Once there lived a small village of little creatures, along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the water swept over them all, young, old, rich and poor. They all clung to the rocks and shrubs at the bottom of the river, for this was all they knew.
They had all learned from birth that they must cling and hold onto something or else the current would sweep them into an unknown abyss. This resistance was their way of life.
Then one day, one of the creatures became tired of clinging. He said he would die of boredom if he continued to hold on forever. He trusted that he current would take him where he needed to be, even if he couldn’t see it.
The other creatures laughed and called him a fool. They said the waters would kill him much faster than boredom would, but the creature didn’t care. He trusted in the flow of the river.
When he first let go, he was initially thrown around the bottom of the river, hitting rocks and sticks. But as time went on, and he...
There once was a young archer, a champion of bows and arrows, with great technical skill. He could shoot an arrow directly hitting a bullseye, then shot another arrow that split the first one in half.
The young man was quite boastful about it as well. He demonstrated this bullseye after asking an old zen master, who was known for his archery skills, to challenge him. He thought he could win no problem.
The old master simply waved his hand, beckoning for the young man to follow him. Curious about the master's intent, the young man followed him. The master led him high up into the mountains.
He took him to a spot where two cliffs met and were connected by a very old and unstable log in between them. This log was surely unfit to stand on, yet the master carefully walked along with it.
He stood in the middle of it and drew out his bow. He aimed for a tree, far away on the other side of the cliff and hit it straight in the middle.
As he gracefully stepped off the log, he told the young...
This beautiful parable is an old Taoist story, told by Chuang Tzu.
The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once had a vivid dream that he was a butterfly. He fluttered through the bushes and the trees, having a simple consciousness. He no longer had any awareness of his individuality as a human. All he knew was the life of a butterfly.
He flew around the gardens, experiencing fully the existence of a mere insect. Suddenly, he awoke and was taken out of his dream. He sat up and looked around. He thought to himself, “Was I a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly, dreaming that I am a man?”
Which one is it? Could it be both? This amazing parable explores the nature of reality itself. Are we merely dreaming of this reality together? Is our experience on earth one huge collective dream that we are all engaging with? Who’s to truly know?
This also relates to the process of death, something that may seem very scary when it’s not truly...
The Parable of the 2 dragons was a collaborative effort from several young animators who wished to try their hand at making a parable. This story takes on the classic tale of a Cherokee chief telling his grandson about life and has changed the representation of wolves into dragons for this story.
As the chief and his grandson sat around the fire, he told his grandson that there was a war going on inside him. There are 2 dragons that were in a constant battle. One of the dragons is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, and regret. He is greed, pity, guilt, resentment, and lies.
The other dragon is good. He is joy, peace, and love. He is humility, empathy, and compassion. He is the truth.
The chief told his grandson that this same battle is going on within him and every single person on earth as well. The young boy looked up to his grandfather curiously. He asked, “Which one will win?”
The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This is a classic parable that...
There once was an ancient Taoist master who was a great philosopher and strategist. He had a wide array of different skills, which made him sought after by a few rulers. They wanted to use him for his abilities to advance their own personal goals.
One of the rulers, King Wei sent his courtiers to find the Taoist master at his home and invite him to be the leader's chief counselor. Many people would find this job to be a blessing or an honor.
When they went to his home, they found him fishing by the river bank. The courtiers saw his living situation and thought he would surely jump at the opportunity for high status and many riches.
As they approached him and showed him the invitation he told them a story. Once upon a time, there was a sacred turtle that happily lived its life in the mud. It would roll around all day, enjoying its freedom in nature. But because it was considered a sacred turtle, it was captured by the king’s men and taken to the palace. There, they killed the...
There was once a poor man who led a donkey from one kingdom to another. Every day he needed to cross a river that was guarded by men from the kingdom he wished to enter.
The border guards suspected he was smuggling something, so they would always inspect him and his donkey thoroughly. They’d search through his pockets, the saddlebags on the donkey, but never found anything.
As time went on, they saw the man had much nicer clothing and had bought a larger house. They knew something must be up, and inspected him even more thoroughly. In the end, they didn’t find anything on him.
After 30 years of this, one of the border guards finally retired. One day as he was walking through the village, he saw the old man who would pass with his donkeys. He ran up to him and told him he was no longer a border guard and could not arrest the man. He pleaded to know, for his own peace of mind, what the man was smuggling all those years ago.
The man acquiesced and agreed to tell him now...
There was once a small village within a forest of trees. Word started to spread among the people that there was a wise holy man who lived in a small house at the top of the mountain.
One man truly wanted to visit the holy man, to ask him questions and get advice on his own life problems. He set out on a long and difficult journey to visit the man. He crossed through forests, mountains, and rivers to seek him out.
Once he was there, he knocked on the door and waited eagerly. The door swung open, and he was greeted by an old servant. He told the servant he traveled all the way there to meet the wise holy man. The servant simply smiled at the man and led him inside the house.
As they walked through the house, the man looked around curiously, waiting to see where he would meet the holy man. Before he knew it, the servant opened up the back door and led him outside.
Confused, the man turned to the servant and told him again, he wanted to see the holy man. “You already have.”...
Although the mainstream scientific world would have us believe that people are losing their belief in God and religion is downswing, the truth is that presently, the percentage of the world’s population that is actually Atheist is actually very small, with almost half of the world’s population following either Islam or Christianity, and smaller denominations Eastern Spiritualities from there, and then indigenous faiths continuing from there.
Spiritual diversity has become of great interest to us, and for the longest time have asked the question, why do people believe what they believe… So, we set out on a research and creation quest to try and understand them, with a video series called Minute Faith. Each clip from this movie is taken from individual Minute Faith episodes, which are currently being posted regularly on the Spirit Studios Youtube channel!
The more that we research, study, and learn, and the more that...
The word Animism is derived from the Latin word Anima, meaning breath or soul. Animism itself is not a religion, but rather one of the oldest belief systems on the planet, with its origins dating as far back as the Paleolithic age. Animism pre-dates any form of organized religion and is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous people’s spirituality and supernatural perspectives in the world.
Animism is a belief that everything on the planet and even the planet itself has a spirit or soul. Everything from animals, plants, rivers, mountains, even the planet itself. Together they create a global community of living spirits, infinitely and eternally connected to a larger, universal spirit, all of which deserve respect.
To the Indigenous and tribal people of the earth, the animistic perspective is fundamental, mundane, and taken-for-granted. Most animistic indigenous people do not even have a word in their language that corresponds to...
Baptist Christianity is one of the largest and most diverse groups of Christians. Baptists take their name from the practice of adult baptism and unlike most Christians, who baptize infants or young children, baptists insist that individual believers freely and publicly commit themselves to their Christian faith. This is done in a ceremony of adult baptism, often known as “believers baptism” or credo-baptism.
Often these baptisms are full immersions, in which the believer is lowered completely beneath the surface of the water, emerging in the eyes of the Church as “born again” in Christ. This is both an outwardly and inwardly sign of repentance of sin and confession of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
Baptist churches emerged in the early 17th century within various protestant denominations. While today there is still no central Baptist authority, two prominent confederations are the Baptist World Alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention.