Letter from the Publisher
Nov 29, 2015 09:41PM
This year has flown by. So many wonderful things have happened, and yet, the earth seems to be crying out under the weight of violence, rancor and struggle. There is weariness as we deal with another catastrophic act of violence with no promise that the year ahead will be the moment when we witness peace on earth. Yet, as a person of faith, I am also called to be a person of hope. My friend, Jim Wallis of Sojourners offered the definitive statement on this subject when he wrote, “Hope is believing in spite of the evidence, and watching the evidence change.”
As I have written in past letters, I grew up a church kid and probably have turned into a church lady. My faith is important to me as a grounding and guiding light. Before becoming the publisher of Natural Awakenings, I worked for many years with religious nonprofits—to help keep hope fresh through works of social justice and advocacy. The church lured me from a young age and kept me close in the fold. I vividly remember mountain-top experiences where I first encountered a sense of the Divine as early as middle school. I strongly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as I sang “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross” in eight-part harmony with my high school choir at a little church in Florida. As an adult, I feel my heart “strangely warmed” when the congregation joins to joyously sing, “Here I Am, Lord.” I have been in the presence of many saints (and perhaps a few sinners, as well) and feel so blessed to have sat at their feet for a time and begin to grasp a fleeting understanding of prayer.
The journey of faith—or believing in something greater and more awesome that any human can comprehend—is our timely theme this month. The feature article, “Awakening to Spirit” recounts a number of ways that the journey has been taken by those before us and offers some suggestions for deepening our own practices. For many, and for me, faith is complemented with the practice of meditation. My daily, morning ritual helps me to focus and clarify thoughts and actions for the day while helping me to remain attuned to the present moment.
Just like the spiritual mentors who have shaped my understanding of faith and service, I am blessed to have learned from some amazing meditation teachers, including Sharon Salzberg, who is featured in this months’ “Wise Words.” She is the author of nine books, including New York Times bestsellers Real Happiness, Real Happiness at Work and Lovingkindness. Salzberg comes to Washington, D.C. for a Monday-night teaching each month and all are welcome to join. To see her schedule, visit SharonSalzberg.com.
Before settling in for the long winter, I hope you will take some time to relish your time with family and friends as the holidays come and go. There is a reason to hope and to cherish, with gratitude, all that we have and hold. By tapping into the greater sense of wonderment and joy, we can make the world around us a little brighter.
Love and Joy, Come to You--