Follow Us on Twitter Like Us on Facebook Cafh Photo Gallery Cafh Blog Join Our Google Circle

Communities

 

Cafh Communities USA Blog

Welcome to our blog! Subscribe or check back often for updates.

A Broader Objective in Life

How would any of us describe a typical day in our life? Usually the first things that come to mind are images involving work, our comings and goings, time spent with our family, or similar concerns. The demands that the exterior world places on us are so great that they practically define our self-image. We see ourselves in action, making decisions and working.

Stress and feelings of frustration sometimes come to us when we see our objectives unfulfilled despite all our efforts. 

Thinking about how many times I have gone down this road, I have found that only focusing my mind on a broader objective could take me outside this emotional tangle and frustration.

But, you could ask, what is a broader objective?

I have asked myself that question, too. For me, it’s something that makes me aware of others, their needs, their suffering, their concerns. It is also something that makes me take care of my surroundings. In other words, I could say that a broader objective is to stop thinking about what is happening to me interiorly, and seeing what exists outside of me.

Giving my life a broader meaning has become the answer for me to all these common life worries and demands. In this way, work, sorrow, pain, and efforts take on different meanings for me, as a result of my struggles to do something for others.

Community life has been for me the right place to concentrate on this offering – but this isn’t an easy thing to do! After many years, I’m still struggling to change the things in myself that prevent a good relationship with others, to keep my mind focused, to be patient, to accept others as they are, to learn to be able to serve ....

But as hard as this can be, there is no longer such a sense of being burdened and stressed-out, but rather a possibility of unfolding and making this world a better place to live.

Continue reading
86 Hits
0 Comments

The Unknown

I have a friend who is going through an experience with cancer. We have shared so many happy times together:  holidays and working together. Now I accompany her as she lives this new and unknown space of cancer. She states “this is all new and unknown.”  I realize this is unknown for me too. Part of me wants to pull back.  I am fearful and would like to avoid this unknown territory.  The choice is clearly before me.  I choose to let the awareness of my friend’s situation enter within.  I accompany her and we learn as we go.  I am so grateful. 

Continue reading
109 Hits
0 Comments

Is it possible to be kind?

kindness

I decided to be kind when I noticed how people frequently respond to each other.  They forget to care and be gentle and consider others' needs.

Some people can be rough and cruel.

When I was using public transportation, I would see mothers standing with their babies in their arms while those sitting looked the other way.

You can hear people being insulted in airports. In school I witnessed teachers and classmates criticizing others and laughing at their deficiencies.

It was after seeing these behaviors that I realized that change can start with a very simple act of kindness. When I was on a bus, I stood up as soon as I saw somebody needed a seat. I controlled my own anger and negative thoughts and emotions. But I still have a long way to go and I want to learn from you.

In what ways do you show that you are kind? Let me know and we can light up the world with a single act of love. Take good care and keep in touch.

Continue reading
249 Hits
0 Comments

Being nothing

"Renunciation is for generous souls who do not hesitate to make the last effort. These souls offer the goblet of their hearts filled with dedication to the Divine Mother, without keeping the last drop of the chalice for themselves. Thus they open the doors of the Temple." Rule of Cafh



In my experience, Cafh encourages an inner work which results in, among other things, the unfolding and harmonization of my relationships with other human beings.

This is a work of love, I think.  Love in the sense of discovering, deep within, that I am connected, to all people and all things. Perhaps connected is not quite the right word; because if I am really one with others, it's more like being in union with them.

How can there be union between myself and others, between myself and all things, between myself and the Universe (or God, if we accept that idea)?

I think the answer is simple: by being nothing.

"Being nothing" may sound like brainwashing myself into submissive non-existence, but that is not what I mean. To me, it is recognizing that fundamentally, I am not separate from others. Yes, I have feelings, thoughts, a personality, and ultimately an identity which all seem unique and unrepeatable, but: are those me? Don't all of those things change over time? Not to mention, apparently disappear when I die? Are those things really me?

My feelings, my thoughts, my personality, my identity: these are all things which I defend. Ultimately, I defend what I identify with, against that which I do not identify with. As long as I remain in that state of consciousness, I think, I am, in effect, in a war of "me" against "them," or, if there is one group in particular that I feel part of, "us" against "them."

From a certain point of view, this could be seen as the dilemma at the root of all of humanity's problems.

To be nothing, in contrast, is to recognize that, in fact, I am not those things .... It's not that they don't exist; the difference is, that I *do not identify with them.*

I think that living life actively, continuously, and fully, without identifying with what is changing, could be called renouncement. While renouncement has connotations of giving up what one possesses, in this case, I think, renouncing is recognizing that I never really had anything to begin with.

