Week of 11/28-12/3: Grief Work, Deep Ecumenism, and Honoring Winter’s Darkness

November 28, 2022. On Grief Work, Youth Work, and Adam Bucko’s New Book.
In this meditation, in the wake of the shootings at the Colorado gay club, we reflect on how humanity is capable of not only praise, but evil. Adam Bucko’s book, Let Your Heartbreak Be Your Guide addresses the heartbreak that seems unavoidable in our world today. We are encouraged to remember the Via Negativa, but always in the context of the Via Positiva. As Rilke says, “Walk your walk of lament on a path of praise.”

Let Your Heartbreak Be Your Guide: Lessons in Engaged Contemplation by Adam Bucko. Book available from Indie Bound..

November 29, 2022. Heartbreak, Grief Work, and Engaged Contemplation, continued.
The subtitle to Adam Bucko’s book is “Lessons in Engaged Contemplation.” How does one actively contribute to the world and simultaneously allow for contemplative time and grief work? Bucko explores this topic and recommends spiritual practices from various traditions.

November 30, 2022. Bucko and Fox on Practicing Spiritual Democracy.
Matthew Fox co-authored a book with Adam Bucko entitled Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation. In it, they explore the way spirituality is evidenced in today’s world. Brother Wayne Teasedale called it our “interspiritual age” and Matthew, of course, calls it “deep ecumenism.” More and more people, especially the young, are going beyond any one specific tradition and embracing a more unified and inclusive spirituality, an “interspirituality.”

December 1, 2022. Deep Ecumenism, continued.
Matthew speaks of how Native American practices, as well as Buddhism, Tai Chi, and interactions with rabbis and philosophers have deepened and enlarged his spiritual life. He calls this equality of paths “spiritual democracy.” This topic is further explored in his book One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faith Traditions.

Snowy forest at night–the silent repose of both darkness and snow. Banff, Canada. Photo by Neil Rosenstech on Unsplash

December 2, 2022. Winter, Advent and Honoring the Dark.
Matthew reminds us that “the darkness has much to teach us of what is important.  It contains its own wisdom and lessons, one of which is silence and quiet and repose.” Snow, too, though obviously not dark, brings us a sense of serenity and silence. We are thus reminded that silence and nothingness are part of winter and that winter can nourish our souls. As Matthew says in his book Liberating Gifts, we must “dare the dark” because there is no moving from superficiality to depth without venturing into the darkness.

December 3, 2022. More Gifts from Winter, Advent, and the Return of the Dark.
In this meditation we explore the concept that “the inner journey of silence and darkness that is the Via Negativa, invites us to enter the shadow, the hidden or covered-up parts of ourselves and our society.” We all, at one time or another, enter the “dark night of the soul.” Joanna Macy encourages us to: “Experience the pain.  Let us not fear its impact on ourselves or others.  We will not shatter for we are not objects that can break.”

“Grieving Woman.” Photo by x1klima on Flickr.

Banner image: Dark night of winter. Photo by Leyre on Unsplash

Recommended Reading

Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation

Authors Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox encourage us to use our talents in service of compassion and justice and to move beyond our broken systems–economic, political, educational, and religious–discovering a spirituality that not only helps us to get along, but also encourages us to reevaluate our traditions, transforming them and in the process building a more sacred and just world. Incorporating the words of young activist leaders culled from interviews and surveys, the book provides a framework that is deliberately interfaith and speaks to our profound yearning for a life with spiritual purpose and for a better world.
Occupy Spirituality is a powerful, inspiring, and vital call to embodied awareness and enlightened actions.”
~~ Julia Butterfly Hill, environmental activist and author of The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods

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1 thought on “Week of 11/28-12/3: Grief Work, Deep Ecumenism, and Honoring Winter’s Darkness”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    DECEMBER 2, 2022 AT 1:08 AM
    This time of advent, winter, and of solstice approaching, affords us an invitation to enter into the darkness, the darkness of our souls and of the Divinity that is called, “the apophatic Divinity”–which is studied in what is called, “Negative Theology” or in scholastic theology, the Via Negativa. Eckhart expresses this sense well when he writes of Divinity as “superessential darkness that has no name and will never be given a name.” And consider this: “God is nothing. No thing. God is nothingness; and yet God is something. God is neither this thing nor that thing that we can express. God is a being beyond all being; God is a beingless being.” And finally, “The Divine one is a negation of negations and a denial of denials.” I end with two of your “four commandments”: The first is: “Thou Shalt Fall in Love at Least Three Times a Day” (Via Positiva)–and I think I do this. The second, is: “Thou Shalt Dare the Dark” (Via Negativa). This is the lesson of the time of Winter–the time of silence, darkness, letting go and letting be. My time of silence and relative darkness is in the wee hours of the morning when I am up writing on this and on other projects as well.

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