May 1, 2014

Follow Your Beliefs

Not another one of these philosophy cookies. I just wanted it for the crunch factor. Now this sounds like something my Swami would say. Today, even my food was preaching Vedanta philosophy. "Well"... I answer to no one but the crumbled cookie, "Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of this life? Why do I have to suffer? What are my beliefs?" At certain moments in our lives these questions trouble us and we want meaningful answers. These momentary and intimately personal critiques often result in inner convictions that have a lasting profoundness. With this comes the understanding that I am completely in charge of my free will as I navigate my way towards my own brand of spirituality. Beliefs it seems are formed after much self inquiry. Upbringing, environment and the media play a major role in shaping our early beliefs. Our particular approach to political, social, and economic affairs affects beliefs also. Learning from sages, artists, and writers, our daily experiences revel a true sacredness of life. We need to believe in things, to structure and orient our lives in ways that make sense to us. All beliefs are subject to change as we mature and experience life. Learning about other cultures and testing their ideas for ourselves helps us to formulate new beliefs. We test these personal experiences and biases by choosing to react in accordance with our moral obligations to self, loved ones, and community. These experiences can be the starting point for the flame of spiritual life or that yearning for God.