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.
Buddha is sitting in a relaxed, yet contemplative position and there is a big smile on his face. Is he laughing at me...? Martin E. Segal helps the reader understand how to live life to the fullest and why the Buddha is smiling.
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.
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.
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.