“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 2 March 2012

Spiritual Teachers

For my birthday last week, my daughter bought me The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She describes it as "an approach to changing your life. First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions." The book takes the reader through the different resolutions she tries to keep throughout the course of a year. It makes fascinating reading.

For August, one of her resolutions is "imitate a spiritual teacher" as a way of learning to be a better person by following the example of a great life, for example, Christians following Jesus. This made me wonder - who is my spiritual teacher? After some thought, I came to the conclusion that he is Rabbi Lionel Blue, whose writings and talks I have loved for 30 years. His approach to religion is honest and straightforward, based on kindness and compassion to others (including himself) rather than creeds and dogma, all leavened with his marvellous sense of humour. I have read and re-read all his books many times, and often use bits of them for readings in services. I think it is his directness and honesty, his ability to find a spiritual lightness in most situations, and his willingness to pick himself up after a bad day and go on, that so appeals to me. That and his total faith in God / Whomsoever, Whatsoever / Fred.

Who is your spiritual teacher?

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