Partly as a result of recent discussions on the Facebook page, Quakers Welcome Spiritual Seekers, I’m continuing to wonder about how we express our spiritual experiences and how we can share those experiences with others. Especially now that we are beginning to think about Integral Nonviolence–a mass nonviolent revolution. We need to be recruiting spiritual warriors for this movement.
Describing spiritual practices might be useful. Because it takes some kind of consistent practice, some discipline, to make progress in your spiritual journey, I believe. Awareness, paying attention, is one key. The Spirit is always present, but we very often are not paying attention.
Photography has become a significant spiritual practice for me. The physical presence of the camera, bumping against me as I walk, helps remind me to pay attention to my surroundings, looking for images to capture–noticing so many things I would have previously totally ignored. Once I became aware of this, I made it a habit to carry my camera with me almost all the time, to keep reminding me to pay attention. Also, as can be seen in this photo, my camera strap provides a platform for the “War Is Not The Answer” message. (This is an awareness campaign from the Friends Committee on National Legislation-FCNL).
Maybe there is something similar in your life you can use to help remind you to pay attention.
“A Warrior takes every opportunity to teach himself.” Paulo Coelho, Warrior of the Light.
The other thing I noticed was I began “talking” to God about what I was seeing. “That’s a nice tree you created.” This helps me be more intentional about being immersed in the Spirit.
“A New Day” refers to another spiritual practice, this one occurring first thing in the morning. Several years ago I began to realize my first thought of the day had become, “what are we going to do today?” Since writing is also one of my spiritual practices, that most often became, “what are we going to write about today?” Although my schedule has been constrained by needing to go to work, that will be changing at the end of the month, when I retire from my career at Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University.
I’m already excited to be anticipating having the entire day open to what we will be doing. I haven’t been worried about what I will be doing when I retire, because I know our spiritual journey will continue, and I will continue to be led. Where, I don’t know, yet.