Mindfulness of Mortality Meditation

For the past several months I’ve been enjoying weekly Zoom discussions with members of the Spiritual Naturalist Society, an eclectic secular organization promoting happiness through compassion, reason and practice. One of the regular participants, Rick Heller, has produced this interesting article on mortality mindfulness meditation: This meditation is to be done in a darkened room. … Read moreMindfulness of Mortality Meditation

A/Wake Ritual with the Nomadic School of Wonder (Galisteo, New Mexico 2015)

From Barbara Groth, Founder and Creative Director of the Nomadic School of Wonder: This image is from the very first gathering of the Nomadic School of Wonder in Galisteo, New Mexico in 2015 where we explored the theme of “Death & Rebirth” with palliative care physician and teacher Alex Jadad. On All Hallow’s Eve, Alex … Read moreA/Wake Ritual with the Nomadic School of Wonder (Galisteo, New Mexico 2015)

The Chamber of Reflection: a Masonic Memento Mori

According to the Elven E. Helms masonic lodge website: The purpose of the chamber of reflection is to give the candidate a chance to prepare himself for his initiation into the Fraternity. It is not just for the external preparation of the candidate, to put on the required garments, but for the internal mental preparation … Read moreThe Chamber of Reflection: a Masonic Memento Mori

“A Very British Day of the Dead”: The Glastonbury Festival of Death and Dying

The Somerset market town of Glastonbury has a long and highly storied history, being closely connected in legend to both the coming of Christianity to England and to a vast stream of pre- and post-Christian “alternative spiritualities”. The modern township includes representatives of some seventy religious and spiritual persuasions and the main shopping district is … Read more“A Very British Day of the Dead”: The Glastonbury Festival of Death and Dying

Falling Flower: a Simple Memorial Ritual

Oh, that sweet fragrance of falling petals…. With kind words, it is ended. Farewell. The time to go is now. Lee Hyong-Ki [1963] It may be that the people who would most benefit from symbolic ritual are those who are least likely to partake in it. The inclination towards formal, poetic gestures in moments of … Read moreFalling Flower: a Simple Memorial Ritual

Symbolic Immortality and Mortality Sapience

Terror Management Theory proposes that humans experience a fundamental psychological conflict between the instinct of self-preservation and the understanding that death is both inevitable and, to some extent, unpredictable; a state described as mortality salience. TMT is based on the pioneering theoretical work of anthropologist Ernest Becker, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning 1973 book The Denial of Death … Read moreSymbolic Immortality and Mortality Sapience