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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Some Sage Advice

By Charles Feldman (Prana)

Here are some quotes by Rabbi Rami Shapiro (in italics) followed by my comments. Rabbi Rami has spoken at our center before.

On Ethics: Religion posits rules of ethical behavior that help us to live as if we were awake even if we are still asleep.

This is a great explanation of the reason for morality. We do the things that we would do anyway if we were enlightened.

On Truth: Truth is truth. There is no Zen truth or Jewish truth. If something is True, it is true for all. . . . We can learn from all of them [founders of religions], but some will speak more powerfully to us than others.

I sometimes wonder if I am following the right path, or if Sri Ramakrishna is really an Avatar. But whatever doubts I may have, I know that Sri Ramakrishna, and people and scriptures in the Ramakrishna movement, speak to me more powerfully than those in any other spiritual tradition. So I am in the right place.

On Sacred Texts: Why are these texts sacred? Because they have proved themselves to be accurate guides to godliness.

This is the same view as that expressed in Vedanta. There are saints in every major religion.

On Spirituality: Spirituality is not a feeling. Spirituality is paying attention. Spirituality is being present to what is happening around you and within you regardless of how you feel. . . . Spirituality is not different from everyday life. It is doing everyday things with a clear and attentive mind.

Sometimes when I get involved in a negative daydream, after reading this, I have found that it helps me to merely pay attention, and then I am aware of the wider cosmos. The negative daydream loses some of its hold on me.

The above quotes are from Rabbi Rami Shapiro in Meditation from the Heart of Judaism: Today's Teachers Share Their Practices, Techniques, and Faith.

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