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Rabbi Rami: Everyone Says “Follow Your Heart.” But How?

Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler

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Man about to flip a coin

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I have a terrible time making decisions. Everyone says, “Follow your heart,” but how?Rabbi Rami: Forget your heart and follow your stomach. Work through your options two at a time. Label one “heads” and the other “tails.” Flip a coin to see which option physics chooses for you. Then check your gut: Is it tight and resistant, or relaxed and welcoming? Keep flipping through your options until your stomach says yes. Sometimes, of course, your stomach has no opinion. In those cases assume you’re stressing over the irrelevant; not every decision is worth making. Sometimes your stomach rejects every option. In those cases follow your heart.I work for a very progressive company that offers yoga and mindfulness classes to reduce stress and increase productivity. Does this work?Yes it does, and that concerns me. The purpose of yoga is to awaken you to the Absolute. The purpose of mindfulness is to reveal the impermanence of life, and to cultivate compassion toward all the living. Using these practices to become a more productive cog in the consumerist machine is not what Patanjali or the Buddha had in mind.I lov …

Author and teacher Rabbi Rami Shapiro has been called “one of the best bridges of Eastern and Western wisdom.” His newest book is Embracing the Divine Feminine.


Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more.

His newest book is The World Wisdom Bible.

He has this to say about religion: "To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence."

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