CUUC

CUUC

2016-05-24

Music: Sun May 29


Memorial Day is recognized in Sunday’s musical selections with several of Unitarian composer Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces associated with remembrances and nostalgia, and two of American composer George Gershwin’s Preludes.
Prelude: Adam Kent, piano
Vanished Days, Op. 57, No. 1
Homesickness, Op. 62, No. 6
From Days of Youth, Op. 65, No. 1
                                                              Edvard Grieg

Opening Music:
Prelude No. 1
                                                            George Gershwin
Offertory:
Arietta, Op. 12, No. 1
Remembrances, Op. 71, No. 7
                                                            Grieg
Interlude:
Prelude No. 2
                                                            Gershwin

2016-05-11

Music: Sun May 15


The Search for Truth and Meaning is embodied in the cutting-edge piano music of Cuban-born Tania Leon featured in Sunday morning’s Prelude. Leon’s music blends jazz and various indigenous idioms with an avant-garde harmonic language. Her work celebrate cultural diversity and artistic multiplicity. The Offertory also pays homage to Unitarian sources, with the work of Unitarian composer Edvard Grieg. The CUUC Choir is also on hand with selections associated with the monthly theme of Blessing. Read on for programming details.

Prelude: Adam Kent, piano
Prelude No. 2 “Pecera” (1966)
Tumbao (2006)
Momentum (1984)
                                                            Tania León (b. 1943)

Anthem: CUUC Choir directed by Lisa N. Meyer and accompanied by Georgianna Pappas
And Wherever You Go (A Choral Blessing) 
 Douglas E. Wagner

Offertory:
Homeward, Op. 62, No. 6
                                                            Edvard Grieg

Anthem:
Sing a Joyful Song                         
Cynthia Gray

2016-05-10

Identify Your Emotions

Practice of the Week
Identify Your Emotions

Like, every time. Emotions are constantly being triggered, many times a day. You can let them carry you away. You can be in denial that they are there. Try, instead, stopping and identifying what the emotion is. The spiritual benefits of this practice led the Dalai Lama and Paul Eckman to team up to create atlasofemotions.com.

CALMNESS. Emotions constantly arise when triggered and then recede. Calmness is not itself an emotion, but the capacity to evaluate, and understand each emotion as it occurs. Without a baseline calmness, your emotions are “in control” and may “run away with” you -- or they are suppressed, which means they're operating in the background, manifesting at times and in ways that can seem random and surprising. Practicing at identifying your emotions cultivates calmness for understanding and responding effectively to your emotions.

This is a practice of continual self-monitoring. Whenever an emotion comes up, identify it. Say its name, using the following scheme of five basic emotions -- each with a number of variations.

THE FIVE BASIC EMOTIONS

Sadness: We’re saddened by loss.
S1. Disappointment: A feeling that expectations are not being met
S2. Discouragement: A feeling that there is no way to cope
S3. Distraughtness: Agitated sadness
S4. Resignation: Acceptance that nothing can be done
S5. Helplessness: Realization of the inability to prevent or cope with loss
S6. Hopelessness: A feeling that nothing good is to come
S7. Misery: Anguished sadness, usually prolonged
S8. Despair: Resigned anguish
S9. Grief: Anguished sadness over the loss of a loved one
S10. Sorrow: Sadness over a loss.
S11. Anguish: Intense agitated sadness

Actions that may be driven by sadness:
Seek comfort: seek help or support from others. Generally enables collaboration.
Mourn: focus on the loss. May either enable or inhibit collaboration
Protest: complain about the loss, knowing the complaint will not recover what was lost. May either enable or inhibit collaboration.
Ruminate: repetitively think about the emotional experience. Generally inhibits collaboration.
Withdraw: physically or mentally leave the scene of what is triggering the sadness. Generally inhibits collaboration.

Anger: We’re angered by interference.
A1. Annoyance: Very mild anger.
A2. Frustration: Response to failure to overcome an obstacle despite repeated attempts.
A3.Exasperation: A loss of patience at repeated failures to settle a problem.
A4. Argumentativeness: An inclination to prolong disagreements.
A5. Bitterness: Disappointment that no one wanted to settle a problem.
A6. Vengefulness: A desire for retaliation.
A7. Fury: Intense anger.

