Mindful Paths: Steps Towards A Living Spirituality is a result of Constance McClain’s 30-year exploration into the vast world of spiritual practices and religious commonalities. Her work has evolved into a fully-accredited college curriculum in Spiritual Health – the first of its kind in the state of California.

Mindful Paths: Steps Towards A Living Spirituality is a guide that embraces spirit-driven mindfulness: to ourselves as uniquely creative embodiments of Spirit, and to others, by encouraging that we live our most authentic lives, with a fully heart-centered outlook, based on a foundation of deep reflection and discernment.

Please join Constance and co-author James in an adventure of the Spirit which will transform you, and change the ways in which you perceive yourself, your personal possibilities, and your relationships with others forever. You will gain an ever-expanded sense of respect and reverence for a world in need of larger love, compassion, and human rights.

 

"Mindful Paths: Steps Towards A Living Spirituality"

is now is available online

Spiritual exploration is a personal pursuit. One where you are seeking your own most authentic self: who you are, how you came to be who you are, and how to transform those parts of yourself you think will improve your life now … as you embark upon a more mindful path fully embraces the present, while looking ahead with integrity to the future.

Reverend James Anthony Walker began his formal studies in music composition at Boston University, and later as a Graduate Teaching Fellow and founding Director of the Computer Music Studio at The University of Chicago. While today much of his work is best described as ‘painting with sound,’ he still finds it a distinct honor to have studied with a number of Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as many gifted mentors along the way.

He was ordained in 2017 by the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, and today he blends his musical vision, his years of research into generative techniques, and his spirituality … into transformative ambient music that has been highly acclaimed for use with meditation, relaxation, therapy for the sleep-deprived, and supportive environments for a wide variety of mindful practices.

Today, he and life partner Rev. Constance McClain co-direct Oasis of the Heart, an inclusive InterFaith/InterSpiritual ministry without walls … drawing spiritual nourishment from the core tenets of many of the world’s great wisdom paths,
and together, they seek to promote a deeper understanding of the beliefs we all share in common, so that we can begin to better embrace our differences. 

It has been his joy to collaborate on this book, as he has been witness to the life-changing effects that this work, through Constance’s mentorship, has brought to so many over the years.

Reverend Constance McClain is a lifelong spiritual seeker.  Along that path, she became a spiritual mentor through the Claritas Institute of Spiritual Mentoring & Inquiry, a program designed and brought to life by Joan Borysenko.  Furthering her dream of becoming a minister, she is a graduate of The Spiritual Paths Institute of InterSpirituality in Santa Barbara, California.

Her love of dance, hiking and helping others prompted her to become certified as a Master Exercise Specialist through the Cooper Institute in Dallas, TX, where she then became a specialist in Somatic Education with a primary focus on integrated movement … designed to guide students and clients into an embodied awareness of the Inner Spirit within.

A completely unexpected near death experience in 2013 brought her an increased sense of urgency to to become more deeply in service … and in 2017, her enduring dream of ministry was fulfilled, and she was ordained as an InterFaith/ Interspiritual minister through the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary.

Today, Constance has an unwaivering perspective: that her love of life, all things sacred, holy and divine continue to support her through even the most life-changing of adversities, and it is being mindful of this spritual dimension of health that is at the very core of Mindful Paths: Steps Towards a Living Spirituality.

"Mindful Paths: Steps Towards A Living Spirituality"

is now available online

PRESS RELEASE

This book has been living with these two for years, beginning as the new millennium loomed nearer, with a quickening within Constance’s soul that was pushing her own spiritual buttons to do more — to take a step in order to help her college students find a stronger anchor, a better path to living a more spiritual life, as so many were expressing a growing disconnect with the organized religions of their heritage. 

In 2013, two massive strokes changed her life, from which she continues to this day to recover. Miraculously, the pulse she had been feeling continued to call, although she was now finding it incredibly difficult to manifest. In what she believes was an act of Divine intervention, she met life partner James Anthony Walker. After months of intense spiritual conversations, they agreed to partner in developing this book — with a larger vision of continuing to serve not only her students, but the public at large, with a manuscript that could offer a friendly hand to those of all ages who might be facing uncertainty in their spiritual life.

It is their deepest hope that Mindful Paths: Steps To Living Spirituality will provide its readers with a confidence that their spiritual compass is pointing them towards a more authentic way of living in the world, and that it can be empowered through a deeper understanding of the beauty of the Interspiritual, InterFaith paradigm.

Many with deep religious faith have benefited from these readings. As such, the book is not intended to be anti-religion, but rather an introduction into a variety of spiritual practices that will appeal to the growing segment of our global population that consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.”

As such, the overarching theme of the book is how to make manifest our need for community and understanding, in a world where it is often easier exacerbate our perceived differences than it is to embrace our shared humanity.

CONSTANCE

  1. Growing up a mountain girl in Missoula, MT and Eugene, OR, Constance grew up fantasizing about becoming her favorite book character, Heidi. In many ways, Heidi really is           her.
  2. To this day, some of her best friends have been dogs, horses and books. She had so many               books by the time she was only eight, that she made her own library to organize all of them. All that has changed. Today, she sleeps with them. 
  3. As a kid, she couldn’t stop dancing and singing. Little did she know that years later, she                   would pursue tandem singing and acting careers. It may not have worked out that well, but    her story about Rod Stewart is amazing. That, however, will cost you to hear about.
  4. The canine, and maybe the greatest love of her life was a labradoodle named GRIZ. The best          dog ever, with an irresistible pink nose.
  5. On an annual trip to Glacier National Park she engaged in a head-butting match with a deer.          She lost.
  6. She was both a Girl Scout and a Campfire Girl. It brought joy to her young life, and the     cookies weren’t bad either. Many boxes went missing. Oddly, there were no witnesses.

