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.
I began trying to meditate. It's more secular, but it is still interesting to be able to explore my inner self a little more.
Reading one of my husband's poems.
I completed by first 16 consecutive Mondays of fasting for Shiva. At the end, I was in Adweek. It could be a coincidence, but I like to think it was the hard work I put into prayer and fasting.
Hmmm. Not really? Seems kind of sad doesn't it.
I am now pushing 66 years in just a week, and I still have not had a revelatory spiritual experience. I remain open, but maybe the spiritual is really just a compilation of those everyday moments of calm, of peace, and of love?
Definitely Positivus (and especially Nick Cave's concert) Also those sunsets at the beach Oh yes, and waking up in the middle of the night with a hangover and suddenly realizing what the words "So I start a revolution from my bed" mean (waking up with a hangover and a clear view of what you should do with you life, but will never do) And also that trip to St. Petersburg when I lived alone, did not take any warm clothes and enjoyed those late night walks
I had a great team relationship learning & experiences during my business trip in July, inspired me what we work in HK, how to balance in between 2 countries the cultural, lifestyles, work behaviour.
Just this week at Rosh Hashanah eve service, i sensed that my two brothers, Robert (who died of pancreatic cancer in Jan) and Bennett (who died of melanoma when he was 21 and I was 17), were sitting by me. Needless to say, I was in tears during most of the service.
I find it really peacefully when I’m painting, it’s relaxing, it’s time to myself and that is really wonderful as I always put the rest of my family first
I did yoga in India, that was pretty amazing. In my hotel room on a high floor, watching the eagles circle and wheel above the park across the road, I completed my 30 days of True journey with Adriene. It was pretty cool. I'm doing a live Adriene class on Tuesday 18th Sept and again on Monday 1st Oct, very lucky of me.Hopefully I'll remember for next year!
Standing in synagogue sometime this year, and it must have aligned with a yoga class that somehow focused on the wholeness and connectivity of our universe, I heard the Shema in an entirely different way, and for the first time, felt I understood it. In that moment, I understood the oneness of God to be the oneness of all of us, and the connectivity of people to one another, to Earth, to God -- that, together, we make up this oneness of God. Other than that, I don't have "moments" but I feel as though I'm becoming far more integrated and connected to myself and therefore to others, to nature, to silence, to the beauty of the world. This is through my relationship to food, sleep, running, yoga, reading, spirituality, music -- it all feels more connected than ever before, and as I begin to understand my body, I begin to understand my mind and heart in new ways.
I am not a spiritual person but mother really is, and I felt like I channeled some of her spirituality when I was hospitalized earlier this year. I suppose being in that situation made me want to believe in some other being there to help me during a terrible time. My mother even brought these “anointed” pieces of cloth that I was supposed to keep over the bandages of my incisions to help me heal. And I did it, even long after my mom left to go back home. It was a silly thing I suppose, but that was the little bit of faith that I needed, so that I knew that I would be okay.
No. I am not a spiritual person. I think people who experience spirituality often do so in a yoga class or during a reform shabbat service with someone singing Neil Diamond songs with a guitar. Those people grew up reform, in Westchester, and they think that self-help is spirituality.
Being at the top of the big pyramid with my son - meditating -- thinking about past civilizations and how humanity has grown (or not).
We have deepened our commitment to our faith by serving on 2 boards, volunteering in our faith community, and lighting shabbat candles each week. I look forward to bringing in more elements of Shabbat this year, and attending Saturday services more often.
Right before my daughter was born, I had the most amazing spiritual experience at a Hanukkah-related meditation and art event. We talked about how the dark of the year is a time to sort of gestate new ideas and to reflect and like, two days later, my daughter arrived. I took another class/event with the same rabbi for Tu B'Shevat because it was so meaningful to me and I keep thinking of my daughter as a light-bringer because she was born on the shortest day of the year and everything gets lighter from there.
I've now had deeply connected spiritual connections with the connectedness and life energy of all things, and it has changed me and opened up my heart. Lots of walls and old stories broken down, which has been like a tower falling, but now I am picking up the stones and building something new.
I think the most spiritual experience I had this year was learning to meditate. I've always considered myself an alternative health leaning person, seeking out yoga and spiritual practices. But this year, through my work in therapy, I for the first time implemented a meditation practice. It has not been easy, and it's been hard to keep up. But, I had at least one experience in meditation where I intimately felt alive in my soul. It was a deep inner knowing and clarifying moment, where I felt expansive and sparkly and bright. I guess that's why Buddha is always smiling in meditation. That brief moment was sublime.
I continue to struggle to recapture the authenticity of the worship I used to know. I pray we will mature into what God has in store for us through this difficult journey. I am hopeful God will lead us to authentic, heartfelt worship that will be pleasing to Him, that we will value and never take for granted.
This has been a fairly rational year. It has been about being in the moment and sorting out money and earthly problems. I had a couple of spiritual moments in Jerusalem, while spending shabbat there. Always a magical place, full of amazing places. Being in that city was magical in itself. Spending Shabbat even more. Getting a job just before shabbat, but only reading about it after it ended, made it more special. That day my life change, or it started to change.
i have not really had many spiritual experiences that i can remember
I have experienced more ethereal feelings in my life this past year than ever in my life. I feel sometimes as though I am in what is described in Tibetan Book of the Dead as the purgatory or Bardo. I have begun to delve deeper into breath work, and I have done Gamma Breathing for the first time as well as recently joined a Kundalini Yoga community in which through my prana I have entered altered states of mind that make me feel "high." I have also discovered and joined a Floatation Tank location in Deerfield, and I spend 180 minutes/month in a sensory deprivation pod which is somewhat Bardo for me. Honoring my draw to this darkness has been most profoundly spiritual for me.
I attended my first hypnotherapy session, which was revelatory, to say the least. For the first time, I "met" and interacted with my subconscious, put my harsh inner critic on mute and was truly honest and vulnerable with myself. I learned I was carrying hidden guilt and resentments, understood some of my irrational reactions and behaviours (e.g. spontaneous rage / irritability), confronted traumas and felt - for the first time - how pure and immaculate inner peace is, and made the conscious decision to anchor myself back to that feeling in situations where life tested my patience, compassion and resilience.
My children bring me great joy frustration and peace. Sitting reading with them or observing them sleep, calms me and reminds me of why I am leaving my husband. It strengthens me and helps me ignore the fear that I will lose custody because he is a native has family relatively close by and an inheritence.
Planting a garden with my dad for the first time was very spiritual. It was a gift to put my hands in the soil and plant the little seedlings, setting them on a path to growing. I thought of "a well beginning is half done." But I also realized that their growth is related to a whole ecosystem of things: sun exposures, temperatures, humidity, soil quality, animal and insect interaction, extra nutrients and their relationship with each other. Some grew really well (cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes) and produced vegetables; others didn't (bell peppers of all colors, tomatillos). And that's OK. No judgment as there are seasons for everything, and this is somewhat unpredictable. And sometimes the ecosystem isn't quite right for certain plants. Part of this is all a mystery to humans.
Going through the process of conversion has brought more questions into my life, more boundaries into my life, and startled me into realizing I was without clarity on core beliefs I'd previously taken for granted. The biggest was belief in God. Who or what is God? What do I think/feel about God? How do I know and experience God in my life? All are questions worthy of much contemplation and, I see now, revisiting regularly.
Yoga is often a spiritual experience for me, and I'm so glad I get to do it every week.
getting cancer and having to seriously consider dying was a spiritual experience
I am not spiritual. I believe in staying connected to my religion because it is a part of my identity. For me to even exist, given the long history of anti-Semitism it he world, that for me to walk away would be a slap it he face of my ancestors who survived and led to me. Having said that, I wet back to Israel this summer after 15 years away, which came after a decade of living in Jerusalem. And I felt like I had come home. My soul had come home.
Right before my grandfather passed, I got to spend an hour or so alone in his room with him. He could not speak but I knew he could hear me. So I just spoke to him about my day, my troubles, my happiness, and he just sat there and nodded ever so slightly. It was very comforting and a good way to say goodbye. He was a Jew who converted to Buddhism and it was always a very interesting conversation to hear about his views. He was completely at peace with his death, his life had been very turbulent and Buddhism really helped him take control and be happy.
Written at 4:30 am two days ago. As she lay awake in her bed in the early hours of the morning she thought about her approaching 80th birthday. The old woman realized she was finally learning about aging from the inside out and it wasn't what she thought it would be.. she recalled birthdays of several of her friends who had reached that year some time ago. They were exactly the same people to her. Some knew a little bit more about some things or a little bit less in some cases but personalities had not changed at all. There had been hardships of various kinds, financial or medical or family difficulties to get through and deal with, innumerable losses of all types and challenges and changes in daily life. Mostly everyone had retired from a former work environment ...except the little old lady who loved her job and worked from home. Nevertheless, they were the same and when she spent time with them they had the same sense of humor, wisdom, interests, styles of listening, quirks, judgments,and new experiences to talk about. She knew that she was the same too. She just hadn't been able to wrap words around that. Sometimes she would say she felt 60 years old. And sometimes she would say she felt the same as she always had. One thing that was different for her she thought was the awareness that even good health did not stop the march of time. Hours were more precious now. So during all those years in the past she realized her concept of aging was based on how older people looked and perhaps how frail they appeared. This obscured her ability to correctly understand who, how and what an old person was. And she realized that every younger person behind her was observing in the same way, from the outside in and eventually it would worry them about their aging parents and themselves. She considered that that had some pretty big implications and she had not yet figured out what they were.. And many times she wondered how others saw her. She was pretty sure that she was seen the same when she was with old friends and their way of being together had not changed. It occurred to her that many other places in her life with new people and younger people she could be viewed differently based on the wrinkles and the gray hair. She even tried to get rid of the wrinkles and the gray hair to forestall those kinds of misperceptions. She still did. She went through a time in her 60s when she would look in the mirror and re-notice jowls beginning to form along with a waddle under her chin. She decided the course of action was just to stay home more and hide out. That never worked. She wasn't willing to miss out on all the richness of her life. Neither was she willing to go under the plastic surgeon's knife and take the chance that she might lose her life trying to look better. In any case, her outside shell kept changing and she had to accept that she looked old. Not an easy acceptance but important, if for no other reason then to quell the daily pain of seeing the loss of the beauty of her former youth. (Sadly she never appreciated it at the time anyway). She knew some people who fought acceptance every inch of the way and because the physical aging process is unrelenting, and the losses are inevitable they ended up depressed and bitter. She did not want that for herself. My goodness she thought when she looked at the pictures of herself as a child, a teenager, a young mother. The clothes, the cars, the settings we're so very changed and though time had passed by rather quickly and she could easily remember back, those pictures looked like they had come from a very long time ago. "80 years is a long time to be around," she thought. "What a view." What monumental changes she had seen through the years, many of them so gradual she hardly noticed till now . What a gift to see all of this history. An even bigger gift was having the opportunity to see her family expand and mature and to watch their lives unfolding in so many interesting directions. There were surprises at every turn and hopefully many more to come.
Yes. When listening to our fellows during their interviews, I felt uplifted and inspired and sad and mad and happy and lucky and loving.
Yes, I have had a spiritual experience. I cant remember what the experience was, but it is still with me and always will.
no. I can't really get behind the phrasing of this question.
I went to Israel last spring and spent Shabbat in Jerusalem.
My cousin got married and it was a beautiful marriage and it made me realize that someday I want something like that and I want to be as happy as they are.
Passing of my father seems to me to be a "Spiritual" event for me as it does constantly make me think of my own mortality and how my wife and children will be able to deal with this. I wish I am doing a good enough job for my kids to be able to grow and be happy in their life as my dad somehow managed to do for us.
The experience of people trusting me with their inner life as we wove their lives into Shelter from the Storm was intensely spiritual. I also had the awesome experience of sharing my/our marriage story with two separate groups of couples in a beautiful way. Finally, getting the opportunity to be involved with the Hive staff, members and facilitators brings me joy.
Pesach came at exactly the right time, I think, as I was seriously contemplating Judaism as the right path for me and was struggling to connect to the right people in the right way. I think that night, being surrounded by queers celebrating a ritual so much older than I can even begin to really internalize, was a really integral and pivotal moment in coming fully into the choice to convert. It answered so many questions I had but hadn't been able to really internalize. Would I ever feel truly welcome as a convert? Would there be room to question and adapt? Would a commitment to tikkum olam in spirit be born out in action and thought? One of the hardest parts about seriously converting, I think, is grappling with the innate positivity of your choice and the problems your new religion has. That night, I felt welcome to question and ask and interact, which is something I had never had before. I think that seder was the moment when I started thinking of Judaism less as something I was learning for the first time than as something I already knew in my soul and just needed to be reminded of.
Therapy. Going to therapy has helped me reconnect with my past, process my dad's death, navigate my anger, and communicate with my fiance.
I joined my church and started volunteering. It's been a good experience, though I still have trouble meeting people and making friends.
This just isn't my thing.
In my move to FL I joined a new shul, Temple Judea of Plam Beach Gardens. Temple Judea is a reform congregation with a youthful rabbi and cantor who are driving the congregation to greater spirituality and action. Connecting to a new group of people, with very different life history and styles from those of the congregations I have belong to in the past, has been both challenging and rewarding, with lots of feedback and opportunities for introspection.
This year has been much different than last. I haven't felt very spiritual at all. I have enjoyed many special moments with my husband and kids, so I suppose those would count as spiritual experiences.
I've been moving further away from the structure of the Church. I've been challenged by mismanagement, scandal, hypocrisy and distrust. So my spiritual experience is about finding God and divine connection in the natural world. I came upon a hidden stream in winter and cried. I found a waterfall and was moved. I had a weird night in the deep woods alone, and felt like I figured some things out. I have to figure out how to relate this new, natural spirituality to God and to others.
My most spiritual moments are when I'm lighting Shabbat candles. One thing I've gotten much better at over the year is praying for others while I'm lighting the candles.
Nope. Not really.
My spiritual moment actually just happened at Rosh Hashanah services on Monday. Our new cantorial soloist was someone I knew before she joined our synagogue, and I was so excited to have her voice be part of our services. At one point during the Priestly Blessing, I had this moment of just awe being around my Los Angeles community while feeling deeply connected back to my life in Seattle.
I re-read Atlas Shrugged. Astounding! I lost one of my neighbors in a flash flood. Have been reflecting a lot on how fragile life is; why things happen; why do good people seem to get punished and bad people get away with murder (pun intended).
When I went to the mikveh to finalize my conversion to Judaism, I went in nervous and unsure about how the process worked, what questions the Beit Din would ask, if I would feel low self-esteem or forget the prayers and blessings. But everyone that was part of the process was so amazing and kind, and walking into the water and immersing was so spiritual and renewing. It gave me a sense of courage and purpose and made me feel ready to face the future.
This past year I have been journalling my dreams, and meeting with a therapist to help understand them. In some ways, this connects me to the spirit world and my own inner spirit, allowing me to see backward and forward. Some of this work has been extremely powerful.
Witnessing the devastation and awe-inspiring by the eruption and lava flows in Hawai'i, in person.
Ya know, I've had some really wonderful sexual experiences this past year. I feel like I'm coming into myself and that is allowing me greater connection with others.
Going through fertility treatments, pregnancy, my son’s birth, & watching him grow over the past year has brought me closer to my husband, my family, and ultimately, my faith. I absolutely believe in God’s hand in my life
I've compared myself to Job a little too often this year, which is a dangerous move. Seeing Tlingit/Haida/Inupiat art up in Alaska produced a very strong reaction in me, particularly as it was coupled with detailed and horrifying historical context. The sort of commingled guilt and awe is a fairly religious feeling, at least in my tradition. And every time I manage to look up from my own petty troubles, I try to give thanks for the still gorgeous and magical world God gave to us.
Yes! Only a scant twenty years late, I finally became a bat mitzvah this April. It was terrifying and wonderful and I can’t wait to share the experience with my daughter in ten-ish years.
Absolutely. This year, I almost died from a trauma-induced eating disorder, but God saved me in the most exceptional manner. I have never experienced divine power as I did on the night that God helped me realize that I wasn't going to make it if I didn't change my life right there and then.
My recovery journey has opened my eyes to the spiritual void that persisted in my life for many years. I have found, through NA and through my own meditation practice, a path toward a spiritual awakening. I now regularly meditate, read about Buddism, and try to live my life according to spiritual principles. And while I am human and I slip, I can always come back to center by ensuring that my recovery and my mediation come first. For if my spiritual health isn't my first priority, it doesn't really matter what my second and third priorities are because I'll never make them happen without spiritual health.
My relationship to the gym is the closest thing I can think of to a spiritual experience. I've found a routine that excites and inspires me, and I've met people that are energetic, positive, and supportive. This has caused me to look forward to that part of the day each day. It has also caused me to make sacrifices in order to keep returning to that community each day.
I haven't and I'd like to tap more into my spiritual side within the next year. I feel like part of myself is stagnant without it.
YES! I have been meditating now for just over three years. My morning practice is important to me, setting me up for the day of awareness, acceptance and mindfulness. I have also just completed my 12th step in a 12-step program I am part of. I have just over 2 1/2 years of sobriety in program. I feel more spiritually fit than ever. I thought I'd never have a higher power, a spiritual self, and freedom from the grinds of daily life and constant thoughts. And yet, I am so grateful for my life, all aspects of it. The long version of the serenity prayer is part of my daily practice, and the parts I rely on carry me every day: "living one day at at time, enjoying each moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace". I look forward to more clarity as I continue to evolve with my spirituality.
I spend as much of my free time as possible outdoors. I am more connected with myself and my friends when I spend time in nature.
I was able to be there with our cat as he was put to sleep. He was in his comfortable spot in front of the refrigerator where the warm air came out. I petted him as he died and I picked him up and put him into the box we used to take him to be cremated. It wasn't like when I picked him up when he was alive. There was no muscle tone so he felt like a bag of bones. It was strange, and very intimate. I felt so grateful I could do this for him after all the joy he brought us.
This summer my father and I went to Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat at a Conservative synagouge that we found online. Their was a group of about 20 people, some of whom I had met before but I didn't really know any of them except my dad. The service was led by a young woman who is studying Hasidic niggunim. We all sat in a small circle in a library and eventually went outside for part of the service. It was wildly different from any kind of service I have been to before and it was a beautiful experience. While I have become much more connected to both my heritage and to G-d over the last year or so I always thought of them as connected but seperate. To me religious services were more a form of connecting to my heritage and community then connecting to G-d. However, this service felt like a combination of the two, it was my culture and tradition but it still felt like worship.
Learning a bit more about my personality type has greatly improved my ability to be happy and productive.
Spiritual not so much, but I have found my creativity again. I attribute that to reducing my stress and drinking non-fluoridated water.
Friday night services at our synagogue became a very spiritual experience, due to new ba'alei t'filah, musicians and a congregation that is increasingly interested in a spiritual experience.
I’ve had an epiphany and a spiritual journey both this year. The journey was a trek in the remote valley of Mustang, Nepal. From that ive learned that I can overcome my anxiety over physical limitations. My epiphany was derived from my self-confidence when I tried a new job for several months after stalling for several years.
Department of the Interior. I have found ways the landscape makes my soul sing. Ireland's cliffs and violent relationship with the Atlantic. The train from Oakland to Santa Barbara. The beach at sunset with Laura after spending time feeling small in the Redwoods. The Pacifica campus that combined mountain and sea. Utah's infinite shapes and colors and dramatic skies. The countless stars on the darkest night that made my eyes grow wet. The curve of sandstone in Upper Antelope Canyon that caught the light in ways that struck me in my chest. I have been moved by light and how it touches and cloaks things. I didn't do it on purpose, but I guess I made my mission this year to soak up as much beauty as possible. Also, I have to say that I've developed a meditation practice grounded in my photography. Going out alone and first light and last light and photographing the world around me has allowed me to deepen my relationship with both the natural world and my interior.
Praying "outside" in Nature on all my little shady spots. It has always felt uncomfortable till this past 6 months.
Just seeing my son fully acknowledge me and smile...that was spiritual to me! He made me so happy!
I have developed a love for the colors of the sky. They evoke emotion within me. Whether it is the rising and setting of the sun in its fiery glory or the same in its gray and blue hues. I find it fascinating. Even the darkness of a coming storm is beautiful!
Waking up at 4 am with our baby at a rental house in Savanah that we were sharing with friends and instead of totally freaking out, deciding to get ourselves up and drive to the beach. We found the only open coffee place and then a donut place across the street, and all along my wife was so game for the adventure despite having had like 4 hours sleep. We finally got to the beach and watched the sunrise with my wife and a (now sleeping) baby in the backseat. And then as we were leaving Myles woke up and we all went for a walk on the beach in the early morning light. It all felt so magical like I had married the right person, had the right baby, hit the cosmic jackpot pretty much.
I think Havdalah at Camp Nai Nai Nai was very spiritual for me. Just feeling the sense of community, the pride in being Jewish, ending the separation of shabbat from the rest of the week...it was powerful. When I was home in Vermont in August I went outside and took a moment to enjoy the stars. You could see forever and it looked amazing. It just made me realize I'm just a speck of dust but Judaism keeps me grounded.
I think the most spiritual experience I've had this past year was sitting with my camp friends, whom I've known for 15 years, the night before one of us was getting married. We all went around the room and talked about the things we loved about this woman and gave her blessings for this next step. We then all sang songs that were reminiscent of our time at camp, yet still so relevant. This was such an intensely spiritual moment for me because I've known these women since I was in third grade and now we were all together the evening before such a monumental event. My heart was so full.
When I started getting back into poetry it felt almost spiritual, like I was destined to return to this great art. I was writing from my gut and from the world and I got to feel like I wasn’t so much crafting poems as I was allowing them to appear. Even so I was still in control, which is a special and quiet kind of spirituality.
My spiritually has taken a backseat this year. I haven’t had much faith in anything lately to be honest. I have been struggling and don’t know how to get myself back to good. All I know is things do need to change otherwise my world is going to implode upon itself and that scares the hell out of me.
Going to Ukraine and seeing some of the tragic spots where so many Jews were killed during Soviet times
When I walked on water and when I turned water into wine.
Other than the arrival of my first grand-nephew, nothing strikes me as having had the potential to have been spiritual. No big cultural, artistic or nature experiences. I’m not really a spiritual person. That’s why secular humanistic Judaism fits me.
Traveling with my family around Greenland and Iceland this summer was very spiritual for me. The beauty of the natural surroundings and time with my loved ones made it the trip of a lifetime and memories I will always cherish. When I see sheer untainted beauty, it puts me in touch with my spiritual side.
I don't think I've felt any spiritual experiences in the past year - which is a sad state. There was a moment recently in the Pushkin II museum (we thought we were in the main museum in Moscow - we weren't). I was looking at a portrait of a young noble woman with pale blond hair and striking blue eyes. I found myself looking at the painting, mesmerized by the technique. the surprising thing is that the painting itself was not particularly beautiful, unique, or compelling in any way. But I enjoyed the experience of viewing it.
I think I say this every year: travel is what opens me up spiritually, especially when I'm exploring outdoor spaces. I'm reminded of how small my worries (and existence!) are, and also I feel the unconditional warmth and acceptance of the universe when I'm in nature. I probably should be a mail carrier, or National Park ranger, or someone who's outside most of the day. I feel like my best person when I'm not enclosed in four walls.
Having faced down a usually fatal form of cancer this year, I find my daily life graced with spirit in more ways than I could have imagined. I feel lifted up. I feel peaceful. Emerging from my own struggle, I once again can attend to others, as is my nature. Blessings rain down and I live in gratitude.
Strangely enough, I was writing about this last night. I was writing about the loneliness I feel at the synagogue. I converted two years ago and have struggled to find a niche in the synagogue. This past June Rabbi Avi and her family left ToA for the east coast and different positions. I am feeling that loss. She was my touchstone there. I knew I could contact her with a question, and that she would be there to connect with on Shabbat. I feel lost there, lost and lonely. These were my thoughts from last night. Finding a home in the Jewish community is difficult, especially as a convert. I converted and became a member at a Conservative synagogue. I have been attending the synagogue for three years and still feel like a visitor. There are a handful of people I know, some by name, a few by sight, but the vast majority have chosen to ignore me week after week and will continue to do so. I am not sure why. Why saying hi, what’s your name, Would you like to sit with us, is so difficult, but it is. As the interloper, I understand I have a role to play. I need to look friendly, make eye contact, appear eager for interaction. But how many Shabbat’s can you do that before becoming disheartened and sticking to the two or three people you know will look you in the eye? I chose Judaism because it spoke to me spiritually, I feel a deep connection with God in the traditions and rituals. I love the questions and the multitude of answers and the learning that never stops. But I was also hoping for a community, a place where people welcome you in, show you the ropes, like how to have a Shabbat dinner, celebrate Havdalah, or host a Passover Seder. Instead, I found I had to figure those things out on my own, or with the help of a couple of rabbis. They graciously invited me to a Shabbat dinner, a meal for Sukkot, and to two different Passover seders. It was a blessing to see Judaism lived out in their homes. It helped me to see how to carry on these traditions in my own home as well. I did make attempts to meet others and to find a space by going to a bible study before services, attending classes on Sunday morning, but the conversations were always brief with no attempt at true connection. So where do I go from here. I’m a Jew, a lonely Jew. Where can I find connection in a community that grew up together and has had family and friends in the synagogue for over 50 years? Is this a convert problem or do others feel the same way?
Meditating with people of all religious backgrounds.
Artistic - i started making jewels like crazy, as if I had to produce and produce, inspiration took me far. From simple malas I went on working on multi-strand necklaces, then in intricate bead woven bracelets which I still do and now for a change I am knitting. Just a lot of inspiration, accumulated materials and patterns. I told Nacky “ See the pattern in this bracelet? It’a Like the pattern of our lives... the more distance you take, the better you see the great pattern lying behind... like the Universe’s...”
When Doug was in the hospital, I went to the Japanese Friendship Garden for the Obon celebration. It was just that balm that my poor soul needed. I walked around the grounds, spent time looking at koi and water features. There was quiet music playing in the background.
I'd have to say that being able to take a break from work and be really connected to nature-in particular, the water-has really helped give me a sense of inner peace. Swimming has always been a part of my life but even just floating listening to the wind and birds this summer has truly helped me be calmer!
After having been completely unspoiled, I saw "Hamilton" this year. Musical theatre is always a spiritual experience for me, but this was a particularly transcendent one. It was out 10th anniversary, we had incredible food, and everything just worked out perfectly, but the experience of this show and the subsequent re-listening to the soundtrack (many many times at this point) have made for a continuing adventure and a wonderful journey.
I’ve spent a lot of time in adoration this year as I’ve reconnected with my faith. The most amazing experience I had was kneeling alone in front of the Blessed Sacrament before I had returned to confession, and I felt Jesus say to me “come to me Monday morning, and I will walk you to confession”. So Monday morning I went to adoration, knelt before the Blessed Sacrament, and I felt Jesus walk with me back to the confessional. It was beautiful.
My previous answer is also my answer here...the hearing of my heart that I needed more. I returned to YDS last fall for a Nouwen & Merton conference with DB as a companion. She and I continued to meet monthly. She invited me into the new book club which led to another round with "The Artist's Way" which led to a creative unblocking re: my novel and how to present the female lead - I can recount the story of my twenties. I have never written about it and this would be the ideal place to put it, in fiction! The male protagonist has just moved with his lovely wife to D.C. so that helped unblock me, since I will no longer see him regularly at work. For me, this is all spiritual in that I have felt for decades God's gentle invitation into more creative expression.
No, next question.
Nope. There’s no time or room for it.
I've enjoyed going to church this year. It's a UU church - no need to subscribe to any particular dogma. Every Sunday, getting out the door is a chore. More often than not, I don't make it. But while I'm there, I feel very connected. I realize it's not an external, but an internal thing. I go and am forced to sit and think about big-picture things for a minute. I am forced to suppress thoughts of chores and tasks and work stressors and family drama and think about what it means to be human. I really enjoy it.
The moment last week when the Harlem Gospel Choir joined Phil Lesh & Friends for Knocking on Heaven's door it was almost like everything in the world was synced together in love. A deeply spiritual experience.
I had a fascinating cultural experience when I went to Abu Dhabi to teach middle school kids about engineering for two weeks in the summer. I was nervous about going, particularly since the UAE doesn’t acknowledge the legitimate existence of Israel, but I never once felt unsafe or unwelcome. In fact, I was treated with the utmost respect and lived in luxury for those two weeks. Mostly, I learned that other than a few regional/religion specific customs (prayer breaks during the day), middle schoolers are middle schoolers. In a way, this was a spiritual experience too, as I was able to see the world through the lens of another culture, one that is often in opposition to my own. The entire experience warmed my heart.
I have felt a need to do more to life. Like something is calling me to search harder for something. I’m still searching.
I visited some cousins in Canada 50 years ago when I was in my 20s. I didn’t know how we were related. I got a FB request from one of those cousins recently. He was the one, then, who made fun of my Brooklyn accent. Through him, I discovered info on my great grandfather, great grandmother and my grandmother. His great grandparents and mine were the same. My grandmother and his were sisters. The best part was that my grandparents named my mother after her mother. My cousin in Canada also sent a photo from the 19th century, in Eastern Europe,of my great grandfather in a Hasidic outfit. My Jewish heritage and connections to my grandmother run deep.
I have a distinct memory of last Yom Kippur- in the middle of Neilah, I found my thoughts shifting hard and uncontrollably to an ex of mine. I remember thinking, "Why now? During Neilah? Why must I be forced to remember this, while the gates of judgement are closing, while I'm trying to prepare for the new year?" and it hit me like a load of bricks- this hangup was something I needed to get past before entering the new year. I found it powerful that this seemed to be a result of my fast and repentance- at the last possible moment, I was granted a deeper insight into what was troubling me.
As a result of having to go on depression medication I also started psychotherapy. It opened a lot of realizations. Things I’m still working on, but it opened the ability to work on my challenges that I didn’t realize before. I.E. I am my own bully. I must work on being kinder to myself.
The image that immediately comes to mind is my birth experience with Ardith. I remember being in the bath in the hospital room, having contractions, making a heck of a lot of noise. I remember listening to Tibetan chanting while having contractions. I remember when my cousin arrived in the room, took it all in, and had a wide-eyed amazed look on her face. I remember my cousin and our doula holding my hands as I pushed and pushed and pushed. When we got to the end of the long, difficult labor and it was time to acquiesce to a c-section, I was so much more at peace with that decision than I had been with Eleanor. I felt a kind of grace I hadn't the first time around, and I was okay with whatever happened. I worked my ass off in that room and when, at the end of it all, Ardith was pulled out of me... it was worth every moment!
The sound crystal bowl
Being stuck in a snowstorm-bound house in the Catskills with 15 strangers learning ancient healing techniques from a Chinese-born Grand Master of the practice. Living together without showers or toilets, melting snow for cooking and cleaning, and deeply connecting to the Universe that had brought and trapped us together for this purpose nurtured a shared, deep respect for Life in and beyond the 3-dimensional world and a visceral pleasure in its simplest, and most dangerous, moments.
I almost wish this was asked in three weeks from now, because I am really looking forward to mine and Ben’s trip to Europe and I am so excited to share that adventurous experience with him. As always, being in Chautauqua felt like a spiritual experience - just walking through the grounds, standing on the end of the dock behind the bell tower, napping under the bell tower with ben, being outside, and being with family are all incredibly meaningful to me. And being in Chautauqua, a place that holds so many memories, so much nostalgia, and such a sense of true comfort and safety, is so meaningful to me. Additionally, in the past few months, I feel as though I’ve spent more time being active and more time outdoors than previously - Ben and I bought hiking boots and have been exploring local parks and hiking areas, and it’s been really nice to just spend more time in nature. Also, I’ve been going to the gym more and specifically getting back into swimming and, like being in Chautauqua, there’s a huge sense of comfort and meaning for me in jumping into a pool and feeling my body fall into a rhythm that it feels natural and envigorating.
Not so much this year. It's been really secular in feel. In fact, with all the political work, I've felt absent from Judaism and from connection to the spiritual far more than I like.
The first thing that popped into my mind is when Thomas and I took a painting class at Laguna Gloria in June/July. I decided to create a figurative painting that would embody female empowerment, strength, and beauty. I felt so connected to and proud of the piece.
Grace. How I am not defined by my successes nor am I defined by my failures. But it is the inexplicable grace of God that defines me.
Hmm... This one is a little tough for me and I'm not sure why. I continue to find solace in the poetry of Andrea Gibson. Beasley and I saw her perform live in January at Thalia Hall and she read a poem called "Photoshopping My Sister's Mugshot" which made me cry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m_sAb66lNE Being moved by art may be spiritual, I think. I didn't do 10Q last year, but seeing La Sagrada Familia with Mom in Barcelona in March of 2016 felt very spiritual. So there's one from then. I guess that feels more relevant to this question since it's a church. Maybe I'm just bad at this question, ha.
I have had a personal realization that I need to live in the moment, be more flexible, less critical and more open, honest and purposefully happy! Smile more - enjoy the day and live for happiness. I can say now that I am ok with where I am and will continue to improve on myself. Happiness and love will come to me :)
The highlight again for me was the mikvah in the ocean prior to Rosh Hashanah. I don't know what it is; there is just something about being there in the powerful waves.
Spending Boston Pride with Corinne was a whole spiritual experience. Going to an LGBT themed shabbat service, the parade, being out and proud in my new relationship was deeply spiritual for me.
The first thing that comes to mind was one night last month when I was walking my dog. There was a full moon, and there was also a bright street light behind me. I noticed neither until I saw three shadows in front of me: 2 human shapes (one tall, one shorter) and a dog’s shape. Initially it looked like the shadow of my Dad and me walking next to each other, as we had done many times. For a second, that’s exactly what I thought I saw. And then I remembered that my Dad had died a few months prior. I looked behind me and saw that the two lights had created that perspective. I decided to suspend logic for awhile longer and re-feel my Dad’s presence. It felt very spiritual.
I've had transcendent moments. In those moments, I felt like I knew Truth and Beauty. The rest of the time, part of me is aching to get back in that space, where answers seemed clear.
Man, I can't even think of anything significant I've done/seen/experienced all year. There were more than a few moments of pure peace and joy scattered throughout the year, mostly snuggling with the kids or watching them laugh or learn or play nicely together - that's about as close as I'm going to get to spiritual most of the time. I've been trying so hard to savor and appreciate and commit those moments to memory.
I’m an atheist. Art and culture are probably my only “religion,” though I'm a bit loathe to use that term. I’ve had many experiences in this vein, as I do every year. I feel fortunate that my more emotional parsing of the world opens me up to have transcendental moments frequently. And that spirit extends to simple gatherings of friends and family, a walk to my bus stop when the sun is out, waking up to the cat tucked into the crook of my arm. Life is short, folks! Find that beauty wherever you can. But there are two items that still linger as I write this, months after I experienced them. First is Ragnar Kjartansson’s film installation, “the Visitors” at SFMOMA (as part of their “Soundtracks” exhibition). On each of the 10 large screens that fill the gallery, a camera is fixed on a room in a large upstate New York home. Each room showcases a different musician (one even singing and strumming a guitar in the bathtub!) who are all playing, in sync, the same long and languorous song over almost 60 minutes. Then, all the “visitors” come together in a single room, pop a bottle of champagne, and walk off into the sunset of one film channel as the other screens cut to black. Because 8 of the 10 screens are on the perimeter of the space, “The Visitors” gives the small crowd a warm hug of art. We, in turn—standing shoulder-to-shoulder, or sitting adjacent on the floor, in the dark and illuminated only by what is on each of the screens—are a cozy band of “visitors,” too. I am attracted to art (especially in the snobby white cube gallery or museum) that breaks down barriers and binds people. Art as a litmus test for one’s taste and cultural acumen has never interested me much. “The Visitors” demands an hour of your time and, arguably, even more of your patience. But transcendence shouldn't be easy, folks. The other experience was seeing the Mr. Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” with my wife and my mother. I have a soft spot for Fred Rogers: I watched the show as a child like so many, but he was also a local hero for us western Pennsylvanian natives. I met him as a child in a Pittsburgh restaurant. (He approached us because he was touched by the rapport my brother and I had with our father.) Later, I would see him walking to the WQED studio from time to time as a college student at Carnegie Mellon. When he died, it felt like I had lost a relative. He was family. The end of the film left the three of us a blubbering mess. Context is everything. I knew the muscle-memory of seeing clips from “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” would sink a lump in my throat. But the timing of this film adds extra freight to its significance, and I can’t think of a better antidote for the toxic discourse of these times. It’s not just Rogers’ compassion and empathy that we all should imitate. It’s that his model of self-care is NOT about narcissism and fine-tuning yourself so you get more Instagram likes. It’s about finding a way for YOU to accept who you truly are, damn what other people think, damn the Facebook likes. That’s enough. Now go help someone else with this difficult process. That’s it. THAT’S life. What a concept.
