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Best Religious Practice of All Time

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    1
    Anglican Eucharistic theology

    Anglican Eucharistic theology

    Anglican Eucharistic theology is diverse in practice, reflecting the essential comprehensiveness of the tradition. Some High church Anglicans, especially those considered to be Anglo-Catholics, hold beliefs identical with, or similar to, the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. It was first promulgated by Scholastic theologians in the Middle Ages and understands the Eucharist to be a "re-presentation" of Christ's atoning sacrifice, with the elements transubstantiated into Christ's physical as well as spiritual Body and Blood. Low church or Evangelical Anglicans, expressing a view similar to that of the Reformed churches, deny that the presence of Christ is carnal or can be localised in the bread and wine. Instead, they believe that Christ is present in a "heavenly and spiritual manner" only, with the faithful receiving Christ's presence by faith. While the Thirty-nine Articles and the Homilies rejected the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, at the forty-first meeting of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States of America (ARC/USA), on January 6, 1994, the bishops assembled affirmed "that Christ in the eucharist makes himself present
    7.50
    8 votes
    2
    First Communion

    First Communion

    The First Communion, or First Holy Communion, is a Catholic Church ceremony. It is the colloquial name for a person's first reception of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Catholics believe this event to be very important, as the Eucharist is one of the central focuses of the Catholic Church. Lutherans traditionally practice First Communion. First Communion is not practiced in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches or the Assyrian Church of the East which practice infant communion. Some Anglicans allow infant communion (also called "paedo-communion"), while others require the previous reception of confirmation, usually during the teenage years. Celebration of this religious ceremony is typically less elaborate in many Protestant churches. Roman Catholics and some Protestant denominations, including Lutherans and some Anglicans, believe Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, although, for non-Catholics, not as transubstantiation. Other denominations have varying understandings, ranging from the Eucharist being a "symbolic" meal to a meal of "remembering" Christ's last supper. First Communion in Roman Catholic churches typically takes place at age seven or
    8.29
    7 votes
    3

    Sealing

    Sealing is an ordinance (ritual) performed in Latter Day Saints temples by a person holding the sealing authority. The purpose of this ordinance is to seal familiar relationships, making possible the existence of family relationships throughout eternity. LDS teachings place great importance on the specific authority required to perform these sealings. Church doctrine teaches that this authority, called the Priesthood, corresponds to that given to Saint Peter in Matthew 16:19 Sealings are typically performed as marriages or as sealing of children to parents. They were performed prior to the death of Joseph Smith, Jr. (the main founder of the Latter Day Saint movement), and are currently performed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although some other denominations, such as the Community of Christ, view sealing as an artifact of Smith's practice of plural marriage, some do still perform them. Faithful Latter Day Saints believe civil marriages are dissolved at death if they are not later solemnized with a sealing, but that a couple who has been sealed in a temple will be married beyond physical death and the Resurrection if they remain righteous. This means that in
    9.33
    6 votes
    4
    Shikantaza

    Shikantaza

    • Religious practice of: Zen
    Shikantaza (只管打坐) is a Japanese term for zazen introduced by Rujing. It is associated most with the Soto school of Zen Buddhism. The term is believed to have been first used by Dōgen's teacher Tiantong Rujing, and it literally means, "nothing but (shikan) precisely (da) sitting (za)." In other words Dōgen means by this, "doing only zazen whole-heartedly" or "single-minded sitting." Shikantaza implies "just sitting", and according to author James Ishmael Ford, "Some trace the root of this word to the pronunciation of the Pāli vipassana, though this is far from certain." Author Steve Hagen describes a Japanese word in four parts: shi means tranquility, kan means awareness, ta means hitting exactly the right spot (not one atom off), and za means to sit. A translation of "shikantaza" offered by Kobun Chino Otogawa provides some additional insight into the literal meaning of the components of the Japanese word: Silent illumination comes from the integrated practice of shamatha (calming the mind) and vipashyana (insightful contemplation) called yuganaddha (union), and was the hallmark of the Chinese Caodong school of Ch'an. It therefore means one is practicing with both a calm mind and
    6.50
    8 votes
    5
    Loyalty

    Loyalty

    • Religious practice of: Confucianism
    Loyalty is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause. (Philosophers disagree as to what things one can be loyal to. Some, as explained in more detail below, argue that one can be loyal to a broad range of things, whilst others argue that it is only possible for loyalty to be to another person and that it is strictly interpersonal.) There are many aspects to loyalty. John Kleinig, professor of Philosophy at City University of New York, observes that over the years the idea has been treated by creative writers from Aeschylus through John Galsworthy to Joseph Conrad, by psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, scholars of religion, political economists, scholars of business and marketing, and — most particularly — by political theorists, who deal with it in terms of loyalty oaths and patriotism. As a philosophical concept, loyalty was largely untreated by philosophers until the work of Josiah Royce, the "grand exception" in Kleinig's words. John Ladd, professor of Philosophy at Brown University writing in the Macmillan Encyclopaedia of Philosophy in 1967, observes that by that time the subject had received "scant attention in philosophical literature". This
    6.83
    6 votes
    6
    Prayer During the Day

    Prayer During the Day

    Prayer During the Day is a liturgy of the Church of England from the service book Common Worship. Along with Night Prayer (or "Compline"), it is a daily prayer service to supplement Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, the only daily prayer services provided for by the Book of Common Prayer. The Church of England's own literature outlines several different methods for its use, one of which suggests that it is equivalent to the monastic offices of Terce, Sext, and None.
    9.25
    4 votes
    7
    Psychoactive drug

    Psychoactive drug

    • Religious practice of: Zendik farm
    A psychoactive drug, psychopharmaceutical, or psychotropic is a chemical substance that crosses the blood–brain barrier and acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior. These substances may be used recreationally, to purposefully alter one's consciousness, as entheogens, for ritual, spiritual, and/or shamanic purposes, as a tool for studying or augmenting the mind, or therapeutically as medication. Because psychoactive substances bring about subjective changes in consciousness and mood that the user may find pleasant (e.g. euphoria) or advantageous (e.g. increased alertness), many psychoactive substances are abused, that is, used excessively, despite health risks or negative consequences. With sustained use of some substances, psychological and physical dependence ("addiction") may develop, making the cycle of abuse even more difficult to interrupt. Drug rehabilitation aims to break this cycle of dependency, through a combination of psychotherapy, support groups and even other psychoactive substances. However, the reverse is also true in some cases, that is
    6.67
    6 votes
    8
    Sawm

    Sawm

    • Religious practice of: Islam
    Sawm (Arabic: صوم‎, plural: Siyam) is an Arabic word for fasting regulated by Islamic jurisprudence. In the terminology of Islamic law, sawm means to abstain from eating, drinking (including water). The observance of sawm during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, but is not confined to that month. Ṣawm is derived from Syriac: ܨܘܡܐ ṣawmā. Literally, it means "to abstain", cognates to Hebrew tsom. For example, the Muslims of Central Asia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Bangladesh, and Pakistan use the word uraza/rozah/roza/roja which comes from Persian. In Turkey, Sawm is called oruç (compare Kyrgyz öröz), while the Malay community in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore call it puasa, which is derived from Sanskrit, upvaasa. Puasa is also used in Indonesia, Southern Thailand and Southern Philippines. Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking, smoking, having sexual intercourse,from dawn (fajr) to sunset (maghrib). Fasting is essentially an attempt to seek nearness to Allah and increase one's piety. One of the remote aims of fasting is to empathize with those less fortunate ones who do not always have food and drink readily available. Also one must try to
    9.00
    4 votes
    9

    Terce

    Terce, or Third Hour, is a fixed time of prayer of the Divine Office of almost all the Christian liturgies. It consists mainly of psalms and is said at 9 a.m. Its name comes from Latin and refers to the third hour of the day after dawn. Much of this article is adapted from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917. Note that it describes the office before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The psalm numbers are given first according to the Septuagint (followed by the Masoretic or "King James" numbering in parentheses). The origin of Terce, like that of Sext and None, to which it bears a close relationship, dates back to Apostolic times. As has already been stated (see None) according to an ancient custom of the Romans and Greeks, the day and night respectively were divided into four parts of about three hours each. The second division of the day contained the hours from about the modern nine o'clock until about midday; using the Roman numbering the hour just preceding this division was called hora tertia (the third hour) from which the word terce is derived. Since the Roman day was divided into twelve hours from sunrise to sunset regardless of day length, the timing for hora tertia
    7.60
    5 votes
    10

    Lex orandi, lex credendi

    Lex orandi, lex credendi (Latin loosely translatable as "the law of prayer is the law of belief") refers to the relationship between worship and belief, and is an ancient Christian principle which provided a measure for developing the ancient Christian creeds, the canon of scripture and other doctrinal matters based on the prayer texts of the Church, that is, the Church's liturgy. In the Early Church there was liturgical tradition before there was a common creed and before there was an officially sanctioned biblical canon. These liturgical traditions provided the theological framework for establishing the creeds and canon. An early account of this idea is found in Prosper of Aquitaine's eighth book on the authority of the past bishops of the Apostolic See concerning the grace of God and free will, "Let us consider the sacraments of priestly prayers, which having been handed down by the apostles are celebrated uniformly throughout the whole world and in every catholic Church so that the law of praying might establish the law of believing". The principle is considered very important in Catholic theology. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "The Church's faith precedes the
    8.75
    4 votes
    11

    Relief Society

    • Religious practice of: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    The Relief Society (RS) is a philanthropic and educational women's organization and an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It was founded in 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois, USA and has approximately 6 million members in over 170 countries and territories. The Relief Society is often referred to by the church and others as "one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the world." The motto of the Relief Society, taken from 1 Corinthians 13:8, is "Charity never faileth". The official purpose of Relief Society is to "prepare women for the blessings of eternal life by helping them increase their faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need. Relief Society accomplishes these purposes through Sunday gospel instruction, other Relief Society meetings, visiting teaching, and welfare and compassionate service." In the spring of 1842 Sarah Granger Kimball and her seamstress, Margaret A. Cook, discussed combining their efforts to sew clothing for workers constructing the Latter Day Saints' Nauvoo Temple. They determined to invite their neighbors to assist by creating a Ladies' Society. Kimball asked
    8.25
    4 votes
    12
    Fasting

    Fasting

    • Religious practice of: Eastern Orthodox Church
    Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day (24 hours), or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive, limiting particular foods or substance. The fast may also be intermittent in nature. Fasting practices may preclude sexual intercourse and other activities as well as food. In a physiological context, fasting may refer to (1) the metabolic status of a person who has not eaten overnight, and (2) to the metabolic state achieved after complete digestion and absorption of a meal. Several metabolic adjustments occur during fasting, and some diagnostic tests are used to determine a fasting state. For example, a person is assumed to be fasting after 8–12 hours. Metabolic changes toward the fasting state begin after absorption of a meal (typically 3–5 hours after a meal); "post-absorptive state" is synonymous with this usage, in contrast to the "post-prandial" state of ongoing digestion. A diagnostic fast refers to prolonged fasting (from 8–72 hours depending on age) conducted under
    8.00
    4 votes
    13

    Intinction

    Intinction is the Eucharistic practice of partly dipping the consecrated bread, or host, into the consecrated wine before consumption by the communicant. It is one of the four ways approved in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church for administering Holy Communion under the form of wine as well as of bread: "The norms of the Roman Missal admit the principle that in cases where Communion is administered under both kinds, 'the Blood of the Lord may be received either by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction, or by means of a tube or a spoon' (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 245). As regards the administering of Communion to lay members of Christ's faithful, the Bishops may exclude Communion with the tube or the spoon where this is not the local custom, though the option of administering Communion by intinction always remains. If this modality is employed, however, hosts should be used which are neither too thin nor too small, and the communicant should receive the Sacrament from the Priest only on the tongue" (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 285b and 287). "The communicant must not be permitted to intinct the host himself in the chalice, nor to
    8.00
    4 votes
    14

    Lauds

    Lauds is a divine office that takes place in the early morning hours and is one of the two major hours in the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, it forms part of the Office of Matins. The Hour draws its name from the "Lauds" psalms with which it traditionally closes, Psalms 148, 149 and 150. Lauds, or the Morning Office or Office of Aurora, is one of the most ancient Offices and can be traced back to Apostolic times. In the 6th century St. Benedict gives a detailed description of them in his Rule: the Psalms (almost identical with those of the Roman Liturgy), the canticle, the last three Psalms, the capitulum, hymn, versicle, the canticle Benedictus, and the concluding part. St. Columbanus and the Irish documents give us only very vague information on the Office of Lauds. An effort has been made to reconstruct it in accordance with the Antiphonary of Bangor, but this document may not give the complete Office. Gregory of Tours also makes several allusions to this Office, which he calls Matutini hymni. He gives as its constitutive parts: Psalm 50, the Benedicite, Psalms 148 - 150, and the versicles. Descriptions predating the fifth and fourth
    8.00
    4 votes
    15

    Zakat

    • Religious practice of: Islam
    Zakāt (Arabic: زكاة‎ [zæˈkæː], "that which purifies" or "alms"), is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The zakat, one of the pillars of Islam, is discussed in both the Qur'an and the hadith literature. The Qur'an talks about the zakat in more than 30 different verses, mainly in the Medinan suras. In the Qur'anic view, zakat is a way to redistribute the wealth, thus increasing the role of charity in the economy with a particular interest in the poor and the dispossessed. However, zakat is considered more than charity - one must give zakat for the sake of one's own salvation. Neglecting to give zakat can result in damnation in the afterlife, while those who give zakat can expect reward from God in the afterlife. The giving of the zakat is considered a means of purifying one's wealth and one's soul. Giving of alms giving (which includes zakat) is also part of the primordial covenant between God and humankind. The Qur'an lists the beneficiaries of zakat (discussed below). The hadith also admonish those who don't give the zakat. According to the hadith, refusal to pay zakat is a sign of
    6.80
    5 votes
    16

    Asteya

    • Religious practice of: Jainism
    Asteya is a Sanskrit word meaning "avoidance of stealing" or "non-stealing". In Jainism, it is one of the five vows that all Śrāvakas and Śrāvikās as well as monastics must take. The concept of "Asteya" is also a principal part of Hinduism, forming one of the core principles that all human beings should try to abide by. Traditionally it is one among the 10 yamas and in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali it is one among the 5 Yamas or disciplines. The concept is frequently confused as being an equivalent of the Biblical commandment "Thou shall not steal" although in principle it means more than that. Asteya refers to not stealing, not coveting, nor hoarding, as well as not obstructing other people's desires in life. Swami Jyotirmanda of Miami's Yoga Ashram frequently states that "all the wealth of the world will be drawn to one who has mastered the practice and discipline of Asteya." This is analogous to the Christian (Biblical) saying, "The meek shall inherit the world."
    9.33
    3 votes
    17

    Stopping thought

    Stopping thought is a term in Zen referring to the achievement of the mental state of samādhi, where the normal mental chatter slows and then stops for brief or longer periods, allowing the practitioner to experience the peace of liberation. This is normally first done during zazen meditation, but should ideally be mastered, so that it can be done regularly. Paradoxically, Zen teaches that the attainment of this state is not through the normal method of intent and application of skill or technique. As stated in the Zen poem Hsin Hsin Ming: In other words, the process is a combination of acceptance and returning to or focusing on a familiar state, rather than a state achieved through pure force of will.
    9.33
    3 votes
    18

    Six Yogas of Naropa

    • Religious practice of: Kagyu
    The Six Yogas of Nāropa (Tib. Narö chö druk, na-ro'i-chos-drug), also called the six dharmas of Naropa. Naro's six doctrines (Mandarin: Ming Xing Dao Liu Cheng Jiu Fa; rendered in English as: Wisdom Activities Path Six Methods of Accomplishment), are a set of advanced Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana practices compiled in and around the time of the Indian Mahasiddha Nāropa (1016-1100 CE) and conveyed to Marpa the translator. The six yogas were intended to help in the attainment of Buddhahood in an accelerated manner. Peter Alan Roberts notes that the proper terminology is "six Dharmas of Nāropa", not "six yogas of Nāropa": The six yogas are a synthesis or collection of the completion stage practices of several tantras. In the Kagyu traditions by which the six yogas were first brought to Tibet, abhiṣeka into at least one anuttarayoga tantra system (generally Cakrasaṃvara and/or Vajrayogini/Vajravarāhi) and practice of its utpatti-krama are the bases for practice of the six yogas; there is no particular empowerment for the six yogas themselves. Though variously classified in up to ten yogas, the six yogas generally conform to the following conceptual list: (Tibetan Wylie
    6.60
    5 votes
    19

    Vaṇḍ chakkō

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    Vaṇḍ Chhakō (Punjabi: ਵੰਡ ਛਕੋ) is one of the three main pillars of the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith. The other two pillars are Naam Japo and Kirat Karni. It is a technique and method which means share what you have and to consume it together as a community. This could be wealth, food. etc. The term is also used to mean to share ones wealth with others in the community, to give to charity, to distribute in Langar and to generally help others in the community who need help. A Sikh is expected to contribute at least 10% of their wealth/income to the needy people of the world or to a worthy cause. An alternative spelling and meaning, "Vand Ke Chakna", means to share the fruits of one’s labor with others before considering oneself, thus living as an inspiration and a support to the entire community. Guru Ji says on page 299 of Guru Granth Sahib, Page 718 of the Guru Granth Sahib, Bhai Gurdas Ji on page 20 of his Vaars says:
    6.60
    5 votes
    20

    Holy Qurbana

    Holy Qurbana or Qurbana Qadisha (ܩܘܪܒܢܐ ܩܕܝܫܐ qûrbānâ qadîšâ in East Syriac, pronounced qurbono qadisho in West Syriac), the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the East Syrian and West Syrian traditions of Syriac Christianity. The main Anaphora of the East Syrian tradition is the Holy Qurbana of Addai and Mari, while that of the West Syrian tradition is the Liturgy of Saint James. Both are extremely old, going back at least to the third century, and are the oldest extant liturgies continually in use. The East Syriac word Qurbana (also spelled as Kurbana) as cognate with the Hebrew word Korban (קרבן). When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, and sacrifices were offered, "Korban" was a technical Hebrew term for some of the offerings that were brought there. It comes from a Hebrew root, "karav", meaning "to draw close or 'near'". A required Korban was offered morning and evening daily and on holidays (at certain times, additional 'korbanot' were offered), in addition to which individuals could bring an optional personal Korban. The Holy Qurbana is referred to as "complete" worship, since it is performed for the benefit of all members of
    7.75
    4 votes
    21
    Reserved sacrament

