OPEN UP A NEW WINDOW TO A WEBSITE WITH AN INVITATION TO A UNIQUE FORM OF PEACEMAKING



OPEN UP A NEW WINDOW TO A WEBSITE WITH AN INVITATION TO A UNIQUE FORM OF PEACEMAKING

THE
ABUNDANCETREK
BLOG

July 1, 2007 - December 31, 2007


  • Music & Lyrics for "I Can See Clearly Now"
    --in memory of Andy (1977-1994)
  • HYMN: "Be Still My Soul"
  • PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS
  • BREATHE!
  • PRAY!
  • BE STILL AND KNOW GOD!
  • PRACTICE STILLNESS
  • ARCHIVES
  • Open up a new window with a webpage promoting SACRED GLIMPSES: MEDITATIONS FOR UNTAMED CHRISTIANS by Mark Davidson

    find out about this great new book by my friend, Mark Davidson

    Open up a new window with the home page of THE CENTER FOR PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY

    THE CENTER FOR PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY is promoting what I call THE NEW CHURCH FOR THE NEW AGE with great energy and wisdom. Please visit this website often & contemplate the 8 points & read the articles & buy the books & go to the events & join the forum.

    Open up a new window with a webpage promoting WRESTLING UNTIL THE DAWN by John R. Preston

    find out about this great new book by my friend, John Preston

  • Music & Lyrics for "I Can See Clearly Now"
    --in memory of Andy (1977-1994)
  • HYMN: "Be Still My Soul"
  • PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS
  • BREATHE!
  • PRAY!
  • BE STILL AND KNOW GOD!
  • PRACTICE STILLNESS
  • ARCHIVES

  • OPEN UP A NEW WINDOW TO A WEBSITE WITH AN INVITATION TO A UNIQUE FORM OF PEACEMAKING


    Open up a new window with a webpage  containing the contents of <I>The Sacred Art of Soul Making: Balance and Depth in Spiritual Practice</I>

    see the contents of The Sacred Art of Soul Making: Balance and Depth in Spiritual Practice


    | HOME | THIS WEBSITE | 9 ATTRIBUTES OF HEAVEN | 12 HEAVENLY PRACTICES | CONNECTIONS GALORE! | SPIRITUAL FORMATION | PEACE & JUSTICE | PERSONAL INTEREST | MEDIA | WEB | BREATHE! | PRAY! | BIBLE-NRSV | ABUNDANCETREK RADIO STATION | REGGAE | CELTIC | DF | S&P | TCPC | SOJO | DW | LEC | SF | CRCU | DZ | RT | IF | 4P | CIA | ENI | MYSS | KY | FA | TPC | WS | GW | CC | SJ | RJ | T2A | LINK | DN! | WRVO | TOTN | C-SPAN | DR | NOW | R&E | PR | CAP | CD | TO | TP | AlterNet | HP | MM | JH | SM | AAR | MI | TD | WCPT | TMW | WEATHER | MOVIES - S&P | MOVIES - RT | TV |


    | ABUNDANCE | JOY | WISDOM | BEAUTY | LOVE | TRUTH | PEACE | JUSTICE | FREEDOM |

    ... are the nine attributes of heaven which we experience and enjoy as we embrace our fantastic journey, the ...


    THIS WILL OPEN UP A NEW WINDOW AND TAKE YOU TO A WEBSITE WHICH HELPS PEOPLE GET FOOD DAILY

    [ Yahoo! ] options

    BACK TO HOME PAGE

    CONNECTIONS GALORE! LINKS TO THIS WEBSITE, SPIRITUAL FORMATION WEBSITES, PEACE & JUSTICE WEBSITES, MEDIA and more!

    FROM TIME TO TIME I OFFER MESSAGES FOR THE TREK IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE AND EQUIP US AS WE CONTINUE TO BUILD A GLOBAL VILLAGE SOLIDLY BASED ON LOVE.

    I WROTE THESE GOOD NEWS AMBASSADOR GUIDELINES IN 1986 AND HAVE BEEN GUIDED BY THEM EVER SINCE.  I INVITE YOU TO CONSIDER THEM.

    YAHOO eGROUP on THE NEW CHURCH FOR THE NEW AGE.  JOIN THE CONVERSATION!  WE ARE SHARING IDEAS HERE AND ENCOURAGING EACH OTHER.

    Open up a new window and read the BIBLE.

    Open up a new window & read a daily scripture verse together with helpful, healing thoughts from UNITY.

    Open up a new window and read the daily scripture selections of the lectionary as translated in the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version).  Scriptures for the Day of the Lord and other holy days are also included.

    Open up a new window & go to a website offering great resources on centering prayer, LECTIO DIVINA, and contemplation.

    OPEN UP A NEW WINDOW WITH THE WEBSITE OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA)

    OPEN UP A NEW WINDOW WITH A WONDERFUL WEBSITE DEVOTED TO ESOTERIC CHRISTIANITY

    THIS WILL OPEN A NEW WINDOW WITH A DAILY SOURCE OF ZEN WISDOM.

    OPEN UP A NEW WINDOW WHERE YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE YOUR YAHOO AND INSTANTLY GET UPDATES ON YOUR INTERESTS!


    Click to
    subscribe to
    tnc4tna
    e-group


    Open up a new window with a webpage promoting SACRED GLIMPSES: MEDITATIONS FOR UNTAMED CHRISTIANS by Mark Davidson

    find out about this great new book by my friend, Mark Davidson


    Open up a new window with a webpage promoting WRESTLING UNTIL THE DAWN by John R. Preston

    find out about this great new book by my friend, John Preston


    Open up a new window with the home page of THE CENTER FOR PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY

    THE CENTER FOR PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY is promoting what I call THE NEW CHURCH FOR THE NEW AGE with great energy and wisdom. Please visit this website often & contemplate the 8 points & read the articles & buy the books & go to the events & join the forum.


    + A SUGGESTION FOR SURFING THROUGH THIS BLOG: Use your TAB key to go from link to link to link. Soon you will move beyond the buttons on the left to the main body of the BLOG. You can use SHIFT and TAB together to go back up the page. When you want to check out a link, press your ENTER or RETURN key (or click on the link with your mouse) and you will go to the selected web page. You can get back here by pressing down your ALT and LEFT ARROW keys together or you can use your browser's BACK button with your mouse. You may have to do this more than once depending on how much exploring you do.

    You can really have some fun by keeping your TAB key pressed down for a second or 2 or more. When you release it, press your RETURN or ENTER key and see where you go!! But please do come back sooner or later.


    OTHER BLOGS

  • Agonist
  • NEW 12/14/07: AL GORE
  • Al-Muhajabah
  • Altercation
  • AmericaBlog
  • Annatopia
  • AntiWarBlog
  • Bad Christian
  • The Beat - a blog from THE NATION
  • NEW 3/4/08: Blog the Debt
  • Bob Cornwall
  • Chuck Currie
  • NEW 11/20/07: CCBLOGS
  • Coke Brown Jr.
  • Cursor
  • Dahr Jamail - Iraq News
  • Daily Kos
  • Daily War News
  • Deepak Chopra blog
  • Desert Pilgrim
  • Don't Eat Alone
  • Espiritus
  • Faith Forward
  • Father Jake
  • Gaunilo's Island
  • Gallycat's Lounge
  • God Web
  • Greg Palast
  • New 1/13/08: Gristmill
  • Healing Iraq
  • Horse's Mouth
  • Huffington Post
  • I am a Christian Too
  • Iddybud Journal
  • James Wolcott
  • Jason
  • Jesus Politics
  • Jim Hightower
  • Juan Cole
  • Just World News
  • Dennis Kucinich
  • Liberal Christians
  • New 1/26/08: Lowdown
  • MHJB from NZ
  • Michael Berube
  • the Minister of Things
  • MoJo Blog
  • Mystic Cowboy
  • Nelson
  • Noam Chomsky
  • NEW 12/29/07:
    Not Silence
  • Orcinus
  • Peace Blogs
  • Philosophy Over Coffee
  • Political Animal
  • Postmodern Pilgrim
  • Pressing On in the Dark
  • Progressive Blogs
  • Progressive Democats of America
  • Progressive Pilgrim Cafe
  • Progressive Protestant
  • NEW 12/5/07:
    Prog(ressive)nostications
  • Real Live Preacher
  • Reclaim Jesus
  • Representative Conyers' blog
  • Sharing the Sacred
  • Sage Wisdom from ...
  • Salam Pax
  • Salty Vicar
  • Shuck & Jive
  • Tales of a Nurse
  • Talking Points Memo
  • U-C: What I See (Presbyterian Moderator's Blog)
  • Unfiltered Radio
  • the Village Gate
  • Witherspoon Society

    SOME GREAT SPIRITUAL WEBSITES:

  • NEW ENGLAND PEACE PAGODA - praying constantly for the elimination of all weapons from the planet
  • CENTERING PRAYER and LECTIO DIVINA (Thomas Keating)
  • BIBLE - NEW REVISED STANDARD VERSION
  • DAILY WORD from SILENT UNITY
  • HYMNS - tunes and words
  • LECTIONARY
  • LECTIONARY FORUM
  • NEW 5/21/07: DIARMUID O'MURCHU - website of the author of Quantum Theology
  • RESEARCHERS OF TRUTH: The Esoteric Christianity of Dr. Stylianos Atteshlis (a.k.a. Daskalos) | Y! E-GROUP
  • A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  • MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
  • AWAKENING MIND
  • GLOBAL RENAISSANCE ALLIANCE | Home | 7 Principles
  • Awakening.net
  • SOJOURNERS
  • GODWEB - led by Charles Henderson, a progressive Presbyterian minister
  • THE CENTER FOR PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY | Home | The Eight Points
  • JESUS SEMINAR
  • PRESBYTERIAN SPIRITUAL FORMATION OFFICE
  • PRESBYTERIAN ECUMENICAL & INTERFAITH OFFICE
  • PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA)
  • UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
  • WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
  • NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF CHRIST
  • CHURCHES UNITING IN CHRIST (CUIC) - formerly COCU, the Consultation on Church Union.
  • BAPTISM, EUCHARIST AND MINISTRY (BEM) - World Council of Churches ecumenical consensus
  • SHALEM - Ecumenical Spiritual Formation Center
  • THINK UNITY -- Christian Mysticism
  • DAILY ZEN
  • THE CHURCH OF I AM
  • NEW 5/21/07: THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY - a brief introduction by Aldous Huxley
  • THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY at MythosAnd Logos.com
  • NEW 1/23/07: PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY TEACHER FRITHJOF SCHUON
  • THE HARMONY INSTITUTE
  • TEN TEACHINGS OF ALL RELIGIONS (Harmony Institute)
  • THE FOUR PRECEPTS
  • NEW 9/28/06: WAHIDUDDIN'S WEB --- promotes the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan
  • INNER FRONTIER: EXPLORING PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY
  • NEW THOUGHT MOVEMENT
  • THE ASSOCIATION FOR GLOBAL NEW THOUGHT
  • CAROLINE MYSS
  • SPIRITUALITY & PRACTICE
  • SPIRITUALITY & HEALTH
  • MOVING INTO STILLNESS -Yoga teacher Erich Schiffmann's website and book
  • CELESTINE VISION
  • Ken Keyes' SEVEN CENTERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
  • Ken Keyes' TWELVE PATHWAYS TO HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS
  • THICH NHAT HANH - bio, Plum Village & the 14 PRECEPTS
  • THICH NHAT HANH - beliefnet interview
  • UNITED RELIGIONS INITIATIVE
  • INTERFAITH ALLIANCE
  • BELIEFNET
  • WORLD RELIGIONS - Caroline Myss guide
  • ALLSPIRIT
  • NEW 6/30/07: WORLDWIDE RELIGION OF REALITY
  • ION PARADOX
  • AWAKENING 101 - a course on meditation
  • CHI LEL CHI GONG
  • DHARMA HAVEN - mantra practices taught here
  • UNITED COMMUNITIES OF SPIRIT
  • JESUS IS A LIBERAL
  • RECLAIM JESUS
  • PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK
  • MORE LINKS in alphabetical order

    TOP OF PAGE



  • MONDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2007 + heavy, wet snow last night followed by some snow showers and some sunshine

    + Wanderings of a Post-Modern Pilgrim offers "Auld Aquaintances". Excerpt: "Should auld acquaintance be forgot? But it is the memories of these auld acquaintances living within us that can often give our lives meaning and direction. We pile new on the old, we add refreshment to what we saw in the past. We turn toward new ideas and new ways of living and deepening relationships. We find ourselves in new places- many times because of these auld acquaintances. They give us courage if they have been empowering. They give us hope if they have been supportive. They give us wisdom if they have been challenging."

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + GodWeb offers God and Science: The Death and Rebirth of Theism by Charles Henderson.

    Go to this book

    Portions of this important book can be read online. Here's what one reviewer from the scientific community said: "Charles Henderson ... deals in this book with some of the major arguments advanced against belief in God, and is generally effective in turning them inside out. This book has value for those who would like to see a different perspective on the thought of Freud, Darwin, and Marx. ... It will lead ... to a more healthy integration of authentic science and theology." -- Richard H. Bube, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University.

  • GO TO THE BOOK | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + The New York Times offers "Looking at America", a hard-hitting editorial which challenges American voters to "have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably. Then when we look in the mirror as a nation, we will see, once again, the reflection of the United States of America."

  • READ EDITORIAL | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2007 + partly sunny; breezy; still thawing

    + Spirituality & Practice offers a film review of Mrs. Brown. Excerpt: "Mrs. Brown is a remarkably literate and sophisticated film. In 1861 Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) has shocked the English people by her self-imposed exile from public life following the death of her husband Albert. Both her attendants and her children are worried about the depth of her depression. Then miraculously, John Brown (Billy Connolly), a Scottish servant who handles the royal family's horses and hunting expeditions, takes it upon himself to lift the spirits of the dour Queen."

    Mary & I enjoyed this movie so much that we watched it on 2 succesive nights, sharing it with a friend last night.

  • READ REVIEW | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + Wanderings of a Post-Modern Pilgrim offers interesting thoughts about two current movies, Sweeney Todd and Charlie Wilson's War. Excerpts: "Depp and Burton (Sweeney Todd) are magnificent together. They have given us what for now will have to be the ultimate Depp/Burton fantasy. You will be numbed by the violence." | "Then there's Charlie Wilson's War. With the trio of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and the incredibly versatile Phillip Seymour Hoffman this movie is a guaranteed joy to watch. It also turns out to be the best movie about the war in Iraq and the war on terror that has come out this year. Because it doesn't look like it's about the current war."

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + Spirituality & Practice offers a book review of The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life. Excerpts: "In The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life bestselling author Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul) presents an imaginative and adventuresome celebration of soul as poetically engaged with the mystery, beauty, power, and sacredness of the ordinary world in which we live. With his usual beautiful prose, he offers us a passport to enchantment where rocks and trees have much to teach us, where our homes and the foods we eat deliver intimate and sensuous pleasures, where local spirits of neighborhood fuel our desire, and where dreaming and the arts take us beyond ourselves. Moore challenges readers to envision an erotics of work and a spirituality of politics based on compassion." | "Near the end of this rousing book, he notes: 'Enchantment is nothing more than spirituality deeply rooted in the earth.' Moore's juiciest volume to date pinpoints magic, play, mystery, and imagination as wands that can renew and restore both our private and public lives." S&P also provides an excerpt from the book.

  • READ REVIEW | READ EXCERPT | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2007 + cloudy

    + It's the fourth day of Christmas and the radio stations have stopped playing the Christmas songs. As Christmastide continues, I invite you to consider these thoughts by a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA), John Buchanan. He is now the editor of The Christian Century. Excerpts: "Though the liturgical calendar reminds us that it is Christmastide, a lovely 12-day season extending to Epiphany in January, you cannot live in this culture without experiencing how the air is let out of the holiday balloon on December 26. The Magi may not arrive in Bethlehem until January 6, but the culture abruptly drops the whole matter practically before Christmas Day is over." | "The church also remembers a part of the story in which the culture has no interest at all—that the shadow of a cross falls over the nativity scene." | "The birth is a sign, for people of faith, that God is alive and at work in the world. Christ comes again, is born again, when lives are transformed by his love, when forgiven and restored men and women begin to live new lives in a world that is suddenly new because he was born into it. The culture may drop Christmas like a hot potato, but for faith it is a beginning, not an end."

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2007 + cloudy with a period of wintry mix

    + Democracy Now! offers "Greg Palast Reports on the Battle Between Indigenous Ecuadorians and the U.S. Oil Giant Chevron". You can watch, listen, or read the transcript.

  • GO TO REPORT | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + The French film La Vie en Rose is now available on DVD. Spirituality & Practice offers a film review.

    See the Spirituality & Practice review

    Excerpts: "In her 47 years, Edith Piaf (1915-1963), the acclaimed French chanteuse, experienced a roller-coaster ride of exhilarating highs and incredibly depressing lows." | "Director Olivier Dahan has fashioned an emotionally powerful screen portrait of the famous French singer who was once told by the actress Marlene Dietrich that her voice was 'the soul of Paris.' He wisely uses the original recordings of Piaf's voice."
  • READ REVIEW | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2007 + Partly sunny; thaw continues

    + Chuck Currie offers "This far and no further: Act fast and act now!" a statement of the World Council of Churches to the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Bali. Excerpts: "It is our conviction as members of faith communities that a Change of Paradigm from one way of thinking to another is needed if we are to adequately respond to the challenge of climate change. It constitutes a transformation, a 'metamorphosis'. This kind of movement just does not happen on its own; it must be catalyzed by agents of change. The world Faiths could be one of those catalysts." | "Much has been said and written about addressing climate change. However, a tangible result is not yet on the horizon. The First Commitment Period within the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012. Time is running out to reach equitable and sustainable targets for post-2012."

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    MONDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2007 + light snow throughout the day covering up all the dirty snow from last week; how perfect for Christmas!

    + snow flakes floating through the air + winter wonderland in the mohawk valley + heavy traffic on commercial drive + last minute shopping + music fills the air + hot coffee + cookies + presents under the tree + joy to the world the lord has come let earth receive her king + merry christmas + enjoy + click -----> + you are the light of the world + <----- click + shine +


    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2007 + sunny for a change!

    + I just found Not Silence, a great blog by Tom Driscoll, a peace activist and musician. He offers "The Odor of Old Promises".

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + Ten Thousand Villages offers the key principles of fair trade of the International Fair Trade Association. They are:
    1. Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
    2. Transparency and accountability
    3. Capacity building
    4. Payment of a fair price
    5. Gender equity
    6. Good working conditions
    7. Care for the environment

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + Prog(ressive)nostications, Doug Hagler's blog, offers "Are We Torturing People to Death?"

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2007 + cloudy with some freezing drizzle and flurries at times

    + FreePress.net offers a letter to congress to overturn latest FCC ruling favoring Big Media.

    The web page makes it possibe for you to send a letter to your Senators and your Represenative if so inclined.

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2007 + cloudy and cold

    + Jewish Voice for Peace offers "Tell Congress: Killing of Mideast Civilians Must End". Excerpt: "Israeli artillery fire in the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun killed 19 people and wounded 40. All were civilians. The United States provides a great deal of the weapons and funding for the Israeli military. It does this despite the fact that US law prohibits the sale or supply of American arms to human rights violators or countries that use them for anything other than defense. Israel has proven once again that they fail on both these counts, yet the arms and money continue to flow."

    The web page makes it possibe for you to send a letter to your Senators and your Represenative if so inclined.

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2007 + some sunshine and some melting snow

    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Opening to Wholeness" as he continues a series on Stages of Presence. Excerpt: "The three primary qualities of the conscious energy are cognizance, stillness, and wholeness. In deep meditation we can open to the conscious energy through stillness. But in the midst of life, it is whole body sensation that gives us a pathway into consciousness. The cognizing quality of consciousness then gives us presence."

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + Polling Report offers a variety of poll results on the environment. It is clear that most Americans are concerned about global warming and do not think we are doing enough to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions.

  • READ POLL RESULTS | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2007 + a little melting after a lot of snow yesterday and last night

    + Mary & I finally saw Into Great Silence, an amazing entry into a very rigorous spiritual practice at a monastery in the French Alps. Today I discovered that Spirituality & Practice offers an Interview with Philip Groning, Director of Into Great Silence. Excerpts: "Among the orders where silence is observed, I found the Carthusians the most interesting, since everyone keeps to oneself there. They live in small cells with straw beds, and as a stove, all they have is a little tin box; you freeze immediately if you let the fire go out. On the other hand, there is a very stable and intense communal life. Each day is so highly structured that one hardly has a couple of hours of time for oneself. There are prayers even at night. It is the life of a hermit – but in a large community." | "Someone who lives in only one place and whose days are always the same will obviously experience the seasons much more intensely. Imagine spending your entire life looking out of one and the same window onto a certain segment of garden or a certain mountain — the change of nature, and of time as well, would obviously take on a completely different meaning to you." | "Only because I lived there for several months was I able to penetrate into the monks' work rhythms. I did everything on my own: operated the camera, recorded the sound, carried 20 kilograms of equipment. I often felt that I wouldn't make it — until I discovered another image that fascinated me. It was particularly exhausting at night. I have to admit that I omitted the night prayers a couple of times."

  • READ INTERVIEW | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2007 + a brief thaw melting yesterday's snow

    + Al Gore's blog offers his speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. Excerpt: "We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency – a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here. But there is hopeful news as well: we have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst – though not all – of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly."

  • WATCH or LISTEN or READ SPEECH | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2007 + snow throughout the Northeast today

    + Soulful Living offers "Yes, You’re Flawed. And You’re Perfect. Chew on That" by Victoria Moran. Excerpt: "What the mystics say about the world is that it’s right on schedule. Even the awful parts have a place in the plan, although we’re still supposed to work to make things better. They implore us to get along, not just because it’s a good idea but because they know that there’s only one of us here anyway. Yep, we’re all part of a piece. And if that isn’t weird enough, they say that everything is made out of Love, or Light (synonyms these folks use a lot), and this Love or Light is what we’re made out of, too. We don’t always seem like loving little sunbeams because we (our souls, to use a familiar term, as opposed to our ego-selves or personalities) opted to come here. Planet Earth. Disneyland of the cosmos. This is the place to rock and roll, people."

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + The Four Precepts offers "Either / Or" by Hazrat Inayat Khan. Excerpt: "Someone went to a Sufi with a question. He said, 'I have been puzzling for many, many years and reading books, and I have not been able to find a definite answer. Tell me what happens after death?' The Sufi replied, 'Please ask this question of someone who will die. I am going to live.' The idea is that there is one sky which is our own being; in other words, we can call it an accommodation. What has taken possession of this accommodation? A deluded ego that says, 'I.'"

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2007 + still cold; mostly cloudy

    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Creating Partial Presence" as he continues a series on Stages of Presence. Excerpts: "We work with the sensitive energy primarily by placing and holding our attention on parts of our body. A good place to start is with hands and feet, one at a time. Gradually the energy collects there, drawn by our attention. We can notice the difference in our experience between the hand we are sensing and the one we are not, thereby training our perception of the sensitive energy." | "Most of our stronger emotions run on the fuel of the sensitive energy. In trying to navigate the roiling waters of an emotional storm, sensing our body offers the excess emotional energy a constructive place to go. Sensing can help calm the storm of a difficult or destructive emotion by providing a outlet for some of that energy."

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2007 + still cold; some sunshine and some snow showers

    + John Shuck's great blog has a great post linking to a YouTube tribute to Freddie Mercury. The lyrics of IT'S A MIRACLE are profound, particularly for the season. You can listen to the great music and see the wonderful words and view the YouTube images.

    Wow!

    If you like rock'n'roll and QUEEN in particular and peace on earth and hope for the day "we can all be friends," don't miss this!

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2007 + still cold; a little snow and mostly cloudy

    + Talk to Action offers "Religious leaders push back against right's 'War on Christmas'" by Bill Berkowitz . Excerpt: "Now, after a few years of sitting on the sidelines while an assortment of conservative Christian leaders and Fox's talking heads grinched and groaned about a so-called 'War on Christmas,' some Christian leaders have decided to fight back - and they're doing it with an interesting twist; placing the emphasis on peace and charity this holiday season."

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + The Center for Progressive Christianity reproduces a significant Christian Science Monitor opinion piece, "A Muslim-Christian Handshake" which reveals that some important efforts are now in progress to reduce the hostility and increase understanding.

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + There is a great discussion about THE SONG OF SOLOMON at the forum of The Center for Progressive Christianity. Here is a post which really impressed me by SOMA who has graciously allowed me to reproduce it here:

    Great discussion, nice to feel the fire and passion. I took a vow of celibacy when I was a monk. I tried my best to unite the male and female inside me to become whole or holy. I now have been married for 26 years to the same woman and have raised two sons. I feel I have the genes of my mother and father both male and female. I feel many single people and clergy can unite the two and become holy. I am on a different path now having become united with the woman inside me with the woman I married outside myself. Both paths are difficult and valid. I think the key is to know ourselves as David said because when we accept who we really are we can accept who others are and enjoy where they are as they progress on the spiritual path.

    Many Christians want to inflict shame, guilt, repression and punishment on human sexuality. We don't have to be punitive for a natural part of life. Many Evangelists have preached against sex and have fallen to their own private sex scandals. We need a paradigm shift to the sacrament of the present moment in God presence. Are we Christians to become similar to the Muslims and support puritanical Taliban antangonism towards human sexuality?

    The key is to make love, tune inside and see sex as a gift from God. God has designed sex to be physical, emotional, and spiritual, and in this thread people have talked about it being physical abuse, emotional abuse, and spiritual joy. I choose to see it as spiritual joy and a sacrament of love. It can be seen as just physical or mental union, but I choose to see it as spiritual union too. Deep within each of us is a deep desire for bonding with another, for intimate union. It's a gift that is an expression of an innate longing for intimacy with God.

    Mystical Union is the Soul’s Union with God. Yes, we can meditate and experience union with everything, and yes union with another can bring the same experience because one escapes the small i to experience a larger spiritual existence. God rewards us for our love. God's presence can touch our hearts make us melt and let us expand in a world of love. The immaculate heart of Jesus can be shown to the world if we purify our own hearts with his guidance. Sex must be taken out of the darkness of Satan's put downs and condemnation, promoting abuse, sensuality and restored to God's light and love. The Song of Solomon is in the Bible. It is not promoting sex with parents, ministers, priest or nuns. I don't think it is describing a solely physical or carnal act, but the grand meaning and godly purpose of love and unity.

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    + RottenTomatoes reports that the critics love Juno. Here's an excerpt from the review by Eric Childress at efilmcritic.com: " ... the sophomore effort from Jason Reitman, has all the rhythms that made films like Little Miss Sunshine and Garden State so beloved by audiences and critics alike, but invents its own rhyme to buck familiarity thanks to its brilliantly funny and exceptionally wise screenplay by Diablo Cody." It just opened at the theaters.

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    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2007 + more lake-effect snow with significant accumulations in some areas but not where I am

    + Last night, Mary & I watched Southern Comfort, a docudrama which, according to the review by Elvis Mitchell of the New York Times, "tells the tale of Robert Eads, a female-to-male transsexual who was dying of cervical and ovarian cancer and being neglected by doctors uncomfortable with treating him." Mitchell is impressed, as we were, with the skill of the director/interviwer, Kate Davis and with Eads, the captivating star of the docudrama: "Ms. Davis's bare-bones shooting lends itself to a gentle intimacy as she focuses on Mr. Eads's thin, craggy face. You've seen his type in W.P.A. photographs of the old South; it's only his voice, with its slightly odd pitch, that is puzzling. But the lilt of his speaking rhythms is so soothing that you're quickly drawn to him. He's like a rocking-chair pappy, and his band of friends -- men who have undergone female-to-male procedures -- take to him as if he were a corncob paterfamilias; they call him 'Daddy Robert.' (Even his lover, Lola Cola -- a male-to-female transsexual -- finds his weathered, quiet dignity as attractive as anything else.)"

