www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Spirituality Logo Spiritual Stuff
 
Despite my deep religious skepticism I do hold a respect and interest in a
vareity of spiritual practices and traditions. Regardless our own belief it's
important that we remain open to, or at least tolerant of, the beliefs of others...

 

Jai Guru Deva OM
Sanskrit: Victory to God Devine OM

 

 

Clarification:

I want to make it clear that my pages aren't here to mock, make fun of, or demean religion, spirituality, or people of faith. Although I am an atheist, I recognize that most religions and sects have organized themselves in an effort to better their lives (and future prsopects!) and our world in general. However, I take a very dim view (and work against) any religion that wants to entangle itself with government or anyone who wants to force their belief system on others. I also cast a wary eye towards proselytizing (including those who tout secular ideals as well!) but recognize shouting out our beliefs is a right, albeit an obnoxious one at times...

Anyway, I'll admit here that I have found comfort, at times, in spiritual practices and religious gatherings - in the same way I find time alone in Nature or a beautiful concert inspiring - a religious or spiritual gathering can be calming and comforting. My experiences in this regard have included numerous (clockwise) prayer walks around Stupas, intense study and lecture sessions with the Seventh Day Adventists, a full weekend of meditation at a Zen center, years of study as a young boy in the Catholic church, praying with Shinto nuns in Japan, and lighting candles and spinning prayer wheels in Tibet.

Again, the idea here being that it is important that we all remain respectful of other people's beliefs and recognize that there is good in everyone. Nevertheless, religions (and seculaists, too...) have done a lot of damage throughout history so it's equally important to remain vigilant and to speak out against the parts of other systems that are damaging, controlling of others, or destructive to our precious little planet and the other life that shares it with us. None of us are here very long so let's do what's right while we can...

- Roger J. Wendell, Golden, Colorado

 

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso "Actually, I believe there is an important distinction to be made between religion and spirituality. Religion I take to be concerned with faith in the claims to salvation of one faith tradition or another, an aspect of which is acceptance of some form of metaphysical or supernatural reality, including perhaps an idea of heaven or nirvana. Connected with this are religious teachings or dogma, ritual, prayer, and so on. Spirituality I take to be concerned with those qualities of the human spirit - such as love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony - which bring happiness to both self and others. While ritual and prayer, along with the questions of nirvana and salvation, are directly connected to religious faith, these inner qualities need not be, however. There is thus no reason why the individual should not develop them, even to a high degree, without recourse to any religious or metaphysical belief system. That is why I sometimes say that religion is something we can perhaps do without. What we cannot do without are these basic spiritual qualities."
- His Holiness, The Dalai Lama in Ethics for the New Millennium, p. 22

 

"Spirituality is not a way of life, it is life.
To truly embody spirituality it must become a verb."

- Julia Butterfly Hill, on Spiritual Activation

 

"But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere
"

- Folk Singer Dar Williams from her song, The Christians and the Pagans

 

"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."

- Blaise Pascal

 

"I'm not an Atheist because I just can't be that certain."

- Mike Rosen, Radio KOA 850 talk show host
Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 10:56 am

 

"I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong."

- John Lennon

 

Video of a Prayer Wheel and Thur-dag mask:


 

(Click on any of this page's "thumbnail" images for a larger view)

 

Roger J. Wendell with the mystical and sacred symbol Aum in India
Roger in India
"The WuLi Masters know that 'science' and 'religion' are only dances, and that those who follow them are dancers.
The dancers may claim to follow 'truth' or claim to seek 'reality', but the WuLi Masters know better. They know
that the true love of all dancers is dancing."

- Gary Zukav
The Dancing WuLi Masters, p. 111

 

"If it could be shown that Shakyamuni never lived, the myth of his life would be our guide. In fact it is better to acknowledge at the outset that myths and religious archetypes guide us, just as they do every religious person."

- Robert Aitken
Taking the Path of Zen, p. 7

 

"Zen Buddhism is one path among many. I have heard it said that all paths lead to the top of the same mountain. I doubt it. I think that one mountain may seem just a small hill from the top of another. Let one hundred mountains rise! Meanwhile you musts find your own path, and your own mountain. You may have an experience of some kind that points the direction clearly, or you may have to explore for a while. But eventually you will have to settle on a particular way, with a particular teacher."

