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.
Nature has moved me several times- arches, subway, just random flowers and cacti. Tonight I saw the full moon thru the eyes of some kids. Hopefully I shared some of my wonder with them. And yes I have been moved to tears in prayer services as I examine my life and my relationships- my losses and my joys.
Who are spiritual now? The twin flames of release and the pomegranate sweetness of devotion, these are the living gods of my attendance, my practice. And the mysteries and muses dally these days at a small distance, calling to me but only gently, and I have grown to appreciate this fate, or moreover to abide the siren song of heaven and her gilded prophecies, barely to prick my ears to it, to let it roll by when it comes to town. I miss it, I feel a sometimes fearsome boredom in the hole that passion left. Life is more easy now, more simple, no less textured perhaps, but more subtle, perhaps even subdued. And asking still beyond the lulling trance of normalcy which betrays the ordinary as such, is this unaccountable ongoingness and its ever-replenished heartfulness so material, so base, so mundane? To be at all is to be beyond, beyond. I don't know.
Metal work. Letting go of partner behavior I cannot control. Cooking. Taking charge of my learning and experiences in a new way via Zoom. Finally returning to swimming, after all the swimming pools got closed. Biking on the East Side where time moves slower and families are out just enjoying each other, as opposed to the west side by the river where everybody is running for their lives wearing headphones. Figuring out how to eat lightly while being at home, where eating has mostly been for coping for a majority of my life (I fought that by being out and about, and being limited by what I could afford to purchase). Doing puzzles with Flip, and getting lots stronger, recognizing crossword tropes! Going to Wildflower services. Foraging. Roller skating listening to fiction. Putting down fiction. Listening to what I need in my body and mind, and saying "no thank you" even if it throws Flip for a loop. Flip: "Figuring out how to be on a team with you. I love you."
I have felt spiritual when I read Die, the comic, watched Upstairs, Downstairs, and - the combo - role playing. Astrid shapeshifted last month, just before she served Easter dinner.
Spiritual stuff has been …. Not happening this year. It’s just all too much
I embraced a meditation practice and attended many online workshops around spiritual development and it helped me manage my anxiety around Covid, and worrying about my mortality and my loved ones.
Not feeling very spiritual these days. High Holy day services were lovely as usual and the sermans were apropos to my situation in life right now.
pandemic ha made me more aware of my mortality and fearful of dying from Covid.
My friend contacted a medium to speak with her recently deceased son. She and I were both cynics about that kind of thing, but the content of their conversation makes me believe that there are realms only some people can access, where spirits can communicate. Not only with us, the living, but with those who have died before them. Things gives me a sense of peace. I think the term "fundamentalist athiest" is a good one; who can be so sure there is not something more than what we see?
I was ordained in January of this year, in my home office rather than together with my seminary class and our community. I was blessed to have one teacher in the room with me and she placed her hands on me while my teachers all chanted the formula for ordination via Zoom. Between the sounds of their voices, faces on my computer screen, and the touch of my teacher behind me, I felt a channel open and shake me in an unexplainable way. I do not know what internet service she uses, but I am confident the Divine worked through my ethernet cable that night!
Oh yes. Going to a Vipassana silent meditation retreat last November especially. That created such peace and faith inside me like I've rarely experienced before. Every human should try being alone with themselves in stillness for 10 days. Another experience was connecting with my fiancé's deceased grandfather and getting messages for her, that was wild!!
My son's baby naming was a raw and beautiful moment. Several things went wrong- but everything paused to celebrate his perfectly unique soul in this world and it was magic.
My particular spiritual experience this year was an acknowledgement that even for an asocial hermit like myself, sometimes a bit of human interaction outside of the immediate family is required and beneficial. I'm obviously more used to solitude than quite some others, but am now wondering how I would fare in complete and permanent isolation.
I had a run that really helped me change my outlook. It was the Nike run app Today's 30 min run. It made me cry and it made me smile at a time in my life when I really needed it.
Bliss Brain (Dawson Church), Dr Joe Dispenza (Breaking the habit of being yourself), Dying to be me (Anita Moorjani) and lots of neuro-chemistry/plasticity learning.
I am working to be a better leader. More thoughtful and considerate. Working with others on a team (in one instance) has been challenging as I think I see unrealized answers that have to be thought out which is frustrating to the others on the team. Experience has shown me that if there is a problem then there are more answers than just yours. I also have come across members of a local group who think unfettered “Honest” email answers are the way to reply to a group. This attitude is dangerous and causes leaders to quit. No, the leaders don’t need thicker skin… the critics need to step up and do what has been accomplished by the leaders or Shut Up! As the saying goes “Put up or Shut up!”
Being a visitor in the world that I know has changed me. Seeing NYC changed, less than, but not broken, was both a balm and a homecoming. Being among the great works of art in our known world bring hope for a brighter tomorrow despite the enduring presence of COVID-19.
Maybe when I took Lucy to the Basquiat exhibit. It was nice to go back to a museum, to look at art in person, to ponder the art, and to share the meaning behind the art with her. I didn't think/feel it at the time, but in retrospect, I missed the cultural experiences that weren't just things on a screen or a page, but in the context of the wider physical world.
Spiritual... let's see. My relationship with Judaism has stayed the same this year, pretty much. I'm intellectually agnostic on many core issues, except that there is a Creator. I am emotionally very attached and live with the philosophy I was raised with that Hashem loves me that everything is for the best. I stopped trying to reconcile the two a while ago or coming up with answers. I realized I'll always be frum and I'll always be connected no matter what I think intellectually. It's too embedded in me. Also, unlike DH, I don't think I can get firm answers. I know DH is into his philosophy and quest for truth, but I realized life is about our feelings and comfort zones too. Anyway, anything else that changed. I wore short sleeves and above the knee in Europe. Whatever. I don't think it's necessary, though I won't do it in our frum environment. Other stuff: when I was in Europe and had more time because I was backpacking and life was just work, travel, and basic life maintenance, I had more time to write - I started a short story - and do other things. And I realized with conviction that I want to live a simple life with as few material demands as possible so I could focus on creating. On learning music, writing novels... I'm getting older and I need to get stuff done. So when I got back, I discussed it with DH and he finally agreed that we can work towards renting our house out and getting a van or something. We need to save money to buy it and to renovate the house and I don't see how that will happen with our current salaries. Need to get more MBA type job, sigh.
This past weekend, during my first meditation retreat, I asked the instructors' input on my ambivalence about how to relate to teachings on interconnectedness and "no-birth/no-death." I said these doctrines make complete sense to me intellectually but that I struggled to take comfort in them if the hard-won "boundaries" and limits of my identity (social "self") had to disintegrate such that I would be sharing "the Great All" with, for example, Roger Ailes (had a laugh at myself for starting to cry at this particular thought). One teacher, Pascal, after validating the question, mentioned the role of karma in protecting the "eternal me" (my words) from the eternal Roger Ailes (whose name I politely omitted when speaking), in that bad acts do earn some kind of retribution--and so, for present purposes, are conceptually "burned away," such that I don't actually have to share all of eternity with the whole entire (e.g.) Roger Ailes. I still have no interest in claiming Buddhism or Buddhist cosmology as my own, but this thought helps a lot!
Namo Amida Bu I wish I had an answer to how or what has changed. With no control over much, I surrender and seek refuge in Amida Buddha's limitless light.
When I moved to the Chesapeake in December, it felt as if Mother Nature understood where I was meant be. Cold, dark, alone, with a nip in the air. We stayed until the 1st week of April, when things started to bloom, and again I heard her calling to me, that everything around changes and blooms
Ben (my bf) and I are essentially completely physically compatible (I'd say about 99%), which I never imagined I'd find. Time I spend with him can be spiritual in a sense because our focus is entirely on each other (not on phones, not on work, etc.), and I haven't experienced that in a relationship before. If you have ever spent hours with someone completely focused on you, you actually feel seen, and heard, and taken care of. And there's not enough of that in this world. I hope this stays. It's magical.
This one just slipped in under the wire, but I built my first sukkah this year and I just feel so happy and grateful to have it sitting in my backyard. Seeing it finished brought me more joy than I could have imagined, and I'm so excited to share this special holiday with all my friends up here.
I've enjoyed going back to church and feeling like my heart beats in unison with everyone else there as we listen to music, chanting.
As odd as it sounds, I had some real time for solitude right after my grandmother passed away at the end of May. At 43 and a half it's hard to lose someone that you have told your whole life, they have to live to be 100. She was 96, she was close. We were very close my entire life. I will back up to say that she had a massive stroke and passed a few days later. Somehow, I managed to be the only one that had not seen her yet, as I live an hour and a half away and they were not letting people in to visit very freely. The day she passed, the nurse called to inform us she was actively dying and we should come in to say good bye. I took off super fast with Lily and Jaxson to the hospital. They only allowed me in, as they would not allow anyone under 18. I went up to see my Grammy and she looked like she was resting/sleeping. I talked to her and told her I was there. It was hard knowing that she was slipping away and I asked her to wait for everyone else. I kept talking to her and telling her I was there. She was gone within five minutes of me arriving. I was the only one with her when she passed. I was giving her a hug and had laid my head on her chest tying to hear her heat beat when her breathing had slowed. I heard her last heart beat and her last breath. It was really sad knowing she was gone, but somehow by some miracle I was more ok than I ever thought I would be. I felt like it was the greatest honor had been bestowed upon me to be there with her. She was there with my mom when I was born and I sat by her side holding her hand as she left us. I also flew to Sarasota two full days ahead of everyone else for my own convenience and due to my work schedule since I can work remotely. Between the experience with my grandma and this time alone on Long Boat Key, it was a homecoming like no other. I stayed at the old Sand Piper Inn that I have known since I was a kid. Booked myself a late last minute reservation for Euphemia Haye and just had time alone with my thoughts. I was home and I was alone to just be and reflect. I hadn't been home in eight years. It was an experience that just can't ever be replicated and was bitter sweet all the way around. I'm not sure if this experience made the High Holy Days more meaningful to me this year, but I sure connected a lot more this year with the liturgy of the prayers we say on both holidays. These memories will stay with me for life. I love you and miss you forever Grammy.
I don’t think that I am a particularly spiritual guy. I don’t believe in spirits. I have gotten pleasure from my garden, I just like fussing with dirt. Not too much in the spiritual realm this year I guess.
I have been watching or attending Shabbat services every week since Covid shut everything down. I like the ritual and the marking of the passage of time, and I love the music. It's nice to feel I'm still involved in the synagogue community even now that my children have graduated from religious school, Madrichim, and Hebrew high. I went to outdoor services in person all summer while my children worked as a counselor and unit leader at Camp Mountain Chai; it was so nice to see smiling, familiar, friendly faces at services every Friday night. I also enjoy the treats at the oneg while catching up with a few of my friends.
YES! While I didn't think so, I realized that as I sit here and answer these questions I have Donda playing. What an album. I wasn't sold on it the first time through. The second time I jammed and the third day it started revealing feelings.
I can't think of any. Sitting on the roof? no that was last summer... Was it a spiritual experience to train during a blizzard? I convinced my karate teacher not to cancel class & I was certainly exhilarated, out there with no up or down, no floor or sky, just kicks & katas. I had another thought: there is a young homeless couple that hunkers down near me. Gradually I have come to help them more & to get to know them. I have been rewarded by learning that they aren't only their problems, that they are loving & loyal & extravagantly protective, of each other & of me. The spiritual part is having let myself open up to them. First to their needs then to them as people. Any judgment has been cast aside.
Oh, with the pandemic it's been hard. My church did a good job of going virtual. I attended via zoom at the beginning, down the Cape at Dad's. I'd put it up on the big monitor, light a candle, watch. I got antsy, found that if I was doing the dishes while watching, that was easier. The zoom chat was more distracting that a benefit to me, so watching it another time made just as much sense. And that didn't happen because if you can do something anytime, you don't have a schedule around it. The days of the pandemic all blurred together, the same day after day, weekday or weekend, it didn't really matter. I attend occasionally now - I wish I was involved more, but haven't been. I'm okay with it, but I do feel lost - but apparently not lost enough to tether myself each Sunday morning. It is still my church, I am still part of it and connected to everyone. I just want to find the path to be more consistently involved, out of a sense of passion and community, not obligation, or self-shaming when I don't attend.
Hmm... related to artistic and cultural maybe. During the Hackathon series, I connected with people from different countries and races. And designing for LGBTQ+ people, and learning on the way about many Pride flags available out there made me realized that binary things can be an overgeneralization at disaster level. I mean like, God created people with various traits like rainbows. People said that it's only consisted of 7 colors, or even worse, only black and white. While black and white actually a mix of many different colors. And what made it what it is is because it has every color in between.
Nothing especially spiritual happened. I did find myself drawn into the online concerts that were put on at work. It was very moving music. Other than that, not much sticks out.
I find myself tearing up more at honorable actions, even very small ones. We also lost a duck and a chicken this year--that was spiritually sad.
The thing that comes to mind honestly is getting vaccinated. I was elated, and so happy that I was able to get it so early being a teacher. It was a magical moment. Never been so excited for a shot! It meant freedom from the constant fear and anxiety. It meant protection. It meant that I could keep my babies at work safer. It was special.
From mid-winter to mid-summer I walked around a small lake at a city park and saw the wildlife (mostly birds). I got to see several broods of geese and ducks go from babies to near adults. I was fascinated by the comorants that could stay under water much longer than I could have.
Taking an online class about basics of Jewish living was a great way to learn how to integrate faith practices into my everyday life. It made it a lot easier to "feel like I'm practicing correctly" without going to a synagogue or being in a physical Jewish community.
I've once again branched out in my artistic needs, to compass embroidery once again. I've done it before in the past, but was never really into it. But, it's one thing I can do when my hands are bothering me. Lately I've found it more difficult to knit when I'm having an RA flare, but this form of art is great for that - I'm not overtaxing my hands, stretching them in the process & making something beautiful and fun!
Spirituality is an ongoing, daily presence of the spirit, of worlds beyond this one, of turning to God and going forward as we can, courageously, without fear. Doing the right thing. Being pure in spirit, kind in heart, to all living things. My Sat. morning women's devotions group has been an uplift, black & white women together in prayer, on zoom.
Honestly I can feel a spiritual experience in the way a butterfly lands on a dandelion, so this is a bigger question than I'm going to be able to answer in this space.
Last October when I stayed with Megan to help her through her grief process, it felt like a spiritual retreat - a self reawakening. I thought about parts of myself I hadn't in years, answered hard questions, thought about things I didn't want to. It was deeply relational and spiritual. It changed me.
I have found more solace in meditation and my mindfulness practice than anticipated. I have not been happy with synagogue leadership and have replaced my efforts with secular ones. I was worried about being disconnected from my faith. But, I have found myself reciting the Shema while I meditate.
The state of "Wuwei" is one of the thing I'm learning to understand – not forcing oneself into anything but to just "be". Such a simple concept yet hard to master.
Woof, buddy, I don't know, I'm not sure that's how I roll anymore.
I got my yoga teacher certification. This process put me in touch with myself and with the Divine in the world around me in a way that I have been resistant to for a long time. I felt connected to a community of like-minded, loving people and was shown a way to find balance and peace in my life. Since starting med school, I have sadly lost touch with all of it, but I still know it's there. I hope to find a community to ground me here in Auburn, and over the break I hope to get back in touch with my personal practice.
Coming, once again, face to face with mortality.
This https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO5FwsblpT8 hit home as to why money doesn't matter, and how privileged we are to even exist. This https://www.cold-takes.com/all-possible-views-about-humanitys-future-are-wild/ hit home as to why we're even more privileged than I first thought.
Yeah, I don't think so. Heck, I didn't even go look at a lake or a mountain or anything. I did have some nice moments looking at the kids - watching their smiles come back as the world reopened and they started to explore and feel safe again.
Walking into synagogue for a Shabbat morning service the first time in over a year - I found myself with tears in my eyes and whispering the traditional prayer upon entering the sanctuary, “Mah Tovu Ohalecha Yaakov.” On the theme of reunion, hugging friends after seeing them in person after months of Zoom, particularly in our first trip back to our longtime home of Boston. All of this was possible from my blessing of gratitude recited over receiving my doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Name our son Gabriel - the most powerful angel. Considered Nathaniel, but he was the angel of fire. Our Benj is already a fire cracker. Did not want to push our luck. After all we have been through together ( testing positive for Covid right as I got pregnant and the car accident) the name seemed fitting. Reevaluated life. The things that are important to me. Though we wanted more kids, after this pregnancy and its complications reconsidering our options.
This is a ridiculous thing to say but I had some really good sex this year. That’s pretty cool At that baseball game we went to in April when everyone around us started to sing take me out to the ballgame. I almost cried being around human voices singing together. Everyone was staring around The first ecstatic dance back! Oh my god
I have felt distance from my spiritual practice lately. Some people react to trauma by becoming more communicative with their spirituality. I find that I am mostly in shock and just traumatized by the repeated blows of trauma that keep hitting all aspects of my family. It has not felt like I can reach my spiritual center or any feeling of peace lately. I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's amazing my adrenals haven't entirely shut down again. Today I was feeling more of a pull to celebrate the full moon, get outside, try to feel some kind of connection to something bigger than myself and my problems. I hope I still feel that way when I get off of work today!
Had wonderful zoom high holidays for 5781 with Makom LA.
I realized how deeply connected everything really is. I'd have an experience or thought, then open a book I was reading, and there would be a connection. When I was reading about dieting and recovery from an eating disorder and then opened a Judaica book I was reading and the message was intertwined, I realized just how big HaShem truly is. HaShem wanted me to know that He's there within it all.
Praying for Michelle and Connie out by the beach past Inverness. Walking down that long long stretch of sand with Jeremy and Earl. So beautiful. So profound. And then the week I spent working on the play about the library during the immigration ban. That was deeply satisfying and soul fulfilling. I was very stressed about the accent and about the singing of the Carmen aria but being with those artists, working on an important play saved me at a low point.
I have attended two funerals this year. Neither one was covid related. We didn’t go to church with Matt’s family on Easter or at Christmas - too many people with the risk of Covid being too great. To be honest, I haven’t missed it. I’ll go to church with folks who invite me. I’m not against church; I can find it comforting. But it isn’t a necessary component of my life.
This past year of Covid and Pandemic has been very beautiful to me the way people continue to gather and learn and celebrate and worship over Zoom. Watching my older parents find a community and purpose while learning. Attending Hebrew class online with my mom. Watching my kids learn and grow through online learning is really amazing. So I am not sure if these count as spiritual but they are truly emotionally moving and miraculous.
Nothing new to me but the power of being in or near water is just reinforced again and again. I have done some open water swimming which has been a delight.
I’ve felt most spiritually connected this year in nature. Feeling water under my feet, jumping in a lake, breathing in the forest around me.
I think doing acid for the first time was pretty spiritual: both in that it was great facilitator for connecting different thoughts in my head and also for helping my process the break-up.
No, Pretty much the opposite. Much like last year but more so. I'm losing my religion. Losing my faith. It seems like nothing matters. Everything seems meaningless, and random. Apparently truth and integrity don't mater. Human life doesn't matter. It's hard to even think about.
I sat on a rock on the top of Mount Equinox in Vermont and looked at the mountains stretching as far as I could see. The breeze was gentle, and the sun was warm. My breaths were deep, luxurious. A smile lingered on my lips.
During these high holy days I had the experience of being in my soul which felt like waves of light in striations through and above my body. The soul was able to observe the movements of my body with delight, with the thought, "look how I can animate the body but not predict, actualize or control what it will do!" It's like I feel about my heart. I can witness its beating and skipping beats but I can't make it slow down or speed up with just a wish to do so. It is animated by something bigger than itself. In the same way my soul animates by body. Fascinating!
At a silent retreat I heard God frankly say 'how dare you try to hide what I created to be beauty' when thinking about how I would try to 'blend in' or hide parts of myself that I did not want to vulnerably display to others, when I thought that it may be rejected/judged by others. I have been only half presenting myself and it's time I be my whole self, especially if I believe that God spent time on forming me and that He makes beautiful things.
continue consciousness around anti-racism attitude---I was gonna write "anti-racism work" but what have I done really? Presentation at work. Sign petitions. Attend BLM demonstrations. Attempted to get my company to transition to Credo as a mobile carrier. Failed but I tried. Should have tried again, tried harder. loved sitting in Grace Cathedral's courtyard. soaking in the beauty, the sense of community. sometimes the organ was being played. That got taken away though when the school reopened.
I've had a negative spiritual experience of feeling the universe is against me with each subsequent crisis that comes my way. The closest things to positive spiritual experiences I've had this year are the love of my daughter and our relationship, and the support of my friends during the apartment flood. Following up on last year's answer, I am definitely on the autism spectrum. I see so much of my childhood self in the show Atypical, web articles and other writings.
Yesterday, Jason and I went by ourselves to SF (kids in Sonoma) and walked out to Ocean Beach. We walked 11 miles through the city and it brought back memories from the walks to the beach I used to do on Yom Kippur, lying the on the beach and listening to the waves, memories of different times in my life in SF. Despite the stress lurking with Lily home on quarantine next week, I was able to feel like I was on vacation--free from the immediate list of to-dos and more connected to my journey through adulthood.
At a time when I was doubting my career path, that my life's work had been worthwhile, whether what I did mattered...I received a call about being featured in a KCET show about women who've impacted their communities, was awarded the Pioneer Empresaria award, and highlighted for a national event because I attended a Zoom meeting where the woman in charge "loved my fun energy". I felt like the Universe was saying, "Girl, no! You're needed, now more than ever."
Churches opened up and I finally went back on Holy Thursday after I was fully vaccinated and more than a year after they first closed. It was quite an emotional experience not only being back, but also that it was Holy Week and one of my favorite Masses. After Mass, I went up to sit near the Blessed Sacrament for a few minutes and I swear, for a second, I felt like Jesus was there with his arms around me. It's the first time I've ever felt Jesus' presence that concretely. It was something I'll never forget.
Regular meditation practice, including Jewish meditation, has helped connect my study of Torah and synagogue volunteer work, activities that feed my mind to something deeper - a deeper sense of purpose and connection.
My co-creative life with the Elders continues. As of the 1st of this month, it's been 26 years of Their guidance. I've grown tremendously over those long years but 2021 has been explosive. It began with a mental breakdown in January. Every bit of armor I began constructing as an abused child to disconnect me from my feelings shattered. As a child, I believed my emotions were dangerous because I was punished for expressing them. In addition, the pain, fear, and shame felt impossible to survive so I repressed them. I spent over 60 years with only a tenuous connection to my emotions. That felt safe but I also came to feel hollow inside as if my chest was empty. I called myself, "raisin heart," believing there was something wrong with me because I couldn't feel lovable or loving. I had no conscious awareness that it was because of denial and detachment. With the help of my spiritual guides, the emotional Gatekeeper was forced to stop repressing and filtering my experiences. The breakdown was chaotic hell that included horrible physical symptoms (the body follows the mind after all.) Eight months later I've evolved into a new person with full access to my emotions and a slowly-healing body. I still have trauma to uncover and transform but I'm finally loving who I am and my heart is no longer shriveled.
I am fortunate to have spiritual experiences on a regular basis. While no one stands out I try to infuse my daily life with spiritually. Whether that means praying outside in nature, reading and listening to things and people who push me to grow or reflecting on what I learn and try to incorporate it into my life, I actively try to grow spiritually.
My core motivation and intention began to be much better aligned with my Crossfit regimen. This was incredibly important on a spiritual level and I felt grounded and authentically motivated to continue to improve and grow, most importantly in a balanced way. This was and is a very significant nurturing of my core experience of self. Think of it as the warrior part of the warrior-poet ethos.
It may sound silly, but what comes to mind is my first post-pandemic Broadway show. I saw Pass Over in its first week--and a bit before the bigger shows reopened. The audience loudly cheered the announcement to silence our phones. It was wonderful. And though I knew I wanted to get back to live indoor theater (I had seen a couple of outdoor Shakespeares), I had no idea how good it would feel, and I mean deep in my soul. It prompted a two-day high. The show was pretty good too.
I feel more in tune with my inner compass, more validating of my own spiritual path. My most spiritual experiences were probably reading Richard Rohr's meditations, listening to Thomas McConkie's online class, working in the garden early in the morning, and feeling our family heal and become closer (despite—but also because of—conflict). At the suggestion of a therapist, I also thought more about my personal values, then subscribed to Uplift, although we've only done one lesson as a family and it wasn't particularly well-received. I want to keep finding ways to make it more fun and remember that living those values and being an example is probably the best "lesson" for my kids.
R: Other than realizations of the world as a broken vessel, I would say that I haven't had any really religious experiences. J: Nothing I can think of. Well, there is something that is sort of close though, and it just happened this past week. I was in the subway, unusual in itself, and I passed by a poster that is part of art in the subway series and it was so evocative that I had to stop and take it in. It was Mechanical Botanical by Armando Veve. It looks like this: https://www.behance.net/gallery/102751937/ARMANDO-VEVE-MECHANICAL-BOTANICAL-FOR-NYCS-MTA.
I read Torah 7-8 times for virtual services. The preparation of the Torah portion is spiritual for me, and chanting for my congregation brings me closer to God. I have been studying Modern Hebrew as well. It is a spiritual language and learning the language had been an excellent and positive distraction. I am grateful the opportunity to bring holiness to wherever I am.
Sound Bath. Hands down. Such a spiritual experience. I need more of it in my life. I feel like it encompassed me with warmth, understanding, compassion. I was angry at the spirits/ancestors for leaving me hanging, but I guess it was I that left them in the distance.
Honestly all of my spiritual moments come through music. It's like music is the thing that connects me to the universality of being human -- it just really touches me to the core and makes me feel like I'm not alone in the messiness of life. Taylor Swift, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Grace Potter....their songwriting is just flawless and I end up crying more times than not when I listen to their songs because it just touches me at the level of feelings that I sometimes don't allow the chance to reach the surface.
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.
The most impactful experience I've had this year is the opening up of worship meetings for my church. Donald has taken the mantle of worship leadership and I have been so happy with his sermons and leadership especially in comparison to what Tracie had done during her tenure. My experiences with the food pantry and Betty and Pearl has been incredibly rewarding. Our little church continues to bleed people but increase in mission. We have small worship in the church in a circle and often it becomes a community where we talk freely about our faith and the world. I want to go to church every week instead of going once or twice a month because of duty. I also have begun to really explore the area of my faith where I trust that God truly loves me. I often fall back into being more fearful than loving. A work in progress. The gorilla trek was also spiritual in that I felt such a connection to our shared history being near to the places where humanity arose. The geologic and evolutionary history of the region could not help but remind me of the biblical stories of eden. I would so love to go back again to explore more of the area. The simple life of the subsistence farmers in the area surrounding the forest brought to mind a simpler and perhaps better(?) time. I was inspired to re-read Ishmael when I returned (I have started and even purchased the second book) to remind myself of the philosophy presented in the work.
Participating in Beloved Conversations this spring, and GA, and a year of watching our UU services instead of working in the background during them, and A's naming ceremony. It's been a year where my sense of connection, and comfort with the idea of identifying as a religious humanist UU person, has grown a lot.
I have suddenly understood something about my own theology that I have been wrestling with for half a century: God isn't a legalistic jerk. We need a Redeemer because as sin-bound mortals we are otherwise unable to endure the presence of a perfect Father -- like looking into the sun, it's our own sins that make that Presence unbearable. The Redeemer is our advocat -- lawyer -- who bridges the gap between our repentence and our perfection. How did I not make this connection decades ago?
We finally adopted a rescue calico at the beginning of this year, and living with her has been nothing but short of miracle. Sure, we have our moments sometimes (she's our designated alarm clock!), but just having another living being in our life, seeing the depthness of life in her eyes makes me think how blessed I am every day.
Running in the evening. Sometimes listening to wise people, sometimes to music has been spiritual to me. The feeling of opening up my mind and extending my senses from the small bubble of me and my computer is very important.
Everything is a figment of our imagination (except nature). What is real really? Humans for centuries have been telling stories and sharing narratives so they can collaborate (and that's what differentiates us from other species). This thought has really been messing with my brain and making me question everything around me.
I have become a lot closer to art forms linked to my own identity as a Bengali. This includes music, history, and so on. I am grateful for it and it's made me a stronger, more confident person.
Feeling a spiritual connection to the Torah and all those who have commented on it throughout the ages.
I've been trying to be self-compassionate. That sounds trite but it one of the hardest things ever. To truly accept myself as I am, with my mistakes, my flaws and my successes and ways of being-in-the-world. Being true to oneself and self-compassionate is the doorway to compassion for others (they blend) and having an ongoing attitude of compassion, kindness and love radiating from me is the closest thing to spiritual I can think of. #goals.
My first reaction to this question was to think I haven't had any spiritual experiences and don't know what to do with that word. But I've made a habit of getting up in the morning and having some quiet time with my piano or my ukelele, or just with my coffee and the morning, or learning spanish or stretching my body. Recently I've added meditating. It's not often dramatic, but there I am with myself.
I should make having more spiritual experiences my NY resolution I guess. This question always bugs me. What am I supposed to be experiencing that I’m apparently missing out on??
Reading more about Buddhism and meditation, thinking about being satisfied with what I have in life instead of always searching for the next thing that is going to bring me joy. It can be tough through because complacency can also be a problem and kill one's drive to move forward.
Arriving at Badlands National Park in the sunset was a spiritual experience for me. A bit like fasting, I had been driving for so long (and hadn't actually eaten all that much, either) that I was in an almost meditative state. When I rounded the corner onto the first formations, I was literally speechless. I had to turn down the radio to just look. It was gorgeous, and also I felt like the only person there.
