Of course, there is more to the heart than heart-shaped Valentine’s products! The Sufis, a living mystical tradition within Islam (who many of us know through the poet, Rumi), teach that the human heart is not a “fanciful metaphor but an objective organ of intuition and perception.” A contemporary Sufi teacher, Kabir Helminski, conveys a practical education of the heart. Likewise, contemporary understanding of “heart intelligence” has expanded some of our understandings of what it means to be human. Both Sufi teachers and scientific research from the HeartMath Institute may offer us perspectives and practices to help us more fully value our heart’s guidance and intelligence.
Speaker: Rev. Larry Peers
Ta-Nehsi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me, is a book-length letter from the author to his son who was 15 years old at the time. Coates’ book adopted the same structure that James Baldwin took in his book, The Fire Next Time, which was also a letter (in part) to Baldwin’s nephew. Each book addresses from their own perspectives and times African American experiences in the United States. Though Coates’ is a “harsh realist,” he is also not without hope. How does our own “world” skew our perspective on “what is real” and “what is possible?” What letter might we write to a future generation (to children and teens today) from our experiences and our own “world” that convey our wisdom, recognize our faults, and express our hopes for them?
One of my long-time friends and teachers, Parker Palmer has written a book on “collaborating” with ourselves as we grow and as we age. He writes:
I don’t want to fight the gravity of aging. It’s nature’s way. I want to collaborate with it … read more.
The depth psychologist, Ira Progoff, once wrote, “We are dancers joining the dance of our life as it is going on and continuing it toward its fulfillment.” As we enter this new calendar year, perhaps we can draw some insights from a dancer and from Progoff on how to engage with the movement of our lives. What is wanting to unfold in your life this new year? How might you attend to and tend your life?
Join the Fellowship Singers, our Fellowship Community, and Rev. Larry Peers as we celebrate with story, song and carols and reflect upon the meanings of a Holy Night Bring family or guests. Refreshments will follow the service.
There will be NO SERVICES on Sunday December 23rd. Please Join us on December 24th, Christmas Eve, at 7pm as the Fellowship Singers, our Fellowship Community, and Rev. Larry Peers celebrate with story, song and carols and reflect upon the meanings of a Holy Night. … read more.
The experiences of wonder and awe are our birthright as human beings. We admire these qualities in children and remember during this holiday the “wonder of the season.” Yet, wonder is not limited to one time of life or one season of the year. It … read more.
Hanukkah and Advent converge on this Sunday to give us spiritual reminders from the religious traditions of Judaism and Christianity that even when it is not immediately apparent there is “more Light somewhere.” Even in challenging times, we can rededicate ourselves to what is right. Even if it takes time to unfold, we can still nurture our hopeful expectations. We will, with contemporary poetry, song and ritual, remind ourselves of these enduring lessons of the human spirit in Hanukkah and Advent.
Religious language can never adequately satisfy our human desire to capture and to express our most profound experiences. Recent research by a Jefferson University Hospital neuroscientist and his colleagues confirm how prevalent and diverse spiritual or poignant experiences are and the lingering impact they can have on our lives. Even when we use religious language, we don’t all mean the same thing by the words that we use. I believe that Unitarian Universalist minister, Rev. F. Forrester Church expressed it well when he said that “God is not God’s name. God is our name for that which is greater than all and yet present in each.”
Life provides us with many welcomed and unwelcomed opportunities to try to “make sense of” our experiences and the world around us. Sometimes we find meaning in very positive experiences and sometimes in adversity as well. Emily Esfahani Smith says that there are four “pillars” upon which meaning rests.” We’ll explore those “pillars” and some common everyday practices that can help us to savor “all that is our life.”