A collection of writings, old and new, on story and storytelling by David Novak.
What a beautiful sermon, David. Thank you for sharing it.I was raised Catholic; however, I brought my sons up with the Jewish faith because it is their cultural heritage and because questioning, a critical part of being human to my thinking, is a big part of Judaism. Though I briefly considered converting, I realized that I couldn’t align with a particular creed. Now I feel most at home with Buddhism, but I am curious about the Unitarian Universalist approach to faith.So much in Western society pulls us out of communion with the one who is experiencing life through our earthly bodies, the one who connects us and returns us to all that is. It’s when we allow ourselves to relax into the sort of meditative state you described that we connect with the one who sees. The disconnect from our essential selves is at the root of the wars and willful destruction that we’re seeing in our world. It’s easy to see this when one learns about indigenous peoples and others who hold a deep knowledge of our roles as humans and our responsibility for preservation of that critical balance in nature.Sadly, too many people in our country lack access to those peoples and that information — or if they do, they can only focus on ways to appropriate and monetize nature. A broad-based education and the learning that comes from travel would go a long way toward curing our propensity for greed and other selfish behaviors. I also think that meditation should be a part of every child’s education. Unfortunately, some people won’t even allow yoga to be taught in schools for fear that it will indoctrinate their children into some weird sect.I also appreciated your statement that we should accept and trust that “who we are, the way we are, is serving why we are.” Each of us is a unique contributor, offering something that no one else can. So we are both a speck in it all and an essential part of the mystery. And it is astonishing and humbling to experience the numinous and realize that we are an integral part of it all and we don’t end. We don’t have anything to prove, but we can always do better. We can “flourish” and “be the best flowers we can be” as you said. In times of confusion and crisis, we can offer the Buddhist prayer “May this serve to awaken me.” I’m still chuckling about your reluctance to pull weeds or kills ants. I was just out in my yard yesterday pruning the butterfly bushes, asking their forgiveness for any overly aggressive clipping. The day prior, I apologized to the dandelions for clipping their leaves and then chucking the roots into the green waste bin. And the ants. Well, after three massive ant invasions two summers ago, and my failed attempts to nudge them out with essential oils, spices, and yes, whispered pleas, I called in the exterminator. I’m sure the Dalai Lama would disapprove. I heard that he has an assistant who gently removes them to their proper location. In my defense, I will go out of my way to rescue spiders (including black widows), crickets, moths, lizards, snakes, and anything else that inserts itself where it doesn’t belong. When walking my dog during rainy periods, I am compelled to rescue as many displaced worms as possible and set them back on nearest patch of dirt.Again, thanks for sharing your wisdom. May your soulful messages carry far and wide!Namasté