April 2011

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at 1st Presbyterian  

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in April and May (except for Maundy Thursday April 21st) 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 practicing group contemplative listening.  We listen to a short reading from a contemplative author or poet, sit together for a period of silence, and share our reflections with the group.  This is a wonderful way to practice deep listening to each other.  All are welcome to join us at any time.

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.

April Retreat Day

Retreat Day    Saturday, April 30 2011         8:30 am – 1:00 pm

                                                                    Fellowship Hall                                                                

“Our relationship to food is an exact microcosm of our relationship to life itself. You are a walking and talking expression of your deepest convictions; everything you believe about love, fear, transformation and God is revealed in how, when and what you eat.”

Geneen Roth, Women, Food and God

In a culture saturated with food—as comfort, entertainment, and status symbol—how do we recognize when we’ve fallen under its spell?  Discover tips and strategies for breaking free and finding true peace with food by walking (and eating) humbly with God.

In addition to this presentation by Susan Raab, there will be time for discussion and two periods of sitting and walking meditation.  Refreshments are provided.  A freewill offering will be available.  All are welcome.                                    

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                       Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

May 21                                         MMG Retreat Day of Zen sitting

8:30 am – 3:00 pm

June 25                                        MMG Retreat Day with Prof.

John Provost—The poetry of Rumi

August 7 – 12                                East/West Sesshin at MercyCenter

No MMG Retreat day in August

September 17                               MMG Retreat Day

October 21 -22                             Retreat with Ruben Habito

Summary of March’s Retreat

For our March retreat day we watched a video by Thomas Keating from the Spiritual Journey series titled “The Four Consents”.  In it Father Keating describes The Four Consents as a model of the spiritual journey that shows the invitation we as humans have to love the gift of life and consent to God and God’s will.

The first consent is offered in childhood, before the age of 12.  We are called to say “yes” to our basic goodness.  If we are not able to see our goodness as a result of our life circumstances, our emotions pull back and we hesitate to give them full expression.  The second consent occurs in adolescence.  At this time we are asked to accept the talents and creative and sexual energies that are beginning to emerge.  The acceptance of this consent gives us the capacity to relate to others.  If sexual energy is awakened too soon, as in molest or abuse, this affects our ability to say “yes” to our full potentiality.  We avoid closeness with others if we are afraid of our sexual energy and Father Keating teaches that sexual energy is necessary to serve others with warmth and love.

The third consent occurs in adulthood and is an invitation to accept our non-being.  It is a time to say “yes” to the reality of physical death and the consequences of letting go to the things we love in this world.  If we haven’t made the first two consents, this one is more difficult.

The fourth consent is the hardest of all.  It is the consent to the death of the false self and to be transformed.  Father Keating recommends the practice of centering prayer to aid in the dismantling of the false self.

The rhythm of life tends to nudge us into the consents.

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