In a move to assert their rights in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to bring attention to gender inequalities, Mormon women put out a call to wear pants to church. We may think of women as having achieved parity in many sectors of American society, but in religious institutions women often find themselves caught in the backdraft of ancient traditions and historical precedents.
In my own Jewish tradition, for example, women have found themselves arrested by Israeli police simply for wearing a prayer shawl (talit) while praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In fact, there is nothing in Jewish law that would prevent women from doing this: it’s simply a custom that men in authority don’t like.
This is another example of religious institutions trailing behind other sectors of society in promoting economic and social progress. In the modern world, organized religion has in fact mostly stood as an impediment to the expansion of freedom and to cultural advancement. In contrast, spiritual thought and practice is much more attuned to the unfolding consciousness that is very gradually bringing humanity to a higher state of awareness and living.
Thanks to these Mormon women for helping humanity move forward just a little bit further.
Thinking is a scion of feeling, one of the senses, a metaphorical, symbolic realm filled with the vibrant colors of awareness, the smells of memory, the voices of inspiration, the touch of knowledge, and the light of clarity.
While many (including me) emphasize the religious and spiritual roots of yoga, Tara Stiles takes another approach. She just wants people to do yoga and improve their lives and bodies. She rebels against those teachers who see themselves as gurus. Her goal is to make yoga accessible rather than difficult and total. Deepak Chopra is among her students. I am impressed by her authenticity and determination to simplify this ancient tradition.
This article discusses the effect of exercise on brain chemistry (via Nelson French): http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/phys-ed-why-exercise-makes-you-less-anxious/?emc=eta1
This is intriguing and ties in to all sorts of creative, existential, and spiritual questions as well: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/science/23avatar.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a210
According to some interpreters, the Sistine Chapel paintings contain hidden anatomical sketches
Nicholas D. Kristoff: “The medical establishment has embraced the idea that untested chemicals can cause cancer. It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to address this issue.”
A movement against the rock star model of teaching yoga and an emphasis on practice over star instructors
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