|November’s theme: Attention
What It Means To Pay Attention — From Rev. Sandra’s Study
To give one’s full attention is to look closely, to linger upon, to delve, to immerse oneself into something that at first seems “other” but soon seems “one with.” To give attention, in the end, is to be grasped.
~ David Seaburn
Lingering in nature is a sure way to be grasped. At least it is for me. The change of season this Autumn offers a particular opportunity to give my full attention–to give myself over to the beauty and mystery of it all. It’s hard to ignore the altered patterns of sunlight, turning colors of leaves, and shifting quality of the air. And who wants to ignore it, anyway? Why not delve in and go deeper? Because, as writer David Seaburn notes, when we immerse ourselves in something that is other, our devotion soon makes us one.
This too is true of our relationships with one another, with our call to be attentive to each other. As we move past the surface, lingering with patience and careful observance, a path unfolds toward greater intimacy, vulnerability, and connection.
This month as we explore together what it means to be people of attention, may we find ourselves in communion with beauty, mystery, our own hearts, and each other.
Yours in faith, love, and gratitude,
Pay Attention To Your Breathing-A note from your Director of Music
When I breathe in,
I’ll breathe in peace.
When I breathe out,
I’ll breathe out love.
Breathe in, Breathe out,
Breathe in, Breathe out
I’ve written about the hymn #1009 before and this month geared towards asking ‘what does it mean to be a people of attention?’ is calling me to write about “Meditation on Breathing” again. For as the DRE for SoulMatters, Katie Covey, writes “We turn our attention to our breath to find our center. We turn our attention to our breath to find freedom from worry so that we may turn our attention to other people’s pain.” This time I’ll share the composer’s own reflection on the song found on the blog “Notes from the Far Fringe” (link is external)
“The song has since taken on a life of its own…When folks talk to me about it (like when I sing it when visiting out), they range from parents using it to sing their kids to sleep, adults using it in meditation, hospice choirs. Once, a man told me about how he and his husband had purchased two pigmy goats – they were in the back seat being driven to their new home and making all kinds of noises. The men started singing the chant and the goats calmed down (I often tell that story and note how the chant is multi-species!!).” – Sarah Dan Jones
With full breath and full love,
Your Director of Music – Ebee Bromley
Attention At the Table-From the Desk of your Director of Religious Education
In this month where we will explore what it means to be a people of attention – when’s the last time you noticed who you were eating dinner with? – when’s the last time you noticed what you were eating? I mean really noticed.
Starting your dinner with a short meditation or prayer is something that some people and families do to turn our attention to gratitude for what we have. Here are three examples:
Sent from the families of Boulder Valley UU Fellowship in Lafayette, CO:
“Here’s a grace that Natalie’s kids learned at the UU church in Memphis when they were little (early ‘70’s) and said at home:
May we have eyes that see,
Hearts that love,
And hands that are ready to serve.
Another family shared this grace from school:
The silver rain, the shining sun,
the fields where scarlet poppies run
and all the ripples of the wheat
are in the breads that we do eat.
So when we sit for every meal and
say our grace we always feel
that we are eating rain and sun
and fields where scarlet poppies run.
In our own church in class our young children say this prayer before lighting the chalice you could very well change the word church to home for table use:
This is the church of the open mind
This is the church of the helping hands
This is the church of the loving heart
I’d like to invite you this month, if you have a prayer or meditation you use to email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Gratitude for each and everyone of you,
calling my attention
by nadine j. smet-weiss
by the demands
of the day
i heave a heavy sigh
and that whisp
calling my attention
to this moment
my spiritual practice