High Country News

Is spiritual growth possible without confronting whiteness?

in Joshua Tree, California, hundreds of festival-goers assemble for a workshop on prānāyāma, an ancient Hindu breathing practice. Amid an acoustic blend of drumming, chanting and birdsong, a workshop leader, flanked by “guardians” dressed in white, instructs participants to drop into their heart centers and prepare to be “introduced to the place inside (themselves) that is pure love.” Many of the participants take these Hinduism-derived activities seriously. But most, if not all, identify as “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) — a phrase-turned-demographic category that describes

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