“The times are urgent; let us slow down.”  ~ Bayo Akomolafe 

Last Sunday I spoke about the need to center ourselves in order to listen deeply to each other and to what the world needs most.  Yes, times are urgent.  And, yes, despite all that is telling us to go faster, we must slow down in order to hear the voice within, the voices of those who are silenced, and the voice that does not use words.

Here are some of my words from Sunday as we explored the spiritual theme of deep listening:

Loudest doesn’t mean wisest or clearest or most life-giving.  It just means loudest and may drown out the voice that doesn’t use words.  This month I invite you to listen selectively and listen deeply.  It matters who and what we listen to.   

A mural next to Browser’s Bookstore is a reminder that the work of justice requires deep listening.  For those of us who are white, in order to be an ally for racial justice, we must listen to the voices of black, indigenous, and people of color. When we listen deeply, we hear the heart and experiences of others, we open ourselves to transformation as we work to transform the world. 

My hope for our community is that we create a space of deep listening.   We listen to learn, opening ourselves to transformation, and working together to transform the world. 

You might be wondering why we are so focused on spiritual practice when the world is screaming.  The reason is simple and clear, but not easy.  Who we are and how we are is what we bring into the world.  The world doesn’t need more anxiety, anger, or fear.  Of course, we feel these things.  Our work is to feel them in a way that does not damage ourselves or others and allows us to transform the energy of those feelings into something constructive. The world does need more calm, compassion, creativity, and curiosity.  With spiritual practice to ground us, we can bring those qualities and our hands into the world.  Spiritual practices like deep listening can help us do this difficult and important work of transformation. 

In these challenging times, how are you staying well, slowing down, and listening?

I hope that you can join us weekly for the Thursday evening Spiritual Practice.  This week Sara Lewis will lead movement practices.  You can find the Zoom link here.  And, here is a link to the entire service from Sunday.

Blessings on your week.

Rev. Mary