Essential Reads

How "Awesome" Are You, Really?

Measures of awe-proneness predict several aspects of everyday experience.

What It Really Means When Someone's "Dead to You"

Historically, it was life or death. Today, it's not much better.

Is Unconditional Love Possible?

What we're really asking each other for, and what we should seek instead.

Recent Posts on Spirituality

Can Science Tell us Anything about the Soul?

By Julien Musolino Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Soul Fallacy
Science gives us every reason to think that the soul, like the Emperor’s new clothes in Andersen’s famous tale, is a fiction.

11 Ways Rituals Help Us Celebrate Our Lives

By Abigail Brenner M.D. on August 26, 2015 in In Flux
Rituals as we know them have the ability to move us into our spiritual lives. But personally created and performed rituals and ceremonies have the power to give us the freedom to take real responsibility for how we choose to live and help to create a unique individual and meaningful existence.

More Thoughts on the Wound with No Name—First Aid

There are rarely any quick fixes when the wounds are deep, especially from early childhood and/or in combination with being highly sensitive. But what might help, right now?

Reducing Our Children's Stress During The School Year

By Allison Carmen on August 26, 2015 in The Gift of Maybe
As our children are heading back to school, they may already appear a little more stressed. Within weeks of school starting, our children can become irritable, sleep less and you may notice things getting out of whack with family life at home. Here are six tips you can use to help reduce your child's stress so they can feel more balanced and get their work done.

Loving Competition

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 26, 2015 in On Having Fun
Of all the spaces in which we find each other, this space, the space between, the moment lightly held, where we face each other freely, is where the play is deepest.

The First-Time Face of Astonishment

There is hope at the heart of astonishment.

What is a Life Well-Lived?

Once in a while, I like to take a step back from my daily concerns and ask myself what it means to live a good life. What would I be thinking about each day? What would I be saying and doing?

LSD, Suggestibility, and Personality Change

A recent study found that LSD increases suggestibility. Research suggests that psychedelic drug use can increase openness to unusual ideas, such as spiritual and paranormal beliefs, in the long-term. Could this be be due to a long-lasting increase in suggestibility and related personality traits?

Four Necessary Voices in Your Resiliency Network

By Robert Wicks Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in The Resilient Life
Examining the four types of friends every person should include in their network: the prophet, cheerleader, harasser, and inspirational friend.

How "Awesome" Are You, Really?

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on August 23, 2015 in The Pursuit of Peace
Individuals appear to differ in how often they experience awe. Guided by this assumption, researchers have developed measures of “awe-proneness,” two of which are presented in detail here. Research suggests that the tendency to experience awe predicts several aspects of everyday experience.

How Acceptance Can Transform Your Life

By Steve Taylor Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Out of the Darkness
An attitude of acceptance can transform your state of mind. This article explains a simple four stage process of acceptance.

Eleven Pithily Playful Platitudes from The Well-Played Game

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 19, 2015 in On Having Fun
Games are like mountains. We struggle and click up our individual paths. Sometimes we die. But we go on and on, until we reach the very top, where we are invited to join hands with fellow climbers and share a peak experience.

Who Is A Religious Genius?

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on August 18, 2015 in Time Out
The history of religion is studded with giants who transform their societies. Do these religious geniuses have something in common? And does religious practice bring happiness?

Seven Intriguing Studies of Awe

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on August 15, 2015 in The Pursuit of Peace
The emotion of awe is an elusive, but intriguing, human experience that has generated increasing scientific interest. The most intriguing studies of awe published to date are reviewed in this post. Together, they suggest that awe may be a key to unlocking many aspects of the best of human experience.

World Elephant Day

By Sandy Olliges M.A. on August 14, 2015 in EcoMind
Elephants are important in nature and as spiritual symbols. Elephants are magnificent mammals that live in social groups and care for their young. They are smart and have feelings. Being a keystone species, elephants create and maintain an ecosystem for themselves and for many other plants and animals.

The Blessings of a Messy Room

By Allison Carmen on August 14, 2015 in The Gift of Maybe
We can feel angry and frustrated when our children do not clean their rooms, put the dishes in the sink or do their other chores. What would happen if we see their mess as a blessing? It could be the key to less emotional suffering and experiencing more joy each day we spend with our children.

Can Science Tell us Anything about the Soul?

By Julien Musolino Ph.D. on August 13, 2015 in Soul Fallacy
Do you believe that you have a soul? If so, do you think that it will it survive the death of your body? Read more to find out why the soul hypothesis is a scientific question, and what mainstream science has to say about it.

Dealing With the Noise in Our Heads

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on August 13, 2015 in The Empowerment Diary
We are all exposed to both external and internal noises. Often, the external noise may be easier to cope with because we can either shut it our or possibly change our location. Internal noise or the voices in our heads, on the other hand, are more challenging to manage, however, they may be lessened through good breathing exercises and a regular meditation practice.

Jung’s Scarab as a Psychotherapeutic Technique

Jung’s patient described her dream of a golden scarab as Jung tried to break through her rigid rationality. As he fervently hoped for the unexpected, he responded to a tapping sound at his window and produced the world’s best known synchronicity.

Is Religion an Excuse for Laziness?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 12, 2015 in The Human Beast
Historians associate the Protestant reformation with the rise of capitalism. Protestants found a new sense of responsibility for their own salvation. They worked harder for material success as well. Members of earlier, less individualistic, religions did not work as hard. Was their religion an excuse for laziness?

How to Live in the Real World (Minus One Troubling Word)

Reality has no interest in our narrative on what "should" be. "Should" only intensifies our suffering. The way to peace is not by winning the war with reality, but by surrendering our fight with what is.

Living Closer to the Bone (Part 5)

By Michael Jawer on August 11, 2015 in Feeling Too Much
Strange but true occurrences suggest that what family members (including our pets) feel for one another bonds us in unusual ways. Such experiences could only be chalked up to sheer one-in-a-million chance were it not for their conjunction with deep emotion.

Facing Mortality and Being Happy

Most of us pretend we’ll live forever and be remembered just as long. Death won’t come for us, we think. But the truth is it will for all of us.

What It Really Means When Someone's "Dead to You"

From time to time, people “cut others off.” This happens in all kinds of social spheres. Evolutionary psychology can help us understand why. It can also help us understand how to do better than that …

Is Unconditional Love Possible?

We all want to be unconditionally loved, but how realistic is that? Partnerships require mutuality, where we each have certain basic minimum needs and requirements, such as for respect, understanding, and nurturing. Our children require unconditional love, but adult relationships ask that we be mindful of how we affect each other.

The Bracing, Empty Self versus the Open, Heart-Minded Self

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
The anthropologist, Colin Turnbull, contrasted his British upbringing with African Mbuti children, a non-industrialized foraging society whom he studied. Upon reaching adolescence. Mbuti children brimmed with skills and confidence whereas in contrast, he had felt empty and uncertain, ripe for bullying by teachers and peers.

Top 3 Tips for “Fantasy-Prone” Writers

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
The so-called fantasy-prone person is actually a repository of hidden talents.

Living Closer to the Bone (Part 4)

By Michael Jawer on August 08, 2015 in Feeling Too Much
Some animals have truly distinctive personalities. The passing of one such pet created an enduring mystery while also hinting at the spiritual nature of emotion-laden family ties.

What’s Subversive About Today's Humanism?

Humanism—the not so radical idea that you can be good without a god—doesn’t particularly sound like the next big subversive development in politics today. But with their numbers rapidly growing, humanists are beginning to realize that they can play a major role in influencing governmental policy.

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.