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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, April 29

A woman joins the ranks of Orthodox Judaic rabbis. We take a look at funerary rites in Hinduism. And a Zoroastrian temple is erected in New York. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religious communities from around the globe! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, April 8

We take a look at one of Iraq's most elusive religious minorities. Hindus gather for worship along the Ganga River in an annual ritual. And Muslims in the West stand up to religious violence. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, March 25

A Sikh woman takes pride in her religion and her body despite intolerance. Muslims take lessons in self-defense during a rise tide of racism and Islamophobia. And Ruism (aka Confucianism) experiences a resurgence in China. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, March 18

A Tibetan nun speaks out on the role of women in Buddhism and the world generally. A Christian writer explores the appeal of H.P. Lovecraft. And the London community of Saivite Hindus from Sri Lanka is explored in depth. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, March 11

What does Hinduism have to say about same-sex marriage? What's it like living as a black Muslim in America? And is the name Confucianism really a misnomer for the ancient Chinese religion and philosophy? It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, March 4

We take a look at the pre-Christian beliefs of the Mari people in Russia. A progressive Christian discusses their feelings about the afterlife. And Buddhist writer Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche explains the conversion process for his religion. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly news segment about religious communities and faiths around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Everything is Free Now: More on Austerities

I find it interesting how resistant many people are about the concept of (voluntary) austerity.  It's a concept that pre-dates Christianity by a whole lot which is another Hindu/Christian crossover.  When I was Catholic, I did Lenten austerities very half-assedly but I was also a teenager and it was explained to me as suffering to be more like Jesus (pass) vs a way to win the eternal undying devotion of my partner of choice, even if he is a god  (Yes!  Finally!  TELL ME WHAT TO DO AND I WILL DO IT!  Scott Rainer, you will not be safe from my affections!).  Note in Catholicism, that's not even the best explanation in my opinion, it's done to set an intention of course, we're all just trying to get somewhere when doing austerities, you know?  Manifest our intentions, burn off things we've done that we personally feel badly about (I'm not necessarily into sin per se but if you think you've never done anything wrong in life and/or feel badly about then we're at an impasse, you know?), be our best selves essentially.

Because it's so easy to lose the thread of what is your best self in daily life.  We're so busy fighting - traffic, homework, waiting on line for the grocery store, with each other, with ourselves.  We exhaust ourselves until all we have left in us is the parts that are cranky and cross, feeling like there's no more to give.  Your best self isn't necessarily your true self, for the record.  Your true self is full of selfish assholic tendencies where you feel justified not doing crap you don't want to do or doing crap you know you have no business doing.  Your true self is a jerk.  Believe me, I spent a lot of time as my true self and it was not good.  Your best self wants to be kind to people you love, wants to be helpful to people you feel called to help, wants to give without expectation.  Not always, not to everyone because that's how you get bitter, when you've given everything away.  Jow and I will say that to each other, when one is being snarky and bitchy and we can feel an argument at the periphery.  Was that really your best self?  Really? And usually you don't even realize you've gotten off track and have started acting unpleasantly so usually it startles you back to being present in yourself and you said, no it wasn't and you try to pull your shit together enough to not be completely miserable for the other person to be trapped in a car with.   

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