I thought my brother would have contacted me someway spiritually, when he died...did not, no message since then. I know he is with the Lord, why should he wait around, when he had somewhere to go. It so out of no where, suddenly Haven't grieved...wish we had visited before he left. Strange
My view of spirituality and religion has changed. I was brought up RC but I don't believe in God the way the Church would have me believe. I think God is so much more than we can imagine. I had a crisis of faith so while I still want to believe there is something out there that is looking over us, I have doubt. Yet I still find myself talking to "God" or the "Universe" or whatever from time to time. I think it is a time of transition and searching for me. I have embraced meditation and I think Buddhism has something to offer. I don't think I will ever completely break free of my roots in the Church but I think my acceptance of a broader sense of spirituality is freeing.
I found playing with the Maryland All-State Community Band extremely soothing to my brain, which is more or less the equivalent of spiritual to me these days.
When the weather is warm and the sun has set I go to the back balcony of my home and thank G d in gratitude for all the good things He has given us.
Joining a Rosh Chodesh women's group has been a great way to tap into the spiritual on a monthly basis. I love setting aside those few hours to be in a woman-centered space, to move, to meditate, and to be moved. After one of these sessions, I incorporated a visit to the mikveh. It was about a month after my grandmother died and I had completed sheloshim. Amidst the laminated rituals available at the mikveh, there was one for just such an occasion. My grandmother never visited a mikveh; its doubtful she'd ever even heard of it (outside, perhaps, my conversion), but in that womblike atmosphere, I was able to connect with her in a very spiritual way.
My grandfather has been in and out of the hospital and is ready to "go home" however he is still with us. Spending the time with him and asking him questions have given me a more tempered attitude. I am slower to react and think little more about others and their situations. I still react bad and it will always be a work in progress but to see and hear how things have changed and to see how things have always been hard and people have always had bad behavior makes sure that I understand that my problems are only unique to me.
Hmm. Well, my continued interest in the work of the artist Vanessa German has led me to a recognition of the magic in her, and that she is almost shamanistic in her performance and art. She is coming to our campus in November, and we have an exhibition of her work going on now. I have also started going to church again, though that doesn't have the same impact on me. But it does help me to center my thoughts and to meditate for an hour or so. I have also been in greater contact with one of my sisters, and she and I do talk about spiritual matters quite a bit, and she sends me meditations by Richard Rohr that I often find very moving.
For me, aging has brought with it a certain sense of spirituality, in that I feel stronger and more entitled to the space I inhabit. All my life I was made to feel like being a woman meant I had to be humble and subservient and that I had to work twice as hard at my job to be seen as credible and professional. Being attractive meant I had to double my efforts at kindness and humility so as to be approachable. This year I started to realize that I shouldn't have to be quiet and uncomplaining. I care far less if someone likes me, and care more about whether I like them! Its empowering. This isn't to say that I don't strive to always put out love and peace and laughter wherever I go and with everyone, but when others enter my space with ill will or cannot be turned around by my love and peace, they have far less influence on me. I can choose not to share space with those who might bring negative energy. That's a wonderful thing!
I have experienced this in the form of my music. When I let my mind and body go, I am touched and moved in unimagineable ways.
There was a challenging hot yoga class near the end of winter that, upon arriving a shavasana, gave way to James Bay's 'Let It Go' was a spiritual experience. Though it was short, the dripping sweat amidst a hot room full of other aspiring twenty-somethings at once induced childhood memories and visions of what I still aspire towards.
Watching my children get married and sharing the experience with a community bonded by the love of the couple. Feeling the love and sharing the love was more spiritual than I could have imagined.
I didn't feel very spiritual this year. One time I did feel awe was a fantastic fireworks display I saw in Japan on the grounds of a Shinto temple. The combination of the lanterns, music, and fireworks was really magical.
While I do often consider myself a somewhat spiritual person, I am struggling to identify any particular experiences that I would call spiritual and impactful. I think that my recent foray into meditation has often allowed me space to feel spiritual and understand the ways in which I can better understand my thoughts and the way they interconnect.
One thing that comes to mind is the spiritual pilgrimage my husband, baby, and I attended every week at church nominally as preparation for our baby's Easter baptism. The format was Sunday evening dinner at 5:30pm (with rotating food signups) followed by a short presentation and small group discussion, and then we all came together at the end for a short prayer service and were home by 8pm. Something like 20 people were there almost every week, and we talked about a whole host of things. It took place from when our baby was ~4.5 months old at the start of Lent in February through to Pentecost in May when she was nearly 8 months old. She started eating solids during this time and her presence was always a welcome delight and never a negative distraction. We connected more deeply with folks at our church, and our kiddo got to learn modeled behaviors of sharing a meal and paying attention when others speak. Her Godparents-to-be even attended a session, which was huge for them since they aren't particularly religious, but they seemed to enjoy it. I was a little concerned about how they would handle the formal church-y rites of baptism overall, but our priest met with all of us to explain the tradition of the promises over beer and pizza and everything went swimmingly. The baptism itself was a delight, too; Easter is always a meaningful celebration but it was EXTRA special this year, especially with a large contingent of family and friends there to support our baby.
In the past year I do not think I have had any particularly spiritual experiences which I find really disappointing. One experience I had on erev Rosh HaShanah was the meditation/sermon the rabbi gave about giving ourselves more self-love and self-belief. In a room full of strangers I was brought to tears because I think self-doubt and self-defeat are my biggest obstacles in life.
I definitely have. I was so lucky to find a person who made my spirit come alive in a brand new way. I think I had been dulling my experience of the world for so long because I had been hurt by so many people and so frequently that I was afraid to live fully. All of the nights we spent laying on the grass looking up at the stars talking about the universe. THe nights we snuggled in the blankets on the grass at WSP. The night we went to the lighthouse on Roosevelt Island. The nights we lay on your floor. The nights we spent walking through the city staring up at the apartments and making stories up about the people who lived in those places. When we saw Hamilton. Every time you looked into my eyes when I came over to assist you. Every time my forehead touched yours. Every time you kissed me and made me feel like everything would be okay. The time we drove to Storm King and it rained and you kissed me. It was so beautiful. That for me was spiritual because you woke my spirit up.
Standing at the Western Wall in Israel on 12/30/17 was more secular than religious, but nonetheless impactful. I have no idea whether the religious events purported to have happened there are true (binding of Isaac, presence of the Almighty in the Devir), even Mohammed's night ascension to heaven. I do know, though, about how hotly contested the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, as an extension, have been through the centuries. That is the spot for which these people fought. Even going a few hundred yards away - to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre - was spiritual. Though not the religion to which I subscribe, it was impactful looking at the purported execution site of the man around whom one of the largest religions in the world is based. From that spot came all the dogma that led to the Crusades (back at that spot), etc. I am sorry that I could not see firsthand the Muslim sites (Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock) since they are on the center of Mt. Zion. Nonetheless, to stand there in a quiet moment on Shabbat afternoon and feel all that history on Mt. Zion was incredible.
Always....and grateful for them all. I love going to SUMMIT for Celebrate Recovery each year that I get to go. Nothing like 3,000 people who have been to hell and back standing together, praying with each other and singing (loudly, off key, doesn't matter!) together. :) I always seem to learn something new about myself, my recovery and get great info to take home to my recovery group! On the day to day basis...I think pain has been the biggest way my Higher Power gets my attention. Like letting my kid fall down when learning to walk...sometimes that pain that is allowed in my life will help me figure out how to get my walk right! :) I love being able to figure things out on my own...BEFORE the painful experiences. And sometimes, I am at the mercy of things and people outside of my control...that's just life on life's terms. But for the most part...taking time each day to touch base with the spiritual connection to Christ....makes each day get a bit smoother. Does it fix everything? Nah. But that's not the point of it for now....this is, afterall, just the testing grounds.
I don't go to shul often (it is an hour away including time to park) but every time I go it is a particularly spiritual experience (which is why we belong in spite of the distance)...this experience affects me deeply... in enhances my feeling of Shabbat or holiday and helps me feel closer to G-d... I also study Mussar on my own and with a chevruta partner and always find this experience (reading, writing, discussing, thinking) very spiritual as well...this also helps me feel closer to G-d as well as makes me a better person...
My whole life is a spiritual experience now! (I had a great last Havdallah at Newman, so I can't forget to mention that.) But even in my first few weeks of college, I go to amazing services or join Jewish singing circles or do tashlich in Central Park or have a discussion about Judaism with friends on the train... LIVING Jewish is a whole new experience.
Visited Zion National Park for the first time this year. It is spectacular, as anyone will report. The photos do not do it justice. It was magical and overwhelming at times with the sense of time. You stand on the ground at the bottom of a canyon and look up a hundreds of feet, at solid rock walls. The top of the canyon way up there was once the bottom of an ocean. The place you are standing hundreds of feet down was also the bottom of an ocean, millions of years earlier than the millions of years ago that the top was the bottom of the ocean. That scale of time is so far beyond the human scale that it boggles the imagination, overwhelms the senses and imposes a crushing sense of smallness in the face of nature's time, long, deep time.
I tend to live in the spiritual world more than most people and get to spend a lot of time there. I do a lot of tarot readings for people at parties (it's one of my jobs) and end up talking to people about their spiritual lives. So many of them have very few people to talk to. This past weekend I got to do a round of party readings for some friends. They were a different audience than my normal, upper middle class clientele who hire me for parties, or a corporate Halloween party. I don't know if it was that they trusted me, and were open to the experience, or if I have leveled up my skills, but I did several readings that were super spot-on, and very specific. I got to give people some really good information about how to tweak their lives in ways big and small that would resonate and make a difference for them. It felt very aligned, and I felt really good about the experience.
The closest thing to a spiritual experience that I had was having my baby. The act of creating life inside of me and now watching him grow and change in front of my eyes. It is a miracle.
Standing across from the love of my life under the Chuppah as we bound our lives together even further in front of our friends and family was the warmest feeling I've had in a long time. Time compressed and expanded in those moments.
I had a tough time being open to spiritual experiences this year because I was so filled with hopelessness, despair and self-loathing. However, the two documentaries on Mr. Rogers had a strong message of love - giving love and being loved for exactly who we are - and those messages touched me in a very spiritual way.
I have returned to making art actively after a prolonged dry spell. I am happy and fulfilled when in my studio. My pieces often encompass spiritual influences. I had been wanting to process a very difficult medical challenge for a long time but didn’t know for years how to do it. At a clay hand building class, my hands just went their own way and created 3 pieces expressing the journey.
It's been crazy inspiring to live in a village in Mexico. The animals running to the lake to drink...horses, cows, goats, sheep...it's all so much closer to nature. I have a short prognosis. I can't imagine just sitting around waiting to die. Mexico was the place I could come for 7 months with very little money. I rescued a dog. I became an auntie to a couple of young women in culinary school. I've learned some Spanish. Most of all I became more accepting of my condition.
This year, I have felt called by God to use what He has given to me to carry out his work. He has made it clear to me that I have been equipped to take on missions for Him, and that it is up to me to answer the call.
Hah! Yes, many. I began a serious look into spiritual practices on 17 December last year, and it's been a ride. I find that the natural world is still my religion, but that there are some interesting things I can do to connect. Admitting out loud that I wanted to move forward with this path was very interesting. I still find it hard to be fully on the path openly because of stigma and family issues. My mom says that she is very spiritually open and yet she posts Bible verses all the time on Facebook. Not easy to talk to her about practices outside the western norm. One particular thing that was amazing was summer solstice, where we hiked to a waterfall at night and hung out with the fireflies. That was wonderful. Another was watching the skies change over the village in the Alps. I feel much more spiritual this year than in the past. I look forward to learning more.
Leading a prayer at my niece's wedding: As we feel this powerful presentiment of Divine Love, let us try to pray together: Wholely mysterious Author of our Being, when you gave birth to each one of us, we called you Mother. When you held us to the highest standards, and let us know where you judged us as faltering, we knew you as Our Father. You dazzle us with works of art, soothe us with song and harmonies, tantalize us with visions of justice that we ourselves are left to realize. You endow us, in your image, with sufficient self-love that, in our hearts, we would never trade our perspective and opinions for anyone else's. Today, we behold Rishav & Brittany undertake that astonishing human endeavor - to know another person with utmost intimacy. And, after knowing the other so well, to still be kind. Wellspring of the Universe, You so delight in diversity that no two are identical: These two souls, from distinctive family trees, now intertwine to become a newly formed family. These two promise to listen, learn from and love each other. As elders, we may already sense, in outline, what they will likely discover: No husband ever accurately intuited his partner's preferences, until he learned to ask to be corrected. No wife can feel secure in this chaosmos, until she found within herself the strength to align with the world's endless supply of surprises. Together, let us vow to hold the beauty of their love in our hearts, starting today, and for all of the future. And let us say, AMEN
I feel as though I've had a few spiritual experiences this year, I traveled to Israel which is of course very spiritual for me, but it also was spiritual in a way that I didn't expect. I have a different relationship with Israel now than I did when I was younger and don't blindly accept everything Israel is doing these days, that change in perspective was almost unnerving but was important for me to come to terms with. I was also able to spiritually connect with nature this year by being back at camp, being there always makes me feel good and going to the reservoir at night to star gaze was one of my favorite nights of the whole summer.
This is a very difficult question for me to answer, and I don't know that I really have a good answer to it. I am choosing to take a /very/ broad view of it, however, and am answering as follows: I am a fairly active sport shooter. Ask anyone who knows me from the sport, and they will tell you that I'm no great shot, but make up for my lack of skill with enthusiasm and joy of the sport. At a match this spring, I experienced a stoppage in my gun, where the slide could not be racked. I made sure to call an end to my run, and then started troubleshooting with the aid of the RO and other shooters. While I eventually had to pack up and go home, the support I felt from my fellow shooters was humbling and I felt very much at home and welcome in the sport.
I don't think I've done anything overtly spiritual. However, I have traveled by myself a good amount this year, mostly to California. I think that spending time exploring all by myself has been a good way to connect with myself and to push boundaries. In particular, I've enjoyed going to arts institutions and on hikes by myself.
I am not sure if you could call it spiritual or not but I have had some sort of an epiphany I believe. Finally realized that I must ruly reply on myself and partner with my husband, who God knows has been tough to deal with over the past couple of years. I think he finally realizes that working away from home, although quite lucrative, has many downsides of which we have had to deal. I realize that I have been in this marriage alone for quite some time and am no longer willing to accept the current situation. It is quite liberating to say the least. Nothing worse than the wounded martyr.
I was very close to my brother who died three years ago. Besides growing up together, we were always pals and confidants. Recently, I was getting emotional thinking about him no longer being here to talk to, when I felt a gentle but firm pressure on my hand and heard my brother’s voice say, “Norm really loves you”. No matter the explanation for this, I felt connected to my brother again, very happy and complete. Norm is my husband of 32 years and maybe I needed a reminder that there was another person, still living, who loves and understands me.
Then why use the word spiritual? Since I don't understand the question, I'll answer as if the question is "Have you had any life changing experiences this year in the realm of arts or culture that emphasized the human experience"? To be brief, no. However I am attending the annual Atheist Community of Austin bat cruise next week. If I had to put money on it, i'd bet the cruise and lectures would be the closest thing that matches our definitions and answers the question. If I have to stick to the time frame I would say attending Eyores birthday and the Atheist Experience Live show while my sister was in town.
This year I'm going to say "Making Wonderful Things" and artwork in particular. This is meditative, flow-inducing, and transcendental when it goes even moderately well, ecstatic and time-erasing at its best. Also addictive, frankly -- it makes me neglect other things I should be paying attention to or doing. I have enough assignments that I can get up in the morning and go straight to the art table, knowing there is work for me there. I've managed to break the habit of checking in on the computer first thing and thus getting subsumed in my online/email things, so that first fresh flush of a new day gets put to productive use. I don't have a particularly "spiritual" side, and this question is a stumper for me most years, but dancing with my muse like this qualifies as much as anything in my life.
Somehow listening to my daughter play trumpet makes me feel like I’m in church that the larger picture exists.
I feel like I’m starting to get mad repetitive, but giving birth. It was like, all corniness aside, literally witnessing a miracle. This being, this human, this angel, who has lived inside my body for almost 10 months is now out in the world and perfect and lovely and gorgeous. And he came through me. amazing.
We heard a sermon on Mother's Day by Megan Fate Marshman. She was amazing! She talked about praying with her hands upturned towards God. It was a beautiful and thought-provoking sermon. This weekend we are going to a marriage seminar at church. I am so hoping it helps. But I admit, at this point I am pretty pessimistic. I would still really like to join a church family and connect with more people. Going to Italy was incredibly spiritual. Cortona is the most beautiful place - look at the hills and flowers and greenery and know that God has made this beautiful world.
Every time I look into Mason’s blue eyes I see the miracle of creation and realize that a part of me will live in and through him. L’Dor Vador.
I went to some Afrobrasilian places of rituals, to learn a little more about Umbanda. It is very colorful, and people and spirits are very kind. Trance is a very special experience to see.
I had my bar mitzvah in Israel! The most significant part of this for me was choosing a Hebrew name for myself. I felt that if others chose it for me, I would want input from so many people that it would be difficult, so I would rather choose my own path. I chose Shlomo because King Shlomo's story resonates with me. The quest for and reverence of wisdom, the pitfalls of thinking rules don't apply to him, and his writing of Ecclesiastes (one of my favorite books in Tanakh) all spoke deeply to me. I also had a Brit Milah, which I spoke about a few days ago. In addition to that I lay Tefillin every day since, which (almost surprisingly) does make me feel more connected and empowered to G-d. I have been keeping up with the Parsha for a full cycle now. There have been weeks that I've missed, but it has been amazing to be this engagets with Torah and have it connect with times and moments of the year, serving as a blueprint for the year like that. I look forward to continuing that, and expanding to following the Haftarah, the Tanya, and the Talmid. Thank G-d.
I now mediate 20-30 mins a day so that’s a huge improvement! I also meditate in the morning, first thing I do as there are less distractions and I feel it’s puts me in the best frame of mind. I’ve also been applying Stoical thinking which allows me to let go more easily and judge others less.
This year, while planning a trip to visit family, I decided to call one of my former piano teachers in order to visit him; I hadn't seen him in nearly twenty years; I'd stopped taking lessons with him when I was but a third the age I am now. Nonetheless, he's remained in my heart and there's an unwavering emotional connection there. During our phone conversation, to my amazement, he recalled everything about me, even the last recital piece I played with him--nearly 40 years ago. He was my teacher; I was his apprentice (yes, that's the term he used). When I sit at my instrument, I not infrequently hear his words come back to me. The man is 83 years old. Where does time go? If I'm not to visit him now, when, if ever? In preparation for the visit, I worked up a Chopin piece to play for him, one I knew to be his favorite. Our connection is through our music. What could be more appropriate than to greet him musically. But then, as it happened, within an hour of my leaving the house for the airport to travel, I got a phone call from someone I didn't know. It was a woman, appointed as my teacher's power of attorney. My heart sank as I thought for sure that I was about to receive terrible news, that he had died. The news was bad, but not nearly so bad as I feared; he was quite alive. Four weeks earlier, about a week after we'd spoken on the phone, he'd taken a bad fall and broken both his hip and shoulder very badly. He was subsequently sent to a rehab hospital, confined to a wheelchair, but passed along a message, through his appointed power of attorney, that he'd still very much like to see me. I was happy to comply. I brought dinner for the two of us and, fortunately, there was a piano at the facility, so I was able to play. He was very pleased, which thrilled me to no end. We visited for over three hours--so much to catch up on. The visit lifted both our spirits. Growing up, my parents weren't very emotionally present, particularly my father. That wasn't due to malice on their part, it just wasn't their forte and I, being a teenager, hadn't enough awareness to realize it was something I missed and needed, but I did. Though I didn't recognize it at the time, my piano teacher was a surrogate father figure. There in his studio, the voice sounded by my fingers was the song of my heart, which he lovingly helped shape and refine. It came as no surprise to me that, during our visit, he referred to his students as his "kids;" he has no other children. I have a heart. I have a heart. And that heart leaps, swoons and dances upon a broad floor of ivory and ebony, nurtured by a man who, deep down, is much like me. We both speak through melody. He's growing old, who knows if I'll ever see him again, but I'm grateful for the hours we spent together.
Yes. I discovered a genre of music that was both unexpected and moving. This discovery has made me more aware of the daily movements of life that so many of us miss or pass us by.
Not exactly. I've meditated a lot and hope to increase my spirituality that way!
Every now and then when playing music there is always a few gigs where the musical communication groove and audience is right on and so much bigger than myself and those involved. I am so fortunate to experience these moments. So many people will never know the thrill and healing of being a musician and performer. I plan to go back to Germany, and this time I hope to go to Amsterdam and see the Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh museum
Yes, again, through Jon Kalman Stefansson's Heaven and Hell novel, being reminded that life is not all work and taking care of others, but that some things move me deeply, that I have my own soul, in a way, and that it feels really good to feed it too, to take it into my daily life.
I realized that I have control over my own happiness and that I have to make changes if I am not happy. I can't depend on others or opportunities to come to me. That stuff has to be sought after.
I needed to come up with an idea. So I went for a walk. It was the first time that I'd had to really come up with a creative solution in at least three years, and that exercise of looking hard at the world gave me a sense of euphoria. It was wonderful, and sat. I missed that feeling.
Not really...I tried daily guided meditation really well for a while, but seem to have lost the commitment to do it. I suppose a daily exercise session has become my religion/church as I know it makes me a better person for myself and those I come into contact with. Hopefully, I'll be able to maintain the exercise commitment, eating better commitment, and work meditation back into my routine soon!
That one time on the Greek Agistri island, I really felt like I needed an alone-walk after an intensive half month. I told my friend that I had no idea about how much time I would need. I followed the beautiful green scenery by the sea. I ended up walking 6 hours, through the rocks and trees whose thorns damaged my skin, without water, 15% of phone battery, and without having had any breakfast. I was alone in the middle of nowhere under the very hot sun. I almost felt twice from the rocks; if that was the case I would most probably not be able to write today. In the very end it felt like an inside chaos. I needed to get away from there. I was walking and walking but no progress was made. I was changing my path constantly. I felt like that was it, that I would faint and nobody would be able to spot me. Then I told myself that I was the only one in charge of the situation and in charge of not allowing those thoughts to influence me. If I did, I would fail. Long story short, I ended up getting out of the rocks and the forest, found a village and immediately bought myself lunch with coffee. I over deserved it.
My most spiritual experience this year was saying goodbye to Kai and spreading her ashes. I feel connected to her in a way that takes me out of my daily existence to a timeless place.
Spiritual experiences happen to me everyday. When seeing the water vapor rise from a fence post in the early morning or writing a poem about my friend who passed away the next day or when in Shul I look up during Aleynu and sing "you're a shmo" to my brother instead of u'shmo echad are all spiritual experiences for me. Mostly when my heart hurts from joy and pain I feel most spiritual, which is always.
Standing on the bima, during the Rosh HaShanah torah reading, when we got to the part where Abraham is about to sacrifice Isaac, I started to cry, feeling so sad for Isaac, so incredulous that a father could do what Abraham was about to do. Of course I knew the outcome already, but still this great sadness overwhelmed me.
I would say recognizing that I no longer need to fight my body.
I can't say that I have had any significantly meaningful spiritual experiences in the last year. I have spent a lot of time praying, which often brings me comfort. As a family we've been working hard towards celebrating Shabbat at our table with a home made challah. Making the challah has become somewhat spiritual in nature. As I removed my rings to knead the dough, I am reminded of the love they represent. My grandmother's wedding band, the wedding band of a distant relative, and three rings from my husband adorn my fingers. When I make challah I make it with love and anticipation of a weekend with my family, which all began with a ring from my husband. I clean the rings each Shabbat before returning them to my fingers, reminding me that a marriage requires a certain amount of dedication and work to make it beautiful.
Funnily enough again this year it has been through my university studies that have brought me the most spiritual experiences. Through self directed learning I have reconnected strongly with the arts and through that am able to find ways to express and connect to my true self and to others, especially those close to me.
Regularly. Synchronicity. Times when I Know my team is behind me. God is with me. Peace.
Broadening my meditation practice and focusing on more compassion. Broadening compassion to include people I even might find despicable. Working on metta practice to connect feelings of gratitude to well-wishing others you judge, and also oneself.
Definitely the Havayah camping trip last weekend! It was amazing to get away from everything-work, my email, social media, even the responsibilities of being an adult (even though I was still responsible for the teens)-and just be in nature. It was so easy to spend time with the teens, and the programming they ran really focused on reflecting and introspection. For the first time I felt emotionally and spiritually prepared for Rosh Hashanah.
Yes I have opened my heart to a new Temple family. I feel closer to my faith which had become buried by other interest.
I switched churches, which has helped me through the breakup some. But i’m Not sure it feels spiritual to me.
The first spiritual experience that comes to my mind occurred this summer. After my sister miscarried when she was in her second trimester, a friend of hers who had lost her 10-month-old baby girl to cancer shared that she started seeing butterflies everywhere after the girl's passing. My sister said she began to see butterflies everywhere after hearing this, and once she shared this with my family members and me, we all see butterflies constantly. Now, whenever I feel stressed, I feel like I see a monarch or a yellow and black butterfly fly by near me or outside my window. Days after learning about my nephew's passing, I was sitting by Lake Michigan on a trip with my boyfriend, and it seemed like a yellow and black butterfly flew out of nowhere from the direction of the water and went right by our faces. Now, back on campus during my final semester, I'm seeing butterflies almost every day while walking to class, something I never noticed until now. Whenever I see a butterfly now, I feel like it's my nephew saying hi and telling me that everything will be okay.
I have started praying again. Just in the morning, and very very basic so far. Sh'ma and Modah Ani. So I am just behind a child who started Hebrew School this year.
I got to see Hamilton in SF. I went in cold- hadn't listened to the soundtrack, didn't know what the expect. The second half rocked me. HARD. Especially as a newish mom. I found the whole thing to be such an amazing experience and I listen to the soundtrack all the time now.
Publishing my book, which is a spiritual one, was a very powerful experience for me. So was giving talks on subjects my book relates to, namely connections between Jewish texts and rituals and health from the broadest perspective. Connecting everything together and talking about it was very uplifting.
I visited Israel for the first time this year. I went to the Western Wall for Kabbalat Shabbat, and had an incredible time but wasn’t particularly moved. On Sunday, I returned to pray and wedge a note between the wall stones. I held my right palm against the Wall as I prayed, and suddenly without prompting, I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. I didn’t fight the tears, I let them roll, I let my tears do the talking.
Yes! I have received numerous “visions” in meditation or in dreamtime that have been profound, all related to the energies of Love which, if we consciously choose to embody that state of care and compassion, may be used to begin rebalancing humankind. These experiences lead me further on my path as I focus on and follow my heart intelligence/wisdom in moments when I relate to people and situations that are challenging. Love IS the way!
skinny dipping in Truro.
This Shavuot has been especially meaningful and spritual for me. During every service I reached a point of focus, that made the light permeating the temple seem dimmed and comforting.
Does food count? I had an amazing dinner at a supper club in Illinois this summer. The wine and seafood/fish stew were just exquisite. I've also had a lot of euphoric runs this year. Recently, running the Brain Power 10K in the rain with my mom waiting for me at the finish line was an amazing experience.
I attended a shabbat service at Harlam which was incredibly meaningful. The music, the kids participation and being in the woods made it the best service ever! It's very difficult to attend traditional services. Modern Jewish music brings meaning to me more than the service
Before Christmas I did some shamanic journeying. My guide asked me to look after the children, I have no clue what that means and also 17th September would be very significant.
I can't say I've had any real spiritual experiences this year. That might change in the next couple of weeks I guess...
Let My People Sing dug deep into my soul, giving me the strength confidence and openness to reconnect to myself, my people, my history through song in a new way.
My spirituality comes not from the mystical or the supernatural, but through deep contemplation and introspection. My most spiritual experiences this year have been from my meditation practice, which is always helpful, always beneficial, but occasionally very deeply moving. My other spiritual experiences this year were basking in the immense natural beauty of the Wind River Range and the Grand Tetons. Being among the soaring peaks, the cold and crystal-clear lakes and streams, and the lush, verdant valleys promotes a great sense of awe and gratitude in me. A feeling of simultaneously being reminded that I am both very, very, small and very, very young compared to this world and this universe, but also inextricably connected to the vastness of existence that makes me larger than my physical being.
I was obsessed by the song "Sanctify" by Years & Years. I could even imagine directing a very morbid video about that song.
Nothing in particular; continued following of Rob Bell's podcast and meditation & mindfulness practices.
Just about everything I participate in is spiritual. I am always connected with spirit. I am part of a local UU Community that I helped start. I host a weekly wellness group and there is spirituality/community in that. When we remember that we are all connected with the all, that is spiritual.
My faith has wavered. Having realized that my emotional intelligence school was actually a cult I saw that many of its characteristics match the fundamentalist religion I grew up in and am still a member of: the shunning of former members, believing the group is going to save the world, cutting off association with 'non-believers', heavy recruiting, keeping members extremely busy, no questioning of authority and a general good ol' fashioned mind-control. It is difficult because I was raised in the religion and everyone I know is a part of it. That means if I leave, I lose all my friends. I love them and think they are wonderful people and don't want to lose them. It would put a strain on my marriage as well since my husband is a believer and we have been raising our kids to be as well. I often wonder what my life would be like if I hadn't been raised in the religion (which discouraged higher education). I have a good job and do well but gave up many things that I love or enjoy doing because the religion encourages giving up self interest in favor of the 'cause'. I am afraid the religion might be right and I will lose God's favor if I leave. But I think about myself as a parent and how I deal with my kids. I believe in holding standards and disciplining them when they have done something bad but I can't imagine God, who is LOVE itself, being that small to cut me off. I wouldn't do that to my kids. Realizing I've been in 2 cults (TWO!) is freaking me out and makes me wonder how my thinking is skewed and I want to get clear on my own beliefs and how the world works. I believe in God, but am losing faith in the religion.
Spiritual experiences are hard to come by. There have certainly been moments in this last year when I have felt much closer to a higher power than other mundane times. I can seek more of this in the following year.
After a few periods of prolonged existential funk I started to worry about my over-all mental health. With age I'm aware of remembering when I used to wake up and move through the world with more energy and enthusiasm, finding inspiration at every turn. I worry those days are behind me and that this "funk" is just a part of age. But I then a part of me that refused to accept this rose up and said "you better work on this because right now it's working on you". I started looking for a free meditation connection and one appeared in my feed. I reached out to a program that could help me exercise more that I could afford. I renewed my small daily efforts--stand on the deck and look, listen, smell early in the morning before anything else. These and many other small steps are my personal "secular spiritual" practice. The older I get the more I like to remain open to the mystery of "what is spiritual" and I'm fine not having to define it or "know" what it means. But certain experiences I've had that have affected me most deeply are a sense of deep connection with other people that occurs unexpectedly. I can only describe it as an exchange of energy I feel acutely attuned to, and when it happens it's very inspiring and life affirming.
I began to study Mussar with my chevruta Debbie and was surprised how the discipline of reading, journaling, chanting, and studying with a partner would heightened my awareness of myself and how I respond to my life on a daily basis. For example, I am more able to experience what triggers my anxiety and can feel it in the moment. It gives me time to process the feeling and then respond rather than react. When I react, this often only reinforces the anxiety further.
I don't remember any spiritual experiences - hope to be more conscious in seeking them in the coming year
There's been beauty in nature - in the Galapagos and in Ireland and Cornwall and at home. But I want to remind myself that after not being at shul for weeks in a row, there's a moment of settling in to the familiar tunes and the presence of community and holiness that feels good and I wonder why I don't come more often and I wonder if the moment would be the same if I did. And of course, the High Holiday nusach just smacked me with its beauty and resonance of childhood - and no guilt! because it happens in its time... I hadn't not been there.
Yes. I'm becoming more aware of God's love and care for me. I am more convinced that my broken relationship with Dad was part of God protecting me from really going down a bad path. I've heard great sermons, been caught up with gratitude to God and been moved to tears by great fishing. Still doing Core and learning more about prayer at GCC.
Visiting the World War I cemeteries around Ypres was pretty amazing. The scope of it- and the frequency of the cemeteries - was really striking. I found the numbers of casualties mind-blowing, and although I'd read about the conditions before, being there on the ground was a sobering experience. I felt really fortunate that for us - and my kids - right now, that war is unimaginable really for us. It's going on in other places in the world, but where we are fortunate to live, in this time, is safe and peaceful. Let's hope it stays like that, in these uncertain, nationalistic times.
Doing the Jack Ride, those 50km were very freeing. Being able to just ride and clear my mind was something that I needed and it’s hard to find a route like that around the city.
I was opened, moved and saddened but inspired watching my mother drift from this life to the next and back again. And I learned from her example the value of forgiving loved ones who caused her hurt and anger, and the possibility of calm and even acceptance in the face of death.
The most spiritual experience I’ve had this one was being at the bedside of my best friend as she breathed her last breath and died from cancer. And with her friend washing her body, and from my mouth, speaking extemporaneous prayers that I forgot the moment I finished saying them. Why is this a spiritual experience? Because there was no “me” involved. Who or what was present in those last hours and minutes was God. God was there when I made a conscious decision to be mindful and in the moment for as long as it took for my friend to die. God was with her when she was finally relieved of suffering. My rabbi, when asked questions about what God is or how to experience God, always says, “God is. God is energy, always there. You just have to plug yourself in.” Even though I am generally agnostic, there are some experiences that I can define as being with God, and being present at this horrible (for me) time, was a spiritual experience that included God. I am humbled by this experience. And while my friend died in early July, it was only today that I finally gave honest voice to my overwhelming grief. May that experience be a spiritual one as well.
I have been somewhat loosely affiliated with a local Tibetan Buddhist group for the last 3+ years, and in all that time, their teacher had not been able to visit from Tibet. So, this August, he came and I had very much been looking forward to meeting him and reconnecting with a group meditation teaching and ritual experience through that visit. Unfortunately, the day I came to greet and meet him was very disappointing for many reasons. ---One of the other sangha members treated me badly while I was there and then wrote me a scathing message afterwards, compounding his negativity. ---I did not feel any connection to the teacher himself. ---The schedule of his teachings wasn't offering what I wanted to attend except for one event, but as it turned out, I was out of town for that on a previously planned trip. So, quite a bust. I didn't attend any of his teachings or rituals and didn't miss being there, either. But, it was disappointing. On the other hand, after a two-year hiatus due to my spiritual teacher's ill health and lack of availability, I finally got to speak with him a few weeks ago. It was hugely uplifting, helpful, inspiring, and wonderful. He made some recommendations that I am following, with great results already. I feel very fortunate to have this Buddhist lama as my teacher. I am also so grateful that his health has improved to the extent that he feels "great," and that he is accepting appointments with students for phone calls and visits, again. May all beings benefit.
I wouldn’t know cause I believe what is meant to be will be.
In 5778 I cannot recall any major overt spiritual experience. For much of 5778, I was distant from HaShem and had been compromising myself and living a life that I did not like. I believe my mental health struggles got in the way of feeling any kind of spirituality - religious or secular. I have found it incredibly difficult to look outside of myself and find joy, and also incredibly difficult to look inwards and to soul search to find out what was wrong with me. Since being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in June and receiving proper treatment I have found my spiritual health has been getting better. I can see clearly now and in retrospect I am thankful for the challenges I’ve faced in 5778 and coming to terms with that in itself has been a spiritual experience for me.
