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Read and Explore
One of the things I most enjoy about the internet is how easy it has become to find, and get to know, really awesome people. A big part of that is thanks of the invention of the blog. Before the digital revolution you really only had access to the articles your local paper chose to run, or books put out by those authors who managed to pitch their idea to a major publishing house. The result was a pretty small set of options in what you could read, controlled by others, and doled out very, very slowly.
Things have changed. Today, just about anyone can create their own website in minutes. And we have. There are millions of people creating content for your enjoyment. There is too much out there to ever be able to get through. With all that choice how do you find authors actually worth reading? For most of us it involves a lot of trial and error. For me it’s meant finding a few folks I really trust and then finding out who they read and enjoy. I’ve built up a list of bloggers I trust and enjoy and in a new series here on Crazy Whole Life I’ll be sharing my favorites with you all. Today we’re talking about my eight all time favorite blogs for spirituality and religion.
Multitude of Perspectives
There is no one way to view the world. If humanity has proved anything it is that truth is complicated, multi-layered and infinitely diverse. And I find that refreshing. In the world of my youth I rarely heard from people who were really different than me. In fact the most diverse we got was when a Baptists and a Methodist had an argument. These days I enjoy the spiritual wisdom of people from all walks of life and faith traditions. It’s refreshing, and it brings me hope.
There is so much good in the world, and there are people out there doing their best to push back the darkness with their own kind of light. Today I’d like to share some of my favorites with you. The list below are all bloggers (or blog teams). They come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all write about spirituality from their own perspective.
I hope something in this list will strike a cord, or challenge you, or give you a moment of joy or connection. We human beings are weird, complicated critters. And that’s what I like best about us.
Best of the Best
On Being is perhaps the spirituality site I have followed longest. On Being has been around for a long time. I discovered it first as a podcast and only later did I realize there was a blog that went along with the NPR show. The blog contains transcripts, photos, and extras for each show. But it also features articles by a wide variety of authors that compliment one of the episodes. In a recent episode Krista Tippett interviewed Ruby Sales, on the blog you’ll find articles relating to white supremacy, and race in America. They provide more food for thought after you’ve listened to the episode (or read the transcript.) That kind of thoughtful coverage of the things that impact our lives and souls keeps me coming back.
You do not need to be Jewish to find good spiritual meat and drink in the writings of Rabbi Rachel Barenblat of the Velveteen Rabbi. Her writing is authentic, honest, and hope filled. The ancient roots of her faith give a concreteness, a weight to the wisdom she offers that is often missing in the modern era. She’s a rabbi, so her writing is unapologetically Jewish and that’s a good thing. In a world where too many try to be all things to all people it’s refreshing to read honest meditations from someone who is so honestly herself.
While I am not Jewish I have found her writing helpful, hope filled, and incredibly worthwhile. As a reader you’ll get glimpse into Jewish theological understandings (within the rabbi’s particular tradition, Judaism is as diverse as any other faith) of modern events, and spiritual practice. And I feel confident you will take away wisdom for your own daily life and practice.
Tiny Buddha first drew me in with the name. You pretty much can’t get cuter and still be spiritual, and I am a sucker for both. But here’s the thing. The work that Tiny Buddha does is not cute, it’s super important. The articles have a Buddhist perspective but it’s applicable to all of us. They tackle everything from recovery from abuse to current events. The content is relatable, applicable, and accessible. Their authors are diverse as the topics covered, coming from lots of backgrounds and specialties. There’s pretty much something for everyone here. No matter your tradition or background this is just good solid advice, and accessible meditation practice. There’s a robust community forum behind it as well where you can ask questions, get advice, or just hang out with fellow seekers.
Aisha, of Aisha Writes is a young muslim woman with a background in psychology. She writes on Muslim spirituality, current events, and children’s issues. Her posts are honest, and without pretense and I love her choice of words and her use of images. For most Westerners, especially those with a Christian background, Islam is mostly a mystery. And the misconceptions around muslim women are manifold. Aisha gives great glimpses into this complex faith from the perspective of a smart modern woman. I really appreciate her voice and her perspectives.
Abbey of the Arts
I found Abbey of the Arts years ago. It feels like I’ve been reading Christine Paintner’s work since college but that can’t possibly be right, the internet was a baby when I was in college. Her background and perspective is Christian. But it’s probably not the sort of Christianity you’ve normally been exposed to. Christine’s spirituality is heavily infused with creativity and art (hence the site name) and her photo prompts were what started me on photography as a spiritual practice. She has the soul of a mystic and leads retreats, and writes, for those who are seeking to further their spirituality in that way. Her Christianity is heavily influenced by Celtic spirituality as well. If you find holiness in the natural world, or find the ancient mystics intriguing, check out the Abbey!
I Love Devotionals
Another blog from the Christian perspective (it is my tradition after all), I Love Devotionals is a whole lot more than just devotionals. Wendy is a young woman with a lot of wisdom to share. She’s a cancer survivor and has excellent devotional essays for those in the midst of a health crisis (or any struggle). She emphasizes reliance on God, the love and justice focus of Jesus, and self reflection. Her pieces are short, easy to read, and compelling. Her newest piece, about racism and apartheid in her native South Africa is beautifully written and incredibly relevant for people around the world.
Holy Rover is a especially focused blog by a Christian deacon in the Episcopal church (not that I’m at all biased). Lori writes about the intersection of travel and spirituality, something I am also passionate about (see a post coming soon). Her blog is as varied as her travel. One week she might be climbing about on ancient Mesoamerican temples and writing about their spiritual past, and the next she’s visiting a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Her posts are usually accompanied by lovely photographs taken by her husband that are visual meditations themselves. If you’ve got a travel bug her trips and musings can serve as a great launch pad for your own adventures, or as a way to follow along where you might not be able to go.
The blog is hosted by Patheos, a faith and spirituality website with a huge variety of authors and topics. It’s worth checking out if you have not before.
Founded by Luminita Saviuc Purpose Fairy has grown into a resource library around happiness, spiritual and physical well being, personal growth, and meditation. With a wide and varied set of authors showcased by Luminita (if you have something to contribute you accepts submissions) as well as her own excellent content there is something here for just about everyone. From discussions on depression and overeating to guided meditation practices and bedtime routines for a better night and morning. Purpose Fairy strikes a cord with me because it seems to focus on the same sort of holistic well being I’m trying to build in my own life and share with you all here at Crazy Whole Life.
Those are my eight favorite spirituality bloggers. Who are you favorite writers and spiritual teachers? Give them a shoutout in the comments so we can enjoy them as well!