Spirituality and religion

Sacred places


Why Indian Buddhism has gardens, not monasteries

Wishing trees, jewels, unfading flowers – what place do these sensual pleasures have in the ascetic life of Buddhist monks?

by Simran Agarwal

Mindfulness and meditation


When mindfulness meets capitalism, it loses its way

The modern business of mindfulness strips the practice of both its spiritual meaning and much of its practical value

by Chris Wheatley

Self-harm and suicide


Why religious belief provides a real buffer against suicide risk

Under-recognised as a protective force against suicide, religious faith has multiple features that help to save lives

by David H Rosmarin

Cultural diversity


The Quechua idea ‘pacha’ urges us beyond narrow self-concern

The Quechua term ‘pacha’ embodies an Andean worldview that sees everything as related, transcending narrow self-interest

by Jorge Sanchez Perez

Transcendent experience


Your consciousness has been completely transformed. Now what?

Awakening experiences are spiritual states often believed to unlock life’s mysteries – but sacred knowledge comes at a cost

by Kevin Berryman

Spirituality and religion


The Devil you don’t know: the Satan of the 19th century

Satan wasn’t always a wicked, horned figure. The Romantics imagined the Devil as a resourceful and well-spoken gentleman

by Erik Butler

Spirituality and religion


One good way to understand religion is to break it apart

To understand what religion means, don’t reach for the dictionary. Better that you take it apart, break it, even throw it away

by Joseph Blankholm

Spirituality and religion


Why religion without belief can still make perfect sense

Meet the practising agnostic and the religious fictionalist: people for whom religion can work well without sure belief

by Philip Goff