We are body, mind and spirit. Here are some disciplines for living a balanced life. These practices are what I’ve found helpful. Remember, we’re all a work in progress. Slow is beautiful. Enter gently the process of slow transformation of your body, mind and spirit. Enjoy.
- Exercise Daily – You pick the practice. Walk. Run. Tai Chi. Yoga. Dance. Etc. Celebrate Movement.
- Eat Well – Michael Pollen’s book “Food Rules” is the best small text on how to eat well. There are many other books out there. Keep it simple. A diet built mainly around fresh fruits and vegetables is best. The key is to eat the right food, at the right time, in the right amount. Fancy diets and expensive books aren’t necessary. Learn what works best for the health of your body. Do that.
- Explore – Use your body to explore something new each day. As long as it’s fun, doesn’t hurt anyone else, and is appropriate to living a gentle and kind existence, then go for it. For instance, try looking at a tree or plant near where you live that you’ve been to busy passing by to notice. Try eating slowly. Try listening deeply to another person without interrupting them. Just listen.
- Meditation – Try meditating for at least 20 minutes each day. Morning meditation is a good way to set your mind, body and soul towards stillness and mindful living.
- Mindfulness – Watch what you put out into the world. What you think, say and do matters. Are your thoughts gentle towards yourself and others? Are your words gracious and life-giving? Are you generous with the resources you have to offer? Don’t wait till you have gentle and kind thoughts, try offering ONLY gentle and kind words for one day. Speak softly. Don’t attract attention to yourself. Share with others in a quiet and gentle manner. Get comfortable in letting others talk. At first this may feel strange. Watch how your words become more meaningful as you embrace a mindful silence.
- Meaning-making – How do you make meaning in your daily life? Do you let your work, your roles, your titles, your duties to family and friends define you? Is your identity based on your income, your race, your social class, etc.? STOP IT. Here’s where the teachings of Jesus are key. Try reading one of the four Gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke or John) contained in the Bible. Spend a year – or more if necessary – in reading and re-reading this one Gospel. The best way to understand something is to live with it and make it a part of your daily discipline. Try to live the teaching of Jesus. See how it changes your life. A sample of other wonderful wisdom literature that calls us to a life of compassion include; The Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad Gita, the I Ching. For me, all true Wisdom points to Jesus. At the same time, I believe all true seekers will find the Truth through whatever path the Spirit leads you. So seek and you will find.
- Pray – Prayer is the heart of living an authentic life. We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. Make your life a prayer by offering every thought, word and action as an act of love.
- Pause – Learn to pause often and gently throughout your day. Act don’t react. Breathe.
- Peace – Be at peace. Peace is an inside job. We must learn to cultivate peace within ourselves. This is done through meditation, mindfulness and living the TAO, the Eternal Word that is Jesus. Peace is promised to those who abide in the Eternal Word. Peace is promised to those who live the teachings of Jesus. Jesus is the Eternal Tao. Know Jesus. Know peace.
Jesus & His Disciples
I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.
Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world? Jesus answered him, Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate,the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.
– John 14:18-31