Book Review: After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield

After the Ecstasy, the Laundry (2000) is a book by Jack Kornfield, a renowned Buddhist and meditation teacher. This is the second book I’ve read by Kornfield, the first being the best-selling A Path With Heart (1993), which I’d highly recommend as an introduction to Buddhism and a practical guide to Buddhist meditation, including the…View Post

Religious Freedom Does Not Justify Male Circumcision

The Icelandic government has proposed a law that would ban male circumcision for non-medical reasons and this has, understandably, sparked outrage and opposition from the Jewish and Muslim communities that traditionally carry out the practice. Anti-male circumcision groups, such as Men Do Complain, are calling for a ban on ‘ritual’ male circumcision in the UK. The…View Post

Criticism of Islam is Not ‘Islamophobia’

There is some debate as to whether Islamophobia is a valid term. Strictly speaking, it means an irrational fear or unfounded prejudice against Islam, but in its more widely used context, it means an irrational fear or hatred towards Muslims. In 1997, the British Runnymede Trust first defined Islamophobia as the “dread or hatred of…View Post

Is Judaism Influenced by the Use of Ayahuasca?

Benny Shanon is currently professor of psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, having received his PhD in experimental psychology from Stanford University. In 2002 he wrote Antipodes of the Mind, in which he details the effects of ayahuasca, as well as recounting his several hundred trips with the hallucinogenic brew. Shanon is perhaps most well known…View Post

Kabbalah: Jewish Mysticism

Some people might have heard about Kabbalah through celebrities becoming fans of it – Madonna in particular. However, the way in which Kabbalah is presented in the media does not reveal its deeper and more mystical aspects. The word Kabbalah in Hebrew and means “to receive” and like other mystical traditions found in Buddhism, Christianity,…View Post