Spirituality in the News

February 17, 2017
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Dr. Sanjay Gupta

(CNN)For the past two months, I have been a changed man. It is hard to fully describe, except to say my mood is mostly sunny and more patient than usual.

In the past, my family and friends would've typically described me as pleasant but hurried. My baseline restlessness and edginess, however, have now nearly vanished.

Without difficulty, I have sustained attention when my young children spend time with me. Instead of constant surveillance of my phone, there is an ability to quickly hyper-focus on the task is at hand and a corresponding joy of living in a distraction-less world.

This change seems to have started the end of last year, after I spent a morning meditating with the Dalai Lama.

First off: Yes, I do feel a little ridiculous writing a line like that, and I didn't feel worthy of his invitation at the time. Even though I meditate, I've never been sure whether I was using proper technique or whether there was an acceptable way to meditate in the presence of His Holiness.

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January 3, 2017
By Leslie Alderman for The New York Times
By Kathy Osborn
                                                                                                                               Kathy Osborn

Here’s a New Year’s challenge for the mind: Make this the year that you quiet all those negative thoughts swirling around your brain.

All humans have a tendency to be a bit more like Eeyore than Tigger, to ruminate more on bad experiences than positive ones. It’s an evolutionary adaptation that helps us avoid danger and react quickly in a crisis.

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September 26, 2016
Business Insider
Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Eric Barker, Barking Up The Wrong Tree

You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don't know what they're talking about. Don't trust them.

Actually, don't trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.

UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life.

Here's what you and I can learn from the people who really have answers:

1. The most important question to ask when you feel down

Sometimes it doesn't feel like your brain wants you to be happy. You may feel guilty or shameful. Why?

Believe it or not, guilt and shame activate the brain's reward center.

Via The Upward Spiral:
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August 12, 2016
By Caroline Watson for The Huffington Post
Caroline Watson Video

Welcome to the Spirituality and Transformative Leadership blog series!

There is no doubt that today’s global leadership is at a crisis point. Leaders of principle are in short supply, politics has become reactionary and isolationist and there is a crying need for leadership that can unite multiple interests into a coherent vision for the reality of today’s world. The model of ‘servant leadership’ that believed in service to a higher cause than oneself, embraced by such visionaries as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Churchill, Mandela, seems extinct in today’s world. As recent events have seen, we need a new vision of leadership that can steer the course of our globalised world, whilst having the humility to recognise the challenges that ordinary people face in their day to day lives.

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July 21, 2016
Rev. Serene Jones, President, Union Theological Seminary

This post first appeared on BillMoyers.com.

Rev. Serene Jones

We asked a number of contributors to share their reactions to a post by activist and author Michelle Alexander that we published earlier this month in the aftermath of the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Here is a response from the Rev. Serene Jones, the president of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. You can view all other responses by clicking on the "Building a New America" tag.

 

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December 4, 2015
By Rev. Victor Kazanjian for United Religions Initiative

Victor KazanjianThe world continues to weep daily for the senseless violence that so devastates families and communities. Today it is San Bernardino, California. Yesterday it was Cameroon, and Jerusalem, before that Baghdad, Beirut, Bethlehem, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Paris. And tomorrow…? The daily violence reflected in these and so many more incidents is deeply shocking and stirs up powerful feelings of fear, anger, outrage and sadness. The questions swirl, and consume our thoughts. Why? Who? How? It is natural to feel this way. Violence is horrible and the purpose of violence is to horrify and paralyze.

I have seen a lot of violence in my life, from gang violence in the South Bronx to communal violence in Gujarat, India. And as part of a global community of peace-builders, I hear daily stories of violence; both the stories that captivate the media, and the stories that we never see and yet are no less tragic.

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November 12, 2015
Nick Jankel for www.upliftconnect.com

Meditator

Is saying publicly that you are a Spiritual person one of the last great social taboos?

Why, with so many striving to deliver greater social justice, is being actively and purposefully spiritual still such a heresy?

Over half of Canadian teenagers openly say they have spiritual needs, whilst only 15% of Americans say that they are neither spiritual nor religious. Over 75% of Brits claim that they are aware of a spiritual dimension to experience (a rise of 27% in 13 years); about 70% sit within a grey area between being religious and anti-religious. So why do so many of us hide away our spiritual contemplations, intuitions and convictions?

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October 30, 2015
Antonia Blumberg for The Huffington Post
 
Sacred Seed
Our lives depend on them.

With water, sun and soil, a tiny seed can grow into a majestic tree. The seed's power to transform so dramatically seems almost mythic in proportion, which is perhaps why seeds appear in many religious parables.

Today we've lost our connection to the life-giving properties of seeds as a by-product of our highly industrialized and "materialistic" culture, according to author and Sufi mystic Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.

"We have not only lost the sacred dimension of the seeds but a lived connection to the sacred Earth," Vaughan-Lee told The Huffington Post.

He went on to ask, "How can life have real meaning if we have no connection to a sacred Earth?"

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October 2, 2015
Jay Michaelson for The Daily Beast
Illustration by Alex Williams/The Daily Beast

Jay MichaelsonLet me say something I’m not supposed to say: I’m embarrassed by my new book.

This is true even though it’s a true labor of love, written and rewritten and rewritten again over a 10-year period; even though it’s also, in part, a chronicle of the loss of my mother; and even though various fantastic people have said various wonderful things about it.

Because my new book, like two of my previous ones, will be shelved with “spirituality.” And we all know serious people don’t do spirituality.

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October 2, 2015
Lynne McTaggart
Lynne McTaggart
If we have an energy field, how long does it live on after we die?



Just this question has been asked – and answered – by Konstantin Korotkov, the noted Russian quantum physicist and professor of what is now called the Russian National University of Informational Technology, Mechanics and Optics, who has created a modern-day version of Kirlian photography.

Kirlian photography



Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, a Russian engineer, discovered that when anything that conducts energy, including human tissue, is placed on a plate made of an insulating material, such as glass, and exposed to high-voltage, high-frequency electricity, the resulting low current creates a halo of coloured light around the object that can be captured on film.

Korotkov came up with a means of capturing this mysterious light in real time by creating a mechanism, which he called the Gas Discharge Visualization (GDV) technique, which made use of state-of-the-art optics, digitized television matrices and a powerful computer.

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