Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spiritual Practices as a UU University Track

I thoroughly enjoyed my UU University track at General Assembly last month. I went to Multigenerational Worship because 1), I didn't know much about it and 2), because the description stated that the material would be presented as four worship services. I absolutely love worship services. We sang, we danced, we learned.

The GA evaluation form asks us to describe programs we would like to see in next year's UU University (six hours of extensive learning about one topic). I think a Spiritual practices track would be terrific because we would have time to learn various practices and try each one. Insight Meditation would be one and perhaps Snowflower Meditation. Movement meditation might be part of it, also, with an adaptation for the differently-abled. Yoga or Qi Gong would be especially good, because both can be done while sitting in a chair. Centering Prayer would be a another type, as described by Thomas Keating. Besides the above, perhaps spiritual journal writing or contour drawing would be great, too.

Good transitions would be essential before going from one practice to the next. Singing, stretching and visiting the restroom are my favorite ways to prepare myself for the next activity.

So, what are the chances that Spiritual Practices becomes a UU University Track? Wait and see....

Blessed be and Amen,


ogre said...

I think that would be an interesting track--and based on the turnout for a class here at our fellowship for "UU Spiritual Practices," I think there'd be a healthy turnout.

I too went to the Multigen track--and didn't return for hte second day. I'm looking forward to the DVD to see if they got somewhere the second day or managed to distill something useful out of it. In the whole first day's session I found no more than 20 minutes that seemed to apply to the topic, and none that seemed to be insightful about *how* to create such a community or multigenerational worship.

Elizabeth J. Barrett said...

Several people told me that day two of the Multigen track was outstanding. I missed it due to a horrible migraine (caused by skipping too many meals at GA).

amylynn1022 said...

I have mixed feelings about this proposed track. I am sure that it would be popular and that there would be some people that would benefit from it, especially if they were able to learn about practices from an experienced practitioner that they had previous only read or heard about second-hand. But what I think would be an even more helpful workshop--perhaps as a follow-up--is to help participants deepen whatever spiritual practices they had chosen. This seems to be where we UU's break down--we are very good at presenting options, but it seems like once someone picks a practice there is not alwasy the support to deepen that practice. At an extreme it can feel like perpetual window shopping.

Elizabeth J. Barrett said...

Amylynn, you are so right about needing help to deepen a practice. One great way to deepen is to practice every day, no matter what. Being disciplined is the elusive key, IMHO. At my UU congregation, folks doing Centering Prayer started to meet regularly as a group to do the prayer together and encourage each other to keep it up at home. Same with Insight Meditation. I was doing yoga at home every day in addition to my weekly class, but fell off the wagon.