April 2015 – Busy Spring!

Easter 2013 copyright erin dunigan

Passover 2013 © Erin Dunigan

Passover 2013 © Erin Dunigan

Lots of Not Church events coming up in April to keep you busy: The 3rd Annual  La Misión Passover Seder & Potluck on Saturday, April 4th; The Annual La Misión Easter Celebration & Potluck on Sunday, April 5th; and our regular second-Sunday Not Church gathering on April 12th.

Reservations are required for the popular Passover sit-down pot-luck meal and service. Seating is limited, so if you’d like to attend and are sure you can, please email Nadine to reserve a seat. Location of the seder will be emailed to you with your confirmation.

Bob Wolf, Ron de Jong Passover 2013

Bob Wolf, Ron de Jong Passover 2013

The traditional service led by Bob Wolff and Ron de Jong will include reading of the Hagadah La Misión/Not-Church style, of course.  We will be following the Maxwell House Haggadah (provided upon arrival) and will begin PROMPTLY so please be on time.

Some Passover foods also will be provided, but this is a Potluck, so please bring a dish for 10 to share and a bottle of wine. (There’s a lot of wine-drinking at Passover!)

As this is Pesach, please if you can AVOID bringing a dish that uses LEAVENING (no bread, no flour, no pasta) – meat or veggie dishes are great.  There are guidelines below whether you want to go traditional or not.

seder-platePassover Food Guidelines
Food for Passover should include no pork or shellfish and no mixing of dairy and meat in the same dish. Food should have no leavening (bread, flour, pasta, baking powder, baking soda), or any grain based products other than Passover Matzo.

More than any other Jewish holiday, eating is a big part of Passover and every family has favorite dishes and their own personal style.  Here are some links that provide some background and food ideas:

Seder Plate Explained
Traditional Passover Recipes
The Shiksa’s Passover Potluck
Passover Food – Background & Recipes
Spinach with Pine Nuts Casserole
Mock Chopped Liver

Easter 2013Please also join us for a favorite springtime event, the Annual La Misión Easter Celebration & Potluck to be held at Kathleen Dwyer’s Casa de Gracia at the Playa. Please bring a favorite dish to share and your beverage of choice.  The service in English and in Spanish will begin at 11:00 am with potluck following. Map

Our regular second-Sunday Not Church gathering will be at 11:00 on the 12th at David Gee’s Hacienda del Encanto.

Happy Spring!

 

Meditation & Mindfulness

Ron de JongEveryone who has attended is enjoying Ron’s Monday Meditation Class and he has agreed to continue as long as people are interested.  It includes an introduction, a 15-20 minute meditation and a discussion afterward.  It’s a great way to start your week and a wonderful introduction to meditation.  Mondays 8:30 am at Hacienda del Encanto.

Topics include: meditation, mindfulness, overcoming afflictive emotions, the heart of otherness, work as practice, the transformation of adversity, integral health, and human flourishing.In a similar vein, we are starting a study group of Elliott Dacher’s book, Aware, Awake, Alive: A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Science of Integral Health and Human Flourishing the second week in February.  “Aware, Awake, Alive draws upon ancient wisdom, contemporary science, and modern understandings of consciousness to offer the reader a physician’s time-tested program of self-study and practice, which guides the reader towards a life of optimal well-being, integral health, and human flourishing…Topics include: meditation, mindfulness, overcoming afflictive emotions, the heart of otherness, work as practice, the transformation of adversity, integral health, and human flourishing.”

Erin and Terri have been in contact with Dr. Dacher and we’re excited about a possibility that he may pay us a visit in early March.

If you’re interested in participating in Ron’s meditation, all you have to do is show up on Monday mornings.  If you’d like to join the study group, check back here and on Facebook for details and please send Nadine an email so we have an idea about the number of participants. And order the book!  It’s available on Amazon in print and in a Kindle version.

cornucopia and southwest airlines

CornucopiaDoug warmly welcomed the group and requested healing thoughts and prayers be sent out to our friend and neighbor, Betty Davidson for a full and speedy recovery from an aneurysm.

Kathy encouraged us to be a little bit better with a variety of thoughts and quotes on the theme of cornucopia.

The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe, and in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives. ~Deepak Chopra

See more of Kathy’s quotes from Dr. Paul Farmer, Maya Angelou, & Paul Coelho on the Inspirations page

As a prelude to a brief meditation, Ron recounted his week’s experiences from the highs of time with loving grandchildren to the lows of losing friends and shared a dream that brought a reminder of constant need to attend to our powerful egos.

Ross played a thoughtful selection of swinging tunes from the late 30′s:  Over The Rainbow, God Bless The Child, Pennies From Heaven.  How fortunate we are that Ross is so willing to share his abundant talent.

Terry shared thoughts on gratitude and happiness and her explanation of how conscious gratitude has brought her abundant happiness despite six bouts with cancer was truly inspiring!

And Erin found a way to turn a personal adventure on Southwest Airlines into an entertaining allegorical tale on the topic of abundance:

Not long ago I was at the San Diego airport, again, waiting for a flight. This is not a new experience for me, though this time was actually somewhat different. Normally, in order to accumulate miles and elite status, I fly United Airlines or one of its partners. But on this particular trip, flying to Reno, Nevada, United was much more expensive, with much less preferable flight schedules. So, I wound up, for the first time in a long time, on Southwest Airlines.

Just the thought of Southwest Airlines makes some people nervous – no seat assignment? Will I have to fight for my place? Somehow the opening of the Hunger Games comes to mind – with everyone fighting over his or her share of the cornucopia…

Being the somewhat privileged traveler that I am, I took advantage of paying an extra $12 to get bumped up closer to the front of the line – not the front, but at least not the back. Since I was only to be gone a few days, all I had was a carry on rolling suitcase – of the small, able to fit in the overhead style – and a purse. Actually, that’s what I fly with almost always. When I fly United I know that I will have room for my roller bag as my status gives me privilege in boarding the plane. But this time I was on Southwest and I could feel myself getting a bit nervous as the boarding time neared.

Boarding SouthwestThat was when I noticed it – or, rather them. A number of signs spaced evenly, with numbers on them. 1-40, 41-60, etc. I looked on my boarding card and saw the number A 39. Oh, I get it – that is how we line up. We don’t have seats, but we line up according to our numbers. Soon I saw people getting in line, so I did too, just ahead of the pole that marked ’40.’

That was when I began to notice something – in myself, but also in the other passengers. Or, rather, notice the lack of something. There was none of that sense of frenzy that accompanies boarding a United flight. None of that sense of heightened anxiety that I normally feel as the time to board approaches. Even though I know I have a spot toward the front of the line, somehow I feel the need to jockey for position. As do, it seems, the rest of the passengers, who often don’t let the families with children or those needing assistance to pass through, so closely are they guarding their spot.

Being me, I posted something about this to facebook, so fascinated was I with the vastly different vibe that was present as we began to board that Southwest flight.

Is it the fact that I have a number, a place in line, that makes it different? I wondered out loud. Is it that we all know our place and can’t really do anything to change it that makes this boarding process so much calmer than they normally are? It seemed counter-intuitive that boarding without a seat might be more peaceful than boarding with one. So, knowing you have a place in line is more important than knowing you have a place on the plane? That somehow didn’t seem to make sense.

And that was when it hit me – the difference. It wasn’t about having a place in line, or about having a place on the plane – those both are virtually guaranteed.

It was about stuff. Namely, luggage.

overheadYou see, the other difference with Southwest is that they do not charge for checking a suitcase. Most other airlines do. Not only do they not charge for bringing a suitcase, but you can check two bags on Southwest, completely free. What was different about that Southwest flight was that those who were waiting to board were not, in their positioning, trying to get on board before everyone else so as to have a spot in the limited overhead space.

It felt like a sort of epiphany to me. There was no fear. No sense of scarcity. What there was, instead, was a sense of ‘enough’ – a sense that I did not have to jockey for position to ensure my space, but that there was abundant room for all.

It made me wonder how much of our lives we spend like those United passengers, struggling to get our place to ensure that we have space for our stuff, that our stuff is secure, taken care of, vs. Those Southwest passengers who seemed content, trusting that there would be room for all.

