Spirituality

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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Occupy Transformation

As you might have noticed, I haven't blogged much. Partially, it's because I've gotten out of the habit, and I'm going to work on changing that. Partially, though, it's because I have been trying to figure out what to say about Occupy. I've been only peripherally involved in OccupyOakland, and other Occupy efforts. I helped start OccupyTechnology, and I've been to OccupyOakland a couple of times.

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Spreading Lovingkindness

As I imagine you know, right now, thousands of people all over the country (and the world, too) are taking to the streets to "Occupy" places like Wall Street and San Francisco. I myself will be showing up on Monday for OccupyOakland for a while. This blog post has been inspired and informed by this movement - this historic movement. But it's not just about this movement.

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The Blogger Prophets

I wrote this sermon in 2006 for the Progressive Faith Bloggers Conference. I was thinking of it recently, and it just seemed so appropos for where I am, and where things are, so I thought I'd repost it.

 

 

Finding and claiming our prophetic voice

 

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Free Enterprise vs. Capitalism

I think often free enterprise is confused or conflated with capitalism. I thought it was worth a follow-up post to my "Inherent Violence of Wealth" post to talk a bit about it, since I don't think I was especially clear in my discussion that I was talking only about wealth gained from capitalism.

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The inherent violence of wealth

This is a belated, and long-percolated response to a blog post by my friend Ryan Dowell Baum. I am going to focus my discussion on one particular point that Ryan makes in his post:

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