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Opening to the Spirit – Interact

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Praying for each other, in whatever way feels right to you, is the most important part of this community.

You may journal in any way you wish: in a notebook, using art, or by adding a thought, comment, or journal entry with the class. By sharing a journal entry publicly below, you offer encouragement and a chance to share your journey with others who are in this course as well. Feel free to prayerfully respond to an entry someone else has made as well.

Comment below (fill in your name and email the first time you post) and ‘Post Comment’.  Press ‘Reply’ then ‘Post Comment’ to respond to another person’s comment (even if you simply type ‘thank you’).  ‘Subscribe’ to receive email notifications when others post.

Enjoy!

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Carole CrumleyTammy EstepCindy BurnsBrandilynne CraverMeridith Owensby Recent comment authors
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Meridith Owensby
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Meridith Owensby

Hi all. My name is Meridith, and I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m glad to have to opportunity to join you in this study during this singular time. My reflections on this week’s questions are as follows: What has drawn you to this School of Contemplative Prayer experience? For many years now I have been interested in Shalem. I’ve worked with two spiritual directors (one in DC and one in Ohio) who had training from Shalem, and I’ve appreciated both of those women immensely. When I realized they’d both received training in the same place, I concluded that might be… Read more »

Brandilynne Craver
Member
Brandilynne Craver

Meredith, I SO appreciated how you explained the experience of having interest in contemplative prayer being, “Like loving surfing while living in the Midwest”!!!! What a wonderful time to explore the call to spiritual direction. There is such a need for it and too few qualified practitioners. I live in NY state. The days of quarantine forced people to slow down and I think there’s been an increased awareness of spiritual energy that most people are oblivious too during their too-busy lives. At the start of quarantine it was interesting to see how many friends of mine were posting pics… Read more »

Cindy Burns
Member
Cindy Burns

Meredith, I love the energetic and joyful way you express a desire for more. I think we are both in the right place at the right time to focus our attention and contemplation toward the good for all. I look forward to our online interactions.

Carole Crumley
Admin

Meredith, your comment about being a fan of a “sport that isnt’ played Anywhere near you” made me laugh out loud. So true! And so revealing about how precious it is to find kindred souls who seek a deeper life in God. I’m so glad you are in this class!

Brandilynne Craver
Member
Brandilynne Craver

What has drawn me to this experience? A longing (and need) to reclaim the discipline of daily contemplative practice. I figured it would be best to do this in community so I would have a sense of accountability. What am I hoping for? I’m hoping for a restored sense of peace which I know is possible with a return to contemplative prayer which then expands into contemplative living. My anxiety re: Covid has consumed too much energy and I feel untethered. It will be impossible to duplicate, but Shalem’s virtual retreat for clergy offered FABULOUS. The retreat was wonderfully restorative… Read more »

Brandilynne Craver
Member
Brandilynne Craver

I need to edit a sentence in my post- apparently my fingers and brain weren’t operating in tandem- LOL!
“Shalem’s virtual retreat offered for clergy was FABULOUS.”
-Brandi Craver

Cindy Burns
Member
Cindy Burns

It is good to be with you on this journey, Brandilynne. I sense that we are in a similar struggle to hold onto peace. I hope I’m not being too bold here to say that I think that as we go along in this course, receiving help to restore and strengthen our discipline to contemplative practices, we will help each other, in solidarity with Peace.

Carole Crumley
Admin

I’m so glad you were part of the retreat for clergy and that it was restoring for you. May that continue in this class.
Welcome!

Cindy Burns
Member
Cindy Burns

Hello to all. I live in a suburb outside of Houston with my husband of 28 years and our sweet pup, Willa. I was literally drawn to this course. I say literally with a smile because the ache/desire to rediscover the language of Silence became strong enough that Peace was able to clear away the noise of current events long enough for me to refocus my attention away from the “news” and too much thinking. It was in those moments of clarity that I read one of my weekly Shalom emails closely enough to see this offering and jump in… Read more »

Brandilynne Craver
Member
Brandilynne Craver

Cindy,
I’m glad to be sharing this prayerful time with you.

Carole Crumley
Admin

Fasting from the news, and perhaps other things that clutter one’s life, is a wonderful spiritual practice. Thank you for your reflections.

Cindy Burns
Member
Cindy Burns

This morning’s sit was a noisy one. The washing machine, the recycling truck, lawnmowers, loud music from a neighbor’s house. Somewhere midway in my sit I heard the birds’ singing in my backyard and I became aware — that all the sounds I could hear signify life.
Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. ((De Mello))

Carole Crumley
Admin

Is there silence within the sound?

Tammy Estep
Member
Tammy Estep

Happy 4th to all. I am Tammy Estep and I am in a commuter marriage. My husband lives on the Eastern Shore in our home and I live in a parsonage in Virginia Beach. I spend 4 days in VB and 3 days on the Shore. In the midst of all the travels back and forth, the zoom meetings, virtual worship planning and services, I long for a centeredness. My heart is restless and is groping for God in this crazy time in our world. So what draws me to this course: a hunger and thirst for God, for a… Read more »

Carole Crumley
Admin

Tammy, it’s good to be with you again. Are there any spiritual practices that help you stay aware of God’s presence during your commute?