We are living in a time of unprecedented evil

We are living in a time of unprecedented evil, yet we don’t see it; we can’t see it. Not only has industrial civilization lost the ability to distinguish good and evil, we typically confuse the two and casually treat things that are downright anti-future as good.

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The Practicing Democracy Project

What kind of spiritual practices help us build a robust and healthy society, where citizens are united, at a deep level that transcends ideology, race, and class, around a shared spiritual and moral vision of what America should be? That’s what The Practicing Democracy Project strives to answer, by bringing you thought-provoking and inspiring articles, books, excerpts, quotes, topics, and spiritual practices, with more to come.

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Realization of Tao #1: Life Is Suffering

By Ilchi Lee for Patheos

People everywhere are chasing happiness. Many of us work most of our waking hours to earn money and to bring ourselves comfortable lifestyles. And then when we have free time, we seek out entertainment and delicious food to give ourselves pleasure. But how many of us find true happiness, a lasting joy that fulfills and gratifies us permanently?

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Why we don’t embrace change (in our spiritual-religious-faith practice)

While we might work really hard to control reality and predict what will happen to keep us from having to deal with change, the bottom line is that we all have to deal with uncertainty and change.

This article will help you towards making positive changes in your spiritual-religious life.

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We Are the Resistance

Yes, Donald Trump is dangerously eroding the foundations of the US Constitution. And no, democracy would not be fully rescued if he were removed from office tomorrow, because he’s as much a symptom as a cause. Our resistance to the threat to democracy is not about just one man, but an active effort to heal the social ills that put him in office.

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Presence and Process

While the Christian church in 21st century North America is experiencing decline, interest in Buddhist-derived Mindfulness meditation is on the rise. Yet Christianity also has a rich meditative/contemplative tradition.

This book is an exploration of meditative/contemplative practices in both Christian and Buddhist contexts, emphasizing their areas of affinity. Common characteristics and effects of meditative/contemplative practices are defined.

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Faith and Reason 360

As fires rage in California and hurricanes menace the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean, hosts Ann Phelps and Debo Dykes talk with guest Frederica Helmiere about the environment and what lessons Christians can learn from their interaction with the natural world.

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Calm After the Storm

How to Recenter in Times of Chaos

Acknowledging our own needs in times of crisis does not come naturally to most of us. It feels frivolous in the face of such devastation to admit that we need to collect ourselves. To sit and just be. To realign souls that have been disconnected from their source for too long. But reconnect, we must, for if we don’t, all our good deeds and fine intentions will simply add to the frenetic energy of the wounded around us.

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Catholic church to make record divestment from fossil fuels

By Arthur Neslen for The Guardian

More than 40 Catholic institutions are to announce the largest ever faith-based divestment from fossil fuels, on the anniversary of the death of St Francis of Assisi.

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Dedication to Reality and Balancing

Scott Peck identified four tools of discipline that are crucial to meaningful living. This sermon addresses the last two of those four: Dedication to reality, and balancing. In our time of both religious duplicity and political “alternative truth” a firm reminder of the importance of being devoted to reality is a timely and helpful message.

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Interview with Robin Meyers: Do you have a message for progressive Christians?

Interview with Robin Meyers: Do you have a message for progressive Christians?

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How I Repented from My LGBTQI+ Stance

Recently, many in the LGBTQI+ community, as well as those who identify as allies, celebrated Coming Out Day. As most of us are probably aware, coming out can be a momentous occasion, but it can also be quite terrifying. And I can understand why; those who are more religiously-inclined tend to shun and scapegoat any and all who are not heterosexual—with God on their side of course—and even those who stand in solidarity with non-heterosexual folks. So needless to say, coming out can be quite the stress-inducing situation in our current culture (and most cultures that have preceded ours).

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An Open Letter to My Brothers (in light of #MeToo)

[Note: I realize that many of you who read my reflections aren’t ‘brothers,’ but sisters and non-binary siblings. But I’ve been encouraged to share these words – originally urgently written and shared on social media – more carefully and more widely, in hopes that we male-bodied types can do better. If you are not male, I beg your indulgence – and please feel free to share this with a man in your life who could use the challenge + encouragement.]

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The word “God”

In religious as well as other history, when we don’t know our own history, we are condemned to repeat it. Condemned not by anyone else, not even “God”, but by ourselves and the consequences of our own willful ignorance.

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2 scientists dumped 12,000 tons of oranges in the Amazon Rainforest

Two scientists dumped 12,000 tons of oranges in the Amazon Rainforest. 16 years later, the result is breathtaking

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Crusade Against Catharism

Please, God, teach us to be accepting of others: those who worship differently, different races, sexual orientation, socio-economic level – any and everyone who is different from us for whatever reason. God, you created us and pronounced your creation good. We have no right to be judge and jury. Help us to look inward, recognize our own faults, confess them, and attempt to correct them. We never want to experience another Crusade.

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Living a Life Worth Living

M. Scott Peck writes in the Road Less Traveled that there are four basic tools of discipline that allow a person to live a problem solving life rather than a life problem avoiding (which argues leads not only to sorrow but also to mental illness). This sermon addresses the first two of those four: the ability to delay gratification and acceptance of responsibility. While most of this channel’s material addresses systemic injustice this sermon and the one that will follow next week are more personally focused on how we avoid “renting space in our skull” to the painful challenges of life.

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Christians and Gun Ownership

What are your views about so many Christians being in favor of gun ownership? Doesn’t that completely contradict the Jesus of peace we read about in the Bible?

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