The Bones Know

It has been said that the chill of poverty never leaves the bones. Malidoma Some’, speaking at the Agape Revelation Conference in 2006 said, “Listen to your bones. Your bones know everything.” Author Natalie Goldberg teaches depth writing in her book “Writing Down the Bones”.

I share this because while I have appreciated the metaphor, I never truly understood this bone thing   until I began to spend hours in a freezing cold building at 86th and Amsterdam. SANCTUARY NYC has the great gift of being a part of the breath of life returning to the historic West Park Presbyterian building. And for what seems like a long time now, there has not been a working boiler in that place.

I have come home from spending hours there and continued to feel “chilled to the bone”. No matter how much hot tea or how many hot baths, the cold in the bones takes longer to go.  The bones DO have an intelligence all their own. Honestly I have been humbled by this experience. I understand in a whole other, visceral, embodied way that there are so many people worldwide who do not have adequate shelter, sufficient food, are not able to step in and out of their circumstance at will…and that I truly did not know what that might feel like.  

Last night at 7:15, the connections were made, the spark ignited, the boiler began to work and the radiators became warm. We had been hovering over Chris the plumber for hours, watching him and his crew try to connect the pieces. Kevin from Con Ed was a happy guy who brought some humor and levity into our vigil. Councilwoman Gale Brewer, Rev. Bob Brashea, Rev. Tia Oliver and I were the midwives…trying to encourage the birth but not get in the way too much.

I was documenting in photos. Finally Chris’s assistant blurted out “You all are totally freaking me out by watching me !!!”  LOL

 Anyway… The birth of the working boiler was at 7:15 pm EST…A Capricorn boiler…HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Thank you to everyone…for your good humor, your creativity, your contributions to the boiler fund. Thank you to the minister and members of West Park Presbyterian for being a center of creative energy…and for welcoming us into our new home. 

I am better for having shared this journey with you.

Happy New Year.

Rev. Jane

 

Listening To Winter

Listening to Winter

 

The trees have shed their colorful autumn robes.

Winter is raging through the dark, empty branches

and I am listening.

I am listening to the roar and to the quiet of winter.

I am listening to a beauty

that sometimes remains unseen.

 

I am listening.

 

I am listening to the seed hidden in the earth.

I am listening to the dark swallowing up the light.

I am listening to faith rising out of doubt.

I am listening to the need to believe without seeing.

 

I am listening.

 

I am listening to the season of contemplation,

to the urgency of our world’s need for reflection.

I am listening to all that waits within the earth,

to bulbs and seeds,

to deep roots dreaming.

I am listening to the sacred winter rest.

 

I am listening.

 

I am listening to long nights,

comforting darkness,

fruitful darkness,

beautiful darkness.

I am listening to the darkness of the winter season.

I am listening to the sparks of hope within the

darkness.

 

I am listening.

 

I am listening to storms raging out my window,

to storms raging in my heart.

I am listening to all that makes me pull my cloak a little

tighter.

I am listening to trust buried deep in the ground of my

being.

 

I am listening.

 

I am listening to the kind permission of the season

to rest more often,

to reflect more deeply,

to pray without words.

I am listening to the sacrament of non-doing.

 

I am listening.

 

I am listening to my dreams and inner visions,

to the unknown wrapped in the mystery of my life,

to tears trapped in underground streams of my being,

to seeds watered daily by those tears.

 

I am listening.

 

I am listening to the quiet life in winter’s womb.

I am listening to winter, nurturing spring.

I am listening to brilliant winter sunsets

and lovely frosty mornings.

I am listening to snowflakes flying through the air,

to the cold winds that often blow out there,

to bare trees, so lovely in their emptiness,

to one leaf that never did let go.

 

I am listening.

 

I am listening to winter

handing over to spring.

I am listening to the poetry of winter.

 

I am listening.

 

~

 

Macrina Wiederkehr

From The Circle of Life: The Heart’s Journey through the Seasons

by Joyce Rupp & Macrina Wiederkehr

 

Anniversary Syndrome

“It is a wonderful discovery , to find that you are a temple, that you have a church inside you, where God is. there is something awful, that is awe inspiring, down at the depths of our own soul” 

Thomas Kelly

The Sanctuary of the Soul
 
Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,
 
There is something called anniversary syndrome, which is one of the many mysteries of the subconscious mind, the collective unconscious, or the “cloud” where things exist even after we think we have moved on. Without even being aware of significant dates, we sometimes find ourselves re-living events or remembering people and places and then recognize that the memory is linked to an anniversary. Somehow a deeper part of us realizes this, even when our conscious minds do not have a clue. The memories come to us sometimes as very sharp memories, and other times in archetypal symbols. Sometimes we just feel a vague uneasiness or even a full out depression or elation. 
The celebration of the New Year is a time when we collectively recognize the shift, and both culturally and personally a lot of memories fly around the unified field during that time.  Some of them are great and some of them are upsetting. But we can consciously work with them when they do emerge, and help our psyches to use the information they reveal for our evolution.
 