I have not gotten back to the daily yoga practice. I did for a while but then got derailed again. For a long time after Kat's death I would cry almost every time I did yoga. Now that only happens sometimes, but it is a good release when it does. I am discovering the difference between a more physical workout/challenging yoga session and a healing restorative yoga session. I think both are beneficial in their own ways.
Magic mushrooms have opened my eyes that I need to listen to my body a lot more and be easier on myself. And just generally trust my instincts a lot more.
I really struggle to answer this question year after year. I think to some extent I've given up on that. I guess another way to think of spiritual is faith in humanity, which for me has gone back and forth between vaccinations and the environment. ... I hope I have something more interesting to share next year.
I started meditating in december and it has changed my ability to cope witj the unexpected and adversity. I feel calmer and more in tune with myself.
The most spiritual experience I have had this year has been a connecting with, listening and conversing with my inner knowing. I am so grateful to be hearing her finally and though I do not consistently listen and act on her wisdom. I hear her, and I am starting to listen to the little hugs at my soul and heart.
I guess my brief times in nature have been so restorative. After being in lockdown in one form or another for the majority of the past 18 months, I have been lucky enough to grab a coupe of trips out of the city - the Blue Mountains. The Hawkesbury and Tasmania. I feel so at peace by myself surrounded by trees and birds. It's what I want my life to be at all times, not just a weekend here and there.
I've been deep in thought about a lot of things and i've found a lot of things that work for me and somehow some of these things work for other people too. I spoke to someone about their spirituality and it idk that it changed their live, but it gave them a new insight to it. i don't do follow ups lol. so year, that was a revelation to me.
This year I have had very few spiritual experiences. I have learned that communal spiritual experiences are not as valuable and explosive online as in person.
I did a zoom presentation and workshop on self care with debilitating chronic health conditions, and it was an amazing experience to realize that just because I have a lot fewer personal resources to rely on than I used to, doesn't mean I'm useless or unable to help anybody else.
This year has been a year of spiritual growth for me. I wish that spiritual growth happened during times of joy, but the reality is that in my life, spiritual growth often happens during times of fear and sorrow. I started to pray every day starting with the beginning of the new church year (Advent) and did so every day until late March, when I was overcome by depression and could not connect with God. I knew I was coming out of the depression in May when I began to pray again, and I have done so most days since then. I have started to read a psalm or Biblical passage, say the Lord's Prayers, and say and write "Good Morning, God," giving thanks for something I am grateful for, asking for help or support for something I or others are struggling with, and asking forgiveness for things I have done wrong. I hope to continue this practice. Right now, in September (which to me is the perfect time to have a new year) I am feeling more faithful, more hopeful, and more deeply connected with God. I have a sense of calling in a way that I have not in a long time. I hope it continues.
The effect my Dad's passing has on me was a blessing. My faith in eternal life was affirmed.
I've found our hikes to be spiritual this past year, particularly with the ongoing Covid restrictions, in that I am reminded how beautiful nature is, and how lucky we are to live where we do. In addition, with being fully vaccinated, we've been able to attend live performances again, which are also spiritual.
No. And that really sucks.
I have come back to sitting daily and this is always a deeply moving experience. I remember how healing SILENCE and STILLNESS are. I always want to go deeper and spend more time in that place (even though it is so hard to get there).
We didn’t know how long the hike would be. Nor did we know if the happy pit bull would join us for the entire thing. But we kept on hiking, climbing, breathing in the jungle air, wiping the sweat and moisture from our faces… as we made it to the top of the volcano in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, near Arenal. The spiritual moment came after swimming out to the middle of the crater lake, surrounded by fog serving as both a comforting blanket and concealing force hiding the unknown. My echos of gracias, pomparius, reverberating from all sides of the mountain crater. Then the fog lifted and I felt held. I felt free and alive and grateful for the natural beauty, the experience of being on this hike — in this country — with Benny. The escape from a life and future that seemed to be leading me farther away from my true essence.
For my 40th birthday we stayed in a yurt at a glampsite in Norfolk and I honestly feel like it was a magical experience. Everything about it was just so perfect - Chris had organised a hamper of goodies and we had a cooked breakfast, sausages and bacon on the bbq, cheese and biscuits on the beach, and cake and strawberries by the campfire. He also organised a massage which was just *chef's kiss*. The weather was perfect - not too hot, no rain - and I felt so completely insulated from the outside world. It was like paradise. I genuinely think it was my happiest time this year.
Yes sure. I was very sick. I did not go to hospital. I kept asking my body: what do you want me to do for you to heal. I continued reflecting and exploring my deep fears. On the right time i went to hospital to treat my vision. Every thing went smoothly and I ended up with a tremendous improvement in my overall health. Perfect. Iam still exploring and healing my fears and feeling improvement in all aspects of my life.
I've begun meditation lately because of my chronic pain flaring up. It really seems to work for me, along with the tapping method (surprisingly). I think how effective these techniques have been is a good reminder that I don't need to "believe in" an intervention, wholly, without reservations, for it to help and work. That means that when something isn't working, it's not my fault either. Some things just work and some things just don't. And it's not because of my brain being broken.
Strangely: I was doing yoga on a pier in the Caribbean and it was ridiculously windy and it was perfect. Perfect. Joy bubbled from me from every pore. Just smelling the salt water and tanning lotion and a yoga mat. It was perfect. And it was flawed. It was real.
I finalized my conversion to Judaism, so that's a thing. It feels right and good and appropriate. Like being in a state of limbo was holding me back from some essential part of myself. Like most of my uncertainty stemmed from leaving my Jewishness open to doubt, not from being a convert at all. It felt like coming home, and now I have some a feeling of peace when I step into sacred space with a minyan.
So many! There are everyday synchronicities. I am in a worldwide meditation circle and we help each other going through difficulties. I have felt a connection with the light in everyday. My daughter and I have a wonderful spiritual connection. I also have a small group of dear friends and we share prayers and positivity weekly. Spirituality is wisdom and helps me everyday.
Getting my first vaccine in December was quite a lift. I was not expecting the giddy-too-excited-to-sleep feelings afterwards. The relief and hope I felt at the time was about the most spiritual and joyful thing I experienced. It was among the lightest moments of the year. A darker but also significant experience was collecting information to complete COVID death investigations as part of my job. It was sad and infuriating and dark but paying witness to this seemed important, though costly on a personal level.
I am so much more thankful. I'm trying to be intentional or thoughtful about all my resources and I try to thank God or the Universe for all the good in my life. I turned 60 in July. As of right now, I am older than my mother ever was. I am so grateful for all the love I feel that she never did.
The closest I can think of is the two times I collaborated with dancers in an improv moment. The first was after gaga class with Zach, Merrick, and Marshall with first Zach and then myself playing piano while the others moved. Then at Dalton's housewarming party the two of us did a three minute improvised set and it was such a beautiful moment full of deep, deep listening and creativity. I felt deeply connected to Dalton and incredibly present in that moment.
Every day there is at least one moment when I am in complete awe of my toddlers. What eldest says and youngest intimates with his gestures and cuddles are beyond description and bring me back down to earth even though I'm often anxious about parenting. Maryam also sends frequent spiritual and inspirational messages that are so sincere that inspire me.
I am back in the pool, back to knitting, back to driving...I am back out into the world, albeit, mostly against my better judgement. I have reconnected with people and finally feel like I am coming out of a cloud. I am becoming less afraid of the silences and crave the darkness.
I kind of feel lacking in this area of my life. I think dating someone who has little to no connection to religion has made it harder for me to connect on a spiritual level on a regular basis. I have continued to go to acupuncture and I try to celebrate Shabbat and reflect in little ways at home, but mostly my Jewish practice comes from working in a Jewish day school (and camp). I am realizing how important it is for me that I have a job that keeps me involved.
I had nights this year when I prayed and the words just poured from my lips. I wasn't thinking or planning but I knew what to say and it came from my soul. It was wonderful. And beautiful. I had experiences with my family, especially cooking and caring for them, that felt spiritual. And I had some really wonderful Shabbats with them, and a really good one with my friends. Honestly the challah I made was so good I'd call it spiritual. And so was meeting Mia's kids. They're so little and noisy and messy and sticky but then I saw in them why you would go to all the trouble to have children; because they bring so much that is good and new and wondrous and soft and real to the world. I really miss being around kids, I remembered. I want to do it more, even if it means I make less money next year.
I think I see the spiritual so much more often now. There are often moments in my day when I will pause and acknowledge the spiritual. Not every day— but many. Watching my daughter grow and change every day. Watching her play with other kids— how they easily connect with each other so joyfully with so few barriers. Looking into her big brown eyes and seeing her emotions and inner life. Holding hands with Mark, when we’re able to. Bonding with him over something that only we share. Laughing about silly things that nobody else knows about. Connecting with people even over zoom can be spiritual. Being in RJ circles especially. Being able to deeply listen and understand someone else is spiritual. Whether a client, friend or colleague. Noticing nature is spiritual. Being around trees, watching the clouds, feeling the wind and rain is spiritual. Looking at the moon and stars. Listening to some kinds of music— especially when Grace sings— is spiritual. Moving my body sometimes feels spiritual. Especially when I’m mindful of my body (which I am not always). Watching people enjoy music together is spiritual. Watching people engage in anything with a sense of togetherness is spiritual (the Olympics, concerts, dances, parades etc.)
SIX. OF. CROWS. This book came out of nowhere for me. I honestly don't even remember now why I started with Six of Crows and just jumped over Shadow and Bone altogether. But it was 100% the right choice. I haven't been this obsessed with something in a while. Pinterest boards, follows on social media, I've seen the Netflix show at least 4 times through now. Obsessed. My guess - nay - my hope is that by this time next year I'll get to add Percy Jackson to this YA spiritual awakening I've had. It's been really fun to be obsessed with something again. I missed that part of my personality. LOL
I prayed a lot when my baby had surgery this June. The intense, bargaining, hoping-someone-is-listening, truly-heartfelt-prayer sort of praying. I think that's when I was feeling most spiritual: when I had to trust in the doctors, the nurses, the process, and God, because there was nothing I could do. I guess that's the difference between spirituality and social justice. One is about letting go and trusting in something more powerful than you; the other is about directly pursuing something better, for others, and believing in our collective power.
When Dan and I were driving around Utah, we marveled at how every view was new and enormous and beautiful — I think the magnificent view was magnified by the fact that we hadn’t traveled or seen much outside of New York in the whole year. The fact that there were so many ecosystems - we could always see the desert mountains, green mountains, and snowy mountains in the back - was endlessly amusing. We had expected the last hike to the Emerald Pools to be a filler hike because we needed something that would only last a few hours before leaving town, but it was actually incredible, and showed us that we weren’t in fact ready to leave. The views at Zion felt awe-some in the literal sense. I’m sure there were other things; hosting the first salon post-vax and fitting more than 15 people in the apartment and hearing what everyone came up with felt spiritual, artistically, and just having all of those friends in one place being so supportive of each other. Some of the early relationship experiences with Dan didn’t feel spiritual per se but I certainly felt a big sense of connection in November when there was a week we went on walks twice a day with Petunia and felt like we didn’t want to stop being around each other and it was special.
The first time I was back in a Shabbat service in person was an incredibly spiritual experience for me. I loved singing along and having my voice be heard, and hearing everyone else's voices joining together. I also loved seeing people enjoying the experience that we work hard to put on for them. I sort of had a moment of remembering why I love Judaism after a pandemic that was really rough on my spiritual life.
Not really The same as I usually do on a daily basis
My faith in the Lord and His blessing on my life has been profound. When I ask, I have received. When I gave my problems to the Lord He protected me. My problems are of my own making; the Lord has shielded me even from the consequences of my own errors.
I know that God is there. Little things that shouldn't have happened and did, in a good way.
No. I have felt very spiritually cut off this year. Almost not connected at all. I really miss it.
None that I can remember. I feel the most spiritual when in nature, looking at the stars or lake.
I was so surprised and grateful that Mishkan's livestream services were so beautiful, uplifting, and yes, spiritual. Despite being on screens and physically separated, the feeling of spiritual community was palpable. I found myself looking forward to Shabbat and services in ways that I never had before - and certainly more regularly than I have before! I was awakened to feelings and stirrings that were novel for me. It might be hard to go back. I want to learn to "love with my whole heart, my whole self, my whole everything".
A spiritual experience I had was going to camp Towanga! Best thing of my life! It was my chance to connect with nature and my community of other Jews.
Deep meditation where I transcend physical realm. Special feeling that would love to happen more often. Also, my mother came to me in a dream during the 10 days to offer her love, touch, encouragement, understanding, grace and telling me I would be support in way needed for younger brother who recently diagnosed with Parkinson's.
The pandemic has continued to reinforce the beauty in being fully present in my own world. I am lucky to have the forest and nature to enjoy. Between connecting with my wife and kids and being in nature and listening to the quiet, I’ve enjoyed this spiritual bounty
I think all, or most of my, spiritual study, practice, and praying have been more spiritual than in the past.
I've been getting more into witchy stuff this year. Jessa's been reading about it, and generally the things I feel are 1) whatever feels spiritual is, and 2) it's mostly about energy and intention. I don't really know if I believe in something higher or god-like, but it feels like something I can do to send my energy in the direction of love and aid and connection. Maybe somebody or something hears that, maybe not. Maybe it reverberates, maybe not. But it feels good.
No. And I miss this part of my life so deeply. Yet I don't think about it at all. Why?
The daily Morning Read Aloud continues to be spiritual. Connecting with my students in such a deep and profound way has been nothing short of magical. This year, starting just after Rosh Chodesh Elul, Josie and I began going through the book 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays by Simon Jacobson. I have had this book for a number of years, but never had the discipline to go through it everyday, do the exercises, and discuss all of it. It has been profound. I have learned a lot about Josie and I have learned a lot about myself. I learned that the problems of the world, especially climate change, have made Josie feel somewhat hopeless. She also feels really down on herself. Additionally, she grapples with her relationship with G-d and with who or what G-d is. What I have learned about myself... I suppose I already knew this, but I continue to feel like I have a strong relationship with G-d. I am not threatened, as some people are, by more traditional ideas of who or what G-d is. I understand that my relationship with G-d is extremely personal. It is based on how I experience G-d right now in this moment. I talk to G-d. I try very hard to stay mindful and in the moment so that I can connect with G-d. I wish I did more formal prayer, but that is far from the only way to connect with G-d. It is so wonderful to have those daily discussions and the plan is to continue doing it through Sukkot.
Finding joy in the joy of my close friends. To be able to celebrate their Simchas and milestones with the people that I love & to feel the joy emanating around the room and to be a part of that joy, is a truly spiritual experience.
I took two solo backpacking trips this past year, one in November to Pinnacles National Park and the other in May to the Ventana Wilderness by Big Sur. Previously, I have done a lot of backpacking and plenty of solo hiking and running, but I had never taken myself away on an overnight trek like this. Each trip offered some breathtaking landscapes and scenic views, and plenty of time for me to think, meditate and reconnect with myself. Especially memorable was spending the evening of Shavuot sitting on a mountain top looking out over a beautiful ocean of fog and the distant peaks. I now have the confidence to do more trips like this and look forward to it becoming an annual ritual for me.
Although I am far from where I want to be, I do feel closer to God this year than ever before. Maybe the struggles of the last year have forced me to rely on him more, as things of the world make less sense than they ever have. I am praying for the strength and wisdom to make my way through this next year, as he would have me do it. I pray for closeness to God, that I may have understanding of his plan for me, or at least be able to walk it out without fear of the future.
This has largely been the year of a spiritual desert. The inability to interact with people has curtailed most artistic and cultural chances for spiritual experiences. I'm not involved in religious activities, with a few exceptions. I do get a spiritual lift from listening to music, and Sirius XM has been a blessing, which allows me to listen to the types of music I enjoy.
i'm not spiritual. i guess being pregnant was mind altering.
We went to see the Van Gogh immersive show, I can say it was spiritual and it was certainly a most exceptional experience that touched me thoroughly, I could have stayed so much longer. I would love to see this again and again. Creating art has been good for the soul.
My spirituality has continued on a downward path. I do not enjoy the virtual world of prayer, yet I have not tried to find another outlet for my spirituality.
Only one. I had this 'under your wings' feeling during one run one morning shortly after my mom died. It was of my sister (who had also passed) and my mom like spirit wings behind me as I was running up one particular street. They were with me. My sister 'had' my mom with her. They were fine.
My grandfather died this summer, 87 years young. He was my person, my hero, and I probably didn't tell him enough. When he passed I felt like his presence followed me everywhere. "See you later alligator" was our phrase and though I hadn't seen it or heard it in years suddenly it was so vibrant everywhere- from a plane captain at the end of a flight, on a t-shirt of the person in front of me at Universal. Everywhere, it was like a final hug from beyond- a final reminder that we both were just fine.
I had the glorious opportunity to drive all over Colorado, to Moab, and all the way back to the Northeast. I've never said wow or joy-wept more in my life. Also, I just started therapy and the moving forward is like a conversation with the universe, a journey toward great love.
This one feels hard to answer... One of the things I can think of is the first time hearing the amidah in a long time. We'd been doing Friday night services on Zoom, and they didn't include the amidah. We went to a Zoom bar mitzvah (Nate's maybe), and they sung it, and just the melody, the familiarity...it really resonated. It felt very emotion. Was it spiritual per se? I don't know. It's more like a connection to Judaism, to the Jewish people, and to our long history that I am a part of continuing than a connection to G-d. I'm not a particularly spiritual person, and that's fine with me.
I returned to Torah study this year more frequently, as the Zoom format made it easier. The droshes and the discussions were very moving in ways I hadn’t experienced before. I found myself marveling at the questioning and the wisdom shared by my peers.
Not sure that it’s spiritual but I am teaching myself to draw and learning Spanish.
jeeezz last year I was on fire. Now, I feel like a deflated balloon. Okay . . . thinking here. I went on a one-day yoga and meditation retreat that had me picturing myself as Mt. Rainier, and I really got into it, and I've sustained this particular visualization from it that I can tap into any time. It's a real feeling of expansiveness, hugeness, solidness. Pretty magical. I visited Ruby Beach with friends and connected with the ocean (didn't get to float even once this summer . . . how is it I can say "floating is my favorite thing" and then not make that happen for myself?). I connect with friends often, and that is for me a spiritual practice in itself. My son and I have been talking about deep things lately, really deep things, and just watching his spirit strengthen, discover the mysteries of being human, is soul warming. I feel like I've lost my core communities where I really tapped into spirituality for more than ten years . . . both my church and my musical community feel lost to me, and so does the communal energy I got from those. My life is so much more solitary and one-on-one now. One-on-one is a gift but doesn't fill that need for a bigger experience that a powerful service or singing session do.
This year has helped me to cement my own principles of faith, and there are few, if any, of them that align with how I was raised. Going to NYC was a spiritual moment because I saw, for the first time, just how an event like 9/11 could have such a lasting impact on the city and its inhabitants. I imagined, walking the streets by downtown, the financial district, biking through Central Park, just how disorienting and chaotic the attacks on the World Trade Center truly were, and I felt heavy with grief and sorrow for everyone who lost their lives and for their loved ones who were forever changed. I was also heartened by the way the city recovered from that horrific day, a defiant 'fuck you' to those who would commit harm in such a public way. My trip to NYC helped me to realize that sometimes the most spiritual act one can commit is to keep living in spite of the bullshit: to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, day in and day out. I came back from the visit in NYC a changed person. I saw, with my own eyes, the beauty and the beast that is 'the city' and I was humbled to realize that people are, in spite of our attempts to divide ourselves, pretty much the same regardless of location. We all want to provide good things for our families. We all want to feel safe at home. We all want to have work that is meaningful and provides a chance to flex our skills. We all want to enjoy the culture and chaos of the space we inhabit.
I think the deepest spiritual experience was when Mom passed away. That moment. When we were together, Mark, Sara & I enjoying sushi, at the foot of her hospital bed. All of a sudden all three of us looked at Mom, and her eyes had opened, she SAW us...and a tear streamed down her left cheek, and just like that, she was gone. Deepest grief engulfed me, along with the biggest love I have ever felt in my life. Spiritual? No question. I also had the opportunity and blessing to assist in preparing her for burial (creamation)....another beautiful, spiritual, deep loving experience. My brother and I were so fortunate to have such a beautiful, loving, charming, smart and amazing Mom. She was the perfect Mom for us, and the perfect Grandmother and Great-Grandmother for our kids and theirs. She is, and will always be deeply missed.
I am really proud of how I have been keeping Shabbat this past year. Even though my practice has looked different since I moved, I hope I continue to make challah and light the candles and say the blessings.
I would consider the immersive Van Gogh exhibit in Chicago as spiritual. I was originally supposed to go with a guy I was dating but I ended up doing a yoga class at the exhibit and going with a friend instead. It ended up being better than I expected. It really made me appreciate art and living in a city that supports the arts. It was truly magical.
The quietness of the shut down, along with the slowing down of my body with age have brought me a higher level of mindfulness and deliberation which feels strong and closer to the patterns of divine mystery, I feel less attached to time and place, freer and quieter.
Working on conversion with Rabbi Rachel. Reading the “Finding God” book and coming to the understanding that I could have a personal understanding of god within the framework on Judaism
Timely enough, Yom Kippur. The work I did prior to services atoning and asking for help and grieving my losses for the past year - that work will bring me into the new year as a more humbled and more healed human being. The kicker is how long can I sustain these memories & the work I did? I don't know. I hope for quite a while. This is a very peaceful moment in a tumultuous several years.
Last year, I wrote: "I almost don't want to record an answer for this one. Spiritual is a word beyond my vocabulary right now. I don't have the bandwidth for it. It seems to require more emotional energy than I can permit or more than I am capable of experiencing. This year has, in so many ways, dumbed everything down for me. Get up, do basic functions of care, do work, make and eat meals, clean, sleep. Do it all again. Some days, it feels like that is enough. Some days, I feel like I have to hold myself to more if I want to see things change. Most days, I feel stuck, stagnant, like letting in more feelings is just more than I can handle right now, and so let's get back to the basics, what's doable." And that's where I still am. I wonder if I will be in this place next year. If it will have evolved somewhere worse. Or if it will have evolved somewhere better, and I'll look back on these words, and think, "Just doing the basics enabled me to get to today. Just doing what I could was what I could. And it was good enough."
Tough one. And sadly I think the answer is no. The closest that comes to mind is some of the moments I’ve had working on the farm. To be part of a community growing food so others can eat well. And to see how hard they work yet also how much joy they get from it. And those moments when you connect with the work. Who knew large scale weeding could be so therapeutic? To look back along a row or field and see your work and what you as part of a community accomplished. And those moments when you connect with the plants. I can think of two near perfect moments. Weeding in the pole bean beds where you are literally on your hands and knees between the poles pulling out weeds; purslane, noxious weeds...and things I don’t know the name of. To be encased in the shade tunnel of those beans working to protect them so they can grow strong. And the transplanting starts...to take these tiny baby plants from their trays and place them both gently and firmly into the soil. To place them where they can grow strong and healthy, so they can contribute to us, humans, growing strong and healthy. I will never forget planning one plant, which to this day I have no idea what it was. I had dropped it onto the dibble; the premade hole in the soil. It was only maybe four inches tall with just a few leaves. And there on the tip of one of the lower leaves was the seed. A red speckled white seed pinching the end of the leaf. To see the origin of the plant staying with the plant as it grew. I wish I could share the picture in this story, for both of the moments, as these words do nothing to show what those moments were like.
Not really. I wish I had. I don't think I put myself out there spiritually enough or concentrate enough on that area of my life. It's hard to be busy and spiritual at the same time.
Meditation has helped me over the last 18 months and I still doo it almost every day. It really has grounded me and clarified my thinking.
Tallulah died at the end of June, and I guess in some way, loving her as she passed away was spiritual. I wish I could say that I felt her presence around me more after her death. Or believed she was in heaven or something. I don't NOT believe that. I just don't know. I don't feel one way or the other. I just deeply miss her. There's a quote I love, and I really feel it these days: “Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the day time, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell” — Edna St Vincent Millay
Recognition of the structures of improvisation and how they impact general life has been astonishing. I did have one realization when I was in the hospital where there was clarity on so many different issues. Maybe it was the drugs. And I think I should've written it down more. I should be writing in my journal more regularly and get back to meditation in the morning and writing in the journal on the second part of the day
Spiritual use to me church, communion and my connection to others of faith. COVID has tested that. I think I am still spiritual just not so churched. God is everywhere and found in everything if you look. I have faith I believe just not in the same way. Still the spirit of a holy presence is part of me
I don't know. Moving to a new place that feels like a different world has provoked spiritual reckoning, though. And being near the end of my parents' lives. Wondering about B. Even, as stupid as it sounds, our rat dying. I prayed yesterday. An unspiritual prayer, but I suppose it's all perspective. I prayed for the great sequoias, the dolphins, the horses, the children, the cats (large and small), the planet, the sick, the homeless, the incarcerated, the vulnerable, the oppressed, the poor, the sad, the flowers, the water, the air, the soil, the pigs, the fish, the dogs, the rich, the angry, the bridges, the sand.
No, and I don't know how to change that. I am completely disconnected from that part of my life right now and not sure how to reconnect.
I have enjoyed the internet church from Cheviot in the Borders, Scotland, St James's Piccadilly, London and All Saints, Margaret Street, London. With occasional Complines from Old St Pauls, Edinburgh The lavender fields of Provence I saw during the Tour de France. The intensity of the colour and the thought of the fragrance ... Calling for my mother when I was feeling very ill in July. "Mummy, Mummy, Mummy" over and over especially in the evenings
It's always a spiritual experience in some way to look through a telescope at some breathtaking object - a planet, a nebula, a galaxy - and contemplate both how far away it is, how massive it is, and the time difference between its existence as it appears and how it might be now, hidden until its newest light crosses the void to my eyes. The experience is only furthered when I get to share it with others.
Every day is a spiritual experience, I just don't always recognize it as such.
I have had more of a desire to read the Bible nightly. It has revived a new curiosity and also, I have had some great philosophical discussions with my son in Portland over the phone. He would call himself a skeptic, yet he has a great interest in spiritual matters.
Rick coming back into my life and because of the things he believes now about the Bible and God and his need to totally control me and try to force me to believe the things he does, as well as his tormenting, condescending, argumentative, addictive spirit or spirits that he carries around and all the hurt he has caused me, I have been confused to my core and have been to the point of thinking of suicide and of questioning my faith and God. Not only do Rick and I disagree on the milk of the word, we disagree on the meat of the word. I can see that he has gone way off in left field with what he believes now so much so that it is scarey. And because of his need to control he continually calls me closed minded and other choice words and tries to cram his way of believing down my throat as well as trying to make me watch documentaries and stuff that I have no interest in. It does make me think that being unequally yoked has to do with more than just being yoked with someone who does not believe Jesus is our savior. To be on two different pages so badly is just crazy and unimaginable and unbelievable. I know that Carolann and especially Andy was the beginning of it and I think possibly has Rick brainwashed. Either that or Rick is just such a narcissest that he actually believes the mess he spews out of his mouth. And like I said it has even caused me to question what I believe. I know that I do not know it all and I am willing to learn new things about God but I just cannot get my heart or mind wrapped around the things he has started to believe.
“And you’re gonna be happy.” In a way I haven’t felt maybe since the start of my last relationship (/identity crisis), the universe has been speaking to me. It’s been showing me glimpses of my future, including in one line of a beloved song that keeps reminding me something big and amazing is coming. New Year’s Eve was the strongest moment - as I sat outside, looking at the starts, while that lyric came into my ears as the clock struck 00:00 - but the small moments are just as real. Every moment that I came back to the idea of “trusting the process” without even realizing I was on that path, every moment that the smoke cleared and I saw my truth, and even the introduction of that band into my life exactly when I needed it can be seen together as one big spiritual experience. It’s one that I have been needing so desperately, and that’s kept me afloat through difficult events. I truly do believe, despite all the challenges I’ve been through this year, that I am eventually gonna have my 00:00.
I would have to say that I have done more praying this year than ever before...I have learned to be grateful for the life and circumstances I have been blessed with.
I've tried to continue to be grateful, and notice my happiness - not just my ongoing contentment (some might say complacency), but real happiness. These moments of purity are also intensely spiritual. I am surprised to find these moments coming over me in social situations, where I am happy to be with friends, enjoying simple pleasures.
Some simple reminders that meditation and writing and bring out the best in me and bring my most spiritual self forward. Why then are they so hard to do on a regular basis? Working on that one.
I haven’t really been a person so nothing particularly spiritual has been afoot. I’m trying to get back to being a person and once that happens I might just get back into magic.
Early on in the pandemic, I was heartened that there were so many messages of hope and solidarity. That didn’t last long. I don’t feel I am spiritually better or worse off now than I was a year ago. There have been many times I felt down hearted about the actions of my fellow men but I’ve been able to find beacons of hope to balance that.
Oh yes. Morning prayer sessions. Delivering a dvar torah Saying goodbye to shira Hello to nora and aaron and aron and kira and natalie Nathaniel and alana Trs- finding our place Introducing this to lauren- realizing ive been forming our jewush home, our spiritual home our village consciously and not all this time. I am proud of it and awed by it. This hh was everything. Letting go . The schmita year.
I think it may be the first time we rejoined with friends in the house for a dinner party post COVID! I get so much joy and fulfillment from cooking a lovely meal for family and friends! I can feel the warmth of their happiness and it was tenfold after not being able to be together for all of those months! Perhaps the shekinah is present when we gather to share good food, wine and laughter!
I’ve been going to a yoga class in the park. Holding poses while looking at the trees and the sky have been some of my most profound and joyful moments. And there were times when the “om” was my only experience of making music with other people: when we get the intonation just right, and there’s the harmonic a fifth above, it’s magical.
My spirituality is in nature and I am in the midst of that daily. So appreciative that the earth is still here and beautiful. I am concerned about all the fires, floods, hurricanes that are ripping her apart.
Towards the end of the year, I've experienced an uptick in my life. Maybe it's just the ending of lockdown restrictions, but also I took the opportunity to join a new team in my company, I've been tidying up my flat, I'm about to teach myself to make pizza... I don't know quite what it is, but I think I'm beginning to get my mojo back, and it's been really enjoyable.
If anything my spirituality has decreased. I'm not planning to observe Yom Kippur, which I normally do. I feel disconnected from a community of anyone who would potentially care and observe, except some people I follow on Twitter. I feel like I have no sense of belonging except to running and exercise stuff that I see online.
Watching the Black Lives Matter protests has touched me deeply. I’m sad for my culture. Trump with that Bible upside down! Wtf. Trump was a spiritual experience.
I got to see the full progression of seasons in Appleton from January through August. (For a Californian like me, this was a novel experience.) It was intense to watch how much the land changed in those eight months - to see the snow melt suddenly, the air warm in fits and starts, the trees take their time growing buds and leaves and flowers, the river rise and fall. In a place where I otherwise don't experience a lot of deep, intense nature, the phenological changes of the year were welcome and astonishing. It made me appreciate the good and bad of the various seasons and the ways in which plants adapt to temperate latitudes.
It's through my work (I'm a psychotherapist). People go deep, touch a place where inner meets outer. Time isn't linear in this work. It feels very spiritual. I no longer have a practice where I cultivate this outside of work. It would be good. I don't feel it in Jewish services or Torah. I tried to for so long. It's gentler that I've accepted I don't, but I still show up. It's about something else now, not trying to get water from a stone.
I'm having a bit of a dark night of the soul at present. Feel like I'm accessing spirituality merely in order to survive/keep my head above water, as opposed to really thriving/connecting. But in-person RH services, hearing the shofar, etc. was really meaningful.
Idk if this counts as spiritual but I've done a lot of work to heal my inner child. Been reflecting more and journaling, as well as EMDR therapy. Just overall, trying to become healthier mentally. Another, more obvious one would be when I was going through some of my old art pieces from years ago, I couldn't even identify with the version of me that created that art. I was just in awe with how dark of a place I was back then and it made me so proud of how far I've come since. I guess, I'm not quite where I want to be in my life but seeing how far I've come since I started my self healing journey was really good for my soul in that moment.
My mom died suddenly. This caused me to consider life, death and if there is anything after death. I was stricken by all the was left unsaid, knowing that for the last 6-7 years of her life, she wouldn't have been able to answer these questions anyway. This left me with even more questions and doubts. That experience, combined with my divorce, caused me to feel angry, or abandoned by G-d. "Everything happens for a reason." I had a hard time accepting that platitude. My life was being dismantled and my mother was dead. It was a season of reckoning. I had a choice: remain steadfast in my faith, or allow myself to doubt and wonder if I'd been foolish to believe all these years. I'm still grappling with this question as I attend services online, in my kitchen. I will introspect. I will pray. And I will mourn.
Feeling out of control is uncomfortable. I've been able to spiritually accept that there is a plan greater than myself. Giving my family my best self is what I will strive for going forward.
I'd say building the co-op has been very spiritual -- a physical labor laden with personal and creative meaning. I really feel as though I am trying to breathe life into this creation.
I think maybe some in nature. I sometimes go to the beach late at night and just stare into the darkness of the horizon, and that's a very infinite feeling. The sublime, as the poets would say. Swimming in the lake in Colorado was refreshing in that way too. Oh!! also!! I have come back to add: the dream I had on my birthday about making peace with Anthony was really moving, and felt like a nudge from the universe
I've been more open about my beliefs and practices, finding a blend of Judaism and paganism instead of just following both on parallel lines. I'm not there yet but I'm beginning to truly see that there is a path ahead for me to walk. On Rosh Hashanah we went down to the river to do taslich and met a young man and woman who asked what we were doing. We had a lengthy chat about what the tradition meant and other bits about the high holy days. It was lovely.
I really can’t think of anything important so I’ll share an event from just last week. A live concert. I had no idea how much I missed that sort of thing - the music, the communion - it was almost ecstatic
I've learned to love running and notice a "raised awareness" while running long distances and now I love to run regularly - it seems to reset my brain.
Seeing live music again after so long was really incredible. I felt high after seeing Neko Case and New Found Glory. Looking forward to more shows!
I’ve always enjoyed making Shabbat dinner for friends and family. However, during the shutdown from COVID-19, I really couldn’t invite people over. Often I would eat dinner alone or have Bob over. I adapted to individual challah rolls and I lit my candles, even though nobody was watching, hoping G-d was listening that our country needs healing.
The discovery of unmarked graves of indigenous children forced into religious or government schools far from their parents, mistreated unto death, and the way dozens of indigenous communities honored their remains en route to reburial in their tribal lands, struck a chord in me.
Volunteering with Culture of Solidarity gave me so much hope, it felt allmost spiritual. Also waking up early and watching the sunset while taking Tzippy for a walk.
The only thing spiritual is finding the everyday spirit in our family and close friends - the only people we've really seen this year, and in everyday life. We have still not gone back to synagogue in person, or much traveled too the places that more inspire us, but when we have, we again see the beauty in the world around us.
Amanda Gorman's poem at the Inauguration gave me chills at the time and it gives me chills whenever I re-watch it. I don't think I had the generosity of spirit at the time to move on so quickly from the January 6 assault to the Capitol, and to be able to focus on how to build from that low point. But the idea of being the light has stayed with me and I keep returning to it.
Only inasmuch as returning to church after a year of no Mass (COVID) reminded me how much the ritual, beauty, community, and call to be a better person matters deeply to me.
My therapist and I ended our relationship after nearly 10 years together. It was beautiful, hopeful and spiritual. It was filled with mutual admiration and respect and a kind of love that had developed over time. She has been a hugely impactful presence in my life and I am so grateful to all she gave to me so I could grow. It was incredibly moving to say goodbye to her.
I am deeply involved in studying and trying to practice feminism every day. With feminism I mean a broader equality, for everyone.
We have a wooden fence on one side of our backyard with orange daylilies in front of it. Early one morning in July I was sitting on the porch and saw what looked like one daylily against the fence. I walked over to take a photo of the last daylily and it was only the morning sun shining on the fence right above the empty stem. A thought came to me then-Death is only an illusion
The outpouring of joy when Biden won, the dancing in the streets and like a weight had been lifted. Also the day I happened to buy Erin’s scarf from the shop now run by the widow on her husband’s birthday around Christmas. Just all the feels.
Oh dear. This COVID year was not a great year for that. Here and there some books and movies have uplifted me. Not quite spiritual though. Tefillot on Rosh Hashana were very meaningful and at times spiritual. But overall, being overwhelmed by life, steeped in too much never-ending university work and living in a very small and crowded house, having a husband who suffers from debilitating depression and three teenagers, does not make for many spiritual moments. It makes for wanting to watch another chapter of Downton Abbey.
I think the outdoors continue to be the closest I get to spirituality. What travel I did this year, I did my best to be present and take it all in and acknowledge what a beautiful planet I exist on. Maybe snorkeling on Maui was the most spiritual? Seeing a part of the world that is completely unlike anywhere I've ever been before makes me feel small in a good way, and reminds me there is so much out there I haven't explored yet. There is something religious about water. A lifeguard there said "the ocean is alive, respect her." and I think he was right.
Obviously having my daughter. The whole experience of the cycle sex, pregnancy, and birth reminded me that we are still animals! Despite everything. The love I feel for her and the happiness that fills my body when she smiles at me is a spiritual experience.
Hmmmm, I was watching a Netflix competition show called Blown Away the other week and felt REALLY struck by how much I knew and felt I HAD to return to being my creative self of decades ago to feel fulfilled in this life. That felt quite significant at that time. Something I always knew, but then I KNEW, you know? I full-body knew. I would say my experience of first taking ADHD medication (from a friend) was spiritual AF. At last the many struggles and self-loathed habits and traits of mine were all under a diagnosis. They weren't my fault or my failing, and I could work with treatment. That was fucking revolutionary in my life! "Ahhh so THIS is what it might feel like to be 'normal'?" To be able to complete a task simply, and move onto the next one straightforwardly was a spiritual experience. "I can't" finally converted to "I can" and "I understand why this was so hard before, so I can stop hating myself so much". The ADHD memes on Instagram were also pretty damn helpful in feeling like I wasn't alone.
Attending services with lots of music virtually or in person lifts my spirits and creates a better spiritual environment for me than attending traditional services with little music. Joining IKAR has brought me pleasure, long distance connections to people and opportunities for Jewish learning and social action.
I had what I can only describe as a spiritual realization. The feeling that I have when I'm totally comfortable and still is relaxing, but if I just lean a little more into it and relax every muscle in my body, I'm overcome by an intense energetic sensation that is so intense I can barely stand it for more than a few seconds. I'm not sure what this energy is, but I think it belongs to me and has been coarsing through me since the moment I took my first breath. I'm just only now able to identify it concretely
I have gained a bit more of an understanding of how interconnected we all are and everything is
It's crazy that this time last year I reflected on the global community and unifying sense of purpose the pandemic brought about. Wow, how that has changed. It's so hard to remember a time when I felt the world was connected in our collective response, and not - as I do now - that we are so obviously disparate and at odds with our basic beliefs about humanity. Anyways, I continue to realize as I get older how connected I feel to the outdoors. The deep breaths I take in nature. The views of the ocean and the breezy salty chilly air on the Mendocino coast. The foggy hazy Tennessee woods. I try to bottle up that calm serenity I feel in those moments to save for dreadful days at my computer. (Though, to be fair, days at my computer are a lot less dreadful in my new job!)
Having a Chavruta has made life rich in ways I had no idea it would.
Beth came to me when I was being life-flighted to Seattle. She was face to face with me and looked at me and said “no.” She meant it wasn’t my time and I needed to go back to living. I have mixed feelings about it. I know it was her, I know she was protecting me. I’m still deeply saddened by her death. I miss her.
I enjoyed learning with great rabbis such as Meir Soleveitchik, Ellie Kaunfer, and Bradley Artson
Our first concert since the pandemic was kind of a big deal. That feeling of normal doing something you love. And of course it was my favorite band so that just made it so much more meaningful. It was a level of connection with a crowd of people all feeling the same thing that made it pretty special.
My most spiritual experiences have been in nature. I have been so grateful for hiking in Wooster Memorial Park. Standing in the Badlands, feeling the history and how we have stolen this sacred place from the indigenous peoples. Feeling the waves touch my toes on the Oregon coast, when the fog rolls in so thick you can't see the parking lot or far out into the waves, just to stand on this faded-edge bit of wet sand. Watching my seeds sprout. Bearing witness to the changes in the land. Participating in protests for Black Lives Matter, donating money to places and sitting with what that means.
hmm... when Ava and I went to the statue on a friday night and there was a small crowd of people dancing. that moment was extremely touching as it was completely unexpected. the spontaneity of that beauty caught us both off guard and there was some understanding we shared about the beauty of our world. even in a pandemic, our instict is sometimes to simply dance .. alone and with each other.
Oh man, again I read my answer from last year and I feel the exact same this year. I even yelled at my kids today, as the gates are closing. While I didn't have a particularly spiritual experience, I do believe in what I will dub "Ataliaism" ... meaning the way Atalia does not worry about the things she cannot control and only the things she can. I recognize it in her and Tom and admire it. I would love to subscribe to this school of thought. Oh man. I think it would help my mental and physical state immensely.
Much like last year, nothing specific really comes to mind. I do know that God is in my life and guides me, and I do recognize His gifts in my life. Like so many other areas of life, I have been far too disconnected on a spiritual level as well. How often do I say that I will pray for somebody, and then actually do just that? In recent memory, I have rarely paused to admire the beauty of a flower or a sunset, or sat in my own thoughts reflecting or reminiscing. I'm over 50. My life is rapidly heading toward its end. I really should be taking the time to search for these spiritual experiences, not just waiting for them to magically find me.
Not really. I guess the most significant thing was spending the summer in NY. Being on top of some of the highest bldgs in the city was stunning. Also seeing and photographing some of the great, iconic art deco structures of the city was rewarding.
Ever smoked weed and taken a shower?
I feel I have had a spiritual experience when I was able to gather with a small group of people to celebrate Shabbat together, for the first time in my life. I have started getting more involved in Judaism during the time of the pandemic. So I have not had a physical service until that time. Only zoom and youtube live streams. Being there in person, in a neighboring country, singing the same words like the others really made me feel connected and loved, for a short moment. Outside of that service I didn't really get along with the group, but during the service everything was connected and perfect. A true spiritual experience.
I am in the process of conversion to Judaism. I will say that it's been interesting as I haven't been able to attend in person much due to COVID, so I miss that feeling of connection. But I watched a recent Shabbat service right after the legislation in Texas prohibiting abortion at 6 weeks was passed. I was so touched to see our Rabbi not only comment on this, but also pray for all the women who no longer has access to choices about their own bodies. I can't imagine that any Christian church said that prayer and it reminded me how happy I am to have found a religion that supports and champions that beliefs that I have. I feel like many Christians (who are Pro Choice) just tolerate the church's teaching about this (which are few, but interpreted widely) and believe what they want DESPITE their religion. It's nice to be a part of a community where your belief is acknowledged as part of, not counter to, your faith.
My subconscious decided that it was tired of being ignored and has pushed gender questions to the front of the line. So now we're doing a whole gender exploration thing.
I've been to live music again. Last weekend I went to see The Norfolk Broads sing in an outdoor amphitheatre in Bristol. I've been wanting to see them live for so long. One of the band members, Anna Cornish, used to sing with The Longest Johns. I think that's how I discovered The Norfolk Broads. She has since left TLJ to focus on the Broads. I've been listening to their new album a lot since the gig. I love the stories in folk music, how they can transport you to another time and place, keep alive the voices and memories of past lives. It was special being part of a crowd again - a crowd of hipsters and hippies, which I guess must be my people, even though I feel a bit separate from them. But it was a very safe crowd. I love how folk songs and melodies can stick in your head, even after only hearing them once.
I spent a large part of this year in a weekly chevruta study of the elements of Mussar, with my friend, Judy. It has been a deep and thoughtful dive in the ways I/ we think out loud about our sense of wonder, understanding what we choose to make important in out lives, attitudes and intentions. A year of hope and companionship,
Last year's answer stands: These questions are almost impossible this year. My ability to think backward and forward is severely limited. I guess the answer is No.
Music always transports me and lifts my spirit to another level. I find being at the ocean always a spiritual experience, a connection to the ongoing nature of creation. This year I had the opportunity to visit the majestic redwoods of California. Their age, their size, and the peace of the forest were magical. Thinking about when the trees were seedlings, when they were little trees, and what history was made during their lives connected me to the power of the universe and the significance of life. I could have spent more hours there meandering and meditating in this unique and imposing place.
I have been feeling spiritual during Torah Study. I have been avoiding services. I have also felt spiritual when I have had the garden updated and tended to.
There is very little that compares to the daily and very ordinary wonder and awe that comes along with a baby. Biology and human development is so, so, so amazing - from this tiny zygote, I now have a giggly snuggly baby girl. I am not a religious person - but she has made me feel deeply spiritually awakened (when I'm not utterly exhausted from the lack of sleep).
Amazingly so and it is what has sustained me in what has been one of the most difficult years of my life. Decades ago, I promised myself I would study Torah because the reading of the psalms, the proverbs and about Judaism, moved me to tears in ways that my Catholic upbring never, ever has. I discovered an online Judaic and mindfulness centered community, that offers me the chance to study via Zoom classes and Shabbat. It feels challenging, complete and ever changing.
Having magical moments with my nephews, in nature and just with little/big things of daily life. Nothing major I would say, but constant in terms of awe and wonder.
Overall feeling welcomed into the Jewish community at Nyu has had a profound impact on me. Surrounding myself with people who have similar values pushes me to be a better person, to be more in touch with myself, and with g-d. You can connect to g-d on your own, but there is something ineffable about the power of gathering in a group. I feel most connect to g-d right now, when I am connected with other Jews. I can picture her smiling down on me, knowing that it makes him happy.
Weirdly I have been filled with love. Not the possessive kind. Just compassion for even the people who have not been nice to me. I don’t feel anger towards them. I don’t seem to hold grudges any more. I can’t remember consciously changing. Just a feeling of being filled with love.
I've become more in tune with the secular / cultural Jewish practices that are important to me to keep up. In particular, as much as possible, my (Catholic) boyfriend and I have been having Shabbos dinners on the Friday nights that we're home. We light some candles, make a nice dinner, and try to relax. I'd love to keep this up in the coming year and beyond.
The most important spiritual experience for me has been going to Central Synagogue's virtual Sabbath Services. The prayers, music, and sermons bring me a great source of inspiration, peace, and connection. I also listen to various forms of music and specific artists to lift up my spirits. For example, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Jennifer Holliday, Cynthia Erivo, Yolanda Adams to name a few. I love musicals and listen to them as well.
Being at camp in a Jewish (and covid-free) bubble always feels spiritual since we are all coming from a common starting place. Normally live music is my "church", but haven't been to a show in a looooooong time.
Doing the mindfulness training helped me think more about being present during prayer
I was just asked to be on BCC's board and I am getting closer to my spiritual center.
The most spiritual experience I had this year was giving birth to my son and also preparing to birth him. Simply researching Hypno birthing and practicing the breathing techniques and positive affirmation meditation helped me cultivate a mindset that was receptive, trusting, and present so that I could be truly awake during my birthing experience and embrace it for what it was rather than fearing what I expected it to be. The spiritual experience has helped me to feel more connected to and trusting of myself, and also to feel a residence with all of the mothers before me. For as long as I can remember, I have been looking forward to joining the maternal tradition and pride of bringing life into the world. It was hard earned, which makes it even more special that I can now count myself among the pantheon of mothers.
I rediscovered my love of, and talent for, drawing. I did all of the daily drawings for Inktober, and want to do that again this year. It's amazing to really look at something and see what God created.
I wish I could say I had some big event, but I do at least feel that the universe (who I choose to call God) helps heal my heart.
I felt really touched during our baby's naming ceremony. Getting to truly celebrate him in community for the first time and publicly get to wish him all the best in the world and have our family do the same felt really special.
The first [outdoor] kabbalat shabbat with folks out of the home. It was uncomfortable and hard to hear and cold and just so nice and a reminder that Judaism is a communal event.
I was talking to S about this the other day. I'm finding it harder and harder to get spiritual nowadays and it's pretty shitty. R"H came along and I complained about lack of classic tunes. I barely thought about my life, can't really think about God anymore and feeling particularly GSAL parenty. I don't like it. Can't think of much of a solution other than find some groovy people to talk to. Have dabbled with Yoga-y things but tend to move too quickly past the contemplation parts. I really admire Rav E's kavanah. Suppose you can never tell how genuine anything is but I see myself emulating him and that seems to help. If I'm serious about davening more this year it's gotta be slow and with intention. I'm not just gonna be completionist without using it to make things better. As the prompt says "spiritual" is complicated but at least give it a go <3
This year I started reading books by Anita Diamant, and for me it has changed what it means to me to be Jewish. It has given me a beautiful view of the culture that I am a part of. "Boston Girl" wasn't particularly religious, just a girl growing up in Boston who happened to be Jewish, who celebrated the same holidays that I did and defaulted to temple and synagogue over church. It made me feel okay that that was my default too, and proud of my family history in a way that I haven't been before.
I truly embraced chaos magic and starting thinking about belief and dieties in terms of tools and it has made such a difference
The closest experiences I have which might be related to 'spiritual' experiences have to be those times when I am outside, in the natural world, and simply existing in the moment. Birdsong. Sunrise/sunset. Open water - these things bring me peace and renewal.
A few things this year gave me pause. Maybe spiritual--whatever that means. (1) My best friend moved. I worked hard helping her pack up her entire household. We have known each other since we were in college and lived in the same city for over 40 years. She had always dreamed of this move, and it was something close to spiritual to see her live that dream. Of course it was and is still sad for me, but already have a trip planned to be together and made sure the new house has suitable guest quarters! (2) My mother passed away. Not sure I need to say more about that. (3) we unveiled the stone at my sister's grave on the 2nd anniversary of her death. We put together a program with poems, prayers, and observations.
This year was difficult to connect spiritually. I found myself struggling to make a spiritual or any deep connection with others, nature, Judaism, or even within myself. The lockdowns made it difficult to feel authentic joy. Everything has been so conditional and moments of happiness and joy were always fleeting. I still feel this way. I suppose the closest sense of joy I've felt was a sense of relief when getting my vaccination doses and finally being allowed to travel again. However, this is all remains conditional. We aren't necessarily safe with the vaccine, and there is always a risk when leaving our home or opening our door to others. It's made it difficult to connect. It's made it difficult to want to connect. I feel spiritually drained and emotionally hardened.
I discovered delta 8.....
My T'shuva Journey is both physical and spiritual. I do belive in G-d. And I believe he has a plan of sorts. but I don't think he controls or knows everything. We are a massive experiment, an ant colony of sorts, and he controls the big variables, we deal with the minutia. T'shuva can only come from me... I don't need to cross seven rivers to have sex with a prostitute to know that (Hey, that's in the Talmud!!!). To realise that I am having a second chance at being me. At doing what I am supposed to do, and to try this time.. no, to do it this time knowing what I did wrong, and not repeat those mistakes. Yes, I will make new ones. But that does not mean I will be the same that made the mistakes of the past. Because I am not that same person
Yes, actually, quite a few. It has helped in my grieving process.
I feel like this year has been so long already. I felt very deeply toucher by some books and articles I've been reading on the topic of nature, our connection to our land, the healing that can come from our interactions with it. I discovered Robin Kimmerer and her book Braiding Sweetgrass that brought me to tears, made my body and my soul long for a land to call home, a culture that goes way back, before technology ruined most of us. Reading about the Artic, Norway and Greenland got me missing snow, the cold, the icy air filling my lungs. I don't feel connected to heat and beaches anymore, at least now, and reading about snow and ice brings peace to my soul, especially when it's done so well by new authors I am discovering. I also feel like I can meditate and -fly- easily now. It doesn't always happen but meditating is not chasing thoughts anymore, I can directly fall into my body, it's vibration and feelings.
In Mexico I looked at a lot of street art and art produced by local indigenous artists.
I started keeping a journal for Lent. (I don't even observe Lent, but it seemed like a specific period of time that I could manage.) I wrote every day, even when all I could manage was to write that I was too tired to come up with more than a sentence or two. I wound up writing through the period of time where my grandmother was dying. There's no connection between those things, but the idea that I have a chronicle of everything that was happening while we were getting her situated for hospice and her care in dying means a lot to me. I also got to write about my last visit with her when she was still in good spirits. We read I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud and listened to Widor's Toccata, which is a piece of music that played at our family's weddings. I am so, so glad we did that.
This entire year has been filled with spiritual experiences. The government failed me. Then my employer. And finally my own body. My brain and I had been quarrelling since I was 9. I was forced to look for something larger than myself - surely that "something" would have the answer to "what's the point of all of this?". And one day, I was hit with a flood of memories that I didn't know existed in the recesses of my psyche. Memories from when I was 8. Then, a flood from when I was 7, 6 and so on until age 3. I got into shamanic, Buddhist and hermetic practices. I read about paganism, magick and contemplative psychology. Shortly after, I went to a 10 day silent meditation course. One day after a particularly difficult meditation session, I had a moment of clairaudience - "you chose to be you". And that was it. The pieces fell into places. Everywhere that I am is exactly where I am meant to be. The overactive "what if?" muscle in my brain stopped focusing on my past. It's now my most powerful creative tool.
Releasing the chineese lantern for mom was a particularly spiritual experience That ceremony triggered a great relief in my grieving.
Definitely a tough one. I think my own spirituality is still somewhat neglected, although it's been wonderful to pray in person over the past few months.
Yes. When I was preparing to take 2 weeks off for recovery and self-care before starting a new job, the farm school YMCA staff informed me that there was a direct exposure COVID positive case who had first hand contact with my daughter and she was required to stay home for a 14 day quarantine.
My Torah study group really coalesced this year, and it has been wonderful to get to know 3 other people in a Spiritual community based around Torah study. Pesach Seder Under the Stars to accomodate Covid precautions! ZOOM, outdoors, we made it work!
I took a tiny dose of magic mushrooms at a music festival this summer. It was barely enough to feel anything, but I remember I really felt like dancing and I hardly ever feel like dancing (unless it's choreographed and I know the steps). It was awesome!
I have sensed my aunt's presence after her passing a number of times. I have heard her in music and I smell her in my perfume. I even feel her when my family is gathered all together.
Nope. 69th straight year.
Here's one of many - I haven't had a church calling for well over a year, which was good as I needed to concentrate on emotional healing. I was thinking of a calling I'd like to have and was hoping the Lord would inspire our Branch President in that direction. Imagine my surprise when he called me into his office and asked if I'd be wiling to be the librarian. Cool! I love libraries. Then I was a bit precocious and, knowing a new RS presidency had been called and would, possible need teachers, I volunteered. He was thrilled to have my name to give to the RS president to pray about! She did and now I'm a teacher in the women's organization. My heart was full. I know the Lord is pleased that I accepted both callings.
the world whispers to me often, mostly when I am on a mountain quiet and mindful -but of late they have been coming to me in my sleep as well - I have learned to listen and make decisions based on what they have to share - they are letting me know I don't need "things" in my life to feel accomplished or complete. They are helping me see that letting go can be emotional, physical and raw = they are helping me understand that I can't control anything and therefore what happens happens and how you deal with it keeps you grounded and real. The joyful discoveries the spirits can share make me want to me the best I can be despite the roadblocks or others that are keeping me from getting my journey in line with what I am supposed to do in this world. The greatest joy for me is helping others and with that I often forget what I need to take care of me - which is nature, connection and time!
I've spent a lot of time sitting with my twin sister in the cemetery. I find it so comforting and restorative. It just helps me find my inner strength and peace of mind. Talking to her has become a vital constant in my week. Even in death, both my sisters are my touchstones, my rock and the most meaningful relationships I have.
I have spent much of this year, and especially the past few months, doubting God and being angry with Him. It is hard to find meaning in prayer, halacha, Shabbat, and other rules right now. I feel the need to rebel and go against everything to feel my humanness and have some semblance of control over a shitty situation that is making me feel hopeless and sad. I hope he will have mercy on me and help me see the good in others and in community in a time where I so badly need it. I wish I could stop being so sad and anxious all the time.
When my Dad was in the hospital dying of COVID, one of the care givers arranged a FaceTime call with him. As my brother, sister, brother-in-law, husband, and I were telling Dad that we loved him, he squinted open his eyes, telling us that he loved us all very much and thanking us for all we have ever done for him. I believe he, in his semi-conscious state, knew who we were which was more than I can say for the last many years that we had watched Alzheimer's steal him away from us.
In the days leading up to our moving out of our house after more than 36 years, I had a handful of dreams that featured either my late mother or late father. Part of me analyzed these dreams as their spirits letting me know all was well, and I found that comforting. As an only child who has never been good with change, and who approached this move with more concern than comfort, feeling my parents' presence was very positive.
After Zahava was born, those first few weeks felt magical, even in the pain and sleeplessness. There was so much cottonwood floating through the air, it looked like it was snowing in the blue sky. The oxytocin was floating, and I literally couldn't take my eyes off of her. I still feel that way a lot, just drawn to her and just stare. This connection is so powerful & intense, it feels spiritual. She is a whole person, and I have the immense honor to guide her into this world. To help her uncover herself. Such a beautiful, terrifying responsibility.
At the beginning of our first lockdown, Choir!Choir!Choir! would host these weekly "social distansingalongs" where we'd sing online according to whatever theme they'd come up with: 80s, Fleetwood Mac, hair bands, etc. In a time where I felt (and was) completely isolated from everyone, it was an opportunity to feel not so alone and be part of a collective. There was a night where I sang at home, Francine and her family sang at their place, and Jen and her kids sang at their house.
I attended a meditation retreat in the Plum Village tradition. I found that three days focusing on mindfulness, gratitude, and acceptance opened my mind/heart in unanticipated ways. I am more kind and patient, less reactive than I was.
The only spiritual experience I have had is that I now actually believe I can declutter my house and make it feel like a comfortable and welcoming home. Starting now.
Curiously, having virtual worship and Jewish studies classes opened an intimacy that doesn't exist in the midst of a classroom or sanctuary - filtering out the distractions was a surprising benefit. Tho I'd never give up the option to experience this in person
My 8 year old daughter and I tried to make it to a synagogue event for Tashlich. We are one a few families only doing virtual religious school and are not in person in the classrooms. However, we try to go to a few events if they are outdoors. By the time we got to the event, we missed the actual service, none of my daughter’s friends or teacher was there although she worked so hard making them all cards to give. We barely got to eat a hot dog and folks thought it would be nice to go on a little boat ride…which was fun but it started to pour…we were cold and drenched! When we got off the boat, we tried to look for our little piece of bread to toss into the water for our own doing…but I couldn’t find it…until we walked all the way back to the car. So we didn’t go back. It was a total mess but my daughter and I kept trying to find the positives…at least we got to see cantor today…at least the breeze was awesome just before it started raining…at least we got to go on a boat…at least we could warm up in the car…at least it was a fun adventure together and we chatted the whole way home. Maybe that was our teshuva…reframing our perspective and appreciating the time together. It was amazing and I really think my daughter is incredible and has a delightful sense of humor too! 😄
My mindfulness meditation practice has been off and on. When I am good about practicing mindfulness I feel connected to my own sense of spirituality.
Honestly, I think in the last year, I've given up on spiritual more than before, but I find myself mutter prayers often. I want to cling to the idea of a G-d, that there is a purpose, that there is a plan, that we are not alone in the world, that we will get out of this and life will move on, even if I or others aren't a part of it. That the human race will get through it. Not in a suicidal way, just wanting to believe that we as a species will survive. I'd like to be a part of the survivors, but I also accept that I don't know if I will. But I want to believe in a G-d that will let us survive. The other was passover this year, and I don't know if it was spiritual. But the vaccines were coming out and I was getting one or had got one. And the rest of my family had. And I had this feeling of we are living in the age of miracles. We are seeing the miracles of science of G-d. And I always wondered, how could the Jews have not believed during the plagues, when they crossed the sea, how could they have doubted. And I'm watching people doubt the miracles that G-d has given us of a vaccine. Had we found ways to combat covid, but not 1 vaccine that works it could have been enough. had we found 1 vaccine, but not 3, it could have been enough. But we found 3 and you still won't get vaccinated? How can you doubt the glory that G-d is showing you. Another one thats not as spiritual, but not one I want to forget is how much art moves me. Seeing the festival of the lion king, with everyone in costume and seeing live theater in a small small way is wonderful. It was so much joy. Seeing the fireworks at disney. those experiences of pure joy
I know I have. I speak to it in my YK sermon. But just now, and beyond now, I am too tired, mentally and emotionally to think. I'm not depressed or lethargic. Instead, I am just in the moment. It's what I'm handling right now. One. Moment. At. A. Time.
My mom dying and especially the grieving afterwards has been profoundly spiritual. And yet, I’m still finding it hard to feel God’s presence. But I feel connected to her, especially in nature, and that’s something.
If anything this year has been the absence of spiritual. The entire year has been about absences perhaps. I've filled the year with reading. Many books. Few made an impact or stuck. But I was so detached from music, from piano in specific, from cooking and baking with a few exceptions (winter break), from creative pursuits. I rarely went to shul and didn't Zoom on Shabbat, which amplified the isolation and spiritual void. On two occasions I got a glimmer: the first time we had a meal with my brother's family – the first time we ate with others in months, and the three hours I spent wandering the Cleveland Art Museum. Being able to stand alone with amazing things created from the minds of these creators, to feel briefly so normal and so connected to something beautiful was sustaining in a way that I knew I had been missing. To eat at a table with others, was a powerful reminder of the aloneness we've been feeling.
Books - they were my escape, as always. And the music that Jody would find for us to listen to, and the TV shows we watched. In a world where we didn't leave the house much, these were the things that allowed me to get out of my head and be in touch with things that were bigger than my own small world.
There has been a dramatic shift in my spiritual life. I've always been a firm believer in Christ, but moving thousands of miles from the only home I've known, losing my childhood dog, and pursuing higher education have shaken my foundation. I've leaned on God more than I ever have; I've talked to God more than I ever have; and, to be quite honest, I've questioned God more than I ever have. It's made me realize that nothing is infinite and the only thing we can hold onto is God.
Spiritual is indeed a subjective thing. Only twice in my life have I felt the three dimensional presence of The Creator ... I wish those experiences would be repeated, but who knows? There are times in my Bible Study group when an exchange with other men of faith does indeed uplift me and give me some thought and inspiration to carry in my own spirit knapsack.
This year my own spirituality has been on the back burner, however, second day Rosh Hashanah this year was one of the deepest spiritual experiences I have had in a very long time.
A lot of glorious times of outdoor worship --- we have been gathering outside, on our synagogue grounds to watch services online. It has made us feel more connected while still being physically distant and more safe. This experience has reminded me that I feel closest to the Divine while outside.
I traveled to the badlands. Had some bad luck with weather, and am lucky to have the people and resources around me that I have. A camping trip where the campsite floods can be a hellish experience, but if you’re with the right people it’s can be just another fun bump in the road.
No. In fact I've had a real diminishment of faith, and even a loss of pleasure in ritual. If there is a God, She seems overly punitive to me. I don't see a grand plan and I see more destruction coming from religion than good. Perhaps it's hypocritical that I'm doing these questions except that I enjoy the opportunity for quick contemplation.
I think I multitask too much to have spiritual experiences. Im never just being 🤷🏽♀️ But being in synagogue for Rosh Hashanah was grounding and moving in ways I did not expect.
Sitting on the beach with the wind whipping and sun drenched waves crashing I was able to quiet my mind of angst from the past and worry about the future
How comforting it must be to believe in a universe created by a deity who elevates humanity to the station we have staked out for ourselves. For a time, harried in a job I was unsuited for, I would seek solace in a grove of trees where I would read Psalms and pray to an ancient divinity before heading in to work. There was comfort in the ritual. One day praying wasn't enough, so I made a solemn vow, buried drug paraphernalia and begged for a new life. I kept the vow for well over twenty years. Within ten years, that which I prayed for came to be. Another thirteen years passed and then I broke my vow. There has been no divine retribution, I am old, prosperous--cultural attitudes have changed, making what was once illegal, legal. But there is still the matter of the broken vow. Even with possibility of being relegated to brimstone and anguish for my transgression, for humanities sake, I hope there is a Weigher of Souls, who at the end of time brings justice to the universe. I'm willing to endure my consequence if it means retribution to those responsible for true evil and suffering in the world.
Since last Rosh HaShanah I have altered my habits on Shabbat to avoid driving and commerce. It requires better planning, and changes in my perspective on my use of time and how to classify daily activities as work, or more traditionally, melachot. Particularly since some chores are not considered melachot because they are not considered creative/controlling of the environment although they are definitely labor.
As always, nope.
No, no spiritual experiences. How about sexual experiences? Despite the overwhelming difficulty of this past year (yesterday I literally thought it was still 2020. It's SEPTEMBER and I'm so foggy and confused that I briefly didn't remember that we've already had NINE MONTHS of 2021), it wasn't a terrible year for sex. While Matt and I had a really bad first half of the year marriage-wise, I took an online course exploring sexuality and the ways the patriarchy fucks us over, especially us non-men. As a result of taking the class, my sexuality came to the forefront of my life, at a time when it was constantly being pushed to the bottom of the priority list (with terrible consequences in my marriage). On a weekly to biweekly basis, I deeply explored myself and what feels good for me, and the way the patriarchy has harmed me. I spent more time appreciating my body and my pleasure. And it all culminated in Matt and I deciding to open our marriage, and we haven't been this strong or happy in a long, long time.
Talking with Rigel about God's plan. I had all these other interviews and didn't prepare as much as I wanted to, but when I had my interview I thought they went okay. When I would hear back, they said they were moving forward with someone else. He told me to have faith and God has his own plan. I know no that those jobs weren't for me. I put the practice and effort in and ended up getting the job I have been wanting and waiting for so bad. All the disappointment and the "no" led to the one "yes" that has no changed my life and has allowed me to continue to grow in my career.
I really manifested a completely new life for myself. I have been manifesting a 90k salary half-heartedly for years, but I got more focused and more consistent and now I'm making that! (and more!) I've embraced the spiritual opening of my energy to love on myself more, to give myself what I used to seek from other people. I no longer need other people (to the same degree)!
It has been a very unspiritual year. I don't daydream any more. I don't imagine stories, plots, or what ifs the way I used to. The universe seems a lot more dull. At night, I can't summon up an image or scenario as a prelude to a dream. I think it's because the pandemic has removed the spirituality from my life. Making music in a group is my spiritual practice. It's pretty much gone. Our bell choir is ringing in person, but our music director retired in June 2020, and the church hasn't replaced him. Everything is on hold. He appointed a bell choir director to replace him, but it's very difficult. She knows music, but does not know bells. Yet, wants to be in charge. My spiritual joy is on hold. The closest I come is working in the yard, seeing things grow, enjoying the fruits of my labor as it were. I find joy and solace there. I am always astonished at how things turn out.
Years ago I prayed daily, for some reason I'm not sure why I got out of the habit. This past year though, I just have so much fear and anxiety, so much sadness, that I just feel overwhelmed. Then I came across a multiple encouraging posts that really resonated with me. One in particular said: Let Go, and Let God. It made me literally stop, fold my hands and raise my eyes to the sky. I am trying to count on God, I m trying to put my trust in Him/Her. God has carried me a lot this year, and I just have to have faith in the Divine's love for me and this world. It is darkest before the dawn.
Felt like a spiritual high when I started to learn how to cook, if a little manic at the same time. I was waking up early before my alarm clock. And one day felt a moment of clarity like I've only experience 2-3 times in my life. I looked up from cooking and realized now is the time to step up and take care of my family.
I'm searching for something to write and I've got nothing. Maybe I didn't make room for "spiritual" experiences. I have been very head down, stay safe, stay close to home. I'd like to set the intention now that I will keep myself "open for blessings" in this new year.
The questioning of reality had me questioning my faith tremendously. Working with my rabbi to wrestle again with concepts had me start to re-engage with not only faith ideas but feel again who we are as a people. And that spirit was what was most needed.
Felt supported by God through my health and mental health issues. Strengthened my faith and my relationship with Him.
The closest thing to spiritual was getting out into nature this year. Being indoors all the time and then hitting the ravine - I just loved it. Like forest bathing. I felt very connected to nature and could feel it in my bones, on my skin, I was very present to the impact of being amongst trees. I felt my nervous system take. a break
Yes!! I visited several temples in India and was able to celebrate Holi in Varanasi - the holiest of Hindu cities. I swam and dipped myself in the Ganges. All these experiences made me feel deeply grateful and connected. I know I will always treasure those memories in my heart!
I've become more aware of how little time I have left ... I'm 54 yrs old now so probably have only 25% of my life left to live. And so many things I want to do, as well as create a source of income that will sustain me. Having spent the first ... 50 or so years of my life thinking that this is my dream job, I'm now getting worn out by the constant stress of doing custom work, and the need to please. I've tried to'plan my week in advance' and all that kind of stuff, but it doesn't work. At first I thought it was my own lack of discipline, but now I realize that spinning so many plates, plus having to re-hash the schedule every time an order comes in it leading me to live in a very short term way. I find I'm spending way too much time playing computer games this year - never had that problem before. I think that is my subconscious mind trying to 'beat the system' and prove it is my time to do what I want, and get that sweet dopamine immediate reward. Duh!
Yes! At 10:22pm on Wednesday, 12th May, a huge bang went off and the lights in my bedroom flickered like crazy for a few seconds.. I believe it was my fur-baby, Meeme (who had crossed the rainbow bridge 2 days earlier) letting me know she was still with me, and that the life, love bond & connection we shared, knows no bounds.. Also, that she wanted me to stop crying and being so sad! 🐾💕 Luckily there were other people who were there, and they believe that is exactly what happened! ♥️
I realized after 50 years of life, that I am finally living for my own enjoyment and fulfillment- not out of obligation for others. That wanting to enjoy life is enough a reason to be alive. I am finally able to live on my own terms with apology or explanation.
Camping with the elk in Tusayan was pretty freaking awesome. And then the hike around the lake at Zion was spiritual. There are times I definitely felt spiritually held this year. And sleeping in the tent in california was great.
No, just having a dog has been uplifting.
Mini Bonnaroo with Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard and Sylvan Esso certainly lifted my spirits and made me feel like a part of something again. The second annual lady camp that I just got back from did the same. Unplugging is my new religion.
The first time I hugged a friend again after we were both vaccinated. It was Emile. It was wonderful.
In the first micro moments that I found my husband and realized he was gone from this earth, I felt God speak to my heart "I'm GOING to TAKE CARE of you!" It was the clearest and strongest I've ever experienced God speaking to me. And He as been abundantly faithful in keeping that promise. That doesn't make losing my husband any less painful or easier. But it does give me peace and comfort.
I have prayed for strength this past year and that seems to be followed by a feeling of comfort. I also asked for advice and got this message “Get your own house in order”. The following day I heard a podcast about codependency. I interpreted that to be guidance for me to not be so focused on helping others with their problems but instead to work on addressing my own issues. This took a big weight off my shoulders.
My most spiritual experience was standing by my mother's bedside, stroking her hair and singing to her as she passed away. I was so grateful to be with her at the end of her life. It is a very special privilege to experience the end of a life and it has left me feeling less scared of my own inevitable death.
I don't know that I have, except for one little thing. While moving fr0m Alabama to Oregon in our RV, the pets really showed us their best. They are far more funny, personable and loving. I would not have expected this, but I am so pleased with this sweet change.
Moments of being at Ramah Darom. Getting to know Eliana Light and Naomi Less, singing with them, experiencing their profoundness as they experienced singing with people in person for the first time in a year. Hiking the waterfall with Rori Picker Neiss, slowly and with beautiful conversation, learning with Shai Held, sharing that with Yael. Becky Levine sharing her sun poem by Mary Oliver (Why I Wake Early). Watching the interpretation that Sarah Goeke and Travis Staton Marrero performed of the Bengson's Keep Going On Song. I watched that video, and listened to that song, again and again and again this year. I even gave a mini-d'var on that song, and the Jewishness of a heart broken open, at Young Family Rosh Hashanah services last week, with Todd Kessler playing the chorus for people to sing with us.
No spiritual experience. I guess with working long hours and being really knackered then I’ve lost touch with this side for a while xx I’m starting to study a reiki course online with Udemy which I’m really excited about xx 😻
I took breaths during COVID epidemic and profoundly felt thankful to G-d for them. I just feel so so lucky and so thankful for breath being gifted to me.
I have been covering my eyes, ears and mouth. It may be time to uncover and do
Going to an in-person event at my synagogue was spiritual. It felt like coming home. Then it was gone again, and we were back on Zoom. :( I have given up on having the life I curated before the pandemic back. I am open to whatever follows.
I find myself more open to everyday miracles than ever. I delight in the awe that I feel when they happen.
My daughter's bat mitzvah was about as close as I think I got to a spiritual experience this year. It was really moving and uplifting to see all of her careful and dedicated training paying off, and I was honestly really impressed with her poise, her precision, her beautiful singing voice. As soon as she was born, I felt like I had a reason to believe in God. So...I guess that's pretty spiritual.
This past year I did have a nice spiritual experience - I was doing mushrooms with my friend and I had just started meditating and I found that I was staying in the meditative state during our experience and I loved it. I felt so calm and joyful - I could see the shifting emotions of my friend and I, and then could come back to that centered place easily and felt at home there. This experience has helped me to know that that space is always available to me, and that it is real and a peaceful, joyful place.
After hiking back to our car at a remote, rarely traveled trailhead, we discovered our car battery was dead. We employed an emergency battery jump charger, but it didn't work. Just as the seriousness of our situation was beginning to sink in, we heard an approaching car engine! As a battered old Mazda Miata rounded the corner, we realized we knew that car. It was our good friend Mark! It was a total coincidence that he was headed to the lake we were returning from. He jumped our car - our bacon was saved! That was GRACE for sure!
My second ATP was altogether spiritual experience led by a Sufi mystic named Sabrins N'Daiye. I realised how very much influenced I am by Jewish traditions and how I can tap into this to realise my fullest potential. Meditation has helped me connect with these higher understandings like the Shechina and Minyan.
I have not had specifically spiritual experiences this past year. I've been depressed and I've had a lot of instances where I've cried out to God, yelled at God, complained to God, asked for God's help. I know God is out there, listening, but I haven't sensed God's presence with me yet.
I think I'm gonna have to go with tripping.... I did it at a time when a lot of my understandings of myself and the way I handle things were being deconstructed. My anxiety was through the roof prior to doing it and I felt really open to changes in my perceptions of things. I don't know that I would say it was related to a holy being or anything, but I felt very connected to myself and my thoughts and feelings. And I guess having such bad anxiety was spiritual in a way too! Things that I knew to be true were not true anymore. The raft I had built for myself int he pandemic to float on was turning to a boat, but I still wanted the raft. Understanding that anxiety is something that I struggle with and that I am CAPABLE OF choices and practices that will make me feel better was kinda mind blowing. Starting meditation, dealing with anti-depressants, and going to therapy, I guess also all showed me how rewarding self care can be and how good it can feel when dealing with anxiety. It's still currently lingering, but I'm learning how to accept that I am finally where I want to be. I made it through the pandemic and it's okay to accept where I am. The things I was worried about and the events that made me nervous to think about are things I am doing now, and I can handle it. I was nervous to do it, but now I AM DOING IT.
I don’t feel that I am in touch with my spirituality this year. I’m just trying to get through one day at a time and sometimes one hour at a time. If I’m just floating right now… I’m okay with that.
Mostly this year my spiritual have experiences have been aligned with What I’ve heard about astrology and events in the world. I feel more interconnected on a spiritual level with the rest of humankind on a different plane. And it really hurts my heart when I make connections with people that I feel like are more than just a surface level but those people are not experiencing what I experience or at least not consciously. The same goes for my artistic production - Not like it’s anything special but I wrote one poem that touched a lot of people even though I didn’t think it was special and I’ve written a ton of other stories and sang songs and created artwork that I felt came from a very spiritual place but other people haven’t necessarily seen it that way and that’s fine I just need to be where I am and let others be where they are and find the opportunities when I vibe with others - those opportunities are rare but they’re probably more plentiful than I imagine
I think a family reunion at Camp Ramah in June with most of the family there was amazing. I took a kayak out for a short ride and just floated in the middle of the small pond that was there and listened to the sounds of my family from afar. In October, George and I took a day in the Adirondacks and climbed Panther Mountain. Surprising Nomi in March and seeing her excitement and joy at seeing us. Waking up in Evie's room and reconnecting with her with the song- All the little fish",
The best experiences were decisions: to sing Modeh Ani when I wake; to sing Shehecheyanu before my first sip of coffee; and to say, just before I fall asleep: "I am thankful for this day, in this life that I love; with these people who I love; in this body that I love."
I've started therapy. That's the closest I can come. In fact, lately, I've found that writing is stressing me out and bringing me down. I am uninspired, and the tasks of editing my memoir and writing my screenplay equally suck the energy out of me. Every time I work on them, it brings Rakesh to mind, and I'm stuck. I know the best way past grief is through it, and it seems I can't simply bypass this path to find another one. Which sucks because it's taking writing away from me.
Much like last year, nothing specific really comes to mind. I do know that God is in my life and guides me, and I do recognize His gifts in my life. Like so many other areas of life, I have been far too disconnected on a spiritual level as well. How often do I say that I will pray for somebody, and then actually do just that? In recent memory, I have rarely paused to admire the beauty of a flower or a sunset, or sat in my own thoughts reflecting or reminiscing. I'm over 50. My life is rapidly heading toward its end. I really should be taking the time to search for these spiritual experiences, not just waiting for them to magically find me.
Nothing in particular comes to mind - these high holidays have been really special so far though. Bringing the wonderful woman I am dating to the online services I attended, doing a shofar service in the park and holding tight to a community member who recently lost his wife, hosting an online reflection gathering for friends and being the person to lead it, doing tashlich on the beach. These rituals are so important, and while I miss being in person for services, I've been able to carve out a varied range of ways to participate and build meaning.
Max dying. I have never been alongside another being as they died before. It was so so so so hard, and so beautiful and so intense. I am still so sad to have had to experience his last moments alone, but it taught me a lot, too.
I found out isolation sucks, my son got us Netflix and it made a difference having a variety of movies to watch - old favourites and new. I also watched some series. I download Happy Colour to my tablet and for me it would be relaxing to do it for an hour or so and lessened my feelings of anxiety. I also read a lot. Like many others we saved extra money because we weren't buying stuff. I haven't replaced worn out clothes because I still have clothes. I realized how much cheaper we can live without giving up a thing.
I have been celebrating the Jewish holidays more this year, and making Jewish food more, and I really appreciate how both of these things seem to transcend space and time, and connect me to my Niney, I always feel closer to her when I am grating potatoes to make kugel, or taking my challah out of the oven. When Marta compliments the food I feel proud to have connected her to these dishes that connect me to my grandmother, who was so kind and generous, with such soft hands, and who was such a force of nature and love in my life. Combined with gardening more, feeling more in sync with nature, and slowing down more while baking/weaving/painting/drawing, I think these moments allow little bits of grace and spiritual connection with the universe. Joyful.
I've done a lot of reflecting this year my spiritual journey, in particular how Christian Science had effected me for better or for worse. My thoughts about it are still jumbled, but I would say the break with CS is much clearer now after participating in an 8 week support group for ex CS people. There are still aspects of it that are hard to shake. I learned that when I am afraid prayer that includes some CS concepts has been comforting for me. I found this with the pregnancy and labor. But since then I have been looking holes in CS as a reliable theology or foundation for living. I miss praying and worship in the Christian sense but have had a fraught internal relationship with more mainstream Christianity as well. I don't know where fit, but still find that folks like the Liturgists, Richard Rohr, and Rob Bell still resonate with me. I'm also very grateful to still be involved with Church on the Square.
I was doing yoga in my basement, and asked my mom's spirit to guide me, and she did. When I finished the pose, I had a giant wave of gratitude fill me. Mom always was there to guide and support me, and she still is.
My most spiritual experience in the past year has been growing my own vegetable garden. I go out every morning to check on my plants, and although I didn't work on pruning them and we had a hot summer, I am now enjoying the fruits of my labor, literally!
Being in recovery for the past six years has allowed me to lean on my higher power in ways I never knew possible. I have a robust spiritual life and practice. Recently, I gave up my fixation on my transition to my higher power, so I could stop trying to "figure it out" or control an outcome, which was so helpful. And suddenly my higher power expanded and became a "she" for the first time after having been inanimate and varied. My higher power leads me to my self, my creativity, my truth, relationships with others, all the while reminding me to keep it simple.
Being in Kintail with John and seeing the rushing water was wonderful.
Overall, yes. However, my spirit is yearning for something deeper and that I haven't had this past year. It feels like my experiences have been small, quick messages vs anything truly profound or substantial. They've at least been enough to help me feel "connected."
Just this weekend I listened to John Astin’s music and I continue to be so moved by having access to such songs. Last night I heard Alanis Morissette and Neil Young of course has been a guiding light throughout the pandemic
No... but a calmness to seeing life again. Simple things that bring such pleasure... birds bathing in a bird bath... actually stopping a bit. Reminding ourselves that we are so connected to each other and to the world... That we really only have the present... that we seem to dwell so much in the past or the future.... And my Mom seems closer ...
I find spirituality in the moments that I don't understand and sense internally that the divine force that exists. This can be with the birth of a baby and is often when events in my life and in others' lives do not proceed in an expected way. An example occurred less than a week ago when I tripped on an uneven curb and began to fall head first. I sensed that I was going to get extremely hurt and then quite suddenly I put my hands out and went into the plank, a yoga position. Remarkably, my body formed the perfect plank, that is, my face, chest, core, knees and feet were aligned and my hands support my body without traumatic injury, e.g., my breaking one or both of my wrists. I then rolled over and continued walking to synagogue for Rosh Hashanah services. I immediately sensed the miraculous nature of what had just occurred. Although I told people that I was lucky, I knew that a divine force orchestrated the fall after I tripped. I am so grateful to be alive, to be slightly injured and healing very quickly. I pray for the wisdom to make my life a blessing and to bring love, goodness, and repair to this world with the time that I have.
I don’t know if it is properly classified as spiritual, but I have increased my meaningful contact with other people, especially getting closer to my neighbors through our Friday night happy hour gatherings and other gatherings we have arranged. Peter and I have made some new couples friends and enjoy the conversation particularly when it goes deep.
Working on being more present and grounded. Hard to do when overworked overwhelmed exhausted frustrated.
Getting married was a very spiritual process, and highly spiritual act. It involved regular self-reflection and verbal and written processing which brought up a lot of questions about who I am and what it means to be in this particular kind of relationship. They did not have easy answers. Our wedding day was happy but also heavy with history and expectations. The intention and pre-work guided us through the day and led us to such relief and bonding by the end. I feel even more committed to improving our relationship now and working through things we've set aside for years for the sake of keeping peace between us. The marriage/wedding ritual was a symbol for family, friends and us that we are continuing this work with them and with ourselves.
I continue to be spiritually moved by Karen’s work, including pieces created “in the bubble,” and those based on photos taken in Kauai. It was great to perform with her in a short online play, as well as just keeping up with our theater company. Similarly, we sent in song recordings through our choir, which were mixed together to create an online choir concert! Also grateful that live performances are coming back, as we shared Tune-Yards concert tickets with Julie & Matt. Also, I have been cast in Scapino!, a farce that we will present live (outdoors) in October. Getting back to in-person rehearsals has been terrific!
When my son survived a horrific accident and I was able to be with him. I thought quite a bit about what is a miracle.
I truly feel as though my marriage ceremony was spiritual. It was small and intimate - just us two, a friend who became an officiant, two friends who became our witnesses, and a photographer. It was in nature, at sunrise, with a view of Mount Rainier. It was calm, still, peaceful, and serene. One of our witnesses played a soprano sax at times, our officiant spoke of the ritual of marriage and the sacredness of the native lands on which we stood, and we said our hand-written vows and reveled in the scenery. It almost feels like a dream looking back, and I felt such serenity and happiness and spirituality.
Reading Jed McKenna and talking with Lit has opened up my mind to the possibility (reality) of non-dualism. I have been spending a lot of time trying to tease apart the distinction between 'not caring' and 'not minding.' I feel I've been in a deep space of not caring for a long time because I ultimately don't think anyting matters that much, but it hasn't all been enjoyable and I am on a road towards 'not minding.'
Well, I'm gonna be a goody-goody and talk about the mikveh. I immersed in a mikveh for the first time this (Gregorian) year. It was womb-like. I felt reborn. The person who went into that water is not the person who came out. I don't know how else to describe it.
God delivered me from working in a toxic job and I was able to become so much healthier as the pandemic started. It took me a while to come around to the fact that He is big enough to be care for me while also having larger plan for the rest of the world. Even with all the sickness, death, hardship, God was still in control. To God be the glory.
My dog died last December, 2020. It felt so awful. I answer as "spiritual" because I have felt his presence off and on for these last 9 months.
Still struggling to maintain a practice of prayer. Still struggling to cleave to Hashem.
Every day is a spiritual experience
I continue to struggle with this question. I feel like I have a strong spiritual component to my life. Much of what I read and think about is spiritual. Yet, I don’t know that I have spiritual experiences like others describe. Would like to have them in the coming year. For that to happen, I would like to spend more time in nature just being. Maybe taking a walk, but not really talking or reading or doing anything. I have a strong intellectual or thinking approach to life. Would like to have more time that is more feeling and less thinking.
This has been a year of returning to the spiritual through nature. I have noticed that what is happening in the natural world is often a metaphor for what is happening in my life. Lake Tyers opening - twice. Meeting the old trees in Mt Elizabeth and being taken on a journey back through time by one certain tree. Seeing the forests recover from fire in their way. All this and more have shown me that my spirit is part of the larger Earth spirit. Our attempts to be individuals and separate from nature are human constructs.
I worked nearly full time for Vedanta, so there was more direct focus on divinity this year. I think HM has become more embedded as my ishta devata this year. She is go-to Mama. I got chills sometimes when 300 of us zoomed in to VLA class from all over the world. I really felt the electricity of us Hindu's reaching around the globe to connect with each other.
I really was able to let go in bachata just recently - before I left Los Angeles. It was beautiful and I haven't danced bachata since then so I'm excited about that here in Madrid. My spirituality is coming through right now. I'm moving through the hold up and the desire for me to not move my body as a punishment or something for not being good enough. I'm going to be moving through it anyway, moving my body each day because that's just who I am no matter what. It is the ticket for the train ride of my soul.
I am still studying Yiddish and find that I see the world a little differently thanks to that. I have also found out that my great-grandmother's family originated from the East End of London, where they were probably Sephardic Jews. As a Muslim, I feel honoured to have this heritage, as it gives me a sense that religion, language and nationality are very transient. I am sure many other people have such diverse family histories as I do.
Yes, I took a 6-wk online course called Body Wisdom/Nature Wisdom with Ellen Kittredge and Dr. Cynthia LeCoeur, chiropractor. It enlightened my awareness to my connection to Nature and my wholeness possibilities. I have had incredible "noticings" that give me great hope for the universe and for my own community.
O Yes, my study of Spinoza has given me a very deep experience of G'd in the nearness of a new understanding of the G'd of Avraham Avinu as 'Deus sive Natura' and a new understanding of Torah.