    Reserved sacrament

    During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the second part of the Mass, the elements of bread and wine are considered, in some branches of Christian practice, to have been transubstantiated into the veritable Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. In many Christian churches some portion of the consecrated elements is set aside and reserved after the reception of the Holy Eucharist, referred to as the reserved sacrament. The reserved sacrament is usually stored in a tabernacle, a locked cabinet made of precious materials and usually located on, above or near the high altar. In Western Christianity usually only the Host, from Latin: hostia, meaning "victim" (the consecrated bread), is reserved. The reasons for the reservation of the sacrament vary by tradition, but common reasons for reserving the sacrament include for it to be taken to the ill or housebound, for the devotional practice of Eucharistic Adoration, for viaticum for the dying, and so that Communion may still be administered if a priest is unavailable to celebrate the Eucharist. During the Triduum, the sacrament is taken in procession from the tabernacle, if on the high altar or otherwise in the sanctuary, to the Altar of Repose,
    7.75
    4 votes
    22
    Ardās

    Ardās

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    The Ardās (Punjabi: ਅਰਦਾਸ) is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis (prayers); or completion of a service like the Paath (scripture reading/recitation), kirtan (hymn-singing) program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating. The prayer is a plea to God to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done. The Ardas is usually always done standing up with folded hands. The beginning of the Ardas is strictly set by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. When it comes to conclusion of this prayer, the devotee uses word like "Waheguru please bless me in the task that I am about to undertake" when starting a new task or "Akal Purakh, having completed the hymn-singing, we ask for your continued blessings so that we can continue with your memory and remember you at all times", etc. The word "Ardās" is derived from Persian word 'Arazdashat', meaning a request, supplication, prayer, petition or an address to a superior authority. Ardās is a unique prayer based on the fact that it is one of the few well-known prayers in
    9.00
    3 votes
    23

    Second Anointing

    In the Latter Day Saint movement, the second anointing, also known historically and in Latter Day Saint scripture as the fulness of the priesthood, is an obscure and relatively rare ordinance usually conducted in temples as extension of the Nauvoo Endowment ceremony. Founder Joseph Smith, Jr. cited the "fulness of the priesthood" as one of the reasons for building the Nauvoo Temple (D&C 124:28). In the ordinance, a participant is anointed as a "priest and king" or a "priestess and queen", and is sealed to the highest degree of salvation available in Mormon theology. Those who participate in this ordinance are said to have their "calling and election made sure", and their celestial marriage "sealed by the holy spirit of promise". They are said to have received the "more sure word of prophecy". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the largest Latter Day Saint denomination, has performed the ceremony for nominated couples from the 1840s to at least the mid-1900s. Current information about the practice by that denomination, or whether the ordinance is still in use, has not been made public. A former LDS stake president, Tom Phillips, claims he participated in
    9.00
    3 votes
    24
    Ayurveda

    Ayurveda

    • Religious practice of: Hinduism
    Ayurveda (Sanskrit: आयुर्वेद; Āyurveda, "the knowledge for long life"; /ˌaɪ.ərˈveɪdə/) or ayurvedic medicine is a Hindu system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period in India, i.e., in the mid-second millennium BCE. The Suśruta Saṃhitā and the Charaka Saṃhitā, encyclopedias of medicine compiled from various sources from the mid-first millennium BCE to about 500 CE, are among the foundational works of Ayurveda. Over the following centuries, ayurvedic practitioners developed a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for the treatment of various ailments. Current practices derived (or reportedly derived) from Ayurvedic medicine are regarded as part of complementary and alternative medicine. Safety concerns have been raised about Ayurveda, with two U.S. studies finding about 20 percent of Ayurvedic Indian-manufactured patent medicines contained toxic levels of heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic. Other concerns include the use of herbs containing toxic compounds and the lack of quality control in Ayurvedic facilities. At an early period,
    6.40
    5 votes
    25
    Anointing of the Sick

    Anointing of the Sick

    • Religious practice of: Eastern Orthodox Church
    Anointing of the Sick, known also by other names, is distinguished from other forms of religious anointing or "unction" (an older term with the same meaning) in that it is intended, as its name indicates, for the benefit of a sick person. Other religious anointings occur in relation to other sacraments, in particular baptism, confirmation and ordination, and also in the coronation of a monarch. Since 1972, the Roman Catholic Church uses the name "Anointing of the Sick" both in the English translations issued by the Holy See of its official documents in Latin and in the English official documents of Episcopal conferences. It does not, of course, forbid the use of other names, for example the more archaic term "Unction of the Sick" or the term "Extreme Unction". Cardinal Walter Kasper used the latter term in his intervention at the 2005 Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. However, the Church declared that "'Extreme unction' ... may also and more fittingly be called 'anointing of the sick'" (emphasis added), and has itself adopted the latter term, while not outlawing the former. This is to emphasize that the sacrament is available, and recommended, to all those suffering from any
    8.67
    3 votes
    26
    Catholic marriage

    Catholic marriage

    • Religious practice of: Catholicism
    Catholic marriage, also called matrimony, is a "covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring. [It] has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptised." In the Roman Rite, it is ordinarily celebrated in a Nuptial Mass. On the exact definition of each of these steps hinge all the arguments and technical points involved in annulments, and annulment disputes (e.g., one of the most famous, that of Henry VIII). Catholic Canon law regulates the celebration of marriage in canons 1055–1065. Marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics were historically viewed as "mixed marriage", and were opposed by the Catholic Church, as they were looked upon as degrading the holy character of matrimony. However, such restrictions were gradually loosened over the past century. Marriages are often celebrated on Saturdays before nightfall during the spring or summer. According to marriage-related liturgical norms and canon laws, they are usually not celebrated on Sunday (unless it is during the afternoon), and
    8.67
    3 votes
    27
    7.25
    4 votes
    28

    Simran

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    Simran (Punjabi: ਸਿਮਰਨ, Hindi: सिमरन ) is a Punjabi word derived from the Sanskrit word स्मरण (smaraṇa, "the act of remembering or calling to mind, remembrance, reminiscence, recollection of"), thus 'realization of that which is of the highest aspect and purpose in one's life', thus introducing spirituality. Through the years, it has been adapted into many languages. Simran is a commonly used term as a verb in Gurmukhi, which refers to 'meditating' of the Nām. Sikhism is a distinct contemporary faith , whereby the Realization of God can be most easily had through the process of individual devotion, without recourse to avaracious priests, costly rites or rituals or strict sartorial or dietary practices (though all of these have eventually come to threaten the modern practice of sikhism ). It says in the Guru Granth Sahib that by practising Simran one is purified and attains salvation or 'mukti'. This is because 'si-mar' means 'to die over' something for which one must kill their ego in order to have union with the ultimate truth or sat. This japna teaches a person who wishes to gain from this human life, one must attain a higher spiritual state by become free of attachment by
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    Filial piety

    Filial piety

    • Religious practice of: Confucianism
    In Confucian philosophy, filial piety (Chinese: 孝, xiào) is a virtue of respect for one's parents and ancestors. The Confucian classic Xiao Jing or Classic of Xiào, thought to be written around 470 BCE, has historically been the authoritative source on the Confucian tenet of xiào / "filial piety". The book, a conversation between Confucius and his student Zeng Shen (曾參, also known as Zengzi 曾子), is about how to set up a good society using the principle of xiào (filial piety), and thus for over two thousand years has been one of the basic texts to be examined on in the Chinese Imperial Civil Service Exams. The term can also be applied to general obedience, and is used in religious titles in Christian Churches, like "filial priest" or "filial vicar" for a cleric whose church is subordinate to a larger parish. In more general terms, filial piety means to be good to one's parents; to take care of one's parents; to engage in good conduct not just towards parents but also outside the home so as to bring a good name to one's parents and ancestors; to perform the duties of one's job well so as to obtain the material means to support parents as well as carry out sacrifices to the ancestors;
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    Sacrament

    In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church, commonly called Mormons), the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, most often simply referred to as the sacrament, is the sacrament in which participants partake of bread and drink water in remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is similar in some ways, but different in others to the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, or communion or the Lord's Supper in other Christian denominations. Normally in LDS congregations, the sacrament is provided every Sunday as part of the sacrament meeting. In the LDS Church the word "ordinance" is used approximately as the word sacrament is generally used in Christianity. Thus, partaking of the sacrament is an ordinance in the LDS faith. To partake of the sacrament often is to be in obedience to the command of Jesus Christ and to allow members the opportunity to demonstrate their willingness to remember the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The sacrament is offered on a weekly basis during sacrament meeting (with exceptions arising during general and stake conferences). As most males in the church age 16 years and older are able to perform the ordinance, it is common for
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    Kashrut

    Kashrut

    • Religious practice of: Judaism
    Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus, כַּשְׁרוּת) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food that may be consumed according to halakha (Jewish law) is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér (כָּשֵׁר), meaning "fit" (in this context, fit for consumption). Food that is not in accordance with Jewish law is called treif (Yiddish: טרײף or treyf, derived from Hebrew טְרֵפָה trēfáh). Kosher can also refer to anything that is fit for use or correct according to halakha, such as a hanukiyah (candelabra for Hannukah), or a sukkah (a Sukkot booth). The word kosher has become English vernacular, a colloquialism meaning proper, legitimate, genuine, fair, or acceptable. Among the numerous laws that form part of kashrut are the prohibitions on the consumption of unclean animals (such as pork, shellfish (both Mollusca and Crustacea) and most insects, with the exception of crickets and locusts), mixtures of meat and milk, and the commandment to slaughter mammals and birds according to a process known as shechita. Most of the basic laws of kashrut are derived from the Torah's Books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Their details and practical application, however,
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    Query

    • Religious practice of: Religious Society of Friends
    Quakers use the term Query to refer to a question or series of questions used for reflection and in spiritual exercises. Friends have used Queries as tools for offering spiritual challenges to the community for much of their history. Queries often take the form of a collection of themed questions that are read at the beginning of a time of worship or reflection. Many yearly meetings maintain a set of basic queries in their books of Faith and Practice to provide guidance on certain issues over time. Individuals often offer queries from time to time to provide a spiritual challenge to their local community of Friends. Examples of Queries:
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    Yoga

    Yoga

    • Religious practice of: Hinduism
    Yoga (Sanskrit, Pāli: योग, /ˈjəʊɡə/, yoga) is a commonly known generic term for physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines which originated in ancient India. Specifically, yoga is one of the six āstika ("orthodox") schools of Hindu philosophy. It is based on the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali. Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Pre–philosophical speculations and diverse ascetic practices of first millennium BCE were systematized into a formal philosophy in early centuries CE by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. By the turn of the first millennium, Hatha yoga emerged as a prominent tradition of yoga distinct from the Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. While the Yoga Sutras focus on discipline of the mind, Hatha yoga concentrates on health and purity of the body. Hindu monks, beginning with Swami Vivekananda, brought yoga to the West in the late 19th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a physical system of health exercises across the Western world. Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma and heart patients. In a national survey, long-term yoga practitioners in
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    Baptism for the dead

    Baptism for the dead

    Baptism for the dead, vicarious baptism or proxy baptism today commonly refers to the religious practice of baptizing a person on behalf of one who is dead—a living person receiving the ordinance on behalf of a deceased person. Baptism for the dead is best known as a doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, where it has been practiced since 1840. It is currently practiced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), where it is performed only in dedicated temples, as well as in several (but not all) other current factions of the Latter-day Saint movement. Those who practice this rite view baptism as an indispensable requirement to enter the Kingdom of God, and thus practice Baptism for the Dead to give those who have died without ever having had the opportunity to receive baptism the opportunity to receive it by proxy. The LDS Church teaches that those who have died may choose to accept or reject the baptism done on their behalf. The modern term itself is derived from a phrase "baptised for the dead" occurring twice in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 15:29), though the meaning of that phrase is an open question among scholars. Early heresiologists Tertullian
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    Circumcision

    Circumcision

    • Religious practice of: Judaism
    Male circumcision (from Latin circumcidere, meaning "to cut around") is the surgical removal of the foreskin (prepuce) from the penis. It is estimated that one-third of males worldwide are circumcised. It is most prevalent in the Muslim world (where it is near-universal), parts of Southeast Asia, Africa, the United States and Oceania; it is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa, and most of Asia. The origin of circumcision is not known with certainty; the oldest documentary evidence for it comes from ancient Egypt. Various theories have been proposed as to how it began, including as a religious sacrifice and as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood. It is considered religious law in Judaism and established tradition in Islam to circumcise sons. In modern times, for infants, the procedure is often performed using devices such as the Plastibell, or the Gomco or Mogen-style clamps. The foreskin is opened and then separated from the glans after inspection. The circumcision device (if used) is placed, and then the foreskin is removed. Topical or locally-injected anesthesia may be used to reduce pain and physiologic stress. For adults,
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    Koan

    • Religious practice of: Zen
    A kōan (公案) /ˈkoʊ.ɑːn/; Chinese: 公案; pinyin: gōng'àn; Korean: 공안 (kong'an); Vietnamese: công án) is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen-practice to provoke the "great doubt", and test a student's progress in Zen practice. The Japanese term kōan is the on'yomi Sino-Japanese reading of Chinese gong'an (Chinese: 公案; pinyin: gōng'àn; Wade–Giles: kung-an; literally "public case"), which means "(complicated) legal case; table to hold documents of a case; (Buddhist) koan (knotty problem in Zen); (traditional) detective stories; a much discussed issue; a sensational affair." This word compounds gong (公) "public affairs; official duties; common; collective; fair; impartial; make public" and an (案) "(archeology) rectangular stand for supporting wine vessels; table; desk; (law) case; record; file." According to the Yuan Dynasty Zen master Zhongfeng Mingben (中峰明本 1263–1323), gōng'àn abbreviates gōngfǔ zhī àndú (公府之案牘, Japanese kōfu no antoku – literally the andu "official correspondence; documents; files" of a gongfu "government post"), which referred to a "public record" or the "case records of a public law court" in Tang-dynasty China. Kōan/gong'an thus serves as
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    Ahimsa

    Ahimsa

    • Religious practice of: Jainism
    Ahimsa (Sanskrit: अहिंसा; IAST: ahiṃsā, Pāli: avihiṃsā) is a term meaning to do no harm (literally: the avoidance of violence – himsa). The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hims – to strike; himsa is injury or harm, a-himsa is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming or nonviolence. It is an important tenet of some Indian religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism). Ahimsa means kindness and non-violence towards all living things including animals; it respects living beings as a unity, the belief that all living things are connected. Indian leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi strongly believed in this principle. Avoidance of verbal and physical violence is also a part of this principle, although ahimsa recognizes self-defense when necessary, as a sign of a strong spirit. It is closely connected with the notion that all kinds of violence entail negative karmic consequences. Unlike in Hindu and Jain sources, in ancient Buddhist texts ahimsa (or its Pāli cognate avihiṃsā) is not used as a technical term. The traditional Buddhist understanding of non-violence is not as rigid as the Jain one, but like the Jains, Buddhists have always condemned the killing of all living beings. In most
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    Genuflection

    Genuflection

    Genuflection (or genuflexion), bending at least one knee to the ground, was from early times a gesture of deep respect for a superior. In 328 BC, Alexander the Great introduced into his court etiquette some form of genuflection already in use in Persia. In the Byzantine Empire even senators were required to genuflect to the emperor. In medieval Europe, one demonstrated respect for a king or noble by going down on one knee. It is often performed in western cultures during a proposal of marriage. The Latin word genuflectio, from which the English word is derived, originally meant kneeling rather than the rapid dropping to one knee and immediately rising that became customary in Western Europe in the Middle Ages. From the custom of genuflecting to kings and other nobles arose the custom by which lay people or clergy of lesser rank genuflect to a prelate and kiss his episcopal ring, as a sign of acceptance of the bishop's apostolic authority as representing Christ in the local church. Genuflecting before the bishop of the diocese to which one belongs was treated as obligatory in editions of the Caeremoniale Episcoporum earlier than that of 1985. In the same period, the clergy
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    Missa Cantata

    Missa Cantata (Latin for "sung Mass" ) is a form of Tridentine Mass defined officially in 1960 as a sung Mass celebrated without sacred ministers, i.e., deacon and subdeacon. Other names in pre-1960 sources: While the Baltimore Ceremonial thus classified the Missa Cantata as a High Mass, Adrian Fortescue wrote in his 1910 article "Liturgy of the Mass" in the Catholic Encyclopedia, that a Missa Cantata "is really a low Mass, since the essence of high Mass is not the music but the deacon and subdeacon." Pope John XXIII's Code of Rubrics, 271 gave the following definition of the forms of Mass in 1960: The Missa Cantata came into use during the 18th century and was intended for use in non-Catholic countries where the services of a deacon or a subdeacon (or clergy to fill these parts in the ceremony of the Mass) were not easily had. It was intended to be used in place of Solemn Mass on Sundays and major feast days. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913 ed.) stated: "Only in churches which have no ordained person except one priest, and in which high Mass is thus impossible, is it allowed to celebrate the Mass (on Sundays and feasts) with most of the adornment borrowed from high Mass, with
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    Shabbat

    Shabbat

    • Religious practice of: Judaism
    Shabbat (Hebrew: שַׁבָּת‎, Ashkenazi pronunciation: Shabbos, Yiddish: שאבּעס, "rest" or "cessation") is the seventh day of the Jewish week and the Jewish day of rest. On Shabbat, Jews recall the Genesis creation narrative in which God creates the Heavens and the Earth in six days and rests on the seventh. Shabbat observance also entails refraining from a range of activities prohibited on Shabbat, such as lighting a fire and cooking. According to halakha, Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Shabbat is ushered in by lighting candles and reciting a blessing. Traditionally, three festive meals are eaten; on Friday night, Saturday morning, and late Saturday afternoon. Friday night dinner begins with kiddush and a blessing recited over two loaves of challah. Shabbat is a festive day when Jews are freed from the regular labors of everyday life. It offers an opportunity to contemplate the spiritual aspects of life and spend time with family. The word Shabbat derives from the Hebrew verb shavat. Although frequently translated as "rest" (noun or verb), another accurate translation of these
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    Sila

    • Religious practice of: Buddhism
    Śīla (Sanskrit) or sīla (Pāli) in Buddhism is one of three sections of the Noble Eightfold Path, and is a code of conduct that embraces a commitment to harmony and self-restraint with the principle motivation being non-violence, or freedom from causing harm. It has been variously described as virtue, right conduct, morality, moral discipline and precept. Sīla is an internal, aware, and intentional ethical behavior, according to one's commitment to the path of liberation. The Sanskrit and Pali word sīla is an ethical compass within self and relationships, rather than what is associated with the English word "morality" (i.e., obedience, a sense of obligation, and external constraint - all of which are quite foreign to the concept of sīla as taught by Gautama the Buddha). In fact, the commentaries explain the word sīla by another word, samadhana, meaning "harmony" or "coordination." Sīla is one of the three practices foundational to Buddhism and the non-sectarian Vipassana movement — sīla, samādhi, and paññā as well as the Theravadin foundations of sīla, dana, and bhavana. It is also the second pāramitā. Though some popular conceptions of these ethics carry negative connotations of
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    Ritual

    Ritual

    • Religious practice of: Confucianism
    A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. The term usually refers to actions which are stylized, excluding actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers. The field of ritual studies has seen a number of conflicting definitions of the term. One given by Kyriakidis (2007) is that Ritual is an outsider's or "etic" category for a set activity (or set of actions) which to the outsider seems irrational, non-contiguous, or illogical. The term can be used also by the insider or "emic" performer as an acknowledgement that this activity can be seen as such by the uninitiated onlooker. A ritual may be performed on specific occasions, or at the discretion of individuals or communities. It may be performed by a single individual, by a group, or by the entire community; in arbitrary places, or in places especially reserved for it; either in public, in private, or before specific people. A ritual may be restricted to a certain subset of the community, and may enable or underscore the passage between religious or social states. The purposes of rituals are varied; with
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    Solemn Mass

    Solemn Mass

    Solemn Mass (Latin: missa solemnis), sometimes also referred to as Solemn High Mass or simply High Mass, is, when used not merely as a description, the full ceremonial form of the Tridentine Mass, celebrated by a priest with a deacon and a subdeacon, requiring most of the parts of the Mass to be sung, and the use of incense. The term "High Mass" is also used in the United States to describe the less elaborate Missa Cantata, which lacks deacon and subdeacon and some of the ceremonies connected with them. These terms distinguish the form in question from that of Low Mass and Missa Cantata. The parts assigned to the deacon and subdeacon are often done by priests in vestments proper to those roles. A Solemn Mass celebrated by a bishop has its own particular ceremonies and is referred to as a Solemn Pontifical Mass. The terms "Solemn Mass", "Solemn High Mass", and "High Mass" are also often used within Anglo-Catholicism, in which the ceremonial, and sometimes the text, are based on those of the Tridentine Mass. Lutherans (mainly in Europe) sometimes use the term "High Mass" to describe a more solemn form of their Divine Service, generally celebrated in a manner similar to that of Roman
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    Vipassana

    • Religious practice of: Buddhism
    Vipassanā (Pāli) or vipaśyanā (विपश्यना, Sanskrit, Chn. 觀 guān;Tib. ལྷག་མཐོང་, lhaktong; Wyl. lhag mthong) in the Buddhist tradition means insight into the true nature of reality. In the Theravadin context, this entails insight into the three marks of existence, the impermanence and unsatisfactoriness of everything that exists. In Mahayana contexts, it entails insight into what is variously described as sunyata, dharmata, the inseparability of appearance and emptiness, clarity and emptiness, or bliss and emptiness. Vipassanā is commonly used as a synonym for vipassanā-meditation, in which anapanasati, mindfulness of breathing, is used to become aware of the impermanence of everything that exists. Vipassanā is commonly used as one of two poles for the categorization of types of Buddhist practice, the other being samatha (Pāli; Sanskrit: śamatha). This distinction originates in the earliest interpretations of the Sutta Pitaka, not in the suttas themselves. Samatha is a focusing, pacifying and calming meditation, common to many traditions in the world, notably yoga. According to the contemporary Theravada orthodoxy, samatha is used as a preparation for vipassanā, pacifying the mind
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    Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

    Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

    Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, more properly Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament, is a devotional ceremony, celebrated especially in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, but also in some Anglican, Lutheran and other churches, whereby a priest or a deacon blesses the congregation with the Eucharist at the end of a period of adoration. The actual benediction or blessing follows exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, i.e., the placing of the consecrated Host in a monstrance set upon the altar or at least exposition of a ciborium containing the Blessed Sacrament. Thus "the blessing with the Eucharist is preceded by a reasonable time for readings of the word of God, songs, prayers, and a period for silent prayer", while "exposition merely for the purpose of giving benediction is prohibited". The readings, songs and prayers are meant to direct attention to worship of Christ in the Eucharist. A prayerful spirit is encouraged also by periods of silence and by a homily or brief exhortations aimed at developing a better understanding of the mystery of the Eucharist. Latin hymns traditionally sung during the exposition are "O Salutaris Hostia", "Tantum Ergo", "Laudate Dominum"
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    Cannabis

    Cannabis

    • Religious practice of: Rastafari movement
    Cannabis, also known as marijuana (from the Mexican Spanish marihuana), and by other names, is a preparation of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug and as medicine. Pharmacologically, the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); it is one of 400 compounds in the plant, including other cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Contemporary uses of cannabis are as a recreational drug, as religious or spiritual rites, or as medicine; the earliest recorded uses date from the 3rd millennium BC. In 2004, the United Nations estimated that global consumption of cannabis indicated that approximately 4.0 percent of the adult world population (162 million people) used cannabis annually, and that approximately 0.6 percent (22.5 million) of people used cannabis daily. Since the early 20th century cannabis has been subject to legal restrictions with the possession, use, and sale of cannabis preparations containing psychoactive cannabinoids currently illegal in most countries of the world; the United Nations has said that cannabis is the most-used illicit drug in the world. Cannabis has
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    Vegetarianism

    Vegetarianism

    • Religious practice of: Hinduism
    Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from consumption of meat (red meat, poultry and seafood). It may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter, such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin. Vegetarianism can be adopted for different reasons. Many object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, along with the concept of animal rights. Other motivations for vegetarianism include health, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic and economic. There are varieties of the diet as well: an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs, and an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products. A vegan, or strict vegetarian, diet excludes all animal products, including eggs, dairy, and honey. Various packaged or processed foods, including cake, cookies, chocolate and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, and may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additions. Often, products are scrutinized by vegetarians for animal-derived ingredients prior to
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    Angya

    Angya (行脚) is a term used in Zen Buddhism in reference to the traditional pilgrimage a monk or nun makes from monastery to monastery, literally translated as "to go on foot." The term also applies to the modern practice in Japan of an unsui (novice monk) journeying to seek admittance into a monastery for the first time. These unsui traditionally wear and/or carry a kasa, white cotton leggings, straw sandals, a kesa, a satchel, razor, begging bowls (hachi) and straw raincoat. When arriving the novice typically proffers an introductory letter and then must wait for acceptance for a period of days called tangaryō. Upon admittance he undergoes a probationary period known as tanga-zume. Considered an aspect of the early monk's training, angya had in ancient times lasted for many years for some. For instance, Bankei Yōtaku undertook a four year angya upon leaving Zuiō-ji in 1641.
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    Halal

    Halal

    • Religious practice of: Islam
    Halal (Arabic: حلال‎ ḥalāl, "permissible") is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law. The opposite of this word is haraam. Halal foods are foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines. According to these guidelines gathered from the Qur'an, Muslim followers cannot consume the following (also known as haraam or forbidden in Islam): Muslims are taught through the Qur'an that all animals should be treated with respect and well cared for. Muslims claim that Islamic law aims to keep the world ecology balanced in a stable and healthy way. One intention is to slaughter the animal in a way that limits its suffering or pain. The jugular vein is cut in a way that cuts off oxygen to the brain and pain receptors. Blood is completely drained from the carcass as much as is practical. Ḏabīḥah (ذَبِيْحَة) is the prescribed method of slaughtering all meat sources excluding fish and most sea-life per Islamic law. This method of slaughtering animals consists of using a well sharpened knife to make a swift, deep incision that cuts the front
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    Confirmation

    Confirmation

    • Religious practice of: Catholicism
    Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments through which Catholics pass in the process of their religious upbringing. According to Catholic doctrine, in this sacrament they receive the Holy Spirit and become adult members of the Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the Spirit of holy fear in God's presence. Guard what you have received'. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your heart. Most Catholics believe that Confirmation is based on Biblical precedent such as Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17: Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. In the Latin Rite (i.e. Western Catholic Church), the
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    Polygamy

    Polygamy

    Polygamy (from πολύς γάμος polys gamos, translated literally in Late Greek as "often married") is a marriage which includes more than two partners. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny, and there is no marriage bond between the wives; and when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry, and there is no marriage bond between the husbands. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called group marriage. The term is used in related ways in social anthropology, sociobiology, sociology, as well as in popular speech. In social anthropology, polygamy is the practice of a person's making him/herself available for two or more spouses to mate with. In contrast, monogamy is a marriage consisting of only two parties. Like monogamy, the term is often used in a de facto sense, applying regardless of whether the relationships are recognized by the state (see marriage for a discussion on the extent to which states can and do recognize potentially and actually polygamous forms as valid). In sociobiology and zoology, polygamy is used in a broad sense to mean any form of multiple
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    Bhakti

    Bhakti

    • Religious practice of: Hinduism
    Bhakti (also spelled Bhakthi, Sanskrit: भक्ति) in Hinduism and Buddhism is religious devotion in the form of active involvement of a devotee in worship of the divine. Within monotheistic Hinduism, it is the love felt by the worshipper towards the personal God, a concept expressed in Hindu theology as Iṣṭa-devatā (also as Svayam Bhagavan in Gaudiya Vaishnavism). Bhakthi can be used of either tradition of Hindu monotheism, Shaivaism or Vaishnavism. While bhakti as designating a religious path is already a central concept in the Bhagavad Gita, it rises to importance in the medieval history of Hinduism, where the Bhakti movement saw a rapid growth of bhakti beginning in Southern India with the Vaisnava Alvars (6th-9th century CE) and Saiva Nayanars (5th-10th century CE), who spread bhakti poetry and devotion throughout India by the 12th-18th century CE. The Bhagavata Purana is text associated with the Bhakti movement which elaborates the concept of bhakti as found in the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhakti movement reached North India in the Delhi Sultanate and throughout the Mughal era contributed significantly to the characteristics of Hinduism as the religion of the general population under
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    Homesteading

    • Religious practice of: Quiverfull
    Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of simple self-sufficiency. The term may apply to anyone who follows the back-to-the-land movement by adopting a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains as a way of life. According to author John Seymour, "urban homesteading" incorporates small-scale, sustainable agriculture and homemaking.
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    Lacto vegetarianism

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    A lacto vegetarian (sometimes referred to as a lactarian; from the Latin lactis, milk) diet is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee, cream, and kefir, but excludes eggs. Lacto-vegetarians also abstain from cheeses that include animal rennet and yogurts that contain gelatin. The concept and practice of lacto-vegetarianism among a significant number of people comes from ancient India and was originally based on religious beliefs. The greatest proportion of vegetarians, such as those in India or those in the area of the classical Mediterranean such as the Pythagoreans, are or were lacto-vegetarian. Lacto-vegetarian diets are popular with many followers of the Eastern religious traditions such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism. The cores of their beliefs are behind a lacto-vegetarian diet is the law of ahimsa, or non-violence. According to the Vedas (Hindu holy scriptures), all living beings are equally valued. Also, Hindus believe that one's personality is affected by the kind of food one consumes, and eating flesh is considered bad for one's spiritual/mental well-being. It takes many more vegetables or plants to produce an
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    Feet washing

    Feet washing

    Maundy (from Latin Mandatum), or Washing of the Feet, is a religious rite observed as an ordinance by several Christian denominations. John 13:1–17 mentions Jesus performing this act. Specifically, in verses 13:14–17, He instructs them, 14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet." 15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you." 16 "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him." 17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." As such, many denominations observe the washing of the feet on Maundy Thursday of Holy Week Moreover, for some denominations, foot-washing was an example, a pattern. Many groups throughout Church history and many modern denominations have practiced foot washing as a church ordinance. The derivation of the word Maundy has at least two possibilities for the origin. 1) Through Middle English and Old French mandé, from Latin mandatum. 2) From the Latin mendicare, Old French mendier, and English maund, which means “to beg” (verb) or a “small basket” (noun) held out by maunders
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    Five Ks

    Five Ks

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    The Five Ks (Punjabi: ਪੰਜ ਕਕਾਰ Pañj Kakār) are five Articles of Faith that Khalsa Sikhs wear at all times as commanded by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh who so ordered it at the Vaisakhi Amrit Sanskar in 1699. The Five Ks are not just symbols, but articles of faith that collectively form the external identity and the Khalsa devotee's commitment to the Sikh rehni "Sikh way of life". A Sikh who has taken Amrit, dons all five Ks is known as Khalsa ("pure") or Amritdhari ("Amrit Sanskar participant"), while a Sikh who has not taken Amrit but follows all rules and keeps all five Ks is called a sahajdhari ("slow adopter"). ਕੱਛ, ਕੜਾ, ਕਿਰਪਾਨ, ਕੰਘਾ, ਕੇਸਕੀ, ਇਹ ਪੰਜ ਕਕਾਰ ਰਹਿਤ ਧਰੇ ਸਿਖ ਸੋਇ ॥ Kachera, Kara, Kirpan, Kanga and Kesh. A person who wears all these Five Kakaars should be considered a Sikh. ਜੋ ਪਗ ਨੂੰ ਬਾਸੀ ਰਖੇ ਸੋ ਤਨਖਾਹੀਆ। ਇਸ ਲਈ ਹਰ ਗੁਰੂ ਕੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਲਈ ਲਾਜ਼ਮੀ ਹੈ ਕ ਉਹ ਰੋਜ਼ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਜਾਵੇ। One who does not tie a fresh turban is liable for penalty. For this reason it is mandatory for every Sikh of the Guru to tie a turban every day. — (Rehitnama Bhai Chaupa Singh ji) The Kesh, or unshorn long hair, is an indispensable part of the human body. It was created by Waheguru as the mainstay of
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    Confirmation

    Confirmation

    • Religious practice of: Christianity
    Confirmation is a rite of initiation in Christian churches, (although in the Church of England and similar denominations it can be simply viewed as a reinstating of one's beliefs) normally carried out through anointing and/or the laying on of hands and prayer for the purpose of bestowing the Gift of the Holy Spirit. There is an analogous ceremony also called Confirmation in the Jewish religion, which is not to be confused with Bar/Bat Mitzvah. The early Jewish Reformers instituted a ceremony where young Jews who are older than Bar/Bat Mitzvah age study both traditional and contemporary sources of Jewish philosophy in order to learn what it means to be Jewish. The age instituted was older than that of Bar Mitzvah because some of these topics were considered too complex for thirteen-year-old minds to grasp. Nowadays, Confirmation has gained widespread adherence among congregations affiliated with the Reform movement, but has not gained as much traction in Conservative and Orthodox Jewish groups. The way Confirmation differs from Bar Mitzvah is that Confirmation is considered a more communal confirmation of one's being Jewish, and Bar Mitzvah is more of a personal confirmation of
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    Feng shui

    Feng shui

    • Religious practice of: Taoism
    Feng shui (/ˌfʌŋ ˈʃweɪ/ fung-SHWAY, formerly /ˌfɛŋ ˈʃuːi/ feng-SHOO-ee; Chinese: 風水, pronounced [fɤ́ŋ ʂwèi] ( listen)), or Fung shui, is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven (Chinese astronomy) and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi. The original designation for the discipline is Kan Yu (simplified Chinese: 堪舆; traditional Chinese: 堪輿; pinyin: kānyú; literally: Tao of heaven and earth). The term feng shui literally translates as "wind-water" in English. This is a cultural shorthand taken from the following passage of the Zangshu (Book of Burial) by Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty: Qi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water. Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures—in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or a compass. Feng shui was suppressed in China during the cultural revolution in the 1960s, but since then has increased in popularity. Modern
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    Bible study

    Bible study

    • Religious practice of: Jehovah's Witnesses
    In Christianity, Bible study is the study of the Bible by ordinary people as a personal religious or spiritual practice. Some denominations may call this devotion or devotional acts; however in other denominations devotion has other meanings. Bible study in this sense is distinct from biblical studies, which is a formal academic discipline. In Evangelical Protestantism, the time set aside to engage in personal Bible study is often called a Quiet Time. In other traditions personal Bible study is referred to as "devotions". Catholic devotions and Anglican devotions both employ the Lectio Divina method of Bible reading. Christians of all denominations use Study Bibles to assist them in their personal Bible studies. Inductive Bible study is a means of studying and exegeting a biblical passage. It has been described as "interviewing a passage" without preconceptions or agendas. Inductive Bible study involves examining the ideas and words of the text, which leads to the meanings and then the interpretations, and then one is led to the conclusions and applications. Bible study groups within congregations are sometimes known as cell groups, though many different names exist. The Bible is
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    Chrismation

    • Religious practice of: Christianity
    Chrismation is the name given in Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, as well as in the Assyrian Church of the East, Anglican, and in Lutheran initiation rites, to the Sacrament or Sacred Mystery more commonly known in the West as confirmation, although Italian normally uses cresima (chrismation), rather than confermazione (confirmation). The term chrismation is used because the recipient of the sacrament is anointed with Chrism, which according to eastern Christan belief, the Apostles sanctified and introduced for all priests to use as a replacement for laying on of hands by the Apostles and consists of a "mixture of forty sweet-smelling substances and pure olive oil" sanctified by a bishop with some older Chrism added in, in the belief that some trace of the initial Chrism sanctified by the Apostles is contained therein. The priest anoints the recipient with Chrism, making the sign of the cross on the forehead, eyes, ears, nostrils, breast, back, hands and feet using the following words each time: The Chrism is washed off by a priest seven days later, according to the written rubrics, the newly baptized wearing their white chitons and not washing
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    Ital

    • Religious practice of: Rastafari movement
    Ital or I-tal (pronounced "eye'-tall") is food often celebrated by those in the Rastafari movement. It is mandatory in the Nyabinghi mansion though not in The Twelve Tribes of Israel or Remi mansions. The word derives from the English word "vital", with the initial syllable replaced by i. This is done to many words in the Rastafari vocabulary to signify the unity of the speaker with all of nature. Rastafarians derive their beliefs and morality from intense personal meditations and prayer, and therefore there is no single dogma of Rastafarian belief. Due to this emphasis on individual personal meditation in Rastafari, the expression of Ital eating varies widely from Rasta to Rasta, and there are few universal "rules" of Ital living. The primary goal of adhering to an Ital diet is to increase Livity, or the life energy that Rastas generally believe lives within all human beings, as conferred from the Almighty. A common tenet of Rastafarian beliefs is the sharing of a central Livity among living things, and what is put into one's body should enhance Livity rather than reduce it. Though there are different interpretations of ital regarding specific foods, the general principle is that
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    Jihad

