At the monthly interfaith, spiritually inclusive services she leads at Pitt Street Uniting Church, Sydney, Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick brings us ideas and inspirations that can sustain us spiritually and emotionally whatever our life circumstances. This month (April 2013), she speaks about gratitude – with some very fresh thoughts about gratitude as a way of life and being, and also about how essential it is to RECEIVE gratefully and appreciatively what others are giving us, and adding to our lives. You are free to comment on Stephanie Dowrick’s Facebook page where she also offers daily inspirations. Thanks to Brad Harris for videoing and posting this talk. You can find other talks also on interfaithinsydney’s YouTube link. Please share this resource generously.
Take one quarter of one hour to hear this remarkably uplifting talk from Rev Dr Stephanie Dowrick. With humour and compassion, she invites us to view our lives, even our struggles, from a place of hope and confidence. You are very welcome to share your thoughts on her Facebook page where she posts short daily inspirations. You are also deeply welcome to come to the Interfaith services led by Dr Dowrick at Pitt Street (264) Uniting Church, each 3rd Sunday at 3pm. ALL welcome.
In the first of her “Interfaith in Sydney” talks for this year, Rev Dr Stephanie Dowrick shares some surprising thoughts about harmony, and especially the need to embrace and even rejoice in difference. Harmony – inner and outer – is essential for our safety and our wellbeing. We hope you enjoy this talk and share it freely. Please direct any comments you may have to Stephanie Dowrick’s public Facebook page.
This is a timeless talk from Dr Stephanie Dowrick on the different PRACTICAL expressions of love that we all need – and can all give. They include hospitality, patience, forgiveness, appreciation, joy. Please join us in creating a more loving, appreciative, and certainly more joyful world. Your comments are always welcome on Stephanie Dowrick’s Facebook page. We also highly recommend her books Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love, The Universal Heart and Seeking the Sacred, for further depth and insight. They are available from bookstores and also on-line from the Stephanie Dowrick discount bookstore administered by Collins/Seek.
Please enjoy this unusually frank discussion of what it means to commit ourselves to a deep appreciation of life: to see ourselves as spiritual beings – with human challenges – and to see all of life as sacred, including the shadow. Dr Stephanie Dowrick was being interviewed on her book Seeking the Sacred, but this is her chance also to share her most personal and deeply felt views about the sacred and her life-long journey to understand and live it, in the complexity of 21st-century life.
At the special service for the earth – and all who inhabit it – Rev Dr Stephanie Dowrick began her talk with these memorable lines from American poet, Raymond Carver: And did you get what you wanted from this life? Even so?/ I did./ And what did you want?/ To call myself beloved, to feel myself/beloved on this earth.
We invite you to listen to this talk, share it widely, and think deeply on how your love for the earth, for life, for nature and for human nature can be enhanced – and also reflected in your own sacred activism. Stephanie shares many ideas and you are welcome to share your own on her Facebook page.
This is a deeply encouraging talk given by Dr Stephanie Dowrick on the topic of renewal: renewal not only when things are going well for us but also when we are up against the suffering that is part of every human life. In less than 15 minutes, Stephanie supports us to renew our commitment to life, to choose hope, to seek and offer the comfort and companionship we need, and even to find meaning when we are most threatened by feelings of helplessness or powerlessness. If a spiritual life is to be sustaining, it must allow us to reach into and bring to life our soul strengths. This talk is the practical encouragement we may be seeking for exactly that. You can leave comments on Stephanie’s Facebook page, particularly if this talk helps or supports you. We would love to hear.
This is the talk given by Dr Stephanie Dowrick at the Happiness & Its Causes Conference, 2012, held at the Sydney Town Hall. What allows happiness? What are the obstacles? What do we most long for…and how will we achieve it? How can we become the cause of happiness…rather than the cause of suffering for ourselves and others? This talk opens with the glorious phrase from Sufi poet Hafiz, “I am happy before I have a reason,” and then draws on Stephanie’s work in her key book, Seeking the Sacred, in which she most profoundly challenges what we think life is, and is for. She evokes a life that is courageous, full-hearted, patient, supremely tender and joyful, and she says: “We are right to want all of that….What we regard as sacred, we will care enough to protect.”
Dr Stephanie Dowrick opens this powerful talk with a call to imagine a more peaceful world, one in which not just safety but also far greater joy is easily experienced by all. She continues with an essential reminder that “Hate does not cease with more hatred…” and that “civilization is far more than a lull between conflicts”. Perhaps most crucially of all she reminds us: “It’s not an easy thing to be a peacemaker but it is an essential thing. Our world is at a turning point. We either speak up passionately for peace – and act peacefully – or we are bystanders of violence.” Please listen to this talk. Share it. And allow it to influence your own thinking, actions and peacemaking.
Please enjoy this talk by Dr Stephanie Dowrick , addressing the need and desire that so many of us have to create greater or more sustained peace in our hearts. Peace cannot stop in our hearts, of course. But if there is no peace in our hearts, our efforts to live in greater harmony with others will be severely limited. Peace in our hearts is a prelude to our happiness, a cause of happiness, a cause of inner confidence and strength. As Stephanie makes clear, it takes will, insight, determination to cultivate or even understand the desire for peace. And to know that peace is an active state of mind: alive, alert, receptive.
