Sunday Service: Based on a True Story


Week of June 1 – 7, 2014

This Week’s Spiritual Talk

Based on a True Story

By Peter Kowalke

“Life is a movie,” announced the monk.

The car was winding its way through the narrow streets of Horwah headed toward one of the Ramakrishna Mission’s fancier Calcutta centers, the Institute of Culture at Golpark. Peter sat in back with the monk. A monk-in-training and the driver sat in front.

“Each of us plays our part, but we’re all actors,” continued the monk. “Sit back and watch your thoughts as they happen, watch your ego, watch your successes, watch your failures. Play your role, but don’t identify with it. Just watch the show and enjoy. Remind yourself it is a movie and you are an actor playing a part. Your essential nature is infinite and doesn’t have form, so this is just a temporary role.

“Sometimes your role lasts 30, sometimes 40, sometimes 70 years. The movie has action scenes, tragedy scenes, comedy scenes. Enjoy them all, even the bad ones. Don’t get too wrapped up in the role. When you do, remind yourself life is just a movie and start watching again.”

Traffic was going nowhere. There was a jam with two buses and a dump truck; something was stuck. Cars were turning around, but the street was narrow and moved in only one direction. The jam was growing worse by the minute, now a game of Tetris played badly. No Indian would concede defeat, however. Pedestrians climbed over vehicles. Bikes knifed between bumpers. Cars abandoned lanes for any possible opening, even if the gain was only a couple feet.

The monk’s car looked like it would take a few car lengths by sneaking through an unloading dock, but then the driver cut the engine and parked.

(read more)


Teachings of the Christian MysticsBook of the Month

Teachings of the Christian Mystics

edited by Andrew Harvey

The Christian mystics remain little known among Vedantins and Christians alike, yet they explore many of the same ideas of Vedanta. This book takes selections from all eras of the Christian tradition, including Francis of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton and others.

(get the book)

Other books we recommend can be found in our Books section. We also recommend YouTube videos, audio lectures and web sites, among other resources.


Spiritual Fitness

Do You have a Spiritual Routine?

Vedanta, if not practical, has no other relevancy. The key to practical Vedanta is an individualized spiritual routine.

There are six components of a good spiritual routine.

Swan1. Find a Community. If you have an existing church, temple or mosque, attend regularly. If not, join our Facebook group and see our list of recommended spiritual organizations.

2. Seek Guidance. Find a mentor within your existing spiritual community or contact us for a referral.

3. Attend Spiritual Services Regularly. If you don’t live near an appropriate spiritual community, we offer a weekly spiritual talk delivered by email, Facebook and Twitter. We also host a regular Vedanta Dinner for those who live in the New York City area.

4. Incorporate Individual Study. We keep a list of books and resources for your individual study needs.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Spiritual Life. Read our talk about listening to your own inner compass and contact us when you have a question that your spiritual community isn’t answering adequately.

6. Leverage Rituals Thoughtfully. As an example, read our essay about the power of saying grace.

Our longer talk about spiritual routine can be found here.

Happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.

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Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

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Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

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