A Discussion on Teacher-Student Romantic Relationships – Buddha at the Gas Pump

Published on Dec 19, 2018
The Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers does not have a moralistic, judgmental orientation. It’s a community endeavor. We don’t agree among ourselves on certain points. We’re trying to balance our subjective perspectives with standards that fit our contemporary culture.

A key point of disagreement is the issue of teacher-student romantic/sexual relationships. None of us are rigid or adamant in our opinions.We’re trying to work it out.

There are exceptions to every generality. In graduate school, psychotherapists are taught that it will never be appropriate for therapist sand their clients to become partners.

Relationships tend to be the most challenging aspect of people’s lives. These challenges shouldn’t bleed into a teacher’s teaching activities.

When a teacher/student or therapist/client relationship transitions into romantic involvement, the potential for growth is undermined.
Sometimes “divine compulsion” arises in your spiritual path,shattering your conception of appropriate behavior.

The problem with teachers who haven’t transcended desire and explored their own shadow.
There can be a huge disparity between the apparent enlightenment of a teacher and their behavior.

Isolation and being closed to constructive criticism can be very dangerous for a teacher.

If a teacher doesn’t have friends other than his students,he might want to ask why. If he doesn’t have regular relationships and is always on a pedestal, he won’t get real world feedback.
The culture is changing anyway. We’re just trying to give voice to values that are becoming lively in collective consciousness.
There can be a lot of practice involved in having your actions be a reflection of your deepest understanding.

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Ethics and Spiritual Teaching SAND Panel – Buddha at the Gas Pump

Published on Dec 19, 2018

Questioning whether higher consciousness and ethicalbehavior are tightly correlated.

The founding of the Association of Professional SpiritualTeachers.
The attempt to formulate a code of ethics that might applyuniversally in the contemporary spiritual community and enliven an understanding of what may or may not be appropriate, giving students greater confidence in their own discernment and discrimination.

Ancient traditions held the teacher beyond reproach and students surrendered their own will. This may have worked in monastic settingsbut generally does not work today.

Preventative support so we’re not busy doing cleanup.

Power hierarchies should not be an essential part ofspiritual development and can lead to abuses.

Spiritual awakening does not necessarily qualify a person tooffer advice on relationships, finances, etc.
Ethical training of some sort is integral to most honoredtraditions.
The issue of sexism and patriarchy in spiritualorganizations.

Entering the teaching profession prematurely.

All too often, when teachers are challenged on their behavior, they ignore the challenger or become defensive.

How do we offer the possibility for redemption and atonement?

Moving away from a culture of competition to one ofcooperation.
The importance of humility.

The importance of teachers not identifying with their role and thinking that students’ devotion is about them.

South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” as a model.

Is There a Place for Ethics and Morality in the Non Dual Understanding?

Published on Nov 24, 2017

Rupert discusses why there is a need for ethics and morality if everything is consciousness or love.
From the weekend in Amsterdam, September 2017

The Ultimate Philosophy ~Rupert Spira


Published on Jan 13, 2017

Discussing the notion of Good and Ethics.

The Evidence for God: The Case for the Existence of the Spiritual Dimension by Keith Ward

‘It is remarkable how atheism is becoming fashionable. It has become almost compulsory to say that you do not believe in God. – I believe that science itself points in a very different direction. There is a huge amount of evidence for the reality of a spiritual dimension to the world.’ There is a level of being that is deeper than the physical universe, writes Keith Ward. It has purpose and value, and we can sometimes feel it and find in it resources of strength, hope, and inspiration. Through an exploration of six areas of human experience – the arts, morality, philosophy, science, religion and personal experience – Ward demonstrates the existence of more than simply physical facts. His evidence builds to an impressive argument for a ‘sense for the spiritual dimension’ that is beyond and yet expressed in and through physical facts.

Keith Ward is Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus at the University of Oxford and Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and has written many popular books on philosophy, religion and Christian theology.

Browse Here

The Evidence for God with Professor Keith Ward

Live from Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, Professor Keith Ward giving a lecture on the ‘Evidence for God’ and launch his new book, ‘The Evidence for God: The Case for the Existence of the Spiritual Dimension’.

