Monday, February 20, 2012

Lenten Series: The Pause that Refreshes

The season of Lent is approaching.  It is an opportunity to put normal business aside and reflect in the moment.  To that end, the education committee offers “the pause that refreshes”, four Sundays where Tanya will lead a Lenten mini retreat. We will learn how to live with the reality of the moment; dissuade fear, energize creativity and move ahead with purpose. At each session there will be a brief commentary, a time of silence, a guided meditation, and a quiet prayer.

When: An option for those who are interested after some fellowship time in the Parish during the coffee hour
Where: The Mary Chapel
How Long: 30 Minutes
What will occur: 4 approaches to focus, motivation and aiming attention to the present moment

1.       For now I see through a glass darkly but then Face to Face. 1 Corinthians 13 -February 26
My inside, listen to me, the greatest spirit ,the teacher, is near, Wake up, wake up!Run to his feet—He is standing close to your head right now.You have slept for millions and millions of years.Why not wake up this morning?
                -Kabir: translated by Robert Bly

Jesus said come and see, listen to me. We see but we are scantily aware of seeing the relationship between our capacity to see and what is available to be seen. We believe that what we see at face value is the whole truth. So we see some things but at the same time we may not see what is most important and relevant in our unfolding lives. In this first session, we will learn some ways to give ourselves the time, space, and energy to really see, to really hear the voice within and receive as much information as we need.

2.       The Role of Scaffolding with Jesus- March 4
If I have been able to see further, it was only because I sat on the shoulder of giants. -Isaac Newton

In Coming to our Senses, Jan Kabat-Zinn states “One manifestation of dis-ease, increasingly prevalent in this era, is attention deficit disorder A.D.D. for short.  A.D.D. is a serious dis-regulation in the process of attention itself. It appears to be a wide spread and growing affliction.” Meditation has everything to do with learning to center oneself and to pay attention to the moment. It would seem that we have A.D.D. not only in the obvious ways but it is transferring into our spiritual lives as well. More and more we feel isolated and longing to be a part of a community.  We want to feel valid and to be a living part of our culture.  We hunger to be perceived in this way, but mostly we are not.  Often money is not the most important issue but rather validation.  For Christians and many other spiritual seekers, Jesus provides scaffolding, a framework, to give us the strength to go within and ascertain our totality.

3.       How can we have not known better? -March 11
“Make no mistake about it, if any of you think of yourselves as wise, you must learn to be ignorant first and then you can become wise.” -1 Corinthians 3:18

This session will dedicate itself to what really is forgiveness, understanding not being able to forget, the power of taking a risk again, how to  accepting vulnerability and for applauding courage. The effect of not knowing better can lead us to guilt, depression and lack of self worth, all of which are counter to the gospel we so believe.  We will learn some ways to begin a discipline that will move us from that stance in life by accessing the power within.

4.       Awake- Be Alert- And Act -March 18
How can one understand that part of us which does the understanding?

The genius of faking it until you make it-- How long it takes to develop a love of being quiet, actively listening and where to find support in continuing your endeavors of the last four weeks. It is a life time process, and it is never too late to begin putting together contemplation and acting on it. We will fine tune this process we share with one another and form a personal mandate to move ahead.

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