Community Linkage

Community Linkage July 21, 2011

Every week there are new press releases, articles, information, and videos popping up concerning Paganism, spirituality, health, or disabilities. Community Linkage is a collection of useful information and sometimes entertainment for you.


Sally Kemp writes the Patheos blog Meditation for Life. Her post “The Open-Eyed Mediation of Delight” discusses practicing acceptance and awareness of delight and satisfaction.

“You might try this at a party or some other social gathering—giving yourself moments when you just savor the taste of party food in your mouth, turn to the inner feeling of enjoyment in your body as you dance, the vibratory resonance and emotional power of music, letting your mind dwell as fully as possible on the sensation of taste or touch or sound, without letting yourself reach blindly toward the next taste or sound or touch. This pure focus on the experience of pleasure is a powerful form of open-eyed meditation, especially if we can keep recognizing that the source of the feeling is inside, and not in the object of satisfaction.”

At the Patheos Pagan Portal, Cherry Hill Seminary teacher and theologian Michael York contemplates various types of Divinity and Demigods.
“Not All Gods Are Deities”

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed offeredgreetings to Pagans on Lughnasadh/Lammas. Rajan Zed was the first Hindu to offer prayer to open a US congressional session. Christian extremists interrupted his words.

His greetings to Pagans is part of an effort between Hindus and Pagans to further cross cultural understanding and a religious rights alliance. Many of these ideas were discussed at the 2011 Pantheacon Hindu-Pagan Panel. It included T. Thorn Coyle, Selena Fox, (Circle Sanctuary), Easan Kitir and Dr. Mihir Meghani of the Hindu American Foundation. Thorn recorded the discussion and had made it available at her site. Episode #40

disabilityscoop “Plan To Regulate Subminimum Wage Sparks Debate” by Michelle Diament
Employers can legally pay some disabled employees Subminimum Wages. Several disability advocate groups are saying the new legislation would put more disabled individuals at risk of being placed in sheltered workshops with earnings below minimum wage. Others such as The Arc, which advocates for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, claims the legislation is a step forward in regulating a system with little oversight.

Heath Care

The AARP released a study showing that 40 million Americans care for adults who are aging or disabled. The volunteer services the individuals provide to family members is the equivalent of $450 billion annually.

Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update
The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving.
(Lynn Feinberg, Susan C. Reinhard, Ari Houser, and Rita Choula AARP Public Policy Institute)

It makes me wonder why AARP, a major lobbying group for older Americans, has dropped opposition to cutting Social Security Benefits. (Wall Street Journal) A press release by AARP CEO A. Barry Rand states that AARP will still fight to protect Social Security for seniors. Agreeing to benefit cuts for citizens on fixed incomes does not sound like support.

In response, AARP members are outraged and some are even burning their membership cards. (Post by Professor Eric Kingson.)

According to the Pagan HealthSurvey by Kimberly Hendrick, PhD “ … more than 20% of Pagans are approaching retirement age” 65. How much money and hours of service are we offering our community elderly or Elders? Unless we step up to the plate, cuts will greatly affect them.

You can read more about the survey here.

The Staff of Asclepius covered how Social Security and Medicare Cuts will affect the poor and disabled among Pagans. “Cutting Social Secuity and Medicare is a Raw Deal”.

There are Pagan charities but currently they are few and far between. Beside the obvious life saving support Medicare and Social Security Disability (SSD) or Social Security Insurance (SSI) provides, we are getting assistance without having to declare our personal religious creed.

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