Archive | Sacred Days RSS feed for this section

Countdown to Christmas: Spiritual Trivia

 

Can you guess the source of these lines of sacred text?

That it may please thee to make wars to cease in all the world; to give to all nations unity, peace and concord; and to bestow freedom upon all peoples,
That it may please thee to visit the lonely; to strengthen all who suffer in mind, body, and spirit; and to comfort with presence those who are failing and infirm,
That it may please thee to forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers, and to turn their hearts,

You could be forgiven for thinking they’re from some kind of meditation on loving kindness in the Upanishads or the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

These lines of deep prayer are actually pulled from a very Christian prayer called The Great Litany that is performed in a communal chant. Just like Buddhists.

Acutely Buddhist in its appeal for universal compassion, The Great Litany was performed in procession by thousands of churches around the world to mark the First Sunday of Advent — the last Sunday of November in 2014 — the official beginning of the Christmas season for all of you chocolate fiends with Advent calendars, and Day One of a new church year.

Read more
A New Year’s mantra

A New Year’s mantra

A meditation to de-stress for the post-2012 era


BY DAVID RICKEY
— January in northern California is usually a time of rain, cold, and a psychic hangover from the double-barreled Christmas and New Year holidays, which can tend to be anything but Holy days. After getting swept up in the maelstrom, let’s step back a bit a get some perspective. Thanksgiving is a good place to begin as both a word and place in time.

Being grateful for what we have, for what we experience — even for who we are — has a major effect on our daily life.

Gratitude comes from an awareness that this is not all just an accident. This morning, as I left for work, at about 5:30am . . .

Read more
Pueblo Rico

Why we celebrate each New Year: It’s in our soul’s code

Buying into 2012 as more “doom and gloom” is a collective projection. A new solar year is a sacred event that can ground you.

BY DAVID RICHO, author of Daring to Trust and 14 other books about spirituality and psychology — Annual planting among ancient peoples began with prayer that recalled how the gods performed this same task at the beginning of time. The human lifecycle, thus, became a repetition of a primal religious event.

Whatever happens every year becomes a promise in perpetuity, and thereby the phases of life and the seasons fit into a spiritual framework.

Among ancient peoples this fostered a sense of belonging here on earth.

Repetition and participation give humans roots: “I am real because I am part of something. I have a grander meaning than is outlined by my fragile body.”

Read more
santa

Santa Claus: International man of mystery

SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — He’s big. He’s hairy. He’s said to tear through the night sky accompanied by magical reindeer. Santa Claus makes a truly weird symbol of conspicuous consumption. Maybe that’s because he’s a figure whose spiritual roots sit deeper than today’s commercial culture.

Santa as we know him today symbolizes holiday cheer, Christian charity, and, yes, maybe more than just a little bit of pagan wildness. Little wonder this mischievous elf has been shunned by Christians, banned by secularists, and viewed with suspicion by purists of all sorts.

As he keeps sliding down the chimney into our culture, click on the radio buttons below to see how much you know about the global poster-boy for Christmas.

Read more
Surviving New Year’s Eve by going with the flow

Surviving New Year’s Eve by going with the flow

“Prepare yourself for events to take on a life of their own”

GUEST COLUMN: PHYLLIS KING — Often when our lives are running smoothly and seemingly at the will of our command, without warning we are surprised when a person or an event throws our life into chaos or anger. We have two choices in that moment: either resist, or to let go.

We need to remember that we can refuse to allow an external circumstance to diminish our peaceful space. There are wonderful opportunities we can create with the universe, so to speak, that deepen our compassion and growth.

Holidays always heighten sensitivity and emotions for everyone.

Many opportunities will appear for each of us to let go of our perceived sense of control.

Read more
Nelson Mandela’s birthday wish

Nelson Mandela’s birthday wish

Inspire change, and celebrate the Nobel Prize winner’s 93rd, by doing 67  minutes of good deeds today

BY PAUL KAIHLA — July 18 is South Africa’s annual Good Samaritan’s day. This year, Nelson Mandela turned 93. And the tradition here is to donate 67 minutes to helping others in honor of the former freedom fighter’s devotion to human rights and reconciliation.

