Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Create a personal religious practice in community

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Clarita Valley in California hosts a three-part religious discussion based on Thomas Moore's book, A Religion of One's Own. Martha Garcia describes the sessions under the headline "Asking Deeper Spiritual Questions" for The Signal.
"Marilyn Logan attended both of the recent sessions and described herself as a spiritual seeker looking to craft her own religious spiritual practice.'One of my biggest takeaways is the difference between soul and spirit,' said Logan. 'Spirit is more of an interior thing, the divine that is within.” The session also touched on the importance of completing psychological work as a complement to cultivate the practice. Other topics will include, sensuality, using art in a spiritual practice, using dreams and self guidance.'"
Rev. Peter Farriday, leader of the UU of SCV congregation "explains while many people turn to one of the many religious traditions, for others that may not be the path for them. It can be beneficial to use what they’ve learned from other religious traditions and create a more personal practice. 'There is power in investing in that pursuit, it can offer a sense of community with others on similar paths and a larger sense of connection to the soul,' he said."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gardens may help to refresh and restore us now

Rhonda Nowak quotes Thomas Moore at the beginning and end of her recent article, "Literary Gardener: Post-election garden planning for healing and enchantment" for the Mail Tribune in Medford, Oregon.
"In the aftermath of a presidential election rife with mud-slinging and angst, I’ve decided to devote this week’s column to sharing my plans for a healing garden. My vision for this garden is to create a space that embodies the motto “Keep Calm” and is filled with sensory-pleasing food crops that will cleanse and nourish my body and soul."
She ends with "In The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life (1996), Thomas Moore reminds us that nature, including our garden, offers daily wonderments if only we will take the time to notice them. He continues, 'Enchantment can provide a solid base for an ethical response to the world we live in; for morality doesn’t come out of nowhere.'"

Nowak is "a member of the Jackson County Master Gardener Association and teaches writing at Rogue Community College."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Now is the time to prepare for a soulful Christmas

West Lafayette United Methodist Church in West Lafayette, Ohio offers a four-week Advent study program based on Thomas Moore's new book, The Soul of Christmas.

"It is hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner. Advent, the season of preparation for Christmas, is always a time to deepen our faith and find greater ways to honor the Babe born in the manger. To help with this Rev. Bill will be offering a Wednesday evening Advent Study. He will be using the book The Soul of Christmas by Thomas Moore. This class will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Oak Street Room on Wednesday, November 30, December 7, 14, and 21. Let this Advent be a time of spiritual growth for you."

West Lafayette United Methodist Church
120 West Union Avenue
West Lafayette, OH 43845
Call the office for details: 740 545-6368

Rev. Dr. William E. Buckeye, Pastor

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blogger describes connections with Moore's work

Thomas Moore was at Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford, Connecticut last weekend to lead the retreat: Tapping Into the Soul’s Depths: Finding Personal Strength, Inner Guidance and Purpose Through Soulful Living. When Moore was at the Institute in 2014 at this same time of year, Tim Cole attended his retreat A Sacred Way Of Life In A Secular World: Living A Soulful Life. Cole writes about his connections with Moore's work and his retreat experience in this two-part posting hosted by the Institute:

De profundis Part Iby Tim Cole
De profundis Part II by Tim Cole

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Secularism would be "a dangerous, soulless option"

For the Penguin Books blog, Staff Picks — The Books We Can't Put Down, Thomas Moore shares reflections about his book A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World. In his post he writes,
"Just as Care of the Soul sprang out of me at the particular point where my ideas and my experience as a therapist matured, now I feel that my worldly way of being religious is emerging at just the right time in our cultural evolution to go public with it. Thus, my new book A Religion of One’s Own. We are now at a point where it’s time to let go of a narrow view of religion. I suggest that we don’t abandon it, even if many sophisticated modern people think it’s superfluous or prefer “spirituality”. Worldly life without a deep form of religion would be secularism, and that is a dangerous, soulless option.  Just listen to the way many scientists are talking these days, reducing the richness of human experience to brain studies, for example, and you get a taste of what secularism would be like. As human beings we’d shrivel up.

The new book puts together an array of ideas I’ve been working on for years that together form a personal spiritual practice that I call a religion of one’s own. At the top of my list are the beauty and wisdom of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. I don’t want to get rid of the established religions but use them now as resources for a personal religious vision. They are priceless for what they have to offer, but the emphasis on belief, authority, empty ritual and moralism has weakened them to the point that they must re-imagine themselves radically.  You can be a member of a religion and still have a religion of your own, or you can go off on your own, becoming a seeker or even an atheist, and use the traditions as resources."
As in many recent online writings, Moore advocates an evolution of the human spirit.