This site, The Way of the River, is the distillation of thirty years of religious and spiritual exploration: Well-digging and well-drinking; literal and figurative river swimming and body surfing; community and institution building; and hours, months, and years spent listening for the whispers and shouts of Spirit.
The Way of the River is a path and a place, born from the realization that there are many of us on this beautiful Earth for whom any single religious tradition, no matter how embracing, is too small to fulfill all the yearning that we have.
The Way of the River is a path–a way–in that I hope to offer some of the tools of travel that I have gained in my lifetime. Tools of companionship. Tools of discernment. Tools of meditation and prayer. Tools of ritual, attention, and intention.
The Way of the River is a place to access these gifts and use them for yourself. To find your own way. To unearth your own gifts and bring them to bless the world. The Way of the River is a place to talk, a place to think, and eventually a place to share the comforts of community with a tribe of folks all working to live into their wisest, deepest selves.
We are the ones for whom the breath of spirit and of truth blows so much farther and deeper into us than any one religion, even though we may Circle in community, we may attend a church or a congregation.
The thing is, though, we are the ones for whom the flame of spirit burns in our hearts insistently, always pushing us to something more meaningful. For whom those troubled waters are always inviting us deeper, deeper. For whom this blue-green planet is the source of our wisdom.
We are the people drawn to the troubled waters, the roiling waters of terror and freedom. The place where the angel came at Bethsaida and healed the sick who dared to come forward.
We are the ones who can learn to be a leaf in the stream, carried towards our destiny by being aligned with Flow.
We may be Pagan, UU, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, naturalist, spiritual-but-not-religious, or simply walking in the wilderness. Many of us are LGBTQ+. Whoever we are, no matter where our lives have taken us, we are welcome here.
You are welcome here. Be as close to or as far from The Way of the River community as feels good to you, but know you are welcome.
In our seeking for the One Who Is Many; Male, Female, Both, and Neither, many of us have welcomed one another on Facebook, in The Way of the River Community Group. We share classes, discussions, article, queries, celebrations, and ritual time. Please consider joining us.
I also invite you to go to the link above, “Love Letters,” to subscribe to my weekly contemplation, Reflections. It is a spiritual boost and meditation on the season, the day, or something that I have been pondering in my heart to share with you.
The Place of Spiritual Practice
One last thing I think is essential to The Way of the River: There are some ways that my spiritual life has had to blossom on the edges of religious community. And I think that anyone, no matter how committed they are to a religious community, may feel this need for engagement, for spiritual centeredness, even deep spiritual aloneness.
Being still, praying and singing, dancing and swimming, and making ritual alone. These are ways this extrovert keeps herself inward, quiet.
And for an extrovert, oh my! It’s hard work. But it’s worth it.
Not only that, but religious leadership cannot contain the whole of my spiritual practice. There must be something else. Something emerging from routine, regularity, music, and silence. Something learned in the quiet of my room.
This something is spiritual practice. This something is in the pages of a journal, in the smoke of an altar, in the turn of a card, in the notes of a song, in the tears of a prayer,
It is in the rhythms of swimming and the stretch and breath and heart of yoga.
And it is in the threads of melody, the effort of drumming, the focus on skill and art and craft.
Spiritual practice, routine, rhythm, flow—in many ways, these are the Way of the River.
Come, come to the water and enjoy a swim with me…