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 Olga-Maria has, either in person or through their work, spent serious time with.
At Open Mindfull, no single viewpoint or religious tradition is privileged over others. Olga-Maria 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 are always left for you to draw for yourself. This is her 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 Twelve Step land, "Take what you like, and leave the rest."
Olga-Maria Cruz, M.Div., Ph.D.
Olga-Maria 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. She was active in campus ministry throughout university, then followed a call to ministry and moved to Louisville, KY to attend The Southern Baptist Seminary. Doctoral studies took her to Oxford, where she developed new capacities for critical thinking, encountered female priests, and fell in love with the Book of Common Prayer and more liturgical worship.
Olga-Maria 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 some of us love the Bible so much, we want to read it in Greek and Hebrew), and a PhD in Ethics (because when you find out Ethics is a field, you wonder why they’ve been keeping it a secret). She taught Ethics, English, and Interdisciplinary classes at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY for twelve years.
Olga-Maria came to yoga as an antidote to anxiety, and found her experience of body and mind slowly transformed. Her theology and philosophy were expanded by the egalitarian and radically affirming ideas she encountered in yogic myths and teachings, and later, in Lutheran (ELCA) teaching and preaching. She has completed 100 hours of training in mindfulness meditation, and 400 hours of training as a hospital chaplain.
Currently, Olga-Maria heads up WELCM, Winthrop Ecumenical Lutheran Campus Ministry, an inclusive worshipping community supported by Grace Lutheran Church and the South Carolina Synod of the ELCA. You can find out more about her ministry and reach out to her at welcm.org.
Photo credit: John Rectenwald