Gratitude and Giving
It’s the holiday season and a time to offer gratitude for all we have been given by the Spirit. It’s also a time when we give back some of our bounty from the year. As Giving Tuesday approaches on November 29th, this year we at Zeitgeist hope you feel called to be a part of our mission: Education, practice, and community for the spiritually independent. Just click on our donate button or treat yourself or a loved on to some of the cool merchandise in our online store to join us in carrying out our goals for the year.
In 2023 we are focusing on our education goals of graduating diverse spiritual directors to enlarge our community. Our Exploring cohort is going strong , digging into the deep questions of spirituality with our facilitator, Carl McColman leading the way for our students. Our Becoming cohort is hard at work studying techniques and practices to serve as spiritual directors, under the guidance of our Founder and Executive Director, Debonee Morgan. The students who will be graduating in 2023 are in the Engaging cohort are functioning as spiritual directors with their facilitator and supervisor, Pam Muller.
Also in 2023 we are making a pilgrimage with renowned Celtic scholar Carl McColman, to the spiritual sites in Ireland, those sights where the veil between our ordinary world and the spiritual world is at its thinnest. We will be studying Celtic spirituality and lore as we visit these sacred places. The pilgrimage is already booked-up, but feel free to put your name on the wait list.
Carl is offering a study titled Mystics, Monks, Magicians and Druids on March 11th that will discuss topics such as paganism vs. shamanism, new age, and the Kabbalah.
As you can see we have big plans for 2023 and you can be a part of making it come to fruition by attending the events and donating to Zeitgeist. Thank you for your support of our community!
If you're reading this, I'm presuming you're familiar with Zeitgeist and what we do. (If not, we've got a page for that.) Because we're a small non-profit, we have a lot of room to grow, and a lot of building to do. Money helps with that, so we got a team together to go get some on Giving Tuesday (December 1, 2020)... And as we were putting things together, it occurred to us (with a little help from The Mystery), that we will be ok this year... but some folks may not.
2020 has been a tough year to say the least, for everyone. As we open our hearts to our local and broader community we see that people are suffering (Article: People of color are the hardest hit). The pandemic itself and the economic realities have left some of our neighbors in a bad way, in need of food, housing, and basic necessities (Article: Homeless needs in Atlanta). We want to help.
Zeitgeist recognizes that the Spirit of Now is Giving. We’re making it easy for whole-hearted folks like yourself to join us in support of Direct Relief, Intown Collaborative Ministries, and the Center for Racial Healing; organizations that are directly creating positive, immediate, impact on our local and global communities.
The mission of Intown Collaborative Ministries is to prevent and reverse homelessness and hunger in Intown Atlanta. Intown operates homeless outreach and hunger programs including a food pantry, to meet the needs of homeless and hungry neighbors in our community. Intown is also committed to stepping up its service to our neighbors in safe, effective ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. intowncm.org
Direct Relief is an international nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a stated mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations by mobilizing and providing essential medical resources needed for their care. Direct relief is coordinating with public health authorities, nonprofit organizations and business in the U.S. and globally to provide personal protective equipment, essential medical items, and emergency funding to health workers and organizations responding to coronavirus (COVID-19). directrelief.org
Center for Racial Healing's Mission is to provide tools and experiences that allow faith communities -- and the larger community of individuals -- to engage in dismantling racism through education, prayer dialogue, pilgrimage, and spiritual formation. Almost two decades ago, the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta responded to the General Convention mandate to offer anti-racism training to all leaders by forming a commission to address racism. Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism seeks to heal the chronic illness of racism in our community by creating awareness of its existence in our ongoing spiritual formation. centerforracialhealing.org
If you'd like to be part of our Giving community, please click here to learn more about how you can join Zeitgeist in our efforts to strengthen support for necessary work in Atlanta, and around the world.
Here's wishing y'all a meaningful and safe Thanksgiving, a sane & spiritually aligned Black Friday, a thoughtful & supportive Small Business Saturday, a reflective Cyber Monday, and especially, especially a gracious and whole-hearted Giving Tuesday on December 1.
It’s hard, isn’t it? This year. The sickness and death, and uncertainty, and injustice, and division, and upheaval of our routines and comfort.
As spiritually-minded people, we try to stay grounded. We remind ourselves of radical acceptance, and being open to the movement of Spirit. We become disoriented and lose balance, and then stumble back again to solid Center.
I’m not as good at it as I wish I were. Trust is a struggle sometimes. I find myself tender with grief and yearning. I hurt for people I am unable to help. And I get angry. A lot.
I need my community. My spiritual director held tears with me this morning as I realized just how much I long for face to face connection with my spiritual friends. When Zeitgeist companions get together, we sustain one another.
But we all live on Zoom now. So what of that?
Last night at Interfaith Contemplative Group, we listened to Raimon Panikkar speak of the metaphorical window of perspective through which we see the world. As my zoom screen was on “gallery “mode, I noted that we were in “Hollywood Squares“ visual windows as we engaged with one another. Our screens are our more literal windows onto much of the world... And that can be ok. It is my belief that we can’t really shift anywhere that Godde isn’t, so here we are... With technology, with one another, with The Beloved.
I wish we could begin a new year of “Exploring” (group spiritual direction program) getting to know one another in the same physical space. (I also wish Benedict Cumberbatch lived next door, and that I could hit “pause “on the space-time continuum in order to read books...) AND ALSO... I am very excited about the opportunities created by ZG Zoom (yeah, I’m just gonna pretend like we invented it.) We’re no longer limited by geography, and we can adapt the way we create ritual and connection. (Hey, we managed a Pachakuti Mesa traditional despacho in May!)
Here’s why we are adapting - because it’s important. Spiritual community is what holds us up when the news pulls us down into darkness. Our spiritual friends reflect back to us Godde’s goodness when we face bad circumstances. Time together, even virtually, reminds us that we are whole in ourselves and as integral connected parts of The Cosmos. “Exploring” creates a shared path to walk together even as we begin apart.
For the individual journey that goes deeper than community, I rely on my spiritual director**. Spiritual direction is, in my opinion, mission critical for emergent, progressive religious/spiritual growth. And during 2020 (plus whatever the heck happens next), it is the firm place to stand.
For people ensconced within a historical faith tradition, it is a sacred place to go toward your own anxieties, doubts, struggles, victories, pondering and poetic discoveries.
For those wounded by, or not aligned with traditional organized religious institutions, or wanting a broader Interfaith/inter-spiritual approach, spiritual direction provides a safe window of holding tensions, exploration, questioning, openness to follow your heart into the Heart of Mystery.
These times are tough. We are called to hold fast to our belief in perennial wisdom, the unity of all peoples, trust in Universal compassion and ultimate evolution towards Wholeness. We are tough. And tender. And everything in between. We are held in Love and by one another.
Come join us – welcome home.
** Can I brag about how lucky I am to have been working with Shaleen Camery-Hoggatt for nearly 20 years? I promise you this is true – I chose to skip a private yoga class with Russell Brand because I didn’t want to miss my appointment with Shaleen. She is that amazing!
~debonee morgan, zg
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