Life can be a treadmill - as we go through the motions day after day without ever asking why or seeking what really matters to us. This course, prepared by the author of the best-selling book, Toward a Meaningful Life, is determined to change that. Here are strategies, tips, and suggestions for not only discovering where your true meaning lies, but in actually making it a part of your daily existence. Whether you are dealing with family relationships or job satisfaction, this course will help you look beyond a crisis to find the lessons within. Most important of all, these sessions will help you see life as the mysterious, challenging, and satisfying wonder that it really is.
No business can function without a mission statement. Neither can you. This lesson will establish the foundation for a meaningful life—revealing and understanding why you are here.
Your birth was no accident. Your unique existence contributes something to the world that not a single other person can contribute, and literally every one of your life experiences is driven by this fact—the hub that connects all the spokes of your activities.
This lesson will show you how to graph the coordinates in your life so that you can discern patterns of meaning that can assist you in identifying your unique purpose.
What lies at the foundation of a successful relationship? Physical attraction, emotional connection, and intellectual parity are all important kinds of compatibility. In this lesson, we will also explore the importance of spiritual compatibility: the power of shared vision and shared commitment to building something together that is greater than the sum of its parts. While the first three factors vary and fluctuate in importance over time, only the fourth is unwavering and eternal, and it serves as the foundation of all the other gifts of a successful marriage.
The home is the most important institution of society, shaping lives and futures, and yet often, it is taken for granted.
How can you build a healthy home for yourself and for your family? The comfort of home can bring out the best and the worst in us. It is vital not to take one’s family for granted, and to balance love and caring with order and structure. In this lesson, we will examine the components of a warm, nurturing, and sacred environment. Our attitudes, activities, and home furnishings that reflect our values will all contribute to building a positive, healthy, meaningful home environment.
Why must we work? The purpose of life is to become a giver, not a taker. We are invited to be a producer, creator, and a partner in the unfolding of the universe, by transforming the resources we were given into positive, pro- ductive energy that illuminates and warms our environment.
As we age, our work changes, but we should never retire. The attitude should be that we always remain producers and givers, though we may reframe the focus of our efforts. At the same time, there are principles of spiritual time management that can keep us from being consumed by work. By distinguishing between ends and means, we can keep from losing sight of our underlying objectives.
We also look closely at money and why it holds so much power. Money is “soul energy,” embodying our time, energy, ingenuity—and is a reflection of our investment in this world. This is why we find it so difficult to give away our money. In effect, it is like giving away a piece of our life. However, it is precisely this that gives charity its great power, freeing us from the powerful tentacles of materialism which often threaten to hold us hostage in their clutch.
Only live, healthy, and sensitive people feel pain. Any form of pain—physical or psychological - signifies that something is misaligned. Pain is the first step in the natural process of healing. Pain is all-consuming, commanding our attention, demanding we shift our perspective on life. In the process, it helps us define our priorities and our commitments, by testing our strength and resilience. Thus, pain often pushes us to access deeper resources. Pain need not be denied. It is a natural and important part of life.
In this lesson, we will look at meaningful ways of coping with pain. We can draw on faith, on positive thinking, and on our capacity to find joy. We’ll learn to find a balance of grief and building so we can translate pain into action and tears into growth. Finally, we’ll discuss ways of supporting others in their pain, providing hope as well as a listening ear.
Why is it that so many of us struggle with the role of faith within our lives? Perhaps it is because we are working with the wrong definition. A great spiritual giant once said, “The G-d that you don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either.” We’ll begin by reframing what faith means, identifying the conventional images we have of a higher power from school, home, and comic books, and then challenging our premises and probing beyond the platitudes.
Why is it important to incorporate spirituality into our lives? Our relationship with a spiritual power dictates how we will relate to that power. If our view of faith is immature, then our relationship with a higher spiritual power is driven by guilt, nostalgia, family upbringing, and social programming. It is a mechanical relationship governed by rote. But as we develop a more mature and introspective understanding of faith and spirituality, our relationship becomes richer and more personal, relevant, dynamic and passionate.
The primary modes of a spiritual relationship are love and awe, and it is critical to keep these in balance. We will also discover that faith and reason are not antithetical. Faith is not the absence of reason. It is an independent faculty which complements and enhances reason. Reason leads us to a door; faith takes us through that door.