Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? "Spiritual" can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.
Not anything specific, but I do feel closer to God, he has helped through difficult dession said this year.
With the help of friends, I really opened my mind this year. I opened myself to new experiences and allowed myself to be okay with pain, loss, and love.
I have somehow felt a part of a bigger universe.Things connect.They weave together. I dont know how or why but it gives me a bit of comfort. Things will work out . All will be well. Someday.
I try to find the spiritual in the little things, beauty in nature- at all times, even when we're grinding in our regular day to day. The ocean especially restores. And the joy of little children.
I definitely had an interesting moment in the portapotty at Okeechobee Music Festival
It's been a blast actually. I've been doing my religious studies, especially around the wheel of the year sabbaths. Its been good to learn more about my holidays and actually participate in them, even in small ways.
I was at the top of Somoto Canton in Nicaragua and my entire group had left. I began stretching and doing yoga and felt the first inner peace I had in a year.
Taking our trip to Holland in April was a very moving experience. I got to revisit my birthplace, my parents' grave, and many more places I hadn't seen in nearly 40 years. There was lots of culture and good food, too.
No, not really, but am aware of the need to be more spiritual in the broad sense of the word.. getting out into nature, getting back to dancing (moving) etc. Getting out into nature... and then also aligning with a more spiritual path... yes, need to do it.
My meditation has gone even deeper in the last 6 months or so. I have begun having dreams while meditating. At first I thought I had fallen asleep, but I was still dreaming and questioning being in a meditation or asleep. I could go back and forth between the dream and the awareness that I was meditating for a bit, before the consciousness of it overtook me and I came out of the meditation. The dreams I have while meditating are very realistic but without context, while the dreams I have in my sleep tend to be disjointed or have fantastical qualities.
I have continued working with energy and meditate (almost) every day. I find this dovetails very nicely with the program of recovery, which also entails spiritual growth. And I continue to study teachers while driving, Marrianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, Brene Brown, etc. I discover the same message over and over, we are to love. The human bullshit kind of gets in the way, but that is part of the learning, too.
I have had a dry patch this year, but that in and of itself is a spiritual experience. I think God works through these times, when we "just don't feel it." I admit at time's I've been slacking and do want to get back on track in 5777, but it hasn't been a particularly rich spiritual year even if I allow for artistic or cultural experiences as spiritual, which they can be.
Completed an art course that touched me to the core, should have done the course 20 years ago. Art nourishes the soul.
After delaying and putting it off, I finally listened to the CD that my harp teacher made. I learned from her for a few months in Japan, and felt like our talks really got me thinking about my life and where I am going. Really, she is more like half music teacher and half life coach/counselor/therapist. A really inspiring lady. Being a professional musician, she had produced several CD's. She signed the ones I bought from her, and said that they would be good practice for me to listen to some time. The CDs wound up sitting on a shelf for a year, as life and school and everything else completely absorbed me. I hadn't practiced any of the stuff she spent so much time teaching me, but I still kept my beautiful, inspirational teacher in mind. Then in preparation for a long drive alone, I put the CD in the car. I was on my way back from dropping off my girlfriend, listening to something else on the radio when I remembered I'd brought it along. I put it in the player, looking to hear something relaxing to drive to. Instead, listening to the first song became a strange spiritual episode. The rest of the CD was good, but that first song (The Swan) made me feel like I wanted to cry, laugh, day dream... make passionate love to someone, sit in the woods alone... I felt like all of that at the same time, which in practice means I became super zoned out, like I should be having an out of body moment. But then this was happening while I was driving down Hwy 101 during crazy evening traffic, so I felt chained down a bit. I could only float out of my own head space just above the car, tethered to the steering wheel to make sure my body stayed alive. I told a friend about it later, but I dont think it was communicated well enough. How can I make anyone else understand what that moment meant to me? I don't think any of the people in my immediate circle would get it
yes - I have been trying to be mindful and calmer this year. I have been looking for balance in my life. I have had several moments usually around the sea shore, with the dog I borrow.
I finished an intensive cognitive therapy two week session in bali combined with yoga, breating techniques, etc. i have discovered with help of Dr. jeremy Alford the roll our heart plays in our lives. Heart cohearence technique is helping unite hearts around the world and that is a miracle of science to me
I always get to this question and discuss the current relationship I'm having with religion. And, while it's good to do this, I don't often stick to a spiritual point of view. This year, the most spiritual of my experiences have actually come from small moments of contentment: walking Dandy, seeing the flowers bloom, laying outside and watching the stars. Amber and I got to cuddle and watch the Perseid meteor shower from our garden, too. It's in these moments that I feel completely at peace with the world. Autumn has rolled in and this stretch until December always feels the most spiritual and cosy - I can't wait.
Yes, I've doing some traveling this year and going to different art galleries and I'm very impressed with the vision and execution of the artists, especially their religious works. When I'm on point with my chanting, there's a feeling of joy and love that wells up from within me.
When I was in London in July, I was super homesick and I really missed my family and friends back in San Francisco. But my whole situation, experience and lifestyle was everything I ever wanted. One day I was chatting with a friend and we started to talk about religion and our faith. We both concluded that we are Catholic. During that conversation, I truly believe that it all came full circle. I prayed really hard to be where I am at, our FAITH connected us, and our faith and prayer is what is currently keeping us going. I'm not sure if this is truly a spiritual experience, but our spirituality was brought to light and is a common ground that keeps us going.
Oddly, the most acutely spiritual experience I had was mostly physical in nature. This summer, on a hot day during the monsoons, I went for a hike on the Peak, thinking we had zero chance for rain. That day I really needed the energy of the mountain, I felt surrounded by the weight of all the loss and unhappiness of the past months....almost as if I was dirty with pain. By the time I reached the top it began to rain, then to rain hard -cold, sharp rain - and then to hail. I was already drenched, but freezing, so I headed down. Before long, I was laughing....I felt alive, present, vibrant, strong, clean. The rain had washed away all that sad illusion- and I was HERE again.
No. Nothing spiritual. Oh wait, perhaps the fact my football team finally won their domestic cup competition again, after 114 years of trying. That's as close to spiritual ecstasy as I got this year; although the whole thing was massively hampered by the fact I was in hospital during the match, instead of being in the stadium. Damn, that hurt. A real collision of emotions there.
Over the past year, I have finally started to feel at home in Adat Shalom. I've gotten used to the worship style, but I also just know more people. For me, Judaism as a religion but also being Jewish as part of my sense of self are so tied up in feeling connected to community. To be able to attend services and have people to talk with, or even just to see familiar faces, to have some sense of who people are, to feel -- at last -- like the clergy know who I am -- all of that triggers the sense of peace, groundedness, and place that, for me, are so central to spirituality. And I am deeply grateful to have reached this place.
LOVE. I see this love as a gift from God. Or maybe a better way to say it is that experiencing this love is spiritually moving. It provides security and assurance when everything else seems to be spinning out of control. This love is the constant. But even more than that, it seems to provide proof that God exists.
I'm following the blog of one of my high school classmates. Her baby was born with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck. The baby is in a vegetative state right now. My classmate is very religious and I admire the strength that she draws from that. I've been disappointed in all the other things being done in the name of religion this year. It's nice to see someone be so positive in the face of an incredibly difficult situation. My niece was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, too. But she had no complications from that. So I guess I see how the other side of this situation is. I guess I thank God for not giving my family my classmate's situation. Is that terrible? I feel terrible for even putting that here, but I mean... man. I guess, things can go one way, or they can go another. It's all in how you handle it. If you're reading this, please pray for my classmate and her family.
Yes! I have learned to communicate with the animals here, particularly the horses. But, even more significantly, I am now aware that I am able to tap into the consciousness field. I understand where my moments of inspiration originate and use them fully, especially when producing my videos!
Sounding the Shofar at Tashlich on Rosh Hashanah. It felt like I was calling out to the world, announcing that the time had come for us all to let go of the bad things that have been holding us back.
I have realised that the marketed religions are a sham and front for power brokers. The ral people do good under a number of umbrellas and are not recoginsed because they do not seek it. I am full of admiration for those who selflessly work to assist others and do not seek recognition. These individuals come from all religious groups and shirk fundamentalism.
In the past year I have definitely made an effort to meditate more. This has been a blessing really. I have used it especially in times when I have wanted to escape my feelings. I feel it allows me space to have them and escape them at the same time. It's like a holiday for my brain. Having said that, over a year ago, Jacqueline and I went to a silent retreat that was really over our heads - geared toward practicing buddhists. It made me realise that all faith preach about hell. And essentially, unless we repent and beg and dedicate ourselves to the faith, we are going to hell. I was surprised because I had a different perception of buddhism and maybe I now have a skewed vision. It was disappointing though. Some of their mainstream watered down concepts I believe in, but this was pretty hard core, The silence was the easy bit.Needless to say, we left halfway through. My spirituality refers to reflection and meditation.
Realizing what my body is capable of was a spiritual, not only physical experience. It connected me even stronger to my Gd. Several "chance" meetings that turned into incredible conversations. They appear on my gratitude list because there are so many that I can't remember them all.
The closest thing I have had to a spiritual experience I have had this year has been that little voice in my head telling me "everything will be okay." Sometimes I struggle to hear it. Sometimes I get impatient with it. I want to yell, " What about right now! I need help right now!" But at least I know it is there. And that helps.
I don't know if this counts as a "spiritual" experience but I would define it closer to a "reality" experience. But now that I think about it it really is a spiritual experience on a certain level. I have spent years not taking care of myself and consequently have had medical issues ongoing - a mini stroke 12 years ago and Type II diabetes. I have successfully quit smoking years ago but have never altered my diet. Consequently I find myself in the unenviable position of making drastic changes now or not being around to enjoy my retirement. I do believe a higher power is giving me one more chance to get this right and improve my situation and I am going to do my utmost to take advantage of this gift and work as hard as I can to ensure that I have some good years left.
When you realize the blessings present in your everyday life, there is not a more humbling, sobering experience. Unfortunately, it took some catastrophic for me to wake up and realize how lucky I am, and how I had taken that for granted. A little over a year ago, as I was gearing up for the notorious junior year of high school, my friends Jake and Joey revealed that their father had been diagnosed with ALS. While everyone, especially the family, tried to keep their hopes up, the stinging truth was that ALS had no cure and no treatment. A death sentence. All everyone could do was help, pray, and hope for a miracle. Watching the Gosnell family go through such a terrible ordeal forced me to reflect, and it gave me some reminders of the things that had faded in my spiritual life. First, that we cannot take the gifts that God gives us to for granted so easily. Every morning, my health is the same from what it was when I went to bed. Yet, Mr. Gosnell woke up every morning understanding that he would lose a little more functionality in his body. This has woken me up and taught me to thank God for my health. Also, watching the actions of Mr. Gosnell were spiritually inspiring. He acted in the image of Christ while he lived with disease. He ignored what I think to be a natural reaction of anger and bitterness, and instead decided to make a difference. Establishing ALS One has led to some of the world's top ALS researchers to work together. He knew his work wasn't going to save his life, but he did not want to die without putting up a fight to ALS. Spiritually, this has taught me to value of putting other people first. Putting others before yourself is one of those pieces advice that you hear so often, you become desensitized to it. However, the actions of Mr. Gosnell were very meaningful to me spiritually.
Like in years past, I can't think of a particularly "spiritual" moment, but I'm growing little by little into the woman God created me to be by digging into His Word and trying my best to show His love in everything I do.
A few. Not as many as I'd like. But they mostly occurred on the top of a mountain with a lookout or in deep conversation with Andy. There was also a moment when I was in a healing circle with folks I'd never met before. There was an exercise where you make a gesture after being asked how you're feeling and everyone in the circle mirrors that gesture back to you. I was overwhelmed with emotion when I did mine (I was the 2nd to go after the facilitator so I didn't have much time to process how it would work) and more than 20 people were looking at me carefully and then repeated this gesture I'd made. I actually cried when I then had to explain to the facilitator that the look I'd made/given her afterward wasn't one of not understanding the exercise but that I felt _seen_ by all of them and it was so powerful. And I finally have been inspired to tap into my own non-writing creative pursuits which has been freeing to some degree. There's too much wrapped up in the writing that makes it hard to do sometimes but my own artistic pursuits are just that, my own. I'm always mixing and matching crafts so there isn't even a pressure to "do it right". There is no right or wrong. There's just doing what is fun with the resources I have at hand.
While dating my boyfriend, I have been to church more often than previous years. He is catholic and we have had many conversations regarding his reservations on certain catholic teachings. I am inspired by him to continue to be apart of the catholic faith despite his reservations. While I do not think I would become a catholic myself, I do want to learn more about the catholic traditions and teachings. I also would like to find my own church, where I can grow spiritually. Due to my scheduling conflict with work, I have been unable to actively search for churches nearby, however I would like to change that soon.
The family in which I live is not the most religious collection of people, what one would call “in name only,” or out of obligation for older members. Yet, when my grandfather died last year, and we were pushed out of our comfort zone and forced to go into the white chapel for the first time in what felt like a decade, we very well may have received something because of it. The ceremony was relatively short, I cannot remember the exact duration, but it felt like it went by quickly as all of his daughters, excluding my mother (don’t ask), went up to the podium to tell fun stories as the cliched “We are not mourning a loss but celebrating a life” trope played out as if a performance on a stage. Our long and complicated family history had led to this point where someone was no longer with us, and no one was sure how they felt about it. An obviously sad event no doubt, but one that simply felt uncomfortable for quite a few people. For me, however, it seemed like we had taken our membership of a complicated and sometimes obnoxious family for granted. I refuse to bring up the numerous battles between members of our extended family, secret hatred, backstabbing, obligatory meetings, and constant fights, but my admission that those things exist is a testament to how my immediate family behaves. I get along fairly well with my immediate family and what I would call the “second layer” of the onion of the family tree, however after that the drama ropes me in as divisions are created and lines are drawn. Yet, when all of those divisions had to come together and the lines had to be erased, I couldn’t help but feel that all of it could have been avoided. Not in my lifetime, no, this began a long time before I was born, but whether it be the fault of the accuser or the accused, someone had screwed up and someone else had not forgiven them since. The way that the funeral and mass brought us together would surely not last beyond the service, but for a time our family was what it was supposed to be, a unified collection of relatives that helped each other through tough times. It’s a shame it didn’t.
YES the panel at the Boston Comedy Arts Festival. Although that trip was tough at times, nothing reignited the love for what I chose to do with my life than that panel. I'm glad this question came up. Especially when I have been questioning things these past few days. If I could remember those goals I made in that 1 hour everyday I would accomplish a lot more than the doubt I bring myself with in seconds. Just because I decide to watch another episode of Friends on Netflix instead of putting pen to paper. Or finger to Microsoft word. Choices.
Spiritual for me -is being with my granddaughter; she makes my life worth living.
Hiking on an island off the East Coast. The blend of forest, rocks, ocean, wildflowers, and wildlife was astounding. I felt centered, reconnected to something larger than myself and also reconnected to myself. I have used this memory to calm and ground myself through the year.
Not really, just the experience of coming to terms with my life at the moment which is difficult and filled with circumstances out of my control. I am increasingly less critical and more supportive of myself.
I feel like I'm writing this every day, but... the birth of my children. It was spiritual in the fact that it was totally mundane. The fact that my children - twins - were born without complications, that we are all alive and healthy, even though I had gestational diabetes and high blood pressure and the first one out was breech, makes me appreciate God's hand in modern medicine. Without modern medicine, my children wouldn't be here, and maybe I wouldn't either. I am thankful every day for their health and for mine.
I had a psychotic manic episode at the end of last year... it scared me in retrospect but it shows what a mighty fine imagination I have the whole episode had a transcendental dreanscape quality about it.
I spent 6 months travelling around South East Asia with my partner. Visiting the Bayon temple in Cambodia and the multitude of temples in Bagan, Myanmar, were "spiritual" experiences for us both.
funny - I would have answered this no - until last week. We were asked to transport the Torahs from our synagogue to the location of the alternative service for Rosh Hashanah. Holding the Torah wrapped in it's white covering, carrying it out of the synagogue and being responsible for it's welfare - that was a profoundly spiritual experience.
I have had many spiritual experiences this past year. It's been a long year. One of the most profound ones, however, happened on the retreat I took after my mom died. When I booked the retreat, it was in something approaching a blind panic. I could not function. I, an extrovert, was so taken by grief that I found myself challenged by simple interactions like buying a cup of coffee at an airport. I wasn't really sure what I was going to do, but at least I would be away from people for a few days, no one to care for, no one to try to act "normal" for. I somehow managed to drive 10 hours to the retreat center without talking to anyone. I listened to "Unwell" on repeat for about an hour. "I'm not crazy/I'm just a little unwell/I know that right now, you can't tell" seemed to sum it up perfectly. So I arrived, and I went to sleep, and I woke up with an intention of attending daily prayers, but then I thought someone might talk to me, so I decided not do that. I walked in the woods, and as I walked, the tension of the past few weeks slowly began to seep away. And I prayed, and I found that God and the Holy Spirit were all around me and with me. I did this for days: I walked and I prayed. At one point, I ventured to an outfitter to buy boots because my sneakers weren't enough for the trails I wanted to do. The last day, I looked online and found a trail to waterfall. It wasn't long, but it was more elevation change than I'd been doing. I decided to try anyway. I did it, then I walked back on a loop that took me along the edge of a ridge. As I walked the ridge, I suddenly realized that even though I was experiencing a catastrophic level of grief, because of the gifts of the Holy Spirit I had received that week, I had never been better than I was at that moment. I was free of so much junk I'd been carrying around for so long, and there was a promise of freedom from more of it. My heart was open to receive those gifts, and what I had metaphorically seen could not be unseen.
I went to my mother's birthplace & saw the house she grew up in as well as the cemetery, right across the street, where her father is buried (along with many other family members). This is a very old cemetery in Liverpool, England, & it was incredible to feel connected to these people, to see their barely legible (in some cases) names, to see so many with the same name (my family is big on Charles John). I went there with 2 of her cousins who still live in Liverpool, both in their 90s as is me mum, & I felt so connected to them & my family. No matter how often or seldom we see each other, there is an insoluble bond, a link through many generations. I feel extremely fortunate to have that, given that on my father's side, which is Jewish. it's all disruption & paths that peter out.
One of the first years I did 10q, I had gone to Poland and Israel with March of the Living in the previous spring. And I've sort of felt as though, since then, nothing can truly compare to how emotionally, culturally, religiously, and spiritually moving that experience was. However, there are plenty of "little" things that I found to be "spiritual" this past year. Camping for the first (and second) time - in the Adirondacks and then at Keuka Lake state park - was incredible. Additionally, swimming and sailing in Chautauqua and hiking and immersing myself in the ocean in Maine were equally important to me. I feel at peace when I reconnect with nature. Sleeping in a tent surrounded by nature, and seeing the Milky Way above me for the first time i can remember, really makes you think about the greater universe and your part within it. Also, I have sort of begun doing a semi-regular yoga practice and I find some spiritual meaning in that as well. Simply connecting to my own breath and moving my body in a way that makes me feel good is wonderful.
I felt called to join the Catholic Church, and have started the process.
At my best friends' wedding, it was truly a joy to celebrate unlike anything I've felt all year.
The spirituality of my life in the past several months has been centered around change. The death of my dog, the disintegration of my marriage, moving out and living on my own, cultivating new friendships. I haven't handled these particularly well at times. But like everything else, it is a work in progress.
Not really, except that this past year I have been making pastoral visits to the hospitals. I was nervous at first, but have come to 'enjoy' making the visits. I am reminded that I can be a source of spiritual comfort and strength and I usually leave feeling more connected to the ebb and flow of the universe and appreciative of my life and life in general. I also experience profound/existential sadness, (which lasts for 15 minutes after the visit) which I realize is essential to the human rainbow of emotions.
Jackie passed away in April. She was very sick with lung cancer, and she was really declining for about a whole week. It was a Sunday- my mom went to go visit and sit with her, and as she was leaving the cantor came with his guitar, and played her Jewish music. She passed away minutes after he left. He essentially sung her to eternal sleep- my mom said he sent her up to G-d. It makes me cry thinking about it. It wasn't a spiritual experience that I had, but thinking about it feels like one. It's amazing that the cantor was given the power and the gift even to put somebody's soul at peace.
I was driving home from a dance class on a 2-way, single-lane road, when a car came speeding out of a hospital parking lot from my right, cutting directly across my lane. There was a car coming from the opposite direction. I somehow lay into my horn and swerved in a completely illogical direction. My horn successfully stopped the car coming from the opposite direction and the car cutting in just enough for me to swerve around them both with inches to spare. I felt like God guided my hand like a Lego piece or a chess piece. My move made no sense but if I had swerved any other way, we would have collided in a serious 3-car accident. I had never felt God as strongly as I did in that moment.
I began transcendental meditation earlier this year. It cost over a $1000 to do it, but i'm glad i did. It was pure joy to go to that place, to actually transcend and to find it easy to do so. I "got it" - I saw what it was like to quiet the mind so purely.
I think the most spiritual experience I've had over the past year is my trip to Iceland with Juliette and Cisco. Maybe it was something about the light--we were there during the solstice--or Juliette's reaction to the landscape. She was so enthused and astonished by the craggy coast, the water and sky, the lighthouse. And then the horseback riding. Everything felt easy and right, and it was beautiful.
Not really new experiences here, just more certain in my step away from religion and towards energy theory. I know how to fill my body with positive energy by simply closing my eyes and thinking about the word LOVE, and by thinking "I am so grateful.." <3<3<3
Probably the most spiritual experience i had was watching over the movement of graves for my job. I think about these peoples lives and how it was for African American in the south at the time they were interred
"Spiritual" is an overused, under-defined word. It is used to mean--as best as I can tell--some feeling of awe at or connection to the universe. Prayer--often much-maligned--simply puts words to those ineffable feelings, which fit into three categories: gratitude, longing, and amazement (or thanks, please, and wow). The feelings can be individual or shared in a group--two very different experiences. So, with that in mind, the most awesome experiences I've had are the dor l'dor experiences--my parents' 60th wedding anniversary, my daughter's wedding, my granddaughter's birth. The memory of those who came before over all of that. The movement of time and change of generations is the ordinary miracle that leaves me in continual awe.
My study with my chevrusa partner is profound. It is one of the times in my life when I feel God's presence -- like in nature or when my husband looks at me with the love I know he feels for me. I never expected to feel this in study. There is something that touches my soul when we think together -- and it is apart from the deep friendship and love I feel.
Yes, I had my Bar Mitzvah, I became a man, I also created music, that was chill.
Spending time by the ocean always helps put things into perspective for me. The ocean was here long before we were, they ocean will be here long after we're gone. Timeliness and eternal. We're here for just a tiny moment in the oceans life.
I have been much more inclined toward committing to rituals and ceremonies recently, and have gained interest in magic. I think sustaining some sort of practice with these newfound spiritual exercises will be really positive for my continued growth in this area.
My spiritual experience happened this summer when I went on a 13 day canoe trip. With a lot of alone time with little distraction helped me calm myself and see that I can take challenges. It also made me realize that there are more important things in the world then my small problems.
It is a fairly constant scheme of my temperament. I am now on the trip I was to have taken a year ago when my beloved golden retriever,Buddy, became ill and died. My other golden girl, Sookie, is now having ex- rays examined by a specialist to find out whether she has a tumor which might be malignant. The anxiety is threatening, but we have a special young woman who is a vet tech living in our house with her and our new rescue Golden, Ziggy. Ziggy came to us less than four months after Buddy died; we were not ready, but he was found wandering in LA with his brother. Our name went to the top of the list because we had a friend involved with rescue work. No one can replace Buddy, but we love Ziggy, and he will soon start his work as a therapy dog, which helps many people. I am trying not to have bad thoughts during these ten days.
I have started attending temple==started in March 2016 and have found a direction I want to be going in. I've tried attending a couple different synagogues in the past and haven't had much luck or felt a pull. I do now. I've also had a few experiences connecting with family members where I feel closer to them than before which has been cathartic to healing from my miscarriage I experienced.
Learned the art of forgiveness. Forget when you can & forgive. Everyone is going something in their life.
I don't think this answers the question but i'm going to write about it anyway. I have really been dealt a bad hand this year. Pepa died, I struggled with my anxiety, and I am in the middle of my 3 month (so far) stomach issue. I have been having a hard time understanding why g-d would put me through all of this, especially all at once. Mom says g-d has nothing to do with it, but I don't see how that as possible. I hope g-d isn't punishing me because I don't know what I have done wrong. people keep saying they will pray for me, which is nice, but doesn't seem to be doing anything. I am conflicted and sad and I feel very stuck. I think I will speak to the rabbi after Yom Kippur and see if he can help me sort any of this out.
Queer Talmud Camp! Diving into Talmud with a bunch of other queers was profoundly moving. I'll never forget our collective "aha" moment when we not only grasped the text, but were hit by the depth of its significance.
The death of my friend Brian has had a significant impact on my day-to-day spirituality. I still don't believe in any sort of afterlife, but the contemplation of his impact in my life and how his non-existence continues to echo through my every day has been a revelation.
A lot of the time at Camp Wakonda I saw God in the kiddies. Whenever Ty let the littler kids ahead of him on a hot day to the water cooler... When kids would play games and go easier on the younger ones... Some of the girls offered to stay behind and make sure other girls were OK when they were upset. Or would come up to me and say "so and so is crying." That was pretty cool to see. I think I saw it more because everyone saw it more. The "spirit" is very pure out at camp because we are doing nothing else. Also we spend a lot of time thinking/talking about God/ reflecting on how grateful we are, so it allows an open pathway for him to enter out lives. I am still on the fence with a lot of this though. I don't buy the Jesus thing still. And I have never been moved to tears over anything spiritual/God related. I did cry when we did that Lifehouse skit about death/vanity/drug abuse/ etc etc pulling the girl (Kirstin) further away from God. But I cried because it is powerful and I can tell it affected some of the high schooler campers in very deep ways. I think the only way I directly experience God or a higher "spirit" is through people. I am very relationship-oriented. Every story I've ever written involves relationships-- anything from friendships to siblingships to crushes. Even last year in creative writing class, Dr. Mackall asked for my opinion on a piece we were workshopping by saying: "What do you think, Ariel? You're very relationship-oriented in your writing..." I was like "I am??" So yeah. Definitely experience spirit through people the most. Although a particularly beautiful nature scene or sunset will do it for me also. This answer is so long. Dang.
I don't know if this answer fits the question completely, but I started seeing a hypnotherapist this year, to help with my weight loss. I find that I like doing this because it is very similar to guided meditation and I am seeing some results after trying so many methods of weight loss. What fascinates me about this is that I am learning to visualize the results I want and put some enthusiasm into it as well. And if this works, I can focus on anything else I have dreams and goals for and that should bring a similar result too. Another thing I've been doing more this year to help with my spirituality (I am always seeking more for myself to expand spiritually) is to really learn how to love myself and also know that when we go through difficult times it is really just a growth period and that things will always get better. As a result of loving myself, I won't accept toxic relationships and I've been seeing lots of people in my life fall by the wayside because I believe it is due to my spiritual growth and love for God and finally love for myself. I know that I'm getting to a higher vibrational level. I'm seeing that new, positive, good people are coming into my life.
I don't know if I have, and I think that may be part of what has been a struggle this year. With separation, divorce, injury, illness, new relationships, questioning the relationship, I've felt as though the entire year has been a whirlwind with absolutely no time for rest, respite, reflection, or spirituality. No quiet time in a year. I have enjoyed my recent foray into mindfulness meditation for the second time, and I'm hoping it sticks in a way it didn't the first time, that I continue to engage in mindfulness after the course is over. I went to a new age type church for one session, and was struck once again by how I just cannot take those services seriously. I lit Chanukah candles and ate apples and honey for the first time in many years and felt a sense of recognition for how comforting and like home those ceremonies felt. Even in nature, where I can feel a sense of wonder, or even in a theatre, where I can feel a sense of connection to humanity, these experiences felt broken this year.
No. The closest to a spiritual experience would be visiting where my Grandmother grew up in Ireland. We visited the small town of Dromore West in County Sligo and I took dirt from where she used to live. I got to see the cemetery she walked past and even visited a pub that she never ever would have gone in.
I recently witnessed some spectacular architecture which was good for spirit, also some great music has come out.
Getting married was very emotional. Again like last year I wouldn't call it "spiritual" but it wa moving and something was different about the day. I actually felt different and like I was doing something significant with my life. I looked good, felt good, and felt on, it was a strange feeling. Maya looked really beautiful and I was after initially being so nervous actually calm and relaxed afterwards. It was a huge growth point in my life and I feel like I've crossed some adult divide now.
When Fr. John died he had the most beautiful funeral ever! What a blessing it was!
no. and I think my answer last year was the same. Which makes me wonder if i'm just a shallow person. but i'm not. i think.
Honestly, no. I have always had an incredibly difficult time feeling anything spiritual. Even at a young age, religion and spirituality never clicked with me. It's very unfortunate, because a lot of times I crave a spiritual experience. It just doesn't happen for me.
No spiritual experience. I drift farther and farther from the notion of God. I do find beauty and peace in nature and the magnitude of all that is. I think I'm going to look into the teaching gs of Budda.
Have been reading a wonderful book called The Artists Rule by Christine Paintner. It is a reminder and an inspiration to include the spiritual aspects of our lives in our artwork. After reading a chapter I find myself spontaneously creating a poem, creating a collage or drawing and writing. It has brought our artists book group closer together as we share our experiences one chapter a month.
JUST CYCLING......IN COLORADO
I quit the choir when I started working, but it was a siritual experienc every time. It changed my mood, lifted my spirits, made me happy every time. I realized I must sing more. It is vital. Not trivial. Like walking. Like eating. Like breathing. It is connected with the greater good. It was very interesting to have a holy experience on stage, and then view the recording, not well mic'd, and seem so lame. Yet, the audience always enjoyed, so I am sure group singing, not so much solo ing, is what I will be sure to include as I re arrange my life to be by the sea......we will find our buyer.
I think the most spiritual experience I've had this year is realizing how much damage religion has done and continues to do to people's empathy, compassion, and just plain old common decency. Religion so often blinds people to reason and progress. My eyes have become open to how many deep and profound problems religions causes. Many times I have thought of the John Lennon lyric referencing imagining a world without religion. As for spirituality, if there is any of that, for me it's all found in nature - animals, the serenity and stillness of trees, people (sometimes), quietness. I find myself still wanting to pray for my loved ones' health and safety, but I know that's a craps shoot. It just makes me feel better or is still a reflex.
Not really. I am not particularly religious and the past few years of trials nad tribulations in the world caused by religion have made me more jaded. I am amazed by people who have faith, but disheartened that they are often blind to others' beliefs.
I continue to be an old Jew, filled with nostalgia for my grandparents' shtetl Judaism and my childhood in Brooklyn. At the same time, I feel lost without a Jewish spiritual community in my today life. Why saves me are the few spiritual friends I have--the ones who walk the path of not knowing and of doing good in the face of everything.
Of the several compassionate and caring conversations I have had in the past year (I call and experience such as spiritual -- deeply connected -- as though in an I-Thou" presence) perhaps the most touching for me was a retreat my wife and I offered with our two daughters -- both have become healers in their own professional way-- We've never done anything close to the likes of this before but we fit so seamlessly and beautifully ---each of the four of us offering our particular gifts into the circle of the whole gathering -- the connectedness we experienced to each other, the expression of our love that I find in the connectedness was new and beautiful and sacred. It brings tears of gratitude to my heart.
In December I played Undertale, which I thought was an incredible game. It made me feel profoundly sad, amused, & thoughtful all at once during its finale. Some of the music can take me to that spot immediately. I also experienced feeling truly suicidal for the first time. While I don't think this is a positive or spiritual experience, obviously, it was adjacent to that feeling, somehow. Depression makes one feel pretty detached, so losing your life seems inconsequential. I wouldn't recommend it, but coming back from feeling like that feels amazing, like you cheated death or something. It also makes you appreciate life more (at least in my case).
Last Christmas, we attended Vespers at Millikin University. It was absolutely amazing. The vocal ensembles were astounding. The blend and acoustics in the auditorium were incredible. I can't say enough about it. And to raise our voices with those choirs while singing Christmas carols was an exceptional opportunity. But the most exceptional part of the event was that Prentice attended along with both of our daughters. We felt like a family again. It was beautiful. We were all together, at a cultural event, listening to beautiful music. I am grateful for the opportunity.
This may sound strange but I would say that being able to make love with a new man after my divorce this year has been deeply spiritual. I am now with a Jewish man and we are both conscious of the mitzvah of making love on Shabbat. The closeness, intimacy, acceptance and joy that come from love-making that includes deep sexual and deep love feelings are, for me, spiritual.
My trip to Africa was a spiritual experience. Seeing the variety of life on our planet, so close up and in their natural habitat, gave me a new appreciation -- of everything.
I had a vision of my own death during a yoga class. I've only told my son. He occasionally dreams small scenes that later really happen, and so he was understanding of how deep that moment went for me. It was an experience of dying that filled me with gratitude and intense love, closure and care. There was a peace to it that I've rarely experienced with death, and it brought me to quiet tears.
The Wild Goose Festival is always an inspiring and uplifting spiritual/cultural/fellowship experience
I finally started painting again. Sort of. They're all wedding gifts, and they still feel like "work," but I'm working on making more time to do those thing. Speaking of, I started reading again - a lot - in the last year. I'm loving getting into certain books to the point where I just want to keep reading and see what happens. I look forward to my commute so I can see what comes next. It's not "spiritual," but it's "me" time and I love it.
I've really gotten into Transcendental Meditation and Crystals. I lost my faith in a God existing last year, or at least a God that knows I exist. I've had too many horrible moments in my life for a benevolent God to exist and I'd rather think that there isn't one than one who despises me. Who knows, maybe in another life I was pure evil -- or maybe I am pure evil now and God is fighting me, but I'm just so far removed from it that I don't know I'm pure evil.
Maybe the biggest "spiritual" experience I've had this year is experiencing the shift of energy I get when my friend Jeannie works on me in massage. It really feels like I'm getting an energy tune-up -- I feel like toxicity is leaving me in a way that I have trouble achieving on my own sometimes. I don't know that this is a scientific "energy" thing really, or just the relaxation and mindfulness of her work, but it is so valuable!
NFTY Winter Conclave. There had been a number of teen suicides in the community this past year, and this was the first teen event after those losses. Everyone was really on edge- how would the teens react, will people still allow themselves to have fun in the wake of these deaths. And it really was incredible. Teens had their space to mourn and process, and then at song session that night it was such a celebration. The teens went all out and had an incredible time, there was so much spirit in honor of their friends. It was incredible to see so much joy in a time of so much loss, and is something I want to take with me into future hard times. This really affirmed why I do what I do and the power of Jewish communities.
My second pregnancy started on Valentine's Day, I found out I was pregnant on Ash Wednesday, We lost the baby over Easter weekend, and my checkup to make sure all had healed correctly was on April Fool's Day. If that isn't a spiritual experience, I don't know what is. Loosing a baby was one of the hardest things thst has happened to me, but because of the timing of all of it I feel this pregnancy was a gift of God. Meant to teach me that life is so beautiful and to remind me of what I want.
I joined a red tent group and our meetings are so spiritual. The friendships I'm creating with women have openened me up. Additionally my ladies trip to Costs Rica had spiritual elements. 15 women giving off positivity is very powerful. I find myself walking through my fears of the unknown future and my retirement and into a space of living in the now and expecting the best.
Burning Man was spiritual. I returned at the end of a 5 year break, expecting not to get as much from it as I had my first seven burns, but it was one of my most profound and deeply affecting. I realized that I go there to do the work I most need to do - in this case, look at my need to be partnered, who I am and who I love. I connected with the sadness I feel as my marriage breaks down. Aided by entheogens, friends and a counsellor at the Zendo Project, I moved with and through my feelings, expressing and releasing. That work has helped me to process and move forwards with more lightness and integrity since Burning Man. I also wandered into an amazing sound healing ceremony at Red Lightning. Jade Fusco (I learned her name later) bathed us in her voice and chanting. I believe some of her words were: "We know what we are. We know what we are here to do. We are here to release our fears. Speak truth from the heart and you will be free." Those words have stayed with me since. The whole experience clarified who I am and what I am most drawn to, the kind of work that is most important to me. I have also started a meditation practice again, just 15 minutes every weekday morning before getting out of bed.
For awhile, I stayed away from religion. My parents both raised me to be Catholic, but after learning more about life and the religion, I decided to keep my distance from it. This year, I learned spirituality. I was always interested in it especially because I learned about the Native Americans and my Mixtec ancestors. I started reading more about it and I love it. I've tried to explain to my parents that I decided to be more spiritual and refuse to follow a religion that colonized our country and wiped out our people. It is a work in progress, but I feel more at ease.
Coming out as gender queer and pansexual has opened up my way of being in the world. More freedom, more artistic expression etc.
I have felt a lot more spiritual this past year than I ever really have before. Going to services frequently for the first time, I often feel spiritual at certain points: the meditative silent prayer, or the singing parts at the beginning. I also think what I'm feeling at those long Shabbat/Holiday meals is a kind of spiritualness: eating and drinking to satiation, being with friends, forgetting about time and the outside world, laughing a lot. It's hard to leave. In particular, I think about the time it was very late and we all got drunk at MH and were singing Y'sm'chu in a super rowdy way. Whenever we got to that one part we just yelled SHOMREI SHOMREI SHOMREI! I would love to have more of those moments in my life.
First of all, I don't think "spiritual" can be broadly defined and include artistic and cultural experiences. IMO, a "spiritual" experience is one that inspires a feeling that existence goes beyond this life, an otherworldly feeling, if you will. I can't say that I've had a definitively otherworldly experience this year except to say that I have felt my partner and I are meant to be together and that I have felt more connected to my family and our ancestral home than ever--each year this feeling strengthens. That said, I still feel confused about the incongruous pain and suffering in the world--but I suppose that it exists in equal parts and in balance with the beauty and goodness, like yin and yang.
I have experienced a sense of peacefulness and calm this past summer when I visited Switzerland. I felt it particularly when I was on a scenic train through the mountains and countryside. It was calm and beautiful and at one point- there was a magnificent rainbow through the clouds over lake Geneva.
I've had so many... wow. Lately I've been having them outside of ESP. I have them reading books and becoming more conscious of myself. I'm having one now reading The Untethered Soul. I love it so much. I had one today listening to Allie talk to Victor about the point of his life... although at this second I don't remember what it was :/ I feel like I have spiritual experience after spiritual experience! Awareness and Consiousness is so amazing I love it :) P.S. talked to Gwen yesterday and that was amazing, it was 9 years ago almost to the day So amazing, I chatted with Gwen and it was so nice, I'm so happy we have that I think it's really special and everything that happened since is a part of that. And helped shape me to become the man I am today :)
Very recently I've decided to take a break from auditioning. I'm still taking acting class, but my anxiety about money had become so large that I knew something needed to change. And my nanny day job was no longer as fulfilling. I felt disconnected from young people my age and lost. I'm temping while looking for a full time job now. It's terrifying and I'm afraid I'm losing my passion. But in order to find more peace, I need to make a change. If my passion is there, which I believe it is as I never want to stop class and the craft, it will continue on. I have to do what's best for my mind, body, and soul though. Sometimes taking a step back from your true love is necessary-- or so I keep telling myself. The only way to find out is to make a change and have faith in the idea that it's my life and I can choose where I take it. It's a leap of faith. It's terrifying and it's not easy, but I think it will be worth it.
I think my most spiritual experiences this year have involved watching and listening to my children discover the world. Hearing my son's questions, my daughter's first words, both of their laughter... Watching their faces as they learn new things and uncover something that's "old" to me but new to them.
I've become aware of how much I miss religious ritual. There is no doubt that I was happier when I went to church regularly. My son's treatment at the local Catholic school really soured me on that place. He was, at best, ignored -- often ridiculed, even by the teacher. We should have known his teacher was lousy when, in a private meeting, she referred to another student- one we liked- as a "hot mess. " I had been burned by this same church, years earlier- when a very young priest, subbing for the pastor, warned in his homily that we were in grave sin if we didn't do all we could to prevent homosexuals from adopting children. I never went back, I managed to right my ship after that, but the actions of the school years later really drove me away. My godfather is a fabulous priest, and he says Mass on Sunday nights - which is the loneliest night of my week. I am committing myself to giving Catholicism another chance. I know that I have much to give back.
My most "spiritual" experience in the past year was very physical. Late in the evening on the day I received my cancer news, I had told my writing circle, I had talked to my brother and sister-in-law, and now it was time to go to bed. I stood in the bathroom and found myself crying a bit. Then, without thinking about it, I began laying my hands all over my belly and hips and commanding, "Be healed in Jesus' name. Be healed in Jesus' name." I was as surprised as anybody might have been. I had never done this before. My prayers for healing for other people had always been in the form of requests, not commands. The picture I had seen of the lesion from the first colonoscopy had been rather grim and ominous. The "live action" images from my awake sigmoidoscopy in the surgeon's office looked a lot less threatening. When the results came back after surgery, my surgeon called me immediately. "It barely qualified as Stage 1" she declared. "I had to tell you right away." This was a wonderful part of the feeling I had throughout the experience -- being carried. Held in love, surrounded by love. Easy. When I returned to my writing circle after recovery, I wrote a piece called, "I'm Still Here." I want my near miss experience to make me braver for whatever may challenge me in the future. This precious life has been given to me -- and re-given to me -- for a purpose. I want to fulfill every plan God has made for me.
We were in Bhutan when we heard the news that there had been an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In the temple of a monastery outside of the town of Wangdue we light butter candles -- meant to increase wisdom in the world (clearly needed), to search for enlightenment, and to improve karma. Not our religion, but useful in helping us to overcome our anger, fear, and disgust at the terrible art.
I'm sure I have, but I can't think of anything. I have been very focused on operational matters the past year - work, family. I have almost intentionally not let myself feel things, or just sit back and enjoy or appreciate things. I've been pressing to make things happen. And its exhausting. I need to recognize the spiritual moments. I need to take some time to have that part of my brain re-filled. I need to go to more museums, or go to synagogue every now and then, or just look around and not always think about how what I experience will address some specific need.
I found cheryl strayed's tiny beautiful things and it has exploded my world into beauty. I have always been a student of human behavior and so interested in why people do what they do and how they relate to wach other. I have always been a giant open heart loving all the world and eager to love more. I want to read a book that breaks my heart and mends it and moves me to grow and share and be a better person. This is that book. I work at a bookstore and i began handselling the book after reading it. Folks would come up to me in tears after i recommended it to thank me for bringing that book into their lives. Finding love and hope a d connection and understanding IS a spiritual experience for me. The sacred bright spark of love and generosity in this book has changed me profoundly. The raw intensity of it will live inside me forever and has made me a better person.
Oddly enough I had one just last night: I dreamed that I was conducting a Pagan ritual at a large event, in a spacious booth with many of my friends in attendance. In the next booth was Gary Johnson, whose name I probably won't remember next year, and his campaign staff. They were very loud and wanted to talk over us, but I started the ritual and by the time I was done they were gone.
Traveling to Peru
Another question that makes me wonder what kind of person I am - I can't think of anything at all - I have felt proud of my children but that is it.
Spending some quiet time each week reflecting on things. I am striving to be less confrontational, less angry and more open to seeing others points of view.
Ive chosed to do a lot of my prayer through my art. I've begun to work more on wire lace as well as champleve in glass with enamel.
I decided to try to get back into my creative mindset, but it's hard because I get very focused on work. I also spent a lot of time this past year reading and learning about chaos magic. It really fits in with how I already see the world, how I see things on good days when I see the world the way I want to see it.
Sharing music with the choir at my synagogue often leads to intense spiritual moments. Additionally, I had quite an intense moment while visiting Israel this year - unexpectedly being brought to tears while visiting the Kotel, as well as a few other times during the trip while surrounded by dear friends.
My latest spiritual experience is regarding both my son and daughter. I have prayed for my son to reach his bottom so that he could turn his life around. For today things are exceeding my prayers. My daughter also, as for today she is planning to get married in September of next year. This all has to be divine intervention and prayer. I am a member of Alanon and live a spiritual life. I never take things for granted and grateful for each day, moment. Things all happen for a reason.
I've had some deeply spiritual experiences in the past, but I don't think I've even been open to allowing those kinds of experiences to come to me recently.
