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SP-Cover-Puja8-300HFall 2014: Spritual Practice

Why is it that engagement with the higher, the sacred, the spiritual, requires practice? Call it the veil of Maya, sleep, original sin, monkey mind, or ego, there is something within us that blocks us from direct apprehension of the divine. We practice to allow this something to find its proper place, to make room within us for the sacred, and also to remember to go beyond apprehension to living the truth, practicing the truth. This Fall 2014 issue of Parabola explores the world of spiritual practice with the guidance of accomplished teachers and practitioners.

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Articles from Fall Issue: Spiritual Practice

Who Am I? PDF  | Print |

George-reprint02-2by James George

[Siva Yogaswami of Jaffna (1872–1964) was a Sri Lankan spiritual master revered by men and women of many faiths. The Editors] The Tamils of Sri Lanka called him the Sage of Jaffna. His thousands of devotees, including many Sinhalese Buddhists and Christians, called him a saint. Some of those closest to him referred to him as the Old Lion, or Bodhidharma reborn, for he could be very fierce and unpredictable, chasing away unwelcome supplicants with a stick. I just called him Swami. He was my introduction to Hinduism in its pure Vedanta form, and my teacher for the nearly four years I served as the Canadian High Commissioner in what was still called Ceylon in the early Sixties when I was there.

 
An Interfaith Crucible: PDF  | Print |

SP-Starr-Interview-03-4Interviewed by Jeff Zaleski

Mirabai Starr is an adjunct professor of philosophy and world religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos. She is the author of God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and other works, and is the translator of Dark Night of the Soul, by John of the Cross, and The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life by Teresa of Avila. Recently Starr has emerged as one of the most impressive voices connecting multiple religious traditions. Her years spent at the interfaith Lama Foundation contributed to her understanding; and so, apparently, has her more recent work as a locksmith.

 
Living as Spiritual Practice: PDF  | Print |

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The Life and Death of Laura Rothenberg
by Tracy Cochran

In February 2003, I went to Laura Rothenberg’s apartment to talk about her book, Breathing for a Living, which she wouldn’t live to see published. Laura was dying at age twenty-two. I wrote for a magazine about books and authors, and Laura didn’t want to be forgotten. When she was three days old she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF), an incurable genetic illness that over the course of her short life slowly made breathing, digesting food, and staying alive a consuming and ultimately impossible labor. Yet she also found a way to live a much larger life. In her writing and, as far as I know, in her life, Laura never used the expression “spiritual practice.” Yet her book, her National Public Radio diary, My So-Called Lungs, and her relationships, reveal that her heart and mind reached beyond her suffering even as she felt it intensely.

 
How to Find a Spiritual Teacher PDF  | Print |

SP-Firestone-04-artby Lillian Firestone

If you dream of finding a great Teacher, a Master, the operative advice is, “get real.” Great teachers may appear once in a hundred years. Masters require great sacrifice of those willing to follow them ... and as we are not prepared to pay the price, it’s best to start exactly where we find ourselves with the help that is within reach. More likely I can find a guide, someone who knows the way but is still in the process of becoming. A useful guide is one who will help me to connect to my authentic self, that self that is connected to God. No shame, no blame, no fear, marks this journey, where every inner movement needs to be seen without judgment.

 
Learn to Die! PDF  | Print |

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By Alejandro Jodorowsky

Despite acclaim, even adulation, garnered from his theater and film work, including such classic films as The Holy Mountain and El Topo, the author found himself in a state of doubt—of spiritual questioning.

I realized how far I was from believing in God, in human beings, or in anything at all. I doubted art. What was it for? If it was to entertain people who were afraid of waking up, I was not interested in it. If it was a means of succeeding economically, I was not interested. If it was an activity taken on by my ego to exalt itself, I was not interested. If I had to be the jester for those in power, those who poison the planet and leave millions of people starving, I was not interested. What then was the purpose of art? After a crisis so profound that it led me to think of suicide, I arrived at the conclusion that the purpose of art was to heal.

 

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How to seek daily what we truly desire by Patty de Llosa.

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Winter 2014, Goodness
Spring 2015, Sin
Summer 2015, Angels
   and Demons

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