Please enjoy this talk from Dr Stephanie Dowrick on what is universally known as “the Golden Rule“. Without an understanding and practice of “doing no harm” and recognising that your neighbour feels and needs as you do, our claims to spiritual or psychological maturity are so easily lost. However, we will never learn to live the Golden Rule because we should. We will do so only if we allow our hearts as well as our minds to be touched. It’s only that which will awaken the profound potential for compassion in each of us – and keep our world safe.
In this short, immediately uplifting talk, Dr Stephanie Dowrick reminds us of our power to contribute to a kinder, more tolerant world – and that we will lift our own joy and delight in life as we do so. This profoundly affects how we will regard and trust our inner resources when we do have to face the inevitable suffering that is also part of life – or support others who are suffering.
Stephanie Dowrick uses as her inspiration the beautiful Sarum Primer prayer: “God (goodness) be in my head…and in my understanding”, bringing its universal, inspirational application to life with lightness of heart and spirit.
The quality of trust goes to the heart of whether we feel safe inwardly, and whether we are willing to play our part to keep others safe also. It uniquely reflects whether we believe – and can trust – that our lives matter. And that what we do and how we think also matters. In this accessible, deeply encouraging talk, Dr Stephanie Dowrick reflects on this essential quality. She opens with a memorable reflection on a deceptively simple prayer from Zen monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. The talk was recorded at the monthly interfaith services Stephanie leads at Pitt Street (264) Uniting Church, Sydney, on 15 April. (3rd Sunday of each month; 3pm).
Stephanie Dowrick writes: “To open and inspire this talk on simplicity, I used a teaching from the Upanishads: “There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. That is the light that shines in your heart.” Later in the talk I reflect on how unconsciously we sometimes subvert our peace, complicate our lives, allow ourselves to be distracted from what most benefits us and others. But we do this not because we are ignorant, but because we forget what most profoundly supports us. I hope that this talk is itself very supportive. It was supportive to prepare and give it! The quality of the filming is not up to our usual standard, but the sound quality is fine. And a lovely lesson of simplicity is to focus on what’s going well – and to have more of it! Enjoy. And please leave any comments on my Facebook page.”
Please do watch the 2nd half of Dr Stephanie Dowrick‘s exceptional talk on love’s unconditional welcome where she continues to speak about our need to offer authentic hospitality not only to one another, but also to those parts of ourselves that we may sometimes wish to discard to disown, rather than reclaiming and transforming through love. She offers a renewed understanding of love that reaches across cultures, religions, differences to what we would call the “very heart of the matter”. ”All our wisdom comes from a single source…” How do we bring this to the ground of our being? Stephanie helps us to make this possible.
Dr Stephanie Dowrick begins her talk with the sublime quote from Teilhard de Chardin: “Joy is the unmistakable sign of the presence of God.” Enjoy!!
In this uplifting talk Dr Stephanie Dowrick reminds us that we can respond to daily life and meet even the most difficult situations with hope. And with a deep sense of connection to our inner resources. Paying attention to our strengths – to what’s needed – is literally empowering in the most authentic way. This talk significantly weaves spiritual and psychological insights for our shared benefit. Enjoy this video and let it support you. You can leave your comments on Stephanie Dowrick’s Facebook page. The talk was recorded at Pitt Street Uniting Church in February 2012. Stephanie leads a spiritually inclusive service there each 3rd Sunday of the month, at 3pm.
Is it true, asks Sufi poet Hafiz, that it is our destiny to turn into light itself? In this talk, filmed at Pitt Street Uniting Church on 18 December 2011, Dr Stephanie Dowrick talks at depth about the “unconditional welcome of love”so tragically often missed or forgotten in conventional religious thinking. Supporting this, she offers – as an interfaith teacher and minister – a quite radical view on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Dr Stephanie Dowrick writes, ‘It was a reviving experience to prepare this short talk on grace – especially at the end of the year when I am feeling the weight of a busy year-long schedule and am looking forward perhaps more even than usual to the summer break. I wanted to affirm grace here, and affirm our confidence to open to receive its gifts. I also speak about what allows us to become instruments of grace, even when we don’t know it. (Leaving our comfort zone to be particularly kind or thoughtful or appreciative, for example, an experience that may make very little difference to us and a great deal of difference to someone else.) Grace is the sacred in its most dynamic form. Moving through us, and moving us from one state of mind to another. The miracle of grace is that it’s there for all: way beyond “deserving” or “not deserving”. But don’t we often discover it only when our usual props can no longer hold us up? I was particularly inspired this time by Leonard Cohen‘s magnificent ‘Anthem’:
Which of us does not want a greater sense of stillness – and choice – in our lives? Not least so that we can meet difficult situations with greater confidence – and experience more welcome situations with greater appreciation and pleasure. With a deepened sense of inner stillness, we are also far easier to be with. We are more open, less defensive, less judgmental (and more discerning). We can make decisions and choices that benefit others as well as ourselves.