Journal Posts | iHanuman

iHanuman

Love, Service, Devotion, Yoga

Journal Posts

In the past several months as I've been speaking across the country, many people have approached me and asked with some degree of excitement in their voices, "Bo, have you seen The Secret yet? Oh, you'll love it! It will change the world! Let people know about this!"
So I did watch The Secret, as well as an Oprah show that featured its "teachers," and I think we all need to reflect very deeply on the message that is passing for wisdom these days. "New Age" centers, "New Thought" Churches, the Christian "prosperity" movements personified by the likes of Joel Osteen, and now Oprah's enormous fan base, are really falling off the deep end into a pseudo-spirituality that is not just a little self-indulgent, it is primarily about selfishness and materialism.
The Secret itself is a childish exaggeration of a minor energetic principle - "The Law of Attraction" - which simply means what most of our grandmothers have said to us at one time or another: "If you think negative things, your life will be...

posted: 7 years 10 months ago
posted: 6/11/12
Dear Family, There are times in our lives when our problems seem so overwhelming we don't have any idea what to do next in any significant way - how to change our lives, how to address the biggest problems, how to heal the damage between us and our loved ones, how to motivate ourselves to even get out of bed to tackle each new day. Our prayers may be sincere but we may not be hearing any answers. We don't understand the Big Plan a loving God may have for why our lives are so hard, and we just don't have a clue as to what to do next. In my experience, when I feel I have no power...
posted: 6/11/12
This practice can be a very powerful tool for letting go of false beliefs about who or what controls our moods. We recommend you take this vow for at least one month, and repeat it aloud at the beginning of each day. If possible, let a few friends know about your vow so that they can help remind you if you seem to be slipping. I pledge to stop blaming others for my negative states of mind. I pledge to stop blaming circumstances for my negative states of mind. Throughout the period of your vow, notice any irritability, anger, depression, bitterness that may arise in you, and look honestly at...
posted: 6/11/12
All of us at Human Kindness Foundation had a rare privilege when we brought the Vietnamese Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced Tic Not Hon), into his first American prison to talk with inmates and staff about the practice of deep mindfulness. We chose Maryland Correctional Institution at Hagerstown for this special event because Bo had been there recently and had been very moved by the spiritual sincerity and strength of the prisoner community. Many of the prisoners have taken the Alternatives to Violence Project training and have been involved with our books and tapes as well. (...
posted: 6/11/12
A friend of mine got out of prison on the last day of 1997. He was thirty-seven years old and had been in prison since he was nineteen. Because he was on a 90-year sentence, he had spent his whole prison time in one old maximum-security facility in mid-Florida which has a very tough reputation. In all those years, William (not his real name) was never encouraged to get a G.E.D. or any other education or skills training. There were precious few programs offered at his prison because all the inmates there had such long sentences, the state felt, "Why waste the money? They're never...
posted: 6/11/12
In 1973 a spiritual teacher named Ram Dass and I got together and talked about helping prisoners to use their time for spiritual growth. It was a quiet chat, no solemn pronouncements or bolts of lightning, no press releases or fund-raising campaigns. We just sat together on the lawn of the ashram where Sita and I were living with our two-year-old son, Josh, and mulled it over: "Wouldn't it be nice to do something to help?" At the time, Ram Dass was sending copies of his book, Be Here Now, into prison libraries, and was beginning to receive mail from prisoners. My sister's...
posted: 6/11/12
Many of us complain about how hard it is to start doing daily meditation or yoga, or to quit smoking or lying or biting our nails or masturbating or any number of things connected to "turning over a new leaf." We may make solemn resolutions, but within a short time we often find everything is back to the way it was. Then we gradually become cynical and conclude that we may as well give up; that "we'll never change." Vow practice is more formal than making verbal resolutions. Most of us at Human Kindness Foundation work with vow practice and we have found it extremely...
posted: 6/11/12
"Humanity grows more and more intelligent, yet there is clearly more trouble and less happiness daily. How can this be so? It is because intelligence is not the same thing as wisdom. When a society misuses partial intelligence and ignores holistic wisdom, its people forget the benefits of a plain and natural life. Seduced by their desires, emotions, and egos, they become slaves to bodily demands, to luxuries, to power and unbalanced religion and psychological excuses. Then the reign of calamity and confusion begins. Nonetheless, superior people can awaken during times of turmoil to lead...
posted: 6/11/12
Jesus in word and deed was almost violent in his call for death, for denial, for stripping, for abandoning, for letting go, for leaving all, for the journey up by going down. . . . This whole dialogue runs deep in us and all things. One could say, with complete honesty, that life is really no more than a series of heart-breaking good-byes, so full is it of having and letting go, of embracing and parting. -- from My Song is of Mercy by Father Matthew Kelty Dear Family, If only we could have what we want and not have to change so much for it! "Lord, I'm a decent person at heart. Oh,...
posted: 6/11/12
I looked at the jail that secluded me from men and it was no longer by its high wall that I was imprisoned; no, it was God who surrounded me. I walked under the branches of the tree in front of my cell but it was not the tree, I knew it was God. It was God whom I saw standing there and holding over me His shade. Or I lay on the coarse blankets that were given me for a bed and felt the arms of God around me, the arms of my Friend and Lover...It was not the magistrate whom I saw, it was God, it was God who was sitting there on the bench. I looked at the Prosecuting Counsel and it was not the...
posted: 6/11/12
A Simple Path, a book about Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity, describes some of the prayers they use in their spiritual practice. One especially caught my eye, because it seems to be specifically geared to letting go of our whole sense of the personal self. I urge you to spend time with this prayer, not just to read it once or twice. Reflect on each line and apply it to yourself; notice any confusion or resentment that it brings up in you. Give yourself time with it. Perhaps work with it every morning for a month. This prayer is so profoundly opposite our contemporary self-esteem...

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