Reason in a Dark Time Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed — and What It Means for Our Future ~ Dale Jamieson

From the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference there was a concerted international effort to stop climate change. Yet greenhouse gas emissions increased, atmospheric concentrations grew, and global warming became an observable fact of life.

In this book, philosopher Dale Jamieson explains what climate change is, why we have failed to stop it, and why it still matters what we do. Centered in philosophy, the volume also treats the scientific, historical, economic, and political dimensions of climate change. Our failure to prevent or even to respond significantly to climate change, Jamieson argues, reflects the impoverishment of our systems of practical reason, the paralysis of our politics, and the limits of our cognitive and affective capacities. The climate change that is underway is remaking the world in such a way that familiar comforts, places, and ways of life will disappear in years or decades rather than centuries.

Climate change also threatens our sense of meaning, since it is difficult to believe that our individual actions matter. The challenges that climate change presents go beyond the resources of common sense morality — it can be hard to view such everyday acts as driving and flying as presenting moral problems. Yet there is much that we can do to slow climate change, to adapt to it and restore a sense of agency while living meaningful lives in a changing world.

Dale Jamieson teaches Environmental Studies, Philosophy, and Law at New York University, and was formerly affiliated with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He is the author of Ethics and the Environment: An Introduction, and Morality’s Progress: Essays on Humans, Other Animals, and the Rest of Nature.

Dale Jamieson “Does Environmental Ethics Have a Future?” – PEI Conference 030813

Conference Environmental Humanities in a Changing World_030813 – Dale Jamieson “Does Environmental Ethics Have a Future?”

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2013: Vandana Shiva – Growth = Poverty


Published on Nov 10, 2013

When natural resources like timber, water and mineral deposits can be extracted from ecosystems, they become assets with dollar values that can be bought and sold internationally and enable developing countries to grow and participate in the global economy. If growth is the key to emerging from poverty, then this might seem like a good thing. But what if these same resources being sold to richer nations come from an ecosystem that people depend on for their livelihood? What if new growth is actually proportional to the creation of new poverty?

The cult of ‘growth’ has dictated policy for decades. But if well-being, not growth, is our goal, selling resources that bring long term wellbeing to communities for short term gain is a very bad deal. Hard as it may be for the West to understand, protecting the ecological resources of communities might be more important than GDP figures.

Vandana Shiva holds a PhD in physics, but is best known as an environmental, and anti-globalisation activist and as a leading figure of ‘ecofeminism.’ Shiva is based in India and is the author of over twenty books, including Staying Alive and Biopiracy. She is a former recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize.

Chair: Simran Sethi is an award-winning Indian American journalist. She is currently undergoing a research fellowship at the University of Melbourne in Australia on the loss of agricultural biodiversity in our food system.

The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved ~ Matthew Fox [updated July 27, 2013]

An internationally acclaimed theologian and member of the Dominican Order, Matthew Fox was forbidden to teach by then Cardinal Ratzinger in 1988 and was later dismissed from the order.

His experiences make him uniquely qualified to write about Pope Benedict XVI. Fox delivers a blistering indictment of Ratzinger, from his early career to his years as chief Inquisitor, from his protection of reactionary groups like Opus Dei to his role in covering up the pedophilia crisis. But Fox also sets forth his vision for a new Catholicism–one that is truly universal and celebrates critical thinking, diversity, and justice.

Click Here to browse the contents.

360 Vision – Heretic Interview with Matthew Fox

Interview with Matthew Fox, the foremost exponent of “Creation Spirituality,” a movement that seeks to revitalize Christianity by embracing mysticism, feminism, social justice, ecological awareness and the shamanic traditions of indigenous peoples. Fox, an outspoken American priest and theologian, explains his controversial spiritual philosophy.

A New Pope and “The Most Corrupt Vatican Since the Borgias”

Matthew Fox (former Catholic priest) discusses the Vatican’s work with the CIA and it’s alliance with far right political forces and Pope Francis’ opposition to liberation theology in Latin America.

On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good ~ Jim Wallis

“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side.”–Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln led America through one of the most tumultuous times in our nation’s history. Reading his words today, it is clear we still have much to learn concerning what it means to be on God’s side.

