Posted on Mar 21st, 2012 by Allison (Bali, Spiritual / Religion, Travel)

I’ve been in Bali almost two weeks, and have had so many rich experiences. You’re probably thinking that nothing could equal my birthday surprise, but you’d be mistaken…

Balinese practice their own unique form of Hinduism. There are over 11,000 temples and more than a million Hindu shrines on the island. My son Brandon will be writing a bit about this on his blog soon.

We expressed an interest in learning more about the rituals and meanings that are such an integral part of Balinese daily life – and so the language school arranged something very special for us.

Along with our tutor, Daniel, to translate, we were going to not only observe, but participate in the Melukat ritual. We had no idea what that was, or what we’d be doing, but we were excited.

Appropriate attire (sarong, belt and sleeved shirt) is required within the temple, and our wonderful staff shared their own sarongs, belts and a beautiful kebaya (top) for Jennifer to wear. We were told to bring a change of clothing, since we may be getting wet.
Read the rest of this entry »

(12) Comments    Read More   
Posted on Jan 2nd, 2010 by Allison (Reviews/Recommendations, Spiritual / Religion)

Have you ever received a natal report?

To be honest, I have never really been into astrology, other than finding the descriptions of the astrological birth signs interesting. I am definitely a Pisces.

My son and mother both have strong Taurus traits. My ex husband was the epitome of a Gemini. In fact, the only person in my life who’s birth sign does not describe her at all is my daughter Ashley who has nearly NO traits of Scorpio. Her birth sign is “Sunshine” :)

The Sky Within Natal Report
Several years ago I discovered The Sky Within natal report.    And although I don’t follow my horoscope or live my life by the stars,  I found the sample report very interesting so ordered one for myself.  I was really quite shocked at how accurate it was – and how insightful.  It was almost like the person writing it knew me on a deep level.

I found it so intriguing that I ended up giving them as gifts to friends that year for Christmas, and have done so for other friends on their birthdays. And virtually every person (Ashley excepted) has had the same reaction – amazement at the accuracy, and appreciation for the personal insight offered.

Journey to the Sky Within While reorganizing my bookshelf, I just came upon my report again and reread it. Still amazing, and a really good read as I spend the weekend envisioning what I would like to do, be, and become in 2010.

If you have a Sky Within birth chart – pull it out and read it again. If you don’t – I recommend you give yourself (or someone else) the report as a gift for the New Year… .

Get your report here.

When you read it, I’d love to know what you think!

(5) Comments    Read More   

As only he can, Stephen Colbert gives the Report treatment to the detention by Mormon church security of a gay couple after they shared a kiss on the cheek while walking through the plaza.

Enjoy.  Unless you’re LDS and homophobic… then I advise you to NOT watch :)

.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Nailed ‘Em – Mormon Church Trespassing
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor U.S. Speedskating

Write up in the SL Tribune indicates the show got permission from the church to film on the property…. but they didn’t specify they’d be shooting a parody of the “kiss incident”…

(12) Comments    Read More   

Last night I was going to post a video showing idiot Glenn Beck comparing volunteerism to Maoism (this guy is such a moron), but decided I didn’t want to give him any voice on my blog.

Instead, I am giving voice to a newly released trailer for an upcoming film about the ballot initiative that eliminated same-sex couples’ right to marry in California.

8: The Mormon Proposition chronicles the religious beliefs and financial contributions that fueled Prop. 8, and it captures the national response that protested the measure. The producer was a journalist in 2008 who did a lot of coverage of Prop 8. When he left his news agency, he began working with the crew that made this documentary.

It makes me sad and angry all over again. But hopeful that change will still come – that compassion, a sense of fair play, and recognition of civil rights will win out.

And if you supported Prop 8, I really don’t want to know about it…. (unless you’re sorry now :) ).

The documentary has been submitted to Sundance and other film festivals. You can read about the film and it’s makers here and read a blog by the director here.

(9) Comments    Read More   
Posted on Oct 17th, 2008 by Allison (Funny Stuff, Spiritual / Religion)

Do Dogs Have Souls?
Catholics v Cumberland Presbyterians

A “church signs” debate, being played out in a Southern town, between a Catholic church and a Presbyterian church.  From top to bottom shows you the response and counter-response over time.

