Religions and Beliefs
Scroll to the bottom of this page for the various categories and articles dealing with Religions and Beliefs.
There are numerous religions and the thing they mostly have in common is a belief in a Creator. Aurelio Arreaza, in his article "One God, Many Religions" takes a look at the similarities and differences between the various religious paths.
We offer this for your consideration: since there is only one planet Earth, does it not follow that there would be only one creator, by whichever name he/she is called? Consequently the focus in this section is on the unity of religions (and religious paths) as well as the diversity of their teachings and practices.
We glimpse at the roots of religions as well as the many ways that we can incorporate religion in our life. We reflect on science and religion: are they really opposing viewpoints or are they really the same, just looked at from different perspectives? What about religion and spirituality? Eastern religions and western ones?
There is much food for thought in the many insights shared by the numerous authors in this section. If you read with an open mind, you may discover guidance that may assist you in living your life, and "practicing" your religion, from a unified and loving perspective for all.
by Norman Wirzba, Ph.D. The people of the Bible, including some of their teachers and prophets, were farmers and shepherds. This means that the God they worshiped was daily encountered as the life-giving power at work in soils, plants and animals...
by Jim Dreaver. A man once said to me, "I want to open my heart more. I often feel a kind of tightness in my chest, which I am sure is fear. The doctors told me there is nothing wrong with me physically." Tightness in the chest is the somatic or physical manifestation of a closed heart...
by Sylvia Clute. Some religious teachings may start out as lessons in Oneness but, over time, they become distorted, reinterpreted to be a lesson that justifies duality. The ancient story of Adam and Eve is one example. A common version of the story explains that humankind is doomed to live in misery because...
by Steven Greenebaum. An all too tragic truth is that much too often we exhaust ourselves arguing and even hating over who or what created the Earth, when we ought to be uniting and acting to stop the Earth's degradation, and the degradation of those who dwell on this amazing planet of ours.
by Steven Greenebaum. The God I believe in may not be the same God you believe in. And the person standing next to you may not believe in God at all. So, shall we divide ourselves and throw stones? For thousands of years the answer seems to have been Yes...
by Sarah Stillman. What role has religion played in your life up until now? Most of us tend to adhere to the religion of our parents, but some girls choose to venture on their own spiritual paths. I'm not here to advocate any particular faith, but I do think it's important to have a defined set of religious beliefs — even if that means...
by Prabhasa Dharma. How to be happy? When speaking of relationships, the safest thing to relate to is always Buddha. We can address every being we meet — not only human beings but also animals — as essentially Buddha. In Western terms, we speak of being in the presence of God or meeting God all the time.
The Life Of The Buddha is a BBC documentary on Buddhism with emphasis on the life of the Buddha. What is Buddhism and what has made it so popular are some of the questions answered. Unlike the other major religions , Buddhism does not have a supreme being but guide in the Buddha.
The Buddha is a documentary by David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere that tells the story of the Buddha's life, and attempts to answer the questions Who is the Buddha. What is the Buddha. It also features the work of some of the world's greatest artists and sculptors
Ours is a time of unprecedented change and complexity. Never before have so many worldviews, belief systems and ways of engaging reality converged. On one hand, there are abundant instances of conflict and intolerance...
Buddhism has become very popular in the West, however, the "western" practice of buddhism is no doubt very different from Eastern traditional Buddhism. Yet, as with Christianity which has also evolved through the
by Satya Kalra.
Navratri (Nav-Durga) is a nine-day festival celebrated by Hindus honoring the Mother Goddess. This article answers commonly asked questions about the origins and spiritual significance of this important biannual event including the three stages of an individual's spiritual journey...
by Lex Hixon.
The history of Islam is not free from intolerance, injustice, and other chronic distortions of the human spirit. Neither is Christian history free from such distortions. But these sobering facts cannot dim the wonder of twenty centuries of commitment flowing from the inspired life of Jesus, and fourteen centuries of...
by J. Donald Walters. Everyone in the world is on the spiritual path. By no means everyone, however, is aware of being on a path at all. Most people see their efforts to avoid sorrow and find happiness as episodic, not as the unchanging motivation behind everything they do...
by Huston Smith.
One hears on all sides that the conflict between science and religion is over. For four centuries the battle has raged: in astronomy over the earth's position in the universe; in geology over the earth's age; in biology over the evolutionary hypothesis; in psychology over Freud's right to "peep and botanize into man's soul." Bitter the struggle has been, and long. Yet (so runs the tale) it has achieved...
My effort is to leave you alone with meditation, with no mediator between you and existence. When you are not in meditation you are separated from existence, and that is your suffering. It's the same as when you take a fish out of the ocean and throw it on the bank — the misery and the suffering and the torture he goes through..
by Alan Cohen. Veronica declares, "I confess... I confess that I find more ecstasy in passion than in prayer. Such passion is prayer." For those of us who have been taught that prayer or spirituality requires denying our passion, Veronica’s statement may come as a shock. But, as Phillip Brooks noted...
by Marie T. Russell. I remember as a child that when evening would come and I would see the first star, I would happily intone the little rhyme: "Star Light, Star Bright, First star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish..."
by Daisaku Ikeda.
Each of us creates our own karma. Our past thoughts, speech and behavior have shaped our present reality, and our actions (and thoughts and speech) in the present will in turn affect our future. The Buddhist doctrine of karma is not fatalistic. Karma is...
I was taught when I was a little boy that it was good to be unselfish and loving, and I used to think that I should grow up to serve other people. But after a while I found out that unless one has something to give people, there is nothing one can do to help them..
by John Randolph Price. I've written about the fear of the future and said, "If we dwell in concern over the tomorrows of life, we lose today . . ." Yet hardly a week goes by that I don't receive a letter expressing concern about what's on the horizon. But if we're going to live joyfully in the Fourth Dimension...
by Franz Metcalf.
What does Buddhism teach? Don't worry, I won't give you a history of Buddhism. There are many dull accounts of this history and a few not-so-dull ones. For now, let's get right to the living center of Buddhism: what the Buddha saw, felt, and taught to his disciples.
by Katsuki Sekida.
Zen is concerned with the problem of the nature of mind, so it necessarily includes an element of philosophical speculation. However, in Zen we are never separated from our personal practice, which we carry out with our body and mind. Zen aims at overthrowing our distorted view of the world...
by Diane Morgan.
All religion, whether Western or Eastern, forms a bridge between the absolute and the relative, between the apparently real, and the truly real, between what we perceive as secular and what we know as holy. Most Western traditions, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, see the absolute as transcendent, beyond, and other. Most Eastern traditions, on the other hand, envision it as immanent, within, and ultimately identical with the seeker.
Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Mohammedanism -- these are only ideologies, dogmas, creeds; they are only cults. The true religion has no name, it cannot have any name. Buddha lived it, Jesus lived it -- but remember, Jesus was not a Christian and Buddha was not a Buddhist, he had never heard of the word.
by John Randolph Price. Between 2500 and 1500 B.C. (the dates vary), Hermes Trismegistus, the 'scribe of the gods,' came on the world stage to tell about the Spirit of the Divine within. In his writings, he implores humanity to "rise from your sleep of ignorance" and to find the Light.
by Ron Roth, Ph.D.
One night many years ago when I was struggling with my spiritual journey -- still a Catholic priest but not at all certain I would remain one -- I realized that I had grown weary of the dryness of conventional prayer. Following that approach, I usually did all the talking but felt little sense of genuine communion. There must be a better way, I thought, and then I just let go and sat still. Soon I felt a stirring within me, as if someone or something were trying to get my attention.
by Niles Elliot Goldstein.
Reality can be messy, and it can frequently force us to reduce our expectations and rein in our hopes. Not everyone can find spiritual fulfillment in a place that feels inviting and safe. There is a long history of people discovering God in unexpected, unusual, sometimes even uncomfortable contexts.
by Karen Holmes Taylor. One of our most ingrained belief systems, and one that evokes the most fear whenever challenged, is our religious beliefs. Conflict will surely arise every time anyone challenges our programming regarding religion. In the beginning, I was told what to believe about God, salvation, and eternity, by people I trusted...
by Sylvia Browne.
"In the name of God" we have created more atrocities than any one person or group could ever think up. In truth, all of it has been in the name of idolatry, not God. Please ask yourself, why are we worshiping a god of fear? Of vengeance? Where is the God of love, the One who lovingly put us here?
by Prema Baba Swamiji.
The Judeo-Christian tradition has conditioned many to believe that God exists... in some remote far away region. This negates the idea of an indwelling God. Your spiritual hunger -- your search for God -- is the desire to become holy, wholly unified in mind, body, and spirit.
by Rabbi Shoni Labowitz.
Prayers of this season encourage a reconsideration of our lives, as well as a time for recharging our passion and reconnecting with our spiritual roots. The High Holydays are meant to be celebrated in solitude as well as in a supportive community of kindred spirits.
by Aurelio Arreaza. There cannot be a Supreme God for each different part of the world. Thus, we must realize and accept that there is only one God, one Truth, and many religions. No religion has the exclusivity of God or Truth, for all were created by men inspired by the same and only God...
by Ron Roth, Ph.D.
When I say that the goal of all my work -- whether writing books or giving workshops and healing services -- is to reinvent Christianity, some people think this is either blasphemous or downright presumptuous. Who am I to reinvent the religion of our forefathers? And yet the truth is that people have been reinventing Christianity for the past 2,000...
by Sarah Stillman. Some grow up against a backdrop of strong pious traditions, while others are born into families in which both parents belong to different denominations, or no denomination at all. Most of us tend to adhere to the religion of our parents, but some choose to venture on their own spiritual paths...
by Thubten Chodron.
Nowadays meditation is sometimes confused with other activities. Meditation is not simply relaxing the body and mind. Nor is it imagining being a successful person with wonderful possessions, good relationships, appreciation from others, and fame. This is merely daydreaming about objects of attachment.
by Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche. It's very easy for you to be wholesome and virtuous and spiritual when things are going right. But as soon as a little bit of adversity arises, then the real test begins, especially when you look at how you deal with your family life..
Just be what you are and don't care a bit about the world. Then you will feel a tremendous relaxation and a deep peace within your heart. This is what Zen Buddhists call your "original face" - In this essay Osho, through parables and narratives, helps you understand how to find yourself.
by Woody Hochswender, Greg Martin & Ted Morino.
Buddhism explains the profound truths of life. But it also provides an immensely practical method for overcoming obstacles and transforming oneself. It can be applied to every area of your existence: family, work, relationships, health. And it can be applied by anyone. Each and every human being contains the inherent capacity to be a Buddha