- Robert Aitken
Taking the Path of Zen, p. 13

 

"We began by speaking of invisible connections; there is one connection that upholds all. The universal mind choreographs everything that is happening in billions of galaxies with elegant precision and unfaltering intelligence. Its intelligence is ultimate and supreme, permeating every fiber of existence from the smallest to the largest, from the atom to the cosmos. I am an impulse of the universe, at this particular moment in time, part of a collective wave of consciousness. After I'm gone, I'll have done what I came to do."

"And that's enough."

- Depak Chopra from his video,
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (The Law of Dharma)

 

"I believe that each individual should embark upon a spiritual path that is best suited to his or her mental disposition, natural inclination, temperament, belief, family, and cultural background."

- His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in his book,
The Art of Happiness (A Handbook for Living), p. 294

 

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The Crow Concept of Vision Quest

Crow Medicine Man - 1880 From The Heart Of The Crow Country
(The crow Indians' Own Stories)
by Joseph Medicine Crow, p. 80

"The quiet and mystic serenity of the Wolf Teeth Mountains has always provided the good and right setting for vision seeking. Some of the prominences in the mountains display physical evidence where clandestine and lonely worship took place, where man sought communion with his Maker and wished to receive the Baxbe, or Power."

"The Absarokee, surrounded and besieged on all sides by hostile tribes, was by necessity a tribe of superb warriors physically, mentally, and spiritually. The Crow believed that by fasting he could obtain supernatural power through animal emissaries of the First Maker (or Great Spirit). He believed that this power would make him a better warrior, mores successful in performing war deeds, helping him to eventually become a chief with great wealth, high prestige, and a large following.

"The crow called this spiritual experience 'Going Without Water.' It was basically a fasting supplication. Through suffering from exposure to the elements, from the pangs of thirst and hunger, and from the pain of blood sacrifice (cutting off a finger and bleeding into unconsciousness), the faster hoped to gain the pity of the animal spirits* (the Ones Without Fires). Thus to receive an early 'visit' by them and to be given instructional dreams and visions were the sure signs of 'receiving the Baxbe, the Sacred Power."

* "The Crows attributed to the horse, as to other animals, supernatural powers and regarded it as an emissary and agent of the Great Power. The Crow philosophy held that the Supreme Power had given all animals., the 'Ones Without Fires,' inherent supernatural powers that had not been given to human beings. Therefore man must obtain spiritual power through animal emissaries and revealers. Through a special dream or a vision or a fasting experience, an animal would come and prescribe to the supplicant the secret and sacred ways of using a particular gift - the power to heal certain sicknesses, to cure the wounded, to be invulnerable in battle, to prophesy, or to perform other mystical feats."
Ibid., pp. 102-103

 

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Spirituality and the Brain

Caller - Jeff, from Mesa Arizona:
"How would you define rationality or just rational thinking? Because my personal view is just that nothing really seems rational I mean what's the basis for the direction one takes, or a nation takes, when you say we just need to be rational."

Sam Harris's response:

"Well it's a good question, it's actually a deep question when you talk about what rationality is at the level of the brain because we now know from a variety of functional neuroimaging experiments that rationality and emotions are not entirely separable. There are kinds of reasoning that require a certain emotional functionality and without that functionality, without being able to feel the difference between something being right and wrong, or true and false, you're unable to reason and you're unable to let your reason really inform your behavior."

"So it's actually quite a deep question scientifically. But, we all know what reason is at the level of common sense. We all know that when someone makes extravagant claims that that should be based on really extraordinarily compelling evidence and when it's not we immediately discount these claims in every other area of our lives. And, just to take a specific example. 'Cuz one thing I'm not discounting here is that the fact that people have spiritual experiences. I think spiritual experience is one of the most interesting parts of the human experience and it may be necessary but what I'm arguing is that we can't make extravagant and divisive metaphysical claims on the basis of our spiritual experiences.

