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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

What the church does with its creeds and its doctrinal tradition, it flattens out all the images and metaphors to make it fit into a nice little formulation and then it’s deathly. So we have to communicate to people, if you want a God that is healthier than that, you’re going to have to take time to sit with these images and relish them and let them become a part of your prayer life and your vocabulary and your conceptual frame. Which, again, is why the poetry is so important because the poetry just keeps opening and opening and opening whereas the doctrinal practice of the church is always to close and close and close until you’re left with nothing that has any transformative power.
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~Walter Brueggeman,

His entire conversation with Krista Tippett is riveting. "The Prophetic Imagination," a good episode to listen to this time of year.

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It is a busy time at the Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Istanbul. People gather outside its walls each night to break the fast with friends and family. Ramadan is soon coming to a close. Meanwhile, this man has a lot of square footage to cover. Back and forth he goes over the crimson carpets in the mosque with his household vacuum.
Photo and text graciously submitted by Peter Speiser

It is a busy time at the Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Istanbul. People gather outside its walls each night to break the fast with friends and family. Ramadan is soon coming to a close. Meanwhile, this man has a lot of square footage to cover. Back and forth he goes over the crimson carpets in the mosque with his household vacuum.

Photo and text graciously submitted by Peter Speiser

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There is something very comforting about ritual. I have friends who go to church or sit at the Zen center. I respect that. The ritual of writing fills that need for me. Writing has been a kind of spiritual devotion for me. Listening to language, feeling stories unfold and poems arrive, being present to the page – I do not think of it as a career, I think of it as a devotion. That is a big difference to me.
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Naomi Shihab Nye, from her interview with Kim Rosen in Spirituality & Health magazine in which she talks about the writing life, ecumenism, and the virtue of kindness.

(h/t DailyGood)

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smithsonianmag:

Photo of the Day: “Joining hands together is the ultimate symbol of unity. Devotees come together and try to form a human pyramid to break a clay pot containing curd on the eve of the Hindu festival of “Janmashtami.”
Photo by: Sudeep Mehta (Mumbai, India).

What an absolutely brilliant composition.

smithsonianmag:

Photo of the Day: “Joining hands together is the ultimate symbol of unity. Devotees come together and try to form a human pyramid to break a clay pot containing curd on the eve of the Hindu festival of “Janmashtami.”

Photo by: Sudeep Mehta (Mumbai, India).

What an absolutely brilliant composition.

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trentgilliss:

Chag Sameach, y’all. This photo of the lulav and etrog from Matthew Septimus’ “Greetings from Zucotti Park” series remains with me to this day. During his preparations for Sukkot, the young, observant Jew stopped down to show his solidarity for the Occupy Wall Street in October 2011 and had such a happy, . 

trentgilliss:

Chag Sameach, y’all. This photo of the lulav and etrog from Matthew Septimus’ “Greetings from Zucotti Park” series remains with me to this day. During his preparations for Sukkot, the young, observant Jew stopped down to show his solidarity for the Occupy Wall Street in October 2011 and had such a happy, . 

Photo by Matthew Septimus

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Cancer made me feel completely misunderstood and out of place, but it also made me more self-aware. It gave me a new perspective on the world, helping me appreciate simple dialogues with loved ones and strangers. Above all, it was transformative and empowering, giving the knowledge that only an experience like this could impart: to know what it means to be empathetic. This is my story of Tisha B’Av.

The first word for cancer to appear in medical literature, back in the time of Hippocrates around 400 BCE, was karkinos, from the Greek word for crab; it’s a linguistic coincidence, but to me it seems connected to the similar-sounding word kinos, the elegies for Tisha B’Av. Since that hour on my bed at camp three summers ago, I have searched for the notebook where I wrote my own kinos and filled pages with my own pain, but I haven’t found it. Maybe like the old Jewish custom to bury the books of kinos deep in the ground, in the hopes of not needing to use them the following year (with the rebuilding of the Temple), I buried them somewhere deep in my room. What I feared then as my life’s end, like the Temples’ destruction, turned out to require of me the courage to begin again.

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Raffi Leicht, from her powerful piece in Tablet Magazine, "How Tisha B’Av Helped Me Heal"

If you read one thing today, be sure it’s this contemplative personal history of a young, observant Jewish student who says that “cancer, and a year of chemotherapy, gave me a new perspective on Jewish holidays — starting with Tisha B’Av.”

