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.
This year has been rough. And part of why it’s been so bad is because of the dearth of these kinds of experiences. I’ve circled the wagons, and lived through. It’s Marlowe hierarchy, spiritual fulfillment is the top of the pyramid and I’ve been working on, if not the bottom foundational ones of security etc those middle ones of healthy routines etc. There have been moments of deep feeling though; Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC, Polis’s first address where he offered comfort and sympathy, Dave Chappelle’s 8:46 set all come to mind. It’s been a heavy year, all lost in a fog of outrage and outrage and loss after loss. It’s the kind of thing that in retrospect the episodic memories form into a single, blurry amalgam.
when we decided to have an abortion i did a lot of talking to the little soul and released them and invited them back into our lives if they were the right soul for our family. but to come back healthy. and she did. i believe she did.
I think I've had a few. Most recently, I felt a connection with a colleague as she shared with a small group about her experience being raised by a single full-time working mother. I felt a spiritual connection when I had a reading the other night and the woman told me I need to get my head cleared and my life organized before I can open my life to the spiritual, and I think she's right. I'm looking forward to how that manifests itself in the coming months.
I started writing again. I started writing a romance novel loosely based on my own life experiences. I read a lot of romance so translating that into a story has been a tremendous pleasure.
My exploration into DBT and EFFT therapy to assist me as a person and a parent to up my game have been positive and I see this bearing fruit.
I have been watching havdalah services on zoom, which I have enjoyed the spiritual part of the beginning of each week.
My trip to Asia during the winter holiday last year was meaningful in so many ways. It was my first trip to China, a country of vast significance in the modern world but also a place with a long and captivating history. I experienced a traditional tea ceremony, learned about and walked through ancient villas, and ate delicious food. I also visited Vietnam, another place with exceptional food and cultural traditions, and Cambodia. New Year's Eve in Cambodia was an experience that I will never forget. We arrived in Siem Reap after a long travel day and transferring through border control, only to be greeted at our hotel by the staff who whisked us through a room decorated in large ice blocks, candles, and Buddhist icons. Then we enjoyed a expansive buffet spread on the lawn, followed by a powerful performance by the royal dance company. At the end of the evening, we lit lanterns and placed them in the river, watching fireworks overhead as the lanterns burned, sending off our hopes and aspirations for the new year 2020.
Well...kind of the opposite of spiritual. I feel heartbroken about our synagogue closing.
2019 was a very tough year, during which I lost 8 friends who died, from a variety of causes. That made me re-examine what's important to me in my life.
There were not 1 but 2 visits to Sringeri and that was a relief. The remaining part of the year is looking very doubtful given the pandemic. I would really, really like to go there, the air in Sringeri has a certain effect on you that just puts your mind at ease.
I thoroughly enjoyed a long, solitary bike ride. I wouldn't necessarily call it spiritual. It reminded me, however, about how at peace I have felt in the past after a long, worthy day of exercise and accomplishment. Those days make me feel one with the world and with life. I hope to experience that again.
I am feeling anxious about growing older and am leaning on my faith in God to give me calmness. The blessings I see in my life with my children and grandchildren give me a sense of gratitude and happiness and hope that enhance my closeness with God.
I don’t think I experienced anything other than normal but I have noticed that I have been reading verses on the Bible app. Every morning I make an effort to read a verse daily. I’ve even found myself getting competitive with the apps usage history and when I forget to log in, I get a little upset. Like today, I need to hurry up and finish this so that I can read today’s bible verse.
No, I'm not a spiritual person.
I'm still not a devoted Christian, but I still feel the love of God when I pray, when I'm with Christian friends, and when I listen to my faith playlist. I don't think I need to rush my spiritual journey.
I actually liked Zoom High Holiday services. I would rather be in person, but there’s something to be said for being able to be present from home and not worry about others seeing how engaged/present/quiet my family members are being!
Going to high holiday Mishkan services online with my girlfriend (g'friend is Jewish, I have Jewish relatives on my dad's side, so not really Jewish). The production was amazing, in some ways better than getting together at the Vic.
My inspiration to start Husky Jeans was in some way spiritual. I feel like I am "meant" to do this project in some form, and the way the podcast has quickly developed suggests this format and time are right. I am trying to fulfill the project's potential -- and my own. My dad would be so proud.
In developing our business practice and learning from my business partner, I am rekindling my prior understanding of the unity of all things, the relationship between all things in the universe, my sense of purpose, and my gratitude for being able to open my mind to such understanding as I was able to as a child. Admittedly I do not understand everything that is happening around me as it happens. I have not become better at reflecting and trying not to make the same mistakes but I'm still working on it.
I haven’t really had anything I can think of, but I do remember the break I had in April. It was after we finished Winter semester and I had a two week break until Spring semester started. It was the first real break I had in a few years and it was amazing to just stay home, play video games, and relax with no responsibilities.
My road recently with God has been very rocky. A lot of ups and downs, somber hopes, lukewarm indecision, desperate prayers. There have been a few times where I have spent hours next to the water and simply listened. Not the kind of listening that “looks for something” but the kind that simply listens. Those moments were quiet, yet ripe with joy. I hope to continue to listen, and hope that God may “speak” more often.
I started doing psychedelics and realized there is no point to anything and we’re all gonna die and death is the best thing ever. Fuck humanity, but don’t play with death. She is unforgiving of those who mess with her job. Who are you to decide this persons time is up?
Too many to enumerate - looking at a sky, a setting sun, hearing a song , reading a poem.
I started really practicing my Wicca and it's been eye-opening to see the changes in myself as I practice.
I wouldn't call them spiritual experiences. More like epiphanies. This year, I came to accept even more that people both choose, and do not choose, to be who they are. If they are doing things that hurt us, it's because they do want to do it, and also because they can't help themselves. They are responsible, but also, to some degree, unable to take responsibility. And it's just up to me to decide what I can, and cannot, live with. I do not have to stick around if I don't want to.
This is a difficult question for me without reflection. I would say it is my discovery and practice of guided mindful meditations during the early part of COVID. And more importantly during the last month of a particularly painful recovery from wrist surgery. At moments, the practice and connection between body and mind has felt spiritual.
Practicing mindfulness regularly over the past month, particularly when I practice in the morning on our terrace, before the sun fully comes around the building. I love the relative quiet of the city, the feeling of cool air, the moment of peace I share with only myself. I feel closer to the sky, because I can see so much of it there. My practice encourages me to feel grounded in my surroundings and in my body and to follow my breath. It's helping me access greater love towards myself and the world.
Definitely living in Israel overall. Being able to visit the Western Wall and pray there often was a very important part of my spiritual journey.
I think I'm going to hijack this question to talk about Judaism. I've spent years thinking of converting. I thought I was going to be able to move to a city this year that would make it possible to study for conversion, but COVID made that impossible. It's hard for me to write this, but I think COVID for me answered the question: am I going to become a Jew? And the answer for me is: no. It's sad to write that, because I still feel pulled toward it. But the truth is, I just love my partner too much, and being in a country where religious Jews are overwhelmingly orthodox, I know I would be expected to break up with him to convert. And I can't. I just can't. And there is progressive Judaism, yes, but I would really want to have an observant home, raise my children to keep Shabbat and observe the holidays, and... well, I just can't do that if they have an agnostic gentile dad watching tv all Shabbos long. Plus, I know there would be difficulty with acceptance amongst the community if I don't convert orthodox. So that is it, at least for now. I took notice on Rosh Hashanah but Yom Kippur passed me without registering. I feel sad but peaceful and also happy I can move forward with marrying R and starting a family. I have felt stuck for a few years and now things have loosened up. There is a part of me that maybe, if it is really the path I was meant to walk, the universe will make it possible. There is another part who knows the superstitions about converts being reincarnated Jewish souls. It sounds crazy but I trust that if my soul truly is Jewish it will find a home in a Jewish body at some point down the line.
Yes. Being in the high Sierra, being at the ocean, being along the bay. I saw humpback whales off of Pt. Reyes. Deeply moving. Also deeply moving to see massive forest fire smoke - and a red sky all day one of the days of the fires. There was much to be learned through the ferocious beauty and ferocious destruction.
When I received e-mails from an unknown person who is a Life Coach, with subject lines that seemed to speak directly to me and how I was feeling. It felt very kismet. I took it as the Universe sending me a "push" (losing my job I took as the Universe taking away my excuses). Unfortunately, it was a bit pricey for me. I allowed myself to fall back instead of taking my husband's advice to check out others with a lower cost factor. Well, the e-mails came again from the Life Coach and this time with a seemingly more affordable cost. And at the same time, a work assignment was offered that would cover the cost. Not only did I take the 5 week workshop, when the second one was offered, another assignment materialized to cover the cost, too!
My connection to nature. No, my dependence on nature and being outside for a sense of truth. Truth that humans cannot articulate or model. Nature is the truth. She will persevere beyond humans. To her, I pray.
Spirituality has been everything for me for the past couple of years few years actually not just past couple of years. For me most of last year was governed by sadguru and his grace falling upon me by god's grace I was able to have him as my Guru and that changed the lord in my life. Being initiated into Shambhavi mahamudra really helped me. I almost lost a lot of weight and I realized something about me that I'm scared of losing weight that I use it as a protection and that I'm not okay with sharing that part of my life with anyone. The fact that I'm still such a loner is a realization and it also helps me understand why I am so rigid about relationships and why there's so many secrets associated with those things. The only way to love myself is to love myself completely and then I love myself completely I won't be scared of sharing those experiences with others. I won't be scared that people are judging me or mujhe Nazar Laga re or something of that sort
Nothing particularly jumps out to me from this year, but I have discovered that my favorite morning practice of a fresh cup of coffee with an outside view and news or a book to read. And I feel like that first sip in the morning is a really 'spiritual' experience.
My faith community continues to be a source of light in a dark world. Meeting via zoom is not ideal, but I need to see and hear these beloved people! The stories of people feed me so I've virtually participated in the events of Epoch Tribe/Hannah Hassan, listen to The Moth EVERY Friday night (preferably sitting on my deck with a cold craft beer). My artistic ability is fed through writing, sewing and even cooking.
I think the pandemic was a sign from the universe that it is time to slow down, become more present, and focus on what is most important (family).
I'm glad we got to have the last Pantheacon before the virus shut down the country.
I think I’ve been lacking in spiritual experiences this year. Rosh Chodesh has been canceled most of the year, and I don’t really like online services. I did join online for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and it was ok, but it’s so hard for me to truly be into it from my couch. I’ve enjoyed the high holidays the past few years as an opportunity to take a break from life and be spiritual, so it’s disappointing that I don’t feel like I have that this year. It’s really not the same when you’re not in a holy space.
Kneeling in silence with 1,000 other people on Washington Street during the Black Live Matter kneel-in protest we organized was the most awe-some moment of my year. I was also stirred this year by Danez Smith's new-to-me poem "I'm Going Back to Minnesota Where Sadness Makes Sense." It is SAD, and made me tear up re-reading it just now. O California, don’t you know the sun is only a god if you learn to starve for him? I’m bored with the ocean I stood at the lip of it, dressed in down, praying for snow I know, I’m strange, too much light makes me nervous at least in this land where the trees always bear green. I know something that doesn’t die can’t be beautiful. Have you ever stood on a frozen lake, California? The sun above you, the snow & stalled sea—a field of mirror all demanding to be the sun too, everything around you is light & it’s gorgeous & if you stay too long it will kill you & it’s so sad, you know? You’re the only warm thing for miles & the only thing that can’t shine.
Shortly before my parents home was sold, I was up at the property by myself and there were a pair of hawks flying overhead. One was squawking loudly (just like mom), and the other was quiet (just like dad)! They were soaring over me for several minutes and when I later went outside across the street they were there again. I feel like they were “talking” to me, saying hello, and telling me that everything will be okay. I will never forget that.
Not that I can think of! At the beginning of the pandemic, possibly something to do with re-assessing my priorities and remembering what is important in life.
I feel very differently about death and am curious about what it really is.
Not really. I do have moments when someone’s story touch’s me and I can get emotional about random things.
After Hurricane Laura, my husband and I spent 2 hours cutting away trees and limbs in our driveway to be able to get back to check on our house. Despite all the downed trees, and believe me, there were many, my house and my chicken coop, as well as all my pets, were fine. Climbing over trees and through branches to find that the most important buildings on our property were still standing had me choking back tears and sobs, while thanking God for sparing us when so many around us had much more damage to sort through.
When in Lisbon I went to a lot of museums and completely feel in love with the culture and architecture there. I would love to go back, maybe even live there for a bit. I also did some short online courses and one in Greek and Roman Mythology really hit me. Now I'm questioning whether I want to study this or stick with English literature at uni. Luckily I have nearly two years to decide. Last year I saw Hozier on my birthday and it was like a religious experience.
I continued to listen to the Glimpse of the Kingdom podcast. The episodes help me reflect on spiritual matters, and reconnect me to the deep wisdom that is present in the Judeo-Christian tradition. I heartily agree with David Brooks that the psychological ecosystem a religious tradition fosters is important, and can provide valuable guideposts leading the human race to Churchill's broad, sunlit uplands.
Yes! I went to bed/woke up on January 1, 2020 and talked to a friend and I said, "I can feel it, this is going to be a big year!" Like I could feel all this pent of energy bubbling under the surface. I had how true that would be for me - or the world. At the New Year's Eve party we hosted, I chatted with a friend of my roommate. I asked him out 6 months later and now we've been together for almost 4 months. The universe works in crazy ways!
The spiritual experience I had this year revolves around my connection with the wrong around me through meditation and mindful awareness of the world around me. This experienced affected me by providing an outlook outside of my own bubble and still see this revolves back to myself. Basically, we all have something special to offer the world, I already know I do.
Giving birth was pretty spiritual and life altering. Something you can never explain the feeling of without going through it. Something I thought might never happen for me. Something you prepare so much for but don’t know how it will unfold. Something when you finish it you have the biggest high!
No. Honestly I feel pretty much the opposite. This year has in many ways shaken, my faith... and crippled it. I feel so far removed from anything remotely spiritual... like we are lost in the dark cold place. Moving further and further from the light. I don't think God has not forsaken us. We have forsaken God?
I remotely participated in a Mongolian Fire Ceremony through the Society of Shamanic Practitioners. I found the ceremony to be beautiful as well as “centering for me.
For me, I feel spiritual growth and satisfaction from helping others, teaching others, and being caring. This year I had two opportunities to focus intensely on fully caring for another. The first was that I was a classroom teacher and gym teacher for boys ages 6-9. Beyond the basic job of teaching and supervision I also was able to role model, build up their confidence, listen to what interested them, buy them a treat when we finished a chapter of the Bible, and give discipline with dignity. I also could always be thinking of ways to improve my lessons, create new educational materials, and to learn from the students. The second was that I dated a promising woman for around two months. During that time I was able to focus on being as good, respectful, and caring to her as I could be and to try to understand her as best as I can. This expressed itself through bringing nice things/foods I knew she likes, compliments, showing concern, keeping in touch every day, finding things that are of interest to send her, trying to make her laugh a lot, insisting on paying, by always walking her home, trying to make the dates special and thoughtfully planned, calling every week before Shabbat, by learning about things she is interested in, being present, deep listening, empathy, remembering her likes and dislikes, and admiring her good qualities. These two opportunities gave my life meaning and inspiration to grow spiritually in 5780.
That first installation at North Forest Lights and my hike this past weekend were pretty amazing. I needed a recharge really badly. The forest art was truly magical, I felt like fairies were real for a minute. I was so impressed with how much it took me out of myself for a while.
A few, usually unbidden, but mostly in the context of playing music (either the notes, or the space between the notes). Each time I only recognize it has happened as it slowly fades away: a light I had no idea was warming me. An eternity that slips quietly out of view.
A strong awareness/discovery of the good versus evil in our world (locally, nationally, and internationally), how each is growing in strength and weakness, and how it effects us individually right here in our homes. Shocked to now discover that people think they are good when they are evil, say they are good when they know they are evil, and choose to blindly believe they are doing good when they are doing evil.
No, if anything I feel completely disconnected from the spiritual in a way I haven't since my mom died. I'm so disconnected from my family and friends and people in general that I just feel untethered spiritually.
I am struggling with the power of attorney over a woman who wishes to be cremated and is now a Hospice patient. Orthodox believers are pressuring me to override her wishes and have her buried. I have prayed and asked for guidance and have had some dreams that are connected, but not sufficiently guiding me to make a decision.
I have become more studious of tarot and astrology over the past two years, though I don't see these as spiritual. I have become more clear in my conviction as an atheist as well.
I'm not sure there's anything I would describe as spiritual this year that leaps to mind, but then I'm not sure I'm a particularly spiritual person. I have had a lot of moments of gratitude, peace and appreciation - with my immediate family, with friends, and particularly in nature. Living by the sea, there are moments where I pause and soak up how beautiful it is, the perspective offered by a horizon, the release offered by sea swimming, warm sun on your skin, the chance to catch up with friends - however fleetingly - and swim, gasp at the cool water, relax in the warm air - or bundled towels - and chat while swimming and drying off.
One unexpected joy of our new home and our new neighborhood: living in the midst of nature. We're surrounded by an abundance of birds, deer, chipmunks, squirrels, woodchucks, and more. The sliding glass doors from our kitchen to the outside world reveal these wonders constantly. I feel more connected to life than I ever have before.
I started a book-focused Instagram account in March, right before the quarantine shut everything down. It has been such a source of joy, creative expression, community, and support. I came into it wanting to make a "popular bookstagram" and instead I have found such lovely people, great books, and a beautiful way to express myself, even while stuck at home.
I have really enjoyed going to two online several day meditation retreats sponsored by Or Halev. One in May and one a few days ago. I have tried to bring Jewish meditation more back into my life. It has really helped with stress and meaningfulness. I was originally taught by Rav James (the founder) in Pardes Institute in Jerusalem and have also been regularly taking a study class that goes through a book that the Piacszner Rebbe wrote and his philosophy (he is also called the Warsaw Ghetto).
Those first lessons on Zoom, seeing everyone move beautifully together in their boxes -- I made an involuntary noise once, early on, when everyone did a pirouette or big sweeping balancé together. Later I heard other teachers, also in their first or second Zoom class experiences, make the same noise. A noise of wonder, of delight, of being touched. A noise of coming alive -- not us coming alive, but the other people on the screen coming alive. A noise of feeling togetherness through music and movement, right there on the computer. A noise to say, "Praise God, it's real." I have prayed so much this year, in such different ways. I have heard and seen my prayers answered, also in such different ways. Before the pandemic my prayers felt like questions. After the pandemic began my prayers became necessities. Every year of my life seems to deepen my understanding of what it means to talk with God. It feels like no less of a mystery, but this year I learned that there are no rules to prayer. Prayer cannot be unreal if it is real. God knows if we are praying, and that's all it takes to pray.
I CREATED A BRIEF VIDEO CALLED THE LIGHT FOR ROSH HASHANAH, INSPIRED BY TEACHINGS OF RABBI MARC GELLMAN, RABBI FEINSTEIN, RABBI HIRSCH, RABBI OMER-MAN, DANIEL MATT, MUSIC FROM THE KIRTAN RABBI. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pz-Zze5LEng3FxRnbQzXxj3v5DIZFpDh/view?usp=sharing From it I discovered that from a change in perspective, diversity & oneness can exist at the same time.
I feel unexpectedly and radically connected to other people around the world through zoom. I’ve taken classes in Jerusalem and led services through zoom. Amazing!
I can’t think of any spiritual experiences that I have had this year. I guess that sounds pretty sad. I have not been going to ERUUF and have stopped going to our covenant group. The closest thing that I have experienced is some times when I have felt immensely close and appreciative to Amy, so close and needy that it has brought tears to my eyes. Where I just wan to hold her and be with her in love. Those times have felt very good and I would like to cultivate that feeling more. I guess I feel close and vulnerable to her.
Hearing the whole shul sing Keter Melucha last year on RH really moved me, almost to tears, and gave me goosebumps. The whole atmosphere, with the dancing, and singing, and vivaciousness...it was just a really connecting moment with God and the kahal. It was sad and underwhelming this year in our social distance, masked, limited capacity, outdoor services. The singing was so quiet and sterile. I am trying to remain grateful that we could even HAVE this service, but it wasn't even close to the same thing.
I am fortunate to have spiritual experiences on a regular basis. One that stands out and was unique to this year was my visit to Poland with my son who was attending a gap year in Israel. Many aspects of that trip including a visit to the Children's Forest and being at the place where Daf Yomi began for the Siyum HaShas stand out.
My relationship with A TREE It started from the feeling I got when I revisited him and then I decided to get into it. It (relationships with trees) has come up in a few books I have read, articles from the news, Youtube but only a very little, and a few people - Kathleen G, Gaylene B, Eileen Lev
No, I haven't. What art? What culture?
The strange, orange day with no sunrise. It was spiritual in that it was so terrifying that I have since come to appreciate the blue sky, clean air, and rising sun like never before. I more often see the wonder and miracle of life and our fragile existance on this planet. I'm in awe of how perfect this world with sun not to far, not to close, seasons, day and night. It is all just too much to be a coincidence.
I feel it is impossible to disconnect this question from the influence the pandemic has had on any type of spiritual experience. My most spiritual experience has been to reconnect to loved ones during the lock down via social media and video conferencing. I have also forged new friendships with strangers in a context where people are more open to meeting others and bringing them into their lives.
Lucia has been in my ear a little bit about God. When I told her I was in a nasty fight with Bobby, she asked me to pray to God that night, basically asking to bring peace and love back to our relationship. Promised her I would, so I did. I sat cross legged on the bed before going to sleep, and I prayed for us to make up, etc. We did make to the next day, but I think that had more to do with me and my efforts that with God and his efforts.
I have continued to study the Tanach. I have a number of Rabbi's/Teachers that bring the beauty and brilliance of the sages to me each week. My ability to question/query instead of accept rote commentaries has improved.
I have gotten much more in touch with the natural world in the last year despite somewhat limited travel. (A few notable exceptions: Stinson Beach, Florida swamps, one last wintery trip to Dixiedale fields, the South Yuba River in the summertime.) Much of that has come from slowing down and noticing the light and shadow, the topography of my neighborhood and nearby parks, the water down by the Oakland shoreline, fog and smoke and clouds...
The death of my mother-in-law and the leadup to it has put me in close proximity again to the reality of mortality. She was a remarkable woman, from whom I learned much including, most recently, how to die well in the faith. Never before has the concept of death as a portal into our real future life with God been so vivid. With my own advancing age, I think about death a lot. Not morbidly, but its certainty and inevitability are impressed upon the psyche. I hear of friends and acquaintances dying and/or suffering the deteriorations of old age and I am drawn more and more toward the same frame of mind my mother-in-law had: no need to prolong this life; it’s neither the ultimate nor the final. With typical “N” irony, I imagine myself in the Muppet balcony with Statler and Waldorf, heckling the show that is my life, cantankerously opining that it’s about time we “get this show on the road!” – as if all until now has been mere rehearsal.
I held my father's hand as he died. Two days later, I held my mother's hand as she joined him. Suddenly, I was an orphan. Suddenly, I was the family matriarch. I feel lonely and empty in an unreachable place in my heart. I still talk to them, and wish I could hear their answers. They were the best human beings I have ever known. I must continue their legacy of love and kindness.
More so in the first part of the year, I had many spiritual experiences. A lot of it happened while I was writing about my self worth, self-love, and value, and some of it happened in the shower, where I find I connect to the divine through running water. In many of the experiences, I'd find myself looking at myself in the mirror, and truly seeing my whole self for the first time. I saw all of my shameful parts, and all of my glorious parts, and I realized that all of it is me.
This is hard to say. Services at Kol Tzedek were certainly the closest I ever got to feeling that way in a synagogue. Being out at night on Haverford's campus sometimes felt like I was connected to nature in a meaningful way. In fact, the reservoir here is kind of like that as well. I should maybe seek out more opportunities in nature. The only other kind of thing I can think of is through singing in synagogue, which I haven't done a ton of this year.
Not really. I've been pretty isolated because of C19, so there hasn't been much of an opportunity for the kind of interaction with others that might facilitate a spiritual experience... however I do try to find the spiritual in the mundane - it's a beautiful thing...
Just about every morning when I wake up at look at that mountain, I am moved by its beauty. I was also very moved when a large number of my friends came over here for my birthday. What an amazing weekend.
Yes . Singing w my temple. Morning services w sixth and i. Rereading my ( adult ) bat mitzvah passage. Havdallah w friends. Neilah under the setting sun. Havdallah w lauren
My Spiritual experience this year,was to recognize that without God we are nothing,as myself, family and the world continues to adjust our daily lives to the COVID-19 pandemic
My inner intuition that connects me to nature seems to be getting stronger As a nature photographer, it often guides me to animals and scenes. Once, when thinking of my late mother who used to "visit" me by sending a hummingbird, I was drinking my coffee outdoors and saw a hummingbird high in a tall tree. Another time, I was out on a hike. A friend had died and I asked her to send me a sign in the form of a bird or animal, and I immediately looked up and saw a big hawk in a tree that had turned early for fall, perched motionless in the gently falling rain. (And the day after I first answered this question, I was leaving the park without a lot of photos and jokingly asked her to "send me another hawk" . . . and that instant one appeared, circling high in the sky! Not a common sight.) This Elul, an inner voice told me to take a different path from my usual--through a field when "the Sovereign is in the field"--and I saw a deer and her fawn, and the doe began to suckle the fawn. I had never seen this wonderful sight before and was able to take a video.
Not spiritual per se but more of an acceptance that my spiritual path is not the one that was taught to me by my parents. My idea of "god" and religion are not traditional and I am becoming more and more ok with that.
Not necessarily. I have become more politically active, which I believe is a byproduct of the pandemic and seeing how that has so adversely affected our society, especially those who are marginalized.
Not so much. I just have become more active politically. I am posting several things daily on my Facebook page about what is happening to our country and who is causing it. As for spiritual things, I continue to listen to podcasts from a Unitarian church and a reformed synagogue each week.
Trying to figure out whether our Heavenly Father is observing and wondering how and why EVIL is being perpetrated on the people who most need his help.
Some of the most affecting experiences have come from time with friends and family during the pandemic. Not being able to plan social gatherings or simply go out for a drink with a friend has been roooouuuuughhhh. Those moments when I've been able to see a friend for the first time in a long while, or hug someone for the first time in six months, have been very powerful and healing.
This year has been rather spiritually bereft for me.
I write this answer from the island of Maui, where it’s 3 am on an almost full moon night. The moon hangs where the sun will be hanging a couple of hours before it sets tonight. I swim in the green sea every day. I feel enlivened by the flora and fauna of my childhood. I feel that this year, beginning early, marked a time of deep change on an overt level, and being alive at the center of that change has quickened my spiritual growth. It’s as if a clear message has issued forth: you’re going to need to be strong, and the way to be strong is by going within. No more procrastinating. Batten down your hatches. Chaos is now king. Well, here on Maui, it feels very far away from the chaos, and it’s troublesome to me to see that the farther away people are from the trouble, the more they fill in the blanks with answers and explanations that soothe them so that there’s no reason to vacate complacency. I know that this is the way I’ve operated for a long time. But I really want to shake a lot of people.
YES. I started meditating every day through teaching myself to silence the monkey mind and practicing stillness in searching for God. This has led me to discover and open the straight channel of communication and light we all possess and share with God. My spiritual experience is daily. Sometimes it is a fleeting one, other times it feels like time stops and I am in an endless state of peace and love, but no matter what, it is always powerful and divine. Because of this I am now more grounded, more aware, more grateful, more compassionate, more forgiving and more loving. My spiritual experiences have led me to take life as a big adventure, a beautiful opportunity to experience all sorts of emotions and exciting life events to go through with grace and purpose; ultimately to live, to love, to learn and to let go.
The past year has been pretty bereft of spiritual. But driving to Fort MacMurray in October and it was snowing and it was pitch black. I loved the drive that night, listening to a playlist of 80's country music and the sense of peace tinged with anxiety about not yet working and Scott withholding information and just so many things weighing on me. But an overwhelming sense of peace on that drive up in the snowy darkness.
Standing davening mincha in Jerusalem over looking the old city, in my wedding dress, right before driving off to my wedding. I can still feel the wind and smell the smells of that moment.
Not me exactly, but watching my son (5yo) rapidly expand his reading and writing ability and his profusive drawing does fill me with hope for him. There's no hope for me, but I will survive so he can succeed.
The calmer pace and time at home has given me space to be kinder to myself, which to me is one of the biggest benefits of spirituality.
Nothing spiritual, no. I did have surgery with anesthesia for the first time when I got my breast reduction, and that was a weird other-body experience. I don't remember pain. Or anything, really. I hope that is what death is like.
my niece, who homeschools her four children under the age of ten, asked me to give her oldest daughter some art instruction, since she showed some promise in that area and my niece had always admired my creativity. one lesson so far, and i guess i have as much to learn as my god-niece, like how to water down concepts to a more child-like level, never having taught before.
The only thing that stands out is the place I reached when I was in labor and 'the shift' occurred between "this is progressing normally" and "something is the badly wrong and we need to get you into surgery immediately". My entire existence was bent on remaining calm and collected, and projecting to my baby that she was safe and that everything happening to her was temporary and soon to be over. With every breathe, I told her that I was her mother and that I was not afraid. I believe she knew, and I still wonder at that connection.
Playing the piano and singing in church has been spiritually meaningful for me. It takes time to review the lectionary scriptures weeks in advance and then pick hymns and other music that goes with the themes. Then time to practice and play for the actual service. I can only do one a month and it's a little stressful to find time to think about and play the music. But it's meaningful and I'm largely glad that I do it.
I think the most spiritual experiences were around my pregnancy and childbirth. I spent a lot of time meditating and communing with my unborn daughter, which was really cool and pushed me to see the divinity within (literally). Childbirth was both painful and so hard, but also powerful and magical. I've never felt endorphins and a rush of life like I did giving birth to Neleh and seeing life created so acutely. It was beautiful and I am so grateful to have experienced it.
It’s been very hard coming to grips that I may never see the inside of a movie theater or go to a large concert again. Due to my age and being particularly vulnerable to Covid due to my two prior bouts of pneumonia I don’t dare be in large groups. I’m glad I’ve gone to as many concerts, plays, etc as I have because I may never again go inside with crowds.
Being in the mountains just takes my breath away. And connected to this, meeting Nat and Jim ❤️ the loveliest teachers/ healers. Through reading I've lost myself and felt interconnected - A Theatre for Dreamers, Girl, Woman, Other, Once Upon a River.
I’ve had some hard truths come to light that are beginning to help me be a better version of me.
I think the spiritual experience that comes to mind is the ever-present awareness of remembering that my life is an important, inticate and beautiful story and there are no mistakes or pointless chapters within it. This reminds me that I am always loved and cared for.
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha no. I am firmly grounded in material reality right now.
I feel that I have paid very little attention to my spiritual life. I need to get better about that.
Becoming pregnant - against all odds and my gradual belief that I was no longer fertile / on an easy path to having a child of my own - has been pretty spiritual. it's reminded me of my relationship with Hashem, of my connection to Judaism and the generations before/after me.
I don't remember any particularly spiritual moment from the past year.
I had a moment when I stopped at a scenic overlook on interstate 64 and I was awed by the incredible scenery of the valley covered in mists as the sun was rising and the world seemed to just be quiet.
With all that we are going through right now, I'm even more hungry for a spiritual experience. It feels so far away in this anxiety-laden reality we are currently living in.
Yes! I spent a lovely time over several sessions speaking with my Rabbi about Honey from the Rock and "God Was in This Place and I, I Did Not Know." Both were significant because it enriched my understanding of the traditions of our people. Predominantly, my understanding of Judaism has been Garden of Eden, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Desert Desert Desert, Israel, diaspora, Holocaust. Pretty much exclusively suffering. It was nice to see some more good stuff and interesting philosophical and spiritual thought and practice and to know a time when that was possible. AND, I also got a Jewish cookbook with recipes from all over the world. It has been a spiritual journey to be connected to places that did not seem to be part of my Jewish identity, like Spain, Morocco, etc.
I have seen glorious trees, sunsets and sunrises, the space station go overhead, shooting stars. All of that reminds me that my troubles are tiny in this vast universe, and that beauty and peace exist, whether I'm noticing or not.
I'd say through the spotlight being on racism and white supremacy these past many months and the unbelievable shenanigans of the POTUS as well as the natural disasters (fires, hurricanes) resultant of global warming I have relied more heavily in the belief the there is a divine plan and my trust that everything will be okay in the end.
I don't know if this is spiritual, but in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, I did a lot of reading and reflection on my place in the world. Where I come from, my privilege, and my status as a white person. It has been painful and I hope at least transformative in how I approach other humans.
I'm in a Health and Human Spirit class in med school right now, and we have talked about this a lot. I feel like every year I answer this question about how I'm not spiritual enough and I don't have spiritual experiences, and maybe that's something I should work on in the coming year. But what I've come to find in my class is that spirituality is something so deeply personal and individual that it can really look like anything. It could be feeling warm and welcome in my med school class, and appreciated for the work I do as president. It can be finding a place in a new friend group (while still retaining my loving place in my old one) that likes to go on hikes and finding beauty in nature--even as I wheeze my lungs out from a tough hike. It can be the pride and satisfaction I feel from surviving said hike! It can be cuddling with my dog in the middle of the night, or watching a Bollywood movie with my roommates the night before a test. Leaving from the last day of studying with my study group knowing that I know enough to do well on the exam, and knowing that I participated in knowing that they feel satisfied with what they know too. This year has been full of such experiences, even during the hard times. Is that not being fully aware of the things I'm grateful for? Is that not spirituality? I think it is.
Yes and unexpected. We went to my great grandparents' graves in Manchester. I put a stone on the grave and suddenly burst into tears. Never felt that before - it was like an instant connection.
No. This is often my answer, as I am not religious and lean on logic quite heavily. I seriously struggle to answer this question every year.
Reconnecting with Sybil for guided meditation has been so grounding during this tumultuous year. She is a rock.
Not particularly. I have had a reprise of the Bar Mitzvah process, while helping Tyler learn, which has offered some spiritual guidance. I also feel more in touch with my Jewish culture than ever before in my life. I feel like I am really leading my family in expanding our Jewish horizons.
Nothing to speak of necessarily, although I've been better about finding time for solo runs and being out by myself--even when paddle boarding with family--that has allowed me the space and time to be more introspective and open to all that is around me. I've had moments of sheer bliss and wonder at nature and connections with my son and husband.
I had a major epiphany in November 2019 and that led me ultimately to (prematurely) going back to being frum. I honestly still thought that the magical stuff was happening and would happen even more once I PL shifted and bagan being frum again. It was an unfulfilled fantasy that unfolded and I should have known better that to fall, yet again, for the fakery, make-believe magical world of releigion practices and chassidism and Rebbe. I probably still haven't 100% realized that it's all a bs and make believe world but I think I'm in the hight 90s percent now.
