Seattle Unity Sermon Video 12-10-2017—”Touching Silence”

Sunday Service Video December 10th, 2017—“Touching Silence”—Here is the link and player to the Rev. Karen Lindvig’s three-part sermon from 12-10-2017. In this Sunday sermon titled “Touching Silence,“ Rev. Karen Lindvig elaborates on the Annual Theme of the Transformational Journey. Karen explores ways in which meditative practices can contribute to our spiritual development and the transformational journey each of us may embark upon. She does this through touching on the mystical part of the Christmas… (see more below)

Rev. Karen Lindvig Sermon Part 1 “Touching Silence”

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Rev. Karen Lindvig Sermon Part 2 “Touching Silence”

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Rev. Karen Lindvig Sermon Part 3 “Touching Silence”

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Sermon Summary

Title: Touching Silence

http://seattleunity.org—In this Sunday sermon titled “Touching Silence,“ Rev. Karen Lindvig elaborates on the Annual Theme of the Transformational Journey. Karen explores ways in which meditative practices can contribute to our spiritual development and the transformational journey each of us may embark upon. She does this through touching on the mystical part of the Christmas story, which includes the shepherds and the angels.

Karen offers a scripture reading describing how the shepherds are the aspect of the Christmas story that speaks to mysticism.

The exercises that follow provide a spiritual practice that helps us to step outside of controversies and tragedies that have become parts of our daily lives, whether directly or through various media we experience, towards precious moments of being free.

Key quotations related to the sermon:

Matthew 18:20:
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Neil Douglas-Klotz’s paraphrase of Aramaic Peshitta version of the Gospels:

“This occurs because
wherever two or three
gather and wrap themselves b’shemy
—in my sound and name,
in my atmosphere and light,
in my experience of
the wave reality of the cosmos—
wherever this power becomes tangible
and names itself through their devotion,
then ‘I Am’ is really there
among, around, and inside them.”

(Page 11, Desert Wisdom: Sacred Middle Eastern Writings from the Goddess through the Sufis, San Francisco, CA 1995)

Wendell Berry: “When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” (The Peace of Wild Things)

Luke: 2:8-12: In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

Emma Seppala:
It gives you perspective: By observing your mind, you realize you don’t have to be slave to it. You realize it throws tantrums, gets grumpy, jealous, happy and sad but that it doesn’t have to run you. Meditation is quite simply mental hygiene: clear. We can’t control what happens on the outside but we do have a say over the quality of our mind. No matter what’s going on, if your mind is ok, everything is ok. Right now.

“I can’t sit still—that’s ok, just sit comfortably, fidget if you need to.

“I get anxious—that’s also normal, all the junk’s coming up, learn some breathing practices to calm yourself down, exercise or do yoga before meditating.”

Andye Murphy:
“I hate sitting still—that’s fine, then go for a walk without your earphones, phone etc; or start with yoga; or do breathing exercises…give yourself time to just “be” without constantly “doing” something.”
(The Benefits of Chanting: Reclaim the Powers of Creation)

Key ideas and processes related to this sermon:

1. Cultures throughout time have honored sound not simply as an auditory boon to humanity, but as something deeper, more sublime, which can lead us into union with the cosmos.

2. Chanting is the key to transcendence, for it offers us an opportunity to unite with God, to create the sacred sounds which allow us to craft our own reality.

Tibet: Om Mani Padme Hum
Egypt: Ga Nu Sa Mes a Sa Hu
Kundalini: Sa Ta Na Ma
Hindu: Om Na Ma Shivaya

The shamans of the Americas also engage in powerful chanting. Called Icaros, it is these songs which invoke gods and allow the shaman to merge with the plant spirits to offer healing, insight and enlightenment.

Recognizing the wisdom of these ancient ways, the Catholic church sought to capture some of this power on their own through Gregorian chants – although in Latin – which carried the same desired effect of shifting frequency.

These sounds have power — they are power — for they give us a way out of human thinking.

3. Hands Up Exercise by Elizabeth Gilbert

Dear Ones:

How to get out of the dungeon of sadness (or at least the way I have learned to do it, or at least the way I try to do it.

Lift your tired arms upward in the darkness.
Move your hands about in the damp air,
until you feel a tiny strand of thread,
thinner than a cobweb. 
You are almost afraid to touch it, 
because you fear it might break.

It will not break.

This is the thread of love from my heart to yours.
This is the thread of mercy that says, 
”I have been exactly where you are. I am the same as you.”

Now feel about some more in the dark air.
 Can you feel all the other strands above your head?
 These are the filaments of love and mercy 
that connect you to every other human being 
who has ever lived.

And to every other human being 
who has ever suffered.

Which is all of us.

Every strand, faint as it is, says:
 “I have been exactly where you are. I am the same as you.”

Instead, gather every strand of mercy you can find above you, 
that connects you to us.

Braid it into a rope stronger than you could imagine.

Wrap that rope around your life.

Together, we will pull you free.