“How does one become a butterfly?” Pooh asked pensively.
“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar,” Piglet replied.
~ A.A. Milne
Here are two suggestions for a transformative spiritual practice this month:
A Long Hard Look
Author Barbara Kingsolver is a master at celebrating the connection between perception, transformation and healing. She writes,
“In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again.”
- Take some time to identify a special “single glorious thing” that you have the opportunity to look at every day. Your daughter getting on the bus. The flower cart on your way to work. Your spouse brushing her hair or reading the morning paper. You will know it when you see it.
- For at least 5 days in a row, use your phone/camera to take a picture of that glorious thing.
- Make time to meditate on the collection of photos, either for a full hour of one day or 10 minutes for 3 days in a row. Pay attention to the differences and the similarities. Let the sameness and subtle differences enable you to see something new or appreciate it in a deeper way.
Learning Your Way
The connection between transformation and learning is deep. To talk of transformation as learning is to remember that newness is not just about effort but also about insight. To engage us in this connection between transformation and learning, this exercise asks us to notice the ways in which we are already deep into the work of transformative learning. Here are your instructions:
You don’t have to consider yourself a poet. One option is complete the sentence “I am learning…” and repeat 5-10 times completing the sentence differently each time.
After you’ve written your own poem, put it up somewhere where you will easily see it every day for a week or two. Find someone to share what it was like to identify the learning you are in the midst of and what it was like to be more aware of it each day. Or come to the drop in Chalice Circle on Sunday, April 16th at 11:45 a.m. in the Youth Room to share with others and hear what they have to say. Did identifying your learnings leave you proud? Surprised? Aware of something new? Did daily awareness advance your transformation? Change it?
Adult Religious Exploration
Although we no longer have Adult Religious Exploration (ARE) on Wednesday Nights, you can still come to TUUC every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.! Indivisible Tacoma is meeting here every week and the meetings are dynamic, empowering, and productive. Come check it out, if you haven’t yet, you’ll be glad you did!
Here are two ARE programs you won’t want to miss this month:
Science, Mysticism, and NonDuality Series
Third Saturdays beginning Saturday, April 15, 2017 from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Facilitated by Doug Taylor
Come together with curious intellects and attentive hearts to connect, meditate, explore, and discuss the journey of awakening, followed by a time for tea and snacks.
NonDual, Mystical, and Unitive Conscious experiences are all rooted in direct, personal, embodied knowing beyond words, beliefs, doctrines, and rigid traditions whether spontaneous or invoked. In this safe, co-created inter-spiritual group we will explore, experience direct practice, and share our “seeing,knowing and being” of essential essence common to all humanity that transcends divisive concepts and dualisms.
All members are welcome and encouraged to provide ideas and suggestions to enhance each and every participant’s group experience and well-being.
For this initial series held on third Saturdays of the month, we will use John Greer’s book on NonDuality, Seeing, Knowing, Being as a common reference for our discussions. The introduction and first chapter, “Duality,” can be read for no cost on Amazon.
Remember that Tahoma UU Congregation now benefits from Amazon Smile — with your help! For every purchase you make at at Smile.Amazon.com, Tahoma UU will receive 5 cents for every $10 spent. All products available at Amazon are available through Smile.Amazon.com. To sign up go to Smile.Amazon.com, sign in, then scroll the list of charities and choose “Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation.” Every time you want to shop at Amazon, just click on “Amazon Smile” and you will be ready to shop with a portion of your total donated to our Tahoma UU Congregation.
“Most people give little thought to the reasons why they see the world as they do.”
“It is our way of seeing the world that has caused our suffering, not the world itself.”
“Mystical practices, in contrast to faiths codified in written creeds, are based on direct, unmediated experience: knowing by being rather than by thinking and believing.”
“The mystical adventure is all in the seeing.” —- Seeing, Knowing, Being by John Greer
Meaningful Movies at Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Friday, April 28, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
This film deals with several examples of the overarching theme of the Anthropocene Extinction, in that the spread of Homo sapiens has caused the greatest mass extinction since the KT event 66 million years ago, including global warming and poaching, and the efforts of scientists, photographers and volunteers to protect endangered species. The film implicates overpopulation, globalization, and animal agriculture as leading causes of extinction.
Anthropogenic global warming from greenhouse gas emissions is identified as a leading cause of extinction, as organisms cannot adapt to unprecedented changes in not only temperature, but weather, ocean chemistry, and atmospheric composition. The film focuses on the amount of methane produced by livestock, particularly cattle, and trapped methane escaping from frozen reservoirs in the Arctic, the latter drawing parallels to the runaway greenhouse effect that may have caused the Permian mass extinction that wiped out 95% of species. Carbon dioxide and methane emissions from transportation, animals and factories are made visible to the human eye for the first time with a specially designed high definition FLIR (forward looking infra red) camera, with a special color filter. Ocean acidification and the subsequent degradation of corals and other calcium carbonate-based marine organisms are revealed with lab experiments and comparisons of archived photographs to the state of the same reefs in the 2010s. The degradation of marine ecosystems and the implications of coastal habitations are highlighted.
Racing Extinction Trailer: https://vimeo.com/95903058
Racing Extinction website: http://racingextinction.com/
Racing Extinction Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/racingextinction
If you like the idea of having a monthly Meaningful Movies here at TUUC, please let me know at email@example.com. I am looking to put together a team of folks to plan and organize these movies each month.