Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some, it's about participating in organized religion: going to church, synagogue, a mosque, etc. 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

Inviting Mara to Tea

By Tara Brach Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Finding True Refuge
One of my favorite stories of the Buddha shows the power of a wakeful and friendly heart.

Understanding Human Mating Strategies

Human reproductive strategies are shaped by evolution to shift as a function of environmental conditions. Same goes for wild garlic. We can learn a lot about ourselves from the world around us.

The Future of God

An Insightful Approach to Spirituality

Mind and Body in Concert— Healing without Harm

The mind-body connection has been well-studied and is very real. Are you ready to trade in the prescription pad for empowerment of your own health care? This article is a great start.

The Secular/Religious Divide

In which religious psychologist Josh Gressel tries to see the religious/secular divide from both sides of the fence.

A New Kidney for My Father

I feel a depth of gratitude that is akin to something spiritual.

Sex and Spirituality

Spirituality is about discovering who we really are, and sexuality is obviously part of that. Neither repression nor over-indulgence lead to lasting joy or spiritual maturity. We each need to find another way.

There Is Grandeur in This View of Life

Some people think that evolution somehow diminishes what it means to be human and strips us of any spirituality. As I see it, this does not need to be the case at all. And here is why.

Searching for More More Time

More more time is here, now.

The Paradox at the Heart of Psychology

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on July 30, 2015 in Excellent Beauty
Human minds are pattern-hungry. This fact destroys any blithe confidence we have that our sciences are unearthing deeper knowledge. Yet, we cannot live our lives without this so-called knowledge. Certainly we cannot do science without it, and we cannot live our lives without science. Yet, are we doing science, or are we merely mapping the insides of our minds?

The Fun Assumption

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 29, 2015 in On Having Fun
Suppose you supposed that the only reason you laugh is because it’s fun to laugh. Not because of the endorphins or the health benefits. But only because of the fun. Only because it’s more fun than you can contain.

Striving To Maximize Both Charm and Chutzpah

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 28, 2015 in Ambigamy
Etiquette is no longer enough to make a gentleman or gentlewoman, and actually never was. Aspiring gents must strive to maximize etiquette and character, humility and boldness, always seeking for better ways to speak their minds and be heard.

The Problem With Wanting

Wanting make us unhappy. The more desires we have, the less satisfied we are with what already have. How can we stop wanting things we don't really need?

The Excellent Beauty of Scientific Mysteries

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in Excellent Beauty
Science finally reveals that though we are a part of the universe, it definitely does not revolve around us. It does this by unearthing mysteries that are completely resistant to resolution. These "excellent beauties," far from showing us where science has failed, show us instead what the universe -- with intelligent African apes in it -- is really like.

Spiritual Power to Redirect the Impact of Divorce

Children often experience divorce as the death of the family. Parents may draw upon spiritual insight to redefine the family, demonstrating how authentic faith models healthy relating, among other critical qualities to support the child's development of healthy relationships.

Why Lisa Lampanelli is a ‘Spiritual Gangster’

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on July 23, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Lisa Lampanelli shares how helping others can help develop a strong self-concept.

Should We Talk About Religion in Therapy?

Although therapists recognize the importance of talking about religion, they're still uncomfortable inviting spirituality into the room.

Blessings

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 21, 2015 in On Having Fun
A game for elders of any age

Stories of Seclusion: "I'm Not of This Planet"

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 18, 2015 in How To Do Life
Feeling out of step can drive one to physical and mental seclusion.

The Spirituality of Comedian Jim Breuer

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on July 16, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Many people know Jim Breuer as one of the greatest standup comedian of all time. What many people do not know is that he uses comedy as well as spirituality to help cope with difficult situations. He shares how both comedy and faith have helped him get through hard times.

Is it Psychosis or a Spiritual Emergency?

A spiritual emergency is a more contemporary and less clinical term than psychosis. It refers to an awe-inspiring event that transcends the ego and can cause psychological and spiritual transformation. Normalizing and acknowledging the event can result in learning and transformation for both the client and therapist.

Are Your Spiritual "Shoulds" Sabotaging Your Spiritual Life?

What "should" a "spiritual" person feel like and behave like? When our ideas about being "spiritual" block us from our true spirit.

Everyday Access to Nature Promotes Well-Being As We Age

A new study reports that spending time in natural environments promotes healthy aging and overall well-being.

Workover: A Nanny Wants to Make a Living from Dance

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 12, 2015 in How To Do Life
Advice I gave to a caller to my NPR-San Francisco radio program.

Listening With Your 'All-of-Me'

Really good listening has little to do with your ears.

Does Religion Have an Image Problem?

By Russ Gerber on July 09, 2015 in Our Health
What's going on in hearts and minds? Will it go public?

Why Some People See Ghosts and Other Apparitions

Have you ever had the eerie feeling that you were being watched? Ever seen a ghost? It appears that “spirits” visit humans at predictable times and places.

The World Needs a Secular Community Revolution

The decline of religious community has made people less happy and less healthy. The solution is to create more naturalistic, secular, quasi-religious communities.

On Being a Religious Psychologist

How a religious psychologist can work with secular people.

The Circle of Life Is Not What You Think

Buddhists, Catholics, agnostics, David Bowie, and others from one hemisphere to the other have exploited this useful tool for self-exploration, present moment awareness, and stress management.