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“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank

Monthly Archive

 

July, 2018

Extended Family of the Heart.

Jan and JD will be our guest speakers/musicians for the one service at 10am.

Jan Garrett and JD Martin will be doing the service and music for us. Jan Garrett and JD Martin are multi-award-winning singer songwriters who live and create their music in the mountains of Colorado near Aspen. Both are seasoned performers and creative guides who teach with a twinkle, and inspire by example.

Jan and JD

They call their 23-year partnership “The Heart of Harmony” not only because they are happily married to each other, but because they get to write, record, sing, and play their music for appreciative audiences around the country—and beyond.

Their music is rich and intelligent, a velvet-hammer wake-up call as satisfying to the soul as it is to the ear…songs to open the heart and refresh the spirit.

July, 2018

It is What it Is.

When I was younger, I was obsessed with asking why. It made me crazy when my parents said, “Because I said so.”  And I really disliked it when I asked a question in Sunday School and the teacher would say, “Well, some things just have to be taken on faith.” (In my secret heart of hearts, that still bugs me!  🙂

 

But as I have gotten older, I have learned a lot more about my various motives behind questioning why. I have also become more humble. I’ve learned that sometimes asking why is actually about wanting to have some sense of control.

 

Many things happen in life that leave us feeling baffled and powerless. If we could just know “the reason,” we think maybe we wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed by those things.

 

People love to say, “Everything happens for a reason.” Maybe. Maybe it happens for many reasons. Or for no reason at all. In my current way of looking at things, I think that Reality might be too vast for Reason to comprehend.

 

The “3rd injunction” in Brugh Joy’s book, Joy’s Way, is:

“Delete the need to understand.”

 

This isn’t saying don’t seek to understand. Rather, it is addressing the need to understand, which can get in the way of experiencing, without encumbrances, what is. Sometimes the compulsion to know why or to have a label or a diagnosis is a way to distract ourselves from simply being with what is. And sometimes it’s because of a need to be “in the know” or to be right.

 

During a question-and-answer session following one of Suzuki’s lectures, a student said, “Suzuki Roshi, I’ve been listening to your lectures for years, but I just don’t understand. Could you please put it in a nutshell? Can you reduce Buddhism to one phrase?”

Everyone laughed. Suzuki laughed.

“Everything changes,” he said.  “Next question?”

 

Love,

Peggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

July, 2018

Trading Judgment for Grace.

Imagine your having no need at all to judge anybody. Imagine your having no desire to decide whether someone is a good or bad person. Imagine your being completely free from the feeling that you have to make up your mind about the morality of someone’s behavior. Imagine that you could say: “I am judging no one!”     —Henri J. M. Nouwen in Here and Now

When I read those words, I can actually feel myself relax. Mentally, emotionally – even physically.

The “2nd Injunction” in Brugh Joy’s book, Joy’s Way, is “Make. No. Judgments.”

Just like making comparisons, judging seems almost ingrained in most of us. For me, judging and comparing seem to go hand-in-hand, and it is absolutely delightful to let go of the need to engage in them.

One of my least favorite phrases is “constructive criticism.” To me it is often a cover for plain old judging. People sometimes ask for support and/or feedback – in editing a document or planning a speech, for instance. They might ask their doctor for better health ideas and practices. Or they might ask their counselor how to more constructively handle their emotions. We might ask a close friend to gently tell us a hard truth we need to hear.

But “constructive criticism,” more often than not, comes from the incessant judging mind – and is often not asked for. And it can be about constantly evaluating other people’s appearances, behaviors, choices, words, etc.

Imagine living a life free from that exhausting practice. Imagine living a life loving what is, a life free from the compulsion to criticize, judge, condemn, retaliate. I feel lighter just imagining it! How about you?

Ram Dass in One-Liners said: “Let’s trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let’s lay down our righteousness and just be together.”

Ah-h-h-h

Love,
Peggy

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.