There were about 12-15 people sitting in the circle, not all of whom I knew. And I certainly hadn't convened the conversation. But there was clearly something about the topic that engaged folks. Questions arose, from "How do religious student groups sustain/maintain themselves?" to "What kind of things are available for those who are seeking some sort of spiritual sustenance, but aren't really connected with one tradition or another?" to "What kinds of spaces are necessary to encourage connections -- not just between the individual and the divine, but also between individuals?"(suggesting that spiritual relationships also are maintained through person-to-person contact).
I certainly came away with a lot of food for thought. Some of that "food" translated into ideas for collaboration with various offices/departments around campus. Some of it made me look at programming opportunities or options. But much of what I've been mulling considering has been the question of "How DO we sustain our spirit?" Some of the folks mentioned a sort of spiritual burn-out -- not the kind of burn-out that results from spiritual over-extension, but rather a burn-out from under-nourishment. I can certainly equally be fatigued, when bike-riding, from too many hills as from too little food/fuel.
And, so, I wonder -- both for myself and for those around me, and whom I serve. "WHAT IS A SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR SPIRITUALITY?" (And, yes, I know, I had the caps lock "on".) I've been pondering, over the last 24 hours, what that means for me?
And, although I know it's unusual, I have to wonder what that means for you, the readers of this reflection, the members of the University community. And, although I've never really done this before, I invite you -- I ASK you -- to navigate over to my blogsite "On a bike and a prayer" (where you can comment on this reflection, relatively anonymously) with some answers to any of the following questions:
• What does "spiritual sustainability" mean to you?
• How do you sustain your spiritual life?
• How might my office at the University of Denver help you, or provide resources to, sustain your spiritual life?
• What resources would benefit you as you strive to maintain your connection to the divine, or that which is greater than you?
We're all on a quest. We may define, or nurture, it differently. Many of the same resources, however, may be helpful.
Thank you, and blessings,