Our theme this month is ‘cornucopia’ – I have to admit, I did not pick it. When I first heard it I thought, huh? So I asked for some more clarification from the person who suggested it.

You know, abundance, plenty, enough – as opposed to greed or hoarding or scarcity.

Wow, I thought. Now there’s a theme.

Of course we are near Thanksgiving and cornucopia’s are a well known symbol of that holiday – as is the feeling of needing to loosen ones trousers and lay down on the couch after eating too much turkey.

It got me wondering – do we live our lives out of abundance? Or do we live our lives out of a scarcity mentality? Do we trust the ‘enoughness of life? Or do we let fear lead us to hoard, to control, to worry that I won’t get my fair share? If you get more, does that mean I get less? If you win, does that mean I lose? And, is it easy to trust abundance when life is good? What about when life is challenging? What about when we are brought to the very edge? What then? Is abundance possible?

I’m an only child – let’s just say, sharing can be challenging for me. I actually act more like a child in a family of ten, worried when food to be shared is placed on the table that I won’t get my fair share. I’ve never gone hungry – this is not a fear based on any actual reality.

And, moreover, is it easy to talk of things such as abundance when we feel that all is going in our favor? Can we find abundance, a mentality of enough, of trust, even in the midst of the challenging times in life?

Linda & Jerry BonannoLinda and Jerry Bonanno bid us all a fond farewell with a beautiful Apache Prayer as they prepare to move from Baja, closer to family in Florida.

“May the sun bring you new energy every day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.”

We will miss them and wish them the same!

Thank you to Jim Hawkins for a great topic and as always to David Gee for his generous hospitality.  Thank you everyone for another provocative, entertaining & inspiring Not Church!

Please Don’t Cry

Erin Dunigan -  Photo by Marty Harriman

Erin Dunigan – Photo by Marty Harriman

Who would think that the topic of “Loss” could be anything but a little sad? We should know by now that any topic in the care and thoughtfulness of Erin would be thought-provoking and inspiring, help us dig a little deeper into long-held beliefs, make us laugh, and of course include wonderful metaphors from her passion for permaculture and gardening.  Afterwards, many were heard saying, “It was the best ever.”

We missed Bernie, Kathy encouraging us to “be a little better,”  Ron leading us in meditation,  and Steve’s final comments, but it was another great topic and another stirring Sunday overlooking the beautiful Pacific at David Gee’s Hacienda del Encanto.

Erin found a way to lighten the topic without glossing it over, Ross’s music was spot-on, Doug’s poem touching and Carmen’s presentation from the beloved Macristy of Mexicali , “To My Friends,”  all came together to help us see that there is more to loss than grief and crying.

TO MY FRIENDS
IF YOU LOVE ME, PLEASE DON’T CRY……..

IF YOU ONLY KNEW THE UNFATHOMABLE MYSTERY OF THE HEAVEN WHERE I AM NOW.

IF YOU COULD ONLY SEE AND FEEL WHAT I FEEL IN THESE INFINITE HORIZON AND LIGHT THAT REACHES AND PENETRATES EVERYTHING.
I AM ABSORBED BY THE ENCHANTMENT OF GOD AND BY ITS INFINITE EXPRESSIONS OF BEAUTY.

IN THIS NEW LIFE, ALL PAST THINGS ARE SMALL AND INSIGNIFCANT.

BUT MY AFECTION FOR ALL OF YOU IS STILL INTACT AS WELL AS THE TENDERNESS THAT WAS HARD TO REVEAL WHEN I WAS WITH YOU.

EVERYTHING THAT I LIVED WHILE ON EARTH WAS FLEETING AND LIMITED.
NOW I LIVE IN THE SERENE EXPECTATION TO SEE YOU ALL HERE, SOME DAY.

THINK OF MY NEW ABODE WHERE DEATH DOESN’T EXIST AND WHERE I AM WITH THE UNENDING FOUNTAIN OF JOY AND LOVE.

IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME, PLEASE DON’T CRY FOR ME.

I AM IN PEACE,

MACRISTY

Not Church Oct 12, 2014 Photo by Marty Harriman

Not Church Oct 12, 2014
Photo by Marty Harriman