"The joke that many Indians have about India is that there are too many gods, and the thing that we heard from Chinese is that there is not enough God in China."

I faked my way through all of them: the Christian retreats with my confirmation class in eighth grade, the retreat to help freshmen adjust to their first year of college, a spiritual retreat to find my true calling in life, a writer’s retreat.

"Chaotic breathing" is the first step in Osho dynamic meditation.

Breath should be “intense, deep, fast, without rhythm, with no pattern” — and always through the nose — a slow, pre-recorded tenor informed me the first time I tried it at Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune, India. Only exhale, the voice commanded. Inhalation comes naturally.

Music began. Deep, percussive, unmelodious, and measureless. I inhaled, gazed into my blindfold, and prepared to plunge.

The recent media attention to whether Jesus was white, whether Santa is white, and the so-called “war on Christmas” distract from a question that has plagued me my whole life: What’s a non-Christian South Asian American to do during Christmas?

“The more important thing which spoke to me — above love and all that — was that I had to live for my own identity. I wanted to stand on my own two feet and do what was right, regardless of any social pressure.”

Thirty-four years after he first defied India's caste system to "marry up," a Jain man talks about the perseverance and difficulties of marrying outside his caste in India.

Preeti Kaur, Her Mother, and Brothers and SistersPreeti Kaur, her mother, her brothers (one wearing a patka) and sister.

A profile from Delhi, India of a young Hindu woman who becomes an Evangelical Christian in secret. She shares how she struggles to adhere to her family's expectations to conform to local traditions, caste, and culture -- and remain devout to Jesus.

U.S. culture's clash between religion and science is almost exclusively driven by Christian instincts and arguments. Hindu physicist V.V. Raman offers another view of religion, the universe, and the complementarity of the questions of science and faith.

A few years ago, journalist Pankaj Mishra pursued the social relevance of the Buddha's thought across India and Europe, Afghanistan and America. He emerged with a startling critique of Western political economy that is even more resonant today as he pursued the social relevance of the Buddha's core questions: Do desiring and acquiring make us happy? Does large-scale political change really address human suffering?

Thailand - Ayuthaya 5 - Buddha headAn image of the Buddha is carved into a banyan tree at Wat Mahathat in Thailand. (photo: McKay Savage/Flickr, cc by 2.0)