Definitions

  •  Spiritual Direction
    “Our work calls people to their own holiness”.  (Spiritual Directors InternationaI statement)

           I do Spiritual Guidance in following contexts and cultures:

Young Adults/Youth

Couples/families

Divorced/Widowed

Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans/Queer/Questioning

Retiring from work/career

Elderly/Mature Adults

Grieving/Dying/Sick

  • Spiritual Guide

    A spiritual guide is not a judge.  A spiritual guide is a companion, a man or woman who sees our potential, and holds a gaze of shelter and belonging.  At times it a  fierce gaze, in other moments, we see tenderness, compassion, humility.  Our story is valuable, and speaking your truth gives voice to angst and ability.  Please risk trusting your spiritual director, trust your own gut and intuition, and remember, we only move as swiftly as the slowest part of ourselves.   Thus whether it takes months or years to fully share and integrate our story, life invitations and experience, all is well in the fullness of time.  Transparency, risk and seeking to create your authenticity.    –Spiritual Directors International

  • Ministry is
    a quality of relationship between and among
    human beings
    that beckons forth hidden possibilities;
    inviting people into deeper, more constant
    more reverent relationship with the world
    and with one another;
    carrying forward a long heritage of hope and
    liberation that has dignified and informed
    the human venture over many centuries;
    being present with, to, and for others
    in their terrors and torments
    in their grief, misery and pain;
    knowing that those feelings
    are our feelings, too;
    celebrating the triumphs of the human spirit,
    the miracles of birth and life,
    the wonders of devotion and sacrifice;
    witnessing to life-enhancing values;
    speaking truth to power; 
    speaking for human dignity and equity,
    for compassion and aspiration;
    believing in life in the presence of death;
    struggling for human responsibility
    against principalities and structures
    that ignore humaneness and become instruments of death.It is all these and much, much more than all of them,
    present in
    the wordless,
    the unspoken,
    the ineffable.It is speaking and living the highest we know
    and living with the knowledge that it is
    never as deep, or as wide or a high as we wish.

    Whenever there is a meeting that summons us to our better selves, wherever our lostness is found,
    our fragments are united,
    our wounds begin healing,
    our spines stiffen and
    our muscles grow strong for the task,
    there is ministry.
                 – Rev. Gordon McKeeman, Unitarian Unversalist Minister

Love After Love

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

 and say, sit here.  Eat.

You will love again

the stranger who was yourself.

Give wine.  Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all of your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

 Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit.  Feast on your life.

-Derek Walcott

When Death Comes

When Death Comes
 
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
 
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
 
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
 
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
 
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
 
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
 
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
 
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
 
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
 
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
 
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
 
~ Mary Oliver ~
 
 
(New and Selected Poems, Volume I)

In Memorium: the Rev.Dr. Jack Mendelsohn (1918-2012)

BEANNACHT     (from Anam Cara  by John O’Donohue)

  For Josie

 

On the day when

The weight deadens

On your shoulders

And you stumble,

May the clay dance

To balance you.

And when your eyes

freeze behind

the gray window

and the ghost of loss

gets in to you,

may a flock of colors,

indigo, red, green

and azure blue

come to awaken in you

a meadow of delight.

 

When the canvas frays

in the curach of thought

and a stain of ocean

blackens beneath you,

may there come across the waters

a path of yellow moonlight

to bring you safely home.

 

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

may the clarity of light be yours,

may the fluency of the ocean be yours,

may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

 

And so may a slow

wind work these words

of love around you,

an invisible cloak

to mind your life.

Sunday Morning before going to church, it is my intention to:

Develop a mind that is vast like space,

where experiences both pleasnat and

unpleasant can appear and disappear

without conflict, struggle or harm,

Rest in a mind like vast sky.

— The Buddha

(from the Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness and Peace

 by Jack Kornfield)

And:

In a beautiful passagein his 1979 book, Faith and Belief, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, a well-known world religious scholar, wrote:

Faith, then, is a quality of human living.  At its best, it has taken a form of serenity and courage and loyalty and service;  a quiet confidence and joy which enable one to feel at home in the universe, and to find meaning inthe world and in one’s life,  a meaning that is profound and ultimate, and is stable nomatter what may happen to oneself at th elevel ofimmediate event.  Mean andwomen of this kind of faith face catastrope and confusion, affluence and sorrow, unperturbed;  face oppoounity with conviction and drive; and face others with cheerful charity.

And so I do believe I have faith and have learned the above.  I have yet to attain a mind as suggested by the Buddha.

