Dear brothers and sisters: Good morning and thank you for attending our weekly Awakened Living Study Program. My name is John Doe and I will be your host. Our topic for today’s Study is SPIRITUALITY. May we focus our full attention on this study for the lessons of life because knowledge is POWER, knowledge is SUCCESS, knowledge is FORGIVENESS, knowledge is WISDOM, knowledge is ENLIGHTENMENT and knowledge is AWAKENED LIVING.

Opening Meditation

You may offer an appropriate prayer before reading, discussing and reflecting on the famous quotes and the Sacred Texts verses. You may use the following prayer:
O LOVE who pervades the universe, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. We pray for LOVE to manifest amongst us to guide our readings, discussions and reflections. We specially pray for peace of mind and save us from all distractions and concerns of the world so that we may receive the lessons of life for our guidance and the transformation of our lives. Amen.


The Study Leader may make announcements at this time. Welcome new members, recognize birthdays or anniversaries; make an award or recognize a contribution; announce Circle of Life successes. This is also an opportunity for anyone to share an experience, give thanks or make a request for special prayers.

Opening Thoughts

The leader or an appointed person will stand and read the opening thoughts. The opening thoughts explain the topic of discussion. You may use the information below or explain it in your own words.
Spirituality is a personal journey for the transformation of consciousness. You may ask why it is necessary to transform consciousness. Good question! Let us assume that you were born with a blank slate but in time your parents began to write on this slate with what they know about life. When you are of school age and start going to school, the school system also begins to write on your slate with what they want you to know. If your parents are religious and you begin to go to church the church system also begins to write on your slate with what they believe. When you start visiting the neighbor’s children the children also write on your slate about what their parents told them about life. If you watch the news the news station also writes on your slate with what you should know.
In essence what is written on your blank slate are all other people’s experiences and beliefs. One of the worst things that could happen to you in this life is abandoning your life experiences for other people’s life experiences. Spirituality comes to the rescue and tells you that you have a life that is totally different from those of your parents, the school system, the church, your neighbor and the media. Spirituality enables you to replace other people’s experiences and beliefs with your own experiences and beliefs. This journey is usually undertaken with the help of meditation, prayer, journaling, yoga, visualization, fasting, community service, life-long learning, mindfulness or by just living your life according to the needs of your soul.

Famous Quotes

Take turns to read the famous quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote.  Please give credit to the author of the quote and as an assignment for presentations each person may choose an author and find out more about the author to share with the group during the next session.

  1. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
  2. You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. Swami Vivekananda
  3. Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life. Buddha
  4. The world sometimes feels like an insane asylum. You can decide whether you want to be an inmate or pick up your visitor’s badge. You can be in the world but not engage in the melodrama of it; you can become a spiritual being having a human experience thoroughly and fully. Deepak Chopra
  5. If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  6. The goal of spiritual practice is full recovery, and the only thing you need to recover from is a fractured sense of self. Marianne Williamson
  7. Ultimately spiritual awareness unfolds when you’re flexible, when you’re spontaneous, when you’re detached, when you’re easy on yourself and easy on others. Deepak Chopra
  8. “We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.” – Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  9. “There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.” – Hindu Proverb
  10. Spirituality is a personal journey for the transformation of consciousness. Dr. Sonari

Sacred Texts Quotes

Take turns to read all the sacred text quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. In your discussion compare and contrast the quotes. What did you learn from the similarities and differences? What quote inspires you? What life lessons did you learn from the quote? Please give credit to the sacred text during your reading by mentioning the name of the text and where the quote could be found. 

  1. The Master said, “At fifteen I set my heart upon learning.  At thirty, I had planted my feet upon firm ground.  At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities.  At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven.  At sixty, I heard them with a docile ear.  At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.” Confucianism.  Analects 2.4
  2. Through constant effort over many lifetimes, a person becomes purified of all selfish desires and attains the supreme goal of life. Hinduism.  Bhagavad Gita 6.45
  3. By degrees, little by little, from time to time, a wise person should remove his own impurities as a smith removes the dross from silver. Buddhism.  Dhammapada 239
  4. By sustained effort, earnestness, discipline, and self-control, let the wise man make for himself an island which no flood can overwhelm. Buddhism.  Dhammapada 25
  5. This Atman, resplendent and pure, whom the sinless disciples behold residing within the body, is attained by unceasing practice of truthfulness, austerity, right knowledge, and continence. Hinduism.  Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.5
  6. The Master said, “A gentleman can see a question from all sides without bias. The small man is biased and can see a question only from one side.” Confucianism.  Analects 2.14
  7. As the heat of a fire reduces wood to ashes, the fire of knowledge burns to ashes all karma.  Nothing in this world purifies like spiritual wisdom. It is the perfection achieved in time through the path of yoga, the path which leads to the Self within. Hinduism.  Bhagavad Gita 4.37-38
  8. Within the lotus of the heart he dwells, where the nerves meet like the spokes of a wheel at its hub.  Meditate on him as OM.  Easily may you cross the sea of darkness. Hinduism.  Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.6
  9. When all the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intel-lect wavers not–then, say the wise, is reached the highest state. This calm of the senses and the mind has been defined as yoga.  He who attains it is freed from delusion. Hinduism.  Katha Upanishad 2.6.10-11
  10. The wise man should surrender his words to his mind; and this he should surrender to the Knowing Self; and the Knowing Self he should surrender to the Great Self; and that he should surrender to the Peaceful Self. Hinduism.  Katha Upanishad 3.13

Teaching Story

The teaching story is a story, a parable or thoughts related to the topic of discussion. An appointed person will read each story and the group will take turns and discuss. What does the story mean to you? What did you learn from the story? Did the story add anything new to the topic of discussion? How has this study enriched your life?

