Have you had any particularly religious or spiritual experiences this past year?
The birth of my son and now seeing him grow up.
If God is all action and reality, what other is there to talk about.
I can't say there was and Ah Ha moment, but in quiet reflection I feel a presence and get answers to the confusion of the day. Is that spiritual or just sanity?
Pan gu shen gong, Capri cigarettes, mind-blowing sex on New Years Day, and a daily inner gratitude that I'm not having an anxiety attack (as I now know what that feels like).
Yes. I started praying three times a day regularly. It's better than once a day.
Watching my best friend undergo a series of life-altering disasters has been a spiritual experience. It's hard to understand why she has been tested so harshly, but her grace and courage has a spiritual dimension.
I get weepy at Rosh Hashanah services. I get weepy there, even though I still don't connect to God, or even to the holiday, as well as I think I "should". It feels like it wells up from a place deep inside -- a very hormonal place. But it doesn't feel religious - just touching.
Three come to mind: (1) Frustratingly unspiritual & irreligious: my visit to the Western Wall, something that was important to my wife and me because we were taking our year-old daughter for the first time. The gender-based barriers had only expanded since the last time we were there, and we felt accosted every which way by schnorrers, beggars, and kiruv workers. (2) Spiritually disturbing: my walk along the separation barrier that ploughs through downtown Bethlehem. It felt overwhelming, threatening, and deeply demoralizing. I can't imagine the economic & spiritual damage it causes everyday Palestinian residents of Bethlehem. (3) Finally, some uplift: Kabbalat Shabbat on the Namal in Tel Aviv with Beit Tefila Israeli. What an extraordinary experience to watch the sun set to a beautifully sung/played service, as Israelis out for an evening stroll or bike ride or dinner stopped by to see what was going on and joined in.
I am no longer religious, but I am very much in tune with the Universe and its energy, and with the idea of Karma. I am very "Gary Zukav, "Seat Of The Soul" Zukav would ask, "Have you had any particular experiences where you felt that your soul was aligned with your personality this past year?" So yes. Singing for President Obama during the Private Prayer Service on Inauguration morning at St. John's Lafayette Square, and also when they attended as a family on Easter Sunday. That's two. My experience onstage in Bizet's opera Carmen at Washington National Opera with Denyce Graves were quantum experiences. Watching a life-changing song recital at the Kennedy Center in January with Lawrence Brownlee and Sarah Coburn. I was so deeply moved and inspired, and if there is a face of God, I saw it in those experiences.
Actually.... I may have. It was when I was writing "the green bird," my final film in Production 2. It was based on a poem an ex wrote me... i know... i know.. I shouldn't have. But it was beautiful. As i wrote it, I had to sit down and actually think about the real reasons i was writing it. And i found out. I wouldn't say it was a religious experience, but it was deffinatly spiritual. it was really hard to let myself go "there" again, but, for the good of the film, I had to. It was just suposed to be the dipiction of what happend in the poem... instead... it turned out to be... our story. he and i. and that hurt. all in all, The film didn't turn out the way I really wanted it to, but I have every intention of making it my goal to get the script polished off and shot the way it should be. Green Bird And you, My green bird, Shall be purest love, And fly away into the night; That night which has been my memory, And those shadows of brilliant color, those whom dance in the dark. O’ green bird, Please fly away. Off to those better sunrises, And leave these hollows, With every feather you leave behind, Your pulses of color will keep the dark recesses below you at bay. Will you return to the nest? The lonely crevasse that has filled with words we couldn’t say? No, we couldn’t find them. Until the final feather fell from the sky, Illuminating our stricken vocabulary. My green bird, You belong to the cosmos. You will fly from me, both inside and to the stars as well. Let these brilliant colors lead the waltz, As we slowly fade out, Bow our heads, And watch you flutter again -----The Ex. you see? I couldn't let it go to waste.
I find that I've gotten visibly emotional at shul...when certain prayers are sung and also at many of the Rabbi's sermons. Somehow I get affected at a deeply (sub)conscious level and I don't really unerstand why.
I heard voices more. Perhaps a clearer internal voice that seemed to speak directly to me. I feel like my spiritual practices fell away a little- yoga and meditation - but I found myself praying several times over the past year and going to synagogue a few times (which I don't normally do) and celebrating Shabbat (also not the norm). I feel I both lost and gained spiritual things and suffered a great deal of pain from which there was not any easy comfort or solution except a sitting with things they way they were. Most of all, I am learning how to listen.
If anything, the concious contact I had begun to cultivate with the God of my understanding has dimished over the past year. I think regularly that I should be praying more and talking to God, and I think it's just a habit that I am out of practice doing, a bit like how I go through periods of flossing my teeth daily and then forget for a while... Having a higher power in my life is important to me, and I like to think of myself as a spiritual person, so now I need to resolve to put the action in to be so.
Yes, I have felt really close to God, and my faith has deepend. Also seing how my Mum coped with her situation, and how her faith helped her, increased my own faith.
I have attended shul more regularly on Shabbos. I really cannot call it a religious or spiritual experience. It is just being mkore connected with my Judaism.
The BSPA The NZ Prayerbook Meeting J and S Meeting Chris vdK Meeting Margaret Mayman Being at St A CW - Good Smaritan - interruptions JSM and "unity" Irshad Manji - suits all of us rebels Jonathon Sacks Radical Then Radical Now
Yes, experiences of synchronicity, such as contacting a friend who had just been thinking of me or wishing for something and then it happening. I also often feel a presence of something bigger in my life.
i did Kaparot for the first time last year. I felt both connected and primative
There are times when I think there is value in the fact that everything is one, that all things are interconnected. But it is difficult to discover how that fact has any value for a human's daily life. Perhaps I will figure out more as I go. Who knows.
The Passover seder is always one of the religious highlights of my year. It reinforces the idea for me, that all people have dignity and deserve freedom. That commonality feels very spiritual to me.
absolutely! Adonai has done plenty miraclesa nd has always been faithful in his promises to me!
I have many prayers answered. I have gotten married and our financial situation is starting to look better.
Seeing the community come together for my Grandmother's shiva.
One particular spiritual experience that I had this past year was when my grandfather passed away and my family and I meet with Rabbi to discuss how the service was going to go and I was telling him how I remembered my grandfather and that I was going to be speaking at the funeral. At the point even though I was half crying I felt very connected to God and the Rabbi.
Not really. Fell in love for the first time in quite a few years if that counts...
Yes, in the most painful of places, a hospital. My grandson Brycie was found via ultrasound to have trisomy 13 and a diaphragmmatic hernia, so that all of his organs, stomach, liver, intestines, colon, were in his chest, precluding lung development. His pain fibers had been active for about 30 days. Life was not possible for him. We chose to give him a quick death thru injection of potassium chloride to his heart, rather than be born without lungs and suffocate or die from organs outgrowing his fragile chest. We prayed during the ultrasound to bring HaShem into the presence of this act of compassion. My 5 month old Brycie continues to teach me about HaShem and life. I try to bring him into Assiyah with acts, so that the world is a better place for his having been.
I feel like I missed the boat on religion and god this year. I know god is there and that he loves me, but I feel very disconnected spiritually. That is something I would like to change in the coming year. A renewed sense of spirituality, in whatever form it decides to take.
Haven't really had much a break through with spirituality.
I try to talk to ask for the things i want, i talk to people who are religious, and i listen. while nothing i can think of really stood out, my faith and hopefulness have been my experiences. as for the religious i still feel a disconnect where that is concerned, not necessarily with the religion itself, but with the people. i believe in g-d, try to treat everyone with the respect they deserve (or the respect i would like bestowed upon me), do my best each day, and try to stay positive. i believe g-d only gives you as much as you can handle and that everything happens for a reason.
I was saying Kaddish for my mother this year, so I hoped that I would have some sort of spiritual experience related to that, but for the most part it left me cold.
No, I'm atheist. However, I did discover that led relaxation - hynotherapy and Pilates, especially - were very rewarding for me.
I'm finding that, since our new Chazan has joined our Temple, simply praying has become a "religious" experience. But these past six months have been difficult ones and I am struggling more with my relationship with God. I listen to my friend who lost her son hold on to her faith rigorously and I am envious of her absolute sense of God and spirituality. I want that. I want it to live in me, not just when I pray. Not just when I see something of beauty.
I haven't had any of my own -- but observing the interactions of various religions while on my honeymoon in Indonesia came very close. Somehow, Indonesians have managed not only religious tolerance, but real acceptance (with, of course, a caveat regarding extremism). We met people who were observant muslim shamanistic healers who also meditated in the buddha pose daily and had christian spouses and children...and who reveled in this confusion/profusion of identities.
I'm not particularly religious, but my first trip to Israel allows me to appreciate the Jewish religion, even if I don't necessarily follow the faith as much as I do the culture. I find culture is more important than a religion, but seeing some of my peers' reactions at the Kotel this summer, I couldn't help but yearn for a sense of religious identity. Unfortunately, all through my life I've seen religion as a divider, not a uniter because my family is interfaith and neither my mom's side nor my dad's side was ever able to fully accept the other's spouse.
I have many spiritual experiences throughout my day and year. I learned about spirituality in OA many years ago and I keep Gd close to me all day
It has not been a banner year for religious experience or spiritual uplift. There have been moments of great satisfaction and insight, but mainly it's been a time of putting one foot in front of the other and simply trudging on.
I found God. Then I lost Him.
I am noticing generally the interconnectedness of events. And that institutions are not a source of inspiration. The source is people and ideas.
I find myself .... how should I put it.... estranged from God. I don't believe that he is responsible for the death of my son. But I don't feel that he is listening anymore. I really wish I could get back that sense of companionship that I felt before.
I came to a bit more of an understanding regarding my own feelings on faith. I no longer say that I need to believe in "God the Father," and instead I feel as though the Universe itself is sending positivity through me and it is more helpful on a daily basis for me to be "told" what I should be doing than what I should not be doing.
I've had virtually no religious experiences in the last year, but certainly some spiritual ones. Travel makes me feel connected to things that are larger and takes me outside of my immediate comfort zone and forces me to think about who I am in relation to where I'm at. Spending time alone doing repetitive tasks or going on walks is similar.
Not really. I learned I had cancer and decided I really didn't want to die yet.
This year has been much, much more about the concrete, the Here & Now... My new thing is, I am trying to make my little rituals more spiritual in themselves. I only drink loose-leaf tea, and the preparation of the tea can become a Zen-like experience - I find myself feeling more relaxed & focused as I go through the motions.
Just dreams in which all pretense of decency and morality that I maintain in my waking life were stripped away, but in my state of ultimate vulnerability, I still felt accepted by what presented itself as an ultimately benevolent universe, reaffirming to me that the reason it's called a UNIverse is because we are all one.
many many many. Becoming a meditation teacher has brought me face to face with a lot of my own issues. Talking in therapy have brought me moments with God. When my teacher said i could talk to god like a person because what is a person? when i was sitting in meditation and i just starting communicating with god spontaneously.
Yes. I read THE FIXER and felt it. I don't know what I felt but it was emotional. I guess all my most spiritual experiences occur from reading books; I would also say I was touched by ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEXT, and by DROWN, and maybe the one I'm just about to finish, THE END OF THE AFFAIR. My religion is introspection, philosophy and accounts of human suffering in the well thought out medium of writing.
I felt this year that it was important to recognize that I do not know, and to wonder if I can live with the fear of not knowing what religion is or should be.
Oy I'll say! After years of being wishy washy and wanting to convert to Judaism but being scared of what others may think and unsure of myself, I took the plunge and met with rabbis and started the process. It's been absolutely great and the more I do and the more I learn, I realize how right my decision was. I never thought I'd be able to read Hebrew and now I can. I'm very proud of myself.
Doing Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in Jerusalem last year was a very powerful and moving experience.
No. Went to India and observed, however. Did not make me turn spiritual, but still beautiful.
Getting over the fear of death. Praying to G-d more and feeling like I'm letting him in more.
yes. thousands of good, one bad.
I just began a meditation practice. I have tried meditating periodically, and failed. I tried to meditate when I felt I needed to learn or fix something, and that was the wrong way to approach it. Meditation isn't done to improve you, to make you a better person, or to solve a problem at hand. It is only about the act of sitting. And by sitting, you are attempting to be truly present and be in that moment. That is all. But meditation has the capacity to teach you what is in your mind, what comes up for you habitually, how your soul might be restless. It also shows you your fear, fear of uncertainty, which in the end is the fear of death. When I meditate I see my fear of death, thus feel an appreciation of life.
I have not. But I am really starting to re-examine what place religion, or spirituality holds in my life. Religion was always a given for me but I never thought to question why, or what parts about it speak to me, if any.
yeah, I've apparently had them for the last nine, but I'd built up such a defensive wall around myself that I wasn't getting reception, lol. It only took one person to break down that first brick, and my friends that have supported me throughout the last 9 years of my life helped me tear down the rest. I realize now there are signs and messages and inspiration everywhere, you just have to be willing to think, appreciate & internalize it... I've driven through a tornado unscathed, missing it by moments... I've asked higher powers for answers and signs and I've gotten it... and i'm seeing more and more clearly the best in life and it's definition through its opposites... I've found God's there in all of it, I just have to make sure I put myself in a state where I can get signal.
Yes. I realized how important it is to me to give my daughter a solid religious and spiritual grounding ( which she may reject later on but at least she'll start with it). But the only way for me to do that is to lead by example, and so our family's observance as a whole has deepened, and it has brought us closer.
I met the new rabbi's wife and we started study classes together once a week. They are informal but they brought me back to my "Chabad years" when I used to pray, I studied and kept Shabbat. I felt great to reconnect but I still feel sorry for forgetting many of the things I have learned in the past about Judaism.
Perhaps just a little on Rosh Hashana, with my children singing along a little with me in synagogue. Sometimes when I find myself in the moment, aware of my great fortune, my wonderful kids, I can only describe that feeling of joy as the feeling of being blessed.
My boss was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and it was the first time I prayed and said psalms for someone to heal. I think I did it for a week straight, saying prayers every morning, it was hard for me but I kept at it. Usually it is very hard for me to pray... I guess at times I'm jealous of the psalmist who seems to always know the right words to say, who seems to have such a great one-on-one connection with G-d... But I know like exercise, praying has to be practiced. You'd say the same for meditation, yoga, ect. But I think a lot of people give up on prayer because they expect G-d to just reach out and BAM! One of the strongest experiences for me was praying that I never get a book published. I have a twin sister that's devoted her whole life to trying to get a book published, and I prayed that if I never get another done in exchange that she would. I have a husband, a nice future... she just has writing. I want her life to mean something, and if it means giving up on a dream I have held for so long (if G-d bargins, in any case), I would gladly do it. I prayed and cried and prayed all night long... the next day I got a contract from a literary agent, and now I'm waiting for the contract for my publisher... I don't know what that's supposed to mean, but it was such a wonderful time praying.
I coverted to Judaism and know I have made the correct choice for me. I have studied many religions but feel this makes more sense than the others. My family were behind me 100% and have seen a great change in me. For the person who lost G d and could not be happier if that work for you go for it. I am sure when the time comes you may think again. Shanah Tova
We have a group that means in our home one Friday a month and sings Carlebach tunes for Kabbalat Shabbat, then we learn together, and eat together. Sometimes when I've had a bad week, feeling like I'm not getting anywhere in my work, feeling unhappy about the pace of my life, I have a moment when we are singing that makes me feel especially calm and happy inside. It revives my good nature. It doesn't happen everytime but there were three or four times that were exceptionally good this last year.
Oh yes. Many experiences of synchronicity feel like God's fingerprints in my life. The most recent is joining in prayer for a 10-month-old baby named Chloe who was given no hope. She is recovering, after a young man appeared before her mother in the ICU waiting room, gave her a $20 bill, and announced, "Don't worry, m'am, your little girl will live." Why the $20 bill? So no one could say it was a stress-induced imagination. That mom had no previous interest in God. I think that has changed.
I've thought about God. Not as a man in the sky, but a word for all existence.
It's been a time of a great deal of religious and spiritual growth for me. I have started to meditate (at least try to), including attending an instruction group, been involved with my Synagogue and really trying to go beyond the words to my own spiritual meaning. Everything has been spiritual -- going to the gym, therapy -- all with the goal of personal development, to find myself, to find who I truly am and my place in the world.
I went on a pretty remote and isolated vacation with my best guy friend. I think we both thought the trip would bring us together as a couple, once and for all. It wasn't until we got there, and were all by ourselves on this isolated beach, that I realized I wasn't' in love with him. I spent a lot of time on that beach, looking out at the wild and angry ocean, and realized that he was not, in fact, the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I think I needed that isolation and time to finally come to that understanding.
Watching Charlie sing the new prayers he's learned during services.
This year I traveled to Poland and visited three concentration camps. Seeing the place where so many people were punished for their religious beliefs made me feel very empowered to keep Judaism alive. I think it is so important to prove the Nazi wrong and show them that the Jews are here to stay.
Yes - in a time of worship when God reached out and touched my innemost being. Knowing Gd is a Gd of mercy and grace. He is awesome!!
no, and i don't tend to have them anyway - quite the carnal person me..
I don't think spiritual is the right word but I have had a renewal in my heart of the Golden Rule. Being from Detroit, I have been surrounded by victims of our present economy. Fortunately my business put me in synch with the national and world economy. In January 2009 our business went off a cliff and I gained a new realization of the pain that my neighbors and friends and relatives have been feeling for a few years. I have learned to be more compassionate in my view and even if a sitiuation is not happening to me I want to treat others as I would want them to treat me if the positions were reversed.
dreaming of my father in heaven..right after he passed away...i don't even believe in heaven...i have so many dreams of him..which is so beautiful...like he is still with me.. in this whole new way ..and that his spirit lives on through me...
Kind of. Having been not just an atheist, but a nihilist for years now, I never thought I'd have anything other than a flat "no" to this kind of question. But I went to see Leonard Cohen in concert in Boston this year, and damn if the power of his words didn't make me want to believe in god again. The way he phrases reality really gets to me, and moves me in a way I haven't been moved since I was a kid in church feeling the shared hallucination of the transformative power of Jesus' love. LC was a religious experience for me. I can almost believe in humanity again.
I realized that while my fiance was raised more religious than I was, that I was the one who was asking the important questions- questioning the way things are in order to find my own niche within Judaism. He does not ask the questions, rather, he stays put within the place he was raised.
I stood among the steles in the middle of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin. Some people moved around me slowly, reverently. Beads of rain slid down the edges of the rectangles. Ahead a little girl & her brother were playing hide & seek & laughing, exactly as they should have been doing. That was a fitting memorial. It sounds trite & exactly what a conservative American would tell me off for, but I felt a kind of euphoria when I watched Obama sworn in. It felt like everything was in harmony & heading in the right direction for just one ephemeral moment.
While visiting Israel a few months ago, I had a couple spiritual experiences. If I had to chose one, it would be when I went to the Kotel (Wailing/Western Wall) in Jerusalem. Our tour guide had told us a story of a long lost father and son, who had communicated through a note falling out of the wall while his son was there, written by his father. He had recently learned that his father had passed away without his knowledge, and while visiting the wall later on he found this note from his father addressed to him... This story blew me away, and prepared me for my first experience at the Wall, which I will never forget.
No, and for that I am rather sad. I need to make a point to find the time to reconnect to my spirituality.
I have not had any religiou sor spiritual experiences this year. I feel very lonly in my heart and soul from the lack of connection I feel to judaism. I want badly for this to change.
Last year's high holy days were the minyan's first, and it was such a relief to have a place I really wanted to be. Helping Joanne clean her house for Shabbat. I talked to God a lot in the car and even though sometimes a whole 5 days went by and no action, it helped me just be in the present moment. All of which is to say there were no fireworks, but it didn't matter. I had a really weird year in terms of my own confidence--I yelled at God quite a bit on the premise that the desire to write a novel comes from god, and why? Why would he/she/it do that to me? But I survived it and came out the other side. I think about God every day and wish I talked to God more often.
I don't think so.
my new relationship with my partner has been an awakening in both spiritual and mental realms for me. he suffers a chemical imbalance, at times he is so in tune with the giving nature of humanity only in another breath to say how vehemently he hates someone. it has made me reflect greatly on doing unto others, etc... it has also made me very grateful and appreciative of all the people who enter, and leave our lives... they all impart wisdom, you sometimes need to slow down and really witness.
It's hard to say exactly what is "spiritual" and what is just life moving along on its natural progression. The first thing that comes to mind are the dreams I have that my Pari appears in. I feel his presence when I wake up, so much so that it feels like I just saw him. I long for these dreams, but there's not much I can do to summon him :) I also felt profoundly affected at the moment that the words flashed across the CNN screen "Barack Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States of America". My husband and I wept.
Every time I take a moment to glory in the miracle of my children is a spiritual experience.
Religious, yes. I feel a tinge more Jewish, and I don't why. Considering I was raised by and around WASPs my whole life, the feeling is strange but there. Maybe, it's the sense of belonging and certitude I feel around other Jewish folks. Maybe, it's wanting to be a part of something different than myself. Maybe, I'm feeling my ancestors welling up inside me. Spiritual, yes. I struggle mightily with letting go and letting my higher power take over. These days, it's a tiny bit easier.
Not that I can think of, and I'm sad about that. I used to be a much more spiritual person but I find when I busy myself with the business of living, it often leaves little room for reflection. That's one thing I would like to make room for in my life this year - reconnecting with my spirituality.
Maybe. I have been doing a lot of Law of Attraction type exercises and when I do them well, I see a lot of "signposts" maybe I see them because I am looking for them, but I believe they are signs from G-d that I am staying open to guidance.
One of the Jewish holidays I was at shul and had a really, really good Amidah. It was incredibly unusual and powerful. So powerful, I remember the Amidah but not which holiday it was. I'd love to have more of them.
I've been practicing being very clear with my desires and manifesting what I want. It's very effective but lately I've been having trouble being clear. I need to really sit down and write out what I want so that I will come to me.
As I get older, I'm becoming less religious. I don't think that its because I'm getting old I think its just the age of 22. I'm not particularly bad in my actions- I don't ever get drunk, I don't do drugs, I'm still a virgin- however I could probably choose to hang out with better people. I let one of my friends go this summer because her morals just weren't in sync with mine. It was a hard thing to do. I think about calling her or texting her sometimes but then I remember what she did. I'm glad for my religion, it has truly made me who I am today with the morals that I do. There have always been things that I question about catholism but its less that I question them and more that I suck and its too hard for me. Like i'm terrified to go to confession. TERRIFIED. I haven't gone since I was a jr. in high school and then that was because I was on a leadership retreat and they pretty much made us. Another thing: this completely doesn't affect me now or any time in the near future, however their policy on birth control scares me. I fully intend on waiting until marriage. I also have had some serious abdominal surgeries and if i was to get pregnant and that somehow compromised my jpouch and I had to go back to a colostomy, no matter how much of an incredible blessing my child is, I would be incredibly depressed and I wouldn't want my child to feel like its their fault. That is SUCH a hypothetical situation, there are a lot of IFs in that but its definitely crossed my mind more than once. I also don't want kids right away; I've worked too hard in my college career to have to settle down and be a mom. I want to travel and meet people and see the world.
after my grnadma passed away i was lying in my bed and felt a shiver i think it was her presense
I am more involved (as a lay leader) with my synagogue than ever before. The most meaningful experience so far was to be involved in the search for a new Cantor. Although I was part of the committee for less than one full year, I was fortunate enough to be part of the final decision-making process. In the end, I believe the committee came to the right decision and our new Cantor is phenomenal. Every time I hear her sing, watch her teach or simply observe her interacting with members of the community, I feel that I have truly contributed to the spiritual uplifting of our congregation.
Not one particular event, but the older I've gotten, the more I feel God is watching me and listening to my prayers. I don't always get exactly what I thought I wanted, but most often in retrospect I can see why what I got was better than what I thought I wanted. It sometimes feels like having a parent who knows what is best for you, and who knows you better than you know yourself.
Yes, on Rosh Hashana, after visiting the Ohel (where the Chabad Lubavitch Rebbe is buried). It was strange, because I didn't have the spiritual experience at the Ohel itself, but rather the act of going to the Ohel started a sequence of events that led to a conversation that, in some ways, might have changed my life. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. In any case, it has been an intense few days.
I started attending a Quaker meeting for a few weeks. It was good to have the quiet space to pray. I stopped going because my weekends have changed so much. But I liked it. One day I prayed for a sign to show me where I should be living. When I left I put on my ipod and it started already at a song at the line, "a new home in the sun". It felt like a sign.
Not beyond many freaky coincidences and fatalistic seeming incidences. I have learned a bit about Catholicism and a little more about Judaism.
Religious, no. Spiritual, yes. There was a point over New Year's last year where I felt suffused with the light of my soul's oneness with the energy of the universe. Sounds hokey, but it was immensely powerful and made me smile wildly and dance by myself on the livingroon carpet.
Nothing in particular has changed, but life has become one spiritual adventure to me... being engaged in what is happening and apreciating each moment for what it is has become my way of life. In doing that I am aware of the presence of God.
After longing for soo long I touched the kotel wall and I felt God was telling me do not worry everything will be alright
I guess one could say I have had religious experiences in that I have decided that I am offically atheist. I just think if god did exsist why would all these people, good people be dying of cancer or lose their life suddenly for no good reason. Christians will tell you it is god teaching you to appreciate life, but I say a big FUCK YOU to that. I just don't think if there were a god he/she would do that.
I have found that many of my old friends have turned to religion, after a lifetime of what could be described as hedonistic nihilism. I see real changes in their attitudes and see the support it offers them in their lives. For the first time, I sort of find myself wishing I had that in my life, but realize I can't --because I still don't believe that they believe.
I realize that the Jewish way of dying - tahara, shiva, saying kaddish - feels so right. The whole process is so comforting in a time of tremendous emotional upheaval. I really appreciate the process much more now. Yes, it was spiritual and religious for me - something I haven't experienced before. I hope I have more spirituality in my life this year - i think i could use it.
I've thought about my grandmother a lot. I'm not sure that's religious or even spiritual, but I think of her often and my thinking about her makes me then want to be a better person for her.
Nope, I wish I could say I had. :-(
In this past year I have done alot with Jewish youth. I find it profoundly inspirational to see child experience religion and spirituality. It's a beautiful experience.
More than I can count. Shaking my lulav and etrog with a room full of enthusiastic participants at Sukkahfest at Isabella Freedman last fall; lighting Chanukah candles in the dark of midwinter; convening with my ALEPH rabbinic community in January. The peak and the valley of my first pregnancy, in January; weeping inconsolably during that seudah shlishit. Walking on a glacier with Ethan in Argentina in March, and driving around the wild beauty of Patagonia. Discovering that I was pregnant again during Pesach. Counting the days and weeks of the pregnancy in lieu of the Omer. Reconvening with my ALEPH community in July, for two weeks of amazing conversations and support and song and prayer. Ordinary moments of prayer throughout the year, scattered here and there like pearls. Feeling my son squirming and dancing inside me.
Believe it or not, it was actually going to synagogue. I am in my late 20's and have finally settled down enough to be a member of one. I can't say it was the content of the prayers that got me, but really just the familiarity of it all, after being away for so long. Brought me to tears.
My mom's death and being with her at the moment of her passing was profound for me. I had never seen someone die before and it was an honor to be there for her as she moved out of this life and moved on. I am not a particularly religious person,although she was,but it made me question that for myself. Her faith supported her through the difficult days in her last months and I saw the support it gave her. Her death also made me stop and think about the fundamentals of life and how we get so swept away we don't truly "listen" to that inner voice guiding us.We don't really stop and pray enough.
No, still an athiest
The whole past year has been one big spiritual experience. This year has been the year of my odyssey. Right now at this moment I have no job and depend on my brother and daughter for shelter and food. But, I know this will not last. Not this year but two years before I had the spiritual experience of having my purpose for being on earth revealed to me. So everyday this year has been about manifesting that purpose. I never thought that with no money and repeated rejection in my job search that I would ever be able to still feel joy in the midst of that. But I do!
Every day is a religious/spiritual experience. With all my frustrations and disappointments that have occurred over the past year. I continue to see G-d's support in my friends and family.
Not particularly. I have had moments where I connect with other people in a way I cannot explain and I sometimes think this could be a spiritual moment. But I have always teetered on atheism. I definitely always question and live with a rather cynical view which I find healthy. But yes, there have been times where my love for friends and family have overwhelmed me to the point of disability. Which I cannot explain with reason.
yes. i have studied several religious thoghts and discovered they arte all vbariations of a similar theme ... and reinforced my identification with judiasm.
While I was in Israel I had a lot of wonderful experiences that involved religion, though I am not sure I consider them to be 'religious experiences.' The most memorable was going to the Western Wall on Shabbat. At first I wasn't sure what to do there, but when I opened up the note I had written and reread it, I cried and put it in the wall. This was a very powerful moment of remembrance, but much more powerful was when I walked to the back of the crowd and found all of my friends in a circle with their arms around each other singing Oseh Shalom. Sharing these experiences with these people was more moving than any experience I can imagine sharing with god.
I started doing Buddhist meditation. It makes sense.
I think G-d became in my life more than ever before.
I have come to appreciate the philosophies of Kabbalah in my life. While I do not subscribe to particular religious practices related to Kabbalah, I appreciate the message and how it helps me reinforce and rely on my own values. I get a Daily Kabbalah email, so every time I read a message of kindness, caring, sharing, I am inspired to keep being a good person.
No experiences that I would describe as overtly religious or spiritual, but I have had many experiences of being at complete peace with myself and the world. This usually occurs when I am connecting with nature. Maybe that counts as religious or spiritual experiences.
Yes. I assumed the presence of God in my life. Now I can feel how important is the presence of God, and I found a good way to keep in touch with him. Now I can nominate my religion (Jewish), before it was a blank in my life...
Short answer is no. I still don't subscribe to any of that.
A few nights before my grandmother passed away she appeared to me during a meditation session. I was transported back to the sensations I had as a little boy when I'd seek the comfort of her embrace. That vision made her passing much easier. During a long jog around the beach front resort I stayed at during a destination wedding I had a very moving sense of how bless I was. I recently began attending a Unitarian/new age prayer circle. The very first meeting I went to moved my spirit and mind more than 10 years of Catholic mass ever had.
No. I am not spiritual. I am trying to be more religious of late, and have been trying to get us to synagogue more regularly, do Friday night shabbat meals, but do not feel like I have made much progress on this front.
in the last year i have discovered and learned more about the core of who i am. identified the reality that i have that core that all things in my life can and should point to or address. it isn't fully developed, i haven't yet accomplished living by it as the guiding principles of my whole life. but i am making strides. i am beginning to be more true to who i am.
I have always been spiritual, just never religious. I probably won't ever have a religious experience & I'm OK with that.
Obama, meditation, floating in my mind
The high holidays are always a great experience for me, thats really the only time I am in shul. I feel very connected to Judaism on Rosh Ha shana and Yom Kippur. I would like to continue being in shul on those dates and maybe go to ashul on a few shabbats throughout the year.
Yes, I think my Buddhist teachings over the last year and a half have started to take root. Over this summer, I developed a certain trust in the flow and patterns of the Universe; I felt a shift that has slowly started to take root in how I live my life, it's difficult to articulate, but over the past month (the latter half of August to now, the latter half of September) it's been particularly acute. There are still up and down days, but my ability to somewhat resolve situations - even if only in my own mental space - that had bugged me for some time, seems much different now. I stumbled (well, I don't think we ever stumble upon anything anymore, I should say that I serendipitously, or in an act of synchronicity found...) upon ideas from Nicherien Buddhism as well - though I don't practice that particular strain, I like the idea and find comfort in the chant, even if done silently - it keeps me in place, acts as a reminder. And I can see the way it plays out in my life. It was sort of like I spend the past year and half - from Nov 07 to now - planting all these different seeds, working on all these different things: Buddhism, yoga, different philosophies on the power of thought and Universal flow and creativity, examining love and fear. And this past summer, the summer of 09, it really started to come to fruition - ironically, or maybe not at all ironically, when life on the 'outside' of my mind should have been its most difficult, I feel like I finally was able to see much more clearly and go through a profound inner transformation. Earlier this year, spending time in south east Utah, a place I've loved for nearly ten years now, I had a moment where I realized that the appeal of that place, for me, lie in the fact that it makes me feel small, reminds me of how much bigger the world is, how beautiful and profound it can be. That moment of realization was one of biggest spiritual revelations I had all year.
I haven't really been to synagogue much this year, but going to Rosh Hashana services and just hearing and participating in the songs with everyone else reminded me what a beautiful community and tradition I'm part of and how lucky I am to have that connection. It made me wish I do more to value this culture that I've been fortunate enough to have been born into, and I want to keep the traditions of my ancestors alive.
Nope. (ditto from last year) Although there IS something at the Western Wall. With so many people praying there for so many thousands of years, the place is electric with faith, hope, and curiosity. I loved going there, and cannot wait to go back!
No. Well, not exactly. I did get a massage by a woman who is a theta healer; it was pretty profound, and I'm still not sure what happened. She told me my aura needed cleansing and that my angels' names were Gertrude (the funny one) and Ethel (the serious one). Say what you will, but in times of trouble (and there have been plenty this year), I often find myself giggling at the prospect of Gertrude and Ethel helping me through it all. And I do think that was the beginning of the path I'm on now, which is one I'd been on the precipice of for a long time. So - again, not sure. But maybe, just maybe.
religious experience this year was making a hanukkah party for about 150 people in the community where I live and very few jews live. We are in a rural community in northern CA and most of the jews are married to non jews. But the exciting part was that they all brought their children. We had a menorah on every table with candles to light, our rabbi explained the prayers and what they mean, the wooden dreidels went home with everyone as did the hanukkah chocolate gelt. we had potatoe pancakes, sour cream, apple sauce and so much of each that no one went away hungry. The kids all learned the dreidel game and were playing it all the time. Many people saw the pictures in the county newspaper and said they all want to come this year. We didn't charge for it, we did it ourselves. hope there's not more than 175 people this year, because we will run out of room. We also had blue tablecloths, with silver and blue centerpieces and with the candles burning it was beautiful. So many people got an idea of what hanukkah is whether jewish or not. Some people said that it brought back happy memories of when they were children. We also made up brochures so that the guests could take them home. It was a great religious experience.
just yesterday I was doing a walking meditation on a labyrinrh, and decided to follow the suggestioln of having a cavannah in my mind and decided to ask for a turning toward God. At one point I looked up and saw infront of me was the hills and then Psalm 121 came to me - I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come, My help comes from God who made the heavens and the earth. So that blew me away, but I still had to go back to the beginning, so I decided to focus on asking to become more self optimistic [I'm optimistic for everyone else.] I was really focusing on the ground and needed to stop and look up - this time I saw the Sukkah. What can be more optiimistic than the symbol of the Sukkah - God's promise that no matter how flimsey the building, God can protect us [I also think that it means no matter how strong the building, God can get there too, but I'm not focusiing on that today.]
I've been questioning G-d a lot. I'm in college, and I consider myself an intellectual. I believe in evolution. Where can G-d fit in? Where does he fit in? Then I realized that adolescence and young adulthood is a time for questioning. As long as I keep acting the morals in the Torah, whether or not I fully believe in G-d won't matter for a few years. But I do think faith in Him will be restored. After I read a Torah portion for Rush Hashanah, I already felt it coming back.
I haven't had any one single experience; instead, a series a little events, little things have happened. I feel that all of these jigsaw pieces are slowly coming together. My spiritual life is becoming richer and richer.
When I lead High Holiday services, I feel intensely spiritual and feel that I am cutting to the essence of what those holidays mean. I feel transported with a message to share with others. It is at those times that I feel that I could have become a rabbi had the circumstances been otherwise.
Yes, for the past year, I have been learning about Judaism. I would like to convert in the near future.
Yes, I feel very lucky for what I've been given.
perfect that this question comes at the "halfway" point of the exercise, as it is something of a summary response. i say that because, i believe in God and feel that God can be "found" in all the big (and little) stuff that happens. i will admit that a year ago i was farther from God than I had ever been before - i was disillusioned about the tests i was taking, the house i was building and the baby that i felt was taken from me. i felt isolated from my spiritual side because i was struggling so hard to "keep it together" in the external world. and i was down about it. so, this year i re-found that aspect of my soul that is hopeful, reflective and even, dare i admit, at peace with things. tests are done, house is almost and my boy comes (his name is Benjamin - for my grandfather - and it feels good to write it, as a secret, of course) in december. the reason that i came back to God this year was because, in retrospect, i knew in my heart that He was there the whole time. i am promising to never forget that.
yes A dear friend of mine was going to take her own life. I was on line with her and I began to pray to God to not let her go through this. She is a gift from God to me and I could not let this happen. She is too precious for this to happen. She said God spoke to her and told her it was not her time. I am not a religous person and my heart and my soul God answered my prayer. She is with me in my heart and my soul My life if empty without her in my life and I will strive to keep her there forever
I think it was losing Steve that gave me a spiritual lesson. His nature -- more spirtual rather than religeous -- was a great lesson on how I want to be as a person. On the negative side, the discourse around proposition 8 and the hate speak that so-called religeous people espoused was the greatest arguement against organized religeon I could ever imagine. How anyone else's love was a threat to the institution of marriage is beyond me -- and how those same "protectors of the institution" could then insult it with unapologetic infidelity is even worse. I guess that would count as a particularly unreligious experiance...
In the past year? I found myself on the doorsteps of an Orthodox shul in West Hartford, a shul that has become my home and my jumping off point for converting to Orthodoxy. There have been a lot of religious and spiritual experiences in this past year as I discovered who I am, where I'm going, and came cognizant of where I've been!
No. I am not a religious person and my beliefs tend to follow personal and environmental paths. I have rediscovered, however,that I do enjoy going to temple and listening to and participating in services. It is more a musical, esthetic experience than religious. I am concerned about animal rights because I believe that mostly people make their own decisions about their actions, but animals' safety and health is dependent on others' decisions (think of endangered species). I love being out of doors, near the ocean,and that is spiritual for me.
My experience of religion underwent a substantial, happy transformation this year. Specifically, I discovered the value of religious practice. I've embraced the practice of daily morning prayer, and have found it to be a valuable addition to my spiritual and intellectual sustenance. I have also come to see my actions (in every sphere) as equal parts individual free will and interdependent obligation (or service to the whole). Tikkun olam ceased to be merely a nice idea; it is a commitment to actively engage with the self and the world. (The Yamim Noraim are especially vital, then, as a time to take stock of my performance, but each day offers ample opportunity to do the same.) My continuing study of Judaism has also unearthed many spiritual gems, and has made me intractably optimistic.
I tried Ayahuasca for the first time with some Peruvian shamans. I think I saw God, or at least was transported somewhere ancient and storied, for a few hours. Also, the ritual of it all felt full of free will spiritualism.
I watched my baby son hear the shofar for the first time. He seemed unimpressed, but it was special for me to think about him connecting with the sound of the heavens.
When I wasn't living for God, I was in so much need- for a job, a way to make sure I could pay my bills, guidance,etc but God isn't moved by need, He is moved by faith. If you need more money, but have no faith, you aren't going to receive God's blessing for your life. But if you trust God He will fill your need so that you have no more want. Now, I am happier and God answered my prayers for a new job.
no, i haven't and i wish i did. i am not feeling particularly "godly" this year, but i am OK with the fact that i am not the conservative wife that i thought my husband wanted me to be. to each their own.
I have many debilitating and painful health problems - and I'm of the school that you play the hands you are dealt and try to rise above. But it's been hard, as I have no close family left - I live alone, long divorced, with no children. I worry about the future (I'm 66) and will I be able to take care of myself. I find myself meditating and even praying often. While I'm Jewish, and I belong to a reform congregation, I consider myself more spiritual than religious. I have found no real comfort in attending services - except for the beautiful music which does transport me temporarily. I have forsaken many Jewish rituals since my parents died. I somehow believe in fate, Karma if you will -- and my current challenge is to change my seemingly bad Karma to good Karma. A while back I would have felt ridiculous even thinking this - let alone saying it aloud. But chronic and severe pain does crazy things to you. In the end, I truly feel a cosmic connection to SOMETHING.....just don't know what, as yet.
nope. and didn't necessarily go looking for them either. I work full time in the Jewish world, but only find spiritual experiences in camp-like settings - like havdallah under the stars. The closest experience was a night hike to a waterfall and singing Shehecheyanu - not sure if it was more spiritual or more "romantic"....
No. I'm just happy being me. I'm full of things to do and full of life. I've never felt the need to fill it with spirituality or church activities. I believe the answers and meaning to life don't have a thing to do with any book.
Yes, several, but that isn’t unusual. Probably the most significant is that I’ve come closer to conceiving god as being in myself, rather than "out there." A slow shift in my sense of self-worth is the result...or part of the cause, perhaps.
My abhorrence for politically-minded religious fundamentalism has actually increased when I thought I had already hit my limit.
oh, i've been fortunate to have many of them. i've been leading services, for example, which always re-connects me. plus i've been pretty disciplined about making time for my morning blessings. & now i'm trying to do daily torah study online. best of all, i was lucky enough to be able to say my mornings blessings looking out at the water & mountains & sky up in the straight of georgia, & now i really, really understand "who spreads the earth upon the water".
I started a new meditation practice. As in the past, I have not kept it up consistently, but I did find it rather transporting, especially when I would do it at the top of a hike. I really ought to get back to that.
I had a dream about an elder who is one of my primary guides. It was a time of great confusion in my life and she appeared in my dream as incredibly vivid, outside of the dream almost. And while she didn't speak at all, she beckoned me closer, smiled, and held up the back of her hand on which were painted many symbols, none of which I understood. Though I did sense that they were guidelines of some sort, specific to my journey. Since that time I have thought about her a lot. What I've come to understand, or perhaps believe as I'm not sure I *do* understand, is that we cannot always know our path, that the Universe is guiding us, that we need to have faith and persist, and that one day, we will come into a new language.
This year my girlfriends and I started "Circling." Basically we sit in a circle on or around the Full Moon and through community and expression, support each other in moving through the moments in our lives, whatever they may be. This ritual with my women friends is deeply spiritual and I am energized, nourished and inspired after each one. We don't do them as often as I'd like - we get so busy and it isn't always easy to dig so deep, so these sessions are easy to blow off. But when we come together...oh boy, I feel the earth move.
I definitely feel that I have had spiritual experiences this year. All of my creative work feels linked in to my coming to terms with who I am and with my life. Becoming open to my creative flow is an on-going spiritual experience.
I have become much more observant, and began laying tefillin each morning. I can't say I've had a great year, so I figure maybe this is God's test on just how faithful I really am.
Connecting with myself via meditation has been painful, uplifting, challenging and most of all has brought a sense of peace and reward into my life. It has taught me a healthy version of self-reliance. That no matter what I am experiencing, I can be in the moment and I will be ok in that moment.
Sorry, but I can't answer these questions with those "sample answers" scrolling on the right. It's too distracting.
I found (bought via e-bay)--a wonderful piece of Mexican folk art which now forms part of a small altar at the foot of my bed--it embodies my vague sort of nature-centered religion--it's a small wooden carving of the Virgin of Guadalupe which for me embodies also Tonantzin, the Mexican earth goddess. Flanked by a statuette of Shiva and a sprig of live foliage, it provides a non-verbal focus that jogs my attention back to the spiritual framework within which I now live.
I have certainly had a few occasions during class and services when a fleeting "a-ha" moment came and went. Having Jewish "stuff" to think about has been grounding and has affected the way I think about and interact with others.
I had a breakthrough when I realized some of my frustrations were due to cages that I had created for myself, like, "you have to have a job to be happy". I realized how lucky I am that I can choose what to do with my life. So I started volunteering to help others who aren't so lucky.
The weekend I got married was transformative. My best friend & my sister led a women's ceremony the day before the wedding where they said I had a special power as a bride, and asked me to bless each person there individually; I felt I was channeling a clear, confident, compassionate spirit with which to touch each of my treasured 'womenfolk'. Leading up to the wedding and throughout the ceremony, I felt incredibly grounded and strong, like my energy and the spirit of the event was tangibly uplifting. I felt an amazing connection with my husband, I'd describe it as the highest love-feeling, which I equate with God. I had a lot of faith about the events of the weekend, my ability to feel connected to my people and my feelings, and my faith in my husband & our relationship is powerful.
Still struggling with Jewish Identity. Orthodox vs Conservative. We started a daily study hour 6 to 7 days a week from various sources: Chabad, AISH, and just recently have added OU. But in services feel we should be together. We have political issues with Conservative yet we have social issues with Orthodox.
Visiting Egypt and Israel-- in that order. Seeing tombs, pyramids and monuments to mythical creatures and events really shaped my feelings when I got to to the kotel.
If partying in Barcelona with some of the best techno/house/tech house/minimal DJs in the world for 4 days- non-stop- is a spiritual experience, then YES!
I am not a religious person, and am not even particularly spiritual, but there was a moment this year when, while listening to "Blessed Man" in Rachmaninoff's Requiem, I felt my heart tear open a bit, and for some reason had a strong sense of someone/something else trying to communicate with me.
I had the opportunity to meet 2 remarkable partisan survivors - one during my travels to California and one in Vilnius. Hearing their stories of survival has given me a new perspective on life. I can't help but to question G-d as if I were living in their shoes. How can the human mind, body and spirit survive through such unbearable conditions, and for so long? Where was G-d? What can I do to keep the memories of these last generation survivors alive after they are gone?
Probably, but I'm not the brightest crayon in the box. I don't remember some things too well.
This is a hard question. I think the best answer would be that though I've been trying to get more religious, I'm still missing some of the spiritual...
Oh my God, yes. I started going to services at a vibrant Reform congregation, thinking I was in for a feel-good, sing-along, semi-intellectual experience. I ended up -- and still do end up almost without fail -- crying, trembling, my limbs tingling and weightless. The shekhinah, the indwelling of God's presence, is the only plausible explanation. Different songs and prayers bring on this incredible feeling. A feeling of being connected to something much larger, much deeper, but undeniably Jewish.
we became friends with a conservative rabbi and his family this past year and have started to attend the childhood shabbat programs at our temple. our son goes to a jewish day school and we have started to make shabbat an important routine in our week. we do not follow laws observantly but we try to say the prayers and have family time for songs and play once per week.
I went to Israel through Taglit!
I have become extremely spiritual this year. I watched ceremonies all over asia and saw how spiritual one can be. I even now understand why people become monks. I almost became a Buddhist nun myself. I believe we all have energies that either blend well together or don't. I believe we are all made of the four elements and therefore are all equal. I believe that there is a power greater than us, that nobody understands-- not even the most devout. I believe in karma, and I believe that we are in control of our own lives and days. With our minds we can control how we feel and who we will be.
I've been an atheist from a young age, so no. My parents didn't influence me into any religion, and gave me the opportunity to decide for myself. I will forever be grateful for that.
No. I wish I had. The whole lack of fairness and feeling the world is balanced makes it hard for me to find God. I try. I try to see God in the beauty of the world, in the way an apple tastes right from the tree. But feeling God's presence? No. I still believe in a higher power, and I don't expect that higher power to be as evident and work in the world the way the Torah says happened 5,000 years ago. But I'd like an inkling that there is something out there monitoring the situation and perhaps giving a push here and there to the things that are right and just and tripping up those that are evil.
Every single day I experience something religious and spiritual. I have a very deep Faith in God. I was just able to join Prayer in the Square (via live web stream) 15,000 + christians of all denominations all gathered in Times Square to pray for the city and the nation. There were thousands of people joining via web stream. It was an incredible moment.I was honored to be a part of it.
No. It's not good. But my wife and I are going to work with others to build more religious observance and openness to religious experience into life at our Midwest synagogue. The only way to go is UP!
No, and I worry that I've shut that part of myself down. I used to be a regular shul-goer, and really got something out of it. Now I don't. I'm not sure whether this is something I need to accept and come to terms with, or something I need to change.
Not really, just living and being content. Did not enter any higher realms...
I wish I could say that I had a "particularly religious or spiritual experience" this year, but if I did I can't recall it. Doing Jewish for a living can be uplifting and grounding all at the same time... or it can be dispiriting, believe it or not. Because the Jewish world at its worst is political and cynical and all about personality and money and not about the Jewish. Alas.
I feel that I've grown a lot on a spiritual, but not necessarily religious, path. I can't believe it's been over 2 yrs now since I started on this path of knowing there must be something more than listening to my mind's chatter. This past year, I feel like I've made the most progress... maybe because I'm getting older, maybe because I've found a Buddhist group to relate to, probably at least partially because I've been doing a lot more yoga... but I feel myself making constant, gradual progress toward "freeing" myself.
I guess the closest would be reading Dawkins "The God Delusion". Pretty staunchly atheist.
yes. attending the morning minyan during the shloshim, or thirty days of official mourning, after my husband's death replenished me in a way i never imagined that it would. not only was the daily rhythm soothing, but knowing that i was/am not alone in this time of sorrow has been so comforting. the community that comprises the morning minyan is a presence that has moved me greatly.
My faith in myself and other people has been strengthen this past year. I try and am trying to be involved with things that are bigger than myself, though include myself. I am not trying to sacrifice myself for others or for bigger goals, but create a win-win situation that is satisfying to me, but socially useful. It is harder than you would think.
Yes, reading the Torah for the first time at the practice session for my adult Bat Mitzvah
I wish I could say I did, but it was a pretty terrestrial year.
Working with an incredible coach, I have come closer to a sense of "connectedness" -- the word I now use when others say "spirituality." And I had a moment of absolute clarity about Hashem as protector, a huge safety net that gives us the security to test our wings. We might fall, and we might get hurt, but we will ultimately heal. This gives me a sense of security in a world where nothing else is certain.
I am very interested in learning more about the Jewish faith and I would like to begin conversion classes. I have not had the spiritual connection that I have been seeking in this last year. I believe in God, yet unless I stay committed to maintaining conscious contact, it often slips into the background. I want to be more centered and have serenity in my life to ease me through the transitions I inevitably face. I know that there is comfort out there, yet I have not made it the center of my life. I am looking for strength.
yes--when Barack Obama was elected president after I had spent a year working for him!
I sound like a broken record, but my wedding was particularly spiritual. My grandfather -- who I feel a special connect with unmatched in my family -- fell ill a week before the big day and could not travel. I had already planned to hang the tallis he used in his bar mitzvah under the chuppah, but while we were being married, it had special significance. I felt surrounded by love: my rabbi, my to-be husband, my grandfather through his tallis, and G-d.
Wow. Yes and no. I think some of the spiritual experiences I had were in very secular contexts, when I felt alone and deeply despairing. No uplifting...just a real question of God's existence. I've since had emotional experiences where, yes, "I think You're there, God." Perhaps less impacting than my feelings that there may be no one. And what would THAT mean?
Less so, perhaps, than in other years. But real life has become more serious and vibrant in ways.
I started getting more involved in my church by teaching the Junior High Sunday School class and I've never felt closer to God. I think I'm getting to an age where God make more sense to me and I'm able to have a real relationship with Him. I also met a girl who is extremely strong in her faith and she inspired me not to be ashamed of being religious.
I visited Jerusalem for the first time in 12 years, and felt the same ghosts that I did on my last trip. I have been to other ancient capitals, in China for instance, but Jerusalem is the only place I've been where I literally get a sense of the spirits still inhabiting the place. Coming from a country where we literally plow or build over our past, it's a very significant experience to visit a city where people are living their everyday lives on streets and in buildings that are thousands of years old.
Yes, the birth of my child and teaching my other daughter how to say the Shema.
Nope. Not this year, or the year before, or the year before... will I ever? I don't know.
No. To me, religeon is escapism. It helps you to avoid focusing on the unpleasant and thus avoid doing anything about it.
I have started praying every single night. I feel as though it is a nice way to remind myself of all the things I am thankful for and it gives me time to pray for all the people in my life that are in less fortunate positions. Nightly prayer is a good time for reflection.
Going on Birthright was a religious experience. One of the first religious experiences I have ever had. It transformed me. For the first time I felt like a Jewish person, and for the first time I realized how special it is to be Jewish. I really learned so much about Israel and Judaism. Two months after I am still changed...I wonder if by Rosh Hashannah in 2010 (aka 5700 or something!) I will have made steps to get bar Mitzvahed!!! I never would have done this questionnaire if it was not for birthright.
Hearing my daughter chant Torah as she became the first member of our family to become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in almost 100 years.
Being jobless all year has been a spiritual experience, as i believe it is serving a purpose informing my views of the world. Simultaneously, certain unpaid projects I have taken on have led to prestigious titles and recognitions. The fact that I am excelling professionally without a penny in my pocket is a bizarre spiritual experience. Seeing so many people in financial and emotional crisis including many close friends has tuned me in to life at a different resonance than I'm used to. As always, attending the mikvah as a married woman is an awesome spiritual and religious experience as my ancestors have carried on until just the past few generations. I greatly appreciate that the practice is still available to me after my family assimilated and became more secular this past century. The rebirth that I experience through the mikvah and bring home to my family, along with the recognition that a similar practice exists in many traditions around the world, gives me a strong sense of connectivity with all peoples and all times.
Going to Israel for the third time in 3 years and coming home knowing that my life needs to be there right now. And coming home with the determination to get myself there.
Absence of faith has marked this past year for me - from my callous work environment to the alienation from a long-term relationship as a result of my Judaism, I increasingly wonder if this act of Judaism is nothing more than cultural preservation. I remain less and less convinced that greater forces are at work.
I have long considered myself a Buddhist, but this year I have more fully immersed myself in its teachings and have begun chanting nearly every day for about two months: Nam myoho renge kyo. I have meditated off and on for years but always had a hard time settling down into it, being a very restless person. Chanting gives me something to focus on and has come a bit easier, and I've seen amazing benefits from it in my life so far.
I feel the spiritual world in the natural world, so when I'm walking outdoors and feeling the uncanny beauty of things and the complex anti-symmetrical order of nature, I feel akin to what a religious experience must be.
Sadly, none. I am jewish but not by chose.
Last summer (2008) I reconnected with G-d while I was at US Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. Through reading prayers, and praying to myself throughout the day, I was able to make it through what was hands-down the hardest experience of my life thus far. Over the past year, due to time constraints and competing priorities for my energy and reflection, I lost touch with G-d. I hope to reconnect with Him over this next year, but I acknowledge that I will have to make an effort to do so.
I've put my faith in the universe that everthing will work out on several occasions.
I loved the way my wedding was infused with Judaism. The singing, the traditions - it was an incredibly intense day and I loved feeling like so many of the things we were doing were done by so many before us. I loved the way my husband really bought into all the traditions and wanted to make our wedding as spiritual as possible.
I'm a spiritual seeker, and am always on the search for deeper experiences. Since moving back to the Bay Area, however, I've found it difficult to find a synagogue I connect with, and have been distracted with a lot of other things in life, so it's a goal right ow to deepen my practice - on my own, if nothing else.
I have a religious experience every Friday night when I have Shabbat dinner with my family.
I've taken a pretty rigorous Judaism class as part of my conversion process. The most religious part of the experience was the relationship I formed with our rabbi teacher. I have struggled with the transition from Protestantism to Judaism more than I thought I would, since this is my choice, and the rabbi was so supportive and helpful not only in my difficulties with the religious aspect of the journey but with the practical, personal, and relational issues as well.
i have always longed for one. i miss my god.
I became a yoga teacher and teach in a juvenile detention facility. We always start the class by asking the girls how they feel. One girl who is in detention week after week, always answers "I feel blessed."
This year I started checking in with my ego (a la Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron) and how I create conflict in my life rather than being at peace while letting everything go on around me, for better or for worse. It's a struggle everyday to realize that I choose how to approach the world, rather than the world always affecting me. I think the latter is something that is very ingrained in the beliefs our culture and religion teach us. In working towards this new mentality, I feel a closeness to my spirituality. While I can't define what I think about g-d, I believe this new-found spirituality has made me a happier person on a daily basis.
For several years, for me, a broader religious/spiritual conceptualization of an all-powerful Divine has been developing which excludes formal "worship" services. I tend to adhere to the classic Jewish conviction that even the name of this Divine is too holy to be uttered by human lips; this understanding carries with it a revulsion against the too-flippant, too-familiar notion of a "personal relationship" with a power who grants wishes simply for the asking.
Just the usual stuff - occasional bits of davening, and of course bodily functions that are indelicate to discuss but are nevertheless strong proofs of Divine beneficience.
Not really. I still believe questions of faith in some higher being are the wrong questions to ask and kind of beside the point. I still maintain my faith in individuals' capacity for compassionate action and connections. I'm still okay with this life being all there is, even as I'm more aware than ever of the time limits on that life. And I still believe that meditation would help me in myriad ways if I could just be consistent about it.
Unfortunately, I have not. I prayed a lot during Kyle's last few weeks, but mostly for him to be comfortable and understand that he was loved. I think it worked.
I had a long talk just last night with my parents, my sister, and my brother-in-law about Judaism and its place (or lack thereof) in our upbringing and our lives. It was the first time we'd ever had a discussion of religion as a family. Things that had long been unsaid were said and hopes for my nephew's future were imagined. It was a wonderful, enlightening, and painful conversation, just as it should have been. I hope it was the first of many.
I recently started practicing yoga. I am generally put off by religion, but regularly being in a room with other people who are focused together on centering themselves, with the occasional snippet of yogic philosophy put out there by the teacher, has been really good for my head. I feel like my average mood is happier since I started practicing.
Not particularly, but whenever our close friends celebrate a holiday or Shabbat with us, it brings me one step closer to understanding spiritual/religious need. For me, spirituality has more to do with the wonder of nature and goodness of people than any omnipresent being.
Everyday. But I would have to say the most memorable would be when I was riding my road bike on one of our beautiful Colorado trails with my mouth open. At that moment a flying black wasp came right in with the precision of destiny. I quickly spit him out but not before he stung my tongue 3 times. Getting in touch with God and His creation sometimes hurts.
I have questioned my faith based on things that have happened in my life with my job and personal life. But, somehow I always come back because my faith is the most stable thing in my life, the thing that connects my adulthood to my youth, and reminds me of better days.
swimming with wild dolphins in waimea bay near my home- not once but about 7 different times this summer. 6 of the 7 times were early on a sunday morning and it felt like being near god...
My religion is a personal one - more spiritual than religious. I thank God everyday - for my many blessings and for watching over my family.
yep...i'd say most of my experiences have been spiritual but one of the "most" was kirtan (chanting) for a week straight at the Kashi Ashram in Florida
I'm lucky that I have spiritual experiences all the time. I see God in the little things, like close calls with another car or the smile on my son's face when I pick him up from school. I only wish I could return the favor more and actually spend more time in quiet prayer and reflection.
I am becoming much less of an athiest and much more of an agnostic this past year. Beyond that, no.
Yes I have! Studying Kabbalah at the Kabbalah Center has been the best thing in my life. I have experienced MAJOR transformation!! I highly recommend it to everyone!!
Going to Israel was the greatest spiritual experience that I've ever had. I don't necessarily believe in God and organized religion, but I felt connected to a place, culture and people and that was a new experience. I want to find a way to cultivate that connection.
I have no interest in Religion. I do need a cute star of David pendent for meetings though. Gotta throw my J-card.
Not really. I guess the closest thing would be when I attended a Catholic Mass for the first time in about 20 years and felt like I resonated with it more than any of the hundreds of Protestant services I've attended. It got me thinking that perhaps the problem I've had connecting with churches has been not with me, but with the way non-Catholic churches are run as businesses.
The morning in Thailand, after I read my stepfather's email about starting hospice and had decided I would call him that evening (morning for him) to talk about me coming home, I went back to our hotel to tell my finace what was going on. He was sitting in the restaurant- an indoor space with an open front. As I sat down at his table and started to tell him the situation, a black butterfly flew in through the open front, flew so close I thought it was going to land on me, then swooped around and back out. As soon as that happened, I had the thought that my stepfather had already died, and the butterfly was him. I quickly dismissed the thought as melodrama- he had only just started hospice, and it would be at least a couple of weeks- enough time for me to call him later that day, and enough time for me to go home and be with him. But hours later, when the time finally rolled around to call, I found out I had been right. And I truly do believe that it was a last burst of his conscious energy that drove the butterfly- his quick and subtle way of saying goodbye.
I went to the mikvah (ceremonial bath) the morning of my wedding. I went because the Rabbi performing the ceremony strongly encouraged me to do so. It turned out to have a huge impact on me. Not only did it give me a chance to reflect on the day ahead of me, but I really felt a connection to the past, to something bigger than myself, to all the Jewish women who have gone through these same rituals on their wedding day.
I have been too caught up in the politics of my synagogue to feel religious or spiritual this past year. Too many disappointments and things not going the way I thought they should have - have colored my feelings about being at temple. It's time to put it behind me and maybe also begin looking somewhere else. Weekly Torah study has been a steady comfort and the community of fellow Saturday morning students always feels good. There have been no highs but the one hour a week is a good baseline. Now if I could just figure out how to ignore the anger and disappointment I feel in the clergy and leadership at the temple so I can try to focus on fostering positive experiences.
No, and that's why it's interesting. I don't enjoy praying, I 'm miserable when I have to go to temple. I still love Judaism and I believe in much of it, but after my Dad died, I can't stand going to temple.
No, but I have been watching a lot of Derren Brown's shows, in particular "Messiah" where he cons 5 leading preachers of their religions/beliefs and every one of them accepts him and endorses him. Kind of makes you question religion.
Whenever I go to Bnai Jeshurun, no matter what mood I'm in, I find = wow, this is what I need. This combination of Judaism, music, community and Shabbat is transcendent and amazing. When I am there, I feel even more of a sense of awe than I did when I looked into the Grand Canyon, because I was looking at something made by people on behalf of God.
It sounds corny, or maybe just implausible, but feeling consciously spiritual is how I try to live. It's not a God-thing. Not in any ideological sense. More a sensibility that seeks to acknowledge, or recognize the spiritual dimension inherent in all things. Okay, it definitely sounds corny and self-conscious and self-congratulatory. Maybe even delusional. I don't always maintain the state of awareness I'd like. Buddhists call it being 'fully awake'. That's as good an allusion as I've come across. It's something to aspire to.
We had shabbos dinner with some friends of ours and their friends - it was the first time I've done that. They went through the entire ceremony, and I felt an amazing sense of history permeating the room, a spiritual connection through millennia.
Signing our ketubah.
I am 28 and grew up in a completely secular home, but always regretted that I never got a Jewish upbringing. I always wanted to get in touch with a rabbi, but I was always a bit scared I wouldn't be welcome. This year I finally took the step to meet with a rabbi, and my experience couldn't have been more different. The rabbi was truly supportive and welcoming. He emphasized the importance of discovering the faith at my own paste, on my own terms, but that I could always turn to him or other members of the community for support. It is the best decision I have made this year. Maybe even for the past ten years.
Less and less in Jewish community and more and more in my pagan community, alone, or with my Beloved. I'm practicing more spirituality and less Judaism, which I didn't think was possible. It's still sweet to come together with my community for Shabbats, but I prefer to be outdoors, looking up at the sky and down at the earth.
No, but I've had a lot of discussions with my colleague who studied philosophy. He's Catholic and questions how someone could live their lives not at least contemplating the purpose of life. He's challenging and probing, and the conversations have enabled me to think more deeply about not believing in god or being religious. I feel content being a person who's moral, caring, and thoughtful without having to connect that to a religion that tells me to be that way.
Holding my grandmother's hand while she died. Making a commitment to stick with my boyfriend (my partner, my soulmate) through the tough times and the easy ones. Making a commitment to myself to be the best nurse possible (and the best nursing student). Listening to my conscience more than other people. Worrying less about others' judgments of me. Loving and thanking God as much as possible. Remembering to look up from time to time. Thank you God for all that and all the things I'm forgetting.
Nope, on the same track...am spiritual, not religious. Believe there is something out there larger than us but that I make the plan. I do enjoy services when I attend...I always take something away that helps me cope day to day.
I felt closest to God when I was at CHWC this summer, surrounded by all the young people who were so excited by Jesus. I saw god in the faces of the people we helped there.
I'm not a religious person, but I try to relish what I call the everyday sacred. Last night is a great example: Ben and I cooked one of the recipes we've made repeatedly since Karen and Berry gave us Alice Water's "Art of Simple Foods." We've each made this delicious vegetarian mushroom ragu, so we know all the steps in the recipe -- we worked, side by side, chopping and sauteeing without having to coordinate verbally. When we hit a groove like that, we're like a well-oiled machine. The ragu came out as delicious as ever, but I think I enjoyed watching Devon and Sophie gobble it up even more than eating it myself. After struggling to get my nephew to eat even one bite of a french fry this weekend, I appreciate all the more my kids' willingness to eat and enjoy good, healthy food. It makes me feel like I've done something right. Later, when the kids were in the bath, I just watched in awe as they played so sweetly together, and I felt so blessed. Rather than focusing on everything I want to change about my life (the lack of exercise, the chaos all around me, etc.), I just took the moment to cherish the everyday sacred.
Too busy. No time. Nothing kills spirtuality like being a single mom.
It was actually about 2 years ago when I first found out that the path toward Judaism that I was on was not the right one for me. When I applied to go to London on a Jewish education trip - I was denied because my mom is not Jewish. The Rabbi who I very much liked and looked up to had broken the news to me - and I was heart broken. I never felt the same about prayer, G-d, and Judaism after that. For a long time I felt resentment to my religion, but I knew that I had met many other Jewish people and practiced many Jewish traditions that supported me throughout my life, and guided me to be the person that I was. I was not going to let one Rabbi ruin all of that for me. It's been a rocky road since then. When I go to High holidays for prayer - I cry. I used to cry tears of joy, but this year and last they were heartbroken tears for a G-d and prayers I once loved and would have sworn by. I still think about that day when he told me. It makes me angry, and I still have feelings of revenge. I want to let the Rabbi know that he was wrong, and that he had no right to do that to me. But as I am growing more mature, and growing to love myself more and more - I try to accept that I am who I am, and for better or worse, I know that - and no one can tell me otherwise. And there may be circumstances in life that affect my path, but only in a positive way. I have found a spiritual journey through yoga, and I am currently balancing my Jewish identity with the rest of my identity. And I feel that's a gift I was given early on- because I couldn't be happier with the life I now have, and who knows where I would have ended up had I chosen Judaism as my ultimate path. I feel I have struck a good balance between my identity as a person and my identity as a Jew, and for that I am better off, and so is my future, and the world all around me.
When Sarah died, the Kaddish stopped resonating for me. The effect was magnified on Rosh Hashanah when we read the portion of the introduction to the prayer that talks about the journey toward old age - and she never got there. Instead of making me feel better about how everyone ends their journey at some point, it made me feel like she was cheated. On a different note, leaving Hillel and reclaiming complete personal control over my Jewish involvement poses an interesting, and refreshing, new point of view.
