Travel Presence

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Whether you are doing a "staycation" this year in your backyard or going on a trip to a distant place, you can turn your journey into a pilgrimage with a few simple spiritual practices. Below are some we have used. For more, we invite you to sign up for our e-course "Transformative Travel: The Art of Finding Meaning on the Road with Phil Cousineau" at SpiritualityandPractice.com.The first day of our pilgrimage to the Holy Land a few years ago, our camera broke. Standing on the Mount of the … [Read more...]

Making Reading Sacred

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Lent is traditionally a season for reflection, revision, and renewal. It's a time when we set aside a little extra time for spiritual reading. We know that each year our Lenten e-courses, such as this year's Practicing Spirituality with Brian McLaren, are very popular because they focus on short readings perfect for daily meditation.Reading — whether a book, an article, or an email — is one of the ways we practice gratitude, meaning, hospitality, openness, and enthusiasm, and we commend it to … [Read more...]

Discovering Resilience or How I Learned to Fall Down Seven Times and Get Up Eight

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We have a guest blog this week from our friend James Kullander. He's leading a one-month e-course on "Mastering the Art of Resilience" starting next Monday, November 4, from our website SpiritualityandPractice.com. We're sure you'll understand why we invited to do this once you read about what he's learned about resilience through his own personal experience.In the late autumn of 2001 as I watched my former wife, Wanda, die of cancer, I felt so heartbroken that I was going to lose her and so … [Read more...]

The Hokey Pokey Is What It’s All About . . . and Other Signs in Daily Life

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It happens all the time. A song comes on the radio, and we hear a lyric in a new way. We notice an interesting sign while walking in the city – like "Look" at a crosswalk. We're paging through a book or browsing the Internet and a picture catches our eye. We pass a playground and remember a childhood game.What if these are signs? What if they are messages from the Divine?We talk a lot about spiritual literacy in this blog, and here's how we define it: "Spiritual literacy is the ability t … [Read more...]

Welcoming the Spiritually Independent

Let's stop being so negative about the group that is transforming religion and spirituality in the 21st century. One-fifth of the American public – and a third of adults under 30 – do not identify themselves with a religion. This is a growth from 15% to 20% of the population in just five years, and we have no doubt that similar trends are happening around the world.Some of this number (6%) describe themselves as atheists or agnostics, and the other 14% say they have no particular religious af … [Read more...]

Passing on Spirituality: Teaching the Spiritual ABC’s

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Spirituality is a way of being in the world, and it is marked by activities and experiences. We didn't learn a lot about it when we were growing up and going to Sunday School, confirmation classes, and youth group, although we were taught the beliefs of our faith. Spirituality came later when we met a variety of teachers and attended conferences and workshops.  So when Patheos asked us to reflect upon how we would pass it on to children, we realized it's all about things we can … [Read more...]

Spiritual Practices for Hot Weather

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This is the fourth year in a row that we've seen record high temperatures in July in many parts of the United States. To the usual tips for staying cool (drink more water, stay in the shade, find an air-conditioned spot) we would add some spiritual ways of dealing with heat — tips from sages and seers who have lived through hot times.See Your Connection to the WeatherThe world-famous Catholic monk Thomas Merton sets the tone for our spiritual weather strategies in this passage from When t … [Read more...]

Handle Your Things with Care (Part II)

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Here are more thoughts and practices for finding spiritual meaning in things.Appreciate Wabi SabiLeonard Koren is an expert on the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi which he defines as "a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is the beauty of things modest and humble." We have a chipped tea pot which we have had for years and still it has a special place in our hearts for its flawed beauty. Identify a few favorite objects in your home that have Wabi Sabi.Hold … [Read more...]

Handle Your Things with Care (Part I)

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We're leading an email course this summer on Practicing Spirituality at Home. Preparing the 40 daily emails and looking forward to discussions in our online Practice Circle, we find we are really interested in hearing how people find spiritual meaning in their things. Here are some of our thoughts on the matter.There is a rich and soulful emphasis in the world's wisdom traditions on respecting inanimate objects. Many Christians see the sacramental value of things as signs of God's presence; … [Read more...]

The Graduation Speech We’d Like to Give (Part II)

Several times this week we've passed little groups of people in graduation garb taking pictures in front of New York monuments. Beaming friends and families were looking on. We congratulate them — and others graduating in the days to come — on completing this stage of their education. Here's Part II of the graduation speech we'd like to share with them. Part I, published last week, covered "wisdom to go" in the form of proverbs and pith instructions. Here's more.Mind Training SlogansAlso … [Read more...]


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