Practice: Spirituality as Vital Awareness
In honor of our friend, Brother David Steindl-Rast, we offer his wisdom on the expansive nature of spirituality for this practice.
In the Music of Silence, Brother David Steindl-Rast reminds us that “Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of our existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being. Someone will say, ‘I come alive when I listen to music,’ or ‘I come to life when I garden,’ or ‘I come alive when I play golf.’ Wherever we come alive, that is the area in which we are spiritual. And then we can say, ‘I know at least how one is spiritual in that area.’ To be vital, awake, aware, in all areas of our lives, is the task that is never accomplished, but it remains the goal.”
As we focus on our mission, to help build the spiritual foundation for a loving world, we’ve been exploring our own relationships and experiences with spirituality through weekly staff gatherings. The shape and focus of these gatherings, and the small groups that have developed, reflect the diversity of our backgrounds, cultures, life experiences, and spiritual experiences we each bring, from mindful parenting and bible study groups to being in nature, practicing tai chi, sitting in silence, practicing lectio divina or a lovingkindess meditation.
Whether through the study and practice of a formal religion, listening deeply to those around us, tending a public garden, volunteering at a food bank, or creating artwork or poetry, Brother David invites us to cultivate a full and vibrant awareness and aliveness in all aspects of our lives…and to share it.
How does the thread of spirituality weave its way through your life? How might you bring that awareness and awakeness to other areas of your life?
For more inspiration, let Brother David guide you in valuing “every moment as a gift” in his beautiful TED Talk, "Want to be happy? Be grateful."
“Open all your senses for this wonderful richness that is given to us.
Whatever life offers to you in that present moment...take this opportunity and go with it.
Stop. Look. Go. That's all.”
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In your darkest moments, how has your sense of something greater—whether the divine, in whatever form that takes for you; love; or nature—lifted you?