It’s called centering prayer and it’s a method of prayer that comes out of an ancient Christian contemplative tradition. It dates all the way back to a 14th century text titled The Prayer of Unknowing. And for over 500 years, it fell out of favor with the Roman Catholic church, until it resurfaced thanks to one Father Thomas Keating. In the 1970s, Keating (still alive and praying at age 95) saw that the church was losing vast amounts of young members… Read more

Whether or not you watched the Royal Wedding, you may have heard about the powerful sermon delivered by the Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the African-American head of the Episcopal Church. In an impassioned homily, Curry reminded us that there is no more powerful force than love—because, put simply, God is love. While Curry’s sermon received wide praise, a few naysayers complained it went on for too long. I would beg to differ, but if you’re of that ilk, or if… Read more

At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel. ~Maya Angelou I start most mornings with some spirituality-based reading and over the past several years this has included the works of the late-John Templeton. Better known for the investment fund that bears his name, after his retirement Templeton wrote several philosophy and religion books overflowing with spiritual wisdom. What’s compelling about Templeton’s work is that his spiritual… Read more

Why do you need a guru? If you fall down, then pick yourself up and continue to walk. ~Krishnamurti  I first published a version of this story titled “Guru? You Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Guru.” in early-2013 while writing for Elephant Journal. Recently, a reader at that publication stumbled upon the original piece and wrote a long opposition piece that he shared with me, as he has a guru who has done wonders for him. It was well written—but it… Read more

You might think the cure for loneliness is a simple one: just get out of the house and spend time with other people. But there’s a contrary point-of-view, and it comes from the man who may know more about our collective inner world than anyone around today: Thomas Moore. Moore has made his name by writing over a dozen books that deal with the deepest, most complex part of our selves, the soul. In his most recent book, Ageless Soul,… Read more

Professional photographer. Museum curator. Author. Composer and musician. College professor. Brian H. Peterson may be one of the last creative Renaissance men, a person seen as having vast talents and knowledge or, as the Urban Dictionary defines it, “a man who does everything, and does it well.” In his new book I Give My Eyes, Stories + Conversations + Dreams, Peterson has brought together a sprawling compendium of art, essays, photography, conversations, letters, and even a sermon or two, that… Read more

Do you like your job? If you’re like me, this question gives you pause to think. Because as much as you may enjoy what you do, for most of us work is ultimately a means to an end—the end being the weekly or biweekly deposit that appears in our checking account. Given the choice, you’d probably prefer to spend your time in more leisurely or rewarding pursuits. But since most of us don’t have the option of devoting our lives… Read more

If you looked into the world’s most honest mirror, what would you see? The question above comes from the writer Sean Illing. In a recent issue of the online publication Vox, he wrote a story titled “What the psychedelic drug ayahuasca showed me about my life,” after taking ayahuasca for 4 consecutive days. The “honest mirror” he talks about is a byproduct of the drug. Are you familiar with ayahuasca? It’s a tropical vine grown in the Amazon and through… Read more

Do you remember the fictional character Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live? Back in the early-90s, he had a mock self-help show called “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley.” Played by Al Franken, Stuart would begin each episode with an affirmation he used to say out loud while facing a mirror: I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. While Franken did it for humor, the fact is many people believe that affirmations—repeating the same motivational mantra… Read more

  I’ve long collected quotes related to spirituality and life philosophy and am always looking for new ones. When it comes to quotes, I get very picky. Not any old quote will do. I like quotes that get me thinking, where the words hint at something greater and more meaningful. Over the past year or two, I’ve been pairing quotes with images on my Wake Up Call Facebook page and post a new one about 5 times a week. (Like… Read more

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