Writing as Spiritual Practice
Myrna Adams West facilitates “Writing as Spiritual Practice” first Sundays at 9:15 am in the Kleiner Heritage Room (aka Sofa/Couch Room) in the Founders Wing behind the sanctuary. This group offers an opportunity to explore spiritual expression through various genres.
Rev. Alison said in her sermon “Going Beyond, Going Within,” and I’m paraphrasing here, spiritual practice takes one outside of self or within self. It transcends the everyday attempts to put into words that which cannot be named or spoken. It is communication–pick one or more or make up your own word–with God or self or nature or the universe. When we engage in spiritual practice, we go beyond self-interest and give self away.
Overarching Theme for 2018-2019 Program Year: We’re Making Room for . . .
Each Sunday the topic for the worship services will relate to that month’s theme, not as a series, but just another angle on a subject to deepen the exploration of that particular theme. The suggested prompts for Writing as Spiritual Practice assignments will follow the monthly worship themes.
Gathering time: 9:15 am. Next gathering: June 2 in the Kleiner Heritage Room (Sofa/Couch Room) behind the sanctuary.
The theme for June 2 is “We’re Making Room for Embodiment.”
Choose one or more of the following or make up your own assignment:
- Which of your ancestors—near or distant—have you been told you embody (as in “favor,” “walk like,” “talk like,” “behave like,” etc.)? How does that make you feel? Explain. Email Myrna for a copy of Jake Adam York’s poem “Grace,” for inspiration.
- Which of the UU Principles do you think it is hardest to embody? Why? How can you make room for that embodiment in and through your life? See the list of the Seven Principles, below.
- According to Wikipedia, “Traditionally, the seven Christian virtues or heavenly virtues combine the four classical cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and courage (or fortitude) with the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.” Which of these virtues (or one of your own choosing) do you value most? Why? Is there someone—living, dead, real, imagined—who embodies that virtue? How? Explain.
- Which virtue do you wish you embodied? Why? How can you fulfill that hope? Explain.
- Which athlete do you think best embodies her/his game? Why? How? Explain. (Conversely, write about an athlete that least embodies the game.)
- Which movie or stage actor best embodies a character from a novel or play that you admire? Why? How? Explain. (Conversely, which actor least embodies the character she/he portrays?)
- At times, some people seem to embody an emotion, especially children and those who are uninhibited or who are observed undetected. When have you observed someone who embodies—at least for that moment—an emotion or attitude? Describe the embodiment. Email Myrna for a copy of the poem “Red Umbrella,” by Carol Ellms, for inspiration.
- Describe someone whom you consider to be the embodiment of spiritual practice (choose any spiritual practice). For inspiration and definition of “a great spiritual practitioner,” email Myrna for a copy of the quote by Sogyal Rinpoche inThe Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.
- What do you think you embody? Email Myrna for a copy of a piece on “habitus” by Omedi Ochieng, for inspiration.
Inspiration from the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Seven Principles:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
For more information or for copies of inspirational pieces for this assignment, contact Myrna.