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Yeah, you're not surprised the Hebrew God had a wife, Ashera. She was pretty much edited out. Interesting new finds from Discovery.

It is weird stuff like this makes me so happy? ;-)
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What the heck does it mean to 'minister'?

Are those duties different than those of a priest/ess?

I have a couple half-formed ideas (and have checked a website or two), but would like to hear others' thoughts. I've been encountering the word in pagan contexts lately.
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A couple of my fellow spirituality/religion junkies might appreciate this.

What Did Jesus Do? From The New Yorker.

I enjoyed reading a critical/historically informed consideration of Christianity as presented in a number of new books, from the dual Jesus/Christ personas, different needs of different times, to the failure of 'world ending very soon' in creating the myriad Christianity of today.
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Pagan... Buddhist... Christian... Moslem... there is room for all, with a shared heart of compassion. That makes sense to me. ! 
http://charterforcompassion.org/  There are six short videos on compassion from different perspectives that I'm looking forward to watching.

Interestingly, this is associated with TED.
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Peter Toscano. Amazing Christian view on transgender. If you're interested in the topic, watch the video.

I'm not Christian, but wow, I know a lot of folks have suffered around the intersection of that religion and their gender identity.
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A great post on why 'trans woman' not 'transwoman' (or trans man).  

Plus, a new word which explains clearly a concept I've always had a hard time articulating: gender dissonance. Not the same as the traditional psychological term 'dysphoria', which is about an internal response to external conditions, but instead actually about the inner discomfort that comes from having an internal sense of self which doesn't match one's own physical body. It has always bugged me that the established model talked about the discomfort trans people experience as having its origins in what other people think, as the major factor, rather than the internal 'this isn't me' experience. !

I am thankful to the people doing this work and sharing their insights. 

The post will be useful for my not-sermon, too.

Reminds me of another intriguing bit... I went to a Buddhism panel at Furcon. One person spoke of a trans friend who opted to 'stay with' their discomfort rather than actually transition (and managed to do so). I don't doubt one could learn interesting things on that path as well. Obviously not my choice, but.... interesting.
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really interesting article in the NYT about science relating to perceptions of being out of one's body and such

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from Rob Brezsney's Astrology Newsletter

re what astrology is/isn't:
Today, astrology is not a science. It's a symbol system. When used with
integrity, it engenders poetic approaches for deepening one's connection
to life's great mysteries, not predictions of literal events. It's meant to
open our minds to the mythic patterns that underlie the surface-level
interpretations of what we're all about, not compete with scientists'
rational, logical analyses of why things are the way they are.

re recurring pain:

Describe your signature pain. What is the nature of the torment that
chronically upsets you most?

This is the first step in graduating from the No Pain, No Gain School of
Tortured Progress. You can't be healed unless you name the tweaked
karma that needs to be healed.

Step #2: Figure out what it is about your problem that's so appealing.
Consider the possibility that you have it at least in part because it
perversely entertains you or keeps you from being bored.

Meditate on the theory that maybe you unconsciously don't want to give
up your dilemma because it prevents you from reaching lofty goals you're
too afraid or timid or lazy to strive for.

Contemplate the notion that you're secretly proud of your distress--that
it's so interwoven with your identity that you wouldn't feel like yourself if
you had to live without it. Do you ever find yourself bragging to others
about the difficulties you have to endure? Are they essential to the
construction of your self-image?

Consider the possibility that you use your nagging agony as an attention-
getting device, or as a way to gather love. Isn't it true that some people
are more likely to shower you with sympathy when you're miserable than
when you're blandly well-adjusted?

Muse on the seductiveness of your hurt, and on all the unacknowledged
reasons that maybe you are attracted to it and hesitate to give it up.

Step #3: Simply feel your suffering. Don't judge it or repress it. Don't
come up with reasons about how it's beneath you to feel it or how you
should be over it by now or how you can't believe you still let it have so
much power over you. Let the pain ripple and flow. Allow it to break your
heart apart. Give it room to wail its truths. Marvel at the fullness of the
emotions it stirs.

Step #4: Leaving all your preconceptions behind, meditate on what
lessons your pain is asking you to master. How is it inspiring you to grow
in directions you've been unable to accomplish by any other means?

Step #5: Put yourself in a state of mind wherein you can feel gratitude for
your pain. Be thankful for its teachings, for its chewy mystery, for its
command that you build a soul resilient enough to do the work you came
to Earth to carry out.
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This liberal commercial is not being shown by the major networks. From Americablog.com.
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I love it when teachers are really simple and clear. :-)

As part of my daily life, I slouch a LOT. I learned to be comfortable that way as a kid... I did an awful lot of my homework and reading for fun slouched in my bed. I think it would be good for me to slouch less (yes, this is related to the article... the idea that posture is related to breath is related to mind), but I literally do it all the time. I haven't come up with an approach that isn't totally overwhelming (read, impractical). Have a great idea, let me know!


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September 2011

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