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 had two. The first was the first Shabbat in Israel. We were on a kibbutz. Most of the trip was nonstop action, going, going, going. But on Shabbat time stopped. We all just had to be present on this kibbutz in the middle of nowhere. We lit candles together, at the end we did havdalah together. It was really nice. The second was chanting Torah for my bat mitzvah. I had been very anxious about it leading up but I had put in the work and done the practice and when it was time I just zoned out. I wasn’t standing on the bimah in front of dozens of people, I was sitting in my bed practicing. I left that space and all my anxiety was gone.
I feel more connected to queer history and its past by reading lou sullivan’s diaries. and I want to keep learning more. it feels very spiritual to me.
What was spiritual was the sene of community and support I felt at Middlebury College's school of Spanish this past summer. I felt so loved and so free to be myself. It was truly amazing.
None come to mind; it was a really tough year for me and I was usually in survival mode. I have felt very distant from my spiritual life.
Spiritually, I think I've been a lot more in touch with the energy around me. I've sensed into my own energy a lot more this year and continue to gain confidence. I see messages all around me now about the things I'm meant to be doing. It could be because I'm finally noticing them, or maybe it's the EFT, or maybe it's just that with my dad's failing health I'm thinking more about the short time I have left myself. I'm really hoping that 2020 brings more spirituality into my life. I think it's the one piece that's missing, although I don't know yet what form that might take.
I've had a very emotional few months. I went through heartache for the first time in a very long time. It took me a while, but I am now in a good place. I realised that I am better off for ending things. In the long run, it was 100% the right decision. Am I 100% over the hill, not yet - but I know that I will be.
I have definitely felt God's presence and love with me through this difficult period. I have not been able to be at my Centering Prayer sessions as regularly as I would have liked, and am missing the group. I discovered Casey J - Casey Janice Hobbs an American Gospel singer from Atlanta Georgia and her song If God (nothing but the blood) has inspired me SO so much we LOVE all her videos and my daughter and I have started singing them and watching them and we do this regularly at least two to 3 times a week where we just play all the videos and sing along. Truly powerful and inspirational. Casey J is magic and a friend of mine sent me a short clip of hers and got me hooked. Casey J is SO blessed to be able to use this wonderful tool of music to touch souls. Truly spiritual and inspirational to listen to her and watch her and sing along with her.
I think the closest I had to a spiritual experience this year was my trip to Scotland with my parents. I feel closest to g-d (or whatever that is) when I'm in nature, which is very common. I think the only way I can really experience anything spiritual is with nature because it is infinitely more complex and awe-inspiring than anything man can create. There is nothing we can make that can even come close to how sophisticated the natural world is. I have dreams to hike the West Highland Way next September. Hopefully it pans out.
Not spiritual, but I have implemented a couple of systems that have really helped get my work life under control.
I've been reading a lot, including Chinese & Asian texts. It has given me huge resilience & capability to change those things I can, accept those I cannot and worry less. It's given me more capacity to love others and be less judgemental.
My ten-day retreat in Normandy last summer did so much to restore my spirit and my creativity. I needed to be alone, to think uninterrupted and to develop ways of going forward that would benefit not just me but also my family and my children and my community. I’m determined to keep this up for as long as I can.
Yes but not the typical secular calling etc. It has been more a greater awareness of nature, man and the fact that I have taken so much for granted. Appreciating the wonder of nature has been quite challenging and wonderful.
I'm overwhelmed by the generous giving by my family at HCA during Paul's job transition.
I observed an Islamic prayer service in Waterbury during Ramadan, which this year occurred in the spring. While not the religion to which I subscribe, I could see how a similar spirit of faith existed in the participants. I was glad to see our new Muslim friends - a mother and daughter, whom we had met the prior year through the Caravan of Faith program put on by the Association of Religious Communities.
I haven't. I've been so busy this year with the new home and the new job and figuring out how to adult in this new environment, that I've completely ignored my spiritual self. It doesn't help at all that we have literally no disposable income. So museums, concerts, galleries, theater, church offering (which I know is supposed to be voluntary but always makes one feel guilty) places where I could find spiritual connection have been inaccessible to me. I did enjoy a weekend behind the wheel of a car. I have always found driving to be a very zen thing - the longer the drive the deeper the awakening. Everyone tried to offer me so much sympathy, but the reality was that I really enjoyed the opportunity to just sit for 12 hours at a stretch and reflect. I went from Rhode Island to SW Virginia and back in one weekend - because it was necessary for the move. I didn't have any revelations. But I did feel better afterwards, lighter.
I really way to say that Smicha as a particularly spiritual experience but I'm honestly not sure that it was. Maybe its just because it's fresh on my mind, but reading haftorah this week with the baby wrapped to my body was an incredible moment.
Everytime I fly now, after my grandma passed, I cry. I feel closer to her, maybe something about being high up and close to the heavens. I miss her so much, I'm so sad she wont get to dance with me at my wedding or help me get ready. She would have loved it. I miss her so much and I feel so guilty for the time I missed with her. I wish I called every day.
Hm, this question is tough. I'm not sure if I've had any "Spiritual" experiences this past year. When it comes to me a spirituality, I usually feel that sentiment most present when it comes to nature. In March I went on a solo vacation to Hawaii (Maui) and it was one of the most, nay, the most, pristine and beautiful place I have ever been in my life. From the water to the mountains to the countless rainbows, I felt connected and grounded and humbled in this space; maybe that's what "Spirituality" means to me. However, when it comes to my religious practice, I am actually stepping away from that realm this year. I put my membership at the Temple on hold and I decided not to teach Wednesday night and Sunday morning religious school anymore; while the money was beneficial, it was taking too much of a toll on me and I want to spend more time at home in my new house with my partner. That being said, I want to try and find more ways to connect culturally at home rather than in a religious institution. For Rosh Hashanah this past week, I cooked some family recipes of brisket and kugel and my partner and I engaged in some gratitude for the year to come; it was wonderful and I would like to do more things like this at home to bring my families cultural traditions to the forefront. Lastly, I heard on a Jewish Women's podcast yesterday about what one woman is doing to practice her spirituality and I was particularly inspired; I plan to read her book and maybe even seek out a "Silent Jewish Retreat"....I think that would be great, I could use a little silence in my life once in a while ;)
I have had some powerful dreams in the past year. One was in session with Shelley last December, in which I came out knowing that, even though I often feel alone, I ultimately travel not quite alone, with a blue glow that accompanies me. In that vision, I understood that the pleasure palaces and entertainment that this life can offer are illusions -- and they are not for me, although I could choose them if I wanted to. Very recently, I had two powerful dreams about bears; the understanding that I have from those dreams is that there is a power in me that wants me to meet and engage with it, but I also have to know that it is so powerful that it could/might kill me. When I can drop the fear of dying, then I will be able to fully access that strength.
Not in the traditional sense, my practice of Nichiren Buddhism helps ground me on a daily basis.
I have recently begun to learn meditation. I resisted the idea for a long time, but the benefits of just 5-10 minutes a day have lasting impact on my mental health throughout the day. I hope to continue to grow this practice.
I attended a Buddhist festival in Tokyo, and ascended 96 steep steps to a temple alongside chanting monks. It was incredible - I felt as if I was a pilgrim ascending to the Temple in Jerusalem, and the tears just welled up in my eyes. It was a deeply emotional highlight of a completely amazing, healing and renewing holiday, marking the end of my "year with cancer".
I think I experienced some kind of "ecological grief" together with a lot of people on the earth. It is hard to explain; all my doom and gloom culminated into this ball of emotion and then I read some things about deep adaptation and it drove away all the negative emotions. Instead there is some kind of resolve left; yes, we humans have been wrecking the earth for the past 10,000 years and the speed at which we do this is terrifying. But on the other hand there still is a lot of beauty to live for and we can still save some of the biodiversity on earth.
I finally learned the prayers to lead my own Shabbat services at Hillel and felt more connected to my Judaism.
Being patient for a decision has become easier for me. On the material plane, I need less and less and when I need something, it is easier to choose if I want to invest energy in something. For non-material, I'm growing in my ability to listen and connect. Thanks, NVC!!! It lines up so well with Montessori philosophy. The big picture of "how we connect and support one another" is the sweetest perspective!
I went to Israel with my school. I went to Israel with one question, does God exist. When I visited the Kotel I saw things that were incredible and unforgetful. I felt home and I could just breath and relax. the second time was when I went to Zichron Ya'akov and it was Yom HaziKaron Naomi and I went and out of nowhere we saw a light crossing the sky leading to Jerusalem to the moon from there I was almost certainly the God. exists.
Lizzo. Her voice, her presence, her dancing. The feeling of love and empowerment.
This morning and others like it when I'm able to watch extremely gorgeous skies change before the sun rises.
By far the most spiritual experience I had this year--and perhaps in many years--came on my trip to Death Valley. For the first time, standing with my face to non-stop, gale-force winds, I realized that there is something out there much bigger than any of us. I felt like our Patriarch Abraham hearing the call of Gd for the first time – the force rushing at me was so mighty, I understood how very small I was. It must have been an overwhelming experience for Abraham to witness such holiness for the first time, but there is no doubt that he answered the same way as when Gd called him to sacrifice Isaac: “Hine’ni.” Behold me. Here I am. I am present and I am ready to leap. I screamed “hine’ni” into the wind, and felt myself being lifted in spirit. Here I am. I was finally ready to abandon my ego and recognize the riches that lie beyond it. I was ready to change. I was ready to begin letting go of the entire way I had related to the world my whole life and begin living more truthfully, honestly, more based in reality. And I was ready to experience the increased happiness that would come with it. It took a sandstorm and the awesome splendor of the natural world to do it, but I was ready. Hine’ni. That moment, though there were many twists and turns that followed it, set me off on a course that ultimately led to some stark improvements in my life and the way I relate to others and to the world at large. It was a flag in the ground moment - no matter what happened after that, it gave me something to look back to in order to ground myself and remind myself of the much bigger things that were out there than the daily happenings I experienced.
Yes, the most profound experience was Deliverance from strongholds in our family. My husband & I kept having the same issues coming up over and over. It had pushed out relationship to the breaking point. My husband made a choice to fast to be set free from a dumb and deaf spirit. I also felt I needed that power broken from my bloodline. It took disciplne and commitment to being in the word each day. A proverb chapter every morning. We have both felt like we can see and hear God since that fasting period. It has increased our faith and we have experienced God's protection in ways we never have in our past. It has brought us closer to each other and our business is growing everyday. We learned on God's principles and He was gracious and brought us Deliverance and abundance in New ways. My trust and love for Him is growing daily. I look forward to this new year, because just yesterday, He intervened and protected is from a very bad decision, that could have cost us $5,000 dollars!
I went to rural Kentucky and it was beautiful and I felt at peace. I went to the JWA retreat and really feel like I connected to religious people for the first time. I didn't take my phone with me when we walked around Boston on Shabbos and it was beautiful and I had fun. I went to Rosh HaShanah services for the first time. I love the sound of the shofar. I spent most of the time thinking about the weight of Trevor next to me. Being with him has been a spiritual experience if I'm honest.
Working with Amber and reading philosophy with her; applying it to my art and to my life more generally, has had a profound impact on me. First reading Plato, and other foundational Western thinkers, reacting to certainty, mind over body, and me going to a place of feeling invalid if I don't have the facts, if I don't prove my right to exist with cold hard facts in an intellectual way. Then reading Deleuze, rhizomatic thinking -- no hierarchy, no beginning or end, just all connected. And lately Spinoza. It reminds me of the weekend I did with Rosanne Glickman and one of her teachers, where he said think of everything, the whole universe and all people and experiences as a tissue. Then he stuck is finger up from beneath the tissue, and there was part of it that stuck up. And he said, this is you. You feel separate, but you are an expression of the whole thing. There isn't really free will in the sense of you as a separate individual, because so many things influence us, are part of us. Spinoza is kind of saying the same thing. Amber has me writing about my "web of affects", people, experiences, etc that impact me -- what is their velocity, their texture? It is creating in me a way to relate to my experience the world, those I interact with from people to thoughts to anything that leads to an affective reaction in me as experiences that I can be curious about. What is the texture of this? What is its velocity, rhythm? To notice it in a way that steps out of causality and blame and guilt and responsibility hints of a real liberation.
Nope. I thought of visiting churches and stuff, but always chickened out (and/or slept in).
My main spiritual experience this year was attending burning man. Walking through the temple and seeing the heartfelt messages and confessions strangers write and leave in the temple seriously affected me. I found myself very emotional and the silence within the temple was deafening. Although others were crying, I did not. Why not? Since this experience, I often find myself getting emotional, starting to tear up, and then it passes. Is it just a function of me growing up? Am I suppressing anything that I need to let out?
I have re-connected with my rabbis and my congregation. I've been nominated to the Board of Trustees as well as the Chair of the Social Action Committee. It has been like a homecoming. This year on Rosh Hashanah, I was overcome with feelings of love and belonging during the liturgy and during our senior rabbi's sermon. I am so grateful to be Jewish and to have the community I have found in our congregation.
In June I took up mindfulness meditation. I was never interested in it before, and I always thought that there was no use for someone who has an overall happy life with minimal issues. But after a long discussion with a friend, something in my mind clicked and I finally found the utility of it and it really became evident how it could help me. Just because your life is moving in a positive trajectory, it doesn't mean that you should rid yourself of the opportunity to awaken your mind. I started using the 'waking up' app... but to be honest, since I've started my masters I haven't been doing my daily 10 min practice. I need to get back into the habit of using it again. Other than that, I've had a few 'existential' crises concerning my identity. Mostly on the kind of person I want to be, being happy with who I am/not trying to be what others want me to be, and on knowing where my passion lies and what I want to do with my life. I try not to stress too much because the stress gives me anxiety. But for sure, when I'm emotionally and physically tired these thoughts come to me and I can't help but feel anxious... this spiritual journey is a lifelong process...
Yes, I have indeed. I came out from not only last year but the whole 3 years, 9 months and 16 days till the day my son passed away, I was born again. Born again as a total non believer, I’m so glad I didn’t waste my time praying like most people in my situation. They told me to pray and god will heal my son, as if... At the beginning I must admit, coming from Christian family I’ve had hope that a miracle will happen. As time goes by, nothing happen. Every time passed, my heart getting heavier and my believe getting lighter till it disappear completely. I questioned not why the so call god didn’t heal my son, I questioned why if it existed at all, why it given such a horrible illness to him. So horrible even doctor can not explain how it come about. One of the consultant simply told us blatantly that it was pure bad luck. Wasn’t god like that is not a nice god, even cruel god huh? It tried to make you strong some said, who?? Me? Strong?? Why hit my son then if it wanted to make me strong? Bullshit!!
March of the living was my most spiritual experience this year as weird as that sounds. Being in a city with such a dichotomy of Jewish life and Jewish death was so meaningful. Dancing through the streets of krakow with holocaust survivors bringing life back to the city was incredible.
Similar to last year I continue to have moments of peace while enjoying nature. My boy and I planted a butterfly garden this year and several times I have walked by and noticed the Monarchs and thought how wonderful it was. Life is not digital. So much of what I agonize over does not and will not mater to the universe as a whole. Some comfort of knowing of ones own insignificance in the grand universe.
I think I have dismissed the spiritual concept because I have related it to weakness, stupidity, fear, neediness. And that is so because I search for it when I am feeling bad. I have forgotten the days I was opened to it. I thing I took away from me the base in which I had constructed the sense of meaning. However I have received help in the past year, help from "above", I mean, undoubtedly something beyond reason and material world is present because I have no explanation for the timing in which everything has happened, and now I do not want to find a logic answer. I want to open myself again.
The closest I came this year was when Laura and I drove to Sterling Correctional Facility to see the men incarcerated there perform "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" to a roomful of public officials and other folks (like us). After an incredible and powerful performance (without correctional officers in the room), the new head of the Department of Corrections spoke about how important this was to him and to the true mission of rehabilitation and restoration for the vast majority of people inside. Hearing and seeing all of this was overwhelming and inspired hope while chipping away at the cynicism I have accumulated through work and the state of affairs in our society.
This has been a year filled with magical travels. Experiencing different cultures, eating the food, walking the streets, standing in awe of historic buildings and art works, running into happy or confusing or life-changing interactions with strangers... These moments make me feel most alive. I'm an explorer, an observer, one more person from the millions before and after, breathing it all in. This is infinitely spiritual. To recognize both how giant and small the world really is. Extraordinary and very very ordinary. Everything feels brighter, darker, noisier, quieter, a little more electrified. And you can't help but feel grateful just to see it. Grateful for all that you have and all that you don't have to do just to live. It squeezes your heart and expands it exponentially.
No particular spiritual experience but began journaling every morning including at least 3 things I'm grateful for - I think this increased my sense of well being.
Yoga has really helped me be more present and be in tune with myself and my body. Being away from my phone for an hour and just focusing on my breath and my thoughts feels spiritual and has helped me in my every day life.
This year I read some Buddhist readings that really shaped me. One discussion that struck me was the cyclical nature of samsara (suffering). We are constantly drawn into suffering in the form of pain, desire, or even cortisol addiction (which occurs when we play out negative scenarios in our mind until we fell the flood of stress hormones). Understand that samsara is inherent to our experience, we can develop a clear light of mind by being in the present moment. These readings also focused a lot on joy. Living with joy and bringing joy to our tasks is the key to happiness. Thinking about intentionally creating joy in my teaching, my home life and my work has been a focus.
Yes; it gave me a feeling of vastness
Not really. Nope. Saw wait wait dont tell me live. That was pretty great. Cultural experience. But no. Nothing awed me.
I had major surgery this year, which caused be to become more existential/spiritual.
My spirituality is still suffering. I don't know how to change it.
Hmmm not particularly this past year, that comes to mind. I'm not sure what that implies! Normally burning man offers me some sort of spiritual experience but not this year.
I became a dad for the first time this fall, and the pure joy that my son shows in his face when he is happy or when he sees me come home from work or first thing in the morning when he wakes up sometimes makes me hope there is more in life after this world.
I've had anti-spiritual experiences - pressure from grandparents to baptize my kids, when it feels only like an invalid use of grandparent influence. I'm not interested in baptizing them or joining a church community, when that equated to hustling on Sunday mornings and then leaving crying kids with nurseries while I doze through a church service.
I really felt connected to my dad's essence, or perhaps his soul, on a deep level when I visited in September. I could feel him reaching for me, in love, through all the murk and sorrow of his disease. He still wanted to take care of me. My mom wrote me afterward that Dad and I have a special connection, and that her friend said that before we were born, our spirits must have made an agreement to meet up in this particular life; I usually ignore my mother's fantasies, but some part of this felt true, even if it isn't. I am so lucky my dad was my dad.
The first time I went back to church after mom passed, the sermon and reading were about Psalm 139 - basically, the Lord is *always* there. I felt He wasn't there, or wasn't listening quite a lot this past year, but hear that message brought a warmth. He doesn't protect us from harm, just like a parent cannot protect their child from skinning their knees or braking bones, but they (and He) is always there to love and hold and give comfort.
There is a very difficult notion that we, humans, must get our heads around in the face of the climate catastrophe -- we are cancer. I get this idea from Warren Hern, who wrote about it 20 years ago. Like cancer in the human body we spread everywhere and make everything into our designs and fill the host with our waste. Lately, I have been feeling deeply connected to our cancerous nature watching the endless stream of plastics that I dispose of every every day, every week, every year, more and more. I put most in the recycling, but that is really only a small fraction of the total plastic waste stream. And now we know it probably is not being recycled anyway. We are strangling the planet in our waste and if we do not find another way to live we will kill ourselves off, along with millions of other species. It is not a happy spiritual experience to identify with our cancerous nature, but it is honest and necessary.
I've had a few prayers and messages in the Spirit that have re-iterated prior messages I've received. They have been very encouraging but, two in particular stand out. One is a friend said she saw me as God's heart (bad paraphrase) but, I found that powerful as I have a strong guilt complex and habit of self-flagellation and feeling inferior. The other strong encounter I had was someone telling me they saw an elephant while prophesying for me. I immediately knew what this meant but, asked for confirmation from God. A friend who knew nothing of this brought me back a bracelet from her time in Hawaii the following week. It was a simple black string with a gold elephant charm. I'm still overwhelmed when I think of this confirmation, which was just the first and strongest among many.
Every Friday is a spiritual experience for me! I love leading my community in our Shabbat ritual, and I find it a truly restorative part of my week.
Löysin joogan ja joogaretriitit sekä niiden kautta meditaation ja hengittämisen. Hyvää vastapainoa stressille ja kiireelle.
Can’t think of any specific experience, always feel spiritual in mountains and ocean
SO MANY! I have never been through so much, and grown so beautifully in one year. I have overcome situations and personal issues that only through God could I have survived and surpassed. I am so blessed. My outlook on life has vastly changed. I have changed. The "impossible" happened this year and I am basking in the glory of God.
This year I have been dipping more into witchcraft and tarot and learning about my intuition and having it grow. I have had these “thoughts” that come true literally minutes after I have the thoughts. Three examples: -First example: I was driving, but I needed to stop at the gas station to get few things. As I was driving I was thinking to myself “I’m going to see my Chief” and as I was walking into the gas station, I saw my chief. -Second example: Jeremy was helping our neighbors take down their big play house they built for their daughters in their backyard. And the men were being so dumb while removing the plywood. And I said out loud to Mariah, “One of them is going to get hit in the face with the nail.” Literally moments after I said that, Jack got scratched in the face by a nail that flew out of the plywood. -Last example: I was driving to my therapist appointment, and as I was driving, I thought to myself “Jackie is going to be wearing a scarf today.” And I come into her door, and she is wearing a scarf! These moments help me realize that I am intuitive and that I do need to trust my gut when I have these thoughts.
This year again, I felt a settling, a calmness as I sat in the synagogue for high holiday services. I did something a little different this year, and the result seem like a kind of meditation. Instead of following along in the prayerbook and reading words that often have not felt meaningful to me--more like a rote recitation--I put my prayerbook aside and sat or stood quietly, often with my eyes closed, listening to the words of the rabbi, the chanting of the cantor and the congregation. I felt so calm and peaceful, just allowing myself to be quiet and still and it was like meditation and soothing.
I started talking to my pagan and/or Wiccan friends, and they’ve granted me such massive insight into a sprawling marginalized religious community. It’s been amazing to hear their insights, and it’s really connected me with my own religion.
Births, life threatening illnesses, surgeries, disabilities, and deaths, accompanied with desperate prayers for our planet, nation, community, dear ones, family and myself, have all been ever present this year, again. I talk to the ancestors, guardian angels, and spirits of our departed ones all the time. So far they are not talking back, but I still get comfort and sometimes even a bit of hope. Mostly it is pretty silent out there! Those grandkids, granddogs, home and garden are my heaven.
Celebrating my third sober birthday was a big moment for me. I finally felt confidence that I hadn’t before that I could live my life without alcohol or drugs. It motivated me to continue this commitment I made more than 3 years ago to myself, my family and friends.
Sometimes when I take my booster Ritalin, it feels almost spiritual. I am for a little bit able to find the motivation to do the things I need to do, I feel normal for a little bit. My ADHD has beaten me down this year. I have started to feel like I will never be able to succeed because of it. The booster allows me to shrug that off.
Getting involved with UConn Hillel as my new Jewish community, another home away from home. This has allowed me to feel proud and accepted as a Jew at college.
In March I think I felt my mother's presence at a retreat at Isabella Freedman. I wish I could be more spiritual, but I'm just too analytic.
I married a deeply spiritual (not religious) man. I struggle with some of the things he believes in, such as one soul having multiple lives, that when we die we move on, etc. Needless to say, I was pretty convinced when, a few days after my mother died, I awoke in the middle of the night, no one home but me, to the very distinct feeling of a warm hand on my forehead. I knew right away that it was my mother and that she had come to comfort me. Thanks, mom! It undoubtedly helped me cope as well as opening my mind up more to what might be waiting for us beyond this world.
Listening to my partner David playing his Jewish liturgical music. Singing together. I don’t think he knows how much this saved me. Actually our whole relationship has opened me up spiritually. Watching David negotiate some tricky stuff with compassion and care has been humbling for me.
I have always been closed spiritually, but plant medicines have awakened me to the connectedness of all things, the energy force that flows through everything and the concept of oneness. I have started taking meditation classes, breathwork classes and kundalini which have been enabling me to tap into sparks of this energy and connectedness.
I always feel very spiritual when traveling especially when camping, hiking or being on the water. It is intensified when I do it alone. I return home more centered, more at peace and more understanding of my life and how I'm living it.
Same as last year. I don't groove with the spiritual.
The closest I can call spiritual is the discussion I had with my son Mike where he asked me questions about his childhood and also revealed some of his deep feelings. I felt sad that I didn't know how he suffered, and also deeply close to him.
The World Race is stretching and rewarding - an opportunity to live what I believe and to change culture rather than being changed by it.
Off the top of my head the only spiritual experience I had was in nature when I kicked off the year. I walked alone into the night on the mountain in Big Bear. I was in a lonely and sad state which seems to be a state that returns consistently. But I remember living in the moment and embracing the full silence and solitude of the night and the cold. It felt like that King's of Leon song Cold Desert. Very melancholic, empty, cold but I learned to embrace and accept the feeling instead of running and avoiding it. I've done this same embracing of feelings a lot this year which was a practice I learned from that one experience in nature.
Hm maybe not spiritual but I have noticed that I don’t take care of myself as much as I used to so I’m trying to reconnect with things I enjoy: beauty, fashion, art, culture etc. I tend to lose myself in a flurry of depression and anxiety every few years. I toggle between ascribing too much meaning to life and not enough so I’m just focusing on feeling joy and wonder right now. In a way tapping into the inner child.
I 'read' a pack of Natures Whispers Oracle cards and the outcome really touched me and rang true. On a very different note, we visited The Eden Project for the first time and I found that a very spiritual experience
One such occasion was on the morning my mother died, when I went walking and happened at an outcrop of pine/rock. A crow and squirrel were bickering. Unfortunately, my dog chased them and they left. I felt empty but grateful. Later, when I heard she'd died while in my car, I could not make my way home. I found bygone place I'd never noticed, and it felt like I would know more emptiness.
Right now Emily Heller is on my mind. I admire her a lot and listening to her speak on her work and her self-image and her ADHD diagnosis is comforting. It helps me feel more optimistic about navigating my life and dealing with ambitions and heartbreak. Listening to her and Lisa on Baby Geniuses really cheers me up.
I have decided to take all of my mid-life crises and turn them into mid-life revelations. All of the anxieties that are trying to creep in, I acknowledge, see what they are trying to teach me, and try something new or explore a skill or talent, or ask for a different perspective.
Definitely. I often said during the first few months of Phil's illness that I never felt so close to God as I did then. I don't know if it was feeling God's love in the love that Phil and I were sharing, or because we talked so frequently about death and the journey we all end up taking, but it felt very deep and meaningful. Like nothing else mattered.
Hiking in the redwoods and sometimes chanting different nigunim or Hebrew songs while I do it makes me feel both like the smallest, most insignificant thing in the world next to these extremely old redwood trees and like I am all the matters in that very moment. Going to the farm for Kabbalat Shabbat also makes me feel an overwhelming connection to the land and to every soul there with me and the louder I sing and chant, the more connected we become.
Oh my, yes I have. I will never forget this amazing year.
I continue to have my theology expanded by the incredible teaching at AHUMC as well as the input from the podcasts I hear and authors I read, like Fr Rohr and Shaia and Darrell Smith. I'm very grateful for spiritual prophets and thinkers; they enrich my life. I'm recently reminded by Stephen Covey that I need all 3: learn, commit, & DO. Thank you, Lord.
Not that I can think of, but it has been haunting me to think over and over about what the psychic said he heard my 'mother' say, that she doesn't feel that she has anything to be sorry about!!!
My spiritual experience of note this year has been with Nature, in particular with trees and in forests. I'm finding great refuge there. I'm sensing we must all become forest protectors and gather together in large numbers to reforest Earth.
Hearing harbor porpoises splas offshore in Maine, then seeing them, filled my heart. There are moments when I think, "Remember this moment. Etch it on your mind. You're going to need it later." That was one of them.
Same as last year, I sometimes feel the presence of my mother's and aunt's spirits. I know now without a doubt that there is something after 'HaOlam HaZe' and this has changed my view on life and our time on this earth. It makes me want to devote more time to spiritual/religious practice and it strengthens my faith. I listen to podcasts on Torah and Jewish and spiritual topics and the more I hear, the more I want to learn.
I feel similar to my answer from last year. Holding my two miracle babies doesn’t prove the existence of anything - but oh damn- does it make me want to believe!! I want to be enough but know they need so much more than me - so deeply hopeful that something bigger is out here looking over us all. Just like the angels Justin’s mom sent to look over our nursery and even “atheist” irreverent husband appreciates. Maybe spirituality isn’t always something you’re sure of - but something hoped for passionately. That comes in quiet moments. When you’re overcome with doubt or pain and feel the need to reach out to something bigger and just ... hope. If that’s right. I’m feeling very hopeful for this broken wonderfilled world.
Just being terrified and obsessed with my own mortality. I hate it so much. But then if I lived forever, that would be equally as terrifying. So in order to exist, I must die. Blah.
Definitely traveling with Sam to Spain was significant. I felt like being with someone I love while doing something I love so much made my entire being beam.
I am not a spiritual person at all. "Joy" to me has very different connotations, and I do experience that quite often, I'm happy to say! Something being "meaningful" is also different to me. But a meaningful experience I had this year that some might consider spiritual was being with my grandmother when she passed away. I have never directly observed death before. It wasn't scary... really just peaceful. She was very sick and in pain. It was relieving, in a way, to see death bring her peace.
On many days I stop to experience feelings of joy. Some comes from looking out the window at the extraordinary view and the way light is a magic paintbrush. Some comes from how amazing I think the cat is. But much of the time the joy intersects with love for Nick, my husband, and I think how lucky I am to be wedded to the love of my life. That joy probably existed at other times, but this year I have been so much better at noticing it, acknowledging it and appreciating how incredibly fortunate I am. That up-welling of love and gratitude becomes my most treasured spiritual experience.
This is always a tough question for me because my whole life is a spiritual journey. I see God in all the people around me, in creation, in my church family. How blessed I am to have this foundation.
I am not a spiritual person so no. I don’t really believe in that stuff. I don’t pray or go to temple regularly. And I do believe if there was a god many things that have happened would not have happened.
I think my spiritual side is slowing re-enforcing itself. I don't pray as consistently as I would like to. Jeff and I do pray together before some meals. I know he is hoping to have more religious background/belief/expectation questions. And I hope I am willing to be open and have them.
The way I found Judaism, and the path that lead me to my synagogue really, truly felt like the hand of God gently guiding me to where I belong. I happened to see a post on Tumblr that said "Questioning everything is the entire point of Judaism." and it stopped me in my tracks. What? A religion where you're not just encouraged to ask questions, but are required to? That's amazing! Every other religion I had explored felt like blind faith and believing a specific set of rules to get to heaven or Nirvana or whatever. The idea of a religion where constantly studying and growing and changing was the spiritual act itself amazed me. I started following Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg on Twitter and reading more about Judaism. I loved everything I read, but it still felt like something that could never be mine because I wasn't raised Jewish and didn't know anyone who was Jewish. But then Rabbi Danya tweeted out that when God gave the Jews the Torah, he not only gave it to those at the Mount, but every Jew who would ever be born. So if you convert, it's ok, you were always Jewish. So I started to research the path to conversion. I Googled nearby synagogues and the very first one I clicked on had an Intro to Judaism class starting in two weeks. So I registered and here I am. It may sound mundane, but the confluence of events and the way it all happened really felt like Someone was making sure I stepped onto this path, and it has improved my life more than I can say.
The most spiritual experience I have had was deciding that I didn't want to get married. I feel like I have been given a new lease of life
I've started dabbling with astrology, which is probably bullshit, but helps me to feel more in control of things that aren't in control. It's grounding. Otherwise, I'm a mother of a toddler, I don't have time to be spiritual.
I understand "spiritual" to mean aligned with my purpose, with divine will, with higher awareness and I feel connected and resourced by this force more fully than ever before. I am nourished by the thought that I am welcome in this space and that I matter. Meditation is my umbilical cord to energy and I am sitting regularly.
I think the trip back east to all my childhood haunts put me in a reflective mood. The highlight was going to the Poconos and being not just welcomed, but embraced by Bobbi, Mike, and Judy. I realized in a way I had not appreciated when I was a kid what a special community we had there. It has fed into a larger theme I've been thinking about since then which is the importance of community and how hard that is to create in the modern world. The lack of community outside work is part of what has me so anxious about the prospect of retirement.
Our move was definitely led by God. The whole experience from the downturn at all jobs, to the new job, the move, the transition. There is no doubt God was with us the whole way. Also, I'm currently digging into 1 Corinthians. I love how a new study renews my excitement for the Word and for living a life for Him.
Me avoque mas al yoga y la meditacion.... ademas, descubri con el feminismo conceptos e ideas que tenia en mi inconsciente desordenados y se me abrieron los ojos en muchas sentidos
I've learned more about the history of monotheism and moved away from traditional worship, putting down roots in a pantheistic, Earth-based way of relating to the world and spirit. The concept of Indra's Net has come up again and again, and I relate to that image as a beautiful way of visualizing interconnectedness.
I went to the Tame Impala concert at Madison Square Garden, and I saw God.
I repeated what I did last year: spent time at my cottage, swimming daily, for 7 weeks. It is expensive to do this but SO important to my soul to connect with nature/water. I honestly don't know if I could manage life without it!
I continue to have spiritual experiences in my walk with Jesus. These last few years have been interesting as I explore new paths to Him after a lifetime of Catholicism. At first the differences between the religions seemed very dramatic but once I got past the shock, I can see the similarities. My walk with the Catholic church seemed focused on my sin and shame whereas my walk with this new church is focused on how loved I am by God. It took me a long time to release that feeling of shame that I carried for so long. Now that I have released it, I am re-visiting my earlier catechism, looking back to see if the love was taught and somehow I missed that part of the lesson. I am not yet ready to believe that the Catholic faith is invalid, but I am not willing to go back to carrying the weight of my sin. For now I will continue to worship with my current church, learning and growing in my walk with Christ.
When we went to shul to say kaddish for my husband, I felt him with me throughout the service. It was not just a spiritual presence; it was very near to physical. I felt as though I could reach out and touch him, so of course I didn't. I didn't want to lose the feeling. It was very comforting.
After the Pittsburgh shooting, we hosted over 650 guests at our temple on Solidarity Shabbat. As Temple President, I sat with the Rabbi and several board members on the Bimah. At the end of the service, we invited all clergy present to join us. Over 50 clergy stood with us from every denomination. Spiritual does not begin to describe the feeling.
I moved away from home For Real for the first time the August before this past one. Coming back home for the following Thanksgiving was downright spiritual. Seeing a Maryland sunrise nearly broke me after Midwestern ones over and over. I cried, sitting up in the loft above what was once my bedroom. My brain looped "Good Morning, Baltimore" from Hairspray and I played gently with my new tattoo. I will always love Maryland, I just don't know that I want to live there all my life.
New Orleans had some particularly bad flooding this past year. My friend had sent me video of the water outside of his place, where I used to live, and it was higher than I had ever seen it in my six years living there. I am still fairly connected to New Orleans via social media, and seeing the banning together by the community reminded me about what makes it such a special place. The city has a similar, unified vibe during Mardi Gras. I longed to be a part of that again, but realized how lucky I was to experience it in the first place. I think of “spiritual” as a feeling a part of something larger than oneself, innately connecting to those around you. I felt this again, when visiting a few weeks ago, and talking with a bartender at this dive bar where I used to live. Pete’s Out In The Cold does bingo pretty much every other Tuesday, and the bartender had us stamp patterns on cocktail napkins which prompted our victory. We got his story, his life outlook and his warmth made me feel connectedness that I think will stick with me for the rest of my life.
I have been working very hard to pay off outstanding debt. Early in the year, I had an internal argument with myself about reducing my church giving, just long enough to tackle the debt. My spiritual instinct won out, and I kept my giving level exactly where it was. About 2 months later, I received a check in the mail, a refund for a previous property tax assessment, for $2,200+. That was just about half of my outstanding debt. I called my mom in tears, happy tears, telling her that God had taken care of me. More recently, I was out for a Saturday morning run with friends. It was sprinkling, just a light mist. The mist started to turn into a rain, and I mentioned that I had prayed to God that morning to hold the rain off, but I guess today wasn't my day for answered prayer. Within a minute, the rain backed off to a mist again. I laughed right out loud, and told the group, "Y'all, I totally just got called out by God!" We all got a laugh out of that one. And it stayed just a light mist for the remainder of our run.
Attending Esalen's "Nature Bathing" workshop was life-changing. It helped me feel more connected to nature and more at peace. It's motivated me to seek out more of these experiences. Also, re-starting a regular meditation practice has been helpful to me in feeling more grounded.
Not this year. Its been a very low activity year with nothing transcendent really happening. I worked on a film but it was hard to get any joy from it because I was battling symptoms of being anemic. My health keeps coming up weird and each battle takes more and more out of me. I am very grateful for the things that I do have and try really hard to express it but my ability to have ecstatic moments just did not happen this year.
Not exactly spiritual but I think I’ve awoken a curiosity into myself and what I want to achieve and how I want to BE in life; in my interactions, understanding, etc. I think the recognition of bouts of depression has been enlightening and added more dynamism and empathy into my character and way(s) of being. I’m more open to meditation, mindfulness and started counselling to dig deeper.
My daughter has been completing the next stages of her Catholic education this year. Although it has a lot to answer for and I don't believe the dogma, I feel that I am finding community in the church again by getting to know the parents of her friends.
My grandmother's passing. It's the first time I've lost someone close to me, and I finally understand what it means to feel like someone is "with" you. I feel her on my incredible travels, in the decisions I make to move my relationship forward, when I get exciting news at work, and when I'm walking. I am constantly moved by the beauty of nature, and feel spiritual in those moments - staring out at the ocean, mountains, deserts. I don't feel religious, but I am in awe of nature, and that's spiritual to me.
Time alone with my wife is still the most spiritual thing I have found in this world.
I guess I've learned more about the Chinese culture, both the good and the bad... It has made me wonder if I can ever have a BF again from the mainland of China.
Not sure if this fits, but I've definitely had a real push with my ethical and political views this year. I'm angrier, more passionate and more frustrated with the world and what's happening in it. I'm terrified about it all. I want to help. I want to feel that the little things I'm doing aren't pointless. I want to educate myself constantly and to help others where I can. I don't want to preach but I want to show others why I've made the changes I have. I want to get over my overwhelming lack of self worth and believe in myself to be able to do good and be kind.