All of my life is a spiritual experience; we are, after all, souls inhabiting temporary physical receptacles, our bodies. To see G'd in every day encounters, to feel His presence and involvement in everything I accomplish, this is the delight of my life.
Yes, I started meditating around my fire pit this past winter. I would sit for hours in front of the fire and be mindless. After a few months, I started more formal meditiation, using Tirzah Firestone's Women's Kabbalah and then moved on to other meditations. I had some wonderful experiences with my spiritual community and my spiritual guides. I am in a lull now. But occasionally I feel presence when I am in the garden and touching, working with, smelling and appreciating my plants. I am thrilled with the way the seeds I plant actually grew into real fruit and vegetable, and am awed with their process. Now I am spiritually motivated by eggplant and butternut squash, which have just recently begun to flower.
I try and have spiritual expereinces as often as possible. I had a particularly moving moment at the Western Wall (not a place I usually have them). My mother recently gave me a necklace that belonged to my grandmother. I usually wear a small bracelet that was hers, but I love the necklace and am honored to have her charms, and feel like she is with me more often. I am looking forward to expanding my spirtual awareness and connection in the next year.
No spiritual experiences in 2008, it was a perfectly dull year...
Hiking in the mountains. Studying talmud with a mentor. Sharing personal stories with a group of incredible individuals.
Yes. Gardening has been fantastically spiritual for me, as well as returning to my home congregation after all the travel I've been doing. Having sex with my new lover has been downright ecstatic.
My faith has been renewed, several times over. From saying Kaddish for my mother to that out-of-nowhere person saying things I needed to hear to keep moving forward. It's amazing to me that the cosmic energy can be channeled in such a way that the right words come to my ears at just the moment when I need the inspiration or support...Be it from the Rabbi, a family member, a friend or a new aquaintance.
As for RELIGIUOS, I went to the Women's Christian conference with my Mother-in-law and sister-in-law and had both anti-religious experience and religious one. One of the speakers was everything that is wrong with evangelical Christianity, filled with negativity and judgemental. After her lecture, I honestly wanted to go home. Thankfully the other two were more positive. One spoke of the need to be open minded about faith and what that means to different people. Not only did I enjoy her message, but it allowed me to have a meaningful trip with my new family with whom I don't often have much in common. And for spiritual, every day of my life that I spend with my husband lets me know that God's hand is guiding me. There is no greater gift that his love.
Every morning I wake up and thank G-d for my wonderful and beautiful life. I have an amazing husband who loves me and an adorable HEALTHY child. I am grateful every day for the blessings G-d has given to me and my family.
No(unless you consider the Jets beating the Patriots on Rosh Hoshanah to be either a religious or spiritual experience).
I have begun my exploration of Judaism and I couldn't be happier. Opening up my life to Judaism has placed me on a quest to find spiritual and religious understanding. It has also opened me up to exploring Islam and Christianity for the sake of learning. I am very happy with my decision to step outside the spiritual box I was in and explore. I pray that as I continue to learn more about Judaism, Islam and Christianity G-d will guide me to the place I will call my spiritual home.
I finished my conversion to Judaism. Going in front of the beit din and immersing in the mikveh was one of the coolest things in the world. The water was surprisingly warm and it was definetely more spiritual than I thought it would be. It was lovely.
I met a man in the "spiritual" section of a book store. We connected and shared a bit about how God has touched our lives. We spoke of faith and trust. Two weeks later I was walking out of the VA hospital with my father, who has a brutal cancer diagnosis. My dad has always had a strong faith but he was worrying aloud about money. I said, "Dad money is nothing to worry about. If you believe that God can heal surely you must believe that He can provide the means when needed. Have faith." As I said these words the man from the book store appeared. I felt my feet leave the ground. I knew that God had ordained this meeting. The man walked forward and I greeted him. Turns out he was a social worker at the VA hospital. He was the first stranger I had spoken openly with about my faith in some time. He appeared again at the very moment I was imploring my dad to keep his own. I believe God was showing me that He is very much there when we seek Him. It was a very powerful reminder for me to trust in my own faith in God despite all the distraction. It's primary.
I just had a very spiritual experience at Rosh Hashana services last week. I had not attended this particular congregation since the Rabbi, who was incredible, tragically died in early January. It was so powerful to be with the congregation, I cried through the whole service, partially because of how joyous the ceremony was, partially because work has been unbelievably stressful and unhappy, and partially out of grief.
I see my father every day in my daughter. Until he died, I never truly appreciated his presence in her. I'm reminded daily that God's grace is cyclical and his wisdom transcendent.
Getting pregnant is the most spiritual thing that has ever happened to me. I can't explain why but having and helping develop another life inside of my body makes me feel enormously connected to the larger continuum of humanity. I feel more empathy towards people, more kindness towards others and I am generally happier. I like the world more and think of other people in a more multi-dimensional way.
i think this year has been my most unspiritual / irreligious in the last 10 years. I'm finding it harder to believe when i see and experience things that seem so unfair. I want to believe and do have faith - but it is definitely being tested at the moment.
no. and it makes me incredibly sad. I wish I could find god again
Undoubtedly. I had been considering converting to Judiasm for a long time, and this year I took the first step and began my studies. I am still in the process, but have had many religious awakenings this year, and have developed a wonderful community in the process.
I have had a religious experience twice in the past year. The first time was in June when I went to the mikvah. I don't swim and the fact that I had to submerge myself was very frighting for me. Yet when I did submerge on that day I was not afraid. I then had to submerge twice more and each time the fear of water disapeared. The second religious experience occured this past summer. I was able to trace my DNA to a family that lives in Greece who are Sepherdic Jews. I have always had an emotional attachment to Judiasm but now it was confirmed by my ancestors. Thank you.
God wanted me to go on Birthright after my 1st year of college, because this is what I was planning. It all worked out and going to Israel was such an incredible experience.
Leading Kabbalat Shabbat on the Friday after the November election - full of the euphoria of Obama's victory and the defeat of marriage equality in California. There was a huge march going on outside protesting Prop 8 - I wanted to be out there in solidarity so badly, but I knew I had an obligation to my kehilla. I channeled that joy for Obama, and indignation and anger against writing discrimination and inequality into our state constitution, right into my davening and it was one of the most powerful experiences I've had in prayer. All the psalms and blessings took on new meaning. I've never felt such forcefulness in a service.
I have had a number of spiritual/religious experiences that have resonated with me this year. I was an adult bar mitzvah, after two years of intense study. It was an amazing experience to go through, and was especially close to the others who went with me. It was humbling to lead services before my friends and family. My first nephew was also born this year, about 8 days before my bar mitzvah. He was a delightful surprise and has brought a particular joy (and drama) to our family. Amazing to feel this surge of love for someone who has little choice but to love back. Powerful and humbling at the same time.
my friend became a Jesus freak-again
Praying, studying and teaching Torah, helping people work through their issues and working through (with help) my own issues, being in Israel/at The Wall.
always knowing that God is part of my everyday life.
yes...i feel closer to g-d. i bought a bible along w/ other spiritual books and keep them next to my bed. i pray a lot more but not nearly enough. i feel more insightful and intuitive.
My family is both jewish and christian, leaning more towards christian. I have always felt I identified more with the jewish traditions and beliefs. In the coming year, I want to be able to connect more with my jewish roots.
I saw Thich Nhat Hanh speak in Pasadena. He said entering the Kingdom of God is as easy as taking one step. And he means that literally. God is hear, in a flower, in your breath, in you. I like that a lot better than the idea of Heaven. I experienced the Kingdom of God in Elizabeth Lake, camping with a community of friends in Tuolumne Meadows too.
I saw the Dalai Lama speak at the Gillette Stadium in Massacussetts last summer. It was like a secular spectator's church. As the crowd slurped on its Coca-Cola beverages and wolfed down hot dogs, we were reminded of things we already knew. Be nice to people. Judge actions, not people. The message was the same, but the messenger was a warm, friendly, humble man. And that made all the difference.
my children's laughter
I found myself challenging my boyfriend's faith. He wants his daughters to prepare for bat mitzvah, but he doesn't take them to temple. I asked him why it was important to him--for social reasons? Cultural? Spiritual? I told him I would feel lost without my faith. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools. I emphasized what a gift I feel my parents gave me by providing me with answers to my questions about the great intangibles. I went to temple with him to enroll his daughters in Sunday school. I stepped inside a temple for the second time in my life and it felt good.
Travelling through the Shanandoah National park and stopping for a hike I experienced the idea of Zimzum...I became invisible for a time...not looking at myself but being able to enjoy the world without being distracted. Nature has often provided me with my most intense spiritual experiences.
Can't say that I've had any religious or spiritual experiences that really stand out???
Although this wasn't technically in the past Jewish year, I had a spiritual experience at the beach at Half Moon Bay on Sunday, at the end of Rosh Hashanah. I walked barefoot in the breakers and on the sand for about an hour and a half. The cold water and both the rocky & soft sand felt so refreshing and good on my feet. I watched the waves ebbing, flowing, and crashing as I walked. The sound of the ocean was relaxing and the foggy ocean air was invigorating to breathe in. I was entertained by watching seagulls, snowy plovers, and pelicans go about their daily business. I felt really connected with nature as I was walking along the beach. I felt like I was "experiencing" the beach and was a "part" of the earth. I didn't notice time. It felt like I was living and that I was a part of something bigger than me alone.
Two. One, from the edge of the Old City, taking pictures of the Mt. of Olives and East Jerusalem. As my friends and I prepared to leave, we suddenly heard the Muslim call to prayer; all four of us froze in a sort of awe. When the call finished, we headed to the Kotel for our own Ma'ariv prayers. The second occurred in Tel Aviv during Shabbat evening services at the port. The sun set just as we closed our eyes for the Shema, creating one of the most powerful spiritual experiences of my life.
No. I don't believe in God.
I studied in Neve Yerushalaem this summer for a week. I learned with some amazingly brilliant Rabbis. I have become so much more observant this year alone and I am so proud to be home on Friday nights lighting candles. So much so that my mom now has started lighting her own. My growth has definitely effected my family and I'm so thankful for the information that was given to me.
Moving to New York. Everything about New York City is a (Jewish) religious experience. I visited 770 for the first time, found new meaning through prayer and observance, and discovered that there is a strong statistical correlation between how Orthodox you are and how hot you think I am.
Seeing Jane Austen's writing desk at the British Library was a deeply moving experience for me. I also have these moments I can't really describe very well, where everything seems to go very silent and I feel in touch with something more infinite. They are scary but nice. I had one looking at the sky in Oyster Bay recently. But they can happen almost anywhere.
I have absolutely no interest in religion. However, the idea of spirituality is not lost on me. That being said, I did finally fall firmly in my belief as an atheist, which is something I have gone back and forth with since I was 17. As far as spirituality, I can't think of any one specific thing that was really moving. My trip to Switzerland was definitely an eye-opener into the majesty that this planet can have. In some ways that was a tad spiritual.
I went to Israel for the first time during July of last year. That was the best experience I've had in many years.
Not that I can identify. Sometimes I wish I believed more in some kind of omniscient being, but I don't. I get my solace from my friends, my family, and inside myself. Nonetheless, I still light the Shabbas candles, and I appreciate the idea of pausing and reflecting every week. Pesach is my very favorite holiday of the whole year, and I still have a seder every year, which is very important to me. The ritual is important; perhaps that is the spirituality.
Standing in a synagogue in Spain and feeling the historic continuity of the Jewish experience across the centuries.
No. It's just not an important part of my life. I went on a three-day retreat to a yoga center last fall, and while I left feeling refreshed and relaxed, for me, unlike others there, there was no spiritual element to it. Also last year, I went to Kol Nidre services to hear a friend, a cantor, perform and was struck by its beauty as ceremonial and as community. I wouldn't at all mind more of such beauty in my life, but religious practice doesn't seem the way to achieve it. At the same time, I'm not sure there's any other way -- for the ceremonial, that is; for the community, well, that's something I'm working on.
I woke up this morning thinking "Ignorance is Divine" - which I thought of in a dream.
"I lost God, and I couldn't be happier," is the impetus of question #5. Everyday is a spiritual experience for me. I have always told my friends never allow religion to come between them and God, or any perceived higher power. Religions require the protocol of ritual. Rituals function within rules. Rules demand obedience. Obedience promises the gamble of reward or punishment. The connection of the heart surpasses the restrictions of religion. Two people fall in love and are refused expression of that love because they are imprisoned under the yolk of different religions. Differing religions and politics are the two most popular reasons for murder and torture under the guise of war.
No - but the lack of religion and spirituality is precisely what is notable. I grew up in a very Christian home, the beliefs of which I mostly maintained until I was about 22 (I'm 26 now). For the past few years, I've been in an agnostic purgatory (so to speak!), where I'm not really willing to commit to faith or lack of faith. And since then, I have felt like I can't really start living until I make a decision one way or the other. For example, I have felt like I can't really date anyone seriously until I have this one issue figured out. I've felt like I shouldn't commit strongly to where I'll live or what direction I take my career in until I figure out what I believe with respect to God. But this past year, I've had to make big life decisions irrespective of all that. I moved across the country. I started a new job in a different field. I began a relationship with someone of a different faith. And I've realized that I can't put life on hold while I grapple with philosophical questions which people have struggled with for centuries and to which I may never have a resolution. I've been learning it is entirely possible to live a full life even though I struggle with uncertainty. So I guess the short answer to this question is that throughout the past year, I've been able to acknowledge that uncertainty as a part of myself - a large part of myself - but am learning that it doesn't need to hold me back from fully living in the moment or planning for the future.
Attending a Buddhist Monastery "day of mindfulness" retreat (my son had already attended a related monastery twice and his girlfriend too had attended for a week earlier), I experienced something new. It was less a direct experience of God than of Goodness - in a collectivity. I found it comforting. I've had so many painful experiences in the last decades on account of my abusive, dysfunctional family, that without realizing it I had lost faith in the Force of Good. This was especially disturbing as I had gained a definite "faith" in the Force of Evil which I had experienced directly. I now believe in Evil! I need to delve deeper, but at least this gave me hope that there is a kind of cosmic symmetry there.
If anything, it's been a struggle to hold that connection. Feels like I was in the middle of a conversation and suddenly lost the signal this past year. Seven years of living with an athiest Jew have finally taken their toll, and the inner peace I'd worked so hard to find has slowly ebbed away. I still identify strongly as a Jew, but have lost that strong sense of connection to a higher power.
I think I realized around last December that I just haven't been wanting to admit to myself that somewhere deep down I feel its all bullshit, but I still seem to feel strongly about keeping kosher and even davening on Shabbes & holidays. Keeping Shabbes is easier to justify because its about my sanity and well being, not to 'please god', really
I have rediscovered the beauty of Quakerism in reading the pamphlet Advices & Queries. I don't know if I believe in God but the Quaker way of seeing things definitely appeals to me. Simple, unadorned, honest, concerned with the dispossessed, tolerant and steadfast in the face of indifference. Committed to a cause, a way of living. That's how I want to be.
Nothing particular comes to mind. I Like the High Holy Days in Synogogue. The sense of Community, the Spiritual Energy, the comtemplation and reflection that is happening.
This year I really came to recognize and acknowledge my flaws, faults, and failings. I had to come to terms with the fact that I am not (yet) the person I want to be. But as a part of this process I have come to know God in a new way: as a constant source of support, forgiveness, and love.
Ecstatic trance postures provided a remarkable direct experience of the divine. Once you remove the mediators, the priests, anyone who states that the divine must be filtered through them, the connection of this world and the world of the spirit becomes tangible and immediate.
Being Shaliach Sibur on shabbos morning.
Going to the Kotel is always a powerful and emotional experience for me. I was able to go a number of times this past summer and pray. It made me feel that there is a higher power than me.
I strongly believe in the law of attraction and I have had theis realization that i enjoy being happy. The happier I am, the more wonderful things I attract into my life. This was trully eye opening for me.
I always feel spiritual when I am out in nature. I feel connected to the earth and fully alive.
after landing my dream job in Indonesia one of my twin daughters was diagnosed with a brain tumor. two surgeries later, a move back to the US and leaving the dream job and starting her on chemotherapy -- I'm struggling with what I believe more than ever. My parents are athiest- but I've always wanted to believe in something, but this makes me unsure-- maybe it is all random? Or if this is God's way of testing me-- leaving my daughter out of it! It certainly has made me reflect on everything that is really important to me. I wish I could say that all my bad habits are gone... But I know more than ever I need to remember that my family is most important. even if putting that into practice day to day is difficult.
i had a big anniversary... for me. i visited the l.a. crest hwy. with my manfriend a couple of times last year. i feel G-d's presence in nature's beautiful scenery.
at my moms yartzeit, i remember feeling like i wanted to be at temple, even if it feels awkward. like an old friend, comfortable and far away. like i should do it more often.
I stopped believing in God, god, or anything resembling it.
I really feel connected to the Jewish community through my job at Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters. To see everyday that even a community that is seen in such an untouchable light, immune to problems that need assistance has been eye opening and inspiring. I am glad to be apart of such an organization and to know that we are all working towards tikun olam.
I am reminded of God more in times of worry and weakness than when things are good, but I sense the miracle of His prescence in every little thing from the nature surrounding me in all it's majesty to the miracle of each day with my beautiful children- when I see them- I see God. If only my faith were as honest as theirs! I must work harder to overcome my doubts in a skeptical world and live my life as Christ would want me to, and continue to grow spiritually- it is a journey, but I know my prayers are heard. Finding a connection with my church is a harder step which I must reconcile, but it is a work in continual progress- in fact right now I am reading The Reason For God which is helping to reconcile my faith with intellectualism, science and reason-Science, nature and religion are not exclusive to one another- I don't beleive that the intricate design of this world is possible without a God and that human goodness is possible without Christ, but I must remember to seek this in my every day life.
After the death of my father I turned to my church and therapy for solace. I have just been embraced by grace, sympathy and love from everyone. My therapist taught me how to meditate and that has brought me a level of detachment and peace I haven't had in a long time.
As my yoga practice deepens I understand energy and time differently, and can sometimes see Divine energy shining through everyone and everything.
I started a gratitude journal this year. Each day I write down three things I was thankful for -- or appreciated -- the day before. It's a great exercise -- because it forces you to find the positive even in not so great days. It also begins my day in a positive way. It's been spiritually uplifting.
I was really depressed for several months this year and felt totally disconnected from people and God. I liked it that way, even though I felt the negative consequences of being in solitary confinement, so to speak. Mysteriously, supernaturally, I have a distinct sensation that I'm being drawn out of that cavernous place. I haven't quite figured out what that was about, or even what this transitional period is about, but I know something significant is happening.
I don't think so.
I was introduced to Judaism. I feel like I found a religion/faith/spirituality that can direct my desire for self-growth; give me a basis of history, tradition, community to ground my soul's search for something more; a religion I can respect due to its history of struggle, lack of evangelism, constant wrestling with God, respect for knowledge & learning, importance put on nature & time cycles, importance put on action & assisting others; I have seen myself question my sincerity, actual belonging and place within the community & history of Jews, my level of commitment, my actual basic belief. I voiced my absolute disbelief once & experienced immediate feelings of G-d's presence and residual, simultaneous feelings of assurance of existence of something greater and betrayal.
My mom and I hiked up an active volcano in Guatemala and watched the sun set. I felt like my mom and I were blazing with the mountain and the sun.
Standing on the top of Mt. Hood with my new wife, Seeing all the best that nature and life can give me, and having a rushing feeling of all that positivity that lurks out in life in sometimes hard to find places that hit me like a ton of bricks. Life is great. Even if it doenst seem that way sometimes. Always keep your head up and dont stop caring!
Yes Yes Yes! I am struggling with my relationship to Judaism every day. I hosted a passover seder for the first time this year and my whole family came along with some friends. It was a great moment for my family to see the spirituality I've come into lately, and a breakthrough for my mom who struggles with my new found Jewish practices.
I had a great experience in Germany in Berlin and felt really connected to the history and strangely, the people. I havent found g-d yet, hopefully one day soon!
The fact that I survived a breakdown this past year in face of not wanting to survive. I'm certain God had a hand in my survival.
I became more shomer kashrut, deciding on Pesach 5769/2009 that I would no longer eat non-kosher beef or chicken when I went out to eat.
No. I am pretty atheist at this point, although I'm curious to see how that goes when I live with my very religious family in Uruguay.
Absolutely. I had just about given up on myself and pursuing my education to change careers. I thought it would be practically impossible to pass a required class and yet, I passed with the exact number of correct answers needed. I cried with gratitude and a sense of overwhelming acknowledgment for my path. I tear up just recalling that moment. I have this feeling of responsibility to God and my community to persevere and repair the world.
Yes. Absolutely. I have become more involved with Judaism. I feel that my Christianity is slipping away sometimes, and it scares me. I have become so distant from Jesus, who used to make up my entire life. I am trying not to. Also, Meredith Fox's death has had a serious religious impact on my life. Why would God allow this? Do you have to be a christian in order to go to heaven? I have so many unanswered questions. By faith alone is getting confusing.
i saw the movie religilous. it was great i need to learn from my wife. concentrate on the here and now. we learned a new word : ignostic. that is what i am.
Just over a year ago, I got married- the ceremony and our wedding was an overwhelmingly positive spiritual experience. And, honestly, my most awe-inspiring spiritual moments have been sitting on my surfboard and watching the sun setting. I am just amazed and blissed out at these moments, and feel incredibly connected to the natural environment. I was also surprisingly connected to my religious and spiritual sense of being at Temple recently, during Rosh Hashanah services, at the Amidah. The Rabbi spoke about how the Amidah is both a time for communal prayer and individual prayer or meditation- and I loved this juxtaposition of religion through shared ritual with setting up space and place for individual meditation and contemplation
I'm not religious at all, but I appreciate spirituality and the morality that can come from religious living. I recently began reading (I used to hate reading) and read a few books in which a variety of religions were featured, and it helped me see things from some new perspectives.
Yes. I've found Buddhism and Taoism and couldn't be happier.
I remain convinced in the non-existence of any higher power. My boss alone is proof that being religious does not make you a better person.
