The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything by Tami Coyne and Karen Weissman - Read Online
The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything
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The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything is about overthrowing whatever holds us back from living the lives we want to live. Myths about how to be spiritual abound, and most of us have bought into at least a few of them, even if we're not aware of it. Tami Coyne and Karen Weissman help strip away the woo-woo, the no-no's, and the silly rules. With an outrageous and edgy look at the challenges they face in their own lives, the Spiritual Chicks share a no-holds-barred quest to know, feel, and apply universal goodness and authenticity to life.

In short lessons, posed as questions and juxtaposed against relevant passages from a surprising range of sources -- The Terminator, the Bible, Yogi Berra, the Peace Pilgrim, Clarence Darrow, Mahatma Gandhi -- pop culture, sacred scriptures from a variety of traditions, thinkers from around the world and throughout history -- the Spiritual Chicks take on topics like: Will God love me if I'm too fat? Do I need to suffer? How would I act if I were happy? Does electricity prove the existence of God? Is life a maximum security prison? Is there sex after death?

The Chicks pose the questions, throw out some ideas and stories, and invite us all to answer. They make learning to live honestly, and with conviction, fun, easy, and doable. After all, "The only qualification you need to become a spiritual person is the wherewithal to recognize that you already are one."

Published: Red Wheel on
ISBN: 9781609257811
List price: $14.95
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The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything - Tami Coyne

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generosity.

(INTRODUCTION)

Despite the enduring myth that enlightenment can somehow be instantly bestowed upon us at the feet of a master, it usually takes real life to wake us up to who we are, how things actually work, and what it is we're here to do. So, let's cut to the chase. What's your real life wake-up call? Work? Relationships? An unyielding desire for the truth, inner peace, or a new car? Believe it or not, the ups and downs of everyday life are tailor made to kick us into cosmic consciousness so there's no need to sell the family farm and move to the Himalayas. In our own lives—and within each of us—is everything we need to become enlightened, which sure can be a real shock when we've been taught to rely on the experience of others rather than think for ourselves.

The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything is about using our everyday lives to gain spiritual understanding and to uncover our own power to create the lives we want to live. It doesn't matter what roles we've played over the years, how much we've struggled, or how much wisdom we've acquired up to this point. Sound intriguing? Maybe even fun? You bet it is! And it's a lot more productive than complaining about our troubles or blaming our parents, bosses, bank accounts, or international terrorists for our lack of fulfillment. It may be hard to accept at first, but it's our own beliefs that determine what we get out of life. If we don't like what we have or where we are, then it's up to us to question what we believe and throw out all the limiting ideas that keep us from being happy. It takes courage to break the chains of conventional opinion and get rid of cherished beliefs. It doesn't happen overnight. But it's well worth the effort…and it's a hell of a ride.

Before we get going, let's clarify a few terms. First, what exactly do we, the Spiritual Chicks, mean by spirituality? To us, spirituality is the process of exploring our connection to the universe—or, more precisely, to the elusive power that holds the entire universe together and makes our hair grow, all at the same time. OK, but what is this power we're talking about? Science calls it energy or consciousness; theology calls it God or Spirit. The interpretation of this power varies (scientists measure and quantify its effects, while creationists ascribe human-like body parts and personality traits to it), but there are three general characteristics that are more or less consistent: this power is everywhere, knows everything, and can do anything. Now, that's a kick-ass power. In this book, we use terms like God, energy, Spirit and consciousness, along with Nature and the One Life, interchangeably. But it's all the same ever-present stuff.

So if energy or God is everywhere, then where are we? And who are we? This brings us to the definition of the term—the One Life Principle—that just happens to be the foundation of this book. This ancient idea says that there is a single underlying power in the universe, but its expression takes many different forms—baseball players, puppies, exotic dancers, Supreme Court Justices, rocks, trees, even criminals. And, while you might not be ready to jump on the One Life bandwagon just yet, you must admit that this principle explains a lot about life—not the least of which is how Jerry Falwell, Larry Flint, and Mother Theresa can all be children of God. We're all spiritual beings, because we're all Spirit. There you have it. God, or energy, is all there is. Isn't it enlightening to realize that we've always been what we're trying to become…spiritual, that is?

Think about it. If we are already spiritual beings, then anything we do is spiritual whether it's praying in the highest temple or taking out the garbage. And since the One Life expresses itself through many forms, we each have our own way of exploring our spiritual connection. One person's fistfight may be as necessary for their enlightenment as another person's college education. So there's no need for spiritual name calling, labeling things as good or bad. The only thing we need to consider is: Will this belief, action, idea, or conversation bring us what we say we want? The spiritual process is about questioning everything—examining every idea or concept we have to make sure that it is logical to us and that it works for us. But the trick is not to condemn anything in the process. Everything is spiritual—even stuff we don't like or don't agree with. So, we need to question everything, condemn nothing, and then align ourselves with what we want. If we can manage these three steps, we will find that our personal power is the power of the universe, and life can be pretty great.

