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I listened to the interview with Rabbi Jonathon Sacks & watched the Video of the 'Spiritual Leaders' at Emory & am inspired to comment. I come from a lineage which investigates all spiritual traditions. By this I mean, my mother, raised Catholic, & I as a child, visited many different kinds of Christian churches; especially those that were more progressive such as Unitarian back then; as well as entertaining an openness to Judaism, Greek Orthodox, and all spiritual persuasion; which set me on a path of spiritual curiosity; the practice continuing through early adulthood in the teachings of Western Hinduism with Ram Dass; finding 'Unity Churches' particularly open to expansive, inclusive idealism; a study of the comparison of the three major religions of Christian, Judaism, & Islam; going deeper into philosophy of each through Sufi teachings, Kabbalah teachings, & St John of the Cross; feeling deeply the American Indian, Ancient Mother, & Chinese tradition of finding the sacred in the energies represented by each directions & elements of the natural world; and through all this used my knowledge of Buddhism, gained through martial arts and wonderful associations with monks from Thailand, & Vietnam, to create a mindfulness with-in my actions and a lovingness through my actions to find happiness. I was not always successful and therein lies the truth. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on one's point of view, we all have to reckon with the flaws of being human; having human parents; caregivers; teachers; circumstances; & ideas; all presented to us, caring for us, & expressed within us of often less than loving 'language'...used in the broadest terms, (the language of life). I say not to worry about all the setbacks and circumstances, good or bad, that made us who we are, 'only human', because after all, what is life if not the struggle to find out what being human really means? If we have reached a point in our life where we can say I have learned much on this journey in humanity, so far; how not to act inhumane most of the time; have at my fingertips a good instruction book, (some tradition), on what being human really gets at; what it means to the rest of humanity if I am able to touch that place in me where happiness resides; and by so doing share my love and joy & resources, with those I come in contact with, in person, on the phone, in a text, email or in service here or across a continent; then I know I have a "yes" in me, to dry the sad tears and turn them into tears of laughter at the otter inexplicable, mysterious, miraculous, and often magical experience that is this life. Happiness? What provokes it: The beauty in nature does, being mindful helps enormously, practicing loving kindness brings an unmatchable kind of inner happiness to one's whole being, family members & friends which support us in our uniqueness give us courage to be the best we can be, pets with their unconditional love help us forgive ourselves, but I think Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is right too, that we must heal through conversation, leave the past behind, and do good for others. Happiness is a result but remember, if and when 'the blues' come to call, to tip one's cup, one more time and say, "oh gosh, all right, yes, OK life, Yes!.. and I await the blessing, as Rabbi Sacks so profoundly instructed us."
Your interview with Rabbi Sacks was beautifully meaningful. Another favorite was Joanna Macy and ;A Wild Love For The World'. I've listened over & over during the weeks since, and it always brings a big smile into my heart. Thank you for your service to 'Being'. Suzan Newman, R.N.-humanitarian-mother-environmentalist