Activity time: 35 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 1, Finding the Spiritual in the Everyday
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Clock, watch, or timer that shows seconds
Preparation for Activity
- Decide how to form triads. You may have participants number off, or allow participants to form their own groups.
- Write on newsprint and post this question: How might you invite the Spirit of Life to move through your hands in your everyday tasks?
- Prepare and post five separate sheets of newsprint, each with the description of praise, gratitude, awareness, intention, or petition from Leader Resource 1.
Description of Activity
Introduce the activity with these or similar words:
Many religious traditions have specific methods for connecting the spiritual with everyday tasks. Traditional Jews start their day with a blessing after waking, say a blessing after going to the bathroom, and say additional blessings before their morning prayer. Buddhists are encouraged to practice mindfulness with each action-to stop the mind from racing ahead and to become non-judgmentally aware of the present moment.
What are some other ways you have heard of that connect the spiritual with the everyday?
Listen for a few responses. Then say:
As Unitarian Universalists, we have freedom to choose-freedom to follow spiritual paths and develop spiritual practices that are meaningful to us as individuals. I invite you to consider, in the work that follows, some ways that you can meaningfully connect with the Spirit of Life in the tasks of your everyday living.
Invite participants to form triads, preferably with people who they do not already know well. If the group doesn't divide into threes easily, allow for a group of two or a group of four.
In your groups, you will work together to identify ways to recognize the spiritual in everyday life, using your own examples of everyday tasks. Each group member will name two everyday tasks for the group to focus on. Talk together about how you might invite the Spirit of Life to move through your hands as you perform these tasks. You will have fifteen minutes for this work-about five minutes to focus on each person's examples.
Post the sheets you prepared before the workshop, inviting groups to consider these modes, or purposes, of spiritual expression as they generate their ideas. Offer examples of everyday tasks, such as taking a shower, using email, grocery shopping, cooking, changing a diaper, hammering, shaking hands, taking notes in a meeting, or eating breakfast.
Watch the time. Ring the bell at five and ten minutes and remind triads to switch their focus to the next member. After fifteen minutes, ring the bell again. Invite the groups to share what the experience was like using these or similar words:
Now your small group is invited to share your experiences of this process. How was this experience for each of you? What did you notice? You'll have ten minutes to share. Be sure that each of you gets a chance to speak.
Ring the bell after ten minutes. Bring the whole group back together for a short discussion based on these questions:
- What was it like to generate ideas together about the spiritual in the everyday?
- Did anyone think of a practice that involved praise? If so, could you tell us a little bit about it? How about a gratitude practice? An awareness practice? An intention practice? A practice of petition?
- What will you carry with you from this experience of sharing?