Awareness and Presence

Many of us engage with fight or flight instincts when it comes to stressful interpersonal, local, or global issues. We freeze up, lash out, and act reflexively, without conscious choice. Quick reactions are critical in times of true danger, but elsewhere mark a lack of awareness that stifles relationships and personal growth. Awareness is the key to being present in our moments, able to create the space to choose other than our pre-programmed responses, even when they have served us in the past. This module introduces concepts and tools to recognize triggers, deepen awareness about your physical and spiritual self, and learn how to guide yourself toward a calmer, more connected life.

The 4 S-es

Silence goes beyond the absence of sound, just as solitude is not merely being alone. In this module, we look at the relationship between silence, solitude, stillness, and simplicity — the 4 S-es–and the importance of cultivating them through awareness and meditative practice. The 4 S-es form the core of the most ancient practice of deep spiritual and self awareness but can be hard to achieve even for introverted people without the right tools. Ironically, what seems at first to be a practice of withdrawal, actually connects us more deeply to a power greater than
ourselves, that of God and community. This module presents a foundation for creating true silence, solitude, stillness, and
simplicity in our lives.

The 4 S-es

Silence goes beyond the absence of sound, just as solitude is not merely being alone. In this module, we look at the relationship between silence, solitude, stillness, and simplicity — the 4 S-es–and the importance of cultivating them through awareness and meditative practice. The 4 S-es form the core of the most ancient practice of deep spiritual and self awareness but can be hard to achieve even for introverted people without the right tools. Ironically, what seems at first to be a practice of withdrawal, actually connects us more deeply to a power greater than
ourselves, that of God and community. This module presents a foundation for creating true silence, solitude, stillness, and
simplicity in our lives.

Meditative Practice

Meditation means many things to different people: anything from thinking deeply about something to thinking nothing at all, a tool to lower stress to the image of a person sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, palms up–something deeply religious. However, meditation in itself is physical, not spiritual, though it’s always been used to enhance spiritual practice. Knowing what it is and isn’t, how and why it can be used, what benefits it can bring, and that it doesn’t require religious belief or have to look the same for everyone is an essential beginning. Meditation hones our ability to create “choiceless awareness,” a state of stillness we can maintain even within a noisy environment or active mind. In this module we learn about meditation and how it gives us the tools to bring our presence with us wherever we go in daily life.

Meditative Techniques

How do I practice meditation? What are different techniques and which may be better for me? What if I’m too ADD to be able to sit quietly for any length of time, is there still a way for me to meditate? What about those meditation smart phone apps? Are they all I need? There are so many questions to ask about meditation, we’ll look at the most pressing, so if you’re ready to engage in a program of your own, you can experiment with different techniques until you find those that work best for you and your personal and spiritual goals and values. The goal of meditation is to instill the 4 S-es, the silence, solitude, stillness, and simplicity that will allow you to remain mindfully present more seamlessly through your day, able to recover more quickly from emotional triggers and more focused on just the task at hand, the person sharing your moment. All of which are the building blocks of real connection that makes life feel alive.

Meditative Techniques

How do I practice meditation? What are different techniques and which may be better for me? What if I’m too ADD to be able to sit quietly for any length of time, is there still a way for me to meditate? What about those meditation smart phone apps? Are they all I need? There are so many questions to ask about meditation, we’ll look at the most pressing, so if you’re ready to engage in a program of your own, you can experiment with different techniques until you find those that work best for you and your personal and spiritual goals and values. The goal of meditation is to instill the 4 S-es, the silence, solitude, stillness, and simplicity that will allow you to remain mindfully present more seamlessly through your day, able to recover more quickly from emotional triggers and more focused on just the task at hand, the person sharing your moment. All of which are the building blocks of real connection that makes life feel alive.

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Personal Stories

Stories from people who’ve experienced the effect of theeffect in their lives.

Everyone is recovering from something… Admitting this is the first step in spiritual life, because any unfinished business in our lives–trauma, unforgiveness, fear-based perceptions–fosters compulsive behavior and keeps us from connecting spiritually and emotionally.

Since we’re all recovering, we accept everyone right as they are—no expiration dates or deadlines. We don’t tell anyone what to believe or do. We present points of view that we hope will engage seekers in their own journey; help them unlearn limiting perceptions, beliefs, and compulsions; give opportunities to get involved in community, building the trust we all need to find real identity, meaning, and purpose. In other words, to engage the transforming Way of living life that Jesus called Kingdom…non-religiously understood from a first century Hebrew point of view.

 

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Embedded in the fun and laughter of each of our gatherings and events is the connection and accountability as well as the structure, discipline, and opportunity for service that authentic community is all about. We help create programs for physical support, emotional recovery, and spiritual formation that can meet any person’s needs. Such programs work at two levels: first to address a person’s physical and emotional stability—clinical, financial, relational,professional—anything that distracts from working on the second level: true spiritual formation centered around the contemplative way of life defined by an original Hebrew understanding of the message of Jesus.

Rather than telling people what to believe or think, we model and encourage engagement in a personal and communal spiritual journey that allows people to experience their own worthiness of connection and acceptance, to find the freedom from underlying fears that brings real meaning and purpose into focus.

 

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Seeing ourselves as a learning and recovery community that worships together, the focus isn’t on Sunday morning alone, but on every day of the week as we gather for worship, healing and support workshops, studies, 12 step meetings, counseling and mentoring sessions, referral services, and social events. We maintain a food pantry for those needing more support, a recovery worship gathering, and child care for those with little ones.

Our Sunday gathering starts at 10AM and our Recovery gathering on Tuesdays at 7PM. Both gatherings include worship with one of the best worship bands in the area. See our monthly calendar and our Facebook page to stay in touch with what is happening each week. You can also sign up on our elist for email enews updates.

 

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