Spiritual practice can be done in community (like at a church), or alone, or, also, in public. Many Unitarian Universalists consider their volunteer work, activism, and political engagement to be a form of spiritual practice, grounded in their faith and focused on our religious goals.
Unitarian Universalists share a religious heritage with the Pilgrims, after whom we have modeled Thanksgiving. As the 400th year since the landing of the Mayflower approaches, we must revisit the impact of this history on our faith. Gather to address the problem with Thanksgiving and to dig into ways to give thanks that honor repair and wholeness.
Second only, perhaps, to Sunday worship, communion with nature is the most common spiritual practice for Unitarian Universalists. When we visit a National Park, hike in the woods, stand looking out at the sea, or get our hands dirty in a garden, we are continuing a spiritual tradition that links us to the Transcendentalists and to the earliest forms of spiritual practice.
Many folks make a personal spiritual practice of reflecting on their lives. Mindfulness is a way of observing life closely as we’re living it. Keep a diary, journaling, or writing a memoir is a way to make sense of life in hindsight, and to carry the life lessons we learn forward, for ourselves, or others.
A reflection on how finding one’s biological family can deepen your understanding of, and your commitment to, our UU faith.
Mr Barb Greve is a Chaplain at Vitas Healthcare, and is on the faculty of the Chaplaincy Institute. He holds a MDiv from Starr King and Master Level Credentialed Religious Educator. He is currently serving as co-moderator to the Unitarian Universalist Association.
A time to remember our beloved dead family and friends.
A time to honor the circle of life and death.
We make space for prayer and meditation in our Sunday worship, but prayer is also an individual spiritual practice for some. Prayers come in many types, and for Unitarian Universalists “praying” has many forms and meanings.
Dance and other forms of movement can be a spiritual practice. Yoga explicitly is about joining the mind and body and the individual and the divine (the word “yoga” has the same root as the English work “yoke”). Tai Chi does the same. And for some, running a marathon, or lifting weights can have the same spiritual result.
Many religions include a spiritual practice around eating a communal meal (The Eucharist, the Passover Seder) or not eating (fasting for Ramadan, Yom Kippur, or Lent). Eating together at a church potluck, or being mindful of the ethics of what we eat are common ways Unitarian Universalists participate in this spiritual practice.
Oncology chaplain and popular guest speaker, Michael Eselun will share some deeply personal reflections about junior high school– a pivotal and often painful time that leaves indelible memories for many of us. In dialogue with some of those 13-year-old’s perceptions, what might be discovered about inherent worth, dignity and compassion?
Michael Eselun, BCC, serves as the oncology chaplain for the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology.