Water Communion and David Foster Wallace’s “This Is Water”

IJ

David Foster Wallace (1962 - 2008) is perhaps best know for his 1996 postmodern novel Infinite Jest, which is famous for its length (weighing in at more than 1,000 pages) and complexity (its footnotes have footnotes). I will confess to having started reading it once a few years ago, and never finding the time to finish. I hope to return to it someday.Wallace tragically committed suicide in 2008 at age 46 after a decades-long struggle with depression. He was beloved by many of the most … [Read more...]

How to Respond to Hard Religious Questions from Your Kids

Lora

Note: This article is a guest post from Lora Powell-Haney, the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland. It is part of a special Patheos Symposium, Passing on the Faith: Teaching the Next Generation. Read more perspectives here. Sometimes a life path has its beginning steps in truly mundane places. My current work as a religious educator may very well have begun 11 years ago, on a trip around the Washington Beltway.My sons, three y … [Read more...]

The Sacred Masculine

Golden Boy

Most of us, irrespective of our biological sex, have some masculine aspects of ourselves, as well as some feminine aspects. In Jungian psychology, our inner masculine is called our animus and our inner feminine our anima. And one of the most common examples is that in Jungian dream analysis, irrespective of your biological sex, if you see a female figure in your dreams, that female figure represents both someone in the external world and some aspect of your anima, the feminine aspect of your … [Read more...]

Living the Bhagavad Gita

Paths

They live in wisdom who see themselves in all and all in them, who have renounced every selfish desire and sense craving tormenting the heart. Neither agitated by grief nor hankering after pleasure, they live free from lust and fear and anger. Established in meditation, they are truly wise. Fettered no more by selfish attachments, they are neither elated by good fortune nor depressed by bad. Such are the seers.... When you keep thinking about sense objects, attachment comes. Attachment breeds … [Read more...]

Poetically Dwelling on the Earth as a Mortal

edwards

I am a religious skeptic. I don’t believe in Yahweh, Allah, Krishna, or Ogun; nor do I believe in the resurrection of bodies two days dead and buried, nor water changing into wine, nor men walking about unharmed in fiery furnaces. Likewise for angels, ghosts, demons, statues that weep milk, and miraculous cures effected by the blessed water of Lourdes. About my skepticism, I feel neither pride nor shame; it’s not an achievement, nor is it a failing. It’s just a fact about me . . . a fact that doe … [Read more...]

Pragmatic Buddhism, Westernized Dharma, 21st-century Sangha

buddha

When I was about fifteen years old, I accidentally ran into some of the classic early meditation experiences described in the ancient texts and my reluctant spiritual quest began. I did not realize what had happened, nor did I realize that I had crossed something like a point of no return, something I would later call “The Arising and Passing Away.” I knew that I had had a very strange dream with bright lights, that my entire body and world had seemed to explode like fireworks, and that aft … [Read more...]


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