Paul Gauguin, Fire Dance (1891) Ritual is to values, ideals, practices and the like as roots are to a tree. When people participate in rituals that engage their bodies, emotions, thoughts and sensations, their brains store memories of those experiences. Over time, as the rituals are practiced repeatedly, they mold
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A conception or vision of the sacred is an anchor and a means of orientation as we navigate through life. In the emotions, that anchor is a sense of meaning. “What does my life mean, and why does my life matter?” These are the questions at the heart of meaning.
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Embracing Life as It Is

Embracing life is accepting all things as they are, enthusiastically and with open arms. It is a way of approaching life, an attitude. If we will not embrace life as it is, then how will we embrace life? And if we do not embrace life, then what will we hold
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Sacred Vows

A vow is an intention. When I looked again at the titles for today and for this Wednesday, the placement of Beethoven’s and Mozart’s most solemn masses under commitment fidelity, not under sacred vows, struck me as peculiar: surely their masses are the finest expressions of the sacred. I admit
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Along with the desire for progress, discontent is a primary emotional force behind change. Major change is unsettling, so an unsettling emotion like discontent may be necessary to overcome inertia and resistance.
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Cycles – Seasons

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity . . . [The Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1.] This model presents both work and rest as values. No one can do them both simultaneously, so which is the preferred value? The question assumes a false choice. No one can
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Positive Emotion

Having a good and healthy outlook on life is an essential element of living well. Positive emotions, such as optimism, joyfulness, kindliness and enthusiasm, set a tone for our lives. Whatever circumstances may surround us, if we can live with positive emotion, we can be happy and we can encourage
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Equal Opportunity – Opportunity In Fact – Economic Justice

Equal opportunity is a legal concept, which has referred to equal access unimpeded by race, ethnicity, religion or any other basis of discrimination except merit. To date, it has not meant true equal opportunity, which would imply an equality of means. For most of the world’s people and for many
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Unity – Cohesion

There is strength in numbers but more than in numbers, in unity or cohesion. When people pull together in common purpose, they reinforce and encourage each other. Each person may bring unique strengths that add to the common endeavor for more than if each person acted alone. When that happens,
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Belonging – Friendship

Much of what we believe is a social construct. In other words, we believe what we believe because the people around us tell us, through their words or actions, to believe it. For thousands of years, human beings have told each other all kinds of things that people know deep
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