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A Pebble for Your Pocket

Combining the stories and meditation practices from the previous edition of A Pebble for your Pocket with those collected in Under the Rose Apple Tree and several new stories, this completely revised edition is comprised of Buddhist parables and stories from the author’s own childhood experiences. They elucidate principles of Buddhism and mindfulness practice, giving young readers and their parents concrete advise on handling difficult emotions like anger. Written in a highly accessible style that doesn’t rely on lot of jargon or difficult vocabulary, this collection emphasizes the importance of the present moment through vivid metaphors, original allegories, and colorful stories. Young readers learn about handling anger, living in the present moment, and “interbeing” — the interconnectedness of all things. Thich Nhat Hanh offers various practices that children can do on their own or with others that will help them to transform anger and unhappiness and reconnect to the wonders of nature and the joy of living in the present moment.

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Sophia Rising: Awakening Your Sacred Wisdom Through Yoga

Today, most of the 20 million yoga practitioners in the Western world don’t share yoga’s Eastern cultural or religious grounding, yet they feel—or seek—a spiritual connection from their practice. Examining yoga’s philosophical underpinnings, Sophia Rising reveals how people from any faith can use yoga to create a sacred space inside themselves. Author and yogini Monette Chilson demystifies yoga and explains Sophia– Greek for Wisdom– the iconic face of the feminine divine found in Western religious traditions. Through information and example, she invites readers to listen for the inner voice of Sophia and meld their own spiritual beliefs with their yoga.

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Four Yogas in the Life of Church

Sometimes issues need to be reframed, and it can often be helpful to look outside one’s own tradition for a framework. So for those who may be struggling with similar misunderstandings in their congregations, I offer the Four Yogas as a lens through which to see things differently.

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The Power of WE

Compassionate Activism for Global Healing: New Thought is a spiritually motivated way of life that embraces the ancient wisdom traditions of east and west. We embody the belief that consciousness is elementally creative, reciprocates thought, and thereby shapes all manifestation. Our principles reflect a universal conviction that the community of all life is sacred; our practices of meditation and prayer enhance a worldview promoting reverence for, and service to humanity and planet earth. New Thought is committed to global healing through personal transformation, community-building, interfaith, intercultural, and interdisciplinary understanding, and compassionate activism.

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Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell

Drawing on a lifetime of wisdom, New York Times bestselling author and controversial religious leader John Shelby Spong continues to challenge traditional Christian theology inEternal Life: A New Vision. In this remarkable spiritual autobiography about his lifelong struggle with the questions of God and death, he reveals how he ultimately came to believe in eternal life.

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Thoughts About Music

I have a friend, he’s a medical doctor and has probably seen some pretty moving things during his years of practice. But he once told me that the only time he has cried in the past ten years was while listening to Bach’s Mass in B minor. That confirms for me what I already knew, that music can move the soul like nothing else in this world can. So the natural question is how can that reality be leveraged for spiritual purposes within sacred community? And this is not a new idea. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians written nearly two thousand years ago, he urged his friends to “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.”

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Music in Sacred Community

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” So wrote the famed philosopher, Nietzsche. I believe that music in sacred community is the medium which allows us to feel and to express our deepest emotions: joy, lament, awe and thanksgiving. Music in sacred community binds us together. Studies have shown that groups who make music together feel a certain kinship with each other, and leave that time of singing or drumming, playing instruments, etc. with their endorphins dancing, and their bodies humming with better health and vibrations. Surely when all of this is enhanced by words of hymns or songs, we can know that we have participated in a rich experience which has fed our souls.

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Music Moments

Such a captivating experience is not limited by the type or setting of the music. Classical, pop, bluegrass, jazz, country, blues, to name common Western music, all have the capacity to release an energy within us, previously pent up, but now free. That release can and does happen to anyone, any time, any place. Music is one of the great equalizers of persons. No matter who you are, you are susceptible to this unfathomed power. What is going on here?

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Singing in the Beloved Community

St. Augustine said that the one who sings, prays twice. We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words; we get closest to praying as we ought when we sing. But church singing has changed rapidly in the 30-some years I’ve been a pastor. The hip new hymnal that came out in the nineties contains far too many hymns that were written for an organ and a congregation in the hundreds, not a guitar, a piano, and a raggedy chorus of twenty-some.

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Comfort, Assurance, Peace

May we be comforted, God, by your eternal presence — inward, around, among us
As the ground of all being, your creation knows no boundaries

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