Spirituality

On being a Contemplative

I've spent a lot of time in my life trying to fit myself into varied spiritual boxes. I was a Presbyterian, then I was a Nazarne, then I was a humanist, then I was a Pagan, then a Buddhist, then a UU, and lastly a progressive Christian. Lately, I have come to realize that there are aspects of all of these identities in my spiritual and religious life at the moment,  but none of them can singularly hold me.

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Inner callings (or why I sold my TV)

In 2005, I felt a call to go to seminary. I wrapped up my non-profit technology work, sold or gave away most of what I owned, and moved across country to go to Pacific School of Religion. For reasons you can read about here, I left seminary, and went back to technology work.
I think I would say that was a calling to substantially change the structure of my life.
Now, here it is, 2010, and I'm feeling another calling, or maybe it's the same calling, but it is manifesting very differently. I feel a strong desire to simplify my life - to strip away distractions. I've made radical changes to allow better work/life balance (I now commute to work most days to an office, allowing me to dismantle my home office - something I've not done for a very long time - and I've never really been a typical commuter before.)  And I'm in the process of shedding again - selling or giving away a lot of what I own that I feel is unnecessary. 
Ruth gave me a quote from Hans Hoffman which fits perfectly: “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

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"Secular" vocations and calling

I have been reading a blog written by a friend from PSR, who is currently doing his CPE. And in writing him an email, I was thinking about this odd place I find myself in. Two years ago, I was an excited new seminarian, having heard "the call" and soaking in all that seminary had to offer me.
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Jesus as a spiritual teacher

Even when I decided, about 2 years ago now, to call myself a Christian, I couldn't accept the "Jesus as Savior" perspective. It just never worked for me - this idea of substitutionary atonement - that Jesus died on the cross because we are such sinful beings, and there had to be some sacrifice to God on our behalf.
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Paradox

There is an interesting paradox that I have been thinking a lot about lately. It's one that I've been exposed to in many different spheres - personal growth, social activism, and organizational dynamics. It's the paradox that it's necessary to hold two apparently opposing views about a difficult situation: a deep and complete acceptance that a situation exists as it is in the present moment, as well as a passion to change it.

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