Posts Tagged ‘Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living’


WTF? Okay, as I watched the US election results roll in this colloquialism went through my mind, and we all know what it stands for. For me though it would’ve happened with Hillary winning as well, for I was rooting for a change-shift in the USA mindset around body politic and looking at the mainstream ticket disaster a choice of 3rd party or right in.

That did not happen, and the waves of fear and hate have become revealed in the North American continent.

But as I have learned short had at the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living (Thanks Dr. Pat), it gave new terms for probing questions used in spiritual direction, and that is What’s the Fear? (WTF)…the fear is seeing the old world reasserting itself, the fear is seeing how someone can use the fear that exists within the starving masses used to go back in time, the fear is realizing that a party that brought their country the emancipation proclamation; Abraham Lincoln, in just over 100 years had moved to this.

But then the question needs to be asked, why do the voters that do not show up, allow for this? Their is responsibility around. Yet with this vote, there is shift happening as the Republicans that control the Senate and Congress are speaking up for their constituents and not stating they will blindly follow their technical party leader, so is their something deeper in the law of cause and effect at play?

Which brings us to “Where’s the Faith?”. Now as a Canadian I have to admit a reality, even our most conservative movements fall just left of the USA’s Democratic Party, so yes the political spectrum down south does not even touch our spectrum, but within that over the last 25 years we have experienced provincially and federally overly fanatical leadership in Klein-Harris “Common Sense Revolutions” (Alberta and Ontario in the `90’s) and most recently Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government.

Yet, the out come short and long is citizens choosing hope, whoever thought Conservative Alberta would send Liberals to Ottawa Federally, but also…elect an NDP government.

I stand here as a pragmatist, but in the Canadian context being on the spectrum between Red Tory/Red Grit to Communist, and yes I have ridden through these waves of attempted regression, and can say to our neighbours to the south, it is survivable, but as a democracy you must choose to move forward in Hope, and hold those who have been elected out of the shadow accountable. It is time to be active participants in your life.

So where is the faith? (WTF) for me it is in the promise out of the story of Genesis 3 from the ancient Jewish tradition. Yahweh lets Adam and Eve leave home, promising that the earth is theirs to now care for, they have entered adolescents and young adult hood. The story that progresses from that moment of Blessing is one filled with pain, mistakes and hurt, but what emerges from that is the Christ-Love that transforms the story.

So we are a world in the midst of change, in the midst of our young adult hood…are we going to hold it together and live out of the love. Hold to the simple truth of life, that no matter what, when a core group of good people comes together, Love Wins.

WTF.


It is true, to find a place where you can truly be the true you, takes time, and effort. Sometimes one falls effortlessly into a spot, other times the journey builds up a lot of open wounds, bruises and scar tissue to truly find respite and belonging.

My journey has been an in between, sadly some placed we thought availed of spiritual belonging attacked the youngest of us (still a certain Lutheran Church sadly my son cannot go by the parking lot of without having a meltdown) or a certain non-denom cult that the humour of being kicked out for a bible study invite still stays with the wifey…yet there is a spiritual home for everyone….it is just about finding the right hole to fit your peg, the right puzzle piece that connects…

And yes even with diverse family units such as ours there is a puzzle that can fit all our pieces. Currently I feel we are in such a place. One where the kids can grow, we can grow, and it is not necessarily because of what happens with each Sunday, or even all the courses/workshops offered at the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living, although they help the curious learners within…

Nope, it is the type of puzzle that allows your mosaic to thrive, so not just fitting into an ideology or dogma, but a place where you can think and grow as you are meant to within the Spirit and the Spirit within. A place that allows for questions, diversity and evolution of the self and the whole. A holistic communion if you will.

For our family, it is that place to belong, for we can still be curious, we can still journey outside of the metaphoric four walls of the Centre and sample other things, grow in other ways (Nods to you Unity of Calgary and UCM Alberta)…and know that no judgment is held when we come home with new ideas to banter about.

