Spirituality in the News

February 22, 2015
DEEPAK CHOPRA for the Huffington Post

In troubled times, when the world seems to be on fire, people think about God and the religion they were raised in -- a source of solace and hope matters more in a crisis. I don't find myself thinking about spirituality in those terms, however. Like a winter coat that's put away in spring, for many people spirituality, in the sense of going to church or praying to God, gets put away when the crisis has passed.

Crises by their nature, come and go, but the deeper need for spirituality remains. This need is rooted deeper than solace and hope. It's the need for wisdom.  Wisdom is a word that's open to cheap shots and automatic dismissal. It's even alien to the kind of spirituality that's about issues like self-esteem and love. Wisdom is much less personal and mysterious. It gets at the heart of why we exist and what our purpose is. Wisdom gives you a vision of possibilities that are found in consciousness, bridging all ages and circumstances.  It gets at the heart of reality. Ultimately the search for reality is what binds a loose coalition of people who want to reach beyond organized religion and its perceived drawbacks.

Read more    
January 20, 2015
Wilamina Falkenhagen for the Huffington Post
What does spirituality mean to you? Would you say you are a spiritual person?

We all need something to believe in, and for some, traditional religion as a basis of spirituality has lost its way. People are looking to other areas for their faith so what is modern day spirituality? What is it that we believe in, that governs how we live our lives?

Sport is a huge one. People live and breathe their sport. When the team wins, life is good; when the team does badly, life is bad. Wrongly or rightly players are Gods and people worship them.

Mother Nature is another one. People love and feel connected with Mother Nature and use her setting as an alter of sorts.

Spirituality at times has had hippy or religious connotations however in the 21st century, spirituality and a spiritual practice can take on any number of forms.

One thing that has not changed over the centuries though, is that spirituality is a highly personal topic. Think about how you respond when someone asks you, "Are you spiritual?" or "What are your spiritual beliefs?"

Read more    
December 30, 2014
NBC News
NIGHTLY NEWS
Students at four schools in a poor San Francisco neighborhood meditate twice a day during "quiet time," and the results have been remarkable.


Read more    
December 23, 2014
New York Times - David Brooks

With Hanukkah coming to an end, Christmas days away, and people taking time off work, we are in a season of quickened faith. When you watch people exercise that faith, whether lighting candles or attending Midnight Mass, the first thing you see is how surprising it is. You’d think faith would be a simple holding of belief, or a confidence in things unseen, but, in real life, faith is unpredictable and ever-changing.

It begins, for many people, with an elusive experience of wonder and mystery.

The best modern book on belief is “My Bright Abyss” by my Yale colleague, Christian Wiman. In it, he writes, “When I hear people say they have no religious impulse whatsoever ... I always want to respond: Really? You have never felt overwhelmed by, and in some way inadequate to, an experience in your life, have never felt something in yourself staking a claim beyond yourself, some wordless mystery straining through word to reach you? Never?”

Most believers seem to have had these magical moments of wonder and clearest consciousness, which suggested a dimension of existence beyond the everyday. Maybe it happened during childbirth, with music, in nature, in love or pain, or during a moment of overwhelming gratitude and exaltation.

Read more    
October 28, 2014
New York Times - Konika Banerjee and Paul Bloom

On April 15, 2013, James Costello was cheering on a friend near the finish line at the Boston Marathon when the bombs exploded, severely burning his arms and legs and sending shrapnel into his flesh. During the months of surgery and rehabilitation that followed, Mr. Costello developed a relationship with one of his nurses, Krista D’Agostino, and they soon became engaged. Mr. Costello posted a picture of the ring on Facebook. “I now realize why I was involved in the tragedy,” he wrote. “It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life.”

Read more    
June 26, 2012
Huffington Post - Philip Goldberg

I recently came across an essay by journalist Eric Weiner, the author of "Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine," in which he says, "We need a Steve Jobs of religion." In the piece, published last December in the New York Times, Weiner says we need "[s]omeone (or ones) who can invent not a new religion but, rather, a new way of being religious. Like Mr. Jobs's creations, this new way would be straightforward and unencumbered and absolutely intuitive. Most important, it would be highly interactive. I imagine a religious space that celebrates doubt, encourages experimentation and allows one to utter the word God without embarrassment."

It is an excellent idea, but my message to Eric Weiner is: We already have a "new way of being religious" and we don't need a Steve Jobs to invent it. It's been evolving for quite some time now.

Read more    

Pages