Guide Joint Venture: Practical Spirituality for Everyday Pilgrims

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Ancient Psalms for Contemporary Pilgrims
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Masters and Spielmans [] conducted a meta-analysis of all the available and reputable research examining the effects of distant intercessory prayer. They found no discernible health effects from being prayed for by others. In fact, one large and scientifically rigorous study by Herbert Benson and colleagues [] revealed that intercessory prayer had no effect on recovery from cardiac arrest, but patients told people were praying for them actually had an increased risk of medical complications. Knowing others are praying for you could actually be medically detrimental.

In the health-care professions there is growing [ quantify ] interest in "spiritual care", to complement the medical-technical approaches and to improve the outcomes of medical treatments. Neuroscientists have examined brain functioning during reported spiritual experiences [] [] finding that certain neurotransmitters and specific areas of the brain are involved. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the belief in being able to contact the dead, see Spiritualism. History Timeline.

Christian Catholic Mysticism. Buddhist modernism New religious movement " Spiritual but not religious " Syncretism. Spiritual experience. Mystical experience Religious experience Spiritual practice. Spiritual development. Ego death Individuation Spiritual development Self-actualization.

Other non-Western. Animism Shamanism Totemism. Humanistic psychology Mindfulness Positive psychology Self-help Self-realization True self and false self. Mystical psychosis Cognitive science of religion Neuroscience of religion Geschwind syndrome Evolutionary psychology of religion. See also: History of Western esotericism and New Age.

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See also: Western esotericism. Main article: Neo-Vedanta. Main article: Spiritual but not religious. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main articles: Catholic spirituality and Christian mysticism. Main article: Five Pillars of Islam. Main article: Sufism.

Main article: Jihad. Main article: Buddhism. Main article: Hinduism. Three of four paths of spirituality in Hinduism. Main article: Sikhism. Main article: Traditional African religion. See also: New Age. Main article: Religious experience. Main article: Spiritual practice. See also: Conflict thesis and Relationship between religion and science.

Main article: Holism. Main article: Religion and health. Main article: Spiritual care in health care professions. Religion portal. Different translations are possible: transformation, re-formation, trans-mutation. Some Islamic scholars dispute the authenticity of this reference and consider the meaning of jihad as a holy war to be more important. In most general terms, the Sanskrit word yoga stands for spiritual discipline in Hinduism, Jainism, and certain schools of Buddhism.


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A spiritual practitioner is known as a yogin if male or a yogini if female. In Salazar, Heather; Nicholls, Roderick eds. Philosophy and Religion. Leiden: Brill. Retrieved My aim is to show that [ Cultivating disciplined practices of being engaged by god," in L. Gregory Jones and James J. Buckley eds. San Francisco: Harper, The Essential Steiner. McDermott, , in ReVision, vol.

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Oxford: Blackwell, , p. Cited in Anthony Giddens : Sociology. Cambridge: Polity, , p. Nova Science Publishers: New York. Harvard Divinity Bulletin. Harvard Divinity School. Retrieved 4 January Conservative Judaism. Houston: Plato, Fatwa accessible at: Masud. See Google book search. Amal Press. Retrieved 20 February Archived from the original on One may be polytheistic or monotheistic, monistic or pantheistic, even an agnostic, humanist or atheist, and still be considered a Hindu. Journal of Managerial Psychology.

Journal of Nursing Scholarship. The Purana suggests that "true knowledge of nature" leads to "true knowledge of Self and God. For example, earth teaches steadfastness and the wisdom that all things while pursuing their own activities, do nothing but follow the divine laws that are universally established; another wisdom from earth is her example of accepting the good and bad from everyone.

Another guru, the honeybee teaches that one must make effort to gain knowledge, a willingness and flexibility to examine, pick and collect essence from different scriptures and sources. And so on. Nature is a mirror image of spirit, perceptive awareness of nature can be spirituality. Journal of Human Values. Levin, Jeff International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. Performance and Spirituality. Hindu spirituality: Postclassical and modern.

English: Motilal Banarsidass. Colors of Truth, Religion Self and Emotions. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. Scott English: University of Chicago Press. History of Sikh Gurus Retold: — United States: University of Columbia. Philosophy of Sikhism: Reality and Its Manifestations. New Delhi: South Asia Books. United States: Chelsea House Publishers. Surrey, Canada: Indo-Canadian Publishers. Searching for Spiritual Unity Cambridge University Press. June Literature and Aesthetics. Retrieved 19 September The new Western spiritual landscape, characterised by consumerism and choice abundance, is scattered with novel religious manifestations based in psychology and the Human Potential Movement, each offering participants a pathway to the Self.

How well-being research might be mistaking faith for virtue? Social Indicators Research. The Conquest of Happiness. The man who can centre his thoughts and hopes upon something transcending self can find a certain peace in the ordinary troubles of life which is impossible to the pure egoist. Novato, California: New World Library.

