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Tag Archives: Doctrine & Practice

BRIEF: Intro to to concentration meditation

A meditation practice and dharma talk, focusing on concentration meditation, will be given by Brian Gavin at 10 a.m. on Jan. 6.

The brief talk will touch on the history and context of jhana practice in Buddhism, but will be mainly concerned with the personal experience of samatha meditation its benefits in daily life (purification of mind).

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Being Jewish at Christmastime

A recent discussion at my shul, Congregation Emanu-El, introduced me to Sue Fishkoff’s essay “My Family Tree is Loaded with Tinsel.” In this short but insightful piece, Fishkoff cracks open a quiet taboo of American Jewish life: what some Jews do at Christmastime.

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Thank you for this life

This time of the year, I often sit in a place of deep gratitude. Gratitude for life itself, for the opportunity to be present one more day, and for all the gifts that have been bestowed upon me. I work at taking each moment and savoring it, for I don’t know how long I’ll be here to enjoy this thing we call life.

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A dream born…in the nightmare

As I prepared to speak on another Advent Sunday, I cannot believe the similarities of agony and suffering that is told in the passages I was reading and then turning on the news and watching unfold in Connecticut. The beginning of God's reign on earth was in the midst of bloodshed and evil visited upon the most vulnerable and innocent among us: children.

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Senseless Violence

There are no words that will wipe clean the slate of yesterday’s senseless violence in Newtown, Conn. It will go down in our consciousness as a day without explanation, a day of pain and mourning.

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Our nation needs a savior

After what transpired in Newtown, a mere 15 miles from where I live,  it feels surreal thinking about the scheduled Scripture readings that I and others will hear proclaimed this weekend.
At a moment like this, and especially for those who are among or know any of the affected families, it is humanly impossible to believe the words of this week's selections from Zephaniah and Isaiah: "The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior. ... Shout for joy ... Be glad and exult ... No further misfortune to fear ... I am confident and unafraid. ... Sing praise to the Lord for his glorious achievement."

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