Learning to Be Content

contentment

We've decided that a good goal for 2013 is contentment. We sure see plenty of discontentment around us. Our consumer culture runs on it! Advertising pitches are designed to make us always want something more, better, or different. Every day we face moments when we can choose to be happy and satisfied or we can fall into a pattern of discontentment.We eat breakfast and wonder why our usual cereal tastes bland. We listen with some jealousy as a friend describes her weekend activities when we … [Read more...]

Spiritual New Year’s Resolutions

2013

We do it every year. We decide that we need to make a change, do something differently, shift our routine, make new commitments. But making a list of "New Year's Resolutions" is not enough, we've found. We know ourselves well enough to realize that we often resist change, and we need a spiritual practice to reinforce our desired behavior.The religious life gives us plenty of examples of this kind of practice. Christian monks and nuns take vows when they enter an order. Buddhist practitioners … [Read more...]

As Outside, So Inside. Observing the Winter Solstice.

wintersolstice1

Friday, December 21, is a momentous day. The Winter Solstice synchronizes exactly with the end of the 5,125 year cycle of the Mayan Calendar. We plan to make a special effort to observe this day. It's a time to notice the changes outside and inside. In the northern hemisphere, the days of light are shorter, the darkness is longer, the weather is cold, the trees are bare, and snow is often on the ground. John Matthews, who has lectured widely on Celtic and Arthurian traditions, has written this … [Read more...]

Spiritually Literate Holiday Gifts

158207415

We like to use spiritual practices to choose what we call "spiritually literate gifts." These are gifts with meanings attached to them. They might be symbolic of God's presence in daily life; they might reflect how we are connected through time and across the miles with others; or they might encourage us in a spiritual practice such as play, wonder, and hope. Here are some examples of spiritually literate gifts, based on the practices in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy.• Something h … [Read more...]

Making Shopping Spiritual

shopping4

We are not big shoppers. If, as has been estimated, most Americans spend one hour a day shopping, then we fall well below the average. But there is something different about holiday shopping.We're shopping for gifts, not necessities, for one thing; we are encouraged to stretch and be creative. And being out and about with so many people is a wonderful reminder of our connections with others; it feels more like a communal experience. Finally, there is the beauty of the season and the … [Read more...]

The Aha! Moment

aha

It took only a slight shift in understanding for us to realize that daily life — everything we do — could be a spiritual practice. We both remember the day it happened. We were sitting in the living room on a Sunday afternoon. Frederic was reading passages from books we'd reviewed that he thought we should include in our book Spiritual Literacy, which was to answer the question "How can I live a spiritual life every day" by illustrating ways to read the texts of our experiences for sacred mea … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X