Sometimes, meditation is just hard work.

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Recently on The Law of Attraction Project, another blog I run, I posted a summary of a great book called 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by news anchor Dan Harris. In it, he says that just maintaining the meditation discipline is enough; it’s not necessary to actually feel better afterwards. Sitting down, coming back, trying again is “the whole game.”

Sometimes, meditation is just hard work.

I like this idea, and yet … I kinda hate it. Esther Hicks always harps on the importance of finding a good-feeling place. Feeling good, grateful, etc. helps us manifest what we desire, after all. If there’s a day in which meditation isn’t doing this for me, shouldn’t I spend my free time on something that does? Like going for a walk in the woods, or playing volleyball, and doing it in a meditative frame of mind?

What do you guys think?

(For more spiritual quest questions–and a few decent answers–read You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends.)

You met *how* many gurus in your lifetime? Sure, buddy.

dalai lama

Recently, on The Law of Attraction Project, I wrote about a book called Autobigraphy of a Yogi by Paramhausa Yogananda. The book is, more or less, a litany of miracles and gurus the author witnessed firsthand—and it is quite lengthy. My first reaction: how did one fairly normal young man growing up in India meet so many enlightened masters in one lifetime? I mean, granted, he was training to be one, too. But seriously.

My conclusion, which may or may not be true, was that at least at the time the book was written, India was a culture of belief. Even people who were without the author’s fanatical, wholehearted search for God (like his brother Ananda) believed strongly in omens, predictions, etc., as evidenced by the stories in the book. Therefore, more miracles actually occurred.

This reminds me of the beloved Indonesian guru in Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. His parents told him his whole life that he was spiritually gifted, so he just never questioned it. As a result, he became a very intuitive miracle worker.

There is, and was, and always will be, a whole lot to be said for simple faith.

What do you think? Does more faith mean more miracles? Or are there the same number of miracles happening either way, but when less faith is present more of them just go unnoticed?

P.S. For more New Age/New Thought ideas, visit the best New Thought book website ever, The Law of Attraction Project.

Life is what you think about, reprised

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Two years ago I had the pleasure of holding a book signing for my latest book, You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends. Here, a reblog for you: the piece I wrote promoting the event–and my perspective on the goal of my writing as I see it right now.

Mollie Player is just a regular person. And yet, she is trying—sometimes very, very hard—to be different. And the way Mollie wants to be different is this: she wants to stay the same.

She just wants to be more of herself.

She wants to learn how to be aware of the Divine inside her at all times. She wants to communicate with God.

In other words: she wants to get enlightened.

Lofty goal? Maybe. Is she there yet? Probably not.

But she is, just maybe, on her way.

Often when people describe their lives these are the things they talk about:

  • What they did or do;
  • What they had or have;
  • Who they knew or know.

If you ask Mollie, though, she’d tell you that those things aren’t what life is at all.

Life, she says, is what goes on inside your mind.

It’s what you care about. It’s what you dream about.

It’s what you think about every day.

And so, even though she is just a regular person, Mollie decided to write about some of the thoughts that have made up her real life so far—and with which other regular people may be able to relate.

In Sometimes Very: How I Overcame Depression Without Experts or Medicine, she discusses her battle with chronic dysthemia.

In Happiness is the Truth: A Spiritual Manifesto, she tells what she thinks spirituality should be all about.

And, in You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends, she journals about her attempt to pray without ceasing for an entire year.

Mollie hopes that you like them, but more than that: she hopes they’ll make you different—even if that just means being more of yourself.

Enlightened old people

You know how you sometimes meet those old people that look so serene and Mother Teresa-like and all? And you think, I want to be like that when I’m old, instead of one of the crochety complainers.

Well, ever since starting my spiritual practice of acceptance, I’ve begun to suspect something. I suspect that the difference between the saints and the complainers is that the complainers are still always trying to fix things, whereas the saints have somehow learned to merely observe and love.

I think there is a single word behind their stunningly beautiful eyes.

It is “accept.”

P.S. Check out the best New Thought book website on the Internet, The Law of Attraction Project.

What do chaneled entities know, anyway?

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Seth, Abraham, Kryon, Archangel Michael … these are just a few of the many spirit entities to be channeled for the benefit of the individual and the masses. And yet, reading them kinda makes you wonder: do these guys and gals really know everything?