Bestselling author, public theologian, and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis speaks directly into our current context, revealing the spiritual compass we need to effect lasting change in our society. He explains how the good news of Jesus transforms not only our individual lives but also our public lives. Jesus’s gospel of the kingdom of God helps us recover a personal and social commitment to the common good and shows us–in concrete ways–how to be both personally responsible and socially just. Working together, we can reshape our churches, society, politics, and economy.

Releasing in the wake of the 2012 election cycle, this book seeks to move beyond the current media and political warfare and bring together a divided country. Wallis explores how Jesus’s agenda can serve the common good, what it takes to sustain a lifelong commitment to social justice, and how reading the Bible as well as the culture can shape our lives for genuine transformation.

Contents

Part 1: Inspiring the Common Good
1. A Gospel for the Common Good
2. The Lion, the Word, and the Way
3. Who Jesus Is and Why It Matters
4. Lord, Help Us to Treat You Well
5. The Good Samaritan Goes Global
6. The Beloved Community Welcomes All Tribes
7. Surprising Our Enemies
Part 2: Practices for the Common Good
8. Conservatives, Liberals, and a Call to Civility
9. Redeeming Politics
10. Economic Trust
11. A Servant Government
12. Making Things Right
13. Healthy Households
14. The World Is Our Parish
Epilogue: Ten Personal Decisions for the Common Good
Index

Click here to browse inside.

New York Times best-selling author Jim Wallis thinks our life together can be better. In this timely and provocative book, he shows us how to reclaim Jesus’ ancient and compelling vision of the common good — a vision that affects and inspires not only our politics but also our personal lives, families, churches, neighborhoods, and world.

On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good

New York Times Bestselling Author Jim Wallis discusses the themes of his latest book, On God’s Side.

Special thanks to Matt Willingham for extra video footage.

Spiritual Politics: Changing the World from the Inside Out By Corinne McLaughlin, Gordon Davidson

Do you need a source of hope for the future? Do you wonder about the hidden, metaphysical causes of crises today? Is there a link between human thought, collective karma and world events such as natural disasters? This groundbreaking book will reveal many of these secrets, including the invisible government, the divine guidance behind America’s founding and the soul of each nation. It will give you spiritual tools to create a better world. You’ll find many practical examples of a new evolutionary politics today and innovative public policies –even in Washington D.C.!

Biography
Corinne McLaughlin
is co-author of The Practical Visionary, Spiritual Politics: Changing the World from the Inside Out (Forward by the Dalai Lama) and Builders of the Dawn, and is Executive Director of The Center for Visionary Leadership, based in California and North Carolina. She is co-founder of Sirius, an ecological village in Massachusetts, and is a Fellow of The World Business Academy and the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. Corinne directed a national task force for President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development and taught politics at American University. She has lectured around the U.S., Europe and South America for over 25 years, and has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fox News. She can be reached at: The Center for Visionary Leadership: http://www.visionarylead.org or at http://www.thepracticalvisionary.org or email corinnemc@visionarylead.org

Click here to browse inside.

Synopsis: Inspirational, best-selling authors of SPIRITUAL POLITICS, and renowned teachers of the Ageless Wisdom, Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson, explain the metaphysical side of the founding of America, the hidden causes of world events, collective karma, and the souls of nations. Lecture with historical and inspirational footage. Produced by Penny Price. “Sets out ways for creating a happier, more peaceful world.” -H. H. The Dalai Lama. “Compelling and inspirational.”- The Hartley Film Foundation
View HERE

Earth is our Business: Changing the rules of the game by Polly Higgins

Earth is our Business: Changing the rules of the game by Polly Higgins

… the book isn’t another wild diatribe against business ‒ rather it is an examination of international law and how environmental protection has somehow been left by the wayside… [It] asks everyone to re-examine the legal framework within which we are attempting to accomplish this, and provides business leaders with a golden opportunity of making it happen.”
– corporate-eye.com

Earth is our Business takes forward the argument of Polly Higgins’ first book, Eradicating Ecocide. This book proposes new Earth law, but it is also about something more than law: it advocates a new form of leadership which places the health and well-being of people and planet first. Polly Higgins shows how law can provide the tools and be a bridge to a new way of doing business. She argues, in fact, that Earth is the business of us all, not the exclusive preserve of the executives of the world’s top corporations.

