Thanks for the Miseries

In a deep and profound sense, trouble and problems are the very best thing that could happen to us. It is rare in my experience to have anyone give thanks for their trouble at the time it is happening. Most of us have been conditioned to move toward being freed of all our distresses and our troubles and ills. […]

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Meeting the Buddha

The religious imagination is a wonderful companion for daily living. Imagine my shock when I had a startling twinned Buddha-encounter at 10,700 feet in China – and such insights sort of keep on happening. I can hardly believe it myself. Cynthia Johnson, a retired Unitarian Universalist minister who served UU congregations in Texas and Oklahoma, joined […]

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“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better.”  – Georg C. Lichtenberg Research shows that civility, if embraced by one person, and then another, and then a few more, can suddenly and profoundly impact the community in […]

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Saying Yes to Everything

Rev. Phil Sweet & Friends (Angela Lensch, Bob Bultman, Keith Koch, David Smirz) While traveling in India, Joseph Campbell met with Sri Krishna Menon, a renowned Hindu teacher. Menon asked him if he had a question. Indeed Campbell did. “Since in Hindu thinking all is Brahman, all is a product of divine energy, no matter how […]

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Bringing Shame Out Into the Light

Shame can often mold and shape us.  If can make us believe things that are not true about ourselves.  If we keep our shame hidden and in the dark it will always have power over us.  But what if we dragged our shame out into the light?  What if we chose not to let it […]

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Messages from Mystics

Upon seeing this title some of you may be thinking, “Are you putting us on? This is 2015 and we are a UU Fellowship, not a monastery or convent.  You can’t be serious…are you?”  I am serious. Maybe, just maybe, we might be both surprised and reminded of a few worthwhile thoughts and practices. Dick […]

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“One World at a Time!”

Some describe paradise as being idyllic and someplace else – whether left behind in the myths of our origins or awaiting us in stories of an afterlife. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s death bed words — “One world at a time!” — we will look for the glimpses of paradise to be found in the […]

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There are five primary responses to conflict.  All of us use all five of them in different contexts and for different reasons.  Our politicians, however, use a particular response to conflict as their dominant response to disagreements, in political campaigns, and during legislative debates.  It is this response, which they use so ubiquitously and so […]

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Thomas Cahill and his “Hinges of History”

Twenty plus years ago Thomas Cahill began a series of seven volumes on the history of western civilization. First came How the Irish Saved Civilization, followed by The Gifts of the Jews, Desire of the Everlasting Hills (Christianity), Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea (ancient Greece), Mysteries of the Middle Ages, and Heretics and Heroes (Renaissance and […]

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The Last Move

This is a message of experience as I recently drove from Jacksonport in Door County to Mystic in Connecticut to move some of my personal belongings. During this four day trip I drove through seven states, all with varying views of our society, and all with various experiences ranging from climate change understanding, a history […]

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