The best New Year’s resolution? Try to perform a miracle

Were the stories of impossible feats that Jesus performed the spiritual equivalent of case studies?

BY DAVID RICKEY — One of the miracle stories about Jesus that probably has actual truth behind it is the account of how he fed 5000 (or an additional 4000, according to Mark and Matthew). It’s framed as a miracle to impress upon us that Jesus is a powerful guy.

The version of that story that appears in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 14:13-21) lends itself to a different interpretation, one that might hit closer to home.

Read more
How Oprah fixed my mom

How Oprah fixed my mom

Is it possible that the TV icon somehow succeeded where God and psychotherapy had failed?

BY TIPPI STRACHAN — I don’t watch Oprah. I have no real justification for this, but whether it’s her mega-sprayed hair or the adoring throngs of “go-girl” women in her audience, the show brings a lump of bile in my gut.

How do I know? It’s always on whenever I visit my mom. The same mom who raised us to watch minimal TV now quotes Oprah like the Bible, and brings her up in every conversation. But I put up with this because — and I genuinely believe it to be true — Oprah fixed my mom.

Read more

Santa Claus: International man of mystery

SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — He’s big. He’s hairy. He’s said to tear through the night sky accompanied by magical reindeer. Santa Claus makes a truly weird symbol of conspicuous consumption. Maybe that’s because he’s a figure whose spiritual roots sit deeper than today’s commercial culture.

Santa as we know him today symbolizes holiday cheer, Christian charity, and, yes, maybe more than just a little bit of pagan wildness. Little wonder this mischievous elf has been shunned by Christians, banned by secularists, and viewed with suspicion by purists of all sorts.

As he keeps sliding down the chimney into our culture, click on the radio buttons below to see how much you know about the global poster-boy for Christmas.

Read more

The spiritual life of Siri (as in the new iPhone, not Tom Cruise’s kid)

Siri, is the intelligent agent embedded in the latest iPhone. She will tell you the meaning of life, the universe — and God knows what

SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — If she’s in the right mood, Siri, the intelligent agent embedded in the latest iPhone, will tell ask you the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (the answer, of course, is always the number ‘42’).

Will artificial machines do a ‘Terminator: Judgement Day’ on us? Or will our machinery of thought help mankind sustain a harmonic code with the universe?

We better hurry up and figure it out, because Siris shows that machines are becoming inexorably more intuitive. The big question: will they ever become truly spiritual, too? Test your spiritual IQ — and Siri — using the radio buttons below:

Read more
Exclusive book excerpt: David Richo

Exclusive book excerpt: David Richo

According to one of the leading psychotherapists and spiritual authors in the United States, trust is a four-fold path

Adapted from, Daring to Trust: Opening ourselves to Real Love and Intimacy, By DAVID RICHO — A compass is a trusty tool for a journey, and we can see the four directions that trust can take using the symbol of a compass. Draw a diagram to see for yourself.

Place the words “I TRUST” in the center with a circle around it.

In the East position write: “MYSELF”

In the West position, pencil in: “OTHERS”


Read more
Surviving New Year’s Eve by going with the flow

Surviving New Year’s Eve by going with the flow

“Prepare yourself for events to take on a life of their own”

GUEST COLUMN: PHYLLIS KING — Often when our lives are running smoothly and seemingly at the will of our command, without warning we are surprised when a person or an event throws our life into chaos or anger. We have two choices in that moment: either resist, or to let go.

We need to remember that we can refuse to allow an external circumstance to diminish our peaceful space. There are wonderful opportunities we can create with the universe, so to speak, that deepen our compassion and growth.

Holidays always heighten sensitivity and emotions for everyone.

Many opportunities will appear for each of us to let go of our perceived sense of control.

Read more
What is Ibogaine, and why does Charlie Sheen’s ex want to do it?

What is Ibogaine, and why does Charlie Sheen’s ex want to do it?

A hallucinogen long used in shamanic and spiritual practices, Ibogaine is a non-pharma prescription for addiction

BY SOUL’S CODE — Brooke Mueller is the ex-wife of Charlie Sheen who called 911 a couple of Christmas holidays ago in Aspen claiming that the Two and a Half Men star he was threatening her with a knife (listen to the tape here). Since then, they have both done revolving doors through rehab — and Mueller’s latest attempts and failures at sobriety are a highlight reel on Paris Hilton’s new reality TV show on the Oxygen network.

Mueller’s latest stab at AA-style 12 Steps has apparently failed again, and the gossip site TMZ reports that she made plans to fly to Cancun to undergo Ibogaine therapy.

Read more
Swan dive from above

Hypnosis in a bathing suit

The California retreat, Harbin Hot Springs, invented a powerful form of deep trance work variously called watsu and water dance

BY PAUL KAIHLA — I first heard of watsu when I went to Harbin Hot Springs with an ex because of its rep for having the best mineral baths north of San Francisco. We were surprised to discover that the place was actually a New Age hangout.

When my significant-other saw people in a pool doing what we later learned was watsu, she almost sounded like a socialite encountering lepers — “Ewww, who are those people?”

At first glance, it did look somewhat sideways: What seemed like a bunch of aging hippies in the nude, paired up and cradling each other as if they were attempting some kind of re-birthing exercise.

Read more