Ted's teaching tips

11th February 2000 at 00:00
We take it for granted that everything in Western society has to go at 100 mph, but where do peace, reflection and spirituality fit in? This striking photograph of someone deep in thought raises important questions about our purpose and lifestyle, the very nature of the human soul.


If you were given a few days to spend in a peaceful place such as this, what would you think about? Your family and friends? How you spend your time? What you would like to be when you are grown up? Would it drive you mad to be stuck somewhere on your own, miles away from a television? What place has thinking in our lives (planning? looking back? taking stock? considering alternatives? getting ourselves in the right mood or frame of mind? wondering why we are here, pondering the purpose of life?)? Do you spend too much or too little time thinking?


What do you understand by the words "spirit" and "spiritual"? Are we n more than a human machine, a mechanical body driven by a brain, or does each of us have something unique and personal that is the inner "me", some kind of spirit? Is it possible to develop our "spirit" during our lives, or are we programmed - what will be will be? Why do many people throughout the world feel the need for a set of beliefs, a code of practice, like a world religion, faith, or political ideology? What are your own beliefs, and where do you think you get them from? Listen to a "spiritual" song, such as Steal Away, or Deep River , or a piece of soul (Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin): why did slaves feel the need to write and sing songs about their soul, and why do we have modern soul music?


You have just had a terrible time and you are told you can go anywhere in the world, choosing any kind of surroundings you like, to find somewhere quiet and restful. Describe your idea of "perfect peace" on earth.

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