While it may sound paradoxical, I think truly coming to terms with my inherent nothingness and lack of permanent possession grants me an incredible inner freedom: the willingness to give myself, completely and totally, to the present moment. Since I have nothing to defend and nothing to hide, I am free to plunge into life, unafraid, generously, and with profound love.

This kind of engagement with life, without reserve, could be called "participation." Not "domination," "coercion," or "resignation," but a willingness to be *in life*, not setting myself apart from it: a full and active participation with all that is.

Which brings me full circle: by "being nothing," I recognize my essential unity with life and all its manifestations, am-in-everything, with an inner freedom that transcends what I normally think of as "myself". This state could be called "egoence."1



1Egoence: Egoence is the consciousness of ourselves and of our relationship with the whole and the discernment of how to respond to the responsibility implied by that consciousness.

Continue reading
278 Hits
0 Comments

The Ages of Life

Famous quotes about old age:

        The secret of old age resides in mind over matter: if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

But …

Respect old age; it is your future … hopefully.

Do not regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.

Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.

Old age only occurs when regrets steal the place of dreams.

         Those who love deeply never grow old. They may die of old age, but they die young.                   

 

Discussing the prospect of aging in our Community, we naturally addressed those indispensable and practical aspects required by the impending weakening of mind and body.

But once those details have been dealt with, a wide and far-reaching space opens up for living life’s last years, full of meaning, rich in experience, and suffused by what we could call “a continuous non-stop expansion of consciousness”.

In each of our life ages, all the others are present.  Maturity was the future of a child growing up; the elderly carry in mind and body not only memories, but also the physical and mental results of past experience.

A fruitful dialogue between generations is always a good thing to have: the young hear about life from the lips of those who’ve lived a great deal; the old renew their knowledge from the freshness of those who’re just now discovering what’s what.

And then, for all, there’s death… When one brings to the experience of passing a deep interest in its mystery and a joy in inner freedom, those feelings are a gift full of life.  That’s quite an heirloom to bequeath those who’ve been left here, still walking this world’s paths. 

Continue reading
106 Hits
0 Comments

Prayer

Oh, Divine Mother, you are in everything, you are everything

I love you

But many times I react and close up to your presence.

 

You give me your heart, my heart.

I go there to meet you, beyond my anger, reactions, expectations and desires.

Oh, Mother, I want to come often,

Help me keep our appointments.

Continue reading
373 Hits
0 Comments

The Morning of the Indigo Bunting

It was an early spring morning and the bird feeders outside our kitchen window were well stocked and busy as usual: Niger seed for the American goldfinch, sunflower and millet for the cardinals, chickadees, tufted titmice, nuthatch, and all the other finches and sparrows that breakfasted regularly near our Community house in suburban New York State.   The noise and happy chatter was not unlike one of our recreations, I thought, those times when we get together after a morning spent in silence, each with our own tasks and work, each with a quiet prayer for peace in the world and assistance for all in need.

But this morning was different.  One of the perches was still, and there sat one quiet bird, one that we had never seen before.  The intensity of the color blue was a color I had never seen before:  rich, dark, intense, even brilliant.  “That must be an indigo bunting!” I called to the others, who came to peer out the windows in eager anticipation to see the newcomer. 

The bird lingered, a minute or two, quiet and solitary, amidst all the action of the other finches. Then he flew to the trees, then to the sky, and we have not seen him since.

Every so often, even on an ordinary day, we get a glimpse of the unexpected, a reality that we know exists but seldom see, reminding us that there is always mystery and beauty all around us, other dimensions of life, if we are but quiet and still, and ready to see.  

Continue reading
365 Hits
0 Comments

Second-language medley - #1 – Tongue-tied

Being something of a transplant from one place to another, one culture to another, one language or regional dialect variation to another, is rather a common variation on a theme in Cafh, in its Communities, and for so many many other assorted people all over the world, through time, and very especially in these, our times of massive population movements.  The other way around applies, too – with some of one’s companions & co-workers coming from other climes & backgrounds, and us having to merge in and be bridges, everybody on all sides having to deal with those quirky, sometimes irritating, sometimes enchanting foreign ways.

Though there have been some other twists of the tale (like Colombians getting socially acclimatized to Chile, or Argentines to Brazil), for many of us here that has mainly been a process of North Americans getting used to Latin culture and Spanish, and of South Americans getting immersed in “gringo-land” and English. That’s spawned quite a lot that could be reciprocally shared of all these so-similar yet so-distinct experiences, the instructive, the funny, the harmonious, the culture-shock miscommunications and noise.

For understanding the lingo, so much depends on those divergent modalities of culture, history, ethnic influences, etymologies…; on and on. Not to mention body language and gestures – a whole other kettle of fish! What in the world does that wagging finger mean? Or that scrunched-up nose? That jut of the chin? And physical distances from each other? how close is too close, intimidating and presumptuous; or not close enough, cold, arrogant, unfriendly; or in that just right sweet spot, putting people at ease?

