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The Spirituality and Practice e-newsletter is a regular update from Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat with teaching stories and links to new posts on the site.

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Spiritual Literacy Blog

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat read the "book of the world" for spiritual meanings.

 

Coming Soon: The Big Trade-Off

The glory days for the United States as a superpower policing and rebuilding the world are long gone, and it is time to face up new challenges and make some choices. The bad news according to the Thomas I. Friedman, seasoned columnist for The New York Times, is that by 2020 the numbers of Baby Boomers over 65 will double and care for the "old old" (85 years and older) will increase drastically as more than 15 million may be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease by 2050.

Who is going to pay the cost of all the care that will be needed? Statistics taken recently are startling. Friedman reports on one poll in which 56 percent of workers interviewed have less than $25,000 for the total value of their household savings and investments for retirement. That could pay for one hospital stay and a brief recuperation in a nursing home. Currently, family caregivers provide 80 percent of elder care, but this comes at a cost, too, in lost work hours, high stress, and declines in health.

So far, the President and Congress have refused to deal with this financial dilemma which affects the quality of life for millions of Americans who have worked hard and paid their taxes but still face imminent disaster. Friedman points out that, unless there is a real economic growth spurt, the choice is clear: nursing Afghanistan or supporting nursing homes for the Baby Boom generation.

Religious communities of all traditions identify respect for and care of elders as an essential spiritual duty. The question for Americans is whether they will demand that their government and other institutions take the necessary actions and make the choices to fulfill this responsibility.

(Posted 07/30/2012) Permalink

 

Friends of a Certain Age

In an article in The New York Times, Alex Williams explores some of the reasons why friendships are in decline in the lives of today's over-scheduled adults. Since the 1960s sociologists have seen proximity, repeated and unplanned activities as critical factors in creating this bond between adults. But people are constantly moving from one place to another. The workplace does give individuals a chance to do things together but competition usually enters the equation and sours the ties. And unplanned relationships that start on spontaneous occasions like vacations tend to fizzle out as time goes on, since the magic of the moment can't be repeated.

Since friendship is so tough for single people, it's not hard to see why this relationship is even more difficult for couples and parents to sustain. Journalist Kara Baskin notes that making friends with other married people "is like match-making for two." After 30, many men and women seem to lose their high expectations about friendship as a result of being disappointed again and again.

The making and keeping of friends is a spiritual process that requires the diligent practices of patience, equanimity, perseverance, kindness, listening, forgiveness, and love. We are grateful to Williams for helping us to see the challenges and roadblocks to this friendship more clearly.

(Posted 07/16/2012) Permalink

 

Are We Living in Sensory Overload or Sensory Poverty?

In an article in The New York Times, writer Diane Ackerman walks through a park in the city and notices how many people are "walking without looking up, or walking in a myopic gaze while talking on their cells." Our technological tools were supposed to bring us closer to each other and the world around us, and to an extent they fulfill that mission. But with them come "alluring distractions, cyberbullies, thought-nabbers, calm-frayers, and a spiky wad of miscellaneous news." They create sensory overload and, notes Ackerman, "At exactly the same time, we're living in sensory poverty learning about the world without experiencing it up close, right here, right now, in all its messy, majestic riotous detail. The further we distance ourselves from the spell of the present, explored by our senses, the harder it will be to understand and protect nature's precarious balance, let alone the balance of our own human nature."

Ackerman and many others are deeply concerned about the seeming inability of ordinary people to focus their attention on what is right in front of them in the home, on the street, or in a classroom, The author goes one step further than most by calling upon schools to "teach the value of cultivating presence." Religious communities could assist in this mission given their huge investment in making the most of every moment. The banquet is spread out before us, and it is the wish of the Divine Host that we partake of this feast with eager abandon.

(Posted 06/18/2012) Permalink

 

Procrastination: Ten Things to Know

In a fine overview article for Psychology Today, Hara Estroff Marano presents a rounded examination of procrastination. Twenty percent of the population in America admit to postponing things until the last minute whether bills to be paid, filing taxes, boring chores to be done, or shopping for Christmas presents. According to two leading experts on procrastination, Joseph Ferrari and Timothy Pychyl, the core of the problem is an inability to self-regulate.

Procrastinators are always on the lookout for new distractions and are often try to stage a rebellion against the pressure of deadlines. There are different types of people who indulge in this habitual behavior: thrill seekers, avoiders, and those who have trouble making any decisions.

Wasting time by putting important matters on hold on a regular basis can lead to health problems such as more colds and insomnia. It can destroy teamwork at the office, forcing others to take on the work that procrastinators avoid. This is a spiritual problem that has to do with self-control and self-sabotage. Retreat may offer a sacred space to do the inner work that is necessary to deal with this habitual behavior.

(Posted 06/06/2012) Permalink

 

A Richer Life with Optimism

Jane Brody uses a definition from the Mayo Clinic for optimism: "the belief that good things will happen to you and that negative events are temporary setbacks to be overcome." Many people used to criticize believers in the power of positive thinking as "pie-in-the-sky dreamers." Now it turns out that optimists who look on the bright side of things have the resiliency to survive defeats and disappointments. Under stress, they dig in their heels in order to fulfill their dreams and higher aspirations. In contrast, believers in "anything that can go wrong will go wrong" often get crushed by their own negativity.

Suzanne Segerstrom, professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, offers practices which can deepen our sense of optimism such as writing down at the end of the day three positive things that happened to you; avoiding negative self-talk; finding some pleasure in your work; and surrounding yourself with positive, upbeat people. We salute optimism as a staple of the spiritual practice of hope. Both optimism and hope are essential qualities in these times for they arouse within us, as William Sloane Coffin reminds us, "a passion for the possible."

(Posted 05/29/2012) Permalink

 

The Rise of Re-Use

In an article on the CommonDreams.org website, Ralph Nader laments the growing problem in America of 250 million tons of solid waste a year. Instead of incinerating, landfilling, trashing, or recycling materials and possessions, we could be re-using them. He quotes Ben Rose of the New York City Materials Exchange Development Program; "In contrast to recycling, where used materials are broken down into their raw elements to make new items, reuse takes useful products and exchanges them without reprocessing, thus saving time, money, energy, and valuable resources."

What are reusable products? Just about anything that doesn't spoil or perish. The article includes a list along with reuse outlets which take these cast-offs of our throw-away economy such as Goodwill, charitable book and clothing drives, ecology centers. and creative arts programs. Nader concludes with the "Repair Cafes" in Holland which are fixing things rather than dumping them.

We are great believers in the idea and the ideal of thrift, a set of principles and ethical guidelines geared toward simplicity, cooperation for the common good, and frugality. We also believe that the things in our lives (bicycles, fans, tools, etc.) would much rather be fixed and given a longer lease on life than to be incinerated. This idea of re-use brings a fresh application of the Native American practice of keeping gifts moving as they are passed on to others.

(Posted 05/25/2012) Permalink

 

Tough Love for a Nation of Whiners

Most therapists tend to be tolerant of patients who consistently complain in a pattern of negative communication. Now a new approach is coming to the fore, according to Elizabeth Bernstein in the Wall Street Journal.. Therapists are suggesting that chronic complainers spend 10 minutes a day venting their discontent; others are making it clear to these men and women that it is time for them to solve their problems.

One of the most interesting points in this article is the proposition that America has become a nation of whiners, having learned how to wear down our parents with complaints until we got what we wanted. If you listened to the daily conversations of people, you'd discover that 75% of it is negative. We complain about the weather, the traffic, work, food, movies, waiting, and much more. Whining has become a national pastime.

What can we do to curb the whiner within us? Many spiritual traditions support the conscious daily use of intention to stop a barrage of negative comments. It is possible to break the habit of complaining by saying positive things on a regular basis. We also suggest using the spiritual practice of gratitude as a firewall around the urge to constantly complain.

(Posted 05/21/2012) Permalink

 

Jon Stewart, Religion Teacher Extraordinaire

In an article on religionandpolitics.org. Mark Openheimer, who writes the Beliefs column for The New York Times, pays tribute to Jon Stewart, the multi-talented and very funny host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, for his intelligent talk about the world religions and a whole spectrum of smaller faiths. Some of the program's best sketches have dealt with the foibles and flaws of religious communities and ordinary people. Viewers can laugh at the excesses of believers while also learning about the spiritual path they are taking. In addition to the sketches about Muslims, Christians, and Mormons, Stewart, a secular Jew, has proven to be an astute student of religion as demonstrated by his end-of-the program interviews with Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine and other religious leaders. The host also promotes religious and spiritual books to his eclectic audience.

We are regular viewers of The Daily Show and agree with Mark Openheimer's positive assessment of the comedian's exemplary tolerance of religion and his willingness to devote so much time and creativity to it. Those of us who are serious about religion and spiritual practice see humor as a necessary resource. Jon Stewart is a merry prankster and a practitioner of crazy wisdom. The skits and sketches he and his staff create are both hilarious and edifying. We find watching his show on a regular basis to be good medicine for dealing with the real craziness of our times.

(Posted 05/18/2012) Permalink

 

Boomers Calling It Quits by 65

You would think that in these financially uncertain times that many members of the Baby Boom generation would be cautious about retiring and would be seeking ways to shore up their savings in order to meet higher-than-expected costs in the future. This might mean staying at their job for a few more years or getting part-time work.

But in this article by Jennie Phipps about a MetLife survey, she reports that she was surprised to discover that 45% of 65-year-old boomers are now fully retired, up from 19% in 2008. When asked why they retired at this age 36% cited that it was the right time; 18% said they quit work because of health reasons; and only 6% said they'd lost their jobs and couldn't find another.

How are they enjoying retirement? 70% of those already retired like it "a lot" while 20% say they like it "somewhat." Since we're always interested in what makes for happiness and where people find meaning, we wished the survey had asked more questions!

We rejoice that so many members of our Baby Boom generation have been fortunate enough to retire at 65, and we are very pleased to hear that they are enjoying this stage of their lives. But at the same time, we keep in our prayers other members of this generation who cannot retire as they had planned and now find themselves struggling to survive.

(Posted 05/14/2012) Permalink

 

Peter Fornatale, R.I.P.

We remember the surge of interest in rock music starting around 1968 when teenagers and college students tuned in to their favorite radio station to hear songs from the best singers and songwriters. With the Vietnam War going strong, it was a time of protest and prophecy. Music was saying something about the things that mattered to the counterculture youth generation.

In 1968 Fred was a chaplain at Cornell with a radio show where he presented rock and pop songs by theme such as love, hope, or peace. After we married and moved to New York City, we were happy to discover that this approach was being championed by Pete Fornatale, a disc jockey from WNEW-FM. Pete, along his co-workers Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa, Dennis Elsas, Jonathan Schwartz, and Alison Steele kept us up-to-date on the new albums. The station billed itself as the place "Where Rock Lives" and that was the truth.

Fornatale, who died this week at the age of 66, is remembered for his many contributions and innovations in this obituary by Douglas Martin. Pete was a booster of bands like Buffalo Springfield and Poco with their melodic ballads. In 1982, he started "Mixed Bag" where he introduced new singers and songwriters. Best of all, he played songs that followed a theme, like colors where the listener would be treated to "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles followed by Joni Mitchell's "Blue." He would also key rock songs to special holidays or historical events. Fornatale wrote books on Simon & Garfunkel and on the Woodstock Musical Festival.

We covered the rock music scene in our first publication called Cultural Information Service and still have a large collection of albums from those exciting times when youth culture was full of energy, creativity, rebellion, and hope. We tried to serve as mid-wives between this unruly community and the youth ministry programs of congregations. Sometimes the magic worked and sometimes it fell flat. But this seemingly impossible mission gave us immense satisfaction.We salute the life and legacy of Pete Fornatale who also tried to bring the riches of progressive rock to a larger and more diverse audience.

(Posted 04/30/2012) Permalink

 

Flight from Conversation or Talking with Your Fingers?

Two articles in The New York Times challenge us to take a hard look at the changes texting and e-mail are bringing into our lives. In "The Flight from Conversation," Sherry Turkle reveals how many of today's plugged-in people — young and old alike — use these technological tools to keep people at a distance. Although we claim to be connected through the social media, we are having less and less conversations with others. Picture in your mind all the commuters wearing earphones and then entering another bubble at work with texting and e-mail. Turkle concludes: "We are tempted to think that our little 'sips' of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don't. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places — in politics, commerce, romance, and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation." (Hear Sherry Turkle's Ted Talk on this subject.)

In another article, "Talking With Your Fingers," John McWhorter addresses the question whether or not the widespread use of texting and e-mail signals the death of formal writing. His answer is no, and he goes on to pay tribute to texting as a popular, informal, and improvisational form of "fingered speech." These two mediums of communication are "less invasive than a phone call but quicker than a letter." This brief article serves as a preview of "a brave new world where we can both write and talk with our fingers."

These two articles open us to both the negative and the positive aspects of our connected world. We vow to keep alert to further thought about the state of communication in our plugged-in culture where the devices we carry around with us exert such a strong hold on our consciousness.

(Posted 04/25/2012) Permalink

 

Insights at the Edge: Lama Surya Das

One of the many features we like at the website of the audio and book publisher Sounds True are the in-depth interviews with spiritual teachers from many different traditions. Founder Tami Simon conducts the interviews for a series titled "Insights at the Edge." She's a skilled interviewer and getting access to the full archive of her interviews is well worth the little extra trouble it takes to sign up for Sounds True's "Direct Access" program; the interviews are available through the free program.

In this one American-born Tibetan Buddhist sage Lama Surya Das talks about recognizing our buddah nature, three-year retreats, meditation, impermanence, oral tradition, the art of waking up, and Tibetan dream yoga.

Pith instructions have been handed down by Tibetan Buddhist teachers to their disciples, students, and friends for centuries. They are wise and abbreviated sayings which go to the heart of the path. Lama Surya Das shares a few of his favorites:

Let go, let be.
It is all within.
We're all buddhas by nature.
View, meditation, and action.
Everything is impermanent

We find these pith instructions to be perfect spiritual tools for our age of no spare time and multiple distractions. These wisdom teachings can be written on small cards and carried everywhere for viewing and reviewing. Short but sweet. We are going to start using them this week!

(Posted 04/16/2012) Permalink

 

How Sad Movies Can Increase Happiness

In an article on DeliveringHappiness.com, Shari writes about a study published in the online edition of Communication Research by Ohio State professor Siliva Knoblock-Westerwick and her research team on what effect watching a sad or tragic movie has upon viewers. They used the 2007 film Atonement in which the love affair of two people is interrupted by war. Participants in the study were asked to determine their levels of happiness before and after seeing the film. The findings proved to be very interesting.

The students who felt saddest during Atonement reported a greater boost in happiness afterward? Why? The story forced these people to reflect on their own love relationships and they concluded that they felt better off than those who suffered on the screen. On the other hand, those who focused on themselves in their response to the film did not feel increased happiness after it ended.

"Tragedies don't boost life happiness by making viewers think more of themselves. They appeal to people because they help them to appreciate their own relationships more," concludes Knoblock--Westerwick.

In our efforts to understand and appreciate the spiritual dimensions of movies, we have great respect for sad movies which move us to tears, as we wrote in our article on the the gift of tears. Now to learn that one of the benefits of tragedies is to enable us to count our blessings — that is good news indeed!

(Posted 04/09/2012) Permalink

 

Is Allowing Cell Phone Use at the Movies the Way of the Future?

In an article on Indiwire.com, Kevin Jagernauth reports on the finding of a study in The Hollywood Reporter on the way social media users interact with entertainment. 72 % of those surveyed said that they posted online after seeing a movie. The most revealing data in the poll concerned the 18 - 34 demographic so prized by the movie industry. A majority of them believe that using social media (texting, making a phone call, or going to Facebook or Twitter) while watching a film "would make the experience better." Jagernauth makes the point that theatres aren't in the business to honor movies but to fill the seats and make as much money as possible. If the best way to attract younger audiences in the future is to allow texting and cellphone use, that is probably what is on the horizon.

This is a frightening report given the lack of civility in movie theatres already with people talking to each other, bright lights from smart phones dotting the theater, and ringtones coming out of pockets and purses. Imagine trying to focus on a serious scene in a film with a person seated next to you talking to a friend on the phone about Julia Roberts' facial expression and a person behind you reciting details of the plot to a buddy. And if the film is an action drama, the already blaring soundtrack would have to be set even louder to cover all the noise from the people talking on their phones. Perhaps the theatres could also sell special glasses to reduce the glare from ipad screens.

We can't imagine how any pleasure could be derived from seeing movies with a large crowd of youth who can't do one thing at a time but must constantly be distracted by social media. But don't envision a future war between the generations. It's only a matter of time before this nightmare happens. The only hope is to have a special theater in the multiplex for those of us who want the old-fashioned movie experience. Just like the "silent cars" on trains where no cell phone use is allowed, there could be "silent movie theater."

(Posted 04/04/2012) Permalink

 

When a Parking Lot Is So Much More

In Washington, D.C., a couple years ago, Mary Ann visited a museum exhibit about the history of parking lots. It was fascinating. For example, there was a time when cars were put into elevators and taken up to cubicles to be stored; the vertical lot consisted of hundreds of little boxes filled with cars stacked on top of each other.

Eran Ben-Joseph reports in The New York Times that experts estimate that there are three nonresidential parking spaces for every car in the United States. The math adds up to 800 million parking spaces, covering 4,360 square miles — an area larger than Puerto Rico. Ben-Joseph quotes the folk song by Joni Mitchell: "They paved paradise to put up a parking lot." How true.

But architects and environmentalists and other city lovers are coming up with some new options for parking lots. How about putting solar canopies over them or planting rows of trees? How about giving green markets a place to display their goods or for urban organizations to host parties?

Now that we're in the swing-and-sway of the imagination: how about using walls and dividers to display art. What about using empty areas in parking lots for worship; at the end of the service, members could bless the cars as a part of a weekly ritual for acknowledging the sacredness of everything.

(Posted 04/02/2012) Permalink

 

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About This Blog

This blog is now located on the blog site here. The archives of the posts from 2006 - August 2012 are listed below.

