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Happy New Year!

1. New Year Message - A purposeful life – Huffington post
2. A Note about Sean Hannity, Stuart Varney and Fox News –request
3. Note about Bridgette Gabriel’s comment on Fox News – upon request
4. American Muslims are proud of taking the right step - Link
5. Moderate Muslims Speak out? Link

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Texas Faith: A cup of coffee and other holy rituals

A good cup of Coffee or Tea in itself is not divine, but it has the ingredients to offer that blissful moment that connects us with ourselves. There is nothing like it.

Texas Faith: A cup of coffee and other holy rituals



Every faith has its rituals. Hopefully these help put us in the mind of being with God and make us more present in our prayer. Our lives have their little rituals too.
In a recent article,Rabbi Patrick “Aleph” Beaulier wrote about the ritual of a morning cup of coffee.
The coffee is a pleasure certainly, but it is also a moment set aside, at best, for a little peace, perhaps silence and reflection. These moments apart are important to our lives as people of faith, as people who are trying to draw ourselves nearer to God. We have our rituals in our religious ceremonies too, often freighted or filled with symbolism and intended, in their own way, to draw us away from the run of our thoughts and into the peace we hope faith will bring.
How can our little daily rituals bring us closer to God? How can we make sure that, in everyday moments, we are building our path to the divine?
(This question was inspired by panelist Cynthia Rigby.)
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas

A good cup of Coffee or Tea in itself is not divine, but it has the ingredients to offer that blissful moment that connects us with ourselves. There is nothing like it.
I just finished drinking a cup of tea and what a joy it was! Every now and then I give myself a 100 for making that perfect cup of tea. Tea is about color, taste, looks, texture, cup and the whole shebang! It gives me the same joy that my grandson expresses when he walked a few steps for the first time.
Indeed a good cup of Tea is divine if we make a ritual out of it, and that is how the ritual prayers have evolved; to dedicate the time and bring peace to oneself.
A few minutes of meditation or a prayer unclutters the mind, and a few minutes of silence restores the mind whether on believes in God or not. It frees us from momentary chaos and prepares us to be collected and help us refocus on what is important to us. It is good to be free.
To get the maximum benefit out of Tea on a daily basis, we have to dedicate a few minutes to sipping it instead of rushing it. I have watched a few friends who say, “I have to drink this cup to get my day going” and dash to the car and resort to expletives if someone cuts them off or slams the break ahead of them. Where is the joy in it? How much time does it take to sit down and smell the coffee? It takes no more than 5 minutes but the return on it is immense.
I compare this to rebooting my computer. When everything slows down due to multiple programs running on it, we get frustrated to wait to see the words appear on the screen after typing… even if it were a split second it is not worth the frustration, reboot it, and see how it functions!
Those of us, who can free ourselves from tension, pain, anxiety, apprehension, hostility, malice, pressure, stress, strain and conflicts, are showered with blessings of peace and joy. The Spiritual freedom is indeed the greatest achievement in one’s life and it sticks to you if you practice dedicating time to everything you do including drinking a cup of Coffee or Tea, it is worth it and you deserve it, just do it!
To read the other Panelist's take, go to Dallas Morning News at http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/12/texas-faith-a-cup-of-coffee-and-other-holy-rituals.html/
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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are atwww.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

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