Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Fall Day of Contemplation and Renewal

This Sunday, October 3 from 11 to 3:30* (please note, this is a time change) 

Please join Samantha Libby as she leads us in a retreat day of contemplation and renewal.

"As Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot wind down, we have been through a process of taking stock, paring down, releasing what is no longer needed, and harvesting what is most precious within us and within community.

On Sunday, we will gather as a group to engage in and continue the practice of opening our hearts to the new season, our present moment, and to what is, was and will be.

We will use prayer and movement, discussion and silence, writing and sharing as the tools in this moment to continue to expand our souls and our sacred community."

Wear comfortable clothing, bring a notebook and a pen, and please bring some food or drink item to share with approximately six to eight people. People outside of Daniel's service circle are MORE than welcome to attend.

For more information, and to RSVP, please contact Sam at ***

Can't wait!!

***Please DO RSVP! If you can't make the whole thing, come as you can!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rosh Hashanah 5771: Exodus 22:1-19

The Binding of Isaac

The willingness to answer the call that we cannot understand (and would not choose).

Today, we start again.
Let me rephrase that.

Today, we ask ourselves, how willing are we to open? To open to the inside, to the soul, to the community and to god.

Part of us has always known that this is hard. Harder than anything else we might do. We suspect it may have its rewards, its sweetness, its own joy, we see it in the eyes of others who have found it, but we wonder…

...maybe they are just different; maybe it is that way for them and not for me.

We spend a lot of our energy -- our soul -- procrastinating, avoiding, deciding that so many other things are more important right now. And yet, inside, we know.

We know that we all have hard things to do that we don’t want to do, but our soul… it speaks to us. God speaks to us.

Inevitably, when we hear it, we are both overjoyed and terrified, because whatever it is that we must do, that we know in our souls we must do, we don’t want to do it. 

We don’t.
And we do. 

There is no way to reconcile this conflict – we do and we don’t for good reason, we’re humans with lives and fears and baggage, wounds, pain, suffering, flaws, rage, desires, and egos.

Big egos.

Even those of us with small egos, forget how big they are sometimes.

But we know we will do this, even though we don’t want to. Because our soul knows it will. 

There is no other way to explain it. Our soul will do this. We don’t have to like it -- in fact most of the time, all of the time, every step of the way, we won’t like it. But we will do it anyway.

This isn’t “just” a choice. There is no “just” in this choice. There is no choice in this choice. The soul is called to go, and we go.

Imagine… it’s not an either/or choice. Its not like we just won a trip to Hawaii or Cabo and we "just" get to pick which one.

It’s not like god/the universe/your inner speaking soul hands us a stack of cards with different missions printed on the back and we can flip through them saying, "No – not that one. Nah, too hard. Well, ok, maybe that one...but let’s see what this one says."

For Abraham, every card says kill your son.
For us, when we listen, we know what it says.

We keep flipping, hoping for a different card, a different picture -- nothing. They all say the same thing: Do that which we cannot do. Something that will change us, our life, our relationships and the course of history forever…

And we didn’t get to choose it.

Not how we got here, not how this moment arrived, how all the people we know and have known have influenced our lives, our egos, our souls, and now… choiceless.

All we get to do is say "Yes."

We wonder, where is the easier choice that leads to joy? The safer one that doesn’t have to wait for the hand to be stayed?

We want the one that makes sense. And yet, we’re talking outside the box of “sense” -- or actually deep in the box of “sense” if you follow me.

Our souls speak. God calls. We are afraid. We go anyway. Fearless? Foolish? Doesn’t even matter.

We try to go macro – look to the bigger picture. We might hang on to some belief that beyond this little box of "me" standing before you, is a structure I cannot see. 

We might not -- we question. 

Ok. I can live with that. But how does this little box of "me" tumble or erect the larger structure?

We cannot know.

We’re talking thousands of years in which we are a box, a brick, a grain of sand. And still… our soul calls us, the choice is only this:

Live fearlessly with great hope.
Live from that sensing place and trust.

Live and live and live, knowing we will be part of the sands of time, knowing we are only human, there are things we cannot know, and still, we are alive.

We are so alive!

Look what we can do, look who we can be – look around you. Look at the hearts and souls and love in this room, in this world in this life.

We cannot know.
The limit of humanity.

And still, we are so blessed. We are so beautiful.

When we walk into the unknown, terrified and unafraid at the same time, we become mountains, we become the ocean, we become the very fabric of the universe that holds us.

It is so hard… and yet, it is so clearly simple.

We will go. And go. We will hold each other when we cry. We are so unbearably, heartbreakingly, soul-openingly human.

And we are so loved.