Earlier Posts

Coming Soon: The Big Trade-Off
Friends of a Certain Age
Are We Living in Sensory Overload or Sensory Poverty?
Procrastination: Ten Things to Know
A Richer Life with Optimism
The Rise of Re-Use
Tough Love for a Nation of Whiners
Jon Stewart, Religion Teacher Extraordinaire
Boomers Calling It Quits by 65
Peter Fornatale, R.I.P.
Flight from Conversation or Talking with Your Fingers?
Insights at the Edge: Lama Surya Das
How Sad Movies Can Increase Happiness
Is Allowing Cell Phone Use at the Movies the Way of the Future?
When a Parking Lot Is So Much More
Is Silence Going Extinct?
The Brain on Love
How Chants Can Heal the Heart
The Science of Love
Top Five Regrets of the Dying
Finding Joy in Alzheimer's
The Folly of the Weather Forecast
What People Talk About Before They Die
Wisdom in the Next Seat
Just One Thing: Tune Into Others
The Rise of the New Groupthink
The Law of the Garbage Truck
Does Twitter Prove We're Getting Sadder?
The Joy of Quiet
Five Social Media Trends that are Reshaping Religion
Video Chat Reshapes Domestic Rituals
It's the Spirituality, Stupid: Vital Congregations Cultivate Personal Piety
Connect Your Brain to the Internet
Little Seeds, Little Deeds
The Generous Marriage
My Private Cineplex
The Essential Flame
The Life Reports
Luminescence
How to Tame the Wanting Mind
Chief Unready
Rick Perry's Brain Freeze
A Parable for All People
Boomer Parent's Lament
Of Gods and Turtles: An Interview with Rabbi Rami
72 Years Together Holding Hands
Why Time Seems to Slow Down
In a Married World, Singles Struggle for Attention
An Indefensible Punishment
An Era of Endless War
Terry Tempest Williams Interview
It Would Be a Pity to Waste a Good Crisis
The Twitter Trap
Oxford Dictionary Defines Sexting, Cyberbullying
The Patron Saints of Green Living
The Elusive Big Idea
The Average Catholic Is Reading Joyce Rupp
Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables
The Turtle
Seven Different Ways to Say Hello
Is the World Wide Web Becoming Our External Memory Drive
Top 10 Reasons Why Mindfulness Is Cool
The Lonely Polar Bear
An Accidental, Experimental Masterpiece
How Keeping a Zen Mind Can Save a Relationship
Blades of Glory
City Life Could Change Your Brain for the Worse
The Happiest Countries in the World
Joint Replacements for Baby Boomers
Improve Concentration by Minimizing Distractibility
Stop the Granny Bashing
Nearly Half of Americans Are Financially Fragile
Spirituality and Social Change
Superjobs: Why You Work More, Enjoy It Less
Quality Time Redefined
Volunteering and Hospice
Retirement or Refirement
Where Silence is Sacred
The Perilous State of the Nation
A Generation's Vanity, Heard Through Lyrics
Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
Downsizing Boomers Looking to Sell Their Stuff
The Faces of a Country
Buddhist Thoughts on Impermanence, Plutonium and Beauty
The Return of the Class System
Why We're Fasting
Worry Less, Care More and Find Out What Love Is Before You Die
America's Greatest Deficit Is Spiritual, Not Merely Financial
Go Easy on Yourself
Graying Audience Returns to Movies
From Cairo to Madison
Boomers Come Up Short for Retirement
Web Sites That Collect Stuff So You Don't Have To
Speck by Speck, Dust Piles Up
Interview with Matthieu Ricard
A Graying Population Spells Business Opportunity
A Golden Age of Foreign Films, Mostly Unseen
How Meditation May Change the Mind
The Class War Launched by America's Wealthiest Is Getting More Savage
Red Rocks of Nevada Smudged by Graffiti
What Me Care?
Sustainable Love
Baby Boomers Approach 65 - Glumly
More Than a Mantra: We're All in This Together
How to Deal with Adult Temper Tantrums
Sports Stars and Nicknames
The Gratitude Lady on the Practice of Gratitude
Winter Count
Wandering Mind Is a Sign of Unhappiness
Desire in the Twilight of Life
The Future of Books
How Age Biased Are You?
New Occasions Teach New Delights
As Nations Age, a Chance for Younger Generations
Religion, Politics: Walking Away from Church
What We Can Learn from Procrastination
Stand By Me
The Authentic Life
Religions of Kindness
New Census Figures Confirm Rising Poverty, Big Income Gaps
Getting In (And Out of) Line
A New Generation of Caregivers Takes Control of Kids
The Artist and the Monk Are One
Beyond City Limits
The Metaphysics of Cutting Grass
Unboxed — Yes, People Still Read, But Now It's Social
The Retirement Nightmare
Meditation Helps Increase Attention Span
Quieting Noisy Hospitals
Turn 70: Act Your Grandchild's Age
Friends, Neighbors and Facebook
Dysregulation Nation
To the Class of 2010: Find a Wild Religious Mentor of Your Own
Happiness May Come with Age
What Pets Can Teach Us About Marriage
Cognitive Surplus
The Elders Speak
Spirituality in a Time of Crisis
The Data-Driven Life
Teen Texting Now Tops Teen Cell Calling
It's Complicated
Seeding Cyberspace
Bringing Compassion to the Middle East
