The Spiritual Life is an interfaith web-based community that celebrates and honors the many paths to God. We are dedicated to teaching and expressing a positive and practical approach to life. Our beliefs are in harmony with the basic tenets of the world’s most popular religions and spiritual traditions. As a loving and supportive spiritual community we encourage each person to pray regularly, think clearly, feel openly, and love expansively.

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Tibetan chart for bloodletting based on the Luoshu square. The Luoshu, the Hetu, liubo boards, sundials, Han diviner's boards (shì 式) and luopan for fengshui, and the derived compass, as well as TLV mirrors, are all representations of Di as the north celestial pole.

Religious Confucianism

Religious Confucianism Religious Confucianism is an interpretation of Confucianism as a religion. It originated in the time of Confucius with his defense of traditional religious institutions of his time such as the Jongmyo rites, and the Ritual Music System. The Chinese name for Religious Confucianism is Rujiao (儒教; rujiao), in contrast with Secular Confucianism which...

Hanging Monastery, a temple with the combination of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Hundred Schools Of Thought

Hundred Schools Of Thought The Hundred Schools of Thought (諸子百家; zhūzǐ bǎijiā) were philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century BC to 221 BC during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period of ancient China. An era of substantial discrimination in China, it was fraught with chaos and bloody battles, but...

South Korea Confucian Confucius Ceremony

Rectification Of Names

Rectification Of Names The rectification of names (正名; Zhèngmíng; Cheng-ming) is originally a doctrine of feudal Confucian designations and relationships, behaving accordingly to ensure social harmony. Without such accordance society would essentially crumble and “undertakings would not be completed.” Mencius extended the doctrine to include questions of political legitimacy. When Confucius was asked what he...

A torii gate at the Takachiho-gawara shrine near Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, which is associated with the mythological tale of Ninigi-no-Mikoto's descent to earth.

Shintoism

Shintoism Shintoism or Shinto (神道; Shintō) is a native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. It involves the worship of kami, which can be translated to mean “sacred spirits which take the form of things and concepts important to life, such as wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers, and fertility.” Some kami are local and...

Yasukuni Shrine

Shinto Shrine

Shinto Shrine A Shinto shrine (神社, jinja, shinsha, “place of the god(s)”) is a structure whose main purpose is to house (“enshrine”) one or more kami, the deities of the Shinto religion. Overview Structurally, a Shinto shrine typically comprises several buildings. The honden (本殿, meaning: “main hall”) is where a shrine’s patron kami is/are enshrined. The honden may be absent...

Kamo shrine, Kyoto

Women In Shinto

Women In Shinto Women occupy a unique role in the indigenous Japanese traditions of Shinto, including a unique form of participation as temple stewards and shamans, or miko. Though a ban on female Shinto priests was lifted during World War II, the number of women priests in Shinto is a small fraction of...

Miko at the Ikuta Shrine

Miko

Miko A miko (巫女), or shrine maiden, is a young priestess who works at a Shinto shrine. Miko were once likely seen as shamans, but are understood in modern Japanese culture to be an institutionalized role in daily life, trained to perform tasks, ranging from sacred cleansing to performing the sacred Kagura dance. Appearance Main article: Miko clothing The traditional attire of a miko is a pair of...

Shinto purification rite after a ceremonial children's sumo tournament at the Kamigamo Jinja in Kyoto

Misogi

Misogi Misogi (禊) is a Japanese Shinto practice of ritual purification by washing the entire body. Misogi is related to another Shinto purification ritual called Harae – thus both being collectively referred to as misogiharae (禊祓). Background Every year, many people take pilgrimages to sacred waterfalls, lakes and rivers, either alone or in small groups, to perform misogi. Mount Ontake, the Kii...

An Obon offering

Obon

Obon Festival Obon (お盆) or just Bon (盆) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist–Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been...

Kimpusen-ji

Setsubun

Setsubun Setsubun (節分) is the day before the beginning of spring in the old calendar in Japan. The name literally means ‘seasonal division‘, referring to the day just before the first day of spring in the traditional calendar, known as Setsubun; though previously referring to a wider range of possible dates, Setsubun is now typically held on February 3 (in...

Illustration and text of the tale of Issun Bōshi from Otogi-zōshi, published in circa 1725. The original Japanese prose narratives were written primarily in the Muromachi period (1392–1573).

Japanese Folklore And Mythology

Japanese Folklore And Mythology This article covers Japanese Folklore And Mythology in detail. Japanese folklore is heavily influenced by the two primary religions of Japan, Shinto, and Buddhism. Japanese mythology is a complex system of beliefs that also embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculture-based folk religion. The Shinto pantheon alone boasts an uncountable...

