Please join us for a special and important Summer Not Church with John DiCecco.
Saturday, August 22
10:00 AM – !2:00 PM PSTThe ZOOM Link will be emailed next week.
Space is limited so please be sure to let us know if you want to attend, either on Facebook or by sending an email to notchurchBaja@gmail.com Please do NOT respond to this email.
Overview: Planning for Medical Emergencies, End of Life wishes, and a DEATH in Mexico. Mexico is a different culture, language, legal system, emergency response system, and the “pathways” to care are different than those of the USA. What you need to know and what to consider so can you make plans for you, your family, and community.
- Distribute Important Emergency Contact Information to Participants
- Learn simple “hacks’ that are useful in a Baja Emergency
- Encourage Individual, Family, And Community Planning to get care in Mexico and the USA. Remember to have backup plans:
- Plan A, if not,
- Plan B, in not
- Plan C, etc
- Provide Tools for a “Grab and Go Packet” to help you, the EMS response, your family, and your community in an emergency situation.
- Provide Tips for Handling Car Accidents in Mexico
- Prepare Participants to handle a Death in Mexico
- Additional Support Resources
1. Every Individual is Unique: Your individual and family plan(s) need to take into account your health conditions, insurances, legal status in Mexico, any Private Resources you will use for care; Your location in Baja; The Community, Development, Condominium Association, or Ejido in which you live; The friends and family in the USA and Baja you want to notify or involve in your care; medical practitioners available to you in Baja, and when/where the emergency occurs!
There is not a universal “plan” that we can provide for you!
2. Information offered in this workshop can change (due to the Pandemic) and with age may become obsolete and inaccurate. This is not meant to offer legal advice or medical advice to participants. We encourage you to discuss these matters with your Mexican physician, your USA physician, your attorney, and others who have had experiences with these systems in Mexico.
3. This workshop is being recorded. By entering and or opening this workshop you agree to be taped as a presenter or participant in this event.
The taped event will be uploaded to youtube and the link to that file will be available to you. All tools referenced in this presentation will be sent to participants after the event.
4. We ask you to give a brief evaluation and provide comments at […]
I want to talk today about Meditation and Action. Even before this pandemic, I have been wrestling with the ideas and practices of contemplation, meditation and how these are linked to action. This particular time in our shared history brings this ever more present and crucial for me.
We all know that meditation, while subtle, is a powerful practice for waking up to ourselves…and to one another. We learn how to be present to our immediate experience. The more we sit still, the more the mind becomes calm and clear. Our awareness becomes less distorted and less judgmental. Our heart is more open and compassionate toward others. When we do get upset or thrown off balance, we are much quicker to regain our composure and find our seat amid all of life’s inevitable ups and downs. It is meditation that has helped me to find gratitude in the midst of this pandemic.
But I also believe this is not enough, especially now. We also need to act. But let me also say that without meditation or contemplation in our lives, our actions will not be as powerful or fruitful or done out of love, which I believe true positive change originates from.
I believe we are being called now, more than ever to bring about a revolution in our way of living our everyday lives. I love that some have called this the Great Pause. I also love that some people are acknowledging that we shouldn’t return to normal because normal was fraught with problems. So how should we return to our lives and living?
We live in a world whose people and the planet are in deep pain, and have been for a long time. Some of this pain is a product of economic inequality which the pandemic has made more evident. We have long known that millions suffer and die from hunger each year. Obama recently said in his speech to graduates, “A disease likes this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country, We see a disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog and some folks feel like they can stop and question, and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questions.” He goes on to say – what I believe is crucial here for us today – “Injustice like this isn’t new. What is new is that so much of your generation has woken up to the fact that the status quo needs fixing, that the old ways of doing things don’t work, that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick, and that our society and democracy only works when we think not just about ourselves but about each other.”
Pope Francis declared May 16 to the 24th as the 5th anniversary of “Caring for Our […]
The theme for the June Not Church was ‘life and death in the times of upheaval.’
With the pandemic in full swing and world-wide protests, we certainly do live in challenging times. We tried to acknowledge the challenges and find inspiration for finding the opportunities for positivity.