Church Fued

I don’t know if these signs are real (I think it’s unlikely, since the cars are parked in the exact same spot in each picture) but it makes me laugh out loud anyway.  Thanks, Kristin, for passing it along to me….

(8) Comments    Read More   

I’m not lost anymoreFor a couple of years now I’ve been feeling like an outsider because I just haven’t been able to get into Lost, when nearly everyone I know is enthralled.   Or Battlestar Galactica, despite the critial acclaim it receives.    Or Heroes, after the first half of the first season.  Frankly, it has been a bit befuddling.

Well, I think I figured out why I can’t get into “Lost” or “Battlestar Galactica”, etc…   there are 2 reasons – and both play a part in my apathy towards Lost.

1.  Apparently I no longer have the patience for shows that require me to watch each week to keep up with what’s going on.    I want resolution at the end of the hour, so it doesn’t leave me fretting and worrying whether they’ll stop the bomg in time for another week.   I think three thilling seasons of 24 and Alias burned me out.   

2.  When shows have fanatical religious undertones – just COUNT ME OUT.  Lost recently had a “recap” episode where it basically showed you what had happened over the year in a single night and I decided to watch it, to see if I could get pulled into the story.  As soon as that creepy guy (Ben?) and then John Locke got fanatical about the island and killed people because of their “faith” I was totally turned off (despite the eye candy cast).

 In it’s final 2 seasons, one of my favorite shows – Stargate SG1 -  ventured into a an ongoing battle with an opressive, powerful alien race called the “Ori” – who claimed to be gods and sent messengers around preaching religion, promising enlightenment & ascension, and then killing anyone who didn’t agree to follow the path.     “Hallowed are the Ori“.   Oh, Just shoot me now.   Look – they even got CSM (Cigarette Smoking Man) from the X-Files to be one of their creepy priors.  Just as they were about to lose me as a viewer, they thankfully threw in some NON-Ori episodes.   

I’m disturbed enough by the irrational religious fanatics in the real world – I don’t want them to invade my “escape” time as well.

So there you have it.   I guess I’m still an outsider, but at least I know why!

Are there any shows or fads you wish you feel left out of?

(7) Comments    Read More   
Posted on Dec 20th, 2007 by Allison (Spiritual / Religion, Whatever)

Solstice Morning at NewgrangeReligious and family customs shape many holiday rituals, but the beauty of Winter Solstice is that it excludes no one and touches everyone.  After all, who is immune to the changing season, the earth growing cold, the days of dwindling light?  

Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year – and the promise of the earth’s re-birth in the spring.   Modern day traditions, including mistletoe, yule logs, lighting of candles, exchanging gifts, decorating evergreen boughs and caroling are all rooted in this beautiful, ancient holiday.

In Ireland, many gather at Newgrange, 1000 years older than Stonehenge, who’s unique construction captures and directs the morning sunlight on Winter Solstice down a long corridor.  

In fact, for the first time ever, the 2007 Winter Solstice illumination at Newgrange will be available live on the internet and by free to air satellite broadcast – TONIGHT!

The live stream will begin at 8:30 am on 21st and 22nd December 2007. (That’s tonight and tomorrow night at 12:30am PT, 1:30am MT)

Click here to access the webcast

While you’re waiting for the webcast (or if you missed it), here is a  brief quiz about Winter Solstice

Happy Solstice!

(4) Comments    Read More   
Posted on Nov 17th, 2007 by Allison (Spiritual / Religion)

Recently several LDS women collaborated on a response to Relief Society President Beck’s recent “Mothers Who Know” general conference talk in October 2007.  They entitled this documenent What Women Know and published it online today.

One of the women is a friend of mine and sent the document to me for review – and to sign if I so chose.  What they came up with really resonated with me, and I was happy and honored to sign it.  A few of the items that stood out for me:
 

  • I like that this statement affirms and includes all women, not just mothers.
  • I like that it specifically mentions nurturing fathers as well as mothers.
  • I really like that it puts cleanliness into perspective – a luxury and personal choice when one has access to resources.
  • The statement: “anyone who is regularly reminded that she is “equally important” is probably not.”
  • I invite you to visit their site to read this beautiful and affirming declaration, and add your signature if it resonates with you.   Men are also invited to sign. 

    (8) Comments    Read More