by Christine Budzowski, The Guibord Center
Working as a part of The Guibord Center since its inception in 2010, I have been exposed to many ways people of faith in Los Angeles share experiences that deepen their faith. Until I experienced prayer in a sacred space that was not my own, in a different form and with various movements, perhaps in another language, I found it hard to conceive of those around me having unique and personal moments of spiritual connection.
I have been taught there is no one set way to pray or talk to God. God shows up for me in many unexpected places, sometimes when I am actively searching and occasionally when I don’t plan an encounter. I am sure we have all had moments when we have felt the Spirit present in unexpected places. These moments make me stop what I’m doing and pay attention. Moments that make me want to freeze time and stay right where I am, soaking it all in. Moments that leave me changed in some small way or even profoundly.
I love spiritual experiences, and I try to be on the lookout for the next opportunity to connect with another person, experience God’s creation in nature, or meditate in the company of my cats. Some of my genuinely memorable spiritual experiences have come through events and concerts offered by The Guibord Center, “aha!” moments when I discovered the palpable presence of the Holy. One such experience happened when I attended “Out of Darkness Into Light,” an interfaith concert with Yuval Ron and his many talented friends.
I had seen pictures of “Whirling Dervishes,” those exotic-looking men in white skirts who spin round and round, making me wonder how they manage to walk a straight line afterward. I was looking forward to seeing my first live performance by a dervish. It was a highly-anticipated part of the concert. But I was not prepared for the experience of watching the spinning dervish, with a backdrop of music and chanting and being transported out of the physical space and into a purely spiritual space.
I have watched the video of that performance, and it doesn’t have the same effect. Being present is the key for me. This is why I look forward to the upcoming event “Every Child’s Life is Sacred, a Concert for Humanity” with The Yuval Ron Ensemble. I am told the dervish will be a surprise. I will not be surprised by an evening filled with spiritual encounters and another fantastic Spiritual Experience.
Here is a link to Out of Darkness Into Light: https://theguibordcenter.org/video-gallery-2/?vimeography_gallery=12&vimeography_video=84613445