Category: Spirituality

Avoid Success At All Costs

“Be anything you like,” Thomas Merton once said, “be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success.” I love this quote. It’s a reminder to slow down and reexamine what we’re doing. The fierce drive to accomplish something and make a name for ourselves too often […]

Things Are Not As They Seem

Huston Smith, the great philosopher of religion, passed away last week. I had the good fortune to work with him some years ago. Over a period of two months, we met for a series of interviews covering fascinating subjects like the troubled relationship between science and spirituality, the rise of fundamentalism, the common threads at the heart […]

Becoming an Adult in Relationships

“New lovers are nervous and tender, but smash everything,” wrote Michael Ondaatje in The English Patient. It’s a bittersweet fact of life — and a recurring theme in literature, film and the arts — that we start out reckless and clumsy in matters of the heart. Learning how to love and be loved takes time […]

The Mystic Death

In the mystic traditions, the death of the false self is comparable to physical death. The mercy is that after the first couple of killings, you realize you’re being killed into life. Then, as Andrew Harvey has said, you begin to participate in the killing willingly. “Everyone doing a serious yoga with a master or […]

Spiritual Practice

I believe the single most important step we can take toward leading happier and more fulfilling lives is to develop a spiritual practice. By that I mean some regular activity or set of rituals that quiet the mind and bring us into harmony with ourselves. Spiritual practices take many forms, from meditation and prayer to […]