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Guest Author: 
Susan Sevier

Patience as a practice is, for me, inseparable from the activities it makes possible:  waiting, listening, and empathy.  More than any other necessary ingredient along the spiritual journey, I have seen it only as the condiment, never the main course.  That is, until I think about the differences between my two beagles, Gracie and Joy, and the way they approach their favorite pastime – fly hunting. 

Guest Author: 
Janice Lundy

For more than four decades, I have followed a Spirit trail. The trail took me from Protestant Christianity in my twenties; through forays into Buddhism and yoga in my thirties; through the goddess movement, Sufism, and Native American Spirituality in my forties. I made pilgrimages to sacred sites, walked labyrinths, chanted at temples, meditated at ashrams, and danced on moonlit beaches with circles of women. It was a spiritual sampling of grand proportion, a sumptuous journey!

Guest Author: 
Lauren Carlson

Several dying trees in the cemetery that faces my house were cut down and removed this past fall. Before the process was complete, I had ample time to show my three children how a stump can tell the story of a tree, that each ring is a year of the tree’s life, that wider rings mean wetter and productive years, while thin ones indicate drought and scarcity.

Guest Author: 
Carissa Kane

While oftentimes society can see “legacy” in terms of what meets the eye, and what can be measured, legacy is much deeper than that. William Shakespeare wrote, "No legacy is so rich as honesty," in his play All's Well That Ends Well (Act 3, Scene 5). Catherine of Siena wrote, "For people become like what they love," in a portion of a letter (Letter T29) to Regina della Scala, a noblewoman. When fiction gives way to truth, and one scratches beyond the surface reaching the heart of the matter, therein lies what will be left behind and passed along, whether individually or collectively. What stands the test of time, whether for good or bad, is legacy.

Guest Author: 
Jim Leach

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  
                 —Albert Einstein                                         

My dog, Ziggy, loves to power sniff through town. Random tufts of grass, low-hanging bushes, and granite curbs grab his smelling fancy. When we go to the local dog park, he doesn’t play with other dogs. Instead he indulges himself with an intense investigation of all the local aromas. If he finds something particularly pungent, he will roll around in it with much delight. He puts his whole being into the experience.

In a way, he was the inspiration for my new spiritual practice. I call it “awe walking.”

Guest Author: 
Barb McRae

Thirty-five years ago, American writer and social activist, Anne Herbert wrote the instantly popular phrase "practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" on a place mat in Sausolito, California, USA. Ten years later, her book, Random Acts of Kindness, was published and a movement begun. Kindness became the leading virtue of the day for many. Bumper stickers proclaimed the revival and quietly, neighbors, colleagues, friends, and strangers sought ways to do a mitzvah, a good deed, for a fellow creature.

Guest Author: 
Jean Wise

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul—
and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.”

Emily Dickinson

I spotted the first robin a few weeks ago.

The return of the seasonal birds in my area announces the coming of spring. A welcomed sight after a cold, snowy winter.

The next day I saw a deer, an opossum, and a raccoon. The animals were waking and starting to move—another muffled whisper of spring.

Yet the weather remained dreary, the winds chilly, and gray clouds hid the sun. Winter persisted. The frozen ground imprisoned spring flowers. I began to wonder if the animals were wrong.

Guest Author: 
Mary Lou Logsdon

I have many sacred places I go to refresh my spirit. Some are simple and serene, others spacious and grand. My favorite will soon be renewed—my garden. While this muddy, messy piece of earth hardly looks like a sacred site in early March, it slowly reveals itself as an urban sanctuary. I clear tangled stems and sodden leaves from autumn’s late blooms only to find tender shoots of this season’s new beginnings.

Guest Author: 
Scott McRae

“Cindy” felt buried and in the dark when she first came for spiritual direction. She had been divorced two years earlier. Her daughters were estranged and siding with their dad. She had a manufacturing job she hated. And, her friends had stopped calling; “I wouldn’t want to be my friend either,” she quipped.

She walked into my office for the first time with eyes and shoulders that slouched. “I’ve been in therapy for a year, and feel worse than ever. My sister told me to come, but I don’t know why I’m here.”

Hopelessness loomed around Cindy like a dense fog.

She recounted her losses and failures in a monotone. Her prayers and her God had dried up years before.

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