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    TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2007 + lake-effect snow continues but not much accumulation where I am

    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Energies of Presence" as he continues a series on Stages of Presence. Excerpt: "By staying relaxed, even as we engage in all the busyness of life, we conserve our energies. We notice how our unnecessary tensions and unconscious fidgeting drain our energies, and we allow them to drop away. We notice how our destructive habits such as overeating, smoking, and excessive talking drain our energies, and we allow those habits to decrease. We notice how our difficult emotions such as worry, anger, contempt, jealousy, envy, regret, resentment, and boredom drain our energies, and we allow them to subside. In all such cases of energy leaking from our being, we can stop the leakage by accepting and relaxing, inwardly and outwardly."

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    MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2007 + wintry mix in the morning with lake-effect snow predicted for this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow all along the Erie Canal

    + The Four Precepts offers "The Solution to All Problems" by David Bruce Hughes. He offers a summary of wisdom found in the ancient Bhagavad-Gita. There is a link to a Youtube series on the Bhagavad-Gita. Excerpt: "All of our problems are due to accepting the unreal for the real, the temporary for the permanent, the body and mind instead of the soul and God. We have cheated ourselves by investing our identity in the temporary content of our consciousness, instead of identifying with our eternal consciousness itself. Because of this existential error, we are suffering from a whole collection of problems that have nothing to do with our real self."

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    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2007 + sunny after a few snow showers last night

    + Here are two films the reviewers like according to RottenTomatoes which are now available on DVD: The Namesake and Waitress.


    THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2007 + sunny & mild at dawn but rapidly changing to cloudy, then rainy

    + Democracy Now! offers an interview with Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America: Letter to a Young Patriot. You can choose to listen or to watch or to read the transcript. Here's the DN! blurb:

    The United States is on the road to becoming a fascist society, right under our very noses. That’s the premise of a new book by feminist social critic Naomi Wolf. It’s called "The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot" and is already on the New York Times bestseller list. Naomi Wolf outlines what she sees as the ten steps to shut down a democratic society and argues that the Bush administration has already implemented many of these steps. Wolf is the author of several books including the 1990s feminist classic, "The Beauty Myth.” Critics describe her latest book, “The End of America,” as a wake-up call to Americans to heed the lessons of history and fight to save their democracy before its too late. Naomi Wolf joins me now in the firehouse studio.

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    WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2007 + sunny & chilly after a snow shower or 2 last night

    + LINK CORRECTED 11/29: Continuing with yesterday's post on abundance, here's a quote from Laurence Boldt found at The Tao of Abundance page at SoulfulLiving.com:

    In the end, we could say that abundance is the feeling of enough and to spare. Well all right, but how much is enough? Does a man with a "net worth" in the millions, whose mood fluctuates with the stock market, and who feels himself to be lacking relative to his country club companions, experience abundance? What about a "primitive" in the rainforests of the Amazon who, with the simplest of technologies and a leaky temporary hut for a shelter, feels himself blessed by the bounty of the forest? Clearly, having no quantifiable frame of reference, abundance is a state of mind, or more precisely, of being.

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    TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2007 + cloudy & chilly along the Erie Canal after a soaking rain yesterday afternoon and last night

    + In my quest for wisdom on the heavenly gift of abundance, I have discovered 2 websites connected with the teachings of Laurence Boldt: Empower You and The Tao of Abundance. The latter one features information on the supurb book he wrote, The Tao of Abundance. Also, an interesting quote is offered:

    "The more you learn what to do with yourself, and the more you do for others, the more you will enjoy the abundant life." -- William J. H. Boetcker

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    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2007 + cloudy & chilly along the Erie Canal

    + Maybe God has a solution to Global Warming: Oil Scarcity.

    OrionMagazine offers "Making Other Arrangements: A wake-up call to a citizenry in the shadow of oil scarcity" by James Howard Kunstler Excerpts: "As the American public continues sleepwalking into a future of energy scarcity, climate change, and geopolitical turmoil, we have also continued dreaming. Our collective dream is one of those super-vivid ones people have just before awakening. It is a particularly American dream on a particularly American theme: how to keep all the cars running by some other means than gasoline. We’ll run them on ethanol! We’ll run them on biodiesel, on synthesized coal liquids, on hydrogen, on methane gas, on electricity, on used French-fry oil . . . ! " | "The key to understanding the challenge we face is admitting that we have to comprehensively make other arrangements for all the normal activities of everyday life." | "The most arrant case of collective cluelessness now on view is our failure to even begin a public discussion about fixing the U.S. passenger railroad system, which has become so decrepit that the Bulgarians would be ashamed of it. It’s the one thing we could do right away that would have a substantial impact on our oil use. The infrastructure is still out there, rusting in the rain, waiting to be fixed."

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    + BillPress offers "The death of the religious right" by Bill Press. Excerpts: "No matter who becomes the next president of the United States, the American people have already won a great victory – with the total disintegration of the once all-powerful religious right." | "In short, the dying influence of Christian conservatives means that people of all faiths, or no faith at all, will feel comfortable participating in the political process – and not just those who subscribe to the narrow-minded, intolerant, mean-spirited brand of religion espoused by Dobson and Robertson. And for that we collectively pray: Thank you, Jesus."

    But Talk To Action, an organization which actively opposes the Christian Right, offers "Death of the Religious Right: Greatly Exaggerated (Again)" by Frederick Clarkson. Excerpt: "The column is a such masterpiece of bogus analysis about this subject I had to (very briefly) consider whether it was a parody. If it is -- the joke is on me. But he seems dead earnest, so I'll bite."

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    + According to DemocracyNow!, "Just over a week ago, a major operating manual for the US military's prison camp at Guantanamo Bay was leaked and posted on the Internet. Among other disclosures, it reveals that isolation and sensory deprivation of prisoners was official Army policy. We take a look at how this affects the debate within the American Psychological Association and the participation of its members in interrogations."
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    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2007 + sunny, breezy, chilly in Princeton NJ

    + Spirituality & Practice offers a film review of I'm Not There. The blurb: "A phantasmagorica trip that explores Bob Dylan as a mystery man and a shape-shifter par excellence."

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    WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2007 + mostly cloudy

    + Truthdig offers "Truthdigger of the Week: Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Excerpt: "Truthdig tips its hat this week to South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who took the Anglican Church to task for what he called its 'homophobic' attitude, declaring in a recent interview with BBC Radio 4 that, 'If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God.'"

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    + Truthdig offers "What Would Jesus Buy" by Amy Goodman. Excerpts: "Rev. Billy is the street preacher played by Bill Talen, a New York City-based anti-consumerism activist who is the subject of a new feature-length documentary hitting theaters this week, 'What Would Jesus Buy?' The film is produced by Morgan Spurlock, who gained fame with his documentary 'Super Size Me,' in which he showed his physical and emotional decline while eating only McDonald’s food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a month." | "In the movie, Talen and his amazing Stop Shopping Gospel Choir cross the country in two biodiesel buses, holding public faux-Gospel revivals denouncing the 'Shopocalypse,' our crass, corporate, credit-driven consumerist culture and its reliance on sweatshops abroad and low-wage retail jobs at home, while celebrating small-town, Main Street economies, the strength and value of fair-trade shopping, and making do with less."

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    + TruthOut offers "In the Hands of the Military" by Chris Hedges. Excerpts: "The last, best hope for averting a war with Iran lies with the United States military. The Democratic Congress, cowed by the Israel lobby and terrified of appearing weak on defense before the presidential elections, will do nothing to halt an attack. The media, especially the electronic press, is working overtime to whip up fear of a nuclear Iran and tar Tehran with abetting attacks against American troops in Iraq. The American public is complacent, unsure of what to believe, knocked off balance by fear and passive. We will be saved or doomed by our generals." | "The reliance on the military command, however, to be the voice of reason in the debate about a new war is not a healthy sign for our deteriorating democracy."

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    + The Four Precepts offers "Just For Today" by Sri Chinmoy. Excerpt: "Just for today, I shall meditate on God. I know that when I meditate on God, I empty my heart. When my heart is empty, my Eternal Friend, my Eternal Divine Guest comes in and sits on His Throne inside the very depth of my heart. In the inmost recesses of my heart His Life of infinite Concern, Compassion, Love and Blessings abides."

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    + The Center for American Progress offers "Public Opinion Snapshot: U.S. and Global Public Willing to Sacrifice to Address Global Warming" by Ruy Teixeira. Excerpt: "The poll first asked whether individuals need to 'make changes in their life style and behavior in order to reduce the amount of climate changing gases they produce.' Across all 21 countries, an average of 83 percent said it will definitely (46 percent) or probably (37 percent) be necessary for individuals to do this, compared with 13 percent who thought it would probably (9 percent) or definitely (4 percent) not be necessary. The American public was in line with this average response with 79 percent saying it will definitely or probably be necessary for individuals to take such steps, compared with just 19 percent who thought it would definitely or probably not be necessary."

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    + AlterNet offers a summary and some excerpts of a new book, A FAREWELL TO ALMS by Gregory Clark in "Why Is the Global Divide Between Rich and Poor So Vast?".

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    TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2007 + rain

    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "The Impulse of Awakening" as he begins a new series on Stages of Presence. Excerpt: "While the grace of awakening flows continuously from the Sacred, we only intermittently open to it. Some unexpected sight or sound, taste or smell, sensation, thought, emotion, or a gap in those may spontaneously open us, so that the grace of awakening can break through our veils, break through our immersion in time. Where it comes from, we cannot know. How it arises, we may not notice. The important thing is to notice the impulse itself, to recognize that opportunity to enter presence in this moment."

