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#2888 - Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nondual Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
Writings on Nonduality. Amazon site: http://nonduality.com/one.htm
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Lotus and Rose is a very good website that I want to introduce. It is at http://www.lotusandrose.com/
What's Lotus and Rose all about?
The lotus is a symbol of the spiritual wisdom of the East.
The rose is associated with the spiritual wisdom of the West.
Lotus and Rose is a Web site devoted to open inquiry about the universal life of the spirit -- Eastern and Western -- without pressing any particular viewpoint.
"Why?" you might ask.
We all invent our spiritual lives.
Some will say, "No, I find spiritual truth to reside in this book," or "...in this church," or "...in this guru," or "...in this holy person." Yes, aspects of truth may reside in them all. Nevertheless, our spiritual lives are our own inventions.
Who is the one who accepts the idea that the book is inspired, and even infallible?
Who is the one who puts trust in a saint or holy person?
Who is the one who submits to the initiations, practices, ceremonies, sermons, and study?
Your spiritual life is your invention. A marvelous invention it is! Truly marvelous!
The truth about our spiritual lives is that they are mixtures of things we've experienced and learned throughout our lives. Lotus and Rose encourages this.
Lotus and Rose exists to offer encouragement to everyone to see the beauty and variety in the lotus pond and the rose garden.
The organized religions of the world, unfortunately, often have a deadening effect on the life of the spirit. Constant bickering and feuding, condemning more than loving, bound by traditions and ways of doing things, institutional spirituality often rejects anything unlike itself.
A good example is the way a society's outcasts are treated by many religious organizations and leaders. The great masters humbly reached out to the most despised castaways of society, but their disciples have lessons yet to learn. Frequently, certain folk are special targets of rejection and find themselves unwelcome in traditional religious communities. Institutions that preach love tolerate hate, knowingly or unknowingly. For many, this means isolation from spiritual communities, or inclusion at the expense of honesty.
Institutions organized to perpetuate established dogma spend a great deal of energy maintaining that authority and power, and those who differ from the accepted pattern, for whatever reason, are unwelcome.
Perhaps that's the way things were meant to be. Perhaps some will drink water from one source, while others sip the same refreshment from another. Rejection does not kill the spirit's thirst. Difficulty searches for other streams in the desert.
Some of us are devout adherents of highly organized religious systems. If we were raised in a certain religious environment, those teachings and experiences remain with us, still influencing us even though we might outwardly reject them.
Some of us have had little or no exposure to organized religion, and prefer it that way. Yet, still our spiritual waters flow just as deep, maybe so deep they're yet to be discovered in our inner caverns.
Regardless of our experiences, or lack of them, as we simply live from one day to the next, we learn new things.
Sometimes these experiences result in profound changes, while at other times the change is more subtle.
The point is...we grow and change. That, after all, is what it means to be alive.
The question still remains, however, although I am, who am I?
Who is the one looking here and there, ever so busy "doing practices," or "performing penances," or "serving the Lord"?
WHO am I?
And that's what Lotus and Rose is all about -- openness, growth, change -- discovery!
Lotus and Rose believes...
- Help in walking the spiritual path can be found in many places, not just one.
- There really is no "one-right-answer" for everyone.
- The spiritual life, like most other aspects of life, is a practical, day-to-day experience. Some things work, others don't. A wise person considers the possibilities, finds what works, and moves along.
- Helpful associations may be found, but like all human relationships, they're subject to change because change is one of life's essential ingredients. We aren't limited to the spiritual heritage of our birth -- or the lack of it.
- There's more to life than "eat, drink and be merry."
- Spiritual life exists in everyone, including those with no religion.
- We can learn from both Eastern and Western paths and are not limited to one or the other.
- Lotus and Rose exists to suggest some opportunities for growth.
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