As I said in my previous post, last week I made a spontaneous trip to Berkeley to visit Kourtney at work. While I was waiting for her to meet me, I found myself wandering into the bookstore down the street. Now, I love my kindle and I use it often, but there is just nothing like reading from an actual book. I’m kinda excited because I think I got a pretty good haul for books about Judaism and Jewish life. Continue reading
I’ve been having a bit of a hard time this week with a few things. Firstly, writing my own prayers has been more difficult than I anticipated. I think it’s because although I appreciate pre-written prayers (I think they’re beautiful), I’ve spent most of my life just saying prayers on the fly. As a child I would pray when I woke up, before meals, and before I went to bed, and most of them went something like this:
Hey God, thanks for being awesome. Thank you for all the good things in my life. Please don’t let me die in my sleep. Also, please keep all my family alive today because I really like them. Again, you’re awesome. Thank you. Amen.
I mean, it didn’t go exactly like that, but you get the general idea. Even our grace over meals was short and sweet: Continue reading
So I know that I challenged myself to create a prayer book for my spiritual practice and although I didn’t start it on time like I had hoped I DID start it, and that’s all that really matters, right? And now that I’ve gotten started, I’m sharing my progress with you!
In my last few posts I’ve been talking about prayer. And as you know, I’ve decided to create my own prayer book. But I haven’t really talked about what prayers I want in the book. I wanted it to be clear that I intend this book to be an interfaith prayer book. It will include pagan prayers/rituals, but that’s certainly not the only thing I will focus on in my project.
My commitment to an interfaith life stems primarily from my relationship with my wife. I consider myself a partner in an interfaith marriage because while I am on this wild spiritual path that as yet does not have a label, Kourtney is agnostic. So I have to make sure that while I am becoming secure in my spiritual beliefs I’m not encroaching upon hers. My family also holds a myriad of traditions and beliefs that differ from my own, but I don’t believe they are right or wrong, just different (unless their beliefs condone human rights violations, of course). But even beyond that, I’ve always been committed to an interfaith dialogue. I think it’s vital for our society to see the value of other beliefs and traditions, I’ve worked with many interfaith programs and groups as an adult to keep myself open and also to connect with other faith workers on a deeper level. The work can be hard but it’s so worth it.
It’s true that this book is primarily for me. But it’s also for those who come after me, who might find value in what I have written. Who am I to say exactly what path they should choose? Isn’t it beneficial in some way to have a sprinkling of many things? isn’t there some wisdom to be gleaned from all faiths? I think so.
I’m taking this blog up a notch. I’ve decided that I need to start setting my plans to action instead of just talking about what I want to do– and not just in my spiritual life, but in my everyday life, too. I’m done talking about what I want to do and I’m ready to go for it! I want to jump in, not afraid of making mistakes or being less than perfect. So I’ve decided to do monthly challenges to keep me on my toes, and I’m going to document my progress here. The first challenge? Start my prayer book!
I’ve already decided on a name: The Snow Family Prayer Book. And I found a nice binder that is both functional and book-like on Amazon, and I’ve decided to use grid paper to fill it. This is just a “long term, temporary” space for all the stuff I collect, and eventually I will make an actual book with an actual cover. But for now, this is more than enough to satisfy my need for organization and spirit. This project is going to take more than one month to accomplish, and I think I’ll be adding stuff to this book for years. But my short-term goal is to 1) buy the binder, 2) buy the paper and accessories (pens, maybe some stickers, dividers, blah blah blah) and 3) add five prayers and five rituals by May 31st. I’m so ready to do this, I’m excited just typing about it!
I am very aware that next Friday is May 1st, Beltane. I think that would be a great day to dedicate the binder to it spiritual purpose and really make a public commitment to my challenge. And by public, I really just mean saying it out loud instead of here or in my head. So Friday I’m going to do a little ritual at home and consecrate it. And that will be the beginning of my prayer book!
A couple of nights ago I was browsing through my book collection when I found something I haven’t opened in a long time: my pagan prayer book. The actual book is called A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith. I used to use this book all the time when I was still a practicing pagan, and when I opened it and started to read some of the prayers all these memories and sensations came flooding back and it was just a wonderful moment of nostalgia. Continue reading