Two come to mind. One was driving in the Michigan mountains at night in a snow storm - it was like being in a astronomical wormhole like the one at the end of Space Odyssey 2001. It was totally unearthly. The other was taking x with the guy I've fallen in love with. There was a moment in our exchanged gazes where our eyes alit with a different kind of light. I could see it in him and feel it in myself. I thought after that moment that he could hear me without words. Since then I have felt that certain people, maybe all although are more or less tuned in - have antenas. I guess it's a feeling about energies and how it's impossible to be invisible. It's made me more emboldened.
Not really, but I know I'm being watched over.
I'm still finding myself. Not there yet.
I have dreams about my grandmother, and I see and hear her vividly, and when I wake up I am sure that I had a religious experience. We have full conversations in my dreams. Saying Kaddish this year after she died was an extremely spiritual moment for me. I swear that I can feel her presence.
I almost died this year. Before seeking medical assistance, I almost went to sleep (which would have been my last and final nap; I heard a voice - the same voice over the past few days that warned me that I would die and I needed to get help. Once I realized how close to death I was, I felt I needed to do something to help others because my life was prolonged/extended. I keep asking G-d what should I do, what does (s)he need from me, and how can I help. I am not completely healed right now, but I am forever grateful.
I can't say I know or care much about religion but for the first time in my life I feel like I really have faith in something. My heart was broken to tiny pieces by a boy this year, and when I crumbled, my family's support shook me to my core. My mother, despite our economic situation, bought me a ticket home and she and my sister gave me a gift I can never repay - a week long vacation from heartbreak.
More of a deepening of my spiritual nature, my intuition, my consciousness. I am aware of how much the experience of life shifts as I get older. The 50's feel very different than any time before now. Incredibly rich. I believe it is due to this deepening, this accumulation of spirit and thought.
No. Sadly, no.
One of my most powerful religious experiences came on Tisha b'Av this year. Though I have over many years become quite observant, Tisha b'Av never seemed to penetrate. But this year I experimented with it. I followed several of the customs of the 3 weeks preceeding it. And on the actual day, I had a revelation. I work with the Holocaust on a daily basis, which doesn't often translate into pleasant dinner conversation. But Tisha b'Av became my outlet. Suddenly, sitting on the floor of the synagogue, it was OK to think about some of the horrible things I hear or read from survivors or in Holocaust material. It became my personal day of catharsis.
Taking a look back and see what I have done so far profesionally, personally and socially (as part of a personal project to know myself better) violently allowed me to recon the position that I have in the world. A sudden rush of humbleness took me by surprise. Perhaps taking a quick look at who I am refreshed my focus towards my doing.
I had my Bat Mitzvah, go teenaged years!
Other than working for a Jewish organization for the first time, though I was raised Roman Catholic and don't believe in god, not really. Fiancee has found yoga, for me, it's still just Reddit.
Climbing around the ruins of Chaco Canyon in Southern Colorado where Anastazi indians hauled 2o-30 ft. logs 20 miles to build a community which was dry and barren. Why would they do that? Only to reach a new spritual dimension, commune with a god that is in that place.
Is this question a joke? If people weren't feeling spiritual or religious, I doubt they'd be on this site. Could you ask better questions, ones that will stand up in a year and provide some sort of interesting history.
I ate 'shrooms for the first time and felt connected with the universe. I felt that whatever I do, I am connected to everyone and everything on a level that transcends us.
Last week I went to Shabbat services on campus. I hadn't been to Friday night services in months and months, and I hadn't been to a Reform service in years. Even among a strange group of undergrads a little part of me felt like I was coming home. Hearing some of the melodies brought me back to my childhood self in Jewish kid camp and gave me goosebumps. I'm not sure how, or if, I'd define it, but I think for me it was a spiritual experience. It reminded me the many different ways I can feel Jewish or be close to my Judaism.
My mother-in-law's death and my own diagnosis of cancer brought me closer to G-d. I have always felt that I had a very personal relationship with G-d, and I drew on that to deal with what happened this year. I know there is a Supreme Being who guides us, and lets us make our own mistakes or journeys down whatever roads we choose but is always there to comfort when we need it.
During a trip to Colombia, I drank a very bitter drink and was comforted by the presence of the Mother.
After years of hesitation, I enrolled in a 3 year clairvoyance program at the Southern California Psychic Institute. The changes I've experienced in myself and my life have been so dramatic, I only wish I'd been ready earlier to embark on this journey. I've become more relaxed and certain within myself and am having more fun in life, in spite of many challenges. I also returned to Burning Man this year where we buried a friend at the temple. Walking the funeral procession through the desert let me know this is where I want to be buried. It felt more like home than anywhere and made the temple burn especially poignant and powerful.
I'm a worrier - about everything. I made a decision to try to stop worrying about things I had no control over - in particular I decided to quit worrying about money- and to let God handle it. It's been amazing. Things have a way of working out sooner or later. God always provides. I still worry, just not quite as much.
I am not strongly religious and question the existence of God. From time to time I do have a feeling that I am connecting with a force greater than any typical force. I have spent the latter part of this year trying to connect with my own inner spirit and to reflect on life's lessons.
In a manner of speaking. When my law firm went out of business, knowing I had to mourn the loss, but having trouble doing so, I went to services for a month during the week and said Kaddish. It was refreshing. And then some time later, I realized that while I attended services regularly, I did not work at the spirituality, and began to change my attitude about services. Though they are naturally spiritual, a great minayn we have, paying attention to the inner world beyond the Amidah has added to the many benefits I always receive each Shabbat morning.
At a recent staff retreat, my colleagues and I shared in a text study that made me realize how much spiritual fulfillment I get working in the Jewish community.
I finally accepted the fact that I'm an atheist
I have a spiritual experience every day by being on this earth, whether that experience has a degree of pain or not (better when not) does not make it any less spiritual.
Things keep happening to make sure I'm taken care of. It's been amazing. I feel it's encouraging me to take bigger risks with things that are REALLY important...but it's scary.
I think about my Jewish faith everyday. I wish I could practice my faith better (attending temple on the sabbath, holidays, etc), but the distance is so far. So, I have kept it local and hope that I can grow more. This year has been particularly hard because my family has accepted my conversion to Judaism and has therefore NOT accepted me as a family member. This makes my heart hurt, but at the same time it has made it grow. I still love them and accept them no matter what. This has also taught me to love and accept many others no matter what. It has made me look at the big picture in life.
I did not go to any services this past Rosh HaShanah. I am shocked that I do not feel guilt. I moved to this neighborhood 12 years ago but still have not found a synogogue community feeling. THAT is dissappointing. I miss the stimulation of classes and heated discussions and debate. I felt I was learning and there was relevance between my learning and Jewish Identity and everyday life.
I contemplated saving money by not going to High Holiday services this year, but realized that the holidays would be incomplete without prayer :)
Yes. I have regularly attended shule, which I have enjoyed, and recently joined the struggling choir at the shule. It's quite a tough job, but it still makes me proud. Also I went to the bris of my new cousin which was an interesting spiritual experience.
I feel G-d in so many ways every day. Sometimes just the way I catch my wife looking at me. How my wife & brother took care of me after the visit w/my mom. That was so holy
This year has been noteworthy in that it feels almost devoid of spiritual experiences. This has been a year of spiritual free fall - I am supported by G-d however feel disconnected and unsure of Him/of me. I have had some interesting new experiences of that which is associated w the spiritual - such as the last sound of the shofar on rosh hashanah -- what a blast! :) I want to have something more this year - something more than the past and alot more than this past year I miss G-d
I want to practice my Jewish faith, but I currently live with my parents, and they do not share my belief. I think I will need to leave home before I live my life how I would like to. However, I have found that doing charity work seems to offer me a satisfaction that few other things can. Although some may say that is merely human atruism, to me that is where I see God.
At age 65 my mother got Bat Mitzvahed. I haven't been to synagogue in a long time but watching her up there and experience the community and love around her was a very spiritual experience indeed.
My Mother passed away in November of 2008 and this year has been filled with feelings of her all around me. She visits me in my dreams, in my car, and everywhere i need her to be. I am not a religious person but i am VERY SPIRITUAL, so my belief is that she will always be here watching over me and the rest of my family. When she visits me, it's usually in a way that lets me know that she is finally free. Free from all the things that were holding her down before she moved on to the other world. I know in my heart that she is ok and although i miss her dearly, i have no doubt in my soul that she is makeing sure all of us are taken care of. I love her and miss her but feel her around me daily.
Many smaller moments come to mind, but the big one would certainly be converting to Judaism. It felt like coming home.
I had what I feel was a near death experience when I had my surgery. They gave me anaesthetic gas as well as a shot so that I would go under and for some reason I felt like I was fighting it, like I didn't want to let go of my consciousness. They gave me another shot since it was taking so long, as soon as the needle pricked my skin I heard the loudest siren sound wailing inside of the room.. I couldn't be sure if it was in my head or in the room but I started to panic and my breathing became extremely rapid and I started to cry because I was scared. I heard in the background someone yelling to change the oxygen level which made me panic more because I felt like maybe something had gone wrong. The last thing I remember is succumbing to the pull and feeling total tranquility and at peace with my life and ultimately ok with saying goodbye to the world. Of course, I woke up from my surgery and was completely fine, but this is still the closest to a spiritual experience I've ever had.
I cried at the Kotel. I cried during t'fillot on Rosh Hashanah. I watched the sun set nearly every day. I nearly cried when Obama was inaugurated. I cried apologizing to Mom. I watched myself become more observant, more positively right-wing, more committed nearly daily. I know there are more, and they nearly all have to do with tears, with that primal human way of expressing that something is overwhelming, either for good or for bad. I know too, that none of them are "particular". Life hasn't really been made up of big moments for me this year, it's been about creating a beautiful quilt with the small ones.
Trying to find a H.P. big enough to keep me clean. I'm still workin' on it.
I have not, and that is why I'm hoping to be accepted on the Birthright trip. I feel that I have not been given a full chance to learn about my culture (with the inconsitency of interpreters throughout Hebrew School). Going to Israel, especially with interpreters, will be a meaningful and fulfulling experience for me.
I can't pinpoint any one particular spiritual experience, but I can definitely say that I have become more religious and more conscious of my religious identity of the course of the past year. Growing up, my family never lit shabbos candles or said prayers, and now I am beginning to do those things. I like the sense of grounding they give. I always have something to look forward to on Fridays at sundown, and I feel a sense of security in knowing that my religion will always be there for me.
This year, my most spiritual experiences have involved music and dance. I participated in an event for Israel's independence day where I was part of an instrumental group that played about 15 songs - some of them we sang together, some were solos, and some we played instrumentally. But it wasn't the performance alone that was spiritual - it was the rehearsals where we learned to meld our voices and instruments together in harmony, and had fun trying out different melodies to see what worked and what didn't work. After our concert, we had Israeli folk-dancing, and again I felt a warm, communal bond with the other dancers and with the music. That for me was spiritual.
I've always talked to God, but I finally hear him/her answering me in the words and actions of my children. My son is still so young (18 months), but his compulsiveness and love of any kind of experience as well as the complexity and will and humor and spirit of my daughter, who is four, convince me of the divine over and over again.
I continue to be less and less religious and more and more spiritual, appreciating how events transpire and believing G-d has had his hands in all of them. While I do not believe in fate or destiny, I have begun to look at life more intellectually and celebrating what life has to offer with my girlfriend who grew up more religious than I.
when i am in some awe-inspiring natural vista i get a spiritual feeling...otherwise i don't feel/think about it much....i long for a spiritual connection to judaism but liturgy leaves me cold.
Yes, The internal ones when I hear my self. I want to hear it more and be more connected to my self. Using my intuition to live my life. TO TRUST MY LIFE AND BELIEVE IN MYSELF. AND THE Spiritual power I do have to creating my life by my vibes and attitude and actions. Its hard to discribe the spiritual part but I have. AND THEY HAVE BEEN BEautiful. Working with LUkie and Aden and seeing reflections of one self. IT felt so spiritual that at times it felt ackward.
While sitting at Rosh Hashana services, I felt an overwhelming calm feeling, and it furthered my desire to get back in touch with my religion. That's my "new year's resolution."
Raising my children is a spiritual experience whenever I allow myself to slow down and reflect on it. It involves love and patience and insight that can be the most fullfilling thing in the world if you allow it to be. There is nothing more incredible than raising a child and giving up so much of yourself for another.
Hiking the John Muir Trail! So freaking gorgeous, there MUST be a god, right? Or is there...hmmm
I lived the last year getting more and more comfortable, enlightened and secure in coming out as a secular Jew. It was an easy decision my husband and I made just about this time in 2008 when we no longer felt our conservative rabbi's words had meaning for us.
Yes. I had a dream in which my deceased younger brother "finally" appeared to me fully. His death was suicide and in the dream I told him that he needed to come back as there were a lot of people who he need to ask for forgiveness. He smiled and looked at me and said, "no, you need to ask me for forgiveness". I awoke realizing that I had closed my heart for the past 8 years and had been blaming him. A great weight was lifted that morning.
I think I'm connecting more - especially since I've become more involved with Temple. I've also had some great talks with my Rabbi, and it's been enlightening. I also went to Rosh Hashannah services on my own, and sat without a partner - that was pretty amazing!
I feel that in general I have been more mindful, meditative and spiritual this year. I have also received more opportunities and guidance for religious and spiritual experiences this past year. Probably the most spiritual experience was in the middle of the year, I took a week and a half long retreat into the countryside by myself to cleanse and write. It was the most peaceful and serene existence and I always carry that in my heart.
Every day that I manage to pause and think about how fortunate I am is a spiritual experience.
Once again I was reminded of the power of prayer. In an important personal event, I prayed and let it go. The pressure was immediately gone and the issue was resolved appropriately.
I have an ongoing push pull with my Jewish identity. I've never been ultra religious, but I guess I've always had somewhat of an overarching "faith," and lately, have wanted to connect more to my religion. However, this year has been so devastating that one can't help but believe there is no god. "Jewish Atheist" has never held so much meaning for me.
i thought the guy who emerged from the middle of the woods when we were lost could have been god, but otherwise there haven't been many spiritual moments that have hit me over the head. although i did join a 12 step program and am definitely working to be more in tune on a daily basis with my higher power and connect to the idea that everything happens for a reason and i am exactly where i should be.
I confronted the 'new atheists' books by Dawkins and Hutchens and did not agree with them .Karen Armstrong's work has recativated my faith.
Yes. It involved music, and it was the strangest thing, I felt it inside me and it somehow it let me know there is something more out there, connecting us all together. It made me see that we are all part of something, this reflecting pool of light, God is within us, he is part of that voice, in some way... unparalleled..
I think that I have had religious and spirtual experiences when I am alone and in nature, and have the chance to really see god.
It was a profound expression of my connection to my religious/spiritual life to go to Jerusalem and do nothing but learn for a month. Studying Talmud, Shulchan Aruch, Mishna Torah and contemporary philosophy was amazingly enriching, liberating and also - for the first time - taken in as an authentic expression of religious behavior.Learning that the "intellectual mode" of Jewish expression is as much a valid one as the "observer" or "emotional" ones was a very big realization for me.
As I have said before, our year has been devoted to the care of our grandson who has been undergoing chemotherapy and surgeries to treat a brain tumor. We have searched our souls and questioned G'd every day. In the course of our search for meaning to this awful situation, we have met with various Rabbis and therapists. I have questioned "why do we pray at all?" -- "If G'd doesn't cause tragedies and doesn't repair tragedies, what's it all about???" I feel a connection with G''d but it has to do with my own relationships and once again the ability to enjoy and love each day. My grandson seems to be doing well right now and I am thankful for the doctors, nurses, my children who are the most amazing parents to this child, my friends and family who have been so supportive and continue to be. Our therapist who is a definite connection to G'd even though she doesn't usually call upon G'd in her therapy...I don't know what the future will hold but that's the point. None of us do. We must live each day one day at a time and not worry about the future -- it's not easy but it is where my head and heart are right now.
I have discovered the power of positive thinking, although I haven't entirely mastered the skill yet. I have begun to study the ancient practice of Mussar. Judaism is an important part of my life and trying to put in at front and center of my life. I want to learn how to meditate and how to pray.
When I sing, garden, watch a baby smile, see my true love . . .
Not really.... and that's the problem! The closest i come is the deeply spiritual experience, at one with God's nature and ... riding my bike. no complaints... but i am accustomed to feeling something at prayer or in study, and lately have not had anything close to a spiritual experience in institutional Judaism. I feel there is a total lack of sprirituality in our houses of worship.. what a shame... the prayers and our tradition are so sublime... i feel the vacum more in a house of worship then out of it. I have much of my sprituality within, but what about my fellow jew, what about our children? The Kotzke Rebbe, when asked "where is God?" replied, "Where we let Him in in." When will mainstream American Judaism let Him in?
I've had good health and my trust in him has not deminished G-d is been there for me in the past year. even after loosing over a million dollars I have been able to realize that all of the above is far more important.
As my mother ages and moves closer to the end of her life, I have had some deeply moving moments with her that feel very spiritual. I wish I could say I have had religious experiences, but the minimal attendance I put in at our synagogue do not sustain me beyond the moment. I wish I could find a religious community that felt right for me. So far, no such luck!
The burial and sitting of shiva of my mother-in-law was an intense spiritual and religious experience. As I continue to say Kaddish nearly every day I am brought back to the experience of her final days, the period immediately after her death, before her burial and of course these days that have followed. Further, during the first night of shiva at our home, an intense lighting storm darkened our home - and we did minyan under flashlight - in a jammed packed house. It was as if her presence were strong and powerful that very first evening.
i wish i did. i would love to have that passion for that spirituality brings on. i have that passion for just one or two parts of my life and i keep them buried.
yes, being presence at Shabbat candle lighting and hearing stories of people that first time lite Shabbat candles.
Only when I am in yoga do I have moments of peace and clarity. It's a shame because I like my shul...
I have spiritual experiences all the time. When I see a particularly beautiful butterfly, or sunset, or am reminded of the amazing qualities of dolphins to communicate and show compassion, or when I meet someone that feels strongly about G-d in their own way, I am emotionally moved. These experiences confirm my spirituality and appreciation for the universal one-ness that I refer to as G-d.
Though I barely feel or remember it now, I felt different at the adult B'nai Mitzvah--like it actually was a rite of passage, like it meant something. Sadly, now, I can barely get that moment back.
Just a few weekends ago, I participated in a weekend of Jewish community and learning with my 3 1/2 year old daughter. Something about sharing the experience with her, seeing her excitement, and realizng that this was going to shape her Jewish memories and identity has stuck with me. Similarly making a point to light candles and say the blessings with my daughters even when it's just us, even when I'm exhausted and we're just eating takeout or leftovers, always leaves me with a little glow.
ikar. like the election of the president, it's another case of the world coming to meet me, and what i believe in and the way i see the world, halfway. a religiously conservative service, almost all in hebrew, but with a progressive message, kids scampering around, a casual, festive vibe, and the most beautiful and 'me' music? i couldn't have designed better. i'm so inspired by this congregation that now that i'm leaving the neighborhood, i hope to build a similar community of my own in my new hood!
Few that were specifically Jewish, more related to openness, acceptance, deep attention to the moment, through ISHTA meditation. We did go to a particularly beautiful Bar Mitzvah last October, though, for which the family excerpted their own version of a prayer book, progressive politics woven through. That was very spiritual
I think I have spiritual experiences every day - each morning when I walk outside and smell the clean mountain air - each evening when I look at the moon or the stars - each day I see my partner's face and feel her love - each time I smile at someone or they smile at me - all of these are spiritual experiences that help me grow and reach for better understanding of myself and G-d.
Watching families in the Med Center in Memphis was a very spiritual experience for me. I am an agnostic/atheist, but I can appreciate the religious/spiritual lives of others. I found myself wanting the religious certainty people there seemed to have.
Occasionally being caught up short by seeing my late father in my son who was born three weeks after he died.
My wife and I woke up at 4. a.m. in the morning to climb Masada in Israel. We climbed up at 5 a.m. and and we made it to the top in time to watch the sunrise from Herod's Northern Palace. It was the most amazing sunrise I've ever seen. It moved in me in a spiritual sense, a way I've not felt in some time.
My "little voice" is a sturdy informant. I've become a well-tuned instrument, and my desires, dreams and intentions manifest as my heart opens with compassion.
Not really. I already concluded church and I do not mix and that I am my own god.
My boyfriend's son has his Bar Mitzvah. Although it was not a particularly spiritual experience for me it was a beautiful simcha. I enjoyed seeing my boyfriend and his family kvell with joy and love. My most spiritual experience was the blessing of the sun which only happens every 100 years? It was held at sunrise (6:30 AM) outside and provided a learning opportunity for a ritual I did not know.
Thanks to a necessary reminder from Bob about differences between emotional and psychological v "spiritual" experiences I've gotta say that I had lots of psychological and emotional and deeply connected and gratifying and loving and insightful and profound experiences this past year but no spiritual ones. Thanks, Bob.
Nothing particularly, but everything in general - --
every time someone in our community needs support, or help in some way ,my spiritual always comes through . I feel so blessed to be a part of this, its an amazing feeling
Saying kaddish and going to minyan almost everyday, I tried to do things to keep it intentional, rather than routine. For example, during the morning blessings, I'd breath in during the "Baruch Ata Adonoy" to take in and feel the life spirit, and then exhale for the substance of the blessing... e.g. "distinguish between day and night"... or "who openest the eyes of the blind" (also I close, then open my eyes on that one), or, "gives strength to the weary." There is so much to thank our creator for, but you need to make the words come to life to feel gratitude and have self-pray or sedur-pray impact you internally or spiritually.
i returned to my yoga practice this year, which is always spiritual and healing. during one class a couple of months ago, though, my instructor discussed the idea of 'santosha' with us again. this idea of finding contentment in the here and now has been something i've been working on specifically all year...but our teacher reminded us that day that santosha is not just about resigning to and tolerating what's happening in our lives, but also finding *gratitude* for it--no matter what the here and now is. i am so very grateful for this reminder and tiny paradigm shift...
Hmm...in a funny way, yes. I connected with Jewish music - the goofy, childish Shabbat songs like 'twisted candle' and Rick Recht's 'the hope.' I never found meaning in these songs until I worked in a Jewish environment where others really connected, and I found joy in their joy!
I believe in my heart that god has been here supporting me through all of my personal struggles. I was supporting my boyfriend, who had major surgery, my dad who had 2 major surgeries and my best friend who had breast cancer in both breasts as well as working full time. I could not have supported all of those people without a little strength from the divine.
I've had many experiences this year, momentary ones, during which I feel a rush of the divine through my body. This has happened frequently during and immediately after my yoga practice, which connects me to my deeper and better self more predictably than any other practice. There have been moments like this at pivotal moments with my family, and especially when appreciating the world around me for all of its profound beauty. I have found throughout the past year that less of this spiritual ecstasy has come from connection to other people, as it so often does, and has come more from my own ability to tap into a source of graciousness and awe-full appreciation.
not necessarily. I felt the 'magic' which can be my version of spiritual experience. Those moments that make such total and complete sense where the subtlness is connected to other moments past or not yet experienced. Those are spiritual.
I am neither religious nor spiritual. But this year I found solace and healing in sharing my feelings... with strangers. This is the that of art and literature---and I now switch-hit. Remembrance and re-reading of DFW has certainly been spiritual. And but so I have changed within.
I have felt glimmers of oneness. This has been the year I finally started to meditate, and as a result I feel more calm and present. I have also felt much more connected to the BIG QUESTIONS and have been less afraid of the consequences of entertaining such thoughts. Belief? God? There are still impediments - but are they largely semantic? I firmly believe in the oneness of all creation, in our interconnectedness....and maybe that's enough?
I saw Bruce Springsteen in concert for the first time. As a boy from Jersey, pretty spiritual.
I have dabbled in some type of... religiousness. Not quite religious though.. more routine. It's calming to garden, or workout. I feel whole, complete, content and healthy. That is rare.
Traveling abroad is always a spiritual experience for me. It's wondrous to see God's handprints on everything that's otherwise foreign to me...from scenic views to the the lone villager walking across town to his job in the main square...all the history and architecture and of course the different cuisines...how can traveling be anything other than a spiritual experience?
I have always found music and nature to be my best paths toward spirituality. I have so enjoyed having Danny as our new Hazzan and worshiping through his music. Shabbat has become more enriched for me and I try to attend Friday night services as often as possible.
No, as I don't subscribe to any religion or believe in gods of any kind. I suppose if one wanted to stretch the meaning of "spiritual experience", the awe I feel in experiencing, learning and thinking about the natural world could come close. I've certainly become sure about being an atheist. That's good.
Yes I have felt the spirit of God pour through me as I've been an open vessal, despite the fact that my allegiance to Him had seemed somewhat intermitant.
I'm a rational-atheist. No religious experiences for me. But I can consider visiting the Ellis Island Immigration Museum a sort of spiritual experience. A very strong one.
Not really. As we are approaching the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur I have been feeling more emotional than normal. Yom Kippur is a day of introspection and of repentance. We spend the day in the synagogue praying to G-d and beseeching his forgiveness for all our sins and to please give us another year of life, and that it should be filled with only good things. Since this past year has been the worst year of my life, losing my husband, losing his family, losing my job, and facing the possible loss of my home now, I have much to pray for. I expect to cry a lot during my prayer on Yom Kippur. Tears, to me, are a religious experience. Each teardrop is a separate prayer to G-d.
not particularly. i'd say this was my least spiritual year for at least 25 years.
My husband and I were fortunate enough to go to Israel, especially Jerusalem. I prayed at the Wailing Wall - amazing! It was a very moving experience, not only the physical place, but also the environment and being around all the Israeli Jews and world travellers that came to that spot to pray.
i fell in love...flying high
I found Judaism...and dumped any Catholic stuff. I have learned to look at the world in a more intelligent way. I have learned to see things in a less black and white manner. I feel this will be something that will support me for the rest of my life. I met a wonderful Rabbi who is a sympathetic religious teacher. He understands people that have broken hearts.
I had been away from synagogue for awhile, trying to find the right shul where I fit in. I went to Rosh Hashanah services with my aunt and uncle, the only close religious family I have. Being in their beautiful temple, and listening to the cantor just gave my chills. It moves me to tears to feel so close to God. I pray and talk to Him regularly. It's just so much more special when I am back in His house.
I could not pinpoint an event in particular but somewhere this past year I have gone from fighting Judaism my whole life to looking for it's strengths how I can connect to it. When I explored Buddhist communities I felt just as isolated as I felt in any religious experience. After much searching I decided maybe it is me. I am constantly pushing religion and religious people away and crave spirituality. Now, I am looking to find goodness everywhere I go, admitting there are some places that I just don't fit in and that is ok, but there are communities I do I just need to find them.
In small moments.
Yes, I've always been open to lots of different religions, and intrigued with the differences and similiarities. Right now it's Eckankar and the lectures of Marc Gafni
I have started attending services at a local synagogue. I love the services and am praying and pondering to try to see if God wants me to begin the process of converting to Judaism.
Over the last 5 years or so I fell like I have been experiencing an awakening of sorts. I have no single experience that stands out, just an undertone of something grand that runs through my life as a whole. It has helped me through some very difficult times over the last year.
I talk to God daily, as I'm going about my day.... when I remember to.
I woke up from a nightmare crying one morning. I looked out my window and saw the sky was aglow with an imminent sunrise streaked with warm pink and orange. I went downstairs and stood in the sand, allowing the waves to wash over my feet as the new day began. I realized how lucky we all are to live in a world of such beauty, and how powerful we are that our actions can preserve or destroy it.
For the first time in my life--at 36--i have experienced the full transformation of seasons over the course of a year. i walk in the woods--and seeing the landscape change week to week, month to month, season to season has opened my eyes and my heart to my new city.
Well I'm not Jewish. I was actually raised Catholic, but growing up in that religion didn't allow for open interpretation of God and spiritual beliefs. It's a rigid structure and one that I came to despise. I lost all hope in any kind of faith or religion after a friend was killed in Iraq. I didn't see the point in believing in a higher power anymore, and sometimes I still don't. Then I was asked to be my nephew's godmother and I had to actually give my sister reasons why I should accept and how I would encourage him to grow up in a Catholic church. I came to the conclusion that I would support him no matter what religious path he chooses. I'll encourage him to make his own decisions once he fully understands all that religion and Catholicism encompasses; he may very well learn that he doesn't agree with everything much like I don't. But above all he should know that every kind of religion and faith is important to those who follow, and that they deserve his respect. But most of the time I feel religion is doing our world more harm than good. I'd rather promote peace over God.
When hiking through dangerous terrain in the Kootenay National Park back-country this summer, I prayed for help and safely. The thoughts I maintained about protection from God and trusting in myself helped me make it through this tough period. I needed something more than a GPS to feel safe.
it wasn't until this year's yitzkor service that i realized that the yitzkor last year really, really helped me mourn my grandmother's passing in 2007. it's still difficult, but i really am doing better.
Yes! When I visited Israel on birthright. I feel so much more connected with Judaism now.
Obama's victory. Confronting a loved one's personal problems and reconciling what can be changed and what can't.
I performed a Storahtelling piece at Limmud this year and it changed my life for the better. I realized I could get my 'rabbi ya-yas' out without going to rabbi school.
Always, mother Mary comes to me. She is praying for the world not to destroy itself.
I'm neither religious nor spiritual, but I did find out that a new close friend of mine used to be an evangelist. He's an atheist today. When he told me the story of his past, how he'd been successful at converting many, including his own family who is now ardently Christian, I was speechless, curious, and mystified. How does one go from questioning nothing to questioning everything? Myself, I am very much in the middle, where I am curious enough about the world but not smart enough to take that curiosity further. To me, to lose God is an act of genius and beauty.
many. moments of clarity, grace and gratitude.
I don't think I've had any spiritual experiences this year. My mind feels like it has been so set in the reality of things that I've not stopped to appreciate anything around me. It's a bit sad to realize. I feel like I've been so single minded for such a long time that I don't enjoy what's going on outside.
No I havent but I think living life with god in mind and loving yourself through perservernce and truth is always a spirtual experince which I try to achieve on a day to day.
every friday night at chabad has been great.
At the end of my Yoga/Pilates practise I sometimes have an overwhelming calming sensation that I am on the right path for that moment. It brings me back to how important it is to just be in the moment and how simple it is to be there if we practise mindfulness and meditate on those moments.
I'm an atheist and though I do think of myself as having and appreciating the spiritual, I find it surprisingly difficult to answer this question. I guess my best answer would be: working on a play with a major, hugely gifted artist. Creativity and the generosity of sharing it seem like spiritual enterprises to me.
My connection with my Mom, who is ill and finds it hard to speak and understand, has been one of complete joy. Our connection is one of knowing. . . peace. . . and love.
Just recently, the first retreat with JOI marked an enormous change in approaching religion for me. It was the first time I realized that believing in the power in individuals and the believing in God do not have to be (and are effectively NOT) mutually exclusive as I had come to believe from my family. I suddenly was not turned off by God or prayer as I had been for so many years. I have yet to see how this fundamental change in my religious beliefs will play out but seeing how quickly I could alter my thinking has meant that in general I am more open to alternative viewpoints that I may have ruled out in the past.
I have a lot of small spiritual experiences this past year. Overall, Ive become MUCH MORE spiritual-In the way I think, my perception on life, how I act, etc. Ive been reading more and more new age books and trying to incorporate some of the ideas in my life more and more. This summer I have even more as Ive incorporated yoga into my life and reading more. Experiencing death firsthand has influenced this and returning to the house that has evolved into a spiritual haven for me. I had a spiritual moment with my good friend who I havent seen in awhile. We were alone on a beach, the fog rolled in and it was just magical. I felt this energy Ive never felt before from the environment and from this person who I connect so well with. I see myself becoming more and more spiritual as I have interest in trying other things. I feel much happier and confident with this aspect in my life. I dont let me thoughts get the best of me as much as they did.
None that I can think of. Many deeply emotional experiences, but nothing spiritual...
I recognize God's work often, and did note when I was in the hospital in July that of all times for such a thing to happen, it occurred at the most convenient. I also noted that the house we are now buying is timed perfectly for our health, especially in light of my surgery in July and my shoulder surgery August 20. Baruch shem kevod l'olam vaed.
I have had a bit of a religious experience, but more of a spiritual one. I went through quite a personal upheaval this past year, starting completely from scratch as I changed my personal ideals of fun and my own personality. To help me get up from the depths of the hell of depression I had buried myself in after realizing I had nothing that I knew of yet to make me happy or satisfied with my life, I turned to introspective thinking. I read Zen books, filled with quotations that I would read each day and try to ponder the deeper meanings to help me find happiness in the basic, beautiful natural world around me. I also turned to plants, buying a bonzai tree to take care of and also a zen sand garden. I soon realized that having things to help me feel "zen" and at peace with myself didn't really matter any more. Although objects and books on zen had helped me overcome this troubled time, I was now at a point where I could develop my own ideals of how I conducted my spirit, and I must say that I have never felt more in tune with myself. I listen to my spirit and make sure it is ringing in perfect harmony with my actions and desires. I also went to be a counselor at Jewish summer camp for the second time this past summer, and I realized I really did not care for organized religion as much as I tried to be a part of it. Yes, culture and tradition are what makes me love being Jewish, but praying to a deity I don't believe does nothing but waste the time I could be spent bettering myself in a better way that actually improves my spirituality instead of completely killing it with boredom and hopelessness.
The fear that I'm not being guided by any spiritual deity. That I've been released without my training wheels for the first time.
Learning more and more about myself. And getting comfortable with the whole of it.
Saying Kaddish at the cemetery for my grandmother was incredibly moving. I think, though, that I have had religious and spiritual experiences and realized that G_d isn't what I thought.
birthing another human from my body was profound, but not in the moment. its only as she becomes more fully human that i really appreciate what that meant
Yes. I began meditating. Not regularly, but enough to make me want to mediate more. Also listening to the podcast -- yes, it sounds pathetic, I know -- "Audio Dharma." Very good. Listening to it helps. Also -- various prayers that have been answered through the grace of the unknown... Grandpa Z not having cancer. My getting a job. If anything, the one thing that stands out in my mind was watching a family of three pray before their meal at the Namaste Cafe. It was very moving and inspired me to return regularly to prayer and thanks.
Yes! I went to israel which turned out to be a very religious and spiritual experience. I never really sat and thought about israel or what it means to me, same with religion but having been to israel I now understand. I also never realized how emotional the western wall would be, but I found myself in tears when I visited the wall. This experience changed my life & I understand the importance of being jewish and raising my kids jewish.
Not as many as I'd like.
My class went to Poland together, which may have been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Our Shabbat in Poland I lead Kabbalat Shabbat and we brought Judaism back to a place where it has significantly declined. Silarly we sang Jewish songs in a synagogue from before the time of the Holocaust, where Jews have not been for years. In addition, straight off the plane from Poland we went to the Kotel. I have never felt more at home.
Over the year I have come to realization that my spirituality is dwindling. I find this incredibly upsetting. I have not lost my faith, but I find that my world gets so wrapped up in other things, that my life becomes much more self centered. I forget to both credit God and turn to him when I'm feeling lost. I feel like I am loosing touch with the bigger picture in life. I always feel that I will become more religious when my life is more stable, but I am starting to think now that maybe that stability comes from religion.
I'm having all sorts of religious and spiritual experiences. Many of them have come after a particularly moving yoga practice or a particularly insightful conversation with a friend. One specific spiritual experience occurred on the balcony of a hotel in Tel Aviv, discussing the meaning of life with a friend.
My mom died in 2007. I still have visits with my mom, although not as frequently as the first year, but when I am really sad I feel her with me.
Even though I am not religious, I am spiritual. After traveling to the East and experiencing buddhism and hinduism first-hand, I have grown to have a healthy respect for the importance of these religions within their cultures, and the role that all religions play in society. Outside of that, I think I find MY religion everyday in my friends, my family and the love and and happiness I have in my life.
Yes. The death of my daughter has brought me closer to G-d and to Judaism.
My need for organized worship has diminished. I'm thinking about a move to another denomination. Maybe even to a non-Christian faith.
After being married for nearly four years and being together with the man who is my husband for almost five years, I finally met his sister, who is mentally ill. It was a deeply spiritual experience because I'd heard things about her and I had no idea what to expect, but the person I met was - and still is - a fascinating, multi-faceted woman with a wry sense of humor and many interests. It reminded me that the presence of God is manifested in different ways. My sister-in-law and I had a wonderful meeting and are now in the process of forging a relationship between relatives. She doesn't have a lot to say, but when we hear from her it reminds me that she is trying hard to have a relationship with her family -- something my own family is not so good at -- and it makes me feel very loved. Her outreach efforts in light of her emotional difficulties are an incredible blessing and make me thank God that I have had the chance to get to know her.
I have been rather devoid of spiritual practice for the past year, but when I do, I am rejuvenated. My attitude - the guidepost of my well-being - improves when I take the time to worship, connect, share with others. Yet, I practice mostly alone. I'm so reluctant to take the helm, grab the cloak of the priestess, and walk with others on a similar path.
I feel that in the last year I have learned more about Judaism, my academic knowledge along with my connection to it culturally has grown. Where as my relationship with the spiritual aspect, G-d, has weakened. This past year I was fortunate enough to do lots of traveling. In August I visited one city, which was the most spiritually frightening place I have ever been. This city is steeped in political and religious controversy. All too often, people are attacked, frightened, humiliated, injured, abused, and killed in the name of G-d. There huge religious some fundamentalist simultaneously occupying this same city. Despite the religious history and presents in the city, I have never so clearly felt the absents of what I would call G-d.
Not religious. Nothing too spiritual, but i have had some psychedelic experiences that have affected my thinking in a more short-term way. OR being at Grant Park in Chicago on election night when Obama was elected President - that was a beautiful night.
THIS QUESTION IS HARD TO ANSWER BECAUSE MY YEAR SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN UNEVENTUAL. I KNOW THAT I WAS TO GO TO ISRAEL AND SOMETHING TOLD ME NOT TO SEND IN THE DEPOSIT. IT WAS A MESSAGE I AM SURE BECAUSE IT TURNED OUT THE MONEY WAS NEEDED TO DO REPAIRS TO A RENTAL PROPERTY THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR IT TO BE LIVEABLE. THE OTHER THING THAT COMES TO MIND WAS I NEEDED TO CHANGE SPONSORS. I ACTUALLY SPOKE TO G_D ABOUT IT LETTING HIM KNOW I WOULD WAIT FOR A SIGN. ONE DAY ON MY WAY TO A MEETING I DID GET AN OUTREACH CALL FROM SOMEONE. AS I HUNG UP THE PHONE I HEARD A VOICE SAY ASK THIS PERSON TO BE MY SPONSOR. IT WAS CLEAR THIS IS WHAT I NEEDED TO DO. AFTER THE MEETING WE APPROACHED EACH OTHER. IT TURNS OUT SHE WANTED ME TO SPONSOR HER. OUR DECESION WAS SPONSOR EACH OTHER. WE DID COME UP WITH SOME REALLY GOOD BOUNDARIES. THE MIRACLE FOR ME IS THEY ARE EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO CONTINUE IN RECOVERY.
for our wedding we decided to make some of the traditions our own and we had an amazing spiritual leader in our rabbi to help us do this. at my kabbalat panim (welcoming of guests) our rabbi led all of the women in a niggun(song without words) while one by one they came up to me to give me blessings. some of the things that were said to me were so beautiful, spiritual and thoughtful- the light of god (or a greater being) was definitely being channeled by all of the women in that room and it is a moment i will treasure forever.
The beginning of this past year was a very quiet time for me. I was living alone in Baltimore and was then laid off. I knew few people in the city and called few locals my friends. I remember walking, running and reading a lot. I also took many trips along the promenade to clear my head or ruminate. I wouldn't exactly call it a spiritual time, but it was a time of reflection.
In May I did my first 10-day retreat, a Concentration Retreat, and it changed my understanding of the human experience fundamentally. All this talk about "no self" is misguided: yes, our ideas of self are unfounded, but once they are cleared away our passions arise anew, ungrasping, from a clear mind and heart.
Not really, but I've realized that I'm going to be Jewish forever and ever, no matter what my views on God. I don't believe that he exists, but that doesn't stop me from being very, very Jewish. I've become more interested in learning Jewish history and celebrating my Jewish culture.
Technically my trip to Israel took place in August 2008, so not this past year, but it was the first step in my now continuing spiritual journey. It's hard for me to list specific events as I really feel that this year has been comprised mainly of spiritual moments, both large and small, but none insignificant. I have really enjoyed exploring my "Jewish-ness" this past year, meeting people at Birthright and other Jewish events, having amazing discussions with those people, and learning about various areas of Judaism in both a religious and secular context. I've been able to start finding my own true connection to Hashem through these new friendships and exploring my spirituality outdoors. Hashem has laid out a very tumultuous path for me this past year that has challenged me in a multitude of ways - emotionally, romantically, spiritually, intellectually - and I've started seeing more and more clearly that I'm taken care of. That's not to say that I won't experience pain and suffering or that everything will come up roses, but that everything truly does have a purpose, whether I understand that purpose now, later or never. To know where I was this time last year and to see where I am now is proof. Proof that life is a continuing exploration, a journey without a final destination, a series of events to challenge and inspire me to my limits and beyond. I'll never be done learning, life doesn't pause, and I am always exactly where I'm supposed to be, I just have to be aware of it. Most importantly, I'm not alone and that is glorious.
I have sadly felt very disconnected from this part of myself this year. It is so important for me to maintain my connection to my yoga practice, and I just haven't been able to find the discipline this year.
Raised in an ultra orthodox family in a dysfunctional and abusive household, for a very long time I have had negative emotional feelings towards religion (duh). This past year I had the privlage of attending my best friends daughter's bat mitzvah which was held in her conservative temple. For the first time in so many years I felt a stirring during services that felt spiritual. I think that I was able to experience that because the setting was so different to what in my mind I think of as religious. It is sad because I do not know of a way to open this experience to myself again- too much emotional baggage.
I am very much involved with my synagogue but do not feel it is a particularly warm, welcoming place. I want to feel more a part of a loving community. I have had many moments of feeling deeply connected to God and the world. But those moments have not necessarily had anything to do with official services. I do feel that Judaism is my path.
giving birth is a spiritual experience. First just getting through the challenging part of the physical natural labor, and then having this beautiful little human being lay on my chest whom I nurtured from within the womb, be crying and clawing on my chest. This is spiritual.
Yes, I have seen God directly at work through the many members of AA and NA. This year has been my first experience with these organizations and the faithful people that belong. This way of spiritual living and generosity towards others is a an example to all.
I spoke about Malchuyot at Rosh Hashana services on Saturday. I brought in some Thich Nhat Hanh mindfulness concepts and added my own commentary. Preparing and delivering the remarks was a spiritual experience for me. I also walked mindfully on the shore of Washburn Lake in the Yosemite backcountry. That was wonderful.
Haven't really been touched. I have had a desire to keep the tenants Judaism in my life even if I don't go to synagogue regularly, but it hasn't happen to date. Should be interesting to see the answer for this next year.
yes, i have them all the time. yesterday i decided to forgive the men who've hurt me, caused me to doubt or dislike myself, taken advantage of me or otherwise wrong me in my life. in praying on this i already feel a sense of relief and empathy for them. next week i'll focus on forgiving the women. then myself
Oh man. Yes. I went to Israel and entered Jerusalem. It was the most powerful feeling I have ever had and probably WILL ever experience. It lasted a few hours and it scared, elated, burdened, saddened, lifted, and enkindled me all at once. I have grown tremendously from this.
Not really. But there is a moment that stands out - being at Hebrew Union College's Rabbinic ordination for my mentor. I watched her be blessed by the rabbi and head of the college and I just cried. Part of it was because I was so excited for her and all that she would accomplish, and part of it was that I could see myself standing there one day.
My new house has a ghost. I don't believe in ghosts, but I asked my pagan friend to come over and bless the place anyway. Forming a human train and marching around the place with Candles, Inscense, Holy Water and Sage - it was the most fun I've had all year.
I have been cultivating ideas for a blog that I will call 'Dear Mother God'. I am Catholic and get really angry about the status of women in the church. I've spent time thinking about this and intellectually, I believe that God is genderless...or genderfull (of both / all genders). But I realized that the subtle and not-so subtle characterization of God as masculine affects my own ability to relate to God and to get my heart to experience God as genderless. I also realized that I don't think I can conceptualize a truly genderless God, so I'm going to start by consciously thinking of God as a woman and work my way through to something in the middle. I think this is important for my relationship with God and for the Church. The Church will only change one person at a time and this is my little way of starting. My goal for next year is to blog about these experiences and maybe some others will think more about it too.