This book offers a series of questions to help break down old, limiting beliefs, build new, more productive ideas based on the One Life Principle, and play with these new ideas so that we really learn how to use them. Along the way, we've included personal essays to show how we uncover, struggle with, and are gradually mastering this new sense of power in our own lives. So now, without further ado, here are sixty questions to rock your world.

Part 1

Shattering the Myths

There are many myths about how to be spiritual, and most of us have bought into at least a few of them—even if we're not aware of it. These myths result in misguided beliefs about who we should be and how we should behave. They hold us back from contacting our spiritual nature—from the very source of our power to create the lives we want to live. To see things from a new perspective, we have to be willing to suspend, at least temporarily, our old beliefs. These first fifteen questions and answers reveal the most common spiritual myths and offer an alternative viewpoint.

The first key to wisdom is constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.

PETER ABELARD

Question 1

Do I need to go to church (synagogue, mosque, or a mountain top)?

A rubber squeeze toy in the shape of a Buddha working on a laptop computer sits in our office. The Buddha smiles complacently, from his familiar erect, yet relaxed, position that allows the proper flow of chi through the body. He just happens to be surfing the Web or checking his stock portfolio. Some might call this an example of the modern world corrupting our spiritual existence, but we think it's just the opposite. Spirituality is not something to strive for only in church, synagogue, or meditation, even though these can be useful tools. Working at the computer, mowing the lawn, or making love are also valid spiritual activities. Spirituality is not beyond real life; it is real life. The working Buddha reminds us of this, and that's why we keep him.

Because I was alone…even the mundane seemed charged with meaning. The ice looked colder and more mysterious, the sky a cleaner shade of blue. The unnamed peaks towering over the glacier were bigger and comelier and infinitely more menacing than they would have been were I in the company of another person…

JON KRAKAUER, INTO THE WILD

Question 2

I have a hard time meditating; can I still be spiritual?

Meditation is usually misunderstood. Most people think they have to sit in lotus position for hours every day to get anywhere. Not so. Meditation is not a technique—it is simply the state of being completely alive each and every moment. Most of the time we run on automatic pilot. We go through the motions of our lives as if we're sleepwalking. We confuse the inane chatter inside our heads for objective reasoning and seldom, if ever, experience the reality that exists outside the closed loop of our own thoughts. Did you ever notice, for instance, that when something unexpected happens, even if it's frightening, you feel the most alive and seem to act decisively, in the moment? That's because at those moments, you temporarily stop thinking about life and truly experience it instead. The key to achieving this state is by not removing ourselves from our daily lives, but by experiencing our surroundings with a minimum of emotional interpretation from our past memories or future worries. Each time we acknowledge a thought and let it go without analyzing it, we train ourselves to be guided by instinct and perception. These faculties put us in touch with the universal power within. And that's what meditation is all about.

A PAGE FROM LIFE

THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO FEEL YOUR POWER

I sit and try to quiet my mind, but thoughts of things I should be doing, things I need to figure out, things that interest me rush into my head. I was taught to think, to analyze, and all this analytical responsibility makes it hard for me to trust that things will work out unless I fully understand a situation beforehand. Control is important to me—I have trouble meditating, because meditation is all about letting go.

This personal trait used to trouble me. How could I be spiritual if I couldn't stop thinking long enough to get in touch with the real me? I tried to train myself to meditate by staring at a white sheet of paper, using a stopwatch to time how long I could keep any thoughts from entering my head. This might sound pretty anal, but I assure you that I didn't come up with this idea on my own. Anyhow, it didn't work for me. Thoughts of white sheets of paper never left my head and I couldn't stop wondering how much time had gone by. Clearing my mind was just too difficult, so I reconsidered my approach. Since I am a thinker by nature, I decided that maybe it's best not to try to cut off all thinking. Instead, I allowed myself to think about only one thing—something neutral, like a tree. When my mind wandered, I didn't press the stopwatch, I just returned to focus on the tree. I traced its trunk and all its roots in my mind. I pictured the leaves on its branches, the height of the tree, the girth of its trunk, the texture of its bark. I imagined it extracting food from the soil and assimilating the nutrients. Before I knew it, I was completely absorbed by all aspects of this mighty maple.

But this was more than just a mental distraction; I actually merged with the tree, for lack of a better word. It sounds cliché, becoming one with nature, but it really was pretty cool, and not that weird or far out. In fact, it wasn't that different from the feeling I get when I'm really into a project, or having a good time. I just somehow had this idea that a truly spiritual occurrence had to be something far more mysterious than that.

After that experience, I realized that I don't have to ponder nothingness to know that I am part of something, that I am something. I am a thinker—a doer—and who's to say that that's not a spiritual mode? I feel my power by doing, by concentrating instead of meditating, by focusing my energy on one idea until I believe it strongly enough to make it a reality.

The great duality of life is that we are all basically the same natural beings, part of the same great life force. Yet it's this common life force that also allows us our individual expression as it flows through each of us in a unique way. This duality offers us the opportunity to feel our power in two different ways, by relaxing into it