WISDOM FROM A HOPI ELDER

August 7, 2017

It never ceases to fascinate and inspire me to read the wisdom of those on different, but similar paths to mine. Huston Smith, in his book A Seat at the Table, shared this wisdom from a Hopi Elder. These questions challenge us to critically reflect on our lives and our vision for the world. May we each reflect on these questions this week.

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?

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PRACTICING MEANING

August 24, 2016

So I have been thinking about practical ways to practice meaning in our everyday lives. One of my sources of inspiration this month came from one of the women who was at our anniversary celebration. She suggested we have a wall in our kitchen/gathering area where people could write inspirational words or phrases. This got me thinking what if we all did this. What if we create a wall or a mural of proverbs? They could come from one faith tradition, or in our space, a myriad of faith traditions. They could come from the Book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible or one of numerous other collections of proverbs. Here is a list of three of my favorite collections of proverbs:

  • Like a Yeti Catching Marmots: A Little Treasury of Tibetan Proverbs·
  • Soul Would Have No Rainbow if the Eyes Had No Tears and Other Native American Proverbs·
  • African Proverbs, Parables and Wise Sayings

Do you have one you would like to share?

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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

June 28, 2015

     

EXEGETE YOUR COOKBOOK

June 19, 2014

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When I was in seminary, my homiletics (fancy word for preaching) professor, Dr Gail Ricciuti, taught us how to exegete a periscope. In other words, how to critically analyze and understand a scripture. One of the first steps, she said, was to forget everything you have ever heard about how to interpret a scripture. She taught us that by holding on to what we thought we knew, we would be blinded to the new revelations that the scripture could reveal to us. In retrospect, it seems that she was teaching us a similar lesson to Matsuo Basho, a Japanese Haiku poet, who once wrote,

When journeying upon the path of wisdom, do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought. Seek the meaning behind their footsteps, and not upon the steps themselves. For in seeking the footsteps you shall be glancing only upon the next footprint. And you’re sure to stumble upon an unforeseen obstacle. But in seeking the meaning behind their footsteps you’re sure to see ahead; comparable to looking up while walking. Thus allowing you to easily maneuver around the hurdles on the path you walk. …And if you walk like this long enough, you’ll one day, to your surprise, find yourself among the wise.

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K is for Kitchen

January 10, 2014

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As many of you know, we had to travel the last few days to attend a funeral. Doing so kept me out of the physical kitchen for a few days. So coming back last night, I had a new appreciation for my kitchen. At the same time, however, it made me think about what a kitchen is. By definition, a kitchen is “a room or area where food is prepared and cooked.”[1] We tend to think about a kitchen as containing certain things like a sink, stove, and refrigerator. However, the other night I gathered with Zoe’s family in the sitting area of the hotel where we brought down leftovers from the home going celebration and reheated them in the microwave and shared them at what became our “kitchen table”. It reminded me that not every culture thinks about kitchens in the same way or has in the past.

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Enlightenment

November 12, 2013

house: Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.” So what enables us to become enlightened and why, or does this, create an oozing of ghosts?  To become enlightened is to develop theability to give spiritual or intellectual insight to self, and some would say to others. Being enlightened is about being present. it is about developing the spiritual practice of releasing our attachment to the material world and all things which seek to cling to us or to which we seek to cling. It is about becoming in tune with all human experience, which enables one to understand our connection to all of life and humanity.

Perhaps that is why this image was selected to go with this quote. One can look at this house and see it as empty and free of anything which might challenge us to become attached materialistically. At the same time, one can look at this house and see life being restored, an air conditioner, fresh air circulating through, rugs to be laid out. Whichever way we choose to look at this house and experience it is about us. We are free to determine our own lives and our own reality. This image is nothing more then an image. What we see in it and how we experience it can affect our understanding of reality. Like with anything else in life, we can experience things in a way that cause our understanding of reality to expand and contract. It is like breathing, our lungs expand and contract as we inhale and exhale. 

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This past Wednesday I had the last of my four Reiki 1 classes and as with last week, it began with my teacher asking me to close my eyes and pick three cards. The three that I picked were Destiny, Wisdom, and Nonjudgmental. As with last week, she smiled and she said yes those are you; read the backs if you would like. You just need to walk in the fullness of them

Wisdom – Treat everyone and everything with loving compassion. When you see no difference between the sacred and the profane, the saint and the sinner. That is the ultimate wisdom.

Destiny – You can look . . . and you will find it. You can not look . . . and you will find it. That which is yours will surely come to you.

Nonjudgmental – To straighten what is crooked, you must first straighten yourself. Once you are aligned, the whole world looks different.

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Wednesday was the 3rd of what will now be four lessons for Reiki 1. So after a celebratory birthday lunch for my teacher (I made “fried” chicken, collard greens, “mac” and cheese, and biscuits), we began our lesson. After blessing and sanctifying the space, she said close your eyes and using your left hand (not my dominant hand), hover your hand over this deck of Zen cards and pick three.  The three that I picked were Compassion, Wisdom, and Community. We laughed and she said yes those are you; read the backs if you would like.

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