Seeds of Soulfulness: Cultivating Spiritual Practice
Featuring Tom McFarland, Justin Russell, and Emily McKinney.
These words come from the essay The Middle Way by Michael A. Shuler.
Most people know the legend: how Siddhartha, desperate for an answer to the riddle of existence, traded a life of comfort and ease for one of austerity and complete self-denial. Like many of his Hindu contemporaries, Siddhartha believed that by cudgeling his body into submission he could kill desire, expand his consciousness, and cancel the influence of karma. But years of superhuman exertion left the young seeker gravely weakened and no closer to enlightenment. Finally, Siddhartha adopted a more sensible, moderate approach to spiritual practice, and before long achieved his purpose while meditating under the Bo tree. He discovered the principle of the “middle way,” which Buddhism continues to teach to this day.
Walking the middle way means bringing a certain attitude and awareness to the everyday business of living. It is “Spiritual Practice” in the fullest sense because it involves the recognition that everything a person does has spiritual ramifications; everything factors into one’s spiritual fulfillment.
Winds Be Still
Words: Richard S Kimball UUA
Music: Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876) (Public Domain)
Child Falling Asleep
No. 12 from Scenes from Childhood, Op. 15
By Robert Schumann
Performed by Colleen Appel
When Our Heart Is in a Holy Place
Written by Joyce Poley, arr. Lorne Kellett
Performed by Emily McKinney, Luna Hamburg, and Eva Riebold
The Final Reading comes from Rev. Scott W. Alexander’s introduction to the essay collection Everyday Spiritual Practice: Simple Pathways for Enriching Your Life.
“What makes an everyday spiritual PRACTICE different from a casual spiritual HOBBY, something worthwhile that one simply dabbles in when one feels like it?”
The answer is intentionality, regularity, and depth.
Whether it is sitting Zen, doing charitable giving, working with a spiritual director, or tending your relationship with loved ones, what shapes your efforts into an everyday spiritual practice is your commitment to making the activity a regular and significant part of your life.