By Scott Bass We have a saying in our community that “It is our way to lose our way…” Losing our way is sometimes a good thing. The mystical experience is not part of most Christian’s journeys these days. We don’t see “the wilderness” or aimless wandering as a good thing in today’s goal-oriented culture. But spending time […]
by Chris Greabe Everyone has their own story about how they got to NRCC. Everyone’s wilderness journey is also a bit different, and many of us are still on that journey. Here is a bit of my own journey and what NRCC means to me.
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 to step into our place […]
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 is a new orienting principle […]
When we tend to the inner life, the fruit we bear is Love. Modern standards might think love a fool because it bears all things kindly. It does not boast or envy or keep score. But when we know the Divine within, we become capacitated to love fully, not because others have earned our love, […]
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 principles, the Jews are spared. […]
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 told them. When the establishment […]
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 reasons we stumble so clumsily […]
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 neighbor we think of as […]
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 the limited truth of twoness […]
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 quantum scientists have now discovered, […]
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 back to oneness. Jesus’ Sermon […]
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 bigger picture, and cut […]
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 stunt our spiritual growth.
When we let our technology fool us into believing we are safe and invincible, our tools . . . make us tools. When religion devolves into just another technology we use to allay our fears, we miss the opportunity to transform our relationship with fear and enter into the peace that Jesus offered us – […]
C.S. Lewis lamented that we settle in our lives, far too easily. In this lesson, we see that when we use religion as a tactic to calm our fears, we are settling for a second hand-religion. Religion can do better. It holds out the promise of first-hand transformation. Let’s do that!