Minister's Post, Fri Feb 3

Dear Ones:

When I first saw the Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell film, "Groundhog Day" in was 1993 and I was just a little more than half the age I am now. I hadn't started seminary -- hadn't begun Zen practice. I was a philosophy professor. Yet the film moved me. It elevated me, somehow. I remember that about a week after I'd seen it, I was speaking to a colleague and said that I'd been in a much better mood for days after seeing that film.

Every year now, on Feb 3, I wake up and take note of the fact that I am not re-living Feb 2 over and over. I made it through another Groundhog Day. I am not sure whether to feel relieved or disappointed -- but it feels somehow significant.

But what if it weren't I, but someone else who re-lives Feb 2 thousands of times? It would feel like the first and only time through the day for me. I might try, for their sake, to do something different and surprising, but whatever I might think was surprising this time was probably exactly what I would have thought surprising all the other times.

I wouldn't be able to surprise -- but the person re-living the day would. In fact, if it was their thousandth time to live that day, they'd likely be looking for a way to make it different. So I tell myself I might encounter some weirdness on Groundhog Day. What should I do? How should I respond? It seems to be the best course is to follow the principles of improv: go with it, build on the weirdness, don't do any correcting, but step into the reality being presented.

In fact, that's pretty good advice for any day.

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 29 service, "Mistakes and Miracles"

The Jan 22 service, "Participation":


It’s time again for our Ecospiritual practice for this month – brought to you by Community UU’s Environmental Practices Social Justice Team: "Face. Embrace. Transcend."

Evolution gave us some things our ancestors needed, but bring us to harm. Cravings for sugary and fatty foods served our ancestors well in the eons before the invention of donuts, but now they undermine our health and well-being. Aggression and fight-or-flight responses were helpful in our prehistoric past, but are not well suited for modern life.

Evolution also gave us these amazingly collaborative brains that build on each other to develop our fantastically intricate interconnected coordinated modern civilization. By recognizing all aspects of our nature, we can better manage those aspects with limited functionality for the modern world.

To create healthy communities, and to heal ourselves as individuals and as a society, we must face, embrace, and transcend: face up to the parts of our evolutionary legacy that don’t fit modern times; embrace and build upon the helpful aspects of our evolved nature, and transcend the aspects of our evolutionary heritage that limit our vision.

Ecospiritual practices for this month include, first, journal about a shadow of yours – how it might have been helpful in the past and what’s now problematic about it. Second, highlight your loving nature by putting together a collage of photos of the people who you’ve loved and have loved you the most deeply. Finally, sit quietly outside noticing what your senses detect, and then reflecting on what might be there that you can’t detect – greenhouse gases, radiation, air toxins.

For details on these, as well as group activities for your Ecospiritual group, see the full post: "Face, Embrace, Transcend."

Here it is, your...
#144: Bowing

"Humiliate," "humility," and "humble" all originate from the Latin humus, meaning Earth (hence, lowly, on the ground). "Human" (earthling, earthly being) also comes from humus

So it's worth remembering, that when Buddha was questioned on what authority he had to be teaching as he did, he responded by placing a pointing finger on the Earth.

Gray Wolf spoke up after zazen one evening and said, "Isn't it undignified to bow before the Buddha? I always feel rather humiliated."
Raven said, "Not enough."

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