Spiritual Practices for Hot Weather

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This is the fourth year in a row that we've seen record high temperatures in July in many parts of the United States. To the usual tips for staying cool (drink more water, stay in the shade, find an air-conditioned spot) we would add some spiritual ways of dealing with heat — tips from sages and seers who have lived through hot times.See Your Connection to the WeatherThe world-famous Catholic monk Thomas Merton sets the tone for our spiritual weather strategies in this passage from When t … [Read more...]

The Spiritual Value of Repetition and Routine

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Variety is the spice of life. We've been taught that by our consumer culture since we were very young. Think of all the movies in which immigrants experience for the first time the incredible diversity of brands in a supermarket. Our stores are stuffed with variations on the same things. All this feeds our need to constantly seek new foods, clothing styles, appliances, technological toys, and other objects of our desires.We are also programmed by our culture to look down upon the drudgery of … [Read more...]

Transition Times and Spaces

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One day it snows. The next day it's 50 degrees and people are filling the park down the street. Of course, we say, it's March, one of those transition times of the year when it's not quite winter and not quite spring. March always gets us thinking about other transition times and spaces.Our days are punctuated by transitions. For example, we go through three entrances and use three sets of keys to get into our home. First, we open the entrance to our building from the street and walk into a … [Read more...]

Keeping Silent

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The world is noisier than ever - at least on our street. New York's one of those places that would be really, truly great if they ever finished it. The building next door is undergoing construction, which means pieces of its former insides are being ground up and compacted into garbage dump-trucks outside our windows.Many people see noise as a good thing signaling progress, energy, and excitement. "Make a joyful noise," they cry. Others prefer the caution: "The Lord is in his temple; let all … [Read more...]

As Outside, So Inside. Observing the Winter Solstice.

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Friday, December 21, is a momentous day. The Winter Solstice synchronizes exactly with the end of the 5,125 year cycle of the Mayan Calendar. We plan to make a special effort to observe this day. It's a time to notice the changes outside and inside. In the northern hemisphere, the days of light are shorter, the darkness is longer, the weather is cold, the trees are bare, and snow is often on the ground. John Matthews, who has lectured widely on Celtic and Arthurian traditions, has written this … [Read more...]

Making Shopping Spiritual

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We are not big shoppers. If, as has been estimated, most Americans spend one hour a day shopping, then we fall well below the average. But there is something different about holiday shopping.We're shopping for gifts, not necessities, for one thing; we are encouraged to stretch and be creative. And being out and about with so many people is a wonderful reminder of our connections with others; it feels more like a communal experience. Finally, there is the beauty of the season and the … [Read more...]


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