The teachings found in yoga are unafraid to address the notion of death. In fact, understanding and acceptance of the inevitability of death is seen as something that paradoxically frees one to be more fully alive in this moment. As a teacher, I thought I had fairly clear ideas on it. That is, until someone very close to me died.
I’m sitting cross-legged on a downtown sidewalk. My five year-old son is in my lap and for 10 minutes the little guy is completely focused and very still; we’re watching and listening with curious eyes and ears to an unusual music performance.
A few years ago I became an adopted grandma and had a five year old living in my house for awhile. I have to admit that seeing the world through the eyes of a five year old is an excellent reminder to lighten up. She and my cats were clearly put in my life to remind me to play and have fun, no matter what I am doing.
“You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink” - Proverb
Recently I was at a marketplace in the old sugar plantation town of Hilo, on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii, about an hour from where I now live. It’s a once-bustling sugar cane industry town that now finds itself facing severe economic challenges. Hilo has had its share of hard times, and I’m pretty sure it never fully recovered from the great tsunami of 1960, a setback that took 61 lives and left the town almost completely destroyed.
Sooraya Graham, a devout Muslim and an art student in British Columbia, took a photo of a woman draped in niqab and abaya (face veil and full-body covering), folding a bra while doing her laundry. Needless to say this photo sparked great controversy: a Muslim woman doing laundry? That must be an insult to Islam. Or maybe it was the bra. I don’t know.
Twenty years after she introduced a new generation to "A Course in Miracles" in her bestselling book, "A Return to Love," Marianne Williamson is still taking on the world—with a renewed call to political activism.
Two decades being expelled as a priest of the Dominican Order, Matthew Fox has continued to challenge the doctrines of the Catholic Church with books including last year’s The Pope’s War, and his teaching of Creation Spirituality. The author of 30 books, Fox has also been an advocate of education reform, working with young people to develop a more holistic approach to learning.
S&H columnist Rabbi Rami Shapiro spoke with Fox about his work.
Mystics say the Native American practice of smudging, or purifying a room with the smoke of sacred herbs, can help clear negative energy from a space. And the apparent benefits are steeped in science—when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which research has linked to a more positive mood.
The Greeks built temples and altars to gods and goddesses that today we might sense deep within our world or even within ourselves. One that particularly appeals to me is Artemis.
One truism of a genuine pilgrimage is that the wisdom we bring home is completely unexpected. We depart determined to figure out how to be more effective at work, only to find ourselves coming home to quit our job before we head to Spain to tutor Basque kids. We head to Tibet determined to leave behind a lover, only to call her a month into the trek to tell her we are finally ready to commit. We ride our bike across the country to mend a broken heart and learn how to be on our own, only to meet a fellow cyclist on the road and fall in love—permanently.