During the wedding reception of my cousin's daughter (Sam & Taylor) there was a moment that brought the entire family to tears. With Mom's recent passing, we were all missing her that June day. The D.J. had all the married couples come out onto the floor. There sad my Dad, as Mom was not there to dance with. My shyest daughter, Annie walked over and asked her grandpa to dance. It was the most beautiful thing, as I looked over and watched them as they shared the floor with all the married couples, I was filled with pride and joy at the same time. Afterwards, Annie came up to me and said, Mom, I don't know how to tell you this, but I was not dancing with Grandpa.I was floating above the dance floor watching Grandma & Grandpa dancing. It was a spiritual experience shared by the whole family. Love you, Mom for showing us you are still with us. <3
each day brings something new and I have tried to be aware of this. To find the beauty is a sunset to see God in the smiling face of a child. To laugh to cry to just be still and welcome what ever God sends my way that is what I am trying to learn and that is the spiritual quest I have set myself this year. Some times I achieve this and sometimes I fall short but for me the important thing is that I am trying
Yes. I've gained a greater awareness into my self through a deeper connection to the outdoors. My trip through the Patagonia really taught me the adventurous spirit and finding purpose and awe in discomfort. I truly saw the entire trip as a miracle, and the uncertainty was a gift. I am deeply trying to channel such motivation and awe now in my daily life-- seeing everything as a miracle, accepting each step as part of my own journey, feeling fortunate that it is mine and embracing it for change will happen. I'm learning that the secrets are the moments and my presence. In the same way that we are distracted and discontent when our thoughts are scattered and distant from the present moment, my happiness is dependent on not longing to be in another place, or in another person's story. I hope I can detach from the attractiveness of the other. I think I'm slowly building up strength in discomfort and love. I hope it's setting me up to step into something I really believe in and trust. I imagine we're often in a dance from the unfamiliar to the familiar, discomfort to comfort, darkness to light. The trust is what helps us move from one to the other despite fear.
You know, I wondered last year if my trip to Iceland would lead to any experiences that meet this criteria and I suppose it did. I had a wonderful dinner with great friends in a beautiful cabin in the Icelandic countryside and then got engaged (a total surprise!) and then celebrated by sitting in a geothermal hot tub watching the Northern Lights. That's my brand of spiritual, I suppose. It was a pretty magical evening. Spending this last week looking out at the sunsets over Lisbon was pretty magical as well. And finishing that half marathon, actually, in its way.
Getting my yoga certification helped me find a way to engage with my spirituality every day. I didn't start yoga for that. But it got me through my first year of teaching and really pushed me towards self acceptance. It also has helped me cope with the deaths in our family this year and care for myself.
My spirituality has broadened over the last little bit. I have been taking some theology classes for nursing school and have been learning what theology is. The meaning, the ideas, the history, etc. On top of that, I have been going to church at a non denominational church (which for growing up Lutheran is like a slap in the face) I have really enjoyed. The nondenominational church is really easy to understandbeciase they take the time to explain the books of the Bible and talk about the people in it like actual people. This makes thing easier to understand and more relatable. I have been praying more and using God in my life as a friend to rely on. Everyone needs a friend they can trust.
Something about the way my husband's grandmother died revealed a lot of what it means to be a part of a family, and how to die with dignity. I don't think that quiet strength that she showed as she took her last breaths could be any more peaceful. Though I didn't see her die, I saw her fade, and she was loved throughout. It throws life into perspective, and I can only wish that my own passing will be as uneventful.
Participating in the Power of Awareness course and Meditation through a Jewish Lens affected me greatly. They both had a meditative, spiritual basis. They got me to meditate daily, reflect, feel kinder and gentler. Doing both courses with ike was really great and I enjoyed sharing with him and feeling his presence. Being quiet, listening were very spiritual experiences.
As silly as it sounds, rereading and rewatching the Harry Potter series was a spiritual experience for me. I had a bit of a rough time over the summer- Ben was across the country and I was stuck at home with essentially no friends and only a distant sort of relationship with my family. Going through Harry Potter again helped me to remember who I am and what I love. I was able to have something that was only mine and spend time reconnecting with myself through the series. It allowed me the space to be me, which helped me feel less alone.
Taking care of my dying grandma was spiritual in a way. Sad but definitely made me realize there is a transition between this life and the next.
Yes, realization that what I love has to do w/ kids, sports, health. This moments of 'spirituality' come at times when I am in the zone and happy -- working out, listening to music -- mind is FREE to let all these thoughts come together :)
I am not usually inclined to think of things as spiritual since I tend to be more analytical in nature. That said, there were two moments this past year that struck me on a spiritual level. First, one I have noted several times in these questions, baby Noa's birth. It was truly miraculous to give life to another human being. Second, was a hiking trip I took with my family. I have always loved being in the woods and backpacking. It's a place a feel at home and being able to share that connection with Noa was amazing!
Going to Israel with my (non-Jewish) husband forced me to confront real, essential differences between our spiritualities-- between the ways that we connect our pasts to our present and the way we find emotion and meaning in the world. It made me recognize the difference between loving/appreciating another person and really understanding them, tapping into the most basic beliefs and feelings they have, and to be okay with the fact that there are some things that only certain people in my life-- or even that only I-- will ever be able to *really* understand.
I meditate, pray, and read scripture daily. I am part of intercessory prayer at my church. Based on this, I believe my prayers are more focused and expressive, not repetitive or rote. So perhaps I am communicating better. I count this as spiritual growth.
Simple answer is no . But having my dad turn 99 made me think if things in a way that i probably never would gave otherwise
I'm not a particularly spiritual person. I'm not good at reflecting and noticing a big moment soon after it happens. I do have a few smaller moments that stand out in my year as particularly nice. 1. Seeing my mom in the Philippines airport for the first time in 7 months. 2. Singing the Shema/Hashkeveinu in Costa Rica for the first time in the rural community we stayed in. It was pitch black and the only thing to hear was the kids voices singing. 2. Swinging in a hammock near the beach during a downpour during that same Costa Rica trip. 3. Being excited while traveling alone in Vietnam on my own for the first time. 4. Crushing the UMC experience with Hilly. 5. Saying "I love you" for the first time on an island in southern Thailand.
Not as much as I might have hoped! The most spiritual moments of this year have come around dinner tables and dance floors full of friends, alternatively raucous with laughter and thoughtful in reflection. I am definitely most myself in community, meshed in a web of folks who love each other and keep each other honest, and the moments when that has played out this year have been few and far between-- but gorgeous nonetheless.
Kari's conversion, Katherine's continued involvement in Judaism, and Jillian's desire to study in Israel and her awakening had helped me to focus on what I want. Having opportunities to study and share at TBS and other places has helped me to continue to search for answers, but also to realize it is about the search not about finding the answers.
Music is where I find G-d. Whenever I hear our cantor sing, whenever I master a new melody for an old prayer, whenever I hear the congregation praying in harmony, I experience something beyond myself, which is, I think, G-d. And how lucky for me that I get to experience it every time I attend shabbat services (daily minyan is a little more grating on the ear).
Attending Shabbat in the park really made me feel connected to the community and to the spiritual world which I thought I had lost. For me, reconnecting after Richard's death is so important.
I became a member at my new synagogue and have gotten more out of the children's service that I thought I ever would
I worked w a prosperity coach this year. This shifted my energy big time! Allowed me to focus forward and create. Significant shifts in my attitude and income
I became intensely aware of my own mortality and the fact that I only get this one life to live. Am I living it?
The weekend prior to our mediation we decided to go to church. Neither of us knew the other guy was thinking about it, so when we both mentioned it: we decided to go. I was emotional during the service. I'm not sure how to process it. But I will think on that for a while.
I remember looking at the sky down at the ocean. It was a clear night the amount of stars were visible was unbelievable. I remember thinking about the relative smallness of the world and how big the universes. One has to wonder if there are other beings somewhat like us somewhere else with their lives might be like. Most of us have a particular frame of reference that is accepting and reflective about ourselves and others. Maybe the others that almost certainly exist elsewhere like us, maybe not. I would hope that there are truly some universals that certainly are pervasive through our many cultures and societies that we have on earth. There are also many very difficult belief systems. Just as they are in our world of minority, one would hope they be minority in other worlds.
I found myself again.
As far as Judaism and spirituality go, I still haven't forgotten watching Matt Skurnick crying at the Western Wall, and when I asked why, he didn't have a clear explanation but I felt very connected to him then, in our sort of silence, and the communal experience of being there. I also just had a wonderful experience being in Maine with Eric and sitting by the Nubble Lighthouse, watching the water go in and out. I went into a new sort of calm and focused on nothing else but how I felt being there. I think "being there" moments in general are very "spiritual" for me (this word is hard to define).
A friend whom I felt very close to, despite having had only a few conversations with, passed away in January. Attending his service, a large mixed Sufi and Jewish service in the synagogue that I used to consider my spiritual home, was incredibly moving. It gave me a vision that I see as my new metaphor for the self and the divine. I saw a bowl of water sitting on a table in the hallway of the shul, with sunlight filtering in through the old window, landing in the bowl and reflecting on the ceiling. I imagined the divine reality to be the sun, the appearance of the light through the window to be what we can perceive of it, the light as it falls on the water in the bowl to be the self as we experience it, and the light as it reflects on the ceiling from the bowl to be one's self as others can perceive it. The divine reality is distorted each time. More recently, a friend formalized his commitment as a lay Zen practitioner, and I got to bear witness. It was very inspiring. That's enough spiritual experience for me for awhile; I'm taking it low-key with religion these days. I'd like to do a bit more mindfulness practice on a daily basis, but I don't feel the need to practice in a group right now.
I was blessed to be shown a beautiful hummingbird in its nest by a neighbor I hadn't yet met. I continued to visit the hummingbird over the next couple weeks to photograph her and in hopes to see the babies hatch before I left for CA. They indeed hatched and I was blessed to get a beautiful image of the mama bird (who we named Aerial) feeding her two young. Linda and I had made a plan to meet again on Monday to visit Aerial but on Sunday, between church and holy yoga, I lay down for a few minutes. This is when I loudly heard the word in all capitals "HUMMINGBIRD" in my mind! But I didn't have time to go see Aerial that day since I promised Laurie I would be at yoga and I had some errands to run afterward. Well, at yoga, it continued to bother me so I ditched my errands and came home after yoga, in a hurry, grabbed my photo equipment and this time, drove down to the spot on the trail to more quickly access the nest. I stood on the ladder in the grey weather for a half hour and she never showed. Then the sun came out and cooked me for the next half hour. It was odd that she hadn't been around for a full hour and I couldn't see inside the nest to see if the babies were still there. That night I looked up how often a mama hummingbird needed to feed its young and it said every 15-45 minutes. I started to be concerned. I texted Linda who didn't respond that night. But in the morning, she responded that she had gone by in the morning and the afternoon on Sunday and had also not seen Aerial. I called the neighbor and he confirmed my suspicions. I can't explain the sadness I felt. I went down there on Monday to confirm and really try to see into the nest and at this point it was raining and thundering and my soul felt crushed. Why had I heard "HUMMINGBIRD"? While I was there, I saw two baby ducks which I have never seen prior here nor since, which seemed to be a compassionate gesture from God. It took me a week or more of prayer to realize that God saw whatever happened to the hummingbirds and cared enough to alert me. I had been concerned that I could have done something to help if I had responded sooner, but I think the point was that God sees all even the smallest of His creation and He cares. This scripture has taken on new depth and realness for me since... "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care." Matthew 10:29
My trip to Japan in the spring of 2016 was a spiritual experience. I was on my own in a foreign country where I didn't speak the language. I knew my relationship with my ex boyfriend was over, but I didn't yet know what that would mean. I had wanted to go to Japan for such a long time, and I was worried I had hyped it too much. But I hadn't. Somehow, Japan managed to exceed even my high expectations. I turned 31 years old there, and I will forever remember eating fresh sushi at the fish market in Tokyo at 6am on my 31st birthday. And for the rest of my life I'll remember what it felt like to ride a bike through rows of cherry blossoms trees at dusk in a suburb of Tokyo. The entire trip was beautiful and sad (fleeting - both my time there and the cherry blossoms themselves) and wonderful. It was a difficult time in my life, but it was also one of the most magical trips I've ever taken. I never knew that magic could happen in the midst of sorrow.
In Sedona again. I took my brother's (and also my father's before him) wedding ring and left it on the altar at the Buddhist Peace Park. It was the most healing and holy place I could leave it. I'm not sure that it felt cursed, but two men died way too young with it and I knew I didn't want to keep it. I have trouble letting go of things, so while moving, I didn't have any breakthroughs that day. I've also struggled with the concept of an afterlife and if my brother is actually somewhere where he is at peace, I would want that more than anything, and hope it's true, but I'm not sure.
I went for a trail run at Snow Mountain Ranch in Colorado. As I was coming down a slope near the end of the run, I entered a valley that was so beautiful it took me out of myself and reminded me why I love solitude, nature and moving my body through both. The grass was so green, the air was so fresh and I felt so alive with my mud-caked legs and tired lungs.
Some of the greatest joys this year have been seeing the Spirit move in times of prayer. For my father as he was dying, in church ministry times, and as the community unites to pray for our lead pastor facing cancer. Prayer changes things!
Writing songs has been my number-one spiritual experience this year, as well as building confidence in the songs I had already written before this year. Writing songs has been a huge release of creative energy and a huge source of self-confidence. I've come to realize that yes, I can do this - I can create something that comes from a deep place within myself that others can appreciate. I can set an intention to make an artistic statement, and then actually express something that comes from that place. I don't have to sit and watch other people do it and think, "I wish..." Enough wishing, and enough wanting, and enough trying to be something. I am the very being that I have always wanted and hoped to be.
I found a higher power just last September, and I've been investing in it and growing it ever since. It's been amazing as an atheist to be able to find a HP that speaks to me, that I can use to "let go and let god" as I need. I have made huge strides in my personal life as a result of giving my life over to the care of god, something I never thought possible. And the more I meditate, get in touch with my HP, the better off I am. I accept things so much easier this way. I detach so much easier. I live so much easier this way. Gratitude comes so much more often as a result. I can't express all of the benefits I've experienced by simply giving my life over to the care of god as I understand it.
Traveling by myself for an extended time without talking too much de-fogged my mind. Lots of insights popped up. Distance to my family helped this process too. I felt less society's opinion. My own thinking became louder. Repetitive work like fruit picking helped with clear thinking. I was able to pick up issues from my time in C.R. and bring them closer to closure.
I had many intense cultural experiences while in Europe, and they were different depending on the country I was in, but I will group them all generally together. This experience has removed the fear of language barrier from me. It also made me realize how small and insignificant I am in the world. There are all of these people having these unique cultural experiences all over the world, and my life and cultural background has no impact on them at all. This was simultaneously illuminating and on some level depressing. My takeaway from this is that my problems are also small, insignificant, and by no means unique. It has made me realize I am just an average person.
Worship at Antioch has become a continual experience in spiritual challenge. I love connecting with God, and on the days its ON I love the experience. I'm not sure what causes my heart to feel OFF some days, but it is becoming an unsettling feeling. I think wanting to connect with God and not feeling his pressence is frustrating. But, on the on days, I feel so refreshed, invigorated and challenged by how I've been touched or moved. I wish it could be an everyday thing for me.
I have to be honest and say I don't remember most of this year. Between being suicidal and having ECT my memory is a wash. I will say, however, that currently, the Bethesda Bible Study Group is very spiritual for me. The women there and they commitment to their faith is amazing. I find them all so positive and inspirational. We are reading "Feverent" and it is really helping me to get back into praying. And more importantly, helping me to not be afraid to ask G-d for things. Or at least not blame myself when things don't work out the way I had hoped. And what I mean by saying that is to not blame myself for not being good enough, or smart enough, or fit enough, or enough of anything. Things don't work out because G-d has something better in store for me. I am worth all the good stuff. And G-d knows that and will make sure that I get it all in the right time.
I have noticed that some of my clergy team have shared their sermons with the congregation that have really moved me. It was almost as if they knew I was hurting or in pain, and their message to me was: it's all right.
The spiritual experience I had was about four years ago when I was praying for a wife. Actually I had a relationship and the girl left after some pressures against the relationship. I had a month long prayer with a priest who told me I would see some visions myself and I did saw things that latter played out exactly the way I saw it. In a short note my girl came back and we married. The experience changed my spiritual concept. I made my faith stronger and me more confidence in God everything I do. I can venture into things that people think impossible and most time come out successful.
I would say that I feel I have seen an unmasking of religious hypocrisy in my midst during this election year. Where people purport to operate with Christian values, which are largely the same as Jewish values -- James 1:27 says, "ure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world," and this is entirely in keeping with the prophet's ideas of how Ha-Shem sees things, I see "Christians" operating in a spirit of meanness, greed, and hatred. They honestly don't see how badly they are behaving. This hypocrisy has made me re-examine my own commitment to truth, to following the Lord's way of compassion, rather than the evil way of the self-righteous. I have examined myself in a manner that makes me want to be better to others, serve them more, to be a mitzvah to others whenever I see a need.
I went to see a play and at the end the audience was invited to remove their clothes and join a hippy body painting session after the show. It felt like a joke at first but it wasn't. It was real. Tom and I did it. We went backstage and removed our clothes in a clinical corridor and then entered this softly lit, warm and safe cave of cushions and alcoves. Everyone was naked and given a paint palette and a brush. It was sensual and spiritual but not overtly sexual. Everything was heightened. It was a special and beautiful experience and I felt moved after, overwhelmed by feelings and energy. I loved Rosh Hashanah this year. I felt I found my people, my Judaism. I felt at home, I felt I fit. That Judaism is not in Orthodoxy and it is not in my family's shul. It is in openness, learning, alternative ideas, grassroots. It is in the open air and under the blue sky.
I cannot imagine how it would be possible to not have spiritual experiences! The most powerful spiritual experiences I are humbling. I lost my physical ability, and had to re-imagine how to be me without them. I had to completely change my ideas about who I am at my core, and make my self-identity independent of my physicality. Ultimately, I found that I am more than my body, which is liberating.
Music always connects me to, well, everything. Comedy too. It's hard to put into words how much pain is so joyfully compressed into a show like Crashing. The music of Caro Emerald... It really brings into focus what matters.
Ha ha...some might say that I am a spiritual experience. So I will try to drift away from the more otherworldly stuff and focus on something less ethereal. A friend and I visited the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, which is a massive collection of instruments from around the world, along with great stories and videos about these various cultures. I find music to be very spiritual, as it is created from, impacts, and resides in the human soul. Wandering for hours and hours through this museum was a fantastic experience, feeling the rhythms and the melodies of life around the world, in different cultures and different times. Music connects us all, and I felt tremendously connected by submersing myself in it that day.
I feel God's presence from time to time, in my life. It makes me smile and lift my eyes up to the sky and say, "thanks".
Spiritual is not a word I am comfortable with. I have never been able to wrap my head around the concept but the closest I can imagine to it is the birth of children and grandchildren. I felt spiritually uplifted at bnai mitzvah and other special occasions in the family.
I have become "one" with the outdoors this year. I started hiking every weekend, and recently went on my first camping trip. It's eye-opening, how beautiful the world can be. I feel completely at peace when I'm outside exploring, and never stop looking for, and thinking about, my next adventure.
I was able to visit Auschwitz - something I have wanted to do since I was a child. I am not as skilled a writer as I need to be to convey what it meant. Capturing it words almost trivializes it. My guide said at the end of the tour, "Now you are part of how the world will never forget."
As before, nature is still my mantra. I do try to check on eclipses, Northern Lights, space craft landings and things sky and universe; but lack some of the better equipment to capture them past doing a sighting. I do want to get back to working on my art. The quiet and closeness of working on a project is a form of meditation to me, even when in a art workshop vs working at home. Cutting glass, arranging found items, encaustic, all bring me a solitary sense of exploration and free form thinking. My daily walks with dogs have spiritual moments when I am making up a poem in my head, writing a blog in my head and capturing the season on my cell.
I think finding a way to live with Chris's cancer diagnosis and hold onto hope for a good outcome had a spiritual component. We have been living with uncertainty about his prognosis for more than 9 months. We agreed to be aggressive in treatment and the only way to get through that ordeal was to focus on a good outcome. I meditated a lot on savoring every good moment we had, appreciating the small things, and accepting that we couldn't know or control the future. In the midst of all the difficulties, we also experienced a lot of happiness. I'll call that spiritual.
This summer, while I studied abroad, I visited Paris for a weekend. One night, I traveled alone via metro towards the Eiffel Tower to meet a friend who happened to be in Paris at the same time. While waiting for him, I stood in front of the Vel d'Hiv Memorial plaque, across the street from the metro. I said Mourner's Kaddish and reflected on the disappointment I felt towards the memorial and the memory of those who died. The French are building a small memorial park where the Velodrome d'Hiver used to be, and all that is currently there to memorialize the roundup is a small, difficult to find, plaque. The massive space that used to be the velodrome is now built up with modern style apartments, immediately across the street from the metro. There is an obvious distinction between the new apartments, built over the velodrome, and the old ones, which must have seen, heard, and smelled the tragedy that took place there. I was struck less by my grief towards the event, and more by my grief towards the ignorance of a tragedy. Paris covers up the Vel d'Hiv roundup and barely memorializes it. Moreover, they continue to experience antisemitism-which made me feel uncomfortable even just standing in front of a Jewish-related memorial. Standing there, I grieved for those whose lives have been forgotten and ignored, and the untold horrors that they experienced. I grieved because as I was standing in Paris grieving my ancestors, there are people around the world whose lives are forgotten and ignored, and their tragedies covered up. I will not stand for it. I refuse to stand by while people cover up horror and tragedy and try to place blame on victims long gone. My spiritual experience here was not towards by religion or community, but towards the world, and all those forgotten.
I have definitely re-engaged with my spirituality this year. I'm finding spiritual energy in many places - podcasts, plays, attending tea ceremonies, reading, music, talking with friends. I'm rediscovering that I have to attend to the spiritual and emotional room in my life's home as much as any other space. It feeds all of the other rooms - keeps me warm and comfortable and safe. But is also the source of many challenges and internal debates. The connection to the spiritual is critical to my wholeness as a human being living on this planet.
I admitted to a relapse after 7 years of sobriety, in doing so I came to be honest and found that I don't seem to live my life as honestly as I thought, and for no good reason other than its how I tended to operate. I am not going to say I cleaned that all up, but it woke me up to how being honest can set you free.
It surprised me to think back and say that there wasn't a moment that I would define as "spiritual" this year. It seems to have been a year of the practical and pragmatic for a change.
Being in Avodah really did solidify my Jewish identity for me. That is not to say that I totally understand it or know how I want Judaism to play a role in my adult life. But it showed me what a Jewish home could be, what it's like to live with Jews (other than my family), how SJ and Judaism can be (but are they?) connected. I learned about Jewish spaces that feel very meaningful. After the experience, I feel that Judaism is in everything I do. I don't totally have words for this feeling yet. It's not that I feel more Jewish, rather I am able to experience my Jewishness is new and more dynamic ways.
The births of two of our grandchildren were certainly spiritual experiences. However, believing and seeing our daughter survive her life threatening illness was deeply moving and inspirational.
The most spiritual experiences I've had this year were resuming my meditation practice, and that in turn came largely as a result of attending Beltane. Beltane renewed for me the connection of spirituality and sexuality, and also affirmed that it's okay if spirituality gets a little bit silly sometimes.
Usually for me, my "spiritual" experiences revolve around traveling and this year I've been blessed to travel a number of places but one place in particular gave me what I refer to as my history chills. My boyfriend and I were exploring Prague, which is a beautiful, old city, and we went to this alchemy lab. What was "spiritual" to me was not the place per se, but that we were in an old tunnel that had only been discovered within the last decade or so. That sense of awe when you're somewhere that looks close to the same as it did hundreds of years ago is a feeling that I love to experience and seek it out whenever I can!
Though I have no true spiritual experiences, I have come to realize a few basic truths. At this point in my life it is time to take stock of activities and commitments and jettison those that do not give me pleasure or fulfillment. I need to be a bit more selfish in not accepting behavior and impositions of others...including family members. I need to concentrate on my own goals, values, and expectations for myself, rather than the expectations of others. I need to please myself first. If that does not please others in my life, I might have to reassess the relationships. This is easier with acquaintances than close friends or family. I am calling this living with intention.
My sister died too soon of stomach cancer. I went to my temple and sat in meditation and felt something float over me and when I looked up I saw her smile.
Actually, I have spiritual experiences every day. It's called being alive.
Once again, I find this question insulting. Perhaps I'm unusual, but I find my entire life to be spiritual. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Many of us have lost sight of this in the busy-ness of our daily lives. For me, I see every action as a prayer. Showering, giving my dog an all-over massage as I sing the Modah Abi each morning, doing dishes, speaking with others. This is especially luscious as I turn my attention toward self-talk. I learn that by developing warm, supportive, loving self-talk, I can more easily extend compassion toward others ~ and the whole world. Simple, really.
The front yard garden. Spending time getting to know the plants, weeding, lolling on the grass, listening to the birds. Looking at the sky, being with the dogs. Pure bliss and my happiest moments. Nature is my temple and digging in the dirt is my prayer.
Saying "Final Goodbye" to the (dying) Minister of my 20's who kept me on the "straight and narrow"in thiose turbulent years. Standing so tall and erect opposite each other: Him: "Go well" Me: "Go well" Him: "I'll be waiting for you" Me: "We'll look different but we will know each other"
The most spiritual experience of the year occurred at the bedside of a very sick gentleman, in tremendous pain. Meds were on the way, there was nothing i could do, except offer my presence and prayers. Long minutes I prayed to the Shekhina for compassion and shelter, hoping to create a flowing circuit of both to surround this dying man. After a a bit, his body relaxed, the pain having passed briefly. He looked at me and understood what I had been trying to do, and thanked me.
I don't know if I would use the word "spiritual" but I've had some pretty transformative experiences. I was in an art show at the beginning of the year and I got a wonderful critique from Raven about my artwork. I learned a lot - they don't just blow up well, I have to take very particular steps to make sure they look good. And watching her and her artwork is absolutey inspiriting. There is nothing that she can't do and that makes me feel like there's nothing I can't do, too!
Just... trying to get in touch with myself, to improve my relationship with the skin I'm in. Fitness, mindfulness, reflection... these are my rituals. Changing my Hebrew name is another one worth reflecting on - skinny dipping in an outdoor pool in mid-winter, with three witnesses... it's never fun, but I think less so with trans body issues, even. It had a catharsis about it though
Trip to Europe....seeing the horrible past, the hate, the eveil, the loathing of a people for no reason....and then the group that we travelled with...trying to make sense of it all together, loving one another...
In Cuba, we went to the home / galley of an artist whose name I've already forgotten, who has been banned from government sponsored art galleries. He has a work of art that is often referred to as Cuba's Guerneca, because it is a giant canvass displaying a variety of scenes related to the Special Period (period especial) in which, post USSR-collapsing, Cuba lost 87% of the economic bolstering it had received from Russia. The painting depicts odd, otherworldly creatures struggling to survive, trying to find light in the darkness (there literally was no oil after Russia stopped shipping it to them), Cubans dying as they swam to America. The artist made the painting by night, using candlelight. It was incredibly powerful not only to see the painting itself, which was rich with symbolism, but also to recognize how little I hadn't known about Cuba prior to going there.
I had the realization that we are a crazy simulation in a random existence. There is no logic to why we exist and there is no independent conscious, we are all connected and linked, there are a few exceptional individuals, but really we all live and die without impact or influence. All we can do is make our individual existence as optimal as posible and make those who are directly in contact with us happier.
I have had the privilege of singing at bedside for hospice patients as part of the Threshold Choir. Every time I sing at bedside I find it to be a deeply spiritual experience. To pour out my heart to another's heart in a very direct, meaningful way cannot be described in words. One patient, in particular, was in a great deal of distress and the three of us sang to her as we watched her breathe slower and slower and relax into a deep calm sleep. We waited to cry in the hallway after we sang - this was such a moving experience!
Yes- at times I sense my grandmother is with me and it makes me feel connected to her. For example, while listening to prayers in temple for Rosh Hashana- I felt my grandma was with me
The most spiritual experience I have had this year (and I have had many) was probably teaching a very successful series of classes on the life and thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel. I first studied Heschel in the 1960s, after his English edition of "The Prophets" came out, and my father and I read and talked about the book together. So Heschel, for me, is always great on his own but also a constantly renewing spiritual connection with my father, z"l. The students in the class (adults, mostly at my shul) mostly had not read Heschel before, and they were amazed and uplifted by every word! We started by watching the wonderful musical interpretation of his poetry, "Every Word Has Power," which I found out about shortly before the series started from a friend who came across it on TV at midnight and asked me if I knew who "this guy Heschel" was! I ordered the DVD and the video, while controversial for some people in the group who didn't like the music, was very inspirational for many of us. Next we watched the famous and wonderful 1972 Carl Stern interview of Heschel. I went on to teach excerpts from "The Sabbath," "God in Search of Man," "The Prophets," "Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity," and "The Heavenly Torah," and I learned as much as I taught.
While the past year has been particularly eventfull, i can't say that there has been anything especially spiritual that I can recall
Yes. My husband and I started really trying to have a baby this year, and I got pregnant, but then had a miscarriage. A few months later, I had an opportunity to visit a sacred Chumash Indian birthing cave. There was a place to make an offering, and I brought tobacco to offer. I said thank you, and a little prayer and went on my way. That night, I had a dream where an old flame who is still constantly in my thoughts came to see me and basically released his hold on me. He made himself available in case I changed my mind, but I said no, and shut the door on him. The next morning I woke up and got my period. I felt real relief, and like it was a clean slate. Still waiting to see if my prayers will be answered!
I have had the opportunity to work with people while they are in need of support.
Being in the Mauritanian desert on a camel trek and gazing at the night sky with no light pollution.
I am stronger and stronger in my faith and I know that God has my back and protects me and watches over his child. I'm so grateful.
I met an 86 year old man at the bus-stop that I initially perceived as anti-Semitic but discovered his social awkwardness was due to loneliness. He had been raised Jewish but had not been to synagogue in 70 years since his father was alive. We invited him into our home for Shabbat dinner and brought him a plate of leftovers after our Rosh Hashanah dinner. We have developed a beautiful friendship rooted in tradition and spirituality.
Too many to enumerate. Life is one sensory-cosmic ecstasy after another! What a ride! To paraphrase Tasso, any moment not spent on savoring the complete rapture of Life is a moment wasted!
Usual answer - not that I can think of.
I haven't had a particularly spiritual experience. I have gone to a lot of weddings this past year, 7 to be exact. There is something magical about seeing people get married. Having found someone who will be there to help you shower if need, and won't judge if you're having a melt down about the inequalities of the world. I truly hope everyone I know finds a partner.
On boxing day I went up Loughrigg fell. It was cold and it was raining and it was an all round bad idea. I walked alone and the path had turned into a stream and my phone almost drowned (again) but I could feel that mountain pulling me. I could not stop until I reached the top no matter how cold I was or no matter how much I knew the view would not be worth it. The fell was calling at me, beckoning me. If I had ever paid any head to the legends of my ancestors I would know that this is how people disappear. By walking into the mist. By listening to the call. By following that pull in their heart. But I just kept walking and it was beautiful. It was so quiet up there. So calm. So pure. I must have been the only person on the fell at that point. I felt tiny and insignificant and clean. I felt like the fell would swallow me hole and it was a beautiful feeling.
Remember the time buying pearls for my daughters graduation and after we left the store on the radio in the car came on Glenn Miller's String of Pearls. My dads favorite song. It was either him or my mom letting me know they were with me that day. Many signs from my parents. The visit with the psychic medium with regards to them.
After years of therapy, coaching and other personal growth work, I finally freed my spirit this year! I am happier than I've ever been. I often smile while walking down the street, and I find more joy in the every day things. My experiences with good music, food, etc are richer. And most importantly, I feel free to express myself in all areas of my life, and continue to grow more expressive and thoughtful as my personal growth continues.
"Spiritual"? Not really although I have had several profoundly moving experiences in a more secular context. "Wicked" was spectacular, seeing Omran Daqneesh's picture (who resembles my son, and was not a pleasant experience), and hearing "Home By The Sea I and II" after my ex-wife passed away.
Yes, I reflect back on the day at The Wall and remember how physically, emotionally and spiritually moved I was. I have no idea why I was hysterical crying but it was just a rush of emotions. I had just written how I really want to create a calm respectful home and all my wishes were to be in better service of those around me. I felt pure and connected. This past year, I have had glimpses of "coincidences, lucky moments, happy accidents, or interventions" that I pause and thank God. I have intentionally channeled calming moments and checked my "reactions" before acting and chose better "responses" instead. While these are baby steps, I guess that's the only way to start running. I loved attending the AISH sesion when Nelli Cousins said something to the effect - "you don't have to live on top of the mountain - you just need to know what the view looks like and be drawn to visit more often" (my paraphrasing). That too is license to give up the perfectionistic - overwhelm and focus on the baby steps.
I went to a meditation retreat where I was reminded to stay present in the moment and letting go of the paat. And although it is easier said than done, I was encourage to continue on my search of inner peace. And that for me has made all the difference in my life this year.
I've had nothing truly spiritual happen this past year. I'm still searching to reconnect with the universe so everything can flow.
I went to the mikveh for the first time after my first miscarriage. I printed out a prayer and a poem to read and I think it helped. It wasn't the spiritual experience I'd have liked as it was a rushed day and the actual mikveh itself was a bit dingy and not in any way spiritual, but it felt important to go and helped bring me a sense of closure. I may do it again in a couple of weeks but I'm not sure if it will be the same in an orthodox mikveh and I'm not sure how I'll feel doing it a second time. If I'm being honest with myself maybe I hoped the first visit would act as a sort of good luck charm that would cleanse the past away and bless a future pregnancy, but that's not what happened.
Much of my spiritual experiences happen when I am at sea or in the forest. I feel so connected to self and to others on this planet and who have crossed over. I love spending time on 'Clearwater II' just being. Dad comes up as do others who I deeply care about. I also love spending time with Steve skiing in any forest - in particular Kolopore or Loree. Such an unbelievable energy! I also continue to be so totally affected by my clients. Who there are and want to be in the world. I am proud of their commitment to themselves. I am proud to witness each and every transformation.
Again ii am suprise from the first assosiasion that came to my mind when thinking about the question asked. So this te apperantly i refered to spiritual as dance. The movememt medicine workshop wss really a meaningful experience for me. I felt that i can so cinnect to myself when i am dancing. When i am in movment. Actually, i always did. I love dancing. This is why in all thiise tramce parties back then i use to feel so alive. So me. And so in the workshop i felt i am really going amd coming mire and more to myself. Somehiw mivement really makes me live myself. I feel very safe there. Safe also in the sense that i feel confident and comfterble with myself. It lower the volume of this inner judge of me that keep on judgimg me and how i am and how do i look amd so forth. Sometime it even totally shut it. And especially it was meaningul for me as i was so critical toward my body. (I think i should go dance now). I got connected to myself though bodily movement, dance, and there i was safe. That notion and recognituon was revolutionary for me. Having such unsafty and unsecured perception towards my body amd then... i felt good. Or maybe it wasnt even good. I just felt neutral. Coming back to a neutral space where body is not good nor bad. It just it. And i couldnt stop miving afterwards... :) I was dancing through i think for a week after. I guess that recognition didnt wanted to loos its momentom. Its movement.
I finally reconnected with my husband after a stressful year. We kissed the other day and it made me realize that, since having kids, our relationship has taken a real backseat. We need to make time for more kisses.
It is funny, the Rosh Hashanah service talks about the soul piercing quality of the Shofar. It is true, but I don't know why. The last sustained blast of the Shofar that morning is always one of the most profound and spiritual (a term I have defined as a scholar, it means feeling attached to something larger than the self) experiences of my year. The last one is the longest one, and there is something about that long, piercing blast that reminds me of all the generations of Jews that have heard that sound, that call to pay attention. That piercing feeling. It is an amazing feeling that I think it is at the core of Jewish spirituality, historically understood. Luckily it is also predictably repeated -- as long as one has a practiced Shofar player at hand.
I guess the most spiritual experience I've had would have to have been going to see the Redwood Trees in California. They were so majestic and breathtaking. Walking through the forest of giants was an experience I will never forget. I felt so small and in awe. I loved looking up at the tiny branches 270 feet up. What an incredible place. Did you know that they are fire resistant? They would have to be right to survive that long in California. When they do get burned sometimes little rooms open up in the trunk... So cool
The spiritual experiences I have had are the moments when I have been able to stop and just be in the moment, clear my mind, and let things flow. That does not happen often.
Music has had a strong spiritual effect on me this year in a variety of ways. That's included being featured on erev Rosh Hashana to lead Avinu Malkeinu, which truly was about my and the congregation's kavanah. Also the courage to perform more in karaoke and choir. And really listening to Ellen's magical music.
I think that, just in the past few months, I have slowly become more connected to my spirituality, and to a higher consciousness that transcends the superficial world that I've allowed myself to be entrenched in during the past few years. It's been rough going, because I am in the middle of disassembling myself, or at least untangling the mess of complicated knots that I've tied myself into during the past decade since I moved to NYC. I used to have such a firm idea of who I was, and what I wanted. Yes, a lot of it was based on my lack of experience in life, as well as my naïve arrogance, but I had vision, and I knew who I was. I'm slowly starting to feel that way again, and in revealing this "real me", I see traces of the young girl I was when I moved here. Not that exact girl, but definitely a version of her. The grown up version of her. I have also remembered how connected I used to feel to the earth. I am no extreme wilderness adventuress, but I definitely feel the connection to the earth beneath my feet, and the stars above my head. It is not as consistent as it had been before, but every once in a while, I breathe in, and I can feel it as I used to. I think I just need to exercise that muscle. I used to be so intuitive and so connected to source. It's coming back. I was pure creativity before. And it's coming back.
i had a somewhat spiritual conversation with my (also middle-aged) husband last night, when he admitted that he wasn't sure there was an afterlife. i had suspected he didn't, but assumed that he had heard of and believed plausible the accounts of others who had, resulting in intelligent, thoughtful books with their personal evidence of life-after-death. he had just learned that a friend of his had a supernatural encounter after high school (post-death conversational exchanges with same-age friends who died tragically), but couldn't elaborate at the time... i'm sure he will convince my husband that there is a possibility when the topic resumes. i hope so.
At 45 years old I have walked away from the faith/religion I was raised in. I grew up LDS (mormon). I served a full-time 2 year mission, was married in the LDS Temple, and all 4 of my children have been baptized into the church. Being mormon is not just the church that you attend. It defines every facet of your life, it is both spiritual/religious as well as cultural. I have struggled with some of the teachings for many years in addition I have felt set apart from my congregation and church at large. For many years belonging to, and worshiping as a mormon has brought me no peace, no joy, no solace. In fact it has generated feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, and anger. I have never really felt peace or direction when praying, and didn't feel guidance from on high eventhough I was living faithfully. I finally decided it just wasn't for me anymore. Participation was creating more anxiety and questions than peace and understanding. The real fundamental pillar of the mormon church is that it is the only true church on the earth. That it is lead directly by Jesus Christ through an earthly prophet. That it is the only church that has the priesthood authority to perform saving ordinances, such as baptism. Faithful members of the mormon church are married in an LDS temple, mormons call it a temple marriage or sealing. It is believed that it is the only was for a family; husband, wife, children can be together after death. Once a mormon goes through the temple they start to wear garments (under clothing), which represent covenants you have made with God. All that being said, leaving is a very big deal. It is viewed as breaking that temple sealing. Revoking all the blessings God has endowed you with. I've wanted to leave for a very long time, but simply lacked the courage. I feared rejection by my family, and was putting my marriage at risk. Luckily neither of those things have happened. There certainly are hurt feelings, and much confusion, but nothing irreparable. I think secretly my family thinks that with some time I will "come to my senses" and return to the faith. I very much doubt that. For the first time in my life I feel like I am following my heart, that I am being true to myself. A huge weight has been lifted from me. I am being open and fully honest. Through all of this turmoil my wife has been amazing. I look at many of my friends and know that leaving the church would have meant an end to their marriage. Amazingly it has made my marriage stronger.
Praying at Rosh Hashannah services in South Orange at my elementary school next to my parents and my wife after being not on good terms for so long and the first rosh hashannah after Ethan died. It was moving to listen to Ms. Kisner's daughter as the cantor and go into another place during the silent amidah. Being at the Mets World Series game on 10/31 last year was an crazy amazing visceral experience too.
I have spiritual experiences every day. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe it guides me and feeds me. Whether it is an interaction with a stranger or a close call or a moment with my child where i truly see God through their eyes and in their actions. We are all doubly blessed. Recognizing this has changed my outlook on life. Let's focus more on the good we experience and less on the 1 moment that we can let tear us down.
Spirituality occurs both inside and outside the synagogue for me. Recently, I saw The Color Purple with Dana, and the closing number reminded me to look at the beauty around me. Even though all of the characters in that show are Christian and I am Jewish, the song still spoke to me. At a time of the year in which I am supposed to be more closely connecting with G-d, I am struggling spiritually. The show, and that song in particular, reminded me that even when things are difficult, I can still find spirituality in the most unlikely of places.
Last Halloween while on a a bachelor party trip in Nashville, TN - my boyfriend of 4.5 years cheated on me. There are few ways I can capture how much of a blow this was to my life. You could picture that this type of thing, unfortunately happens all the time. But to make a long story short, I had put a lot of work into getting myself emotionally open enough to think about a serious future, to be vulnerable. I had processed what I thought sharing a life with someone meant in general and what it meant to me; I had build myself up to be able to offer more of me to another person. And I found this process, and the result, to be quite beautiful and fulfilling. Freeing if you will. Right now. We are still together. I am struggling to figure out if I will be able to get back to that beautiful, fulfilling, free place with him again. And by struggling I mean I have some serious doubts. After this happened, every part of me knew that it would be easier to walk away but I also knew I'd have so many questions and things would be too unresolved for me to truly move forward. So we stayed together - with no commitment from my end that I would be able to fully move on. But this is where spirituality came in. I had to regain a sense of my values and my inner guide. I thought about the teachings of my past that God is all forgiving. I thought about what forgiveness meant to me, what does it mean to be gracious to a person, what does it mean to get out of your own head and emotional space and try to understand someone else. And when you've done all that for someone else, how do you also do that for yourself? I don't have all the answers but I am proud of the way I have navigated this experience. I've been through a lot of hardship but I've never experienced heart ache - because I never let myself "go there" before. This experience has allowed me to think "Who is the person that you want to be? And what does that mean? What does it take to get there and to be that?"
Ahem! Making love, from time to time, can become genuinely an out of body experience. I really believe that is an intentional part of intimacy in the Grand Design, that from time to time people are so close they are transported out of themselves - while still depending exclusively on one another to create this joining, exploding experience. So those have been blessedly occurring over the past year. As Fall rolls in and I get older, these intervals of over the top romance become even more precious. I need to go and re-read the Shakespeare sonnet, "That time of year ..." again to capture this mood. Then, I need another romantic interlude to buffer that down feeling and get beyond it.
My husband and I saw uniform lights in the sky one night. The lights were orange, and the formation was perfect. As they flew up, each one disappeared. This has affected me by realizing there are other species who share our universe. It's large and diverse. Enjoy life and remember we are not the only ones here, so remember to not be selfish and things can change at any time. Don't fret the small stuff!
I have been to so many different churches this year as Zeke and I hop from church to church- Presbyterian, Catholic, those non-denominational Christian churches. I am still the most comfortable and the most moved by the Presbyterian service. Probably because it is familiar, from the sounds of the hymns to the very attitudes of the congregants, but I like Presbyterian service and I do miss going.
Sorry, no. Less spiritual than ever.
This year I have taken time to get out in nature more. To just take time to be with the space around me. It really lifts my spirits to let myself have room to just be and notice things I wouldn't normally see and hear. I've also gone to live theatre much more and realise just how much I love this....being in the moment of a live show. In general in life I am continuing to develop mindfulness and a calm in myself ....I like this journey in my life it feels uniquely mine yet at the same time part of everything.
The magnificent beauty of our earth can take my breath away. A year ago, I was standing on the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio and looked out toward the Atlantic. Ripples of mountains laced the horizon for row upon row. The color of each row fading from blue to grey as the atmospheric perspective diminished the saturation color from my view. My heart leapt up to witness the glory of our world.
My spiritual experience i would relate to turning 60 and then 61 this year and to look in the mirror and see somebody with wrinkles, somebody older, somebody i kind of know but kind of rediscover every morning when i brush my teeth in front of the mirror. It is a funny realm as i do not feel as old as the picture i see and i have to convince myself that it is a serious reality and then i have to change gears towards getting old and decrepit, and even think of death plans. The truth is that i am not convinced yet and prefer avoiding mirrors and work at living another bunch of happy and healthy years filled with some work, great and meaningful experiences and a lot of wonderful family moments.
I most certainly have had spiritual experiences this year. I am experiencing my husband's death as a profound spiritual experience. It has broken open my heart and exposed me to my core. It has caused me to redefine my belief in what my higher power is, which is still a work in progress. It has softened me and made me vulnerable. It has made me ask the question, why am I here? I know why my husband was but I do not know why I am, really, other than my purpose in relationship to him. I have been very open about experiences in widowhood, tried to lead by example what it is like, and how I have coped, hopefully to help someone else who goes through this. And just 6 short days ago, a friend of mine was widowed. she would tell me how she admired how I walked through my pain. I hope those lessons will be useful to her now. I have also had an psychic "opening" this year and have studied with a medium. I have no desire to become a medium but would very much like to hone my intuition. I find this process exciting, but a bit scary. I find I put too much judgement on myself to be "right". But I am certainly aware of spirit around me and more will be revealed as to how this will unfold.
Looking back I can remember several clearly, and suspect that are many more I have unfortunately forgotten. I do know I saved many in the pages of my journal. I feel I continue to grow in understanding my connection to the entire human experience, and in relationship to the natural world. I have come to a new curiosity about trees, deepened my appreciation for the animal world, and opened myself up to the teachings of B, who has brought me an entirely new perspective that I am beginning to embrace.
Since my Dad died 6 years ago, I have been attending religious (Jewish) services more regularly and engaging deeply with the traditional prayers. In particular, I have been struggling to see how prayers that have been perfectly marvelous evolving spiritual efforts to focus the attention, wonder and gratitude of Jews over these past 3500 years on notions of the centrality of a singular source/system of order in the universe and on the evolution of an effective moral code for resolving internal disputes and minimizing conflict with neighboring cultures needs to be updated to account for all we have learned about the immensity and complexity of our universe and the littler picture of managing our planetary civilization and its discontents. This mostly intellectual struggle with prayer is, nevertheless, also one of my main ways to cope spiritually with the meaning of my life, the difficulties of my aging and my abject terror of impending death.
My sister Melody has found a way to cope with dying: she feels certain there's a connection between the world we live in and the "beyond." She has had many encounters with other worldly experiences, and believes there is nothing to be afraid of, and no real "end". I, myself, don't have this belief, but I'm happy that she is comforted and at peace.
I have been coloring, bringing out a side of me I didn't know I possessed. Artful. Seeing colors. Appreciating nature and clods and sunsets. Studying at Synagogue has also opened my mind to new thoughts, widening my tent
Wonderful retreat with Tsoknyi Rinpoche about the bardo. Inspirational. Still not listened to the two days after the end of the retreat. Sad I cannot be always with the teacher.
Becoming pregnant with our first child has been a roller coaster of emotion with nerves fraying and belly growing. It has made me feel so connected to woman as a species and has challenged my perception of life.
Yes... I hit pretty close to 'bottom'... It was sobering enough that I made a couple big life changes... i'm almost regretting a couple of the changes but I probably wouldn't be around to answer this question right now if I didn't make that change.
Not sure if this is spiritual or not, but in the last year I've managed to take myself out of my thoughts and opinions and put myself in the place of my mother so that I can understand more of where she's coming from rather than being irritated with her. It's tough to do sometimes, but I'm getting better at it.
Had a very enriching, spiritual time going on a Temple family camp out during Memorial weekend. It was nice to bond with folks and get to know them better. It was also the last foray with our Rabbi who was retiring after 30 years. Now we are getting to know our new Rabbi. I admit I'm missing the high holidays being away on a long awaited vacation.
A few spiritual experiences for me this year included kayaking on the Humber River, singing with Choir! Choir! Choir!, and ironically, conquering my open water swimming (OWS) anxiety for race season. Kayaking confirmed how important self-care and time spent in nature are for me. I felt so peaceful, privileged, relaxed and like THIS was the reason for taking vacation from work! Joining choir helped me understand that my time spent "trying" to meditate by using apps, reading books and doing yoga was not the most natural thing to help me unwind and truly feel calm. Singing is. Singing helps me connect with my breath. Singing in a group helps me to find my voice, both literally and metaphorically. Singing in harmony with others helps me to feel connected to a bigger picture and produces a literal vibration that melts my anxiety away. Singing is my meditation. Lastly, OWS was the bane of my last year's racing season and it worried me to the point where I felt I had to spend more time in the open water to confront my fears for race day and even determine if swimming was still fun for me ... otherwise, why continue to do it?? After many hot, gorgeous days and even not-so-gorgeous, choppy water days at Cherry Beach, swimming from the western-most buoy to the eastern-most buoy, I finally found my breathing rhythm, my sighting rhythm, and my easy stroke, and from there it just got easier and my swims became longer and more relaxed. On my birthday weekend, I did my first ever 2km OWS, which would qualify me to compete in a half IM. I was so thrilled because I felt like I could keep going, it was that enjoyable. The time I spend in the water is very therapeutic and calming. In between thoughts of form, breath, stroke mechanics and sighting, I observe the lake floor, the aquatic life, the sunlight streaming through the water; I sense my father's presence and feel profoundly happy and calm.
Yeah. I was with my dad when he died. That was pretty spiritual. It has made me think about my own mortality and what that means to my kids. I don't worry about what will happen to me after I die. I worry about what will happen to those I left behind. And I worry about what I should have done before I died. On that note, I should get back to work.
Feel that G_d directed us to make our move to Florida. It took us a while to listen. Had been looking for 3 years. to move near family. Things happened that made us make our decision. It turned out that new Doctor here was able to diagnose a serious condition and being treated for it. It potentially kept it from getting more serious. Previous Doctor had misdiagnosed my condition. Current treatment plan is working. Also diagnosed wife's condition and medicine is controlling it. Getting better Medical care here. This all told us that G_d is looking after us and directing our life.
Travelling around Morocco--especially during the festival of Ait and all that is means to family, friends, neighbors and the country was uplifting. And being in the desert at night during a windstorm...the quiet and the music...so out of time.
I tend to define "spiritual" as having to do with my walk with God. Again, like last year, I am sad to say that I have not really felt any spiritual links to God that moved me greatly. I miss that; I know that I am missing out. I want that closeness again with God. It is hard sometimes for me to feel open about my spiritual relationship these days because my husband is no longer a believer -- and sometimes he makes fun of my beliefs which hurts. On the other hand -- seeing the Alaskan/Canadian wilderness, sharing the majesty of that with my parents -- that was an experience that touched me to my soul and I am grateful to have that memory to hang on to for many years to come.
The universe. Has sent me several messages. Loud. Clear. I was hit on my bike. By a car. And stayed upright. The following week, I bumped into an old neighbor and was in a funk due to a relationship "gone silent;" we ended up having dinner; during which she told me that she had had a man go silent on her once. Turns out, it was the same man. If these aren't messages sent from the universe, I'm not sure what is. I have to believe.
don't be distracted by the cliches of ordinary life remember the taste of cold air can you explain how to get there by names of streets? that trail is well traveled but no one knows where it goes and its got my name on it you can tell how heavy something if you squeeze it if you're quick enough to get your fingers around the back and close your eyes its there in warm colors plus it wears its age in wrinkles and stories read it like a river and swim upstream suspect the wonderful and imagine what you've already seen don't be surprised believe lies if you'd like do it for you and share the left overs this is the important part forget it when you're done leave it like you'd never noticed it might as well be anything else but it isn't and when you're done, go outside and smell as far as you can to space
In March, I took a week's vacation in Branson, MO. While there, I had an interaction with a young woman that literally changed my life. On our first day in Branson, Gary and I had brunch in the student-staffed restaurant at The College of the Ozarks The College of the Ozarks is an interesting place. It is a small, private Christian (very Christian!) college. Every student there works 15 hours a week in various areas of the school such as the restaurant/hotel; the on-campus dairy; the on-campus bakery or any number of other places. They must also work one 40-hour week each semester (I think). In return for their work, students don't pay tuition. The school is nicknamed "Hard Work U." J Naomi, our server at brunch, said she loved waiting tables and always strived to get better at it and anticipate customers' needs. She said for her, doing a good job serving was the best way she knew of to share her love of Christ. A little weird, but admirable in its way... When we had finished our meal, she said to us, "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you." In that moment, I had an epiphany. I love being of service to people and have long loved being of service, dating back to my college days when I joined (I am now a life member) Alpha Phi Omega, the coed service fraternity. Naomi's comment made me reflect on my job at Sur La Table (SLT) and I concluded that my work was not of meaningful service. Did I make the world a better place by washing dishes and sweeping floors? I wasn't so sure... Does serving restaurant patrons make the world a better place? I'm not sure of that, either, but Naomi derived joy from it and she was learning to be her best self, which definitely counts for something. For some time prior to the vacation, my supervisor, who doesn't manage stress well (I don't either) had been getting on my case. She yelled loudly at me in a room full of people and told me to "cut out the chatter" when I was quietly talking myself through what needed to be done to ensure I did it all after many days off. I found her abusive and a bully and since I took the job for fun, I wasn't prepared to put up with her snark anymore. So since I wasn't making the world a better place, I wasn't deriving joy from the work I was doing and I wasn't my best self, what was the point of staying? I do, however, derive enormous satisfaction from my volunteer work. When I interviewed for the SLT job, I made it clear that my volunteer work came first. The job had caused me to shirk my volunteer work. And for what? That, too, made me very unhappy. In my resignation letter, I said that I wanted to focus more fully on volunteering, which was completely true. Since leaving, I've gone on to volunteer in some terrific places and I'm very fulfilled now. It still blows my mind that a single comment from a college student could have that much power, but it did and I'm a better person for it.
Unfortunately, no. I feel like I keep falling farther and farther away from my faith, especially this past year. The part that terrifies me is that I'm struggling to find that compelling reason to go to Mass or to read the Bible.
I believe my spirituality revolves around always treating others with respect and kindness. This is how I lift myself higher and those around me.
I got into meditation practice starting Dec 1, 2015, and kept at it on a mostly daily basis until shipping to summer work site in august. I also went to a few monday sits and attended 2 daylong retreats at IMC. I have been able to see the benefits of this practice, which brought me a lot more clarity on a daily basis, but sadly not enough to see that I had so little time left with Dad.
Going to the Barbara Streisand concert could be considered spiritual in a way. It brought be back to my childhood -watching her on Ed Sullivan with my grandparents, seeing the movies Funny Girl and others, identifying with her frizzy hair. When she sang, "Papa", I thought of both my grandfather who I called "Papa" and my own father. I sat next to a black man who was by himself and a bit older than me. His daughter had bought him the ticket and he told me that he had loved her since he was 13 years old and heard her sing, "People". Throughout the whole concert, I smiled and checked in with him, but she didn't sing it until the first encore. When I looked over, he had tears streaming down his face.
Scuba: hovering midwater, my buoyancy under control, silver bubbles streaming up to the textured mirror of the water undersurface, drifting over a blue landscape of boulders, soft corals and coloured fish. Oneness and peace.
We had a service our first full week of camp this summer where we packed over 100 people into our tiny school house. There's something powerful about hearing 100 voices singing in such a small place with so much faith and power.
Yes, i took up serious yoga practice that has affected me profoundly. Intend to continue my practice and have started teacher training.
Oddly, one of my most spiritual experiences not just of the past year but ever was a visit to Chartres Cathedral in May. My husband and I are both drawn to visiting houses of worship of all denominations, and I've been to countless churches and cathedrals (and a few synagogues) in Italy, England, Peru, Ecuador, and Paraguay. We visited a number while we were in France in May. But of all I've ever seen, Chartres affected me most deeply. A lot of reasons I understand (its magnificent beauty, its extraordinary history) and many I can't begin to understand. Deeply moving, to the point of tears.
Ive been attending classes such as Tanya regularly on a Monday night. Ive been going toShul on Saturday enjoying the experience especially the Dorosha from Rabbi. Fruma has also been hosting monthly get togethers. The Chabad newsletter is very enlightening and I love reading it All of which has allowed me togain in spirituality.
Even less spiritual this year! Though the travel was awe inspiring. The Egyptian temple, the garden of Gethsemane, the huge temple in Myanmar... Oh, and finally seeing the Church of the Rock in Helsinki again. It actually was everything I remembered, which doesn't happen very often. All are extraordinary testaments to people's faith and the human spirit, whatever I may feel about all the different deities we've worshiped. And they did instill inspiration in me.
It is still music at church. Always music. Those moments when we sing so beautifully that it touches the divine. There are exquisite moments when, in the silence after the end, you can feel that the congregants, the listeners are moved. Being a part of that, experiencing something so rare and so special, is indescribable.
I can consider my April Spring Break to France with my students as somewhat spiritual because I had plenty of time to reflect. We spent a good amount of tie on trains and busses and I was able to do a lot of writing. I had just been diagnosed with RA, was still stiff and in pain, so there was a lot of thinking about/reflecting on growing older.
Fatherhood et al.
YES!!! I went to my first Tibetan singing bowl ceremony and purchased y first bowl. This led me to a Chakra class, and then a past life regression class. I experienced Tibetan cranial treatments, Reiki treatments and was able to meditate inside of a pyramid. I met an amazing woman who is an astrologer and she changed the course of my move. I had a reservation to move into a brand new home and ended up in a condo on the water. The condo provided me with a spirit that was stuck there....A woman that lived in the condo before us took care of her ailing mother and the mother passed away, however her spirit was stuck in the condo as she did not realize she had passed. This began a quest for me. I learned Reiki and I am presently a level two practitioner and will be a master in a year. I met a Shaman from Peru who performed a soul retrieval on me which was profound! I met another Shaman that assisted the spirit from the condo and freed her to be with her loved ones and enter fully into the light. The ceremony lasted all weekend during a full moon and was amazing. During the ceremony there was the discovery that not only the mothers spirit was in the condo but the daughter who cared for her had recently died and she apparently was coming for her mother and thought that I was the light so they were now both stuck in my condo and were attracted and attached to me. This led me to an intuitive healer that removed the attachments and also led me to daily energy protection practice. The Shaman that assisted the spirits on their journey also introduced me to the Human Design concept and did my reading which is very insightful. I met the Shaman one more time that travels to my area once a year and we performed another ritual that was powerful and freeing. I attend regularly the bowls ceremonies and am currently seeking spiritual growth in intuition and psychic gifts. This past year has been an incredible journey with one event leading to another and another......
Jared is always a spiritual experience. Wendi passing away. Bob F dying at a very young age. Our 45th wedding celebration. Great friends. Every Shabbat. Hard to pick just one.
Probably the biggest spiritual experience was completing my conversion to Judaism. The hatafat dam brit, the mikveh immersion, the beit din...all of them deepened my understanding and my love of Judaism!
I went to a Christening at St Margaret’s. I found it incredibly boring and uncomfortable. The artifice of the high church rituals just seem ridiculous and fake. They’re all people, and yet some of them believe something that I don’t. I felt a bit ostracized, but I didn’t wish to be a believer. Nevertheless, I think it’s important to experience places of worship and people at worship from time to time. And to respect what they do, even if you don’t join in. I have a cynicism that I’ve developed since primary school. There is a certain amount of hypocrisy in religion that I can’t see beyond. And I’ve just never got the wonder of it. However, I can appreciate that some of the rituals might be soothing. I just can’t see, however, how people would wish to give up their Sunday mornings to sit in an uncomfortable pew and listen to someone Christen children he’s never met. This might be a problem in the future because, if I ever get married, it wouldn’t feel right to me, at the moment, to get married in church. But I think Fran and perhaps her parents would want to. I’ve preferred non-church weddings: they focus more on the people than the tradition and the “doing it in front of God” bit. How much would I want to resist this? Does it really mean that much to me or is it just a preference? Marriage is supposed to be about compromise. But I’ve also respected the weddings more when the personality of the couple comes through. Church isn’t me.
Very few dreams - but the ones I've had have all been Prophetic within the next day or two. Not sure why... Went to the believers convention with my daughter and It was a life changer for her Upped children's ministry to twice a week this year and it was too much plus marriage ministry and two other Ministries at another church. Now we are down to Children's church just once a week.
My "spiritual" experiences this past year are related to my injury of a year ago when I fell and shattered my right wrist. It was quite an eye-opener to find out that my own son was reluctant to be a part of my healing and he was not involved in my recovery, other than a few weeks I insisted on staying at his house immediately after the surgery. He rarely interacted with me during that time, instead spending his hours at home holed up in his bedroom and leaving on the weekends to take day trips with his friends. I was very disappointed and was left with a feeling of abandonment. He is my only family member and now I feel like I have none; certainly none that I can depend on when I need help. It was very enlightening for me. Since that time, I have determined to make up my own "tribe" of people and have begun to surround myself with friends that I can depend on and who can depend on me. It's been slow-going but I'm confident that we'll eventually be able to have the closeness and reliability that can come from having a family around when things are down. That's my hope anyway :D
I have been a bit out of touch spiritually. Not because I'm cynical, but I haven't been to a concert, I haven't been a volunteer. There have been times I've felt a special connection to my fellow human beings, but for whatever reason, it was particularly fleeting this last year. Bummer.
Yes. This year I visited my friend in South Carolina and attended a pagan ritual. It was very challenging as it goes against everything I believe it. I wrestled with it quite a bit. It showed me in truth how to live and let live. Then I read a series of books that delved further into this topic, the Pheadre series of Kushiel's Dagger, Curse, etc. In this book people stayed true to their goods while respecting their own. I also read Leadership and Self Deception and also the Anatomy Peace. I am still working on picturing myself in another's shoes.
The most profound experience I've had this year was kind of an ongoing engagement with the historical character of Ivan the Terrible. Having learned a bit about his life, and then especially having witnessed some really powerful artwork in the Tretyakov Museum, I found myself really compelled by the tragic nature of his life. His fits of rage, and then the profound regret after -- I can really identify with that (though, thankfully, on a much smaller level). It may not even be "true" in a historical sense, but as a historical myth I found it very powerful. The Tretyakov as a whole was a very spiritual place for me this year -- but the sculpture of Ivan especially, and the painting of the scene just after him killing his son . . . wow. Chilling.
I guess a spiritual experience I had this year was finding the gym, and gym role models. I started a lifting routine this year made by Kris Gethin, and man that dude has a great body, one that I hope mine will eventually look like. I actually kind of thought about this the other day, I didnt go to the gym in the morning like i usually do, and I spent my entire day thinking about being in the gym, I missed it. I missed the pain and the soreness that really made me feel happy, stress free and knowing that my body was one step closer to its goal.
Well. Maybe more of an 'a-ha' moment, that moment when you 'get' something that you hadn't gotten before, and more striking still, hadn't realized that you hadn't gotten. Now, I may have touched on this somewhere on Q1-4, but be that as it may. For me, this may turn our to be huge. What I 'got' was that Judaism is about the underlying spirituality, not about the laws. Now, that may sound like an argument to throwing out the laws, but that's not where I'm going. Quite the opposite. I have come to see keeping the mitzvot as the part of the path to spiritual growth. I tried an analogy earlier, with limited success. Try this: the practice, living a Jewish life, is how we 'walk the walk.' What I had failed to grasp in years past, is that it's not simply walking for the sake of walking, as one might on a treadmill, but but walking toward a destination, as we would on a trail. Having seen that this is a trail, I'm keen to find out what lies around the next bend, and ultimately where it will take me.
I go back and forth on the whole spiritual thing. I have not used a lot of time and effort on it this year.
Nature walks, bird sightings, seeing flowers burst into bloom, listening to harmonious voices, have all been spiritual events this year.
This whole year has felt particularly spiritual with my journey of yoga that led to meditation that led to what I consider the most significant- my gratitude practice. Nature has also been a very spiritual outlet this year. In our relationship we also began doing councils together which have led to so many interesting insights and breakthroughs of understanding between us. I feel like we're becoming more and more of a unit and partnership. It's been quite an amazing year preparing for parenthood.
Wow. This. I grew up understanding that God was an entity foolish people believe in and praying was something brainwashed weirdos do. What I understand now is that "God" can describe a number of things. Or a different word can be used to describe the understanding that the universe and the energy flowing through it are all on a bigger spectrum than me. I am an ant. But I am a huge piece of it at the same time. Praying is not a dirty word. It is something I have been doing all along, I just didn't know it. I talk to the moon, the squirrels, the leaves, that sense of something that is there to guide me...all the time. My yoga practice was a great stepping stone and then some further research into Buddhism and my work in my recovery have all led me to a really truly spiritual place for the first time in my life.
I (finally) finished converted to Judaism! I am now kosher, as I converted just before Rosh Hashanah this year, and had my first officially Jewish Rosh Hashanah this month! Finally being Jewish is... strange. In some ways, it's merely a recognition of what I have become, but in other ways it's the end of a journey I've been on for the past few years of my life as I found myself several times on the brink of starting, only to find that the time wasn't right. It's strange in that in some ways I still feel that there's more to do, and in others that now I can be counted among a minyan, wear a tallis and so on. Also, that a big part of my life, a quest if you will, has come to an end and now I wonder what is next. But overall, it's been a wonderful experience, and I am so, so happy that now I am officially Jewish!
I have felt a very strong desire to get myself back to temple. I haven't gone in some time due to being a single parent, my son being quite young and not really ready for services (ie. sitting still, tantrums, etc.). I want to be involved very badly. I want to be a member, and to join Sisterhood, and contribute to my Jewish community through outreach and education...but it hasn't been in the stars for me lately. I do feel I'm on a personal journey of spirituality, discovering parts of my Jewish self that are lacking, others that are very solid; I have a very deep longing to become much more modest. I think embracing the spirit of modesty would benefit me greatly in all social aspects, especially in the dating arena, as I spoke of before; the want to take a step back and evaluate what is a priority for me. Modesty would be an outward expression of that.
hmmm I think that I have spiritual moments frequently. Watching the fish and the frogs in my pond, the bees at the flowers. And then there are the anti-spiritual moments when 'christian" bullies use their religion as their excuse to to try to hurt me, when they are just petty little jealous women with, in Micki Smith Palmer's case, difficult children, or at least one very sullen daughter, and in Lynn Steiber's case, picking the wrong horse. I had to use every bit of personal spirituality to come away from that crap. And then hearing an old BF describe himself as Pagan, that was pretty cool! I have made my own beliefs and l live them. Quietly on my own, but deeply held. All that matters, really.
For my management class last semester of senior year, I had to go to some Meetups. One of the meetings I chose was to join a group in a visit to the Met Breuer. I was excited that visiting a museum was going to satisfy a class requirement, just like the good old LS days. When the elevator doors opened at the second exhibit, I was overwhelmed. There was a painting I had never seen before but immediately recognized. It was as if I had been transported back to the Prado. It was the reminder I needed that my experiences, no matter where in the world they may have been, are always with me. All it takes is a moment to recall a whole host of experiences. Those paintings reminded the time I need to recognize what my surroundings are wanting me to realize.
I feel that I have woken up to reality this past year
I sometimes feel like the whole past year has been a spiritual experience. From finding my husband half-dead to helping him unpack so much trauma he's been holding on to all this time... I find my strength in Buddhist writings mostly, like Pema Chodron, and learning all I can about his trauma and recovery process. Some of my friends have had worse things happen to them this year (real and actual death of a loved one), so I try to practice gratitude each day that I get another day with him.
I find myself drawn ever deeper into Centering Prayer, to be still for 20 minutes, two times a day, and to just be. Participating in acts of social justice and charity (jail visitation, tutoring children in reading, serving food to the homeless, working on climate change, representing Mono Lake Committee at the State Capitol) are integral to who I am. At the same time, I can't do this without resting in God. Father Richard Rohr recently wrote, "You do not 'do' acts of peace and justice as much as your life is ITSELF peace and justice. You take your small and sufficient place in the great and grand scheme of God." These past few months, I have tried to sit with this and live this. I think it's going to take a lifetime of practice.
My experience at Rosh Hashanah services at Mishkan Chicago was the most spiritual and emotional I've had in a long time. Maybe ever. Rabbi spoke about "God optional," and how the concept of God is fluid and confusing and challenging for some. I struggle with that and she gave me permission to do so. I actually cried during Avinu Malkeinu. A first.
Unfortunately I cannot say that I had any. I had a lot of wonderful experiences that some might consider spiritual but I just call it living.
Fui a un temaskal, a un fuego limpio, inicié un curso de bioconección el cual tuve que dejar por falta de tiempo, leí libros sobre espiritualidad, vi peliculas y tengo que reconocer que mi vida va encaminando a un lugar o un camino por donde me gusta transitar, generalmente sentía que no encontraba mi lugar o bien no tenía definido si los pasos que daba eran los correctos. AHORA LO SE, Gracias pipi =)
My friend Hilda was hit by a car in NYC and had many serous injuries. At Temple, i names her in the Misheberach each Friday I was at Services & described what happened & her progress. Three months after her accident she asked if we'd have dinner with her - her first outing for dinner. On the following Friday @ Services I shared that experience & told everyone that their healing prayers did make a difference. It was the first time that I truly believed that it does...It was very powerful for me.
I had a very intense, good day in Belize. I started by watching the sunrise, practicing yoga, and then while I was having coffee some ideas formed in my head to write a short story. It was flowing like the view of the ocean in front of me... That night, I saw a thunderstorm over the ocean for at least an hour and a half, just breathing and thinking about the beauty of being alive, and being able to witness all I had witnessed that day. I think I go back to that day a lot in my memory, reminding myself how good it is for my inner peace to be present for beautiful, natural moments, and to also be sensitive and open enough to write when it is time to do so. The people I have shared the short story with have felt transported and happy, and so it is a way of sharing the joy of that day with others.
Sorry to say that I can't think of any
We have been getting out and hiking more than in recent years past, and also took that amazing trip North. Each hike or trip has accumulated into a metaphoric spiritual bank. I think cumulatively, getting out into nature, raw except for a trail, or in some cases a rarely-traveled dirt road, has had a counter-balancing effect to the stresses I have felt, especially since April. The crackle-crunch of sub-zero snow under snowshoes; the birdsong louder than the roaring river; the utter silence of the tundra (or the rumble of the wind across the vast spaces up there) all give me pause. It's not always peaceful and safe - it can be a little scary sometimes - but I like the sense that there is so much more than me and my quotidian problems, which aren't really problems in the big world anyway. It may be trite to say nature is my temple, but it is so true, and I try to find it everywhere, from walking the dog in the early morning, to the sunrise when I leave the gym, to the small beauties around me, to the sweeping and awe-inspiring spectacles I've seen this past year.
My mother's illness and later death brought us much closer together. Whatever resentment or anger I may have felt about the burden of caring for her evaporated...completely...when I realized how much she needed my help. In place of that anger I felt a fierce protectiveness to make sure she received the best possible care. Ii don't know why it took Alzheimer s to develop these feelings.
I began mindfulness meditation. It had a major positive effect on my mood and through process. Except it has now become more difficult and less effective.
On tv, I watched the mother of a victim in the Charleston, S.C. Church shooting. She had lost her grown daughter. She grieved how she would never see her again or embrace her. And then, as though it was torn out of her, she forgave the murderer. I felt I was witnessing a true act of grace.
I haven't really had any strongly spiritual experiences this year. However, the open water swims I've done have been spiritual in a way because when I have done them I have to completely focus on swimming and navigating and am at the will of the condition of the water and weather. This has helped me to quiet my mind, and focus on more important things than my daily worries in order to make sure I am safe.
I dreamed of a long conversation with a Rabbi who challenged me and gave me new perspective on my marriage. I have also increased my hiking, which brings me closer with g-d. I feel very much at peace there.
It's not exclusive to only this year, but since my friend Mikey passed in 2006, I still feel very connected to him. I don't visit is resting spot as often as I'd like even though we live closer now. But it doesn't seem to affect how often I feel his presence or think of him. I'm not religious in any way, so for me to feel this level of spiritualness makes me feel reassured that we were as connected on Earth as I thought.
When I think of spiritual experiences, what comes to mind are the everyday moments where I feel close with a higher power,... like a sign has been revealed to me - and I notice it. Whether it's a cardinal perched on a nearby tree, or meeting a new person who reminds me of my former self, I can't help but think that I'm on the right track. I'm doing what I'm here to do.
I can think of several spiritual experiences this past year, both within organized religion and without. 2. Torah study has been so much fun. I feel like I am discovering the underpinnings of my cultural surroundings. I never would have guessed how fascinating I would find the descriptions of the holy ark, and the different kinds of sacrifices, and the commentaries would be. 2. Quaker meeting--I am the clerk of nominating committee, which fits participants to the appropriate committee. Unfortunately, if there is no one available, I am unable to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Coming to terms with the limits of my abilities to fix things or make them right. And being at peace with that. 3. Climate change, and reading Reason for a Dark Time, and realizing that I don't need to stress about each little action of mine, because the problem is much bigger than me and is already out of the stall, and my job is to do what I can, and pray.
This last year I have started Finding time to engage artistic endeavors; singing, painting, dancing with my spouse, etc. I'm not any good at it, however in the psalms it's says "sing with joy", coming before the G-d with dancing., etc. I'm finding more peace in these moments than ever before.
Since my son has been diagnosed & actively being treated (with two years of treatment to go) for this nightmare of a disease, our amazing relationship has been strained tremendously. I felt our connection that we had prior to his diagnosis return when he came out to a gig I played. Many people I knew were there. I know he felt it too, because he attended another gig afterwards with his friends. It's where he sees the Mom he used to have, & where I see our true relationship shine through the distance this nightmare of a disease has created. Music is my salvation, my religion, and though the business has of course let me down, music itself has always been my loyal soulful connection to this difficult human experience.
I try to be spiritual every day, living a grateful life in recognition of all my blessings. God is constantly manifest in the beauty and love I experience every day.
Spirituality is something that I struggle with. I can't really say that I identify with that word very much. As a young adult I went through an attempt to find meaning in life and wanted desperately to find 'god'. I looked and looked but realised that it has to do with belief. If you can't believe then it really stops there. I relate more to the natural world which I often find amazing. Beauty affects me deeply. I see nature as mystical, or perhaps spiritual, because it occurs without human intervention. When I walk through a rainforest, or a wild landscape of any sort, and everything looks perfect it stops me in my tracks and I relate to it intuitively. You can feel it and it's amazing. I understand that it may only be amazing to me as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. In contrast, when I see a designed landscape or a made object of some sort, perhaps an artwork, I don't feel the same sense of amazement. What I see is enormous amounts of effort to try and make something beautiful. In a way I see artistic endeavours as trying too hard. A sort of competition with the natural world of beauty. Perhaps that's the same as when you see a beautiful person it's hard to not look at them because of their natural beauty. Sometimes their beauty is not physical but an inner beauty or goodness. In contrast when you see a person who's gone to a lot of effort to appear beautiful, or maybe they've adorned themselves with objects, all you see is the effort and it seems pointless.
I wish I could say that I had made more opportunities for more spiritual moments in my life recently. My few spiritual moments in the past year have been at the temple at times of prayer, just from the familiarity of the tunes and also for the emotional release that I rarely have time to express.
Starting to play piano again! It's been amazing! Mentally stimulating, satisfying and very fun!
I've felt so stopped up; it's been a little hard. I guess that's what I feel has been lacking in my life. Although: doing a float was a pretty special experience, feeling the limits of my body dissolve a little, feeling joy right after for the first time in a while. It was small but it meant a lot to me, it meant that that part of me wasn't dead.
I'm not sure I would say I've had any defining moments. I've had some serendipity. I've also had a few "right where I belong" feelings. Working in places where I am challenged and excel AND making enough money to survive has been lovely.
The only one I can really think of is when I went on vacation with just my Dad and I watched him go down to Brant Lake for a sunset swim. The image was just so perfect--the landscape was peaceful, and Dad was so happy and more or less healthy. I decided that's how I want to remember him: sweet, childlike, full of wonder and possibility, always ready for the next adventure.
My weekly Torah study discussions with Daphne often feel like we are exploring spiritual ground. They can remind me of my relationship with G-d and my responsibility to create myself and the world in G-d's image.
The closest thing to any spiritual was before I left Los Angeles to come back to school my mother in law, well I guess former mother law. Even though she will always be my mom. She took me to the Thai temple to make an offering to the monks in my wifes name before I left LA. While listen to the monks chant I just remembered all the times m and her were there. I plan on visiting a Thai temple while in Boston to make an offer for her birthday.
Nekomimi ga iwa on the northeast coast of Grand Terre, NC. The gods are fukin wid us.
Every time I see a sun rise or sun set - I feel close to G-d. Also going to services and listening to the singing and music is very spiritual. I believe we all have a purpose. I have had some lovely experiences this year. My family all went to Boston this year and I treasured the time we had together. But I think the more personal intimate experiences are more meaningful. Like taking a walk with my husband and getting to talk with him. Or being one on one with the kids. Our rabbi says what makes something spiritual is making it separate and special - like the religious rituals we do. Like when we break the fast. Or celebrating Shabbat.
Many times I have danced the underscore I feel spiritual. I feel connected to my body and sprit on an intimate and deep level, and I also feel connected to others in a profound way.
Yes! Yes! Yes! The first time I experienced the Torah being taken out of the Ark, and paraded around the Temple...it was the most exhilarating experience! Like, hello! It was so magical, and holy. I was so honored to be in it's presence. Then when I bought a siddur for my home and I was randomly flipping through and landed on the poem about opening the door. Literally, it's what I've been doing all my life. In my mind and body, I knew that Judaism was for me, but when I read that passage, over and over and over again, weeping, I knew in my soul that this was for me...this, Judaism, was what I had been seeking for all my life. And when I saw the Matisse exhibit here in Oklahoma City...the only state in the nation to be honored with hosting his works. I took an extra long lunch, and went downtown to park and walk to the museum. Upon entering the exhibit, I was flanked by not only Matisse, but Renoir, Picasso and the like. But when I came to the last part of the exhibit, his later years...that's when the tears flowed. Here was a man, a brilliant artist, flawed by his failing body, but refusing to give up on creating beauty. I realized that even as I, a 44-year old woman, can refuse to be hindered by my flaws and KEEP ON LIVING just as Matisse did by creating art from his circumstance. There is life in those paper cut-outs, light and love. And it was in Oklahoma City. Rosh Hashanah service on Monday...Sunday night was fine, a parade of who's who in the Temple. But Monday day, THAT was the real deal! The sound of the shofar, it's calling out to me, beckoning me, calling, summoning me, commanding. I couldn't see it (I'm super short) but I felt it, wanted to run to it, beg it to not leave me behind. My heart was broken...open.
I have connected with the water more. It has been really nice kayaking and hearing nature and my paddle hit the water, and it is just me and nature. I am alone otherwise. Very peaceful. It has helped calm me and given me hope and peacefulness.
Reconnecting with meditation has been really important this past year. In December I went to a silent meditation weeklong retreat, and have been attending a weekly sit on and off since then. My practice hasn't been super consistent but I find that when I sit I have truly spiritual moments- ones in which I connect with myself and all the noise in the world drops away. I feel peace and stillness and joy in the moment. These moments of "spirituality" tell me that the divine I might need in this world comes from within and that meditation is such a nourishing practice. I hope it continues to be an important part of my life.
I haven't really had any particularly spiritual experiences this year, unless you want to count my trip to Hogwarts and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. It transported me into one of my favorite places in the universe, the world of Harry Potter. I almost felt like a child who could believe in make-believe. And that made me realize how much I miss childhood. And that in turn made me realize how much I've lost in the last year because somehow my reading habit, something that I've had all of my life, has somehow taken not just second place in my priorities, but well behind that. Perhaps that is what this question was supposed to do for me: remind me that all it takes is a book to transport me into a world of fantasy and wonder. And that I should put down the social media and pick up a book.
Yes of course. How could I possibly not think about this first. Last Thanksgiving we visited Eastern Europe while my sister was studying abroad in Austria. From Austria's musical and delicious sites we moved to Poland, a deeply cultural, religious, spiritual, and familiar place for my family. We not only visited Auschwitz, possibly the most important single act I've ever completed in my life, but also visited the town and even the house where my family used to live in Poland. Especially as antisemitism rears its ugly head across Europe and even in the US, I found it so important to visit the place that my ancestors came from and remember the atrocities that occurred there. I think all people, but all Jews especially, should make a pilgrimage to this place to understand how important it is to be a part of this tribe, and remember how evil humans can be. Being in Auschwitz was like nothing I've ever experienced. I can't begin to describe it effectively, only that my entire time in Poland transformed the way I think about my family, my culture, my religion, and my heritage.
I don't usually classify very much of anything I experience as spiritual, but I certainly had some magnificent sexual experiences in the last year that felt that way.
I have them all the time. Synchronicities, serendipity... it is how I am guided.
None that I can think of.
My spiritual experiences have been a deepening of my understanding of the rock my faith is built on. For many years, I was probably too busy to focus on the reasons for my belief, not just what I believed. I have been blown away at what I discovered and have asked for forgiveness for not focusing many years ago.
I have begun to meditate and just see everything from a more spiritual perspective. I am trying to lead with my spirit in all endeavors and make all my experiences spiritual. I can't wait to answer this next year, when I will have had a year of true spiritual practice under my belt via the 12 step program.
My wife and I visited Great Falls National Park in Virginia. I was born and raised in South Florida, and I never had any affinity for the state of Virginia for the majority of my life. We walked up to one of the viewing spots over the falls, and as soon as I looked out onto the water, I burst into tears. It was so emotionally moving for me - even spiritual. We live in Washington, DC now, and it feels like we are home. For whatever reason, there has been something drawing me to this area. We finally feel like we are home.
I cannot say that I had any particular spiritual experiences this past year. But I had a lot of inner soul-searching as I encountered client situations that were unlike anything to which I had ever been exposed. I had look within myself to understand what I truly value, what my "red lines" are, and what my biases (often implicit) are. I also started watching Shameless on Netflix, which is definitely a secular experience.
The only thing I can think of is that I have discovered a capacity for getting over disappointments. In the past I would rehash disappointing events over and over - trying to assess blame. I still prefer to be blameless but I am OK with being at fault.
The first moment of seeing the Great Barrier Reef was indeed spiritual. A moment before, I had wondered, "I've snorkeled before, will it really be all that different?" Then, I jumped in the water, put my masked face in and said to myself at the moment of that first glimpse, "Oh WOWWWWWW!" I won't soon forget that feeling. It reminds me that I can still be amazed and awestruck. Time both stood still and moved fast as I swam around in this beauty for hours and hours of that day, and again the next day.
I took a road trip down the west coast with one of my closest friends. There was not one defining moment that I would say sparked a spiritual moment, but spending so much time surrounded by nature and the outdoors really gave me peace.
Sadly, no spiritual experiences no matter how you define it.
My daughter who is a Cantor sent me a you tube of Leon Sher's Heal Us Now which was for me a spiritual experience. I have listened to many you trube versions and each time find a higher feel.
Going to Korea and visiting many of its historical sites, in particular Gyeongbokgung and Bukchon, really made me feel very connected to my heritage, and I couldn't have been happier.
I had to bury dad. I had to say say, "goodbye" to dad. Dad. I had to call each sister to tell them to come in, tell them that, "this was that call". It changed me, that experience. I wasn't ready. I thought I was, but I so wasn't. Alan Lew was right- that is what we call, "heartbreak". I only AM a parent now. I no longer HAVE parents. For so long I took care of him, but he was still dad. My dad. My daddy. I'm so sad, and wonder if I ever won't be.
Growing older means growing closer to God because you will be going to see Him soon .Since my sister died I have thought about death a lot and trying to put it into perspective. She was my younger sister . I read my Bible more now and pray a lot ,trying to understand this maze we call life , still searching for truth after all these years .It does seem that I can understand it better.
In a very odd sort of way. I have gone to women's retreats for years. After one in 2014, I decided I was "done." It was a pinnacle experience for me and left me with a sense of completion; that any more "work" I need to do could be accomplished on my own. Last year I had determined I would not attend the scheduled retreat, but when I saw the theme (Anchored and sea themes; I LOVE the ocean) I thought I should go. It called to me. I was disappointed and decided that, indeed, I am done with (group) retreats. This year's theme was announced with my "life Bible verse" as the theme. I questioned my resolve and considered whether I "had to" attend this retreat. After all, it is my life verse! After some soul-searching, I realized that though it was my life verse, that did not obligate me to attend the retreat. I stayed home. My own small, regular spiritual practices are sufficient and bring me what I need. I was able to let go of the idea that I needed someone else's input to keep me on track.
I feel like hypnosis is helping me connect with myself more. And practicing yoga has definitely had spiritual moments. But I'm not sure there are any moments that stand out. Maybe I need to seek out more spirituality this coming yuear.
Two trips stand out. The first was a day trip to Suncheon Bay Eco Reserve. It was beautiful. Seeing the wetlands, the sound of the wind in the reeds, the hike up and down the mountain. It was quiet. I was happy. As usual, with these types of outings, I enjoy feeling like I'm apart of the tapestry. It was my own commune with nature. Second time was a 4 day, 3 night stay at a Buddhist Temple. I loved the chants, especially the chants/songs for the gods that fight evil. I would imagine the gods stepping from the painting, dancing, enjoying themselves as songs were offered to them. On my second day day at the temple, I joined two other visitors for a morning hike. It was... the most challenging hike I have ever done. There was a point where I was really taking a look at my motivation for joining this hike, and I got real answers back. I didn't want to be perceived as lazy or boring. I didn't want to be left out. I had an image of the end goal firmly planted in my mind. Standing on the mountain top, bravely looking over the valley and sea around me. Yeah, no. I was scared, sore and irritable with myself. I kept telling myself I should've stayed in the room and read. I wanted to turn back once it went from hiking to mountain climbing. Every little Summitt, I would wish it was THE SUMMITT. It wasn't until it was. When I made it to the final mini-summitt, I plopped down, physically and emotionally tired. The actual top was a mere 5 steps away, yet I tried to convince myself that I was fine not seeing the top. After catching my breath and gathering the dregs of my courage, I went up, sat down and looked around. It was breathtaking. I was too afraid to stand, so I sat. The pear I ate was the most satisfying, aromatic, thirst-quenching, hunger-sating pear I had ever eaten. I usually avoid pears, but not that day. Then I curled up and took a nap. The way down was easier for me. Going someplace new always seems harder and scarier than the return route. Those are my two spiritual experiences: communing with nature and communing with myself. I was able to walk away, secure in my ability to face challenges, even ones that scare the crap oUT of me. Perseverance is not something I lack!
I guess you might say that I am getting more in touch with myself. I am better able to figure out what it is that I do not like. Before I was always kind of numb and unaware that there was something or someone I just did not like.
My uncle Chuck died. The first of my moms 6 siblings. It was a reality check--we are all getting old. I don't know how much longer I have with her. But it was also, in a way, good. His death brought them together. Mark hugged John! Steve is talking to Suzi! It all blows my mind. The peace and healing we found was fantastic. I spent the day of the funeral with my cousins, Mary's family, just like when we were kids. I remembered how much fun we had together. How much we care for each other. My judgments left, and instead I had nothing but love inside. It was healing. It was needed. All because of Uncle Chuck.
Dealing with death and loss ... and reflecting on it deeply through writing and therapy is a spiritual experience. Beginning to trust that dealing with the most difficult circumstances is an opportunity to deepen and expand the territory of my soul is perhaps the greatest spiritual learning I can imagine.
Mushrooms! Wayne and I went to Amsterdam and we tried mushrooms for the first time. We met god. It was the most spiritual, mind opening, enlightening experience. Words cannot explain what we saw or went through as we both traveled to another dimension. I would love to write more on this topic or empty my memory out somehow of what we experienced but its impossible. I hope by next year at this time I can write about Wayne and I doing it again but outside at a park or on the beach.
I keep going back to our second morning with the whales. Their presence was sacred, their actions a rite that sanctified the miles-wide space. The light from that sunrise was better than anything filtered through stained glass in a sanctuary with walls. We were completely irrelevant to their purposes, and yet we too benefited from observing the ritual. It was the best church I've been to in years. I knew before, but being there crystallized the doctrine: these wild things have a separate existence, a separate culture and millennia-deep independence from us, and yet we are connected by our mutual relationship to and dependence on the oceans we share. It's a completely unbalanced relationship -- only of significance to them because our actions cause harm and disharmony. If anything, that morning made me even more a missionary of these powerful moments of connection to the world and the creatures we share it with, cultivating those sacred moments wherever I can find them.
