In his book, Sabbath, Wayne Muller writes, "The story is told of a South American tribe that went on a long march, day after day, when all of a sudden they would stop walking, sit down to rest for a while, and then make camp for a couple of days before going any further. They explained that they needed the time of rest so that their souls could catch up with them."
What a powerful image: stopping to rest, so that your soul can catch up with you. Resting, so that your head, heart, and soul can arrive in the same place, at the same time, in some kind of alignment.
Whether or not you believe in a “soul,” surely we all yearn for moments when we can slow down enough to tenderly and gently welcome home all of who we are, all of what we’re carrying. Surely we yearn for those moments of stillness, where our deepest wisdom and knowing emerge, where we can discern the movement of Love in our lives.
At First Universalist, through our “Circles,” we have created dozens and dozens of such spaces to slow down and listen deeply.
Circles are groups of 8-10 committed participants who come together with a trained leader. These groups are grounded in the spiritual practices of deep listening and open-hearted reflection. Each gathering offers an opportunity for deeper connection: connecting with our own inner truth, connecting with other people, and connecting with something greater than ourselves.
We offer Circles for Newcomers, Circles for Spiritual Deepening (including 12 Step Spirituality for Unitarian Universalists, Mostly Silence Meditation, and Spiritual Practices and Support for Those Living With Depression and Other Mental Health Concerns),and Community Circles, which offer a space to dive deeper into the message from Sunday morning.
We live in a time when we have millions of data points in our life, all clamoring for our attention. We are in the midst of an information overload, that taxes our bodies and spirits.
The practice of sitting in a Circle, of intentionally slowing down, gives us time to see ourselves and our lives more clearly. Sitting in a Circle can awaken our hearts in ways we scarcely can imagine, as the non-essentials fall away, and the information that really matters, begins to emerge.
Circles fill up fast; take a look at what we’re offering, and sign up by September 21st. If you have questions, or aren’t sure what Circle is right for you, please talk with Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink, our Minister of Membership and Adult Ministries, at Elaine@firstuniv.org.
This fall, let your soul catch up with you body; give yourself the gift of participating in one of our Circles.
I’ll see you in church,