Minister’s Musings – Encouragement of Spiritual Growth

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French Philosopher & Jesuit Priest

According to Rev. Rob Hardies, “Spiritual growth isn’t about a vertical ascent to heaven but about growth in every dimension at once. It’s spirituality in 3-D. Growth in spirit doesn’t measure one’s proximity to a God above, but rather the spaciousness of one’s own soul—its volume, its capacity, its size”.

This means the work to be done is our own.
According to Meditation teacher Shinzen Young, the following are five signs of spiritual progress:

1. You have less suffering. You are less plagued by resentment, self-pity, negative judgment of self and others, and envy. You are able to take the bumps and hardships of life with greater calm and equanimity.

2. You have more fulfillment. You experience gratitude for our life and the many joys and gifts that you have been given. You enjoy your loved ones, your friends, your community, your activities, and your material goods. Nature nurtures you. You feel your life matters.

3. You have more insights. You see more and more the interconnections between your own existence and the world at large. You intuitively sense the right action to take more often.

4. You have more positive behaviors and fewer negative behaviors. You find yourself being kinder and more patient with others. You are less judgmental. You may find yourself having an easier time letting go of unproductive habits. You may find it is easier to take good care of  yourself.

5. You have a natural tendency to act more compassionately and to serve others.

What do you think are signs of spiritual growth? What do you do to encourage your own spiritual growth? This Sunday, we will have a brown bag lunch discussion to discuss this further. If you are unable to join us and would like to add your thoughts, then feel free to respond to this email.

Peace & Grace,
Rev. Laura

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