Like her award-winning first book, Earth is our Business is written for anyone who is engaging in the new and emerging discourse about the future of our planet. Instead of merely examining the problem, Earth is our Business sets out a solution: new rules of the game. They are, says Polly Higgins, a new set of laws based on the sacredness of all life.

Polly Higgins, barrister and international environmental lawyer, proposed to the United Nations in April 2010 that Ecocide be classed as the 5th Crime Against Peace alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Crimes of Aggression and War Crimes. In June 2012 world leaders will meet in Rio for the 20th anniversary of the first Earth Summit to discuss global governance mechanisms for creating a green economy. Making Ecocide a crime will be among the issues raised.

Eradicating Ecocide won The People’s Book Prize for non-fiction in 2011.

Polly Higgins, barrister and international environmental lawyer, proposed to the United Nations in April 2010 that Ecocide be classed as the 5th Crime Against Peace alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Crimes of Aggression and War Crimes.

Her first book set out the starting point for a law of Ecocide; her second book, Earth is our Business: Changing the Rules of the Game, expands on the first book, setting out how such a law could work.
‘Earth is our Business’ Book Launch

Polly Higgins launches her latest book ‘Earth is our Business’ at the RSA, her second book after the award winning ‘Eradicating Ecocide’. View here

Click here to browse the pdf format.

Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Stop the Destruction of the Planet ~ Polly Higgins

‘Eradicating Ecocide highlights the need for enforceable, legally binding mechanisms in national and international law to hold account perpetrators of long term severe damage to the environment. At this critical juncture in history it is vital that we set global standards of accountability for corporations, in order to put an end to the culture of impunity and double standards that pervade the international legal system. Polly Higgins illustrates how this can be achieved in her invaluable new book.’ Bianca Jagger, Founder and Chair of Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation

In Eradicating Ecocide, international environment lawyer and activist Polly Higgins sets out to demonstrate in no uncertain terms how our planet is fast being destroyed by the activities of corporations and governments, facilitated by ‘compromise’ laws that offer insufficient deterrence. She offers a solution that is radical but, as she explains with great competence and experience, absolutely necessary.

The recent Mexican Gulf oil spill is a compelling reminder of the consequences of un-checked ecocide. Higgins advocates the introduction of a new international law against Ecocide. It would become the 5th Crime Against Peace and would hold to account heads of corporate bodies that are found guilty of perpetrating ecocide.

The opportunity to implement this law represents a crossroads in the fate of humanity; we can accept this one change and in doing so save our ecosystem for future generations, or we can continue to destroy it, risking future brutal war over disappearing natural resources. This is the first book to explain that we all have a commanding voice and the power to call upon all our governments to change the existing rules of the game. Higgins presents examples of laws in other countries which have succeeded in curtailing the power of governments, corporations and banks and made a sudden and effective change, demonstrating that her proposal is not impossible.

Eradicating Ecocide is a crash course on what laws work, what doesn’t and what else is needed to prevent the imminent disaster of global collapse. Eradicating Ecocide provides a comprehensive overview of what needs to be done in order to prevent ecocide. It is a book providing a template of a body of laws for all governments to implement, which applies equally to smaller communities and anyone who is involved in decision-making.

Click here to browse inside.

earthrise : Big Thinker: Polly Higgins

In most countries the environment has no legal rights. Corporate CEOs and heads of state are not bound by law personally to look after the earth and clean up any mess they make. But environmental lawyer Polly Higgins is trying to change that.

Ecocide, the 5th Crime Against Peace: Polly Higgins at TEDxExeter

Dare to be great: Polly Higgins at TEDxWhitechapel

Barrister and activist known as ‘lawyer for the Earth’, Polly Higgins, tells her recent transformative experience taking time out walking in New Forest where she was awakened to her greater purpose and next steps in service of the Earth. She challenges us to ask the empowering questions: “How can we move from a place of dependency to a place of interdependency? How can we create a world of peace? How can I dare to be great?”

