Why I’m Religious || Mayim Bialik

Why I’m Religious || Mayim Bialik


– I’m often asked about, and
sometimes criticized for, being a religious person. Why would a scientist be religious? Why would someone who knows
so much about the universe believe in mythology and magic? Why do you need religion as a crutch? That’s what people ask me. First of all, that’s
not how I see religion. And second of all, a huge aspect of what I find so appealing about religion is the opportunity to
focus on mindfulness. Yes, part of this is accomplished
in my religious practice by a connection with
something greater than myself, which we do tend to call God. But the rituals and the
methodology of religion can be a vehicle, at least, this is my
experience in Judaism, a vehicle for mindfulness. This is a perfect time to tell you to share this video,
subscribe to my channel, hit the little bell so you can get notifications
about other videos, and like this video if you like it. Also go to groknation.com for
other articles about religion. So, how does an ancient
religion like Judaism feel relevant in the 21st century? Well, Judaism in its original
state was actually designed to introduce a concept of mindfulness. How? Well, one way is by instituting
prayer throughout the day. Muslims actually do this, too. Religious Jews pray three times a day: once in the morning,
once in the afternoon, and once in the evening. However, the entire day is full
of opportunities for prayer and mindfulness. In Judaism, we have blessings
before and after eating. There’s a blessing for after
you visit the bathroom, seeing lofty mountains, or eating the fruit for the first time, or even meeting someone who is exceptionally unusual looking. Yes, that’s a thing. The notion of mindfulness is
a constant exercise for Jews, and while we may hone our mindfulness with an awareness of
something that we call God, for some people they use the notion of the universe at large, or the love that binds us all, or a mystical concept of oneness. So, you can be mindful even
if you are an intellectual, or philosophically-oriented person. I don’t feel that my scientist
self is compromised at all by participating in
things like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and even prayer, all of which have been found
to lower blood pressure, increase your body’s ability to heal, and basically improve your
quality of life overall. Do I have issues with religion? Heck yeah. Do I have a strong distaste for the patriarchal
flare of Judaeo-Christianity? Yes, ma’am. Do I have concerns that
certain religious beliefs and political leanings that are in line with
those religious beliefs might contribute to a world
of hate and destruction rather than one of love and unity? Absolutely. Would I be a good scientist if I didn’t? Do you see what I did
there? (clicks tongue) But I am grateful to the approach
that my religion has taken to increase mindfulness. I am grateful that I can connect with this trend in popular culture while still having it
be completely consistent with the ancient religion that is mine. You can practice mindfulness
without religion, absolutely. But for me, there is
something very, very special about combining that awareness with thousands of years
of ritual and tradition and with this thing that
is greater than myself which I choose to call God. And honestly, that’s why I’m religious. For me, practicing Judaism means committing to a structure
of intention and meaning which brings my life
mindfulness and purpose. How do you incorporate
mindfulness into your life? Do you do it as part of
a religious tradition, or separate from a religious tradition? What works for you and what doesn’t? Tell me in the comments below. Like this video if you like it. Share this video. Please subscribe to my channel. Go to groknation.com for more
of my thoughts on religion. See you next time.

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