Every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart. If we could just remember this, I think there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world.
Dear Sanctuary NYC Friends,
We are just beginning our 9th month of life as a community. Time is such a strange thing. In a way it feels like we began yesterday, and in another, as though we have always existed. As James Taylor reminds us: “Einstein said you could never understand it all…”
We adopted the four seasons of The Association for Global New Thought as our meta organizing principle, and have so far observed both a Season for Nonviolence and a Season for the Earth. We are now embarking upon a Season for Humane Service, and in September will round off the year with a Season for Inter-Faith/Inter-Cultural Harmony.
There is a Native American wisdom teaching that suggests that any relationship needs to go through four seasons to truly be “known”. We are learning so much, and have shared so many wonderful times together among the larger community of the Upper Westside as well as the NYC area and actually the world! We still have two seasons to go, in which we can truly internalize the blessing of what this community is meant to be.
In our Ministry Team meeting the other evening, as we contemplated how to approach this Season for Humane Service, we recognized that we have many among us who are feeling the strain of living in NYC in this hot summer. We discussed what projects we might adopt for this season and by the end of our evening together, we had decided that while our focus will be on working as a community in some food equity project, our very own community of Sanctuary NYC could use a little love. And so our overall focus for these next two months will be on Compassionate Living with one another, in our world, and as a community. We will tell you more on Sunday, but I thought I would share some of the things I hear from people like you.
New York City is filled with bright, talented, ambitious dreamers, many of whom have left their borough or another state or country, to come to Manhattan to “make it”. So “motivation” is really not so much an issue in NY! But loneliness is. People tell me that they feel lonely.
I had the wonderful honor of presenting a program the other evening with the brilliantly talented Graham Haynes and Martine Bruno. We met some wonderful people, and had a very stimulating discussion, but the ‘take away’ for me, was that although we were in a room of absolutely extraordinary people, many of them fely isolated and lonely, even amongst the millions of people in the Big Apple.
This month’s theme is Freedom. Last Sunday, Nicole sang the beautiful Nina Simone rendition of “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”, and one of the lyrics has stayed with me all week: “I wish you knew how it feels to be me.”
In an interview about the song, Nina Simone says that she feels that true freedom is a freedom from fear. I agree. And the human touch is the quickest way I know to remember that we are all connected. And realizing that we are all connected is the quickest way to remember that together, we are not alone, and not being alone means not being afraid. I think it is really that simple!
On Sunday July 29th we are going to have a really great treat. Some of my friend J.D. Parran’s young music students play together in a jazz band. We will have the pleasure of their company for our 2 pm service that day in celebration of community, of mid- summer, of creativity. We will follow the service with an Ice Cream Social in the Session Room. We have asked our friends at West Park to join us for the event, and hopefully we will also have some UWS community friends in the house for the day.
Make sure to tell anyone you know who might enjoy “a mid summer band concert near the park.”
As we look into each other’s eyes a little more closely, may I suggest that the way we say things matters as much as what we say. Ernest Holmes teaches that the power of words to heal or to wound, to prosper or to deplete, is absolute. It is a Law really. What we put forth does come back to us.
If you are reading this newsletter, you are honoring us by being involved with this community in some way.
We send you love.
See you Sunday,