Often counsellors and psychotherapists view religion as a problem, if not the problem. In this Health article from GOLDENROOM we uncover why faith is not only reconcilable with psychotherapy but why it is at its essence. And why the exploration of self may be the essence of religion
This weekend is a special celebration for our friends in America and for American expats. Thanksgiving celebrates both a successful harvest and the settlement of pilgrims in America, and is celebrated by other countries around the world too. However this year is a particularly special Thanksgiving, or Thanksgivukkah as it is now being coined because it coincides with the first day of the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. This is because of the rare coincidence between the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar, creating in essence a double holida
While foodies on www.buzzfeed.com have delighted in celebrating Thanksgivukkah with “How to Celebrate Thanksgivukkah, the Best Holiday of All Time,” by offering combinations of traditional recipes like Manischewitz-brined turkey with challah apple stuffing and latkes with cranberry applesauce, others have reflected more deeply on the significance of both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.
Thanksgiving itself is similar to the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, but there is also a congruence with the importance of religious freedom in both Thanksgiving and Hanukka. In the Hanukkah story, Judah Maccabee leads the Hebrews to freedom from Greek oppression in the 2nd century. Thanksgiving in America celebrates the first harvest of Puritan pilgrims, who arrived in America fleeing religious persecution. In European countries with histories of the Protestant Reformation, Thanksgiving commemorates the harvest as well as religious freedom. This year, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, are ideally merged in both time and significance.
Not all Americans however regard Thanksgiving joyously. For many Native Americans (or First Nations or Indigenous People) Thanksgiving Day is considered a day of mourning which marks the beginning of genocide. The Pilgrim’s first harvest, celebrated in America frequently plays little of no regard to the role of Native Americans at that first harvest, or the subsequent decline in their wellbeing with the increase in settlers.
Paula Bidwell, a Native American observed poignantly that the Thanksgiving marketing strategy completely ignored any element of Native culture or history. For Bidwell and many Native Americans Thanksgiving meant pain and grief and anger; a collective memory of their loss, degradation and marginalisation in their own land.Not a day of giving thanks, but a day of regret.
Lea Gerlach, a descendent of the pilgrim colonists who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620 took Bidwell’s point to heart. On Thanksgiving Day, instead of the usual prayer that her family sang around the table, Lea, also a Bahai, read a Native American prayer.
Even more remarkably, Bidwell and Gerlach inspired by their faith and the words of Black Elk, focused the anger, grief and historical trauma associated with Thanksgiving towards something proactive
Bidwell and Gerlach worked together to create a website, Many Hoops ,(www.manyhoops.com), to debunk the myths and stereotypes of Thanksgiving festivities and focus instead on the humanity of the original participants, both Native American and pilgrim. The website presents stories, activities and recipes for a richer and more inclusive Thanksgiving celebration. The descendant of Native Americans and a descendant of Pilgrims found friendship and unity in reconceptualising Thanksgiving. Their vision in Many Hoops, is a heart to heart between Bidwell and Gerlach but also an invitation for healing divisions and the guilt of the past in order to see a better, combined future.
Or put more eloquently yet, from Black Elk
‘Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about me was the whole hoop of the world…And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops, that made one circle, wide as daylight and starlight, and in the centre, grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father, and I saw that it was holy.’
Whether you read The Alchemist and were fascinated by the intricate life truths told in such a simple story, or whether the author’s cultural background of Brazilian syncretism resonate within you, we are sure you will agree that author Paul Coelho is an icon of cross cultural relations
From his writing, to his own personal journey, to the work he now does for his own foundation and UNESCO, be inspired this weekend by a life of reconciling extremes, of uniting the spiritual with the material, by reading about and learning from this month’s GOLDENROOM ICON Paul Coelho
When doctors told her there was no cure for her sons’ illness and to brace herself that they would be unlikely to live past three years of age, something inside Joe Mawdsley instinctively rejected the prognosis.
Instead, she sought out alternatives and stumbled upon Conductive Therapy- a philosophy developed over fifty years earlier in Hungary- and which, Mawdsley claims save her sons lives.
Now teenagers, Joe’s sons, William and Thomas help out at The Legacy Rainbow House, that their mother founded and are shining examples of how Conductive Education inspires dreams.
A Quaker, A Jew, A Peace Activist, Advocate for Palestinian Rights. the incredible life of Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta for whom it was the deeper tenets of Quakerism and its commitment to activism that resonated most with Kaufman-Lacusta , in a manner that was in part in common with Judaism and in part transcendentally universal.
‘Being a Quaker means different things to different people. I am a Quaker because certain things about the Quaker approach to religion and life are important to me. Key concepts, such as that there is something of God in each human and that each human has equal access to divine inspiration; that’s basic. Other Quaker values—what we refer to as testimonies—including peace, community, simplicity, integrity, and equality, are also important to me; and trying not to exploit others or take more than your fair share.’