Actions that may be driven by anger:
Dispute: Disagree in a manner that may escalate the dispute.
Be passive-aggressive: Take indirect actions that have an angry undercurrent.
Insult: Disparage the other person in an offensive or hurtful way that is likely to escalate the conflict rather than resolve it.
Quarrel: Verbally oppose in a manner intended to escalate the disagreement.
Scream/Yell: Lose control of how one speaks; yell = speak loudly; scream = yell + high pitch.
Simmer/Brood: Act in a way that makes clear that angry actions are building or being contemplated.
Suppress: Try to avoid feeling or acting upon the emotion that is being experienced.
Use physical force: Harm or constrain someone; an action that may be deliberately chosen or the result of loss of control over how one acts.
Undermine: Take action to make someone or something weaker or less effective, usually in a secret or gradual way.

Enjoyment: We enjoy what feels good.
E1. Sensory Pleasure: Enjoyment derived through one of the five physical senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell.
E2. Rejoicing. A warm, uplifting feeling that people experience when they see acts of human goodness, kindness, and compassion. Also called elevation.
E3. Compassion/Joy: Enjoyment felt when you act to relieve another person’s suffering.
E4. Amusement: Light playful feelings of enjoyment and good humor.
E5. Schadenfreude. Enjoyment of the misfortune of another person, usually a rival.
E6. Relief: When something expected to be unpleasant, especially the threat of harm, is avoided or comes to an end.
E7. Pride: A desire for others to know the pleasure you feel in your own accomplishments or the accomplishments of someone either you nurtured directly or with whom you identify.
E8. Fiero (Italian): The enjoyment felt when you have met a challenge that stretched your capabilities.
E9. Naches (Yiddish): Feelings of pride in the accomplishments, or sometimes just the existence, of your offspring or mentees. Crucial for motivating the nurture of infants and children.
E10. Wonder: An experience of something that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, or hard to believe.
E11. Excitement: Energy that unlike other enjoyable emotions is rarely felt slightly, but ranges from mid to high in intensity. May merge with any of the emotions generating a very active form of that emotion.
E12. Ecstasy: Rapturous delight. A state of very great happiness, nearly overwhelming.

Actions that may be driven by enjoyment:
Maintain: Continue to do what is necessary to continue the enjoyable feelings. Generally, enables collaboration.
Savor: Relish the experience of good feelings about physical and psychological experiences. Generally enables collaboration.
Indulge: Excessively engage in the enjoyable feelings. May enable or inhibit collaboration.

Fear: We’re afraid of danger.
F1. Trepidation: Anticipation of the possibility of danger.
F2. Nervousness: Uncertainty as to whether there is a danger.
F3. Anxiety: Inability to cope with an anticipated or actual threat.
F4. Dread: Anticipation of severe danger.
F5. Desperation: A response to the inability to reduce danger.
F6. Panic: A consequence of desperation.
F7. Horror: A mixture of fear and disgust.
F8. Terror: Maximum fear.

Actions that may be driven by fear:
Avoid: Physically stay, or internally keep one’s mind, away from what is triggering the fear.
Freeze: Become incapable of acting or speaking.
Hesitate: Hold back in doubt or indecision, often momentarily
Ruminate: Repetitively think about the emotional experience.
Scream/Yell: Lose control of how one speaks; yell = speak loudly; scream = yell + high pitch
Withdraw: Physically or mentally leave the scene of the threat
Worry: Anticipate the possibility of harm

Disgust: We’re disgusted by anything toxic.
D1. Dislike: The mildest form of disgust.
D2. Aversion: A desire to avoid something disgusting.
D3. Distaste: Response to a bad taste or smell; can also be metaphorical.
D4. Repugnance: Repulsion to something literally or figuratively toxic.
D5. Revulsion: Very intense disgust.
D6. Abhorrence: Extreme repulsion.
D7. Loathing: Intense disgust focused on a person.

Actions that may be driven by disgust:
Avoid: Physically stay, or internally keep one’s mind, away from what is triggering the disgust.
Dehumanize: Deprive someone of human qualities, personality, or spirit
Vomit: Expel contents of stomach through mouth
Withdraw: Physically or mentally leave the scene of what is triggering the disgust

Using the above list as your guide (print out the one-page PDF synopsis HERE), practice taking moments throughout the day to investigate and name what you are feeling right at that moment!