This Sunday at SANCTUARY NYC we will be honoring the year’s journey, and will spend 15 minutes in meditation/contemplation early in the service, during which time you are invited to allow a clarity to emerge about anything you would like to leave in 2011.  We have some very special music, and the Ministry Team is busily at work creating a beautiful ritual for the service.
I would like to suggest that any of you who are interested begin to take some time to consciously thank all of the experiences of the past year, and get ready to say good bye to anything which is not serving you. 
 
Emmet Fox teaches about the Vacuum Theory of Prosperity, which states that nature cannot tolerate a vacuum, but WE have to create the vacuum for the new good to emerge. Old thoughts and resentments, old ideas about who we are or what our lives are supposed to look like, are all as much a part of what we might need to discard as are old newspapers. Old news is old news. 
 
And deep inside, the wonder of discovering YOU is always the result of letting go.
And that place of stillness is where we and G-d are one.
 
The best is yet to come.
I know it.
See you Sunday,
Rev. Jane

Awareness and Responsibility

So I had an insight in my Bikram class yesterday. Or I was in the zone enough for an awareness to find me.

I initially decided to become a member of a 99.9% African American denomination because I was so sick of “white” racism, and I wanted to place myself in the category of officially not available to hear one more “white” liberal say one more elitist or racist thing just out of earshot…I had some idea that if I literally became a pat of the community I would be a living repudiation…I actually forgot that- sort of – as the whole process of classes and graduate school and more classes and and…toward ordination- took over.

But now I see that perhaps the work of Anti-racist advocate Tim Wise is perhaps a better way to go. racism is a national wound…and with the lack of education about this country’s history, and with the appalling lack of critical thinking skills which are the result of the removal of civics from school curriculum…and the testing into oblivion of our brilliant young minds…testing on answers they forget ten minutes after the test- I am not sure where we go from here.

I do know that at the level of Spirit, or Ultimate Reality there is only one of us. And I do know that the beauty of our differences is what makes us special…My commitment in this New Year is in part to try to find a way to make a difference in the mis-education of American youth. They are our future…no, they are our present- and we are giving them a crazy world.

Peace.

 

 

Social Media, Relative Priorities and and and>>>

Ok Friends- In the attempt to get more people aware of the great work of SANCTUARY NYC we have been working with a social media person…who will be great I know. However, in the short term, somehow a thousand YouTubes from a previous incarnation have been posted all over the place…having NOTHING to do with SANCTUARY NYC,..They are edited clips and may or not make a lot of sense to you out of context…If they don’t make sense to me, I am assuming they are a bafflement to some of you…like all 5 million people on Facebook…oh god
Is this how the Egyptian “revolution” got started???
There are many important things to think about…Like the fact that 25 percent of America’s children do not have enough to eat, that lgbtq people are still not free to marry in most US states, that our civil rights are eroding…you know…important stuff.
This Facebook thing will get straightened out. Let’s get the rest of it fixed.
Merry happy,
Jane Galloway
 

In the deep Mid-Winter

Winter Solstice- Wikipedia:

“Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture, but most northern hemisphere cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.
In neolithic times…the winter solstice may have been immensely important because communities were not certain of living through the winter.”
 
Hello SANCTUARY NYC Friends,
 
We are in the “deep mid-winter” which the songs sing about..in terms of light and darkness that is.
December 21st marks the winter solstice, which begins the reversal from days of diminishing length and longer darker nights, into a slow lengthening of daylight hours.
 
We have been observing the theme “Expectant Waiting” this month of December, as we have looked at the inner process of preparing a place for the new to be born in us. We have talked about Saturnalia and Christmas, about Hanukkah and about the inner light, about emptying and opening, and about finding that quiet voice which speaks to us as we listen.
Several weeks ago, Jeremy wrote in his newsletter article about the purpose of music in our sacred gatherings. He said that the purpose is not “performance” so much as “going ‘there‘”. As those of you know who have been joining us on Sundays, that metaphor has been one which we have looked at in a lot of ways.
I asked you all to think about “Where is ‘there’?“, and your reflections have been wonderful and inspirational.
 
It is clear from the many, many religious and cultural festivals, gods, goddesses, re-birth stories and celebrations of light which take place during this time of year, that even if we are not aware of it, something deep is working on us from the collective unconscious during this season. We come together to enact and re-enact rituals and collective affirmations of surviving in the midst of what our liminal brain may still think is the extinguishing of the “light of the world”...literally!
This Sunday, December 25th, Christmas Day, we are thrilled to be looking at the idea, “A Dream Realized”…and to have contributions from numerous SANCTUARY NYC artists on the theme: “Where Is ‘There’?”
This will be a special day, a creative day, one when we come together to celebrate the sacredness of this archetypal time of re-birth.
Can’t wait.
 
Oh and by the way…we will have heat…and will be back in the main sanctuary.
The City Councilwoman, Gail Brewer told me the Con Ed snafu would be solved by Friday…this Friday.
Really:)
 
Love to all,
Rev. Jane