Spirituality in the News

March 28, 2018
John Tarrant, for Lion's Roar
Glass-photo by veeterzy Photo: veeterzy

Zen Student: “When times of great difficulty visit us, how should we greet them?”

Teacher: “Welcome.”

The new world looks surprisingly like the old one, except that it’s different. Two years ago housing prices fell off a cliff and mortgages went underwater. Today, the hardware store is still quiet and the busy suburban hairdresser is empty on a Friday. Phobia about spending makes other people phobic too—a great university declares a hiring freeze, and a clinic is threatened with shutting down because it can’t afford to replace a receptionist who earns $9.00 an hour. The construction sites have filled with water and the bulldozers are silent.

We are now in the new world. In the new world, winter is still cold, summer is still warm, bread, cheese, pickled onion, and a glass of ale is still a ploughman’s lunch, the sky still has windows of translucent distance at sunset after rain, and a wet dog still smells like a wet dog. Perhaps it’s fine in the new world. Perhaps we don’t have to waste this crisis in wailing and gnashing our teeth.

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March 23, 2018
Meadow Rue Merrill, for the New York Times

By Giselle Potter for The New York Times
                                                                                                                          Giselle Potter

“This is it?” My 8-year-old daughter, Lydia, pressed her face against the van window. “This is the farm?”

“I think so.” I steered my van past the weathered barn, dodging pond-size puddles. As far as I could see, the earth looked dead. Dead grass humped beneath mounds of lingering snow. Dead leaves clinging to withered apple trees. Dead fields stretching to the distant pines. In springtime in Maine, nothing seemed alive except the mud.

“Pigs!” my 2-year-old son, Asher, squealed.

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February 14, 2018
Rick Hamlin for The New York Times

Ash Wednesday in New York City, 2001. Credit Greg MillerLent is here, and as a practicing Christian, I know the question is inevitable: “What are you planning to give up?” It’s a tougher decision than it sounds; I look with awe at a woman who gave up sarcasm one Lent. Now, that would be a real hardship.

Lent is the penitential season in the Christian calendar that traditionally runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter. It is 40 days long, not counting Sundays because Sundays are feast days (that woman could indulge in sarcasm on Sundays), and it marks the 40 days and nights Jesus spent in the wilderness before he began his ministry.

Forty is one of those biblical numbers that means a long time and is linked to periods of trial, like the 40 days and nights that the torrential rains floated Noah’s ark, and the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the desert after escaping the pharaoh’s clutches.

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December 27, 2018
Chaim Saiman for The Atlantic

The new Star Wars film dramatically breaks with the franchise’s reverence for tradition when it comes to learning the ways of the Force.

The Last Jedi - Photo by Disney

                                                                                                            Photo: Disney
This story contains spoilers for The Last Jedi.       

For at least two generations, the Star Wars saga has served as a kind of secularized American religion. Throughout the series, the Force is a stand-in for a divine power that draws on a number of mystical traditions, representing the balance of good and evil, the promise of an ultimate unity, and the notion that those learned in its ways can tap into the infinite.

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September 12, 2017
Theresa Keegan, for the Poughkeepsie Journal

American spirituality, but not necessarily religion, is on the rise, according to the Religious Landscape Study by the Pew Research Center. That spirituality — whether experienced through mindful practices, walks in nature or faith — ultimately results in a greater connectedness with self and the world.

“It’s a very misunderstood concept,” said Deborah Angeline Laclaverie. “The process of spirituality, in my mind, has nothing to do with religion. It’s a way of being.”

This transformational teacher from Woodstock is not alone.

GettyImages-504487318
                                                                         GettyImages-504487318
 
Dr. Dan Siegel, an interpersonal neurobiologist and clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA, said people are looking inward to find new discoveries.

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September 21, 2017
From LifeCoachCode.com

Scientists found that neurons in mammalian brains were capable of producing photons of light, or “Biophotons”!

