meditation

Choosing My Religion

(Reading time: 3 minutes & 35 seconds)

Hey, you guys! Chuck here!

Having a satisfying spiritual life is a crucial component of living a high-energy lifestyle! So today I would like to talk a little bit about how to choose the right religion for you! Now, it may seem utterly absurd to have a street-performer give you advice on how to choose the right religion. But, I think you know where I’m going to go with this! If a reality TV star can run our country, then why can’t a street-performer give you advice on how to select a religion? In 2017 we are doing exciting new things with entrepreneurship! We used to think that governing and spirituality were dire matters which best be left to the experts! Not anymore! Anyone with enough money, charisma, and brand recognition can ascend to the highest office in the land and anyone with a laptop, a modicum of creative writing skills, and plenty of free time can dole out spiritual advice!

A common theme on this blog is that I admittedly don’t understand the universe. I thought I had an adequate grasp on the basics; humans are roughly 60% water, the universe is expanding, you should treat people the way you would want to be treated, etc. But, then a reality TV star became the Republican nominee for the President of the United States of America and everything went out the window! I concluded that the true nature of the universe is ultimately unknowable and I gave up any attempt to arrive at a correct belief system. So, as you can imagine, my approach towards religion is a little unconventional.

I evaluate religions in terms of the resources they offer, not how correct their beliefs are. So now I would like to take a few moments to demonstrate how one might go about evaluating religions based on the quality of their resources and not the correctness of their doctrines. These are just a few examples, this is not intended to be exhaustive.

First example, I think Kabbalah has the best explanation of what God is. Now obviously, I think the nature of God is unknowable, but Kabbalah offers an explanation which can account for why God created us, why there is so much suffering, and why we never see or hear from God. It’s a great explanation of God, it makes me feel like life has a purpose, and it motivates me to work hard and practice empathy! The Kabbalists’ explanation of the nature of God is an excellent resource!

Second example, I think the Anglicans have the best prayers. I’ve studied the prayer books of various religions and I keep coming back to the Book of Common Prayer. I used to love the Catholic rosary. But, having studied hypnosis at some length, I’m now skeptical about making 53 references to the “hour of our death” and five references to the “fires of hell” all within a twenty minute period. I’ve studied Jewish prayer books and I find them wonderful, but if you’re not of Jewish heritage, the wording of some of these prayers can be awkward. The Anglicans have assembled a nice collection of simple prayers which I think are fairly accessible to people from a wide array of backgrounds. And the prayers touch on all the right points; being thankful for creation, working hard, guiding our leaders in wisdom, being empathetic towards the less fortunate, etc. The Book of Common Prayer is an excellent resource!

Third example, I think Soto Zen Buddhism has the best meditation method! The meditation method taught within the Soto school of Japanese Zen Buddhism is an excellent resource!

Now some of you reading this may already have a church you attend, your family goes there, the people are wonderful, you play on the softball team! That’s great! Keep going there! It sounds like they have excellent resources! I’m not telling you which religion I think you should join, I’m just arguing for a different way of evaluating religion! The ultimate nature of the universe is completely unknowable, so we should evaluate religions based on useful they are, not how true they may or may not be! I would also like to remind you again that this blog is intended for entertainment purposes and should not be used as a substitute for professional spiritual advice.

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Beliefs Pt. 2

(Reading time: 3 minutes & 45 seconds)

Hey, you guys! Chuck here!

In my last post I discussed how our simplest beliefs can have huge consequences for our behavior patterns. I used this example from my own experience; for most of my life I believed that I understood the universe, then when I realized that a reality TV star was going to become the President of the United States of America I came to the belief that I didn’t understand the universe even in the slightest. This change in belief led me to quit drinking, quit eating junk food, and begin searching for the secrets to energy and success! One simple belief can make a world of difference!

Now, if you have 21 minutes to spare, I would strongly encourage you to watch this video! This woman gives an excellent testimonial about how one bad belief sent her life into a complete tailspin. She then goes on to explain how, through hypnosis, her belief was corrected and she went on to live a high-energy life and help thousands of people! All it took was one two hour session with an experienced hypnotherapist and her belief was corrected and years of turmoil were suddenly over, just like that! Very inspiring!

I can relate to her story, because I went through my own experience of meeting a “Yoda” and having my mind drastically altered for the better within a very short period of time! I had struggled with depression and anxiety throughout all of my 20’s. I had seen numerous therapists and tried all sorts of drugs. Nothing seemed to work. When I was 29 I began to explore meditation. I began attending a Buddhist temple in Battle Creek, Michigan called Sokukoji. After attending for a couple of weeks, one night I ended up having a twenty minute conversation with the head priest Sokuzan, the man I now consider my meditation teacher. I told him about my years of depression and anxiety, about my history of panic attacks and obsessive thought cycles. What he suggested to me would irreparably alter my life for the better. He told me; “When you’re depressed, just be depressed. When you have a panic attack, just have a panic attack. Don’t try to control your thoughts. We can’t control our thoughts, we don’t even know what thoughts are”.

For all of my life I had believed that I was the thinker of my thoughts, that I was responsible for every horrible idea that floated through my mind, and this belief had caused me to go to endless war with my own mind! And then one day, when I was in a very suggestible state, this old man had basically reached into my subconscious, tweaked my bad belief, and sent my life on an entirely new trajectory! This was nearly six years ago and I’ve never had an issue with depression since!

Now, it’s not at all my intention to promote Buddhism, it’s definitely not for everybody! I’m just using this as another example from my own life where correcting a simple belief drastically altered the course my life would take! When I was 29 I believed that I was responsible for my own thoughts, that belief was replaced with “We don’t even know what thoughts are” and new positive behavior patterns were the result! When I was 34 I believed I understood the universe, that belief was replaced with “A reality TV star is going to be our next president” and new positive behavior patterns were the result!

Now for the bigger, peskier beliefs, like the ones I’ve described above, you may need to elicit the help of a hypnotherapist or guru. And in that case, I wish you all of the luck in the world in finding the right Yoda for the job. I’ve got a feeling I may need to see a hypnotherapist if I’m every going to overcome my fear of bats! But, we can already begin to use self-hypnosis for the smaller beliefs that may be holding us back! You may believe that healthy food is gross, exercise is boring, or you can’t have fun without alcohol! Youtube is brimming with hypnosis videos which can correct these beliefs! Here’s one for eating healthy! Here’s one for exercise motivation! And here’s one I used in my efforts to quit drinking! And there’s hundreds more! Get to work finding the ones that work best for you! This is one easy step you can take right now to put yourself on the path to success!