Vivekananda
Book Excerpts

The One Motive Power in the Universe

In this extract from an essay about bhakti and devotional love written in the late 19th century, Swami Vivekananda - the 19th century spiritual reformist and teacher of Vedanta who was instrumental in popularizing Hinduism and yoga in the west - makes the difference between empty religious ritual and the burning desire for union with God, which is as real as any hunger or thirst.

Brian Doyle
Book Excerpts

Brian Doyle’s Uncommon Prayers

Brian Doyle's essays are accessible and uplifting to people of all and no faith inclinations. His humorous and poignant prayers touch the details of our lives and the beings that we often overlook: in this case, shop cashiers, herons and international terrorists, but also sunscreen, chess and the state of Iowa. 

Book Excerpts

Brahman, God, Allah and the Tao – Alan Watts

Among Alan Watts' most compelling qualities was his fascination with different systems  of faith and his ability to draw comparisons and lines of equivocation between them in a way that they would further illuminate each other. He stressed the importance of looking at the experience of religion rather than the schema of a doctrine, writing in his… Continue reading Brahman, God, Allah and the Tao – Alan Watts

American Poetry, Poetry

Chen Chen’s I’m Not a Religious Person But

Chen Chen is a startling young American poet whose life as seen through his work is imbued with poignancy and wit. This poem from his debut collection 'When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities' is steeped in an excruciating sense of the limits of religion and belief.    I'm… Continue reading Chen Chen’s I’m Not a Religious Person But