Sunday Service: My First Breakthrough

God Sky

Week of Oct 13 – 19, 2013

God has a plan. The more I go through life, the more I see this truth. Surrendering to this plan brings peace and confidence. This doesn’t mean God’s plan is always pleasant, and it certainly isn’t an excuse for laziness. Nor does “God’s plan” even require a divine puppeteer pulling the strings.

But you’ll see what I mean when you read the below talk I wrote while living in India in 2012.

Enjoy the talk.

Peter Kowalke


My decrepit cyber cafe of choiceThis Week’s Spiritual Talk

My First Breakthrough

by Peter Kowalke

God has a plan. Have faith.

I hear those words a lot when I talk with spiritual people. And while I am definitely a spiritual person myself, such words don’t usually comfort.

The skeptical me finds no proof that a plan exists; God’s hand looks no different than chance. The worldly me notes that my goals often are thwarted, and I’m certainly not delivered from pain and suffering; if God has a plan, it is not a good one. The spiritual me observes that goals are worldly attachments and therefore besides the point; God is about moving beyond goals and desires, not granting them.

So there was a smidgen of despair when I arrived in India and couldn’t get regular internet access the first month.

(read more)


The Way of ZenBook of the Month

The Way of Zen

by Alan Watts

Watts takes the reader back to the philosophical foundations of Zen in the conceptual world of Hinduism, follows Buddhism’s course through the development of the early Mahayana school, the birth of Zen from Buddhism’s marriage with Chinese Taoism, and on to Zen’s unique expression in Japanese art and life.

Many popular books have been written on Zen since Watts’ time, but few have been able to muster the rare combination of erudition and clarity that have kept The Way of Zen in readers’ hands decade after decade.

(more about the book)

Other books we recommend can be found in our Books section. We also recommend 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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