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
My quote for this month comes from a young woman who inspires me with her humility and ability to stand up for what she believes in. If you haven’t heard of this young woman yet, where have you been? She is a force to be reckoned with. She was shot in the head by the Taliban in her home country of Pakistan in 2012 at age 15, on her 16th birthday she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and she has since started a charity to help educate girls, gone on to attend Oxford University and she opened her first school on her 18th birthday. Movies and books have been written about her.
Oddly, we share the same birthday. July 12th. Though when I was 15, I was dreaming of getting babysitting gigs and buying a car. She was known as an activist and was shot for her beliefs.
Malala’s quote made me think about something, the world is rarely silent. I can count on one hand the times when I recall the world around me being truly silent. I’ll share one example. One time, I was in Sedona AZ, at the Stupa. What is a Stupa you ask?
The stupa is one of the oldest forms of sacred architecture on earth, dating back to the time of the Buddha, 2600 years ago. Stupas are mostly found in the East, where Buddhism first took root and flourished. They are indeed rare in the West. A stupa is considered to be the living presence of the Buddha and as such represents the Mind of Enlightenment. Stupas have been built to avert war, end famine, and promote prosperity and well-being. Their sole purpose is to bring benefit for all living beings, and the mystical accounts of the healing powers of stupas are well documented.
So, I went hiking (YES, I hike, lol) and up the mountainside I went, to emerge in a clearing about the size of a football field. Where there were hundreds of people walking around in a circle, in silence, or meditating. Hundreds of people. I was in awe. Honestly, I had never heard of a stupa before. I had never been somewhere where it was so powerfully silent. YOu could hear a pin drop, and I do recall that the only sound I could discern was the occasional flap of a peace flag. I remember thinking to myself “nothing but the sound of peace” over and over. That calm feeling stayed with me for weeks. Even one small whisper during that serene time would have rippled through the crowd. My point is, one voice makes a difference. One whisper could make a difference. One conversation could make a difference. Perhaps her quote is to inspire us to start talking to each other about matters of importance. We could talk about our humanity and also what connects us? Maybe a spark in conversation will make a few more people realise that we can figure out a way to help. I don’t think it NEEDS to be silent for your voice to make an impact on the world, but if you never speak up, we will never know.
Here’s the picture I took at the stupa in Sedona, as inspiration.
In Love and Light,
Rev. Marjorie Rivera Kain