January 2012

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at 1st 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 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.

January Retreat Day

Retreat Day    Saturday, January 28, 2012    8:30 am – 1:00 pm

                                                                                        Fellowship Hall

Past Watchful Dragons:

Christian Content in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Can it be that the real reason the Harry Potter books are so successful is that “all souls are Christian souls” and resonate with the “true myth” of Love’s triumph over death? Join us Saturday for our retreat day when Susan Raab gives us a taste of how Harry cast his global spell: the deeper meanings in J.K. Rowling’s enchanting system of heart-touching symbols. 

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                       Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

Ongoing                                       Satsang – with Mokshananda

Unitarian Universalist Church

490 Aguajito Road, 624-7404

2nd and 4th Tuesdays 7 – 9 pm

February 3                                  Jacob Needleman:  The Ten Great

Questions of Human Life 7 – 9 pm

Unitarian Universalist Church

February 4                                  Jacob Needleman:  The Love of

Wisdom and the Art of Living

Unitarian Church 9:30 – 4:30

February 10                                Taize at First Presbyterian 7:30 pm

February 25                                MMG Retreat   Day of Zen sitting

8:30 am – 3:00 pm

March 31                                    MMG Retreat Day

8:30 am – 1:00 pm


Summary of November’s Retreat Day

The teaching portion of our retreat day featured a DVD by Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun.  The title of the DVD is “Good Medicine” and Pema focuses on ways we can open to becoming more compassionate human beings.  One of the first hints she has for us is one we often run from:  she invites us to have a more openhearted relationship with our own pain.  The seed of happiness and well-being and compassion comes from our relationship with difficulty and pain.

Pema also teaches us about “Maitri”, or unconditional love and loving kindness toward ourselves.  “Maitri” is the basis of compassion.  “Maitri ” is unconditional friendship, acceptance, and kindness with oneself.  “Maitri” is compassion for oneself.  Pema encourages us to explore “Maitri” – to stop thinking that acceptance is going to come from outside ourselves and discover it within.  We do this by feeling at home with our own mind and body.  We learn this by ceasing the struggle against our pain.  With meditation we learn how to become intimate with ourselves.  When we are deeply honest with ourselves “Maitri” grows in us.

In closing, 

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.


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