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T H E   S C I E N C E   O F  S O U L
Summer 2001 Edition

[dna tree]
 

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Spirituality


Our feature article, Contemplative Spiritual Formation by Gerald May of Shalem Institute, defines the central terms of contemplative spirituality and invites us to orient our thoughts, actions, and feelings toward the goal of union with our Source. Bill Stimson describes this Source as being both external and internal to us in his essay, The Splendor of Worship. In essence, we become what we worship.

Often we lose our ability to describe what we are experiencing in contemplation. The anonymous 13th century author of The Cloud of Unknowing encounters Linda Tiessen Wiebe, a member of our web team, in a fictional dialogue about our use of symbols and the inexpressibility of what, or who, we contact in meditation.

   
 

Literature

Reason and faith, body and spirit, science and religion — maintaining the balance is essential, yet it is easy to let go of one side of the precious equation. As a Driven Leaf by Milton Steinberg, reviewed by Linda Tiessen Wiebe, explores the awkward and disastrous fight of spirit and mind in the life of a first-century rabbi caught between cultures.

The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris, reviewed by Lorna Derksen, reminds us that while we struggle with our hard to fathom post-modern context, we have much to learn from the monastic past. The way beyond our spiritual impasse is the way back through community and ancient practices.

   
 

Community

David Berg and Lydia Penner, local Watershed members, tell us about their spiritual practices and how they regain spiritual equilibrium as the workaday world swirls around them. Dave shares how Gerald May’s book The Awakened Heart has provided practical advice on how to practice contemplative spirituality when not in a cloister. Lydia’s experience in yoga class leads her in a very natural way back to the spirituality of her origins in YogaMore Than a Good Stretch.

Jim Pender’s introduction to his doctoral thesis, Restless Hearts, places his spiritual journey under the microscope of academic processes. His life experience unequivocally confirms the question of the academic study of spirituality.

Contemplation involves the body, mind and spirit. In his article Facets of Fat, Arthur Paul Patterson applies Ken Wilber’s research model to struggling with the social, emotional and spiritual problems of eating disorders and their interpretations.

Watershed Online now has messageboards for each of our three main topics: Spirituality, Literature and Community. We invite you to enter a dialogue with our online community through these messageboards.

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