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Oh No Ross and Carrie

Ross and Carrie are "curious investigators who love asking questions about spirituality, fringe science, religion and the paranormal." They investigate by joining religions, attending events, trying out alternative treatments, and just generally participating in anything weird. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon on Aug 18, 2014 - 28 comments

Weekend at Sri Ashutosh's

Indian court asked to rule on whether Hindu guru dead or meditating: Since January 29 of this year, Sri Ashutosh Maharaj, founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious sect, has been residing in a freezer in his ashram in Punjab. His followers claim he is in a "deep meditative state (samadhi)." Doctors, however, have declared Maharaj clinically dead and his family have sued to have his death be investigated and to have his body released for cremation. The guru's son also alleges that Maharaj was murdered and that his followers are trying to gain control of his estate, said to be worth $170 million. While traditional yogis have claimed extraordinary powers, including the power to stop one's heart, the evidence for these claims has been lacking.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 2, 2014 - 37 comments

New Age Revival

For New Age, the Next Generation. [more inside]
posted by naju on Feb 14, 2014 - 54 comments

Flexible posturing around religion

Does doing yoga make you a Hindu?
posted by Gyan on Nov 21, 2013 - 63 comments

Once you have found her, never let her go.

Your parent dies. You hurt. You weep. You mourn. You do and say the necessary things even as your daemon’s disciplined askesis has you (against your will) coldly taking notes on what the emotion feels like, how others around you react to the death, what the corpse of your parent looks like, how you feel while looking down at it, what voids there are in that feeling, what pretenses, what posturings. It's all part of finding your daemon that dwells perpetually in the Condition of Fire. Other entries in Dan Simmons' series On Writing Well.
posted by shivohum on Jun 11, 2013 - 29 comments

Crazy Horse Was A Mystic.

Crazy Horse’s actual quote translates into English follows: “To day is a good day to die for all the things of my life are present." [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher on May 6, 2013 - 19 comments

Are you a giver, a matcher or a taker?

Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead? [Adam] Grant, 31, is the youngest-tenured and highest-rated professor at Wharton.... Grant might not seem so different from any number of accessible and devoted professors on any number of campuses, and yet when you witness over time the sheer volume of Grant’s commitments, and the way in which he is able to follow through on all of them, you start to sense that something profoundly different is at work. Helpfulness is Grant’s credo.... For Grant, helping is not the enemy of productivity, a time-sapping diversion from the actual work at hand; it is the mother lode, the motivator that spurs increased productivity and creativity. In some sense, he has built a career in professional motivation by trying to unpack the puzzle of his own success. He has always helped; he has always been productive. How, he has wondered for most of his professional life, does the interplay of those two factors work for everyone else? [more inside]
posted by caddis on Mar 28, 2013 - 46 comments

On a path to liberation....

Over a thousand monks and laymen are revered in Tibetan Buddhism as the incarnations of past teachers who convey enlightenment to their followers from one lifetime to the next. Some of the most respected are known by the honorific "rinpoche." For eight centuries, rinpoches were traditionally identified by other monks and then locked inside monasteries ringed by mountains, far from worldly distractions. Their reincarnation lineages were easily tracked across successive lives. Then the Chinese Red Army invaded Tibet in 1950 and drove the religion's adherents into exile. Now, the younger rinpoches of the Tibetan diaspora are being exposed to all of the twenty-first century’s dazzling temptations. So, even as Tibetan Buddhism is gaining more followers around the world, an increasing number of rinpoches are abandoning their monastic vows. Reincarnation in Exile. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 5, 2013 - 16 comments

Death on the Path to Enlightenment

"Every year thousands of westerners flock to India to meditate, practice yoga, and seek spiritual transcendence. Some find what they're looking for. Others give up and go home. A few become so consumed by their quest for godliness that it kills them."
posted by Lorin on Oct 18, 2012 - 63 comments

Kumaré Sutra

"At PSFK Conference NYC, Vikram Gandhi spoke about his latest movie Kumaré - The True Story of A False Prophet. While he was born in New Jersey, the film director spoke about how he had been noticing how the Indian-heritage culture he had experienced as he grew up, was being used by Americans and other Westerners to help solve their emotional and spiritual issues. To explore this idea further he dressed up as a guru, created a backstory with YouTube video and website, spoke like his grandmother and recruited followers in Arizona. What's unique is that throughout the film is that he tells everyone he was an illusion and asks his followers to look in a mirror to solve their own problems." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Jul 8, 2012 - 42 comments