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Findhorn Press. Happiness: A guide to developing life's most important skill 1st pbk. New York: Little Brown. Alcoholics Anonymous: By the Anonymous Press. Terracotta female figurines with pedestal waists, found especially at village sites, reveal at least a popular cultic interest in fertility. They are probably linked with worship of a goddess under various aspects, for while some portray the figure in benign nurturing poses, others present pinched and grim features that have been likened to grinning skulls: These are likely foreshadowings of the Hindu Goddess in her benign and destructive aspects.

But most controversial are the depictions on the seals, whose inscriptions remain undeciphered. Most prominently figured are powerful male animals. They are often shown in cultic scenes, as before a sort of "sacred manger," or being led by a priestly ministrant before a figure probably a deity and possibly a goddess in a peepul tree, one of the most venerated trees in Hinduism. Male animals also frequently figure in combination with human males in composite animal-human forms. With female figures seemingly linked to the Goddess and males associated with animal power, it has been suggested that the two represent complementary aspects of a fertility cult with attendant sacrificial scenarios such as are found in the animal sacrifice to the Goddess in post-Vedic Hinduism.

In such sacrifices the Goddess requires male offerings, and the animal represents the human male sacrificer. Though features differ in the four portrayals, the most fully defined one shows him seated on a dais with an erect phallus. He has buffalo horns that enclose a treelike miter headdress, possibly a caricatured buffalo face, wears bangles and necklaces or torques, and is surrounded by four wild animals.

Possibly the image crystallizes traits that are later associated with both of these figures. The notion that features of Indus Valley religion form a stream with later non-Aryan religious currents that percolate into Hinduism has somewhat dismissively been called the substratum theory by opponents who argue in favor of treating the development of Hinduism as derivable from within its own sacred literature. Though this "substratum" cannot be known except in the ways that it has been structured within Hinduism and no doubt also within Jainism and Buddhism , it is clear that a two-way process was initiated as early as the Vedic period and has continued to the present.

Altogether it is a prodigious body of literature, originally oral in character thus "heard" , that evolved into its present form over nine or ten centuries between about and bce. These constitute the four Vedas, with some early sources referring to the "three Vedas" exclusive of the last. The material of the four was probably complete by bce, with younger parts of the older works overlapping older parts of the younger ones chronologically. Many of these schools died out and their branches became lost, but others survived to preserve material for literary compilation and redaction.

Although the urban civilization of the Indus Valley had run its course by the time of the arrival of the Aryans in about bce, the newcomers met heirs of this civilization in settled agricultural communities.


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  6. The contrast between cultures was striking to the Aryans, who described the indigenous population as having darker skin, defending themselves from forts, having no gods or religious rituals but nonetheless worshiping the phallus. In contrast to this predominantly agricultural population, the invading Aryans were a mobile, warlike people, unattached to cities or specific locations, entering Northwest India in tribal waves probably over a period of several centuries. Moreover, their society inherited an organizing principle from its Indo-European past that was to have great impact on later Indian civilization in the formation of the caste system.

    The ideal arrangement, which myths and ritual formulas propounded and society was to reflect, called for three social "functions": the priests, the warriors, and the agriculturalist-stockbreeders. Most crucial to the inspiration of the early Vedic religion, however, was the interaction between the first two groups: the priesthood, organized around sacerdotal schools maintained through family and clan lines, and a warrior component, originally led by chieftains of the mobile tribal communities but from the beginning concerned with an ideal of kingship that soon took on more local forms.

    Whereas the priests served as repositories of sacred lore, poetry, ritual technique, and mystical speculation, the warriors served as patrons of the rites and ceremonies of the priests and as sponsors of their poetry. But insofar as the hymns invoke the gods to attend the sacrifice, there is abundant interest in two deities of essentially ritual character: Agni and Soma. Agni Fire is more specifically the god of the sacrificial fire who receives offerings to the gods and conveys them heavenward through the smoke. These two gods, significantly close to humankind, are mediators between humans and other gods.

    Soma , the extracted and purified juice of the "plant of immortality," possibly the hallucinogenic fly agaric mushroom, yields a "purified" vision that is described as "enthused" or "intoxicated," tremulous or vibrant, again stimulating the inspiration for poetry. Vedic religion is decidedly polytheistic, there being far more than the so-called thirty-three gods, the number to which they are sometimes reduced.

    Intersecting this structure is an opposition of Indo-Iranian background between deva s and asura s. But asura also has the Vedic meaning of "demon," which it retains in later Hinduism, so that the devaasura opposition also takes on dualistic overtones. But the content rather than the quantity of the references hints at their significance. Although it is thus possible to outline certain structural and historical features that go into the makeup of the Vedic pantheon, it is important to recognize that these are obscured by certain features of the hymns that arise from the type of religious "vision" that inspired them, and that provide the basis for speculative and philosophical trends that emerge in the late Veda and continue into the early Brahmanic tradition.

    Thus, while homologies and "connections" between the gods are envisioned, essential distinctions between them are implicitly denied. Each must be discussed further. As specialization increased, each priest of these four main classes took on three main assistants.

