Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Finding Your Path: a course from the UU Young Adult Office by Rev. Michael Tino

So, I know I haven't been posting a lot lately. Partly that's because, as mentioned in my previous post from last night/early Wednesday AM, I've been busy with school (brought my GPA up to a 3.4 by the way, 4.0 for the semester), and on a much lesser scale, work (I'm pretty much broke right now). But mostly, it's been because I've been in a funk. Emotionally and spiritually stagnant.

Today, I remembered the site I am still a member of and used to frequent, although much less so in recent months, the Church of the Younger Fellowship, and its parent site, the Church of the Larger Fellowship, both listed in my links section. I was pleased to see that the Church of the Larger Fellowship is transitioning to a new website with some new features, such as an online church service on Sunday evenings and Monday afternoons, which I believe I will begin watching.

The CYF also now has a "Religious Education" feature, comprised of (so far) 36ish daily readings and reflections, with discussion questions. In effort to bring new life into my spirituality and get myself out of this funk, I think I'm going to read through those daily devotionals, and blog summaries and my responses to discussion questions here.

Today's reading began with an intro, followed by some opening words for Chalice Lighting. The following poem was then made the focus reading, written by a CYF member and the writer of this day's devotional:

"Wild Night Wind
Michael Tino
I want…
…a hug each morning to greet the brand new day, and one each night to bid it farewell.
…to know love as vast as the sky and as pure as the first winter snow.
…a sandy beach each summer to keep me cool and a blazing fire each winter to warm
…to soar through the air like a bird, if only to remind myself of the magic and wonder
of being earthbound.
…a wild night wind to rustle the trees as I drift to sleep, and to call my dreams by name.
I want…
…to feel peace deep down in the core of my being.
…a babbling brook to sit by and notice the passage of time and seasons and the
unfolding of life before me.
…a room to call my own in which I can be free to create, to develop, to learn, or simply
to sit in a warm ray of sunshine streaming in through the window, amidst the dancing
dust faeries and shadows.
I want…
…to seek justice, simple and true, and to pass it like water for all to drink from.
…to be wholly a part of creation, in concert with beings and mountains and trees,
treating all which surrounds me as part of myself.
…a compass, true and steady, to point me the way I’ve been longing to go and to help
me remember the way that I’ve been.
I want…
…a steaming pot of Earl Grey tea to share with a friend and inspire conversation (or
simply silence, in gentle recognition that nothing needs to be said).
…to stand tall and firm, proud of my accomplishments but, at the same time, humble in
my minuteness in the glory of all being.
…to know God as the loving spirit in each of my breaths, transcending the boundaries
of all space and time and transforming my breathing into being.
And what do you want in the deepest center of your very being?
What quickens your heart and shortens your breath at the mere thought of it entering
your life?
What sounds an echo in the back of your soul and enters the symphony within you like
a high, insistent flute, calling your name over and over?
Is it peace? Is it love? Is it harmony with all beings?
Or is it a mission, a calling, a purpose?
Is it a reason that you want?
Or a question?
Or an answer?
Is it fields of purple heather swaying softly in the breeze
or libraries of knowledge to satisfy your growing curiosity?
Is it woolly socks in winter to keep your toes warm as you snuggle on the couch
watching the snow fall
or maple trees in autumn, blazing colors bright and true like wild fire on the mountains
towards the far horizon?
Is it a fountain in the summer, spraying, misting, sprinkling you with water and forming
puddles to wiggle your toes through
or a seedling in the springtime, pushing up through loamy soil and creating life from a
dormant shell?
What is it you really want?
An afternoon, a kitten, or a bicycle?
Or maybe justice like the waters
and pride
and love
and wonder?
A cup of tea, a ray of sun?
A peaceful, quiet moment?
Perhaps a hug to start each day, and one to fall asleep by,
or a wild night wind that moves the trees
and sparks your dreams
and lets you know possibilities without end."
 -- source - although it may not work if you haven't joined

The following Questions for Reflection are then presented, along with my answers:
"Who are you? Introduce yourself to the group": No introductions needed here, as most of my readers know me, and to any who don't, I wish to simply stick with "Chad" or "Chadly".

"What do you want?": I want to help others. I want to live and work somewhere I find fulfilling on every level. I want to travel. I want to fall in love and have a family.

"What are your dreams?": To make a difference in the world, and to find spiritual fulfillment.

"How have they changed the way you live your life?": I moved to be closer to the sea - although I am contemplating a return to the mountains via Asheville, depending on my luck finding work in Charleston after school. I do love the ocean though. I chose a career field not based on money, but my desire to make a difference in the world. I try to get out in nature as much as I can. I've become much more open minded, and draw from many spiritual traditions - Gnosticism, Christianity, Druidry, and Zen - in my personal spiritual path.

"What do you hope to get out of this curriculum?": If nothing else, to give me some new ideas and concepts to think about.

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