Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.
Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Buddha, Henri Nouwen, 23rd Psalm, Deepak Chopra,
Wayne Teasdale, Paramahansa Yogananda, Socrates, Masahide
You have to give up something to get something from God. It's not that He's
playing games with us, it's just that if the pitcher is already full, nothing more
can be added to it.
When we empty ourselves of earthly things, there is simply
more room for spirtual things to enter our lives. How do we clean out our
earthly closet? By letting go of attachments. Don't put them in storage -
get rid of them! If our hands are already open from letting go the old
and useless, they are simutaneously open to receiving the new.
Life is one long lesson in learning to let go. Let go a little more each day.
Photo by Lisa Bowman All rights reserved
One day the Buddha was sitting with a group of monks in the woods
near the city of Sravasti. They had just finished a mindful lunch and
were engaged in a small Dharma discussion. Suddenly a farmer came by.
He was visibly upset and shouted, "Monks! have you seen my cows?"
The Buddha said, "No, we have not seen any cows." "You know, monks,"
the man said, "I am the most miserable person on Earth. For some
reason, my twelve cows all ran away this morning. I have only two acres
of sesame seed plants and this year the insects ate them all. I think I am
going to kill myself." The farmer was really suffering. Out of compassion,
the Buddha said, "No, sir, we have not seen your cows. Maybe you should
look for them elsewhere."When the farmer was gone, the Buddha turned
to his monks, looked at them deeply, smiled, and said, "Dear friends,
do you know that you are the happiest people on Earth?
You don't have any cows to lose."
So, my friends, if you have cows, look deeply into the nature of your
cows to see whether they have been bringing you happiness or
suffering. You should learn the art of releasing your cows.
Thich Nhat Hanh (1926- )
Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and prolific author
From "Essential Writings," Orbis Books, 2004
Alone with yourself,
On the edge of the forest
The Buddha (5th century BC)
Photo by Chuck Bowman All rights reserved
Detachment is often understood as letting
loose of what is attractive. But it sometimes
also requires letting go of what is repulsive.
You can indeed become attached to dark forces
such as resentment and hatred. As long as you
look for retaliation, you cling to your own
past...Don't be afraid of the One who wants
to enter your most intimate space and invite
you to let go of what you are clinging to so
anxiously...Don't be afraid to offer your hate,
bitterness, disappointment, to the One who is
love and only love...Each time you dare to let
go and surrender one of those many fears, your
hand opens a little and your palms spread
out in a gesture of receiving.
Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996)
Dutch priest, author of over 40 books
From "With Open Hands," Ballentine Books, 1972
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
If you want anything in the physical universe,
you have to relinquish your attachment to the outcome.
Deepak Chopra (1948- )
Indian medical doctor and writer
...If we really desire something in this physical realm,
we must let go of the eventual result or exactly how
our desires manifest in the lives of others. We cannot
control the outcome; we will get what we want, the
Hindu tradition tells us, but often with unforeseen results.
We must abandon any attachment to these results and
trust in the process. Practicing detachment
leads us to happiness and success.
Brother Wayne Teasdale (1945-2004 )
Lay monk who combined the traditions of Christianity
and Hinduism in the way of Christian Sannyasa
From "The Mystic Hours,"
New World Library, 2004
Photo by Chuck Bowman All rights reserved
The best course is to pray: Lord, make me happy
with awareness of Thee. Give me freedom from all
earthly desires, and above all give me Thy joy that
outlasts all the happy and sad experiences of life.
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)
Indian yogi and guru
Those who want the fewest things are nearest to the gods.
Socrates (c. 470-399 BC)
Ancient Greek philosopher
The Last Word:
Barn's burnt down ----
now I can see the moon.
Masahide (17th century)
Samurai and poet, whose house burnt down
in 1688, prompting this haiku poem.
Random Bonus Quote:
No man is an island, entire of itself....
Any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know
for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.
"Meditation 17," John Donne