As I’ve often said, one of the greatest joys in my role as editor of this magazine is meeting such a wide range of invariably interesting people. I suppose, though, anyone who is determined to think outside the box and pursue alternative paths in life is almost by definition, interesting. We often get called other names, few of them flattering, but the advice of wise minds is to let it all go. And some of those wise minds can be youngish, like my son who airily advises, “Just don’t pay any attention.” Perfect!

One thing I think many of our readers and so many millions of others in this resolutely secular age are seeking is a satisfying spiritual life, one that doesn’t involve following the dictates of any established religion. I wrote a few months ago about Deepak Chopra’s latest work called The Future of God in which he suggests that even people who call themselves atheists are searching for some deeper meaning in their lives. He cited a revealing US survey which found that 21% of people who identified as atheist believed in god or a universal spirit, 12% believed in heaven and 10% prayed at least once a week. While they’re not believers in any conventional sense, clearly they’re not happy believing in nothing either! Maybe that describes you – and me.

And maybe what we’re really looking for, as a writer described it to me this month, is “practical spirituality”, a way we can find the deep nourishment we seek while at the same time doing some good in the world. That writer, Gloria Grace Wallace, has suggested her way in “Daphne’s Bump”, her whimsical response to being “rear ended” while stopped at a red light. I, for one, admire her amazing self control and I’m sure there’s a lesson there for me.

Tibetan Buddhism is another much-loved spiritual pathway and in “A Lama Reborn” Jeremy Ball tells of a new wave of lamas from this ancient tradition who are reaching out more into their communities to help improve people’s day-to-day lives. What better teacher could they have in this down to earth approach than the Dalai Lama? (If you’re in Perth, don’t miss his public talk on June 14. You’ll find details in our May issue

The devastation of Nepal has been uppermost in so many people’s minds since the first major earthquake in late April, followed just weeks later by another one. The Fremantle community is gathering together for some of that “practical spirituality” on June 13 for a Nepal fundraiser. It sounds like a great night with many generous offerings already so go along and make your own. (Details on Page 5)

In our health pages this month, we explore the world of raw food, a way of eating that’s really gaining in popularity. In “Eat More Raw” Peter Dingle presents us with some compelling research that raw plant-based foods can be a big boost to health. And to add a little more flavour to his offering this month, we’ve included a range of delicious-sounding recipes from the Raw Food Cookbook & Diet. Even if you’re a steamed veggies rather than salad sort of eater, give it some thought and experiment with a few more raw alternatives in your daily diet.

I’d also point you to David Arenson’s feature on “Arthritis and Ageing”. Sadly, this painful affliction is almost an accepted part of ageing but David, wearing his naturopath’s hat this month, offers some very hopeful research and, guess what, a healthy diet figures highly there too.

We hope you enjoy the read and the month ahead

Margaret Evans

Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.