The photons, strangely enough, appear within the visible spectrum. They range from near-infrared through violet, or between 200 and 1,300 nanometers.
Image Source: https://www.lifecoachcode.com/2017/09/21/scientists-discover-biophotons-in-the-brain-hint-consciousness-light/

Scientists have an exciting suspicion that our brain’s neurons might be able to communicate through light. They suspect that our brain might have optical communication channels, but they have no idea what could be communicated.

Even more exciting, they claim that if there is an optical communication happening, the Biophotons our brains produce might be affected by quantum entanglement, meaning there can be a strong link between these photons, our consciousness and possibly what many cultures and religions refer to as Spirit.

In a couple of experiments scientist discovered that rat brains can pass just one biophoton per neuron a minute, but human brains could convey more than a billion biophotons per second.

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September 10, 2017
By Joanna Macy

Findhorn Fellow, Eco-philosopher and root teacher of The Work That Reconnects, Joanna Macy, shares the twelve centuries old Shambhala Warrior Prophecy from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which is said to come true in our time. She invites you to listen to it as if it were about you….
 
Joanna Macy
“There comes a time when all life on Earth is in danger. At that time great powers have arisen, barbarian powers, and although they waste their wealth in preparations to annihilate each other, they have much in common. Among the things these barbarians have in common are weapons of unfathomable devastation and death and technologies that lay wast to the world. And it is just at this point in our history, when the future of all beings seems to hang by the frailest of threads, that the kingdom of shambhala emerges. Now, you can’t go there because it is not a place. It exists in the hearts and minds of the shambhala warriors….

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August 23, 2017
By Rachael Kohn for The Spirit of Things

In a media culture dominated by the 24-hour news cycle, carving out a space for the voices of poets, theologians and philosophers isn't easy.

But that is Krista Tippett's mission.

 
Krista Tippett
                                                                                        Photo for ABC RN: Siobhan Hegarty
 
As the creator of the hugely popular podcast and radio show On Being — distributed to 400 stations in the United States and heard globally through SoundCloud — she interviews spiritually uplifting people who often go unnoticed by the media.

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July 21, 2017
Clay Routledge, for the New York Times
Image Credit Marion Fayolle
Credit: Marion Fayolle


Are Americans becoming less religious? It depends on what you mean by “religious.”

Polls certainly indicate a decline in religious affiliation, practice and belief. Just a couple of decades ago, about 95 percent of Americans reported belonging to a religious group. This number is now around 75 percent. And far fewer are actively religious: The percentage of regular churchgoers may be as low as 15 to 20 percent. As for religious belief, the Pew Research Center found that from 2007 to 2014 the percentage of Americans who reported being absolutely confident God exists dropped from 71 percent to 63 percent.

Nonetheless, there is reason to doubt the death of religion, or at least the death of what you might call the “religious mind” — our concern with existential questions and our search for meaning. A growing body of research suggests that the evidence for a decline in traditional religious belief, identity and practice does not reflect a decline in this underlying spiritual inclination.

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April 4, 2017
By Sara Childre, Pres. of HeartMath Institute and Doc Childre, HeartMath Founder

Raising Our Vibrations
 
It’s becoming clearer to many of us that working together with kindness, compassion and acceptance are the missing pieces for resetting humanity’s fast and furious trajectory into separation and division. It’s also becoming obvious that we cannot create solutions from the same consciousness level that’s creating the problems. Raising our consciousness vibration for drawing peaceful solutions is an undertaking that calls for kindness, forgiveness and an inclusive love that respects our differences.

Vibrations

HeartMath and many systems use the term vibration in reference to the quality of thoughts, feelings, emotions and attitudes that are generated and influenced by our beliefs, memories, choices, environmental stimuli and more. For example, you often hear people say, "I had to leave that office, the vibes were so low it was draining my energy, or, "I felt a lift from being in her positive vibration."

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