March 18, 2023

Contemplative practices open us to hearing, seeing, and knowing the presence of the divine within us, beyond us, and in the connections we have with one another, so that grounded and growing, we might have the strength to work for justice in the world around us. Renowned spiritual teacher and writer, Barbara A. Holmes, led the most recent session of Alignment: Interfaith Contemplative Practices. Her work is focused on African American spirituality and mysticism. Her pivotal work Crisis Contemplation: Healing... Read more

March 4, 2023

Can we find a deeper connection to our lives of prayer by aligning ourselves with the basic elements: water, earth, air, and fire? Alignment has explored drinking water as a contemplative practice, taking ourselves to ground level, and exchanging our exhale as ways in which prayer enters our lives in unexpected ways. Might fire be the element that allows us to find and claim the spiritual practices that are uniquely ours? Understanding that there are many different avenues to connecting... Read more

February 18, 2023

Breathe in the positive. Let go of what no longer serves. Whether we are on the yoga mat or being coached through a moment of anxiety, the call to expand our lungs with an inhalation of positive energy feels basic to centering practices. It makes sense. We fill ourselves with life-giving air. We pause. We let go of the oxygen-depleted breath and along with it, we release tension and negative thoughts. Attention to our breath lives hand-in-hand with spiritual practice.... Read more

January 31, 2023

Today marks the time of winter when our hearts and minds turn to that deep longing for spring. Standing halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox, those Celts who were so attuned to the turning of the seasons knew the importance of this midpoint. The need to hasten the call to warmth and light, to the sprouting of life from hardened ground. Life was lying in wait “within the womb”, imbolc. So to the goddess of fire and... Read more

January 28, 2023

“I can’t remember the last time I touched grass,” announced a student in my classroom this week. I was giving my weekly reminder to look at me instead of their computer. During pandemic school days, I tried every digital tool I could find to make language learning more engaging online. We practiced verb forms with GimKit. We worked through translations using Pear Decks. We made connections using Padlets and Jamboards – and I felt like a wizard transforming my decades... Read more

January 21, 2023

We are vessels of water. The make-up of our bodies, our brains, our beings is water. Studies from the NIH find that our intake of water goes far beyond supporting the functioning of our physical systems. Adequate hydration lowers our risk of developing chronic diseases. Beyond alleviating headaches, water intake mitigates depression and anxiety. All in balance, of course. Too much water and we mess with our sodium levels and can just as easily end up in the hospital for... Read more

January 14, 2023

Honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The opportunities to be of service this weekend are abundant. Perhaps it’s a factor of the two main communities around which my days revolve. My independent school community and my interfaith community. But this weekend I need to make decisions about where to honor the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Which community gathering to join to make sandwiches for the shelter. Which interfaith service to attend to raise the... Read more

January 6, 2023

We crave space to cultivate our spiritual well-being. In the busy-ness of our lives, however, it can be difficult to find the physical and mental and emotional space to settle into a practice. Might the space, however, be right in the place where we are standing? Perhaps we find our strongest connection to the divine through nature. But the rain is falling sideways, and the wind is just too gusty for a long walk. Or the practice of yoga and... Read more

December 30, 2022

New Year’s Eve has us standing at yet another threshold. The two-faced Roman god Janus, for whom January is named, was appropriately named for the doorway (Latin: janua) in which he stood. He looked back, and he looked ahead. Or was he looking inward and pointing himself outward? Perhaps we can attribute to him something a little more contemplative as we recognize the importance of liminal spaces in our lives. Liminal Spaces Looking Back and Forward Liminal spaces and times... Read more

December 24, 2022

Are more Christian leaders turning to their pagan roots? Although I grew up with Celtic Christian roots, the identification pagan was not honored in Christian communities as it is today. The limited understanding of what was pagan referenced only what was outside of the Church. Heathen. Cultish. My Scottish Presbyterian upbringing pointed me to John Calvin and John Knox as my guides for what was to be done decently and in order. At times I felt it might be more... Read more

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