Being Christian

I’ve been struggling with (or procrastinating) on a title for a discussion group I am to lead in the fall, and have finally settled on “Being Christian in the 21st Century.”  It the truth be known, it’s borrowed from Marcus Borg’s writings.  Marcus or his wife, Cannon Marianne Borg, would say, “being Christian is not about believing 12 impossible things before breakfast.”  Rather, it is living life as Jesus asked us to live.  It’s more about faith than about a specific set of beliefs.  As our primary reference for this group we’ll be using Borg’s classic Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time. 

Time flies, and I’m now forced to think about this group if it’s to begin soon, I was pleasantly surprised to find Richard Rohr’s daily meditation this morning was spot on!  A System of Beliefs or a Way of Life?  

As he points out we forget that there are several meanings in our English for the word “Faith”.  There is the common notion in religious practice that faith is all about belief. Believe “X” and you will be saved.  But “Faith” also means trust. It means trusting that the Devine is on your side, even though you are willing to get over the hang up on belief. Our transformation is in our faith if only we will let go of the details.

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Spiritual Direction in Reno

Picture of ScottScott Borison will be in Reno, Nevada, Wednesday and Thursday of this week (July 22 and 23, 2015) and available for spiritual direction in Reno. Let me know by email or phone (503) 789-3089.

For more information see my website.

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Spirituality and Technology

Spirituality and Technology

Scott Borison

Spirituality and Technology meet! I have spent much of the past several days converting the law firm’s web site into WordPress. This I am doing under the theory that, going forward, anybody who can post a blog can — with adequate permission — edit the web site as well. And if they do it instead of me I have more time for spiritual pursuits.  Right?

To that end I’ve been using this site (scottborison.com) as a kind of a test bed. I converted this site to WordPress first. I’ve been testing themes here. I’ve tried various plugins.

In particular, I’m using WordPress SEO (search engine optimization) by Yoast. To get a good grade (which manifests as the word ‘good’ with a green dot) you have to be pretty good about keyword density. That is you have to use it often enough in the post. For example, the keyword(s) here are “Spirituality and Technology.”  There. I used it again!

You also have to use Spirituality and Technology in a Heading

And it can’t hurt to have links to other posts on the subject, like this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/spirituality-and-technology/

Of course, there is spirituality and technology in daily life. For example, I use the Insight Timer iPhone app for meditation on a daily basis, sometimes twice.

Anyway, I’ve done enough to see how this effort works, and to make some notes for the law firm staff.

Thanks for reading!

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Spiritual Director on the Web

I had until a couple days ago totally ignored my web site. But for a long time now I’ve had in mind re-doing it as a WordPress site, both as an effort at modernizing and because I need to do the same thing for the much more complicated site where I have my Real Job.

Now that I’m into it I’ve loaded a search optimization program (SEO) and pondered at length how to move above a friend of mine when you Google “Portland Spiritual Director.” Plausibly this blog will help.

As before, I’ve vowed to blog more often about being a spiritual director in Portland. Next time about more profound and spiritual topics!

 

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Portland

Scott will be in Portland April 26 through May 14, 2015.

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Eastern Oregon

Scott is in Sumpter, Oregon, until April 24, 2015, and can travel to Baker City for direction. Just call at (503) 789-3089 or email.

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Belief by Consensus?

Years ago I read an article, in the New York Times, I think, on what was called Cascading Consensus. The idea is that our beliefs are handed down from our peers.  But when we trace a belief back to its origin we sometimes find it on shaky ground indeed. The example in the article was the lipid theory of heart disease. Basically, it led to the conclusion that saturated fats cause heart disease and subsequently to the development and mass consumption – in the United States – of trans fats. “Everybody” knew that partially hydrogenated oils were good for you. Now, of course, we know the opposite is true. And we know the original study was suspect in the first place. Even so, its authors convinced a few others who in turn convinced more people, and so forth until the mainstream medical community was in concert.

My suspicion is the same process has applied to the popular and expensive statin drugs. “Everybody” knows they are a good thing. Yet, a survey of research on the web will show their effect on overall mortality is possibly negative, and that they may significantly increase calcification of arterial plaque, a very bad thing.

I bring this up in part because a dear friend has, in the 10 year’s consumption of statins, seen his arterial walls go from relatively clean to “like custard” in the words of his cardiologist. Yes, he’s 10 years older, as we all are. But he’s been consistent in diet and exercise. Could the statins be to blame?

The possibility of cascading consensus applies, of course, to all we believe. Which of your beliefs are solid, and which are suspect?

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Doing a Video

I have the idea that putting video on my site will genereate a whole new group of directees. But lo’! I’m completely hung up on making a decent video. Funny, considering I’ve pressured all the law office to make their video!  (You can see an example here on the Schroeder Law Offices site.) But I sit down in front of the camera and it just won’t come out right!!

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Right Understanding

Julian of Norwich (15th Century Christian Mystic) wrote,”Faith is nothing else but a right understanding of our being – trusting and allowing things to be; a right understanding that we are in God and God whom we do not see is in us.”

It’s interesting that there’s a Buddhist saying,  “Right understanding points the way to confidence; confidence paves the way to wisdom.”

Could these be saying the same?

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Faith in our Lives

This fall’s Circle of Trust — with 4 returning from last year and 3 new members — has been truly transformational! The first meeting was “Spirituality.” Where I was seeking a working definition, it went far beyond that!  The men wanted to continue at that deep level. The second meeting on “Know Yourself” was equally exciting.

Our next meeting on Wednesday this week will be “Faith.” By that, I mean Faith defined as Trust. How does your faith set you free? How might faith give you confidence and willingness to risk “all you have.” What is an example in your life?

Hopefully I’ll be back here before another 118 days (how quickly time passes!) and post an update: How faith works in our lives. I expect, though, this might take more than a single meeting.

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