I've been on a rocky path with my Judaism and spirituality during Covid, mainly because there's so much going on in the world, that's not my priority or focus right now. I am slowly getting back in touch with it around this time of year, looking at how I want that relationship to look, and what that means for me being separate from my family. It taught me there's other levels of Judaism, and I'm not talking about reform! I mean having my own special practice on Yom Kippur, like this journaling, or soaking up media that's good for me, like The Social Dilemma. I always knew Judaism was experimental, and a choose your own path kind of religion, but now I know it's whatever makes me happiest while I am able to keep those main elements of Judaism alive, like Shabbat, and prayers and songs, tzedakah, and community.
Not any one event in the past year. But overall my spiritual work has become taken on a greater priority in my life as part of a quest of overall wee-being, balance and piece of mind. Two years ago I directly experienced the death of a close family member for the first time. It was extremely moving to see someone now inanimate who was so full of life. For the first time I felt the impermanence of the world and my own life.
My daughter's laugh, watching the ocean with her, running into the waves and jumping through them, listening to them crash, being together as a family at one with nature. Those are my most spiritual moments. They give me strength to move through each week.
I feel happy and connected to myself and the world during and after a good workout. For me to be in spiritual place I know that exercise is key. I also felt spiritual running camp, where I felt like I had a purpose and connected to the community of campers and staff.
I can't think of a specific example, but it always involves being out in the wilderness (or just you know in the mountains/desert/away from civilization). It doesn't usually happen in the rat race of everyday life. I kind of like my rat race life, but I have to connect in those wilderness-y ways. It feels spiritual to connect with your body and nature and do a really hard hike, for example (like the llama packing in Wallowa Wilderness in August 2020)
I took mushrooms and sat in the bathtub, crying, as I realized how non-negotiable and important it is for me to have community. The next day, I got word that I had to vacate the apartment I was renting. I called N, and without skipping a beat, he said, "Come here. Come live with us."
There is a wonderous simplicity and humbleness to my spirituality this year. It is overcast by many failures, but it is also a fresh space, a space of openness, unburdened by the aspirational narratives that have for the most part crashed and lay scattered about in ruins. I am concerned somewhat by the complacency, the tv, the inertia in my unwillingness to bear exertion or effort. Yet I am also trustful of the undisturbed vitality of spirit in the psyche and the possibilities for renewal and openings which will forever arise and arise. Already as the vocational question begins to settle a bit and find some surer footing on new ground, I feel myself turning again in yearning, opening to vision and practice. And I am well attended, I think, by what is clarifying in me, a reverence for the capacity of my intellect at the seat of all that concerns and inspires me in the world unfolding.
I've left the Protestant faith. I come from Jewish descendants and have decided to embrace and find my own Jewish spiritual journey. I feel more in tune to Hashem now and feel more at peace in life.
Nothing spiritual, mostly fighting depression. Usually in times of stress I could turn to art, but not this year. It's like the pandemic created apathy.
Honestly, the bright spot of the pandemic for me has been the New York Metropolitan Opera providing one free opera every single day for the past 28 weeks (and ongoing). I've gained so much insight into the genre, and appreciation in new ways, and also an awareness of preferences that I'll be able to keep in mind when deciding which operas to go to in future (whenever that might be). It has been a glorious and selfless gift to the world at a crucial time.
PantheaCon had a lot of ritual and prayer and meditation, but honestly the biggest spirit experience I've had this year is SERVICE and trying to lift up and protect my community.
Being around animal always invigorates me internally, and getting the opportunity to look after the cats within the community of my neighbourhood was a privilege (especially now looking back, as the opportunity to do so is lacking, because no one travels anymore).
I, again, can't stress enough how much my husband means to me. He is my rock, my guiding light, my beacon in a storm. He brings out the best in me and shows me that being loved is the greatest feeling ever.
Covid/quarantine really allowed me to watch the seasons change and see spring creep in with mounting daily growth. That's about as spiritual as it gets ;)
During Māori Language Week - Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, my mum shared an album with me of mainstream songs translated in to te Reo. Music has always held power for me, and the beauty of the language brought tears to my eyes.
Song has helped me a lot through the lows that have happened while staying at home through this pandemic. Singing through various emotions has helped bring clarity to a depressing and difficult situation.
I have begun baking challah using Rifka Leah's recipe that has a coinciding prayer and that brings me a deep sense of spirituality. If I truly reflect before I bake than I have a deeper sense of what I am praying for, but even if I come up with answers as I bake I feel connected to God and prayer.
Realizing that I had been spending most of my life seeking answers externally, where most of the answers I have been searching for are within. It's funny how much we spend our time distracted by all the noise around us. By all the screens, advertisements, drama, money, power, etc. My awakening this year came in the form of finally realizing that these modern facets of life are no teacher. This moment was powerful because it has set me on a path to changing the way I interact with myself. It starts and ends with me, now is the time to create my own existence, shaped by my values and my beliefs. No longer will I resist doing the necessary internal work.
So much of my spirituality is connected to art, music and theatre, in addition to prayer. On February 29, I went to the MFA for a member preview chance to see the Lucian Freud self-portrait exhibit. Since I had street parking, I followed it by going to the Gardner Museum for the John Singer Sargent “Boston’s Apollo” exhibit. I was so moved by the Freud and Sargent art. I treated myself to a necklace, bracelet, and earrings at the MFA store. I remember taking a selfie in front of the MFA, as my version of a self-portrait. It was the most wonderful day. I thought it was a perfect Shabbat observance for February 29, an extra day in the year. And a few weeks later, when the world shut down, I was so grateful that I had taken that special day and made it truly special.
I feel spiritual and grounded every time we go to Shabbat services. Its something I miss deeply during Covid.
My continuing crisis of faith/identity as a Jew was a spiritual experience of sorts, because I was doing it as someone experiencing a lonely time in world events, and it forced me to go from questioning to doubt then longing. It forced me to dig deep and to figure out things about myself and what I had become. It forced me to question my life as a Jew, as a single woman who might not have the child she dreamed of, and it's a question that I'm still looking at and trying to figure out as a woman who is slightly less single than she was before, yet still loves her culture and her family.
Not a very spiritual year for me. In fact, while I've "gone" to services for the high holidays, it just doesn't feel the same.
Coming closer to nature, finding that I don’t need a purpose and being happier in my own skin.
I love paddling on the water and seeing the birds go through the sky. My most spiritual moments have been when I get to do it alone. And I reflect on how amazing the world is and how lucky I am to be a part of it. And to be on this paddle board alone in the water, seeing birds whoosh by. And I think I am not deserving of such an amazing world. And I feel grateful that God gives it to me and I thank God.
No, but I desperately want to. I find that having a toddler forces me to live in the moment constantly. There's no sense in planning too far ahead, and I often forget what I did yesterday and can't imagine what will come after tomorrow. That's almost a kind of ongoing meditation, in its way, and it's teaching me valuable lessons — and I laugh A LOT — but I do also crave large chunks of silence and isolation... I think I'd learn something different if I could completely turn the world off for a week or so and just FOCUS.
Sarah & I spent last Yom Kippur with Congregation Lev Shalom, a small Reform congregation in Flagstaff. These were the most meaningful services I'd experienced in a while. I loved their Rabbi Emerita Nina Perlmutter, their community and so many of the people I met. Equally spiritual for me was the 4 day, 3 night backing trip into the Grand Canyon that followed. If my health and strength survive the pandemic, I will definitely go on another SUPPORTED backpacking trip as it gives you the opportunity to go places most people never see.
Well, this pandemic has continued to reinforce my love for the arts and theater. When I feel down because of all that is going on, I play some musical theater or watch something on YouTube and I feel my spirits lift, they really do. I'm thankful I have such a wonderful thing in my life.
Not spiritual per se, but realizations of things I've always kind of known sinking in more forcefully - Earth is an OCEAN planet! The main things humans will leave behind isn't buildings or tech but an increased carbon layer in the fossil record!
My daily morning read aloud with my students has been a deeply spiritual experience for me. I am so grateful that it is continuing this year. I connect with my students on a whole new level in those read alouds. I am especially thinking of when I read them the book The Listening Walk by Paul Showers. We then isolated our senses and focused only on deep listening. What they heard was amazing. If I stop and listen right now - I mean really listen - I hear a dog shaking it's collar, a lawn mower, cars on the highway, birds chirping, and busses. There is a reason why the most important prayer in Jewish liturgy commands us to HEAR.
Experiencing profound gratitude at the same time as profound loss has been spiritual. There have been so many extreme ups and downs this year. It puts life into sharp focus when death is so present. This year has revealed so much suffering in the world. I've also seen so much kindness, resiliency and strength from people--those I know and those I don't. For a while, at 7 p.m. every night we would open our windows and clap for essential workers along with our neighbors. We knew everyone in the city was also doing this. That was spiritual. Seeing the COVID numbers go up and then finally down because we all started wearing masks and distancing from each other was spiritual. Experiencing all of this while also watching our two year old daughter grow and develop--seemingly immune from everything in the news--has been humbling, exhausting and spiritual. She is a gift. Being able to enjoy her while also feeling so sad about everything else going on in the background has been--I don't even know the word. Intense.
I reconnected with my faith somewhat. Judaism is now actually more accessible than it was as many shuls have started streaming around the world, so it's easier to find a shul that suits you and your worldview.
Attending the virtual burn affirmed my belief in that I met with and exchanged thoughts (energy) with those who I’m meant to do that with every year on the actual playa. My new love interacts with me in the way that I prayed for and asked for and dreamed for - when calling in a life partner. Most significantly in the ‘hard’ areas of personal dynamics. She presents her challenges about me - to me - in a way that totally helps me be open and receptive to her concerns. I am so Grateful!!
Yes-a real highlight was my daughter’s bat mitzvah via zoom and being able to connect with so many people we love. Also, my dad’s inurnment where my mom, my sisters, my daughters and I were joined by our Rabbi and had a chance to speak about my dad. It was beautiful and healing. Also when my daughters sang and played guitar for my dad via FaceTime a few days before he died.
Yes. I had the realization that among my many commitments my spiritual community gets short changed. I'm reaching out to my mentors and communities to reconnect with them. Other than that, it was good to be at the last Pantheacon in February, just a month before the pandemic hit.
I truly think watching the handmaids tale for this first time has been a spiritual experience for me. Watching the visual depiction of using religion to oppress groups of people, how quickly rights can disappear, how complex emotions, stories and perspectives are for both those harming and those being harmed - all changed the way I felt about being a woman. But overall, witnessing this, it has made me feel inexplicably different about being a woman, how I perceive love, and authority. I feel empowered, strong, passionate and just appreciative, humbled and in awe of the beauty of altruistic human connection. I have never felt more motivated to stay in the feminism fight. I think seeing the way love can grow in terrible conditions and overpower and overcome, made me understand why I feel so frustrated when people try to control love, put structure around it, define it to fit their box, I feel like they’re violating love, not understanding, celebrating or appreciating it - and in this show (and in many cases in reality) they use g-d to justify condemning love between two humans, when I unexplainably, strongly feel love is to be celebrated, a higher power or presence wouldn’t control, structure and condemn love. Nor would they put individuals in particular boxes based on their gender, race, sexual orientation, ability etc. when people in our society use g-d to justify condemning love and defining particular groups of people as bad based on characteristics or origin, they’re filled with hate - and I believe this is wrong.
No, I haven’t. However, I have found myself understanding that my intentions, conscious or unconscious, guide my decisions and reactions. I’ve been trying to stay more in tune with how I feel and what my intentions and thoughts are as I experience life.
Not sure if this is spiritual but I feel my husband's presence all around me, especially when I feel lost and sad.
Not necessarily, I find myself asking the universe and whoever is in charge of all this mess to let up a bit. I've also thought about meditating more but just never seem to get around to it.
Facilitating the peaceful passing of my dear friend and bringing her family to her via Zoom, was deeply moving. I sat with her physically through a miraculous and compassionate hospital decision. I fed her her last food, helped her watch a video produced by her loving choir as a message of hope to her, and was with her when she let go and, I believe, ascended to her God. This ministry was a gift from God to me.
I have felt very connected and when I’m meditating it is very peaceful and spiritual. But also when you go through someone else’s life and seeing what they lived through what the culture is is quite spiritual for me.
not really. I feel like I'm getting farther away from Judaism and not closer. It's sad. I did not create a home community like I wanted to. I have started doing yoga regularly with Yoga with Adriane and I really like it. It's the only thing that will reliably lift my mood every time. And I guess just deciding to have a baby! Placing my hands on my lower belly and imagining my baby. It has been a long time since I wanted something so much, or felt so sure of anything.
Yes, Ive done a lot of journey work. It has made me see many of my cracks. I have been questioning my existence and what i have to offer. It is a bit depressing, but still worth asking. I think I am worthy. I just haven't seen the path yet. And, how to get onto it.
I believe that the events of this past year have made me reflect more on the reasons for humanity. Some of the events have made me wonder if we are not distancing ourselves from spirituality and becoming a more self-serving society.
Participating in services with my Shvester has been both inspiring and a great joy, especially for Yom Kippur. Also becoming president of the board of Kavod v'Nichum. It took me out of "Coronavirus lonliness" and has activated meaningful parts of myself to give to others.
We began having zoom church with our best friends and now that's an integral part of our week. We plan to continue it even after church goes completely back to normal. It definitely lifted my spirits during a dark time. I'm grateful they're there for us.
Getting attuned to Reiki has been a major shift for me...brought me an ease in my spiritual/self-care practice that I never really had. Really allowed a lot of releasing of guilt, not doing it right, something wrong with me thinking.
The spread of Covid and the loss of my job have cause me to spend a lot of time alone. This has caused me to reassess the important things in my life. While my family has always come first, they mean a lot more to me now more than ever.
Beginning the bat mitzvah program and reading the prayers with my daughter makes me feel closer to Jewishness.
Every year when I read this question I feel like I rarely have a stand out spiritual experience. I have spiritual moments - moments where I connect to my clients, feel especially connected to my Judaism, or have a particularly powerful tarot reading. This year I feel like yes, all of those ^^ have happened. But one or two specific moments do stand out this year. When Claudia and I drove to Portland, we stopped in the Badlands. We spent the day (in the 110 degree sun) wandering around what is quite possibly the most unique landscape I've ever experienced. Now, on this trip, I connected the Glacier National Park the most - it was a place that felt familiar and comforting, like I was coming home. But sometimes home and comfort doesn't feel profound or spiritual, it just feels welcoming, like an open armed embrace from an old friend. But when Claudia and I were leaving the Badlands, we kept stopping at places on the side of the road to look in awe at, climb rocks, or take photos. Our last stop was the precipice of a huge canyon. The complexity of the peaks and valleys, the colors, and sun beginning to set in the background. Claudia and I just sat there for what felt like hours and had this magical moment of parallel connection and meaning to this beautiful place. Claudia's moment centered around her external move and the internal processes that brought her to this place in that moment. For me, I felt the same feeling as I did on the Hayride with Kay (@2016 10Q answer). I felt small but connected to something bigger. Bigger than Corona. or myself, or the state of our apocalyptic world. I often think about the evolution of this feeling. I like to imagine the first people, alone in a world that must have felt vast and gigantic, looking up at the sky and creating god, creating messages in the stars, and finding ways to cope with being so small in the eyes of the big black sky. So with all those thoughts in mind, looking out at an alien-like world, I was reminded that maybe we're still creating god and finding messages in our surroundings. Maybe despite years of exploration, of making our world small and accessible, we're still those early humans who split from other primates, who developed complex processing and reasoning, advanced language and ability to build tools and structure, to live in community with morals, values, and laws. Maybe a byproduct of all this, the best part of our evolution so far isn't our civilized advancement, but our ability to feel connection to the universe. That still, in our advanced society, we still need to feel connection to something bigger, something all-knowing or powerful. Maybe, after all these years of evolution, we're still children who have created imaginary parents to guide us through life. And maybe, that's what makes us human.
This year seems like two lifetimes, pre-covid and post. Pre-covid was already a whirlwind with our trip to Mexico and starting the move. Post-covid has just been relentless...some days it becomes difficult to get out of bed. Yet I do, we all do, get out of bed and try to find our routine. I can't think of the spiritual. Just the normal...I know there will be moments where it seems like we have the ability to BREAK FREE...only to remember that free has a different meaning now. In some respects, especially because of my partner's fear of the virus, we are somewhat prisoners of Covid, unable to find the joy in life, the spirituality, the freedom. We tend to look at life with apprehension - if I do this, will I be exposed. Almost the opposite of spirituality. I know this too shall pass, and perhaps we will find our way back to a place where we can experience the spirituality that surrounds us in this life.
It's so hard to remember the first half of the year, having been so consumed with the pandemic for the last half, but being able to "host" a seder at home this year, which I'd never done before, was lovely. It made me feel like an adult, at least for the length of a meal.
I joined the Eastern Orthodox Church. At the time it felt like the best decision I'd made in my life. Since the pandemic, I've been disconnected from all of it, and once more I'm full of doubts about everything... for me, faith gives no answers, but something else even better, though I don't know how to explain it. I just know I will be in this church for the rest of my life.
I tried to. I actually did some deep diving with friends on topics of religion and spirituality. I discovered that I am just not curious to what is out there at all. For me it’s enough to remain grounded in the reality and just know there is something beyond. Whether it’s God or something else. My purpose in life is just to live and be kind and do good things. Whatever comes after that is up to the universe.
I still say the muse's prayer (when I remember), and it still helps my writing.
I learned to stop judging. I choose to assess instead.
I realized that for good or bad, my marriage has the power - which I have given it - to define me and steer my life. When it’s good, my life is good, and when it’s bad, my life is bad. While that may or may not be healthy, it is what we’ve built, and so I have to keep this marriage healthy in order to survive. Robin has responded beautifully to kindness and sensitivity
All the opportunities I have had to see shows/play readings/old radio musicals, International Voices Project .... virtually that I would never have gotten to otherwise.
Again, nothing has tapped me on the shoulder. I am a humanist at heart, and not even a religious or spiritual humanist. Life is random and without an overwhelming rationale or purpose. I wish it were otherwise.
Again, getting pregnant—feeling the moment the spirit came and visited and left my body— that was spiritual. I wish I could say I felt a deeper connection to one-ness this year—certainly I have in other years— but not this one. I think post-miscarriage going to the doctor and finding out I don’t have ovarian endometriosis was also hugely affirming of my own intuition. The pregnancy healed so much which is not a normal reaction to a miscarriage, but I knew that it wasn’t my time.
I have developed a spiritual relationship with my ancestors and the universe. I have become more interested and aware of the occult. I use crystals, tarot cards, smudge sticks, my intuition, angel numbers, and my alter to manifest my wants and needs.
No and I think that’s a big reason why am depressed I’ve got a wait for my spirituality because I’m lazy and I find that when I do double in spirituality it really inspires me and gives me purpose. I need to get back to
Standing with thousands of others demonstrating for black lives was a hugely spiritual experience for me. The kind of anger I felt there was something I've never felt before, nor had I felt the kind of compassion as I did there.
Early on in the pandemic, when everyone was regularly clapping and clinking for medical workers, I felt overwhelmed by closeness to people I didn't know, don't know, and won't know. But we were all in this together, and that felt great.
A very odd one. Driving through New Mexico to spend a day in Las Vegas NM. It was days before the shut down. Spent an evening eating and drinking with good friends. We talked about Covid. Internally we knew the inevitable, yet in this very remote town, for just a moment, there was a sense of peace, which we knew might not return.
There have been some spiritual experiences in the sense that I'm gaining peace with who I am in this world, and what my role could be. I'm doing more things that I was afraid of in the past, and much more ready to show up and give back to this world. I longed to be more than who I am right now.
This year has had a lot of self reflection. Don't know if any of them are particularly spiritual, not more than what someone that bounds himself to the social construct of an organised belief system might consider standard amount of spiritual. Pesach was interesting. Specially by being alone with my flatmate (semi-wife) trying to do it all together, singing included! But no... I think it has been a hard year, not much spiritual.
A friend told me that after she had her second child, she would pray "this is where I end, and you Jesus begin." And I prayed that, feebly, so many times after Huey's birth. This is where I end. This is where you begin. Then I would picture myself pressing into him, pushing against his mighty arm. I end, you begin. To get to that point is....humbling. It took lots of tears, lots of question marks without many answers. It took loss: loss of my confidence and the end of my abilities. I hadn't been there before, but I'm sure I'll go back. And this time, perhaps, I won't be so afraid.
I haven't had any one stand out experience or experiences. I would say that my general experiences in life has brought me to a greater understanding of what it means to rely on God and go to him with everything that's on my heart. To not let their be seperation between God and I just because of my feelings.
Yes I’m Bible reading, singing and discussion with my wife, some sermons—TSC
I do yoga and end with savasana, which is sort of a meditation. Sometimes, maybe when the stars aline, I have a deep experience. Sometimes I feel connected to my mother, sometimes to a higher purpose or being. I feel more centered after this, not content, but purposeful.
Standing on the ferry on the way to Bainbridge, smelling the sea air and feeling the wind in my face. Standing with my son in a divot on the golf course as it snows heavily, unable to see or hear beyond the lip. Watching my seeds grow, green coming up right at the time I felt most hopeless. Standing with a crowd on Juneteenth, holding 8:43 of silence for George Floyd. Standing on the shore as a rainbow shines to my left, the sun sets to my right, and lightning flashes just offshore ahead.
I've not experienced any "spiritual" events this year, religiously or secularly. 2020 feels like a marathon and no matter how far I run, I still can't see the finish line.
i had a voice inside myself asking me to spend new year´s eve alone at my house and not going to elvas. I wrote a big text about 2019 and sent it to my friends, cried a lot and slept. There was an accident at Elvas and my friends didnt enjoy the party.
The events that surrounded the death of my father were extremely spiritual. I felt my father was giving us hints he was still there on the many extraordinary things that happened.
Travelling across Southeast Asia, I had many artistic, cultural, and natural experiences: The Batu Caves in Malaysia, the temples and architecture in Penang (also Malaysia), and so on. But in my mind, I always go back to Singapore the integration of creative architecture and innovative gardening/landscaping was incredible. That skyline is like no other. I want to go back. While on the cruise ship, I loved just stating at the ocean—especially at the back, seeing how the motion and rudder of the ship made these beautifully symmetrical, undulating waves in the most gorgeous of cerulean, navy, and turquoise waters, peaked with white froth. Then there was the immersion in nature. Gardens by the Bay in Singapore takes the prize for best human-made nature experience. The ocean, the nature hike, and waterfalls in Koh Samui take the prize for best all-natural experience. We have one precious and beautiful planet and we really need to do more to preserve it—including encouraging others (people in our lives, corporations, and governments) to do the same.
There's nothing that stands out. I haven't been practicing much. But I am pretty engaged in life and that feels good.
Richard Rohr's meditations resonate with me and give me hope.
I think really trying to get into the holidays has been my most spiritual times. The highlight for me of course was my wedding ceremony and signing my Ketubah. Publicly entering into a marriage contract with my dearest love and now sweet husband was such a wonderful, sentimental and meaningful day and now our life together. Its been a long road for both of us to finding real happiness with another person and truly having a partner in this life.
I felt that having time to fix clothes and sew during lockdown helped me to reconnect with myself again.
Not really.. It's quite unusual 🤔😕
My whole life seems to have been geared towards the spirit this year. I am moving closer and closer to making that my focus and is my priority because I know all else stems from there. Spirituality is my bedrock and foundation for how I move within this world and feel my own being and the sense of grace within and around me.
This year, thanks in large part to the self-help course I participated in, I gave myself a whole new appreciation to meditation. I very rarely practiced meditating in the past, but this time around it really struck a different tone with me. The benefits of performing it on a regular basis have also really started to show.
I don't think so. I'm missing a spiritual component to my life. I don't feel as connected Jewishly to learning and teachers as I used to. I'm hopeful that I can resume learning more because that is a meaningful part of my identity and development.
started sharing my painting progress on Facebook for others to follow along and feel hopeful during Covid. Evolved into people wanting to hire me to paint and instead I have started doing paintings for people, asking that they pay it forward by making a donation to a charity. That process, and how it comes through me from somewhere else, is spiritual and it has led me to the place where I will now write. In the past I held back trying to find the write structure, title, themes, approach. This time, this writing work is asking that I just do what I do with my art, let it come through me and whatever comes, show up and deliver the painting. So do that with this particular piece of writing - show up, listen, let it come through me. Do the hard work of making it right, but stop trying to personally lead the process. That is the wrong approach for this particular work
The closest thing I can relate is New Years Day at the studio. It marked the beginning of the “KickStart” program: the challenge to practice every day in January. Got it done. On NYD my friend Lauren and I practiced at the 10:00. It. Was. Amazing. The music. The sequence. 104 people in that room moving and breathing as one. So incredible. I was spent but then she texted me later and asked if I wanted to take the 4:30 with her. Of course I said yes, and with 70 other students we enjoyed another beautiful practice. Don’t know when I will be in such a crowd again, but it was a very spiritual day.
WHen I thinking about starting the new foundation and Beth buying us a house. I think about the ways my practice of gratitude and speaking things into existence. There is more There is enough; Yes thank you more please these meditations have grounded me this year. Also following the feeling Also reading pleasure activism and thinking about enough rather than abundance
The only thing I can think of is the spiritual satisfaction that comes from finishing reading a book. This year has been short on experiences in general, but completing the journey of reading something is always there for me.
I guess that the pandemic and the climate events have brought out some "spiritual" stuff, or at least some "the world is bigger than you" or "you're going to die" stuff. I have thought a lot about "if these are my last days on earth, how do I want to spend them? I am not sure I am quite living day-to-day with that mentality, but it has spurred me to make some decision, or push a little on the urgency of doing things I've wanted to do. YOLO, right?
See the last bit of the answer to Day 4. The pandemic and associated lockdown of normal life has turned me inward more than before. Attending services via Zoom, as well as additional classes and meetings with a spiritual focus, has brought in a very deep connection (though of course quite different than connecting in person). Nothing stands out as the "aha" moment in this regard, but there is a continuum of connection to that which matters and the urgent need to maintain that connection.
When we were at the cemetery burying Matt, the light came in, and it was so beautiful. Like a hug from him, telling us he loved us. I've spent a lot of time this year at the little pocket park at the end of the street, looking out over the lake. It brings me peace, every time.
No, not really. I've always been a rather introspective and intuitive person but my life hasn't really changed or deepened in spiritual, artistic, cultural, or religious ways. I think I am simply more and more in tune with inner compass and less influenced by the values of others. Perhaps that's part of aging.
I have continued my help locally, mainly in schools with literacy and school supplies, and homeless women and children. In the meantime I am still appalled by the hate and hypocrisy that has been exposed in the citizens of our country.
Biz and I had a lovely couple of days up at Tyddyn for the harvest. On the way home I saw a wonderful rainbow and then put the roof down and turned the tunes up. I had a clear run for the super chicanes but there was a little moisture still on the road so I took it at about 70% - still great fun! Just after 'Grapefruit Moon' shuffled onto my car stereo. I was feeling really happy, but I was suddenly overcome by sadness. Sadness about what's to come. About loss. About life. And then as quick as it came, it went and I felt joy again. JOY, LOVE & GRATITUDE - which reminds me - again in tyddyn with russ, don't forget to remember what happened!! LOL!!
I haven't had specific visions or spiritual experiences, but am much more aware of and honoring of mortality. I work harder to live every day kindly and meaningfully and to savor and share the power of life while it lasts.
I think I’m having one now. I moved to the beach recently and it’s completely changed the way I live my life. I’m so thankful. Meditation has been such a blessing as well. Taking myself outside of myself is awesome!
Maybe getting to go to the beach in December in California and actually swimming (despite warnings not to because "cold"). For me, immersion in water has always felt at least as spiritual as other religious practices. I wish I could have spent more time in the ocean but I'm grateful I had that time at all. Before COVID, I got a group together to do Shabbat dinners most weeks which I hoped would feel spiritual...but someone's boyfriend was always insisting on "leading" our group of women and lecturing us so that got ruined (sitting at the head of the table and acting accordingly).
the words i heard in my head during tashlich "who are you to be ashamed of how i made you"
It feels like COVID has cast such a dark cloud of everything, that my spiritual moments this year have been limited to feeling a sense of inspiration and hope when I witness small acts of kindness from others and perform those same acts myself.
No, again 2020 (5780) was not a particularly spiritual year for me. The closest I can think is reading My Grandmother's Hands and becoming more in touch with my body and how it reacts to the events going on around me as well as my growing curiosity about my ancestors and the people I come from.
The day before my mastectomy, I was the beneficiary of a calming and centering remote session of guided meditation and reiki healing. Toward the end of our Zoom session, I spontaneously envisioned the breasts that had served me so well for so many years sprouting wings and taking flight. I summoned the same image, and mentally conveyed my gratitude toward my breasts, in the hospital immediately before the procedure.
I've had a moment of awakening this year. A new way to get my words out to people. Whereas I used to just merely go to events and write about them, now I turn my words into art via my poems.
Doing the two virtual at-home retreats -- having SJ be part of the first one and seeing her start to integrate the practices and see real benefits. Rebooting my own practice and now being in the habit of doing a daily 45-minute sit during the week. I have no question that my meditation practice is helping me manage my sadness and worry and frustration about T and about the state of the world and about romantic disappointments and about COVID and Paula.
I don't think I've had any particular moments of spirituality but I have had my understanding of religious engagement changed. I feel confident in saying I reject Orthodox Judaism and while I have respect for Orthodoxy, I don't connect to it at all any more. For me that is perhaps a spiritual shift. I'm not sure where I fit denominationally, but I'm open to trying new avenues, progressive, reform, mazorti, liberal...there are so many options and they feel open to me.
Maybe my yoga classes? They definitely help me to focus on myself, how I am feeling, what I am missing. Particularly the deep meditation surprises me often with the things and topics it brings to the front.
What most sticks out this year is cries for help surrounding my new job, feeling so overwhelmed and engaging in harmful habits again. I have realized the need for a daily spiritual practice, not just when life is in crisis. I am trying to build some consistent go-to rituals that include prayer, meditation, walks, a gratitude journal. At least one of these daily, more if possible.
I very much want to learn Transcendental meditation, but the lessons in Amsterdam will cost €500-€800. I think that will have to wait- gotta make sure to pay the rent before I get all fancy! Maybe will try to do it next year, or find a workaround online (better than nothing)
I’m not spiritual and I hate the word. Bye.
Yes, I felt very connected to G-d when I was about to go into my surgery. I found myself praying which is something i usually don't do. I felt very exposed and vulnerable. I feel Hashem watched over me.
I've been really enjoying "forest bathing"- time in nature with no specific direction or purpose. I found that is the closest I get to feeling connected with a higher power! The second my family gets out in nature for our nature walk, we all feel better. I love the smell of the foliage, the quiet sounds, the ways that my daughters pick up every leaf.
My friend, Jutta, was deathly ill and I could feel her thoughts. She was unable to talk due to oxygen tube down her throat but I was able to feel her anxiety and she was so scared. It was horrible but at the same time I kept trying to send her thoughts that I could hear her. I saw her a few days later and she blinked when I touched her. Very special moment
Meditating more than ever before. Goal is to meditate every day, and coming close to that. Gives me some peace of mind, calmness, gratitude, forgiveness and acceptance, both of others and of myself. Baruch Ha Shem for that.
I've been agnostic for years, but the way Christians are worshipping Trump when he goes against everything they supposedly stand for has actually brought me closer to believing in God. The only way I can explain the adoration for this man is that he has to be the antichrist. There is no other explanation.
Yes absolutely. I have been practicing meditation consistently, and coupled with the readings I have been doing (stoic philosophy, book club books), I feel I have found a very comfortable way to be in the universe. However, the practice is needed bc it is so very hard to stay in that mindset during the day, interacting with people and the world. So being mindful is my key focus. I need a lot of work. I know when I am in a discussion I can still get too emotional and less impactful. Need to prepare myself to center myself. That is kind of a different thing, tho. Spiritually, I like to stay connected to the universe. I put up a couple "pause" stickers around my space to remind me to re-center and re-balance, to literally pause, breath, and see where I am before going into the next thing. I have been working on broadening my learning, searching out other bloggers, writers, podcasts, newsletters - trying to learn more. Mostly, tho, it comes down to meditation practice and the pause. I do want to acknowledge also the fun, joy, and freedom I feel in the writer's workshop - that is prob my artistic spiritual exp, espesh when the ideas just come and you have no idea where they are coming from! Love that!
Tripped with my husband for the first time, twice. They were his first times, and he's fully onboard with establishing a regular practice. It was good, although I think acid is a less spiritual experience than mushrooms. I enjoy the feelings of joy, wonder, and peace during and after a trip. I look forward to more experiences.
I had a fantastic trip to Ireland to play music in October and it was definitely a spiritual experience, full of new adventures, new friends, and music. But that magical journey has been hampered by finding out in January that my husband had an affair literally right before we left for that trip. So now I am doubting my intuition and wondering if I know anything about anything anymore.
When the pandemic was ramping up and the killing of Black people by police reached critical mass, I laid in bed and asked G-d if the world was ending. I did this again when the smoke from the fires blocked out the sky. I felt very alone in those moments, and I still do a lot of the time.
I wish I could sense this a bit more. I did really enjoy going to Kentucky last October for Shaina's wedding. Just spending time in the moment there, I did feel a connection that had been missing for a while.
I was meditating and had a vision and experience of drowning. I started to panic and then made a decision to just "let go" and see where the next journey might take me. I had a feeling of complete calm and peace wash over me. I was aware that I was meditating, but felt like I was in another realm. It hasn't happened since, but it's comforting to know that I have a choice to let go when I feel overwhelmed.
There were moments this summer when I reached total calm, in nature. I’m thinking especially of the magical camping evening on bangs island—picking wild raspberries and peas, cooking chocolate-filled banana over a fire on the beach, waking up to the sounds of waves on the rounded rocks. I felt so in touch with the earth—and our whole family felt peaceful.
Thanks to my partner, I’ve been more seriously defending my time forShabbat rest. It does wonders to center me in the midst of a hectic schedule. It lets me put down the nagging notion that I always need to be doing something productive and can never keep up for a while.
