The 2019-2020 Holiday Buddhist Book List

Buddha statueHolidays give us time to disconnect from the madding crowd, the repetitive commute, the distractions of our fast, challenging modern bop filled with so-called ‘fear of missing out’. The 2019 Holiday Buddhist Book List gives you the opportunity – in your relaxing and unwinding – to read something different and experience your life journey in a different vision, perhaps samyak drishti. With metta,

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Pope Francis Says God Loves ‘Even the Worst of Us’ at Christmas Midnight Mass

St Peter's Rome


The Christmas Night liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica began with the chanting of the Kalenda, the proclamation of historic events leading up to Jesus’ birth. Immediately afterwards, the Pope unveiled the image of the Christ Child at the foot of the altar.

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Christmas and its Interfaith Traditions

The Interfaith Christmas WreathMany traditions come with advent season in Christianity; it is Margasheera month in Hinduism – a month that is kept aside for spiritual activities. It is also the time of Chanukkah of the Jewish Faith. The Persian religion – Zoroastrianism – has the Shab-e-Yalda night, the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. In this time of the coming of the Christ Child, we explore the many traditions of several religions.

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The Feast of St Nicholas

Coca Cola's santaFor some, the start of Christmas is when they first see the Coca Cola Christmas truck on the television. A real truck now visits towns around the UK over Christmas adorned with a huge image of Father Christmas on the side. It is often claimed that this isn’t anywhere close to the real St Nicholas, but a character largely created by Coca Cola to aid their commercial pursuits over the festive period. What is the truth in the story of a transformation from Turkish Bishop to a gift bearer from the North Pole?

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Book Review: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know

The title of Professor Don Waxman’s new book, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know, hides an important tension that gets explained in the course of reading this book, which addresses a most complex and confusing topic.

The conflict is not unitary. The make-up of the two sides has changed over time. From 1948-1972, it was known as the “Arab-Israeli” conflict. It involved the entire region and was not solely focused on the Palestinian question; the surrounding Arab states had territorial goals as well.

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Community Trauma Toolkit

Community Trauma Toolkit

Emerging Minds has released a new suite of resources designed to help children and young people affected by trauma. Developed by Emerging Minds and the Australian National University as part of the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health project, the information and training materials include videos, podcasts, training workshops to run with your team and downloadable fact sheets.

The toolkit is tailored to six key audiences – educators, first responders, community leaders, families, general practitioners (GPs), and health and social service practitioners. It’s also arranged to match five timelines – preparedness, immediate, short-term recovery, long-term recovery and ongoing recovery.

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Archbishop Paglia says priests can be present at assisted suicide

Archbishop PagliaVatican City, Dec 11, 2019 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said Tuesday that he would be willing to hold the hand of someone dying from assisted suicide, and that he does not see that as lending implicit support for the practice.
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Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change for COP 25 Madrid, 2019

COP25 - Its time to act for the planet


The most recent Climate Change Conference – called COP 25 – concluded yesterday in Madrid, Spain. Faith Communities, including the Brahma Kumaris and Religions for Peace International (both of whom have offices in the UN plaza in New York) (with a large delegation from the Lutheran World Federation) joined together with many faiths, many voices to produce a Faith-inspired declaration on Climate Change. This was delivered to the Deputy Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by the World Council of Churches – in service and on behalf of all faith communities. The document is called Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change for COP 25 Madrid, 2019 . You may read this document in full:

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Australia: 2019 Human Rights Day Oration

Australian Human Rights Commission logo
The Hon Peter McClellan AM QC delivered the 2019 Human Rights Day Oration. His co-orator was Ms Chrissie Foster, mother of two girls who experienced child sexual abuse. “I cannot comprehend how any person, much less one with qualifications in theology and very often further qualifications from recognised universities, could consider the rape of a child to be a moral failure but not a crime,” The Hon Peter McClellan said.

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Community Christmas Tree of Remembrance

Community Christmas Tree of Remembrance at MooroopnaYou are invited to decorate the Community Christmas Tree of Remembrance with messages written on cards to family members, friends and pets who have died to include them in the spirit of Christmas. For Christmas 2019, the Community Christmas Trees are located at the Eastbank Centre Foyer, Shepparton Library and Mooroopna Library.
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Sikh temple opens its doors to the community

Sikh Gurduara SheppartonShepparton Sikhs are joining celebrations all across the world for the 550th birthday of the first guru – Guru Nanak – which runs throughout the month of November. An open day at Shepparton’s Sikh Temple will take place on Wednesday 11 December 2019 at 7.00pm. The Shepparton Sikh community welcomes all visitors.
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Shepparton Sikhs Celebrate 550 years since Guru Nanak’s Birth with Open House

Shepparton Sikh TempleThe Victorian Government is supporting Victoria’s Sikh communities as they kick off celebrations for the 550th birthday anniversary of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak during 2019. The Sikh Community of Shepparton, along with the Guru Nanak Sikh Society of Shepparton invite you to an open house on the evening of Wednesday, 11 December 2019
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For First Time in 72 Years, Sikhs Can Visit One of Their Holiest Sites

 Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur PakistanPracticed by more than 25 million people worldwide, Sikhism has deeper roots in modern Pakistan than India-but ever since the two countries were partitioned by Great Britain in 1947, the tempestuous relationship between the two nations has made it difficult for Sikhs from India to visit holy sites in Pakistan, and vice versa.
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Women are not Second-Class Buddhists

Ven. Karma Lekshe Tsomo

Ven. Karma Lekshe Tsomo calls for an end to the inferior status of Buddhist nuns, and of Buddhist women generally.

Gender inequality is difficult to rationalize in a tradition that supposedly proclaims enlightenment for all. When questioned by his faithful attendant Ananda, the Buddha assured him that women have equal potential to achieve the fruits of the path, including liberation, the ultimate realisation. This definitive statement should have been sufficient to clear the path for women’s equality, but social realities rarely match theoretical ideals.

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