Spiritual Directors International

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When we decide to make time for contemplative practice, of any type, we cultivate spaciousness which leads us to act with greater compassion, empathy, creativity, service, and connection. Our contemplative practice affects ourselves, our interactions with family, in the workplace, within our communities, with the Earth, and the Sacred some name God.

Meditation makes the daily news as people continue to seek meaning and connection. Contemplative people cultivate compassion with prayer, meditation, and contemplative practice. Jeff Gitterman, reporting for The Huffington Post in the article "The Importance of Meditation" writes:

Guest Author: 

You're invited!
Cultivating Compassion with Earth Hour
Turn off or dim electricity

Saturday, 26 March 2011
8:30 p.m. local time
Where: Your place
Join people around the globe and switch electrical lights off for one hour
Pause, slow down, savor stillness

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Guest Author: 

A poem from the beloved poet, Mary Oliver, in celebration of the Vernal Equinox. Pause, relish the changing season, in both the northern and southern hemispheres. "Are there trees near you / and does your own soul need comforting?"
Peace in all ways to you...

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Such Singing in the Wild Branches
-- Mary Oliver

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves—
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness—
and that's when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree—
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

Guest Author: 

Do you know the feeling of being sick, beyond control, when your body takes over and does what your body needs to do to get rid of an illness? In bed with the flu this week, I have learned from my body more about losing control, about being present to chaos, about choosing to be in solidarity with my body and so many other bodies around the world.

I am convinced I am at home in bed so that my focus can be more on prayer and contemplation, sending healing hope to the workers at the nuclear plant, love to the Cote Ivorian women swaying tree branches of peace, courage to the people finding their voices in Bahrain, Libya, and Milwaukee, and solidarity with the mourning for so many dead. 

altPlease join me in taking a moment to pray with and for this Japanese Self Defense Force soldier, who prays as he removes the body of an earthquake and tsunami victim.

Guest Author: 
Masaaki F. Shibano

altLabyrinth, The Circle of Wisdom, at Minoh, Japan

In an e-mail, SDI member Rev. Dr. Masaaki F. Shibano [Osaka, Japan] writes:

Dear friends,

I am so grateful for your encouragement and heartfelt prayers for the people in Japan who have been injured physically and wounded spiritually by this destruction of the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear leakage, and who have lost their families, friends and houses, everything.

Since then, everyday I have listened to and talked with my friends over there as much as possible and sending water, food and things that they need now. But it is not easy to send the packages as the high ways and bullet trains do not work well yet.

Guest Author: 

Women tell stories through song and action.

Watch "A Woman's Place" video by singer-songwriter Sara Thomsen from Minnesota, USA. Celebrate women of every age and culture on the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.

"A Woman's Place"
by singer-songwriter Sara Thomsen

I am a woman, and my place is in the home
And my home is the whole wide world
We are world shapers, we are change makers
We are potters spinning clay, we are dreamers of a new day

We are asking questions, we are opening up the door
We are searching, finding answers,
We are wisdom seeking more
Rabbi, singer, teacher, professor, poet, preacher
Driving buses, styling hair
We are everywhere

Guest Author: 
Kayce S. Hughlett

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"Comfy Couch" — Kayce S. Hughlett

"The greatest spiritual act we can take is to stop and sit down." — Anne Lamott

Guest Author: 
Sanaa Joy Carey

Seattle University begins preparation for its spirituality book festival months in advance. Almost a year ago, Tariq Ramadan, born of Egyptian parents and Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, was recruited to be one of two keynote speakers. Event organizers certainly could not have foreseen the demonstrations in Cairo or the relevance of Professor Ramadan’s talk to the headline news the same day.

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Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University

Guest Author: 
Regina Roman

Spiritual Directors International member Regina Roman leads contemplative pilgrimages to Egypt. She shares thoughts and images with us. Please pause with her insights. Notice what her photographs evoke within you.

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