Discobolus and The Thinker

Study shows those who think analytically are less likely to be religious: Why are some people more religious than others? It may come down to whether they rely more heavily on an analytical or intuitive thinking process, at least according to a new study [abstract; supplementary materials] performed at the University of British Columbia and published in the journal “Science.” [more inside]
posted by troll on Apr 27, 2012 - 133 comments

Robert Bresson's "Pickpocket"

Both an ingeniously choreographed crime film and a moral drama influenced by Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Pickpocket marks the apotheosis of Bresson's stripped-down style. There’s little or no psychological realism or conventional drama at work in Martin La Salle’s portrayal of a master thief who plies his trade at the Gare de Lyon and easily outwits the cops who seek to ensnare him. See it once to appreciate the spare elegance of the pickpocketing scenes, and then a second time to appreciate how subtly Bresson accomplishes the story of a man’s self-willed corruption, his liberation through imprisonment and his redemption through love, all in less than 80 minutes.* [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 6, 2012 - 11 comments

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, has sold over one million copies and has been translated into over fifteen languages. He wrote over sixty other books and hundreds of poems and articles on topics ranging from monastic spirituality to civil rights, nonviolence, and the nuclear arms race.
posted by Trurl on Dec 29, 2011 - 8 comments

A collaborative genealogy of spirituality.

"Frequencies is an experiment. The experiment is simple: Ask scholars, writers, and artists what they think of when they think of the word spirituality." So began a project that's now 71 entries strong. Every weekday, Frequencies features scholars and artists on such topics as Burning Man, espresso, highways, Philip K. Dick, companion animals, and Dr. Oz. [more inside]
posted by farishta on Dec 8, 2011 - 5 comments

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Teachings on Right Practice by Shunryu Suzuki, as compiled in Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, read by Peter Coyote: "Posture", "Breathing", "Control", "Mind Weeds", "The Marrow of Zen", "Bowing", "Nothing Special"
posted by Trurl on Nov 8, 2011 - 16 comments

Eckhart Tolle Live Meditation

“Life is fulfilling when you are rooted in the essential Beingness of ‘I Am.’ . . . Then you bring that state of consciousness—that spacious state of consciousness—you bring that into your interactions with other people of great importance. It’s only then that you will stop treating other people as possible sources of fulfillment or as a threat.” —Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author, on his June 26 live meditation broadcast.
posted by Houyhnhnm on Jul 12, 2011 - 83 comments

Spiritual Atheists, Humanist Chaplains, and FFRF Weddings

Currently making the rounds. A qualitative study in Sociology of Religion looks at "spiritual atheists" in science. A call for Humanist Chaplains in the U.S. armed forces. And The Freedom From Religion Foundation becomes certified to perform weddings in Tulsa.
posted by KirkJobSluder on May 7, 2011 - 50 comments

The Iranian revolution in its singularity

Foucault in Iran: Revolution, Entropy and Equality By way of introduction to the Wu Ming Foundation's (previously) re-vamped blog, one of their more substantive essays re-assessing Foucault's notorious enthusiasm for the Iranian revolution.
posted by Abiezer on Nov 30, 2010 - 11 comments

Donovan and Andy Williams and Martin Landau and Raymond Burr and oh my, my, my

Donovan madness: Andy's Love Concert* and Aliens From Spaceship Earth** [more inside]
posted by item on Sep 1, 2010 - 13 comments

Seeing animals as spiritual beings

Animals as spiritual, and the role of animals in spirituality. "Some religious leaders welcome pets to worship services, memorialize them at death and discuss them as spiritual beings without distinction from humanity" ... "Factory farming, green living among topics sparking discussion." [more inside]
posted by longsleeves on Jul 2, 2010 - 20 comments

Religion and America's Academic Scientists

Science vs. Religion: a new book, Science and Religion: What Scientists Really Think by Rice University sociologist Elaine Ecklund, discusses the results of her detailed study of 1,646 scientists at top American research universities. Among her findings: ~36% of those surveyed not only believe in God but also practice a form of closeted, often non-traditional faith. They worry about how their peers would react to learning about their religious views. Interview with the author from the Center for Inquiry's Point of Inquiry podcast. Also, here's a webcast from an author discussion forum held at Rice University on April 7th. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 30, 2010 - 89 comments

For those who believe, no proof is necessary.

