It’s natural, as we age, to wonder at times if our life has had meaning. I had a touching letter from an older reader the other day in which she says, “I don’t seek honor or praise, but just that I left the world a tiny bit better than had I not existed. I don’t want to just fill up space and put in my time. Of course, this runs smack into something I have considered before, ‘What is my purpose here?’”

I know this person, and I know she has indeed made a difference because of what she has offered over the years. How do I know? Well, for one thing, she has made a difference in my life through her interesting and thoughtful comments to my blog, that have brought encouragement to me and, I’m sure, other people too.

This question, “What is our true purpose here?” has obviously vexed our race for a long, long time. And so far anyway I see little evidence that our cogitations on this matter have helped make the world a better place.

It seems to me it may be helpful to narrow this issue down a bit so that it becomes more specific. For example, I might ask myself, ‘What is my purpose in life right now in this moment?” Or, “What is the right course of action for me in this particular situation?”

Mind you, I’m sure there is an over-arching purpose to our life that is true, and could perhaps be summed up in a few words. “I’m here to face fear and realize the truth of my own Eternal Nature,” for example, I might say. But even if such words are true, how do I make that truth become real in my own experience?

The only way to do this, I have found — and continue to find — is to do my very best to be true to the truth of my Eternal Nature in the little moments of everyday life. It takes humility and courage to do this — to hear the impulse of Truth that flows fresh and spontaneous in our hearts in each moment from its source in the Eternal, and let that impulse find expression in our lives.

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Listening to our own calm, steadfast spirit

We live in a time of great change. Confusion, conflict and fear seem to be on the increase everywhere. And yet paradoxically, something else is intensifying also – the call of our own calm, steadfast spirit, unchanged and unharmed by any of the events transpiring in us or around us. Whether we face adversity in […]

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Doing our best every day no matter what

I received such a touching letter this morning from a reader of my blog who has become a close friend in the past few months, and who recently was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. “My life expectancy is about five years,” my friend wrote, “which I intend to live fully and make it longer!” We […]

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Please read my guest post at Good Life Zen

I’m happy to announce that my good friend, Mary Jaksch, has just published a guest post that I submitted to her a week or so ago entitled “Can adversity be a door to a new life?” I put a lot of myself into this post and would be delighted and very thankful if you’d like […]

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Is death really the end of everything?

Is death really the end of everything? No, it’s not. It’s the end of our physical body, obviously. But it’s not the end of our spirit. How could spirit, which is ageless, ever have an end? Heck, it doesn’t have a beginning, as far as I can see. Many years ago, when I was a […]

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The healing power of a smile

“The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”—Dale Carnegie The human smile has been a source of wonder and mystery for ages.  We are still fascinated by the smile – or the suggestion of a smile – on Mona Lisa’s face. A lot of […]

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Can cancer open a door to a new life?

Can cancer open a door to a new life? And can life keep getting better as we age? Absolutely. There will be dips in our journey, of course. But while aging has its perils and challenges just like any other phase of our lives, it also has a remarkable promise to offer – a promise […]

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Can we trust our first impressions?

It can be interesting, instructive, and fun, too, to keep an eye on our thoughts once in a while. Sometimes the antics of my mind make me laugh, they really do. They have no relationship to reality at all. For example, I was sitting in one of my favorite chairs at the coffee shop this […]

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One man’s thoughts about death

Death. It’s something we don’t like to think about very much, let alone talk about, although it does seem to me that we are becoming more willing to consider this subject these days. This is a good thing, seeing that it is one of the two most significant events we will ever experience, birth being […]

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Does your life have meaning?

Does your life have meaning? Does my life have meaning? It’s a question worth asking ourselves every now and again, no matter what our age may be. For myself, I find a curious paradox in play here. The older I get, the more apt I am to find meaning, joy, and fulfillment in a very […]

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Our body is our best friend

Our body is our best friend. Let us listen to it. Be kind to it. Take care of it. Whatever our age, and whatever our circumstances, our bodies are always doing their best, and they are doing their best now in these challenging times. I’ve been home for two months now following surgery for colon […]

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Thank God for “baby steps”

  Thank God for “baby steps.” As I mentioned in my previous post, I was diagnosed with colon cancer recently. I’ve been home from hospital for just over a month, and it has been a difficult, stressful time, without a doubt. The trick seems to be not to try to do too much, or you’ll be […]

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Finding joy in life and death

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer – or any other major illness – is a life-changing event no matter what our age. I’ve been quiet on this blog for a while because 6-7 weeks ago, after a routine colonoscopy, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Coming events do sometimes cast their shadow, I believe, though of […]

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My new book “bright and insightful,” says Ken Wilber

I’m very happy to announce that my new book, The Secret Promise of Aging: Finding Meaning, Joy and Inner Peace as Years Fly By, has been published in print and Kindle versions at Amazon. The book has already earned high praise from best-selling authors like Ken Wilber, author of The Integral Vision, Sharon Salzberg, author […]

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It won’t be long now!

I feel embarrassed that I haven’t written a new post for quite a while. Two things have been going on. First of all, I did finally finish my new book, which makes me very happy indeed. But along with that, something else transpired. I’ve been feeling very tired the last two or three weeks. I […]

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