Tending the Soul: Centering Clay

By Sally Suzuki

What does the name “Centering Way” conjure in you, as you tend to your soul? My dear friend Sally Suzuki offers very intriguing insights from her craft as a potter in Brooklyn, NY. Image after image spills out from her process of forming a clay vessel, and I invite you to reflect on the many rich implications for your own personal life formation. Read Sally’s reflections on centering clay below.  - Scott Dewey

Hi Scott,

I have a few thoughts about "Centering Way" from a potter's point of view that I've been meaning to share with you. When you throw clay on a pottery wheel, before you work it into any distinct shape, it must be centered on the wheel. Moving the clay evenly into a mound in the middle of a spinning plate sounds like a fairly simple task, but it is the most challenging and important step to making a piece of any size. Not only is it vital to establish a strong foundation for the vessel, but the act of centering is also a subtle practice of accepting that sometimes things will not go as planned.

Tending the Soul: Touch Me

Tending the Soul: Touch Me

By Scott Dewey

I take the story of “God and the world” to be a love story. I’m very aware that this way of reading God and the world entails a particular act of faith and trust - in the possibility of the divine, and of love.

There are other ways of reading. Some other readings might even make more sense to logic and observation - so I’m not inclined to spend much energy arguing the point. I’m a congenital skeptic and doubter myself. Nonetheless,  love story telling - at least the gritty kind, more than the sappy - deeply stirs my mind and heart, to the point I’ve given myself wholly to such stories being most fundamentally true.

If God and the world is a love story, I take it to be moving ever toward intimacy, toward oneness.

Tending the Soul: Tempo

Tending the Soul: Tempo

By Nancy Black

After last fall's Camino de Santiago week-long walk, I've been trying to live in the way this walk trained us. I'm watching daily for the signs, markers and arrows that God uses to point the way for my unique journey or life path.

Lately, I've also been invited to pay attention to the tempo of my life. Tempo is the speed or pace of a musical piece - how fast or slow it is played. I've just come back from a week of vacation in the Arizona desert, with leisurely mornings by a pool reading, reflecting and meditating... and afternoons lazily kayaking down the slow Colorado river. It was a time to bask in slow time and the renewal it brings.

Tending the Soul: Incarnation

Tending the Soul: Incarnation

By Ben Edwards

It was a cold morning. A few passersby glanced at us, some confused, others clearly offering compassion and sympathy. We were gathered in the driveway of my neighbors, where they had lost their son to an unexplainable act of violence only a week earlier. It happened on Halloween.

He was handing out candy – something he didn’t think he would be able to do that night because of his work schedule. He was grateful that someone covered his shift so he could take part in the family tradition. His dad was inside putting more candy in the large bowl when shots rang out. What had just happened didn’t register immediately. It was only when his son’s girlfriend came in screaming, “They shot him!” that he realized the incredible horror of the situation.

Tending the Soul: You Only See the Stars When It's Dark

Tending the Soul: You Only See the Stars When It's Dark

Stephanie was showing everyone at Kids Club the painting she had made in school that week. She said that it had a deeper meaning than I was probably assuming. She explained, “It shows that the darkness is really hard sometimes, but it’s only when it’s dark that you see the stars.”

I knew that I had just sat at the feet of wisdom, once again personified by a 12 year old girl. I couldn’t articulate exactly why this was profound in that moment, but I spoke to Stephanie again a few weeks later to make sure she knew how much her painting had moved me.