National Public Radio for the Mind

At our Wednesday mindfulness meditation practice group here at the University of Southern California, which is part of our initiative, I start our sessions with a very short introduction to the practice, and end the 30 minutes of silence with a time for the students and staff who attend to share about how their [Read More…]

America, We’ve Got a Serious Problem: San Bernardino, the New Normal

I’m crying right now as I trying to write this. It’s happening again. Not a week after the horror of Colorado Springs we have another mass shooting. I can’t even begin to process this. It’s just one after the other after another.    As I write this there are reports coming out of San Bernardino [Read More…]

Reflections on Advent: Music, Mindfulness, and Movement

“I have found in my journey that music can play a powerful role in allowing me to clear my mind, still my breath, and find the space for new life to emerge. Over the next few weeks I invite you on this journey with me, to not only read and reflect, but to breathe and [Read More…]

Born Dying: Conversations from a Death Cafe

Imagine attending a meet-up with friends at your local coffee shop. You might catch up on a hobby, discuss parenting, or share life hacks on your work-life balance. Instead, you talk about dying. “Death Cafes” are among American’s most recent cultural phenomena. Across the U.S., people gather to muse—not about the weather—but about what happens [Read More…]

The Refugees Who Came for Thanksgiving

As I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of the autumnal harvest time’s spiritual significance. As a time of connectedness, I pause to acknowledge what I have to be thankful for. But I also reflect on the holiday as a time of remembrance – present and historical. Presently, I hope over this holiday [Read More…]

Rethinking Thanksgiving in an Age of Terror: Creating Interfaith Traditions

by Glenn Zuber As we move into renewed period of terrorist fear and personal anxiety, how can U.S. Christians and their congregations respond with hope and solidarity during Thanksgiving? Most Americans, Christians included, value the Thanksgiving holiday as a respite from the real world and a chance to deepen relationships with family. Young adults away [Read More…]

Christ is the Refugee: A Christmas Hymn

This Christmas season, Christians across Europe and the United States will sing carols in praise of a refugee child, carols that extol the virtues of hospitality to the stranger. We will weep over the “slaughter of the innocents” story and imagine with sentimental poignancy the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt to escape Herod’s [Read More…]

Syrian Refugees as Modern Day Lepers

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him and threw themselves at his feet, begging Jesus to “have pity on us.” If you were the leader of a religious movement with political change in mind and on your way to the capital city, as was Jesus and [Read More…]

Have a Green Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love it because it calls us to remember the bounty of nature, and the debt of gratitude we owe to those first settlers and the native people of this continent. What’s more, the ritual of Thanksgiving is so simple that everyone can take part – sharing good [Read More…]

Put the Refugee Jesus Back into Christmas

by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove Following the news that one of the Paris attackers was carrying a Syrian passport, 24 US governors asked the federal government to cease welcoming refugees from Syria this week. Though he had told the Carolina Journal on Friday that he was satisfied with security screening for [Read More…]

Dear America, Let’s Stop Being So Afraid

Dear U.S., Things are pretty tough right now, we know that and I get that. We’ve still got a rather uncertain job market and the stocks are all over the place. There are plenty of concerns about health care, the state of public education, and questions about how we will pay for college (or the [Read More…]

Making the Grade: Considering Religious Tests and Syrian Refugees

Perhaps you have heard the suggestion that America should consider admitting at least some of the Syrian refugees? Yep. It’s a real thing. There is a chance for this whole debate to be over and done with. There has been a path suggested for entrance to this land of freedom and hospitality for those fleeing the [Read More…]