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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Spiritual Practice: A “Broad and Ecumenical” Definition

I’ll be conducting an introduction to Journaling as Spiritual Practice next month in West Rogers Park. And though it meets at my local church, the workshop is open to anyone interested in the topic.

One of the resources for the exercises I’m designing is Lewis Richmond’s book, Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser, which I’ve written about before on this blog. The workshop is not focused on aging per se, but much of what Richmond has to say about spiritual practice—both in the book and in this 2012 interview with—applies I think to adults of any age.

His own definition of spiritual practice reflects that:

Q. How do you as a Zen Buddhist priest define “spiritual practice”?

A. I define spiritual practice very broadly and ecumenically: as paying close attention to the things that really matter. What are those things? Beyond having a deep sense of meaning, there is also a feeling of belonging to something greater than ourselves. Research shows that people with an active church membership or spiritual practice live on average seven years longer than those who do not. That should tell us something. Finally, there is what I call a sense of the sacred or the divine, which the meditations I teach in the book invoke and develop.

To read more of the interview, click here:

To learn more about the Monday, September 18th workshop that meets from 6 – 8 pm, please email me at

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