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The World is our Cloister – A Guide to the Modern Religious Life

The World is our Cloister is about the new religious life: a life to which a Protestant, Catholic, Hindu or those with no label can relate. It is a guide to living the devotional life, not behind the walls of a monastery, but in the world.

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The Apocalypse of the Teacher (The Book of the Great Divide)

(J.H. Marten is the pseudonym of a writer and educator based in the United States. Marten can be reached at jhmarten@outlook.com.)

“I didn’t say I created all that there is, and I didn’t say I was anything. That is what you say about me,” the voice said. “I am mystery and I am absence. There is no power to create in mystery and absence. There is power only in understanding the boundaries between knowledge and mystery, between presence and absence.”

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The Challenge of Jesus

With John Dominic Crossan

Dr. Crossan presents his life’s work of exploring the full matrix of Jesus’ own time and place to reveal that historical figure as still-and-ever a challenge for us today.

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A Prayer from Holy Breath on Unity

Gretta Vosper offers this lovely prayer to use in community which focuses on the unity of all.

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Prayer for those in need

His Holiness the Dalai Lama offers this simple prayer for others

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Opening the Heart

Use the metta, or lovingkindness, meditation to cultivate a deep sense of caring for self and for all of creation

Take some time to join Sharon Salzberg in a seven-minute loving kindness meditation that will open your heart and calm your mind.

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How Do We Know God?

Today I want to add just a little to the last post and deal further with a fundamental issue, perhaps the fundamental issue about knowing God: Do we know God through things God chooses to say and demonstrate to us through selected messengers? Or do we know God through a vast array of messengers, not selected out individually by God and promoted by a religious community? Is this aided by our observation of the world – nature, people, spiritual phenomena and such?

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Spiritual Care for the Liberated

We, Too, Need a Verse to Chant

The first sermon in which I included gay people by name among “the least of these” for whom Jesus cared, my text was the story from Acts of Paul and Silas in prison. An earthquake frees them, and the jail keeper prepares to take his own life, thinking they have escaped. But Paul shouts out, “Do not be afraid, for we are all here.” That was my sermon title, and I explained that despite their liberation, they take time to convert the jail keeper, recognizing he too is imprisoned. I’d like to think that, almost to the day that I gave that sermon 40 years ago, I still have some of that youthful idealism.

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Thirst for the Desert

Wandering in the desert cleanses my soul of hubris. It puts me in my puny place in the cosmos. It’s bigger than I am, bigger than we are. A hike in the desert is a walk on the “via negativa”. Its vistas sweep away all that obscures the divine, so that God, though always near, seems nearer.

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Why Women Believe in God

We ask an important question, whether God is necessary, and answer it with reference to scriptures, politics, feminism, secularisation and the serious financial and environmental issues which now confront us and which can no longer be ignored.

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The Nicene Creed: Ancient Words in the Light of Modern Faith

The Nicene Creed was both a religious and a political tool, a humanly constructed statement of belief that gave order and meaning to the world of its time. The question this book raises is whether it still gives order and meaning to our world–or rather, what kind of order and meaning does it give to our world.

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