Ask someone to define 'spiritual activities' and you will get a million different answers. Some activities have an obvious spiritual relationship to a specific tradition, while other activities lead to a connectedness with community and spiritual curiosity. How you practice your spirituality can be as impactful as your specific faith tradition, or absence of a faith tradition.
Keep aware of the work that our office is doing around campus. You'll find us in the most amazing places.
Listen to the sound of nature under your feet. Listen to the sounds of the city. Listen to the sounds of the water. Listen to your own footsteps. Feel what's under your feet. Feel the temperature around you. Feel the texture of trees or buildings. Feel the water or ground. Look at the different colors around you. Look for what changed this season. Look at neighborhood murals or light on the water. Smell the air around you. Smell pine trees. Smell the water. Smell fires in the area. Taste the air as you breathe in and out. Taste a beverage when you return home.
1) Locate an area to explore. This can be a path, a park, a place near a river, lake or ocean, or just around the neighborhood.
2) Distance with a friend. For both community and safety you might want to bring a friend on this adventure, or at least tell someone what you're doing and where you're headed.
3) Engage your senses. See examples of ways to engage your senses.
4) Share with others. Post on the LU Spirit Space Facebook or Instagram page about how you engaged in the sensory walk.
[WORKING TITLE] Collaborative Story
We read narratives. We write in journals and craft papers for class. We sketch and draw imaginative images. Words and images are both welcome as the Lawrence community comes together to narrate its own story.
Follow the link to the form submission, and add to it with your own writing. Art can be submitted to email@example.com. We’ll update the story each week with the entry that moves the story along in interesting ways. It could be…
…the bit with the interesting twist… or the one with a new romance… or with the addition of a new character… or with the loss of an old character… could be the paragraphs with the flashback… or that very cool dream sequence… or with that interesting character insight.
Lawrentians create the story – We post the tale piece by piece.
Submissions will be reviewed by staff and the story updated here each week.
Paragraphs received beginning at noon on Mondays and accepted until 5pm on Thursdays.
Follow up installments will be posted by 9am on Mondays.
“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To practice any art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. So do it.” – Kurt Vonnegut
[WORKING TITLE] (the story so far)
The young student sat in the garden and contemplated what had brought them to that unique spot. Many of the thoughts they had were interesting and dreamlike, but not all of them. Thoughts of .....
Borrowing from Tibetan prayer flags, the Center for Spiritual and Religious Life invites you to express what you are grateful for by creating and contributing a flag to a living, breathing kinetic journal of our thanks, appreciations and hopes. Tibetan prayer flags typically carry mantras (sacred words) for peace, compassion, good fortune, strength or wisdom. They are an essential part of Tibetan Buddhism and can be found over mountain passes and along mountain ridges. We hope each flag will be created in the artists own style, then hung outside in our new garden space, its words and sentiment dissolving into the wind and being spread to all whom the wind touches
On campus students, faculty and staff – Materials and instructions to create and hang your flag are provided in the Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, your residence halls, and Warch Center. Your ID will grant you access.
Remote students, faculty and staff – Feel free to share what you are grateful for through this form (written words, poetry, lyrics, images, drawings), and a staff member will transfer to a flag to hang in community with the collaborative piece.
Meditation By focusing on your breathing and clearing away unnecessary thoughts, you open yourself to the potential of being more centered, focused, and intentional. Tibetan Buddhist meditation can be experienced at Lawrence and is frequently led by a campus professor who's scholarly work directly lends itself to this contemplative worship practice. For Winter term, student leaders will offer in person and virtual options. Check the LU calendar for options.
Large Group meetings with LCF The Lawrence Christian Fellowship meets Wednesdays during term to celebrate their faith, support one another, and engage in activities that support community. Students and staff are invited to connect with LCF for other meeting offerings including Small Group, or meetings for athletes, among others.
Jumma practiced on campus at noon on Fridays, Jumma is observed in honor of a holy day of the week, to bring about forgiveness, to be heard by Allah, and to make special prayers. It is a time for prayer within and for the community. Prayer space (and prayer rugs) available at the Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, or pray on your own. Choose the experience that benefits you most.