Yes! Samuel converted to Judaism. That was one of the most spiritual experiences I've had in a long time. Samuel and I took a class at our local synagogue, Beth Meyer, in Raleigh. Actually, Sam took two classes, but I joined him for just one. It was so great to all come together to learn more about Judaism - I have so much curiosity and warmth for Judaism, and it was so great to see how Samuel shares that too. Sam says he's identified as a Jew for a long time, and now he is officially one of us. The conversion ceremony was so special. My parents flew in. It was one of the last weeks of February, and my parents wanted to push the conversion back to April, but Sam insisted on doing it now, and thank God he did - Covid hit just a few weeks later. Sam had a beit din where members of Beth Meyer asked him questions about his connection to Judaism. Then he did a mikveh bath. Then we all went to the bimah and Sam got to hold a torah and say the shema. It was incredible, and so moving, and we all cried. I feel more connected to Judaism than I did last year. I feel rooted in my connection. We've been celebrating Shabbat almost every weekend, and I stopped working on Saturdays. It's been really nice to have a connection to spirituality and culture while the rest of the world feels so tumbly and insecure.
Perhaps the most spiritual experience I’ve had this year has been connecting with Martha, watching her grow, watching her take hold of her body and her life, observing and participating in her joy and experience of life. An individuality emerging as she comes more into herself from out of the cosmos. Flute - thank you, Mimi Stillman. Playing music with Ron - very special. Learning to listen while playing. Growing friendship with John Foster especially through our work with the high school students at Kimberton Waldorf School and continuing talking about our individual lives and also studying Anthroposophy together. A friendship which as John said: “I don’t talk about these things with other people.”
I went to the Resistance Museum in Amsterdam. It was humbling. I know a little of the resistance from school but it's never taught about in the same way as the war is, with storied events and heroes. It should be. The bravery and resilience was incredible. The willingness of people to recognise the evil in the banal, to not dismiss it as the new normal, and to fight against it even at great risk to themselves. At a time when the UK government has just published guidance forbidding schools from teaching positively about anyone who has broken the law for a cause, it feels prescient.
I have not had any significant spiritual experiences in my life. I continue my contemplation of life, of what I want to share with the world, of what the world has become for me. Overall, I just want to simply live. I want the busy-ness, anxiety, fear, over-consumerism, social outrage to just calm down. I want people to work together, not tear each other apart.
I’ve really had to think about this question for a few days. 2020 has been such a mind-blowing year for me. I have reconsidered and reversed many of my philosophies about life and learned so much about history and the falsehoods that I absorbed growing up. Ignorance of basic US history, ignorance of what life in the US is like for people of color, coming face to face with my own prejudices - not only political and racial, but my religious prejudice also. I mean, I believed deeply in God, a power greater than myself, but the whole Jesus stuff I could pretty much ignore or even have contempt for. Then I watched the first season of The Chosen and that icy contempt started to melt. Proving once again that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.
several. could also be described as 'karma' or 'magical thinking.' I do mitzvah, a good thing happens for ME.
For the first time I did the mourner’s Kaddish for someone I was genuinely grieving for and started crying instantly.
I have spent the last year learning and growing at Mechon Pardes in Jerusalem. I think most days here I have had a spiritual experience, or at least an existential crisis which a few days or weeks later leads to a spiritual experience. Really, just focusing on growing my relationships with people and Judaism and community have been eye-opening in ways that are not explicitly spiritual but are for sure emotional in some capacity.
Yes. I have been trying to examine myself from the viewpoint of others. Because I am present only 'electronically' to others, I have become aware that what I perceive as a harmless joke can result in unexpected reactions. That has always been true. But this year is different. This year, thousands of people are relating to each other in a hollow context of pixels and video, and not all of them have a built-in "sarco-meter" or filter that tells them that was a broadly-intended joke, not a personal jab. Because I do not share everything I think and feel in social media, I have had to consider that OTHERS are not sharing everything: their struggles or pain, the negatives that are happening around them. Things that condition their responses to everything, but are kept private. I have vowed to try to keep my public persona more positive. Does that mean I'm hiding too? In a way, yes. I will share a struggle when I have one, but I want to see others in a positive light (when possible) and at least try to neutralize the polarization (when I experience it) with softer words and attitude. I've seen lots of opposition online from people I have worked with and liked, and it saddens me to know that I am the person they are ridiculing with memes and tirades. THEY do not know they are ridiculing me, they have the impression that I think like they do. Black lives matter. I wonder how this will sound in 2021. Will we ever get to the point where it is universally accepted? Where it doesn't need to be said? I do not know. I am watching/listening as my husband vacillates wildly between racist talking points and a reluctant examination of his own thoughts and words, and I am trying to remain passive/positive to give him the opportunity to work it out for himself. I do not think that calling him on his racist statements or attitude will be helpful. At the same time, I am once again putting my own feelings on the back burner in favor of his. I struggle with this. When do I get to be who I am in my own home?
JoJo and I managed to have a wonderful joint 60th celebration under the bandstand in Regent's Park! It was so wonderful to gather lots of special people despite the restrictions! I made a scrumptious giant feast from all the hand-picked courgettes, beetroots and raspberries I could carry on Ted! We played footy run by Alex, Aistis made everyone cachaca, Chloe from work made everyone peach ice-tea, and KT made us a wicked world-fusion playlist. Oh it was so special! I went to various gardens, fields and farms to pick fruits and admire petals! Kew gardens! The River Wandle! The Colne Valley! Friday Lake! It has been beautiful to marvel at nature, and successful tomato crop hehe!
During the late part of the first semester last year, I had begun going twice weekly to close quarter combat lessons until I had to stop because of an incompatible schedule. I had planned to resume this summer but the lockdown triggered by the Red China plague put a stop to the close quarter combat lessons. "The Fool" card turned up during a serendipitous online tarot reading recently, which means "new beginnings" and "Choose your own adventure".
I was able to watch the naming of the daughter of one of my nephews. During that I was able to see the beaming face of my elderly aunt which made the event more wonderful.
I got a nice message from my departed father
My memory is a shambles this year, and I tend to navigate the world more through feeling than thinking so there are probably too many minor ones to count. That aforementioned Patti Smith concert right before lockdown felt like a religious gathering. Listening to Nick Cave's “Ghosteen” straight through, on my back, in our living room, looking up into our skylight a few months ago was weirdly transcendent, too. And let’s not forget that apocalyptic day of orange skies and no sun. Spiritual and existential and not necessarily in a good way.
The shift I described in answer to question #1 feels spiritual. I specifically noticed, when welcoming Shabbat this past Friday night, that I didn't need to let the week go in the same way I might have in the past, since i've been letting Shabbat into my week by studying and meditating daily with IJS, as well as continuing my hevruta with Florence. I feel less "clenched."
Yeah! Some really good, if challengin meditation this past spring, during the most desparate days of covid. And more fecently, some good connections to Jewihs community via online services, singing, meditation, study. The Teshuba course was a little disconnected for me but still had some nice moments about Buber and Nachman, and some nice golden glow of myseticla contemplation. The meditation, when I was doing it more, really helped me to sooth myself, return to that place of calm, and metabolize experience rather than just jumping from one stimulation to another. Some nice walks. Even some nice convos with my parents recently that felt more collaborative, helpoed by the fact that they seem to have some sense of what I'm doing.
Hey, you know, I finished The Adventure Zone podcast, that was a thing that happened this year. Does that count as spiritual? I don't really understand the word. I think I finally figured out how I view the universe, that's also a this year thing I'm pretty sure. I was up late one night about to spiral into existential dread (in the heart of quarantine) and I took a moment to just think of how I view the universe without any lables attached to how I view it. Just this whole closed system of the same stuff (the universe), all orange like dense and hot, and the everywhere, and changing and forming and organizing, then little orange glowy spots would appear and say "why" and then return to the universe. And I don't know, I just thought about that for a while and it made me cry a bit and feel better. It's all just the universe, with little parts of itself gaining sentience long enough to look around at itself and say "why" (why am I here, why do I love, why do I hate, why does gravity work, etc). And then eventually it all becomes dim and big but then you realize it's orange again, and this a really dense version of the next step. Also the adventure zone was really fucking good I strongly recommend. I connected with the main villain a little too much probably, and the arms outstretched moment was spiritual if I've ever seen it.
I've dreamt of hearing my gods, which is nice. That hasn't happened in a few years, since my mental health went down the toilet. We have new kittens and I swear I can see Bast within them. Polar Bear especially, it's like he can sense when I need him to cuddle and purr at me. Reconnecting with my jewish roots has meant a lot too, it helped me sort out a lot of what I do and don't believe. I think it's helped me strengthen my beliefs. I'm no monotheist, but being able to fit both my beliefs and my culture together has meant a lot to me.
There have been times in the past few months that I have had what I would call a spiritual experience, coming from singing (on Zoom get-togethers) with others, especially when singing songs with a theme of hope, or watching a Zoom choir or orchestra singing or playing. After the session is over, I can feel how the music has affected me and once again I know that for me music is my spiritual vessel.
I believe that the Lord has protected us.
Does falling in love count? I think the phrase "falling in love" describes something spiritual overall, something you have no control over, but feels like you are transcending to another level of trust, vulnerability and adventure. It just happens like a whoosh of wind. That's what happened to me in 5780.
I'm not sure I'd define it as spiritual, per se, but I recently had a realization that has changed and will keep changing my life. So often I think about how much I've learned and grown since high school. I think about how I have a better sense of my worth, that I know that this X (in high school, it was always a boyfriend) is not the only X I'll ever have, and that I don't have to stick with a terrible X to ensure that I don't end up without an X; that there are always more Xes, and that life without an X can be pretty awesome too. I think about all the bad situations I would have gotten myself out of. I think of all the abuse that I wouldn't tolerate. I think of how much better I'd do it now, with all I've learned. And then, just in the past month, it hit me that my job is now X. Turns out, if you dress my insecurity up in different clothes, I'll open the door and invite it in. I have been treating my job the same way I treated all those terrible relationships - clinging to it even though it's hurting me, because I'm scared of life without it. Sure that if I let this one go, I'll never find another one that I love. Certain that this is my last chance, my best chance, and that if I'm not happy it's my fault. So, I'm quitting. I will be brave this time. I will get myself out.
The pandemic actually coincided with a really nice reentry point to Judaism. With days blending together and being stuck at home, Shabbat became really important this year. Pretty much every Friday night for the past 5 months, I've lit candles, drank some wine, said the blessings and used it to separate the week from the weekend. The height of this was doing the Omer with Aaron every night, which I suppose was a more intellectual exercise than a spiritual one. But the rhythm and cadence of doing it every single night, saying the blessing before we discussed ideas about love and faith and joy and endurance, was really lovely. That's the kind of shit that gets me going.
Our church services are via Zoom...and we 'religiously' attend. It's nice, in a way, because we don't have to get dressed up, particularly. But I miss the face to face....
I can't recall any particularly spiritual experiences. In fact, I think because of COVID, some of the spirituality in my life has felt lacking and I think that's one of the biggest hits I've taken. I don't feel connected to much and it brings about some depressive feelings.
There have been many times when people have shared their pain either from the pandemic or the violence or the existential fear that Trump will win another term showed me that there is a shared feeling that ties us together and gives me hope that together we can overcome this terrible, terrible time.
Recently I joined a congregation in NYC, hundreds of miles from where I live. I’ve been livestreaming services from there since I retired & felt like supporting them now that everything is virtual. Their music & deeply moving for me. I’ve also joined a Wednesday morning Zoom minyan led by a rabbi in the SW & a cantorial student on the West Coast. Many weeks during these I enter a lovely, peaceful, spiritual, & centered inner space.
I haven't really. I've been trying to stop looking for the big, earth-shaking spiritual experiences and instead focus on the everyday miracles. I really find it hard attending zoom shul though. If I'm lucky, I get snippets of moments of connection, but rarely anything more though.
Not really and I wonder if my awareness is off due to all the stress from COVID and the election.
Seeing evidence of, for lack of a better descriptor, "spirits" in the form of flying lights visible on the baby monitor I have trained on my elderly, semi-demented dad has been interesting. Although as a child I was soundly dismissed as "imagining things" a "scaredy-cat", I've long maintained there has been otherworldly activity here at the family home. To be able to see it plainly and not have it frighten me as it did when I was a child, and share video evidence with others is a vindication I needed.
Fires, smoke, darkness at noon, ash fall. This morning a warning about underground fires in burned areas. It has always burned in the summer here. The burns now are more destructive. Fire as destroyer, fire as refining and cleansing; green fire, viriditas, the slow burn of life; rust, too. I have dreamed about fire underground since my year in retreat. Fire in the woodstove, fire in the mines, fire in the living roots of the trees. I was, and remain, uncertain: is it a cleansing fire that refines and enlivens all it touches, til every earthly part of me glows with the fire divine? Is it wicked or crazy to think of fire's warming, cooking, creative power, when so many have been harmed by these firestorms? We humans are powerful forces in the landscape, and we live along with other powerful forces. May we learn to interbreathe with all beings, coinhabit wisely and humbly with all the other powers.
A spiritual moment that stands out was the Saturday afternoon in early March that I made the “Shelter In Peace” sign. I remember sitting in the living room with coffee and music playing. I remember reading the terrifying news and accounts of how Covid was ravaging Wuhan province, northern Italy, parts of Spain and a breakout at a nursing home in Seattle meant it was just weeks from Portland. I envisioned the sign and then crafted it. I could feel God’s presence every step of the way as I placed each letter, checked from the street how each letter looked then moved each one until right. It was my ark and my rainbow of hope all in one. And six months later, it continues to fill the picture window placed perfectly at the top of our street. It stops me and helps me feel the oneness of the world. It reminds me to be kind and loving. It teaches me to have patience as this too shall pass one day. It stops me and asks me to be present and focus my attention on the goodness of humanity. I see it as a gift from God.
My silent reflections at 10:30 pm by the water's edge with a definitive purpose of develop four objectives for the next day have helped me merge thought with action in a purposeful and efficient manner.
G-d is mocking all of us with COVID-19. If His intention was to have humans reevaluate their lives, I'm not sure it's working.
No. Where I sit this am, writing my thoughts I admit to being consumed with anger over my job as well as the global state of affairs. There is not room for much of anything else left in my body or memory without noting that first. Admitting that leaves room for one small memory remnant of art, spirit, culture... Early in the epidemic there was a news spotlight of a perhaps 6 year old girl living in a dusty Syrian refugee camp. They followed her as she went through her day. Her voice was so humble, pure and melodious as she went to a spigot with her tumbler toddler sister, and spoke of how they washed their hands while singing a tune so they would stay well from the coronavirus. The tone of innocence, trust, faith and love of life was so clear. And the truth of her impossible circumstances of health and wellness was so in opposition to it that the memory still captures me heart and soul - for her alone today and the whole world of children through history and to come. I pray she actually beats the odds and blooms in the desert. Then there’s the orange sky day in NorCal. The discovery of the Strozzi Institute of embodied leadership. The many humbling displays of human powerlessness. Phil and covid, for example, both getting, and surviving.
I think there were moments around planning the wedding when things felt very spiritual. I could feel Hashem's test. It is so easy to have emunah when everything goes your way but it is SO much harder to have emunah when nothing does. That was the challenge Hashem presented me and I felt it very tangibly. Otherwise, the wedding itself was very spiritual! I tried so hard to daven for everyone and everything before the chuppah and at the chuppah. Since moving, I've found connections with others very spiritual. People that I click with, meeting couples my age, positive interactions with students, going to shul when possible, all of it.
The moment in which I felt the greatest spirit of community & togetherness was at the David Byrne concert when all the audience members got up to sing together (Burning Down the House, Once in a Lifetime). I felt a sense of interconnectedness and unity of spirit/ emotion that was palpable, and a potent reminder of what we lost shortly after when the pandemic started. The theme that David Byrne hammered throughout the show was that we are all connected to one another, and I could feel it. I've also had moments of great spiritual connection through TSTI this year. We've started attending both shabbat & havdalah services regularly (like every week) since the pandemic. I'm very grateful for the connections we've made with our TSTI family, for the amazing readings & prayers & themes our clergy have introduced (like the 100th Anniversary of Suffrage shabbat or the mention of RGB in our Rosh Hashanah services), and for the beautiful songs of comfort and wholeness that are now incorporated into my brain & life.
I really really enjoyed having 72 hours hours in myself in NYC this past year. I felt totally free -- largely forgot (!) about Frank and girls and felt really really comfortable in my body with my choices. It's taken me a long time to feel that way and I want to remember that.
Since Bruce passed away two years I have been much more aware of the small daily miracles in life. Everyday is a spiritual experience if we are aware our Creator and His amazing creation. My faith grows daily.
One that comes to mind was a day I spent with Rosalind and we noticed a lizard missing it's tail, then on a walk in the evening we noticed a man sitting in a wheelchair missing his arm. We reflected on those observations and noted that both could be alive with that part missing. What's most important are your head and your heart parts.
I think things got weirdly spiritual at my lil rosh hashanah party. We had rachel, jaye, and hayley over and we all reflected with the 1oQ questions!!!! thanks pals. I made a bunch of vegan jewish food and it was all delicious and all the goys loved it. I felt really proud. I felt happy that I had organised such a nice meal and they all actually got something good out of it. I feel like I could be a spiritual leader in another lifetime.
Not in particular. On one level, this has been the first year that I have actually been able to sit in my yard and just rest in God and in the greenery. Otherwise, some of the national turmoil and climate issues of the past year has led me to a deeper consideration of what God intends for this world. Perhaps too, preaching, if I detach from the process of trying to say something meaningful, has also been a time of wrestling with the word, which in itself is a spiritual experience.
I did a very meaningful ritual to say goodbye to my job, and let it go. I was away for a week in my favorite place in the world - which I looked forward to for the final 6 weeks of my job as my celebration for when I finished. I did a tashlich ritual in the ocean, where I tossed shells and rocks into the water and named something about the job, good and bad, and said goodbye to it. I dunked three times in the water to seal it, said a shehecheyanu, and listened to a song that is meaningful to me during transition points.
Keeping up with the 929 project - reading a new chapter of Torah each day. A few months ago I also started reading some of the accompanying chapter in Hebrew.
I feel Austin with me periodically and am deeply grateful.
It's hard to point to something specific but I have had several things converge which I would describe as spiritual. During the summer, I thought about my time as a graduate student and even as an undergraduate. I had a different approach to living that was more soulful. I was very into Jungian psychology but there is a truth there that I connected with. The idea that our problems are not just individual ones but more deeply rooted in the human condition. The work we did with the peace coalition was in part about becoming a more peaceful integrated soul. I read the book, Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore and it really brought me back to this time period. In some ways, I think I had been living before COVID very mechanistically. It's like I took attitudes of stoicism too far and thus lost some of the joy and mystery of life. The notion of meaning, psychology, soul, and artistry tie together. I had forgotten until this summer that I once had a very different and meaningful life that had little to do with this identity. That person was full of love, especially for my husband and our little life together.
The moments I’ve felt most connected to spiritually were in journaling and meditation. I can feel the growth from these moments and I need to find a way to build these into my routine.
Appreciating nature. I've always loved nature but these past 10 months have given me even more and consistent time to be outdoors, and spaciousness to soak in nature. It has been a very soothing, grounding experience.
It really sucked to have to celebrate Pascha at home instead of with my parish family. It was a really low point while being Orthodox. I've since been much more grateful for the times I can go to church in person.
Watching my two year old sleeping is spiritual. Watching him learning is spiritual. Watching him delight in things he is discovering is like looking upon the face of God.
I feel close to God in so many ways. And sometimes life can feel so serendipitous. And that has to be spiritual in a way. For instance, my Temple had a book club discussion on Ibram Kendi's book " Stamped from the beginning". I mentioned I was reading this book to my brother who replied" I wouldn't read all those lies. If you want to read the truth, read Empire of Liberty by Gordon Wood because that will tell you how exceptional our country is. So I'm in the middle of reading Gordon Wood's book. Actually, I find both books are in agreement. Of course, Stamped is focused on the African American experience but Wood's book corroborates Kendi's book in many ways. In addition, Wood's book describes how divisive our politics has been from the beginning. Rather than making me feel increasingly anxious about our upcoming election, the hatred and protests, I am realizing that none of this is new. We have always had to deal with these very same issues and we have survived all this in the past. So I think we will be OK for the future also. And this realization is a spiritual experience in itself because it is like a reassurance from G-d that our world will find a way to endure and we will all be alright.
One "silver lining" of the pandemic is that I have been able to "Zoom" Shabbat services nearly every week, keeping me in contact with my synagogue family and, of course, with God. Having the opportunity to blow my shofar in recent days, which always makes me feel closer to God, has been a most wonderful blessing.
high on the boat on lake powell probably. the green water, the canyon, eco zones or tame impala. there are beautiful placesand there are good things i jus thave to get OUT
The spiritual event that I am continuing to be affected by is a difficulty coming to peace with my inability to return to my spiritual home. It's very painful and very complicated.
My spiritual experiences have been negative. I wanted to commemorate my Father's yahrzeit and the Chabad Rabbi was too greedy in his donation request/demand especially for a kiddush shared three ways.== I have seen that there is no accountability in the shul and that it seems to support his family. During COVID he has used FB live to communicate rather than getting a Zoom account for the shul to allow 2 way communication. I also want to be in a more egalitarian congregation which is concerned about social justice.
Yes, in a sense I feel we have actually changed to a new era. That´s a big thing.
I'm feeling spiritually bankrupt. Small art efforts, cooking, and gardening have helped a little. (Cooking because I feel the spirit of G'ma Markley.)
I think the practice of being alone in quarantine for an extended period of time has felt pretty spiritual. I feel very in touch with my home and my cat; we've developed a rhythm. The acts of washing dishes, keeping my home clean, and so on have taken on such a new and welcome flavor.
I became very close with my shul community, even during the beginning of the pandemic, but I have also sat so much with myself, searched, got lost, rode the waves
Hiking in Yellowstone gets pretty close to a spiritual experience. At one point I was hiking down the John Muir Trail on my own, and it was a good time to be alone with my thoughts. It was a great time to go, what with the limitations on entry due to the pandemic. Though much of what we drove past had been burned, seeing the remnants of trees alongside the lives ones is a good reminder of the fragility and evanescence of life, almost a memento mori. I hope Derek and I get to together someday.
Well my mom passed away that wasn’t particularly spiritual. But I felt so guilty about it. I was not with her when she passed. I went home to sleep. At about 7:30 in the morning her spirit came to me and fluttered about and I just sit fly away. About eight in the morning I got the call. Months had passed I said that I did not want her to visit because I think I was just too upset. And then after a while I felt like it would be OK. She came and saw me held my hand. When I woke up I was holding my hand. I knew it was mom to let me know that she was OK. I am Glad that she came to see me. Now I’m just surrounded by her stuff. Again just that reminder… The end is always near. Love you mom.
Meeting mindy mindfully meant many massages made messages magically mean multiple moments made madly marvelous.
It is not a spiritual experience but I have been exploring my great-grandmother's Jewish roots by starting an online course in Ashkenazi civilisation (through YIVO in New York). I have also finally decided to learn Yiddish, through the Kadimah in Melbourne. We have a great teacher who is really encouraging and is aware that her students are from wide-ranging backgrounds. Yiddish has interested me because I can follow the spoken language to an extent thanks to knowing Dutch and German, making it almost feel familiar to me. Despite being put off by the different alphabet for years, this is one of the aspects I like best! Our class is very supportive and I am greatly enjoying a diversion from everyday tasks.
I am not a spiritual person at all. I have disdain for organized religion, struggle with belief in a higher power, and find anything vaguely "spiritual" immediately suspicious. My partner and I have found a mutual understanding and love through the music we share. We have related and grown close not only from our shared musical tastes, but our respect of our independence. It has been a beautiful experience overall. Also, it has nothing to do with god.
Nothing profoundly spiritual. I have deepened my meditation practice and have had an interesting experience on psychedelics albeit this was not profoundly spiritual but it was perspective-altering. I have been spending lots of time looking at the clouds and enjoying the rich beauty of nature this winter near the Great Ocean Road and looking out over the Bass Strait.
I completed my first pass though the 12 steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous and as a result of steps 1-3 I developed a connection to and visualization of a loving higher power which I believe helped me significantly in letting go of GG and other problems that are out of my control like all the damage, division and chaos caused by Trump and the GOP. My higher power relates to nature and the power of us as a collective. The visualization I created is of a redwood forest...the trees are connected through their roots and I envision my problems moving through the collective, up the trunk into the canopy where they are released as oxygen.
Yes! The experience that stands out the most to me was the energy healing workshop I attended with Breanna Borten in July. The experience helped me reconnect with a version of myself I hadn't been attuned to in many years. I also helped me reconnect with nature and the the world around me. I feel more complete and confident after participating in this work.
The singing at Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's memorial at the Capitol moved me deeply.
Marching to protest police brutality, and the death and barbaric treatment of George Floyd, was a spirit filled experience. The spirit of solidarity and unity - for justice, peace and love - was so overwhelming it moved me to tears.
I've had multiple spiritual experiences this year. A few that stand out to me. I said to Lisa in January I felt like this year there would be change at work, big changes but I couldn't pin point as to what exactly and then 2 months later corona was into full effect. I predicted the flood at Fairfield, I had A massive anxiety attack about it before I left for bali cause I thought it would happen when I was away but instead it happened A month after I'd come home. I knew holly would leave gusto, I said it last year but it wouldn't be for A while and she left A couple months ago.
We have been celebrating Shabbat most Fridays with candles and challah. Hearing my children repeat the prayers that have been said by Jews for thousands of years brings me a feeling of spiritual connection that I really appreciate.
Visiting the Smoky Mountains and communing with nature was a spiritual experience for me. I LOVE the mountains, and would prefer to be there to a beach any day! Being in the mountains puts me in AWE of the extreme beauty of our world!
I'm not sure I can pinpoint one specific moment, as I have felt a growth of my spirituality ever since the pandemic struck. And I was reminded of a very spiritual moment that happened when I turned 18. I had forgotten all about it, but was reminded when I went back and read some old journal entries from that time. It coincided with reading a story about a young Druid woman who comes into her powers when she turns 18. And it made me feel like that depth of feeling and sensation and mysticism is within me - I just have forgotten to tap into it, or perhaps how to tap into it. I don't claim to know what it means or to even say with conviction that any of it exists or matters. But what it does for me is make me feel alive with the world and love for the world, and that is something I can always enjoy and use in my life. So I am continuing to pursue spirituality in whatever way moves me, no longer as a task on my goals list, but simply because I am moved to do so.
I can only think of two, and I am not sure they qualify:' 1) Sitting on the recliner, Zoe used to jump up onto my lap every time I sat there, stretch out, and go into the zone, more womblike than just sleeping. It brought me great calm. I am hoping she does this again when the weather turns cold. The other was how, after walking daily in Key West for a week, my limp and knee pain went away. It was like a miracle, and proved to me how actions I take that are out of the ordinary can have a profound effect on reversing the collapse of health.
I've shut down in a lot of ways. There's too much to do to keep going and then the energy is too spent to be inward or to be accepting spiritual experience. Or alternatively, the catalysts for spiritual experience are no longer available.
I found a 12-step recovery community and worked steps with a sponsor. I did have a spiritual awakening. I went from deeply scriptural to understanding I need to tap into a power greater than myself. I’ve had incredible guides and lean on prayer and meditation daily which is helping me cope with my recovery, the pandemic and life on life’s terms. I am reparenting myself with the help of my living higher power, Gia. My life is richer and gentler beyond my wildest dreams.
During the height of the lockdown, I found myself keeping Shabbos more strictly than I have in the past. Being able to "unplug" from everything felt amazing at the time. Being able to sit outside on a Saturday afternoon and feel the sun and hear the wind was truly profound and much needed.
No. Not a thing.
Growing my relationship with Christ - praying more intimately, reading devotionals with my husband, taking virtual classes with my church. I have been incredibly blessed both materially and spiritually in the midst of this crisis, and feel stronger and better equipped to overcome challenges and have my life be a reflection of my love for Christ
I'm really struggling with this one. Kids aren't welcome anywhere even if it's open so it feels impossible. I really enjoy Heather's minyan/open shul. Hopefully in the spring?
None come to mind. The voice of God has grown quiet for now.
In China when we went to Meli Mountain. I felt connected to the world. Expansive. Looking back at past answers, I seem to be sticking to this outdoorsy trend. I felt like we got out more this year, and I am proud of that.
Passover during COVID was the first holiday I celebrated during the pandemic and therefore it has a different (even more humble, mindful) tone to it. I’ve also had various walks in nature that I recall being disconnected from the busyness and periodic lack of enthusiastic presence of my work life.
I’ve had several/many – usually a surprise that comes from my pen. On the 15th of September, I facilitated a legacy writing workshop with Sage-ing International. I decided to use my subway experience from 1961 to illustrate why story is just story for legacy writers, and shared the story with them and asked them to imagine being that girl on the subway and to write their learning from the story, and then a blessing (the 2 last pieces of the 4¶ template I’d created and shared with them). I’ve done this exercise many times, and for some reason this month picked up my pen to see what I’d learned since I first wrote in 2002. I was amazed by what I observed and was gloriously happy to see what I’ve learned in the past almost 2 decades. I recount the lesson here first from 2002 and then what I wrote just 10 days ago. Why this is spiritual to me has to do with my spiritual growth, my ability in recent years to have learned to listen better, talk less, and being open to learning and growing. I don’t think I have ever again heard the clear spiritual voice that set me on my path to do this work as I did that hot August afternoon in 1999 with Rabbi Raphael. But I do believe that relatives of that angel have been guiding me over these past two decades, whispered to me creative ways of teaching, and an ever increasing desire to do this work justice, and discover ways that I can push myself closer to truth, and guide others to do the same. From 2002: Learning & blessing “I was shocked and shamed. Since then, even if I choose not to give to a person begging, I look the person in the eye. I feel more human when I acknowledge another’s humanity. So, my beloved and precious children, Sid and Debbie, I offer you this blessing: ‘May you both be blessed with compassionate and wise eyes: eyes that see beyond the face of circumstance, that see the spark of the Divine deep within yourself, each other, and everyone on our planet.’ Love, Mom” From 2020: Learning and Blessing “I'm shocked by my naïveté about ‘white privilege’ –– spoiled and complacent, tucking in my eyes and my purse to remain so. What I learned from this, not then, but now, is that I live inside a body and mind of 'implicit bias’ and I feel ashamed, and commit to opening my eyes to reality, to live a fuller life that sees everyone as worthy of the privileges I have. May you, my children and grandchildren, be people whose eyes have been opened so you can work for justice and equality for yourselves, those you love, and all people everywhere.”
Honestly? I've put off answering this one for several days because I couldn't think of a good one. It has been a LONG year full of a lot of tears and suffering, and a feeling of disconnectedness from friends, family, community and just fellow human beings in general. I'm not normally one for everyday prayer (finding more meaning in the more secular side of things) but I will be saying mi shebeirach at every available opportunity this week as three dear friends are now suffering from COVID-19 and one is in the hospital (Heather please get better soon!!!) and I can't say much more without ending up weeping at my desk once more.
Yes! Even in the face of what is going on and what is yet to come, G-d has given me a great sense of peace. I remain active and I remain engaged but I feel as though my soul is in the eye of this storm in a place of absolute spiritual stillness. I am very calm and very unafraid.
I listened to several amazing audiobooks this last year that gave me such spiritual peace: Who Do We Choose to Be? (Margaret Wheatley) and On the Brink of Everything (Parker Palmer). They are both seasoned writers with late-life wisdom. They helped me address the profound despair I have been feeling over the state of our Nation. I have begun to process sprirtually the Truth that straightline progress is a myth. As Jesus said,"The poor [and even more so, the selfish, greedy, violent, and manipulative] will always be with you." Trumpism is a prime example. My hope can never be in men. I only have control over, and the ability to act on, the values and decisions I have. Period.
Yes, in that I have been working on improving my spiritual self. Being thankful for the experiences, positive and negative, good and bad. This has been a hard year but an enlightening one.
Spiritual - when I think of faith and this came up in terms of Will's suicide - I am looking for support or answers outside myself and I know that there is a larger reality, a higher consciousness within which we are all a part. Since Fall 2019 to Fall 2020, I would look to the sense of hope and change in the future I felt believing Bernie Sanders could be our next President. This was an elating and positive revelation.
This is a bit of a stretch but I think I finally accepted that my political views don't align with the narrative that is being expressed by media. I had a long conversation with Robert about how my affiliation with the Democratic party is becoming an embarrassment and that my views may align more with Republicans. In the end, I feel that I am actually somewhere in the middle but I find it hard to choose one or the other when I feel strongly about issues on both sides. The book Sapiens has helped me form my position
I think if anything, the protests and movement have shown me how religions / churches respond when others need help and showed where to stay away from and where to listen.
Yes - the retreats and practice with my meditation teachers have really augmented my personal growth. I also think it was quite spiritual to sit in my isolation and transform my pain. Healing from an abusive relationship was an incredibly spiritual experience, and maintaining my authenticity with the work that I'm doing, focusing on staying only with what's right for me has yielded the perfect dog, the perfect job, and the very right partner for me.
I have many spiritual experiences. Most of them involve being in deep connection with another person, whether it's locking eyes and hearts with a friend I haven't seen in a while or singing together or laughing on the phone about something that only he and I remember, it fills my soul with presence.
Recently, in fact on Rosh Hashanah, I was partaking in services (virtual, online) outside in the garden on a glorious sunny day; enjoying nature. When services were in process I got up to stretch my legs and was listening to the sounding of the shofar as I did a bit of clean up in the garden which just felt so right and in the moment. As I was gathering seeds from the morning glories and hollyhocks that had gone by, carefully finding an explosion of tiny seeds in each pod, I realized that the end of the garden, was the beginning of next year's. It made the rich cycle of seasons and the way our jewish calendar revolves around the agricultural year come to life and had such a pleasant, spiritual moment wash over me.
Probably the most "spiritual" experience I had this year was when it was arranged that I could sit in the outdoor sanctuary of my synagogue, to commemorate the yarzheit of Aaron's death. I felt surprisingly sad that, although I don't see myself as someone who "prays" a lot, that I couldn't say Kadish for him on the anniversary of his death. I felt surprisingly comforted to sit there for a bit, to be in the place I had gone to each of the 4 years since he died, and to think.
I don't know if this qualifies as spiritual, but I'm so aware that Mother Nature is really angry with how we've treated the Universe, the Earth and all the other species we share in this space. I think the extreme climate changes and the virus pandemic are just warnings that we had better change our ways, or she's just getting started and she's got some unbelievable stuff in store for us.
Becoming a dad. Less holding my duaghter for the first time and more the first time holding her at home a few days later. Holding in in our house, alone with her for a minute, that was the moment. It felt sureal. Amazing.
Despite my resistance I have had to acknowledge a definite shift to the virtual world in order to conduct both my material and my spiritual life. Zoom Rosh Hashana, Zoom Torah Study, Zoom Quaker Meeting, livestreaming weddings and life events. It has been more fulfilling than expected, but the potential for it to go on 24/7 is frightening.
Merely just having time to myself. Especially during quarantine when I lost work hours and Marta was working in the spare room/wardrobe/office and I was alone in the rest of the apartment all the time.
