Happy New Year 2011!

Greetings from Kerala, India. Wishing you a soulful and delighted New Year, 2011. This coming year has so much in store for us, so much Good. And how happy I am to be able to share my enthusiasm with you about it. Life has been such an amazing journey that led me to your doorstep, to your computer screen, to your dinner table, to your hiking week, to your conference...there is so much to be grateful for. And I am speaking to all people with whom I have had contact, whether I know you or not. We are all related though God, and this gives me so much pleasure.

In India, a spiritual path is a way of life. It has to do with daily practices passed on from generation to generation, whether it is ritual bathing before mosque, or temple. Likewise, there are other daily practices that cause for spiritual reflection during the day; an early morning yoga practice; or being called to prayer five times; or by praying before eating food; or by sitting down to take in a healing energy. All of these forms are part of a spiritual practice, some more religious than others. But in light of the upcoming year 2011, I think that it is nice to motivate my readers a bit further in their spiritual practice, to take more action.

When we are practicing teachings of any kind, it is so important to keep them nearby in our hearts, so that we may use them constantly. Then we only allow the goodness to dwell in our heart, leaving no room for anything other than the good. For example, before bed, I read a religious or sacred text so that  the last words in my mind are holy. Every day, my focus is on good thoughts, good words, good deeds, and clear thinking. That narrows my "entertainment" down to music  with carefully reviewed lyrics, happy television, good news, and selected readings and texts. Does this bore me? No. Am I a purist? Perhaps. But imagine if you kept your heart and conscience as pure as a mountain stream. What would your life look like? What would you attract to you and to your family by accepting only positive thoughts or positive conversations? In my home I don't accept pain and suffering. This excludes gossip, whining, swearing, and general drama of any kind... Imagine how it would be if you only accepted the good and gave away the bad stuff? There would be no reason for upset, and all of your worries and stresses would be gone! Maybe my way of living is simplistic. But that is how I prefer to live life. Simply and naturally. God is my director, and I follow.

May you find that this coming year bring you many gifts, both spiritual and physical. May your heart's wishes come true. May you have plenty of food, good health, a good marriage, a good relationship with your family, neighbors, and friends, and a great relationship with God, our good friend and Father. I leave you with a favorite quote. All the best!
"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion....In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony."
William Ellery Channing