Not this year, but it was so memorable that I think it still counts: seeing the James Turrell exhibit, particularly Perfectly Clear, at Mass MOCA.
When Jake left, I focused on deep breathing, meditation and yoga to feel better and refocus. Being that i was able to overcome that challenge with these methods, I have turned to these methods in all facets of my life. Also, while having to defend my beliefs for my job, I spent time focusing on how i wanted to interact with others around me and how to put forth positive energy and love.
I read Alan Lew's "This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepard." This really stuck with me: “Prayer, righteousness, and Teshuvah will not change what happens to us; rather, they will change us.” Here's hoping.
this past year I grew spiritually. I’m finding peace in thinking of the society I live in through a spiritual lens. Growing up in a religious household has had me becoming reluctant towards all kinds of spirituality. However, I’m now at peace with my détachement to religious practices and my growing attachement to spiritual beliefs and practices
Last Yom Kippur, at the end of the service, I stood alone in front of the Torah ark, surrounded by about 500 members of my congregation and blew the shofar. It's hard to describe the experience other than "spiritual." I truly felt like I was in the presence of God and connected to all things. That, and I also passed out from the tekiah gedolah.
I do not think I can think of anything!
At my wedding, when our minister invited us to recite the names of our grandparents who had passed away. I was so choked up in the moment that I almost forgot their names! But invoking them made them feel like they were there in the room, if only just for a second.
Spiritual crisis, maybe. I have given up on religion. It’s been useless in preventing the destruction of the planet and the elevation of evil men to positions of power; it has helped us destroy the planet and elevate evil men. The hell with it.
I am in an interfaith marriage, I was raised catholic and married someone who is Jewish. Over the course of our relationship I have learned more and more about Judaism and different practices within the religion. I have always took part in the holidays and made it a point to learn all I could, but more recently and in particular with rosh hashanah, I have felt a personal connection that I hadn't previously. I feel the sentiment of the new year in ways I haven't before, it feels more like a true new beginning where as previous years I just recognized it as a holiday his family celebrates and I knew what the meaning behind it was, but to me it was just another day. This year I have felt a sense of new starts, self healing and partaking in this journey that I didn't realize I had started to go down.
I think I work hard to avoid the spiritual. I am extremely uncomfortable with beliefs and the idea of Gd when I examine it. I have a casual belief in Gd, but when I really think about Gd, I have a hard time thinking Gd exists. Therefore, I have a hard time believing spirituality is not a crock. It actually annoys me that spirituality is supposed to be a good thing. I suppose it is a good thing in the way that imagination and creativity are good - we create a belief and connection to the impossible and it makes us feel good. But it’s hard for me to see spirituality as real. So in sum, I have not had a spiritual experience this year, that I’m aware of.
The most significant spiritual experiences I have had have been in traditional contexts. I am a spiritual director and I have a spiritual director. Our time of prayer (out loud, over the phone!) after talking together has been deeply moving. Gratitude, acknowledging the movement of spirit in our lives, has kept me spiritually grounded and in right relationship with God. After being away from church for a year after finishing a long ministry, I find when I sit in the pew I am deeply moved to be with the people.
I’m going to define spiritual more narrowly here to include religious experience only, since this year was notable for its lack of spiritual religious experiences. It was almost an anti-spiritual year. I essentially stopped most of my religious practices, most particularly lighting Shabbat candles, and did not enjoy the few synagogue visits I engaged in. Most of my holidays were celebrated alone, and since I get a lot of my spirituality by engaging with other people, the spiritual side of things was just not happening. I’m hoping this was temporary, but it may be that my feelings about spirituality have shifted.
This past year, I started reading a Jewish meditation every night before going to bed and I began regularly attending a Shabbat Torah study as I work on the spiritual component of my Judaism and love for God. I find that some of the themes do not resonate; particular with the emphasis on our sinfulness.
Not sure I know what spiritual is. I just had a baby and that felt life changing
I feel a lot more in touch with my inner voice this year. I feel a huge sense of calm and quiet when spending time alone, and am learning to take more downtime.
Last summer, I began attending Al-Anon. After passively going along for 6 months, I began meeting with a sponsor, reflecting on the Serenity Prayer and journaling about it, and working the 12 Steps. I already had a very strong spiritual foundation, and I found the Al-Anon/A. A. principles and 12 Steps are totally compatible. This work hasn't so much changed my previous affiliation and practices but rather has enhanced them. I have found better success in "Letting go and Letting God" through Al-Anon than in all the years of my religious framework of not worrying but praying and releasing to God. This has been huge for the ongoing stress and drama of my daughter's family continuing to make poor choices, treat each other badly, and rely on us for financial help. Far from perfect! But I have definitely made progress.
The time spent with the nuns for my documentary felt very spiritual and magical, actually the whole filmshoot had this otherworldly dreamy atmosphere, but here it was the most intense and moving.
Coming home to journaling, meditation, yoga, and music practice. I feel more connected to myself, to others, to the universe, to something bigger than myself.
Twice now I have experienced sound therapy and it was spiritual because I allowed myself to dig into pain I largely deny. I feel the trauma of my dad’s Alzheimer agitation. The survivors of Alzheimer are the caregivers. I live daily with the effects of that experience in my soul, body, and image. It’s called post-traumatic syndrome.
No, and I miss those. Sometimes I get flashes of it, but no, most of those "moments of transcendence" don't seem to happen for me anymore. My usual mode is tired, not spiritual.
I wrote in my journal that I am experiencing a subtle "shift in consciousness." I attribute this to the aging process; being an empty nester; and an uptick in my dream life. I am reading Inner Work by Robert Johnson again and I find amazing new resonance in the reading. I feel inspired to teach a class on dreamwork at the senior center. Also, my trip to Elk was a calling to stillness... I walked the woods, soaked in the tub and kept my own company. I worked with the dream of the wounded tree, found my tree and connected. Moved through many episodes of my past in photos and journals... memories felt like music. This episode too contributed to my sense of a shift in consciousness; always good to look back, gather and reweave the threads of experience... I am so struck by the amazing, rich life I have lived. So grateful.
Nope, nothing overly spiritual this year.
I experienced an arch of grace during my mom's decline and passing. The right people at the right time were there. The guidance and wisdom I needed was there. I don't think all of that was mere coincidence. I think there was a divine presence throughout.
Particular spiritual experiences... would have to be during outdoor yoga... either in a public park or near a lake. The combination of deliberate physical movement, done with others, in a place of profound natural beauty. That's what sparks it for me.
Lighting Shabbat candles are my most spiritual moments, especially when I'm praying for the needs of others and myself. Also, at weddings, and when I'm writing or taking photos. But I think I need to watch for spiritual moments or for times to make a more spiritual moment happen.
My spiritual experiences usually happen as a result of deep connection with others, and I've been fortunate to have a few encounters like this over the past year. I was also able to express one of my spiritual experiences in a painting. I've come to realize again that creating things with my hands is my spirituality.
Always a problematic question but this year I have a few clear responses... old world cultural adventures made my soul soar. Cantabria in the spring, and visiting the caves of Altamira. Walking the old cobblestones of Santillana del Mar. Driving to Évora, the freedom of the road in a distant land, hot summer under searing skies listening to Loreena McKennitt. Nearby, the Cromlechs de Almendres felt like holy ground. My imagination exults in it all.
Hmm. I think dealing with my mental health stuff has been a spiritual experience. It's been, emotionally, very difficult but also helped me draw closer to God. Also talking with my friends about spiritual experiences has helped me work through doubts.
Partway through this year period, I made the conscious decision to stop visiting my house of worship every week. I decided to make my spiritual connection printed word sources and prayer. So far, things have worked out well. I expect this approach to continue for some time. Has helped me to reallocate resources, both monetarily and time.
When I saw Crater Lake National Park. Nature inspires and nurtures me
Not really, no. Closest would be a surprise series of sunrises caught on the morning commute to work, during an unusual week of clear weather in mid-September. The sun rises every day! Am not sure why catching a glimpse of this quotidian occurrence feels fleeting and special.
I started finally my giur process after waiting for so many years..
Yes, last night we went to Sensorio and I stood among thousands of lights in a dark desert setting. It made me reflect on how I want to inspire people like these little lights through acts big and small.
I’ve been working to improve myself with 30BBM and 30DBL. I’ve noticed some significant improvements.
I haven't had any spiritual experiences that I can remember. I'm sure if I had one I would remember.
Seeing "blinded by the light" Brought tears to my eyes to see how the main characters were affected by words. The mass shootings across the world (NZ, Pittsburgh, CA, etc... have motivated me to get more involved in anti-gun violence activism
I learned to see more deeply the glory of life around me. When I really stop in my garden or on a walk to look, feel and smell. To be quiet, I feel the awe and beauty of my surroundings even more powerfully and wonderfully than I have been. Being open to receive these daily gifts makes me feel stronger and more hopeful during these very dark political times and helps me know the earth is enduring, even as humankind destroys. But I still need my strength to act during my lifetime for the benefit of my children and grandchildren.
In terms of a cultural experience, I noticed in Brazil that I really would not want to live there, HOWEVER, I was pleasantly surprised that my Portuguese is so good. Nobody noticed that I wasn't from there until I admitted it. Shop-keepers, etc, were surprised when I told them I'm not 100% Brazilian and I don't live there. What really is failing, though, is my vocabulary. I will forget the simplest words. Honestly, that happens with English too, but Portuguese is way worse. I also am very unaware of what's going on in Brazil culturally. What's cool, what's not, what are people paying attention to these days... but I don't fault myself for that. I do fault myself for the deteriorating Portuguese, though. I need to improve. I have a feeling that I'm falling into an ignorant territory from lack of traveling abroad. I used to have this very adaptive attitude when I was young where going to different countries did not make me very uncomfortable and didn't quite shock me. In fact, things that would make an average person uncomfortable, I would find curious and wondrous. The reason I have this feeling is that sometimes I find myself surprised when I see something on TV that seems so different from the way I live. More surprised at myself that I didn't know that, or that it's seems so "foreign". I feel like living in the United States has stunted my cultural growth, and living in the same place for so many years has even ossified my brain to a point where some norms from other cultures just seem so incredibly "un-normal" to me! This "ossification" could also just come from age, but it disappoints me a little.
I would have to define "spiritual" very broadly to include conversations: three with the surgeon who performed my kidney surgery, one with the pre-operative nurse. Both showed such compassion, dignity, care-taking, and human skills that I'm moving thinking back on what wonderful people they are. Both talk to nervous, frightened, terrified people everyday; both helped heal me.
I suppose the closest I have come to having a spiritual experience is having seen Hamilton. It really was as good as it is billed to be and I have had the soundtrack on constant repeat.
Meeting the wonderful Rev Arwen Fowles and going to communion at St Peters. Realising how influenced I was in childhood by a local High Anglican Church and why I feel at home in Christianity despite my reservations and disbeliefs.
I have not had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year. I guess I need to consider why that is and maybe add some activities, books or people that might inspire me more in this direction
I am not a spiritual person, or at least I don't think of myself that way. The most spiritual experience I had in the past year occurred when I left the Bay Area (where I grew up) for college. I did a simple and spontaneous thing - I went to a marina and touched the waters of the bay, with the lights of the city and the bridge glittering off of them. It was a good, peaceful way to say goodbye to my home and let it go. The other thing that happened that's somewhat related to this is that I started dating someone who is Christian. (I am not Christian.) This has been an interesting experience for me, as I've learned a bit about how other people approach faith and wrestled with my own perceptions of Christianity.
I’m not spiritual.
I have recently gotten into CorePower yoga. It’s been incredible. I feel so much more connected to my body and my breath than I have in the past. I also meditate now in the evenings. The stillness has helped me calm down and has ultimately given me more energy.
Standing by Kotel and talking to G-d/ the wall/ myself, thinking about the recent, very turbulent months in my life, about the things I'm grateful for, about my fears and my hopes for the future. Finishing the Shvil Israel, final moments on the trail just with myself and my thoughts of how this path has change me.
Nothing stands out as I tend to experience spirituality in small, ordinary ways..feeling awed by nature, when something troublesome happens and it feels like it could have gone wrong in so many ways but it didn't, moments when I feel glad to be alive because there are too many ways that being alive feels like a burden, times when things go well for my kids when so many folks have kids with troubled lives...and on and on.
I don't know quite how to define spiritual experiences so it seems broadly acceptable to just think of it as drug experiences. I ate some mushrooms with Matthew and Jackie when we went to Cape Disappointment, and it was the classic experience, at first this fear followed by strong desire to get away from other people and be by myself, ending with elation to be around my friends again. We were hiking this very pretty coastal hike that started high up and descended towards sea level, and it had ups and downs but overall was not hard or easy. Being around them felt intolerable so I pushed ahead and hiked as quickly as I could, nobody else was around and it was very beautiful and everything felt both panicked and really great, and I didn't ever want to stop, stopping felt bad and going ahead felt great. There were many vistas to the ocean and then the path would wind into the forest some more. There was a section with a series of wooden bridges which interconnected to cross a mini-canyon and it felt like being in a treehouse fortress. The entire forest part of the hike (the second half) was filled with enormous trees and if you just looked up at them and their tremendous trunk and branches and the blue blue sky behind it was an amazing feeling. There was a river towards the end and a kind of bog but during the transition from forest to bog there were still enormous trees but the wetness gave it a different feeling. The hike terminated into a road/parking lot, anti-climactically, for no good reason I had been expecting it to end at the ocean and then have this momentous achievement of finishing the hike celebrated by running around the sand and looking at the waves, but it was not to be. Matthew and Jackie texted that they were thinking of turning around, so I started back up the hike, thinking it would be quite arduous since it took a long time to get down. On the way up the sorts of mushroom thoughts and realizations I tend to have continued to pop up: how I was OK alone, I was actually great by myself, it was nice doing things on my own and thrusting myself forward on the path, and I took off my shirt since it was hot and i was very sweaty and it felt good to have it off and I didn't care about having a flabby beer belly at all, even when I started passing lots of people going the other way, it was their problem not mine if they had to look and were disturbed or disgusted. The repeated realization that this deep-seeded fear I have of being alone, of doing things by myself, of being perceived in the world without friends or partner, this feeling that holds me back from doing things by myself more often, from having the pride and self-determination to do things. Then when I was back with friends I no longer resented them and we had a fun end to the mushroom times, walking around and joking and then we drove back to Astoria and ate food and drank beers. Writing this does make me crystallize some of these realizations which I felt but didn't articulate at the time. And it also makes me wonder if this created any longer lasting change, or did I revert back to my routines that protect me from risk and trying new things or being on my own. It seems like I did revert, so this feels like an important thing to remember and remind myself of and prod myself to do more things by myself and be comfortable in my own skin.
I think my habit of walking on Mont Royal has been great. I got into the habit on the weekends, first while walking home from improv, more recently on Sunday afternoons, and over the summer sometimes I'd bus down to the statue on weeknights and stroll home over the mountain. It's nice to be out exercising in nature, away from my phone, meditatively in the moment. It's also a nice distraction and restorative when I'm sad, stressed or hungover.
My son’s bar mitzvah. I didn’t expect it to be so spiritual for me, but it really was very meaningful for me to watch and be a part of.
Yes... my love inspired me a lot and now I wanna start my artistic agency.
Not that I recall.
yes. asking Joshua's spirit to help me find 'love' again, and feeling that presence in the new relationship I'm in with Jerry.
We have new younger rabbi so it New point of view. Also got opportunity to be at temple to see new group for me sing and cantor has new tunes.
I don't know if I have had any individual or collective experiences that would qualify as transcendent or particularly spiritual but I do feel fuller, better resourced, more energetic: like there is time and space in my life to embrace or take on more. Over the past year, I have seen a lot of art, heard a lot of music and went to Lakes of Fire this year which might not have been exactly spiritual but certainly was energizing, exciting, fun and freeing. I think that this past year has provided me with the time and space to recharge, energize, refocus and indeed, I feel recharged, energized, and (re)focused. Imagine that. Its about time, quite frankly.
I lead quite a "spiritual" life, meaning that I try to live my life in the light of the spirit. But of all the spiritual experiences, I choose to remember a wonderful spiritual gathering in my Community with people from all over the world that took place in May, called The Planet Within.
no- not really. And that is perfectly okay.
I've found myself thinking about Heaven a lot more than I used to, actively placing Mom in heaven and looking up when I think about her. For a long time, I guess my entire life, I passionately would tell people "I don't believe in heaven." and I think it was true for the most part, but I also think I was worried that believing in heaven made me weak or soft somehow. I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point I realized that placing Mom in heaven and thinking about her playing with Jake and being surrounded by the people that died before her became a comfort. I don't think that I would argue passionately for the existence of heaven, it doesn't really matter to me whether people believe or not. But if someone asked me today if I did believe, I'd probably say "yes, I do, and I think I'll probably see Mom again someday." I like this change that I've felt in myself. It makes it easier to just be.
This feels particularly hard at this moment in my life. My personal spiritual life is not something I've tended to. For sure, there have been prayerful moments in services in between chasing and shushing children, and moments of overwhelming gratitude for all that I have and for the immeasurable love I feel for my kids, but not sure what I'd call particularly spiritual. Certainly also a greater sense of fear for the future, which lends itself to either greater faith, or to questioning my faith...
Nature & prayer. In my new home every morning I wake up & the view from my bedroom is different due to weather & clouds. Often the clouds hover between mountains, sometimes the cloud cover is so dense I don’t even see the mountains. I’m so grateful to awake to such beauty. Then I have a morning hand washing ritual with kavanah prayers from my heart. This has morphed over time so that now it is about healing for loved ones then for all humanity & our earth, atmosphere, waters, creatures, & more. It’s an opportunity that I’m deeply grateful for.
I’m always looking for the spiritual. I often feel connected to God at the cottage, in nature or the rare occasions I’m in church. Sometimes moments of deep peace make me feel a connection to the world and what’s beyond.
I began my meditation practice again and am working on a regular process of admiring practice. That is as vague as it sounds, but I feel more relaxed in that.
I started thinking about my creative practice in terms of this prayer: "Blessed are you Adonai who made me, in your image, a creator."
As I mentioned before, I was with my Dad when he died. I can't remember if it was the day before or the day of his passing -- but when he patted my hand and lifted it up to his face for a kiss, that was very special moment. I'm not sure I'd call it "spiritual," but it was very special. He also took a drink of apple juice and let me put chapstick on his lips. He was very appreciative, it seemed. Did he know it was me? I'm not sure, but I'd like to think so!
Walking in New Mexico as dawn was breaking, seeing the separation of day & night, and the birds start to sing increased understanding of the first blessing in birchat haschachar
I have had various moments in live music shows over the past year where I felt reconnected to my inner happiness in a way that I had missed. I plan to incorporate this into my life more regularly moving forward.
No it's been a fairly quiet year for me feeling connected to the Universe & having my intentions happening around me.
Genuinely can't think of anything even remotely spiritual that's happened to me this year. Nearest thing is probably new plants in the garden. I love watching new plants grow, and I was so pleased to see the plum - which I thought was dead - start to bud So I guess I have a spiritual affinity with the plum tree!
Saying goodbye to 1720, my childhood home, was an almost spiritual experience, because it felt like an experience of loss and grief. It was the knowledge that I was grown up now, that my childhood was over, that I couldn't go back. The stark awareness of time. I raged against it. I hated it. I wanted to smack my parents for pushing me into this change before I was ready. And then -- something new took over. After therapy, and poetry, and remembering. I got to revisit all these incredible stories of my childhood, got to be home again in my mind and feel gratitude and awe. I got to grieve the loss of childhood, like, tangibly grieve it, rather than letting it slip away unnoticed. And I got to go back to 1720 and pack up my room. It was extremely painful. I stood in the otherwise-empty house and wept. I touched all the walls of all the hallways, and stood in the empty rooms, and got to be with there, fully there. And it was sort of a spiritual experience, because my house was a home for me one last time. The place that had supported me as I grew up still supported me as I said goodbye. I imagined the house as a living being who loved me, took care of me, kept me safe. And let me go. The house forgave us for leaving it. And I forgave my parents. And myself. I still miss the house, and I always will, but I feel more gratitude than anything. I had a very good childhood there. It gave me so much.
Just 17 days after my dad died our youngest grandchild, Zachary came into the world. His dimpled chin—so like his great grandfather’s—seemed like a kiss from god/the universe. It is a reminder of the necessity of the cycle of life. People must die to make room for the next generations. For those of us lucky enough to have children and grandchildren, there can be life after death in the survival of our DNA. Dad would have loved to see this new face—maybe he does.
Only right now think to mention the synchronous experience of job loss, and having the opportunity of going up for an aliya on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashana, to recognize, including job loss...which Rabbi Gilah named as an example.
My deceased mother-in-law watches over me in both happy and difficult situations. This happens often.
QM2 watercolour classes with Suzanne Hetzel and finding Byron Kaie’s Books and logic of dealing with thoughts and life.
I went to the Western Wall and cried/ripped my shirt in genuine anguish that the Bet Hamikdash was destroyed. It was beautiful in its own way.
I underwent a series of trainings for K-8 teachers on trauma-informed teaching and trauma-informed classrooms. I learned many new things, but what I wanted to address in this post is the deep, lasting knowledge I gained learning about restorative circles, restorative practices. I'm not an educator, but was allowed to participate because I do other volunteer work in the school district and was editing a policy piece on the elimination of certain types of suspensions. Key to this work was building safe and trusting relationships inside of classrooms. These trainings completely changed the way that I interact with all human beings. It completely changed the way I resolve issues with my kids, my husband ... the way that I interact with colleagues. I pretend that I am using a talking piece in every conversation, and I do not talk until the other person has concluded his/her remarks. I listen more fully now. It was a spiritual awakening within myself - to listen more carefully - to treat others more respectfully. Pretty cool.
I don’t think I’ve had a spiritual awakening, but I feel like I’m currently going through a process of actually figuring out some stuff and looking for acceptance. A little over a year ago, I had mind numbing panic attacks, that fucked me up. I couldn’t breathe or think, but eventually after medication, some therapy, being lost, and having to rely on my support systems a lot, I was able to readjust. Now i started again, the panic attacks, anxious thoughts, and negativity have restarted, but I found a therapist and she kinda talked me through some things. So I think it’ll be a trip through trying to figure myself out and being content the way i am. It’s been a good experience with that therapist. I’m hoping it’ll put me in a good space spiritually and mentality.
No. I was not out in the great landscapes of this world enough to create that moment nor did I encounter a work of art or a piece of music that transported me. Perhaps "Contentment is Wealth" might work in that it does not require magnificence to be happy.
I feel like my most spiritual moments are always connected to music. Somehow music just seems to tap into my soul in a way that nothing else can...and I end up coming to so much more clarity as a result. One of the recent ones was listening to Grace Potter's new song "Release" -- I'm struggling with letting go of my wife, my marriage, my old life, and the first time I heard that song I cried from how much it resonated with my heart and what I need to do. It felt like it was the universe saying to me, "you can let go. it's okay to let go."
After reading the book "The Soul of an Octopus" I visited the Boston Aquarium where I played with an octopus. It was an amazing experience. What a wonder that such an alien creature is so intelligent and aware. What wonders to behold in this world of ours!
A few weeks after my father died, I dreamt that he was in his house in Huntington Beach. My mother and sister were in the dream, but could not see nor hear him. I asked him if he was okay, and he replied, “I’m doing okay.” Then I asked him if he was with Stewart and he said, “Yes, I’m with Stewart,” and he faded away. When my father was dying, he kept asking to return to his house to look at it again while he was still alive, but my mother and sister were afraid that he would not return to the board and care home if they allowed him to visit his house. My mother told my sister, “I wish we had let him visit the house while he was still alive.” That was the night I had this dream.
Giving birth was pretty spiritual. Maybe trips to the theatre? Wise Children was almost a spiritual experience - at least, it had me in tears. And the opening strains to Matilda the Musical. But really, it's been a low-spirituality year. Maybe the most spiritual I've felt is when connecting to people.
I have eschewed the spiritual this year. I find myself driven further from any semblance of faith or spirituality. It seems only useful when convenient, as in "I miss my dog, I am saddened by his death, I want to pray for him to be in heaven." And then we have a shitball president, Israel's doing shitty things, we have global warming, natural disasters, starvation, etc. Where's God? Is someone going to look me in the eye and tell me it's God's will that these things happen? If they did, I might seriously lose it.
Not so much. I feel like G'd and I are far away.
When my father was in his final decline, we had prayers and words with a local rabbi. We are not observant, but my father was receptive to meeting with a rabbi and sharing stories in his final days. The prayers he read while I held my dad's hand was very special - even though I did not understand most of it - it was very special and I was so glad to be a part of it.
performing cello in public for the first time. it is the ability to calm the anxiety and to zone out into one thing. it is also the ability to isolate and focus on one thing for few weeks before. it's not the applaud, it is my accomplishment to myself that was inspiring... I never ever stopped to think what would I do to be proud of me in public... I have always made long term investments in myself in private with no public return.. as I learned from my grossly neglected childhood never to be acknowledged!
Same answer as last year: Spending more time on yoga and meditation (Jewish and otherwise) has provided time for spiritual reflection. My Rosh Chodesh group with other community (old and new) female friends has also provided an important avenue for spiritual reflection that I didn't have in my life previously. I would say my spiritual life is less in a place of worship (although that is still important) and more and more community based. I also had some spiritual moments during artistic experiences, especially live music and musical theater.
I've had this window open on my computer all day, but I can't think of a particularly spiritual experience from the past year. The closest I've come to that is discovering two new fandoms to lose myself in (Fire Emblem Three Houses and The Goblin Emperor), but I don't know if I'd call that spiritual, per se.
Going to services, eating good food, dancing my room, being in my parks, enjoying my apartment and walk to work
I had a spiritual experience this year when I was in Jerusalem. I felt so close to Judaism and God.
A few months back we buried my Aunt Sharon, who died unexpectedly after a short bout with pancreatic cancer. That night I attended Reflections (a Grateful Dead cover band) at Crystal Lake. The band played Estimated Prophet, and I felt her presence during the lyrics "Like an angel, Standing in a shaft of light, Rising up to paradise, You know I'm gonna shine". Her children had both posted to FB about how the "world had lost a lot of its shine". It was a very cathartic and meaningful moment.
Inktober :) <3
I finally fulfilled a life dream and celebrated Purim in Israel. It’s such a different dynamic than at home and I had the best time just hanging out with my friends and wearing costumes. I hope I can go to a real Purim party in New York.
I wouldn’t say spiritual necessarily but I found myself in this depression a few months ago and was able to will myself out of it (although now I might be back again) through the power of routine. I used yoga/meditation/exercise plus positive eating and self affirmations to help myself out of the place I was in.
I think it would pass as a spiritual experience: I had the sudden desire to quit smoking. And did. Threw out the remaining cigarettes and my smoking coat. Now I miss it every day...
The closest I come to anything spiritual is my daily prayers which is my time to dialogue with God, to put my feelings out there, my wishes and dreams and hope somehow God and I have connected and there's hope for the future.
The death of my father-in-law has had almost the opposite effect. Since I do not believe in any type of existence after death, it has starkly made the point that all of us are here for only a short while. And that we will likely not be happy when our days are over. So all we really have is right now. No point in focusing too much on the past or on the future. This is it, right now is what counts.
The Bobby McFerrin concert last month was incredible! I was totally taken away by the music and was able to step completely outside of myself for longer than I have in ages. It was alive and vibrant in a way that totally captivated me. And I was there with Micah and Andrea who I love SO much <3
This past year I began a mindfulness practice that has deepened my presence and sense of appreciation in many different situations. Mindfulness has enriched my spiritual life, adding depth and greater meaning to rituals and prayers that were already a part of my life. For example, I recently found myself reciting a familiar prayer - but experiencing it in a new, more meaningful way.
I have rediscovered the Holy Spirit and its power to truly help and defend and heal me and others. The Holy Spirit is the advocate the friend the counselor the teacher the divine encourager the guide the helper i am so grateful to have such a friend who loves me
In an learning program that taught me a lot about the meaning of forgiveness from god forgiving automatically (on the holiest of days in the Jewish year) from the aspect of loving the people he created.
I can't think of any particular experience that were necessarily spiritual, but I have been searching for god in different places and trying to define more clearing what "god" means to me. I believe that he/she/it is out there, I would also like to believe that god is a loving being and cares for all it creates. I most would like to believe that there is a heaven and that truly good being's souls ascend to such a place after they've passed out, but I've somewhat rejected the idea that I was raised with where "everyone who doesn't believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins goes to hell" because that just seems so incredibly ethically and morally unjust. So since I'm in this new place of spirituality, it's a little scary, but I'd like to find out what that means. Maybe I'll have a standout experience soon...
I've had the most profound spiritual trip during my stay in the hospital while I was having a miscarriage. It was as if I was feeling the presence of something powerful that could either give life or take it away. Afterwards I had a sort of an "afterglow" - for some time I was able to look upon other people without any judgement and see them for who they really were.
There were a few days this year - holding no significance - just rough emotional days. They don't happen all that often, but on occasion fear, doubt and low self-worth get to me and I get stuck in a spiral of negativity; wondering what I am supposed to do to "fix it" and the things in my life that seem to require "fixing" at that moment are things that if I got rid of them or changed them, would break my heart- which only sends me further into a spiral. But each time, something small but so important pulls me back out. Always God - sometimes in the form of prayer, sometimes through podcasts or talking to a loved one about God. This summer there was a pivitol moment where I was talking to my grandpa about what I have learned on my Athey Creek podcasts and he told me "What you think in your mind and feel in your heart comes out your mouth. Let what leaves your mouth not only be true, but glorify God." and "To be afraid is the opposite of having faith." He rarely speaks about much, but when it comes to the Word, his face lights up. I love that - it is so inspiring.
Yes! Going to the western wall in Jerusalem. It made me feel connected to something higher, and I never felt that way before. I still believe there’s a higher power out there, and touching the wall helped me feel it.
I continue to have a widening view of spirituality, largely due to Richard Rohr podcasts. I have some concerns about being too focused on one source / perspective of spirituality, and I also feel I'm growing into a faith and spirituality that feel more authentic and true to who God is. I have been praying that I become more aware of the true God communicating to the true me. More TBD.
The first thing that comes to mind involves my voice: my virtual (skype) voice lessons have been spiritual experiences; performing with my new (albeit short-lived) band was a spiritual experience; singing lyrics I'd written in Russian was a spiritual experience. Back in late July, I communicated with my ancestors about inherited trauma during an intuitive healing session with a medium. Thank you to my sister for gifting me this experience. The trauma pertained to my own creative inhibitions, and I was offered a ritual to release my ancestors' burden and break the spell in my own life. Perhaps it worked, given the ease with which I've permitted myself to engage in musical endeavors since then. Right now I feel as if I'm being asked to transcend the sheen of banal, normative reality – not through extreme measures, but simply by reorienting my perception of reality, infusing my everyday experience with piercing lucidity. Last night was a particularly restless one, and as I lay in bed I felt something resembling a mushroom trip – my insides swirled and my mind churned as if reconfiguring itself. It's as if I'm reaching out to myself from across dimensions, attempting to pull my consciousness out of its waking slumber so that it might act as a portal to its own multiplicity. I'm reminded of a psychedelic trip I experienced earlier this year. On the new moon in early May I drove my car out to Laguna Mtn, camped in the back all by my lonesome, and ate a mushroom caramel before sunrise, resulting in a hilarious almost-near-death-but-actually-not experience. In fact, I simply had a lot of fun with myself, which was quite profound. Last night Rita sent me a message about "finding pathways to what would be her truer self" via simple acts of self-care and I resonate with this definitively spiritual pursuit, even as it involves mundane tasks. I think I'm learning that the spiritual resides in the day-to-day. It must, or else it remains absent from my life. And this is the tug I seem to be feeling right now, and have been feeling throughout this past year.
Zander making amends to those I love and rebuilding his relationships with my friends and family has been transformative. I no longer feel like I am living a double life. It has been so liberating.
Again, my answer this year has to do with losing my son. I had the privilege of being with him during his last days and I was there at his side as he passed from this world to the next. It was absolutely a deeply spiritual moment for me, nothing like I’d expected and nothing like I’d imagined. I will be forever grateful that I was there with him and that his passing was peaceful and calm. May his memory be a blessing for all the generations that follow.
I haven't spent time on spiritual me for awhile and I need to get back to discovering me. I've just been so burned out lately. 😢
Leaving my career-job was a spiritual experience, as was taking a sabbatical to heal and indulge my art.
I have been reading Richard Rohr's daily meditations in my email. After coming back from Ladakh, with its many meditations of road, mountain, loving kindness and Indus, I was struck by one meditation that shared a mystic's meditation on seeing Christ in all people. And as we drove around in a taxi in Delhi, slowly through loud traffic, of course, I practiced. It overwhelmed me and touched me to my core. Not in the brokenness but in the *fullness* of humanity. The fullness of effort and joy and love. I went to India expecting to be changed by the brokenness or poverty. The closest I got to that was that day of meditation in motion. And I felt blown away by the love and beauty that I found when I looked, through this lens of Christ (of all things, in all things, from all things, for all things). I am thankful for the miniscule redemptions of life, the mending of relationships, each one a miracle in its own right.
Yes, at LimmudFest this year, I went to an alternative service led by Eliana Light, and it was one of the most spiritual services I have ever been to. The service allowed for singing, silent meditation, and really being one with nature. It is a service I will never forget and showed me the power of spirituality, community, and mindfulness.
No. I have missed my husband fiercely, crying myself to sleep, feeling his absence viscerally. But there has been no relief, no cosmic connection, no sense of otherworldly presence. I listen to songs whose lyrics gut me, lines that pierce through the facade that I’m doing okay. And all I can do is wonder what I’m doing, why I’m tracking the time that has passed. The answer is not in the spiritual, but in the corporeal presence of my children. They are my purpose, my entire purpose. And it’s exhausting enough without seeking some higher purpose to my suffering.
One of the most notable communal moments of the year took place somewhere I never really expected to be: at an outdoor land concert in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with 1,000-someodd fellow nerd cruise attendees when the skies opened. It was a cleansing, hilarious, free-shots-filled downpour with spontaneous sing-alongs and shared looks of giddy disbelief. The organizers rallied and managed to have a last-minute on-ship concert instead, which couldn't hold everybody, but my husband and I managed to get a seat, and it was the most jam-packed 60-minute no-sound-check TMBG concert ever. I am sad we will miss this annual nerd vacation pilgrimage in 2020, but we will return again sometime.
Our dear, sweet "granddog" passed away in May. We knew she was failing, but when we arrived at my son's house it was clear she would die any day. Two days later she did die, peacefully at home. We buried her and had a beautiful funeral service. Each of us had written letters to read at the service. It was moving and a fitting tribute to the sweetest dog-soul I have ever encountered. Our pets become our loved ones, and we are blessed to have them for whatever time on each we share with them. I will never forgot this dog and the way in which we honored her when she passed away.
Going to the mikvah on Erev Yom Kippur was very spiritual. It had the effect of washing away the lingering effects of my marriage and divorce. When I'm tempted to dwell on that, I remind myself that what is past is past; I've changed and moved on, older and wiser.
I just had one today. Right here in the midst of the Days of Awe, my boyfriend (once Orthodox in Israel) tells me he’s seeing someone else. I recognized—while he was speaking even—that it didn’t matter. Everything I had given to him, I’d given from a place of wholeness and wholeheartedness, not because I wanted anything in return. So I do not feel diminished in any way by his moving on. I am grieving a little, yes. But mostly I’m still quite whole. I’m breathing in, breathing out, appreciating what we had, not wanting more. My experiences of spirituality tend to be this way: When I feel connected to All That Is, the details of life become less significant somehow.
No. I feel as though I've lost all connection with my faith and spirituality and don't know how to regain it, or even if I want to regain it. Is it worth the effort? Did it actually bring me comfort and joy? Do I even believe in any of this? So many questions, and I don't feel like I have a place to turn or person to confide in.
I recently went on a yoga retreat and found it to be quite restorative. I spent 50% of the time just in my body, in the moment, 25% of the time in quiet, and 25% of the time socializing. I came out with some good revelations and peace in my heart and life.
Every year I feel like I am growing spiritually, which makes me so happy. I meditate, though not regularly enough and I would like to explore this much more. I believe that there are many spirits around me all the time helping me out. There is a particular number that I like a lot, and I asked out loud when I was alone for more examples of seeing that number, just for fun. It's an uncommon number in the hundreds so I think that it is more unusual to find randomly but I do and it makes me giggle. My favorite was when I was at a grocery store and I overheard a man order "XXX" number of sandwiches. The clerk asked him to repeat it, and he said it again, really loudly. The exact number that I LOVE! This story is hard to explain and I don't know if it is understandable here in this format but in my mind, it shows me that there are spirits amongst us, or at least, something is going on that we cannot explain. I also hear noises in my bedroom at night, usually the dresser handles clicking ... I've told my husband about it and he thinks it's just the temperature changing, causing it to expand/contract. It could be... but then I don't know. One day over this past summer, during the day, I saw the handles moving and clicking with my own eyes! Then from the next room, my husband said "I think we're having an earthquake"-- he was right... it was an earthquake. HAHAHA
I am a witch. God is in nature. But saying that out loud makes me sound crazy. I have always felt that God is everywhere, and sisterhood is so vital. A witch with a coven is where I feel called. Having a magical, intentional practice in my daily life has been very fulfilling and calming and has spoken to my soul.
This year was still not my height of spirituality but the spark was there more often as of late. Last year I really had to work on me and my life and that meant letting go of the magic a little. This summer and entering the fall have been good. I got to see the stars so much last summer and I've experimented with prayer: is it coffee hour with G-d; is it studying. Adonai Adonai el rachum v'chanum....
Though it's not any one experience, there's a song I heard on Spotify while alone one evening that was particularly moving. For some reason the song struck a personal chord that I've since listened to on flights heading down to my client in Houston each week. As I try and dull the emotional discomfort of leaving home to spend a majority of my week away by focusing on work (which I'm usually doing while on the plane), when this song comes on, I usually pause work to listen to it, namely because while doing so I imagine a room full of people turning around to see my bride as she prepares to be escorted by her Dad down the aisle on my wedding day. The song itself is slow, and the pivot of everyone their to face the bride is equally slow, as is my processing of such a momentous life event playing out in such a short yet seemingly long amount of time. Perhaps it's a selfish because imagining this makes me feel good, but I love it nonetheless. And as I do so, tears almost invariably trickle down my cheeks and get absorbed by the mouth cover I wear while on planes. It's an ironic yet beautiful juxtaposition of my immediate life and the life I imagine.
This year, I started working on regular morning t'fillah. That is a very broad category that includes anything from leyning for Shabbat or holidays to reading Jewish theology (working through Heschel's Heavenly Torah: As Refracted through the Generations) to morning prayers and poems. It's been a great way to center myself in general. But several times, I've read or recited prayers sitting in a corner of my backyard surrounded by plants, hummingbirds, and flowers. Those have been wonderful moments of connection with the universe--or at least my corner of it.
Many. I mentioned one in an earlier answer. Additionally, through breathwork I have had some really profound experiences with my spirit guides, my spirit mother, and ancestors. This has been a very spiritual year for me, opening up a greater perspective of what life here on earth is all about. It's changed how I approach my desires, how I acknowledge and love myself, how I speak with my friends, the work I create... Everything.
There have been multiple times this year when I have wanted do create art and tackle projects that I knew I was capable of. And yet each time I procrastinated and mulled each project for so long that I began to doubt myself. And again, with each project when I finally did get to it it was not only enjoyable to do, but was clearly within my skill set, and the results were what I had envisioned. It reminds me that I have to get out of my head, get out of my way, stop second guessing my own abilities, and just DO.
I had a profound realization that witches were the first priestesses. I have had a sense of God and forgiveness. How has this affected me? I cried with relief and felt loved in a profound way.
Going through pregnancy, birth, and motherhood has brought a sort of spiritual awakening for me. The way your body knows exactly what to do to create new life is incredible and humbling. The way you just fall into motherhood is also amazing. It’s gross, and beautiful, and bizarre, and magical,
Spiritually, I have opened my mind and self up and become extremely dedicated to studying and understanding astrology. In doing so, I have gained a greater sense of the Universe and human nature as it is influenced by the stars, planets and other forces of energy. I have also opened my mind to manifestation and have truly come to recognize my ability to control my attitude and the energies I put out into the world. Personally, I find this has strengthened my sense of self, my relationships and my understanding and acceptance of why people behave the way they do. While previously I may have been annoyed by certain habits of others, I find my tolerance for others and their behaviors expanding alongside a growing understanding of under what influences we become who we are and act the way we do. For me, this has become most spiritual in the way that it has become a stronger guiding force in my life than my Jewish faith. While cultural Judaism is still a huge part of my life and identity, astrology seems to offer me the clarity and guidance I find others get out of their faiths. For me, this is what leads astrology to embody a more literal interpretation of spirituality.
The International Mr. Leather Contest was transformed for me when I went to the second recovery meeting there and shared. Had I not done that, I would have been miserable the whole weekend and likely stayed in my room alone. Instead, I had a great time with old and new friends, all because I let it move from being a kink event with recovery to being a recovery event with kink.
October 3, 2019 Hard to say. I used to have 'spiritual moments' in the past, but it has been a while since I have had a real spiritual 'ha' moment, where I feel like I know why I was on this earth and what my purpose is. This evades me now. I feel profoundly alone these days. Alone even when in a crowd or with people. This makes me very sad.
Everything in my life seems to be a spiritual experience. From the Torah we understand not to place our faith in men. I try and remind myself of this every day.
YES. I saw a post on FB inviting students to a 5 week free meditation course in exchange for providing data for a study being conducted. This was a life-altering experience. Over the more than 5 weeks (because we couldn't stop!), I met amazing people, learned about FLOW states of consciousness, dove into meditation, connected with a woman who is in the business of spirituality and psychotherapy, learned about and implemented Hedonic calendaring.. the list goes on. So I can recount all of this and it's great but when what? Over the course of this time and in the wake of it, my life changed. I lost a job and gained two more. My relationship with my parents improved. My mental health stabilized, my health got first worse then better, I met Emmie, I felt more comfortable in our home, I gained finances, etc. This all happened because I pay attention to social media and I say YES to opportunities. Because I affirmed, I received affirmation in myriad ways.
Not really. But when I think about a moment when I felt a kind of transcendent peace, it was towards the end of the summer when I was sitting on the front stoop with Henry. (He loves being outside and watching the cars and the trees and the squirrels.) The sun was warm, and there was a nice breeze, and he was sitting on my lap with his soft skin snuggled up against mine. I could smell his baby shampoo and feel his little fingers resting on my hand. He fit so perfectly in my arms and was very content to just sit there and watch the world with me. And I thought about how much I enjoyed that moment, and how this is what I wanted when I dreamed about being a mom. And I wanted to commit that moment and all its senses and feelings to my strongest memories.
I had multiple signs pointing me to join a church group this year, and more spiritual events followed, all based off of 1 weekend.
I’ve done a lot of soul searching this past year. A lot of digging into the faith and I’ve come out of it with the realization that Judaism and Christianity have their own particular traditions. They have their own way of expressing their faith and devotion to God. And they my studies I’ve found that much of it is based on minhag. It took a lot of the weight off my shoulders- of trying to do things “ according to the Bible “.
At a time when I was in a bleak place, feeling abandoned in my closest relationships, I asked HaShem "what is the freaking point of this human life?" and got an answer that I wasn't expecting and that has radically transformed how I experience the world. I can honestly say that I'm unambiguously glad to be alive, for the first time in 48 years.
I enjoyed going with my niece to the ballet, even after she acquired a weird illness that has since been diagnosed and is a major issue for her. We were able to enjoy it despite her physical issues.
I have had the *most* spiritual year - I've gone on a journey from considering converting to making active progress all the way through to preparing to convene a beit din. I had to engage with how my evangelical family might feel, what reactions they might have, and I had to be sure I could answer any questions they asked, respond to any pushback they gave. I'm naturally a skeptic, so this year has involved a lot of hard questions for myself, even without the pressing of a rabbi or beit din. I want to know this is the right choice now that I'm here at the precipice, at my last opportunity to back out. Sure, I can answer questions to *your* satisfaction, but can I answer them to mine? I'm my own most skeptical rabbi.
Not particularly. I've been very focused on the here and now lately. I've certainly had some great moments of clarity and joy, but nothing that I'd say was particularly spiritual.
I can’t think of any one specific spiritual event. However I do generally feel oneness more often than I have in the past. I have definitely felt God’s presence through nature and other people very often in the past year.
A few weeks ago I was leading minyan on a particularly full minyan. We got to Kedusha and my eyes flicked over to the English translation, which uses "Holy voices respond" and immediately everyone responded to what I had said. In that moment, I realized that the holy voices, while literally referring to the voices of the angels in the text, also referred to the voices of the holy souls around me.
The last year was an incredibly spiritual one for me. Our family visited Israel for the first time. I became bat mitzvah as an adult, my younger son became bar mitzvah twice (in the US and in Israel), and my older son was confirmed. We formed a new & meaningful community with our Israel trip group and have become more involved in our synagogue as a result. One of the most powerful moments in Israel was when I saw my cousins at the Western Wall. As the descendants of Holocaust survivors who were able to stand together in the country of Israel, I was moved to tears.
I have never had a spiritual experience and I don't believe they exist. Spiritual by definition involves things that are not real. I live in a world that is governed by natural laws and while those laws sometimes interact in ways that I cannot explain, that does not mean the experience is unreal. I am however constantly annoyed by people around me who live as if there was a spiritual world. They are constantly fucking up the real world because of their infantile beliefs.
I think I've had more 'small' spiritual moments than a specific large one. I've been trying to be more present/in the moment and when I succeed, it feels spiritual/connected to the world in a different way than I generally do.
Jacob's Pillow college dance finalists last August in the Berkshires at dusk. just beautiful.
It seems like my spirituality is now more particular to me. I find myself feeling something deeper about things that are not necessarily sacred. Let me change that, they might be sacred to me if not to anyone else.
This is the year I started to meditate regularly. I also took the 8 week Institute of Jewish Spirituality class. Through it, I have also become friends with my new Chevruta partner. Finally, I am beginning my year of Tikkun Middot!
I reconnected with Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls this last year. The poems gave me a sense of strength and pride in a time where I felt really small. I realized that nothing makes me feel more spiritually connected than seeing familiar resilience in another Black woman.
I took art lessons for the first time in a class. I did 2 sessions of 10 weeks. It was so relaxing to learn and then paint at home. It help me see creation in a different way.
I can't think of any defining moments or experiences that stand out this year. Just always striving to be a better Catholic and a better Christian.
I had a spiritual awakening this year. I’ve decided to lean into aging by not dyeing my hair any more. This has been a spiritual experience for me. Having an outward reflection of the transition into a new phase of my life of launching kids into college has been empowering. When I look in the mirror and see some silver hair I feel grateful for all the life lessons I’ve learned. I feel grateful to have reached the moment of my life of living long enough to have earned every gray hair on my head.
Once again, I've continued on being alcohol-free! I'm proud that I have kept my promise of walking this spiritual path of sobriety and sanity. I do have to say that I've stop painting because I could no longer keep my paints in my crowded apartment. It's sad, but I wasn't going to keep something that I wasn't going to use again; I simply had to move on. However, I found my passion for knitting again!!! Back in November 2016, I knitted a beautiful white scarf for someone who left me heartbroken and even destroyed; I vowed to NEVER knit again for fear of knitting something out of love and having the recipient not even appreciate it. It's funny how life works though; I began my full-time job in January 2019, and I met a wonderful person who ran the knitting club. I was hesitant to knit again, but I'm glad I did. Knitting has brought me a sense of peace and serenity; I'm truly myself whenever I knit a scarf or blanket. It's like I get into a mode of meditation and get myself into a spiritual trance. I absolutely love it. Meeting and getting to know the knitting club president (funny thing is, we were the only two people in the club LOL!) has really opened my eyes. She's vegan, and she was really cool to talk to. I had negative experiences with my vegan ex-boyfriend (well, he was never really my "boyfriend", just someone I chased after) and his friends; he's the person I knitted the white scarf for. I actually held a biased prejudice against vegans for a while. But as I said before, meeting the knitting club president changed everything; I've learned that not all vegans are judgmental and mean. I truly believe that God arranged for me to meet Sierra; it was simply meant to be. I'm more than happy to say that I have my favorite hobby back to call my own, and I definitely plan to continue on knitting for life.
Yes. I mean, as a musician and a pastor, I often have substantive spiritual experiences. However, this year, I had a really defining series of spiritual experiences rooted in going through a book called "The Gift of Being Yourself" by David Benner. The lessons I learned about being truly human, truly, uniquely fashioned in the Image of God were literally life-changing for me. I'm continuing to learn to walk that out: being authentically who God created me to be and learning how to allow Him to intersect with that, to change and mold me more into His image, and more into who He created me to be to begin with.
I don’t consider myself a spiritual person. I’m very concrete and ground itself in the idea that I’m here is enough - why I’m here or any other big, philosophical questions just don’t interest me. That said, I learned three things that have radically improved my quality of life. I learned how to draw, which unwinds me in a way little else does. I learned to meditate, which helps me stay present and attentive to myself and others, and I learned to sleep. I was never a good sleeper until this year.
I had a serious health scare early in the year. It turned out OK. I am taking it a gift of grace from the universe.
This summer, my child went to a precollege art program in digital painting. Despite the 12-hour days, my kiddo was filled with energy and brimming with self-confidence after two weeks. They set their sights on one of the top art schools in the country for college. It's still two and a half years away . . . but for the first time, my baby expressed a desire and readiness to fly from the nest. For sixteen years I haven't made a single life decision without thinking of my child's well-being first. I switched continents, changed professions, moved to a place I had never lived, all to be the best single mom I could be for this person. And now everything I've worked for - that my child be who they are, that they feel utter freedom to explore their life and their Self - is happening. With this thrill of accomplishment comes fear: What will be my guiding light as I make decisions about my life after my child is gone? How will I keep from shrinking into the tiny space of being my mother's dementia caregiver? Will I ever have a life of my own again? And what if they call for 20 minutes a week and that's all there is? Who will I talk to at night? And also there's gratefulness for my robust health and anticipation of having more time to write and write and write, because I'm not driving back and forth to friends' houses and classes, and cooking and cleaning and shopping for two, and so on. It's how I imagine many of the Israelites felt at the foot of Sinai: awestruck and fearful and joyous.
My life is infused with spirituality in away it hasn’t been. For the last 5 years I’ve been free to explore my beliefs and what supports me. Without worry of judgment from Christian in-laws. Also, I am way more interested in science. Science with a capital S. I’ve read lists about early humans and watched a documentary on black holes. I used to be scared to think about biology and the universe.
I saw "Come from Away", which I never would have thought of as "spiritual", until I saw the definition could include artistic/cultural experience. How can I be more generous of spirit? How can I think nothing of helping when someone is in trouble - even strangers? How can I???
Of significance to me is that I chose the first day of Rosh Hashanah to send a final message to Joe, I returned the drum beater which signifies my final act of purification from him. Drumming has emerged in my life and I connect with some spiritual women through this. Joe and I had many conversations and activities that were spiritually based. It was spiritual to me, obviously not so for him as he is not an honest person. I had to reclaim my spiritual connection to drumming and I took it back by returning the gift which he gave me at Christmas. He is no longer connected to this sacred practice. I participated in a 28 day soul journey and the other women who also participated are part of the full moon circle which to me is a spiritual connection. We were asked to make a commitment and mine is based out of the book that came with Zachary’s red string years ago. It speaks of the evil eye, my commitment is to be mindfully avoidant of the evil eye.
Anytime I'm out at a concert or a play. I feel that connection to the music in my heart and soul. I'm trying to do more with my best friend so I also get to see her at the same time. This last year, she and I took the girls to see the Indigo Girls and it was so fun to give them that experience.
My brother has been in therapy, him getting help is a spiritual experience in itself. We have had amazing conversations for the first time as adults, 53 And 48 yrs old. Something he learned about how our father, who thought Hc was doing good and the right thing, never validated our feelings and actually made things worse. Looking back, he would say things like, “ you shouldn’t feel that way, I give you everything, your are good looking, smart, and have everything and opportunity that you could ever need to succeed.” I didn’t realize that back then, for a long time, I was struggling spiritually and emotionally, and what he was telling me, what my subconscious was hearing was, “your feelings can’t be valid, they can’t be real, and they are wrong”. That only made me stuff them further down and dig me in deeper in my hole. I have done a lot of spiritual work earlier in my 40’s to be unbelievably comfortable in my skin and not depressed at all. And through all that work, this is one thing about my Dad I didn’t realize. Hearing it from my brother was also a very spiritual experience too. All that said, my Dad is my best friend and an amazing guy. I love my bro too. Life is so good
I studied to become a yoga teacher last year and the biggest thing that it taught me was to regulate my emotions and observe how I react to things. I listened to and read a lot of spiritual teachings, including some of the yoga sutras of Patanjali, and talks by Pema Chodron about getting “hooked”. It was a massive insight for me and one that I’m still striving to perfect, but I think the art of listening - to others but also to yourself - is something that we should all try to practice, all the time. More recently I had an insight into the harmful power of judgement. We all judge one another and ourselves, and it’s actually one of the most destructive things we can do. I’m going to try to stop myself from judging whenever I’m aware that I’m doing it.
Hadestown is probably the closest I've gotten this year. Just magical at so many points and a super smart, well, everything. Killer soundtrack, wonderful set, astonishing lighting, and a cast that was top of the line. I don't think I've enjoyed a date night out like that since Hamilton. I mean, it's the same old story, right, but how can a retelling of it still make you gasp when it happens?
Everyday has had a spiritual side to it. I learned to look for it in my yoga classes. It’s not easy somedays but there’s at least one small spiritual thing hiding either somewhere or within someone (usually in the last place I look too).
I don't think I've had any spiritual experiences this year. I do feel a bit more connected to the outside world and the environment, now that I have a garden that I can make into a native, pollinator space. I think working on making my corner of the world better for the environment might edge me into spirituality.
I’m excited to say that I feel as though I’ve spent a lot more time in nature and climbing mountains this year than I ever have before and that I have been LOVING it. Our first hiking of the year was in Washington state in May, and the first few hikes, though beautiful, were really hard for me both physically and emotionally. I got out of breath quickly, was very anxious about the potential to encounter bears and other creatures, and just didn’t enjoy myself even though the views and weather were stunning. Later in the same trip, we did a few hikes in Oregon, and throughout that whole trip I enjoyed each hike more and more. I became emotionally more relaxed, was more able to appreciate the nature and animals and sounds and sights and smells around me, and felt more physically up to the challenge. So much so, in fact, that I felt an itch to hike more when we got home. We hiked Cascade and Porter in the Adirondacks and though they were super challenging physically, I had an absolutely amazing time - breathing the fresh air, feeling the breeze, seeing the views, smelling the forest - it was truly stunning and exhilarating and spiritual. And then Ben and I went to Colorado with my parents and we again did some gorgeous hiking - and one hike in particular, Shrine Ridge Trail, was probably my most spiritual experience of the year. At 12,000 feet of elevation at its highest, this trail was gorgeous, with perfectly in season wildflowers blooming along the entirety of the trail, with 360 degree views of snow-topped mountain ranges, with large beautiful trees, and with fresh crisp thin air. It was just stunning and almost surreal and definitely made me feel so appreciative of the world we have and so small in the grand scheme of things (in a really humbling way).
This year I have started to appreciate prayer and liturgy. I use to be frustrated at services because I do not understand or read Hebrew. However, as I became more familiar with certain prayers and blessings and understood the meanings behind them, I began to appreciate them more. I am not necessarily good with expressing myself and through prayer and liturgy I am able to explore different depths of myself and discover my spirituality within. I am grateful for these experiences because I find it humbling, comforting, inspiring, and eye opening. I start to see the glimpse of something bigger than myself and the importance of a connection with Gd, community, tradition, family, history, Israel, etc.
Not that I can think of- doing meditation with my teammates every morning has been really centering, and it's something that I hope to continue throughout the year and beyond.
Attending the Shabbat service at my childhood synagogue the week after the Tree of Life shooting, which also happened to be the yarzheit of a dear cousin. It was such an emotionally draining week, as I not only was thinking about a person who impacted my life in such huge ways, but also thinking about a senseless act of violence that struck a personal chord. Being surrounded by family and community was deeply meaningful.
After camp this year (amazing, as always. A spiritual experience in itself), I actually joined the night kayaking. I didn't go last year because I was afraid of how cold the water would be, but ths year I went for it. It wasn't half bad, and being out on the water, in the dark, with noctiluca blooming like stars underneath, and the real star shining above was absolutely magical. I can't wait to go again next year.
I have, unfortunately, not been very involved with my spiritual life this year. Although I still identify as Wiccan, I have not been to any group rituals, and have had little solo ritual. The majority of my "spiritual experiences" are related to my awe of nature--in the US and abroad!
Just holding baby evan and nursing him has been a deep experience when I let myself be present with it. His soft skin, his innate wisdom to nourish and comfort himself, my body’s ability to give in this way and so much more. I love my connection with him and how sweet simple and deep it feels.
I had to sit and think about this one for a while, which makes me a bit sad. I think the closest spiritual experience I had was very momentary---it was the first glimpse of the caldera of Crater Lake in Oregon. This question helps me set an intention to simply notice the spiritual experiences that I am sure to have in the coming year.
I can't think of anything specific. However, I have been reading/following more spiritual leaders of different faiths on social media. I find what they have to say enlightening and thoughtful. It makes me think more about my own beliefs and how I interact with the people around me.
This year has been much less spiritual for me, than years before. And I really miss engaging with spirituality. I did a lot of hiking in the North Cascades and that was very spiritual for me.
I had a transformative time doing the play the S----th G--l at P-----ne R--. I'm deepening and getting more specific, when I put in the time - in the acting; at least think I am (or intuit I am). I'm making too much this. Is that spiritual, or is this just "work." I've been meditating everyday.
I feel disconnected from Divinity. I put it away last year when I completed a meditation cycle and haven't felt up to picking it back up. I feel this has contributed to my spiraling down. I am at this point consciously avoiding it because I know that it will push me to act more responsibly. I've been enjoying my vacation. It is time to re-establish my daily meditation practice. It does feel like I am adding to my plate, but I know from experience that dedicating this time every morning pushes me to a more upbeat outlook. Then I get to have fun keeping myself from going manic. Though, perhaps my new job would benefit from me slightly manic. I do tend to fixate on a task in that state. It keeps the mind flowing so there's not such a block on getting the words out.
My formal ordination as a Maggidah. Again and again, telling stories to seniors and youth. Amazing. And chanting Torah and Haftarah on Rosh HaShanah. And leading the children’s services. And acting as an abused child for the Forensic Interview Training. And leading services for the seniors with my multiply-disabled daughter at the seniors home every month. So so much!
I still don't identify as spiritual, and I can't think of an answer to this at present.
Last year, after the killings in the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the religious community got together at the local mosque in Billerica, Ma to join together in prayer and loving support of one another We, as a community have had to come together too many times to support one another, whether in a church, mosque, or synagogue. We try to mold our spirits into one of love for one another.
This year, I celebrated Passover at an Orthodox temple in Sydney, Australia without any of my family members. This was definitely a unique experience for me, and a step outside my comfort zone. Meeting Jewish people on the complete opposite side of the world left me with a special feeling of safety and comfort that I hadn't really experienced before.
No particular experience leaps to mind, but I think that's good, because what I've done is incorporate more "spirituality" into my everyday life. At one time I was always in search of a spiritual high, and this business of having it just be part of my days is so much better
I have been looking at how I can help in small ways and more locally with some discretionary funds...mainly in schools with literacy, training service dogs, and encouraging women writers. Why wait until I die to put these funds to work. I hope these will counteract the negativity with positivity.
Only in nature. When walking. Appreciating the earth and it’s creatures.
A sense of doom has overwhelmed me at times this year.
The Nine bodies of consciousness retreat this summer led me to meditating in my garden for almost a moth straight. I felt a profound peace and merging into oneness. Beyond thought, beyond desire, truly disappearing into existence.
I felt connected to my deceased father
When I perform theater or comedy live on-stage, it's the closest I feel to transcending myself. What a rush!
This summer was full of mountains. I feel at peace there, and I feel lucky to have been in so many places with forests, lakes, and mountains. Vancouver, Switzerland, Como, Inverness. I thought to myself in Crans Montana, "How can anyone wake up sad here?" The feeling is peaceful, majestic. Seeing the Earth around you, in such imposing structures, reminds you of your smallness. It also reminds you that you have a responsibility to the Earth, to take care of it. It is there, unavoidable, beautiful, terrifying, immense, magical.
I went to the Warrior Games (https://dodwarriorgames.com/) in CO Springs. This is an amazing ten days of athletic competition for wounded warriors from all branches of the military. Events include archery, field, cycling, etc.). The only event I could attend (due to scheduling) was swimming. I’m not a fan of swimming (watching or doing), but I wanted to support our wounded service men and women by my attendance and donation. The event at the Olympic sized pool at the Air Force Academy was relatively well attended by family, friends, and Air Force cadets. According to the program, there was a long list of heats, with a variety of classifications (depending on swim stroke, gender, and injury level). The first heat was competitors apparently with PTSD (no bodily injury was apparent to my untrained eye). As the eight lanes of swimmers completed their heat, the next set of athletes (men, in this case) lined up at the starting blocks. This heat happened to be warriors who had lost a limb or were paralyzed in one limb. Some competitors positioned themselves on the starting blocks; some of them lowered themselves into the water to await the start signal. Beep! And they were off! Watching these men (in this case, although the women were in later heats) swimming with all of their might, courage, and grace the whole length of this pool was inspiring to say the least. The best part, though, was as each competitor hit the wall, they stood (or not, you understand) or clung to the wall, not checking their own swim time, but looking back to see how the other competitors were faring. Then they would start yelling. Then clinging on to the ropes and moving back in to the middle of the pool where one or more struggling competitor was working hard to stay afloat. And clapping and yelling and encouraging and never giving up on anyone. It was almost too much to believe! Every single competitor finished the heat, no matter the time, to a grand furor of joy from all. Well, I was shedding tears in incredulous amazement at the courage of the competitors and their solidarity with their mates. I barely could gasp my breath from the emotion. And then…. Another heat. Again, this happened to be men, swimming the back stroke. All of these men were double amputees or in wheelchairs. I bawled my way through this heat, again watching as five men succeeded. But I noticed, as the fifth one hit the wall, the crowd was standing and screaming. Screaming, clapping, and crying. What the heck? Finally, through the crowd, I see….another competitor in the eighth lane, which I can barely see from my standpoint. I barely remember seeing a small crowd of people around him as he was lowered in to the water at the beginning, then, because I couldn’t see him, I…well, I forgot about him in the eighth lane. A crowd of people had been helping to lower him in to the water and to stabilize him until the starting sound… because his injury had left him as a person with quadriplegia. Yet here he was, propelling himself by his SHOULDER MOVEMENTS ONLY, through the water. Across an Olympic-sized pool. The entire crowd is on its feet (including me) and every man who had swum before was clinging to the rope next to the eighth lane, by every means (yelling, clapping, stomping) giving this man the inspiration to achieve his goal. Even as I write this, I’m sobbing. As this man came to the end of the pool after an agonizing sixteen minutes, the crowd burst into an even greater frenzy of joy, yelling and clapping and hugging. As I watched them, I was given this vision: This is the communion of saints (not “sainted” saints, but every day moms and dads and grandparents and my brother and my aunts kind of saints) in heaven, screaming, yelling, clapping, and praying us onward to our own achievement of the goal of heaven. Some of us are like the warriors with PTSD….lots of injury on the inside, but seeming pretty eomplete on the outside. Some of us have more injury, illness, sin, like the warriors with an amputated or paralyzed limb. Some of us have addictions and horror stories that are as paralyzing as quadriplegia. But a communion of saints is praying us onward. Screaming. Yelling, Stomping. Clapping, Crying. Never forget. You are not alone, and will never be abandoned. God loves you…. Loves us…. this much. It still makes me cry to retell this story.
Everyday has been a spiritual experience. The seemingly ordinary things have become extraordinary. Like breathing. With the slightest shift of awareness and observing the breath, the world expands into an infinite universe, full of possibilities.
I wonder if sometimes listening to others is spiritual- it felt that way last evening in clinic. Life is full of suffering, people want to feel heard, and sometimes bearing witness, just hearing someone's suffering can be spiritual. Good to ponder.
Traveling to New Zealand and basking in the natural beauty and scenery of such a place was a reminder of the beauty in the world that can’t be captured with wealth. This was particularly poignant on the glacier that we trekked with its untouched virgin snow beauty.
I went to a few moon ceremonies last year at the indigenous centre at my school. The ceremonies were so beautiful and welcoming and spiritual. I had never before seen such openness and honesty among people; old, young, strangers and friends. Everyone came together to tell stories, to share hardships, to be grateful. I also gained wisdom from elders there, and I wish I could remember all of it. I loved moon ceremonies because they created healing, and everyone present showed so much compassion for those around them. I hope I will be able to return some day.
I have had a couple of weird coincidences that have made me think of a spiritual realm/ "meant to be" type scenarios. One of which was feeling the need to search in my closet and finding a MBA application book during a type when I was debating whether or not to apply to MBA programs. Another has been as simple as messaging a friend at the exact same time they messaged me. I also think on a personal level I have really grown spiritually. I am really working on myself as a person and hope to make major changes this next year.
Again, spurred by Doan, my most spiritual experience this year was a healing technique that Doan taught me in which I do muscle testing to identify the past trauma cause of pain in me or somebody else. And then I can do EMDR to release the trauma that was causing the pain. I have used it countless times and found all kinds of past traumas that have been bottled up inside of me and others. But one of my most spiritual moments using this technique was when Gretchen was on her last day of life, the death mist shrouding her skeletal face. She could not speak or hardly move but one eye was ever so slightly open and her breath came hard or soft. I sat with her for hours . At first I did not know what would be helpful for her, but I started to use my muscle testing technique to ask what she wanted - what songs, what comforting words. I asked whether she was afraid and found that she was. I comforted her by channeling the strong Amazonian beauty that she had been in her youth and reminded her of that radiant fierce beauty that had been hers. I discovered the songs she wanted to hear and sang them to her. I emphatically assured her that her loved ones were cheering her on and waiting for her (my mother, her friends, her cats) And her anxiety subsided. I could feel her relaxing. It was so empowering for me to finally have the key to understanding what it was that I could actually do to help. I was glad to know that I was truly offering service to my dearest aunt in her time of greatest need.
I had a great visit to the beach this Elul. I always enjoy going, this time I really connected with some introspective time like I wanted.
My meditations this year have been more fruitful and meaningful. I feel like I am flourishing spiritually in the growth aspect. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Insight Timer has both provided unique value to my reflections on my life and about things, in general. I have multiple interests but these days they are somehow converging into a nice holistic sense. I am starting to see my place in this world with a certainty that I did not have in previous years. It’s really great and I am thankful for these realizations I had this year. The prior years have not been particularly easy but a lot of the events that happened reshaped my mind and life direction.
This year, after mom and dad died, nearly everyone in the family made the effort to get to our family reunion week. It was very good to see everyone, and while there, my brother presented the youngest of the niblings, my sister's youngest daughter, with my grandfather's grandfather's pocket watch, which had belonged to my dad. He had specifically said he wanted it to go to her, as a piece of continuity across the generations. It was quite moving, even though it was a simple and quiet thing. I don't believe in the afterlife, so I know mom and dad are gone. But the memory of them is a light in the darkness in many ways.
I spent a lot of time this year singing. It allowed me to reconnect with my self, with my community, and with God. Additionally I’ve made it a ritual to sing more.
My first PFAC was spiritual in that it did my soul so much good to see this group of people so committed to improving behavioral health care not just for themselves, sometimes not even for themselves, but for the greater good. I'd been so depressed after my Mayo visit that it gave me something to put my energy into and look forward to, something to feel positive about in regards to health care. Meeting Lori and finding out she and her daughter have EDS seemed to solidify why I was there.
On the day of the sale of my house I took the dog for a walk. I decided to take a different route and I talked to my dad. How I had never received the signs we talked about just before he died... and all of a sudden a saw a big white feather. And then a bit later another one, and another one. As if he told me 'Do you see me now?' :)
It was my first time on a meditation retreat this past year. Sitting in silence in community was powerful. The change of state incredible and also how much can surface from the past to be cleaned up when there is no new input for a week other than silence. My capacity to be with all kinds of things has increased and has also set me on the path of therapy to clean up more and show up more powerfully.
I need to remember why it matters to me to go to shul. I stopped going for a while in the fall and winter because of sickness and got out of the habit. But when I go, it puts everything into context. In the last 4000 years, we've seen worse than this. And we have access to the ways our ancestors dealt with it.
Leading Reform services and going every week has been a place of religious growth for me. I never went to services as a kid, and never went consistently (except at Kutz). To my knowledge, I haven't been on campus during Shabbat and not been in services. I enjoy the mind-clearing aspect. Service leading is tougher and definitely a little stress-inducing, although I do think I am improving and am increasing my capacity to both enjoy a service and lead it. I am hoping that I continue to enjoy these services and they never become a chore.
Over the last 3 years I have felt able to see past peoples outside and I can feel their pain, anxiety, I see how it must feel to be different. In the past my temptation was always to give advice but I am practising giving gentle understanding and support. I don’t always get this right. I feel like I have been given a quiet time in my life so that I can reflect and learn. It definitely feels like I am being guided by something greater than myself.
No spiritual experience. But have got better at keeping quiet time and there are times when I have felt close to God. Looking at nature helps
I've had many, but immersing in the mikveh and emerging as a new Jew would be number one. Where I live there isn't a mikveh that progressive Jews can access, so we use the sea. I completed my conversion in the middle of winter so the water was freezing! But when I was immersing and saying the blessings that didn't matter at all - all that matters was that I was a Jew.
In may while I was in Maui with Atid, a Jewish organization, I climbed the black rock teeming with black crabs, I stood on the edge of the cliff and stared down into the clear, transparent water below me. A native Hawaiian brought a canoe near the base of the cliff at the edge of which I was standing. He let a couple of obese American tourists off the canoe, and they swam toward the rock and climbed the black rock and started jumping off the black rock. Then the native climbed up, he stood at the edge, but unlike me, he did not stare down into the water. He opened his arms wide and looked up and around taking in the beautiful glory of the nature around him, the cliff, the blue ocean water, the sandy beach the palm trees and the tropics behind the hotel. He clearly was taking in the magnificent energy of his surroundings. Then he did a hand-stand and launched himself off the cliff doing somersaults. I followed his example (minus the a hand stand) It was a spiritual, transforming moment for me - In that one instant I conquered fear, decided to launch my own business, realized that always following the rules will leave a lot of awesome out of your life. (signs that said "Do not jump danger of death")
Hmmm. Sometimes I think every time I go to synagogue with Annika. Sometimes just when I hold her. Sometimes when I close my eyes and just imagine the world, even when it's sitting on the freeway.
I find myself becoming more and more in awe and in fear of the power of nature. Put me on a gravity-defying airplane zooming to the sky or a boat (no matter how tiny or big) crossing turbulent and dark ocean, I will mutter to myself, "oh my god, mother nature will swallow us whole". Sometimes I'm not sure if it's a sign of growing old; but sometimes I love how the fear is a reminder of how minute I am as a human being, and how there are so many things bigger than myself there are in this universe.
I don't recall any spiritual experiences, other than the occasions where I'm listening to a particularly poignant piece of music that brings me to tears. Although I wonder if this is more because I rarely feel able to fully express my emotions.
No I wouldn't say I have. As always I am searching to find something that soothes my soul, a way of life I can believe in, something to set my heart on fire. Maybe having let go of my job will allow me to do this.... If I don't fill it with TV, Internet, sleeping, eating, distractions to stop me engaging in life
I can't pinpoint a particular experience this past year, but I have felt more in tune with things - more balanced and at peace with myself. This is important to me especially, because I have felt out of whack for the past few years, mainly due to being too focused on my career and work.
I'm pregnant with our first child and it's been wonderful so far. I feel myself changing, becoming more grounded, more fierce, and also more flexible. I'd heard from many people that pregnancy/parenthood can bring out the best in people but never imagined that the experience would be so powerful. And this is just the beginning!
I have found spiritual fulfillment in music in the past year in a way that I hadn't for a long time -- which is a big relief, since I am a composer and music professor. My husband and I have begun a quest to hear all of Gustav Mahler's symphonies performed live. This year we heard the 5th symphony with our local orchestra, and we heard the 9th in San Francisco on a trip to visit family. This fall, we joined the chorus for a small local orchestra, and we are performing Mahler 2 this weekend. It's a poignant experience for me, because I've had some issues with my singing voice. I never know exactly what's going to come out when I go to sing. But when I'm warmed up and in a group, I have the experience of being able to to do better than I thought I could. Singing is a very powerful antidepressant. Mahler 2 is subtitled "The Resurrection," but I really don't think it has the kind of direct religious connotation that implies. It is about renewal and redemption, and the belief that despair can be overcome. This is a very powerful message for me as someone who battled depression for all of my adult life and finally found relief. It also makes me think of many of my students, friends, and loved ones who struggle similarly and would benefit from hearing this message.
Some parts of Grandma dying were a bit of a spiritual experience. The small memorial service we had for her at the house, and when I went to Spring Arbor for the last time to drop off gifts for the employees. Leaving Spring Arbor for the last time ever was a little bittersweet and emotional, more than I expected.
I have become a more experienced artist ever since I took the art class at my school. It has really inspired my and now I feel accomplished.
Last September 20, I walked outside of my house and saw a cicada on the step. I love them and cannot wait each year to be a loving audience to their cacophony of sounds. I actually expressed my gratitude to this gentle creature. Later in the morning, I realized that it was my late father's birthdate. I went back outside but it was gone. To me, this was a deeply spiritual experience, calling memories of my beloved Dad.
I feel like I've really struggled with spirituality and spiritual wellness this year. I intend to include more purposeful attention to gratitude and spirituality moving forward.
Absolutely! The universe sends me signs every day. I have been putting in a lot of effort towards my own personal growth and finding my purpose - which includes getting quiet and just listening to the universe. Watching the direction that it guides me, and challenges me. Things like romantic relationships, situations at work, personal friendships, family dynamics - it's been incredible to be aware of how the universe is working for me, not against me.
Being on the tops of mountains. Driving down a road where the leaves are changing. Reading good fiction or poetry. Seeing my students fight really hard for the justice they deserve.
I try to look for the spiritual in the mundane. So, while it's hard to impart spirituality to taking a shit, at least I can be grateful.
I did a cord cutting ceremony with Diana and ended up discovering a really broken version of my 24 year old self. The week this happened i had three different monarch butterflies and two dragonflies land on my deck table while I was out there. It was a powerful reminder of the 18 years of trauma I've been carrying along with me and the work that I need to do to change, heal, and transform.
Anytime I see a good documentary, see paint on canvas, hear music that moves me, or witness kindness, I am spiritually moved. Given the pure HATE, greed, and cruelty that has been planted and watered by the Trump administration & GOP, I am seeking out all of these feel good things more than ever. I will be using my own art and voice to spread more love and awareness.
Yes, my relationship with God has really formed - since dieta, with thanks to Tobacco. I feel I'm in my strongest, deepest most intimate relationship yet- with Spirit, with God, and that is so incredibly fulfilling.
This is a tough one. I think the first time I participated in the 'aleinu gadol' was a profound spiritual experience, bringing home to me how I actually do conceive of and believe in God. But that wasn't w/in this last year; I'd just never said anything about that twice-yearly prayer out loud. As regards this last year, I'd say it's simply the immense, uncontainable love I feel for and toward our family of four that transcends into the realm of the spiritual.
I’ve realized my dependence on god. I’ve realized that god shows me things that I need to see and teaches me things I need to learn by putting me sometimes in difficult situations. I keep learning to trust. This past year I have placed myself in situations that are forcing me to grow and to change. God is part of all of this even when I forget. I’ve been inspired to paint and to create and I’m trusting this process and how when I’m lost in painting I feel a deep spiritual connection
I think I've had a lot of self realization. I had to reevaluate my reasons for living and find new, stronger holds to keep me alive. I'm starting to live for myself. It's not exactly spiritual, but for me self awareness directly correlates.
Doing my work is a beautiful spiritual experience each time but experiencing a circle of support to people beginning the process of conversion was really meaningful. To have a dialogue with the expected and unexpected hurts in myself of being Jewish, to share those with others, was hopefully a good experience for them. It was for me.
Have you heard the one about the monkey? There's a hollow gourd with a banana in it. The gourd has a hole just big enough for a monkey to put her hand in. She grabs the banana, but can't pull her fist out of the gourd. It's a perfect banana, though, and it's hers. Stuck and screaming, she refuses to let go of her prize until either poachers find her or she dies of starvation. Let go. There are other bananas.
