Saturday, July 14, 2012

Finding Faith

Countless authors have written advice on standing up for yourself...

I just received the best advice ever: don't be a victim; and never need to stand up for yourself!

This idea does not suppose you will never face an adversary, the advice is this: don't give your opponent power; don't feed their anger, don't return it or respond to it, don't further it by spreading the story of it; let it die. Stop talking about it to others! (This is hard to do!) And my adviser continued: don't retaliate, don't return the aggression, don't attempt to tell your side of it, stop the flow of anger in its track. In other words, don't be a conductor of anger... shut it down, turn it off, let it end at you. Flip the switch.

It seems to me I have heard the Dalai Lama speak of this. Or Mahatma Gandhi. Of course this sage advice would come from a practitioner at the nearby Ananda Ashrama in La Crescenta. You can find this spiritual retreat at the top of Pennsylvania Avenue at Markridge Road. It is exquisite. Sunday service is at 11:00am and Thursday meditation is at 7:00pm.

Hold aloft this Light and stand fast to thy post, Till all wandering souls have reached their goal in safety.
Service brings strength and renewed life; Love cures all weariness. And Faith, the shining jewel of life,
performs all miracles.                             ~Paramananda~                          (photo by Terre Ashmore)

Another retreat I am especially fond of is the Monastery in Valyermo, up near Littlerock. They have massive cherry orchards and it should be cherry picking time right now... it is a wonderful fulfilling experience to pick your fill of cherries from the monks beautiful orchards...

What makes faith so important that such an elusive concept would be so sought after? It is that human need for questions to have answers and those answers to be true. I believe that is only possible in the realm of God.

However, if God inhabits the praise of His people I would prefer an altar atop a hillside or in an orchard to worship.  But I have been in some awe inspiring temples and churches. Even the kiva has moved me profoundly and frankly I have come to believe Joseph Campbells view of a God with many faces. Since I studied so many faiths and practiced a few for the spiritual gardens I once designed, I have questions only holy ones can answer now and I seek truth in places no one else would understand: in the face and eyes of all I meet... I look for God in you.

I hope you look for God in me...

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