When Love Wins: How Human Trafficking Survivor Elisia Lopez ReunitedWith Son Nahko Bear

Back when I was 12, there was no preventative or after-care treatment for survivors of human trafficking. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and it does my heart good to be a survivor leader helping to make that change today. My greatest strengths are the closeness I have with my survivor sisters and, honestly, my husband. They always told me, “I believe in you. I think you can do this. You are worthy.” My proudest moment was walking across the stage to receive my master’s. I was able to say, “Fuck everyone who said I wasn’t worth it. I did this. Not my body — me.”

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Community Died Long Before Smartphones

You can complain that young kids are constantly attached to their smart phones. But you might be better served asking why their lives are so deprived of human interaction that they have been sucked into the internet so strongly. Drive through most US suburbs, cities and small towns, you won’t see kids playing in the yards, families talking on porches or town folk gathering for public entertainment. This is completely antithetical to how humans have always lived. Children grow up desperately lonely and disconnected from others. Along comes the internet and suddenly they can be plugged in to people all over. Can we blame them? Then yes, over time, they lose (or never develop) the skills at interpersonal interaction.

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David Bohm – Post Modern Gnostic

First a quote from the January 20, 1961 Inaugural address of John F. Kennedy.
He ended it with the words:

“…. asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

They were prescient words: “here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” Was the new President aware the moment he was speaking of the need for an American response to the ecological challenges facing the Nation? We do not know. However, it all became clear one year later when Rachel Carson published her seminal book Silent Spring. Along with many other Americans, the President too read the book. It had become an instant best-seller and the most provocative book in decades. It began the environmental movement in America.

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Why I am praying for President Trump…

A Facebook friend puzzled over my last post, wondering if it implied a kind of us-vs-them outlook. What I intended was assurance to those of us apprehensive about the Trump-Pence inauguration, including possible Trump voters, who may themselves now face loss of health care coverage, rising prices, diminished Social Security and Medicare benefits, reduced personal safety, and international insecurity.

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Protect the Water Protectors- Mikki Willis

What would you do if this was your brother/son/friend? Many of the brave and Peaceful Water Protectors of Standing Rock are now facing serious criminal charges! This is the moment for us to rise and show our gratitude for the people who risked their lives to protect our water.

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Fall in Love or Die Trying – Jason Silva, Shots of Awe

“Sensuality may turn into a feverish hunt for rebirth… the sexual partner turns into a stand-in for various dream figures, phantasms in a stage-managed resurrection. These figures are all agents of immortality to be conquered or succumbed to many times over.” – Alan Harrington

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Resistance, Resiliency & Revival

It’s Black History month in the United States. Our new President has rolled out some truly terrifying Executive Orders his first dozen days in office. If you have a pulse you’re doubtless aware, so I won’t take up pixels enumerating them here – ’cause this post isn’t about him. These orders – with their policy and cultural ramifications – have led to some beautiful acts of resistance across the country and around the world.

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Being true to your own faith

Have you ever been scared? When people criticize your ideas, how do you remain courageous enough to keep your faith?

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Return to Joy

By Carolyn Baker and

In this book, Andrew and Carolyn mine the mystical wisdom of the ages that places joy at the core of our existence and purpose as a species, moving forward to consider in depth the myriad enemies of joy in our time. As we tend the fires of joy, we celebrate its seven flames and nurture its ubiquitous presence whether in the background or the foreground of our lives.

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Wisdom Does Not Change: Sages, Saints and Science Share the Way – Part 5

Part 5 of 6-Part Series: Like Drinking Poison

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” (Carrie Fisher). Although the other person won’t die, resentment does poison Good. Yet we guard our resentments against a touch of forgiveness as if our lives depended upon it! In a state of resentment all forgiveness retreats to a mental blank spot. But forgiving is the only way to fully recover from the effects of toxic resentment. Through doctrines and teachings all major faiths advocate for forgiveness as essential for faith fulfillment. In secular life too forgiveness is recognized as necessary for well-being. But forgiveness has not always meant what it does today.

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ABN AMRO threatens to stop financing company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline

ABN AMRO, the Dutch bank, today announced that it will end its financing for Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) if the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) will be constructed without the consent of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, or if further violence will be used. The Dutch Fair Finance Guide, Greenpeace Netherlands and BankTrack welcome the decision of ABN AMRO, and call on other banks, including ING in the Netherlands, to follow this example and end all outstanding finance to the pipeline and the companies behind it if no agreement is reached with the Sioux Tribe about the pipeline.

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The Irony Behind Trump’s Travel Ban And Holocaust Remembrance Day

Trump’s public statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day omitted any mention of Judaism, anti-Semitism or the Nazis’ systematic program exterminating European Jewry. The omission was not only hurtful to remaining Holocaust survivors, their families, and friends, but it was dismissive of its six million victims during World War II.

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Stranger As Neighbor in a Promised Land

Contrary to the old adage, fences do not necessarily make good neighbors. In our election campaign season this last year, the winning candidate promised to build a wall and have our neighbor pay for it. We’ll see. Now by presidential executive order, an indefinite ban on all refugees from certain predominantly Muslim countries entering our country has also been put in place.

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Who is My Brother’s Keeper?

This picture has been going viral lately.

It is easy to draw conclusions from it. You see a homeless man with a sign asking for money. Standing next to him is a Wal-Mart employee with a “Hiring” sign. The Wal-Mart employee is looking right at the homeless man (as if to invite him to apply), but the homeless man is not looking at the Wal-Mart employee.

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Accept (them) without exception

The spiritual-religious notion of acting where one can and accepting where one cannot is transcultural.

In the 1st century, Epictetus wrote:

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.

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Trump’s First Days: I Thought I Was Done Grieving but I Was Wrong

By Brian Henry

Like many liberals and progressives, I was shocked and dismayed after the election of Donald Trump, and I went through a very real “grieving” process as I came to terms with what had happened. I thought I had accepted the reality of the election results and even felt reasonably self-assured about the future of the country and of the Democratic Party on Inauguration Day. And yet, on Day 3 of Trump’s presidency, I found myself entering a second “grieving” process having perceived the magnitude of the election in much sharper focus.

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Marching On

Like a cosmic singularity, the jam was so tight and strong, so energetic and energizing, that it ended with a Big Bang. The movement really began when the marchlesss marches ended, after the long waits at crowded subway stations. We got home, turned on our screens and gazed awestruck at the images of ourselves standing shoulder-to-shoulder, filling squares and boulevards and bridges, spilling into side-streets. Now we move from protest into organized, long-term activism to stop the inhumane, immoral, and unpopular agenda of Trump and the Republicans.

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Winona LaDuke speaking on the Rights of Nature

Winona LaDuke speaking on the Rights of Nature at the University of Oregon November 19th, 2016.

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