Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Spirituality for Brokeness

I heard an interesting interview with Terry Taylor, the director of Interfaith Paths to Peace. The interview is a promotion for his book, A Spirituality for Brokeness - Discovering Your Deepest Self in Difficult Times. This seems so timely to me as more and more people around me seem to talk about brokeness. Listen to his interview on State of Affairs http://www.wfpl.org/CMS/?p=4429 .

Taylor speaks of mending as opposed to healing: “Healing implies that you will return to the way you were before you were broken. Mending, to me, implies that in some sense you are whole but you have been put back together… but the scars show, the stitches show.”

Often it is during the difficult times that your relationship with God deepens. This book recognizes that it is important to embrace the difficulties you have experienced (not that you would want to relive them) because they (and your responses to them) have made you the person you are. The book explores different faith-based methods of mending. Observing a Sabbath as a means to rest and to restore is one method http://www.practicingourfaith.org/prct_keeping_ways_ideas.html. In my recent study of Mark, this was an important message from Jesus; that God has given us the gift of Sabbath to rest. It is to help mankind as God recognizes our need to re-charge ourselves. Lectio Divina (http://www.valyermo.com/ld-art.html), the Islamic practice of praying five times a day, and the Buddhist meditation practice called Tonglen http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/tonglen1.php are methods Taylor explores in his book. Taylor teaches that using the practices (methods) from Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam, while keeping your own spiritual beliefs (truths) can be beneficial to sorting through your difficulty as you mend your brokeness. As an example, he asks the question, would it not be helpful within your Christian belief to set aside five times of prayer each day that would be honored even if you were in class, in a meeting, or in the middle of a chore? In this, he suggests using a muslim practice to support one's own belief (whatever that may be, but in this case Christianity) as a way to set aside anxiety and find the power of God through structure, commitment and time throughout your day.

Taylor will hold book signings Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at Carmichael’s Bookstore, 2720 Frankfort Ave. and Saturday, April 25 at 3 p.m. at Destinations Booksellers, 604 E. Spring St. in New Albany, Ind.

Something for your glittering eyes:
The Pharisees said to Jesus, "Look, why are your disciples doing
what is not lawful on the sabbath?" Then he said to them, "The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath;
so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.".
Mark 2:24, 27-28

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