September 2012

Meditation Opportunities 

Thursday evenings at 1st Presbyterian 

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in September and October 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 (except Sept. 11 and 18).  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.

September Retreat Day

Sacred Poetry:  An Exploration

          Saturday, September 29, 2012   8:30 am – 1:00 pm                    In the Fellowship Hall

                              Meditation, discussion, sharing

Poetry in all its beauty and truth has the potential to open our hearts to the mysteries of life and the wondrous workings of the Spirit in our lives. It can deepen our appreciation of the simple but profound truths that are found in our experience.  We can soar with the poets who fling themselves into heart of things.  Join us as we recite and share poems of gratitude, prayer, longing, and the timeless search for wisdom.

A freewill offering will be 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

September 25                Spirit, Soul and Body / Cyprian Consiglio

7:30 – 9:00 pm

Holy Cross Parish Hall, Santa Cruz

October 5                      Taize at First Presbyterian Church

7:30 – 8:30 pm

October 13                    Zazen Instruction with Rev. Issho Fujita

Carl Cherry Center, 4th & Guadalupe,Carmel

1:00 – 3:00 pm, Donation $25

Call Sara 659-1552/

October 19/20            Reversals: Healing the Disruptions in the

Spiritual Life

7:00 – 9:00 pm,   9:00 am – 4:00 pm

First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall

November 17              MMG Retreat Day / 8:30 am – 1:00 pm

Bhakti Yoga:  Yoga of Devotion

December 13               Cookie Party after Thursday evening

Meditation   8:00 – 9:00 pm

December 14              Taize at First Presbyterian

7:30 – 8:30 pm


Summary of July’s Retreat Day

For our July retreat day we watched a Pema Chodron DVD entitled Smile At Fear.  In this video Pema explains that what she teaches is Bodhisattva training – work on the self so that we become spiritual warriors in order to serve others with courage, fearlessness, and love.  She emphasizes the importance of this work to help others, for the healing of the earth, and to relieve the suffering of others.  We are needed.  This path of meditation we are on is important!

So what is the path to this way of fearlessness?  The first step is to stop running from our anxiety and fear and to get to know it.  We need to stay present when we begin to fear what we see.  When we get to know our fear, we turn our fear into a vulnerable place that can be touched and not hardened against.

This is not an easy process – thus the term “spiritual warrior”.  In order to get to know our fear, we have to slow down and actually feel it.  It sometimes leads to things we don’t like about ourselves, but it helps us see the truth about ourselves.  And this leads to being a more genuine person.  All of this starts with a gentle determination to know our self completely.  And Pema teaches that a meditation practice is a method of being with ourselves completely and honestly.  She believes meditation is the safest environment to take on this project of being more genuine.


In closing,

 “Perfect Love casts out fear” 

                1John 4:18



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