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Spirit Journal – August 2016

Preview

This issue provides more information about our upcoming, fifth annual Fall One-Day Workshop, including two articles by workshop session leaders, describing what their sessions will be about.  We also provide a link to a wonderful short video from Thomas Keating, and share Insights from Tara Brach, Thérèse of Lisieux, Kalu Rinpoche, and Carl Jung.

We’d like your input, please!  Give us your ideas to help improve Spirit Journal and turn it into an even more valuable forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – July 2016

Preview

This issue features new information about our upcoming, fifth annual Fall One-Day Workshop.  It also describes two events taking place next month: an introductory workshop on the Enneagram and an advanced/post-intensive Centering Prayer retreat in Wisconsin.  We recommend a great book you may be interested in reading, and share Insights from Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, Lao Tzu, and Alan Watts.

We’d like your input!  Please help us improve Spirit Journal and turn it into an even more valuable forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – June 2016

Preview

This issue features an important announcement: the topics for our fifth annual One-Day Fall Workshop!  It also offers a new “prayer for the world” by Sam Ogle, and brings you news about several in-person and online workshops and retreats coming up this summer: local, regional, and somewhat distant (Albuquerque?).  Our Insights this month come from Jack Kornfield, Shunryu Suzuki, Ram Dass, and Cynthia Bourgeault.

We invite you to help us make Spirit Journal an even better forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – May 2016

Preview

This issue features personal messages from our Circle of Service Coordinators – Phil Jackson (outgoing) and Alan Krema (incoming).  It also brings you news about a number of upcoming workshops and retreats: introductory and advanced, local and regional, in-person and online.  There’s a reminder to save the date for our one-day Fall Workshop at Benedictine University on October 15, along with Insights from Dag Hammarskjöld, Contemplative Outreach, Maurice Nicoll, and Simone Campbell.

We’re happy to note that this is Spirit Journal’s first anniversary issue – our online newsletter was first published in May 2015!  As always, we invite you to help us make Spirit Journal an open and interactive forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – April 2016

Preview

This April issue announces the date for our fifth annual Fall One Day Workshop, provides an introduction to the practice of Lectio Divina, offers a reflection on a recent visit to St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass Colorado, and highlights several upcoming opportunities to deepen your Centering Prayer practice.  It also presents Insights from Cynthia Bourgeault, Thomas Keating, Meister Eckhard, and Richard Rohr.

As always, we invite you to help us make Spirit Journal an interactive forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

Save the Date: Annual Fall One-Day Workshop Coming October 15!

We know it’s early to ask you to start planning for October, but now would be an excellent time to block out Saturday October 15 so that you can attend our fifth annual Fall One-Day Centering Prayer Workshop, which will take place at Benedictine University in Lisle.

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Spirit Journal – March 2016

Preview

Happy Easter!  This new issue will update you on the outcomes of our March 5 “Discernment Day,” explain an important decision we’ve reached about offering future programs (based partly on what we learned from the recent online program survey), and provide information about a range of retreats and other events available in Illinois and nearby states this spring and summer.  It also presents Part 4 of Alan Krema’s ongoing Wisdom School series, along with Insights from Beck, Susan Salzberg, Shunryu Suzuki, and Thomas Merton.

Please help us make Spirit Journal an open interactive forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – February 2016

Preview

Our February issue invites you to participate in an important “Discernment Day” on March 5 to help plan future directions for our organization.  It also presents Part 3 of Alan Krema’s discussion of the Wisdom School.

In addition, we offer a final opportunity to complete a quick survey and help design an expanded lineup of 2016 programs, and we provide information about upcoming Centering Prayer workshops and other events at Healing Gardens, suggest three ways you can celebrate United in Prayer Day on March 19, and link to information about an introductory Wisdom School that takes place in Wisconsin in late March.  This month’s Insights come from Dogen Zenji, Black Elk, Cynthia Bourgeault, and Contemplative Outreach.

Please help us make Spirit Journal an interactive forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – January 2016

Preview

In this first issue of the new year, we invite your participation in an important “Discernment Day” on March 5 to help plan future directions for our organization, and we also ask for a special favor:  please take a few minutes to complete a quick survey that will help us create an expanded lineup of 2016 programs.

This issue also includes Part 2 of Alan Krema’s discussion of the Wisdom School, important news about our upcoming Winter Weekend Retreat, information about new activities at Healing Gardens, an introduction to the Lay Cistercians of Gethsemani Abbey, and insights from Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Merton, Sheng-Yen, and Thomas Aquinas.

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Spirit Journal – December 2015

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The December issue includes a Christmas message from Phil Jackson, information about a weekend retreat you may want to participate in this February, a first-hand description of what it’s like to spend a week at a Wisdom School, information about the Portiuncula Center for Prayer, and insights from Peter Matthiessen, St. Paul, the Dalai Lama, and St. John.

Please help us make Spirit Journal a more valuable and interesting forum in 2016.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

Christmas, Centering Prayer, Change, and Continuity

Henryk Kowalewski

 

Dear Centering Prayer Community –

At this most mystical time of year, may you enjoy the fruits of our prayer.  May the quiet calm that Centering Prayer offers, and its focus on the ultimate reality, be your way to joy.

It’s been such a pleasure to see and talk with so many of you this year, and to see the transformation, both individually and in groups, that Centering Prayer provides through the efforts of the Holy Spirit.

 

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Spirit Journal – November 2015

Preview

Our November issue includes a reflection on Thanksgiving, descriptions of several upcoming retreats you may want to participate in, information on regional and technical resources to support contemplative practice, and insights from Thomas Keating, James Finley, Ram Dass, and Nick Bostrum.

Please help us to continue developing Spirit Journal as a unique, thoughtful, and interesting resource.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas and feedback.

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving_grace_1942

 

by Jack Lloyd

Unlike Christmas or Easter, this week’s holiday isn’t linked to a pivotal event in religious history.  Instead, we’re told, Thanksgiving began on an ordinary autumn day when two tribes – Native American and English – simply decided to come together to share food, drink, and a peaceful moment of pure spiritual gratitude.

In that moment, somehow, they were fully awake to the fact that our existence on this Earth is pure grace.  It’s a gift we don’t have the power to give ourselves.   Naturally, this awareness made them feel grateful, and they found a beautiful way express their thanks.  To this day, at its best, the tradition of Thanksgiving carries this deep meaning forward, and gives us a chance to feel it and express our gratitude, as well.

So, this Thursday, I hope we can keep in mind our ancestors’ wisdom and courage as they faced a difficult future together.  And I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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