As some point in the last year, after returning to church one Sunday and finding very little solace there from the current social/cultural/political events, it occurred to me in a profound way that mindful awareness of the present moment has become my spiritual path. All we ever have is THIS MOMENT IN TIME to live a "good" life. Of course my Christian faith tradition informs what I consider to BE a "good life" but it no longer includes an exclusive profession of faith OR a belief in a heavenly reward. Loving your neighbor IS the reward in THIS life. The consequence for NOT doing this is not in the afterlife...in some hellish future place...but rather in the corrosion of social intimacy right here, right now.
Cette année je me suis remise sérieusement au yoga. Et ça a changé un peu ma vie. Je me renforce, je m’assouplis. Je suis apaisée, je me connais mieux et surtout je prends conscience de mon corps et de ses possibilités. Il faut que j’apprenne à mieux m’zn Occuper, mais je suis sur la bonne voix. Je commence enfin à me sentir pas trop mal, aussi grâce à ma perte de poids. Je me sens plus confiante dans tous les aspects de ma vie. C’est fou à quel point ça a un impact.
No. And I hate the term "spiritual". Maybe use the term "life-changing" or "emotional awakening" or something like that, but not spiritual. Have I had any big, life-changing revelations this year? Yes. Kinda. I've changed the way I view food. I've changed my relationship with food. It was a slow change, not a lightbulb moment. And it all revolved around me eating Keto.
I noticed energies in stones, and felt other presences outside the natural. I also fell in love with the moon, and danced and fucked and ran naked in her light, just absorbing the night into myself. That seems spiritual enough for me.
Sitting with Mom as she passed from this world. It was profound and a blessing to be there with her. I miss her in every way.
One thing that comes to mind is when my husband and I had the chance to go to Catalina Island for our anniversary. We rented snorkeling gear. About halfway through, we were surrounded by a huge school of seemingly never-ending anchovies. It was incredible. We were enveloped for about 10 minutes. We kept looking at each other in utter awe. It reminded me to slow down, to get into nature, and to pay attention. This was spiritual.
Not really. The most transformative experiences I’ve had were viewing the Obama portraits (his glows, hers is matte so it literally absorbs you) and the metaphysical experience of “turning the page” on the kid thing, with a Bruce as a conduit.
Protesting- the community, the art building, the joy, music, and palpable love between communities felt so spiritual - the human connections based on respect, and hard work for a better future for everyone. It's affected me by motivating me to take more action, to try to overcome my mental health setbacks in order to work together with others to imagine a joyful future. Also - attending a MLB game alone- being both a part of , and apart of the crowd for 3 hours, was mystical - feeling and observing alternately...
The only thing is I am losing a very dear old friend of over 50 years her name Monique B. So sad she suffered so much today Sept 13 she is being transferred to palliative care after spending 6 months hospitalized. I really prayed a lot for her.
What jumps to mind for me is Dad’s passing and the whole journey of metabolizing that loss. I remember the last hug I gave him and telling myself to remember the feel of his shoulder blade in my hand. I picture the photo of Mom and Dad in their last moment alone. I remember the memorial service as a joyous day and re-affirmation of all the best in Dad. I have felt him present with me through much of this year.
Nope. Unless you count being overtired and therefore overly emotional on the bimah during Rosh Hashanah services this year...
No, no spirituality... Just like last year
I attended Rosh Hoshanah services this year and last. The key phrase I pulled in 2017 was: lest each day be like the one before. The key phrases I pulled in 2018 were: Recall the loving deeds of our fathers and our mothers and bring redemption to their children's children, acting in love. May the hands of our brothers and sisters, who cherish the dust of the land, all of them, wherever they are--be strong. I was and am still grieving the death of my father (Sep 2016) and having become an orphan. I have lots of political issues still to work out with my family members, for I blame my father for having unleashed the demon from hell who currently claims to be Chief of State of the federal government. Half of my family is elated that that happened.
Standing at the edge of the Pacific at the end of 2017. That feeling of, "Ah, I made it."
I always feel recharged and uplifted after doing Torah and Tanach Study with friends, whether it's Shabbat morning at temple or over Skype with friends here and our friend down in S. Carolina. For me, that's one way I do spiritual. Often, I find uplifted and filled with joy hiking, observing nature and simply bearing witness to the gorgeous diversity of all creatures and living organisms from the smallest creature to the largest redwood tree. I am blown away by all of this. Who are we? Does the earth need us? No! Amazing.
Not really. I feel that I've gained some more calm in my life, which seems ironic, considering the past year has just been one of so much change. But maybe it's just not being at college and feeling so much pressure on a daily basis that has allowed me more introspection? I've really tried to spend more time considering that and trying to use reflections to positively impact my thoughts and outlook.
Removing my ego etc from parenting the various children has been very mind-expanding to me. Very zen, in a deliberate (not passive) way. To come closer to seeing my children as they are/could be is a gift.
I was in the hospital for observation and many tests a few months ago--sent there by my overzealous primary care physician who connected the dots of various symptoms I had reported in an alarming way. Was it a heart episode? Was it neurological? Had I experienced a mini-stroke? Was I at risk for any of the above? The spiritual portion was when the attending physician summarized all of the test results and told me I was all right. When I heard that, it was possible for me to stop feeling aggravated at having been put through this, and start feeling thankful.
Soul connecting with a particular individual had been a spiritual experience. To have a closeness, an intimicy, has been healing for my loneliness and sense of doom.
No spiritual although certainly love and a broken heart. Thinking you've found your person and knowing that we'd be great together but he's so broken that he can't love you. It's frustrating. I do htink a boken heart is spiritual.
Hmm, I’ve had a lot of new experiences this year though I don’t know if I could define any of them as “spiritual” per se. Maybe the closest thing that comes to mind is when I went to Hawaii in February and took a helicopter ride in Kauai. That was both scary and breath-taking and I couldn’t quite grasp the magnitude of what I was seeing. I think being in Kauai in general, and witnessing the wonderous view from the St. Regis in Princeville or the scenery on my hike to the Napali Coast, I just felt so connected to nature and had a strong urge to protect Mother Earth.
An orgasm! Need I say more?!
No and that is something that is missing from my life. I had a very solid yoga practice as my spiritual foundation for almost three years. I moved and it has fallen off of my priorities. I am looking for a spiritual home and a place to put my energy in that area. I have taken up a lot of political work, which does feed my soul...but it also further necessitates the yoga. LOL.
I think that I could say a spiritual experience this year has been myself finally understanding that the only expectations I have to meet are mine. Not the ones that I "think" others have of me or that society has for me. It is me being what I am.
Going to Recreate women's conference with my daughter. I felt really convicted about the need for constant prayer and connection with God.
Very recently I've been affected by the death of somebody I knew but brefly. A woman, young and brave killed in a road accident. Two months before she wrote about "things to do if i have only 6 months to live". She had even less. Her family have preserved her brain in a hope for resurrection. This is all very disturbing. Raises issues of human fragility, possibility of a sudden death and the "nothing done" in life. Not really spiritual but quite an invitation to sober up.
Sadly, I haven't. I feel that loss and lack of connection. I have searched but not found, and have tilted back into agnosticism and maybe atheism. I miss feeling connected to the Divine and yet I can't figure out how it could be or work.
Translating my great grandfather’s book felt like a religious ritual and in this year I finally felt good at it and ready to finish it in a way I hadn’t before and that did bring me a calmness and joy I associate with spirituality.
Last year my spouse and I made a commitment to do more cultural things in our community, to be more connected. From, concerts, art exhibits, health fairs, participated in hands on art projects, etc. we feel connected to each other, or community and others.
I hate to keep coming back to the wedding, but that's really where I felt the most alive this year. Just seeing how everyone came together and how happy everyone was really just made my heart incredibly happy. Even just having my dad be there with everybody and not causing trouble, like. Good in my heart.
When I meditate and do yoga, I feel something spiritual. I have begun doing this at least once a week and when I do I feel reenergized and energy flowing throughout my body.
Visit to psychic felt like a moment of inspired, active vulnerability. On a healing path. I hope to gain fresh qi.
Yarzheit Luka and I on the beach. He's off leash. I feel like I can rest because nobody is near. We are out of the way at the edge of the beach in the shade of a driftwood fort. He is beautiful and playful and relaxed. My heart is actually broken in a million pieces. Laced together with scars. This is my time to feel all the loss. My guts are wrenched and twisted and spilling out from below my ribs, pouring out of the bowl of my pelvis. The wind blows softly on my skin and the sun warms each spot I have not hidden in the shade of this fort. I can hear the soft, easy waves slide onto the shore. I smell seaweed rotting on the salty rocks. All manner of creatures are hidden from me under the Salish Sea. And the volcano looming on the horizon is invisible in air that is only smoke. I try to believe that I'm connected to everyone alive, like me, who is grieving. All of our needful roots tangled deep below the crust of the earth. Even though I feel like I'm clinging desperately to a wildly spinning surface. I try to remember that my loss shines from the top of my head just like everyone else's loss. We are stars covering the surface of the earth. And visible from the oblivion where our loved ones dwell. We are all seen from there. Their place is perhaps timeless? Perfect? Nothingness? Pure light? Are their surroundings colored by their time with us? I question and doubt all of this because I'm young, not just in years, but spiritually. My parents taught me to believe whatever I will, told me to find my own path to G*d as long as it was laid with love. I do know what a path of love looks like but my grief still hides my broken heart from the comfort of G*d.
Yes. I feel like every day I have a spiritual experience. The most prominent experiences is, being divinely guided to reconnect with my birth mother. We have been in contact for about fifteen years, but she was a private person so we only checked in via phone and email. We subsequently learned that she had lung cancer. I took care of her and was with her when she transitioned a day before my 45th birthday. As she began to labor for my birth 45 years prior, I was there as she labored and transitioned.
Just my times of quiet and reflection
I am from a Protestant tradition, and lighting candles for people, living or dead, is not part of how we do things. However, when I was in Europe this summer I did light candles in various cathedrals and churches for a family member about whom I was concerned. I was surprised at the emotional impact; it brought me to tears. I felt a strong connection that was somehow deeper than other times of praying for this person. The no-frills tradition I grew up in suits my pragmatic side, but I began to think we miss out on some of the mystery and value of rites that involve our physical sense rather than just mental exercises. For a moment, I was in a sweet spiritual "bubble" that blocked out everything else and gave me a sense of peace.
I have really have no particularily spiritual experiences, but... I was referrred by my oncologist to the prostate cancer center. I found our current treatment methods were not working and that alternative methods were needed. Long story short my PSA is below 0, my testosterone is below 10 and my blood is staving off the prostate cancer and in fact the one single spot of cancer I’d getting smaller... For that I thank God so... yeah in retrospect I had a pretty “heady” spiritual experience this past year...
(Re)Reading the Tao of Pooh while laid up this past fall, in an attempt to cultivate some zen while feeling trapped. And praying, truly praying for the health of my friend's baby as she underwent heart surgery. It's hard to be out of control.
This past March I celebrated my first abstinent birthday. Abstinence is what Overeaters Anonymous refers to when we stick to our food and action plans, eating properly and without the compulsive over and/or under eating habits that led us to seek recovery through the 12 steps of OA. I was fortunate enough to return to Los Angeles to Beit T'shuvah, where my journey toward recovery began. The tradition there is for people celebrating a sober birthday (from drugs, alcohol, gambling or other addictions) to be called to the bimah and share their story during a Kabbalat Shabbat service. Then all who are celebrating take a cake together. So we had four cakes with candles. My food plan accounts for me to have a dessert on Friday night, so I was able to have a small slice. It was amazing. But not as amazing as being in that community of addicts in recovery of all kinds and being welcomed as a member. And not as amazing as being embraced by the individuals in the room. And not as amazing as sharing the rest of that cake with people who understood what it meant and what I had accomplished and how far I have yet to go. And not as amazing as having Rabbi Mark Borovitz, Harriet Rossetto and Nicole Goodman as my friends and supporters.
There have been days, holding my mom’s hand or when I’m walking behind Afina while she skips or when Zahira rests her head against my shoulder that I have been filled with a such a sense of gratitude and love and joy. Those are fleeting moments, but they are the best parts. I wish I could hold onto time with both hands and my feet and perhaps my teeth to just halt time for a moment, to soak it in. Like the lyric from Les Miz: “To love another person is to see the face of God.”
Nothing spiritual happened this year.
Doing my first taharot with the chevreh kadisha was... I don't think I would call it "spiritual" only because of my general allergy to the word, but it has been so calming and centering and loving and wise.
I would say no. If I had to grab for one it would be the day after Victor's wedding, driving and running through southern california. I really like to explore completely unknown places.
The work with Strozzi and my own practice helped guide me more reliably to an embodied presence. Sensing, listening, moving, feeling, knowing; centered, held, entering, frozen, stuck, open and grounded. Curiosity, humility, excitement, fear, anger, love--what they feel like, what triggers me, how I come back to center.
I would love to say something like, standing on the foggy beach in Tofino with my new husband, as I threw my bouquet over my should and into the Pacific Ocean - magic happened. And, although that day was fun and special, it wasn't quite spiritual. I think for me, those spiritual moments happen in everyday life - laughing together while we brush our teeth, cuddling on the couch, dancing in the kitchen. Those are the moments when I remember "oh wow, life is amazing, and I am so, so lucky". I am truly blessed with an incredible life, more than I could have ever dreamed of, and for that I am thankful.
Anything I could call spiritual this last year was travel related. Some of the places I saw -- good and bad, natural and man-made -- definitely gave me a sense of awe. Awe was Prince Edward Sound near Greenland, silent except for the waves, with a backdrop of crags and glaciers and a few icebergs bobbing in the water. Awe was the gardens we saw in Kyoto, the statues in the Marble Mountain caves of Vietnam, the bubbling mud in Iceland. It was also, oddly, the Hiroshima Museum which so carefully presents an huge and horrendous incidence of genocide, including not just the overview map of the bomb landing, but also people's testimony in a video display, burned tricycles and toys of children, an eternal flame and a nuclear test countdown. What is it to be human? How do we establish ourselves in nature without destroying it or ourselves (or both)? Being in those places (as well as others) did lift me out of my quotidian life and provide me with a sense of something way bigger than me.
Same as last year. Not really a spiritual experience- more of a "finally I understand" experience. I finally understand that I am perfectly happy fiddling with my bees and chickens, working in the garden, socializing with friends, reading, and writing about subjects that interest or amuse me. Period. For some people, that may sound like too much. For me it's kind of regular- minus looking for a real job. I don't need the money- we have more than enough. I respect my time and how I choose to use it.
Again this year the spiritual component seems to be missing. There have been moments of deep appreciation for things in nature, but the sense of connection to something greater is still outside my reach.
In general, this has been a pretty secular year for me. I was fairly depressed for most of it, and felt like there wasn't much "magic." But I got to perform with some really wonderful people in Vancouver, got to do some really powerful artistic work, and felt like I had a community of artists again, and that made me feel really magical again. Like ASW, like the magic of camp that I had lost. Like there were people like me, who care about art in a special way, and could bond over that. I feel like an artist again.
Studying 1 Peter has REALLY been impactful for me this past year. I've had friends go through cancer, a friend going through a divorce, and this small passage of Scripture has really helped me ground myself in my faith. And respond with joy. and hope. and love.
The magic of running through the forest. It has given me a sense of peace.
I just recently decided to make Wednesday from noon-1:00 my time for "church", because that's when Women In Black vigils are held. When there isn't a vigil my plan for that time is to practice stillness, read poetry, walk outdoors, or _maybe_ work on a group volunteer project like Leaf cleaning. I don't know if me having a spiritual practice will make a difference to anyone but me, but it will make a difference to me.
Seeing some of the wonders of Yellowstone -- flora, fauna, and geographic -- gave me a sense of awe that I can honestly say was of a spiritual nature.
the night before yom kippur in israel -selihot at the kotel. packed like crazy. couldn't even get close to the kotel. but it was so beautiful and i really felt the unity of am yisrael. it was so intense and powerful. it put me in the right mindset to go into yom kippur with. yom yerushalayim- the streets were just packed with people dancing, playing music, and singing with such joy and passion. made me appreciate Israel so much, so happy to have it and that i had the privilege of living there for a whole year.
Experiencing shibari. Finding a meditative state in being bound. Rediscovering submission.
There's something special about the feeling I have when I shoot photos on my Rolleiflex, and a softer version of it when I receive the image back. It's a form of elation, proudness, and deep immersion into both the camera and the world. I really like that it makes me different than other photographers, especially my age, which is probably a bit selfish. But the combination of learning, experimenting, and waiting to see is exciting and inspiring.
Yes, I have realized that my faith is more important to me than I thought as it has kept me from marrying my long time boyfriend who has a different faith and wants me to alternate church going on Sundays. I said mass is non negotiable and now we’re stuck with 4 years together behind us and no plan to marry. The homosexuality scandal in the Church has prompted me to come closer to my Church after my scientific adventure where I questioned everything. I had been fighting for the concept of family and against gay propaganda outside but it turns out we had a wound within. It’s a wound that I want to heal. I see my Church as my family. And I’m starting by working on myself.
I thought I would have more while dating a cantor but that didn't happen. I did put on one of his kippas that was in his car once and felt something. I don't know how to describe it-an energy maybe-a presence. I liked how it felt. I wish I was comfortable putting one on around others, on shabbat. And this Rosh Hashanah, Danny's speech about how we have to fight and resist, was amazing. I was in a zone listening and wish I remembered more. But it made me cry and at the end, we gave him a standing ovation.
Year after year, this question offends me. *Every experience is spiritual. I am, after all, a spiritual being having a human experience. How does this affect me? Again, a ridiculous question. On the one hand, knowing myself as a spiritual being alters everything. On the other hand, nothing at all is changed, because nothing can be changed beyond what it naturally is. So many times in a given day, I am simply aware that Life is breathing through me. With this breath. And this one. And this one.
Yes! Not a week after joining my new community, I had people sharing stories of love, hope, loss, pain. Being present for them in their love and their tragedy has been an incredible spiritual experience.
I have focused attention to how I speak, how anger and outrage really affect me and others in its path.
I’ve begun a journey to minimalism. It’s liberating to get rid of things I don’t need and don’t use.
A 12 year old autistic girl with sensory issues and a complete stranger to me, came up to me, laid her head on my chest, and just hugged me tight. She didn’t say one word to me, just hugged me until her mom noticed she was gone and came up to us. Her mother was surprised to find us hugging because her daughter doesn’t like to be touched.
I felt more in touch with my artistic side but it's still not something that I devote enough time to or that resonates with me on a deep level. I feel uncomfortable in my environment right now. It doesn't speak to me of beauty or comfort or myself. I think being in a more beautiful, light, natural, me feeling space will make me feel more creative.
This isn't spiritual in the sense this questions means, but we have gotten more involved at church through the young adult group. Although we've always loved the Cathedral, one thing I missed was that feeling of knowing people and people knowing me like I had growing up at church. I felt like we were going, but there was no sense of belonging. Through the young adult group, I feel like people know us. We say hi to people at mass. The priests know us by name. We are slowly growing a church family.
I went to London and Edinburgh this year for my 50th birthday. It was my first time taking a trip that big--and the first time taking any trip alone. There were highs and lows during those 10 days, but there were a handful of moments that were almost overpowering in the sense of history and sacredness that I experienced: my first glimpse of Westminster Abbey; the moment I walked into the Abbey; some quiet, solo moments in St. Margaret's Chapel at Edinburgh Castle; the memorial to execution victims on Tower Green at The Tower of London; Temple Church in London; and St. John's Chapel in the Tower. I was also overawed by the the Tate Britain's 1840 room. I spent a lot of time standing in front of beautiful art that is so alive and powerful in person.
I was honored to be asked to join the Chevra Kadisha society. Doing tahara is like nothing else, so solemn, so sad, so affirming, so humbling. The absence of life with a still composed body is very, very difficult. I once came across a jumper from the 17th floor of a hotel in an alley way, and the strongest feeling I had was the absence of life in that alley. The stillness of death - - - -
My particular spiritual events were mostly over the summer, my favorite being going to Nauset beach, which is a beach in Cape Cod. The current is really strong with over 7 foot waves. I love it, and have been surfing there since I was 10. There was a little kid playing in the water, but the tide was changing. He ended up deeper then he could stand, and didn't have floaties or anything, and without a second thought, I swam over and picked him up and brought him to his mom. That was my spiritual experience.
Psychedelic awareness is seeping into my every. I feel increasingly connected and in tune with the world around me. Sex is becoming connected to place, my lovers' bodies dance as one with the landscape.
Hiking through the Andes and seeing Macchu Pichu was absolutely spiritual. It makes you feel so small and the structures themselves that are left make you feel like an entire city was built just to exalt in that smallness and connection to something grander.
I got to go to the Kotel with my friends. It really affected me because I got to pray and be in the holiest land with all my closest friends. I really got to feel a connection.
During the course of the year we witnessed the total solar eclipse as well as a very close lightning strike on our land that started a small fire and exploded a tree. It came to me that our lives had been defined by eclipses and lightning strikes - events that we can see coming for a long time, where we just stand still and the universe turns around us (eclipses) like Phyllis reaching the end of her life; and lightning strikes like my cancer diagnosis and Keith's cancer diagnosis, which seem like bolts out of the blue but actually happen all around us all the time. I felt a huge sense of spiritual relief in surrendering to these grand, broad ways of defining the moments of our lives as things totally out of my control and inevitable - everything changes, and yet nothing changes but my perspective.
Nothing I'd call remarkable or out of the ordinary. I have learned over the years that spiritual experiences come to me most often in nature - whether sitting in my own little backyard oasis, or hiking our nearby woods on the aptly named Sanctuary Trail. To be in nature is a reminder of my place in the world, a reassurance that can dispel, for a time, my mistaken belief that the world rests on my shoulders. Instead, I relearn -- with every step on the wooded path, every kiss of the waterfall spray, every scent of the deep forest -- that a power more ancient and grounded and enduring is in charge. And I am thankful, and at peace.
More meditation. I started 'Centering Prayer'. I'm reading the Bible most days. I'm still agnostic, but Christianity is a path I admire, and in my own small way, try to follow. And along the way I meet others who have this same 'I don't know what it is, or what it's called, or why it calls me, but I am called.' Knowing myself, I could be analytical about this. But that goes against the spirit of what I am doing so I'll stop right here.
It could probably be said that beginning the hard journey toward self-recovery through my trauma work and gender identity has been spiritual in nature. Reconnecting with that authentic self has given rise to a profound feeling of connection with the universe as a whole. Recognizing that the self that I am is both real and part of the larger scheme of things has been one of the more motivating factors towards my continuation of this work. To understand that G-d is experiencing the world through this creation that is me has given me the ability to see at least a glimmer of merit to my existence. To see that I am a part of G-d as much as anything by virtue of my living more authentically wasn't facilitated by any particularly spiritually-based means, but my therapist has been instrumental in this. For that I will be forever grateful.
No. This is always a hard question for me. I suppose I can answer this in the inverse. I struggle with not being a part of a religious community. I have tangential associations but Ari and I do not go anywhere regularly and that bothers me. I need us to have a community. I have told him it's not fair to either us, he can't be my entire Jewish community, and that's true. This is what we need to work on. Also, if we are to be married, I need a mikvah. In an ideal world we'd belong to a community that operated one but around here they're probably all more frum than we'd care to belong to. We shall see.
I always cry in yoga when I hear a specific chant. I dont know what its called but I love it and it touches me so deeply, especially when a group of strangers join their voices and sing it - its so beautiful and im not exactly sure the feeling it gives me, except that it brings me to tears every time.
I don't feel a lot of spiritualism, even secularly. I suppose I get closest when I'm in nature, or experiencing exceptionally good music. Recently I took my partner to a redwood grove in California. I grew up visiting redwoods often, and they bring back a lot of great memories on top of being so beautiful and peaceful. I was glad to have the opportunity to share that with someone I love.
Being in the desert in Israel for an extended period of time and truly reflecting on it was super spiritual for me this past summer.
I have learned that the art of letting go is not an easy thing to accomplish, but is needed to grow. It has been a long time since I have let go of harsh and dangerous memories and held grudges against people because of something I did to make a situation not the best. Through therapy and the change in jobs, I have learned that it is good to let thoughts, feelings, items go. Working for a group that their whole premise was to build something just to destroy it resonates with me so deeply. It really struck a chord the last few months working on projects and seeing how everyone gets so excited just to burn down their art at the end of a week of people enjoying it. Finally letting go of my Mom's ashes was so hard. It was sent off a great place though. Hopefully I will keep my heart and mind open when it comes to learning to let go. It has been a hard thing to do when your mind wants you to control every little thing.
Blowing the shofar at the Rosh Hashanah children's service was particularly meaningful this year. In addition to the "regular" shofar service, my rabbi asked me to "surprise" the children by blowing the shofar as he was telling a story. The looks on those little faces were just priceless, and absolutely touched my heart.
Switching from CEA-HOW to OA has been quite profound, and finding the perfect sponsor has been heaven-sent. I learn from her and from others in program that I can take good and bad and diet out of the equation. I know that this extra weight will come off before too long. Seeing the brief movie about Georgia O'Keefe - what a great spirit she was and knew she had to live as herself. Inspiring. Working with Reggie in her Intimate group has been an amazing experience. I so want to follow the masculine/head, but when I open up, my whole life gets richer. Letting go of Feisty & Fearless was a spiritual experience because I felt I had been guided to. The past life regression sessions were perhaps the most profound. I saw that I had a beautiful life with Barry in a previous life, and I saw that my last life was so bad that I had been gifted with this one. I also got to experience my guides, and my mother's love from the other side.
Last year my spiritual experience was with atheist camp, and I participated in that again this year, with much the same effect. This year I was assistant director, which held different challenges, but was similarly transformative. This year, through conversations on the picket line during our strike, and rallies to support one another, I am revitalized in my chosen career as a teacher. This year will be hard. We are coming back from starting over a week late, I have to build all my relationships with students from scratch, but I am hopeful and determined to live my values and my principles, and the reasons why I joined this profession.
When I am troubled, I ask the tarot cards questions. I use a computerized, random number generator to draw my cards, & a book for interpretations. I always get reassuring answers. Most recently, I asked about the situation with my roommate. It's all good! (in spite of a few challenges)
I feel closer to grams Everytime I cook her meals or use her things. I broke down and cried when the TV she left me for got smashed, I felt like she's taking me it's time. It's time for a bigger TV for myself in my new big condo in Florida now.
I attended a spiritual retreat with my cousin. We became closer and I have continued many of the new spiritual practices I learned. I meditate daily now and am more able to stay in the moment.
I've experienced many incidences of synchronicity which I see as very spiritual in nature. I feel my connection to Zen Painting is also quite spiritual; and some of the spaces I find myself in give me a feeling of spirituality.
my spiritual evolution this past year has plateaued. not surprisingly I have had few memorable spiritual experiences. the occasional connection does occur and when I manage a decent mindful prayer I see the answer almost instantly. dad has been trying tot ell me something but I can't grasp it and I am not trying very hard. my lack of spiritual progress comes from laziness avoidance and a lack of discipline. Perhaps it is exactly what I need right now?
Yes, I was going through a rough time & asked for prayers from a prayer group in which I'm involved. It was late & I was crying, just feeling down trodden. I could literally feel the power of the prayers kicking in for me. I had a thought come to mind, I didn't have hope in the darkness, but warriors. I shared that thought with them. Two days later I found a song from Lauren Daigle called Rescue & she sings about the warriors fighting the darkness for you! It was complete confirmation of what I was feeling in those moments. Her song This Girl came on after & it solidified my strength to fight was never going to go away, I just need help to fight sometimes!
I can't say if I've had a spiritual experience this year. At least not in the sense of the word. However the only 2 things that come to mind is my mikveh and when I drape the the tallit over my head. At my mikveh I felt renewed. I didn't see anything crazy other than feeling different after each immersion. I felt calm and at ease. As for the tallit draped over my head, I perform this at the start of me wearing my tallit for services. It helps me set the tone of why I am here today.
Doing taharot. A big reminder on valuing life, trying to respond and not react, to choose my words, and remember we are all going to die and we are all made in G-d’s image. I can be an impatient, annoyed person. One woman had such vitality strength and presence on that table. It was remarkable, her energy, even as she was deceased. All the meitahs and niftarah’s had a presence. You could feel the person's Soul in the room. You could feel everyone’s presence from the Chevrah team doing the taharot. We were in G-d’s presence.
When I stopped drinking, I felt a huge weight off of my shoulders. Of course, I was challenged along the way when going to nightclubs, but I overcame those challenges. It has been incredibly uplifting to know that nothing bad has happened this past year since I stopped drinking. "bad" things still happen once in a while, but it's no longer alcohol-related. I also found a sense of serenity when I began to paint. I should be doing more productive hobbies to keep me spiritually fulfilled, like art and writing. I also had a spiritual experience when I flew from Moscow back to California. When the plane took off, I knew that I had to say goodbye to an old part of my life that I had lived for the past 2 years in Russia. I even had tears in my eyes. When the plane finally landed in San Francisco, I also cried a few tears, knowing that I was "back home" and starting a new chapter in my life. Overall, I felt most spiritual with the painting activities. I look forward to paint some more in the future.
I was asked to give card readings to a number of the staff of a youth hostel in New Zealand. As I read person after person, a deep connection grew and grew. As we were leaving the retreat, the camp host, a Maori leader, gave me a bone necklace. It was a symbol of family and friendship and said it had been blessed by their elder. I was so honored to be in service to all of them.
I spent a whole week dancing 5 Rhythms in the Yorkshire Dales on the theme of Spirit. It was an incredible experience and I am still experiencing the fallout from that. It re-centred me and helped me to get my life back on track in very practical ways, rather than in an airy fairy spaced out way.
I think I am not so spiritual. Artistic experience, yes. I was very kindly invited to a dance practice that was very special.
There was a moment this year when I was walking back from some event and I remember thinking to myself "when I cross this street, I'm leaving God on this side of the pavement" and I walked away. Physically, mentally, and emotionally from the fear-monger creation of a higher being that I had been taught. I was never without some Higher Power, I always call that power God- but what that higher power looks like/who they are has always changed. In July, when I took my first SoulCycle class I remember feeling alive. Really truly alive for the first time in such a long time. I felt like I was breathing for the first time. Walking out of the SoulCycle studio that day I remember feeling so strongly that I may not know exactly who God is or what God is, but God was in that studio. That class- that energy- that love & magic as Janet would call it, that was the God I craved to know more of. And I haven't really looked back since, I need soul. The spiritual practice of sweating it out with my tribe. The affirmations, the peace that comes from knowing that once I step into the studio I do not have to be in control anymore. I can trust my instructor- the act of having a safe space where I can let myself trust someone- it has been life changing. I can never go back to who I was before, that girl is gone. She was a hardened, lost shell of a girl. For the first time since I lost my sisters, my home, my life- I feel like me. I didn't even know there was a me to miss, or be disconnected from. And now, with SoulCycle balancing me out, I am happier, healthier, and all around more me.
There was a moment when we were watching the effigy burn at Hyperborea where I understood how something like that can bring people together. The sense of community created by witnessing something so brutal and spectacular was incredible.
I don't think I've experienced anything very spiritual this last year. I guess Larry & my trip to the Phoenix Art Museum was probably the closest thing as it kind of reinvigorated my interest in photography. I've finally been motivated to get through some of the photography courses/books I've bought & really get to doing something with my photos.
There have been all sorts of spiritual moments. While I know they're there, they get caught in the hustle and bustle of life, fading into the fabric of my year. I can't quite see them or describe them, but they are the mesh that supports me.
I haven't had a truly spiritual experience since I was in my 20s. There are some moments of quiet contemplation, but as a general rule my life remains largely mundane. It makes me wonder if this coming year might be a good year to try and do the Spiritual Exercises again, though I have no idea whether that would result in a spiritual experience or just the clear and calm reflection I've had in the past. Given how my life works, I'm not sure I miss it.
The only thing that stands out at this moment is recognizing that I do have a deep faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus. I am noticing that in all the little things that I do and say throughout my day, everything is tied to my relationship with Christ. My worldview is through a lens that Christ died for our salvation. Even when things don’t go as planned and some things go like clockwork, or I mess up, I am always drawn back to the comfort and knowledge of who Christ is and that he is working in me for his glory and for my betterment.
Yes; one recent one was the “ thrill” I got while leading Schacharis one Shabbas, when I felt the entire congregation with me.
My Answer Last Year: still the same My experience of life in general is spiritual. I have the sense and the experience that all of us are existing on several layers of consciousness simultaneously.
This Easter I attended the vigil service, accompanying the two people who went through RCIA. Easter has always been really problematic for me because I just don’t believe the raised from the dead thing really happened. But I love the shift in seasons, the intentionality of lent and the supreme sadness of Holy Week leading up to the Triduum. The church was dark and the reading started with Genesis. Story after story of enlightenment accompany the lightening of the physical church space. Seeing Nani change from the drab robe that Michael had her wear to the bright white robes felt like a true rebirth and celebration of newness accompanying life. We carry ourselves though the world, adding experiences and perspectives and doing our best to shrug off negative habits. It was a beautiful night.
I went to Rosh Hashanah services for the first time ever, and that was really really affirming and good; I got chills listening to people singing the prayers together and hearing distinctly Jewish music and distinctly Jewish harmonies. I was surprised and relieved by my ability to sing along to melodies I haven't done before, and I could stammer through the words okay (especially because this congregation transliterates the Hebrew, thank God Himself). It felt *right* in an affirming and secure way to have Hebrew on my lips.
I have been meditating daily + CWG 1-2x/day for 83 days.
Two things come to mind. My 2nd trek down into the Grand Canyon had me and my two friends contemplating the forces of geology and how things can develop over millions of years. We were in awe of Royal Arch and Elves Chasm and the mesmerizing beauty and solitude we found. The other thing is the joyful experience of live music performed by an 18 year old young man from England, the Cantor at my synagogue, and a DJ from my favorite radio station. They all played music that made you want to sing, dance, and hug the person next to you.
I went to a psychic, and, unfortunately, he told me that my mother did not feel that she had anything to apologize for, although she had terrorized both me and my older sister for years. This left me confused and angry.
In an attempt to feel less like a toxic waste dump on the inside, I have attempted to start meditating. My goal approximately 10 minutes in the morning before work. The jury is still out but I do occasionally notice myself appreciating and seeking moments of silence a bit more. It also may be helping me to let pass a bit more easily some of the thoughts that I don't need to hang on to. I am reading Alan Lew's book regarding preparing for the High Holidays and finding it somewhat complimentary to the meditation. I had a good talk with a friend this year about her own mental struggles. I'm impressed with the progress she has made and the clarity, honesty, and lack of judgement with which she can speak about her battle and depression in general.
I have a deep religious commitment and a simultaneous mistrust of institutions and of dogma. Since moving back to California, I have felt spiritually adrift and recognize a need for like minded community. On Sunday I am going to join a local group at the riverside who will gather to perform Tashlich, a ritual that has always been a solitary reflection for me. We will see how it goes.
One morning during a meditation I genuinely felt a physical connection to what felt like everything, to the point that I felt earthquakes many miles away, and the earth vibrating. Now that I’m recalling this it gives me a sense of true comfort and of belonging.
I've had major moments of clarity & stepping back: realizing how insignificant things are, how little the stressors matter in the long run, and how much more to life there is than the little bubble that we can all create when we get too caught up in work. Whether that constitutes spiritual or not I don't know. But culturally, it required stepping away from the "norm" of burning each end of a candle and taking care of oneself.
We have a music box in our house, and my late husband would play it to help our daughter sleep. Every now and again, when we could use a hug from my husband, it will play a few notes. There's probably a scientific reason it plays, but I like to say that it's a hug from heaven.
