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Showing posts from May, 2016

Spiritual Hunger

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“Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.” 

President Jimmy Carter has a deep spirituality. The quote above is as true today as it was when he first spoke it in 1979. The world still has a deep and unquenched spiritual hunger. Why? 

I believe, as President Carter does, that our priorities are in the wrong places. Too many of us are striving for a better life through material things. However, new cars, bigger houses, the latest technical gadgets and closets full of clothes cannot fill the emptiness in one’s soul. So, what does fill the emptiness? 

For me, natural beauty of any kind fills my heart and soul with joy. Music, religious as well as secular, art, and literature all touch something deep within me that often raises …

Finding Solace

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Sometimes, it is difficult to write...too many things going on...no time to gather my thoughts...or I am simply too tired. 

This can be a BIG problem if you are doing a weekly column, as I did back when my girls were young. How did I manage? Well, to be honest, I often prayed. Yes, that is right, I said, “prayed!” Know what? It worked. 

Somehow, in the middle of the praying, something would happen, or someone would call, or I would pick up a book, paper or magazine and there would be my inspiration! Crazier still, those were often the times I would hear from readers who would tell me that what I had written was an answer to their prayers! Imagine! 

However, prayer isn't the only way to find peace and solace when our souls are in turmoil and pain.

The past few months have been difficult. In addition to the deaths of several loved ones, there are the anniversaries (birthdays and anniversaries of the deaths of my parents and brother) which cause me to pause and reflect on life. 

I …

The Zen of Gardening

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I have been taking an online course from Harvard Divinity School on World Religions.  This month, we have been studying Buddhism - its origins, but mostly its scriptures.

In the process of learning the fundamentals of Buddhism, I stopped to do a bit of gardening.  The sun was out; the temperature was a lovely 78 degrees; and Rog and I were once again re-configuring our gardens.

I made the decision to garden after several hours of reading about the various Buddhist forms (Pali and Mahayana) and their scriptures, which number in the thousands.  My brain was too full.  I needed a break, saw the plants waiting to be put in the garden, then thought, "I can plant one or two and go back to studying."

One thing led to another as I moved around the flower bed.  I planted, weeded, transplanted, moved rocks, arranged garden ornaments - all in a sweet bliss of simply "being."  When I stood to survey what I had done, I realized that the sun was over the western quarter of the yard…

Church Without Walls

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After last week's post, I had the most serendipitous blessing of joining a group of interfaith/interspiritual ministers from around the world on a conference call to discuss what to say when asked where our church was.  The conference was lead by Rev. Claudia Roblee of the Wisdom Circle Ministries.
For over an hour, Claudia led us through a process of discerning our mission. During this process, we shared what we had written.  When one of the attendees mentioned that she was a "minister without walls" the lights went off in my head.  Of course! Churches without walls!
Before entering seminary, I attended the "University Without Walls" at UMass Amherst in order to complete my bachelor's degree.  This idea of not being confined to a specific space was not foreign to me; in fact, it was very familiar.
I am a minister without walls serving those near and far through dialogue, blogging, prayer and mediation on the internet as well as face to face.
One sentence that …