Here’s the thing: they never say they do. They just say they know a lot more than us. In one oft-repeated spiritual analogy, each spirit, whether human or otherwise, is a drop of water in the large ocean that is God, the All-That-Is. Their knowledge, while vaster than ours by a long shot (temporarily) is still limited by their unique perspective (as well as certain limitations of the channeler).

So let’s love our spirit guides. Let’s honor our channeled entities.

And let’s not take them too, too seriously.

P.S. Check out the best New Thought book website ever, The Law of Attraction Project.

Law of attraction success story: Joe Vitale: “I am rich”

Here is a sample post from The Law of Attraction Project, the best New Thought and law of attraction website on the Internet.

The Law of Attraction Project

law of attraction money

Contributor: Joe Vitale, a high-energy law of attraction author, entrepreneur and personal coach who appears in the movie “The Secret.”

I have not always been well-off. Like many others, I have tasted “rock bottom” and lived to tell the tale . . .

I want you to imagine yourself in my shoes, not with the wealth and abundance I have today, but as the homeless man I was in the late ’70’s, wandering around Dallas, Texas, living dollar to dollar in constant desperation. Do you think you have it bad? Do you think your struggles are unbeatable? I had it worse . . .

Oh yes, I wanted to be more, and I tried. But I didn’t have a lick of confidence in my future. I could almost taste the wealth, and that delicious freedom money can provide, but like many, I kept struggling.

And I kept failing.

See…

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I’m a real grown-up now

Continuing with my spiritual practice of acceptance. It has seriously rocked my world. With all of my complaints, desires, wants, hungers, etc. etc., it was hard to really feel-know what I already knew-knew about how awesome my life really is.

By accepting what is, even if I don’t love it so much–as Eckhart Tolle says, knowing that what is happening right now is perfect for my growth and evolution because it is what is happening right now (paraphrased)–I am able to enjoy what is when I do love it.

The day after starting this practice I got a massage and a facial. I spent the following beautiful, sunny morning at a park with my kids, the afternoon taking a nap, and the evening writing. And I was actually able to enjoy it all rather than obsess about every detail of those moments that wasn’t absolutely “perfect” (those face chemicals hurt, right?).

I feel like all of this time I thought I was an adult, I was really still just a kid. Now, I’m accepting what is.

Maybe I’m a real grown-up now.

 

Eckhart Tolle vs. Deepak Chopra: An interviewer’s impressions

dalai lama new thought

Now this guy is definitely the real thing.

I have to admit that one of the parts of the book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by news anchor Dan Harris that really sold me was his oh-so-taboo comparison of Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra. Now, before I get into this, let me just say one thing: I don’t personally agree with his assessment of either (in their entirety). I think both Tolle and Chopra are probably super awesome human beings. That said, as someone who doesn’t consider himself a mystic or even particularly spiritual, Harris has a fascinating perspective to share.

First, Harris tells of an interview in which Chopra became super defensive and competitive. He contrasts this with Chopra’s own declaration that, as an enlightened person, he is pretty much always calm and happy (forgive me if the wording here isn’t perfect). Meanwhile, Tolle makes the opposite impression. Tolle’s calm, detached mannerisms change not a whit after the cameras are off and the interview is done. He doesn’t even show nervousness during the interview or beforehand.

The conclusion Harris comes to: Chopra isn’t quite as even-tempered as he says he is. And Tolle just might be a little crazy. After all, if he’s as sincere as he seems, that means he actually believes all that kooky stuff he says about being enlightened.

For the record: I’m a Tolle kinda girl.

P.S. For more of my unique musings on getting more spiritual and stuff, get my (affordable!) book You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends on Amazon.com.

A few things that happened to me today

Mom and baby

I love(d) breastfeeding.

Here are a few of the highlights of my day:

  • I dropped my second debit card into an unreachable place in my car, then misplaced a third.
  • My one-year-old spilled a plate of marinara-soaked asparagus onto my lap and the floor. Then I ate it off the floor.
  • I walked past three soggy diapers on my kitchen floor numerous times without picking them up.
  • For over an hour, my three-year-old repeated the word “booby” and tugged at my shirt as I lay in the fetal position on the floor.
  • Both my kids pooped in a park where there was no bathroom. My three-year-old then refused to be changed in the grass or to go with me to the car to get the baby’s diaper. When he finally followed me to the car, I put them both in with poopy diapers. On the way home the baby fell asleep. In poop.
  • I fell asleep during sex.

But I still took my jog, so I’d call the day a success.