May 19, 2022

by SNS Guest (Article is by guest writer Edward Kelly Jr.  See bio below.) I was once a Pentecostal preacher. Then, prayer was a kind of spiritual warfare for me. It was hard work, I liken it to a sweaty gym workout. I mean as a Pentecostal, I wrestled not only against the devil but sometimes it felt like I was wrestling with God. Pentecostal prayer was loud; if you have ever been to a Pentecostal prayer service you know... Read more

May 19, 2022

by Jeff Worthy The last few years have proven to be challenging for us all; we have had our endurance, resilience, and patience tested in ways none of us ever expected. We need to know that we can survive, that the dawn will come when the long night at last draws to an end. All throughout human history, we have turned to our stories to help motivate us in times of challenge; we have read the adventures of great heroes who... Read more

May 15, 2022

by Dennis Oliver Photo by Ryan Melaugh I recently sat down with a close friend, catching up after an out-of-touch year. Both he and his wife suffer from recurring deep depression. Since they enjoy a seemingly vital Buddhist practice, our conversation turned to the fact that the strategies and solutions of “faith” are sometimes unable to shift toxic physical and mental symptoms. Aware of the depth of their experience, I realise that my low-grade depressive state (from which, I’d like... Read more

May 15, 2022

 by SNS Guest (Article is by guest writer James Jarrett. See bio below.) A gracious lady came to us and favored us by receiving kindly our care of her at the end of all her days. She was a lady made graceful beyond what we had known by the welcome she gave to death, her guest, whom she made unfearful by her fearlessness, having no further use for herself as we had known her. – Wendell Berry(1) As a hospice worker... Read more

May 5, 2022

 by Jeff Worthy King Arthur:  “Tell me, Merlin, have we defeated evil, as it seems we have?” Merlin:  “Good and evil, there never is one without the other.” King Arthur: “Where lies evil, then, in my kingdom?” Merlin:  “Always…where you never expect it.  Always.” “Excalibur” 1981,     Directed by John Boorman ‘Tis the season.  Thanksgiving is behind us, and so begins the sense-assaulting, relentless campaign of shameless materialism and over-indulgence masquerading as a holiday.  At least that is what it can... Read more

May 5, 2022

 by Thomas Schenk I feel it now: there’s a power in me to grasp and give shape to my world. The line above is from the first poem in Rainier Maria Rilke’s Book of Hours (Barrows and Macy translation). Coming upon the line, contemplating it over a cup of coffee in the early hours, it occurred to me that the feeling described is perhaps the essential experience of spirituality. That we can “grasp and give shape” our world is a common understanding of... Read more

April 28, 2022

 by Thomas Schenk (I was looking back over the articles I’ve published on SNS during the past six year and was surprised to find that this will be the 50th.) The One and the Many I don’t know how literature is taught in schools today, but when I was young, we were instructed to find the theme of a literary work. The theme was the single idea that held together the work’s diverse elements. So, for instance, one might propose that... Read more

April 28, 2022

 by Gregory Gronbacher An Independent Tradition? At the top of this page you’ll see in the navigation bar “Traditions.” Under this heading, we provide resources and ideas on spiritual naturalist elements within the world’s major spiritual traditions – Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and others. Organizing things this way seems to presuppose that spiritual naturalism is an approach and general philosophy that isn’t strictly speaking a spiritual tradition. And this is true. Yet some believe that spiritual naturalism can develop into a spiritual tradition of... Read more

April 24, 2022

 by SNS Guest (Article is by guest writer Stefani Ruper.) One of the most important components of a naturalistic worldview is the way that we look at who we are as a species. In the majority of cultures in history and in the world still today, the human being is conceptualized in terms of religion: either it is made in God’s image, as in Christianity, or it is an impermanent no-soul, as in Buddhism, or it is a part of a... Read more

April 24, 2022

by Daniel Shkolnik Do we choose our purpose? Or does our purpose choose us? In his book Soulcraft, Bill Plotkin provides a perspective on this that has been very influential on me and that can be easily adapted to a naturalistic perspective Plotkin writes that purpose arises when we are engaged in our “sacred work,” or “sacred dance.” “Your sacred dance sparks your greatest fulfillment and extends your truest service to others,” Plotkin writes. “You know you’ve found it when there’s little... Read more


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