Are We Evolving? Stages of Consciousness Evolution and Awareness

Are We Evolving? Stages of Consciousness Evolution and Awareness

Each culture sees human life as a progression through a series of stages... in an attempt to understand the evolution of human beings. Those people on the outer circle are just holding onto life; for them it is a matter of survival.

Why Masks Are A Religious Issue

Why Masks Are A Religious Issue

Seemingly everyone has an opinion on masks: when to wear them, how to wear them, which ones are best and even whether we should be wearing them at all.

We Have A Choice: We Can Transmute Negativity

We Have A Choice: We Can Transmute Negativity

It is hard for us to fathom the true significance of the unique events taking place on Earth, but they are unprecedented and profound. You and I have each been preparing for thousands of years for this moment.

What The Buddha Saw, Felt, and Taught To His Disciples

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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.

Living Life To The Fullest: Why Buddha Is Always Smiling

Buddha smiling

Next to the chair where I sit in meditation is my puja table, where I keep various items of spiritual significance to me -- including a stone-carved Buddha. Buddha is sitting in a relaxed, yet contemplative position and there is a big smile on his face.

What Is Karma? Where Does It Come From?

What Is Karma? Where Does It Come From?

What is karma? What is its purpose? How do you create it and how do you resolve it? The more you know about karma, the greater your ability to complete it and reduce its control over your life.

How The Buddha Became A Christian Saint

How The Buddha Became A Christian Saint

From the 11th century onwards, the Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat enjoyed a popularity in the medieval West attained perhaps by no other legend.

Every Footstep Is The Journey On Our Sacred Trail

Every Footstep Is The Journey On The Sacred Trail

The first time I actually saw a rainbow, its quiet beauty struck my heart with such awe that it touched something deep within me. Just seeing a rainbow catches you quite off guard and somehow just makes you stop and look ... and wonder.

How To Be As Safe As Possible In Your House Of Worship

How To Be As Safe As Possible In Your House Of Worship

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released what it calls “general considerations” on safe actions for reopening houses of worship, but worship communities can accept or reject those considerations.

The Mystic’s Journey: Life Is An Illusion

The Mystic’s Journey: Life Is An Illusion

In shamanic cultures it’s the task of the shaman to travel out of body to other worlds, experience new realities, and then bring knowledge back to the tribe in order to heal and restore balance. To experience a different reality and remain silent about it is simply not an option.

Allies in the Spirit World: Your Spiritual Support Team

Allies in the Spirit World: Your Spiritual Support Team

Everybody on this planet has a spiritual support team. This group is our backup in the game of life. We come into the world with this team, and build on it through our spiritual practices and experiences.

Why We Should Keep Asking if God Exists

Why We Should Keep Asking if God Exists

Disputes about the existence of God — like most disputes about religion, politics, and sex — almost always generate heat but not light.

Calling Great Spirit: Visions, Dreams, and Miracles

Calling Great Spirit: Visions, Dreams, and Miracles

I walk with the Great Spirit, with God. I talk to Him. The Great Spirit guides me in my life. Wakan-Tanka, that's what we call him in Lakota. You can call Wakan-Tanka by any name you like. In English I call Him God or the Great Spirit. So call Wakan-Tanka whatever you like. Just be sure to call Him. He wants to talk to you.

Why Ramadan Is Called Ramadan

Why Ramadan Is Called Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and lasts either 29 or 30 days, depending on when the new crescent moon is, or should be, visible.

How To Celebrate Easter Under Lockdown

How To Celebrate Easter Under Lockdown

With churches closed and annual pilgrimages cancelled, Christians across the world are wondering how to give thanks to God this Easter.

Why A Virtual Passover May Be The First For Many

Why A Virtual Passover May Be The First For Many

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, it is affecting how families celebrate important religious events such as Easter, Passover and Ramadan, which would normally involve the gathering of families.

Starting From Nowhere with Beginner's Mind

Starting From Nowhere with Beginner's Mind
'Start from where you are' is generally good advice in any undertaking. But, like many travelers on the highway, sometimes we don't even know that we don't know where we are and yet we are unwilling to admit it. Instead, lost as we may be, we keep driving, ashamed to ask...

4 Things To Know About Ash Wednesday

4 Things To Know About Ash WednesdayFor Christians, the death and resurrection of Jesus is a pivotal event commemorated each year during a season of preparation called Lent and a season of celebration called Easter.

