January 2016

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at First Presbyterian  

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in January and February from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Our format for the first hour is two 20-minute periods of sitting in silence with a 10 minute walking meditation in between.  For the second hour, we are doing a contemplative listening book reading.  We are currently reading short sections from a book by Pema Chodron, The Pocket Pema Chodron.                                                            

January Retreat Day

Saturday January 30, 2016

9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Fellowship Hall

The Enneagram and Spiritual Growth

Helen Palmer relates that the seekers who went to visit the Desert Fathers in the 3rd Century always asked, “What stands between me and a closer relationship with God?” And the answer given was always, “Me” (the false self). The enneagram identifies 9 patterns of false self that trap humans in limited ways of being. The practice of meditation pairs well with the enneagram to help us become more aware of our false self in daily life. When we are more aware we are in a better position to relax our rigid beliefs, let them go, and become more open to God. This retreat will be based on Helen Palmer’s video, “Patterns of Being”. Helen is a worldwide enneagram teacher and author of The Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition.   In addition to our meditation sittings, we will watch an hour portion of her video teaching and guided meditation. Hope to see you there.

Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided.  A freewill offering will be available. 

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

Jan. 27, Feb. 3,10,17           The Neuroscience of Mindfulness and

Healing     10am – noon

ollie.csumb.edu/courses

February 11                          John Phillip Newell – The Rebirthing

of God         6 – 9 pm Saratoga, Ca.

February 27                          Silent Retreat Day          9 – 3pm

April 30                                 MMG Retreat Day           9 – 1pm

June 25                                  Silent Retreat Day         9 – 3pm

July 30                                   MMG Retreat Day           9 – 1pm

October 29                           Silent Retreat Day         9 – 3pm   

In closing, 

“The Lord bless you

and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you

and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

 

 

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November/ December 2015

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at First Presbyterian

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in November (except Thanksgiving Day) and December (except Dec. 24) from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Our format for the first hour is two 20-minute periods of sitting in silence with a 10 minute walking meditation in between. For the second hour, we are doing a contemplative listening book reading. We are currently reading short sections from a book by Pema Chodron, The Pocket Pema Chodron.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer
Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

December 17 Cookie party after meditation

January 30, 2016 MMG Retreat Day 9 am – 1 pm

February 11, 2016 John Phillip Newell – The Rebirthing
of God 6 – 9 pm Saratoga, Ca.

In closing,

Breathe in God, Breathe out Love

Father Thomas Keating

From “A Rising Tide of Silence” documentary

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October 2015

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at First Presbyterian  

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in October and November (except Thanksgiving Day) from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Our format for the first hour is two 20-minute periods of sitting in silence with a 10 minute walking meditation in between.  For the second hour, we are doing a contemplative listening book reading.  We are currently reading short sections from a book by Pema Chodron, The Pocket Pema Chodron.                                                              

October Retreat Day 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

9:00 am -1:00 pm

In the Fellowship Hall

A Rising Tide of Silence

“A Rising Tide of Silence” is a reflective portrait of Father Thomas Keating, the spiritual teacher who introduced the method of Centering Prayer to the Christian community. There are many participants of Monterey Meditation Group who practice Centering Prayer. Some have even been on retreat at Snowmass, Colorado and have met Thomas Keating. This month we will be watching a new video documentary, “A Rising Tide of Silence”, produced by Father Keating’s nephew. The video incudes historical footage, biographical documentation, interviews and conversations with Father Keating himself. Please join us for a time of meditation and the chance to view the first half of the new documentary on Thomas Keating’s life.   Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided.  A freewill offering will be available.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

In closing,

Prayer Before an Empty Tree

Jesus

You move through each season

with your magic wand

One by one

you have taken my leaves from me

I am the story of your emptiness

You have told me well.

 

The part of me that feels stripped

cries out to you,

“How can I give shade

with so much gone?”

 

Again I feel your magic wand

You speak to me of an inner shade

whose name is peace

the gift that comes from letting go.

Your story continues to be told in me.

Your story continues to unfold in me.

And suddenly,

when I look again

I realize that

what you have taken from me

has only made me free

to see.

I am your story of glory!

 

Macrina Wiederkehr

 

 

 

 

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June 2015

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at First Presbyterian  

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in June and July from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Our format for the first hour is two 20-minute periods of sitting in silence with a 10 minute walking meditation in between.  For the second hour, we are doing a contemplative listening book reading.  We are currently reading short sections from a book by Pema Chodron, The Pocket Pema Chodron.                                                            

June Retreat Day 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

9:00 am -3:00 pm

In the Fellowship Hall

Silent Retreat

Rev. Hei will lead our retreat day with a focus on Zen meditation.  We will have an hour and a half meditation in the morning, a reading from the Heart Sutra, time for lunch in silence, Tai Chi, and conclude with another hour and a half time of meditation.  Come join us as we learn from Zen practice how to deepen our silence and bring more love and peace into the world.  Please bring a sack lunch.  Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided.  A freewill offering will be available. 

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

Summary of May’s Retreat Day

Susan Raab led our retreat day presentation on the topic of forgiveness. Susan walked us through the three phases of forgiveness, talked about why we need to forgive, and introduced us to a worksheet tool to help us identify the “unenforceable rules” (high expectations) we place on ourselves and others that set us up to experience the deep pain of betrayal, abandonment and rejection. We looked at specific issues in our own lives and were able to see a little more clearly the part we play in holding forgiveness at bay. This also led to a lightness in the group and we shared a lot of laughter around our common humanness.

In summary, the three phases of forgiveness are: 1. Hurt and suffering, 2. Our response to the hurt and 3. The healing phase.

The hurt is caused by the disparity we experience between our attachment to the way we want things to be (our expectations or unenforceable rules) and the way things actually are (reality). Our response to the hurtful experience can range from holding on to our expectations (in which we retell the story with its accompanying emotions over and over) to the gift of seeing things as they actually are and letting the hurt go. How do we know we have healed from our hurt and have forgiven another? When we are able to wish the other well. When we are able to be with or think of the other without retelling our grievance story and restarting our emotional reaction. In my life, I have found that this stage may take time. Sometimes I don’t want to wish the other well, sometimes I’m not able to let go of the story until I have worked through all of the emotion, and sometimes I have to wait for other areas of healing and growth in my own life to happen first. It all requires deep compassion for self and openness to divine help. As the saying goes “To err is human, to forgive is divine”. We can’t offer forgiveness without divine help.

In closing,

Notes From A Deep Conversation

Without thinking or feeling some emotion, there is just awareness.

There is then no desire for bliss, enlightenment, or to teach others. Things are just as they are. In that so-called emptiness, enjoyment arises of itself. As soon as we try to enjoy, the enjoyment ceases. Somehow at the bottom of emptiness (openness, pure awareness), there is enjoyment, fullness, presence and peace.

Bring the same emptiness and freedom to each moment and its content. Then you will be happy even in the midst of suffering. Accept everything and everyone just as they are, where they are, and try to act as lovingly as possible in every situation. Be ready to be led you know not where or when. Hush the discriminating mind dividing things into good or evil for me.

Fear draws us to the center we have created, the ego self. Love expands from our real center, the true self.

Father Thomas Keating

Contemplative Outreach News

June 2014

 

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May 2015

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at First Presbyterian  

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in May and June from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Our format for the first hour is two 20-minute periods of sitting in silence with a 10 minute walking meditation in between.  For the second hour, we are doing a contemplative listening book reading.  We are currently reading short sections from a book by Pema Chodron, The Pocket Pema Chodron.

Tuesday evenings at Hei’s house

Hei has opened his house to those who would like to join him for meditation from 6:00pm – 6:30pm on Tuesdays.  It is one half hour of sitting meditation.    Please call him at 899-4845 for directions and to let him know that you are coming so he can prepare a place for you.                                                            

May Retreat Day 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

9:00 am -1:00 pm

In the Fellowship Hall

Forgiveness

In the Lord’s Prayer, we regularly promise to forgive others, but how does the miracle of heartfelt forgiveness occur? What must we do to bring it about? On Saturday March 23, Monterey Meditation Group will host a retreat on forgiveness in Fellowship Hall from 9 AM to 1 PM. The agenda includes two periods of silent prayer and a much-requested hands-on forgiveness exercise.  Please bring pen and paper for journaling.

Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided.  A freewill offering will be available.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

June 27                               MMG Retreat Day/ Silent Retreat

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

In closing,

A Community of the Spirit

There is a community of the spirit.

Join it, and feel the delight

of walking in the noisy street,

and being the noise.

Drink all your passion,

and be a disgrace.

Close both eyes

to see with the other eye.

Open your hands,

if you want to be held.

Sit down in this circle.

Quit acting like a wolf, and feel

the shepherd’s love filling you.

At night, your beloved wanders.

Don’t accept consolations.

Close your mouth against food.

Taste the lover’s mouth in yours.

