UU SpiritLife Conversations

UU SpiritLife Conversations, is a series of facilitated zoom conversations on spiritual topics, offered on Saturday mornings, 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM. This free program is open to all members of the three Hartford area UU churches on a drop-in basis – you don’t need to register or commit to the whole series.

Participants are asked to read and reflect on the session topics in advance and to come prepared to share their reactions and reflections, as we collectively deepen our spiritual life. 

Participants may join the conversations at www.zoom.us using the Meeting ID: 952 722 999. Telephone access is available at 646-558-8656. Please plan to join a few minutes before the 9:00 AM discussion start time. No preregistration necessary. To go directly to the Zoom conversation room: Click Here.

Conversations – Fall 2023. There are three conversations scheduled in October, November, and December. These conversations are based on selected chapters from the book Handbook for the Spirit. Used copies of this book are available from online booksellers for around $5.00 including shipping. Participants are encouraged to purchase used copies of this book, but scanned copies of discussion articles have been linked below for those who do not purchase this book.

  • Who Speaks

    2023 November 18. Who Speaks, Marsha Sinetar. Marsha discusses secular solitude as her dwelling place, in which she connects with the source of creation and spirit of life, which “speaks to her” as she discusses in this chapter. Her spirituality is very grounded, ordinary, and relational; her website pictures her in a cow pasture. We’ll explore the experience of love revealed by an attitude of inward poverty, as well as the self transcendence she discovered in St. Augustine’s Confessions and in John Muir’s immersion in Nature. We’ll reflect on “Who Speaks” to us? Click here for the chapter reading. In addition to the chapter reading, please review the additional information and discussion questions linked here. Facilitator: David Gonci

  • The Peace of the Divine Reality

    2023 December, 16. The Peace of the Divine Reality, Thích Nhất Hạnh. In his article, “The Peace of the Divine Reality,” Thích Nhất Hạnh, describes being fully alive to the peace and joy of each moment as living in the divine and earthly realities simultaneously. Nhất Hạnh was a Buddhist monk (he died on January 22, 2022) and wrote many books on the topic of peace and mindfulness. As we reflect on this article we will explore the nature of peace and joy, not as things to be obtained, but as inherent and fundamental to reality itself, if only we were to notice. Click here for the article. For questions and prompts for reflection before we meet please click here. Facilitator: Nicholas Bartoli.

  • Leaning Into the Light

    2023 October 21. Leaning Into the Light, Stephen Levine. The late Stephen Levine was a spiritual teacher and writer. Many of us have read and re-read “A Gradual Awakening,” “Who Dies?,”Healing into Life and Death,” and others. His article “Leaning Toward the Light,” picks up familiar spiritual themes. To paraphrase Levine: “I find myself using the term “God” and am comfortable with that term because I don’t have the foggiest idea what it means.” What else are we to call that spiritual stirring that tugs at our hearts when we look into the eyes of a baby or study any living thing up close? Is that thing we call “God” a constant in our lives or is it something we long for and seek, even as we question its existence? UUs are often called a community of seekers but are we ever finders? Why is all this important? Click this link for the Article. And for Discussion Questions and Things to Think About Click Here. Facilitator: Judy Robbins.

  • Tending to the Inner Spark of Radiance

    2023 May 20. Tending to the Inner Spark of Radiance. The linked reading from John Prendergast is introduced by Adyashanti: “The spiritual task we are given is a simple one: to attend to that inner spark of radiance, to hold vigil over it until we realize it to be our self, and to dig up and cast off all argument we have with its love.” We will discuss the inner fire of our spirit lives and the spiritual tasks that we undertake to tend them.

  • The Sacred Art of Listening

    2023 April 29. The Sacred Art of Listening. We live in busy times. Are we always present for the people in our lives who mean the most to us? Our discussion on Listening will help provide the most important gift we can give, Sacred Listening.

  • Open Up To The Mystery

    2023 March 25. Open Up To The Mystery. Inspired by the words of the late UU minister Forrest Church, we will take up the idea of God as the Great Mystery. What is your idea of God? Whether you have a definite concept of God or if you are just curious, join us for a lively discussion.

  • The Grace in Aging

    2023 February 25. The Grace in Aging. Kathleen Dowling Singh taught about grace–inherent in our living, our aging, and our dying. In the linked book introduction and first chapter, she writes about living in presence, authenticity, and radically simple sanity – and a deeply sensed connection to the sacred. We will share about how grace may light our days, particularly in the later stages of life’s journey.

  • The Treasures of Life

    2023 January 28. The Treasures of Life. We will take a deep dive into the treasures of life through a discussion of Matthew 6:19-21: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and stealbut store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

  • Holiday In-Gathering

    2022 December 10. Holiday In-Gathering. We’ll participate in some simple contemplative practices and share our reflections on the season. There will be an opportunity for socializing and refreshments will be provided.

  • Insights from a Nondual Rabbi

    2022 November 19. Insights from a Nondual Rabbi. As we approach the holiday season, we’ll consider how Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s insights from interspiritual sources resonate with our own deepening and our experiences of the upcoming season of light and love.