I will get back to the series I’ve been writing on “Peace Begins With You”. But I’ve been kind of scattered and distracted lately… not the best mode for putting together a coherent series… I gather a lot of this is going around 🙂 But stuff is happening so I thought I’d put up one of my this and that type posts.
Vow to Love
I signed up for Karen Chrappa’s Vow to Love on line class and after the first video I’m excited to be participating. Moved by current events, she’s calling us to a space of love through a series of guided meditations. I found the first one powerful and am looking forward to watching the second, which I’ve not gotten to yet. By following this link you can still sign up.
A couple of weeks ago I suddenly felt drawn to do the long yoga nidra for the first time in quite a while. Since it takes 45 minutes I thought I’d skip chanting practice. Surprisingly after a long absence I stayed mindfully right with it and found myself in the lovely state of feeling one with spirit and detached from personality this practice induces for me. I also felt a longing to sing the Gayatri when I finished. So I sang the 9 minute chant. I’d never done the chant after yoga nidra and I was blown away by how powerful the chant became when preceded by the meditation.
I felt so pulled back to the yoga nidra that I’ve done the short version several times since, sometimes with and sometimes without chanting after. It was fun to see I’ve shifted enough that the short version, which I used to find far less satisfying than the long, now has quite a powerful impact on me.
I love changing it up with practices. I love seeing how my experience of them changes as I change. I love doing experiments with putting one thing after another and then switching that up to see how the order of doing impacts the energy and feeling of them. Do you find the order in which you do practices changes the experience?
Shakin’ it up in this old red state
Lexington is actually a blue city in a red state, so while much of the country assumes we’re all right wing Christians down here, we actually have quite the community of liberal democrats — I think every friend I have here was for Bernie…
Last Saturday I went to a well-attended talk on Muslim Interfaith Dialog at which a charismatic local doctor of Iraqi heritage explained the Islam faith and talked about many of the false perceptions that have been propagated through the media. I’d looked into this over the years so much of it wasn’t news to me, but I was very excited to be in a room full of people all open to listening and supporting.
Then last night I headed off to a forum on Refugees held at the enormous Christ Church Cathedral downtown.* It was SRO, the speakers were excellent and the crowd was full of energy and enthusiasm for ending the ban. I was moved by so much of it, but possibly the most moving thing to me was listening to our Chief of Police state his welcome to all who come to Lexington seeking refuge.
I’ve been wondering where the departments, forces, etc. with guns who ultimately enforce –or choose not to enforce — the law are standing on what’s going on. To be honest I wouldn’t have predicted the police would side with the refugees and immigrants. He was so absolute in his statement of support I was teary-eyed.
Right now I’m showing up for lots of things like this. Sunday I have to choose between the first meeting of “Indivisible” here and a rally for refugees being held at the same time and across the street from one another… I’m still fired up about being “for” instead of against and discovering I’m “for” a lot of stuff — just haven’t decided where to focus my energy.
As well as exploring my options about where I can help, the main thing I’m looking at is midterm elections in 2018 and how we get from here to a democratic or social democratic congress… So far I haven’t bumped into a group to join for that…
*An ironic little side note: my uncle’s wife’s father (all three long dead…) used to be organ-master for this Episcopal church, which led my dad (a child when this much-older brother got married) and some other family members to attend for some years. I used to walk by on my way downtown from Grandma’s house with my best friend. But last night was the first time I ever set foot in the church.