Hands over the heart in prayer pose. A little bow of the head. A gesture of respect. An acknowledgment of our shared humanity. And no touching.
Black Lives Matters (BLM) has been portrayed by its detractors as many things: Marxist, radical, anti-American. Added to this growing list of charges is that it is either irreligious or doing religion wrong.
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.
Throughout antiquity, from the Mediterranean to Egypt and today’s Middle East, people believed that misfortune, including accidents, diseases, and sometimes even death, were caused by external forces.
U.S. Christians, especially evangelical Christians, identify as environmentalists at very low rates compared to the general population.
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.
President Trump claimed recently that the prospect of a Biden presidency would “hurt God.”
Houston physician and pastor Stella Immanuel – described as “spectacular” by Donald Trump for her promotion of unsubstantiated claims about anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for COVID-19 – has some other, very unconventional views.
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.
A recent Pew Research poll found that religious faith had deepened for a quarter of Americans because of the coronavirus pandemic.
On July 27, 2020, the president and his son Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted a viral video featuring Dr. Stella Immanuel, in which the Houston pediatrician rejected the effectiveness of wearing face masks for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and promoted hydroxychloroquine to treat the disease.
At sundown on July 29, 2020, Jews around the world will observe Tisha B’av, the most somber of Jewish holidays.
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.
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? 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.
From the 11th century onwards, the Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat enjoyed a popularity in the medieval West attained perhaps by no other legend.
Hajj Cancellation Due To Coronavirus Is Not The First Time Plague Has Disrupted This Muslim Pilgrimage
Saudi Arabia has effectively canceled the hajj for most of the world’s Muslims, saying the obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca will be “very limited” this year due to the coronavirus.
While millions of people across Europe and beyond have been forced into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, some artists have used their time in isolation to create work using religious imagery as a way to tell the story of the crisis.
Hindus in India have had a helping hand – several in fact – when it comes to fighting deadly contagions like COVID-19: multi-armed goddesses co-opted to help contain and kill pestilence.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Disputes about the existence of God — like most disputes about religion, politics, and sex — almost always generate heat but not light.
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.
From the Black Death and AIDS to COVID-19, whenever societies have suffered outbreaks of disease, there have always been those who are quick to seek both religious explanations and solutions.
Faced with a range of serious patient reactions to the COVID-19 disease, doctors and nurses have sometimes struggled to find viable treatment options.
Despite the manifest differences in how they practise their religions, Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, most European countries have imposed unprecedented confinement measures on their populations, banning social gatherings and closing public spaces.
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.
Calls for social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic have forced churches to cancel weekly gatherings, with many church leaders moving worship online.
Catastrophes have always touched people’s lives. With these words, the prophet Jeremiah addressed a disaster of his time, centuries before the common era.
With churches closed and annual pilgrimages cancelled, Christians across the world are wondering how to give thanks to God this Easter.
On April 8, Jewish families and their friends will be celebrating the first night of the week of Passover, with the most convivial gathering of the year: the Seder meal.
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.
It's up to us. We can spend our lives cultivating our resentments and cravings or we can explore the path of the warrior -- nurturing open-mindedness and courage. Most of us keep strengthening our negative habits and therefore sow the seeds of our own suffering.
As the world faces the greatest disruption of our lifetimes, Muslims throughout the world are also grappling with the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic
Sometime in the late second century A.D., Christians in the city of Rome organized a collection to send to the followers of Jesus in the city of Corinth.
'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...
For 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.
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...
Even the most secular people and societies usually have their behaviour shaped by religion. We can see its influence in behavioural codes that set out what is considered right and wrong.
Life is a prayer in the sense that it is a continuous request to the universe. God understands our desires not just through the occasional utterances that we call "prayers" in the traditional sense, but through every thought we think, every word we speak, and everything we do.
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.
It is one of the most widely known and often retold stories in human history.
Belief in the virgin birth comes from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Their birth stories are different, but both present Mary as a virgin when she became pregnant with Jesus.
