'Eat, Pray, Love' ... minus the pizza and sex
We're heading to Rishikesh in India, which is considered the yoga capital of the world.
January 7th, 2014
12:37 PM ET

'Eat, Pray, Love' ... minus the pizza and sex

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, sits a magical place ripe for exploration. It’s called Rishikesh, and for the next two weeks it will be our spiritual playground.

I am going there thanks to a religion reporting fellowship, and I’d like to take you with me.

A holy spot for Hindus, Rishikesh is also a destination for Westerners hungering for a different and deeper kind of sustenance. Among the most renowned Rishikesh searchers: The Beatles, who came here in 1968 to study Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

It’s dotted with ashrams. Painted holy men roam the streets and sit in nearby caves. There are sunset ceremonies along the sacred Ganges River, and yoga classes flow as consistently as the hallowed waters. Pilgrims flock to temples. Visitors can surrender to ancient forms of medicine, find healing and be cleansed. Some are said to arrive in Rishikesh and never leave, losing themselves forever in the quest for enlightenment.

I’ve done a tiny bit of yoga but am by no stretch a yogi. I once signed up for a meditation course but spent most of the time cheating – peeking at others to see if I was doing it right. That said, the aspiration to explore both practices has made it onto my list of New Year’s resolutions more times than I can count. In this new year, and with this start, perhaps I’ll finally make good on this list. At least for two weeks.

Consider it my mini "Eat, Pray, Love" experience - minus the pizza and sex.

I will open my mind and heart, and dive into whatever it is I can experience spiritually. Along the way, I’ll sit down with swamis, meet with fellow searchers and sniff out must-meet characters.

What qualifies me to be your guide? Well, having never been to India, I can’t really say – but I will meditate on that while I’m there. What I can tell you is I’m not afraid to tread into foreign territory, explore what moves others and ask questions. I have been writing about faith and spirituality on-and-off for more than a decade, and I bring with me a commitment to not judge, a sense of awe, curiosity, humor and a swift pen.

On this assignment I will also carry my handheld gadget and plan to bring you along by way of social media. I am no techie, so this aspect of the journey, too, will be one of growth. Every post may not be perfect, but I can promise you honesty, a glimpse into something new, and hopefully some fun.

You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I'll be using the hashtag #RoamingRavitz. Look out for a more comprehensive story in February.

Now, it’s time for me to get packing. I can’t wait to see where this takes us.

This trip was made possible thanks to a global reporting on religion fellowship granted by the International Center for Journalists, with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Hinduism • India • Journeys • Meditation • Yoga

soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. mzh

    103:1 – By (swear) the time
    103:2 – Indeed, mankind is in loss
    103:3 – Except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma'ruf) which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar) which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah's Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihad, etc.).


    January 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • igaftr

      Satan created your religion. It's history is violence and destruction while preaching peace.

      January 8, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
      • mzh

        And they all shall appear before Allah (on the Day of Resurrection) then the weak will say to those who were arrogant (chiefs): "Verily, we were following you; can you avail us anything from Allah's Torment?" They will say: "Had Allah guided us, we would have guided you. It makes no difference to us (now) whether we rage, or bear (these torments) with patience, there is no place of refuge for us." – 14:21

        And Shaitan (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: "Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.)." – 14:22

        And those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah and His Messengers and whatever they brought) and did righteous deeds, will be made to enter Gardens under which rivers flow, – to dwell therein forever (i.e.in Paradise), with the permission of their Lord. Their greeting therein will be: Salam (peace!). 14:23


        January 9, 2014 at 7:33 am |
        • Span.k Your Imam

          mzh, do not speak thusly without prior vigourous spanking of backside of yourself and closely adjacent imam.

          It is written, no more shall prodigious humping of imams and goats be accomplished without sanctified vestal goats present. We have ready goats present nearby in Tehran to satisfy said requirements. Prepare yourself for red posteriority and take the appropriate stance. If Allah is willing your soreness will eventually subside and you may get back to riding your camel and your usual monkey spanking so profusely.

          Here it is written and must be so.
          Here it is written and must be so.
          Here it is written and must be so.
          Said thricely. Pay attention even in your red blushness of present standing moment.