 

HAVE FAITH THAT EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY

HAVE FAITH THAT EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY

“Every day is a good day” is a Zen koan. Thinking has to stop. Just repeat
the koan. It is, if you wish, an act of faith. So we sat silently in class,
interiorly reciting these words. Some students went on to recite them all
the time, while sitting in the train or standing at the bus stop. “Every
day is a good day.” And then it happened in a few cases that they broke
through with great joy to a deep conviction that “Every day is a good day.”
It’s true! . . . Such a breakthrough changed their lives.
— William Johnston in “Arise, My Love . . . Mysticism for a New Era”

A Year to Remember: mental and physical health

“Sustaining an exercise routine for a fulll year can strengthen your body and your mind, according to new research.  The study has implications for reducing the risk of dementia.

A team of researchers from several U.S. universities have found that moderate physical exercise can increase the size of the brain’s hippocampus in older adults .  (The hippocampus is involved in all facets of memory formation.)  The scientists recruited 120 sedentary adults with no signs of dementia and placed them in two groups of equal size.  One group began walking for 40 minutes a day, three times a week.  The second group limited its exercise to a stretching and ongoing routine.  The walking group showed improved memory function, which was associated with an increase in the size of the hippocampus, a region of the brain that generally shrinks as we age.

Measurement of the left and right hippocampus showed increases of about 2 percent in the walking group.  The stretching group saw a small reduction in the size of the hippocampus.”

– source:  “Exercise Training Increases Size of Hippocampus and Improves Memory” by K. I Erickson, et. alPNAS. 1/31/11

 

_________________________________________________________________________

My mother died of Multi-infract Dementia at age 83 having been slowly incapacitated for the previous 10 years.  She neither exercised at all nor consistently took her high blood pressure medicine.  My father died at 89 1/2 years old from complications of Diabetes.

 

 

Subject: perspective on life

Subject: perspective on life
The contract we’re all born with:
Body Lease: one body, brand new, for temporary use only, may lose functionality over time.
Terms: expires at any time anywhere, at manufacturer’s discretion, with or without warning.That’s the contract we’re born with. But we all think the contract says:
 “Body will function optimally throughout term of lease and expire during sleep at the ripe old age of 99.”
We feel cheated when things work out differently, as though we were sold a defective car and nobody is honoring the warrantee!
–excerpted from a blog by Michelle Peticolas (“The Secrets of Life and Death”).  –Sent to me by Rev. Veronica Smith.
If one is born, then one has to die. Conditions!

Spirituality and Healing in Medicine

Spirituality and Healing in Medicine

Research has established that when a person engages in a repetitive prayer, word, sound or phrase and when intrusive thoughts are passively disregarded, a specific set of physiologic changes ensue.  There is decreased metabolism, heart rate, rate of breathing and distinctive slower brain waves.  These changes are the opposite of those induced by stress and have been labeled “the relaxation response”.

The patients are frequently listening at levels related to the meaning of a death-related disease to their subsequent lives and to their spirituality.

This thinking leads to consideration of the healing effects of spirituality.  Since research has established that people experience increased spirituality as a result of eliciting  this state of the “relaxation response”/meditation, regardless of whether or not they used a religious repetitive focus.   Spirituality was expressed as experiencing the presence of a power, a force, an energy, or what was perceived of as God and this presence was close to the person.  Furthermore, spirituality was associated with fewer medical symptoms.

– sent to my Grandson, Sam who just started medical school at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.

Litany of Atonement

A LITANY OF ATONEMENT

            For Yom Kippur

Responsive Reading  #637 (Hymnal: Singing the Living Tradition)

— by Rev. Robert Eller-Isaacs (UU minister, currently servicing inSt. Paul,MN)

 

 

For remaining silent when a single voice would have made a difference.

            We forgive ourselves and each other, we begin again in love.

 For each time that our fears have made us rigid and inaccessible.

            We forgive ourselves and each other, we begin again in love.

 For each time that we have struck out in anger without just cause

            We forgive ourselves and each other, we begin again in love.

 For each time that our greed has blinded us to the needs of others

            We forgive ourselves and each other, we begin again in love.

 For the selfishness which sets us apart and alone

            We forgive ourselves and each other, we begin again in love.

 For falling short of the admonitions of the spirit

            We forgive ourselves and each other, we begin again in love.

 For losing sight of our unity

            We forgive ourselves and each other, we begin again in love.

For those and for so many acts both evident and subtle which have fueled the illusion of separateness

            We forgive ourselves and each other, we begin again in love.