Reflections

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(Interlude continued)

Another amazing hike along the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River today, I took loads of photos but Flickr is telling me I have reached my limit this month (maybe I need to upgrade!).   Just as well, I am tired, that wonderful kind of tired when you have walked for hours, listened through the silence for the invitation of moss and trees, and engaged in long conversations with a soul friend.  These weekly sojourns out to wild places never fail to open up something new in me. Sweet dreams, tomorrow more lectio divina. . . -Christine Valters Paintner

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Soul Nourishment (Interlude)

What feeds your soul?   What is essential for you to feel well-nourished, alive, and energized? I don’t just mean how many calories you need to consume to function, or what balance of vitamins and minerals you need for body processes.  I mean, what are the things in your life that bring you such delight you feel as though your heart might burst with gratitude? I’ve had one of those weeks so far of feeling my soul deeply nourished (and its only Wednesday and I go out on my Sabbath hike with Kathy in a little while). Last Sunday my husband and

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Lectio Divina Unleashed: Part Two (Poetry)

“People turn to poems for some kind of illumination, for revelations that help them to survive.” -Denise Levertov, “Poetry, Prophecy and Survival” Poetry is language illuminated.  When we read poetry we are reading the same words we use for prose, but because of the compactness of images and the poet’s way of pointing us deeper than what we expect to see, poetry has the potential to reveal the sacred to us in new ways.  Much of scripture is written in poetic form, making use of metaphor, rhythm, meter, sound, and image to help us grasp an awareness of God.  Praying

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Lectio Divina Unleashed: Part One

Lectio divina is an ancient prayer practice, meaning sacred reading.  It is a way of being with the sacred texts of our tradition in a contemplative way.  Lectio invites us to enter into silence and stillness to listen deeply for the stirring of the holy in scripture and in us.  Here is a simple overview of the process (modified and condensed from the introduction of our book): The Process of Lectio Divina Preparation Before beginning your time of lectio choose a scripture passage with which to pray.  There are many ways to do this.  I suggest in beginning a regular practice that you

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Upcoming Events

A busy week ahead, I start teaching “Contemporary Christian Spirituality and Prayer” at Seattle U’s School of Theology and Ministry Tuesday morning. I am excited to be working with students from the MDiv and MA programs there.  I love teaching people new ways to pray and helping them prepare for ministry by finding a spirituality and set of practices that are sustaining and nourishing. Our first session of the Awakening the Creative Spirit Program will be on Friday-Saturday October 6-7 (there are still a couple of spots left if you want to join us!)  We have a wonderful group of women already

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Autumnal Equinox

God’s World  O World, I cannot hold thee close enough! Thy winds, thy wide grey skies! Thy mists, that roll and rise! Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag And all but cry with colour!  That gaunt crag To crush!  To lift the lean of that black bluff! World, World, I cannot get thee close enough! Long have I known a glory in it all, But never knew I this; Here such a passion is As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year; My soul is all but out of me,—let fall No

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The Delight of Dahlias

Nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small. We haven’t time–– and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. -Georgia O’Keeffe I walked up to Volunteer Park today after the morning rain had abated, to take time to really see the flowers and capture the beauty of the dahlias in full bloom.  -Christine Valters Paintner

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100 Things (Part Two)

Scroll down past the photos for Part One.  I have lost 51. both of my parents (I am reminded here of that Oscar Wilde line: “to lose one parent may be regarded as a misforture, to lose both looks like carelessness.”) 52. my innocence. 53. my sweet animal companion. 54. friendships I thought would never end. 55. all four of my grandparents. 56. faith in moments of despair. 57. my ability to move my wrists freely. 58. my connection to my body and then over many years slowly re-discovered it again. 59. my Austrian citizenship (I had dual citizenship as

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100 Things (Part One)

Wendy invited me to participate in this meme called “100 Things.”  It has prompted lots of good reflection, although I have only worked my way through half. Knowing that the rest may take another few days, I share here what I have written so far in response.  I invite others who read here and blog to give it a try.  Let me know if you do! I have lived 1. in an apartment in midtown Manhattan, eight blocks from the United Nations, the place of my upbringing. 2. in an apartment in Vienna during summers of my growing up, visiting my

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