For information about this Website, please click on the "About Me" tab at the top of the Navigation menu to the right.

A Christian, a Daoist, and a Yogi walk into a bar

A Christian, a Daoist, and a Yogi walk into a bar.

The bartender says, “Great to see you three again! Say, I was just telling someone about you. How do  you remain friends when you have such different religions? Don’t you find yourselves arguing all the time?”

“Well,” said the Daoist, “that depends.” She looked at her two companions and winked.

“We all believe in a supreme power,” said the Yogi, easing himself effortlessly onto the barstool.

“We just call it different names,” added the Christian, adjusting her hat.

“Our religions say more about the culture we grew up in…” the Daoist began.

“…than they do about our deepest beliefs,” the Christian continued.

The bartender shook his head.

“You make it sound so easy,” he said, leaning onto the bar and pouring each a cup of green tea. “But everyone knows your religions don’t get along. Why, people have been known to wage war and kill the people they disagree with!”

The three friends nodded their heads sadly.

“Yes, but that says less about the presence of religion than it does about the absence of tolerance!” the Yogi mused.

“People get caught up in dogma,” said the Christian with a note of regret in her voice. “Without an exception, our faiths as we follow them are based on love, compassion, and kindness.”

“There are those who want everyone to think the way they do and to embrace their culture,” agreed the Daoist. “What a boring world it would be if Truth appeared in the same form to every individual and society!”

The three friends lifted their tea cups, smiled at each other and the bartender, and toasted their enduring friendship.

“To the Three Pure Ones,” toasted the Daoist. “May their example lead us to see beyond appearances to the true nature which is Dao!”

“To the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” said the Christian. “May we experience and share their love and light in the world!”

“To Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva,” declared the Yogi. “Through them may we see existence in its totality and enjoy the bliss of divine knowledge!”

They drank their tea and tapped their cups together.

“Sure there are differences,” said the Daoist.

“Sometimes our knowledge accords with science, and sometimes it does not,” said the Christian.

“Our pathways are winding roads from different points on the compass,” the Yogi said.

The bartender laughed. “I get it! You take different paths leading to a common space.”

The three friends joined the bartender in laughter.

“What does it matter if you call this place a bar, a tearoom, or a tea café?” said the bartender to himself as the three friends departed. “When good friends meet and enjoy tea together, the name of the place is not so important, nor is the road they took to get here. Each one lives a Golden Rule and follows a different path side by side with the other. Separate, but together, they approach their goal.”

(by Linda Brown Holt, copyright 2017)

 

Posted on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 04:09PM by Registered CommenterLinda Brown Holt | CommentsPost a Comment

Suffering and redemption in a life of music

Thinking about Beethoven

I haven’t written about Beethoven in a while. I was thinking this morning that what impresses me most about his lifelong output (roughly from age 14 to 56) is its inevitability, the logical way it developed from those first songs and piano sketches to the almost unbearable intensity of the final symphony, quartets, and sonatas.

It’s mythic, as though a Vedic god or goddess stood at the peak of Mount Everest and, blowing on a conch shell, filled the valleys below with this precisely ordered revelation. The peaks and valleys of his music unfold as though planned for centuries by an Immortal Being. Beethoven’s life similarly evolves like some mythic hero destined to suffer and die for his art. Even he recognized his likeness to Prometheus, the Greek titan tortured eternally for bringing fire to humankind.

I know I get a little crazy about Beethoven. But I can’t see this inevitable, logical unfolding of music and human life in any other composer or artist. Like the heroes of the great religions, Beethoven seems to take on the sufferings of the world and offers a kind of preordained musical redemption that is satisfying both in its finality and in the way it points to greatness beyond. It is more than music. It may even be more than life.

L.L. Holt, author of The Black Spaniard

 

 

Posted on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 03:50PM by Registered CommenterLinda Brown Holt | CommentsPost a Comment

"The Black Spaniard" by L.L.Holt hits the presses

Humanity's spiritual quest does not always follow the neat and tidy lines of organized religion. The Black Spaniard by L.L.Holt reveals the spiritual struggle, dark night, and epiphany of a man whose whole world came crashing down around him. Set in the era just after the French and American Revolutions, this book is available for pre-order through Nov. 16, 2016, with a release date of Nov. 17, 2016. Timed for holiday giving, it portrays a spiritual journey that leads to enlightened realization and hope.

For pre-orders, go to the following link:

http://www.unsolicitedpress.com/store/p103/PREORDER%3A_The_Black_Spaniard_by_L.L._Holt.html

After Nov. 17, 2016, you will also find this historical novel on amazon.com .

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 12:34PM by Registered CommenterLinda Brown Holt | CommentsPost a Comment

Pokemon Go, Kami, and the Invisible Spirits around Us

My first experiences with Pokemon Go have been pleasant ones. One block from home, three monsters appeared on the smartphone screen directly in my path. I saw another off at the distance, but was advised it was too far away. I can see how the idea of invisible monsters around us came from Japan, with its notion of "kami" in the Shinto religion.

According to dictionary.com, kami are "spirits or phenomena that are worshipped in the religion of Shinto. They are elements in nature, animals, creationary forces in the universe, as well as spirits of the revered deceased." Saints and demons from all religious traditions have a similar nature to P-Go's "pocket monsters." I can even imagine medieval Christians taking down demons in their path by acts of penance or special devotions! Tibetan Buddhism, with its rich tantric legacy, is a close match for the sensations of confronting or capturing P-Go elementals.

I am not a game player by nature or inclination, so I may never learn the secrets of buying Pokeballs and deploying them against unseen forces, but it's fun as long as the monsters don't go on the offensive. I understand that once all monsters are captured, there will be a combat of sorts, but I hope we can turn it into a peace rally, don't you?


Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 09:31AM by Registered CommenterLinda Brown Holt | CommentsPost a Comment | References3 References

Yoga vs. Exercise: What's the Difference?

At today's noon class in Philadelphia, Dr. Vijayendra Pratap shared some insights into the nature of learning, perspective, and how yoga is different than exercise:

What is the difference between yoga and exercise? Yoga takes you in. Exercise takes you out. Going to a party is exercise. Coming home is yoga.

Students grow and learn from the inside. If the inside is not developed, students may not be ready to handle information coming from outside.

Once you know yourself, you know everything.

When you are not calm and see other people rushing, it is not the other people, it is you who are rushing. When you are calm, the world is calm.

Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 06:09PM by Registered CommenterLinda Brown Holt | CommentsPost a Comment | References2 References