Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A testimonial from Wade Miller-Knight

Presented at the Unitarian General Assembly meetings, April, 2012:

A friend recently rejected Unitarianism. He said: “Unitarianism’s like a tea-shop with no cakes.”

Tea and sympathy, but no cakes. Nothing of substance.

The “cakes” we need are spiritual depth. A quality, an intensity, that makes our Unitarian faith more to us than one hour a week.

Depth from spiritual practices. Take-home practices that make an interesting Address and nice hymns on Sunday the start of our spiritual week, not the whole. Active, daily, practices that put spirituality at the heart of our whole being.

The most effective deepening practice, in my experience, is meditation. By ‘meditation’ I don’t mean thinking about… anything. I mean a spiritual centring in. Giving our mind-chatter a tea-break. Going into the secret silence of the soul, the stillness we feel when we find the ‘pause’ button on busy-ness.

I experience that after meditation people feel softer and more spiritually centred than they arrive.

I have started a meditation circle in St. Albans Fellowship. Groups are meditating in congregations from York to Mansfield to Godalming. We can show you how.

And there are several other practices that can deepen our spirituality:

  • Focused study of sacred texts with heart reflection. Technical name: “lectio divina”. Some Unitarians do it. They can show you how.
  • Gratitude. Once or twice daily, thank God. Consciously. Religiously. 
  • Feel God’s presence. Love God. Whenever. Wherever. Genuinely. Frequently.
Simple? Yes – but it requires conscious choice.

Whatever specific methods you choose, the aim is spiritual deepening. Nourishing our spiritual being abundantly. People living at spiritual depth grow spiritually. A congregation whose people are growing spiritually is a spiritual magnet. Newcomers will feel the energy. Before they know how, or why, they will sense we Unitarians can nurture their soul. There will be “cakes” – spiritual substance - in our “tea-shop”.

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