It is hard to say that I've had particularly spiritual experiences this past year. I think I've had some moments in which I feel that I have done my best to be present and provide a celebration of a holiday e.g. Passover, for others. That gives me a sense of fulfillment. There have been a few times while listening to music especially music for Shabbat that I have teared up. Unfortunately, there have been many times that I just wanted to numb myself to the tremendous anxiety of the past year and the anxiety of my own health issues. So the best I could do was try NOT to feel things. New Years Day. It was hard to sleep although we got to bed very late (or early morning). I woke up, wide awake for a change at 5:30 am. The sun had not yet risen. I put on a robe and hard-soled slippers and headed alone out to my car. I drove mostly silently (in my quiet electric vehicle) to the tallest point I could think of ... Signal Hill. So many people apparently decided to do the same thing. I drove slowly until I found a parking place facing EAST. A glow on the horizon presaged the rising of the sun. The glow grew, the sky brightened and then a brilliant sun edged its way into the early morning sky. It was an amazing thing to see and experience: the New Year's Sunrise. And I was all by myself; no one to share this moment with. And that was okay. David needed to sleep. Another time, when anxieties over my own health robbed me of sleep, I knew that a lunar eclipse and blood moon would occur in the wee hours of the morning. Since I couldn't sleep anyway, I threw on a robe and hard-soled slippers and silently grabbed my telescope, headphones and cell phone. I padded out to the backyard. Orange Coast College was broadcasting at 3 - 5 am all about the lunar eclipse and narrated the proceedings as well as explained what was happening. I was mesmerized by the moon's full image being swallowed whole by the earth's shadow. The less of the moon showing, the redder it got. Once the full eclipse occurred, the shadowy moon faintly glowed like a precious pink pearl in the night sky. As the eclipse resolved, I felt that I had seen something truly special and felt relaxed. I slept soundly after that.
I have had so many spiritual experiences this year it's difficult to narrow it down to one. So I'll do two. The first was on MLK Day. I took a Jewish yoga class with an amazing Cantor. She led the most beautiful gentle stretching exercises in areas where I have suffered past hurt and trauma. At the end, she sang "We Shall Overcome" and her voice rang out with purity of a solid gold bell. I just wept and wept. Afterwards, I felt cleansed and whole. The time from the Omer through Tammuz and Elul were filled with significant and life changing teachings. Every week every single study spoke directly to my personal circumstances. I am not entering this new year the same person I was last year, not in any way.
This year was full of anxiety and stress. However, there were many spiritual moments. I think these were moments when I felt peace or joy. At shul again this week! Shabbat challah at home. Nature moments: the tiny bushtits in the weeds on Bosworth street. Working out in Holly Park. Time with family. Such sweetness to make a bubble with our girls and our son-in-law. This year plus with Bob, my partner, my support, my friend. And with our Louie, for lightening if the heart. We made it through the year!!!!
In recent weeks, I have began renewed commitment to therapy. As I returned to the office, I realized that I was beginning to return to old habits of negative self talk and it was affecting me terribly. Hiding at home for 18 months allowed me to gain weight and now stepping back out into the world, I began to feel very self-conscious about how I others saw me. At almost 60, I realized that I don't want to live worrying all the time how others see me. Am I too this or too that? I can't do it anymore. This spiritual awakening is hard but necessary. As I shed these old habits and reframe my thinking, I will accept myself and open up more brain space for continued learning.
I have felt more in touch with my feminine, witchy side with my contact with healers, female friends, plants/flowers, and general beauty, especially of nature. This feels deeply spiritual to me!
My visit to the Bereaved Parents conference connected me with many bereaved parents who believe deeply that their children in spirit are still communicating with them. I am not as sure, but appreciate the feeling that my spirit is more whole than it was in years past.
Discovering my queerness. being at the beach in maroubra. making love under the stars! taking regular baths. waking up in my lovers arms.
Hmm. I did dabble in tarot cards for a couple weeks. And they were cat tarot cats! I did enjoy how you could connect what the different cards suggested to your life, I found it helpful going into each day. Sort of like setting an intention. And seeing a live theatrical production for the first time in over a year and a half was definitely transcendent.
Everyday is a spiritual experience for me. I feel close to God all the time. But from a worship standpoint, I have really enjoyed the online worship services that my church has put on YouTube. I don't go to church services that often. But I found a real comfort in them for the past almost two years now. They reminded me that the WHOLE world wasn't crazy. That I wasn't alone. There are like minded people who love God AND can be logical critical thinkers at the same time. It soothed my soul in all the ways.
I feel greater peace with where I am in life and have been better able to accept what is. This isn't an experience of a particular moment or day, but it is spiritual and something that I experience. There is a realization in there that I don't make things better by railing against them, and that I don't have to make everything better.
Giving birth was definitely spiritual. So many different things went into that experience that were spiritual. I think it's the only thing that got me through giving birth without any pain managment at all in a foreign country. I long for more spirituality but it's very hard these days to find the time, energy, and connection.
Not really sure what spiritual means. It has been interesting thinking about how I feel about religion, particularly Christianity and its followers. Lots of volunteers at my local vaccination centre attend the local church and one of them asked me about religion. I said I was agnostic, not against religion provided it's not causing people's suffering, and specific to Christianity I do think Jesus (as I understand Him) is a great role model. I also went to two religious weddings which made me wonder about how you bring two people together with differing and/or lacking faiths.
I had a moment where I realized my power. I realized my strength and my value. I would stop myself when I started limiting myself. I would remind myself of the worlds abundance and that there is enough for everyone to achieve their goals and I always remind myself to "make my life a blessing." I am just so grateful.
Walking in the Giant Pines of the Nicolet-Chequamegon National Forest I felt the holy breathing through every fiber of my being and in all that surrounded me. It was a place filled with my ancestors’ spirits. I was home.
I can't think of anything
Have I had any particularly spiritual experiences this year? No, but I did drive to Acadia National Park and I was depressed when I left. I also felt teary-eyed when I left the vacation rental in Penn Yann. My soul feels so at peace in the solitude of nature. I think I want to move to the country.
I am starting to wake up to the fact that moderation is needed in many facets of life, but particularly in our political conversations. We cannot continue to forsake each other because we disagree. It is childish and foolish to think we, whether liberal or conservative, know everything. We need to have conversations about nuance, about how to solve complex problems. For instance, why is it that we should wear masks inside but not outside? In short, transmission outside is far less likely. Did we know this earlier in the pandemic? Has Dr. Fauci really been as much of an ally to the American public as some would believe? How is it that the two "best" candidates that we could put forth on either "side" were Joe Biden and Donald Trump? Seriously, how did we get there?
This year has been a bit more serene and fewer big moments stand out. This is wonderful and a state I have been seeking for so long. I think my biggest connection to the spiritual has been trusting in the process and that I am not meant to control everything. Instead I can do the best I can each day and see what happens.
So on the surface it feels like, because of Covid, and also because the heart is greatly affected after a heart attack and bypass surgery, that a numbness has set in this year. But God is faithful! He’s taken my numbness and pushed past it. Even though it’s harder to feel Him, I still hear his voice. He still whispers encouraging things to me. I have become much more liberal in my politics, more of a socialist like my kid, but I don’t think God cares about my politics at all. I haven’t really spoken about the vision I had while in ICU the day after my heart attack. They had put a butterfly pump in my heart to keep the blood going and giving my heart arrest after surgery. Remember, I had died on the table and they had to open me up again to get my heart going, so it was very weak. The pump was making a lot of noise which was keeping me awake. It was loud and fast; my heart started to hurt a lot! I cried out to the Lord to help me! I saw a light above me. It was like a tunnel going to heaven, and I remember thinking, really? The tunnel is real? And I did see the outline of a person in the brightness. God said, you can come with me if you want—where there is no sorrow pain or sadness. Simultaneously, the pain instantly went away. And I knew at that moment, that I could choose. He was giving me a choice. But an anxiousness rose up in me. I immediately thought of my kids, and I wanted to stay for them. I told God that I wanted to see what kind of grown ups they would turn out to be. I sensed that he was totally fine with that. He told me that if I was going to stay, that he wanted me to love my husband, love my children, and not to worry about learning Chinese so much. I figured he didn’t want me to go to China anymore. Part two of my vision happens either before the white light or after, I don’t really remember. But suddenly, I was inside my body looking at my organs. There was an orange glow and Jesus began to rise up out of my heart. He did not speak to me, he just kept looking at my heart with such a deep love it was overwhelming in a wonderful way. When he rose up, I remember thinking yes that’s where you live isn’t it? And he kept lovingly staring at my heart. It was a very emotional moment watching him loving on my heart. Then, as lovingly and slowly as he rose up out of me, he just sunk back into my heart.
I found myself weeping when hearing live classical music. This was at a wonderful, historic venue where the UN charter was signed. A friend was kind enough to give me an expensive ticket which I could not have afforded on my own. We were all separated in the theater due to Covid. But the shear humanity of the musicians playing extraordinary, rich Renaissance music after more than a yearlong silence was breathtaking. Getting home was a sharp contrast. What I hadn't anticipated was that the underground trains had stopped running early due to limited Covid service. Here I was an old lady in concert clothes on a super sketchy street at night trying to catch the above ground shuttle. An unhoused woman was kind enough to hold up the one lone shuttle so I could catch it. The scene inside was like a Fellini movie, with drugged out people screaming and carrying-on. Even some hardened characters on the bus were clearly alarmed. I found myself being quite philosophical about it, but the contrast with the highly civilized and nuanced music just before was rather striking.
S E I Z U R E S. I have now had three within seven months, the most I have ever had in such a concentrated period of time. Each Divine encounter feels profoundly spiritual- I all of a sudden feel dizzy and dehydrated and know it's coming. I do not feel any worry at all though, I feel peaceful and fully release to what lies ahead. I lower myself to the ground and as I lose consciousness, I feel swift movement pouring by me- either whizzing me downward or in a forward motion. I see primarily darkness with tiny spurts of light through it. It feels to last half a second yet twenty minutes, all at once. Then, I begin to hear a sound and it takes me a few moments to eventually recognize it as a voice. Once I realize it's a voice, I notice that I do not know whose voice it is, making me realize that I do not know who is around me and I do not know who I am. As I listen more, I begin to distinguish the words the voice is speaking and then the content enables me to realize who they are and thus, where I am, what I had been doing, and therefore who I am. I then usually sit up and open my eyes and feel completely content. Harriet Tubman supposedly had seizures, spiritually encouraging her to continue her risky work. Other spiritual leaders throughout history have been noted to as well. I do not want to go on medication to prevent them. I want to listen to them. The question is- How. How can I listen more intently? Where are they taking me?
I went to visit my parents for two weeks at the beginning of August, in New Mexico. I’ve been there when I was a child, but not to where I remember anything so it was a new adventure for me. There was so much culture and artistic spirituality that was so special to be around. It’s unlike any other state I’ve been to. I met several Native Americans and the beauty they pour into their art on a daily basis is astonishing. Let’s just say, I came back home with several beautiful items that I will display in my house for years to come.
A sunset walk in Yellowstone. The daytime crowds had dispersed and I felt awed by the beauty and the power of the steam vents, the mineral pools, the geysers—aware that the earth was evolving and changing under my feet. Conscious of my smallness in the greater scheme of space and time. On the first occasion that I was able to join a service in our synagogue sanctuary, I was deeply moved. The experience of sharing physical space, feeling the energy of other congregants, hearing voices rise together, along with the memories of shared experiences in that space, was a spiritual high.
I look for spirituality everyday in nature and in the goodness of people. When I am grateful for those I Love, for the blessings in my life and for my comfortable and secure life, I feel the blessings of G-D - which is spiritual. I tend to be optimistic and focus on how our world has improved and gotten better than it was. I hope to tap into the love I have for others and try to tap into compassion and understanding.
- the Nam June Paik exhibit at the MOMA - Desert Christ Park - Several little episodes, little fugue states getting entirely lost in the making process - Experiencing the sunset with 50% more sky - Oysters - An overwhelmingly intense and intimate emotional connection with a bonus raw physical dimension that I can't even begin to describe - So. Much. F*cking. Meditation. - The drive from El Cajon through Imperial County, through the geological texts of hillside rock formations and the hypnotic steganography of windmill lighting - A deep acceptance of a plethora of extremely heavy, often unwieldy/recalcitrant entities real and imagined
Learning to actually participate in art and it became very meditative and spiritual.
I'm so intrigued to see my once-counterculture interests in astrology, witchcraft, and tarot become so mainstream. I feel I am in a new closet--a BROOM closet! While I continue to identify as an atheist, I am deepening and expanding my knowledge and interest in these modalities of emotional and creative support. They are central to my writing process, and numerology is helping me heal shame around being bad at math.
Yes, I gave up belong kosher and shomer shabbos. It has opened up my world to lots of possibilities. I can still adore Gd and love Torah and not keep Shabbos.
YES! I downloaded and purchased an app called Freedom and set it up to kind of lock my phone down during Shabbat. After a few weeks, I deactivated my Facebook account entirely. I have spent more time reading and doing things that bring me joy and peace during Shabbat. 🥰
Rock climbing + making ceramics on the wheel are two spiritual experiences for me. Having to be laser focused and not think about ANYTHING else is so powerful.
I have written some poetry as I dealt with my handicap of dizziness. Which is always present when I walk. Eye interference and balance issues. ●I am hiding tears beneath a normal conversation. ●Fears of losses are mounting. ●Can this be happening? ●Refocus on the present moment. ●Fears of losses are mounting. ●OMG! Am I more impaired today?●Refocus on the present moment. ●Afraid to push friends away with my preoccupation. ●OMG! I think I am more impaired today. ●Can this be happening? ●Afraid to push you away with my preoccupation. ●I am hiding tears beneath a normal conversation. Pantoon dealing with dizziness and aging March 15 ish 2021 ●Aging is a grieving process with many unknowns. ●Bit by bit we say goodbye to friends and family and able parts of ourselves ●Big leaps into disability overnight ●Will I be a quiet Shadow, sad and resentful? ●Bit by bit we say goodbye to family and friends and able parts of ourselves. ●Acceptance at what price. ●Will I thrive doing what is possible ●Will I be a quiet Shadow, sad and resentful? ●Acceptance at what price ●Big leaps into disability overnight ●Will I thrive doing what is possible ●Aging is a grieving process with many unknowns. Reflecting.on obedience, stability, conversion: Commitment to the creative life. ●For now there are only questions. ●All will be answered in time. ●Let It Be. ●Stay on the path of what is most important. ●All will be answered in time. ●All will be well. ●Stay on the path of what is most important. ●Create with love. ●All will be well. ●Let It Be. ●Create with love. ●For now there are only questions.
A Rabbi once told me that the true objective should be to bring the spiritual into the mundane. I think it's a difficult (perhaps impossible) continuum to maintain, but if I focus on the present moment... the now... the spiritual, and the mundane don't seem so different...
It has been hard to find spirtual experiences this year. One of the costs of the pandemic has been a shift to church over Zoom which, while we started as a family, has become a solo practice. I miss singing with the choir. I miss those moments when the pitches, harmonies, and rhythms come together in a resonance of sound that feels like it moves through you rather than coming from you. I miss hugging and teasing and almost crying my way through a piece of music. I have missed being in the woods to let the unsilent surroundings fill up space with openness. And yet, I have found a few moments. We took a hike in the woods that took us far enough from the road to lose the sounds of machinery. We adopted a dog who fills me with joy at her exuberance in running even as it makes me long for the fitness to join her. I've had moments of revelation as I talk to my sons about serious and difficult decisions, and in my explanations to them find a truth I hadn't uncovered before. Even at a distance from so many relationships and activities, I am finding reconnection to my empathy, taking faltering steps to re-learn joy, learning how forgiveness grows up through the cracks in hurt if you let it, if you give it enough time to gain a foothold. You can't make it happen, you have to foster it, cultivate it, steward it, and wait for it to begin while you aren't looking.
In a way, I suppose, doing services on Zoom was spiritual. I was particularly touched by Friday evening candle lightings -- so intimate, with only a few people, and often randy joined us.
I have really focused on finding a better balance within myself and "staying present" over the course of this past year. They seem to go hand and hand. It is still something I have to work at on a daily basis, but I have noticed a difference and an improved sense of well being. My yoga practice has been central to this. A lot of us do what we can to exercise or meditate, and when we are busy, that time is limited. I got into a routine where I made the time to do my yoga, but it was within a certain amount of time, and then I had to get back to work (especially working from home over the past year). My initial tendency was to treat it as something on a daily "to do" list, but I realized that I was not getting all of the benefits of my time on the mat. I started to pay more attention to my breath and how my body felt, and even got better at looking inward. Other times I focused on being balanced and used my body to physically represent that balance. I also enjoy reading passages and commentary of the Torah and applying it to my meditations - there is so much beautiful wisdom to be found there. I'm not a religious person, but I do love reading the Torah. Over time I found that I have felt more present in my day to day life, and this has spilled over into my relationship with my wife. Even a simple hug is more meaningful now. It is easier now for me to receive joy, and to radiate that joy.
I had an extraordinary experience this past year in that an old love contacted me after 57 years to tell me he was dying and wanted me to know his love had continued throughout all these years. The affect on me is still quite stunning and very hard to articulate, but the best I can say is - I look at all with kinder eyes now and I listen more carefully, often to what is not being said.
I have not had one experience and I think it is due to Covid. In the past, I have done the challah bake and that was cancelled last year and so far this year. It has been a very difficult time for everyone including me.
I continue to feel Austin’s presence from time to time. It is a huge comfort
Perhaps it is the awareness of my role with my grandchildren. I am the safe place for them to talk and to be. It is not for me to discipline, but to teach. I think finding the purpose was a spiritual moment for me.
I don't see Nick in the clouds anymore, but I do see him in birds, butterflies and in my dreams. I feel the same way I did last year - I wonder if this is just wishful thinking, or my feelings / projection - but when I see birds swooping around overhead I think of him, wish it was him, feel it could be him sometimes....
I genuinely wish that I had.
Having the honor and privilege of singing and holding space for Coastside Jewish Community has lead me to a place of trying to be authentic and in integrity with the way I relate to and commit to my own spiritual path. Singing moves me in a way that allows my ego self to get out of the way and be present. I have also had beautiful experiences in nature and with nature and in awe of the beauty and majesty of Mama Earth.
A bit more appreciation of nature, and it’s restorative effects. Continued my expansion of curiosity in a variety of areas.
I wouldn't describe as spiritual but I had a major cathartic moment followed by continuing smaller ones of realizing that my life is changing and will continue to change and there a difficult decisions I will have to make sometime in the near future. I will have to find ways to compromise between wants and needs, between career goals and the ease of leisure, between time with friends and time working. It was a strange but very real realization that I am going to make choices that may feel hard and painful in the moment but will benefit me in the long run...
Yes I have. I recently read books, webinars, heard people talk about guardian angels that are with us. I explored this more and had actual experiences that YES, they are around us and I now believe are with me always. I dont feel so alone and now , and more connected to the spiritual world we cant see but feel. I feel so good about this. However I still cant discuss with others. I think they would feel I was crazy. I feel its almost a secret. Even though there have been so many books and articles on this. A major experience and step forward for me.
I had a moment of clarity with my therapist that brought to light some things I didn't know I believed about myself. I am still working through the implications of that, but I am also hopeful that I will experience more of those moments because it was beautiful as well as painful.
My spirituality is woven through all of my life. I have a platform now on Facebook, Instagram, my new website/blog, and Medium -- and soon on The Wellness Universe and The Edge -- in which to share messages from my guides and myself about the intersection of trauma, spirituality, and creativity, and about how to fully express our true essence in this physical world, moving from silenced and squashed to vocal and free.
The Saturday after the election last November when it was called for Biden, we had been walking on Flatbush and made our way to Grand Army Plaza. Seeing all the joyous people celebrating Trump's defeat, I took a breath and I felt myself release a breath that I hadn't realized that I was holding for the previous four years.
Spending lots of time at home with my cats has allowed me to communicate with them in ways that I wasn’t previously privy to. I’m now more convinced that they are a quite unique species that come from another planet and deserve our worship.
Am turning 40 in less than a month and I feel I know nothing! I look at my sons face and I see joy and anger and empathy and beauty in all he sees. There is a myriad of emotions that come wave after wave when he looks at something; there is also a wave of emotions that overtake me when I see his emotions! This brings me into the present moment and is wonderful.
Being spiritual is such a private matter, in my view. I am Buddhist, agnostic/atheist. I do follow the Dalai Lama, but also read Plato, Aristotle, writers of the "Beat Generation," Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, et al. Getting to spiritual experiences - nothing in particular, but music is what keep my soul strong.
Eliminating television, no cable no broadcast has really redirected me to other things such as reading, but really it's reconnecting with music that's been meaningful. Music has always had the power to take me beyond immediate circumstances and concern and spending time searching through all different types from all different countries has give me treasures like I've never known. The Bee Gees, however, still suck.
Again, no. I haven't really had the opportunity to experience much with the pandemic. Maybe the closest was going on vacation to Vermont for a weekend with Kim. We got to see a lot of rustic country lakes, mountains and small town life. It was like living a different life. Normally, when we travel, we are in a large city going to fancy restaurants and sightseeing. This was the opposite. There was no real agenda, and we ended up relaxing a lot of the time. It was refreshing.
When Jenny and I went to Florida, we spent the most amazing Shabbat just chilling out at the pool and in the condo. We made dinner and went to bed early and slept a long time, and then we just read and sat outside and it was the perfect reset, which I desperately needed. We regularly refer to it as the best Shabbat ever and we WWWIF (wish we were in Florida).
Becoming a parent is definitely spiritual. Matrescence. I think also coming to understand my mom so much better. I know now how much she loved me, and how she loved me, because I am a mom myself.
The realization that everyday is a spiritual experience affects everything. The discipline of devotion has created a reliable foundation built to weather any earthly demands. We’ve got “skin in the game” as they say.
No, same as last year: I think I find spirituality in community and tradition, and this pandemic time has been missing both.
When I walked into the Georgia O'Keffee museum in Santa Fe on 7/2/2021 I was filled with a rush of awe and reverence. I don't know why seeing the first painting, one of her Calla lilies all I could do was stare. The rest of the room, crowded as it was, went away. I felt Georgia's presence. Walking through the museum and seeing her life unfold filled me with peace. It was a spiritual experience.
It's harder and harder to answer a question like this, as a day rarely goes by without many spiritual experiences. It's easier to say that I go long hours of forgetting that I'm having one spiritual experience after another, that life is a spiritual experience. Those peak spiritual experiences that take decades or a lifetime to integrate are either fewer and farther between or so close together that they become "common," if that's even possible.
I would say so. Going to a spot that is 'mine', like my spot in Hull, feels as close to spiritual as I usually get. That and wandering around the city listening to good music, often 'Yeah.' music.
I have realized this year that it has been hard to stay on this earth - yet again... Even tho I have healed from surgeries, and have a wonderful husband who has helped me beyond any expectations - I still find myself saddened by where I am physically and spiritually. I also understand that human contact has been limited due to covid which basically means I have no support group where I live now.... it's been very very hard
Not sure this qualifies, but some of the nature experiences on our recent PNW trip reminded me of the harmony of being outdoors. I’m thinking particularly of the kayak trip in San Juans, and boating among seals.
During my 3 month sabbatical I went on meditation retreat on my own for 12 days. It was different forms of concentration meditation -- sitting, reading, listening to dharma talks, mostly on the same subject: befriending death. I experienced a deepening of my practice, a spurt in my learning, and a creative drive that led to the creation of Date with Death Club. I faced fear in multiple forms, not so much about death, but all connected, all practice for other forms of fear, other forms of aversion.
The service where our daughter was confirmed was our first back in the sanctuary since the beginning of the pandemic. It was only indoors because there was a forecast for rain. Sitting there during the service, looking at the ner tamid, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I got us safely from the initial closure--which was instigated by a note I sent--to our resumption of in-person services after many of us had been vaccinated. I'm still the coronavirus point person in my congregation, and the work continues, but that moment of worshipping in person, knowing how hard I had worked to help get everyone safely through the first phase of the pandemic had a singular feeling. I'm by no means alone in this decision-making, but at that moment I felt satisfied that I was living the promises I made when I became Jewish four years earlier.
Time with my husband, exploring the great beauty in the U.S. and being with family filled my soul with gratitude and love!
Several. Little message from the Universe that I'm on the right path, like seeing numbers 11:11 or 2:22 consistently. Messages in dreams (Example of one poignant dream: my mom stole my money announcing to everyone: "Yes, I took it! You don't need this money, I need it" Feelings and elevated consciousness during meditation. Like the time I teared up by giving myself the space to heal. Confirmations or new ideas that come in as 'pings' that I needed right at that time.
Something that doesn’t usually make me cry made me cry for five minutes. Like sob. They were happy tears, and it was so weird. Have never happy cried before.
The annual Jewish ritual of seeking forgiveness from individuals for "any insult or slight caused by my words or actions or lack thereof" is something I've incorporated into my daily life. It helps keep my personal relationships more "current", more honest-especially with myself. (Or so I believe.)
During the 10 days in severe pain where I could only concentrate on my breath and primordial sounds I kept seeing a woven flat basket. It was in the air. One day I asked God what is this image? HE showed me as I looked I could see that it was brown, beige, and black arms interwoven to create a human basket where one could sit and be held up. I felt in my heart a warm feeling as the thought came into my head, “ these are they who have lifted you up during your pain in prayer.” I was saved and blessed by the prayers of those who loved me.
While I haven’t had any earth shattering spiritual experiences in the past year, I have become more consistent in my meditation practice. I’m sleeping better as a result. And it’s helping me better manage stress and recognize that I have the power to pause, breathe, and center myself.
I’m in a space now where it appears to me that the more I know about Buddhism the world I’ll have a vocabulary to describe how I’m feeling about my spirituality. Really doesn’t connect to much of anything I’ve done within the traditional Jewish boundaries.
Cannot say for sure. Maybe reading some books
Me and Biz went to Tyddyn in May. There had been a lot of rain the week before we went, but when got there it was glorious sunshine. We went to Pistyll Rhaeadr (a fantastic waterfall nearby) and then came back and had the most wonderful stroll around Tyddyn. It felt pretty spiritual, it lifted my spirits and my soul
I never have these. Is that weird?
During the past year, I was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease. This has caused me to directly confront my own mortality and to contemplate how I will be viewed by friends and family after my death. Thinking about my legacy has been a journey unto itself. Hopefully, I will survive this disease but my thoughts about my mortality are important. In the past, I have always rejected thinking about my end-of-life issues and my legacy. This diagnosis has caused me to think about these issues - which is probably a good thing.
Finding my Jewish space on Clubhouse has helped me stay close to Judaism and reaffirmed my religious beliefs.
This has probably be the most spiritually devoid year of my life. I stopped attending Quaker church in person because of the pandemic and the idea of a 'zoom' meeting left me cold. I feel further from God than I ever have done, both because of this and because of the things that have happened. I know I'll get back some day though, hopefully soon. Church isn't the only place I find God, of course. but I haven't had many of the kinds of experiences where I get to see God 'out and about' either, due to the shut away nature of the pandemic. When I returned to my old hometown after 18 months away, I wept as I got off the train. That's probably about the closest I've had to a spiritual experience.
Going to Yosemite and being in the water + at Clouds Rest. It helped me remember I’m part of something bigger and I’m small. I also connected with a cosmic humming. A sound that’s always with me but I don’t always pause to listen and tune in.
I recently read a piece from Richard Rohr's newsletter by someone else, who wrote about going on an outdoor overnight trip when he was a boy, and looking up at the sky, and feeling like he knew God then. This resonated with me. I have never believed in an aware God, one that pays attention to what I do, or anyone else, for that matter. But the feeling of being, the feeling that everything is part of a larger whole, and that what we do in this life can have a larger resonance makes sense to me. I believe that it is important for each of us to do what we can to keep our conduct beyond reproach and to make other people's lives better. When the priest of my Episcopal Church said to me "I'm going to tell you something that you won't like: God loves Donald Trump." Boy. That shook me. But the more I think about it, the more I think that it doesn't actually matter, because God is not a consciousness. God is existence and nothing and love and feeling of all sorts and stars and even rodents, which I detest.
Joe's descent into a debilitating and end-of-life situation was a spiritual milepost. We thought we knew this disease, we wondered what progression would look like. Now we know. It brought me to my knees with visceral grief and tenderness, time and again, as I cared for his wounds and for his pain. Exhausting, heart breaking, and full of love. I entered my artwork from this wide deep place and it helped me. It continues to help me even as things got better and now apparently progressing again. We don't know. This is a spiritual place of working with exactly what is. Honoring it all – anticipatory grief, gratitude for ordinary ease, patience with caregiving.
Sitting outside on a swing. Watching newborn kittens grow and change daily. Getting my hands in the dirt again. All this helped me cope with what otherwise might've been overwhelming changes in my life.
I've found awe in natural landscapes. The awe feels different than anything else. It's not as sharp and fleeting as pleasure. It's much bigger than the daily peaks I strive for. It feels nourishing, magical, whole, and eternal.
Praying started to be a spiritual feeling for me. By doing it 3 times a day I feel more connected to Hashem and I have the feeling that everything runs smoother in life.
I would say most spiritual moments have occurred in the context of “signs” since my dads death. In particular, being in Hawaii on what would have been his 60th birthday, we had a few moments that really felt connected. Leaving our hotel room to check out, there was a fedora in the room that belonged to neither of us - the exact type of hat my dad would always wear on vacation and we had just assumed it belonged to the other person. Then in the hot tub, we briefly overheard a conversation from others nearby who said loudly, “I put spicy mayo all over my sushi!” which is so quintessentially my dad that it was brought up multiple times at his funeral. Finally, that night on our way to dinner, we stopped at a lookout point and, within minutes, the sky went from sun to drizzle to serious near-hail rain, all to emerge two huge complete rainbows coming out from the ocean. That felt like such a shoutout to me and my brother. Then, just as quickly, the rainbows were gone and we were off to a celebratory sushi birthday dinner in my dad’s honor.
No. None. Not even looking. I wish I could open myself up to something 'other' than me.
I've been praying more. More conversations about life as prayer. There has been loneliness and it helps.
Yes, going to church, to outdoor services here in the Boston area or listening via Facebook to a service in Chicago, were very moving. Growing up with no particular Christian faith, it wasn't until my 40's that I started attending services regularly. I'm surprised that they mean as much as they do.