A World Without Planes
Reaction to Supreme Court Ruling on Animal Cruelty Law
By 2050, Mental Exercise Will Be as Important as Physical
Carjacked
Acts of Kindness Spread Surprisingly Easily
Talk Deeply, Be Happy?
Volunteerism Up in 2009
Interfaith Doesn't Mean Interchangeable
Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs
Global Marshall Plan
Will You Be E-Mailing This Awesome Column?
What Happened to the News of the Apology to the Native Americans?
A Hymn for Haiti
Religion and Women
Faux Friendship
How to Train the Aging Brain
This Emotional Life
Mystical Experience or Unitive Seeing
United States' Shameful Land Mine Policy
Our New War President
We May Be Born with an Urge to Help
Three Clergymen, Three Faiths, One Friendship
Three Clergymen, Three Faiths, One Friendship
Japan Cracking U.S. Pop Culture Hegemony
Ani Pema Chodron
Must We Have Bad Music in Public Spaces?
Shines of the Times
A Short Manifesto on the Future of Attention
Three Ways You Can Turn Panic Into Happiness
The Day's First Stop Is Online
We are All Hindus Now
Look
A Celebration of the Life of Ted Kennedy
On Vacation? Send in Your Prayers via Twitter
We Are All Immigrants
Old People on Facebook and Twitter
The Unhappiness Gap
Laughter and Learning
God Is Still Spanking. . . . Lou Dobbs? Sergeant Crowley?
The Dharma of Celebrity Death
To Be a Pilgrim
God and the Recession
Inspiration Stew
Michael Jackson
More Better Faster!
Saying It With Silence
Elegant Simplicity
The Joy of Less
Why Have We Stopped Talking about Guns
Thomas Berry's Contributions to the Western Spiritual Tradition
Paul Hawken's Commencement Address to the Class of 2009
The Century of the Rights of Mother Earth
Do Everybody a Favor: Take a Sick Day
Obama on Empathy
Will The Planet Be Saved in 10 Easy Steps?
The American Way
Compassion for Pirates
Lessons in Empathy for Gossip Girls and Boys
Information Age Prayer
Earth Hour
When the Economy Sours, Tootsie Rolls Soothe Souls
An Interview with Karen Armstrong
Jewish Nones
Better Cheer Up
Is the Future Going Down the Drain
Making Room for Miss Manners Is a Parenting Basic
Five Post-Valentine's-Day Reflections
Outer Critics, Inner Adversary
Repossessing Virture
Terrain.org Interviews Scott Russell Sanders
Humility and Awe
Lazarus sits up and goes on and on . . .
The End of Solitude
Thomas Moore on the Economic Crisis
Lottery Sales Are Rising in Recession
It's a Dog's LIfe for Pets in Hard Economic Times
Radical Rest
As the Rich Get Poorer, Teenagers Feel the Crunch
Top Ten Humanitarian Crises of 2008
For Craft Sales, the Recession Is a Help
Downturn Spurs Survival Panic for Some
Trickledown Downsizing
Bad Times Draw Bigger Crowds to Churches
Surviving Winter
The Law of Giving and Receiving
How Crying Can Make You Healthier
Blessing of the Waves
Dealing with Anxiety
Home, Sweet Home
A Leaf Ritual to Celebrate the Season
Some Pointers for Dealing with Financial Meltdown Stress
Food for the Soul
Sharing Ramadan
Working with Your Enemies
Scoping Out the Best Places for Books
The Sounds of Silence
The Other Book of God
Pico Iyer Is Lost
When Human Rights Extend to Nonhumans
The Myth of Multitasking
Complaining to God
A Life Saver Called Plumpynut
Taming Your Inner Hulk
Let Us Try to Think of Ourselves as a Community
The Power of Kindness and Emotional Intelligence
Conversation with J. Brent Bill
Cultivating the Heart
War on Bottled Water
When You Wake Up
Ichigo Ichie, One Time, One Encounter
MInistering Angels
Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert
U. S. Supreme Court Upholds Use of Lethal Injection
The Work to Free Tibet
The Cost of War
Blessing
The Problem with Praise
How I Found the Farm
My Favorite Pastime: Complaining
A New Religious Landscape in America
Australia Apologizes to Aboriginal Population
Robotic Lives
Honor Your Father and Mother
Spiritual Perception
New Year's Message from Reb Zalman
How Big Is Your Family?
Feeding the Spiritually Hungry
We Don't Need No Supervision
Reading the Sky
Thinking about Tigers
Goodness Revealed
Why Giving Makes You Happy
Anselm Grun: We Should Be Asking Ourselves What We Can Learn From Islam
The Secret Library of Hope
John Hopkins Civility Project Makes Peace Person to Person, Then Nation to Nation
On Retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh
One in Four Read No Books Last Year
The Shared World of Gate 4-A
A Palestinian Pastor Speaks
We Brake for Ducks
Iraq Vets Bear Witness
The Evolution of Dance
A Good Day
Shadows
Meditations on my mother, failing
A Journey of Self-Forgetting
Love Thy Neighbour, for He Is Me
We're No. 1! America Leads the World in War Profits
An Ideology of "Gunism"
Shift Happens
The Damaging Export of Electronic Waste
The Wisdom of Kindness
RIP: Maha Ghosananda
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Sacrifice
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