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Plan B: Can the spiritual life save us from global crisis?

WHO AM I? For the past two decades I have been on a quest to discover an answer to life beyond my own experience. In 2020 the lightning bolt hit me that there had to be more, although I had no idea what more would look like. For 20 years I had invested in spiritual-themed courses on-line, and personally in locations around the world, with many best-selling authors and spiritual luminaries. Afterwards, I knew one thing was certain: there are dimensions of reality beyond our five senses. I had experienced such things even at age seven, so I knew they existed, but that information alone was not enough to help me change course. And I was fully aware that in order to have the elusive (“illusive”) “more,” I would have to change course. But, as we know, change does not happen overnight. Even when I experienced increments of change, they

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Quebec spiritual retreats

Does your soul need a break from your busy life! Try a spiritual retreat au Québec. What if, say, you want to get away from it all and you don’t happen to have your own cottage? And what if wanting to get away from it all includes getting closer to your inner self? What if you wanted to do this in one of the oldest cultures in North America, indigenous people aside? Let’s says, Quebec? Given the deep, historical roots of doctrine-oriented religious practice in Québec, it is surprising that present-day Québec is so genuinely interested in non-traditional forms of spiritual quests through a true diversity of offerings. Or perhaps it is because of its long religious history that so many diverse and distinct spiritual centres are operating in the province, and have been for many a year.  Shivanada Ashram Camp, Val-Morin The Shivananda Ashram in Val-Morin, in the Laurentian

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The western shift in spirituality

In the past few decades, many Westerners have moved away from traditional religion. How did we get here, and where are we going? Whatever happened a few weeks ago now seems dated. Lately, it feels as if we are travelling at warp speed, witnessing a world of chaos and angst at every turn. Pondering that thought, I floated down the rabbit hole and began to conjure up memories of my childhood — how church and all the activities associated with it furnished such a solid grounding for my otherwise chaotic home life. Religion, doctrine, and community all provided a solid sanctuary for me. Until it didn’t. There was no one reason or particular motive that disconnected me, but, as I reflect, it clearly was a series of conscious and unconscious happenings, personally and culturally, that created the slow drift away. The last time I went to church was a couple

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Kokoro A Japanese word worth knowing

Many of us are familiar with the Japanese word Umami. It essentially means a “pleasant savoury taste” and has become a common lexicon of chefs and food creatives around the world. Now, Japan is giving us a new word; Kokoro and even scientists are on board with it. Essentially, kokoro brings together the concept of uniting the notions of heart, mind and spirit. So if you said of someone that “she has good kokoro”, you would be saying that she has her heart, mind and spirit together. How wonderful a description is that? In Western culture, we tend to separate these three concepts, but this is not the case in Eastern beliefs, that see the three intertwined, as all interconnected. Artists, musicians, writers and dreamers of all cultures have always long seen these three as intertwined, but in Western cultures, we never quite had a word for it. Now we

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