How Mindfulness Makes Us Happier & Better Able to Meet Life’s Challenges: Two Animated Primers Explain

≡ Category: Life, Psychology, Religion |6 Comments

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The West has very rich contemplative tradition. Monastics of the early Christian church practiced forms of meditation that have been adopted by many people seeking a deeper, more serene experience of life.

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Hear Carl Sagan Artfully Refute a Creationist on a Talk Radio Show: “The Darwinian Concept of Evolution is Profoundly Verified”

≡ Category: Religion, Science |4 Comments

It takes a special kind of person to calmly debate those who prefer dogma to reason and who insist on ignoring or distorting evidence to suit their preconceptions. Carl Sagan was such a person. Among his many other scientific accomplishments, he became legendary for his skill as an educator and science advocate.

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Japanese Priest Tries to Revive Buddhism by Bringing Techno Music into the Temple: Attend a Psychedelic 23-Minute Service

≡ Category: Music, Religion |4 Comments

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Many religious leaders would like to liven up their services to attract a younger, hipper flock, but few have the necessary background to pull it off in a truly impressive way.

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Take a Break from Your Frantic Day & Let Alan Watts Introduce You to the Calming Ways of Zen

≡ Category: Philosophy, Religion |Leave a Comment

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By the end of the 1960s, Alan Watts had become one of the gurus of the counterculture. Though he was not really a Zen Buddhist, he was many a person’s gateway into the religion due to The Way of Zen published in 1958. His was a philosophical and populist approach to Eastern religion, an antecedent to the Eckhart Tolles of our time.

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How Leo Tolstoy Became a Vegetarian and Jumpstarted the Vegetarian & Humanitarian Movements in the 19th Century

≡ Category: Food & Drink, Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Religion |1 Comment

Leo Tolstoy is remembered as both a towering pinnacle of Russian literature and a fascinating example of Christian anarchism, a mystical version of which the aristocratic author pioneered in the last quarter century of his life.

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Organized Religion Got You Down? Discover The Church Of Saint John Coltrane

≡ Category: Music, Religion |4 Comments

Organized religion got you down? Feel like giving up on it altogether? You are not by any stretch alone. Religiosity is in grave decline in Europe and the U.S., prompting panic in some quarters and satisfaction in others (that young adults, for example, agree more with Karl Marx than with the Bible).

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Aleister Crowley Reads Occult Poetry in the Only Known Recordings of His Voice (1920)

≡ Category: Literature, Poetry, Religion |4 Comments

Image by Jules Jacot Guillarmod, via Wikimedia Commons
Last week, we brought you a rather strange story about the rivalry between poet William Butler Yeats and magician Aleister Crowley. Theirs was a feud over the practices of occult society the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn; but it was also—at least for Crowley—over poetry.

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Aleister Crowley & William Butler Yeats Get into an Occult Battle, Pitting White Magic Against Black Magic (1900)

≡ Category: Poetry, Religion |2 Comments

Aleister Crowley—English magician and founder of the religion of Thelema—has been admired as a powerful theorist and practitioner of what he called “Magick,” and reviled as a spoiled, abusive buffoon.

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Carl Sagan & the Dalai Lama Meet in 1991 and Discuss When Science Can Answer Big Questions Better Than Religion

≡ Category: Religion, Science |Leave a Comment

Images via Wikimedia Commons
In a 1997 essay in Natural History, Stephen Jay Gould (in)famously called the realms of religion and science “Nonoverlapping Magisteria”—a phrase that acknowledges both endeavors as equally powerful and important to human life.

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The History of Spiritual Jazz: Hear a Transcendent 12-Hour Mix Featuring John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock & More

≡ Category: Jazz, Music, Religion |11 Comments

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Jazz has inspired a great many things, and a great many things have inspired jazz, and more than a few of the music’s masters have found their aspiration by looking — or listening — to the divine. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they subscribe to traditional religion.

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