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Breaking With Tradition

Breaking With Tradition

It amazes me how much importance we put in tradition. We think that the fact generations before us always did something a certain way, somehow makes that behavior more valuable, more sacred, more righteous. Yet we only have to look at our personal lives to see that repetitive behaviors are not necessarily beneficial. Would we fight for the benefits of smoking a cigarette just because we have done it for so many years? Itís traditional! This blind following of tradition is particularly fascinating to me when it comes to spirituality.

Many of us chose our beliefs based on what generations before us have done. And even those of us who begin to search for a truth that maybe was not the one we were presented with from birth, often feel safer following a path that has been tread by many before. Yet spirituality is about growth; it is about evolution. It is about letting go of that which has come before, and embracing a new perception of reality. Moreover, it is about discovering the truth within ourselves; not adhering to the status quo. Maybe this is why so few have reached realization; because even in our search for meaning we prefer to follow the herd; even when the heart begins to question that which we are accustomed to, we easily succumb to the road most traveled. I think that tradition makes us feel safe; it lends validity and weight to our convictions. But convictions are a poor substitute for experience, and when you have a spiritual experience of your own, you will feel little need to convince others of your perspective or demonstrate the validity of your inner discovery.

When exploring spirituality, donít look for that which makes you feel comfortable or safe. Look outside the box: head towards uncertainty. It is by going beyond that which is already known that we make the true discovery.

Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and author; her latest book and movie, Why Walk When You Can Fly? explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. Learn more at

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Isha Judd

Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and author; her latest book and movie, Why Walk When You Can Fly? explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness.


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8:39PM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

I think the article would have fared far better to have discussed the traditions of old where manners and traditions of simple respect rather than remind us all as to the fact because these treasures are all but dead....I felt as if I was forced to accept this so called callousness of "The new normal".

1:58PM PDT on Sep 30, 2011


5:57AM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

Thanks for the article.

10:29PM PST on Jan 18, 2011

With regards to spirituality, sometimes thinking too far outtside the box, looking away from our parents traditions, has caused a lot of people a lot of harm. Look at all of the cults popping up all over the world. They draw in people who are looking for anything that will fill a hole within them. People are imprisoned, people die, people give every penny they have to false prophets. Sometimes staying within the box but still asking questions is OK too.

3:46PM PDT on May 28, 2010

Tradition can be a glue that helps guide us. But it becomes a trap when it is only being done because that is the way it has been done all along. Then it becomes a weapon for those who choose differently.

10:39AM PST on Jan 16, 2010

I live a simple life.. despite of the tradition,, I just do what I need & have to do (the right things of course),, & I don't force myself to do things that I don't need to do (e.g: to impress others, to seek for attention,...).

11:07PM PST on Nov 6, 2009

By the way, smoking is not a tradition, is a vice. Is pure chemistry. Cut off the bio-chemical dependance, and the ,,smoking tradition,, will vanish away. It is true that people have developed certain habits a little social rituals related to the smoking and that may make the smoking look traditional, but in fact those thing hapened because humans are social beings and need to create bounds betwen them, and they use everithing, including smoking, to get close to each other and to comunicate. That is why there are much more social smokers than solitary smokers. I hope this comment will not sound too off topic.

10:54PM PST on Nov 6, 2009

This advice is good, but only with one condition - not to exagerate to much in trying to get our minds outside the box. Sometimes, this trying can end up by getting us outside the road. Not only the traditinal road, but our own personal one. It is not good when you do something just for the one and only reason that others did that thing before you. But it is not good also if you do the oposite just because you feel the great temptation to do the contrary. In that case your mind is not the mind of a mature wise person walking on your path, but the mind of a rebelled stupid teenager walking on other peoples nerves.

3:04AM PDT on Oct 8, 2009

Thanks Isha, as always beautifully written and insightful. Great advice for parents too!

1:54PM PDT on Oct 7, 2009

This could be applied to anything we do - question everything!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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