Entries tagged with “From the Archives”
A list of fifty experiences to touch your soul and (maybe) change your life forever.
The priest in charge describes the real miracle of “the little chapel that stood”.
One crew, eight rowers, 32 brains... Wait a minute. How many brains?
Forgiveness is an absolute necessity for continued human existence.
Decades of research worldwide suggest that cultures evolve in stages, a hierarchy like nesting Russian dolls elegantly described in the eight colors of Spiral Dynamics — and tested against apartheid. Surprisingly; the most dangerous stage may not be toward the bottom where people fight for survival, feudal power, and market share. Instead, it may be where we are…
Ruth Kollenborn is a creator and sustainer of her community.
Finding our way in this new spiritual landscape.
Jane Goodall's work with chimps transformed the way we view our place in the natural world.
"For while the human being is as different as possible from a stone, yet man's innermost center is in a strange and special way akin to it (perhaps because the stone symbolizes mere existence at the farthest remove from the emotions, feelings, fantasies, and discursive thinking of the ego-consciousness). In this sense the stone symbolizes what is perhaps the simplest and deepest experience — the experience of something eternal that man can have in those moments when he feels immortal and unalterable." — Jungian analyst Marie Louise von Franz in Man and His Symbols
Grab a pencil and paper to take this self-test, which appeared in the Summer 2000 issue of Spirituality & Health. Before you venture far to experience other communities in th…
This new reality is not a New York-California phenomenon of the cosmopolitan coasts of America. This is a Main Street phenomenon. There are Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists in Salt Lake City, in Toledo, and in Jackson, Mississippi.
Beads have been instruments of prayer in Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism, and cultures as diverse as the African Masai and Native American Yaqui.
If we can’t find a way to speak about G— without smuggling in our political, ideological, and general concerns, then it is time to be silent.
A short introduction to the world’s first Buddhist Bible study group.
Faced with a diagnosis of terminal illness, this former “white coat” medical professional chucked the statics and went surfing.
Try these herbs and supplements for the physical body and homeopathics and flower essences for the emotional and spiritual body.
Forgiveness is simply and act of the heart. It is one of the greatest gifts of the spiritual life. For most people forgiveness is a process.
Anticipating the 20th Century’s Endgame: would it bring a social meltdown? Or new support systems that demand trust, open hearts, and new approaches.
A look at how we regarded complex systems in 1999, just prior to the turn of the millennium.
In the summer of 2002 we invited our readers to take two leaps of faith — first by writing a personal essay, and then by letting us read it. We received many wonderful entries. Here’s one of our favorites.
The logos (empirical data) is that future robots will likely be smarter, more capable, and perhaps even more sensitive and sensible than we are. The mythos (larger symbolic narrative) is what we make of it. We can see our robotic creations as reminders that, while there are things we cannot know, the most likely path to wisdom is not to become more disembodied like computers but to become more embodied, more human.
The point of a rule of life, for communities or individuals, is that life should be lived in balance, with God as the focal point.
The experience of dying is often difficult, filled with fears and anxieties for both the dying and for the surviving loved ones. But death is also a mysterious and wondrous process. It involves both body and soul in the greatest transition we are ever called to make. The author has sat with hundreds of dying persons, and has learned that we don’t have to be fearful or intimidated.
Field Notes on Love, Sex, and Morality.
Designing and creating your own sacred journal can be an astonishingly simple contemplative practice that results in a beautiful and meaningful space for gathering and safekeeping your dreams. Here, a theologian and bookbinder shows you how.
This article appeared in the Fall 2001 issue of Spirituality & Health. It’s 3 a.m. and I’m awake, exhausted, my mind and heart tangled in a conflict with a close friend.…
A Neurologist's View
Explore what the Chinese call Vital Energy with a theologian.
Investigating the sixth sense that nobody fully understands but most of us feel we have — intuitively.
We pray, not because God needs it, but because we do. Prayer is a sacrament, an outer, visible expression of an inner, invisible grace — or intention.
As in all centuries, people in the 21st century look to the spiritual for meaning and virtue in daily life; they use spiritual practice to peer beyond the mortality of the body into the eternity of the soul. The big difference between the older forms of spirituality and 21st-Century Spirituality is the movement away from an external authority figure and a movement toward an empowerment of each seeker.
