ORDINARY LIFE - Thoughts and Ideas to Help You Live a Happier Life
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Summary for September 3, 2017
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Dear Folks -
These words were on the front page of the New York Times today (9/4/17):
"This city sprawls over 600 square miles, an area so big that Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Detroit could all fit within its simultaneously. The nine-county Houston metropolitan region, covering more than 10,000 square miles, is almost as large as the entire state of Massachusetts."
The rain has stopped falling but some areas of the city are still under water and will be for the next ten days or so. The loss and displacement are catastrophic. The death toll is now over sixty. During the time Houston was being inundated with more rain water than ever in this history of this area, I heard from people far and wide who know about and care about St. Paul’s and the Ordinary Life Community. People who have spoken to us like Ilia Delio, Peter Sills, Paul Jones and others. People who at one time attended and now live elsewhere. People who have never even been to Houston but have gotten these e-mails forwarded to them. Thank you for your expressions of care and concern.
If you live in the Houston area and need help, see the St. Paul’s website. There are people standing by to offer services of all types. If you live in the Houston area and want to help, do the same. If you live elsewhere, and want to help out in some way, see the same site - www.stpaulshouston.org
This week I tried to speak to the tragedy that Harvey has inflicted on people and places in and around Houston. In brief my remarks included -
Stories of loss and the relief of being spared.
The fact that out of events like this can grow, or be reinforced, good or bad theology.
Controversial Jesus wanted to offer people an understanding of God that was based on love and grace, not merit.
In order to embrace this, we must move from the “egoic operating system” to a mystical or non-dual one.
Because the truth that sets us free is one that allows us to live in love and peace with ourselves and with others.
I reminded us of the five remembrances found in Buddhism and the happiness of those who embrace them.
Then I talked about why things we usually label as “bad” are not the result of God’s will but the result of other complicated things that come with having a body and living on this planet.
One of the reasons that I think we gather for times like Ordinary Life is to experience a shift in position and perspective, to see and experience that something else is possible. I hope your reading or hearing the complete experience, offers that for you.
You can read the text from which I spoke, find the presentation slides and the audio version of the talk using the links below.
If you are reading this, I want you to know how grateful I am for and to you.
Be well and much love,
In order to read or download the text of the talk, click here.
To view the presentation slides, click here.
To listen to or download the audio version of the talk, use the link below.