion: Compassion is best defined as empathetic action, where one takes steps to understand the cause of another’s suffering, and then undertake action to ease the suffering, and hopefully prevent whatever problem or issue caused the suffering from occurring again in the future. Every religion, from Jesus’ Beatitudes and teachings on charity, to Islam’s Zakāt pillar of faith, to Buddhism’s Eightfold Path, teaches that developing a compassionate character is essential for anyone wishing to live a happy and fulfilled life. The reason that every religion promotes compassion, is because it is an essential ingredient for not only your own happiness, but the happiness of others.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

Compassion naturally develops internal and external happiness, because compassion allows you to reflect your positive values and wisdom out into the world at large in order to make the world a better place. On an internal level, compassionately helping others naturally makes us feel good and raises our level of awareness. On an external level, compassion should be used to help alleviate the suffering of all sentient beings, which naturally makes those around us and the world at large happier. Also, as those around you become happier through your compassionate acts, they will naturally reflect your acts of kindness back to you, in the same way that ripples in a pond eventually return to their source.

Read more…

Beauty in life


This is my second post in a series, where each Monday I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during every day life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.

B= a Beautiful Life:  Life is truly the most amazing miracle of all, just being alive, right here right now is a beautiful and wondrous gift. it is truly awe-inspiring, and humbling, when you take a step back and look at the infinite sequences of events that had to occur for you to be here right now: from the big bang to the formation of life on our planet, to the evolution of our species and the unbroken chain of ancestors that have struggled to make each of our lives possible.

As you may have already read in the About the Author Section, the motivation for this blog began with my own quest to truly live life to the fullest, and live in the now by trying to fully experience each moment of life. I used to be the type of person who always thought that happiness was around the next corner (stage of life), or would surely be found after I accomplished the next goal. I was also the type of person who thought that if I did what other’s expected of me, then I would find happiness. Therefore, it was truly liberating when I came to the realization that I could indeed find happiness in there here and now, I merely needed to tap into the beauty and mystery of life that constantly surrounds each of us. I also came to the realization that I needed to do the things that made me happy, and live the life that I wanted to live, rather than a life that other’s expected of me. Read more…

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