When the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, proposed a ban on the burqa and niqab at a conference of her political party in December 2016, she was following the lead of a number of countries in Europe which already have such legislation in place
A recent survey of the religious profile of the 115th Congress revealed that despite the increase in the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation, members of Congress are overwhelmingly religious, with only one member identifying as having no religion.
When we cheer the spirit of the true athlete, what we applaud is a demonstration of all of the significance's the word spirit entails for us: courage, tenacity, commitment, alignment with principle, demonstration of excellence, honor, respect, and humility. To inspire implies filling with spirit...
It is one of the most difficult passages: not to turn away from injustice and not to be dehumanized by the righteousness that injustice invokes. The question becomes: is it justice or healing that we need? The myth that the angel of justice needs to be blind...
Love enters and exits our physical body through the sacred coordinate within our heart. It permeates every organ, cell, and atom but it does not call any one of these its home within the body. Not even the heart can contain the enormity of love: It merely translates the language of love.
Reciting these powerful, energizing prayers lifts the frequency of your aura dramatically. To practice these prayers, center in your heart. Breathe into the heart and begin saying the prayers audibly in a normal speaking voice.
Signs left by the angels are meant to help stir and awaken our intuitive nature so that we can expand our conscious connection and deepen our relationship with a higher power. The power is not within the sign itself; the power is within the message that the sign reveals...
Our lives are a series of “moments” that flow together. We tend to extract one frame here, another one there, and fabricate stories about them. Stories breed with each other. One triggers another.
However many books are written about our spirituality, we have to come to terms with the fact that nobody has all the answers. Discovering our own spiritual truth is a lonely road and yet one that is largely dependent on others we meet on the way.
For the last several decades, Westerners have been looking East for new approaches to health care. What was once the exclusive domain of hippies and New Agers has become mainstream.
Although meditation is independent of any particular lifestyle or diet, I would be remiss if I did not point out that what you put into your body will make a difference in the quality of your meditation and how quickly you advance in your inner experience.
I fear losing the stillness I gained. But I take comfort in knowing that the abbey is there, that the monks are singing the hours, and that there is silence in between.
I choose joy. I choose the path of joy. I am now willing to release struggle, and embrace the path of joy. I relax my body.
Meditating sounds easy. Sitting. Breathing. Focusing in a relaxed kind of way. So why isn't everyone doing it? Why do so many who start meditating, or open a book on the subject, fail to carry through and make meditation a part of their daily lives?
Picturesque and exotic, with their crowns and camels, the three kings regularly appear on Christmas cards and in nativity scenes.
Many people are familiar with the stories in the New Testament gospels of Luke and Matthew about Jesus’ conception and birth.
Humanity has become enmeshed in a dysfunctional global system. It has become anesthetized by a cultural conditioning that begins at birth, by those who themselves have been conditioned by the generations before them.
Every Christmas season, the now typical jokes pile up on social media. Jesus is commended for having a “stable upbringing”. But all this facetious word play prompts me to think a little more seriously about the language used in traditional accounts of the nativity.
Many of us would like to have a peaceful ride, enjoy the present moment, yet we can’t help but make future plans so we feel secure, or we spend time digging on past hurts. But... the true experience of being alive is beyond those plans, and “happens” to us.
Bright stars top Christmas trees in Christian homes around much of the world. The faithful sing about the “Star of Wonder” that guided the wise men to a manger in the little town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.
Christmas is literally “the mass for Christ”, the day on which Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. The western date for Jesus’ birth is quite arbitrary. It was chosen by Pope Leo I, bishop of Rome...
On Wednesday, Dec. 21, nations in the Northern Hemisphere will mark the winter solstice – the shortest day and longest night of the year.
In the deepest place in your spirit, the place of wounds and hope, you know that the earth is speaking, and that the time has come to listen to all of her voices. You can only hope that for the sake of your children, and all the children of the world...
Evangelicals are more skeptical of evolution than of climate change, according to new research.
Very often people cannot understand why they should live the Spiritual Life. It is a natural question: “What do I get out of it?” It is important to understand that if you follow through with the Path you’re going to get a lot out of it...
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.
Opening Meditation: Find a comfortable position. A nice comfortable chair will work, or you can lean against the wall or sit cross-legged on the floor. Whatever will be most comfortable for you.
Death isn’t bad luck, because there is no difference between the living and the dead. The one in the coffin is doing the same thing as the one grieving in the pew: loving and learning.
The Roman Catholic Church will allow priests all over the world to grant forgiveness for abortion. This announcement came from Pope Francis at the end of the Jubilee of Mercy – a holy year dedicated to forgiveness.
