A Native American Prayer of Gratitude

Chief Phil Lane Jr. shares one of the four songs of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman, which he says holds a message for our time in human history.

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The Transitory Nature of Beliefs, Part II

A reflection and commentary for Holy Week & Easter Observances from the perspective of a progressive thinker from the Christian faith tradition.

  Symbol, Ritual, and Learning to Distinguish True & False Myths Because religious progressives often like to emphasize actions over words, and doing over some musty, ancient, stratified system of believing, I’ve asked what part any creedal statement of belief might still be …

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The Convergence of Passover And Easter Can Leaven (or Unleaven) The InterfaithFamily’s Holiday

By Samira K. Mehta

As almost everyone who still has a wall calendar (does anyone still have a wall calendar?) realizes, Passover begins this year on Good Friday, and ends the following Friday or Saturday depending on your tradition. While the combination of Christmas and Hanukkah gets more play in the media (with over four decades of articles on the December dilemma and special attention last year, when Hanukkah started on Christmas eve), Easter and Passover are, in many ways, a more challenging combination for many interfaith families.

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Lent: Letting Go of our Tightly Held Piety to See Our Need of Confession

When we begin to see God as the One in whom we live and move and have our being, we are able to see God as the one who dwells in with and through us. As we open ourselves to a broader understanding of God we can begin to see that the power to forgive resides in us? For it is in with and through us that our God finds expression. By letting go of our carefully held piety, perhaps we can begin to see the magnitude of the power of confession to absolve us as we evolve into all that we are created to be.

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How to hold a Children’s Christmas Pageant today

If, as you say, the stories of Jesus’ miraculous birth are pious legends, what are the implications for staging a children’s Christmas pageant in a small suburban church?

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The Arts of Ritual

  Recently, my daughter, Liz Burklo, invited me to speak with a group of the social work student interns she supervises. She wanted me to equip them with skills in conducting rituals that can serve the communities …

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The Profanity of ‘Thoughts and Prayers’

Offering our “thoughts and prayers” in a crisis can be an expression of sincere empathy but when you are capable of doing more and all you do is offer your thoughts and prayers then we quickly realize that such words are reflective of hollow hypocrisy. Prayer can be very helpful to our spiritual journey but as the African proverb teaches, “when you pray, move your feet.” We pray to change the one who prays so that we will do all that we can to meaningfully respond to the many crises we see happening all around us.

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Candlelight & Blessings: Symbols and Rituals for Death and Grieving

Death is inevitable, mysterious, and often confusing.

At the deathbed, patients and those gathered seek meaning, and many long for a sense of the Spiritual. Yet chaplains and spiritual caregivers have minimal information by which to determine how to provide support, limited time to develop rapport, and varying expectations from those they serve.

Regardless of the religious background of the patient and the loved ones gathered at the deathbed, there are elements of symbol and ritual that take on a pronounced role and a greater importance as one is facing the end of life.

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Ways to Practice Thanks-giving

A gratitude practice for every day from Nov. 1 to Thanksgiving.

The Christian writer G. K. Chesterton had the right idea when he said we need to get in the habit of “taking things with gratitude and not taking things for granted.” Gratitude puts everything in a fresh perspective; it enables us to see the many blessings all around us. And the more ways we find to give thanks, the more things we find to be grateful for.

Giving thanks takes practice, however. We get better at it over time. Gratitude is one of the key markers of the spiritual life we include in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy. It is essential if we are to read the sacred significance of our daily lives.

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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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An Urgent Message for the trees

Our love can create miracles and magic in every moment. Our love can speak to the spirit of the ancient stones and trees. Our love can sing light into the darkest of days, be a voice of answered prayer, or an unexpected gift in a moment of great need.

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We Need More Iftars

I can hear many of you asking, “What in the world is an iftar?” This Arabic word means “a meal that breaks the fast” that occurs after sunset each day during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. Ramadan occurs in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. Here you can see how Ramadan’s dates move from year to year, since the Muslim calendar is based on the moon and the Western (Julian) calendar is based on the sun.

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Music’s Divine Healing Power

Research has shown that music has the power to change emotional states, perceptions, physiology and elevate spiritual awareness. Certain types of music, devotional and sacred in nature, also have the power to transform individual and collective consciousness into the heightened states of love, forgiveness, compassion and physical healing.

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21 do-it-yourself meditation activities featuring texts of the Golden Rule from various religions

From our Partner Organization:

This handy resource contains 21 do-it-yourself meditation activities featuring texts of the Golden Rule from various religions. These contemplative exercsies can be used with individuals or groups.

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A Call to Worship for Pentecost

  PENTECOST Here’s a call to worship, rooted in the Christian past, but open to the global voices, and celebrating an Earth-based liturgy. Three voices scattered in the worship space, perhaps one at the Table, another at …

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How to Lead a Mindful Christianity Group

Using the book as a text, you can form a Mindful Christianity group in your home, church, or other setting. I recommend that the group have a “host” – a person designated to convene the group and keep it on schedule. The “host” need not be a trained mindfulness teacher or highly experienced meditator. Hosting is not formal teaching. I recommend that your group have a limit of fifteen people in order to ensure that participants feel able and willing to share their experiences. I suggest that the group maintain confidentiality about what goes on within it. I suggest that the group agree that should anyone in the group experience acute distress as a result of experiences that well up in the course of practice, the group will urge the person to seek professional therapeutic help, and then be welcomed back to the group when the acute disturbance has passed. (This is not an unusual consequence of beginning mindful prayer practice.)

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The Divine Human

With our unprecedented longevity, aging has become a new developmental stage in the human life cycle. Conscious sacred aging now offers humanity profound opportunities for psychological, spiritual and mystical transformation, expanding not only our lifespan but our awareness of God as well. What if we discover in this awakening that we are already divine? What if this realization transforms our very nature and purpose in the world? The Divine Human answers these questions and more, revealing the ultimate meaning of the New Aging.

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Complex Trauma and Spiritual Healing Power of Sufism

by Daliah Merzaban for Patheos

I’d long presumed the excessive lack of confidence that lurked just beneath the surface was an inherent flaw in me; until, that is, I became aware several months ago that I suffer from a condition known as Complex trauma.

Complex trauma is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, only rather than resulting from a one-off psychological shock, it arises due to repeated, prolonged exposure to different forms of abuse, usually beginning in childhood. In researching the condition, I’ve learned how common it is. Wounds are often inflicted unwittingly and it’s easy to be oblivious to the toll they’ve taken on our psychological and spiritual health.

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