Does John of God really heal the sick? Or is it just carnival tricks? John of God aka João Teixeira de Faria is a farmer who has been healing people close to his ranch in Brazil for close to 50 years by chanelling the energy of medical spirits. Sometimes he uses visible surgery and sometimes he uses invisible surgery.
posted by pick_the_flowers on Nov 5, 2009 - 37 comments

Harvey Cox Says Atheism Won't Last. Here's Why You Should Care What Harvey Cox Thinks...

Harvey Cox, one of the foremost American theologians of the twentieth century, recently retired from Harvard, where he held the oldest tenured professorship in the nation. You've seen him discussed here before for more bovine pursuits. But more importantly, he has argued that atheism is a passing fad; his new book contends it emerges in response to factors that will change the face of faith in the coming generation. Why should you care about an old theologian's last hurrah? His prior predictions have been right.
posted by jefficator on Sep 28, 2009 - 265 comments

Premanand will not recant

Basava Premanand, rationalist and founder of The Indian Skeptic, is dying. [more inside]
posted by vanar sena on Sep 28, 2009 - 17 comments

Boy meets guru, boy loses guru

An American Sadhu - A seeking of holiness, resulting in disillusionment and abandonment. A very good read about one man's experience meeting a guru and his disciple, and ultimately coming full circle to "you get the guru you deserve".
posted by Kickstart70 on Jul 26, 2009 - 11 comments

What Would It Look Like?

The Global Oneness Project is exploring how the radically simple notion of interconnectedness can be lived in our increasingly complex world. They travel the globe gathering stories from creative and courageous people who base their lives and work on the understanding that we bear great responsibility for each other and our shared world. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 18, 2009 - 9 comments

Soul Pancake

Actor Rainn Wilson has launched a community-driven discussion blog focused on life's big questions, such as do we get what we pray for?, why do we spend so much time talking about other people?, and do the imaginations of adults need a serious kick in the balls?
posted by Roach on Mar 15, 2009 - 30 comments

Guruphiliac

Revealing Self-Aggrandizement and Superstition in Self-Realization since 2005
posted by Roach on Dec 4, 2008 - 21 comments

The Ayahuasca Monologues

Surrendering to the Spirit Vine. Artist Alex Grey (previously) describes his experience with "the champagne of ayahuascas."
posted by homunculus on Sep 24, 2008 - 13 comments

Dear God. Prayers for the modern world.

Dear God is a global project for people around the world to share their innermost hopes - and fears - through prayer. Some photos NSFW.
posted by ColdChef on Apr 13, 2008 - 39 comments

Papa Palmérino Sorgente, the Pope of Montréal

Papa Palmérino Sorgente, the Pope of Montréal [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Feb 28, 2008 - 8 comments

Esalen, where "California" bubbled up

Esalen: Where "California" Bubbled Up (one photo mildly NSFW) For many others in America and around the world, Esalen stands more vaguely for that metaphorical point where “East meets West” and is transformed into something uniquely and mystically American or New Agey. And for a great many others yet, Esalen is simply that notorious bagno-bordello where people had sex and got high throughout the 1960s and 1970s before coming home talking psychobabble and dangling crystals. In short, Esalen is in every way, even geologically, California at its most extreme. It is its caricature, as well as its noblest expression.
posted by jason's_planet on Feb 11, 2008 - 14 comments

Damanhur

The Temples of Damanhur. Behold the Eighth Wonder of the World (according to the Italian government). [Via Boing Boing.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Nov 23, 2007 - 22 comments

Supreme Master TV

Supreme Master TV. As advertised on the very back page of this week's Economist Newspaper. It's great when spiritual leaders just come right out and say it. Check out the awesome paintings.
posted by parmanparman on Nov 10, 2007 - 27 comments

Neuroscience and Mysticism

Searching for God in the Brain. "Researchers are unearthing the roots of religious feeling in the neural commotion that accompanies the spiritual epiphanies of nuns, Buddhists and other people of faith." [Via MindHacks, which points out a few niggling omissions in the article.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 9, 2007 - 57 comments

Peter Stafford, RIP

Peter Stafford, psychedelics investigator and author of the Psychedelics Encyclopedia (PDF preview), has died. [Via BB.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 21, 2007 - 17 comments

Love on Campus: Why We Should Encourage an Eroticism (of the Mind) Between Professor and Student

