Mindfulness and the Buddha’s Eightfold Path

Buddha with hand raised in mudraTo understand how to practice mindfulness in daily life, we have to look at all eight steps of the Buddha’s noble eightfold path. In his first teaching at Deer Park, the Buddha praised mindfulness: “The Noble Eightfold Path is nourished by living mindfully.”
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Vesak Day

Buddha idolBuddhists all over the world will celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha today, May 26, a day that is also a public holiday in many south asian nations. However, Vesak Day this year will be a lot more muted once again considering the rise in community Covid-19 cases in these countries. Many public places, including places of worship, have had to stop in-person events and reduce their occupancies significantly. This means that many of the rituals, processions and temple visits that normally happen on Vesak Day will not be able to go on as planned. Despite the changes, Vesak Day is still an incredibly special day for Buddhists.
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Cummeragunja residents protest against cruel treatment

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Cummeragunja Station was established in 1888 on the NSW side along the Murray River on Yorta Yorta Country. Cummeragunja became home to many Aboriginal people. Here, we recount the story of the Cummergunja Walk off to the banks of the Goulburn River, Daish’s Paddock, Shepparton-Mooroopna.

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Shepparton: 2021 Sorry Day Commemoration

Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group, in collaboration with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative and City of Greater Shepparton will conduct an observance of Sorry Day at Monash Park on the anniversary of Sorry Day, May 26, at 10:10am. With regard to social distancing and Covid-Safe, attendance must be booked online; this event will also be live streamed on Facebook. All community members are invited to join the 2021 Sorry Day Commemoration.
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Stories beyond COVID: A Celebration of Life

Islamic Centre of VictoriaStories beyond COVID: A Celebration of Life – is the work of the Islamic Council of Victoria and will be streamed live over several days using Facebook Live, commencing evening 24 May 2021 through evening 28 May 2021.
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World Council of Churches: Statement on Israel and Palestine

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The World Council of Churches is following developments in Israel and Palestine with mounting alarm and profound grief at the rising toll of people killed and injured in the escalating violence. We appeal urgently to all parties to step back from the brink of even more deadly and destructive conflict.
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Eid-al-Fitr: the end of Ramadan

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The Shepparton Interfaith Network sends greetings “Eid Muburak” to all Muslims in the Goulburn Valley

Many Muslims in Australia celebrate Eid al-Fitr (also known as Id al-Fitr or Eid ul-Fitr) on the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar. It marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan and the start of a feast that lasts up to three days in some countries.

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Book Review: Zealot

Book Review: Zealot

In 1985, Jo Thornely needed to choose a subject for a talk. She decided on cults because she figured ‘almost everyone is at least a little bit fascinated’ by them. She has been obsessed with them ever since, and her popular podcast on the subject — also titled Zealot — has captivated listeners since 2017. In the book Zealot, Thornely details the history and practices of ten cults, with particular emphasis on their leaders.

Zealot makes for frightening reading.

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Celebrating Vesak in 2021 – Shepparton

Vesak is when Buddhists in Shepparton and across Australia come together and recollect the Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing. Vesak is an international celebration and listed among UN Observances. Buddhism is one of the world’s oldest philosophies of non-violence and has practiced peaceful relations for over 2600 years. In this day and age, Buddhism continues fostering of world peace. There will be a celebration of Vesak in Queens Gardens, Shepparton, on Saturday, 29 May 2021.
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Why blasphemy is a capital offence in some Muslim countries

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The Prophet Muhammad never executed anyone for apostasy, nor encouraged his followers to do so. Nor is criminalising sacrilege based on Islam’s main sacred text, the Koran. In this essay, Ahmet Kuru exposes the political motivations for criminalising blasphemy and apostasy

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Quarantined Faith

Quarantined FaithDuring the COVID-19 quarantine in Italy, religious gatherings are suspended. How do Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant and Buddhist Romans cope with losing connection with their communities and traditions at a time they need them most? Featuring interviews with religious leaders and laypeople who explain how their communities “virtually” observed Passover, Easter, and Ramadan this year in Rome, this documentary is a testament to how they maintain resilience and connectedness, and how the crisis has called them to draw more deeply on their spiritual resources.
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Pascha: The Orthodox Easter

Orthodox AltarOrthodox Christians are ready to celebrate Easter, finding deep reasons for joy even amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As people gather in-person or online to worship together, different nations and diverse communities are coping with vastly different circumstances and challenges. Even amid this, Orthodox communities are drawing together to celebrate the risen Christ and the value of the human person.
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Care for Environment: Islam

Kaaba at MeccaAccording to Islamic law, the basic elements of nature – land, water, fire, forest, and light – belong to all living things, not just human beings. Allah commands human beings to avoid doing mischief and wasting resources as these acts cause degradation of the environment. Here we bring you excerpts from the Qur’an and Hadith on care for the Environment, the Statement on fossil fuel divestment by the Fiqh Council of North America and the Green Ramadan movement.
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