Tuesday, June 19, 2007

And the Survey Says...

As faithful readers (and what other kind could there be?) of this blog probably know, I'm writing a book on spiritual discernment. It's titled As Way Opens and is due for release next spring. I could use your help. I'm gathering stories and examples of how folks use various "tools" as they practice spiritual discernment. There are two ways to participate. Either reply to the questions I've asked below or take a brief online survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=t8fKhCe_2bCe3BPBLWFUn_2fKA_3d_3d


Have you ever used Bible reading, including lectio divina, as a spiritual discernment tool? If so, how?

Have you ever used writing (letter writing, spiritual autobiography, journaling) as a spiritual discernment tool? If so, how?

Have you ever used spiritual exercsies (i.e., Ignatian exercises) as a spiritual discernment tool? If so, how?

Have you ever used devotional reading (i.e., lives of the saints, the Desert Fathers, contemporary authors) as a spiritual discernment tool? If so, how?

Have you ever used spiritual friendship(s) as a spiritual discernment tool? If so, how?

Have you ever used the arts (poetry, music, painting, etc.) as a spiritual discernment tool? If so, how?

Are there other practices you've found helpful as spiritual discernment tools? If so, please describe them and how you've found them helpful.

Regardless of which you choose, I hope you'll feel led (as we Quakers say) to complete it. It should only take a few minutes and it'll be really be helpful to me. I'll post a summary of the answers and some of the stories in future blogs!

Thanks!
--Brent

1 comment:

Tania said...

1. Not recently, no; but I have in the past. I'd read words spoken by Jesus (like the Sermon on the Mount) and try to figure out what course of action was most in line with what he was saying.

2. Yes! My blog is an example of this, but I also have a personal journal I write in when I need to. I find that writing lets me see things more clearly than I would have otherwise; also, my blog allows my discernment to be tested by others as well.

3. Does Meeting for Worship count? If so, yes.

4. Yes; I also include Quaker blogs (such as yours) as devotional reading. Usually I try not to think too much when I'm reading something religious; I find that allowing the words to penetrate me without any inhibitions makes them part of my practice more than if I read them intellectually and discriminately.

5. I'm not sure what you mean by this question?

6. Not intentionally, no; though music can sometimes inspire me to spontaneous worship.