We can draw closer to the divine spark within each of us as we pursue right action. Mussar practice is an ethical approach to daily life and a self-directed path for spiritual growth rooted in ancient Jewish texts.
In his article in the December issue of Presence journal, “Generational Ministry: Spiritual Guidance for the Five Adult Generations Today,” John R. Mabry shares a wealth of information for spiritual companions seeking to be helpful to all five generations. As a member of Generation X, I found his description to be accurate and compassionate of my generation.
January 24is Mawlid an-Nabi, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Muhammad is the prophetic founder of the religion of Islam. It is said by the Qur’an that islam (note the lower case “i”), or surrender to the Divine, is to be the primordial religion found at the heart of every authentic Divine revelation. A sister-faith to Judaism and Christianity, Islam and the Prophet Muhammad stand in the same long tradition that includes the biblical prophets.
Zen is often described as a “non-theistic” path. We have Catholic priests and nuns, as well as a rabbi, sanctioned as Zen teachers in my lineage, without conflict between this role and their roles in their own traditions. The Zen tradition—and Buddhism in general—simply does not apply conceptual labels to the divine, since this would limit the reality of our direct experience.
Yesterday evening I gave a talk at the local meditation center in our small desert town. As I often do, I led some guided exercises and asked questions of the participants about their experience.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined.” Isa 9:2
From our hearts to yours, Spiritual Directors International thanks you for illuminating lives worldwide through your ministry and service of spiritual companionship. We wish you a merry Christmas, a blessed solstice, and deep peace in the new year.
As a novice spiritual director, I have an incredible amount of gratitude for the compassion and patience of my mentors and teachers. Some of whom were spiritual directors and others were what we call “contemplatives in action.”
One of these people is the recently deceased Father Greg Schaffer, who spent nearly half a century in committed ministry to the people of San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. I hesitate to call him a “missionary” because he himself would introduce himself by saying: “My name is Father Greg Schaffer, and I am not a missionary. I am a diocesan priest from a rural diocese in southwestern Minnesota.”
Last May, the process of canonizing Hildegard of Bingen, which began soon after her death, was finally completed. On October 7 she will be made a Doctor of the Church, one of only four women in the Catholic Church given such an honor.
I fell in love with Hildegard while in graduate school. Her creative heart dazzled me. I wanted to know more about this monastic tradition that nurtured her and from which she drew so much wisdom. She was my doorway into becoming a Benedictine oblate. I also consider her one of my spiritual directors, her voice providing guidance to me across the centuries.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
— Mother Teresa
Today, communities around the world will celebrate the International Day of Peace. Established by the United Nations in 1981, this day is committed to non-violence and fostering sustainable peace around the world and across traditions. Spiritual Directors International invites you to take this opportunity to learn from two ministers, teachers, and members of the SDI global learning community, as they share from thier experiences cultivating peace as spiritual companions. We hope you will enjoy the lastest two releases in the SDI Learns From... video series.