Inspired by Derek Sivers , this page includes a sample of what I’m thinking about and working on right now. Last updated September 11, 2020.
The theme for me recently has been a lot of prayer. I don’t usually let an update to my Now page go by without remarking on my health. I can’t wait until I no longer feel compelled to do that. After getting some treatment, I felt great for about a month. Then, I start to have a recurrence of symptoms. The symptoms have been particularly acute the last couple of days. As I work on accepting things that I just want to change, while I still work to change them, I’ve been experimenting with different styles of prayer.
I bought some prayer beads from this shop on Etsy. They’ve been really helpful in further stimulating an existing prayer habit and bringing some more structure to my prayer life, through the ACTS model. Though I have taught the ACTS model for a few years, I find that having the beads to work through the model really provides scaffolding to the process. I’ve also been doing some centering prayer and breath prayer. I setup my electric votives and tell my youngest son that, “I’m praying like a monk.” Then, he inevitably wants me to let him borrow one of my votives, saying, “a monk would share.” So share I do.
📚Richard Rohr - Everything Belongs: Rohr is a contemplative, so his writings align with my quest for a better prayer life. He extols the value of prayer throughout the book and examines faith and the nature of God’s love and forgiveness. These are hardly unexamined topics in Christian literature, but Rohr has a talent for making them seem fresh. You really feel the radical acceptance that is available through these gifts. Rohr spends a bit of time on the parallels with Buddhism, which shares a contemplative tradition. Since I’m engaged in Rohr’s thoughts on these subjects, this post from Patrick Rhone really struck a chord.
@ReaderJohn Here’s a secret many don’t know about me: I’m a former Republican (even ran for a State House seat here in MN 20 years ago) and Evangelical Christian (long line of Methodist preachers in my family, also very active with Promise Keepers).
I’d now be considered a moderate-progressive democrat and consider myself Buddhist.
When people ask me why I changed, I tell them I didn’t. Those groups did.
I explain that compassionate conservatives and "small l" libertarians like myself who staid firm in their beliefs found themselves no longer aligned with those that gave them up in favor of dogmatism, power, and winning at any cost.
I explain that my religious studies and deep contemplative prayer led me to learn and believe that if I truly wanted to be Christ-like, I had to let go of being Christian.
All of this is to say that I understand where you are coming from with all that you’ve shared here.
Obviously, I don’t think you need to let go of Christian faith to be like Christ. Like Rohr, I do feel like you have to spend time in prayer, study and contemplation.