Not really, other than feeling deeply attuned to my children and immensely tied to their emotional states. I'm extremely active in our church but my involvement there has gotten so "busy" that it feels like I can't unwind there. I need more spirituality in my life.
I made a meditation with my former boyfriend, watching for a long a candle. When i closed and re-opened my eyes i saw that his aura was very little, clouded green and red (and that is not a good colour)... and thought to myself... maybe he is not a good guy.
I had my first congregant conversation with my Rabbi, who has since retired from the Synagogue she founded - I been attending services for 9 years and been a member for 3, both of which are highly unusual for me. I approached her before her retirement to ask her to bear witness to the suffering I am experiencing around the end of my marriage, and for any suggestions she might have for how I could lean on Jewish ritual or tradition to mark and process that loss and my divorce. She reminded me of the practice of hitbodedut as one way to let go and move through - I have used it a few times and find it to be a powerful tool.
Do not get me started!! Spiritual experiences are ruining my life. Ok well, that is an overstatement, but the more I learn about Judaism, the more strongly it calls to me. From an interview with a rabbi, to a course 'just to learn more about other religions', then a whole year of study later, I'm reading the JPS version of the Torah and wondering if I can study Biblical Hebrew so I can read Torah and Talmud... marking Rosh Hashanah in my own way, as evinced by the Q10... but what's a gentile in a city with no synagogue, in a country with barely any Jews, to do?? Especially if she's in a committed relationship with a non-Jew already? This predicament feels ridiculous, painful, hilarious, and wonderful. I do not know where it will go. I have also to record observing the wonderful Buddhist monks in Japan we stayed with, their morning ritual, and the monk who stayed after to talk to us through a translator. Such wonderful kindness and compassion for all humanity, I will never forget it, & his eagerness to reassure us that no-one needs to change religion in order to learn the Buddhist lessons of peace. It seems me that there is one god, who is god of the whole world, who has given each tradition one bit of wonderful wisdom to share so that together we can make the world whole. & I want to find my home in one of these traditions, so I can do my bit, but I still haven't found what I'm looking for.
I have been becoming closer to g-d.
Huh. "Spiritual" is a word that has always rubbed me the wrong way. I'd prefer to think of the kind of experiences I suppose to the question to be describing as moments of wonder- realizing, for a brief flash- that the dimensions of the world exceed your ability to conceptualize them. And sure, I've had those moments. Not as many as I'd like- I suspect they are more consistently available to me than I experience, and that if I paid attention, I would catch more of them. The wonders are both small and voluminous: feeling the heart of your baby beat against your chest, running for the first time after childbirth, remembering to raise the blinds to catch the sunset.
I'm finding artistic expression particularly in religious-oriented designs, from a pen/ink/marker chai filled with all sorts of living things to words written in calligraphy and illustrated with scenes related to their meaning. Earlier this month I had a single student show up to my cupcake class. At the start of class, neither of us realized how important the techniques we went over would be for her being able to make the cupcakes for her friend's engagement party that weekend.
I began studying Stoic philosophy and working to apply these principles to my daily life. I feel like Stoicism has helped me acknowledge that ‘the world does not revolve around me’ and to streamline my perspective when I feel overwhelmed. Interestingly enough, I had already started choosing to focus on the present and what I could control before I learned more about Stoicism. I am working to do and be more like the Stoics and keep my emotions under wraps. I have really gained a lot by listening to Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday, as well as Jocko Willink, Joe Rogan and a few others.
I would say my trip to Hawaii was spiritual in that I went a lone and did a lot of things for the first time. Doing that scary hike on the Moanalua Middle Ridge which had a lot of vertical climbing with ropes in the wind and rain and seeing all these beautiful shrubs and flowers that tenaciously survive. The world is stunningly beautiful and it's very moving to be able to recognize that even when I'm feeling conflicting emotions like fear and disgust and pain.
I started working a 12-step program (al anon) and for the first time in my life found a god of my understanding. I'm amazed at how I can truly feel this connection, one that my whole life I scoffed at because I didn't think it was safe to trust. And now, day by day, it grows stronger and more real. I also felt a deep spiritual experience at a meditation retreat at Tassajara, a zen Buddhist monastery in the most beautiful spot in Carmel. Sitting in the bathhouse, looking at the stars, breathing in the nature it was impossible to deny that there is more out there.
I don't know that I'd describe it as "spiritual," but any time I've had a particularly bad outcome with a patient, I get pretty shaken. I've never been especially religious (minus that immediate post-Bat Mitzvah period when I tortured my family with insisting on a nearly-kosher diet), but events like that leave you searching for some sort of higher meaning or being. I'm in a high-mortality field - our patients are sick to start, they often get sicker, they often haven't cared for themselves, but they are ours and they are people who have lived full lives and have incredible families and it just makes you feel so fortunate to have played a role, however small, and however guilty you may feel when the outcome isn't quite what you wanted. But it's the life we chose.
I watched Hamilton and realized I'm not taking advantage enough of the "cultural" events available in my city.
Yes! When I’ve followed Gabrielle Bernstein’s books and guidance, I’ve discovered substantial positive changes in my life. I’m missing yoga though, and look forward to bringing it back to my life.
I am surprised at how comfortable the idea of "I no longer identify as Roman Catholic" feels even though the estrangement from formal Catholicism has been ongoing for several years. I still enjoy and benefit from prayer, reading and thinking about what it means to believe in God. My foundational thoughts remain highly influenced by lifelong Christian formation and practice. My sojourn into Judaism continues but not as actively. Oddly, I am satisfied by the curiosity the exploration of ideas.
I went to Whistler, BC, Canada for a conference and there was a moment when I had what I call a "golden moment." In that moment, I listen to the sounds, play some music, close my eyes, open them to catch the rays of sun reflecting through the trees, on water, feel the heat of the sun, hear the people around me, smell the forest, hear the water rushing through the creek and just paint a full immersive picture that I can remember in my head indefinitely. There are plenty of times I may have been at services or been spiritual, but these "golden moments" are different. They are the most mindful of moments. And they make me feel like I'm connected to something bigger than myself.
I am creating art again. When it comes out of me and onto the paper, it is a magical, spiritual experience. I need much, much more of this.
No, not really. This year has been lacking in spiritual experience, unfortunately.
My father's presence has been very pronounced and quite joyful this year. The swallowtail butterfly is his spirit and he has been here often. Shannon B, found a perfectly preserved butterfly - I wonder why he is with me so much this year more so than any other? 42 years ago he left his earthly body and know he has always been with me - but I generally don't see or feel his presence. I guess I need him now more that ever as I continue to refine my early being as well. The universe is speaking to me in many different ways and I am trying to listen. Hiking early in the year crossed through a portal that I could very physically feel - vibrations and change of temperature were obvious and chilling in a welcome way - the group I was hiking with was open and felt it too - the idea of parallel universes is so appealing to me - and I wait with anticipation for when the continue to reveal themselves and I know that is a nod that I am shifting and changing for the better in my earthly being! Proud of the journey and looking forward to what comes next!
The time when I feel most spiritually connected to the world is when I am out in nature. We have been so busy this year, we haven't made as much time as I would like to be outside, but when we take hikes in the woods, that is the time I feel most spiritually satisfied. It provides me with a connection to the flora and fauna and reminds me that humans are just one part of the earth, and not necessarily the most important part. It also makes me feel a connection to my father, whom I miss greatly, when I walk in the woods.
yeah, the yoga, of course. i already mentioned this previously and don’t wanna go much in detail, but yeeeaaahhhh, i even tend to think in yoga terms now (my energetic body, everyone!!). i love to find what feels good for me and i think that is such a beautiful mantra for self-love. yoga is therapy for me, a great way to move and so much more, BUT! i’m still learning, and even doing yoga almost every day for the past 4-5 months, it still tends to be challenging to find my breath, focus my mind and to slow down. it’s a process and i love it.
I feel a spiritual strengthening from the readings I have done and the conversations I have had with someone very important to me.
I can't say that I've had anything that I might classify as "particularly spiritual" experiences in the past year. I have been blessed to be able to do some traveling, and as I survey the landscapes (the mountains of Whistler and kayaking her rivers this past month) brought a sense of awe and thanksgiving for God's creation as did the overwhelming beauty and vivid color of the Butchart Gardens. I see God in a particularly awe-inspired sunset. Although it's been more than a year, I remember driving down the hill from Virginia City one day after preaching and hearing the voice or nudge of God as I began to feel the call to a possible pastorate in that place, which I am now fulfilling. I have felt the hand of God as I have negotiated both prayerfully and practically the possibility of retiring from teaching to move into this new (re-newed) vocation. And I guess, not just this past year, but every time I have the privilege of presiding at the communion table, and breaking the bread, and looking into the eyes of those sharing the body of Christ, I have a spiritual experience, I feel complete. So for not having had any particular spiritual experiences this past year, I sure managed to write a lot.
I have really enjoyed attending silent retreats this year. I find it helpful to set aside time for myself and enjoy the beautiful grounds. It is a christian retreat center but they are very welcoming. I have attended on the worst of days and during beautiful times when I was able to really get in touch with myself. I am grateful for those experiences.
I have once again felt Spirit moving in my life, supporting me, reminding me of Her presence, directing me (when I am willing to listen), and holding me tight when I'm coming apart from the inside. It hasn't been one specific moment or activity or "thing" just 12 months of feeling inexplicably safe in the face of all the winds and weather.
Not particularly, though I do think I have a greater understanding of the meaninglessness of it all than most. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in that negativity, and I try to find ways to appreciate the beauty in life, the wonderful things that people can choose to do to help one another, and the contributions we can make.
Yoga is something I've picked up with regularity over the past year. It's been helpful to calm down on Sundays and is otherwise beneficial given my poor flexibility. I like the feeling of silence and not wanting look at my phone or speak that lingers after a practice.
Becoming more involved in my meditation practice has helped to keep me grounded, as well as allowing me to better confront the various emotions I've expereicned this year. The sense of calm and space it gives me is priceless.
Nothing spiritual to report. I do have a lot of crazy dreams, and sometimes they feel very real. I particularly cherish dreams about my grandparents. I write down most of my dreams, and have many hundreds written in notebooks or in an electronic format. I'm waiting for the day that I find a use for all of my dreams!
I think my favorite spiritual experience was the week I spent studying at Isabella Freedman studying in an Aleph program. That week was perfectly timed with some bad stuff happening in my life and it lifted me up to be with such spiritually minded people in such a beautiful surrounding. Really turned my mind around and gave me hope. In particular, there were some magical praying moments and some wonderful walks alone and with a friend.
I have felt deeply touched by events both good and bad and how my inner circle has supported and cherished me.
The closest thing to this was probably giving birth. I don’t remember much of it and it was other worldly. It made me realize that there is always life, except when there isn’t.
Being involved with a meditation retreat this year was an extremely important experience for me. I was face with struggles I didn't expect and was met with everything I needed from the teachers and my meditation practice. As part of the experience, I began to see how a new Jewish identity could meld with my insight meditation/dharma-centered beliefs and was able to feel my spirituality start to take new form.
The veil was lifted on my 40th Birthday. I’ve experienced a succession of spiritual experiences that have affected my entire way of living life. When I realized that I love myself, I started seeing everyone as they are in spirit. This was the catalyst for conversation with my good friend whom I fell in love with in this light. In some ways it seems that I’ve “leveled up” in a place of stillness and peace in preparation for whatever spiritual awakenings are incubating. I’m so blessed and look forward to all of the amazing spiritual experiences ahead.
I have had a wonderful time getting to know more about refugees from all over the world. It is sometimes heartbreakingly sad, but to see joy and see people thriving after so much suffering can be very heartwarming. I am so privileged to have been giving the opportunity to have met so many amazing people this year.
This last year I have been able to play my saxophone for my church congregation. I started playing around Christmas time in 2017 and thanks to the encouragement of the music director, I have agreed to play for more and more services. I don't usually attend church, but the services where I get to share my passion for music have been some of the best. Growing up in the Lutheran church, I have been taught that any kind of musical performance is supposed to be in the name of worship and that musicians play for the glory of God rather than for the congregation. I have played every service with this mindset and I am constantly surprised when the congregation applauds after my performance. Since I am so busy with grad school, work, and trying to maintain a social life, I have very little time or opportunities to play my saxophone. I have recently purchased a tenor saxophone to accompany my the alto I already had just for a diverse range of music I can play. I don't usually practice/perform at home, so my family doesn't usually get to hear me play as much, but at the services where I do get to play, they feel proud and I am so happy to share that time with them.
I dunno. I learned how to code. It's an act of creation. It is filled with mystery and beauty. It's a good remind of how powerful people are.
A near-death experience -- I almost choked to death on a sip of water. Myasthenia Gravis makes it difficult for me to swallow and I aspirated the water into my lungs. Had it not been for my husband's quick actions I do not think I would have made it. Twice, I just felt like giving up but he would not let me. This caused me to do a lot of soul-searching and reflective thinking about where I have been, what I have done, what kind of legacy I leave. I've felt the need to become more prayerful, more meditative, more grateful. So in that sense, my spirituality has been rekindled.
Not really. I worry consistently that my spirituality is dead, or at least muted. I think the closest I have come is the beautiful shivers I experience during a moving and meaningful yoga class, led by a spectacular teacher, or when connecting and really understanding or feeling understood by a friend and loved one.
I go to my year-long change in my eating style. By doing it all so differently and so much more consciously, I've changed my worldview about discipline and inner strength.
This really has not felt like a spiritual year. Today was actually one of the more spiritual moments speaking at the fall for a colleague who just recently died. It was a reminder of how precious life can be and what a difference each person we come in contact with can make our lives better or worse.
I have read a new book called Start Where you Are which has affected me greatly. I am still trying to process it, but I hope it will change my behaviour and attitude moving forward. It speaks about compassion and mindfulness. I think it has already helped me be ore mindful and present.
I saw the film: Won't You Be My Neighbor, about Mr. Rogers. While that was not my "spiritual experience" I would say that realizing that maybe, just maybe, Mr. Rogers has secretly always been my hero, was perhaps something like a spiritual experience. I think his kindness and role modeling made a huge difference in my life and well being and shaped who I am today to some not insignificant degree.
This the first year in a long time that I cannot recall a spiritual experience. Now I am worried about what that bodes for the future.
I am not sure if it can be spiritual. It has been a year of change, I went to Vietnam last November and it was my first trip outside the EU, and my very first trip to Asia. I was stunned by the things I had only seen in pictures. Then I had the possibility to go to Japan in July (but I would have preferred not to, since it was meant to be my sister's honeymoon, but since she split up with the guy a week before the wedding, we all needed some decompression). I also had to go through grief, and despair, and sadness. But I am also filled with hope, because it looks like a lot of things are being slowly solved, and I am sure that, by next year, everything will be at least a bit better. This time next year I will have a lovely nephew!
I don't believe in G-d. My spiritual journey this year has led me to being comfortable in stating this and knowing it's true for me and always has been. From as long as I can remember I have felt the pressure to believe in G-d, to have a religious life, to have a religious family, to be a devout person. My dad was especially one to make me feel guilt for not having these attitudes and beliefs ingrained within myself. This non-belief did not happen overnight, nor was it a result of just one year passing. This has been a life-long and arduous journey for me. It has been based on the experiences of my life and seeing the atrocities that have been a part of this world before and leading up to and through my time on this planet. I don't believe in G-d. This, to me, is an empowering statement and it defines who and what I am. A part of the empowering within myself to this statement has been with the power of women through the #metoo movement. As a child my mother was physically and emotionally abusive and neglectful. My sister (my only sibling who was also abused) and I were primarily raised by her adoptive mother as my mother would be absent for extended periods of time with various "uncles" or on a drug/alcohol binge. When I was still young my mother remarried a man who was sexually abusive. She knew of the abuse. I know this on two levels, one was that my step-father informed me I was to have his son for him under permission from my mother (he was never one to lie to me) and two was my mother point-blank asked me a few times and I was always unable to verbalize a yes but would cry instead. She never stopped this abuse and though I miscarried his child he was able to get out of any convictions due in part to my mother's testimony that I was a sexually promiscuous child (this took place between ages 8 and 14 mind you) and was known to masturbate with tampons (this was her court testimony in the transcripts of the hearings). I didn't talk to her from the time I left her home at age 14 until the age of 28 when my first marriage was falling apart and my mother admitted to the abuse. I, at that time, said we could work on building a friendship. Last year my dad passed away and my mother began to state that the abuse I remembered from childhood was abuse from my father, not her and her spouse, and that she was an ever present and ever loving mother who would die rather than ever have seen me or my sister harmed. She went back into living her LIE for what ever reason and I did not need that toxicity in my life so, this past mother's day, I let go of that relationship and the dream of ever having a mother. With this death of my dad and mother, being an orphan (even though I'm in my later 30s) I felt a bit more of the pressure to believe coming from the loss. The pressure depressed me because my conviction and belief that there is no G-d contradicted one another within me. I had tried time and again to have faith and believe, but I simply don't and I can't - too much evil exists in humanity for there to be an omnipotent omnipresent being who can stop this but choses not to - no! A deity with such power to stop atrocities but doesn't. No! Therefore I don't believe in G-d. I still consider myself Jewish. I still observe the High Holy Days, the minor holidays, and the changing of the seasons that come along with those days. I feel comfortable with my devotion to my heritage and culture. I am finally at peace, spiritually, by accepting this about myself. It's who and what I am. I have morals, values, and beliefs that we can hold humanity to be a better version of ourselves. I believe that people with or without religion or spirituality can be good, just as they can be evil. I've gone down a long road within this past year and this has been my spiritual awakening to the truth of me and my non-belief in G-d.
I have always had small spiritual experiences every day. Watching the sunsets over the ocean has been particularly memorable. My life has been so chaotic this year that I haven't had much time to slow down and to really feel inspired like I have in years past. I am spread too thin. Hopefully this will improve in the coming year.
I experienced quite a few spiritual experiences surrounding my dad's decline and approaching death. Specifically I felt God spoke directly to me through songs on the radio. I prayed a lot when my dad was in the hospital at the end of his life, and I felt very confident that God listened and immediately answered my prayers. It was a very comforting feeling.
Reading Michael Twitty's book on the African roots of southern cuisine, made me aware of slavery in a new way. It ties in with the Black Lives Matter and Charlottesville white nationalist skirmish to make me more aware of the unresolved racial discrimination that is still a reality today. What I haven't figured out is how I can make a difference in this arena.
While it is wrong to force belief on others, it is not wrong to admit and share your own thoughts on anything. I have held my tongue about almost everything in my head for most of my life because I once troubled someone I loved deeply and I was rejected by two important people for sharing my true feelings (M and R) in my early and late teens respectively. I came to believe my powers of influence and persuasion had been used to evil, though truly unconsciously, and I felt that others simply would rather not know about my thoughts because it added to their burden. In order to avoid that, I stopped sharing. At first I thought perhaps if I put it out there to no one in particular and someone still came to me, then that meant they were agreeing to deal with me. But no one came and then with David I learned that he was not one to handle such things. And so I became silent. And each time I have tried to share a truth about my inner workings, I have been promptly abandoned. And yet I see now that while perhaps I should not share my self, I should have shared my opinions on other matters because my influence was/is great and I could have helped others whose suffering comes from gaping feelings of doubt and uncertainty. I try now and I will continue to try, but we shall see. What ABC said, particularly C, about my work -- I realized I use my work to express my opinion in the most effective way possible, and it has done what I wanted most. Yes, there is only _always_, and love is an eternal constant. Suffering is only interference which will be separated and thus identified as something wonderful in its own right. It is just a matter of space-time, but of course she was there with you and your sister as you whispered excitedly to one another in your toy box, just as she is with you now in this tardis of a box I have made, for it is solitary time that is the illusion, not joy, unity, or love. I love David, as always.
I don't really think of spirituality a lot, but the moment that comes closest for me is from last day in Russia when we were at the picnic. Dimitri was singing and playing the guitar, and everyone was singing along to the Russian folk song. The whole picnic, but especially that moment, felt so intensely human. In some ways it also felt private to that community, and I was so honored to be included in it. I also saw spirituality (maybe that's the right word?) in the connection between Dimitri and his wife. To see him singing to her and her slowly swaying looking back at him... it represented the deep, emotional connection that can only come after years of being together. Again, it felt really special to be halfway around the world in a completely different culture and to be invited to share in such a personal, human moment.
I have come to recognize a certain power within myself that I thought was closed off for good. This is the power to keep my head held high, feel the emotions that are okay to feel and continue on with life. I have relearned my self-worth and self-respect this year. I have also learned through this to be able to let the negative wash off...most of the time.
Shamanic breathwork sessions with Sariah Sizemore. Working with very specific breathing exercises and calling in ancestors to help me to heal effects of trauma and decrease self-destructive behavioral patterns. It's a big deal. Immediately afterward it feels like you're coming down off mushrooms or an acid trip. Brought up a lot of anxiety and grief to the surface to be released. After the 2nd one I did 40 days with no alcohol/cigarettes, and did Kundalini meditation every day. Life-changing.
Sadly, no. I may think about this a bit more before the 10 days are up, but absolutely nothing springs to mind. This makes me feel like I've missed something, but then I don't know that I have.
The spiritual experience of this year really is the discovery of my way through the cancer treatment that I was able to articulate to the survivorship person who interviewed me. It's the process of surrendering to what is while holding on to a positive future. I think I've had a sense that's how I operate in the world, but had not articulated it quite so directly.
Realised I still gave too much credence to this lifetime. Everything I have done has been because of my illusions and I can let them go. Hard to do, because we are so enmeshed in our bodies and sense of self. Actually I understood we don't need a sense of self really- it just holds us back. We are always being told we have to develop a strong sense of self from early childhood or we don't progress- but I 'm not so sure now. Someone on the radio said today that research had found that children with too strong a sense of self worth didn't do as well. Bullies have a strong sense of self worth, according to her. Does this come from a fundamental identity with the self? More important than other people, better?
Meditating comes to mind, which I am grateful for starting this past year. However, one particular spiritual experience that I had was going to Matsumoto in Japan and encountering Yayoi Kusama's art in the museum of her hometown. To have a random experience like that and be able to immerse myself in her art what incredible and made me feel so fortunate. Going into her infinity room, being surrounded by the pumpkins and lights, was unforgettable. It made the world feel so big, but so small all at once, just by taking the bullet train up to Matsumoto on an unplanned day trip, and seeing all of her art. I'll remember that day for a long time.
Our synagogue's music on Erev Rosh Hashanah is awe-inspiring. The combination of choir, organ/piano, and a small orchestra produces amazing and beautiful music. I just close my eyes and focus on the sound at times during the service.
Spiritual can mean many things. In fact, the word does have many denotations and connotations for me. When it dawned on me that I was burned out from my work, I finally made the commitment to myself to meditate daily. This fidelity to spiritual openness, consistency, and unconditional self-care has helped me to learn more about myself and, slowly, be more accepting of who I am. For instance, I now recognize that I am a person who desires professional prestige yet I put my career squarely behind my health and my relationships (especially with family).
The First Day hike is always a soul-healing outdoor experience, along with the Full Moon Paddle and the Sunrise Summit Hike. I saw a professional Taiko performance that was so amazing I drove two hours away two days later to see them again at their next stop.
Inspiration: I tutor very young children who struggle with the analytical pace of the Common Core curriculum. They are determined, resilient and brave while patient with themselves and the adults around them. Beauty: Unfortunately, I am late to the experience of classical musical. Fortunately, I discovered the experience this year. So grateful am I for the many musical moments in a world that is so divisive and stressful when I aloud have said, “what beauty I hear and feel.”
Seeing Bruce Springsteen live was an experience that I'll never forget. In that small intimate room, I got to hear my hero sing without a microphone and heard him give The Lord's Prayer. I don't know why these things move me to tears, but they do. It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive.
This year a friend of my brother in laws who passed away. He can speak with the dead, he mentioned that my brother in law had finally passed over. In speaking with my mother and sister it gave them the chills so something very interesting and cool to hear.
I am always moved by the beach and warm water. Visiting the Dominican Republic left a lasting impression, even if it was just a day at the beach. I feel refreshed by the ocean water each and every time.
Yoga. Iyengar yoga has been transformative and spiritual for me. I haven't had spiritualism in religion, art, community. Just my process of going in and letting my body stretch and move.
This past summer I was able to spend about 5 days with my niece, who is 2. The last time I saw her she was a baby. The experience was undeniably spiritual for me. I've never had a niece or nephew so to see this little person with so much joy and love for life was absolutely breathtaking to me. All the time we spent together is imprinted in my mind, her dancing to mariachi music all by herself, her singing disney songs, her fearlessly jumping into the pool. It gave me tears of joy just to watch her exist and be her own unique person in this world. It was an unforgettable week.
I think the most spiritual experience I had was when I learned about how my low ferritin levels were causimg my anxiety and fatigue. Once I started taking iron supplements seriously, I finally felt alive again. With this basic thing in check, I was finally ready to take on the emotional storm of getting over heart break
To sit quietly with the sun on my face being present in the stillness is a spiritual experience that I seek with frequency.
in a compound word: self-descovery
Writing my mother's eulogy was the closest thing that I experience that was spiritual. It was a good experience to try and put her life into a positive and relatable experience; to maybe start to heal from my childhood.
I guess that thinking about spirituality, I often think about being in contact with nature. This year I did a wonderful trip to Death Valley and the Eastern Sierras with friends and I was reminded of how much I enjoy hiking, traveling and discovering beautiful parts of our planet. I need to remind myself to do more of this and to appreciate all the magnificent places we have around us.
My most recent spiritual experience was meeting with a reader. My goal was to talk to my mom. When I walked in the room, her music playing via her computer was disrupted. She tells me it was my energy. I felt different when I walked into her space. While I didn't get to talk to my mother, I did spend time communicating with my nana. She encouraged me to move on from the troubled spot I was in with a roommate. It was time for me to act, she said. When my time was up, the reader was trying to clear her mind, but my nana wouldn't go. Finally the reader told me that Nana said I didn't need to worry about my head. There is no way the reader would know I fear alzheimers or CTE as a result of multiple concussions. I was blown away by this revelation.
I would not call myself a religious person in the traditional sense, but the way religion impacts people's lives and views of themselves and the world interests me very much, so I'm always happy to have an open dialogue with people. I enjoy listening and learning about other people's lives and experiences. The problem is that most of them don't understand my somewhat in between lifestyle of studying/contemplating spiritual quandaries without devoting myself to one particular church, so the conversations often feel one sided. However, this year I met a Jehovah's Witness that was going from door to door in my neighborhood, not trying to convert people, but just looking for someone to talk about the Bible with. I took the 5 minutes to listen to what she had to say that first time, and have seen her many times since then. She made an effort to listen to my experiences in ways that no one else has, and she has allowed me to explore the role of religion in my own life in the most comfortable way I have been able to in a while. I still don't think that I want to devote myself to one particular church, but I'm glad that I've found someone that is both willing to talk and listen. I have learned a lot from her.
I have had some strong spiritual experiences while meditating. Nothing earth-shattering, but my meditation practice has kept me grounded and sane this year.
I was in the delivery room when my grandson was born. I have never been so sure of God‘s light and strength as I was that afternoon. My beautiful daughter stayed calm and focused even after 24 hours of labor. Her precious husband was her rock and I got to witness his devotion to her. Their child joins a wonderful family and extended family. Watching him grow during the past few months has been almost a religious experience. He is perfect and his presence reminds me of God’s incredible power in our lives.
Not really. Perhaps the closest was attending gencon. Although it was my first time, it felt like home. Gaming conventions are my people. Also I pushed boundaries I did not think we're negotiable. It shows perhaps I am not who I think I am. Or perhaps I am not as strong as I thought I was.
I never feel particularly spiritual. The only time I really feel that way is at High Holy Day services. It's more about tradition with me, as I don't feel like I retain any of the information. I sometimes wish I felt a little more spiritual, but don't want to make it a priority.
TRIBE Camp at Joshua Tree was particularly spiritual and combined so many things I love: community, Jewish tradition, nature, social justice, and a warm, inclusive environment that made everyone feel heard and valued. Havdalah in particular, as we sang a song together about our goals for a more just society and Mimi and I held the candle and Kiddush cup, left me in tears and profoundly moved by the depth of my community.
Oy! That word, spiritual. No, no I haven't. Nothing moved me. Wish it were different, and truly, while I am getting better at seeing the beauty in the moment, all moments are fleeting, and I'm getting better at letting go, too. Therefore, upon reflection, nope, no particularly spiritual experiences. Just being alive. Maybe that counts?
Not really but I continue to love to listen to Father Jim Callan's and Reverend Mary's homilies about love, forgiveness, compassion, and non-violence. Just looking at the veins in the chard I picked from our school garden is spiritual. It's such a miracle -- this beautiful, complex piece of life that came from a teeny, tiny seed. Walking around Mendon Ponds Park by myself was really beautiful. Nature is where I see God.
I feel like I have spiritual experiences all the time. In in the midst of depression I have deep moments of grace and clarity. I have moments where I can acutely feel the present. Like I am really, really experiencing the moment and how it is part of my entire life. This morning, for example, I was holding hands and swaying with my daughter and looking in her eyes and I saw myself later in life missing these times and so I drink in all the richness of these moments... like I said, even though I am clinically depressed and so stressed out much of the time that I literally pull my hair out I am still able to have these deep moments of beauty. It has struck me lately how odd it is to experience both of these things sometimes within the same hour. It is a blessing that I had my kids so late in life because I know how fleeting it all is. I lost my father last June and I reminded him on his deathbed of all the stories he told me about when he was kid in South Philly. He couldn't speak really but at some point he said, I remember those things and it made me realize how fluid it all is. One day into the next.
Last Christmas I received a gift certificate to a yoga studio where I used to take classes. I had been wanting to get back to yoga, but had been struggling to get myself there. Receiving this gift allowed me to take several classes without worrying about the cost - forcing me to take sometime for myself. Attending a yoga class provides the actual time to "slow down" and sit in peace with myself. The space is warm and dim, the sounds are soothing, the aromas of scented oils are potent and pleasing, and the instructor's calming voice and inspirational words transport me to a place of calm. For that one hour, I sit with myself and simply let that be enough.
Started working a 12 step program and stuck with it and things calmed down
Music is my religion. It's my way of life. I'm so lucky to have been so involved in music this year - I've played in the local musicals (Les Miserables, Wicked and Chicago were highlights), we're putting on an amazing concert with the Moodemere Quartet, and I'm playing with orchestras and choirs! I'm so excited, not just for the music, but because I feel ready to perform - something I haven't felt since I left Melbourne University. I'm playing so much better now than I ever did there. Screw everyone who ever made me feel less than worthy.
None specific. A regular connection to that power in The Universe that is greater than I am. And for that I feel grateful every day.
The most obvious experience that comes to mind is "Passover in the Desert." I'm hesitant to name it as "spiritual" or even "meaningful," because I was so critical of the whole experience! But the festival is designed to cultivate spiritual connection, and I did, however grudgingly, confront myself (and something larger than myself...) in a meaningful way. Immediately, I think of what was, admittedly, my worst night at Passover in the Desert. And it started earlier that day. We had just finished lunch. It was delicious; it was filling. And I went back for seconds, maybe more than once. I could feel it starting then—I wasn't eating to satiate hunger, to nourish myself; I was eating to consume, to take in as much as I could, as quickly as I could. It's a frenzied sort of consumption, and eventually, it takes on a life of its own. Once it does, I submit myself completely to what is coming. I don't even try to fight it. I give in and I let this ravenous hunger take over—a hunger that can never really be sated. It can only be over-indulged, limited by the physical bounds of my stomach. But even when my body is fit to burst—literally, I'm so full that it hurts—the hunger isn't really satisfied. It's still there. I just can't do anything more about it without making myself vomit. That's all a long way of saying, after lunch that day, I binged. Barely an hour or two after our communal lunch (or whatever short amount of time it was that I deemed unacceptable to eat again after indulging in a big meal), I hurried off to our car. That day, there had been something triggering about relying on an external source of food. The "Hearth" dictated what I ate and when I ate. Social standards dictated how much I could eat of our communal meal without being greedy, without being judged. So I sought refuge in food that was MINE. I ran to our car and stuffed energy bar after energy bar into my mouth. When that got too salty or too sweet, I'd switch to dried fruit or peanut butter. To chocolate. To seaweed. I ate all that MY FOOD had to offer. Then I felt full. Really, really full. And full of shame. What had I done? That was my first binge in months. I had decided to hurt myself, to do my harm to my body and my health. WHY? There are the emotions, and then there are the physiological reactions to consuming a shitload of sugar and calories. My brain felt foggy. My heart beat faster. I felt like I was running in place, with nowhere to go. And of course, it only got worse as time went on. As the food I ate slowly hit my stomach, I experienced waves of physical and existential crisis. What. The fuck. Had I done? I can't pretend this was a new experience. I've been bingeing, on and off, for the past six years (after five years of restrictive disordered eating). What was new was having to sit with the aftermath of the binge, without distractions. Normally, my binges happen at home, in my bed, while I'm binge-watching Netflix. TV helps me feel less. But being in the desert, I had to feel the binge from beginning to end. Being at Passover in the Desert, I partook in ritual and ceremony that night. I sang and dance (and prayed?) in communion with a hundred other Jews. I chose to partake in those shared moments. And at other times, I chose to remove myself, to be alone. When it was time for bed, I couldn't imagine curling up in my tent with my best friend and her ex-lover. I knew I wanted to sit with this alone. So I walked out to the Red Tent in total darkness. This was a safe space for women to restore, to heal; this is where I would find solace. That night was one of the coldest and windiest yet. It was scary, laying in that tent alone, the wind blowing sand and fabric everywhere. I felt exposed—mostly to myself. I felt my inner instability externalized. This was my spiritual experience. I had to confront myself in a way that wasn't fun, and it sure as hell wan't easy. I had to sit with myself, in the aftermath of what I had just done. It was the most meaningful experience I had at Passover in the Desert. Sure, there were others—staring out at the vast desert and knowing my simultaneous smallness and hugeness, feeling a sense of ancestry in the mountains that bore so much history and knowledge, stripping naked in Surprise Canyon and feeling a mythical story of the wild feminine divine—but this was the moment. I said last year that I wanted to sit with myself, even when the going got rough. At Passover in the Desert, I was forced to do just that.
One of the most spiritual things has was having the Commandment "Honor your Father and Mother" inspire me to stay close to my dying mom, even though we didn't have a close relationship. The commandment kept me at her bedside, stroking her hands.
God speaks to me in parables. The parable of the raspberry. Every day I go out and eat fresh raspberries. I was amazed how every day there was just enough for that day. Just like God's mercy is new everyday and just enough for each day.
Not really. I do consider myself a spiritual person, but I haven't really had a spiritual experience in the past year. I've had some amazing days and I find the clouds spiritual, but I don't think I've had a spiritual experience. Maybe I'm dead inside.
I think some of the best artistic things I’ve done lately are the ones I don’t stress over. For instance, the drawings on my closet door! I’ve hung up all on my projects, and never worry they won’t be ‘good enough’ because it’s something I choose to do and is completely my decision. My whole life I feel like I need to stand out and just BE something, and drawing feels nothing like that. It’s nice to just do something for fun for a change.
I have definitely had spiritual experiences throughout the year. I think a big one was when I interviewed for the grad program I am now attending. I discovered a rejection email from the other program I had applied to about 10 minutes before my interview, and I felt like my insides had been pulled out and stepped on. It took everything I had to find the confidence and courage to put that email aside and be present for my interview, and when it happened I thought I couldn't imagine why this had happened in such a cruel fashion. In hindsight it forced me to dig deep and be present for the interview. And I got in!!
Listening to Burgs has helped me every single time. He brings me back, every time, to the sheer magic that I’m alive right now. It is so unlikely that I’m here at this time, in this body, living this life. It is a treasure. And I so often forget that. And Burgs always reminds me.
When I was actively practicing meditations I had a few experiences that were uniquely spiritual. These experiences made me feel grateful and connected to the loved ones in my life. There are times when I am alone with my son and I practice mindfulness in the moment, I feel spiritual in the sense that the moment is very special and holy. From a religious perspective, I felt spiritual at the Rosh Hashanah services I went to this year. I equate spirituality with experiencing powerful emotions of gratitude, empathy, and joy.
