Giving thanks this Thanksgiving—with a little help from Dear Abby.

I wrote here last year about a Thanksgiving prayer you can say all-year round. And I was recently reminded again of the importance of giving daily thanks for the good in our lives, via my favorite spiritual primer, The Worldwide Laws of Life by John Templeton. Templeton has written much about gratitude, advising us to [Read More...]

Can you be a spiritual person and still have a wild streak?

I consider myself a spiritual guy. Though I’m a lapsed Catholic, I believe in God. I meditate and pray daily. I like nothing better than to spend an hour or two reading a good spirituality book. Oh, and I write the Wake Up Call column here at Patheos. Yet, there is a side to me [Read More...]

Life Lessons from the Reverend who was visited by ETs.

What do you do if you’re a man of the cloth and have a UFO-related experience? I’m not talking about a run-of-the-mill flying saucer sighting, but a middle-of-the-night visitation by a gray alien—an incident that’s repeated over and over again, with a changing cast of extraterrestrial visitors. If you’re the Reverend Michael J.S. Carter of [Read More...]

It’s time to take Mark Twain back from the Atheists.

Mark Twain, famed humorist and writer of the classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is perhaps the most celebrated American author of all time. He is also a favorite of atheists and atheist Web sites, who claim Twain as one of their own. But is their faith in Twain [Read More...]

Reshad Feild and the “7-1-7″ breathing exercise that can help change your life.

I once read a story about a singer who was asked what the best advice she ever received was. Her response: “Breathe”. She had been given this life tip from her father who had correctly pointed out that when we’re stressed or feeling a little tense, we tend to shorten our breath. And at those [Read More...]

You’re spiritual, your job is not. So how do you cope?

Are you a fellow participant in the rat race? If you’re like me, and regularly work 40-plus hour weeks in a high-stress environment, you know how hard it can be to keep your spiritual bearings intact. It can often seem like the working world and the spiritual world are at opposite ends of the life [Read More...]

Three prayers that can help you daily, starting today.

How often do you pray? I’ve always been fascinated by the Muslim religion and its adherents who pray five times a day, an act that serves as a constant reminder of the role God plays in their lives. Equally compelling are the devout Christians who take a particular Bible passage (1 Thessalonians 5:17) at face value [Read More...]

Angels, aliens and fairies: have our myths come to life?

At any moment, I usually have seven or eight books in various states of completion—but recently the books that have surfaced to the top of my pile are about aliens and UFOs, angels and fairies. I find these stories strangely fascinating. There’s a parallel between those who claim to have witnessed angels or the divine, [Read More...]

City Monks vs. Country Monks. Can you really find inner peace anywhere?

Is a city environment detrimental to a rich spiritual life? As someone who commutes to and works in New York City, it is easy to see how the distractions of the city could easily extinguish your spiritual light. But I found a group that is totally committed to following the spiritual path—and they not only [Read More...]

Moving away from formal religion—toward a one-to-one relationship with God.

The problem is that we have lost religion—in the deep meaning of the word. We have formal religions that contain the seeds of genuine religiousness, but they are weakened by…fundamentalism, moralism, empty ritual, misunderstood teachings and general irrelevancy. ~Thomas Moore Are you one of the millions worldwide who classify themselves as “spiritual but not religious”? [Read More...]

Everyone has a spiritual story to tell. What’s yours?

Are you familiar with StoryCorps? It’s a nonprofit group that records people telling stories about a key moment in their lives. Over the years, they’ve collected almost 50,000 stories that can be accessed online and at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. You may have heard one of their broadcasts on NPR’s [Read More...]

My Real-Life Encounter with the Bogus Buddhists of Broadway.

I’ve been working on-and-off in New York City for much of the past two decades and have been approached by a number of aggressive panhandlers over the years. As a rule they are disheveled and most appear to be a bit off mentally. Some ask for money for food, others just ask for money, and [Read More...]

Three Bible passages that may blow your mind (in a good way).

A version of this post originally appeared about three years ago at Elephant Journal and attracted over 20,000 views. I’ve rewritten the story for “Wake Up Call”. Though I was raised in a strict Catholic family, one book I deliberately avoided for most of my life was the Bible. While I have long been interested [Read More...]

Want to reduce stress and lose weight? Becca Chopra recommends you check your chakras.

Becca Chopra is my go to-person when it comes to learning about the chakras, the body’s seven “energy centers” of spiritual power. She has written a couple of informative and entertaining books on the subject that teach how chakras can affect everything from your love life to your health, wealth and happiness. She has a [Read More...]


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