The Dalai Lama Continues to Push Secular Ethics Over Buddhism

by Justin Whitaker for Patheos

Last week the Tibetan spiritual leader offered talks to three groups of students at his residence in Dharamsala, India. The students came from the U.S., Canada, and 25 students from the Tong Len [Tibetan for ‘giving and taking’] charitable trust based in North India.
Rather than pushing traditional Tibetan teachings or verbatim scripture, the Dalai Lama urged students to pursue peace in the coming century. He emphasized the importance of cultivating reason and the basic human capacity for compassion in order to do this.

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The Sanctuary Church Movement in Colorado Springs

ICE (the immigration agency) recognizes churches, hospitals, and schools as sanctuaries, which means they have never invaded those spaces to deport anyone. Of course, schools are only sanctuaries during the day, and hospitals only for brief hospital stays. So, sanctuary churches are important because they can take in those in danger for days, weeks, months, or longer. Most who take sanctuary are at a church for just a few months.

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Ancient Hospitality: A Lost Religious Practice

Hospitality to strangers was a very big deal throughout the ancient world. I am not sure if any of us in the modern era have any appreciation for just how important it was. There were no hotels, no GPS systems, few restaurants. Being in a tough spot away from home was a life or death situation!

Hospitality was not only a cultural practice, but it also had serious religious significance.

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Easter? It’s Up to You!

Think for a minute about what you admire most about the life of Jesus. He was a person of profound compassion, bringing good news to the poor and healing to the brokenhearted. He reached out to everyone who had been wounded by life, including those who had been wounded by organized religion. He transcended ethnicity, race, religion, gender and status in society. Instead of judgment, he brought understanding. Instead of revenge, he brought forgiveness. And in the face of power, he brought courage for justice and fairness and respect for all people. Most of all, he brought a profound sense of hope, believing that betrayal and violence do not have the last word. Nor do our personal disappointments and heartaches. As long as love beats inside the human heart, then a new humanity is possible. That’s the Easter message we celebrate today.

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Progressive Christianity on the concept of hell

That is an excellent question and we progressive Christians really would do well to have some thought out responses when our more evangelical friends ask us about these matters – as well as our agnostic, atheist, and spiritual but not religious friends ask us this same question. As with so many things, progressive Christianity doesn’t have any official stance about this, but it does seem to be the case that most progressive Christians do not have a concept of hell as part of their faith and practice. I cannot speak for all of progressive Christianity, but I can share how this progressive Christian understands things – hell isn’t even part of the Bible and shouldn’t be a part of Christianity. To be blunt about it, let me repeat, Hell isn’t Christian – or Jewish. It’s pagan.

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The Need for a Long-Overdue Racial Reconstruction

What has happened instead is that American society largely has done the absolute minimum to correct the wrongs it has done, and then it gets pretty darn angry when anyone complains that it should do more. As a result, many in the black community continue to feel like second-class citizens, and there is quite a bit of evidence to support this.

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Resistance

  Ok, first thing: would all the perfect people here please raise your hands – ok, you’re excused. You’ve earned your automatic A; and you certainly don’t need to sit here listening to someone try to explain …

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Evolutionary Love Relationships: Passion, Authenticity and Activism

An uplifting and brilliant book that provides a template for more enheartened, authentic love relationships, AND invites couples, friends, and business colleagues to move their powerful relational energy into the world to effect change. Rather than limiting their gaze to each other, partners and pairings are invited to take their focus outward, channeling their energies toward those causes that both unite them and transform the world we live in. With love as the fuel for inspired action, the relationship becomes a homage to sacred purpose, finding its deeper meaning in its efforts to positively influence the planet.

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Top 5 Demands of Christian Hospitality

Discussions about refugees and immigrants almost invariably include people who strongly express the need to protect borders.

Pope Francis has a helpful perspective that hits the nail on the head:

A person who thinks only of building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not a Christian.

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Words Matter

  “There’s a time for everything… … a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing… (Ecclesiastes 3:4) Words matter. I believe our president-elect speaks from the heart, …

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God is Alive, Magic is Afoot – Leonard Cohen

This is one of my favorite poems celebrating the unexpected splendor of new life out of anticipated death. Happy Easter, all you resurrection artists.

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the Easter uprising

Jesus rises up whenever the conspiracy of love rises up, whenever compassionate and courageous acts of the kingdom of God are present, whenever the reign of love is made manifest in this life. Following Jesus is a response to his call to establish justice and peace in the world.

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Crucifying The Prairie: An ECO-Theology Of Resistance For Good Friday

By Jacob J. Erickson

Our pluralistic world invites multifaith and multispiritual perspectives. But, for me in this moment, in my own week of observations of Good Friday to Easter, I plan on resisting. I will not bear this cross of a carbon economy willingly. I will resist the crosses that ravage the beauty of the earth until my dying breath.

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Changing Hearts, Changing Minds

Here is a list of rules formulated decades ago by the legendary social psychologist and game theorist Anatol Rapoport, as abridged by the philosopher, Daniel Dennett:

“How to compose a successful critical commentary”

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Seasoning the Day with Sanity

Alan Wallace on the value of mindful moments throughout the day

  During his recent retreat at the Garrison Institute, we spoke with scholar and meditation teacher Alan Wallace about how to cultivate stillness, increase productivity, and determine whether an activity is worth doing. Many people have the …

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Altars in the World

The contemplative life is about finding altars everywhere!

The contemplative life is about finding altars everywhere. Celtic “thin places” where heaven shows itself on earth. Creatures who, much like Meister Eckhart’s caterpillar, are so full of God a sermon is unnecessary. Leonard Cohen’s broken places that let the light shine in. Strangers who are angels unawares. The “least of these” who are Christ himself. People who, as in Thomas Merton’s epiphany at a city intersection, do not realize they are walking around “shining like the sun.” Maya Angelou’s “caged bird,”

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Rev. Bruce Sanguin Sermon: Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart

Reverend Bruce Sanguin talks about Blessed Are The Pure of Heart at Unity of Vancouver. See UnityOfVancouver.org for information and more talks.

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Trading Our Palm Branches for Tomahawk Missiles or White Helmets? – a Palm Sunday sermon

  In the wake of a week that saw sarin gas released once again on the people of Sryria, followed by the firing of U.S. tomahawk missiles, parading around waving Palm Branches seems as foolish as it …

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