It is through authentic belonging, that then authentic purpose can be realized for all within the family and community for there is no falsity in fitting in, or trying to be something or one you are not. Regardless of life lived, or being lived, or who you love, or what path you are one, or ability/differently abled there is always a way to realize where Spirit calls and a community to walk with in realizing that call.

Just thoughts that percolate in the work I do in aiding others in building home and coming to peace in my own self as I truly am at a place of Thy own self be true if you will.


This Sunday was a contemplative time, it started out as any ride to the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living. My daughter off to Funday School, sipping my coffee with wifey and son in the service. Great music and meditation as usual. It has been a reflective time entering into a Foundations course and looking back on our spiritual journey, one ponders what ifs periodically, what if…

Well for someone who has journeyed through many ways of discovering the Holy Mystery that is in everything and everything dwells within, sampled many of the wells from the one river, the talk on agriculture struck a chord.

graft Weaker trees grafted onto a strong root. Think of our own lives, your own life…what is the roots that you grew from, that you grafted on your new beliefs that continued to grow.

This was the metaphor that spurred Dr. Pat Campbell’s talk on Sunday. Yet the talk resonated deeper in myself as I thought about my spiritual journey and what truly was my root. Family heritage would scream Christendom in the vein of Anglican or United Church of Canada…personal Christendom journey would run the gambit of evangelical to mainline…monastic to cleric…to stints in learning within Judaism, Bahai, Islam, Earth and Indigenous spiritualities….Druidery…Wicca…some occult…Eastern Philosophies…Ancient Philosophies…Conspiracy Theories…Paleo-SETI…and the list goes on to universalist…energy healing…Unitarian…New Thought…New Age…Paranormal…Ancient Mythologies…

And then it struck me, as I went deeper down the rabbit hole…foundation beliefs found in ancient stories that still resonate in Fables and Fairy Tales, but there was more. For current legends and stories resonate with truth for me.

Like walking out of a fog to claim what I have always stated is true to me. The story. It is what I hold onto, it is how lessons and truth are communicated, it is how I learn, grow, change and work towards transformation.

All other things had been grafted onto this great driving belief in me. The vocation of story teller…or as the Munay-Ki called it for me, Wisdom Keeper.

My root is the story of the cosmic oneness, my rising is how all is grafted onto the one, and that is how all my beliefs–stories sync into the one root.

CSL4


It is highly entertaining that many spiritual tomes throughout history have been written in regards to simplicity. One of my spiritual roots that allowed me to rise, was the Franciscan ideal of “mendicant”-the open hand, used as a slur, but empowered through the idea that it is all God’s…so let it flow.

Yet how often does one take the idea of flow and the new, releasing the old, into their on-line presence?

How often do you enter mindfulness and truly look at who you are following on Twitter? Who you are a friend with on Facebook? What groups or likes you have on Facebook? Or as I did this last week updated my blog to better reflect where I am now in life.

So as a spiritual practice of simplicity within this new reality, take time to reflect on your social media presence and does it still truly reflect you? Go back through like you would the closet and basement with the clean up idea?

Are you ready for 21st century simplicity practice?

 


What things are buried in one’s basement? Many people keep on top of their storage rooms, clearing out and down sizing. Others let that which they no longer use over run them. But this is not a post about aestheticism or hoarding, it is the story of spring cleaning. Within Science of Mind the idea of clearing out the old to allow new energy and the new to flow in, for Franciscans it is the open hand, things that are held in care until they are no longer usable or passed onto those who need them.

That was the day today, a load off to the Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Store, and then Just Junk by to pick up, but aside from the broken bed frame or rotting wood, old water hot tank there is things that stick in your mind and carry memories which is just funny. Not ha ha, just unique.

There is the cathartics of using one’s sledgehammer to destroy a wardrobe that had been ruined by two former tenants, begun by one and finished off by another but just cast aside into storage. Finally shattered, feeling the energy of negativity of these past tenants leaving as it is broken down and cast on the front lawn.