    Jihad

    • Religious practice of: Islam
    Jihad (English pronunciation: /dʒɪˈhɑːd/; Arabic: جهاد‎ ǧihād [dʒiˈhæːd]), an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is mujahideen. Jihad is an important religious duty for Muslims. A minority among the Sunni scholars sometimes refer to this duty as the sixth pillar of Islam, though it occupies no such official status. In Twelver Shi'a Islam, however, Jihad is one of the 10 Practices of the Religion. There are two commonly accepted meanings of jihad: an inner spiritual struggle and an outer physical struggle. The "greater jihad" is the inner struggle by a believer to fulfill his religious duties. This non-violent meaning is stressed by both Muslim and non-Muslim authors. The "lesser jihad" is the physical struggle against the enemies of Islam. This physical struggle can take a violent form or a non-violent form. The proponents of the violent form translate jihad as "holy war", although some Islamic studies scholars
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    Nirvana

    Nirvana

    • Religious practice of: Zen
    Nirvāṇa (Sanskrit: निर्वाण; Pali: निब्बान, nibbāna; Prakrit: णिव्वाण) is an ancient Sanskrit term used in Indian religions to describe the profound peace of mind that is acquired with moksha (liberation). In shramanic thought, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is union with the Brahman (Supreme Being). The word literally means "blown out" (as in a candle) and refers, in the Buddhist context, to the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished. Nirvana is a composed of three phones ni and va and na: Vana is forest in/of the forest/forests; composed of flowers and other items of the forest., but vana has both phones van and va. Van has both an auspicious and ominous aspect: The abhidharma-mahāvibhāsa-sāstra, a sarvastivādin commentary, 3rd century BCE and later, describes the possible etymological interpretations of the word nirvana. Each of the five aggregates is called a skandha, which means "tree trunk". Each skandha informs the study of one's every normal experience, but eventually leads away from nirvana. Skandha also means "heap" or "pile" or "mass", like an endless knot's
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    Proselytism

    Proselytism

    • Religious practice of: Jehovah's Witnesses
    Proselytizing ( /ˈprɒsɨlɨtaɪzɨŋ/) is the act of attempting to convert people to another religion or opinion. The word proselytize is derived ultimately from the Greek language prefix προσ- (toward) and the verb ἔρχομαι (to come) in the form of προσήλυτος (a new comer). Historically in the Koine Greek Septuagint and New Testament, the word proselyte denoted a gentile who was considering conversion to Judaism. Though the word proselytism originally referred to Early Christianity (and earlier Gentiles), it now refers to any religions' or religious individuals' attempts to convert people to their beliefs or even any attempt to convert people to another point of view, religious or not. Many Christians consider it their obligation to follow what is often termed the Great Commission of Jesus, recorded in the final verses of the Gospel of Matthew: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." The Acts of the Apostles and other sources contain several accounts of early Christians
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    Veganism

    Veganism

    • Religious practice of: Jainism
    Veganism (/ˈviːgənɪzəm/) is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan. Distinctions are sometimes made between different types of vegans and veganism. A dietary vegan (or strict vegetarian) is one who abstains from including animal products (not only meat and fish, but also dairy products, eggs and often honey, as well as other animal-derived substances) from his/her diet. The term ethical vegan or lifestyle vegan is often applied to someone who not only follows a vegan diet, but extends the vegan philosophy into other areas of their life. Another term used is environmental veganism, which refers to the rejection of animal products on the premise that industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable. The term vegan was coined in England in 1944 by Donald Watson, co-founder of the British Vegan Society, to mean "non-dairy vegetarian"; the society also opposed the consumption of eggs. In 1951, the society extended the definition of veganism to mean "the doctrine that man should live
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    69
    Kinhin

    Kinhin

    • Religious practice of: Zen
    In Zen Buddhism, kinhin (traditional Chinese: 經行 jīngxíng; Japanese: 経行 kinhin; Vietnamese: kinh-hàhn), or kyōgyō (教行), is the walking meditation that is practiced between long periods of the sitting meditation known as zazen. Practitioners walk clockwise around a room while holding their hands in shashu (叉手), with one hand closed in a fist, while the other hand grasps or covers the fist. During walking meditation each step is taken after each full breath. The beginning of kinhin is announced by ringing the bell twice (kinhinsho); the end by ringing once (chukaisho 抽解鐘 ‘the chime to let go and detach’). In Chinese Zen, walking meditation is done with a wooden fish, whose rhythm one's footsteps follow. Each strike of the wooden fish is a step. The pace of walking meditation may be slow (several steady steps per each breath) or brisk, almost to the point of jogging. The terms consist of the Kanji kin (経 ‘to go through (like the thread in a loom)’, with ‘sūtra’ as a secondary meaning) and hin (行 ‘walk’). Therefore if taken literally, they mean ‘to walk straight back and forth.’ Although it can be translated loosely as meditative walking or walking meditation. Its meaning is similar to
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    Confession

    Confession

    Confession is the acknowledgment of sin (or one's sinfulness) or wrongs. It is a religious practice in a number of faith traditions. In Catholic teaching, the Sacrament of Penance is the method of the Church by which individual men and women may confess sins committed after baptism and have them absolved by a priest. Although it is not mandatory, the Catholic rite is traditionally conducted within a confessional box or booth. This sacrament is known by many names, including penance, reconciliation and confession (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sections 1423-1442). While official Church publications always refer to the sacrament as "Penance", "Reconciliation" or "Penance and Reconciliation", many laypeople continue to use the term "Confession" in reference to the Sacrament. For the Catholic Church, the intent of this sacrament is to provide healing for the soul as well as to regain the grace of God, lost by sin. It is the only ordinary way to receive the forgiveness of God for serious (mortal) sins. The Church teaches that Catholic priests have been given the authority by God to exercise the forgiveness of sins here on earth and it is in God's Name by which the person confessing
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    72
    Confirmation

    Confirmation

    Confirmation in the Lutheran Church is a public profession of faith prepared for by long and careful instruction. In English, it is called "affirmation of baptism", and is a mature and public profession of the faith which "marks the completion of the congregation's program of confirmation ministry". Lutherans, like Roman Catholics, believe that Confirmation is based on Biblical precedents such as Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17: Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism states: Confirmation is a public rite of the Church preceded by a period of instruction designed to help baptized Christians identify with the life and mission of the Christian community. Note: Prior to admission to the Eucharist, it is necessary to be instructed in the Christian faith (1 Cor. 11:28). The rite of confirmation provides an opportunity for the
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    Alchemy

    Alchemy

    • Religious practice of: Taoism
    Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners' claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base metals into the noble metals gold or silver, as well as an elixir of life conferring youth and immortality. Western alchemy is recognized as a protoscience that contributed to the development of modern chemistry and medicine. Alchemists developed a framework of theory, terminology, experimental process and basic laboratory techniques that are still recognizable today. But alchemy differs from modern science in the inclusion of Hermetic principles and practices related to mythology, religion, and spirituality. The defining goals of alchemy are often given as the transmutation of common metals into gold (known as chrysopoeia), the creation of a panacea, and the discovery of a universal solvent. However, this only highlights certain aspects of alchemy. Alchemists have historically rewritten, and evolved the explanation of their art, making a singular definition difficult. H.J. Sheppard gives
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    74
    Eucharist

    Eucharist

    • Religious practice of: Protestantism
    The Eucharist ( /ˈjuːkərɪst/), also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance. It is reenacted in accordance with Jesus' instruction at the Last Supper as recorded in several books of the New Testament, that his followers do in remembrance of Him as when he gave his disciples bread, saying, "This is my body", and gave them wine, saying: "This is my blood." There are different interpretations of the significance of the Eucharist, but according to the Encyclopædia Britannica "there is more of a consensus among Christians about the meaning of the Eucharist than would appear from the confessional debates over the sacramental presence, the effects of the Eucharist, and the proper auspices under which it may be celebrated." The word Eucharist may refer not only to the rite but also to the consecrated bread (leavened or unleavened) and wine (or unfermented grape juice in some Protestant denominations, water in the LDS Church's sacrament), used in the rite. In this sense, communicants (that is, those who partake of the communion elements) may speak of "receiving the Eucharist", as well
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    75
    Hajj

    Hajj

    • Religious practice of: Islam
    The Hajj (Arabic: حج‎ Ḥaǧǧ "pilgrimage", also spelled haj) is the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God (Allah in the Arabic language). The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj changes from year to year. Ihram is the name given to the special spiritual state in which Muslims live while on the pilgrimage. The Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham (Ibrahim). Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and
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    76
    Langar

    Langar

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    Langar (Punjabi: ਲੰਗਰ, Hindi: लंगर) is the term used in the Sikh religion or in Punjab in general for common kitchen/canteen where food is served in a Gurdwara to all the visitors (without distinction of background) for free. At the langar, only vegetarian food is served, to ensure that all people, regardless of their dietary restrictions, can eat as equals. Langar is open to Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike. The exception to vegetarian langar is when Nihangs (in India) serve meat on the occasion of Holla Mohalla, and call it Mahaprasad. There are also variations on langar, for example at Hazur Sahib, where meat is included. Langar is also a common term used across various units in the Indian Army, when referring to a mess, especially when there is no building and the food is served in open air (or through temporary arrangements like tents). The institution of the Sikh langar, or free kitchen, was started by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. It was designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status, a revolutionary concept in the caste-ordered society of 16th-century India where Sikhism began. In
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    77

    Margapala

    • Religious practice of: Sakya
    Mārgaphala (Sanskrit; Tibetan: lam ‘bras, pronounced Lamdré) is a Vajrayāna Buddhist meditative system rooted in the view that the result of its practice is contained within the path. The name Mārgaphala means the “path" [mārga; Tib. lam] with its fruit [phala; Tib. ‘bras]”. In Tibet, the Mārgaphala teachings are considered the summum bonum of the Sakya school. Indian Origins According to traditional accounts, the Mārgaphala teachings were originally bestowed upon Virūpa, an Indian monk, by the tantric deity Nairātmyā. By practicing the instructions given to him, Virūpa is said to have realized enlightenment. Hagiographical accounts of Virūpa’s exploits record outrageous events, including binge drinking, seducing women, and destroying non-Buddhist (Skt. tīrtika) religious sites. Davidson suggests that this depiction shows the laxity of Buddhist morals during the Indian medieval period, but Wedemeyer suggests that the behavior shown in esoteric Buddhist hagiographies is intentionally scandalous, forming a social commentary on broader issues being discussed in the Indian religious milieu. During his adventures in India, Virūpa converted the Hindu yogin Kāṇha (also called Kṛṣṇa, Tib.
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    78

    None

    None ( /ˈnoʊn/ NOHN), or the Ninth Hour, is a fixed time of prayer of the Divine Office of almost all the traditional Christian liturgies. It consists mainly of psalms and is said around 3 p.m. Its name comes from Latin and refers to the ninth hour of the day after dawn. This hour is now described more generally as the "midafternoon prayer" and may be said whenever convenient during the day, or omitted entirely. However, bishops and priests are still expected to recite the full sequence of hours, as closely as possible to the traditional time of day. In the Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic Churches the office of the Ninth Hour is normally read by a single Reader and has very little variation in it. Three fixed psalms are read at the Third Hour: Psalms 83, 84, and 85 (LXX). The only variable portions for most of the year are the Troparia (either one or two) and Kontakion of the Day. The service ends with the Prayer of the Ninth Hour by Saint Basil the Great. During Great Lent a number of changes in the office take place. On Monday through Thursday, after the three fixed psalms, the Reader says a kathisma from the Psalter. The Troparion of the Day is replaced by special Lenten
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    Satya

    • Religious practice of: Jainism
    Satya or Sathya is a Sanskrit word that loosely translates into English as "truth" or "correct". It is a term of power due to its purity and meaning and has become the emblem of many peaceful social movements, particularly those centered on social justice, environmentalism and vegetarianism. Sathya is also defined in Sanskrit as "sate hitam satyam" which translates to "The path to ultimate truth or Sat is sathya (i.e. the real truth)". Hence all the deeds, words, and wisdom that bring us closer to the Ultimate Truth are the truth. The philosophical meaning of the word 'Satya' is "unchangeable", "that which has no distortion", "that which is beyond distinctions of time, space, and person", "that which pervades the universe in all its constancy." Human life progresses through different stages—from childhood to adolescence, from adolescence to youth, and youth to old age. It is through these changes that people progress in the manifest world. That is why human life or its receptacle, the body, is not Satya. In Hinduism, Truth is defined as "unchangeable", "that which has no distortion", "that which is beyond distinctions of time, space, and person", "that which pervades the universe
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    Use of Hereford

    The Use of Hereford or Hereford Use was a variant of the Roman Rite used in Herefordshire before the English Reformation. When Peter of Aigueblanche, Bishop of Hereford, returned to his native Savoy he used it in his church in Aiguebelle.
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    Buddhist Initiation Ritual

    Buddhist Initiation Ritual

    The lay Buddhist ordination (Chinese: 受戒; pinyin: shòu jiè, Japanese: Jukai (受戒), Korean: sugye (수계) refers to the public ordination ceremony wherein a lay student of Zen Buddhism receives certain Buddhist precepts. The particulars of the ceremony differ widely by country and by school. In Japan, the ritual is called jukai. In the Sōtō school students take refuge in the Three Jewels (or Three Refuges), the Three Pure Precepts ("to do no evil, to do good, and to do good for others") and the Ten Grave Precepts. Students must undergo a period of study for their jukai ceremony. According to the late Houn Jiyu-Kennett, "This is the most important set of ceremonies in the life of a [Zen Buddhist] layman [sic], and no person may become a [monastic] trainee unless he [sic] has undergone the week of training that these ceremonies occupy, either before his [sic] ordination or within a year of entering a training temple." In South Korea, the ritual, called sugye (수계), involves formally taking refuge in The Three Jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, and accepting the five precepts. During the ritual, the initiate is touched with a burning incense stick. This is to leave
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    Kensho

    • Religious practice of: Rinzai school
    Kenshō traditional Chinese: 見性; Japanese: 見性; literally: "see [one's] nature") is a Japanese term from the Zen tradition. Ken means "seeing," shō means "nature," "essence. Kenshō is an initial insight or awakening, not full Buddhahood. It is to be followed by further training to deepen this insight, and learn to express it in daily life. The term kenshō is often used interchangeably with satori, which is derived from the verb satoru, and means "comprehension; understanding". The Chinese Buddhist term jianxing (simplified Chinese: 见性; traditional Chinese: 見性; pinyin: jiànxìng; Wade–Giles: chien-hsing) compounds: Buddhist monks who produced Sanskrit-Chinese translations of sutras faced many linguistic difficulties: Thus, jianxing was the translation for dṛṣṭi-svabhāva, "view one's essential nature". The (c. 8th century) Chinese Platform Sutra (2, Prajñā "wisdom, understanding") first records jianxing. The Modern Standard Chinese pronunciation jianxing historically derives from (c. 7th century CE) Middle Chinese kiensjäŋ. East Asian Languages, particularly the Sino-Xenic Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese tongues, borrowed the Chinese Buddhist term jianxing as a loanword: Translating
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    83

    Mahamudra

    • Religious practice of: Kagyu
    Mahāmudrā (Sanskrit; Tibetan: Chagchen, Wylie: phyag chen, contraction of Chagya Chenpo, Wylie: phyag rgya chen po) literally means "great seal" or "great symbol." It "is a multivalent term of great importance in later Indian Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism" which "also occurs occasionally in Hindu and East Asian Buddhist esotericism." The name refers to the way one who has realized mahāmudrā (that is, one who has succeeded in the practices of mahāmudrā) experiences reality: mudra refers to the fact that each phenomenon appears vividly, and maha refers to the fact that it is beyond concept, imagination, and projection. Mahāmudrā is a body of teachings that represents the culmination of all the practices of the new translation schools of Tibetan Buddhism, who believe it to be the quintessential message of all of their sacred texts. The usage and meaning of the term mahāmudrā evolved over the course of hundreds of years of Indian and Tibetan history, and as a result, the term may refer variously to "a ritual hand-gesture, one of a sequence of 'seals' in Tantric practice, the nature of reality as emptiness, a meditation procedure focusing on the nature of mind, an innate blissful gnosis
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    Vespers

    Vespers

    Vespers is the sunset evening prayer service in the Western Catholic, Eastern (Byzantine) Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours. The word comes from the Greek ἑσπέρα and the Latin vesper, meaning "evening." It is also referred to in the Anglican tradition as Evening Prayer or Evensong. The term is also used in some Protestant denominations (such as the Presbyterian Church or Seventh-day Adventist Church) to describe evening services. The general structure of the Roman Rite Catholic service of vespers is as follows: In the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, there are three forms of Vespers: Great Vespers, Daily Vespers and Small Vespers. Great Vespers is the form served on Sundays and major feast days (those of Polyeleos rank or above) when it may be celebrated alone or as part of an All-Night Vigil, or as the commencement of the Divine Liturgy, or on a few special occasions, e.g., Good Friday or Pascha afternoon. Daily Vespers is the form served on other days when Great Vespers is not served. Small Vespers is a very abbreviated form of the service which is celebrated only on the
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    Eucharist

    Eucharist

    • Religious practice of: Catholicism
    "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1323) Eucharist in the Catholic Church refers to both the celebration of the Mass, that is, the Eucharist liturgy, and the bread and wine which after the consecration are transubstantiated (changed in substance) into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, Lord and God. Blessed Sacrament is a devotional term used in the Roman Catholic Church to refer to the Eucharistic species (the Body and Blood of Christ). The Catholic Church sees as the main basis for this belief the words of Jesus himself at his Last Supper: the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20) and Saint Paul's 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 recount that in that context Jesus said of what to all appearances were bread and wine: "This is my body … this is my blood." The Catholic understanding of these words, from the Patristic authors onward, has emphasized their roots in the covenantal history of the Old Testament. The Gospel of John in Chapter 6, The Discourse on the Bread of Life, presents Jesus as saying: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and
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    Marriage in the Eastern Orthodox Church

    Marriage in the Eastern Orthodox Church

    • Religious practice of: Eastern Orthodox Church
    The Sacrament or, more properly, Sacred Mystery of Marriage does not unite a man and a woman. Rather, it is the Church's recognition of a union that God has already begun to work in their lives. As long as the union remains within the reality of this world, it will be subject to sin, pain, and death. But, through the Sacred Mystery, the union enters at the same time into a new reality: that of God's Kingdom. In Christ, marriage is restored to its initial perfection and in the sacrament, this union is made open to the possibility of what God intended marriage to be from the beginning: an eternal life of joy in union with Him. Thus, marriage goes beyond a legal contract. There is no exchange of vows - the two have freely and coequally committed to one another and consented to God's presence in their union. There is no phrase "'til death do us part". If marriage is brought into the Kingdom of God, death, as a separation, is powerless over it. Christ has destroyed death by His Cross and Resurrection; therefore, the union of man and woman in Christ is eternal. The Orthodox Sacrament of Marriage, shared by Byzantine Catholics, actually consists of two parts: The Exchange of Rings and The
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    Prayer of Humble Access

    Prayer of Humble Access

    The Prayer of Humble Access is the name traditionally given to a prayer contained in many Anglican and some Protestant eucharistic liturgies. The prayer was an integral part of the early Books of Common Prayer of the Church of England and has continued to be used throughout much of the Anglican Communion. Its name is derived from the heading above the prayer in the Scottish Book of Common Prayer of 1637. This book was a moderate revision of the English Book of Common Prayer of that time, with influences and changes to concede to the Scottish Presbyterians. One change was the inclusion of the Prayer of Humble Access. The prayer finds its roots in a prayer of "worthy reception" which appeared in the Order for Communion in 1548 and was retained in the so-called First Prayer Book of Edward VI published in 1549. The prayer was not apparently a translation of a pre-existing prayer found in the Sarum liturgy - but was a unique combination of several sources, including phrases or concepts from Mark 7:28, the Liturgy of St Basil, a Gregorian collect, John 6:56, and the writings of Thomas Aquinas. In its earliest appearance the prayer followed the confession and absolution and "comfortable
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    Ritual purification

    Ritual purification

    • Religious practice of: Shinto
    Ritual purification is a feature of many religions. The aim of these rituals is to remove specifically defined uncleanliness prior to a particular type of activity, and especially prior to the worship of a deity. This ritual uncleanliness is not identical with ordinary physical impurity, such as dirt stains; nevertheless, body fluids are generally considered ritually unclean. Most of these rituals existed long before the germ theory of disease, and figure prominently from the earliest known religious systems of the Ancient Near East. Some writers remark that similarities between cleansing actions, engaged in by obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers and those of religious purification rites, point to an ultimate origin of the rituals in the personal grooming behaviour of the primates, but others connect the rituals to primitive taboos. Some have seen benefits of these practices that as a point of health and preventing infections especially in areas where humans come in close contact with each other. While these practices came before the idea of the germ theory was public in areas that use daily cleaning, the destruction of infectious agents seems to be dramatic. The Hebrew Bible
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    Sun Dance

    Sun Dance

    The Sun Dance (or Sundance) is a religious ceremony practiced by a number of Native American and First Nations peoples, primarily those of the Plains Nations. Each tribe has its own distinct practices and ceremonial protocols. Many of the ceremonies have features in common, such as specific dances and songs passed down through many generations, the use of traditional drums, the sacred pipe, tobacco offerings, praying, fasting and, in some cases, the piercing of skin on the chest or back for the men and arms for the women. In 1997, responding to increased desecration of the ceremony, Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe asked non-Native people to stop attending the Sun Dance, or Wi-wanyang-wa-c'i-pi in Lakota. On March 8 and 9, 2003, some bundle keepers and traditional spiritual leaders from Arapaho, Cheyenne, Cree, Dakotah, Lakota, and Nakota Nations met and issued a proclamation that non-Natives would be banned from sacred altars and the Seven Sacred Rites, including and especially the Sun Dance, effective March 9, 2003 onward. Although not all Sun Dance ceremonies include dancers being ritually pierced, the object of the Sun Dance
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    Mass

    Mass

    "Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church, Latin liturgical rites, Western Rite Orthodox Churches, as well as in similar celebrations in Old Catholic Churches, in some Anglican parishes, and in many Lutheran Churches. Apart from "Eucharist" others are the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly (synaxis)", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and Divine Liturgy" and "Holy Communion". In these denominations, the term Mass often colloquially refers to the entire church service in general. In general, Protestants avoid the term "Mass" and use such terms as Divine Service or service of worship, for doctrinal reasons. For the celebration of the Eucharist in Eastern churches, including those in full communion with the Holy See, other terms such as the Divine Liturgy, the Holy Qurbana and the Badarak are normal. The term "Mass" is derived from the Late Latin word missa (dismissal), a word used in the concluding formula of Mass in Latin: "Ite, missa est" ("Go; it is the dismissal"). "In antiquity, missa simply meant 'dismissal'. In Christian usage,
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    Dasvand

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    Dasvand (Punjabi: ਦਸਵੰਦ) literally means a tenth part and refers the act of donating ten percent of one's harvest, both financial and in the form of time and service such as seva to the Gurdwara and anywhere else. It falls into Guru Nanak Dev's concept of Vand Chhako. This was done during the time of Guru Arjan Dev and many Sikhs still do it up to this day. The concept of dasvandh was implicit in Guru Nanak’s own line: “ghali khai kichhu hathhu dei, Nanak rahu pachhanahi sei—He alone, O Nanak, knoweth the way who eats out of what he earneth by his honest labour and yet shareth part of it with others” (GG, 1245). The idea of sharing and giving was nourished by the institutions of sangat (holy assembly) and langar (community kitchen) the Guru had established. In the time of Guru Amar Das, Nanak III, a formal structure for channelizing Sikh religious giving was evolved. He set up 22 manjis or districts in different parts of the country. Each of these "manji's" was placed under the charge of a pious Sikh (both male and female) who, besides preaching Guru Nanak’s word, looked after the sangats within his/her jurisdiction and transmitted the disciple’s offerings to the Guru. As the
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    Holy unction

    Holy unction (ευχέλαιον) is one of the sacraments performed and recognised by the Eastern orthodox church on Holy Wednesday. It may be performed on another date as well, if the person requesting it is in immediate need of it or extremely ill. Holy Unction, unlike Communion or Baptism, is not obligatory in the Eastern Orthodox church. It may only be performed on Orthodox Christians. In Greek it is translated to "blessed" or "holy oil". The ritual sacrament is ideally carried out by seven priests, though it may be carried out by a single priest if other clergymen are unavailable. The rite calls for seven readings from the Epistles and Gospels, and seven prayers. One must note the sanctity of the number seven, which is universally symbolic in Christian theology; it took six days to create the Earth, and on the seventh day God rested. It is also possible that it was a carryover from old polytheistic symbolism there were seven wonders of the ancient world and seven planets in the classical world. When receiving the sacrament, the priest anoints the person on the chest, hands, eye lids, and nose. The anointing oil is usually olive oil but other oils can presumably be used. Some Eastern
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    Zazen

    Zazen

    • Religious practice of: Zen
    In Zen Buddhism, zazen (literally "seated meditation"; Japanese: 坐禅; simplified Chinese: 坐禅; traditional Chinese: 坐禪; pinyin: zuò chán; Wade–Giles: tso-ch'an) is a meditative discipline practitioners perform to calm the body and the mind, and be able to concentrate enough to experience insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain enlightenment. Zazen is considered the heart of Zen Buddhist practice. The aim of zazen is just sitting, "opening the hand of thought", that is, suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them. In Zen temples and monasteries, practitioners traditionally sit zazen as a group in a meditation hall, usually referred to as the zendo. The practitioner sits on a cushion called a zafu, which itself is usually placed on top of a low, flat mat called a zabuton. Before taking one's seat, and after rising at the end of the period of zazen, Zen practitioners perform a gassho bow to their seat, and a second bow to fellow practitioners. The beginning of a period of zazen is traditionally announced by ringing a bell three times (shijosho), and the end of a round by ringing the bell either
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    Holy Orders

    Holy Orders

    The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry. In the Roman Catholic (Latin: sacri ordines), Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox (ιερωσύνη [hierōsynē], ιεράτευμα [hierateuma], Священство [Svyashchenstvo]), Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, Independent Catholic churches and some Lutheran churches Holy Orders comprise the three orders of bishop, priest and deacon, or the sacrament or rite by which candidates are ordained to those orders. Except for Lutherans and some Anglicans, these churches regard ordination as a sacrament (the sacramentum ordinis). The Anglo-Catholic party within Anglicanism tends to identify with the Roman Catholic position with regard to the sacramental nature of ordination. Denominations have varied conceptions of Holy Orders. In the Anglican churches and some Lutheran churches the traditional orders of bishop, priest and deacon are bestowed using ordination rites. The extent to which ordination is considered sacramental in these traditions has, however, been a matter of some internal dispute. Many other denominations do not consider the role of
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    Prajñā

    • Religious practice of: Buddhism
    Prajñā (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञा) or paññā (Pāli) is wisdom, understanding, discernment, insight, or cognitive acuity. It is one of three divisions of the Noble Eightfold Path. Such wisdom is understood to exist in the universal flux of being and can be intuitively experienced through meditation. In some sects of Buddhism, it is especially the wisdom that is based on the direct realization of such things as the four noble truths, impermanence, interdependent origination, non-self and emptiness. Prajñā is the wisdom that is able to extinguish afflictions (kleśas) and bring about enlightenment. In Sanskrit, jñā can be translated as "consciousness", "knowledge", or "understanding." Pra is an intensifier which could be translated as "higher", "greater", "supreme" or "premium." In the Pāli Canon, paññā is defined in a variety of overlapping ways, frequently centering on concentrated insight into the three characteristics of all things—impermanence, suffering and no-self—and the four noble truths. For instance, both when elaborating upon the five spiritual faculties—faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom—and when discussing the threefold training of higher virtue (adhi-sīla),
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    Prayer

    Prayer

    • Religious practice of: Protestantism
    Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with a deity, an object of worship, or a spiritual entity through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creed, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. There are different forms of prayer such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and worship/praise. Prayer may be directed towards a deity, spirit, deceased person, or lofty idea, for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one's thoughts and emotions. Thus, people pray for many reasons such as personal benefit or for the sake of others. Most major religions involve prayer in one way or another. Some ritualize the act of prayer, requiring a strict sequence of actions or placing a restriction on who is permitted to pray, while others teach that prayer may be practiced spontaneously by anyone at any time. Scientific studies regarding the use of prayer
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    Sext

    Sext, or Sixth Hour, is a fixed time of prayer of the Divine Office of almost all the traditional Christian liturgies. It consists mainly of psalms and is said at noon. Its name comes from Latin and refers to the sixth hour of the day after dawn. From the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1917; note that this describes the office before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council; the numbering system of psalms is that of the Septuagint and are said in Latin The hora sexta of the Romans corresponded closely with our noon. Among the Jews it was already regarded, together with Terce and None, as an hour most favourable to prayer. In the Acts of the Apostles we read that St. Peter went up to the higher parts of the house to pray (Acts 10:9). It was the middle of the day, also the usual hour of rest, and in consequence for devout men, an occasion to pray to God, as were the morning and evening hours. The Fathers of the Church dwell constantly on the symbolism of this hour; their teaching is merely summarized here: it is treated at length in Cardinal Bona's work on psalmody. Noon is the hour when the sun is at its full, it is the image of Divine splendour, the plenitude of God, the time of grace;
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    Eucharistic discipline

    Eucharistic discipline is the term applied to the regulations and practices associated with an individual preparing for the reception of the Eucharist. Different traditions require varying degrees of preparation, which may include a period of fasting, prayer, repentance, and confession. Sufficient spiritual preparation must be made by each Roman Catholic prior to receiving Holy Communion. A Catholic in a state of mortal sin should first make a sacramental confession: otherwise that person commits a sacrilege. A sacrilege is the irreverent treatment of sacred things. Deliberate and irreverent treatment of the Eucharist is the worst of all sacrileges, as this quote from the Council of Trent shows: "As of all the sacred mysteries ...none can compare with the ...Eucharist, so likewise for no crime is there heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the unholy or irreligious use by the faithful of that which...contains the very Author and Source of holiness." (De Euch., v.i). The above applies to both Latin and Eastern Catholics. In addition, they abstain from food and drink (except water and medicine) for at least one hour before receiving, and believe truly in the Real Presence
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    Samatha meditation

    • Religious practice of: Buddhism
    Samatha (Pāli), śamatha (Sanskrit: शमथ also orthographically romanized to shamatha, Tib. ཞི་གནས་, shyiné; Wylie: zhi gnas) "calm abiding", and its counterterm vipassana are used to classify all kinds of Buddhist meditation or bhavana. In Sri Lanka samatha is considered to be all the meditations directed at static objects. In Burma, samatha comprises all concentration practices, aimed at calming the mind. The "New Burmese Method" or "Vipassana School" considers samatha as an optional but not necessary component of vipassana. The Thai Forest tradition deriving from Ajahn Mun and popularized by Ajahn Chah, in contrast, stresses the inseparability of the two practices. Samatha is commonly used in Theravada Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and various branches of the Pure Land tradition. The Tibetan term for samatha is shiney (Wylie: zhi-gnas). According to Jamgon Kongtrul, insight may be garnered by an exegesis of the etymology of śamatha and shiney: The semantic field of shi and shama is "pacification", "the slowing or cooling down", "rest". The semantic field of né is "to abide or remain" and this is cognate or equivalent with the final syllable of the Sanskrit, thā. Buddhists consider
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    Confirmation

    Confirmation

    In the Latter Day Saint movement, Confirmation (also known as the Gift of the Holy Ghost or the Baptism of Fire and of the Holy Ghost), is an ordinance essential for salvation. It involves the laying on of hands and is performed after baptism. Through confirmation, the initiate becomes an official member of the church and receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. Baptism and confirmation are administered to persons at least eight years old (the age of accountability). The ordinance corresponds to the confirmation rite in many other Christian faiths. Confirmations were first performed on April 6, 1830 at the organizational meeting of the Church of Christ. The gift of the Holy Ghost is considered the fourth of the "first principles and ordinances of the Gospel": First being "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that these two ordinances are necessary for all mankind, so they perform both baptisms and confirmations by proxy on behalf of the dead in their temples. Joseph Smith taught the need for both water
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    Iman

    • Religious practice of: Sunni Islam
    Iman (Arabic: إيمان‎) is an Arabic term which denotes certitude to the unseen. In Islamic theology, it refers to the inner aspect of the religion, and denotes a believer's faith in the metaphysical realities of Islam. The term Iman has been delineated in both the Quran as well as the famous Hadith of Gabriel. There exists a debate both within and outside Islam on the link between faith and reason in religion, and the relative importance of either. Several scholars contend that faith and reason spring from the same source and hence must be harmonious According to the Quran, Iman must be accompanied by evidence of righteous deeds, and the two together are necessary for entry into Paradise. Also, since Iman is a quality of the heart / belief, it is impossible for anyone to judge who really is a believer. Iman is one of the three dimensions of the Islamic religion: islam, iman and ihsan. Iman can be stated as acknowledging God with full sincerity of heart whilst accepting all His attributes and their obvious corollaries. Farāhī, whilst explaining the meaning of imān in his exegesis, has written: "The root of imān is amn. It is used in various shades of meaning. One of its derivatives
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    Ordinance

    Ordinance

    In Mormonism, an ordinance is a religious ritual of special significance, often involving the formation of a covenant with God. Ordinances are performed by the authority of the priesthood and in the name of Jesus Christ. The term has a meaning roughly similar to that of the term "sacrament" in other Christian denominations. There are numerous Latter Day Saint ordinances, many of which are also practiced by other Christian denominations. For example, Mormons practice Baptism, Confirmation and Sacrament (the Lord's Supper). Some ordinances that are unique to Mormonism are usually associated with and performed in LDS temples. These ordinances include the Endowment and sealings. Saving ordinances are those rituals that are a requirement for exaltation. They are performed only once for each individual. However, if a person is excommunicated or removes his or her name from the church membership rolls, all saving ordinances are revoked; if the individual wishes to re-join the church, he or she must receive the saving ordinances again, beginning with baptism. According to LDS theology, ordinances can be performed vicariously (i.e. post mortem) on behalf of any person who would desire to
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    Pontifical High Mass

    Pontifical High Mass

    In the context of the Tridentine Mass of the Roman Catholic Church, a Pontifical High Mass, also called Solemn Pontifical Mass, is a Solemn or High Mass celebrated by a bishop using certain prescribed ceremonies. The term is also used among Anglo-Catholic Anglicans. In the early Church, Mass was normally celebrated by the bishop, with other clergy. In the Roman Rite this evolved into a form of Solemn High Mass celebrated by a bishop accompanied by a deacon, subdeacon, assistant deacons, thurifer, acolyte(s) and other ministers, under the guidance of a priest acting as Master of Ceremonies. Most often the specific parts assigned to deacon and subdeacon are performed by priests. The parts to be said aloud are all chanted, except that the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, which before the reform of Pope Pius V were said in the sacristy or during the entrance procession, were said quietly by the bishop with the deacon and the subdeacon, while the choir sang the Introit. The full Pontifical High Mass is carried out when the bishop celebrates the Mass at the throne (or cathedra) in his own cathedral church, or with permission at the throne in another diocese. A Low Mass celebrated by a
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    Priesthood

    Priesthood

    • Religious practice of: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    In the Latter Day Saint movement, priesthood is considered to be the power and authority of God, including the authority to act as a leader in the church and to perform ordinances, and the power to perform miracles. A body of priesthood holders is referred to as a quorum. Priesthood denotes elements of both power and authority. The priesthood includes the power Jesus gave his apostles to perform miracles such as the casting out of devils and the healing of sick (Luke 9:1). Latter Day Saints believe that the Biblical miracles performed by prophets and apostles were performed by the power of priesthood, including the miracles of Jesus, who holds all of the keys of the priesthood. The priesthood is formally known as the Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God, but to avoid the too frequent use of the name of the Son of God, the priesthood is referred to as the Melchizedek Priesthood, Melchizedek being the high priest from whom Abraham received and paid tithes. As an authority, priesthood is the authority by which a bearer may perform ecclesiastical acts of service in the name of God. Latter Day Saints believe that acts (and in particular, ordinances) performed by one with
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    Islamic dietary laws

    Islamic dietary laws

    • Religious practice of: Islam
    Islamic jurisprudence specifies which foods are ḥalāl (حَلَال "lawful") and which are ḥarām (حَرَامْ "unlawful"). This is derived from commandments found in the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, as well as the Hadith and Sunnah, libraries cataloguing things the Prophet Mohammed is reported to have said and done. Extensions of these rulings are issued, as fatwas, by Mujtahids, with varying degrees of strictness, but they are not always widely held to be authoritative. According to the Quran, the only foods explicitly forbidden are meat from animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of swine (porcine animals, pigs), and animals dedicated to other than Allah (either undedicated or dedicated to idols), but a person is not guilty of sin in a situation where the lack of any alternative creates an undesired necessity to consume that which is otherwise unlawful. (Quran 2:173) This is the "law of necessity" in Islamic jurisprudence: "That which is necessary makes the forbidden permissible", which, in the case of dietary laws, allows one to eat pork or carrion, or drink wine or ethanol if one was starving or dying of thirst (although the Shafi'i madhhab differs on the issue of ethanolic
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    Astrology

