The Least of Us

The Least of Us

"If I’ve learned nothing else in the past fifteen years of inviting the homeless to live with my family, it’s that we’re not here to fix the world. It’s tempting to believe otherwise,.... Evangelicals are the great hope of the world, we’re told. We have the Good News. We’re here to change your life. No, wait, sorry: we get ourselves confused with Jesus all the time."

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Bodhisattva Training

Bodhisattva Training

"To those taught that with enough perseverance and labor, they can shape the world to their will, this insistence that you must accept that-which-is infuriates. You cannot read acceptance as anything other than capitulation, a giving up which is a giving in, a passive resignation. For what is healing that cannot cure illness? What is love that cannot uproot injustice? The options seem stark: be the savior or be the victim. But this is a false dichotomy. If you cannot control outcomes, it isn’t because someone else is doing so in your place, but because no one can. That-which-is is really that-which-is-unfolding-always-already.

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Bloom

Bloom

"My family, by discouraging the religious path, tried to save me from the all-consuming nature of bhakti devotion and knowing my disposition somewhat better now, I think I might have drowned in spiritual study. They would have lost me, in some way. Perhaps. Creating a personal spiritual discipline of practicing meditation, writing with devotion, and attending yoga teachings allowed me to finally connect with my religious tradition in a way that didn’t provoke my mental restlessness and resistance."

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The Greater Jihad

The Greater Jihad

"The three dimensions of Islam include belief, ritual practice, and the effort to improve one’s character (Jihad)—which is perhaps the most misunderstood dimension. Jihad simply translates into ‘struggle’. The ‘greater’ Jihad is this spiritual internal struggle within oneself to improve one’s character. The ‘lesser’ Jihad can be understood as an external struggle in self-defense when attacked."

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To Pray Like a Child

To Pray Like a Child

"But I did not grow up in these rules. So they are esoteric, they are contraband, they are radical, they liberate me from the drudgery of infinite small choices, the burden of meaning-making, the alienating loneliness of being twenty-two, a writer who has stopped writing, knowing the way I have been living is not enough, hungry for a life that touches other lives: not just those who happen to be alive at the same time as me, but those beyond the wall of time—humans, in their bodies, their costumes, made more human to me by the distance between our centuries and the similarities of some mysterious combination of genes and destiny. "

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Of Flesh and Spirit

Of Flesh and Spirit

"A person so close to the veil would feel the energy tethering him between the earth and his being, and between his being and the divine. And why wouldn’t that energy temporarily obliterate his pain and crack him open like a sorcerer’s stone through the most sublime release the human body can experience?"

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