I'm not a particularly spiritual or religious person, but my trip to Israel made me come close. Being in Jerusalem and experiencing the intersection of so many different people and cultures stunned me in awe of diversity and, despite the rage and negativity sometimes brought about in this clash, I found such beauty in the interaction.
I think I have had some very spiritual experiences, and debating religion and the meaning of friendship and faith with my future spouse has really forced me to think about what I believe.
no I think that is part of the problem. I work in professional religion...I don't know how to make it personal anymore...
yes...at my camp reunion. I was back there to find God.
no. a little over a year ago, i came a litte close to just ending things, but i got my head up again. not completely, but not drowning either. Though i feel like i'm sliding under again.
My sister started taking me to the Kadampa Buddhist Center, and that has done a lot for me, even got my own mala bead bracelet, which is the first religious symbol I've worn since the ankh necklace I had at 14. We attended weekly services on Sundays, and the structure was very pleasing. The devotional aspects were calming and the teachers offered impressive insights that I would talk about with friends for weeks after. I even started volunteering at their bookstore. It's given me something to do engage in outside of those services as well, another step in the progress of spiritual exploration I began when I first started questioning the big picture at 11. I have been chewing over the concepts, but also trying to adopt some of the practices like meditation and mantras. These have been a useful tool in my efforts to get more disciplined and manage the uncertainty of my current situation.
Of course. Looking within myself and looking at my relationships with others is a neverending source of spiritual revelation.
Anytime I am able to get into nature I feel spiritual and connected to the larger world. This doesn't happen as much as I'd like. I think it's easy to lose perspective about what is important in the world, especially in New York, where many things revolve around income, spending, and superficiality.
Working on the land at my friend's house, I felt a true sense of belonging like I haven't felt since... maybe since I was a kid. I felt secure, rooted, an integral part of this community and project. As if it were coming from my own desire, will, essence. Sitting in the meditation room, I felt the expanse of shunyata, emptiness, presence. I think to be somewhere where you know you cannot ever be rejected, shunned, abandoned... where you can be yourself, where anything goes (as long as you are respectful of others) ... this is a very valuable and deep feeling I want everyone to have. A key to manifesting / sharing it further is to feel safe to express when I'm feeling insecure, and to allow others to feel insecure as well, to feel safe.
Not one in particular, but I do crave the meditative bliss I feel from a great yoga class or workout. My entire body feels alive and my mind feels clear. However, I haven't really carved out time to do some serious mediation/reflection.
Starting yoga and meditation has been life-changing for me. It's exactly what I always needed. I feel connected to something larger which frees me up to be exactly what I am. And in a nice moment on the second day of Rosh Hashana, the Sh'ma spontaneously came into my mind in the resting part of my practice, and I cried the loveliest tears. It has been awhile since the Sh'ma made me feel that much.
Meditation retreat at Kripalu with Jack Kornfield last winter/ group with Susan Woods last March/plant spirit medicine workshop with Steven Buhner this past June; sweat lodge with Trishuwa in August. Moving forward on the Path daily-by reading, reflecting, meditating and teaching meditation. Trying to stay honest.
those moments when i feel so happy or content or centered or full of joy or full of life or full of love. it is often little things like holding a baby, being in nature, listening to music, hugging a friend -- but it is incredibly powerful!
I am learning to be more responsible for everything in my life. I see G-d's hand in my life. When I am walking around "blind" in my own life G-d put 3 blind people before me in one week. It is time for me to open my eyes. Be happy and present.
I finally experienced the nirvana - bliss thing while meditating poolside in Palm Springs.
After a typical summer, that first gathering in the fall for worship with friends and comrades in my spiritual community. There were new melodies to sing, and old traditions to revive. There was affection for those we hadn't seen in a few months. There were prayers and gestures of concern for those hurting and in need. There were new ideas for events that would bring us together in mission, and an enthusiasm that hasn't yet grown weary in trying to make them happen. There was love--in the instruments, in the chairs, in the ceiling, in the altar, in the words spoken to God and to others. It permeated everything everywhere. It was a good feeling.
Attending Rosh Hashanah services always reconnects me with my Judaism.
No "home runs" but many small events showing G-d is in control, and loves the heck out of His people.
pnp. 24sept'09 likai shared about their indian mission trip experiences. brought me to memories of my own trip back in 2007. the humility and the raw and simple passion of the worshipful indians reminded me about the core of my faith. it doesn't have to be complicated. and hearing how ps tiak was also afraid when the police came by to stop the rally. amidst his own fears, he asked himself, how far would he go? He found the answer in Paul's response : And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. - Acts 20:22-24 their experiences begets my own questioning, how far would i go? i dare not answer honestly at this point in time, for fear of failing my Lord when truly the time comes. But God willing, i want to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me. beyond my own preferences and prejudices.
It has become clear to me that I do not want to continue to try to find something for me in the religion that is my wife's and children's. I wanted my kids to have a strong connection to their heritage,and be raised to practice it as adults, and they have that. Now that they have moved out, I have no desire to participate beyond rituals at home. I have found my own way spritually, and have a spritual community among area Buddhists. Silence, just sitting, helps bring me in touch with whatever it is that connects us all, with love, and with the sense of why each of us is hear. Whatver is responsible for putting us here, I feel his/hers/it's presence when I sit and just pay attention.
I was atheist for a few months. That definitely did not work out. Back to God and to an extent, Jusiasm. I am in a bit of a mess. I beg God every day for help. Sorry about the atheism. I'm back. Please help me get it together.
This year I have felt disconnected from religious and spritual experience. My husband does not like going to shul and was jealous of my going to shul with the kids to prepare for the bar/bat mitzvahs for the prior 5 years. My daughters bat mitzvah was June 2008, so I no longer hang out with fellow parents while the kids are in religious school two times a week, and I am not able to use the excuse of taking the kids to shul on shabbat. Shul for me is more then a religious or spritual, it is very much social too. I miss my friends. In 2009 my shul did not renew the contracts of rabbi and cantor, which I loved them.
Yes. My son's Bar Mitzvah and all that entails leading up to and during that milestone. My son's speech at an interfaith youth symposium about what it means to him to be a Jew. Our rabbi's sermon on volunteering during Rosh Hoshanah. My reading from the Torah for the first time in my life at age 47!
yes. two things. i had a close call. an almost car crash. on the interstate. everything was okay, but i could've died. i drove away practically levitating. i had this rush, like, well, this is it. stop moping and mooning, ya know. just joy. and second, i am training to chant Torah. i,ve been an atheist since the age of eleven. like, a Jewish atheist, so what? that's natural; i,m an intellectual, after all, right? well, now, after several months of chanting haftorah at home and learning 3 styles of trope, uh, i can no longer say i am an atheist. something is happening.
I went to Israel with the Jewish Federation and visited my grandparents' graves in Jerusalem. Paddling out and sitting on my surfboard alone in the ocean. Moments of joy when I'm alone in my car and I see a little kid laughing or dancing.
I meditate every day. My spiritual experiences have been of this nature: noticing the diligence of an ant as it carries its burden the length of a plank; watching as a wren lands beside me with her beak full of thatch and remains there a while, unafraid of me because I am so quiet. I am noticing life. I am noticing how my own backyard hums with the energy of millions of living beings, and I am awed by this. I am humbled by the realization that I only needed to STOP what I was doing long enough to see. I don't know about God, but LIFE is everywhere.
I feel more in touch with doing good for others. Much more. Trying hard to be Jewish by action, more than by faith. That feels spiritual. Or human. Or both. It's the best of what religious community is there for.
i will know next week ....
Today I was in a church, shooting a funeral scene... waiting there while the crew set up a shot, looking around at the sanctuary, I just felt this wave of... something, I don't know what you'd call it.
No real experiences, but ever since going to Israel last summer I have definitely been more involved and interested in Judaism. I feel honored and special to be Jewish.
No. I haven't.
Nothing dramatic, but when I am open to spiritual guidance, I am aware of lots of little messages which enable me to make the most of opportunities available.
When I visited the Kotel, put my hand on the wall and felt and heard thousands of years of my ancestors speaking to me all at once, I was overcome with emotion like I never felt before. It was surreal and beautiful.
I learned more about Human Design that I'm a 'Projector' and need to wait for the invitation--this knowledge has helped to guide me. Like Astrology, or yoga--here's another tool for my cosmic tool belt.
This year I have been studying, praying and meditating a lot. I haven't had any "white light" experiences, but I feel a much broader and deeper sense of the spirituality of life.
In the winter of 2008, I ended a relationship with a very dysfunctional young man. Part of his dysfunction was his religiosity. He had fanatical ideas about observance and when we would discuss I would feel insecure and inadequate. Combined with his bigotry, it took a real toll on me and was the last straw in a long battle I had with myself about where I was religiously. Once I ended it, I finally found the internal peace that I had been looking for. In January, I started lighting a candle and buying a challah for myself every Friday for Shabbat. As I lit the candles and said the blessing, I felt that I was finally owning my observance. Now I am comfortable with where I stand and all it took was one candle and one loaf of bread to get me on my feet.
In fact, I've spent the past year becoming less religious, though possibly more spiritual. I talk to God more than ever - trying to do it as much when I'm happy as when I'm in need - but I'm losing my faith in organized religion. The longer I work for a Jewish organization, the less I find myself aligned with religion - & the more in tune I become with my spirituality.
I had the opportunity to spend Rosh Hashana with Reb Goldie Milgram in Portland. Near the end of the day just before Tashlich, Reb Goldie told yet another story- this one was about Freud and the Nazis in Germany. She was able to use a simple about Freud who was so sick with cancer, his daughter and his reflection on life . His statement was ' it is not what you did in your life. It was the patterns you developed within your life that had the biggest effect on you. In freuds case it was smoking which lead to cancer. I was inspired to look for negaive patterns within my life that I could give away for Tashlich. The tears were there, the pain was at the surface and I saw a glimps of my true self for a brief moment.
since my brother died, especially immediately after, there were an overabundance of synchronicities involving him. it forced me to expand my ideas of what it meant to exist and how much the physical really meant to me.
I talk to God and ask him to protect my family and keep them healthy and safe and I question why He would make my wonderful friend, a widow and mom to two little girls, sick with cancer throughout her body.
This has been a really rough year. Health issues, my career in flux...But I feel something is carrying us through. Like things will be ok. Not sure I think this is religious, but it is FAITH.
Being outside on a beautiful day. Walking in the woods, sitting still...these are the times I feel a spiritual connection.
Yes. I have sort of re-newed a committment to myself to seek a further understanding of MY spiritualism and to establish a spiritual practice for myself. I have just begun going back to yoga- using it to understand my place in the world, pursue my hopes and dreams, deal with my fears, and find balance in my life... and especially in my relationship. Also, a reconnection and desire to better understand Judaism, and my personal connection to it. I've recognized that it really takes effort, however, to successfully reap what you hope to.... and hopefully, it should come to a balance of effort and ease....
My girlfriend and I have defined shabbat to be a time for us to have eachother. We try to have private friday night dinners, add a little thinking about that week's torah portion or other event to discuss, maybe watch a movie, maybe attend a service, and just enjoy being with eachother, with limited distractions. I no longer look at many of the "restrictions" as negative things, but rather have come to appreciate how much more peaceful, meaningful, and refreshing shabbat can be when the laundry is done, the house is clean, and my work work is waiting for next week. Me, a guy who grew up fairly secular, now looks forward to shabbat...who would have guessed.
Not really. I would like to be more involved in Jewish life this coming year.
services at b'nai jeshurun often elevate spirituality for me. one in particular was after my cousin passed away and the rabbi had us close our eyes and sit in silence for 3 minutes before chanting the shema since he said in ancient times pious people would be silent for 3hrs or 3 days (can't remember, but it was long!) before saying it...to really generate some energy before praying and bring it to a higher level. i remember sitting there aware of my senses and tears leaving my eyes thinking of her and how she said this so many times in her life, but would not any longer. and when we all uttered the sound it was like a vibrating Ommmmmmmm sound i felt could reach her.
My trip to El Salvador was an incredible experience. I saw in those people hope and tranquility that I never would have expected being that there is so much poverty and violence there. It touched my profoundly.
Yes, my best friend's mother died. When I was helping him fill her grave, I had a strong sense of connection to him, the jewish community, jewish history, and God.
Not really. Maybe at the kids Rosh Hashana service when we were doing a round of Mah Tovu. But that was the music affecting my brain. I'm agnostic. So I guess I had a feeling that religious people would call spiritual.
I've put more energy into my Judaica Art and Craftwork and am getting a tremendous amount of pleasure from the joy it brings to others in the process. It also brings me great peace and joy during the creative processes.
watching my partner go through chemo. she slept and I just sat and watched her for hours at a time. unforgettable. instant perspective.
I love to sing. So I mentioned it to a colleague. She invited me to her synagogue and I found the joy I was looking for. I don't need to go every week or even every month - but knowing it is available to me has given me a more peaceful feeling - I'm not missing something in my core - it is out there - I just have to chose it. Or not.
My friends daughter's life was saved in Israel. We all prayed hard; dug deep...and I feel it helped. There is no question that g-d was with her....and especially the Israelis...they made me proud to be Jewish.
Participating in an ecstatic Kabbalat Shabbat at Moishe House London, on the last Friday night of 2008. Somehow, unaided by substances, falling into an altered state of mind in which all my assumed truths and thoughts were called into question. Leading services at Burning Man 2009: one of the most joyful, celebratory prayer experiences I've ever had. On the last night of Burning Man 2009, watching the Man burn, realising that things in this world are only important because we give them importance.
no. if anything, i've begun to question some of the practices that have been such a big part of my life.
My chart reading.
I had a hummingbird kamakazee into my kayak that was on top of my car. (sadly it died), But I took this as my animal symbol, during a tough time in my life. I read all about the hummingbird symbolism, about its ability to move forwards and backwards (unlike all birds). It represents not getting stuck in darkness and keeping the flexibility to fly in many directions and maintain lightness. I took this in as my motto.
Working in Ascent of Tzfat last summer- getting in touch with my real essence- my soul, the part that is Hashem in me.....
There were a handful of times this year when I felt very spiritually connected. Sometimes in shul, sometimes just out walking around. I used to have this feeling fairly often. I hope I will have it more often in the future.
I went to the funeral of my Aunt in January. The Rabbi talked about how her favorite saying was, 'This Too Shall Pass" and how she had had a ring engraved with the saying Hebrew. Months later I took an ID bracelet I've had for years and had the same engraving done. Seeing the inscription in Hebrew reminds me daily of who I am and who I came from.
my biggest religious experience this year, and probably of my whole life was visiting the wall in israel.. i already talked about it as an answer to other questions here, but it seriously brought an energy into my soul. i am not a particularly religious person, but being there, seeing the wall, seeing the other people around worshiping so intently really connected me to my heritage.. it gave me a strong sense of judaism and gave me a strong desire to strive to marry someone jewish..
I listen of to the NPR radio program Speaking of Faith. I find that it touches on questions related to religion and spirituality that I can really connect with and appreciate. I had been saving the 2007 interview with Rabbi Sharon Brous entitled "Days of Awe" to listen to in the days just prior to Rosh Hashannah. I ended up listening to it the first night of Rosh Hashannah and then again, the full interview on my way to services the next morning and hopefully many more times in the coming days and weeks. The way Rabbi Brous spoke about the Jewish tradition as something to love, struggle with and apply to the world was absolutely beautiful and inspiring. I am very interested in religion and specifically Judaism but I do not consider myself a particularly religious or spiritual person because it is not often that I feel that internal tug towards faith. I felt it on the bus ride during the first day of Rosh Hashannah when Rabbi Brous spoke about how studying Talmud could move her to tears, not necessarily because of the beauty in those words but because she struggled so deeply with this text and tradition that she loved so much.
No I haven't, however, I do pray every evening (for the same things for the past 20 years).
Yes, most of them centered around my mother's death. Some of the angels who appeared to support me and her I will remember forever.
My daughter's bat mitzvah. When the rabbi had the congregation sing Siman Tov u'Mazel Tov after she read Torah (he usually waits till after the Haftarah), because he felt so joyous for our family, that felt really good. It also made me laugh; many spiritual moments also make me laugh.
We worked and saved up to go to Israel. We climbed Massada for sunrise, and went to Jerusalem for our last day there. I put my prayer in the wall and two doves ( a white one and black one) flew overhead as I walked away. I knew my wishes would come true... and it made me feel even more like the universe is watching over me.
the death of a loved one has brought nuns back in my life. i think their devotion and even more, their faith, is inspiring. These women are jewels and i love to have them around, even if i don't feel the same way tehy do. We both feel love for the rest of humanity
When Barbara died it was so hard. Before she died visiting with her and helping her find peace was an extremely spiritual experience. I felt that I had ascended.
this year i have had a spiritual experience around singing. i got to spend some time in a spiritual community where singing is a huge part of the practice. something happened to me there where i experienced myself really letting go and letting my voice out. after that i had the opportunity to spend a week in a kirtan workshop where we chanted for a week, 5 hours a day. it was incredible. through these experiences, and also one other where i got to sing around a fire with 100 people, i really felt a connection with the divine that i have never felt before. i felt that the song was coming through me, rather than me singing.
I've been a meditator for nearly 40 years, and while I no longer feel attached to any religion, I do feel that I live with spiritual awareness, which means you have many experiences that you attribute to that spiritual awareness. But if I had to pick one thing, maybe it is that this year I accepted that it's all beyond my comprehension, in fact it's beyond anyone's comprehension.
Last year as I led second day Rosh HaShana services, I caught a glimpse of my father siting off-center in the second row with tears glimmering in his eyes as I chanted Unetaneh Tokef.
Occasionally a serenity when I'm in shul - which isn't often. I've been inspired by one friend who is thinking of converting to Judaism and has really put an amazing effort into learning about it. Would like to learn more - though probably not this year.
Not really. I have small moments of spiritual enlightenment through yoga, but no moment in particular really stands out. I'm hoping to have a more spiriual and possibly religious year this coming year.
I went to the temple where my wife was at a retreat. I was dropping off my sister. Whenwe got there I saw my wife doing a walking mediation. It brought happy tears to my eyes. It's doing it again now.
The near death of my new born son. It doesnt go much deeper than that...
I can't believe that I can not come up with one - as I consider my self a fairly spiritual person and that this is part of my life on a regular basis. After contemplating this I realize that participating in the Search Committee at UU was a very spiritual experience. To work closely with others to know and be known if only for a few months.
I guess I haven't..... that's a bit sad.
I've found more affirmation that what most people attribute to "god" is just simple statistics that they can't, or can't be bothered to, understand... The real mystical stuff of birth/death/how did we get here/etc, I've stopped thinking about long ago.
Nope. Probably could use a little more of that in my life.
I am blessed to believe that everyday I experience a glimpse of a spiritual experience. I am blessed to be sober, and with that, I feel constantly connected to a higher power, everyday that I don't drink or do drugs is a spiritual experience with in itself.
I converted to Judaism.
Not really, but the semi-religious cultural things I do with my friends are really special, like the Rosh Hashana dinner my boyfriend and I had at our apt.
Honestly, no. Nothing that could be called an "experience." My spirituality, such as it is, is entirely contained within my own head, where it lives strongly.
I went to Israel and found the Judaism I had always looked for - of love, sweetness and joy. Unfortunately, I also did (as I have a tendency to do) take it too far, and almost made a huge mess of my life. Luckily, Hashem took care of me (as hashem always does) and I didn't loose everything.
I've discovered that music and some form of meditation are important to finding inner peace. I live in a tumultuous city, during an awful recession. So many bad things happened to me over the course of two years I earnestly hope there is no God, otherwise I'd never forgive him. Oddly, chalking up my misfortunes to the old adage "shit happens" has been hugely liberating.
Not really, but I wish I did.
Yes, many. My Judaism continues to change, and it was definitely affected by adamah. I was in real need of good davening last year, especially when I was having a hard time in NY, so when it was good and when the sound was rich and the harmony was beautiful, I was totally uplifted. One particular davening experience that stands out is the kabbalat shabbat service at the adamah reunion. At that point, I was miserable in NY, I was excited to be surrounded by people so important to me and new people so ready to take me in and love me, and I was in need of some beautiful davening. We had services in the beige yurt. We were totally cramped in there, sitting in maybe 3 or 4 concentric circles (or what would be if you extracted people from sitting/lying on each other). The sound was incredible. There was so much passion and joy and spirituality. I almost started crying, and probably would have if I were able to cry in front of people. And the fact that I even almost cried means a lot since I never ever cry. I wish my davening could always be like that, and then again, part of its power was that it's such a rarity.
I haven't had any specific spiritual experience this year that strikes me. However, I am on a spiritual path and there are many ways my spirituality is part of my day to day. I would like to strengthen my spiritual life this coming year.
Unfortunately not. I kept thinking that the stage was set - I was in all the right places and had all these experiences, but my religious and spiritual life has actually been quite frustrating this year. I struggled so hard to find any sort of balance, and I had a lot of questions for God that seemed unanswered.
Yes, I made the choice to convert to Judaism. It's something that I dithered back and forth on for about 5 years, but I truly feel connected to God when I attend services, and I love the community. This is a change that will affect the rest of my life, but I've never felt more at peace with a choice.
When my mom was in the hospital, I was there all the time, and I felt that we had a lot of really fantastic conversations that needed to be had. At midnight on Shavuot, a few days before she died, and went out to the hospital courtyard and cried and prayed, lying on my back on the grass, in the rain. After my mom died, I told my dad that I was sad that I didn't remember the words of the special conversations my mom and I had had. He said that every one had seen the communication between my mom and me - that it was primarily non-verbal but that we had been understanding each other in a way that was beyond words and I had accurately communicated her needs to him and the hospital staff when she couldn't tell them. Other people have commented on our strange type of communication too, and I still can't explain it, but it was almost mystical, and definitely spiritual to be able to connect with a person in such an intense way.
im much more open to all experiences now....i see the spirtual in everything and hope that im open to see and feel all that is around me
God is always present. I believe that, however I also am aware that I have not been looking for Him as much as I should be. There are points where His presence is palpable, and I am aware of his work throughout my life. Especially now I see it in terms of those around me. My sister was in a car accident, and fortunately no one was hurt. Looking at the damage, it was easily possible for things to be so much worse, but that is not the case. I fully believe that God protected her and the other party, and I am thankful that she is alive and well. Cars are simply things, but life is always something that is precious. He reminds me through the little things I still have to work on to pick up.