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    + ChristianCentury offers "Politics of Fear" by James M. Wall. Excerpts: "At a dark moment in American history, Franklin Roosevelt said to the American people: "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." | "Compare these words from Roosevelt's 1933 inaugural speech, spoken when the nation was in the midst of a frightening economic depression, to comments from Donald Rumsfeld, who as secretary of defense in 2006 instructed his staff on how to respond to a demand for his resignation: 'Talk about Somalia, the Philippines, etc. Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists.'" | "The Rumsfeld memos also reveal a narrow and derogatory attitude toward Muslims."

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    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2007 + mostly cloudy after a sunny Sunday

    + I found the following list of reasons for being spiritually progressive at The Forum for Progressive Christianity by wayfarer07:

    I see myself as spiritually progressive because I don't think God stop speaking with Revelation 22:21.

    I see myself as spiritually progressive because I truly belief that there is no difference between race, gender, economic class, or sexual orientation in Christ.

    I see myself as spiritually progressive because I believe the spirit of Christ trumps the Bible.

    I see myself as spiritually progressive because I think God is more concerned about how well we love than about what we claim to believe.

    I see myself as spiritually progressive because I think that being a Christian is more about seeing God's will done here on earth now instead of about gaining heaven later.

    I see myself as spiritually progressive because I believe that science, reason, and intelligence are gifts of God.

    I see myself as spiritually progressive because I believe God's grace leads me to the edge of universalism while our free will keeps me from crossing over.

    I see myself as spiritually progressive because I can stop at nine reasons instead of posting ten to give my post "biblical" precedent. :)

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    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2007 + mostly sunny and cold after 2 inches of snow fell overnight

    + Alternet offers "We Can't Shop Our Way to Safety" by Erin Wiegand. Excerpt: "In Shopping Our Way to Safety: How We Changed from Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves, Andrew Szasz argues that a consumerist response to environmental threats is not only inadequate, but also dangerous in the way it enables individuals to isolate themselves in what he calls an 'inverted quarantine,' focused more on protecting oneself in the short term than actually doing anything towards systemic change. Instead of viewing discrete sources of pollution as things to be contained and dealt with, Szasz says, we now view the environment itself -- the air we breathe, the water we drink -- as potentially hazardous, and are containing ourselves instead."

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    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2007 + some sunshine; some snow showers

    + Sojourners offers "Changing How We Talk About Immigration" by Jim Wallis. Excerpts: "We've often cited Leviticus 19:34 – 'The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you; you shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.' Or as Jesus said so clearly, 'I was a stranger and you welcomed me.'" | "This immigration policy question is for us as people of faith the 'welcoming the stranger' question. How do you treat those who are strangers in your midst? There is no doubt this debate has turned toward fear and anger. There are legitimate issues at stake. The rule of law is important, the system is broken. But the tenor of the debate has gone in an alarming direction."

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    + Ten Thousand Villages offers "Lifeline for Artisans". Excerpt: "'My dream is that artisans in Haiti will earn a decent wage every month,' says Gisele Fleurant, director of Comité Artisanal Haitien (CAH), a nonprofit organization that markets and exports crafts made by Haitian artisans. While the goal is clear, implementing it is far from easy."

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    + Here is another gem from the sixth century Zen classic, Hsin-Hsin Ming which means "Faith-Mind Verses."

    The more you talk and think about it,
    the further astray you wander from the truth.
    Stop talking and thinking,
    and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

  • GO TO A TRANSLATION OF HSIN-HSIN MING | VISIT A PAGE ON THE DIVINE MATRIX by Gregg Braden | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + Sadly, there is a lot of intolerance and abuse on the internet. Salon offers "Mind your manners online" by Gary Kamiya. Excerpts: "The Internet is being degraded by rude and self-centered people who smother civil discussions." | "A good example of a publication whose discussions are so ferocious that you have to enter them with a suit of armor is the Web site of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Haaretz is a superb newspaper, and there are always intelligent and thoughtful postings somewhere in the discussion threads after its stories. But the threads tend to be so nasty that I've mostly given up reading them. Even if you're just a bystander, you feel battered and spattered."

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    THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2007 + rain

    + Thanks to a new book I found at the library, The Divine Matrix by Gregg Braden, I have discovered a Zen classic, Hsin-Hsin Ming which means "Faith-Mind Verses." Here's a sample:

    Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
    nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
    Be serene in the oneness of things and such
    erroneous views will disappear by themselves.

  • GO TO A TRANSLATION OF HSIN-HSIN MING | VISIT A PAGE ON THE DIVINE MATRIX | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + It's becoming all too predictable that any one who expresses support for justice for Palestinians will be called anti-Semitic. The Witherspoon Society links to a Jewish Voice for Peace article on a recent episode in Boston: "Defending the right to speak out". Excerpts: "On October 27th, JVP-Boston joined forces with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of Massachusetts in a solidarity rally with the Sabeel Conference taking place in that city." | "JVP was quick to defend the right of Sabeel, Archbishop Tutu, and others to express their views against the Israeli occupation. 'Attacking and demonizing someone like Archbishop Tutu by calling him an Anti-Semite because he criticizes Israeli human rights abuses doesn't change the fact that the occupation is wrong,' stated Martin Federman, co-chair of the Boston chapter of JVP. 'Whatever name you give to it, it's immoral, it's illegal and the world knows it.'" | "At the conclusion of the Sabeel conference, clergy participants along with over three hundred members of local, national and international organizations proceeded to Copley Square despite the impending threat of rain to participate in the solidarity rally organized by JVP and the ADC. They were later joined by thousands of activists that, having concluded a march against the Iraq war, wanted to express their concern about the ongoing Israeli occupation."
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    WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2007 + partly sunny and mild and breezy as we await a cold front along the Erie Canal

    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Stages of Presence" as he begins a new series on Stages of Presence. Excerpts: "The quality of our presence defines our humanity and shows our level of being. The stronger and deeper our presence, the more human we are and the more our unique, individual qualities enter us. The most effective spiritual paths teach engagement in the practice of presence in daily life. The practice of presence creates the essential foundation for developing our soul, for a fulfilling life, and for a loving heart." | "The stages of presence are:
    Impulse of Awakening
    Receptivity to Awakening
    Energies of Presence
    Creating Partial Presence
    Opening to Wholeness
    I Am
    Peace of Presence
    Stable Presence
    Divine Presence"

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    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2007 + cold and cloudy

    + The Four Precepts offers "The Message and the Messenger" by Hazrat Inayat Khan Excerpts: "It is sometimes asked why, if God is all-pervading, there is need of the special manifestation of a messenger such as Krishna, Buddha, or Jesus. The answer is given in the words of the Bhagavad-Gita where Shri Krishna says, 'When Dharma is hindered, then I am born.' This means that a manifestation, which the people recognize as a savior or messenger, always comes when the necessity arises. In other words, it is necessity, it is the need of the world which causes the Spirit to arise in its true form." | "Since it is the message of God, whenever it comes it is from the same source. When it came a thousand years ago it was His message; when it came a hundred years ago it was His message; and if it came today it would be also His message. How ignorant man has been through all the ages! And he shows his ignorance even today, for whenever the message has come, man has fought and disputed and argued. Man has held fast to one prophet and ignored the others, because although he knew his religion he did not know the message. He has taken the book as his religion without recognizing the message. If that were not the general tendency, then how could Jesus Christ with His most spiritual message have been crucified?"
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    + Spirituality & Practice offers a film review of O JERUSALEM by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. Excerpts: "O Jerusalem presents an unbiased overview of the historic struggle between the Arabs and the Jews in the battle for control of the holy city from 1946 to 1948. The drama is based on the bestselling novel by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. To all those — Jews, Muslims and Christians — who yearn for peace in Jerusalem, this is a hopeful and helpful movie that points out that the ties of brotherly love can outlast the winds of war and overcome the culture of revenge and racial hatred that animates the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians." | "Perhaps the most touching sequence of all is the depiction of the ceasefire mandated by Western powers on June 11, 1948. One minute Arab and Jewish fighters are shooting at each other, and in the next, they are embracing and taking care of each other. Unfortunately, this cease fire lasted for less than a month."

    This is a new film which will probably not make it to most theaters or DVD stores.

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    THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2007 + cold, breezy, cloudy

    + Here's a good one from the Teachings of Diogenes (the dog):

    Diogenes was knee deep in a stream washing vegetables. Coming up to him, Plato said, "My good Diogenes, if you knew how to pay court to kings, you wouldn't have to wash vegetables."

    "And," replied Diogenes, "If you knew how to wash vegetables, you wouldn't have to pay court to kings."

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    WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2007 + occasional snow and rain showers along the Erie Canal. Higher elevations have received several inches of lake- effect snow.

    + I just discovered "Is Paul the Father of Misogyny and Antisemitism?". This is a great article about Paul by Pamela Eisenbaum, a Jewish American scholar. It was published in 2000 by CrossCurrents, a great ecumenical and interfaith journal. Excerpts: "I have a passionate interest in the apostle Paul. Many people think this passion is unusual because I am a Jew not a Christian. What's more, I like to think of myself as a feminist. What's a nice Jewish feminist doing studying the apostle Paul? After all, from a Jewish perspective, Paul is a heretic who had a demented view of Judaism. From a feminist perspective, Paul is an ally of Christian conservatives who wish to keep women in a subordinate position to men.” | "I am a Jewish New Testament scholar who teaches in a Christian seminary, and, after some years of studying and teaching Paul, I have come to the conclusion that Paul was a committed, well-intentioned Jew, even if the subsequent uses of his teachings were abominable where Jews and women are concerned. Moreover, I believe Paul was largely driven by the fact that he was both a Jew and a citizen of the wider Hellenistic world that encompassed the ancient Mediterranean in his day. These two components of his identity caused him to realize that the world is a diverse and complex place. In my view, Paul is one of the first people in the history of Western civilization to deal directly with the problem of multiculturalism."

    This is a long article but well worth the time and energy. I see Paul as he is traditionally seen, as the Apostle to the Gentiles. But I also see him as a Jewish change agent. I think Paul would love the motto of the Presbyterian Church which is "Reformed and always Being Reformed." He was a Jew and proud of it and wanted to see the change which a prophet of ancient Israel envisioned in the "Servant hymns" -- "to establish justice on the earth" ... to "make a covenant with all peoples" ... to "bring light to the nations": Isaiah 42:1-4 (5-8); Isaiah 49:1-7 "I have a greater task for you, my servant ... (to) make you a light to the nations -- so that all the world may be saved."); Isaiah 50:4-9; Isaiah 52:13-53:12. To paraphrase Gandhi, Paul became the change he wanted to see.

    Paul rightly interpreted the Hebrew scriptures as a universal message for all of us. He never dis-owned his Jewishness. He simply saw, as the prophet who wrote Isaiah 40-55 saw, that the mission of peace and justice and freedom needed to become the mission of all of us working together with a new understanding of ancient myths. Jews and Christians and Muslims and atheists and agnostics and everyone else can unite in this mission.

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    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2007 + chilly

    + I got to this late this week, but I'm sure glad I didn't miss it. In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Global Unity in God" as he expands his ideas on The Stages of Love. Excerpts: "The ultimate level of love opens us to the deepest truth of unity, wherein the realization dawns that all human beings are children of our Common Father. The Divine Will is One, but differentiates like white light through a prism into the unique rays that form the free core of each individual person. Trace our will through any of us back to its Source and you find the One Will, which we all share. From that Source we have our freedom, including the freedom to love. In that Source we have our global unity. Our individual uniqueness achieves full-flower through our conscious participation in the Great Uniqueness, in the Great Heart of Love." | "At heart, our very nature is Love. To become ourselves means to become Love — uniquely, individually, joyously. Toward this, in all our dealings with living beings, we aspire to Love."

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    TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2007 + rain; cooler after a warm spell

    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Local Unity" as he expands his ideas on The Stages of Love. Excerpts: "In local unity the shackles of self-centeredness dissolve, enabling us to merge with another, yet without losing ourselves. We wish for the other what they wish for themselves. Our loved one’s joys and sufferings become our own. We become our beloved: separate bodies, separate experience, but one, unified, shared will. We also become fully ourselves: inwardly unified in our own will, yet able and willing truly to share that center point of our life with those we love." | "Love is not distant and unattainable. It comes naturally and organically. Love is meant for us. It seems ordinary and it is. What is not natural is our previous life of separateness. We need only relax our heart in humility and simplicity, and love will enter."

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    WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2007 + cloudy with some showers

    + In The Four Precepts Wayne Ferguson offers some intelligent thoughts about "Intelligent Design". Excerpts: "While it seems rather obvious that the objections raised by some Christian groups against the theory of evolution have less to do with scientific evidence than with what they perceive to be its moral and theological implications, their belief in intelligent design, nevertheless, is not at all unreasonable." | "Darwin's theory of evolution— whatever it's shortcomings —still represents the best attempt to date to describe the natural history of life on our planet in purely empirical terms. But true or false, it tells us nothing at all about the ultimate source, meaning, and purpose of our existence. For it is only an awareness of our Transcendent source which can ultimately account for our sense of morality and which can also provide our life with a profound sense of meaning and purpose. Apart from that transcendent source, our existence will always appear to be absurd and morality an illusion."

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    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Empathy and Compassion" as he expands his ideas on The Stages of Love. Excerpts: "Standing in our shared sameness and accepting people as they are carries us to the threshold of empathy and compassion, wherein we allow others’ joys and sufferings, as well as the basic fact of their being, to touch us directly. We willingly enter the experience of other people, celebrating their successes and suffering their setbacks. This is the place of heartfelt prayer and charitable acts for others’ welfare. The walls of separation grow thin and ready to evaporate." | "In all of this, we approach the other’s suffering with the same concern as if it were our own. In our shared sameness, it is our own."

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    SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2007 + sunny and chilly

    + Reuters offers "Unprecedented Muslim call for peace with Christians" by Peter Graff. Excerpts: "More than 130 Muslim scholars from around the globe called on Thursday for peace and understanding between Islam and Christianity, saying 'the very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake'." | "'Our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake,' they wrote, adding that Islam and Christianity already agreed that love of God and neighbor were the two most important commandments of their faiths." | "The list of signatories includes senior figures throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. They represent Sunni, Shi'ite and Sufi schools of Islam."
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    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2007 + chilly; feels like fall finally

    + It's about time for a new Message for the Trek. Here goes:

    Every breath is a revelation. Each breath is totally different than the last one or the next one. Well, obviously there are some similarities, some repetition, but let's focus on the utter uniqueness of each and every breath. Each breath is associated with different thoughts, images, feelings, ideas, sensory awareness and movement. Different molecules are inhaled and exhaled in differing amounts. Substitue "thoughts" or "images" or "feelings" or "ideas" or "sensory awareness" or "movement" for "molecules." The combinations are always unique, always different. Watch and hear and taste and touch and smell and perceive the infinite variety of these combinations during each breath you take. What's happenbing? Just sit (or stand or walk or run or lie down) and be aware of what's happening. This is spiritual practice. The more we practice, the more we can become awake and aware and connected in all situations. Our options open up. Our priorities get re-arranged. We choose between the infinite possibilities offered to us with more and more delight rather than fear or anxiety ... with practice and with perseverance and with guidance from wise and informed spiritual guides.

    I like to think about the "wheel turning round." There are many wheels of different sizes impacting our perceptions from moment to moment. Some memories and associations may come around frequently while others are more rare. The combination is always different, unique, special, interesting. Pay attention!

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    WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2007 + partly sunny and cooler as autumn weather finally takes over

    + I just discovered "Christian Anti-Semitism: Past History, Present Challenges Reflections in Light of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ" by John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph.D.. This article goes back to the controversy over Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ when many Jews and many Christians were troubled by the favorable portrayal of Pontius Pilate and the unfavorable portrayal of the Jewish authorities. It is important for Christians to acknowledge centuries of hatred and intolerance directed at Jews. We have begun to overcome this hatred and intolerance but we have a long way to go. Here's an excerpt: "The script was leaked by an employee of Mr. Gibson's production company ICON. Each of us read it individually before we compared notes. When we did begin a group discussion of the script, we quickly concluded that it was one of the most troublesome texts relative to anti-Semitic potential that any of us had seen in 25 years. It must be emphasized that the main storyline presented Jesus as having been relentlessly pursued by an evil cabal of Jews headed by the high priest Caiphas who finally blackmailed a weak-kneed Pilate into putting Jesus to death. This is precisely the storyline that fueled centuries of anti-Semitism within Christian societies. This is also a storyline rejected by the Catholic Church at Vatican II in its document Nostra Atate and by nearly all mainline Protestant churches in parallel documents. And modern biblical and historical scholarship has generally emphasized that Pilate was a horrible and powerful tyrant, eventually removed by Rome from his position because of his extreme brutality; a tyrant the occupied and politically powerless Jewish community was in no position to blackmail. Unless this basic storyline has been altered by Mr. Gibson, a fringe Catholic who is building his own church in the Los Angeles area and who apparently accepts neither the teachings of Vatican II nor modern biblical scholarship, The Passion of the Christ retains a real potential for undermining the repudiation of classical Christian anti-Semitism by the churches in the last 40 years."

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    TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2007 + cloudy and cooler with some more much needed rain

    + I'm proud of my representative in Congress, Mike Arcuri, who is standing with Russ Feingold to cut funding to this insane war. See which freshman representatives are standing with Russ.

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    + UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) has declared 2007 the International Year of Rumi to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the birth of the great mystic and Persian language poet. Spirituality & Practice offers a tribute and many links to the wonderful world of Rumi.

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    MONDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2007 + cloudy and cooler after a cold front passed through with some much needed rain

    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Acceptance" as he expands his ideas on The Stages of Love. Excerpts: "Dropping, or at least putting in abeyance, our criticisms and judgments is an act of will, a spiritual practice that requires repetition and intention. Our thoughts and emotions may continue their habitual patterns of inwardly criticizing people when they do not fit our mold for them." | "One personal benefit of practicing acceptance is the freedom it gives. Acceptance softens our egoism, whether self-centered or group-centered. It also widens our humility, a quality necessary for conscious connection with the Sacred." | "Notice your inner criticisms and judgments of others. Notice whether you buy into these opinions. Practice letting them go. Though critical thoughts continue to arise on their own, see them now as masking the deeper truth of sameness and person-to-person connection."
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    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2007 + very warm for third day in a row

    + Four Precepts offers "The Human Being and the Ego" by Hermit Crab. Excerpts: "When the intellect is aware of itself as a unique manifestation of Pure Consciousness, it is also aware that the being from which it emanates is a unique manifestation of the Life which exists as all beings. Though remaining a unique self, the intellect can still see itself in all things and in all beings. It perceives the One, a Conscience or Spirit existent in all things and all beings. A being who identifies with this Spirit rather than itself knows that it is living the eternal Life common to all." | " ... the overwhelming majority of humans identify with their egos and place an inordinate amount of conscious attention on the intellectual patterns that preserve the only life they imagine they have."
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    MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2007 + sunny and mild after a cool and clear weekend

