Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Sermon [Your Personal Song]

¡Hola! Everybody…
It’s another beautiful day here in The Center of the Known Universe…

Here's a hilarious take on sexually repressed, right-wing extremist teabagger candidate Christine O'Donnell:

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-=[ Your Personal Song: The Power of Listening ]=-

Sometimes we don’t look at things as much as overlook them. The most important tools to our happiness are right there in front of us waiting. But like an old friend who now suddenly appears as the person you have been looking for all along, we see the power in things we take for granted if we take the time to simply pay attention.

Being present, or paying attention, is a good example of what I’m talking about. We spend so much of our lives lost in the tangle of things past or plotting for a future, that we have no time for the present moment. The fact is that without now, we can’t do anything. We can’t even love without being fully present. Love in the past is merely a memoory; love in the future is a fantasy.

The NY Lottery has an ad campaign with the slogan, “You gotta be in it to win it.” And so it is with life.

Most of us don’t pay attention; we’re too full of assumptions. We don’t actually see our loved ones, we see our own projections. Most of all, we don’t really listen...

I had a teacher who used the following story to highlight the power of something as simple as listening. Some of the details are sketchy, but I think I’ve been able to preserve the essential message.

In an east African tribe (I forget which) a child’s life is counted not from the day it’s born, nor on the day its conceived, as in other cultures, but on the day the child is a thought in the mother’s mind. As soon as the mother realizes she wants to have a child, she will go off alone somewhere, under a tree, for example, and she quiets herself and simply listens. Not listening for anything, or asking for answers or anything like that -- just listening. Simple, bare attention...

She waits to hear the song of the child who wants to be born in her heart. And as she hears this song, she sings it to her herself. When she returns to her village, she teaches the song to her husband. In that way when they make love, when they unite, they sing this song to invite this child to be born. Later, when she conceives, she sings this song to the child in her womb.

She teaches the song to her neighbors so that the first thing the child hears when it is born is its song in celebration of its birth. Later, as the child grows, if it falls and scrapes its knee, an adult will soothe the child’s cries by singing its song. When the child grows into adulthood, the song is sung in celebration of their rite of passage. When there is a marriage both songs are sung.

Finally, when that individual grows older and passes from this existence the song is again invoked.

Imagine living in a society in which such attention and listening skills were truly valued. A world where stopping and being present is like a hit song we all celebrate and dance to...

What would your song sound like? What would our communities look like... ?



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