July 2011

Meditation Opportunities 

Thursday evenings at 1st Presbyterian  

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in July and August 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.  There will be no meeting on August 9.

July Retreat Day

Retreat Day    Saturday, July 23 2011         8:30 am – 1:00 pm Sacred Poetry

We will meet in the Manse (the building behind Fellowship Hall)

Join us this Saturday for a day of meditation, fellowship, and poetry.  Joseph Cotham will once again gather a collection of poems with spiritual themes from a variety of poets.  We will read the poems together and share the impressions and insights from what we hear.  The poetry is rich and deep and the sharing from the group brings the poems to life.

All are welcome and a freewill offering will be available.  Please note that we will be meeting in the Manse, the room behind the Fellowship Hall, as Vacation Bible School will be doing setup in the Fellowship Hall.                                


Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                       Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

August 7 – 12                                East/West Sesshin at MercyCenter

August 26 – 28                              Living the Gospel of Matthew

Dr. Joann Branson/St. Francis

Retreat Center

No MMG Retreat day in August

September 17                               MMG Retreat Day/ A Day in

Nature at Point Lobos

October 21 -22                             Retreat with Ruben Habito

November 19                                MMG Retreat Day


Summary of June’s Retreat Day

Professor John Provost, a philosophy instructor from Monterey Peninsula College, was the guest presenter for last month’s retreat day.  His well-received talk was on Rumi, the Sufi poet of love and devotion.  The Sufi path in Islam is for those who desire to go deeper on their spiritual journey.  The Sufi journey uses the language of romance and love and the supreme poet of this journey is Rumi (1207 – 1273).  Rumi is considered a mystic, yet he followed Muslim precepts and lived an ordinary life as a husband and father.

Rumi’s poetry falls into four stages of the spiritual journey.  The first stage is learning to listen, the second opening and humility, the third longing and pain, and the fourth love and union.

John shared with us a metaphor that Rumi used to expound on the fourth stage of love and union:  “Rumi uses the images of grapes being turned into wine.  Each grape must lose its individuality as a grape, but it never loses its juiciness.  This essence of juice is the spirit.  The spirit incarnating as a specific grape is only a temporary illusion of sorts.  The Juice inside the grape will join the juice in other grapes to become one juice.  ‘Grapeness” is lost, but wine is gained.  And when this takes place, then everything becomes a blessing.”

In closing,

Be a warrior!  Desire something

powerfully!  Saddle your horse

and get ready for the quest.

Don’t accept a crown

made of this visible sky.

Wait for what Gabriel brings.



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