    Astrology

    • Religious practice of: Taoism
    Astrology consists of a number of belief systems which hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world. In the West, astrology most often consists of a system of horoscopes that claim to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict future events in their life based on the positions of the sun, moon, and other planetary objects at the time of their birth. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and the Indians, Chinese, and Mayans developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Among Indo-European peoples, astrology has been dated to the third millennium BCE, with roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Through most of its history, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition. It was accepted in political and academic contexts, and was connected with other studies, such as astronomy, alchemy, meteorology, and medicine. At the end of the 17th century, new scientific concepts in astronomy (such as heliocentrism) called astrology into question, and subsequent controlled
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    Buddhist meditation

    Buddhist meditation

    • Religious practice of: Buddhism
    Buddhist meditation refers to the meditative practices associated with the religion and philosophy of Buddhism. Core meditation techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through teacher-student transmissions. Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward Enlightenment and Nirvana. The closest words for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism are bhāvanā and jhāna/dhyāna. Buddhist meditation techniques have become increasingly popular in the wider world, with many non-Buddhists taking them up for a variety of reasons. Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that aim to develop mindfulness, concentration, supramundane powers, tranquility, and insight. Given the large number and diversity of traditional Buddhist meditation practices, this article primarily identifies authoritative contextual frameworks — both contemporary and canonical — for the variety of practices. For those seeking school-specific meditation information, it may be more appropriate to simply view the articles listed in the "See also" section below. While there are some similar meditative practices — such as breath
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    Ordination

    Ordination

    • Religious practice of: Anglicanism
    Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination varies by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is undergoing the process of, ordination is sometimes called an ordinand. The liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordinal. The tradition of the ordained monastic community (sangha) began with the Buddha, who established orders of monks and later of nuns. The procedure of ordination in Buddhism is laid down in the Vinaya and Patimokkha or Pratimoksha scriptures. There exist three intact ordination lineages nowadays in which one can receive an ordination according to the Buddha's teachings: Saicho repeatedly requested that the Japanese government allow the construction of a Mahayana ordination platform. Permission was granted in 822 CE, seven days after Saicho died. The platform was finished in 827 CE at Enryaku-ji temple on Mount Hiei, and was the first in Japan. Prior to this, those wishing to become monks/nuns were ordained using the Hinayana precepts, whereas after the Mahayana ordination platform,
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    Oryoki

    Ōryōki (応量器, "Just enough") is a meditative form of eating that originated in Japan that emphasizes mindfulness awareness practice by abiding to a strict order of precise movements. Oryoki translates to "Just enough" which refers to the efficiency and accuracy of the form. Each movement is a simple reference point for the mind that encourages one to become present and not wander in discursive thought. An Oryoki set consists of nested bowls called a jihatsu, usually made of lacquered wood, and utensils all wrapped in a cloth and tied with a topknot resembling a lotus flower. This is the formal style of serving and eating meals practiced in Zen temples. Buddhist tradition emphasizes the monk's robe and bowl as symbolic of the two things most necessary to sustain life: with one, life is supported externally (clothing, shelter); with the other, internally (food). In many countries, as in early Buddhist practice, monks beg food and alms using a single Buddha bowl. Monks cultivate equanimity by gratefully accepting whatever is offered them, while those who give alms believe they accumulate merit by supporting the sangha. Wooden ōryōki sets of today are like those developed in the
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    Shahadah

    Shahadah

    • Religious practice of: Islam
    The shahada (Arabic: الشهادة‎ aš-šahādah  audio (help·info)) (from the verb شهد šahida, “he witnessed”), means “to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed, testification”; it is the name of the Islamic creed. The shahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God (tawhid) and acceptance of Muhammad as God’s prophet. The declaration in its shortest form reads: In Shia Islam, the creed is expanded with the addition of a phrase concerning Ali at the end: The word shihādah" شِهادة " is a noun stemming from the verb shahadā "شَهَدَ" , meaning “he observed, witnessed, or testified”; when used in legal terms, shihādah is a testimony to the occurrence of events, such as debt, adultery, or divorce. The shihādah can also be expressed in the dual form shihādatān "شِهادَتانْ" (= "two testimonials"), which refers to the dual act of observing or seeing and then the declaration of the observation.The person giving the testimony is called a shāhid " شاهِد " ,with the stress on the first syllable. The two acts in Islam are observing or perceiving that there is no god but God and testifying or witnessing that Muhammad is the messenger of God. In a third meaning, shihādah
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    112
    Amrit Sanskar

    Amrit Sanskar

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    Amrit Sanchar is the Sikh ceremony of initiation or baptism. The Amrit Sanchar is the initiation rite introduced by Guru Gobind Singh when he founded the Khalsa in 1699. It is also called Amrit Sanskar and Khande di Pahul. It may be called Amrit Ceremony. A Sikh who has been initiated into the Khalsa is titled Singh (males)/Kaur (females) and commonly referred to as "Amritdhari". A Sikh can go through this initiation as soon as they are old enough to understand the full committment that they are making. Khande di Pahul was initiated in the times of Guru Gobind Singh when the Guru established the Order of Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib on the day of Vaisakhi in 1699. Guru Gobind Singh addressed the congregation from the entryway of a tent pitched on a hill (now called Kesgarh Sahib). He drew his sword and asked for a volunteer who was willing to sacrifice his head. No one answered his first call, nor the second call, but on the third invitation, a person called Daya Ram (later known as Bhai Daya Singh) came forward and offered his head to the Guru. Guru Gobind Singh took the volunteer inside the tent, and emerged shortly, with blood dripping from his sword. He then demanded another head.
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    113
    Believer's baptism

    Believer's baptism

    Believer's baptism (occasionally called credobaptism, from the Latin word credo) is the Christian practice of baptism as this is understood by many Protestant churches, particularly those that descend from the Anabaptist tradition. According to their understanding, a person is baptized on the basis of his or her profession of faith in Jesus Christ and as admission into a local community of faith. The contrasting belief, held in other Christian churches, is infant baptism (pedobaptism or paedobaptism, from the Greek paido meaning “child”), in which infants or young children are baptized if one or more parent professes the faith. Baptisms are performed in various ways: believer's baptism by immersion or pouring also called affusion and infant baptism by affusion or aspersion (sprinkling) or immersion. Believer's baptism is often erroneously referred to as adult baptism, even though children may be baptized so long as they are old enough to earnestly profess their faith. Christians who practice believer's baptism believe that saving grace and church membership are gifts from God by the recipient's faith alone and cannot be imparted or transferred from one person to another (such as
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    114
    Kirtan

    Kirtan

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    Kirtan or Kirtana (Punjabi: ਕੀਰਤਨ, Sanskrit: "praise, eulogy"; also Sankirtan) is call-and-response chanting or "responsory" performed in India's devotional traditions. A person performing kirtan is known as a kirtankar. Kirtan practice involves chanting hymns or mantras to the accompaniment of instruments such as the harmonium, tablas, the two-headed mrdanga or pakawaj drum, and karatal hand cymbals. It is a major practice in Vaisnava devotionalism, Sikhism, the Sant traditions, and some forms of Buddhism, as well as other religious groups. For Monier-Williums kirtana is “mentioning, repeating, saying, telling” but not a mode of singing. The Sanskritic wor(l)d view did not allow kirtana to be a mode of singing. However, in the context of Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orrissa, Tripura and Assam, the Eastern and North-Eastern region of the Indian geo-politics, kirtana is something more than that-- something excess (rather than that of residue of some Hindusthani marga-songs) with rich variations of innovative raginis and talas and it has different sub-types. kirtana may be categorized as 'bhana', which, according to Bharata, the initiator-commentator of bharatiya natyasastra, is an
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    115
    Marriage

    Marriage

    • Religious practice of: Anglicanism
    Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that creates kinship. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but is usually an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged. Such a union is often formalized via a wedding ceremony. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to two persons of opposite sex or gender in the gender binary, and some of these allow polygynous marriage. Since 2000, several countries and some other jurisdictions have legalized same-sex marriage. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. People marry for many reasons, including: legal, social, being in love, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious. These might include arranged marriages, family obligations, the legal establishment of a nuclear family unit, the legal protection of children and public declaration of commitment. The act of marriage usually creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved. Some cultures allow the
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    116
    Real Presence

    Real Presence

    Real Presence is a term used in various Christian traditions to express belief that in the Eucharist, Jesus Christ is really present in what was previously just bread and wine, and not merely present in symbol, a figure of speech (metaphorically, common amongst the Radical Reformers and their descendants), or by his power (dynamically), or by the grace of the Holy Spirit in the individual believer partaking of the species (pneumatically, common amongst Reformed believers). Not all Christian traditions accept this dogma. Efforts at mutual understanding of the range of beliefs led in 1980s to consultations on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (BEM) through the World Council of Churches, consultations that included the Roman Catholic Church. All Christians generally maintain that the person of Christ is really present spiritually in the Eucharist. Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians affirm the real presence, not however a physical or "carnal" presence, of the body and blood of Christ as resulting from a change of the elements of bread and wine, a change referred to as transubstantiation or metousiosis. Lutherans agree with them in a real oral eating and drinking of the body and
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    117
    Sarum Rite

    Sarum Rite

    The Sarum Rite (more properly called the Use of Salisbury) was a variant of the Roman Rite widely used for the ordering of Christian public worship, including the Mass and the Divine Office. It was established by Saint Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury in the 11th Century and was originally the local form used in the Cathedral and Diocese of Salisbury; it later became prevalent throughout southern England and came to be used throughout most of England, Wales, Ireland and later Scotland until the reign of Queen Mary. Although abandoned after the 16th century, it was also a notable influence on the pattern of Anglican liturgy represented in the Book of Common Prayer. Occasional interest in and attempts at restoration of the liturgy by Anglicans and Roman Catholics have not produced a general revival, however. In 1078, William of Normandy appointed St Osmund, a Norman nobleman, as bishop of Salisbury (the modern name of the city known in Latin as "Sarum"). As bishop, Osmund initiated some revisions to the extant Celtic-Anglo-Saxon rite and the local adaptations of the Roman rite, drawing on both Norman and Anglo-Saxon traditions. 19th century liturgists theorized that the liturgical usage
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    118
    Magick

    Magick

    • Religious practice of: Thelema
    Magick is an Early Modern English spelling for magic, used in works such as the 1651 translation of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's De Occulta Philosophia, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, or Of Magick. The British occultist Aleister Crowley chose the spelling to differentiate the occult from stage magic and defined it as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will", including both "mundane" acts of will as well as ritual magic. Crowley wrote that "it is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which that object is capable by nature". John Symonds and Kenneth Grant attach a deeper occult significance to this preference. Crowley saw magick as the essential method for a person to reach true understanding of the self and to act according to one's true will, which he saw as the reconciliation "between freewill and destiny." Crowley describes this process in his Magick, Book 4: Crowley defined Magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." He goes on to elaborate on this, in one postulate, and twenty eight theorems. His first clarification on the matter is that of a postulate, in which he states "ANY
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    119

    Monotheism

    • Religious practice of: Abrahamic religion
    Monotheism (from Greek μόνος, monos, "single", and θεός, theos, "god") is the belief in the existence of one god or in the oneness of God. Monotheism is characteristic of Atenism, Bahá'í Faith, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Ravidassia, Judaism, Sabianism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. The word monotheism is derived from the Greek μόνος (monos) meaning "single" and θεός (theos) meaning "god". The English term was first used by Henry More (1614–1687). Some writers such as Karen Armstrong believe that the concept of monotheism sees a gradual development out of notions of henotheism (worshiping a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities) and monolatrism (the recognition of the existence of many gods, but with the consistent worship of only one deity). However, the historical incidences of monotheism are so rare, that it's difficult to support any theory of the natural progression of religions from polytheism to henotheism to monotheism. Two examples of monolatrism developing from polytheism are the Aten cult in the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, as well as the rise of Marduk from the tutelary of Babylon to the claim of universal
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    120
    Morning Prayer

    Morning Prayer

    • Religious practice of: Anglicanism
    Morning Prayer (also Matins or Mattins), is one of the two main Daily Offices in the churches of the Anglican Communion, prescribed in the various editions of the Book of Common Prayer and other Anglican liturgical texts. Like Evening Prayer (and in contrast to the Eucharist), it may be led by a layperson and is recited by some Anglicans daily in private (clergy in many Anglican jurisdictions are required to do so). In its classic form, in the 1662 version of the Prayer Book, the Morning Prayer is essentially unchanged from Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s Second Prayer Book of Edward VI, published in 1552. It draws on the monastic offices of Matins, Lauds and Prime, beginning with opening versicles and responses, continuing with the invitatory "Venite" (Psalm 95), the "Te Deum" and "Benedictus", interspersed with Bible readings, as well as recitation of the Apostles’ Creed, and ending with closing versicles adapted from the Breviary. The Prayer Book lectionary provides for a virtually complete reading of the Bible in the course of a year. The usual practice in medieval parish worship was for the congregation to attend the office of Matins, followed by the Latin Mass according to the
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    121
    Repentance

    Repentance

    • Religious practice of: Eastern Orthodox Church
    Repentance is the activity of reviewing one's actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs. It generally involves a commitment to personal change and resolving to live a more responsible and humane life. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God in order to gain forgiveness or absolution. It typically includes an admission of guilt, a promise or resolve not to repeat the offense; an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible. In Biblical Hebrew, the idea of repentance is represented by two verbs: שוב shuv (to return) and נחם nicham (to feel sorrow). In the New Testament, the word translated as 'repentance' is the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia), "after/behind one's mind", which is a compound word of the preposition 'meta' (after, with), and the verb 'noeo' (to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing). In this compound word the preposition combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by 'after' and 'different'; so that the whole compound means: 'to think differently after'. Metanoia is therefore primarily an
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    122
    Samadhi

    Samadhi

    • Religious practice of: Buddhism
    Samādhi (Sanskrit: समाधि) in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a higher level of concentrated meditation, or dhyāna. In the yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali. It has been described as a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object, and in which the mind becomes still, one-pointed or concentrated while the person remains conscious. In Buddhism, it can also refer to an abiding in which mind becomes very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience. In Hinduism, samādhi can also refer to videha mukti or the complete absorption of the individual consciousness in the self at the time of death - usually referred to as mahasamādhi. Samadhi (समाधि samādhi, Hindi pronunciation: [səˈmaːd̪ʱi]) is the state of consciousness induced by complete meditation. The term's etymology involves "sam" (together or integrated), "ā" (towards), and "dhā" (to get, to hold). Thus the result might be seen to be "to acquire integration or wholeness, or
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    123

    Satori

    • Religious practice of: Zen
    Satori (悟り) (Chinese: 悟; pinyin: wù; Korean: 오 o; Vietnamese: ngộ) is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, "comprehension; understanding". It is derived from the verb satoru. In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to the experience of kenshō, "seeing into one's true nature". Ken means "seeing," shō means "nature" or "essence." Satori and kenshō are commonly translated as enlightenment, a word that is also used to translate bodhi, prajna and buddhahood. Satori is often used interchangeably with kenshō. Kenshō refers to the perception of the Buddha-Nature or emptiness. According to some authors, kenshō is a brief glimpse, while satori is considered to be a deeper spiritual experience. Distinct from this first insight, daigo-tettei is used to refer to a "deep" or lasting realization of the nature of existence. According to D. T. Suzuki, This view is typical of Rinzai, which emphasizes satori. The Soto school rejects this emphasis, and instead emphasizes "silent illumination" through the practice of zazen. Satori is considered a "first step" or embarkation toward nirvana: The student's mind must be prepared by rigorous study, with the use of koans, and the practice of
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    124
    Endowment

    Endowment

    • Religious practice of: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    In Mormonism, the endowment is an ordinance (ritual ceremony) designed to prepare participants to become kings, queens, priests, and priestesses in the afterlife. As part of the ceremony, participants take part in a scripted reenactment of the Biblical creation and fall of Adam and Eve. They also are taught highly symbolic gestures and passwords, thought to be needed to pass by angels guarding the way to heaven, and are instructed not to reveal these gestures and passwords. The ceremony also includes a washing and anointing, and receipt of a "new name" which they are not to reveal to others except at a certain part in the ceremony, and the receipt of the temple garments, which Mormons then are expected to wear under their clothing day and night throughout their life. As practiced today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the endowment also consists of a series of covenants (promises to God) which participants make, such as a covenant of consecration to the LDS Church. All Latter-day Saints who choose to serve as missionaries for the LDS Church or who choose to contract a celestial marriage in an LDS Church temple must first complete the endowment
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    125
    Passover Seder

    Passover Seder

    • Religious practice of: Judaism
    The Passover Seder (Hebrew: סֵדֶר‎ [ˈsedeʁ], "order, arrangement"; Yiddish: Seyder) is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel. This corresponds to late March or April in the Gregorian calendar. The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This story is in the Book of Exodus (Shemot) in the Hebrew Bible. The Seder itself is based on the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt: "You shall tell your child on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'" (Exodus 13:8) Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the text of the Haggadah, an ancient work derived from the Mishnah (Pesahim 10). The Haggadah contains the narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, special blessings and rituals, commentaries from the Talmud, and special Passover songs. Seder
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    126
    Alms

    Alms

    • Religious practice of: Eastern Orthodox Church
    Alms ( /ɑːmz/, /ɑːlmz/) or almsgiving is a religious rite which, in general, involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue. It exists in a number of religions and regions. The word, in the modern English language, comes from the Old English ælmesse, ælmes, from Late Latin eleemosyna, from Greek ἐλεημοσύνη eleēmosynē "pity, alms", from ἐλεήμων eleēmōn "merciful", from ἔλεος eleos "pity". In Buddhism, alms or almsgiving is the respect given by a lay Buddhist to a Buddhist monk, nun, spiritually-developed person or other sentient being. It is not charity as presumed by Western interpreters. It is closer to a symbolic connection to the spiritual realm and to show humbleness and respect in the presence of the secular society. The act of alms giving assists in connecting the human to the monk or nun and what he/she represents. As the Buddha has stated: In Theravada Buddhism, nuns (Pāli: bhikkhunis) and monks (Pāli: bhikkhus) go on a daily almsround (pindacara) to collect food (piṇḍapāta). This is often perceived as giving the laypeople the opportunity to make merit (Pāli: puñña). Money should not be accepted by a Buddhist monk or nun in lieu of or in addition to
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    127
    B'nai Mitzvah

    B'nai Mitzvah

    • Religious practice of: Judaism
    Bar Mitzvah (Hebrew: בר מצוה‎) and Bat Mitzvah (Hebrew: בת מצוה‎) are Jewish coming of age rituals. Bar "בר" is a Jewish Babylonian Aramaic word literally meaning son, in Hebrew it's Ben "בן". Bat "בת" is Hebrew for girl, and Mitzvah "מצוה" is a commandment and a law. While this literally translates to "son of the law" or "daughter of the law", the rabbinical phrase "bar" means here "under the category of" or "subject to", making "Bar Mitzvah" translate to "an [agent] who is subject to the law". According to Jewish law, when Jewish boys become 13, they become accountable for their actions and become a Bar Mitzvah (plural: B'nai Mitzvah). A Bat Mitzvah occurs when Jewish girls become 12, and it means the same as it does for boys- a rite of passage from being considered unable to properly understand the Torah to being considered old enough to begin to understand and thus for boys and girls alike to be treated more like adults. In addition to being considered accountable for their actions from a religious perspective, B'nai mitzvah may be counted towards a minyan (prayer quorum) and may lead prayer and other religious services in the family and the community. The age of B'nai Mitzvah
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    128

    Caṛdī kalā

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    Charhdi Kala is an important expression and a central idea in Sikhism for a mind frame that a Sikh has to accept, acquire and practise. Historically, in Punjabi, it is synonymous to "resilience" and is an expression encouraging strength in the face of fear or pain. It loosely means having a “positive, buoyant and optimistic” attitude to life and to the future. Always to be – in "high spirits", "ever progressive", "forward looking", "always evolving," etc. are some other terms used to describe this state of mind. It reflects a focused and clear mental state of a Sikh based on an undying dedication to and contentment with the Will of God. In the face of fear or pain - stay dutiful, stay focused, fulfill your obligations. Sikhism dictates that Sikhs believe in the Will of God (Bhana) and that God is without enemies (Nirvair) and is always merciful. Hence acceptance of his Will is in the interest of and for the benefit of His Creation, even if at times one suffers severe hardship. This attitude of "Chardi Kala" is to allow one to sail through the ups and downs of life with as little harm as possible to the individual. To join and help others in their hour of need is part of this
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    129
    Family Home Evening

    Family Home Evening

    • Religious practice of: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Family Home Evening (FHE) or Family Night, in the context of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, refers to one evening per week, usually Monday, that families are encouraged to spend together in study, prayer and other wholesome activities. According to the LDS Church, the purpose of FHE is to help families strengthen bonds of love with each other as well as provide an atmosphere where parents can teach their children principles of the gospel. For most LDS families, Family Home Evening includes a game or fun activity, treats, and a short lesson. The responsibilities for each are often rotated among family members, so that even the youngest may be assisted in presenting a short lesson or devotional on a given topic. Parents often use this night as an opportunity to teach their children how to prepare talks and lessons, as well as how to conduct meetings. Family business for the week may be addressed and the family schedule reviewed. In a letter dated April 27, 1915 and distributed to local leaders of the LDS Church, President Joseph F. Smith encouraged a church-wide practice of a weekly "Family Home Evening". The letter described the event as being a time set apart for
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    130

    Kirat karō

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    Kirat Karō is one of the Three pillars of Sikhism, the others being Naam Japo and Vaṇḍ chakkō. The term means to earn an honest, pure and dedicated living by exercising one's God-given skills, abilities, talents and hard labour for the benefit and improvement of the individual, their family and society at large. This means to work with determination and focus by the sweat of one's brow and not to be lazy and to waste one's life to time. Meanwhile, Simran and dedication to the work of God, not personal gain, should be one's main motivation. In the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Arjan Dev says: "Those who have meditated on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, and departed after having worked by the sweat of their brows -O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord, and many are saved along with them!" Other relevant passages:
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    131

    Immersion baptism

    • Religious practice of: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Immersion baptism (also known as baptism by immersion or, if the immersion is total, baptism by submersion) is a method of baptism that is distinguished from baptism by affusion (pouring) and by aspersion (sprinkling), sometimes without specifying whether the immersion is total or partial, but very commonly with the indication that the person baptized is immersed completely. The term is also, though less commonly, applied exclusively to modes of baptism that involve only partial immersion (see Terminology, below) According to Lindsay, the majority view in the Christian church identifies three modes of baptism; immersion (the baptizand enters the water bodily and submerges their head), affusion (water is poured on a baptizand who may or may not be standing in water), and aspersion (water is sprinkled on the face). The view that distinguishes immersion from affusion and aspersion is found in standard Bible dictionaries such as Eerdman's Bible Dictionary, the Encyclopedia of Christianity, the Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, the Pocket Dictionary of Theological terms, and the New International Bible Dictionary. Some of these do not explicitly indicate whether immersion is
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    132

    Nām Japō

    • Religious practice of: Sikhism
    Nām Japō (Gurmukhi ਨਾਮ ਜਪੋ), or Naam Japna, refers to the meditation, vocal singing of hymns from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or of the various Names of God, especially the chanting of the word Waheguru, which means "Wonderful Lord". Singing of hymns generally is also referred to as Nām Jap, sometimes also called Nām Simran. Singing of hymns with musical accompaniment is generally referred to as Kirtan. Naam Japo is the remembrance of God by repeating and focusing the mind on His name. The guideline in the Rehat Maryada of Guru Gobind Singh demands that the Sikh engage in Naam Simran as part of his or her daily routine. Nām Japō is one of the Three pillars of Sikhism, along with Kirat karō and Vaṇḍ chakkō. Critical importance is given to the meditation in the Guru Granth Sahib as the way in which humans can conquer ego, greed, attachment, anger and lust, together commonly called the Five Evils or Five Thieves and to bring peace and tranquility into ones mind. The Sikhs practice both the quiet individual recitation of Naam in ones mind, commonly called Naam Simran, and the loud and communal recitation of Naam, called Naam Jaap. However, this is not a strict definition of these
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    Obligatory Bahá'í prayers

    • Religious practice of: Bahá'í Faith
    Obligatory Bahá'í prayers are prayers which are to be said daily by Bahá'ís according to a fixed form decreed by Bahá'u'lláh. Prayers in the Bahá'í Faith are reverent words which are addressed to God, and refers to two distinct concepts: obligatory prayer and devotional prayer (general prayer). The act of prayer is one of the most important Bahá'í laws for individual discipline.. Along with fasting, obligatory prayer is one of the greatest obligations of a Bahá'í, and the purpose of the obligatory prayer is to foster the development of humility and devotion. The obligation of daily obligatory prayer was prescribed by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, in his book of laws, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. It is forbidden to perform the obligatory prayers in congregation, so the daily obligatory prayers are offered individually, though it is not required that they be said in private. The obligatory prayer is a primary religious obligation starting at the age of fifteen and it is the most important kind of prayer. The purpose of the obligatory prayer is to foster the development of humility and devotion, and the Bahá'í writings strongly warn against neglecting the prayers or minimizing
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    Sacrament of Penance

    Sacrament of Penance

    • Religious practice of: Catholicism
    The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (commonly called (The Sacrament of) Confession, Reconciliation or Penance) – is one of seven sacraments of the Catholic Church and sacred mysteries of the Orthodoxy, in which its faithful obtain Divine mercy for the sins committed against God and neighbour and are reconciled with the community of the Church (Cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 11 §2; CCC 1422). By this sacrament Christians are freed from sins committed after Baptism. It has very complex character, since personal penitence meets here with an ecclesiastical authority. Especially since the Reformation there has been long-running disagreement between Catholic Church and Protestant denominations over this sacrament, including Church authority to absolve sins. The Sacrament of Penance involves the Confession of one's sins and seeking the forgiveness by God. It is the verbal confession of one's sins to a Priest who is acting upon the authority given to him by Jesus Christ to forgive and remove Sin from the soul of the Catholic and to allow him to be worthy of heaven and eternal happiness with God. Sins are defined as transgressions of the Ten Commandments given to Moses from God and
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    136

    Zazenkai

    A zazenkai (座禅会), literally meaning "to come together for meditation" is a Zen Buddhist retreat that is usually less intensive and of shorter duration than sesshin. It may comprise a short meeting, without liturgical service, headed by a monastic, or by a group of practitioners without the presence of a teacher. It is also sometimes used to refer to a meeting of lay practitioners who practice together regularly without a resident teacher. It can also denote a period of zazen in a temple schedule. The meeting itself is punctuated and guided through the use of bells – usually the kinhin bell and the wooden clapper known as a taku. Zazenkai may include a short period of rest or kinhin (walking meditation). A tea ceremony may also follow. At some Zen centers or temples, zazenkai may be followed by social activities or a dharma talk.
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    Homeschooling

    Homeschooling

    • Religious practice of: Quiverfull
    Homeschooling or homeschool (also called home education or home based learning) is the education of children at home, typically by parents or by tutors, rather than in other formal settings of public or private school. Although prior to the introduction of compulsory school attendance laws, most childhood education occurred within the family or community, homeschooling in the modern sense is an alternative in developed countries to attending public or private schools. Homeschooling is a legal option for parents in many countries, allowing them to provide their children with a learning environment as an alternative to public or private schools outside the home. Parents cite numerous reasons as motivations to homeschool their children. The three reasons that are selected by the majority of homeschooling parents in the United States are concern about the school environment, to provide religious or moral instruction, and dissatisfaction with academic instruction at public and private schools. Homeschooling may also be a factor in the choice of parenting style. Homeschooling can be an option for families living in isolated rural locations, living temporarily abroad, to allow for more
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    138
    Anand Karaj

    Anand Karaj

    Anand Karaj (Punjabi: ਅਨੰਦ ਕਾਰਜ, anand kāraj) is the Sikh marriage ceremony, meaning "Blissful Union" or "Joyful Union", that was introduced by Guru Amar Das. The four Lavan (marriage hymns which take place during the marriage ceremony) were composed by his successor, Guru Ram Das. It was originally legalised in India through the passage of the Anand Marriage Act 1909 but is now governed by the Sikh Reht Maryada (Sikh code of conduct and conventions) that was issued by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC). In a recent verdict of the Sri Akaal Takht Sahib,i.e. a Hukumnama, Anand Karaj can only take place in a Gurudwara. This has raised some controversy, as it seems the only real reason for this is to protect the financial welfare of the Gurudwara. Any Amritdhari (Baptized) sikh may perform the marriage ceremony. Pakistan passed the Sikh Anand Marriage Act in 2007. A Sikh from anywhere in the world can register his or her marriage there, though the marriage ceremony has to be conducted in the country as it extends the provisions of the law applicable to any Sikh irrespective of his nationality. There had been instances when Sikhs from various countries had got their
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    Holy Orders

    Holy Orders

    • Religious practice of: Catholicism
    Holy Orders in the Catholic Church includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. The Church regards ordination as a Sacrament. In the phrase "Holy Orders", the word "holy" simply means "set apart for some purpose." The word "order" (Latin: ordo) designates an established civil body or corporation with a hierarchy, and ordination means legal incorporation into an ordo. In context, therefore, a Holy Order is simply a group with a hierarchical structure that is set apart for ministry in the Church. For Catholics, the church views the last year in the seminary, it is typically in the last year of seminary training that a man will be ordained to the "transitional diaconate." This distinguishes men bound for priesthood from those who have entered the "permanent diaconate" and do not intend to seek ordination as a priest. Deacons, whether transitional or permanent, receive faculties to preach, to perform baptisms, and to witness marriages. They may assist at the Eucharist or the Mass, but are not the ministers of the Eucharist. After six months or more as a transitional deacon, a man will be ordained to the priesthood. Priests are able to preach, perform baptisms, witness marriages,
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    Kosher

    Kosher

    • Religious practice of: Judaism
    Kosher foods are those that conform to the regulations of the Jewish Halakhic law framework, kosher meaning fit or allowed to be eaten only by the Halakhic community. A list of some kosher foods are found in the book of Leviticus 11:1-47. There are also certain kosher rules found there. Reasons for food not being kosher include the presence of ingredients derived from nonkosher animals or from kosher animals that were not slaughtered in the ritually proper manner, a mixture of meat and milk, wine, or grape juice (or their derivatives) produced without supervision, the use of produce from Israel that has not been tithed, or the use of non-kosher cooking utensils and machinery. Every law of Kashruth, according to all Jewish Rabbinic authorities of the ages in a rare agreement, makes the assertion that the laws can be broken when any life is at stake. Among the dozens of sources for the laws of "Pikuach Nefesh" (the Jewish term for saving any life) is the multiple discussions in the Talmud, for instance B. Yoma 83a (translated from the original Judeo-Aramaic) "We have agreed in the case of saving a soul he may be given [by a doctor in this case] to eat even unclean things, until his
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    Athanasian Creed

    Athanasian Creed

    The Athanasian Creed, or Quicunque Vult, is a Christian statement of belief, focusing on Trinitarian doctrine and Christology. The Latin name of the creed, Quicumque vult, is taken from the opening words, "Whosoever wishes." The Athanasian Creed has been used by Christian churches since the sixth century. It is the first creed in which the equality of the three persons of the Trinity is explicitly stated, and differs from the Nicene-Constantinopolitan and Apostles' Creeds in the inclusion of anathemas, or condemnations of those who disagree with the Creed (like the original Nicene Creed). Widely accepted among Western Christians, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Church and most liturgical Protestant denominations, the Athanasian Creed has been used in public worship less and less frequently. The creed has never gained much acceptance in liturgy among Eastern Christians. A medieval account credited Athanasius of Alexandria, the famous defender of Nicene theology, as the author of the Creed. According to this account, Athanasius composed it during his exile in Rome, and presented it to Pope Julius I as a witness to his orthodoxy. This
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    Auditing

    Auditing

    • Religious practice of: Scientology
    Auditing was developed by L. Ron Hubbard, and is described by the Church of Scientology as "spiritual counseling which is the central practice of Dianetics and Scientology". Auditing in the context of Dianetics or Scientology is an activity where a person trained in auditing listens and gives auditing commands to a subject, who is referred to as a "preclear". All communications during auditing sessions are kept confidential between the auditor, the case supervisor and the pre-clear. Auditing involves the use of "processes," which are sets of questions asked or directions given by an auditor. When the specific objective of any one process is achieved, the process is ended and another can then be used. By doing this, the subjects are said to be able to free themselves from unwanted barriers that inhibit their natural abilities. Scientologists state that the person being audited is completely aware of everything that happens and becomes even more alert as auditing progresses. The auditor is obliged by the church's doctrine to maintain a strict code of conduct toward the preclear, called the Auditor's Code. Auditing is said to be successful only when the auditor conducts himself in
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    Eucharistic adoration

    Eucharistic adoration

    Eucharistic adoration is a practice in the Roman Catholic Church, and in a few Anglican and Lutheran churches, in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and adored by the faithful. Adoration is a sign of devotion to and worship of Jesus Christ, who is believed by Catholics to be present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, under the appearance of the consecrated host, in the form of hosts or bread. As a devotion, Eucharistic adoration and meditation are more than merely looking at the Blessed Host, but are believed to be a continuation of what was celebrated in the Eucharist. From a theological perspective, the adoration is a form of latria, based on the tenet of the presence of Christ in the Blessed Host. Christian meditation performed in the presence of the Eucharist outside of Mass is called Eucharistic meditation. It has been practiced by such as Peter Julian Eymard, Jean Vianney and Thérèse of Lisieux. Authors such as the Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida and Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist have produced large volumes of text based on their Eucharistic meditations. When the exposure and adoration of the Eucharist is constant (twenty-four hours a day), it is called
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    Noble Eightfold Path

    • Religious practice of: Buddhism
    The Noble Eightfold Path (Pali: ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo, Sanskrit: āryāṣṭāṅgamārga) is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of suffering (dukkha) and the achievement of self-awakening. It is used to develop insight into the true nature of phenomena (or reality) and to eradicate greed, hatred, and delusion. The Noble Eightfold Path is the fourth of the Buddha's Four Noble Truths; the first element of the Noble Eightfold Path is, in turn, an understanding of the Four Noble Truths. It is also known as the Middle Path or Middle Way. All eight elements of the Path begin with the word "right", which translates the word samyañc (in Sanskrit) or sammā (in Pāli). These denote completion, togetherness, and coherence, and can also suggest the senses of "perfect" or "ideal". 'Samma' is also translated as 'wholesome', 'wise' and 'skillful'. In Buddhist symbolism, the Noble Eightfold Path is often represented by means of the dharma wheel (dharmachakra), whose eight spokes represent the eight elements of the path. According to discourses found in both the Theravada school's Pali canon, and some of the Āgamas in the Chinese Buddhist
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    Sacrament

    Sacrament

    A sacrament is a sacred rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Hexam's Concise Dictionary of Religion calls a sacrament "a Rite in which GOD (or Gods) is (are) uniquely active". But within Christianity the word is used in a more restricted sense. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the sacraments as "efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions." The catechism included in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer defines a sacrament as "an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof." Some Protestant traditions avoid the word "sacrament". Reaction against the 19th-century Oxford Movement led Baptists to prefer instead the word "ordinance", practices ordained by Christ to be permanently observed by the
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    Seal of the Confessional and the Anglican Church

    The Seal of the Confessional is a principle of the Anglican Church that protects the words spoken during confession. Confession has certain censures on disclosure as there is an understanding among the clergy that there is an inviolable confidence between the individual priest and the penitent. This principle should not be confused with the rarer practice of lay confession, nor with the public confession of sins which is an element of most eucharistic liturgies throughout the Anglican Communion. The 'Seal of the Confessional' refers specifically to the private confession of sins by an individual, in the presence of a priest, the form of which is regulated by the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and later liturgical sources. In the Decretum of Gratian who compiled the edicts of previous councils and the principles of Church law which he published about 1151, we find the following declaration of the law as to the seal of confession: - and he goes on to say that the violator of this law should be made a lifelong, ignominious wanderer. Canon 21 of the Fourth Council of the Lateran (1215), binding on the whole Church, laid down the obligation of secrecy in the following words: Notably,
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    Aparigraha

    • Religious practice of: Jainism
    Aparigraha is the concept of non-possessiveness, being both a Jain concept and a part of the Raja Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga traditions. The term usually means to limit possessions to what is necessary or important, which changes with the time period, though sadhus would not have any possessions. It is one of the five principles of Jainism, along with Ahimsa (non-violence), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy), and Anekantvada (multiplicity of viewpoints). It is also one of the five limited vows. In the Yoga Sūtras (II, 30), a basis of the Raja Yoga tradition, it is listed as the fifth Yama or code of self-restraint, after with Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (not stealing), and Brahmacharya (celibacy). In the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā (I, 17), kṣhamā dhṝtiḥ is listed as the fifth yama; the four others, ahiṃsā satyamasteyaṃ brahmacharyaṃ, being the same. Aparigraha is the Sanksrit word for greedlessness or non-grasping. It comes from the word parigraha, which means reaching out for something and claiming it for oneself; by adding the 'A' it becomes the antonym. Aparigraha, unlike Asteya, means taking what is truly necessary and no more. This concept also holds
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    Blessed Sacrament