Our teaching story is “Who Am I?” Taken from the Chinese Drama Immortal Samsara

Once upon a time Yin Yuan, the Sovereign Lord of a heavenly ream inhabited by deities and spirits was reborn into the mortal real as an orphan to experience trials. He was adopted by Tang Jiang and given the name Tang Zhou and was raised in the Lingxiao Sect.
The sect was established to wipe out all demons and evil, uphold justice and punish evil. Tang Zhou grew up with this mission and became a model Spirit Catcher. In time he became the most popular disciple in the sect and was chosen to become the next chief of the sect. However he had to abstain from love and affection and in order to check his thoughts and actions he had to wear a magical bracelet.
Meanwhile Tang Zhou met Yan Dan during one of his Spirit Catching missions and they grew close to each other. As time went on she became part of his thought and he developed affection for her. Later their affair became known to the sect and the sect leader summoned him to appear before the sect and repent from his sin.
Tang Zhou knelt down facing the chief with the rest of the disciples behind him and the chief asked, “Tang Zhou, do you repent from your mistake? In reply Tang Zhou said, “I accidentally hurt my peers out of desperation. I’ll accept the punishment”
The chief said, “If you admit your mistake and cease your affection, I’ll be lenient on you considering your past contribution. Tang Zhou answered, “You’ve taken me wrong chief, I’ll accept the punishment, but I did no wrong”.
What did you say? The chief asked surprised.
In reply Tang Zhou said, “Previously I held to your teachings and stayed away from desire. I thought affection was an absolute evil deep inside me and the Magical Bracelet alerted me to cut it off. However feelings grow from within and my desire won’t stop if my heart is alive. If it is wrong to have feelings I wonder if the feelings and benevolence of human beings in this world are right to exist. I rather suffer from deep feelings and love than to become a heartless person. So I won’t admit it when I am not wrong.”
“Since I was little I had been cultivating to catch Spirits and I always thought that it was my calling but it turns out to be a scam.
“I always thought that I was executing justice at the expense of the lives of so many innocent Spirits. Now that I have lost all my cultivation I don’t know where my future lies. I am no longer a Spirit Catcher”.

Closing Meditation

The closing meditation presents the highlights of the Study.  The highlights should include among others what you have learned and what aspects of the study are worth noting. The leader or an appointed person may share the closing meditation. You may use the thoughts and information provided below but I encourage you to use the contributions of the participants and current relevant information.  
When spirituality is described as a personal journey for the transformation of consciousness there is freedom and anyone could undertake this journey on his or her own. The practices of spirituality like meditation, prayer, journaling, yoga, visualization, fasting, community service, life-long learning and mindfulness might not even matter; the individual can use whatever method that appeals to him or her.
Spirituality can also be described as a subjective experience: In the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell wrote about an African tradition in which during a singing and dancing session one of the men passed out. “He experiences what we might call a possession. But it is described as a flash, a kind of thunderbolt or lightning bolt, which passes from the pelvic area right up the spine into the head.”…..This guy had an experience of another whole realm of consciousness!”
Obviously this is an example of a subjective experience of a sacred dimension but not many of us can have this experience because we need to be in the proper environment. But why do I need this kind of subjective experience when I am alone in my sacred place? Who will get the message when I pass out? Subjective experiences may be useful in communities of ancient civilizations but in an age of the Internet where knowledge is literally at out our finger’s tips such experiences have very little significance.
According to the Bhagavad Gita there are three ways to live a spiritual life and they include the Path of Action, the Path of Devotion and the Path of Wisdom. The Path of Action emphasizes performing one’s duty without the expectation of rewards. By performing selfless services to our fellow creatures we can all grow spiritually. The Path of Devotion emphasizes devoting oneself to a personal God or the Divine. By surrendering to the Divine one can attain spiritual liberation. The Path of Wisdom emphasizes a personal journey toward spiritual realization. It involves knowing who you are and the environment around you.
Essentially the Path of Wisdom leads you to pay particular attention to the demands of your own spiritual life instead of following the one that was setup by another person or organization. In the Power of Myth Joseph Campbell wrote that following a system instead of your humanity is a threat to our lives because the system is more likely to deprive us of our humanity. Compare this observation with the experiences of Tang Zhou in the teaching story. We might say that Tang Zhou was following a system; a system that wants him to kill demons. But in his experiences he found out that not all demons are bad. This revelation coupled with his love for Yan Dan, a Demon motivated him to get out of the system and live for himself.


You may accept gifts and donations at this time for the work you are doing. It takes effort, time and money to put the Study Program together so I encourage attendants to give. An appointed person may now pass the donation bag. The leader may bless the gifts after the donations.

Closing Prayer

Always close your Study Program with a prayer or an affirmation. Pray for guidance and direction during the week. Pray for everyone present. The leader or an appointed person may offer the closing prayer. You may use the sample prayer if needed.
O LOVE who pervades the Universe and who resides in us
We thank You for Your presence during our studies and reflections.
May these studies bear fruits within us for our good and the good of our environment.
As we go through our day to day activities may You guide us and protect us.
And bring us here again to continue your work for your glory. Amen


You may serve refreshments after the Study. This is a time to relax and socialize. Get to know the people in the Program with you and I mean really know them well. One of the secrets of success is connection so I encourage you to know the people around you. The host may decide what to serve or he or she may ask the attendants what they want for refreshments before each Awakened Living Study Program.

Talent Contribution

You may now entertain the group with your talent in music, songs, dance and poetry including playing musical instruments. This is also a time to share your Awakened Living Tips for the benefit of the group. 

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