Happy Cinco de Mayo day!
My heart is full as I witnessed our Mission in action on Saturday. It was our spring cleanup day and you turned out in spades. We had more than 30 people helping clean both the inside and outside of the church. It was a joy to watch the love being shared with folks that we hadn’t seen in person for over a year. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and pitched in and we brought life back into the building and grounds.
I loved listening to the reaction when folks saw the ladies and men’s restrooms for the first time following the renovations. There was such appreciation for what we had accomplished together. We do not have an open date yet; however, we are open to outside activities designed to bring us together. If you have an idea and are willing to take the lead to make it happen let me know.
If you missed the service on Sunday, you would want to watch it, as the opening video is priceless. It is about Alec Childress, the school crossing guide, and his 80th birthday.
The message was on Practice No. 4: Universal Benevolence from the book Living Originally by Rev. Robert Brumet. I am happy to say that Robert will be with us on June 13 to bring the series to a close.
The practice of Universal Benevolence is about keeping your heart open as often as possible. Keeping our heart open may be easy to do when we feel safe and comfortable, but when we feel threatened or we’re in pain, there is a very strong tendency to close our heart and to go unconscious. When this happens just recognize it and return to your intention to keep your heart open.
There are three intentions we can cultivate that helps us keep our heart open. They are appreciation, kindness, and generosity. The definition given for appreciation: the recognition of the quality and value of people and things. Appreciation leads us to kindness.
Kindness definition: a friendly, warm-hearted, and empathetic nature to ourselves and others (includes every living being…not just our own kind).
Generosity is a natural outgrowth of kindness. Definition: the willingness to give for the sake of giving and to give liberally and to give often.
General practice to each:
• Daily intention to be aware of what has value for you in your life.
• Throughout your day be aware of who and what you appreciate and silently or aloud say thank you.
• Don’t forget self-appreciation.
• Think of the things that you do not like or find painful in your experience and meditate on being willing to see the value and appreciation it brings to you in the form of healing in your life.
• Meditate each day with gratitude for the innate of life in its variety of forms.
• Set your intention daily to be kind through your words or actions.
• Ask in meditation: How can I express kindness? How can I be helpful?
• Think of individuals you know and imagine their face and bring them into your heart. Silently wish them well. Give them a blessing such as, “May you be happy; may you be healthy; may you be prosperous.”
• Consider doing the same for people you hear about in the news who may be suffering from some tragedy, such as catastrophic weather, earthquakes, wars, or shootings.
• Do the same for yourself.
• Meditate each day with an Open Heart of Love that is pouring out kindness to all living beings.
• Each day look for a new way to give of your possessions, resources, time, gifts, and attention.
• As you consider a generosity practice, look at some of the potential obstacles that may arise for you in the form of fears, police, or past conditioning.
• Be willing to examine them…
• Meditate each day with an open heart of high-mindedness.
Through the practice of Universal Benevolence, allow a consciousness of appreciation to soften your heart, kindness to open your heart, and the act of generosity to be expressed to yourself and others from your open heart.
Affirmation: Appreciation softens my heart; kindness opens my heart and generosity gives expression to my open heart.
Next week Practice No. 5 Compassionate Communication.
Have a great week and stay safe and healthy.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey