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Q05

Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? "Spiritual" can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

Being with my mother during the last days of her life.  Being there to make sure that she felt safe and taken care of during those last days was very meaningful.

I was about to make a speech in front of a large audience.  I was so terrified I was nauseous.  I suddenly started saying om mani pemi hung to myself, don't know why or what promted that, don't even know what it means; a Buddhist friend once told me to chat it.  As I rose to walk on the stage I was suddenly calm and the speech not only went off beautifully, but I delivered it with a different emphasis than I had seen/intended when I wrote it.

I would have to say the birth of my second daughter was a very spiritual experience for me.  I had this overwhelming sense of fear that could only be soothed by prayer and reciting of scripture.

In my school, we have a week after midterms where we do fun activities and one was a drum circle. About fifty kids got on stage and completely let go of everything as they were drumming, creating music together, and dancing together. I have never experienced something of that nature before, and it was incredible to feel all of our energy coming together.

The passing of my grandfather and the birth of my daughter in the same weekend. The loss of the family patriarch coupled with the birth of a new generation.

My trip to Iceland was really a life-changer, in every sense. Being in Reykjavik taught me that one can live in a city with vibrant cultural life and still feel safe. The youth and hopefulness of the country taught me about the scale on which real change for the better is actually possible. Driving up Snoffsyokel reminded me that we can only control the things we can control in this world, and tryng to do more than that is a fool's errand. And most importantly, camping and hiking and feeling the presence of waterfalls and glaciers reminded me how much I miss being in touch with the natural world -- it's not normal to be cut off by a world of concrete like I am in NYC.

As trite as it may seem, seeing U2 in concert was a spiritual experience. Bono's positive energy is infectious. Too see all the thousands of people mesmerized by the band, singing every word to every song was unforgettable. It was during "With or Without You" I let go any remaining feelings towards my ex husband.

I had a pretty profound experience when I was at school, during an Astronomy Lab. We were up on the roof at night, looking through telescopes and looking at the Moon, and looking for other planets. To see Saturn and it's rings in its perfect beauty, was really incredible. Seeing space with your own two eyes is so humbling, and reminded me of how truly small I am in the perspective of the Universe.

I completed a palliative care volunteer training program. The training was very inspiring and deep-- we talked a lot about death, our feelings about death, pain, healing and ultimately, living a meaningful life. I find myself being very okay with these conversations and the entire experience has been very spiritual for me.

As much as I'd like to believe in a God, it just isn't happening. I still see good people suffer and bad people rewarded. There is just too much pain, sorrow, intolerance and hatred to put any faith in an omnipotent source of good. I do think people who have a strong religious or spiritual connection find answers to their questions regardless of the lack of proof, and the evil done in the name of religion continues.

Our church used to be a progressive and modern, that embraced youth and a new generation. Then our priest was transferred out of the diocese and everything changed. At a point in my life when I need religious guidance the most, I have little to none and it leaves me in a lost place. And I don't know what to do about it.

Right now I am on a spiritual path to higher creativity. I have definitely felt this deeper connection to my inner strength to create, and it gives me a closer connection to myself. I feel more powerful to accomplish what I want in this life through a creative journey.

Going through the mikveh. I stayed coated in mikveh water for nearly 24 hours. I felt a lot of the bad in my life had been washed away and that old wrongs had been corrected.

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