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November Not Church – Privilege

November 2020 Not Church

A look at Privilege–an important and powerful gathering.  We are grateful to all who participated and shared their experiences and thoughts from various perspectives on privilege…Erin, Bene, Gina, Zee, Nadine, and Rhonda who gave us a peek into just a few of her experiences coming up against privilege…traveling across country in the 60s, to the workplace, car-buying, apartment renting, applying for home loans and more.  A lot to think about and consider.

Here’s the video…We’re new at this and there’s a lot of “fiddling” and dead space in the beginning…so we recommend you start at around 18 minutes when we actually start the gathering!

Here’s a link from Zee… to the poem she shared  by Nikki Acquah: https://theonlywayisegham.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/privilege/ It was thought-provoking, as was the 10-finger exercise!

If you wish to pursue the idea of privilege and investigate further…here’s an excellent article, UNDERSTANDING WHITE PRIVILEGE.

If you’d like to “slide off those shoes of privilege” and “take a little journey with Taiwo Adesina, here’s the full poem from Medium, called “Re: i can’t imagine”

Take a journey with me, all who say you can’t imagine this
Take a journey with me, so our feelings you can no longer dismiss

Close your eyes for a second, maybe for a minute or two
Slide off those shoes of privilege, and force yourself to see anew
You can imagine what it’s like, you don’t need my assist
You can see through my eyes, you can picture the twist

You are a woman or man, a girl, or a boy,
A citizen of your country, one that should bring you joy
With dreams and goals, striving for a life without lack
But just for a second, imagine you are Black

Imagine living in a world where you must constantly explain
The reason for your existence, the reason for your name
The texture of your hair – and why you buy it or not
The reason for your success – whether you took their spot

Imagine a world, where you are literally forgotten
Until it is time, to gather the cotton
Your art goes unpraised, unless to them it can speak
“I don’t get it,” they say, as another agent you seek

Imagine a world where you fear for your kin
Not the normal fear of a parent, but one amplified within
So you sit them down, your children, so round and so cute,
and demonstrate with your spouse, “hands up, don’t shoot”

Yes, yes, I know you will never know how it is
I’m not trying to trick you, this is no pop quiz
I just want you to discuss with us, then keep your internal dialogue alive
Because any human can imagine how to want to survive

So, try. Just try
Yes you can, yes you can
Take off those shoes and
Imagine you’re a Black man

Imagine what it means to constantly be a suspect
To walk through the world always harassed, always checked
Think of what it means to be a Black girl who goes unfound
And no one mounts a search, no one makes […]

By |2020-11-13T14:53:24-08:00November 12th, 2020|About Events, Blog|0 Comments

A Few Inspirations from October Not Church

October Not Church on ZoomOctober Not Church on Zoom

Thank you to Doug Rye for hosting the October gathering on ZOOM, to Yella for her comments on words, Bene’s meditation, Erin’s talk, and to Keith and John for the inspiring poems posted below.

Thank you to all who joined us we look forward to seeing you all again on November 8th.

Before Winter by Kwame Dawes
read by Keith Williamson

I imagine there is a place of deep rest—not in the resting but after,
when the body has forgotten the weight of fatigue or of its many

betrayals—how unfair that once I thought it clever to blame my body
for the wounds in me: the ankle bulbous and aching, the heaviness

in the thigh, and the fat, the encroachment of flesh. It is hard to believe
that there are those who do not know that it is possible to let things

go, to then see the expansion of flesh—it is so easy, and that knowing
is a pathology. What is unknown to me is the clear day of rest—

I carry a brain of crushed paper, everything unfolds as if by magic,
every spot of understanding is a miracle, I cannot take any credit

for the revelations, they come and go as easily as the wind.
You must know that this is a preamble to an epiphany I will record—

the late-morning light of October, the damp soiled back yard,
the verdant green lawn, the bright elegance of leaves strewn

over it all, turning nonchalantly in the wind, and the Nebraska sky
blue as a kind of watery ease, a comfort, it is all I can say, the kind

one knows, even standing there waiting for the dog to squat;
one that I will remember for years but will never have the language

to speak of—one of those precious insignificances that we collect
and hoard. The moment lasts ten breaths, and in that silence

I imagine that I can see spirits, I can know myself, and I will not fear
the betrayals of body and love and earth, and the machinations

of self-made emperors and pontificates. It will be winter soon. I know my body
is collecting water in its nether regions, the weight of the hibernating

mammal, storing everything in drowsy, slow-moving preservation.
I mean I am losing myself to the shelter we build to beat back

sorrow and the weight of our fears. I have covered thousands of miles
in a few days, and I feel my parts flaking off, a shedding of yellow

pieces covering the turning earth, and I am helpless to this soft
disappearing that some call sleep. I will stretch out and breathe.

