Recently I watched a short video on social media that really touched me. It was about a woman who makes wigs by hand for children with no hair. She does it for free. Her goal is to help those children be accepted by their peers and to feel loved. It’s an amazing thing to do.
Each of us had received great gifts, or bounty, from the universe. Some of us have great wealth with cars and homes. Some people have the ability to make wonderful friends wherever they go. Some people and are funny and share laughter and joy. There are people who are wonderful gardeners and grow food. Other people may have very little from a worldly view, but at least they have their health. No matter what it is, we all know abundance on some level.
In our own way we need to give something back. Give back to the world, society, to the universe. It is not only a good way to show appreciation for what we have, but to “pay it forward”, as it were. Some of us give of our hearts, while others give of our time and energy. Still other people give monetarily. It doesn’t matter. It’s the act of giving, of loving and of sharing that matters.
The woman in the video I saw devotes not only her resources but also a great deal of her time in order to create realistic wigs. She is amazing. And so are you. We all have a great deal to contribute and to give back to the universe.
This year we, at Great Conjunction, have been working on my pet project. I’m sure you’ve already heard of this project. It’s still in the early stages, but we’ve almost completed the first phase and it’s well on its way. Each month we go to an assisted living facility and share guided meditation and Reiki with the residents and the staff.
The feedback we’ve received from one of the administrators at the facility, as well as from the participants themselves, has been outstanding. The impact such a simple program is making in the lives of these people is nothing short of phenomenal.
We have even been able to see some of the effects the meditation and Reiki has had on the residents. At the end of a session, you can even see it in their expressions. The level of relaxation, the release of anxiety and the joy they experience can be seen on their faces and in their bodies. They stand up a little straighter, with a little more ease.
I can’t truly explain the benefit I personally receive from this program. The joy of seeing these people’s faces makes my heart swell with love and gratitude for what we are able to share with them. And if we can help them in some small way, then that’s a huge thing!
We are ready to expand this program. We plan to reach out to other facilities and other “at risk” populations and share guided meditation and Reiki. We would like to work with more assisted living facilities, with more seniors, people with psychological and physical issues and with veterans groups, to mention just a few. We would like to grow this program exponentially as well as train others in this program.
That’s where you can come into play. While the staff of Great Conjunction and a few wonderful and dedicated volunteers donate our time and energies, it’s going to take money and resources to keep this program alive and to grow it. We need to pay for insurance, meditation and Reiki training for volunteers and staff, materials and so forth. We are also providing residents, and soon staff, with guided meditation cds so they can work with meditation on their own.
Please, we need your help to expand. We need donations to pay the expenses involved in this program and to expand. We also need you! If you are an experienced Reiki Master we would love for you to join us. Please share of your bounty so that we may continue to help the more vulnerable members of our world.
Here’s a link you can use to make a one-time donation or even a continuing gift. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated. Donate Today!
I hope you enjoy the season of bountiful harvest.
Joe Thornton, Great Conjunction Co-Founder
*Note, to protect the resident's privacy, images are from the Library of Congress archives.
We hosted some amazing programs in September, if you weren’t able to attend, here is some of what you missed:
This was our third Death and Cake and it really seems to be hitting it's stride with far raging conversations including
· Burial Practices around the World
· Advanced Directives
· Home Funerals
· Hospice and Palliative Care
· US medicine and end – of – life care
· Social media and what happens to it when we die
· Green Burials
· The Funeral Industry
These aren’t morbid or scary events, but a place to clear misconceptions, get better information about end of life, and share experiences. Plus, we laugh a lot, not morbid or gallows humor – just the joy of release and discovery.
I listened to the sound of Regina’s steady drumbeat and the quiet chanting in the background, I had a strange moment of uncertainty, “When did the chanting start?” I couldn’t quite make out the words, but it was multiple voices chanting in a language I couldn’t understand, but was so clear enough that I was almost sure it was a recording Regina had started after the Journey had begun. It wasn’t. As the drumming ceased the chants faded away.
I was a little shy asking about the chanting during our discussion afterward, but I wasn’t the only one who heard it. “Sometimes the drum sings,” Regina replied.