    Blessed Sacrament

    The Blessed Sacrament, or the Body and Blood of Christ, is a devotional name used in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, Old Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, to refer to the Host after it has been consecrated in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Christians in these traditions believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic elements of the bread and wine and some of them, therefore, practice Eucharistic reservation and Eucharistic adoration. This belief is based on interpretations of biblical scripture and tradition. The Roman Catholic understanding is defined by numerous church councils including the Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of Trent and is quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which explains the meaning of Transubstantiation). The Blessed Sacrament may be received by Catholics who have undergone the First Holy Communion (i.e., given by a priest or or Deacon or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion to a Catholic, and immediately consumed by the communicant) as part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist during Mass. The soul of the person receiving the Eucharist should be in a "state of grace," i.e., have no mortal sin
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    Cannabis smoking

    Cannabis smoking

    • Religious practice of: THC Ministry
    Cannabis smoking involves inhaling vapors released by heating the flowers and subtending leaves of the Cannabis plants, known as marijuana. Alternatively, the cannabis plant flowers may be finely sifted producing kief, a powder especially rich in the oil-glands or trichomes which contain the highest amounts of cannabinoids. In exporting countries the kief is usually pressed under heat to form solid cakes of hashish, easily stored and shipped, which is widely marketed for smoking use. Cannabis is consumed for its hallucinogenic and sedative effects for recreation, to produce a feeling of euphoria, medically to stimulate the appetite or to suppress nausea, or by inventors and artists in pursuit of creativity. Smoking releases the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis, Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs. It then mostly targets the brain, where it binds to cannabinoid receptors. The immune system also contains cannabinoid receptors and may modulate its function. The cannabinoid receptors receive the THC and other cannabinoids, leading to the feeling of a mental "high," which varies strongly by person. Studies have also found that the
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    Katsu

    • Religious practice of: Zen
    Katsu (Japanese: 喝; Cantonese:  hot3 (help·info), Pinyin: hè, Wade-Giles: ho) is a shout that is described in Chán and Zen Buddhism encounter-stories, to expose the enlightened state (Japanese: satori)of the Zen-master, and/or to induce initial enlightenment experience in a student. The shout is also sometimes used in the East Asian martial arts for a variety of purposes; in this context, katsu is very similar to the shout kiai. The word in Chinese means literally "to yell" or "to shout". In Japanese it has also developed the meaning of "to browbeat", "to scold", and "hoarse". In the context of Chan and Zen practice, the word is not generally used in its literal meaning(s), but rather — much as with the martial arts shout of kiai — as fundamentally a means of focusing energy. When the Chan and Zen practice of the katsu first emerged in Jiangxi province in the south of Tang dynasty China in the 8th century CE, the word was pronounced roughly as /xat/, a pronunciation that is largely preserved in the Japanese on'yomi ("Sino-Japanese") reading of the character as [katsɯ̥], as well as in Cantonese and Minnan Chinese. The katsu shout, insofar as it represents a kind of verbal harshness
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    Puja

    Puja

    • Religious practice of: Hinduism
    Pūjā or alternative transliteration Pooja, (Devanagari: पूजा) (Urdu: پوجا) (Sanskrit: reverence, honour, adoration, or worship) is a religious ritual performed by Hindus as an offering to various deities, distinguished persons, or special guests. It is done on a variety of occasions and settings, from daily puja done in the home, to temple ceremonies and large festivals, or to begin a new venture. Puja is modeled on the idea of giving a gift or offering to a deity or important person and receiving their blessing (Ashirvad). The two main areas where puja is performed is in the home and at public temples. There are many variations in scale, offering, and ceremony. Puja is also performed on special occasions such as Durga Puja and Lakshmi Puja. The puja ritual is performed by Hindus worldwide. Various poojas are performed at various times of the day and on various times. Temple poojas are more elaborate and typically done several times a day. They are also performed by a temple priest, or pujari. In addition, the temple deity (patron god or goddess) is considered a resident rather than a guest, so the puja is modified to reflect that; for example the deity is "awakened" rather than
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    Tithing

    • Religious practice of: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    The English land division called the tithing was a grouping of ten households (Scandinavian: ten = ti, assembly = thing). Allied to this concept was a local administrative unit also called a tithing or tything, with essentially legal responsibilities, exercised by a "tithingman". Both meanings originated in Anglo-Saxon times, through arrangements for the management of estates, taxation and criminal law, for example in the procedure known as "view of frankpledge." In Kent, the equivalent to a tithing was a "borgh", or "borough", not to be confused with ancient boroughs, and the equivalent to the tithingman was the "borsholder", "borough-holder" or "headborough".
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    Vigils

    Vigils is a term for night prayer in ancient Christianity. See Vespers, Compline, Nocturns, Matins, and Lauds for more information. A Vigil is a night spent in prayer. A Roman Catholic Mass that counts liturgically for a Sunday or Holy Day but which takes place the previous evening is often mistakenly called a Vigil Mass. But it is more accurately termed an "anticipated Mass," because a Vigil is actually the whole day prior to certain major feasts, which acts as sort of Western version of the forefeast. And such Vigils (such as Christmas Eve) have their own proper Mass theoretically said that morning.
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    Wish Tree

    Wish Tree

    A wish tree is an individual tree, usually distinguished by species, position or appearance, which is used as an object of wishes and offerings. Such trees are identified as possessing a special religious or spiritual value. By tradition, believers make votive offerings in order to gain from that nature spirit, saint or goddess fulfillment of a wish. One form of votive offering is the token offering of a coin. The remains of one such tree can be found near Ardmaddy House in Argyll, Scotland, a hawthorn, which is a species traditionally linked with fertility. The trunk and branches are covered with hundreds of coins which have been driven through the bark and into the wood. The local tradition is that a wish will be granted for each of the coins so treated. The practice of tying pieces of cloth to a wish tree is often directly associated with nearby clootie wells, as they are known in Scotland and Ireland, or "cloutie" or "cloughtie" in Cornwall. Culloden has an example of a clootie well in the nearby woods. There are parallels here with wassailing where the Wassail Queen is lifted up into the boughs of the apple tree, where she places toast that has been soaked in Wassail from the
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    Absolution

    Absolution

    Absolution is a traditional theological term for the forgiveness experienced in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This concept is found in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Anglican churches, and most Lutheran churches. Absolution is an integral part of the Sacrament of Penance, in Roman Catholicism. The penitent makes a sacramental confession of all mortal sins to a priest and prays an act of contrition. The priest then assigns a penance and imparts absolution in the name of the Trinity, on behalf of Christ Himself, using a fixed sacramental formula: The essential part of the formula (the words which must be said for the absolution – and the entire Sacrament of Penance – to take effect, or, in Church law terms, be "sacramentally valid") are: "I absolve you from your sins". Absolution of sins most importantly forgives sins (and, when done before death, ensures one dies in a "state of grace", able to eventually enter heaven); but it also allows the valid and non-sinful reception of the sacraments (especially the Eucharist at Mass), the lawful exercise of ecclesiastical offices and ministries by laity or clerics, and full participation in the
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    Adab

    • Religious practice of: Islam
    Adab (Arabic: أدب‎) in the context of behavior, refers to prescribed Islamic etiquette: "refinement, good manners, morals, decorum, decency, humaneness". While interpretation of the scope and particulars of Adab may vary among different cultures, common among these interpretations is regard for personal standing through the observation of certain codes of behavior. To exhibit Adab would be to show "proper discrimination of correct order, behavior, and taste." Islam has rules of etiquette and an ethical code involving every aspect of life. Muslims refer to Adab as good manners, courtesy, respect, and appropriateness, covering acts such as entering or exiting a washroom, posture when sitting, and cleansing oneself. According to Sahih Bukhari, Muhammad refrained from bad language; neither a 'Fahish nor a Mutafahish. He used to say "The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character." Sunni hadith: Shi'a hadith: The sunni Ahadith are those collections by Imam Maliki;Shafiyi;Bukhari;Muslim and analogical reasoning of the ulama.These ,thus are authentic sources of the sayings and deeds of the prophet of Islam:Muhammadu Rasulullah[SAW]
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    Anglican sacraments

    Anglican sacraments

    In keeping with its prevailing self-identity as a via media or "middle path" of Western Christianity, Anglican sacramental theology expresses elements in keeping with its status as a church in the Catholic tradition and a church of the Reformation. With respect to sacramental theology the Catholic tradition is perhaps most strongly asserted in the importance Anglicanism places on the sacraments as a means of grace, sanctification and forgiveness as expressed in the church's liturgy. When the Thirty-Nine Articles were accepted as a norm for Anglican teaching, Anglicans recognised two sacraments – Baptism and the Eucharist – as having been ordained by Christ ("sacraments of the Gospel" ) as Article XXV of the Thirty-Nine Articles describes them) and as necessary for salvation. The status of the Articles today varies from Province to Province: Canon A5 of the Church of England defines them as a source for Anglican doctrine. Peter Toon names ten Provinces as having retained them. He goes to suggest that they have become "one strategic lens of a multi-lens telescope through which to view tradition and approach Scripture". Five other acts are regarded variously as full sacraments by
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    Baptism

    Baptism

    • Religious practice of: Protestantism
    Baptism (from the Greek noun Βάπτισμα baptisma; itself derived from baptismos, washing) is a Christian rite of admission (or adoption), almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also a particular church tradition. Baptism has been called a sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ. In some traditions, baptism is also called christening, but for others the word "christening" is reserved for the baptism of infants. The New Testament reports that Jesus was baptized. The usual form of baptism among the earliest Christians was for the naked candidate to be immersed totally (submersion) or partially (standing or kneeling in water while water was poured on him or her). While John the Baptist's use of a deep river for his baptism suggests immersion, pictorial and archaeological evidence of Christian baptism from the 3rd century onward indicates that a normal form was to have the candidate stand in water while water was poured over the upper body. Other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead. Martyrdom was identified early in Church history as "baptism by blood", enabling martyrs who had not been baptized
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    Brahmacharya

    • Religious practice of: Jainism
    Brahmacharya ( /ˌbrɑːməˈtʃɑrjə/; Devanagari: ब्रह्मचर्य behavior that leads to Brahman) is one of the four stages of life in an age-based social system as laid out in the Manu Smrti and later Classical Sanskrit texts in Hinduism. It refers to an educational period of 14–20 years which starts before the age of puberty. During this time the traditional vedic sciences are studied, along with the religious texts contained within the Vedas and Upanishads. This stage of life was characterized by the practice of strict celibacy. Among the Hindu monastic as well as sramanic traditions, Brahmacharya is the term used for the practice of self-imposed celibacy that is generally considered an essential prerequisite for spiritual practice. These characteristics correspond to Western notions of the religious life as practiced in monastic settings. The word brahmacharya stems literally from two components: So the word brahmacharya indicates a lifestyle adopted to enable one to attain the ultimate reality. The term brahmacharya has two principal uses: One common usage denotes the practice of brahmacharya, which indicates the practice of sexual continence or celibacy. At its most basic level,
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    Cantheism

    Cantheism

    Cantheism, also Kantheism, is a modern term for religions based on the inherent goodness of the cannabis plant. Adherents are known as cantheists or cannabists. Cantheism neither endorses nor discriminates against any other church, faith, or system of belief. Chris Conrad's treatise on the topic provides evidence for how "many of the world's great religions have used cannabis sacramentally and ceremonially." Conrad's examples include: Observance of Cantheist rites are beneficial but not mandatory. These include the regular consumption of cannabis, offering thanksgiving and blessing for cannabis when you partake, and sharing the holy smoke among the faithful. Other rituals, such as bonfire jumping during the summer solstice, are practiced among different communities.
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    Confession in the Lutheran Church

    Confession in the Lutheran Church

    In the Lutheran Church, Confession (also called Holy Absolution) is the method given by Christ to the Church by which individual men and women may receive the forgiveness of sins; according to the Large Catechism, the "third sacrament" of Holy Absolution is properly viewed as an extension of Holy Baptism. The Lutheran Church practices "Confession and Absolution" [referred to as the Office of the Keys] with the emphasis on the absolution, which is God's word of forgiveness. Indeed, Lutherans highly regard Holy Absolution. They, like Roman Catholics, see James 5:16 and John 20:22-23 as biblical evidence for confession. Confession and absolution is done private to the pastor, called the "confessor" with the person confessing known as the "penitent". In confession, the penitent makes an act of contrition, as the pastor, acting in persona Christi, announces the formula of absolution. Prior to the confession, the penitent is to review the Ten Commandments to examine his or her conscience. In the Lutheran Church, like the Roman Catholic Church, the pastor is bound by the Seal of the Confessional. Luther's Small Catechism says "the pastor is pledged not to tell anyone else of sins to him
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    Dharma combat

    Dharma combat

    Dharma combat, called issatsu (一拶, いっさつ, literally "challenge") or shosan in Japanese, is a term in some schools of Buddhism referring to an intense exchange between student and teacher, and sometimes between teachers, as an occasion for one or both to demonstrate his or her understanding of the Dharma and Buddhist tenets. It is used by both students and teachers to test and sharpen their understanding. Practice is primarily seen in Zen traditions, particularly Rinzai Zen and the Kwan Um School of Zen. In both, it is a key component in the Dharma transmission process. Zen practitioners will often have a sanzen, where the student has a face to face interview with their master. This is also called nishitsu, which literally means "entering the room" and refers to the student entering the room for private dharma combat. An exchange is initiated when a master issues a challenge to members either individually or as a group. The master will use confrontation as an emotionally charged tool to push a student into immediate realization. The Dharma combat usually appears to be in the form of a debate, with questions and answers that seem illogical to an outside observer. These encounters may
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    Evening Prayer

    Evening Prayer

    • Religious practice of: Anglicanism
    Evening Prayer is a liturgy in use in the Anglican Communion (and other churches in the Anglican tradition, such as the Continuing Anglican Movement and the Anglican Use of the Roman Catholic Church) and celebrated in the late afternoon or evening. It is also commonly known as Evensong, especially (but not exclusively) when the office is rendered chorally (that is, when most of the service is sung). It is roughly the equivalent of Vespers in the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran churches, although it was originally formed by combining the monastic offices of Vespers and Compline. Although many churches now take their services from Common Worship or other modern prayer books, if a church has a choir, Choral Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer often remains in use because of the greater musical provision. Evening Prayer, like Morning Prayer (Mattins) and in contrast to the Eucharist, may be led by a layperson, and is recited by some devout Anglicans daily in private (clergy in many Anglican jurisdictions are required to do so). The service of Evening Prayer, according to traditional prayer books such as the 1662 English or 1959 Canadian Book of Common Prayer, is similar in
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    Ex opere operato

    Ex opere operato is a Latin phrase meaning "from the work done" referring to the efficacy of the Sacraments deriving from the action of the Sacrament as opposed to the merits or holiness of the priest or minister. According to the teaching of the Catholic Church, to receive the fruits of the sacraments requires that a person be properly disposed. This means reception of grace via the sacraments is not automatic. There must be, at least in the case of an adult, an openness to receive the grace which is available in a sacrament. When the recipient is properly disposed, the grace of the sacrament is effective and is received even if the priest or minister is in a serious state of sin. This principle gives a certainty to the availability of grace through the sacraments. This principle holds that the effect of the sacrament is a result, not of the holiness of a priest or minister, but rather of Christ Himself who is the Author (directly or indirectly) of each sacrament. The priest or minister acts "in persona Christi" (in the person of Christ) even if in a serious state of sin. Although such a sacrament would be valid, and the grace effective, it is nonetheless sinful for any priest to
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    Qigong

    Qigong

    • Religious practice of: Taoism
    Qigong, chi kung, or chi gung (simplified Chinese: 气功; traditional Chinese: 氣功; pinyin: qìgōng; Wade–Giles: chi gong; literally "Life Energy Cultivation") is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation. With roots in Chinese medicine, martial arts, and philosophy, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi) or what has been translated as "intrinsic life energy". Typically a qigong practice involves rhythmic breathing coordinated with slow stylized repetition of fluid movement, a calm mindful state, and visualization of guiding qi through the body. Qigong is now practiced throughout China and worldwide, and is considered by some to be exercise, and by others to be a type of alternative medicine or meditative practice. From a philosophical perspective qigong is believed to help develop human potential, allow access to higher realms of awareness, and awaken one's "true nature". Qigong (Pinyin), ch'i kung (Wade-Giles), and chi gung (Yale) are English words for two Chinese characters: qì (氣) and gōng (功). Qi (or chi) is usually translated as life energy, lifeforce, or energy flow, and definitions often
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    Samayika

    Samayika

    • Religious practice of: Jainism
    Samayika (a Prakrit word derived from samay (time)) is the practice of meditation in Jainism. Its aim is to transcend daily experiences as "constantly changing" human beings, Jiva, and allow identification with the "changeless" reality, the Atman, considered common to all living beings. It is also a method by which one can develop an attitude of harmony and respect towards other humans and Mother Nature. One begins by achieving a balance in time. The act of being conscious of the continual renewal of the universe in general and one's own renewal of the individual Jiva is the critical first step towards identifying with the Atman. By being fully aware, alert and conscious of the constantly moving present, one will experience their true nature, Atman. Practitioners generally sit in the Shiva, Buddha or Parshvanath posture. While others have been used by yogis and ohers, the 24 Jain Tirthankaras are always seen in this position. Samayika gains a special significance during Paryushana.
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    Verses of the Five Ranks

    The Five Ranks (Chinese: 五位; pinyin: Wuwei; Japanese: goi) is a poem consisting of five stanzas describing the stages of realization in the practice of Zen Buddhism. It expresses the interplay of absolute and relative truth and the fundamental non-dualism of Buddhist teaching. The ranks are referenced in the Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi. This work is attributed to the Chinese monk Dongshan Liangjie (Japanese: Tōzan Ryōkan), who lived during the end of Tang Dynasty, as well as two sets of verse commentaries by him. The teachings of the Five Ranks may be inspired by the Sandokai, a poem attributed to Shitou Xiqian. The work is highly significant in both the Caodong/Sōtō and Linji/Rinzai schools of Zen that exist today. Eihei Dogen, the founder of the Japanese Sōtō School, references the Five Ranks in the first paragraph of one of his most widely studied works, Genjo Koan. Hakuin integrated the Five Ranks in his system of koan-teaching. The Five Ranks are listed below with two translations of the original poem, one by Heinrich Dumoulin on the left and the other by Thomas Cleary on the right, followed by commentary and analysis: This rank describes the Absolute, insight into the
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