Jeanne Miller-Clark and her staff host a weekly “Ancient Ritual of High Tea” for people living with cancer and their caregivers. Silence, reflection, and contemplation while sipping tea help people notice each moment. Jeanne serves tea in beautiful teacups from around the world, donated by patients and their families. Jeanne is pictured with a cancer patient who donated a teacup from her great grandmother.
Philip Culbertson helpfully (circa 1992) lists twelve stumbling blocks that inhibit the development of a healthy masculine spirituality within the Christian tradition. Despite many of the issues arising from the late 1980’ the list does in some measure begin to get at the “false masculine” and thus the obstacles and opportunities we face as males in becoming more fully human, alive, and free.
Meditation has been around for thousands of years, but not so long ago extended retreats or programs that banned speech were reserved for aging rock stars or college students on the ten-year plan. And while the practice isn't exactly mainstream in corporate America, more and more executives are open to anything that might help them thrive in - or temporarily disconnect from - today's BlackBerry-addled ADD business climate.
Read more about meditation in the corporate world here.
Liz Ellmann recently visited Dan Robinson near Ocala, Florida, USA, to learn about his involvement in Sholom Park and the Center for Spirituality and Health program at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dan designed the labyrinth and offers retreats in spirituality, health, and group spiritual direction in Sholom Park.
If you thought the churches in Europe were in decline, think again.
After decades of secularization, religion in Europe has slowed its slide toward what had seemed inevitable oblivion. There are even nascent signs of a modest comeback. Most church pews are still empty. But belief in heaven, hell and concepts such as the soul has risen in parts of Europe, especially among the young, according to surveys. Religion, once a dead issue, now figures prominently in public discourse.
To read the surprising reason for this turnaround, click here.
Sherman YL Kuek, a Malaysian lecturer in systematic and contextual theology, blogs about pursuing a vocation in ministry. His perspective is Christian, but his thoughts could be applied to any institutional religion.
In seeking direction for one’s ministerial vocation, one’s preoccupation should not be fixated upon the ecclesiastical hierarchy itself. If being a part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy is necessary for one’s ministerial effectiveness, one should be willing to embrace this “call”. But if not, one’s primary consideration should rest on how one may most effectively contribute to the betterment of the wider church in the longer run, even if this is bound to take place to the detriment of one’s own “career development”.
Sarah Hart, a spiritual director and the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor, sells "chocolate you can believe in." Through her store in Portland, Oregon, USA, and her Web site, she offers handcrafted candies in the images of Buddha in various poses, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Quan Yin, hamsa hands, the Sacred Heart, and Celtic crosses. She says the edible icons illustrate a central
tenet of Buddhism: Nothing lasts forever. For more information, see almachocolate.com.
Sociologist and executive director of New College Berkeley, Susan S. Phillips, PhD, recently spoke on spiritual direction at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Kian-Seng Yap, an MDiv student at Regent, wrote about the presentation.
Phillips begins by stating her wariness of calling oneself a 'spiritual director' for God is the ultimate spiritual director. In her work, she experience firsthand that people find it easier to talk about their sexual lives, working lives etc than their spiritual lives. Her work then is to help people to find their spiritual bearings in order to determine how to walk their spiritual journey.