"If you go into a cave and pray to Jesus for ten hours a day and feel more love than you've ever felt in your life and come out of that cave an extraordinarily good person, that's great. But, what you have to observe is that there are Buddhists who do that and they never think about Jesus. There are Hindus who do that who never think about Jesus. So, at the very least it is only rational to conclude that there is a deeper principal here, and the principal is not that Jesus is the son of God and that everyone who dies outside of his dispensation will spend eternity in Hell. That is not the reasonable thing to conclude from the evidence. And so, I'm just arguing that in our spiritual life, and in our ethical life, we have to make intellectually honest conclusions and engage in intellectually honest dialogue."

- Sam Harris interviewd by Michelle Martin on NPR's Talk of the Nation
about his new book, Letter to a Christian and keeping religion out of public policy.
Broadcast on Monday, October 02, 2006 and transcribed by Roger J. Wendell

 

Arrow Pointing Right There is no God, click Here for more info...

 

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Animated Buddha Me:
Okay, although I was raised a Christian, I didn't turn out to be a spiritual or religous person. In fact, I'm probably about as skeptical as they come. Nevertheless, I've always held a deep appreciation for Native American traditions, Buddhism (I took a trip to Tibet once), Paganism and just about anything related to Nature. Also, I've always respected the good stuff that Christians, Muslims, Jains, Hindus and countless other religious folks attempt to do - there really are great people around the world with good intentions whether I happen to believe in their particular system or not. Anyway, this page is mostly for stuff that I find interesting, in a "spiritual" sense, with an occasional commentary about things that I think are in need of positive change!
- Roger J. Wendell, Colorado
Spacer My Journey to Ixtlan in 1992
My Journey to Ixtlan

 

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for info on proselytizing...

 

Animated Buddha Quotes:

 

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Animated Buddha Wabi Sabi Defined:

I found this on the Zack de la Rocha net:

"The concepts of wabi-sabi correlate with the concepts of Zen Buddhism, as the first Japanese involved with wabi-sabi were tea masters, priests, and monks who practiced Zen. Zen Buddhism originated in India, traveled to China in the 6th century, and was first introduced in Japan around the 12th century. Zen emphasizes "direct, intuitive insight into transcendental truth beyond all intellectual conception." At the core of wabi- sabi is the importance of transcending ways of looking and thinking about things/existence."

 

Animated Buddha
 

 

A little more on Buddhism:
(I heard this in an Alan Watts broadcast
called Buddhism & Hinduism, Japan
1965, The Journey from Inida)

"There is nothing you can hold onto, so man, let go..."

"Buddhism is different than Hinduism in that it has no god."

          - Alan Watts

It was around the year 2000 when I surprised my friend Dianna VanderDoes with what was probably an unfair question, "Can you described Buddhism, for me, in one sentence or less?"

Dianna paused thoughtfully for a moment then replied, "Everything is not okay, but that's okay!"

I love her definition not only for its simplicity, but the layers of meaning it represented as well (at least for me!). So, I repeat Dianna's response whenever I have a chance to talk about things Buddhist - Plus, she was very gracious in giving me permission to post our exchange on this web site!

- Roger J. Wendell

 

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Animated Buddha Prayer:

 

Animated Buddha Meditation:

 

Animated Buddha Other Related Thoughts:

 

Animated Buddha Links:
  1. Alan Watts
  2. Buddhist chants and songs
  3. Bible
  4. Boulder Shambhala Meditation Center
  5. Circle Sanctuary
  6. Creation Theories
  7. Death
  8. Deep Ecology
  9. Dhammapada (revered and authoritative Buddhist texts)
  10. Fundamental Buddhism
  11. Great Stupa of Dharmakaya
  12. KTTG Stupa
  1. Life
  2. Memorials
  3. Proselytizing
  4. Religion
  5. Religous Tolerance
  6. Riin's Rants - Organized religion isn't the only religion!
  7. Roger's Rules of Order
  8. Sanctuary House Crestone, Colorado
  9. Sarlo's Guru Rating Service
  10. There is no God
  11. Why Won't God Heal Amputees?
  12. Writing by me...

 

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