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Prophetic Hospitality and Social Justice

We live in an increasingly polarizing time. In politics and church life, many people are on hair-trigger alert, ready to retaliate at the slightest provocation. Disagreements lead to division and governmental and congregational gridlock. Even proponents of diversity often launch attacks on those who hold more conservative positions on immigration, global climate change, and marriage equality. It is clear that our times call for prophetic action. We need to present imaginative alternatives to injustice, environmental destruction, and prejudice. But, in our quest for social and political justice, we need to find ways to nurture Shalom practices that include our opponents as well as those for whom we advocate. If we are to be true to our progressive and prophetic ideals, we need to treat the opposition with the same care that we treat the oppressed.

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Not Without Courage

Moving further into the Inspired by Hollywood series, we went to see the movie Selma. What a powerful film and so timely. That black men are still twenty-one times more likely to be killed by police than white men* in America is staggering and the media’s attention, drawn to this truth by the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, has drawn our attention, too. Watching Selma brought home the shameful truth that in far too many places, racism still rules the streets.

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Transforming the World Through Loving-Kindness

Loving-kindness is a wonderful word, perhaps the best. The concept that it connotes is found in a variety of source material. In Buddhism, that concept is called metta, and is variously translated as benevolence, amity, friendliness. In fact, a whole type of meditation is based on metta, wherein one begins by meditating upon loving oneself, and, as one gains in this exercise, the field of loving-kindness then proceeds outward, encompassing next a person close to you, then others, gradually, until finally the whole sentient world is loved.

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Monthly eBulletin – Personal and World Transformation through Loving Kindness

Loving kindness is the cultivation of benevolence toward all living beings, love without clinging, and a strong wish for the happiness of others. It is the kind of love that often bubbles up freely in the heart of a mother for her child. It is a love that is independent of expecting or needing anything in return.

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Loving-Kindness Meditations

BY: Bodhipaksa

Keep your focus on your emotions or on your heart-center, and wish everyone well. You can imagine that you have a sun in your heart, and that you are radiating warmth and light in every direction as you walk. Or you can repeat the phrase “May all beings be well, may all beings be happy, may all beings be free from suffering.”

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Too Often Christianity’s Cross-Eyed Perspective Distorts the Good News that God is LOVE: a sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent – Mark 8:27-38

When someone shares in our suffering, somehow the knowledge that we are not alone, that there is someone out there who knows the pain that we are going through, the knowledge that we are cared for by someone who truly knows our pain comforts us and gives us the strength we need to endure our suffering.

To be alone in our suffering is the most terrible thing that we can imagine. The Good News that God is LOVE means that LOVE will not let us suffer alone because LOVE is determined to suffer with us. Working in, with, and through those who have experienced our pain LOVE is able to enfold us and say, “I know, my child, I know.”

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Loving Kindness as a Practice

Loving kindness is the cultivation of benevolence toward all living beings, love without clinging, and a strong wish for the happiness of others. It is the kind of love that often bubbles up freely in the heart of a mother for her child. It is a love that is independent of expecting or needing anything in return.

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The Transformational Path of Jesus

I know of no spiritual path which does not presume some kind of significant personal transformation will occur if followed and practiced. By transformation, I mean to experience a change in our understanding of what is real and discovering who and what we really are as humans in this universe. The language may be different, the steps in a different order, the emphasis slightly unique. But I have found there are far more similarities than there are differences between most of the well-known traditions. Their common goal is to learn how to live with a wide awake mind, an open heart and an absence of suffering. For many it also means cultivating the experience of joy.

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“Unsung Hero” – TVC Thai Life Insurance 2014 – Believe in Good

A Thai life insurance company with a history of producing powerful, tearjerking ads has done it again. Its latest, a three-minute spot titled “Unsung Hero,” follows a good Samaritan whose daily deeds (watering a dying sidewalk potted plant, helping an elderly street vendor get her cart over a high curb, feeding a stray hungry dog, leaving bananas for an elderly neighbor, giving money to a poor young girl) go largely unnoticed — mainly because he’s not looking to be recognized. “He gets nothing,” an English translation of the ad’s voice-over reads. “He won’t be richer. Won’t appear on TV. Still anonymous. And not a bit more famous.” Eventually, though, the man’s kindness is rewarded when he sees the power of his actions

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Love is Essential

Love is the source of comfort and delight;
Love shines in darkness, bringing us the light;
When we despair and purpose seems at an end
We long for love on which we can depend.

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Waking to the Light: Mindfulness and Kindness

I’ve spent a certain amount of my life with my head stuck in a jug, convinced that the whole world is dark. For me, mindfulness meditation practice has been the means by which the jug gets pulled off and I’m able to wake to the light.

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Transfiguration: Just An Old-Fashioned Love Song

The mythical stories of Jesus’ transfiguration remind me of old-fashioned love songs. You know the kind of songs that were playing on the radio when you first met, and when you hear them, you are instantly taken …

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Finding Angels in Boulders and Divinity in Geodes

Progressive Christianity asserts that God is present in each one of us. God is not far off but moves within each of our lives, providing energy and possibility; God’s presence in us and not imperfection is our deepest nature. In contrast to sin-based theologies, accenting original sin and human depravity, progressive Christianity affirms original blessing and the inherent divinity of each creature.

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Some Thoughts on Loving Kindness

Can kindness save the world? That is the question I posed as I reflected on the theme of ‘transforming the world through loving kindness.’ Are we really talking about changing the world through small acts of kindness, perhaps from one stranger to another? If so, are we discussing a movement like London’s ‘Kindness Offensive,’ known for orchestrating large-scale ‘random acts of kindness?’ Although kindness is an important virtue, and the world is all the better for it, can friendly, gentle, caring, considerate, and helpful people change the entrenched systems of domination, poverty, and violence that we face in our neighborhoods, nation, and the global community? Kindness may give pleasure to others and make us feel better in return, but I suspect that transforming the world will require more than simple acts of kindness that lift someone’s spirits.

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Fierce Love

Love is the ultimate outlaw. It won’t adhere to rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question.

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Loving Kindness- Ashana

“Music can transport us, lift us to the place where we gently let go and open completely to receive and remember the divine heart that lives within each one of us, that truly lives in all beings. I have seen, felt and been utterly transformed by the power of sound and music to heal; it is a gift to us from the Source of Love – it is total, pure Grace.”

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Deep Peace – Ashana

Deep peace to you, deep peace to you. Deep peace of the running wave to you. Deep peace of the quiet earth to you. Deep peace of the shining stars to you.

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