Religion Talks

Religion is a range of social-cultural systems, including designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relate humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements—although there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacredness, faith, and a supernatural being or beings.

Religious practices may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of deities or saints), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, matrimonial and funerary services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, or public service. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred texts, symbols, and holy places, that primarily aim to give life meaning. Religions may contain symbolic tales that may attempt to explain the origin of life, the universe, and other phenomena; some followers believe these to be true stories; others regard them as myth. Traditionally, both faith and reason have been considered sources of religious beliefs.

There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, though nearly all of them have regionally based, relatively small followings. Four religions—Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism—account for over 77% of the world's population, and 92% of the world either follows one of those four religions or identifies as nonreligious, meaning that the remaining 9,000+ faiths account for only 8% of the population combined. The religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion, atheists, and agnostics, although many in the demographic still have various religious beliefs.

Many world religions are also organized religions, most definitively including the Abrahamic religions Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, while others are arguably less so, in particular folk religions, indigenous religions, and some Eastern religions. A portion of the world's population are members of new religious movements. Scholars have indicated that global religiosity may be increasing due to religious countries having generally higher birth rates.

The study of religion comprises a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, philosophy of religion, comparative religion, and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for its origins and workings, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief.

From Religion on Wikipedia

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Title Speaker

Buddha Has Reasons For Teaching Non-Self And Buddha Has Reasons For Teaching Self

Addiction, Nirvana Sutra, Impermanence, Religion, Nirvana, Letting Go, practicing...
Feb 01 2020
No Abode Hermitage

Stories of Enlightenment

In our class this fall we will contemplate and converse about several stories of Zen practice and enlightenment. Our contemplation and conversations will naturally bring up questions and concerns...

YRB-2019-Fall, Four Noble Truths, Book of Serenity, Daily Life, Suzuki Roshi,...
Oct 10 2019
The Yoga Room

Teachings for the Welfare of the World

In this summer series, teachings will be offered for those who aspire to embrace and sustain the great earth and all living beings in order to realize peace and freedom in our troubled world.

YRB-2019-Summer, Silence, Transmission, true dharma, Religion, Passions, Suzuki Roshi...
Jul 02 2019
The Yoga Room

Silent Sitting & Social Action

Zen students often ask how our practice of silence and stillness relates to injustice and our environmental crisis. In this class we explore this question and study the intimate interplay of...

YRB-2018-Fall, Silence, Bodhidharma, cognitive process, Observe, Fundraising, Lay,...
Nov 13 2018
5 of 7
The Yoga Room

The Bodhisattva's Mind of No Abode 

The Bodhisattva’s Mind of No Abode
Tenshin Reb Anderson
No Abode, Sept 1, 2012 PM

Religion, Four Noble Truths, Zendo, Attachment, Chanting, Don't Know Mind,...
Sep 01 2012
No Abode Hermitage

When Dharma fills Body and Mind 

When Dharma Fills Body and Mind
Tenshin Reb Anderson
No Abode, July 14, 2012 MORNING

Nirvana, Teacher-and-Student, Religion, Lineage, Non-violence, Culture, Passions,...
Jul 13 2012
No Abode Hermitage

The Four Aspects of Practicing the Threefold Ethics of Bodhisattvas 

Desire, Bodhisattva Precepts, Passions, Triple Treasure, Complete Perfect...
Feb 04 2012
No Abode Hermitage

Stimulating Bodhisattva's courage and entering reality 

Observe, Rinzai, Gratitude, Bodhisattva Vow, Enemies, Japan, Bodhidharma, Religion,...
Oct 15 2011
No Abode Hermitage

The Mind of Enlightenment 

Enthusiasm, Patience, Duality, Balance, Emotions, Doubt, Mahayana, Tassajara,...
Jul 29 2010
The Yoga Room

On the Eve of Going for Refuge in the Triple Treasure 

Confession-and-Repentance, Commitment, Repentance, Nirvana, Separation, Complete...
Apr 17 2010
No Abode Hermitage

On Enlightenment and Delusion 

Intimacy, Politics, War, Silence, American, Birth-and-Death, Desire, Buddha Mind,...
Dec 17 2009
The Yoga Room

Causation and Non-Self 

causation, Faith, Attachment, Evil, Commitment, Non-attachment, Continuous, Religion...
Apr 02 2009
The Yoga Room

Faith that Allows Doubt and the Idea that All Ideas are Contingent and Empty 

War, American, Doubt, Faith, Bodhisattva Precepts, Letting Go, true dharma, Perfect...
Dec 13 2008
No Abode Hermitage

Embodying the Lotus Sutra 

Lotus Sutra, Buddha Nature, Religion, Branching Streams, Separation, Ordination,...
Mar 13 2008
The Yoga Room

Only a Buddha and a Buddha

The Lotus Sutra says that the desire to help beings open to Buddha's wisdom is the condition for Buddha's appearing in this world.

Lotus Sutra, Religion, Desire, Soto Zen, Non-duality, soto, Bell, Separation,...
Jul 28 2007
No Abode Hermitage

The Light of Buddha's Wisdom - Precepts of Compassion

Buddha sheds the light of wisdom on the true nature of suffering, liberation, and the human mind, on the teachings of compassion, moral causation, and the whole phenomenal universe. This retreat...

Letting Go, Karmic Consciousness, Book of Serenity, Teacher-and-Student, Religion,...
May 06 2007
Part 7
Mount Madonna Center

The Light of Buddha's Wisdom - Precepts of Compassion

Buddha sheds the light of wisdom on the true nature of suffering, liberation, and the human mind, on the teachings of compassion, moral causation, and the whole phenomenal universe. This retreat...

Evil, practicing generosity, Letting Go, Judgement, Buddha Nature, Greed, Darkness...
May 05 2007
Part 2
Mount Madonna Center


The pursuit of happiness vs. wanting others to be happy; happiness from absorption in activity

Teachings on Happiness for Dancing Mountains Sangha newsletter
Date: February 3, 2007...

Desire, zen meditation, Religion, Bell, Culture, Patience, Confession-and-Repentance...
Feb 03 2007
No Abode Hermitage

Crisis: A Spiritual Turning Point

Spiritual life exists in crisis, which can be used as a turning point. To the extent that we recognize that where we sit right now is a turning point, we are able to understand the possibility of...

Transmission, Faith, Religion, Priest, Culture, Doubt, War
Jan 08 2006
Part 1
Green Gulch Farm