Engaging in regular meditation or another spiritual practice is linked to a thickening of the brain cortex, according to new research published in JAMA Psychiatry. This discovery could lead to new insights as to why these activities help guard against depression, particularly in those who are genetically predisposed to the mental health disorder.
Punishment for anti-Hindu pogromists demanded
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday said the people responsible for attacking Hindus around the country should be punished regardless of their political stripes. Such attacks were a shame for the nation, she told the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap, a debate on contemporary affairs, in the capital’s Biam auditorium.
— The Daily Star
I know better than to take religion too seriously, says religious scholar Reza Aslan
Aslan is Muslim but he converted to Christianity when he was young, only to convert back to Islam later. Even though he considers himself Muslim, he doesn’t believe in religion. “As a religious scholar, I know better than to take religion all that seriously. I am a Muslim but my faith is in God and I use the symbols and metaphors of Islam to help define what that means,” he says.
Muslims, SC, ST have voted for BJP in Assembly polls: Advani
To shed its image of being a Hindutva and upper caste party, BJP today said it had got support of Muslims, SC and ST communities in the recent Assembly elections even as it noted that it did not believe in vote bank politics and minority appeasement.
— Business Standard
Faith and families: the name game continues
I was born in a liberal Muslim family in 1950. There was nothing liberal about my name, though: Mohammed Nadeemullah Khan. The mixed neighbourhood where I grew up never found it worthy of notice. But some children in school found its association with a religious community a source of entertainment – at my expense. Digs on beards, lungis, skull-caps, Friday baths, and – the perennial favourite – circumcision.
— The Hindu
UConn prof delves into spirituality in daily life
University of Connecticut Professor Bradley Wright has all types of questions for his research: Did you pray in the last 24 hours? To what extent are you feeling nurtured or angry with God? Do you feel a sense of purpose right now? And he’d like the answers in real time, launching a website that sends texts to smartphones that it’s time for participants to take the twice-daily survey. It’s part of an ambitious look by Wright and other researchers into the role of spirituality in the daily lives of Americans and its links to well-being.
— Washington Post
The heart of Islam
The truth, as dangerous as it might be to articulate, is that Islam, in current day Pakistan, has been hijacked by a brand of mullahs who hold the dogmatic practice of rituals to be the end-goal of religion. We live in the shadow in a religious ideology, which argues that killing in the name of God, is higher than living to uphold His majesty. We are told that slight differences in the way that another bows before Allah, or calls His name, is reason enough to hate such individuals. Even to kill them. We are told that black is the color of Shias, and green the color of Sunnis. We are told that Arabic is good, and English is bad. We have been taught that convictions for rape cannot take place based on scientific evidence because only ocular proof is Islam. We are told that a beard, without a mustache, is a service to the Prophet (PBUH). We are told that Allah deals in plus and minuses – ten pluses for each time you drink water while sitting down, and ten minuses if you eat from your left hand. That the relationship between God and man is one of barter – if you say some Quranic verse seven times, yours will be Jannah. Otherwise, the tormet of hell awaits you. We are told that simply the act of prostrating in the director of Kaaba is the highest of ibadaat… irrespective of the darkness that might fill the heart of such supplicator.
— The Nation
Spirituality drives Brampton woman to write book
Brampton accountant Jodie Lobana’s book is proof that irrespective of their origins, lessons of spirituality are timeless and universal. In the book, Songs for the Soul featuring 100 beautiful poems of Saint Kabir, Lobana deciphers the works of Saint Kabir and demysifies his philosophy.