We started our meeting by holding silence, so that we could each do the equivalent of (silently) reciting our personal creed. And we followed that with our usual ritual of passing fire, bread, water, and – a new tool for us in the form of a fan of ravens’ and pigeons’ feathers – air, around our circle of fellowship. After partaking, these four signifiers are placed on the table between us.
The theme of meeting for reverence was “wholeness”, and it pivoted around some words by the American author Oriah Mountain Dreamer: “When we surrender, when we do not fight with life when she calls upon us, we are lifted, and the strength to do what needs to be done finds us, because we have remembered that we can choose to serve the only cause that matters: life herself.”
We had some prayers and meditations including a meditation by Richard S. Gilbert on our chalice of being, and we heard readings from Taoism (from the Tao Teh Ching) and Christianity (a story from the Desert Fathers and Mothers). We heard that the Buddha’s original message seems to have been cast in positive form – as common sense would expect, his teaching was a call to the “more” of life, not to the ending of it, and not to the running away from an imperfect world.
We sang two hymns from our green hymn books, which focused on the Life that makes all things new and the “human becoming” in oneness and sharing. We also heard a contemporary take on revivalist music – very uplifting after our candles of joys and concerns which turned out to be focused on the darker side of living.