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Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman. The Religion Network is an interfaith web site providing inspiration, quotes and
religious resources. This Home Page is changed every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You are warmly
invited to read every quote posted for each theme, or simply to read those that interest you. They are
offered in the belief that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and that finding the commonality
in religions is more important than pointing up the differences. Religion is precious gift that blesses the
individual and uplifts the community. However you worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. Let
us meet regularly and build a spiritual network. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.

On Today's Theme:

Opinions. We hold them. We share them.  We hear about everyone else's. They're not
inherently bad, but when we anchor them with dug in heels and prop them up with the
belief that they are truth and not just opinions, they can become a form of aggression.

On the flip side, other people's opinions, especially about us, can wound us so deeply
our hearts bleed emotional fluid. In both cases, our egos are prominently involved.
If we can lighten our egos enough so that they float away from our self image, we will
discover that opinions have no substance of their own, whether they are ours or
someone else's. Once the scales have fallen from our eyes, we'll see that God's
first love for us is the only opinion that ever mattered, or ever will matter...
at least, that's my opinion!

- Lisa Bowman

One of the best practices for everyday living when we don't have much time
for meditation is to notice our opinions...This is an extremely helpful practice,
because we have a lot of opinions, and we tend to take them as truth. But actually
they aren't truth. They are just our opinions. We have a lot of emotional backup
for these opinions. They are often judgmental or critical; they're sometimes
about how nice or perfect something is. In any case, we have a lot of opinions.

Opinions are opinions, nothing more or less. We can begin to notice them, and
we can begin to label them as opinions, just as we label thoughts as thoughts. Just
by this simple exercise we are introduced to the notion of egolessness. All ego really
is, is our opinions, which we take to be solid, real and the absolute truth about how
things are. To have even a few seconds of doubt about the solidity and absolute truth
of our own opinions, just to begin to see that we do have opinions, introduces us to
the possibility of egolessness. We don't have to make these opinions go away; and
we don't have to criticize ourselves for having them. We could just notice what we
say to ourselves and see how so much of it is just our particular take on reality,
which may or may not be shared by other people.

Excerpted from "When Things Fall Apart,"
by Pema Chodron
(Tibetan Buddhist teacher from Nova Scotia)
Shambala, 2005


The fourth important subject in the sutra concerns the trap of complexes--
thinking you are better, worse than, or equal to others. All of these complexes
arise because we thing we're a separate self. Happiness built on the notion of
a separate self is weak and unreliable. Through the practice of meditation, we
come to see that we "inter-are" with all other beings, and our fears,
anxieties, anger, and sorrow disappear.

Excerpted from "Teachings on Love,"
by Thich Nhat Hanh
Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk
Parallax Press, 2007

This unconditional and unlimited love is what the evangelist John calls
God's first love. "Let us love," he says, "because God loved us first"
(1 John 4:19). The love that often leaves us doubtful, frustrated,
angry, and resentful is the second love, that is to say, the affirmation,
affection, sympathy, encouragement, and support we receive from
our parents, teachers, spouses, and friends. We all know how
limited, broken, and very fragile that love is...

To live a life that is not dominated by the desire to be relevant but
is instead safely anchored in the knowledge of God's first love,
we have to be mystics. A mystic is a person whose identity
is deeply rooted in God's first love.

Excerpted from "In the Name of Jesus,"
by Henri J. M. Nouwen
The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1989

...and now,
The Last Word:

When we hold on to our opinions with aggression,
no matter how valid our cause, we are simply
adding more aggression to the planet, and
violence and pain increase. Cultivating
nonaggression is cultivating peace.

Excerpted from "When Things Fall Apart,"
by Pema Chodron
Shambala, 2005




























































Random Bonus Quote:

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)


On the
Home Page:

Pema Chodron;
Thich Nhat Hanh;
Henri Nouwen


See also: