Do you have 10 minutes today for peace?

Peace symbol for CPS

 

Collective Prayer Sundays:  asking you to join us in creating waves of peace around the world.  Every Sunday commit at least 10 minutes to chant or pray for peace in your time zone between 7 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.  Come back here to make comments or head to the Facebook page.

For the latest challenge, to chant for your enemies, see this post.

Today at noon (Aug. 18) is the time to pray with James Twyman and the 50,000 he’s gathered to pray for peace in Egypt.

The more I look around for what’s going on with peace the more groups I find who are setting times to pray or serving peace in other ways.  We’re not what’s in the news but we’re here and we’re strong and we can transform the world!

Chant for your enemies challenge

Peaceful Salty

The next challenge for Collective Prayer Sundays is about finding peace with someone you don’t like or whom you consider your enemy or with whom you have ongoing issues–for this one please pick someone you actually know.  I’m going to give you another long time frame for this one so you have plenty of time to get it in.

Between now and midnight on Sept. 15, 2013 chant for seven days in a row for a person you don’t like (the same person every day) for 30 minutes.  So it will be “May _____ (fill in the monstrous a**hole name of choice) be filled with lovingkindness, may he/she be well, may he/she be peaceful and at ease, may he/she be happy.”  Or say the prayer or chant of your choice and fill in that person.

Try to work out a time within this month when you can do seven days in a row.  If you have to skip a day and keep going that’s fine, but try not to scatter the days too badly as it’s the cumulative effect of doing it regularly that you’re aiming to feel.  If you can’t do 30 minutes but you can do 15, do the shorter amount but if you want to really feel it deeply, I recommend the longer time.

As always, please come back and comment on the posts I’ll set up each Sunday or on the Collective Prayer Sundays page or go to the Facebook page and start a discussion there.  If you have lots to say, write a post about it and tag it CollPraySun and put a link to the Collective Prayer Sundays page so I can pick it up in a pingback.  If you want to message me privately there’s a form on the CPS page and also an e-mail address.

If you haven’t taken any of the other challenges yet but want to try some experiments put “challenge” in the search box to the right and get a list of the posts that have contained challenges.  There will be a page one of these days that lists all the challenges.  They’re all just designed to help you gain greater awareness of nuances in the chanting and how different ones feel so the timing doesn’t really matter.  Take a challenge when you’re ready and I’ll always be happy to “chat” with you about it.

Sweet looking Salty up there has enemies around the neighborhood and he’s pretty rough on the wild life around here.  But I can’t get him to go for the chanting…    or the peace…  Wouldn’t know it to look at him there would you?

Collective Prayer Sundays–the gathering challenge

Peace symbol for CPS

I hope that some of you have had the opportunity to gather with several others to chant or pray.  Although the challenge ends at midnight tonight (Aug. 11), I encourage you to gather a group, once or regularly.  The experience of chanting or praying for peace with others is profound and you can feel that exponential power of two or more gathered — the power of a group sending the energy of peace.  I met with a group last week and the post about it is here.

I will be adding a page that lists all the challenges and I encourage you to try out any of the challenges at any time.  If you want to post something about it you are always welcome to start a discussion about a challenge on the Facebook page or the Collective Prayer Sundays page (links in next paragraph).

Post any comments or thoughts about your group experience here or on the Facebook page for Collective Prayer Sundays.  If you have a lot to say, write a post and tag it CollPraySun.  If you want to search for posts with that tag, right now WordPress doesn’t seem to pick it up if you type it as a topic search but if you click on that tag at the bottom of one of my posts, it will open a long list of posts.

Music and peace: monthly peace challenge

Om

Om

Kozo over at Everydaygurus has again set out several challenges for the Monthly Peace Challenge, which this time is centered around Music and Peace.  One challenge was to write a song about peace, which I did a long time ago.  However, I haven’t figured out where my song file is and all I remember is the first line of the chorus:  “Come and dream a world with me…”.  So I’ll have to keep hunting and wow you with my song-writing prowess some other time.

Another challenge was to make a top 10 list of songs or artists that bring peace to our world.  I’m not sure that I can hit an even 10 but it’s been interesting to ponder.  A couple of other bloggers who are apparently in my age range wrote of songs from the Vietnam-era peace movement like the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love, protest songs, the Youngbloods’ Get Together, Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance, etc.   I think there were lots of powerful songs in that time that contributed greatly to the peace movement.

But all these years later when I think of peace I don’t really think of it the same way.  When I hear those songs, even though I love them, some part of me remembers the marching and the signs and the police with billy clubs and the ANGER.  I loved those days and I have great nostalgia for them so I love hearing the music that reminds me but it doesn’t really bring me to peace.

I also have a spirit playlist on my various music devices and apps — you’ll note on the Spotify version that a chunk of the songs aren’t available.  That’s a list that uplifts my spirits — often because of actually spiritual words but sometimes just because I like the beat or the melody.  But I don’t know that I’d say that list brings me peace.  Sometimes.  Just because feeling uplifted can also  open that heart space where peace dwells…

When I want to be calm and centered and feel peace through music I now turn to very different pieces of music.  Some of my current favorites (in no particular order):

1.  Deva Primal, Moola Mantra

2.  Paul Winter, Common Ground

3.  Peter Kater and Carlos Nakai, Migration (whole album)

4.  Riley Lee, Satori (whole album)

5.  Any Dvorak string quartets

6.  Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, Healing Mind System

7.  Paul Winter, Icarus

8.  Krishna Das, Breath of the Heart

9.  Mike Rowland, Fairy Ring (whole album)

10.  Tulku, Trancendence (whole album)

11.  Jean Pierre Rampal with Bach’s Sonatas for Flute and Harpsichord

I have a pretty long list of things like this because it’s what I use for yoga classes but those are probably my favorites.

In a different vein, some of the most amazing moments I’ve had with music and peace have been at the end of every Unity church service I’ve ever attended, holding hands with those around me and singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth”.  The group energy of a big bunch of people singing that together is mighty powerful.

Music has been central to me most of my life.  Lots and lots of music lessons.  Untold hours of listening.  Had a band.  Sang in choirs.  I think there are so many levels on which music can aid in bringing peace.  And I think what sort of music brings what sort of peace is different for different people.

Check out some of the other posts for the challenge to see that in action:

Rarasaur

Donetta’s World

One Starving Activist

Many Little Drops

Laurie’s Notes

Breathing Space

Chanting together yesterday

Part of my favorite walk in Corte Madera

Four of us came together yesterday afternoon to chant, meeting the challenge to gather with at least three others to pray or chant for peace by midnight August 11.  Although we expected a couple more, four was plenty to build a big energy.  From the beginning I felt my heart expanding.  Several of us felt the others who were connecting from other places and felt it built the energy.

As my body opens up stage by stage I regularly note that how I “feel” things changes.  Yesterday, the longer we chanted the more I could feel the heart energy expand and start to move through my body.  I could feel it in many more places than I used to — also could feel a few places where energy still doesn’t go…  The longer we chanted the more I felt that expansion and during the last half hour, when we chanted for earth, I felt myself move into a rapturous state of connection to the energy.

At about the 50 minute mark (I was timekeeper…) I suddenly started choking and coughing, breaking much of that expanded, connected feeling.  Reflecting about it later I thought that  this disconnect relates to the experiences I’ve been posting about in my Scribblings blog, concerning my fear of being consumed (and here).

There are some core issues for me that keep cropping up.  In fact, I think core issues tend to have tentacles that spread themselves through many areas of life and beliefs, so I rather imagine I’ll be running into these again…  They both go back to very early childhood and are intertwined.

One is lack of trust or faith in God.  At some point in tracing backwards I realized that at a very young age the treatment I received led me to believe that God abandoned me.  Although I’ve obviously managed to garner some faith in order to keep going on this path, in a fundamental way I still don’t  thoroughly believe that All That Is  is prepared to take care of me.

The other thread is a “don’t be” message.  “Don’t be so loud.”  “Don’t be such a crybaby.”  “Don’t be like your Aunt Mary Jane (whom I was a lot like).”  “Don’t be a musician.”  Most of who and what I started out to be was actively discouraged — sometimes violently — and I seem to have walked away with a belief that I don’t have a right to live.  And more especially that if I ever live as my true self I’ll be attacked and probably killed for it.

I got the connection between those things and the decision at some level to create body armor with my muscles and squeeze “the life” out of my organs and glands — tired and in pain and withdrawn…– a long time ago.  But I can see now that my frequent reluctance to meditate regularly and my reluctance to be consumed by writing both arise because those things take me to the place where I am my essential self, where my true spirit gets to live and shine …  the me who isn’t supposed to live.  Something in me is still afraid to step all the way into that space.

Time to let go, clearly.  Actually letting go, not always so easy…

Do you have a core fear that pops up related to many areas of your life?  Any fears or issues that are hard to let go?

 

Chanting this afternoon

Wikimedia commons by AnonMoos

For anyone who’s interested in feeling more connected during the chanting, there will be a group of us here in the Bluegrass chanting from about 3:15-4:15 p.m. EDT today (Aug. 4).   This is outside the time frame of Collective Prayer Sundays and is meeting the challenge to gather at least three other people and chant with them by Aug. 11 at midnight.  I’ll also chant at my usual time, approx. 11:45 p.m. EDT  And there’s a recording of me chanting on the Collective Prayer Sundays page.

For the first 15 minutes we will chant;

May I be filled with lovingkindness

May I be well

May I be peaceful and at ease

May I be happy.

For the second 15 minutes we will chant:

May ______  (friend or loved one’s name-same person all the way through) be filled with lovingkindness

May he/she be well

May he/she be peaceful and at ease

May he/she be happy.

We’ll do a brief meditative walk at the halfway point.  The final half hour will be spent chanting:

May the earth be filled with lovingkindness

May she be well

May she be peaceful and at ease

May she be happy.  [The End]

Of course, say your own prayer or chant if you wish.

I know there are some other bloggers who are planning to pray or chant at the same time and there are a couple of other groups around here with meetings at that time who plan to stop and chant at the same time.  I’ll be so interested to hear comments about how it felt to either (1) chant at the same time as this gathering, and/or (2) to chant with your own group.  Don’t forget the Facebook page is also available for comment — click the “like” button to the right (I think you have to be logged in to FB).