Sometimes The Tower can indicate a disaster lurking around the corner. Fortunately, I don't see that for us this month. What I do see is incredible invigorating energy that makes us ambitious and courageous about what we want to do next. With this card, our creativity is pushing us to take action. We simply cannot deny this kick in the pants! Forward motion is inevitable with this greater awareness of new visions as something languishing on the back burner is suddenly ready to come front and center.
In addition to this explosion of energy, some structures and patterns in your life will change. I don't mean the house is going to fall down, I'm talking social structures and norms that have been in place in your life for a while. There will be an opportunity to cast off burdensome obstacles or responsibilities, which in turn will release tension and free the spirit from limiting circumstances.
This month is going to provide a long over-due opportunity for personal growth and progress. Self-assertion and self-motivation will push you to MOVE. Therefore, experiment with new living conditions (rearrange the furniture, paint the walls), ideas, and personal appearance (new hair, make-up, clothing styles). Just because the year is on the wane, it doesn't mean we should begin hibernating now. There's simply too much pumpkin spice stuff we have to incorporate into our lives!
Happy October everyone!
The Emerald Box Turtle
That's What They Say- thought provoking insights on common quotations
A flower blossoms, it grows and blossoms, every flower has two very clear jobs encoded within its DNA. A flower comes into being with a few goals and effortlessly fulfills its purpose without so much as a brain.
When a flower blossoms, it leaves the world an infinitely more beautiful place.
We humans could take a few hints from our friend the simple flower: We could try to keep things simple, allow ourselves to be more focused on our growth and life purpose. To allow time to ponder these thoughts daily would be a perfect way to begin to allow either growth or life purpose to unravel. (Guided Imagery, meditation or time spent in communion with silence are helpful techniques for personal development.) If we humans took the risk to blossom, we as well would leave the world a more beautiful place.
In Love and Light,
Rev. Marjorie Rivera Kain
We are experiencing enormous changes that will impact every aspect of our lives. Obviously, we’re soon to be headed from summer into fall. That seasonal change is just around the corner. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
There are some other changes we’re going through as well. We have recently lost a cultural icon, Miss Aretha Franklin.
Aretha Franklin was, for most of us, a major part of the soundtrack of our lives. She made us dance and sing from the sixties all the way till this decade. She has sung at the inaugurations of Presidents, she has entertained royalty and she has always stood for women, people of color and for everyone with a strong, pure and loving heart.
Aretha taught us to RESPECT ourselves, to stand tall and to have the strength to put our arms around each other. She taught us to sing from our souls and to live with courage. She was always ahead of her time.
Aretha came up in a time when blacks, and especially black women, were considered nothing. But she had conviction and courage and lived her life the way she wanted to live it, on her own terms. And by seeing how she treated others, how she insisted upon being treated herself, she showed us all that we can do and we can be anything.
With the passing of the Queen of Soul, we are charged with moving from having and relying upon such powerful people and role models to becoming role modes ourselves. Now, more than ever, we need to stand tall. Stand for what is right. Stand with an open heart and a loud voice. We must now carry the legacy of RESPECT and live it.
I think it’s fitting that we make that transition when our world is about to make a transition of its own. The days will become cooler and the nights crisper. The leaves will begin to change color and blaze in the trees before decorating our paths. Earthy colors will take over our landscape just as the smell of spices will engulf us and whet our appetites.
The flowers and plantings of summer are soon to die back; the grass and trees will go dormant as we transition into the glories of fall. We’re entering a time when the world rests and prepares itself again for a new season of growth.
To many we’re coming up on the season of Pumpkin Spice flavored everything. But to me, we’re coming up to a time of beauty, sweetness and heart. I love the cooler temperatures. I love to snuggle under a handmade afghan and drink hot cocoa or apple cider. All the bounties of harvest, both physical and spiritual will be all around us.
Before fall actually arrives, let’s all take a good look around at the wonders and colors of summer. Let’s go for one last swim or barbecue outside. Let’s make the most of the seemingly carefree summer. And lets prepare to take that step into a transitioning world full of joy and beauty and change.
Joe Thornton, Great Conjunction Co-Founder