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

The Wisdom of "It's Not My Fault"

When we are not caught in self-blame, we are free to love this life. Opening to the possibility of "It’s not my fault" creates space for deep inner freedom.

Loaded: Coincidences in the Family

The intense emotions of family relationships and their necessary transitions create elaborate and complicated coincidences. How can we make sense of them?

Reclaiming Human Dignity

Have you experienced religiously-based abuse or violence? This post explores the ideological basis for Judeo-Christian patterns of aggression.

The Didge and You

The gurgling sound of the Didgeridoo touches a sensibility that is neither verbal nor emotional. Yet, it invites us to consider what we share.

Real Love: A Conversation With Sharon Salzberg

By Mark Matousek on May 17, 2017 in Ethical Wisdom
Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg talks about the real meaning of love, and how to bring sanity—and compassion—to the turbulent landscape of our times.

Why Can't Change be Easier?

Chaos is built into the process of change.

Can You Know Your True Self?

How do you access your True Self? How is the True Self defined and does it have significance in your life?

Do You Realize How Far Trump's Religion Speech Went?

By David Niose on May 14, 2017 in Our Humanity, Naturally
The president's commencement speech to evangelical graduates should shock anyone paying attention. It defined American values in terms of Christian nationalism.

Synchronicity Statistics

Every coincidence has a probability of happening. That does not mean that probability explains most coincidences.

Superfluidity and the Transcendent Ecstasy of Extreme Sports

A trailblazing new study identifies some common themes that motivate people to push against their limits while transcending everyday states of consciousness through extreme sports.

THE STRUGGLE FOR AWE IN A ROBOTIC AGE

The cry for awe—the humility and wonder, and the sense of adventure toward living—in an age of devices and programming.

What’s Your Anti-Gravity Strategy?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 04, 2017 in Ambigamy
People seek transcendence by many means. Some come bundled with belief in supernatural magic at odds with science. Scientists can do more to help resolve the tension.

Short vs. Long Dreams: Are There Any Differences in Content?

A word search analysis of a five-year selection from my own dream journal reveals the same consistent patterns of content in both the shorter and longer reports.

What Price Wisdom?

This is a fair enough question to ask nowadays, given the apparent lack of wisdom in both the statements made and the policies followed by so many of the world’s leaders.

The Near-Death Experience (NDE)

Have you or a loved one had a near-death experience during a medical emergency? New research findings are helping us understand what takes place in the brain.

Complements and Substitutes

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 03, 2017 in Ambigamy
If they have this trait, do they have that trait? We deal with such questions a lot. Understanding substitutes and complements can help us answer them well.

Finding Meaning After Losing Faith

Young people who question everything may be born into communities that insist it is wrong to doubt their religion. Here's the story of one who got away and found his own meaning.

A Reflection on Near Death Experiences

How better to resolve the ambiguity surrounding death than by looking to those individuals who have apparently crossed over and then returned to us?

Categorizing Coincidences

Coincidences come in many forms, have many uses and several different explanations. Let's find the patterns that link these characteristics.

Making Mozzarella: The Process of Not Being Perfect

I embark upon this process of making mozzarella again and again without knowing for sure whether or not the cheese will be perfect. And that is OK with me.
Pixabay image by terimakasihO

Meditation Can Improve Your Relationships

Cultivating inner quiet through meditation allows us to contact our truer, deeper feelings. Expressing these more subtle, nuanced feelings creates a climate for intimacy to grow.

Gathering the Bones

By Karin Arndt, Ph.D. on April 30, 2017 in A Hut of Her Own
When solitude calls, sometimes you just need to GO.

A Short History of Monasticism

By Neel Burton M.D. on April 30, 2017 in Hide and Seek
For centuries, monasteries have offered an alternative way of life. How did it evolve, and where is it going?

Are Accusations of Cultural Appropriation Misguided?

By Liane Gabora Ph.D. on April 29, 2017 in Mindbloggling
When Newton said he saw further by standing on the shoulders of giants what mattered was that he assimilated these 'giants' ideas perhaps more deeply than their own biological kin.

Mona Haydar Speaks Your Language

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 26, 2017 in Brick by Brick
Haydar is no ordinary artist, and the concept behind Haydar’s first single, “Hijabi,” is anything but common.

Religious and Rational?

Can you be religious and rational? A United Methodist minister provides his answers to that question!

New Head Space in Hard Times: 5 Ways to Start Meditating

By Karlyn Crowley Ph.D. on April 26, 2017 in Woman Power
Need a mental adjustment but not sure where to start? Try on these meditation teasers.

Our Lost Atlantis

"We are not thriving. Our people live, but our culture is dying. We are like a stone the ocean beats against. With each year a little more of us is worn away." ---The Lost Empire

A Coincidence Involving the Recent U.S. Power Grid Failure

Like each of us, nations are composed of parts. When a coincidence happens to us, we have ways to understand its use. What about when coincidences happen to a nations?

Why Religion Evolved

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 25, 2017 in The Human Beast
Religion consumes up to a tenth of economic productivity in some societies. So it must produce corresponding benefits. What are they?