Join us for a free webinar, The Divine Invitation. This is the introductory session of the fall 2021 Tuesday course, Exploring Spiritual Practices: Meditation, Prayer and Presence. This first session is open to all, both those who have registered for the full course and those who want to sample the webinar. We will explore a couple of spiritual practices, discuss the variety of practices available to try, and give attention to the ways that God is inviting each one of us into a more intimate relationship. A recording of the webinar will be available afterwards. This webinar will be offered both in the morning, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, and also in the evening, from 7 to 9 pm Eastern Time.
There are many ways to think about and describe God--Creator, the Ground of Being, the Almighty, Spirit, the Light, the Holy One, the Wholeness, Eternal Being, and so much more. However we think of it, the Divine is already in intimate relationship with everyone and is inviting all of us to become more aware of that relationship and fully engaged. This empowering connection is our birthright, but from early childhood we have been conditioned to limit our ability to perceive this relationship and minimize our acceptance of the gifts of the Spirit. Spiritual practices are helpful methods of becoming receptive and aware of the presence and activity of God within us, as well as in others and the world. There is a huge variety of practices available to us, ranging from very active and involving images, music, and movement, to more quiet, receptive, and contemplative practices. Some practices are very individual, while others require the participation of a group.
In the course Exploring Spiritual Practices: Meditation, Prayer and Presence, online class time will include brief presentations about different kinds of spiritual practices and opportunities for experiencing and experimenting with various forms of meditation, prayer, and presence. We will draw upon practices from across the Christian tradition, including traditional Quaker practices, and also upon practices from other traditions, including Buddhism and Hinduism. In breakout groups we will share our experiences in pairs and small groups and listen to the experiences of others. We will also engage in class discussion and ask important questions including "What or who is God in our experience?" "How do we experience presence?" "What is the nature of consciousness?" "What impedes our awareness of the divine within us and others?"
No particular beliefs in God, prayer, or meditation are required, only a willingness to earnestly try different kinds of practices, notice what we experience, and listen respectfully to the experiences and beliefs shared by others.
The Exploring Spiritual Practices course fulfills a requirement to apply for the 2022-2023 Nurturing Faithfulness course, which will be offered at Woolman Hill Retreat Center and online starting in September 2022. There are other ways to fulfill that same requirement, including a weekend retreat or other classes, programs of study, or equivalent experience of a variety of spiritual practices. For more information about the Nurturing Faithfulness program, go to: http://woolmanhill.org/upcomingprograms/nurturingfaithfulness/