Actually it isn't a great experience. I have gout and I got gout in the fingers. I love to do needlework but can no longer do it until I see a surgeon and get gouty deposits removed from my finger tips. I can't hold a needle. A major joy of my life is lost. I am slowly realizing that I have not developed the skill of adjusting to my body changes as I age and I need to develop this skill. I need to redirect my desire to do things and find things I can do with the problems I am having.
My last act of caregiving was bathing my husband's body in preparation for burial. I went to the funeral home somewhat anxious about how his body would look and feel, in terms of temperature, color and rigidity. However, once I saw him my love for him rushed over me and all was good. Before leaving for the funeral home, my son suggested that I consider saying the "shecheyanu". I am so grateful he did, because the entire time I was washing my husband's body I was singing the prayer to him. It felt so loving, like bathing a beloved child and singing a lullaby. I spoke to him as I lifted an arm or a leg to wash it. I shampooed his beard which I had been grooming for him for several years already. I laugh when I think of how careful I was to keep soap from his eyes. It was such a beautiful moment when I felt guided to bathe him with love, having it wash over him. I felt G-d with me, smiling with me at the choice I am so grateful that I made.
not necessarily spiritual, but a semi-intense moment: since i began the "Swedish Death Cleaning" method of decluttering over a year ago, i was able to give a roomful of furniture (including an ancient rolltop desk that had belonged to my grandfather) to my niece and her husband who had just moved back to our home state. her husband confessed that he had always wanted an authentic RTD and it gave me such unexpected joy to hear that, and that we were keeping it in the family. in one of the drawers i left a small bag of marbles and an original wooden grade-school pencil box with my grandfather's name burned on it. later i sent them a photo of me at age six, sitting in the same room as my GF and the desk.
The way my mind has been opened up and fired up in my MBA program has at times felt spiritual. It is challenging and invigorating and I see applications for the lessons everywhere. It seems ridiculous to think about capitalist strategy on a hike, but I do. I see the patterns in nature's development alongside human development and how human developmental needs drive business needs. It's all so fascinating.
It's interesting that my most "spiritual" moment this year also involves international travel--despite going to services, etc. We went to Iceland for our 10th anniversary and, on the South Coast tour in particular, there was topography and geology that I'd never seen before in person and don't know that I'll get the opportunity again to see. The waterfalls at Skogafoss were absolutely amazing. The icebergs at the Jokullsarlon lagoon really made me think about the impact of climate change. The black sands and puffins at Reynisfjara Beach were absolutely unworldly. I cannot have imagined that trip in pictures if I hadn't seen it, felt it, heard it, and smelt it all with my own eyes.
With the new setting of our new home, I am pausing more often to appreciate the natural world. I see it outside the front door, we've traveled so I've seen it outside the valley, too. I don't know if I'm more aware or more grateful than previously, but it feels like a re-invigorating of a sensibility I try to cultivate. As my stress seems to burble along at a simmer, I haven't had any major spiritual experiences, or epiphanies. It's all day-to-day and trying to maintain balance. Maybe I'm discovering that it's a lot harder to do when life doesn't go my way; not sure if that counts.
My religious background makes it difficult to think of secular experiences as spiritual, even as much of my faith as been inspired by and grounded in the secular or “profane”. It was intense watching my professor Elisa die on stage in Woman and Scarecrow. I seem to handle death worse as I get older. I feel less sure of things than I did as a teenager. Woman and Scarecrow was a healing and restorative experience even as it was challenging. The play, much like death, caused me to reflect on what is important in life.
When I lost myself in an ajna chakra vision meditation I realized my true self treats everyone like their highest self. Regardless what I see and think, if I treat others as the absolute best version of themselves they would in-turn begin to feel that self. It seems like the most valuable humanitarianism work I could possibly do. I'm still learning but I'll practice...
I am jewish but my mother’s Christian friends have all been praying for me along with my Muslim friends and Jewish community. I have felt so loved and supported. I was always resentful of christians praying for me but I’ve come to realise that when someone genuinely prays for you, it is their way of saying ‘I love you, I want to do for you the thing I believe can help you’. It’s been an eye and heart opening experience. Throughout my cancer treatment I’ve felt enveloped by HaShem and the prayers of so many people.
I think the vigils for Pittsburgh and Poway were profoundly impactful. It was great having the community together. I wish we could do that more often, but for happier occasions.
I have lost all my faith, my spirituality, and my belief in God. I see know that it is all a terrible hoax, and that we are simply stardust and will soon be dead.
Our vacation in Ireland was very inspiring. We walked a lot, along the shores on the cliffs, in the mountains, near lakes, in the woods. Sometimes 20km a day! It felt very spiritual to be in nature, seeing different shades of green everywhere. We will definitely go back to absorb more of this beautiful country!
I haven't had a "spiritual" experience. After clinging to spirituality last year, it's rather faded this year. I don't feel badly, like I've lost anything, nor like I've gained anything either. I think I'm simply looking to learn about me, without everything else getting mixed in.
I think that my trip back to Bellingham could count as a spiritual experience, in that it salved my spirit in many ways, and awakened me to a better understanding of myself. I tend to punish myself for my flaws, which I tend to regard as failings. So, when I saw former students, and expressed to them how really screwed up and damaged I felt I was when I was out there, and they responded with surprise and told me that while I was clearly struggling personally, they admired me and valued me as a professor and mentor above most others, well, I had to accept that. I was trying to apologize and was not only forgiven, but entirely exonerated. I also thought a lot about the beauty and value I experienced out there, but also that I am truly not of there. But I love many people there, and truly love the landscape. And the food. If it were only not so expensive.
This year has been a trial of patience and learning how to just be while the rest of the world is running chaotic energy, from dealing with the mugging in Chile, to figuring out Shanghai without the language, to walking away from a job and suffering government incompetence, to figuring out how to be in a relationship again without giving myself away or being petty and angry when communication fails. Finding mental balance has been a big part of the past year, and I am still working on it. Please don't let next year be the same, I want to have my big energy and emotions again!!
Once again, no. This question always saddens me. I wish I could be in touch with that part of me that used to be able to feel uplifted by something that I could call 'spiritual'. Walks in the park are sometimes... looking out over Witch Hole Pond in the spring or fall is inspiring.
I have been to a number of museums and have been fascinated by what I have seen; I have also been to a number of plays that moved me. I am not sure I would call these things spiritual but they have expanded how I see the works and enriched my life. I also have read the Five Books of Moses: The Shoken Bible, translated by Everett Fox. I read the commentary and notes, as well as the translation, and learned many things I did not previously know, even though I am very familiar with the Torah.
My spiritual tank is empty. I want to experience the fulfillment I used to feel at times, but it's gone. My faith was shattered years ago and I haven't gotten it back. I still go to services about once a month and the High Holy Days and I enjoy the community/communal aspect of it all. My I don't know how to restart my spiritual journey.
Four years ago I was challenged to get in touch with my spirituality, and I found a higher power. My HP is benevolent, kind, and holds everything I don't need to. My HP helps me on a daily basis through my daily practice, my meditation, and any other time throughout the day I need help. I am blessed and grateful for being able to turn my life over any time I need to.
I have become more aware of how sad I am.
No, I'm spirit free. I try not to be an asshole, not to do bad things because it's the wrong thing to be, not because of anything any way spiritual.
There are a couple that kind of get me. One is watching my daughter get old enough to be excited for Shabbat. It makes her so excited to light the candles, drink the special "agua" (all liquids are agua), and have yummy challah. I feel incredibly pleased that my wife and I are making it an experience to look forward already. Another was seeing my daughter at the lake that her mother loves so much and blossoming. Watching her love "agua outside" and play and start using her words was an almost mystical experience and it was so great to be in this beautiful setting watching her become a "big girl".
I’ve had ‘co-incidences’ that happened that made me think it was clearly a message from above rather than something that happened just at random.
My spiritual experience of this year has been learning to love without hesitation, fear, self-doubt, shame, intimidation, manipulation, poor communication, selfishness -- all the deadly sins of my past relationships. What Ken and I share is unlike anything I've ever experienced and it is a holy matrimony when we are together (or apart). It is odd to have my spirituality juxtaposed against his atheism, although we respect our differences (and I believe we're not that far apart. Why can't I be a spiritual humanist? It's not an oxymoron.) Nonetheless, my love, I know my love for you is sacred and holy, and I know that God's hand was in our meeting. It was meant to be. We've been waiting for each other, and the time was finally right. And here we are How can that not be a God moment?
Living at the beach in the winter
Seeing awesome glaciers on an Alaska cruise this past summer is about as close as I would come to calling an experience of the past year Spiritual. They were stunning; and particularly knowing that they are in danger of disappearing made it heart-wrenching as well.
As cliche as it sounds, the birth of our son was an extremely spiritual moment for me. In the moments after our son was born I was able to watch my husband hold and care for our son in his first moments of life, forming a bond with him that made me feel part of something much bigger than myself. I felt, and continue to feel, part of a peoplehood, a group making the world better by raising kind, thoughtful, and empathetic people.
The birth of a child is always a big event and pretty crazy to witness, even the second time around. Not sure how spiritual it was but it was once agin a long time coming big expected event. Having come out healthy and normal was a big relief with Misha. Getting involved with the Decatur dinners seemed like it could have been a spiritual journey but was pretty disappointing. On the other hand, the follow up discussions I had with maya and reflections on our own lives about race, privilege, and class were very meaningful. I talked to a few colleagues and even some random Uber pool campanions about the show Atlanta after we just blazed through season 2. We want to do more to meet people that our different than us and to think about our blind spots. We’ve also become closer with Sarah and Jared this year and feel lucky to have new parents friends. Friends that we connect with beyond just having children that are the same ages. Recently I had a long discussion with Jared about Orthodox Jews and Judaism in general and it hinted on some of our deeply held but somewhat different beliefs. It was interesting and thought provoking and made me question why I always go to Orthodox Jewish events.
Seeing my nephew bar mitzvah was an intense deep connection to my own connection with religion and spirituality. Realizing my own place can be my religion and bringing what I have to offer to others. Making and working on a Tallis for my sister has been the most rewarding thing I could approach. It allowed me to see through the lens of another my own value.
A collection of writings that were made into a book called ‘Conversations with the Mother’ which first came to me in 1988 when I was staying in a room in Goa, India - and has been in my life since then - actively on and off - has been super ON this year. A guiding light. A much needed and deeply felt guiding light for me right now. So grateful. ~*~
There wasn't one specific moment but particularly over the winter I feel like I had a spiritual guide leading me on the path I was intended to take and helping me through a difficult time. Despite feeling like my life was out of my control, and having fear for the future I was able to trust fully that I would land exactly where I was supposed to.
Just in the past couple of days PBS showed two documentaries, one on an octopus - awesomely graceful, astoundingly alien - the other on three amazing cantors performing in Amsterdam’s Sephardic Synagogue. Wonder is everywhere.
Writing more has definitely been a bit of a spiritual experience. The time I spent on Lake Huron was deeply restful, all the way down to the spirit. The nature of my writing is causing me to re-explore aspects of my past beliefs and gain a better understanding of the way their ethics still inform me, whether or not I still hold with the religion.
It's really hard for me to think of any particular moment. The only one that comes to mind, and probably because it's so recent, is getting my peony tattoo. The level of relaxation and clarity I felt while getting tattooed, not to mention the calmness I felt before, was surprising and lovely. Oh, but a better answer would probably be Havdallah at Natty Con. Everyone coming together, singing and dancing, so full of energy, there's something that's always really amazing when it comes to Havdallah.
In the past year I have seen some beautiful sunrises and magnificent sunsets, but the most spiritual experience (and at the same time chaotic) was attempting to take a photo of my husband with all five of our grandsons. The little guys range in age from 8 down to 2-year-old twins, so posing quietly isn't in their nature. The giggling, the wiggling and general joy filled my heart with love of the moment and the wish we can continue in each other's company for a long, long time to come.
the thing that has been most joyous in this realm is the ways i have experienced the world alone, whether just walking home at night or other things. along these lines, this summer/fall, i have finally been able to ride public transportation regularly again, after years of extreme agoraphobia. the deep joy of these small acts has been an embodied experience that i would definitely define as spiritual.
I realized art is essential to making a house a home. I’ve rented art from SAM, supporting artists without having to own big pieces. Bought and framed a watercolor from an artist I’ve admires for years. I’m making more time to read and think, which is wonderful.
My speech on the final night of sleepaway camp. I spent so long waiting to give it, preparing, rewriting, and waiting my turn. When the time came, I was nervous. I wanted to end my time at camp in the best way possible, and I didn't want to leave anything out. It felt like I was watching my self give the speech. None of it felt real. It was a spiritual moment when I ended my speech with "the trees shall remember your being here and the stars will shine wherever you are." I looked out across the pool at everyone, behind me at my fellow tenth graders, and up at the stars. In that moment, I was completely ok. I wasn't even worried about leaving, or what was going to happen to me. It was simply a wonderful moment. I like to look back on when I am unsure, need calming, or simply need a reminder of who I am and what I can do.
After having grown up in church (not THE church) I find I am more of a spiritual person than identifying with a specific group. No particular spiritual experience happened this year that made an impression on me. I will say how disgusted I am with those who identify as wholesome Christians and continue to support the current administration. I know that not all of those who identify as Christian are down with the clown. Unfortunately it is the ones who can shout the loudest that get heard. Please don't judge all Christians on those people.
Shavuot was a surprisingly deep experience for me this year. I'd never celebrated it before. I had gone into it thinking, what's not to love - it's a holiday devoted to staying up late, reading books (admittedly the torah) and eating cheesecake - which are probably my 3 favorite pastimes lol. But at the end of our lively and spirited torah discussions, the Rabbi took us into the sanctuary, and she put a torah scroll into my arms, like a baby. And I felt this presence, like I was holding the whole weight of history, but instead of feeling heavy, it felt rejuvenating and ecstatic. It felt like coming home.
Last year, during Yom Kippur Yizkor service, CBE let everyone who wanted to come up to the ark come up to the ark and have a private moment in front of it. I thought of Hannah praying for Samuel, and I prayed that I might get pregnant. I promised God if I had a child I would raise that child to know God and our tradition. It felt right at the time, but I wonder now if this year I should instead promise that if I have a child, I will love that child with my entire heart no matter what their faith is. Religion - Catholicism at first, and now Judaism - has always been something that resonated with my heart strings, but for other people, it's other things, and I respect that completely. I would never want my child to feel pressured to do something or believe something that doesn't sit right with them. What studying religion does for me, maybe studying music or studying math or playing soccer will do for them, and that is okay. As long as they are kind and loving, it doesn't really matter whether they believe in God or not. God will always find God's way back into the narrative if and when the time is right.
Driving through the Spanish countryside, seeing the interesting landscape and acre after acre of olive orchards.
I took over the lead of a pilot program for encouraging early literacy by engaging the whole family. The grant provides for a meal each time. It was a nice moment, kind of boisterous, and chatty, but something was missing. I saw one family consistently took a moment to themselves to say grace. I realized we all needed this moment together. So I searched for a non-religious thing to say, borrowed and made up some, and came up with our meal poem: Thanks to the earth for the soil. Thanks to the sky for the rains. Thanks to the farmers for the harvest. Thanks to the hands that made our meal. Thanks to our family and friends for their love. At a point where we all had food and were seated, I asked for a pause in eating to say this poem together. I made laminated cards for everyone to use. It didn't take long to become a tradition, and if I forgot to do it, a child or adult was sure to remind me. I was very nervous when I introduced this idea, but it was embraced- these little moments do create warmth and cohesion in a group and bind us to each other. (But it is still hard for me to be a leader.)
I reconnected with a very good friend I had lost touch with due to his life circumstances and distance.
I’m all about “microdose” transcendence. In other words, Burning Man an its ilk are not my bag as they simply try too hard (never mind the hypocrisies that the most people who attended embody once they return from the Playa). We don't need such grandiose efforts to find spiritual satisfaction. (Yet the numbers swell every year. Hey, there is some good art there—or so they tell me.) The guitar singalong for a friend’s birthday I co-led in Sea Ranch gave me more than any Black Rock Desert event. Because it was intimate, free of pretense, in the moment, and amongst good friends. Maybe that’s what spirituality is in a nutshell. You’re welcome.
Perhaps the most spiritual experience I had this year was my wedding. It was so deeply Jewish: all the rituals we performed both before the wedding itself and during the wedding. Everything we did was discussed fully and agreed to by both of us. It wasn’t one of us wanting it more. Peter’s being Jewish has helped me to be even more settled in my heritage.
I experienced a spiritual communion with the land and sea on the our visit to Newfoundland in June. It was a place that you felt the hardships that the natives and then the European settlers would have gone through living in such a harsh environment were somehow left behind. But there is also a wonderful free feeling that you knew these same people would have had even though they had to work with real effort to stay alive everyday. The air on the island is so clean and unpolluted that it cleansed my mind and body.
this year going through chemo, my synagogue community fed me for six months. Three times a week, without fail, someone showed up at our door with a hot meal. This is the pure physical manifestation of my spiritual community supporting me and my family.
Technically I had two that would fit this category - the first was my first-ever visit to a TCM acupuncturist for fertility help. I was completely skeptical going in, but after just two treatments (and presumably one effective ovulation cycle), I was pregnant! The energy of the acupuncturist (Amy Neo) was so calming and confident - it's like she "knew" all along that I was going to get pregnant with this baby. The second one was the day that we found out Lou was a girl - I was semi-confident that the baby was a boy, but the day we found out she was a girl would've been my grandma's 105th birthday. I honestly believe it was a sign from my grandma that she was always meant to be a girl - and we are naming our daughter after her great-grandma Louise.
None come to mind
This is the first year I have felt comfortable with the fact that my experience can be "spiritual." I have trouble recalling specific moments, but I will try. There was the moment when struggling in meditation that something clicked. I have consciousness, an awareness that extends beyond my physical reality. There is something more... a soul, God. There were the moments when I felt so fully in love with my partner, and so incredibly vulnerable that I could burst. In these moments, I was the most human I could be. These moments transcended the attraction when we first met years ago, taught me that I was capable of something truly holy. There were the moments when I felt connected with family, that I knew I belonged. Birthdays, shabbats, hugs, shared traditions. There was the night I lay in the bathtub and contemplated my own death. I contemplated the fragility of my own existence, as well as that of those around me. It felt so incredibly beautiful. That I exist, am loved, can be loved, is a miracle. There were the moments of singing with others for my first time in a new synagogue. Still not knowing all of the words, but feeling how beautiful it is to join voices with others. Seeing faces and suddenly knowing that I am not alone, despite my loneliness in a new city.
I see last year I spoke of tarot. This year, too, when I was so discouraged, I got a hopeful answer about my roommate with all the problems, whom I spoke of in an earlier question. The truly amazing miracle, however, came when I read an article on gratitude that advised us to be grateful for the things we don't like. The article said it's much easier to be grateful for the things we do like, but if you can be grateful for what you don't like, miracles can happen, & they did! I became grateful for the problematic aspects of my roommate even if that didn't seem logically possible. As soon as I became grateful for all the things I intensely dislike about her, she switched the bad things around. She got health insurance, has an appointment for her cataracts, got food stamps, disability, & social security payments which she had vowed she would never get because her delusions made her afraid of the government. She is now catching up on the back rent she owes me which has transformed my own financial prospects. Hard to believe all this happened because I became grateful. Spite the miracle, I still find myself angry that she took a year to do this.
Sadly, I cannot think of any spiritual experience that affected me this year. This is difficult to admit since I consider myself a spiritual person. I meditate pretty much daily and I used to feel so spiritually connected. But ever since I moved to LA, and ever since my aunt’s stroke and my mother’s death, something in me feels broken in a way that cannot be repaired. I had a lovely phone conversation with my friend Dina for four hours which pulled me out of a very bad place one day. The following week we spoke for five hours. I would have to say that this is the closest to having a spiritual experience this year. I suppose connection counts for something, even if it’s with a friend and not that higher Self with which I used to connect to more regularly.
Taking quiet moments outdoors - finally sat on "mom's" bench out in the woods, by the water, with my coffee a few weekends ago. So peacefu,l and tried to feel her, dad the spirit of them both. When the rabbi spoke about gratitude, it made me think of mom and how important "thank you" was to her, and how especially towards the end she would verbalize how grateful she was, despite it all - I try so hard to live that lesson, but its hard!
I haven't had any spiritual experiences. I guess I'm not a spiritual person. I'm very closed off to that sort of thing, and I think I actually subconsciously undermine myself from feeling or experiencing spirituality. I don't know why. I guess I think it's a little silly, reserved for what one would call "hippies" or the domain of "new-age" bullshit, whatever that means. But maybe I'm a little afraid of it. It would be a totally new and alien experience, and I don't know how to navigate that. Maybe it's time I start to think more inwardly about why I feel that way and what I'm so hesitant.
I am reminded of God's presence in my life through nature. Quiet moments in the woods just spent in the presence of light and wind and natural noise remind me to stop and notice God. My connectedness with the universe. Sometimes it makes me cry. Sometimes I feel bad that I'm not always aware of my connectedness. But when I have those moments in the woods, any doubt I have in the existence of God shrivels.
I had a very difficult year of inaction, one where I felt life kept knocking me down. It taught me to have more faith than I knew I contained inside. It taught me a new respect and humbling for myself and for others, something I am still cycling through in different ways. My greatest awakening is on it's way through the creation of my own business.
When I think of spiritual experiences the return again service at Adas comes to mind. No matter what was going on when I went to that service I felt a special peace and calmness come over me. I felt so connected to myself and the people around me. It was really nice and special.
Yes! I have had many spiritual experiences in my life, some have been wow huge events that took months to decipher and understand, and others have been more subtle and require really listening to that still small voice....this year it has been a LOT of the latter. Hearing small urges this way or that when I listen closely. Truly evaluating myself: my thinking, my tendencies, my history, my past and present, my interests, my failures and success's; and putting it all together to make what seems to be a life constantly yearning and moving towards the divine, a very crooked and winding road always leading towards G-d. I took a big leap towards what I believe has been calling me for a very long time and started manifesting it in my life, first privately and now in community--Judaism.
The most memorable was the passing of my husband on Shabbat. I was going to “pull the plug” on the day after Shabbat but in His infinite mercy He removed that option from me and took my precious husband into rest on His set apart day of rest. He is King of the Shabbat, and He reminded me in that moment that the Shabbat was created for rest, of many kinds.I was blessed that day that He was in control.
Lying on the couch after 6 days of not being able to lie down without coughing, I was at peace with dying. I had come to a place where I was grateful for both the blessings and challenges I have received in the past 70 years of this incarnation and I was OK with dying without wanting it yet. Even though I have learned only a small piece of the things I have needed to learn, I was ok with where I have come. Reconnecting with Shae who gave me counsel I did not even know I was seeking at a time where she needed support from me was clearly by the grace of God. When I take the time to see, I am aware of the presence of God all around me.
I had a significant music listening experienced recently. The previous time this happened was when I listen to my heart teachers CD while driving late at night. This time it was as I was learning to play a new keyboard that I bought. I was going through the onboard songs looking for something interesting to learn to play. Then I put on la cygne. Even with the slightly low quality sound of the song Through the cheap keyboards speakers, something about it moved me. It made me really want to learn to play that song. I want to get good enough at it that one day I can play it for someone else and they will be moved as much as I was when I first heard it.
Yeah, I believe my spiritual experience this year was a creative one. At my work we have two front windows and traditionally they belong to a specific team (who btw, always make those windows look like crap--they appear to have NO marketing or merchandising skills whatsoever). So I teamed up with a colleague and we asked our shared boss if we could have one of the windows for our half of the store and we had IDEAS for making a nice window display. And my college said (unsolicited) that I have a great eye for merchandising and it is as though some great artistic beast was unleashed! We got the window and collaborated on ideas and I was solely responsible for execution and MAN OH MAN that window makes me so proud. Ever since then I have been spitballing ideas for the next windows AND have been coming up with creative ideas for new menu items for our upstairs cafe. I never realized that the thing I was missing at work was a creative outlet and here it is!
Getting to see Anne Sofie von Otter sing live might be pretty close.
In April, we traveled to southern Utah, visiting the national parks of Zion and Bryce Canyon over the span of a week. The weather is still cold there in early spring, with nighttime temperatures close to freezing and in fact, while driving up into the higher mountain elevations, we passed through near-whiteout conditions with snow blowing in every direction. On Thursday evening, we watched a full moon rise after sunset in the eastern horizon, capturing an incredible view from the rim trail. The next morning happened to be Good Friday, and we decided to walk up early (4:30 am) in order to see the sunrise was Bryce Point. The early alarm was worth it, as the colors and views were absolutely spectacular, watching the full moon set in the west and then seeing the sun come up, slowly illuminating the canyon. It was reminiscent of two other significant sunrises that I remember fondly: the first, while I was in high school, on a hiking trek in New Mexico-and the second, just three years ago, on the top of Cadillac Mountain in Maine. All of these experiences were meaningful to me in different ways, but shared a few emotions: first and foremost was gratitude, especially for my family, and the overwhelming feeling of being thankful for the everyday blessings of my life. And then, the incredible awe of knowing, deep in my soul, that these moments were orchestrated by a higher power, and that the beauty of this world is the truest manifestation of this truth.
There have been a few times this year that I've been out, swimming in the ocean and I've felt complete serenity. Its there more than anywhere else that I feel connected. Connected with myself, connected with the earth, connected to the Universe. My vision is always clearer after spending time in the Ocean, feeling it literally wash away uncertainty and fear. It's as if its recharging me. I think it wasn't until this year that I realized how important time by the water is for me. Its as if it calls to me. Corny, I know!! It helps me to release negative energy and heal. The current and tides restore my energy balance and create peace.
Nothing particularly spiritual sticks it.
We have been traveling around the world this past year and we were very surprised to see the expansion of a global culture: all around the world you could the same products or similar, the same movies or similar, the same crap food or similar, etc... And this comes with it's negative side of pollution and disparities. However we were also happy to see in many places initiatives against this globalisation: initiatives for the environment or to protect traditional cultures for instance. Everywhere there is resistance, it just need to grow stronger.
Being with my father at the time of his death was a peaceful moment that made me certain we outlive mortality and that angels attend us. Additionally, I was given (by those same angels who distracted the contentious people away) the opportunity to serve him one last time by dressing him in preparation for his departure from his home. I was grateful too, in an unrelated (perhaps) incident, where I was given a very specific sign (in answer to a very specific prayer) that I was making a correct choice in moving to Europe. I know through these incidents (alongside many others) that God lives and loves me and keeps me in the hollow of His hand.
It's hard to say because for so long I connected to spirituality through Judaism, and the kind of Judaism I connect with doesn't exist in this city. I think I had spiritual experiences post break-up though, and I continue to have them. As I rediscover myself and who I want to be, I've felt my spirituality soar through the debilitating grief.
I don't know that I have had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year. I feel that I am more honestly seeking to live a more spiritual life. I have been attending Carmel Temple more and more. I am part of A Course in Miracles book study group and I have just recently found Joel Goldsmith. I have been a part of 12 step programs for years but I am not growing in that. I feel that I am evolving in my spirituality.
If anything, I have had less spiritual experiences this year than in any other time in my life. I try to practice my own spirituality and stay focused on the good. However, this year has really been testing me and has taken me off course. Every time I go to yoga or meditate, I feel lifted, relaxed, free, and happy. I would like to continue to do that. We'll see if I can be more regular by this time next year.
I feel the presence of my parents strongly sometimes. Are they here or is their memory strong? I don’t think it matters, because it is comforting. Side note: AM I PREGNANT RIGHT NOW???
My amazing contact spiritually with my beloved ConnieZ"l, via finding money when i needed her "presence". Beimg taken care of spiritually when things went wrong. The times Mercury was in retrograde..flat tire, frig broken, etc.
I've gotten enjoy the beauty of the ocean on many sunsets. I've seen a few sunrises. I've seen a dolphin couple swim by. I've seen a dolphin in Naples swim by a Pier. It's magical when I saw nature come out of the water. It's surreal. I get so excited like a little kid. I have a few videos of this. I did get a Mana Ray swim next to me too scare me. I've also attended full Moon parties on the beach to celebrate a beginning.
I have been using THC and CBD in varying doses to help in my project to excoriate fear, and to change my relationship with challenges in my work, and these have both achieved the desired goal to a large extent but also reminded me of my spiritual intentions and how I have been too little focused on this aspect of my existence.
I couldn’t think of anything until I saw last year’s answer about dreams. I continue to have dreams that speak to me on a deep level, giving me reassurance and healing. For example, just last night I dreamed I was given a stack of letters from people going back decades in my past that I have always felt I let down or wounded in some way. In all of the letters these people told me that they forgave me and that they love me. Pretty amazing stuff. I believe God communicates in whatever way it takes to get the message and the healing across.
Tawonga is an amazing Jewish experience and I'm so glad I expanded my universe this year with an extra weekend at LGBTQI+ Family camp (Keshet). While a little daunting at first being surrounded by new people who knew each other, I look forward to going again and again!
At first no, but God's really done a work in me since the accident...like a total reset. I've had more meaningful times of prayer, reflection and worship than I think I ever have and I praise God for that.
I wish I had, but I'm not sure that I've had them.
One that comes to mind is feeling a very strong presence of my grandparents' spirits and presence during one of my acupuncture appointments in the spring. In hindsight, I think it was after the baby had stopped having a heartbeat; perhaps this was their way of bringing that being safe passage beyond this world. Their presence in the room, while I was in a meditative state, made me feel a sense of safety and that everything would be okay, which helped to anchor me when we got the news, later, that we were having a miscarriage. A few days after the acupuncture, but before the ultrasound when we learned the heartbreaking news, my good friend and I were talking about the fear of miscarriage in early pregnancy. I shared how I didn't want that fear to run my time being pregnant, but I couldn't shake the likelihood of it happening to anyone and that anyone could include me. Having recently been through two pregnancies, she shared that her way of framing it was to think, everyday, about her gratitude for the gift of carrying that being as far as they had gone together. She found when she focused on the gift of this time, as much as it had been, it lessened her sense of scarcity or fear of what will be. Thank goodness for that gift of a mindset, because not 24 hours later I felt myself drawing upon it, even in my deep sadness.
Nothing comes to mind, unfortunately.
Yes -- again at Kehilat Halev in Tel Aviv on Shabbat. After Shabbat services and dinner one Friday night, we all kept singing and dancing as we were hanging out. Soon the guitar came out and before I knew it we were all holding hands and singing while we moved quickly around the circle. I had a totally out of body experience where not only was I fully present and not thinking about the situation, I was also almost seeing myself from above dancing around this circle, changing focus from looking at the person across from me to the whole circle. Wow, I don't think I'll forget that moment. It was so special and it reminded me how truly special of a place Kehilat Halev is.
Mom and I went to Prague in January and saw the old Jewish Quarter which I didn't do when Anna and I went to Prague eight years ago. It was humbling and overwhelming to see the temple where all the walls were inscribed with the names of Czech people who had been killed in the Holocaust. There were so many. It wasn't that long ago. I don't know if it changed me, but I hope with each passing year my sense of understanding and capacity for empathy and kindness grows. This is the only response I know to make in the face of great evil. Anger doesn't serve me well. But love does.
I did have one moment in the NICU when I was holding a baby and, knowing that I would soon be a father, a very specific eagerness to be a parent of my own child did hit me. I suppressed it quite quickly after acknowledging it as a legitimate and positive feeling, knowing that it wasn’t the right situation to feel that way. I still maintain that feeling inside of me, that really cannot wait for parenthood. I don’t feel any fears for it and feel totally prepared. Nursing school definitely helped and experience with my friends’ and family’s children was crucial over the years...but now I really can’t wait!
I went to Zion this year. Every time a picture comes up on my screen saver from that trip, I want to go back. Or go to other such places. It awakened my desire to be out with nature and just be.
This past year I took a month long hiking road trip from Colorado to Alaska. I took that month to disconnect room the hecticness of living in a city, going to school, and just social media / relationships in general. The amount of thinking and reflecting you can accomplish while walking through nature all alone for 8 hours a day is insane -- it changes the way you view everything, it changed the way I interact and perceive the world around me. After I came back from that trip I made sure to work time into my schedule to just be by myself and take that silent moment to reflect. To do that I started attending yoga weekly in the spirituality center at my university, which has been such a wonderful decision. I am taking care of my mental health, learning about the theology behind yoga and Buddhism, and just become at peace.
Today as I was walking to work, I was re-listening to the Harder to Kill podcast with Compete Every Day founder. He was summarizing all of the concepts I've been trying to implement recently - staying in your own lane, competing with only yourself, striving to be better every day, not letting yourself get to your deathbed with doubts or regrets, constantly striving to improve... I felt a similarity between what I imagine religion to feel like - a belief in a higher power that inspires you to do better/be better... not for an end goal, but for the journey itself of becoming better. Even though I don't believe in a higher power, I believe in the process of improvement. The idea of "People wont remember you for your bank account, six pack, or achievements. They'll remember how you inspired them and how you made them feel" seems like a similar goal of "being christian" and treating everyone with love.
My time in Hawai'i visiting Beth was hugely spiritual. It was a catalyst for the many changes I've made in the months since. It helped me reconnect with nature and with my sister. It opened my eyes to the small things in life that can make such a big difference on my experience, like making tea before bed or learning the names of the flowers that catch my eye. It also helped me get more comfortable in the outdoors, swimming in the ocean waters, hiking on the lava rock, hammock camping under the stars. I'm so grateful for that time spent.
I've sunk deeper and deeper into writing as a crutch for emotional expression. I've fallen in and out of love with myself, with the world, and with God. These days I find myself seeing God anywhere I choose to look. The sky, the people, nature around me, and the beauty of this world in general, in all of its flawed imperfect perfection.
I don't know if I would categorize this as "spiritual" but I overwhelmed with gratitude when friends and family come out to visit us. I miss them terribly, but we needed this move. It have revitalized us, it challenges us, and it makes me appreciate my friends and family even more. One of the reasons why we bought this place was to have a destination for friends and family. And now we do! One of the sacrifices that comes with that though, is seeing them less. On the plus side, when we do see them, we cherish them.
God has answered two big prayers of mine: to attend doctoral work debt free and to have a place to live near school. The housing cane just in the nick of time and is perfect for my needs this year. I’m still blown away at my apt. size, which is such an upgrade from a 1 to a 2 bedroom. I’m currently praying over the $1,500 8 have to pay for the NYC Marathon charity I didn’t raise. It was a series of trusting him to do this and the disappointment of not making it, of people I thought would support me not doing it, that was hard. I’m paying the money in 4 days on my own unless there is some miracle.
Fuck this question. Yeah yeah, it can be secular, but I hate the idea of having a "spiritual" experience.
So many spiritual moments this year, most of which happened in nature. Encountering hawks, hummingbirds, coyotes, tiny tree frogs, caterpillars and butterflies...walking through the woods or looking out at the ocean...I have felt time and again so held by this planet and its lifeforms. These experiences have made me feel like things make sense, like everything will be okay, like I am one tiny part of something larger and more interconnected than I can possibly comprehend.
No, don't think so. I feel that the mystical has pretty much disappeared from my life.
Cardinals when I least expect them, thinking of parents. Eerie that I found the gift from Gail Wiley on the day she died really got to me. After the PNP experience, I've learned to find joy in little things ~ having clean clothes to fold is no long 'a pain' ~ I know how blessed I am to have conveniences that others don't have. Just having coffee on the patio to hear the birds, squirrels and sounds of each season...
I've had a lot of smaller artistic re-awakenings this year, from rebooting the Ordinary Magic project to coming up with new ones like the Love series with M. But this has really been a year of gratitude, and I feel like that has made me see things differently, and send a little more love out into the world. I hope I can do the necessary work to hold onto that feeling.
Energy leadership, thoughts become feelings becomes actions. Change your filter.
This has been a fairly low key year, for which I am extremely grateful.
We spent two weeks at Pennsic, a medieval reenactment camp. It was a fantastic experience, with learning so many new skills and just reveling in the slower pace of life. I can't wait to go again next year.
After our daughter-in-law died, I received so many cards and messages and offers of help. I was overwhelmed. The community here is such a support. With each card and message I felt loved. I still tear up when I think of it. The people who showed up at the funeral -- people I never expected -- were such a blessing. I really believe that the heart-bursting sense of love, support and community is spiritual. I now make a point of sending cards, even to people I barely know, having felt the effect of this generosity of spirit.
I've not had any particular experiences per se but I do pray more often than I have in the past. Pray for continued health for Cher (and myself). Pray to be guided on whatever path I'm to be on. Nature has been my spiritual guide and solace. When I feel down or uneasy, I should always remember that being in the natural world, the Creator's world, does help.
This last year was still difficult spiritually. I was still living not near a schul, had to drive an hour but I did get to to go to Torah study at least twice a month. I'm hoping for better this year. Between the local schul and one that's about 45 minutes from me. I need to work on finding opportunities to build relationships with other Jews.
Again, none specific. Always feel supported and grateful.
Like last year, I did not have any experience that I would consider spiritual, per se. Certainly nothing that stands out. Maybe it's been in the small ways I appreciate life every day, including walking past the yellow rose bush on my way to the gym or the drugstore or supermarket It blooms in three seasons-- I have a photo of a beautiful blossom that I took on Christmas Eve one year. It's blooming now, in fact. Maybe it's appreciating friends and music and a well-written sentence in a book or article. Or it was celebrating election results last year with a bunch of other political types, most of whom I didn't really know then, but have gotten to know some better during the year. So, I dunno, is that spiritual? Maybe, maybe not. Depends what your definition is.
I have looked into different faith communities this year, but something has held me back from taking that leap. I suppose I'm still not certain that I'm a believer. I would like to be a believer, but I just don't know that this is authentic to who I am and what I truly feel. Maybe I need to just take this as a sign that I don't believe and find "spiritual" experiences that may not be grounded in believing or not. If anything, being almost 40 and still wrestling with the same spiritual questions I did at the age of 18 shows me that this is a journey. I was once told that the fact that I am so curious about this is what makes me a spiritual person, so maybe that's it.
I visited New York for the first time. It was really strange to see the city and exist in a space with so many other people. Visiting a second time cemented it as a place that I needed to visit more often than I did before. There was some thing different about being in that city that made me feel more alive. I don't know that I'd have it if I wasn't visiting, but knowing that I was fitting in there like other people would was good in a way that I can't really describe.
I appreciate the broadened definition of spiritual, as this is a term I've been unable to relate to in many recent conversations about my terribly rational nature. Is spiritual the opposite of rational? I don't think so. I still feel butthurt about these accusations. Anyway. I guess I could say I saw some really great plays. But most immediate are the things that I've created or been a part of over the past year, rather than what I've watched. Except maybe watching mapuche leader Moira Millán talk last year about el buen vivir. But even her words have faded, though I wish I'd been able to carry the urgency of them with me all year round. She made me want to be so much better, to dedicate my life to activism, to defending the environment. I felt the way I felt when I was in high school and first learned about climate change, the surge of energy at the possibility of fighting injustice, the urgency. And then I did nothing. Same thing last year. I followed Moira to several different speaking events. Then it trailed off and I became distracted by other things. And of course poetry has been a transcendental experience this year. Spending more time translating poetry. Developing better habits and prioritizing writing even when things get busy. Finally understanding how crucial reading is for writing, and letting reading accompany and guide my writing process, with 7 tabs of Ashbery open as I work on a poem about Richard's death. This project has given me life in the way that no project has since undergrad. I mean, I guess BocaTour did en su momento. But not really anymore. This is more of a soul-searching project though. And also "spiritual" is my growing bond with Ale, my trust and love for him to guide this process and continually demand more of me.
Last October, I officiated at a funeral of a dear friend. It was a particularly difficult situation and I was able to provide comfort and closure for the family. We also did an unveiling on Memorial Day weekend. This experience has helped me to understand that I have a role in providing a connection between people and HaShem. I am humbled and honored to do so.
I think of the week I spent on my own at a coastal yoga retreat, which was quite a strange place but gave me time and space to watch birds and feel sunshine. Just stepping out of the whirlwind of my thoughts and being present to where I was. Walking on my own through national park and glimpsing bright blue ocean through lush green trees. There have been others, more traditional in some ways. But I think for me that was the most powerful in a year where it's been hard to be still and know.
Settling with my nonbelief in a deity has been ever more freeing than I'd anticipated and has allowed me to come into my true self. I have since been coming out as my true and authentic self and am happy to be doing so. Acceptance of self is vital to inner peace and happiness.
I have been thinking about this answer for a few days. I feel "spiritual" when I can quiet the environment around me Not necessarily in a meditation state but when I can sense that which is not visible. It feels like a sense of calm, I am more aware of sounds around me and sometimes the energy around me feels electric not frantic but alive. I believe when you open yourself up to the unknown you can be surprised sometimes. The short answer yes I have had some spiritual experiences this year.
Earlier this year I attended a friends art exhibition. I arrived not knowing what to expect either of the venue or the art itself. I was newly single and attending this event by myself as my first solo social venture. I wore a cocktail dress that I had made that I felt looked particularly flattering. I painted my lips with bright red lips stain and felt like I could conquer the world. I arrived at the exhibit and was struck by the similarity of my friends painting style. It was very similar to my mothers. I walked through the exhibit enjoying the art, greeting my friend and meeting others who had come. As I prepared to leave, I was beckoned by a table of ladies admiring my dress. I joined their party and met some new acquaintances. One of him is having her own art exhibit next week. I am planning to attend and hope to get to know the whole group better. I felt like the experience of attending my friends exhibit solo and proving to myself that I could be powerful and attractive was if not life-changing at least affirming. I have carried that experience with me over the past few months and revisited it when I am feeling less than for being single. It showed me that I can be fabulous all by myself.
My sisters memorial was pretty spiritual. We had chosen places that were happy memories for my sister to spread her ashes. We went from a pottery studio where she excelled in her art, to places from our childhood-a time before things got complicated and difficult. Finding exact locations was a bit of an art, and it involved listening to nature. It was very spiritual and freeing.
In 2018 I said what I would say again about spirituality in 2019: This year, in some ways, my life has become very ordinary. As in the way “ordinary” was used in prayer books in the past. Ordinary, as in the spiritual has become part of a more daily experience. I think this is because of the work I’ve done through Positive Intelligence this year, and also growing older, and more aware of how every day is a gift. The luminosity that I spoke of last year when I talked about singing in the Tetons with Donald Runnecles… That luminous space is available now every time I do my PQ reps... and look at the different gradations of gorgeous color that are available in every “ordinary” plant, or hear the sparkles in every “ordinary” sound. My everyday relationship with Tim has begun to have a presence that is more of an connective energy than a visual crispness, but luminous all the same. We have noted how lucky and fortunate we are. It’s a feeling I hope will continue… What can I add to that? The last few bits of time I’ve started to trust creativity more, the idea of making it up as we go along, to recalibrate to meet the overwhelming forces bigger than I which I have ofttimes struggled against as if my heroics will make a difference. While I know heroics can make a difference, for me the work has been to accept my “mereness” - the idea that I need only bend and shift and not conquer. Is that spiritual? It seems definitely like a spiritual practice.
I have 100% developed my spiritual side. At the moment I am still dipping my toes into the water, it started with wanting to understand myself a little more. I have been meditating, doing some yoga, reading astrology, understanding philosophy and generally reading about spirituality.
Whenever there is a day or moment I don’t feel pain in my feet it feels like an honest-to-god miracle. Standing on the bimah with my classmates at the beginning and ending of Judaism class and each holding the Torah to talk about what this has meant. Seeing the candles reflected in the glass ceiling like stars on Selichot, one year from the first time I went to Temple Israel. Leaving Rosh Hashanah morning services and wandering Beacon Hill, knowing that the people I saw who weren’t at work were Jews. Seeing Indecent. One ordinary Shabbat sometime in Elul that just felt nice, from harmonizing in services and seeing my friends afterward to making havdalah and just feeling good about it all.
The #metoo movement. I’m feeling more positive about things in our culture improving.
Seeing Peru, especially the Sacred Valley ruins and the one-day hike to Machu Picchu was very moving for me. It was reasonably challenging and awe-inspiring to see the ancient city from the Sun Gate. Even being in nature at the Tambopata Reseach Center in the Amazon and taking nature walks every day was amazing.
I had several spiritual contacts with the sea, the woods, rivers, lakes and the wide blueblack skies of night. I ran on the beach this morning with the curlews, the pelicans, the sandpipers. We rolled into the sun and light warmed the air. I closed my eyes and felt my feet sink into the edge of the earth, kicked up the cool water, felt my heart beat and reminded myself, again, what it is to be alive for this brief moment on this wonderful, wonderful world.
I finally understood the power of focused mindfulness - once while meditating I felt such utter bliss at being free of the weight of obsessive thought, at just experiencing actual _being_ in present time and space. I still struggle to re-achieve that wonderful experience, and I have to remind myself how good it felt as a way to help myself gain the discipline to continue the practice.
Not sure that this is spiritual, but I have had several experiences that make me realize that for now, I can rely on myself. I've been providing for myself and Riley, providing support for my kids, providing support and leadership at work, and have done so many things solo, including long runs in the mountains that I had to talk myself into , including runs at places that I've never been before. I've met new people and signed up for my first 100k, which will happen in three weeks from today.
Our trip to Italy was a wonderful cultural experience. Seeing all of that history, art, beauty and architecture was almost overwhelming. Also the people we met seemed happy in a way that Americans aren’t. The Italians seem to enjoy life and don’t kill themselves at work!
We chose our current apartment partly because it was very close to a park with a river running through it -- and lately Erin and I have made a point of going after work to the park. Usually, she sits down by the water while I go walking/jogging, returning to her when it's started to get dark. Then we sit by the water together until it's too dark (or I'm too bug-bitten) and we have to go home. Just being in nature, and sometimes even standing out in the water, is instantly calming. It's soothing when I'm struggling with the pressure and anxiety stemming from work.
When I was going through my redundancy I felt quite mentally fragile & I tested out asking my spirit guide for help which happened to be a stag xx He said Stay Firm & Strong but don’t fight and it will happen xx have humility and reverence & it will happen xx so even though I got advice from Acas & my dear trusted friend Michael M, the advice I got ended up being the right advice & it all worked out in the end more or less xx 😘
Not particularly. Perhaps that’s why I’ve felt so blue these last two years.
We've just come back from a week's holiday with our 18-month old - and it's amazing how much he seems to have grown up over that time. His speech is improving with new words every day, he's getting so brave charging around soft play centres even when there's much bigger kids, he's increasingly fascinated by birds, animals, aeroplanes, trees... It's been such a nice opportunity to reconnect outside the constant rhythm of work/nursery/bedtime and busy weekends that fly by far too fast. Is it spiritual? I'm not sure. But it certainly gives me pause for thought, and immense gratitude.
I was in Kakadu National Park, Australia, recently on Shabbat morning. I felt such a sense of wonder and awe, sitting on top of the rocks, looking at the vast panorama around me. I said Shema and Shehecheyanu and felt at peace.
Not particularly this year
I'm still searching for spiritual experiences. Maybe in the upcoming year.
I'm sure I have. But this year has been such a cascade of things to grieve over, deal with and process that I fear I have not given myself sufficient space to recognize these opportunities when I've experienced them.
Doing the Presence Process has invited a deeper connection with gd that I'm very grateful for. I felt clearer about how the universe works, and more connected to my spirit.
Hmm... that's a hard question to answer. It's hard to connect to the spiritual when you're depressed, as I have been.
Sobbing over a sink of dishes. Because sometimes greatness is giving G-d what you have at that moment. Also, seeing the Hand of Hashem in our IVF experience.
I think my spiritual experiences often end up being in the interactions with the natural world. We went swimming with manatees in Florida and saw whales in Massachusetts. Both of those experiences were very special. I don't know that they've affected me long term, but I've enjoyed the joy these things have brought me.
I was meditating a while ago, about a month I think it was, and was extremely tired and frustrated before I chose my meditation of choice on the app. The music started and about 10 min in, I felt a light opening up in my brain that was so airy and bright. It truly sent shivers down my spine and made me feel whole.
I wish I had had more, but I haven't been prioritizing spirituality. I want that to change this year. My spiritual experiences this year have felt short-lived and powerful. Usually inspired by a personal Tarot or Kabbalah card reading, or attending a Shabbat service. High Holidays this year have been powerful in their message of reexamining my soul, and asking what she needs to be fulfilled and happy. When i listen to her little voice, she is so grateful and pours forth her gifts and wisdom. Her voice gets louder and always forgives me for ignoring her. This year I intend to give more space (an altar), love/attention/time, and respect to her.
Saying goodbye to my beach in CA before we moved, watching my daughter take her first steps and say her first words, and watching our stag walk through our new backyard.
I have begun to be attuned to spiritual experiences around me in a whole new way, and to perceive many more things as having a spiritual component. Even so, my eternal spiritual touchstone is hearing my children laugh, or hearing them breathe, or hearing them be sweet to each other. That is everything and a half.
I had a couple of Shabbats in Spain that made me feel really close to G-d and to my Judaism. I'm still finding my feet as regards living at home again and I've yet to find a habit of observance that is meaningful for me. I'm not looking for the big, knock-you-off-your-feet encounters but a quiet, everyday spirituality. A closeness to G-d, whatever she is, that suffuses the smaller things. I need to be more mindful, not just mumbling brachot or reciting prayers by rote but using them as opportunities to connect what I'm doing to the universe around me.
I continue to have moving experiences in the arts. It seems like every year, we see concerts for favorite performers, that display superb musicianship, involving songs and relevant themes. Looking back at last year, the plays and musicals we've seen, in NY and LA have been particularly outstanding! More personally, I have been blessed with getting roles I have wanted to connect to audiences to move them emotionally; Karen's art shows have been most brilliant and engaging, and joining her at galleries and museums continues to expose me to the beauty and power of visual art!
I started doing more art and more music, if that's the question, and reading more Tamora Pierce and MLK and Jacques Phillipe and David Hallberg's autobiography. Which has connected me to my creativity / freedom more, for sure. I don't love this term "spiritual" and I don't know what it means; is the question - how can I maintain a self-connectedness and a connection to hope and/or love? I'm not sure.. -
Our family trip to Cuba this past spring was by far one of the best things we've ever done. The kids really wanted to go, as did I. We made it happen, and it was truly an unbelievable experience. We met so many incredible people and learned a ton. It's probably the most immersive experience we've had together. Everyone we met was so honest and open. Their stories of growing up during the dark days after the fall of the Soviet Union were so much more impactful than anything you could ever learn from reading. They're still on ration cards! It really caused us to start actively questioning why this idiotic embargo still exists and what we can do to help the Cubans.
Going to live music concerts are spiritual for me. I saw Childish Gambino and was right at the front of the stage. It was an amazing performance and I loved being swept away by the music, dance, the crowd. It makes me feel present and alive and appreciative of the world around me.
Reading more and praying more has deepened me spiritually. However the lack of spiritual experiences in the geographical area I am in has affected me deeply. The Army obstructing me from going to services and placing me in a lousy geographical location are definite hurdles. Couples therapy with Rabbi Menachem was very spiritual and helped me grow enormously. I think it helped me grow spiritually and helped me to start sharing Jewish culture with Jose.
Hiking in the Grand Tetons was incredible. I felt so calm and happy. Alaska Basin and Cascade Canyon are probably the two most gorgeous places I’ve ever been. The calm and reachable that came with that is important. I set the goal of going backpacking once a month this season, and that’s done wonderful things for my mind and spirit. It’s now been over a month since our trip to Yosemite, and I can tell I’m getting a bit itchy. It’ll be important for me to continue finding ways to get out and bathe in nature during this busy stretch.
i get this really specific feeling when i listen to songs with certain kinds of drums in them, or when i kayak, or when i make music with people. It's a whole body thing, like i'm all in one piece.
I’m not so sure if spiritual but I’ve found connecting with my friends through travel and sharing experiences has been really special.
I'm becoming more comfortable with talking about God. I still don't believe in a God who cares about me/us, or does things in the world... I don't believe in a God "who"! Gordon Tucker once said that God isn't God's name, it's God's job. I like that. And the job that my God does is both very close and quite distant. Close in my heart and soul, distant in terms of actually doing things.
This is the he first year that I’ve really thought about the season of atonement - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - who have I wronged?
I think it's been good for me to dive more into understanding what being jewish is to me. Obviously at some point I'll have to act on it, but it helps me build my own perspective and understand myself better. As usual during this time of the year, I'm more reflective, pensive about all of these things, but I feel like I'm "unlocking" some things very slowly that have been submerged or ignored or suppressed for a very long time. As for secular spiritual stuff - I know I need beauty around me, I know that I am strongly influenced by my surroundings, by my environment and that I need to feel moved/immersed to feel alive.
I do still believe in the power of strong will and positive thinking. It doesn't have any prove to tell you that it would actually work. But throughout this many years, I believed that my life is blessed with opportunity in many ways, since I'm a true believer of positive thinking. Of course, you have to work on/prepare yourself and make yourself ready to any new situation/opportunity that might come up.
I have been meditating and journaling quite a bit this year, and along with reading books on the second half of life, my perspective has changed a bit. I have evolved my thinking about purpose. I now believe that each of us has a purpose, and that we discover it as life goes on. I love Richard Rohr’s model of the first half of life is about building the container, and the second half of life is about what you put in the container. My first half of life was about business and success. I became a financial planner to help people, but my perspective was the more money the better. Today, I have had a huge change. I still want to help people, but i understand that more money is not the answer. I now realize that life is about relationships, meaning and joy. I realize that money is a tool, of decreasing value as you acquire more, and that life is about so much more than money. Money matters. It just doesn’t matter most, and it is certainly not all that matters.
Listening to Kiese Laymon read his book "Heavy" was a very impactful. It has affected the way I think about my body, others' bodies and changed the way I think about systemic racism and oppression in America.
I felt so peaceful on Galiano Island this summer. It feels awful to admit it because Asha was there and I don't want to let her "win" by admitting that I had a good time with her. But also, FUCK IT. I did have a good time. I felt like I found my destiny, my own Garden of Eden. I'll be back there someday, hopefully soon.
I already talked about my important spiritual experience at the Jesus conference this past July. All I know is that Jesus heals. Jesus takes all our disappointments and sorrows into himself on the cross. He gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
Recently, I was sitting at my desk and God put my hand over the words, "Love to Grow" on a page I was working on just as the editor sitting behind me walked past. God had, just that morning in my quiet time, massaged my conscience as I was praying. That's what I called it in my the privacy of my own thoughts as I was prying. Later that evening as I was telling my Bible study leader that I thought God was telling me He'd like love to grow in my heart to consider the single editor behind me, for whom I have been denying any possiblity of relationship because...it is work. I didn't want ot mix the two because I just didn't think it would be professional. We're Bible editors, at a major company. Anyway, as I told my Bible study leader after work what had happened at work she said, "Sounds like God is massaging your conscience." She had no idea that I had the exact same thought in my prayer time that morning. So, I am going to relax and see what God does.
I have been involved in the study of Zohar with Daniel Matt, and this has been quite a learning experience. In trying to find my way in my personal life at a time when ecological collapse approaches more rapidly than we ever imagined, I have questioned what everything we have taken for granted now means. This includes the place of religion. I had an epiphany that somehow it all matters, that every atom and erg and thought and deed matters and is not lost. I cannot explain my insight; it is a mystical knowing.
One cultural experience that I was able to take part in this year was the Saint Patricks Day breakfast in South Boston. This was an extremely interesting experience where I got to meet with and speak to many Boston politicians including Charlie Baker, Marty Walsh, and Ed Markey. Another important person who I got to see was Joe biden, when he sent a video message describing how Boston was the place to be on Saint Patrick’s day, and that he wishes he could have been there. This was particularly important because Joe Biden is now running for United States President in 2020. I feel as though this cultural experience was truly enriching because of the fact I got to learn about the religion of my ancestors and how I (so many years later) am being raised as a Roman Catholic. When St. Patrick was young he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave, but God appeared in front of St. Patrick and urged him to spread Christanity throughout Ireland. It is told that St. Patrick used the Shamrock as a way to explain The Father, Son and Holy Spirit to the people in Ireland. This was particularly interesting to me because I feel as though even many Irish people do not know what they are truly celebrating, and I find it bizarre that students are not learning about their histories no matter their ancestry.
I have had many spiritual experiences this year but I think what stands out the most is attending a Soul Care group with my eldest daughter, Trish, her second eldest daughter, Cass and our good friend, Jen. We have been connecting with God and sharing our experiences with each other. I have never felt spiritually closer to these women before. What a blessing to be able to share examples of God's love in our lives, our struggles, hopes and dreams with each other. Stellar, absolutely stellar!
Sharing Mom's passing was extremely beautiful, spiritual and expanding. It helped to bookend what happened with Joe. Also the shared death moment that Joe showed me, very meaningful as well. Contact with both of them and their companions since then. Lovely.
I've had many, through the church, the Franciscans and other sources. I've tried to be more prayerful in my daily life and it does help to keep me centered and remind me of my faith in Jesus Christ, who I still trust and believe in, although I question that at times.
Honestly, I'm not really a spiritual person. I don't have any real meditative practices, I don't have a routine, I don't pray to anyone. I feel like art, community, and music are the things that feed my 'soul.'
No real spiritual experience. Meaningful moments that allow me to grasp my value has happened from time to time, as well as a feeling of calm due to letting go of my fears and frustrations has been helpful.
The ocean this summer was pretty spiritual. It's power, beauty, vastness and how it changes all the time.
I don’t know that spiritual is the right way to say it, but the way that Chris takes care of me, and keeps me safe and happy had been a profound experience of being loved. The opportunity to love him has been similarly transformative.
No PARTICULARLY spiritual experiences, but I have realized how much I resonate with Zen Buddhism, and how much more 'smooth' I would feel if I meditated on a regular basis. I have also realized that I dont really enjoy alcohol.
Saaaaaaame answer as last year. Minus Harry Potter. I went on vacation alone. All I took was beer and cheese. I lay in the sun. I looked at the sky and the mountains. I listened to music and danced a little. I brought books but I barely touched them. I didn't even look at the internet. I didn't even play games on my phone really. I just sat around. It was extremely meditative and calming, and I cannot wait to do it again!!
1. I got myself into some really weird, mostly really bad headspaces this year 1a.PTSD Nightmares and a full week without showering. 1b. A fairly brutal reckoning w/mortality in the context of what I will euphemistically refer to as "flagrant medical gas-lighting". 1c. Generally, I've just been taking apart and poking at and breaking/fixing my entire concept of self. 2. My own perspective on mind-body duality has been shoved several rungs further down the ladder. 2b. I'm much more skeptical of what my brain is doing and why, and that's kind of a lot. 2c. My trust in doctors was really high, and now isn't. 2d. I get paranoid after more than one drink now. Outright maudlin as fuck plus heartburn for at least 2 days for anything past three. Don't miss it. 2e. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day because CALORIES are what help you DO THINGS
When I rock my grandchildren to sleep and look into their eyes, I can't help but see/feel my parents and theirs. I feel the gravity and exquisite connection of the generations and the Oneness of life. It is an overwhelming experience that makes me cry everytime. I know that somewhere in their memories they will remember the feeling of us together without language.
Writing the play. Feeling like I am channeling something that’s coming fully formed from somewhere else. Someone else? Going to dad’s site and playing the music and crying it out. Having Nancy tell Rabbi Paul that sitting next to me at kab shab elevated her experience d/t the emotion and intention in my singing.
Yes, many this year. I suppose it has to do with the 12-step work. But the most recent one is that I was sent a message to build a sukkah. I've never, ever had a sukkah at my home. Not as a child, not ever. But for some reason, I felt this overwhelming sense that I'm supposed to build a sukkah. So I'm going to follow the impulse. I've learned that when messages come strongly, I should follow them.
I had two this year. One was finally finding THE writing community I've been seeking for years. The second was unexpectedly finding this community of women who are all in transition. Sisterhood is the closest word I can use, and I've never had that with women friends. In both, the feeling can definitely be described as spiritual.
Looking at last year's answer, I'm proud of myself that I've been able to find spirituality in the mundane. I feel spiritual on a daily basis, and I also feel like I'm strengthening and developing my personal theology. I've fallen in love with Judaism this year, and I love seeing how it can inform and help me live a fuller life.
Being in the hospital room with a family as a loved one dies has been powerful. I want to cherish life, more, when I see how fragile it really is. I also wonder about who the people would be, for me, to come to my bedside. Singing with Joey Wisenberg was also very moving. He's intense and fabulous in person.
Yes, I have. I have been going throuhg a time of trusting Him and staying, not running away, as I feel like doing. THis is challenging, bc it is uncharted waters for me and I dont know what it looks like exactly. I just have to choose to sit still, take a deep breath and just "chill and go with the flow".
I try to live a live as a Spiritual Being having a human experience. Watching sunsets, praying with my community, holding ritual space for myself and others, smelling a flower or following a butterfly. As I continue to step more into my courage, power and authenticity, I hope to be open to the flow of Spirit in each moment.
I read that book from PJ library for parents from that lady living in Israel doing Daf Yomi- I didn't click or relate with her account and life particularly, except for the part where she explained that she found gratitude in washing the day's dishes in the evening (as in, she got to witness another day with her family). At first it seemed silly, but as I do mine, I've started paying more attention and try to be more.mindful of the mundane. I am, indeed, grateful for the chaos because it means I have these three lively tiny humans in my life.
Taking a deep dive into Mindful Self-Compassion was a good move. ...
I'm on the spiritual journey of letting someone in and for me to share it. I want to share my life with someone who is a good match. I'm currently dating Jon Ferrio (not spelled right) and he's inspired me to know the kind of guy I'm looking for. He's confident, perky, kind, attentive, and fun. I've not experienced someone like him in a LONG time. He's just 27. That is holding me up. 10 years younger! Jesus!! Also, my existential crisis. Duh. But I already used a question for that. So whatever.
Not that I recall.
This year (and I think probably every year since the 2016 election) has felt VERY LONG, so it's hard to go and think back that far. I think anytime I go to an event where many people are focused on one common thing feels very spiritual to me. This includes the traditional spirituality of going to services at temple, but also going to a concert, or the movies, or a parade, or even a protest! There's something magical about being around a bunch of people, maybe some you know and some you don't, all focusing on the same thing. Our society has become so individualistic as of late, and people coming together to consume art together, celebrate a holiday, share a meal, or even stand up for their/others' rights shows that we can care about people other than ourselves, which creates a great spiritual energy to experience.
Yeah. Well it was rosh hashana last year that I came back from retreat. I landed in my new job and was ready to show up for my work, for my relationships, for my social life, for my spiritual-life-in-community, for my political life in ways that I had retreated since starting my previous job. It's been a lot of false starts and a lot of letting go of my aspirational visions to work more humbly on the basics and nitty gritty of doing well by my self, my close relationships, and my job. I got extra-humbled by my summer retreat where I left halfway in a massive doubt-storm of the nihil-death-dharma. I'm spiritually, professionally, and socially humbled, about 50/50 collapsed/humbled. I have some visions and I have some flowering intentions to do my best and I have some bad habits and lack of belief in having any worthwhile direction. It's not a beautiful spot, it's where I am, I'm in the school of mediocre-knocks and trying to learn how to walk with dignity and strength and power in a low and boring and lackluster place.
This is always a hard question for me because spiritual is an odd word. I have had a few experiences where I felt profoundly okay, like I was protected and loved and everything would be okay. Nothing in particular, just taking a deep breath in Pilates class, and realizing that I felt more okay than in a long time, and I was strong enough to make it through.
Something that I've enjoyed is spending the year living among somewhat observant people in Jaffa. Being able to participate in their religious observances has given me an experience of Judaism that I feel I never really had.
Yes. I went to Israel this summer and there were two things that stand out spiritually. First was when we were in Jerusalem and we walked through the old storm drain of the temple and came upon the Kotel underground. It was surprisingly moving to have it sneak up on me like that. Also having shabbat dinner in Tel Aviv at the RSJ Moishe House was very beautiful and made me realize that services are a kind of meditation for me because it's a process that is SO familiar and gives me a very nice sense of peace and calm. This is something I'd like to do more in the coming year.
The past year, almost a year ago, a friend died of cancer -way to young. To the last moment she was radiant, glowing and reflecting the love that was shown to her by all those friends that gathered around her. In those last months she even found love! I don't know if this counts as spiritual (it should have counted as the most important thing happening to me past year, as was asked in question 1), but she has inspired all of us to celebrate every day and to stick together s friends.
I have not had any spiritual experiences this year, but it would be pretty unusual for me to describe any experience as spiritual. I get a great deal of personal satisfaction from teaching college students to think about data, and they give me wonderful and heart-warming feedback.
I feel like this has been the year of little to no spiritual experiences outside of pulling #Truthbombs, Goddess cards, and the reading horoscopes. Since 2012, I've practiced an integrated pagan-ish-Jewish faith base. But, this year, I’ve not lit candles, made challah, nor said prayers regularly. I’ve not talked with G-d, nor Bryce. I love Judaism, but I feel like a farce. I’m not an “official” convert. I don’t go to Shul. I’m no longer partnered with a Jew. I don’t read Hebrew, nor know the prayers by heart. I can’t sing the tunes of the prayers. While I came to respect Judaism before K. I came to love Judaism in my time with K. He made the ritual and the practice and the faith come alive , which gave me space to explore and practice. Now we are long divorced, and I am practicing solo. My wonderful partner is Christian, but even she doesn’t practice her faith ritually. Not that it would fit me exactly: I like the Universal G-d part of Judaism and not the Jesus part of Christianity. But without an external prompt. Without someone to teach me and practice with, I just don’t know who I am spiritually with repspect to Judaism. And I don’t know what to do about it. I feel lost.
Just finished a 5 day retreat at Hariharalaya in Cambodia. Digital Detox. 1 Day of Silence. Beginner-friendly yoga and meditation daily. Reading in hammocks. Journaling by the pool and in a treehouse. But most importantly: ecstatic dance, laughing yoga, active listening, eye gazing, poetry before amazing vegan meals with deep conversation. We laughed so much and cried so hard and loved so deeply. After decades of effort, this was an apex and a catalyst. I finally truly believe I can find peace and softness.
I'm not a usual reader of memoirs, but I decided to pick up "Eat, Pray, Love" & I'll have to say - it's kept my interest. I think I was expecting something else, because of all of the hype when the book first was released. But while reading it, I can see parts of myself in her journey. Her explanation of how she met God was so honestly brutal, that you could see in her writing afterwards how she was affected by this experience. Her journey is leading me to think more about what I'm doing with my life & my relationships with everyone. I'm taking seriously my journey in weight loss (by using a paid service Noom) & examining other aspects of my life where I can improve.
I am reading a daily reflection blog by Richard Rohr, firstname.lastname@example.org. His main website is www.cac.org My mom shared the site with me and now she and I talk about these reflections once or twice a week.
finishing a race with my best friend that I ran the majority of for the first time
Hiking in nature with my family on a regular basis is very spiritual for me.
Creo que la poesía, leída y la que he escrito me ha ayudado. La leída para conectarme con el mundo, la escrita para hablar sobre mi pasión. La visita el día de los muertos a la tumba de Angel para preguntarle qué debía hacer: “déjate de historias y sigue adelante que tienes una familia que sacar adelante. Olvídala”. La visita a la tumba de Luis Rosales, en moto a Cercedilla.
I don't know if it's considered spiritual but I've been belly dancing for 5 yrs and a month ago I did my first solo dance. It was scary to think about but once I did it, it was empowering!
No, which is to say that I need to get out more.
Though we now have a new shepherd, 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. I am guardedly optimistic about Pastor Scottie leading us into a new era of authentic worship and I plan to do my part in promoting his leading and the leading of our Good Shepherd.
I learned how to heal from past hurts. I have grown in ways I never thought possible. I have experienced the beauty of nature in ways I never have before. I have learned what it is like to have a real partner in life who actually communicates with you and works with you. I have found true, deep love. I have found what it is like to have a bond with another human that I never thought was possible. I have not found utopian perfection, but I have found some very satisfying and wonderful mysteries of life that are so simple yet so impactful. I have released the hold of negative people in my life no matter their relation to me. It has been a year of change and growth.
I haven't had any spiritual experiences this year but I've found that Shabbat has been something that I continue to embrace as a day of rest and unplugging.
This is the 2nd year my partner and i have shared our Tashlich service; The act of standing at a body of water and casting out our sins so our New year has a clean slate. This year we chose a lake and the feeling of unburdening our sins to my G-d who loves me unconditionally and knows how special each and every one of us is has allowed me to set a more G-d centered path for the journey of my life this year.
Feeling spiritually involved has really been one of my great challenges. I like to think I'm quite an emotive person and think my religious life (as well as my approach to the world more generally tbh) could benefit from some level of spirituality. As a reasonably unadventurous and quiet Brit I shied away from the more 'wishy-washy' parts of Pardes and in life generally I tend to sniff at this stuff but tbh that's bollocks! It may look weird and might even be 'a load of nonsense' but if I can benefit from some soul searching and spirituality I should definitely start to leave my qualms aside and push on!
I think discovering the " Niggun of the Birds" and realizing how deeply it affected me. I have always loved music and felt it was the language of the angels, but this was the first time I felt my soul was touched. It has given me much warmth and happiness.
I don't think so. It's honestly just been a really busy year, and I think I moved away from spirituality a little. For instance, I volunteered to coach a little league softball team this spring, and they practiced on Friday nights, which disrupted my usual practice of going to services. I found a different kind of appreciation in it, but maybe this year I will focus on getting back to my spirituality.
I do not think I have, but perhaps moments of clarity would be a better term maybe half a dozen relating to work mistakes and mostly through meditation and walking is where they happen.
I hate this question. It comes up every year and I don't know why but it it unravels my ability to continue with 10Q (hence my answering it on Day 9!). There was a year (2014? 2015?) I was interested in exploring/reflecting on the 'spiritual', broadly defined. Currently, though, that feels very self-indulgent. I'm sure there's a form of activism or social justice that is also considered spiritual, I just haven't found it yet. Until I find that form, I don't have room for conversations about spirituality. #sorrynotsorry
This year I was fortunate enough to see the total solar eclipse in Chile, something I had been planning to do for 2 years. This was my first eclipse and certainly will not be my last, as the experience was a profoundly moving and exciting one. I’m so grateful that I was able to see it with awesome people, most of which I had only met a few days prior, and in an incredibly surreal location in the desert mountains of the Elqui Valley. Everything went as planned, and as my posse and I drank wine, ate snacks, and played music, we were gradually treated to a wild and awe-inspiring phenomenon. In the middle of the day, the sunlight began to fade, first imperceptibly, then undeniably, as the temperature dropped and shadows began to sharpen. At the moment of totality, a shade was suddenly cast over the entire sky, and the black silhouette of the moon completely blocked out the sun, something so incredibly ominous and bizarre that no pictures could prepare you for. Leading up to this moment, an inexplicable tension began to build gradually, and then, suddenly, released all at once. For me and a few others, it felt as if not only the tension of the day was released, but the tension of our entire psyches as well; all my worries about the future, my career, relationships, etc, all seemed to dissipate, at least for a short while. I cite this as a spiritual experience because over the last year, I’ve come a long way in finding and defining my own spirituality as an adult, something I had always tethered to religion and therefore thought wasn’t for me. But spirituality can take so many forms, I’m learning, and for me, it manifests in the power and beauty of Nature, as well as the bonds formed with others. The eclipse this year therefore served as the crystallization of spirituality as a force in my life, and the start of a quest to delve deeper into it and let it guide me. I can’t wait for the next one :)
When I prayed the misha berach for 3 sick friends, it seemed to help because they all got better.
No huge, mountaintop experiences I can recall (though I did climb a mountain this summer), but several smaller ones. So many goodbyes with dear friends over the summer had a tinge of the spiritual, and I would put pretty high on that list both the quiet morning I spent saying goodbye to the Boston Public Library and the experience of hearing Alex deliver a farewell speech to the Trinity choir with Richard squeezing my hand in solidarity.
With Alan starting school at a Jewish Day school and our family joining a synagogue, I have been engaged in more regular religious practice. It's interesting because for so long I felt alone, holding all the weight of my family's Jewish identity and practice, with my husband's indifference or (at worse) resistance and rejection adding to the weight. All of a sudden, I am part of this community that is not only supporting but leading my son's Jewish development. At times it seems like too much, but mostly it's a relief. Maybe it's time for me to focus on my own spiritual development now that my family's seems to be on the right track.
Yes: I had a night of stars. After spending a lot of time meditating for help and seeking guidance, and then really despairing, I was drawn into a night swim with my youngest teen and my brother. The ocean held a bloom of bio-luminescent algae all that turned the water to a sea of stars, as you moved through it. A moon poked through one part of the cloud cover, and the Milky Way stretched behind gaps in another part of the sky. Around the jutting rock, a seal popped its head up, with moonlight in its eyes. We laughed and splashed and the world felt wonderful and new. This moment was an image straight from a meditation in the spring. The night felt like a pointed intervention, a gift of the universe and a shake on the shoulder. Wake up! Wake up. It gave me hope at a time when hope is little. Not that things will work out the way I want them to: this is already not what I want. Not that it will be easy: it clearly won't be. But the feeling of held and witnessed: that was so much. We're struggling, and it's raw, and it's not going to stop. But we're here, and we're cared for, and somewhere in that, there is grace.
I had a profound moment on top of Calton Hill in Edinburgh this year. I was enjoying a G&T and looking at the view while doing some tarot readings and I thought how I'd love for this to be my life. And I realised it could be. There was nothing (other than money) stopping me from moving. And I've since made the decision that that is what I'm going to do.
Finding my artistic self has been thrilling. It has also been hard, though, to find time to make it a part of my daily - or even weekly - routine. I hope to get better at that.
Not spiritual, but memorable in a way that was life affirming. My trip to South Africa - in specific - it was the giraffes. Each day, we got up early to ride to an animal preserve. We saw so much - zebras, rhinos, elephants and warthogs. But it was the majestic giraffes that I usually spotted first. I had seen giraffes before - after all, I live in San Diego = home to a world famous zoo and wild animal park. There was something, however, different seeing them in the wild - tall, majestic. We saw babies and young giraffes, adults and seniors. Eating, standing and even relaxing - which was unusual. They brought the impact of the wilderness to life - they were a part of Africa - part of its soul. And part of our beginnings. The giraffe is not my spirit animal - that would be the warthog, who made me laugh all the time. But the giraffe - ah the giraffe, made me appreciate the special aura of Africa.
I want to write more. It's something that I've been thinking for a while, but I think I need to be systematic about it. It's not enough to want it -- I have to make time for it, to do it.
Nope, nothing. As a matter of fact, I wonder ever week why I bother to go to church. I don't find it particularly fulfilling and find it more rout...a routine...something to do to get the day jump started.
A few weeks ago, I was on the train ride back from Boston, back to New York. This was the same train that I had taken years ago, on the way back from little Sophie's bat mitzvah. I remember passing all of the bright lakes full of sailboats and beautiful fall colorings on the leaves as we rode through Connecticut, and texting them to Mom and Dad because they were so beautiful and I knew they'd love them, especially Dad, who loved fall and boats and lakes. I got very sad seeing all this this time, missing Dad and wishing I could text photos to him now (which by the way I couldn't have even if he were alive, because my phone was broken-- a blessing in disguise, because i spent the whole train ride reading and being present). Anyhow, the seat next to me on the train was open, even though most of the seats in the car were taken. And I could have sworn that I felt Dad's presence right there, felt like his spirit was filling the space. I reached my hand into the seat, felt the space where he was, held hands with the space, with him, and cried. I cried for the sadness and cried for the beauty. What a blessing to have him there with me. I felt him so strongly.
I think the realization that the relationship I have with my husband has strengthened profoundly in the last year is a "spiritual" experience. We both are realizing the value and power of "us" and that together WE are stronger than ever. There are not many "silver linings" when you deal with a chronic illness like Myasthenia Gravis, but this is definitely one of them.
I've struggled with the interfaith groups. Which is a shame because it comes down to politics. Helping to launch JewGood Hartford has been eye opening as to how much good there is in the world. Watching people so hungry to help others and being able to give that to them is a dream come true.
I had difficulty answering this last year as it was the first year I could not recall a spiritual experience. Unfortunately I will add this year as another without such experience. Perhaps I need to be more open to receiving them.
I wouldn't call my experiences spiritual as much as "cosmic coincidences" I was driving on the highway and was about to pass the exit for the hometown where I grew up but moved from when I was 16. My favorite song by The Doors came on the radio exactly as I drove by. (The Doors Greatest Hits was the first record I ever picked out for myself and my Dad-who died when I was 12-bought the cassette for me.) My Dad used to let me sit on his lap while he drove me home from running errands or our visiting day after my parents' divorce. He'd let me "steer" off the highway. I felt like maybe my Dad was in the car with me...I also "conjure" people, in the sense that I will think of them and within a day run into them in a completely random place. The last time this happened, I mentioned Elizabeth Warren in conversation. Twenty minutes later a friend texted me to ask if I could photograph an Elizabeth Warren event. This kind of stuff happens all the time. Coincidence, probably. Weird, definitely. I'd like to tap into what is seemingly a "witchy" ability of mine.
Watching my best friend walk down the aisle and get married to her best friend. When they took communion and said vows to each other it was just beautiful.
No. I wish I could. I just feel fake when I try to find spirituality.
Just doing ordinary Jewish things is very special for me because I am not even Jewish. It feels wonderful yet weird to do Jewish things.
I wish I could say yes. I dont think I've had the 'space' for it.
I went to Kever Rachel this year to ask God for a baby, in the merit of my most holy ancestor. That day felt like a portal to another world of religious life - a space dominated and preserved by women, for women. The taxi drivers refused payment, expressing in an indelible way their support and solidarity for the thousands of infertile women who stream to Rachel's grave each year. This is the side of Judaism I want to know better.
The musicality work with my cohort. Music and movement creating connection between people like I don't think I'd ever experienced before. Real magic.
I've experienced some brilliant coincidences. Just when I had given up on some things, they magically materialised. Life is very different to how I saw it a year ago. I'm currently getting a type of ESP with my boyfriend of five months and have done from very early on. This only ever happens with people I live with or am really good friends with and it's particularly strong with him.
The intense love we had in our send-off from the church was profound. It will stand in my memory as a testament to what it means to be loved and supported by a community of faith. Connecting with everyone through B5 was spiritual for me. The final performance when we held hands and I gave the speech about reaching back in time to your past self, the one who was uncertain about taking on the project, and urging her/him to take it on, and then listening intently for whatever future self is calling you and go toward him/her with as much courage as you can -- that moment will forever live in my memory. Everyone was very deeply and sincerely effected. At least I did that once in my life!
I saw Spooky Folk play again after way too long. I realized it was the first time I'd ever been sober for it. It was still incredible and I cried, so I guess they really are that amazing.
Rosh Hashanah this year was pretty spiritual. Joey has been going through a lot of thought crises where he is rethinking so much about religion and his life (yep, we all knew Aish would do this to him), and his questioning me and my faith made me feel stronger in it and more connected to Judaism and Hashem. At Rosh Hashanah services, I had a really spiritual musaf Amidah. I got to temple (Kol Rinah) just in time to hear the shofar be blown after the Torah reading. I read a section about prayer creating God who created humans who created prayers that created God and so on and another section about doubt and how faith comes in waves and doubt is an important part of that faith (Joey actually used the same Machzor and he also read both of these sections!). I feel really connected to Hashem and I’m not exactly sure what I believe Hashem to be but as of right now I do believe in It.
I've been trying meditating for the first time. I do think it's making a positive difference. I'm learning how to be more still in my mind and in my actions, and how to focus on one thing at a time. That helps to decrease my stress. And it's been a stressful year, or at least a stressful fall--partly self-induced through high self expectations and partly because of work stress. I hope that I am still meditating, a year from now, whether via 10 percent happier or another avenue. I do think it helps me to stay contained and respond instead of react.
Not really. This question doesn't resonate with me this year. I've been far more concerned with the deterioration of our country and the climate change disaster on our planet. I would welcome a spiritual awakening of any kind.
The biggest spiritual experience was a year ago when I went on my Elul trip to Hawaii and reconnected with God. Nearly every day since that trip, I have meditated, journaled and prayed. I am now in daily, ongoing communication and connection with the Divine. Maybe for the first time in my life. Every time I do work that is aligned with my purpose - bringing people together around a shared intention to connect on a deeper level - I feel it is a spiritual experience. And I have those regularly. When I coach my clients, it feels like a spiritual experience. The healing I’m doing around my own sacredness in romantic relationships is a spiritual experience. Interestingly, these spiritual experiences are all coming through day-to-day engagement with myself, my work, and the people around me, versus some big peak experience. This year my spiritual experiences are more quiet, more private, and more consistent.
I have been reading the Power of Now this year. When visiting UF for college orientation, I enjoyed a brief movement of being connected to everything. It was such a deep and abiding peace and joy.
I started keeping a gratitude journal this year, so it helps me recall the small moments of splendor. There was one day that I went for a run on Sligo Creek Parkway and saw a hummingbird while I was out. I felt very connected and present that day. I also did aerial yoga for the first time. In my first class, the teacher showed us a sivasana at the end called Sleeping Bear that felt so delightfully weightless and womblike. That was a moment of perfect spiritual ease.
I think the biggest spiritual change in me, is me fully coming to terms with the fact that i am not a hindu. And that i dont believe in god, i am putting more fight into when my mom tries to force me to go. I dont know wether i will come out and tell her but i know now firmly that its just something that i dont believe in
I cannot think of any spiritual experiences in particular that have affected me this year. I just continue with my prayers and contemplation. Being outside in nature makes me feel closer to God and I can still look in wonder at how all things work together as a symbiotic ecosystem that we call planet Earth.
September 7 2018 // 1 Tishri: I spent Tashlich at the Vlatava. It was so beautiful, and the ritual felt even more special than before. This old river that's new to me, and a beautiful city I was just getting to know. December 16 2018: Kelli and I are swimming in the Baltic Sea. The water is barely warm, and we love it. It's our last full day together, maybe ever for all we knew. The water, the sea felt right. January 1, 2019: I'm sitting on a beach in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. I have the whole shore to myself. The sun is shining on me, and I feel lighter. SAD started to take its toll since I started my nomadic winter, and I was fighting to be at peace with myself. And then, under the soft sun, an incredibly blue, never ending Mediterranean sea in front of me, I found peace. I think it was the calm and peacefulness of the coast. So quiet, and whole. I loved that day so much. June 29, 2019: Kelli and I hiked over the ridge in great sand dunes national park. I got overheated and had such a physically rough hike. But I loved it. Kelli asked me if I was okay, and I said I'm physically just holding on, but spiritually, I loved it so much. I knew this would be the adventure of a lifetime. And I was right. Finally, we made it over the ridge. Suddenly, the dunes went on for miles and miles. For that sunset, that night camping, we belonged to the dunes.
It was simple and perfect - last Friday our baby walked between his father and I, holding just one of our fingers each - it was the first time he walked between us holding both of our hands. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. And if that isn't spiritual in some way - to know that you are living in one of the happiest moments of your life - I'm not sure what is.
This year I planted an inground garden for the first time. I thought it would be fun and also produce some vegetables to eat. I had no idea the other benefits that would come from it. Yes I've had lots of delicious vegetables to eat and the pride that comes with seeing my hardwork pay off. But I've also got to know my neighbours more from spending time outside in the front yard. Through this I've joined my neighbours social group for women and been out to many fun events. It has been an overwhelmingly great experience.
I feel I (the universe) have manifested some things I directly asked for. I almost don't want to believe it because that means I'm powerful, and I must use my power to become my best self. I must get bigger with my envisioning. I wrote down these goals and I reread them, or sometimes I didn't, and then I discovered that everything I beckoned, became. That's incredible! I've had academic/professional achievements, as well as emotional and artistic achievements. I regret not having enough time to repeat and envision, but I hope to carry this magic and power with me boldly into the future, with gratitude and deep respect for the process and the unexpected.
Donning a tallit for the first time. Being wrapped in a tradition which connects me to my family, my history, and to a continues stream of ancient ritual.
I reread His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman again. I pretend I have a daemon all the time, a badger with a voice like Geena Davis. She's real in the sense that my own mind and soul are real. I use her to be kind to myself, but also to toughen up. It's good to have a method of self-talk that is playful. When I'm so scared of death I can't stand it I remember the world of the dead from The Amber Spyglass. I imagine my ghost standing in front of the harpies and the stories I'd tell them from my life. I'd talk about blue skies and making love and roasting brussel sprouts and killing cockroaches with my bare hands. I know they'd let me through. I know it would be a relief to join the world of the leaving, even as a vapor.
I don't know if I've specifically had a spiritual experience this past year, but I did start saying the Shema every night before bed. Although small, it has been something that has gotten me in closer touch with the spiritual realm and even calms me before sleeping.
Gah I don't feel like writing a lot but I think I should. I need to start thinking about what I believe 'spiritually'. I never really thought about that before. When I was talking about trying to have a jewish family and thinking about what that would mean with someone that isn't jewish, the answer is both of us would need to explore spirituality and figure that out together - our own personal beliefs and thoughts. I never thought about this before. I think it's really important to have some kind of spiritual side but I don't know what that would look like for me because I'm a skeptic and I don't really believe in things that can't be proven... so it is hard to rectify that with spirituality. Obviously, what even is spirituality? Fuck knows. But I do think a way I can transform my religious faith is to (1) self educate (2) explore my own values and enshrine/clarify them in fairly tangible ways (3) make sacrifices for what I believe in. Its education, values (helping others, is a main one but not the only one) , working hard and making sacrifices that is the foundation of what I took from religion I guess so I want to figure out how to go 'off trail' and figure out what that means to me. Still figure out my cultural relationship with the jewish community, but also see how I can practice both Judaism, and non jewish spirituality myself.
I think my most spiritual moments this year have been holding my daughter up to our table as we light Shabbat candles. We’ve not done a great job of Shabbats at our house, but seeing her be so excited to see the lighting of the candles is awe-inspiring. I love her and my husband so very much. Sharing these small, meaningful moments is godly.
As I sat in my plane, leaving Chile, and almost halfway through my holidays I felt a bit sad. I had had no moments of awakening, no enlightenment as the sabbatical blogs had promised, no eureka idea or clarity for the future. At the outset it seemed like a wasted effort. But then I realized that just as I had missed seeing the summit in the last 2 strenuous hikes, I had immensely enjoyed the journey. And there it was, the takeaway, that it's all about the journey. The goal is often given more importance but it shouldn't be.
I nearly died in February. Spent a week in hospital with a suspected heart attack. I came out elated: 1. I didn't die 2. No lasting damage to my heart so I can keep cycling the world 3. The people around me are amazing 4. Life is amazing and I'm doing alright with all the choices in life I have made so far. A month ago I experienced a perfect sense of peace at a farm in Japan. I wish I could feel like this more often. A treasured memory.
Falling in love.
On the Friday of Labor Day weekend this year I finally made it to the beach for the day. We drove down to Cape Cod to Old Silver Beach. It was a beautiful day and just rolling down the window and smelling the sea air was magical. I needed to get my toes in the sand and to walk on the beach at low tide. It was a perfect way to end the summer...I just wish that I had more opportunities, but was thankful for the one that I had.
My happy place in the city is the theater. My personal happy space is in the forest. The trees spoke to me this year. Some people are drawn to the ocean. While I like the ocean I belong with the trees. While I didn't spend enough time in my spiritual practice I did have a few oracle readings that spoke loudly to me. I am in a good space and believe in my spiritual connection.
I have been awakening to my spiritual/metaphysical/intuitive/psychic gifts this year in a big way. I am channeling messages from Source/a messenger, and I have seen past lives and future predictions for some friends. I have channeled a client's dead grandmother and even her friend who needed help sharing a message and getting some healing. I have a clearer understanding of ancestral healing. I believe I was a sleeper agent of the Goddess and I am now awake. This awakening process has been fun and intense and I know I want to do this work for a living. I want to help others who are awakening because I am great at it. Because I enjoy it. And because it enlivens me.
I did some wrestling with whether I should be chanting or meditating or both, but I didn't delve that deeply into it. But, recently, I went backpacking for two weeks, and at one point--White Sky overlook, I think, over Caribou Lake--I hiked up to an overlook and then it was so beautiful I simply started sobbing when I got there. That felt spiritual; it was so overwhelmingly moving. There's no equal to natural beauty, and it hit me just right in that moment. I'm so grateful.
I have had so many spiritual experiences including hiking alone to Rancho San Antonio bench and meditating in a way that allowed the thoughts in my mind to be there and witness them transparently and watch the mind produce and see the show before me. Was so so so depressed and anxious coming in with a cluttered mind and fear and pain and sadness and anger and tightness in mind body and spirit and walked out of that with a sense of a path. Beautiful and my mind light clear and calm.
Definitely. I’ve seen the texture of space itself in mediation. I have helped someone come to better self realisation. I have become free myself.
i often think about sweden and the forest i used to go running.. i think it became my safe place, where i find myself calm, happy and satisfied.
I am more conscious of my health and the need to be healthy. I also need to take care of my son. Its a defining moment seeing him grow.
It's true - one doesn't have to be so obsessed with the "next goal/ milestone", perfection, or impressing others in order to be ostensibly happy. Sometimes good enough is good enough; just take a break and sit the fuck down. I also realized that happiness is not a constant state to strive for, but it is a moment or, when we're lucky, a collection of moments scattered through our timelines that bring us joy, contentment, and/or peace. Find. Peace. Whatever that means to you, and however long it may last. If you know how to practice basking in it now and then, it really heals.
Who will live and who will die. I was watering my plants, not certain at all of who will survive this fall's drought and return in the spring, and I became aware that this was the meaning of that yom kippur phrase. We don't know who or what will be with us next year. Also, I finally concluded that "who will live', and how we live our lives, are not connected literally as I had understood the prayers. It never made sense to me to suggest that if you weren't good, you would not be written in the book of life, because obviously, many bad people get another year, and even the best people eventually die. So detaching those two concepts has been freeing for me.
During fall of Junior year, I went on the photography retreat run by Mr. Huynh and Fr. Perry, accompanied by a group of 11 or 12 B.C. High Seniors. The first day, I was not fully able to get into the retreat, but was able to snap some really good photos and start to interact with the other kids. On day two, we travelled to Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, a quiet, peaceful place with beautiful foliage and incredibly intricate headstones. While there, the group split up and we all spent time by ourselves wandering through the cemetery; during this time, I was able to put everything on my mind aside and really focus on being present in the moment, which was a very different experience than that of every day life. With no stresses or pressures on my mind, I came to a very reflective state and began to come to understand one of the major Jesuit teaching; finding God in all things. Throughout the time I spent alone there, I began to see the complex beauties in each object, noticing how every single thing had slight differences, and how these unique features made each one beautiful. I was able to take both a secular and a Roman Catholic look at the grave yard, and I found that both led me to see innate beauties all around me. I found one spot where I could meditatively for a good amount of time, and as time went along, I began to feel very peaceful and calm. The retreat as a whole allowed me to take a break from our fast paced environment and slow down to a point where I could either feel God, or feel some other relaxing presence. This experience has led to me trying to find time once every week or two to put everything aside and relax for a little while, to try and bring that feeling back. As of now, it has been difficult to recapture how I felt that day, but now that I understand it’s possible, I plan to continue trying to slow everything occasionally, to focus on the bigger picture of life rather than all the little things that happen every day.
This one is proving difficult on first attempt. I signed up for the lgbtq retreat at insight and tok myself on vacaion there sept 3-8. There is some spirituality involved in this beautfully real way. There is slowness, there is bowing, there is nature. I found resistance in my self to going to the retreat, and once there I was antsy and mediatating was hard. After two whole days I was finally in it; and it felt great, like I WANTED to be meditating and walking. But still hard. It kind of feels like nothing is happening; the quieting is so quiet. and then the silence ends and you feel amazing. Fearless in the face of fear. I have been taking the jewish high holidays more seriously; it feels like something wonderful to lean on and im' grateful. I'm trying to be actually reflective. take time and slowness. consider atonement. I have come to realie that music, art, and joy are vital for my life. That when I'm not playing music with people I feel a loss; that choir - community and singing and mediationg - adds so much goodness to my life. Also slowly reconnecting with somethings I used to do - my own little rituals - spirituality ALONE. lighitng a candle in my room; self massage; stretching; reading my self poetry; meditating or chanting alone.
No feeling less spiritual but hoping to reconnect - think of trying to pray daily to see if can help with anxiety
I have not. I feel like I've just been keeping on for months now. I need to expand my horizons in the coming year.
I went to the mikva before my wedding but I did it in the sea in Margate. I was really lucky with the weather and even though it was cold, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I felt like I did something really spiritual and connected under the sky and in the sea. Totally natural body of water. It was beautiful and paved the way to a beautifully spiritual wedding too.
Ah, yes, we went to Nepal and played music for and with Nepali people. That country is amazing. I came back changed and feeling like my priorities had completely shifted.
Breathing with and opening my heart to my horse is the most magical, one with life meditation ever, bringing profound peace.
I mean, I did go to the Mother Church with Lizzo last week. I also experienced evensong at St. Patrick's Cathedral in London, and witnessed what's left of the Notre Dame. We spent as much time in cemeteries as we did churches and museums. Definitely spiritual experiences, making me think about death and time and how old everything is over there. The U.S. is a baby in comparison.
As a family, we went with Dad on the Honor Flight to Washington DC. It was way more emotional than I anticipated, but it was all good.
When I think spiritual, as someone with a pretty intense anxiety disorder, I think about calm or moments where I can breathe. I am really entering a phase where I experience a great deal of this calm when alone at home, and connecting more with nature in my little back yard. Yard work at times feels spiritual, and the ability to feel calm while I was traveling truly feels spiritual. I've been re-introduced to the ability for this "calm" during services, and I feel incredibly grateful for this.
The first thing that comes to mind is our Improv reunion! It was just all laughs and giggles and love and made me feel more myself but also outside of myself. That last giggle session where I went crazy with character and my bud was dying...man, that was THE BEST. ALSO MARTHA BECK!!! "Steering by Starlight" is EVERYTHING
I think the most spiritual moment I experienced this year was the rally for immigrant rights that Kavana held in Seattle. It was a very touching and moving experience!
Most of my life I have been a seeker. I read “Sapiens” and no longer feel a need that need. I am not a believer, but I do feel strongly about the power of ritual to bond connections with others. And I love ritual! I experience the most “spiritual” moments when I am in nature and with friends and family. There are these moments of clarity and even bliss!
Right of the top, the violin solo at the Kole Nidre service at Temple Sinai touched my soul and opened my heart. It put me in a deeper contact with my Jewish heritage and opened up for me the wealth and richness of spiritual experience that lies there for me.
Yoga has been my biggest spiritual impact. It really centers me and puts me into 'me mode'. I have a moment where I focus totally on my mind and body and it helps tremendously with getting over stress. I do felt this year like I missed writing and creativity a lot - so those are some of my goals for the next year.
Going on a roadtrip to the southwest. Seeing all of the nature, especially seeing the Grand Canyon at sunset, the white sands, the red canyon, Zion National Park, and horseshoe bend. It was amazing to connect to nature after being surrounded by the city. I feel spiritually drained most days.
Hmm. Rosh Hashanah this year was powerful--but not as spiritul as I would have liked. I need to work on my energy--spiritual and otherwise. I need to go to the beach more. It always inspires me and yet I shy away. I wonder why.
I am learning a lot, and the intellectual stimulation is life giving. It is so hard to live in an intellectual vaccuum and I dont understand why "deep learning" is so hard to come by once someone turns 21 years old.
Yes. Prayed a lot during Charlie's treatments. Kept a big Magen David necklace in my pocket and used it when I needed strength. Ironically, I lost or misplaced the necklace somewhere pretty much as soon as Charlie's treatment ended. Not sure where it is. I hope I don't need it again any time soon.
A few come to mind: the awe of seeing the pyramids outside Mexico City, participating in London Pride, dining and bonding over food at Noma, seeing Monet's house and gardens, and lots of other art experiences during my travels, and generally finding myself feeling at home and happy in foreign cities (Paris especially).
The time I spent this year hiking with my boyfriend and our dog have been incredibly spiritual for me. It makes me feel in touch with the universe, the Earth, and G-d.
I've had several moments of heavy work. Grandpa Merrell passing away and breaking up with Chad and some family stuff that came up all helped me to really be in my feelings and let myself have feelings and learn how to identify and work with emotions instead of shutting them out. Through this process I felt much more "in tune" and aligned with the universe and my purpose.
None. Just more existential crises.
"Hitbodedut... refers to practices of self-secluded Jewish meditation... [It's] an unstructured, spontaneous and individualized form of prayer and meditation through which one would establish a close, personal relationship with God and ultimately see the Divinity inherent in all being." We did this outside at the Beyond the Tent Retreat and it was so nice to have a secluded moment alone. I found myself talking a bit more to Mom, but it was spiritual nonetheless. I am feeling so much more connected to Judaism this year, and I really appreciate the value it is bringing me.
A highlight this year was seeing Ellen Mc Laughlin’s ORESTEIA in DC with Alva and Margie and the H-Ps. It was a theatrical experience of great magnitude. I long for the return of my confidence and sense of grace reflected in last year’s reply. I shall reach for the stars.
Yes, sadly. My bunny Potter Weasley died. That’s two rabbits in two years. Although he never warned up to me, he and Sally Petunia were fast friends. I found him dead halfway under my bed one morning at about 3 am. I was so sad. I picked him up and held him for a long time, the only time I’d ever been able to do so since adopting him. I had him cremated and the vet sent me a little ink print of his paws that I will frame one of these days. I’m always overcome with grief when one of my animal companions leaves the earth. They are all such a vital part of my life and when one’s soul ascends to be with God I am grateful that I found room in my heart to keep him or her close. I don’t realize until I wrote this that my love for animals, mine, especially, but also those at the Hermitage, was a spiritual experience. But it certainly is. Because when one of them hurls him or herself at me in an outpouring of pure love, I’m totally in that moment. And being in the moment is a pathway to being open to God. I’ve kind of amazed myself here.
My answer this year follows last year’s. Everyone, everything and every day, minute and second are spiritual. I’m very grateful that God has arranged for me to get my shoulder operated on and because of that I have spent a lot of quality tine with my sister and BIL. Also, with my family I live with, my fantastic son and DIL, two happy smart and loving little boys and my second grandson who needs us to be there for him (whether he knows it or not). Now on to the next part...it’s always exciting to see what God has planned for me and I am grateful beyond everything to be able to wake up everyday with my mind and body (mostly) intact. Life is great!!
I completed a yoga teacher training at the end of December last year. I was actually just starting it at this time in 2018. It hasn't been this grand awakening or life overhaul - though I think I expected it to be that way. There are small things I've noticed; the desire to be here and now and enjoying life, the way I listen and interact with others and the world, I'm more aware of my desire to learn and experience and be amazed by nature. There's been this settling into myself and who I am and always have been and what I am willing and not willing to adjust or live with. It's so freeing. I feel good for the first time in a long time. I'm interested in my life and my small little world. I start teaching tomorrow (!!) and, though terrified, I'm ready to try this new thing and see how it resonates.
This year I’ve noticed that I get chills when someone tells me something very true and I am very present with them.
Listening to the wolf pack's new pups howl, the night of my birthday. Laying in the tall grass of the meadow at 3:15am, showing the curve of the galaxy to someone I love who needed a bigger sky to weep beneath & feel humbled by. Truly connecting & starting anew with my wife after 25 years of standing together in the batting cage, battling the pitches as they came.
In the broadest sense, the most spiritual experience was the trip to the Washington Holocaust Museum in September (the one where we also saw Michelle Graff and Dan). I'm haunted by all the photos and videos of the jewish people that were gassed... and how most of the pictures of the bodies have their mouths open... as they died trying to gasp air. So upsetting...
I finally got out to the Boundary Waters this summer with all the cousins. Canoeing is the one thing that reliably makes me feel spiritual in some way. It was different this time being an adult, realizing we had cell service the entire time, and not pushing my physical capabilities much. But that being said it was so wonderful to be out with the four of us again - and I was so happy about how easy it was just to slip into being cousins, just like when we were kids. Beyond being really important family/friend time, it was so wonderful to discover that canoeing still gives me that same feeling - almost a longing combined with a deep love - about nature, being in the natural world, and taking time for yourself. I really hope this is a tradition we keep up. Maybe yearly or every other year - either way its provides so much emotional healing.
My love of Alice in Chains really took hold after my "families" barn burned down. I was so enraged by what happened that I knew I needed to listen to some pissed off music, and AIC fit the bill nicely. I highly recommend tossing on any of their albums, even the new albums released post Layne (they are really good!!!), and rocking out if you're ever mad, depressed, addicted, etc. Music can transform your life.
As with all almost all of my answers every year when it comes to this question, this “spiritual” experience comes down to traveling. I’ve been lucky enough to visit 6 places within the last year. From feeling peaceful in Maui to experiencing Oktoberfest in Munich, it’s all be a wonderful rejuvenation of my personal “spiritual” self.
I have been praying daily, and learning to trust in God again. I have dreams that were answers to unspoken prayers. Like a silent SOS. Dreams that answered questions about relationships that I have been in. Dreams that showed what was behind the scenes. I have been drawn to learning the tarot, and oracle. And I had an epiphany, that this is not a taboo, its how we choose to use these tools to help our gift.
Attending my first birth felt pretty spiritual. I know this is similar to another answer, but becoming a doula has been such a big part of my year, it seems fair that I should talk about it in response to a couple of questions. It's hard to describe how elated I feel after each birth-- and how blessed that I got to be a part of something so awe-inspiring.
My daughter has wanted and been trying to have another child for many years. She experienced two miscarriages in 2017 and even consulted with a (very bad) fertility clinic. She became pregnant at the end of 2018. She's in her forties and has experienced injury to her reproductive system. It all seemed a great risk. I was torn among concern for my daughter's health, feeling happy for my daughter, and wanting to feel love for my new grandchild. I hoped to just hold all of the feelings serenely. My second granddaughter was born in August. I love her deeply and in a way unique to her.
Since I realized that I did not truly value myself, I have been looking into shadow work, twin flames, empaths, shakras etc. I think learning more about the other side or alternative thinking helps in your own realization. Part of this has been that I fell in love with someone from the same sex. After my whole life thinking I was hetero, I was shocked to have these feelings, when they say love is love, it is true. Don't judge, don't try to define, it is what it is. This realization has turned myself upside down.
Reconnecting to nature this year has been really important and impactful. It's helped to recalibrate my sense of magnitude and significance.
Spiritual experiences this past year have ranged all over the place, from visiting Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Japan, to dropping acid at Lake Tahoe, to sitting in a silent meditation retreat, to connecting with Afro-Caribbean musical lineages while drumming, to getting teary-eyed practicing the holiday kiddush for Erev Rosh Hashana at home recently. However as I get older I feel like these amazing "peak" experiences that I'm lucky to have matter less and less, and it's more about integrating them and being more mindful in my everyday life, especially when things are hard or tedious. That is a huge challenge.
I lost a baby. It was horrific. It also made me rethink the way I thought about the forming of a human being, and a soul. And made it a huge obstacle for my husband and I to share and get over. He didnt want the baby, and now it feels like a huge wall.
I went to the mikveh yesterday. It was profoundly healing. I really wanted to have a cleansing and healing experience and it really was. I realized that for so long I have had an antagonistic relationship with my body and I am thrilled to be starting a fresh. Its also really nice to have a realization right before yom kippur that is calming and healing. I need to learn to work with my body and not just tolerate it for the things it does for me, but just for the reason that its mine and we are in it together.
Going to Poland was very spiritual for me. All of the camps made me incredibly emotional, but Lupochova stands out. My grandfather was from an area near there, there were white butterflies all around, and I read that letter from Ima. Never before had I felt connected to the holocaust, but here, I felt a strong connection to my Jewish Identity, and the tragedy of the holocaust. I cried like never before, and that moment plays in my head over and over again. At this moment, my belief in God, which has fluctuated for a while, was affirmed in a way no other experience had ever done.
This year I was cast in a local play called "Walking Across Egypt". It's a story of an older lady that goes about finding purpose again in life by "adopting" a young man who has gotten himself into trouble by stealing a car. I got to be in the "church choir" which served as a sort of Greek Chorus. It was fantastic. The really exceptional part of all of this was that we sang different special hymns throughout the show and they were preselected by the playwright, however our director substituted one. The amazing part is the one that he substituted, "Be Thou My Vision," was the hymn that I sang at my Uncle John's ordination. It was as if I was meant to be in the show. We sang all of the hymns I grew up singing "I'll Fly Away", "Higher Ground", and "This Little Light of Mine". It was so special being a part of that show!
Helping with K's service about our staff. I had to actually think about myself and my life in the context of belief, and it was... interesting, in a good way. I'm still hesitant to call myself UU, but it's on my mind. I'm very curious about going to LREDA's fall con in a month.
Hiking at dawn in the Auvergne, rising from shadow to the sunlit slopes
Noting in particular, but I am actively pursuing a relationship with a higher power/creator of some sort. It’s a challenge because as hard as I try, so far I don’t feel the connection, nor get much insights from meditation, etc. However, I’m committed to staying the process.
In January, I had the opportunity to visit the Antarctic peninsula with my parents - truly a profound experience overall, but most especially the experience of camping on the continent. It was so quiet I could hear the ice crystals shift, and the nighttime sound of Weddell seal songs was spooky and stunning. But waking up early, sitting up in my bivvy sack, seeing the vastness of the surroundings, and then hearing the breath of a humpback whale breathing just off the edge as it fed in the shallows.... so stunning. Then this fall I went on my second long silent retreat, five days of scaled back scaled down experience that let the subtlety come through. Both experiences reaffirmed for me how important silence and stillness is for me. It makes space for new thoughts to emerge.
Meditation - it gave me clarity, inspiration and energy
Growing up, I've gotten farther and farther from religion, but not as much from spirituality. My new spirituality, at least this year, came in returning to myself and tapping back into my emotions and true essence or spirit. Two particular experiences stick out to me. A few weeks ago, I was walking to school, and crossing the Walnut Street bridge. I was reflecting on some family trauma that had happened right before senior year and how I had related to people during and after that. Suddenly, a real weight was lifted off of me and I thought I could breathe again. I've noticed I'm relating to people more openly and easily again, and it's almost like this fog lifted. I wish I knew why or how it happened, so if I ever feel as anxious or depressed as I had the past couple years, I can be myself again. The second, and this is not nearly as deep as the first, is that I went to a Maggie Rogers concert just recently with two of my new friends. The air was crisp, the moon was bright, and it was really beautiful.
I’ve had spiritual experiences during reiki. The universe had brought me clients both privately and through hospice work. I’ve felt my dad and stefi be among me. I allow myself to sink into my own spirit and that grounds me
Oh gosh. I lost my faith in the goodness of the world and the efficacy of our choices. I had a devastatingly hard and depressing year and I thought about killing myself a lot. I have kids and a husband though so I wouldn't do it. Plus I still believe deep down that there is hope. But it really was brought home to me how little control we have over our lives and how no matter how much you try, sometimes you can't control the outcomes. I applied for a gazillion jobs this year and hated my job but in the end I got a raise at my job and now I'm ok with it. Whoda thunk? I'm better now.
This year is a blur from a back injury and trying to recover. The closest I can say I've come to a spiritual experience has been feeling at home and like I was in the right place when I started Pilates Teacher Training. I felt like, "Yes, this feels right to me."
It felt spiritual to live in the Amazon, to visit Aitaka and swim in the waterfall’s pool and in the big wave currents. It felt spiritual to make love to people casually, Im glad I tried it, even if I learned new, different heart break from it. It felt spiritual to be able to choose Ecuador, not a decision based off of making money or checking off an education box, but just because I wanted to. And then being able to stay as long as I pleased.
One of the first times I heard Eliana chant the V'ahavta full on. She was in the Synagogue working with Maggie and was up on the bema. I heard her from the hallway. I couldn't believe that was my girl. I felt a lot of energy and the presence of the ancestors. I cried. I was so proud of her.
Last year I reflected that for the second year in the row I hadn't- I (correctly) attributed to the lack of Jewish community where I live, my discomfort at the only synagogue here, and that I hadn't been able to be in open water. (i.e. I moved to the non-urban Midwest). All these things are still true...but I did get to work in Europe a bit this year, and immerse myself in a truly fantastic swimming hall built in the 1920s..and that came close...
I am perhaps a bit more at peace with the circumstances of my life, the things I cannot change. But also I started really thinking about how I might live my life after I retire. I expect that to still be 8 or 9 years from now, but it's no longer some vague future. I like the idea of just doing my own thing.
Our pastor died at the church where I was a worship leader for the past 9 years. As of January 1st, I stepped in to deliver sermons every other week. I felt that I was being called by God to give some kind of leadership and encouragement to the congregation. I continued to do so for the next six months until the church voted to close its doors. But during that time, I felt like I was doing something that mattered spiritually and what God had called me to do. As of now, I am no longer with any church, nor am I attending any. This is fine. I will see where God leads me next, if anywhere.
Acupuncture has saved my life. Char has given me perspective on spirituality through ayurvedic medicine. I have a new appreciation for energies and wonder if I have found a calling in a different healing profession. I now also know what it means to hit rock bottom and pray for even a sliver of help.
Participating in the Maimonides Scholars program this summer was a very fascinating experience. I gained a lot of new insights into Judaism and what spirituality is. Since then I have started wearing a kippah and keeping kosher-style, not so much for "spiritual" reasons, but as a way of connecting to the traditions. Lately I have been grappling with what it means to be Jewish or to be spiritual, largely in connection to those lifestyle changes.
Losing Cooper shook us to the core... after 11.5 years our boy crossed the rainbow bridge... That was the toughest thing I've ever experienced. Miss that boy still... even with Newton we still miss him every day....
The only thing that comes to mind is that I have prayed more. I pray more often and I try to still my mind a bit more too. I'm doing so many things that are hard and scary and I find praying before I attempt them really helps me stay grounded and remember to love myself no matter what happens.
No, but I wish I had. I'm trying to intentional seek out things to read and do and participate in to change that for next year.
Not especially, although I long for more. Being in a huge, natural space is the best practice for me. Making art, as well. I am stingy with myself in scheduling time for either, and it's my one regret from this past year. I need to change it this year.
I lost my passionate drive and it’s been tough. I feel very pathetic even though everything happening to me is spectacular. I’m not sure what sparked it but it was a profound loss. I’m searching for my passion.
Watching a new human learn how to Human in real time has been pretty amazing
Having a commitment ceremony with Mike, I felt a little bit spiritual when we all ran into the water. I wasn't expecting so many people to join us, since we left it as optional. But that felt really momentous and big to me.
This year I have been listening for the word of God. I participated in Bible study this summer at church (first time since I was confirmed 36 years ago) and loved it that we read it out loud to each other, and I listened the Gospels and am part way through Acts on Audible. One story, which we read aloud and which my pastor also preached on last spring, is the story of Legion, the man whose demons Jesus drives out. "What is your name?" Jesus asks the man. Jesus wants to KNOW Legion, as we must know in order to care and to love. I've been thinking a lot about that in many aspects of my life and trying harder to listen better in an effort to know people in my life: my family members, friends, students, and church members.
Yes, with cannibus. THC and CBD has healed my depression and anxiety. It has gently moved me into menopause and it has given me a greater perspective.
Art has been spiritual for me this year. I find myself really looking at art, looking in a deeper way, seeing art at a level that I haven't seen art before. I see it so technically, and look at it with a very curious lens. I feel like a lot of the art I look at, I picture myself making. I haven't been making a ton of art, but I have been keeping creative juices going at home. But anyway I think that art has been spiritual for me this year, it's helps remind me who I am and how I'm a creative person. I'm an artist. I can make things.
I can’t believe how pathetic this sounds but having a job I don’t drag around with me all the time, the stress of big deadlines and always the pressure to bill hours, has allowed me to be present with my kids in a way that does feel spiritual.
The morning of my wedding, I performed “mikvah” under my sister’s guidance. It may not have been strictly kosher (it was in the cabin’s hot tub on the deck and I was in a swimsuit not naked), but I had researched the practice and talked it over with her beforehand and decided it was something I wanted to do, sort of a ritual meditative act to get my head in the right place before the wedding. Having the particular jewish traditions be a part of my wedding was an important cultural and familial tie for me, and my husband’s openness to sharing my faith and practices makes me love him even more. We have yet to fully discuss our future kids’ religious teaching, but I am confident we will find the balance that works best for us in time.
I still feel joy in the music. I am smoking cannabis that I grew from seed. That feels awesome. I feel confirmed in the decisions that I made as a young person which came flooding back to me at the Wonder Spaces event. I have served music for 20 years and no longer feel bad about gong into the ministry late.
Noah's Bar Mitzvah was a wonderful, spiritual experience for our family. Also, the boys chanting Torah this year and singing Al Sh'losha at their Grandfather's Catholic Church. Seeing the boys perform (Adam's ECMEA concert at UB, Twelfth Night; Noah's Little Mermaid and select chorus) whether it is music, theater or a combination is always a wonderful experience. When we saw Hairspray at the Kavinoky this fall, "I Know Where I've Been" was one of those amazingly transcendent musical moments where you are just wowed.
I can think of two: the first being the museum of modern art, seeing agnes martin's with my back to the world on display, and just feeling suffused with an immense sense of calm and wonder the minute I walked in, staring at all the subtle stripes, quietly sitting there as people browsed the room and passed on. I looked up agnes martin later and found her story and work to be affirming, and I still think upon that day when I'm feeling awful, sitting on a bench surrounded by those paintings, calm pale and subtle stripes. the second was a smaller moment but significant: meditating on the hudson river waterfront beneath a tree (a poplar, I think, I tried identifying it after) and coming out of my meditation, laying back, and staring up at the leaves listening to music, just feeling so at peace with the world, and that that moment of quiet, calm and connectedness was just. Enough. I had been dealing with suicidal thoughts around then, but even that simple act of lying down and staring up at that tree felt like enough of a reason to stick around for all that is left to come.
The most spiritual experiences I had were probably experiences while withdrawing from medication I was on. And they made me question whether spirituality was just chemistry, and whether that meant that I was more free than I thought. I basically felt that we're all mostly algorithmic beings with moments of freedom and that love is what powers us when free. Apparently, 20 years of meditation will allow me to know things in a more deep way, but until then, I will have to rely on patience and moments of connection, whenever they come.
I’ve gotten in touch with my sexuality, again, in a mystical, spiritual way. Melding flesh and spirit in a different way. The kundalini experience number three resolved, this year, in November/December. There is still more to develop from that, but I have been exploring my femininity more than ever, and now second-guessing my assumptions about even that.
I went on a trip to Israel this year, my first time in that country. The entire trip felt spiritual. I adored being in a Jewish country, Hebrew everywhere, orthodox Jews being fully, Jewishly themselves in the streets. Two particular moments of spirituality: Singing the psalms of Kabbalat Shabbat, which have become so familiar and homey to me at this point, by the western wall, with all of my heart. Other Jews praying at the wall sung with us as they walked past us. The tunes were even more resonant and beautiful because of where we were. I also loved attending a Saturday morning service at an Orthodox service in Jerusalem. I felt connected to the people around me, like we were all part of a shared something, even though they were all strangers, I didn't speak the same language as them and couldn't follow the prayer service. Also seeing my rabbi have a deeply emotional moment in the service while I got to sit next to her was very spiritually meaningful.