YES! I am learning so much thru the Pastors Group and Richard Rohr and all the wonderful theological studies. My mind is blown weekly!! I feel a whole new level has opened up. I is extremely exciting. I'm very grateful for my church and how she has guided me in my walk with God. I want more more more MORE!
I was feeling kind of spiritually deadened after my dad passed and I failed to find a synagogue I liked in the town I moved to a couple of years ago. However, I just gave the shul another shot, and I think the rabbi is finding his stride. And I'm a little more forgiving, with some distance between me and my dad's death. I also read 10% Happier by Dan Harris, and it definitely spoke to me. Despite how trite it sounds, I'm working on mindfulness, because 1) it seems to really work for me, and 2) that shit is evidence-based.
Shamanic Journey classes have been such an amazing experience. It's still very new to me, but it has become an important part of my self-care. I look forward to continuing this practice and seeing where it takes me.
Backpacking into and through the Grand Canyon was the most spiritual I've ever felt. It meant packing everything I'd need for a weekend, putting it on my own shoulders, and carrying it 12 miles each way. Relying on myself and my own strength and will to move everything. My phone died before we got to the campsite, and there wasn't any cell services. It was me and the Earth for two beautiful exhausting nights. I don't spend many weekends like that, so it was refreshing and moving to be so vulnerable yet stable.
I remembered I'm freaking Jewish, and I don't need to be ashamed of that. I don't need to internalize the antisemitism everywhere. I was busy for a long time realizing how unwelcome I was in the social justice community, where I belong, being a queer woman and an activist, an intersectional feminist and anti-racist, but hated for my own ethnicity, and the actions of Israel. I walked away finally, although I still read and write and talk about social justice. But I don't take part in any communities. And finally, I realized, like only recently, that I don't have to feel that shame I've carried my entire life. I get to be proud of, or thrilled with, or connected to my heritage. I get to embrace who I am and where I come from. I remain an atheist. But Jewishness is not a religion. It's a race. And I want to feel Jewish again. So I'm working on that. I'm looking forward to that.
After not finding any job prospects upon graduation, I stumbled upon a service year program through the Episcopal Church. It was something I had never heard of before and something, the likes of which, I had never considered. But, it felt like God was calling me in that direction so here I am living in a seminary, serving the homeless, and diving deep into religious study.
It seems that this year has been less overtly spiritual and more worldly as I had to concentrate on accomplishing *things*. The things that come to mind as most spiritual in this last year have all had to do with being in deep nature. Living rock formations, playful trees, lively rivers. I did do a death meditation, though, and that really was profoundly moving and reassuring that spirit is with me, and I am with spirit, always. I learned in one moment to hold myself with the same compassion as I do for others. That meditation changed me and changed the way I view people and events, though, in such a way that I withdrew from family and relationships in some ways, and did nor feel as intimate with anyone after that. I am working on re-establishing intimacy.
This year, I became "bat mitzvah" in an official ceremony. I chanted the passage where Miriam dies, and life goes on, but without its heart. My bat mitzvah partner and I had spent several months studying out parshah, and writing and revising our d'varim. We wanted to address the text, but also to entertain and amuse our friends who planned to attend. But the week preceding our bat mitzvah was a week of continued police shootings of black male civilians, capped by a revenge killing of five police, in Dallas. I called my partner and said, "I can't give the d'varim we've prepared." She said, "Yup. I'm glad you called." We met for a few hours, and listened to our hearts. We shared with each other the sorrow we felt, and we produced a new teaching. The Holy One was with all of us on that sad, real, bat mitzvah day. We felt like Daughters of the Torah that day.
No lie, I teared up walking my first born child, 3 years old, into the theater to see his first play. An overpowering sense of responsibility and gratitude for connecting him to the work and the gift of making art.
I don't think of myself as spiritual person. When I think of my spirit, I think of someone who's kind, enthusiastic, and eager, a little too much at times. Can be pretty uncool, and I enjoy doing my own thing. Prone to anxiety and distress. Hard time showing emotions and communicating my inner thoughts to people as to not get resentful. I think of spirituality as experiences that bring me peace with my surroundings. Whether that's people around me, my environment, or my stage in life. I started listening to podcasts during my commute home from work, and those actually put me at peace. Hearing pieces of other people's ups and downs help me find peace with the world. By learning about others, it helps me think.
Particularly spiritual experiences, no. I realize more and more every day that I am an artist, but this is not an earth shattering or momentous realization.
I had the opportunity to directly connect with the water this summer: I swam every day for @ a month, sometimes in strong undertows and huge waves. I'm extremely aware of the power of water (my father drowned when I was 13-didn't matter he was a strong swimmer)....I was just so enamored with the feeling--I think I'm meant to be in the water more than on land. It really did feel very spiritual on more than a few occasions--it was so refreshing! I laughed out loud at being slapped by huge waves--no one around but me and 1 kitesurfer....liberating, childlike, and pure!
Honestly, no. And I find that pretty disappointing.
Hiking on the Camino de Santiago. Laying a stone at the Iron Cross reciting a forgiveness prayer. Placing stones for D, J, K & B. J, D & M.
Joining the staff of a counseling center has allowed me to meet people where they are on their journey, commit to walking with them for a portion of their travels, and occasionally share something of what I have gained and learned from my sojourn. I think about the Spiritual, oftentimes, in terms of connection and these are experiences that bring substantial satisfaction in terms of the enjoyment of connection with another.
This year has not been as spiritual as previous years. Just the normal church routine. I am kind of dulled to spiritual growth at present mainly due to exhaustion. I am focused on making exercise and healthy eating a spiritual focus. I am looking at reducing the consumption of meat as well, due to my feelings about animals. That will be something to think deeply about.
I think the best thing I've done for my "spirit" this year is to start kayaking. Being on the water is certainly my happy place. I love the stillness and the rhythm of paddling. Being so low on the water let's you see the seals and birds from a really close up view.
I have a deep personal spiritual practice, which most closely resembles Buddhism. This practice allows me to be a kinder gentler person, which gives me the freedom to work with women who have been abused, and people of both genders with AIDS for a very long time without taking on idea that it’s my job to save each and every person who takes my workshops. Nor can I make professional caregivers who participate in my "Taking Care" seminars, which helps them determine how to meet their own needs while being “Caregivers” in the fields of HIV/AIDS & violence against women. My spirituality has allowed me to see that I cannot control whether participants follow what they discover about themselves or their work, because those decisions are up to them.
Such a big year for spirituality. Besides continuing to fall in love with my church, I went on an awesome Ignatian retreat through Georgetown that taught me that everything is about love and song God in the small gentle breeze, he is everywhere. Now my church is doing an Ignatian practice this year. And I've joined the Companions in Christ reading discussion group. It's a meaningful meeting of frank discussion among women trying to live better Christian lives. I'm so grateful for this rich life, and knowing and feeling God's love again.
Spiritual experiences: moving into this house, talking regularly to Mamma and Pappa, feeling their support in this choice to be with Ryan and use their money in this way. April 2016 on. Driving home from grad school auditions Feb 2016: knowing I wouldn't go. The complete clarity the next week talking to Ryan that I wanted to move forward with him. Being in this home, this place, with Ryan and Lou.
I do not engage in any spiritual activities.
A spiritual experience I had this year was at uluru rock in Australia. The physical formation, the peacefulness, the history..it is a place that has meant and means so much to so many people. When I was there, and I saw it from many different angles at many different times of day, I couldn't help but feel connected to the earth and a greater being. It's magical and beautiful and I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to visit this sacred place with my family this past summer.
In July and August, I went to Australia where I toured the outback for a week. While on tour, I saw every sunrise and sunset - each magnificent, memorable, and sacred. I could see more stars than I had ever seen before in my life. I felt so good in my body, and so much awe in being able to experience nature in that way - it makes me want to do more of that. Since I've come back, I've been specifically seeking out opportunities to appreciate nature.
I was in Maui as a student and taken by my teacher to a secret sacred Polynesian site with a petroglyph carving in stone. We were told we could make a prayer offering by leaving a stone to represent that prayer. There was a huge pile of many stones there, obviously very old and covered with moss. It was hushed as a soft rain fell in the wet, mistly jumgle, and as soon as I placed my stone my whole body began to vibrate. I started laughing, and my teacher looked at me. "I feel very odd", I said, and she just smiled and told us all to get in the stream running by us and let the water wash over us. One of my classmates saw my camera and asked if she could have it to take my photo. "Why", I asked. She said,"You're glowing!!". The photo is truly amazing. My skin looks neon. I feel forever changed. Like I passed through a portal to a more enlightened parallel universe.
My faith is pretty interesting: I have very strong, personal faith, pray at least every night (if not more extra times during the day), but it's very hard for me to put my belief into words. Nothing major has happened with it this year other than continually trying to trust in His plan as lots of things have not gone my way this year.
We went on a car trip and saw a number of National Parks and amazing places this past June. We saw Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, the Grand Canyon and Abraham Lincoln's home. It was an amazing trip with my husband of 12 years!
No. Maybe finishing that damn half marathon.
After one horrible sleepless night, I came to the conclusion that I do not like myself. I used to think I was selfless, compassionate and caring. Now I am the opposite as I have no one except my husband and myself to care for. I do not want to watch any TV shows unless I have PVR'd them;I do not want to have my sister-in-law, her son and grandson over for dinner because the grandson does not follow our instructions; and I do not like having people in for dinner because I get too nervous about having to cook. Whether this is a spiritual experience or not, I am not sure. Perhaps it is a sign of early dementia.
I took up running a few years ago and it is about as much of a spiritual experience as I have. The good news is that I almost always run 5 days a week so I'm spiriting it up often. And I run outdoors, so I am usually out in nature when I run. I don't put headphones on when I run because I like to listen to my breathing and be aware of my surroundings. Running gives me time to think and reflect about many things and often my thoughts drift to the bigger questions in life. And while running doesn't provide the answers. I think that just being able to consider the questions is a good place to be.
This is tough for me because I have to confess I don't seek out spiritual experiences, and perhaps don't recognize them when I have them. Playing flamenco guitar often shifts me from an ego focus to a more neutral, appreciative space. I have been fortunate also to see and hear some music, dance and drama that has been transcendent, from a group of Maori women vocalists to Bruce Springsteen. A visit to the Olympic Peninsula awakened the awareness of the intersection of land and sea. Lighting shabbat candles with each of my children on their visits home, while never a deep religious experience in our family, still resonates with the appreciation for being present in the moment.
Every day. It's a way of life.
My meditation practice has opened up, or maybe reopened, the spiritual realm for me. I'm very interested to see how that will develop.
Hugging a tree while out in nature has been the closest thing to a spiritual experience. It started out as a joke, but it is calming and refreshing. To slow down and attempt to listen to the tree and thank it for all it does has felt pretty good. I have dabbled back in to the organized secular, Jewish, spirituality but have not gained anything noteworthy from it. It feels more of a tradition and nostalgia right now than spiritual development. Art has definitely been a major part of this year but I'm still finding my way.
Chanting Torah and praying at NFTY. A elrenewed belief in God from Conformation.
I feel creeped out by people who can see ghosts.
I have spiritual experiences with people who are mostly open like me. The last one I can recall was when Tanya came to visit me in Chicago. We went from club to club, met awesome and interesting people and just let things flow along. It was synchronicity at its best. My last birthday was EXTREMELY spiritual. I went to Big Sur with Tanya and Ixel. We were practically high the entire time and the camping with those amazing trees next to the river and the ocean was deeply cleansing. I felt so connected to Mother Nature and the depths of who I really am and how I can channel my energy to flow. There are moments I can tap into the synchronicity of life but I feel that happens mostly when I let go and allow myself to just be. The spiritual experiences affect me by reinforcing my belief in the magic of life. There really is magic all around us just waiting to be discovered. We just have to be in the right state of mind to really enjoy it.
The wind and nature always remind to be still and look inside. Stillness is spiritual especially when in nature
In a moment of despair, as my partner and I threw at each other the hurtful phrases people think of when fighting, I fell to my knees, sobbing. I felt pathetic, horrible, reduced to a trauma body, worthless. At one point, I looked up at the window, the afternoon sunlight beaming through the living room, and clasped my hands: 'Gd, why did you make me this way?' I must have repeated this line fifty times, perhaps even a hundred. After a few moments, I saw my bright orange Bible. I picked it up, turned to Job, and read 38:4. 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?' It calmed me down. It is my deepest spiritual moment of this year because it put my own history in a grand perspective. One in which I matter exactly as much as anyone else. One in which I see that hurt is as much a part of life as joy can be. One that shows me the truth and beauty is also in the struggle.
This year I've come to understand that everything is spiritual. All experience is occurring in many dimensions: those we know are visible and invisible, they are physical, emotional, and spiritual. But the whole encompasses spiritual, is framed toward it. We aspire to learn what is required so that we can exist more fully on all levels simultaneously. Integrated existence, not to suppress any but to have our Selves rooted in physical and stretching to be wrapped in Sporit.
Well all of the deep and meaningful conversations that I had with my friends and my time at Camp Kalsman really made an impact on my Jewish Identity.
I was truly moved by my experience in Israel sitting on the rooftop of an apartment in the old city for a Sermon Slam on the them of loss tied to the 9 days of Ave. Sitting their with a full panoramic view of the Western Wall, the temple mount and the Arab villages lit up in lights around. I listened to moving spoken word poetry address expressions of loss, disappointment and isolation. I was truly this idyllic view, powerful art, explosive voice, all while struggling with the historical conflict that still plays out all the while within this beautiful land.
I retired on July 28,2016 and now I have the time to reflect on my life, enjoy nature, write in my journal and take art classes. It has effected me greatly because I am very aware of how I am spending my time in new and old pursuits.
I wanted my ancestors to wake up and hear me read from the Torah, watch me carry her around the synagogue, and kvell, nodding their heads in approval and love .. and they did all of this. I felt them. Mom especially. To say the shehecheanu without our holding hands leaves me desolate. I miss her physical presence that much even tho' she is hugging on me always.
Yes, for the month of Elul, I participated in a very interesting group experience with IJS the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. We did a Prayer as Practice month of study for the month of Elul with Merle Feld. It was wonderful to learn from Merle and to journal each day about my own Cheshbon HaNefesh (accounting of my soul) and how I relate -- to my inner life, to my relationships with intimate others, to my commitments in the larger world, in my community, and lastly, how I put this all together with the High Holiday Liturgy and the issues my ancestors struggled with. It was intensely spiritual and moving.
I guess just feeling good about our Temple and Rabbi Bentley, has been very comforting and uplifting for me this year.
Spiritually I know that my home is in Italy. Mainly after Bologna. I felt that the first five minutes in the cab in the city. It washed over me, I felt at home. My home. And this past year has only accentuated this. I miss Bologna, I miss hearing Italian on the streets, speaking it myself and just living in that climate.
So many people I care for are so ill but still have such a positive attitude I often wonder where that comes from. There are really so many kind people that you need to over look the bad
Making challah dough for the first time with our 1 year old grandson. Helping our 5 year old granddaughter learn to braid the dough. Seeing the shining eyes of my grandchildren grow wider (and their bodies go calmer) as we light shabbat candles and chant the blessings.
I am coming to understand and know how G-ds hand is at work in every aspect of life.Its kind of like an iceberg.i thought I knew some stuff a decade ago.as time matches on I see a bit more but there is an infinate amount of unseen that I cant begin to unravel or my mind would blow.now I am pretty good at admitting that I dont know so a year ago I was ready and willing to know more.Let me have it.But I had no idea what i was missing out on the last 37 years.I had been wasting all this time.I had no clue that I had missed all of these opportunities.I could have done so much with my time....and then I realized...I am exactly where I am supposed to be doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing BECAUSE my efforts are directed and intentional to furthering His kingdom.I do want His creation to know His majesty.He is the most valuable thing I have so why would I not want to share Him with the WORLD!!!He has given me life!!!and He has proven Himself time and again.I have been blessed! The thing is...to find Him, look first by reading about Him...then the things of this world will grow slowly dim in the light of his glory & grace(music fades)....
Reading again. OMG the power of a good book
"The Journey" that is my life with God goes on in darkest valley and on glorious hilltop, rarely without effort of some kind. I'm thinking about pilgrimage at the moment having walked The St. Cuthbert's Way in the summer. Pilgrimage as a single event or a lifelong journey.
I find myself struggling with this question, as I was last year... Does that mean I'm not spiritual, or that I am, but don't recognize it as such? Hmmm, something else to ponder... Let's define spirituality for the moment as a certain inner peace and sense of belonging. Then the heartwarming reactions to Dad's death I received from friends (distant and close), inlaws and colleagues would certainly count as spiritual. To know that they're there, that they feel for you, with you, and that you can count on them for support, is certainly the greatest gift. Also, accepting Dad's death as another part of life, might count as a spiritual experience. Sad though it was, it was his time, it's the natural course of things. Meeting people who knew him, and praised him, even the volunteers in the hospice who'd only been around him that last week prove that he's still around, somehow, if nly in fond memory.
After I finished my degree in May, I spent some time just being, not having a clue where to go next and what to do, and just being felt kind of like a spiritual experience. During this time I realised how much I missed acting and trying to work out why I had put myself through physically, emotionally and financially draining training to just stop trying, which I think was due to my innate lack of self-belief. So now I've stopped listening to the self-belief and given up not trying.
Spiritually, I am strong. Strong belief in G-d and in my heritage and in living in Israel. Religiously I waver. I still call myself orthodox, but I chafe at the rituals. I use my cellphone on Shabbat, in secret. But I do feel guilty about it. Same goes for riding an elevator. I wonder if I should be stricter with myself and not allow myself to do these things. And then I ultimately believe that I will not be punished for these things, and why are they wrong? I want to keep an atmosphere on Shabbat which is why I don't think I would ever go to outright use of technology. Because it would be one more day where we spend to much time on our computers. I think I should do more for myself, or rather for others, give more, volunteer at something. But I am afraid of committing.
My cultural experiment happened when my students created and participated in Internal day this past March. I was so proud of them!!! We all worked realty hard!! It showed through our three performances in one day that we accomplished!!! Yeah us!!!!
I still don't believe in God. The more time I spend on this earth, the more I feel that a loving, just, and involved God is an impossibility. While I feel great empathy and alignment and joy with my fellow man frequently, I simply can't chalk this up to the supernatural.
Being in Peru, going through the Sacred Valley was very spiritual. Edgar, our guide, is a shaman and beautifully shared the Incan philosophy of family with us. Being at the foot of their temple at the heart of the "sheep", going through their beautiful land, I really felt like an ancient wisdom was whispering to me, welcoming me. And when we hit the top of the Salkantay Pass and he did the blessing ceremony with the cocoa leaves overlooking that turquoise lake, this spirit was all around us. We cried, we prayed. It really was special. And I do feel like since I walked those lands, part of me will always be there. That I will always be considered family.
It has helped me let go and begin again.
In June I was awarded the Edward Freeman award for Excellence in Teaching at St. Paul's. I totally did not expect to win the award. In fact, I didn't even think I was eligible to win since last year was my first year back at SP post-Harvard. Still, it was an incredible honor. More specifically though, my walk down the length of the chapel towards Mr. Faus was in many ways "spiritual." I felt myself getting emotional and choked up; it felt like an out of body experience too.
Again, I say this is a brutally stupid question. Spiritual can not be defined as something secular. Secular literally means not spiritual. You people are fucking morons. I've never had a spiritual experience in my life. No one has. There is no such thing.
I don't know that I've had any particularly spiritual experience, but I have started going to a Unitarian church in order to build a community for myself. I have been doing some things with some new friends who also go to this church, so I am feeling more connected. I have been hanging out at the knitting/weaving store and knitting a lot this year. So I have been more creative. After having a June that was completely anxiety ridden (horribly), I am feeling more relaxed now.
I've just learned that it looks like there is another baby on the way...my son and his wife Wanted another, and their ivf lab lost their material...leading them to be very dejected. Now it is looking like a pregnancy has happened the old fashioned way and we are exultant. But, shhhhhh, don't tell anyone yet. It is almost 9 weeks...hoping it sticks... but three months makes it more likely... three weeks to go on that one...Right now they're calling it 'maybe baby'
Spiritual...that word always puzzles me. I suppose more and more I find myself thinking in terms of children, though, who are as close to a deity as anything I've seen, and definitely a matter of faith. So yeah, this past year I've found myself in an exciting place I long thought out of reach: I'm in a relationship with someone who very much wants to have kids with me ASAP, and it seems totally feasible. Plus I'm watching friends' kids grow up, and working with my students every day. And I'm definitely seeing kids as a natural (to say the least) extension of my life and identity, and a part of the story of my life that will continue after my body and work cease. So if spirituality is a sense of being connected to something larger than oneself (which is a paradox), kids are part of it. But so is watching a friend perform one of my songs at a big music festival I'll never be asked to perform at - the songs are children of mine too. There are things that can only come into the world through the right medium - a songwriter, a parent - and we must do our best to nurture them and prepare them for autonomy, and then do our best to let them go and manifest their own dharma.
The most spiritual experiences I have tend to be at Shabbat services when I am singing with people who are using such a large amount of umpfh (are kavanah) that it's palpable. It is really helpful when singers are attempting to harmonize with each other as well - the music adds to this feeling of weightlessness in my mind.
The sunrises and sunsets I see everyday keep being magical to me. It doesn't matter whether I am in my car driving home from work or whether I am in the middle of nowhere on a mountain top in Bulgary. The Sunrise in Bulgary was the most magical one this year though :). It was on our horseback riding holiday, and we rose early to see the Sunrise on the top of a mountain range. So extremely beautiful!
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Gothenburg, Sweden with two of my friends and sailed for three nights. It was an incredible experience, and one I could not have expected. We happened to see the listing on AirBnb by chance, and I feel like it was meant to be. We were wild and free, happy and celebrating. But there was one moment that stands out the most. On our last day, we had to go through this narrow passage, and we turned off the motor to go through. Without a cue, all of us went silent. The only sounds we heard were of the wind, the water brushing the side of the boat as we glided, and some birds in the distance. There were a couple moments when our Captain whispered a few things about what we were seeing, and his voice floated like the wind through grass on a summer day. I had heard people speak about how they felt when they meditate- the complete peace, the universe in their ears. I never truly understood what that meant until that moment. It was as if all of us were of one mind, relaxed and blank, while we were all also contemplating life, our problems that needed sorting, and acceptance of them. Of one mind but separate. We could all feel it. I never wanted that moment to end, and at the same time it felt like it could last forever. Those moments gave me a gift, an experience that I could go to in my mind whenever I needed. I know I will hold that feeling close to me for the rest of time.
I sat with my mother-in-law as she died. My husband was in Korea. No other family in our town. I got the call from hospice and sat vigil with her until she drew her last breath. It was empowering in the sense that I walked with her to the door, reassured her and provided what little comfort I could, then let her go through. It was a truly selfless act and I am grateful she gave me that privilege.
I can't think of any particular spiritual experiences this year. However, being in Canada is always a spiritual experience for me, as are many of the moments when I stop to marvel at the beauty of nature. Lastly, doing yoga at Hillel a week or two ago was also (as yoga always is) deeply moving. The experience of my physical body being grounded in the natural world centers me and makes me feel profoundly, deeply present and whole.
Not enough. Perhaps I could consider the reconnection to myself and what's important generally a spiritual experience, and a brief dabble into meditation again, but I'd really like to prioritize this in the coming year.
Really seeing the hand of the L-rd on my life and in direction with completion of the Dissertation process. Reaching the point where I could see my own failures and Divine timing. Really acknowledging that even in my own distractions God's alignment of all things is perfect.
My peak spiritual experiences are being aware that I am fully present. This often occurs when walking outdoors but I've started trying to have that awareness when I'm at Sat AM services.
I have had some major epiphanies in the past year about how I operate within stressful moments, my common pattern of reactions, etc. It has helped me realize that I do need to carve my path with more intention and focus. What's so spiritual about it? My soul feels lighter.
I spent more time hiking and outside this year, I think that I find that to be really spiritual in a way. Realizing how small we are in the world, how impermanent.
The birth of two grandsons- both named for my father was very meaningful for me. My dad would have loved these boys and the other grands.
After going on my Birthright trip, I felt pressure to attend Shabbat services and other Jewish holiday services. I sometimes felt uncomfortable because I don't know how to read Hebrew and everyone else knew all of the prayers. I reasoned that I can celebrate my religion in my own way - a way that makes me feel comfortable and grateful.
None to speak of. In some ways I miss the community at Messiah. I enjoyed my ministry of hospitality there and until Abel came along it was appreciated. I have thought about going back, but I know it won't be the same. I do love the sunsets here in the desert. There are times when the quiet beauty astounds me.
I haven't had a spiritual awakening that I can think of but preparing for my surgery has been eye opening. It has definitely been a time for self reflection. I got all of my affairs in order for one. That was affirming because I hate to think that I would die and anyone would have issues dealing with my "stuff." It didn't stress me out at all, in fact I was ok with dying when I finished getting everything together. I also reconnected with many friends. I think it was my way of saying hello and goodbye (just in case). Writing the blog has been my way of connecting and it has been interesting who has stayed in contact and who is just reading the blog and who is reaching out vs who is stopping over and staying for a visit. It is affirming to know how many people care!
Wow, so many things happened this year when I knew the hand of God was on me, helping me to do the next right thing, but there is one thing that really stood out, where I had an intuitive thought and followed through with it. My friend lost his brother last year and was talking about how much his brother loved cardinals, and how the day of his funeral he kept seeing cardinals everywhere. I found a decorative plate in my sister's closet after her death, and I gave the plate to my friend. He was very touched, and I somehow knew that my sister was pleased.
I truly don't know how to answer this. I'm in a very "I'm not having feelings" kind of place right now and I can't remember feeling spiritually moved, ever.
I have to say maybe I realized that I need to understand that my child like joy still exists in me and I need to nurture it to feel whole as an adult.
I got into 100 days of watercolor with a group of women. It became a meditation through what was a really challenge year. I looked forward to and somehow was able to make time to create.
Absolutely, the experience of walking through a divorce and staying sober and truly HAPPY through it has been one of the greatest and best spiritual experiences of my life . I've actually come to believe that God, as I understand God, is not a Santa Claus figure who delivers material and spiritual presents but rather in the nature of a relationship I've been able to cultivate (with varying degrees of diligence on my part) . I was able to deal with my resentment, make mistakes and ultimately emerge grateful and truly feeling sense of amicability and separation from my ex-wife. And I didn't have to drink
I have devoted a lot of time to the idea that all human beings are equal and have equal value. Combined with a nugget I ran across saying that Catholic Priests are called Curates (?) because they are tasked with caring for and nurturing every soul in their parish. I have drawn concentric circles around myself. Starting with a small circle that includes my family, then friends, then people who are "like" me, etc. Is the subset of people in the first circle the right focus? What about people who are not like me, and that I think of as evil or simply unlikeable? No answers, but I feel an urgency to work toward an answer.
To be honest - I cannot remember whether I have or have not. I'm not sure that means I haven't; it might mean that they are buried deep in my memory.
I have not had any significant spiritual experiences this year, just minor ones - noting the color of the ocean or clarity of light on a particular day, singing beautiful harmonies with other people, or feeling inspired by something my rabbi said.
I played a significant role in the play Fiddler on the Roof, a story that connects me to my family roots. I did it to the best of my ability and, in that regard, payed homage to my family, in particular, my great grandmother.
I did daven with t'fillin for a few months. I still remember very fondly the beginning of that, at Cape Cod, alone in the mornings with the sun shining in. I hope I can get back to it some day, some way.
Every time I do a taharah it's a spiritual experience. Nothing grounds me more than that. I have such respect for the people who help to take care of people who are dying, mourners, and the dead.
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh no. Hahaha. I am a member of the Met, which is NICE but not crazy meaningful? It's just nice. I think for me, the most "spiritual" thing that I've been doing is running. Super glad to be back into that exercise!
I've had plenty of spiritual experiences. Seeing myself continuing in my children, and thing I am about taken further by them, is in the most spiritual ones.
I think I had a spiritual experience this past week. Breastfeeding had taken over my life. I was grappling with the physical experience of it as well as the emotional experience. It consumed all my thoughts. I kept debating whether now was the time to give up. I finally just told myself, this is bigger than me and just asked for help from the greater universe. In that time I found a wonderful lactation consultant. She has answers that I hadn't heard yet and 5 days later we are on a much better path. I wouldn't say everything is perfect. It we've come a long way and I am just going to try and believe in the process.
Since last year, we've been to 4 Broadway shows: Matilda, Something Rotten, Waitress, and The Humans. All of them have been amazing treats. They remind me of how much I love the culture that NY has to offer, that it's truly one of the finest and most amazing cities in the world. We may pay some high prices for the chance to live near it--hello property taxes!--but it's a privilege and an opportunity to do so. I hope we will be more flush come Christmastime and we can treat ourselves to another show. I would love for that to be an annual tradition.
A pronounced Spiritual experience has really been a long process of surrender and what that means in my relationship and connection with my children and wife. It has been a tough journey. I have surrendered my ego around Wrestling and my oldest son, I have surrendered my control of him using drugs. I am surrendering my desire for my wife to be more boundaried with our children... I am constantly being buffetted by my desire for control etc...and these are amazing and powerful life lessons.
Not really, other than the near-constant need to filter or muzzle myself when dealing with people who cling to their relationship with an invisible man in the clouds. I have very little patience with people who do not take responsibility for their actions or lack of action but rather pawn off that responsibility on to their invisible friend. I've been changing the subject a LOT this year. Getting to be quite an expert on the weather...
SO much. All of a sudden the feeling of the importance of community and ritual and being together hit me like a lightening bolt. I used to the think evolved people were atheists. Not any more - it seemed wise, enlightened to be a part of something larger than yourself with people who are your friends and neighbors. Being in temple with my children and husband and watching the teens lead the beautiful service with singing and joy and intelligence was just so moving. Never felt this before. Ava is leading the way...preparing for her bat mitzvah.
Over the last year my relationship with God gradually changed from "I wish I wouldn't believe" to "I got a missed phone call on my religious phone" to "we talk every once in a while and I feel touched by Him". Praying is something very powerful for me. And the warmth when I feel I'm doing something right.
I have watched and listened to Evgeny Kissin playing Beethoven. I don't think anyone can get any closer to the idea of god.
My whole life is a spiritual experience.
Sleeping with my kids, snuggling, hugging them, feeling their body heat and physical mass is a joy that is unmatched. I feel grateful for my and their existence. I love them with my entire being. They are growing into wonderful young adolescents and they are still my sweet babies.
No. it has actually been an incredibly difficult year. I've lost family members, we totaled our car. It's been immensely difficult to just keep moving forward- I've been so focused on survival
I got my first Tallis and have begun wearing it at Shul. It feels so special to be cloaked in it while I pray. It's soft cotton ivory with just a thread of silver and I love putting it on.
I have learned how to value myself. I know that I am more than what I do for work or other people ... I have a value beyond that. I have a value just being me.
Still contributing to the Devotionals and enjoying writing them every week. I love that Julie and Susan and I each bring something different to them. And yet, I've noticed, we've got much in common. Each of us is very sensitive to changes in seasons, and we note it regularly. So much in nature gives rise to spiritual love and wisdom. I'm so grateful for my partners and all our readers.
No. Last year I questioned if a really good orgasm counted as spiritual. This year, I don't even think that matters
I feel like the older I get, the more in touch with myself that I am. I know how to practice self care.
Many moments of awe-inspiring beaut on our (Un-) cruise of Hawaii and our time on Maui. The rainbows & sunsets were spectacular throughout, but night snorkeling with giant manta rays was truly amazing. These quarter-ton behemoths with their (up to) 12 foot wingspan are something to see as they feed at night. Also several moments with Dad. With Karen on our first visit, telling us what a lovely woman she is, his heartfelt acknowledgement of his failures as a husband and parent, and my forgiving him, and his heartbreaking description of of what it is like to have dementia, and knowing that it is progressive. Moments of pure presence and flow.
Over the past two years, I have begun a journey to convert to Judaism. This began when I was going through a breakup with a dear friend who was Jewish, who I had lived with for a little under six months. During our time living together, we had celebrated numerous Shabbat meals, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur. More than even the loss of the friendship, I was mourning the loss of the Jewish community I had felt a part of during that time. One day, as I was meditating at the close of a deep yoga session, I felt a little window open deep inside my mind with a brilliant white light. The window, I understood, was asking why I hadn't considering becoming Jewish? Why did I feel uncomfortable learning more about something that brought such joy? I responded with the thought that I had never heard of someone converting and that I didn't think it was something that was "done." The window asked me to just look into it, to just talk to someone about it. I was left with a strange sensation of curiosity and peace after the session. A few weeks later I was sitting in the Rabbi's office at a local Reform synagogue asking about which books to read and where to get more information. One of the first books I read, and to which I am forever grateful, is Anita Diamant's "Choosing a Jewish Life." From these sources, I began to understand that my identity as a Buddhist since the age of 3 had never truly fit my spiritual beliefs as an adolescent and adult. Here was a religion where my boundless spiritual curiosity and deep belief in a benevolent and conscious deity could fit together. A year later I was going on a Jewish Joint Distribution Committee trip to Ethiopia. The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the Jewish community there and to help with local projects for the traditionally Jewish villages. As the only gentile on the trip, I was self-conscious about my status as a convert-in-progress, and was surprised when I realized that all of the people on the trip felt some level of self-consciousness about their Judaism. We were all "still learning" and no one knew more or less than any other participant about all aspects of Judaism. From this experience, I developed a theory that at any given time in history Judaism has relied on all members of the community to carry their knowledge of the religious traditions and beliefs in order to ensure the future of the Jewish faith. When we come together this knowledge is shared and each of us grows in our faith and in our ability to protect our beliefs for the future members. This year I took the step of officially joining my local Conservative synagogue. My children attend the Hebrew school there and even asked me to get them kippot to wear to school. I am proud to be a member of a community of loving and open-minded individuals, who lean on one another for both spiritual guidance and practical support in times of need. This coming year I look forward to finally completing my conversion through a Beit Din and ceremonial dip in the Mikvah, but I know that "becoming Jewish" will be a lifelong journey and not one that begins or ends with converting. It is with joy that I see my children growing up with Jewish values and identities. They will carry on my beliefs long after I am gone with their choices and actions, and I am blessed to have found a community that will embrace and support them throughout their lives.
This past year, I have seen how God provides for me in a way that I can never predict, but that I can always trust. I have a new job, my family is all healthy, and my wife and I are committing more and more time to other people together. We're trying to build a culture of taking care of the people around us that we want our sons to learn, because it's Biblical, and it's important to be showing love to other people no matter what they're going through. It's been invigorating to be able to have a partner like my wife that can sit down and be on the same page with me about these things, and that we're so enthusiastic about doing whatever we can to be a support to our friends and neighbors and family in whatever way that we can.
My spiritual life has dwindled and needs to be sparked up again. I'm craving more Judaism in my life. The way I'm trying to make it happen is by getting in learning when I can. Jewish podcasts have actually been my greatest connection... I've listened to little pods on each parsha and tried to read what I can... But it's not enough. I find myself forgetting what I learned in conversion. I crave a life in which I can recognize Shabbat in a more true and full way. For me, each remembered piece of knowledge about Judaism has become a spiritual connection. I hold onto these tidbits and words and stories for dear life sometimes.
My spiritual awakening has come in the form of getting healthy and taking more time to focus on my health and happiness. I find myself enjoying life way more now that I have a healthy view of myself, I am healthy, and on a path to constantly improve myself through means that are feasible for me and my life.
I went to Alaska and crossed the artic circle. looking at the mountains and rivers covered in snow has shown me that the world is vast and endless. I felt euphoric being on that side of the world.
What biz introduced me to in the lakes was incredible. I really didn't think that this realm had any surprises left. It sure does!! An absolutely epic and spiritual experience that emboldened me. Wonderful
This year has been hard for me, spiritually. My ex left Judaism. My son is apathetic at best and my new partner, whom I love and adore, identifies as an atheist. I am still strong in my Jewish identity and practice, but miss having a Jewish family around me too.
It seems like I have become much less spiritual over the last year; most likely because my partner is anti-religious and has a particularly visceral reaction to Christianity. I do think that my trip to Joshua Tree and looking at the stars was re-energizing and cathartic. Looking up at the stars and seeing the immensity of space can be humbling and also provide perspective. I should probably be getting out more in nature by myself to provide space for reflection and meditation. Seeing Hamilton for the second time was also incredible.
Continuing my daily practice of mindfulness, even in hard times when it's all I can do to say a blessing and draw one tarot card for myself, and for six friends, daily, helps. Having deep artistic moments, creating beauty to get out there into the world, is awesome. I will continue these and more: this is what feeds my soul, and makes a positive difference to others. Mentoring another artist into doing arts shows; sharing successes that way.
One of the most beautiful spiritual experiences I had this year came during my travel in Europe. I was staying at Moishe House Budapest and was asked to lead Kabbalat Shabbat services. As I was tuning my guitar and preparing to sing, and people were starting to arrive, suddenly the lights to the apartment went out. It turned out that they had run out of electricity for the month and wouldn't be able to turn the lights back on until at least the next day. Panicking, the residents called a friend to ask for help, and he suggested buying hundreds of tealights to light up the room. We filled the room with candles, creating a perfect ambiance for an intensely spiritual Shabbat evening.
I would say that my expanded states in David's office could be considered spiritual.
I was introduced to a poem written by Joy Harjo titled "For Calling the Spirit from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet". This resonated for me in ways I can only say my soul aches a little less every time I read it.
I feel like ive been back in forth with my religious well being. However i feel like that's been the case for the last 5 years. However i also feel like I've been praying for more realistic things which is good?
Yes, but not in the way this question leads you to think. I dated someone that was a believer, and I am not. I am an atheist, and an anti-theist, and I am not changing those beliefs for anyone. It worked well, but as generally happens with believers, they cannot respect this. His sister in law got involved and made it worse and long story short, I broke it off with him. Now I am even more convinced that religion is terrible and not for me. Not for anyone, really. But I can only choose for myself. If only everyone felt that way. So my spiritual experience was this - I do not believe in it, and this year, my belief was cemented even further, as was my disdain for religious people.
At Rosh Hashana in the Round, it was a spiritual experience to meditate on what's left of my living years, to visualize possibilities, and to hear from two congregants who underwent major life shifts. I feel spiritual experiences whenever I'm at the symphony listening to a great piece of music, or viewing amazing art, painting, loving and being loved by my precious family, being by the ocean and in nature.
When I sing in public, sometimes it feels spiritual. I guess it depends on my frame of mind. While parenting, I have found that it is difficult to take the time to notice the spiritual moments. I'd like to, but they go by so quickly that I really only notice them in retrospect.
Last November in New Mexico at the writing retreat being part of a community of women gathered around writing and nature. Everyday felt open and free wide expanses, invitations.
Not particularly. I did give some thought to what happens after death when my mom died and my friend Loretta's parents (who are very Catholic) wanted to tell me she was with God. They meant well, but it was still unsettling. I like to think she is watching me, but I'm still not sure about what happens after someone dies.
This is a surprisingly difficult question. I honestly can't think of anything. I am going to be in a wedding this weekend for two people who are truly meant to be together. That might be the closest thing to a spiritual experience, to see one of my best friends marry the love of her life.
When I visited the High Museum in Atlanta, I was prepared for the usual museum experience. I wanted to go because I wanted to feel closer to Mom, and I did. I felt her with me in every wing, felt her energy and excitement through the ether. As far as art goes, I know what I enjoy--marble sculptures that manage to make stone look like living fabric, or beautiful soft impressionist gazes, broad breathtaking American landscapes that are so detailed it looks like a photograph, surreal perspectives... but I was completely unprepared for how moved and awed I would be by the modern art wing. Modern art usually isn't my thing--it rarely gets my notice, because a giant blob of color seems lazy, not artistic. I usually skip modern art wings for that reason, so I was completely unprepared for what I experienced. In particular, there was this massive concave disc made of highly polished stainless steel broken into fragments that turned the viewer in to a kaleidoscopic shattered fractal the closer the viewer got. What blew my mind was how the art piece not only altered my view, it totally altered the sound around me. I felt like I was on drugs. I was utterly dumbstruck and slightly dizzy, but I couldn't look away. I haven't had that level of intense engagement with a piece of art since I saw Francis Bacon's painting at MoMA, or Jack Yeat's bold streaks of color in Dublin. The piece was made by Anish Kapoor, the same fella who made the giant "Cloud" bean-shaped mirror installation in Chicago. I believe I'm going to cherish this moment for a long, long time.
I have started a spiritual practice of my own this year. I'm an atheist at heart but I do believe there is more to this universe than what we see. I just don't believe in any religion. They've all got it wrong. I started meditating, taking some classes and reading books to learn more about tapping into a higher realm. It's been pretty awesome discovering new things.
I went to Spain and in Toledo I visited an ancient synagogue. It was amazing to be there, where other Jews had been many centuries before. I thought of them and the suffering they must have gone through. And then I was thankful that I am alive and that there are still Jews like me around the world.
Huh. I'm not sure. I feel like I'm distant from God and I'm not sure if that's because I don't spend any time thinking about him or if it's because I'm slowly becoming an agnostic. And yet I believe in something, and I worry that my belief is too nebulous - like I'm believing that if I only have my potato, everything will be fine, when that's a stupid belief to live a life by. All I really know is that I keep asking for guidance and I keep getting none. And I keep asking for help and I keep getting none. And either God doesn't care or he cannot intervene or he's choosing not to and maybe my view of God is faulty. Maybe he isn't supposed to help. But then what is he supposed to do and why should I care about him when he gives nothing to the relationship? In short I am quite conflicted about all things spiritual and don't think I really answered the question.
I had my second child, a son. Not only was the bris a primal spiritual experience (can't say I enjoyed it, but it was really something), but I have really felt that he has completed our family. Not that our daughter wasn't enough, or that I am fully ready to close off the option of a third kid, but the early months with him, I felt more stable and satisfied than I may ever have been. Although I am having a rough patch right now, I really feel moved by the sense of abundance I have had with his joining the family, and seeing my children interact with each other.
Our summer road trip through Wyoming was pretty spectacular. It wasn't spiritual, but it was awe-filled. Yellowstone and Grand Tetons and other areas nearby are just stunning. I loved being with my family and camping outdoors for a week in these incredible settings.
Hamilton. It sounds silly Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical was a spiritual experience in nearly every sense of the word.
Feeling deep love from another and accepting it has led to a loop that feels spiritual in nature - it feels bigger than me. I don't think circumstances were right for me to accept love before. I was not loving enough with myself and the love I'd been given in the past was not as validating/nurturing - so this combination has really opened me up.
I have spiritual experiences every morning that I wake up to the view that we have of the Three Sisters mountains - and their personality/color changes each time. It's magical...
I loved learning with one of my teachers in Israel. He was always on a quest for meaning and his teachers were deep, wide, and wise.
A really spiritual activity I did was shabbat yoga. It was amazing! I felt so connected, not more than I ever do in yoga, but in a different way. It was so artistic and beautiful and connected to Judaism but also everything that yoga is. I teared up in class thinking about how beautiful it was to come together with other Jews and sing Jewish songs and how amazing it is and privileged that we don't have to hide. That not that many years ago and still in different places in the world Jews cannot sing or pray in public. I am realizing how spiritual music is and it reminded me of when my yoga class sang Baba Hanuman, and when Gina sings Amazing Grace/Let it Be. I loved singing in class and being in that environment. It was the most connected I could feel and it's what I want to do every Shabbat. I already loved Shabbat but I love it so much more now- this was the best time I've had.
In my daily meditation practice I've experienced angel,.wshich is new to me. Experiencing angels about me and my Family brings peace to my heart as we venture off in different directions each day.
Nothing really concrete. I did notice some things moved around the house. That just tells me my mom is getting my attention from the other side. I still see synchronicity signs and I am reminded I am doing well spiritually. These signs are messages I am grateful for and I pay attention to them.
This summer was incredibly difficult. In February I had my first obvious encounter with the spiritual world when I was attacked by demons. The attack seemed like a one time thing until this summer when for almost twelve weeks every night there were attacks of varying severity. It confirmed my decision to go Orthodox because I got more help from the Orthodox church than from TRC. I've grown more in trusting God and saying prayers more regularly.