Watching flowers bloom in slow motion, listening to the celebratory cries of birds after wildfire smoke clears, seeking the little stories of triumph, pretending each sunset and moon rise is new, digging up each song or poem or painting that boosts your serotonin, tasting as many flavor profiles as possible at each meal, looking people in the eyes because it's all you can see of their face -- these are what we have to believe in. Kneel on the ground and conflate these moments, so they block your view of the coming maelstrom. Faith has always been a rigged system and a flagged news story.
My trip last fall to India. The day in Varanasi on the Ganges. Can’t describe the way it touched me spiritually. Seeing the worshippers, the Ghats, the water, the people. Indescribable. Something that I always wanted to do. The energy of all The true believers. The reinforcement of the fact that all religious adherents have similar commitment to their beliefs.
I had a profound physical experience of extreme yet beneficial healing energy flow through me as I listened to a spiritual energy guide. It was a surprise and somewhat unnerving. Nevertheless, I am truly grateful for the results. Whether that alone or all interventions combined, I am NED.
The one that stands out most was getting to attend two weddings early in 2020 before the pandemic hit. One was secular between two grad school friends and one was the church wedding of a friend from summer camp. The latter was particularly good, because it was rather last minute but also exactly right. We used points for flights, went to a brewpub, nearly sold them out of tacos, met up with some of Mike's extended family, stayed in a rental house with just 1 bathroom, the works... the ceremony was special with beautiful music and one of the last times we got communion this year.
Plenty. I love how God provides, guides, encourages, and gives wisdom.
The closest I've come to a spiritual experience happened on two different fronts. The first was to realize that as a Jewish atheist I live a more "Christian" life than many who profess to believe deeply in Jesus and his teachings. The second is the recurring feeling that I actually can do the things I've dreamt of doing. It takes a good deal of effort, a good deal of self reflection, constructive criticism, and critical thinking, and yet I still feel up to the challenge. It's monumental.
I feel so disconnected from my Judaism, honestly. I hate the feeling. I haven't been to shul for nearly 9 months because of COVID. We are fortunate to be able to go to Kol Nidre this coming Sunday, so I am thankful for that.
There was a day after the smoke from the wildfires had cleared and there were clouds...white fluffy clouds & dark brooding clouds with spots of blue sky. All of a sudden I thought about how I miss little things like the beauty of clouds and what they represent. The day is so packed with things to do, places to go and people to see, that we miss the beauty in little things. Maybe that's the point of all this chaos...to notice the little things and take care of the world around us.
I find more and more that dogs have become the essence of me. We lost Luna this year and all the dog things we used to do just vanished. No more of that love in the house, no more dog chores, no more going to the dog park. Now we're on our second set of foster dogs. Each time we foster life just gets better. It's like things have been gray for a while and now they're in color again. I don't think we're ready for a forever dog yet, but I've certainly come to recognize how no dog at all isn't much of a life.
I joined a Collective Wisdom Zoom group of women who shared their experiences and viewpoints in responses to writing prompts. I was so moved by several of their stories that I wrote poems for those women. One printed and posted her poem in her special creative space. Another said her poem was the turning point in her dismal Covid thinking, putting her on a more even keel. Another poem went to a woman in South Africa struggling with a childhood memory. I feel such gratitude when something I write resonates with a reader. It is my way of trying to make a difference.
I had my first sound bath meditation, very interesting, full body listening experience, need to try again without distractions from the bugs, sun, and lawnmowers. very different
This past year....I don't think so. I don't know if I know what spiritual means anymore. Sure, I've had those feelings of high when I'm walking alone in the woods but not this connection like I used to get when I was reading Martin Luther King, Jr. or listening to Spiritus Christi homilies back in the day. I don't get transported in that almost swoony way anymore. Well, in the school garden there is wonder. It is awesome to behold a plant that came from a tiny little seed. That is a miracle. I still feel joy when I bicycle along the canal path, but my senses feel a little deadened these days as in I'm not getting the highs I used to.
I think I have experienced spiritual moments almost daily. Most good some not great but always enlightening. Which helps me to learn and grow
Nope. And not gonna happen.
The moment that i stood to say Kaddish in a shul I didn't know in the city of London, England, not knowing how they viewed a woman saying Kaddish, and discovering that the women around me stopped chatting, paid attention, and answered amen. Wow. I was once again at home in a foreign land.
Feeling passionate around societal issues such as Black Lives matter. I have further found my voice.
Very recently, when walking in the woods near my home with my wife, I peeled away from her to take a different path, for the practical reason of checking to see if any trees had come down after a recent bad wind storm. If I hadn't done that, i would not have seen a quite rare migrating bird that suddenly just appeared near me. He stayed in place long enough that i was absolutely certain of what I'd seen. I experienced it as a subtle message to keep veering of the common and worn path, keep trying something new, and the wonders of the world will appear right in front of you.
Not really anything so "spiritual " , But I have found myself reflecting on my family that is gone and how much I would like to talk to them and have several questions to ask. Things you don't ask when they are around, but now I would love to know what they thought about certain things and what their experiences were during their lives.
The cataclysmic fires here in California have been awe inspiring - in a frightening way. It is such a profound wakeup call that the climate change apocalypse is upon us. If "god" is speaking to us with a call to action, the message could not be more clear.
I have realized that my reticence to be seen is from early childhood shaming. I want to heal from that so that I can benefit from being seen.
I think having moments of deep gratitude or of deep reflection with meditation, incense and other kinds of offerings has been really important to center myself, to feel connected to others and to practice being present. I can't think of specific ones, but I am glad I've been able to practice these more often.
I read a couple really impactful books this year, including "Do Nothing" and "Untamed" and both of them really helped me tap into a place inside myself that I needed to. When I reflect on what I read and put it into practice I feel better about myself.
The first thing that I think of when I read this question is my experience reading Danya Ruttenberg's book Nurture the Wow. I resonated so deeply with what she wrote and her voice. I constantly think about the way she suggests finding spirituality in little moments--singing asher yatzar on the changing table, taking a breath while A was in my arms, really engaging in play in a mindful way. Her book absolutely changed the way I am able to see my daily parenting life as spiritual at a time when I thought I was in a terrible spiritual rut because I hadn't opened a siddur in months,.
Playing the ukulele this year has been my saving grace. It's the thing that grounded me when I felt stagnant and fearful.
Nope none sadly
Yeah, no. Love MCC held its last service in the old building on the first Sunday of March with none of us knowing it would be the last time we congregated there. That loss has been significant. I haven’t been in a place of worship since, unless you count a night on the river in Kernville watching the meteor, somewhere in mid July. My spirituality no longer requires a shul, though it does require daily gratefulness. I say thanks more than I used to. I see my life as a blessing.
Nothing jumps out as "spiritual" so much as "growth-oriented" and coming more and more into myself. I have made choices that are incredibly difficult and vital; I have made decisions that felt right at the time and didn't later on (and I have chosen to learn from these, as opposed to staying stuck in guilt/should haves/anger etc.) I think the choice to grow more fully into choicefulness and exploring that has been my experience of spirituality.
A couple nights ago after the kids fell asleep I stood for a moment in their room and felt the air thick with how amazing they are and all the love. I am so blessed by them and so blessed by the generations of my family who have poured love into the next generation. That legacy is valuable beyond measure.
I receive peace, I give peace. I receive love, I give love. I receive joy, I give joy. ...This basic mantra has had a profound effect on my daily life. I use it to root myself in the moment, and to remind myself of the gifts we are all capable of sharing with one another. Whereas I once felt I was on a journey toward peace, I now know it already exists within me. If I have any work to do, it is merely cultivating the gifts I possess. Receiving those same gifts from others allows me to fill my cup, and empowers me to share more in return.
Most recently—Looking at the milky way at Sea Ranch, aware of the unfathomable vastness of space and my insignificance in the grand scheme of things. This was after a week of heavy smoke from local fires, during which we were mostly confined indoors and unable to see much beyond our own yard. I felt the relief of breathing clean air, gratitude, sadness for all the suffering in our world, and awareness of my mortality.
Yes, I have started learning how to meditate. When I do it, I feel my connection to the universe. It puts my worries into perspective and restores my sense of wonder.
The only time I ever feel close to a spiritual experience is in nature. I have a tendency to get lost in thought and not ay attention to my experience of 'now' but over the past year there have been moments where I've felt truly alive and connected. It probably happens most often when on my bike - I rode with friends from Edinburgh to Newcastle and on a blue sky day, riding through the Tweed valley, with people I respect and enjoy being with - that felt special.
I started a consistent yoga practice, which has allowed me to calm myself and feel better in my body and in space. This has helped my mental and physical health.
Just about a month ago, I went skinny dipping for the first time, in the salty bay waters. There was almost no light, but then we noticed that there were bioluminescent plankton below the water when we moved around. About a half dozen other people were out there, and it was just gorgeous to be out in the bay, laying in the water, and looking up at the moon and the stars, with nothing.
It has been harder for me to feel deeply connected to God. AND, I am still a catalyst for my clients to experience profound spiritual awakenings. My felt knowing of the presence of the divine in all of life, still guides how I am with my clients. My eyes and mind are guided by this knowing. Very young parts of me, still carrying wounds, make it difficult, more difficult this year, in some way, to rest in God's arms, to surrender fully to resting in God or Awareness.
Where to start. This has been a big year for me spiritually. Although I have only recently felt the spiritual shift in energy within myself. I have been exploring energy work and have become reiki certified. I have also been exploring my own trauma and through this exploration of trauma I have found a spiritual connection, both within myself and within the larger scale of universal energy, healing, and connection.
I completed my mindfulness teacher training level 1 :)
I found that my yoga practice became a lot more spiritual, rather than just physical, this year. I feel much more connected to everything, and much more purposeful in the way I can translate what I experience on the mat into my day-to-day life.
Early in the year I was rehearsing Beethoven’s 9th with the Fayetteville AR Master Chorale. We just made it to the stage where we could run the entire piece at tempo without stopping. That is true joy. The very next day we went into Covid lockdown.
No and yes. The times my babies come up and snuggle with me. The times we light Shabbat candles and the times we sing Shema before bed. . . these are my spiritual experiences. No, they are not the life-shattering, spiritual times but they work for me and ground me in my life, with my family.
This is always a hard question to answer because there are moments that are not memorable but definitely important. I want to reflect though on something that happened really recently and which I already talked about a bit. On Rosh Hashanah, after services, I made my way down to the supreme court to reflect on the passing of RBG. I was able to sit down and just reflect for an hour and a half straight, about my role in social justice work, and the importance of losing someone like her, but using that energy to fuel work and hope instead of dispair. This was aided by the person sitting next to me who was drawing her the whole time I was there. They were incredibly talented and watching the simple development of the shading on her cheeks helped ground me in the moment and in myself. I'm incredibly grateful for the experience, although I so wish she were still here.
I have had a few, mostly internal aha's that have led me to make a lot of changes in how I see myself and others. I believe I am more patient, particularly with myself. my creative writing is beginning to blossom a bit
It's been strange to attend church services virtually, but it makes me feel more connected to God to do so.
I see awakening to the reality of racial inequity, understanding white privilege in a real way, getting the concepts in a way I didn't before, as a spiritual experience. My awareness has grown in a way that really matters. These principles don't only apply to the black/white dilemma - they speak in a much larger way.
Hmm... one thing I'll say is that, despite all of the challenges and sacrifices involved with leaving Israel to start the business, knowing that I'm pursuing my dream has given me a wonderful feeling of agency and ease. I feel so comfortable in my skin and confident in my interactions, more than I ever have before.
I would say that I had a spiritual experience when my family including my siblings all attended the Bar Mitzvah of my first cousin's eldest child in Hamilton, Ontario in February, just a few weeks before the pandemic shut down most travel (and the US-Canada border). It was a truly beautiful ceremony and party, and my siblings and all of their significant others were all able to be there and party together. That is the last time I saw most of them in person. One thing that I found moving about the Bar Mitzvah is that Samuel's parents are not both Jewish, and he did a great job of addressing this and citing it as a strength and not a weakness in his Bar Mitzvah speech. Seeing this working model of a mixed religion marriage gives me hope for reconciling religious differences in my own family, as my partner is not Jewish. We celebrate Jewish holidays together, but she does not have the cultural background that I do and often has trouble relating. Samuel's Bar Mitzvah showed me that Luka (and the next kid(s)) will have an ability to have a connection to my cultural heritage despite this mix.
Continued appreciation for "The Universe Builds Itself" as I admire trees, clouds and human activity. Kerri asked for the script to my sermon "Seven Traits."
Ah I'm so excited to answer this question! I started converting to Judaism (Reform) in the Spring of this year. It's been a whirlwind. I feel more alive and purposeful. I feel more comfortable about my place in the world and a little less lost, which is huge given what is happening around me. Since then, things have just fallen into place. I know that there's been some kind of energy or spirit looking out for me since I was young, but it really feels that since I've gone back to praising some kind of a creator/energy/honoring this strange world we live in, things have gotten better for me in many many ways. Judaism has been a comforting return to opening my eyes and appreciating all that has gone into this world to make my existence, and everyone else's existence, possible. It feels good to be part of a community that wants to seek justice and wants to take care of the earth. I'm very excited to continue my learning to the end of the year and make it to a Beit Din.
I guess the grinding despair of living in a world that is both literally and figuratively on fire has resulted in what I'd term an anti-spiritual experience, the opposite of what most would use that term to describe, but as Terry Pratchett reminds us a meteor falling on your head is also a miracle, in terms of probabilities. This year has certainly reaffirmed for me my belief that all we have is each other, when it comes down to it.
I really haven't. It's been a grimy closed in repetitive year. I'm ready for one. I'm ready to see my friends and family. To celebrate births and mourn losses. Its been rough.
This year, I have been deeply spiritually affected by moving minyan on line. I have made new friends, deepened my spiritual practice, been in service in a fuller way.
Not spiritual, per se, but ethical. I find myself reconnecting more consciously with Jewish ethics, exploring their roots and meanings as well as how to practice in the modern world.
I read that gratitude can produce miracles especially if it's for things you don't like. I decided to be grateful for my roommate refusing help for her serious medical conditions. She was almost totally blind from cataracts because she didn't trust Medicare. When I became grateful, she got medicare & health insurance. Her eyes were fixed although she still has problems with her vision, but it's better than before. She also discovered she had breast cancer, but it was early enough for her to be cured. I got her dental care as well when her teeth were rotting. Rotten teeth could have killed her if left to fester. In reading last years answer, I see I wrote on the same subject. She was just starting to get care a year ago. There were so many things wrong with her that she is still working on her many health problems 1 year later. F or instance, she also has badly deformed feet. Now she has surgery scheduled to correct that deformity.
I keep a list of songs that give me goosebumps. Anytime a piece of music gives me goosebumps, I add it to the list. When the goosebumps are really strong, the tingling travels from my head down to my legs and up again, several times in a row.
I think my particularly spiritual experiences this year have been those where I’ve had IKAR services in my home. When I’m cooking Shabbat dinner or baking challah and listening to Rabbi Brous at the same time—when I can sing the prayer songs loudly and with the windows open. One of the few blessings of the pandemic has been that services are now virtual (which has really made the transition out of LA easier, to be quite honest, because I knew IKAR was going to be one of the biggest things I missed in leaving). Praying in isolation, with just Theo and Macy physically nearby and my community on the screen, yet knowing that I’m connected to Jews around the world all figuring out how to be in digital minyan with one another has been surprisingly powerful. It reminds me of other times when Jews prayed together under impossible circumstances like pogroms and the Shoah, or even had to pray under common but challenging circumstances like moving to a new country or city. More generally, I’ve connected to my spirituality every week when Theo and I celebrate Shabbat. I’ve made more challah in the last six months than I ever have before and kept Shabbat more consistently than I maybe ever have in my life. Using Shabbat as a technology to mark time and separate the weeks has made me feel deeply connected to my Jewishness and my ancestors.
The closest to that would be my visits to me new 'spot' in Hull. My spots are the most spiritual places I know of, and they're clearly on a time limit (Ex: the roof at 418 W 51st)... so I try to experience them to their fullest when they bring me the feelings that they do.
there seems to be a pattern that my answers are all the same as last year so far ... i would love to feel something spiritual but still not sure I know what that means ????
Yes. My study group has just completed reading the entire Torah as a group. One parashat each week. Personally reading and pondering the message each week has helped me gain new insight into my beliefs. It has also been a great bonding experience within our group, Each week a different member leads the discussion.
I find moments of awe to be spiritual. I find moments of connection in therapy where I get goosebumps to be spiritual. Watching my best friend get married was really touching. Adopting a dog and experiencing the joy of this unconditional connection has been enlivening. Spending hannukah with my family together was so connected and joyful. I can think of incredibly delicious foods I ate that felt spiritual to consume. Hearing stories from my elders and clients feels spiritually connecting to the universe. Moments of joy in the pandemic feel sacred. I recognize that these collection of spiritual moments make me feel alive and connected; there is value in reflecting on them and a desire to notice and savor them even more as they unfold in the present.
I took up a real, nightly meditation practice. I’m constantly amazed at how simply saying things to yourself manifests them. Both positively and negatively.
I swim once a week in the sea. It's cold. From time to time there are moments of awe and joy. Just moments but gifts.
Yes. A lot of epiphanies in the morning. New baby goldfish that were black and then turned orange. I feel that it was something, but I do not know what. God is with me every day. God is in me.
Noticing the birds outside our kitchen window. WFH and slowing down has made us more observant of our environment.
The re-commencing of my religious community's gatherings (socially distanced and with masks!) in our new building has brought much joy to my life this past summer.
I took too many shrooms by accident and it was really great to connect with that part of my mind and the universe again.
Yes, I've had a very spiritual run of experiences this year. The biggest one is how much I love my husband and why I do. I'd never really put any thought into it - I just went with the flow. Yet going through all the therapy/counselling/research I came to see, with spiritual eyes, the man my husband is and the love he brings and gives so freely. He 'gets' me and he's still here. I've treated him terribly before I knew what my mental illness was - and he's still here. He supports me and teaches me; listens to me and indulges me when I need it. He also counsels me with 'straight talk' when it's needed. My life is so much better with him than I could ever have imagined. I thank God for him at least once a day.
I have been taking more notice of the beauty of the moment and the pretty details in life (e.g. walking around in my garden). This has given me a sense of tranquility that I can fall back to even during these weird times.
I wish I could say I have, but I don't think I can. I think that trying to be more positive and coupling that with microdosing has made me less miserable than I probably would have been giving my circumstances and everything else that has happened this year. So, that's a plus. I think that's also helped me to lean a bit more into my creative side and really try to explore it more and see what I can make of it. So maybe my answer should be kind of. Even though it never really felt like one.
I've had a lot of opportunities to improve as an artist and that has kept me sane. I look for glimmers of peace and I've been getting that through meditation.
Last high holiday season we were on Delaware and Nogi was a baby and I didn't really focus on the year and forgiveness and gratefulness. I barely reflected. As the gates were closing, so to speak, on yom Kippur, I felt heavy and regret that I didn't even attempt to make a change or ask forgiveness. All my life I remember feeling the weight of the last few minutes of Yom Kippur, really praying to be sealed in the hood book. And a piece of me worried it would be a shitty year. I don't hold myself solely responsible for a global pandemic, but I do hold myself responsible for a less than stellar emotional and mental year personally. I put emphasis on this as a spiritual experience in a way that I want to reflect and be humble and put faith in God and a universe filled with energy that can provide or take away. I'm conscious of it. And I'm asking forgiveness for all the times I am negative, unthankful, petty, judgey, gossiping, selfish, cheating, angry, mean to people who don't deserve it, short, in a bag mood and take it out on others, especially my family.
I do have a hard time with the word "spiritual." I don't think I have sustained spiritual experiences. But since the pandemic I have been attending Shabbat morning services every single Saturday, and I do feel a spiritual practice building -- a reserving of time for gratitude, prayer, reflection. A moment away from the business of the week. Time each week to think about the bigness of life and my smallness in it, and what I want to do with that smallness that is not necessarily related to the routine of work and home.
I actually started going to church pretty regularly. It was a weekly event that I was enjoying and the reverend even knew my name. I kept it up at the beginning of Covid/zoom church, but it fell by the wayside and I haven't gone back since. I enjoyed the structure and it felt very peaceful, but I'm not sure it really had any deep impact on me.
I recently read Fierce Heart by Spring Washam who tells the story of her spiritual journey. She started the East Bay Meditation Center and is living in Oakland which may have strengthened the connection I felt to her. These days I have been motivated to be an agent of change but have also felt a lot of hopelessness. Spring made me feel very motivated to do more work on spiritual connectivity and I felt something opening within me as I was reading her words. I would like to develop more of a mindfulness practice that works for me and doesnt feel forced. I would also like to work on developing a practice around acceptance.
Walden School -- again (though somewhat diluted given the fact that I was participating from my home through Zoom). Also, taking advantage of the sunshine on our deck, just sitting outside enjoying nature -- or walking/running through the woods and enjoying the meditative aspects of that experience. Makes me realize that there is value to not "doing something"/distracting myself/engaging my brain every second.
I have had some major synchronicity which always makes me feel like I am part of a larger spiritual universe. Not sure if it was this year but seeing/hearing the bells at my Mother's gravesite when we went to visit the cemetery was an amazing spiritual experience and one I will never forget.
Not really. It seems like the whole cover was eery and in some ways I felt more connected to immediate family than ever before. There was a heightened awareness of each other.
Live music. That feels spiritual now.
Probably the most impactful thing this year was the whole Black lives matter movement. The protests were amazing and it was really encouraging and exciting to see so many thousands of people engaged. You can't discount that kind of power and unity. We need more of that in this country.
I spent most of April stoned. Most of May listening to NPR and have had stress dreams more nights than not this year. I'm thinking of my spirituality as part of my aesthetic and personality more than as a part of me in and of itself, and I should probably work on that.
Giving birth! We had 3 of our grandfathers we wanted to name for, so we were both kind of hoping for a boy but didn't find out the sex until he was born. Then my husband got to announce it, just as we had planned, and it was very exciting!
I am not typically spiritual in the usual sense. My deep connection to Judaism comes from study and community action and the incredible commitment our Rodef Sholom community has to upholding Jewish values and taking action. My artistic path has also been very important to me, finding inspiration from the current time and finding new ways and processes to express myself.
All of my experiences are spiritual; through them I understand more about the spirit of being human. And I know myself absolutely as a spiritual being, infused with the essence of All That Is, the Presence that IS the creative force of the universe. Duh. I think it’s horrifying that religion has appropriated spirituality and spiritual experience. In fact, religion is itself such an appropriation. It encourages us to look toward the experiences and words/judgments of others instead of standing in close with our own experience. Any moment of intimacy with one’s own experience is a spiritual experience. I aim to have little else.
Quite the opposite. My outlook is increasingly cynical, almost to point of nihilism. Looking around at a world in which rewards are most often funneled to benefit the most conniving, the commonweal is suborned in favor of a bullying minority, and ignorance is the lingua franca of the nation, I feel nothing but despair. Human history only reinforces my cynicism. It will only get worse from here.
I wish I had more spiritual experiences. I say this every year but do nothing about it. I do yoga every day and my deep, grounding breathing and the focus of the yoga is close to a spiritual practice. Being in nature feels spiritual to me -- being at the ocean or kayaking on a lake or in the woods for a hike, all of which we have done this year.
This year was the first year that I considered fasting on Yom Kippur. After the awful year I had, I'm thinking that I should devote a day to God in order for Him to finally help my life fall into place. I have three major problems: Craig's depression, trying to get pregnant, and my constant unemployment, and I'm going to ask God to at least help one of those get resolved. I don't think there was ever a time in my life when I had this many problems all at once.
I'm not sure if anything particularly spiritual has happened. The day I protested after George Floyd's death was spiritual, I suppose. Seeing all of those people mobilized and chanting... it was amazing.
I continue to try to be aware of every day signs of my connection with the universe. It seems I have less to link me. I think this is due to a cluttered mind. Worries push out mindfulness. I miss my walks & the change in my commute and increased exhaustion has dampened my resolve
This year I have been hearing the small voice talk to me and have been heeding the call. Typically I see why I was told to do something and I always thank them for the advice. I feel watched over when this happens and I don't feel alone.
I'm in a church group that meets a few times a month. It wasn't a big spiritual moment, but a slow, gradual build. The women of my group shine with Christ's light, and it allowed Him to really take root in my heart. It's been amazing.
I've mostly stepped away from 'church', a feeling of spiritual 'loss' but I somehow feel more in touch with a spirit found in family, nature and living in the present. Removing the false relationships, and the need to complete tasks has been refreshing. What is my purpose? I'm being led down a path to family; being there for them, sharing my love, finding peace and joy with their presence.
I found great solace in joining an online community of writers in a spiritual poetry writing class. I haven't had time or resources to pursue my other spiritual/artistic avocation, pottery, and I've missed my time in the studio. Still, the deep connection I found in this poetry class came as an unexpected blessing during COVID.
We got into doing Loving Kindness meditation together with my husband, and I was really surprised how much warmth and love (towards the world in general) you can feel in just 8 minutes. Somehow doing it together makes a difference.
I started meditation in February of 2019 and it is changing my life. I am still learning to accept life moment after moment, improvement is massive.
No, this year has been pretty much devoid of overt spiritual experiences, but just sitting on the front porch of Cauldwell can be a kind of placid spiritual transcendence...
After zoom Preach service, I felt more jewish. Also every zoom service lifts me up spiritually and mentally. After reciting Tashlich on Rosh Hashanah, I felt ready for Yom Kippur. With every day I feel more at one spiritually and calmer. I feel there is no need to rush as I have in the past, is this patience? I feel that I am understanding liberal Judaism more now than before. I feel on a spiritual path.
When I was taking my beloved cat, Buster, to the vet on the last day of his life, I decided to carry him in my arms rather than put him in the carrier. We came outside on a springlike January day, & he looked up into the sun & smiled like a kitten. Even dying he had a moment of pleasure. The whole rest of the walk he stared into my eyes & I felt like he was the most enlightened being I have ever met, telling me everything was OK. (Also, he died before they could kill him, & I was happy that he had lived every minute of his life. Well & happy till the last few days.)
I had one big spiritual commitment in November-December 2019 when I travelled with a small group of spiritual co-workers to our home in India, on the Himalayan foothills. Then I had a very important inner journey during the pandemic lockdown which was helped by a great spiritual psychotherapist / counselor. Covid has brought me many gifts.
Right before Rosh Hashanah last year I went to the mikveh and met with the beis din, and now I'm officially Jewish. I thought it wouldn't mean much, since I was already pretty Jewish just not technically so, but the water and the trees and the cold air will stay with me forever. It was incredibly powerful and I feel changed - more confident, more sure, more actually Jewish.
THIS year? ... gawd life if so full of the mundane right now. Have I had any spiritual "revelations"? No. Not really. But a desire to attend some kind of services (or even CODA) has been growing.
It hasn’t been a very religiously spiritual year for me, especially since COVID made it impossible to be at my temple for anything. Musically, though, it has been a wonderful and terrible year. First terrible because during the shutdown, I didn’t have piano lessons, and because we also had remodeling done simultaneous with the shutdown, I didn’t play piano very much. Now it is wonderful because I bought a baby grand piano for an early 70th birthday year present, and I am really focusing on improving-finally!
No. This is the same answer I tend to give every year. I greatly enjoy nature. Being in the woods in the Adirondacks is my zen place. Also, I enjoy meditating in my hot tub, affectionately nicknamed HTTM (hot tub time machine). Last week I was camping near a large brook. The sound of the water on the rocks at night was about as spiritual as it gets for me!
I know I have, I just can't remember what. I know a spiritual epiphany when I get chills and my mind is jolted with an inspirational notion that seems to have been suddenly injected into my brain. I know that has happened at least once during this covid period, but I can't remember what it was.
Yes. At confirmation camp. We made pottery, gave it to someone, they destroyed it we picked up the Pieces and placed them in a huge cement cross we made. When the cement dried the pieces fell out and all that was left was their imprint
No, not really - or at least, I can't think of any. Maybe I've lost the ability to be spiritual. I have found peace, though, and happiness - when I'm up in the attic, which is the brightest place in the house even on the cloudiest of days. When I'm writing and the words are flowing, and it's just me (and sometimes, the cat), and everything feels right. And then I realize I still have hours of this time left to me, before I have to turn back to being a mom and a wife and all the rest. That's the best part of my day. Feeling that time stretches out before me, and that there is so *much* of it.
I have discovered that praying at home is full of distractions, from the cat jumping on my lap, to my spouse eating in the next room to not being able to locate the service on YouTube. I have to be careful to remember that we are all amateurs at this and it is not our day job.
Probably the closest I have come to a spiritual experience this year is the time I spent in Michigan right on the shores of Lake Michigan. I always find water to be restorative, but this year in particular, the time spent there allowed for respite, reflection, and opportunities to connect with family.
Nothing comes to mind
KINDRÊD MEDITATION! The feels, the tears, the goosebumps, the amazing experiences and connection. Experiencing the limitless, creative divine in my own body and imagination.
Spreading my dad's ashes at various points along the Bayou Teche gave me a feeling of sadness, calmness, and completion. The completion part comes from fulfilling the final request of someone that meant a lot to me. When we received his ashes, I wrapped the box up in my favorite furoshiki (Japanese cloth used for wrapping and carrying things). Somehow it was very comforting knowing that he was 'wearing' one of my favorite things. All of the small things that thought to do for him felt like they were very significant.
Paddle boarding alone in Tahoe. I felt close to something out there
Ha! No. Maybe a little "fuck it" magic where I acted on my "nothing matters so why not enjoy the time we have left?" thoughts.
I just committed to ski season with Alter! I'm going to go with them 1 weekend each month and lock down snowboarding. I've even bought my own boots and will figure out the rest! I'm stoked because I've explored so much of California this summer, and I feel like this is another side of it that I want to know. I also see this as an opportunity to stoke my friendship with Alter. He loves snowboarding, and I want to be able to do that with him. I know he won't stay in CA for much longer, so this is a way to take advantage of our time together here and solidifies a way for us to keep going on adventures together once he leaves. I also have tons of other adventure friends that do snow sports, so this is just another way to keep making friends! I've attempted to have these spiritual experiences, mostly facilitated by somebody else, recently. Both my day walk with Earth Ways and Mirroring Training with SLB were canceled due to the wild fires here. It's been a spiritual blow because I've been feeling off lately and sensing an imbalance and a calling to the sacred, but having a hard time finding/creating that space. Maybe it's because working from home is getting to me, or I haven't gone out in nature as much as I'd like, or something deeper. These next two weekends I will go out and spend some time with myself in nature, reflecting and asking questions. Rebs is Jewish and it is the high holidays, and watching her connect with Rosh Hashanah and be so intentional is inspiring. I'm so proud and also envious. I will try to replicate it in my own way.
Swimming naked in Lake Huron was pretty spiritual, actually. I felt so deeply connected to the lake and the world and so bare and naked and real before it all. But I always find the spiritual in nature.
I'm not entirely sure, but this year I've really found my voice. I already had it, I've already been outspoken about my beliefs, but this year I've really fought for it harder. With politics and BLM. With discussing on social media, calling politicians, texting voters, emailing my representatives, signing petitions and donating and learning. I've really thrown myself into it. I'm not necessary sure I believe in a higher power. It's a complicated thing for me. But I believe tremendously in the power of fighting for what's right. Maybe that can be its own form of spirituality.
At Yom Kippur, I deeply grieved and said kaddish for my son, who died in utero. I also encountered a young coyote while walking during a break in services, which led me to realize that just as it was too young to survive on its own, so was my daughter if I were to leave now. I worked very hard over Passover to leave the mitzrayim of my anger at my "husband" and the loss of our "marriage," and to a large extent I did give this up. I still struggle with it, but I am working to being without anger and expectations, and simply working toward my divorce and other desired goals.
The death of my brother. His dying led to a lot of reflection on life, in general, and mine (and his) specifically. What is my place in the universe? Have I had the effect on people that I wanted? Was I really a good teacher? What did I leave my students with? What might they have actually retained? But, more cosmically, I found myself considering all existence: the universe had a beginning, is now, and has an end. Andy is gone. His place in the universe is empty. His ashes will be scattered--dust in the wind, to quote the song. It all, we all, will return to nothingness. But, in this bubble in the space-time continuum, we have lived. We have acted. 'Good' and 'Bad' and all the mixed, complicated, pleasurable, tragic moments........all equally meaningful or meaningless, depending on the value we put on them now. It's both awful and exhilarating.
In a weird way, the day that everything in the Bay Area was dark and cold and orange was a spiritual experience? It was deeply moving and alarming, and made me feel very connected to everyone around me who was going through the same deeply strange experience, and also to untold ancestors who lived through strange eclipses and volcanic effects and other sorts of strange events with no sense of what was happening or why or how long it would last.
Not one experience that stands out. But one aspect of spirituality for me is the sensation of gratitude. When I am in nature, hiking, experiencing the beauty of the world, or when a friend or loved one opens their heart and the love shines through, I feel a rush of gratitude that can only be spiritual, because to what or whom is this gratitude directed?
I actually backslid by becoming agnostic.
One place the Spirit showed up was when we did the cleansing of the church parking lot after the police staged there for a protest. It was good to see Jackie in leadership and to see that our community was united against cooperation with police.
I had a few spiritual events during yoga class this year. It continues to amaze me time and again just how much perspective and internal growth can happen during a class. I am grateful to my yoga teacher that sets up the perfect environment for me to grow and blossom in her class. A couple of spiritual ahah moments were... 1. My legs can feel sore/hurt but that doesn't mean my foot does. In life, I have have one area of struggle but I don't have to let it take over everything. 2. I can reach out to my mom. Like there is NOT a big black wall between us, so I did and she responded and periodically were communicate. 3. I was trying SO hard to control everything around me so I didn't have to deal with/feel hard emotions. I can't control everything around me but I can LEARN how to deal with the hard times and feel the hard emotions.
My most intense spiritual experience happened in May 2019 at my silent meditation retreat, but I have continued to have deeply spiritual moments in meditation (especially listening to Honoring Life by Sarah Blondin, through which I cry—sometimes sob—every time). Rosh Hashanah services this year were also deeply meaningful, especially Beth Elohim’s streamed services when the whole congregation sang together through a produced video. It felt amazing to see people’s faces, so full of emotion, while they sang. I hadn’t realized just how much I was suffering from isolation until more and more of their faces popped into the zoom grid, and I burst into tears. I’m starting to cry now, just writing about it. Connections between people through our shared human spirits is profoundly moving and grounding. What a gift.
The death of my father really brought me back to Judaism spiritually, made me go re-learn the mourners Kaddish.
No. And that makes me want to cry. I'm starting to realize how much I yearn for something along those lines.
I have to say that this year my senses seem to be dulled or dulling due to the pandemic and the lack of access to the places that spark my spirit and bring me joy! I have spotted the spirits and sprites in the trees often during hikes - their mischievous faces hidden in the bark - wanting to play, but fearful of the world too! They are staying hidden and safe for now. I want to be quiet and sharpen my senses again - to be open to what the world has to share - I think that the lack of yoga and mediation with community has contributed to my dulling - but I want to find the courage to dig deep and find it again. I took a spark your creativity course with a dear friend and artist and it was a fun 5 day course that reminded me I can explore the creative corners of my world and still be safe - I just hope that we can find a way to gather and share and dance and practice beauty and spirt again soon!
I thought I was going to die from covid. I was frightened. Sad. Thought about my life and its meaning so far. Have I made a difference? What is important? Have I been the best me? Like a very intense Yom Kippur reflection. That experience evoked a significant period of grief for the various sufferings of my life, and then hope for the possibility of a reawakened, more vital and spiritually connected was of living. I'm working on it.
I think of spirituality as my feeling of the "divine" in the workings of the universe - this comes in the form of synchronicity and connections for me. I felt closed off at the beginning of the year, though yearning for a connection to the larger fabric of life and the universe, and then after my dad died, I felt the most open I felt to the collective unconscious in a long time. Everywhere I look, the universe and thus my dad are speaking to me - through the mushrooms popping up in my view, through the songs in my head when I wake up, through the subjects and contents of all the books I read- they're all around me, enveloping me in something greater, if I'll only listen. This kind of openness only comes from being in a place of vulnerability - so I've been reveling in that sense.
FFS, it's ALL spiritual. Spiritual life and then staying on the journey is not for the faint of body, mind, and spirit.
I have worked for three years on a memoir about my mother who was a beautiful professional dancer. It has been a painful, emotional and spiritual journey for me. It is now finished and almost completely edited. My next step will be to see that it is given to the world... I pray and trust that I will be led to the right person or company to help me achieve this goal.
A road trip up and down the west coast, with no agenda, no hard timeline, and no pressure to do anything in particular was very transformative experience for me and allowed me to reset, think, and enjoy time on my own terms and my own pace.
Some have been the same as last year - every time I see an amazing, beautiful, wild creature walk through our backyard (the mummy and baby deer, the family of turkeys, the foxes...) I am in awe and feel small and quiet. Watching my daughter reach new milestones in her speech, thought, and movement has been incredibly humbling. And I have had a few moments in shul this summer where I felt simultaneously alone and globally connected through music, and that is always moving and amazing.
As a pagan I see spirituality in everything. I would have to say that walking with an incurable illness has helped me to face the eventuality of death in a new way.
See my answer to question 4.
My spiritual experience has been more of an existential struggle, trying to know who I am as a woman of 54. It's a strange age... I'm not quite old yet, but I'm no longer young. Middle age is invisible which may explain why I'm dating. I still want to be seen. I'm also challenged with mortality, knowing that I'm on the downward side of the hill. As I approach the age when my mother died, sometimes I worry that my timeline will be short. Then I spend time with my father who is nearly 80 and is built like a sherman tank. I have spent time this year "fighting" age with a little botox and filler along with physical fitness and sleep. I guess my takeaway has been to live as youthfully as possible while I'm here.
For me religion is all about community. When we had to move our wedding because of Hurricane Sandy I was fine with it, as long as my community could be there (which it was). What has been so hard for me spiritually is that virtual community is not the same. I don't feel spiritually invested without the people I love and care about surrounding me. Rosh HaShannah felt down right weird without being in services, without the small talk, and with a traditional rabbinic sermon. Even the lovely dinner that Amy and Gary felt odd in that it didn't feel special -- we had apples and honey, we sang songs, the kids blew the shofar, but it felt like any other dinner. And for me that leaves me spiritually a little broken and alone. The closest I have felt to anything close to spiritual this year is Shababa, the children's tot Shabbat program run by the 92nd Street Y and broadcast online. And I think the reason that it has made me feel closest to any spiritual/religious connection is because my kids are into it, and they have become my only community.
Being the leader in a greatly improvised Pesach seder. The people I'm living with are non-Jews and I was happy when all said they wanted a traditional seder. The preparations for it, making sure that nothing was missing. Explaining the customs. Singing Pesach songs.
The infant I held in my hands on that rainy morning in 1992 now awaits his own infant, who gestates in the womb of his bride. I marvel at the passing of time and the order of all life, which presses through the earth both downwards and upwards, buds, roots, flowers and withers, releasing its fruit and its petals to feed the earth anew. I consider this. I feel both its sadness and sublimity in all my cells, in all my being. At the age of sixty I feel the coil of life for the first but not the last time.
I just don’t feel like a very spiritual person so this is a hard question to answer. But I guess the closest thing I can think is the cultural shift to how important the BLM movement and protest has become and recognizing my white racist behaviors that need to change.
I have not had any spiritual experiences but I have become connected to the arts, particularly to music and dance, since the pandemic began, in a way that is new for me. The way dancers dance with each other while apart, and the way musicians do the same, is very powerful and moving for me - it is art born of MY struggle and I can feel the fight and determination and beauty in it
My poetry has taken more serious turns at times as I recognize and contemplate on the changing cultures, splintering, and aggressive hostilities locally, around the world, and in personal encounters, mainly online. I find myself talking more often with God about my need to love and value everyone because of my conviction that God does love each and every being in creation. I have the most problem letting my awareness of idiocy interfering with my acceptance of people in general and in particular. I am reminded/I remind myself that I also am and have been idiotic at times and am not an impartial observer of my own thoughts, convictions, and behaviors. As God loves, so would I love, through God's power and grace.
This whole year has been nothing but one long spiritual event. The human race is being tested in ways most people alive have never seen before.
i learned to try to maintain my connection with mother earth. i became more conscious of how i can affect my own environment.
Weirdly, watching the finale of The Good Place. It gave me an unexpected feeling of peace with the idea of nothing at the end. And it reminded me that all we have is time, and to try not to waste a drop.
It's hard to choose, there have been many! In fact, I see this as the year where the spiritual has overtaken the mundane, and I have settled into a way of being where spiritual pervades everything. Acknowledging that I am part of, made of, and therefore of service to the earth changes the way I see everything. During the time I was getting used to this interbeing, I had an experience where all time was now and all places here. It only lasted a fraction of a second, but in that moment I knew myself and my fit, and it felt amazing! Since then, I have had many more similar experiences.
I hike. For me anytime I can get away from the noise of the city and my desk and immerse myself with nature...I am having a spiritual experience. Recently a dear friend has experienced 3 dreadful losses of family members. My only way of helping ease her sorrow was to go on a prayer hike to a spiritual location. I made tobacco ties, I smudged and prayed over each one as I prepared them. Then as I hiked, I prayered for her healing as I attached them along the path. As a non-Native, I was amazed at the peace and calm I felt throughout the experience.
I've deepened my Shabbat practice and I've earnestly applied myself during certain holidays. It's not always easy, as I get swept up in normal daily activities. I definitely feel more connected to my synagogue than ever.
I feel like there is so much hatred in the world, especially here in the US. I fear a civil war, and it boggles the mind the hate that the Right, spew, daily. I understand better, what it means, to say Black Lives Matter, and have gone out of my way, at times, to be kind to someone I barely know. I’ve tried to teach the Right, what’s wrong with their reasoning, and I pray they get it, before it’s too late. The whole social injustice issues have come to light in my mind. A spiritual awakening so that I can start making changes. Hopefully they will make a difference.
No but gave been watching more services then I usually attend and I'm just starting to get a goid rhythm with quiet times
I've felt some moments of connectedness or happiness. Sometimes at work, sometimes when I'm riding with Nan and we're talking, sometimes with Charlotte, sometimes watching TV with Nan. My art is associated with anxiety and stress and I've lost my connection with it. Most days I feel challenged in this area. Meditation has helped but hasn't cured it.
I think the spiritual experiences I have had can be seen most clearly in my relationships with people. I am shocked by what comes out of my mouth and what doesn't; as if by a foreign force. It was always brain, reaction, talk...now there is pause, with language and words carefully measured, yet not by me. I would like to return to meditation which is where/how I feel the presence of god the most; as well as in conversation, yet at some point (around January 2020) I stopped.
I was really moved by the Anzac Day from the driveway commemorations, on a cold wet April morning with only a candle against the dark and the haunting sounds of live trumpets down the street and further away. It was beautiful and I felt the pain of those left at home. I hope they make it a regular part of Anzac Day.
Everyday as I experience life. What else is there? I rocketed into the most dynamic spiritual experience of my life during participation at a 10 day Vipassana Meditation course in January. I have since dedicated time each day for meditation and continue to take refuge in the solitude of this experience.
Honestly, no, I haven't. I have focused on providing a loving and safe home for my kid during the pandemic. The most spiritual experience I've had has been realizing that we are really okay in the pandemic, and that it is OKAY to be okay, that we do not have to be suffering, much less publicly complaining and being sorry for ourselves like a few people I know. In particular, one person, who has employment, money in the bank, and health, has no perspective on the issue and has hijacked our conversations and everyday connection with her bullshit anxiety and fear. She isn't making it easy to be connected to her. So wait, maybe I have had a spiritual experience. I have realized that I will need to sever or at least cripple ties with this person in the long-term future. She is related to me, and I know that we will no longer have the close relationship that she demands of me, and I will not be made to feel guilty or that I am abandoning her. I have a family (my kid) and need to focus on my kid's sanity, health, and happiness, and not on this one relation who continues to complain, blow up, judge, and be otherwise completely one-sidedly needy and unreasonable in our relationship. No more.
I remember feeling truly holy at my wedding, standing under the chuppah.
Since these questions come out in September, I mostly reflect on the most recent summertime activities as my default memories. This past summer, I spent a lot of time swimming at Tommy Thompson Park in places where most people don't think to swim. A few of those swims were SO special because either I was swimming by myself and it felt like that experience of quiet, underwater beauty was JUST for me: the fish, the plant life, the sun streaming through the water, the glassy stillness of the lake; or, it was a shared experience (with Cam or Martin) that felt unique and privileged. In the wintertime, however, I had a completely different experience that I wouldn't necessarily call "spiritual" but it was definitely extraordinarily meaningful in that it fed my soul and restored my faith in something I felt completely biased against. I did my first ride-along with 51 Division's mobile crisis team. I spent a full day in a kevlar vest, attending 911 crisis calls and seeing police and mental health clinicians in action. The police officers who weren't part of the MCIT but who arrived on scene first were not expecting me in any way and therefore, were not performing for my benefit. I was surprised by my own anti-police bias when I witnessed how many interactions were respectful, sensitive, kind, patient, compassionate and caring. I totally expected to see brutality, impatience, disgust and shoddy treatment of vulnerable people and instead, I saw the complete opposite. It really made me recognize how my job (managing Coroner's Inquests) and the media have soured my view of my local police. I know that not all police reflect my experience with this one division in Toronto, but it was definitely heartwarming and encouraging to know that their efforts in de-escalation training and community policing are paying off. The MCIT knew all the homeless folks in my neighbourhood by name, by quirk (e.g. sings loudly to quiet the voices in his head), by idiosyncrasy (e.g. will loot goods in parked cars on the street if desperate), and by problematic health issue (e.g. addicted to meth, will resort to violence/aggression if provoked; rife with communicable diseases, etc.).
The most spiritual experience(s) I've had in the past year have been, sadly, the deaths of two beloved dogs just a few months apart from one another. Each boy was surrounded by loving family members, and each was guided from this life into the next with gentleness, adoration, appreciation, copious tears, and prayers of the heart. God was with us I am sure, as their beautiful souls were lifted from their bodies and into eternity.
Antes de todos los cambios que ocurrieron a partir de la pandemia, cuando sólo existía el plan de venir a Alemania. Empecé a leer un libro del autor Joe Dispenza, un libro que mi mamá tenía en su cuarto y había visto por mucho tiempo en su tocador. En general, procuro poner mucha atención a las “señales” que se presentan repetidas veces en mi vida. Cuando presto atención a esos momentos, las decisiones que tomo son las correctas. Fue así que volteé a ver ese libro y decidí empezar a leerlo. Al principio creo que era un libro de autoayuda, o superación personal. Pero a medida que lo fui leyendo, me percaté que hablaba sobre la energía que nace de nuestra mente y conecta con el universo. Los ejercicios de metí fracción y visualización que ahí sugerían, los utilice para mantener siempre en mente mi meta. Para esforzarme cada día y estudiar. Para decirme “vale la pena, lo puedes lograr”. Y efectivamente, lo logré. Antes de terminar el libro, ya había conseguido todos los pasos para poder irme a Alemania. La otra mitad del libro lo terminé cuando la pandemia llegó. Estaba muy débil, incrédula de lo que estaba pasando. De un momento a otro dude de mi capacidad para controlar las cosas. Y fue ahí donde inició la segunda parte de mi crecimiento espiritual. Aceptar que el universo tiene su orden, sus tiempos y que tus planes tienen que alinearse a ellos. Por las noches seguía haciendo los ejercicios de meditación para tranquilizar mi alma.m, y también para seguir visualizando mi sueño. Hubo días en que dude del universo, hubo otros en que lo sentí por completo dentro de mi. Ese libro y la filosofía estoica, fueron un oasis para el torbellino de pensamientos que la cuarentena me trajo. Trabajé mi alarma de muchas maneras. Leyendo, cantando, estudiando un idioma nuevo, haciendo video llamadas, jugando rummik por la noche con abue, escuchando música clásica, escribiendo en 3 diarios diferentes, haciendo yoga por la mañana, bailando con videos de YouTube, soñando despierta y soñando dormida.
continuing study of Buddhist philosopophy, yet this year I have lost focus and continuity owing to travel and distractions and laziness , yet try to be mindful of what I have absorbed and understood to put into practice. glad that delving into other aspects of non-duality finally led to Prasangika Buddhism. With an unbroken lineage of graduated paths to question and discover spirtual truths of cause and effect and compassion as the only non conventional reality, it is a well lit path that we perhaps lost in Judaism when so many with the lanterns of metaphysical siritual knowledge were distroyed in the Holocaust.
I'm in my second year of motherhood - I still consider myself a new mum. Being a mother, and keeping this tiny human alive, has forced me to come to terms with my own mortality and the fleetingness of life. Sometimes when I'm driving, I imagine that I've crashed, and hope that if that were to happen, I would be the one to die and she the one to survive. I can imagine life without her, but I don't think I would try to go on living without her, and that terrifies me. Perhaps these are my new demons.
I am feeling a deepening gratitude to my own family and an appreciation for the fortunes of my life. I feel most connected to my own spirituality when I am outside and looking at nature, especially the birds and butterflies right in my backyard.
Nope. I mean I guess “going through terrible trials and tribulations” is a pretty typical spiritual experience, but this shot sucks.
I've been doing an abundance meditation practice. It's been amazing the good things that have happened to me while keeping in mind the abundant universe, rather than the contracting universe. For example while meditating on helping hands, a babysitter I had been hoping for texted me to tell me she would love to work with our family. And when praying for time, my husband decided to take the kids to LA for a week.
The last two weeks Trella lived she didn’t want to be alone so we made sure one or two of us family were there with her. Sleep was difficult, we didn’t eat regular meals. But it was a type of importance that’s rare in my life so far.
I can't imagine how giving birth wouldn't feel spiritual to even the most calloused atheist out there - but I can say that quiet moments alone with my daughter, mostly while feeding or soothing her in the early days, felt like a deep spiritual comfort, like I'd been waiting for exactly her, all along.
I have deepened my faith through all of this- recognizing that I am not in control and thats ok, and understanding that Gods will be done- everywhere- that the matters of this earthly life matter not at all, accept to love others and have faith in God. His eternal purpose is our greatest purpose.
This year, for the first time, we are in a congregation with Jews who are of the Cohen distinction. We are every week prayed over by them. The blessing over us by a representation from God's chosen priesthood is so spiritually meaningful for me.
I've had almost an anti spiritual moment, while doing EMDR. I had this visceral memory of feeling like God didn't love me and that is why I had panic attacks that wouldn't stop.
No. I have had a dearth of spiritual experiences this year. I miss my regular church attendance and I am leery of attending even in the modified structure we now contend with. I am feeling that once the world is safer I want to go on a pilgrimage to a religious shrine. I also miss my regular yoga class, which is spiritual in another way.
Well, certainly a year like this makes one question everything. I am not sure what "God" is. I know that we like to envision someone in charge, but is that the way it works. I believe in people, and in good and in doing the right thing and in caring for those that need to be cared for. Does that make me spiritual or give me spiritual experiences? I dont know. I do know that I struggle with losing my sibling and I find it painful at the same time as I miss him and recognize what an influence he was on my life. Does listening to the Rabbi and thinking about Bill's life bring me to a spiritual experience? Maybe. This is a difficult question in a year when it feels like spirituality does not matter.
My sense of what constitutes a spiritual experience has become very expansive. In a sense, this whole thing of Covid is a spiritual, transformative experience, because it forces us to turn inward, look beyond the material, find internal resources, look for connection with nature, with people, with that deeper part of ourselves, with Spirit. Just the experience of going through this at the same time as everyone else has felt spiritual; it has made me feel more deeply my interconnectedness with everything; and that is what I define as spiritual. For the first few months, I had a weekly webinar of talks by spiritual teachers, with a large group of people around the world, and that was a beautiful experience that nourished me deeply. But my daily walks around the hill or on the beach, my work in the garden, the books, films, music that have spoken to me, my deep conversations with certain friends, and the love I have felt in my heart for them, have also filled me with inspiration, peacefulness, joy.
I haven't had any particularly spiritual experiences. I feel like I'm often in a spiritual state in appreciation of life, my children and grandchildren, my father, my sense of calm and gratitude, my awareness of mortality. I talk to God frequently, finding blessing in my students curiosity and cuteness. I even love technology. I am terribly pained by the sad and bad things that happen in the world, but I just don't get that angry anymore. Not even at Trump. I wonder, wonder, wonder how people can support and believe in what he says. But I'm not angry. I don't know what happened to my anger...
I have listened to the perspectives of clergy on the pandemic and I can understand how everyone has been affected, regardless of their background.
I'm more convinced that I am on the autism spectrum. The more I read about so-called high-functioning or low-level support autism in women, the more I identify with it. I finally watched Hannah Gadsby, and wow does it all make sense! It explains so much about me!
No, and I feel great peace with that.
Running 632 miles in 100 days, and finishing my own personal competition - so spiritual when I race down for my last .5 mile, feeling amazing, grateful, and refreshed.
It was amazing to see how much Callie improved after starting his NSAID for arthritis. He was so lethargic looking & visibly struggling to get up from laying down or sitting. After starting the NSAID, it's like he's a new dog - wrestling with Ripley, moving around more, and being more peppy. I'm so happy to see this change.
I've experienced spiritual awakenings all year long despite being unable to go to synagogue. Attending online services has actually enhanced my appreciation for my community.
This year has been hard on the spiritual plane. All of the things I used to do that brought my soul some ease have been unattainable this year. I really miss live music. I did listen to the NOLA Jazz station play previous Jazz Fest sets. That helped. Sometimes my kids provide the moments of spirituality. When my youngest is more like her old self before school ended or my oldest is better at coping with her anxiety.
I have had a number of experiences when I sense something being a part of something much bigger. It's been an awareness that I know things I seemingly have no way of knowing - like there's a universal consciousness/awareness that I occasionally can tap into. It's hard to put into words...by definition!
Not sure...it was meaningful to me to be able to welcome my father in law into our home, as he needed this, leaving the hospital.
I think dancing was spiritual for me! I felt my soul come alive, float, rejoice, and be healed in a way that felt like nothing else I've ever experienced. It makes me sad to think about how much it woke up my soul, and how I don't know how to make that happen now.
I had a dream that foretold the Corona Virus 2019. I had this dream on November 7, 2019. The dream was very detailed and described a great plague coming on the land and that the symptoms were hard to recognize as they involved chills and fever much like a cold or the flu. In the dream it talked about not being able to trust people as they could become very erratic in their behavior. A second event involved being overcome by the visceral sensation of my father's presence when the wind suddenly blew up and I remembered the great wind on his burial day. Now whenever there is a wind I think of him near me, protecting me from beyond and or wanting me to know something--something he could not communicate to me while he was alive. Just prior to Rosh Hashanah the previous year, I had a message from the universe that took the form of the circle squared--this after I specifically asked the universe for a sign to guide me. I came upon a small very round bush with two sticks crossed over it evenly--the circle squared. The message was of completion--after the ordeal of withstanding the rending pull of the opposites--the hanged man suspended from the cross--enduring this suspension between opposing forces ending in a release into some new wholeness. This sign came on August 28th, 2019 right before my birthday. From Jung-" As a quaternary it represents a whole judgement and formulates the psychic structure of man's totality." I wanted to believe in some ordinary completion, but as it turns out we were just entering into an ordeal of agonizing suspension--one that has yet to resolve. I guess I will hold fast to this grand completion, hoping for the best and that I will be able to witness it and know it with grace.
If you consider going into the darkness as a spiritual experience, I think I was there. And it was a deep and difficult experience, gloomy, despairing. And I didn't like it. And yet, I do believe it was an aspect of my spirit and of the spirit that connects us all. I also had a psilocybin mushroom experience that took me to a universe of grieving for injustice, centuries of the pain that has already been experienced. I'm gonna keep on it because, I still believe that there's a pony in there somewhere.
I had an interesting revelation during Friday's Erev Rosh Hashanah service. Our Temple got new High Holiday prayer books, so some things are worded differently, which can make things feel fresh & pop out differently. Anyway, there was a line about how G-d heals. It struck me that healing is not making things exactly like they were before ... healing is repairing, not perfecting. A broken bone healed can still be crooked ... & it can be used again. I am healed BECAUSE I've learned to live with my conditions & the limitations they put on me. I am bent, not broken. That feels pretty huge.
I prayed, I forgave myself for not knowing a lot. My memory is so foggy now, but I know I prayed. I know I tried to commune with g*d, I don't know how successful I always was. It was an intense year. I hope to take more space to do that in the next year.
My work with Vagrein has deepened this year. I have become far more public with sharing their message and works. It seems to me that spirituality has become more of an everyday experience for me now with it permiating my every moment. I did have a glimpse of Samadhi this year as well where I understood on an experiential level the nature of the universe... How we are all simply light pretending to be this or that.
I continue with my morning practice of prayer and meditation. Sometimes an insight or blessing will flow into me. This fall, I've been part of the 10-week series "Sacred Ground" offered by the Episcopal Church about historical and systemic racism in our country. It is eye opening and transforming. I hope it will lead me to new ways of thinking and acting.
I think every hike/time in nature I have had this year has been somewhat of a spiritual experience -- especially returning to Sandy Springs after living Chicago for five months without much nature and having a chance to go to the woods all the time.
I struggle to maintain a regular prayer practice, but I know that when I put myself in relation to spiritual reality by standing in prayer each morning, my orientation toward the events of my life is more accurate.
Not really. The only time I've felt even a little spiritually connected is when I've listened to or watched the livestream to Shabbat services from Mishkan Chicago.
I've had a wealth of secular and religious spiritual opportunities because of COVID. I have discovered new rabbis and whole new congregations where I now haven. I am now in a new mussar group. And I don't know how I missed it all my life, but now I sing achat shaalti every day!
Yes! I converted to Judaism! (This is going to come up a lot in this year's answers.) The conversion itself was a powerful, overwhelming experience. Writing the essays and doing the beit din exam was very emotionally affecting, though I still cringe a bit remembering how I cried at the end--and on the optional question, too! And then immersing in the cool waters of the pond, and saying the prayers, and standing there dripping while everyone sang mazal tov through their masks from a safe social distance. By that point I was overflowing with feelings and had shorted out my emotional circuits. It was a lot. In a strange way, it really hit me over the course of the next few days, when I realized that even if I never again went to the temple, even if I worshipped idols, that would not make me not Jewish, it would just make me an errant Jew. Not that I plan on worshipping idols, but something had in fact fundamentally changed within me, and now there's a certainty there that I had previously lacked. My life has always felt so uncertain, and while it still does, there's a tiny piece of solid ground that I will carry inside me wherever I go for the rest of my life. On Erev Rosh Hashanah this year, I went to the temple and stood outside and remembered my first time going in, just last February, for Kabbalat Shabbat. How incredibly nervous I was and how everyone smiled and asked the questions I was dreading: "You're new here, aren't you? What brings you here?" I could have deflected but instead it all came out, that I was new and a potential convert. And they weren't suspicious or confused, they just smiled, and one person sat next to me at services and another person made a point of introducing me to the rabbi as someone who would be wanting to speak with her soon. And I remembered standing in that large beautiful room, with all the unfamiliar prayers in Hebrew and the retired cantor's powerful voice booming in front of me. At that time I didn't feel the surge of sacred connection the way that I did last year at Rosh Hashanah, but I felt something deep inside. Now, looking back, I can see it as feeling the seeds first plant, and half-year that came after was the sprout slowly unfurling its leaves and reaching for the sun. I'm so happy to be a Jew.
Most of this past year has been quiet for me spiritually until recently after my wife and I moved into our new house. Our property is comprised of two lots with a huge tree-lined back yard. We have both spent many hours on the back patio just looking out onto the yard, enjoying the sights and sounds of the flora and fauna. It has often filled me with a sense of grounding and openness. Even walking around barefoot on the hardwood floors has felt that way. I have increased my yoga and meditation practice. We both have felt an "energy shift" since moving into this house, which has been positive for both of us.
Finding an unexpected lamb alive in the snow, the slow process of grieving her mother, and the miracle of Poppy, the best goat in the world, choosing to participate in her care and sustenance. Absolutely remarkable. I encounter so many experiences and choices that The Body of Literature states should not, cannot, does not ever happen. A ram NEVER regrows his horns. An animal WILL NOT accept a foster baby of another species, and NEVER after the hormones of her own birth have worn off. Maybe we don't have to trick them. Maybe, just maybe, they also have sparks of the Divine and can choose whether or not to rise up to the best versions of themselves. And if a goat can be that compassionate and selfless with her body, her time, and her love...I can be better, too.
At the start of COVID, when I was living completely alone, unable to see anyone because of the virus, feeling very frightened and anxious, I realized I had to change how I was thinking or I would be in horrible trouble. I woke up the next morning. I lay flat on my back in my bed with my arms by my sides, palms up, and asked God for help. I asked for gratitude. I asked to know that he was there with me, that I wasn't alone. A current passed through my body as I felt the thrilling and comforting presence of God. It coursed through me, up and down my limbs. I was filled with a deep sense of peace and comfort like I'd never known before. From that day forward, I have known I wasn't alone and I have begun living into grace and acceptance. I have embraced this COVID time as an opportunity to do my artwork like I'd never had time to do it before, as I'd been wanting to do for years. I've found my own rhythms. I've accepted "what is". And I met up with my husband again. We've begun seeing each other again. We have each learned a lot during this time apart that is helping us get to know each other, again, better. I am feeling individuated, independent, settled, like I can absolutely survive on my own. And not only survive -- I can THRIVE. That's a great feeling after 60 years of trying to find someone to take care of me. Now I'm content to take care of myself, glad to, willing to. It's a great feeling. I try to remember to contact God each morning. It's a great way to start the day. And I try to touch base with Him each day, especially before I go to the easel to paint. I want to simply be a channel for God in all that I do in my life.
It just turns out it was always there. My solo bush quest taught me the sacred humming through the mundane. All the circles and cycles are all there - just waiting for my eye to fall upon them.
Yes, during the pandemic I have been more serious about centering prayer or contemplative christianity. The meditation techniques and prayer have been helpful in calming me and hopefully suppressing the ego.
Yes, I rediscovered Ursula Le Guin. She speaks to my soul, and I find her work transcends sci-fi/fantasy and moves into a metaphysical realm to contemplate life's biggest questions - life and death, what we owe to each other and our worlds.
I felt my sister "fly by" a few minutes after her death while I was waiting to be at her deathbed. She was at peace, and had shed a lot of old rentments. Then I held her hand for an hour, and said I was sorry our mother killed her.
Realizing that I am a father has been intensely spiritual. Tonight, I was holding E as she tried to fall asleep, and she was fighting the sleep. At one point she just looked up into my eyes and held my state. I almost cried. Not that I held back, but that she broke contact before my heart could melt to a puddle of tears. Holding her is precious. Holding her shows me that there is God in the world.
Not so much experiences than knowledge. I have been reading a lot more spiritual books this year. Joined the Theosophy organization that is located in Wheaton , IL. Feel like I am getting a direction that I was searching for with all of this. Lets see what happens with this effort. But happy with my progress.
Quitting church has been highly spiritual.
First trip to Israel (late October 2019). First night in Tel Aviv, on the roof/outside pool area w group overlooking the old city. Warm feeling - ah we're finally here! (answer to the "next year in Jerusalem" from the annual Sedar). Now I get it - why Jewish people are so sentimental about and proud of Israel, proud of being Jewish.
We put Darla to sleep about a month ago. It was the first time I have watched any living creature larger than an insect stop breathing. It was shocking to me how, within seconds, she went from looking like our adorable dog to looking dead. It reminded me how fragile our bodies are, how every moment and every single breath is a gift.
As always, this question is hard for me. You say "spiritual" is broadly defined. I still don't know what it means. Is taking care of Mom spiritual? It's certainly hard, and I do love tucking her in at night like she used to tuck us in. Is that spiritual? Maybe it's ritual. I don't know the difference I guess.
the meditation retreat I did with Pardes
I participated in a few breath medicine Ceremonies. They were powerful and helped me feel like I was transcending the current reality, tapping into a higher level of consciousness.
Everyday is a spiritual experience. Living is a spiritual experience. So, everything I do is spiritual. Life should be this way. The most mundane, or even the most material, tasks can be approached with consciousness. This, it seems more so everyday, is spirituality.
I have been participating in my Temple's Torah Study, Meditation meetings, and Friday night Shabbat Services weekly. I have felt more connected to my people and so grateful with their receptiveness to my musings!
I got the idea to combine elements of each of my letter illustrations that spells the month Elul. My daughter assisted me with the photoshop part. Elul was an inspiring month this year, thanks to the focus on each day at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation. I also got toggle with Dena and discussed aspects of teshuva. Zoom has made it possible to attend services and classes more easily. The more exposure to religious life, the more inspired I feel. A benefit from the difficult time.
The only trip I was able to take this year was to NYC in February. Even though I have been to the City probably 100 times in my adult life the art I saw and the experience of just being near Lincoln Center felt spiritual. I was inspired to sign up for an adult ballet class to pick up my practice after 30 years. I am 51 and wanted to have it in my life again. The class has been quashed by Covid but there is a home practice again.
I think that my journey into meditation is pretty spiritual. It is getting easier and easier to take the time to really focus by myself in the mornings. And I am hoping that this helps me elsewhwere in my life.
For most of the spring, I didn't feel close to God. I attended Zoom church but for the rest of each week, I was so focused on keeping my head above water and supporting everyone that I didn't stop to pray or to tend to my spiritual life. I finally started to pray more this summer, using the little "rosary" I made at a women's retreat (with symbols for love, peace, compassion, and humility/friends-family-community/God). Being in Vermont this summer was also a spiritual experience for me, as the incredible beauty there reminded me of God's love.
There are times when I feel Rakesh's presence so strongly. And once again it's like no time has passed at all, and I'm back to my fresh grief. That's hardly spirituality so much as a sign that I've got unresolved grief to deal with. Of course I dredge up memories when emptying out the last home we shared together (just as I shed tears driving past the exit leading to our first apartment). These events leave me exhausted and remind me that I need to start therapy. When I have time. Next month, perhaps.
Oof. Maybe a dark night of the soul. Does that count? It better count. This year has been a slog, an ache, an extended anxious grieving. And it's not done yet.
I have done some work by talking with a therapist about family, work, and man. I’ve tried to cleanse myself and find inner peace and make peace with my past relationships. I’ve been listening and working with Matthew Hussey and Brene Brown, Jay Sherry. I’m hoping to get better at things.
I was backpacking in the Eastern Sierra Mountains with a couple of friends in early July. It was getting late in the afternoon and the most difficult and dangerous sections of hiking were behind me. Having crossed Forrester Pass a few hours before, I was heading downhill towards our campsite and passing pristine alpine lakes along the way. I began thinking of my parents and how thankful I was to them for bringing me in this world. Everything around me was so beautiful and dramatic - and I was physically and emotionally in the best shape of my life. I felt their presence and openly cried aloud and talked to them while I was hiking. I've never had such an experience before. It was powerful and lovely.
This is the year where I went from 'solidly atheist agnostic' to 'I guess I'm Jewish now' which was a weird and complicated thing. I grew up with no religion at all, a deliberate choice my parents made, and struggled a lot with how it would change my fundamental identity to be a part of a religion, even in a more cultural sense. I still don't believe in God, any god, but knowing that on certain days or occasions, there are millions of people around the world doing the same thing I'm doing and saying the same words? That's comforting. Anything that brings solace is worth keeping.
I attended a Women of the Wall service at the kotel. It was my first time attending, and I went with Sophie Haeuber and her chanichot which was so nice. There were a lot of aspects to it. Part of it was stressful -- obviously there were people upset that we were there and they were all reacting differently and disrupting differently. The other part was incredible -- being part of a full service at the kotel was something I was never able to do in the past, and suddenly I was in a talit, singing aloud, seeing the Torah lifted by a woman in a talit. It was so amazing. Afterwards, I decided to start a conversation with some of the girls who were disrupting the service. I offered them a conversation. They didn't entirely want to talk and learn, but it was really meaningful and we did manage to talk. They raised a good point about inconsistencies in my practice -- I DID stop wearing a kippa because of antisemitism, etc. They also walked away having had a civil conversation with a conservative and religious girl and I think I offered them a new perspective. I am glad I stayed for the conversation, and it was nice to also inspire Sophie through my choice to have the conversation. It was in Hebrew, of course.
I participated in the Zen Center program on the Zen precepts, and, more recently, the IJS program on ethical/spiritual character traits as a prep for the High Holiday season. Both have helped me to continue to meditate, to increase my self-awareness, and have been invaluable during the pandemic to connect with a higher power as I spend so much time alone.
One. Right at the beginning of quarantine, maybe 3 weeks in, I was talking on the phone with efronala and i was like I want a sign that this is going to turn out ok. And i turned around and there was a rainbow. And I thought of G-d saying to Noah, this is my covenant with you that I will not destroy the earth. And it was relieving, of feeing that this is not the end.
I don’t think I have. Mostly I struggle to find satisfying spiritual experiences.
Even with covid, it’s been a year of healing and closure. So many on my prayer list are cancer-free or in maintenance. Of course, losing my mom and our cat in quick succession destroyed me. While I cannot point to any one thing, while so much of the year I’ve had the emotional and mental bandwidth of a snail, it’s also been a year of introspection. Is this spiritual? Maybe. But maybe no. Maybe this is a year without spirituality, but maybe this is the year I search for the still, small voice representing God. In the end, it doesn’t matter.
