A faith must account for the states and stages of life: joy and thriving, sorrow and death. Omid Safi honors the ritual of Ashura, a cornerstone of Islam whose historical, spiritual, and social significance carries forth to modern life.
Mortality is real for all of us, regardless of whether we believe in fate. Marty Kaplan contemplates the hubris of making plans in a universe of improv.
Often, the remedy to what ails us is simpler than we think. Omid Safi shares a comedic lesson on recognizing the blessings that are already within us.
For Omid Safi, the words and movements of prayer are more than rote. A reflection on faith as a lived embodiment of love.
The violence of our culture can trap us in a spiral of fear and paralysis. Parker Palmer on the importance of centering our minds and hearts in sacred spaces of our own, wherever we may find them.
“I began to notice that my running life and my meditating life were beginning to merge.” Roger Joslin is an Episcopal priest and the author of "Running the Spiritual Path," a how-to guide on running as meditation and prayer.
“You're running often side-by-side, or one person in back of the other, rather than looking somebody in the eyes as you're being vulnerable with them.” John Cary is an architect, a father, and a marathon runner. For him, running is a spiritual practice.
“Once I started running it was really hard to be angry at my body in the same way.” Teacher, writer, and Mexipina Christina Torres on how running helps her deal with anxiety, body image, and understanding her deepest sense of self.
Gold medalist Billy Mills tells his redemptive story of how running healed his "broken soul" and saved his life. And he shares a mystical story uniting his father's words with Lakota wisdom as he crossed the finish line.
We often talk about breaking bread around the dinner table, but what about baking bread in community. A young woman shares her encounter with making challah, reconnecting to tradition through intimacy, and reimagining ritual in a secular age.
Christmas is an extrovert; Advent is an introvert’s season. A reflection on the expectant, hopeful, solemn season of waiting.
As we enter the contemplative season of waiting, an invitation to join us in reflecting on the myriad experiences of Advent.
The daughter of the renowned Hindi poet Kailash Vajpeyi turns to ancient rivers and archaic rituals to find comfort in the uninterrupted thread running through her past, present, and future.
The Philippine-Catholic ritual of pabasa reveals the power of song to reacquaint us with tradition, bridge superficial divides, and connect us through the kinship of our imperfections.
In an increasingly frenetic world, emptying the mind in intentional silence can feel impossible. By returning to the Quaker tradition, one mother rediscovers the solace of communal stillness and embracing the busyness of her thoughts.
We're officially back into the full swing of production! Amidst the flurry of exciting work, we're grateful for the chance to reflect on the centering power of daily ritual, facing mortality with hope, and defining our lives by the quality of our actions.
The frenetic pace of life can be overwhelming, making ritual even more necessary. But it doesn't have to be religious, or even spiritual in nature. Daily tasks can ground and center us, clearing our minds and helping us focus on the profundity in the seemingly mundane of this world.
In this Letter from Loring Park, our executive editor lists three compelling reads under five minutes and some of our most popular columns. Enjoy the journey.
Rituals provide structure for the full spectrum of our emotional lives - but for those who don't identify with an organized religion, how are rituals developed? Courtney Martin ponders the "muddy, sacred" experience of creating rituals.
At a nondescript ranch house in upstate New York, devotees gather for a practice both incalculably ancient and radically fresh — and in the process, connect with a larger story of the way things have always been: needs and hopes, dangers and joys, smoke and fire. A vivid, rich portrait of Hindu ritual in modern times.
A longtime yogi sees fatherhood through the lens of the complementary balance of effort and ease, strength and softness.
"Ritual does for behavior what poetry does for words." When the hope of youthful enthusiasm turns grim and gray and the spiritual challenge of uncertainty beckons, a rabbi finds hope in ritual as poetry in action, recognizing the spirituality in the routine, recapturing the sacred in the mundane, and rediscovering beauty in the ordinary.
Mary Oliver with some 140-character gems teams up with guidelines on designing ritual for the "Nones" and an essay on the distance to suffering. Also, sharing some quotations from our new iPad app and a humanizing speech from MLK.
In a day where more and more wedding ceremonies are not presided over by an official religious figure, there's much to figure out when it comes to designing a ritual. Some practices to consider for modern nuptials.
Tonight, all around the world, many Muslims celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad with festive decorations, devotional songs, and sweet candies. Omid Safi explains the annual ritual in more detail and the debate among Muslims about celebrating it.