Doing more bible reading and praying, also feel very close to God in nature
Everything surrounding my father's death has felt spiritual. Deeply connected to the cycle of life, deeply connected to tradition. Deeply sad and lonely for him. Saying Kaddish. Again. And again. And again. Sometimes sobbing. Sometimes simply focused on the words. The slow repetition over time wearing away my soul into a different shape.
I've been able to truly embrace Shabbat celebrations for the first time in my life, and it has been a life-altering experience. For over 24 hours, because I've found that the glow does stay on you after the day has come to a close, having a chance to focus up close, as close as possible, on the beauty and goodness present in my life is one of the greatest feelings I've ever experienced. And it happens every week!
I used my watercolours and my soft pastels much more and I enrolled in courses for drawing and painting
Clearing exit customs in Kuwait, waiting at the gate and getting on an airplane restored a piece of my equilibrium this summer after being restrained in Kuwait by curfews, lockdowns, fear of getting sick dying and being buried in a country I despise, and fear of losing my job. The ability to connect with this piece of self identity lifted so much negativity from my life. I am using it as a mechanism to channel a form of meditation every week. It is in the act of transit or transition that I find myself most whole.
We've done mushrooms a few times as part of my partner's forays into plant journeys. It looks pretty but I don't feel particularly spiritually moved by it.
Profound love of my daughter.
My daughter and I went to the immersive Van Gogh exhibition because a friend raved about it. And it was awesome, way beyond my expectations--which were high to begin with. The music, the art moving over the walls surrounding me, had me exhilarated and enthralled. I didn't want to leave. It made me realize how much I need to experience art and music again after being sequestered during covid.
Well, I found God. It has been a confusing experience.
Virtual attendance at Central Synagoge Friday services, lighting of Shabbat candles, IJS classes and meditations, becoming a member of Central Synagoge's neighborhood. Virtual and in-class yoga and a yoga retreat A A year of increased introspection, focused, and self-care.
I took a yoga nidra training earlier this year and there was some emotional stuff that came up. I recognized how much we hide and push down or hold onto that when given permission and/or opportunity to release it can have a healing affect. Since then, I've had more sensitivity and empathy for people I meet and know since we all do this, consciously or unconsciously.
I have had many! Recently, my discussion with Peter, the hipcamp person we stayed with in Sooke, has got me thinking about my future and how I want to live. Now, I'm rethinking my hypothesis of happily living in the city for long periods of time. I'm not sure it's what I'll want long term. But still, it's worth a shot. I also had a girlfriend for a week, while travelling in BC. Overall, I think I'm getting over my self homophobia and hatred. I think I could have a woman partner and it doesn't make much of a difference my partner's gender. This was a huge discovery for me, as I continue to learn my queer identity.
I had an amazing reading by a medium in July, that really helped me connect even more to my ancestors, and gave me some direction in where to take my story.
This one is rather hard, I guess I would say my aunt's funeral was rather spiritual. Im used to the old saying that on average 5 people cry at someone's funeral, and how that saying is sometimes used in mlms to promote the idea of legacy, and yet the truth is, legacy is all about the people you impact all the way, and seeing all the people show up how moved they were and how much of a difference my aunt made in all these peoples lives with all the life that she lived, it was truly inspiring.
The spiritual experience I have is getting know myself for who I am right here and right now. A process of staying centered and open to new ways of thinking and processing information has made my growth as a person expand ten fold. I further development my own self and identity through this lens as this is beneficial and rooted in growth mindset to never stay at the same place that I am. For me, having the guidance to know where to go will help me greatly and looking at others in a means for how to represent myself effectively.
I have never considered myself a religious or a spiritual person. Or at least I have never given it much thought. What is a spiritual experience anyway? Bonus episode Elul Unbound #9 (or was it #10?) of podcast Judaism Unbound gives a great discussion on the topic, and it opened up something I didn’t know I had in me. I like to go for a long walk while listening to music or a podcast at the end of the day – it helps me relax and clear my head. It feels meaningful and it connects me with something deep within me. Maybe I was wrong all this time?
I learned that I could be responsible for another person's disability for numerous months without losing myself.
No. Quite simply, I have not. I have been struggling with an issue of forgiveness and I have been researching and praying to find complete rest with the event that hurt and angered me - in that order. I feel better about it, but there is still a burr under my saddle. I want to free myself from all remnants of the betrayal I've suffered and I think I will because I have made progress and I do not obsess and fret like I have have done in the past. Here's hoping for next year.
So, super bizarre is that I've been more involved with my temple this past year (year +) than I thought I would be. Is it because I have a crush on the rabbi? Sure, that's part of it. Is it because I've been without much focus and grounding and needing some direction and the rabbi invited me to learn about organizing as a tool for social change, and I happen to have a crush on the rabbi; so I thought it would be good for me and nice to say yes? Absolutely. I've been quietly engaged in slow activism connected to my Judaism, and it's weird. Like, not where I thought I would be putting my time or energy.
Simply lighting Shabbat candles every Friday. It’s helped me pace the days and weeks, particularly during difficult times over the pandemic. Pausing every Friday evening to strike a match, invoke the warmth of the flames and recite some Hebrew I haven’t spoken in years… it’s been a beautiful rediscovery of my faith and spirituality
ALANIS. Like when I first got there I joked about it feeling like a Christian worship service, but... it really was a spiritual experience. I felt so connected to everyone there and it felt like years of trauma just melted off of me and my tears. I got to smoke weed when Alanis sang Mary Jane. I got to see Alanis Morissette PLAY A HARMONICA LIVE ON STAGE. I experienced so much that night that I hadn't even thought of as enough of a possibility to even exist. Garbage has an adorable Scottish accent and she talks so much? How is this my life. I love it.
I got back into writing!!! I joined a virtual writing club online and I took a writing class in person. This experience has given me my voice back and I'm no longer afraid to express myself to the fullest. It doesn't matter if I'll never be a professional writer. I just need to follow the Nike slogan: JUST DO IT!!! It has been scary to write about a few dark things from my past, but it really has helped me heal on a spiritual level. I hope to keep on expressing myself and freeing myself through words. My faith has also gotten stronger in St. Jude!!! He really is a patron of hopeless shit. When shit gets hopeless, I've always humbly asked him to help me out. Miracles really do happen. Amen! Even though I rented a car and got into a small car accident, it greatly affected me. The car owner showed me the most kindness I have ever received in my life. He had such compassion over me, and I was overwhelmed. It felt like I was touched by an angel. I will forever be grateful for his mercy. Even though my trip to Palm Springs ended up being a disaster, I was grateful for the plane ride there. I met a wonderful family, and the mom said nothing but nice things about me as I attended her daughter while she sat next to me on the plane. I truly believe that God puts good people in my path. Even though my new friends are atheist/agnostic, they're the most wonderful people I've ever met. And to think that I only met one friend through a friendship app. She invited me to her birthday party, and I had an absolutely wonderful time getting to know her friends and making new friends of my own. Again, I truly believe God puts certain people in my life for a beautiful reason. I rejoined an employment agency and did temporary office work at Catholic Charities. I just filled in for the receptionist who was out for a few days, so I answered the phone. It was an eye-opener answering phone calls from people who desperately needed resources for basic necessities such as food and shelter. It was an honor on a spiritual level connecting with all of these people through the phone, even if I never have and never will meet them in person. May God bless every single person I've tried to help over the phone. I reconnected with a friend 10 years later via FB. I really don't think it was a coincidence that I decided to add him, find out out that his mom passed away around the same time, and supported him at the funeral. I don't think he's interested in reconnecting with me as a friend as he doesn't want to hang out, but I completely understand, I will forever be grateful for the spiritual experience I had with him in sharing our struggles that we've been facing. I felt that we connected and got close in a spiritual way. I also felt that he cared about me, even if if was just for one moment. Whether or not he decides to reach out to me won't matter: I'll always be grateful for that experience.
Interesting to me how many of these answers are the same as last year, I really can continue to enjoy the bat mitzvah class. Getting excited and nervous as the date gets closer.
I would say that seeing my spouse converting to Judaism and the kind of peace that it gives him has been very spiritual for me. Seeing a community become a family has been incredibly special. And beginning to believe in myself again.
I get vivid dreams and I write in a journal poems short stories ect. I am unemployed and people have comer forward to help , with food and chores. recenytly I did the spiritaul leadership 40 day devotional.
I’ve just been trying to see what is missing in my life. I thought it was a home a house for me to own. No it wasn’t it. I thought me visiting Nashville again. And that wasn’t it. Me going and sailing on a boat, that was great with the wind but the company could be better. I thought I wanted to move in with a man, it was nice at first, but not the right man. I thought that I wanted to be closer to my brother, that backfired. I thought I wanted to mend my relationship with my folks, it helped a little when I opened my heart to them, at least they listened. I thought mending my friendships with Rhoda and Kristy, it was ok to see them and reminisce but it was good for the night. I had a chance to see my baby Diana, my doggy and see that she was ok. It gave me a lot of happiness for Ann hour. It reminded me how my time was with her. I did heal some from my exes that has helped me this year so far. I’ve started to let go of the pain they inflicted on me.
Realizing that I can not change other people. I can stand back and listen and observe with out reacting. This especially with Holly when she acts in a sharp or persistent hurtful manner. Then later I can ask her about it. Or Martha - especially this evening when she threw a tantrum to get a soda “right now” during our Kabbalat Shabbat. Allow her to throw a tantrum without reacting, but rather ignore her. That need not negate or reduce my love for her, nor do I need to show her any distance. It is not she, but rather her behavior that I am addressing. She’ll get over it. She needs to go through this, and she will be the winner when she learns to respect limits.
I read a few thought provoking books while in the alaskan wilderness. Really took a deep look at myself and what i wanted out of life. How I want to better myself, what good i want to contribute to the world. Where i want to be in a few years.
I am not spiritual.
I feel as though this past year has been lacking in spiritual experiences. I haven’t been attending Shabbat services at all. On the other hand, I did really enjoy doing Adult Hebrew classes and felt liked my knowledge and reading of Hebrew really improved in the past year.
At Coleman sleep away camp. I felt such a deep connection to God, to my spirituality, to my Judaism, the whole time I was there. It just felt so calm and comforting!
I have felt closer to my daughter as she has begun maturing, and to my husband, who loves me unconditionally.
God, I hate to say this but getting high more often has been very spiritual. It's a time where my mind wanders and expands, sometimes in smart, sometimes in stupid ways. I love how relaxed my body feels, how my body feels things more intensely, how comfortable I am with myself. I like what Seth Rogen said "Weed is my sunglasses. Weed is my shoes, I’m not quite cut out for this world, but weed makes it OK."
I haven't had anything that particularly comes to mind. I teach Be Mitzvah, so I have lots of religious experiences - really good classes, lovely ceremonies, but I haven't had a really spiritual experience in a while, I guess it comes with the territory of working in the Jewish world. And, most of my spiritual experiences come in community which I didn't have much of this year.
I helped a friend who had fallen at his home. I took on the role of treasurer in my small church. Things seem to be working great. I have insights regarding pride. I count all these as spiritual experiences and signs of God's majesty.
Reading Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste: Origins of Our Discontents” helped me to understand how social oppression works — whether in today’s U. S. or Germany’s Third Reich or in India past and present.
I have had times when I think meditation and journalling saved me from my own hell. I have had dreams I will never forget.
Nothing particularly spiritual. I have noticed the time 1:11 or 11:11 a lot more. Not sure if it’s my dad or my gma, but someone is wanting me to notice. I need to remind myself to slow down and enjoy each moment as though it will be my last. I’m always going, going, going.
I noticed that i had a drawing dummy that a guy offered me 2 years ago, with some suspicious inscriptions under. i realised that we wrote under witchcraft so i could be thinking about him all the time. I put the dummy in the trash and blocked all his contacts. I felt betrayed, there was no need to control me if he didnt want to be with me. I think he would like me waiting for him until his divorce.
i talked to a man in a gas station recently and we really connected. It reminded me that I'm not alone, and that I only have to reach out to connect with others.
I did actually have several spiritual experiences this year. A few occurrences of extra "help" during sessions, accurate visions, and teaching a few people how to channel their own guides. Also, during my meditation class, I had a vision of what I would call sacred geometry while we were learning a technique to clear out distracting thoughts. These instances just confirm to me that there is a lot of information out there just floating around, and if you are a clear and open channel, you can receive it. I watched a show on Netflix about "surviving death"or some such thing, basically communicating with those who have gone on. And there were some very affecting stories, particularly about sending specific signs after death to show they are still around. I seem to be in a kind of lonely space right now, with certain friends falling away, and knowing that I can be connected with the unseen is a comfort. Especially since Mama and Papa, and two of the dogs (both Mo and Spot), are so old and seem to be near the end, I need to know that I can still be connected with them. On a different note, Mark showed me this cartomancy method that also seems weirdly accurate, and that is something we are both practicing now.
Working the synagogue booth at the county fair was a surprisingly encouraging and energizing experience. It reminded me how good it is to share G-d's love.
I have spoken at the funeral of one of my dear patients who had a long difficult death, with pain and suffering. Being with her and her daughter really helped me get in touch with my own spirituality.
I let go of many formally nostalgic material possessions this year. I didn't do it on purpose. I just started feeling more attached to the things I love and less attached to the things I don't. I realized that collecting things that reminded me of moments from my personal history was a kind of narcissistic impulse that was keeping me living in my past. It's ok and even healing to forget. Onward!
I live in spiritual awareness all the time I would say though that the pandemic has brought home powerfully the nature of our interdependence and that has deepened my commitment to love.
We had camp this year!! I was the director for real (like I was supposed to be in 2020), and it went great. We're past 2 weeks out, and no COVID infections - not even a suspected case. I am so proud and relieved. There were two defining moments of personal redemption where I was able to handle situations much better than I did similar situations at past camp sessions, and I feel like I've grown into my own power, confidence, and leadership. It was REALLY FUCKING HARD, but so rewarding. And I mean hard as in, constantly in motion for 18 hour days, not time for a shower, best you can do is floss between your toes with a wet wipe before crashing. But I think I can say that I'm good at it, and I want to do it again. Plus, just being able to be together with my favorite people on earth, doing what we love, with the brilliant campers that we love, and providing a safe space with a sense of normalcy for everyone. It felt really healing.
The first thing that comes to my mind was the Peloton All For One: Pearl Jam Ride and Pearl Jam Run. There is just something about the music that gets me excited and moves me. Add that to the endorphins I feel from exercise, especially something that taps into the same space as EMDR meditation/hypnosis techniques. There is a bit of a spiritual high that comes along with it. Of course there are plenty of smaller moments in my work and in my meditation practice. Those are less interesting to write about. Oh, the first time I cooked a meal for EB when we were introducing her to solid foods. I cried when she chewed and swallowed the meal, the food I cooked.
Living in the quiet, so in and near nature, has definitely been a spiritual experience, and it's been so enriching.
I continue my daily meditation and prayer practices. I have added singing to the trees and birds and land in my backyard. The songs were given me by a Navajo man and by our Nepalese sherpa. I am also currently in an 8-week JustFaith course -- Sacred Land.
The one experience that comes closest to me being able to describe it as “spiritual” is a very personal one. Over the past three years, I have made significant progress in being better at being myself and at managing myself as a person and in how I show up in the world. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my issues, my fears and anxiety, my motivations and all the things that make up “me.” I described my new-found knowledge as knowing myself better. But the moment happened when my perspective changed. I had been thinking about “knowing myself” and was very proud of how far I had come in such a short time. But I noticed that I didn’t change. I showed up the same way and had all the same issues dealing with the world. Only now I knew why. I started to think about how I could show up differently, how I could handle my life situations differently and how I can be more centered in myself. Then it hit me. I know myself. I know how I can handle anything. I can build my own life, my own internal existence and my external person in any way I wanted. And here’s the important realization: --> I can use everything I know to create the life I want And I started building. I get to know what is “authentically” me. I learned how I am best in various situations. I learned my boundaries (a big lesson for me!). I learned what I wanted and needed. And I started building it. And I’m still working on it. But now, I feel authentic. I show up with curiosity and warmth. I assume better. And I am more satisfied. I’m not done - it’s a journey - but I am on my way. And loving it.
I have had several experiences of journaling in the third person and watching as a future spills out of me that I didn’t know was inside me. It’s like the subconscious expresses itself. I feel awed and grateful for these precious moments. And I feel close to God when those moments happen; it’s like a gift from God—a love letter.
I guess I felt more common humanity as I learned to be a better listener. But the longer I live the less spirituality interests or appeals to me. I’ve found the peace of mind and sense of connectedness I always felt lacking, and it was through wonderfully concrete and mundane means.
The birth of my second granddaughter and the engagement of my daughter have made me realize how blessed I am. I turned 66, have had both hips replaced, and I've begun to realize I'm not really going to live forever. I appreciate my family and my friends more. Things don't last forever, but I'm thankful for what I have now.
I learned what it means to live in "Groundhog Day."
I've had a spiritual experience of the "universe" rising to meet my needs in unexpected ways as soon as I come to express and accept my needs
Nope. I did experience joy singing along and moving to some of the songs in the virtual service. I was home alone, so I didn't have any of my usual inhibitions. This last Jewish year was Fear of the Continuing Pandemic from RH to Gregorian New Year's Eve. From one new year to another. Then on the 1st day of 2021...The Lump sent me into the Cancer Crapper. And fear of hidden cancer still overshadows my soul. I feel betrayed by the universe and my own body.
Yes, I deeply connected with my SELF and the other than physical being I AM. The spiritual (divine) nature that I am also. Its been a year of integrating this...of slowing way down and loving all that is arising...much of the most painful and vulnerable aspects too. Also of coming from this place of Consciousness rather than the limited perspectives of humanity and personality as my central guiding /navigating Source.
I've probably been less "spiritual" this year than any other, simply because it's been one of those "nose to the grindstone, git 'er done" types of years. Lots of routine; less introspection. We have been trying to do Stoic meditations each night and I am working on getting our house in "Montessori" order which, while not necessarily spiritual, is bringing a sense of calm and focus at least.
Connecting with the natural areas of the island we moved to 15 months ago has been the most spiritually rewarding activity for me this past year. Simply having to stand out on the deck during my daily ferry commute out of a sense of COVID caution forced me to look at the water at least twice each day. Added to that were the walks and runs along the shore, rural back roads, and trails on the island and a deliberate effort to spend time on the water kayaking, swimming, and paddleboarding. Connecting with natural areas is always spiritual in some way, but connecting with the place I live--and intend to stay--is creating a sense of home. And that's deeply spiritual.
I don't know that there's been anything particularly religiously spiritual, but it has been a year full of reflection and introspection. I've given myself "talking to's" to pull myself together and given myself time and permission to to just sit and sometimes be sad. (an aside. I wrote the above and then read my answer from last year. I guess I'm still kind of in the same space I was then, haha).
Not particularly. I am not a religious person, and this both detracts from the benefits of religion - mainly feeling like there's always someone by your side - and helps never feeling like someone abandoned me. I guess not being religious helps me better accept life's inherent randomness and the catastrophic ways it can ravage through my tiny stable life. I am also pretty aware of the role luck plays on my success, and I am forever thankful for when something good happens to me when I didn't expect it.
No, unless the constant, unrelenting onslaught of shit that keeps happening counts. I'm so worn down that I don't even know if I could experience anything particularly spiritual at this point.
I began attending Temple. I'm from a bat shit crazy sect of fundamentalist christianity. My first time in Temple after making the decision to convert to Judaism was extremely spiritual. Even though my Hebrew is horrible and I couldn't readily pronounce words. I was overcome with a strong presence of peace and belonging. It felt like I had been there all my life. Finally, a place of complete acceptance and belonging. This experience only increased my desire to live and learn the full Jewish life. September 23, 2021 I begin my full Jewish conversion. I'm excited and feel challenged more than ever before.
I can't say that I've had any straight-up spiritual experiences. I started a new meditation practice, which I like, but I still suck at it. I've had moments of feeling blessed, feeling lucky to be alive, but I'm constantly striving and never quite let myself be in the moment. I feel like if I would just chill a bit, the Spirit is right here.
Hmmm I would say yes but only in relation to music. And not spiritual in a sense of I feel like I’ve been touched by ‘god’ but spiritual in a sense that I felt I connected with the music in a certain type of way & had an appreciation for it that I may not have had a few years ago. Tangaroa whakamautai by Maisey Rika is the specific song I’m thinking of.
I was a part of 600 Highwaymen's "A Thousand Ways". Just me and another person. A stack of index cards on the table and a pane of glass between us. As we acted out the questions, our guards became lowered as we got to briefly know one another. And without warning, the encounter was over. It was a spiritual experience interacting with another person once again.
Sadly no - No epiphanies, no spiritual awakening, no moments of ahs...Rather it is the monotony of the days - Zoom meetings, masked shopping only for the essentials and stay at homes nights with Netflix. Sounds depressing. It isn't all that bad - there are moments of levity - and since the vaccine, moments of hugs and shared dinner - and yes - masking up afterwards. But spiritual it is not. No walk in the Giant Redwood forests for inspiration - not beautiful sunset on the beach (beaches were closed most of year). This too shall pass.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to atmend online-services from beautiful and kind synagogues. Further by listening to sacred music or by reading the Torah, i experienced particular spiritual moments.
Last November, I did a dedication ceremony as the closing of my Samhain celebration. I had done one before, for grandparents that passed within the year, but last November I dedicated a mentor who I very dearly loved and lost a 4 year battle with cancer. There was a huge release of grief when I closed, but also a gentle sense of relief. Like someone giving you a hug that you needed so badly you were unaware you needed it. I'll need to do that ceremony again this year, for my cat, and I'm not looking forward to it, but I know it will help in the long run.
What's new in my daily (morning and evening) gratitude practice is that I feel a literal, physical connection to the trees in particular. A power comes to me when I activate that connection. Amazing.
I think the closest thing I've had were existential moments where it hit me that life is chaotic, everything in the universe strives toward maximum entropy and minimal energy, and things are not going to get better. I try to be an optimist, but it is hard to deny what you observe going on around you.
First, I read Thomas Merton's "Seven Storey Mountain" and have done further reading on centering prayers. More listening on my part and less verbalizing. Still working through this. I want to know and experience more. Secondly, I have been taking Yoga for two years. I started for the physicial benefits but there is a wholeness to the practice I find fulfilling. And there a few areas where this might blend well with the practice of centering prayers.
I needed to rid myself of the pain of my stepfather. I had a photo of him that I took where his distain for me was obvious. He had caused me so much pain over the time he was in my life, and I carried that pain everywhere I went. No amount of escapism could rid me of it. So, when the moon and plantes were right, I burnt the image, putting all the pain into the act of destruction. I've felt 100% better ever since.
The single pink balloon 🎈 in the pond 3 days after Shirley passed away. Shirley’s sister Laverne, and Shirley’s friends gathered at the park to say our goodbyes. Before we left I released 12 balloons to signify my release of her body and her spirit to a higher power. Seeing the pink balloon in the pond three days later symbolized for me a presence of gratitude for the life she had and to let us know she was well and waiting for us to follow.
Just the other day, I experienced joyfulness for someone’s happiness. If I had ever felt that before, I can’t remember.
No. I've felt completely cut off from spirituality since the pandemic began. Anxiety, worry, depression - they all seem to really block creativity and spirituality.
I have had several "spiritual" experiences in my Collage and Mixed Media class. I have worked on pieces pertaining to political and pandemic topics and exhibited one in a virtual Art exhibit in Conn. It was quite an experience as I prepared to send it to the museum.
A spiritual experience was helping my son for 2 1/2 weeks when he was injured and recovering from hip surgery. In addition to helping him in other ways, I washed his feet gently one day to help calm him and ease his pain. That was a spiritual moment as I helped my 44 year old son relax for a few minutes during a very difficult time.
The most transcendent moments for me are always in nature. Perching in a sour cherry tree marveling at the impossibly bright, glossy red of the fruit in the sunshine comes to mind. And following a grouse through the woods on a rainy morning, and walking in the snowy park on Christmas. Also moments of connection with other people. The way that the fruit picking and Buy Nothing make these strange, tenuous communities of fleeting positive connections. Marveling at what interesting, smart, kind, funny people I'm friends with. That stuff.
I can't say that I remember having any spiritual experiences as defined by you, unless moving someplace I have never lived could be included in that
Dealing with death feels spiritual to me. There was my dad's death and the song I wrote about it & have had opportunities to sing. Then my former husband died. That I found out by chance feels spiritual. It has also reunited me with my sister-in-law because he had a funeral insurance policy he forgot about, and I am able to give her the $ because she paid for his funeral expenses out of pocket.
Sadly I actually haven't. And I hate that is my answer. This year has been shite x
I don't think I have felt anything really spiritual per se. I will say that seeing and feeling a baby growing within me is pretty surreal, so that's the closest thing.
Once again, sadly, the isolation brought on by covid-19 has prevented the type of experiences I've had in past years. While the solitude and isolation has been good for introspection it hasn't been good for exaltation!
No. I don't relate to "spirituality" at all. I'm atheist. I have been meditating regularly for over a year... probably 2 years now (since before the pandemic began I think). It's a habit now, and I like it a lot. Once I start I can go an hour if I have the time, even longer. But I often end up falling asleep. It's supposed to help me to be "mindful" though I've yet to relate to that at all. I think the point may be to learn to stop unwanted thoughts, to realize that I don't have to indulge every thought I have. I do know that when I'm upset, it usually calms me. And I do tend to reel out of control with feelings quite often. It's been a very tough year taking care of mom. Putting her before my automatic responses to her. I'm not very good at it.
In a brief burst of post-vaccination optimism, I visited the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland and cried into my mask when I stood in front of Mary Proctor's door art. It's part painting, part mosaic, and full of so much joy and intensity that it made me *know* that it's still possible to make beautiful, meaningful things, and to love them, even in hard times. Thank you, Mary Proctor and the AVAM. You lifted me up when I most needed it.
This year has been all about allowing my true to surface. This happened because of two changes I made in my life: I went freelance and I left the city. A year ago I was terrified, wondering if I would go bankrupt. I had left my job and spent all my money and more on this ramshackle house I had fallen in love with. I didn't know if I was going to earn enough as a freelancer to pay back my friends. But I had to do it. It made so much sense - leaving a toxic work environment, reducing monthly costs to almost nothing, having silence and nature. Around that time I shaved my head: I hadn't felt sexual for a while and thought that with entering perimenopause my sex life would be over. I was desperate for calm and quiet to heal from the previous years with a bully boss, a stalking ex and a brother who still isn't talking to me. It worked out as I hoped. I didn't go bankrupt. I started blossoming. My sex drive came back with a vengeance - I'm exploring my queer and kink sides and being very open about this to friends and strangers. I still don't know how to label my sexuality but I feel as if I've come out of a closet. I've always enjoyed sex and my sexuality but somehow I'm feeling more free and happy than ever before. I've completely rejected expectations, norms and society's patriarchal patterns. The second big revelation came with allowing space for my own creativity. Instead of being focused on supporting other creatives I took the time to follow the Artist's Way and develop a daily writing practice. It brought on a profound of opening up my mind and feelings, which at times felt like going insane. Being 46 and a woman I feel I have entered a new puberty, only this time around I'm confident and experienced. I'm enjoying the waves of feeling, the craziness, the ideas and inspiration, the process. I'm embracing the change and deeply appreciate the growth. I'm feeling more myself than ever before. I made the life changes that were necessary to create space and time for myself - to explore myself and to have enough time to rest and process. I'm happy.
I did mushrooms with friends in the beginning part of the year and I experienced ego death. My body dissolved and I became part of the All-Mother, the Membrane that Connects All Things. I was only important because I was a part of the whole, and the whole was special, not me. It helped me re-evaluate how I see myself and my place in the world. When everything is connected, everything and everyone is part of the same whole, it changes how you respond. It was a little hard to come back into my own body and rejoin the world. I mean, I was part of EVERYTHING, what does Twitter hold for me??? However, one of the best things about being an incomplete being is food. It is a gift we give ourselves multiple times a day. Eating is such a joy and I never want to take for granted how wonderful it is to enjoy food. Fuck weight and body type expectations, just enjoy your life! Make the All-Mother proud!
I don't think I have had any particularly spiritual experiences this year. I've felt rather cut off from church since they started live streaming services and stopped the Zoom chats after services. They've reverted to very ableist ways with governmental easing of restrictions. I know that church isn't the same as spirituality, but being separated from church seems to have separated me from some awareness of my spirituality.
Going to the beach with my children a couple of days after the death of my mother. I’d never really liked the beach but was filled with an overwhelming sense of being where I needed to be, everything being in its place.
I think last night, where Rob and I spent two full hours sitting on the porch swing watching lightning in a rare thunderstorm, just in complete joy and awe, would be the closest thing I can express that is spiritual in this past year. It was incredible.
Still trying to meditate every day, and coming close. Nadine also; we usually meditate together. Loosing more friends to death and infirmities; and dealing with cancer that is so far hard to treat successfully; and more infirmities for both Nadine and I.
The birth was extremely spiritual. I entered a trance and a time/energy vortex. Sometimes I feel like I'm still in it, because it's always around us, just that we don't notice it.