***********

Abyss by John Stadelmann

Free time is an abyss.

Life has changed.

A cat in a kennel

exploring a space getting smaller

and smaller.

Senses more sensitive,

awareness heightened

to the point of distress,

DEFCON 2 all the time.

Choices of what to do

are narrowing

as we head toward a sharp apex off in the distance.

We crave normalcy but the experience is too brief.

Not much of that commodity around these days.

So, we got up early to get flu shots,

an event as normal as you’re likely to find […]

By |2020-10-13T12:21:07-07:00October 13th, 2020|About Events, Inspirations|Comments Off on A Few Inspirations from October Not Church

A Special and Important Summer Not Church

Please join us for a special and important Summer Not Church with John DiCecco. 

Saturday, August 22
10:00 AM – !2:00 PM PST

The 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.

Goals:

  • 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

Disclaimers:

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 […]

By |2020-08-09T19:55:16-07:00August 9th, 2020|About Events|Comments Off on A Special and Important Summer Not Church

A Photo for the Archives!

Not Church Online!

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.

 

 

By |2020-04-23T14:54:00-07:00April 22nd, 2020|About Events|Comments Off on A Photo for the Archives!

More from April Not Church

 

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:

Dear Friends,

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.

Om. Shanti

PeaceLove,
Mary

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!

 

By |2020-04-22T13:10:10-07:00April 22nd, 2020|About Events, Talks|Comments Off on More from April Not Church

March Not Church Norte Goes Online

Not Church Norte will be gathering virtually by Zoom, this Wednesday, March 25th at 5 pm.

Click this link to join the meeting: https://zoom.us/j/9231159289 

or you can paste it into your browser.
Meeting ID 9231159289

PLEASE DO NOT JOIN THE MEETING UNTIL 5 PM
 
*You don’t need to have the ZOOM app to join the meeting, but it might be easier for you if you do.
You can download the FREE ZOOM APP from your phone or PC APP Store
By |2020-04-22T12:51:41-07:00March 23rd, 2020|About Events|Comments Off on March Not Church Norte Goes Online

New Book – Tao Te Ching

Tao Te ChingI am excited to announce that the Happiness Study Group will be starting our new book on March 17th, The Tao Te Ching. With some much-needed and appreciated guidance from our dear friend and scholar, Daniel Bisgaard, we will explore one of the most translated books in world literature. This twelfth selection is a bit of a departure, though most assuredly related to our continuing study of the Middle Way.

Authorship of the Tao Te Ching is credited to the 6th-century BC sage Laozi and the oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC. The Tao Te Ching… is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including LegalismConfucianism, and Buddhism. In its 81 verses it delivers a treatise on how to live in the world with goodness and integrity: an important kind of wisdom in a world where many people believe such a thing to be impossible.

The edition we have chosen is: Tao Te Ching: With Over 150 Photographs by Jane English Paperback – November 1, 2011 by Lao Tzu (Author), Gia-Fu Feng (Translator), Jane English (Translator), Toinette Lippe (Translator), with introduction by Jacob Needleman.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

“For nearly two generations, this bestselling translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have refreshed and revised the translation, so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, while taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. This beautiful oversized edition features over a hundred new photographs by Jane English that help express the vast spirit of the Tao. Also included is an introduction by the well-known writer and scholar of philosophy and comparative religion, Jacob Needleman.

Lao Tsu’s philosophy is simple: Accept what is in front of you without wanting the situation to be other than it is. Study the natural order of things and work with it rather than against it, for to try to change what is only sets up resistance. Nature provides everything without requiring payment or thanks. It does so without discrimination. So let us present the same face to everyone and treat them all as equals, however they may behave. If we watch carefully, we will see that work proceeds more quickly and easily if we stop “trying,” if we stop putting in so much extra effort, if we stop looking for results. In the clarity of a still and open mind, truth will be reflected. Te—which may be translated as “virtue” or “strength”—lies always in Tao meaning “the way” or “natural law.” In other words: Simply be.”

The book is available from Amazon, ABE.com and other sellers. Other editions of the Feng and English translation are also suitable…particularly versions without photographs at lower prices.

Please contact Nadine if you would like to join the […]

By |2020-04-22T12:51:55-07:00February 28th, 2020|About Events, Happiness Study Group, Study|Comments Off on New Book – Tao Te Ching