embodied prayer | transforming the heart

Through our collective musing last Sunday, it became clear to me that “Transformative Love” is the energy that changes the shape of our hearts and minds.

As I become more and more of who I am — and something new — I am contemplating the question:

What does this look, sound, feel and act like in practice as we cultivate, celebrate, nourish, sustain and dissolve relationships?

Larry Yang’s aspirational prayer reminds us to lead with love girded with the honest and discerning awareness that — where love is not possible or present — we can at least commit to minimizing the harm.

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transformative love | what changes the shape of our hearts + minds?

Last week, we opened the new season of contemplation by diving into the study and practice of Transformative Love.

Sangha is fueled by the cultivation of spiritual friendship where we support one another in developing spiritual faculties such as trust, discernment, skillfulness, compassion, and diligence. These qualities facilitate transformation and healing, and root us in our wholeness and authenticity. With spiritual friendship as the model for skillful relationships, we’ll explore how to bridge gaps existing in our connections outside of sacred space.

Queries for Collective Musing

How do we nourish and sustain authentic and liberating relationships in all areas of our lives?

What are the qualities that constitute “transformative love” and how do we embody and model it?

Related Reading — Good Spiritual Friends: Walking the Path Together


#HowWeSunday

Doors open just before 11 am. Centering starts at 11:10-ish.
Doors are locked at 11:30 am.

for Weekly Contemplations + Practice Updates, click the dates below:

Week 2  January 14
Week 3  January 21
Week 4 February 11
Week 5 — February 18
Week 6 — February 25

 


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full moon + new year blessings

First of all: Y’all already know that every breath is a new chance to begin anew so today is no more special than yesterday for aligning your clear intentions with skillful actions!

For those who are already clear about what you’ve been called to manifest — the energies to conjure up and call toward you, the aspirations to crystallize into visions that contribute to your legacy — then it’s a beautiful day to draw on the full moon’s power and level up!

If your vision is not yet apparent, then invite the luminosity of the full moon to reveal your divine order, timing, purpose and placement. 

I’m calling in clear vision to cultivate lasting legacies rooted in transformative love and elder wisdom.

#HowWeSunday: Sangha resumes Sunday, January 7.

on the dharma shelf | december 2017

radical bodhicitta

 

Image result for quotation marksIn our very bodies, hearts, and minds we are programmed to be in relationship and community together.

Breaking together means, when community gets tough, we can feel how much difficulty, pain, and suffering there is in the community. We break together because none of us wishes to add one more drop of suffering to this world that already suffer so greatly. And we break together to continue, from the sum of our individual selves, to create a larger whole that all of us can be a part of and contribute to — a larger whole whose only destiny is evolution, becoming ever more fully human.

In this way, we aspire toward freedom in the mist of the many forms of suffering, in the mist of the first noble truth. We may not be able to become fully awake in this lifetime. We may not be able to create a…

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woman horizontal | cardinal points

energy. essence. force. flow. source. light. manifold. immanent. continuous. creative. destructive. indestructible. enveloping. inculcating. infinite. unknowable. intuitive. interdependent. heart. guide. compass. core. all that is.   

 

 

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living into community | interfaith thanksgiving service


Deeply honored to have had the opportunity to live into community and abide in Spirit with friends on the path last night.

Bowing with gratitude to Rev. Jen Tafel for the energy of her vision and voice to widen the circle of inclusivity on multiple levels at the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. You took no credit for all the work you did to organize this special event, still your magic shined through! Thank you for bringing us all together and for inviting me to weave my voice into this service.

Celebrating Rev. Phiwa Langeni for doing the damn thang and truly activating the call to embody gratitude for all who were blessed to hear your sermon.

Treasuring the gift of being able to bring radical bodhicitta — the awakened heart of justice, liberation and healing — into the sanctuary by sharing:

the practice of inviting the bell so that we may inhabit our bodies, hearts and minds with full and loving awareness;

and the wise and loving words of zen buddhist priest, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel.


Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Reading

For All Beings

by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

May all beings be cared for and loved,

Be listened to, understood and acknowledged despite different views,

Be accepted for who they are

in this moment,

Be afforded patience,

Be allowed to live without fear of having their lives taken away or their bodies violated.

May all beings,

Be well in its broadest sense,

Be fed,

Be clothed,

Be treated as if their life is precious,

Be held in the eyes of each other as family.

May all beings,

Be appreciated,

Feel welcomed anywhere on the planet,

Be freed from acts of hatred and desperation including war, poverty, slavery, and street crimes,

Live on the planet, housed and protected from harm,

Be given what is needed to live fully, without scarcity,

Enjoy life, living without fear of one another,

Be able to speak freely in a voice and mind of undeniable love.

May all beings,

receive and share the gifts of life,

Be given time to rest, be still, and experience silence.

May all beings,

Be awake.

from Chants Against Hatred

bearing witness | new moon meditation

In Sangha last Sunday, I shared this beloved quote that I have carried close to my heart and have called up frequently during times of transition and transformation for over 20 years. It reverberates far, deep and wide in a season of bearing witness to our journey through challenge, change, growth, loss and renewal.

So powerful, in fact, that my dear friend called that very same evening to tell me she had recited those exact words (which she could specifically remember first hearing from me seven years ago) for a circle of her friends earlier in the day! With hundreds of miles between us, she wanted me to know how far they had traveled through space and time.

Our mutual conjuring of this affirmation was nothing short of magical!

Not only had we both synchronously chanted these hallowed words for those who felt moved by them. But also, in her giving them back to me, I saw clearly that the Universe was asking me to rest in and be transformed by them once more. For in that week alone, the energy of remembrance had engulfed me as I excavated hidden talents and paid tribute to my late grandfather and his grandfather for their military service. I continue to look back, beneath and beyond to see how very necessary these 11 words are for me in undoing ill-fitting and inaccurate perceptions, reclaiming the wholeness of my forgotten selves, and becoming even more of me.


Look Deeply

This quote appears as an affirmation under The Tower card in The Tarot Handbook. May be derived from the statement “what you think you are is a belief to be undone” from Lesson 91 in A Course in Miracles.

friends on the path | zen happenings

 

Top photos from Lansing Area Mindfulness Community’s Day of Mindfulness; b+w photos from the screening of Walk With Me.

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all beings without number, liberate.
endless blind passion, uproot.
dharma gates without measure, penetrate.
the great way of buddha, manifest.

° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °

A variation on the Bodhisattva Vows from Jack Lawlor’s dharma talk.

Look Deeply:

I have not (yet) found the original text and source of this vow though it has been attributed to the Avatamsaka Sutra (which may also be known as the Bodhisattva Pitaka). So I’ve share other readings to help expand our understanding of the vows.

 

bearing witness | full moon meditation

How Spirit answers when you’re contemplating this coming Sunday’s dharma circle on Bearing Witness — looking back, beneath and beyond!

artist: barbara kruger via performa 17

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“untitled”

who is healed?

who is housed?

who is silent?

who speaks?

whose hopes?

whose fears?

whose values

whose justice?

— the art of barbara kruger,

on nyc metrocards《via performa 17: http://17.performa-arts.org/events/barbara-kruger21》

° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °

Sangha will reflect upon:

what we have turned away from and what we have turned toward following last year’s election and its devastating impact on the well-being of our bodies, hearts, minds, spirits and relationships.

We’ll look deeply into:

what is

arising × dissolving

compelling × challenging

enduring × transforming

in our relationship to justice, liberation and healing?