Will we finally have a national conversation about guns because of the the Newtown school shooting?

Spiritual leaders can offer a distinct perspective on the Newtown shootings, free from the political framing. To start, we can say, simply: This is not OK. We cannot dismiss incidents like this as a cost of freedom. The human suffering is not acceptable. [Read more…]

Musical paths — from Lisa Stansfield to Sneaker Pimps [VIDEOS]

Join me on the musical journey (with videos) my brain went through in 30 minutes or so from Lisa Stansfield to the Sneaker Pimps. Is this music-nerdiness? Yes, but I find the connections music makes fascinating and beautiful. Hopefully a few of you will appreciate that, or at least enjoy the music. [Read more…]

Latkes for Hanukkah — any excuse to celebrate with food

I’m not one to pass up the opportunity to celebrate with food. And not just within my own tradition. So each year, I honor Hanukkah by picking up some latkes — potato pancakes. Here are some reflections, tips and a recipe. [Read more…]

PETA’s misleading propaganda war against Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit

PETA has decided to make an example of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit in a publicity campaign to end all use of animals in films. As best I can tell, their case against The Hobbit is thin at best, more likely intentionally deceptive. [Read more…]

Another “Facebook is out to get you” hoax

Once again, there’s been a flurry of urgent posts from Facebook friends encouraging people to assert their copyright and forbid Facebook from using or selling material they post on Facebook. First of all, this is a hoax. Second, I have news for you all: while the internet is public space, owned by no one, Facebook is not. [Read more…]

The Salvation Army has lost my dollar in the kettle

Already under criticism for its position on homosexuality both internally and politically, the Salvation Army has crossed another line by celebrating anti-Obama propagandist Dinesh D’Souza, and lost my dollar in the kettle. [Read more…]

A Thanksgiving reflection from the Buddhist tradition

A great Thanksgiving reflection from the Theravadan Buddhist tradition. Happy Thanksgiving! [Read more…]

4 tips for conscious gift shopping for Black Friday and, even better, Fair Tuesday

Choosing a present specifically for another person, wrapping it playfully and offering it to them involves love, selflessness and hospitality. But how do you buy gifts consciously in our mass consumer culture? Here are some suggestions. [Read more…]

Life of Pi: A 3-D delight that stays on course

Life of Pi is one of those books you imagine will not translate well to film. It’s too fantastical and too abstract, while at the same time being basically a one-person story. I’m delighted to say that Ang Lee has pulled off the near-impossible and made a movie worthy of the beloved book [Read more…]

Forming a More Perfect Union — Navigating political and religious differences at holiday gatherings

As families gather around the table or share letters and cards this holiday season, many will struggle with big political and religious differences. Here are some thoughts about getting through it and being a source of healing in your family. [Read more…]