A longtime reader and self-confessed introvert faces a new challenge: an online book club.
During the isolation and boredom of the pandemic I became aware of the Spirited Book Club sponsored by Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center. I am an introvert who enjoys reading books as a solo pastime and I am not much of a joiner, but a book that I had on my iPad, Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh was going to be discussed by the Spirited Book Club on Zoom.
I signed up and found an interesting group of people sharing their personal thoughts and reactions to the ideas in the book. When I am in a group, whether in person or online, I deliberate when, and if, I should enter with a comment. Jim Hanson was moderating the group and he made it easy to participate with comments as well as listen to others. No one dominated.
One of the benefits of participating was motivation to finish the book. When the one-hour discussion ended, I was even more sure that God is Spirit in many places including Buddhism and Christianity.
The next Spirited Book Club I attending was a discussion of one of my favorite writers and my very favorite theologian, Marcus Borg. The book was Meeting Jesus for the First Time. I discovered Borg about ten years ago and he has helped me understand Jesus was a spirit person and God is Spirit. I heard participants in the group identify with Borg’s Sunday School understanding of Christianity and his personal spiritual experiences that convinced him that God is real and we can experience God as Spirit.
Despite my shyness, I will be signing up for some of the upcoming Spirited Book Club discussions. #
Guest blogger Allen Nohre is a former chaplain and hospital executive, as well as a consultant and professional management coach. A born writer, Nohre is the author of A Soul from Minnesota: Personal Essays about Family, Fate, and the Flow of Life, and several articles for Spirit in the Desert website. He and his spouse, Kathie, are longtime residents of Carefree.