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Open Doors

 

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Have a Cup of Tea with Fear

I gave this sermon this morning at First Congregational Church of Oakland.

 

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Mobility does not equal freedom

I was headed on an epic trip. I was, really. I have driven cross-country more times than I can count, and it is an activity I have much enjoyed in my life, although I know that is mysterious to many - it is an activity many do not enjoy at all. There is a way in which long-distance driving was a kind of emblem of my freedom to move about in the world - it was part of how I defined myself. I at times fantasized about being a long-haul trucker (but never all that seriously.)

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Going cross-country again

I'm leaving on Wed. for what I am calling my Epic Cross Country Trip. (Maybe it should be Epic Cross Country Trip, 2012, since it's far, far from the first one I've done. I've now lost count.) Here's my basic itinerary, for the curious:

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Is fear a prison?

This image is making its way around facebook, and on first look, I can see why most people feel like it makes sense. But I have been doing a lot of personal work around fear lately, and I have a different perspective.

I think that fear is a good thing. At its core, fear is a set of physiological, psychological, and emotional responses to external threats. It evolved to basically save our lives in the face of lions, tigers and bears (oh, my!) It is, in a sense, a protective adaptation. If we didn't feel fear, and respond to it, we would be in danger of not being careful enough.

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What I learned during my lenten fast

As you might recall, I chose to bite off a fairly big chunk of things for my lenten fast. And I'm bringing that fast to a close this week (sort of slowly easing into things rather than all at once on Easter.)

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Same old, same old

I saw an impressive movie a while back, called "The Economics of Happiness." It's worth seeing - it's a great film, with really important things to say about what kinds of things we need to change in our economic system so that people can be happy, and find meaning in their lives. So I was really glad to hear that they were doing a conference, with all sorts of cool people. I was excited!

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What I'll be doing for Lent

Over the past few years, I have had an interesting relationship to Lent. As a Unitarian Considering Christ (or, as my spiritual co-conspirator Joellynn Monahan says "Universalist Chillin' with Christ",) Lent has never been about penitence. Growing up Protestant, and even in my brief flirtation with fundamentalism in my early adulthood, I never paid attention to it - I thought it was a Catholic thing.

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Why the movement needs mystics

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I fit into the Occupy movement - what kind of role I should play. Unlike some of my housemates, who have gotten arrested, and have been presences at Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza, I've been pretty much on the sidelines. I helped start Occupy Technology (which is sort of moribund at the moment.) I've been to a few of the marches and actions, but otherwise not really involved.

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You are running out of time

The whole thing started a very long time ago, when you realized that you were going to lose one of the most important assets you had in building this country so that you could benefit from it. It actually even started before then, when you ran out of indentured servants from England and Ireland, but luckily, the African slave trade came at just the right time.

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