"Whatever states of mind, happy or unhappy, occur, never mind — we should constantly be reminding ourselves, 'This is uncertain.'

"This is something people don't consider very much, that 'this is uncertain.' Just this is the vital factor that will bring about wisdom. In order to cease our coming and going and find rest, we only need to say, 'this is uncertain.' Sometimes we may be distraught over something to the point that tears are flowing; that is something not certain. When moods of desire or aversion come to us, we should just remind ourselves of this one thing. Whether standing, walking, sitting, or lying down, whatever appears is uncertain. Can't you do this? Keep it up no matter what happens. Give it a try. You don't need a lot — just this will work. This is something that brings wisdom."
— Ajahn Chah in Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away

"Adopt a tree, a park, a beach, or a highway, and look out for its welfare. In its honor, include in your daily prayers petitions to alleviate the sufferings of dying plants and trees, polluted waterways, and toxic lands."
— Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat in Spiritual Rx

"After centuries of being told that 'Jesus saves,' the time has come to save Jesus from the church.

"If the door is locked, we will break in through the windows. If anyone forbids us to approach the table, we will overturn it and serve Communion on the floor. If any priest tells us we cannot sing this new song, we will sing it louder, invite others to sing it with us, and raise our voices in unison across all the boundaries of human contrivance — until this joyful chorus is heard in every corner of the world, and the church itself is raised from the dead."
— Robin R. Myers in Saving Jesus from the Church

"For centuries, science and religion squared off against each other as enemies. Now in many quarters they are working in tandem probing evolution, the natural world, and the solar system. As David Steindl-Rast has put it: 'Science is concerned with the workings of the cosmos, while religion is concerned with the meaning behind it.' This ongoing collaboration is yielding fresh insights into the human adventure!"
— Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

"Among those things that hold us back is our isolation from each other; by our obsession with our individual selves, we shut out what others may give us, even when they are offering life and newness. And one of the most dramatic ways we do this is by projecting blame on each other: it's often been said that the first visible effect of the fall of Adam in the story in Genesis is his eagerness to blame Eve. But it is wider than that: somehow we cut ourselves off from all sorts of sources of life. In relations between men and women, our greediness and impatience can ruin the gifts God wants to give through faithfulness and mutual service. In the relations between humanity and its natural environment, a similar greed and haste prevents us from responding to that environment with praise or wonder. We set up oppositions between soul and body, as if we could think about the health and goodness of the one without the other. In short, we are compulsive dividers, separators, and in these divisions we deny our selves the life God is eager to give.
— Rowan Williams in The Dwelling of the Light

"Zen teachers often use the image of 'taking tea with the demons.' Fear — to name merely one demon — grows huge as we flee from it, but, when we turn and face it, it shrinks."
— Mary Rose O'Reilley in The Barn at the End of the World

To Practice This Thought: Take tea this week with one of your most pernicious and troublesome demons.

"Silence engenders the space called, so evocatively and beautifully by David Steindl-Rast, the Benedictine monk, 'God bathing.' In God bathing, the body is still, speech is silent, the mind is at peace. One bathes in the presence of, the very Being of God."
— Kathleen Dowling Singh in The Grace in Dying

To Practice This Thought: Set aside a special time for God bathing.

"The spiritual life is a process of subtraction more than addition. Rather than seeing religion only as an accumulation of various practices and virtues, it is also a matter of dropping those things that ultimately don't satisfy, and just being open in a simple way, gambling that this vulnerability will not disappoint us. On faith we must bank on the possibility that God will provide for us all that we need, that life itself — as it is — will not only feed us, but clothe us in glory. Learning that we can trust in this possibility, we become more simple, more like children in this respect, more like birds and lilies."
— Brian C. Taylor in Becoming Human: Core Teachings of Jesus

"Theologically speaking, a truly ecumenical challenge is opening up: to inaugurate a new covenant with the Earth in such a way that it will signify the covenant that God established with Noah after the destruction wrought by the flood. There we read: 'I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth . . . everlasting covenant that I have established between God and all living beings — all mortal creatures that are on earth' (Genesis 9: 13-16). Human beings must feel that they are sons and daughters of the rainbow, those who translate this divine covenant with Gaia, the living superorganism, and with all the beings existing and living on it, with new relationships of kindness, compassion, cosmic solidarity, and deep reverence for the mystery that each one bears and reveals. Only then will there be integral liberation, of the human being and of Earth, and rather than the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth there will be common celebration of the redeemed and the freed, human beings in our own house, on our good, great, and bountiful Mother Earth."
— Leonardo Boff in Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor

"We need more spiritual education at all levels. Only then can we achieve wide 'spiritual literacy,' a literacy that goes far beyond learning to read and write, beyond the acquisition of professional training and skills. It also goes beyond emotional and ethical literacy to a much deeper dimension of insight and wisdom that grows from the heart and fosters compassion and love. These are the deepest energy resources humans possess, and the global community is still far from drawing on the transformative power of these resources in all situations of need.

"To explore the different forms of spirituality in the contemporary world, whether secular, humanistic, scientific or artistic, and explore their joint potential to enhance and augment the fullness of life, can give ground for new hope."
— Ursula King in The Search for Spirituality

Go to Index for Alphabet of Progressive Christian Spirituality