On Friday, Nov. 6th, the day before the Biden/Harris race was called I spent a day in a deeply meditative state. I live in the NY City metropolitan area and it was a beautiful day. I mostly sat in my backyard in a patch of sunshine musing on the world and seeking a personal sense of balance. I didn’t do anything that day. Well not entirely true, I did a few things, for example I shifted positions a few times to stay in the sun. I grew up in the Puritan based school system which frowned on “doing nothing” as if spending a day not actively achieving anything was somehow wrong, perhaps sinful. For my kids, 30 years after me, it was far worse, codified in hours of homework following a complete school day. And today it’s even harder with afterschool activities (although I must say, to my great pleasure, I have never seen so many children playing on the street in my neighborhood than since this pandemic began.) No wonder Mama Nature is not generally honored. We don’t raise our children to have the time nor space for Her. Continue reading “Election Musings by Janet Maika’i Rudolph”
Let Us Now Practice Her Presence by Barbara Ardinger
I’m giving you a twofer this month: a poem and a ritual. I’m writing this a few days after the latest mass shooting in Texas by a crazy white man and a few days before the next debate by Democratic candidates. But you know what? I’m getting real tired of politics and…well, what’s going on around us. Tweets. Bullets. Fires. I’m a liberal, but I’m deciding that there must be a better definition of “conservative,” one that has nothing to do with politics. The OED defines “conservation” as “the action of conserving; preservation from destructive influences, decay, or waste.” Further down: “conservative: a preserving agent or principle.”
Back in the late 80s and into the 90s, I taught a class I called Practicing the Presence of the Goddess, which evolved into a ritual circle. As far as I know, most of the women in the class are still spiritual feminists (though the term hadn’t been invented then), a couple have died (cancer is an awful thing), and one is fading into dementia (but she still remembers our class). Among other assignments, I asked them to read Carol Christ’s splendid book Laughter of Aphrodite (1987), and once we went as a group to hear Marija Gimbutas speak on her newest book The Civilization of the Goddess (1991).
Continue reading “Let Us Now Practice Her Presence by Barbara Ardinger”
Grasping for Truth, Arriving at Wisdom by Leanne Dedrick
“Quite apart from explicit religious belief, every time that a human being succeeds in making an effort of attention with the sole idea of increasing [her] grasp of truth, [she] acquires a greater aptitude for grasping it, even if [her] efforts produce no visible fruit.” Simone Weil, Waiting For God
I think and write a lot about ‘truth.’ I love truth and I hate truth. I love truth for its security, for its comfort, for its ease at organizing thoughts and feelings and, of course, for its honesty. Relationships are never simple however, and I find that all the reasons I love truth are also the reasons I hate truth. This dichotomy speaks also to the relationship I have with myself; one woman in two worlds, or in other words, an ordinary woman and a philosopher of religion.
Truth is fundamentally tricky in its deceptive simplicity. There are three basic ways the dictionary describes the word truth. The first has to do with a quality – the quality or state of being true. The second references fact – that which is in line with reality. The third becomes more problematic; it includes the language of belief – a fact or belief accepted as true. Continue reading “Grasping for Truth, Arriving at Wisdom by Leanne Dedrick”
A FEMINIST TAOIST VOICE PART 2: MY DIALOGUE WITH ELISA FON, ACUPUNCTURIST, TAOIST, FEMINIST AND FRIEND by Sara Frykenberg
Taoism is a philosophy that, for me, has been around so long because it is meant to move and change with society…
Acupuncturist, healer and friend, Elisa Fon and I began a discussion of Taoism and feminism in Part 1 of this interview. Elisa defined her vision of feminism and Taoism, explained Taoism’s relational and yet, individual emphasis on what is particular in each of our experiences and considered the basic relationship of yang and yin. Part 2 picks up where she and I left off, returning to the discussion of yin, yang and supposed dualisms.
Sara: I was wondering if you could talk a little about the complementarity of yin and yang?
Elisa: In Taoism any type of imbalance should be adjusted. So any major abundance or deficiency of yin or yang would be considered unhealthy. Yin and yang are interrelated: without one aspect of this relationship the other couldn’t exist. Day comes and it brings certain dynamic energy with it: the light is transformed to energy for plants. But night is equally valuable, the nurturing yin, where things fall asleep, heal themselves and prepare to go forward again in the morning. They are considered mutually interchangeable too. If you had an over excess of yin at some point it would actually become yang. It’s a fluid cycle. Like we see in the yin/yang Taiji symbol, there is yin found within yang and yang within yin at all times. Continue reading “A FEMINIST TAOIST VOICE PART 2: MY DIALOGUE WITH ELISA FON, ACUPUNCTURIST, TAOIST, FEMINIST AND FRIEND by Sara Frykenberg”