December 15, 2018

Tidings of Comfort and Joy We believe this is the season for tidings of comfort and joy. Some of us find it more than a little ironic to expect to hear tidings of comfort and joy right now. It might be particularly helpful for us to receive some of those tidings this year. What we hear, though, are usually tidings of what new products we need to buy to make our lives complete. We check our social networks and find… Read more

December 13, 2018

How Much Further Can We Go? There are days, sometimes weeks, when we wonder how much further we can go. Sometimes it feels like a long time since we made any progress or accomplished anything. We worry we are stuck or sitting up on blocks turning to rust. Maybe we feel we are coasting, relying on our past achievements. We might be frustrated because other people do not seem to even remember our most significant work. We feel we are… Read more

December 11, 2018

A Dance of Light and Dark One of my favorite holiday traditions is the dance of light and dark. The darkness of our nights stretches and our times of daylight grow shorter each day. Just when we are on the verge of being swallowed by the darkness we begin celebrating holidays of lights. Some of us mark our sacred days with candles while others string lights around trees. Many of us have opportunities to sit and watch a dance of… Read more

December 8, 2018

We Prepare to Begin Why is it such a challenge for us to begin something new? Many of us resist beginning each morning. Some of us procrastinate to put off beginning new projects. I know people who practice distracting themselves with obstacle after obstacle so they do not have to begin. Some people rely on preparation to avoid beginning. They may not feel they are ready to start. There is so much more for them to learn and take into… Read more

December 6, 2018

What Sparks the Fire of Spiritual Life? There are days when sparking the fire of spiritual life can feel like too much of a challenge. I care about spiritual life and spend a lot of time reflecting on it, and it can be difficult even for me. Some days it seems like more than we can do to get excited about spiritual life. There are days when we are tired. We may feel frustrated, repeating spiritual practices which do not… Read more

December 4, 2018

Following a Path of Stillness Many of us do not set out to follow a path of stillness. Some of us prefer a path that is like a freeway with several lanes and little enforcement of speed restrictions. We may want large, legible, brilliantly lit signs telling us where to go, as well as a trusty app. A few of us might like a bright, loud path announcing how we are doing, calling attention to our progress. Few of us… Read more

December 1, 2018

Turning Things Upside Down Some of us believe spiritual life is a warm, soft blanket we wrap around ourselves to be comfortable. We like to think spiritual life is full of traditions and stories to make us feel safe. Spiritual life can seem like getting a flu shot. Every so often we experience a jab of inconvenience but it is good for us and saves us from suffering. There is an assumption spiritual life is fine for people who enjoy… Read more

November 29, 2018

Taking Steps Toward Spiritual Life Many of us are looking for a set of clear, measurable steps we can take toward spiritual life. We are not looking for easy answers or for someone to tell us what to do. If only we had somewhere we could start, a plan for taking our first step and our next. We understand spiritual life is neither a checklist nor a math problem. What can we do? Our steps do not bring us closer… Read more

November 27, 2018

Our Stillness is Inside Us I am not a particularly deep thinker. For a long time I lived asleep to myself, blanketed in layers of expectations and distractions. When I started learning about contemplation, I finally began to become open to listening. Contemplation is not about sitting still and thinking deep thoughts. For me, contemplation is a way to let go of the thoughts, whether they are deep or not, distracting us from sacred stillness. Listening to sacred stillness is… Read more

November 24, 2018

Are Our Holidays Happy? Happy Holidays! How often have we already heard someone wish us happy holidays, and how often will we during the next month? Will it make our holidays happy? I talk with quite a few people whose holidays are not especially happy. People tell me this time of year makes them feel stressed, sad, and depressed. They feel pressure to do the shopping they do not enjoy. There seems to be a general expectation we will make… Read more

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