Religion and spirituality can be as trendy as the latest handbag or dress in Hollywood. Belonging to a specific church or temple is often like being part of an exclusive country, club without the golf. While many people claim to be religious or try to proselytize their beliefs on others, true spirituality comes from within. Here is a list of the ten most spiritual celebrities. While some of these celebrities are known for being a member of a specific religion, some simply consider themselves spiritual and do not align themselves with or believe in any particular sect. All of these celebrities are known for living their lives according to their own spiritual guidelines, from how they raise their children, to how they spend their money, and how they choose to dress. Most importantly, all of these celebrities try (and sometimes succeed) in inspiring the public to embrace their own spirituality.
10. Russell Brand
While Russell Brand is one of the most spiritual celebrities, he doesn’t subscribe to a particular religion. He says he believes in an “infinite creative force.” Brand, who is in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, doesn’t shy away from discussing his involvement in 12 Step-Groups, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, which believes in “a Power greater than ourselves.” He also practices Kundalini Yoga, which is one of the most spiritual yoga practices, at Golden Bridge in Los Angeles. He even brought his yoga teacher, Tej Kaur Khalsa to the MTV Movie Awards in 2012.
9. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise was introduced to Scientology by his ex-wife actress Mimi Rogers and has been an advocate for the controversial church ever since. He has credited the church with helping him overcome dyslexia. Scientology was founded in 1953 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in Camden, New Jersey. The first church opened in 1954 in Los Angeles California, which currently has the largest concentration of Scientologists in the world. Other famous Scientologists include John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Laura Prepon, Danny Masterson and Bijou Phillips.
While she has a very Christian name and was raised Catholic, singer/actress/mogul Madonna is Jewish. She has been practicing Kabbalah since 1996. Kabbalah is an ancient Jewish tradition of interpreting the Bible through mysticism. Actress Sandra Bernhard, who brought her to Philip Berg’s Kabbalah Center in New York, first introduced Madonna to Kabbalah. Madonna then went on to co-found a branch of the center in London. Despite her devotion to Judaism, there are rumors that Madonna is now practicing Islam, which she was introduced to by her current boyfriend, Brahim Zaibat. However, in 2013, she said in an essay she wrote for Harper’s Bazaar: “I think it is important to study all the holy books. As my friend Yaman always tells me, a good Muslim is a good Jew, and a good Jew is a good Christian, and so forth.”
7. Candace Cameron Bure
Candace Cameron Bure is best known for her role as DJ Tanner on 90’s sitcom Full House and is currently a Dancing With The Stars finalist. Married to former NHL hockey champion Valeri Bure, Candace became a Christian in her 20’s. Recently, she has made headlines for declaring she has a submissive relationship with her husband: “I think that a lot of people don’t understand the biblical term submissive,” she said. “My husband and I are very unified but he’s called to love me and I’m called to submit to his leadership.” She clarified further and said, “He is the man and head of our household. I love being the heart of our household.” Regardless of whether you share her religious beliefs, Candace Cameron Bure certainly hasn’t gone the way of many former child stars.
6. Mayim Bialik
Despite the fact that her name means “Water” in Hebrew, not everyone knows that Mayim Bialik, who stars as Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, is a Jew. Mayim was raised in the Reform sect and had a Bat Mitzvah, which is the Jewish coming of age ceremony. She is now, as she says, “aspiring modern Orthodox.” Modern Orthodox women adhere to a modest dress code, which Bialik even abides by on the red carpet, which means she wears long sleeves and doesn’t show cleavage. Being Modern Orthodox also means Mayim keeps a kosher diet. If that isn’t enough, Mayim co-founded the Jewish parenting blog, Kveller.
5. Rainn Wilson
One of the most truly spiritual celebs is actor Rainn Wilson, who is best known as Dwight Schrute on The Office. He was raised as a member of the Baha’i Faith. Founded in Persia during the nineteenth century, The Baha’i Faith is based on three core tenets, which are Unity of God, Unity of Religion and Unity of Humanity. In 2009, Wilson founded Soulpancake, a website and media company whose mission is to “Chew on Life’s Big Questions”. Through various forms of media, conversations, as well as a book, Soulpancake has empowered people of various faiths and religions to connect on new spiritual levels.
4. Gwyneth Paltrow
The recently “consciously uncoupled” Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t believe in religion, but she does believe in spirituality. Coming from a long line of Eastern European Jewish Rabbis, she does plan on raising her children, Apple and Moses (which is a biblical name), Jewish. Gwyneth’s father, producer Bruce Paltrow was Jewish and she was raised Jewish by her parents. However, Gwyneth’s mother actress Blythe Danner and her ex-husband, Chris Martin are actually Christian. Like her friend Madonna, Gwyneth practices Kabbalah. Religious differences were reportedly one of the causes of the breakup between her and Martin.
3. Richard Gere
Raised Methodist, actor Richard Gere converted to Buddhism in his 20’s. He first studied Zen Buddhism with Kyozan Joshu Sasaki. After studying the religion for about six years, Gere traveled to Nepal and eventually to India, where he met the fourteenth Dalai Lama. He began to practice Tibetan Buddhism and has since become an activist for the Free Tibet movement. His non-profit organization, The Gere Foundation supports The Tibet House, which he co-founded with composer Philip Glass and Professor Robert Thurman (who is actress Uma Thurman’s father). The mission of The Tibet House is to preserve the country’s spiritual and cultural heritage.
2. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson was raised Catholic and has been promoting Jesus Christ ever since. In 2004, Gibson directed and produced The Passion of The Christ. Extremely controversial, this movie depicts the final twelve hours of Jesus Christ’s life. Gibson is part of the Traditionalist Catholic movement and financed a Chapel in Malibu, California for The Church of The Holy Family, which is located nearby in Agoura Hills. All of the daily masses there are performed entirely in Latin and women are required to cover their heads. While Gibson claims to be the king of all Catholics, he went on a very un-Christ ike anti-sematic rant about Jews, while being arrested for drunk driving in 2006, when he said, “F*****g Jews… The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” What would Jesus do? He probably wouldn’t say that.
Oprah Winfrey was born “Orpah” for the character in The Book of Ruth, but everyone mispronounced her name and Oprah she became. Oprah is one of the most spiritual and successful influences in the media. Through her television career, Oprah has interviewed spiritual leaders from various religions, including the Dalai Lama, Reverend Ed Bacon, and Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as new age “gurus” including Rhonda Byrne, who wrote the bestselling book, The Secret. She also helped make Eckhart Tolle’s books, A New Earth, and The Power of Now, into bestsellers. Although she is known for raising spiritual, as opposed to religious, awareness Oprah has said publicly that she is Christian.