Shabbat on Fridays is hosted by the Hillel chapter of Lawrence and welcomes all who respect the honoring of this faith tradition. Shabbat frequently occurs in the living room of the Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, but also occasionally finds a home at other locations on or near campus as students, staff and faculty come together in support of one another.
Catholic Mass is held once a month and is celebrated by the priest of a local parish. Mass is open to the Catholic and non-Catholic community. A light meal generally follows the service. Please note that this practice has been temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Taize' worship services on campus are a partnership between Lawrence, All Saints Episcopal, and Memorial Presbyterian churches. These contemplative worship opportunities are ecumenical Christian services that follow a rhythm of simple chants, silence, and scripture. Meditative and mindful, the candles and silence allow for centering and listening.
The Office of Spiritual and Religious Life is regularly seeking students who can assist in creating the musical components of the service or read in English or another language. If you are interested in becoming a Taize' intern, look for postings on Handshake or contact our office. All services are open to the public.
Faith specific worship services also available on campus and in the surrounding community.
(Temporarily suspended) Practices in Attention are activities within the space that are always present and available for students, staff, or faculty to take advantage of. They encourage exactly as the name indicates...practice. We provide free form manipulation of clay, plus string, beads and tools for bracelets. Pencils for coloring, journals for writing...new items added and rotated regularly. Here you can transfer your energy in new ways, fail, assess, and start again if necessary.
Contemplative practices come in many forms. Lawrence provides opportunities for guided contemplation on campus.
Physically Distanced Yoga is available Tuesdays and Thursdays and is open to Lawrentians and community.
Meditation By focusing on your breathing and clearing away unnecessary thoughts, you open yourself to the potential of being more centered, focused, and intentional. Tibetan Buddhist meditation can be experienced at Lawrence and is frequently led by a campus professor who's scholarly work directly lends itself to this contemplative worship practice.
Buddhist Meditation By focusing on your breathing and clearing away unnecessary thoughts, you open yourself to the potential of being more centered, focused, and intentional. Tibetan Buddhist meditation can be experienced at Lawrence and is frequently led by a campus professor who's scholarly work directly lends itself to this contemplative worship practice.
Deep Listening Join the Lawrence deep listening community and learn how to deeply experience the world through the art of listening—through sound, through movement, through memory.
Deep Listening is a contemplative practice of hearing in which we are fully present with what is happening in the moment without trying to control or judge it. It stimulates collaborative thinking. We let go of our inner clamoring and our usual assumptions and listen with respect for precisely what is being heard. No experience needed. Come listen.
Labyrinth Walking is the ancient practice of moving contemplation. Follow the single path as it winds toward the center, following your intention. Sit in stillness until you are read to travel outward - finding clarity and renewed focus through the journey. If you don't have time to travel to the Labyrinth on the ground of First Congregational UCC (next to Alexander gym), then join Dean Morgan-Clement on a virtual walk.
Sustainable Spirituality Thinking beyond tradition, do you have a curiosity about spiritual styles? We invite you to consider your own spiritual sustainability plan. If you know your style already but want better access to expressing that style in more meaningful ways, consider what steps you may need to take to begin assessing the effectiveness of what you're already doing. Engage, explore, and empower yourself to access your own heart knowledge and connection with others while finding a unique center with what comes most naturally to you...your own style.
A number of holidays will pass while you are at Lawrence, and many of them are celebrated either campus wide or within student groups. Our spiritual holidays calendar will give you a guide as to what you might find in celebration or observance around campus.
Have a dialogue with professors regarding the best ways to manage academic accommodations related to spiritual observance. Practices such as fasting, attendance at worship, or limited use of technology are some of the commonly discussed practices that can relate directly and indirectly to academic performance. Students are encouraged speak with their advisers and professors regarding academic accommodations related to spiritual observances, but may also contact the office of Spiritual and Religious Life for specific information.
When a world class conservatory is right on campus, you can't help but put music with movement. At an Open Movement Jam anyone can sing dance, play and make music. Practice with your ensemble, improvise, and bravely connect.
Lunch and conversation is offered for Lawrence employees on the fourth Friday of each month when classes are in session. This luncheon offers a space for the staff and faculty to share personal experiences around a specific topic, enjoy a presence of community outside of the classroom or office, and connect over a simple soup and salad. No reservation required.
All lunches will start at noon at the Center for Spiritual and Religious Life.