Monday, March 31, 2008


Good morning, good people,

I need to catch you up on upcoming meetings: Thursday, April 3rd (not 4th) will be our next meeting. I have one new member that I know will be joining us, and I hope others as well. I consider this a "catch up" meeting. We will meet the following days in April as well: Sunday, April 6th and 20th, and Monday, April 28th to wrap up A New Earth's discussion. All times will be 6:30 pm. I hope more of you can join us for the Sunday discussions.

I would like to use April 3rd as a "learn to blog/post/comment" lesson (hoping Bonnie will teach us that evening) and to set our new book for May. Please let me know if you have additional book suggestions.
Have a fully aware week,

Friday, March 28, 2008

Successful Second Sitting

Wow! What a wonderful second discussion we had last evening! I so wish the rest of you had been there to share. Personally, I felt growth in myself as a result of last night's sharing of the truths in A New Earth. Below are just a few of the truths covered last night.

*I am -- not I am teacher or guilty or a good/bad parent -- simply, I am.

*Awareness leads to acceptance, acceptance leads to action.

*We are one with ALL in the universe.

*Those of us who are ready for awareness and apply it, are helped when challenges are present; therefore, strong presence works.

*Ego is present in the shy as well as the arrogant; it is inferior as well as superior.

*The main focus must be in doing NOW; that's where the passion and deep joy is.

There was a question about one of Tolle's statements:

After a while, you lose the joy of life. If you spend five years of stress and finally you achieve what you wanted, is that worth it?

So I am going to make this our next blog discussion question. Please post your comments here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

apologetically, another schedule change

Dear group,

I find that because of my work schedule (I am the designated closer at work now), I need to cancel my commitment to weekend discussions, starting with Sunday, March 30th. If anyone in the group can provide space and leadership, by all means continue to meet.

For the weekday meetings, I am going to schedule one a week (scheduling two weeks in advance) to meet. I also am changing the format to include an hour of book discussion and an hour of current events talk about meaning to our lives. Next week, we will meet Thursday, March 27th at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm for A New Earth through Chapter 5. Thursday, April 3rd, we will discuss any ideas we have found in A New Earth.

Finally, I am going to post a weekly question here about current events and welcome each of your responses on this blog. This week's question has to do with the current controversy surrounding Barack Obama and Reverend Wright: Since this is Holy Week for Christians, the focus has been on Jesus's entrance into the Jerusalem and his confrontation with the domination political system of the Roman Empire. It strikes me that Reverend Wright's statements, although I in no way condone them, were denouncing the perceived empirialism in America. Should we be held accountable for our spiritual advisors' viewpoints or only for our own? I will post my comments this evening when I return from work.

Have a lovely weekend,

Monday, March 17, 2008


Good morning, beautiful people,

I hope this post finds everyone well and joyous. I have a few book suggestions to pass along to you in hopes that it will start all of us thinking about life after Tolle. Here are my suggestions:

1) If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland

2) God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It by Jim Wallis

3) a Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am A missional + evangelical + post/protestant + liberal/conservative + mystical/poetic + biblical + charismatic/contemplative + fundamentalist/calvinist + anabaptist/angelican + methodist + catholic + green + incarnational + depressed-yet-hopeful + emergent + unfinished Christian by Brian McLaren

4) Finding Faith: A Search for What Makes Sense by Brian McLaren

5) Finding Faith: A Search for What Is Real by Brian McLaren
6) The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
I apologize to Susan and others who made suggestions that I didn't write down. I hope you will make them again. I look forward to hearing more from all of you.
Have a contemplative week,

Thursday, March 13, 2008

First meeting highlights

Hi, group,
I apologize to all of you for not getting this summary out earlier, but it really has been a hectic time for me. I will do better from now on.
Nine of us met for the first meeting and the deep thoughts and willingness to share with strangers and friends alike was quite impressive. Through our sharing of spiritual journeys, we found similarities and differences. The following are the highlights of the meeting through my eyes. If I have missed highlights, please feel free to add. Again, I was not able to access the webcast on, so I printed the transcript and have many new ideas we can discuss on March 30th.

1) Why we decided to read this book
2) Is there a difference between spirituality and religion, and do we consider ourselves either or both?
3) Is humanity faced with the "evolve or die" dilemma and is it ready to undergo a transformation of consciousness?
4) How do we perceive heaven?
5) Are we resisters or yielders when faced with a tragic loss?
6) What roles do we play in life, and how does that affect our daily living?
7) What does it mean to be "in the present"?
8) What part does labeling play in our lives?
9) "Man made God in his own image, the eternal, the infinite, and unnamable was reduced to a mental idol that you had to believein and worship as my god or our god."
10) Awareness is that deep place you go that has no place for ego (the past or future) but only the place to ". . . be still and know that I am God."

I also asked for future books to discuss once we finish (in April) with A New Earth. Please email those to me so I may compile a list for March 30th. I would like to make schedule for the rest of this year. I will post the list of books on Monday, March 17th and update it until March 30th. We can plan the other books then.

Look forward to reading your comments and posts.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Chapter 5 questions

from Donna -- Chapter 5: The Pain-Body

5-A. On page 141, Tolle says, "Any negative emotion that is not fully faced and seen for what it is in the moment it arises does not completely dissolve. It leaves behind a remnant of pain." Tolle goes on to describe how children are particularly vulnerable to these negative emotions and shut down their emotions, and this defense mechanism tends to remain in the adult. What experience have you had with this phenomenon?

5-B. Pages 154-160 cover the female pain-body, the national pain-body, and the racial pain-body as important collective pain-bodies to acknowledge. Why should we pay particular attention to collective pain-bodies?

5-C. Discuss the following from the chapter's end: ". . . For what you do to others, you do to yourself.
"It doesn't really matter what proportion of your pain-body belongs to your nation or race and what proportion is personal. In either case, you can only go beyond it by taking responsibility for your inner state now. Even if blame seems more justified, as long as you blame others, you keep feeding the pain-body with your thoughts and remain trapped in your ego. There is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet: human unconsciousness. That realization is true forgiveness. With forgiveness, our victim identity dissolves, and your true power emerges -- the power of Presence. Instead of blaming the darkness, you bring in the light."

Good evening, my friends,
Those of you who are able to meet Thursday evening, please bring with you a list of book suggestions for our meetings after our April discussions of A New Earth. Also bring a brief description of your spiritual background, your present spiritual self, and what you would like to get from our group talks. I would also like to know if you are willing to be a group leader as our group grows.
I have not yet received my email confirmation and instructions from the Oprah website. I hope I am able to log on tomorrow evening since I work until 7pm EST.
I look forward to meeting all who are able to meet on Thursday.

Joyfully yours,