          January 9, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      And once again, the koranic passages that make Islam the terror and horror religion that it is:

      http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/005.asp et al
      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

      "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:29-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

      January 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
  2. Dhalsim

    They forgot, fap! Eat, Pray, Love, Fap. Or more accurately; fap, eat, fap, pray, fap, love, fap.

    January 8, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • doobzz

      I'd suggest "wash your hands" between the first two.

      January 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
  3. Glenn

    When people reject truth, they will worship anything. Babylonian form of worship. Bable on and on and on and on.
    There's only one God one faith one baptism. Or the rest are lies. http://www.amazingdiscoveries.org. And while your at it youtube cosmic conflict, the origin of evil, by Dough Bachelor

    January 8, 2014 at 12:36 am |
    • sam stone

      Whose "truth", Glenn?

      January 8, 2014 at 4:51 am |
    • Ted


      January 8, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • Barcs

      And how exactly do you know what belief systems are truth and which ones are not? Why are you guys always afraid to admit that it's just faith, not absolute truth? Always trying to convince others of your beliefs. I don't care if you believe that stuff, but don't tell others it's the truth when you don't even know for sure yourself. That's just dishonest.

      January 8, 2014 at 11:02 am |
    • JGN

      Sad little man in your sad little world

      January 8, 2014 at 11:28 am |
  4. Sriram

    Hinduism teaches many paths to final Mukti (freedom). The Yogic path is one such. The path of devotion (bhakti marga), the path of wisdom (Jnana marga) and the path of duty (karma marga) are the other paths. People are free to choose any path that suits them. Even gods and deities can be chosen by the people based on what appeals to them. It is called ishtadevata (chosen god). It is a question of what works for you.

    The whole point is to enable Self development and spiritual growth.......and to finally free the spirit (self) from bodily limitations and bondage.

    January 8, 2014 at 12:35 am |
    • Reality # 2

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      January 8, 2014 at 8:01 am |
      • Chitown Wendy

        Nice strawman.

        January 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Freedom of Speech again appears:

          Only for the new members of this blog:

          Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

          • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

          • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

          • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

          • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

          • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

          • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

          • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

          • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

          Added details available upon written request.

          A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

          e.g. Taoism

          "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

          Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

          January 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
    • Raw Yoga

      Sriram, no more shall ye follow your crude yogic path. The newly revealed path is neither hither yogic path nor recent thither fashionable hot yogic (nor cold yogic even in our present weather conditions), but the new Raw Yogic. Free yourself of your modesty and your clothes and be humiliated.

      Raw Yoga is the new way. Assume the position.

      January 8, 2014 at 10:25 am |
    • Dhalsim

      Yoga Fire! Yoga Fire! Yoga Flame!

      January 8, 2014 at 11:04 am |
      • Lars

        Thighs rubbing together?

        January 8, 2014 at 11:48 am |
      • G to the T

        "Hadoken!" "Hadoken!" "Had... damnit I can never get that dragon uppercut to work!"

        January 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
  5. 7

    Hello folks, everyone is welcome to visit...


    January 7, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
    • Alias

      Or not.

      January 8, 2014 at 11:09 am |
    • JGN

      Did your ma call you that when you were a wee boy?

      January 8, 2014 at 11:29 am |
  6. Clara

    A better title would have been: Love, Sex, Eat Pizza!

    One of those things that was there, "pray", just does not belong. Prayer has been proven in careful recent studies to be utterly ineffective and useless. Only stupid, deluded people still do it.

    January 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
    • Morgan Freeman fan

      Actually it causes measurable changes in either the language or visual centers of the brain (depending on the faith), in addition it lowers blood pressure.

      January 8, 2014 at 4:47 am |
      • Prayer is Worse Than Just Useless

        Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
        Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise. Prayer makes you fat.
        Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
        Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
        Prayer messes up your knees and your neck and your back.
        Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
        Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
        Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
        Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
        Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
        Prayer makes you hoard cats.
        Prayer dulls your senses.
        Prayer makes you post really stupid stuff.
        Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
        Prayer wastes time.

        January 8, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • JGN

          I dunno, I bet there are more dog hoarders among the chronically religious than cat hoarders...

          January 8, 2014 at 11:30 am |
      • Sara

        Not true in the long term Morgan, since as Mr. Useless Prayer points out, it makes you fat.

