Dave Brisbin 9.6.20
I have been talking with people, so many lately, who have suffered tremendous loss. Seems almost like a flood of loss floating on top of the collective loss we’ve all been experiencing this year. Loss of parents and children to death, overdose, loss of jobs, careers and vocations due to Covid and financial downturns. Losses that fundamentally change the ground of a person’s life. Losses that ask a common question of all of us: who are we when we lose a defining part of our lives? We naturally see our identity in terms of the roles we play, the accomplishments we achieve, and the attributes we display as humans, but anything that can be taken from us is not our identity, and everything it means to be human is taken at death, which is why we fear it—who are we then? If you think about it, all our fears in life stem from the basic fear of loss of identity. When we assume we are the voice that talks to us in our heads, the egoic mind, the “false” self or small self of Thomas Merton, we are continually defining and defending ourselves. But it’s a case of mistaken identity.

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There is a deeper self that resides beneath our ability to describe or even think about. We can’t find it directly, because that would involve the mechanics of our minds, our small selves that limit such experience. Our true selves cannot be thought about, only experienced—because it’s only in the flow of present experience that we will connect with the ultimate reality we most often call God that reflects back who we really are. It all comes back to practicing presence. When we are truly present, the small self is finally silent, and in that silence we will find all we need to come home.
 

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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.

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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.

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