Prelude: “By Your Grace – Jai Gurudev” by Krishna Das
Welcome: Call from Beyond By Susan Maginn
Welcome Song: #361 Enter Rejoice and Come In
Chalice Lighting: Come, yet again, come By Anne Slater
Song: Come, Come Whoever You Are
Offering and Response (Unison)
For the gifts which we have received—and the gifts which we, ourselves, are—may we be truly grateful. Yet more than that, may we be committed to using these gifts to make a difference in the world: to increase love and justice; to decrease hatred and oppression; to expand beloved community; to share, and to keep sharing, as long as ever we can. Amen.
Lesson Part 1 : Why Meditate?
If you google, Why Meditate, you will get a lot of answers, from a lot of places. The same is true if you were to Google, benefits of meditation.
Meditation helps reduce stress and therefore helps to reduce anxiety and raise productivity.
Meditation helps you focus.
Meditation opens up your mind to new possibilities.
Meditation can help you sleep better.
Meditation increases a sense of connection to yourself and to others.
Meditation increases our ability to get out there and connect with others as a result of feeling more connected to ourselves and clearer and more confident about what is happening inside us.
Video from the Dalai Lama
Time for All Ages: Throw and Catch Meditation
Lesson Part 2: Types of Meditation
I would venture to say that there are so many benefits to meditation that the real question should be, why not meditate? Too often people try meditation once or twice and say, well it didn’t work for me and I felt no change. Meditation takes practice. Meditation takes repetition. And probably, most importantly, you need to find the right meditation for you. Often meditation is thought of as sitting alone in a relatively uncomfortable position in complete silence and breathing. But “meditation is simply consciously directing your attention in order to transcend the never-ending flow of thoughts through your mind.” There are as many kinds of meditation as there are people. Playing an instrument, breathing, creating or coloring a mandala, yoga, walking through the woods, dancing, singing, contemplating knotwork, throwing and catching a ball, calligraphy, Tai Chi, Baking, whirling, and so many many more. In the book Meditation Secrets for Women: Discovering Your Passion, Pleasure, and Inner Peace, Camille Maurine even talks about talking and yelling as a form of meditation. Sometimes you just have to get all of the emotions out.
Remembering that here in this space small child noises count as silence and stillness
Hymn: Sanctuary (Singing Meditation)
Guided Meditation for Releasing Negative Emotion
Dance Meditation :
“Herbie Hancock – Jazz musician and Buddhist – describes jazz as “a music of the moment”. Improvisation allows him to capture the essence of the present and express it; to provide for listeners an unmediated glimpse of the realm of the infinite.”
Since meditation is not just sitting still, we are going to move. So, if everyone would rise as you are able. We are going to listen to a portion of Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon”. As we listen, focus on the sounds of the song. If you can isolate one instrument, great, if not that’s ok. The point is to listen to the music and move with the music allowing yourself to notice and be in tune with just the sounds of the song.
Silent Breath Meditation
Lesson Part 3: Tips for Meditation
Meditation has a list of benefits a mile long, but it can still seem daunting if you are just starting out. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Start small. Expecting yourself to be able to do a long meditation right out of the box is not fair to yourself. Try 3 minutes. If you want to do yoga start out with a few poses to work your way to a full sun salutation.
- A lot of people say do it first thing in the morning. That is not for me, personally, I cannot get motivated to get up and do it then. So, my advice is to carve out a time in your schedule for it. Write it in your planner or your google calendar. Know that time is for you and for meditating. Making an appointment with yourself is a good way to make sure you do it.
- Remember it is not how you are doing it, but that you are doing it.
- Remember that it is a spiritual practice, which means there is no perfection. The goal is helping yourself, not being the best at it.
- Read explore different types of meditation to find one for you.
- Be gentle with yourself, when you get off track, gently nudge yourself back to center.
“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better, it’s about befriending who we are.” – Ani Pema Chodron
Hymn: Filled with Loving Kindness
Joys and Sorrows
If you woke this morning with a sorrow so heavy that you need the help of this community to carry it; or if you woke with a joy so great that it simply must be shared, now is the time for you to speak.
For the joys and sorrows that haven’t been spoken, but which remain in the silent sanctuaries of our hearts. These joys and griefs, spoken and unspoken, weave us together in the fabric of community.
Closing Song: Go Now in Peace (Repeat 3 times)
 (Marriott 2005)
 (Marriott 2005)