        January 8, 2014 at 10:59 am |
      • Dhalsim

        Prayer is placebo. It only helps when you KNOW people are praying for you. That's exactly what studies have shown. It gives you peace of mind thinking that it's helping, but in reality the peace of mind itself is what's doing it.

        January 8, 2014 at 11:06 am |
        • Morgan Freeman fan


          January 8, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • Dhalsim

          Thanks. It's good to know that a fan of Morgan Freeman understands grammar. Being born and raised in India on a strict regiment of martial arts and meditation, English wasn't a main focus of mine. Thank Shiva for Morgan Freeman.

          January 9, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Dhalsim

          Wait a second, you are wrong! "It's" is a contraction short for "it is" which is the context I used it. "Its" is used to indicate possession, for example. "I don't understand its function."

          And I had so much hope for Morgan Freeman fans.... Dang.

          January 9, 2014 at 11:48 am |
      • Morgan Freeman fan

        It's official, from now on I don't want to hear any of you three complaining about those who dismiss hard facts in favor of horse dung. And Dahl, I believe my comment was specific to the facts found in those performing the prayer not it's relationship to the external world.

        January 8, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • Dhalsim

          Now I get it, your response to me with the "Its" comment was meant for your own post. Ignore me and my judgement of Morgan Freeman fans. They are still A-OK in my book.

          The brain is very powerful and very complex. There are plenty of things that cause measurable changes in the brain. Meditation, positive thinking, doing puzzles in your head, and philosophizing all have similar effects. It is still placebo. It lowers blood pressure because you think it might work and people feel relief when they believe they are talking to god (or achieving nirvana etc). It's a comfort thing. That's how placebo medication works. You tell the patient that they are taking pills that will fix the problem and/or relieve the symptoms, and they believe it so the brain actually thinks that it is getting better and as a result you do feel better, because the brain releases chemicals that help. Placebo medication has real effects on the brain, like prayer, meditation and other things. That doesn't mean prayer actually works, if you were insinuating that.

          January 9, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
  7. Atheism is a religion?!

    Important news everyone! Atheism is a religion!!

    January 7, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
    • Science Works

      Creationists are mentioned no ?

      Welcome, Ann Reid – education is important !

      "There are a lot of challenges ahead for us at NCSE," she added, citing a likely spate of state legislation aimed at undermining the teaching of evolution and of climate change, attempts by creationists and climate change deniers to prevent the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards in their states, and the need to equip science teachers to resist ideological pressure to compromise the integrity of their classes.

      January 7, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
      • Glenn

        You want science? Check this out, evolution-facts.org. And youtube the privileged planet

        January 8, 2014 at 12:40 am |
        • Barcs

          LOL. That site is blocked at my work because "non-traditional religions and occult and folklore". Something tells me that ain't science.

          January 8, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • No, atheism is not a religion!'

      Stop trolling.

      January 7, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Hello Pot. I see you've met Kettle.

        January 7, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
        • No, atheism is not a religion!'

          I've read this chump's sane exact post about 30 times now. If that's not trolling, you tell me what is, smart ass.

          January 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • Science Works

          No, atheism is not a religion!' HEY CHUMP !

          Then back it up and post the 30 urls I posted it at .

          January 8, 2014 at 5:18 am |
        • No, atheism is not a religion!'

          Science I wasn't talking about you. Do you know how to read a thread? Chump.

          January 8, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • Science Works

          oops yea – noticed it after post.

          January 8, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
    • Dhalsim

      Important news everyone! Not collecting stamps is now officially a hobby!

      January 8, 2014 at 11:08 am |
      • Barcs

        Thanks! From now on when people ask me my hobbies, I'll be sure to include that!

        January 8, 2014 at 11:21 am |
  8. Robert Raulerson

    I guess religion can be fun. For some people. Like if you smoke a lot of hashish and listen to George Harrison records. But I'll pass on fun religion also too.

    January 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
  9. Robert Raulerson

    Ahhh, The Hippies. They were fun. For a while. Like the summer of '66. Thought they were all gone now.

    January 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
    • JGN

      Why would 'they' be gone? Where would 'they' go? If you are of the same age you seem to have survived, so why not 'they'? People don't just evaporate.

      January 8, 2014 at 11:33 am |
  10. Theseus

    "Eat, pray, love" is a book about living happy. How can you do that with the two more important actions omitted?

