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amy leask

God is in the Details: Mysticism for the Cosmically Clueless

GUEST COLUMN: AMY LEASK

I’ll admit that spiritually speaking, I’m still groping my way through the universe. My soul may have been around the block a few times, but with respect to its understanding of the how and what and why of my existence . . . it still has a great deal of homework to do.

I’ve always taken comfort in the philosophy of William James, who created a long laundry list of characteristics for mystical experience, but who also insisted that contact with the divine was not reserved for the high and mighty. In his view, everyday folks had equal access to the great hereafter, and being human and curious were sufficient conditions for finding it.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES takes on PADRE PIO, Father David takes on the post-Christian mind

GUEST COLUMN: DAVID RICKEY

Whereas millions of spiritual seekers see the *mystical* in PADRE PIO, the mainstream media sees — well, the mawkish

Padre Pio died in 1968, was canonized in 2002, and more than a million people will visit Puglia in the coming months to view the remains of this remarkable holy man, which have been exhumed for veneration. Under the headline, Italian Saint Stirs Up a Mix of Faith and Commerce, today’s New York Times treats Pio as a tourism gimmick: The miracles he performed are relegated to a throw-away line for snickers, and a string of paragraphs citing contemporary critics who claimed Pio was a fake.

To the “post-enlightenment” (and now, pretty much “post-Christian”) mind, the idea of a saint performing miracles — like evidencing stigmata, or bi-locating — isn’t even worthy of consideration. But the fact that so many seek to believe — enough so, that critics spend commensurate amounts of energy debunking the object of their faith — points to a deeper thirst in the human psyche.

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DEALING WITH LOSS: A Personal Note

A Scandinavian tradition on Christmas Eve is to illuminate the graves — and spirits — of departed loved ones with candles (left). We dedicate this series to those who have recently suffered the loss of a loved one — especially during the holiday season.

When others around you are in a partying mood, it’s the most glaring time to take a loss.

We share the following guidance for dealing with loss from first-hand experience, not from a distance. We felt called because of the striking synchronicity of so many recent deaths in the friends-and-family network of Soul’s Code itself.

The penultimate loss is a death in your immediate household — a being who lives with you, or whom you have lived with.

But these steps can also help those who are feeling down after a break-up, divorce, job loss — or even literally losing part of yourself due to surgery, illness or an accident.

We begin this series on a personal note . . .

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Weekly Rx: Get Naked

Weekly Rx: Get Naked

Vlogger Lucymisser tries something new. The Japanese student vlogs au-naturale as an experiment to improve her grades. The inspiration arose after she discovered revealing research: being naked makes you more relaxed, improves your focus and is a bulwark against depression. Hers is a “serious experiment” and not a sexploitation excercise, according to Miss L. We wish her good luck on her Kanji test, and assure you that the video is totally safe for work as it is shot from the shoulders up.

Something definitely happens when you take off your clothes. For some, it’s a form of release, others a protest. It can be an abandoment of artifice or a return to a state of nature prior to original sin. Yet its a practice fewer Millennials are turning to, writes OmniNerd and others.

Yet a spiritual undercurrent does seem to flow under the discussions of those who do practice nudism, naturalism, or even exhibition.

This nudist instructional/advocational video from the hippy-dippy moment of the 1960s asks, “What better way could there be to obtain a healthy body and a healthy mind at

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Overcoming Obstacles with Ganesha

Overcoming Obstacles with Ganesha


I ran into a solution for overcoming obstacles when I first started writing. I met a god named Ganesha who helped me through writer’s block. I keep a postcard with his picture above my computer, and he helps keep the words flowing. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that an elephant-headed Hindu deity is watching over you. That axe you see in his hand — it’s for cutting the bonds that tie you down or hold you back. A really useful tool.

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