Ordinary Life is a gathering that provides an opportunity to develop an
enlightened heart and a mind awakened to the reality of the present moment.
The gathering meets on Sunday mornings at 10 am in Fondren Hall at St. Paul's
United Methodist Church, 5501 South Main, Houston, Texas. It is taught by Dr. Bill Kerley.
The material in this site is copyrighted. It may be reproduced and
printed elsewhere as long as it is not changed in any way and credit is given to
Summary of 8/15/99
Hidden blessings come inside suffering.
Summary of 8/22/99
So far we’ve talked about how we cause ourselves suffering by -
*trying to avoid life as it is*
Two of the biggest ways we have tried, historically, to do this is by relying on
either religion OR science.
Here is something Albert Einstein wrote -
"Science without religion is lame.
Religion without science is blind."
When we meet this week I want us to talk about this and to suggest
*the wisdom of balance as a way of life"
Summary of 8/29/99
"Rituals, Myths and Magic"
If, as we have said, we can’t count on science - because it is blind;
and we can’t count on religion - because it is lame;
then, where are we to turn for "a path to walk"
that would help us find meaning in life *and* give meaning to our lives?
I will share my answers with you to this question as we gather this week.
We are going to talk about - Ritual, myths, and magic.
E-mail of 9/02/99
Reading list and request
Update of 9/8/99
Most of what we have been talking about so far is how we cause our selves (and
others) suffering by trying to be one-up on the way life is. Before moving on to
consider the fact that there is NO LIFE IN NEGATIVITY,
we will see what lose ends we need to tie up.
Preview for 9/12/99
In this frenetic technology-driven world, it is important to keep our
perspective on what life on our planet is all about. . . .
When we consider our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for
acceptance, understanding, education, communication and peace become clearly apparent . . .
and the opportunity that each of us has to make a real contribution.
Summary of 9/12/99
Summary/Preview for 9/19/99
This Sunday we move from one major topic to another. I'm calling it
*The Secret of the Game of Life*
It's no secret, really. It's about our willingness to
practice the principle of equality,
become non-judgmental in our relation to ourselves and others, and to
get it . . .
at every level of our being . . .
that nobody is special.
I'm not talking about being more loving. We don't need to learn that. We are
*already* that. What we need to learn is -
To remove the things that block us from experiencing and expressing love.
Preview for 9/26/99
DO YOURSELF A HUGE FAVOR and come hear our speaker, Stephanie Warfield, this Sunday.
During the last three years she has had one of the most incredible journeys
possible. From thinking that life was no longer worth living to now being a
chaplain intern in the Houston medical center.
Part of her story was featured on the front page of the Houston section of the
Houston Chronicle just a few weeks ago. And, why not? She put the back wheel of
her bicycle into the Pacific Ocean, got on it and rode it to Jacksonville,
Florida, where she put the front wheel into the Atlantic Ocean. One of her best
friends had died with breast cancer and she joined several other women to make
this incredible ride to raise awareness about the subject.
She says that the ride is a metaphor for everything from "safe sex" to life
transformation. She is a gifted spirit and someone you will be touched by. If
you have ever had a moment in your life where your most precious dreams came
crashing down, you'll want to come and hear Stephanie Warfield as she shares her
story with you.
Preview for 10/3/99
I want to give you some words that one of my teachers once gave me. He suggested
that I use them on a daily basis. You may want to do the same.
* * *
May I be filled with loving kindness and compassion.
May I be well.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be happy.
May no harm come to me.
May no difficulties come to me.
May I always meet with success.
May I also be given
The patience, courage, understanding, and determination,
To meet the inevitable
Difficulties, problems and failures
That come to me in life.
* * *
Some people may take such a blessing/prayer as being self-centered. What I want
to talk with you about when we gather this week is that the hopes expressed
above are not about being self-centered but -
When we come to understand that we are not special but that each of us is part
of the whole, then what happens with and within one of us affects us all.
Indeed, all the planet.
So, our focus this week will be on three key principles. They are contained in
I invite you to join me in exploring this wonderful paradox:
***Unless you are standing on your own two feet, you are not truly able to be
close to anyone else.***
Preview for October 10, 1999
Early on in our journey together, I said that I wanted to leave you with
molasses in one hand and feathers in the other. That was my way of emphasizing
the need to think for ourselves AND how hard (if not almost impossible!) such
thinking can be.
There are some things we must believe on this journey that are SO paradoxical
that our minds simply can't get around them. Such is the case with what we are
dealing with now. Namely,
***we have a moral obligation to be happy***
***in this world the one thing we can count on is suffering.***
So, how in God's name (not a bad way to think about it) do we put these two
things together? Even more, why would we want to? Is such a stance like
rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic while it sinks?
I invite you to take another step into the deep with me this week and see.
PREVIEW of October 17, 1999
Dear Folks -
I am so grateful for and to you! Your presence and the persistence of your
probing questions are helping me clarify my thinking about what it means to
"wake up to life as it is."
I remember hearing Thich Nhat Hanh say once, "There is no way to peace. Peace is
the way to be." I would paraphrase that about our current topic - happiness.
***There is no way to happiness.
Happiness is the way to be.***
We'll keep talking about it.
This coming week I'm going to be in Morelia, Mexico celebrating the anniversary
of the seventeen years my beautiful bride and I have been together. Morelia is
in the mountains West of Mexico City and is considered one of the colonial
cities of the country. It was founded by the Spanish during the early sixteenth
During my absence I've asked my long time friend Bob Stecker to be with you. Bob
has travelled a very interesting road to get from his past into the present. He
has been a theater director, university professor, and marriage and family
therapist. He currently works with people on how to use their intuition.
Bob is calling what he wants to share with us -
***Are You Getting Your Personal Messages from the Universe?***
Bob has written a book on how do so. It is -
It's U-Mail! A Lighthearted Guide for Developing and Enhancing Your Intuition.
His presentation is an invitation to you to explore ways you can make greater
use of your gifts of
to increase your joy of life and living.
Preview for October 24, 1999
THE ABSOLUTE, TRUE, GUARANTEED SECRET OF HAPPINESS!
Dear Folks -
That's right. You read correctly.
When we gather this week, I want to share with you the -
***absolute, true, guaranteed***
!!!SECRET OF HAPPINESS!!!
One of the ways we cause ourselves difficulty in life is that we hide the truth
about the way life works from ourselves. So, lets bring out into the open and
take a good look at such matters and talk some more about how in this world
-where people are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered,
-where honesty frequently does not seem to be the best policy,
-where you can spend years building something only to see it vanish in a second,
-where there is poverty and pain and loss and illness and a host of other "evils"
how, in such a world, can we "wake up to what is"
be happy at the same time?
That's my topic for this week.
Preview for October 31, 1999
I would like us to have a dialogue about the kinds of things we've been talking
about so far in our gatherings. So, bring your questions/comments about
how we cause ourselves suffering by trying to be one-up on life, how there
is no life in negativity, AND our moral obligation to be happy.
Preview for November 7, 1999
When we gather, I want to do at least two things. I want to take the suffering
we and others have in life very seriously. And, I want to share some ways
I think we can -***transform our baggage into luggage.***
Preview for November 14, 1999
One of the most powerful spiritual books I have ever read has as its title -
*****Beiing Nobody - Going Nowhere*****
I want my teaching and our time together to embody for you hope and comfort,
love and freedom. I want to take our suffering seriously and offer ANOTHER WAY
……………..to believe and behave.
This week I want to take our conversations a step further - and out into even
deeper water: Who is this "you" who suffers in this world?
Much of what we've been saying so far in our time together can be contained in
***It is in the mastery of compassion that our true power lies.***
But who are we to have compassion for? And, even more important, who are we
having compassion? Come to this week's gathering and let's explore the matter. Let's take up
PREVIEW for November 21, 1999
"Being Nurtured on Worthless Food"
In my work with individuals, couples, families,
organizations and businesses one of the most
important events that ever occurs is our talking
together about how we talk together.
That may sound like double-talk but it is both very
serious and very helpful.
It means talking about how we talk
talking about what we talk about.
We have reached the place in our journey and life
together where this conversation is now most
As you recall, in our last time together we raised the
issue - "Who You?"
Let’s turn the question just smidgen -
***How do you sustain who you understand yourself to be?***
***What spiritual food constitutes the best diet for healthy being?***
I’ll offer my answer to that question when we get together this week.
I hope you can make it. This, I believe, is one of the
most important talks we can have together.
Summary preview for November 28, 1999
I hope you and yours had and are having a restful
time this Thanksgiving Day weekend.
When we gather this week, one of the things I want
to say a word about is how learning to be "thankful
for it all" is a great spiritual practice.
The title of the material I want to offer for your
consideration when we gather is
***The Barking Cat***
Summary of lesson
Summary preview for December 5, 1999
"What Is, Is"
***This week we'll try to "see what is" and "accept
life and others" with openness, honesty and a
willingness to live with what is given."***
Especially will we focus on our relationships. Or, the
lack of the kind of relationships we'd like to have.
I am going to offer a summary of some of David
Schnarch's material - what I think is some of the
most important information on relationships I've seen
in years. I hope you can make it. I believe you'll find
Summary of lesson
Summary preview for December 12, 1999, "The Beliefs We Hold"
Dear Folks -
In living our lives,
attempting to be as awake and compassionate as
there are two things I want to raise in our
First, the truths that we hold that create our
experience of life and living.
Second, the truths that hold us.
Often, both of these ways we create our world -
from the inside out
from the outside in -
are processes we are not aware of.
I hope you'll join me this week as we talk about
*****The Truths We Hold*****
Full preview Download preview19991212.pdf
Summary Download 19991212.pdf
Preview and Summary for December 19, 1999
You'll learn the secret of gift giving like you've never
Be on the alert for symptoms of
Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.