Love on Campus: Why We Should Encourage an Eroticism (of the Mind) Between Professor and Student. Yale English professor William Deresiewicz argues that the newly-emerged stereotype of professors as "pompous, lecherous, alcoholic failures" is in the main due to our culture's fear of and inability to understand the true intimacy between professor and student: that of the mind. Cf. controversial Hindu teacher-student relationships, the same in Christianity, or merely observe Oscar Wilde: "I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself."
posted by shivohum on Jul 13, 2007 - 50 comments

Turn on, tune in, get out

Entheogens and Psychotherapy. A 2001 paper by Canadian psychotherapist Andrew Feldmar on the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics and his own experience with LSD. Now, because of this paper, he is no longer allowed to enter the U.S. [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 24, 2007 - 20 comments

The Spy of the Heart

The Spy of the Heart - The story of an American's exploration of Islamic spirituality within the turmoil of Afghanistan. Full book (PDF) available free onsite.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 16, 2007 - 5 comments

Shuntee.

The Hostile New Age Takeover of Yoga [print version]. Standard "omg commoditization" rant, but has a delectable anecdote wherein someone mistakes clingy navel-gazing for reflection. ("What part of no don't you understand?" his note said. "I never want to hear from you again.")
posted by Firas on Apr 6, 2007 - 103 comments

Namaste, bitches!

Yoga Action Squad! Episode 1: Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Vibrations --- The Yoga Action Squad, an elite team of yogis and yoginis from Santa Monica, spring into action to stop the very negative Dr. Bad Vibes and his overpaid bitchy assistant, Lethargo.
posted by homunculus on Mar 26, 2007 - 8 comments

"SeaWorld bespeaks the essence of Orlando, a place whose specialty is detaching experience from context, extracting form from substance, and then selling tickets to it."

"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing."

"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
posted by wander on Mar 2, 2007 - 61 comments

I Love You Kenisha

I Love You Kenisha. My dear sweet Kenisha, If you find this page, please forgive me for my failure to be a the kind of leader in our marriage and our home that God has called me to be. When ever you decide to come home, I'll be here waiting for you. If I'm 100 years old, and on my death bed, and you haven't come back yet, I'll still be waiting for you!!! I love you with all my heart!!!
posted by jonson on Feb 11, 2007 - 125 comments

Prophets and Profits on the Burning Shore

From organically-farming Zen centers to celebrity-cultivating Scientology centresTM, California is a seedbed of the most earnest (and most frivolous or worse) branches of spiritual inquiry. What's in the water in the Golden State that has made it The Visionary State? In an interview with editor Geoff Manaugh of the excellent BLDGBLOG, author Erik Davis -- whose published passions have ranged from an analysis of Philip K. Dick's "divine invasions" to erudite musings on Led Zeppelin's fourth album to an ode to the joys of being a teenage bongeur -- talks about the formerly chic devil-worshipper Anton LaVey, Beat Zen, Aldous Huxley, the Watts Towers, and beyond, with great photos by Michael Rauner, who collaborated with Davis on the new book.
posted by digaman on Aug 10, 2006 - 30 comments

The Angel of Hour

The Angels of the Hours offer us the opportunity to direct our lives from within,not being swept along by the demands of the clock.By living in the real rhythms of the day we become more real...(real audio) .
posted by hortense on Dec 12, 2005 - 4 comments

50 million alleged cultural creatives may or may not be right...

There is nothing flaky about this. There is nothing New Age about this. These people are practical. They love the Earth, and they want to live their values

What the hell is a Cultural Creative? According to this book, there are already 50 million Cultural Creativists in the US, many of whom may not know it yet. Are you one?
But is this really a social movement, or just another manufactured demographic marketing term, like "metrosexual"?
Could CC give the left a language with which to discuss spirituality? or is this all just hype?
posted by es_de_bah on May 15, 2005 - 56 comments

A Spiritual History of Korea

Queen of Suffering: A Spiritual History of Korea, by Ham Sok Hon
posted by hama7 on Feb 10, 2004 - 4 comments

We've heard of intelligence and emotional intelligence, but what about spiritual intelligence? Gary Zukav is spiritually brilliant. He frequently appears on Oprah, from which I assume (accepting all implicit risks) that his audience consists largely of women. Which is too bad, because men have quite a lot to learn from this man as well, and it would do a world of good (being, unjustly, a man's world) if every man did.
posted by sudama on Sep 20, 2000 - 39 comments

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