Interfaith Meditation Group

The Interfaith Group continues to meet at 5pm on the first Sunday of the month at St Francis Xavier Parish Hall, Lavender Bay, NSW. For more information contact Paul Taylor at - palmypaul@hotmail.com or 0412 949 862

THE GOOD HEART April 1st 2018
Dear friends, this coming Sunday 1st April, Easter Sunday,  at 5pm our monthly gathering as an interfaith meditation group continues , we hope you may be able to join us.

In the celebratory spirit of the day and season, we offer two poems for our reflection, one from the Christian tradition and one from the Islamic. Thomas Merton (1915-68) was a Cistercian monk, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a 13th century Sufi mystic. The poems continue our exploration of silence and “who am I?”…and the gratitude that arises when our deepest questions are met. Please find the readings attached and below, as always we will have them before and after meditation. We look forward to our conversation on Sunday.

You may wish to spend some time with the readings prior to the group, we hope that the spaciousness of this holiday time may allow us to ponder and savour them…and we will share our reflections after meditation.  If you are not able to be with us on Sunday, please enjoy the readings in your own time.

An indication if you can be with us would be appreciated and help with photocopying and seating. If you no longer wish to receive these emails please let us know.

If you would like, as its Easter Sunday, we thought going for something to eat afterwards might be of interest. Please let us know

With every blessing of love and peace,
Paul and Judi
 READING BEFORE MEDITATION
“In Silence” from The Strange Islands: Poems by Thomas Merton)
             Be still.

Listen to the stones of the 
wall.
Be silent, they try
To speak your 

Name.
Listen
To the living walls.
Who are you?
Who
Are you? Whose
Silence are you?

Who (be quiet)
Are you (as these stones
Are quiet). Do not
Think of what you are
Still less of
What you may one day be.
Rather
Be what you are (but who?) be
The unthinkable one
You do not know.

O be still, while
You are still alive,
And all things live around you
Speaking (I do not hear)
To your own being,
Speaking by the Unknown
That is in you and in 
themselves.

“I will try, like them
To be my own silence:
And this is difficult. 
The whole
World is secretly on fire. 
The stones
Burn, even the stones
They burn me. How can a man be still or
Listen to all things burning? 
How can he dare
To sit with them
When all their silence
Is on fire?”
  
 READING AFTER MEDITATION an excerpt from “Love with No Object,” THE SOUL OF RUMI tr. Coleman Barks (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), p. 168.

Have you seen someone fall in love with his own shadow? That’s what we’ve done. Leave partial loves and find the one
that’s whole. Where is someone who can do that? They’re
so rare, those hearts that carry the blessing and lavish it over everything. Hold out your beggar’s robe and accept
their generosity. Anything not coming from that will damage
the cloth, like a sharp stone tearing your sincerity. Keep that intact, and use clarity;  call it discernment,
You have within you a deciding force that knows what to
receive, what to turn from.

THE GOOD HEART 4 March 2018

Dear friends, this coming Sunday 4th March at 5pm our monthly gathering as an interfaith meditation group continues, we hope you may be able to join us. Please find attached the readings we will have before and after meditation which draw on the Anthroposophical and Buddhist traditions, and a desire to make them practical in our lives… we will continue our reflection on silence and how it allows our true self to be who we are. While the tone of each is quite different, the spoken one more conversational, the other more formal, we will no doubt explore the resonances between them, we look forward to our conversation on Sunday. Our thanks to Michael and to Rand who have been part of selecting this material. You may wish to spend some time with the readings prior to the group when we will share our reflections after meditation.  If you are not able to be with us on Sunday, please enjoy the readings in your own time.

An indication if you can be with us would be appreciated and help with photocopying and seating. If you no longer wish to receive these emails please let us know.

Some are wondering if we will be meeting on April 1st, Easter Sunday, that is our plan if others agree.

With every blessing of love and peace,
Paul and Judi

READING BEFORE MEDITATION
From SILENCE by Robert Sardello, p.32 (Goldenstone Press, 2006)
The most basic experience of Silence is intimacy. We feel an intimacy with the world, as if we are within everything around us rather than behind or alongside things we are then looking at. This mantle of touch brings us to the living truth of our being. We know who we are in a completely non-self-conscious way. We feel how we, in our individuality, are part of a vast and mysterious world process. And when we cultivate Silence to the point that we are consciously within it rather than imagining that it is in us, we cannot be other than we are.
     
READING AFTER MEDITATION
From   PERFECT LOVE IMPERFECT RELATIONSHIPS Healing the Wound of the Heart by John Welwood pp. 109-111 (Trumpeter Books, 2006)
Are you aware of this being that you are, this being that wants to live in you, through you, as you?  If you’re truthful, you may admit you barely know this deeper dimension of yourself at all. This being that you are can only be found right here in the core of your living experience in this very moment. Everything else is just memory or mental projection.
The being that you are is not something you can wrap your mind around. It is beyond anything you can think. Though you may bristle when others impose their ideas on you or put you in some narrow conceptual box, you probably don’t notice how much you do this to yourself. Who you were yesterday, last year, or in childhood, adolescence, young adulthood - none of these is who you are; they are only memories. Holding in mind a picture or concept of who you are puts you in a soul-cage that keeps you from living freely and expansively...
Who I am is not a fixed entity but a dynamic stream of experiencing that is alive in every moment - when I let myself happen...

Let yourself be that being, if only at first for a moment here and there. This will help you settle down and connect with yourself, providing a fresh and immediate taste of your inherent dignity and value. Fresh moments like these make it possible to be happy just to be alive, just to be the being that you are.




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