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Video: Vulnerability, strength or weakness, with Edward Viljoen

Photo by Jake Thacker
This month’s value is “Spiritual Living through Education and Continuous Improvement.”

Click here to see the video below on YouTube.

How do people bring themselves to a greater vision for their lives? Ernest Holmes writes that the current range of our possibilities does not extend beyond our present concepts. So we have to keep growing and opening our awareness to a greater experience of life. We can do this by developing an  interest in topics we don’t typically pay attention to. What is a subject you don’t know very much about? In our modern times, no information is withheld from us. Look it up and research it and begin a life-long love affair with learning. You can expand your concepts of life through spiritual education offered at the Center too.

How do you bring yourself to a greater vision for your life?

This month’s recommended book, Daring Greatly, by BrenĂ© Brown, is an excellent starting place to learn about how to lean into life with more authenticity and passion. You’re invited to join me on Tuesday at 12:30 to “Lunch and Learn.” We’ll use BrenĂ© Brown’s book to guide our discussion.

Today's video explores the question, is being vulnerable a strength, or is it a weakness?

Warm Regards,

Edward Viljoen

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Video: Reachable and Teachable with Edward Viljoen

photo by Annie Spratt, unsplash.com

This month’s Value is “Spiritual Living through Education and Continuous Improvement.”
(Click here to see the video below on YouTube)
Centers for Spiritual Living is an education-centric spiritual movement. We walk a path of awakening, growth, and spiritual deepening through classes, workshops, seminars, and spiritual practices that allow us to embrace education as a lifelong endeavor. We welcome more and more of the Divine Nature to be realized within us and revealed through our relationships, decisions, and contributions to the world.
The purpose of spiritual education is to expand our mental horizons and broaden our understanding of this Life and how to live it more powerfully. Reading, studying, meditating, and discussing spiritual ideas helps us avoid becoming dogmatic or stuck in a rut of our own thinking.
Ernest Holmes wrote, “You will read every [person's] philosophy, reserving for yourself the prerogative of choice, knowing that any philosophy based on a Unitary Wholeness has the elements of truth. No philosophy is perfect, your own is not. Everything is evolving, growing, expanding.”
In what ways are you evolving, growing, and expanding?

                       Warm regards,
      Edward Viljoen

photo by Annie Spratt, unsplash.com

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How to Trust Goodness in the Face of Life’s Tragedies

One of the most difficult times to attempt trusting in goodness is during or immediately after a tragedy when our thoughts and emotions wrestle with the apparent absence of any goodness at all. Nevertheless, it is precisely during such times that we may long to trust that goodness is present. Might we be able to walk through our challenges with more courage if we had a deep-seated conviction that goodness is available, despite our difficulties?  Possibly. But, trusting in the presence of goodness takes practice, as it does in any new skill. When done regularly, it can develop into a lifelong habit. Don’t wait until tragedy strikes to begin developing the habit of trusting goodness. 

Consider getting started now with these suggestions:

Break the habit of not noticing

Unexpected events in our lives, such as tragedies and emergencies, have a way of drawing our attention to what is going on. When this happens, our thoughts become so focused on dealing with life’s calamities, that we stop noticing what ordinary goodness may be present. It takes a resolute personal commitment to carve out time to notice goodness. A simple practice might be to take time each day to list such ordinary things as a warm bed, a loving pet, the kindness of friends, or family. It may seem impossible for a traumatized mind to redirect thinking in this way, but in time, the practice will anchor you to a world view in which you become inclined to notice goodness.

Have confidence in your ability to be generous

There is nothing more sweetly restorative than connecting to other people through generosity. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture; indeed, when we are suffering, even a smile may seem difficult to accomplish. Nevertheless, generosity brings people together and can have the effect of changing our emotions by reuniting us with something innate, restoring, and beautiful: our goodness. A practice that is useful to me when I need to remember goodness, is to send greeting cards to my friends, acknowledging the goodness that they bring into my life.

Make a date with nature

Research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tracked the effect of a 90-minute walk through a quiet, natural setting. Subjects showed a decrease in brooding on negative aspects of their lives. The results of the study suggest that access to natural spots may be essential for mental health in a rapidly urbanizing world. A beneficial practice to boost confidence in goodness is to make a date to sit or walk in a garden, or in nature, with no agenda other than to just be present there. The effects of being in nature include a reduction in stress and fatigue and an increase in happiness and creativity.

Keep practicing

My workout partner was told by his doctor that he should start meditating for increased wellness. My friend asked me if I could provide him with a short bullet list of some key ideas about meditation so that he could decide if it was a suitable practice for him. His request was partly tongue-in-cheek, poking fun at the contemporary taste for fast and effortless answers that many people have for even the most deep-seated questions, such as how to trust goodness in the face of life’s tragedies.

I explained to my friend that real progress in meditation comes from doing it, and that he could no more experience meditation by reading a bullet list than he could expect to learn how to play the violin by studying a blog article. So it is with something as radically transformative as trusting in goodness. It takes careful attention, and it comes with practice. It takes moment-by-moment awareness, and a steadfast willingness to turn your attention in a direction that seems counter-intuitive to your reasoning mind. As author Allan Lokos wrote, "you must practice a practice for it to be effective."

Edward Viljoen, author of Ordinary Goodness, The Surprisingly Effortless Path to Creating a Life of Meaning and Beauty

photo by Renatto Mora, unsplash.com

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Video: Values-Based Spiritual Living - Diversity and Inclusivity - Active Listening

To view the video below on YouTube click here.

Ernest Holmes wrote of the infinite possibilities in creation as follows:
Each state of consciousness taps the same source, but has a different receptivity. Each receives what [they] asks for, according to [their] ability to embody. The Universal is Infinite; the possibility of differentiating is limitless.

When you think of the phrase “the Universal is Infinite,” what comes to mind?

If you have thoughts or questions about this topic, I would love to hear from you. Contact me by e-mail at edward@cslsr.org, or you can post a topic for conversation on our Facebook Group:


The value we are focusing on next month is Education and Continuous Improvement.  

Warm regards,

Edward Viljoen

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