    January 7, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
  11. Sam Yaza

    what no pizza and sex,... why are Abrahmist such a kill joy

    January 7, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
    • As you age

      You know how when you were a kid cake and pizza was great, and then a teen maybe beer and weed and cake and pizza weren't so terrific, then at some point you discover something you like even better? It's kind of like that.

      January 8, 2014 at 11:16 am |
      • G to the T

        What do you mean? Like BJ's or something?

        January 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
  12. What a shame!

    It's such a pity when foundations such as Henry Luce Foundation does not focus on the poverty and misery of people living in those countries and aiding the less fortunate to a better education or providing other meaningful support that will help the down trodden people in those countries. Instead, they focus on such trivial pursuits of meeting mortals "holy" men that does not benefit mankind one bit.

    To whom much is given much will be expected!

    January 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • What a shame!

      Poverty in India is widespread, with the nation estimated to have a third of the world's poor. In 2010, the World Bank reported that 32.7% of all people in India fall below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 per day (PPP) while 68.7% live on less than US$ 2 per day.[1]

      According to 2010 data from the United Nations Development Programme, an estimated 29.8% of Indians live below the country's national poverty line.

      [2] A 2010 report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) states that 8 Indian states have 421 million poor people.

      [3][4] A 2013 UN report stated that a third of the worlds poorest people live in India.

      Eat, pray and love?? Where is the love for the under privileged?

      January 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • gurbinder singh

        why didn't you write down your real name??? at least we are not interfering some ones' internal matters you idiot..... our foreign policy doesn't exist for killing innocent people around the world just to fulfill own people's tummy...... you need meditation if not then watch the mirror and slap your face at least twice..

        January 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
      • Spiritual Hardy

        The person who wrote this post has read n seen other India. Here Jessica Ravitz is talking about going for Vacation to Experience Spirituality through travelling Holy Scared Place in Himalayas Northern Eastern Part of India and you are talking about poverty & all Blah Blah stuff listen to me my dear friend I being India living in India assures you that even person living in poverty has Gift of being attaining Absolute Bliss through their prayers worshiping Hindu God's in India. So Jessica is coming to India to experience it that's it. My point is you don't need to poor or rich to attain highest form of Bliss and Govt of India is everything which they can to lift the lifestyle of poor citizen of country. Hope you understand what I just said. God Bless You. 🙂

        January 7, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
      • LT

        you know, India got a more milinore then any other country.

        January 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • Dhalsim

          Yoga Flame!!!!

          January 8, 2014 at 11:11 am |
    • Keith Carr

      You make a fir point.

      Instead of spending thousands of dollars and sponsoring someone to go meet holy men in their individual quest for a spiritual journey, this foundation could have used its funds wisely by providing drinking water to the poor, building a medical facility for the poor or simply help the s e x slave children of the country.

      There is nothing wrong in making a spiritual journey, just spend your own money in pursuit of your spiritual dreams.

      January 7, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
      • Keith Carr


        January 7, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
  13. Sasoon

    Those ladies need a good manicure!

    January 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • Fat free frozen yoga

      Inner beauty is just another myth, right?

      January 8, 2014 at 11:28 am |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    It is interesting how strong we are attacted by the invisible world of the demons, and how little we are attracted by the invisible Lord, the eternal God who has made heaven and earth. Very strange is that.

    This remembers me of the Paradise where Adam and Eve had everything which was desirable. The wonderful garden which surrounded them was an image of their spiritual state: they enjoyed God's presence (God's presence was crucial, and the visible garden should only underline that invisible state), the presence of the God who is Life, Cure, Love, Community, Light, Truth, etc. in himself. However, altough they could have been completely contented in the Paradise, Adam and Eve went to the tree of scrutinizing (it was yet a mistake that they went there because God had given them a kind warning). There an evil being told them that they should not reduce scrutinizing but even increase it, even incorporate it eat by eating the fruits of the tree: They would become glorious beings like God himself knowing everything.

    Yet, the evil being deceived them, and they did not become like God but they degenerated. They had cast away there trust in the loveable God, and put their faith in the father of lie. Crucial was that they subordinated themselves to the father of death, and that caused their degenaration. What a state of health they abandoned, it was really a great mistake.

