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Archive for September, 2012

Question Everything In Order to Find Truth

September 17, 2012 8 comments

This is my seventeenth post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) 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 everyday life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.

Q= Question Everything In Order to Find Truth: The only real way to find Truth is to question everything. This is true in our daily lives in the external world, as well as in our inner spiritual and psychological development. Questioning allows us to truly explore and examine a topic, a situation, our beliefs, and even our prejudices in a thorough manner, which can lead to surprising insights and positive changes.

In our external lives, we should always seek to question and verify the things that our political leaders, news sources, and especially social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) tells us. I can’t begin to even calculate the amount of misinformation, contextual exaggerations, and even outright lies and hoaxes that circulate on a weekly basis in digital news sources, and especially in social media sites like Facebook. What is really sad, and disheartening, is that almost all of this disinformation can be proven to be false, with a simple Google search; however, people are too eager to buy into the misinformation, to take a few seconds to verify the authenticity.

I have been especially saddened by the amount of disinformation being slung around in the current U.S. presidential race. While “truth” always appears to be a relative term in elections, truth seems to be a precious commodity in this election. Whether or not you like a candidate (or anyone in your regular life), if you have to start making stuff up, or relying on half-truths to justify your position, then your position stinks and needs to be reevaluated. Regardless of what side you are on, when a top presidential campaign aide defiantly states that, “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers” – Neil Newhouse , which is in essence, “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by truth”, you should have cause for pause.

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Positive Prayer

September 10, 2012 8 comments

This is my sixteenth post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) 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 everyday 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 Photopin.com and Flickr Creative Commons. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathanhayag/5441597739/ (C) 2011

P= Positive Prayer: Prayer in one form or another is part of almost every religions tradition. In my own path, and in my numerous discussions with others regarding prayer, I have found that prayer can be a powerful tool in one’s spiritual path, no matter their religious or spiritual tradition.While some may view prayer as simply a time to seek divine intervention, such as rattling off a wishlist of desires, or seek divine intervention during a crisis  (the old saying, “There aren’t any atheists in foxholes”, comes to mind), divine intervention isn’t the sole purpose or use of prayer.

While prayer can certainly be used as a medium to seek divine intervention in our lives, the most powerful and fundamental aspect of prayer is that it allows us to connect with, and spend time with, the divine. Prayer when performed with the right mindset and attention, literally gives us the ability to commune with G*d, as directly as possible, regardless of what name you call him/her/it/they by.

Now then if you believe, as I do, that prayer allows you to literally connect with the divine, the natural questions is what should one do with that time? While asking for divine intervention is certainly a valid use of prayer, prayer can also be used as a time to give thanks to G*d, a time for self-introspection, as well as simply a time to commune with the divine.

Giving thanks in prayer is a powerful tool, because rather than using prayer as a time to rattle off a list of desires, giving thanks in prayer automatically forces you to focus on the many blessings that each of us enjoy in our lives, yet too often fail to recognize. Many of the ritualized prayers such as “The Lord’s Prayer” in Christianity, and “The Du’a” in Islam, first focus on acknowledging and giving thanks to G*d, and then seek the strength and wisdom to act in accordance with God’s will (love). I personally start off each day with a simple prayer of thanks, which allows me to focus on the positive things in my life, rather than my impending to-do list that awaits me once I get to work. Read more…

Opening Yourself Up To New Experiences

September 3, 2012 16 comments

This is my fifteenth post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) 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 everyday life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.

(c) Shelby Hurst Photography 2010

O= Opening Yourself Up To New Experiences: It is easy and comfortable to get into a routine in our lives. We take the same way to work, we see and talk to the same people every day, watch the same TV shows, read the same genre of literature, order the same items from the same restaurants, etc. While routines aren’t inherently bad, if we aren’t careful our routines can become a rut that cuts us off from the rich experiences that life has to offer.

Our comfortable routines can also prevent us from progressing down our path of personal and spiritual development. I personally have found that situations which have caused me to get out of my comfort zone the most, have actually led to powerful insights and drastic changes in my perceptions. I think that this is the case because just as a stone or wood needs friction to polish it to its true beauty, when we get out of our comfort zone, we can encounter the friction that we need to uncover our true potential, and enjoy life to the fullest.

I have found that the following 7 tips have been especially helpful in getting myself out of my comfort zone in order to experience new facets of life, and open myself up to new experiences:

1) Talk to someone new, or have a meaningful conversation with someone that you may have only interacted with only casually before. You may be surprised at the level of camaraderie and insights that can be obtained from unexpected people, or in relationships that you have never devoted much time to before.

2) Give someone whom you may have an unfavorable opinion of a new chance. I have found that some of my best and most lasting and meaningful friendships have been with people whom I didn’t have a great first impression of.

3) Try reading or watching a news source that is on the other end of your normal political persuasion. By looking at the opposing perspective, you may reveal blind spots in your own ideology and belief system that you never knew existed before. It is also important to view other sides in order to not fall victim to “confirmation bias“, where you merely expose yourself to ideas and viewpoints that already fall in-line with your own, because in essence you will begin to view the world with a pair of blinders on.

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Belated Recognition of Awards from Fellow Bloggers

September 1, 2012 8 comments

I want to take some time to thank the many reader recognition awards that I have received from my awesome readers over the past few months. I have been extremely busy, and just haven’t had the time to sit down and give recognition to those that have saw fit to recognize me for my work.

Here is a list of awards that my readers have passed along to me:

Thought Provoking Blogger: From the two bloggers: A Second Cup & Errant Transcendentalist

http://asecondcup.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/time-can-be-thought-provoking/

http://erranttranscendentalist.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/a-thought-provoking-blog-award/

Reader Appreciation Award: Another one from two bloggers: Mindfulness4Now & Mindful Acting

http://mindfulness4now.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/thankyou-and-a-chance-to-honour-others/

http://mindfulacting.org/2012/08/12/reader-appreciation-award/

Beautiful Blogger Award: From the blog- Lantern Post

http://lanternpost2012.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/kindness-around-blogosphere/

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