Friday, September 2, 2011

Spiritual Overlaps and Intersections

Over at this blog, Christine Valters Paintner writes about the intersections of her spiritual life. She says, “One of the things I love about yoga is how parallel its principles are to the Christian principles of monasticism which sustain my spirit. I learn through yoga philosophy how to be fully present to my experience in this moment of time with compassion. I encounter exactly the same invitation in the wisdom of early desert monks who taught how to stay with our experience and not run from ourselves. When I practice yoga I become a better monk. When I practice my monastic side, I become a better yogi.”

She concluded by saying, “I am a Monk. I am a Yogini. I have sometimes wanted to call myself a 'monk-ini' but that sounds a little too much like an umbrella drink. I am a Monk on the Mat, a Monk in the World.”

She invited us to leave comments about how our spiritual beliefs and practices overlap. To further encourage us to comment, she enticed us with the possibility of winning one of her two books.

Here’s what I wrote:

I, too, am drawn to monasticism. I've been a Lutheran all my life, even when I haven't been part of a church, so it's intriguing to me to be drawn to something so Catholic and so male (I haven't spent time with any cloistered female monastic communities, although I would like to do so). I've also been a feminist all my life, so I'm not always in step with Christian religious traditions which keep wanting to veer to the patriarchal. I'm drawn to liberation theology and the social justice movements that theology has inspired. I'm a poet and a bit of a pantheist, and sometimes, I feel the presence of God more clearly as I watch the sky swirl than I ever did in a human community. Yet I do believe that God calls us to be in community--with God, with our fellow humans, with our various environments, with animals. And so I try to learn to live with all the juxtapositions and contradictions, the stresses and the tensions.

If you want a chance to win a book and don’t mind talking about your spiritual life, go here to read the post and leave a comment.

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