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September 2007
Next month:
November 2007

Morning meditation - What give joy.

Working together we can create the Beloved Community. It is a place where we can live together in health and harmony helping each other create a better version of ourselves. It is a place where pain, suffering, and sorrows as well as gladness, achievements, and joys  are shared among people who care for one another.

To0 often people falsely accuse one another of insults, injuries, and disappointments. Transgressions occur surely and people need to be held accountable to pursue their better selves for their own benefit and for the benefit of their families and communities and yet holding accountable and punishing out of vengeance and retribution are two different things.

In the spiritual life, we are aware of the innate goodness of all people and strive to elicit it and call it forth. We make the effort to hold people up and love them. It is not always easy but it is a great joy. Peace Pilgrim once said, "I look for the divine spark in everyone and then focus on that." In the Beloved Community people are looking for and acknowledging that divine spark. It  creates the Beloved Community and creating the Beloved Community is one of the most important things that gives us joy.

Quote of the day

"I used to rank on the British about their class system. But it pales to what's going on here. What's going on here is class war. We're talking class war that's being carried on intentionally by people who at the same time swear that they believe in the Prince of Peace."

Stephen Gaskin, An Outlaw In My Heart, p. 50

Morning meditation - "Love as I have loved"

I heard Annie Lamott say that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Faith entails belief in the unknowable. God, at least my understanding of God, is that God is unknowable. God is a mystery beyond understanding. Perhaps we have glimpses or inklings of what God might be like, but God is unfathomable to us human beings.

And yet, there are those, who claim to know who God is and what God wants. They say they know this from a book as if God could be captured in some text. This seems like a very small God who amounts to little beyond a character in a novel, a superhero in a story.

In the spiritual life, we humbly approach the mysterious. We are filled with reverence, with awe, with joy at the prospect of the transcendent. We have faith and hope in love. For the best description of the force we call God might be love and Jesus tells us that the way to the kingdom is "to love as I have loved." As we look around at the expressions of religion today, it seems that the love these religions display is in short supply.

Quote of the day

"George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzalez, Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Donald Rumsfeld have not introduced Americans to a better version of themselves something which good leaders do. Instead they have filled them with fear, with divisiveness, with greed, and with deceit. Americans get to choose their own leaders and they have not chosen well. Is it that they are stupid, scared, greedy, and gullible?

Harry Holleywood

Morning meditation - Offering your own state of being

We are confused as human beings between having, doing, and being. My friend, Al, said that when people asked his father, Nick, what he was doing in his retirement, Nick would say, "I am a human being, not a human doer."

Our doing does not define us. We are not our jobs.

Similarly, we get confused between our being and our having. Adolescents have to have certain shoes, certain pants, certain articles of clothing to fit in with the in-group. Adults strive to "keep up with the Jones." We think that if we have certain things or if we have enough of whatever it is that we think we need, we will be OK.

However, having and being are two different things. We are aware that money can't buy us love. And it also cannot buy peace, or honesty, or beauty, or truth, or justice. In fact, the desire to have things often interferes with our ability to have peace, and honesty, and justice, and things turn ugly when people become greedy, possessive, overly amibtious, and hoard things.

In the spiritual life, we come to realize that it is the quality of our being that matters and as Stephen Gaskin says, it is, in the last analysis, the truth that the only thing we have to offer another human being is our own state of being.