June 2016

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. Join us for either or both hours.                                                            

June Retreat Day

Saturday June 25, 2016

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Fellowship Hall

Silent Retreat Day

The whole truth can be summed up in one verse from the Jewish/Christian scriptures, ‘I am that I am’. And the entire method for realizing this truth is found in another of those scriptures, ‘Be still and know that I am God’.”

Sri Ramana Maharshi

Join us for a day of silence that will include sitting and walking meditation, chanting, and listening to a reading from the wisdom literature (I am that I am by Francis Bennett). We will have three periods of meditation both in the morning and afternoon. We will begin sitting at 9 AM, so plan on arriving a little early to settle in.

Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided.  Please bring a sack lunch. A freewill offering will be available.

For further information call Janet Hoffman at 484-1686 or E-mail hoffmanjms@gmail.com.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                           Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center Tue/Thur at 10:30 am

Mondays 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

July 30                               Poetry Retreat Day        9 – 1pm

October 22                       Silent Retreat Day         9 – 3pm

Tai Chi with Rev. Hei

In closing, 

Amma Syncletica said: “In the beginning, there is struggle and a lot of work for those who come near to God. But after that, there is indescribable joy. It is just like building a fire: at first it’s smoky and your eyes water, but later you get the desired result. Thus we ought to light the divine fire in ourselves with tears and effort.

Monastic wisdom from 4th century desert fathers and mothers

 

 

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April/ May 2016

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at First Presbyterian  

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in April and May 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.                                                         

April Retreat Day

Saturday April 30, 2016

9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Fellowship Hall

Death Makes Life Possible 

Death is something that most people fear and don’t want to think about. But is it possible that facing our mortality can inspire us to live our lives more fully?

This month we have a guest presenter, Delana Schneider, who will lead our conversation and show the film “Death Makes Life Possible”. The film follows cultural anthropologist and scientist Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., as she explores the mysteries of life and death from a variety of perspectives and world traditions. Sparked by her own near death experience as a teenager, Schlitz has been delving into the nature of consciousness and death for the past three decades.

The film looks at how popular culture deals with the ever-present fear many have about our own mortality. Interviews with mental health experts, cultural leaders, and scientists explore the meaning of death and how we can learn to live without fear. The interviews and evidence presented are interwoven with personal stories of people facing their own death as well as those who report encounters beyond death. The narrative is illustrated with vivid imagery.

Please join us for meditation at 9:00 am, the film presentation at 10:30 am, and the discussion to follow. You are welcome to come to all or part of the day.

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

For further information call Janet Hoffman at 484-1686 or E-mail hoffmanjms@gmail.com.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center Tue/Thur at 10:30 am

Mondays 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

June 25                                 Silent Retreat Day         9 – 3pm

July 30                                  Poetry Retreat Day        9 – 1pm

October 22                          Silent Retreat Day         9 – 3pm

In closing, 

As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

You will go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills

will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field

will clap their hands

 

Isaiah 55: 10 – 12

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February/ March 2016

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at First Presbyterian  

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in February and March (except Maundy Thursday March 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.                                                             

February Retreat Day

Saturday February 27, 2016

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Fellowship Hall

Silent Retreat Day

Our Saturday retreat this month will highlight the teachings of Charlotte Joko Beck, a Zen teacher and author of the book Everyday Zen. We will have two meditation sittings, a time to share a reading from Joko Beck’s book, and a time of Yoga stretching and relaxation led by Judy Neary. You are welcome to join us for all or part of the day. 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

Tue/Thur at 10:30 am

Mondays 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

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 22                           Silent Retreat Day         9 – 3pm

In closing,

Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice… No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

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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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