* * *
For list of all weekly practices: "Practices of the Week Index"

2016-05-04

Pause

Practice of the Week
Pause

Rick Hanson on Pausing:


Text below adapted from Rick Hanson, Just One Thing. [Order a copy for yourself: HERE.]

Doing therapy with a child who's learning better self-control, sometimes I'll ask if he or she would like to ride a bike with no brakes. The answer — even from the most spirited ones — is always no. They understand that no brakes mean either a boring ride or a crash; paradoxically, brakes let you go fast and have the most fun.

It's the same in life. Whether you're faced with criticism at work, a partner whose feelings are hurt, an internal urge to lash out verbally, or an opportunity for some gratification that will cost you later, you've got to be able to put on the brakes for a moment — to pause. Otherwise, you'll likely crash, one way or another.

Your brain works through a combination of excitation and inhibition: gas pedals and brakes. Only about 10 percent of its neurons are inhibitory, but without their vital influence, it's your brain that would crash. For example, individual neurons that are over-stimulated will die, and seizures involve runaway loops of excitation.

In daily life, pausing provides you with the gift of time. Time to let other people have their say without feeling interrupted. Time for you to find out what's really going on, calm down and get centered, sort out your priorities, and craft a good response. Time both to bring cool reason to hot feelings, and to enable wholeheartedness to soften hard-edged positions. Time for the "better angels of your nature" to take flight in your mind.

How

Let yourself not act. Sometimes we get so caught up in neverending doing that it becomes a habit. Make it okay with yourself to simply be from time to time.

A few times a day, stop for a few seconds and tune in to what's going on for you, especially beneath the surface. Use this pause to make space for your experience, like airing out a long-closed closet into a big room. Catch up with yourself.

Before beginning a routine activity, take a moment to become fully present. Try this with meals, starting the car, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or answering the phone.

After someone finishes speaking to you, take a little longer than usual before you reply. Let the weight of the other person's words — and more importantly, the person's underlying wants and feelings — really sink in. Notice how this pause affects you — and affects the other person's response to you.

If an interaction is delicate or heated, slow it down. You can do this on your own even if the other person keeps rat-a-tat-tatting away. Without being deliberately annoying, you could allow a few seconds more silence (or even longer) before you respond, or speak in a more measured way.

If need be, pause the interaction altogether by suggesting you talk later, calling time out, or (last resort) telling the other person you're done for now and hanging up the phone. In most relationships, you do not need the permission of the other person to end an interaction! Of course, pausing a conversation (which may have become an argument) midstream is more likely to go well if you also propose another, realistic time to resume.

Before doing something that could be problematic — like getting high, putting a big purchase on a credit card, firing off an irritated e-mail, or talking about person A to person B — stop and forecast the consequences. Try to imagine them in living color: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then make your choice.

Last, for a minute or more each day, pause globally. Just sit, as a body relaxed and breathing. Letting thoughts and feelings come and go as they will, not chasing after them. Nowhere you need to go, nothing you need to do, no one you need to be. Paused from doing, sinking into being.

* * *
For list of all weekly practices: "Practices of the Week Index"

2016-05-03

Music: Sun May 8


Jazz legend Valerie Capers and bassist John Robinson return to CUUC for a special Mother’s Day performance. Dr. Capers will also participate in a special Wonder Box talk with R.E. students. Don’t miss the Valerie Capers Trio at Music at CUUC’s annual Jazz Fest! concert on Sat. May 14 at 8pm. For more information about Valerie Capers’ extraordinary career and artistry, visit www.valeriecapers.com. Read on for programming details:

Prelude:  Valerie Capers and John Robinson
“It Could Happen to You” 
Jimmy Vanheusen

OPENING MUSIC: 
“Don’t Get  Around Much Any More” 
 Duke Ellington”

OFFERTORY:
“Isn’t She Lovely” 
Stevie Wonder

INTERLUDE: 
“In a Mellow Tone” 
Duke Ellington

POSTLUDE: 
 “One Note Samba” 
Antonio Carlos Jobim