For as long as I can remember, I always struggled with my relationship with Christianity and was deeply intrigued when Jan suggested the theme of prayer, meditation and spirituality in building our resilience when facing mortality (our own or that of others) for our monthly Death Café. By spiritual practice we discussed specifically prayer, meditation, mindfulness as well as the ways in which religious beliefs are practised, or not practiced, and (in some cases) erased.
LLD’s Death Café isn’t a place for contentious debate. We are always in conversation. That distinction is vital. No one is crowned a winner after an audience vote decides that their position represents “the best opinion”. There will never be a single conclusive path forward emerging from any of these conversations. There will always be space for listening and for considering another point of view as well as a wide range of potential approaches for dealing with the issue of our mortality.
At the heart of the 90-minute conversation was a multiplicity of religion and spirituality as people with diverse religious beliefs, practices and traditions, met each other in a place of mutual respect to discuss how these beliefs, practices and traditions inform how we use our spirituality to build resilience. As we dug down, we arrived at some difficult and important questions.
Here are my five important takeaways from the conversation: