My parents met as the only two non-Mormons in a class on religious studies where they argued opposite sides of philosophical questions. When I was seven my mother taught Sunday school in a Presbyterian church in Santa Barbara while my father was living on a reservation painting Indian elders and studying Eastern religions, and he would read me Sufi stories when I would visit him. I think I've been on a spiritual quest ever since to find what is universal and uniting. I've studied the religious traditions and mythologies across the centuries from many different cultures, spending time in Christian and Hindu monasteries and Buddhist retreat centers, developing a daily meditation and yoga practice, learning contemplative chants from the Taize, Kirtan, Jewish and Celtic traditions and going on pilgrimage to sacred sites throughout the world. I've lead workshops on spirituality and given retreats and workshops for leaders of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish faiths and offered sermons for Episcopalian, Unity, Unitarian and New Age churches. What do I believe? I like to reclaim the original definition of the Latin word Credo, which contrary to frequent assumptions, does not mean " I think". Rather, credo meant " I give my heart to...". I can't pretend to have answers to cosmic questions that far exceed our human minds. I don't focus on dogma, but I do give my heart to practices that I have learned bring me a sense of peace, love and compassion. These include a deep immersion in nature, poetry, art, music and silent prayer. I consider my most important spiritual teachers not only the religious figures of the past like Jesus and Buddha, but also poets like John O'Donohue, Rumi, Mary Oliver and Mark Nepo, composers like J.S. Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven and Franz Schubert and philosophers like Pythagoras, Plato and the depth psychologist Carl Jung.
If you are searching for spiritual nourishment, you might enjoy one of these offerings that focus on connecting our minds, hearts, bodies and spirits through music and art-- without any dogma.
Celtic Evensong St. John's Episcopal, Petaluma Candlelit contemplative gatherings of poetry, classical music and community singing from different traditions
Labyrinth Walks St. John's Episcopal, Petaluma and Grace Cathedral, San Francisco A walking meditation with live music
Wisdom of the Heart Retreat Yearly contemplative gathering of song, silence, yoga, art and the story of the contemplative wisdom tradition that stretches from Alexandria, Egypt to Chartres, Iona and Taize.