Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some, it's about participating in organized religion: going to a church, synagogue, mosque, and so on. For others, it's more personal—some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks. 

Research shows that even skeptics can't stifle the sense that there is something greater than the concrete world we see. As the brain processes sensory experiences, we naturally look for patterns and then seek out meaning in those patterns. And the phenomenon known as "cognitive dissonance" shows that once we believe in something, we will try to explain away anything that conflicts with it.

Humans can't help but ask big questions—the instinct seems wired in our minds. 

Recent posts on Spirituality

Living By Simple Moral Codes Makes Us Worse, Not Better

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 27, 2017 in Ambigamy
Always be honest, never dishonest, kind, never unkind, open, never closed. We can't live by such always-principles and we pay a big price for pretending we can.

How Do We Handle Religion in Mental Health Settings?

By Jean Kim M.D. on June 27, 2017 in Culture Shrink
What is the best way to handle a client's religious views if they differ from your own?

Everything in the Animal Kingdom Is in a State of Being

In contemporary world culture the philosophical concern of the mystery of both animal being and human being seems to have little credence.

The Grace of Dogs: A Boy, a Black Lab, and the Canine Soul

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 26, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new book by Andrew Root called The Grace of Dogs: A Boy, a Black Lab, and a Father's Search for the Canine Soul ponders the deep meaning and mystery of dog-human relationships.

Andrew Weil: Coincidences in an Amazing Life

Coincidences in the professional life of a major contributor to the advancement of medicine.

A Note of Gratitude for My Friend

Dr. Leigh Shaffer has been an inspiration to me and I want to share my feelings of gratitude.

When Spirituality and Sexuality Clash

Are sexuality and spirituality naturally antagonistic? Recent research suggests that sexual thoughts can weaken spiritual motivations. Can the two be reconciled?

I Ching: Intentional Meaningful Coincidences

Create your own coincidences by tossing the coins and turning to the designated page in the I Ching.

The Self, Lost and Found

How creativity holds up a mirror to your inner world.
ArtemPostoev/Shutterstock

A State of Organizational Grace

By James Bailey Ph.D. on June 11, 2017 in At the Helm
The two most difficult sentences to utter are "I am sorry" and "You are forgiven."

Match Made in Heaven:Couples Who Pray Together Stay Together

Praying with and for your partner may increase relational commitment and satisfaction and decrease chances of straying.
Can Stock Photo 19486083

Does the Brain Create the Mind? Speculation on Consciousness

What can science tell us about the hard problem, finding the origins of consciousness?

First Sight:a Theory for Right Place Right Time Coincidences

Somehow we show up in the right place at the right time, seemingly guided by information from outside of us. Psychologist Jim Carpenter has an explanation.
DarbyImage/flickr

Waking Up

Research shows that spiritual experiences have become more common over the last few decades. What could this mean? Are we collectively "waking up?"

Why is Spirituality an Essential Part of a Recovery Program?

Why is spirituality an integral part of recovery from addiction?
Wikimedia Commons

Your Psychological and Spiritual Development Helps All of Us

The psychosphere, our mental atmosphere, shows how your own individual evolution contributes the the evolution of human consciousness.

Taking to the Hut at Midlife

By Karin Arndt, Ph.D. on June 05, 2017 in A Hut of Her Own
Feeling stuck, disoriented, or vaguely depressed at midlife? It may be time to shed your old skin and make space for something new. The hut can help.

Four Reasons Why Paganism and Polyamory Are Linked

This blog introduces and defines Paganism, and then explains four reasons why there is such a significant overlap between polyamorists and Pagans in the United States.

Eight Common Challenges to Accepting a Mental Health Problem

Wondering what gets in the way of accepting a mental health problem? Get some answers from the research and ideas to overcome obstacles.

The Asian Christian Sex Addict

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on June 05, 2017 in Minority Report
If you're an Asian, Christian, sex addict, is there a difference in your issues compared to other addicts? I would say definitely so since there are three distinct parts.

A Bird's Life in New York City

By Debbie Joffe Ellis on June 04, 2017 in Tried and True
By choosing to perform acts of kindness whenever possible, we help the lives of others and of ourselves, and can make our tender and vulnerable world more safe and stable.

Coincidence Awareness is a Path for Spiritual Development

Curiosity about coincidences can lead you to conceptual and experiential mind spaces beyond everyday reality.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 4

By Michael Jawer on June 02, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
Orcas have a unique ability to ‘transmit’ a sense of who they are—and ‘probe’ the people they’re with.

Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Sage Advice In Unwise Times

By Mark Matousek on May 30, 2017 in Ethical Wisdom
The wise American spiritual master talks about how to live skillfully, and happily, in a world where the "other" is denigrated, and causes for upset and rage abound.

If Life Is Perfect, Why Do I Want Mine to Change?

Life is perfect and change is needed... both are true.
Photo by Larry

Science and Spirituality 2

Those in each camp would do well to examine their own weaknesses, rather than entrench themselves in fixed positions and cast blame on real or imaginary enemies.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 1

By Michael Jawer on May 27, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
While it would seem to be the end of sensitivity, death actually conjures up an amazing range of accounts that are highly relevant to sensitivity, in humans and many other animals.

Awe Engages Your Vagus Nerve and Can Combat Narcissism

Recent research shows that experiencing a sense of awe promotes the "small self" and can combat narcissism by activating the parasympathetic vagal response to "tend-and-befriend."
Wikimedia image by Ancienterf

One View of Relationships That Needs a Proper Burial

The belief that no one can make us feel anything is an unrealistic belief that can increase isolation and suffering. Personal growth means engaging with how we affect each other.

Beyond the Veil: Synchronicity and Near Death Experiences

How the perspective gained from NDEs helps to explain some coincidences.