DAYBREAKER. I had always wanted to go, knew I would love it, and I did. It has so inspired me - I want to create experiences, create community that feel like that - where everyone can show up in their fullness and just BE.
The dark is not to be wasted. Hunting occurs best in dark matter.
I continue to attend meditation retreats which are always deeply impactful. I attend specifically people of color and LGBT retreats which creates the safest and bravest possible container for me. I was published in a book about Buddhist practice (1st time I’ve been published in a book). I also created more connection with concepts related to ancestors al trauma and healing.
Reading The Book of Delights reconnected me with the idea of gratitude, even/especially in a difficult time, or a difficult life.
For me, the spiritual has always been tied to the natural, so moving around the world has has me listening to the world more closely, especially given how much quieter this place feels compared to cities like DC, LA or New York. There's less people, less buzz (except when you're downtown), less constant noise even though we're near a major road... But then there's the other sounds: the magpies, the cockatoos, even the sickly-sounding crows; the wind pushing through the trees... it all serves as a constant reminder that I'm somewhere new. When I was in Delhi last January and February and I wandered around some gardens there, the sounds were different again. I know this isn't anything revolutionary, but it's how I stop and pay attention to the turn of the earth, keep myself in perspective to this world, to everything living in it, remember that my troubles, our ultimate presence on it, all falls away in the grand scheme. We can doom ourselves, even other species, but the rest of it will continue. It's all interconnected and I've been thrilled to step into a fresh level of experience and exposure, no matter how under threat it all feels from all sides.
Actually today I went on a hike with some fellow Yogi's in Santa Fe. I noticed what I though was a ponderosa pine. I smelled it and it was. I was excited. I only smelled one once before. I told the ladies I was hiking with that it smelled like butterscotch. They had never smelled them before. It was a joy to see them all experience it for the first time. It's just nice when you can find joy in the little things.
Being in nature almost always brings me to a spiritual connection. I have been very fortunate this year for having many times when I have walked along beaches and especially lucky to have had a chance to do hiking in Alaska in some beautiful locations south and north of Anchorage. These experiences open my eyes to the beauty on this planet and to an energy of connection that runs through it. It can transport me to a place where I feel surrounded by peace and love.
I started writing poetry and essays again after many years of not writing, which always was a big part of me. It inspired me to take time to get reconnected with myself and it reminded me how much more centered I feel when I take time for myself to tap into my creative side.
I have come to realise that Sydney and my life here is really amazing and may be a possible forever home for me. Even though I continue to be challenged by being far from home and family, I also struggle with other aspects of America and home. I am really much more grateful than ever that I can live my life comfortably as a member of the LGBTI community, I have friends and family I have built up myself, I can live a more sustainable lifestyle in Sydney than I have elsewhere. There are so many things that I would actually miss if I were to leave Sydney.
Hell Yes, I always thought I would never be able to attract a soulmate/twin-flame but I started talking positive and changing my beliefs internally and this really helped. The universe takes its time but its worth it. Lately i've been talking to this girl and we have so much in common its like talking to a mirror.
I'm not sure if this qualifies as spiritual... but i've had some serious brushes with mortality. They've given me pause. in early spring i was ...not sure how to describe it..i was involved in a major collision on the bay bridge, i wasn't actually hit but a speeding car narrowly missed me, and hit another, both spun and crashed on either side of me. It was a profoundly close call. It was so quick, and so violent, I could so easily have been killed. Crushed, Flung over the guardrail into the black night. Then in early spring i was cut off and crashed again on the Bay Bridge. I broke several bones, and for a while i was totally dependent on my partner for all my most basic needs. The slow recovery has been hard work, and full of stark awareness of my frailty, my age, my declining body, and my limits. The last one, again, the conception, didn't happen directly to me... but we lost good friends, friends i'd just seen, friends who were so vital. this, especially after my two accidents... here today gone tomorrow.
I felt the most in touch with my spiritual self when I was in nature this year, forest bathing, visiting NH, feeling the ground and seeing my smallness and place in the world, breathing fully, feeling disconnected from expectation.
7 conversations during the bridge between Xmas and NYE. Solo questing in Wales. Oma’s death. My LQ #2 “what or where is my spiritual home” Wilderness running... In fact, many! Perhaps that in itself is interesting? Am I coming of spiritual maturity as Steiner suggests becomes a 35 year old? Or is the more explicit proximity of life and death bouncing me into it? Or is everything just connected in a way that I simply increasingly recognise? Reminds me to be gentle. To not try to force doors. Or myself through any doors. But to come back again and again. To make space. To operate on the level of my heart-mind rather than ego-intellect. And to trust that I am, we are all, in the end held. A little like the podcast Ellie sent - the poet Roger McGough on being human - who reframed all poetry as one great river. All life is one great run.
I have felt a spiritual connection in yoga this year that I hadn’t connected to in a long time. It allowed me to reach into my self that I had stored away. I want to continue tapping into this part of myself as I continue to grow.
Nah. I don't really do spiritual. I haven't really had any new particularly artistic or cultural experiences this year. However, I did marvel at the Milky Way on the night of my birthday and engagement to Mike with such awe and wonder. It's truly a beautiful sight to see, and I'm sorry that I don't see it more often.
I am going to have to go with last years answer on this. My husband is still my guidance, inspiration and brings me peace always. As we transition from a traditional brick and stick home to the camper, I have been grumpy and he always remains calm and grounded and helps me stay that way too.
The most moving experience I can remember from this year was during our trip to Belize. One morning, we went upstream on the Macal River on our host's kayak upstream to a resort to have lunch. It was probably the first time in my life I have been in a place where not only was I the only person (with Dave) but I was in a place that was not outwardly affected by humans. Being in such a pristine environment gave me a greater appreciation for the Earth and more motivation to find a connection with it in everyday life, even when living in a city environment.
Yes - opening of mind to how large the universe is and the possibilities of coming from other stars, spirit guides and having previous lives.
Yes, in some ways negative spirituality, as in the fact that I've felt I lost a lot of my close religious and spiritual relationships, so I have much less of an emotional connection or fulfilment in my religious community than I did before I moved. Racism, nationalism, militarism, and bigotry in my religious community have pushed me away. The uncritical, morally bankrupt support for the Israeli government's behaviour and some people's support for Trump have alienated me and made me feel out of place.
My spiritual experience is that sometimes you can’t help people. You have to step back and let them have their experiences and if it’s anger directed at you, have to figure out how to disengage and not have it affect you.
My daughter's face continues to make me believe in something better, brighter, and holier ahead.
Starting a garden on our balcony has been amazing. It's been so long since I've grown anything. Been so stagnant. Watching the miracle of seeds sprouting (and taking over our entire balcony) has been lovely. Makes me want to get back into cooking and crafting and art.
The experience that sticks out to me was recent during Labor Day weekend of this year 2019... I hadn't been home in a while (8 years) but went to visit my Mom and gather some photos to create an album for our wedding in Japan. I didn't think I would enjoy being back home but I really did. It was extremely humbling and I guess you can say spiritual because I had a reminder of WHO I WAS and WHO I STILL AM. It was extremely comforting and enlightening.
This year, I have continued to take moments to appreciate the small beautiful things in life. Especially when i come across a beautiful sunset or waterfall or landscape, i pause for a moment to take in everything the world has to offer. I also have been keeping a gratitude journal which helps me to see all of the good in my life.
Hmmm. This one feels the hardest for me so far. I spent a lot of time in churches in Europe this year, and a lot of time thinking about religious artifacts and imagery. About spending so much money on such a monument when we could be building affordable housing or mental health supports or just making food. But also I loved so many of these insane spaces. Like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Or all the amazing ancient churches in Rome. It felt really strange to be in so many Christian spaces, though, and almost never in a Jewish space. I found myself craving Jewish representation and imagery. And above all, community.
I think I had many. Being a spiritual/religious person makes every day like this in a way. But let’s do a really secular one. I was in Poland, for the Bon Jovi concert. I decided to listen to the latest album seriously the same day of the concert, and one song stuck with me. The lyrics were just what I was going through, still going through. When they played that song during the show, I felt as if I was 15 again, and suddenly life was better. Life is getting better, and that song has bee the soundtrack of my year since then.
I felt a sense of calm and peace, which is as close as I get to spiritual these days, driving around New Zealand. With the windows down, no schedule to adhere to, nothing to do but wine taste and find a brewery, all with my new-ish husband, the sense of relaxation and calm gave me space to breathe. How to find those spaces everyday or even more frequently than while wine-tasting on the other side of the world...
Finding a bee on my car right after finishing The Secret Life of Bees. That's all I can think of right now...
My zeal for the Lord is growing every stronger. And He is teaching me so much about what it could look like to continually know him as a Friend and a Partner. That He wants to share secrets and mysteries with me and He trusts me to carry those in my heart. Even the element of trusting Him through job loss and unclear circumstances is quite remarkable. I also have such a strong belief that Kingdom principles need a place in the business world and I am one to bring them there, that became deep-rooted this year for me!
Leaving CNN and losing Alejandro and in turn, coming back to myself has been a continued spiritual journey. I felt as though I had been possessed and was returning to my true self. It has affected me for the better, but it also scares me how far away we can drift from ourselves.
Holding the space for Finding Home has never ceased to be a spiritual experience. Sometimes, it is just me. Sometimes it is me and one other person. Sometimes it's five or more. Whatever happens, God shows up, and it is a beautiful experience. I am also put in mind of the many trips I took to Buena Vista. Coming over the crest of the hill on Wilkerson Pass and looking down into the valley will never not be holy. Taking communion at VG while mom was ill and Maundy Thursday at VG just after she died. I felt so witnessed and cared for. The flight of magpies when I needed them the most. Magpies always.
I had a pretty low point earlier this year where I felt very unsure about my future and felt pretty unloved and I just wondered where God could possibly be in the midst of all my fear and doubt and why I did not feel him in the struggle as I have in the past. But I think I came to a point where I realized that I wasn’t really looking for him. All I did was sit and sulk and not turn to God for comfort or guidance. And there had been many times where I wondered how God could love me when I just felt so incredibly far from him. One day at church in the middle of worship I started to listen to the words of the song “As You Find Me” and I just wept thinking about how even though I may not always deserve God’s love in my own eyes he sees me as lovable and still wants to have a relationship with me. Something just clicked in me that day and even though I’ve had some hard times since I find so much comfort in knowing that.
I started to really get into 'The Pattern' which I would say is a bit spiritual since it does rely on horoscopes. It's really pushed me to pursue and deepen my relationship with myself and my own well being.
Saying "Yes" is what has changed for me above all. There are so many times this year where I could have (and previously would have) stayed home, but I didn't, and I'm better for it. I'm stressed out about being busy, but it's nice to work on projects
This has been a year of spirituality for me. I have discovered the magic of the Divine Feminine, and I feel a strong connection and desire to learn more. While my roots are in Judaism, becoming a part of a strong interfaith community, learning about mystical paths, and various schools of thought, beautiful practices and perspectives has truly expanded my desire to be a part of the spiritual world. I have been involved in groups focused on connecting with the divine through art, poetry, discussion, chanting, walking ('wonder wandering'), dance, sacred movement.....it's been a trip. An awesome trip.
My most spiritual experience of the year was body surfing last weekend.
My swimming has become a spiritual experience. That I no longer need to count laps, I feel that my mind is freed up to wander, or meditate. The beauty of the sun dappling on the floor of the pool, the rhythmic sound of my strokes coupled with my exhaling of bubbles, the exhaustion of my body, the feeling of peace and calm and accomplishment afterwards is all a spiritual experience. When I am done, I feel at peace, strong, with an improved self-confidence - and thus an improved mindset about myself and the world
I have become more dedicated to my morning mediation. I look forward too it. I think my inner child skips to the couch every morning. I haven’t felt any of the great benefits yet as my monkey mind is pretty wild! But I feel deeply it’s a good practice.
During my pregnancy, i found myself very connected to God because I would keep asking them to look down on us, our family, and our new little bambina. I think birth and the whole process of pregnancy is such a miracle and I watched it happen! Every week I would read about what was going on in my belly and how much our baby was growing. Then watching me physically change from week to week was such a trip! I think this has been the most spiritual experience ever.
Last year I "came out of the closet" as Jewish with my co-workers and some friends, and this year I have savoured the feeling of talking about my Jewishness and Jewish life openly. I have continued my rituals and practices, such as Shabbat, High Holidays, etc; and the person I see this year when I look in the mirror is someone even more spiritual, proud to be spiritual, and proud of being Jewish.
I'm sober. That's been an experience. The last two years I've professed wanting to get sober desperately and this year with the help of Welbutrin, I've done it. I'm proud to be sober. I've had a rough year (which is not different than any other year) and I know that being sober is better than being drunk... but it's been eye opening to see that problems still exist in sobriety, depression does as well, loneliness is still present. I had stopped believing alcohol was helping those things, so up to this point, I haven't felt a huge desire to drown feelings in alcohol- I've just felt sad that those feelings still exist and I don't seem to know how to conquer them beyond obsessively journaling and being stuck in my head. I wish there was a way out of feeling really shitty. I think the truth might just be that it takes a lot of time. I'm 8 months in, so possibly I should see where I'm at in another 8 months.
Not really, which is sad.
I think motherhood per-se is a spiritual experience. It changes the way you see the world, and my meaning. I think it helped me realized that as much as I like my job, at the end of the day its just a job, and that my priority is at home in raising my daughter and spending time with my family.
I have noticed that when things get too much to bear, I am able to reflect within and find my center of peace. This has not always been easy for me to do because I got very overwhelmed with emotion.
This year has been a spiritual and cultural void. I've been so pre-occupied with earning a living and getting by, that I've had very little time for spiritual and cultural pursuits. Maybe hiking and running with my dog qualifies as spiritual, since it always elevates my mood. There's always profound spiritual moments when listening to certain music, like "Pavane" by Ravel or going to a concert by Graham Nash.
Odyssey to Ancient Egypt. Awesome experience of the consciousness of the Ancient Egyptian spiritual culture. I had thought that it would be transformative in my life, but it was easy to lose consciousness of my intentions. It lives on, however, and I seek to take my life in hand: First to observe how I am living, what I am doing and when and what conditions surround me. Then, to make decisions that derive from my higher self
Attending the JOIN alumni retreat was very grounding, renewing, and spiritual for me. Singing poems and Jewish songs in a social justice community with Guy and the kids was really really special. It allowed me a place to fit and follow rather than lead and imagine what could be. Finding my soundcloud favorites of all the millennial Jewish social justice activists has created mini burst of this experience in the sanctity of my car! There is something very powerful about song, ancient wisdom, and changemaking brought together. I'm glad too that I attended The Work That Reconnects Retreat. It has strengthen my sense of profound purpose in deepening my inner spiritual practice, joy, slowing down, singing as deeply connected to being ready for the big changes that must take place in our society to bring people in right relationship with each other and the earth.
I have a hard time describing this, but I have had a lot of spiritual awakening. Intuitive Eating and HAES have put me back in touch with my needs, and this has opened myself up to finding joy in things that I had not before (e.g., yoga, eating fruit) and I have also discovered my love for museums, art, and other experiential activities.
Finally coming to the realization that it’s time for me to formally begin my conversion has been as spiritual of an experience as any I think! It’s something I’ve known for a while but in the last year I finally accepted it and began the process.
1) Sitting on a rocky underwater ledge for the hammerhead show, watching one or two go by, then a few more, then a dozen, and eventually dozens. Just slowly swimming back and forth. The longer we sat there, still and quiet, the closer they came with their vacuum cleaner noses and their eyes on the ends. 2) A winding starfish pathway in the sandy bottom of the ocean, with vibrant green, blue, turquoise, and purple colors. For no apparent or known reason. Underwater has become my place of peace and profound appreciation for our planet.
Yeah, weirdly, writing my novel has made me feel as closely connected to my own jewishness as any experience i have ever had? I don't know how to explain it but writing is as spiritual to me as any time i go to temple. It's easier for me to be "spiritual" when I write. It's been such a wild revelation, scary in many ways, exhilarating too.
My Walk is Spiritual. I am a Seeker. It is the only way I survive. I am in near-constant reflection and dialogue with My Higher power. It is my Faith, anchored in the Most High's Word that keeps me centered. "Good times, bad times, U know I've had my share..." Psalm 117
Just last night, my drive home from work, I used that exact word--spiritual. I was overcome by the beauty of my surroundings--the exquisite colors, shades and hues of the changing trees, the way the unusual lighting in the sky added to the experience. And then, going around a bend and being greeted by a fiery red sky with contrails of small clouds bursting through. Aloud I heard myself say, "Hello, God!" because I truly felt like (s)he was making himself known to me. My being became overwhelmed with love and appreciation of it all, this wondrous life. And just as last night, my eyes well with tears in the retelling. Such a simple experience and yet so profound.
Japan was a whole spiritual experience that brought me back to my most intimate core.
I keep coming back to the vietnamese jungle, and the cave trek. A Mah Rabu moment, where you can feel the wonder of the earth in her rawest form. It made me feel like we had a glimpse of the garden of eden, of the world that we can find if we look beyond our day to day, and find the wonders of creation. It was also a year where my Jewish identity took a back seat, due to travels, I missed most holidays, I didn't observe shabbat at all, but I could feel the greatness of spiritual activity in places like the Taj Mahal, or watching the sunrise over the Chobe River. There is something even greater about the wonders of the world than baking challah.
I think my spiritual journey this year has been a compilation of moments. Some of them are my internal reckoning with my mental health. I am more willing to look inside myself and question my inner critic. I was really anxious starting a new job again, and I had to really talk myself down from self-judgment a lot. I have also learned more how to be alone, and how to balance that with spending time with friends. I definitely feel older - perhaps the reason is because my friends are all in serious relationships, and therefore could be engaged and having kids soon. I am a little scared of growing up, even if I don't let that on, and I would really like to find a partner that I am compatible with. On that note, I think I've learned a lot about what I want in a partner after my last relationship. Preferably someone I have good chemistry with, can learn a lot from, and someone who is passionate about something (and about me!).
A lot of them, especially those connected with my decisions or love situations, which are the most important for me.
Nope. Steady as she goes.
Two thoughts come to mind. One is recent - when I got my daffodil tattoo. it felt powerful to mark my progress in loving myself with something just for me. I felt a sense of accomplishment and peace when it was done. I also think about the trip to Phoenix with my friends, and the joyful connection we shared. From the vortex vibes to the compliment circle and bubble baths, being vulnerable and sharing new experiences with old friends was significant.
I feel like the past few months have been a time of spiritual growth. Starting from hiking across the Grand Canyon with my dad - feeling so connected to nature, and awed by the beauty. At Plateau Point someone said "It's like being in church," and it absolutely was. I've also done so much growth through the DBT class - learning about my core beliefs, and how to use mindfulness to avoid acting on them. Finally, my yoga teacher training has helped me access ahimsa more - nonviolence - as well as recognizing the omnipresent divinity around us all the time.
I feel like I have spiritual experiences every day. It is a spiritual experience to wake up next to my husband and greet the day together with our beautiful baby daughter. It is a spiritual experience to watch her discover herself and the world around her. It unfolds every day. You can see her start to understand and love herself and her body. You can see her start to figure out how to engage with other people and babies her age. It's amazing to see her develop phsyically and developmentally. It's all unfolding before our eyes every day.
After having read the bible in its entirety, I have begun to read authors with a similar, although far more learned, christian philosophy to me. Dominick Croissan and Marcus Berg in particular. I find their work so inspiring! Social justice as well as forgiveness as the key to a God centered life. I have unfortunately been disappointed with our new Pastor at my church, who is much more conservative although she claims not to be. I will continue to attend and support Grace church for now because it keeps teaching me things.
Being witness to my first birth as a doula. Birth doesn't seem to happen in chronological time. It happens when it happens and one must take each contraction, each push as a moment in time that one passes through. When you stop to think, "I can't do three more hours of this," you can't. But, when you take each hard moment at a time, it is possible. Seeing this mother give life to her son was so truly moving. To see a woman in all of her power was captivating. This was spiritual.
I have loved working with clay and porcelain, i have loved experiences with friends, even just watching water and sunsets move; nothing overly transcendent
The overwhelming beauty of looking out from the base camp on our kayaking trip. Finally understanding how important it is to carve out quiet space for myself.
Yes! I finished my conversion in August last year. It was a truly amazing experience. It also feels like it was a million years ago, not just last year. I've being doing the Jewish thing for so long, it seemed more like a formality than anything, but that dunk into the mikvah was changing either way. It's nice to not have to explain it to people anymore and just be able to say that I am what I have felt in my heart for a very long time.
I’ve been going to temple life this year than ever before (starting with the memorial services for the Tree of Life shooting victims). It’s helped me come to an understanding of the Divine as whatever is loving in the best of human nature and the world. Even though I don’t believe there’s a literal deity listening when I pray, it’s still comforting and keeps me centered in my values. And idk, I said the travelers prayer before two big trips I took in the past year and came back in one piece. Including surviving a scrape with a tornado on the freeway during a road trip!
I'm not feeling very spiritual this year. I did get to do some fantastic hikes over the summer though, and came away with a strong feeling of awe.
Huge spiritual revelation. God was with all of us in my growing up. He loves all of us. Love is not the same as approval. He loves all of us, but I suspect that God did not approve of the choices made. Choices made were the best that could be made, but some of those choices were still destructive. I don't have to hang onto it any more trying to resolve it or come to terms with it. I can just let go firmly knowing God loved me then and loves me now. All of us! Love is not that same as approval or choice.
The trip to the Canadian Rockies. Magical from beginning to end. The right persons at the right time. The awesome beauty. The harmony between Heather and me. The sound bath. Feeling connected to nature. The pampering. And, especially, the butterfly - Grace's visit.
Sitting in services for the holidays as a new parent, I reflected on the idea that the love G-d has for us is like a parent's love for her child. I feel like my heart has expanded with my daughter's arrival. The idea that G-d could feel that much for each of us is astonishing. Infinite, indeed.
The burning of the Notre Dame cathedral and the birth of my son are two poles to my spiritual experience this year. The sadness mixed with joy has characterized my spirituality.
I've been attending church services weekly since approximately 1996, but don't feel tremendously "spiritual" about it. For the past three years, I've been on the vestry of my church, which I actually kind of hate. I originally signed up to do this because wanted to do something meaningful -- something not related to work, going to the gym, socializing, or going to movies, which are my usual pastimes. Just want to note here that I'm not a fundamentalist; I grew up in a non-religious family and started attending church in my 40's, because I felt grateful to still be alive and in excellent health. Anyway, I'll be happy this January, when my stint on the vestry is done!
Mato Nanji June 2 Dzogchen 10 Day Juy 4th week Connecting with Melantha Kat and Eva
I thought that I had spiritual experiences, but I'm not sure how much those stayed with me. I think the most spiritual or cultural experience has been how quickly I've felt at home in Denver. It took a lot of work to create a friend, work, school, and living situation that served me, though I still have plenty of work to do
I'm sad, in a way, to say that I haven't. I have felt joy, I have experienced loss, I have summoned faith, and I have been blown away by awe and gratitude, but I have not yet metabolized the spiritual aspect of these experiences.
yes - several - being with my dad through hallunations in the hospital. deciding to end my marriage - clarity + fear
I found a way of healing myself from past emotions trough different approaches. An easy approach and yet very simple.
I feel like every week, riding is kind of spiritual for me. It's been a lifelong dream to do it. "in riding a horse, we borrow freedom." I gain a closer connection to the horse - the beautiful big friend I have under me - and to working as one - both growing in my own riding as well as with help from both the instructor and the horse. And I learn something from every horse, from the ones who go on cue (Jasmine) to the ones who refuse to (Haji).
I’ve been gravitating towards concerts as spiritual experiences ever since I saw Bon Iver and Death Cab in the same lineup in 2015. The past year brought me boygenius. I remember freezing my tropical ass off outside The Wiltern, anxious for the first concert I was attending alone in LA. I’d been wanting to see Julien Baker live for ages, her music having accompanied me and helped me articulate nuances in my own struggle with depression and anxiety. Adding Phoebe and Lucy to the bill only made the whole experience more monumental. They’re definitely one of my most played acts of the last year, one of the oddballs from a predominantly k-pop lineup. Something about them just calls me back home and wraps me in a warm lengthy embrace. Another spiritual experience was getting to experience Antelope Canyon and Zion just as winter crept in the States. I was on the Watchman trail at sunset, lagging behind my sister and my uncle. Taking pictures was my excuse for slowing down, but sheer exhaustion had me burst out in tears sitting on a boulder, every emotion trying to crack the surface. It was probably one of the best moments of release I’ve ever had, if only for the magnificent view glimmering through my tears as I breathed in that crisp air. Other honorable mentions for pieces of music I hyper-fixated on: Carly Rae Jepsen’s Dedicated, Maggie Rogers’ Heard It in a Past Life, and the entirety of the Hadestown OBC Recording.
Listening to Ishay Ribo's Avodah over and over while cooking for seudah mafseket of Yom Kippur. Tears streaming down my face imagining the Kohen Gadol in the Kodesh HaKodeshim and thinking about how amazing it is to have a country that fosters Jewish art like this which reinterprets a text that is thousands of years old and makes it feel so immediately relevant today.
I'm reconnecting with my pagan practices, creating new patterns and rituals and remembering how enjoyable the work is.
Well... I find kayaking and hiking solo to be sort of spiritual for me - especially with some herbal assistance. But it's more of a relaxation thing than spiritual
I'm not sure what to write here. I consider myself a very spiritual person. It's a priority for me to take time to reflect, and to listen for God's voice. I listen to podcasts like the RobCast, Deconstructionists, and Richard Rohr to see God and faith and life in new ways. In terms of a particular spiritual experience what comes to mind is turning to prayer Indonesia first during the fever, and then after the motorbike accident in. It was the first time in years that I reached out to a Christian Science practitioner. It was the most comforting thing I could thing to do being so far from home and not feeling confident in medical solutions to allay the fear we were experiencing. I am not returning to Christian Science practice, but I am grateful I had an alternative way to view the situation and come to peace about it. It made me want to revisit some of the concepts from my childhood and see how to apply them in my current adult life.
My relationship with God is constantly changing. We’re like a bitter-old-married-couple that goes to church every Sunday and that constantly love and hate one another. Right now, God and I are close because recently, I was feeling nauseous and suddenly felt better. At the end of a huge race against the hawks, I “blew chunks” at the end of my race because I had not eaten properly before the race. When this happened, I wasn’t necessarily mad at God; actually, I got a false sense of feeling kind of good and felt like I could run another 5K. After we squashed the hawks, I got home and my nausea hit me like a bus. I couldn’t concentrate on homework. I could only concentrate on the abnormal motions of my stomach and the acidic taste developing in my mouth. I didn’t throw up. I finished my homework, prayed and called it a night. The next day my nausea got worse. I would have thrown up if I had eaten dinner the night before but thank God I didn’t. The school day was stressful: I went to the nurse to get just a little food and she gave me oyster crackers. (Thanks Mrs. Loughnnane. They did the job.) A pop quiz in Economics came out of left field and a quiz in Spanish awaited me. However, in my religion class we had 15 minutes to reflect about suffering: usually, I think of this as an opportunity for nap time but instead, I genuinely reflected about how I should be grateful for feeling somewhat sick because there are people suffering way worse than me. Also, it allowed me to cherish the days that I feel not sick or feeble. After my reflection, I still felt the nausea but felt more enlightened. My abnormal focus about those that suffer everyday usurped my petty nausea. When I arrived home after a rainy run and crappy car ride, I felt like a million bucks (maybe not a million because I was drenched with rain and cold sweat and reeked havoc but you get the point). I actually ate dinner that night with the smallest of sips from a nice cold glass of ginger ale. I felt so much better. Almost perfect, but I wouldn’t feel normal till the next morning. I don’t credit the ginger ale or the lack of food I ate, I credit God. The time I spent reflecting in my religion class and at home allowed me to become closer to God and allowed me to understand suffering in our world. I used to wonder why God would allow suffering but I think it’s beyond our understanding the way God Works. My spiritual experience wasn’t anything too radical but I hope to have a stronger relationship and be loving towards God. But that’s what most old couples say right?
My Rosh Chadosh group is always inspiring. Those women lift me up. Often, the effects of those discussions bubble up later in the weeks that follow. Artistically, sewing the documentary on Toni Morrison was a revelation. I didn’t know how much she did. I am going back to her work with new eyes.
I've had a few moments where I felt like my 'vibrating frequency' was really in tune with the universe. I don't know how else to explain it other than feeling a true sense of connection and sense of knowing that I'm on the right path. Just small little signs that are pointing me in the direction of where I want to go. Little reminders that I need to continue to stay connected to myself, and remember that when I feel that sense of connection, a little bit of magic starts to appear.
I have had to really learn faith, a form of surrender, and to believe that life is unfolding as it is meant to.
I suppose my fast was pretty spiritual? But it kind of always is. I've also spent a lot of time alone this past year, with all the international travel, which has allowed quite a bit of meditation as I sit in silence on planes, in hotel rooms, in coffee shops, etc.
Being ordained as a rabbi was a very spiritual experience for me. I love the camaraderie I shared with my cohort and the service itself, though it had more ritual than I am used to, was lovely, heartfelt and meaningful. I'm so grateful for the program of study I did and very clear that this path was the right path for me to become a rabbi. I now find that everything I do, I see and do through that lens. It has changed my perspective on the world and my role in it.
I would say as always BJ services (B'nai Jeshurun in NYC) stir my soul. But I would say that (mostly) turning off my phone for Shabbat has been remarkable for me and I am grateful for Tiffany Shlain's book 24/6 for making it real for me.
Have to trust that all will work out has become a spiritual endeavor. I've had to give up the fight with John and send him into the world hoping that he will learn the lessons he will need to become a happy drug-free adult. We can do nothing more and I'm giving it up to "G*d".
As someone who is religious and is an active participant in Jewish life I again have no "big time" and/or life altering "spiritual" moments and thankfully have had many "regular" ones throughout the year.
I had the amazing experience of getting to go back to Israel as a madricha instead of a student and get the chance to really invest in a wonderful group of girls. I got to see from a more relaxed perspective the things I love about Israel and more concrete reasons of why I'd love to live there, but also the accept the reality that it's not the right time for me to move there, and I don't know when (if) that will be. Another spiritual experience was finding out about my dad and spending the night davening at the kotel. Just having that proximity and being able to focus my raw emotions towards something felt really powerful. And being able to say Nishmas with that group of women who were definitely in the right place at the right time. Another (wow who knew I had so many) spiritual experience was going to the past life regressionist, learning what I needed to learn to understand myself more and gain closure with something difficult, and then being able to float in the dead sea while still in that state of relaxed open-consciousness. It was incredible. Maybe I should call him again for help with Simcha?
Does telling my daughter to lawyer up count as spiritual?
I'd say that the closest thing to a spiritual experience that I've had this year is my deepening connection with nature. I've been learning a lot about the natural world, and the more I know the more my eyes are opened to the "secret" world of the flora and fauna around me. This year I saw a monarch butterfly emerge from its cocoon, I saw a ground-nesting bee making its house in a hole in the ground, I saw a coyote bound across a wooded path a few feet in front of me, and I made friends with a hummingbird - all of this happened IN THE CITY, basically in my own neighbourhood.
When Rufus almost died, I felt a total out of body experience. I don't know how everyone in the park was able to help him - how Jess reached into his throat and pulled the stick or how those random Euro tourists knew to google dog CPR... that day could have gone so differently. He's my precious baby boy and I thank whatever spiritual stuff was going on that day.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm coming to terms with not being as 'in the faith' as I used to be. I still go to church, but the Catholic Guilt is slowly fading. I still love my faith, but I'm not as tied to it as I once was. I'm still trying to figure out if that's good/bad/indifferent!
No. In fact, I've gotten away from the spiritual that was slightly re-sparked when I began meditating. I would like to get back to the calm space meditation offers so I can be more in tune with the things and people around me. This is how I see spirituality: aware of myself, my feelings, my thoughts, and of my surroundings so I can act compassionately and appreciatively.
I do not consider myself a spiritual person, and even though I enjoy the arts, I haven't seen anything impact me in that epiphany kind of way. At the same time, I saw a positive version of Vidui that knocked my socks off. https://www.facebook.com/wendy.kalman/posts/10157906658338217
Not really. And that's been a big problem. It feels like a year of sorrow and so little light. My mindfulness practice was helping for a while. But still, not such profound moments. I miss them.
Teaching Bible studies and regular prayer keeps me in touch with my church/spiritual connection. Trying to follow the path intended for me is more difficult. I still feel that pull to keep trying and that's very helpful.
Waking up to my pain and reckoning with it is a deep and spiritual process to be sure. I am searching for ways to use it to help others, to inspire people. I am becoming more willing to share my stories instead of hiding my wounds.
Cried when David Rawlings and Gillian Welch covered "This Land Is Your Land."
It’s pretty crazy that I have two babies inside me right now - who (thank God) seem to be healthy. I had a voice lesson last week where we marveled at the many muscles in our faces (and massaged them) that help us open/close our jaws. Then I realized that I am creating two humans who will have all of those muscles to help them eat, speak, and hopefully sing - crazy!
I haven’t had any spiritual experiences in the past year. Having to give that answer makes me realize how badly I need to delve into my spirituality more. Obviously, I am not religious, never have been, and have no intention of becoming so. However, I do think of myself as spiritual but I’m realizing that I’ve never put much thought into that. I have notions, ideas, even some fairly strong beliefs but I haven’t spent effort or time to examine these things, question them, allow them the chance to become explicit and solidified. Well, there’s a goal for the upcoming year, I suppose. And it dovetails nicely with some other goals in terms of exploring interests and increasing my sociability.
I've seen more musicals this year than usual! I loved Little Shop of Horrors - that might have been my favourite, actually. Partly because I was comfortable with Ger, who actually enjoyed himself, and partly because it was so upbeat and improved upon the film in a way I didn't expect. Rocky Horror was brilliant too, but as always there was a slight sadness in feeling like the outlier in the group compared to the two women I watched singing to each other like best friends would. Like Lisa and I would have. Cabaret was amazing, but so hauntingly bleak (yet truthful) that it's hard to say you 'enjoyed' it without feeling contrived. I'm happy that I went alone and that I was comfortable enough doing so.
Certainly, the zen approach to parenting has been a real boon to every facet of my life. Getting a little more stoic has helped at work and home.
Just in the past few days I have tried really hard to have an emotional reset. So much antisemitism has been spewed at me this past year. I spent many early morning walks talking to G-d and asking for guidance. It was my birthday and the new year on the same day, the perfect reset time.
If anything, reading How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan has been spiritual, in that it has made me think a lot more about the brain and connectivity and our experience of the outside world from within our brains. In particular, it has made me decide that I would like to pursue regular psychedelic use and get back to learning how to meditate.
Going to Pajaro Dunes for a mini vacation in December. The roar of the ocean, the relaxation during my medical recovery was spiritually uplifting.
I dreamt that I was finally telling Erin everything; everything she's done to me and why our relationship is crap. She reacts how I've wanted her to react all along. She listens, she emotes, she accepts that what I'm saying is a true and valid rendition of my experience. She apologizes! Imagine my surprise. Then she gets in the backseat of a car and it drives away. As the car pulls away, two dream shifts happen. She becomes my mother and the car pulling away becomes the physical passing. The car in the distance is the notice that she has passed. I'll never see her again. I wake up in tears, full of regret. Why did I feel such a great need for my sister to understand the hurt? To prevent future hurts? Why didn't I pursue making memories with my mom?
The trip to israel was extremely almost surprising in the sense of belonging that I felt the minute I stepped foot into Tel Aviv. The Jewish stars, the openness with which people were Jewish, the warmth they exuded when we told anyone that we were Jewish was somewhat astounding. I don't consider myself especially religious, but the comfort level was amazing. If I were younger, I would be tempted to move there. looking at my last year's answer and M's reaction to going and being in Israel, just shows me how things can change. He loved the country and we got along without any arguments. I slowed down b/c of him and he just let me tell him what we were doing and went along. Amazing and he wants to go back in in two years, 1.5 years at this point. He'll be 80!
I guess with my rabbits, I feel like sometimes I connect with them on a different level, and they understand me, and they don't fear me, they know they're safe and they can trust me. I see it in the way they are with me, it makes me feel peaceful.
No. I have lost my faith in humanity and my faith in the universe.
The sea, or at least the shoreline. The sea is a magnificent force if nature, I love being next to it, yet am daunted by its power and energy. It's the colours, and sounds and life it holds and nurtures. Yet human activities are changing the sea and making it it less hospitable to marine species - we are nearing a dangerous tipping point. So I'm nourished by the seas of the world's, yet disturbed by the threats to their ecology.
Cultural experience with the LBRG. I have sought out to be active with this BRG as I have realized the value of who I am as a Hispanic Latina. I am a woman of value and being a H.L. makes me an even greater person. I am one that stands for what is right, equality, inclusion and diversity. I love that I am no longer ashamed of being a minority- instead I have embraced my ethnicity and roots and hope to share these thoughts with my daughter, in order to help her develop into the best woman that she can be.
I had a good Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur for the first time in a few years. I was able to relax & be patient & let it happen. I blew the shofar well & then not-so-well & that was FINE. I was OK with whatever came out, without putting performance pressure on myself. I let go & it was good. The year is off to a good start, yay!
Spiritual is so hard for me because really most of my experiences seem so mundane. But I feel really moved when I get to experience my kids doing something for the 1st time and watching them learn to play soccer has been really heart warming and fun.
My cultural spiritual experience I guess would be moreso in the LGBT community and being able to go out and not be afraid of who I am or want to be. I still keep God close to my heart because he has made it possible for me to do all of these things in the end.
An artist that I am privileged to also be able to call a friend released the most wonderful record. It got to the soul in a way that nothing had in a while. I went on a long walk to listen to it and let the tears fall. To hear your doubts and fears and feelings and failings reflected back in a beautiful, positive, affirming way just...soothed my soul.
I've spent more time meditating this year and going to meditation classes at Three Jewels and currently Maha Rose. Meditation is a simple act, but the intimacy you create within is wonderful and profound. It is admittedly harder on some days than others. Sometimes my mind is running wild or I can't shake my boredom or sleepiness. However there is something really beautiful and comforting about befriending yourself, which I think you really do in meditation.
