Tag Archives: coping with catastrophe
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Spiritual Surf: Haiti, a spiritual Rorschach

Voodoo shamanism turns to self-blame; Pat Robertson into the mix; Ditto, Danny Glover and Catholicism


Haiti’s voodoo turns against itself and into spiritual self-retribution

Haiti’s devastating earthquake has left thousands dead, injured and homeless, causing a psychic after-shock about suffering, poverty, international relations, death, and God. Amidst the pain and chaos, Haitians and the world are seeking to understand and respond to the consequences of this earth shattering event.  In light of Haiti’s turbulent history of colonization, rebellion, corrupt governments, and natural disasters, all people are prompted to ask “Why did this happen?” and “What can be done now?”


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sex and the city

My golden rule for a post-Bush, post-Ike, post-Wall St. life…

Guidance from a homeless man on a beach and Thoreau: disasters, money meltdowns and loss are blessings in disguise

BY VAISHALI — I was talking with a loved one who rode out Hurricane Ike on Galveston Island on the gulf coast of Texas. The Island took a big hit with a 14-foot storm surge, 120 mph winds and torrential rain. As will happen in the aftermath of a storm of this magnitude, a significant amount of the residents’ possessions were destroyed.

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The Great Toaster Lesson

How a prayer circle, and a kitchen fire, led to a powerful Aha! Moment

BY SUEANN JACKSON-LAND — Every other Saturday morning my friend Kim picks me up to join the Elgin Street Mission Breakfast Club, a group comprised of  women who serve food at a local soup kitchen. Our captain is Debbie, an energetic woman I like to describe via her shoes: Keds sneakers colored with Sharpies into left and right rainbows.

Kim, I met at church. She is one of those people who keeps her Christian faith private, although her spirit is always at work. That she didn’t try to coerce me into a volunteer effort made me want to do it all the more.

This past Saturday, only my second time participating, I immediately went to my cereal pouring job because that’s what I knew how to do. I was pouring when our toaster lady, Barb, asked me if I thought the industrial-sized block of hard yellow stuff was butter or margarine?

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28 stories of aids

A book that changed my life: 28 Stories of Aids in Africa

Western apathy about Aids in Africa can be changed into action via personal stories

BY CASSANDRA MINO — Thanks to high profile celebrities such as Bono, and Bill and Melinda Gates, most North Americans are aware that there is an AIDS crisis in Africa. However, I am certain that most people living outside of the continent feel removed from the tragedy and thus can easily overlook the immense devastation that is occurring every day.

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Letter from Galveston: Coping with loss after hurricane Ike

Letter from Galveston: Coping with loss after hurricane Ike

A small business owner writes about returning after the storm

BY SKIP MARTIN — After weaving my way through the maze of road blocks and debris that is Galveston County post-Ike, I finally made it to the Galveston Police checkpoint.  It was more than a week before residents would be allowed to return permanently — just two days after the storm ripped through — and officials were letting property owners back for a five-hour-period that was known as a “look and leave.”

Look, I did. What I saw resembled a city, post-battle. I drove along the causeway past piles of debris — mangled boats, crumpled washing machines, the bloated corpse of a dog. State and National Guard troops, in their crisp BDUs and driving Humvees, were only outnumbered by reporters and news trucks.

As I traveled down Broadway, a main thoroughfare,  I thought how timely the demolishing of the Taco Bell had been. A small victory.

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Prayer Wall: Galveston update: Ike’s moved on, the island is closed

Prayer Wall: Galveston update: Ike’s moved on, the island is closed

The near-category three storm ripped across the Texas gulf coast last night

Gone with the wind: Murdoch’s Bathhouse (1910), The Balinese Room (1929), Hooters (2006). Still standing, we hope, is UTMB’s BioSafety Level Four lab, one of only 13 in the country equipped to experiment with avian flu, hemorrhagic fever and other highly infectious organisms. But how would we ever know? 

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Prayer Wall: Galveston prays for miracles as Hurricane Ike approaches Texas coast

Residents flee storm that recalls the worst natural disaster in American history

BY BEVERLEY WOOD — 9:00 am one fateful Saturday in September, a storm began to make landfall in Galveston, Texas from the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, where it had tossed and turned all night. By 10 o’clock, the severity of the wind had gathered force — and with it, the size and speed of the waves. People began to notice.

The next 14 hours would count more than 6,000 dead in what remains (at least, today) the largest natural disaster in American history. Dateline: Galveston, Saturday September 8, 1900.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 is upon Galveston — and so is Hurricane Ike . . . 

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Byron Katie, “A Thousand Names for Joy” and blowing the spell of 9/11

Byron Katie is a post-modern mystic = someone who has realized an elevated state, and done so in the maelstrom of contemporary American society — incubated totally outside of organized religion, essentially by spontaneous combustion.

With the release of her third book, A Thousand Names for Joy, Katie receives standing ovations usually reserved for rock stars as she tours U.S. cities. But this isn’t an Oprah-ego personality cult. This material is challenging stuff — not feel-good, ratings-boosting melodrama.

An excerpt from the new book: Here is Katie’s way for un-plugging from the pain of 9/11, an American drama that lives in us with the power of a group induction or spell:

I read an interview with a well-known Buddhist teacher in which he described how appalled and devastated he felt while watching the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. While this reaction is very popular, it is not the reaction of an open mind and heart. It has nothing to do with compassion.

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