What the Hell?
It is for all of us to imagine for a moment what life could be, if “love” was our real currency? Love! Not romantic love or love of money. Not the love of power or love to possess. But real love the way Jesus and Buddha suggest. In this new economy our paradox would be, love compounds interest quickly only when it is free. If we were greedy, we would soon see how we bankrupted the entire economy The truly wealthy already agree, love is the only real currency. Others are so poor, all they have is money and some discount version of a religion that could be. Wellplanet.org offers this comic book of serious theology. A deep humorous dive into the mixed message of religion and judgment to the exclusion of religion and love. Enjoy this half humor, all serious faith journey intended to reframe the mess we made of religion.
Selected from the books of minister and physical therapist Tom Hafer, readers will find encouragement through timeless wisdom and sacred spiritual teachings in simple and digestible modern language. In a world of increased anxiety and isolation, Planting Peace is a tool for deeper self-reflection, encouragement for healthier living, and meaningful community building. These devotions work best when read prior to a long walk, preferably in nature, preferably with a friend.
What is, is Enough
When we find ourselves at peace with our world, we discover there is no more need for alcohol or drugs, or pity, or comfort food, or destructive relationships, or guilt, or shame, or dishonesty, or excuses, or retribution, or anger, or fear, or anxiety. In every case, with inner-peace, the scars of the past remain in the past, and the future brightens since we step lighter from this peaceful present moment into the next, and the next. With inner-peace what is, is enough. We enter lasting health & wellness from here. This is the way of the Mystics.
Anger, Fear, Anxiety & Jesus
Jesus invites us to put down the heavy baggage of anger, fear, and anxiety and walk lighter on the roads of a new kingdom where inner-peace is given by the breath of the Holy Spirit. Without the burden of this crippling weight, we lose the notion of having to fight battle after exhausting battle. With the new found potential energy, we inspire a world of peacemakers.
Loving faith communities become fragmented hostile tribes when the religious double down on divisive ideologies. They try desperately to be right, to the exclusion of inner peace and love for neighbor. When this failure happens, everyone suffers. The Christian faith is not an outside battle with others, it is a long journey inward toward peace and love for others. "Lord, teach me to quiet the battle inside, grant me transcendence over my religious fears and anxieties, make me the instrument of peace you intended for me to be, Amen."
Happy & Healthy
If winning the marathon of life means to cross the finish-line satisfied after a century of living, then consider this to be the well-researched training manual inspired by the many who had won the race already. If you need motivation, then this is your gentle nudge to ensure you also finish happy and healthy. "The most 'alive' people I know are 100-year-olds. While so many of us leverage this moment for a more profitable future moment, they no longer live with the illusion we have forever, so they no longer waste valuable present moments. They are free to live fully, happy and healthy, in the present moment." “As a Physical Therapist, I urge suffering patient to remove excess stress, eat right, and exercise to find the path to health and happiness. As a minister, I ask the suffering to do the same.” "With inner peace, we see that there is no more need for comfort food, or fad diets, or trendy exercise programs, or drugs, or alcohol, or guilt, or shame. In every case, with inner peace, we eat healthy and exercise daily out of gratitude for the happy and healthy life we are living." "Real health and happiness are free, away from the madness of salesman telling us that happiness has a price tag and commercials insisting health is in a pill." "We manifest our own happiness and health. We simply need to be aware it is up to us to manifest our own happiness and health."
With only a backpack of worldly possessions, the distance hiker is acutely aware of need over want. Long silent contemplation through unspoiled woods allows him to reconnect with the Creator - shedding fears, doubts, and anxieties - while his ongoing physical efforts reduce his body weight, high blood pressure, borderline diabetes, and other chronic ailments and chemical dependencies. He steps with purpose; He is freed. With this new-found freedom, he allows himself to be open and vulnerable with others. Supportive community forms among hikers who are experiencing the same freedom. Ramble On finds our physical and spiritual center while hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Once upon a time, one deeply troubled soul entered the woods in Georgia to hike the Appalachian Trail. Life became too much for him to handle; this would be his last hope to find any peace. Six months and five-million steps later, he emerged from the woods of Maine completely transformed: mind, body, and spirit. His long journey of physical exertion coupled with deep spiritual contemplation for months on end transformed him into the Soul Man. This hiker became a superhero of sorts, possessing the wisdom to heal a restless nation. This is the short story about our superhero, Soul Man.
Healthy one-hundred-year-olds tell us our Creator nourishes, nudges, and motivates us in the direction of sustainable health of body and spirit from cradle to the grave. We simply need to “be still”, listen, and be guided by their collected wisdom. We can discern God’s gentle voice from all the noise the world makes when we settle the dust we tend to kick-up while we are busy fighting the declining frailties of our aging bodies. From the wisdom of the healthy one-hundred-year-olds, we, too, can experience wellness and peace for a century.
Before becoming a monk, Brother Mark O’Reilly was an extraordinary small town physician. With his guru-like clarity, this one-hundred-year-old sage introduced Fitness as a Spiritual Discipline to his student, Hope. His timeless wisdom is for everyone who has fought the demons of weight-loss and won, then lost. Then gained, then lost. For the sake of our personal health, or neighbor, and the planet, we have never had a timelier message to embrace…once again.