Friday, January 21, 2011

Why my last posting

My Life Review Part 1 was very "personal" and narrowly defined by my current physical state. I was literally somewhat surprised when I realized that. In thinking about the posting two aspects came to mind. The first is the way I often begin Meeting for Worship for me. I tend to get in touch with my physical state. The second is an "old" Friends story about speaking in Meeting.

In sharing with students in Friends schools about Meeting I often talked about Listening. I would speak of listening in three major ways.
The first is listening to self and this often begins by listening to one's body and what it is "saying." This could be in the form of pain, discomfort, tension, numbness or other sensation in a specific area. Once that has been "heard" it tends to be easier to move on to other aspects of what is on your mind. After listening to what is uppermost with your body and mind then, at times, deeper issues can be addressed.
The second way of listening is to others. This might take the form of thinking about the others that are with you in the room, but it can also take the form of remembering good times with family or friends or sad times. I also encourage the Listening to others that may be far away physically, to bring them with you into the Meeting. I often share that I think of my mother and father and what they taught me even though they have died many years ago. In that way I can still listen to them. This can be extended in many ways to what has been read, etc.
The third way of listening is to God/Spirit. In a school setting, I tried to share that traditionally in a Friends Meeting for Worship this was the main focus of Meeting. In a school Meeting where the great majority are not Friends, I invite the students to think about that but indicate that much can be gained by learning to Listen to themselves and to others in a way that opens communication.

The story about speaking in Meeting goes some thing like this. A member of Meeting for several weeks kept having images of other members during Meeting. The images were of what the other members were bringing with them to Meeting. The tanner seemed to always be carrying a load of leather; the tailor had a lap full of sewing; the farmer was loaded down with seeds and a hoe; and so on. Finally it seemed that he was led to speak about the foolishness of bringing the burdens of the week into Meeting. However, as the Friend tried to stand he found he was unable to and on examining why not, he, a cobbler, found that he was weighed down by the bag of shoes on his shoulder. Although the images are "old" the message is very current and ancient. It seems to be a retelling of the remove the "log" from your own eye before trying to remove the speck from an other person's eye. It also brings to mind all of the "baggage" that I carry with me in trying to be open to myself, others, and God.

Thus for me in trying to examine "where" I am, I somehow felt that I needed to examine my physical state and to look at some of the things that are "weighing" on me right now as I start to look at other issues and at my relationships with others. I am not sure where this will lead, but am determined to start on the journey. That seemed to lead to a first small step of self examination.

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