Although traditional religion has declined in Europe, recent studies have shown that spiritual experiences are surprisingly common even among those who are non-religious, including near-death experiences and spontaneous mystical insights. Meanwhile, the effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that such practices generally make people happier and healthier. Rupert Sheldrake will discuss several practices which are part of all religions, and which are also open to people with no religious affiliation, including meditation, chanting, rituals and pilgrimage.
Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 85 scientific papers and 12 books, including Science and Spiritual Practices. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, and from 2005-2010 the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project for research on unexplained human and animal abilities, funded by Trinity College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, California, and of Schumacher College in Devon. His web site is www.sheldrake.org