Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.
- (Sufi Poet Rumi)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Take No Prisoners

I wonder where you are today? What aches lie in your body? What heaviness burdens your heart? What doubts slumber in your mind?

There is no secret to liberation from the daily digest of human woes, but there is nourishment in knowing that though you many not control the future and cannot change the past, for the very next moment, the very next breath, you can see yourself as beautiful.

You are the light of the world, and my prayer is that if we can take courage to grow our compassionate conciousness, we may extend our freedom beyond one moment, or one breath, and out to our one world.

May it be so.

(inspired by a poem by Sufi poet Hafiz, below)

We have not come here to take prisoners,

But to surrender ever more deeply

To freedom and joy.

We have not come into this exquisite world

To hold ourselves hostage from love.

Run my dear,

For anything

That may not strengthen

Your precious budding wings.

Run like hell my dear,

From anyone likely

To put a sharp knife

Into the sacred, tender vision

Of your beautiful heart.

We have a duty to befriend

Those aspects of obedience

That stand outside of our house

And shout to our reason

"O please, O please,

Come out and play."

For we have not come here to take prisoners

Or to confine our wondrous spirits,

But to experience ever more deeply

Our divine courage, freedom,

and Light!

- Hafiz (We Have Not Come To Take Prisoners)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Intentions of Compassionate Communication Practitioners in Unitarian Univeralism

  • We seek peace resulting from a Thou-Thou connection (a deep knowing and embodiment that the other person or being has inherent worth and dignity). This makes it possible for our needs to be met without depriving any person or persons the resources necessary to have their needs met. Compassionate Communication Consciousness is about seeking peace and justice in every moment.

  • In this complex world, we recognize the difficulty of living a life based on the values of equality and justice. Thus we realize the importance of an intentional spiritual practice as a basis for peaceful living, which in Compassionate Communication includes growing in intrapersonal and interpersonal relational skills. Practicing is not just building, but living the beloved community.

  • This spiritual practice of Compassionate Communication is deeply Unitarian Universalist as reflected in our principles and traditions. We have a long history of learning from others (unsealed revelation), affirming the inherent worth and dignity of all beings, recognizing our interdependence within our communities of mixed species, and our hope in the community forming power of love that comes through covenanted community.

  • There is no “right or wrong” way to “do” Compassionate Communication. We look beyond formulas, creeds, or specific steps in a spiritual practice, to growing our individual and collective consciousness so that as a community we increase our ability to love and stay engaged. To stay engaged and in relationship in the complex interplay of human fumbling and bumbling is to live out the hope and grace of religious covenant, the foundation of Unitarian Universalism.

  • Because Compassionate Communication embraces the heart of Unitarian Universalism and because inner peace is not separate from outer peace, seeking to grow and practice peacemaking in our hearts and congregations is a priority. Our sense of urgency arises from our capacity for individual, group, community, and societal violence, domination, and broken relationships, much of which we may unwittingly be a part. Suffering may be ever present, yet the possibility of peace and healing arises in every thought, breath, word, and action.

  • With this possibility of being the peace we wish to see in the world, we seek leading the change in our congregations and in our communities. We do not lose our way in anger and hurt because we recognize the opportunities inherent in conflict and relational tension to increase our own capacity for peacemaking within, among and between. By turning anger into a celebration of mourning unmet needs we can stay in relationship in the midst of conflict and enhance our ability to hear and consider everyone’s needs. By letting go of specific outcomes and strategies, we engage ever more deeply and joyfully with one another. With an invitation to play, we eventually overcome the differences between our strategies to meet needs, and instead concentrate on developing our collective spiritual life. In this creative milieu, we have the chance to truly understand the needs, dreams, and longings of others. In this understanding our congregations become ever-stronger centers of liberation and service.

  • Knowing the importance of support in this work, and how our shared practice will grow with your presence and input, we invite you to join us on our email list serve http://lists.uua.org/mailman/listinfo/uu-speakingpeace and on our website http://www.uuspeakpeace.org/.