Killing the Buddha

“I Only Desire”: Poet Monks

Running into a monk at a hostess bar in Kyoto was as jarring to me as bumping into a rowdy rabbi or Baptist minister at a strip club.  Though all…



An illicit afternoon hike on a sunny day. What could go wrong? A short story from KtB’s new contributing editor.

sukisuki via Flickr

Christian, for All Intents and Purposes

Unpacking religious baggage in Jerusalem.


One Variety of Impiety

There are lots of ways of being disrespectful during church, especially if the church is Catholic. The rules are a lot easier at your average megachurch, where shorts, t-shirts, and…


Curious, Obscene, Terrifying, and Unfathomably Mysterious

I am going off to write about people. An ordinary proposition, it would seem, particularly for a person who makes a living writing for people and, typically, about people or…


A Country to Die For

Memorial Day has never been my favorite. In Arlington, Virginia, where I grew up, it always meant the roar of Vietnam Vets on motorcycles all day. And the occasion can…


The (One, True) Way to Go

I stand corrected. Quince Mountain (whose racy memoir “Cowboy for Christ” appears in our forthcoming book Believer, Beware) wrote in with a note about my Memorial Day post from yesterday,…

Noemi Vagus, an Ashaninka shaman, standing in front of an Ayahuasca vine in the Peruvian Amazon

Meeting the Madre

A night high on ayahuasca with the Ashaninka of the Peruvian Amazon.


All I Ever Wanted

A skeptical vacationer laments the lack of cock fighting at Club Med.

All photos by Munir Virani of the Peregrine Fund

The Bright Half of Bhadra

In the forests of Rajasthan resides the god of invisible things.

Bedouin Coffee

The Collector’s Lair, part 3

“I’m a real motherfucker,” he says. “But I won’t sell a fake.”


The Collector’s Lair, part 2

Finding a fix in the dust of the Holy Land.


A Crook for Souls

Today I arrived in Wyoming to visit a dear friend. On the way, while in what she approvingly called “the Wyoming part of Colorado,” we passed the Benedictine Abbey of…

Shlomo Moussaieff

The Collector’s Lair, part 1

An atheist descends into the underworld of the Israeli antiquities trade.


Getting Godly in Mysore

We’ve  come to the hilltop where the Chamundeshwari Temple overlooks the city of Mysore, India, but we can’t pass up the free admission to the Godly Museum across the parking lot.…


A Hundred Unspoken Rules

Bloodlines bridge the divide between belief and disbelief.

By XirannisX back On via Flickr

Wanderlust and the God of Experience

The seeker’s lifestyle requires a certain set of what most people would call dysfunctional qualities.

Photo by Andrew Boyd

Testing the Vows of Celibacy

Scenes from a spiritual bootcamp.