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Blogs

TEXAS FAITH 103: Are Interfaith Marriages Good for Couples?

Dallas Morning News,

“Love and Trust” is Developed, Maintained, or Depleted, by our “Emotional Bank Accounts”

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While we often hear Shrila Prabhupada’s statement that “our relationships should be based on love and trust,” we don’t often expand on how this can be created and maintained. One process I have found helpful is something we teach in our relationship seminars, namely the practice of checking the balance in the “Emotional Bank Account” that we have with another person—do we have a surplus of positive emotions, or are we overdrawn, in the red?

This is a metaphor that Stephen Covey [The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People] first came up with to describe "the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship." This statement really piqued my curiosity and interest in his work, and after scrutiny, dovetails nicely as a support to putting into practice Prabhupada’s aphorism. Just as we have bank accounts to keep our money in, we also have “bank accounts” to store our “emotional capital” or the energy that sustains or strains (if it becomes depleted) relationships.
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We could also consider this capital like a trust meter, and trust is the basis of reciprocal loving dealings. Very few people love unconditionally, but most of us require more positive interactions (deposits), than negative ones (withdrawals), to stay, or be happy, in a relationship.

Garland of grace

The other day I felt that things kept going wrong, and I began to mentally blame everyone around me for the dissatisfaction I was feeling. At a certain point, however, some insight kicked in that it might just have something to do with me and my outlook. When I thought of how unsympathetic I’d been to several different friends and co-workers, I felt bad. After work I went to the temple to chant on my beads, hoping that the chanting would put me back on course.

TEXAS FAITH 102: What does it mean to be an American today?

Dallas Morning News,

TEXAS FAITH 101: Should Americans boycott sweatshops in places like Bangladesh?

Dallas Morning News,

Four Marital Relationship Tips Meant to Improve Your Life

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My wife and I are traveling to the devotee farm community, Gita Nagari, near Port Royal, PA this Thursday to assist other members of the Grihastha Vision Team facilitate a couples' retreat this weekend (June 7-9). In preparing for our part of the retreat, I’m naturally thinking of what makes a successful marriage and relationship. What might be some helpful tips, like sutras or codes, seeds to plant, that will ideally give rise to reflections on how to grow, nurture, and implement them? In many people’s experience, solutions to life’s varied problems are often simple to explain, but more difficult to carry out. However, where there is a will, there is a way, combined with prayer and a good support system.

Before I explain them in a little detail, let’s cut to the chase, by listing all four tips:

Tip 1: Be committed to personal growth work and the introspection it fosters in order to become the best person you can. Work on letting go of those parts of your conditioning that are unfavorable for having happy, healthy, and meaningful relationships. In short, “Know thyself,” or your strengths and weaknesses, and strive to improve for everyone's benefit.

Nrisimhadeva, Every Day, Everywhere

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Shri Nrisimhadeva's appearance is one of my favorite holy days. His lila is so illuminating and important. Though I wanted to prepare this offering by the actual day, it wasn't meant to be--occurrences and other duties diverted me--and yet, that is also part of the teaching: to see everything in relationship to God and to keep a humble service mood throughout. Whether pulling weeds and planting, or having one's car battery die--everything is instructive. In this case, reminding me to keep my devotional creeper free of "weeds", and that I must recharge my batteries with spiritual practice. May the fire of spiritual life burn brightly in our hearts and souls!

Unusual life events
intersect with special days
strange creatures prepare us
emerging from the ground
shedding their skins to fly
teaching us to transform
if we want to dwell in the sky
realizing our true self
keeping our purpose in mind
always vibrating the primal sound
the great chant for deliverance
17 year cicada’s ballad serenades
Lord Nrisimhadeva’s appearance.

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Eerie sounds like alien starships
reminding us of the extraordinary
half man, half lion incarnation

Sadhu Sanga Notes - HH Sacinandana Swami’s class "Faith III - Prajña Nuggets Prospector"

SB 07.09.18 Sacinandana Swami
Sum: Prahlada expresses his deep faith in the chanting the holy names of the Lord.
Two minds sets for the this festival.

1. Let me see what is happening.
2. Or How can use the days to the best of my abilities how can I go deeper.
As a neutral observer or an active participant.

Sadhu Sanga Notes–Realizations of Senior Vaisnavas

Dhanudhara Swami - 10 sentences about Sadhu Sanga

Nityananda Prabhu - liberate the 3 worlds, ABCDE,

Gaura Sakti - anarthas dissolving,

Mother Chandravali - amazing, I thought I had to go to India.

Braja Mandala Priya - only shelter, holy name,

Sadhu Sanga Notes–HH Giriraj Swami’s Class “Śrīla Prabhupāda's Kirtan World Revolution”

Giriraj Swami

Memorial Day weekend there is a Prabhupada Festival in Los Angeles.

“I hope you can change your plans.” – Indradyumna Swami

Prabhupada's Sanskrit editor, Pradyumna Prabhu said a Striking statement.

Śrīla Prabhupāda took the same principles. That most acharyas take it for personal advancement to the advancement of the world.

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