The word "spiritual" is really difficult for me, having grown up in a strict religious environment. I have rejected a lot of that as fantasy and so it's hard to put myself in that headspace. It feels like pretending. It doesn't feel authentic. This has been a pain point in my recovery from alcoholism, as well. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous talks a lot about spiritual experience or awakening and relationship with a higher power. I don't know if I am really capable of these things.
Yes. I attended my first Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training, and went straight from the silent retreat to a Vision Quest Walk. It was a windy day, which brought to mind the wind I had noticed rustling a scarf on the chair in front of me during the retreat, the trees at the retreat center, as well as the breath that animates all living things, including myself. It was very powerful. I retained the echo of this experience for a while, especially while sitting in my enclosed porch and watching the leaves on the trees moving with the wind.
I finally became an official member at Temple Emanu-El. I decided that enough was enough, and that I could finally afford to pay my membership dues and give back to the place where I celebrate Shabbat, observe the High Holy Days, and connect with others.
My spiritual growth continues to be incremental. I do not remember any particular experiences but I do continue to get lost in nature and art and finding the Oneness that connects us all.
No, not really. My spiritual life has mostly been empty since my mother died and I entered a long period of depression. I am hopeful now, that I've dropped my 2nd job and am feeling better mood-wise. I am trying to improve my body, and I believe that will help my brain and soul...we'll see.
The march of the living. Shabbat morning in Poland at the Kupa Shul was the most meaningful and spiritual experience of my life. I've written about it countless times, and what I witnessed and felt and experienced will never be forgotten.
The older I get, the more I am able to make connections between situations and people throughout my life. The most spiritual thing that happened to me over the past year was a realization that a theory I teach in my classes at work is one that applies beautifully to my own life story. I have been thinking about writing a book, not necessarily for publication, but for my own process and life. And this theory provides an amazing framework. I have outlined the book and written parts of it. It is very very hard. But I have not yet given up.
This past year I was able, with the grace of God, to stop seeing myself solely as the older brother, but also as the prodigal son. This was very hard, and I need to acknowledge my faults even more frankly. But moving from feeling unjustly victimized to seeing my sin and being forgiven is huge!
After I moved states, I tried to connect with my Buddhist group here. After a lot of effort, I felt disconnected for the first time in 13 years. A woman at the center kept berating me, using Japanese terms about how my presence was interfering with counting the donations that night. It was a direct contradiction to everything I believed about my practice, as well as what the organization stands for, but it wasn't the first time I'd experienced this contradiction. So I chose to step back and reexamine my core beliefs, review how many times I've allowed myself, my time, money, belief, to be swayed by wanting to fit in, to be accepted, and because I have never had a supportive family. I still donate, but it's been a year, and in some ways, I feel freer, less indoctrinated. I'm still working through this.
You might call facing your own mortality a spiritual experience, even if it was for only a short period of time. For just a few days between my initial cancer diagnosis and PET-scan results, I knew I had cervical cancer but did not know what stage it was. Stage 1 is very curable; stage 4 is pretty much a death sentence. So for a little while I felt like Schroedinger's cat, both alive and dead at the same time. It made me ask myself a lot of questions about what I truly believed, and I sorta' went catatonic in the process. I questioned my worth and how I've lived my life. On the other side of treatment now, I'm still processing the answers...
I was able to see the composites of a person that are not physical. When I believed we had a real creator that imbued us all with (whatever), I felt more free than I ever have. Haven't quite figured all that out
Yes. I experienced a kosher mikveh for the first time. Two of my oldest and best friends came with me, and it was a very spiritual moment for me, a culminating moment in my life.
No, this has not been a good year for spiritual experiences. I have become sucked more and more deeply into the darkness of Cyrun's survival, and this has infected my soul and spirit alike. Thankfully, I had a terrific experience last night at Lupulo, which caused me to write an email to Lisa Jill about heaven and talking with my deathbed self. it all merged very nicely, and truly it was a spiritual experience. I feel my spirit has been suddenly revived in the wake of two acupuncture treatments, back to back, of 5E and Flux. A great combo. I am riding the train right now to San Francisco, and I feel renewed connection with my reality. it is about time!
The priest at church said I could become a nun. I am thinking about it. This makes me happy that I am devoted to my project of healing this planet and am willing to do whatever it takes. This offer has come up and I'm not refusing it. I may not do it but the fact that I'm willing means, to me, I am spiritually available for our planet to serve.
No. I've felt a complete lack of spirituality and wonder this past year. It's sad. I want it back. I don't know how to get it back.
This past year I have been working on a talk that I hope to take to a TED event. In researching this I have come across several instances that have been trans-formative but non more so than an event that occurred today. A random event that seemed insignificant as it began to unfold. A young woman pasted my husband and I as we were meeting outside the Apple Store. She appeared to be Persian and was sporting at sling and brace on her left arm. My husband, whole mission is to make others smile made a comment about the arm and I asked what happened. In a still small voice she said she had been assaulted and my world view changed.
I attempted to do a "spiritual" experience by floating in a deprivation tank. However, all that I experienced is a burning salty butt hole experience! Yowwww
In August, I took participated in a 6-week course called "How Happiness Thinks" led by a young Chabad rabbi. Each week, I looked forward to attending the class, and after each session I felt glad that I was in a Jewish learning environment again, especially in the heart of Tel Aviv. I really enjoyed being in that kind of environment again.
Many. So many experiences of synchronicity--sometimes a few in one day. These shout out to me not to be afraid, to be brave, to believe that all of what I need will come to me. I will be happy, content, fulfilled.
CPE was incredibly spiritual. I realized that I loved to pray with so many people, despite my fear about doing so. I was touched by the many people who wanted to pray, despite not being religious, or not being traditionally religious. It was incredible. I also had a spiritual moment. Before leading my first services at HUC, I asked a 5th year cantorial student, Vlad, for a blessing. He offered me the blessing that I might find on emoment in service leading that would carry me through. It did. This was an incredible and growing moment for me.
Walking in the woods or working out. Those are the most likely places for it to happen. Not always present, not always earth shattering, but those are the places to be and things to be doing to have them. In fact, we took a trip down into Northern California to see the redwoods. Walking in those woods, that was balancing, awe inspiring. That was my spiritual experience of 2016.
I put this on the back burner and than I realized it did not have to be a gigantic experience to be moving and touching. When I go out early in the morning and see the sun in the sky I am reminded of G-ds presence. I am often moved to acknowledge his being and omnipresence and power, A warmth surrounds me as if i am receiving a greeting and a hug. What a great way to start the day.
It seems like I have had a lot in the past two years, but nothing comes to mind right now. I will think about it.
When we went to Normandy this summer, I was really struck by the enormity of what had happened there. There was a service that included the playing of Taps and the National Anthem. As it played, we were singing along. Quietly, at first, and then it swelled to this big crescendo of beautiful heartfelt singing. All of a sudden, tears were streaming down my face. I really didn't expect to feel that way and I don't know when I've felt more pride in country than I had at that moment.
The only spiritual experience I had was watching my Mom pass away over the course of one month. She lost interest in eating due to her form of Alzheimer's disease. It was remarkable how much weight she lost - and so quickly. That the mind and body can put something in motion like that is quite awesome. I was basically referring to the power of mother nature. One can say that experiencing mother nature is the same as having a spiritual experience.
Going to the Met was definitely a spiritual experience. Getting to see the genius of famous works up close was a joy I'll never live down. So much Monet, Cezzanne, and Homer made my heart sing and sing and sing.
My spiritual experience is confirmation that I am a secular Jew and an atheist.
My biggest spiritual experience that I've had this past year was the simple continuation of my Jewish journey. I know that I was meant to be Jewish. I'm a little sad that I wasn't born a Jew. Sometimes it reminds me of a bumper sticker an old college roommate had:" I wasn't born in Texas but I got her as soon as I could". That's how I feel. I am glad that over the last year I have felt more Jewish, more involved, but still very worried that I am not quite a Jew. Hopefully at this time next year i'll be legit.
I have been working as a maternity nurse for seven months, and it is really amazing to be present at births. Wonderful to see people's happiness and even surprise (some parents even say, "It's a baby!" as if they didn't quite believe it until then). Many times I have to struggle not to cry as I stand at the bedside helping a mother to push. I think a lot about history at these moments. Not history-in-the-history-books, but personal, familial history. The paths that this person's ancestors took that led to this unique being in this unique situation. And I'm taking part in this history.
When I went so see my family this summer, I also saw my best friend. We hadn't seen each other for 4 years since her wedding. Although at times from here it has been easy for me to think that we were on two very distant paths, just by talking to her for few minutes made my heart realize how nothing has never changed. How much I love her and that she is my soul sister no matter what happens in our lives.
I have come to appreciate how subtle spiritual experience can be. The difference a breath can make, the quiet uttering of Green Tara's mantra, of my own mantra, of the Space Goddesses mantra. The practice of small things carried out with hope and a true desire to be well--can have profound impact. Sometimes immediate and large, more often quietly and within the confines of normal, everyday life-- a flood of emotion, a release of energy that provides instant clarity and lightens the heart. Sunlight on red leaves; fast moving clouds in a cerulean sky; a yellow bird in the bath. I have been humbled to the core by a yoga pose done hundreds of times; this time carried on a wave of grief from beyond the core of me and the very fact that I can let my tears flow without having to be overwhelmed by them or needing to be attached. With these experiences I come closer to understanding the idea of the Holy Ghost-the Breath of God-Sophia....
I've been too stressed and sad to experience much spirituality. I do commune with G-d everyday, and observe Shabbat as well as all of the Jewish Holidays. Otherwise, I have strayed from my usual spiritual self.
In May, I saw Brecht on stage for the first time in many years. The Three Penny Opera, performed by the Berliner Ensemble at Zorlu Center here in Istanbul, in German, my native language. It has moved me deeply as it was a powerful reminder of where my roots are - politically, intellectually and otherwise.
During one of my morning meditations, I experienced a stillness that I'm not sure how to describe with words. It changed me and I still have no words for it. If I liken it to a place, I believe there is a sacred space within us that we can visit in any moment to catch a glimpse of the infinite.
Music is always a spiritual experience for me. From seeing Weval at Fusion to seeing Satori at Pampa to seeing Raresh play in Brooklyn on New Years Day, I have been blessed with transcendental moments of bliss through music several times this year.
My spiritual life is on life-support. In talking with Heidi recently she helped me to realize that many of my issue with my weight, health, and boundaries is due to my lack of a spiritual connection. I know that I am spiritual. In addition, when I started reading Iyanla Vanzant's book "Trust" I had to deal with my feelings regarding God. I do believe there is a great energy and an intelligence to the Universe. I believe that I am part of that energy. However, how I tap into that energy and have a relationship with it...that I don't know. That is what I define as my spirituality. However, that being said, I've had many moments of this Force working in the world. Connecting with Rene, Dru not being more hurt falling form the roof, being at Lilly's funeral, money when we needed it - all signs that the Universe is taking care of me and there is a bigger process at play.
Wow... yes! and many. Again, going to Israel was a big thing. Looking at Temple Mount. A place so full of history. It was the center of the universe for almost 2 millennia.
I am not sure if I had any spiritual experiences other than the normal that I have. I do know that whenever I think about how good God has been to me, I get excited and emotional. God has done so much for me this past year!!!
My spiritual experiences are of an everyday nature. My practice and its application is my spiritual experience as it plays out in relationships with myself and others, as how I understand the world around me and the unfolding of my life. I see a lot more clarity in my relationships --I have had several experiences, for example, with the De la Mers after we met in Tel Aviv, unpacking what bothered me and conveying it with such clarity and understanding and love. I had a good talk with Ahouva about the differences between the two of us, without a need to convince her to think my way. I was moved by Jody's sharing at Ruth's house about how she had made someone her enemy and finally resolved it. I don't think I have made enemies, but I noticed a more compassionate interaction with someone I have had somethings against for quite a few years. I see more and more how the word "compassion" takes on meaning in a wide variety of situations, not relegated for "miskanim." I feel blessed in friendship and in the children I have given life to, in their happiness, independence, and zest for life. Gratitude, realizing I already have enough conditions to be happy. Holding the knowledge that courage and fear, and faith and doubt go hand in hand is spiritual. Sharing my practice -- with Judy, Judy and Marla is spiritual. Sharing my insight.... Eating a slow and mindful Friday night meal with David is spiritual. Taking our Kabbalat shabbat walk in the wadi is spiritual. Sharing around the table with my dear five friends couples on our wishes for the New Year is spiritual. Nourishing and persisting with sitting meditation is spiritual. And probably many more...
I was very fortunate to be able to return to my Buddhist meditation practice this year and do two 3-day retreats, which were not possible since April of 2014, when I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. I was very relieved and happy to be able to do these retreats and to welcome back my practice after a long period of not being able to meditate at all or properly. I am extremely lucky and grateful to have the guidance and support of my spiritual teacher and several members of our sangha as well as my family for this.
I'm learning to think about me, my body and my life here as temporary. Trying hard to make peace with that reality. I'm using mindfulness, meditation, yoga, exercise and healthier eating as vehicles in o nurture my spirit, mind and body. Learning how to give up perceived control is one of the hardest things I have tried to do. But I am slowly doing it. My body feels better for it, and my soul is coming along. There are other journeys which await me. I choose not to be filled with dread or anxiety. Instead, I am choosing to focus on my being one with creation, and being grateful for all the love I have received.
You know, I think my spiritual side was lacking this year. I was busy with work and I could never find time for it. I don't think it helps that I can't figure out what I believe. Does it even truely matter?
I began a discipleship program. First, making the decision to begin this was a commitment and I'm not fond of committing myself to anything. But I felt led in this direction. I'm feeling like I'm now doing what I was put here to do, and moving forward with that is comforting (instead of fighting it) and rewarding. Every day I feel like I'm growing closer to God.
Birthing my baby was a much more spiritual experience than I expected. I did so much physical and spiritual preparation. I wrote and decorated affirmations, decorated the room, prayed, chanted, breathed and connected as best as I could with Goddess, my fears, the baby and my partner. I felt so PRESENT through it all. It was an incredible experience.
There have not been one defining moment but lots of little moments that draw me closer to God. Also those things in life I am discontent we I th that i want changed, they move me towards God Abba Hashem.
Tashlich service with my Hillel. It was very calming and relaxing. The poems I picked and the words we said were meaningful.
I have had moments during clinics where I am completely at peace and completely content. I feel joy walking through the hospital- even when I'm tired, hungry, stressed, etc. I feel like I am where I should be.
Walking through the streets of Rome was an incredibly spiritual experience. The beautiful art and history reminds me how small and insignificant I am in the course of history. This is not said to be negative. There is a freedom in knowing that there was beauty before I was here and there will be beauty long after I leave. The bridges and artistry and food and the language were all so amazing. It has been a struggle to keep that perspective with the mundane comings and goings of day to day life.
I participated in the Avon 39 -- it's split up over two days. The first day, you walk a marathon, the second day, you walk a half-marathon. It was pretty tough, but one of the things that really struck an emotional cord with me was all of the unofficial supporters. The people who's lives were affected by breast cancer that spend their entire weekends, cheering us on over and over. These people would follow us every few miles and cheer us on, support us with food and drinks, and support us emotionally. It was very powerful and I will never forget those people.
While my mother was passing away over the course of five years I had to work very hard to turn the other cheek and look after her, and even though she's gone I still work at forgiving her for not being a "good" mother. Since she's been gone many people, men and women have come into my life and brought up their mothers, and asked me how to handle situations with their mothers not knowing my past. I know that the spirit world, that part of my purpose is to help people guide people with their mothers because this was something I struggled with and even though it was very difficult I wasnt swayed from my conviction of being a good son.
Starting One River Vineyard has been a wonderful plan. I really discovered what it means to have a community of believers. We only have about 50 people in our church but because of the weekly potlucks and the life groups, it's really awesome to know someone has your back. If I'm struggling with something I usually get a nice email or encouraging text. To me this is a true spiritual experience.
As I have already mentioned, I have begun to attend church again, and I have been reading my bible more, praying more, and praising more. I have begun to really learn what it means to depend totally on God and I have seen Him answer prayers. I hope to and believe that the coming year will be one in which I draw even closer to God. Amen!
I've become interested in Stoic philosophy. It's helping me become more empathetic and feel more connected to people around me.
my spiritual experiences tend to revolve around my love of and recognition of the miracle and joy of my children.
Re reading the secret message of Jesus. I met our new Pastor at church, Tracie Saunders. I am wondering if we will influence each other and how. I am feeling not very religious lately although I still feel faithful and spiritual. Working at the zoo has seemed like a calling to do more work in conservation of wildlife. I can only attribute my joy at being there to a spiritual message. God bless the people of WCS trying to do good in the world for wildlife.
I'm having a really difficult time thinking of something. I guess the closest thing would be the results of going to see "An Ideal Husband" at APT. I wrote to Marcus and David and told them how excellent the show was and how brilliant their performances were. I also told David how much I appreciated his help during the last-minute rehearsal of "None of the Above." That experience of writing to them made me feel like I should write to everyone I love and tell them how awesome they are and what they've done to help me. I haven't taken on the task quite as well as I should, but I think people need to hear how appreciated and loved they are.
I'm starting to meditate. I'm trying to solve my social anxiety issues/hot flashes. I am hopeful.
I have had several spiritual experiences this year. I have little ones all the time, but this year I had several bigger ones. One was recently when Tracy and I went to a Dar Williams concert. Often, folk concerts are spiritual experiences for me. There was a moment in the concert when Dar was singing "Iowa" and the whole audience was singing along and we shared something magical. It might as well have been a niggun because it wasn't the words. It was the communal experience of singing something that means so much to all of us together led by this woman whom I admire so deeply on so many different levels. I also had a spiritual experience with reading this year. When I was in the midst of my hellish job search, it was good books that got me through the rough times when I otherwise might have panicked. In the middle of the night, when I couldn't sleep, I would read these wonderful engrossing books and feel transformed to a different world. Some of those books included THE INN AT LAKE DEVINE by Elinor Lipman, NICE TO COME HOME TO by Rebecca Flowers, WHO DO YOU LOVE by Jennifer Weiner, EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL by Katherine Center, THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES by Alice Hoffman, and, most significantly the disturbing but amazing book WE ARE WATER by Wally Lamb. Also, I read several of these with or at the same time as Mom and she and I shared that holy experience.
This year as part of the synagogue's 13th year celebration we brought Rabbi Benay Lappe for a scholar in residence. I spent an entire day with her engaging in Talmud study for the first time. For me studying is more of an intellectual practice - I love the decoding, the figuring out, the thinking about what the meaning and context might be. What I loved about this experience was that Rabbi Lappe described it as a spiritual practice - engaging so closely in study blocked out all other concerns for the day, leaving us focused only on the text. I appreciated that view of study as spiritual practice, and I'd like to do more of it - from a religious standpoint that moves me more than the weekly prayer service.
Not really. I did form a deep psychic connection with drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova through the computer screen, she has been a guiding light in my life since Fall 2015.
Spiritual in the traditional sense. I have been questioning my faith in God for several years now. My agnostic/atheist children have made me very uncomfortable. I have wondered if they are right. I love science and reason and yet am told that faith is the opposite. This year I chose to return to my faith. Not that anyone on the outside could tell I left. It's not like it just all went back to what it was. It's a new process all it's own. Slow. Curious.
Not so much as spiritual as transformative. It's amazing to me that something as cliche as having to tell myself that "there is nothing wrong with you" over and over again would have power and be healing...but that is the fact of reconciling my childhood trauma with the reality of the subconscious clinging that I am trying to unwind...
This year has been one of spiritual growth and discovery. My relationship with the Divine had been one of gratitude; this year I learned to cry out to God.
Sadly, no. I have lost my spiritual self, it seems. I've been trying to get her back. The joys of chronic depression and PTSD flare-ups. Rough year.
The timing of this is weird, as I have been thinking about a lot of heavy stuff the last few days. I still consider myself an atheist, but I'm also embracing parts of the pagan spirituality that I embraced as a young adult. My mom's death has led me to feel more connected to the cycles of things - of seasons, life and death, sunrise and sunset - and to be more aware of how I belong in this world.
It has been a particularly pragmatic and uninspiring year in that regard. No cultural experiences, no art created, not even holidays to make memories out of. Too much worry about client work, family, money and relationships. Next week I am giving myself a 3-day workshop as a creative break, hopefully to wake up my muse.
I learned to be a Torah Scribe. I assisted in the repair of my congregation's new Torah and it was amazing. I think it really made me feel connected and part of a history, which is so special for a Jew by choice.
It was nice to sit at second day of Rosh Hashanah services. There were around 70 people at my synagogue and it was just me (not with my family). It was quiet and the sun was shining in. I also liked last night with everyone (10 people we had over for Shabbat dinner) dancing to Shalom Aleichem in my kitchen (it is our tradition to dance in our kitchen each Shabbat to Shalom Aleichem). I feel a spiritual connection when I add to my 800 person family tree. Today I added a picture of my great, great grandma and grandpa. Filling out the questions for 10Q has been spiritual in that I would not do it otherwise. Due to this question, I will look for spiritual experiences in 5777.
I attended a 5 day spiritual workshop for gay Jewish men and gained an appreciation for myself.
The story that has been brewing in my mind about a girl who loses her boyfriend in a tragic accident. She takes a trip alone, but finds herself in a haunted town. I've become obsessed with the idea of ghosts lately. But really -- as much as it's so fictional, it's also very much aligned with how I'm feeling. I am living among ghost; it's time to let them go.
I always feel awkward with this question, because nothing in particular stands out. That said, I typically spend at least six days a week doing pastoral work and/or engaged in religious rituals. One thing that happened recently was a message from a nurse to call a particular family, and the family's request to come out after they'd been able to gather everyone together. I don't feel I made a particularly good connection with anyone there, but they circled the patient (wife, mother, grandmother) and I said a prayer. Afterwards, everyone was more or less quiet, watching her breathing change. Her children told her they loved her, and that it was okay to go, and in about five minutes after the prayer, she died.
art play and meditation practice kept me fairly sane through the trials of the past few months.
Whale watching was spiritual for me. I'd been wanting to do it for so long, then was worried we wouldn't even see a fin, much less a whale. So first just hanging out with the orcas got me pondering, and then to see those huge, gorgeous blackfish leaping out of the water, one after the other, coming down with huge splashes, and then leaping out again. I don't know what inspired them, it seemed like playfulness and joy, and somehow that they knew we were thrilled beyond measure. Tears were streaming down my face.
I have had spiritual experiences this year. Being in the rainforest in Panama, so close to Nature and thus to God. I snorkeled and saw the purple corals and brightly colored fish. To me it is evidence of God's existence, Her miracles. I continue to go to church, to listen to Father Jim's, Mary Ramermann's, and Michael Boucher's homilies, to attend Bahai events, and meditations. This practice keeps the depression at bay. It's like having a moral chiropractor that realigns me. I really notice that I'm more willing to give and to go without or be last. The Remote Rochester event was spiritual. I wish I could take my students on such an adventure. I still feel the closest to God when I am in Nature.
My entire year has been a spiritual experience. From the mastectomy to directly asking for help from my circle of loved one to pay help pay my medical bills to incurring a big debt even with lots of help to thinking I might have found love again and finding out that I maybe hadn't to feeling unable to tolerate my daughter or help her to feeling like I had to shield my granddaughter from my daughter to sending my granddaughter out into the world in a way she had never been before. I just tried the whole year to not be afraid. It made all the difference.
I think the process of getting fired and how it effected my family and the people around me, how we responded and how much love and support I got was amazing. In a strange way I think that was a spiritual experience. It really focused us on what was important and my wife was amazing. She sold her new car and was willing to down size our home just to protect our family. She could have been just the opposite and said, this is what I am used to now go get a job that works for my life style. Again, this is why I call this spiritual. Although we do not go to church, she was not preying to the money god, but the family god. I could not be more grateful.
This past year has probably been the most impactful since I began my spiritual journey in 2009. This year I have gone inward and deeper than I ever have simply because I felt that was an only choice. When the feelings arose concerning connectedness to soul and general unity and really listening to my inner voice repeatedly, I knew that something was trying to surface that I had held down. For the first time in my life I am not afraid of not knowing the full scope of what is coming and I am more connected to my inner guidance than I have ever been. My intuition has unfolded in ways it never has and I am more confident that I just know. I am more at peace than I have ever been.
I don't think I've had an particularly spiritual experiences this past year. While my self-assuredness has increased greatly, I would still like to find what I believe in religiously and a spiritual home that compliments my beliefs. I hope that I continue to actively pursue this over the next year.
At times of hardship and low points of this year, I feel as if someone/something has always been with me continuing to push me. The universe has put me into some pretty amazing situations and I feel as if this wasn't ALL of my doing. I've been really focused on my career, but I've also met some amazing people and stepped out of my comfort zone a little. I've really learned to be 100% myself and I've been able to experience some amazing things. I've come across people who inspire me that I may have not talked to/interacted with in the past.
No. I feel lost and bereft, and need some spiritual connection and comfort. Have not found it. At least I have my art, which is therapy and solace.
I went to the wedding ceremony of a good friend. It was very touching. I felt their love for each other and for God. I wish I could have such a great relationship to God. But sadly I'm somehow not dedicated enough and haven't felt God or Jesus so much in my life.
I do often have many spiritual insights when I create but this year my creativity was halted for many months. I stopped going into my studio after a while because I would try to work with the clay and it would hurt so much tears would drip down my cheeks. I did notice that I spent much more time observing people this year, not to judge, just to see how they interact. It's good for me, makes it easier for me to keep my mouth shut and not say anything that gets others upset. I never feel malicious but often find others take my comments in ways I did not intend. I'm not withdrawn, just trying harder to watch and learn and not have to give my two cents. It's working and best of all I don't feel stifled.
For years I've had a regular prayer/davening practice, make weekly Shabbos with my husband, attend a weekly Torah study group and other events of my synagogue. So I stray in into transcendent moments often. I see these practices as ways to keep the door of my heart and senses open to such moments. This year during Elul, and now the Days of Awe, I feel like I'm stumbling into a new way of lifting the weight of my constant, anxious, rushing-around to accomplish more than I comfortably can--habit of existence. It's hard to put into words. It feels very simple--a shift of perspective--how to slow down how to interrupt my very frequent negative judgments & expectations and need to over-plan any thing by not multi-tasking in thought, word or deed. Only time will tell. I'll report back next year--God-willing. But if this stays with me, I think I'll feel like it was one of the most transformative 6 weeks of my life.
I feel as though I have largely lost touch with my spirituality this year. Maybe in the last couple of years. I haven't had as much time for myself, and have stopped practicing yoga, and that is part of it. I am having fits and starts at getting started on meditation again. Music can transport me like that, and perhaps that will be my gateway back. I have seen some great art and heard some great music, but the sad thing is that it isn't sticking. I need that back to regain my balance.
The only time this year that anything happened that would be closer to "spiritual" would be the appreciation of landscapes: Marconi Beach, the Pioneer Valley, the stars in the sky...
This has been an extraordinary "spiritually'" and otherwise, trying time. My dad died 3 months ago and it still feels unbelievable, and has brought forth so many questions about our existence and the meaning, or lack thereof, that we derive from it. I feel like I am on a spiritual "walk about" I don't know what I believe anymore, in regards to a God, but also in regards to a higher purpose.
I have had a wonderful spiritual experience this year, at least i think it was this year. After learning the song for healing, one in which the singer imagines the 4 angels to the right, the left, front, and back, and Shekhina above, I began to "summon" (I know this sounds crazy) the angels during the singing of Sholem Aleichem during Friday night services and they came. Wow! Sometimes they dance around me, holding their huge, talonned wings. Then at an Oversite retreat on aging, we had a long meditation and I felt two of the angels batter me gently with their wings, or maybe it was patting, until my body became more and more compact. It looked like one of those yellow sponges that are small rectangles until you add water. Then a small, bright light emerged from the compact package that had been me, a light with a tail like a comet or a sperm cell, and it rose until it could not be seen. I believe this is dying, or at any rate, how I will die.
Going through my first cycle of Yizkor for my Dad was intense and spiritual this year. It wasn't quite as scary as I anticipated, but I still cried, just not always when I expected to and sometimes when I didn't expect to cry. (Specifically, I cried, hard, when I found Dad's extra talit when I was looking for my extra talit, but I didn't cry much during Yizkor later that morning.) I think, ultimately, the experience of completing the Yizkor cycle was comforting. It has been good to join with other mourners. It is good to be able to share my experience with other mourners. I feel grateful now, even though it's hard to feel that way in the moment.
Hmm. I honestly can't think of any one powerfully spiritual event of the past year...it was a whirlwind getting settled into our new life/home. I guess I've had a multitude of teeny tiny moments of immense gratitude to the universe: sitting in a lawn chair watching my boys ride their bikes; walking along the beautiful ocean holding hands with my son; laying in the sun on a kid-free beach day with Daniel; snuggling in bed as a family on a lazy Sunday. Nothing immensely momentous....but moments like this are worthy of giving immense thanks.
For the first half of this hear, I went to services once a month with my youngest. This was motivated by him. One day, he told me that he wanted to be a more active participant if every community he was a part of. I am beyond grateful for the experience. We would sit together during service, singing along (I became much more comfortable with the ravening at this congregation) and then on the way home discuss the sermon. Now that he has left for college, this has come to an end and I do not feel connected enough to go on my own.
I have started taking my daily practice of art and meditation more seriously. I have made it a goal to do something for myself daily whether walking in nature at lunch, or making marks in my sketchbook or journal. I am determined to build up many small acts (painting for 2o minutes, walking for 20 minutes) into a long term proliferation.
Going to therapy has been my most spiritually energizing experience this past year. I now have a constant human in my life which is huge considering I am still making peace with losing some important friends and myself. She holds me accountable (in a very gentle way) and pays attention to my bullshit. Dr. Martin and I figure out how to talk about my feelings and that in itself is a spiritual shitstorm. For the first time since doing 10q, my answer to this question is not drugs (though those are still fun and part of the picture). Therapy is a sober way to explore my inner world, clarify my feelings, and face my fears. I am always thinking about wellness and self-actualization. In 2016 I fully trusted another person and opened up to her about myself. There was a time when I thought I would never be able to do that. Dr. Martin has helped me become my best self-better! Lol what kind of Inception shit is that. She is bettering the bettering process. It has lightened the heavy feeling of judgment, fear, and loneliness in my soul! :)))
I actually don't feel like I have had the most spiritual moments this year and that is really something I am missing. It's been a lot of transition and figuring things out and I absolutely have not been reflecting as much (or at least more recently this past year) and I am going to get back on it. I also haven't really travelled and that always gives me some spiritual experiences!
Being outdoors. Stargazing
We participated in the JCC Maccabi Games, with our son playing in the event's inaugural hockey tournament. What made it spiritual is the sense of community and cultural pride that I have never experienced anywhere else at any time. While we help stage and attend events and services at our synagogue, the vibe is just not the same. I have never felt such a sense of "we're all in it together" as I did at Maccabi. Further, at synagogue events, being Jewish is the only trait being selected to thin the population. So you still have all different kinds of people at the synagogue, many of whom have different interests. They are friendly people, but not necessarily ones with big commonalities with me besides their Jewishness. At Maccabi, our son was surrounded by hockey players and my wife and I were surrounded by hockey parents - all of whom were either Jewish or Jewish-sympathizers. That was an amazing experience unlike any I have ever had.
Driving the artists drive, I think that was the name... In Death Valley with the boys. It was some combination of being with those people, being in nature, traveling away from home and responsibilities - I felt so fully myself, so fully powerful, so fully satisfied.... Feeling fully present in a moment without wandering thoughts, and feeling fully content are the two things that are very very rare for me and feeling them both so strongly at the same time is my definition of a spiritual experience. It reminds me of the the rule of three I used to follow in college - the moment that happens when three things are combined together perfectly. I used to seek that out - search for it. I should experiment with that motivation again...
This past year I've learned to truly be grateful, despite the surrounding circumstances. I continue to challenge myself to focus on what's right and appreciate what I have. It doesn't mean that I don't strive for more. It means that I am grateful for what I have and that the desire for more is not rooted in a feeling of lack.
My answer is the same this year as last. I pray frequently and thank God for all the beauty in my life and all the blessings I have received. Rosh Hashanah services, while not the same as my usual ones, were beautiful. I love the new prayerbook and the three times the shofar was blown was awesome. I have never heard a shofar duet before, and it was awesome! THAT was a spiritual moment on a whole different level!
I recently started to understand who I am and where I am supposed to go in this life. I started to student teach at a low income school near me. I always knew I wanted to be a math teacher, but being in this school showed me the real reason why. I always had the good fortune of going to some really good schools. This is an amazing school I'm in, but the area has a bad reputation. These kids just want a way to get out. I work with 11th graders, many of whom have a hard time setting up a simple proportion. However, these kids have the biggest hearts ever. They are the kids who barely know me as a teacher, yet when I went home sick one day asked where I was. I realized the real reason I want to be a teacher. I want to be a teacher so that I can inspire the next generation and so that I can make sure that every kid ends up in the right place in their life, whether that is in college or not.
I've been fairly happy with the attention I've given to practicing my commandments, and succeeding at them moderately. Beyond those practices, which I would still very much like to augment and deepen, the first experience that sticks out is attending a couple Black church services on the weekend that the mayors were in town in the CA primary. The Vallejo service esp. was incredible & moving -- I struggled many times to resist weeping openly. I wasn't sure what was so powerful about it -- the music was beautiful, and Vashone's friend who led the choir was such an inspired and unself-conscious singer & dancer, even she alone brought the spirit to me... But it wasn't just her -- being there with hundreds of these friendly, hopeful people, there was something formidable about them, and I can't quite explain it. I just loved it.
Yes. I have a strong mindfulness practice. I find spirituality in nature and with community. However this year my jewish community has stolen the joy I feel in worship because they will not try to improve the quality of the music. So I chant and sing elsewhere and lead Rosh Chodesh meditation but I no longer go to services. I know this will change but I might need to find another place to worship.
Studying Mussar with a group and having an adult bat mitzvah have contributed strongly to my spiritual life. I find attending concerts of classical music to be spiritually uplifting.
I have been working on becoming more in tune with mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy. I don't think of my self as particularly spiritual, but I think I would benefit from experiences that would bring me in touch with feelings of awe.
Not really, but I'm rereading books from my childhood that were my favorites. They are like revisiting old friends. It creates strong feelings of comfort.
Not really no. I meditate daily. But this is more about presence than godliness
I don't feel I've had any spiritual experiences. I did go to see Kristin Neff talk about self-compassion and I believe this has hugely transformed the way I respond to myself. To realise that being nice to myself does not "let me off the hook" and is not "self-indulgent", and to recognise the common humanity in my suffering has been life-changing. I am now responding to myself with much more kindness.
The only thing that comes to mind is how amazing spiritual I felt during Ludovico Einaudi's live concert. I was transported to another world the whole time. I felt moved and almost transcended listening to him perform Oltremare and Nuvole Bianche live. It is literally the most amazing concert I have been to in my life for that reason. It inspired me to keep music active in my life. Having played the piano for many years, it is a vital part of who I am, but with life getting busy or hectic, and the difficulty of finding good music that inspires me, it's easy to let the skill slip, but often with moments like those I am reminded of how soul-fulfilling it is to experience playing music.
The birth of Carmel - unquestionably, the birth of a child is always a spiritual experience, but in some ways this was the most, since it was the simplest, quickest, etc... the wonder and majesty of a new life coming into the world was not compromised by the hours of tension and anxiety which usually precede the birth itself.
I'm having another time in which I feel like I'm wandering in the wilderness. I've been through these spells before, where the answers are not forthcoming. We went to a psychic some time back, and that was spiritually reassuring. This election campaign has hurt my spiritual life. I quit meditating, because I haven't been on my bike as much. Not a good time.
I think my answer to this is always the same. No specific experiences, but being outdoors and seeing and feeling and interacting with nature is always, and even more so now, incredibly spiritual to me. Capturing images with my camera of things that other people might not stop to see or notice is giving me great joy and feels spiritual to me.
The 'spiritual' experience I've had this year was the realization that I can count on myself and be strong and what I'm going through right now is teaching me that I can count on myself to be strong while at the same time, I can lean on others to help build me up and support and carry me when I need it. A spiritual reserve if you will. That has been a big lesson for me. It continues to be a big lesson for me. I don't HAVE do to it all by myself. My family (which includes my friends) support me to be strong. It's enlightening.
This year I was part of a performance, Trilogy, that challenged people's comfort zones and my sense of possibility. I realized the connection between my body - the matter and energy I am made of - and my relationship to the world around me. I feel part of the world, of the earth, more vulnerable and more powerful. I am alive.
No, is the short answer. My life has started to make a lot more sense since I admitted to myself a few years ago that I do not believe in any of the world's religions or any religion at all. People often ask the question, do you believe there is no God, or just that God is unknowable. My answer is that it doesn't matter. If a God exists and its presence is relevant to us, then we will discover it with science, and if it doesn't exist then we won't. So far in human existence, many unexplained forces that were originally attributed to God were been later explained by science. Some are still unexplained. None have been scientifically attributed to God. I feel no "hole in my heart" that needs to be filled with religion, and I've been a lot more fulfilled by admitting what we know and don't know than I was by attributing unknown forces to a historic text written by men and put forward as "the word of God".
I was a subject in a study at John's Hopkins Medical Center, where I did two day-long sessions in which I was given psilocybin (the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms") under medical and psychological supervision. I also met with the psychologist guides for several preparatory and integration sessions. In a living room-like setting, I took the capsule, put on an eye mask, lay on a couch and listened to a curated playlist of classical and religious music from around the world. This was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. What I experienced confirmed for me in a lived experiential way, all the mystical teachings of all the world's religions including our own: that we are all manifestations of the Divine and that the God we search for in the farthest reaches of heaven is as close as our breath and our pulse. It was an expansive universal experience that took me far beyond my own culture, but also affirmed the deep worth, meaning, and value of our own Jewish heritage and teachings. It opened me see the divinity in everything and everyone and also to be profoundly grateful for the miraculous blessings of my own particular life. I am extremely grateful, inspired, and awed by my experience and endeavor to integrate it into my daily life and relationships through my ongoing Jewish spiritual practice.
I'm used to burning bush moments that have me saying, "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that something greater than myself exists." This year has been really different. I just scrolled through my pictures in my phone for the last year and I smiled at all of the experiences. The Universe has truly had my back. From the many photo shoots, to starting a new job that is a really great opportunity, to healing from a nagging injury, helping my son out tremendously, and then making a decision to change my finances and having intense focus to do so. I really feel like I'm making some big changes and believe that something is helping me with those. It's that whole quote that says that once a decision is made, then Providence moves to support it. I'm watching that play out in my life right now. My definition of a higher power has changed and become super simplified. Basically, I don't believe in the Zeus-like figure that I learned about in church. I believe there is an unseen energy that moves through all of us and its purpose is to help us evolve into our greatest and highest self. I wish I knew more, but that's it.
Hearing the shofar at second day Rosh HashNs was deeply moving. It felt like the sound was penetrating deep inside me and kept going deeper.
Yes- always :) Many deep and powerful dreams of being on the path, of joy, of leading, and then during my dad's diagnosis of trying to reconcile new realities. My dream life has been active, and my feelings of spiritual connectedness have been fairly consistent. Knowing I'm on the path that fits my Spirit. Also have gone to Zoe- a woman gifted in body and energy work - and That was powerful and I am intrigued to continue as I move toward 40.
Nothing out of the ordinary. But lately I've imagined being in Our Lady's arms while John is in mine. She's looking after me, and helping me become a good mom.
This past summer at camp, I had an anxiety attack about 10 minutes into the 5-day trip. After that, just finishing the rest of the trip was empowering and hard but great. I just felt so calm and free at camp, and then I came back to the real world.
-Swimming in the cold ocean early in the morning -Rediscovering hiking in the beautiful Northern California redwoods -Watching my art become its own thing through the creation of my album -Watching my body transform into something wonderful and beautfiul through my pregnancy
I started taking painting lessons this year and I have really enjoyed it. Spending an hour or so working on a painting really helps me relax and feel good.
No. Not even close. Such a bummer.
In the wake of my mother's death, I discovered this word: Hineni. It means, "I am here." It's like a pinpoint in the world so the light can always find me, so I know where I am. It feels like the intersection of modernity and ancient spirituality, to make sure that I can find myself in a world where I haven't been able to until I invoke it. And that is pretty damn special if you ask me.
I have done more mushrooms. And the one thing I felt afterwards was this idea of letting go. Of not trying to affect the world around me. That doesn't mean I can't express my viewpoint and argue for it, but the new sentiment is that it is not up to me if people agree and act on it.
I've had the 'hairs on the back of my neck' experience a few times - watching live music/theatre/in the cinema, where something seems so beautiful or meaningful that it strikes me and I get completely engrossed. It makes me feel like there's something bigger to me, a transcendental purpose.
I don't remember anything being particularly spiritual this year, and that makes me sad. I want to be more spiritual, even a secular. I did have a visceral reaction to a performance recently. It was a futuristic mix of acrobatics and music. But spoke to the feeling of being alone, not lonely. I felt really moved by the main song, and really want to by the soundtrack when it comes out.
Certainly my most spiritual experiences have been around Whit, especially when he was very young. I would sit up with him at night and nurse and pray. I want more of that feeling back, grace, trust, gratitude. I've lost faith since then and want to court it.
Spirituality is a big part of my life so I am affected by spiritual experiences almost daily. The biggest spiritual experience however may seem to be something rather mundane, in that I am now meditating daily first thing in the morning for 25 minutes when I first wake up which is deeply affecting my attitude towards the days and my toward my life as a whole. I am more at peace, more thoughtful, less stressed, often less emotional and able to ease up on myself on others. This practice has also brought clarity and an open doorway for things to come to me that I want rather than me having to chase them down so hard.
I had some deep meditation. I fell in love a little. I suffered, truly suffered. I met an old friend again. I did some hard work.
I regret that I don't recall any specific spiritual experiences. I do continue to be lifted up by the practice of gratitude, and I am particularly grateful that I have the ability to be grateful. So many people feel that they have nothing to be grateful for, but if they thought about it, there would be much. So I am grateful that I can see what I have to be grateful for.
Yes, the first thing that comes to mind is a couple of watercolor postcards I did for a friend. I am not a terrific artist but I love it. His response was that the paintings truly expressed the essence of skiing, high praise. Next is the recurring 11:11 on my clock. Yes, I know it happens twice a day wether or not I am paying attention, haha. But really, my mother's birthday was 11/11 and it became haunting how many times and how frequently I saw 11:11 when I looked at the clock. I started tracking it because it was a bit unnerving. I as told this is very special for many reasons. Now I just say hello to her and search for why she might be there for me. I have managed to move it from a haunting to a helping and become comforted by it. I think in the end these experiences helped me get through a trying time and gave me the courage to face some fears so I could tie up loose ends or settle some unfinished business. All good things.
This year has elapsed for me as a day to day experiment in empathy, graciousness, patience, tenderness, attention, flushing away of inner obstacles, return to the imaginal, the closing off social media sources that saturate and overwhelm me. Becoming more confident in being really the being I am, accepting myself and not censoring so much my thoughts, words, actions. That doesn't mean I'm not discerning of what I say and do. I have to pay constant attention. This is both the simplicity and the higher education of being human. I forget who said "Attention is the scarcest resource on the planet." This is the spiritual practice. Attention to yourself, attention to others. And your attention has to be the loving kind, not the judging kind, the parsing cool detached kind. Gentle, practical loving attention, every moment of every day. That's all. Even when it's painful and uncomfortable. Especially then. Because that's when it's hardest to stay on the bull.
My work at the Jewish Museum has been a spiritual experience in many many ways. The women who attend my Jewish Journaling workshop are a spiritual group and it has been wonderful getting to know them and work with them in this amazing setting. I need and wish to tape into my own spirituality even more; I believe the power of that aspect of our lives is much greater than any of us realize.
I think Shelly's death really threw me for a loop. She is my age, has two kids the same age as mine, and was in remission. It was all very sudden and it made me take a moment (or ten) to reflect on life. Nothing is guaranteed. It continues to be a sobering thought.
I feel like I'm becoming a little bit more spiritual. I'm very attached to the water, and ever since moving closer to the beach I feel like I've realised how spiritual it is to me. I'm not overly sure. I feel like I'm being pulled more to the natural power of things and drawing more strength from the landscape... but there hasn't been a huge impactful, singular spiritual experience.