The moment that comes most to mind happened during my first trip back to LA since the pandemic began. I spent this trip exclusively with Lena and Hayley, my two best friends, which partially included staying in my old apartment (an extremely disjointed experience for my brain as it kept short-circuiting thinking I still lived there, which filled me with a bittersweetness I can still taste). One night of this trip the three of us went out for drinks at EP/LP's gorgeous rooftop bar and Maeve, Hayley's childhood best friend, joined us. It was just one of those perfect nights, surrounded by women I deeply love and admire, realizing that the bonds of feminine friendship are the strongest fucking thing in the world. I remember eating Leo's tacos around our old dining table, sitting there with my childhood best friend and Hayley and her childhood best friend, thinking that this was one of the sweetest moments of my life. In that moment I felt connected to the rest of the universe and Creation and to all the women who came before us. Those moments of connectedness allow me to experience the kind of spiritual clarity I seek the rest of the time.
Starting individual therapy with Denise and revisiting my past traumas has been a surprisingly grounding and centering experience. Becoming the owner and sole responsible party for my success and/or failure has been simultaneously the most stressed and the happiest that I've been so far. The empowerment and sense of self that I've gained (as a result/ concurrently) have been life-changing in the best way. I feel like I am finally stepping into my power and owning my own bad-assery.
YES!!!! I continued on my spiritual path and it opened up more. Being open I have received more messages and I am being more attentive to them. I think people can see the difference in me.
Honestly, no. If anything spiritual has happened, it's the blur this past year is. I still think of pre-pandemic life as "Last year"
My circumcision was surprisingly spiritual, even if the healing process is a nightmare. I got it done in a clinic - there aren't any mohelim in Ireland, at least not any who work with adults - but said the blessings myself during the procedure. When it came time to say "l'hakhniso bivrito shel Avraham Avinu" I felt a huge wave of emotion. Of all the rituals of Judaism, this was the most tribal, the most primordial: I was joining the covenant and it felt like it too.
Last spring there was a red fox playing in the catchment behind our home. Watchiing the fox frolic in the catchment maade me feel connected to the natural world. Definietley a spiritual moment!
In my journal I kept saying I was looking for an artistic outlet - thought photography but nothing came to me, then I realized that teaching others is creative, I'm good at it, and I enjoy it. Tutoring dyslexic student, ESL student and will train other advocates for League of Women Voters. I can be creative
I walk to shul most every Saturday AM, which is great exercise. The hill is easier, now that I'm 30 pounds lighter. I feel free like the modern Orthodox I met when I was 26 in L.A. I only carry a tummy pack and a light jacket tied around my waist. Wearing a hat and dressing up makes me feel special. My husband accompanies me and then makes a right turn towards his temple, Starbucks.
Nothing really comes to mind, which makes me sad. I can think of individual moments where time stops and I feel completely present in the moment. Loving moments with Chris, as simple as realizing he is awake in the middle of the night and reaching out my foot to touch his leg and him giving my foot a squeeze. A few coaching moments with Fellows when I felt fully connected to them and could see and feel an emotion or realization sweep over them.
Losing my ability to skateboard due to my knee injury has caused me to find new releases. I've taken joy in cooking, walking with my wife, riding a bike (indoors and out), surfing (of course), and finally picked a paintbrush up at a regular interval for the first time in years. It has opened my eyes to the various means of "filling my cup" and has made me less scared of a day when I may lose skateboarding as a crutch/release
In 2019 my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I lost all faith in the power of prayer, but not in Hashem. My husband passed away 26 months ago. I've recently started seeing a gentleman who has brought me back to my roots, back to prayer, back to lighting my Shabbos candles every Friday - even when I travel, my candle sticks and Shabbos candles come with me. I'm also going to begin teaching an online Sunday School program for military children. Having my belief in prayer restored has changed me and brought me back to life again.
Every year I feel more and more connected to God or "Source". I love to meditate and ask questions and I swear I get real answers (I'll write them down). I strongly believe in the power of prayer. Also of positive thinking. I believe we all have the potential to heal and would like to investigate this more. In the past year, the latest book I've gotten into is called 'The Kybalion', from the original philosophies of Egyptian mysticism. It's pretty interesting. I'd like to get more into that, and also go back and read the Bible more.
When I was diagnosed with Covid I really thought that it might be the end of my life. I am overweight and was pregnant at the time, both of which are risk factors for severe Covid. It felt like a sword hanging over my head, first waiting for the test results and then waiting to get to day 8 and finally to day 15. It was terrifying and I am still trying to process the experience. I have contemplated my mortality and the meaning of my life a lot since Kirstin died and it all came to a head that week. All I can say is that time moves too quickly, I am terrified of death, and I want as much time on this earth with the people I love as I can get.
I think labor was a spiritual experience. The actual act of bringing my baby into the world was remarkable. I don’t know if I’ll ever experience anything even remotely as amazing as that was again.
Spending time with children who loved me as I loved them was so soul healing. Spending time with my nephew is always good for my soul.
learning who my AA sponsor really is based on his refusal to get vaccinated had me questioning the foundation of my program of recovery. Fortunately, the foundation of my spirituality is based on the metaphysical existence of a power greater than me so the Human failings of one person I trusted is not devastating.
Yes- am more mindfully focused on practicing kindness, compassion and making room for others ‘ happiness. Am more aware/ grateful about a lot of things .
I wouldn't say spiritual per se, but I have been thinking more about my purpose in life. While my working purpose is to create an open and joyful world by being creative, loving, and fun, it's not feeling 100% right. I like the open part... I guess I like it all, but maybe it's just wording and what's behind the words.
This year I witnessed death for the first time. I palliated a patient who was very sick, got to comfort their family, and then finally do the final cares before taking them to the morgue. I didn’t know what religion they were and I wasn’t particularly religious myself, so I said to him that I hoped he would be accepted into the paradise of his gods. It was a strange experience, and I don’t know if I’ll ever have the words to describe it…
I have participated in 2 groups, one 'spiritual' & the other using Musaar & the Mussar Torah Commentary. I have, also, been involved in a weekly Torah study group.
Last year's spiritual emptiness continues. So many people are using religion as a weapon to hurt others, and even themselves, and there's nothing spiritual or divine in that. I know religion and spirituality are not the same, but with weaponized religion is sucking the life out everything else, I feel like spirituality is essentially dead now.
I traveled to Philly alone this year. And I got lost in a subway station but I don't know how I did it: I found a shortcut to Citizens bank Park. And as I was leaving because I needed to get to 30th st station to come home the Phillies got the dodgers out making it the end of the game. It felt as if I was in the right time and space for this to happen.
Recently, I rehomed my chickens in order to bring my focus back to center, to work to complete tasks instead of having a million things in some sort of state of completion. Of course, home projects are mostly never done, but I am working to get rid of things. This has a spiritual component because I am building a witch's garden where the hens used to be and I am signed up to take a wild crafting class next Saturday. For me, being a witch is being a good neighbor, being kind, open, compassionate. Having skills to share, to build community. I am growing herbs in my garden and learning about how to use them for healing the mind, body and spirit. I am opening my heart to love and compassion, recognizing that previous ways of seeing the world is no longer adequate. I feel a shimmer along my skin as I write this, reinforcing the idea of connection and the seeking of greater wisdom.
I always have a hard time with this question. After thinking about it, the closest I can come up with to a "spiritual moment" is seeing the second line on a pregnancy test for the first time. It's bittersweet to think about it, since that baby didn't stay with us, but I don't think I'll ever forget that moment.
The birth of our first child. I had planned for a "spiritual," natural childbirth assisted by a midwife and a doula - instead, because our son was breech, I gave birth in an operating room by cesarean section. And it was absolutely a sacred experience. Parenthood forces you to humbly let go of all your preconceived notions, and for us that started from the very beginning. I realized you don't need to do anything to make birth sacred. Birth IS sacred. It doesn't need lavender essential oils and pastel rooms and sound tracks of chanting to make it so. The huge, cold, steely operating theater was transformed into a temple the moment our son came screaming into the world. And the moment they put him on my chest, and he looked up at me with his unfathomable blue eyes and wrapped his tiny arms around my neck like he was giving me a hug, is the purest spiritual experience I have ever known.
My daughter and I found a newborn baby squirrel on the street. It was breathing with closed eyes as if it had just fallen from a tree. We got him to a wildlife rescue and he is surviving! Why is this spiritual? Because it felt like a special thing to do to help save such a helpless creature and because the next day my father passed away. While my father didn’t particularly like squirrels he did feed them and liked being outdoors. Somehow these two events are intertwined in my heart.
I am a dancer who became a Pilates, Yoga and Fitness Instructor and later returned to school to become a substance use counselor. I continued to take a dance class for myself until Covid shut everything down. I haven't been inclined to choreograph or express myself artistically during the past 18 months. Recently, listening to some music I saw movement in my head and felt it in my body. I have no class or audience to create for but the idea of creating and moving my body through space again suddenly became incredibly appealing even if it is just for me.
I think saying goodbye to the place where I grew up — the neighborhoods, lakes, marshes, rivers, and the people — was a deeply emotional and transformative experience, as was the creation of a home together with my partner. My last apartment was shelter and independence, that held me well for three years as I healed and grew, and it was a great act of faith to take my mezuzah down from it, and put it up in a new, shared home. Also, I had a profound and joyful moment of gratitude for my survival when I got my first dose of the COVID vaccine.
I started my conversion process 10 months ago, I don't have enough characters here to explain how has this affected me. All I can say for not is that I am now closer to living up to my true potential and feel comfortable and content with who I am, what I stand for, how I feel, and the path I want to continue discovering
Yosemite. Between being vaccinated and the onslaught of the Delta variation we flew West to visit friends and family and revel in the beautiful natural world. The giant Sequoias at Smith River, the sunsets over the Pacific, the tide pools, All of it so fragile and now some of it encased in smoke. And then Yosemite - the scale of it, the clarity of the light. Humbling.
It's been a rough year. listening to online davening doesn't replace shul for me in anyway. So I have prayed a lot in the last year. And I haven't done a lot of singing - zemirot on shabbat or tunes from Shabbat morning services. The wonderful music of Shabbat just didn't attract me when singing alone. But there was a Saturday evening this summer when we could finally have a guest. And I asked to sing before benching. It was indeed a special spiritual moment, as though hope was in fact returning to the world.
In Greece, I was constantly on the prowl for spiritual or religious experiences. So many writers had led me to believe that the powerful Greek sun would irradiate me with holy light. Generations of pagan power and centuries of Byzantine belief suffuse the ruins that surrounded us everywhere. I had hoped that every site would reverberate with secret mystical powers. My magical feelings were fewer and farther between than I had hoped, but they happened. The first delirious night watching Orestes at the ancient theater of Epidaurus was overwhelming. The Temple of Hera at Olympia made me cry with a sense of the continuity between eras. A hot hillside on Naxos made me pious. Mystras was magical, and in all the moments of wonder, I shared something with the ancients.
Having my art recognized by several different venues and people in the industry has given me new belief and direction. I am considering tapering back on my other activities to bring more focus to this side of me.
This year, praying at the Western Wall for the first time made me feel spiritual. This was also the first time I’ve donned tefilin, and this connection to my faith was one of the most deeply spiritual things I have done in my life.
It's been a pretty plain year, spiritually. Not as dry and cold as some years -- just pretty devoid of remarkably transcendent moments. I haven't seen art that took my breath away, I haven't been brought to tears by beauty or Life or whatever. I'm still settling into a comfortable relationship with the Church. There are times when I step outside myself and think "what on earth am I doing, asking Mary or saints for intercession? Do I really believe this?" What always brings me back is the Mass. The potency in that Moment is palpable and I can't deny it.
My most spiritual experience of the past year was being blessed by my friend Jessica at her wedding. I was so honored to be apart of her day and did not pass up what can often be an uncomfortable situation- kneeling before the bride and asking for a blessing. The day after the wedding her blessings for me started coming true. I know I put in my own time and hard work and energy to get to where I am, but after a long time of bad luck, bad timing, whatever you want to call it, to have so many opportunities come my way the day after a spiritual experiences showed that at the very least, prayers and blessings can't hurt.
I found that it was a real "Awakening" when I started to observe my Jewish heritage!
Being with my mother during her last days was one of the most inspiring and one of the hardest things I ever did. I cried and cried everyday and had diarrhea and cramps all the time, sometimes I couldn’t go out to eat with friends. I got to tell her she was a shining star and an inspiration and a mentor to so many people. Two women named their daughters after her. That she had been able to grow and change when not so many people can do that. My high school friends gathered around and took such good care of me, even though I’d had a miserably lonely time in high school 40 year before. Everyone was redeemed and I knew I was loved. Ten years later, I still think of her and miss her everyday. She went to school with Walter Cronkite. The great generation. Thank-you for your strength, intelligence and tenacity.
I wrote a song. Actually, the song wrote itself. I had been engaged in HH spiritual preparation, and I woke up with a virtually intact song in my head. It was a profound connection between the spiritual and and expression of the story of my actual life experience of betrayal and abuse. I've only shared it with a couple of people, and I'm still not sure where it goes. But the experience of putting the snippets of memory into a song, made it feel more legitimate. Not something that would stand up in a court of law, but my own perspective, which is likely the better way to tell the story.
Not exactly, I’ve done a lot of zoom Bible study. But then my break time group evolved into a strong friendship after not even knowing each other and zooming together. The Holy Spirit worked connecting us, supporting us and helping us through tough times
Although I haven’t had any specific experiences, I’ve become more aware of a need to explore and honor that spiritual side of me. I feel that something’s missing, and I’ve returned to regular attendance at my synagogue.
To me spiritual and the divine have come down to intention and nature. Are my intentions honorable? Am I being honest with myself and others? These are the questions I ask when I'm most attuned to what some would call spirituality. That and the magic of nature, because it really does feel like magic that flowers bloom, trees change colors, wind blows and day turns to darkness and back by itself, unbidden and regardless of what humans do to ruin the beauty.
I think my most spiritual experience was my recovery from COVID Toe -- I wasn't able to walk for about a month, and once I recovered, I felt a renewed appreciation for my toes and my body overall. It felt as though I had a connection with a higher power during this experience.
Instead of live streaming Rose Hoshanah services on the first day from my home (Conservative) synagogue, I watched a service (Reform) that my son was playing at. He is a percussionist. As a college freshman, he was searching for answers and was taken to an Evangelical church near us. He attended for about 2 months. I was devastated. Each Shabbat, I would pray/cry to Hashem “Please find a way to bring him back to us and the Jewish people.” After college, he moved to New York City to begin his professional life. After a while, he was able to get some regular Friday night gigs at a synagogue in Manhattan. Over the years, he was hired to play at High Holiday services, at Purim Spiels, and at various other events. Synagogue playing has become his bread and butter work and he relies on these gigs to pay bills. He again identifies as Jewish, fasts on Yom Kippur, eats no leaven on Passover. Watching him play such beautiful musical versions of prayers I am so familiar with touched me to the deepest part of my soul. It brought tears to my eyes as I marveled at how my sincere pleas to Hashem were answered so fully.
There was a kabalat shabbat service at the HIR on the shabbat before Tisha B'Av that I attended. Prior to this, there were so many feelings of distance between me and my religion, I thought I would role my eye at the service. Though there was no dancing, and I certainly would have danced, the singing calmed me. I wanted to sing along but a voice in my head kept saying "you don't believe this, why are you saying it?". I had to force myself to accept the songs as being uplifting-and meaningful despite having doubts. I spent the time hoping. I sang because it was giving me hope.
In the midst of a spiritual experience right now, our 50th wedding anniversary (Sunday September 12th, today is the 10th) week. The outpouring of love from friends and family is beyond belief. We’re in Philly reminiscing with siblings and relatives - so much fun. Sometimes I feel the spirit of parents looking down keeping us safe. Party tonight. Then We’ll be back in Phoenix with children and grandchildren on Sunday. A renewal at our Arizona temple on Sunday. Ought to be some sight with Jared on the bimah. Who would have thought we’d be caring for a disabled child in our 70’s but here we are.
Climbing mount katahdin. Seeing the beauty of the lakes dotting the forest below. Realizing the power and majesty of that sacred mountain. Feeling my mortality as any false step could mean injury or worse. Resting my body on thr stones of that ancient geological force.
Just barely coming out of Covid, it feels as if I have been in a holding pattern. If I were younger or in a period of my life where important decisions had to be made, I would think there would be a lot of inflection on many meanings. As I am “winding down”, being in a holding pattern just feels as if I am losing a bit of time. Maybe if the pandemic returns and completely shuts us down again, I will feel worse and turn inwards more to do more self exploring.
Unfortunately, it feels like the only spiritual experiences I've had this year have been ones I have created, just by looking at everything around me and seeing God in all of it. It's happening again now, just thinking about it.
Learning about and sharing in the lives of those around me, even from a virtual distance, has made me intensely think about what I believe in as a person and a Jew.
Not so sure it is truly spiritual, but being laid of in conjunction with the pandemic has given me time to reflect on my life and what is important to focus on. It has helped remind me what is important in life.
I think in the past year I have felt more guided. I have noticed more coincidences. Like when I was questioning if focusing on maternal mental health was the right decision, I stumbled upon the National Maternal Mental Health Day that landed on the exact day of my graduate school interview. Additionally, I have noticed a lot more butterflies. I imagine that they are my grandparents that I have lost, coming by to say hello. I wasn't as open to these experiences in the past as I felt so rushed and wouldn't stop to notice the small details.
The more antisemitism rises in the US, the more I feel more connected to Israel and the Jewish people.
I've had two experiences: getting to know more about Judaism and living away from my family, by myself, for a year. Both happened at the same time and affected me to be more aligned with myself, and to slow down and take more care of myself and the world. I am trying to be more transparent about things that I like and that I don't, and this is making me a better person
I have just returned from the Celebration of Life for Miss Annie. It was the closest thing I've had to a spiritual experience for a long time - seeing people, connecting, and being in the mountains while thinking about our shared past and my future brought me as close to peace and contentment as I've been for a long time - after the sobbing, of course.
It's pretty small scale compared to the world situations. We had a rift happen in our family with our adult children. My husband said and did some things that seriously offended them, and they informed us they were cutting ties "for a while." I was devastated because some it it I wasn't even aware of, and when I learned of one thing "in progress" I couldn't stop it. I was devastated that actions of someone else could deprive me of contact with my children and grandchildren. I was helpless, and turning to God in prayer was my best way to find comfort and my only source for hope. I contacted my children to only express my sorrow and say I understood their perspectives. I could only wait and pray. Peace did begin to set in, and then rather quickly my children contacted me saying they did not blame or hold me accountable. They were willing to continue communicating with me, to the extent I was invited to visit my out-of-state child as long as I went alone. I was able to resume my relationship with my daughter and grandchildren in neutral places. In time the local child and spouse relented and started to interact with my husband. This was huge because we were now able to have them over to our house again. Life is back to normal with one child and family. While the other is still distanced from my husband, I have had phone calls and will go to visit next month. This was a reinforcement in my belief that I can turn over "impossible situations" to God to heal, provide, and intervene.
Attending the first in person choir rehearsal in the garden. I felt unstressed for the first time in as long as I could remember and when I got home I was alone downstairs. I relaxed and listened to music that reminded me of my father.
Some days I have felt particularly grateful to be alive and have all the blessings I have; it's certainly more than I feel I deserve. But maybe I am being to hard on myself. My practice has varied from day to day, week to week, month to month. Sometimes I am super jazzed about Jewish practice, other times I can't be bothered. I wonder what Gd wants, or if Gd wants.
The first time I had my lease ride on Gracie, I made it through the ride and bathing her but as we were grazing I started to get pretty sad and teary and missing my boy. When I put her in the stall for a minute to get cookies, she started stretching her neck out and making faces- something I’ve never seen her do but was Laddy’s signature move. It felt like him telling me to go going and that it was okay.
Honestly I don’t think so. Unless you count bachelor in paradise as a spiritual awakening.
I’ve been trying to take the time each day to engage in self reflection, as a way of both coping with events out of my control and making positive change for those things I can control.
I took a wonderful class with the organization Jewish Studio Project and it was called something like "Art of the Unknown." It was such a beautiful, thoughtful, thought provoking class and I never before felt like I got much out of making art. The teacher facilitated connections between Torah readings and how we live these stories. We shared our personal connections to the stories in drawings, symbols and writing.
All the amazing experiences of our cross-country trip: Watching the sun set over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hearing the birds and rain in the North Carolina mountains. Touching the Monument Rocks in the dry ancient seabed of Kansas. Standing on the ridge of Black Mountain in Colorado. Dancing in the Pacific Ocean. Driving through the hills in Oregon. The vastness of the world is amazing. It made me so much more settled and at peace, and even more determined to someday live someplace beautiful and sublime.
I left Penny with a lot of anguish. I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do. Now, I’m still not sure if it was right, but I am sure it was not wrong. Sticking close to the twelve steps, I have had the spiritual experience of total forgiveness to myself and everyone - including Penny.
Life itself is one big spiritual experience! LOL but I kind of mean it. For this year, I'll say my dreaming which probably aligns with my sleep getting better. I have these lucid dreams where I am so aware of dreaming and I can even wake up again but in my dream for another time. It's cool. I wrote a little when I was in CA about merging dreams and reality, and I started to explore simulation theory this year.
As I said before, I have spiritual experiences every day. More and more I am paying attention to the messages that the planet and spirit are communicating regularly. One of the things I focus on is remembering my connection to the divine in all I do. It is interesting - I had not visited my parents for 1.5 years due to COVID and finally was able to make the trip. I believe that both my mother and I have a spiritual team around us at all times and when we get together - whoa, it's a party!
This is a hard question. Spiritual for me has always meant religious, but if we use the broader definition and include artistic/cultural experiences, I can definitely say being able to attend live theater again has had a profound impact on me. This year our daughter directed "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" at the Hoogland. She poured her heart and soul into the experience and it showed. The cast and crew were fantastic and they really came together as a group of teenagers to produce a wonderful show. But further, not attending live theater for over a year really made me appreciate this opportunity she had to direct and I had to attend. There is nothing like sitting in an audience and having a shared experience. It will not be taken for granted again.
I know I mentioned this in earlier posts and it really sucks that it took this but I really think the car issue was because of me and masterbating and looking at porn. Is that the true meaning, I dont know Im God and it sucks that it took that, not a TUMOR IN MY HEAD to really get a clue and believe that I am addicted to that crap. Plus with trying to read a bible verse and try to pertain that to what God is trying to get across to me so I can be his best disciple.
I started going to therapy and I am going to a meditation retreat in fee days. Also I attended very interesting witches ceremony which was really inspiring.
None. I feel like I am just keeping afloat right now. The relief is when I take time alone, I take walks, I play Bach.
I feel a spiritual connection to, and await each summer for the symphonic sounds of the cicadas. Their sounds transport my soul and bring solace of some type. Yesterday, I found one on my front porch, but I’m not sure if it was dying or hopefully, just resting. Last year, on my dad’s birthday, I found one in the same spot. Perhaps they are my “spirit “ creature. I also feel this way about crows, but rarely encounter them.
I went to my first Rosh Hashanah service (Day 2) and felt like to was very mundane and ok. About half way through the Rabbi gave a nice speech about how far we've come and it hit me this was the first service I had ever attended alone. Every other time I didn't feel ready to do it alone, and I planned the high holiday services without really realizing if my partner didn't go I was going alone. It felt like a turning point for me.
Most of my ritualistically spiritual activities have been curtailed due to covid, but I'm always on the lookout for transcendent experiences.
I don't think anything especially spiritual happened to me this year. But that's OK, those special moments are rare and to be treasured.
My spirit is still low. I am so looking forwarding to live theater this Fall and Winter. I have tickets to Six, Come From Away, Hadestown, Music Man, and Dear Evan Hansen. I saw King Lear in the Berkshires with my sister and although I wasn't particularly enamored of Christopher Lloyd, it was live theater and that felt wonderful.
I had a major spiritual awakening this year. It began on the evening on the 9th of Av after the fast and it has essentially continued since. This has affected me in that I now realize more than ever that my mission in life is solely for me myself to do "right" but that it extends to anyone who is in - or may in the future come in to - my sphere of influence.
Continuing to watch Emmett grow and develop from a baby into a toddler has felt spiritual. It's been a blessing to see his mind lap up the world around him and grow his ability to understand and interact with it. Getting in the plane for the first time in a year and a half felt spiritual - to be hurdling at hundreds of miles per hour 30,000 feet in the air with the angels view of the world beneath you, all while acknowledging you have no control at that moment over your own safety. Every flight is like that to an extent but when you haven't done it in a year and a half, the poignancy really emerges.
Last year, despite the walking difficulty, I spent Yom Kippur morning at Winterthur and discovered spirituality in streaming the service while overlooking a beautiful meadow. This year, I recreated it for Rosh Hashanah, and it was even more meaningful. Is it spiritual to dwell on the catharsis that comes from being able to do things you couldn't before? Particularly being able to walk with ease through gardens and parks and arboreta, free from pain, and able to once again enjoy being in nature?
Does getting vaccinated count? We went to the military base because they were the first people to have doses for people over 40, before our state did unless you were a front line worker. We got our first shots on April 1, a wonderful not April's fool event. It was really strange because they had chairs all spaced out in a giant conference room. I hadn't been with that many people in a long time. It was quite an experience.
Not really. I have learned to feel more loved. I think I better at letting Danna see my weirdness and appreciate how much she loves me. And to be honest I am looking forward to not being in charge
Being back in my synagogue after an absence of more than a year- being able to be with people at a meal- even if mostly outdoors- soo missed it
It was really nice going back to temple for Rosh Hashanah. In the spring, I wasn't sure whether I would want to still be a part of our temple. Going twice this week has made me feel more connected to my spiritual side. Matt's death and the cancer of diagnoses of Ryan and Eric have also had me reflecting on religion recently too.
I found myself again and I feel alive again. I thank gd everyday.
I started to think I'd become psychic -- I was having dreams that foreshadowed real-life events. One of my good friends says she's found me on the "astral plane" (i.e., in her dreams) a few times -- I'm not convinced I have anything at all to do with my own appearance in her dreams, though. I've also thought a lot about the positive takeaways I got from my Catholic upbringing, and about my relationship to "the divine," whatever that happens to be. I've been sort of meditating on and off about the "mystery" of the divine and how that applies to faith in practice -- I don't think I'm good at faith. I feel like something more than an electric chunk of meat these days.
Spiritually I’ve come to accept that while I desperately want to be a change agent in the world and to achieve status and renown, I am a lesser person when time and again, I forego doing things for myself to play a role in some larger mission. You have to spend real time in life to sit with who you are, and learn the things that make you happy in each chapter of your life.
I think I'm very out of touch with my spirituality. Dancing is the only thing in recent years, and I barely did it in the past year because of COVID. I went out dancing twice in the liminal period (post vaccine, pre delta variant) and it was beautiful but also a little bit uncomfortable and I was rusty. I would feel safe going to a dance class now but I'm much less motivated to do that than I was to go out salsa dancing, which definitely doesn't feel safe. I don't know how to tap in to my spirituality aside from that. My dad meditates every day and I know I could join him but I haven't.
Oh for sure! This year has been one in which I have spent a lot of time outside and in the wilderness. Beginning in February in Utah at Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. From there, heading to Joshua Tree National Park, Channel Islands National Park, and culminating in backpacking in the Aravaipa Wilderness area. These experiences have been monumental on so many different levels. I tend to be my best self when out in these naturally gorgeous areas, enjoying how I can feel so small in an area that is so vast. When going to places like Zion that just open up before your eyes, it is truly remarkable. I feel the strength in my body and in my spirit the most when I am out hiking or backpacking, using my body to take me to incredible places.
Being with my mother on the last days of her life and by her side as she left her physical body were very spiritual experiences. Watching her take her last, painstaking breaths and burying her are the closest I've been to the other side of life (aka death). This experience rocked me to my core. I now see how fine the line is between being alive and being dead. Death is not some faraway place. It's right here, in our front yard, sitting next to us, ready to welcome us. It's scary, but also comforting to know that life isn't endless. I'm less afraid for my own death but more afraid of losing my remaining loved ones now that I know how hard it is to be left behind.
The first memory coming to mind is a specific moment of looking up at the stars and somehow relating to them in a way that induced a feeling of the sacred. I think my mind told me something like: "Wow, this is a religious experience." But I have no mental recollection of that moment or the details it held. I actually think my mind was blank. It was during a mushroom trip that started with walking a huge labyrinth on a field and sitting around a fire at its centre. There was a lot of which could be considered magical or sacred or religious or spiritual. The walking really set the stage for the experience. Also being outdoors, out on the field, in the cold, in the dark, in the midst of night. Out there! Out in the open. That lures out all kinds of inner secrets. But that specific momet of being alone for a moment and looking up, seeing the Milky Way and all the stars in an extraordinary shade of cold electric blue - that was striking in a way that's not completely clear. I don't know how it has affected me other than it's kind of a reference point to the feeling perhaps. But all the mushrooms trips of the previous year have left me different than ever before. I distinctly remember being in the tipi with Kaue, amid the smoke and the gentle fire and knowing... Exactly - knowing! Experience that there is a state of knowing, always there, here, accessible. And that is definately an experience ingrained in my being. Something to turn to, bring back around and lean on. That there is a point of knowing, whereever I may be.
Same answer as before: 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 haven't really had any spiritual experience this year. More so - Signs from "The universes" some right, some wrong but none the less I am listening and paying attention to the forces around me
I've had two experiences over the last few months which I would constitute as "spiritual". The first was in Minneapolis, where I visited for a day on my way to Iowa for my cousin's wedding. I made my way to Minnehaha Falls, and I witnessed the beautiful scenery hidden behind a series of trails. I followed the trail for about a mile, and found a spot to sit in near the creek created by the water from the falls. It's in that spot that I made a promise to myself to never again question whether I deserved to live, and confirmed to myself that I deserve to life simply because I was born. I took a picture at that spot and revisit it from time to time. The other "spiritual" moment I had was on my first 9 mile run in training for my marathon. On the leg back, I needed to run up a steep incline. As I began the journey up, I saw a women running at a slightly faster pace than me, but as I ran I noticed that she was lagging behind and I had started to gain additional speed. At that moment, I felt as if "someone" was pushing me up the hill, and I felt weightless resting on that force from someone. I imagined it to be Hanuman, the Hindu incarnation of a god that is worshipped in our family.
