Friday, September 27, 2013

Thursdays at Sacred Soup: School for Living

Mark posted yesterday his thoughts on what the School for Living is about.  In turn, Kathy offers these observations.

What do we do?

Learn new skills to help us improve how we relate to others.  We also create a supportive and quiet space where we can reflect on important things in life.

How do we learn?

Through interactive workshops.  Mark shares a concept; we discuss how it applies to relationships we have.  Most often, we each leave with a new perspective to use immediately.

Why join the group?

If you improve how you relate to others, you gain more understanding about yourself and other people who are important to you.  The more you understand, the more you become able to transform your life from daily struggles and conflicts to a loving awareness of your environment.

Everyone has conflict in his or her life.  Learning how to respond to conflict constructively makes it easier for each of us to connect spiritually.  

How is it different than Sunday worship?

Sacred Soup is less structured and more interactive.  Free discussion enables us to learn from each other, to explore concepts, to relate life experiences that may help others.  It’s a complement to weekly worship traditions.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

School for Living Fall Schedule

I am having trouble finding a way to state simply what we are doing with the School for Living of Sacred Soup. It is not really like anything else with which I am familiar , or more to the point, what others are familiar with. Here is my current best effort.

The fundamental premise of Sacred Soup is that we are each able to more fully live into the potential of our lives by deepening our awareness of the divine. We find this difficult but it is easier when we support each other. By bringing whatever we experience and sharing with each other we create a community dedicated to spiritual transformation.

While some practices for spiritual growth depend upon getting away from the challenges of daily life, the School for Living takes the opposite approach. Here we use the challenges of our most troubling circumstances as an opportunity for transformation. Those persistent patterns of conflict that arise in our most significant relationships become the context and the engine for growth.

This fall the Thursday evening meetings of the School for Living are dedicated to a step-by-step process for
  1. selecting an issue to work on;
  2. clarifying what we can know about what is real, what is actually going on;
  3. observing the choices we tend to make when this happens and to explore whether our choices actually create what we need;
  4. discovering with greater clarity what qualities are missing when these events arise;
  5. clarifying a way of being that has integrity (is consistent with who we know ourselves to be), power (neither avoids the issue nor tries to change things we cannot change), and moves us reliably toward what we need;
  6. finding those barriers or beliefs that stop us from acting to create what we need and then
  7. discovering the freedom to act.
With this freedom and clarity we act in ways that not only create what we need but also create what everyone else needs. These "ways of being" are a manifestation of our highest potential because they are in full harmony with the Will of God.

Friday, September 20, 2013

School for Contemplative Practices: Saturday, September 28, 2013

Each religion has unique and valid insights into the nature of reality. However when all of the major religions observe a similar truth, we can trust that this harmony points to a core aspect of what is.

One of the observations common to all of the great wisdom traditions is that when we sit in silent attention to the divine we experience a transformation of our consciousness. When we commit ourselves to contemplative prayer or meditation we find that we begin to see reality with new eyes. Whether we call this “discovering our Buddha nature” or “finding harmony with the Tao” or “putting on the mind of Christ” we have a shift that may be called non-dual awareness or unitive consciousness.

Toward the end of the first week of September 180 students of the Living School of the Rohr Institute met at a resort on native lands on the banks of the Rio Grande River just north of Albuquerque, NM. The core faculty consisted of Fr. Richard Rohr, Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, and James Finley. The topic was on developing non-dual awareness.

Join us Saturday morning, September 28 from 10:00 to Noon at Pilgrim Church in the Second floor Lounge for a presentation by Rev. Dr. Mark Lee Robinson, one of the students in the Living School about the experience and about the teaching. We will examine questions such as;
· Are we called to worship Jesus or to follow him?
· If we realize that Christ is not Jesus’ last name, what does it mean to be the Christ?
· Is it possible for us to “put on the mind of Christ” and if so, what does that experience look like and how does it change the way we see the world?

A light lunch will follow.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

School for Living starts

Living SchoolThe Sacred Soup School for Living starts up tomorrow evening. I am just back from a moving and exciting retreat with three of my favorite authors and teachers in the contemplative tradition. I will share more about it on September 28 but there are some parts of it I am anxious to share with you.

The short version is that what we have been doing as Sacred Soup is entirely within the mainstream of a powerful movement to bring greater spiritual depth to our lives, our relationships, our culture, and all of creation. The heart of this past weekend was a focus on developing and deepening into Unitive awareness or non-dual consciousness. I hope to see you tomorrow evening to tease this apart and to kick off the fall program.