JAMES

  1. On one of his first Halloweens, a dark and rainy night, he collected a lot of candy in the brown paper grocery bag his mom had given him. The bag got so heavy that he dragged it in                 the rain, and all the candy fell out. His brother helped gather it all back together. To this day              he’s pretty sure his brother took all the best candy for himself.
  2. His first musical instrument was a trumpet. He always wondered where his parents went when he was practicing. It could have been worse. It could have been drums.
  3. In his junior year in high school, he was suspended for a week for singing with his barbershop quartet in one of the boys bathrooms. It disrupted the entire English class just          across the hall. The teacher? Obviously, no sense of humor.
  4. In college, his band was banned from the Delta Gamma sorority house. As he remembers it, they didn’t like the music. That may not actually have been the reason, but he’s sticking with           
  5. Coming home from his first, and long, business trip to Taipei, he was late getting to the As he watched the plane pull away, he started banging on the glass window and             frantically waving at the pilot — begging him to come back. Actually, his plane was at the            next gate.
  6. He was once told that he was so directionally challenged that he could get lost in a walk-in closet. He has tried to disprove that over the years. He has not been successful.

THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK TRAILER

This is excerpted basically from the Preface of the book. It may be too long, but probably not by much. Parts of this material could probably apply to pt 2 as well.
A voiceover rather than animated text might be a better idea? Possibility?

We live in a time filled with chaos and uncertainty
. Many of us continue to seek stability during these unsettling times, by turning our attention toward time-tested tools that can help.

In the past, this often meant turning outward to one of hundreds of faith traditions worldwide, to find equanimity, community, confidence and the courage to go forward in life.

But today, we are witness to a movement away by increasing numbers from the churches, faith traditions, and definitions of community which served our parents and grandparents. 

Why? Because we live today in a significantly transformed world. Our needs are changing, and we seek an approachable path towards the community we so much desire.

A path where, along the way, we can begin to find and develop our “highest self,” but without some of the trappings of our ancestors.

Spiritual exploration is a personal pursuit. One where you are seeking your own most authentic self: who you are, how you came to be who you are, and how to transform those parts of yourself you think will improve your life now … as you embark upon a more mindful path fully embraces the present, while looking ahead with integrity to the future.

Facilitating our spiritual growth is both eye-opening and potentially life-changing, and in this book, we’ll walk you through a number of spiritual practices that will help you open your heart and mind, while becoming far less judgmental in your everyday life.

This book is about the self-discovery of you, and how to begin to look at your world through a more mindful, authentic lens … one that is truly yours, and one where we begin to better recognize the importance of working together to create a better world for ourselves, our children, and for all sentient beings. 

This outlook asks us to expand our perspective of life itself … and to look at it through a much more panoramic lens. A lens of inclusiveness and care, not only for our families, but for Mother Earth herself, and all the species that she wraps in her constant, loving and non-judgmental care.

Being human means we’ll be wounded and scarred. This pain can either be mental, emotional or both, often manifesting in physical symptoms that can disrupt our lives, and often either shut down our ability or our willingness to cope with it.  We believe that over thousands and thousands of years, this has left a deep wound in our collective heart and soul.

These wounds cry out to us to be healed. But with an empathy that is compromised, it has become increasingly difficult to hold something, anything … reverentially.

And so, have these centuries old wounds weakened our sensitivities toward the world at large? Imagine if we all woke up one morning feeling the collective pain and suffering of humanity. Could we regain our empathy, and our reverence for humanity? Is this our problem, or at least part of the problem? 

We’ve written this book because we hope it can help us, together, to become a part of the solution to a world seemingly at war with itself. That when we live our lives with moral integrity, we can become more aware, more conscious, and far more awake to our unique potential to support others.

Once we begin tapping into this, through our mindful decision to grow spiritually, we can begin to connect with the sacred, holy and divine … through experiences and pathways that will strengthen our relationship to a vastly greater, ineffable world of which we are inextricably a part.

This is work which, as with so many practices that deliver exceptional rewards , achieves its desired outcome with our consistent dedication. One day at a time. And in the process, we trigger a blossoming. Much like the lotus flower eventually, patiently blooms from the mud … so do we.  There are no shortcuts, even if we would like it to be so.

Allowing ourselves to be the spiritual beings that we are means that we first come to understand our values. Do we refuse to accept greed, dishonesty, cruelty, violence, discrimination … or any other mindsets that, through our ego-based self-centeredness only compromise the other sentient beings with which we share this earth?

If so, then we have begun to seek the sacred in our life. A life filled with meaning and purpose. Our divinity, wherein we reach to our highest potential as human beings.

If you found yourself with his book in your hands, make no mistake … it is there because it was meant to be there. You are being called to a higher purpose, and the practices in this book will help guide you on to better ways of living a humane, authentically human experience.

It is our joy to meet you here.