Aware that lack of communication always brings separation and suffering, we are committed to training ourselves in the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech. Knowing that true community is rooted in inclusiveness and in the concrete practice of harmony of views, thinking and speech, we will practice to share our understanding and experiences with members in our community in order to arrive at collective insight. We are determined to learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting, and refrain from uttering words that can create discord or cause the community to break.
The Eighth Mindfulness Training, from The Order of Interbeing, created by Thich Naht Hahn in 1966 in Saigon
Our board, in line with the Fifth Principle of Unitarian Universalism: “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and society at large…” needs to gain a strong sense of the goals we, its members, want First Church to pursue over the next five years. Because I strive to practice the eighth mindfulness training, and because I believe in the fifth UU principle, I recently attended one of the 2.5 hour “Our Courageous Future” meetings. From that meeting it is clear to me that the board knows “that true community is rooted in inclusiveness” and from that can grow “the concrete practice of harmony of views.”
We who attended were encouraged to share our First Church “understanding and experiences” with each other, and I felt truly listened to and heard. Of course, our views were not always in harmony: having a sense of who we UUs are, how could they be? But I believe we listened to each other “deeply without judging or reacting,” and we truly helped move First Church toward “collective insight.”
Now it’s your turn: if you have not already done so, please, commit to attending a session of “Our Courageous Future” so that your views and experiences, too, can help guide us to and through what promises to be an exciting next five years.
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