From the Minister, Thu Nov 2

From the Minister

Mindfulness! Derived from the Buddhist concept sati, mindfulness has become all the rage. Some of this "rage" is meaningless -- yet there's something important here, too.

Our "themes of the month" are generally "slow transformers." That is, regular reflection on and investigation of the meaning of death, faith, forgiveness, evil, grace, freedom, etc. will slowly transform your life. You'll become a wiser spirit helping others become wiser spirits. Mindfulness is a bit different. It can transform your life instantaneously.

Still, if it doesn't develop into a habit of real presence, it all slides away again. And cultivating the habit takes us back to a slow transformation after all. Even so, there are some delightful and quick revelations that come when we truly pay attention to our life just as it is, free of judgment, right here and right now.

The November issue of On the Journey explores Mindfulness. Get it at CUUC or HERE.

Yours in the faith we share,

Let's Chat

On Tuesdays, 3-5pm, I'm going to be at an area coffee shop for anyone who might find that a convenient way to get together with their minister.
  • November: Barnes & Noble Cafe, City Center, 230 Main St, White Plains
  • December: Starbucks in Vernon Hills Shopping Center, 684 White Plains Rd, Scarsdale
Drop by if you can! You can also make an appointment to see me at CUUC, or invite me to visit your home. Call Pam at the church office (914-946-1660) to schedule either.

This Week on The Liberal Pulpit

This week there's part 1 of 2 of "Environmental Racism" -- modified from remarks prepared for the Mt. Kisco congregation, where I was visiting on Sun Oct 22.

Racism and the Environment

List of, and links to, past sermons: HERE.
List of, and links to, other reflections: HERE.

Practice of the Week

Unitask. In our busy lives, how often do we find ourselves doing more than one thing at a time? Many days, it seems that multi-tasking is an ingrained part of life. For ONE WEEK stop multi-tasking. Sounds simple, right? Try it and see how it feels. You may find you want to do this all the time -- not just occasionally. For example, work on the computer without the TV or radio on, or drive the car without listening to the radio or a CD. Exercise or eat in silence. When you fold the laundry, only fold the laundry, without also talking on the phone or watching TV. READ MORE

Your Moment of Zen

Buddha. What is the holy that cannot be spoken? Hint: Any answer that involves words isn't it. Wittgenstein said, in the final line of his cryptic Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: "Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent." But perhaps silence is not the only alternative to speaking? Or, what if speaking IS silence? I should have shut up after the first question. If not sooner.

Aitken's Case (Zen Master Raven)
The next evening Woodpecker spoke up and said, "I'd like to follow up on Buddhist terms. Let's start with the basic one. What is Buddha?"
Raven said, "I won't say."
"Oh, come on!" Woodpecker exclaimed.
Raven let out a croak and flew into the Assembly Oak.
Hotetsu's Verse
The most basic most eludes definition.
Would you constrain the stream of love poems?
Or otherwise delimit the limitless?
When a single leaf is clear,
what the master is talking about
doesn't much need to be.
Previous Moment of Zen
Saturday Zen Practice at CUUC: HERE

Other News for Sun Nov 5
RE News
Music News
From Ministerial Intern
This Week's e-Communitarian

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