Going on March of the Living was a really powerful experience. It got me to think about all sorts of things in depth, like the nature of hatred and the flimsiness of life at the hands of hatred. It also made me more forigiving or compassionate towards other types of Jews that I maybe disagree with. This realisation occurred when my friend pointed out that the ashes in Mydanek were made up of every Jew, regardless of their denomination or opinions, so at the end of the day, we are in it together.
For the second year in a row, I mostly haven't. Last year i told myself it was because I hadn't gone to a synagogue I'd been comfortable in and I just had to go to the one here, but I have now and I don't feel fully comfortable there either. At least not spiritual. This makes me really sad. in the past, being in shul/Jewish communal events or in open water were both spiritual (semi-regular) experiences for me, and I haven't been able to do the latter and the former has just felt so spiritually empty. I don't know how to make this better. An exception might be that I was writing a short review on a (imo, problematic) article on Charlotte Salomon for something, and as I was writing it I just felt so emotionally connected to her work and the Jewishness in it/of it. And that might have been the closest I came.
I've decided to try homeopathic medicine. I'm tired of taking drugs and having to cope with the side effects. I was in a desperate and lonely place when I reached out to antidepressants for help. I want to know who I am without them now, and I want no more side effects.
Yes, a sad one. I lost my "brother" Adam this year, and it brought me closer to G-d because I felt such an extreme need to believe that Adam was now with G-d in heaven where he is not suffering and everything is happy and wonderful. I still can't fathom any other idea about the loss of him. My heart still aches when I think of him, and it's given me a very significant reason to question but also clarify my own beliefs in a higher power.
I finally decided that I need to get back to my Catholic roots. After being burnt by some many pastors and church members over the past 20 years, I've just had enough of Protestant denominations. Although I have not attended a mass in several years, I do listen to a daily mass podcast, which is probably the most I will do at this point. It has me thinking of a completely different perspective on God and Jesus. I don't buy into everything that the Catholic church teaches, but I never bought in to all that the other churches did either. I feel like I am learning again after having heard literally thousands of sermons over the years. The homilies are refreshing.
Actually not really. Like, some experiences I had were moderately spiritual, but I didn't have a spiritual feeling that was strong enough to qualify as "particularly spiritual". But maybe I just expect God to amaze me.
Despite my anxiety, situations in my life have all worked out in very wonderful and sometimes unexpectedly amazing ways. When I look back, I see that I am guided and that I am cared for. That has brought a level of trust that is much higher than I have ever had in the past. The theater performance that my daughter was in was a very spiritual experience for me. They did the musical version of All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Watching this show over and over again had a profound impact on my spirituality. It's hard to put into words, but the vignettes all spoke to our shared humanness, that we are part of the light and that it is our job to reflect that light into the darkest places, and that being a part of something larger than ourselves is what truly inspires us to be the best we can be. And for me, having been spiritually focused for many many years, it was so uplifting and inspiring to see this message coming through a high school theater group and being shared at the largest performing arts festival in the world. Truly broke open my heart!
I quit my office job and focused more on coaching. That got me outside and moving around more, but also cut down on my stress levels. We are moving out in a couple weeks to make the voyage to San Diego. It's going to be an active couple of months that both of us are looking forward to.
Last October, Adam and I sailed the fleet championships at Tomales Bay as we often do. But last time we sailed this regatta was 4 days before my seizure in Singapore, which precipitated and my year of cancer treatments. This time, I was through that phase. And we won the regatta! The moment was incredibly poignant—a perfect bookend to my difficult year. I proved to myself that I was as strong as ever. Not exactly the same (this time I had a bit of dizziness, for example) but a badass competitor in mind and body.
Yes--I converted to Buddhism and joined the SGI-USA! The practice of this Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, is chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (a commitment to the name of the Lotus Sutra) to the Gohonzon, which is essentially a mirror to our inner selves. I do not practice twice daily as I "should" but the teachings of this practice have stuck with me and help me--and they are true, I am sure! The fundamental truth is that every being has a true buddha-nature within them that can be brought out to bear in any situation and at all times, here and now in this life in this place. I already have what I need to meet any obstacle, and so do you. Another more broadly spiritual experience was that I took shrooms for the first time and went on a full-on trip with E, whom I trust and love. (I also took acid with him once, but that was less spiritual and less intense other than the laughing fit.) It really did change my perception in significant ways, and opened up an inner direct perceiving modality at least somewhat free of caring what other people thought. I was able to directly perceive and appreciate whatever was right around me that I was focused on, and it was amazing. That direct feeling mode was so valuable, and important (the sense of importance actually came from the acid trip, to be fair, when I was wading barefoot in the stream and deciding that being barefoot in water was incredibly important. Now that I'm writing this out, I realize I should do it more, take every opportunity when I can).
Being in nature and dreams are where my spiritual moments happen. Watching the sun rise over mt Haleakala in Maui, whale watching and hiking in Hawaii. Being by the ocean. Watching the fog covered castles in Portugal. Spending moments snuggling and being present with my kids.
There continues to be a very subtle but palpable shift within me. I am paying more attention to my instinctual intuition. This morning I found myself becoming reactive when my partner was reactive, I noticed this and understood that I did not have to become reactive, there was no need for it. This being in the moment is becoming easier. As I relax, so those around me and if not I will be more able to respond with compassion. In the midst of this growing ability to be with myself in time, I have had a health crisis. My body is expressing her distress and needing me to work with her to release a lifetime of toxicity. It is not easy to respond to her in kind-but I am commited to a process that insurance does not pay for. Releasing habits of eating and drinking that no longer nourish or heal, has heightened this clarity of the moment. Although I have less money for leisure, and in fact, have to use savings, I am relaxing into the change and open to the goodness of life continueing.
I'm not sure... I do get feelings of déjà vu here and there. It kind of gives me the feeling or confirmation that I'm exactly where I need to be in that moment of my life. And I know that some songs I hear effect me on this soul deep level of sorts.... However I'm not too sure what that means. 🤷
I feel like I experience and practice faith better than I have in the past. Hearing God will provide vs knowing He will is a different mindset. Having faith is not only believing but also making a true set decision and discipline to do so. It's so easy to believe but yet keep in our own practices, routines and habits while saying we believe. Actively pursuing it and working to discipline our minds and hearts is something different.
Nothing that stands out. Well... hiking the Grand Canyon with Allison was close to spiritual when we reached the end of the trail and found ourselves at the edge of a cliff overlooking miles and miles and miles of vermilion cliffsides and open plains. It was pretty magical.
I think my introduction to yoga practices was particularly import to my spiritual growth during the past year. Through regular practice I feel much more grounded and don't feel as much panic when encountering new people and experiences.
None of my spiritual experiences this year connected to my Judaism (though I have had a couple in the past few years: high holy day services in Sevilla, the drum circle in the Negev), though this year most of my travels have been to non-Jewish related destinations, and traveling is when I tend to feel the most spiritual, as I'm feeling more emotionally vulnerable and distant from friends and family. Hiking in the Andes in Peru was very spiritual for me, as it was nothing like I had ever experienced before, and I was able to disconnect from technology, and truly just former tighter bonds with my friends and push my physical limits and it was extremely rewarding.
I’m a nurse... I take care of people with kidney disease. I’m often humbled with the task of caring for my patients. I’m quite aware that there is a power greater than the doctors and nurses caring for others. We are partners with Hashem.
All the everyday little moments of peace and joy with my daughter. Making her smile and giggle. Soothing her tears. Sitting in the dark singing her my favourite songs as she falls asleep. Truly moments of grace.
I guess my answer to this is... attending a dance class. it was magical, it felt like it brought out the kid in me that LOVED this stuff but would never do it as an actual kid (because boys aren't supposed to be into that stuff). It's odd to be a first time "dance student" as a 30-something, but I find so much joy in it. feels a bit like healing a lot of internalized homophobia. feels good.
Classical music. When my soul grows darker I find that classical music gets ever more beautiful. It is the only thing that can cut through the black - if only for a time. I went to see the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time this year. It was magical. I really want to see Lark Ascending by orchestra.
Becoming godparents and homily about 'enough' were reminders in the power of routine of church and also that more is usually not better.
I have not had any particularly memorable spiritual moment, but I have had an increasing sense that God is looking out for me. I continue to read spiritually supportive life giving books, and I find them very helpful. I remind myself to hold onto any outcome lightly. Today’s victory can be tomorrow’s challenge, and today’s challenge can be tomorrow’s opportunity. I have also been thinking about the four agreements, particularly the agreement not to take things personal and not to make assumptions. I have also tried to give up the illusion of control, understanding better than I have before that anything can happen at any time. I can’t prevent any of these things. All I can do is react the best I can with the resources at my disposal. I did have an epiphany at services this week. I realized that the comment of study, prayer and good deeds temper judgments decree is exactly what I do. I study regularly by reading books that are life giving and spiritually uplifting. I pray with my daily mediation practice and my frequent journaling. My prayer keeps me connected to myself, and remind me that I am part of an interconnected universe. That leads me to good deeds, or at least trying to live my life by my 3 life priorities which includes living my purpose. I have also learned that when I engage in this regular practice, it is easier for me to see others with compassionate eyes and easier for me to be generous.
when i was in prague in january, i spent a day and a half combing through the jewish quarter. i saw beautiful synagogues, the holocaust memorial, photos, and histories of jews in prague. whenever i go to europe i always spend a lot of time in churches, and i always feel very detached because, even though the churches and cathedrals are architecutural and artistic masterpieces, i feel too detached from christianity to feel comfortable there. in the jewish quarter, i was learning about my own people and i felt proud of our history, and the beautiful structures we've created.
Exploring two National Parks in Arizona (Saguaro, Petrified Forest) and several national monuments with my family on a Spring Break trip was amazing. We all marveled at the beauty of the desert.
God talks to me in different ways. God gives me signs. God is with me in the Trust litigation. Same as last year, this has affected me profoundly.
Most recently, I have begun manifesting what I want for myself. Some of the items I'm manifesting include money, career, romance, and more. It's a powerful exercise that I do believe in. Some of the items feel more like a dream vs. a plan, but I need to persevere if it's what I want. Logically, they are all a plan, but sometimes my saboteur gets in the way.
No, not really. Spirituality still isn't very much a part of my life. Or I still struggle to become spiritually grounded? Idk, I have nothing for spiritual developments.
My theology is being transformed by the Shaia classes and NT Wright's biography of Paul. I LOVE how this has happened. Amy's book on Mindfulness has also made a change in my Vespers: focus on breathing, then the embodiment, then acknowledgement of what is, then discovery of messages from God. BEAD. Want to use this with meals and shopping too.
My experience was a spiritual awakening and growth from the depths of a job-related crisis. But I'm still making poor personal decisions.
Watching my daughter pursue her God-given calling has been greatly encouraging to my own faith. Two years ago she came home from Bible camp to announce that God has called her to be a missionary pilot. We said we would pray with her for God to confirm this calling in her life. She has been showered with confirmations and open doors (and closed doors in other areas of her life)! She is currently done her first year of Aviation Mechanical Engineering, working in a 14-month practicum, and about to complete her Private Pilot License. Praise The LORD!
I had an interesting experience where I tried a guided meditation to encounter a spirit guide and it seemed to "work" in that images presented themselves without me feeling like I was contriving them. The first time I got an armadillo, and the second time an elk and the armadillo led me back to the meeting place where an eagle then swept me up on its wings and flew me around. I like the transformation from armadillo to eagle, haha. Eagle is supposed to eliminate the weak. I want to eliminate the weak links from my life.
Though I'm in this very confused state at the moment, or better yet, have an undefined sense of god, religion, existential ideology, I still have spiritual experiences. I used to enjoy the pleasure of certainty, of a definite outline of truth with a very clear sense of what God is and desires and the point of my own existence in a broad and personal way. It's not so much doubt that there is a higher being, a higher purpose, a sense some sort of life force that bind together all living things. Somehow I know it without understanding it, and perhaps my sense of God is life itself, a vague and obvious concept. Religion is the quest to understand the nature of life and we grow very attached to our definition because it gives us meaning and purpose and relevance. So I do believe there is something that creates, sustains- is life- that I can see and sense but not quite grasp and perhaps am never meant to. I cannot claim to understand the will of god- I'll call this sense of life that- and my confusion as to creed is that I have a multitude of traditions, childhood absolutisms, intellectual dissidence to what is unobservable and non-documentable, life experiences, hypocritical observations, doubt and senses that cannot lay out an arrogant sense of my knowing. That there are many truths is not ambiguity, it's just rational. I believe the universal desire of life, of God is to sustain itself and to avoid and even destroy that which goes against it- decay, mould, disease. That and those that destroy life is the simplistic definition of evil and that which and those who sustain it are saints. All religions find some way or other to make this their core maxim, but as cultures and people develop- there is a tribalism that creeps its way in and many times overtakes, if not entirely, then certainly aspects of an absolute system of belief. And I'm not against tribalism per se, as it is very central to many animals and certainly a psychological, physical and perhaps spiritual necessity of human beings. That we feel safer in numbers, stronger in shared ideologies and sustained through connectivity is elemental in our survival and growth. That it is abused is understood, and that tribalism can become territorial, egotistical and dangerous is part of all the struggles of every concept in the human struggle. Selfishness can degrade anything and power for itself almost always succumbs to evil. But being part of something, being part of a people and all the ritualisms, shared understandings, shared creeds and shared definitions of God, of life is something I value, while at the same time I struggle with the multitudes of truths and personal meaning. I dislike empty ritualisms, but I value the communal bonding that accompanies the ritualisms. But putting all that aside, a spiritual experience for me are those moments where I am aware of the intense life force flowing in and around everything. Noticing life everywhere. Feeling the trees being alive, the clouds being alive, the chair, my arm, the floor. They are small moments of complete silence. My mind is off, there are no distracting thoughts, nor a concientious absence of thoughts. Just noticing. I am suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of aliveness. Everything around me seems quietly and overwhelmingly alive. It's a gentle and powerful feeling of connecting to something shared. My life, the leaves out my window's life, the light's life, the life of movement, the life in the grains of the painted wood on my window sill. It's not the meditative practice of emptying the mind and filtering out distractions to tune into silent being, nor is it about conscientious cognizance. They are moments, unplanned, of complete awareness of aliveness everywhere. I feel if I give this aliveness any definitive name, it must be the grasped at and coveted God. That aliveness creates and recreates itself every moment and connects me to everything. It holds distinctness and merging, silence and noise, being and not being, a conversation with voices but no words and most importantly for me, the most important element of aliveness, of God, is it feels perfect.
Right now, cannot think of anything...sad, but true.
Backpacking has been a surprisingly wonderful spiritual experience. There is something completely glorious about being disconnected from cell service. What a silly thing, but it has a profound impact. Hiking is also good for my mindfulness. It's great to spend multiple hours in a space where my mind can wander. Getting out of the city for the hikes helped even more with that. Nothing to do out there—just time to let the mind go. My first backpacking trip at Loch Leven really drove this home. I wanted to have pictures afterward, but I didn't even want to take my phone out of my pocket. I didn't want to carry it with me. It is such a slavemaster. Finding a place with no cell service crippled it significantly, but I'd like to just go without it for a few days at a time to let my mind really relax.
Running my first 50k trail race was a remarkably spiritual experience. I didn't expect it to effect me as it did. I felt such a connection to nature. I felt humble. I felt purely human. I cried quite a bit-both at the end of the race and for days later, at random times. It hit a very deep part of me. Here's what I wrote a few days after the race: "An openness to receiving the kindness and generosity of others without analyzing their motivation. Back to a state of innocence-youth, infancy Sophia, a volunteer, gave me what I needed. She fed my body with nutrients, minerals and also my heart with her lovingkindness. How do I bring this state to other parts of my life? Is it appropriate to do that? Will that bring me closer to others or push me further away? I was Adam to my core. No apologies-only gratitude, love and acceptance. The outside world, pressures and learned behaviors disappeared into the world of life-for 7 hours I lived in the world of Adam, land, natural world. I was no greater than the deer, no less than the snake, no different from the bush and humbled by a natural force. I will come and go in a short time-who knows how long but even the longest lives are short. My life needs to be meaningful. I need to impact others' lives-the stranger, the friend, family. My time here also needs to be complete with self-exploration. Ultra running is one way I can do that, discover myself. That pure soul that was within. I love that soul, that person. I want more of him to show his face, to push through life, to push through everywhere. I am amazing. I am humbled, pure, loving and unafraid. This was different and profound."
Maybe I’ve reached some sort of inner peace. I’ve accepted the things I cannot change.
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with 800,000 people across from the Capitol Building on Constitution Avenue to march for gun reform and student safety. Listening to Emma Gonzalez' six minutes of silence. Being on the heaviest day of my period with one tampon and pad, black jeans, no room to move, let alone get to a restroom to change. I stood in the sun for almost three hours, crying, bleeding, singing, praying, holding my signs and breathing in the spirit of humanity.
I went to Israel on a business trip and had a few hours to go shopping to pick up momentos. I wandered into an antique judaica store in Tel Aviv -- and was so moved in the moment -- that I purchased a kiddish cup from Poland which was 120+ years old. The successful trip + being in the homeland + a connection to my family's roots in Poland + starting a new tradition for my family ... pointed me to invest in the antique artifact. It is on my mantle and I am honored to have it in my family.
In my deep depression I was able to connect well with yoga, meditation, journaling, etc. Now that I'm feeling better, it's harder to connect with it.
This was my second summer at Kutz, and I think it's going to be my last for a while. I've had a lot of religious development at this camp during my two years. During silent prayer, we always go to the edge of the Tron and look out on the water. I don't know what people do, but I watch the birds. there are the small birds which swoop under the tron. They skim the water, nearly gliding. There are the geese. They don't count. They are devils. Then there are large hawks who circle above, watching. They dip behind the treeline and pop back out. The birds give me perspective. Even though they are all the same category, they have vastly different perspective. Some are up close, others up high. I can have control over my own destiny. Away from camp, I watch the birds' paths. I think of the turtles which I fed after every shabbat service. I think of the people, deep in their own thoughts, who surrounded me. Kutz put me in a place where peop.e explore their own religion, and for that I am grateful. The rabbi at Chabad gave a fascinating Rosh Hashanah sermon. He talked about a recent Pew Research survey which stated 30% of Americans don't believe in G-d, but half of those people believe in "a higher power." He was dumbfounded. What is a higher power if not G-d? He reconstructed the image of G-d: two droplets of seawater ask each other if the ocean exists. We live within G-d, and G-d lives within us. My relationship with faith is ever-growing, and I expect that internal struggle to continue throughout my whole life.
I felt more in tune with my belief in G-d, and that everything is left to G-d to decide, therefore all I have control is on what I do day to day. But I will accept whatever comes my way and I will deal with the challenges as they come.
Since Bob's death it's been hard for me to feel in touch with the spiritual side. Yet there are moments when i'm singing, or in nature- -at the lake or doing tashlich by the brook -- when I feel briefly reconnected.
As he retired, I asked my therapist for a reading list of books that made a difference to him. Top of the list was Marcus Borg’s “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.” It helped him find reconciliation with his faith after his fundamentalist upbringing. I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition, but found more dogma than compassion. At this stage in my life, I am a “none.” I read Borg’s book out of curiosity, then re-read it for reflection. I found the pre-Easter Jesus—the historical Jesus—inspiring, compassionate, and driven by his own mystical spiritual experience—a Jesus with whom I feel a profound connection. I do not subscribe to his divinity, but that does not weaken his message. For the first time in my life, I find myself drawn to this spiritual mystic in a way that feels real to me.
Colombia was a very spiritual experience -because of how different the people were, and because of salsa, vallenato and so force. Starting mindful meditation was very enriching. It helped me get in touch with myself and understand more about the struggles I am going through. USA (the second one) was inspiring.
Yes. God baptized me with the Holy Spirit. I received the gift of praying in/with the Spirit. I received more than this, I received the gift of praying physically, in the Spirit--divine physical expression accompanies my words as I pray. Scripture refers to "activities" as part of the unleashing of His Spirit among mankind and I am almost fully convinced that what I am experiencing is a form of Spiritual prayer warfare, a new way to engage/enter into the Presence of God as part of His working through me.
Let My People Sing was very spiritual. The safety of the community where people sing their hearts open from the very first minute was special. And, this is also what we do at Soulful Shabbat! The Rosh Hashana services this year with Abby , Jason,Dena, Jamie and Rachel also felt deep and transcendent. As Shefa teaches, it now about " How do passing mental states become lasting neural traits?" I am getting better at inviting myself at the start of sitting on my yoga mat to tap into Groundedness and Presence
Yes, I've connected more deeply to my energy flowing through my body and have had some tantric and sexual spiritual experiences with that energy. Also found myself in the right place, with the right learning to help people in my life at exactly the moment they needed it. The most profound one being Lucia right at the time that my labour had started 26 years before. That was divinely guided.
Being able to stand so close to the Torahs during the Torah service (since I am on the bimah during the Torah service) is very spiritual for me. Also standing so close to the shofar during the shofar service.
I describe myself as a 'spiritual' person who is not fully in support of organized religious structure. It is my lack of consistent spiritual practice this year that has most affected me. I have noticed the noise of the world, the media, and others creeping into my existence taking up space where peace, joy and discovery could be.
Every visit to Hawaii, watching the ocean roll in and roll out, as it has for eons, reminds me that we humans are just little specks of dust in the universe, here for a brief moment, and then, poof, we’re gone!
There was a talk given at a synagogue I teach at about the school shootings in America. The speaker is a Rabbi from Florida where a recent shooting happened. He invited us to bless the children around us, even if they weren't ours. Because I teach the B'nei Mitzvah classes, I was surrounded by people who were children, many there without their parents. It was an incredibly moving and spiritual experience to bless these children, regardless of who they were or where they were from. They were children of this community.
I’m getting reconnected to the earth and the plants. I’ve found real peace outdoors. My spirit loves to touch and feel and be a part of the physical world.
The practice of learning about and starting to practice hitbodedut has been deeply impactful. Spending time in nature pouring my heart out to Hashem is cultivating more honesty, vulnerability, and willingness to be myself and not care so much what other people think. I'm grateful to our ancestors for developing this practice and to all those in our lineage who has preserved and shared it.
This year has been filled with so much change and feelings of disorientation. I've sought out spiritual experiences more because of this, trying to find a place to quiet my brain and feel connected. Riding my bike is honestly the place where I feel the most spiritual, the wind in my ears, the strength of my legs propelling me forward. I'm observing the world, but I'm not really of it- no one can talk to me, I don't pause long enough to get caught up, if something distracts me, I'm on to the next thing. I have to be, for safety reasons, content in the moment, weathering each storm as it passes and prepared for the next, but not anticipating, just experiencing.
The awareness and the awakening of the mind to the hatred that has erupted in our world and society has caused me to doubt some overall beliefs. Who are the puppet masters?
I'm not spiritual
I converted to Judaism and found Adonai again. Particularly, I suppose that is a yes.
As a result of the health problems related to my right ear, I started praying again this year. If this is the only reason for these health problems, I am grateful for them. Conséquence des problèmes de santé liés à mon oreille droite, j'ai recommencé à prier cette année. S'il s'agit là de la seule raison pour ces problèmes de santé, je leur suis reconnaissante.
I have gotten into nature photography and found it very spiritual. When we were asked to write about a sacred object for Rabbis Without Borders, I picked my camera. As I read about it, the members of my group said that I really lit up. Going for frequent walks at Rockefeller State Park Preserve and other natural settings and taking photos is a new spiritual practice for me. I want to explore ways to use my photography talent to do mitzvot for tzedakah and kindness to others.
I had an awakening this year about not having children. At this point, it’s too late, and sharing this with spiritual advisors has helped me to know that’s I am ok, I am all right, and I help people grow by doing the next right thing daily. This is how I will grow and others can admire me and grow too.
Art and music are my spiritual saviors, and being able to be in touch with both frequently is what pulled me through this very difficult year. There's so much more to say here, but I'll just say simply that the soaring optimism I feel when met with a beautiful, original idea that takes me someplace new is the most powerful and redeeming force I know.
Sharing my home with Vivian again this year has been a spiritual experience I getting me up and sitting in meditation at the same time every morning. Reciting poetry at the pianos in the park Festival was a religious experience in the sense that it empowered me to make spontaneous oral interpretation for an audience and it was appreciated by total strangers. Watching my mother's mind fade further into dementia is its own spiritual experience. The effect on me has been to exercise and take care of myself including a little research into 23andMe to see if I have a genetic propensity for Alzheimer's.
I don't have one epiphany lightbulb going off moment to point to, but I do feel that my spirituality deepened over the year. I feel I had more times when I really felt connected during prayer. In a way, I suppose I'm disappointed that the experiences haven't affected me more; it's pleasant, it's comforting, and yet if it hasn't made a difference in how I interact with the world, does it really matter? I'm reminded of what the Dalai Lama said, that the only reason he pursues enlightenment is so that he will be more compassionate and helpful to other people.
As I described on day one, I had a few accidents that gave me time off of work. It became quite clear to me that Hashem was sending me a message to leave and get a new job.
This past year I've had the chance to experience cultural and artistic spiritual experiences during our two visits to Paris. Our visit to Monet's home in Giverny in May provided the artistic experience, and the visit to Mont St. Michel in August provided me with the cultural/historical experience. The visit to Giverny really invigorated my drive to continue my education going into the summer semester. Our trip to Mont St. Michel served as a nice respite before the fall semester started in September.
I still attend church every Saturday, though missed a couple of weeks when otherwise occupied -- for Ginny's farewell party, for example. While in Chicago, I still went to a service at a church with the same name as the one I attend at home. I enjoy it a lot. Not sure that counts as a "particularly spiritual" experience, as it's just part of my routine.
Davening mincha as tears ran down my face throughout the year... the being with the family after the horrible accident providing care... singing mizmor le'david and the doctor coming in at the last line to declare her dead... a 5 year old whispering to tell me his "mom is going to heaven" and then him wanting to tell me about school, his shoes and to dance...
I've been slowly trying to work on cultivating my own personal spirituality. I am interested in my spirituality being more based in nature, and a connection with my inner self. I have a hard time instituting and committing to rituals and practices, but I am trying to make time and space for the things that call to me. This has meant slowly exploring more Tarot, connecting with the moon cycles, and getting out to meditation/spiritual gatherings that seem intriguing to me. I have a deep desire to cultivate a kind of community or tribe, but am entirely unsure and insecure where and how to do so.
I got back into BBYO, which is NOT something I'd ever think I'd do. I'm advising Berry AZA #1948, Newton's chapter within New England Region, with Emily Polinsky. It's been really rewarding in a lot of ways; Winter Convention with CVR was especially powerful. Seeing so many old faces, people I was in BBYO with as a high schooler -- Evan Wexler, Emma Strumpf, Ricky MacGregor, Josh Cohen, Tyler Pepe -- it was like it hasn't been six years since I'd seen any of them. We picked right up. It really felt like I'd never left. And I'm really trying to make it the best it can be for the boys I'm working with now. They're shitheads, like we were in high school, but I think I can help guide them to an experience that'll make them all better people. At least, that's the hope. I'm thinking about not advising any more because the time management is just not working right now. Maybe I'll be a regional advisor.
Briefly I felt inspired to participate in HitRecord, but I am too depressed to write. What I need to do is sit down to write, and just try.
Recently, maybe over the past month or so, I have been using my lunch break to walk to a nearby garden and just sit there for 10 minutes to enjoy the peace and sit in nature. I feel very grateful for this garden and wonder what is in store for us as the planet Earth is heating up. I try to just sit in commune with nature and be grateful for the experience.
The Bar Mitzvah was the more amazing spiritual experience. Being up on the bimah to help Francisco read his essay on what his torah portion meant, with Tallulah, was so confirming for our family. I'm looking forward to being up on the bimah to light the candles on Kol Nidre contemporary service. I'm honored our family was chosen. Tashlich at Baker Beach was an awesome experience.
This January, Shelby our Great Dane of 13 years died in her sleep. It was a very emotional and spiritual experience. I was in the room with her when she was sleeping on her bed. She had a rough morning with some unusual coughing and heavy breathing at times. I thought she had fallen asleep finally and was getting some well-deserved rest. But after a short while, I turned to look at her. And it was strange how I looked at her like I was trying to see what she looked like, like I was trying to see her, even though I was only 6 feet away from her bed. For several moments I kept trying to see her. Then it dawned on me that she might not be there and I quickly called my husband into the room. It was then we realized she had passed. After reflecting on this over the next several months, I felt like Shelby had been trying to see her body through my eyes. Or maybe I could not see her because her soul was not in her physical body. I doubt I'll ever know for sure. However, I continue to contemplate what our souls are and I wonder how her soul could be different just because it's in the physical body of a dog instead of a human.
I nearly died and it had nothing to do with god. There were no prayers, no asking for rescue, no forgiveness. After the moments of blank nothingness, there were kind strangers who helped us in our moment of need. We weren’t thrown off the highway because of our sins. It was science and humanity that are why my family is alive today.
Going in the mikvah before my wedding was much more moving than I anticipated. I didn't know what to expect going in. My guide was sweet and straightforward but didn't explain much. it was a much needed moment of silence during a time of business, stillness when I had been running around. When we jumped over the broom at our wedding it felt like it made the process complete--leaving behind the past and embarking on a journey forward. There was a poem asking the bride not to think of the water as washing away anything but rather softening her, making her open to care and love and compromise. It's so hard for me to compromise and let my ways be softened. It is so hard for me to stop spinning my wheels and be in the moment. I needed it. to be in the moment and remember myself and my body and feel like I was in the womb. And remember why I was getting married because I met a wonderful human who has a heart full of love and hope and loves me just as I am now and just as I was when I came into this world, made the way I am made with no edits.
Being in Portugal and experiencing my boyfriend's Brazilian culture was spiritual. I also am listening to an audiobook right now, "We were the lucky ones," which really makes me think about spirituality in the face of difficulty.
Spending time in the redwoods, at the beach, twilight brings on a sense of peace.
Not really spiritual so to speak, I have had epiphanies, breakthroughs and am now on the other side of a seriously draining relationship. I completed the top-to-bottom race at Thredbo, the sunrise was spiritual, the atmosphere electric. I have realised that unless you participate you can't experience.
James Turrell at Mass MOCA comes to mind. being outside on a particular fall evening and watching the sunset and feeling like I felt the presence of God also comes to mind.
My spirit rejects anything religious. I attended my niece and nephew's b'nai mitzvah. And my prevailing thought was that the Torah has not been a blessing. Religion causes more harm than good.
I was a hospital patient for the first time in my 73 years. I had gotten health insurance some months earlier as I had never been to any hospital in my life except to visit people. A severe, kidney-threatening stomach virus put me into a hospital bed for a few days and rattled my mortality cage! I kept asking myself, "What am I doing here in a hospital?" My 80+ year old cousin, a board certified MD Internist, said "Get used to it." So now I must face the fact: mortality includes me. So how do I best prepare and reach out to what is ahead?
I spoke to Kyle several times this year, but his voice is less easy for me to access than it was the first year. He told me, regarding Amber, not to criticize or condescend. Those words are like a marquee sign in my mind when I deal with her.
Yes but not the typical definition of spiritual. I have realised the depth of search for meaning of one's own life but that of others and the wonderment of nature.
My daughter has been active in dance for 11 years now, and is coming into her own with her talent and her ability to emote onstage. She has also gotten involved in her school choir, both concert/show choir and jazz choir. The choir teacher is someone who is charismatic, young, but intensely committed to her work. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and she has indeed found her passion in the vocation she has chosen for herself. Every choir concert I attend always brings me to tears at one point or another — the talent these kids have, the passion of their leader, and the mere sound of children’s voices raised in song are among the most inspiring and spiritually-fulfilling moments I have ever experienced.
I would say that the practice of doing morning pages (daily free writing) is in a way a spiritual practice. I don’t do them daily, but when I do them, they feel like I’m pushing toward some inner truth. Also a way a freeing something inside of me. I do feel like there is something Devine in all of us, and I’d like to connect with that Devine spark within myself. I need to listen carefully to hear that still, small voice within me.
It was so recent but hosting my own Rosh Hashanah dinner with the round challah and honey and apples and it was just something simple that I did for me and my wife. It was rebuilding traditions my family has set aside but not doing it for them, bringing it back to me and looking for the future when I'll pass down the traditions to my children. It feels like I finally found my path back and much like how I ended up so lost it will be multie-generational.
Sitting outside the rented house on the Sonoma Coast, watching the waves and the trees, I felt spiritually at peace. A calming of soul that I haven't experienced in years.
Most recently, I attended Rosh Hashana Erev services at home and hearing some of those prayers, listening fo Rabbi Randy’s sermon about boyhood and the long path to the new beginnings and achievements, seeing Rabbi Susan be welcomed back into our congregation, singing Hashkeveinu and Everything is Gonna Be Alright, all of this, it affected me, made me tear up and reminded me of my community and my roots and gave me faith and hope that where I am in life, is good and okay and it’s okay to be just where I am. I also have had a couple of spiritual moments connecting with people at school like Dustin, Owen and Addie as they kinda read me and my sign and have told me that there’s something I’m not sharing, I’m not letting my full light shine, I’m not letting my guard down. They trust me so much and seem to know me in ways I don’t know myself and it’s really been interesting. I’ve also felt just so connected to my Yale friends, uncannily so. I’ve witnessed moments of synchronicity and just felt bonds more powerful than ever before.
Probably the closest thing to a truly “spiritual” experience I had this year was our visit to the great redwoods of Northern California. There’s something amazing about seeing not only the trees that are standing that have lived for many centuries — but also the trees that fell maybe centuries ago and were alive for centuries before that. The timescale of the forest is far greater than that of human civilization — a good reminder that humans are not the only amazing thing about our universe.
laughter has been a spiritual and incredibly healing experience for me over the past eight weeks - 'joy is already inherent in the unobstructed expression of who we are' - Dick Mann
Last High Holidays, my sister and I started reading "The Art of Amazement" by Rabbi Seinfeld (not Jerry). The book is the most practical book to help build a Jewish spiritual practice. We would meet weekly and meditate, pray or just discuss what we have learned. One of the practices I adopted was to wash my hands before getting out of bed in the morning. I did it for probably 3-4 months and found that it truly helped me connect with God, feel gratitude for being alive, set my intention for my day and remind me to be present and in the moment. I need to start that up again!
I've enjoyed attending services at shul while the kids have been in the children's service. Have prayed more at work in the morning and had developed my skills with morning prayers!
The death of Scott Hutchison was particularly poignant for me. Having met him and seen him live over the past few years it really hit me hard however the public outpouring of grief and support showed me the human spirit and it's best bits. If only he'd known how much he was loved or got the help he needed maybe he'd still be here.
I have never believed in any spiritual being from any religion in my life. However, in the past year my interest in spirituality has greatly increased. I picked up mindfulness meditation as a result, to explore the thoughts and feelings around me. It has been a very rewarding experience and I continue to learn.
The experience around my father dying certainly had a spiritual dimension to it. I was raised Christian and currently still identify as Episcopalian, but I am not a literalist at all, and I am agnostic when it comes to the supernatural part of it. My father had a very strong religious faith that helped him be at peace at the end of his life, and I am profoundly grateful for that. When he was on hospice and semi-conscious with delirium, I wondered about how the human mind works. He kept reaching out, and he seemed to be seeing people. It was hard to understand anything he said at that point but I think he was seeing his departed family members. I don't have any fixed belief about what, if anything, happens to our souls after we die. It comforts me to think that my parents are in heaven, but I don't know what the reality of it is. But I'm not worried about it. I was raised in a fairly fundamentalist denomination, and it took decades to remove the fear of damnation from my psyche, but I finally did it. So I have no worries about the ultimate fate of my loved ones or myself. Another spiritual experience I had was attending a performance of Parsifal at the opera festival in Bayreuth, Germany. This was only possible because my father hosted a series of German exchange students years ago, and stayed in touch with them and became an adopted member of their families, visiting them once a year for several years. One of his families had a connection to get the very-hard-to-obtain tickets, and invited us. It was very moving to spend time with people who had been important in his life but who I hadn't met before. And it was wonderful that I could honor his memory via an opportunity that was a mountaintop experience for me as a classical musician.
