Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

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Guest Author: 
Kathleen L. Oettinger

Awe and Wonder

altFr. Richard Rohr and Dr. Brian Swimme in Las Vegas.

 

On Saturday, February 25, 2012, the Stillpoint Center for Spiritual Development in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, hosted Dr. Brian Swimme and Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, to discuss "The Way of the Universe: Spirituality for the 21st Century." For me, the evening achieved the goal that Rohr articulated—a religious experience of awe and wonder.

Guest Author: 
Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv

Open Your Eyes to Eternity

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On the drive home from work, my husband and I turned a corner and headed uphill due west. A wintery, navy blue sky was twinkling with stars, beyond the distant crest of the hill. After several days of clouds and rain the clear evening sky was a welcome sight.

A crescent moon sliver hung aligned with two very bright objects in the sky. It was so unusual that we pulled over to the side of the road and marveled at the beautiful alliance of bursting light. After guessing whether they were stars or planets, our wondering moved to silent awe. 

Charles de Foucauld wrote, “It is in silence that we love most ardently; noise and words often put out the inner fire.”

Guest Author: 
Roberta Hiday

A Festival for Meaning (part five)

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Sunny weather always turns Seattleites into pilgrims in search of sun, and yet, more than two thousand people headed indoors to hear over forty speakers talk about subjects ranging from wisdom to the Wizard of Oz at Seattle University’s Search for Meaning Book Festival.

Guest Author: 
Stephanie Susan Harper

A Festival for Meaning (part four)

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Spirit led me here, saying yes to invitations to volunteer

    As spiritual director

    To stuff bags

    To write a blog

 

Perhaps life is a scavenger hunt…

 

Only the treasures are surprises

    Finding someone to hike, snowshoe with

    More enticement to row again—to run

          Am I Born to Run

    The delight in meeting new souls 

 

What will tomorrow bring?

 

Trusting there was meaning in the mystery of the call, I responded 

 

Guest Author: 
Maggie Finley

A Festival for Meaning (part three)

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Until Seattle University’s Search for Meaning Book Festival, I never dreamed I’d be in the presence of poets David Whyte and Mary Oliver. Their words washed over me like improvisational jazz, and hearing them “riff” live, in signature voices, I was thoroughly moved by two virtuosos, contemporary mystical poets whose soul-filled music is now a significant part of the soundtrack of my personal and professional life.

Guest Author: 
Rose Slavkovsky

Good for the Heart

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At the beginning of each month, one of my routines is the simple task of flipping up the page on my calendar to reveal a fresh sheet of days. Two weeks ago, this was no different, and my eye fell midway through the month: Valentine’s Day, February 14. This year, I am looking forward to the celebration.

One of my housemates works in Chinese medicine as a certified acupuncturist. Recently, her growing knowledge of Chinese herbs has made its way into our kitchen with the creation of soups and stews to strengthen the immune system, tame stress, and support healthy blood. This Valentine’s Day, she is hosting a dinner of food that is good for the heart—infused with herbs to strengthen and enrich our bodies.

Guest Author: 
Rose Slavkovsky

A Festival for Meaning

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“Have you found it yet?” I asked with a smile. The woman peered up from skimming the brochures and copies of Presence journal I had on display. She tilted her head, confused. “Meaning,” I went on, “have you found meaning yet?”

A smile washed over her cream-colored face and a chuckle escaped her. “Oh,” she responded, “wouldn’t that be nice…”

Before I could reply, she backed away into the bustling crowd at the fourth annual Seattle University Search for Meaning Book Festival in Seattle, Washington, USA. It was a beautiful Saturday in the Pacific Northwest, and thousands of book enthusiasts had come to campus for over forty authors and keynote speakers Mary Oliver and James Martin, SJ.

Guest Author: 
Ruqaiyah Nabe, RN, DMin

Mawlid-al Nabi—Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday (PBUH)

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

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When I was in Egypt in 1988, candied animals, usually camels, were distributed to the children—colored ones in Upper Egypt and white ones in Lower Egypt—a s a way of celebrating Mawlid-al Nabi, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

This year, Mawlid-al-Nabi falls on February 4, 2012. Sunni Muslims and some Shiite Muslims celebrate Mawlid-al-Nabi on the twelfth of Rabi-al-Awwal which is the third month of the Islamic calendar. Most Shiite Muslims, however, observe it on the seventeenth of the month to coincide with the birth date of their sixth Imam, Ja’fa al-Sadiq.

Guest Author: 
Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv

Eternal Flame of Hope

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Have you ever been on a pilgrimage to a sacred place that lingers in your heart for years? Saint Brigid’s Well in Kildare, Ireland, is one of those exceptional places for me.

At the entrance of the garden, a statue of Saint Brigid holding an eternal flame of hope greets pilgrims. The day that Spiritual Directors International pilgrims journeyed to the well, the sky was Ireland-overcast, but not brooding. Bright orange and yellow leaves of autumn welcomed us as if Brigid had painted the colors of sunrise onto the silent trees. No wind. It was the perfect setting to contemplate, absorb, and be enlightened by the Celtic goddess and Christian saint, Brigid.

Guest Author: 
Rev. Dr. Masaaki Shibano

Year of the Dragon

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Spring Dragon by Masaaki Shibano

Today, January 17, marks the seventeen year anniversary of the Hanshin disaster from the eight magnitude earthquake in my residential area. It has also been about ten months since the Higashi-nihon (eastern district of Japan) earthquake disaster and nuclear power catastrophe that occurred last year.

Natural disasters like earthquakes are hard to prevent, but nuclear accidents can be expected, in a sense. Disasters caused by nature and human errors are a huge tragedy that we in Japan faced and are still facing now. Essentially, we should reflect on how nature and human beings could live in harmony, with human wisdom learning from the energy of nature.

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