From the Minister, Fri Sep 6

Dear Ones,

How has your summer been, so far? What sort of “waters” represented your experiences of July and August? Were they:
  • still waters of rest and renewal?
  • shining waters of joy and happiness?
  • storm waters of grief and loss?
  • rushing waters of transition and change?
Like the sun needing a place to shine, and the world needing to be so warmed, we need one another. Like the wind needing a place to blow, and the earth needing to feel the air’s breath, we need one another. Like the rain needing a place to fall, and the land needing to be quenched by moisture, we need one another. Like the ocean needing a shoreline, and the coast needing to be touched by the rhythm of the water, we need one another.

We gather each week for this reason: to give and receive what we have and what we need.
We gather each week for this reason: to say to each other that like all that is living, we need one another. We give thanks for the blessings of this community of faith; we give thanks that once again we have come together.

Yours in faith,

The Liberal Pulpit

If you missed the Aug 18 service, here's the video:

And here's video of the Aug 25 service:

Find many other videos of past services at our Youtube Channel: HERE

Practice of the Week: Abandon Hope /While hopefulness is preferable to despair or apathy, there's a downside to hope. Hope turns easily to discouragement when the anticipated results don’t seem to arrive. In this sense, hope is limiting and unhelpful. It really is impossible to say for certain whether or not we have improved, so it is better not to frustrate ourselves with such useless questions. Instead, abandon hope and keep going with the training in the faith that it is worthwhile for its own sake. Neither look for improvement nor imagine there is no improvement. Neither celebrate improvement if you think you detect it nor suppose you are getting worse. READ MORE.
Your Moment of Zen: Mara the Founder /In Buddhism, Mara is the demon who appeared to Siddhartha Gautama after his awakening and tried to tempt him to keep his enlightenment entirely to himself. Mara is "the personification of the forces antagonistic to enlightenment" (Nyanaponika Thera). As Raven recognizes, the forces antagonistic to enlightenment -- and thus also antagonistic to practice -- are also necessary for practice/enlightenment.

Our guides on the great way include the passions and delusions, blowing smoke from their ears, as well as our calm insight.

Black Bear appeared one evening and said, "Tell me about Mara. I understand that he is the Great Destroyer."
Raven said, "The Great Founder."
Black Bear said, "That's what the Buddha Macaw is called."
Raven said, "Yes, but she never learned to blow smoke from her ears."
Psychotropic drugs
Utilize brain receptors
there for a reason.

Like that,
We are made to receive
our companions:
   ruby anger,
   ochre shame,
   blue-black fear,
   chartreuse envy,
   and all the rest.

Good medicine
In the right dose.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
Zen at CUUC News

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