- our collapsing, debt-ridden global market economy, which is only the most visible symptom of...
- the inexorable peak and decline of the fossil-fuel based net energy upon which that global market economy is entirely dependent.
- a simultaneous global ecological collapse, driven above all by irreversible climate change from global heating, coupled with overpopulation, pollution, collapsing fisheries worldwide, depleted groundwater, the collapse of bee populations for pollination, deforestation, desertification, etc.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
- SOUTH--The Path of Learning (Ancient and Indigenous religious traditions, involving their own culturally specific mythologies and traditions)
- EAST--The Path of Teaching (Far Eastern religious traditions, involving ramifying lineages of teachers and students of the Dharma).
- WEST--The Path of Healing (The Abrahamic religions--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--all positing one Creator God, and involving themes of redemption and healing played out through their sacred history).
- NORTH--The Path of Creating (The modern, secular traditions that emphasize human reason, freedom, and creativity--from the European Renaissance to the present).
A Homily of St. Hilda
Trade with the gifts God has given you.
Bend your minds to holy learning
that you may escape the fretting moths of littleness of mind
that would wear out your souls.
Brace your wills to actions
that they may not be the spoils of weak desires.
Train your hearts and lips to song
which gives courage to the soul
Being buffeted by trials,
learn to laugh.
determine to succeed.
This is pure, 200 proof Dharma--aside from the obligatory Western reference to God, it could as easily have been written by Pema Chodron as by St. Hilda.
The other piece is from Walt Whitman's introduction to the 1855 version of Leaves of Grass--a wonderful, visionary example of the Path of Creating--the Sacred as the autonomous self--which characterized the Romantic movement in both Europe and America:
This is what you shall do
by Walt Whitman
"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."
Amen to both Hilda and Walt!
Saturday, July 2, 2011
- BREATHE. As you draw breath and focus on it, reflect on the Holy Spirit that God breathed into Adam when He created him. Feel that same Holy Spirit within you, connecting you to all of God's creation.
- OBSERVE. Open your eyes, and see, as Jesus taught us, that the Kingdom of God is everywhere around us, for those with eyes to see.
- LET GO. Let go of your fears, your anxieties, and your hatreds--even of your own self-preoccupied thoughts, and rest within the Peace of God that passeth all understanding.
- BE WELL. Take good care of your own body, for it is the Tabernacle of the Lord.
- DO GOOD WORK. To get over any reluctance to do what you know you should do, simply say "Thy Will be Done." Then do your own part in realizing the Kingdom of God.
- KEEP IN TOUCH. Just as the mustard seed grows into a plant that draws nutrients from both Earth and Heaven, and makes them available to other plants, be ready at all times to reach out to all others--to express your love of God in your love of your neighbor.
- LEARN. Read the Scriptures prayerfully every day, and regard everyone you meet as a potential teacher, that you may "till" your own mistakes into the ground of your experience, as fertilizer for growing closer to God.
- TEACH. Do not put your candle under a bushel. What you have learned, share with others, just as the Mustard Seed creates topsoil for the benefit of all other life.
- HEAL. Our mission as Christians is to follow in the steps of Jesus of healing the sick, and healing as well the sickness of our society--just as the Mustard Seed restores damaged topsoil.
- CREATE. Just as God created us all, let us use our own creative gifts, whatever they may be, to create the Kingdom of God, just as the mustard seed creates the conditions within large plants and trees can flourish, offering shelter to the birds.