Community Kali

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Thanks to a silly Facebook meme I've been humming '90s Christian music in my head all week. I'm not gonna lie: I owned Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W Smith cds, but my favorites were Iona and Rich Mullins. I still like those last two. I think the last two spoke to me - speak to me still - because they weren't the standard popular music of day (Mullins played the hammer dulcimer!) and the lyrics were sometimes ambiguous, sometimes about the personal struggle to even feel the intimacy of … [Read more...]

What We’re Reading

Son's books

Every so many months I like to talk about what we're reading in my house. We're big readers and usually we have way too many books started! I've got this week's Economist and this quarter's Bitch. I've subscribed to these two magazines for over a decade. They keep me informed on things that matter to me, and they help me feel like I'm somewhat aware of what is going on in the wider world. Two books I've been reading for about 3 or 4 months now: Jason Mankey's The Horned God and in blue is … [Read more...]

An Uncomfortable Education

Sometimes a lingam is just a lingam. [Shivan Lingam from the Kushan period, Government Museum, Mathura, by Biswarup Ganguly, via Creative Commons]

I'm exhausted. School is out and I have an infant and two kids all day, every day. I haven't adjusted yet. I need more structure or the eldest child will be the death of us all. Last week was also my birthday, so there were a few fun birthday gatherings. Last week was also my blog post about Wendy Doniger's controversial alternative history of the Hindus, and with that came all the comments. And those comments were intense. Processing those on top of everything else left me feeling very … [Read more...]

The Hindus: An Alternative History

TheHIndus-Cover

Wendy Doniger's 700 page exploration of Hinduism and the history of the Hindus has been extremely controversial. The Hindus: An Alternative History was  published in 2008, received scathing reviews from Hindus, and was banned for a time in India. This is how I heard of the book to begin with. What could possibly be so scandalous that a country would ban a book of its history? As someone with more than one degree in religious history and a practitioner of Hindu devotions* I wanted to check out … [Read more...]

The Gods Are All Around Us

Larger view of Olympia's Ganesh

Driving down the main drag of Olympia, Ganesh stares out at passing drivers and pedestrians. His bright visage adorns a curry house. He's been there for months. My family almost always cries out 'Jai Ganesh!' as we pass by. Seeing him so publicly makes me smile. My three year old daughter always wants to know why he looks angry. I'm guessing the artist didn't mean to make him look that way; Ganesh is rarely angry! My daughter insists I know the answer, so I have to make something … [Read more...]

The Left Hand Path

My left hand

[I wrote this piece near the beginning of my blog project, when I was devoted to one tradition for a quarter each, and I shifted from practicing all Hinduism all the time to practicing the Feri tradition.*] A discussion of the ‘left hand paths’ is an appropriate segue between the Hindu and Feri traditions. They might appear radically different, but you might be surprised. I was! Like all dualities, the split between left and right hand paths is a bit of a false dichotomy. Each side has … [Read more...]

Reach Out and Touch Faith

[Written at the beginning of my blog project, when I was just getting to know Hinduism. I still feel that this post speaks to my experience.] I don’t know if it’s the time spent in the Christian world or the time spent in the pagan world that makes me think I need to have a Personal Relationship with the Divine. In the Evangelical Christian world it’s all about one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As hard as I tried I never felt close to Jesus. I felt more connected to … [Read more...]


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