Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on October 12, 2021

"All things in the universe want to be heard."
— Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spiritual Literacy

Listening may be the key to unlocking the doors that separate us, to gaining wisdom, to communing with birdsong, and finding intense joy in music — but make no mistake: listening is hard work. I preach sermons every Sunday, and I am well aware that if I go over twelve minutes, no matter how scintillatingly or profound I imagine my words to be, my flock will (if still awake) become restless and dreamy, some playing with lunch possibilities or recipes in their heads. How do I know this? Because when I am in the pew, that's exactly what I do — food taking up an excessive amount of space in my head.

Once, after fifteen minutes of listening to a preacher, . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on September 27, 2021

In Alan Gorden's new book, The Way Out: A Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven Approach to Healing Chronic Pain, he speaks of "catching your fears" as part of his therapy. Gordon demonstrates through neuroscience, case studies, and storytelling that fear plays a huge role in most chronic pain. Fear can create pain, he says. Learning how to be aware of our fears, observing them, and "catching" them before they get too cozy inside us may be the very image many of us need, chronic pain or not.

When we feel safe, our bodies and minds flourish in beautiful and healthy ways . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on July 28, 2021

The first step on a spiritual path today is a return to a sense of one's own body.
— Martha Heyneman

My Body/Your Body . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on June 22, 2021

Open-ended: That's how I describe the home where my husband and I now live. Since we purchased our well-worn (shabby-sans-chic) historic house 3 years ago, we have been renovating and restoring. For us, it's a matter of DIY (do it yourself) on a shoestring budget.

Despite our busy lives, we've managed to restore a great deal . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on May 5, 2021

Remember Algebra class and "solving for x"? A puzzle. An Unknown. A math mystery. Turns out, math and the spiritual life are not so far apart. In fact, in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy, x is a symbol for "The Mystery" — the spiritual home for the great mystics and a vital part of every spiritual journey. Mystery, or the "Great Unknown," invites us to make room in our souls for mystery, intrigue, and the ineffable "more-ness" of the spiritual adventure. But like math class, could part of that lavish landscape of spiritual unknowns include not only sacred mysteries, but very worldly ones as well?

To be honest, if I were given a word association test with the word, "Mystery," . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on March 9, 2021

Dark Shadows

When I was thirteen, my friend Debra and I would walk to her house after school, plop down on the floor in front of the TV and glue our eyes on the spooky soap opera Dark Shadows.

We were so engrossed by the evil vampire . . .

Posted by Jay McDaniel on January 14, 2021

Charles Takes Care of Himself

"But one day I really watched him. He was chewing on a piece of grass. He gave his full attention to that single blade. His body was still, his fur soft in the sun. And then I started noticing other things about Charles. He goes out in the rain and doesn't get wet. He takes care of himself. He is a survivor. In recent months I've learned to meditate. I open a window, even in winter, and sit in a black metal chair. Charles sometimes joins me. We listen and hold tight to every one of our nine lives."
— from the YouTube video "Nine Lives" by Anne Aronson

Three Cheers for the Ego . . . Sometimes

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on January 5, 2021

Recently, a friend of mine, the Australian composer and theologian Robert Burrell, e-mailed me a piece of music, a little song he composed for students and teachers to encourage them during the pandemic. Written for a children's choir, it begins with the words of an old proverb:

Water wears away the stone, not because it is stronger. But because it persists . . .

Posted by Jay McDaniel on December 2, 2020

My mother, Virginia McDaniel, loved Perry Como. I grew up watching her listen to him sing and listening along with her. ​I loved and love his voice, and I love the image of my mom loving his voice.

This image is, for me, a pocketful of starlight . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on November 23, 2020

“In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones. Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers. They know it is time to be still.” ― Cynthia Rylant

For many of us, the end of November is littered with tall yard bags bulging with dry, brittle leaves. . .


About This Blog

Welcome to Process Musings for the spiritually curious, the creative, and the open-hearted. We, Jay McDaniel and Patricia Adams Farmer, are two bloggers from the world of process thought, inspired by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. This multi-faith blog features articles, essays, stories, videos, and poetry which invite you to discover fresh possibilities for wholeness, creativity, and joy. Read more.