Menorahs have now become ubiquitous features around the world during Hanukkah, from Berlin to New York to Melbourne.
The Episcopal Church has decided to revise its 1979 prayer book, so that God is no longer referred to by masculine pronouns.
An ad featuring Ron Reagan, son of the Republican former President Ronald Reagan, surprised some viewers of the recent Democratic primary debates.
Around the Christmas season, it is common to see a display of the Nativity scene: a small manger with the baby Jesus and his family
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.
Away from politics, there are widespread concerns about prejudice targeting Jews and Muslims.
Jane* was a member of Australia’s evangelical Christian community, and throughout her marriage she heard many sermons on honouring a husband’s authority.
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?
People engage in moral talk all the time. When they make moral claims in public, one common response is to dismiss them as virtue signallers.
"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?
I was raised as a Quaker, but around the age of 20 my faith faded. It would be easiest to say that this was because I took up philosophy – my lifelong occupation as a teacher and scholar.
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.'
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.
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.
Following sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, there is a worldwide push to end the guarantee of secrecy of confession – called “the seal of the confessional.”
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.
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.
My most vivid adolescent memories of the Jewish High Holy Days are the painful rumbling of my empty stomach as I fasted on Yom Kippur, and the sharp blasts of the shofar – the ram’s horn – sounding from the synagogue pulpit.
“I guess darkness serves a purpose: to show us that there is redemption through chaos. I believe in that. I think that’s the basis of Greek Mythology.” -- Apollo
In the fall, Catholics and some other Christian churches celebrate the Feast of the Holy Cross.
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
An elderly Sikh gentleman in Northern California, 64-year-old Parmjit Singh, was recently stabbed to death while taking a walk in the evening.
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.
Many religions urge their adherents to be charitable toward those in need.
In Northern Ireland, Catholics and Protestants are frequently segregated, with some neighborhoods divided by barbed wire fences, reflecting deep historical conflicts between the faiths.
Over the past few decades, vacant and underutilized churches have become a familiar sight in American cities.
The political power of the American Christian right naturally leads to interest and speculation about the influence of similar groups in Canada.
One of the most important celebrations for Hindus throughout the world: Rakshabandhan, a ceremony honoring the bond between sisters and brothers.
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.
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.
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 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.
Algebra, alchemy, artichoke, alcohol, and apricot all derive from Arabic words which came to the West during the age of Crusades.
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.
If 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.
At any given moment we decide if we are available to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit. This is a bit like God's radio station always broadcasting. Yet we must tune in to be able to listen.
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of Tibet, is turning 84 on July 6. With his advancing age, the question of who will succeed him, has become more pressing.
In July, hundreds of pilgrims will make their way to an isolated town in the northwest of Haiti, called Anse-à-Foleur or Ansafolè.
Southern Baptists are arguing again over the role women should play in the church.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Priests are Catholicism’s greatest figures: shepherds who manage believers’ relationship with the divine.
Nearly 300 people were killed in several coordinated bomb attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter.
The burning wreckage of the 12th-century Notre-Dame de Paris led to an immediate outpouring of grief over the damage to its irreplaceable architecture and works of art.
In 1952, a bill proclaiming an annual National Day of Prayer (NDP) was unanimously passed by both houses of congress. President Truman signed it into law. Then in 1988, a bill was introduced to Congress which fixed the annual National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.
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.
By 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...
While flames engulfed Notre Dame on the evening of April 15 and the world watched in despair, French president Emmanuel Macron told news cameras that the Paris cathedral was part of the history of all French people:
There’s a lot of confusion about Easter – not least because this most important of all Christian festivals moves around so much from year to year, decided by a complex set of calculations based on the vernal equinox and the phase of the moon.
My pious Baptist grandmother once shockingly confessed, at the ripe old age of 93, that she didn’t want to go to heaven.
As Christians observe Good Friday they will remember, with devotion and prayer, the death of Jesus on the Cross.
On the Thursday before Easter, more than two billion Christians worldwide observe the Eucharist, a special ritual that commemorates the Last Supper