Week of Feb. 9
Hello and early Valentine's Day greetings! It's the week of love. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we thought more about the year of Love (capital "L"), acknowledging our divine essence as Love?
This week I will send out Valentine's greetings to my dear ones and whooshes of love to plenty of others. But in my heart of hearts (pun intended), I'll intend to convey a deeper greeting of Universal Love to all being everywhere. May we all...
Here's what's happening in my world this week:
At My Desk
I'm beginning to gather up material for a morning workshop I'm teaching in Grand Rapids on Feb. 21: "Writing as Spiritual Practice." I've been very aware of how I write, and that every form of writing I engage in consciously can be an invitation to spiritual practice. From an e-mail to a colleague, to a Facebook post, to a letter of inquiry to a bookstore, for me, it ALL has to be grounded and centered—rooted in spiritual calm, clarity and goodwill.
This IS the transformative power of writing for spiritual practice. No matter what you pound out on the keyboard—with intention and a kind, open heart—your words can be a doorway to greater spiritual awareness and connection. This helps you feel more peaceful (even if you are busy) and more connected heart-to-heart with everyone else. Breathe, write, breathe some more. When we do this, the Sacred can guide us.
the most unexpectedly wonderful book! MudHouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner. This is what grabbed me about it. It's a book for Christians about how to enrich their faith with eleven spiritual practices from Judaism. The author was born Jewish and converted to Christianity. What she notices is this. As much as she loves her new faith, she misses the practices from her Jewish upbringing, like Sabbath keeping and even the rituals around death and eating. One of the things I realize now is that most Christians are belief-based, meaning belief is what their religious awareness (and their relationship with God) is based on. Belief is enough.
For Jews, it the actual practices that inform the religion. Without the practices, the religion has no real meaning. The things that you actually DO are your plug-ins to God. This makes so much sense to me and explains something that's baffled me for quite a while now. When I emphasize the importance of spiritual practices so much in my teaching and writing, Jews get it, so do Buddhists and Hindus, but Christians often look at me blankly. Their spiritual understanding is not, for the most part, about doing practices. (I am not speaking of taking the sacraments here). Belief, for them, is enough. It's great food for thought and ongoing discussion.
I'm Listening (Watching)
Super Soul Sunday with Oprah. My, oh my, she's got me hooked now. Loving Fr. Richard Rohr this week talking about the search for the true self. (Sr. Joan Chittister will be featured in February too.) I applaud Oprah for stepping into "religious circles" to speak to those from within who can step out into the greater circle of humanity and educate us about spiritual awakening. You can watch these episodes in their entirety for one week on the web. Here is the link to this week's program.
I took away so many jewels from Fr. Rohr on Super Soul Sunday, including this one: "Our DNA is divine." This tells me what I know to be true. We ARE divine beings. Our souls are housed in human bodies. Rohr calls the soul—embodied in the human body—the Immortal Diamond. This is a powerful concept. And being human with all our suffering is what polishes the diamond. The simple process of living (and navigating ALL of life's difficulties) is what helps us embody our true self.
This is much of what I wrote in my own book, Your Truest Self. I loved hearing Fr. Rohr confirm my own findings of the beliefs I've formulated after a lifetime of searching.
that I will continue to be faithful to my own unfolding, polishing my own Immortal Diamond. This journey is not easy for any of us.
Here is a little Metta to help me—to help any of us— stay faithful, courtesy of Mary Brantley:
"May I have courage.
May I trust myself.
May I have patience.
May I be free from fear."
I'll also add, "May I remember my own goodness and the Love from which I spring forth."
May it be so for me, for you, and for all beings.
How is your week unfolding?
Thanks for joining me. Blessings upon your precious heart.
p.s. Feel free to chat with me on my Facebook page.
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Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.