No.. I only have the energy to get through each day.. no time for deep introspection. I have goals.. keep my kids safe, raise them to be kind and hard working. Family is my religion and I love my church. ;)
This past year I moved away from the observant Judaism world and towards my NA world. I understand that I have choices and freedom in my understanding of spirituality and God. I went over my second step with my sponsor and am in a place where I do believe in something, I am comfortable calling it God, and I am ready to start learning how to "turn it over" so to speak.. how to fill the "god sized hole" in healthy meaningful ways. I became more involved with my dance studio this past year-- work study, studio to stage, 45 degrees, and branching out to different classes-- it is probably the most spiritual activity I do on a weekly basis (four days out of the week!) Dance is spiritual for me unlike anything else because it meets all of my needs... moving physically, using my brain, getting better at something, connecting with others, displaying emotion, expressing gratitude...
G's pregnancy was, of course, a joyful event for all of us. I felt so connected to this baby so immediately after knowing of his presence in the world (before he was even born). I was so moved, so intensely and could not quite understand that intensity - until Adam said - Well, half of him was inside of G when she was inside of you - so he was inside of you. I felt as if I "knew" him. Once he was born - I was sure that I knew this child. I feel such a joy - different than another feeling when I am holding him, seeing him or thinking about him. I guess this is a common experience for grandparents, but it is amazing in its magnitude. And the gratitude I feel for this experience has a spiritual element to it - it feels like such a chance to make the world a better place by helping this child grow strong and true.
The only thing that pops into my head is mom dying. That process did not go like it is portrayed on TV or in movies. It was ugly and beautiful at the same time. It was dying and being reborn at the same time.
Being in the room for the last hour of my mother's life was the most intense experience of my life. It was spiritual in the sense of reckoning with what it means for us to come and go from this world and how we make sense of that.
I was walking with my husband in the woods in Monatna when we came across some very larg bear scat. I realized that I could be eaten and I was humbled by the experiance.
I live my life as a spiritual quest, so I have had many spiritual experiences. I have enriched my healing practice, become closer to God and have had many moments in which I saw the undeniable hand of God at with in situations.
Being in Israel, observing Shabbat and Havdalah in Israel, were deeply affecting experiences. Standing in the Negev, in the Zin Valley and Mitzpe Ramon were also deeply moving experiences.
I'm deep in the fog of middle-age. Colors and sound, music and lights, aromas and textures all offer me flashes of inspiration, but it winks out as fast as it appears. Mostly I watch movies, download CDs, stare at my phone, or try to read books to feel like something imaginative is happening.
Yes... I became part of a small, struggling Jewish community that had been fractured by an uninvited change that saw a Modern Orthodox community become much more rigidly Orthodox and unwelcoming to many families. I am not an Orthodox Jew, but when it's the only shul in town, you go... so I went. And it was quite an experience. We started doing Kaballat Shabbat services, and holding community dinners - not weekly, but as often as we could. We made room for Havdalah and the celebration of minor holidays... and I think there's hope for this community. It was both humbling and fulfilling to be a part of this.
For the most part this hasn't been a particularly spiritual or uplifting year. It's been full of drudge work and perseverance to get everything done with little time for self care or reflection. The only spiritual experience I can think of came just two weeks ago. Amidst all of the work of putting the house on the market I had a major health scare. I spent 5 days terrified that I might have a brain tumor. It put everything in perspective: all the hard work, the misery- none of that really matters. In those five days I understood so crystal clearly that the only things that matter are health and above all family. My parents lifted and supported me through that time and I was so grateful for them and their ongoing support. I prayed during that time. I prayed so hard every night to the point of tears. I haven't prayed like that ever before. It turns out that I have a rare defect that I was born with that can mimic symptoms of a brain tumor. I feel so unbelievably grateful. As soon as I get my first paycheck I want to donate to the American cancer society. Any day without a brain tumor is a great day.
Not sure. I feel like it's difficult to be spiritual when you have a toddler. Maybe I have, and I just can't remember it?
Visiting Pardes in Jerusalem was spiritually inspiring
It's very difficult to answer, because I don't ever think of anything as "spiritual". Probably my performance in college made an impact on myself this year. I remember being a mediocre student in high school, and I felt stupid for a long time. In college, 20 years later, I am an A student. I realize I wasn't stupid even when I did not get good grades. I was a troubled kid, and no one saw it. I was an abused child and no one saw it. I wasn't waiting for my good grades to see that I am not stupid. But it feels nice to have this validation.
The Lord's provision has been incredible. Not only did He pave the way for my move but He also set me up with a job that is so far beyond what I could have asked for it's not even funny. I have never worked a real job but I now work with two men who I consider close friends, one of my bosses has adopted me into his family. I am able to pay my bills and then some. His provision is absolutely astounding.
A few dreams. One more thing: I got back in touch with a friend, whom I have not seen for a very long time. We were not so close friends, but it was bothering me that he disappeared without a trace about 12 years ago. Then I looked for her (because he was born as a she) and I found him. I felt, that God actually wanted us to get back in touch. We only have online contact, but what he writes inspires me somehow. Though it is so different from what I think and what I like. But it inspires me, because he is living his life as he likes! He just does it! (he would be probably surprised to know that I think this is inspiring)
I converted this year! Signing my conversion document in my Hebrew name (Miriam Shira), with my Rabbis, family, and friends present was an incredibly moving moment. It was a paradigm shift in my life, of who I was as a person from that point forward. Shakily holding the Torah as I breathily chanted the Vahavta, and then entering the mikveh were also spiritual moments of my conversion day. Walking out of the mikveh I felt cold and new, I ascended with a newfound spiritual confidence.
I have been going to church regularly, after a few years of "wandering in the wilderness", and I have been trying to take time to pray and read the Bible. I identify as a Christian again, and it feels like I have got back something that was missing. When I'm with my church family and we're singing our hearts out on a Sunday morning - it just feels right.
Just this deep, almost physical sense of being held in God's hands through this hard time of sickness and no answers.
Hiking the Maryland heights trail and sitting on an outcropping of rock at the top overlooking 2 rivers and 3 states, feeling stillness and motion, adrenaline and calm, power and insignificance.
Well it's not exactly totally spiritual but speaks volumes and I certainly can't go back and it's certainly not the first time this type of thing has "been pointed out" in a spiritual sense. The first was my spouse's family function. It sounded like it was going to be a blast and my daughter and her boyfriend, both believers as well were going to meet us there. When I got there, there was drinking so much so that there wasn't anything other than alcohol to drink. There was Led Zeppelin playing and a playboy pinball machine, just it was worldy. I knew in my spirit that I didn't belong there. Had no idea that it was going to be that way. Called my daughter and advised her not to come. I love the family members but it's not good for me to be in those environments. A few weeks later another family function, this time my side. A JP performed the service, I realized the day of the ceremony that it wasn't going to be held by a priest. You may be thinking, so? So, God was not part of this. He wasn't included, nor was His blessing on the union sought out. It didn't go over so well between weather, things were out of sync, and just it was worldly. I ended up apologizing to a family member because another family member laid her faith heavily onto this other family member. As soon as I said it, red hot conviction and then a song in my early years with Adonai started playing, "have I told You lately that I love You" as I began to think of Him I couldn't even sing it. You can't escape conviction nor when He's truly speaking to your heart. His caution was to not forget Him and never apologize for your faith. My faith is my life. The other family member means well but she's too pushy like that is all she talks about every time you talk to her - that's cool when you can share but to an atheist it offends them and turns them off making them want to avoid you. I still don't know what she said, but my apology was so stupid. What was needed was a whole lot of God, so where I'm going with this is it's come to my attention, and is settling as a new core value that I cannot participate in worldly celebrations. It causes me to stumble because my words kept going wrong even after I left, saying things I just shouldn't - my frame of mind was not on holy things but on the flesh. God was gracious to forgive me, He knows my heart, He knows what I meant but it bothers me because I even said earlier warning my daughter to be careful because what's in a person's heart comes out of their mouth and what comes out of mine but something idiotic like that. I'm not sorry I'm a Christian. I'm very gentle in dealing with evangelizing but sometimes that is not what's needed. I prefer people coming to ask where their mind is open, if they don't I usually do not push forward but I do speak of God, prayer but in a normal sense not making it a point to talk about it - those who know me know I'm a Christian and don't get offended when I speak of my faith because I'm not seeking to change them. I certainly pray for them - changing a person's heart is a Holy Spirit thing. I can't convince someone. But I can be an example and God may touch their heart through a heart to heart, or perhaps many heart to hearts by giving me the words to speak. When someone is deceived their thinking is literally warped and there are (unfortunately) strongholds, God needs to remove those blinders. But it was still awful of me to say that. So in long, these "experiences" have changed me in the way that I see it as a stumbling block to be a part of functions, even with loved family members, where God is not "invited" so to speak. Our Maker is our Husband scripture says, to that when I was a kid, a way to get my mother not to go to something would be to say my father wasn't invited. It sounds off but, why does a priest officiate? A priest speaks to God for the people. (Jesus is our High Priest)...not seeking a union before God and with His blessing, I can't participate in that. When I'm around the world and it's values, I stumble and get in my flesh. Best thing as Mr Miyagi used to say is "no be there."
Spirituality is an ongoing process, it is lifelong and ever changing. It is not any one "event" or experience. I continue with prayer, know the value of prayer, that it opens doors, changes the way I feel and react to the world and those around me. I love and appreciate all my family. They are connected to my spirituality, always. I pray for them every day. WE MOVED! I want to mention that. This new house is "the little house in the little woods" and is very spiritually uplifting to me. We have 9 trees in our front yard and a park across a small street to the side of our house. I spoke to neighbors about small lessons for children on virtues (kindness, generosity, love, cleanliness, courage) and spirituality. It has just not yet come to fruition. I have realized that connecting with neighbors is a major paradigm shift for me and difficult due to my job. But through PRAYER and sincere effort, things will come to pass. My focus is now on my neighborhood, my little world, those I connect with every day. Not some larger "church-like" community that meets once a week. Service to those close to me is what it's all about.
Having what I believed was my dream company offer me a position and then rescind that offer a month later was certainly a spiritual challenge. It is still a disappointment, but I trust that God allowed it in order to protect me from a significant trial or provide a greater blessing in the future. Though I do not know where I will work next, God knows the plans He has for me, and I must trust that they are to prosper me, not to harm me (Jeremiah 29:11).
The experience I've felt with spirituality this year is a loss of it. I don't feel connected to my spirituality at all. I do hope that my yoga work will bring that up for me.
My spiritual experience is really letting go of what a spiritual experience should look like. I am not able to develop a consistent meditation practice at the moment. I cannot consistently journal or write like I would ideally do (and like I have in the past) but I've had true moments of joy and connection - spontaneous and felt fully. Riding my bike on the Long beach boardwalk at sunset, laying on a hammock upstate in Catskill NY with Ross, Patrick, and Adam swimming in the creek, pushing myself hard at the gym, listening to music and being transported, laughing loudly with friends, hosting book club at my apartment, the way I feel after a day of hiking, loving a book so much I can't stop reading but also don't want it to end,
Being an openly spiritual person in a big city has been a major shift. It's not a quiet personal thing anymore, it's how I interact with millions of people and the gigantic machine that is New York City. It means being open to all the variety and intensity while not succumbing to it. Sharing my truth through impeccable action.
No "big time" and life altering "spiritual" moments but many "regular" ones throughout the year.
I tend to define spiritual as having to do with karma and putting good energy out into the world. Our family has definitely done our best to accomplish this. We put good energy into our lives and see it come back to us. If all you do is try your best, then you don't have to be top of the heap and life will still be all that you hoped.
A few nights ago I met up with an old friend who had graduated two years ago. He'd been the president of my theater club, very loved and respected. We all knew he had anxiety and depression issues, even more so after he left us. It looked like he had a better grasp of himself now, but was definitely more affected by his bipolarity and synesthesia. It was a very interesting thing to see take place, he'd get feelings about other people in the milk tea bar we were at, like a girl suffering from an emotional pain. A group of high schoolers made him feel like there was a finger pointing an inch away from his diaphragm. What does it want? He kept apologizing about letting me down because of the crazy he has become. Within the last year I have met man who believes himself to be an emotional vampire, one who has the ability to drain the energy of others. He's been trying not to do harm, so he abstained from trying it on me. He does present an alpha male personality, but was apparently a BDSM sub. He saw a dom in me, and as we talked I felt energy shifting. I did feel like a dom, and that was a new way of seeing myself. I also met a bruja, whose powers seemed to have revealed itself after giving birth. She was able to curse at those who would take her child away, and bad things would happen to them. She started practicing Santerían magic, menstrual blood and grave soil. She has a powerful presence, I have no doubt that she is one with her finger on the pulse of the universe. My former lover sees shadow figures, feels ghosts sit upon their chest, has death's fingers at their back. Mental illness may account for these sensations or abilities, but maybe it just gives them access to something larger. I had this conversation with my friend, the way it is special, difficult, different, but not necessarily bad or crazy. I'm fascinated by it all, though I don't know if I have those abilities outside of my good fortune. It's people, it's magic, and absolutely glorious.
Yes! Traveling to Amsterdam, Croatia, Venice, and Budapest was a culturally spiritual experience. Seeing how other people live has opened my eyes and broadened my scope of what's really important in life. I hope to travel much more in my future.
Being in Canada away from email and just driving for driving's sake was quite wonderful for my whole being. It's so beautiful and getting to travel for fun was amazing.
The most spiritual experience I have had this year is this morning ,reflecting on my experience as part of a group of non-natives considering Place & Sustainability through connection to local Coast Salish people: Musqueam & Squamish people. I reflected on this experience as part of a Witness Ceremony I will participate in at the end of this month at the Museum of Anthropology. Hychka! OCM! \o/
It is interesting that I struggle with this question every year, when in years past I might've had a surfeit of answers, experiences too numerous to name. Nadia Bolz Weber conference, which I remember because of my near panic attacks and having to leave. Deep down, something in body body was telling me things were bad, even though I thought things were getting much better.
This is the 10 but I stopped here because I couldn't think about anything that was spiritual that happened to me. But I guess an event that had an impact on me and thinking about it for this time of forgiveness is an event that happened back in December when I went to Hawaii with a group of friends. One of the girls that we were with flipped out went kind of psycho and blamed me for stealing towels. I don't know if I she had a psychotic break. When we got back I had to sit down with a good friend of mine and told him look I'm not going to hang out with you guys anymore cause I can't be around this toxic waste dump you need to clean up your act and quit drinking. He said that he was going to cut back on his drinking and talk to her. He has it and she's in full denial of what she did was wrong. I no longer speak to her and I have limited my time with the group. Sometimes I see her at social events and I just leave I'm very angry with her and have a lot of rage toward her I don't know how to resolve myself of this anger and forgive her because I know that she's mentally L
In the month following my surgery I felt something that I might describe as bliss or joy, which seems strange, as I was confined to my bed and in varying degrees of pain. But there was something inarguably transformative about knowing I had escaped death. I felt free of self-judgment and doubt, and full of empathy for anyone and everyone. I felt freed of the need to prove myself professionally, and amazed and comforted by the rallying of my community. I did not realize how large my community was. As I now edge back into old insecurities and fears, I try to remember that post-operative sensibility. It was as though I was held in a sphere of light and strength. I know it's still there; it's just harder to access without effort. So now I know how to make the effort.
Our family has a goal of visiting all 59 U.S. National Parks together. This year we visited parks #18, 19, and 20. The time that we spend exploring the parks, especially hiking and observing nature, is very meaningful to us. We were especially excited to see a mama bear and her cubs at park #18 (Great Smoky Mountains National Park) in May 2016.
I tried acupuncture and had a very uplifting experience. I started running again and it's the most positive and present I feel. I started meditating and while my practice isn't as regular as I'd like it to be, I do think it has helped me to settle, pay attention, be present, and not despair (although I have still done my fair share of despairing). The Carly Rae Jepsen show was pretty darn spiritual. I guess that's my real answer. CRJ is God.
I don't think I had any spiritual experience in terms of prayer but this year I did find spirituality in community- in europe, seeing the wonders of the world with my beautiful family, at camp with my girls and their infinite potential, and the wonderful community that's embraced me at CAL. I feel like theres beauty in all the people that surround me in my life and they demonstrate a little piece of G-d to me everyday.
I loathe the word spiritual. It's just a concept to assuage the guilt of people who aren't religious but were indoctrinated into believing that there is a connection between religion and morality.
Yay yay maybe idk !!!
My relationship with Annie has deepened into a spiritual one as we share our love and passion and deepest beliefs. As a result, I joined Plymouth Congregational church and was re-baptized by Peter and Eleanor. I feel so well-grounded and complete in ways I have never felt before. All this follows in sync with the journey of love in our family. Having Annie and Katherine in my life has erased a big dark spot that I have lived with for most of my life. I must add that Patrick and I have become ever closer and his life has moved into better spaces. I love both of my children and know they love me. I feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams.
The most spiritual experiences I've had have been while traveling. While on the Inca trail and seeing the ruins and doing something few people get to do. While in Alaska - in the majestic wilderness. I actually decided just yesterday not to move into the city because of my connection to the routine by the ocean. Paddleboarding is a spiritual effort for me. Keeps me grounded.
Everytime I go to temple, I wish I went to temple more. Time carved out to focus on my relationship with the eternal love that is. And is all around us and reflected in me is so enriching a relationship that I wish I spent more time cultivating.
Doing yoga more regularly has been spiritual for me. I have a hard time calming my mind and introducing this practice more regularly is giving me more opportunities for this. Walking and listening to podcasts has also been helpful as has my continued attendance at zumba. Somehow the physical has connected me with the spiritual. Very validating for me.
Meeting people from every walk of life and cycling with them while they completed Ride Across Britain - I learned what working together really means and found a new appreciation for just how much you need people.
I finally got to see my boyfriend in a play. I know he's always been involved in community theater and filmmaking, but this was the first time since we met that he was playing a major role in a play and I talked him into auditioning since I knew the director! He was FANTASTIC, and I'd never seen that side of him before. I can't wait to see him in a bigger role in another production - maybe this time in a singing part! He did such an amazing job that I am now working on convincing him he really does have what it takes to pursue a career related to theater, and not to keep working in shipping/retail just because it's safe and pays the bills.
When I moved to LA, I made a very conscious choice to begin exercising regularly and strengthen my mind/body connection. Specifically, I started going to yoga and dance classes almost 6 times a week. Especially in the beginning of the year, this helped me stay grounded in the midst of a lot of uncertainty (surrounding my housing situation, my relationship at first, my job at FOP, etc) It has also helped me make healthier choices in other aspects of my life -- going to bed earlier, eating better, etc. Recently, however, I haven't been as into working out as I used to be. It seems that I don't have enough time during the week to devote to work, my relationship, exercise, and my writing-- not enough time to do all of those things well and participate in all of them fully. When I choose to go to a class after work, that takes time away from my writing. I think that I have even been going to classes in order to avoid writing. I'm working on going to less classes during the week so that I can have time to dedicate to ALL of the activities that fulfill me. I'm working on cultivating a more integrated version of spirituality.
This year, we've been acclimating to the city of Detroit. It's been an emotional roller coaster. Parts of the city are so amazing and so steeped in history. The shadow of wealth and power are still visible, although almost fading away. Then there is the poverty and urban blight that make vast swaths of the city loosely populated. But even there, in that blight, is hope for a green urban farm sort of city. But the city needs help, and so many who live around it pretend it's not there. I feel conflicted and sad about it.
The fact that everything fell into place so perfectly with my move. I knew it was God ( the universe) telling me that this was the right thing for me. Haven't regretted it once. I spent so much of my youth forcing things to go my way. Now if it doesn't work I am better at letting go and walking away.
I have become more aware of my spirituality by attending an organization that has no spirituality. I have been attending The Ethical Society services. The Ethical Society has a great purpose which I believe in. Trying to be a better human being. But it lacks the spiritual element. In fact most of the members are atheists. Its not a requirement but thats who they are. I recognize this and made me sad that there are people that have no spiritual desires or questions. But this has made me more seek out what I am seeking for. Trying to find a community that has similar thinking that will accept me as much as I can accept them. Right know I am seeking answers but at the same time seeking a Community with similar beliefs. I am currently looking into Secular Christianity or Christian humanist. Looking into the words and teaching that Jesus said, but not believing he is the only son of God and the Trinity. I want to lean more about Jesus not as my savior of not going to Hell, but in my savior to make me a better human being on Earth. Also trying to establish a relationship with the force from where I came from.
Despite having fallen into a prayer rut as I described earlier, I had an amazing spiritually connective summer with my stepdaguhter. We talked for the first time like peers. She shed her childlike pretending to ignorance, and as the summer went on more and more I felt she began to understand that I accept not the pretend version of her, but the real version of her. I was able to demonstrate that I profoundly trust her, that I believe in her personal strength, and that I'm going to be there for her even if she does something wrong or bad. These are all things I highly suspect she doesn't get from her other family, things that I've been so sad she doesn't seem to trust. But now! She has come to an age where she can see people for themselves and I think she saw with me, this is how it is, not in lip service, but for real. When we had our talk about boys, about that I trust her with them but that they might not be good to her, and we were able to talk about that, and about bodies, and the differences between male and female sexuality, and that people will want things from us that we might not want to give, or we might be divided against ourselves . . . the important stuff, the real stuff. And she was so present, so interested. I was able to state it clearly that I believe in her ability to protect herself and I believe in her ability to be smart, and she gave me the incredibly reassuring answer of "and part of me being smart is knowing when I need help and coming to you." How much of that she'll be able to access when crisis comes -- that I still can't control. But at least we got to the words. And it felt like a coming-true. Growing up can be a togethering process. Whatever else comes down the pipe of teenagerhood, at least we're starting at a pretty good spot.
I can't recall any special spiritual experience.
Finding my way. I stopped regularly meditating after 10 years daily. I need to find my footing again and reinvent my practice for ME! Not from what others tell me is the way.
Nothing major. I don't see much art. I do remember 2 things - the exhibit in Louisville of various churches made out of guns and bullets. I thought it pretty powerful; my traveling companion less so. Second was a local artist exhibiting at an art fair near me. Most of the stuff there is nice but meaningless - paintings of landmarks or cars/rivers/mountains/animals/whatever. But she really had something powerful in her work that hit home pretty hard - basically pain and depression and self-loathing. Then some asshole came up and was laughing about the paintings. It made me think a lot of things, not least of which how that artist must have felt seeing someone just. not. get it. I wish I could have bought something, but I think it would have been incredibly depressing looking at an artist rendering of basically the worst part of me every day.
Only in the sense of feeling extremely fortunate for what I have. There have been some astonishingly beautiful sunsets around the local area and sunrises in the early morning when I can hear church bells and cows in the distance. I also love that the stars are so visible in the winter, it's not uncommon to see a shooting star when bringing in the bins. I really enjoyed walking up and down the Liffey in Dublin the other week. It was great watching the city wake up with a killer sunrise in the distance and a strong coffee awaiting in a nearby cafe.
My biggest "spiritual" experience was to experience, that my grandmother was Jewish, so my mother has to be Jewish. But because of WW2 my grandma gave my mother in a Kinderheim at the age of 9 to prevent her for deporting by the Germans. My grandma was sent to Psychiatrie where she "died". My mother was safe in the Kinderheim. But she lost her Jewish past.
I was struck after the breakup by how when I was at my lowest and loneliest and most desparate, that was when my phone would ring. I felt like someone was looking out for me then.
Spending a lot of time alone, in nature or with my camera has rejuvenated me and made me grateful for what I have. I've also read some wonderful books and shared real people's experiences, which made me feel I am often not alone at all. In the process I have become more at peace with myself and my photography has improved immensely.
I have let go of needing to be Jewish and moved toward wanting to be Jewish...I feel attached to and yet apart from my synagogue...more than ever... I do not yet like our new machzor for High Holy Days. It doesn't co next or resonate for me YET. But I will give it time and an honest chance...45 years is a lot of comfort and security that I felt for our old one...let's see where this goes..........
Hmm... When I think "spiritual", I think about the beauty of nature. Just this past weekend, my husband and I drove up into the Adirondacks to see the changing colors of the fall leaves. On a quick visit to L.A. a couple of months ago, we took a hot, dusty hike into the mountains around the city to get a good view of the city and surroundings. On an earlier trip out west we drove down to San Diego along the coast highway, and enjoyed the many beautiful ocean views along the way, as well as the lovely Balboa park in San Diego. With my sister and her husband, in Mexico, we relaxed in the sparkling clear Cenotes. These experiences in nature are renewing and inspiring for me.
Touring the national art museums in Moscow and St Petersburg I was introduced to a whole new concept of expression. Yes, it was still a painting or a piece of sculpture. But it was telling a different story using different methods. And the beauty and the colours and styles reinforced my burgeoning belief that good exists inside evil, evil exists inside good, and the beautiful and the grotesque are necessary to be able to see with more than my eyes. The grandeur of the large Russian and Communist murals, the painting of the man sitting on a rock, and the painting of the moon over the water. All haunting and beautiful, giving me the opportunity to learn something about cultures and people that I hadn't thought of until that moment.
I think my answer is pretty similar to last year's, in that growing closer to Joel and strengthening our relationship has been as close to spiritual as I get. The depth of our emotions and bond is amazing and I can't wait to see what bringing children into our family will bring.
Lately I've realized that I've moved beyond the Happy Bubble, that new, delirious joy that new couples find themselves in where everything sparkles with newness and excitement. The air itself seems to crackle with energy. Weight is gained and giggled over. Sex is mindblowing (okay, so that one hasn't changed). We aren't in the Bubble anymore; we're somewhere better, or at least I am more aware that I am. I'm in a place of Contentment. The joy is still there, but it's behind the ease of just ..knowing that it's all better now. I found, dated, and married my The One and I can relax, and the excitement has been replaced with a calmer joy that makes me feel complete. To be clear, Adam doesn't complete ME, but finding him, my beshert, has led me to a place where I feel contentment in myself and inside our relationship together.
Many wonderful experiences due to Community of Hope gatherings and friends, visiting Pat Meyers and now Hand Snyder, getting involved with Amicus, doing more with Project Home, helping with the Personnel Committee at St John's, and being the sponsor for Nola Leonard's baptism. Pat Meyer's funeral where my visiting was included in her funeral sermon was very meaningful. The visit to Utah to see Lisa and Seth was spiritual as well as invigorating.
2 years ago on my first farm program I had the most incredible spiritual experiences. I changed and grew so much and haven't experienced anything quite like that since then. I am less religious than I used to be, and I don't even incorporate much spirituality into my daily life like I did back then. I used to feel that I needed the nightly prayer meditations to stay happy and healthy, but I don't do it at all anymore and I am still SO HAPPY every day. At first I felt guilty or afraid that things would fall apart if I stopped, but now I almost think I don't need it. Maybe over there I wanted the regular intention setting to feel like my head was in the right place, and maybe I will want it again in the future, but for now I am okay not having so many deep "spiritual" experiences. I am grateful for the mindfulness practices I've leaned. I haven't forgotten them, they are just on hiatus for now.
My spiritual experience has really happened in the last couple weeks, although it started a year and a half ago. I am finally giving up everything I've wanted or dreamed to instead ask Jesus for everything He's wanted and dreamed for me. He created every fiber of my being and knows me intimately well beyond anyone else ever. He knows the true desires of my heart and what will bring me happiness and joy. He is constantly working to complete me so that nothing is lacking. I trust him. I trust him to be good to me and to be good at being God. I have no say in his plans for my life other than it is all on him to put things right. He completes me. He gives me identity. He gives me talent. He gives me favor. He is my Source, Protector, and Provider. He is a good, good father. He will forever be my anchor. Every promise he has spoken over my life will come true because He makes it true. He cannot lie and his promises cannot be broken. So I believe him. No matter what, no matter the circumstances, no matter the timing, I believe He wants the best for me and that He will make it happen beyond my wildest dreams. I feel so much freedom! So light. Relieved. Unburdened. I have emptied the vessel of who I am- my thoughts, my opinions, my plans, my routines, my desires- so that there is even more room for God to pour his Spirit through me. I overflow so that I can give everything He has to everyone there is. I am free.
Forks over knives
Service trip to Maine. Steubenville East Conference.
This last year has probably been full of more prayer than almost any other year before. There's been a lot to ask for outside help with.
In the past few years, my religion has been drifting a bit away from traditional Christianity. I still call myself Christian, for the most part, in that I believe in a single benevolent God, but I'm starting to view it as my own spirituality that doesn't need church or organized services to practice. Anyway, on my trip to Thailand, my sister's Thai boyfriend took us to some temples, and even though I'm not Buddhist, I still felt a strong spiritual presence there. These holy sites had this certain power to them that was both calming and intimidating, very similar to some of the Western churches I've visited. It made me, in a way, realize that perhaps all our religions stem from each other. Maybe we all worship the same god or gods in different forms.
My pregnancy, very much a choice, was somewhat spiritual to me, especially as I was nursing my older infant son during my pregnancy -- I felt very womanly and very nurturing and life-giving, very feminine. Making the choice to continue my pregnancy was very much a spiritual choice to my husband, though to me it was only an optimistic choice in a zero-sum negotiation. I was fortunate enough to attend a regional Limmud weekend in September, a month prior to High Holidays, and yearned for a more spiritual experience, though I had fun. I think the spirituality part came though at the Havdalah ceremony, and the music performance. I also valued the spirituality behind my husband's emergence from mental illness, though I took a more practical view from my own standpoint.
I am not sure spiritual is the right word, but when I realized I was ready to retire, that changed me in many ways. I see myself as a 'short-termer' and I can choose my projects carefully. As I have been claiming throughout the questions, and I know it seems that with any question asked, the answer is always retirement. But I see this as huge. I have given my all to the University of Nebraska and the farmers of Nebraska. Having more time that I control will allow me to spend more time on different issues, so the question could be asked, " How much time will be devoted to spiritual matters?" I expect to do more exercise, more yoga, more reading, some writing, some handyman projects, some travel. I feel there is a Zen to all activity if done with proper Kavanah. But where on the list are more mitzvot, more prayer, more meditation? What is the definition of 'spiritual experiences'? Getting in touch with the divine, the holy? I intend to spend more time smelling roses. That's a promise.
No. And this is a problem. I have been pushing away my inner knowledge or desensitizing myself with alcohol to dumb my instincts and intuition. I have been scared to step into my leadership, to be a Maverick Leader. I've know what I wanted for a long time. And so very slowly I've moved back toward it; inevitable. But I keep immense joy, financial security and passion fulfillment at arms length for fear of the power and responsibility that comes with those results. Time to change; step up and embrace it all. I think I feared I couldn't/wouldn't be loved if I gave myself fully. I'm changing my assessment.
In a weird way, I think this counts as "spiritual" - I traveled to Ireland for work back in June, and it was the first time I traveled to a foreign country without Josh or family. Josh is such a competent person that when it comes to things like travel and other sort of complicated things, he always just naturally takes the lead. He innately knows where to go in airports, where to find the rental car stand, etc. Because I never do this by myself, I went in a little nervous, but quite certain that with my brain and cell phone, I could accomplish anything. And I could. And I did. And it was really awesome. Now I travel all the time by myself for work and I really love it. It's nice to feel competent and independent when I spend so much time home alone or out with the hubs. Out alone is a good feeling.
I don't know whether I have had spiritual experiences but I have started doing 'A Course In Miracles' (ACIM). I started listening to Marianne Williamson and her teachings are all based on ACIM and I liked what I was hearing so I delved into it and have started reading a few books from different people to get a different perspective on it all. Whilst reading the material and going through some of the lessons I do feel like I my spiritual side has been bought to life again. Having been bought up in the Catholic faith (rather strictly) and later rebelling against it, I had some rather bad prejudices against people who purported to be spiritual, especially anyone from any of the mass religions. Thankfully I have been led to some good teachers, many though listening to Hayhouse Radio where I discovered Wayne Dyer and Marianne which also led me to many others. All their teachings have definitely changed my perspective on the world, on people and most of all myself. I no longer blame others for my situations or circumstances and I feel more empathic towards others. The only problem I have right now is that I tend to see hatred and stupidity more quickly and I am a little too quick to judge if it comes from a repeat offender (politicians especially). Marianne Williamson and ACIM say unless we send love and forgiveness to these people, they will never change, and whilst on a philosophical/spiritual level I get it, I find it difficult to actually do it with any level of conviction. Something I need to work on obviously!
Mindfulness and meditation have expanded my spiritual practice. I am trying to be more focused on where I am, right now, in this moment, than on where I think I'm going. I am trying to be more present to (with?) God. I am more open to seeing the connections between prayer and the world around me. Saying the morning blessings outdoors and hearing a rooster make his morning call. Carrying a niggun with me and "hearing" it flow through my mind throughout the day. I am committed to going out at least once a month - to hear live music, to theatre, to museums - to experience spirituality through art. I am taking long looks at art: noticing the scene, hearing the note, focusing on the light moving through the painting. If I see fewer things in the museum, but focus deeply on one or two; if I get lost in a moment of theatre; if I sing a song as I go home from a concert, I carry the spirituality of the moment with me and it lives inside me.
I have had many. In fact, I believe my most spiritual experience came in the defining of what the term "spiritual experience" means to me. I now know it means a sense of connectedness, of wholeness, of unity, within myself, and with others and/or nature. Now that I know what that feels like, I have had daily experiences of it.
Though cliché, my Ecuador Service Immersion trip at the Working Boys' Center in Quito, Ecuador, was a particularly spirtual experience this year. Like any service trip to a less-fortunate country, I experienced the sheer difference in lifestyle between both countries. I learned of the cycle of poverty. Children help their unemployed parents collect recyclables in order to make some small cash. However, they have no time for schooling, so as time flows they become the parents and their offsprings become the children, repeating this perpetual cycle. Whenever I glance upon that monthly pile of Polad Springs water bottles in my bedroom, I now cannot no longer help but think of this cruel reality. However, the cultural differences were also just as interesting as seeing the poverty. One evening, our BC High group went to a mall a block away. Many of the fast-food chains were of course represented. (Interestingly, the KFC did not have biscuits or the infamous Double-Down sandwhich.) Ecuador's society looks to the US and us "gringos" and tries to emulate our society. It is "hip" to live like a gringo, and as such all the board games that would have been found in your Target or Walmart were extremely overpriced. However, the Ecuador soccer team was participating in an international and the game was on every Jumbotron-esque monitor in the mall. However, unlike malls which are pretty much desolate during any big professional sports game. Everyone in the mall (except us of course) was sporting their Ecuador soccer jersies. The sounds and emotion coursing through the crowd whenever Ecuador scored a goal is near ineffable, but it is unlike anything I have experienced back here.
Spiritual experiences. Looking into the void. Seeing the nothingness. And finding it something I can look at without freaking. Because I see this I can step out of the mythos of the construct that brought me to this time and place - it's like Plato's Allegory and being outside of the cave. I'm free to go look for something else. But for right now, just sitting outside the old cave, the landscape is "okayer" than I ever thought it would be. I would still love to find something. But I do feel the power in the freedom of being outside.
I've had this growing feeling inside of optimism and faith in the goodness of others. When I describe it with others I have trouble articulating exactly what it means to me or why I have this feeling. I can't quite explain it. But I truly believe in the goodness of others and feel motivated to nurture this goodness.
getting in touch with my spanish sephardic soul and painting all of spain and its roots with a 3d mixed media is truly making me feel so much joy
I wouldn't really use the word "spiritual" but I have learned an important life lesson surrounding something I've been at a cross-roads with in several junctures of my life; particularly due to the fact that I'm going into clinical psych. I've learned that you can have an understanding and compassion towards people without being and their circumstances without sacrificing your own values and well being. Too often I justified and expunged abusive behavior directed toward me because I knew why they were doing it. I had insight into these individual's past. I knew the trauma they had been through and how it effects them in contemporary interpersonal relationships, whether it be through reenactment amongst other maladaptive behaviors. My point being, I tolerated abuse and tried to convince myself and those around me that it was okay because this person had a troubled past, and knowing that, I had to accept it for what it was. I'm "supposed" to have compassion for them and forgive them and allow the cycle to continue, silently hoping that things would work out differently. I've come to learn that I can't save people or change them. While I can certainly hold hope for people and have compassion for their situation, keeping them as an integral part of my life does not necessarily have to be a part of that equation. I'm still not completely at implementing that insight, but it's a work in progress.
This past year I hosted my first Shabbat dinner at my apartment (2 actually)! I cooked, I cleaned, I organized, I led the blessings, and then I got to sit back and relax as I watched Jews and non-Jews, co-workers and friends (and a random guy I invited from Tinder) engage and dine together.
The first moment that comes to mind is a march against police brutality in July after the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Philando and his girlfriend were pulled over for a busted tail light. The officer asked if he had a gun in the car, which legally you have to report and he said YES. Then the officer asked for license and registration and when Philando opened the glove compartment to get them the officer shot and killed him. It is so important to remember these horrible stories. On the march we walked through much of Roxbury and people were out on their porches with signs in support, clapping, chanting, saying hi to people walking in the march. I could see all the faces of the people so sad and angry, people who fear that they might be next. I don't know how this problem gets resolved but I do have hope that it can and will be a different world that does not allow different treatment of white and black people that Zozia grows up in.
I was in Guatemala in August and had a number of spiritual experiences. One day I was meditating on a stone chair in a memorial park for the 15 people massacred while on a peaceful demonstration. I saw a vision of the four directions swirling and saw the people spinning and losing their place. When I got up our guide told us that the chair is used by the families of the victims to meditate and pray for their loved ones. Later a Mayan told me that to see the directions swirling indicates troubled times for their people. There is so much beauty in the land and sorrow that can be felt from the tragedies they have experienced over the past few hundred years. My aunt and the group we were with had the opportunity to do n a simple Mayan ceremony. When we called our ancestors to be with us, I could feel the palpable presence of my uncle who had planned to be on the trip and sadly died a few months before.
Driving through the tunnel and seeing Yosemite Valley laid out in front of me. It was magical. I mean, the magic kind of started as soon as we hit the mountains, but that great famous view just really instilled a sense of awe, both connection with the universe and being totally dwarfed by the universe.
I feel like I'm getting further from God. The only moment Inreally had was when Jim Milliken was telling me stories about Dad. I'm going to start going to Temple so I can find God again. He's very good at keeping me calm.
You know, I think my spiritual experience has been NOT thinking about spirituality. I've connected with more people on a deeper level than probably ever before. I am more myself, I am more open to others, I have more capacity to love, and I feel hope for the future instead of fear of the end of the world.
Yes. So many. I had an experience at a goal-setting workshop that involved visualization and manifestation - two things I don't really subscribe to - that was so powerful it: A) Brought me to tears B) Led to a shocking series of events 20 minutes after the workshop where the wildest goal I could think of - a "breakthrough" - actually happened ("Renew my faith in my ability to fall in love"). I've also become - or, realized - the transformative nature of free-writing, and it has led to more self-exploration, discovery, and happiness with my day to day life than I ever expected. I also ran the Grand Canyon, Rim-to-Rim, with my best friend. It was such a challenging and rewarding experience: such beauty throughout, and finishing felt like a feat magnified by the fact that I did it with one of the people in my life that I hold the closest and who knows me best. AND - I hiked Machu Picchu. And while that sounds cliche, it was actually very unique and a more specific, special, and emotionally resonant experience than I ever imagined. I had more introspection and self-reflection than I could have ever anticipated. And I felt valued in so many ways: as a source of energy, of youth, of stories, of humor, of strength, of culture, of ideas... but most of all, I felt valued just for being myself.
The entire experience of embarking on formal conversion study has been a wonderful spiritual experience—enlightening study with rabbis, warm Shabbat meals, and learning to love holidays I didn't even know existed!
I made it to Rosh Hashana morning services! It was worth sitting through the Torah service to hear the dueling shofars! I'm not really religious, but I have missed not going to services since I haven't been able to sing over the past 6 months. I'm able to sing now, and that is how I pray, how I connect spiritually. Not being able to sing with Threshold choir has been depressing and sad, and I'm ready to start again. Singing for people at end of life is a spiritual practice for me. And I've started listening to guided meditation again.
I really haven't. I need to figure out a way to nurture this side of myself.
This year has been particularly dry when it comes to spiritual experiences, to my displeasure. I find them the only satisfying experiences in life, but this year I've had to focus on finding God through the mundane. It's been challenging at times but I believe that contact will increase sometime in the future.
This hasn't been a very spiritual year for me. I've been slack with going to shule ... yoga has felt more like a physical release or challenge than a spiritual experience. Spirituality is something that I like the idea of, but just don't seem to value it so highly at this point in my life that I'll make sacrifices to bring it in. I think there will be a time and a place where I may seek it out, crave it or even need it, but that point isn't now. I'm very content seeking nourishment from my work, my friends, family and partner, from the community I'm part of. I suppose there is an element of spirituality in connection with others, and I think that has been my actualisation of it this last year.
Yes, I've almost had a spiritual awakening. I hit rock bottom in my disconnectedness. I craved so much to reconnect with myself and with source. It took one podcast to spark that fire and I've been a spiritual wildfire ever since, consuming this deep love and flow. I am meditating every night, doing yoga every morning and trying to stay connected with myself and others with love and kindness. I'm not perfect. I want to sit back and be a listener, hold space for others, that's my next step.
I think the weekly habit of Romemu has become even stronger and more important in my life. Iti's soothing, invigorating and peaceful all at once. Always what I need at the end of the week. I've also learned how much good energy I draw from speaking with my friends, and how it is absolutely imperative to make time to catch up with them.
I had a beautiful experience with Nefesh Mountain that allows to connect to Adonai my mind when I simply sing Love Me Adonai. It often allows to connect, calm down, and breathe within my soul.
There have been some moments where I feel a profound connection to all of humanity, especially mothers. Maybe it was the hormones of giving birth, or the expansion of my heart as I fell in love with my tiny guy, but I felt like I carried the hopes and worries and fears and dreams of every mother who has ever lived. It was at times overwhelming emotionally, but also incredibly moving.
I did have a set of personal insights that I could call spiritual. I feel that with my work with various Jewish non-profits that the Jewish religion may be one I convert to in the near future
I have continued to grow in my connection with mt Crator and Higher Power. Each day brings me a little closer to where I am to be.
This year I've felt most spiritual on my road trip from salt lake to Canada. It was amazing to have no plan or item draft and to spend all day for four days talking with a friend about anything and everything that popped into my heart. We trusted everyday that god would provide for us the things that we needed. And he did. It was amazing to practice such trust and have it so clearly be more than worthy of that trust. I cling to my memory of that daily. And during hard times. If we place our trust in god to provide and be honest about our heart we will learn everything we need and have everything we need to continue advancing.
My most spiritual moment was watching the project mapped video on Felicity St. during Luna Fete and feeling so much joy and gratitude that it was palpable in my chest. The video was so considerate of New Orleans and reflected joy and innovation and possibility and fun. When I want to conjure up the physical feeling of gratitude, I go back to that moment.
After the end of my job and time in London, I was lost. I knew I had to move back with my parents, then pick up the pieces of my time in London and get back on my feet - financially and personally. But there was a silver lining, the cycle of the endless struggle, earn enough to pay the rent, eat and socialise a little but no more was broken - I had a lot more freedom. My amazing GF Anabel caught on to my dream to go travelling like a bloodhound, chasing chasing me until I did it. She kicked me up the arse and I love her more for it. So I set off to Indonesia for 6 weeks. I met amazing people, travellers and locals alike, I saw amazing things never to be seen at home, I saw a culture different from my own and absorbed myself in it. I feel like it has opened me up like a lotus flower, finally in bloom - I feel energised, more in tune with myself and sure. There is a real joy in my heart that wasn't previously there, a lightness to my step. The most noticeable thing is there's a slight charisma to me, and I'm much more comfortable with friends, family and strangers alike, much less guarded. There's a nakedness to my mind and I happy in and to be myself.
I woke up one morning a month ago and realized that I had been abused as a child. It felt like waking up from a dream and it was very upsetting but also such a relief. It made me stop hating myself so much for abusing myself and put me on the path to forgiveness. I hope that this revelation will allow for greater self-care in the future.
I have begun using essential oils in my daily life.
I was fortunate enough to be able to see Hamilton this year. Not only was it one of the best shows I've ever seen, but it also changed the conversation about who can access theater (with the Ham4Ham shows) and who can perform in the theater.