You moan, “She left me.” “He left me.”

Twenty more will come.

Be empty of worrying.

Think of who created thought!

Why do you stay in prison

when the door is so wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.

Live in silence.

Flow down and down in always

widening rings of being.

Rumi

 

Rumi

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March/ April 2015

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at First Presbyterian

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in March and April from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall. (except Maundy Thursday, April 2) Our format for the first hour is two 20-minute periods of sitting in silence with a 10 minute walking meditation in between.  For the second hour, we are doing a contemplative listening book reading.  We are currently reading short sections from a book by Pema Chodron, The Pocket Pema Chodron.

Tuesday evenings at Hei’s house

Hei has opened his house to those who would like to join him for meditation from 6:00pm – 6:30pm on Tuesdays.  It is one half hour of sitting meditation.    Please call him at 899-4845 for directions and to let him know that you are coming so he can prepare a place for you.                                                               

March Retreat Day 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

9:00 am -1:00 pm

In the Fellowship Hall

Sacred Poetry

Poetry in all its beauty and truth has the potential to open our hearts to the mysteries of life and the wondrous workings of the Spirit in our lives. It can deepen our appreciation of the simple but profound truths that are found in our experience.  We can soar with the poets who fling themselves into heart of things.  Join us as we meditate together and recite and share poems of gratitude, prayer, longing, and the timeless search for wisdom.

Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided.  A freewill offering will be available.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

No Retreat Day in April

May 23                                 MMG Retreat Day/ Forgiveness

9:00 am – 1:00 pm

June 27                               MMG Retreat Day/ Silent Retreat

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

In closing,

My Lord

Why do I storm heaven

for answers

that are already in my heart?

Every grace I need

to love folks well

has been given me

needing only my response

my willingness to let your grace

grow up in me. 

Jesus,

Lead me to the grace-filled shores

of myself rooted in you

for it is there you have made your home.

Wash these wayward feet of mine

Water the seeds you have planted.

O Lead me to the beyond within. 

Macrina Wiederkehr

 

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February 2015

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at First Presbyterian  

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in February and March from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Our format for the first hour is two 20-minute periods of sitting in silence with a 10 minute walking meditation in between.  For the second hour, we are doing a contemplative listening book reading.  The book was recommended to us by Ruben Habito and is titled Selfless Love:  Beyond the Boundaries of Self and Others  by Ellen Birx.   Ellen shows how meditation can help us realize that we don’t love — we are love.  She draws from the Zen tradition, her experience as a mental health therapist, and the Gospels.  We will read a short portion of the book together out loud, sit with it in silence, and then share with each other.  You do not need to read the book ahead of time or even buy the book if you don’t want to.  You can just listen.

Tuesday evenings at Hei’s house

Hei has opened his house to those who would like to join him for meditation from 6:00pm – 6:30pm on Tuesdays.  It is one half hour of sitting meditation.    Please call him at 899-4845 for directions and to let him know that you are coming so he can prepare a place for you.                                                              

February Retreat Day 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

9:00 am -3:00 pm

In the Fellowship Hall

Silent Retreat

Joseph and Hei will lead our retreat day with a focus on Zen meditation.  We will have an hour and a half meditation in the morning, a reading from Jack Kornfield, time for lunch in silence, Tai Chi, and conclude with another hour and a half time of meditation.  Come join us as we learn from Zen practice how to deepen our silence and bring more love and peace into the world.  Please bring a sack lunch.  Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided.  A freewill offering will be available. 

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

March 28                             MMG Retreat Day/ Sacred Poetry

9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Summary of January’s Retreat Day

January’s retreat day featured the fourth book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Susan Raab shared with us her passion for the Christian symbolism embedded in the literary text. She also treated us to Butter Beer and chocolate frogs. What a day! What fun!

We shared lively discussion around the theme of the book, “Am I worthy of destiny?” or “Do I believe in myself?”. We followed Harry’s trials and tribulations in the book and watched him transform from a spectator to a participant of life. We saw opportunities and forks in the road appear which caused Harry to “Choose wisely” and see the consequences of his actions. These literary “trials by fire” helped us look at our own times of difficulty and reflect on ways that these hard times helped us to grow and transform. We watched Harry in his struggle to believe in himself and could relate. We were reminded, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called”.

In closing,

Words from a young Christian women who was called to do

volunteer work in Syria — was kidnapped — and

killed by terrorists:

“I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine.

If this is how You are revealed to me, this is how

             I will forever seek You”

 

Kayla Mueller, 2011

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