I look at an old television of the tube variety that is 22 years old and almost 40 inches big. I remember getting it with my Dad. We were sent to get our television repaired, and the old Chinese gentleman that ran the t.v. repair shop in Forest Lawn talked us out of repairing the old t.v. and buying the new one that he guaranteed would last forever.

As we upgraded, not only t.v. but in size we brought it home, and well it did not fit in the t.v. stand, so Dad and me, being well Ragan boys, did what we say fit with hacksaw and cut the top half of the television stand off so the new television would fit… Mum was not amused 🙂

To the couch that originally started out as new with my Grandparents and then be handed down to my parents, it would migrate from upstairs to downstairs and then 14 years ago wind up in a store room…mostly due to the fact that no one could remember how this 40 year old couch got into the basement and how to get it out…Just Junk had to literally smash it. So many warm memories of family, and generations, that residual positive energy trapped within a piece of furniture, that if I am to tap my Shamanic side, can say as it was released and cleansed the soul sludge of a room that had rescued two lives for people that only attacked the family, and brought rest to this old house.

It is weird this act of spring cleaning to get fresh air in, clear out old stuff, help others where you can…in the end it comes down to being able to look upon a life lived, and realize that the good actually does outweigh the bad, and in the end…we are all family.

 


It is interesting as one sits and ponders life. Some call it mindfulness, others prayer or meditation, still some rumination… what it really is though truthfully is being fully connected with your emotions and understanding the 5 W’s and H around them. This is a hard process when it comes to hard things in life that we face–illness, death, bankruptcy, finances, school, being a parent, being a support for parents, older life sibling strife/rivalry… Essentially any change small or major in life that then transforms into grief in our own life.

There are many ways to understand grief, their is the book Good Grief by Westberg; there is the U theory of change  or as anyone who has worked in life recovery knows the idea and practice of addiction is essentially a symptom of deeper issues so journeying with another while working on the 12 Steps are some formal ways to work through one’s past and emerge into the now.

There is always the recommendations for Spiritual Direction; Counselling; Spiritual Mind Treatment (Affirmative Prayer), Reiki or other formalized spiritual praxis that deals with the spiritual gunk that clogs our energy systems that once released can unburden our physical, mental and emotional selves.

But it comes back to our own personal decisions to understand one major thing: We are perfect and divine already. We do not have to seek out anything to affirm that we deserve the best and highest good. It is a hard thing to understand, which is why Rev. Marjorie’s talk at Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living today inspired this post. To understand that spiritual practice is not about making ourselves perfect, but coming into an understanding that we already are. She shared a simple mantra to be able to live in the now that came from a newsletter from Dr. Carol Carnes:

I am here,

it is now,

all is well.

And so it is.

-30-

 

 


It is so weird when we speak of inclusion that there are still the “stigmatized” out there. I remember years ago when I first entered my mental health journey being told, “don’t say anything” or “others will see you as weak if they know” or “leaders don’t speak of their weaknesses.”

Weakness?

That is the wrong term to be used in regards to depression/anxiety, or even disabilities. All misnomers. Our world is made up of many different types of people, who have different abilities, and also mentally/spiritually experience the world differently. By moving towards exclusionary terminology, labels or even worse degradation to less than they are capable of being. For it is in building a world, where each person can excel to their fullest potential that is needed, not one where we place our own ideal of what is “normal” or “civilized” or “healthy” onto everyone else. For it is in trying to bring others up to our desired level that isolation, aloneness and seperatedness from community happens to the point where I believe it creates a huge contributing factor to the rise of addictions of every shape, for it is easier to allow something to overtake your life to the point of not being in touch with the reality around you, than to be a constant disappointment to the reality around you.

Think about it?

Are you willing to provide support for individuals to become full partiicpating members of community in a healthy way?

Are you willing to look beyong labels to who they truly are as a divine being?

Is the community you are a part of willing to open their arms in a welcoming fashion regardless of cultural/societal label and create a courageous and safe space for all?

