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RideForAids

On the “30th anniversary of AIDS”

7 nights in tents, 3,000 cyclists + 500 miles. The 10th annual AIDS ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles made octagon-fighters look like wimps

DAVID RICKEY — As we marked the “30th anniversary of AIDS,” we acknowledged that many people on this cycling marathon at one time were fighting for their lives.

I suddenly realized that I personally know several people who have been infected with the HIV virus for 31+ years, and are still alive!

The AIDS Lifecycle Ride was both a testament to the continuing need for cure and treatment and a potent source of healing in its own right.

The AIDS virus entered the human bloodstream probably in late 1979. I can remember visiting, in 1980 as a student chaplain, gay men who were experiencing what was called the “Gay Plague.” The symptoms were various: pneumonia-like, intense fatigue, but the cause could not be determined.

The virus was discovered, isolated and named in 1981, hence the “anniversary.”

In those early years, AIDS was considered a death sentence.

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How I learned ‘surrender’ in my German garden

Who does one psychologist see for her own private therapy? Her sunflowers.

BY CATHERINE ANN LOMBARD  — There are times in my life when I know that I am trying too hard. No matter what I seem to do, nothing works, eases forward, sings in tune.

As a gardener in my backyard, I can dig the earth, feed it with the richest manure, insure it has enough calcium, carefully sow the seeds, faithfully water, fuss over the tiniest plants, pull weeds, and even pray.

And still nothing grows. Sometimes I forget about God. Oh yeah, that Guy. He also might have something to say. In fact, his Will might be bigger and beyond what I can imagine can grow in anybody’s garden. In anybody’s heart and soul.

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Bumper sticker wisdom

Bumper sticker wisdom

Hey gurus and motivators: Let’s take a page from Twitter and T-shirts. Why all the complex philosophies?

BY VAISHALI – Ever notice how so many of the bumper sticker messages out there are simple yet profound? I saw a great one recently that said Life is the Classroom. Love is the Lesson. That pretty much says it all.

How is it that all the great spiritual sayings can fit on a bumper sticker or T-shirt?

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Six ways to insure your health yourself

Six ways to insure your health yourself

Why rely on the administration of drugs — or the Obama administration — to cure diseases if you can avoid getting sick in the first place? The worst culprits, including heart disease and many forms of cancer, are preventable with some basic self-care.

BY VAISHALI — The largest generation in history, the post-WWII Baby Boomers (76 million people in the U.S., alone), are entering their peak need for care. And those of us affected by a U.S. health-care reform led by President Obama may end up (or not) at the government’s mercy to nurse what ails us. In the name of self-preservation, here are six highly-effective, do-it-yourself tips to keep the doctor away, and aging at bay.

Six ways to enhance your health and vitality

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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.

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Life is a Terminal Illness

Life is a Terminal Illness

In Japan, a death toll approaching 10,000; tens of thousands of fatal US car crashes every year; more than 100 million babies born in the world every year

BY DAVID RICKEY — A snippet of one of Dylan Thomas‘s great poems has been popping into my mind a fair amount recently:

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees 
is my destroyer.

To me it’s about the “life force” that will also eventually bring about my end. In some spiritualities, like Hinduism, there is a “god” for both creation and destruction (Brahma and Shiva). I prefer to think of it as one force.

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Religion’s overactive testosterone

Religion’s overactive testosterone

How religion came to be about who has the biggest kahunas

BY DAVID RICKEY – We’ve always gotten it wrong. The “religio” in religion means “to connect.” That’s what religion has always meant, but we’re connecting to the wrong things.

Early humans first came up with religion as a way of trying to understand the world and their place in it, and trying to control two things: survival and death. Humans had evolved enough to realize that existence was complex. We intuited meaning and systems such as cause and effect. The problem was that we had also developed an ego, and tended to interpret our intuitions in images that reflected that ego. So we developed the idea of a personal God, and attributed to it many of our own emerging attitudes: anger, jealousy, possessiveness and the need for power – all aspects of ego.

Another problem arose as civilizations evolved: man’s testosterone.

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Haiti, consciousness and charity

Haiti, consciousness and charity

A psychotherapist and Episcopal priest makes healing in Haiti a life – and spiritual mission

BY DAVID RICKEY – Haiti is a fascinating place in its own right, but for me it serves as a kind of microcosm of issues that are evolving around the planet. I just returned from my fourth visit to Port au Prince. Each time I go, I accomplish a little but learn a lot.

I can report that there is progress there. The streets, although still terrible and crowded with the chaotic traffic of trucks, SUVs and motorcycles weaving around each other, are cleaner and brighter. There is an renewed energy and purposefulness.

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Fire-walking through fear

Fire-walking through fear

A doctor of physics and founder of a Silicon Valley artificial intelligence start-up does a fire-walk with Tony Robbins

Fire Walking Ceremony | Originally uploaded by Skip the Filler.

STEPHEN OMOHUNDRO — I thought I’d share the powerful experience I had at a Tony Robbins workshop in Colorado Springs.

For the last several years I’ve had a practice of noticing when I’m touched by something and following up on it. I had seen Tony’s infomercial many years ago and thought of him as a charismatic speaker but a bit too “rah-rah” for my taste. His interview with Larry King, however, had a depth and subtlety that grabbed my attention. He exhibited a compassion and strength that I felt I could learn from.

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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)

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