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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual 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!

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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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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Judge Not Others


This is my tenth 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.

J= Judge Not Others: The act of judging another person immediately causes separation between our self, and the other person. Judgment prevents us from acting compassionately, as well as empathetically understanding where the other person may be coming from. It is extremely easy to judge or condemn someone who may be rude or hateful to us; however, we may not know the whole story of that person, we may have no idea the hurt and pain that the person is suffering from. By simply judging the person and condemning another’s actions outright, we are in effect closing the channels of communication with that person, as well as our hearts. By not rushing to judgment, we can show true compassion to everyone, even those who may not practice or reflect compassion towards others.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them” – Mother Teresa

Judgment also hampers our own personal and spiritual development, because judgment is often used as a defense mechanism, because instead of examining ourselves, and rectifying our own faults, we simply point out the faults of others, or bolster our ego by saying, “well at least I’m not as bad as them”, or “I would never do that”.

Now this does not mean that we should be complacent in the face of abusive or destructive behavior. Too often, people use the Biblical scripture Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you will be judged”, as a catch-all excuse to not step in when abusive or destructive behavior demands it. When someone is being abusive or destructive to themselves or others, we should act as compassionately as possible, but not hesitate to step in and make efforts to stop that kind of behavior. 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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