R: Radically Inclusive. All RHIMES programs and agencies are radically inclusive, by which we mean that all people without exception are welcome to participate fully in all aspects of our communities.
H: Heart-centered. Our spirituality does have what might be called a theological basis or an underlying philosophy. That being said, far too much religion and spirituality in the west dwells only in the intellect. For a spirituality to be holistic, it must move from the head into the heart. Heart centered spirituality holds primary values such as compassion, loving kindness, forgiveness, mercy, caring, hospitality, and a host of other similar values. It is far more important to feel the right thing than to believe the right thing and it is far more important to act from a place of kindness than doctrinal certainty.
I: Interspiritual. Interspiritual refers to spiritual practice which blends elements from more than one tradition. Most often in the west, it involves a person taking the Abrahamic (Christian, Jewish, or Islamic) spiritual tradition they were raised in and expanding their understanding of it through the teachings and practices of another, non-Abrahamic, tradition.
M: Meditative. By this we mean that our tradition endorses what is called Meditation in Eastern spirituality and Contemplation in Western spirituality. It means that we spend dedicated, intentional time in the silence as a part of our individual and collective spiritual practice.
E: Engaged. Engaged practice is concern with spiritual justice and other social and political concerns. We recognize that very few of us live in a cloistered monastic environment and even fewer of us are hermits. Healthy spirituality does not lead us to become isolated from the world, rather it leads us to engage our world and work for healing and justice.
S: Spirituality. Spirituality can be a part of religion, but most often it is not a part of institutional religion. Spirituality emphasizes practice over performance and isn’t afraid of questions. In fact, spirituality values questions even more than answers and recognizes that the opposite of faith isn’t doubt but rather certainty. Where religion often claims to dispense truth from on high to the faithful groveling below, spirituality employs a “journeying with” model of spiritual teaching that encourages free thought and free questionings. We aren’t afraid to say “we don’t know” when that is the case. There are no tests of orthodoxy in spirituality because there are few doctrines. We realize the path is the goal!