Polly Higgins, barrister, international lawyer and award winning author of Eradicating Ecocide, proposed to the United Nations in April 2010 a law of Ecocide to be classed as the 5th Crime Against Peace. Ecocide is defined as the mass “damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.”
Polly has been a vocal spokesperson on Earth Law for a number of years and is recognised as an expert in her field. Her first book, Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet is published by Shepheard-Walwyn, Winner of the Peoples Book Prize 2011 for non-fiction and book number 2, Earth is our Business, changing the rules of the game has been described as ‘groundbreaking’. No other author has addressed the heart of the problem and proposed how to change it into a solution by using law. Polly has now mounted a global campaign to have Ecocide recognised as the 5th Crime Against Peace.

Spirituality and Ethics in Human Rights Law: “Spiritual Beings with Conscience” UNICEF House, Labouisse Hall, New York, NY


Divine Mother Audrey spoke at UNICEF’s Labouisse Hall for the Universal Ethics Working Group, sponsored by the National Service Conference of the American Ethical Union.

For more information and talks by Divine Mother Audrey Kitagawa view here

Rediscovering Values On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street – by Jim Wallis [updated Feb 15, 2013]

A moral compass for the new economy—one that will guide us on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street.

When we start with the wrong question, no matter how good an answer we get, it won’t give us the results we want. Rather than joining the throngs who ask “When will this economic crisis be over?” Jim Wallis says the right question to ask is “How will this crisis change us?”

The worst thing we can do now, Wallis tells us in Rediscovering Values, is to go back to normal. Normal is what got us into this situation. We need a new normal, and this economic crisis is an invitation to discover what that means. Here are some of the principles Wallis unpacks for our new normal:

• Spending money we don’t have for things we don’t need is a bad foundation for an economy or a family.
• It’s time to stop keeping up with the Joneses and start making sure the Joneses are okay.
• The values of commercials and billboards are not the things we want to teach our children.
• Care for the poor is not just a moral duty but is critical for the common good.
• A healthy society is a balanced society in which markets, the government, and our communities all play a role.
• The operating principle of God’s economy says that there is enough if we share it.

In this wide-ranging discussion of the moral issues raised by our deep and wide economic crisis, Wallis argues that change needs to come from families, communities, and our whole society. These kinds of changes are never quick or easy solutions but, rather, long-term shifts that we must choose and rechoose every day.

The Great Recession: A Spiritual Crisis – Jim Wallis
The Great Recession is not just an economic crisis, it is the result of a loss of values, a moral crisis. And to say that it is a moral crisis is also to say that it is a spiritual crisis. At the center of most religions is the question of who and what we worship? Where is our deepest allegiance?

So the Great Recession bears some “religious” reflection, as the market has gradually become all pervasive–a replacement for religion and even for God. It is the Market now that now seems to have all the godlike qualities–all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, even eternal–unable to be resisted or even questioned. Performing necessary roles and providing important goods and services are not the same things as commanding ultimate allegiance. Idolatry means that something has taken the place of God. The market can be good thing and even necessary; but it now commands too much, claims ultimate significance, controls too much space in our lives, and has gone far beyond its proper limits.

Idolatry comes in a lot of different forms. Today, it is much more subtle than bowing down to a golden calf. It often takes the form of choosing the wrong priorities, trusting in the wrong things, and putting our confidence where it does not belong.

Today, instead of statues, we now have hedge funds, mortgage-backed securities, 401(k)s, and mutual funds and, for some, bonuses. We place blind faith in the hope that the stock indexes will just keep rising and real estate prices keep climbing. Market mechanisms were supposed to distribute risk so well that even those who were reckless would never see the consequences of their actions. Trust, security, and hope in the future were all as close to us as the nearest financial planner’s office. Life and the world around us could all be explained with just the right market lens. These idols were supposed to make us happy and secure, and provide for all our needs. Those who manage them became the leaders, to whom we looked, not just for financial leadership, but direction for our entire lives. That is indeed idolatry.

Rich and poor alike were sucked into making heroes out of those who seemed to be able to turn everything they touched into gold. Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel lost virtually all of his personal wealth and his foundation’s, up to $37 million, to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. “We gave him everything, we thought he was God, we trusted everything in his hands,” Weisel said.

The market even has its priests, pastors, rabbis, imams, and shamans. These money and market commentators translate the often confusing signals of the Dow, international currency exchange rates, or futures indexes and tell us all what they mean and how they should act as a result. Sometimes they preach famine and the retribution of the market for the sins of the people, and other times they praise the market and the feast it provides. Those who question the market “god” are called heretics and lunatics and are burned at the stake on conservative talk radio.

In claiming the power to define what is real and true, and bowing to no limits beyond itself, the market now claims “a comprehensive wisdom that in the past only the gods have known,” according to theologian Harvey Cox. And like a god to be feared and worshipped, we now can even know the market’s moods on a daily basis–moody, angry, restless, or satisfied. And to even question the market’s “high priests” and their declarations is now to commit heresy. The worship of this false god, The Market, has become quite ecumenical. Across denominational and faith persuasions, herds of us are bowing down to the doctrines and dictates of The Market.

But this crisis presents us with an opportunity, not just to be smarter and more prudent about our economic lives, but to change something much deeper–to reject the idolatry of our market worship, to expose the idols that have ensnared us, and to reduce “The Market” to simply “the market,” asking the market to again serve us, rather than the other way around. According to John Deere CEO, Bob Lane, the market is to be “a means, and not an end.” That’s good theology.

Indeed, it could be that the religions of the world might help lead the way here, challenging the idols of the market and reminding us who is God and who is not–a traditional and necessary role for religion. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein,” say both Christianity and Judaism: it does not belong to the market. Let us also remember that human beings are merely stewards of God’s creation; not its masters. And we humans are the ones who preside over the market–not the other way around.

And despite our differences, the religion of the market has become a more formidable rival to every religion than we are to one another. But together now, we could challenge the dominion of the market, by again restoring the rightful worship of God. The market’s false promise of its limitless infinity must be replaced with the acknowledgment of our human finitude, with more humility and with moral limits–which are essential to restoring our true humanity. The market’s fear of scarcity must be replaced with the abundance of a loving God. And the first commandment of The Market, “There is never enough,” must be replaced by the dictums of God’s economy; namely, there is enough, if we share it.

For people of faith, there is another question: What is a Christian, Jewish, or Islamic response to a deepening economic crisis like this? What should people of faith be thinking, saying, and doing? What is the responsibility of the churches, synagogues, and mosques to their own parishioners, to their communities, to the nation, and the world? And where is God in all this?

What do pastors, lay leaders, activists, and practitioners say about creative opportunities and new solutions that could come out of all this: the possibilities of mutual aid, congregational and community credit unions, and new cooperative strategies for solving problems like health care, housing, and even jobs. How can an economic crisis reconnect religious congregations with their own communities? How might a crisis be an opportunity to clarify the mission of the faith community?

One good example of a response is the Vineyard Church of Columbus, Ohio. On Palm Sunday, Pastor Rich Nathan told his congregation, “We want to help families and individuals who have lost their jobs by taking a special offering.” The collection that followed was an amazing surprise to everyone – raising $625,000! The church is now using these funds to provide resources, coaching, counseling, and networking events to assist people with securing employment; to both its members and the wider community.

And at a larger level, the basic teachings of our faiths, from our many traditions, offer useful correctives to the practices that brought us to this sad place. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount instructs us not to be anxious about material things, a notion that runs directly counter to the frenzied pressure of modern consumer culture. Judaism teaches us to leave the edges of the fields for the poor to “glean” and welcome those in need to our tables. And Islam prohibits the practice of usury. And the core religious values of simplicity, stewardship, humility, patience, and modesty are now just what we need.

This is already a time of great anxiety for many. But it could also be a time of prayerful self-evaluation, redirection, and even new relationships with others in our congregations and communities, with our families and children, and even with our God.

Click here to browse inside.


Bestselling author Jim Wallis on his new book, Rediscovering Values on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street argues that the economic crisis affords us an incredible opportunity to rescue our culture from commercialism and create a moral social order. Wallis provides a moral compass for our new emerging economy.

