Some people find that giving themselves number answers on the questions just gets in the way. If you are one of those people, remember that you can go through the book without even bothering with the numbers. You can use the items as prompts to explore the questions in an open-ended way. The book is the best resource for the open-ended approach, with its spaces to respond and prompts to do so. After answering each question, if you had this kind of experience, jot down some notes about what it felt like for you, and where and when it occurred.
The number answers of frequency (many times a day, occasionally, never) give the questions traction in the research. They allow researchers to see that they are connected with other things. And they make us think of specific moments. But some people just cannot get over competitive feelings, or feelings of inadequacy or self-criticism if they do not ‘score’ high enough. I tried in the book to emphasize that there are no right scores, and the people can ignore the scores, but some people just cannot. So please try these other options if you are one of these people. The important thing is noticing the experiences, and whatever way works for you is the best way. And this checklist format can prime us to notice these things.
You can also use the questions in this checklist format:
Recently . . .
1. Have you been spiritually touched by the beauty of creation?
2. Have you felt God’s presence, or the presence of the divine or holy?
3. Have you experienced a connection to all of life?
4. How close do you feel to God, or to the divine or transcendent as expressed in other words?
5. Have you desired to be closer to God or in union with the divine over the past while?
6. Have you felt God’s love or divine love for you directly?
7. Have you felt God’s love or divine love for you through others?
8. Have you felt a selfless caring for others?
9. Have you accepted others even when they have done things you think are wrong?
10. Have you found strength in your religion or spirituality?
11. Have you found comfort in your religion or spirituality?
12. Have you felt guided by God in the midst of daily activities?
Or: Have you felt divine guidance in the midst of daily activities?
13. Have you asked for God’s help in the midst of daily activities.
Or: Have you asked for help from a higher power as you go through the day?
14. During worship, or at other times when connecting with God, have you felt joy that lifts you out of your daily concerns?
Or: At times when connecting with the “more than” have you felt joy that lifts you out of your daily concerns?
15. Have you felt thankful for your blessings?
16. Have you felt deep inner peace or harmony?
© Lynn Underwood. For personal use only. Contact Lynn Underwood for permission to duplicate or distribute. www.dsescale.org