November 2013 Newsletter

The Spiritual Naturalist Society

November 2013
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Hello dear members!

It has been a pretty busy and hectic month but that’s a good thing. I hope you are all doing well! In fact, I started a new thread in our forums and I hope you will drop in and let us know how you’re doing so we can all catch up and get to know one another more.  I’m almost ready to publish our anthology book of articles from our first year! I just need to make a few minor edits and run it by the authors to get their final approval. It will be available in e-book format for free to our members, and members will be able to get the print version at cost.  We’re also continuing to develop our course on Spiritual Naturalism. Our Education Director, B.T. Newberg is now working on specific lesson documents and we’re going over those. We also just came up with some plans which should allow us to have a more robust publishing schedule. There are a whole host of other great developments and even minor things that are evolving, such as the fact that we now begin our staff meetings with an invocation and moment of silence, to help us stay focused on why we’re doing what we are – for the benefit of spreading greater happiness and flourishing in the world.
I hope you all have a great holiday season and enjoy this issue. They are meant to come at the end of the month for which they’re named, but this issue is a little later than I usually prefer – sorry about that!  If you have any questions, comments, or otherwise want to drop me a line, please feel free!
With love and thanks 🙂

Daniel Strain
Executive Director

UPCOMING DATES (Please mark your calendar!)
You can also see our calendar anytime by going to the Community page…

December 2-20, 2013:
This course just recently began and it is not too late to jump in! This is Humanist Learning Systems latest course: Humanist Meditation: Answers for Skeptics. This course on meditation is given by Rick Heller of the Humanist Mindfulness Group at Harvard, and member of our Advisory Board at the Spiritual Naturalist Society. At the link below, you can read all about the course BUT – don’t sign up there! Instead, as members of the Spiritual Naturalist Society, you can sign up for 30% off at the second link, just for you:

> Info page on course (don’t sign up there!):
> Sign-up page for 30% off for SNS Members: SNS Member Discount Signup Link
Sunday, December 8th: Bodhi Day
Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautauma, experienced enlightenment.

Tuesday December 17th (7:00pm CST): Monthly Member Social

Join us for casual conversation and socializing online. We will be sending out the URL link for this video chat shortly before the meeting. Please use headphones if you have them and make sure you have a good connection. For those without webcams you can also participate via text chat. Getting to know your fellow members is on of the benefits of our Society so we look forward to chatting with you! Our Member Social happens on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Saturday, December 21st: Winter Solstice / Yule
Many Spiritual Naturalists celebrate the Winter Solstice! It’s important to have a special time of year where we call attention to fellowship, sharing, and the value of giving. Why not do it at a time of year when the weather is bad and people tend to be affected by that? Furthermore, attaching celebrations to natural events like solstices makes perfect sense for a people who have a naturalistic worldview, and a sense of awe at the natural universe.

Wednesday, December 25th: Christmas
Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, who preached loving our neighbors and enemies, giving to the poor, and forgiveness.

Please join us on the member forums to jump in on these discussions!

How are you doing? Plans for the holidays? Let’s catch up!
Hey everyone, I thought it would be a good idea for us to share how we’ve been doing lately and include plans we have for the holidays, anything else on our minds, and socialize a bit. Please feel free to post here!:

The following are some of the most recent pieces added to the membership’s growing archive of inspirational and educational materials. Please feel free to discuss what you think about these with the other members in the Society forum!

Stoics are not unemotional!, Donald Robertson
Transcendence Without the Bull, Lawrence Rifkin
10 Sublime Wonders of Science, Lawrence Rifkin
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 here if you haven’t already.

Encounters with Indentified Flying Objects

Encounters with Identified Flying Objects
Sharing odd and inspiring moments – appreciation of the commonplace is a part of spirituality…

An Atheist Plea for Preserving Thanksgiving
An Atheist Plea for Preserving Thanksgiving
Does Thanksgiving still have a purpose for naturalists? DT Strain makes the case for why we should all be thankful for Thanksgiving…

The Role of Philosophy in Spirituality
The Role of Philosophy in Spirituality
What is philosophy? What is the difference between philosophy and spirituality, and how do they relate?…

Meditation Framing & Procession: A Spiritual Naturalist Ritual
Meditation Framing & Procession: A Spiritual Naturalist Ritual
One example of a ritual that can be performed before and after meditation, with its naturalistic purposes explained…


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!