I see small fortuitous events as being spiritual. For some, these are just good omen coincidences. I recently had a small string of three in an hour which set me up for weeks of positive thinking and gratefulness.
Not as spiritual this year, and the PA priest abuse scandal isn’t helping. Feeling more a revival in my relationship between art, architecture and spiritual growth (such as feeling rejuvenated by the Gothic architecture in Quito after the heavy oppressive Baroqur of the rest of town, or the Heavenly Bodies Met exhibit)
This spring and summer clarified for me the idea that spending time at the tops of mountains around sunset/sunrise is one of the most spiritual experiences I have. Two moments that stick out to me are the night watching a rain storm roll in at the top of the Amish valley and sitting at the top of Pinnacle mountain. There is something about sitting up high that is simultaneously clarifying in providing a scenic view to "see" everything that's out there, but also to get a sense of how supremely insignificant I am compared to the scale of the mountains. There's a weird mix of being closer to "god" by being just more in tune with myself, my own vibration of existence, and how that vibration meshes (or not) with the vibrating of nature.
Once again nope. I keep telling myself to take some time on the weekends and maybe do some visiting, but I always pass because of other priorities.
My wife and I were able to go to Rome this past June. While we did not make it to the Vatican, being in the Holy City was an experience. We hope to go back in 2020 and see the Vatican and other sites.
God is a God Who sees - El Roi - Jehova Jireh - He sees and He proves He sees by providing for our needs. You cannot prove to someone that you see them until you show them that you can meet their needs (which may be simply walking with them during a time of difficulty or reflecting back to them that they were heard). Seeing is more than observing. It is being intimately acquainted with the areas of lack in a person's life and a willingness to walk with them in that area. The way that people really do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with God is to see what He sees. The way God cares for His people is by working through others who see them. I had an experience in July where I felt seen. It was vulnerable and it could be scary, but when you are seen and then cared for, there is nothing more fulfilling. This experience challenges me to see others and prove that they have been seen - either by reflecting back what I heard, walking with them, or taking steps to help them into wholeness.
This has been a less spiritual year for me. I've been too busy. I've been loving going to Zumba and Yoga. Tapping into dance again has been a great spiritual experience/awakening. It makes me happy and joyful.
There are no particular spiritual experiences that come to mind, although I do find myself trying to understand my own philosophies and spiritual needs in my maturing life. Our shul's rabbinical transition has contributed to this examination as well. This may continue to be an ongoing long-term journey.
Well, I didn't go to Camp Grounded. So, no easy answer this year. :--) Could it be a cop out to say that first time I hooked up with Sarah again? It certainly felt _meaningful_. Maybe poetic. I don't know about spiritual. Did I have a spiritual time this year? Gosh. I don't know. Now this makes me sad
It was most moving to have discovered that my Dad had died rather than to have been told about it. The few minutes I spent in his room on the morning of his death helped provide closure. To again have the lead in a musical and have the opportunity to directly connect with an audience is most fulfilling, as was being moved by Broadway musicals and museum quality art as an audience. There is a strong spiritual component to sharing the moments of joy and development of the grand boys with Karen and the family, whether around the scenic beauty and recreation of Maui or here at home.
Fortunately... so many. From the ongoing power of DLTI, even though it concluded... To the Kohenet service at Kallah… To the power of being with my mom as she lay dying, as she took her last breath... To the way my community wrapped me in love during and after... To my morning cups of coffee with God. I am so filled. Cosi revaya
I was in the UK during most of the 10Q this year. There is something about being there that lifts my soul so much. I don't know why but it is real to me.
Crying and singing at ikar Swimming in Casade lake Solo hike in the old growth on orcas Moments where I deeply feel both my smallness and my significance in the web of life
I felt PROFOUND relief when the biological mother of my son, and her boyfriend, signed their rights away to him. I know that they claimed to have done it for legal-technicality reasons, but I very much admire the thoughtful sacrifice they made in order for him to have a stable life in a loving home with us. More broadly, watching my own children grow up is profoundly spiritual. It makes me feel so much more protective of them and others who I love.
I have felt so much more connected to liberation songs and Jewish music in the past year. I have found meaning and inspiration through singing liberation songs at trainings with other Jewish organizers. That is when I have felt most spiritual and empowered.
I'm learning about intersectional feminism - including about racism, homophobia, ableism, and transphobia. I see things on social media that gradually help me piece together a picture of the predjudice in the world. This connects me to so many people who have also experienced predjudice. Together we stand up against oppression.
Well I decided to convert to Judaism so. Yeah. I would say so.
not that I can think of. that is a first. that is sad. no in nature. no in prayer. no by surprise. no by practice.
Looking into my infant son’s eyes and feeling connected to him. feeling the love and beauty that is always there, that we can tap into when we open our eyes to the life around us.
I have to say, this has been a remarkably un-spiritual year for me. I think I've been too depressed and focused on life to do much spiritual exploration.
When my sister was undergoing testing for a lump in her breast, it made me realize how much I care for her. Of course we love each other, but we're not touchy-feely, so it's the kind of love I'm not always aware of. However, when I faced the possibility of my sister's health failing, it made me appreciate the bond we share, and made me really thankful to God when the biopsy turned out to be normal.
I think that the most spiritual experience we had this year was seeing New York City. It was amazing seeing Times Square. It looks exactly like it does in the movies and on television. It is bright and huge and amazing. In addition, I got to spend time with very special women that I have known online for over 13 years and that I went through my pregnancy with Amberlee with. It was just like we had known each other in person forever. So much fun. I wish we lived closer to each other. Standing in the middle of times square and looking up at the giant billboards flashing pictures of models and movies and advertisements was an exceptional experience. It really moved me. I can't explain how, but it did.
I reached a point in therapy where it seems like we've dealt with so much and come so far, yet there are still things I want to improve in my life, questions I wanted to answer. So I started meditating every evening for over an hour. Despite years of meditation practice, it was hard. I was doing a very focused guided meditation that was designed to break down self-perceptions and limitations. About four weeks in I had a major moment of insight: that the person I am today exists based on the beliefs I had about myself in the past. I knew in that shining moment that my future was dependent on ME, on changing my thoughts and mindset, to prepare for the future I want. Being a skeptic and an atheist, I know there are many variables in life that are beyond my direct control, but given my generally good overall mental health, mindset is the ONE thing I have power over. I really do wonder, now, with anticipation and awe, what I will be doing in one, five, ten, thirty years. I can't wait to find out! I'm sure it will be amazing. That's my mindset now.
I don't think I've had a particularly spiritual year, but I have felt very aware of how my environment sparks memories and influences my emotions since losing Dad. I feel very close to him in specific situations - this morning, for instance, was a glorious morning and as I was walking the dog across a field in the cool sunshine with the sea on the horizon I had a strong wave of love for him. We lived in a big city as I was growing up, but he was a country boy and would have taken such delight in the beauty of the morning.
Most definitely! The primary change was a return to my focus on a daily meditation, return to spirit, setting intentions and taking time for myself. In this, I have succeeded in learning more about myself and my relationships, and am increasingly empowered to expand my understanding of my place in the universe.
My faith is super important to me. Recently I have been mediating on how we can not over exaggerate God's love for us.
Just loving the people I love, and spending time with them. That's about as close as I came to spiritual this past year. I have been enjoying spending time with my husband in our kid-less home, and we loved spending time with our boys in Los Angeles in February. We are looking forward to being with my sister and brother-in-law in Hawaii and Belize in the coming months. And, of course, we greatly enjoy relaxing with our friends.
Oh goodness. I would have to list the trip to Taizé, which is hilarious, given that I basically had to be dragged on that trip kicking and screaming. The “spiritual” part of the experience didn’t even come until the trip was over and I realized how important it had been to the kids I chaperoned. At that point, I was able to look back on it and see how it had been beneficial and uplifting for me in ways that I didn’t notice while I was actually there.
I am reading "Why Buddhism Is True" by the guy that wrote "The Moral Animal" and it's re-teaching me how to meditate. I always forget to observe my thoughts, to re-center and concentrate. Now I am remembering, and forgiving myself when I forget, and rewarding myself when I re-focus. I'm reading a "Words of the Buddha" day by day book while I plank in the morning. Already I have been able to unattach from my insomnia and fall back to sleep.
So many! Family Camp was one, the profoundness of sexy times in the woods, and community with the UU folks. Then really sinking in to Spark Ignite felt very deep. Meeting, and deepening, my connection with Thibaut. Continuing with Oli. Connecting with and separating from Dave. And, little things like my brief connection with Mu, my brief time with Polo/Sam, and even my brief minute of connection with Derrick. Feeling my spiritual values affecting all these connections... And, the work with Carole, and other connections with Ifa. My pot trip at Labor Day camp.
SILENT JEWISH MEDITATION. Wow unfathomable to me that last time I answered this question, I couldn't say that. Or HaLev Retreats have completely altered my approach to spirituality and nourished me in more ways than I was even seeking. I am so grateful for this exposure and deeply look forward to integrating it into my rabbinate, with more of a nature base.
Going swimming in the deep water of the ocean and just floating feeling small in God's creation. I feel like I can do brave things and simultaneously be strong and tiny and that God loves me and will keep me afloat so long as I make my effort.
Not so much spiritual but a definite awareness of finally being completely comfortable in my skin. Turning 70 on August 18th was a celebration of all I have accomplished both professionally and personally. I celebrate and embrace my wisdom, my compassion, my flaws and quirks - and hope this all positively impacts, delights and comforts family and friends in the years to come.
I started going to church again, right around this time last year. I prayed a lot, and sang a lot, when I was overwhelmed and didn't know what to do (which was often). I sang "Oh God, you are closer, than we are, to ourselves, draw us closer to you" and s/he did. There was deep comfort that came to us as we mourned. There were miracles at the novena. There was love and laughter and hope and grace. I cried a lot, and hugged a lot, and somehow i felt useful.
Helping to nurse my father through his last days was an amazingly spiritual experience, and it taught me that we should learn to enjoy our life in the here and now, because we never know when our time will come. Dad's passing helped me to think about what I need to do in my life so I have no regrets! For me, this means spending less time at work, so I am more relaxed and happy to spend quality time with my family and friends.
I wouldn't say there has been a particular moment - rather a continual increase in my ability to be present, my understanding of myself, and therefore my understanding of the same self in all others. I feel more connected to other humans now than I have ever felt before.
I worked an event this year that was for this women's support group that really inspired me on so many levels. There's this power in women supporting each other that has made me want to try and help spread that type of culture. I picked two male dominated fields of work to pursue as my career and it isn't always easy. The more women I network with and try to help support the more support I get back in return. Don't get me wrong, there's a strong sense of community in both fields I work in with both men and women helping each other but in my perfect world women to women interaction would 100% be about supporting each other instead of being a competition.
Not really, actually. No.
I think that the isolation and loneliness I was feeling for most of the year was sort of a spiritual experience. Living in Austin, I was able to reflect on what is important in my life, what I need in order to be happy, and that is people! I also proved to myself that I can do anything. I did this really difficult thing for a year, and now I'm unraveling the complicated web to get back to what I think is the 'correct' trajectory for my life. It isn't exactly the same being back in Little Rock--I still don't have a job, so my life hasn't really returned to a 'normal' but I am feeling so much grace and thankfulness that my heart is FULL.
I cannot recall on any spiritual experience this past year. However, I do believe and feel that some thing(s) did happen. I just can't identify it at this moment. Spiritual experiences generally affect me positively or I at least try to interpret it positively. I take it as a sign and go from there.
I am not a very spiritual person, but I would say the closest I came last year was during the release of our prairie chickens. Seeing the 4 month old chicks realize that they were not longer caged in and take off flying in one big group was awe-inspiring. When you get to see the result of months and years of hard work, it is breath-taking. Many of the birds don't survive, but if even one can survive to the breeding season to help contribute to the future of the species, it makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Joel Ostean.... I listened to him on my way into my interview... I listen to goin regularly now. Nice to have the word playing in my head agaib... I lost that for a while.... it's good to bring it back. In the next year I'd like to improve on our walk in faith...
Moving back to the west coast has brought a lot of surprises regarding my connection to religion. I have gotten much more involved even starting with my trip over and a stop in Sedona. Chanting, yoga and participating in a few more casual Judaic prectices has opened me up to rewelcoming spirituality back into my life.
Honestly I am still thinking about last year and choosing life. Choosing to put my mental health above my pride, my ego, my sense of what I owe to others, my sense of identity was profoundly powerful. It really gave a lot of new meaning to the chaggim last year, and while I didn't necessarily think about it a lot at RH, I plan on doing more reflecting about how I can actively choose life for myself and others this year.
Music music music. Being with friends together dancing at shows or even on my own. There have been moments where I’ve never felt so alive.
2 highlights from my honeymoon: 1. the moment when the fireworks in Rio began to launch at exactly midnight on January 1, 2018 was incredible. 2. Watching the penguins at Punta Tombo for hours. Every time it happened you wouldn't think it would be the most amazing thing in the world. And then it is.
Becoming a Jewish professional has been a bit of a spiritual experience. I’m learning to accept that I’m still on my jewish journey and always will be and I get to use that when I’m relating to my students.
I felt uplifted during a “Broadway” Shabbat service in January or February. The melodies and harmonies of the service revitalized my spirit during a very tumultuous period at work.
My spiritual experience started with a dream by a dear friend. A man who was giving me troubles and doubting my abilities sat at the end, an old man in the middle of us, and me turned facing the future. When I walked into the synagogue in Morocco, something happened and I realized that person was my grandfather. Even though my grandfather's roots are very far away from Morocco, I felt his presence there calling the people who doubted "a bunch of bastards" and urging me to move forward. During Kabbalat Shabbat, I broke down crying and felt connected to him and to G-d to Judaism in a way that I haven't felt in awhile. I was surrounded by people who loved me - I was in the right place. They let me cry but supported from a distance. I am grateful for the moments I had with real friends and thought partners - I cherish and value those moments and I am so glad to be part of such a special movement. Part of (laugh) you are freaking building it :)
I started taking ceramics, and I found my way back to asana practice. These two things are remarkably similar. Both require me to be completely immersed in the present and aware of my body and breath. I can't even listen to music while doing ceramics -- it's too distracting. Sometimes my mind wanders, but other times I am able to just be. Outside of ceramics and yoga, I spend most of my time wishing I could fast-forward or rewind my life. I think about how I don't want to be alive and about how I don't want to die. The time I spend throwing pottery is invaluable, because it's the only time I don't spend totally out of my mind.
Not particularly, just realised again that I do need beauty/art/culture to feed my soul. That I enjoy having conversations with people with an open mind. That friendships/relationships with that type of person is really what enriches my life, where I feel at home and appreciated.
I will copy some words from last year: "I have really loved the rhythm of worship this year. The ebbs and flows of liturgy and music/choir. The feeling of 'this is my favorite' when the seasons and anthems change from Pentecost to Advent to Christmastide to Epiphany to Lent to Eastertide and back to Ordinary Time." I often find spirituality and closeness to God with my own solitude - either in a place of worship or in nature. I didn't get enough of that last year... a worthy goal for the next 12 months.
Spirituality is an ongoing, lifelong part of our being asa human beings. To learn to trust in God. To take time out to remember to connect with worlds beyond this one. By that, I mean prayer. Meditation. Taking a few minutes a day of solitude, to hear guidance and to connect. They are all there, our loved ones who have passed beyond the veil. They are all there, praying for us. It is a human ability to connect with our spirituality, it is a skill we develop with practice.
Often the hairs on my arms stand up during paper making and creating art alongside other veterans, from their stories and the energy of the actual combat uniforms, and the listening deeply to the grief of those communities devastated by war. Learned that these stories stretch back throughout the eons, the story of war, decimation of lives and the journey back of broken warriors. And in listening, I have experience that individual and collective paths of human redemption, the emerging wisdom and action for peace.
At the western wall my tour guide said we couldn't pray for ourselves, it had to be for other people. I had to think about this for a while. And then I prayed for my friends and my mom and grandma. I prayed for a sick relative. And then I prayed for my dad and I started writing to/for him and was suddenly overcome with emotion. He wasn't religious at all but something just made me do it. After I did that I looked around and saw all these women praying and being so affected by their surroundings that it just felt so powerful to me and made so feel so fulfilled as a Jew.
A few weeks ago, in the mountains of Northwest Arkansas, I saw the most incredible bounty of stars I've ever seen. They were everywhere, and they felt like a blanket to me. I could even see the creamy band, titular to our Galaxy, the Milky Way. I felt so at peace and so taken care of, even though I had never felt smaller. The vastness of the universe was reassuring.
I'll include philosophy here. I have “discovered” Stoicism and have been reading from The Daily Stoic every day. I try to challenge my perceptions of things and use reasoned choice.
Leading a Friday night Shabbat service in CO with my dear friend Matt and a couple of weeks later leading one on Birthright at Robinson's arch at the Western Wall changed my life. Both of these experiences were profoundly spiritual and showed me that I can lead a service, something I thought was only for rabbis. Being able to give the gift of a spiritual moment to someone else means a lot to me.
Not that I can remember at the moment. I had one over a year ago, but that belonged in last year's 10Q, which I missed. It was actually a twofer, which has impacted this year as well, so I might as well use it. Last summer (15 months ago, ish) I took my first ever vacation, alone. And it was amazing. I went somewhere beautiful where I was surrounded by natural majesty, which evoked wonderful memories of time in France in my childhood. I loved being alone in the space. And I discovered a podcast called Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. While it was and continues to be fun to look at one of my favorite franchises through an incredibly genuine and earnest lens, it has also invited me to think about other things in my life more spiritually. To ask myself what I'm being called to do, and whether I'm going to answer that call. It has been an enjoyable experience, and I'm happy to continue it into the coming year.
I think travelling to Poland to visit various death and concentration camps and site of massacres felt like a spiritual experience to me. Learning a little more about my family background (that a lot of us come from that part of the world) and that we just don't know the extent of our family's losses because we're the offspring of the people who made it out of eastern Europe (and if I think the network of my family in America is vast and complicated - they only came from a handful of folks who were able to leave Europe) made the visit to Poland more meaningful than I had expected, but I also felt some sense of completion being able to visit those terrible places where the things happened that have haunted me for much of my life. I felt a sense of connection to Jewish people of the past.
The year has been immensely spiritual. My "Emotional Enlightenment" was in part because of the songs and experiences that essentially *bolded* themselves to make sure I noticed them. I connected with my feelings, and it connected me with God and the universe. Without that connection, I could never have gone into this new and amazing world with the lady I love.
Week at adult music camp. Learning about music, having my music taken seriously, performing with others and hearing their works -- made me so happy! Reminded me how much I miss when I don't seriously seek out chances to listen and perform. Started a community I hope will continue.
I embraced a significantly harsher worldview over the past year given several significant life events - my time working in India, the deaths of my grandfather and uncle. A lot of the what I would describe as spiritual apathy that I previously held has been replaced with a more active sense of justice and balance.
I'm not sure if this qualifies as a spiritual experience but I lost a friend this year. A young women, aged 52 with a young child still at home and children just starting their lives away from home celebrating weddings and graduations. She was suddenly and unexpectedly killed in a car accident. She was kind, generous, beautiful, vivacious and in an instant taken. It was hard to make sense of and I still struggle accepting it. It caused me, and many that knew and loved her, to pause and reflect on life, death and what's really important.
I think I have always considered myself a spiritual person, however, I have learned so much in his past year. I think timing really is everything. There were times when things just didn't go the way I wanted and I was super bummed. But I see that there really was a reason for all of that. For instance, I was interviewing for this Program Director position at Cal State Fullerton for first generation college students and I really thought it was going well. Turns out, it was completely political for them to even interview and they already had their candidate in mind. I was crushed. But now, I have a fantastic position at an incredible org with more money and more opportunities for advancement, plus an amazing mission. I view our miscarriage the same way. I miss our little P every day, however, I really started living my life differently after she left us. We started going to concerts, bought motorcycles, and just were spontaneous. I've learned to live in the moment. While it is hard to see through all of it when you are in it, I truly believe every loss and failure was a lesson to bring me where I am today.
My greatest spiritual experience this year is that I decided to have one. I've made a concerted effort to invite a spiritual path into my life and to attempt to become a person who can have my greatest impact on the world. I've started meditating more frequently and have been writing. I am also doing what might even be seen as prayer, though I have a hard time with that word.
I went on a personal retreat to a monastery for the very first time, at the end of a very busy season, when I was looking for guidance on next steps. I got a clear word from God: do the thing that only you can do. That has informed how I respond to opportunities.
I kind of wish I had but I have been really disconnected from Judaism still. I guess I've had spiritual experiences with Sam - I've never loved someone so fully or felt so loved.
I try to deepen everyday.... I’ve been working my lifetime to understand that individuality does not equate with ostracizing. And that fufilling my own desires is a natural thing not to be -the buzz word- “grateful” for but a right. To take up space, to desire love and receive it. Working with marginalized people along with my own propensity to marginalize myself left me overidentifying with suffering. Why not identify with my artistic dimensions and develop that? Gossamer layers of understanding and self discovery are a delight, a heart break for loss time and a reconciliation. I now work in a studio to see what it will feel like as well as interpret.
There was a time this year, of course I don't remember when or what was going on, that I thought "remember this for 10Q! It's spiritual!" It might have been at the mikvah with Sarah. My second opportunity to witness someone becoming Jewish. It is powerful, emotional, and such an honor and joy to be invited in to that moment.
I wonder if the fact I keep meeting women who don't want children is some karmic process, like I'm being taught a lesson but I don't know what the lesson is. I have struggled to understand why this keeps happening.
I don't know that I've had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year, but I do feel like I've found more tools to manage my anxiety (prayer, online religious lessons, meditation, bullet journaling). It's really these new tools, combined with the tools that I was already using, that has helped me feel more centered and connected.
Giving birth again and falling in love with my new baby has been a spiritual experience.
I had a particularily rough wake up call from my relationship. It ended, and I had to face how much I had lost myself in the relationship. How much I don't take ownership for what I like, and that I call my own very unique expression.
I think the closest thing I can think of that felt spiritual to me this last year has been the spark of new friendship developing. It seems magical in a way, impossible to predict or define but you know it when you feel it.
I started cultivating a very rich spiritual world with a dedicated meditation and yoga practice for the first half of the year. It has fallen off since all of our setbacks and I am longing for something to help me find my way back.
Trying, trying, trying to breastfeed was a uniquely spiritual experience for me. On some days I felt connected to women across the world, across time- just doing a simple act. On harder days, this really became the most challenging struggle I've ever had. I struggled to adjust my expectations of myself- eventually I did, and I learned so much from it. That experience, good and bad, set the tone for my first year of motherhood.
My wife lost her job back in the spring, and she needed a lot of help and support to find her footing. Inevitably, because she's amazing, she landed a much better job while polishing off her third book and landing a major grant. The process of guiding her through her inevitable success clarified my own role as her partner, and inspired me to do better work of my own.
Yes, in Iceland, I would say I had spiritual moments of looking at Beauty! Also, when hiking around Isabella Freedman. I guess I love nature.
No, I'm hoping next year will be different.
Every day is a spiritual experience. The idea is to find spiritual content in the mundane... it's actually quite gratifying, and even a bit fun.
Feeling Jewish again! I was starting to explore/rediscover Judaism on my own over the last few years, but didn't really do anything with it. But just last week I went to Rosh Hashanah service, and I'm going to fast for Yom Kippur. The big impetus, weirdly enough, was finding some progressive, female rabbis on Twitter, one of whom also came back to Judaism after a long time away, and reading what they have to say about faith and spirituality and finding your own meaning in tradition, reinterpreting it through the knowledge and compassion we have today, with our expanded view of justice, inclusion, and equity. It's been...kinda amazing.
My spiritual experiences have been more in crisis this year. Feelings of hopelessness, fear, especially around financial situations. Panic has often set in. But oh yes, I also attended Taylor Mac's 24 decade history of American popular music. What an amazing experience! That really reconnected me to the power of theatre.
I was driving home from work yesterday, two turns from my road. A girl cycled past. She was young, perhaps 12 or 13, and reminded me of "Ladybird". She had a blissful look on her face, as if she was singing along to music that may have been playing through her headphones. There was promise in her eyes and excitement about what was to come. She still seemed to be discovering and creating who she was. As I rounded the corner, I realized that Fran and I have already become the people we're going to become. You are who your record says you are. We are who we thought we were. We're not going to change that much. We've fulfilled our potential, reached adulthood. We're close to buying a house together, for goodness' sake. I felt OK with this. I'm mostly happy with who I am. There are a few things I will continue to try to tweak, but I'm comfortable in my skin. I'm not going to play rugby for Scotland; I'm not going to be a journalist and a writer of books (well, maybe one day…); I'm not going to have a DPhil; I'm no longer a card-carrying Joycean (although I still carry it in my heart); I'm not a referee; I'm not a member of Sol Samba. I've quit a lot of things. I'm honing myself down rather than adding more layers. So this was spiritual in the sense of passing another young soul and realizing that my soul is settled, has found a home, a partner, a comfort. A very gentle revelation, but a revelation, a realization nonetheless.
Compared to last year's answer, I really don't think I experienced anything truly spiritual. Rather, I had an experience that educated my spirituality. When I went home for the seminar, and for my neice's baby naming, I spent two Shabbatot at home. The first Shabbat I went with my sister to her Conservative shul. It's more traditional, more like what I was raised in. The community was small, but engaged. The next Shabbat I went with my father to his shul, in DC. Progressive, pluralistic, and Conservative (ostensibly). It was fantastic: those who remembered me were welcoming, and those who didn't were curious and engaging. *This*, I said, is what my Judaism is. These two shuls, and the spectrum between them. Not Chabad, which is what I'd been living with for 4+ years. Not Reform or anything else, as I saw many of my friends and relatives turning to as Conservative communities faded. I need my positive historicism, my traditional evolution, my pluralistic egalitarianism. There is something powerful about hearing a young woman read from the Torah when for the last year I'd only every heard old men do it. It's a blessing.
I don't know that I've had many spiritual experiences this year (again). I'd like to have more time for cultural and artistic experiences in the coming year, but am not sure that'll make the cut when I actually prioritize my time
Yes. The one I always have. I can feel the reality of those I truly love unconditionally. In this instance it was a gorgeous German Shepherd I've been looking after whose spinal degeneration makes him irraticly incontinent. I sensed in the middle of the night that he needed to go out to relieve himself. This intuitive knowing happens with me and humans as well. Why, then, can't others sense what I need?
My first or second time at Friday night prayer services, I was just. Overcome. I was moved by something. It was a beautiful feeling that I had missed.
Being on safari in Africa. Sunsets and elephants. Sunrise from our bungalow on the rapids of the Zambezi River. Elephants nursing. Lion cubs playing. Giraffes fighting. Baboons, monkeys, warthogs, rhinos, cape buffalo,birds birds birds too many to name all. How can you not glory in God with all of the earth's beauty.
Samesies, completely from last year. I long for the stories of my people. I long for facts and tree branches, but mostly stories. Where do I turn??????? I am very in touch with what's easy to change in my life, and what goals I'm more "stuck" on.
The most spiritual experience this year would have to be my pregnancy. It made me grow in ways I didn't know I needed growth
Actually, I was just thinking about that this morning when I was talking to my boss. We were talking about what a coincidence it was that I ended up here. I happened to be at a place in my life and career where I needed something to feel good about from a job and I wasn't getting that; I was about ready to make a change. And at that moment, Dietrich and Ann Marie were talking to one another about how they needed this position and Dietrich immediately thought of me. I don't know why. We weren't particularly close. I'd spoken with him only a handful of times and we certainly had not been in touch recently. So... for all of that to have happened and for it to mean so much to all of us, it seems like there has to be some larger force at work. Maybe? Regardless, the fact that life seems to just be falling into place feels pretty spiritual. The fact that it's spiritual hasn't meant much to me but the actual changes happening in my life are pretty exciting.
At a Joe Buchanan concert my soul met the lyrics with a state of rapture. Selecting music and listening to it are much like a soothing balm or medicine for me. The lyrics weave into my being and carry me on rough times, even when my memories fade away, the songs remain.
The closest has been on my birthday. My GF and I went for my birthday to Garibaldi Lake in BC, Canada. The silence, the fresh air, the lack of people, the bonding with nature. That. Was. Amazing! Unfortunately that's it. I've poured myself into my job and haven't given myself too much time for self-knowledge... I kinda regret it, because I do feel the need to get away again.
Well this year I have started yoga for the first time. I love having the time and space to just tune into my body and what is going on for me. I am becoming much more aware of myself and more able to relax. Wish I had discovered this sooner but very glad I have.
More and more I feel spiritual weavyinto all the elements of my life
Yes, we started something new where once a month (so far just once a month) a group from the synagogue meets and reviews the weekly podcast, On the Other Hand, from the Union for Reform Judaism. I love the discussions, I love hearing different perspectives, I love the study aspect of it, I love that my daughter comes with me and enjoys it. It reminds me that I want to study more, explore my beliefs and values more and live my life through them. I continue my yoga (have reached 5 years) and my meditation (even when it's just a quick 5 minutes). I am really enjoying the reading time I have made part of my life (again) this year.
It's been an average year spiritually. I'd like to grow in this area by next year.
Hmmm... I changed. I changed physically and mentally.I even appreciated it. Not a normal thing for me. But, that change opened up the world for me. It can be done.Therefore I will do it.
My spiritual experiences this year would definitely be witnessing birth and being with women in labor. Being a birth worker feels like the most special job. Being able to be with women and witness their strength, wildness, and perseverance is absolutely inspiring. Seeing little babies be born and transition to extrauterine life is a magical thing.
Mostly just spending time with my family when we're doing things we don't normally do. That brings me joy. I'm want to find the joy in my life wherever I can.
I got to visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception earlier this year. It was chapel after chapel after chapel. It was an awe inspiring experience...
The nine days of prayer for Mama, the novena, was extraordinarily spiritual. Every day we prayed the rosary. Every day we gathered around her image. The day of her funeral, when we buried her, there was a procession through the streets all the way to the cemetery where she was laid to rest. The sun on that day was brilliant and hot and beautiful and then it rained - thunderous loud rain and it was wonderful.
I think this year was a big advance towards been very truthful and less shy or insecure about my actions. I do not hide my emotion and seek to confront and solve issues with the surrounding. Maybe I should seek better spiritual attention in the upcoming year.
I have gotten more in touch with my inner Witch
I have reestablished my meditation practice, rejoined a sangha and attended study. This has made me more aware of the details of nature and my relationship to it.
Living in Big Sur is a spiritual experience. Here, things flow as they should. I am given fewer opportunities to get in my own way. Lessons are placed on my plate as if I live in a parable. Nature is big and imposing and will not allow me to be caught in a story and forget that I am a part of it. It's wild. Sitting meditation with Aea this year was a particularly spiritual experience, not in Big Sur. It opened my consciousness to the central current of love flowing through everything, the availability of the opportunity to BE love at any given time. Being shown that so clearly I can locate it more readily now.
I think I've opened up more to Taking Things In, deeply and slowly and fully. The same panic is still there- how to capture the moment and save it and remember it- but I am calmer I think, and more able to have experiences and let emotions pass through me instead of constricting me.
The birth of my daughter.
I had an epiphany that if I want to do things with people, I should start organizing things to do. If I enjoy spending time with people, I need to reach out to them or it's not going to happen.
oooh, really not as many as I feel like I wish I had. I think about N & F's wedding, and holding the space for them in the Quaker portion, feeling laser beams of love pouring towards them while also feeling silent and like I wasn't going to say. His mikveh was beautiful and spiritual. My mom saying that me dying first would be like Carrie Fischer dying - that was profound and has lingered with me. This feels like on a different plane, but sobbing at the end of "BlackKklansman," and watching "Nanette" were spiritual artistic moments. And the dance assembly! And hearing JR talk at VV school about privilege and opportunity.
I think that reuniting with old friends has been spiritual for me. Not living with my most trusted has left me feeling alone and vulnerable, both feelings I'm working on embracing. But seeing my best friends for the first time in months has made me cry, scream, and jump in ways that few things do recently. Watching campers cry as they leave camp has also been spiritual. It is soul-filling work, helping others to find their homes and creating spaces where they can be their full and best selves. I need more of that this year.
Yes, having second thoughts about my membership in a particular fellowship.
I can't say there is anything that really stands out. I think just those beautiful moments where I connect with my son, and feel this love that is so deep but still seems to grow every single day.
Acadia was spiritual in a way, in the cliche way that only nature can be spiritual. It was gorgeous and a reminder of how lucky we are to have this planet. Hannah and Michael’s and Yael and Daniel’s weddings were spiritual. I felt connected and I could tell they did too. They were beautiful moments to witness.
So, working at the Blumenthal has allowed me to go to a number of shows. Over the last fiscal year, I went to 50+ shows. which is incredible. I've always enjoyed going to shows and being entertained, but I never saw this coming. I hope the joy and excitement I feel for getting to experience all of these performances never goes away. I love what I do and who I do it with at the office.
I cry a lot more now than I did in my youth. I experience greater joy and deeper terror, and emotions good and bad are often expressed in tears these days. I'm kept awake at night by dark things I never dreamed of before becoming a parent, before paying more attention, before feeling the weight of time so profoundly. On the night before my daughter's second birthday, in July, she woke up and wanted to be held and snuggled. She is so much bigger now than when she was born - still so small, but half the length of me already; as I held her and realized there are a finite number of times that I will get to do this... hold my daughter in my arms... something visceral and spiritual washed over me and I wept. Just holding her. Just to have the privilege of holding her. That is holy.
I went to Hong Kong, Singapore, and India in February. I visited a Buddhist nunnery and garden in Hong Kong, which was very peaceful and meditative even though it was smack in the middle of the city. Singapore had mosques next to Hindu temples, right next to Taoist shrines, near Buddhist temples. I would walk past them and just observe. In India I saw the outside of the Lotus Temple (it was closed), the Hindu temple inside the Amer Fort, the Sikh temple in Delhi, and the Taj Mahal. I had a lot of solitary time on the trip, which was nice. It was also enlightening to learn more about Eastern religions. Seeing the Taj Mahal early in the morning was great
I have felt so disconnected from my own spirituality this year. When I'm pregnant, I am so thoroughly focused on the physical that I don't really have a lot of energy left over for the spiritual. I spent a lot of time in my own head, trying to make sure that the girls were getting what they needed, that my parents had what they needed, that everyone else was taken care of. I didn't have much left over for myself, even when my own health started making it so that all I could do was focus on my own body.
My spiritual experience has included my deep understanding that I can only control myself and my reactions to the world around me, including the actions of those around me, and how I react to stresss. I can not control anything but myself and my actions. It has been life changing as I have let go of so much control and given over to so much more peace.
Giving birth. Meeting two incredible new souls for the first time. Feeling them come from within me and lay on my arms for the first time. Growing new and big love.
My zombie dream last December helped me realize what my purpose in life was. I am here to catch the people who would otherwise fall through the educational cracks. I am here to witness their experiences and help if I can. I am peculiarly suited for this job because of my background and interests. I feel called to do this.
I continue to reference my heart surgery, but it was an incredible spiritual experience. In opening my heart to everything I: - Accepted and used an Episcopalian prayer shawl -Took seriously my Christian friends and neighbors prayers -Was awed by my yoga class' chanting of 21 OM's on my day of surgery -Opened myself to an intuition session to access my divine healers -Learned to rely on the meditations and positive thoughts that looked to positive outcomes -Read a Swami's daily quotes for strength -Turned to prayers for healing from Judaism and felt the support of my Jewish community -Trusted that I had done everything I could, including choosing the best care, to fix my heart well and safely -Wrote letters to my family in case I died, that clarified what I know I need to say to them while I am alive -Let go and let be It was possibly the most spiritual experience I have had beyond bearing children.
