November 14, 2019

Practicing Our Way to Gratitude Some of us spend this month practicing 30 Days of Gratitude. People post their thankfulness on various social media each day, describing how grateful they are for the good things which fill their lives. I appreciate their practice. There are days when something they share inspires me to see my own experience in new ways. Gratitude is often a challenge for me. My first inclination is to find a problem to solve or avoid, not blessings… Read more

November 12, 2019

Echoes of Remembered Stillness Some of us experience our contemplative practices as new each day, new every morning. We may struggle to find our level of listening, to settle into stillness, each time we practice. Many of us, as our practice builds into experience, discover we can hear the echoes of remembered stillness. We sit comfortably, breathing deeply, and remember how we have listened to sacred stillness in the past. Our practice is not about evaluating or assessing how well… Read more

November 7, 2019

My Stepping Stones from Evangelical to Contemplative I am not a natural contemplative and I was not born into contemplation. The church of my childhood was evangelical. The Bible meant what it said. I learned the books of the Bible in order and memorized plenty of King James’ English. The spirituality in which I grew up was direct, uncomplicated, and reassuring. The more I studied the more I knew, and I knew truths other people needed to know. My one… Read more

November 5, 2019

A Few Words About Words Our lives are full of words. Written or spoken, they express our thoughts and feelings, our questions and insights. When we share our stories with other people, we use words to do it. Many of us find it hard to trust ideas or experiences we cannot put into words. When we try to understand something we struggle to find the exact word to explain it. The conversation within our own heads is a verbal one…. Read more

November 2, 2019

Investing Our Daylight Savings Most of us adjust our clocks at least twice each year. Depending on where we live, we spring forward and fall back. Nearly 70 countries in the world practice some form of Daylight Saving Time. An entomologist from New Zealand first proposed the idea in 1895. In 1905 a British builder independently developed a similar idea and lobbied the British Parliament unsuccessfully on its behalf until his death. The first nations to adopt Daylight Saving Time were… Read more

October 29, 2019

Finding Our Rest Within Stillness We live in times of constant and overwhelming stimulation. Some of us track the weather on the other side of the planet or political news from across the country. There are few moments in our days, or our nights, when we are not paying attention to analyzing something. We do not get the sleep we need to restore our minds or our dreams, and we are exhausted. Many of our have lost the ability to… Read more

October 26, 2019

Is Our World a Frightening Place? Many of us are getting ready to celebrate the frightening aspects of our world in a few days. We will choose a character and an appropriate costume, light candles, and head out into the dark. Some of us try to coat the more frightening parts of Halloween in candy, but it is about being scared. Yes, there are treats and tricks as well as masks and costumes. The truths go deeper than that. Halloween has strong cultural,… Read more

October 24, 2019

When Perfection is Not Enough Some of us seem to believe spiritual life is about being perfect. Many of us work hard to keep our imperfections concealed, hidden from other people. We may believe it is important for us to appear perfect, or at least to exceed expectations. Some of us think we look less spiritual the further away we are from perfection. I see spiritual life in a different light. I do not necessarily advertise my own imperfections, or those of… Read more

October 22, 2019

Struggling Toward Stillness I have heard people describe contemplative practices of listening to sacred stillness as restful or peaceful. It can look restful, from the outside, as we sit still and listen to the stillness within us and around us. For many of us, though, our listening practice feels like a contest, a struggle. We may experience our own practice from the inside as a long road of struggling toward stillness. Even the few minutes we spend listening each day… Read more

October 19, 2019

What Are Spiritual Practices? People talk to me about spiritual practices. Some people have questions about what they are or which ones they might want to follow. Others have strong opinions, based on their own experiences, about which practices are most helpful or enjoyable. We each have our own personal ideas and questions about spiritual practices. Some of us have our favorite practices and some of us have practices we try to avoid. Many of us believe there is an… Read more

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