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Archive for January, 2009

What Are You DOING?

Friday, January 16th, 2009

“What are you doing?” was the question asked to me by a co-teacher while we were facilitating a weekend intensive. We had co-created our agenda and after lunch we were going to do a guided meditation with the whole group. The plan was for me to go to the center of the room and use a large white singing bowl to create an attunement and raise the vibrational tone to start the meditation. So, on cue, I went to the center of the room, and sat down on a seat cushion to prepare to play. My co-teacher began speaking, and suddenly looked down, saw me sitting, and asked, “What are you doing?” I looked up as if caught with my hand in the cookie jar. I responded, “Nothing.” She continued, “No, really, what are you doing?” I just stared up and was quiet. In my mind I was thinking, I am doing what we said we were going to do at this time, but remained silent. Meanwhile, the rest of the class looked on thinking this was either a skit we were performing or a way of engaging them in the next experience. Slowly and calmly, I picked up my seat cushion and returned to my space in the circle.

My co-teacher went on to explain a whole new exercise she thought would work better, but had not had the chance to explain to me about the change in schedule. In her mind, she knew what she was doing and I knew what I was doing. I realized a few things in that moment, other than it is a good idea to tell your co-teacher the agenda has changed. I realized I wasn’t “doing” anything. I allowed myself to become quiet and realized it had nothing to do with “doing”, that it is about “being.”

It was a lesson about how easy it is to get caught up in the doing and the defending. I could have easily voiced back that I was getting ready to lead the meditation like we agreed, but in that moment the real lesson was just being. Every day, there are so many things “to do”, that we can forget “to be.

In a recent conversation I was reminded again of a non-doing stance. I was struggling with all the doing and wanting to answer every question. The response that came was, “There is nothing to do…Nothing…I promise…Just breathe…Nothing at all to do…You are perfect as you are…IT is all good…Do nothing…It is not about DO-ing…Just feel and let it be what it is…”

So, the question now becomes, who are you being? Practice doing nothing. See what happens. Notice the stance of non-doing and the place of being and watching and feeling and allowing. Just watch.

What are you doing? It is perfect to not have an answer.

Mary Anne

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Proposition 2009

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

“It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions. ” – Harvey Milk (1973)

As this amazing year of dreams, hopes, and possibilities comes to an end and we begin to plan for 2009, I would like to take time to offer Proposition 2009. I propose that we have a community for all people regardless of their sexual orientation. We are a society that can agree to disagree and engage in real dialog about issues that are important to us. Let me be clear that bringing people together for real conversation is very different than inviting an Evangelical Minister who has publicly made anti-gay statements to speak at one of most important events in history.

I would like to take a moment to express how disappointed I am at President Elect Obama’s choice to have Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the 56th Presidential Inauguration. The rationale about having Warren speak is that Obama is keeping his word about inviting more evangelicals to the table. This however is no ordinary table. The Inauguration is a huge event that will be televised around the world. There are many people who do not believe in same-sex marriage, including Obama. Everyone has a right to their point of view. I ought to have the same constitutional rights as all, including, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and once we start dividing up who has the right to marry, then we create subset groups of people.

Rev. Rick Warren not only opposed same-sex marriage, he has campaigned against it, including campaigning and supporting California’s Proposition 8. He has also publicly said he does not support gay marriage because he believes it is similar to a brother marrying a sister, a man with six wives, or a man with a little girl. It is one thing to not believe in same-sex marriage, but these statements bring it to a whole new level when same-sex marriage is compared to incest, polygamy, and pedophile. These statements go against not only our rights but our human dignity.

I am asking that as we enter this New Year, this historic time, this national attention to our new leader, we reflect upon the rights and dignity of all of our citizens. Proposition 2009 is about hope and in order to promote hope, we must remove hatred, division, and inequality. As a nation, we were willing to examine our views of racism and vote for an African American to bring our country together. Now, I encourage everyone to look at our views of homophobia. Proposition 2009 supports a community for all and as Harvey Milk said, “Hope will never be silent.” May everyone have a happy and healthy 2009.

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