Day 2: What Technology are you grateful for?
Sometimes we can feel weird about technology and wonder if it is good or bad. Anne Welsbacher does just that in her sermon The Tao of Ipod, perhaps it can help us all come to a better relationship with our technology.
In the month of November people tend to focus on gratitude and thankfulness. While this should be a practice all year, Thanksgiving makes November an easy target. This November we are going to do a gratitude challenge. We hope you will join us.
Today’s question is what smell are you grateful for today?
Here is a meditation from Braver/Wiser called Petrichor by Alex Haider-Winnett.
We’re sorry we missed you, but if you’d like to know what we did in church today, August 12, 2018, the full service is up here.
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
What is prayer? According to Wikipedia, “Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private.” Prayer is seen as definitively religious. Prayer can be healing. Prayer can be a destination for our thoughts. There are as many ways to prayers as there are people who pray.
Beliefnet collected The Essential Prayers of World Religions. They are the Refuge Prayer from Buddhism, the Lord’s Prayer from Christianity, the Faitha from Islam, the Gayatri Mantra from Hinduism, and the Shema from Judaism.
Some people sing. Some people use prayer beads. Some color mandalas. Some pray out loud. Some pray silently.
“The Atheist Prays” by Barbara J. Pescan wrestles with the questions about praying when you are unsure if anyone is listening.
I am going to leave you with a song from Kesha’s new album.
Peace and Prayers,
What is Focus?
Here are some of the definitions from Merriam Webster Dictionary
1. a: a center of activity, attraction, or attention
b: a point of concentration
c: adjustment for distinct vision; also : the area that may be seen distinctly or resolved into a clear image
6: a localized area of disease or the chief site of a generalized disease or infection
What does Focus mean to you?
How can you improve Focus?
What is your focus in life or in faith?
For me, Focus is about the ability to concentrate, but also the need to know where I am going, both in life and in my faith. Meditation can be a great way to help with both of those.
Here is a video meditation designed for kids but good for anyone by Mairead Russell
Also here’s a picture to focus on. Trace the labyrinth, focus on the center, or use it as a way to start the breathing towards focusing.
To close today’s devotional I will leave this prayer
Dear great lathe of heaven,
O foundry of souls,
You churning, burning cosmos which has wrought me on the infinite loom of your celestial body.
Spinning stars and indifferent stones: hear my prayer.
Do not curse me to perish with all my dreams fulfilled.
Do not afflict me with a vision so narrow and a heart so small,
That all my greatest hopes could be accomplished within a single lifetime.
Rather, bless me with an unquiet spirit.
Anoint me with impertinent oils.
Grant me dreams so great and numerous,
That I might spend the fullness of my days to realize them,
And have ample remaining to leave to my inheritors.
Holy gyre that bore me and must one day take me home,
Allow me the mercy to depart this life with unfinished business.
Our Monday Meditation is “Benediction for the Heavy Heart” by UUA staff member Mason Bolton. It reads:
“Good morning. I missed your ‘good’
because a plane, because a truck, because
a gun, because a cop, because a government,
because a people suffering, because too many
people suffering, because war, because famine,
because some mornings it is so hard
to rise, to wake, to be a self.
There is a pause here. There is a deliberate
cessation. I want a cessation to the noise
in my head, to the ache in the collective
heart of this world. When I was young
this seemed possible. . . .
I want your mornings ‘good,’ your evenings ‘good,’
all the late nights and sunrises and afternoons
and moments pressed against the ticking
glass of your life ‘good.’
Breathe. For yourself. For each other. Let
us breathe in when others cannot. When we
can do nothing else. Let us stretch ourselves
open to embrace our friends, extend
our bodies outward to anyone willing to meet us
and even those we think may not be willing. Let us
hold each other for this moment. For this
blink of human existence.”
Read this and other meditations in the new Skinner House Books title “To Wake, To Rise: Meditations on Justice and Resilience” available at inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop http://tinyurl.com/ybsj9f49