Logo for How God Works: The Science Behind Spirituality

How God Works: The Science Behind Spirituality

PRX

While religion and science often seem at odds, there’s one thing they can agree on: people who take part in spiritual practices tend to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. The big question is: Why? In How God Works, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out how spirituality impacts our minds and bodies, as well as the world in which we live.

He speaks to leading scientists and philosophers, religious thinkers, and thought leaders to explore what we can learn from the world’s faith traditions to help us meet some of life’s biggest challenges. Along the way, he’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs, including none at all.

It’s by working across the boundaries that usually divide us – science versus religion, one faith versus another – that we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.

David DeSteno

While religion and science often seem at odds, there’s one thing they can agree on: people who take part in spiritual practices tend to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. The big question is: Why? In How God Works, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out how spirituality impacts our minds and bodies, as well as the world in which we live.

He speaks to leading scientists and philosophers, religious thinkers, and thought leaders to explore what we can learn from the world’s faith traditions to help us meet some of life’s biggest challenges. Along the way, he’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs, including none at all.

It’s by working across the boundaries that usually divide us – science versus religion, one faith versus another – that we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.

David DeSteno

The Flow of Craft

Thumbnail for "The Flow of Craft".
April 30, 202335min 53sec

What do we get out of making things with our hands? Traditions the world over incorporate crafts into their religious practice, and for secular people, that experience of getting “in the zone” while weaving or working with wood or clay can also feel meditative, even spiritual.

So maybe it’s worth asking: Is there a craftsperson in all of us that we should occasionally step away from our devices to nurture? And could craft, even for the non-artist, be a way to connect with spirituality for us all?

We’ll talk to Claremont Graduate University psychologist Jeanne Nakamura about what characterizes the experience of “flow” that so many makers experience while they work. And we’ll talk to Stuart Kestenbaum, poet and former director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, about how people of all skill levels can benefit from working with their hands.

We’ll also hear from two renowned makers: Tlingit glass artist Preston Singletary and Tibetan mandala master Losang Samten.

To learn more about Jeanne Nakamura’s research on flow, click here. And have a look at this TED Talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the founder of the study of flow.

Find out about Haystack Mountain School of Crafts’ programs here, and read about Stuart Kestenbaum’s work as a poet here.

Visit Preston Singletary’s website to learn about his practice and see some of his work. See some of Losang Samten’s mandalas and learn more about his story on his website.