Doug welcomed us with personal reflections. Nadine led us in 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence to acknowledge just how long George Floyd suffered under a policeman’s knee. Maria inspired us with a poem by Hafiz and one of her own. Rhonda read a poignant, timely poem, “The Black Prayer” by RuNett Nia-Ebo and Erin tied it all together asking us to reconsider what we mean and who exactly is included when we talk about “we.”
A lot to think about. It was a powerful gathering.
The Candle burns down by Hafiz
We melt a little each day. The candle
And it may wonder at times, it may
What will become of me? What will
happen to my precious flame?
O, so much brighter my dear, you will
become, so much brighter.
Untitled by Maria Rosales
When you hit rock bottom
dig further down.
When you reach your molten core
Mystery will arrive
in so many disguises—
a songbird once drowned
out by the noise in your head,
purple and yellow blossoms
dazzling your morning eyes,
or a bee heavy with nectar
pauses to look at you—
perhaps that oak branch tapping the windowpane
asks permission to rock
your scorched soul, whispering
The Black Prayer read by Rhonda Purdle
This is deep, so take your time.
Why Did You Make Me Black Lord
Lord .. Why did you make me black?
Why did you make someone
the world would hold back?…
Black is the color of dirty clothes,
of grimy hands and feet……
Black is the color of darkness,
of tired beaten streets…
Why did you give me thick lips,
a broad nose and kinky hair?
Why did you create someone
who receives the hated stare?
Black is the color of the bruised eye
when someone gets hurt…
Black is the color of darkness,
black is the color of dirt.
Why is my bone structure so thick,
my hips and cheeks so high?
Why are my eyes brown,
and not the color of the sky?
Why do people think I’m useless?
How come I feel so used?
Why do people see my skin
and think I should be abused?
Lord, I just don’t understand…
What is it about my skin?
Why is it some people want to hate me
and not know the person within?
Black is what people are “Labeled”
when others want to keep them away…
Black is the color of shadows cast…
Black is the end of the day.
Lord you know my own people mistreat me,
and you know this just ain’t right…
They don’t like my hair, they don’t like my
skin, as they say I’m too dark or too light!
Lord, don’t you think
it’s time to make a change?
Why don’t you redo creation
and make everyone the same?
Why did I make you black? Why did I make you black?
I made you in the color of coal
from which beautiful diamonds are formed…
I made you in the color of oil,
the black gold which keeps people warm.
Your color is the same […]
Do you remember back at the beginning of this all? Back when people were joking about how to keep from touching your face (cover your hands in jalapeño) or how to know how long to wash your hands (sing happy birthday all the way through)? It seems like a lifetime ago, in many ways. Sure, we knew what was coming – or so we thought. But the actual experience of these past few months is something that we could not really have imagined. For some people the major challenge has been how to get their needs met while staying isolated – ‘needs’ such as almond butter, red wine, and freshly caught fish. For others, the challenge has been how to feed their family when the government dispensas only come every few weeks, and even when they do, can hardly feed a family for any length of time. For some of us it has been a time of being able to work in the garden, take life at a slower pace, and explore new learning. For others it has been almost maddening to not be able to go out, see people, connect, and have their routine social interactions. We are all, of course, unique in our personalities and their various ups and downs, and so it makes sense that our experience of this time would be varied as well.
Back toward the beginning of it all I had the realization that I had not sufficiently stocked up (aka hoarded) on two very essential items – red wine and coffee. So, I made a trip to Costco in Ensenada (back before their were checkpoints and temperature checks) to make sure I was stocked up. The coffee was whole bean, dark roast – a daily necessity. The red wine was a cheap Merlot from Italy, in a box of 6. I bought two boxes, just to be safe. I figured, hoarding wine, in the grand scheme of things, wasn’t all the bad. Upon arrival home from Costco I was so relieved. Phew. Exhale. Now I can handle this situation. Now I can breathe a bit easier. (The privilege of this is not lost on me, but that’s a different article.)
And then a funny thing happened. Maybe it was because the wine was not that great. Who knows? But that night when I opened a bottle to enjoy a nice glass of wine I got only a couple of sips in and…I didn’t want anymore. In fact, I haven’t had any since. It was as though once the ‘scarcity’ was removed, once the fear of not having enough was solved, the desire actually disappeared. It was as though the ‘need’ was based less on actual desire and more on fear of not having enough. It puzzled me and I began to ponder – what exactly was going on?