Birthing women are able to share something that connects them to all mothers, past and future.
My lifelong effort to understand and practice the art of loving has led me to write two books on the subject. Since it might he assumed that I consider myself an authority on agape, Eros, and philia, it is with considerable embarrassment that I report that my two marriages — one of 17 years and the other of 25 years — ended in divorce.
I offer these reflections on the possibility of creating a loving divorce not as an expert but as a candidate and a continuing student of the difficulties of loving. You will notice that there are no personal details in the article that follows. You are invited to read between the lines. I hope that, in time, I will learn from the theoretical wisdom and insight of the author of The Passionate Life and To Love and Be Loved and become a better practitioner of the art of abiding love.
Learning to live with eyes wide open through circles of trust.
Why is contentment so difficult to realize, and how does one find inner stillness, satisfaction, and peace of mind? This article focuses on a basic orientation of our culture that seems to keep us forever discontented, and also suggests some simple, practical ways to find contentment in the only place and time it can be found — here and now.
In the first days of the relief efforts following 9/11/2001, volunteers barbecued food for rescue workers on the sidewalk outside St. Paul's.
Shiri Joshua, M.A., is a psychotherapist, “animal whisperer,” and director of the Shiri Joshua Centre for Human & Animal Healing in Vancouver, British Columbia. Each month she hold…
We can now watch a supernova seed a galaxy with all the compounds of new life, but can we envision a sacred relationship to our universe that tells us how to live?
Leadership guru Mel Toomey conducted careful studies of situations where extraordinary results had been achieved. He and his colleagues have developed a system called Generative Leadership, enabling leaders to transcend many of the obstacles inherent in complex situations, frequently with transformative results.
"This can make a real difference in our lives."
Can a self-proclaimed science nerd embrace the path of pure experience? A journey from inquiring mind to limitless heart.
For Anthony Ward, arranging flowers is part of a larger communion with nature.
This article appeared in our June 2003 issue. The beginning of discernment as a conscious spiritual practice for me came 20 years ago, well before I was a full-time theologia…
Coping with chronic illness requires spiritual resources that children cannot easily talk about. Now a hospital chaplain has developed two simple, enjoyable techniques to help them express their fears and tap into their deepest strengths.
A Native American approach to intimacy with yourself, your family, and the world around you.
This article appeared in the Fall 2000 issue of Spirituality & Health. As a teenager working in the theater, I was struck by a scene in Eugene lonesco’s The Bald Soprano. T…
Our beliefs about the afterlife shape us here and now. Do you know what you believe?
Megory Anderson has kept vigil with Catholics and Protestants, Buddhists and Muslims, Jews and pagans, Mormons and Hindus, skeptics and angry nonbelievers. When the time comes she sees them experience a clear transition to some other state of being.
"What would you do if you knew the world was coming to an end?" I was first asked that question back in the 1970s when I was on the road with a dance company, passing time before a…
A Harvard historian lets qi under her skin.
We in the modern West assume that the normal mind is a healthy one. But a "healthy mind" is still subject to many types of distress, including depression, anxiety, frustration, res…
After years of eating compulsively, the author learned that prayer makes it possible to sit down on a meditation cushion and to be a guest at a feast.
A gadfly is a biting insect reputed to drive animals mad. Twenty-five hundred years ago, the “Lord of the Gadflies” was a philosopher, Socrates, whose biting dialogues launched our Western intellectual tradition. But we forget that he was also a spiritual teacher with powerful tools to nurture our souls.
Adults can be generative in many different ways — as parents, teachers, mentors, leaders, friends, neighbors, volunteers, and citizens.
According to Ken Wilber, the biggest challenge facing our world is not the income gap between rich and poor but the gap in levels of consciousness. “Only by honoring and acknowledging all the various levels in all four quadrants [of the Nesting Universe] can a more generous and inclusive vision be found.”
Would it surprise you to learn that you can begin changing your life right now, right where you are? As easily as turning on a light switch? It would? Good! You just started.
