For thousands of years, humankind as built cities to escape the hardships of nature, but has turned to nature for spiritual nourishment. The rishis (seers) who wrote Hindu scripture lived in the wilderness. Old Testament prophets sought God on mountaintops. The Buddha and his disciples sought enlightenment in the forests. After taking their vows, Hindu and Buddhist
Kierkegaard said: “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” My exit from the LDS church five years ago was far from graceful, and with hindsight I understand it better now than when I lived it. Here are some lessons I learned backwards for those who are living their transition forwards.
Over the past year as I’ve studied Hinduism, I’ve learned about unfamiliar spiritual practices like praying and making offerings to images (statues or portraits) of gods and saints. As a Mormon, I’d have reflexively condemned this practice as worthless and blasphemous “idol worship”. However, I’ve come to see it quite differently. In fact, I’d now go
Over the past several years, scientific research has confirmed that meditation improves the brain in several significant ways. One of the most surprising discoveries is that the benefits of meditation are not limited to intangible, subjective ones reported by test participants, but that meditation also produces physical improvements in brain structure that have been confirmed with fMRI