The Shakers, in their pious oddity and their strange holiness remain, however small, a crack in the wall that divides us in this increasingly insular, hierarchical, and oppressive era. They rejected the apparatus of state, economy, industry and military. Theirs was a pacifist army against Moloch’s minions. In offering us difference they enacted the possibility and promise of that difference.read more
I distinguish between the “gift” of celibacy and the “call” to celibacy, which I will come to later in this post.
The gift of celibacy is a debatable proposition. Is someone “blessed” with that gift or simply avoiding intimate relationships? Is it a rejection of God’s gift of sexuality and more broadly sensuality and embodiment, or a prioritizing of one’s energy and involvement and commitment?read more
There is no one single way the soul travels into the deep heartland that is Being itself, yet her pilgrimage of realizing the truth of who she is is the Wisdom path itself, the way of being a Christic gem. We are being called home, but this calling is not to some outward sojourn. The calling is an invitation to commence the inner journey of the soul. The calling is a love-song of the heart, which is a harmonic chorus nuanced and enhanced by different times, cultures, and disciplines, intermingling in a continual counterpoint of completely whole, yet mutually enriching, melodic lines. This love-song leaves traces on our heart, like footprints on a path, which run like a golden thread through the history of spiritual seeking.read more
A real “market-based” healthcare system is one in which people with the greatest need for medical attention will be the least likely to get it. It means people will be left on the streets to suffer and die from treatable conditions. It means that if you cannot afford insurance, and cannot pay cash for medical care, you cannot get into an emergency room if you have a life-threatening condition. It means that if you have no money to see a doctor, you have to beg. But if you have to beg, the people you know are probably not the ones who can come up with the cash to help you.read more
We know, deep down in our being, that we are all connected. We have this fundamental knowledge. It’s instinctive. It’s just something that is just known in the universe.
We know all humans are brothers and sisters. It follows that we have a responsibility to each other that stems from that relationship.
When we see someone suffering, we instinctively feel it, too. We know they are a part of us. We feel their pain, too. Their pain is our pain. Despite the unjust world we see before us, with its patterns of death, decay and misery, in ways we are at a total loss to explain, despite all evidence to the contrary, we know deep in our bones that nobody wins unless everybody wins, and that this is a fundamental law written into the very fabric of the universe.read more
The story of Indubious is not for the faint of heart. Like a Phoenix rising from the flames, Indubious was forged in the fires of pain and destruction. It is through overcoming adversity that Evton and Skip, both brothers and band mates, have emerged as a powerful forces for change, and voices for the future of conscious music.read more
Part-autobiography, part-Christian spirituality, Nomad offers penetrating insight into the minds of the new generations of progressive evangelical followers of Jesus in the global Church. Themes include: community, war, redemption, wonder, grace, sexuality and the Eucharist. Nomad was originally commissioned and written for Destiny Image but the publisher cancelled the contract because Brandan refused to say that he did ‘not condone, encourage or accept the homosexual lifestyle’. DLT is proud to offer Brandan’s book for all readers wishing to hear and understand his powerfully-written, graceful, whole-life spirituality.read more
John 3:16 is a beautiful verse, understood this way–that God’s act of sharing Jesus with us comes out of love, and that all who participate in that love through loving both God and one another follow in the Way of Jesus, which is the Way of eternity–to love Jesus so much that you imitate Him and follow His Way. To believe in His message so much that you follow it.read more
We have tried to remain within the theological-only realm as we co-create what being a progressive Christian means in today’s world. However, as you can see from even our older versions of The 8 Points, three of the main points of progressive Christianity have been about the importance of social justice, inclusion and environmental stewardship. Clearly those values are broad umbrellas and with our recent political arena being what it is we are finding that the issues at hand are directly affecting the rights of human beings everywhere and threatening both social justice/equality and inclusion as well as the protection and restoration of our Earth.read more
Christmas is quiet and intimate and I get to sing the carols I love with my beautiful bowls. The other night James and I decided to make a little video of one of my favorites — an old carol from Ireland — The Wexford Carol. Here it is, just for you. I have loved this song for years, from the moment I first heard its arching melody. I hope these sounds fill your heart with peace and pray you continue to shine your Light all through this magical season and in the year to come. Enjoy! And if you love the video, post a comment and share with family and friends to pass along the light. I read every single one and I so much appreciate hearing from you.read more
As the Winter Solstice approaches in the north, we notice the changes: the days of light are shorter, the darkness is longer, the weather is cold, the trees are bare, and snow is often on the ground. John Matthews, who has lectured widely on Celtic and Arthurian traditions, has written this lyrical passage about Winter Solstice:
“The Solstice is a time of quietude, of firelight, and dreaming, when seeds germinate in the cold earth, and the cold notes of church bells mingle with the chimes of icicles. Rivers are stilled and the land lies waiting beneath a coverlet of snow. We watch the cold sunlight and the bright stars, maybe go for walks in the quiet land. . . . All around us the season seems to reach a standstill — a point of repose.”read more
The Christ Child reminds us of the infinite possibilities of life available to us, and we celebrate that vitality in the season of good cheer, gift-giving, and community. Christmas also offers an opportunity to get in touch with our own mystical side, to recreate the Nativity in our hearts. “If we could but mix just a small measure of the child’s naïveté with an intelligent appreciation of the traditional Christmas symbols, myths, and images,” Moore asserts, “we might be surprised at the profundity.” The enchantment of Christmas is a taste of what is possible if human beings could really love each other. The infant in the manger symbolizes new life, the potential all human beings have to be a new kind of being dedicated to agape, a love of the other—whoever that “other” may be.read more
In our post-election reality, there is one part of contemplative practices that I resist the most. I tend to stay in liberal bubbles, lamenting the lack of connection and sensitivity demonstrated by one political party. I default to mourning the dignity that was stripped from many during the Trump/Pence campaign- from minorities of color, to persons of different national origins, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.
It is part of my faith to stand in these convictions. Recalling that Jesus put his life on the line for the marginalized and oppressed, my faith is made real in the world today by the same means.read more