beliefs

I have been drawn to faith and spirituality much of my life. I find myself in a constant search for the meaning of life and my existence.  I offer you some of my favorite spiritual resources, in hopes that they may enhance your journey as they have mine.

Books

Grace and Grit by Ken Wilber
Likely the single most influential book I have read in my entire life. Integral philosopher and buddhist practitioner Ken Wilber, chronicles the 5-year journey with his wife Treya through her diagnosis of cancer, the treatment, and her death. Woven throughout the book are the journal entries Treya kept over the course of those 5 years. The honesty, determination, and humanity that shines through the pages of this book will change you forever.

Encountering God by Diana Eck
Reading this book in college opened my eyes to the truth to be found in all religious traditions. I would not be the person I am today, without reading this one book. Read my blog about it here.
 

Films

I Heart Huckabees
My favorite quirky film starring Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman as existential detectives helping a quirky cast of characters (Mark Wahlberg, Jude Law & my fav Jason Schwartzman) find the meaning of life. Dealing beautifully with important questions such as, is all of life connected and filled with meaning, or is life just random chaotic coincidences?  

Lars and The Real Girl
In this wonderful film, Lars (played by Ryan Gosling) a loveable introvert whose emotional baggage has kept him from fully embracing life, orders a sex doll online and comes to believe it is his girlfriend Bianca. This incredible film points two beautiful truths. First, it offers wonderful insight into the value in our own stories and delusions. The way we choose to see the world and our place in it, dramatically impacts the life we lead.  Secondly, this film showcases the power of community to offer love and support. It is such an endearing film, one of my all time favorites.
 

Magazines

EnlightenNext
This fabulous quarterly magazine takes me the whole 3 months between issues to read and enjoy before the next one arrives. Filled with incredible original articles, opinions, and commentary, this magazine continues to ask the question, “what is enlightenment?”
 

My thoughts on faith…
10 Beliefs of This Progressive Christian

10 Beliefs of This Progressive Christian
Ok, there is so much in that title that makes me nervous.  Despite working at a Progressive Christian church, I usually resist at all costs calling myself a Christian (just too confusing a term to try to explain). I also resist talking about my religion in terms of what I believe, because I find my beliefs are ever-changing and belief tends to imply dogma, which I just don’t do.
That being said this should be fun :)
Here goes… Ten Beliefs of This Progressive Christian 
1) I believe that interfaith dialogue is essential to understanding the world and to know Truths my tradition has missed or omitted.
2) I believe stories found in the Bible, when understood as metaphor and myth, can be used to teach me profound Truths.
3) I believe there are as many ways to be Christian as there are people in the tradition.
4) I believe the way I understand Jesus, as a radical activist and a compassionate teacher, shows more about my way of viewing the world than it does any “truth” of Jesus. The truth is he lived a long time ago and the records are not clear.
5) I believe religion should lead you to more questions than answers.
6) I believe my tradition causes me to question social values of the day and to push society to be more inclusive.  That being the case, I believe Christianity should be on the forefront of fighting for the human rights of people who are gay, lesbian, and transgendered. 
7) I believe religion is only one piece of the pie and should not be confused with history, science, psychology, or other important disciplines.  All are needed for a balanced life.
8) I believe much hatred has been caused by the interpretation of Christianity by some throughout history and today; leading to wars, bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. This one belief alone has caused me to turn my back on Christianity many times, and constantly question why I am connected at all. 
9) I believe the following of a religious or spiritual tradition with the support of a community can lead to great transformation of individuals and cultures. This one belief alone has caused me to stay within Christianity hoping to be a part of this transformation of consciousness, the next great awakening.
10) I believe no one knows what happens after this life, and if we spent even half as much time bringing the peace to this world that so many hope for in the next, we could experience heaven on earth.

Ok, there is so much in that title that makes me nervous.  Despite working at a Progressive Christian church, I usually resist at all costs calling myself a Christian (just too confusing a term to try to explain). I also resist talking about my religion in terms of what I believe, because I find my beliefs are ever-changing and belief tends to imply dogma, which I just don’t do.

That being said this should be fun :)

Here goes… Ten Beliefs of This Progressive Christian 

1) I believe that interfaith dialogue is essential to understanding the world and to know Truths my tradition has missed or omitted.

2) I believe stories found in the Bible, when understood as metaphor and myth, can be used to teach me profound Truths.

3) I believe there are as many ways to be Christian as there are people in the tradition.

4) I believe the way I understand Jesus, as a radical activist and a compassionate teacher, shows more about my way of viewing the world than it does any “truth” of Jesus. The truth is he lived a long time ago and the records are not clear.

5) I believe religion should lead you to more questions than answers.

6) I believe my tradition causes me to question social values of the day and to push society to be more inclusive.  That being the case, I believe Christianity should be on the forefront of fighting for the human rights of people who are gay, lesbian, and transgendered. 

7) I believe religion is only one piece of the pie and should not be confused with history, science, psychology, or other important disciplines.  All are needed for a balanced life.

8) I believe much hatred has been caused by the interpretation of Christianity by some throughout history and today; leading to wars, bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. This one belief alone has caused me to turn my back on Christianity many times, and constantly question why I am connected at all. 

9) I believe the following of a religious or spiritual tradition with the support of a community can lead to great transformation of individuals and cultures. This one belief alone has caused me to stay within Christianity hoping to be a part of this transformation of consciousness, the next great awakening.

10) I believe no one knows what happens after this life, and if we spent even half as much time bringing the peace to this world that so many hope for in the next, we could experience heaven on earth.

 

If you would like to comment on these beliefs, I ask that you would do so on the blog page for this entry. This will all you to add your voice to the lively dialogue happening there.  Click here.

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