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Posts Tagged ‘Personal Development’

Introducing My New Book: “The Path”

September 15, 2013 8 comments

Thank you all for your early support! In less than 24 hours “The Path” is already number 36 on Amazon.com’s Comparative Religion List! I am truly grateful!

 

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been a bit absent on here lately. Well, I have been finishing up my book, which has been an almost 10 year long project. It has really been a labor of love, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure that I would ever actually finish it, but I finally have, and it has now been published by Stone Guild Publishing!

ThePath_Cover_Mockup_1024I appreciate all of the kind words and support that everyone has given me over the years, and I am very excited to finally be able to present this book.

From the Back Cover:

Jason E. Marshall is a practicing attorney in Oklahoma, where he lives with his wife and children. Jason holds a B.A. in Political Science, with an emphasis in International Relations and Cultural Studies, as well as a Juris Doctorate. Jason became interested in the study of comparative religion during his undergraduate studies, after undergoing a truly transformational experience during an introductory comparative religion course. After his initial transformational experience, Jason undertook a personal journey to learn more about the various religions of the world in order to gain a better understanding of the ties that unite humanity, as well as his own true nature, and ultimately God. What began as personal notes from his studies and journeys became the genesis of this book.

Rather than the normal dry recitation of facts that highlight the differences among the world religions, in The Path, Jason explores the seven major religions of the world in order to highlight the ties that should unite, rather divide, humanity. Jason also shows how the teachings and insights from the various world religions can be applied to anyone’s journey of personal and spiritual development, regardless of one’s particular path or spiritual background.

In order to kick this book off, I am going to have a contest where I will give away two (2) free signed copies via random drawing on September 30, 2013. This is how it will work. Every “Like” on the blog will get one (1) entry, and every “share” will get three (3) entries.

There will also be a Facebook page contest with similar rules (Yes you can enter both contests). Please visit the Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/ThePathBook

To purchase the book please visit Amazon.com: or simply click the book cover below!

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.

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…

The Power of Positive Thinking

January 23, 2012 1 comment

My son loves going for rides in my old Corvette.

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.   ~Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

Well, I have already blown one of my New Years resolutions, which was to write a post a week. Well, sometimes life just happens, and that’s okay. I have had an extremely hectic past few weeks, and this week looks like more of the same. One thing that I have had to constantly remind myself over and over again during the hectic past few weeks has been to simply, “stay positive”. Staying positive is relatively simple, yet it has profoundly positive effects on our moods, emotions, and overall quality of life, because it helps you to make the best out of life and enjoy your present moment (living in the now).

If you stop and think about it, our moods and emotions (feelings) are largely governed by our thoughts. For example, when you are stressed out about something, you are probably running a constant stream of thoughts through your mind involving the cause of the stress (stressor). Also, if you are angry with someone, you are likewise probably running a stream of thoughts through your mind reminding yourself of all the ways you have been wronged, and how you are justifiably angry. Even negative feelings towards our jobs and relationships are governed by our thoughts towards the relationship or situation. Read more…

Be a Good Ancestor Today


My Son and I reading on my Nook Color

Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors

– Jonas Salk (Developer of the first Polio Vaccine)

Recently I have ran across several blogs, topics, books, podcasts, etc., promoting the message, “Be a Good Ancestor Today”. While it appears that the message originates from the above quote by Dr. Salk, the message has recently been popularized by the World Wildlife Fund, Dr. Judith Rich, Samantha Power, as well as various other authors and academics.

The central message of this theme/movement is that we must undertake actions that will ensure that future generations, our kids, grand-kids, etc., enjoy a healthy society and environment. While this might seem opposed to a “living in the now” mentality, it is not. While a living in the now mentality involves enjoying and fully experiencing each moment of life to the fullest (Zen Buddhism has excellent teachings on this), it certainly does not mean that we should undertake actions which are selfish, or harmful to others. To the contrary, we each have a duty to make sure that others are not harmed by our actions. We should always seek to help, but take care to never harm or negatively influence others. Future generations should look back on our life, and find it worthy of emulation. Read more…

No Disguises

August 18, 2011 2 comments

No Disguises.

(Click the small blue “No Disguises” link above to read Christina’s Post)

This Post is actually from one of my favorite bloggers, Christina Cronk. I absolutely loved this post so much, that I just had to share it on my blog. The concept of removing your masks (your false self/ false identities) has been a recurring theme in my life, and my spiritual path.

Enjoy!

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)

Practicing Charity


If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  ~H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

As evidenced by the above quote from H.H. the Dalai Lama one of the most important things that you can do to both improve your life and the life of others is to practice charity. Charity is important because it forces you to give something up (time, money, etc.) for the benefit of someone else, which helps you to not only become a better person, but also helps the life of someone else. The importance of practicing charity is an important aspect of many of the world’s religions, for example:

The ministry of Jesus Christ was focused on helping others not only improve themselves spiritually, but also their lives in general. The message of Jesus Christ is full of lessons involving loving one another and helping your fellow man. It is important to note that Jesus was concerned with action, not merely talking about doing good deeds, but actually DOING good deeds. Read more…

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