Have you visited the OneJourney Living Book recently? It’s filled with inspiring messages, and you could spend many enjoyable hours immersed in their wisdom.
Just out of curiosity, I decided to see which of the thousands of quotations on the site were among the most popular. I found that the following five received many “like” votes. Can you see a common theme at the heart of each of them?
Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
— American Indian Saying
If you persist in trying to attain what is never attained (It is Tao’s Gift!),
If you persist in making effort to obtain what effort cannot get,
If you persist in reasoning about what cannot be understood,
You will be destroyed by the very thing you seek.
To know when to stop,
To know when you can get no further by your own action,
This is the right beginning!
— Lao Tse (604 B.C.E.)
Ecstasy is our very nature; not to be ecstatic is simply unnecessary. To be ecstatic is natural, spontaneous. It needs no effort to be ecstatic, it needs great effort to be miserable. That’s why you look so tired, because misery is really hard work; to maintain it is really difficult, because you are doing something against nature.
— Osho (1931)
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
— Father Pedro Arrupe (1907)
“Is there anything that I can do to make myself enlightened?”
“As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.”
“Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?”
“To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.”
— Anthony De Mello (1931)
It seems to me that all of these authors are saying that we struggle to give ourselves happiness, and we fail again and again. But this is a benevolent universe, and when we let go and allow the natural forces of Light — the Divine — to give us Its gifts, we experience the fulfillment we’ve been seeking.
Since these are among our most popular quotations, it appears that this is the encouragement many people seek.
10 Ways to Make God’s Life Your Own
Every moment provides an opportunity to invite the Divine into our awareness. OneJourney founder Guy Finley provides the following list of simple ways you can use any moment to strengthen your connection with what you really want:
Recognizing the need for God in your life is the beginning of His entrance into it. And, as His is always the initiating action, what may feel like your need is really His secret invitation — announcing itself as a hunger in the heart which nothing in the world can sate. How you respond to this interior invitation determines the speed in which He makes Himself known to you.
And the best response of all is to be in waiting to respond — for assuming this internal position means that your wish to be receptive outweighs that ancient anchor called worldly concerns. And should this elevated level of Higher Self receptivity seem impossibly distant for now, it doesn’t have to remain that way because you can change your level. Which brings us to the purpose of this set of specialized instructions: The work of strengthening spiritual memory.
What is Spiritual Memory? Spiritual Memory is that part of your mind through which God first reminds you of His Life. A moments study proves this important spiritual finding. In your search for the Higher Life you’ve no doubt come upon a Truth and suddenly felt as though you had known the truth of it all your life; only that somehow you’d forgotten it!
This wonderful awakening sensation is like unexpectedly running into and recognizing a long lost friend. And, in a sense, this is exactly what has happened; for in each such moment of higher remembering — where you know afresh some Truth once lost to you — you have also refreshed your relationship with that Truth’s Source: God. This discovery can now be stated more succinctly: Strengthening your Spiritual memory helps awaken you to that Mind which holds it, and that Mind eventually reveals itself as being within and a part of God’s Mind.
What this new Truth reveals is that each and every time we can remember to remember God, it’s the same as receiving, increasing, and accepting God’s invitation to make His Life your own. Do your best to employ the 10 exercises below in their appropriate moment, and don’t be the least bit concerned over the results. You can’t fail at this exercise. Every effort you make to remember to remember God increases His interest in you. And God always gets what He wants!
1. Remembering to remember God when doing needful business with another person will also remind you that not only is it impossible to serve two masters and hope to succeed — but that Real Success comes to you as you see the truth of this.
2. Remembering to remember God when someone starts to praise you will keep you from forgetting that whatever light you may have shown to win that applause is only a gifted reflection.
3. Remembering to remember God in the middle of condemning yourself reminds you that you are much too harsh to be your own judge and that there’s a Higher Court of Appeal whose verdict is the standing order to start your life all over.
4. Remembering to remember God when taking your meals will help keep you from abandoning yourself to that nature which always abandons you after its consumed its desire.
5. Remembering to remember God in your travels reveals that wherever you may be going your dwelling place is always where your heart is and that no place is ever any better or worse than what you bring into it.
6. Remembering to remember God while being lashed about by your own storming thoughts and feelings makes it evident that you do not have to stand out in the rain.
7. Remembering to remember God in the face of a fear or loss reminds you that you’ve a choice in what you cling to, and that letting go of what is pulling you down is the same as turning in a higher, happier direction.
8. Remembering to remember God in the midst of a conflict or dispute helps to clarify that you can either go on fighting over what is impermanent — or — you can fight for your spiritual freedom by walking away from that inner neurotic nature and its compulsive need to win.
9. Remembering to remember God when doing those things you wish you didn’t have to do connects you with Something that is always content to be right where it is because it is always pleased with Who it is.
10. Remembering to remember God when doubting that remembering God does you any good places your wish for what is true above your own suspicion that you may not be sincere — which is the beginning of True Spiritual Sincerity.
Perhaps you have a favorite quote from your own tradition that expands on this theme. If so, please submit it to the OneJourney Living Book so we can all learn from the wisdom you share.
Dr. Ellen Dickstein
The OneJourney Project