Turning the Soil of Soul: Ritual as Celebration » Nature’s Path

Turning the Soil of Soul: Ritual as Celebration  » Nature’s Path

What happens when we explore ritual beyond the divide between “magic” and “religion”? The third way, the way of celebration…

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The Choice Between Freedom and Love

The Choice Between Freedom and Love

How much do I allow my life to be governed by my decisions about how the world and how people “ought to be,” and how I “ought to behave”? How open am I to making real choices, on a daily basis, facing up to the potential within every single moment to integrate love and free will, and to respond to the diversity and interconnection of an ever-shifting and always surprising reality? This is what I thought about as I walked in the woods this morning.

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Relishing Choice: How Not To Be An Ass

Relishing Choice: How Not To Be An Ass

When faced with a decision, we are practically obsessed with separation and loss. When we embrace choice, we shift our focus from loss to enjoyment, from separation to engagement. To choose is to express not only our freedom, but also our joyful and sensual embodiment in the world. Every choice is a new opportunity.

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What’s Good for the Bird is Good for the Herd: Cooperation at Oregon’s Malheur Wildlife Refuge

What’s Good for the Bird is Good for the Herd: Cooperation at Oregon’s Malheur Wildlife Refuge

One of the most insidious ideas that environmentalists and animists alike continue to struggle against is the belief that to be pro-environment is to be automatically anti-human. But social and environmental justice are not (and never have been) separate issues. The success of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, and the resiliency of its community in the face of adversity, can provide us with a real-life example of how principles of cooperation, commitment and trust can help us nurture meaningful, healthy relationships in the more-than-human community.

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Even Mindy Kaling Cries: Why The World Needs Imperfect Women

Even Mindy Kaling Cries: Why The World Needs Imperfect Women

I have a few principles that I try to embody in my work as a writer, and I take them very seriously. One of them is, as Gandhi said, to “be the change that I wish to see in the world.” One change I wish to see in the world is an internet culture in which we rejoice in sharing the things we truly value most, the things that bring us the greatest joy and laughter, that stop us in our tracks with their beauty or poignant vulnerability or deep-rooted truth. I wish more people put as much energy into telling the world what they love and why, as they do complaining about what they dislike.

So I try not to complain. When I am drowning in grief or writhing from injustice, I try to own up to it as best I can and turn it into something beautiful, something that has meaning. Or at least something funny.

But sometimes it’s hard. Really, really hard.

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The Welcoming Wild: Community for Introverts and Animists

The Welcoming Wild: Community for Introverts and Animists

An animist is never alone, not really. But if the world is so full of people, then where does that leave me, your friendly neighborhood introvert? There are days when the more I hang out with people, the lonelier I feel. What is it that the natural world offers that I cannot get from my fellow human beings?

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Mystery of the Many: In Silence and Song » Nature’s Path

Mystery of the Many: In Silence and Song » Nature’s Path

The second installment of my UU-Pagan series, The Mystery of the Many: In Silence and Song, goes live today over on the Patheos CUUPS blog! In it, I tackle a topic I’ve long been pondering: how polytheistic mysticism differs from the ways we usually talk about the divine mystery and the purpose of spiritual community in a mostly-monotheistic Western culture. My lived experience of progressive values leads me to the conclusion that it is not a unity of agreement that we are seeking, but the freedom to disagree in a multitude of astounding and beautiful ways, each seeking our own paths.

How do we cultivate spiritual community in the face of this diversity? I think UU offers some surprising alternative approaches….

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A Winter Homecoming

A Winter Homecoming

“It’s funny how family can bring you back to yourself because they know you so well and for so long, they treat you as if you were always just the same. Which is exactly what can drive you out of yourself, too, after a while. Because of course, you’re not.”

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The Myth of the Neutral Tool: An Animist’s Thoughts on Guns (And Other Ordinary Things)

The Myth of the Neutral Tool: An Animist’s Thoughts on Guns (And Other Ordinary Things)

It has happened again. In fact, it is still happening, even now. If not here, then somewhere, in this country, in this world. There is almost no end to it. There is almost no space between one moment and the next, between the pain and the noise it makes.

What do we do now?

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The Killing Blow: A Poem

The Killing Blow: A Poem

In times of grief and sorrow, when even a hundred thousand words will not do, I turn to the aching brevity of poetry…. This poem was originally published February 17, 2011, and though it may be unseasonable for the time of year, there are days even in the dreary depths of autumn when we need to remember the coming spring.

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