“No Such Thing As Time!” That’s Just Crazy!

Before you dismiss the idea of time not being the solid thing we all live in – you should hear what philosophers and physicists have to say. If time really is a persistent illusion in which we all live — what Jesus said about staying in the present moment — makes a lot of sense. […]

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I’m a Future-Fixate-er. You?

“Staying present to the moment.” It’s a buzz-phrase in contemplative circles these days. But what does it mean? Does it mean we don’t plan our futures? Does it mean we don’t interpret our pasts? If so, we’re pretty much out of luck. Who can do that? I don’t think it means either of those things. […]

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Staying Current with the Present Moment

We took a break in August, from our lesson series on rethinking prayer (lots of change going on in our community). Today we return. In this lesson, we rehearse some context — why prayers of detachment are so valuable on the spiritual journey. We give this review, as context for one remaining prayer in this lesson — […]

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OK . . . Now What?

Last week we had a community vote to leave our denomination. It was a gutsy thing for the community to do, because in the denomination we were part, the local church doesn’t own the church building. We will be renting back the building for a while, but we’re searching for a new home. As you […]

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Damned if we do . . . Damned if we don’t

Jesus gave us a handful of really straightforward things to do… Love God. Love people. But as long as false identities define the “me” that I think I am, I’ll take off to follow those straightforward things — and screw them up badly. All we have to do, is do the right thing, but do […]

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Some Principles Before We Vote

If you’re part of our community, you know that our denomination is deciding if they will ask us to leave. I (Doug) wrote a book that raised some red flags for them, so they’ll decide soon whether my credentials will be revoked. If that happens, our community will vote to stay or remain in the denomination. […]

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Seriously?! “Sacerdotal?” Come on!

Organized religion has a bad name these days. And religious jargon has an even worse one. So when we hear religious words, we tend to glaze over and shut down. Unless we dig deeply enough to understand what they mean — and where the life and vitality was when the words were first used. So […]

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Penance: It’s Not What You Think

We conclude this rather lengthy lesson on the prayer of confession — the prayer of self-awareness and self-disclosure with this epilogue. If you’ve seen a movie where the the priest finishes confession with an assignment, “say ten hail-Mary’s,” or some such thing, you might have an idea about what penance is. But that’s not really […]

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Making it Safe

We can’t practice the prayer of self-awareness and self-disclosure we’ve been talking about these many weeks — without creating an environment that is safe for doing it. Today’s lesson is about the practical things we must have in place before this transformative prayer practice can work. Have a listen, Doug  

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Addiction: Not Just For Addicts

The 12-step tradition has hard-won wisdom to offer. Turns out, the same dynamics that govern addiction to alcohol, drugs, or the other well-known addictions — govern all of us. The way our brains balance themselves makes over-use of any tool, almost automatic. So, there is much the 12 steps can teach us. Today we talk about […]

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To know ourselves deeply, the questions we ask are really important. Fortunately, our tradition has left us a legacy to help us ask good questions. They are wrapped up in the ancient practice of confession — or as we’ve framed it, the prayer of self-awareness and self-disclosure. Have a listen, Doug  

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There are three steps in the ancient prayer of self-awareness and self-disclosure (confession). Step 1:  We pay attention to our negative emotions Step 2:  We undertake a thorough self-examination Step 3:  We engage forthright self-disclosure The second step is tough! It’s hard to see what is going on in us under the surface. Fortunately, our […]

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It’s Hard to See . . . What We Can’t See

Einstein once said that we can’t solve our problems – with the same level of thinking that got us into them. This highlights the trouble we face when we come to the ancient prayer of self-examination – confession. The second step in this ancient prayer is to undertake a thorough self-examination. The problem is, our minds […]

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A Fearless Moral Inventory? Hmmm. Thank you. No.

We work really hard to keep an internal equilibrium in the face of a deep internal sense of shame. Some of feel the shame, others feel the bravado of confidence we use to keep the shame at bay. Either way, like duck feet under the water, we’re paddling like crazy, to keep our lives moving […]

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