Namaste this Mindful Monday!
Our Mindful Meditation last week was to look for the 2nd face of service in ourselves & others ~ especially in the uncomfortable or worse situations. And my universe delivered plenty of practical practice opportunities!
As noted last week, we are East spending time with Jeremiah’s dad & grandparents. Besides the obvious challenge of staying with the man I left 7 years ago due to a long list of incompatibilities that haven’t changed a whole lot, there was a record heat wave here that threatened flaring tempers more than once! There were 2 large outings I will speak to here & now in context with being a spiritually minded parent & human in this complex & diverse life of choices we were blessed to be born into!
Jeremiah’s grandfather is a history buff with a great love of civil war lore. He took us to Gettysburg last week where the bloodiest battle of the civil war took place. Tolle talks of the collective insanity of war in his New Earth book & Jeremiah & I got a stark view of it that day with his grandfather in the state park & town of Gettysburg. In Jeremiah’s words, “It was a horrible, insane mistake in human history. Why we put so much time & energy re-living it is beyond me.” Our tour guide admittedly loved telling the story which made him good at his job. It was all I could do to hear the re-telling for that one day ~ and yes, I cried. When folks looked at me like “why are you crying?!”, I looked back with “how come you’re NOT crying?!” Of course, these judgements were (only) being played out in my head! And my judgements live on ~ unthinkable acts of ‘service’ were played out by these men. Pickett’s Charge was where 11,000 men marched through open fields shoulder to shoulder, 3 rows deep spanning more than 1 mile wide, marched in the wide open towards firing cannons. Two thirds of the men fell. And that was just one facet of this 3 day battle that happened at a mid-point in the war ~ the war went on for 2 more years after Gettysburg. There are 300 some monuments there honoring the dead and it was at the dedication ceremony of the Solidiers’ National Cemetary in Gettysburg that Lincoln delivered his most famous speech affirming and asserting America’s democracy that the “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Honor the dead? Absolutely. They died in service, no matter how insane the charge. Relive it passionately every day? What are we in service to with that? I guess it’s the same human component that makes folks stop to see an accident or watch the frightly nightly news.
I do have to mention one more amazing sight from Gettysburg. A french painter constructed a round 322 ft diorama of the battle in the late 1800s. It has recently been renovated and displayed with a 3D effect that is truly breathtaking. Many, many hands were in service to this creation both in the original and the revised states. The artist’s reenactment admittedly is much more soothing & satisfying to my soul. Thereby, more testimony to the diversity of the way we honor what was and what is.
Enter our second event. Jeremiah’s dad was once a “dead-head”, meaning he went to an estimated 40-60 Grateful Dead concerts ‘back in the day’. Me? I went to one once out of curiosity and it was more than enough! Two of the original band members, Phil Lesch & Bobby Weir have a band now called “Further“. Daniel, Jeremiah’s dad really wanted to take Jeremiah. I thought it inappropriate guessing what the audience (activities) would be like but opted to let Daniel have the experience(s) he wanted with Jeremiah. Knowing it wasn’t my thing, I opted to go as a “chaperone”. It was an extremely challenging evening in many, many ways and thereby a great growth opportunity. The audience was in large part all drinking beer & smoking marijuana … thousands of hot, sweaty fans, many of whom were drunk or otherwise. Certainly not the kind of energy I want for myself or my son! His father was & is convinced that it was the right thing to do to take Jeremiah and expose him to that slice of life. I chose to be in service to Daniel’s desire though I am still unsure if that was the right thing to do. Jeremiah took it all in stride and learned more about his parents and their differences. I ended up meditating the last 45 minutes or so of the concert for my mental & spiritual sanity which was actually far easier to do than I could have dreamed and yielded me tremendous results of inner peace & harmony. Jeremiah’s quote, “It felt like they were trying to keep something alive that had died a long time ago.” Just like Gettysburg!
In being in service to our new CD this past week, my hours were spent on the CD artwork ~and through the wonders of technology uploaded to our duplication team in Oakland, CA. BTW, let me give a great & grateful shout out to Pacific Optimedia for excellent service & pricing for us little guys with our short run orders. Thank you for your service Pacific Optimedia! Given the artwork production this last week, we haven’t gotten the new sample tracks on site yet but stay fine tuned and we’ll let you know! Truly, these songs are now in our hands and available to yours! Whoohoo! Thank You God!
This week I remain in surrendered service to this time of family with all of its challenges & blessings as well as to some ongoing production work & performance appearances coming up over the weekend. Our Mindful Meditation Invitation this week is to deepen our awareness of the levels of service always operating in and through us as well as all around us. Who will you serve this week? In which ways and why?!
Our New Thought Families website focus this month is on Service & Giving. The daily pray & play calendar is In Our Hands which features some fun hand graphics, reflective & playful ideas in writing accompanied by song clips for each day’s interactive, interfaith, intergenerational messages. From our upcoming Trust What You Hear CD, in keeping with surrendered service and mindful meditation, we must revisit the music video, God Spot: