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Monthly Highlights of Our Value Practice

SEPTEMBER – PRESENCE

PRESENCE –To strive to be present and responsive in the moment, to approach life with flexible minds and whole hearts and to become increasingly able to navigate uncertainty, ambiguity, and paradox with contentment.

Opening Reading by Carol Adams

For Presence 

Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of

soul.

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.

—From To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, by John O’Donohue

 

Closing Reading offered by Elizabeth Bell, read by Carol Adams

 Breathing - Thich Nhat Hahn

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.

When you breathe in, and you are aware of your in-breath,

you touch the miracle of being alive.

 

Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.

 

Our true home is not in the past. Our true home is not in the future. Our true home is in the here and the now. Life is available only in the here and the now, and it is our true home.

 

Impromtu Closing Sung by Francis X. O’Hara

May We Walk In Beauty

May we walk in beauty in a sacred way

May we walk in beauty each and every day (2x)

 

May the beauty of the fire lift our spirits higher

May the beauty of the earth fill our hearts with mirth

May the beauty of the rain wash away your pain

May the beauty of the sky teach our minds how to fly.

Song by Timothy White

 

Presence Is

“It’s like Luke Skywalker across from Darth Vader, reflecting DV’s nobility back to him.  Presence-ing – the ability to meet people and situations and evoke the hidden nobility of soul. Calling out the Soul nature of others.”

 “Yes for love, yes for joy, yes for pain, for sorrow, dancing with our yes’s.”

“Contemplative prayer like medicine, I can feel the medicine working.”

“Flowing through – spirit moving; allow it to move and take us along with it.  By being present, does a tree block the wind?  We are the trees – it fills us and takes some part of us on the journey.”

“Calmness, spirituality.”

“When it went out from our intimate circle to the CEN community and then humanity and all life – I felt it physically, like a thrill.” 

“I see presence as perhaps the greatest gift we can give to others, and I've been getting instruction this week from my one and three-year old granddaughters, who are models of presence.”

“As I’m on the edge of a headache and being present to it.  It becomes something like an encountering, rather than happening to me. Not about welcoming or pushing away as much as just being with it.”

“With deep sadness, from series things happening, feel heaviness, as I try to get present a voice said, ‘this is where you are now in the present, here, now.’  So stopped fighting it.” 

“Even though I felt a little out of sync, I was able to go deep into center of my heart.  A broken heart – a long story.”

“Refreshed to be here, in contrast to so much negativity in my new retirement community.”

******

Post Call Offerings

My thanks as well, to all those who participated, to Joseph for the fine guided meditation, and to Francis for the closing song.  Here is another song of Beauty, from master songsmith Lawrence Cole http://www.laurencecole.com/album/let-us-see-the-beauty/  

Many blessings, may we all walk in beauty, Charlie Landman


 

AUGUST – COMPASSIONATE CARING

A Practice to Cultivate Empathy and Compassion

  • Just like me, this person wants to be happy
  • Just like me, this person wishes to be free of pain and stress
  • Just like me, this person has a body subject to aches, pains and aging.
  • Just like me, this person has had many joys and successes.
  • Just like me, this person has felt sadness, loss, and pain.
  • Just like me, this person desires to love and be loves.
  • Just like me, this person aspires to do their best in life.
  • Just like me, this person wants peace and happiness.

 

"For myself I use the Mayan law of “In Lak'ech” which is interpreted as “I am another you, and you are another me.” It sometimes brings up some real discomfort because my feelings don’t always match what I believe to be the reality of the statement. I use it to reach for the humanity within myself and the people around me who are very different from me."

--Sandy Yeager

 (If you’re a U2 fan check out: I am, another you, In Lak'ech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vBneWFaWmA)

 

“When I experience Disturbing images or people in the news— if my buttons are pushed— I practice seeing the other as an upaguru (troublesome teacher).  I bow and say “thank you for your dedication to my liberation, thank you for reflecting my own disturbance and fearful reactivity back to me in no uncertain terms, thank you, because I know that on the day you next arrive and I no longer react from fear, I will be free.  Thank you because I truly want to be able to bring Love to each and every circumstance in this life….please don’t give up on me…” 

--Joseph Jastrab

"Pause to remember “Everyone is doing the best they can…..”

--Joseph Jastrab

Post-it notes in purposeful places with a reminder to practice/remember values

Whatever Arises, Love That, book by Matt Kahn recommended by Meg Newhouse

The Self-Acceptance Project: How to Be Kind and Compassionate Toward Yourself in Any Situation; A FREE Video Event Series, with Sounds True Free online video series, register here: http://live.soundstrue.com/selfacceptance/

 Have Circles/Salons that gather very diverse people and invite them to tell their stories…learning about our differences, as well as, realizing how much we have in common. Charlie Landman

 “I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.”  

--Abraham Lincoln

 If you really knew me you would know that _________. Council prompt used for several rounds…Pam Nichols

 

When we begin to develop a genuine appreciation of the value of compassion, our outlook on others begins automatically to change. . . Where love of one's neighbor, affection, kindness, and compassion live, we find that ethical conduct is automatic. Ethically wholesome actions arise naturally in the context of compassion.

www.dharmanet.org/coursesM/25/ethics9.htm

 

METTA PRAYER (Elizabeth) 

May I be peaceful

May I be well in body and mind

May I be free from suffering and filled with loving kindness

May my heart open in love for myself and all beings

 

May we be peaceful

May we be well in body and mind

May we be free from suffering and filled with loving kindness

May our hearts open in love for myself and all beings

 

May all beings be peaceful

May all beings be well in body and mind

May all beings be free from suffering and filled with loving kindness

May the hearts of all beings open in love.