Note: This was also posted over at the Spirituality Blog, but it’s so important that this time we are going to double dip. If you subscribe to both, sorry for the duplication. If not, read on! Thanks!
Hello all! I know it’s been awhile! Things are good here and I’ve been out living life instead of blogging about it. More to come on a recent trip and much more.
Inthe meantime, I wanted to update you on some things that are coming in October. This time of year is traditionally about honoring the cycle of the seasons, pausing to reflect on our abundance and blessings, and preparing for winter. To call attention to the ways in which many people on the planet are unable to take part in the abundance of harvest, UN World Hunger Day is held every October. Also called World Food Day in the US, it is a time to come together to move towards a solution to end world hunger.
I know, I know. It’s a crazy time of year. Some say it’s not possible to end something as huge as world hunger. I say, we do not have a supply problem on this planet. What we have is a distribution issue. There is already more than enough to go around, for all of us. Enough food. Enough time. Enough love. Enough money. Enough. Enough to share. Enough to know you are already blessed and abundant, right here, right now. It’s more about mindfulness and awareness for most of us. But for some, it’s only about being aware of their stomach growling, their physical hunger, their need for food, their need to feed their children.
I also think many of us hunger for much more than food, but often use food to fill the hole inside of us that says we aren’t good enough, that there isn’t enough for you to slow down and enjoy a meal or time with family. I say there IS enough, and that there are many kinds of hunger. I think a lonely, spiritual hunger can be as bad, if not worse, as physical hunger for many of us. But above all, I believe in abundance and living as if there is already enough to go around for all of us.
It is in this spirit that we approach World Hunger Day. This year, for this world wide event, we have partnered with one of our favorite charities, Micro-Financing Partners in Africa, also known as MPA. MPA gives micro-loans to those living in extreme poverty, allowing them to start a small business and work their way out of what once seemed like an impossible situation. Their tag line is “we give a hand up, not a hand out,” and that captures it beautifully. In Kenya, they give loans as small as a quarter in US currency (seriously, $.25 can change a life!) and these amazing women start a business and lift themselves out of poverty and the slums. They do much more, including a cow project and a soy milk factory, and you can learn more about those projects here.
This year we have started a team through FirstGiving to raise awareness and money for MPA and World Hunger Day. We are fasting for 36 hours, during the day October 19 and ending the fast the morning of October 20. We always joke, “why do they call it a fast when it goes so slow?” and yet there is a deep spiritual component to fasting. All of the religions advise it, and most have sacred times of year built around fasting. If you do not feel called to fast from food, or do not feel ready or able to do so, perhaps you could consider fasting from TV or the news or soda. Several years ago during Lent, I fasted from self-criticism for 40 days and instead feasted on acceptance. It was one of the most transformational experiences of my life.
So think outside the box on this one. The purpose at one level is to support MPA, but at a much deeper level, it’s to face those hungers within, to get in touch with things you might not be aware of or maybe didn’t want to face until now. You can do this in any way you’d like, but the key is to be aware of some kind of hunger and be in solidarity with those who experience hunger daily without a choice.
If you are interested, you can can join me HERE or start your own team by going to the MPA website and looking at the Hunger Fast page. Feel free to engage in some friendly rivalry with family, friends or colleagues on this one. You might be surprised how many relationships can be built and fostered through this sort of commitment. I also invite you to not focus on food but on your abundance and gratitude, your ability to join in with something like this, and the opportunities we all have to offer a hand up to someone in need.
Blessings to you and your families this time of year!
Hello all! It’s been awhile, most posts have been happening over at the Spirituality Blog the last few months. But this is all about straight up Blessings business, so I wanted to post this here.
We have begun to use Yelp and Angie’s List to assess whether we’re keeping valued clients like you happy. If you are so inclined, feel free to leave a review on our Yelp page or visit our Angie’s List Review Page in order to grade our quality of care and your experiences here.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about anything, don’t hesitate to call or email us! Hope this finds all well!
|Alternative Medicine in St. Louis|
Hello Everyone, Happy New Year! Our friend Linda Wanner is bringing one of her favorite teachers to St. Louis for a series of classes beginning in March and I wanted to pass along that information, scroll down to see their brochure. I have never worked with the presenter so cannot personally attest, but FYI in case this is something that resonates with you.
This is an exciting time of change and transition and if you are feeling fearful, out of balance or as if you are not thriving, it’s good to seek support during those times. For some people that means coming to someone like me or other coaches, healers or therapists. For many that means a new way of thinking and relating to the world and to our stories. Sometimes that means doing something different, so I wanted to pass along this class info. A lot is happening for all of us, and this is a deep time of change. Change is good, but it can also be scary, so ride the wave and know you are safe and all is well.
