A Meditation for December Holiday Stress
May we let go, if only for this moment, of mentally juggling our to-do lists.
May we put aside, just right now, any obsessions with planning and preparing.
May we also hold back desires and expectations, fears and anxieties,
and just be present to this moment right now.
While the holiday preparations and festivities may be keeping us busy,
they need not occupy all of our lives,
to the point of threatening our well-being.
Let this moment be one of rest, release and relaxation.
As we enjoy the escape, for the moment, from snow and ice,
and delight in spring-like temperatures,
while the West Coast gets some of the rain and snow they need,
May we connect to the spirit of the holidays within.
May we remember that spending and consuming is secondary.
May family, friends, co-workers and the renewal of relationships
be as important as the decorating, shopping and wrapping.
In the coming silence:
Let us rest, just for a moment,.
Let us honor the pregnant emptiness before creative emergence.
Let us discover the peace and ease that are already here.
While this site isn’t completely ready for prime time, I thought I’d put a first post up so at least the world can begin to link to it. I’m moving away from my HTML 1.0 web site I started way back in 1994 as a way to distribute my writing called Sam’s Bookshelf and Cafe (still available via the menu). That site became cumbersome because adding content was tedious (coding the html) and it didn’t automatically generate RSS links when I posted something. I realized I had to step into the 21st century and use some more advanced tools. So I’ve switched to a WordPress platform to host my work. This gives me all sorts of bells and whistles that I didn’t have to code myself! I’ll start porting my writing over here then link it off my top menu. Not sure if I’ll stay with this theme but it works fine for the moment.
The title comes from my long interest and practice of Buddhist mindfulness meditation. The psychological and pragmatic approach of mindfulness meditation as taught at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts most closely fits what works for me as a spiritual practice and I believe fits Unitarian Universalists very well. We need a way to develop our moral behavior, the power of our minds, the openness of our hearts, and the wisdom to guide our actions in the world. Mindfulness practice delivers very well in all these areas without having to sign up for a set of beliefs or belief systems. The Buddha left a detailed map of how the mind and heart work for developing wisdom and compassion that works for me and I introduce it to others.
What I’ve realized over the last several years is the importance of what I do as “content generation.” The distribution of that content could go in any direction be it email lists, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, my Times Union blog or someplace else. What I need to do is make everything easily cross-link with each other so the content is available to my audience (and congregation) in the way they prefer to receive it. That could be a blog RSS news reader (my favored way to sample the Internet fire hose) or Facebook pages, or something else. I’m still figuring out all the technology of interconnection but I know that WordPress is one of the better platforms to make those cross-links.
I plan to put material here that is useful to my congregation, the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, NY. My more general essays tend to get sent to my Times Union blog. My goal is to make sure there is regular material available for my members to support their growth and development that may or may not work as posts to the Times Union blog.
So I look forward to this site being also very useful to people who are exploring whether Unitarian Universalism is the right fit for where they and their family are on their growth path and if our congregation can be a home for them in that process. We cannot be all things to all people but we are welcoming of all free seekers of truth and meaning looking to:
- excite the human spirit
- inspire its growth and development
- respond morally and ethically to a troubled world and
- sustain a vital and nurturing religious community.