Susanoo subduing and making a pact with various spirits of disease (dated 1860, copy of original work by Katsushika Hokusai)

Susanoo

Susanoo or Susanoo-no-Mikoto Susanoo (スサノオ; スサノヲ, ‘Susanowo’) is a kami in Japanese mythology. The younger brother of Amaterasu, goddess of the sun and mythical ancestress of the Japanese imperial line, he is a multifaceted deity with contradictory characteristics (both good and bad), being portrayed in various stories either as a wild, impetuous god associated with the sea and storms, as...

Susanoo slays the eight-headed beast Yamata-no-Orochi

Kusanagi No Tsurugi

Kusanagi No Tsurugi Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (草薙の剣) is a legendary Japanese sword and one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan. It was originally called Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi (天叢雲剣, “Heavenly Sword of Gathering Clouds”), but its name was later changed to the more popular Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (“Grass-Cutting Sword”). In folklore, the sword represents the virtue of valor. Legends The history of the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi extends into legend. According to Kojiki, the...

Japan, 5/1882 Series: Sketches by Yoshitoshi Prints; woodcuts Color woodblock print Herbert R. Cole Collection (M.84.31.339) Japanese Art

Japanese Folktales

Japanese Folktales Japanese folktales are an important cultural aspect of Japan. In commonplace usage, they signify a certain set of well-known classic tales, with a vague distinction of whether they fit the rigorous definition of “folktale“ or not among various types of folklore. The admixed impostors are literate written pieces, dating...

Empress Jingū

Japanese Folklore

Japanese Folklore Japanese folklore encompasses the informally learned folk traditions of Japan and the Japanese people as expressed in its oral traditions, customs, and material culture. In Japanese, the term minkan denshō (民間伝承, “transmissions among the folk”) is used to describe folklore. The academic study of folklore is known as minzokugaku (民俗学). Folklorists also employ the term minzoku shiryō (民俗資料) or “folklore material” (民俗資料) to refer to the objects and arts...

Amaterasu emerges out of the Heavenly Rock Cave (Shunsai Toshimasa, 1887)

Amaterasu

Amaterasu Amaterasu (天照), Amaterasu-ōmikami (天照大神 or 天照大御神, Japanese: “Great Divinity Illuminating Heaven”) or Ōhiru-menomuchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神) is in Japanese mythology a sun goddess and perhaps the most important Shinto deity (神 kami). Her name, Amaterasu, means literally “(that which) illuminates Heaven.” Her myths are the most important of the indigenous Japanese faith, Shinto, “the way of the gods,” a set of ancient beliefs...

Yin-Yang Abstract Background Black Logo Symbol

Taijitu

Taijitu A taijitu (太极图; 太極圖;  tàijítú) is a symbol or diagram (图 tú) in Chinese philosophy representing Taiji (太极 tàijí “utmost extreme”) in both its monist (wuji) and its dualist (yin and yang) aspects. Such a diagram was first introduced by Song Dynasty philosopher Zhou Dunyi (周敦頤 1017–1073) in his Taijitu shuo (太極圖說). The modern Taoist canon, compiled during the Ming era, has at least half a dozen...

Ai Artificial Intelligence artificial intelligence

Spiritualism And Telepathy

Spiritualism And Telepathy Is There Any Truth in Supranormal Phenomena Such as Spiritualism and Telepathy? The spirit does not belong to this visible world. It issues from the world of unconditioned existence where Divine commands are carried out instantly without the mediation of causes. However, like energy requiring cords or...

Tang dynasty Zhuangzi manuscript preserved in Japan (1930s replica)

Zhuangzi (Book)

Zhuangzi (Book) The Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzŭ) is an ancient Chinese text from the late Warring States period (476–221 BC) which contains stories and anecdotes that exemplify the carefree nature of the ideal Taoist sage. Named for its traditional author, “Master Zhuang” (Zhuangzi), the Zhuangzi is one of the two foundational texts of Taoism, along with...

Zhuangzi Dreaming of a Butterfly (or a Butterfly Dreaming of Zhuangzi)

Zhuangzi

Zhuangzi Zhuangzi (traditional Chinese characters: 莊子) was a fourth-century B.C.E. Chinese thinker of startling depth and originality, and author of a text with the same name. Zhuangzi expanded the Chinese understanding of Dao (Tao), explored its relationship with Heaven (or Nature), and firmly planted human beings within this context. Further, the Zhuangzi text described in great detail the means to...