    I guess the basic failure of Adam and Eve, long before the Fall, was that they had not cotemplated enough about God daily. If they had simply prayed every day: God we thank you that you have made heaven and earth, the plants and the animals, the sun and the stars and the moon, the sea and its creatures, then they had not fallen. They took all things for granted, and that was there mistake.

    Simply consider an apple. Do we thank God for an apple? Seldom. Imagine you would be surrounded by empty space only, and you would become hungry. Come on, create an apple out of nothing. Ain't that easy. In such a situation you would realize pretty fast your dependence from God who can make something out of nothing.

    They were chased out of the Paradise, and they learnt what it means not to have everything.

    Today here in the West we live in a subparadise but many scientists predict its end. Yet, to whom will we pray then when we adore the devil and the demons, the powers of death and destruction, now.


    January 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
    • Free Holiday Nuts ^^^^


      January 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Let us admit that we have forsaken the Lord, the eternal God who has made heaven and earth, and that we have adored the idols (today is it the Mammon, the idol of materialism) or the demons instead of him. We have degenerated to evil beings which are very selfish. Whom of us loves God and his fellow human beings?

      The great marvel is that God still wants us to return to him. How does that work?

      God, the Father, delivered God the Son, Jesus, for our sins, and raised him from the dead for our justification (Jesus died for us on the cross where he has borne our sins, and he resurrected for our justification).

      The sacrifice of his Son expresses God's love towards us. If we simply believe that God gave his Son for us, we return into the confident community of the eternal God who has made heaven and earth.

      Ain't that love that God gave his Son. Ain't that love that Jesus gave himself for us?

      January 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • Rainer Braendlein

        What is the rebirth?

        It is very good when you simply believe that Jesus died for you, and has borne your sins on the cross. At first you may conclude that this means forgiveness of all your sins, and that conclusion is not totally false. However, Jesus also insti-tuted sacramental baptism. Why? The issue is that we are that degenerated or evil that we would only accept the forgiveness by Jesus sacrifice but neglect the New Life in Jesus; we would continue sinning (sin means selfishness, and such things), even increase sinning by thinking: Jesus has payed everything in advance.

        What causes sacramental baptism? It strengthens your simple faith or the faith of your reason. Baptism helps you to grasp the power of Jesus' sacrifice in a transcendental way. After baptism you have died for the sin, and entered Christ. You have died and resurrected together with Jesus. That makes you able to overcome the lust of your body, and to love God and your neighbour. That is the complete faith. Just get it!

        January 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • Jill

          Rainer Braendlein, mustard is outside your coffee. There is no caveat to the Klein bottle, and there will be no gold watch for the unspoken zero. Focus your nose on the test tube. Stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish. Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners while it's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. 1112. Welcome to the new sandwich lumberyard. Bus stops follow movement, or do they? The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job when a steamshovel is too distant for pomegranate.Don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent.Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Serpentine. Indigo chestnuts. Give voice to your negligible garage. Walk with found yellow in the fold. Perish your underwear in the crescent.

          And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

          January 8, 2014 at 12:05 am |
      • sam stone

        "Let us admit that we have forsaken the Lord, the eternal God"


        Your self-flagellation fantasies are just opinions, Rainy

        January 8, 2014 at 5:24 am |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      I agree. I read this article thinking how the evil and demonic is presented in a non-skeptical "attractive way" to the unsuspecting, and the spiritually unwise. This is not an exotic get-away, this is idolatry, and inviting demons into a persons life.
      The Holy Spirit is Wisdom. When you're born-again the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you and leads you into all truths by bringing ALL things to your remembrance. Travelling to find spiritual fulfillment is unwise and will never be achieved that way. It's Christ in you, the hope of glory – read and know exactly what this means! This is the good news of the gospel.
      After a decade of writing on faith/spiritual, I hope the writer of the article is aware of and doesn't subject herself (aware/unaware) of demonic possession.

      I would also encourage her to do a piece on David Hogan or others similar to experience true spirituality and to know that the God of the universe is real, and is integral in the lives of those who trust and believe in Him as Lord of their lives.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • Lacey

        There is nothing evil or demonic in this article at all. Stop being so judgemental of the other ways people find their spiritual paths.

        Demonic possession? Absolutely absurd. Those who look for evil around every corner will find it.

        I get tired of religious bigots. Focus your attention to your own actions and let other people alone.

