Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Be Spiritual - Episode 16

Gail Donahue is our guest for Episode 16 of Be Spiritual. Gail was raised Irish Catholic, both religiously and culturally. Ironically, it was the Catholic Church that pointed her to Unitarian Universalism. Today, Gail considers herself a proud atheist with a church — not at all paradoxical for a UU.

During the conversation, you'll hear Gail refer to Cakes for the Queen of Heaven. If you're interested in more information about this curriculum in feminist theology, check this web site.



Episode 16 runs about 37 minutes. You may listen with the above audio player, download the mp3 file here, or access it via iTunes.

I welcome your feedback, which you may leave by posting a comment below or by sending an e-mail to comments at bespiritual dot info.

The theme music is Floating Souls by Ambrish, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. The chalice artwork was created by Inga Johannesen, of the UU Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Be Spiritual - Episode 10

In this episode, I talk with Sue Chadwick, who came to the UU church to give her children an identity and stayed for the community.

Sue's spirituality is grounded in nature and fun. The latter becomes obvious listening to her wicked sense of humor (wicked as in the New England usage).

Her hope for her life is simple, yet profound: that she can bring some joy and levity into people's lives.














Listen to my conversation with Sue using the above audio player or download the mp3 file here. You may also listen and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

I welcome your feedback, which you may leave by posting a comment on the blog or by sending an e-mail to comments at bespiritual dot info.

The theme music is Floating Souls by Ambrish, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. The chalice artwork was created by Inga Johannesen, of the UU Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Be Spiritual - Episode 7

Imagine a warm Sunday afternoon, cooled by a light breeze, blue skies and puffy white clouds overhead, a view of Crotched Mountain, the ski runs vacant and lonely. The setting couldn't have been more bucolic for my conversation with Mike Deschenes.

The drive from Nashua was relaxed and inspired by the scenery of alternating countryside and quintessential New England towns. Perhaps that's why I found my conversation with Mike so spiritual. We weren't just talking about spirituality and religion, it felt spiritual as I listened to the word pictures Mike painted with his soft voice and heard the occasional bird and motorcycle sounds from outside. I haven't lost that sense while listening to and editing the recording, and I hope that also comes through as you listen.

When asked to describe his spiritual views, Mike recited the following poem, Flow, which he has written during the past 12 years. You may want to refer to this as Mike explains the journey that created it.
Flow

Ego sits
Raindrop on birch branch
Upside down
Aching for union with the sea.
Blue jay’s landing
Sets it free...

Eyes wide
flowing through nirvana
are all...

karma ripple stills...

watching self ascend
mirrored pool
snowflake returns...

drink deep
the well...
mist describes the surface
frog and lotus bud witness dawn...

known is the way through
awareness bay...

Abolish time
unify balance and negate
yin bliss with yang suffering.

Breathe,
In the unity of one circle.

Sat Nam.














Listen using the above audio player or you may download the mp3 file here. You may also listen and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

We welcome your feedback, which you may leave by posting a comment or sending an e-mail to comments at bespiritual dot info.

Our theme music is Floating Souls by Ambrish, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. The chalice artwork was created by Inga Johannesen, of the UU Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

In Production: Mike Deschenes

Lotus blossom by Taifighta from www.flickr.com/photos/taimoo/2957433219/Our next episode will feature a conversation with Mike Deschenes, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Milford, New Hampshire.

Following a path we've heard before, Mike left the religion of his upbringing (Catholicism) when he found that his questioning wasn't encouraged and that he was expected to accept by faith. His sister introduced him to Unitarian Universalism, and his questions led him to study philosophy in college, with an intense and continuing exploration of most every religion.

Still exploring, Mike's spirituality today is largely inspired and informed by nature, Buddhism, other eastern philosophy, and Native American spirituality. All fit under the UU umbrella.

I had hoped to post Mike's interview this weekend, but I was out of town most of last week and didn't have access or time to do any audio production. Watch for the interview by next weekend.

More interviews are recorded and scheduled, and my aim is to produce two programs each month.

I am encouraged by the increasing number of downloads and welcome your feedback. Special thanks to those who have sent e-mail or spoken with me. Please consider leaving comments about the individual conversations on this blog, which is a way to share your own explorations and expand the conversation. If you have ideas for guests or topics, you may leave them as comments or send them by e-mail to comments at bespiritual dot info. Note that we are bespiritual.info — not bespiritual.com.

The photo of the lotus blossom is from Taifighta's flickr collection and used with appreciation under Creative Commons license BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Be Spiritual - Episode 5

Our fifth episode features Tess George, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua and former Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Action Network of New Hampshire.

Raised Catholic, Tess left the church after questioning the virgin birth of Jesus. She became Unitarian Universalist while in college, and her spiritual exploration subsequently led to Paganism.

Not believing in a personal god, Tess finds divinity in nature and her relationships. She has a strong commitment to social justice, in her words to “even the playing field.”

During our conversation, Tess spoke of her daughter taking the Our Whole Lives sexuality education course, which is part of the UU religious education program. You can read more about the curriculum here.














Listen using the above audio player or you may download the mp3 file here. You may also listen and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

We welcome your feedback, which you may leave by posting a comment or sending an e-mail to comments at bespiritual dot info.

Our theme music is Floating Souls by Ambrish, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. The chalice artwork was created by Inga Johannesen, of the UU Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Be Spiritual - Episode 2

In this episode, Anya tells how Unitarian Universalism is a permission-granting community, where she is free to develop her own spirituality. Listen to her discuss how she draws from Buddhist, Native American, and feminine spirituality and has developed her own sense of a higher power.

Anya speaks of the UU principles, which you can read here on the UUA's web site.














Listen using the above audio player or you may download the mp3 file here. You may also listen and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here.

We welcome your feedback, which you may leave by posting a comment or sending an e-mail to comments at bespiritual dot info.

Our theme music is Floating Souls by Ambrish, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. Chalice artwork created by Inga Johannesen, UU Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Be Spiritual - Episode 1

In this inaugural episode of Be Spiritual, I speak with Ellen McCormick, a long time Unitarian Universalist (UU) and member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua, New Hampshire.

Ellen's father died when she was only 10, which prompted a lifetime of questioning. Listen to Ellen's story of her journey from Catholicism to Humanism and Unitarian Universalism.









Listen using the above audio player or you may download the mp3 file here.

We welcome your feedback, which you may leave by posting a comment or sending an e-mail to comments at bespiritual dot info.

Our theme music is Floating Souls by Ambrish, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. Chalice artwork created by Inga Johannesen, UU Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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