Can You Summarize Your Spiritual Beliefs in 5-6 Sentences?

Via on Nov 30, 2009

ocean wave from STX 355936_1884

Here’s a challenge for you.  Can you summarize your spiritual beliefs in 5-6 sentences?

When I first got involved in Yoga I became so intrigued with this question that I spent the next several years trying to answer it.  Eventually my answers turned into my blog and eBook.

I went through a lot of twists and turns on my inner journey.  Eventually I concluded that Yoga philosophy is sublimely simple, profound, and livable.  Yet it can be difficult to grasp because of its unfamiliar language and complex history. 

I became intrigued with whether it was possible to capture the essence of Yoga philosophy in plain English, without any specialized terminology or assumed prerequisite background knowledge.  (Not that I have anything against these.  I’m no scholar, but I have become pretty well-versed in the language and lore of the big three ancient texts of Yoga–the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutra.) 

Here’s what I came up with: 

1) Each of us is already infinitely wondrous—miraculous, awe-inspiring, unfathomable.  (This is well hidden beneath the distractions and emotions of everyday life.)

 2) Our wondrous nature is the same as the infinite wonder of the universe.

 3) The way to experience our wondrous self is to fully experience the present moment, since each moment of consciousness is infinitely wondrous in itself.

 4) The mind, body, and spirit are inseparable.

 5) Experiencing our wondrous self leads to an abundance of joy and goodness.

 6) The techniques of Yoga, leading to pure awareness”, are one method for discovering our true wondrous nature.

I challenge you to do the same for your spiritual beliefs and share it with us in a comment below.

Bob Weisenberg http://YogaDemystified.com

About Bob Weisenberg

Bob Weisenberg: Editor, Best of Yoga Philosophy / Former Assoc. Publisher, elephant journal / Author: Yoga Demystified * Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell * Leadership Is Like Tennis, Not Egyptology / Co-editor: Yoga in America (free eBook) / Creator: Gita Talk: Self-paced Online Seminar / Flamenco guitarist: "Live at Don Quijote" & "American Gypsy" (Free CD's) / Follow Bob on facebook, Twitter, or his main site: Wordpress.

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36 Responses to “Can You Summarize Your Spiritual Beliefs in 5-6 Sentences?”

  1. Megan Bord says:

    There is an all-intelligent force working on all of our behalf — humans, animals, plants, inanimate objects, etc. We are all interconnected and originate from this same all-intelligent force. We are born perfect, but as we grow our minds become clouded with imperfections as we forget the perfection from which we came. At some point, we reawaken to our innate perfection and that is when the almighty healing power of LOVE arrives fully on the scene. From then on, we dance with love – sometimes blindly, sometimes fully engaged, until love finally leads us "home" again.

  2. Claudia Azula Altucher Claudia says:

    I like this, here are mine:

    We are all one, if I say something about someone I am saying it about me, there is no “them”, we are all “we”, therefore, the only way I can get anything I want is by giving it to others
    Silence and meditation are the only way to growth, it is in the silence that we access our infinite potential

    I wish I can be enlightened in this lifetime, I really would like not to have to come back (I know it is an attachment issue but a good one)

    A good asana practice grounds me and leads me towards the other branches of yoga and towards meditation
    Words are powerful VERY POWERFUL spells with a lot more power than we think, therefore, we must, MUST be conscious of every word we utter

    What goes around comes around

  3. yogirev over on my Yoga Journal blog responded:

    "How about two words? I believe!"

    (Just as his blog name implies, yogirev is a Minister who also practices Yoga.)

  4. John Pappas John says:

    I don't do much yoga, although I should probably start looking into it since it seems very similar to Zen practice.

    My statement on Zen is as follows ~

    The universe is expansive. I am small but connected. Weeds grow, I tend my garden. The universe enjoys the fruits of our practice.

  5. My friend treehugger responded on my Yoga Journal blog:

    1. We really are all in this together. We planned it that way!

    2. Our natural state is joy.

    3. Joy comes from inner peace.

    4. Inner peace comes from our higher state.

    5. Our higher self is always available to us.

    6. We are all God.

    &. God loves us."

    Thanks, treehugger

  6. My friend Paloma wrote this on my Yoga Journal blog:

    "I have a loving and forgiving creator, the creator of all I see.
    We are to love and care for each other,as he loves and cares for us.
    The creator sees no color or race. He asks only for faith.
    We all have the same goals, just different paths.

    These are my spiritual beliefs.
    Paloma

    Very good blog….."

  7. No, I can most definitely not summarize it so succinctly but I love the "I Believe" comment. I am stopping by to let you know what a phenomenal photograph that is, thank you for sharing it!

  8. Thanks Farnoosh.

    Yes, I loved this picture so much that I put in on the cover of my eBook ( http://YogaDemystified.com ). Elsewhere in the book is poem called "Coming to Terms With Infinite Joy" which ends with the words:

    If you were a wave in the ocean

    And someone asked you what you are

    Would you answer

    “I am a wave”

    or would you answer

    “I am the ocean”?

    So when I found this perfect illustration of this idea, I was overjoyed.

