“Bringing the Spiritual to Its Senses”

Greeley

Incense fills the nostrils of a Krishna devotee in a temple in Vrindavan, India, letting him know he is in a sacred place; Muslim worshipers heed the muezzin’s amplified call to prayer from the minaret of a Moroccan mosque; a girl tastes bitter herbs at a Passover Seder in Brooklyn, reminding her of the harshness of her ancestors’ slavery in Egypt; a Greek Orthodox woman gazes reverently upon an icon of Jesus Christ and sees the gaze returned, knowing she is blessed; a Zen Buddhist acolyte … [Read more...]

“Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World”

Fast

“Seventh-Generation Thinking” means considering the longterm impact of our actions even to the seventh generation to follow. Or I have sometimes heard this perspective phrased: seeing yourself as in the midpoint of a seven-generation span — such that ethical decisions should try to honor the wisdom of the three generations that preceded you (back to your great-grandparents) and to consider the legacy you are leaving for the three generations that will follow you (your great-grand … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day for All

Mamas

Julia Ward Howe is most famous for writing the Battle Hymn of the Republic in 1862. She was also a Unitarian, and the author in 1870 a proclamation calling for the first Mothers’ Day, which she envisioned as an International Day of Peace. How might Howe’s words from the late-19th century, inform our celebrate of Mother’s Day in the early twenty-first century? Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears! Say firmly: "We … [Read more...]

Brené Brown and the Gifts of Imperfection

brown

Laila Ibrahim, the Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, California testifies that even the best, healthiest, most empowering communities are also messy, imperfect, and flawed: I have been going to the same church for a very long time. For nearly thirty years most Sundays I have walked through our beautiful redwood doors. In all those years I have filled a variety of leadership positions, from [teaching the “Our Whole Lives” Sexuality … [Read more...]

Religious Mystic & Rational Humanist: The Mystical Humanism of Jeffrey Kripal

Dr. Jeffrey Kripal

For days, I had been participating in the annual Bengali celebration of the goddess Kali in the streets and temples of Calcutta (now Kolkata). One morning I woke up asleep, that is, I woke up, but my body did not. I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed, like a corpse, more or less exactly like the Hindu god Shiva as he is traditionally portrayed in Tantric art, lying prostrate beneath Kali’s feet. Then those “feet” touched me. An incredibly subtle, immensely pleasurable, and terrifyingly … [Read more...]

Becoming a Buddha, not a Buddhist

Dharma

This post is the second in a four-part series on “A Journey with Four Spiritual Guides: Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Ramakrishna.” Looking ahead briefly to the next post, liberals sometimes get anxious when Jesus is mentioned because of the many ways his message has been manipulated, abused, and used to harm others. As the old exasperated prayer goes, “Jesus, save me from your followers!” However, in my next post I hope to offer some different, potentially surprising angles on Jesus — … [Read more...]


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