Naturalist Practice: the Big Picture


We are at the beginning of an important movement to gather again, a spirituality that is fully natural and rational, yet not shallow or merely technical and descriptive – one that engages all of what it means to be a full and complete human being; not merely an intellectual exercise. Within Spiritual Naturalism, or Religious [Read More...]

An Atheist Plea for Preserving Thanksgiving


I don’t often use the term ‘atheist’ to describe myself, because my lack of someone else’s belief is not something I see as important, and because those who choose that term as their primary moniker are often focused on making a statement about being without a belief in a God. I prefer the term Spiritual [Read More...]

Religious Freedom from the Inside Out


We generally think of religious freedom in terms of coercion by others, political or social imposition of certain religious or irreligious beliefs and practices on people who would choose to believe and practice differently. That’s not what I’m talking about here. My concern is with the internal freedom people feel to practice and believe as [Read More...]

What you think and how you feel: it matters


The more I’ve learned about naturalistic spirituality and spiritual practice, the more I’ve come to regard ethics as irrelevant – and the more ethical I’ve become. It has been common to look at ethics as a set of rules. More importantly, a set of rules regarding your behavior; what you say, what you do, how [Read More...]

Are you really meditating?


In the many discourses I host or participate in, both online with our members, and in my local chapter of the Society, it is a common thing to hear a visitor talk about a certain kind of problem they are facing. This is the problem of mental stress which, they are often aware, is caused [Read More...]

Celebrating our first anniversary!


Hello friends! Today (September 18, 2013) marks one year since the Spiritual Naturalist Society officially launched. We have come a long way in a short time and I am so thankful for the many people who have given their enthusiastic support to the Society; either with their involvement on the Advisory Board, their presence on [Read More...]

Testing a naturalist’s faith

Writing my first column for , I’m going to assume, appropriately or not, that I’m addressing people who, like me, reject supernatural explanations for all phenomena but have some kind of active spiritual life. Believers are tested in their faith in countless ways and learn over time to read the universe in particular ways [Read More...]

Daily Fruit


There is a folktale from India called The King and the Corpse. At the beginning of this tale we are told of a mendicant who appears every day at the king’s court to deliver an offering of fruit. Each day the king accepts this fruit and passes it on to his treasurer who carries it [Read More...]

Three Transcendents, part 4: Mind


Reaching inward, we discover our participation in something greater than what we normally call ourselves. This post concludes the series on transcendence in naturalism. Part 1 introduced naturalistic transcendence, part 2 covered nature as a source of transcendence, and part 3 explored community. Now we conclude with mind. In our recent poll on symbols of [Read More...]

Three Transcendents, part 3: Community


In relationships with other people, we participate in something greater than ourselves. This post continues the series on transcendence in naturalism. Part 1 introduced naturalistic transcendence, and part 2 covered nature as a source of transcendence. Part 4 will delve into mind.   On August 28th, 1963, over 200,000 men and women descended upon Washington, [Read More...]