    This is not an original idea, of course, but I've adopted it because it's the best single metaphor I've found for the profound wisdom of the ancient Yoga texts–the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. I use many other metaphors in my eBook, but this is the simplest and most powerful, hence the cover!

    Thanks for writing.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  9. Thanks Farnoosh.

    Yes, I loved this picture so much that I put in on the cover of my eBook ( http://YogaDemystified.com ). Elsewhere in the book is poem called "Coming to Terms With Infinite Joy" which ends with the words:

    If you were a wave in the ocean

    And someone asked you what you are

    Would you answer

    “I am a wave”

    or would you answer

    “I am the ocean”?

    So when I found this perfect illustration of this idea, I was overjoyed.

    This is not an original idea, of course, but I've adopted it because it's the best single metaphor I've found for the profound wisdom of the ancient Yoga texts–the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. I use many other metaphors in my eBook, but this is the simplest and most powerful, hence the cover!

    Thanks for writing.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  10. Thanks Farnoosh.

    Yes, I loved this picture so much that I put in on the cover of my eBook ( http://YogaDemystified.com ). Elsewhere in the book is poem called "Coming to Terms With Infinite Joy" which ends with the words:

    If you were a wave in the ocean

    And someone asked you what you are

    Would you answer

    “I am a wave”

    or would you answer

    “I am the ocean”?

    So when I found this perfect illustration of this idea, I was overjoyed.

    This is not an original idea, of course, but I've adopted it because it's the best single metaphor I've found for the profound wisdom of the ancient Yoga texts–the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. I use many other metaphors in my eBook, but this is the simplest and most powerful, hence the cover!

    Thanks for writing.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  11. Thanks Farnoosh.

    Yes, I loved this picture so much that I put in on the cover of my eBook ( http://YogaDemystified.com ). Elsewhere in the book is poem called "Coming to Terms With Infinite Joy" which ends with the words:

    If you were a wave in the ocean

    And someone asked you what you are

    Would you answer

    “I am a wave”

    or would you answer

    “I am the ocean”?

    So when I found this perfect illustration of this idea, I was overjoyed.

    This is not an original idea, of course, but I've adopted it because it's the best single metaphor I've found for the profound wisdom of the ancient Yoga texts–the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. I use many other metaphors in my eBook, but this is the simplest and most powerful, hence the cover!

    Thanks for writing.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  12. LindaSama says:

    The Four Noble Truths, of course. simple.

  13. Just wrote this blog in praise of yogirev:

    Welcome Back to Yoga Journal Community's 3rd Member http://bit.ly/7AbchN

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  14. Just wrote this blog in praise of yogirev:

    Welcome Back to Yoga Journal Community's 3rd Member http://bit.ly/7AbchN

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  15. Just wrote this blog in praise of yogirev:

    Welcome Back to Yoga Journal Community's 3rd Member http://bit.ly/7AbchN

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  16. Just wrote this blog in praise of yogirev:

    Welcome Back to Yoga Journal Community's 3rd Member http://bit.ly/7AbchN

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  17. I recently heard a wonderful interview on NPR's "Speaking of Faith" with Kate Braestrup, a Unitarian Minister working as a disaster and grief chaplain in northern Maine:

    http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2

    There's a wealth of wonderful stuff there, but the one thing that stood out was Kate saying that for her religion and theology used to be a complicated academic matter. The older she's gotten the simpler and simpler it's become, so at this point it all comes down to one simple sentence:

    "God is Love"

    Nothing else matters much to her now. For her, with all her gut-wrenching experiences counseling the grief-stricken, that says it all.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  18. I recently heard a wonderful interview on NPR's "Speaking of Faith" with Kate Braestrup, a Unitarian Minister working as a disaster and grief chaplain in northern Maine:

    http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2

    There's a wealth of wonderful stuff there, but the one thing that stood out was Kate saying that for her religion and theology used to be a complicated academic matter. The older she's gotten the simpler and simpler it's become, so at this point it all comes down to one simple sentence:

    "God is Love"

    Nothing else matters much to her now. For her, with all her gut-wrenching experiences counseling the grief-stricken, that says it all.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  19. I recently heard a wonderful interview on NPR's "Speaking of Faith" with Kate Braestrup, a Unitarian Minister working as a disaster and grief chaplain in northern Maine:

    http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2

    There's a wealth of wonderful stuff there, but the one thing that stood out was Kate saying that for her religion and theology used to be a complicated academic matter. The older she's gotten the simpler and simpler it's become, so at this point it all comes down to one simple sentence:

    "God is Love"

    Nothing else matters much to her now. For her, with all her gut-wrenching experiences counseling the grief-stricken, that says it all.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  20. I recently heard a wonderful interview on NPR's "Speaking of Faith" with Kate Braestrup, a Unitarian Minister working as a disaster and grief chaplain in northern Maine:

    http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2

    There's a wealth of wonderful stuff there, but the one thing that stood out was Kate saying that for her religion and theology used to be a complicated academic matter. The older she's gotten the simpler and simpler it's become, so at this point it all comes down to one simple sentence:

    "God is Love"

    Nothing else matters much to her now. For her, with all her gut-wrenching experiences counseling the grief-stricken, that says it all.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  21. jryg over at Yoga Journal Community wrote this:

    "There is an energy that surrounds all, unconditional love. We are all connected to this energy, but we can choose to let it in or not. All religions or spiritual paths can bring us to it. I use yoga and meditation as my route. We are all made of love and love is what makes us alive."

