Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Spirit in Practice: An Adult Program for Developing A Regular Practice of the Spirit

Activity 2: The Story Of The Mystic And The Scientist

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Copies of Story 1: The Mystic and the Scientist (one copy for leader, plus several copies for participants who may wish to read along)
  • Optional: Microphone
  • Optional: Pulpit or lectern
  • Optional: Bell

Preparation for Activity

  • Review the story in advance so that you can present it effectively.

Description of Activity

Read the story "The Mystic and the Scientist" aloud. Provide copies of the story to people who prefer to read along.

After sharing the story, invite participants to take a moment to quietly center themselves, to let go of any tension or emotions that are not needed for the next hour, and to breathe deeply. You may ring a bell at the beginning and end of this silent time, or simply invite people into the silence and then gently bring them out.

After the silence, invite participants to discuss their responses to the story. Keep the discussion brief and focused, allowing time for your own concluding remarks. Ask:

  • Did this story sound familiar? If so, how?
  • What resonated for you?
  • What roles have knowledge and critical thought played in your own spiritual development?

Conclude by emphasizing that the path of the mind is deeply connected with the paths of the heart and the spirit. Sometimes spirituality is associated with purely emotional, nonrational ways of being; however, rational thought has an important role in spiritual practice, especially in Unitarian Universalism.

Including All Participants

Be sure that all participants can hear the story, or have the story interpreted for them. Using a microphone for this activity helps more people hear the story. You may wish to print out a copy of the story in advance for participants who are hard of hearing or who prefer to read along.