Saturday, March 21, 2015


I recently watched a recorded episode of Super Soul Sunday in which Oprah interviewed the spiritual teacher Adyashanti...which changed my opinion of him.

About 10 years ago, a friend at Yogaville had given me two of his books (I don't remember the titles) but I just couldn't get into them., and I dismissed him. However, his chat with Oprah pulled me in, and I look forward to giving him another chance. In particular, their discussion of his book, Falling Into Grace, was quite fascinating.

But I am writing to emphasize a statement that was made in the program:
Adyashanti's spirituality cannot be labeled.

I believe this is true for all of us.

Just as a  definition of "spirituality" cannot be nailed down, neither can anyone's spirituality.

We can choose to follow a certain religion, and subscribe to its dogma , creeds and objective  teachings, but the way we interpret and process those concepts into our own spiritual practices and experience will always be unique.

Can religion be shared?
Perhaps to a large extent -- yes.
But then, again, look at all the religious conflict.
And not just within modern day Islam:  look at my former tribe -- the Baptists, with dozens and dozens of varieties, often still in conflict.

Perhaps religion and spirituality should be compared to sharing a meal.
We can sit at the same table and eat the same food.
But the way that food gets processed depends on our individual digestive process.
Are there spiritual equivalents to lactose intolerant? Gluten free? Diabetic?

As with Adyashanti, my spirituality cannot be labelled, either.
It is a patchwork quilt, one of a kind.
I'll bet yours is too.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


I remained a Baptist as long as I did because of my understanding that the primary Baptist principle was the insistence that each individual had the right to interpret their own conscience.

As such, Baptists were traditionally opposed to the imposition of any creed, and viewed any statement of faith as tentative and non-binding.

That said, it has been a long time since I came across a statement of faith that spoke to me.

But I recently found one formulated by the Christ Church Presbyterian of Burlington, Vermont, back in 2006, that leaves me breathless. It is entitled Somewhere Beyond Belief: A Statement of Faith and I share it with the permission of their Session.

                 Somewhere Beyond Belief: A Statement of Faith

Somewhere beyond belief, our hearts know...
That God is the breath of love within us, between us,
  the intimate mystery beyond us, holding us,
  the Creator, our Creator.

  That God's Creation is essentially good, no matter how hidden
  that goodness may be.

Somewhere beyond belief, our hearts know...
That in Jesus we glimpse God and what God would have us be:
  loving extravagantly, demanding justice,
  fully present, welcoming to all,
  citizens in the Kingdom of God,
  here and now.

That Jesus is known in paradox,
  comforting and challenging,
  clear and confounding,
  historical, present today, and ahead of us,
  deeply personal and beyond our grasp,
  human and divine,
  peacemaker demanding justice, upsetting the old order.

Somewhere beyond belief, our hearts know...
That the heart of our community is around and on the communion table,
  the table where everyone belongs, where everyone is welcome,
  where we see the Christ in each other,
  where we are filled up and poured out,
  where we gain strength for the journey.

That we are called to help create God's New Realm in this world
  collectively and individually, led by the Spirit,
  to love it into existence,
  to announce that it is already here,
  to inspire, to help others see it,
  to be Christ's body and to do God's work.

Somewhere beyond belief, our hearts know...
That the journey is long, that the journey is good,
  that answers lead to questions, deeper and deeper,
  that God's grace carries us
  now and forever...