Hmmm… or are the words of inclusion empty platitudes to make us feel better while we do not need to transform ourselves or our world for the better?

What is inclusion for you?

What does it take to shine the light into the Dark Nights? And allow the rainbows through the bleakness of day?

How much does it cost for everyone to find a true Home?


The First run at the prologue for the new book…a step in getting the dust out if you will:

For the past 24 months I have admittedly struggled in getting a book together. All that began to change in July of 2015 I entered into a course at the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living. It was to be a fun summer course playing around with manifestation and energy. The course was based on Pam Grout’s 2013 book, E Squared. It was 9 do it yourself energy experiments. Experiment # 4 The Abracadabra Principle (pp. 67-88) is what birthed this book. For in it you are to manifest something simple in your mind.

Me being a man before reading the chapter was going to manifest the completely accessible bungalow home that my family needs, but then read the chapter and the instruction on starting small realized that as a book I was reading wound down and decided to try manifesting my wife, Shawna, getting me a new book without saying anything. A safe bet for these 48 hour experiments or so I thought, for the 48 hours came and almost went and no book.

Except—drum roll please—a new book. That is the volume you are currently holding and reading. See in conversations during those 2 days with Shawna, what was birthed was the title and outline for this little book.

Quite the thing, as it came about a year into my family’s new commitment into the New Thought movement. Each chapter will explore a different theme, and a metaphysical narrative for understanding and application for one’s life. Things rolled along quite well as the outline fleshed out, and kept going with the course, then hit two more experiments, one around weight loss and one around gardening.

Ooops. The greatest hurdle to energy work or in my case writing suddenly hit the bricks: P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N!

The procrastination tool to avoid homework for a course is what writing can look like, but when one has not been able to create a solid work for a while as a writer, well then you take the run when you can.

Let’s be honest that everyone has a key procrastination tool. For Ty Ragan, I am that procrastination tool, a character that has existed in one form or another through various incarnations within his fiction stories. These stories whether mystery, adventure, pulp, super hero or all the previous existed within the Tyverse as he so admirably dubbed it (most recent adventures available on his website: tyragan.wordpress.com). I have been a detective, a pastor, a sidekick, a super hero, a trans-dimensional mystic, a mentor and…

            I even manifested at one point as a Tulpa, as Ty was journeying through his Franciscan formation to aid him in reconciling his past, and working on bringing together his journey through multiple religious paths. Now I am introducing the new book. Why?

            Simple, there was a mystery-mystical story in the work that has stalled out several times for my new identity as John MacCurtis, mayor of the city, former sidekick, and dragged back into the life by a mass murderer targeting former teammates. Yet it could not get beyond the first 500 words. So I decided it was time to get into a published work after 28 years of kicking around and kicking butt, providing the odd spiritual guidance that brought together fractured pieces from a burnt out time of life, to fully accept who he was.

            Now this book is going to be another journey for the reader. A next step in the spiritual journey of wholeness by looking at powers within our being that when discovered, reflected and empowered upon can and will create a new spiritual self.

The new spiritual self. How do you get there? It is a constant process in working on yourself, but also outside yourself and with the other. Those around you, the community you exist in. Finding a safe community to grow in as well.

Community is the key piece that many forget within their spiritual journey. Especially in the Western World we have a hold on to individualism, the sad part being that by tying it to only us on our journey, not a “we” on the journey, the key piece from most of the master teachers: Buddha, Bahhaluah, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Francis of Assisi, Dalai Lama, Ghandhi, etc. is lost for they did not exist within a vacuum, they did not manifest and transform as individuals. They were full participating members of their society, they had connections with others, and were positive justice focused participants within their world for the better.

That is the journey of the book you now hold, looking at each power/emotion/energy there is a piece of the meta-narrative, the story of the Universe it is tied into, there is a piece tied into the weave of the threads of you, and then there is a way that you connect into your community.

By turning the page, you are accepting a step into learning this new reality and preparing to live out of this new reality to transform the world.

The question is simple;

Are you willing to create a new you and a new world?


Yes I have been struggling with writing for a few months, almost a year or more…not short time projects, but putting together a new book for publication. Part of this struggle comes from the ease of publishing online via blogs etc. Part of it is the idea of taking money for spiritual guidance, which is why I was thinking a fiction work was needed.

In the last few months, here are the few excerpts of two new and halted projects:

The coffee should have been consistently good, someone forgot to inform the new franchisee of that fact as Jack MacCurtis gulped a mouthful of coffee grounds that he deemed necessary to discreetly spit back into the cup. It was time to go, as he finished the apple oatmeal muffin. Zed had called him on his cell phone and asked him to come by the Centre.

                It had been a few years since John had been inside any spiritual place, not since he chose to walk away from his ordination track, and stick to being a writer…okay blogger, but in the reality of Canadian conglomerated media it made no sense as it truly tied one’s voice to being nothing more than a corporate shill. The slide cell phone his girlfriend mocks for the Luddite social-media writer vibrates.

                “Jack here.” There is a blast of static, a crackling voice that begins to take raspy shape.

Jack recognizes the sound of the breathing apparatus of his long term mentor. “Jack.” Each word punctuated by a gasp for oxygen. William McKay was a private investigator who usually did the schlocky divorce jobs, corporate espionage etc. His nick name was Shotgun, why? Simple, in mostly gun free Canada, he would keep a shotgun in the trunk of his car as a persuasion device if things went sideways. Which was not often for the 6 foot tall man who crested close to 300 pounds. But handlebar moustache aside, one day investigating a Klan rally ended with gun play and him trussed up in a bonfire gone south.

                Now William was cared for by his long term companion, Rex O’Neil, a lifer in the public school liaison role for police service, as the last bout five years ago had left him with most of his lungs burnt up, and a quadriplegic.  “What’s up Will?”

                McKay begins filling Jack in. “Shady things at Zed’s joint.”

“I am on my way, just waiting on transit.” Will begins kibitzing to Jack about why the man chose never to drive, it was too hard on him to re-explain to his friend that his mind was no wired to be able to easily focus on one task that it required to drive.

                “Seriously Will, what can I do you for?”

“Well kid, you really aren’t my type, but Zed is needing aid, and figure you are a good ground work man.” Jack steps onto the bus and flashes his pass as Will continues. “Something weird is happening at the Centre and you were the one I thought about contacting.”

               **************************************************************************************

Chapter One

The left hand scars…reminders of the heat of the flames in the van…tears and screams… Unable to move. The drive shaft piercing through the left knee cap. No longer able to walk unaided by a cane. Scarring on the left side of his body. Cleanly shaved head, goatee and whiskers, missing the left eye, the heat and smoke damage to severe.

                His gold signet ring on his right pinky tapping the oak of the podium in the June day sun. The press conference no one thought he would call. But as mayor it is time to be responsible. Three weeks and the flashes are still there.

                “Three years ago the people of this city graced me with a second term as mayor. This was the year to clean up the corruption in our city. The year of the battle, a battle we were winning…” Scarred hand is trembling. Her hand goes onto his back. Jake (Jacqueline) Slick, body guard, daughter of one of his former teammates, what seemed a lifetime ago.

                His rock, her fiery red hair reminding him of the flames of what he lost. When those he took on finally bit back, what he was expecting to deal with on his own, he had forgotten this wasn’t just the good old days when it was friends and the single life. But it was no longer the single life.

                For it was his family. Back from the Pride Parade when it happened.

Still feel the smoke filling his lungs.

                “You stood with me as we indicted our corrupt leaders in the police, fire and health services. Stood with me as we cleared out corrupt city management, and councillors. Then we went after the builders who were using unfair campaign leverage through donations to curb the market on housing, and actually create poverty and homelessness in this city. We stood as a community and fought back.”

                 His good eye looks to the crowd. The battle had raged. How many weird things had he been involved with before he became mayor.

                From his teen years as a supra hero PinBall with his best friend… to super spy in young adult hood when his powers faded… then a mystical archer (Bionic Archer)…to back to being a humble journalist before mass media conglomeration…to being believed dead as he was sucked into another dimension and became a Tulpa (Buddhist guide)… to new life here and now, first as a teacher, then as a street pastor and social justice activist where he fell in love.

                Robin…no vows, simply love, with three children…Rex, Rick (after his best friend), and Kyler…

A new life and a wife that believed to truly change the soul of the city one had to run the city. Mortgaging their house—twice—to win to large majorities, refusing corporate and union donations, and not taking any donations over $50 from one person to ensure no one person had a stronger voice within City Hall than anyone else.

                7 hard fought years. Then the last big challenge to happen. Rooting out the construction contracts. Someone fought back.

                “I have literally been to Hell and back, but I must admit that is what I believed, as you can tell from the memoir I release in the first year of my second term to come completely clean with you, the citizens who government was meant for. In Canada constitutionally we are guaranteed Peace, Order and Good Governance. Gothic City Alberta hasn’t always allowed for that. We changed that.”

                Working with the Canada Revenue Agency he had challenged the last holdout of corruption…the Religious network. In and out schemes of money, living larger, as the working and lower classes suffered. Began auditing, and shuttering churches and temples.

                He had a lot of enemies before his political life, and each month in the Mayor’s office created new enemies from each sector.

                “Evil has not one, but my friends, I am tired. They took the love from my life.” The lone figure standing in the rain storm, lightning crackling across the sky and thunder claps. Children singing. He tried to swerve. Arms came up and aimed. Robin grabbed his arm.

                A lightning crack. Explosion of fire.

“I need to pass the torch to you the citizens of Gothic to continue the work.”

                Jake squeezes his shoulder again, as some tears begin to stream down his cheeks. In all his years he has never been this beaten. “For as of this moment, since they took my family, I resign.”

                A red laser flash from the clock tower in city hall. Flashes, microphones pushing forward. Screaming questions. Commentators asking if the rot would seep back into the city now that the hero was leaving the big chair. Over the past 7 years had there been enough back bone built up. Or was the murder just showing that good could never triumph.

                Jake takes the podium mike. “Mayor MacCurtis is not taking any questions.”

Using the cane, John MacCurtis moves down from the podium and begins walking towards a waiting taxi cab. Jake follows. It was a weird feeling the last time such a large press conference had been called was during his first term when the “Great Crime Fighters” reformed for a short time and cleaned up the ultra-violent anti-heroes of the new generation. The Feds then sponsored the team and they vanished from the work a day world.

                John officially retired from the hero game as his powers faded for a third time, and he settled into focusing on city clean up. Which is what he really wanted to do anyways, but now, now it was simply time to stop.

                John stops at the door of the cab as Slick catches up, he leans in to Jake. “There’s someone in the clock tower tracking me with a rifle site.” Jake touches an ear piece and relays to the GCPS who are throughout the square. “Part of me misses the days I would bounce up there and take the poser out.”

                Jake smirks. “John you got a bad knee ya ain’t dead.”

John smiled. His eye moved to the clock tower, and diagonal down in the sandstone building to the centre right window that was darkened. His old office. His good eye catches the fluorescent vests of GCPS and taking down the gunman.

                “Got him boss. Twenty-one year old Neo-Nazi want to be.”

John laughed. “Wow, can’t believe in the 21st century that drivel still attracts the young.”

                They get in the cab and it pulls away. The radio in the cab has commentators reporting on the big announcement and if there was going to be a comeback. “Seriously John, what are you going to do?”

“Besides get a good therapist?”

                “Yea, besides that.”

“I don’t know, Jake, I honestly thought I would round out my second term, and then go back to teaching at University, but then.” His voice catches in the back of his throat. “I want to kill the son of a bitch that shot the rocket into my family.”

