Derek Beres's Contributions
  • Is Suffering Necessary For The Spiritual Life?

    One of my first yoga instructors used to say, ‘Suffering is optional.’ In the immediate he was referencing the struggle to remain in challenging postures—our mindset could shift from one of struggle to that of...

  • The Failed Quest of Orphan Theology

    After her uterus nearly erupted, Vyckie Garrison was rushed to the hospital to give birth to her seventh child. The emergency caesarean section nearly killed her. Her doctor warned the family to stop having...

  • Is Play The Most Important Religious Component?

    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.—Alan Watts Yesterday the NY Times published an article about the importance of play in the evolutionary development of our species....

  • Redefining Terrorism

    For the foreseeable future, ‘terrorism’ will be the default term immediately applied to any act of public violence. While some warned against jumping to conclusions in regards to yesterday’s tragedy in...

  • The Difference Between Prayer and Meditation

    Prayer effectively deals with sympathetic magic—the notion that your thoughts can alter reality from a distance, or influence outcomes in your life which you have no conscious control over.

  • How To Be A Martyr

    A few weeks ago, when I published an article on vegetarianism as a political tool, I received emails and comments from people in India contesting the opening graphs, which were actually designed to set the stage...

  • The Only Argument Against Gay Marriage (And Why It Needs To End)

    Yesterday on NPR, Jenna Chavez, a member of an evangelical church in El Paso, Texas, succinctly summed up the foundation for the argument against same-sex marriage: [Marriage has] been defined...for...

  • Vegetarianism as a Political (and Religious) Tool

    There’s a popular myth in the American yoga community that Indian vegetarianism began as a spiritual response to humanity’s place in the cosmos. The concept of ahimsa, or non-violence, is cited as the catalyst for...

  • How To Convert a Muslim to Jesus (Or Not)

    Observing the Roman Empire crumble from North Africa in the fifth century, St Augustine of Hippo decided that while waging war against fellow Christians was sinful, throwing up arms against pagans and other...

  • The Weird Pride in Gun Ownership

    Arguably the most dangerous of the seven deadly sins, pride acts like the invisible center of the wheel of transgression in which the other six revolve. Inextricably entwined in cases of wrath, lust, greed, sloth,...