Acknowledge the child’s innate individuality and wholeness and what parenthood means in terms of the parent’s own growth.
Volunteering is one way to a healthier life, reveals a survey conducted by Spirituality & Health. More than 80 percent say their tense nation’s overall stress would decrease if personal-contact helping grows.
Spirituality & Health's former poetry editor says language is key.
In 1994 the prestigious medical journal The Lancet advocated acting lessons for medical students so they "could at least act as if they cared." Thankfully the act is becoming real.
The world's great wisdom traditions all acknowledge the centrality of food; their practices remind us of its deeper meaning, beyond filling our bellies.
A theologian recounts her personal experience, and how it expanded her faith.
For the author, imagination is a spiritual practice, a vehicle of discovery. It is how she checks in with her inner life. "Images help you discover where you are in this moment and what opportunities are available to you."
In her quest to depict a world without violence, one artist creates monuments to the human spirit.
How can we or can we ever come up with criteria that distinguish us from animals, or for that matter, from a machine? Our spirit? Is it our intelligence? Is it our bodies? Or is it that we tell better stories? From our theologian at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Lab, here's a new metaphor for Who We Are, 2000.
Both new and old approaches to the spiritual quest have strengths and weaknesses. I pray that in the 21st century we will finally learn how to teach the children the age-old tenets of love, harmony, and beauty, and that the fruits of our efforts will be loving people, living in harmony, on a beautiful earth.
The First Americans understood the joys and addiction of tobacco. (And the nicotine patch/pouch is thousands of years old.)
The greeks referred to mythical images as “gift of the gods.” See what you receive when you visualise these ancient symbols.
Garret Yount, Ph.D., was trained as a molecular neuroscientist. His wife, Yifang Qian, M.D., Ph.D., who is from Beijing, was trained in both Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. In 1990, when Yount’s father was diagnosed with Stage IV (terminal) leukemia, the three traveled to China where Yount’s father engaged in a combination of conventional chemotherapy and Chinese therapies including herbs and qigong. Nowadays (in 2001), Yount’s father is coexisting peacefully with his cancer, Qian is a board-certified psychiatrist, and Yount has taken up qigong. A collaborator with Anne Harrington and funded by the Fetzer Foundation, he dreams of discovering that the mind is able to alter genetic expression. He already has provocative evidence suggesting that qi is more than a “beautiful form of hypnosis.” — Ed.
When you are on the wire, there is no past, there is no future, there is only now
Because marriage sets the stage for our most intimate contact with another human being, most of the world’s religions have offered believers guidance on both the why and how married life. As the various faith traditions have encountered modern psychology — and one another — some common understanding have emerged about what a marriage means and how to keep it together, but important differences remain.
On tour for her book, The Seeker's Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure, Elizabeth Lesser faced these questions as she traveled across the country. "These are the big questions of the hour," she says. "And it seemed to me that Huston Smith would make an ideal partner for further explorations. We began discussing them over lunch when he was teaching at Omega Institute. I followed up with a letter, and he graciously replied. Several letters later, I realized that we had built up a correspondence worth sharing…."
Our faith traditions teach us how to honor our grief and come back to life.
Millions of Christians -- laity as well as the vowed and religious -- pray the Hours in one form or another. This may be a private practice but is not individualized. To keep the Hours is to enter with one’s fellows into that which has been, which is, and which evermore shall be.
Psychologist Carl Jung believed that, in times of need, symbols emerge from a great archetypal well called the collective unconscious – symbols that define us at our core and transcend our lives.
Here a woman grapples physically with her own symbols — rock and stone — and finds unexpected healing. Maybe even an answer to Robert Frost’s grand challenge in his poem “Mending Wall”: “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know/What I was walling in or walling out.”
Some practices for tending the gut have scant basis in anatomical reality… The gut has a mind of its own.
Apocalypse actually means “unveiling” — the emergence of new things. And even though change can feel like the end of the world, it inspires some surprising guides who thrive on the spiritual edge. They can teach us the art of Living in Threshold Times.
Standing with who you are and offering the song of your life is a sacred act.
People need and want to die with a dear conscience, with a feeling that the burdens of this life are past, and with a knowledge that their final wishes will be granted. We have the opportunity to help make our loved ones' final days more peaceful. In that process, we bless our families and ourselves.
