May 2012

Meditation Opportunities


Thursday evenings at 1st 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 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 note there will be no sitting on June 12 or 19.)  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 26, 2012    8:30 am – 1:00 pm        

                      Fellowship Hall 

Happiness, Love and Wisdom:
Recent Insights from Neuroscience on the Fruits of Meditation 

Led by Joe Cotham and Joe Neary

Experience silent prayer and learn how it benefits your wellbeing through the physical health of your brain.

Join us to explore recent advances in neuroscience that provide a better understanding of consciousness and meditative practices.  We will discuss, meditate, and engage in activities intended to broaden our spiritual horizons. You’ll participate in exercises drawn from Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by neuropsychologist Rich Hansen and neurologist Richard Mendius.

  • All levels of meditation experience are welcome.
  • Use your own cushion or bench, one of ours, or a chair.
  • Refreshments will be provided
  • A freewill offering is available


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

June 30                                     MMG Retreat Day  8:30 – 3:00 pm

A Day of Zen sitting

July 28                                      MMG Retreat Day   8:30 – 1:00 pm

Creativity and Art with Chris and

Mary Moore

No August Retreat Day


Summary of April’s Retreat Day

In April our focus was on Centering Prayer, and we spent a longer day together (until 3pm) which gave us time for extended sits and more time to deepen our silence.  We watched a video from the Spiritual Journey series by Thomas Keating as our teaching.  In this video Fr. Thomas uses the experience of St. Anthony in the desert as a paradigm of the Night of Sense.  The Night of Sense is a time experienced along the spiritual journey when dryness is felt in prayer and one feels like they are going backwards in spiritual progress and God feels far away.  The purpose of the Night of Sense is purification from the control of the false self.   Fr. Thomas teaches that Anthony’s life is an example of how to dismantle the false self.  And, he states that the heart of Christian ascesis (training) is the dismantling of the false self.  The false self is controlled by the energy centers of Security, Affection and Control.   One of the fruits of going through the Night of Sense is to purify our thoughts and motivations so that we see, as the True Self does, that only God can satisfy our need for Security, Affection and Control.  It is a time of dryness, anxiety and trial that allows a period of weaning from the mixed motivations of the False Self toward pure trust in God alone.


In closing,

 “… I saw the river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of heaven, and the name of that river was suffering…

and I saw the boat which carries souls across the river; and the name of that boat was love.”


Saint John of the Cross

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