A spiritual experience of this year has been during my Senior Retreat as one of the teachers led students through an exercise to meet and/or ask for advice from my spirit animal. I believe that my spirit animal is a bat of some sort and the helped me with some of my issues that I was having at the time and now I have a new appreciation for the animal as well as the practice of seeking help from people or animals that know me to better understand myself and what I can or cannot do in the future and in the present.
ALEPH Kallah -- an inoculation of Jewish Renewal. Shaya, Bahira, Melinda, Libby, Mike and Jody, Rav Shoshi and her husband, new friends. Validating and thanking leadership for the memories I still carry. Held in the bosom of community.
No. But waking every day beside my life mate is all the spirit I need
I have felt a strong push and connection to nature, even more so than in past years. I find myself drawn to Kabbalah and nature centered activities. I find myself connected more to and concerned more about the nature around me.
I haven't experienced anything "spiritual " per second, but several life events have affected me.
It's definitely been the year of the spiritual awakening for me. Going through ttc, the depth of the meditation, introduction to energy and learning about Tantra-it really was like discovering an iceberg. Opening a door to a world I wasn't aware of, but that I couldn't be more excited to dive into. It's given me an excitement about the future I didn't know I was missing. It's completely changed my priorities and approach to life for the better, and the best part is knowing that I'm so far in the beginning, I can't even imagine the perspective to come.
This has not been a particularly spiritual year...been so busy with the day to day. My closest spiritual experience would be the calm that I feel after completing a Barre 3 class. I hope to get back into a routine of going more regularly again.
None that I can honestly recall.
Along with a traditional Jewish burial, I held a very Quaker-like memorial service for her. It was not the norm - but it felt properly organic.
This year I was more into astrology; in particular setting intentions with different types of moons and celestial occurrences. It may seem a bit silly but doing those things helped me evaluate various aspects of my life. I'm learning more about stones that can be used to cleanse and protect spaces, and herbs that are good for just about everything. It's been eye-opening.
I'm not sure if I had this same recognition last year, but I am very aware of approaching agedness and its dysfunctions. My absentmindedness has been bad for years, but seems worse now, & I seem to have more aches & stiffness. This recognition makes me want to achieve while I can. I've been inspired by the NYT cooking emails & I've pretty much tried at least 1 new recipe every 2 weeks. I'm devoted to going to the gym & getting stronger. I'm trying to stay in touch with friends more. I feel this is my opportunity to improve myself as a person.
I was really inspired by the Manus x Machina exhibit at the Met this spring and summer. Seeing the creative ability of the human mind, and the incredible ways we can work with machines, such as with 3D printing, brought such joy and confirmation that fashion is the path I really enjoy and want to continue exploring.
This one was difficult -- nothing came to mind immediately. Friday night services at Shaarei Shamayim - Gates of Heaven - were something truly special. Going from the drab, lifeless services at Hillel had me in a low spot. When I showed up to Gates of Heaven and sat next to Pam's smiling face, everything changed. The energy, power, and resonance in that space was beautiful. I am so thankful that Pam invited me to share in that high holiday experience with her and the community.
I continue to experience deep awe and intense connection to God when I am called to bless or chant from the Torah. That's the huge spiritual experience for me.
This year we saw a spiritual medium that was able to pass messages from the other side. I heard some very reassuring messages from my father that passed 16 years ago. I also really try and practice spirituality every day in my life. I feel closest with the earth when I am in the red rock mountains and hiking on that holy ground.
Seeing the National African American History and Culture Museum on the National Mall was spiritual. For once I truly felt humbled as I stood in the presence of greatness. Seeing the detailed struggles and perseverance of my people laid out in front of me made me feel small. I felt that I was just a small thread in the quilt of the African American struggle. Emboldened, I now fight to achieve greatness more ferociously. I must be great, out of respect for all those who have fought for me to be free and for the generations to come after me.
Everything about living in Israel has made me more spiritual. Although I'm not sure if I truly believe in G-d, I find myself asking questions to a higher being more than I did before my time in Israel. I'm more culturally Jewish now as well, and my love for Israel is stronger than ever.
I think that the more I interact with pain and poverty and struggle with the random senselessness of privilege, of violence, of privation and of all our positions in the the world- especially of displaced peoples- the less that I believe in God, the more secular I become, and the less I am able to connect with that thing that used to feel so acutely spiritual when I was younger and before I ever stepped foot in a refugee camp. I did feel very moved by the art in Morocco, and I do feel massively lucky to have such a great support network of female friends in Kenya.
My Mother's funeral was on a cold, gloomy January day in Indiana. During the eulogy the Sun suddenly poured through the skylights and showered Mom's casket with rays of sunshine. My "atheist" son sitting next to me remarked "the light coming in was great, even for a non-believer!" The experience lifted some of my sorrow and strengthened my faith.
Today my wife FFS and I said "thank you" to Mother Earth in a small, beautiful & peaceful ceremony at the sea and gave Mother Earth some lovely flowers. Just some minutes later we read online from the Zika virus which is in the country we are having paradise like vacation as well in the county where we live. We immediately booked a flight to leave paradise back to where we live what we can hopefully change again so we can go somewhere where it's safe for our unborn!!
Yes, during a prayer workshop, we practiced listing to one another, which one commentator says God is doing while we pray - just listening. It has taught me to pause a bit more before speaking and to fully focus on other people when they speak. It helps to think of God in this way, someone who will just let me talk. A hotline of sorts.
There were a couple of times during my cancer treatments where I was feeling really alone and scared (especially right before surgery). I can’t pinpoint an actual moment where I realized this, but at some point I was reminded that I’m never completely alone—that God is always there for me and holding me along the journey. It was profoundly relieving and comforting. I was already aware of the “we are all connected” idea and had felt it before in various situations, but this was a more personal thing—I felt like there really was a higher being or force of love or...something...way bigger than me and that it was a reassuring and supportive companion.
praying with the chaplain in my dad's hospital room always makes an impact on me. also, mom and I were wondering Montreal and we stumbled upon a church with a concert inside. the "light" or the holy "spirit" are all around us if we but look/listen.
I had an astounding spiritual experience at shul this past Shabbat. Long ago, I heard (at B'nai Jeshurun in NY) a tune that haunted my heart. I was never able to find it in sheet music because I didn't know what the text was. That was several years ago. Last week, Rav Claudia sang it. Having had a long and challenging week, I really needed an uplift and the tune could not have been a more perfect one.
Holding my mother's hand when she passed from this world. It broke my heart but I didn't want her to have to do it alone. A friend later told me that it was one of the greatest mitzvah one can do, I never thought of it that way, I just wanted to be with her and I couldn't let go. Since then I've struggled with my faith and am not even sure I want to fast on Yom Kippur like does it even matter?
Not really. I have tried to spend more time walking outside -- recently I've been driving to a local cemetery, and that certainly feels peaceful. But I don't know if I'd call it "spiritual." It's just that it feels -- quiet, and safe somehow, despite my own fears of mortality. That is moreso because I feel like it's a space where others are unlikely to intrude, where I'm surrounded by green openness.
No Spiritual experiences. On our honeymoon I had hoped that I would feel more enlightened spending a prolonged time away from work/family/friends but that was not the case.
Yeah, I went to the temple for the first time in...let's see, seven years? It was a really peaceful experience. I was expecting joy or happiness but felt comfort, a really deep peace. It was very much needed. I don't know everything about what's right or true, but I do know what in that moment, I felt God's love and I hadn't felt it in so long. It was everything I had longed for, and I want to continue seeking that feeling in life, however it can be found.
Well, I have restarted my morning and nightly prayer. Sometimes I don't feel like doing it. Lots of times, it feels silly, but for me it is important. I think I speak more judiciously and remain more calm throughout the day when I take time for to pray. I say a variety of prayers and poems from all sorts of traditions which keeps me mindful of our diverse and yet connected world.
When I took over as head volleyball coach this year, I was unprepared in many ways to coach 25 girls by myself. The challenge of running practices, coaching games, and managing personalities was at times too much. I felt exhausted at the end of so many days, but I ultimately loved coaching the girls. It also made me realize I'm ready to be a dad. I feel Lindsey and I will be great parents.
I was with my friend the night before he died -- I knew I needed to say goodbye... I chose to let him know that we would all take good care of his husband... I felt very connected to the universe in that moment, and am filled with gratitude that those were my parting words to my friend. The moment was not lost or wasted....
I have moved to a country that emphasises connectedness to culture and family and celebrates a firm Christian belief base. It is beautiful to see such connectedness and strong faith, despite not holding that level of belief myself. I am often amazed at the beauty of this country and it's people. That is what I see as a spiritual experience.
Oh yes. Reached out for some prayer energy to help hold us up during the crisis time of husband's accident. Felt the "water wings of support" as I waded through a very dark swamp of his healing. Now that we are on the other side of that accident, and much healing has taken place, I find that it was too easy to slip back into the old patterns of a busy life. Yet it is not satisfying, and still feel like I'm just "keeping all of the plates spinning," without really making a different (aka "better") life. Need to slow down and stake out more time for daily prayer and introspection, to help tap into answers.
I've felt my daughter move within me.
Ah yes, I remember struggling with this question last year as well. Hmm. Well, I've seen some lovely art. I've been on some lovely swims. I've been to some lovely places. We went to Dungeness and I loved the emptiness, the vastness, the desolate landscape. Have any of these things affected me particularly? Meh, probably not, but they've all been added to my memory bank, for me to access whenever I feel sad, or hopeless, or my spirits are low. Does that count?
This year I've visited over 40 art museums all around the world, breathed in what different cities see as the most beautiful and necessary parts of their cultures and stared at them until my brain felt saturated with awe. I feel a connectedness with the world when I can immerse myself in the raised swirls of an oil painting or a blue that makes my eyes water that I suppose could be deemed as spiritual.
I'm not sure when exactly it happened -- a few weeks back -- or how it happened, but I find myself being more grateful for each day. I find it easier to be grateful, rather than just going through the motions. I am grateful that I get to be alive, that I get to be on this earth, living my life.
I chanted the Torah portion again this year on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. It's for the 5th day of creation and the 6th day from Genesis. With all I have on my plate, I refused to give up this honor and really crammed to get it together to do it. Faith and the Jewish Torah mean a lot to me. I told Serge to let me do it again next year. I'm going to set up two appointments with Cantor Reuben to practice with him next year so I have a few earlier deadlines and a chance to better enjoy the process. I'm so grateful that we have such great programming at BHS and that I take the time to take advantage of it and participate. I appreciate the spiritual learning and opportunities I have to explore my world through this lens.
Yes. While doing my morning meditation last spring I saw in my mind's eye a purple painted wooden door complete with Christian Cross. Not too long after seeing the door, I saw a spherical orb of iridescent white pulsating pearls, all touching, with light strobes, each made of similarly iridescent pearly white. This occurred not long after I'd been experiencing a dismal family situation which was exhausting me physically and spiritually. I felt my prayers had been abandoned. My faith was being tested. I was angry and bitter, bartering for salvation. My prayers come from both Old and New Testament and other various places in the bible. I came to understand my faith has a "delayed reaction button". Asking for help is not always like ordering a latte. Suffering through Grace is Wisdom. Purple Door to Loving Light of Connection. I use this visual, which I was graced with "seeing" to help me understand it is all part of His plan.
Realizing how depending on Alberta changed my sense of self. How imcomplete I felt when she was no longer at my side. I think that becoming a single person as a guide dog team is truly a spiritual experience.
Yes!! I officially become Quaker in February. I had my Clearness Committee and became a formal member of Farmington Friends Meeting. The Clearness experience was so very powerful, and so much more connected, personal, and insightful than other religious experiences I've had. It really helped affirm that Quakerism is the right spiritual path for me.
I started yoga. Then I stopped because of a crazy schedule, but I will go back to it after the chagim. I'd say I suck at it, but apparently that's not how it works. I DID fall and roll away from my mat once, but it was funny. At least, I thought so. But it dawned on me one day: the only real obstacle I have to overcome to do something is my belief that I can't. It's a truism, one other people already know, but it's the first moment--while in some contorted position--that I really understood it. That was a moment of revelation. Also, the stars last night while I was driving across eastern Washington. I stopped the car, stepped outside, and turned off the lights. Without any light pollution, they are so bright.
Watching my oldest daughter lead Rosh Hashanah services with our female rabbi was truly unbelievable. I know it sounds bizarre to be raised a Catholic and feel so at home in a temple, but I truly do. And being part of a family service among many people I know and love, chanting Hebrew along with my children and watching my beautiful, smart, amazing daughter sing with such depth and unwavering confidence up on the bimah ranks as one of the most spiritual moments of my life to date. I was so proud and astounded and grateful that I'm her mom.
Nothing spectacular, though in a less dramatic way, yes. A friend who has cancer and I expected to lose last year around this time has held on, he has lived longer than expected. It was a prayer answered, so yes, it was spiritual.
nada. it sucks.
There were a few scientific research pieces that affected me; I remember reading an article about the Hubble Telescope getting a picture of a galaxy (NGC 6503) that's so very isolated, being a lonely mote in the middle of a void tens of millions of lightyears across. Astronomy really is a humbling and yet uplifting area of discovery.
No. None. I'm still feeling a major void in this area of my life. The only experience that comes close is having walked the trail around Devil's Tower in Wyoming. There's definitely a spiritual energy there. But I was very distracted by other people on the trail talking. Talking loudly about insignificant things that really angered me. I felt very intruded upon, and I felt the sacred space was disrespected.
My práctice had proven to be powerful. I chanted for answers and got them. It was hard when the answer was "NO".
My interpretation of "spiritual" has changed this year. Now, if I can merely be surprised by spontaneous and unexpected wonder or joy, I feel as though in those moments I am experiencing a state of grace or some experience of what we call The Divine.
I spent a full week volunteering at summer camp this year, which I hadn't done in at least two years. I always prioritize spending at least a couple of days there each year but a full week set apart is another thing entirely. We have also found a great church home in Portland, just in time to up and move to Seattle. I enjoyed supporting my husband while he went through a catechumenate class that roughly coincided with my final push to finish my PhD. If that's not a spiritual experience, I don't know what is.
This year has been full of spiritual experiences. Iceland stands out as a time full of spiritual connection where I felt so deeply connected to an Earth Goddess in a way I haven't before. The nature of Iceland was so powerful and awe-inspiring it awoke within me a connection to earth I hadn't felt previously. I feel less connected to the Earth Goddess now than I did in Iceland those few months ago, and I hope to re-inspire this connection.
Moved to a new city. Turned on my super outgoing identity and was successful! Made friends, danced, joined a band. I am majorly impressed and proud of myself : )
Having knee replacement surgery was somehow spiritual - don't quite get it - had me go deeper into old emotional wounds than ever before and understand why Dave and I were so attracted to each other. Continued work with ACA, Landmark, Siddha Yoga, expand me spiritually. The answer is always LOVE
Coming out of the other side of 8+ years of chronic pain, surgeries, drugs, to find that I can like myself after all, that I don't have to be my mother at any age, and that I'm not done yet.
I'm starting to feel things that aren't my own. Pain that didn't begin with me and won't end with me. When I look into the eyes of others I see stories untold and unclear. When I hear the words of others I also hear whispers of things which must remain unsaid. The nature of humans is slowly manifesting itself to me. As you lose the self, you gain everything else.
Yes! On so many levels. I have been practising meditation and that has opened my mind and spirit. I believe in spirit guides, and many times, I have heard their guidance. I have asked questions, and they have sent me the answers I needed. It may seem flaky, but I firmly believe it. A couple of examples: I had set my timeline for starting to look for my "dream job" by September. In July, I started getting anxious. I had not yet heard my calling, my passion. I had no idea what I wanted to do. Until the day that I realized: Maybe it's not a bad thing to do a job I know well, so that I have financial security, and focus on my life outside of my job to grow, and bring me satisfaction. I could make new friends, go out, continue art lessons, join book clubs, whatever I've always wanted to do. A day after this revelation, I got contacted by a company I know well. They wanted me to help them develop their market in an industry I have a lot of experience in. How crazy is that? After much reflection and discussions, I am happy to say that I have accepted an offer from them. Yay! Another spiritual experience: I am still single after ending my marriage 4 years ago. This summer I was getting frustrated with the dating scene, and I sat in a park by the river, a really beautiful, spiritual place. I looked up and prayed to my guides: OK, what do I do? What am I doing wrong? How do I find the man I am looking for? I walked back to my car, took a wrong turn and walked way too far. When I finally found the way out of this park, I sat down, and not a minute later, a visibly drunk man comes up to me and asks: Did you enjoy your walk? Aside from his inebriated state he seemed harmless and we struck up a conversation. He was a British theatre actor. As I got up to leave, he asked me out for coffee. I demurred, and he said: You know, my mother always said, don't go looking for love. It will happen when the time is right. Then before I left he called out: Oh, I do find you very sexually attractive. Hurrying away I was swearing at my guides: "what's the joke, guys?" Until I realized that the message was pretty loud and clear!
Not really. Going to the park, being outside, especially in wooded areas makes me feel joyful, sometimes it gives me that shivery feeling of such joy that it hurts, but that's as close as I ever come,
I haven't had a spiritual experiences but I am exploring Buddhism since I went to temple with Chipmunk. I loved the calmness and community of the temple. Chipmunk is Buddhist and he is definitely calmer and more grounded than most people I've met. I believe it has something to do with the religion he has adopted.
I have trouble with this question every year because I am not a spiritual person. I have a very logical mind. I like thing clear and straight forward. I have never really had a spiritual experience and believe that when people do have them it due to the complexities of human perception rather than a higher power. Perhaps my feelings on this will change one day but I am not holding by breath.
Watching my mom die was one of the most difficult things I've ever done. But it also put me in touch with the holiness and sanctity of life. I want to stay focused on living life to its fullest.
No, not really. I have gone to my boyfriend's church a number of times and only notice how different I feel around people who buy into it. My most spiritual experiences have been associated with great theater! And through singing with others - at music parties. That is when I am moved by spirit. But - my dad died a year ago, and I was moved to sing "All My Trials, Lord, Soon be Over" as we wheeled him out of the house into the funeral home's transport vehicle. Taking him out of his spiritual home so to speak, and bathing him in warmth and spirit for this "transition". Seeing my dad's dead body was a bit of a spiritual experience, I suppose. Experiencing a reverence for the body , and yet being reminded that we are nothing without the soul.
I've had so many fewer such experiences than I would like, and a part of me regrets that...but it's all been in the service of getting back to Boston and to a life that is meaningful and satisfying for me. So in that way, I have no regrets. But I spent so much time driving back and forth between CT and Boston and looking for houses and buying the house and dealing with renovations (on top of my intense job), that I didn't get to enjoy the outdoors, or art, or going out to eat, or my friends or Chris as much as I would have liked. I did try to cultivate a sense of gratitude through it all...which was not hard, because I do feel so lucky. I have so much - both materially and socially and also somewhat professionally (although I look forward to the day when I get to work at the place that's not about to fold)...that I am very grateful, even as I also wish I could have more down time and more time to have those moments of awe, or calm, or connectedness.
I saw two incredible concerts this year which both made me cry. Time stopped and I was so present, which felt quite spiritual. The concerts were Radiohead & Sigur Ros.
kiva. weed walk. raven and friend came as spirit animal.
Again, no. Unless I can count the dream I had about Kenzie. Perhaps it was my grief, or maybe it was her. But she was there, if only for a minute.
I have begun a meditation practice which has been enormously beneficial to me, and I hope to stick with it in the year ahead. It is really valuable to me to be able to center myself and recognize that that calm mind, that blue sky is there underneath all the stress and chaos. Every singing experience is spiritual to me, and I need to seek them out more.
Seeing the musical Beautiful with my mom was very emotional...and in that way spiritual. The story of Carol King was so inspiring and I loved seeing it with my mom. I felt so connected to the music.
During the last few weeks of July, I went to Kraków, Poland to participate in World Youth Day, an event that brings millions of Catholic youths around the world to one area in anticipation for a mass said by the Pope. I went with my local parish, which helped me to reconnect with many of my friends from my town that I am not able to see often because I go to B.C. High and not my local high school. The trip was incredible due to the uncountable amount of kids my age from all around the world, waving flags and banners showing their national pride through the bustling streets of Kraków. But the biggest event that occurred during this journey was the two appearances of the Pope, in which I was present for both, and the impact he had on the rest of the crowd that amounted to at least hundreds of thousands of people. Just by his presence, these people were touched in their soul and transformed through their faith for Jesus, which the Pope is a living vessel for on earth. This experience affected me because it allowed me to realize the power that truly one person can have in the world. As the cliché saying goes, "it only takes one person can change the world", this experience was a clear example of this on such a grand example it is almost still unfathomable to me 3 months after. The energy of the massive crowd as the Pope drove around it in his small all terrain vehicle was the most enthusiasm I have ever witnessed in my life and the reverence people had for this small old man was on a level I have never even thought of before. Although I am not very religious, this experience undoubtedly affected me because it gave me an extreme example of a leader and his people, all standing united for one cause, and an event at this level might not be presented to me ever again for the rest of my life.
God, what does it say that I can't think of any. I suppose, as much as I didn't allow them to be deeply moving experiences, bringing together the Afro-Semitic sisters has been a real growth in my spiritual life. And becoming a church goer. Actually, I have had a number of spiritual experiences at church, especially the day that we came together to be resent to the pain and destruction that was the piled up murders of black and brown people that culminated in the rage killing of Dallas cops. Being present at church has been a big thing for me, and for Juan, and even Naf. Becoming sabbath observers, even in our stilted little way (better sometimes, depending on who is at our table) has also been at least a formally spiritual experience. My heart is hard. I really need others to help me crack it open.I used to have so much more access to my spiritual side, to my open heart and to joy Now, it seems like my main access to spirit is through pain, my own or others or that of the world. and I haven't even really let myself be present to the pain beyond my own life - not to Syria, or any other of the endless global calamities. I need to relieve my spirit though. It all get s too heavy. Having the power of community, of hugs wth Ana when she's clearly fighting her demons, to hold others through their pain is where i get access. Being there for Brittney, or Krys, or...whomever. Having open heart moments of tears is where I allow my spirit to arise. I rarely have that with Juan, never with my mom.... Seeing Zev this last time was also a spiritual experience. Hearing about his relationship to faith made me really dig deeper into my own practice with Naftali. Saying the sh'ma with him at night has been a real door for me. I'm not sure where it leads, but I feel like I'm stepping into someplace new with it.
I found to my surprise that when I was dealing with a difficult situation pertaining to Sam that words would come out of my mouth that I never expected and that thoughts popped into my mind. I have less of this in other areas of my life but it is increasing. Slowly I am beginning to believe that I know what to say and do in my life, and to trust this.
It started with a school-sponsored trip to the City of Brotherly Love. We convened with our Jesuit peers that day, a few hundred strong from the United States and beyond. The kickoff to our four-day trek as a spiritual family was a revelrous afternoon front-yard cookout: sunshine and music filled the air; frisbees and footballs flew this way and that; and cheesesteaks were served with abandon as if the city decreed it. As the day turned to night, the festivities gave way to a more formal roll call of each school in attendance. That night and the following morning were packed with moments of reflection and instruction, largely centered on what it means to be a good person. After lunch we all marched into Philadelphia with banner in tow, brimming with excitement as we went to see the Pope. The next thirty-six hours of our lives were dedicated to following his papal visit. We approached the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the location of his first official public appearance, and split into smaller groups to populate the small park, already beginning to crowd with other devotees. My group took root on the sidewalk, hearing word that the Popemobile would saunter by this street. We waited for a few hours, and the walkways swelled with those from around the country and around the world. And then the cheering started. Long before the announcer's statement, we knew that Pope Francis was nearby. The exaltations drew closet to us, and so did he. Finally, as the uproar threatened to deafen, the pope wheeled up our street. He waved at our group, and it was at that moment that pilgrimage began. This religious experience is will remain with me for the rest of my life. Between the reflections, masses, and moments shared with friends old and new, I metamorphosed into a more spiritually open being, eager for more by the journey's end. More than that, I witnessed the faith and devotion of those around me swell like the high tide. They were their most peaceful, most kind, most loving selves, and through them I saw the unitive power of religion.
Not really. This year has been sort of...empty.
My continued decline in cognitive function has helped me realize how precious the present is. My spiritual connection has been deep and meaningful at times and at others I feel completely disconnected. The year has been one of slow and steady spiritual growth rather than characterized by any one specific spiritual experience.
I've started biking this year. I've stopped waiting until I have someone to go with me, and have started hitting the trails with Tesla. It's been wonderful, and spiritually fulfilling to be alone in the woods, with just my dog. To rely on myself, and know that the strength of my body and intelligence of my brain. To feel the accomplishment of getting to the top of the mountain, and in getting myself safely back down the mountain.
My phone conversation with my friend K the morning his mother died was the most spiritual experience I've had this past year. I called him at 7:51am when he texted to say his mother signed the DNR and refused all further treatment. He had been at the hospital all night with her. I have also lost a parent to cancer, and we've been able to talk openly over the last 13 months about death and dying. I think he found it comforting when I told him my father also had signed a DNR. Though I was a child when my father died 22 years ago, and K is an adult, and I realized rather quickly that it's not the same. After we talked about the new information about his mother, we both drifted into silence. And it wasn't an awkward silence----it was one of sheer exhaustion and depletion. This silence was so powerful, though. It bound us together in that time and space. I remember sitting on my bed sobbing during the silence, trying to make sure no sound escaped my mouth. I couldn't have him hear me cry. And I cried for him, because I knew what he was going through. And I cried for myself, because I knew what I had gone through. But after a few minutes when I was able to compose myself; I felt comforted knowing that he was present, that he existed on the other end of the line. And we didn't have to speak in order to be there for each other. So often people don't know what to say when you are losing a loved one, and so they'll just stay away because they don't want to hurt you. But that mostly silence phone call gave us a chance to be comforted. K's mother died 12 hours later.
My relationship with God has improved immensity this past year. I am seeing Him everywhere in my life as I have been more keenly watching for His work in my life as I lead my family.
I don't think I have this year. I've gradually thought about this question over the last 11 hours and I really cannot think of anything spiritual that happened to me this year, not even secular spiritual. I kind of understand music a little better, that might count, but I don't really think so, just because you tossed artistic in there. I'm sorry, me, I've got nothing for this one this year. ...Maybe that's not a bad thing.
When I notice things like the moon and stars in the night sky, I try to say a "prayer" by saying thanks. It helps me to remember to see positive things rather than always being caught up in the stresses of my life.
I think living and connecting with other people is a daily spiritual experience. In that vein, and this isn't only in this year, but I do tend to bring people to me. Someone will pop into my head and within usually a day I hear from them or see them in person. Often it's someone I may have met once before and I'll happen to meet them in a restaurant or while shopping. Often it's people I haven't seen in years. I oftened Wondered why this was so easy with people and not jobs. But it finally happened with a job too. I think it has spmething to do with letting go of any outcome.
No. I wish I had. I work too much and too late at night. I hope to get back on track and have more balance in my life soon. For now, I'm all focused on securing our family. I barely have time for anything. This year's answers are eye opening. Man.
Actually, I've been listening to interviews and talks by Sam Harris regarding science versus religion and feel that my sense of agnosticism may be outright atheism. Most all religions are fraught with fanaticism, control, hatred, etc etc. and there is just no basis to the claims help spiritually. Had a strong catholic upbringing FYI On the other hand, since art is mentioned ... I've delved in a bit more via watercolor classes and works as well as host some amazing plein air painters and am wowed, inspired, opened up... almost spiritual, if you will.
I guess not. Just some moments of happiness I think.
A friend to the family passed away this summer..it was my mothers childhood friend. And the funeral was hard and very emotional, but also, there where so many people attending, I think thats a true testament to how he was as a person. Always strive to do good in life, to yourself and to others!
I have seen families celebrating Shabbat together at the Temple where I work and felt more connected to my Jewish roots. I put a mazusah on the door and sent a Shabbat set to Cambria at college. I wish I would have kept more Jewish tradition when the kids were little.
Not really and it makes me sad. I've been incredibly disconnected from Judaism pretty much this whole year. That is something I want to work on, even though I know I say that every year. Here's hoping. Family time is usually spiritual for me though. I've also had a lot of really good conversations with Becca about things that have been nice. Oh and my commission. That has been spiritual. It has been such an honor to be a part of making the Conservative movement a place that is more welcoming to interfaith families. I think that is a lot of what Judaism is supposed to be about.
Yes, I've reconnected with my spiritual self. After having gone to a recovery program for over-eaters and confronted a lot of my own internalized rage and fear I found that I had space to connect to the eternal; that God hadn't been taken from my by my mother as I'd thought. This has affected me in that I have more of an internal life, a spiritual life. I pray (albeit not daily) and I say my gratefuls. I find solace in meditation and in being outside with nature. This has really helped me a lot. I don't feel as alone as I once did. I have a long way to go to create a rich spiritual life - but it's a good start.
I mean not really. I haven't experienced any real spiritual experiences. All that's happened to me is that I know how to better use my natural given gifts. (leadership)
I cry a lot more, but mostly from beauty and openness. I wasn't necessarily as good about meditating or services, but I've spent the majority of this year quietly inside myself. I went on a yoga retreat, I had surgery which forced me inside myself, I did two cleanses when I felt out of balance and used that time to stay home in reflection. I feel calm
Things that had the wow factor for me this year were the northern lights in Norway, many sunsets and skyscapes seen from my flat, homemade sauerkraut and sourdough bread and a play The Deep Blue Sea. Experiencing things like these makes me think about the simple things in life, how taking part and sharing is uplifting. There's magic in the world and we are better together, being kind.
I've had so many amazing nature experiences in the past year- snorkeling on beautiful reefs in the Bahamas, hiking into the Quill crater again, exploring the Costa Rican jungle. They all remind me just how insignificant we are as humans, and how we have to respect everything around us.
I feel like I haven't had any spiritual experiences this year...which feels really weird. This is the most removed I've ever felt from Yom Kippur. I wanted to do something for Rosh Hashanah, but I was so dissociated and disconnected during Tashlich that I couldn't even think about my life or anything really. In December, I did Vipassana which, while not spiritual, was a very connective 10 days. I sat with things that were uncomfortable -- my body hurting, missing my mom, feeling overwhelmed, being hungry, being tired -- and really just sat with them. I'm sad to say that it's hard to remember where I'd gotten to by the end of that retreat, but I remember returning, thinking that I'd start meditating as much as I could because of how connected to my body and conscious I felt. One amazing experience I had during Vipassana was a day somewhere around day 7 where I was doing a body scan, head to toe, toe to head, and I was going inside of my body...I was floating down through the molecules of my body...and I landed on top of a knot of pain in my back. I settled onto this tight mass of little balls that made up that spot of pain....and it / I started shaking it ever so slightly...and then I floated down into the pain, in between the molecules...and they all separated and floated away. And then my back pain was gone! [It was like I was a ball sitting on top of a cup of sand...and someone jiggled the cup and the sand started moving around and the ball on top started moving down into the sand.] I'm not sure that the pain has returned to the same degree that I had before that moment.
I would have to say that I really didn't expect it but I felt something powerful when making challah and then separating a part of the dough and saying a blessing. So strange how that small act brought such an awareness to me. I've made challah before but I honestly don't recall doing that or maybe someone else had done that on our behalf...I'm not sure. That awareness, however, made me acknowledge the fact that what I was doing was more than just baking bread. It was taking part in an activity done by so many generations of Jews before me and then also thinking about how much my family, my daughter will enjoy eating the bread for Shabbat. There was a sense of accomplishment in recognizing I had created bread with my own hands and an anticipation of enjoying that creation with others. Moments of connectedness...it was lovely and inspiring.
Finding my groove in my relationship has been beautiful. Realising the impact of my words on her has helped me become a better man, and I'll continue to chase improvement. Never stand still.
Spiritual experiences... I believe that through my increased awareness of life being finite, and my loss of faith in some form of afterlife, had made me more spiritual. It's something that's been surfacing mroe in my conversations. A singular moment in my memory - out to dinner in NYC with coworkers; talking about religion, church, etc - the loss of a spiritual community with the uptick in aetheism. Michael H. says something to the effect of, he goes to church to feel the presence of God. plain and simple. it's not for the people. it's to feel the presence of God. ever since then I have been examining my life: when do I feel the presence? do I even? the answer is that i do - and I feel very fortunate and happy that I do. I feel the presence in nature. I don't particularly feel it when I meditate. I do when I am outside, and notice nature. I have been trying to create more space and time for these moments - walks through nature alone, going to the park alone on the weekend to just sit in the grass. It's actually made living in the city a lot less compelling.
My friend has trained in Reiki and took me through a session. I imagined my loving ancestors surrounding me. Especially with regards to my father, this was a moving spiritual experience that I savor.
I think this year marks when I finally lost my faith. I still talk to God sometimes, but I don't really believe in him anymore, it's just a custom. The experience has been weird to me because I don't have that pillar I used to rely on before, and I feel sad sometimes because I all of a sudden lost my best friend. It's as if someone came and told me my mom is not real and I lost her one day to the other. I analyze everything so much, like question why I didn't lose my faith before or why now, but I know that I have so much peace in my heart and I feel completely happy.
Trust and surrender. I've had a lot of experiences throughout this past year that have pushed me to believe that everything will work out when it's meant to work out; don't sweat the small stuff. I've seen it happen with jobs, money, relationships and everything in between this past year. Trust your gut and just believe.
My "spiritual" experiences are subtle. Being more aware of my body sensations, my subtle mood shifts and the behaviors the shifts evoke. I recognize slowing down and how that affects my ability to see clearly and to respond out of clear seeing rather than reacting out of fear. However I did learn, too, about "idiot compassion" when I allowed Jeni's tears and remorse to change my needs which arose out of a situation where one or two students complained to her that the meditation class was not leaving "on time" (which caused them to not get their "space" in the next yoga class). I told her the class always started on time in that I, too, taught at the same time and always began on time. She demanded I change the time of the class to end 15 minutes earlier. I decided to find someone else to do the job -- and the shit hit the fan. Students called her and complained. She yelled at me over the phone to "STOP IMMEDIATELY". I attempted to explain to her that this had nothing to do with her, that I needed to not support someone's negative behavior. Ultimately we had a phone discussion where she was apologetic and tearfully explained her position; I reneged and said "okay". Two days later I realized that was the wrong thing for me to do. It was "idiot" compassion. Because of timing it took 3 months to complete the situation, and I finally told her I was unable to stand by my aquiescence. And we compromised. sigh. This, to me, was my own spiritual awareness coming to the forefront. My own spiritual learning. And I did: learn. Also, the ability to let the SF situation fade. Even through disappointment and my insatiable need to know, I finally have let it dissolve. It is better for all of us I suppose in that it appears N at least has calmed down. S does not communicate his own feelings about the situation so I am still unlclear about his intentions and feelings about it all. I am sad that he cannot communicate with me as that connection was so important. But I have accepted things "as they are, not as I want them to be". Another spiritual learning. sigh
In the Santa Maria chapel in the forum in the Forum in Rome. Andres had gone ahead, and I was mesmerized by the murals in the chapel. The murals and icons were of the healing saints and monks of centuries before. The images themselves were beautiful, but then the chapel lights went dim, gentle music began to play and a collective hush and sense of awe fell over the group. Lights started to outline the various icons and words projected onto the chapel wall described the meaning and significance. It was special to share the wonder with a room full of strangers, and I wished that Andres and I could experience a shared moment the same way.
Yes. I became a 200-RYT this year and embarking on that journey was nothing short of a spiritual experience that turned life on its head and left me transformed and directed in a way that I hadn't been before. I am not the same person I was before I started. I think differently. I love differently. I see differently. I speak differently. I navigate relationships differently. It was an epic period of self-discovery and connection to a beautiful community. I came to accept several things about myself that I hadn't been able to before. I was able to take the leap of leaving my job and starting a new business because of what I found during my training. My heart has been cracked open and exposed, and that allows me to feel everything more intensely. I have been a vegetarian for a year now, and I envision that part of my life staying with me in the future. I discovered a well of gratitude within myself that is endless. I found the light within myself and try to see it in others. I feel so blessed to have been able to have this experience.
When my husband got sick, I was amazed to discover how many people were fighting in our corner. A friend organized a fundraiser to help us through and over $9,000 dollars was raised on our behalf in just a few days. I have never had in my life such tangible evidence of how much we are loved and I believe I am permanently and profoundly changed by it. I also think it was a contributing factor to his recovery. I have felt like we are in a state of grace throughout this ordeal and I hope to spend the rest of my days repaying that generosity and kindness to the universe to the best of my ability.
No. I feel that spirituality has been lacking. However, there are moments of deep appreciation if nature.
My whole life is filled with spiritual experiences. Preparing for Bar Mitzvah has been a profound experience for me this last year and I know the actual event will have deep impact on me and my family. I thank Adonai for leading me here.
Ich hatte Todesangst.
I think my sense of what a community might be, what fanilies are is evolving. What "us" means. Living with my partner, building a home, reaching out to find new artistic joys and creating a space where others can find home in each other. My awakening is that those that threaten decency whither in their own ways and in their own time. I am responsible for ny impact, not theirs.
I have not felt spiritual any time this year that I can remember.
Surprisingly, yes. For the last month I've felt that I need to exhibit more spiritual leadership at church. I've introduced short prayers between songs and have improved the overall flow of the service. It's been met with a totally positive response. I think part of this stems from re-listening to my audio diaries from 1996-1999. My spiritual journey in those three years went from an absolute low to an incredible high and then back down again. But, in hindsight, it is quite clear that I was being led toward what I have been doing for the last 16 years. Music either played solo or leading a group of musicians at a variety of churches. I feel more than ever that I am doing what I should be doing, and thus I am spiritually fulfilled.
I now believe in Angels and have a broader understanding of my spiritual beliefs including reincarnation and the higher self. I started meditating again and connected to my spirit baby as well as my spirit guides. While in labor I saw many spiritual things, including my mother in laws guardian angel. Once I had my baby my soul experienced the deepest love I've ever felt and I truly believe I had my son to give me the knowledge that the secret to life is love, that energy and light are the only things we come from and that we are all One. I was always a believer in quantum physics, but now I truly feel committed to the ideas behind it. I had a message telling me that everything that has happened to me was for a reason and the lessons I've learned are helping my soul to grow.
This is silly but doing the Whole30 felt really great and I'm still pretty sure it's why i got my job and it helped my relationship.
This has not been a very spiritual year for me. I've stopped going to the UU church. I am considering checking out a United Church--more God talk?
I really enjoyed saying the morning prayers at times and hope I'll get to make more times for experiences like that.
I started to meditate again due to high stress levels and the need to calm down my mind to deal with adverse circumstances more effectively. I find it hard to make the time to do so, but it feels like it gives me a sense of calm and clarity for a while afterward. I'm doing an energy based practice which includes chant and focus on energy entering my body from the creator of the big bang and radiating out from me to the universe. My wife tells me this sort of practice will put me into contact with demons from another dimension, but so far I haven't been possessed.
I was at zuri's birth. I felt connected to my Brazilian friend Denys in a profoundly good and healing way. I had some heart opening experiences in Brazil on bikes at iracambi and also in Altamira, and felt more spiritually grounded every week at home with Shabbat.
When I was in Nara, Japan I felt very spiritual there. I was in awe of the Buddah statues and large temples. I could not believe that human beings dedicated so much time and craftsmanship into these shrines. Their attention to detail and love for their G-ds was apparent. I felt calm and it sort of gave me a wake up call to SLOW DOWN and to enjoy the present.
The two ‘spiritual’ moments I’ve had this year were both around leaving stressful situations; the feeling of relief combined with the inspiration that comes with new beginnings is particularly beautiful. Something I need to remind myself to experience more often.
Yes I've deepened my meditations and had contact with healing my ancestors .
The hike and then run/jog down was spiritual like. By myself, feeling not out of body, but that I didn't have to think about what my body was doing, it was doing.
Being with my children, a quite dinner or a week at the farm with Noah as he observed our chickens are spiritual experiences where I calm down and enjoy just being with them.
My spiritual experience goes back to the passing of my father. I have turned to my faith and religion these past few months more than I ever have in my life.
I found a new love who shares some spiritual thoughts and is sensitive for spiritual vibrations.
It is not new to this year, but I have aknowledged that being grateful for every little thing you have can solve the most difficult problems. I have used it often. It works.
Not really. I started using headspace and appreciate what mindfulness adds to the day, but not sure I'd call it spiritual.
Not really. I'm still trying to figure out where I fit, at all, spiritually. I find some movements meaningful and aspirational, but I find out that there is something critical about myself that I would have to abandon in the process. I have to find a way to be true to myself and my community.
Our community went through a very sad experience this year with the loss of Linda Fisher. It was so difficult to watch my friend go through a year full of ups and downs and eventually watch her have to say goodbye to her mom. She was a wonderful woman, created a beautiful family, but I guess it was just her turn. The experience made me realize that I have an unwavering belief in G-d, but I also came to realize that we all have to experience pain and suffering at some point or another. We just have to appreciate every moment of every day until it's our turn. I also know that the picture is bigger than us, but I am still scared to face the pain that is sure to come.
I surprised a friend in NYC in the beginning of the year. Because she didn't know I would be there, I spent quite a bit of time alone in the city. I had a very overwhelming sense of peace. For the first time in....probably my adulthood I felt like I was where I was supposed to be, and my existence in that moment didn't have any impact on anyone else. It was really wonderful. No one was disappointed that I wasn't with them, and alternatively, I wasn't worried I had overstayed my welcome.
Zero spiritual experiences that were life altering.
In Yosemite this summer, I took a hike on my own through about 5 miles of trails along the rim of the valley. Something in those times of quiet, of wonder, of being slightly unsure what's ahead, but excited for it all the same, that is my spirituality.
My father's rapid deterioration and the recent stroke has caused my to reflect spiritually about my own mortality and position in life. I look at my father and what he has accomplished in his life and I think he should be proud of what he has done with being an example to his children which I think is the greatest gift a father can give to his children. I am trying to do the same and hope I can be a good example. Some days I feel like I am but not always.
i have got to experience a lot of jewish culture this year and it has been a very interesting experience.
I think I could call giving birth to my daughter spiritual. I was surprised at how relatively calm I was, and how I was able to make rational decisions. I was very turned inward and focused on what I needed in a healthy way. She's an amazing baby and has been very healing for me since the day she was born.
I've been to the theater more times this past year than in previous years. Especially opera. It's been a wonderful cultural year.
On a flight to Austin I sat next to a waiflike woman who I thought was Italian but she turned out to be Cuba. We talked about Castro and the illuminati and art and stories and government conspiracy and eventually death. She believed in reincarnation with complete faith but no religion. When I asked if we brought consciousness of our past lives to present, she said that it wouldn't make sense, that it's our work to be our human self. It's the stones work to be stone. Later when we talked about doing what you love she said that even though she had left the people she loves in Cuba, even if she had to pause the kind of work she loves, even then they would never leave her. That what you love is always with you if it is truly a love. And that was why we should love with our hands open, not grabbing at everything. As she said this she put her thin brown forearms together and held her fists closed, and then opened them, palms up. The whole time we flew I turned to her so acutely, by the end my neck hurt. When she showed me her dog the woman to her right reacted. She had stringy hair and bad teeth and Had been sucking on them since we boarded, driving me crazy. But soon we were talking and she told us how she had adopted two black hiv+ children while she was a nurse, and how she'd fought with child services agents who told her she shouldn't be mothering black children. What these children need is a loving home! And I gave that to them. Don't matter what color I am, what religion, who I love, ain't none of your business and I don't care to tell you! I give them love. They's my kids. Power woman! The Cuban said. We both nodded on her sides and sat back in our seats and flew in through the night. Strangers but safe in the presence of people who loved with palms open.
My spirituality involves following a book called Your Heart's Desire by Sonia Choquette. There are 9 steps. some examples are focus, imagine, seek intuitive guidance etc Following these steps has been spiritual for me. I also gain guidance by using the tarot cards which give amazing answers. These tools and techniques have helped me deal with anxiety & depression & find direction in my life.
I have had many spiritual experiences. However, my favorite ones are the ones that come from my simple daily practices that connect me with me, the divine, others, and the world from a place of love and openness. When I do that, I walk in the world from a loving place, the way I respond to events and difficulties is far more spacious. I think my greatest spiritual experience this year has been giving up control of outcomes or having things look or be a certain way. This opens my heart and my mind and choosing compassion. I chose my thoughts and words more carefully.
Despite never wanting to 'settle down' I have found peace in the town I currently live and want to stay. It is a big step for me for wanting to stay in one place.
I think the high I was on after our house warming was pretty spiritual in some way- like everyone just heaping love at you. It took me so long to calm down after that. Was so magic. I felt kind of the same at the engagement party and even my birthday. I love having all my people around me having fun. I also think going to the BLM event in LA was kind of jarring and spiritual- like it felt like we were talking about sacred ideas in a sacred space.
I experienced grace. When Brian told me of his obsession with my college classmate, I was stunned, devastated and miserable. But then I saw his own pain and suffering. And something totally unexpected and out of my typical orbit happened. I felt a surge of love and compassion for him in his suffering that was greater than my own need to get reassurance or retribution or whatever I might have thought I needed at that moment. I couldn't believe how deep this love is. It's taken us deeper and to a better place in our marriage.
I have not, except for the beginning of the year, when I finalsly found peace among other addicts like myself, and I considered that to be spiritual. I've lost spirituality over time. Life is a dull routine.
I am a Spiritualist minister and practicing medium, so I have had many spiritual experiences on a regular basis. This year, it was particularly profound the experience of forgiveness with my father. It seemed like the reconciliation and ensuing visit were divinely guided.
The word "cultural" made me think of discovering the Cultural Gardens in Cleveland with C by accident. We missed worship, but had a glorious time together. I took several pictures of stairs leading upward, to use as stock photography, but none of stairs leading downward. Realizing that has led me to reflect on how I imagine my walk with God, and my walk with C, and my walk with the world.
Not too many. I've embraced my creative side a bit more and started a blog. Both have been pretty fun and entertaining. Spiritually I don't think I went to temple as much as I would've liked. I've tried to celebrate some more of the holidays on my own and it's been tougher. That's something I want to work harder at this year.
KlezKanada. Hands-freakin-down!! Wow! I LOVED it. Such generosity from those musicians... I mean, I know I paid a lot to go there, but I still feel like these people are extremely generous and they love being Jewish and they love being klezmer musicians. And being around people who love the same, obscure things I love has been so fucking healing.
Hm. I was just reading today about the non-separateness of spiritual and everyday (I think it was in the book The Tao of Pooh), so that really opens up this question to just about everything. (Or no, it might have been a bit of the book The Four Purposes of Life, by Dan Millman.) We had to move this year (because our landlord was giving our apartment to her family and thus couldn't renew our lease), which was stressful, but then we found this apartment across the street, which was/is wonderful! It actually gave us a great opportunity to sort through our belongings, shed some unused items, and get bookshelves. Our new place really truly feels like home, even more than our old place did -- even though the old place was lovely. There is certainly something spiritual about settling into a home space (home base) and feeling fully comfortable in my everyday living environment. It's truly a blessing, and I try to be grateful for it always (I still sometimes take it for granted). When I imagine possible (worse) alternatives -- coming home to pest infestations, or a loud neighborhood, or shoddy architecture/design -- it makes me especially grateful for the living space I have. Even better is the person I get to share it with!
I have hardened my heart to spirituality. My faith community has been severely corrupted by political biases that have repelled me. I long for a faith community that runs more on love and forgiveness, but I don't know where to find it. I have still some flickering in my soul, so I know my faith is not dead, but it isn't the fire that once was there.
I had a minute -- not sure why -- travelling on an MTA bus recently, when I saw everything as clearly and quietly as if I were coming out of a trance or coma or drug trip -- but it was none of these. I felt as if I knew something about the world, about existence, about life. I can still almost recapture it -- almost -- but I don't know where this is coming from or what it means. Brain tumor is the scary thought, or some version of epilepsy. But it's not a "spell" or "fit"; it's, just, clarity. With no meaning greater or deeper than what it is: a vision of the real.
Nothing very spiritual at all this year, actually. I hit the ground running last year on my pre-med classes and haven't really stopped to smell the flowers since. It is a shame. I know I should give myself time to experience the world and to have spiritual experiences, but instead I work myself to the bone and don't allow myself to sleep. I think in the year to come I wouldn't mind meditating, or going back to the yoga classes I used to attend (sporadically).
I have engaged more with the teachings and with my meditation practice. I've learned to meditate more deeply and more effectively. But perhaps from the last time I wrote these answers to today, my most intense spiritual experiences was my first LSD trip on December 17, 2015. In one night I came in contact with primal fear, fear of death, and descended into the abyss of madness, I was aware at every moment my mind was moving from one state to another and I remember Yasin told me to keep my mind sharp and he wished me enlightenment. Being reassured, I let go and understood that all the mental formations I defended were unimportant. Philosophies, identities. I laughed at them like a maniac. I understood love and had no need for them! I stared at myself in the mirror and saw a heroic version of myself. I had been warned of what I could see, could not have been good. But I saw what I referred to in that state as the Übermensch. And I laughed. I understood I was meant to be a protector and I was meant to become stronger. I grew tired of staying inside and feeling a great state of peace that followed my maniac state, I understood that I was re-living in a short period of time a neurotic state, a descent into the labyrinth of schizophrenia and a return into the world. The Hero's Journey. In the mind, all within. I understood what this substance was allowing my mind to see. I was the madman, and I was the redeemer. And we were all mad and fearful of one another, but there was nothing to fear in the presence of peace and love. It is difficult to explain, it was mostly felt. Enlightenment, I thought. This is enlightenment! I walked outside in great peace and awe, it was a dark clear night. By the pool, the depth of the water was clear and blue and the sky was deeper than ever before, and the stars were alive, truly alive. I could see farther than ever before with just my naked eyes. And I thought: we are guardians. We are here to protect something. What? I don't know. But that was my understanding of our existence. The next day a great wave of sadness came over me and I understood the brevity of life and the insignificance of pride and misunderstanding and I decided to reach out to a estranged one in my life. Later in the year, I would have my first experience with psilocybin mushrooms. A much lighter experience than the one mentioned before, but enough to recover the sense of oneness I had felt before. If anything, this year was marked by experimentation with psychedelics and understanding the great extent to which they could heal wounds and expand our consciousness and emotions.
The water has always been spiritual for me. Spending time just floating and pondering in my parents' pool has been refreshing and restorative for me. I've also found a deep and moving connection with my partner - one I haven't known before. I feel it's given me a better understanding of life.
I suppose just a reminder that we are not in control. I'm not trying to undermine the power of prayer, but it's God's call on what happens. People you might desperately want to live, won't. It might not seem fair, but all we can pray for is that life will be some parallel universe of okay, even if it doesn't pan out the way me might've hoped.
Holding my daughter for the first time. Feeling responsible for her, feeling blessed for having her, for my wife and daughter's health. Also, during her Simjat Bat, I was so happy and proud to be able to give her her name, and offer her the beautiful joy of being Jewish. Transmitting our Jewish identity, our history and traditions.
Oof, that's a hard one. I've had some massive growing experiences/challenges which I would characterize as spiritual experiences. I had a week-long residency to plan for a big and exciting project for next year. But I was really blocked in that endeavor by my current challenges at work, in which I had to manage someone who was doing poorly in their work. I had to realize that my difficulty giving someone critical feedback (aka asking for what I need) was blocking my ability to be faithful to my own journey. Resisting that work was consuming my whole being, and as a result I couldn't be faithful to the work God is calling me to. I had to work against all of the conditioning I have to be nice and put my needs aside for the comfort of others and learn to say things that others don't want to hear, even though there might be awful repercussions for me. I'm clearing the way, and hopefully I get to take the next steps towards my own exciting project soon.
I've started meditating daily. It's a great challenge to quiet my busy brain, but the reward is a more peaceful and healthy lifr.
This past year the massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando happened. Lara and I attended a candlelight vigil in the village and it was a very amazing experience. I have often felt disjointed from the queer community, but this made me feel more connected than ever. There was a man standing next to me, and he was bawling his eyes out. I remember holding his hand and rubbing his back. He was a complete stranger, but I felt connected to him.
Spiritual experiences, I am not sure that kid of thing happens to me. But when I moved counties, I took a leap of faith and the net appeared. unlike the last time that I moved places, this time it has been seamless. Almost as if it was meant to be. I quickly found work and have connected with some special folks who have become people at my table. The kind that I would lie down in front of a truck for because I know that they would do the same for me. I feel incredibly grateful to have found my people so soon after moving to a new place. I feel the older I get the people that I choose to keep close become less in numbers but much finer in quality. So not spiritual, but so much love.
Spiritual in the sense that I grew up in, no. But spiritual in a broader sense, yes. The experience of going to the Jewish synagogue for the creativity workshop and the beginning, and continuing, the 40 day art journal project, I believe, will turn out to be a spiritual experience in hindsight. I am at a place in my life where I don't know what to say about spiritual experience.
The attempt to move my family to Atlanta fell through, my marriage was challenged, my income dropped precipitously, two important family members died within 3 months and my spirit almost broke. I am still here and feel like I have so much more empathy for my peers around the country. Loss, struggle, love, and life are all sides of the same coin and experiences that all of us must go through during our time on the planet.
A number of times I have realized the comfort of having Aleeza near me and what it means to me. She is able to soothe a hole inside that I am not always aware of. I have taken walks and stood outside doing nothing while just listening and detaching myself from my personality to try to fit more with the world. Its a hunbling and centering experience. I have had similiar experiences while standing on the bosu ball which allows me to feel unmoored and detached from the pace of life around me.
Gosh, talk about waiting until the last minute! I had nothing to write about this until Yom Kippur, so I hope that it still counts! I was in a horrible state on Erev Yom Kippur--upset about my marriage, didn't think that I'd be able to settle down and pray, and couldn't imagine being able to ask for forgiveness when I still had horrible thoughts about my abusive spouse. I decided, for the first time ever on Y.K., to boot up my laptop and watch the streaming Kol Nidre services from Central Synagogue. I was so moved by the singing of the associate cantor that I was moved to grab my machzor and pray along with them. As I prayed, I experienced a physical feeling of peace and healing in my chest. Sadly, it was all too brief, due to the incessant texts from my daughter and then my husband. But for those few moments, I felt something that I hadn't felt in ages and ages. Also had an experience at Neila in my brick-and-mortar synagogue, where I experienced a feeling of safety and protection, thanks to a friend who came to stand next to me. He seemed "full of G0d". It was a true blessing that he came along at the right time.
I don't really know what this means, so I don't know if I've ever had a particularly spiritual experience.
My faith grew immensely this year. I went through something that I thought would never happen. I was down in a hole, but I wasn’t alone. Through my faith in Him, I was able to slowly get through it. I still am. I’m slowly learning that its His will, and most things are a blessing in disguise. Something was taken away, but I was blessed with something that means much more.
Ah spiritual. Yeah - April, Seattle, Blood & I approach the KeXP tile wall and my soul drips our from my eyes. Because … everything. All of the amazing all of the crushing lowness all of the connectedness no matter what all of the deep heartfelt sadness that has hurt for so long. Bam! Hi there Hope & Horrors, how you doing? Knowing that there are never r/t ticks for 204 bucks, that it happened in the midst of a work morning as an off hand thing - yeah. Oh, and the way home, On Being, over a bend in the river at 30,000 feet - my universe expands and contracts, a breathe of galactic proportions, all of my cells re-aligning towards the calm, towards the true, towards the unshackeled existence of a being. It was very very nice. Followed up with end of Aug Burning Man streaming - watching the sunrise of Black Rock City with Boo - super nice. January shenanigans with friends, odd NC weather at times offering playful sledding, or walks in the park. Spiritual on the raw soul level includes times at 6A with the money and power crew - fuck them all, it sucks and is sad. Hypnosis was interesting Sunsets at the beach were great - with friends enjoying it elevated to wonderful. Some moments in bed, beside and holding, certainly elevated to soul-building. Affects include smiles, joy in my heart, less weary shoulders, center-punched body/mind moments and really nice connections with Blood. //10.13.16::s:://
Last January 26 in the evening, I went to Manhattan to participate in a shiva minyan after the death of a friend’s father. I was on the subway headed home, reading a rather esoteric book about finding a spiritual path through some of the most obscure Jewish laws, called The Boy on the Door on the Ox. At one stop two men got on the train. One was white, one black. They were dressed exactly the same, in padded khaki jackets, khaki pants, and work boots. Each carried a medium-sized bag, one of mesh, one of plastic. The white guy, who was a big guy with a Russian accent, said loudly as they entered the crowded car: “Aren’t these seats reserved for the handicapped?” I was sitting in one of the two seats that are indeed reserved for those with disabilities. The women next to me jumped up and was out of there. The white guy plopped down next to me, pretty much right up against me because, as I said, he was a pretty big guy. He smelled very strongly, mostly of alcohol. His companion had a cane, and I moved to stand so that he could have my seat, but he gestured for me to stay seated, saying, “No no, it’s fine, I’ll stand.” “You can have this seat,” I said. “I’ll get up.” “No,” he said again. “I’m glad to have the choice to stand.” I didn’t know what that meant, but okay. I remained seated. They talked, and I read, but was distracted by their conversation, carried on fairly loudly. The guy next to me was saying stuff to his friend like, “You know why I don’t go to AA meetings? Because they said I shouldn’t hang around with alcoholics, ha ha ha.” At some point he turned to me and said, “Don’t mind us. We’re from a different walk of life.” I said, “I’m fine; we’re fine here.” Then they started talking with me. The guy who was standing asked what I was reading, and I explained that it was a book about Jewish law and how it can inform your spiritual life. He said he’s Muslim, but “I don’t judge anyone. I think we have to accept each other.” I said I agreed. It came out that the man next to me, with the Russian accent, whose name was Yuri, fought in the Russian army in Afghanistan in the early 1980s. At one point he commented that Jews run the world, saying, “Look at Israel. America will do anything for Israel.” I said, “Or maybe it’s not that Jews run the world, but that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.” He waved a hand. “Let’s put that aside.” I said, “Let’s put the whole thing aside.” “OK,” he said. A bit later he mentioned that his grandfather was “a big-time cohein in Russia.” That surprised me because of the earlier Jews-running-the-world comment. I said, “You’re Jewish?” “Of course,” he said. Sometime in the course of this encounter it came out that these two men had just gotten out of prison, as in they literally had just gotten off the bus from Sing Sing, which explained the identical khaki clothing and the bags they carried. I got off the train before they did. I found out that Yuri’s friend’s name was Marcellus, wished them well, and said goodbye, and they travelled on. I felt that I’d had a remarkable glimpse into a world entirely different from the one I live in, and it felt like a huge privilege. I imagine the woman who jumped up and moved away when they got on the train felt afraid, or at least nervous, but throughout the experience I felt completely safe and not the slightest bit afraid. In a way that I didn’t understand, I felt protected. The moment that really showed how safe I felt was when Yuri commented about Jews running the world, I immediately pushed back. Had I felt the least bit that the situation was potentially dangerous, I wouldn’t have risked a conflict like that. I know that many of you would not have cared about whether there would be a conflict in that situation, but that’s not how I am. For me, my willingness to go there meant that I felt entirely safe, which seemed strange, given the situation. After I got off the train, I thought, “That was amazing! And so weird! What was that?” Then I found myself thinking, without wanting to detract in any way from Yuri and Marcellus’s humanity, that maybe they were angels. It was like the midrash said. “Before the angels have accomplished their task they are called [humans], when they have accomplished it they are angels.” And if they were angels, messengers, there must have been some task they were there to accomplish. At that time, I was dealing with feeling fearful in a number of ways, working on that issue in my spiritual and psychological life. I think they were there to show me that there are things in life and in the world that I’m not afraid of, that other people are. Wherever you are, Yuri and Marcellus, I hope things are going okay, and I thank you for being angels to me, for giving me a message I needed at that time.
there have been psychotherapy sessions with clients that bring me into a "spiritual" zone. when i look back to a year ago and compare my current situation (partnered, happily living in NJ, much healed from break with susan, life no longer centered around the same people and activities) i am amazed and have a sense of wanting to communicate to the me of last year...to say hang on. trust me. it will get better. my stay at the monastery was "spiritual" in the sense that it was so painful. it pushed me to grow in important ways. it got me to understand the yoga mat. it got me into my body. now i am struggling to get back into that zone. or find a new way to be inclined towards that zone. discovering certain new music also moves me; air is precious especially cold, fresh air. being environmentally poisoned is making air quality one of the most important and precious things. moments of connecting to "spirit" also blow me away because, among other things, those moments show me how disconnected i have been.
We visited Washington DC this summer and toured monuments and museums. You could just feel the weight of history everywhere in that city. War, slavery, independence.... it was all very moving and thought-provoking.
I went to Paris and Iceland, and experienced culture and art I have only dreamed of. The older cultures have such a rich heritage, so many layers of story and custom, it was incredible to be immersed in. I want to go back. I just want to soak in it like a sponge, just watch the way everyone lives in the places I've never been. What could I stand to learn from them? I've always known travelling changes you deep in your bones, but until you actually go...you can't imagine what it's really like. I also experienced reiki at the hands of a new, and very great friend, Sara Yavis. It felt as though my soul had finally unpacked and settled in to making a home in my body. I felt at peace, and as though I belonged exactly where I was...and in particular was no longer a stranger from the waist down. It was so beautiful and calming.
The most spiritually beautiful practice I experienced this year was the mikveh. A colleague, Sarah Kay told me about the mikveh on the upper west side and I knew this is something I wanted to do before my wedding. I had already jumped into the pond in my country house in freezing november weather right after Rinat told me she was pregnant and I wept knowing how hard it was for her to get pregnant. The actual mikveh was so tribal. The moment I descended down the stairs to the baths, tears started falling down my cheeks thinking of all those callahs that came before. My mom and my sister got me ready, washed my hair, cut my toe nails, made sure I was scrubbed clean before Gita showed me into the ritual bath room. My mom and my sister stood around as I dunked myself three times saying a prayer for Rinat's baby, my sister's future children and my own. I came out reborn, weeping tears of joy. Gita told me that she tells all her brides that the most important thing is to have a sense of humor. I walked outside and two minutes later saw a truck that said "Nassau Candy." I was ready to go. I traveled to Israel twice this year with two groups from work at Honeymoon Israel. I saw the growth of 80 people this year. Two stories that come to mind- one was of J and G who came on the trip thinking it would just be a cool adventure and didn't have any expectations. G is a lover of world religions and identifies as Catholic. J is a "Jew of no religion" raised with zero practice and didn't know the word seder. On our last Shabbat of the trip, our rabbi surprised everyone by asking 4 guys to lift a tallis for J and G to stand under in honor of their 5th wedding anniversary. They didn't have a chuppah at their wedding since they never knew about the tradition. Like the simple son who didn't know how to ask. It was overlooking the mediterranean, 3 weeks before my wedding and I wept tears of joy. It was particularly poignant because I felt like coming to Israel was a way of gaining a blessing from my father and I realized that these couples were my blessing. The second time I was overcome by spirituality was on the 2nd trip where I was walking back to the group one evening at the Kibbutz Guesthouse and a woman, M, pregnant came up to me with tears in her eyes telling me how much this trip meant to her and her husband. It felt so incredible to bring people closer to peoplehood. Lastly, standing under the chuppah canopy myself, singing Debbie Friedman havdallah while all my friends and family watched on was totally magical. I felt like I was high.
One of the most spiritual experiences that I had this past year was being a member of BC High’s Chamber Choir and having the honor of performing in three of the oldest and most prestigious cathedrals in the British Isles. We first performed at Saint Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland, then at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, and finally at Saint Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny, Ireland. I was in awe of the beauty of the cathedrals and churches we visited and performed in. The Gothic style of architecture was quite majestic and differed greatly from the churches I have visited in the United States. It was truly a surreal experience to be in these hallowed places of worship. Saint Canice’s Cathedral was built in the 13th century while Saint Patrick’s and Saint Giles were even older, having been built in the 12th century. The interior walls of the cathedrals depicted many historical scenes and important people who had served the church. While I walked through the cathedrals, I imagined the thousands of people over the centuries who had prayed in these churches, asking the Lord for intercession. I also prayed for the thousands of Catholics who were forced to leave Saint Patrick’s following the Protestant Reformation, never to be able to worship there again. The opportunity to sing with our choir in the cathedrals was an once-in-a-lifetime experience which I will always cherish. As our voices echoed through the cavernous church, I truly felt we were in the presence of God. Although I may visit these same churches at some point in the future, I may never again be able to sing in them. Some of the pews near the lectern in Saint Patrick’s had small plaques indicating where certain important church officials would sit for religious services. I sat in the seat that was reserved for the dean of the cathedral for a few minutes. Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels, was a presiding dean at Saint Patrick’s for many years. I could not believe that I was standing in the same wooden pews where illustrious people from history had once stood. As I reflected on my experience there, I was thankful for the opportunity that the BC High community and my parents provided me.
Maybe not so spiritual, in a more common sense, but I found this to be a very focused effort. My son left home last October and returned in March. His story is that we were not worth living with at that time. Being a senior in high school, and understanding that his life is up to him, I backed so far as to ask almost nothing of him. I was happy to have him in the house! So I would stop by his room every morning on my way to work, and every evening after coming home to ask for a hug, which he willingly provided. I'd say something simple yet quite conscious - " I love you, Daniel (or pal, or bud)", then be on my way. He is in college now and making his own way. Time will tell, I think, but I'm simply grateful that he wants hugs from his Dad every now and then.
paddling once again in the Quetico reminded me of my spirituality, made my spirit sing. took me back to my roots, and awakened in me the love I have for wild places and being on the water, and reminded me of the interconnectedness we share. though I have not spent much time at church in the past year, I continue to feel connected to my faith. I also felt moved talking with Penny about creating a wedding ceremony that honored our spiritual backgrounds, and inviting in the spirit in all things into our marriage and wedding ceremony.
Watching my first child, age 2, make his way in the world around him is powerful, miraculous, and humbling. More than any past peak experience or moment of peace, being a mom to a curious, growing child connects me to the greater forces of the universe, humbles me, and reminds me of my responsibility to act (and role model acting) b'tzelem elohim.
I guess not. (I took this whole meditation course but didn't really get into it...maybe it's somehow time?)
I attended an Easter Vigil for the first time this year. I realize now why I have been told for years - both by atheist and Christian friends - to attend this one service. The liturgy was simply amazing. I was particularly moved by the lighting of the candles around the altar; the reminder that darkness does not need to be a part of my daily existence because Christ has redeemed me is one that resounds in my head and heart even seven months later.
I discovered a fabulous webcomic. Achewood is absolutely brilliant. I've spent entire days reading the work of Chris Onstad. I identify strongly with one character, Roast Beef, who suffers from depression. It's the only comic I've ever laughed out loud at and also been brought to tears by, I'm so happy I discovered it.
I have not had any outstanding spiritual experiences this year and this is actually one of the aspects in my life I'm struggling to get back on top of. This has to do with the fact that I know myself better and have a more open mind which makes it hard to pin down exactly the beliefs I grew up with vs the beliefs I have now.
Over the past few years I worked on the National Museum of African American History and Culture's collection. Over those years I have tried to educate myself more about the black American experience, from reading about history (that I did not learn in school) and watching news with a different perspective. This was particularly illuminating as I worked on the objects I was hearing about in the news, a Muhammad Ali magazine cover, Nat Turner's bible etc. To me feeling spiritual is when I feel connected to the world in a new and different way. Working with this collection at this time was spiritual for me.
It feels satisfying to have a second poem accepted for publication and to have the door opened to write some prose. I have put my photo notecards out and will be looking for an outlet for my framed pieces. The spiritual experience is to be in that creative space, totally absorbed in what I am doing, to bring my eye and my hands together to make something beautiful to me. I had let my photographs lanquish, losing my excitement. Then I started playing with applications on the computer and the excitement flared again giving me the energy to take the leap. This may have been prompted by having my poems accepted...found worthy. Maybe I should be braver about sharing, sharing for the pure joy of it.
When I was about 5 years young, I saw a Ford toy vintage car behind the window of a shop. But my mother said: 20 German Marks are too much money to buy a toy car for a little girl like me. For months nobody bought the black and red Ford. It was a worker's class quarter; it was too expensive for the other parents, too. And every time I passed by, I pressed my nose on the window glass. One day my mother changed her mind: All in a sudden, she entered the shop and bought it. I was the happiest girl in the world: there were two red lamps shining and even smoke came out of the car radiator. Years later, the toy got lost. I searched for 40 years to find a similar one. On my 58th birthday I told some people about the toy car - and three days later I went to a flee market, where I found my toy car. The man who sold it made a good price for me and I carried it home. Now I was even more happy than 54 years ago. Why it's spiritual for me? It came back unexpected, into the town I live now, and "Auto" is Latin for "Self". It is a symbol for me, for my self. I hope to get "mobile" now, an activist in my old days, a (vintage) automobile in this sense ...
I have been feeling more and more that my days, particularly at work and at home, have a more meaningful and recognizable spiritual quality. My work feels on purpose, my relationships feel more connected and meaningful, and I am relating to myself in a more balanced way. What has come from those attunements is more work with my hands, more time with people I care about, and more use of my body.
No spiritual experiences this year.....other than the Yeezy concert maybe but that hasn't even happened yet. Started talking to God more....praying to him in the middle of the night....asking him for help in any way possible....a sign, anything just something
Every day a spiritual experience is offered to me. Some days I notice and other days I don't, distracted by life's minutia. On a good day I notice my cat's purrfect love while he sits on my lap. I notice the light at it pours through my backyard trees and I see the unspoken backstory of my students who are making the best art of their lives that they can.
My only significant "spiritual" experience has been tied to mindfulness and meditation. After taking a lot of time away from it, I've recently gotten back on a long streak of doing it daily. I think I'm better at it than I used to be. I also think I get more out of it. I think less.
I have not. I feel stymied; I want to fly free and my relationship is holding me back. It's not what I want and hasn't been for several years. We are not married and I have no obligation to stay but I do, even when the opportunity presents itself to leave. I want be feel free like I did in my 30's when I went where I wanted, when I wanted with no input or consultation with a partner.
Yes, I have been able to look at my physical issues in a positive light (Parkinson's) that due to lack of energy, etc. I can spend more time reading, studying and talking with people. I can enjoy artistic, cultural and diverse beliefs of many people. I have tried to develop an "attitude of graditude" with the help and guidance to my fellow congregants at the shul and various rabbi's that I contact with either on -line or in person, as well as, leaders from other religions and philosophies.
My Rabbi trusted me to lead services with music throughout the year, especially for the bulk of bnai mitzvahs. The highlight was sharing the bima with Nina, who became Bat Mitzvah in August. When we sing together, my heart feels deeply happy and reassured, like everything is going to be okay. It is an incredible gift to receive from my 13-year-old daughter.
I haven't been to church at all this year. I usually only go for big occasions - weddings, funerals, baptisms. I still pray sometimes. Rarely, but when I need that connection or when I'm not sure what else to do. It's comforting. Spiritually, I feel really connected and grounded these days. It's such an amazing feeling. I'm not stressed or anxious like I used to be. I appreciate the life I have so much - the amazing people around me, my city, my cat, my financial situation, my career. I feel blessed and at peace.
I pray, but not a lot. I work in a conservative industry and am occasionally in a setting where we pray publicly. Where someone leads a prayer, and they talk about Jesus and blessings, and I take this as an excuse to offset their bullshit with my own prayers. I pray that Hillary wins the election, that my husband's health improves, that our country doesn't destroy itself. I'm sure I've had several spiritual experiences involving my religion of rock and roll. Watching Ryan Adams talk about the full moon at Red Rocks is way, way, up there.
Being in the Rosh Hashanah service--it affected me by wanting to have apples and honey.
THE LAST TIME I SAW MY NEPHEW IT WAS AT HIS BIRTHDAY PARTY. I WASSO FIXED ON HIM, I DID NOT WANT TO LET HIM GO. THE DAY HE DIED I WOKE UP AND MY HEART WAS SO HEAVY, I DID NOT KNOW WHY I WAS SO DEPRESSED. 8PM THAT DAY MY SISTER CALLED AND TOLD ME THAT OUR 10YR OLD NEPHEW HAD DROWNED, AND THEN I KNEW WHY I WAS SO HEAVY HEARTED. I KNOW THAT GOD WAS PREPARING ME OR WARNING ME. IF I EVER FEEL THIS WAY AGAIN, I KNOW WHAT TO DO.
There's not one particular experience that comes to mind. OVerall I felt a lack of spiritual experiences while in California. I loved doing things with the people around me and really made great friends but I don't think there was something so powerful that it impacted me. More the lack of one made me feel like there was something missing.
Giving birth and becoming Isabella's mother has been extremely spiritual. Everything in life now seems relative to having grown her inside me, birthed her, and nursing her. I am amazed by the strength of my body and also how in some ways, I was so connected to the entire experience yet at others it feels like it wasn't me. I know that this will all seem like a distant memory one day, so I'd like to acknowledge now how incredible my body is!
I have fallen from baking grace.
I could easily talk about Jerusalem stuff--three Ravs and a Rev, or Shabbat under the olive trees, or hiking the Pilgrim's Path--but that's too obvious. Instead, I'm going to record two secular-spiritual moments that stand out in my mind. One, sitting out on the farthest jutting edge of the cliff at Glass Beach, watching the waves crash against the rocks a good 40 feet below. Sitting up high, out on some kid of promontory, I feel the earth fall away from me and it's almost as though I am flying. I draw energy from the wind, the incessant motion of the waves, from the wind. I am okay, and I will be okay, and the world will be okay. Two, listening to Joshua Redman with my mom at the beginning of the Monterey Jazz Festival. I convinced her to come with me, for the first time in almost ten years since the great ticket-renewal-losing fiasco. (Dad's still not ready to forgive.) We had to hurry to get there in time, because traffic had been unusually bad, and we hadn't even been able to put down all our cushions and blankets and backpacks. No matter. As soon as the music started, the crowded room and the tiny chairs and even my keen hunger ceased to matter. I was caught up in the stream of his music, swept away by the rhythm and creativity and pure tone. He made me want to play again, just as he inspired me to pick up the saxophone at first over twenty years ago.
I will say that yesterday was kind of a spiritual experience for me. I was really tired from getting up early the day before to get flowers and from staying up to do flowers and then do more in the morning. It was raining and I was in a hurry on Lucas Valley Road to drop off the flowers for a wedding in Point Reyes. All of a sudden, there was a woman pulled over by the side of the road signaling with her arms. I slowed down and pulled over. I saw that others were stopping, and decided that I couldn't stop to help her because I was running late. As I rounded the next corner, I realized what was happening. She was trying to slow traffic down because there was an accident on the two lane road and the two cars involved were blocking the road. I came to a stop. All of those involved in the accident were looking dazed and many people were on their phones calling 911 and authorities. Initially, I tried to figure out if I could turn around on the road and go a different way to the wedding site, but I realized that it was going to be an hour to go the other way. I found out that everyone involved was okay and I decided to wait it out for them to move the cars and clear the road. I went up to the car behind me to ask about any other ways to get to Pt. Reyes and it turned out that the guy behind me was also delivering flowers for a wedding! What are the chances? It seemed somehow like kismet. We waited together. He asked the highway patrol and attending firefighters who came to the scene about when they would clear the site. The rain started to fall, I texted the bride and told her that that I was going to be much later and explained about the accident. I was able to finish some things I needed to do on the boutonnieres. And just pause and be grateful for my life and my safety. I realized that I needed to slow down in general, take care of myself and not be in such a hurry in my life. Things like being late for delivering wedding flowers are not so important in the big picture.
Snorkling in Akumal and swimming with sea turtles was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. I got to share those moments with the love of my life and I haven't felt joy, or a connection to the natural world, like that in such a long time.
Rabbi Aaron Alexander's installation at Adas Israel and the realization that the doors were open to me to learn, grow and be accepted in this amazing leading-edge community has been transformative The welcoming Shabbat dinner at the Elijah's Journey Shabbaton in NYC that brought together t=about twenty people whose lives had been impacted by severe depression and suicide. As we introduced ourselves and shared our stories, struggles, ideas and hopes, bonds were forned and we became stronger. Attending Yom Iyyun 5776 with Mechon Hadar. Learning deeply with Rabbis Tucker, Kaunfer and Held (especially Rav Shai's closing session on Undoing Poverty) Meeting and learning with Shoshana Michael Zucker and meeting Rabbi Jonah Rank face-to-face for the first time. God is truly the Connector Of Souls.
I have found my Zen in knitting - specifically in knitting baby blankets to give to Syrian refugee families, which fits nicely with my belief that if our spirituality isn't helping anyone but ourselves it's not really all that spiritual.
J & I participated in a humanistic Jewish community and Sunday School. It has been a pleasure to share this with him -- to learn more about the holidays, stories and values, and to see him connecting with Jewish friends. We've also added challah, and the hamotzi, to our Shabbat rituals.
I remember during a meditation series this past spring on becoming "unstuck" I felt a few moments of what I can describe as the closest to true bliss and connectedness that I have felt in the last couple years. I also try to tune into my spiritual side daily through a practice of gratefulness or thankfulness when I remember. I think the past year overall has been less spiritual than some before it, and I'd like to change that. I think I need to dedicate more time to it, especially since I started working two jobs. A new meditation series is starting at the end of October, so I hope that will renew me!
I've really had a lapse of "spirituality" in my life this year. While I haven't taken part in anything artistic or cultural, I have taken up two new hobbies: buying plants and running in races. I've currently got nine living green-leafed specimens in my room currently. There's something nice about waking up to swinging leaves and remembering to water them in the afternoon. Similarly, I've checked "running a race" off of my bucket list with two 12km races and even one 14km race.
As many of this year's questions have gone, this one focuses on the birth of my son. The times that I have been able to sit quietly with him in my arms, on my chest, have been some of the most spiritual moments of my life.
My MFA project is basically studying quantum mechanics/physics at this point. I'm trying to bring VR and AI and consciousness and QM all together. I am experimenting with the idea that I can make reality myself, and how I can be alright with that, even to the point of finding 'happiness' and eternity in VR.
My son's wearing his grandfather's Tefillan when he led morning services after his bar mitzvah. To see it binding his arm as it must have bound my grandfather's. I was so struck by the connections between generations. Will he continue the tradition? how do i set the groundwork.
New outlook this year, thanks to my sojourns upon lands and hearing the Fair Ones of Ireland: Connecting to Spirit is simple. Don't make it hard. My ancestors millennia ago were connected: through the Earth. Then a bunch of stuff ripped us away from our connection from nature. Stuff like patriarchy, war, commoditizing labor and objects, worship of gold and money, industrialization, diaspora, Descartes, philosophy, temple-building rather than worship in asherim/groves, witch-hunting, etc., etc. So, here I am. I've read and studied mysticism of all sorts: Jewish, Christian, Zen, Yoga, etc. But the roots of all of these, the traditions of all peoples, always comes back to being rooted in, and connected with the land. The indigenous of the lands: those who are left: they are doing this. I am in gratitude and seek to add my voice and love to Earth and her beings. A simple practice where one recognizes and celebrates the FACT of my connection with the land, and where I LISTEN to Earth/Cosmos, and receive and give thanks - this is my kavanah. Brucha At Ima Adamah, v'Malka HaOlam, Supreme Mother of All Time and Space, Queen and Sovereign, May I hearken to You. Amen.
My work has increasingly become an expression of my spirituality. I am also finding myself listening to my instincts more instead of trying to fit into everyone else's ideas of what is acceptable when it comes to matters of the spirit.
Most of what I experience as spiritual is mostly personal growth. At the age of 57, I have matured a lot this year. I am taking on new roles in my marriage, in relationship to be children and parent (and Aunt). I am beginning to understand the value I provide to those around me!!
I love watching my kids grow into the kind, inventive, enthusiastic people they are meant to be. Even just watching my 3-year old as he energetically and purposefully runs to follow his brother into another room is a moment I treasure. They remind me, by the things that they say and do, that G-d is as close to me as they are. That HaMakom is within us all.
Working with the special needs kids has brought me back into the element of what I did when I was younger. I have spiritual moments helping some of them become present in the world when they otherwise would retreat.
No - it's the same as last year. Pagan by name, but no real spiritual connection or experience. I'm agnostic as to whether the divine or deities or god/goddesses exist
I've continued to deepen my yoga and meditation practice, although, truth be told, I'm probably less consistent than I was last year. However, I feel I am better about getting less embroiled in life's problems. Taking things less personally. Trusting the universe more - that everything will resolve as it should, in perfect timing. Trying to observe more and breathe before reacting. This has helped me cope with some unsettling world and community events.
Starting treatment has had unexpected impact not only on my sense of mortality but even more on my understanding / acceptance of the love that is there for me in the world.
I continue to believe that there is a God and that God is Good. I believe he is especially Good to those want to understand and build relationship with God. My spiritual experience is one where I continually receive message and reinforcement that I have a purpose and I need to build ways of steenghtening my understandinf and relationship with God to fulfill my destiny. I talk more to God and listen for his voice and pray for wisdon and courage to follow through on his purpose
I think the most spiritual experience I had this year was the debrief after the second 21 day challenge. I was in a group of women who were actively invested in making positive strives towards achieving a sense of well-being. Not everyone was Jewish, which was perhaps also meaningful; Israel is a spiritual place, not just for jews. What was most significant to me was noticing the way I allowed things people said and disclosed to contradict my somewhat subconscious snap judgements of the personas around me. I heard the value in what was said by each person, instead of dismissing it because of who I perceived that person to be.
I remember going on a walk down the road from my parents house just singing the Shema to myself on a cold, clear winter day. It was beautiful, although my signing likely wasn't beautiful. It was just one of many signs that show I've known for a long time that I would convert to Judaism.
I am so sad that so many people condemn others for not following a "faith" based program. I have grown-developed more toward a no-God universe. And I must be extremely careful who I say this to. It is interesting that people "shun" you if you do not believe.
As ever, it's music and 'nature'. The chamber concerts have been fantastic, partly because of a sadly small audience, but it's made for a wonderfully intimate experience. But in some ways, I don't think I'm well in touch with 'spiritual' at the moment....
I don't really feel like it's been a spiritual time, and yet I've come to know myself better than ever. The grief and loneliness I've felt have deepened me.
Doing kendo kata in the driving rain, perhaps. Sitting out in my garden and listening to the cooper's hawks and the crows. My spirituality is very small and close to home right now, which makes it comfortable.
I suppose travel is my spiritual experience. Seeing and experiencing new places is a reason to live.
I would say, again, that Phillip's death was the biggest spiritual experience that I had. Especially close to his actual death. I saw that this world is weaved together moment by moment. That it is not real. That the world is truly an illusion. I saw that people exist even after they are dead.
No - if anything my practice, my devotion to attending church has waned. Why? The mess of the Pru and the ramp money being stolen, the general burnout of the politics of the place and nothing getting done, Alex having a class and not attending with me, and not wanting to talk about the fire downstairs. I need to find a new way with church. I want to get back, from sometimes to most every week.
Birthing and nursing that sweet baby. And knowing it is my last time reveling in this blessing. So bittersweet. So perfect. So grateful.
I can't pinpoint any one exact one but I have s greater and deeper understanding and connection with spirituality then I ever had. In some ways it is something I have had but didn't really identify it as such. I think that spirituality is one of the most important parts of being human and what makes us us and unique.
The only spiritual experience I had was Slichot in Philly, where the service is entirely music. I'm glad that still works, because it means my spirituality is not entirely gone.
In April, I went on a Vision Quest in Death Valley. It was something I had wanted to do for a while. I brought back with me a deeper love for myself, more gratitude for Lee's love and my mom's love, practice asking myself -- are you fundamentally okay in this moment?, practice sending myself metta, the knowledge that I survived three days alone in the wilderness and much of it was pleasant, a realization that seek loving community, companionship, and bonding is not bad -- in fact, it is healthy for me, and a desire to explore my edge on night.
Listening to podcasts, learning about myself in leadership classes, and striving for mindfulness have led me to feel more spiritual, in a secular way.
Nope... Need to work on that...
All of New Zealand was a spiritual experience. I felt more alive there than I have in awhile at home. Whether it was from the clear mountain air you could taste at the top of hikes, or the incredibly vibrant landscape, or the colors and natural wonders that you couldn't stop staring at, unable to believe that they were real. I think I found some of the peace that I'd been missing since my grandmother died, and found another, truer, version of myself, without all the endless lists of work to do, the fathers who don't always respect you and your choices, and the constant pressure that being in my family puts you under. New Zealand was freeing, and I'm going to try to live more like that feeling of falling you get while bungy jumping right before the cord pulls taut. More moments need to be like jumping off that bridge, when you think you're crazy and going to die in the air, but then the cord pulls and suddenly its fun. Every moment in New Zealand was a joy and a gift, and I will treasure them forever and hope to go back soon.
Just keep trying to be grateful for all that I have and keep resentments to a minimum. For example, I often get angry with myself for having a low level job in comparison to those of my long-time friends, and not earning much money. However, if I stop to think about it, in comparison to my brothers and to some of my co-workers, I am actually doing quite well. (Not to mention being lucky enough to live here in the U.S., rather than in someplace like Syria).
Singing in the gospel choir. And i saud yes yes yesssss Running feeling my dad My white house walks gma
Nature has had quite an effect lately. The future is what I put my faith in.
I've been pretty shocked at the artistic output of Minneapolis. Everyone here is a goddamn artist in one way or another (musician, photographer, videographer, painter, curator, etc etc etc). Everybody finds a way to make art and be a creator. I like that. I can do that.
I never feel all that spiritual, but I am often moved to tears by the music of high holiday services. Perhaps it comes from an unrecognized longing for a deeper spiritual connection in my life, or maybe I'm just a bit of a sap. The fact is, though, that I just don't buy the hocus pocus part of religion.
I decided to stop being afraid. I embraced the Gryffindor. Also, poetry. Against Entropy and The Old Astronomer are favourites; let's add Tonight (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/resources/learning/core-poems/detail/51652) to the list.
I've taken up meditation in a bigger way, and I've started incorporating Buddhist thought into my daily life. I don't know that I'd consider myself spiritual, but I've found the influence of the theory and the practice to be very beneficial, both for myself and for the people in my life.
I am easily moved. the sunshine, the palm trees, travel, a memorable dining experience; beauty affects me profoundly and often. doing molly feels spiritual. it connects me with the purest, most cherished parts of myself and allows the everyday anxiety and stress to subside. it's a powerful reminder of the version of myself to aspire toward – not literally, but in its essence. a kinder, gentler me. meditating is a spiritual experience, damn near every day. an exceptional meal continues to be transcendent; compelling stories can feel the same. music – especially the blues and soul – penetrates deep into my bones. and LCD soundsystem at FYF was downright religious. sometimes looking into ian's eyes feels spiritual; we have a deep and ineffable language in our silences. and the orgasms he gives me take me to another planet.
Not particularly. I guess the closest approximation of that would be deepening my friendships with JB and JW, and continuing to work on my relationship with Dave in couples counseling.
God is working in my life all the time. It would be impossible to pin down a specific experience. I know everyone has their own beliefs, that's cool. But for me it would be like ignoring a person standing right next to me. One that helps and guides. Its pretty constant. Like, every day.
Just aware of HaShem's presence and direction, His favour in my life. I know that I am blessed, I have life, I love - I am blessed, so that I might be a blessing, so that I might bring healing to the world.
Two stories about space come to mind. KT came over and spent the evening watching the blood supermoon lunar eclipse last September through her grandfather's binoculars. She laid on the wood floor and stared and stared. I'm not sure what she saw in the night sky but it totally captured her imagination. It was nice to see her engage with something larger than herself and lose herself in wonder. And then this fall NASA announced that they had successfully located the Philae lander wedged on Comet 67P just before the Rosetta spacecraft joined it by crashing into the comet. I cried at brunch for two robots alone, together, but not lost.
I went to a mosque for the first time, I think, ever. One of the teachers at my school, Asri, invited my roommate and me to come to hear the evening prayer and the talk by the Mufti, and we kind of sat there while everyone prayed. It was really nice, actually, just to sit there and watch everyone pray, to be welcome in that space but not expected to do anything. I’d forgotten, to that point, how much I’d forgotten about my actual Jewish practice, and how much I missed being able to go to services on a semi-regular basis. I started to say amidah at night afterwards, which has been a much-needed new practice. More than that, my realization that I hadn’t been to a mosque before made me pretty self-conscious about my relationship with the American Muslim community back home. I thought I’d had a pretty good relationship with Muslims, based on my interfaith work and my Muslim friends like Samer and Ousama, but the fact that I’d never been to worship with them is a fairly damning indictment. It made me realize how much more our Temple needs to do to build up Jewish-Muslim bonds.