        As for you, Ranier, spamming your website and religious bigotry is your norm. I remain unsurprised that you haven't recognized your own hypocrisy at constantly breaking the 8th Commandment.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          There is true Spirituality – found in the tree of life. Governed by Conscience, Wisdom and Communion.
          There is Pseudo-spirituality – found in the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Governed by Intellect, Will, and Emotions.

          If salvation was from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then only the most knowledgeable, the most strong could obtain it.
          Salvation is a gift from God, freely given to all obtained through the death and resurrection of Christ alone. (No one else died for you and me).

          You can choose to reject what I have written because the reality is we all eat from either the tree of life or the tree of good and evil. The choice always comes back to you.


          January 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • Lacey

          As do they. And there is nothing evil about them; only those who look down their noses at others.

          January 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • sam stone

          You sure seem to have an issue confusing reality with opinion, jeebus beloved

          January 7, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • G to the T

          Why do you call yourself "Jesus' Beloved" when all you do is quote Paul's theology and not Jesus'?

          January 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
      • Walter T

        You are spot on in your analysis.

        You either worship God or you worship the devil. This whole 'spirituality' thingy in this article is of the devil.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Sneaks

          Bull. Those that remain religious bigots are destined to remain firmly within Satan's reach. Be careful what you say; He is always listening. We are ALL God's children. ALL paths leaf to Him.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Jesus said.. my sheep hear my voice, and the voice of another, they will not follow.
          He also said in no uncertain terms...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

          It's when we take offense at the word of God that the devil comes immediately and steal them before they can take root into our hearts, lest it should grow into a mighty, powerful tree.


          January 7, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • Lacey

          Jesus also said not to judge; the measure you judge will be the measure in which you are judged.

          Blessings to all; not just the ones YOU deem worthy.

          January 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • Chris

          Salvation is found in no other name than Jesus. You either accept the path of salvation as offered by Christ and go to heaven or you don't. There is not a 'all paths' that lead to heaven promise, only those who are saved by Christ will go to heaven.

          January 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • sam stone

          i do not seek heaven, i do not fear hell

          both are man made constructs designed to instll fear

          January 7, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • Sneaks

          How nice that the majority of the world has either never heard of YOUR path to salvation, or has a different path than yours, Chris.

          Religious bigotry is so ugly.

          I'll repeat: all are God's children, and all paths ultimately lead to Him.

          January 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • Walter T

          @Chris is right, only Christ can get a person to heaven, worshipping devils leads to destruction. Only Christ is the one true path to eternal life.

          January 7, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • sam stone

          do you seriously desire ETERNAL life?

          January 7, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • MR

          Hey, whatever makes the bigots feel good about themselves...Jesus YAY! All others...NAY!

          Do be the first to confirm that your religion is the true on after you kick the bucket, okay?

          What a load of sh!t. Bigots.

          January 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      it is interesting to see how strongly we hold to invisible good guys and invisible bad guys

      January 7, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
    • Barcs

      Garden is most likely a mistranslation for prison. god is most likely a mis translation for leader. Read the bible with those 2 things in mind and it'll be a much more enjoyable read and far more likely than the literal interpretation passed off today.

      January 8, 2014 at 11:26 am |
  15. Reality # 2

    And responding to the topic in fairness to all:

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    January 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
    • Live4Him


      January 7, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Irony be thy name

        January 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • Mercury

          You said it!

          January 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • Mirror

          Look in it.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • .

          Aw. Another Christian who wants to limit free speech.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
  16. Kenny Rogers

    No never take away the pizza.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
    • lol??

      I like pepperoni pizza.

      January 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
  17. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Show me your faith without sex and pizza, and I will show you my faith by my pizza and sex.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Show me a religious faith without sex and pizza, and I'll show you a pretty lame-ass religion...

      January 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
    • Doris

      Now Tom, you can either tell me or you can tell Oprah. Anchovies, or no anchovies?

      January 7, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
      • Mercury

        No anchovies!

        January 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Anchovies? No, but tree-ripened olives (packed in water, not brine), chorizo sausage, asiago and Kloosterhaar cheeses, sun dried tomatoes...

        January 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Mercury

          Oh, hell, you've convinced me...

