There is substantial evidence that spiritual well-being is an important determinant of overall health, longevity and quality of life, especially in patients with severe illness. But while most physicians would agree that spiritual well-being is an important factor in their patients’ health, the spiritual needs and well-being of patients are largely ignored and rarely addressed by healthcare providers.
I believe this is a significant oversight in patient care. Spirituality is perhaps the single most important source of strength and direction in life. When we incorporate spiritual well-being into healing, we recognize that people are not simply physical bodies requiring only mechanical fixing.
Continue reading “The Role of Spirituality in Health Management”
In my blog post last week, I explored the connection between Vital Spirit and health. In my professional work as an herbalist and in my personal life, I believe that a strong and resilient Vital Spirit is the foundation for a healthy and happy life. But how do we strengthen the intangible quality of Vital Spirit? The answer lies in practices that encourage peace, expansiveness, and self-reflection—prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, time in nature, and even creative pursuits where the superficial falls away, and we find our deeper selves. Through these practices, we can be certain that we are living in accordance with our deepest truth.
Continue reading “How To Nourish Vital Spirit: The ETMS Approach”
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t ask myself these two questions: “Where am I, and who am I?” These may seem simplistic, when considered as superficial queries. But my inquiry is rooted within the context of relationships: My relationship to my inner being and outer self, to others, to nature, to the universe, and to God, whose existence is found in all of these.
When we understand the interconnectedness of all of our relationships, we have the opportunity to experience a harmonious balance of spirit, heart, mind, and body. All too often, we ignore spirit and heart and focus instead on the physical aspects of life, and the mind only as it relates to the goals of the material world.
Continue reading “Reflections on a Spirit-Filled Life”
As we move into 2014, I continue to reflect on the homily given by Pope Francis on Christmas, and I feel moved to share these thoughts with you. My intention is to convey my reflections, and is not in any way meant to offend those who are not of the Christian faith. I believe that there are many paths to God, and I am dedicated to the study of theology and the practice of living with devotion. My only desire is to move the world and myself to a higher place, where love, humility, and boundless compassion help us all progress in our spiritual renewal. In this way, we can rekindle hope, and actively involve ourselves in molding a positive future through our actions.
Continue reading “Reflections As We Move Into The New Year”
Today, October 4th is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. As a former Franciscan monk, I have always felt a special affinity for St. Francis. On this day, I take time to reflect on his life and his words of wisdom and compassion.
In The Canticle of Exhortation to St. Clare, St. Francis advised, “ Live always in truth, do not look at the life outside for that of the Spirit is better. Those of you who are weighed down by sickness and the others who are wearied because of them, all of you: bear in peace for each one of you will be crowned in heaven.”
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Saint John of the Cross, a Carmelite priest and a great mystic, taught the monks a humble exercise; to sit and contemplate where they could view the open sky, hills, trees, fields, and growing plants, and to call upon the beauty of these things to praise God. This simple meditation on Nature reminds us of Divine Power, and the wisdom and goodness that exist in Her. If we stop for a moment to consider the origin, magnitude, beauty, fullness, activity, and order of all things, we cannot doubt the beneficence of God.
Continue reading “Finding God In Nature”