Grace for a Scary Season

I’m not fond of this season. The yard displays, the masks, the gore, so much creepiness on TV. Think of what it is teaching our children. I’m not talking about Halloween. It’s mid-term election season. These days elections seem to bring out the worst in human behavior. And it’s not just “those people.” I find myself arguing with campaign commercials, or making snap judgments about … Continue reading Grace for a Scary Season

Life-Giving Sabbath

The word “Sabbath” calls up lots of ideas and feelings for different people.  As I grew up, we were expected to observe it strictly, with no unnecessary work and no homework done on Sundays. We could not patronize a swimming pool or a restaurant, because that would require other people to violate the Sabbath as they served us.  This was not altogether a negative thing. … Continue reading Life-Giving Sabbath

Practice Resurrection

Wendell Berry, dubbed the “Poet Farmer,” has spent countless hours walking through the fields and woods of his property, writing about the wonder of nature and the stories that the land would recount if it could use our language. Any farmer or gardener can identify with his delight in the process of “dead” seeds springing to life and morphing into crops, flowers and trees. It … Continue reading Practice Resurrection

The Energizing Flow of Creativity

“Do not underestimate the thrill of trying.” –Julia Cameron             Mixed media art has always captivated me.  I marvel at the imagination and creativity of those who bring together a variety of elements to interact and cohere to stimulate the viewer with the outcome.  A bird rests on a torn edge of newsprint, and its song breaks into my thoughts.  A disembodied hand offers a … Continue reading The Energizing Flow of Creativity

Spiritual Practice: Being Present

Reality.  It is a stinker right now.  We would rather not have to endure this overwhelming stoppage and restriction that has us anxious and impatient, irritable and sad.  But now is all we have.  It is all we ever have, if you think about it.  Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow exists only in our imaginations.  But “living in the now” seems like a silly statement.  Isn’t … Continue reading Spiritual Practice: Being Present

Spiritual Practice: (Forced) Fasting

Fasting is an ancient practice that invites us to abstinence for the sake of spiritual focus.  I am no expert; you can find information and guidance in books devoted to this practice alone or to a range of spiritual disciplines.  My first experience with fasting happened in college when I decided to fast from lunches on Mondays during Lent and to give the money saved … Continue reading Spiritual Practice: (Forced) Fasting

Spiritual Practices: Prayer of Loving Kindness

Today’s practice is the Prayer of Loving Kindness.  The beauty of this prayer is in the many ways it can be used.  My first introduction to it was in a contemplative mode, praying it slowly and repeatedly, for yourself and others. First, for yourself, taking your time.  Then pray it for someone who has blessed your life, a benefactor.  Then for a friend, then someone … Continue reading Spiritual Practices: Prayer of Loving Kindness