  22. EcoYogini says:

    wow- this is a fantastic concept and wonderful statements. I need to think on this. :)

  23. Hi, Eco. I was surprised at how quickly this simple question, for me, turned from an intellectual inquiry to a deeply personal and spiritual quest.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  24. Hi, Eco. I was surprised at how quickly this simple question, for me, turned from an intellectual inquiry to a deeply personal and spiritual quest.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  25. Hi, Eco. I was surprised at how quickly this simple question, for me, turned from an intellectual inquiry to a deeply personal and spiritual quest.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  26. Hi, Eco. I was surprised at how quickly this simple question, for me, turned from an intellectual inquiry to a deeply personal and spiritual quest.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  27. Laura Hegfield, who has her own excellent blog at http://orli-shines.blogspot.com/ wrote this on my blog:

    1 I believe that we are all holy beings and that we are connected and responsible for each other’s well being, but forget that sometimes.

    2 I believe in the power of silence and deep listening to guide us to experiences beyond words, even though I am quite fond of words.

    3 I also believe our words and body language are powerful and can be used for goodness or hurtfulness, depending on our level of awareness.

    4 I believe that all beings (including animals) are creative in our own unique ways.

    5 I believe in an essence, a Presence beyond, between, inside and around us all that is/was/will always be Present; in English I call this Unfathomable and yet Knowable on some level BEINGNESS, God.

  28. Laura Hegfield, who has her own excellent blog at http://orli-shines.blogspot.com/ wrote this on my blog:

    1 I believe that we are all holy beings and that we are connected and responsible for each other’s well being, but forget that sometimes.

    2 I believe in the power of silence and deep listening to guide us to experiences beyond words, even though I am quite fond of words.

    3 I also believe our words and body language are powerful and can be used for goodness or hurtfulness, depending on our level of awareness.

    4 I believe that all beings (including animals) are creative in our own unique ways.

    5 I believe in an essence, a Presence beyond, between, inside and around us all that is/was/will always be Present; in English I call this Unfathomable and yet Knowable on some level BEINGNESS, God.

  29. Laura Hegfield, who has her own excellent blog at http://orli-shines.blogspot.com/ wrote this on my blog:

    1 I believe that we are all holy beings and that we are connected and responsible for each other’s well being, but forget that sometimes.

    2 I believe in the power of silence and deep listening to guide us to experiences beyond words, even though I am quite fond of words.

    3 I also believe our words and body language are powerful and can be used for goodness or hurtfulness, depending on our level of awareness.

    4 I believe that all beings (including animals) are creative in our own unique ways.

    5 I believe in an essence, a Presence beyond, between, inside and around us all that is/was/will always be Present; in English I call this Unfathomable and yet Knowable on some level BEINGNESS, God.

  30. Laura Hegfield, who has her own excellent blog at http://orli-shines.blogspot.com/ wrote this on my blog:

    1 I believe that we are all holy beings and that we are connected and responsible for each other’s well being, but forget that sometimes.

    2 I believe in the power of silence and deep listening to guide us to experiences beyond words, even though I am quite fond of words.

    3 I also believe our words and body language are powerful and can be used for goodness or hurtfulness, depending on our level of awareness.

    4 I believe that all beings (including animals) are creative in our own unique ways.

    5 I believe in an essence, a Presence beyond, between, inside and around us all that is/was/will always be Present; in English I call this Unfathomable and yet Knowable on some level BEINGNESS, God.

  31. RandomStu says:

    What are you doing right now? Truth has already appeared, right in front of you, in this moment.

  32. Karin says:

    Great challenge Bob,
    I'll try to put belief into words…

    When I trust that all is well, I experience all as well, and Know that all is well, always.
    Forgiveness frees me, I cannot be harmed.
    An open heart heals all.
    As other's have said, we are all One – innately connected, separated only in our minds.
    All is divine, and the Divine truly is in All.

    thank you for the challenge!

  33. Received this very interesting response from YogaforCynics ( who has his own very popular blog at http://yogaforcynics.blogspot.com/ ):

    I should try and be as compassionate as possible, regardless of the existence or nonexistence of God, gods, heaven, hell, karma, or any possible rewards or punishments in this or any other life.

    Everybody’s as sacred and holy as anybody else.

    Any morality that isn’t based solidly in compassion isn’t worth having.

    The only way not to hate myself is not to hate anybody else, either.

    The only way to have everything I want is to want only what I have.

    I don’t know anything.

  34. booker says:

    Thank you so much for writing this beautiful post.

  35. booker says:

    Ok. Good points.

  36. Hi, Lorraine. Thanks for writing.

    I have elaborated on all these point in my free eBook Yoga Demystified. On #4 in particular, see Mind, Body, and Spirit. All of the other chapters here are related to this concept, too. Take a look, then write back if you'd like to talk more about it.

    Bob Weisenberg

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