                “You’re not a killer John. That’s why you hero types usually hung out with my family.” Jake Slick Sr. was a gun for hire that worked with the heroes of the day, and was one of the few of the old guard that could get away with taking a life here and there.

                “Sometimes things change.” He twisted the elephant head of his cane, it kept sheathed a sword, one more piece of defense. There was still a piece of him that knew the killer would come to finish the job. The announcement would only placate the attackers for so long.

             Chapter Two

Six months may seem like a long time for others, but not for John. The hot shower was refreshing after a long day of not being the mayor.

The journey of the writer out of the block being ignited with a new idea came through the E-Squared Course this summer I started (okay like week one, but hey count your blessings where they come from). It is coming through reading a quote within Pam Grout’s book E Sqaured around St. Francis of Assisi and Barbara Walter’s and another section around the myths around anthromorphizing God that to quote Gru from Despicable Me “light bulb”…

That’s right the walk through on the shaping of a faith in the idea of healing the world, and investigative journalism to discover truth, and live life holding the story, realizing there was a reason the past ministry roles did not fit, and why there was so much struggle as my understanding has never held to the idea of Original Sin, but rather I have always centered on openness, love, and Original Blessing.

Which led to the next “light bulb” with the quote of playing in left field, and realizing that is a way to describe my vein of spiritual teaching…and the click of the next step on the writing path, the next story to be told.

That of my spiritual understanding: metaphysical interpretation and working with stories from my mystic, Francis, master teacher, Jesus and Buddha, and other wisdom teachings. Next steps…to begin writing, and wondering what stories others may believe have shaped my spiritual journey to explore along with the ones I will?


…God…I know who would believe I would drop the “G” word on my blog.  Anyways this is a reflective piece on the journey forward that was triggered by Sunday’s talk by Rev. Marjorie Contenti at the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living on June 7, 2015. It was centered on living a life without regrets (in a few days go to the site and check out the video)…but she started out by talking about her mother who has recently transitioned.

This got me thinking about my own Mum. For she has aided in shaping my spiritual journey. She always had two pieces of advice for me as I moved on my own spiritual pilgrimage. From my youngest days, that it is all about love, God is love, and there is only one God folks just have different ways of getting there. The second is one day I would find stability in a religious community as she watched me move fluidly through not nly Christendom, but Shamanism, Buddhism, splashes of Sheikhism & Hinduism, Sufism, some Judaism & Islam, with a dash of Zen and/or Confuscious, Druidism and other Pagan Rites and on it went as I sought out more and varied pathways to untiy with the Holy Mystery.

The journey actually took my family right out of structured Christianity. It led me in the last few years to use a label, Franciscan, to explain my understanding of spirituality. For this is the Charism of the mendicant mystics St. Francis & Clare of Assisi. For me the vows taken within this secular (lay) religious order spoke to the easiest way to hold to the religion of my heritage, Christendom.

Yet it still left one in a weird state, for you see the last Order I was officially with was the Third Order Society of St. Francis which one has to be in Communion with the Anglican Church to be a part of…and it has been a few new moons since I last sipped the Communion Cup at the rail of an Anglican Church.

Where does this leave me? It was a journey, the Satsang I wrote of earlier was a deep soul cleanse, and as i try to live my life label free of others why was I confining my Spirituality within the confines of a label? Even one that pushed to the outer extreme? Why? Tribalism. That desire to still belong, even if not fully for what are we in society without some form of labelling?

But it is time to no longer fit the triangular peg into the oblong hole. For really it is looking at my journey as with most people I know and seeing the cross section of influences, from spiritual to literature to inspiring life stories to– well –if it speaks to the intangible parts of yourself and grows your own pilgrimage living in, through and with the Holy Mystery, then it truly is of the Spirit which we all are.

So yea, this is why the labels end, this is why New Thought resonates, not for the label, but rather for the fact of accepting the multitude of life that is out there to learn and grow from…

More to come along the new trail being blazed on this pilgrimage.