Many of us, when faced with challenge and change, turn to our religious or spiritual community for support. But what happens when, for circumstances beyond your control, you can't physically make it to the pew to hear the uplifting sermon or get to the meditation hall for a comforting prayer? Perhaps you are the lone Buddhist in a Christian assisted living community; or you are undergoing chemotherapy at a facility too small to merit a round-the-clock pastor?
At these times, rather than going to church, ashram, temple or mosque, a growing number of individuals are going digital. Innovation is clasping hands with tradition on a broad variety of uplifting websites and apps making their appearance on computer and phone screens across the country.
As a key part of my job as executive director of the first mHealth app to offer individuals access to a customized audio library of inspirational content from the religious or spiritual tradition of their choice, I have had the opportunity to take a bird's eye view of the digital spiritual and religious landscape. Early adopters of CoroFaith: mFaith include professionals for use in the long-term care and aging-in-place communities and with patients in oncology settings.
Here are additional digital tools you should know about that provide spiritual continuity in challenging circumstances. Most are free while a few ask for donations or charge modest amounts.
Please note that these are just a handful of examples from a few religious and spiritual communities. In addition to these broader-based offerings, an increasing number of individual religious communities -- possibly even your very own -- are doing everything from live streaming services and dedicated Facebook pages to daily inspirational Tweets. A digital search for content from the tradition of your choice coupled with an email to your own religious or spiritual community administrator is likely to guide you to just what you want when you need it most.
11 Spiritual and Religious Digital Resources
Christianity: Evangelical andmainstream
1. Billy Graham Sermons
Dozens of classic video sermons by Billy Graham from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association archives such as "Victory out of Tragedy" and "The Three Most Momentous Days in History."
2. Your Bible Online
Audio and text bibles in multiple versions and languages, plus online passage, keyword and topic searches, reading plans and more.
Daily mass from the EWTN chapel, homily, sermon and educational programming both live and archived available 24/7.
4. Daily Torah Study
Daily Torah study on video offers Chumash with Rashi, Psalms/Tehillim, Tanya and more. The Chabad.org site also shares abundant text, video and audio educational content and prayers, such as the Kaddish.
On-going current and audio sermons in the archives include such classics as Rabbi David Wolpe on "Vayeshev: When God is Silent" and "Esau and the Power of Forgiveness."
Audio teachings of the Dalai Lama and many other Buddhist teachers on Tibetan Buddhist Internet radio. Offerings include the Heart Sutra chanted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama Heart Sutra -- Tibetan
7. Dharma Talks
Dharma Talks by Western Buddhist Vipassana Teachers from Insight Meditation Society (IMS), Spirit Rock Meditation Center and other retreat centers including Joseph Goldstein on "Turning The Mind Toward The Dharma" and Jack Kornfield on "Compassion."
Spirituality/Wisdom Traditions and Practices
An online radio station featuring live and archived presentations and courses with many top spiritual authors/speakers such as Wayne Dyer, Doreen Virtue and Caroline Myss. "Life's Final Chapter" with David Kessler and "The Four Agreements: Learning to Love Yourself" with Don Miguel Ruiz.
Live radio and archives of spiritual masters and thinkers from a broad range of religious/spiritual orientations. Offerings include Krishnamurti: "Truth is a Pathless Land", Barbara Marx Hubbard: "Humanity's Potential to Consciously Evolve"; Jacob Needleman: "Seeking Wisdom," Deepak Chopra: "Ways to Find God" and Theodore Roszak: "Longevity: The True Wealth of Nations."
Sounds True, distributor of a wealth of spiritual and religious audio and text programs, features Withinsite, offering interactive guides and guided exercises on meditation, energy healing, discovery of life purpose and developing intuition. They also feature audio downloads of programs by Eckhart Tolle, Andrew Weil, Jon Kabat-Zinn and many others.
CoroFaith offers individuals access to a customized audio library of inspirational readings, prayers, sermons and meditations from the religious or spiritual tradition of their choice. Just released as an mHealth app this week, it is available in the iTunes Store. You can download and receive seven days for free and then the app is $9.99/month.