Homage to An Inner Voice: Remembering Pelle Andersson

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Introduction

It was one of the last Friday afternoons of the school year in June and I was relieved to put another one in the books, marking the countdown to summer holidays – and that’s when the email arrived. The Waveworks staff informed me and their patients that Pelle Andersson, a naturopath practitioner who had changed my life, had passed away. (Later I learned that he had died of cancer that he had quietly and valiantly tried to heal through conventional and alternative means.) Pelle at 46 – I thought he was in his 30’s – was not only the healthiest person I knew, but his bioresonance therapy and advice had moved me from a state of chronic sickness to progressively vibrant health. I attended his funeral the following Tuesday not knowing who would show up, only to find St. John’s Cathedral nearly filled with many of his patients who also came to pay their last respects to him. Continue reading

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How to Search for A Meaningful Life: Introducing the Tripartite Heart

Image result for meaning in the universeDear Students,

When it comes down to it, for all your hard work that will support an affluent lifestyle, I think that most of you would agree that ultimately happiness comes down to creating a meaningful life. And what that means long-term, I think you would say, is strong family relationships, an active social life, and a job that is not only stimulating and pays well, but somehow contributes something to the world. Continue reading

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What’s Wrong with Christianity? Reflections on a Buddhist-Inspired Christian Retreat

IMG_20170702_100046030_HDRThis is the majestic Christ Church in Dublin, Ireland, one of many architectural treats from Europe’s Christian heritage that I enjoyed this summer. However, with so many European churches feeling more like museums than vibrant centers of community life, my trip to the U.K. also made me think more deeply about what needs to be done to revitalize the Christian faith. 

Introduction

Where have we gone wrong? That’s the question that came to me this summer in Edinburgh, Scotland, where I discovered that church attendance has dropped from 75% in 1900 to 3% now? This question only deepened as I then headed to Dublin, Ireland, a deeply rooted Catholic city in which cynicism of the church is rampant. An article in a Dublin newspaper during my stay announced that there will be not enough priests to fill local parish vacancies in the coming two or three years. Continue reading

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Stop, Breathe, and Be: Re-Envisioning the Practice of Prayer

IMG_20170706_173240188_BURST000_COVER_TOPThe Sanctuary,” a retreat center in Dublin, Ireland, provided the venue for my recent Mindfulness in Schools Program “Dot B” workshop, a secular mindfulness training course which paradoxically provided me with a new understanding of prayer. We did some of our mindfulness practices together during the workshop in this intimate, bright chapel setting.  Continue reading

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Purity, Faith, and Fidelity: An Experience-Based Reinterpretation

img_20170622_153115879_hdr.jpgIntroduction

It was Sunday morning of the final day of our 5-day retreat Image result for divine milieuat Holy Isle, Scotland, studying the work of French paleontologist and Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin, as seen through the eyes of spiritual teacher Cynthia Bourgeault. She had led us through Teilhard’s understanding of the three most important Christian virtues – purity, faith, and fidelity – which he describes in his most personally reflective book, The Divine Milieu. She then turned to us and suggested that this was our task – to define these for ourselves. Continue reading

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The Global Gifts of Protestant Scotland and its Future Challenges

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Two opposing forces remain forever memorialized on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The Giles Cathedral, where Protestant Reformation leader John Knox delivered impassioned sermons, represents the Christian heritage of Scotland, while the great rationalist skeptic David Hume holds down a strategic position along this famed street. This entry shares a snapshot of the great gifts that Protestant Scotland gave to the world, but also brings attention to the fact that today David Hume’s philosophy, rather than the church speaks for the vast majority of those living the Edinburough, the cultural capital of Scotland.

“Much of what we take for granted in Scotland today, such as the free national education system, the National Health Service, human rights and modern democracy, came about from Christian movements of the past.”

– Paul Griffiths, Famous Lives in Edinburgh, 16. Continue reading

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Teaching Teilhardian Hope in Hong Kong: A Response to Cynthia Bourgeault’s “Teilhard for Troubled Times”

Image result for heart of christ stained glassMore than two years ago Episcopalian priest andImage result for teilhard de chardin spiritual teacher Cynthia Bourgeault named 2015 the “Year of Teilhard,” encouraging study of the work of 20th century French paleontologist and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955). Over the last month Cynthia has written three blog entries for the Omega Center entitled “Teilhard for Troubled Times,” which can be read below my reflections. The Center requested a response to the three blogs, which I have posted below.  

I write as a high school humanities teacher who for more than 25 years has been on a quest to find what power in education really means in the international setting of Hong Kong. My starting point, then, in response to Cynthia’s reflections on Teilhard, is that her comments address arguably the biggest cosmological question of all: where do we find hope?  Continue reading

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