In her novel A Life for a Life, Dinah Maria Mulock Craik wrote this poem about friendship:
"Oh, the comfort —
the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person —
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out,
just as they are,
chaff and grain together;
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."
The making and keeping of friends is a deep and wonderful spiritual practice requiring large reserves of thoughtfulness, creativity, and patience. We learn through friendship to practice attention, being present, enthusiasm, forgiveness, gratitude, joy, listening, love, nurturing, play, wonder, and other key markers of the spiritual life.
In this 40-part e-course, we will look at the multifaceted meanings, recurring challenges, and enduring rewards of friendship with quotations from many of our favorite writers including Henri J.M. Nouwen, Eugene Kennedy, Joan Chittister, Gunilla Norris, Thomas Moore, John O'Donohue, Stephen Batchelor, Margaret Guenther, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Wayne Teasdale, and many others.
Each email includes a short, thought-provoking passage about friendship followed by a related practice to use during the day. We encourage you to invite a friend to join you in doing the e-course (or give the course as a gift) so that the full depth and breadth of the practices can be experienced with someone close.
(6 CEHs for Chaplains available.)
(choose your own start date and frequency)