J2P Monday: Compassion, resistance and supporting each other

It’s been a long time since I put up a #Journey2Peace Monday post and I’ve been feeling it’s time for one lately.  Nearly seven months into the so-called Presidency of #45, I’m still struggling sometimes to find peace.  But I’m finding and holding a space of peace more and more.

Along with it I carry a sense of optimism and a growing feeling that a better world is arising from what seems like chaos now.  I’ll be doing some more blogs with ho’oponopono/healing suggestions soon.  In the meantime I have a couple of ideas and I’m looking for input.

A while back I got one of the strongest messages from spirit I’ve had in a long time. A message that my purpose right now is not so much teaching what I know to people who are newer to the path, but to hold a space and help those who share my views on compassionate activism and lovingkindness, etc.  I know a lot of like-minded people–both through this blog and among many long-time friends–who are struggling as well but truly desire to live a life of compassion and lovingkindness.

After giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided to float two ideas.  One is to create a weekly or monthly blog post on topics that support living a life of peace and compassion and/or that point to positive things happening in the world.  This post would also open the floor for commentary from anyone seeking support in the journey to peace and from anyone with words of wisdom to share; it could also be a day when any of you can write a post on the topic and link.

I also have an idea floating around about starting a private Facebook group/page wherein we can all speak safely about whatever our doubts, worries, fears and tensions are and also share our optimism, practices that help, etc.  I was getting ready to do something like it for a small group of healers here in the Bluegrass to which I belong but I’ve been feeling it should expand to include this blogging community.

Barbara Franken, of Me, My Magnificent Self, has started an open Facebook group called New Earth Community that’s about support in this time of change:  a “sacred, quiet and safe space in which to birth the new YOU and new life you wish to experience on New Earth.”  My idea definitely overlaps, but I more specifically am aiming for a safe space in which we can support one another in holding our spiritual ideals of compassion and lovingkindness in the face of political turmoil.  So you can join both and get lots of support on many endeavors!!!

There are a bunch of folks who have been liking and commenting on my posts for a long time and whose blogs I’ve been reading and commenting upon as well — and many of you follow one another.  You know who you are.  Once I get the page together, anyone from this blogging group who asks will get an invitation to the private group (those of you with whom I’m already connected on Facebook will receive an invitation there– probably whether you ask or not 🙂 ).  Anyone who’s newer around here can ask to join after you’ve done some commenting and by leaving your blog’s URL.

Right now, what I’m interested in is commentary from this community about

  1. the regular supportive post idea
  2. the Facebook group idea
  3. what you could use or would like to see in terms of support in these times

Thanks in advance everybody!

PS.  Since I’m not in love with figuring out how to do stuff like the FB page, I might be slow.   Foot dragging… Procrastinating…

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A round of forgiveness

Clipart MP900446423 by iCLIPART

Clipart MP900446423 by iCLIPART

A few weeks ago Julianne from Through a Peacock’s Eyes got in touch to tell me she’d “gotten” some info about me while reading a post and that she felt I need healing regarding an ancestor or past life.  That launched an exchange about the ceremony I put together and performed last year.

I’d realized that an ancestor I’d uncovered some years ago had much to do with the tightness in my head and that she was still holding tight (see this post).  Julianne felt that I needed to do a ceremony of forgiveness — that the ancestor needs to be forgiven before she can completely let go.

I’ve been thinking about it since then and realizing that I tend to be cursory about the forgiveness piece.  Not that I don’t work on it or that I haven’t done many ceremonies, practices, and prayers of forgiveness but I don’t always think to do it.  And even when I do, it often doesn’t seem to stick.  I liked the idea of forgiveness for that ancestor but I felt that I wanted to do more.

To be honest, I’ve been a little ticked off at all my ancestors since I figured out how many negative patterns I carry that were passed down by them.  When a friend forwarded me a piece that urged us to be thankful to our ancestors I felt myself tense up and think, “What for?”  Followed by some unrepeatable grumbling.  And there are a few members of my family for whom I’ve performed a variety of forgiveness exercises, only to realize later that I’m still angry.

So I’ve decided that I want to do a more comprehensive forgiveness practice.  I’m working on creating another ceremony.  Fortunately I really like the opening, space-setting, etc. pieces of the ceremony I already created so I don’t have to do it all again.  Just working on the prayer or spell of forgiveness to put in.

I’ve decided that I want to devote two weeks to forgiveness  (keep reading for an invitation below).  My plan is to focus on a particular person or group every few days.  For those days I’ll say the lovingkindness chant and Mornah’s Prayer every day for that person and do the ceremony on that person’s last day.  I’ll post from time to time throughout.

My invitation to you:  I plan to do this forgiveness work starting Aug. 1 for two weeks.  During that time I’d like to invite you to sign up for one of the days from Aug. 1-14 to write a post about forgiveness.  You can participate along with me in working on forgiveness and write a post about your experience.  You can write a post about a past experience of forgiveness.  You can write a post about something you can’t forgive.  As long as it’s a personal account having to do with forgiveness, it works.  I’ll post a list of all those who are signed up to post and every day I’ll put a link to  your post here.  Please link to this post in your post so I get the pingback to tell me your post is there.   Use the comments below to sign up for the date you want.

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).

Praying for me or thee

By Presearch (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What a day for prayers for peace.  I participated in the Global Meditation Project’s prayer for peace at noon EDT and then chanted again for peace for Collective Prayer Sundays–lovely.  I tried an experiment based on my challenge to those of you who are participating in CPS:  yesterday I chanted (the lovingkindness chant) for myself, at noon today I chanted for Earth, and late this evening when I participated in CPS I first chanted 10 minutes for myself and then 10 minutes for Earth.

The challenge grew out of my experience over some years with the lovingkindness chant.  As previously mentioned, traditionally the chanting is done in a series, first chanting for yourself, then loved ones, then people you don’t like, then enemies (with my students I divide that into people you know and don’t like and people you don’t know but don’t like [such as president, dictator, actor, etc.], then the world, then all sentient beings.  For the first years that I chanted, I spent very little time on chanting for myself out of some sense that a “good” person should chant for others and not so selfish as to chant for self.

Five or six years ago I had a sort of epiphany that led me to chant only for myself most of the time.  So many things changed for me with that one small shift.  First of all, I soon realized that chanting for myself expanded my heart so much that it really changed the quality of chanting for others for the better.  For a long time when I chanted for myself I’d become choked up or openly start sobbing.  I realized I’d just about never been that kind or caring toward myself and it tapped into a deep well of emotions about my worthiness and need for love.

The more I expanded and felt my heart glow and vibrate from the chanting the more I understood that oneness means there’s really no difference between chanting for myself and chanting for others.  So my basic experience in the chanting I did the last two days was that there was very little difference for me in how it felt to chant only for myself (20 minutes) or only for Earth (15 minutes) but when I chanted first for myself (10 minutes) and then for the Earth (10 minutes) I felt much more expanded and full when I came to the second part, where I chanted for Earth — and I would say I was much more expanded by the end of 20 minutes total than I was last Sunday when I chanted 30 minutes just for Earth.

Like I said, there’s no right or wrong to this.  All of that is just my experience.  I’m very interested to hear whether anyone tried the challenge and, if so, how it felt to you.  As always, please tag with CollPraySun — and mentioning the page:  https://bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com/collective-prayer-sunday/ so that people can get the skinny on this effort to spread prayers for peace around the world will be much appreciated!

Collective Prayer Sunday Challenge and News

© Copyright ANDY RAMMY and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

I’ve been so excited about Collective Prayer Sundays that I keep thinking about it and getting ideas.  So I’ve decided that periodically — possibly but not likely weekly — I want to float a challenge to try something extra (besides the commitment to a minimum 10 min. chant or prayer for peace every Sunday between 7 and 11:59 pm in your time zone).  I also want to give you a heads up about another world wide meditation effort, Global Meditation Movement.   The first meditation is Sunday June 23 at noon EDT.

Theirs is one of the many that have tried to organize one time when the whole world will meditate.  I love the idea but in the past I’ve also found that given different time zones around the world and people with differing habits and life styles even within a time zone, it’s not all that practical to expect world-wide participation and that’s why I set up Collective Prayer Sunday to have a time range in every time zone.  We won’t have the power of as many people at once but we can create a wave that circles the world all day!

So, for the first challenge.  If you’ve been participating, you know that I have suggested this form of the lovingkindness chant as a practice to use for the Sunday meditation:  May the Earth be filled with lovingkindness, may she be well, may she be peaceful and at ease, may she be happy.  If you’re doing this chant or willing to try it for one week, try this challenge.

Traditionally in the lovingkindness chant you chant first for yourself and then through a whole series of suggested levels (others will show up in future challenges) before you get to the world and then all sentient beings.  This week my challenge is to find an extra 10 minutes (or more!) to chant before Sunday and this time chant for yourself:

May I be filled with lovingkindness

May I be well

May I be peaceful and at ease

May I be happy.

Make some notes about what you noticed in your body, whether any feelings arose, or anything else you noticed.  On Sunday when you chant for the Earth, note whether there is any difference or not in how it feels to chant for the Earth versus chanting for yourself. There’s no right or wrong answer, just things to look at.  If you have a lot to say, write a post about it and make sure you tag it with CollPraySun (and don’t forget B4Peace) or if you’d rather have a conversation, post comments here.

I also want to point everyone to a post on Laughter: Carbonated Grace.  Eileen has written a lovely prayer for use on Collective Prayer Sunday — if you don’t like the lovingkindness chant, you might like her prayer.  Don’t forget to check out posts in the Bloggers for Peace Network by checking the tag B4Peace.