In this age of technology and materialism, when many wonder what tomorrow will bring, the resurgence of spirituality is a normal phenomenon. For centuries, people have turned to religions or other belief systems for support and understanding. So one can wonder why, after centuries of religious or spiritual...
Many things we do are imposed on us by necessity, or by the absurd. Why wear a tie? The fact is, many of the rules we obey nowadays have no real foundation. Nevertheless, if we wish to act differently, we are considered “crazy” or “immature”.
Emotions are the lenses through which we experience daily life and inhabit the world—how we love, learn, work, make meaning, and devise solutions to problems we face.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) teaches us that what makes the stresses in our life particularly damaging is how we mismanage them. The tendency to resist or willfully ignore our situation, misperceive and have fixed ideas about who we are and the reality we inhabit, is slowly replaced with mindfulness...
Our lives feel complicated at times, or stressed; oftentimes we even feel unable to handle whatever is heading our way, certain that this time it may be beyond our capacity to withstand or understand. However...
Part of letting go into the flow of life lies in realizing that you have never really been in control of your life, at least not from the perspective of the conscious mind. You simply have been making choices based on a very limited scope of awareness dictated by...
Unlearning habits and establishing new ones is no more difficult than learning them in the ﬁrst place. Here are some guidelines for freeing yourself from the automatic nature of your old-perception habits...
Fold your hands together in your lap, with the right hand underneath the left hand -- the position is important because the right hand is joined with the left brain, and fear always comes from the left brain. The left hand is joined with the right brain, and courage comes from the right side.
The present is what is happening when you strip away all the resentments of your past and all the worries you have about your future. To live in the present is to live as if the past never existed and as if the future were irrelevant. Living in the present is a vision for life that is achievable in any...
Every meditation technique has its unique characteristics, and invites you to experience meditation in a different way. They all invite you to direct your attention at one focal point, but these focal points may be essentially different...
What if Joyce dies before me? This is one of my greatest vulnerabilities. Sure, I could die first. Statistically, women live longer than men. Even though we’re both healthy in the important ways, we are still seventy years old. We are now in our senior years. Death of our bodies is no longer something that can be ignored.
I believe that we are all born with a powerful shamanic spirit. Like the rest of the natural world that we are so deeply related to, we are given many wonderful shamanic gifts from our divine source.
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.
Since the late 1970s, American evangelicalism has been largely identified with right-wing politics. Conservative religious values entered the political sphere through movements such as Moral Majority and Focus on the Family that opposed gay rights, abortion, feminism and other liberal issues.
To come to the beginning of ourselves is to cease to be victims of circumstances, the actions of others, or even our own mistakes. The true story of who we really are begins now. We are no longer tossed willy-nilly from one desire, thought, or worry to another in a futile process of trying...
After the publication of Conversations with God, the question that I was asked more often than any other was: “Why you? Why did God pick you?” And, always, I’ve responded with, “God did not pick me. God picks everyone. The question is not, to whom does God talk? The question is, who listens?”
From ghosts to ghouls, witches to wizards, Halloween is the one time of the year when people come together to celebrate everything supernatural.
It was my nature at a very young age to be observant and contemplative. I observed the restrained and reverential behavior of people in church. I also observed, curiously, that many of these same sanctimonious people were often irreverent, insensitive, and sometimes cruel outside of church.
Humans have five basic senses: smell, taste, hearing, sight, and touch. They also correspond to your five angelic senses. When you incorporate the human and angelic senses together, you'll have more awareness of both your physical and non-physical realities.
Three people sitting at a table with a single candle in its center and talking about the most powerful force in the universe. Each character speaks from the level of his or her own expertise, drawing from their experience examples and insights to support their convictions. In the end...
Vibrations created by precise combinations of sounds have long been thought to affect living beings and inanimate objects. The most powerful use of the voice in Buddhist belief is reciting a mantra. A mantra is a phrase or sentence, the sound of which embodies the power of...
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...
Our words reveal to everyone what we’re feeling and thinking. Our favorite expressions reveal what we believe, and they shape our experiences. The principle that words have great force is an ancient and powerful one.
Before we decide to follow a path of spiritual teaching, whatever the culture or creed from which it came, it is necessary to investigate our motivation for doing so. The main reason we become interested is because we want something different in our lives from what we see around us.
When we learn to respond more healthily to the emotions and feelings that arise, we can radically change the quality of our lives. One of the greatest disappointments I felt in growing up was that no one ever gave me help in dealing with emotions. The experience must be extremely widespread, because...
Can a Smart Person Believe in God? is the provocative title of a book by Michael Guillen, theoretical physicist and former science correspondent for ABC News (he has a Ph. D. in three disciplines, physics, mathematics and astronomy, from Cornell). His answer is yes, and...
Practicing mindfulness can help you recognize habits and replace them with newer and better ones. This is a core element of mindfulness, and indeed why mindfulness is itself called a “practice.”
The Duality/Scarcity Global Economy has entered its final death throes at the same time as the Unity/Prosperity Global Economy begins its labor pangs. The waters have broken. Adjustments are being made and tweaks in the consciousness to alleviate the speed with which the switch-over will happen.
Identifying these wounds, our patterns of hurt and how we defend ourselves, is valuable. Knowing what we do when we feel threatened, we can begin to recognize whether we unconsciously perceive our meditation as a threat and defended ourselves against it with a resistance that prevents us from doing it.
The hormone oxytocin, dubbed the “love hormone” for its role in promoting social bonding, altruism, and more, may also support men’s spirituality.
In a recent speech full of allusions to Bible verses and Christian hymns at the National Baptist Convention in Kansas City, Hillary Clinton focused on Christian humility. She acknowledged that
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 manifestation of a closed heart...
The deepest truth of human longing is that each of us yearns to be free to love and be loved. Everything we keep hidden and everything we distort keeps us from the deeper truth of our longing, the hunger we have had since time immemorial. This deep longing lives as a seed in the heart of every human...
Prayer is our personal conversation with God. How many people have been taught how to pray, the value of prayer, or the power of prayer? Were you? And I am not talking about reciting prayers by rote...
With the release of the latest Apple Watch this month came a new Breathe app which promises to “help you better manage everyday stress”. Giving mindful breathing a place beside the alarm clock and weather app seems to prove mindfulness has truly gone mainstream.
One day Ajahn Chah held up a beautiful Chinese teacup. “To me this cup is already broken. Because I know its fate, I can enjoy it fully here and now. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.” When we understand the truth of uncertainty and relax, we become free.
It is not what we feel or experience that we need fear; it is what remains unconscious that poses the real threat. Parts of our survival psychologies, such as an unconscious need to feel loved and secure by helping others, eventually betray us...
In daily life, walking meditation can be very helpful. A short period -- say ten minutes -- of formal walking meditation serves to focus the mind, develop balance and accuracy of awareness as well as durability of concentration. Beyond this advantage, the awareness developed in walking meditation is useful to...
We are all one. When you are in Oneness your heart is totally open. Your Illumined Self gives freely, receives gratefully, is utterly compassionate and empathetic. You accept everyone exactly as they are with glowing love in your heart. You are the heartbeat of the universe.
I quickly learned—at the age of four—that while the dead may be dead, they still have a lot to say, and it is my job to listen. As kids, we all learn to look both ways and never take candy from a stranger. I also learned to never argue with a dead person—they often know more than the living.
Living in the here and now is the only way to make it safely through life with as much stress-free enjoyment and productivity along the way as possible. Some of us go down the path (life) shining our lights (focus of attention) too far and too frequently behind us...
We cannot avoid emotional pain in life, and it’s through our experience of it that we come to understand what it means to be human. The whole of life is a series of beginnings and endings, a succession of mini-deaths, that we have to learn to take in our stride...
A Taoist seeker was wandering about a mountain range in search of a true teacher. On one occasion he happened upon a small Taoist hermitage high atop a peak on Wu-T'ang Mountain, where a small number of venerable old immortals (priests) were living. Though he found these men extremely wise...
Slot machines, as outrageous as it might seem, are a powerful vehicle to help you learn how to keep your heart open. Since the brain and, in fact, the entire body, is a package of electrochemical impulses, it shouldn't seem so far-fetched that we can influence electronic devices.
Ever since I can remember, I have known two worlds. The concrete, day-to-day physical world -- deadlines, desks, dinner -- the world of manifestation; and another world, the spiritual world of mystery, the world of God.
Mothers-to-be don’t spend their entire 40 weeks of pregnancy glowing radiantly; there can be midnight worries, endless shopping lists, and swollen feet.
Here is something you can practice to connect with your inner guide. Find a quiet spot in nature and sit comfortably alone. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Allow yourself to fully feel your body and be present in the Now.
This exercise is designed for very deep relaxation. The instructions given here will help you achieve a balanced and effective relaxation response in a minimum of time.
One of the most important events in the British education calendar is approaching: A-level results day. Beyond A-levels, choosing what you want to do, or what you want to study are two of the big decisions in life. And, as such, they are not easy ones to make.
