Minister's Post, Fri Jan 14

Dear Ones,

The spiritual teacher and writer Tara Brach notes:
We’re suffering because we forget our belonging to each other, and we also are cut off from our inner life. When fear is in high gear, we need a way to heal, and one of the ways is to remember goodness -- the love and the awareness that lives through ourselves and all beings. In our personal healing, it’s essential to see our goodness and to hold this life with care. As for healing in relationships, I think the greatest gift we give each other is that we become a mirror of goodness. When we see the goodness in others, we call it forward, so it feels like an essential part of healing our world.
She's not telling us to be good. She's asking us simply to notice the goodness in others. Then be "a mirror of goodness," reflecting back to others the goodness that you see in them.

It just might work. Why not give it a try?

Yours in the faith we share,

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

I.C.Y.M.I. (In Case You Missed It)

The Jan 9 worship service, "Renewal":


Training in Compassion #7: Send and Receive Compassion.

Compassion comes from “with” and “passion” in the sense of pain. It means "to feel pain with." It’s the willingness to feel pain with another, to feel another's pain as one's own. But it's impossible to take in the pain of another unless we are able to take in our own pain. And most of us are not so good at accepting our own pain. We prefer to deny it or distract ourselves from it. We can’t take in our own pain, so we can’t feel another’s pain, so we are incapable of actual compassion. It is impossible to be truly compassionate, to receive another’s pain, if you are unable to receive your own.

Real, full compassion requires training your heart to do what it usually does not want to do: to go toward, rather than away from, what's painful and difficult in your own life.

To send and receive compassion, start by breathing in the openness of mind that you can feel in the clarity and strength of the inhale. Then exhale, letting go completely and merging with openness of mind, so that there is nothing else present but that. Breathe in your own suffering. Let compassion ride on your breath. Gobble up all the suffering and the pain. You may well be squeamish about this, and it might be difficult at first, but with practice, you can do it.

For what to do next, and why, you’ll need to see the full post: "Send and Receive Compassion."


Here it is, your MOMENT OF ZEN

This is Gray Wolf's fourth appearance. She first appeared in #22 where she asked about karma. We didn't see her again until #59 where she remarked that the enlightenment of bushes and grasses didn't "seem so likely somehow." Then, in #75, she asked how to keep the vow to save the many beings.

Is not the goal of life more life? The goal of inquiry more inquiry? The goal of art more art? The goal of health more health?

When practice is one's whole life, what else could there be to want?

Gray Wolf made one her rare visits to the circle, and after a talk by Raven she remarked, "The goal of practice seems to be just more practice."
Raven bobbed her head. "Well?"
Gray Wolf hesitated, and then asked, "So there's no end to it?"
Raven hopped down from her perch to a little hummock beside Gray Wolf, put her beak to Gray Wolf's ear, and murmured, "Thank goodness."
No one thought, this will never end.
Still, no one thought, this will end
Often enough not to be surprised
When it did.

Then, amid the shock, another surprise:
Some this there is,
That doesn't end.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

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