Open Mindfull is the creation of Dr. Olga-Maria Cruz -- a website designed to offer a curated collection of ideas and resources for the spiritual journey in the new millennium. The books, articles, podcasts, and videos found here are offered with no personal agenda, and no attempt to sell you anything. They are carefully selected for clarity, authenticity, and authority within their traditions. The authors and speakers you will encounter have both scholarly training and real-world experience in their religions and/or spiritual paths. They will be people Dr. Cruz has, either in person or through their work, spent some serious amount of time with.
At Open Mindfull, no single viewpoint or religious tradition will be privileged over others. Dr. Cruz will, in the blog, from time to time offer some of her favorite ideas and experiences related to theology, religion, ethics, philosophy, or spirituality -- but conclusions will be left for you to draw for yourself. This is Dr. Cruz's classroom teaching style, making its way into the arena of faith and spirituality. The ideas, traditions, authors, and teachers presented here are offered simply as resources for your own journey. As we say in the Twelve Step programs, "Take what you like, and leave the rest."
Olga-Maria Cruz, M.Div., Ph.D.
Photo credit: Anthony Raspberry
Dr. Cruz has walked her spiritual path for over thirty years, beginning with only a connection to nature and an idea of basic human goodness. Toward the end of high school, she had a dramatic conversion experience and became a Christian, baptized in the Southern Baptist church. Active in campus ministry throughout university, she followed a call to ministry and moved to Louisville, KY to attend The Southern Baptist Seminary. Sent to Oxford for doctoral studies, she developed new capacities for critical thinking, encountered female priests, the Book of Common Prayer, and a deep connection with the Church of England.
Dr. Cruz holds the BA in English with a minor in Voice Performance (because words and music go together, at least for a singer); the Master of Divinity in Theology (because when you fall in love with the Bible, you want to read it in Greek and Hebrew) with a minor in Ethics (because when you find out Ethics is a field, you wonder why they’ve been keeping it a secret); and then the PhD, also in Ethics.
Dr. Cruz came to yoga as an antidote to anxiety, and found her experience of body and mind slowly transformed. Her theology and philosophy also began to be transformed by the egalitarian/feminist ideas of yoga, goddess myths, and other Eastern teachings. She has also completed 100 hours of training in mindfulness-awareness meditation, and 400 hours of training as a hospital chaplain.
She is the newest campus minister at Winthrop University, heading up WELCM, the Winthrop Episcopal/Lutheran Campus Ministry, an ecumenical worshipping community supported by Grace Lutheran Church and the Episcopal Church of Our Savior in Rock Hill, South Carolina. You can find out more about her ministry at www.welcm.org.