April 2013 Newsletter

The Spiritual Naturalist SocietyMEMBER NEWSLETTER
April 2013
Visit your Society’s website at www.SpiritualNaturalistSociety.org


Hello fellow members!
We have a plethora of things for you – it’s been a busy month. I’m very happy to announce that we have a new partner organization, the Charter for Compassion. You can click here to read our full report on this.  I’d also like to thank Tim Heater, who has stepped up to fill the position of Organizer for our Berkeley chapter! The rest I’ll leave for you to read below, so as to avoid repetition, but I hope you’ll take special note of our most recent article, “What are we all about?” because it addresses you, our members, as well.
Please feel free to write back and let me know how we’re doing and what your thoughts are!
With love and thanks 🙂
Daniel Strain
Executive Director


MEMBER DISCOUNT ON ONLINE COURSE – Living Made Simpler: The Humanist Approach to Happiness
SNS Advisory Board member, Jennifer Hancock, is offering an online course: “Living Made Simpler: The Humanist Approach to Happiness” May 1st – June 30th 2013 (we know this is happening very soon, but it’s easy to jump in and catch up if you’re seeing this late). The cost is $100, but members of the Society get $25 off! To sign up, contact Jennifer at this link, and be sure to mention that you are a Society member:


Did you know this month marks the 1-year anniversary of our website and Facebook page starting up? Our organization didn’t officially launch until last September, meaning we are just 7 months old. Today we have a total regular readership of about 2,500 and more than 25,000 unique people have visited our website, with thousands more visiting each month. With your help we will continue to promote naturalistic spirituality and positive life practices that increase happiness 🙂


Society Advisory Board member and author, Michael Dowd, wanted to share this podcast which many of you will find interesting:
In case you’re interested, here’s the url for an “Evolving Faith” conversation I recently had with evolutionary theologian, JOHN F. HAUGHT, who, after he read my two HuffPost blog posts, “New Theists: Knowers, Not Believers” and “God: Personification ≠ Person” wanted to challenge me on the issue of naturalism vs. supernaturalism.BETWEEN NATURAL AND SUPERNATURAL?
http://evolvingfaith.libsyn.com/8-john-haught-between-natural-and-supernaturalAmong other things, we discuss the overlap and differences between our worldviews, especially related to naturalism, supernaturalism, and what Haught sees as a “third way” between the two.

This conversation is a good example of why more than one approach to this subject is, I think, both legitimate and necessary.

Together in The Great Work,

~ Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow


We’ve been contacted by Tim Moynihan, a doctoral student in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. The CIIS may be an institution we become more involved with in the future. We’ve told Tim that we’d pass on his note to you, as a part of that relationship. If you are interested in helping out his study, please read the following and let him know at the email provided below.
Are you part of nature? Deeply embedded in the Earth and Cosmos?  Seeking participants to share their lived experience of human-nature interconnectedness for a research project conducted by a doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, Ca.  This ecopsychological study aims to better understand the phenomenon of ecological interconnectedness.  If you are highly attuned to your own embodied embeddedness within nature, and are willing to share your experience in a brief interview, please contact Tim Moynihan at: embeddedness@yahoo.com for more information.


Humanist teacher, Society writer, and our Advisory Board member, Jennifer Hancock, has recently come out with a new book!The Humanist Approach to Grief and Grieving:


Articles the Society has publicly published recently, as part of our mission to help others by sharing helpful wisdom and practices for better lives. If you’d like to get notice of these as they are released, please subscribe to the Society blog by clicking hereif you haven’t already.Something Special May Happen
Something Special May Happen
Thomas Schenk on listening to nature, meditation, and learning to live in that space between stimulus and response…
Last Hum of the Cicada: Death for Naturalists
Without an immortal “soul”, how do naturalists make sense of death?
Mindful Discourse
Mindful Discourse
In the Society we always encourage “mindful discourse”. What does this mean? We discuss some helpful pointers…
Dealing with Negative Nellies and Neds
Dealing with Negative Nellies and Neds
A rational, compassionate, effective and humanistic approach to dealing with the negative people in your life…
What are we all about?
More than a website and articles – find out what we are really all about…


There are many stories, articles, and items of interest around the web from our partner organizations and others in which our members may be interested. In this new section of the SNS Member Newsletter we’re listing a few of the high points for you! If you come across an item of interest your fellow members may be interested in, please email us!
Cultivating Compassion (Secular Buddhist Association)
Values in Action: Earth Day 2013 (Humanist Community at Harvard)

Why It Pays To Keep Compassion On (Huffington Post)


Don’t forget, if you haven’t already you can like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more content and up-to-date info. You can also check out our Local Chapters page (here) to meet spiritual naturalists in person, or start hosting a local gathering if there isn’t yet one in your city by contacting us. Thanks so much for your kind support and your membership in the Spiritual Naturalist Society!