Having embraced my yoga practice more fully it's become a very central part of my life, readings from buddists to holocaust survivors all have similar thems of interconnectedness, finding meaning in life, that balance between making choices and letting go of the outcomes. This has been an incredibly growing year with peace entering the center of my being, not an easy feat and it requires daily work.
I am struggling with my church, not my faith, and should do something about it.
Funny how I wanted to skip this question. But I will say that I have learned how the thing missing from my life, is having some faith. And this has made me want to meditate, slow my ego down and trust the universe around me. May sound woo woo, but I think it's the key to my happiness.
You know, I'm not sure. For my job, I am always going to services and religious school, but I do not think I have felt the overwhelming sense of God that I have felt before. However, during those times when I travel to Jewish communities, I am always overwhelmed by the people and the way I am welcomed into the community so graciously.
I talked to a psychic at the start of the year and I communicated with my father who passed away 3 years ago. I know now that he is with me always and helps guide me in my life. He has also been with me through some of the tough times of 2008 and trying to communicate with me. I would like to be able to hear him more often and clearer in the coming years.
No. I went to an Orthodox synagogue with a friend with whom we've been discussing possibly doing a guir. I was very put off by the sight of women in humiliating positions, and by the distance I feel to orthodoxy.
My partner and I started attending a reform shul together, the only shul in which I have ever truly felt comfortable. The space enabled us to connect to prayer much more profoundly than I ever have. This year is the first that I found myself walking out of Shabbos services feeling "different"; the first that I have found prayer meditative. And of course ending the year with our wedding brought that experience to a peak.
Nope. I've been "waiting" to see the light my whole life (read: I'm perfectly happy remaining in the dark), and I can't picture it changing any time soon. My inner light and my rational mind are the forces that drive me, and that's the way I like it.
no, not really. I am so open to them, but nothing has come along.
No, I can't say I have. Though I have taken to thanking God every day for everything I have and praying for my family and friends to be safe and find happiness.
Em, not really.
This new year has been a particularly introspective one for me, and just in the last few weeks I've begun to truly search my soul and try to fully engage my Judaism - something I've known I needed to do for years but somehow always put off. I'm glad for that, despite the circumstances that precipitated it: my painful and arduous move back to New York and my longing to be reunited with my fiancee. I still don't know how things will work out here; I may yet return to Texas. But I know that after all is said and done, I've opened a door in myself that won't be closed.
Yes, I had a spiritual-psychedelic experience last year for the first time in my life, and it filled my heart with peace and love. Even in the hardest moments - there have been several horrible events during the last year for me and the financial crisis hit me personally, too - I did not have the wish to use any sort of alcohol or something else to forget about these troubles... My spiritual experience helped me to overcome all of those obstacles.
I suppose the only spiritual event I can think about was my grandmother passing away. My sisters and I were in the ICU unit as they increased her morphine and we all were singing whatever sweet song we could think of to sing to her. I was fortunate enough to have had the last conversation she would ever have with anyone and that o me was the most amazing part of the whole experience.
Poetry has begun to fill an important void; it has allowed my expression of so many thoughts and feelings. When I share it with my spouse and children, they affirm that it is meaningful to them. That affirmation allows me to open myself to sharing my poetry with others.
I have had the opposite. I have become less and less attached to my religion and my spirituality. It make me feel unlucky.
Not really. I'm still a firm believer that there is something out there that is bigger than me that can't fully be explained, and really shouldn't be, and I'm ok with that.
A flattening of my religious feeling. A loss of the enthusiasm I had been feeling for organized religion.
I am less connected to any organized community than I ever have been since beginning my journey towards Judaism in 2001. When I chose to leave my teaching position at Brandeis I was very fearful of what that would mean for my Jewish life. At least then I had Tawonga, but my feelings about that (both historically and presently) were always mixed and after only two summers I decided that was not something I wanted for myself anymore either. So, for me, I think this has been a year of moving away from structured religious or spiritual experiences. Ironically, or not, I find that without those constant questions--Are they Jewish? How do they feel about Israel?--I have been able to connect with and pursue other relationships that feel deeply meaningful and much more authentic than some I've had within the community. I am still connected to the organized Jewish community in my many capacities as an educator, and that particular identity is one with which I identify strongly. I still feel respected as a teacher and in the end, it may be that is the greatest and most meaningful contribution I make to the community. If that is true, I will feel very proud and accomplished.
Yoga is the closest to a spiritual experience. It makes you focus on the moment and allows me to let go of all of the thoughts that run through my head constantly in the day to day.
religious: weddings in pretty stained glass buildings where God was mentioned here and there. spiritual: some of the most beautiful earth shattering sex with the love of my life...lots of Oh God there ; )
I've learned that I need to listen to that inner voice more often. That inner voice is the Holy Spirit guiding me through this life. The amount of times I've regretted not listening to the Holy Spirit's sound advice is staggering. I'm learning more and more that it's not about me.
i promised i would treat myself better. i know its not particularly spiritual but its something i feel strongly about
After my mother's diagnosis, I turned away from religion/spirituality, I just felt so traumatized that she was going to be taken away from me. I didn't want to find comfort from that hurt, I didn't want to see it as part of a larger cycle of life--I just wanted to feel its unfairness and not salve it. Several years later, I'm now just opening up that door again and it has been beautiful.
standing under the chuppah was like a holy rainbow bubble. praying for my grandmother's healing, and how healing in this case meant dying and she passed away the next day. being with my love- the prcess and self evavation of our engagement. supporting two friends through the lose of thier parents.
I learned to read Hebrew, albeit like a 2 year old. But I feel more connected to my faith and Israeli, if even only culturally. When G-d answered my prayers quickly and kept me from feeling like I was going crazy. Being out of town for Rosh Hashanah and the warmth of the people and the beauty of the temple I visited. A congregation member leant me her prayer book and I was invited for snacks afterward. A great of example of welcoming the foreigner...
This year I was truly separated from a Jewish Community for the first time in my life. Being a 10hr bus trip from the nearest community caused me to spend some more time thinking about what it meant to me to be Jewish. I guess what I came to leads me a bit back more to being Reform. I can be spiritual and I can be a good person without being ritualistic. While I enjoy some of the ritual, I think it is really critical to remember why it is that I am Jewish, a lot of this is really about making the world a better place and doing my piece. If I find myself through that, all the better.
Despite working for a Jewish organization in a job focused within the Jewish community, and despite visiting Israel twice over that year, I haven't had major spiritual experiences. I've had many moments of personal revelation and feelings of self-actualization (standing in front of the Taj Mahal, for example, or looking up at the bridge I bungee-jumped off of in Nepal). I've recognized my personal strength and realized that I have more faith in myself than I might have previously thought. But I'm still working on my own connection to Judaism. Over the year, it's faded in and out, and right now, I'm feeling it waning in a whole new way. I wonder if I will find a way to bring it back.
Not necessarily...I feel that I am becoming more "at peace" with my spirituality...in that, I believe if there is a God and Heaven, that he will save us all...If not, what can I do about it? Live for today because if you're gone tomorrow now may be all you've got.
My yoga practice has become deeper and more profound. It has changed the way I experience the world and make choices. I am grateful to learn from and be guided by so many sources of the inspirational in my life.
none at all. But I try to be a good person everyday.
Yes. As soon as I started my counseling, my spirit came back. I truly believe we get what we believe. I was not thinking correctly when I shut my spirit down...I have changed my ways and am amazed (though not surprised) by the results. Think good things! Having Faith, Hope and allowing Blessings and God into my life.
I've begun writing in the mornings...it clears my head, it focuses my mind, it's my own little meditation. When I don't do it I feel as if my mind and spirit is clogged, it frees me.
I'm not very religious. Spiritual experiences? Probably, but I must admit I don't pay attention when they're happening. Playing music feels spiritual to me, whatever that means. It's like something takes over my body and I'm no longer Chris Scanlon. Is that an out of body experience? Playing the Academy of Music the other night sure felt like a divine something....
I did a Hebrew spiritual retreat that happended at a time I was very open and receptive. I came to realise and accept that music in my entry-way and surest method for my spirituality, and that that is okay.
This is the first year in memory that I feel as though my spirit guides have deserted me. Or perhaps I have somehow lost the ability to hear and feel them. I have always felt protected and in touch with larger forces and cannot figure out what I have done to change my receptivity. I miss the connections and have been trying to slow down, stop and open up to the magic that I am sure still surrounds me.
To me, spirituality isn't seeing the Virgin Mary in a slice of toast; it's being present, feeling the connection between all people and giving love back into that connection. So yes, I have, saying hi to people on the subway, talding with random strangers without fear, meeting people who take up the call serve others and struggling with my own desire to do so. Every moment of surprise, where my ideas of the world are challenged and my perspective broadened, every fresh voice that surprises me... that feeds my spirit, and for every single one, I am thankful.
I went to Israel. I connected culturally, not necessarily religiously. I loved it there and would love to go back. I wish I knew more about Judaism. I am upset that I never learned.
i have had the continued spiritual experience of living life in mindful sobriety. i don't know that i can identify a particular expeience from this year, but i would say that my spiritual life has been reaffirmed, reinforced, expanded and deepened by my romantic relationship and the extent to which each is a reflective, complimentary and supportive of the other.
I realize I am very close to my Jewish renewal community, and I plan to continue and possibly increase my involve ment there. We have moving and inspirational services!
Sometimes I felt like the spirit of my parents was watching over me, especially when things came together in unexpected ways to help me get out of a real estate deal that was looking to be a big loss. I went to a seminar from the "Abraham" couple who teaches "The Secret". Even though the channeling thing was a farce, I do believe that the power of one's thoughts determines their outcomes in life to a large extent. I learned that it's very important to stay positive and to keep from fixating on negative thoughts and negative outcomes. There is power to influence people and events by being positive and believing that things will work out for the best, even if there is no rational reason to believe they will.
No, but I have recently established that, although I am firmly atheist, death does not necessarily mean the end. We live on in the legacy that we leave, in our family and friends, and the memories they have of us.
Sitting in Synagogue last week I recalled how the year before I sat there praying for my friend that was dying of skin cancer and that now she is gone. I could barely make it through the Kaddish.
Yes. After over a year of soul-searching about my purpose in life, I got an answer, at least an answer to keep me going for awhile, and now feel like I can go back in the world.
Yes, I have felt reassurance that my life is going just the way it needs to be. Whether it will be going in the same direction next year as it is now I have no idea but I know its going where I need it to go. And I just need to be happy and content right now.
transport-ation via yoga practice and nature. especially nature.
So many. I try to look for them every day. But the most remarkable was the spiritual experience of visiting India. So influenced and attuned to the West, so steeped in commerce and the buzzing marketplace; yet so spiritual to the core. People don't just make eye contact, they look into your soul. All the newspapers, even the stodgiest, pay tribute to spiritualism each day, with the "yoga pose of the day" or columns about the import of different religious philosophies. And everywhere there are spiritual sights, sounds, and smells mixed into everyday life.
I have become very involved with my church and have come to realize that I can celebrate my religion independently in a one-on-one conversation with God.
I spent some time with a co-worker and her family for Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot last year. It was lovely as they're orthodox. I really loved the community and spending time with them. It reminded me of how much I love being Jewish and what this community means to me. Also, my step-brother's death also showed me this same thing. He grew up Catholic and when he died his family had a wake. It was so strange to me -- standing around looking at him in a coffin and talking about him and the family. And then after the funeral which was all about G-d and Jesus, not about Brian, there was a lunch and everyone left -- leaving his children and the rest of the family alone. It made me realize how much sitting Shiva is so helpful -- how the Jewish traditions are so comforting -- and again, how much I love being Jewish -- in the good times and bad.
Yes. I went to something called Shavuot on the Mountain, which was an all-night study session on Mt. Tam. It was so gratifying and exciting to be out in the woods with a wonderful community of curious Jews. Reminded me that being outside is the best way to connect with the divine.
No. I don't believe I have had any particulary spiritual experiences this year. I kinda denounced religion a couple of years ago. I have tried to do affirmations at a makeshift altar in my apartment. The practice is not a habit yet.
India. Seeing the Dalai Lama for the frst time. I was so elated and peaceful it brought tears to my eyes. He's just an old guy who happens to be an exceptional human being but he can really affect you.
spiritual only in that my faith in tao has remained and needed to be called upon to accept what i cannot change and to have belief that life will carry me along to a destination which i will have joy in.
Nope. Finally decided that I've given up on religion entirely, except for the traditions. I'm done with god.
after converting to Judaism 14 years ago from being a very involved Baptist, I am finally feeling "comfortable" with saying I am a Jew...it FELT real and I lived, and claiming to be a Jew was never a problem...I just felt worthy of calling myself a Jew.
none that i know of. somehow or rather, i've lost faith in religion or any spiritual teachings.
Hard to say particular, but more general maybe. I have been getting much more involved in synagogue ritual activities, and that feels good. One experience that struck me, however, has to do with calling people to the Torah for an aliyah. In this role, I also recite misheberachs (special blessings) for the sick, for bride and groom in advance of their wedding, and for baby namings. It occurred to me after I gave the special blessings to officially name the baby before God that I was the one to do so. I was saying the blessings that made it official. Very powerful moment.
Probably every day, although I have not stopped long enough to notice them. God was definitely there, protecting my family this year though!
Unfortunately, no. I've often wondered if this is due to my lack of participation in a synagogue or if I have just become so disenchanted with God that the idea of him no longer moves me.
They all fall under the category of secular spirituality, or love.
Watching my son learn to carve out the feelings in himself into words. It has been a very personal experience of the spiritual realm becoming manifest in the world of the physical. Also: daydreaming about spirits and ghosts and becoming more conscious of the fact that so many of my interests revolve around the idea of inviting ghosts to dwell near me and in me.
I started my religious journey into Judiasm. I studied Torah for the first time. I learned about the history of Judiasm, the culture of the Jewish people and made the decision that I wanted to become Jewish.
I was unable to be at Yom Kippur services due to a funeral out of state, but I took the Prayer book with me and sat outside in the most beautiful area of Rhode Island reading the afternoon prayers and concluding service. I really felt close to God, and was not distracted by other people and wish all the services could be outside . This was one of the most spiritual experiences I had
There were times this year that I wished I explicitly believed in a divine figure so that I could rail against it. No such luck. This past year, I have concluded that I just don't have a tendency towards religious or spiritual experiences. (People who don't know me well are surprised to hear me say that; I have to explain that while I'm Jewish as all get-out, I'm not traditionally religious about it.) But whenever I go to the beach, I stand and look out over the water, and have a little heart-to-heart with that God I don't quite believe in. It helps me sort out my thoughts and settle my mind for a little bit. I'll take it.
Not as much as I would have hoped. I attend shul regularly, but because it's still relatively new to me I'm adjusting to the pace and style. I'll stick with it, but keep hoping for those glimpses of meaningful deep spirituality.
Yes, I've reconnected with the readings of Edgar Cayce.
After nearly a decade of driving to synagogue on Shabbat, I have returned to walking to services. My routes take me either through a beautiful college campus or along a tree-lined canal. Either way, the time spent walking is a remarkable experience in reconnecting with the infinite mircacles of life. As a microbiologist, I once had to write an exhaustive essay on the history of life, starting from the big bang. The more I've studied biogeochemical history the more comfrotable I've become with my image of Ha'Shem.
Oh yes! Upon the advice of the elderly aunt of a close friend, I prepared myself to undego surgery by memorizing a Psalm. I chose the 23 and was reciting it silently as the anaethesiologist began to administer the medication--I felt a strong sense of peace, security and certainty that everything and anything I would need, has been given to me.
As I immersed my self in the lake on Erev Yom Kippur, alone, gazing at the sun and sky, I finally felt a connection.
I have come to the thought that God has been created because man needs 'something' higher to believe in. Having created the God, some rules of belonging to the club have to be established. The concept of God, which is of someone like us, is damaging. We need to say that there is something - a greater force or something special - in the universe and we do not understand it or know what it is and therefore cannot believe IN it. We also should be totally tolerant of other nations and religions. When, at the Rosh Hashana table, I was pointing out to Jenna, Mitchell and Jacob that the bad thing about religion is that one side says, "My way is right" and then the other side says, "No, MY way is right", Jacob, aged two and a half interjected " No Grammie, My way is right!" I think my point was proved!! I wish there was someway to show those grandchildren whose parents don't believe how to have some faith and spirituality. It is a great omission in their lives if they can't. In my opinion, anyway. At Ted Kennedy's funeral, which I was glued to, I was struck by the faith of his family and also how they all stuck together.
I really wish my year was filled with more spirituality. I wish I had taken more time out to connect spiritually. That is my goal, to slow down and connect more in a spiritual way. This past Kol Nidre felt close to a real spiritual experience when the rabbi who married me led a service in a nearby church. The roof of his synagogue fell and the neighborhood church hosted the Yom Kippur services. There was a beautiful exchange between the Rabbi and Reverend. Although we read different scriptures, we all pray to the same god. There was a real sense of camaraderie and the service was so moving. This next year I will make time and space to connect more spiritually.
Yes, I started to put on teffilin, asked for a mishabarach and it came true. My girlfriends father's cancer went away
Yes, I deiced to no longer be Catholic and fully convert to my dads religion, Judaism.
I've tried to seek out the spirituality in my life, I got pretty close during some of the better performances I saw over the year--the final trio of Les Huguenots performed by Michael Spyres, Alexandra Deshorties, and Peter Volpe; the Met's HD simulcast of Romeo et Juliette with Netrebko and Alagna, the New York Phil playing "The Lark Ascending," the concert in the park with Alan Gilbert conducting Jupiter and Beethoven's 7th, the pure joy spilling out of Goran Bregovic's concert in Central Park, making it thru nearly the entire Bang on a Can marathon, kicking off the season with the Phil's opening night and Nozze di Figaro at the Met. Communing with the Hugo Weisgall letters collection. Moving back to a city that fosters all of that art and creativity was pretty spiritual in and of itself.
I started threapy. That's a spiritual experience for me.
I converted to Judaism...everything has changed, I know who I am and I know how I want to live my life. I want to marry a Jew, and raise Jewish children and I couldn't be more content at having settled into myself.
I was born a patrilineal Jew. This past year, I had the opportunity to have a halakhic conversion. It was a wonderful experience, with a wonderful beit din that I put together myself; all three members of the beit din were my teachers.
God has become more personal and prayer has become more important.
Because I tend not to be religious, I have to say that I've had no more religious or spiritual experiences than normal. But I tend to have these moments that occur at any random point where I stop and thank whoever is listening for the life I lead and the people in it. I don't know if there is a God, or many gods, but I would like Him/Her/Them/Fate/the Universe in general to know that I am very thankful to be here.
yes. watching my sister marry in a traditional jewish ceremony. seeing my grandparents, 2 of which are holocaust survivors, watch their granddaughter practice openly the customs for which they were tortured made me even more appreciative of my heritage. and learning how my grandfather refused to be called a dirty jew after liberation. we will not lay down and die, and we will never allow it to happen again.
Sitting in Yom Kippur services in a reform synagogue in Tel Aviv, not understanding any of the service that was conducted entirely in Hebrew with no translations even in the siddur, I felt goosebumps, and I have no explanation as to why...
I'm still wrestling with trying to find spirituality at our new start-up temple, sorry, "community." I realized also that the old English prayers and responsive readings from the Reform service weren't just meaningless words but had actuallly had come to have some sort of semi-spiritual connection for me, one that is now lost in the straight Hebrew. The music makes up for it somewhat, and the social justice stuff is great, but I'm still stumbling on what exactly praying is about.
Absolutely! Wow. My first session with Katt L. was as remarkable as any I've ever had...and just proved to me that we are locked into a life experience that is so much smaller than the true reality of who we are as limitless beings. Please, God, may I keep my sights on the truth of our Divinity and our Oneness.
not that I can recall..perhaps I feel I have had too few
Honestly? Mostly I just feel pushed away by God. I can't connect with him at my church anymore, because it's my church that fired me, and my pastor that let everything get to a position where I was fired. I'm coming back around, and I'm happy now, but it's kind of hard to forgive everything that's happened, and it's kind of hard to open myself up again to being let down in such spectacular fashion.
Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana services were the best shul experiences I've ever had. I think that's because I was open - I felt open - whereas usually I'm so anxious and just stand there thinking about my work or wishing away the time.
It depends on what you mean by religious or spiritual. In my definition of the words, I cannot say I have. This is my "year of thinking rationally" - discovering the power of my rational mind, the ability to control my actions, emotions, thoughts through applying my appreciation of the power of a rational thought process. Whilst three years ago I discovered the "magic" of the world (that was my "spiritual" moment) - now I have discovered the "magic" of the rational mind, and this is equally as powerful and complements my spiritual awakening.
No, my spiritual practice has reached an all time low and this is something I want to rekindle.
Not really, but I wish I had. I need to become more spiritual this year.
Actually I feel pretty sure there is no God. So in a way I've had a lessening of my religious identity. I do still enjoy the rituals, prayers, holidays and ceremonies, but I when I pray to God, I pray to web of energy I believe connects us all.
I went to Burning Man again. It's a place where the sensual is spiritual - at least for me. As for my Judaism, this year somebody asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks. That's rare. My Jewish identity has always been primarily a nationalist identity - intertwined with Israel. Somebody asked me where I would be if suddenly Israel didn't exist. The answer is I don't know. For the first time in a long time I'm re-exploring the Jewish community to see if it has anything to offer me beyond a sense of history. I've been exploring what it feels like living more in tune with the Jewish calendar. I don't know. It doesn't quite feel comfortable, but then I always knew that for me spirituality was going to be totally idiosyncratic. I'm not one for anyone's dogma and liturgy. I like budhism. I guess I'm sort of a jewbu, but really it's all about the Golden Rule, right?
This summer, as I dealt with glaucoma and other issues, I also experienced the "burnout" of my Judaism. For the first time, I don't have that consonant awareness of God that was always there before - that "knowing" that God was somewhere out there at the other end of my prayers. Instead I just go through the motions: davening, learning, teaching without passion or connection. Still there for now. Not sure when or if it will end...
I am visiting a former synagogue congregant, a 92 year old woman, in a nursing home on a regular basis. Her acceptance of being disabled and in a nursing home has been inspiring
Not specifically. I try and keep the channels of awareness open at all times. I do think I have spirits in my house from time to time. There's been some definite 'visitor' activity of late! :)
I feel more of a bond being in synagogue, but not necessarily with prayer.