Spirituality Essential Reads

Waiting for the Haiku in Mindfulness

By Thomas Hills Ph.D. on November 26, 2015 Statistical Life
Mindfulness can be about a personal and experimental exploration of reality that is not about saving yourself, but rather experiencing your self. Realizing that the "explanation for you" is not only the finger your mind constantly points at itself, but something undefinably larger and more personal at the same time.

Playfulness Is a Spiritual Practice

By Bernard L. De Koven on November 23, 2015 On Having Fun
Being playful, the very understanding of the purpose of games is redefined. Games are no longer about winning or even about cooperating. They are all and only about celebrating our capacity for having fun together.

Fundamentalist Christianity and Child Abuse: A Taboo Topic

How does fundamentalist religion affect our children?

Gray Must Remain Our Sacred Space

By Tim Leberecht on November 16, 2015 The Romance of Work
Gray is the stance against a bipolar world, with extreme claims and exponential implications. Living in gray means living uncomfortably in the middle, but it also means living in tolerance and peace. It means commuting between two worlds and leading a double, a poetic life. It means being able to love, to feel everything but not know anything at all.

Is Virtual Virtue a Virtue or a Vice?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 Ambigamy
If you're a little troubled by the lightweight gesture of simply Praying for Paris, Je suis Charlie, or just clicking to superimpose the French Flag on our Facebook pictures, you're tapping into an old concern, whether little gestures are empty or useful.

Co-opting and Redefining Religious Words by the Nonreligious

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on November 10, 2015 Cui Bono
Philosophical naturalism denies the existence of supernatural entities such as angels, demons, elves, fairies, ghosts, gods, souls, and spirits, except as figments of imagination. How is it possible, then, that some naturalists describe themselves as "spiritual" and describe some aspects of nature as "sacred?"

Starbucks and the Real War on Christmas

Please stop co-opting the Christian faith for your culture war. Most of us want nothing to do with it.

The Search For Meaning

The vast majority of humans need some meaning to our lives beyond acquiring, consuming and devouring. The search for meaning might be a belief in a benevolent, omniscient God, but spiritual states and beliefs exist for non-believers as well. That Search for a Sense of Believing (along with Being, Belonging and Benevolence) enables us to fulfill and evaluate our lives.

The Neglected Art of Receiving

We're told that it is better to give than to receive. We may strive to love, but to what extent do we allow ourselves to be loved? People who are narcissistic do not know how to lovingly extend themselves to others. But narcissism can also take the form of being so guarded and self-absorbed that we don't let love in.

Why do People Believe in Supernatural Evil Forces?

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on October 31, 2015 More Than Mortal
Do people gain any psychological benefits from believing that evil supernatural forces are real? Emerging research reveals the benefits of believing in evil spirits.

Can the Experience of Awe Open the Mind?

People who are open to experience are more prone to experiencing awe. Is it possible that profound experiences of awe could also induce greater open-mindedness? Mystical experiences under the influence of psychedelics can increase openness to experience. Perhaps such experiences are so awe-inspiring that create a deeper and lasting appreciation for the mystery of life.

The Several Meanings in a Meaningful Coincidence

By taking apart coincidences and examining their qualities, we can more fully appreciate them.

Do We Find Happiness or Does Happiness Find Us?

Relationship guru Maggie Scarf relates a story about a memorable party she and her husband once gave. As she tells it, a somewhat plastered guest overturned a punch bowl, which landed in the leek soup. Two couples left with the wrong spouses, several noisy quarrels broke out, and Scarf herself seriously considered leaving and staying at the neighbors’ for the night.

Breathwork as a Treatment for Addiction?

By Amy Dresner on October 26, 2015 Coming Clean
Just Breathe! Breathwork for Addiction.

The Play Community

By Bernard L. De Koven on October 23, 2015 On Having Fun
Our basis for trust and safety has broadened to such an extent that it resides not in any particular game but in our very relationship.

What It Really Means to Love Yourself

We often hear that it is important to love ourselves. But what does this actually mean? This article explores ways to love and care for ourselves in a deeper way.

What Is A Butthead Other Than Someone We Butt Heads With?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 16, 2015 Ambigamy
An important personal, social, political, practical and even spiritual question.

Positioning Our Knowledge in Four Quadrants

There are many competing perspectives in philosophy. Here is a map of four quadrants of knowing that can help make sense of the differing views.

Are You Spiritual or Religious? Does it Matter?

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Love and Fear With Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on October 01, 2015 Brick by Brick
Liam Wilson shares how he came to understand the power of questioning.

The Most Remarkable Thing About the Pope’s Visit

By Jean M Twenge Ph.D. on September 24, 2015 Our Changing Culture
Pope Francis' stunning message to nonbelievers

Why Study Coincidences? Part 2

Meaningful coincidences can jolt us into examining our own minds and our relationship with the world in which our minds are immersed.

Yintimidation: Bullying The "Nice" Way

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 21, 2015 Ambigamy
We associate bullying with yang or macho behavior, but that's not the only way to bully

What We Want Most From Relationships (But Rarely Get)

The problem in relationship is that we don't dare to ask for what we really want. Most of all, we just want to be listened to, not changed, not fixed, and not judged. What if we could risk asking for what we really need?

How to Pray for an Atheist

By David Niose on August 30, 2015 Our Humanity, Naturally
Nonbelievers don't want prayers, but they often get them anyway. What's the etiquette of unsolicited prayers? And is it changing as the nonreligious demographic grows?

The 4 Types of Friends You Need in Your 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 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.

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.

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.