Hoshin is a Japanese word roughly meaning both internal compass and personal North Star and is a practice designed to break through apparent chaos to find a hidden higher order and direction.
Hoshin almost always starts with a question, and you want to choose a question that really excites you, where you would feel phenomenal if you woke up living the answer to that question.
The joy of spirit in exercise.
Since the Big Bang itself, creation has known a handful of moments with the potential to change everything. At the millennium, we face just such a moment— and humans are the cosmic force that will make the difference for good or ill.
An acclaimed novelist, friend of Andrew Weil's "since the days when he couldn't afford to fix his washing machine,” and former co-executive producer of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, recounts an odyssey worthy of Achilles to fix her own right heel — maybe even her soul. Did she get well because she heard the right message or found the right drug or the right healer? Or was it time itself?
I bring my spiritual director my latest crises and dilemmas, and we work them through, always with an eye to where the Divine is.
For centuries the biggest obstacle to navigating the globe was the lack of an accurate clock. Nowadays, our lives are ruled by clocks — and the biggest obstacle to health and happiness may be our mechanistic understanding of time. Here, a research psychologist and lifelong seeker blends science and ancient wisdom to create a new chart of time — a “Presence Profile.” Use it to re-experience the winds and currents of time. Set a course toward more rewarding working styles, deeper relationships, and greater appreciation of the ordinary, the spontaneous, and the divine.
While it is common to keep our pain to ourselves, silence creates more trauma. Margaret Wheatley explains the healing power of telling our stories.
What went right? And the answer, though elusive, is quite simple: At the heart of every adolescent experience is an exquisite opening to spirit. An awakening of energy happened when larger questions of meaning and purpose surfaced. This secular school created a place for his soul, and he flourished.
A tale of unexpected healing.
Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, helps us to uncover and nurture the qualities of compassion and to bring balance into our lives.
On a bleak winter night in the suburbs, eight Tibetan monks wearing sandals and maroon robes shuffled out across the ecru-colored stage of the local recital hall. They paused for a…
Conscious investing not only pays better than unconscious greed, it also makes greedy companies pay attention. Here an activist trader shows how you can sleep well at night while taking part (and profits) in a revolution that may save the world.
Across two millennia, Chinese sages and physicians have described the function of qi (“chee”), or vital energy, that courses through the body and the spirit, and have pointed to blockages in the body's hidden qi channels as the source of physical ailments and disease. Qi skeptics counter that the energy channels described in ancient Chinese texts and drawings do not correspond to any real structures in the body, and that the concept of qi is both elusive and impossible to verify scientifically. Lost in these abstract debates are the questions that real people facing health crises might ask.
The people of the tropical rainforest have much to teach us about living successfully.
Fifty years before the Internet, a French Jesuit priest predicted a shift from biological evolution to theological evolution. That God, through technology, would wrap the earth inside a "thinking skin."
The toll of the savagely faithful and two historic new steps toward peace.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat were our media and web editors in this publication's early days. They wrote this prayer, inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh's classic poem "Please Call Me by My True Names," on September 11, 2001. It was first published on SpiritualityHealth.com, and in the weeks following the tragedy it was widely circulated on the Internet.
With better technology, more police, stiffer minimums, and bigger fails, we now “trail ‘em, nail ‘em, and jail ‘em” faster and harder than ever. Yet as crime is falling, both our prison population and our fear of crime keep rising. So something is terribly wrong. There must be a way to break the cycle of fear — to heal crime. And there is. It’s called restorative justice.
A mother and her son discuss the bumpy transition during teenage years.
Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away.
So he said to his mother, "I am running away."
"If you run away" said his mother, "I will run after you.
For you are my little bunny."
The new sciences – like quantum physics – describe a universe so strange and unknowable it’s tempting to find god in the equations. A theologian and historian of science tells why we need to watch out.
Though their beliefs differ, the world’s great religions all affirm the power of forgiveness to set you free.
Grab a pencil and paper for this self-test!
When writing in a journal or telling a friend is not enough…
How about announcing it from a stage? Here’s how to be heard in a BIG way!