Monday: Spiritual Experiences and Reflection

I talked before about wanting to add the spiritual element to my life, and the likelihood that I was going to blog about it.
This will be the first where I really start to get into it.

Right now, I am looking into Quakerism.
Ever since I stumbled upon the term and looked it up, it has had me.

I stumbled on to a course that sounded pretty interesting. A course designed for people interested in Quakerism.
It (like much of the stuff I find revolving around Quakerism) is British. But it can apply to anyone anywhere, which is what drew me to it.

It’s a work at your own pace course, which as a single parent I can completely appreciate. 🙂
We also seem to get paired with something of a mentor ish like person it seems.
Though mine is currently, out of office on vacation or something according to the auto reply.
But I think that definitely puts the course up a notch for me. I am really looking forward to working my way through this.

As one of few Canadians however, it doesn’t seem to do much for meeting locals interested in Quakerism.
What I would like to do is be able to connect with people and engage in some in-depth conversations.

First unit in, and it seems like a well put together course.
Reading and watching videos, and lots of personal reflection.

I like that while you are learning about a particular faith it also keeps you focused on figuring out your own and where you are taking it.

First unit reflective questions:

Take some time to reflect on one or more of the following questions:

  • Where have you come from on your spiritual journey?

  • What treasures do you bring with you?

  • What do you want to give up or leave behind from previous faith experiences?

  • What brings you to Quakers?

(Side note: I have yet to decide how I am going to do the actual reflective section, if I am going to blog, journal it or some other element. Nor have I decided where those are going to go. I may do a mix of different elements. I am just not sure where or how to keep it all together. Once I figure that out, answers will follow.)

Those are some pretty great questions to start. However, my favourite is what treasures do you bring with you.

When we are leaving a spiritual path for another, or while we are wandering trying to find a spiritual  path, we are so quick to think of the bad experiences that we forget that there are some good that we carry inside of us from our experiences.
I call those good treasures.

There are also those non religious experiences, that give us treasures.

I also call those good qualities in myself, treasures.
I spent far too long, not liking who I saw in myself over the years. Now that I like the person I am, and who I am trying to be I try to remind myself of the treasures inside me.

I think if more people did this, the world just might be a slightly happier place.

The question about what one wants to leave behind, is also interesting. I am not sure whether one should ever leave parts of a former spiritual practice behind. It was after all something that made you, who you are. Being able to leave behind the negative emotions and thoughts that went with those former experiences however I feel is vital if we are to go forward on our paths.
Vital, yet not easy. I know this first hand.

My negative baggage that goes with prayer is a very good example.
I honestly, don’t know why it is really negative, other than prayer is so tied with Christianity/Catholicism and in one way or another it was shoved down my throat or stuffed in my face for far too many years.

Religious folks, who love to stop special needs families, and start praying for them on the spot are a big part of my problem with prayer. But it also feels like more than that. I just haven’t quite figured the rest of it out.

Though my thoughts on Prayer, are changing.

I try to look at it now, as a way of putting what one need out into the universe. Putting intentions out there, emotions, hopes.
It doesn’t sound too bad when looking at it like that. Of course I haven’t started yet either.

I am contemplating seeing where that would take me.

Once things calm down, I also plan to try to get back into the Quest books.
Possibly, even eventually finish the Book Of Mormon.

Not sure why that one is sticking with me. Especially given how much trouble I have with people and the pedestal that they put Jesus on.
I think it is just the fact it was a smooth read, compared to my experience with the Bible years ago.
But it was so much so, I have no desire to pick it up again, even though I have picked up various other religious texts over the years.

It’s interesting to look at the different things that pull us in through out our lives.
You just never know where they will take you.

I am enjoying the ride right now, and seeing where all those things take me. How they will help me to be the person that I want to be.

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