In Buddhism we believe that all beings are bound to samsara. Samsara is what non-Buddhists understand as reincarnation. So long as one doesn’t achieve spiritual enlightenment, one’s continually reborn in samsara, over and over again, and for Buddhist practitioners, the goal is to escape from this cycle, to achieve supreme Buddhahood, which is nirvana. More
Catholics of a certain age grew up hearing the Mass only in Latin. But since the 1960s, priests have been allowed to say the Mass in Latin only with the permission of their bishop. The Vatican is now loosening those restrictions, so the Latin Mass may soon become more widely available.
The question of whether to ordain gay clergy has challenged and divided many denominations, including Conservative Jews. The Orthodox strongly oppose gay ordination, but reform Jews accept it. Now, the Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has recommended that Conservative seminaries should be allowed to admit gays.
By some estimates, the number of children in this country being taught at home is well over a million and may be approaching two million. Yet in some states there is very little or no government oversight of what the kids are learning, which is just the way most home school parents want it. More
This year, almost three million Muslims are making the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It’s considered one of the five fundamental obligations of Islam. An estimated 15,000 Muslims from the U.S. traveled last year, and considerably more were expected this year. Imam Shaker Elsayed of the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Virginia has been on many hajjes. He went again this year and agreed to discuss the journey. More
In northern California, Rabbi Alan Lew encourages Jews to borrow from the Buddhist tradition of meditation to enhance their practice during the High Holidays and all year round. Says Lew, “what really makes Jewish prayer powerful is something inexpressible, and meditation really sensitizes you to the inexpressible.” More