At my job I have been able to share my faith with people on occasion. I have sat with someone while she died, and I sang to her and one other resident in their final hours, and I have prayed with several residents when the time felt right. It is a great blessing to me to be able to be there for someone and to help them connect with God.
Spending more time with my dear wife since we retired Spending more time fishing
I think it has to be visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple. This space is so perfect and spiritual that you can just sit there and feel closer to God.
Birthright immediately comes to mind, but more specifically, I think of Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial and museum. There is something about its Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations that makes me feel connected the universal pursuit of justice. To know that there were those who acted to save lives, often while risking their own, gives me strength. Their stories convince me to speak out for what I believe is right because the potential consequences I may face are nothing compared to what they dealt with. I consider this experience spiritual in that while visiting the Gardens, I felt connected to something greater than myself.
Not one. & That in and of itself says a lot. & not in a good way. : )
As I settle down into a cross-legged posish...so glad this is fresh in my memory: This past weekend S and I did psychedelics together in Sonoma, alone - well with B as a casual doggie third. We were just appreciating each other, feeling each other's bodies, doing exactly what we wanted to do when we wanted. I danced naked by the pool to the basic af "Summer Party" playlist while he bathed in the hot tub. He gave me a massage on a quilt in the grass by the pool while I was on LSD and he was on mushrooms. I gave him a massage in the hot tub, just feeling him in a warm ocean. I squirted on a palanquin. There was great scenery, landscape. Lots of affirmations, and lots of genuine feelings. I love him so much, I am so lucky. We are lucky. I feel that we are synced, on the same page. I am a different person and was on a different substance but I feel like we were and are truly on the same plane. We are limpets in the chaos of life, clinging toward one another and it does make it better, though it is still ocean universe chaos and we are individuals. Can you tell I did drugs? Regardless, it was incredible; momentous and spiritual. Looking at trees and clouds and just being, in slow motion - in the moment, is incredible. I think it's important in our screened lives to break out in this way. Maybe quarterly.
I am a Bubbe...every moment with each of my grandchildren is a spiritual high; it is chased in motion! But one in particular comes to mind. In February a young, 19 year old single father of two babies was approached by police officers including several under my watch as Police Chaplain. A deputy from the Sheriff's department, a young dad of twin 7 year olds, a religious man, a responsible husband who had returned to college for his Masters degree the year before, was among them and in the gun battle that ensued, both of these men were killed. It could have been handled differently and lives would have been saved. But once the young man, who was believed to have stolen a car pulled his weapon from the seat beside him every shot fired was driven by fear, training, and adrenaline, his and theirs. And in the end both men were dead and four children lost their fathers. For the officer there was a hero's funeral. Five thousand attended and thousands braved an ice-storm to stand on the side of every street as his hearse drove slowly to his place of rest. His widow's grief I understood. It was easy to know her pain. I'd felt it too, when my husband died at 38; felled not by a bullet but by the weapon that is cancer. Her children's inconsolable sadness and fear of life without dad was natural to me. My kids has known that journey at 3,7,9 and 11. And that a community would rally I also knew, for the entirety of Lake Jackson, Texas and many from Houston had been with us when my beloved was laid in the ground; and then, just as it would be for this bride of a great man, slowly the crowds disperse, and all go back to their own lives, and you're left alone to cope. All this I knew. But I was called to officiate another funeral that week as well. That of the man many would, mistakenly, as the reports would later show, The Shooter. His family wanted a memorial for him and as I came to learn more about him I realized that this young 19 year old had been a brave soul on many occasions. He'd fed and cared for his siblings for three years, starting at just 13, when their parents were incarcerated. He'd taken his girl friend-later his fiance-to every OB appointment and stood by her side during an arduous 36 hour labor. He'd been a soccer player, a good student according to his teachers, a kid who avoided drugs and gangs that claimed others. He's buried his best friend a year earlier, and his friends, though terrified to let it be known they were close to the most hated man in Colorado Springs at the time, wrote letters of great love to him, and shed tears of grief for the friend who had been there for them many times and now was gone. I was probably asked to do this funeral because my last name is Hispanic. That surely was the reason his uncle chose me. That was his reason and it allowed him to overlook the fact that it is Rabbi that comes before my name, not Father. But Hashem has another reason, for I am a Bubbe Rabbi and two of my own kids as 19 year olds could easily have made the poor choices this young man made and been were he was. All it takes is depression or anxiety, addiction or the disconnection between actions and consequences that is the hallmark of Bipolar Disorder for it to seem that the only way to handle being called by name by six officers twice your size, on a cold winter afternoon is to point a gun at them. No sane human being does that and the very definition of mental illness so severe that it warrants forced hospitalization is that it puts you or other in danger. This young man proved he was that ill as he pointed that gun but he also proved it when he bought it-legally-and when, quite possibly he stole another person's car without consideration of the harm that would cause its owner. So his was the burial of a very ill young man and as he was a student in one of our high schools, a congregant at a local Catholic church, a neighbor child, a person growing up in my city, on my watch his death is our corporate responsibility, and it's mine. Where was his priest when the parents stopped coming to weekly mass with their kids? Where was the chaplain at the hospital where his children were born when nurses knew a 16 and 17 year old were going home to care for an infant? Where were the cries of his teachers when he was kicked off the soccer team for falling grades and then ran away from school, ashamed, ostracized, scared and without hope never to return. Where were the guidance counselors? Why didn't someone go to his home? Where was the Coach? Where were his aunties and uncles who let this child serve the role of a man without their help. And where was I. I believe that the solution can be found in recreating our towns and cities into small neighborhoods with kids going to school where they can walk to school, taught by teachers who live where they work and cared for by police officers who know them by name. The answer comes in never incarcerating a parent, or placing any human being in a cage that we euphemistically call prison, unless absolutely there is no alternative. The answer comes in making birth control available over the counter and in our high schools so that no young lady and young man have to decide between ending their child's life and ending their own education. And the answer comes from stepping up when our family, or the family we know requires help is in a time of greatest need. I often long in my work for ah hah moments and they are there. I've knelt next to the still warm body of a 85 year old woman, as her husband told me about their life together and I've witnessed the transformation from despair to a brief moment of shalom as it washed over him. I've talked with and prayed with and held officers who are terrified to go to work and watched them find a reason that transcends the fear. I've seen officers soften their defenses and embrace the powerful, transforming concept of T'Shuvah, that says all human beings have the right to rise again and the responsibility to do so, and then return to their home cities ready to take on the prison industrial complex. I'm grateful Hashem knows my heart, as He knows yours, and that the AhHah moments are interspersed with the those that make my angry, and drive me to no longer accept the way we treat each other as inevitable. Laws can change-other nations have made it illegal to buy guns and surely one person's 2nd Amendment right is trumped by another's right to live. We can stop tearing families apart by neglecting mental illness and financing mass incarceration. And this year my spiritual moments of that awareness I value far beyond the AhHah moments that I've sought as my birthright.
Not particularly. I continue to grapple with what spirituality means to me. I remember a coworker described me as spiritual once. At the time it seemed an odd compliment. I wish I had maintained whatever quality he saw in me that made him think I was spiritual though.
Reading my last few year’s accounts has made me laugh, especially since I feel like I have made up for lost time in the last twelve months! So again, since meeting Matt there have been many changes. Our first date was a walk to a nearby park to meditate, followed by what can only be explained as an extreme crash course in tantra. For the weeks/months proceeding, we explored all different kinds of spiritual exercises. We did a Tantric Yoga course for six weeks and later went to the Tantra in Love relationships workshop in Melbourne. Some of these have been huge financial investments (especially on a STA salary), but they have proven so worthwhile. There’s been a lot of eye gazing and meditation with Matt throughout the year, but even more recently there’s been another foray in yoga just for me. I’ve really enjoyed the last month of going to the Yogalab in Fremantle, and I’m looking forward to seeing that continue.
Meditation has definitely been a life changer for me. It grounds me and gives me peace, and honestly has started shifting they way I think and the way I interact with others. I wish we were taught earlier in life about the mind and how being present can make such a difference in your life.
In February, I visited the Pulse Memorial in Orlando. I felt such an overwhelming sense of pain- I couldn't leave this reality because it was standing right in front of me. All of the hurt, empathy, love, spilled right out of me just like so many who come to pay their respects. I felt so connected with the site, those who went to Pulse regularly to let go of reality for a few hours, those who wanted a place to escape on Latin night, the survivors, and those kind souls who never left the club. I can't explain if it was spiritual- but I was with them.
This would have to be a no
I am going to get my Reiki master certification next month. I am not wanting to teach or initiate anyone into Reiki, but it will increase my power and understanding. I have not really been a beacon of light and love, I seem to struggle with all of this. The world does not feel like it is loving and I get sucked into the negativity...but I am fighting it and Reiki is my way to keep fighting. I long to be a warrior of light.
As usual I am not a religious person, so I have not had very many experiences in that vein, but there was one very strange realization I came to while working on my med school applications. I realized while writing an essay about my father that I wasn't considering medicine as a career when he died--I came to that realization about a year later. Which means that this entire thing that has taken up my life for the past four years is something that he never knew about. I'm going to make an entire career out of something my dad would not know about if, say, there was a heaven and we met there later. It was startling to come to that realization, and it made me really sad. Much more sad than when I realized, for example, that he'll never walk me down the aisle if I get married, etc. (That's probably because I'm not planning on marriage anytime soon.)
Kamp yaptık :) Epey güzeldi yani aslında biraz yatmalı mangal gibiydi ama çok keyifliydi. Doğada takılma, çadırda uyuma, karanlık vs bence epey güzeldi. Büyük ihtimalle bu sene içerisinde tekrarlayacağım bir aktivite olacak çok keyif aldım.
Nothing nearly as grand as it has in the past, but definitely spiritual moments writ small. Silent solitary encounters with wildlife. Watching the garden grow. Holding a 4 day old newborn while he stares up at me with big trusting soul-searching eyes. Staring at the stars. Finding complete love and acceptance from my retired nun of an aunt, 50 years my senior, and still being of service to others. My friend pressing my hand against her growing womb, where her 4 month old fetus was starting to make herself known. Dancing and laughing with strangers. Life finds a way. There is nothing more spiritual than acknowledging the mind-boggling scale of the universe, from electrons to galaxies.
The most spiritual experience i had this year was the first trip i took out with the Red Cross after we got back to the island. I couldn't believe all this destruction i was seeing and when we arrived at the drop site, i almost vomited. It was because i was just so overwhelmed and it surprised me because my body has never reacted like that.
I've had a very spiritual year. This year I sat with, was excited by, was frustrated with, and was moved by Judaism among other things. I pushed myself to understand more about not just Judaism but other spiritualities to try to get a more nuanced understanding. I also pushed myself to diversify my hobbies to give myself a fuller experience of free time (guitar, piano, languages, exercise, etc.).
I have them almost every day. I am becoming so much more mindful of my life and my surroundings. I want this to grow much stronger
I have been meditating and also just spend alone time with the intent to "listen" to my own inner guidance. I've been doing this for years but I feel like I'm getting better at understanding what I'm being guided to. If that makes sense. I've been writing lots and lots of advice down, which has been so incredibly helpful. It makes me feel closer to God. And I've been practicing an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness every day, which alternately makes me feel closer to God, too.
The short answer here is 'no.' I've done a bad job of engaging the spiritual. I'm not sure that I know what that means at all, and not just from the religious-studies critic part of myself. But from a lived sense, I don't think I understand what that is anymore. A connection to nature? To mankind? To the greater scheme of things? Beyond not knowing precisely what the spiritual means, I think I haven't committed any time - or any meaningful time - to reflecting on any or all of those possible meanings of the spiritual. Maybe I haven't been in that headspace, maybe I've avoided that headspace. Maybe that part of me doesn't exist anymore.
Today I was in the front yard trimming some bushes and I heard this buzzing sound. I looked up, thinking it was an insect, and it was a hummingbird! She was just hovering in front of me and she and I stared at each other and I said, “hi” to her. She looked at me a while longer and then flew away. It seemed like an eternity that we stared at each other. I felt the urge to cry afterwards...it was so intense for some reason. I’m taking it as a sign, although I don’t know of what.
My health has been a spiritual experience. Learning to be with it. To understand despair, longing, loss, pain, exhaustion and not be consumed by them. It's a work in progress.
Brene Brown's book "Daring Greatly" has cause me to undergo something of the "breakdown/spiritual awakening" that she describes in the book. Haven't always felt 100% positive about it so far . . . which is probably a good thing? I definitely feel like it tore me up a bit, and is still tearing through me as it changes the way I respond to things in my life. So far it seems like I do battle my way to a better place, but the battle is harder than I remember. Is that just because it's a more honest process? Or is it adding some weight that doesn't need to be shouldered? The addition of my daily habit tracker has helped me to pray more consistently. I do think that has profoundly changed my life. In my darkest times this past year I have more and more habitually turned to prayer, and time and again, the answer begins there. I'm learning why prayer has been around for so many centuries -- perhaps for all of human history? It is fundamental. Also mysterious, elusive, and challenging. I'm only beginning to learn all the different ways I can pray, and what separates prayer from recitation.
A man recounted how he doesn't see the value of the arts, saying he's doing quite well in life as a science-based physician. He devalues the arts completely. I walked away. I'm young enough to be bothered by it but old enough not to engage or try to change the minds of those unwilling to listen. I only feel sorry for his children and hope his wife's influence instills that appreciation for the fullness of life that the arts bring.
Hmmmmm. Yes? Probably. I visited some old stuff that happened to Jews when I was in the Netherlands, that always feels deeply connected. I think I’m learning more and more about what is actually important to me and what I actually want to be in this world. Still hard to see that separate from ego and attention and fame and all the other trappings of capitalism.. I think being sick and unproductive makes one understand that productivity need not be a requirement of life. You deserve to live and live well even if you can’t produce.
Going to the old pharmacy in Dubrovnik and feeling the weight of history there felt spiritual. And every time I look out at the lake and feel the weight of it.
The success of and response to my Intergenerational Improv class, where participants truly felt that it was "life-changing!" I feel so honored and proud!
I had the opportunity to go back an immerse in the mikvah in June 2018, which was a little more than a year after I became a Jew. I found the experience the second time (the first time was for my conversion) to be just as meaningful if not more so. This time around, I was much more focused on the immersion itself and less stressed because the first time time was associated with the conversion. I appreciated being able to take my time, recite the blessings, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. This place - the mikvah - represents a spiritual touchpoint where I see myself continuing to visit and find meaning.
Being in Krakow this June and at the Polish Culture Festival was very moving - singing at the many musical performances (singing "We Shall Overcome" in Polish led by klezmer singers was a highlight) - it was moving to see how Jewish culture existed again in such force - large groups of young Jews, not all were tourists - to feel this presence there -
Last year I bore witness to the declining health of our Isabel, the most magical dog we've ever known. Eventually the bad days outweighed the good, her quality of life reached its nadir, and her eyes seemed to plead with us to give her relief. Two days after my birthday in October, she sneezed blood and we decided her last day had arrived. The staff at Dove Lewis was calm and caring, and we held our girl as we felt all of her weight release. She was free. During the ensuing weeks I had two dreams: In the first I arrived at an enormous airplane hanger where sunlight poured through wide windows onto green astro-turf. The space was filled with dogs of every size and breed playing, tumbling, running. Isabel strode up to me, with that perpetual laugh of hers, and I chased her among all those happy mutts. It felt like the waiting area for an impending vacation, like all the dogs would board some ark and retire to a land of plenty. In the second dream, I was walking my roommate's two dogs off-leash up a steep trail where the forest canopy gave way to sun and blue sky. Abruptly, Isabel ran past us and we followed her as quickly as we could. At the top of the hill we tarried, out of breath and panting, and gazed across an expansive green vista where, like my hangar dream, every size and breed of dog was playing, rolling on their backs and leaping with joy. Isabel was deep in the throng, already receding, and she turned back to look at me with that goofy smile of hers, as if to say, "This is where I live now". I've never been prone to this type of sentimental dreaming. My dreams are often practical, mundane, stressful, or wildly imaginative, but not personal. Thus, I concluded these were spiritual experiences. I awoke from both dreams knowing Isabel had graduated to a place of pure elation, and that all good dogs go to some place like heaven for them, and that there are no bad dogs -- they're all shaped by positive or adverse circumstances. We may rescue them, but they also rescue themselves in small ways every day. To take these truths a step further, I realized how much they play out our lives in miniature. The truly bad among us are only victims of cause and effect, of nurturing or poison, of negligence or love.
On my birthday, I chose to spend the day taking a difficult hike to where a B-18 bomber had crashed in the mountains in 1942. It was striking seeing the wreckage - the plane was in many small, mangled parts - and knowing that 5 of the 7 men flying it had survived. I was inspired by the courage and determination of the rescue crew, whose repeated forays into the snow-covered heights were instrumental in the flight crew's survival. And I am filled with gratitude that my own father survived WW2 and was able to effect change through his work after the war.
The simple act of sitting still in a park after a hectic day. That's been my moment of zen lately.
If anything, I feel even less spiritual these days than I have in the past. As I said last year, I still feel like the world is random and cruel. I feel we have no ability beyond ourselves and our own will to control anything that happens.
Yes! This one took a long time to remember but now I do... Shabbat services at Kehilat Halev in Tel Aviv, Israel. Outdoor service surrounded by a beautiful community, led by an incredible Rabbi Naomi, with the birds dancing above and the songs of joy and prayer wrapping me in a warm blanket. What a beautiful service. It was truly something special. I hope to go back when I return to Israel.
My sister and I are getting along. We like each other! Can you believe that?
I would have to say that attending a concert of one of my all time favorite bands LIVE recently with my boyfriend. I am always truly in awe of the talent that many musicians have and this time was even more prominent. I only found out and planned the concert a couple weeks before so it was a relative surprise as well. The connection I feel when listening to lyrics and performances live is something I do not often feel. This was also a band I listened to when I was much younger, so I felt a connection to my younger self as well. Additionally, being able to share this experience with someone that I feel so close to enhanced the experience even more.
I have been learning to swim and I find it to be a metaphor and a door into a way of life and a way to be more connected to my body, my self, my environment and others.
I've been able to hear a lot of great music on Satellite radio this year that I wouldn't have heard otherwise. The song that moved me the most this year was "When I go away" from Levon Helm, which is a NoLa flavored piece about how the writer wants to leave this world and all it's sorrows and troubles, which definitely resonated with my situation. Very powerful and memorable piece.
I had many spiritual moments in therapy this year. I gained clarity and peace with my childhood, and developed a greater awareness of my strengths and areas for growth.
I think in my attempts to be more realistic, I’ve wound up quieting my brain from seeing connections that in the past may have felt more spiritual. I think that there must be other ways to feel connections without going all WHITE GIRL UNIVERSE on everything. I look forward to exploring and deepening my spirituality in the coming year.
The scrubby deserts of central Oregon moved me deeply. I found them to be so beautiful -- visually, but also in what they represent concerning the people who have settled there...both now and in prior centuries and well before. That when you have a harsh landscape and few resources, you become resourceful. You conserve and recycle and try to align with the environment around you. You share and get along with neighbors. I clearly gained a superficial connection -- being there for only a couple days, but I deeply appreciated this aspect that I observed and took part in.
I don't know if it was a spiritual experience, but it was an realization that if I want to spend more time with my mom that's fully *in my control.* I can be closer. I can make it a priority to physically be there more often, and I can and should make time for what matters. That's what really put me on the path to relocating from Portland to Chicago.
I so want to say yes. I so want to describe something that happened because it was so memorable I'd never forget. But if there was something then I don't recall. So I'll trust the answer is yes and that it filled me in the moment and that must have been enough.
Sometimes I can actually feel my heart open up and generate more love. I’ve been practicing. It’s a very primal, vulnerable but expansive feeling. Each time I try it, it’s a little easier. I want to be in that place more!
I went on a pilgrimage to Assisi Italy to live for 2 weeks off the kindness of others and the experience absolutely changed my life. When life gets sticky I reflect back to my experience and it helps put things into perspective for me.
I'm trying to stick to "The Artist's Way". I'm stuck on week 2 right now. It seems like a promising course though. I hope I can keep to it and push through. I want to learn from it and transform. Already in the first week I noticed at the beginning of the week writing morning pages was much more difficult compared to the end of the week, when I had been cultivating focus and attention and had more to write about.
On the beach in Costa Rica, with the Milky Way shining above us, and the phosphorescent organisms in the sea glowing at our feet.
Yes on my paddleboard on the lake in the early morning when no one but the ducks and geese are out on the water and there is a morning mist rising. There is something so magical and spiritual about that time and feeling with nature.
The most significant spiritual experience I had this year was when Dad died. The moment when we unplugged life support, I started to feel my heart well up with this sort of warmth that was physical and emotional. It was the warmth of love, the literal heart-warming feeling. The whole feeling stayed with me the entire time that we were in the room with him waiting for him to pass. And sometimes when I call on Dad and talk to him, I get that same feeling. It didn't take away any of the pain, but gave me a sense of hope and ease feeling that God was there filling me with this strong physical feeling of deep, enduring love.
Sutting on my private porch looking over the water with my feet up readimg my book (SHRILL by Lindy West) and drinking mandarin orange seltzer.
I think my coaching sessions with Simone helped me reconnect with myself in many ways. It has helped me be more accepting of who I am and my limitations. With Eduardo’s illness also we began going a lot more to the synagogue. I think that with time I see myself becoming more secular and less believing, but always grateful for the messages of self reflection brought by Dario.
Growing closer to God, and becoming more involved at st. Monica's has been an absolute savior. I went to the fall retreat, was a small group leader at the spring retreat, saw a spiritual director for the first time, went to my first healing mass, and I try to make God the center of my life. I may get off the mark at times, but even though I've gone through tough times emotionally in the past year, I think I would be much worse off without God to talk to and lean on. Nothing is "solved", by any means, but having God looking out for me and trying to remind myself to turn to him is a step in the right direction I think.
Unfortunately, I have not had any spiritual experiences this year that have been impactful enough for me to remember. The only thing that would come close is the Women's Retreat at Adath or Family Camp at Herzl. Both were very enlightening and special to both me as a woman and me as a mother. Family Camp was especially important because it brought my family together in a very special place for me and I was able to share things with my husband that he might not otherwise understand. A goal I have for this year to keep exploring new ways of experiences the world around me. I'm trying to find a women's study group to join and am planning on attending more women-related religious events this year. I would like to connect more with women who I can relate to in more than just being a mom.
Singing Hebrew prayers to a dying Holocaust survivor. Sharing Jewish words of wisdom and prayer with a woman who can no longer walk or get out of bed by herself. Sitting on the beach with a close friend and helping her process the death of a patient in her care at the hospital.
I’ve struggled to figure out what spirituality even means to me. I don’t believe in God. I see so many atrocities and I find it hard to believe that any kind of higher power could allow such violence and cruelty to persist, and yet i know so many people experiencing all of that—and more—have an unwavering belief in someone or something bigger than ourselves, and that is sustaining. I like nature. I think that people are born to do good. But I don’t know how to connect all of that into some kind of set of beliefs that I can call or experience as spirituality. I feel like at 38 I should have this figured out, but I don’t. Logically I know it’s a lifelong process but with so many struggles this year I really wish I had something to hold onto outside of the reality of what’s here.
Nothing really specific but my faith continues to be important even though I am mocked for it by some I work with. I talk with G-d every morning when I walk and see the stars. I would like to think it sets my day on the right track.
Last December, I attended my first ever silent meditation retreat. Along with several trusted leaders and facilitators, I spent 36+ hours surrounded by nature, not speaking and not using my phone. So many thoughts came up for me, so I used the opportunity to reconnect with my journaling habit. It was interesting and frustrating to see how many tired thought patterns still persist for me. When I notice this, I feel so immature, like I haven't grown up from the ideas and views I held in my teenage years. But I also reached some new realizations, that I think will serve me well as I start this journey of my 30s. Lastly, many of my friends jokingly questioned my ability to be silent for such a prolonged period of time. The truth was that I so deeply craved that peace in silence. Even in the moments it was uncomfortable, it was in a certain way comforting to be alone with only myself and not hate it.
not as much as i have had previously. this year there's been a noticeable lack of being present which is where my spiritual feelings come from. probably the walks in the garraf have brought me closest to that -- esp the saturday morning ones where it's just me and the dogs and hardly any people. i discontinued my sunrise photos -- those were profound and grounding. a lot of this past year was about getting the courage up to make some change. and it wasn't until this summer that i did that. but that didn't feel spiritual at all. that felt very pragmatic but also visceral. nothing that made me feel connected to all that is around me.
I don't know if this can be described as spiritual but I've visited wonderful places in my country, Portugal, that made me feel peaceful and in contact with mother nature. It was great!
I started meditating a little this year, and that's been a really nice way to re-connect with my mind, slow things down. It's amazing how that time, even if it's 10 minutes, calms me. I need to make more space for that in my life. On the other end of the spectrum - dance church! exuberant and joyful. thankful to have moments of freedom like that in my life.
My spiritual life has become more private. I long for connection and have had to seek it out in ways which are not familiar.
I have had the experience of finally understanding yoga's impact on your body and soul. I feel so distracted, overwhelmed by my own thoughts, in daily life that the need for quiet time to relax and focus on breathing and healing my body is essential. It's also a reminder that the power to heal is within ourselves. Our bodies are amazingly capable of healing when we allow them the time and room to do it.
You've gotten back into you craft and you've been manifesting perfectly!
Holding my son's tiny hand and comforting him as the nurse inserts a syringe into his wrist to draw blood, putting droplets of sugar water on his pacifier to distract him from the pain as she blows the vein and has to search for another, has to do the same on his other hand, and I hold back the lake of tears that is dammed up behind my face, and then I drive to Echo Park to deliver golden balloons to my goddaughter on her birthday, to be a vessel for the love that is God, that's as spiritual as it gets for me.
I'm not sure if this fits this answer, but I wanted to share it. For the past three or so years, fall has been spectacularly horrible for me. I've found this weirdly beautiful time of year to be painful. I've never actually been able to explain this to anyone except my therapist - I've never felt like my friends particularly cared about everything I've been through and everything that's made me crash and burn. Fall was when everything went wrong a few years back, and ever since then, whenever October, particularly that one even-numbered day I tend not to share, rolls back around, I have tendencies to self-sabotage, to bait myself back into being in pain just so I can feel something familiar - depression has always been easier than anxiety. But this Fall is different - I'm trying not to jinx it, but it's different. I've never been this inspired, this busy, this beautifully productive. I'm using the fall colors, Halloween, the changing of the seasons, as inspiration in taking photographs. I'm making themed shoots and they're all coming out beautifully. I'm taking back fall as the season that used to be mine, the one that used to belong to me. And I hope it carries on forever.
Every year, this is the question that annoys me, because I just don't get the whole idea of spirituality. I think I'm just aspiritual (like some people are asexual). That said, I do have moments when I feel an unusually deep connection to myself and to those around me. For example, the first time I went back to dance class after 18 months of trying to heal my strained plantar plate. Being in that utterly feminist space, full of women moving and loving their bodies, I could not contain my emotions. I didn't realize how bereft of that connection I had been until I returned to it. I don't know if I'd call that spiritual, but it fed my soul.
Perhaps during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. Nothing magical or other worldly, but just the opportunity to stop, shut the world out, reflect and feel connected...connected to my mom mostly, my family, other Jews celebrating throughout the world, Leslie and the other worshipers at the temple. Some of the prayers particularly moved me - as I know that they are the same words that mom read to try and make sense of what what was happening to her and to provide her comfort.
I don't know about spiritual...but I finally started painting again. I've only gotten a few done the last few months....but I am finally painting again. The only other time I feel spiritual is when I am in my mermaid tail and exploring the bottom of lakes.
I think for me my most spiritual experience has been the love of my husband. He has been my calm, my guidance, my inspiration, my peace this year. Even though he has been working out of town for almost the past year and we only see each other on weekends, or Sundays - he is the rock that has held it all together for me.
Studying the small amount of Hebrew has greatly helped my walk with ADONAI. It has shown me how short I try to live this joyfilled life and substitute it for what is wrong. It has shown me how far I have progressed as well, that I am not the same person I was before. That I love clinging to this life no matter the fight.
This summer I fell in love with the beauty of our country. Just because you don't love the government doesn't mean you can't love the country. Traveling around National Parks especially Alaska I felt connected to the land, the sea and the people of our great nation.
i am experiencing a spirit of self love and acceptance
Past year, I experienced love more than ever in my life.
Waking up at 3:33am the night after we inseminated... that was pretty cool. At the time, it was crystal clear to me that I was pregnant. But did all those 3s mean that it was my THIRD child setting up shop in there... or that we'd just conceived TRIPLETS?! (Spoiler alert: just one baby, 3rd and final!)
I don't believe I have had any "spiritual" experiences per say, but I do feel like I have done a lot of personal growth to become more independent, more proud, more my self that I always wanted to be.
Not so much. I am struggling with this. Mine is mostly time spend outdoors. Perhaps I'm a borderline Pantheist or Panentheist? I had one short car camping trip once the camper was repaired. I had to cancel the Sand Dunes as it was already the hot and mosquito part of the spring/summer down there. I had to cancel Glacier Park as it was on fire again. With all the breathing difficulties and exhaustion that comes with walking, being outside, getting from point A to point B, hauling on my shoulders or dragging O-2 behind me; it wipes me out quite fast. Doesn't leave much room or time for the spiritual. I know I need to be grateful for O-2 therapy as that is what is allowing me to live. But sometimes I feel so sad and bereft. Woe is me. There is that prayer on page 181 or 185 in the Siddur that speaks of the sunlight filtering through the leaves, the quiet, the sound of the rain.....
I am still learning to release habits. Less successful than I hoped. Getting with P and having that turn out so miserably wrong...I'm still working on the message from that.
Yup. After my De-addiction, I've become more spiritual. I've started reading a lot and some of the things I've felt happening in my life currently. Meditation has played a huge role in that.
I have had several epiphanies leading me to deeper understand the need for personal change. I have awakened to a part of me that had either been dormant or denied. Either way she's BAAAAACK
Spending time in the wilds of Scotland - Raasay was particularly wonderful with breathtaking views, stunning scenery, great walking -refreshes my soul!
I went to Norway for the first time, which is mind-blowingly beautiful - but the spiritual experience was SPEAKING NORWEGIAN. It's the first time I've learned a language well enough to converse comfortably (albeit slowly, haltingly). I felt inspired, I felt like I'd hit a new level in the video game I've been going around & around in, I felt like this was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I've always wanted to be bilingual but never got much beyond traveler's "foreign." And now I am this new person who thinks & sees & speaks differently.
I'm trying to tap into this idea of birthing as a spiritual moment. I am intrigued by a) how it has traditionally been a women-only space (I love women's circles!), b) how much of the natural birthing space is both scientific, historical, and a connection to all birthing mothers at every point in time, c) circles and mandalas -- the cervix is a circle! The rounded belly is a circle! I feel like I'm still sort of studying it all from afar/in a headspace. I'm having a hard time tapping in to my body/spiritualspace, mostly because my usual ways of tapping in to my body don't feel good anymore! I'd like to dedicate more time to seeing what feels "good" now.
When I answered this question last year I had just been through the worst experience of my life up until that point. It was hard to see anything, but the debris and damage. However, looking at my answer to this question during that time, I still had hope. I love that! It was deserved too. I did find my way through that fog and I even got to know myself better. I can't imagine a better spiritual experience than that over this last year.
I signed on to be a Sunday school teacher... and this sunday will be my first lesson. I haven't felt that I've had many spiritual moments this past year, but I'm hoping that this new commitment will help me find space to allow for those moments to come.
I think I have come more to terms with my little brother's spiritualism. I am less protective and more hope he just finds his way in life and knows I love him and will always be there for him. Just because some people associated with a particular group or ideology have done bad things doesn't mean that group is doomed to badness, or that everyone in that group is bad. Because humanity is one big group with good and bad among us. "Bad" people can do good things. We're all humans with loved ones, insecurities, and dreams. So long as people aren't hurting others, their path is no less honorable or respectable than my own.
The intention of my year is happening. In ways that I NEVER could have predicted. Kindness. I'm on it.
Again no "big time" and life altering "spiritual" moments but many "regular" ones throughout the year.
I stopped going to church after the election. Since then, I have found peace with God in so many other places and people outside the church. I believed a lie that everyone and everything outside the church was bad and would be "missing something". Don't miss the racist rhetoric of Evangelicals and my relationship with God is better.
I had some spiritual disconnects. I had some anger at the universe. Places of solace were not always so. It was nice to stand up and let myself express my disappointments and still come home. Baruch HaShem.
Every day is a spiritual experience for me. I feel God's presence constantly. It's the little things and not the big ones that are most telling that i am on the right path and loved.
I began studying mediumship and became a spiritualist. I live in an ancestral home and am diving into my lineage to guide and support me in this life. It’s beautiful and holds me like nothing else ever has.
My life is a constant reminder of my need to be mindful. I have not incorporated a deep spiritual practice or meditation as I had hoped. Burning Man, of course, is my ongoing re-alignment. I am thankful for having it in my life.
Two spring to mind. The first, getting out of the car last September and smelling the Pacific Ocean. Until I did that, I had no idea how much I'd missed being near the ocean. This past August, I had the chance to spend a week in Florida. Again, being near the ocean (even if it was Gulfside) awakened a strong desire to consider what career changes I could make which would support living near the ocean again.
My wedding day was one of the most spiritual days of my life. Just living in a state of joy and receiving would have been enough. Dayenu! However, on the suggestion of our Rabbi, I chose to offer bridal blessings to guests before the ceremony. According to esoteric traditions, on her wedding day the bride is a conduit for the Shechinah. I was surprised how many of the women cried as I blessed them. I was truly channeling what it was they most needed to hear. I felt so aligned with God that by the time I walked down the aisle, I was in bliss!
I saw a production of the opera, Parsifal, staged in Bayreuth, Germany that surprised me in its relevance, and impact. It was staged in the conflict between the West and ISIS in the Middle East, and it ended with the consignment to burial of the trappings of all religions, followed with the house of worship, in which the last scene is set, cracking apart at the seams and expanding, with all the singers moving onward in relaxed joy. It moved me to tears to imagine humankind moving beyond divisions.
I have been enjoying reading the Bible in chronological order. I have prayed for discernment and distanced myself from the Jehovah's Witnesses.
The first thing that comes to mind is going into labor, specifically towards the end when it came to pushing. I am still amazed by how the body just does what is has to do, again specifically when it comes to pushing. The urge just comes and you can't really control it. I tried to when the nurse asked, but really, when your body wants to push, it is so hard to fight it. I'm trying to think of what I can compare it to. It's almost like breathing, when you hold it in, you hold it in for as long as you can but then you end up having to gasp for air it's something you HAVE to do, something you have no control over (unless you want to stop it then you bring other things into the picture to make your breathing stop, i know, this took a morbid twist.) ANYWAYS! It was a spiritual experience all around. The pain of labor is a pain, but the urge to push is freaking amazing, i would do it again and again just to experience the urge and the huge sense of relief.
I feel more relaxed spiritually or more settled & understand that I’m more ‘conscious’ of life, love & the universe xx I feel more supported & allow myself to be guided intuitively by spiritual means xx power animals/spirit guides/higher self whether it’s fictitious as in a projection of myself or real it helps either way xx I know I’m a child of the universe & that’s ok xx ❤️
I think the most spiritual experience I had was at the beginning of the year during Yom Kippur. We made a no computers rule (after submitting our 10Q) and we read our Jewish literature and prayer books, and watched Jazz Singer as per tradition. It was so powerfully connecting to each other, to Judaism, to really beginning to understand. We didn't do that this Yom Kippur (2018) but it really set a tone and momentum for learning and connecting that I think I'd like to bring into Shabbats throughout the year this year. I think this is the inspiration for observance not due to command (although that's a valid expression) but due to the soul's needs and the mental cleanse and lift it gives.
