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What it means to belong
Learning to ride a bike at age 68 and learning Punjabi — some of the ways people are trying to connect with each other and to a new place.
Learning to ride a bike — at 68
In Vancouver, the Newcomer Bike Mentorship Program plays matchmaker, helping new arrivals in the city get to know their way around by cycling with some help from local volunteers. When 68-year-old Masha Permyakov moved to Vancouver, she wanted to get to know her new city by biking around town. But before she could go for a spin around the city's Seawall, she would first have to learn how to ride a bike — with a little guidance from her mentor, Joanne Thember.
When the barrier is bigger than just language
For much of his life, Arjun Sharma only vaguely understood what his grandfather was saying in Punjabi. But language wasn’t the only thing separating them. They saw the world in profoundly different ways, even when it came to medical advice — despite the fact that Arjun was in medical school.
The age of self-care: why some find spirituality in manifesting and skin care routines
Author and theologian Tara Isabella Burton says the urge to participate in spiritual practices hasn't gone away, it's just changed form.
Mixing music and ministry
Bryce Thompson, also known as Bryce G, is a professional DJ who shares how his new-found faith was in direct conflict with his music, until he discovered how to remix them together.
How the Japanese art of kintsugi can not only repair bowls, but people
Naoko Fukumaru dedicated her life to restoring ceramics by hiding their imperfections. But after a traumatic life change, she discovered how to highlight them instead through kintsugi.
'The Nap Bishop' explains why rest is a form of radical resistance
According to Tricia Hersey, rest is a form of resistance because it disrupts and pushes back against the expectations of capitalism and the history of white supremacy.
How The Lord of the Rings became a symbol for Italy's far-right
On its surface, The Lord of the Rings is often read as a story about an epic battle between good and evil. But in the decades since it was first published, the series has taken many different meanings, including for neo-fascists in Italy who have adopted it as a potent symbol of their beliefs.
How this astrophysicist and Jesuit priest balances science and spirituality
Astrophysicist and Jesuit priest Adam Hincks shares the value he's found in studying both the Bible and the Big Bang.
Just friends: This author wants us to rethink the way we view platonic love
Author and friendship expert Marisa Franco shares how expressions of platonic love went from sacred to salacious, why we should rethink the conventional hierarchy of love, and the value of adult friendship.
How the Holy Grail went from medieval myth to consumer catchphrase
From the Last Supper to the latest eyeliner, author and scholar Juliette Wood shares how the Holy Grail has maintained a place in popular culture through the centuries.
How this German town kept a promise to God for 400 years
When the townspeople of Oberammergau, Germany promised God they would put on a Passion Play every decade, they were just hoping to be spared from a deadly plague. In the 400 years since, that tradition has brought people together from far and wide and holds lessons for every era in our world.
How recreating ancient recipes helps one food buff bring the past to life
Max Miller shares how food can offer a unique doorway into how human beings have — or have not — changed over the course of history. With each ancient recipe brought back to life, Miller reaches across time to sit across the dinner table from our ancestors.
From beyond the grave to on the screen: What horror movies can teach us about being human
Author Brandon Grafius says there are spiritual lessons to be found in scary texts and something hopeful hidden in the horrifying.
Chris Stedman says that current fashions like the Holy Trinity Bikini hint at something more profound might be going on. The new surge of interest in Catholicism for young people online has also taken another unexpected turn with a group calling themselves “trad caths” short for “traditional Catholics," says Molly Olmstead.
How religion helped shape Dungeons & Dragons
As the Satanic panic boiled over in the 1980s, Dungeons & Dragons was one of the many once innocuous activities pulled under suspicion. One religion scholar says while D&D definitely isn't satanic, there are religious elements that make the tabletop game special.
The gospel according to Dungeons & Dragons
Religion scholar Joseph Laycock says that even though D&D was once a source of a moral panic, there is nothing satanic about it. Tapestry producer Arman Aghbali brings us the story of one player's attempt to resurrect his character and the spiritual challenge that occurred along the way.
Why Disney is like a secular religion for some superfans
To some fans, visiting a Disney park isn't just a summer vacation. It's the site for important life events, and personal meaning that may border on the spiritual, or even religious.
Why you should shed your embarrassment and let tears flow
If you feel embarrassment over the idea of shedding tears, Benjamin Perry, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based minister, says it's time to shake that shame.
Living the bittersweet life
Writer Susan Cain explores the idea that longing and sorrow can make you more human and more whole. Former Miss Canada Tara Teng spent years in the world of beauty pageants. But it wasn’t until she left her religion that she began to repair her relationship with her body.
Why we seek out sad music, even when it makes us cry
Writer Susan Cain explores the idea that longing and sorrow can make you more human. Cain is the author of Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole.
Why this monk left Mississauga, Ont. at 13 to study under Thich Nhat Hanh
Brother Phap Huu says leaving his family at the age of 13 to study under zen buddhist and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh helped him find a sense of identity and a sense of purpose.
Noise-cancelling tech leaves us less able to listen, argues researcher
Noise canceling headphones are only becoming more sophisticated, but media studies professor Mack Hagood is concerned about the consequences of picking and choosing which sounds we get to hear.
MrBeast's charitable efforts have helped thousands. But is his approach to philanthropy problematic?
MrBeast's online videos are all about giving back. It's predicted that he will soon be Youtube's first billionaire, and he has spent millions helping those in need. But on a platform where engagement matters more than anything, is it really charity if it benefits content creators?
Scared of heights? How virtual reality can help people overcome their phobias
Virtual reality-based (VR) therapy combines other forms of therapy, including talk, with technology, allowing patients to immerse themselves in their fears in a groundbreaking way. It’s been used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and other mental health diagnoses.