    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Sameness" as he expands his ideas on The Stages of Love. Excerpts: "The practice of stillness, wherein we allow our thoughts, emotions, and intentions to subside into relative quiescence, ushers us into the great hall of silence, our vast and pristine consciousness itself, without boundaries." | "Repeated stillness trains us to recognize consciousness. Repeated recognition helps establish us in consciousness, even in the midst of ordinary daily life. No longer completely distracted by our senses and actions, we live in and from consciousness. Naturally pure awareness brings naturally pure joy." | "From the state of being in consciousness, we can inwardly open to recognize that this cognizing stillness pervades all and, in particular, other people as well our self. So we look to see the stillness within the other person."
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    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2007 + cloudy and cool after a 2-day heat wave

    + McClatchy blog Checkpoint Jerusalem offers "Israeli writers urge talks with Hamas" by Dion Nissenbaum, who covers the Middle East as Jerusalem bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers. Excerpts: "A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, and David Grossman have all signed a petition urging Israel to negotiate a cease fire with Hamas to stop the near-daily volleys of Qassam rockets being fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip." | "The influential writers argue that Israel has been negotiating indirectly with Hamas in an attempt to secure the release of Gilad Shalit, a young Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants 15 months ago in the Gaza Strip. So why not talk to them about stopping the rocket fire?"
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    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Equality" as he expands his ideas on The Stages of Love. Excerpts: "After deciding to tolerate people, the next level of love involves respecting them as our equal, in terms of innate value. This goes well beyond tolerance. It involves recognizing that, though very different outwardly in our abilities, physical traits, and personality patterns, inwardly we are all equally children of the one Creator, equally manifestations of humanness, of life on this Earth." | "If you consider yourself to be above or below, more important or less important than another person, you create an insurmountable barrier of inequality. Arrogance or condescension, timidity or obsequiousness — all keep us separate behind our barrier. Dropping that barrier brings us closer."
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    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2007 + sunny and chilly

    + In Inner Work at Inner Frontier Joseph Naft offers important wisdom on "Tolerance" as he expands his ideas on The Stages of Love. Excerpt: "The emotional wall of intolerance not only locks others out, but also locks us inside our egoism. In fact such walls directly manifest the self-centeredness of egoism. The wall can only be dismantled from within. So we begin seeing the intolerance in our own heart-mind and by learning to tolerate our self, what we deem to be our shortcomings."

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    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2007 + partly sunny; some showers; cool

    + Don't miss this week's Inner Work at Inner Frontier. Joseph Naft offers "Seeing the Humanity". Excerpt: "For this week, practice seeing the living, breathing aliveness of other people. Practice recognizing their personhood, their humanity."

    I invite you to explore Inner Frontier. It is one of the best websites for practices promoting spiritual growth. You can order Joseph Naft's great book, THE SACRED ART OF SOUL MAKING.

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    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2007 + cloudy and chilly with a few showers in the morning; some afternoon sunshine

    + Thanks to The Witherspoon Society, I discovered that TruthDig offers "The Next Quagmire" by Chris Hedges. Excerpts: "... (We) live in an age where dialogue is dismissed and empathy is suspect. We prefer the illusion that we can dictate events through force. It hasn’t worked well in Iraq. It hasn’t worked well in Afghanistan. And it won’t work in Iran. But those who once tried to reach out and understand, who developed expertise to explain the world to us and ourselves to the world, no longer have a voice in the new imperial project. We are instead governed and informed by moral and intellectual trolls." | "The arrogant call for U.S. hegemony over the rest of the globe is making enemies of a lot of people who might be predisposed to support us, even in the Middle East. And it is terrifying those, such as the Iraqis, Iranians and Syrians, whom we have demonized. Empathy and knowledge, the qualities that make real communication possible, have been discarded. We use tough talk and big weapons deals to communicate. We spread fear, distrust and violence. And we expect missile systems to protect us."

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    SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2007 + Rainy and chilly after a 3 day heat wave

    + The weekly Inner Work at Inner Frontier is always worth reading and then putting into practice. I was so busy this past week that I almost missed one of the best Joseph Naft has ever offered: "Stages of Love". Excerpt: "Love is not just a state of being, as in 'being in love.' In fact to reach the state of 'being in love,' we engage in a process of loving actions. We open ourselves from within. Opening to love is a series of acts of will. Each stage of love requires a particular act of will, a particular willingness. The acts of will leading toward love involve progressively moving beyond our egoism, beyond our utter self-centeredness."

    The nine stages are:
    1. Noticing
    2. Seeing the Humanity
    3. Tolerance
    4. Equality
    5. Sameness
    6. Acceptance
    7. Empathy and Compassion
    8. Local Unity
    9. Global Unity in God

    Read "Stages of Love" for descriptions of each stage.

    I invite you to explore Inner Frontier. It is one of the best websites for practices promoting spiritual growth. You can order Joseph Naft's great book, THE SACRED ART OF SOUL MAKING.

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    FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2007 + Beautiful Day!

    + Thanks to TomPaine, I discovered that Sign On San Diego offers "Poverty rate in U.S. drops, but more people uninsured". Excerpts: "But even though median household income rose throughout the nation, individual earnings fell, which suggests that more members of each household are working. Despite two consecutive years of increases, household income is still below its peak in 1999, after adjusting for inflation." | "The poverty rate – measuring individuals that made less than $10,294 per year or four-person families making less than $20,614 – fell from 12.6 percent in 2005 to 12.3 percent in 2006, representing 36.5 million people." | "In 2000, the last full year of the Clinton administration, the poverty rate stood at 11.3 percent."

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    TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2007 + Beautiful Day!

    + Common Dreams offers "How Did We Get Into This Neoliberal Mess?" by George Monbiot. Excerpts: "Booming inequality threatens to create the most divided societies the world has seen since before the first world war. Now a financial crisis caused by unregulated lending could turf hundreds of thousands out of their homes and trigger a cascade of economic troubles." | "When the Mont Pelerin Society first met, in 1947, its political project did not have a name. But it knew where it was going. The society’s founder, Friedrich von Hayek, remarked that the battle for ideas would take a least a generation to win, but he knew that his intellectual army would attract powerful backers. Its philosophy, which later came to be known as neoliberalism, accorded with the interests of the ultra-rich, so the ultra-rich would promote it." | "Neoliberalism, if unchecked, will catalyse crisis after crisis, all of which can be solved only by the means it forbids: greater intervention on the part of the state. In confronting it, we must recognise that we will never be able to mobilise the resources its exponents have been given. But as the disasters they have caused develop, the public will need ever less persuading that it has been misled."

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    MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2007 + The sun is shining over the Mohawk Valley for a change! Beautiful Day!

    + The Four Precepts offers "Simple Beings and the Mind" by Hermit Crab. Excerpts: "An object's function is its experiential path of motion through the Appearance and forward to its infinite and eternal source. " | "While the being knows what it knows, it also knows that there is a Life in which it lives and moves and has its being. It is, symbolically speaking, a tiny sphere of being within a far, far greater sphere of existence, which is within an infinite “sphere” of the Universe of Pure Consciousness, which is the Life, which is the Great Mystery."

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    + Don't miss this week's Inner Work at Inner Frontier. Joseph Naft offers "Inner Occupations". Excerpt: "What is it that occupies your mind and heart? What plans and dreams, worries and concerns, hopes and fears take center stage and drive your inner life? Noticing what goes on in you at random moments during the day reveals some truth about your recurrent inner patterns and situation. It also shows the preoccupations that fill the mental/emotional space that you could otherwise use for your practice of presence."

    I invite you to explore Inner Frontier. It is one of the best websites for practices promoting spiritual growth.

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    FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2007 + The sun is shining over the Mohawk Valley for a change! But very hot & humid air is here too for a day or 2.

    + A good friend offers the following response to Paul Hartigan's "more adequate Christian Ten Commandments" which I posted here yesterday:
    Greetings John,
    I like the new Ten Commandments better than the old ones.
    It never ceases to amaze me how the religious right has such a passion for judgement and condemnation - of other people. Too bad that the moderates and progressives do not have such a passion for the true God, the God of love, mercy, and forgiveness.

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    THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2007 + cloudy and warmer than it has been. Chilly weather began on Saturday. Sunday was beautiful but cool. It has been mostly cloudy and cool since Monday.

    + Paul Hartigan, a member of the CrossCurrents forum, offers what he calls "a more adequate Christian Ten Commandments." He says: "The original Ten Commandments, though they continue to figure in the liturgies of mainstream churches, seem to me to be a poor reflection of what is to be found in the New Testament. Some of their injunctions are misleading or trivial. Others contradict or make no mention of the fundamental teachings of Christ." Here they are and I'm very impressed:

    1. Love God above all else. Do not put your trust in the idols of money, power, honour or self righteousness. Do not be concerned by the cares of this world.
    2. Have faith that God loves you and will answer your prayers.
    3. Love your neighbour who you must see as any human being you meet upon the way.
    4. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
    5. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
    6. Forgive without condition.
    7. Do not parade your good deeds before others; and do not conceal evil intentions behind a façade of piety.
    8. Seek the will of your father in heaven not only in your deeds but also in the motives and intentions of your innermost soul.
    9. Deny yourself and take up your cross.
    10. Repent and believe the good news of the Kingdom of God

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    + Don't miss this week's Inner Work at Inner Frontier. Joseph Naft offers "Soaking Up the Atmosphere". Excerpt: "The easiest way to tap the energy in the atmosphere is through breathing it: consciously and intentionally drawing the energy from the air as we inhale. Such energy breathing can be a very important part of our path, having been employed since ancient times as a spiritual practice for nourishing the human soul."

    I invite you to explore Inner Frontier. It is one of the best websites for practices promoting spiritual growth.

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    TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2007 + a beautiful day as a Canadian High takes control

    + Don't miss this week's Inner Work at Inner Frontier. Joseph Naft offers "Spiritual Heroism". Excerpt: "In the actual midst of our life, we practice. In the face of all the difficulties, demands, and distractions, we devote an ongoing portion of our attention and energy to the path, to being here, to being the one living my life. The spiritual hero is the one who actually practices, who engages the methods of the path, even while living a full external life."

    I invite you to explore Inner Frontier. It is one of the best websites for practices promoting spiritual growth.

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    MONDAY, AUGUST 13, 2007 + mostly cloudy and cool

    + I am following an exchange of theological ideas between two of my Presbyterian colleagues who blog regularly, John Shuck and Robert Campbell. Guess who I usually side with!!! They both served churches here in the Presbytery of Utica before moving on. You may have to do a little scrolling in the Shuck & Jive blog to find this ongoing conversation.

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    SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2007 + warm and humid again after a few cooler days; yesterday was beautiful

    Recently I saw Sweet Land, a wonderful movie about an immigrant family and a community overcoming prejudice and political and cultural and language barriers in the Minnesota of 90 years ago. Spirituality & Practice offers a review of Sweet Land. It's available on DVD.

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    WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2007 + warm and humid again

    + Spirituality & Practice offers a review of a powerful documentary on the Darfur crisis: The Devil Came on Horseback. Excerpt: "... one of the most searing and emotionally shattering documentaries ever made about the indifference of the world to genocide." There are links to websites suggesting things we can do.

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    TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2007 + warm and humid again

    + The Four Precepts offers "Namaste" by an anonymous writer. It's about an exchange of letters between Einstein and Gandhi. Excerpt: Gandhi wrote: "I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of light, love, truth, peace and wisdom. I honor the place in you where, when you are in that place, and I am in that place, there is only one of us."

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    MONDAY, AUGUST 6, 2007 + cloudy and warm and humid today after a Canadian High gave us a beautiful weekend

    + Don't miss this week's Inner Work at Inner Frontier. Joseph Naft offers "Coarse and Fine". Excerpt: "When we remember to practice presence or sit down to meditate, we start from our ordinary life state: unknowingly and fitfully drifting in a jumble of sensory impressions, thoughts, and emotions, under a shattered and scattered attention, driven by self-centered motivations. This is the coarse soil from which our presence, meditation and being can grow. With patience we begin to notice our thoughts, instead of just being lost in them. We begin to notice our senses bringing bodily sensations and sounds, instead of just being lost in them. We begin to notice the emotional tenor of our state, instead of just being under it. This noticing is the first step in raising the fine from the coarse in our inner world."

    I invite you to explore Inner Frontier. It is one of the best websites for practices promoting spiritual growth.

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    SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2007 + a beautiful warm Summer day on the Erie Canal

    + I'm back from a trip through Northern New England. We stayed at 4 historic Inns and hiked to several gorgeous waterfalls and saw several lighthouses. On rainy days we went to some interesting museums. I won a contest on a tour of Portland for knowing which state has more lighthouses than Maine. Do you know the answer?

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    + The Four Precepts offers "Incarnation, Excarnation and the Ever-Presence of God" by Hermit Crab. Excerpts: "Within the Great Mystery, there is a Field of infinite manifest Energy made present by the emergence of polar opposites; the constant pulsing flow of contrasting pairs together in a unified, omnipresent Existing. This is the Life, the source of all being." | "The aspect of the Great Mystery that is the experiencer is known as "I Am That Is," or I AM. We call this omnipresent being "God." God is each of the Many experiencing Itself from all possible spatial-temporal perspectives. But all of the Many are also One in God. God is One. There is no two. There is nothing else."

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    FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2007 + some sunshine, some rain, lots of clouds, cool

    + Michael Moore's new documentary, SICKO, must be quite threatening to the medical establishment. Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) offers "CNN vs. SICKO", a critical analysis of how CNN's medical doctor has attacked SICKO by distorting much of the message of the film. Michael Moore is fighting back and we should join him in demanding that CNN reports in the future are fair and accurate.

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    WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2007 + Last day of heat wave; lots of rain this afternoon as the cold front moves in from the West

    + Thanks to the Witherspoon Society I just discovered that Common Dreams offers "How to Destroy an African-American City in Thirty Three Steps – Lessons from Katrina" by Bill Quigley.

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    TUESDAY, JUlY 10, 2007 + Hazy, Hot & Humid; Thunder & Lightning & a lot of rain last night

    +++++++ SPECIAL +++++++

    MY PICK OF TEN OF THE BEST WEBSITES FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH:

  • CENTERING PRAYER and LECTIO DIVINA (Thomas Keating)
  • THE CHURCH OF I AM
  • DAILY ZEN
  • INNER FRONTIER: EXPLORING PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY
  • SPIRITUALITY & PRACTICE
  • THE FOUR PRECEPTS
  • MOVING INTO STILLNESS (Yoga teacher Erich Schiffmann's website and book)
  • CELESTINE VISION
  • TWELVE PATHWAYS TO HIGHER CONSCIOUSNES (Ken Keyes)
  • RESEARCHERS OF TRUTH: The Esoteric Christianity of Dr. Stylianos Atteshlis (a.k.a. Daskalos)

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    + Major League Baseball offers extensive All Star Game coverage. The AL roster includes 6 Red Sox players and 5 Tigers players. The NL roster includes 4 Mets players and 4 Milwaukee Brewers players. The Red Sox have the best won-lost record so far.

  • VISIT THE ALL STAR GAME WEBSITE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + The New York Times offers "The Road Home", an editorial published on Sunday advocating the complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Excerpts: "It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit." | "While Mr. Bush scorns deadlines, he kept promising breakthroughs — after elections, after a constitution, after sending in thousands more troops. But those milestones came and went without any progress toward a stable, democratic Iraq or a path for withdrawal. It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost." | "Despite President Bush’s repeated claims, Al Qaeda had no significant foothold in Iraq before the invasion, which gave it new base camps, new recruits and new prestige."

    This editorial is comprehensive and covers 4 pages if downloaded on a word processor. Many problems of a withdrawal are discussed with solutions suggested.

  • READ EDITORIAL | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + Don't miss this week's Inner Work at Inner Frontier. Joseph Naft offers his supurb wisdom on "Out of Our Mind, Into Our Body". Excerpt: "We mistakenly believe that this private inner voice of our thoughts is who we are. This tendency to identify with thoughts severely diminishes our experience of life, narrowing it down to long-held attitudes and mental patterns. To extricate ourselves from our self-generating thoughts, we can repeatedly shift our focus to our body, to being aware of the sensations of our living body, to be in the sensitive energy of our inner body."

    I invite you to explore Inner Frontier. It is one of the best websites for practices promoting spiritual growth.

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    MONDAY, JUlY 9, 2007 + Hazy, Hot and Humid

    + John Shuck did a great spoof on the rapture which some people expected on 7/7/07. Scroll down to the posts on July 7 and to the posts for about 10 days before July 7. Not only a lot of fun but quite informative too.
  • GO TO THE SHUCK & JIVE BLOG | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    TUESDAY, JUlY 3, 2007 + Sunny and Mild

    + The Witherspoon Society offers "The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth". Excerpts: "For anyone interested in where the American public really stands on the big issues that distinguish progressives from conservatives – including the issues at the forefront of today’s political debates – "The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America Is a Myth" offers hard facts and analysis based on decades of data from some of the nation’s most respected and nonpartisan public opinion researchers. This is the evidence that political leaders have a mandate to pursue bold, progressive policies." | "This report by the Campaign for America’s Future and Media Matters for America shows that in study after study, solid majorities of Americans take progressive stands on a full spectrum of issues, from bread-and-butter economics to the so-called "values" issues where conservatives claim preeminence."

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject


    MONDAY, JUlY 2, 2007 + This Canadian high is very powerful and we are experiencing unseasonable coolness with temperatures in the high 40s through the low 70s F since Saturday evening.

    + The rapture is scheduled to happen on Saturday, 7-7-7, and John Shuck is keeping us informed on all the preparations now in progress for this big event. Scroll down to the posts from last week to get full coverage.
  • READ REPORTS | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    + Don't miss this week's Inner Work at Inner Frontier. Joseph Naft offers his supurb wisdom on "Rates of Inner Growth". Excerpt: "Managing our inner work means, in part, managing our expectations of personal progress on the spiritual path. We tend to overestimate and overemphasize the value of the dramatic, short-term breakthrough into a higher state, while underestimating the long-term impact of slow but steady inner development. In the long run of a lifetime, gradual inner growth leads to revolutionary transformation."

    I invite you to explore Inner Frontier. It is one of the best websites for practices promoting spiritual growth.

  • READ ARTICLE | COMMENT IN EGROUP - post or join | COMMENT BY EMAIL - write "blog comment" in subject

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    + For more blog entries, go to THE ABUNDANCETREK BLOG ARCHIVES

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



    John@abundancetrek.com



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    Click here and buy this bumper sticker at northernsun.com.


    | ABUNDANCE | JOY | WISDOM | BEAUTY | LOVE | TRUTH | PEACE | JUSTICE | FREEDOM |

    ... are the nine attributes of heaven which we experience and enjoy as we embrace our fantastic journey,
    the ABUNDANCETREK.


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  • THE
    ABUNDANCETREK
    BLOG

    + Boston.com offers a video displaying a huge dose of forgiveness by the fans of Boston at Fenway Park today. Buckner committed an error in the 1986 World Series which probably cost the Red Sox the World Series.