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May 31 - Jun 6: e-CommunitarianMinisterREMusicOtherCUUC Shrine of Vows

2020-04-17

From the Minister, Sun Apr 19

Having spent half a year at a place called "Great Vow Zen Monastery," I have the chance to reflect about the vows in our life. We don't often think in terms of "vow." Except when it comes to marriage vows, we're more apt to invoke related concepts -- "promise," or "commitment," say. A vow, though, is more like a mission. Most of us are used to mission statements for institutions -- companies, congregations, and nonprofit organizations, etc. But have you made a mission statement for your life? That's the sort of "vow" that I'm talking about.

Spiritual growth involves, among other things, an increasing facility at letting go of the illusion of control -- i.e., an increased appreciation of grace (the wonder, beauty, and abundance that cannot be earned or deserved), decreased worry and anxiety from trying to control outcomes, decreased attachment to the ego's story about "accomplishments" and "failures," a decreased interest in blaming self or others.

While control is an illusion, there is yet a role for intention, for orienting ourselves on purpose in a specified direction. (The meditation experience illustrates this. You can't make your monkey mind stop jumping onto thought trains, but you are oriented toward an intention that it be still and somehow, over time, this makes a difference. The difference it makes is unsteady, unpredictable, often tenuous and temporary, and generally unclear and inarticulable -- yet important.) This orientation might or might not produce the results you had in mind, but it imbues life with meaning.

Jan Chozen Bays, co-abbot and co-founder of Great Vow Zen Monastery writes:
"If we formulate vows, and if we ask for help in carrying out those vows, we will channel and amplify our individual life energy so that it becomes more likely to accomplish lasting good. You cannot discover your vows by thinking. Your vow lies within you. It was born into the world as you were born."
So what is your great vow?

Yours in faith,
Meredith

The Liberal Pulpit

The Apr 12 service -- "Traditions of Liberation" -- is now available.
The text is HERE, and the video is HERE (and below)



Find videos of many past services at our Youtube channel: HERE

Sunday Afternoon Adult Religious Education
Sundays, 4:00 - 5:15, in zoom room ending 7899.
Click here:
https://www.zoom.us/j/2898507899

Or telephone: 646-876-9923, and use meeting ID: 289 850 7899

Apr 19: Exploring the Practice of the Week, "EveryDay Sacred". Read the post about this practice HERE.

This Year's UUA Common Read
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States and the adaptation for young people.
Get ready for our upcoming Zoom class: Four sessions, led by Rev. Meredith Garmon and Jeff Tomlinson
May 3, 10, 17, and 24 -- 4:00-5:15.
Order your copy from uuabookstore.org (or any major online bookseller), and start reading now!

More info about the UUA Common Read at uua.org/read


Practice of the Week: Don't Be So Predictable. We should all stop becoming professional selves and become amateur selves -- doing what we do for the love of it. Imagine being yourself for the love of discovering every day who you are in relation to others: loving them, and yourself in the process of loving them. We are all a bit too professional about our lives and our relationships. READ MORE

Moment of Zen: The Moral Basis Porcupine came by for another special meeting with Raven and asked, "Does Zen have a moral basis?" Raven said, "None whatsoever." Porcupine exclaimed, "Empty! Empty!" Raven said, "That's not what Magpie would say." Porcupine bowed down and touched his face to the ground. Raven asked, "Why do you bow?" Porcupine said, "Magpie is bowing." Raven put her beak to his ear and said, "See me after the talk tonight."READ MORE

Zen at CUUC News

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