Hang in there, sweet friends. We are all we have, but it’s important to remember we are enough. YOU are enough. It’s ok to allow yourself to be happy, joyous and free in this new year and beyond. Breathe and enjoy the ride!
The rest is a cut/paste from the info about Kim. Contact Linda with any questions. Thanks!
Happy New Year! We are at the beginning of a new and exciting year that has the potential to be the best year we have experienced, EVER. In order to help you make the most of this powerful and amazing year, I would like to invite you to Thriving in a New World, an awesome series of courses that is unlike anything you have experienced before. Below is the brochure with more detailed information about these courses and what you can expect from the classes.
In these courses, Kim Seer will guide you through the releasing of fears, excuses and patterns, helping you become the very best YOU that you can become. If you are looking for a deeper connection with yourself, an understanding of the changes that are happening on the planet at this time, or would like to learn to help bring balance to situations going on around you, these courses may be for you!
Course dates are as follows:
Segment 1: March 10-11, 2012
Segment 2: June 23-24, 2012
Segment 3: September 22-23, 2012
Segment 4: November 3-4, 2012
Courses will be held at Garden of Life Spiritual Center in Crestwood, MO, about 4 miles from the intersection of I-44 and I-270. Hotel suggestions can be provided upon request for those wishing to stay nearby on these weekends.
For more information or to register, please contact Linda Wanner 314-963-1978 or firstname.lastname@example.org
THRIVING IN A NEW WORLD gives you clear, accurate information not only for this time but for years to come. In this process, you will move into a place of absolute clarity and confidence with information for yourself and others on levels you have yet to achieve. Author your Destiny literally in ways that far supersede what you currently believe is possible. It IS possible and it will be by YOUR hand that you experience amazing things in your life.
Hello all! The updated schedule for MABA and the schedule of events has been posted. If you are interested in any activities in the Buddhist community, this is a good group and a good place to practice. Enjoy! :)
Please see the poster below if you have an interest in studying the Dharma this winter in Chesterfield.
Reminder of MABA activities:
With the monastics in the traditional 3-month retreat at MABA, there is the usual suspension of Dharma talks and study groups at the Monastery. The Sunday meditations will continue at 10 am, and all are welcome to attend.
MABA has the annual New Year’s Eve Dharma Blessing on December 31 from 7 to midnight. If you want to stay overnight, please contact email@example.com. On Sunday, January 1, at 10:30 am, MABA will have an open house at the new Humble Cottage “Cao Tang.” All are welcome at both events. See the website for more details: www.maba-usa.org.
Buddhist Study Group
Sponsored by MABA & SLIMG
January 5, 2012 through March 8, 2012
8 Thursdays from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
In Chesterfield, MO (near 141 & Ladue Rd)
Study of the Diamond Sutra
We will explore how the Diamond Sutra can be applied to our daily lives. The Diamond Sutra is
Leaders: Don Sloane, a senior lay teacher at MABA, who has given cognitive therapy and mindfulness presentations in over 100 cities nationally; Katty Choi, fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, graduate degree in Buddhism from Hong KongUniversity, and a senior lay teacher at MABA. She will join us in February; Elizabeth Fryer, who has been practicing Buddhism for over 30 years. She founded the SLIMG in 1996 and was trained by Jack Kornfield (SRC) as a Community Dharma Leader.
People of all levels of experience are welcome.
Eight Meetings on Thursdays, 7-9 pm in Chesterfield
|January 5 Introduction to the DiamondSutra, Chapters 1-3
January 12 No class
January 19 Chapters 4-5
January 26 No class
February 2 Chapters 6-8
February 9 Chapters 9-14
|February 16 Chapters 15-17February 23 Chapters 18-23
March 1 Chapters 24-30
March 8 Chapters 31-32
March 22 (Make-up date in case of a weather cancellation)
Schedule for each class
|6:50 pm – Arrival and Sign In7:00 pm – Reading of the section of the Diamond Sutra in English
7:15 pm – Meditation
7:45 pm – Short break
|8:00 pm – Presentation by the teacher8:20 pm – Discussion of the Chapters
8:58 pm – Dedication of Merit
Recommended Readings (links provided upon registration)
|Required TextAdditional resources||Thich Nhat HanhRed Pine
|The Diamond that Cuts Through IllusionDiamond Sutra: Text and Commentary
Online text and commentary
Pre-registration is requested. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
$35.00 donation suggested, which can be made online at www.maba-usa.org
Although attending all sessions is most beneficial, everyone is welcome to come to one or more of the classes as your schedule allows.
Contact for questions:
Donald F. Sloane, Director
Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Chesterfield, MO 63017