I went to the reading expecting to hear an intellectual attack on the Bible's "terrible texts." What I experienced, though, was a look into the soul and spirit of a man who passionately loves the Bible and sincerely wishes to rescue it from those who would use it as a weapon to oppress others.
An interview with Kim Boykin, author of Zen for Christians: A Beginner's Guide, a wonderful introduction to Zen, written for Christians who are looking for a way to incorporate meditation into their spiritual lives.
We need to see the interconnectedness of all the varied activist groups who work on issues of peace, gay rights, racism, environmentalism, and human rights. Although we may have different "causes," we should all work together since we're all working for the same goal: an end to oppression and "the domination system" in all its many forms. (Note: This essay also appears in the Summer 2003 issue of White Crane:
God's New Creation will be a time when all of God's creatures, animals and humans alike, will continue to minister to each other and to be a healing presence in each others lives. Sometimes we can get a glimpse of that coming reality, in the gentle warmth of a minister in fur.
Jesus recognized that the religious leaders who made him so angry were, despite their hardness of heart, still children of God, still bearers of the divine image. It's easy to forget that we are all God's children, and so we are all related in the interconnected web of life.
"Those two don't go together. Jesus and peace? No way." . . . For many people, the idea of Jesus and peace co-existing seems strange, even dangerous. In these post-September 11 days, it seems to be a patriotic duty to wave a flag and say "God Bless America" - but horribly UNpatriotic to actually quote the words of Jesus.
I left the conference feeling like I had been present in the armed compound of a dangerously paranoid cult. Gay and lesbian people were consistently presented as either the enemy or as diseased people in desparate need of healing. (Note: an edited version of this essay appeared as a cover story in the January / February 2002 issue of The Gay & Lesbian Review.)
The physical act of walking the Labyrinth, with its curves and twists and turns, becomes an act of meditation, occupying my body and eventually my mind, as I go within my self, to see what noisy distractions I need to leave behind...
A Baptist minister once asked me why my church bothered to feed the homeless every day. "After all," he said, "most of those people are just gonna die and go to hell anyway." What was chilling about this statement is that he said it with no anger or hostility in his voice, but with genuine puzzlement.
Bisexuals do not fit neatly into neat little categories, so to understand bisexuality requires an ability to move beyond "either/or" thinking into "both/and" thinking. This can be difficult, even for the bisexual person himself/herself. For several of the writers in this
anthology, the hardest "coming out" was to themselves.
The idea of my bisexuality as a gift from God was overwhelming. And yet, that cold winter night in the middle of Advent, I realized for the first time in my life that God really did love me, "just as I am."
I have lived with several Zen masters, all of them cats.
-- Eckhart Tolle
When Joni Mitchell, in her song "Woodstock," sang, "We are stardust..." she was being factual as well as poetic. Every element on earth, except for the lightest, was created in the heart of some massive star. And the heaviest elements -- such as gold, lead and uranium -- were produced in a supernova explosion during the cataclysmic end of a huge star's life, says LSU physicist Edward Zganjar (pronounced Skyner). "Those elements were ejected into space by the force of the massive explosion, where they mixed with other matter and formed new stars, some with planets such as earth. That's why the earth is rich in these heavy elements. The iron in our blood and the calcium in our bones were all forged in such stars. We are made of stardust," Zganjar said.
I was smelling flowers in the yard, and when I stood up I took a deep breath and the blood all rushed to my brain and I woke up dead on my back in the grass. I had apparently fainted, or died, for about sixty seconds. My neighbor saw me but thought I had just suddenly thrown myself on the grass to enjoy the sun. During that timeless moment of unconsciousness, I saw the golden eternity.
I saw heaven. In it nothing had ever happened, the events of a million years ago were just as phantom and ungraspable as the events of now or of a million years from now, or the events of the next ten minutes. It was perfect, the golden solitude, the golden emptiness, Something-Or-Other, something surely humble. -- Jack Kerouac