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Through the initial physical challenge of the fast, the soul is agitated and its level of maturity is tested. In this way, the physical fast is a means to an inner, spiritual fast. The fast ultimately reveals to you everything that comes between you and Allah s.w.t., every tendency to break down and lapse out of trust in Allah s.w.t. when placed under pressure. How you respond to this discomfort determines the degree of success of your spiritual fast.
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Ilyas al Kashani, on the purification of the fast (sawm) during Ramadan

(h/t Maryam Eskandari)

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On Tisha B’Av, a family reads Lamentations at the synagogue Kehilat Moreshet Avraham in East Talpiot, Jerusalem.
(Photo by Brian Negin/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

On Tisha B’Av, a family reads Lamentations at the synagogue Kehilat Moreshet Avraham in East Talpiot, Jerusalem.

(Photo by Brian Negin/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

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Axios!?

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

While watching this short video clip of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople ordaining Metropolitan Elpidophoros Lambriniadis to be the bishop of Bursa, you can hear the participants exclaim Axios! But what does it mean? It’s a Greek word (ἄξιος) that translates to mean something akin to “He is worthy!” and is shouted during the ordination of Eastern Orthodox bishops.

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Many who were circumcised
And versed in Jewish lore.
Perhaps the Germans have forgotten
For they are there no more.
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Rabbi David Wolpe

This is the final stanza from the L.A.-based rabbi’s poem in the Washington Post in which he responds to Germany’s decision to ban circumcisions. Stinging words.

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Serpent handlers, like other Christians, have chosen something to emphasize. Over the course of two thousand years, others have chosen the precise nature and identity of Christ, the proper understanding and practice of the Eucharist, the correct way to baptize, the proper way to organize a church, which day of the week to call the Sabbath, and any number of other things as the sine qua non of being a true Christian, and in each case some other Christians have regarded that defining center of faith as ‘adiaphora’ — something indifferent.
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Mack Wolford + KateSeth Perry, excerpted from his commentary "Adiaphora and the Dark Extremes of an Eccentric Faith"

How do we respect the depth of a Christian snake handler’s faith — and talk about it without caricaturing or lauding his life?

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Tea + Ink: The Empty Space Inside the Mountain

by Dorothée Royal-Hedinger, guest contributor

An intimate portrait of ex-Yugoslavian émigré artist Slobodan Dan Paich, Silent Crescendo follows his daily ritual of creating simple drawings with tea and ink. In response to the modern pace of the art scene, Slobodan has embraced these fluid works of art to express his searching approach to life.


Dorothée Royal-HedingerDorothée Royal-Hedinger is a producer at the Global Oneness Project, which produces and distributes films, media, and educational materials that challenge people to rethink their relationship to the world and connect them to our greater human potential. She lives in San Rafael, California.

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todaysdocument:

Tap, Ball Tap, Hop, Shuffle, Tap!
National Tap Dance Day is celebrated every year on May 25th, which is the birthday of American Tap Dancer and actor, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Poston, Arizona. A young evacuee of Japanese ancestry entertains her fellow evacuees with a demonstration of her tap dancing ability. This was one number in an outdoor musical show.
Francis Stewart, photographer.  From the Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority


It’s Friday. It’s Memorial Day weekend. Lay it down!
~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

todaysdocument:

Tap, Ball Tap, Hop, Shuffle, Tap!

National Tap Dance Day is celebrated every year on May 25th, which is the birthday of American Tap Dancer and actor, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Poston, Arizona. A young evacuee of Japanese ancestry entertains her fellow evacuees with a demonstration of her tap dancing ability. This was one number in an outdoor musical show.

Francis Stewart, photographer.  From the Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority

It’s Friday. It’s Memorial Day weekend. Lay it down!

~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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Counting the Omer in the Modern Day

by Susan Leem, associate producer

Barley in the fieldPhoto by Kwan C./Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0

"From the day after the day of rest — that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving — you are to count seven full weeks, until the day after the seventh week; you are to count fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to Adonai."Leviticus 23:15-16

The same evening that 40,000 Orthodox Jews gathered for a rally to consider the dangers of the Internet (and its responsible use), an email from a local conservative synagogue arrived in my inbox to remind me of a ritual for observant Jews to count the Omer. The email message notes which day of the Omer should be counted after sundown, and comes with a prayer written both in English and in Hebrew. You can also get an app for it, follow reminders from Twitter @CountTheHomer, or read the daily prayers via your RSS feed.

The counting of the Omer, also known as the mitzvah of Sefirat Ha’Omer, is a period of spiritual renewal starting from the second night of Passover and ending with Shavuot — the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the Israelites. For each night of these seven weeks, Jews are commanded to count from the day on which the Omer (a unit measure of barley) is offered at the Temple. The ritual begins after sundown by reciting a blessing and then saying the appropriate day of the count.

This tradition has been described as a mindfulness practice, and there is a philosophical debate about whether one should count down the days, or count up. A cancer patient proposes that counting toward the Omer can provide you with a hopeful future orientation.

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