Minister's Post, Fri Jan 13

Dear Ones:

An oft-quoted passage from Martin Luther King comes from his book, Strength to Love, and seems to have been originally said in a 1957 sermon:
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Sometimes when I speak of acceptance as a spiritual virtue, I meet with the objection that there are some wrongs, some injustices, that cannot be accepted.

It's important that we not confuse acceptance with complacency or quiescence. Nor does acceptance indicate approval. Acceptance is not complicity with evil.

First, acceptance means turning away from being in denial. To accept is to acknowledge that what is happening really is happening. Non-acceptance is likely to facilitate denial. If we are to create change, we must acknowledge the reality that is current.

Second, acceptance means refusing to hate. Whatever the injustice or oppression, let us not succumb to hate. Only love, as Martin Luther King said, can drive out the hate that fueling the injustice in the first place.

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 8 service, "Soul":

The Sat Dec 24 Christmas Eve Service:


Today’s Practice Pointer is adapted from “Just One Thing” by Clinical Psychologist Rick Hanson: Pay Attention to Blessing.

For our evolutionary ancestors, it was a lot more important to notice, react to, and remember what was dangerous. If they missed something good, there’d probably be another chance, but if they missed a danger, they could be killed. Thus, we developed brains with a built-in negativity bias.

In a relationship, it typically takes five good interactions to make up for a single bad one. People will work much harder to avoid losing $100 than they will work to gain $100. Painful experiences are much more memorable than pleasurable ones. At the end of the day, you're more likely to find yourself thinking about the one thing that went wrong than the fifty things that went right. Our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones – which helped our ancestors survive, but today mostly makes us miserable.

Fortunately, the natural negativity bias can be counteracted -- by paying attention to blessing. Don't just count your blessings. By focusing attention on them, the blessings in your life have a chance to change your brain -- re-orienting your feelings, expectations, and mood in a positive instead of negative direction. You'll still see the tough parts of life. In fact, you'll become more able to change them or bear them if you pay attention to blessing, since that will help put challenges in perspective, lift your energy and spirits, and highlight useful resources.

1. Look for blessings.
2. Let yourself enjoy the blessing.
3. Intend and sense that the blessing is sinking in to you.
4. At the end of the day, write the day’s blessings in your journal.

For details on how to do these, see the full post: "Pay Attention to Blessing."

Here it is, your...
#141: Risk

How can there be learning when what you already are is the truth? And if there is learning, how can there be a teacher when you can only learn from yourself? How can there be sangha?
We may fool ourselves that we are coping -- as if there were such a thing as not coping.

Porcupine came to consult with Raven and said, "I'm beginning to see the risks in being a teacher."
Raven said, "They're built in."
Porcupine asked, "How do you cope?"
Raven drew herself up and said, "Don't accuse me of coping!"

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