Embodied Touch and Social Action
- Gather and review names and what we have been up to the past few months
- Discussion about the body’s way to the spiritual path: contact and touch
- what was your first sense of touch as a possible portal to the sacred that you can remember?
- What part does the sense of touch play in your spirituality now?
- How is the sense of touch different from hearing or seeing or smelling? What are the ramifications of this difference?
- Chair yoga practice (or simple reiki)..optional
- Social Action and our spiritual lives. Listening to the many ways that great thinkers connect spirit and social action...what sentiment rings truest for you? Follow the hyperlinks by clicking on the saying to find out who in history actually said or wrote it. :-)
A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens - citizens in the fullest sense: partners in civilization.
You can not divorce religious belief and public service. I've never detected any conflict between God's will and my political duty. If you violate one, you violate the other.
In this age, the man who dares to think for himself and to act independently does a service to his race
The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.
The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
Many are attracted to social service - the rewards are immediate, the gratification quick. But if we have social justice, we won't need social service.
Religion was nearly dead because there was no longer real belief in future life; but something was struggling to take its place - service - social service - the ants creed, the bees creed.
Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness
5. Credo or Rule of Life. Some might want to do one or the other. Some folks will benefit from doing both kinds of writing
Writing overview: the creed or I believe or This I Know statement
- Think back to all the senses we have touched. What did those exercises teach you about your spiritual contact with the world?
- In what way do those “present moments” of contact then get framed into meaning making for you? Do they come out as social action? As creative acts—cooking, painting, poetry, etc. Do they help you mentally define your ethics and set a standard for your moral behavior?
- How might you live your life in such a way that you come into contact with the sacred more regularly? How does your life now lives show the spirit within you?
- The rule of life statement: how to construct one
- the mandala of intent for our lives: will show us where are deepest commitments already sit. OR looking back at our work together, where are the weakest places in your spiritual life? How might you strengthen this particular part of yourself? For example, I am easily scattered mentally—I will begin a 10 minute program of meditation each day in the evening before I cook dinner.
- Where are your growing edges—what do you wish to commit to in your life in some small way each day?
- small, simple steps but make them concrete: each day, I shall do...
- what resistance can you foresee arising? How will you work with this resistance? Be concrete.
The danger with taking a lot of time to define a personal spiritual path is that we stop there. And it really can't stop there if we believe we participate actively in a greater reality, as part of that greater reality.
Actually, you were all doing a lot of important discerning today I hope. It was hard to be apart so long, and for that I am sorry. There were many time and ideas to hold today.
Here are the three main themes we covered:
1. What is the role of touch and being embodied in my spiritual journey. How does touch create relationship with our world and with others close to us? How is this a part of spirit?
2. What are the ramifications to my spiritual self when I am faced with "big" issues like national border controls, mental health issues, death and dying. What boundaries do I have beyond this skin of mine? What boundaries do I have to crash through? How do I know what is my "fight" and what I must leave to the Mystery? How do I say I am engaged with the world, and yet stay very true to my most authentic self in a way that is balanced?
3. The Mandala: What do I place at the center of my spiritual life? What other important aspects flow around this center? Do I live my life as a reflection of this mandala, or do I look at it as only an ideal? How can I work to take small steps to manifest my spiritual self in my life?
Ideally, you'll begin to put all of these questions and questions from our times before into a piece of writing that will either help you see where you came from and where you are going, what you believe and why, what your core truths are and how they came to be, or set out a "game plan" for living closer to the center of your own spiritual self (a Rule of Life).
We closed to a circle and the words:
Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-hi, which Nischala Joy Devi always translated as "may all beings experience peace, joy, love and light.
The three shanti's stand for:
Peace between ourselves and the things we cannot control.
Peace between ourselves and others.
Peace between all the parts of ourselves.