Tapestrywith Mary Hynes

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How an Ontario man is combatting pandemic chaos with life-like model railroad

Jason Shron has been obsessed with Via Rail trains since he was five years old. He has long found building model railroads to be a more spiritual practice than mere hobby. These days, he says it offers even more: a perfect antidote to COVID-19 angst.

Should I stay or should I go?: one man's decision to leave the priesthood

In Boston, Father Brian Bachand worked alongside the new Archbishop, supporting victims of the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. Bachand was passionate about the work but he began to have thoughts about a life beyond the priesthood, one where he could live freely as a gay man.

After growing up on hymns and J.Lo, musician Daniela Andrade carves out her own Latina identity

The Honduran-Canadian singer-songwriter grew up steeped in opposing visions of what it meant to be Latina and none of them felt right. After challenging herself during flamenco lessons and an unforgettable trip to Mexico, Daniela Andrade arrived at her own definition of womanhood.

Should I stay or should I go?

Jason Shron won’t finish building the model railroad in his basement - a scaled down replica of the Toronto-Montreal route circa 1980 - until he is 95 years old. But that’s OK: for him, model railroading is a kind of spiritual practice. Brian Bachand was passionate about his work as a Catholic priest in Boston, but he made the decision to leave. Lena Felton shares expert advice on when and how to quit a book, a relationship, or a dream.

One mother's quest to give her son 'a religious upbringing he doesn't have to unlearn'

As a feminist theologian and the daughter of a pastor, Rachel Meyer has thought a lot about matters of the spirit, but when it came time to pass on her knowledge to her son - she was at a loss at how to teach him about religion without inflicting spiritual trauma.

Crafting your child's spirituality; musician Daniela Andrade's path to womanhood

Rachel Meyer is a theologian and the mother of a six-year-old boy. She speaks to Mary Hynes about how she’s trying to pass on the best of her Lutheran upbringing, yoga and Buddhist philosophy, and an ecofeminist appreciation for nature to her son, while ditching the more toxic elements. Musician Daniela Andrade on navigating the conflicting taboos and expectations about being Latina and arriving at her own strong sense of womanhood.

Veteran psychiatrist is on a mission to destigmatize paranormal experiences

Dr. Manuel Matas has spent four decades working as a clinical psychiatrist. He’s had several mystical experiences during his life, and he believes we need to remove the stigma from what he says is a relatively common phenomenon.

A 'profound' moment: An agnostic devotes his scientific career to understanding his first spiritual experience

When David Yaden was a university student, he had a mystical experience he says he’ll never forget. Today, Yaden’s work as a researcher focuses on documenting and understanding spiritual experiences just like his.

Wondrous strange: When science meets transcendence

Veteran psychiatrist Manuel Matas on his mission to destigmatize paranormal experiences. A profound mystical experience leads scientist David Yaden to devote his life to researching spiritual experiences. Journalist Jordan Kisner tries to find out why, despite any conclusive explanation, Reiki works.

Can Reiki be a legitimate treatment if no one can prove how it works?

Despite being a certified Reiki teacher, journalist Jordan Kisner still struggles to explain how and why this Japanese method of energetic healing actually works. But if the patient feels better, isn’t that what counts?

Tapestry @25: Michael Schur

Michael Schur, creator of NBC comedy The Good Place, gambled that viewers were hungry for discussions about ethics and philosophy, even if they didn't know it at the time. His gamble paid off, making The Good Place a hit show.

TAPESTRY@25: pop star turned vicar Reverend Richard Coles

If you were to play ‘where are they now’ about pop stars from the 1980s - you’d couldn’t do much better than Richard Coles. Back then, he was a member of the British pop duo The Communards, with a #1 hit single. Today he’s a parish priest in England.

Tapestry@25: renowned Buddhist Robert Thurman

Robert Thurman was the first Westerner to be ordained by the Dalai Lama. He no longer wears the robes but he has been a guide to Tibetan Buddhism for many people and has some fascinating views on how to live a spiritual life in this very hectic world.

Tapestry@25: Smudgey the homeless cat

“I never expected a guy fresh out of prison to be rubbing a kitten’s belly.” One day, a scraggly cat showed up outside the door at the Native Men's residence, a shelter in Toronto. Some of the men at Na-Me-Res decided to look after the kitten. They called her Smudgey. This is their story.

Tapestry@25: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, and now, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. The Templeton Prize is given annually to someone who has made a profound spiritual contribution to the world. Rabbi Sacks received the honour this year for working to end religious violence and affirming the spiritual dimension of life.

Tapestry@25: Sufi rock star Salman Ahmad

Salman Ahmad is a Pakistani-American musician best known for his Sufi rock. He describes his sound as "Led Zeppelin meets Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan."

Tapestry@25: writer Patricia Pearson

According to Patricia Pearson, about fifty percent of the bereaved sense the presence of the dead. Her book is called, Opening Heaven's Door: What The Dying May Be Trying to Tell Us About Where They're Going.

Tapestry@25: geneticist Francis Collins

Dr. Francis Collins is the geneticist who directed the Human Genome Project mapping DNA, which he calls the "first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God." He was an atheist until a simple question from a patient changed everything he believed.

Tapestry@25: Writer and speaker Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want To Talk About Race, wants to change the conversation about racial oppression. She says that racism is about much more than overt acts of hate.

How one interracial couple learned to talk about race

Andrea Chiu sometimes struggled to get her white wife to understand her perspective on race. Then they read Ijeoma Oluo’s best-selling book, So You Want To Talk About Race.

Soundtrack for the soul

At this time of physical isolation and uncertainty, music can offer a powerful balm. Tapestry is crowdsourcing songs that will lift your spirits and calm your nerves.

Being the Change Part 1

Ijeoma Oluo talks to host Mary Hynes about race — namely, how hard and needed those conversations are. Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race, discusses where these conversations go wrong.

Tapestry@25: civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson

When Bryan Stevenson was asked to come up with a seven-word bio for a public appearance recently, he offered this: "Broken by poverty, injustice, condemnation. But hopeful." He is the author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.

How to ethically navigate the pandemic's new normal as restrictions begin to lift

Throughout Canada, physical distancing restrictions are lifting and more people are venturing out and visiting friends and family. But trying to be a good person in the new normal can be challenging and disorienting. Philosopher Alice MacLachlan and moral psychologist Azim Shariff offer some ethical guidance.

Fictional characters can inspire real world courage and virtue, scholar says

When you’re feeling trapped or demoralized by the pandemic, scholar Joy Clarkson says fictional characters on quests — like Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings — can inspire bravery. Clarkson says it’s more than wilful blindness; having a vision of heroism can be a guide in hard times.

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