I have found fulfillment in theater; I have enjoyed seeing and performing, and each informs the other as I marvel at the connection between actor & audience. In NYC, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sound Inside, American Utopia and Jagged Little Pill, all had spectacular performances and moving themes. I am proud of my comic performance as an Italian opera star. Karen's work continues to grow as she does as an artist. I am so proud of her.
Yes. I am becoming more of a Renganatha bhakta. Becoming a more tolerable person and more empathetic person.
Mmmm cooking and connecting as a form of healing. Making new friends, cooking with new friends. Reconnecting with old friends and cooking with them over FaceTime. Bringing the meals that make me happy into the home of my parents, even if they didn't necessarily like my gourmet vibes. It's made me happy and has allowed me to be present on making some nourishing while nurturing relationships.
I’ve deepened my meditation practice. Did my first at home remote/virtual retreat. Have started to view “distractions” as a part of the experience rather than an interruption of the practice. I also got to practice a silent meditation retreat in a city environment which I’ve never done before.
Actually, yes! My friend Rachel invited me to her seder. I got all the food, even roasting lamb, and then we had the seder over zoom, and everyone got to take part, even the Pink Panther. It was beautiful and we talked of many things related to the seder and its stories and questions. It was truly beautiful. Even though ew were apart, we were together.
Thankfully I'm always growing and have had so many of these experiences! I think my Elul prep more recently has been somewhat spiritual - in the sense of highlighting the gaps in my closeness with G-d, illuminating the need to truly get closer to G-d and seek His face. It's given me a renewed inspiration and passion for my relationship with G-d. Every moment I've spent in nature - which, thanks to Covid, has been more than usual - has also been spiritual for me. The first thing that comes to mind is davening mincha in the park on a rock in the river. And, especially, the sunsets while I run... which have been gorgeous - literally make me want to stop and say a bracha upon seeing them. At the same time, realizing how good my body feels while running and how well it's working has also been spiritual for me, too. These experiences also help me to see G-d in every place, which helps with my drive to get closer to Him.
I think the acknowledgement of my general lack of self confidence and positive thinking about myself has been somewhat of a spiritual revelation. I feel like it’s the first time I’ve had a genuine conversation (ongoing) with myself in order to change something in my life. It is certainly helping me with my design abilities/confidence at work etc
I think the peace and quiet I got in the summer when I didn't have school and work was adjusting to the working from home situation, was a spiritual experience. I was able to have clarity of thought. I was able to read in a more focused manner. I was able to write more thoughtfully. I enjoyed music, food, and overall, life, more. Taking a minute to just breathe, can change a whole day!
The pandemic has made me more aware of my mortality, if that counts as a spiritual experience.
Unfortunately, I had to stop knitting because I no longer had the time or money to buy the yarn. In terms of keeping myself sane during the fucking pandemic, I've turned to Duolingo. I'm VERY happy to return studying Russian, and hopefully I can finish the entire course by next year. The spiritual part comes in knowing that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I admit that I felt a spiritual experience going to Phoenix when I visited someone in Prison. I don't know why it felt spiritual, it just was. In terms of an ACTUAL spiritual experience I've had, I've turned to St. Jude Thaddeus for help in my times of need. Whenever I felt hopeless, he was there to answer all of my prayers. I'm a HUGE believer now and I thank him for all of the miracles he has given me. Because of him, my faith lives on. Thank you St. Jude!!!
I am struggling with what the nature of a spiritual experience is. Is it the birth of my granddaughter in the midst of the pandemic when so many people were dying? Is it that Carol Cathey died days after I spoke with her, that RBG died a day before Rosh Hashana? Is it that Zeeva's grandfather died of COVID while his wife did not? I find that birth and death are overwhelmingly powerful spiritual moments, at least for me as a living person. It's incomprehensible, full of divine density: I have noticed that when I experience it in my life, I recognize God's presence at those moments. Baruch HaShem, Baruch Dayan HaEmet. I feel awe.
I will just say that I started a Sat. morning women's devotional & it has gone well, especially as an interracial group. People come and go but always someone joins. Three artists counting my daughter are there so it has become an artistically oriented group. They even got me drawing w/ colored pencils.
Yes. Gone more quickly to all light. Engaged in exercise that I designed looking at myself as I age and imagining how I would be if I lost functionality. Always was smiling as moved closer and closer to death. Was comforted by these spiritual experiences.
I believe I saw Nick in the clouds at his funeral. I heard him telling me he was so sorry to have left. I don't know if this is wishful thinking or truly a spiritual experience. It could also have just been extreme, raw grief. I like to think that Nick is somewhere where he can hear me, and I can hear him.
I have felt spiritually dead this past year. I don't think I've felt less connected to the universe at any other period in my life. And then Covid hit. The social and political impact of the pandemic has only exaggerated my sense of being without hope, without joy. Not just for me personally, but for the world at large as well. It feels like we are entering a dark time, and I feel helpless in the face of it.
Doing art with the Jewish Studio Project and Embodied Judaism with Julie Emden have been ways to explore my creativity and spirituality. Both have been freeing and richly rewarding, allowing me to tap into a different part of myself.
Yes, I belong to a synagogue and join services regularly, friendships I’ve made are amazing .
The top of St Paul’s Cathedral is a spiritual place. Maybe because you’re out of breath for all the steps you have to climb there. But it’s everything. It feels like flying.
I am moved daily by the miracle of nature I hope I never lose that awe. This year, being at home much more I see the finches, butterflies, hummingbirds- this makes me understand the space humans occupy, and the space we do not. That is encouraging.
Ongoing shifts in understanding of mindfulness and spirituality.
I've had so many! All are related to feathers somehow coming into my path. A feather may be on the floor of my business, beside my car where I parked, floating in front of me on a hike, a visual on a newsfeed, carved into the side of stone plaque I just happened to walk by, featured on an ad I just happened to glance at, on a pair of earrings that jumped out at the store - they are everywhere. And they always remind me that I my spirit guides are with me. We do not walk our path alone.
Listening and watching home videos orchestra musicians out of work and stuck at home during lockdown play their instruments while their baby coos. The outpouring of art and homemade bread and balcony music from people stuck at home all over the world. Me, curled up in bed reading Marge Piercy in the dim glow of my lonely apartment on rosh hashanah. The memory of a blooming ornamental double cherry tree shining all pink and deep gold in the sunset, just a couple days before I went on lockdown.
Having been able to redefine my image of God in the last year has definitely increased a sense of the spiritual in my life. As always, I find the strongest connection when I am in the woods with the trees, the rocks, the dirt, and the sky. Today, during Tranquility Tefilah, the Cantor discussed reframing some of the images from the High Holy Days, using our Mother, our Queen. She talked about using the model of Justice Ginsberg tp expand our image of what a judge can be. Yom Kippur has been my favorite holiday for the last few years, as I love having time dedicated to introspection, especially in a context of tradition and community. Looking at our scripture with a different prism enables me to feel far more connection than ever before.
I did two long walks/hiking projects this spring and summer. The first was on the Bay Area Ridge Trail and consisted of day hikes that, strung together, covered the southern half of this loop around the Bay. The second was on the John Muir Trail and covered the northern 60% or so of the trail. The former didn't always feel all that spiritual (walking through residential San Jose is not exactly transformative or awe-inspiring), but both had a lot of spiritual moments. Part of it was the sense of space and distance that one gets from walking long distances. It's one thing to drive along the interstate and see a range of hills or mountains, but it's quite another to walk through those mountains at a few miles per hour and really feel and see the way the land changes. In particular, the former hike gave me a much better sense of the shape of the Bay Area, the region I call home. Part of it was also the knowledge and sense of power that comes from walking so far. On the JMT, I had a two-week stretch where I went nowhere except on my own two feet. Of course, this is exactly how most people travelled for most of human history, but it's such a rarity in our modern world that it felt very unique and empowering. Finally, the sheer beauty and power of the natural world was awe-inspiring. The JMT hike included a couple of thunderstorms, and there's nothing like crouching in the hail and hearing thunder echo off of thousand-foot cliffs to make you feel the power of the world. It made me aware of the fact that the forces that built these mountains are still very much alive, and our human bodies are nothing compared to them.
I've said this to numerous people already, but the fact that so many of our normal social outlets have shut down (bars, restaurants, festivals, clubs, etc) has really narrowed the focus down to spending quality time with friends, and that has truly been such a gift. The summer really revolved around eating, drinking and conversation and that has been OK by me. Particularly when I was seeing Max, the circumstances really brought home the fact that I have a lot of friends who are truly invested in my well-being -- I got so many genuinely interested queries from people who seemed truly happy that I was seeing someone I was excited about. Even though things with Max didn't last, the experience showed me that I've managed to build deep friendships here by doing exactly what I was so afraid to do three years ago -- being honest about wanting a serious relationship, even if it made me seem vulnerable. Although I haven't yet found that relationship, these last few years have brought me closer to many friends and that has been incredibly rewarding, especially now when person-to-person connections feel so special and valuable.
I am moving more and more towards the witch stuff. My work with Eileen has been very helpful and I think more mystical things are in order. I may just start calling them in. I may turn my psychic parts up a bit. Why not, I wonder? What am I afraid of? Fear not, is what the angels say when they greet us. ♥️
No, but my frustration with the lack of treating humans well has been unescapable thanks to BLM. Some humans get killed, for no reason. We don't provide, as a society for peoples basic needs (medical care, dental care, eye care, mental healthcare, food, quality education).
This has not been a particularly spiritual year, I'll admit. I started the pandemic attending services every morning. That was good -- it gave structure to the day and it was important to see people as a group which was sorely lacking. But I've fallen away from it -- it just wasn't working for me, and I found myself irritated by the people attending for no good reason. There's a particular video of the song "heal us now" that I keep returning to and thinking about. At the start of the pandemic I listened to it and thought of all those who were sick. As this has dragged on and somehow become a political issue, I find myself returning to it to remind myself that really, this is a health crisis and people are dying, and that's where our focus should be.
artistic: Ive done some online shows. i wrote music starting last year's holiday. they were all songs related to one binding which is now unbinding. there were spiritual situations within that that may not have been spiritual on my end at all but all based on conditioning. My spirit decided to do its best to heal, fighting all the way.
I haven't had any spiritual experiences. The weirdest shared experience I had involved looking at the creepy orange sky when the CZU Complex and other wildfires were spewing smoke into the air. It was all any of us talked about. We couldn't stop saying, "This is so WEIRD!" and as climate change and other awful national crises raged, we shared in the anxiety and mourning.
This feels like one of my least spiritual years -- more like holding on for dear life. In February we were both ill, and that was pretty scary. Other than that, it's been an odd mix of boredom, fear, sweetness. It's quieter than usual, and I thought that would make me really want to meditate or do yoga but mostly I'm doomscrolling through the news!
The word "spiritual," which divides the world into holy and unholy, is a dangerous falsehood. It is the primary motivator, or excuse, for all sorts of violence and division on every scale.
I've been much more actively diving into Jewish spiritual practice as a way of deassimmilating from white Christian hegemonic mainstream secular culture. I've been learning Hebrew (and Yiddish!), attending synagogue services, studying sacred texts solo or with a chevrusa, celebrating Shobes and holidays, and generally allowing the ritual and spiritual practices of my ancestors into my life, in addition to other aspects of Jewish culture like food and music. I feel grounded and like I have a true home in this practice, especially within a Reconstructionist context where things that don't align with my values can be reinterpreted or reworked. I can recall two moments of hisboydedus when I had an internal conversation with Hashem/the Universe about what I was going through, and was moved to tears by the immense beauty that surrounded me: last fall on a boat in the celestial glowworm caves of Te Anau, Aotearoa New Zealand; and this summer, at dawn in the waving dunegrass before the breakers of Mishigami, Anishinaabe Aki, in Nordhouse Dunes State Park on Lake Michigan.
I think I discussed this in yesterday's question; however, the birth of my great nephew, Levi Earl Wisnia, was as close to a spiritual moment as I've had this year. The realization that my father's name continues for another generation moved me to tears of joy. Since my parents only had one son and he only had one son, the fact that the Wisnia name, from my father, will carry forward to yet another generation is something of a miracle in itself. I live on the other side of the country from my nephew so the only way I get to see Levi is through photographs. He's only 4 1/2 months old and I probably have over 500 pictures of him already. I see how much he looks like his daddy did at his age, and I cry tears of happiness. I think about all the family traditions Noah and Amy want to teach him, and I am filled with joy and the continuance of our customs. I see the looks on my brother's and sister-in-law's faces when they look at their first grandchild, and I know the unmitigated joy they are feeling. There is nothing like the birth of a new baby to bring about these spiritual moments filled with such happiness.
At Rosh Hashanah services I felt cracked open. It was after the death of RBG was announced. And I could feel both gratitude and sorrow at the same time (being with my Jewish community on Zoom, missing being in person, and the sorrow I felt for the loss of RBG and what is left of our democracy).
I haven’t taken up new practices or gone on a retreat or made any major shifts. I explored another aspect of self-awareness through my Enneagram type and attended some Zoom workshops on applying it to my spiritual life; however, I didn’t find any insights that were any more helpful than my existing practices. The main thing has been the further development of my awareness of and reliance on my Higher Power – aka God as I have always understood Him – through my Al-Anon work of the 12 Steps. I have come to more easily let go of the cares and concerns for the future that used to consume me and keep me worrying about the future. I have made progress in Let Go and Let God and in trusting myself and my loved ones into the care of my / their Higher Power. This small but very significant.
I've spend isolation since March immersing myself in art and my skills and joy in that work has eventually become a spiritual practice of sorts. not with all the paintings, but with some. The Find with Joy course really helped me do just that, and I got lost in Flow, which is spirituality, no matter how it's reached.
Just the average, everyday sense of awe when I think about the universe, time, how bees work, the human machine, the miracle that we’re even here on this tiny planet in an ever expanding space. I suppose that’s enough for me every year.
Yes, I have. I am part of a national restorative justice group and there was a huge virtual circle held where people from all over came together. We were put into groups of 8 with two facilitators and the first day was about "checking in" whatever that meant for anyone. It was a beautiful, innocent, pure connection and I love those group of people that I was joined within that circle.
You know, I'm not sure. Definitely nothing that was traditionally spiritual with being at church because I stepped away from church on a lot of different levels this year. Being able to perform in the last MSO concert with all the incredible suites we played and to do it so well without any shell shock was pretty incredible. Being able to walk through cathedrals and mosques (well, just one in Morocco), and temples in Portugal, Morocco, and Jaffa, is a good reminder of different forms of spirituality.
I am working very diligently on being with myself in any state. Being where I am, and letting that be okay. I anticipate it will be a life long journey and that is as close to spiritual as I feel I can get these days.
Rosh Hashanah makes one reflect. This reflection on life, thinking about where I have been and where I am going always moves me. I think a lot about the passing of my wife of 43 years . It is almost three years now. I am still uncertain where it will lead me.
There have been a couple, but the biggest goes back to last Yom Kippur. It was my first time spending the entire holy day at synagogue. I really don't know if I can put how I felt into words. I felt like I was where I belonged for the first time in my life. At the same time I felt a lot of grief and disappointment for the years I've missed this experience.
No spiritual experiences come to mind.
Actually no. This year has been blah. I have considered many other religions and faith. I think I am titling towards humanist or the belief that there is no one God.
As usual, this is a question I struggle with. My love of story is as close as it comes -- reading a beautiful sentence, being swept away by a narrative -- these are experiences, and the love I feel for my children -- it's as close as I get.
, That one’s interesting. I dropped out of the First Universalist church, because of issues with how the place was being run. So I’ve missed out on what services or other things I may have attended. Although that would’ve been low because of Covid. So I have increased my interaction with my friendship group that I met through you yo, That one’s interesting. I dropped out of the First Universalist church, because of issues with how the place was being run. So I’ve missed out on what services or other things I may have attended. Although that would’ve been low because of Covid. So I have increased my interaction with my friendship group that I met through UU. I think over itself has been a test of spirituality. Just sharing with everybody that I know especially my family, how hard this is and how scary it is. And continuing to hold each other up through it.
I have tried to stayed tuned to the streaming Friday night Shabbat service at my synagogue. It has given me some solace during these very difficult times. And I have never had any artistic talent but my 9 year old granddaughter does. She has given me painting classed both on Zoom and in person without which I would never had known that I can actually paint. Bless her.
This is tough since 2020 has been such a rollercoaster...I have found the peace and quiet of being home during Covid shelter in place to be an excellent teacher, the act of slowing down and appreciating my environment to be grounding and somewhat spiritual. I have found my Covid pod (there are 4 of us) to be a very grounding family.
I started walking a lot more and just enjoying, especially early in the COVID shut down, how quiet the streets were. Very little traffic, just a lovely time to enjoy the world and remember that life goes on. It was life affirming and a great mental health boost.
I've always had a problem sleeping. Always up at least once during the night for several hours. When our family (adult children, grandchildren) fled the city on March 11, we went to our home in VT at Stratton. A week later I realized for the first time in years, I was sleeping through the night. I came to understand that knowing where my kids were each day/night during the first few weeks/months, gave me a sense of security, peace and spiritual calm. I could sleep through the night because I knew my family was safe. It was as if we were being sheltered in God's embrace during such a challenging time.
I don't know. Maybe? I feel like maybe this year has been an odd spiritual reckoning. Or awakening. In that I've had plenty of time to reflect and consider life as it comes to us. This year has been extremely lonely for me and I don't know how that plays into my current headspace. If I thought about it literally, my big spiritual moment is the understanding that we should have a relationship with a rabbi because we I want to know a rabbi in case something happens in our family that would require one. But the less literal side of me just think that it's been a deep seated, introspective, spiritual year all around.
Yes, I think the experience tried to help me gain some patience prior to the insanity.
Patience - economic times are slow. Not making as much money, patience. My daughter can’t get married in October with everyone because of COVID, it’s rescheduled, patience. Right here, in this moment, we need to have patience. It’s so hard, that’s my spiritual awakening this year
Nope. Nothing, Nada.
I've noticed that I've reverted to saying my Our Father and Hail Mary like a Mantra over the past few months. It scares me. Like God is telling me to toughen up, the road ahead may get bumpy-er.
Spiritual experiences are rough for me to think about. I'm not a religious person at all. While many good things have come from religion, and it can be a helpful thing for many people, as a whole I think humanity would be better off without religion at all. Far too often it's used to create an "us vs them" mentality in situations where it shouldn't really be applied. I'll talk about an artistic experience. Earlier this year I watched the series Avatar: The Last Airbender for the first time. I'd heard some good things about the series in the past, so I decided to check it out. I'm incredibly glad that I did, as I think it's one of the best stories I've ever experienced. Not just the best cartoon, or best fantasy story, one of the best stories period. The characters are wonderful, the overall story is fantastic, and there are quite a few fantastic quotes and storylines within the series. Particularly in the third season, the writers were absolutely fantastic with every single episode. Since I finished watching the show, I've gone back way too many times to watch some individual episodes, or even just individual scenes. This is a wonderful show and I'm so glad that I finally decided to watch it.
I wish that I would have experienced more than my own emotional and familial problems and the lack of solutions thereof. Right now I'm only in my own head, in my own life, when I need so much more.
Many of them. Tunkashila (sp?) came to me in the vision of the wind, and watching Mom's spirit breathe out of her body. This was followed by the footprints of Nkarsis, showing me grounding which is the opposite I suppose of the breath of the Thunder Beings.
Eye-opening to God's complete love for me as I am in my total imperfection. I am realizing that I do not have to do anything to earn His love. My trust in His work & timing of my transformation is growing. This has been experienced a lot this past year.
I have but it is hard to define. We changed churches because of shift in denominations by the former church. It caused me to do a lot soul searching. For the record I liberal and hold basic beliefs of Christianity. But I am not legalistic and I have problems with Charasmatic and "Evangelical" movements.
Hmm, this is a think hard question for me, because I've tried to NOT have experiences per se, but daily moments. How is it life is my spirit isn't being moved every day. How am I serving my spirit if I'm not moved in my daily life. So though I'm not always successful, I do find that listening to the crickets as the sun sets, or watching fireworks in the neighborhood, or my niece laugh, or my friend share a story with me, is moving. And poetry, politics, protest movements, eulogies, hugs and eye contact - in these insane and challenging times, there is spirit movement there.
The long walks at the beginning of COVID, a lot of my time spent with close friends, the multiple sunrises, so many late nights (both during school and summer). So many moments where I was able to press 'pause' just for a little bit among the whirlwind come to mind.
During the Spring of 2020, standing by my open living room window and ringing my green Solari bell at 7pm every night to honor the essential workers. Leaning out the window and clapping, whooping, waving to neighbors. Someone blew on a horn. Sometimes it sounded like a shofar. Someone played Frank Sinatra singing “New York New York.” When the song ended, we cheered some more. Then we closed our windows. Silence again. That was a nightly spiritual ritual.
When my son started school at a Jewish Day School, the frequent tefillah gatherings were a bit off-putting. Not being very observant myself, it felt really over-the-top and I felt a bit like a fraud participating in them. After a couple of weeks, I really came to like it. It became this lovely moment of connection to community, to my son, and to God. I feel like, being together with an atheist for more than two decades, my relationship to God started to feel frivolous and dumb. I'm still working on owning it more, though 2020 has made believing in a higher power harder and harder.
Being with my husband while he was transitioning 9 months ago. I have ways felt we were soul mates and as his body was failing I felt our spiritual connection grow stronger. Since then I have felt more spiritually connected, am more peaceful. I also have started reading in A Course in Miracles, daily and have made this part of my morning routine.
Yes! This year has been very potent for me spiritually. In recent years I noticed a disconnection within myself from my spiritual life (which has always been fluid and somewhat elusive). I had begun to feel a sort of coldness in my heart since going through difficulties with my husband and what I see as the breakdown of our marriage. I was focused more on political matters as well. But recently, with COVID-19, and the isolation it has brought I began to focus on the spiritual questions I had been neglecting.
My art creativity has blossomed! 'Fanciful Animals" and "Crisis /Chaos" were in exhibits. I have made many birthday cards for friends. Making collages is a spiritual experience for me.
I mean. I think I was cursed again? I have stocked up my magic supplies in their own space and I have stocked my bookshelf accordingly but I haven't done much reading or practicing. There was a failed attempt at a curse breaking using a method that had worked for me before, and a successful one - I think I understand what happened with it, which is the big thing.
This year it's been hard to feel connected to anything spiritually. Sure, outdoors helps, as does engaging with my usual pattern-making practice. Solo music listening has been about as good as it gets: Broken Chanter's many ambient releases have helped me cope.
Lots of things in small doses. I've been playing with different meditation and processing modalities like tapping, qi gong, different types of breathwork, and mindfulness meditation. I'm finding that anything related to heart opening, sending love to the world, forgiving myself, and forgiving family members brings up a lot of emotion. I have a long way to go, but I hope these cracks lead to a bigger opening.
Yess and how!! This whole year has been one big spiritual test, and God has used it to call me back to Him. Back to faith and back to love. If the political leaders were trying to harm us, it backfired SPECTACULARLY and I and many others I know have been actually healed and helped to further our spiritual walks. I prayed for the US and for the world and God has answered me mightily. Was baptized in August and have found spiritual healing and freedom that I hadn’t experienced in 20 years. Amazing.
My neighbor died from brain cancer this last year. He was 65 years old when it was diagnosed, and was healthy his entire life until this. Was unable to walk by himself when he finally went to the ER for help. Went through radiation, surgery and chemo without help. It kept getting worse, and he died 9/8/20. It was a profound wake-up call for me. Any issues that I was previously had taken seriously quickly fell away.
I have two: Once we were in the throws of the pandemic, I started attending virtual services every Friday night, rather than the once in a while attendance for in-person. I came to look forward to the services so much - they were a balm for all the chaos and stress. Huge shout out to Mishkan Chicago for keeping me grounded, keeping me uplifted, and preventing me from spiraling into a very dark place. Also, school ended and the weather changed, daily walks to the beach were my salvation. Something about seeing the changing waters every day, searching for sea glass for my friend, and smooth, "sensory" rocks for my colleagues, students and self, created a link with nature that was my salvation.
I've read a number of books during the past year that were profoundly moving, thought-provoking, and spiritually uplifting. The Overstory by Richard Powers and Lab Girl + The Story of More by Hope Jahren read consecutively got me thinking about trees, our climate, consumerism, and the planet through a different lens. I saw interconnections where I hadn't previously. The rabbi's speech at the funeral in Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer was so incredible that I continue to think about what kind of Jew I want to be in the context of this passage. Books on death, looking for ritual, making meaning, creating empowerment all provided food for thought. They were powerful reads that might have risen to the notion of "spiritual" if I had someone with whom to share and discuss them. Perhaps this was one of the biggest spiritual moments of the year: the aloneness as I thought about and sat with some of the most important issues — our planet, death, life, meaning making. In what could have been transformative if shared and spoken of with others, became quiet moments of reflection. I wish I had someone to sit and talk with, as we together read these books and tried to turn the powerful words into actions to make a positive change around me.
Nothing specific. Sitting looking over an unbelievably beautiful valley in the Lake District maybe? Makes me feel peaceful thinking about it.
I think I had guidance from God in small ways but very important ways. I started eating much better, healthier food and exercising. I lost 40 pounds. I think this increase my chances of staying healthy during a pandemic. I quietly found myself organizing my life to be more centered at home before the pandemic broke out. I like going out and socializing, but I felt disinclined. I think all this contributed to a likely diminution of my my likelihood of contracting COVID. It wasn’t a burning bush, but it was wisdom.
Seeing my kids after a long time after COVID hit. It made me want to just hold them!!!
For Rosh Hashanah, we attended services in Central California, Northern California and a shofar service right here in Rochester. The pandemic creates interesting options and necessities.
This past year I have felt less spiritually connected than usual. I am not sure why. I used to meditate or take walks in nature and quickly feel connected to God and others but less do. I don’t know it that has to do with COVID or something else but I want to re-establish that connection
In the past year I have found my deepest fulfillment in being a college music teacher. This is very surprising to me, because I used to view teaching as a mandatory chore. But I happened to find a school with a very nurturing environment where I was able to transform my relationship to teaching. My mission is to be the teacher I needed when I was a student but hardly ever had. Making a positive difference in my students' lives is very rewarding.
Wow...it is interesting that I would not look over the myriad of experiences of the past year and describe any of them as distinctly spiritual. I hope that this is due to an ever-increasing awareness of and presence to the reality that everything is spiritual. Every single moment, every experience, every pain, every joy, every loss, every protest has been spiritual. No doubt the most impactful of those experiences has been and continues to be the destruction, death, awakening, and engagement of COVID and the racial and economic inequality that has been and is being brought to the forefront as a result. May it continue to burn through us.
I haven't had any spiritual experiences other than reevaluating my ideas on who am I...basically the hurts of others. I want to experience joy with others
Weirdly (or not weirdly) enough, Rosh Hashanah. I thought I was going to hate being alone watching services on my TV - but I felt really connected to my family and my clergy in a way I was not expecting. I think because of being able to use technology in new ways, they were able to incorporate former clergy which made the service even more meaningful.
Maya and I did mikva at the beginning of this year for new year’s as a Chanukah gift. It was a bit surprising as far as a gift goes but ended up being pretty interesting. I wouldn’t say it impacted me long term but it was cool to try. I’m glad we did it though because it was different, unique, I did feel a bit cleansed in the end. It brought maya and I a little closer together and I’m glad we are still having new adventures together.
I am pleased to note that all of my consistent spiritual practices have built some strong muscles for coping with all this craziness! I practice so that when I need the tools I am able to access them. And wow, have I needed to access them! Biggest new spiritual growth point was starting rosh chodesh group with Shana and keeping it going during covid.
I was lucky to get in a trip to Israel in February with WRJ. Traveling with women is the best (with the exception of hanging with hubby) and we saw our grantees as well as some artists, dancers, political rising stars, and got to pray with Women of the Wall at the Kotel and at a Reform community in Tel Aviv. This was a fabulous experience to have and a lovely memory right to bold onto, just before Covid shut us down.
No nothing spiritual has really happened this year. Some fun coincidences that turned out well but nothing truly spiritual.
In past years there has always been something. The saddest part of this year is that there is nothing!
This was a bit hard for me to think up, but (upon looking back on my calendar) there were some live music/shows that I remember deeply moving me. Rising Appalachia with opener Be Steadwell, and the musicals Jagged Little Pill and The Band’s Visit. Lyrics and music performed live often foster a special warmth in me. The beauty of it all and the feelings of connection either with those around me or in content or in sheer artistry really move me. Shortly after experiencing them I feel very grounded and seen. Presently, I think of them with fondness and gratefulness for the experience.
nope...and therein lies the problem. Im disconnected to myself - body and soul. I feel broken and numbed from this year. It is getting better and im building myself back up and we're rebuilding this relationship but gawd, it has not been easy.
Yes. In search of a place to say yahrtzeit for my mom online, I discovered Mishkan Chicago. I have been periodically attending services there and finding an odd spiritual connection with the community in spite of the fact that I have never been in any of their presence. I feel comforted by the fact that I have a place to pray, chant, and retreat into my spiritual ritual heart once a week for an hour. I feel welcomed and like I belong there. It is my fervent hope that I will eventually be able to travel to Chicago and worship with them in person, and thank them for providing me with a spiritual home during the pandemic.
I found my Judaism again. I felt very enlightened when I was praying. I think when you have gone through a traumatic experience in your life, sometimes going back to your roots helps you find yourself again. I feel better aswell.
I think every year I write exactly the same thing for this question, and this year my patience is a bit thinner than usual and I find it irritating. I do not know how to define a spiritual experience. Maybe one day there will be an epiphany. I wish you would find another way to ask this. I will write no more as in my head the irritation is leading me towards meanness and I have enough to atone for this year already. I do not like this question. Again.
Perhaps the most spiritual moment of my year came on the day my MIL died. We had a heads up that her body seemed to be failing, so we arranged to spend many hours with her on her last night of life. We sat with her, feeling peace and calm, playing her favorite music, singing songs and reading stories, with her three children (and one of her grandchildren) surrounding her. She waiting to take her last breath when her children were out of the room, giving them that lasting sense of her breathing. We also sat with her body, still and silent, for several hours until the funeral home came to carry her away. This was also peaceful, and the first time I'd ever seen a lifeless human. It somehow felt like a privilege to witness her transition. And as a side note (maybe) it also soothed my own loss from not being with my own mother when she passed 3 years ago. I still wonder if she felt my presence during her last hours, as I felt hers.
My spiritual experiences have centered around grief -- the loss of GC, my beloved. Grief due not just the loss of his presence; but due to all the emotions arising that surrounded his passing, the deep pain, the feelings of abandonment, of confusion and despair. I became pulled to the edge between the divine and the secular. Although I could do my work, I could no longer read a novel. I would open a novel that the book group was reading and immediately close it. I was pulled instead to my deep spiritual practices every day. After his memorial, January 3, through July, the daily practices were at least 2 hours every day, praying, chanting, meditating, reading, writing. The form would change but the strong pull was right there. Due to Coronavirus and my own internal workings, I was not leaving the house except to walk and bicycle. I had a fall in July and injured my neck as I face planted resulting in a whiplash which then restricted my ability to exercise. In August there was a shift, a slight softening around the edge where I stood, where I could move more into the material world, just a little at a time. I could feel it in my bones, in my mood. In fact, I was a little concerned I was forgetting -- but that was not so. My practices reduced in intensity, but were still calling me. And now, in September, I am still practicing, chanting and meditating, but my readings have reduced over the past month, and my writings have slowed. I reach out to see people in person. I do know that as we move into December, the 11th being the anniversary of his passing through, I may re-experience the deep emotions that were triggered by his pull away from me for that 6 weeks. However, I am looking towards resolution, not towards re-enactment. When Descanso Gardens opened after being closed for the Spring due to Coronavirus, I would go early Friday mornings and walk, especially at the spiral where spontaneously I would create an altar: Shiva/Shakti -- the lingam and the flow of life. I would chant as I walked the small spiral. In other areas of the Garden I would sit, and at times collapse in the pain of grief. It happened there was a "performance", The Sky Beneath Your Feet", of vocal sounds/vibrations emanating in the Oak Canopy. My healing space. Redwoods, Oaks, Roses, Water, Grass -- each time earthing as I walked the paths beyond the main thoroughfare. My life is full, I am not depressed, only more spacious, more present. I feel GC's presence, his energy running through me as I work, leading me to a broader perspective. Now as Jody is experiencing excruciating pain during her own cancer treatments, I have more opportunities to be of some service, to bring my practices to her and to my own ability to stay grounded even through the immediate frustration and grief of being unable to visit due to the pandemic and her compromised immune system. I intentionally earth to ground, and be outside to fill myself with the spaciousness of the cosmos -- in order to do my work with clients, and, now, with my own sister. I drum to create resonance and vibration -- and to learn something new. This is important in my own development. I do feel blessed to be alive at this amazing time in evolutionary awareness and growth. My goal is to be of service, and to keep alive the brilliance of the human spirit in the midst of chaos and confusion, which shows up as divisiveness and injustice. sigh.
A few moments come to mind... we had a lovely Shabbat dinner and service through Or Chadash where I was honored... it was shortly before the a COVID quarantine. Nancy and I took a class with Melilla Esched-Hellner and a couple of other zoos classes through the Hartman Institute that were memorable. Finally Nancy and I had some zoom moments with the family — some with the whole family and some with part of the family. Some of those were very sweet — not as good as in person but sweet nonetheless.
I had a breakdown and was diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder II last October. Was in a highly “mixed” state for about 6-9 weeks. Checked myself into a mental hospital for a week. The reason i’m logging this under Spiritual is that the diagnoses, medication and ongoing group work was a big whammy for me; felt like what i feel to be special about myself is now instead “clinifiable”. A disorder. Something wrong. And the magic bursts of creativity i’d had from my teens on was just hypomania, something to be downgraded now when i noticed it. I hope to find my voice again, a new one probably, but maybe with some of the assurance and swagger that i once had.
Nothing. Sadly. Nothing.
