Spiritual practice: Stay in Touch With What Is

    Sunday, April 13, 2014, 6:33 PM [General]

    Today is Passion Sunday. I have written the Spiritual practice keeping in mind that we are living in Holy Week this week. I share it here with the hope that it will be helpful for you during this week.

    Jesus’ Passion is a story of suffering. Our Christian tradition invites us to consider suffering--Jesus’ suffering, our own suffering, the suffering of others, the suffering of the whole world--during holy week.

    Thich Nhat Hahn offers this advice: If you recognize and accept your pain without running away from it, you will discover that although pain exists, joy also exists.
    Just stay in touch with what is actually going on, and you will touch the true nature of suffering and the nature of joy.

    What suffering can you touch and walk with during this week?

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    Spiritual Practice: Live life to the Fullest

    Sunday, April 6, 2014, 6:02 PM [General]

    I think when Jesus told Martha that he was the resurrection and the life, that he was encouraging her in the face of death to celebrate life. This thought lies behind the spiritual practice I have suggested for this week. If you find it helpful and think of someone who also might find it helpful, please pass it along.

    Life is a gift. Celebrate it to the fullest. Here are five simple actions you could take this week to celebrate life.

    Fully embrace the now, no matter what the situation.
    Do at least one thing today that brings you joy.
    Live in total awareness for one moment.
    Listen to all the sounds you hear: the wind, trees, birds, crickets, insects, dogs, cars, planes, people-lives intermingling.
    For one moment let go of the complicated and overwhelming expectations you had of what it meant to live life to the fullest

    Peace and Blessings!
    Bob


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    Spiritual practice: Meditate on the basic element of earth

    Sunday, March 30, 2014, 4:13 PM [General]

    In today's gospel reading, Jesus spit on the ground and made a poultice of mud which he put on a blind man’s eyes. He told him to go and wash. In this action, the one who called himself the light of the world drew attention to basic elements. The story in brings together three of the basic elements: light,earth and water.

    In May our book study group will consider praying with the basic elements. The book we will use as the entry into this topic is: Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements by Paintner, Christine Valters.

    For today, I'm suggesting a this spiritual practice: 
    During this week, focus your meditation on the element of earth. Notice how you come in contact with the earth. When do you touch earth? When are you aware of your groundedness? When are you aware of the energy you derive from the earth? As you answer these questions realize that Jesus is putting the poultice of earth on your eyes.

    Peace and Blessings!
    Bob

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    Spiritual practice: meditate with water

    Sunday, March 23, 2014, 3:26 PM [General]

    Everytime you touch water this week, let the water call you to a moment of meditation.  Remember Jesus promised to give living water and that living water flows from the deepest part of your being.  Let the water remind you of its life-giving properties.  Be aware of life flowing within you.

    Peace and Blessings!
    Bob
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    Spiritual practice: Meditate with the Wind

    Sunday, March 16, 2014, 3:52 PM [General]

    Jesus told Nicodemus, “God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

     

    During this week, feel the wind.  Each time you feel the wind outside, or a breeze stirred by movement or even your own breath, let it remind you that Spirit, like the wind “blows where it wishes.”  As you are aware of the wind, reflect on the Spirit’s movements within you.

    Peace and Blessings!
    Bob 

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    Spiritual practice: Experience the energy of pure being

    Sunday, March 2, 2014, 4:00 PM [General]

    In  the  story of Jesus ’  transfiguration, the disciples saw Jesus as pure light.  


    During this week light a candle during your moments of meditation.  Let  that light remind you of the pure light, the pure energy, of your being.  Realize that pure energy is the essence of your being.

    Peace and Blessings!
    Bob 


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    Spiritual practice: Simply Be

    Sunday, February 9, 2014, 12:52 PM [General]

    Jesus says, “you are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world.”   Both of these sayings suggest that you have influence in the world, not necessarily because of what you do, but because of who you are.  This is a significant observation:  only you are you and your presence influences relationships, situations, and events.

     

    Often people hear these words of Jesus with a should, that is, “you should be the salt of the earth.”  Then they struggle to become the salt of the earth or experience guilt because they don’t measure up to their own expectation.  Jesus didn’t use the word should.  He simply affirmed, “you are…”

     

    Enjoy simply being.  During this week use Jesus’ words to remind you that you ARE …  Then let these words remind you  of your influence.  See if you can observe places where your very presence has made a difference.  You might even consider asking a trusted friend how they observe your influence.

     

    Peace and Blessings!

    Bob

     

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    Spiritual Practice: Jesus’ Unusual Blessings

    Sunday, February 2, 2014, 4:00 PM [General]

    Jesus pronounced blessing on the poor in spirit; those who mourn; the meek; those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; the merciful; the pure in heart; the peacemakers; and those who are persecuted.  Most of us at one time or another have experienced these conditions.  Do you agree that these are happy conditions?  For the most part our culture teaches us that these, at least several of them, are not happy states.

     

    The next time you experience one of these conditions, or maybe when you reflect on a past experience, see if you can find the blessing in it.

    Peace and Blessings!
    Bob 

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    Spiritual practice: Say Yes; Say No

    Sunday, January 26, 2014, 5:20 PM [General]

    When Jesus called his first disciples, they had to make a choice, 
    stay with what they knew, the family business, or leave it all behind to follow Jesus. To do both was not an option. For us too, to make one choice closes other options. 

    The choice of the first disciples is our choice, too: to follow what we know, with predictable or mostly predictable outcomes or to risk it all to follow Jesus with nothing more than a promise. This is the way of the spiritual life--to choose to follow the promptings of spirit wherever they may lead.

    You can review some of your choices. 
    To what have you said yes? By making that choice, to what did you say no. 
    To what have you said no to protect or reaffirm an earlier choice?

    Peace and Blessings!
    Bob 

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    Prayer for MLK Day

    Monday, January 20, 2014, 1:13 PM [General]

    Later today, I will give the invocation for a MLK commemoration. I'm sharing it here with my Beliefnet friends:

    Today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr.

    May his dream be our dream:
    “to live in a nation where [people] will not be judged 
    by the color of their skin, 
    but by the content of their character.”

    Let the resonance he gave to the words 
    of an ancient prophet echo throughout our communities:
    “let justice roll down like water.”

    May the memory of his booming voice enable us to hear 
    the words of our Declaration of Independence 
    to be as inclusive as they appear:
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident,
    that all men are created equal.”

    Let the cadence he gave to the words of our song become the pulse of our lives:
    “let freedom ring.”

    When we feel too small or too insignificant, 
    let us hear his eloquently simple reminder:
    “everybody can serve.” 

    When to hold the dream seems too much 
    for our perceived limitations, 
    may his words encourage us: 
    “You only need a heart full of grace. 
    A soul generated by love. 
    And you can be that servant…” 

    This is our prayer this day.
    May it be our prayer thought the days to come. Amen.

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