What is spiritual discipline?
Spiritual discipline is a seven month programme looking at seven people from seven different faiths reflecting on spiritual practices and what they can offer you.
The spiritual disciplines being explored are fasting, meditation, study, solitude, celebration, worship and service. They will be looked at from the perspectives of individuals from Baha‘i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikh communities.
Introduction to spiritual discipline from the Moderator, Rev David Arnott:
"There are so many ways in which we may approach the mystery that is God. You may find some work more effectively than others for some reason. Temperament, attitude, health, education, upbringing, personal needs all condition who we are on any given occasion. If you then couple any of these with where individuals are on their own journey of faith you begin to realise the variety of attitudes that we all bring to our quest for God.”
"I commend to you, therefore, the variety of these disciplines. Undoubtedly some will appeal more than others, but do give them all a try. I am sure you will find different disciplines will speak in different ways at different times, but all will enrich and encourage your faith."
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Church of Scotland Spiritual Discipline Resources
Fasting Resources (click here)
In a society obsessed with fast food, fasting for many is an alien concept. It is a concept that often divides opinion within the Church and yet there is a strong Biblical tradition of fasting. We are told that Moses, David, Elijah, Esther, Daniel, Anna, Paul, and Jesus Christ all fasted.
Throughout Scripture, fasting refers to ‘abstaining from food for spiritual purposes’, which was used as a tool to turn people’s attention to God. When feeling hunger pains, a person’s concentration is automatically drawn to the present moment and they might begin to ask the question, "What are my real needs?” This in turn might lead to, "What is it that other people need?” and, along the way, "What is it that God is asking me to share or let go?”
Celebration (click here)
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘celebration’? The author of our first article, Maggie Lunan, perhaps sums up the view of many people when she explains that it is, "about becoming aware of what gives me life, what gives me joy and what gives me energy, and ensuring that this forms part of every day”. Think of the things in your life that bring you joy and energy. It could be that you find your energy in sporting activities and are looking forward to the forthcoming Olympics or the climax of the football season. Or, maybe you are looking forward to the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. For others, celebrations remind them of significant milestones, from a special birthday to a wedding anniversary. Many people find joy and energy from sharing in a special occasion in a family member or friend’s life. In our own office we find happiness and togetherness with our colleagues by celebrating one another’s birthdays, which normally takes the form of sharing a cake and laughter
The Church of Scotland Spiritual Discipline Programme includes articles on Celebration by BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) UK and Fasting by Triratna Buddhist Order, Manchester UK, and a video clip on fasting by Venerable K Sri Rewatha Thero (Scottish Buddhist Vihara), UK.
The Buddhist Festival of Vesak
Jacquetta Gomes, Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada), UK
Fasting: a Buddhist perspective:
Munisha: Triratna Buddhist Order, Manchester, UK
Venerable K Sri Rewatha Thero (Scottish Buddhist Vihara), UK
The Church of Scotland
121 George Street
Telephone 0131 225 5722
Please click on this link for the CoS Website Spiritual Discipline Section