Spirituality in the News

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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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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