Religious NaturalismTaking Nature to Heart
Practices to Reorient the Mind
“These experiences lift us up out of our narrow selves
and give us a glimpse – if only temporary –
of another way to view things.”
One theme in religious practices is to re-orient the mind
away from day-to-day concerns, and toward a more spiritual mind-set; and
away from attitudes and habits that contribute to harm and toward those that can contribute to well-being.
Such practices can help us look with different eyes and develop more positive attitudes. Emile Durkheim referred to these types of activities as providing “sacred time”, providing settings and perceptions that are different from what is experienced in the “profane time” we live most of our lives in, and that can seem special or transcendent.
Scientific studies have shown that many practices have measurable effects on body functions and moods (with changes in heart rate, hormone release, and patterns of brain activity). One principle that many practices have in common is that they integrate our emotions with our intellect, and our bodies with our minds. With repeated practice, they may produce sub-conscious changes in how we look at and respond to what occurs.
Links, below, describe some approaches that may be used: