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 2019-2020 Program Year: Fulfilling the Promise . . .
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: December 1 in the Kleiner Heritage Room (Sofa/Couch Room) behind the sanctuary.
Before attending the session, choose one or more of the following prompts to write about or make up your own assignment:
The theme for December 1 is “Fulfilling the Promise through Rejoicing (Celebrating, Playing).”
Choose one or more of the following or make up your own assignment:
- What makes you rejoice? Why?
- How do you rejoice? Describe your joyful practice.
- Is sorrow the opposite of joy? Why or why not? Explain.
- Who/What has brought you your greatest joy? Explain.
- From Daily Cause: “OK, I admit that I’m not sure what the point is of climbing a hill with your friends so that you can jump in the air and get silly just before you have to walk back down in the dark. On the other hand, most of the things that bring us joy don’t have any real point other than the fun itself. What pointless thing brings you joy?”
- A fun chorus I used to sing as a Southern Baptist child said, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart!” In what part of your body does joy reside? Explain.
- Give an example of a time when giving to someone else made you joyful. Why did that happen? A passage from The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams, may provide some inspiration. Email Myrna for a copy
- When has joy returned to you because you shared something simple with someone else? See the story from Speaking Tree for inspiration: https://www.speakingtree.in/article/stories-of-sharing-and-spreading-joy.
- How are the terms “Celebrating” and “Playing” related to “Rejoicing”? When you celebrate, do you also rejoice? When you rejoice, how do you celebrate? When you play, how do you feel? Why?
- In The Book of Joy, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu share “The Eight Pillars of Joy.” The list of these pillars, below, includes the chapter titles that shed a tiny bit of light on what the chapters contain. Choose one of the pillars that speaks to you and write a reflection that expresses your understanding of joy’s presence in your life. For summaries of each chapter see https://ontheroadtohappiness.org/how-to-live-a-happier-life-the-dalai-lamas-eight-pillars-of-joy/.
For more information or for copies of inspirational pieces for this assignment, contact Myrna.
Please Note: You may participate in the 1st Sunday gatherings even if you have not written anything. When others read their writings, you may be prompted to participate in the discussions or you may just want to sit and listen. You are always welcome.