          January 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • Doris

          OK, OK, I haven't heard of Kloosterhaar cheese, but I do like the sound of the others together. You can put any kind of olive in front of me and it's gone.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Gourmet" pizza is the way of the Debil and sun dried tomatos are a joke that nobody got at the time. Oh and Pineapple should NEVER go on a pizza!

          January 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Piccolo

          But my god says that olives are evil and should not be consumed. You guys really need to stop rejecting the truth.

          January 9, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
    • Live4Him

      So you are willing to store up your treasures where moths and rust destroy.

      January 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
      • K-switch

        Are you refering to someone's va gina?

        January 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • .

          Her own. She hasn't been laid since 1978.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • Billy

          Poor Miss Havisham – I mean Live4Him.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • sam stone

          live4him gets laid regularly. she greases up her crucifix and puts jeebus in feet first

          January 7, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Careful how you twist Lie4Him's alias, the dolt will accuse you of slander and libel.

          January 8, 2014 at 5:48 am |
  18. NeoKat1

    This only makes me thing that however old you are and whatever stage of your life YOU ARE NOT happy. You will never find happiness without God. I don't need to go in any trips. Anything I want,or ever desired, I already have. A family, A wife, 6 children, and God. I don't need anything else... I didn't have to go far away to search for anything.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
    • AE

      Cool. Now you can pass the love on to someone else who needs it.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I'm pretty happy without whichever one of the 10,000 god(s) you happen to worship

      January 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
    • RC

      You have too many children. Have you figured out what's been causing it?

      January 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      "You will never find happiness without God"

      Only the weak minded say such things. Please do the right thing and turn your children over to Children's Services so your brainwashing of them/abuse can cease.

      January 8, 2014 at 5:56 am |
    • G to the T

      They say that ignorance is bliss and patience is a virtue. So if you're stupid and you don't mind waiting around alot, I guess you can have a pretty good life...

      January 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
  19. Alias

    This sounds nice, but I would rather have the pizza and sex.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin


      January 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Empty life so you'll take the leftovers, huh?

      January 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
      • Fan2C

        Empty life, so you fill it up with fantasy and supersti.tion...

        January 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • Live4Him

          It just appears that way to you because you haven't looked at ALL the facts.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • .

          You have yet to ever present any.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • TDM

        What, L4H, you never eat pizza or have se.x unless you ask Jesus first?

        January 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
  20. Randy

    A new year commitment on the belief blog:

    What next?

    January 7, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • Observer

      What's wrong with that? An atheist can be spiritual, a Satanist can be spiritual and a Hindu can be spiritual. All these paths lead to spirituality.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
      • Sycamore

        Nothing wrong with that, except that people look for spirituality in all the wrong places. Spirituality does not come from going to different places.

        The notion that going to a specific place makes you more spiritual is fundamentally flawed!

        January 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I thought people looked for love in all the wrong places... and in too many faces

          January 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • AE

          I have a spiritual experience when I worship God at church.

          January 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          that's just stomach discomfort from holding your bodily gases

          January 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Corbin

          Well stated.

          January 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • Zero Degrees

        Just make sure you test those "spirits" 😉

        January 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Luke

          There's a verse for it, read 1 John 4

          January 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • Mercury

          Is like to test a dirty martini made with Ketel One...

          January 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      How dare they publish stories about beliefs that don't jive with your!
      And they don't even have the common decency to point out how inherently evil and flawed all other belief systems are, right?

      January 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • Mercury

      Well, you certainly don't have to stay here, Randy; there are many blogs that will goosestep to your needs.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • Sunflower

      Randyism aka trollism

      January 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • Sunflower

        btw, if people did not know Hindi, Randy means w-h-o-r-e in hindi.

        January 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Mt. Sur

          You are a good example of a perfect Hindu spiritual.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      It makes a nice change from the 24×7 Pope Francis channel.

      Mind you, we haven't heard the last of him.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Let's bring the Mormons back.

      The Belief Blog was flooded with Mormon apologists everytime CNN ran a piece on Mitt's religious background during the 2012 election.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • Theseus

        Bet they didn't know Mitt changed states to represent is governorship because he was in a bidding scandal for the Utah Olympics, making him a liar during his campaign. Or that Jo Smith is a PROVEN charlatan. But hey, intelligence has always looked dumb to the dumb.

        January 7, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.