Devotion: Giving and Receiving

With the holidays upon us, we’ve been thinking a great deal about devotion, and what it means to give and to receive. The holidays are meant to invoke feelings of connection, peace, love, and joy. Even so, the streets and shopping centers are wretched with anxiety-ridden consumers. The act of giving has lost its significance as a symbol of love and devotion. Giving can be an act of gratitude, a […]

Photography for Social Change

Chaminade University, Spring 2013The following images were drawn from the final portfolios in my Chaminade University class, Photography for Social Change, Spring 2013. The class is an introduction to photography with an emphasis on using the camera as an instrument to reveal social issues or to assist in seeking positive solutions to the problems which vex us all. —David Ulrich Alanah Torre: “In this series of photos, neglect is not […]

The 50 Most Influential Spiritual Books of Our Time

“Books are to be called for and supplied on the assumption that the process of reading is not a half-sleep; but in the highest sense an exercise, a gymnastic struggle; that the reader is to do something for himself.” —Walt Whitman A list compiled from our own thought and experience. This is not meant to be objective or universal, but merely the books that we perceive as being useful and important. […]

I Am Not My Body

My body feels good. My body does not feel good. My body looks good. My body does not look good. Why all the fuss? We don’t realize this most of the time, but what is real in us is our awareness, which resides behind, above, and within the body. It is paradoxical. The body is our field of activity; everything we experience takes place in and through our bodies. Even […]

To Question . . .

Poet Rainer Maria Rilke writes: “Try to love the questions themselves. … Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” To question is life itself. I wrote this ten years ago. And understand it more clearly now, as I likely will find greater clarity ten years from now. Our insights are evolving—always—if we seek […]

Entering the Body

How might we find—and strengthen—those slender threads that link heaven and earth, that relate our two natures, the earthly and the divine? If we wish to deepen into ourselves, transcend the ordinary mind, and come into contact with whispers of the greater intelligence and larger awareness that reside within ourselves, how do we proceed? What is the key? These are the questions we explored in our recent classes in creativity […]

The Yoga of Creativity

Among the first four Yoga Sutras, attributed to Patanjali and translated by Barbara Stoler Miller are: This is the teaching of yoga. Yoga is the cessation of the turnings of thought. When thought ceases, the spirit stands in its true identity as the observer to the world. Otherwise, the observer identifies with the turnings of thought. Perhaps one of the purposes of the sutras, like creativity, is to get us […]

Authenticity: Seeing the Truth

“Know Thyself.” Socrates words, derived from the Delphic Oracle of ancient Greece,resound with an inner force as clear and direct as their first utterance over twenty-five centuries ago. These two simple words lie at the heart of the world’s great teachings and have had a profound impact on the thought and inquiry of western civilization. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my own — my path, my […]