Between meditating 3 times a week and studying (trying to penetrate) Buddhist koans I can not claim to have been enlightened in the full sense of the word but knowing that it is impossible to know, understanding “just this” and the folly of attachment to self and that reality is in each of our minds, the spiritual resides in kindness, gratitude, humility and joy.
The closest have been experiencing scenery on coastal walks in Wales and in Devon. The wide sky, cliffs, blue or grey sea. Windy and being buffeted. A sense of being alive.
I don't know about anything I could define as spiritual, but definitely felt uplifted and loved when family and friends reached out to me to make sure I was't feeling too alone. And I also felt similarly when I was able to help others.
Not really. Too much time at home and work and not out and about experiencing everything else. But perhaps the transformation of Junie from rescue dog to a member of our family
I hosted my very first Pesach Seder in my own home. There were only three attendees and far too much Manischewitz per capita, and I was the only one familiar enough with the Haggadah to guide us through it. It took over a week of kashering to prep my kitchen and the meal alone was a whole day of work. Despite all the challenges I wouldn’t have it any other way, the Seder was so much sweeter for the love and effort I put in to create it. Plus the photos I took of my spread made my family kvell from 3000 miles away!
Yes, many! We joined with a new Jewish community to participate in several events (and I’m helping to organize them) and it has been wonderfully spiritual to connect with likeminded people and experience spiritual magic when singing and praying with them. We also had our first in-person experience with our beloved Kol Halev community and I was moved to tears when I was able to (masked) hug and sing with people who I love so much. We attended a very small camping music festival where I got to see my favorite band play for the first time in more than 10 years, and again I was moved to tears. Dancing to some of my favorite music, surrounded (with distance) by other people experiencing this, under the stars, at one of my favorite places in the world, was beyond magical. Another incredibly amazing experience was reuniting in-person with some of my most treasured “family” who have been incredible influences in my life. We went to my best friend’s farm (and my favorite place in the world) and got to play music together, sing, pick blueberries, eat nourishing beautiful food, swim, and generally be together. I got to watch these people care for my daughter the same way they’ve cared for me my whole life. It is also the place where I have the most and best memories of Sam, who died when I was a teenager. At first it was painful to be there, but now his memory and my experiences there bring me immense joy and connection to a greater universal love. So, yes. I have had many amazing, beautiful, profound spiritual experiences in the last year.
This past year felt particularly devoid of spiritual experiences. There were a few spiritual swells - in particular, being able to participate in in-person services again - but no real, actual spiritual experiences. Overall, this was not what I would consider to be a spiritual year.
I tried to make sense of my leg fracture by viewing it as a spiritual metaphor. My skeleton had broken. The structure that had held me up for my whole life had, without my seeing it or acknowledging it, become weak. To move forward, I have to acknowledge that hard fact. In order to continue on in my life doing the things I want to do, I will have to be really present, extra careful. But I can also see this as maybe my last chance in my life, as I age, to get stronger, once and for all. I've been saying I want to be stronger for, oh I don't know, decades? And here it is. I'm 65, I have osteoporosis, I've broken a bone really badly, and it is really now or never. Either I really do work on myself, on my body, my spirit and my emotions, or I won't be able to live out the life I have left in the way I want to. Maybe the effort will be futile. Maybe I won't be strong enough. But I'll never know until I try, and now is most definitely the time to try.
That’s a great question, and quite loaded. I have gotten closer to my understanding that I am a little bit of Stardust, and that the universe is always watching out for me and guiding me towards joy. Interestingly, a very special relationship ended this year because my partner chose his spiritual relationship with God over me. This has led me to be even more anti-religion but still I am holding space and respect for all ways of thinking and believing with a goal that our spirit will live together in harmony.
Finally coming out to my parents. The peace that it brought, the ability to move forward and start building my life the way I want it. Looking back I realize just how much holding that in was holding me back.
I have to say spirituality is probably lacking for me right now. Golf continues to be good for getting out and clearing my head. I do have a golf shirt that says "golf is my meditation". I wonder if I need something else. Some more reflective time. Right now things at work feel too disruptive for me to feel clear. But, that is my responsibility to take on.
I have had so many. From being in nature and appreciating the divine, to answers to prayer about jobs/courses and through everyday encounters with humans and animals alike. I have felt a divine energy with me throughout the year and it's really helped me stay positive and hopeful in a global pandemic and through the ever changing climate crisis.
Not in that pure sense. Except that I am feeling more keenly my need to be connected to the community and to fulfill my duty to make my community stronger and better. I did a values exercise as part of some coaching, and realized that overtime what I used to call "compassion" is now "love". It is less detached. More direct. More real.
Not a spiritual person, but Chidi's speech at the end of The Good Place really captured what I believe. I find the concept very comforting. “Picture a wave in the ocean: you can see it, measure it, its height, the way the sunlight refracts… and then it crashes on the shore and then it’s gone. But the water is still there. The wave was just a different way for the water to be for a little while. That’s one conception of death for a Buddhist. The wave returns to the ocean, where it came from, and where it’s supposed to be.”
I had a very dramatic experience as the seemingly endless snowy, isolated Covid winter dragged on and I was out on a cold and icy day at Rockefeller State Park Preserve, with frozen rain falling on my umbrella. I gave myself credit for just getting out and going for a walk. I stopped to pray across the lake from a giant oak tree, that I sensed was like my companion in prayer. I prayed for better days ahead, for hope, and then I spontaneously said, "Please give me a sign." And the next SECOND, I looked up at the ice-covered lake and there was the Great Blue Heron, whom I hadn't seen in months, just gazing serenely at me, and then strolling calmly across the ice. It was an instant spiritual reset.
Honestly, moving, downsizing, touching every piece of debris from a long and full life proved to be a spiritual experience. It was, as I've said before, a form of time travel. Items from every season of my life all piled together and sorted into 3 piles - keep, get rid of, think about later. While it feels good to let go of so much stuff, I often felt completely immersed in emotions from a different life.
Yes. There is more to life than what meets the eye or mind. I'll never understand life in it's totality but I can meet it halfway by being present for it. Not in the past nor in the future just in the now using my 6 senses...knowing being a new one I never heard before
I still feel a spiritual connection on Shabbat services, even if done virtually. Sometimes, being out in the back yard and connected to nature during services has been an added spiritual bonus. Sometimes I feel mom and Sheva, although they haven't been in my dreams for a while. When I was driving R--- to camp, I felt my mother-so strongly-sending me an excited message, "I'm here with you and R---, taking her to camp! I am with you!" It was so intense and so out of the blue, it was incredible. I kept myself together until I dropped R--- of at camp and then I cried almost the entire 90 minute ride home. This is why they don't do this very often-I'm not very good at handling it, because it makes me miss them so much. Just writing this makes me emotional.
I do not think that I have had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year. I do feel more positive because I choose to listen to and read uplifting stuff. I also don't watch the news which really helps to keep me feeling more even. I am choosing to focus on what is right instead of what is wrong.
Immersion in nature remains the most sure-fire way to tap into spirituality - 3 trips to the Lavender farm, the Jan vacay in the Hill Country, walks along the Trinity, even decking out the master balcony. Interestingly, the trip to Maine wasn't "immersed enough" for that effect - maybe I've gotten spoiled by Texas' wide open spaces. In most if not all of these situations, I find myself reaching for Jewish books. The comfort of walking time-worn paths of tradition and halachah. Dancing between different approaches -- the highly intellectual litt crit vs. the zen buddist emo -- homing in on my own equilibrium. My own answer to "this is me."
Visiting Mesa Verde and the different remains of past civilizations - just standing quietly and honoring the space of the Anasazi ancestors - I could feel a quiet spirit envelope my soul. I will never know if it was actual spirits or just letting myself "be present in the moment." Either way - it was profound, especially the moment I was standing in a cliff house and a butterfly landed on me. No flowers or greenery around and this butterfly showed up.
I’ve learned that nothing is as difficult as I perceive it to be. Nothing is as horrible as I perceive it to be. Judging others based on my perception is often fraught with errors. Questions, not judgements, provide answers.
I have worked at GROWTH mindset, in my art, and it has manifested. My spirit practice has included some meditation, a lot of art making, and yoga in winter.
I started meditating with an online Buddhist group and studying Buddhism which I am finding very helpful in these troubled times!
Reading and thinking. Books - Braiding Sweetgrass, Piranesi, Klara and the Sun. Deep Adaptation - an idea and a Facebook Group responding to climate crisis. Thinking about solitary spiritual practice where I might grow toward my own end/transition versus what responsibility I might have for engagement in community. I feel I fall short on engaging with others and talking them into what I think is right. Even when I am completely convinced that I know best, I hesitate to proselytize. Out of fear of rejection or laziness? Or futility? Or appropriate humility? Some of each. Spiritual practice - hand stitching reclaimed fabric into beautiful and useful things. Each stitch is a prayer. Each item rescues something from the landfill and puts it back to use. The fact that these projects are slow, small, and make no appreciable dent in the problem of waste does not dissuade me. Keeping it small and humble seems not a drawback, but an important aspect of its spiritual significance.
Same as last year. Every day is a spiritual experience.
My spiritual base has widened I think as I realize and acknowledge it is in more places than a church on a Sunday morning. It's in my podcasts, in my yoga sessions and when I swim laps at the pool. And it is in the eyes of my wife and daughter when I look at them with love and appreciation.
I'm not sure how spiritual it is, but my year has been dominated by grief and loss. I know Jareth believed very strongly in an afterlife of some kind. I don't think I do. But contemplating how to keep living, and how to love Jareth even though they are no longer in their body, has been a spiritual experience of a sort.
Just welcoming G-d in my life. The answer may not always be what I need to hear, but it is important to hear it.
Thanks to Gal Pals, I realized that I don't want or need spirituality. We were in the middle of a course on the history of religion, when I realized that all of it - no matter what vocabulary you lay on top of the concept - is designed to control humanity. Even if I construct my own definition of spirituality, the design is there to control me. That seems like a crazy-bad use of my time.
It's always in the little things: being in nature, connecting with someone, the sense of common purpose that comes from group efforts, being able to hold space for others, or just the right line in a song, poem, or podcast. Returning to jiu jitsu and having people be happy to see me again was surprisingly moving. I have been resisting my formal practices (meditation, breathwork, feldenkrais), but am negotiating myself back to small pieces of them. I really miss singing, but struggle to find avenues that are secular.
Seeing all my friends and family for the first time in 18 months.
I'm having more and more regular spiritual experience. They are less extremes highs and more calming and peacefully sustaining my soul. They are becoming less about striving as I learn the my creator just wants to be with me and considers me their beloved... not because of the work I do or the good I accomplish but just by being with them. A hand full of time I've had some really energising and filling times praying by myself and on my own. I'm learning the spiritual practices I do in secret are so much more powerful and heart-full. I also have loved creatively praying and moving into helping set up a prayer space here in my city and am excited by the potential there to be praying more creatively and regularly. My spiritual experiences are affecting me by calming my physical being and bringing my whole self into a more stable joy. I'm learning about my ennegram and how my personality can flit between one adventure and the next and get distracted by over indulging, I'm finding my spiritual experiences are making me more self aware so that I use my whole self to bring joy and stability.
We made a graduation party for my son in early June, and because of the graduation dates of his friends' parties, we were tied to a particular day for ours. That day came up rainy, which worried us because a) with the spectre of COVID-19 still hanging over us, we weren't sure we wanted to stage an indoor party b) our house is really not big enough to stage a large indoor party anyway. The day started out rainy, and even at 1:30pm we heard rumbles of thunder. We started preparing for an indoor party, re-arranging tables and furniture, etc. despite our misgivings. We'd already invited the guests and purchased the food/drink/decorations. At around 3pm (the guests were told 4pm), I walked out on the deck and noticed that many of the boards were dry. Hmmm. We switched course again, to plan A, which was outdoors. Lo and behold, we had a sunny, clear window from 4p to 7:30p to stage our cookout. It started to rain again just after 8pm. My wife and I said that, in our minds, it was absolutely the gift of our 4 grandmothers - 2 from each of us - to be able to stage this party for our son. I can see my father's mother, Pearl (z"l), saying to me, "Yingele ('Little boy,' her nickname for me), make your son a nice party. It'll be all right." I hope it's a long time before I can ask my 2 grandmothers about that day, but when I get there, I definitely will ask them and thank them. That was the best gift they could have given us/our son.
I have had two spiritual experiences. First, listening to the music at my work during the Summer Festival has been very spiritual - listening to people play beautiful music can be very transcendent. Second, I have had some small experiences while either listening to my Daf Yomi podcast or listening to the sermons at our temple.
This years has been a very spiritual year for me. As I have reaffirmed my faith in Judaism. I left the Catholic Church and for the first time I have experience my first Passover and now my first Rosh Hashanah and next my first Yom Kippur and I’m striving to be a better person and To live a full Jewish life.
I've though of God more and more as Spiritus Mundi, as in Yeats' universal memory and a 'muse' of sorts that provides inspiration. The Universe as God. I think God's fingerprints are everywhere.
As someone, due to disability, unable to drive, the trend of offering religious services on line has had its benefit. Same goes for offerings for study and group meeting. For a while, I took advantage of grief support via Zoom. But the ‘normalcy’ of isolation and being hindered from asking for rides and opportunity for social connection has taken its toll too.
Now that we’re allowed to travel, I’ve continued my visits to the cathedrals and am really enjoying how people created such wonderful places, They make me feel close to the creator.
I am a fundamentally secular person, so assessing spirituality is not a framework I particularly understand. However, this summer I went backpacking for the first time in years with a close friend. We camped by a high altitude lake in the Desolation Wilderness. Our trip happened to coincide with a heat wave, making our trek up an endurance sport (100F). After setting up camp my friend wanted to hike a short additional trail, but I was too exhausted. I stayed by the lake and experienced quiet for the first time in years. No kids around, no former spouse, so omnipresent traffic noise. That night the winds were incredibly strong, at some points almost lifting my tent off of the ground with me inside. I could hear the gusts rolling in from over the adjacent peaks and into the valley where we stayed before they would collide with my tent. The juxtaposition of the silence between the fierce gusts was striking. It was during this period that I found the space to begin to think about losing my father earlier this year. I was physically alone and without distraction, whilst also felt so much smaller than the elements around me. For the entire last year I had to be the strong father for my kids as they grappled with isolation during covid and then the dissolution of their parents' marriage. Allowing myself to feel pushed by the wind, pummeled by the sun and vulnerable to forces around me was the catalyst I needed to leave the mental space I had been forced to inhabit for the last year. I wouldn't necessarily call this spiritual, but it was a mentally transcendent experience, which I suppose is what some may call spiritual.
I've come to appreciate intergenerational connections more and more over the past year, and I suppose it fits the idea of spiritual that I tend to find useful. In the past week I've had extensive conversations with younger colleagues, with my friends' and cousins' rapidly-growing children, and also with grandparents of my daughter's playmates. It seems like one aspect of parenthood I had never considered is how deeply and complexly the generations are interlinked; I never felt quite so close to my extended family until I started a nuclear family of my own, and now I feel a certain remorse for having taken those relationships for granted for so long.
My spirituality has really suffered these last 18 months. I would really like to continue tapping back into that part of myself, as I feel very disconnected. I mostly feel connected when I’m out in nature, especially if barefoot and listening to a great song. *oh, and when we were camping at Waskiseu this summer, I snuck out of the tent late and watched the meteor shower alone in the dark. It was breathtaking. I felt small and grand all at once. That was amazing.
Not much has changed in the past year. . . I still enjoy the smaller moments--nighttime snuggles, Shema, making challah and Shabbat. I've also come to rely on my morning walks as a touchpoint. I'd like to find more spirituality this year. . . we shall see.
Being in Israel with my first Birthright group. Seeing G-d in their faces when they first entered the country, saw the Kotel, and even riding ATV's... I need to look for G-d in more places.
I'm always thinking of my mom, and in so many ways I'm surprised with cognition of encountering unexpected reminders of the love she shared plentifully with me; images, music, passages of poetry, food, you name it. I feel like she is near here, influencing the world around me. In in times of despair, terror, even revere, I've prayed for hope, love, understanding and felt a difference. I still pray for forgiveness.
During my 6-day silent meditation, I came to feel truly at peace with myself and one with nature. I realized how important silence, being connected to my inner self and nature is to my mental and physical health. I understood the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature.
Yes. My Radiance Essence and my human suit had a reunion on the most recent Virgo New Moon. This was quite a profound experience that rocked my world and completely shifted my everyday paradigm. I can now feel my authentic Radiance broadcasting out 360 degrees from my core in all directions. I willingly send signals of care, compassion, and Love out to Infinity. This influences the entire Universe and Multiverse. I can feel it. Shift. Ripple happens!
This has not been a year for spiritual experiences. I have been moved at religious services, but mostly because of missing the traditional elements. I have been elevated at 12 step meetings, but mostly because of hearing that others experience similar emotions during this time. I am biding my time, continuing to pray, and remain open to all the good that is out there.
We have gotten to go back to museums and spending time seeing art helps bring calm to my soul. I'm also focusing on not taking pictures of everything all of the time, especially on vacation. I want my brain to retain those memories so I can always find them easily when I need them.
I have continued to practice gratitude for everything good in my life. The good things have gotten better! After a really difficult Winter where I struggled at work with a terrible boss and personally with relationships that just weren't going anywhere things started to improve. I feel now as if, in almost every part of my life, I am being guided to the things that are best for me. I'm incredibly happy and satisfied.
Getting back into pilates has been spiritual. It's the only time I'm able to calm my mind. Pilates is essential to my well being and health, I need to continue. I've noticed it helps me connect with my breathing outside of class which makes it easier to control my stress and anxiety. I'm also sleeping better and in less pain. My body and mind are so appreciative. Why did I ever stop?
Nothing that I would have identified as particularly spiritual at the time. However, in general, being in awe of nature and the outdoors has always felt close to spirituality to me, so if I had to look back and choose something from the past year, maybe it would be all those daily walks, even through the cold, ice, slush, and snow of winter. I had not done that in any previous year, and most likely would not have done had it not been for Covid, but it may be something that I will try to maintain, at least to some extent, in the future.
As I turned 70 this past year, I realize more than ever that I am entering the last faze of my life. I am in a great place, great wife, retired, no financial concerns, and Tricia's family to be with. I have good frienda, still play baseball, and stay active despite my arthritic issues. I just want to enjoy my life as it is now.
More and more often, I have found myself caught up in poems as I am writing them. (haiku and tanka...or haiga) It's rather like there is a "me" inside, telling me what I *really* think or feel. And during Meeting for Worship...worship becomes a deep, vital experience. A shifting of time itself. Looking back on last year's answer, I can see a foreshadowing...the beginnings of and yearning for what now is taking place.
I dreamed about a romantic interest. In the dream we hugged, both bare-chested, then parted. It was not sexual, just symbolically close to each other. This was comforting because I'd been very angry with him, and thought I had pushed him away.
Honestly I have been feeling very negatively spiritually. I was really exhausted by our childcare search...it is just the most important thing, to have reliable care for the kids. I seriously prayed and prayed about it and was so stressed out that I could have had a heart attack. I felt abandoned by G-d, it was so discouraging. I have never been more stressed and pressured. I advertised in so many places, only to have either nobody apply or have people apply who weren't what we were looking for. So I feel like I gave up. It worked out in the end but it was awful. It made me feel discouraged, negative, lonely, disppointed.
I practice Playback Theater: listening to personal stories of audience members and then performing those experiences in the moment, in front of the entire audience. This practice is for me the definition of a spiritual experience. One of the most moving of these experiences was performing the stories of a number of Jews of color in the presence of other Jews of color and Ashkenazi Jews. Bearing witness to the pain of being excluded in a place where you should belong while the people that cause harm listened, made me think and rethink about times I have hurt others. It also encouraged me to hope about what is possible in human relations when I have the courage to listen more.
Spiritual is artistic for me. I felt that tremendously during the recording process for Carrie’s new album. It was so rewarding to be creative for an entire week with 5 equally creative humans with the same goal. Powerful. Wonderful. Liberating. Rewarding.
Writing has become so much more important in this time of isolation. Also and perhaps more so daily Morning Prayer said with a group online.
I attended a mushroom retreat that was spiritual and beautiful. I felt my father with me. I had a deep connection with Derek by my side. It solidified more of my feelings for him and my deep connection to my father.
A slowly evolving one. I don't have to fix other people's problems. I don't have to hang around everyone. I can grow roots in a community. A good tribe, the right tribe for me is worth waiting for. It's a waste of time to take care of other people's feelings. That's how I ended up with the wrong tribe in the first place.
The most powerful spiritual experience was after reading "The Overstory" and then looking around at the trees in my garden and thinking "wow, they're all communicating with each other".
Minimal: mostly from the random articles or documentaries I've consumed on physics and what we don't know (or I still fail to understand). Total incomprehension without disgust (common to my not understanding about people or world I grasp on a greater level) is as close as I come.
I have always been connected to the beach. I grew up there and parents lived there for their whole lives to this point. My dad was ill and died in May and I spent a lot of time - full time for months- with them in their home. I walked Nantasket Beach in all season s ( and have the photos to prove it). Something about the rising sun each day became more spiritual for me. No matter what the sun rose. No matter if it was cloudy and I’ll was unable to see it, the sun still rose. It was a new day. I found a lot of power in that. I also collected hundreds of pieces of sea glass and felt an extraordinary connection to each piece as something that had once been broken glass and was then transformed by ocean water and sun and air into something smooth and lovely. From jagged and painful to smooth and lovely. God/Nature in the sunrise and in the smoothing of brokenness.
Sometimes god comes up in conversation with my daughter. I'm honest with her about it. I get why it's a useful story for people to believe. Like how the story of Santa Clause gets kids to behave. But I have never seen any evidence to substantiate the extraordinary claim of an all-knowing creator. And I can't turn a blind eye to how the idea is (and always has been) a tool of oppression.
Spiritual is Bruce and or Cameron. Having the first brings on the second! The second not always the first. I am filled with love and joy when connecting with either.
I reconnected with my far-flung Buddhist community (Sangha) online this past spring and have really been glad I did. There are videos and audio recordings of our teacher, Lama Drimed's lectures, meditation and movement exercises, facilitators/leaders guiding interesting discussions and perspectives on our practices, and community-building every week, twice each week. So grateful!
Just a few days ago, I was in Munich for work. My schedule was unpredictable, so I took time every morning to wake up early and go running through this enormous, beautiful park. On the last day of my trip, I was running as the sun was coming up and the dew was evaporating off the fields. I had good music playing in my headphones and every direction I looked was like a painting. I took that moment to reflect on where I was, what I was doing, and the professional success that led me to that situation. I reflected on my relationship and my friends. I was able to push away intrusive thoughts of "but the climate" and "but the pandemic" and focus on the good things. It felt like I was flying through that park. I was truly grateful and happy on my run. That's a feeling that I wish I could bottle up and sniff once in a while.
My first year of rabbinical school seems like a bad time to answer this question with a "no" but, alas, that's kind of where we are. Zoom Tefillah isn't doing it for me. Zoom Kaddish wasn't doing it for me, I stopped wearing my kippah when I spent a month on Woodbine Street when my mom got sick, I don't think I believe in God and all of these readings I'm doing for rabbinical school talking about how the Torah was pieced together manuscript by manuscript aren't exactly helping.
No, on the contrary, my "spiritual" soul has been lost. Not being able to be around people to pray with and feel a sense of community has taken a huge toll on me. I feel lost and wondering if God really exists. Doing things via Zoom or live-stream video is just so impersonal and not meaningful. I worry I will never get it back.
Living the song "Losing my religion" Hurricane in New Jersey flooded Michelle's temple - have to wear a mask in ours - why? If GOD is so powerful shouldn't all this praying and B.S. especially IN services "protect" everyone? So incredibly stupid! Rabbi Pete, in person this year, seems to be very pessimistic about the decline of organized religion - like all things we have to adapt. Going to services just depresses me - it's just not the same without family who are spread all over the country. Surprise - Kim went to services! Tandy is doing her best - with work and kids - it's not a big deal, but she knows who she is and that's the most important thing - the world is going to hell - doesn't matter what religion or no religion - prayers for peace only work if you're carrying a gun! Good excuse to take a few days off - paid "sick" time! Sorry god, but I DO have merit!!
I went to the Covid19 remembrance garden in Stratford London. There were wreaths and flowers left by people who lost loved ones. I was confronted with the scale of loss and it made me feel nostalgic for "a time before" The immense pain was made palpable.
I would not classify them as “spiritual” but I have loved online meditation, ballet and theater and music streamed during the pandemic. Brought so many wonderful experiences into the home.
I’ve been attending Access to Judaism classes this year. In one of those classes, I found out about midrashes. They resonated with me; I had been approaching religion in a similar way to the concept of a midrash for years. It felt like the way I felt about religion was reflected in at least some way in the Jewish community; that there was a community out that I could take part in and find some excitement in religion with after years of thinking that such engagement was no longer possible.
YES, starting psychedelics to help with my chronic pain, NDPH headache disease Not only did it help with my body. It helped with my soul
I got mad at God, and stopped listening to him. When my heart softened, I heard him tell me what to do next. I resisited, but did it anyway. I'm still working to rebuild the relationship.
Being at my dad's bedside shortly after he passed away, holding his hand, seeing his body. It was so strange feeling how his hands were cold, but he looked like his smiling self. It was the first time I'd ever been in the presence of a dead body. I could definitely tell his spirit/self was gone, was not in the room with us.
sure, I learned how to say “no” and not care what the outcome would be.
I’m not spiritual really. I don’t like religions- I grew up with super religious parents and communities and it was so oppressive and petty. I was at the seaside for a little with R and we hung out where the flowers were blooming with the sun and the beach and that was magical and meant a lot. This is maybe the closest it gets for me.
I guess I have become more mindful, which is a fancy word for, aware of how I exist in this plane of being. The magic (spiritual nature) of life is always revealing itself in fascinating ways; that we either perceive or create with our minds. The specifics of which I will keep to myself, but one involved The Beach Boys with the death of my sister...
Being out in nature during my vacation in glenwood springs was a spiritual experience for me. Being in awe of nature and being away from home after a year of being mostly home by myself and being behind a mask every time I was outside the house.
2020. The pandemic. The Trump. What a horrible year. Not particularly spiritual. Much cleaning to do. More perspective working from home. Getting rid of old stuff old things that don’t serve me.
This year has been really challenging spiritually. I wore a kippah for two years almost every day, and this year I stopped wearing it because it no longer felt authentic to me. I've been feeling spiritually deprived, and I'm hoping this year will create more opening for spirituality.
Similarly to last year, I feel a lot of What I consider spiritual connection to coincide with music and performance. In the case of this past year that would be some new albums, songs, tv shows, movies, comics, books, most things from Autostraddle.com. Speaking of Autostraddle, I would also connect some spiritual fulfillment from the queer Discord servers I found myself on thanks to Autostraddle. Spirituality is connection with others and our respective lived experiences overlapping. Very thankful to have had these areas to continue to fill me up.
Many family members and friends died this year: we have reached that stage of life where loss is regular. This makes me want to cherish everyone I love while they're alive and be grateful for every moment of life.
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about twin flames & it made me think about how the main thing that upset me about mine is he abruptly cut me off without a proper explanation. That made me realize that I do the same thing & should probably work towards not going that. Upon having that realization ended up falling out/having disagreements with 5 people. The first person I initially cut off without saying a word but then my phone flew out of my hand when I was bragging about cutting anyone off with a quickness so I decided to voice my frustrations with her in the calmest most mature way I could and continued to do so with the 4 other people I fell out with out with. 3 of them, the relationship ended, 1 of them it was immediately mended & the third it was initially ended but later mended. It was an extremely hard, lonely & painful august but I needed to let go of baggage as well as learn to be more vulnerable with expressing hurt & disappointment. Since then I’ve felt way more emotional, anxious & lonely but I know I’ll be better for it in the future
I'm adhering to Jewish customs out of personal choice and not just ritual. While I respect obligation I do not ascribe to blind allegiance. I've learned the importance of religious education. On another note, I've stayed true to mindfulness while still avoiding the toxic positivity that plagues the field of positive psychology.
Healthcare worker now overwhelmed and running on empty.
I cannot think of any except for feeling extremely thanksful and lucky when I look at my two children and what a miracle they are…
Plenty. Plentyplentyplenty. My blooming spring garden (frogs in full throat, deeply fragrant with flowers, insects abuzz et al) is a deeply spiritual place for me. I go out there a dozen times a day and walk barefoot on the lawn. It's where my deity lives. She wears a green dress and flowers in her hair. Thanks for asking
In a week where I was particularly down and hopeless, I noticed a random radish (that I hadn't planted) growing in my balcony planters. Even though it was small, I managed to harvest and eat it in a salad. Just that magical natural growth of food, that happened by chance, made be come back to the magical circle of life. <3
I have had some moments where I finally knew how to hold my space. I finally was practising Mussar. That has felt good.
I've listened to a lot of music from the Metropolitan and San Francisco Operas and more. I've taken classes and been very involved in my synagogue All of these things have been very good during the pandemic.