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2019-05-24

From the Minister, Fri May 24

Last weekend I was yet again impressed with, and grateful to, this congregation I serve. It was exciting to behold the outpouring of energy and interest in meeting and getting to know Rev. Kimberley Debus, who will be the sabbatical minister while I'm away for six months from Oct 1 to Apr 1. CUUC is truly ready to engage with some new possibilities, and that's wonderful!

Rev. Debus will be bringing CUUC some new ideas and some different skill sets: she was herself a UU music director before going into ministry, so she brings a level of musical expertise that I lack to the collaboration with our music staff, and with her eye for aesthetics she will surely be a help to our members that are already at work on making the look and feel of our worship space more vibrant, enticing, welcoming, and conducive to spiritual experience. She has an Adult RE curriculum of five sessions that she created herself that I believe she will be offering while she's here.

There will be some changes. Perhaps some of them will instantly strike you as good ideas, and maybe you'll be rather dubious about others, but I trust you'll give every experiment a fair chance to win you over. Then when I get back, I'll be keen to know which changes you liked and that we should keep. I've encouraged Rev. Debus to be bold in deviating from "the way we've always done it." Upon my return, I look forward to having some adapting to do to "the new CUUC"!

Yours in faith,
Meredith

Practice of the Week: Thank Without Ceasing Then, as gratitude swelled in my heart, I would say "thank you” for whatever I was aware of. If I was driving somewhere I might say, “Thank you for my car, thank you for my iPhone, thank you for this beautiful music, thank you for this nicely paved road, thank you for the man that just cut me off, thank you for the anger that he stirred up in me, thank you for the opportunity to practice forgiveness." READ MORE


Your Moment of Zen: Realization and Equanimity As for equanimity, Raven demonstrates it.

As for realization and equanimity, which one is beaver and which is dam?

As for teaching, remember what Huangbo (755?-850) said: "I do not say that there is no Zen, but that there is no Zen teacher" (Blue Cliff Record 11, Book of Serenity 53).

Case
In a private meeting Woodpecker asked, "Is realization the same as equanimity?"
Raven said, "Don't confuse the beaver with the dam."
Woodpecker asked, "What's equanimity?"
Raven said, "I'm not a very good teacher."
Woodpecker said, "Oh, come on!"
Raven said, "It's okay."
Verse
Some of them, though, had a gardener.

Daffodils did not have teachers.
They did not study the craft
Of blossoming.
They were not taught to have six petals
And a corona,
Or drilled in color selection;
Took no classes in stem construction,
Received no instruction in photosynthesis.
From blithe stamen to untutored roots,
Throughout its growing, the daffodil was
An incorrigible truant.
No, no daffodil ever had a teacher.
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
Raven Index   ☙   Zen Practice at CUUC

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