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...]

WHAT IF: You looked at each day as shiny and brand new.

Is it possible that our senses are dulled by our daily routine? You know, the 9-to-5 rut. For me personally, after working several years at the same job, traveling the same route to work, performing similar tasks each day, I can testify to how easy it can be to walk through life with blinders on. [Read More...]

The Bible I read for wisdom and guidance is not the Holy Bible. It’s this book.

Each morning I do a little reading as part of my spiritual practice. And over the years, the one book I have turned to more than any other is The Worldwide Laws of Life, 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles, by John Templeton. A close second would be Wisdom from World Religions, Pathways Toward Heaven on Earth [Read More...]

Mastering the Dalai Lama smile. (Or how to let your love shine through to everyone you meet.)

The 14th Dalia Lama is one of the most revered people in the world. Spiritual leader, head of the Free Tibet movement, best-selling author—it’s hard to think of anyone who has done more with his or her precious life. Yet, if you ask me, the most compelling part of the Dalai Lama has nothing to [Read More...]

You already know how to talk to God. Here’s how to listen.

“Let us be silent, and we may hear the whispers of the Gods.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson What do devotees of the Bhagavad Gita, Evangelical Christians and this humble Patheos Spirituality columnist have in common? We all believe in the power of a direct and personal relationship with God. For me, this personal relationship means that [Read More...]

How to meditate like a monk in 10 easy steps.

When it came to meditation, I was always kind of a dummy. It seemed easy enough, but I just didn’t get why I needed to do it. After all, I cleared my head each morning with a brisk four-mile run. Did I really need to meditate, too? Still, as I read stories about the meditation practices of [Read More...]

Want to feel better immediately? Unleash the power of gratefulness.

Several months ago I wrote about the one prayer to say if you’re saying only one. I call it the prayer of thanks. And it’s so important, I’m now writing about it again with some fresh, new insights to offer. The fact is as much as we may obsess about what’s not right in our [Read More...]

9 Life Tips from a Tiny Book that’s Spiritual Dynamite.

He is the wisest who seeks God. He is the most successful who has found God. ~Yogananda, The Law of Success It measures a little over 5 inches by 3 ½ inches and is only 39 pages long. You can comfortably read it in about an hour. Yet it’s jam-packed with wisdom and a true [Read More...]

Finding your way on the winding path we call life.

How do you walk through life? Are you sure-footed with a specific destination in mind? Or do you meander, unsure of your direction or where you’re headed?  Several months ago, I wrote about finding your path in life, or what’s also known as “finding your calling“. I thought this quote by David Spangler did a [Read More...]


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