I perceived that my ability to be where I needed to be, and do what I needed to do, was based on spiritual rather than material factors. And for me the key factor was understanding where my energy and alertness actually came from.
Pope Francis is a man on a mission. Everything from the choice of his name (referencing St Francis of Assisi) to his shunning of material comforts suggest he is out to take the church back to its core values of tolerance, inclusion and compassion.
When Grace Gelder's self-marriage hit the headlines last week, it started a conversation about what it means to celebrate single life with a ceremony. I was the one who led Grace's ceremony that spring day. I'm what is known as a "celebrant" - someone who helps people create meaningful ceremonies that celebrate life.
It was an emotional Maryam Namazie, an Iranian Marxist in exile, who stepped onto the stage to read out a message in support of Syrian Kurds: "We are all Kobanians".
It is about time that the Saudi government takes a stronger stand towards externalizing the inner spirituality of the Hajj by making it a journey of environmental care, contemplation and benefit.
On the surface this appears harmless enough... Yet Israel's supporters including, but not limited to, the British Jewish community are alarmed. Why? As often in these cases the devil lies in the detail.
Tucked away in Glämsta is an inviting retreat set amidst a sprawling forest and the Baltic Sea, owned by the Swedish-Jewish community (hyphen required). Its sense of openness made it the perfect location to host the first Beit Makhshava.
As Muslims, we need to question why we are expected to condemn ISIS purely on the basis of being adherents of Islam. Is it a test to see how loyal we are to Britain over Islam? Like most Muslims, I am appalled by the criminality of ISIS, but when I'm pressured to publicise my disgust, I perceive this to be an act of conformity which legitimises the idea of guilt by association of faith.
Totalling about 18,000 people, the Turkish Jewish community has shrunk slowly over time. It is the second largest Jewish community in a Muslim majority country and comes second to Iran.
One reason why the story of Madeleine McCann is so popular is that it is a story that is safely distant from us, and so doesn't demand any real response. The abduction happened in Portugal some years ago and it is unlikely that we personally are going to be involved in solving it. Frankly, following the Maddy story is now a spectator sport.
At first it might sound evil, but when ISIS started their terrible massacres I felt hope. I was hoping that this time we would not mess it up and would finally stop ignoring this abnormal violence, that we would get enough bravery to fight the real problem, which is not today's murderers, like ISIS, but the ideology that will keep bringing us new killers tomorrow.
nstead of identifying the true root of extremist ideology, one that pushes a tiny fringe toward violence, the Western mindset chose to stare the problem in the eye and then look the other way. The real problem only needs a little deduction...
I stand in solidarity with the Muslim community because some of the greatest examples of love, hospitality and compassion have been modelled to me by good friends who happen to also be Muslim, but unfortunately this is not the view of Islam or its followers that is championed through our media sources of late.
According to GOD: "It is not okay to use religion to justify personal bigotry. I am the LORD and I love LGBT people very much. Why else would so many LGBT people exist?"
If we are really concerned about the likes of Anjem Choudary poisoning minds to take up violence to overthrow democracy, banning him from our television screens is the wrong way... We make much of the liberty to think and voice our opinions. The line that most free speech advocates draw is an incitement to kill. For which laws currently exist, along with counter terrorism legislation. The home secretary risks making Choudary a victim for Islamists to rally for with the new proposals. Young people, with radical religious notions of changing the world, will have an officially state stamped underground movement. How nice of us to signal that for them.
When the Home Secretary said "British values will prevail in the end" against extremism, if she's talking about freedom of speech, then she's certainly missed a trick. The fact that surfaces with the revelation of these measures under the banner of "British Values" is in reality a demonization of a single community - a community just like any other.