Minister's Post, Fri Dec 10

Dear Ones,

Here's a perspective I wanted to share with you, from Norman Fischer (whose "Training in Compassion" we have been looking at for the weekly Spiritual Practice segment). Fischer says:
"Our whole life and all parts of it, every moment of it, and all of existence is nothing but compassion and love. We don’t need to produce compassion. We already are compassion."
To be compassion -- what does that mean to you?

Yours in the faith we share,

Join a Journey Group: http://cucwp.org/journey-groups

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

The Dec 5 worship service, "Not Such a Bad Species":

You can read the text HERE.

Covid Review

The Worldwide numbers are not reliable, and likely are greatly underestimating the actual prevalence of Covid-19. These numbers may nevertheless give us an indication of trends.

New Cases
Average New Cases per Day, worldwide:
Peak week (Apr 23-29): 828,613
Lowest since peak (Jun 15-21): 361,003
Highest since the June low (Aug 24-30): 660,604
Two weeks ago (Nov 19-25): 565,451
Last week (Nov 26-Dec 2): 587,739
This week (Dec 3-9): 617,996*
*Since Oct 17, new cases per day have increased 53% (an average increase of 0.8% per day for 53 days).

Average New Cases per Day, US:
Peak week (Jan 5-11): 256,107
Lowest since peak: (Jun 15-21): 11,981
Highest since the June low (Aug 27 - Sep 2): 167,598
Two weeks ago (Nov 19-25): 92,425
Last week (Nov 26-Dec 2): 95,722
This week (Dec 3-9): 117,787*
*Since Nov 3, new cases per day have increased 65% (an average increase of 1.4% per day for 36 days).

Average New Cases per Day, Westchester County, NY:
Highest week of 2020 (Mar 23-29): 949
Lowest week, post-peak, of 2020 (Aug 19-25): 29
Highest week of 2021 (Jan 6-12): 861
Lowest week of 2021 (Jun 17-23): 11
Two weeks ago (Nov 19-25): 159
Last week (Nov 26-Dec 2): 199
This week (Dec 3-9): 335*
*New cases per day (as a moving 7-day average) are now more than 5 times what they were on Oct 24 (an average increase of 3.6% per day for 46 days).

Average Deaths per Day, worldwide:
Peak week (Jan 21-27): 14,818
Lowest since peak (Jun 29 - Jul 5): 7,694
Highest since the July low (Aug 19-25): 10,313
Two weeks ago (Nov 19-25): 7,167
Last week (Nov 26-Dec 2): 7,120
This week (Dec 3-9): 7,166*
*For the last 65 days (Oct 5 - Dec 9), deaths have fluctuated between 6,662 and 7,293 per day.

Average Deaths per Day, US:
Peak week (Jan 10-16): 3,553
Lowest since peak (Jun 30 - Jul 6): 244
Highest since the July low (Sep 17-23): 2,008
Two weeks ago (Nov 19-25): 1,045
Last week (Nov 26-Dec 2): 1,002
This week (Dec 3-9): 1,201*
*Since Nov 17, deaths per day have increased 16% (an average increase of 0.7% per day for 22 days)

TOTAL Deaths per WEEK, Westchester County, NY:
Highest week of 2020 (Apr 9-15): 365
Lowest week, post-peak, of 2020 (Sep 27 - Oct 3): 0
Highest week of 2021 (Jan 28 - Feb 3): 74
Lowest weeks of 2021 (Jun 16-22; Jun 28-Jul 14; Jul 18-27, Oct 6-19, and Nov 15-27): 0
Highest since May 22 (Sep 10-16): 9
Two weeks ago (Nov 19-25): 0
Last week (Nov 26-Dec 2): 2
This week (Dec 3-9): 3
While the climb in new cases may be alarming, the death rate is growing much more slowly. Winter is coming: be careful out there!

Practice of the Week

Training in Compassion #3: Examine the Nature of Awareness

If everything is just a passing memory and, as in a dream, you can't really grasp anything, you have to wonder: Who is aware of this? Who is the dreamer? Who is hearing these words? We know the answer to these questions: "Me! I'm hearing the words!” Nothing could be more obvious than this. But have you really examined it?

When you have a moment, try this experiment: find your “self” – the “me” who hears and sees and feels. Find a definite, concrete, identifiable somebody there within your awareness. I think you will find this is not so easy to do. You can find plenty of thoughts and emotions, sensations, opinions, sense experiences, but it's difficult to find an “I.”

Imagine that suddenly, for no reason, your mind were to become very quiet and there was only a feeling of presence, and there is nobody complaining and there are no stories going on in your mind. There is only awareness. You may well have had such an experience – in a moment of spontaneous repose. If you should experience a moment like this, it will become instantly clear to you that awareness is something extremely mysterious and that we really don't know where it comes from or what it is at all. Examine the nature of awareness and see for yourself. See the full post: "Examine the Nature of Awareness."


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