SNS 101 – Introduction to Spiritual Naturalism
An online mentored course offered by the Spiritual Naturalist Society
NOTE: We are currently conducting a course for which signups are closed.
Our next course will be in about 6 months. See member newsletter for dates.
In this course, we present essentials of Spiritual Naturalism, with emphasis on compassion, reason, and practice. Students engage content through video introductions, essay, discussion, meditation, and integration into daily life. Designed for both beginning and experienced practitioners interested in cultivating a meaningful life.
Time Commitment: Approximately 3 hours per week for 4 weeks.
Format: At the beginning of each week, the student/s will be sent some short videos and essay questions which you can watch and write in your own time. Later that week there will be a followup online video chat discourse with the student/s lasting no more than an hour. Student/s will be able to interact with with the mentor (and other students if there are any that session) over email throughout the 4 weeks.
See testimonials and reviews lower on this page!
Module 1 (Compassion):
- What is Spiritual Naturalism?
- The Role of Emotion
- Working with Compassion
- Mindfulness Meditation
- and more…
Module 2 (Reason):
- Working with Inner Conflict
- Reason and Anger
- Loving-Kindness Meditation
- Beyond Reason
- and more…
Module 3 (Practice):
- The Baby in the Bathwater
- Establishing a Practice
- Exploring Diverse Perspectives
- Reappraisal Training
- and more…
Module 4 (Happiness):
- Grief, Loss, and Death
- Awe, Wonder, and Profound Experience
- Citizens of the Cosmos
- Where to Go From Here
- and more…
“This course is not about analyzing or discussing naturalistic spirituality as unattached observers or sociologists. It is a users-manual for applying naturalistic spiritual practices in your life to meet the challenges we all face, improve flourishing, and help the student to begin building a custom practice that is right for them.”
–Daniel Strain, SNS Executive Director
About the Instructor
Daniel Strain is a Humanist minister, speaker, and writer on the topics of ethics, spirituality, and ancient philosophy. He is founder of the Spiritual Naturalist Society and serves as its Executive Director. Daniel leads meditation at Jade Buddha Temple and occasionally speaks at their English Dharma Group and other venues. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Stoic group New Stoa. His Humanist Contemplative group and blog inspired a similar mindfulness group at Harvard University. Daniel has written for the Houston Chronicle belief page and his work has appeared nationally in other magazines, on Houston PBS, and the journal “Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism“.
About our Course Designer
B. T. Newberg holds a Master of Education degree, and has been practicing spirituality from a naturalistic perspective since the year 2000, with an emphasis on Buddhist, Pagan, and Humanist practices. He serves as Advising Editor for HumanisticPaganism.com, and is former Education Director for the Spiritual Naturalist Society.
You’ll also learn from:
Rick Heller, author of Secular Meditation: A Guide from the Humanist Community at Harvard, and co-founder of the Humanist Mindfulness Group. He leads online meditations for the Society and is a member of the SNS Council.
Dr. Helen Weng, a post-doctoral scholar at UCSF’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine where she’s studying mind-body interventions and relational functioning.
“Wonderful course… Thank you so very much for this course!!!” –Steven
“It’s a great tool for anyone who wants to explore their personal development and ‘spiritual’ worldview without going down a faith-based path.” –Andre Sólo, http://roguepriest.net
“I’ve been impressed by the quality of the presentations Well done!” –Rick Heller, Author, Secular Meditation
“This course was well worth the time and effort… It was of great value to me… The times that I actually enjoyed church was when the sermons were instructive, uplifting, and inspirational. This course meets all 3 criteria.” –Michael
“Very well done! You did an excellent job of bringing it all together…” –John Halstead, Editor, HumanisticPaganism.com
“I’m glad to have participated in this course.” –Pablo
“I had a very frustrating experience getting lost at O’Hare International Airport and I was raging about it in an unconstructive way… [Applying one of the lessons from the course] I felt an immediate and significant decrease in my anger level… I was able to look at the problem more objectively and my stress level decreased.” –John
“I received prompt and thoughtful response form my mentor. Thank you!” –Lindsey
“You guys have done well.” –Trent
Review by Leigh:
“As a newcomer to the concepts of Spiritual Naturalism, I found the information presented in the course to be both thought provoking and well researched. It is apparent that B.T. Newberg has spent a lot of time working with the practices and concepts that he presents. Many of the different aspects of Spiritual Naturalism will be familiar to students interested in this course, but B.T. presents everything in a sequential manner that takes individual ideas (concepts, rituals, etc.) and slowly builds them into a holistic practice. He uses both exercises and further research to help students expand their knowledge of the concepts in each individual module. The videos and accompanying material included in the course are very well done. I enjoyed taking the course and think it is worthwhile for both beginners and more advanced practitioners. There is something for everyone in the course.”