Hollywood Reporter and Foreign Policy

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Every Home a Sanctuary Home

I recently posted this on the New Buddhist and Methodist Church site. Thought I’d also post it here.  Would like to know what you think…


The Quakers sent me a neat poster this week with the words, “Sanctuary Everywhere.” Made me think I wanted to hang it in my window.

Our local Unitarian Church recently offered sanctuary to a local woman – from Peru—whose application for residency had been—has been—held up by government inefficiency and narrow-mindedness, and a deportation order had been issued. I really admire the Unitarians. 98% of the congregation voted to open their Church to such use.

I wish that our whole city would become a sanctuary city, but the mood is not here yet, the understanding, the compassion is not here yet.  The independence. The bravery. read more

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Turn Off the NFL?

This whole “taking a knee” deal got me thinking…. So I wrote this for our Writers With No Borders Blog.  Would be interested in your feedback…. Bear

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More Sandals on the Ground: A Buddhist Methodist Solution in Afghanistan

“An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.”—Thomas Paine  

I admit that for me, to pray for our Minority President and his generals and their approach to Afghanistan– —to meditate such that I can think of them and their plans without losing my peace—this presents  a Mt. Everest- size challenge.  Nevertheless, as a practicing Buddhist Methodist, this is my challenge. read more

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My Problem with Trump Is Gandhi

“Our resistance is never against a particular person. It is always  against an unjust, unfair  and dehumanizing system”– Gandhi

Gandhi can be a very irritating guy, even here almost 70 years after his death. The dude keeps reminding us – – not only reminding but insisting on – – the higher path, when the lower path is so much easier, and the path almost all of our friends and colleagues  are currently following.  As Winston Churchill might have said, ”Gandhi would you just shut the hell up and go home?”

It’s easy to demonize Trump, the Boy Bully. He brings it on himself. What Gandhi taught is ahimsa,which means nonviolence, or non-reactivity, non-playing that game, not violently reacting, mentally,emotionally or  physically to Trumps persistent violent tweets and acts.   Gandhi would have us not play the Boy Bully’s game, which the Bully has mastered over a lifetime.  and instead continue to persistently express, in spite of the headwinds, whatever wisdom, patience, determination, love that we can muster.

Gandhi became a symbol for a sane and creative life force that is within all of us – – a force that is all inclusive, which is ever practical, simple, yet unstoppable. He called that force ahimsa. He rallied hundreds of millions of people around the single cause of self-determination, freedom from a foreign power.

The Boy Bully acts like a foreign power, a foreign occupier, relative to the values that most Americans hold (even most of those who were led to vote for him.)  If we are to rally, we must learn to rally , as Gandhi—and Bernie Sanders– showed was possible,  around ahimsa, the gentle, sweet, unstoppable, ever sane, ever rational life force that is ever evolving to higher and higher expression of balance, justice, inclusiveness, openness, respect, and good humor, with just a touch of the coyote trickster.

Let’s remember, and constantly remind each other: the majority of the people did not vote for the Boy Bully. So we are legitimately empowered to resist, block, dodge,  undermine and in other ways disregard his attempts to make us demonize anybody, anybody at all. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be to not demonize him

Gandhi resisted making any person the “enemy” because he said everybody was, before they were anything else, a child of God.  We might or might not agree, but we can modify that insight and agree that  we are each, before anything else, simply another child of the earth, or a child of the sun, or simply another bumbling human being who by birth is part of the human family. (See, doesn’t Gandhi get irritating when he reminds us of this stuff?)

The trouble with our resistance to Trump is the successful example Gandhi set. Gandhi encourages us to  take up ahimsa, and by doing so let the air out of the Boy Bully’s  consistently divisive puffery, whenever and wherever he lets it loose. We’re the majority here. This should be easy.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty”.—Mahatma Gandhi

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