Forgiveness is a bedrock of the spiritual tradition tradition. If we don’t take it up, who will? But, forgiveness is tough! To be actually able to do it, requires a training regimen. We must till the soil of our wounds with small-step practices. One first-step exercise is to pray for one who
Forgiveness is a skill that must be developed. It takes courage and strength, but when you engage in the process, you give yourself the gift of freedom – freedom from bitterness, freedom from allowing an incident continually harm you. Listen as we explore the 4-fold skill of forgiving.
It is nearly impossible for us to go directly from hated to love. The usual path is to go from hatred to resentment while telling ourselves that we should be loving. A healthier path is from hatred to non-hatred, from non-hatred to understanding, from understanding to acceptance and so forth.
Loving our enemy. Was Jesus serious? We Christians generally ignore this verse because we simply cannot see our way there. We are encouraged to begin this 1000-mile journey with a single step. We enable ourselves through a process of working our circle of spiritual practices – communal, contemplative, service and learning.
A commitment to service is one essential part of a healthy spiritual ecosystem. But service absent discernment can, at best, waste resources, at worst, cause harm. For many years the discernment was that NRCC was to focus upon building the other parts of the spiritual ecosystem. Today, the call is
The ancient myth of Sophia and her daughters illuminates a deep truth. The Way of Wisdom (Sophia) gives birth to the daughters, Faith (Fides), Hope (Spes), and Charity (Caritas). When we apply ourselves to the Way of Wisdom — when we take up the spiritual practices, the fruit of our journey
This week we discuss the Jewish heroine Esther who despite her youth, sweetness, lack of wisdom and traditional power, leveraged what she knew about the spiritual journey. She helps us see how counter-cultural spiritual power really is. Esther calls her people to to essential spiritual principles: quietness and togetherness. Exercising these
See what we did there!? “counter” and “counter.” Same word, two meanings. Now that’s big-time pun fun, people! In today’s lesson, we imagine the conversation Jesus had with his disciples as he sent them to do their part healing the world. “Don’t act too magnificent,” he told them. “Travel light,” he
Folks who grew up in church have probably heard the term “the mind of Christ.” (It’s in the Bible.) Today’s lesson suggest the term has the potential to help us out of the partisan pickle we find ourselves in as a nation. So far in this lesson, we’ve seen several
We’ve all got “sameness is safeness” instincts. They make it really hard to answer the question, “who is our neighbor?” But as we’ve been saying, everything is connected. A good way to imagine our connectedness is the metaphor of an ecosystem — interconnected but diverse. Turns out, even the
Our brains are evolutionarily hardwired to detect difference and to fear it. This survival strategy makes it harder to see the deeper truth of our connectedness. Given that our hardwired instincts work against relating in oneness, the spiritual journey helps us. It gives us practices to help us see beyond
Five hundred years ago, Enlightenment scientists told us all things exist independently. All the social and cultural institutions we now live in, were built on instincts drawn from that basic understanding. Consequently, Western society — and especially the US — lives in a strong soup of hyper-individualism. But if, as
Science and spirituality have converged to affirm that we are all connected. Our separateness is an illusion that keeps us from living our lives in spiritual harmony with our interconnected reality. We all suffer the afflictions of living our two-ness illusion – chief among them is fear. Our tradition points us
Since each personality has a bent, each tends toward specific fear-avoiding strategies. As we’re learning to push back against our strategies, this lesson considers a whole menu of ancient spiritual practices, to help us counter a whole spectrum of fear-avoidance strategies. Have a listen.
A healthy dose of righteous indignation can be a powerful catalyst for action toward repairing the earth. …key words being – healthy dose. But, sometimes, our indignation is yet another strategy for avoiding fear. When it is, our effectiveness at being agents of change is blunted. We are blinded to
The regular occurrence of laments in our Christian lectionary cycle testifies to the fact that acknowledging affliction and fear is a healthy and a necessary part of the spiritual journey. When we distract ourselves with comforts and pleasures to avoid feeling our afflictive emotions, we disrupt the transformative process and