Qigong and Yoga Perspectives

Many boaters enjoy meditation through walking and stretching exercises.  Such meditation is more organized via Qigong and Yoga. Qigong (pronounced Chee Gong), means “Life Energy Cultivation”.  It is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training. With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to …

Taoism Perspectives

Taoism (sometimes called Daoism) is a philosophical, ethical or religious tradition of Chinese origin that emphasizes living in harmony with theTao (also romanized as Dao). The term Tao means “way”, “path”, or “principle”, and can also be found in Chinese philosophies and religions other than Taoism. In Taoism, however, Tao denotes something that is both the source of, and the force behind, everything that exists.  It is practiced as a …

Confucianism Perspectives

Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of philosophical and “ethical-sociopolitical teachings” sometimes described as a religion.  Confucianism developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BCE). A Confucian revival began during the Tang dynasty of 618-907AD  in response to Buddhism and Taoism and was reformulated as Neo-Confucianism. The abolition of the Imperial Chinese Examination system in 1905 marked the end of official Confucianism. The New …

Unitarian Universalist Perspectives

Unitarian Universalism is characterized by a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning”.  Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed but are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth. As such, the Unitarian Universalist Church(UU) includes many agnostics, theists, and atheists among its membership. The roots of UU are in liberal Christianity, specifically Unitarianism and Universalism. Unitarian Universalists state that from these traditions comes a deep …

Neo-Pagan Perspectives

The spread of Neopaganism in the United States started in the 1940s with the introduction of Neodruidism and Wicca from Great Britain. Germanic Neopaganism (or Heathenism) entered during the 1970s, developing into new denominations proper to the US. Wicca, introduced in the US by Raymond Buckland in 1964, is the most known of the Neopagan movements. The 1980s and 1990s saw the emergence of a number of reconstructionist and other ethnic traditions. Hellenic Neopaganism (Dodekatheism), for example, …

Zorastrianism Perspectives

Zoroastrianism is one of the world’s oldest religions.  Ascribed to the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster, its Supreme Being is Ahura Mazda. Leading characteristics, such as messianism, the Golden Rule, heaven and hell, and free will influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple  Judaism,  Gnosticism,  Christianity,  and Islam. For a thousand years, forms of Zoroastrianism were the world’s most powerful religion, serving as the state religion of the pre-Islamic Iranian empires from around 600 BCE to …

Shinto Perspectives

Shinto, also kami-no-michi, is the ethnic religion of the people of Japan. It is defined as an action-centered religion, focused on ritual practices to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past.  Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records in the 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified “Shinto religion”, …

Jainism Perspectives

Jainism , traditionally known as Jain dharma, belongs to the śramaṇa tradition and is one of the oldest Indian religions. It prescribes a path of non-injury (ahimsa) towards all living beings. Practitioners believe non-violence and self-control are the means to liberation. Followers of Jainism are called Jains and must observe five major vows:  not lying,  not stealing, chastity, and non-attachment. Self-discipline and asceticism are thus major focuses …

Baha’ I’ Perspectives

The Bahá’í Faith  is a monotheistic religion which emphasizes the spiritual unity of all humankind. Three core principles establish a basis for Bahá’í teachings and doctrine: the unity of God, that there is only one God who is the source of all creation; the unity of religion, that all major religions have the same spiritual source and come from the same God; and the unity of humanity, that all humans …

Jewish Perspectives

Judaism encompasses the religion, philosophy, culture and way of life of the Jewish people. Judaism is an ancient monotheistic religion, with the Torah as its foundational text and supplemental oral tradition. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship that God established with the Children of Israel. Judaism includes a wide corpus of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish …