Dear Folks -
Spiritual and religious work is designed to get us out of our usual way of thinking and experiencing the world and into "liminal space." Many things and experiences can be used to achieve this. While in this space we are to grow in our awareness of and ability to express the values of love, wisdom and inclusiveness. We can only achieve this by working to develop what spiritual teachers call "the contemplative mind."
That's a brief summary of the talk. The audio version is somewhat different and, I believe, better than the text. Also, the presentation slides are a valuable asset in understanding the talk. All can be found by using the links below.
The full text is below.
To download the complete text click here Download 9:15:13 - Complete Text
To download the presentation slides click here Download 9:15:13 - Search Your Heart and See
To download the audio click here Download 09152013
Summary of September 8, 2013
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Dear Folks -
This week in Ordinary Life we were privileged to hear Michael Butera speak. The title he gave his talk is "The Wound of Love." There is no text of the talk but the audio is available using the link below.
Before introducing Michael I gave out information about an upcoming lecture series that will be held October 11 - 13. At that time Dr. Paul Jones, author of "The Seven Deadly Secrets of the Church" will be presenting lectures on Friday night, Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning. The lectures are free but we are requesting that those who want to attend register their desire by calling 713-528-0527. That way we will know how many people to setup for. If you want lunch, there is a $7 charge.
I also introduced the church-wide educational emphasis leading up to Mitzvah Day on Saturday, October 5. On that day the goal is to assemble 120,000 meals to be distributed to those in need. More information can be found on St. Paul's website.
The remarks I made about this emphasis can be found using the "complete text" link below. The presentation slides I used and audio of Michael's talk can be found using the links below.
To download the complete text click here Download 9:8:13 - Complete text
To listen to the audio of Michael Butera's talk click here Download 09082013
To view the presentation slides click here Download 9:8:13 - Radical Giving
Summary of September 1, 2013
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Dear Folks -
Every wise and useful spiritual tradition I know anything about teaches that we are not to judge. This is a key teaching in Buddhism and certainly in the teaching of Jesus. It is a difficult practice but working at it contributes to psychological and spiritual health.
Yet, another one of Jesus teachings is "by their fruits you will know them." Certainly this appears to involve judging. How are we to know what "good fruits" are and doesn't this involve us in making judgments about others?
What I teach is that we are called to be who we truly are and that in doing so we "bear good fruits." There is nothing we can do to be. If we can understand that then we can talk about the kinds of things that people busy being, do.
That's the talk in summary. The complete text, presentation slides and audio can be found using the links below.
To download the text click here Download 9:1:13 - Complete text
To view the presentation slides click here Download 9:1:13 - Spiritual Fruits & Not Religious Nuts
To download the audio click here Download 09012013
Summary of August 25, 2013
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Dear Folks -
Pema Chodron, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, begins her latest book - "Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change" - with this line: "Life is like stepping into a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink."
Wise and useful spiritual and religious teachings are designed to help us not only to wake up to this fact, but also to live our lives in the face of it as bravely, beautifully and fully at we can. All it takes is a moment, a flash of insight, for us to have this "enlightenment."
The Buddhist call such moments "moments of zen." The talk I offered in Ordinary Life this week is based on the teaching of Jesus about our both being and living as lighted candles. Candles don't last forever but they are meant to bring light while they are here.
That's the talk in summary. The complete text, presentation slides (which contain all the cartoons and photographs of the people I mention) and audio can be found using the links below. The presentation slides are valuable in understanding the talk. As is often the case, the audio is somewhat different from the text.
To download the text click here Download 8:25:13 - Complete text
To view the presentation slides click here Download 8:25:13 - Here is Your Moment of Zen
To download the audio click here Download 20130825