Being socially isolated due to COVID-19 means there haven’t been any opportunities for artistic, cultural or religious experiences. However, Julia and I have taken every possible opportunity to explore the amazingly beautiful natural environments available in Utah. We hiked at least once a week, often in the canyons and mountains near our home. We visited National Parks, such as Bryce, Arches, and Escalante Staircase, mountain biked and hiked around Park City and Moab, and kayaked on the Provo and Colorado rivers. And several times we had sunset dinners amongst the parasailers and hang gliders at Draper Point. Many ‘spiritual’ moments, to be sure. :-)
The hike we did instead of Rosh Hashanah services this year was deeply satisfying and really cemented our family in a way I was unprepared for. I knew it would be good to just get out into nature and walk around somewhere new, but I didn't realize that we'd have such a great time! My tween told us stories he made up along the way, and normally I'd have a million other things to do, so his stories just register as babbling, but without other responsibilities, I was able to really hear him. That felt so good! My daughter didn't want to hold at first and my husband was very quick to give in to her whining, but I convinced her (patiently, somehow!) to keep going and just see what we could see around the bend. It was a tremendous achievement for her little legs, and she gave out about ten minutes from the end of the hike, but she was such a rugged trooper the rest of the way! It was a joy to watch her 😊
Closing my business of 10 years tore me down and made me do hard work spiritually. Managing the grief, even though I was ready to be done with the store.
I would say no. I don't really get that sort of feeling upon me. If any moment would have been, it should have been when my mom died as I held her hand, and my dad and sister were right there too. It felt too real, and also surreal, but not spiritual. I didn't feel her leave or anything like that. She just stopped breathing, and I kept holding her warm hand, and we went on from there... I wish I could say I had a spiritual experience. I haven't felt her presence since or anything like that either. Though I talk to her aloud from time to time anyway.
I was able to travel to Costa Rica on a women's wellness retreat and started therapy. It was a spiritual experience for me because it gave me the opportunity to be quiet and listen more to my inner voice and to acknowledge the ways that I have not been true to myself. I was able to make a renewed commitment to myself and my family moving forward to live my most present/authentic life
Not really, and I honestly kind of miss it. For instance, observing Rosh Hashanah on the couch over Zoom just wasn’t the same as being in Shul.
I signed up to perform a five-minute personal story (ALA Moth Radio Hour) from a stage in front of a live audience. It was a great experience. I felt courageous, even though my story's theme was fear and overcoming it.
At one point we were considering having my FIL move in with us. He had dementia, had been at death's door twice, and it *was* one of the reasons we moved here. My husband is working from home, and has a pretty intensive job, and my daughter is attending college at home. That meant that my FIL's care would fall primarily to me. I have a very bad back, and I was really worried about how I would do it. I could see in my mind's eye my FIL falling and me not being able to get him up. How would I bathe him? How could I get him into his wheelchair? I spent a long time in prayer that night, asking all the tough questions, trying to surrender my will and current life and lifestyle if necessary, but also begging that if there was another way, it would open up. And I shared the deep concern for my FIL's feelings and life quality. All I can say is that I felt heard. I knew God was on my side. I felt it and it gave me some peace. (And other care at a facility was arranged.)
I started to practice Ashtanga yoga more and deeper, and I feel like this practice will stay with me for long.
I definitely re-thought a lot of things during the monotheism unit in SLE. Reading the Bible, Qur'an and talmud made me question some things in a way that I wasn't able to articulate before. I think I had a lot of questions, but the timing and occassion never really arose for me to ask them in high school, but in SLE I was able to really talk about them with people. I wasn't very religious to begin with and had a fuzzy area around religion. I was able to think through things like the Law and the Crucifixion. I had an epiphany that Jesus dying on the cross doesn't matter and still think that. I also really liked reading Inferno and actually just finished Purgatorio. It's so poetic and beautiful, but really personifies so many ideals and virtues in Christianity/Greek/roman religion. That also made me think critically about afterlife, and what it means for me.
My ongoing practice of gratitude and acceptance, and greater involvement in meditation have helped me spiritually. I attempt to remain mindful of the transient and unending flow of thoughts and feelings, trying to remain unattached to these as possible.
Doing the Chopra course on the nature of reality has been wonderful. The mantras helping to move from the local to the non-local, and our experience as human beings. Amazed at the Bohm film about the physicist; so clearly showed how the two worlds, the Western approach and the one Chopra discussed come to such similar conclusions. Realising my distaste for ritual has a meaning.
When I am online with people who would normally be together but the pandemic has separated us I appreciate all the effort we are going through to stay connected - whether to dance, pray, engage in ritual, or just catch up.
I've been practicing gratefulness, meditation, and positivity. It has helped my stress level and my day-t0-day outlook. I've stopped worrying about the future while still working on being my best person.
I mentioned this in question 1. When I was on retreat I had an awesome image of being connected to a pink diaphanous ribbon into the cosmos, surrounded by beings also connected-this vision stayed with me for about a day after Thomas did his transmission. During the same retreat on my birthday I also had a sense of life energy without the trauma story. I felt so energized and alive and grateful.
This year I have had a lot of people praying for me. It has me thinking about going back to church.
I've felt the most spiritual recently when hearing the shofar in Jerusalem. In the morning, two orthodox Jews came up to me and said the blessing with me then blew the shofar. Normally being approached by strangers would scare me, but I loved how all they wanted to do was help others fufill the mitzvot. Later, with the other gap year kids, we listened to the shofar with a hippie rabbi who talked about setting a small intention (kavvanah I think) for spiritual things. I felt the sound and was able to come to the realization that I need to stop worrying about disappointing other people. I need to live my life for myself.
Selichot and Rosh Hashanah services have been especially powerful for me, as have all the connections to Central community and clergy through the myriad virtual offerings they've been doing during the pandemic. I've had a stranger reach out and give me temporary housing - truly a miracle.
The only thing I can think of is that because of the pandemic, early on - the only time out of the house was for our daily walks, rain or shine. Because of this, it was the first time in a long time I saw spring arrive daily very slowly. It was the first time in a while I hadn't blinked and a new season was upon us in full swing.
I've been baking challah weekly and enjoying learning the recipes and braiding techniques. I watched a video of an experienced baker who bakes in honor or memory of someone different each week. I've started naming people while I knead and I think when I announce the people out loud, the challah comes out better than when I name them in my head. My sister is also baking challah weekly too. I feel closer to her when we talk about and share photos of our challah. A few weeks ago, I was not feeling very into baking challah. It was the day after we returned from our trip to the mountains. I felt like it was a Monday, not a Friday. When my kids asked about challah that evening, I told them I was not feeling very spiritual so I didn't bake any. That's how I know that baking challah is an expression of my spirituality.
I guess you might say that I have spiritual experiences this past year. I was led to listen to Joel Goldsmith lectures on YouTube. Listening to him has led me to truths that would have never thought of. He has a calming, healing effect on me. He has made working the 12 steps more doable which has led me to move on in my life.
The COVID-19 situation has served to remind me of God's total sovereignty. He is in complete control. This didn't surprise him at all.
Oh man, what a great year to ask that question! I've been participating in a Jewish learning fellowship, and it's been so wonderful. One memory that really resonates was translating the Shema and then actually feeling it resonate for the first time. In general, I've found more ways to pause, reflect, and show gratitude this year, and that's been really wonderful.
Spiritual for me is the awe in looking at beauty in nature, and the infinite knowledge in our dna.
No experiences that are particularly spiritual, but I have definitely had uplifting experiences by painting and participating in theater.
Being the essential caregiver for a friend which meant I could spend time with her as she was dying
Something happened this year that I never thought possible...church buildings closed. I have not been in church since March. We have been watching online, but it's not the same. It's hard to feel connected to it. It's easy to get busy doing other things and not carve out time to sit down and watch. I feel like I have dwindled and have not been as good with keeping up with my faith during this pandemic.
I can't think of any. I feel a bit drained, to be honest. Life has been so simplified and limited for the past 6 months. We went to the Antony Gormley exhibition at the RA last year. I love his work. I think what I enjoyed the most were his sketches and sketchbooks where you can see his ideas in development. There was one motif that I really liked of a horizon line running through a head - a bit like a hat. I could have spent hours looking at those sketches. His tiny figures are very moving sometimes. Humanity and the human body in its purest, simplest form.
My spiritual experience is with my dad -his living. He was 92 with sepsis and a fistula between his bladder and colon last November. We and the staff thought we would lose him twice (we said goodbye twice) before a Christmas and no where in my mind did I think he would be here now in September Almost a year later. The spiritual portion is that only God knows everything and I need to stop getting ahead of myself.
Watching the space station cross the sky.
I went to Austin and experienced ego death. I am finally, finally free from toxic shame.
Improvement paddling my surfski
My spirituality continues to grow and manifest in ways that support a life I am striving for. I want serenity and balance. I seek connections that support my openness and mindfulness. My creativity and imagination--Writing in particular-- is a clear manifestation of my spiritual growth. I am working on a short film all about spirituality and reconciliation. I am also writing a feature film script that delves into similar topics. I am a spiritual being much of the time, and what a lovely place to dwell.
Just the usual.
I was let go as an Assistant Pastor of my Faith Community. It was devastating for me even though I "knew" it was going to happen as I was growing increasingly discontented with the leadership. I came away very disillusioned with leadership for their lack of honesty. It could have been a holy thing to separate instead it felt dirty and under-handed.
I have spent more time outside and more aware of bird migration and when different birds are born. More in tune with the seasonal changes.
I fell in love with my best friend because literally nothing in the world could keep us apart from each other. We have a cosmic bond that keeps pushing us together no matter where we go, who we're with, or what we do. We've grown separately and yet together. After 18 years we have finally realized how meant we are to be with each other because of synchronous event after synchronous event. We have yet to even discuss it all. We knew when we were trying not to know. During the Lion's Gate I wrote out the qualities I sought in my ideal self and ideal partner and prayed that I would be able to embody them and attract someone to do the same. That night my former relationship ended and this new one was able to begin. It is out of a fairy tale. It is so unbelievable and yet makes the most sense in the entire world. I've never felt a stronger love or sense of certainty in my life. The day we professed our love for each other we meditated separately and had the same meditative vision and knowingness that we needed to be together and let each other know. We did. He is the best decision I ever made.
Loads! Really enjoyed starting hidden London walking tours, especially with Claire! Seeing the beauty of the little bits of history! Also some amazing books (see Instagram!) Also elevated exchanges during lockdown was so lovely to discuss issues with a holistic view!
#COVID19 Not really, no. With the outside world shut down, it's been living in my own head for the last six months. It's hard to remember what happened in the first ten weeks of the year pre-lockdown, but I don't remember anything especially affecting. Hrm. On second thought, completing my back patio, and getting to know what I have come to think of at the Backyardigans in the space we're sharing, that has been an almost-spiritual experience. It's where I go to shut down the people-noise of the world and my job, and just feed the critters. It's where I find peace these days, and that's about as close as I get to a spiritual experience.
All those long lonely wide-awake sleepless nights worrying and fretting and fearing and stressing and what-if'ing... mostly about Aaron but also about everything else under the sun -- everything else I could not and cannot and never will be able to control. Don't remember exactly when that dam broke, but at some point I finally [let's hope it's finally -- although more than likely it's temporarily] gave up and relinquished all control -- gratefully -- to G-d, in whose hands all things are far more capably and wisely held and kept and nurtured and protected and guided and guarded. When will I ever learn that life is so much better when the outcome is in His hands, not mine? That was my spiritual awakening this year. It's not that I haven't been there before. But oh how easy it is to forget...and once again to slip back into despair and terror and sadness and stress and fright and all that other negativity that comes with grasping for control when indeed it's not ours and never has been and never will be. Sigh...
I've felt particularly close to my late mother this year. She passed away almost 2 years ago. I think because everything has slowed down I have the physical and mental time and space to think about my Mom z"l. To contemplate the loss of her in my life. And to find ways to stay connected. The death of each of my parents z"l felt very harsh to me. Here. And then - gone. I waited for some sort of insight, some sort of connectiont to them after death. Now I am experiencing this with my Mom without even trying. Some times this makes me sad. Often I feel profoundly grateful. I will have a quandry or a problem and I'll hear her voice giving me great advice. Is this a 'spiritual' experience? Yes, I see it that way. She and I are connecting soul to soul, nefesh b nefesh. It's emorphous and I can't always make it happen but I'm learning to lean in and enjoy when it does.
In general, I find that any connection Church, God, and spirituality have been food for my soul. I read the bible more. I seek the word of God in a lot of places, Social Media, Netflix, conversations with friends and family, books I read, prayer. With every morsel of spiritual food I get I feel closer to God.
For me, 'spiritual experience' encompasses strength of spirit. Mine has been tested these last six and one half months. I've moved from disbelief to despair to depression to resolve and resignation and everything in between.
I started painting rocks. I feel complete peace, and deep pleasure from it I can spend hours doing it, and I’m always looking forward to the next chance that I get to paint. Also, I’ve come to know Rabbi Manis Friedman. His teachings are exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’m very excited to now have a source of study for my spiritual growth.
Prayed for a boy. Prayed for him to be delivered in June so that we could reclaim that month. I am so lucky bc the universe delivered! This may sound crazy but every time I go out with Satya I see a whole butterfly / moth flying near us. Sometimes I think it’s an angel.
Yes, for sure. I've learned that I need to "bring G-d into the conversation" every day. That I need to listen for what the Universe has to tell me, and not just listen to my way of making decisions. That when I think of only option A or B, if I ask the Universe for guidance with making a decision, multiple other options present themselves...
Yes - if artistic/cultural is included. The discovery and reading of Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury really made me think hard abut the concepts of watching/being watching and seeing/being seen. It has been a new lens through which to view racism, and is entangled in the desire of white people to be performative - to want to be seen, just as BIPOC are so very tired of being judged just for existing in a space.
Yes. I have felt particularly connected with the sky, Stars, Moon, sun and all celestial beings. I find myself in those things that come from nature.
There were a few moments in nature this year that gave me a sense of awe and made me feel quite small compared to the wonders of this world. One was Niagara Falls, and one was the gorge (or the PA Grand Canyon) at Leonard Harrison State Park. Both were so exciting and truly humbling.
YES! The Abundance meditation. Awesome awakening. I once cried my eyes out to a friend because I was powerfully stirred from within. I fell in love while doing it, I felt connected and fulfilled, full of love. How one should live a life. It's day 2 and I'm already awakening a little. Yoga is part of my life and that's the way I like of living it: slowly, connected, grounded, egolessly and prioritising health and others.
The weather was extra breezy when we visited Hawaii this year. And I felt like a bird, so aware of the air around me. Connected moving in the air in the way I had, when swimming on our visit the year before, felt one with the ocean. The Great Oneness of it all.
The experience of attending a few services and meditation sessions online has been interesting for me -- a good test of my general habit of linking spirituality with community. I do feel some sense of community with members of my congregation, even in Zoom, but of course, it's embodied differently. You get a different sense of the presence of others -- their faces and their spaces, but not their bodies.
Yes, for the first time in a long time I observed Tashlich during the days of awe with my sister. We walked 2 miles to Crissy Field and practiced "throwing" away baggage from the year and making wishes for the new year and then walked back. It was meaning to me and hopefully will impact my decision making and mindset in the new (Jewish) year.
YES! God is AMAZING and answers prayers! When I think there is NO WAY God fixes it!
All of this extra time that I seemed to have this summer was spent outside. And with that came this incredible realization and understanding of nature, and the seasonality of life. Sitting outside as the light changed from golden to dusky. Watching the sky. Hearing thunder boom through the Royal Gorge during a thunderstorm, and the spidery web of lightning that came just prior. The smell of the air in the morning. The way that sun-warmed rock feels. It all felt so good to know that.
I blessed my grandchildren and felt the power of love. There’s a 3,000-year-old prayer that parents and grandparents in a traditional Jewish setting say over the kids every Sabbath. We’re a secular family— I was born Jewish, my husband was raised Roman Catholic and so was my son-in-law. None of us care much for organized religion. But with everyone’s permission, I recited the prayer before our family’s Rosh Hashanah dinner this year (name any holiday and we’ll celebrate it) - that the children be safe and blessed and live in a world of peace. I won’t forget how both of them- 5 and 8 years old- cuddled up to me.
My spiritual experience this year was becoming an empty nester. This has hit me as a cold hard slap in the face that I am moving in to deep "middle age" and am closer to retirement than I was to the prime of my career. I feel like I need to "earn hard" for the next five- ten years, and then move on to that "retirement phase".
Traveling on my own for the first time in New York and Baja California Sur was absolutely life changing.
None. I have been working day and night with no time for anything else. No room for anything in my head but work.
I wish I could say that I've had many deep spiritual experiences in the last year but that is not the case. I have had spiritual moments during services and sometimes when outside and relaxing. I'd like to say that I will meditate this coming year as a regular practice but I just don't see this happening for a few more years when the kids are in college. I will try to steal moments when I can. Shabbat services, even the virtual services, have been renewing for me.
I have seen God work in answer to prayer - me being an integral part of the answer. The feeling was like a wave that washed over me that I didn't see coming. Being part of the answer means stepping out in faith despite the opposition and trusting God to provide the strength and courage to face the future.
I have experienced intense feelings of gratitude and love. These come on me primarily while alone, outside, probably with the dog. I see herons and raptors and other birds; flowers, grasses, the river; the changing robes of the hills; and the skies through the seasons, and cannot but feel amazed to be here.
IMO, spirituality requires a connection to other people, and a mutual intention. I have not felt this in a long time. As I’ve aged, I’ve grown out of magical thinking, especially with regard to religion and faith. I used to say I was spiritual, not religious, but I don’t even do that anymore. Lacking belief in the supernatural, my focus has shifted to more of an intellectual and philosophical connection to people and myself. Spirituality requires belief in things that I no longer believe.
I have been participating in an Emily Dickinson reading group via Zoom that has given me many hours of respite from the news and insights into the beauty and mystery of the natural worlf.
Participating in Journey to Completion has been a spiritual experience for me. It has challenged my previous limitations of beliefs at just the right time, and in an unexpected community that I am really growing within. The 21 day abundance meditation was another powerful spiritual experience for me this year. I am expanding to a bigger universe than I knew, and more open to light an love because of it.
We saw the book of mormon and our friend in die fleidermouse right before the pandemic, in retrospect that was pretty powerful due to timing. I bet my husband would say or daughter being born, but for me that was pretty rough. But it did rain the morning she was born which was pretty cool. It rained on our wedding day too. And it's really rare for there to be rain in Southern oc in July. So that's special 😍
I guess the most spiritual thing has been finding a stronger connection to nature and water through the pandemic. That is where I now seek solace and respite from the mundane. It fills my cup and keeps me going.
Mmmmmm this is a good question! I’ve had moment that by themselves are minuscule in impact but taken in total add up to this long spiritual journey. From admitting to not being ok in the midst of racial tension to simply saying I’m gonna go take a nap I’ve experienced this recognition that my spiritual health is in need of care.
I attended a full day renewal workshop last fall that helped me get in touch with what is now, and has been in my past, most meaningful and defining for me. Additionally, I connected with people I just met on a very deep level. It definitely felt like a spiritual experience, although it was not religious. My soul was soaring by the end of the day.
A few! Goodness, what are they. Well at Rosh Hashanah services this year just hearing that music made me tear up and feel so connected, and a few times leading a Saturday morning minyan I felt so so so connected. Sometimes just early walks around my neighborhood felt really delightful, and my trip home to Ann Arbor with Julian just walking around my old Elementary school also had me feeling so connected. Let's not forget my socially distant album release show and the ability to sing with other people and perform with them was just such a treat!
This year I can't seem to point to one occasion. I am thinking I am very glad to have found the CCC community. They've given my faith depth and width. I am open to seeing other faiths as informing my own and enriching my thoughts about spirit and life.
Only if you consider seeing how many people are sheeple and don't seem to have a single cognizant thought in their head.
Going to southern Utah for the running and meditation retreat was important for me. Practicing meditation and mindfulness is growing more important every day. I have had multiple experiences where I can almost grasp or I grasp for a second the vastness of the universe, how unimportant our dramas become in perspective, and how love and working for the 7th generation ahead of us is all there really is.
My spiritual experience has taught me to always put my trust in God. No matter what I’m going through I have to keep my trust in God.
I think reading books has been particularly spiritual for me this year - I've been reading more "biblical"-type books (e.g., The Power, Red Tent-type) and these have really made me appreciative of Judaism and the history of the religion.
The day before my father passed away he had a few hours of bright lightness and strength, he asked to be taken to the living room. Slowly all the family came to spend time with him and he looked at everyone around at that time. I knew the end was near, I had seen that sign before. God was given him a special strength so that everyone around him could remember a last moment with him that was nice and not in much pain. We were blessed for this moment!
Spirituality eludes me. I wonder if there is a way to learn it.
One of my aims for 2020 was to visit all of the English cathedrals and to photograph them, not going to finish that. In each of them, in different ways, I felt very close to the divine.
I think the most spiritual moments I've had this year have been the walks we took in the spring to get outside and yet away from people. Being in nature was rejuvenating and restorative.
I picked back up my watercolours and my pastels, watched many tutorials and practiced until I broke my left forearm. I really look forward to starting again.
I have not really had any spiritual experiences since while I do like being Jewish, I am not that spiritual. I do hope to have some of these experiences in the coming year though.
During the lockdown, my husband and I checked out about 40 different hiking sites and took daily hikes. I reminded myself of the healing power of nature. I looked at my answer from last year and it was basically the same. The power of nature to heal and refresh always gives me a ssense of awe.
Standing in my studio looking into a stone and seeing something that has never existed before, that is a spiritual experience for me.
Nature, for the most part continues to inspire me. And the mysteries of this year's Mother Earth surprises have made me rejoice that she is in charge and make me concerned that we pay too little attention and then make me sad that human kind makes no real advancements. Then interesting to read fiction stories that border on the mystical.
I streamed high holiday services from Central Synagogue for Rosh HaShanah and I had such an incredible experience. I loved just being alone with the sounds of the prayers. I genuinely started crying from the beauty of it. I was so scared about being online for the high holidays but I had such a great experience that wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Covid which is incredible.
I have been meditating since march every day and i feel like it is very beneficial to my overall sanity despite the current political situation.
I have felt very connected to a force outside of myself when I am writing.
Not really. While t'fillah or some form of contemplation is part of my daily practice (more or less), it has been the quick destruction of so much that has stood out: plague, fire, famine (if economic devastation counts), civil war and civil rights. None of that feels spiritual. Terrifying, sure. Amazing, sure. But very much on the ground, not in the spirit.
I have been listening to NorthCoast daily dose. Being in the forest of Washington is always very spiritual time for me every summer. Artistic.....in the summer I get to paint and create more which is an inherent part of what makes up my spirit.
I've had some really good times in nature. Especially during the shutdown when life just felt REALLY overwhelming a lot of the time, the forest was where I felt safest. I loved the sense that I could go out and come home with bags full of food to feed Sam and I, and that I could sustain us safely (aka without going to the grocery store). I think all the foraging I've done has really given me a new connection to the woods, one that I am grateful for.
I've suffered with depression for most of my adult life. Since July I've actively trying to get better at meditation and have been getting better little by little over time. Today, 9/22/2020, I can say that these meditation have greatly contributed to my mental health. I haven't been depressed in a month. A miracle. For this I am grateful and my gratefulness has brought me closer to the divine.
A lot actually. I officially started to convert. In it's self it hasn't been overly spiritual. I've been among Jews for over two decades and started looking at myself as a jew probably 12 years ago. But some of our discussions have made me come to terms with my beliefs more. I've let go of any anger I had towards g-d. How I view their love, they're responsibility in the world and in my life has changed. It's allowed me to see the glory, the holy in the everyday clearer then ever before. I find myself enjoying a moment in the moment which has become a spiritual act of sorts. From growing (attempting to) our own food to watching the monarch butterflies cocoon around our yard after planting milkweed. To feeling the warmth of my son's head as he lays on my shoulder. Recently we spent a week by the gulf in a very secluded area. It was .... awe inspiring. The constant sound of the waves, watching the tide come in and out, the stars. It was a miracles gift of peace. It was the first time in my adult life I had consecutive days without real worry or care. that place, that space, that moment-was a gift from G-d.
Lucid dreams Intense writing Manifestation workshops
I feel rather like my spiritual fire is almost extinguished the last few years, but there have been some little sparks or embers flaring up now and again. Last year’s s’lichot was one time. This year was helpful as my temple was open in the afternoon for private quiet time. What keeps my fires from going out completely is weekly Torah study, although again, it is not the same doing it virtually instead of gathering together. It has been a hard 6 months.
Spending RH in Barcelona was amazing. I took the opportunity to self reflect, and I think being in a new place made it easy to see and appreciate all the beauty around me
My rabbi was giving a d'var the other week where she said that every prayer basically boils down to "help," "thanks," or "wow." And I realized, all year long (really, since I left home), I've been acknowledging those wow moments by singing that line from Waitress: "may we all be so lucky." It's over the simple things, mostly. I'll catch myself lying in bed, tucked in under this pretty orange quilt and reading fanfic way too late into the night, and suddenly it'll hit me - wow, this is my life now! Look at where I am! Look at what I've built! Look how peaceful this is! Look how well I'm doing! Look at all this possibility ahead! And I'll quietly sing, "may we all be so lucky." And now, I'm starting to realize that this is sort of how I pray (in lines from musicals, which I kind of love).
Leaving a job situation that was not good and as a result moving a couple hours away to be with family. Such a joy to spend time with grandkids!
This has not been a particularly spiritual year. I can think of nothing that has made me feel closer to G-d or even my faith. Having a paintbrush in my hand has been the best feeling and creating something beautiful for the world will be something to be grateful for this year.
Many spiritual experiences. One that stands out is "communicating" with the dragonflies in my yard--being able to look them directly in their eyes for extended periods of time and feeling blessed that they were there.
There’s been a couple. One was around the death of my dad, I kept seeing messages of life. My friend Lis managed to bring comfort even though she didn’t know anything was happening. And before the pandemic, I was at the CMA in an art installation...floor cushions and African music; it was incredible and transportive. Peace and connection, absolutely amazing.
not really at all. It's funny because I've become good friends with our next-door neighbors and he is a pastor at the baptist church over here. I am an atheist and have been my whole life but it's been interesting to have these conversations with him about humanist topics and things related to his work. I enjoy talking to him. I haven't outed myself as an atheist yet. Waiting for that to come up naturally.
Yes I have. They have improved my life in ways that you could not forsee
My life is filled with spiritual experiences. Every morning, I sit in meditation. I Use this age old prayer: "May be filled with human kindness, May I be well, May I be peaceful and at ease, May I be happy." This is directed first to myself and then to family, friends, those who are ill, those I come in contact with today, and finally the world. I read my SOM daily guide. I have felt my family move closer to Universal Spirit and each time I am joyful. Many things in my life feel divinely guided and if I stay focused on the spiritual side of life, I am balanced and centered.
The most "spiritual" experience over the past 12 months has been the opportunity to participate in Shabbat and holiday services led by my nephew who's a Rabbi here in PA. It's a very special feeling that fills my heart with joy!
Not really. I feel like I wish I would have a spiritual experience, but you just can’t fake it, you just have to be patient
Yes, up and down. Up when I can enjoy my neighborhood, the air is clear, the water clean. Animals all around. Friends and family. Freedom! Down with pandemic, fires, smoke, injustice, abuse of power by government, vigilantism, rioting. Uncivilized! Despair. What next?!
My Kabbalah teacher Selim Cabasso Z’L’, passed away from Corona Virus Saturday Shabbat the 6 th of June, that day was read Alia Shishi , parasha Naso Birkat Cohanim . The Friday 5 th. June , I called him to see how is he , he asked me to give him Birkat Cohanim , I was the last person he spoke before he passed away. We were very close and we wrote 2 books together.
Nothing new this past year but still disgusted with those who claim Christianity and still defend the administration. Hoping for divine intervention in this year's election.
I am conventionally religious, so prsy and worship regularly. As all my routines have come crashing down, I have had to examine and adapt and adjust. My love for God is clearer now, and it has held me up when I haven't gotten in the way.
The thing about spending so much time at home is that it gives a person a lot of time to think. Maybe too much time. The think about layer upon layer of trauma and disaster is that it leaves a person wanting more of a spiritual practice. At least for me. When my parents died, the same year as 9-11 (I lived 600 feet away) I sought out a spiritual practice and found it at Quaker Meeting. I'd go with a friend. We'd meet there and sit in a very powerful silence together. This time, with everything occurring virtually, sitting in silence over ZOOM wasn't going to work for me, and I sought out the religion of my heritage: Judiasm. I was fortunate to find a congregation that just happens to be local, with a rabbi who is very humanistic and inclusive and feminist, and a religious community dedicated to social justice issues. It's a good fit, and gives me an anchor for my own spiritual path.
Experience stand out to me as spiritual have been occasional dreams about my dad, who passed away in 2018. Each one seems deeply informative somehow, but even after much rumination, I fail to decode each one.
Not that I can think of, but, I do have moments regularly, every time I see the birds feeding in my backyard, when I remember those few people who have really done right by me, and other moments.
At the beginning of the pandemic I felt rejuvenated as a result of being "forced" to slow down. I took the time to identify what works for me in terms of how I spend my time... what restores me, what interests and excites me, what fulfills me. It has given me more awareness and access into how to handle moments that are hard. I'm meditating a lot more and taking time to listen to uplifting and illuminating podcasts. So it feels like this past 6 months has been restorative for me.
I am curious by my own interest in attending services, listening to Jewish music, and even practicing yoga from a Jewish lens. I feel so connected to the rhythm of the songs and prayers and completely wow'd by our Rabbi's strong statements towards envisioning a racially and socially just world - especially in the skin he's in as a white man. Yet, I still don't believe in God, still don't connect to the religious pieces.
Nothing stands out in my mind except the virtual bar mitzvah of our temple member Gary. He did the entire service, virtually, or course! He was amazing, and I was very moved by what he did. Also, our new rabbi has been a big plus. He is engaging, enlightening, and very hamish. I look forward to Friday night virtual services with him.
Yes. When I have COVID, it changed me in an spiritual way, staying a month in the hospital showed me so much about myself and what makes me feel better that I didn’t know.
The best examples I can think of are playing music with other people and entering those moments of flow when we are just aboslutely vibing, hitting all the notes, and living in the moment. I know I've had some of those moments with Sneaky Peanuts, playing with Steve that morning in my apartment, playing with Michelle in Chicago, and most recently jamming with Jake at Camp Mitchell. I saw the sun shining in, Jake was tuned into his guitar, and I couldn't stop smiling at the beautiful music we were making!
Yes, I find the need to lean on God and not worry so much about election outcomes, etc.
I realized that from practicing my hobby/passion - jewelry making - I could derive from it a certain way of understanding life - a particular technique or the essence of that art (e.g. the evolution of my art and my techniques ) allowed me to transpose this technique or reflection to life itself and what role we have in the universe.
I went to Shibden Hall. It’s amazing how much you can feel Anne Lister there. I cried as we came over the hill that guards the estate; in the music room, I could feel her 15-45 minute practices daily. Her energy is so powerful and dynamic. I felt so comforted and protected by her spirit. Later, my dad and I walked the grounds and had a conversation where he pretended to be a steam engineer and I took Anne’s role as a potential investor.
Reconnected with God, church via St Peters and Arwen.
Long daily walks have been one of my "saving graces" during these coronavirus months. In general, I think about nature, and being outdoors, when I think of spirituality.
I've learned in the past year to check in on my spirit more regularly. I close my eyes and find that place in my solar plexus where my child self lives and I talk to her, listen to how she's feeling. This has been a very grounding practice that helps me to feel connected to myself and to process emotions.
Sadly, No. I don’t feel s though I have. I’d like to feel closer to God. I’d like to hear Him, but I don’t.
The birth of my child. Bringing her into this world and meeting her for the first time was something beyond the physical world. Also, connecting with my husband physically for the first time in months. Making and raising a new human brought a new level of connection I was not expecting.
I went through a contract dispute with someone I thought of as a close friend. It was so painful and disruptive that I decided at the beginning I wanted to learn something from it and not embed it inside like a personal attack because it wasn't. It was about money and power. I spent a lot of time looking at why it hurt so much, and that maybe that was okay, and asking myself if I can still be kind, speak up for myself, accept whatever happens, and look for new solutions that take me in a different direction. The dispute is settled, the new path is unfolding and I'm still speaking to the person. I suppose that's success. Plus, I learned a lot about how strong I am, how much I've already accomplished and claiming that on a deeper level.
I can't say that I had any experiences that were unique to this year. I fell fortunate that I experience a sense of universal belonging fairly routinely. Examples include the impact of waling in the woods on my awareness of the daily miracles that operate just to maintain the dance of existence. As a microbiologist, I can scientifically deconstruct the molecular biology underlying all life. Yet when I apprehend that myriad biochemical reactions operate in concert to elaborate into functional life forms I cannot help but fell humbled. My sense of spiritual reawakening - how ever often it repeats itself - never wanes.
I keep talking about this, but I really felt like my audition and interview for HUC were spiritual experiences. I felt so strongly a sense of faith and trust in myself and the universe, and it was so freeing and empowering and also humbling. I think about it often.
Attending a Zoom memorial service for a 23-year old who died of cancer, son of an acquaintance. He was a remarkable person, so many people said he made them a better person by standing up for others even at his own expense, it made me realize how much impact our actions can have in rippling outward.
Not especially, and again, this is very disappointing to me. Obviously, this is my fault, because I haven't been seeking out the transcendent, but I have been too buried in the year of hell to do that.
I became a Jew this (Jewish) year! It was the 7th day of Hanukkah, so lighting a full menorah with my fiance for the first time as a Jew and as part of a Jewish couple in our newly fully Jewish home was such a moment for me.
Feeling closer to Adonai & follow his Wisdom! 🇮🇱✡️🇾🇪✡️🇺🇸✡️
Nothing that has struck me enough to remember. Sitting on the porch in hunt and looking out at the bluff always reminds me to be in awe of a grateful for nature and it’s beauty. And I find deep comforting meditation in attending services whether for Shabbat or high holidays (even via zoom)
This year I have greatly struggled with my faith. It seems so easy in RPGs. But also those gods talk back and gives signs. It’s been super hard grappling with faith especially in these trying times. I feel like I have no support. So I have been seek out Truth and looking into Reform Jewish teachings.
I recently moved out of the house I have lived in for the past 35 years. I've been receiving messages from my late brother, parents and my husband. My brother and husband leave pennies, my dad leaves dimes and my mom has been leaving nickels. Ir's wonderful to know they are with me.
I had the opportunity to visit the grave of the man I'm named after. He is a large part of my identity and I often wonder if I'm making him proud. From what I'm told, the man was kind and poor. His greatest attribute was that he was "sameiach b'chelko." He was happy with his lot in life. I received so many blessings this year and I've been trying not to be complacent. I have what I have because of the kindness of others and I thank the universe for my blessings every day.
Yes, but it’s pretty much what I do. Lots of good connections spiritually. Doubt my medical intuitive skills but I have come to feel fairly safe that they will be there and reliable for me when I need them. I feel like my future reality is pretty stable. My belief system pretty sturdy. Then there was the near death experience in the hospital. That was kind of spiritual
I've started doing a daily reading and journaling. I know that the Lord has put this path before me and I need to rebel in it.