The "Us vs. Them" Monotheism and the #SheToo Comeback of the Goddess

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For centuries the worship of just one God has been seen as the ultimate in religious sophistication, exemplifying the progress of civilization. But the most cursory glance at monotheism’s track record tells a very different story. The elevation of one God—and the rejection of all others—goes hand in hand with intolerance of outsiders or those with a different perspective...

What's In A Title: Are You The Buddha? Are You The Messiah?

What's In A Title: Are You The Buddha?
One of his students asked Buddha, "Are you the messiah?" "No", answered Buddha. "Then are you a teacher?" "No, I am not a teacher." "Then what are you?" "I am awake", Buddha replied. The goal of Buddhism, like any self-respecting spiritual path, is not to have titles or to make distinctions between degrees of holiness; it is to wake up.

Why Some People Distrust Atheists

Why Some People Distrust Atheists
An ad featuring Ron Reagan, son of the Republican former President Ronald Reagan, surprised some viewers of the recent Democratic primary debates.

How Old Would You Want To Be In Heaven?

How Old Would You Want To Be In Heaven?
Many religious faiths propose different versions of heaven as a location: There are walled gardens with streams, flowers, pleasing scents, pretty angels, rapturous music or delicious accessible food.

If Everything Is Perfect, Why Don't I Feel Perfect?

If Everything Is Perfect, Why Don't I Feel Perfect?
Some of the most difficult questions I've ever been asked are: If we are one with God, then why wouldn't God have created us with that thought to begin with? What is the purpose of not knowing? Why don't we feel perfect?

You Must Either Love or Fear. Which Is It?

You Must Either Love or Fear. Which Is It?
"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?

Choices and Non Interference: Practicing Patience and Respect

Choices and Non Interference: Practicing Patience and Respect
The highest form of respect for another person is respecting his or her natural right to be self-determining. This means not interfering with another person's ability to choose. Every experience holds a valuable lesson. Noninterference means caring in a respectful way. And it is the way of 'right relationship.'

Alchemy and Shamanism — Tools of Transformation

Alchemy and Shamanism — Tools of Transformation
When seeing or hearing the word alchemy, one might think of old men in funny hats working at furnaces in ancient chemistry labs seek­ing to turn minerals into gold, create the philosopher’s stone, or find the elixir of life. However, these popular modern stereotypes of the ancient alchemists are but a tiny fragment of alchemy.

Fundamentalism Turns 100, A Landmark For The Christian Right

Fundamentalism Turns 100, A Landmark For The Christian Right
These days, the term “fundamentalism” is often associated with a militant form of Islam. But the original fundamentalist movement was actually Christian. And it was born in the United States a century ago this year.

Yom Kippur Is A Time For Feasting As Well As Fasting

Yom Kippur Is A Time For Feasting As Well As FastingYom Kippur Is A Time For Feasting As Well As Fasting
It was the bag of Fritos that gave me away. As a secular Jewish kid whose family did not belong to a synagogue, I did not think twice about riding my bike to the convenience store around the corner during the afternoon of Yom Kippur.

What Is Being Spiritual? Being "Without Anxiety About Non-Perfection"

What Is Being Spiritual? Being "Without Anxiety About Non-Perfection"
When we are faced with a variety of spiritual teachings and practices, we must keep a genuine sense of inquiry. What is the effect of these teachings and practices on myself and others? In his last words, the Buddha said we must be a lamp unto ourselves.

Tap In To Your Inner Buddha and Find Unlimited Wisdom, Courage and Compassion

Tap In To Your Inner Buddha and Find Unlimited Wisdom, Courage and Compassion
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

Looking Deeper into the Power of the 23rd Psalm in Modern Life

23rd Psalm in Modern Life

The 23rd Psalm is one of the most popular prayers in the Western world. This beautiful collection of words can be the key to reclaiming spiritual power. Most of us recognize the 23rd Psalm's familiar phrases, but what we don't often appreciate is the impact of the principles contained in the Psalm, probably because it doesn't fit the model of what we've been taught a prayer should be.

Who Are Canada's Marginal Christian Right

Who Are Canada's Marginal Christian Right
The political power of the American Christian right naturally leads to interest and speculation about the influence of similar groups in Canada.

Praying Peace, Being Peace, Revealing Peace Where It Is Hidden

Praying Peace, Being Peace, Revealing Peace Where It Is Hidden
In mountains of Bosnia, a community of mystics who call themselves the Emissaries of Light, said to me: "Our role is not to bring peace to where it is not, but to reveal peace where it is hidden." Peace, the Emissaries said, is not something that can be understood with the mind, but must be experienced with the heart.

The Maya and Our Contemporary Search for Meaning

The Maya and Our Contemporary Search for Meaning
People travel to the Amazon to learn from the shamans or to India to practice yoga to expand their minds’ capacities. They delve deeper into the knowledge of the people and nature of the Himalayas, and they replace conventional diet and medicine with their organic and holistic equivalents.

The Zen of Listening: Why Mindful Listening Makes a Difference

The Zen of Listening: Why Mindful Listening Makes a Difference
Misunderstanding, not being heard, and missing key information due to poor listening are at the crux of societal ills. One of the main reasons we listen poorly is because our internal noise levels are so turbulent and obtrusive that they mask most of what others are saying. Only bits and pieces of their message survive the...

The Christian Right's Efforts To Transform Society

The Christian Right's Efforts To Transform Society
The battle now raging in several American states over women’s reproductive rights is a direct result of the Christian right’s efforts to impose its religious values on the family and in politics.

Searching For Happiness -- Through Buddhism and Psychotherapy

Searching For Happiness -- Through Buddhism and Psychotherapy
Having practiced psychotherapy for thirty-five years and Buddhism for fifteen years, I have noticed striking similarities as well as differences between the two. Buddhism and psychotherapy share a common ground of concern with suffering and the means of relief and release from suffering. This is the foundation and raison d'être of both. That they share this common ground is neither a coincidence, nor a minor consideration.

The Truth About Angels: Are They With Us?

The Truth About Angels: They Are With UsIf you have the human optical ability to see color, and you are taught the names of different colors, no one will have to prove to you that (on clear June days) the sky is blue. Truth is self-evident. So it is with angels: if you allow them into your heart, mind, and life, angels will help you to transform your life. Ask them for help with this transformation, and see what happens.

I Went On A Voodoo Pilgrimage In Haiti

I Went On A Voodoo Pilgrimage In Haiti

In July, hundreds of pilgrims will make their way to an isolated town in the northwest of Haiti, called Anse-à-Foleur or Ansafolè.

Relaxation and Meditation for Beginners: Daily Benefits

Relaxation and Meditation for Beginners: Daily Benefits

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.

What Is The Significance Of Friday Prayers In Islam?

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Following the terror attack on two New Zealand mosques in March 2019, many Muslim communities across the world gathered as usual for their most important weekly ritual – Friday prayers.

Do I Need Will Power To Grow Spiritually?

Do I Need Will Power To Grow Spiritually?Spiritual development doesn’t happen automatically. You may want enlightenment very badly, but it only happens through your daily application of spiritual principles. One of these principles is sankalpa, which means "will power" in Sanskrit.

What Ramadan Means To Muslims

What Ramadan Means To Muslims

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world will not eat or drink from dawn to sunset. Muslims believe that the sacred text of Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad in the final 10 nights of Ramadan.

Who Are Sri Lanka's Christians?

Who Are Sri Lanka's Christians?

Nearly 300 people were killed in several coordinated bomb attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter.

How The Role Of Nuns Highlights A Low View Of Women's Work

How The Role Of Nuns Highlights A Low View Of Women's Work

So runs the story of one of the Italian nuns I interviewed earlier this year, as part of a wider investigation into the unsung contributions of women workers, and why they have been historically undervalued. 

The Earth is Your Teacher: Honoring Spirit in Your Life

The Earth is Your Teacher: Honoring Spirit in Your LifeBy engaging in sacred reciprocity with the raw forces of nature as well as the spiritual powers present in the area, you deepen your awareness of interdependence with all life’s dimensions...

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FROM THE EDITORS

InnerSelf Newsletter: September 27, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
One of the great strength of the human race is our ability to be flexible, to be creative, and to think outside the box. To be someone other than we were yesterday or the day before. We can change...…
What Works For Me: "For The Highest Good"
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something…
Were You Part Of The Problem Last Time? Will You Be Part Of The Solution This Time?
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Have you registered to vote? Have you voted? If you are not going to vote, you will be part of the problem.
InnerSelf Newsletter: September 20, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
The theme of the newsletter this week can be summed up as "you can do it" or more specifically "we can do it!". This is another way of saying "you/we have the power to make a change". The image of…
What Works For Me: "I Can Do It!"
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something…