Spiritual Meditations for People Who Help Other People is written for social workers and others who devote their lives to helping other people. The meditations in this book are designed to nurture and strengthen caregivers, focusing on ways to enhance their relationships with God and the people we help. Containing more than 140 pages and 25 individual meditations, Spiritual Meditations (IBSN 978-0-9897581-4-7) includes "Meditations about Our Conversations with God," and "Meditations about Our Conversations with the People Whom We Help," as well as a "Bibliography of Additional Resources," and a guide for "Exploring Your Own Prayer Ritual."
Many social work courses introduce students to the important spiritual qualities that students need to develop to be effective, and this book is designed to move this work to a deeper level where it can help them further develop several spiritual qualities. Spiritual qualities covered in the book via the 25 meditations include those that enhance our relationship with God such as strengthening a person’s prayer life, becoming more mindful of being still and in the present moment with God and others, learning how to comfortably rest and care for ourselves on a regular basis, enhancing our gratitude, developing our capacity for patience with our circumstances, and coping well during dark times. Other meditations covered in the book help us grow in our relationships with the people we help, by, for example, viewing our clients and our services as sacred, celebrating our clients, embracing our clients’ diversity, being especially attentive to people who live in poverty, overcoming tendencies to be judgmental, and finding ways to comfortably engage challenging people, all as ways to encourage us to be grounded in God’s way.
Using the book as a secondary course text for developing these spiritual qualities, this work can be pursued individually in course assignments focusing on individual meditations and in intimate discussions in dyads or small groups. Each meditation offers scriptures, meditations, prayers, questions, and exercises to help readers develop these qualities into more grounded spiritual disciplines.
Lawrence S. Ressler, Professor of Social Work at Cairn University, states that "Spiritual Meditations for People Who Help Other People is a valuable resource to have for social workers and other individuals in the helping arena. It is more than a book to read. It is a self-care resource for those interested in growing spiritually and committed to remaining effective in their helping. Jim has identified 25 passages of scripture basic to helping and valuable in meditating on. In the tradition of the enormously popular Chicken Soup for the Soul phenomenon, Jim also provides personal insights and stories to bring each passage to life. One of the most valuable features of the book are the exercises Jim suggests that are associated with each passage. When followed, the exercises will develop the discipline needed to grow spiritually and actuate the benefits of meditation that are grounded in scripture, have been encouraged by the church historically, and have been verified empirically in modern social science research."
About the Author: James R. Dudley is a Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the School of Social Work where he was the Director for seven years. His writings and research have focused on the spirituality of hospice workers, exploring ways to create spiritually sensitive human service organizations, and religious and non-religious spiritual assessments. He has also authored a textbook on preparing students for spiritually sensitive practice. He has also taught numerous courses on spirituality and social work. He has conducted extensive retreats and workshops on topics such as developing spiritual disciplines, male spirituality, the process of spiritual discernment, and Bible study. He is trained as a spiritual director.