Confucius, the Analects: The Path of the Sage–Selections Annotated & Explained ~ Rodney L. Taylor, PhD

Twenty-six centuries after their origination, the principles laid down in the Analects of Confucius still act as the foundation of Chinese philosophy, ethics, society and government, and play a formative role in the development of many Eastern philosophies. Confucius is revered as China’s greatest teacher and sage, and interest in his monumental teachings continues today.

In this intriguing look at the ethical and spiritual meaning of the Analects, Rodney L. Taylor, the foremost American researcher of Confucius as a religious and spiritual figure, explains why the Analects hold enduring and universal wisdom for our time. He shows how Confucius advocates learning and self-cultivation to follow “the path of the sage” or “way of Heaven”–a path that promises to promote reason, peace and understanding. Along with an updated version of the classic translation by sinologist James Legge, Taylor provides informative and accessible commentary that:
* Illuminates the meaning behind selected passages from the Analects as they relate to Chinese philosophy, ethical thought and religion/spirituality
* Explains common interpretations of the text and how they contribute to our current understanding of Chinese and Eastern philosophy, ethics and morality
* … and much more
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Rodney L. Taylor, PhD, the foremost American researcher of Confucius as a religious and spiritual figure, is author of The Religious Dimensions of Confucianism and The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism, among other books. He is professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also served as director of Asian studies and chair of the Department of Religious Studies.

His books include: The Religious Dimensions of Confucianism; The Way of Heaven; The Confucian Way of Contemplation; The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism; Confucianism (high school text); The Cultivation of Sagehood as a Religious Goal in Neo-Confucianism; They Shall Not Hurt: Human Suffering and Human Caring (with Dr. Jean Watson); The Holy Book in Comparative Perspective (with Dr. Frederick Denny) and his most recent volume, Confucius, the Analects: The Path of the Sage from Skylight Paths.

Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit ~ Parker J. Palmer

At a critical time in American life, Parker J. Palmer looks with realism and hope at how to deal with our political tensions for the sake of the common good–without the shouting, blaming, or defaming so common in our politics today.

In his newest book, Parker J. Palmer builds on his own extensive experience as an inner life explorer and social change activist to examine the personal and social infrastructure of American politics. What he did for educators in The Courage to Teach he does here for citizens by looking at the dynamics of our inner lives for clues to reclaiming our civic well-being. In Healing the Heart of Democracy, he points the way to a politics rooted in the commonwealth of compassion and creativity still found among “We the People.”

“Democracy,” writes Palmer, “is a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of our political institutions, local communities, and the human heart–and its outcome can never be taken for granted. The experiment is endless, unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so also is the heart’s alchemy that can turn suffering into compassion, conflict into community, and tension into energy for creativity amid democracy’s demands.”

Healing the Heart of Democracy names the “habits of the heart” we need to revitalize our politics and shows how they can be formed in the everyday venues of our lives. Palmer proposes practical and hopeful methods to hold the tensions of our differences in a manner that can help restore a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
Click Here To Browse Inside
Biography
PARKER J. PALMER is a writer, teacher and activist whose work speaks deeply to people in many walks of life. He is founder and senior partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include “A Hidden Wholeness,” “Let Your Life Speak,” “The Courage to Teach,” “The Active Life,” “To Know as We Are Known,” “The Company of Strangers,” “The Promise of Paradox,” “The Heart of Higher Education,” and “Healing the Heart of Democracy.”

He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as eleven honorary doctorates, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the National Educational Press Association, and an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press. In 1998, the Leadership Project, a national survey of 10,000 educators, named him one of the thirty most influential senior leaders in higher education and one of the ten key agenda-setters of the past decade.

In 2010, he was given the William Rainey Harper Award (previously won by Margaret Mead, Marshall McLuhan, Paulo Freire, and Elie Wiesel). “Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer,” was published in 2005. In 2011, the Utne Reader named him as one of “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World”–people who “don’t just think out loud but who walk their talk on a daily basis.” (See the Oct-Nov 2011 print or online edition.) He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

For those of us who want to see democracy survive and thrive—and we are legion—the heart is where everything begins: that grounded place in each of us where we can overcome fear, rediscover that we are members of one another, and embrace the conflicts that threaten democracy as openings to new life for us and for our nation.

— from the “Prelude” in Parker J. Palmer’s Healing the Heart of Democracy
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Call to Compassion Religious Perspectives on Animal Advocacy ~ Anthony J. Nocella, II, Lisa Kemmerer

Covering doctrine and the lived experience of the world’s religious practitioners, Call to Compassion is a collection of stirring and passionate essays on the place of animals within the philosophical, cultural, and everyday milieus of spiritual practices both ancient and modern. From Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism, through the Abrahamic traditions, to contemporary Wiccan and Native American
spirituality, Call to Compassion charts the complex ways we interact with the world around us.

Click Here To Browse Inside

Anthony J. Nocella II is a pacifist and Quaker who provides nonviolent and conflict transformation workshops to community centers, schools, universities, law enforcement, and in prisons. He works with American Friends Services Committee and the Alternatives to Violence Project. He is working on his Ph.D. in Social Science and a Masters in Education at Syracuse University. He has established three academic journals, assisted in establishing dozens of NGOs around the Americas, and has published more than two-dozen articles and co-edited Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth (AK Press 2006) with Steve Best.

Lisa Kemmerer (B.A. in international studies, Reed College; M.T.S. in comparative religions, Harvard Divinity School; Ph.D. in philosophy, University of Glasgow, Scotland) is a philosopher-activist, artist, and lover of wild places, who has hiked, biked, kayaked, backpacked, and traveled widely. She is the author of In Search of Consistency: Ethics and Animals (Brill 2006) and Religion and Animals: Rightful Relations (Oxford 2011), and (in addition to co-editing this volume) the editor of Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice (University of Illinois Press, 2011) and Primate People: Personal Stories of Advocacy and Adventure (University of Utah Press, 2011). She is currently editing three other anthologies (Women as Animal Advocates and Activists: International Insights from the Front Lines; Links of Life: Earth and Animal Liberation; and an untitled anthology on activism on behalf of bears). She has published a dozen chapters in books and encyclopedias, and has nearly thirty articles in print. Kemmerer is currently associate professor of philosophy and religions at Montana State University, Billings.

Call to Compassion by Lisa Kemmerer and Anthony Nocella

Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by Dalai Lama XIV, Alexander Norman (Contributor) [updated]

All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.

An unprecedented event: a beloved world religious leader proposes a way to lead an ethical, happy, and spiritual life beyond religion and offers a program of mental training for cultivating key human values

Ten years ago, in his best-selling Ethics for a New Millennium, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. Now, in Beyond Religion, the Dalai Lama, at his most compassionate and outspoken, elaborates and deepens his vision for the nonreligious way.

Transcending the mere “religion wars,” he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that gives full respect to religion. With the highest level of spiritual and intellectual authority, the Dalai Lama makes a stirring appeal for what he calls a “third way,” a path to an ethical and happy life and to a global human community based on understanding and mutual respect.

Beyond Religion is an essential statement from the Dalai Lama, a blueprint for all those who may choose not to identify with a religious tradition, yet still yearn for a life of spiritual fulfillment as they work for a better world.

Beyond Religion Preview Here

Piers Morgan interviews His Holiness the Dalai Lama for CNN’s Piers Morgan

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s public talk “Be the Change” given at the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, Scotland, on June 23, 2012. Following the public talk there is a question and answer session.

THRIVE DVD with Foster Gamble – An Audio Interview

Foster Gamble is the Creator and Host for THRIVE the movie, an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what’s really going on in our world by following the money upstream and uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives.

Foster Gamble


A direct descendant of the late James Gamble, Soap-maker and Founder of Proctor and Gamble, he was groomed to be a leader in the establishment, but chose a different path. He immersed himself in science and in the exploration of consciousness and human potential, and THRIVE represents the convergence of these two paths. After meticulously researching and documenting what and how the reality of our existence in the 21st century is being manipulated, Foster connects the dots between the financial elites and the banking, energy, food and health industries, alien and space-age technology. He puts into sharp relief the consequences of continuing on this path, and suggests pragmatic solutions for change.

Miriam Knight of NCR


View Here for the audio interview with Miriam Knight of NCR.

For those viewers who want to re-visit to view the incredible movie,
View Here

OR review on the previous video interview,View Here

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