Faith is a vast concept which, in our lives and in the world, expresses itself in myriad ways. No matter our faith tradition, or whether we have something we would call a faith tradition, we all live informed by some degree of faith in what we cannot see, cannot reason, and cannot know. Brother David refers to faith as “courageous trust,” and believes that gratefulness is at the heart of all religions. This definition of faith can pertain to trusting in life itself, and/or it can refer to trusting in the Source of life, or in the Spirit which holds all of life. Regardless, the definition of faith which informs our work holds an essential respect for all faiths, and is a wide, inclusive embrace for the beauty and mystery of its expression. Deepening our faith means expanding our hearts and what they can hold.
Grateful living calls us to actively engage with faith and courageous trust in life. We sit with faith when we enter stillness, when we are in awe, and when we act with love. There is something greater than our current circumstances that we can imagine, and we make ourselves willing to surrender to, rather than control, life in these times. On a committed path, we want to deepen our exploration of faith because we recognize its nourishment and many gifts. Poet Rabindranath Tagore said beautifully, “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” And faith allows us to sing from our branch at simply the prospect of a new morn.
Try a Sample Practice: Practicing Faith in Life
We offer these blessings, prayers and invocations for meal times, gatherings and grateful living…
An extensive oral history / testimony project documenting the role of spiritual experience inside and outside of formal religion, expected and unexpected, told in people’s own words, and brought to life with video and photography. “I was–we were (as several folks in the office crowded ’round)–completely blown away. By its power and dignity, its implicit compassion and yet unblinking eye.” – Ken Burns
Willing to experience aloneness, I discover connection everywhere; Turning to face my fear, I meet…
(December 2013) Lifestyle artist John ‘Halcyon’ Styn delivers an inspirational talk about how a special relationship with his ‘Grandpa Caleb’ inspired his life work. Through sharing experiences with his grandpa, at Burning man and with starting his own non-profit called ‘1st Saturdays’ he presents a challenge for us to hug more, share more and love more.
(The Washington Post, August 2015) “Everything has been pleasant for me. So I’m thankful. And hopeful.” With those words, and a big, toothy smile, former President Jimmy Carter, 90, ended his press conference Thursday. He looked so completely, boyishly happy that you could almost forget he’d also announced he has cancer in his brain.
The orb of light crests the ridge, I stand facing her at the high point…
(On Being, July 2015) She works at an emerging 21st century intersection of industry, social healing, and diverse contemplative practices. Raised Catholic with Joan of Arc as her hero, Mirabai Bush is one of the people who brought Buddhism to the West from India in the 1970s. She is called in to work with educators and judges, social activists and soldiers. She helped create Google’s popular employee program, Search Inside Yourself. Mirabai Bush’s life tells a fascinating narrative of our time: the rediscovery of contemplative practices, in many forms and from many traditions, in the secular thick of modern culture.
If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most…
(2015) Muslims and Jews prayed together side-by-side in public spaces across Los Angeles, in an effort to show that peace is possible. “We were just so surprised that we could do this together and it’s very similar,” said participant Maryam Saleemi. “It was kind of like an ‘Aha Moment’ that we’re praying to the same God, why aren’t we doing this all the time together?”
The objective of this website is to gather the great prayers written by the spiritual visionaries of our planet into an online database representing all life affirming traditions. Many of these prayers have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years. Others are from spiritual contemporaries in today’s intricate global fabric. Though these sacred verses arise from divergent paths, voices, languages, cultures and heritages, they all carry within them the same burning flame – the same impassioned love for life and the divine mysteries.
Spiritual Directors International is an inclusive, global learning community of people from many faiths and many nations who share a common passion and commitment to the art and contemplative practice of spiritual direction, known as spiritual companionship, spiritual guidance, anam cara in Gaelic, and mashpiah in Hebrew.
Through a vibrant Charter for Compassion Partner Network, CfC welcomes and communicates the sharing of information, stories and experiences that touch the work of compassion. Sign the Charter for Compassion here and learn about initiatives to cultivate compassion around the globe.
(2010) Terry Patten interviews Brother David as part of the Beyond Awakening: The Future of Spiritual Practice series of teleseminars. (1:43:37)
(2013) Br. David retells this folktale by Leo Tolstoy, leaving us to ponder “Who really got to the goal of the pilgrimage?”
(2012) Brother David shares his thoughts in this opening address to the Fetzer Institute’s “Global Gathering: A Pilgrimage of Love and Forgiveness” in Assisi, Italy
No matter our faith tradition, or whether we have something we would call a faith tradition, we all live informed by some degree of faith in what we cannot see, cannot reason, and cannot know. Brother David refers to faith as “courageous trust,” and believes that gratefulness is at the heart of all religions. The following are books which speak to us of that fundamental “courageous trust,” or faith in life.
(2012) Michael Lerner of The New School at Commonweal speaks with Br. David about his remarkable spiritual biography.
(2010) Part 3 – What does it mean to listen to God? Brother David explains that “God is so simple that he has only one thing to say: I love you.”
(2010) Part 4. Rabbi Jonathan shares his thoughts on the illusory nature of God and the danger of idolatry. Brother David feels that the only appropriate name for God is “surprise.”
(2009) From SDI’s “Spiritual Practices for Everyday Living”
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