But how do these important values live alongside her Jewish identity?
‘People in the Jewish community would sometimes say, “What do you need Quakerism for? All these beliefs can also be found in Judaism.” And that’s true, but with Quakers, they seem to be more actively sought after, probably because a large percentage of Quakers come from different backgrounds, and their seeking is the reason for joining.’
And Quakerism ultimately would be the lens through which she viewed the conflict in the Middle East, which in conjunction with her Jewishness, made her uniquely placed to be a true friend in peace to Palestinians and Israelis.
Our November edition of GOLDENROOM Online Journal for Cross Cultural Relations returns to one of the core facets of our ethos. Our theme this month, ‘Faith, Philosophy, Ethics’ searches for transcendant perspectives even as it uncovers surprising, sometimes uncomfortable truths.
Amongst those discomfitting revelations, the erudite and unflinching Ben Acheson returns with a hard hitting article about modern slavery. And From The Bench this month, the troubling true life case of Leo Felton, America’s biracial racist terrorist. Yes, you read that correctly and his story is baffling yet intriguing.
Maintaining our standards for intelligent articles with substance, our Cover Story this month is an inspiring cross cultural journey, from Hungary to the UK and from hopelessness to inspiration and triumph as we take you on a visit to The Legacy Rainbow House and the fascinating philosophical stance of Conductive Education.
No less inspirational and in her own words, our other Cover Story is that of Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, a Quaker Jew and peace activist, who talks about her journey to embrace The Other- in this case, Palestinians-and stand for justice. If you are inspired to look beyond the ethical tangle that is the Middle East, we have recommended two excellent reads; Kaufman- Lacusta’s own research, ‘Refusing To Be Enemies’ and the testimony of Gaza physician Dr.Izzeldin Abuelaish, in ‘I Shall Not Hate’. Staying in the Middle East our What Does My Neighbour Believe section goes beyond Judaism today and deep into the origins of Ancient Semitic religions.
Someone who not only understands a cross cultural journey but writes to share this with others, our GOLDENROOM ICON, best selling author Paul Coelho shares his fascinating and poetic insights and hopes for humanity.
For our readers at home, we have a simple soup recipe that can create three very different soups which will be most welcome this time of year. And for those venturing further afield, stop in at The exChange at Blackburn Cathedral for their conference on Monday, the 18th of November 2013 on ‘Jesus and Muhammed; Is Their Message Still Relevant’. Just one message? Not two? Have a read to find out more or better yet stop in a find out in person.
Next month’s issue, coming out December 15th will be a double issue which is great news if you are advertising with GOLDENROOM as it means your advertisement will run for eight weeks, for the price of four. Get in touch to discuss your requirements and how you can access the world’s fastest growing demographic and the only organisation that represents all facets of cross cultural relations. Until then, savour this deep and substantial issue of GOLDENROOM.
Across the editions of GOLDENROOM are articles to help our readers navigate tricky cross cultural social occasions, from our cross cultural catering guide to our wedding guide, GOLDENROOM’s focus is to present the resources so that people of dual or multiheritage or in cross cultural relationships have rewarding and inclusive lives.
To that end, GOLDENROOM has teamed up with Golden Moments to offer our readers the best picks of unique package experiences.
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At Golden Moments there is a whole range of incredible experiences from a few hours to a whole weekend, and with a range of prices everyone can choose a special experience to celebrate birthdays, Mother’s days anniversaries, Christmas, Eid, Diwali, reunions and even retirements and any special occasion. Golden Moments experiences are guaranteed to be memorable, bring people closer together and when necessary, impress.
With over 7000 gift experiences, across 3000 locations and in 14 countries, the choice of your Golden Moment is dazzling and you can order a Gift Voucher conveniently through the Golden Moments Store right here on GOLDENROOM. Your exciting and enriching experience is just a click away.
Please take a look at
some of our new
games. Ilissa plans
on writing the story of
her pup as he grows
up. Does anyone
else have stories of
their pets? We can
start a new topic for
each of you and
share. I did th...
Will try this - hope it
posts in the group as
well as my
may be moving and unable
to post as often as she
would like, but she is
here. So friends,
keep posting please and
enjoying the group.
I know many of you are
I have never done this
before and did it wrong,
so I will give it one
last chance. I was
appauled with the Irish
girl who hung herself
after being raped and
bullied. I know how
it feels. I was 10 living
in Long Island and VERY
I have just became a
member of this website,
but I have know the host
(Sandra) for over 10
years. I just didn't have
a computer with internet.
Why is there not more
participation? What do
you all need? I'll
willing to listen and
let's share with Sand...
Am new to all this.
Sandra, who created this
site, has been sending me
Care2 e-cards for
years. I finally
created the time to
involved. I have
known Sandra for about 10
years and she is a