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.
Every world religion and every form of education has tried to teach us Universal Law in one form or another: the Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Karma, an eye for an eye, reaping what we sow. In more scientific terms: like attracts like, action and reaction, radiation and magnetization.
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.
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.
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
The Québec government is proposing a secularism law to prohibit any new public servants in a position of authority — including teachers, lawyers and police officers — from wearing religious symbols while at work.
From conflicts over wedding cakes to university admissions to religious schools, the tension between equality rights and religious freedom is often in the news in Canada, the United States and beyond.
Publishing the Quran and making it available in translation was a dangerous enterprise in the 16th century, apt to confuse or seduce the faithful Christian.
New Zealand is a religiously and ethnically diverse country with an almost negligible global terrorism index. Muslims have lived in New Zealand, peacefully, for more than a century.
What came first – all-seeing Gods or complex societies? When you think of religion, you probably think of a god who rewards the good and punishes the wicked.
We are powerful beyond our wildest imaginations, and our ability to make a profoundly significant difference in what is happening on Earth at this time is staggering. All we have to do is remember who we are and where we have come from. I am not referring to the specifics of particular lifetimes; I am talking about who we are at the very core of our Beings, within the deepest recesses of our Divine Blueprints.
In 1997, my students and I traveled to Croagh Patrick, a mountain in County Mayo, as part of a study abroad program course on Irish literature I was teaching for the University of Dayton.
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.
No matter what your beliefs, all you need to be able to recognize signs from heaven are an open mind and heart. Opening your mind to receiving signs simply means believing it can happen. If you have faith in God or in the next life, you are already ahead of the game.
An essential fact about the Hebrew Bible is that most of its narrative prose as well as its poetry manifests a high order of sophisticated literary fashioning.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a Babylonian poem composed in ancient Iraq, millennia before Homer. It tells the story of Gilgamesh, king of the city of Uruk.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark “Humanae Vitae,” Pope Paul VI’s strict prohibition against artificial contraception, issued in the aftermath of the development of the birth control pill.
Some people say, If there are all these angels waiting to help us, then why haven't they already done something about this problem in my life? But what they don't realize is that the universe doesn't work in a top-down management style; it's based on free will and team work.
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.
The power of affirmation, prayer, and blessing has been used for thousands of years in both spiritual and folk rites, by priestesses and priests, and by people trying to bring health, harmony, and happiness into their lives. In earlier times at the gigantic stone temples that dot the English countryside...
Pope Francis faced a testing year in 2018, which culminated in a spate of resignations that challenged his authority as the head of the Catholic Church.
An estimated 3.3 million American Muslims celebrate Ramadan. The month of Ramadan marks the time when Prophet Muhammad is believed to have first received revelations from God and has been celebrated at the White House since 1996.
You might think that digital technologies, often considered a product of ‘the West’, would hasten the divergence of Eastern and Western philosophies.
In the winter of 1566, 30 children in Amsterdam began to show signs of a disturbing affliction.
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...
Dear tiny Jesus, with your golden fleece diapers, with your tiny little fat balled-up fists … Dear 8 pound 6 ounce newborn infant Jesus, don’t even know a word yet, just a little infant so cuddly …
Charles Dickens popularised the traditional, English Christmas in 1843 in his novel A Christmas Carol, when Bob Cratchit and his family sit down on Christmas Day to eat a dinner of goose with mashed potatoes and apple sauce accompanied by sage and onion stuffing and followed by Christmas pudding.
As the West becomes more and more secular, and the discoveries of evolutionary biology and cosmology shrink the boundaries of faith, the claims that science and religion are compatible grow louder.
“The Exorcist,” a horror film released 45 years ago, is a terrifying depiction of supernatural evil. The film tells the story of a young American girl who is possessed by a demon and eventually exorcised by a Catholic priest.
For many, channeling is a buzz word and it seems that everyone is doing it and many people are talking about it, reading about it and indeed relying upon it. But what is channeling and of what use and purpose is it? Does it have a spiritual role for humanity at this time? Is it a dangerous pastime that can mislead and create...
On the day of winter solstice, many Native American communities will hold religious ceremonies or community events.The winter solstice is the day of the year when the Northern Hemisphere has the fewest hours of sunlight and the Southern Hemisphere has the most.
It is possible for the mind to become disempowered. It feels then as if reality is just a given, and all we can do is try to deal with it. The disempowered mind feels it has no choice about what it attends to. Training the attention is definitely one way to begin empowering the mind.
A woman told me that gratitude was her constant prayer, and I was impressed. But, I realized that her gratitude was actually a defense against life. 'I am so grateful for sunshine, health, my wonderful family'. 'Do you express gratitude for the storms, for the illness, for the down times too?'...
Prayer can be a most difficult and trying task. The experiences of our century with its massive blind destruction, suffering, and carnage cast doubt on the concept of a God involved in the welfare of the created universe.
‘The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One,’ wrote Albert Einstein in December 1926. ‘I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice.’
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
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..
Beginning on the evening of Dec. 2, 2018, Jews are celebrating the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, perhaps the best-known and certainly the most visible Jewish holiday.
When Loren Jacobs, member of the Shma Yisrael Congregation, offered a prayer for the victims of the Tree of Life congregation at a campaign rally attended by Mike Pence, it left many Jews feeling very upset. The vice president’s office later denied inviting Jacobs to the event.
All disease, illness, unhappiness, misery, and self-punishment could be healed if we apply two principles of truth into our daily consciousness. The first is that there is a single, divine God that is All in all; and the second, that the Divinity which we call God lives inside of each and every one of us. Knowing deeply and believing completely at every level of our being that we are not separate from God, that we are one with the Divine, will heal us.
Religion does not help us to explain nature. It did what it could in pre-scientific times, but that job was properly unseated by science. Most religious laypeople and even clergy agree: Pope John Paul II declared in 1996 that evolution is a fact and Catholics should get over it. No doubt some extreme anti-scientific thinking lives on, but it has become a fringe position.
Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls alike.
Although many of us now associate hell with Christianity, the idea of an afterlife existed much earlier. Greeks and Romans, for example, used the concept of Hades, an underworld where the dead lived, both as a way of understanding death and as a moral tool.
As an Anglican priest teaching in philosophy and in climate change at two universities, I am often asked about the difference between science and my own faith convictions.
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.
This summer, during the FIFA World Cup, I went with some friends to watch a soccer game at the house in Turin of the Italian philosopher and former member of the EU parliament Gianni Vattimo. As soon as our team began to lose, Vattimo said: ‘Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you, the pope called me yesterday.’
A new film, “Trump Prophecy,” will be shown in some limited theaters on Oct. 2 and 4. The film is an adaptation of a book, co-authored by Mark Taylor, a retired firefighter, who claimed he received a message from God in 2011 that the Trump presidency is divinely ordained.
Many atheists think that their atheism is the product of rational thinking. They use arguments such as “I don’t believe in God, I believe in science” to explain that evidence and logic, rather than supernatural belief and dogma, underpin their thinking. But just because you believe in evidence-based, scientific research – which is subject to strict checks and procedures – doesn’t mean that your mind works in the same way.
The seven directions and the seven chakras reveal seven paths to God. Although we will discuss these paths in a sequence that may seem linear, one path is no more "advanced" than another. They are simply different expressions, distinct rays of energy that each of us embody.
A throng of Trinidadians line up along the streets of St. James and Cedros to admire the vibrant floats with beautifully bedecked models of mausoleums. Their destination is the waters of the Caribbean, where the crowds will push them out to float.
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
The 'Way of the Circle' is passed down from generation to generation, from Native American Elders to the children in the form of stories, traditions, customs, and teachings. What follows is a general collection of these teachings, which can be embraced by anyone seeking the way of...
As an academic - a researcher and senior lecturer at a university in the UK - people are often surprised by my unorthodox views on the nature of life, and of the world. For example, when I mention to colleagues that I’m open-minded about the possibility of some form of life after death, or that I believe in the possibility of paranormal phenomena such as telepathy or pre-cognition, they look at me as if I’ve told them I’m going to give up academia and become a truck driver.
In the years after Jesus was crucified at Calvary, the story of his life, death and resurrection was not immediately written down. The experiences of disciples like Matthew and John would have been told and retold at many dinner tables and firesides, perhaps for decades, before anyone recorded them for posterity.
If anything seems self-evident in human culture, it’s the widespread presence of religion. People do ‘religious’ stuff all the time; a commitment to gods, myths and rituals has been present in all societies. These practices and beliefs are diverse, to be sure, from Aztec human sacrifice to Christian baptism, but they appear to share a common essence. So what could compel the late Jonathan Zittell Smith, arguably the most influential scholar of religion of the past half-century, to declare in his bookImagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown (1982) that ‘religion is solely the creation of the scholar’s study’, and that it has ‘no independent existence apart from the academy’?
Spiritual creativity is a way of life, a way of wholeness. It is a path of integrity. Integrity entails not just a few beliefs or specific acts, but an attitude that we adopt and practice in our everyday lives...an ongoing process that can bring you much joy.
Compassion is not a thought or a sentimental feeling, but is rather a movement of the heart. Compassion is born out of lovingkindness. But we may get distracted, we forget, we get caught up in something else, or we confuse another feeling for the state of compassion.
New Jersey’s first Sikh attorney general, Gurbir Singh Grewal, was a target of disparaging remarks recently.
For many non-Muslims, the fast food carts that line the streets of New York City and San Francisco are their primary point of contact with halal foods.
Claims about supernatural phenomena, including weeping statues, have historically been common in Catholicism.
Most religious people think their morality comes from their religion. And deeply religious people often wonder how atheists can have any morality at all.