Yes. I believe that when a loved one is watching over you, they will send you signs.. Whenever I see doves, feathers or hear the songs - •Khe Sanh •I Wanna Dance With Somebody •Could I Have This Kiss Forever •Girls Just Wanna Have Fun •Can't Stop The Feeling •Love Yourself •True Colours - I know that my best friend is letting me know that she is nearby and that she's looking after me & my baby girl 🕊 I miss her terribly and these little signs bring me great comfort ❤
I've never been consistent with being a Christian and haven't made a goal to grow my relationship with God or have a major desire to get close to him like my girl Kelly, she is an inspiration though. I've seen the change God has made in her. She's stronger now, wiser, mature, sees life in positive light. Going to church is one of my fave things to do with her. I really missed Hillsong when I lived in Denver. Jeff told me it's all mentality either way. Living a good life, feeling good about ourselves, so it made me put in less effort. Maybe it isn't so real. But being back in NYC, I was called to believe it again because I was reminded of the car accident that turned almost everyone into Christians and the beautiful love story Tiffany told me. I want to do better. Get into a Connect Group or date a Christian man who can show me the way.
I walked through Köln cathedral today thinking about what splits me from Christianity. I am very down with the helping of the poor and sick, of recognising that we're all human and fallible, of dedication to community, removing disparate power structures that keep leaders from their people, of throwing the money traders out of the temple. But I don't buy the magical thinking that your heart's intent matters more than your actions. It is not just that I don't believe in an afterlife, but I don't believe in justice- it's a fairytale- on a cosmic scale, nor that redemption can come through the wanting of it.
Yom Kippur, fasting. Always grounds me. Teaching art. Lighting Shabbos candles. Being in love with my husband. Watching the meteor shower with very good friends. Going on our honeymoon visiting Sagrada Familia and Miro Museum.
I don't recall anything I'd call spritual or transcendent. Of course, my emotional life has been pretty shut down, so I may have had the opportunity, but didn't experience it as such.
This week, I sat on my therapist’s couch and cried about the death of the natural world I have known and taken for granted all of my life. The massive oak, linden and elm trees littering the streets of my childhood neighborhood with acorns and leaves and those sticky seeds we pasted to our noses. The windshields full of bugs as I drove cross-country. The cacophony of bird song grating in my ears before I was ready to wake up. I’m grieving the end of this like the death of a parent who is dying slowly of preventable causes, but now it’s too late. It’s a slow death happening with appalling speed, a death brought about by factors beyond my control but for which I’m still guilty. It’s a death that can no longer be prevented but we’re still hoping for a miracle cure, a spot in a trial. Of course the difference is that we’ll all die along with this version of earth that we’ve destroyed. Another will rise up on the poisoned ashes we leave behind and perhaps that one will yield a sentient species capable of making technological marvels without annihilating itself. But this one, this gorgeous, lush, noisy array of biomes, each as complex as a Bach cantata, this one will be gone and our chance squandered. So I sat shiva for my earth and its generous and terrible mysteries and tried not to look away.
The Tu bShvat Seder at Adath Israel was a new experience.
I have become more in tuned with hearing the Holy Spirit speak through God's words. I heard him so clearly after losing my job in regards to what I should do next. I will continue to follow him and listen for his voice. I know he has a plan for me.
I still "feel" the invisible force pushing me to be better. It challenges me, I "fight" back and I end up improving. And I appreciate that... Not getting things "easy" make me realize the real value of everything, and when looking back, make me appreciate that a lot.
I've begun to witness the art and beauty around me. I need to be reminded that the world isn't all bad and that beauty, kindness, and compassion still exists. I try to take time to slow down and be comfortable just being and enjoying where I am, even if it is an uncomfortable space.
My spirituality is based in nature. I felt close to whatever my god is (universe? chance? Goddess? idk) at Rocky Mountain National Park driving through the peaks. I was in awe watching the clouds part over LA after a rainstorm and watching a rainbow appear over Griffith. I felt connected to bigger things than me in Anchorage over New Years under a big, dark sky that sat above the tops of trees and snow banks. I felt close to humanity drunkenly sobbing during Summer Solstice in the same place. Maybe Alaska is my spiritual place. Maybe being with friends is my spiritual place. The combination of the two is definitely heaven though.
I went to a Tarot card reader in New Orleans. The first one I went into felt uncomfortable - the second felt way more comfortable. I said I'd made a big life decision and wanted to know how it would affect my personal and professional life - he told me it was overwhelmingly positive and the only thing holding me back was myself. Everything he said was right on the money with how I'd been feeling and everything I'd been hoping - it's helped me to let go of my own inhibitions and have the confidence to own my success.
Yes. One moment singing at St Johns where I felt feelings of shame and ickiness came up, and something in the music/moment was moving me. I felt acceptance, I felt some moving.
I went off on a week’s writing retreat...just me, driving nearly four hours each way. It was a perfect place tucked among hills and trees, comfortable and quiet. I’d been wanting to do this and my dear spouse insisted now was the time, found the place, made the arrangements and vowed not to interrupt. My days were my own, I was productive in ways I had not expected, and I had time with a part of myself that gets lost in the shuffle of life. I think I could do this once every year and not tire of it.
Not especially. I think I tried to have a spiritual moment, but this year has been relatively bland. I think it was largely an impact of having moved and started a new job. I tend to regress in such instances; B'H this next year will be more impactful on the ethereal level.
Watching my son stand at the amud, leading Anim Zmerot etc. I’ve seen him gain confidence, experience, comfort in his surroundings. Looking at him leading the kehilla I see the boy on his way to becoming a bar mitzvah. He’s still a little kid but I see glimpses of the man he’ll become. To watch him on the other side of the mechitza it’s powerful, moving and maybe spiritual. I’m not sure if it’s emuna but the way the light hits as he faces the aron...
I spent the summer seeing National Parks in the West and North west with Michael. One park was more beautiful than the next. We also saw Vancouver Canada and the Giacometti show. I spent time with Michael at his home in beautiful Bainbridge Island, and saw Michaels life quite different then my own. It was a very special summer.
An experience this last year was going to Israel for the first time. As a Jew of color, it was amazing to be someplace where I was just another anonymous person going through life, not a person of color. That distinction between the way I was treated in Israel (like everyone else) vs how I am treated in America was stark. It was heartbreaking to have to go back to a country where I am seen as less than human after being treated like a normal human being for the first time in my life by the majority.
There isn’t one thing I can identify. Instead it’s been a collection of small things from readings in Kabbalah to articles or books on living a Jewish life that have touched me deeply. Probably the one book with the biggest spiritual impact was Einstein and the Rabbi. My inner self knows the future and the answers and that made me remember my self-actualization exercise of what my future would be and my name “Calm”. It’s been guiding me to look out for myself and take care of myself.
Nope. Divinely without spiritual experiences. 20 years and holding. I still struggle with being atheist and a regular church member. And with being atheist and not forthcoming about that fact. And also, I still don't think it's even worth upsetting the apple cart over. For the people I love, it's the most important thing. For me, it's the least. Probably it would be construed as cowardice. But I hold it as compassion. Though I did tell one friend this year, and as predicted, she has been marvelous about it. But now I feel regret because I've burdened her with information she didn't want and doesn't need. So it'll prolly stay with just the one.
When I was building the monkey bars, I experienced "flow" or being in the zone. I was completely focused and at peace. A wonderful feeling that I want to have more often.
I've been spending a lot of time this year truly trying to understand myself, my flaws, and how my mind works. I've been reading a lot about personality theory, and even if it's not entirely scientifically sound, it has helped me to understand both myself and other people. Since I'm a very unusual type, especially for my gender, it has always been difficult accepting the way I am. I've always been sort of an outsider, and it was comforting discovering that I am not alone, that there are others like me, who think like me. Self awareness and acceptance is an important step on the path to happiness. I can change, but there will always be natural tendencies that I need to understand so I can grow.
I have been able to spend more time taking classes and other events at my synagogue and other places that interest me. Learning new things (that I choose to learn) has always brought me joy.
I have realized that I don't have a very supportive circle. That has been a very strange thing to handle. I think I've always known, but I would just ignore it and hope something changed. Now, I feel like I'm not accepting crappy or fake support. I want people in my corner who would cheer to see me succeed and would encourage me if I fall. I want people I can create with. I also want to go to grad school. This is basically a spiritual awakening because I NEVER thought I would want to go to grad school. We'll see if I can get in. #fingerscrossed
Fuck yes! I have really grown spiritually this past year. Whoa!!!! Never thought I'd say that! Meditation, mindfulness, podcasts. Walking to my healing cedar, talking to the trees, trying a body healing workshop, listening to my instincts and my heart, to what the universe is saying to me, letting the path unfold - I am becoming more of a glowing river and less of a broken dam. Goddess, do I feel good! And the more I do this, the more other like energies attract to me, and unlike falls away. I am more connected to the earth and universe around me than ever before. My energy is one of calm, presence, I am like a solid trunk along the river bank.
Giving birth was exactly what I expected, and at the same time nothing like it. I was so lucky to have a quick and natural birth and I'm not as scared anymore of a second pregnancy.
The weirdest thing happened earlier this summer with my mom, at one of those meditative walking labyrinths. I was trying to meditate on my path for the upcoming year and the future in general. I kept thinking about the mental health stuff, as I was walking. And a huge gust of wind came up just as I stepped out of the labyrinth, which felt like a reminder that everything is so fleeting and temporary, and I can’t waste time or take things for granted.
Creation is something you see. Thinking alone on a throne leads one to certain humanist thought. If you experience the world and let it experience you, then you will see God and the creation.
I'm still doing lots of reading which I'm really enjoying. I started a Read More Women challenge at the beginning of the year, which has encouraged me to read things that I wouldn't ordinarily read. I read two Sally Rooney books this year, both of which I devoured and loved. We've been lucky enough to experience some beautiful scenery, eg on our honeymoon on the Amalfi Coast (especially Ravello and our first hotel Relais Blu, and Pompeii was amazing), and on visits to Scotland and Wales. In Wales, we went to an Osprey sanctuary and spent some time hanging out with the ospreys and ducks (Chris would say they were geese but he would be wrong.) On the TV I have just finished Unbelievable which was just amazing, and I also loved the last series of Orange is the New Black.
Not this year. It has been a blight on my life.
A passage from the Bible made me cry so hard. We were preparing for our wedding ceremony with Elaine and Stephen Dando. Elaine was our celebrant and my mum's best friend from school. She and Stephen are semi-retired vicars. They spent a lovely afternoon at our house in Oxford discussing our ideas for the ceremony and helping us to shape them into a proper "god-adjacent" service. We were discussing which readings we might have. I wanted all four of our parents to speak during the course of the wedding. My mum, Moira, had written her speech way back in May 2018, shortly after I proposed to Fran, when we asked if she'd like to speak at the reception. I think she wrote it the very same night. Fran's dad, Tom, spoke at the reception. But we also got my dad and Fran's mum to do some readings during the ceremony. Sandy chose his own reading. Ros, I think, didn't want to choose; or we chose this for her. I remember that Moira always used to wax lyrical about how much she loved the Song of Solomon, the Song of Songs, from the Bible. Elaine had it on a print out for us. Not the King James Version. Something a bit more modern, but that I actually much prefer. Elaine read it so beautifully, so simply. I cried so hard. I don't quite know why. It's a very emotional thing, planning your wedding, thinking deeply about who you are, who we are, what matters. We wrote our vows as well. I was very moved. I cried, again, at the same point in the real ceremony, blurting out of my nose, making Fran laugh. But I hadn't cried so hard in front of Elaine and Stephen and Fran that day since we watched "Your Father's Murderer". It may, in fact, have been the hardest I've cried in my adult life. Cleansing. Therapeutic. Perhaps a little embarrassing. Almost like I was baptizing myself with my own tears. That passage helped to root the ceremony in tradition, even if everything else was new and just for us or borrowed from other weddings we have enjoyed. I've had a very tearful year, in a good way.
Directly spiritual: Aside from continual worship of the Traffic Gods, and waiting for the Fairies to fulfill their 3rd stage of the bargain (a very beneficial bargain to me, so I can't really complain…), not really. I suppose Bill Irwin on Beckett and NEVEREVER LAND, among other great theater pieces I saw, produced a kind of spirituality in me.
I became more committed to Judaism, though that doesn't always mean service attendance with (I struggle with that). It's made me more accepting of who I am, and more grounded and peaceful. I've found inspiration in Jewish literature, Jewish twitter, and Jewish podcasts.
I am not proud to say I have felt less connected to my religion over the past year. I went to a Jewish school for almost four years and would pray four days a week while attending Bible and Talmud classes on the daily. Now, that part of my identity seems to have faded a bit. I know I will never be at that sort of point again, but I hope to reach my spirituality another way. Maybe a trip to Israel is needed.
I think this probably would cover the experiences and emotions I had while on my first solo holiday. So many times I just had happy tears thinking how happy I was to be travelling, doing my own thing and coping with it all.
Yes, every time I visit Isabella Freedman, it is always very spiritual. Additionally, the beis on YK is one of the most spiritual days for me...
I think the closest I come to spirituality are those moments when I feel closest to myself. I don't know if it is about feeling connected to my inner wisdom, or if it is about letting go of all of my thoughts and just *being* in my body. Maybe either one will do. Recently, I attended an improv dance workshop that was so incredibly freeing. We started with the small dance that is always there -- the involuntary movements that keep us alive. It is hard not to be in awe of everything that is happening inside of me at all times. From there, we were told to expand our dance. Over and over, I grew my movement, and let go of all self-judgement. I just moved. I just played with movement in a room with 30 other people who were doing the same thing. It nourished my soul in ways that I never knew I needed. Having experienced that so recently, during Yom Kippur services I allowed myself to let go of self judgement and accepted the invitation to join other Kehilla members who were prostrating themselves. Just the simple act of placing my body on the floor, bending my forehead to the ground, opened up a flood of emotion. I didn't know I needed it, and there weren't words or specific thoughts that went with it. I felt so cleansed and renewed afterwards. Is that spiritual? I don't know, nor do I particularly care. I am glad, though, that I gave myself that gift of time with my self.
The most spiritual experience I've had this year was when I read something out loud. I had the ear of everyone there, and when I was done reading some crows nearby started cawing. It was spooky, and I loved it.
I continue to find spiritual connections in prayer, in music, in art and theater. I worried last year that I was doing too much - going to too many plays, going out too often, and trying to balance this with weekends home to help my aging parents. I did not feel that I had a good balance for self-care - despite the transcendent feelings that often came with these experiences. This year I'm trying to cut back a little, at least in the dark winter months. I'm adding evenings out with co-workers so that there's a social component as well as the opportunity to be moved through art. I also have my "shul buddies" so that the spiritual also includes a bit of the social.
Not really a spiritual experience, but Avengers: Endgame was a bit of a punch in the stomach, especially since it was 11 years and 22 movies in the making. I got a Harry Potter tattoo in February and although it's tiny, it means so much to me and feels like it's meant to have always been there.
I went to the arts festival this year and found that I was really excited to see all of the pieces people had on display. I would like to go again next year, and previous years I didn't have any interest.
Actually, after breaking up with my counselor, I started meditating even more than I had be prior and really focusing on my spirit guidance for my life. This is the best thing that has happened, and I feel better, more confident, and even though circumstances in my life are unpredictable, I feel happier and more at peace than I have in a long time.
Yes, of course! This time last year, I remember feeling a little disconnected. But oh boy! Kavanah is back with a thirst for prayer and chesed. This past year was my first full year as semi-observant, and not having any sneak attacks pull up on me, like minor holidays or fasts. And because I wasn't coming in contact with stuff for the first time, I already knew about it and was feeling spiffy. Counting the Omer with ease? Check (mostly, because of that one day at Calc Camp)! Keeping lax kosher? Check! Handling minor fasts? Check! I'm so glad that all the ambiguous kavanah I used to have is now channeled into areas that bring me closer to my past.
I had an powerful experience with spirit while leading the fire tending for the lodge. I had a person paired with me who was not listening or attending to spirit and I was managing him and one other. By the time we got 3/4 of the way into the ceremony, I let them alone. I was fully and completely in communion with spirit and the energetic of the lodge. It was exhausting. I was allowed under Mato again and I cried (deep wrenching cry) It was something more than i could fathom (the power and the intuitive energetic) I cannot fully explain it but it changed me
I’m not sure. I have a friend who died in 2012 and sometimes I feel his presence. I’m not sure if it’s just me projecting, though.
Yes, I have seen the nightmares in real life, like the shadows and persons in the night above me, also I saw my cat standing next to me with the devil's eyes. Also I have been noticed the signs my life and watched how I feel in every situation.
Living a vegan lifestyle in order to align my actions with my morals and values. I feel more comfortable with myself and the decisions I make everyday.
My most spiritual experiences over the past year have been while "praying with our feet" at rallies, marches, and other types of protest. Even if not specifically a Jewish cause, space, etc. I most often attended with friends from my synagogue or wider Jewish community. It was beautiful and reassuring to know that we were all there out of a very specific sense of Jewish values.
The liminals exhibit in Montreal. I was not feeling great about the test I'd taken and I usually don't watch videos in art museums but the music was so compelling that I watched it all through. It's funny in that it's actually a film about deliberately invoking spirituality.
No. In fact, I found out my mom's spiritual writings were lost in our outbuilding fire, and it depressed me greatly. I have tried to tap back into my spiritual roots, but I feel no connection anymore.
I've recognized this year, honestly, to what extent I have washed spiritual elements from my life; and today I reckon with the harms and emptiness that results. Mother remains the chief spiritual exponent in my life, sending me books on meditation and intuition and faith that I scorn, but then, on an off day or on a subway ride, finally decide to glance through. I read these books as if I am arguing with the author, nervous about their spurious claims, nervous about my mother's vulnerability to them (middle-class women of color have always stood within the reticule of the specious "prosperity gospel"). But another part of me wants what these men write to be true, for there to be an answer for the question I ask on the C-train, or when I wake up in the morning to get to work especially early, or when I flip through identical profiles on Hinge: "Is this it? Is this all?"
I always struggle with this one. I think my time on the Oregon coast over the past 12 months has really been great. The beauty of the place really calls to me. If anything I think it really highlights my need to get outside more often. There were some fun exhibits at SAM but nothing that really blew me away. On the subject of art though, I have been very interested in cermaics and just art in general. I think that it’s been my day to day needs have been met so now I’m looking beyond that to the more aesthetic realm
Wow I was thinking about this during Slichot at TI, that the time I feel most me, like I've really returned to my soul (lolz Carlebach reference) is when I ride busses in Israel. Or trains I guess, but just cross-country transportation in Israel. Local too, but mostly cross-country. I don't know why, but it's like this capsule that is totally meditative for me. I always try to stay awake instead of sleep on these rides, because I really cherish them.
I have been finding more and more inspiration in nature as I age. Sitting outside each day, even for 5 minutes, is crucial to my happiness and wellbeing. It is my church.
Not particulary...hopefully next year
I have struggled with this question but I think the closest I come to spiritual experiences is while hiking. I have taken to hiking and journaling after therapy sessions sometimes and it's been a helpful way to process a lot of what I am working on individually and in my marriage.
I recently attended a meditation seminar and was enlightened beyond what I thought I would be. I felt my core self and want to experience it more often. In a different sense, I’ve connected with someone on a level I haven’t experienced before, and I’d like to explore this connection more.
Does Taylor Swift's new album count? "Lover" came out this August and I LOVE it. I admire her and her body of work so much, and I think she is a musical/aesthetics/business/marketing/PR genius. Each of her albums is so personal and captures feelings that I have had so well; it feels like she and I are growing up together. Now, with "Lover", she is writing about finding real love, and it feels like maybe this will happen for me someday after all. If celebrities can find people to date who love them for who they are, why can't I?
None that I would call spiritual, really. I have been working on a personal project that has had moments in which I have been moved emotionally, and I met someone I had for so long been hoping to meet, which was fulfilling, yet not.
I have felt the call of my goddess more strongly in the past few months and earlier this month I attended a goddess circle nearby. It gave me such a surge of energy that is starting to wane ever since. I hope to be able to attend the circle for a year and a day to open back up all my chakras again and get back in touch with my true inner self.
I've had some incredible experiences with meditation and then kindness shown to me.
I midwifed my mother through her death. We are not religious, nor did I feel any sense of something beyond. But I did feel an extraordinary human connection, an act of giving without receiving. A sense that the body is as mysterious as it is knowable. That the journey between life and death is a mountainous undertaking. That love has no end.
I haven't. I have become more grounded and rooted in place and community, I derive more happiness and meaning from everyday life than from the abstract, and I prefer it that way.
Traditional religion doesn't have that much place in my life. I'm more spiritual than anything. Being an empath it's important for me to get out to those places where I feel I can let go of all of the energy I absorb. I need to go to places far away from other humans to allow the energy ebb and flow. I've had afew times to do so this year. Not as many as I've had in the past but that's ok. I look forward to more in the future.
I think I was very positively influenced this year by a lot of people on Instagram. It really helped me to see that other people with similar illnesses have to cope with and that it's not bad to feel bad or sick and give your body a break. These people were my small self-help group, so to speak ^^
The journey to uncover/sort out my path has been somewhat spiritual. I’ve had a lot of moments where I’ve made connections and thought “it was meant to be” or “wow” or “it’s miraculous that all of this happened.”
The realization that I’m nonbinary and the euphoria that comes with being recognized as such.
The high holidays were nice this year. Though I sat on the floor with Jonah during most of it and rarely got to touch a maksor, I felt more connected than I have in awhile. I’ve been feeling out of place but I think the more I own that and talk about it, the more that needle moves. Sometimes it’s hard to be a Jew of color..I think the reflection piece that went into writing my Kol Nidre speech touched me too.
I briefly considered buying a flying spaghetti monster pendant, but it doesn't seem like the kind of thing his Noodliness would approve of.
I think it was this past year that I really expressed my point of view to others that, the more I learn about different religions, including different perspectives about my own Judaism, I realize that when we pray/think about the universe/do something good/feel guilt/feel anything… we may be doing it differently, but it's all flowing to/from the same great source. I believe that G-d created the world to be a diverse place—just look at the different ecosystems, ways of life, cultures, etc all around the world. People grow up differently with different perspectives. Why wouldn't that also affect their interpretation of the universe and the divine? As long as no one is hurting anyone else, I think I can comfortably respect any (or at least most) traditions, connections to, and interpretations of the divine.
It has been very difficult to find formal spirituality with 2 preschoolers this past year! I have loved sharing synagogue with my 5th grader, enjoyed hearing him sing with our amazing Cantor and her performances, and enjoyed attending family services. I do think that my depression and recovery has led to deepening and broadening of spiritual experiences - as I cried at what I became able to do (an easy nature hike, a balance beam at a playground) and as I hugged and smiled with friends who helped bring me out of the darkness. My mother's summer hospitalizations were frightening, and her 70th birthday was amazingly uplifting. My nephews' b'nai mitzvah was a beautiful celebration of family. My children have been an wonderful connection to the spirtual world, and I have loved seeing my marriage go through phases -- and come out on the positive side, thank g-ddess
Oh my god I almost forgot about being high with little Michael from Toronto on the cape for the 4th of July, crying with him and asking him how he could be so strong. At the time I thought I was crying because I had to say goodbye. We had such an immediate and intense connection. But I think I was crying for myself and my trauma and the things I couldn’t ever cry about before. It was spiritual because I felt like something deep and hidden inside me was calling out to him and he answered. And I could finally see that I don’t have to try so hard to control the way people perceive me. They see me. They don’t see everything but they see enough that I can relax and just be myself and stop worrying about being miscategorized. And I’m not for everyone. And that’s ok.
I did surrender fast and surrendered electronic enteretainment as well as unforgiveness. I didi tn know bitterness n resentment were attached , with envy n jealousy many times. I noted how fleshly fruit silently went through my system like a ninja
Nope. I need to get out more. Except being out in the world just makes me feel lonely. I really wanted to be spiritually caught back up by art this year. I went to see Olafur Eliasson's 'In Real Life' exhibition at the Tate Modern. It was fun but not what I was looking for - and in the end it kind of just made me sad seeing all those couples and families walking around together. Not even sitting in the Rothko room afterwards did it for me this time. I didn't venture out after any more art after that. In fact I think watching the sea on a tiny beach in Lanzarote (of all places!) did more for me spiritually than anything else this year. I need to stop chasing an idea of who and what I'd like the word to see me as, and instead just be who and what I already am. And weirdly being exposed - in a swimming costume, on a foreign island, watching water - I felt ok being me for a bit.
As mentioned in the previous answer, I've started listening to Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. It's fantastic. It has really helped me to slow down and think about the big questions and aspects of life that a human BEING is more apt to make the time and space to ponder. (As opposed to the human DOING which I had slipped back into.) It, I think, I has helped me make more space for presence and calm and appreciation and perspective. I can think about and, more often then maybe before listening, see things from another vantage point. I would like to take this experience a step further and start implementing some of the sacred practices into my life (especially flora leggia). I think the more I am connected to the spiritual and the sacred, the more I am whole. The more I am being.
I’m always reminded how much I love seeing live music. Make more time for that next year.
God showed me a tree. It had a strong trunk and strong but very short branches because it had been pruned to within an inch of its life. God told me that I am not being who he made me to be. I have stunted my growth and not shown the full glory of who I am. I’ve allowed other people to define the parameters of my life. The Sunday after I saw the tree Pastor Eric started a series called Made For More. Not a coincidence.
Watching a close friend deal with cancer has reminded me of the randomness in life and how relationships must provide benefits each of us gets to define. There isn’t just one way to be, and respecting how others choose to process and deal with their own challenges is imperative.
Upon reflecting on the most spiritual moments in the previous year, the common thread is music: bluegrass at Wicked Weed Funkatorium in Asheville, and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Station Inn; uplifting human voices during the priestly re-enactment on Yom Kippur (Mareh Kohen!) and en mass at the House of Blues with Israeli troupe Koolulam; and intimate performances by favorites old and new (G. Love & Special Sauce and Nava Tehila).
Again I would cite reading Bernie's books. Feeling the connection between me and his consciousness transmitted through his writing. More specifically, opening the second book and finding pictures of myself in it, playing games in a park in New York City. So I'm allowing myself to revel in the spiritual significance of that feeling, but I'm also (more true to form) channeling it into the project that is my keynote, Play This Talk.
I have discovered a sliver of faith, in that I have discovered that I truly believe in the connecting power of love. I aspire to love all people, even those who could cause me harm or disgust me with their divisive and selfish actions (like our gross President).
I feel like my answers are on a loop here! But the closest to ‘spiritual’ I can think of is my experience post-surgery, of learning the shape of my new body, incorporating that into my sense of my self... the incorporation of that between mind-body-spirit. It’s fascinating, only somewhat conscious, and certainly ongoing.
My spiritual experiences were all grounded in art. As always, art told me what to stay connected to. It helped me know how I was and who I was. PATD showed me I was still capable of joy. BMC and Joe Iconis reminded me that family and joy are both possible if you don’t worry too much about genetics. CMBYN reminded me over and over that pain is part of the process, and always worth it. And so many other little moments opened my heart and showed me my soul throughout the year.
My wife probably thinks I'm going to mention one of the reggae shows I have been to in the past year here. And I have to admit that I thought about it. Specifically, going to see Mike Love in Felton and then Iya Terra in Petaluma were both my version of "going to church" and brought me as close to the "one love" ideal as I have ever felt. However, the spiritual experience I am actually going to go with happened before either of those, and while it does involve a concert, the music is only ancillary to the story. After bartending (or, more accurately, opening and pouring cans of beer for 4 hours) at a Rebelution show at the Greek Theater in June, I got to watch the last hour of the show on the lawn for free. I had brought a joint just for the occasion, which I thoroughly enjoyed as the music, good vibes and communal experience of it all washed over me. As the lights turned low and lighters waved in the air during "Fade Away", I suddently felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be, despite the distance I was from the place I THOUGHT I wanted to be and the people I THOUGHT I wanted to be there with. It was magical --even a bit spiritual. But it was only the beginning. As the music ended, and I got up to leave, I realized that I was really stoned. Like...REALLY stoned. I started to walk towards BART, and then things started getting weird. What I would find out much later is that marijuana, when mixed with the high dosage of prednisone that I had started that same day to treat my latest bout of cluster headaches, can lead to hallucinations and even full-on dissasociation. There is no need to go into the full details of all that happened over the next couple of hours, but there was one specific vignette that took place in my head that would qualify as what my wife would call an "ayahuasca-level" experience. Let's just say that there was something we will refer to as a "singularity" that I was being drawn toward, yet had to fight against, and that, insomuch as I believe in anything that could be called "God", I touched and/or looked into "his" face that night. There was plenty of fallout from the events of that evening, much of which ended up not being positive, but I would not exchange that experience for anything in the world, because it showed me a universe both inside of and outside of myself that I never would have been able to glimpse otherwise. Though the specifics have already begun to fade, there is a feeling inside from that evening that I can already tell never will, and for that I will be forever grateful.
My work with CEA-HOW has provided me with a lot of emotional growth. I've learned a lot about myself and have had an opportunity to change what I don't like and do more of what I do. I've become more okay with myself and have also had more of an awareness of how I impact others, both in a good way and not. My words, my actions, what I do--not just what I say--impacts my children greatly.
No real changes from last year. My faith is connected to most things I do, but it doesn't step up and take center stage very often at all. Non-religious experiences of a spiritual nature also seem to be pretty rare.
Returning to ringette for the first time since grade 12 was incredible. It brought back the joy of playing sports and gave me back the escape I use to have when I put my helmet on. Just talking about my sports now, which include ringette and the women’s hockey league, literally puts a smile on my face. There’s the quote about how you can’t see your face light up when you’re talking about something you love. I may not be able to see it, but I can feel it. I’m mindful of how it feels and am grateful to have something that brings so much joy to my life.
Over Thanksgiving, I went on a 10 day silent retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. I've transcribed some of notes here: "The wakefulness of letting go" - Matthew Brendsilver On Pain: Get out of the wrestling with my pain. Having a mental debate on how far I can go, how much I can handle, prevents me from dealing with the emotional experience of that pain (grief, terror, frustration, fear, etc.). Get comfortable enough (physically & emotionally) to let go. On longing & solitude: separate the notion that solitude will obfuscate the deep longing for partnership. Honor that longing while being aware of the traps of expectation and disappointment. Focusing on solitude will always make us more available to love. Longing is an innocent form or wanting/craving (even monastics share a deep brotherhood). Is my practice about finding "joy in solitude" or "joy in self connection"?
Not really. Watching Pearl give birth was epic, visceral, and the most intense thing I’ve ever witnessed. But it was a very earthly, human, physical, natural experience, it didn’t feel ‘spiritual.’ I think the last spiritual experience I had was doing shrooms at Evans bachelor party, I came home and desperately needed to communicate my love to Pearl. I need to do shrooms again, and think about my son, my wife, my life, and the universe.
I haven’t. Depression has robbed me of any kind of deep connection to...anything. People, ideas, beliefs. I’ve lived in this insular, dark landscape and haven’t been able to pull out of it. I’ve found myself jealous of people who believe in something greater than themselves, who have something to hold onto and create hope for themselves and their future.
I cultivated a deeper relationship with the Almighty Father. Having a strong sense of knowing the Father's heart and will rather than asking for signs and confirmation. Having a rhythm of worship, praise and consistent prayer life. Not that of asking but being in His arms and sitting at His feet.
I finalized my conversion to Judaism this summer, and the mikveh was an incredibly spiritual experience for me. Even the prep with the mikveh guide was moving, as she reminded my whole cohort that we are not losing who we were but bringing all of ourselves into the community of the Jewish people. My whole family came along to the mikveh and stood outside the pool while I immersed. I was blessed by my rabbis, with my Hebrew name, and then I was blessed by each of my family members before my submersion. And then everyone sang! It was so incredibly beautiful. I haven’t managed to make it back to the mikveh for other rituals yet, but I plan to.
I can't say I've had a particularly spiritual or even profoundly transcendent artistic experience, but I have been thinking about prayer lately. I strongly believe that it's the height of human hubris to think that we can move God or direct the course of the Universe. I think that prayers are often wishes that just project our most base fears and misinformed desires. But I still believe in the power of prayer. I believe in affirmation, in gratitude and the power of prayer to change US. I believe... I love...I am grateful....I'm ready...I will.... are all forms of positive prayer because they lead to action, are grounded in and lead to something positive, and open us up to receive blessings from God or the Universe. I want/need/am sorry are lesser forms of these prayers but can be an important first step to that positive place.
I feel like this area is my life is on hiatus in a big way. That does not make me feel good. I feel starved. I have actually felt the loss across the board on this: in terms of actual spiritual practice (which for me is meditation and yoga), writing, reading, being in nature, singing and playing music. LITERALLY every single thing in my life that feeds me spiritually is on hold right now. Why? It seems like that would be complicated but it could be very simple . . . a combination of feeling alienated from the communities that brought those things to me (Revels, Singing Society, and TUUC), my foot keeping me from being out and walking in nature, over working and dealing with "the daily grind" keeping me from writing and reading, the loss of my music partner, who I played with, being busy in a new romantic relationship that is focused more on listening to music and going to shows (which, granted, was something I did not have for a while). My love life and work life are going strong, but I need this other layer to live happily. I do not feel complete. Yes, I feel starved.
Israel was a spiritual experience. Poland was a life changing experience. I could go on and on about those times, but they have changed how I react to anti-semitism and how I defend the country that I love.
Tripping on shrooms. Didn't feel spiritual per se but I definitely felt more connected to myself than I've ever been and it gotten me to pursue being more mindful.
Not.At.All. Would love to have something.
Dia Lightning Field -- October 2018 “The invisible is real.” Land-art: Am I an art person? Or am I a land person? The poles are focal points, both points and lines. For me the focal draw are the spaces around, the grasses, the frost at sunrise on each tip of grass like the light shine at the top of each pole, the early morning moment of birdsong. The pointed ears of the coyote on the far side of the monsoon flat, where desert rainwaters pool — alert, eyes locked to mine. The cloud phoenix, the cross of contrails. The sculpture defines space and spaces, but subtly. Barely visible measure overlaid on expansive space. A point of vibration in the wind. The unexpected beat of bird wing behind and above. Coyotes calling from near here (this point) to beyond the cabin, scrub camouflaged yet plotted by the yip and howl of coordinates across the high desert. Clicking, red-winged grasshoppers. I sunk your battleship. Repetitive yet unique, and always changing with light, aspect, distance, mood. Five humans. Three horses. A warren of rabbits. 400 poles (16 x 25, spaced 220 feet apart). X species of grass and shrub. Immense quiet. Then Robert will come pick you up around 11am. “That’s my cow there, I think,” he says as he drives you out the rutted, dirt road. “I’m gonna have to catch my horses so I can go get my cows.”
In a meditation retreat this summer I was doing an exercise of noticing space, as in the space my body occupies, and the space of other people around me. Suddenly the light in the room was inverted - rather than surrounding people's bodies, light emminated from within them, the air around dark silhouettes glowing yellow and orange. It was powerful. I felt like every single living being is magical, and we're all made of the same magical creation - felt it in my bones. There's this energy level that exists all the time, and I'm just not tapped into it 99.9% of the time. So intense.
Spirituality is a concert that continues to confound me, but I did finally see Hamilton this year, and for a musical theater fan like myself, that was a pretty magical experience. I finally put together my playbill wall, which is a daily reminder of the incredible impact of theater.
I wouldnt say that I have had one particular experience that has stood out, but I would say that I have had my first season of decline since I have started my walk with Christ. Through surrounding myself with godly people and continue to come to The Word, I have bounced back. My connection may not always seem so strong, but God is never further away than I think
Nursing has been a spiritual experience for me - at times. In the very beginning it was really hard. I couldn't do it, she couldn't do it, I kind of thought that we never would. But after a few weeks, we both figured it out. We do skin to skin as often as possible, and when she was tiny her whole body would be pressed into mine. I would just stare at her and get completely lost in her. As time went by I would grab my phone or turn on the TV...it's a lot. And it was too hard to focus entirely on her. But I try to have at least one session per day where I focus completely on being in the moment, snuggling with my baby whose feet are now sticking straight out over my lap and who can pick my breast up on her own to get herself settled. I am not sure how I'm going to wean, or if or when. But since it might be soon, I am trying to remember to savor it and that includes feeling at one with her and the world around us.
This year I participated in RCIA again. I had a great experience getting to know Susannah and her sponsors - a woman who turned out to the sister of a former parent. But I'm also a bit tired from my commitments at St. Andrew and am deciding to cut back a little. Jack came to visit this summer and I got to bring him to SA - it so great to bring people along with me and see SA through their eyes...
I have been reading a good book that has helped me understand the disappointments I've had and how God is with me in those.
I guess if I'm thinking of arts and culture, what the constitution means to me was a powerhouse experience-- as was To Kill A Mockingbird. Perhaps even more 'spiritual' than as an audience member might be the self-actualization I feel when I'm doing a set- or more specifically, right AFTER i do a set. I'm loving the comedy even as it makes me regret all of my professional choices to this point but still-- glad to be challenging myself at this stage of life even if I don't get a netflix special!
I went to Wilderness Torah for the first time for both of the high holidays. Originally I was only going to go for rosh hashana, but then i was so inspired and felt like i was really in the middle of a journey that i needed to finish. on the yom kippur retreat, i had a few different times where it was like i was on some crazy drug trip where things were talking to me! Like "ratzon" falling down from the sky (or me reaching up) and telling me it was supposed to go on Meeko's name, or the water molecules telling me that they were going to evaporate after my mikveh and that each one would be another thing I had unburdened. It was a magical experience
Yes, moments alone with my tiny daughter, where I have felt life itself coursing through me from all of our ancestors, straight to her. It is enobling and dignifying to feel like the link between past and future, nursing this tiny person or moving with her through the natural world. Recently, we were walking alone in the woods at dusk when two Great Horned Owls began to hoot on branches overhead. We paused to listen, and my daughter hooted in response. I felt a profound connection with life itself, with wild creatures and all parents - be they human or owl or bear.
So we joined a church that seems rather welcoming and there's some solace to it. The Fathers are friendly and the congregation seems supportive. I look forward to attending each week.
This past year at a church function, I was touched by the Holy Ghost! It was electrifying. It reminded me that God Himself knew me, loved me and was interested in me. It also opened my mind up to realize that I am designed to live a "godly" life, to walk in faith and to walk on a God-given purpose. This purpose was being interrupted by my relationship as was my experience of God. I realized that the role I was playing in my past relationship was not nearly big enough to house my identity or my purpose or God's idea of me or God's dreams for me. I also realized that my story was blessed by God and must be written.