The number 67 is not a random pick; It represents the number of years that Mandela devoted himself to public service and political struggle — 27 of them incarcerated in South African prisons (1962 to 1990) such as Capetown’s equivalent of Alcatraz, Robben Island, as well as five years as South Africa’s first non-white president (1994 to 1999).

Read more
Can an ‘Easter moment’ cure loneliness and fear?

Can an ‘Easter moment’ cure loneliness and fear?

How would you survive the loss if your best friend, mentor or shrink were crucified? You’d have to awaken your own inner guru.

DAVID RICKEY — His career was short and ended with his crucifixion. It looked like failure. What had Jesus accomplished? At most a few miracles, healings and teachings. That was it. Or was it?

Like a CEO who doesn’t feel ready to retire, Jesus could at least take comfort in the succession planning of his time — his passing of the baton to a dozen floundering but well-meaning and capable followers.

Read more

If this is Saturday, it must be St. Patrick’s Day

The sacred day of the Irish Saint Patrick this year falls on March 17, 2012 but Americans of Irish and noe-Celtic purists will really celebrate in the summer

BY BRIAN CAULFIELD — In the United States many of us will get quite drunk as St. Patrick’s day rolls around once more. But on the last Sunday in July, 15,000 or more pilgrims in Mayo have a very different kind of St. Patrick experience as they climb Croagh Patrick — in their bare feet for 5 miles and a vertical of 1.5 miles.

It may present a Matrix red-pill, blue-pill Sophie’s Choice: Either makes you do a deep-dive of self-reflection and inner discovery  . . . or really just makes you want to have another beer.(Mayo is short for Mayo County, and also the character Richard Gere played in an Officer and a Gentleman)

Read more
easter-eggs

Soul’s Code Spiritual IQ Quiz: How Pagan is Easter?

Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, the resurrection of Christ: How much do you know about the sacred origins of Easter?

Easter is the very centerpiece of the entire Christian enterprise, and the crucifixion of Christ is the distinctive fork we too in the road away from its parent faith, Judaism. Each spring, Easter climaxes during Holy Week with hundreds of thousands of church-goers coalescing in solemn operatic ceremonies to hold the Three Great Days: Good Friday (the crucifixion), The Great Vigil of Easter (Saturday night), and on the 3rd day, Easter Sunday celebrates the miraculous ressurection of our savior, christ the redeemer.

But most Americans take in Easter not as a solemn pilgrimmage but as a chance to bust out with vacations to Vegas, Florida Spring Break and Girls Gone Wild t-shirt contests.

But we have a secret: Easter, in fact arose from pagan spring celebrations.

We’ll test you on the ancient origins of why pagans created colored easter eggs, the easter bunny and chocolate rabbits.

Test your knowledge of the spiritual side of Easter here in our Soul’s Code Quizz by clicking on the radio buttons below in the multiple choice questions:

Read more
Jesus or the Easter Egg: ‘Witch’ Came First?

Jesus or the Easter Egg: ‘Witch’ Came First?

Ever wonder how bunny eggs, death and resurrection fit together?  A pagan history of  the goddess, and how the church stole Easter

President Obama and Easter bunny

BY DANNY KENNY — Ever since I was an angelic little boy, there are many reasons why I’ve always loved Easter. But I would no longer be angelic in good Irish Catholic fashion if I didn’t admit that gorging myself with sumptuous chocolate eggs after a cruel, six-week enforced abstinence (during Lent) from my first love wasn’t a huge part of that.

Even as a child I had trouble equating chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies, but when you’re in a self-induced chocolate coma, such heady thoughts soon pass.

On a deeper level — even though I grew away from my childhood addiction and religion — I still retained a different kind of deeper love for the annual celebration of renewal, faith and hope.

Read more