Identity can compel you to reject the truth – even when you have evidence proving it. We see this today with the US political establishment: Trump supporters can look at two photos of his inauguration and say the largely empty Mall is full.
When a family member or a friend passes away, we often find ourselves reflecting on the question “where are they now?” As mortal beings, it is a question of ultimate significance to each of us.
Americans have debated what it means to be religious in politics throughout American history. Because a wide majority of Americans have claimed some form of Christian belief, these debates focused on Christianity. And they continue today.
The kind of Christianity that makes headlines today is the Mike Pence brand – conservative and aligned with the United States Republican party – leaving many people to believe, including progressive Christians, the religion is politically irredeemable.
Run through as large an inventory as you can of the things that you would like to define your life. Then make the shift in your imagination from an "I am not" or "I am hoping to become" to "I am". Beginning with your inner dialogue, simply change the words that define your concept of yourself.
Sicilian priest and long-time exorcist Father Benigno Palilla recently told Vatican Radio that requests for exorcisms had tripled in the past few years.
When I came to the United States, people did not seem to know very much about Buddhism. We Tibetans realized that it would be beneficial to teach and explain the dharma. We began to talk to people about how to create peace within their heart and peace within the world. We taught how to move beyond suffering.
It is fair to say that many folks today are abandoning traditional religion in favor of a deeper, more contemplative spiritual life. Mysticism is becoming more mainstream, and religious dogma is less likely to be accepted without question.
I grew up in a Christian home, where a photo of Jesus hung on my bedroom wall. I still have it. It is schmaltzy and rather tacky in that 1970s kind of way, but as a little girl I loved it. In this picture, Jesus looks kind and gentle, he gazes down at me lovingly. He is also light-haired, blue-eyed, and very white.
Christians will be celebrate Easter, the day on which the resurrection of Jesus is said to have taken place. The date of celebration changes from year to year.
On March 17, people around the world will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by parading in green hats, sporting images of shamrocks and leprechauns
Who was Mary Magdalene? What do we know about her? And how do we know it?
It would be easy to conclude that there’s a deficit of morality in the world today. That if only people were more motivated to behave ethically, if only they made morality more prominent in their thinking, then the world would be a better place. But, I’d argue that there’s not a lack of morality in the world; there’s too much.
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.
Although the Voice for God is always present and available, God will not speak to us until we have invited Him/Her to enter our awareness. This is the first step in aligning ourselves with our spiritual power. It is the only step that we must take on our own, in that it is the step of inviting and calling upon the Holy Spirit, Voice for God, or Universal Mind.
Buddhist teachings are often summarized in terms of the "three principle aspects of the path": renunciation, compassion, and the wisdom realizing emptiness. The first step on the path of renunciation is to begin searching for happiness within. Renouncing the world does not mean rejecting the world...
The new TV series Britannia, which has won plaudits as heralding a new generation of British folk-horror, is clearly not intended to be strictly historical. Instead director Jez Butterworth gives us a graphic re-imagining of Britain on the eve of the Roman conquest.
When we talk about “human values” we tend to mean important abstract ideals. Things like freedom, equality, security, tradition and peace.
Certain attitudes are automatically more magnetic than others. Willingness, cheerfulness, kindness—all wholesome, spiritual attitudes are magnetic. Unwillingness, discouragement, and similar negative attitudes, on the other hand, impair the free flow of energy.
Savior archetypal figures reflect a common longing for a new Divine Human. Rather than being copycat myths, they represent allegories of humanity’s universal mystical potential for divine incarnation and the restoration of a sacred universe. The Divine Human comes to heal the culture’s abandonment of the realized divine.
The perfect parking place shows up every time. Teeth with cavities grow new gold fillings seconds after a healer prays. The perfect house becomes available, a job opens, money multiplies, the right people appear... I don’t “believe” in miracles like these; I see them in my daily life...
Realizing that we create everything we experience - no matter how positive or negative it may seem - is the first step in spiritual mastery. But it's only the beginning. Trying to satisfy the endless needs of the ego leads to complete disillusionment. I'm a strong proponent of viewing acts of service as a...
I might be about to ruin your Christmas. Sorry. But the reality is those nativity plays in which your adorable children wear tinsel and angel wings bear little resemblance to what actually happened.
Even if you don’t believe in Christ or a God, religion can still be a powerful force. Research shows that even nonreligious people may hold unconscious beliefs linked to religion that can affect their psychology.
President Trump’s announcement on Wednesday, Dec. 6 that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel received widespread criticism.
American families blend a mix of religious identities and traditions today more than ever. These interfaith dynamics appear in day-to-day life, but the holidays can add extra emphasis.
Charles Manson, who died Nov. 19, famously attracted a coterie of men and women to do his bidding, which included committing a string of murders in the late-1960s.
There is a large billboard sign along the Saw Mill River Parkway north of New York City that reads in big bold letters, “Prayer Works.” There are no other words on the sign. A man named Tom rode by that sign every single day on his way to work. He did not believe in prayer and he scoffed at the sign each day.