After a series of deaths of people in my life and months of worry about COVID-19, hurricanes, wildfires, political gridlock, etc., I started exploring thoughts about mortality and wrote some poetry about it. The grief felt more like paralysis than sadness. Death seemed to offer relief, a release into oblivion. I circle between energy and joy and doing the things I need to do and back to needing silence and solitude and time to do nothing. Sometimes the cycle is a day long, sometimes several days.
Yom Kippur in Israel was really special. The swarms of people in white all getting out of services at the same time was such a shared experience over a wide variety of expressions of Jewishness. I'll never forget it; it was almost tangible. It will always color how I feel at Yom Kippur (slightly wistful)
I don't think I've had any particularly spiritual experiences this year, no. In some ways this is surprising given the weirdness of 2020, all the time I've had on my own during Shielding, and the need to rely most heavily on God. But maybe I haven't been listening enough or paying attention. I have felt blessed by those in my life who've supported me throughout, but that's not the same.
Oh goodness, that's hard to say. Right now I'm sitting on my porch listening to the breeze in the leaves, and that's pretty nice. It's hard to even remember if anything spiritual happened to me in the time before COVID. And yet everything feels different now - like a different world or a different life. It's both easier and harder to find the sacred in the small things.
I've been learning to meditate more. The biggest significant thing that happened to me was just last Saturday night. I ate 2 "magic" mushrooms. It was my first time so I micro-dosed. I didn't have any huge psychedelic trip or anything, all that happened was that I felt really tired but I could not sleep for 8 hours. I felt connected to the plants outside in our backyard. I did see lots of textures and patterns when I closed my eyes and I kept wanting to be near my husband because I wanted more of our connection. The biggest thing that happened afterwards is that I am much calmer. I suffer a lot from anxiety and that has almost gone away from me. I want to keep doing this, to help my well-being and to conquer my anxiety and irrational fears. I feel more hopeful that everything will be ok, no matter what. It's like I meditated for 8 hours and have this wonderful effect as a result.
This year I've been confronted by my own mortality. For a while, the media was a constant death reel filled with the imparting wisdom of dying wishes. Spend more time with family... find meaning... do what fulfills you... live with as many joyful moments as possible. This is what it might sound like if the angels could respond to our prayers. It forced me to reconcile with the fact that I didn't feel present within my own life, so I quit my job and took time to figure out what I truly want. Thus far it's been the best decision I've made.
After expressing how my only my mother, passed in 2016, could control me I felt her embrace & have felt calmed since.
Because I was fortunate enough to work-from-home from my cottage during this pandemic, the benefits of being in nature a lot has truly been a blessing! I don't know what I would have done without the daily swims, breathing fresh air, sun on my face...nature sustains me!
Not really. I don’t think I’ve taken the time to really be mindful of spirituality, I’ve been too caught up in work and daily routine. That being said, I have tried to take small moments and appreciate the sunset near our home and into the sea, the forest walks and seek spirituality in those. One more profound moment was this year’s midsummer solstice when I had a bunch of people over. It was the first real face to face event any of us had been to for a while and it was wonderful to connect in person - we had a long beach walk, went swimming, enjoyed a quiet bonfire - the whole thing was tribal and spiritual and I felt close to the tribe that formed for that particular 24 hour period.
The realization that chosing a place based on where a house was for sale was the most spirit killing thing one can undertake. To live in a random place where nothing tickles your soul is everyday torture and madness. And when everyone tells you you are ungrateful and never satisfied simply for finding a town you can call home, you know nobody cares about your wellbeing or spiritual sanity. You are alone.
Last year I wrote about the need to get in touch with ourselves as a species, to take control. We are a cancer and the earth is loosing its capacity to sustain the cancer. Either we get in touch with ourselves, which I think is a spiritual matter, or we die. Apparently we, the species, are choosing death and spiritual emptiness.
There is not one single spiritual experience, but rather a returning time and again to the natural world. Walking the new dog down to the beach. Taking in the vastness. Sitting by a rushing river in the North Cascades, and in the Mt Rainer Wenatchee forest. Seeing seals, oystercatchers, cedar wax wings. And the steadier awareness that comes from a regular meditation practice. My hope is to live inside a spiritual experience, rather than "have" a spiritual experience. A continuum of from spirit.
Seeing Julie Mehretu's first solo retrospective at LACMA -- a show I anticipated for many years. I loved sitting by myself in a room with her huge canvases, noticing the colors and details. I felt held by her art.
Walking the Virtual Camino has saved me in this cooped up time. Two or three miles a day in my neighborhood I am walking to Compostela.
In truth, nothing specific comes to mind. But I feel like I have been reflecting on the past more, seeing where God was at certain times in my life. My niece Sarah is going through some tough times, and I try to lift her up by sharing things that I have experienced. A co-worker is facing divorce and I explain to her the things that I went through. In looking back, I can see where life could feel so utterly devastated, but hindsight shows that God had a plan all along. He was there. It's just been a more 'reflective' year than usual.
NO. Spiritual = stupid. Non-scientific. You can say artistic, cultural etc., but if you want to call that spiritual that's idiotic. Live in the real world, base your beliefs on science.
Does soul-crushing count as spiritual? I just don't feel connected to anyone or anything right now, and my whole sense of self and any sort of spiritual practice has gone right out the window.
Our Nephew won't talk to us anymore. My Wife was kind to him and his single parent mother, her Sister, over the years. Now he has had a falling out with his Mother and has refused to let his children see his Mother or his Aunt, my wife. Realized this year, Church of Christ is not very Christian
I wouldn't say that I've had any specific spiritual experiences per se, but with the pandemic lockdown for the past six months I've been able to do a lot more reading, meditation, and inner (shadow) work. In particular, reading the Anti Racism Daily emails and working on my own internalized racism and biases has been uncomfortable but liberating.
This year I made the step to actively start my journey towards conversion to Judaism. I started my Intro class, and am beginning to weave Judaism into my life. I'm very excited to see where this opportunity and journey will take me.
Brushing up against death has the lingering effect of hyper-pigmenting life. I notice things I never slowed to notice before my diagnosis. The pollen saddlebags on a bumble bee's legs; the sky so blue I realize that "sky blue" is insufficient and that cerulean and azure are not synonyms but necessary descriptors for nuances otherwise lost. The woodsy doggy smell of Gus's fur is so sharp it hurts. The filter of pain sharpens the beauty around me. A lingering sadness that I would not wish on anyone but that has brought meaning into the daily grind of existence, making waiting for death (will it be days? years?) transform from passing the time in a queue for the next thing, to living life in the moment.
I think when Kobe died at the beginning of the year it was the first glimpse of this...and when the pandemic first hit there was this powerful collective experience I felt and witnessed. Suddenly we were all in it together. All mourning, all changing, all experiencing the same uncertainty and unknowns. We all needed help. The walls that had been built up between us for so long suddenly disappeared. We reached out. We wanted to be there for one another. I felt a connection not only to my fellow humans but suddenly to past generations and ancestors that have experienced collective hardships like war and plagues. I realized they were just like us. Loving, losing love, taking care of family and a home, and trying to find their meaning and purpose in the world even when everything felt up in the air.
Nothing really spiritual that I can think of at the moment. Several people I know have died this year but that has been overshadowed by the 200,000 deaths in the US from COVID.
This summer, we took our kids to a number of art exhibits around Norway; Anne Grimdalen, Dyre Vaa, and the interactive exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci's works at Hadeland glass works, as well as seeing the final works of which we saw the sketches at the former two exhibits. Sharing art with them, seeing it as they saw it was a powerful experience to me.
Not one experience in particular but I have felt very cared for and tended to in my new home. Not just by the friends I have made but the space itself -- having ready access to water and quiet and nature and the beach has been very healing.
Everyday I see the grandchildren is spiritual, watching them grow, singing Shabbat songs - what an amazing feeling. Jared is paradoxical blessing, can be a handful to care for but he brings us such joy., now he’s singing in the bathtub. With all his disabilities he somehow manages to walk, wander the house and be satisfied with his life.
Yes, gazing at the edge of the Milky Way from a remote location reminded me of how small we really are and how vast existence really is. We cannot be alone.
I don't feel any more or less spiritual. I wanted to be. We started with the local Catholic Church but Reef kept head butting me and I was just exhausted yet again. I've been attending online Mennonite church. It's much kinder. But I feel no connection to God or the afterlife. I don't even feel like I have a spiritual side anymore. The last six months have just drained everything from me.
I have found ways to live with what's happening and have felt less anxious, even with all the things going on in the world. Somehow I have come to a place of peace and an ability to reflect in ways that I could not do before, so something has shifted for me, and it feels like a spiritual leap.
I still don't feel what other folks seem to call "spiritual." But quarantining at a campground on the coast in California for a month made me feel extremely at peace, and nudged me into pursuing a lifestyle like that more deliberately.
My Dad passed away this morning and I am sitting quietly and alone, feeling this spirit lift and the separation of a cold, hardened, worn out body—which will be set into the Earth, and his joyful, musical, lover of art, gin and women lift him up.
I'm in the midst of a particularly spiritual experience right now. We have set up an opportunity for people to sign up for a time slot to do shmirah for Ruth Bader Ginsburg z"l, and more than 400 people have signed up, with more joining all the time. I was feeling such despair when I learned of her death, and now I'm being spiritually uplifted by hundreds of people starting their new year with this mitzvah, some of whom have never done shmirah before but were moved to do so now.
The most spiritual moment I had (precovid) was worshipping at the Wall with WoW. even though it was loud and hectic and a bit scary, there was definitely an importnat feeling of standing up for what I believe in in a place that's important for me. And when we got to Kaddish adn I thought of how proud Dad would be and how much the Wall meant to him. That was intense.
This year I've be awed by HaShem's creations when I've seen a meteorite, the new moon at sunset just two nights ago, a line of migrating hawks...
My daughter's birthday fell just before the first anniversary of her death. I knew we wanted to do something but wasn't sure what. About a week before her birthday I suddenly thought of having a cake made, a birthday cake, and I felt a surge of, "Yesss!" and a lifting of my spirit as if she'd been there all along, waiting for me to sort myself out and celebrate her birthday. So we did.
Nope. Not my thing.
I have spiritual experiences all the time. I would guess that having them makes me who I am.
My spiritual life in the past year has been marked moreso by the lack of spiritual encounters and experiences, especially relating to communal worship and awe. I have had moments of connection with G-d, but they are fleeting and tend to come in odd spurts and ways—feathers, flames, a breeze. I wish I could be in some communal space that didn't leave me feeling like an imposter.
I have spiritual experiences every day. I just started having bird feeders on my window. I feel like the male and female cardinal that show up are my husband's parents watching over us.
My politics are my spirituality, the connection I have with a community of people who truly care about the morality of this nation, the soul of our planet, our responsibility to each other. It appears that true evil has emerged, evil that has taken on a Christian mask but is wholly driven by power, greed, control, white supremacy, racism, and sexism. The evil manifests in lies and betrayal. I feel like a spiritual warrior, ready to fight the holy war to protect all that is in peril--our constitution, our civil rights, our ability to be healthy and our control over our own bodies.
A powerful experience in mid-February visiting "The Wall" in and near Juarez Mexico. The Wall was ugly and powerful in its dispassionate task of severing relations with other people. More powerful and passionate was a visit to a shelter on the Mexico side that is sustained by a group of faith-based volunteers. They provide shelter, food, medicine and a variety of services to help the migrants transition to America. These are truly wonderful humans giving their all to help fellow humans with their difficult circumstances.
I have had a calling to be more spiritual, in the sense that I need to work on aligning with my true self, and seeking ascension into a higher vibration. I plan to practice mediation regularly, pay attention to my mindset, work on understanding, accepting, and forgiving my traumas, and finding those which truly feed my soul. I seek to discover my soul's purpose on this earth.
I have just tried every day to have more and more faith in God and to share especially with my family when I get the opportunity. I'm just been thinking that in the big scheme of things that is our biggest responsibility is to be sure that our own household is one for the Lord. And of course I consider my son and two grandsons and daughter-in-law of my household even though they live 650 mi away. For a while I was said in thinking about who would pray for them after I'm gone, but I really believe that my tears have been bottled and that my prayers that I prayed for them will go on and on and that someday the benefits of those prayers and tears will be reaped and harvested. Just like the prayers of my granny and my mother are still being answered today. I'm so thankful for praying grandmother and a praying Mother.
I don’t really feel overly spiritual. Maybe coming to realize that I need less stuff as does my family and we need to live more intentional and with purpose..
Working on Habitat for Humanity houses in Miami felt like something truly sacred. Running a Zoom seder at the beginning of the pandemic for 50+ people was triumphant; not sure about spiritual, but certainly meaningful. Singing "Oseh Shalom" to the tops of the trees and the sky during the backyard Rosh Hashanah service was emotional, very close to spiritual. I felt imbued with love and gratitude. So, yes, that's the one.
I have. I had a powerful vision of myself in chrysalis made of compost. I was surrounded by beings who were protecting me and holding space for me. While in the compost cave, my teeth fell out by the root and became buried in the earth. They began to take root and grow. Following this vision, I embarked on a process of letting go of what no longer serves me with gratitude, mourning that loss, and cultivating new ways of begin. This lead me into a deeper observance of my spiritual practice and to a Jewish congregation in Ann Arbor. I am rediscovering a spiritual community...it feels good to be home.
With the brilliant coaching and interpretation of Father Al from St Michael's historic church, I finally have read the Bible with some real level of understanding. The interaction with our table of participants and carpool discussions made it all the more real. Then while waiting for the birth of our daughter's child, I was deep in stress over what had been a challenging pregnancy and hoping for the best outcome. The 23rd Psalm, which is receiving a three day interpretation, gave me a place "beside the still waters" where I could feel comfort and optimism. The baby is here and her name, Elizabeth, was also the name of the mother of Jesus' cousin. It was spiritual indeed.
Sadly not. My most considered moments come in the garden when tending my veggies and flowers. But it’s been very hard to find the space for thought this year
In the beginning of the pandemic my pastor and her husband, a pastor at another church, were doing daily evening prayers on YouTube. They were beautiful, and sometimes I would listen to five or six days' worth in a row if I had missed them. I would fall asleep to her voice, and sometimes wake up in the middle of the night still hearing her voice. It was calming and good. Seeing how much my church works tirelessly to try to help us stay connected spiritually and to each other during this long, long haul has been moving.
Starting the Daf Yomi cycle has been one. There have been a few particularly amazing Shabbos memories, and my family took a day trip to the beach. Sun and salt water, the waves beating against the shore, my son's laughter: that was transcendental, if only for a moment.
The great flowering of the love I have for my granddaughter feels supremely spiritual. A part of my heart I didn't really know yet, has awakened and the feelings are so expansive they are not containable inside my body, they seem to soar everywhere and float and into all that is. The feelings are helping tip the scales of overwhelm from pandemic, wildfires, toxic air, and the daily hardships of life itself. I am grateful.
Nature. Nature has been my solace. Maybe not spiritual or religious, but I think my appreciation of the sun and the smell of trees and the value of a walk or a hike or a swim has risen to a level that's pretty reverent this year. It instantly cures me of whatever fear and worry I'm experiencing, and when I go without it I feel starved.
Nope. Reinforced my feeling that we are alone in the universe.
Conversation with an Iranian man in a small New York eating place.
The whole COVID thing has definitely made me appreciate family and friends more, especially those I am further away from and those who I have seen less often. I have made efforts to connect with friends and relatives that I had fallen out of touch with.
We will have completed a full wheel of the year for the first time this year. I have been embracing paganism as well as celebrating the Jewish holidays as cultural activities.
Bone marrow. Holy cow, bone marrow is amazing. Sure, it's stem cells, it's pluripotent, when it works it's amazing. But when you get a BMT, you just stick the cells into the blood stream and they find their way into your marrow where it they belong! How the heck does it do that?? The cells recognize where they need to set up shop. The marrow is designed to allow that to happen. It's so astonishing that it's the thing that almost nobody understands - and when I tell them they still don't grok it - about a BMT. Crazy. So when we got the BMT, I was incredulous that it would work but it did, and wow!!
My only spiritual experiences are a persistent morbid fixation on the relative imminence of my own death. Makes no sense intellectually. Why be gloomy during what is likely to be a full 25% of your life span? But I can't seem to solve this. So if you can put melancholy and dread into a bucket called spiritual, then that's it for sure.
My “spiritual” experience has been the ecstasy of writing with “abandon” not worrying about “output” but instead allowing myself to “feel” whatever comes up and out of me. I’ve even let go of the attachment that this will lead to a book (which I’d originally conceived as another calling card in my toolkit of getting more clients, booking more speaking engagements and other forms of “busyness”). I passed on a client engagement that would have pulled me away from my writing and I felt deeply grounded making that choice. I’d taken that client from a place of “scarcity” worried about my significantly reduced 2020 revenue, even though I really didn’t feel like doing that work. So, when I found a gracious way to pass that work onto a colleague with everyone happy in the solution, I felt abundance shower over me. I’m writing as a way to discover the life I really want to live.
We moved to the smokie mountains. And there was a time when I waded out into the water of our stream and felt like I was the most free I have ever been. The water was cold on my feet and ankles, it was clear enough to drink, and I get like I have everything I had ever wanted. I was free.
Our fur baby died this year and a few of our friends lost significant people in their lives. The church events (when we were finally able to have them) reminded us to be grateful and how much we all have chosen to not be inclusive Of god. Once religion and god left so did a lot of really great things. Such as kindness, accountability, acceptance and love for all.
El año pasado formalicé mi relación con mi pareja. Tuve que viajar con mis padres y mi hermana mayor a la ciudad donde viven los padres de ella para "pedir la mano" de su hija. Fue una experiencia que me ayudó a sentirme más segura con ella. Saber que tengo la aprobación de su familia me da más seguridad.
I have been lax about my faith this year. I was going strong until March, and the whole pandemic really took me out of my comfort zone, and left me in this weird space of just not giving a damn about anything, except my immediate circle.
Once again nothing spiritual happened this year. Throughout lockdown I did realise how much I valued going out for my walk or run and how much it helped my mental health though.
Spiritually, I can't say that I've grown or changed in the past year. I remember Covid, initially, filled me with love for thy neighbor- I remember feeling closely connected to and a love for all around me- like we were all in this together. I enjoyed the feeling that were were in a battle together, against a common enemy, that we were united as a human race, and so on. I like that this combined w/ life slowing down, the typical stressors were removed and we were all free to love one another as a community. I liked saying "be safe" to those around me. I remember feeling similar after Trump was elected- like liberals and POC and immigrants were united, all equally awestruck and saddened by a common enemy. However, I was wrong about that unity. W/ Trump, I don't think immigrants and POC and GLBTQ's felt "united" with white liberals - I think they blamed us because we were WHITE. Similarly, George Floyd and the aftermath reminded me that there's no longer humanity fighting a common cause, there's no longer a class war waged on the 1%, there's no longer a class of artists and bohemians and hippies who are united w/ POC. There is a race war and the sides have been decided- and EVEN if I was ready to move 10 spaces to the left, I'd still be regarded w/ hesitation and half-trust. I feel much LESS connected to society now and realize that division (whether it's sexy for TV or human nature or a product of injustice) is truth now and that's something I can't really escape.
Resigned to leave SunCommon
I had a dream, and my long-dead grandfather came to me. He looked like an aged version of the photos I've seen from when he passed. He told me he was proud of me and my father. I woke up with tears.
I took up the cause & started sewing masks, lots of them! It was crazy the need for them. Since I'm such a beginner sewer, it really made for an interesting experience. This was the one thing that helped keep my sanity. I'm so use to being up at 6:45am, getting ready for work, getting kid ready for school, going to work; just the schedule of it all. I'm not sure I would be a good person for retirement; I need to be able to do something everyday or each day blends together.
Probably many! I should record these. But the problem is that once I write them down, I keep expecting them in order to fill out my diary notebook. Having said that, last month I was totally moved by Rabbi Sacks video on failure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFeQ0Vc0l2Q
Church online is new for us. It's not what I would call a spiritual experience since I don't broadly define spiritual. I have been connecting with the sermons a lot and as a result praying about what I hear in them. I'm also reading through, "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis. It's quite convoluted writing as though he knows what he means but we, the readers, are out in the woods guessing. I will need to read it at least once more. I have picked up one bit: that Keith, and others I know in this life, will not be as they are here any more than I will be as I am here. As a result, to hope for that person is to hope in vain since they have been changed. This is even Biblical. Why have I not seen this before? I think we are not taught this obvious fact because we reject it. We are given the palliative that we will be reunited will those we love in the state we want them to be. In this, those who do not believe in an afterlife are closer to correct since they do not hope for reunions that are like continuances of this life. And is this life what we really want?
Absolutely. I would say that the majority of this year has been almost ethereal. My favorite line from Madame Bovary has always been, "She was floating through life without touching it..." I guess I have alway felt a bit like this (I had a therapist once who suggested that I suffer some dissociation, but I actually would not take it that far); but this year, this really hits home. It has actually been quite nice for me. I have had more inner serenity than in .. 43 years... and with my sleep vastly improving, my mental clarity during the day and ability to process my days through my dreams at night has been incredible. Sometimes I am not sure that this is all reality and really happening, and I have been having lots of lucid dreams recently which sometimes blurs my reality. My connection with my sphynxes has grown so much, and I feel an intense spiritual connection with these little creatures of God. That's profound for me. I tried so hard to embrace meditation, and I even bought a meditation journal and committed myself to a certain number of days of the practice but, so far... I didn't like it. It didn't take. As badly as I WANT to be a meditator, I think I need to let it happen organically, if it does at all.
The birth of my son. This experience has made me a more grateful and focused person. It felt spiritual because watching him be born, and now watching him grow up, feels almost too good to be true. It feels like a miracle.
I think my biggest spiritual experience happened with in me. I’ve felt Much more connected to the energy around me. My empathy has been heightened this year. I feel Like my purpose has been made so clear to me. I also Find myself facing my mortality as I’m carrying this child. I feel More inclined to do what I am Meant to do with this work.
Spiritual? Last fall I started taking driving trips to Letchworth and around. I was thinking of doing that again until the driving got hard due to the weather. It was good to be listening to music and getting my anger out by myself in the car. No one to judge. Probably should do this again this fall. Leaves are just thinking about turning so it would be good.
Drug and alcohol abuse addiction treatment has truly been a spiritual experience for me. As I find my new self, I find my own spiritual path to guide my life now and into my future. It's a very real ongoing search in the now that I hope will only strengthen my spiritual identity and my connection to God as I understand him.
Over the past year, I did some therapy called LIIFT, which explores the impacts of one's family, ancestors, and past lives on their current reality, and how to overcome the negative aspects of that. A lot of stuff came up about my mom, and my relationship to money and security. I also did a lot of deep diving into my ancestry, and learned some things that I think may explain my primal fear of the smell of smoke. I took a writing workshop where I wrote about some of the stories that I was uncovering, and had some amazing breakthroughs through that.
In the early months of the pandemic I had this eerie sense that Chris and I were in a spaceship traveling through space but going nowhere. We exchanged messages with other spaceships, but couldn’t leave ours. That has faded with time and the face that we are out and about a bit more — Mom visits in our backyard and we visit Brad, Liza and the boys in theirs. The shutdown has had me reflecting on what kind of life I want to lead and how to maintain relationships.
The spiritual experience that I can remember is....I was going through a rough patch worried about my husband after back to back hospital stays. One of those Friday's my husband turned to me and said "Why don't you go to Temple tonight. I will be fine, you need refreshing. " The Rabbis message was perfect! Just what I needed.
Since moving exclusively to telework in March, I've had to become more mindful of how well I treat myself. At the beginning, there was a flurry of online activities, which were fun - but I work in IT, so doing even the work of creating something based in online learning lost its glow early. What did not, though, was my Rosh Chodesh hikes. They were almost all solo hikes, just me and my backpack with some challah and wine. And a journal in which I'd written the blessing for the new month (and in which I keep a record of my hikes). I'm sure I startled an occasional hiker - there I am, standing on a rocky coast over the ocean, chanting in some strange language... 🙂 But it reminded me in the keenest way of my connection to other Jews and to history. Much more nourishing- and consistently so - than almost anything else (an online Havdalah with a friend in rabbinical school is on this list).
None that are obvious. I'm not a spiritual person, and I don't think I experience emotions in the way the question is asking. Maybe there was that "flow" I achieved when I sat down and tried to write a first story for the first time in years, at that poolside in Miami Beach. Or maybe the surreality of a slow realization over the past few days: that although I was able to manifest several long-held desires this past year--romantic experience, and even a nascent expertise in how to align public and private resources in the name of resilience--none of the manifestations was as positive or rewarding as I'd imagined.
After leaving Ner Ami last year, I started going to ZOOM services on Friday night - it's a lot of fun - don't need to get dressed! Only about 25 people or so are on, and Rosh Hashanah with Rabbi Pete from "Across the pond" was wonderful, even if it was 3 in the morning in the UK - While I do enjoy he's modern take on Judaism, I'm not a huge fan of the 48 year old sexist prayer books we're using. It's amazing how much I enjoy singing the prayers, UNTIL I read the translation!! BARF! Artistically, my Purim novel Vashti's Daughter is coming at me day and night - haven't felt like this since I wrote First Class Male - and THIS book isn't about anyone real. Or maybe it is? I know I must have had the goal to finish this book as an answer in the 10Q questions before, I started it 10 years ago, but I'm posting a chapter nearly every day and WILL finish it long before Purim 5781 - getting it finished is the easy part - sending it out into the publishing world is quite another, but one thing at a time!
Ahhhh yes! I had challenges which reminded me that the answers all lie within me. Persons who may pray with me for example can only perhaps allow what my faith Hope's for to come into being a little faster. It all happens when I believe. I was also reminded of the mirror, people who come into my life reflect who I am, my world is created by me consciously or subconsciously. Perhaps my experience with my book from Last year In The Light Of Truth, was tested and it did well. 😊💪🏿
Hmmm...spiritual honestly not sure. I am leaning towards no but need to get back on track. I did read the entire new testament in the beginning of the year and it was very eye opening to spend that time with Jesus each day. Thie year has been so weird.
Deaths of loved ones, life threatening illnesses, surgeries, disabilities, and COVID isolation, 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, granddog, home and garden are my heaven.
I don't know if spiritual is the right word for it, but we've certainly put more effort into the ritual side of the chagim, since we've been isolated. We made the Afikoman an escape-room type of hunt, Shavuot was different than just another weekend, and for Rosh Hashana we each wrote a personalized new year wish for each of the other family members, and everyone got an envelope with everyone's wishes in it
Last year, on 24th of December I had a conversation with a new person who said to me unexpected things... things about my childhood, about my personality... things which are true and he didn't knew me... It was a powerful conversation which remains in my head and makes me feel that there is something more than our material world. It was strange but a deep and powerful experience to me
For me this year has been interesting, I would say of course I have had spiritual experiences this year, but many of them aren’t coming to mind. One thing that shot out to me, was last year being in Hawaii. It was so serene and waking up every morning to watch the sunrise was magical. I find the morning the most reflective for me, so waking up seeing the sunrise and watching these amazing roosters peck and squeal was just so grounding
I became aware of the birds this year. Trapped in my house, I bought a couple of bird feeders and placed them outside the window where I “Work From Home.” I was thrilled to attract gold finches -- a bird so tiny that I rarely saw them in the past. Not only to attract them, but to come to know their song and recognize it and know without seeing that they have arrived at the feeder. I also felt kinder to the spiders that found their way into my house, viewing them less like intruders, and more like company. I enjoyed my moments of making art -- painting with Braydon and Olivia, and creating my map of my interior life. I joined a synagogue so that I can have a place to say kaddish in community, finding myself seeking out traditional rituals.
Almost every time I study a page of Talmud with a woman who has usually never looked at a page before, it has been a transcendent experience. Continuing the learning from love that I started with Rina as part of Sugya Sistas, and taking that out into the world has been awesome.
Feeling the interconnectedness of all the Covid has been an intensely spiritual experience. As well understanding that we are all affected differently in some more than others by Covid. Committing to learning more about privilege and oppression, including anti-Semitism, has been spiritual in a way.Learning to be quieter in myself has been spiritual as well, acknowledging change. This year is Taj lake was delicious with Dona, Mom, adam, richard the bird sanctuary.
My immediate response is no.. because I guess it's so easy to view this whole year as just lousy. I guess though, it is a spiritual experience in itself.. even though uncomfortable... bringing one closer to oneself.. to one's soul and to truly searching for what life is about. So easy to get caught up in the past or the future and yet, the present is all we have... and the present as it is now, particularly now in this strange world, is such a reminder (if we pause.. as I guess we are being forced to) that it's all we truly have.... so it's an ongoing spiritual growth phase.
I have been meditating regularly over the last year to assist with pain management. At times this can feel spiritual as the mind seems to drift apart from the body and is able to view the pain in an objective manner and learn to deal with it.
No, quite the opposite. My spiritual soul/experiences are more or less gone. Not being able to go to shul for services, morning minyan, or events, is just devastating to me. We have live stream of Shabbat services, and there are Zoom education classes, but I work, so cannot partake of those. I feel so disconnected and lost right now.
I guess so. I've found a lot of speakers that have resonated with me such as Gabrielle Bernstein & I've been channelling a lot of LOA stuff. Definitely take them with a pinch of salt, but the concepts have been super healing for me. So I'm trying to live in an abundance mindset & really try and believe the universe has my back. So I wouldn't say there's been one big spiritual experience, but rather lots of little coincidences that have aligned with me asking for something from the universe. For example, when I went to a lake with a friend she got frustrated because we missed the bus & I asked the universe to send a solution, and just then two guys walked by and hitchhiked & there was our solution. So even though she said 'that was disheartening that they got a ride' for me it was 'no, /we're/ gonna also get a ride.' So I flagged a car and we asked the guy if he could take us to the bus stop, & it turns out he was going all the way to Prague so he drove us nearly an hour & the conversation was lovely. & then when I had a fall out with some friends, a friend said 'focus on the other relationships in your life' and a close friend showed up at my window and threw weed through it while I was sick, which was kinda what I needed at the time XD. & I guess romantically there's a guy I have a thing with & he cancelled our meet up on Thursday and promised that he'd see me 'soon' and that 'soon' got me all panicky because it was vague. & on the Friday a friend asked me 'what do you need from him to feel reassured?' & I lied in my answer and was like 'for him to give me an exact day he can see me next week' when actually I needed more than that. & on Saturday on my way back from a friend's exhibition I thought about the question 'what do you need from him to feel reassured?' & my brain was like 'honest answer, I kinda need for him to show up tonight 'cause I'm freeeeaaaaking out.' & I got home & we were texting & he was like 'are you back from the exhibition?' & I said 'yes', and he was like 'can I come over?' It was such a coincidence, but just so uncanny. Lots of those wonderful moments in the last month actually.
After months of Covid-19 "lock-down", we escaped to a local forest preserve without masks or any Covid-19 precautions. We "communed" with nature for a few (glorious) hours.
My most recent spiritual experience was during this transition time, on Sunday. Our Temple gathered in a beautiful hilly park made up of land from the Big Dig in Boston. In the consistent gentle wind, the cloud formations made one feel that God was coming to tell us that 5781 would be a time of hope and healing. During the past year, I had the Mitzah of completing a film about the first male American Jewish astronaut, who repaired the Hubble Telescope and then brought a mini-Torah and read from Bereshit on his final Space Shuttle mission. I edited from March - July, usually doing 12-hour days. I made very little pay, but a richness and reward on level I have not experienced before. I has deepened the Jewish reconnection that began for me four years ago when, at my advanced age, I finally affirmed my Judaism and joined a congregation.
The act of conversion to Judaism itself is greatly affecting me. The process started in late January, where I knew I was in need of something--an architecture--to help me explore my consciousness, my behaviors, my relationship to the world around me. I had all of these notions and ideas floating in my head, and feelings I had in my body, but nothing was organized in a way where I could routinely take the opportunities to be mindful and set goals for myself. My spiritual life needed a sort of discipline to thrive, and I found it in conversion. Every word I read in studying, I feel greater at home spiritually, and I am filled with gratitude for it.
After my cheating and porn addiction was found out, GOD squeezed the sin of lust out of me. I physically felt His Hand squeezing my entire body.
I painted a picture for the first time in a long time. It's not very good, but it makes me feel wonderful.
I am not a spiritual person and I have never had a secular spiritual experience.
Being at one in wonder with another: person, cat, horse and nature (grasses, pond, bushes, sky, clouds, fur). Singing.
I spent a lot of time wandering in the woods and going for long walks alone during the shut-down. It reminded me of how much I value having a connection to nature and how awe-inspiring I find simple things, especially roots, trees, and seeds.
I went to a few Renewal-aligned sessions called "Integral Kabbalah for the Days of Awe". It convened in the seven weeks from Tisha B'Av to Yom Kippur (I think that's seven weeks?), and that was really good for me. I stopped going after about two sessions because when I get busy, self-care is the first thing to go, but when I *did* go, it was very healing and grounding for me. And Tisha B'Av was a very, very hard day for me. Even though it was only my first ever Tisha B'Av, it hit me HARD. I did not expect that.
Tashlich at Lake Tahoe. Trying to connect to God without shul or traditional prayers. Feet in the sand, water on my ankles, blue sky above. Grateful for this life.
In a way, i found that an easy life in the rurals is way richer than the "work to be successful" life we have in the more developed parts of the country.
My first mushroom trip while hiking/backpacking/camping. Felt deeply connected, in a way I've never felt, to nature, myself and others. A feeling that has that stuck with me still today.
My whole time in Israel was in some sense spiritual -- . In particular, attending services at different shuls around Jerusalem was wonderful. But for me, the most spiritual place is Vermont. I love the woods and the fields and the hills and the lake, and our little shul which is an old farmhouse.
Since making the decision to join the Reform Judaism community I have felt - and this is not the right word but it is the one that I will use - "closer to God" and in a way, closer to myself. This feeling is strongest when reading and learning more about Judaism.
With the pandemic, I’ve had the same feeling that I’ve had when visiting spectacular natural places such as the Grand Canyon which is that there is something larger than humans and humans are not in charge of everything. This is a very spiritual feeling for me. In the past it has felt positive, but now it feels negative.
I have produced more paintings through the pandemic. I really enjoyed painting beautiful landscapes, it really helped to overcome the isolation I felt. By putting one figure in each one, it gave me a connection with those spaces and the belief that I could enjoy them again.
I would say the focus on my 5th vital sign. So starting to track my cycles with Fertility awareness method. It gives me so much more insight into how my body works and I love seeing effects of different lifestyle changes to my health. Overall I listen more closely to my body now!
Probably going up into the mountains for the first time in my life and being at the highest point I've ever been in my life up until now. But another, less obvious 'spiritual' experience would have to be the process of therapy and self-discovery. I am constantly in awe of how little I know my own mind, and how full of wonder just a few conversations with the right person can be.