In June we went to the beach in Oregon and I walked out to the icy cold water, as I always do, and I stood in the water, letting the waves wash over my feet until they were numb. I told my baby that we were at the ocean and that the water is our sacred place, that I would bring them there one day, and asked if they could feel or hear the water. It was the first time I felt connected to the baby as a person, not a condition of some kind. We were connected to each other and to the icy water and the rough, wet sand, and the chilly breeze, and the weak PNW sun.
Our dog’s life ended in the vet’s office, as too many of them do. He was so exhausted that I don’t think the second shot was even necessary. He sank to the floor underneath me, and I felt him go. He went right through me. It was the closest I’ve ever been to death. He didn’t want to go — but his body was failing him and there was no choice. It broke my heart. I miss him so much even now almost a year later...
I grew very comfortable in not going to church and expressing myself as a broad spiritual being than just a Christian. I love this space because I had been afraid for a long time of being judged harshly as a heathen but slowly I am learning to drop the caring about what people with think, feel and say about me. I recognize that I am old enough to take full responsibility for my life.
it's the same as day 1, but i would count amanda palmer as a spiritual experience. her performance taught me that i can be open about myself without any hesitation and if people don't respond well then i don't need them. i'll never forget how her eyes were so trained on mine, and her hands were so steady. she lacks fear, and is all the more beautiful for it. her performance kicked off a lot of emotions in me, and i'll probably never put them into words properly. but i am sure that since seeing her, since meeting her and andrew o'neill, i've felt a significant shift internally. the same can be said for andrea gibson. hearing their poems out loud, meeting them afterward and just getting a chance to sincerely thank them for their words and their strength has opened an avenue within me. andrea got me through so much, and they'll never truly know how much i clung to their words. in truth, i would say my spiritual experiences are all the live events i got to attend. they all had moments that have changed me, and they all affected personal parts of my identity in ways i doubt they did anybody around me.
Yes - great Picasso exhibition at the Tate in London - some great new perspectives on looking at the world
I have spent a lot of time thinking about spirituality in the past year. I am less inclined than ever to consider myself a Catholic and, while I never say never, the possibility of that changing seems very unlikely. I feel more comfortable in that fact today than I did a year ago, less wavery. The question of whether I should be in the Church and trying to change it from within no longer comes up for me. The fact that I'm the only one in my family to make this choice used to both unnerve and sort-of excite me. Now it does neither, it just is what it is and I'm confident about my choice. So, it's becoming not a thing (for me at least) and that is significant for me. And the way it should be, I think.
Nothing overly spiritual this year. I found a lot of joy in helping our friends in Cuba and in general, giving back to others.
Hearing my students lead tefilah for the first time this school year. Singing Shema with my son before bed. Watching my daughter recognize words and prayers. Sitting with my husband in services. Shabbat shira at camp. All of these things were about connecting with others and connecting with God, and they remind me of the importance of continuing to put myself in situations where I can witness and be part of holy communities.
I haven't had what I would call a "spiritual" experience this year, but I have longed for one. We had a discussion along these lines at the adult group at my place of worship last week. The question came up about what we missed from the religious traditions of our past. This made me recall instances when I was brought to tears by on overwhelming feeling of "awakening" or what some may call an "aha moment"during my religious practice. One was during my Lutheran confirmation ceremony, and several others were during guided meditations. The feeling both times was like I was being washed clean or released from something. I guess I get a similar feeling when I hike to a mountain top and everything seems visible to me. This, I suppose, is a form of clarity, or at least it's a door through which spiritual clarity could enter. Still though, I'm not brought to the state of tearful, euphoric release that I long for in a truly spiritual experience.
My most spiritual experience this past year was my three month long parental leave. For those three months, each day involved nursing meditation, diapering meditation, sleeping meditation, followed by nursing meditation, diapering meditation, sleeping meditation, and on and on. It was the most present to my moment by moment experience I have ever been for such a sustained period of time. It was the closest I have come to a three month long meditation retreat. And my feelings were overwhelmingly of love and awe and gratitude. My parents were around to help me every day so I did not get lonely. It was a great blessing.
The one that comes to mind happened during the Kenya trip in May-June 2018. I was in a jeep with Kris & Ellen and maybe Jennifer and Andreas. We had stopped for coffee/tea break in the morning, and were about to start up again. The Maasai Mara grasslands were all around us. Kenya had record rain this year – “more than in living memory” – and the grass was tall everywhere. Driving through it was like sailing a boat on the ocean. That morning, we stopped the jeep and played Hallelujah on Ellen's phone, I think the k.d. lang version. We all just sat quietly in the jeep and listened to this amazing song, with grasslands all around us, in the quiet of the morning. Pause. Prayer.
It's interesting that when I think of spiritual experiences, I try to think of times when I felt closer to G_d. Today I feel that spiritual experiences can go the opposite direction--I can feel further away from G_d. Notably, it hasn't been the best couple of days in terms of family dynamics. I don't know if there is a lesson or deeper truth to learn from that observation--there probably is, but that insight will have to wait until I am ready for it.
Nothing truly spiritual, but I did decide to be more spontaneous. Matt Dunn and I got last minute tickets (concert and airfare - miles) and went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in April. I finally realized that life is too short, and I need to be not so disciplined that I miss out on some great opportunities and experiences in life. At a gathering of the Highland Cup crew recently, DK told the story about me skipping something (golf, drinks, who knows?) because I 'had to go for a run.' I need to be more spontaneous -- good things happen!
Wow. That concert at UCLA with the Southeast Symphony was truly transcendent. Being in a majority black/ethnic minority audience with the same for an orchestra really put some key thoughts and ideas into place for me about the role of racial injustice in the US. The Chineke Foundation is definitely fascinating, and I LOVED the gospel music. Trying to get this group to camp somehow, someway. I found the way the group educated about MLK, Civil Rights, and music to be truly phenomenal.
Not really. Not sure why. We got a new bed, and I have been sleeping MUCH better becaise of that. Turns out I dream quite a lot when the mattress I'm sleeping on isn't hurting me. I dream in color. I always used to wonder about that. I never knew for certain until this year. I try not to delve too deeply into things. If I'm not careful, i can quickly conjure up those inexplicable yet terrifying images for which I have no description other than they provoke in me a mortal dread. So i tend to not venture out much in my brain beyond some routine safe pathways (hobby shit, mostly).
I have gotten great reviews about my work at my job. I feel very confident and relieved about it. I still believe this job was meant for me from my G-D.
I found the joy of crochet.
My mom’s decision to run for office has inspired me, and has helped me see myself as part of a larger arc of possibility as we try to redeem our country.
Praying in Jerusalem on Shabbat! It was so unlike anything I have ever seen before. I thank my rabbi for taking me the service on Shabbat morning when no one else wanted to go!
No. I feel like my soul is half asleep, while I am tied up with a billion daily mothering tasks. I am beating a dead horse, but breastfeeding feels like being in a suppressed state. And it is—literally—hormonally suppressive, which may account for me feeling like this, but I really miss feeling more present and vital. I am tired all the time. Maybe there is some part of this that is spiritual, and surely it is significant! It's been 4 years of pregnancy and nursing, and I cannot wait for this phase to be over, as much as I love being able to nurse the baby.
I spent a somewhat unplanned Shabbat in Gothenburg without my family. It was so peaceful and so enriching to be welcomed to a community. I could daven with people who were so caring and committed to their small community. It gave me a little hope in a dark religious time for me.
My answer to day 1 covers this, admitting I have limits has been hard, but good for me. And I've learnt to ask for help, and that people will give it willingly, with pleasure. It being OK to not be ok is a stark and wonderful realisation
I've lost my father and my uncle within a year. Two of the male figures that have loomed large in my life, the man who raised me and the man I was named after. It feels like I now have to chart my own path in a way I didn't before.
No I hadn't had any particular spiritual experiences this year... and I don't count "artistic, cultural and so forth" experiences as secularly spiritual either.
My spirituality has suffered in the course of life though honestly the experience of participating in Yom Kippor this year has been especially daunting. The concept of atoning for the world in the current climate of our world is seriously daunting.
no, the year has been a cultural wasteland - except for mezcal - I learnt I enjoy a good drink or two or three of mezcal :)
This year I had a moment of clarity when walking away from the Iron Cross. I am a witch. Pachamama has always been my goddess. Athena is my guide and so is Rienk. I have a lot of greatness in me and I can manifest what I want to happen in my life. I also have divine drive and my plans and projects will develop exactly when they are supposed to.
I quit going to church. Our values weren't in the same place. One day it became apparent just how far apart they were. I struggled with it for a long time. Right now we're looking at finding a church home that lines up with how we feel compelled to serve God. On a happier note, my husband has written a few tracks and is finally able to spend some time doing the things he enjoys and that feed his soul. This makes me pretty happy.
I have been moved by some of the art and choices that marginalized groups have had to create/endure this year. Nanette by Hannah Gadsby was especially moving for me.
It has been another year of spiritual vacancy. I think I am having a hard time feeling any spirit when I see so much pain, mistreatment and lack of respect for one another in the world.
not particularly spiritual, but seemingly mental and emotional: being blindsided by developing a completely unexpected romantic crush on someone i met casually, not having experienced this juvenile feeling in, oh, 40+ years. it went on for weeks and actually changed how i behaved with my husband... in a good way. i also ran across a photo of my first boyfriend on social media; it brought back a lot of memories, including how i was so smitten with him i overlooked how dumb he was. he dumped me, and luckily i went on to bigger and smarter things.
The decision to get sober was a spiritual awakening. A few weeks ago my friend Jen was telling me that, for her, AA was a spiritual journey. When she said that I was not terribly interested in getting sober, but I was seeking connection with something greater and more meaningful, and so I became much more curious about seeking the program out. I do feel like I'm in touch with a higher purpose. I am committing to live, as well as I can, with honesty, integrity, and humility. I have accepted that I can't drink "like a normal person," but what's more, that there is an "ism" to alcoholism that is about more than just drink. I am exploring my character, being of service, and trusting in God. Maintaining sobriety is the meditation through which I live a centered life. I'm only 17 days in, but it feels bigger than those 17 days. Here's to making every day count.
I've largely deconstructed my fundamentalist, cultish upbringing and am moving in a very unfamiliar direction for me. I believe now that there is no gospel without social justice. I joined a group on Facebook called Be The Bridge to Racial Unity that has been a massive challenge to my underlying beliefs about myself and others in this society. I feel like the scales have fallen from my eyes and I see the oppression afflicting women and people of color worldwide.
I started meditating -- found Oprah and Deepak's online guide. Was terrific, and really helped me to take my spirituality to a new level. Understanding, or becoming aware of my connection to the universe, in a new way. To understand that my energy directs or flows into the universe and impacts what happens.
I think the most profound spiritual experience I’ve had this year was when I visited Whitwell, Tennessee on wheels. In the school library, in front of a holocaust Torah, amongst many holocaust artifacts, I read Torah at Lindsey’s bat mitzvah. In the same room was these shoe liners gifted to the school with the Torah text of the parsha we had read written on it. That gave me chills when I found out. We celebrated this girl who had not had a bat mitzvah because she didn’t feel connected to Judaism at home due to the anti-Semitism she faced. This was at the sight of a holocaust memorial in a town with no Jews. This experience really made me reflect on what it means to be Jewish in America and how close I feel to God when I have out of this world experiences.
Travel continues to unfettered my routines and open myself to how others see our shared space in the galaxy. I need to write more as I explore my thinking on issues, culture, nationality and environment.
Interesting question. Given my bad behavior of late this is the very first time during Yom Kippur when I actually feel like I have committed every sin. Not sure that’s spiritual. But there ya have it.
This year I have appreciated the experiences that made me feel small in relation to the grandeur of the world. Hiking to the top of a peak in the Adirondacks. Marching for social justice with thousands. Getting knocked over by a sleeper wave. Climbing a tree. Walking hushed by snow. Feeling thankful for my cozy home while a storm rages outside. Sitting with my arm around my beloved girl on a mossy islet in the middle of a stream, just above the waterfall, feeling its power and energy and potency. This year, I've been feeling, quite viscerally, the twin slogans of "I am but dust and ashes" and "The world was made for my sake."
I honestly think talking to Bari Weiss was my spiritual experience of the year. She's so amazing and I really felt so connected to everything she expressed. It makes me proud to see a successful Jewish women like her championing a middle ground and nuance. I'm sure there's more technically spiritual moments but that day at Hillel was extremely beautiful for me.
I can’t think of one particular spiritual experience, but I do look for signs and I think that in itself brings about or allows me to expand the experience into another level. I find this helpful in not being so alone or isolated. For example, sometimes I imagine the cardinal that lands on the fence as being one of my grandparents encouraging me on with my mission of helping people heal from old hurts.
I spent a lot more time in nature. I really felt how small and insignificant I as a person am, but the quiet positive forces all around me. Being in nature makes me happier.
Yes, we joined the UUFCO and it has been a fantastic decision. I look forward to attending church on Sunday because I like the people, the minister, and the camaraderie!
None in particular but many in general. Every day seems to hold one moment when I feel connected to God through the glory of nature. When I'm still and aware and quiet, He's there.
Perhaps learning to pay attention to my inner blood pressuew, to begin to tune in to my inner state of mind, primarily my stress level , takes me to a new level of self awareness. I know this jpurney is both well underway and just beinning. The past is over and provides the setup for whats to come, vis a vis health. My growing conscious awareness of inner state is my spirituality. If I extrapolate this to increasing awareness of other things present but unknown...
There's not one experience, but I think the ongoing experience of seeing my kids experience the world and each other, their moments of joy and pleasure, is the most moving thing that's happened in my life this year.
I wouldn't call the experience at the planetarium spiritual. Quite the opposite actually. Through all the hardships of this year, I wanted to believe in something bigger. I want to feel connected to my (dying) loved ones in whatever way they think it's possible. My mother believes in guardian angels, so I believe she will come back as a guardian angel. I want to believe in this so badly because I can't imagine a world without her. The planetarium visit shattered all that. We live and we die and there's not a whole of purpose or intention if you look at that on a molecuar level. Life just happens. Cancer just happens. Death just happens. Everyone always says there's a lesson to be learned, that you're somehow stronger and better if you endure it or overcome it. But what if you can't overcome it? What if there's nothing left to fight for?
Hm. I don't often think of spiritual things. Perhaps on that realm was the experience of Chris' moms funeral at a church. My understanding is that they weren't religious and didn't know the pastor (if that's the right term) who spoke. It felt distinctly odd to hear someone who didn't know his mom speak of her qualities to a church full of people who would have known her. There were also a few hints at the question of "why god would let this happen" which just seemed so ridiculous to me. Both the question and the BS answers that were suggested. Made me realize that I want nothing to do with a church ceremony. Also made me wonder what I would want - although I haven't thought too much about that.
I can't think of any spiritual experiences that have impacted me this year. I have felt, at times, a lack of direction, and a desire for more guidance from God.
I think the biggest thing I feel like I have achieved or discovered has been my understanding of what is important in life. My career is in a weird place, but I am okay with that. I don't need a fancy title or more money when I have a job that gives me the flexibility and work/life balance to do the things I want to do. I am trying not to let the stress of work get to me and to really see it as a means to an end. I keep telling myself that I what I do is not life or death - it will be just fine if I am not perfect.
My answer is taking this question inappropriately out of context, but studying for the LSAT was one of the most intellectually humbling experiences I have ever undergone. Day in and day out of GRUELING work has taught me that I am resilient, SMART, and diligent. I can do anything that I set my mind on doing. It taught me that mental fortitude is central to many of life's great challenges and that confidence is one of your greatest assets come "test day." Hold your head high, believe in YOURSELF, and tell yourself that YOU CAN. YES, you can.
Yes! My daughter and I had to stay for an extended period of time in the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City, UT. Their staff made us feel so welcome and they prepared many exciting outings for us. One evening, the Accounting Specialist Ivan Gonzalez gave us tickets to the brand new Hale Center Theatre. We saw the show "Aida" by Elton John. The aerial acrobatics and the modern technology (the elaborate stages that constantly changed by either being lifted to the ceiling or disappeared into the ground) were amazing. I was so appreciative that Ivan was able to get us those tickets!!!
I've cried so many tears that that alone seems like it was a spiritual experience. It has given me more empathy for others, and instilled in me a desire to help others in unfortunate circumstances.
I would love to be able to say yes, but I have not had any particularly spiritual experiences. I got engaged to the love of my life. From that moment I have experienced a love deeper than I have ever felt. While that may not be considered spiritual, It was certainly impactful on many different levels.
Oddly, going to more movies has been something like a spiritual experience. Watching the bad movies for clues as to how they were made and still getting lost in the worlds of the good ones. I have felt filled up by the films but also the ritual and the trappings of going to the movies. The smell of popcorn, all of the carpet, the occasional private screening. I really ought to start going to more movies.
I've had some mindfulness meditation sessions that felt spiritual this year.
Meh, not really... just a relatively calm introspective year avoiding as much personal drama as possible to focus on the national drama.
Seeing the Grand Canyon and the glaciers of Alaska made me appreciate the incredible beauty of the earth. I felt closer to Creation, and therefore closer to God in those places.
I'm happy to return to the natural with this year's spiritual experiences. In particular, the trek to Machu Picchu and the ascent to the Salkantay Ridge along the way (4600 meters!) were stunning, taking me to the highest altitudes I'd ever experienced. On the day we climbed to the top of Salkantay - our second of the hike - our guide, Virgilio, repeatedly pointed out the avalanches streaming down the high-mountain walls next to us. Not that they were so hard to miss. He said it was the most he could remember seeing in one day in over a decade of leading the Salkantay Trek. That the mountains were sad or angry, for one reason or another. The way he put it was quite sad, of course. And it was thoroughly moving. I have no idea when, if ever, I will have the opportunity to experience a panorama as majestic as the Salkantay Trek. I will likely never climb up to that altitude again, barring a transformation into a Himalayan climber. It truly felt like a different world, and Machu Picchu a whole separate planet from our own. Human ability to build and create is quite extraordinary. And human drive to climb, higher and higher - to the places we were never meant to see - will always amaze me.
I really enjoyed sharing tashlich with my friends. I don't know that it felt especially spiritual as we were doing, but sharing the idea of self-forgiveness felt like a really good and important thing.
I read a shit ton of self help books in the first half of the year. From that I distilled that I need to clean up my mess, clear the clutter and take the plunge. I discarded toxic friendship with KC which made me angry, no longer bend over backwards for doing favors for friends or coworkers, unsubscribe heavily from newsletters, don't watch Netflix more than once a week for a movie or episode. With my time, I exercise on weekday evenings and work as a part-time as a barista on weekends. I am happy. I love myself. People around me love me!
Yes. The most spiritually impactful moment happened over the winter. Life was hard and things were dark: I was in the throes of grief, my husband was miserable in his job, and we were feeling quite weary and hopeless. We were on our knees one night praying. Our prayers about his job were typically made up of requests for good jobs in which he could use his talents. This particular night, we just asked God for mercy. We recognized that we bring nothing to the table: the talents and qualifications that my husband has acquired are not his but are given to him by God. We just prayed and told God that we bring nothing to the table. We needed mercy and hoped for a new situation but in all things "Thy will be done". I know this is not a formula and it may not happen this way again but the next month he was approached about a new job and things have improved significantly. We are so grateful.
The most spiritual I felt was in reading 2logicals website for the first time and feeling like I found kindred spirits. I've also found some spirituality in mindfulness I think. Even when I'm at my most frustrated or agitated, taking the time to observe or engage in my surroundings can completely change my spirit.
Ah, no, I can't think of any that really stand out. I still go to church, it's still not every week and not as fulfilling as it was in the past, but I also know it's up to me to change that. When I pause, I try to appreciate grace, to be grateful.
I would say the opportunity to spend time with my mom as she descends further into dementia is giving me a deep appreciation for the value of our lives. This is not a single experience, but rather the compendium of days and moments and opportunities to show her compassion and patience. It will make me a better person if I can develop a stronger sense of acceptance and drive the anxiety away.,
i don't understand why i am still stumped on this one.... God has continuously showed me grace and mercy, consistently making ways out of no ways. 25 in general was a spiritual awakening.. a harsh, abrupt transition into "adulthood". I have learned lessons of patience, trust, love, forgiveness, leadership.. my experiences have prepared me for what is next.
Visiting the ancient sequoia and redwood groves in California has been a very moving experience, and I am still drawn to the redwood groves near where I live. Other than perhaps some of the ancient temples in Thailand or cathedrals in Europe, I have never been to a place so full of spiritual presence as these ancient forests. Maybe I'm a crazy hippy, but in my mind, there is little doubt that these trees have some form of sentience and are overflowing with ancient wisdom. They've spoken to me, not in words, but in feelings and images. It's an incredibly peaceful feeling, being with these trees, and it makes me very angry to think about what we humans have done to them. It needs to stop, because when you destroy something 2000 or 3000 years old, you can't get that back for a very long time. Humanity's arrogance in killing these ancient, beautiful beings, is appalling.
I visited Hebron in Israel. It was a wonderful experience to see the situation there with my own eyes. I have never felt so strongly that a piece of land belongs to Israel. Jewish history surrounds the entire place. You CANNOT comment on the rights and wrongs until you have been there yourself and felt the Jewish vibe. It is an amazing Jewish place. I wish so much that the Arabs could allow us to share it together.
Oddly no. I expect that the reason not particularly is because the experiences have become frquent and commonplace , still impactfyl and beutyfull.
The great thing about being Jewish is the more Torah and mitzvahs, the more we begin to really see the world around us. It's like the world itself glows with G-dliness, and that is just the world created with ten utterances. That world is incomparable to the people (worlds) within it, though most remain hidden. To pick one moment, it was from the Shabbos musaf service (of Parshas Shemos I think). A moment of profound disappointment became the light to illuminate an even more profound beneficence. It felt like being hugged by G-d, and like almost any other spiritual awareness, once I perceive it, it becomes easier to perceive again.
I am sorry. For as much as I thought about an answer and I have also come back to it, I cannot recollect a spiritual experience! Or going to the mountains, the feeling I felt of welfare calm beauty of being breathing my past and to be exactly where I was meant to be with the people I loved most. Yes I think that was spiritual.
Not much...all I know is my happiest place on earth is at the theater.
Listing Intensive at the Beach! Spiritual in a way that time spent walking the beach really reconnected me and the positivity and empowerment that came from spending time with Jan & Judy and the other women all culminated to where I came home feeling like the mental fog I've been carrying around for more than a decade has lifted!
I've had an awakening to energy. Literally the energy that pulses through us. My cycle has synced up with the moon, and I can detect energy and electricity where I didn't even notice them before. That's about as spiritual as I get.
I've tried to get more in touch with my spiritual side this year, and reading self-help books and focusing on reflection during parts of my day have been the biggest improvements. Sure, I've gone to the woods, I've hiked and experienced nature, but those are one-off experiences. They are good for recharging, but I've tried to remind myself that even deep in the urban fabric, there are still spiritual signs to work with.
I did not really have some kind of Spiritual Experiences. But a few things have been happening. - I started learning more about happiness, I am finally takign it into my own hands. And by reading boosk such as Ikigai and the Happiness Project I am trying to find out what my passions are and how I can make my life happier. - A thing that contributed to better spiritual connectio nto my boyfriend has been our "Unplugged Nights". On these nights we go offline. No phone, no tv, no laptop. Everything needs to be without electricity and above all without WiFi. One exception: music. We are allowed to listen to music. This way we can really connect to eachother without interference. The music in this case may be electric, but it still connects us. In these nights we do various things, like boardgames, but also massages, long talks by candle light or even drawing games. It makes us value our time together more and ensures we are in the here and now with eachother. We let it slip the last few months, but starting tomorrow we are picking it up again.
It didn't happen this year but I continue to think about visiting Norway. I honestly don't think there's been a day since being there that I have not thought about some aspect of it. So much so that I find myself drawn back there - and hopefully that's something that occur this coming year.
I would include my taking of drugs at different concerts/festivals as a cultural/artistic spiritual experience. The last couple of times I've partook in these activities I experienced a sense of appreciation and love. Within each moment that I've had these experiences, I tend to look around and take note of how much impact a human being, or several human beings if it's a duo or group performance, can have on others. It's a remarkable thing to slow down time and appreciate your place in the world. It's a very humbling place to find yourself. The idea that you're a speck in this moment of time, and, for that very moment, you are sharing this single experience with so many people....it's pretty cool!
Several weeks ago I heard an internal voice speak to me. I obeyed the direction of that voice and asked a colleague how I could pray for her that day. She had so much to say and was delighted that I had asked. The next day I realized that I wouldn't have thought that thought. That I wasn't just talking to myself. That God is real. I have been struggling with that question for several years even though I have been a follower and believer for many years. I have considered leaving the faith I was raised in. I am a toddler again. But I am here.
Same answer as last year - live music is my link to spirituality. I continued going to concerts and finding new music to listen to this year. I am so lucky to be living in a place where I have access to these experiences.
I've finally grappled with the real issue. The issue is this: How I can become connected to something "larger than myself" if I don't even believe in anything like God? Well, I figured it out! I'm doing "sacred" work. What I classify as sacred work is the work I'm doing for NAMI: participating in the In Our Own Voice presentations to help change attitudes towards those of us living with mental illness, and facilitating groups for my peers who are struggling with mood episodes and the like. And that's what it's really all about. I love myself again. I don't know why I feel like crying. It's just beautiful and sad and joyous and wonderful all at the same time.
I'm still feeling the presence of God everywhere. I'm really feeling spiritual when I'm drawing. I need to do more of that. Not sure why I'm not.
the power of now. my deepening beauty of nature. the art of stillness. the power surge from enjoyable exercise. kindness to & from strangers. meditation! awareness. presence. still suck at it, but i have experienced ecstasy from entering the world of now & seeing & feeling that i am enough, in my self, right now.
Camp always affected my spiritual life this time almost in a negative way as I felt that religion was being forced onto the staff and the campers and I don't think that's how religion should be shown to other people. So I think really it affected me negatively and showed me the darker side of faith. But also then this trip to New Zealand so far has affected me by really shoving me out into the deep end and kinda forcing me to go alone. I don't really have anyone that I'm on a level that I can tell them anything and act any way I want around them, and I think that's God's way of telling me that hey you can't talk to them that way so talk to me.
Seeing Hawks flying above. They continue to appear when I have done something well , as a confirmation. It's when I stretch my boundaries and am on task with what I no needs to be done. This started New Years 4 years ago when I decided to start making progress in changing things in my life for the better, and has continued. I truly appreciate this.
I still haven't had a spiritual experience yet but I do know I need to get better. I'm going to start back with runner's Bible study that my mom's church did and learn more about Buddhism.
Yes, after getting broken up with for God, I still was able to look for God for comfort. I think I look at religion differently than my ex did and in a good way.
I have had simple moments of revelation and expansion. Some of them with drugs or weed involved. Mostly just thinking about days at the canal where the sun shined right on my face and people waved at me from their boats floating past. Not expecting anything, and for the first time in my life being to just enjoy the warmth of a moment. It was so new to me, these feelings of pure happiness without anxiety or worry.
Going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art was the most spiritual event I have had. I have never experience joy at the level I did that day - seeing so much beauty and art and creativity and humanity in one place. I cannot wait to go back.
Yoga was really spiritual for me. I started to attend a sunrise class last year and continued until I moved. It was really healing and regulating. I went to hot yoga in Florida and plan to regularly attend yoga for my physical and mental health.
Not much comes to mind when I think spiritual, but I do reflect back on my time in South Africa. Experiencing the different culture and life really stuck with me. That experience really helped me drill down on what I want personally and professionally. It also helped me realized that I can't achieve that where I am now. "What got you here won't get you there" I have to push forward on the journey that is life, making the right decisions for me, to help me achieve the life I want to lead. A quote that's stuck with me recently is "How we spend our days is how we spend our lives" I need to focus on spending my days in the way I want.
I'm doing the Anshei Mitzvah program. While it started out slow (and then the rabbi was fired), it's recently become more spiritually engaging. Originally I started out my "private practice" as reading parsha (or most of parsha) in teh mornings, which I liked and would like to get back to. Stretch goals were to read/begin to practice jewish meditation and read/begin to ponder Mussar. These are still stretch goals; and as work lightens up (the end of the Voora project! which I know will haunt me for a while), I am really really looking forward to regaining my main practice goal - I felt much closer to the Jewish cycles of the year when I did it - and beginning to integrate my stretch goals. Yay! A good year, with outlook towards an even better one.
Adoration. Every time. Adoration. Reminded me of Gods confusing love and presence and of the striving still needed to be a good human being.
The course with Mira Awad was such an insightful joyful experience. I look forward to being able to explore that side of life again.
Bali was pretty spiritual! It was amazing to see how the Balinese people interacted with others and the land. There is such a respect for their island and they treat everyone with such kindness. As amazing as the food, yoga, massages, etc. were-- the most amazing part of the experience was learning from the locals. The culture is deeply meaningful.
The most spiritual moments for me are usually connected to nature; noticing small moments of beauty, sunshine in the early morning, flower blooms, kindness of others (all too infrequent).When I meditate and focus on “Hineni” I feel a deeper sense of being and calm.
finding myself alone in my car crying after a tough day at the hospital with my father... It made me feel extremely vulnerable, sensitive and close to G'd.
I've embraced my witchy side a lot more this past year. I think maybe in the past I've felt like spirituality is something that happens to you, and maybe for some people, it is. But that's never really worked for me, and it felt good to seize the reins in a way that still felt like I was doing something meaningful from a spiritual perspective.
I don't think I have every been so vividly aware of the Lord's provision as I have this year. At my lowest points He would remind me to just pay attention to what He was doing in my life and in the lives around me, and every single time I was overwhelmed with his care for me and the people in my life. I am learning that in the most urgent/helpless/overwhelming/discouraging/apathetic times, if I can take a moment and approach the situation with a posture of gratitude then the whole thing changes for me. My perception goes from "Look at all the things that are going wrong" to "Look at all the ways things could be worse- thank you Lord for your safety" and from "I can't handle this, I don't understand how this his happening" to "Thank God I don't understand and He does because I wouldn't be able to deal with this even if I wanted to" That shift of perspective/posture has been a major game-changer for me, and I will carry that lesson with me for the rest of my life.
No. Nature sometimes gets me close. But I've thought a lot about death: my own in particular, but also my husband's and my baby's (all very far down the road, I hope). What it means, how very little time we all have here on Earth, how long it can seem in the moment. I wish I had more of a spiritual home or framework to slot things into, but nothing has quite stuck since I was a teenager.
As I develop into the person that I am... Funny to think that I am always changing! I see myself as a person who can support and nurture others, as a mentor. I like this position of being an advocate. Instead of "You can't do that" the question becomes "Give me 3 ideas that support your idea". This is really fun for them and ME!
I'm not a spiritual person. I have tried repeatedly to adopt a more purposeful viewpoint centered on mindfulness. I plan to attend a course on this in a few weeks. We will see if that effort helps me to commit to it.
A spiritual event in many aspects this year was Tomorrowland. We were there for the first time this year and it was just so outstanding :O it was even better than I had imagined: so much great music, so many beautiful women, so good organization, so great decorations, so cool people, so delicious waffles, so outstanding stages, so amazingly wonderful unforgettable dreamlike time there that I still have and will continue to have. I'm really looking forward to Tomorrowland 2019 (and hope so much that we get tickets!!!) P.S.: Of course it was great to kiss a girl for the first time :)
God this is going to sound so dumb, but watching "Coco." I found the film profoundly, unexpectedly, moving. I am thinking more and more of my loved ones who have passed on as a result, seeing their guidance and wisdom in some of my daily decisions. Sometimes that makes it feel like they haven't left at all.
There were a few days this summer when I thought my marriage was over, and I was alone without really anyone to talk to and just so much overwhelming pain. In the midst of the disorienting and confusing experience of this, I remember just feeling so grateful for small things. The sunlight through the leaves seemed like such an amazing gift. Just sitting my porch and looking at the sky was wonderful. This isn’t maybe strictly spiritual, but it did feel transcendent in an important way that I think I will remember always.
I gave birth to a child! I trusted my body to do what it knows how to do. I joined the ranks of millions of women who have surrendered to the waves of contractions in order to bring a new person into the world. I was all prepared to give birth in the tub, but the universe had other plans for me. I now know what people mean when they say that childbirth is the ultimate surrender. I gave in to using the thing I was trying to avoid - pitocin, the epidural - and only then did my body progress. I am in awe of my body's hard work since last fall, and particularly those 40 hours that brought this beautiful being into our lives.
This trip to Europe has really opened my eyes again to a lot more history. Not just of countries and cities, but of art and artists. It’s overwhelming at times, and can make you feel insignificant, while at the same time enthrall you and make you feel a part of something special
I really enjoyed Swiss Army Man.
I believe in myself more now. I’ve taken more control of my life’s instead of coasting by. I feel much happier, able to explore things that are meaningful to me and appreciate life in a deeper way.
So many spiritual experiences! I am learning that I am a powerful being, as we all are, but having conscious awareness of it and accepting it as Truth are the keys to the remembrance of who we truly are. It's been so beautiful and humbling and scary.
To be honest, I can’t think of any experiences like this in the past year. I wish my answer were different. I’m hoping that my answer next year is different. It’s one of my goals for this year, especially as I hope to be happier and in better spirits moving forward.
I lowered my guard. I was met with kindness and connection.
I feel a lot more connected to God since I've gotten pregnant and had a baby. It is truly a miracle.
I think in many respects my work provides “spiritual” experiences daily. I don’t think of myself as a judgemental person but, my view of the homeless and hapless people with who I work challenges me. I am horrified by the way people are treated, in particular by those who know nothing about the people the demean. It is heartbreaking, and it keeps me in check, thankfully so.
The most spiritual experiences I've had this year have happened at yoga or when looking at art. When I was meditating more regularly I could feel changes in my mind and perception of the world. I could sense the smaller parts of awareness and felt more in touch with my existence and all existence. Lately though, I haven't been feeling a lot. My overall sensory perception has been overloaded with information from technology and work. Most recently, Dave and I's trip to the forest was helpful in pulling me back to the natural world, which is where I find more spirituality, but not close to where I was in year's past.
yes - artistic - 1- Georgia O'Keefe at Reynolda House in Winston Salem 2- You are Here exhibit at NCMA - visual crystal, box (with cutouts), shimmering and mor e; sound - motet of 40 voices!; music in videos in nature and snow... 3- Chihuly at the Biltmore Estate - chills from the beauty, especially at night/lighting.- 4- Tufts Night at Symphony Hall, the Pops, during 50th reunion - beautiful, chills especially the "Peruvian"? trumpeter... Nature and peace - at the cabin each time -especially looking out from deck or upstairs; Peacefulness with bill. Reunion valuing - when we marched in for the general commencement. The feeling of being part of history - and having a real story and perspective to share for the video of the 100 centennial for BSOT - Tufts OT school! seeing classmates from 50 years back!!
I have been finding deep childhood traumas. I am actually scared that I have repressed memories and I am waiting to just remember them out of the blue. I made realizations that I never think that anybody does something nice for me because they love me (that there's always a catch), and that I have never felt loved by an adult figure in my life. It is small baby steps forward.
I think the closest thing to a spiritual experience that I had this year happened when I was at the Get Down following all the violence escalations in Gaza this past year. I had been feeling emotionally constipated for months, needing to cry but I just couldn't. My friend Elliot was massaging my shoulders and when he got to an extra tense spot at my collarbone something just released and we hugged and I started crying. It felt like such a catharsis and my heart felt so much lighter than it had in ages.
I did the Seamless bible study and feel like I finally understand the bible and I feel much closer to God because I make time for Him most mornings.
I experienced breathtaking moments in nature and in cities: driving through snow-capped Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland; gazing an unfettered view of Lady Liberty from a nearby construction site; ziplining outside the Great Smokey Mountains National Park; but above all, walking down Broad Street with thousands of delirious fans the night the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl.
I don't think I've experienced anything close to spiritual this past year - it has been a hectic go-go-go from January until now. I have to say, however, I loved every second of the first church wedding I attended of my best friend's. From the songs, to the sermons and how everything is made to be about supporting the union between the bride and groom.
No. I feel very disconnected from spirit. Anger does that.