Similarly to many others bought up in England, I had an upbringing on the edges of The Church of England. As a family, we didn’t attend church and I wasn’t christened. However, schools in England and Wales are asked to hold a daily assembly with a Christian basis and this together with the Brownies was a grounding in the Anglican tradition. My grandfather was a Methodist and his funeral was a moment for me when I understood his deep faith in nature and human beings.
During my twenties and thirties, I joined a Buddhist lay community and enjoyed mediation and rituals. This attendance and daily practice fell away and I stopped enjoying the communication of the Buddhists around me. I found myself deep in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a moment to moment spiritual practise. Returning to meditation now as I walk in nature or as I pause and check in with my feelings and needs. I have attended Quaker meetings and really enjoyed the regularity the pause, once a week. I could really sense why and how a weekly check in with oneself was beneficial psychologically and spiritual. Poetry and some music can transport me to touch something larger than myself.
In addition, and incredibly nourishing for me, are the moments of heart connection in an empathic dialogue. Usually in a 1 to 1 session and also in groups that I facilitate. People become to me ‘as one’ there is no giver or receiver no fixer or healer and no wounded person. Time stands still and I touch something beyond myself.
I’m enjoying reading this blog by Jules Evans, I sense some overlap in our journeys and in fact he is inspiring me to step up and name my spiritual yearnings, leanings and adventures. I agree with him it’s not so easy to do in our culture without being accused of being ‘deep’. Also I want my spiritual life remain mine and I don’t want to impose my beliefs on others. Especially as an NVC trainer.
So I’m dipping my toe into Christianity again. With some nudging from an NVC trainer colleague and a talk she directed me to on reform in the Church of England and I found Jules’ blog a reference to Rupert Sheldrake’s initiative about where to find Choral Evensong.
This is a totally new idea for me … but I’ve put my postcode into the search and found out where I can go and when. Here is Rupert Sheldrake talking about Choral Evensong, its history and why this website might be useful.
I’ve got no idea if it will ‘work’ for me, I’m not even sure what that means. But I do have a thought that re-occurs that something is not in balance within me and I’m wondering if I am neglecting my spiritual life? What are the ways you explore your spiritual needs?