I smile to myself as a long awaited opportunity has finally arrived. I say opportunity perhaps inappropriately, but the chronic illness that challenged my life for so many years gifted me with an understanding of life that would help me make sense of the rest of it.
Consciousness itself actually can never be healed, as it is the foundation of healing itself. It is rather that our state of incomplete, separate consciousness is what needs to be repaired, mended, reconnected or made whole—brought back into the state of Oneness. This is known as the State of Being.
Modern people have long wondered about ancient stories of great floods. Do they tell of real events in the distant past, or are they myths rooted in imagination?
“Dear God!” I wrote, “I know the vows I want! I want vows to me, to my self, to my soul, to You!” And with that declaration, my divine voice and I began long, intense conversations, diving deeper and deeper together into the well of my soul to find my true vows.
Ghosts are still to be found haunting old buildings, castles, domestic houses, prisons and just about any place of human habitation you can imagine. There are even many recorded stories of ghosts in the White House in Washington. The 16th US President Abe Lincoln has been seen by...
Pure love is totally undemanding and accepting. It extends its energy to everything but you only feel it when you are in the moment. Whenever you give or receive pure love the angels step in and pour their light through you.
Some births happen with just a few easy pushes while others are a long, drawn out, Herculean task. The moment of death, too, is unique and can happen with gentle ease or struggle and effort. It deserves the same honor we reserve for the moment of birth whether it was a peaceful experience or a conflicted one.
The true secret of a great life, as I see it, is making a difference for others. All else is empty. When we’re empowering others through our sharing, that’s when we get what we really, really want. If we love something that’s bigger than we are, we’re in service...
I am in awe of my mother’s faith in God. Despite the circumstances that life has inflicted upon her, she has remained committed to her Christian belief. I’m also in awe of the fervent faith that I’ve seen in friends of mine who are Buddhist, Muslim, or even those who choose to not give the divinity a name per se.
As the Lord’s Prayer indicates, forgiveness plays a part in settling spiritual debts, and in helping to prevent new ones from being established. Forgiveness provides great protection for the self, as well as helping others. It ends vicious cycles of action and reaction.
In nursing homes, older people are increasingly frail and being admitted to care later than they used to be. More than half of residents suffer from depression, yet psychiatrists and psychologists aren’t easily accessible, and pastoral or spiritual care is only available in a subset of homes.
Janelle and I first ‘met’ in 2010 when a member of her family came to me for a reading. After this particular reading I overflowed with compassion, feeling the pain of those who believe they have lost their loved ones forever.
Jesus’s crucifixion is probably one of the most familiar images to emerge from Christianity. But what was crucifixion? And why was Jesus killed that way?
Silence is often the doorway to an ever deepening understanding of this thing called Life and our own true power. Silence is a wonderful place where wonderful things happen... Silence is food for the soul, a gift from the Great Universal Intelligence.
Old age is a time of many challenges. Retirement brings opportunities, but for many people it also results in loss of role and income. Loved ones may die, leading to the need to grieve and reconstruct life, sometimes without a partner of many years. In advanced old age, physical and mental frailty may lead to further loss of role and greater dependence on others.
A friend of mine--a much-loved teacher of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion--told me about the day he became vegetarian. Becoming vegetarian had less to do with health than realizing consciousness is active in all creatures big and small.
In this excerpt from the beginning of her book, author Steffany Barton explains her perspective on suicide, one that she has come to since a dear friend of hers took his life. Steffany’s search for answers and understanding has been a long often painful but ultimately rewarding journey.
I try not to mention anything about my work as a medium when I’m around my grandma, since she disapproves of it, but I felt such a strong presence from a spirit one day several years ago when she and I were at home that I couldn’t help asking her about him.
"If you had a really bad day and did something you weren't proud of, you could go home and turn on a show that features moral ambiguity and bad characters—and feel significantly better about yourself," says Mina Tsay-Vogel. A viewer could watch Dexter, for example, and think, "At least I'm not as bad as Dexter."
"More than 5,000 and certainly 10,000 years ago, nowhere in the world was anyone living under a concerted authority," says John Rick. "Today we expect that. It is the essence of our organization. 'Take me to your leader. Who's in charge here?' So where did that come from?"
I have never liked hospitals but suddenly I began to appreciate the safety and stability it brought my family and I. Room 305 carried a special meaning for me, one of courage, hope, power and strength.
“The easiest way for me to find God is in nature,” Sister Ceciliana Skees explains. Born Ruth Skees, she grew up in Hardin County, Kentucky, during the 1930s. It’s a rural place of soft green hills, where her father farmed his entire life.