Meaning, depth, experience

WORDS AND MEANING
Elizabeth Lesser Talks Spirituality with Oprah

By OWN on The Huffington Post Blog

What does spirituality mean to you? Spirituality may be defined differently by each and every one of us; for some it may be abstract and conceptual, and for others it may be grounded in daily existence. In 2013, Still Harbor has opened up a dialogue about spirituality in hopes of creating the space for deeper understanding and perhaps even for some convergence of meaning. In this video clip, Oprah articulates that spirituality, to her, is the idea that “…beneath the surface there is always something bigger, deeper, richer going on that helps you grow into yourself, grow into who you were meant to be, grow and be more connected to the spirit…”

PRACTICES AND DEPTH
Meditation Guru Tara Brach Is Calm Eye of Washington’s Stress-filled Storm

by Michelle Boorstein

The Washington Post

What is secular spiritual practice? How do mental health and spirituality relate? How does healing from within compare to healing from God? What does religion offer in terms of depth? Boorstein highlights some of these questions in her article profiling the author and leading meditation teacher Tara Brach. Formed in Buddhism and other eastern spiritual teachings, Brach aims to increase secular access to Buddhist practices and tools in order to help people cope with daily stresses and struggles. This article examines how she teaches these spiritual technologies and offers some insight into what they may be missing when taught outside their religious frameworks. Boorstein includes that Brach herself “worries about people not going deep.”

CHICKEN OR EGG?
Belief Is the Least Part of Faith

by T.M. Luhrmann

The New York Times

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Do people go to church because of a belief in God or do they believe in God because they go to church? Is the belief in God even what matters most? In this article, Luhrmann challenges us to question the role of belief in religion and faith. By citing anthropological masters, she reminds us that at the core of most religions is the core experience of feeling part of something greater than ourselves. When we experience that sense of connection or transcendence, we wake up and come alive, even if just for a moment. Luhrmann suggests, “it is worth appreciating that in belief is the reach for joy…” This idea may be helpful regardless of the content of the beliefs you hold.