As you may or may not know, my spiritual memoir, Your Truest Self, was published in 2008 by Sorin Books. Over the years, many people have asked me, 'Will there be a Part II?' 'What's happened to you spiritually since 2008?' The answer to these questions could fill the pages of a lengthy book. For now, I'm content to begin the process of offering some answers here, while also creating a space for you to share your unfolding spiritual journey.
The spiritual journey is not a static one. If we're listening deeply and being guided by the still small voice within, and/or "the god of our understanding," our journey will be vibrantly alive, ever changing to meet life's challenges. If authentic, it will deepen us as human beings and open us to Mystery.
Many people today report feeling dissatisfied with their religious institutions and how they have been operating over the years. As a result, some are looking elsewhere, seeking out organizations or communities that "walk their talk"; feel more inclusive and ethical. Additionally, a large percentage of today's seekers have not been raised within a specific religious tradition at all, while others hail from multiply religious (interfaith) families. We are learning that there are a myriad of ways to experience the Sacred. No one path fits all.
The Pew Foundation, which has been surveying the religious and spiritual lives of people in the U.S. for many years, has validated this, documenting how more individuals than ever are choosing to step outside traditional churches, temples and mosques to experience the Divine on their own terms. Over 50% of millennials, for example, claim to be religiously unaffiliated. However, as I have come to know, this doesn't mean they are not drawn to the spiritual journey, for many certainly are.
If you are one of an increasing number of individuals worldwide who are drawn to an expanded spirituality, meeting the Sacred on your own terms, this space might be for you. If you are someone who still has your feet and heart planted in a religious tradition, but find yourself open to the teachings of other traditions, you too are welcome here. And if by circumstance you are someone who isn't sure where you are, or what to believe, who or what to include in your devotional practice, I hope this space will be an oasis of new understandings for you.
I have come to believe that all genuine (wisdom and compassion-based) paths can lead to God*, IF we allow ourselves to be transformed by the path. My own path is no exception. I have written about this HERE and invite you to see if there is something in my story that resonates with your own spiritual unfolding.
What I hope to share in this space are topics brought forth in the article, as well as threads of inquiry like these:
How do we walk a spiritual path with authenticity today? How do we craft a spiritual life that is rich, deep, and meaningful? How do we know what is right and true for us? How do we give ourselves permission to live the truth of what we find and not fear what others might think, say or do? What can we uniquely devote ourselves to spiritually so we can be of service in the world?
Let the conversation begin and our stories unfold. I thank you for your entrustment reading and commenting** here. I look forward to this journey with you. Namaste', my friend, from the depths of my heart. Truly.
* I use the term, the "Sacred," to denote our inter-cultural/interspiritual understanding of ultimate reality, God, presence, the All, Spirit, Brahman, Essence, etc. This encompasses, in my view, any term each of us might use to describe our knowing of a transcendent experience of life and true self. We each must find our unique way of understanding and living into this.
**To maintain a safe and compassionate space, all comments will be approved before posted.
Linda K Lyzenga
8/8/2021 10:48:48 am
Thank you, Jan, for this tender sharing & generous invitation laid out here.
8/9/2021 06:06:02 pm
You are most welcome, Linda, I am glad you are open to it and might join in the conversation. Peace to you!
8/8/2021 11:54:19 am
How wonderful to see/read this, dear Jan.
Hello Maryse, thank you for chiming in and sharing a bit about where you find yourself right now. The path you speak of is a solitary path where one must adopt or craft unique language to put words to one's experience of the sacred. And is even that word too religious for you? I am curious what words do resonate for you personally and are those words enough? Can you live into them with courage? Sometimes when we do we give others permission to do the same and then a type of community is born.
Jan, thank you for creating this sacred space, for the invitation to explore and find what spirituality means to each of us, regardless of identifying factors (race, religion, class, ability, education, economic level, gender/sexual identity, etc.). It’s time to offer, listen, appreciate, and create a wider space, sense of what the embodiment of integrity looks/feels like.
8/9/2021 06:14:48 pm
Hello dear Kaveri,
8/9/2021 06:28:55 pm
Thank you for such a generous offering , dear Jan! As you know, I am folding parts of many religions into my path while remaining a member of a Christian church. I am comfortable with the term "seeker " for my spiritual path, as it seems I am continuously seeking a closer relationship with the sacred. One challenge I think about is discerning when to let go of an established practice, or allow it to alter as what is more deeply meaningful to me seems to shift. (There are just not enough hours in a day to continue with all the practices which I have found meaningful at some point. But one also does not want to skip shallowly from flower to flower and miss the depth of sticking with something for decades.)
8/10/2021 05:46:20 pm
Dear Sharon, thanks for sharing your voice here. I do admire how you "fold in" the parts of various traditions and yet remain true to your root religion of Christianity. You ask a wonderful question about how do we know when to shift a practice or stick with it. This question has been up for debate for eons. I will offer these points to ponder:
Leave a Reply.
A safe and welcoming space to explore the unfolding nature of our spiritual journeys.
Dr. Janice Lynne Lundy (PsyD, DMin, MPC)
is The Gerald May Professor of Spiritual Direction & Counseling at the Graduate Theological Foundation. She is an interspiritual director/mentor, educator and counselor who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for nearly thirty years.