Poetry Meditation, Wednesday 1/14/15

Join ITW for an online meditation on Mary Oliver’s poem Maybe (see below). Register here. We start online at 7:30 and read the poem together, take 5 minutes of silent meditation and then have a brief discussion. We tend to focus on the spiritual elements of poems, so we’re generally not delving deeply into strictly…

A Letter of Thank You

I was dreading Christmas that year, 2011. It wasn’t the first holiday I’d spend alone – it had been seven years since I’d been in a romantic relationship during the holidays, and more than twenty since I would fly back to my hometown. Not that family has to be romantic or genetic; when I lived…

Gratitude Challenge #2

Write a Thank You Letter (or Email) to a Childhood Mentor The Rules:  Who influenced you in positive ways in your early life? Write a short letter or email to a mentor, teacher, or spiritual guide who made a difference for you. You are invited to make the letter as specific as possible, for example:…

On Gratitude

The first time I really thought at all about gratitude was about 24 years ago in a UAW Hall in Bedford, Indiana. I was 20, had just rolled into rehab, and was crawling out of my skin. When the group leader announced that we would be having a “gratitude meeting,” I rolled my eyes so…

Great article about alternative church…

“The rise of the “spiritual but not religious” in America has created a lot of conversation among Christians over the last two years. Now one pastor and activist is arguing that the trend might be a good thing. Kelly Bean is former pastor of Third Saturday Organic Community and coplanter of Urban Alley, a egalitarian intergenerational intentional community…

Readings for Psalm September Rosh Hashanah edition, 9/24

We’ll be using this chant  Achat Sha’alti chant and this translation for Psalm 27 Norman Fischer  our meditation on Wednesday 9/24. This is a special Rosh Hashanah edition of Psalm September to be led by spiritual director Karen Erlichman. See you (or hear you!) at 7am. Register for Psalm September here.

A Few Announcements for Psalm September and a Picture of my Dog.

Hi Friends, Just wanted to let everyone know we’ll be focusing on Psalm 42 tomorrow morning. Hope you can join us! A few announcements: 1.  if the automated daily reminder is driving you nuts, let me know.  (only folks who registered should be getting that) 2. we start at 7 M-Th and 7:30 on Friday…

Dog-walk Reflections on Psalm 40

Every weekday morning this month, I meditate on a psalm online, with a bunch of seminarians, recovering folks, and friends from around the country. Usually this entails us reading a psalm, then silently meditating on a couple of lines that resonate with us. After five minutes of silent breathing together, we share our thoughts and…

Step Study Updates

The first meeting of the 12-step workshop happened yesterday. So great to see everyone there. After a general discussion about the steps, we read the first step in both the Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon step books. If you’d like to catch up, AA’s first step can be found in pdf form here.   I don’t think…

Into the Wilderness Starts Tonight at 6:30

Get your Lent on with us tonight. Into the Wilderness Pop Up starts tonight at 6:30. We’ll be talking about vulnerability. There will be candles, ashes, probably some burlap. I might even spontaneously pray in public. We’ll be at First Congregational Church of Berkeley‘s Loper Chapel, on the corner of Durant and Dana. Also, there’s…

What is Going to Happen at Into the Wildnerness, Anyways?

Into the Wilderness is an experimental spiritual community that will meet during Lent. There are three parts to Into the Wilderness – you can choose just one, or do all three. We are a LGBT friendly, progressive, and open to all.  First Church Berkeley, at the corner of Dana St and Durant Ave in Berkeley,…

Why reading the annoying psalms is part of my practice…

When I first started meditating on the psalms, I skipped the ones that irritated me. This was a necessary thing for me. At the time, I was trying to open my heart to a religion whose most visible proponents labeled me an abomination and who were, in my opinion, raging hypocrites and self-righteous jerks. Coming…