Posts tagged: religion vs. spirituality

EXPERIENCING THE SACRED 2: SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION

By , May 17, 2008 10:19 am

EXPERIENCING THE SACRED

Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be used purposefully to “attend to,” “sit with,” “articulate” the “intuitive feel” of spiritual experiences. But more importantly, the practice of Listening/Focusing opens our eyes to seeing the Sacred around us by encouraging attention to those moments when the Sacred enters our lives.If you have just joined us, click here to read the rest of last week’s first e-newsletter introducing this cycle, Instant Ahah # 10: Experiencing the Sacred Week One

Spirituality Is Different than Religion

Elfie Hinterkopf, in her book Integrating Spirituality into Counseling: Using the Experiential Focusing Method (available in The Store at www.focusing.org  ), makes the following distinction:

 “It is important to distinguish spirituality from religiousness — in this book religiousness will be used to mean adherence to the beliefs and practices of an organized church or religious institution (Shafranske and Malony, 1990). Spirituality will be used to refer to a unique, personally meaningful experience (Shafranske and Gorsuch, 1984). Although spirituality may be positively related to specific forms of religiousness, spirituality is not necessarily reliant upon any given form or appearance of religion.”

And:

“The spiritual experience is one of bodily felt release, more life energy, feeling more fully present, a sense of feeling larger and being able to reach out to more parts of oneself, to more people, and to more of life (Campbell and McMahon, 1985).”

Notice that Hinterkopf is not at all diminishing the experience of being “religious,” of following the practices of an organized religion. She is saying that this other thing, this “spiritual experience” can happen within those formal confines and also separately.

Hinterkopf’s work has helped people to overcome those times when organized religion, for whatever reason, has dampened their access to the actual bodily-felt experience of The Sacred in the world. She shows how to use Gendlin’s Focusing in a counseling setting to help people explore their past histories of experience with religion as well as to find and articulate the present, bodily-felt experience of spirituality through the kind of growth experiences possible through Focusing.

Our purpose here is to enrich your spiritual experience in relation to any symbols or belief systems.

Exercise: Focusing on Spirituality: Experiencing The Sacred

Click here to go to last week’s blog with the actual Focusing Exercise

RESOURCES

Remember, Intuitive Focusing is often learned more easily in the company of a Focused Listener. Go to Creative Edge Focusing TM at www.cefocusing.com  to find many resources, from self-help groups to Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 

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