The more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that it was as though the idea […]
This photograph may not seem particularly outstanding but it is historic! It’s the first photo taken of a Not Church Online gathering, April 19, 2020–a whole new and potentially very expansive concept for what started here in this “tiny coastal town of La Mision on Mexico’s Baja peninsula,” as TIME magazine called it shortly after it started in March of 2012.* That article “The Rise of the Nones,” which was referred to on that week’s cover, can also be read here under “articles.”
It’s not of the first Not Church online gathering, that was Not Church Norte on March 23, a couple of weeks before, but it hadn’t quite landed on us that these are historic times so there’s no photo documentation.
It is so easy to want to hang on to the way things have always been, isn’t it? Even if we don’t realize that we are doing it. I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in routine, in predictability.
I am an avid backpacker. I love getting away to the back country for days – no internet, nothing extraneous, all day long hiking in spectacular beauty, breathing fresh air, drinking only water, eating only what the body needs to resupply for the journey, sleeping under the stars. For me, it is magical. Now, to hear that you might be led think that I’m some rugged adventurer. Which, in part, is true. But not completely.
The thing is, my backpacking has almost entirely been in the High Sierra of California – an area which has trails, maps, rangers, and for the most part, well maintained markings along the way. You don’t actually have to be able to use a compass, though of course it is always recommended. You do need to be able to read the topographical map to know when to expect access to water, potential river crossings, and possible flat areas to camp. But, the thing is, there is a trail. For the most part, you follow the trail. There is no mystery as to where you are going – you are going that way.
It was not until one such backpacking adventure, when my traveling companions wanted to investigate a local peak that was definitely not on the trail that I realized – I am actually not as badass as I thought. Because, as soon as we began to hike off trail – going toward a very obvious landmark that would be hard to lose sight of – I felt a bit of a shift in my breathing. A shortness of breath. A bit of fear, even. I realized, it was the fear of going ‘off trail.’ The thing is, we were in a valley with a small peak – it was really quite obvious where we were headed, and how to get back to the trail from which we had come. This was not some blizzard situation, where we couldn’t see in front of us and were fighting for our lives. It was just a short jaunt off trail to see if we could get a nice view from a bit more altitude.
What I realized that day was how much I had come to rely on the trail. How much I had come to rely on knowing where we were going. On knowing that there was a path, a plan, and that our job was to simply follow the path. As soon as I was ‘off trail’ all of a sudden all of that security melted and I felt vulnerable, a bit afraid if I were to admit it, and as though I were losing my sense of orientation. The adventure was fun as long as it seemed safe and […]
April Not Church was historic and you can read a short post here to find out why.
We opened the historic gathering with “The Swan” by Mary Oliver
Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds –
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?
Mary Frances Lyans shared these thoughts on changes and led us in singing “Long Time Sun” followed by a meditation:
During this season, many in our human family around the world, of various spiritual traditions and practices, take time out to reflect upon some of life’s deeper mysteries.
Be it resurrection, reincarnation, rebirth and renewal, there is a common theme.
And at this time of global crisis, there is also great opportunity to go within and effect a transformation of fear into love, for ourselves and for others.
Through deep meditation we open up the possibility to be “reborn” in every breath, in every moment. And gratitude is essential.
We can come to a place of silence and inner peace. It is only here, in the present moment, that we are able to realize the Christ consciousness, the Buddha nature within, which is our true home.
We can help guide humanity through the dark night of the soul by giving our Light, thus increasing that Light exponentially.
Fasting, prayer, meditation, service to others – all are helpful in making our hearts a beacon.
While we certainly may miss the joy of family gatherings, Easter baskets with brightly colored eggs and chocolate bunnies for the children, a beautiful Passover seder,
or even dancing and singing together in celebration of Spring, we have, I believe, an even more compelling and joyful calling.
We clean house, sort out what is truly of value in our lives, and shine our Light.
Erin’s wonderful talk, “Everything Changes” from this historic gathering can be read in its entirety here.
Tom and Yella Werder shared their personal insights and practices that are supporting them during this pandemic and closed out the gathering with “It’s in Every One of US.”
See you in May!