Minister's Post, Fri Jan 21

Dear Ones,

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was this week. Today let me bring to your attention this passage from a sermon King gave at Ebenezer Baptist Church on 1968 Feb 2 -- just 3 months before his assassination:
“There is, deep down within all of us, an instinct. It’s a kind of drum major instinct -- a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs a whole gamut of life.... We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. Alfred Adler, the great psychoanalyst, contends that this is the dominant impulse...this desire for attention.... Now in adult life, we still have it, and we really never get by it. We like to do something good. And you know, we like to be praised for it.... But there comes a time when the drum major instinct can become destructive. And that’s where I want to move now.... Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. Nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. I must be first. I must be supreme. Our nation must rule the world...but let me rush on to my conclusion.... Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That’s what I want you to do.”
We are here for each other. Nothing else. The more mindful we are that we are all on this earth for each other's sake, the more we realize the beloved community.

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, "Celebrating bell hooks":


Training in Compassion #8: Turn Things Around -- Or: Three Objects, Three Poisons, Three Seeds of Virtue.

From Norman Fischer’s Training in Compassion, training #8 is: Turn things around – also known as: Three objects, three poisons, three seeds of virtue. Three kinds of objects are: the kind to which we’re attracted, to which we’re averse, and to which we’re neutral. That is: things we like, things we don’t like, and things not particularly either way.

The three objects lead to the three poisons. Attraction can lead to greed. Aversion can lead to hatred or anger. Neutrality can lead to numbness or neglect or confusion or dissociation. Greed, hatred, confusion are all about how miserable you are because you don’t have enough of what you greedily want, or you have way to much of what you hate, or you’re numb -- confused, dead inside. Miserable.

To turn things around, turn your attention to the fact of what you’re feeling. Feeling greedy for something? Go into that and completely feel the greed. Feeling angry, hateful aversion? Go into that and completely feel it.

Let go of your story about what you deserve or don’t deserve, let go of the story that justifies what you’re feeling, and just feel the feeling totally. Now a seed of compassion begins to grow because what you’re feeling is a universal human feeling. All around you are other people gripped by their own version of what you’re feeling. The reactive energy that was making you miserable now radiates out as connecting compassion. Now the three poisons are turned around into the three seeds of virtue.

For more on this training in compassion, see the full post: "Turn Things Around."


Here it is, your MOMENT OF ZEN

Back in #1, when Raven herself was first looking for a teacher, she visited Jackrabbit and asked what happened when Buddha Macaw looked up from the branch of her Jobo tree, saw the morning star, and announced her realization. Jackrabbit replied, "She realized the truth of mutually dependent arising." Raven did not find this helpful, and went visiting other teachers: Prairie Dog, then Moose, before settling down with Brown Bear.

It's not that Raven doesn't recognize that when one thing arises, everything that is thereby arises.

Owl spoke up one evening during the question period and said, "It is clear to me that you don't think much of 'mutually dependent arising' in connection with the morning star case. Is it a questionable notion to begin with?
Raven said, "When you hoot, the whole forest hoots."
"Mole doesn't hoot," said Owl.
"I duck," said Mole.
"There you go!" said Raven.
"All for each, and each for all."

When a boy I thrilled
To D'Artagnan's exploits with his friends,
inspired by their loyalty,
I quite missed
That the referents of "all" and "each"

Storming the gates of the senses,
nothing but musketeers.
Nothing but one musketeer.
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

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