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    The domestic rites take place at a single offering fire and usually involve offerings of only grain or ghee clarified butter. Nonanimal sacrifices of the first varieties mentioned involved offerings of milk and vegetable substances or even of mantra s. Five male animals — man, horse, bull, ram, and goat — are declared suitable for sacrifice. Soma sacrifices, which would normally incorporate animal sacrifices within them plus a vast number of other subrites, involved the pressing and offering of soma. Meanwhile, the gods and the demons asura s are reduced to representing in their endless conflicts the recurrent interplay between agonistic forces in the sacrifice.

    Earlier speculations on the irreducible essence of the cosmos, the sacrifice, and individual experience have been mentioned. Sacrifice, for instance, is likened to the alternation that takes place between breathing and speaking. Thus correspondences are established between aspects of sacrifice and the life continuum of the meditator. Or, in a more conventional etymology, it is the "sitting down" of a disciple "near to" upa , "near"; ni , "down"; sad , "sit" his spiritual master, or guru.

    Vedic polytheism is demythologized, for all gods are reducible to one. Brahmanic ritualism is reassessed and its understanding of ritual action karman thoroughly reinterpreted.

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    Karman can no longer be regarded as a positive means to the constitution of a permanent self. Thus even meritorious actions that lead to the Vedic heaven "perish," leaving a momentum that carries the individual to additional births or reincarnations. The knowledge sought, however, is not that of ritual technique or even of ritual-based homologies, but a graspable, revelatory, and experiential knowledge of the self as one with ultimate reality.

    The experience thus achieved is variously described as one of unified consciousness, fearlessness, bliss, and tranquillity. One refers to an all-excluding Absolute; the self that is identified with brahman , characterized as neti neti "not this, not this" , is reached through a paring away of the psychomental continuum and its links with karman. Discussion of this consolidation, however, is initially complicated by a lack of historiographical categories adequate to the task of integrating the diverse textual, inscriptional, and archaeological data of this long formative period.

    The view one takes of the epics is, in fact, crucial for the interpretation of Hinduism during this period. Here, assuming that the epics already incorporated a bhakti cosmology and theology from an early point in this formative period, this article shall try to place them in relation to other works and formulations that contributed to the consolidation of classical Hinduism. The overall history can be broken down into four periods characterized by an oscillation from disunity rival regional kingdoms and tribal confederacies on the Ganges Plain to unity Mauryan ascendancy, c.

    In this climate the ideal of centralized Hindu rule attained no practical realization until the rise of the Guptas. In the Philippines, Oblates daily prepare meals that are distributed to the poor and those who are disabled. They make regular visits to people in prison as well as to the families of prisoners. Oblates from Ferdinand, Indiana, also have an active prison ministry to women that uses the Rule of St. Benedict and its emphasis on peaceful living, balance and mercy as a guide.

    Oblates in the Netherlands and Germany support an African reforestation project that involves planting drought- and pest-resistant breadfruit trees. Nigerian Oblates dig graves and help give a dignified burial to those killed in that country's ongoing civil violence. The first international Oblate Congress took place 16 years ago in Rome. As former Abbot Primate Notker Wolf noted in his homilies at this year's gathering, Oblates have moved in less than two decades from a kind of spiritual childhood to the portal of adulthood.

    Indeed, Oblate life in the past largely centered on following the rituals of the monastery itself and deepening one's personal spiritualty under the direction of monks and sisters. Now, Wolf said, Oblates are required to become not only witnesses to the values espoused in the Rule of St. Benedict, but to be the active bearers of those values. We who are Oblates must now become spiritual directors to the world at large.

    Much of the congress focused on how the Oblate life will unfold over the long term. Because Oblates commit to offer their services to a particular monastery the word "Oblate" derives from the Latin word for "offering" , a key question is what will happen to Oblates whose monasteries close or merge because of declining numbers. How can Oblates better support their monasteries? In an increasingly global world, how can Oblates form an international network?

    Participants of the congress came from as far off as Australia, Brazil, India and Burkina Faso, underscoring the cross-cultural appeal of the Rule of St. Benedict, with its shared emphasis on balanced, practical living and the deepening of the interior life. Oblates from U. A pleasant surprise was the number who came from Africa. A highlight for many of us came at Mass when the Oblates from the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso brought the Communion gifts to the altar, dancing up the aisle as they went — perhaps as we all should as we prepare to receive the Eucharist.

    Unfortunately, the congress could not escape the shadow of the world's political turmoil. Some of the Oblates from Nigeria and India who registered were unable to obtain visas to attend. Because of financial constraints, only one Oblate from Africa was able to serve on the international leadership team that planned the conference.

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    That is something that will have to be addressed in time for the next conference in , perhaps through a concerted fundraising effort to support the presence of additional African Oblates on the planning committee. Most of us who attended likely would say the relationships we formed with Oblates from other countries proved the most significant takeaway. However, we did complete some important work.

    Congress participants voted on a five-point vision statement for the future, culled from ideas that emerged in formal small-group discussions that took place over the course of the five-day conference. The vision statement reaffirmed our dedication to the Rule of St. Benedict as a "living tradition" in which we seek to model the Benedictine values of community, consensus, peace, balance, hospitality, humility, simplicity and care of the planet in our daily lives.