Are You Not Entertained?

I grew up with a lot of value placed on being present and having quiet times of focus and just being. It is important to have periods of simply existing and connecting with your self and the world around you.Yet even I have fallen victim to the fear of being bored.I pack distractions with me in case of any down time. Books, portable video games, Facebook on my smart phone. I seem to be afraid of any quiet second of just being. I wonder also how much stimulation I should be providing for … [Read more...]


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Should We Judge a Religion on the Actions of Its Followers?

I don't know why it took me so long to notice my hypocrisy in this. For a long time it has been easy for me to look at Christianity and Islam and say that there must be something inherently violent or hateful about them because look at the actions of their adherents. Whether it's Christians shooting up an abortion clinic or an Islamic suicide bomber or just a person you meet who says something bigoted, how easy it is to blame the person's religion. To say, look at this behavior and the person's … [Read more...]


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Is There Value in Pain?

It's taken me a long time to challenge my assumption that experiencing pain is a valuable and good thing. To some that may sound crazy but I think there's a lot of people out there who assume, as I have, that fully engaging with the world means not escaping from the negative parts. And maybe it's part of the American psyche to think that suffering makes us tougher, stronger, and better.One of my favorite movies is one called My Dinner With Andre. It's a very simple premise of actor/writer … [Read more...]


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Why Can’t We Have Certainty?

It's scary to admit doubt.I don't want anyone to think me less of a Hindu because deep in my heart I have fear. I wonder if it's all true. I wonder if I'm wrong and death will be nothing but an ending or an emptiness.Some people seem so very certain of their Gods and their beliefs. I wish I could be that way. I wish I could rest in the certainty that death is only a new beginning. But I'm afraid.It's frustrating that there are no solid answers in this life. We have no proof of any … [Read more...]


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What Are Men Afraid Of?

The struggle to bring women's rights back into equality with men's is one that is happening in every culture that I know of all around the world. There's still a long way to go in both India and America for women to have autonomy over their own lives, to have the choices that men have, and to be treated as human beings.The saddest thing about this to me is that traditional Hindu culture had more equality for women than current culture does anywhere. Think about the word "equality" for a … [Read more...]


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What if Whiteness Disappears Completely?

Recently an Old Navy ad featuring an interracial family brought some intense racism out of the woodwork. Twitter was full of people insulted by this beautiful family in an ad. It's pretty mystifying to me that people can have so much anger over someone else's family. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't know where it comes from.There's a fear running deep in some parts of America, a fear of disappearing, of vanishing. There are white people who fear that whiteness will cease to exist because, … [Read more...]


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Bigger the Murti More Powerful the God?

I heard someone ask this question and I was intrigued because it had never occurred to me. Do we measure divinity by the physical space that something occupies? If God is in everything, is there more God in a boulder than in a pebble? If a pebble is one part divinity, is the boulder 500 parts divinity?I don't think so, personally, but it's a very interesting idea.I am reminded of a story I was told growing up. A poor man in a village is getting completely destitute. Some of his only … [Read more...]


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Toys vs Sacred Objects

When I looked at the Gamaya toy it got me thinking about the different ways in which we create and use images of the Gods.The Gods in temples have been consecrated with sacred ceremonies but the ones that we have in our homes usually have not. A lot of times we have no information about how our murti were created or by whom.I wondered how we distinguish between murti and toy. And then I had two thoughts. First I thought how we treat them distinguishes between them. But then I thought … [Read more...]


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The Baby and My Body

We tend to get very identified with our bodies and see them as "us." It's not an easy habit to see beyond yet pregnancy is kind of a gift in that way. It is an experience that shakes your sense of your body belonging to you.For ten months you share your body with someone else and things you thought were all yours become influenced by someone else. It's not just your torso growing bigger. You and your child are negotiating for the energy that your body has (and the baby always wins). The … [Read more...]


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