For sure it’s a joint, team effort, multi-directional multi-dimensional experience – learning/teaching from/to each other, from others’ “mistakes”, when someone tries to imperfectly give “corrections”, finding how much changing accents, opinions, moods and styles play a part, finding you never really knew your own language all that well and must learn more, dig deeper, expand contexts. In the process, who hasn’t been made fun of, laughed at – or maybe shared the joke together; or even sometimes unfairly, too, at others’ expense. Speaking or writing Spanglish, for better or worse – and getting so used to it that you can’t always tell the difference?  We all need to have patience, learn to care for one another…

Probably one never reaches an end point, where one can really say “it’s over, I’ve learned, I’m finished;” – unless you yourself dig your heels in, have “had enough,” and decide, “Enough! I’ve arrived.” Perhaps one recognizable milestone, though, is when you’re no longer routinely translating, directly and awkwardly, practically word for word, but rather just speaking & thinking in it, flipping back & forth seamlessly between the two tongues.

It’s good to find you’re dreaming at night in this new language, where it’s natural, not strange at all. And maybe a key is getting that “taste” for the language, a love for it – when you feel and appreciate the beauty and meaning, the history and all that’s gone into it… Maybe yes, then, in a certain sense, you have indeed arrived, and everybody around you has arrived somehow, too, along with you, together.

Continue reading
276 Hits
0 Comments

Light Oh Resplendent One

Attending the funeral of Rebeca Gurfinkel in June 2015 was a profound experience for me.  I listened to such inspiring words from her daughter Debora Farber, from her three grandchildren Laura, Ryan and Ronnie, from Laura’s husband, Tomas, from her two great-grandchildren Christopher and Jessica and from Debora’s dear husband Sergio. Many other friends and coworkers also spoke.  I could perceive through their words the positive and transformative impact Reva produced in so many areas of their lives.

Personally, I learned about Reva when she was working as a science teacher in a public high school, the way she motivated her students and coworkers to learn and look for solutions to problems. Her beautiful ceremony of Ordination took place in the Community and every time she came to visit, she greeted each member with much affection and respect, and shared her enthusiasm for poetry, singing, teaching and learning. During her 100 year birthday celebration, her gentle smile invited me to be in the loving yet mysterious presence of the Divine.

I was so touched when at her burial site, her Daughter Debora recited the same prayer/poem I say every day during my short morning walk. This poem is attributed to Reva’s beloved late husband and spiritual teacher Abraham Gurfinkel, better known as Gur. 

Light Oh Resplendent One

Light, Oh Resplendent One, the triple flame of my heart.

  That by it my thoughts, acts and feelings be pure.

That the purity of my soul be so great that it allow me to return to the time of my childhood and, trusting, repose on my Divine Mother’s Holy Bosom.

Continue reading
339 Hits
0 Comments

Who are you?

When a college student asked me this simple question, I told her my name. When that didn’t seem to satisfy her, and she repeated, “Who are you?” I thought she was asking about my profession. Then I somehow intuited that her question was a profound one and that she was looking for a deeper response

I needed to think for a second before giving the answer that I don’t often give: I am a consecrated member of Cafh. I am an Ordained member of Community.

She listened, and then asked, “Are you poor or rich?” Immediately I answered, “Not poor; I am not poor. I have everything I need to be happy, healthy and active in helping others. I am not rich; I have no car or bicycle, but I have these two legs that are good enough to take me to places that aren’t far away, and I have my imagination to fly far away. I have no children of my own, but I have taken care of so many children in schools that belong to the communities of Cafh, in different countries, that I have lost count of how many. Do you want to know more? Ask me any time.”

Continue reading
355 Hits
0 Comments

Digging in the Garden

A few years ago I restarted our Community vegetable garden after a period when we had been too busy with other things to have a garden.

Since I live in a Spiritual Community, when I am gardening I tend to find metaphors between the work in the garden and my own inner work.

Some years ago our Founder, Santiago Bovisio, wrote this about the work of spiritual unfolding: “The human being’s mind runs after the vein of gold that someone claims to have discovered; it spends its vital reserves in the eager search; it falls heedlessly into illusory traps and obstinately refuses to dig in its own garden.”

I’ve never been much of a gardener, but I found a book in our library about growing vegetables using the bio-intensive method. I think this gardening method is based, in some degree, on the writings of Rudolph Steiner.

In this case, Steiner is all about digging deep.  First you go down about ten inches with a spading fork, removing that soil. You then using the spading fork to loosen the soil another ten inches below that first dig before putting the top soil back. That’s lot of digging and loosening; a lot of work.  But it’s what allows the roots to penetrate and the plant to grow and flourish.

So what’s the metaphor? One of the keys to spiritual unfolding is to know yourself and this takes time, hard work, and a persevering effort. When I began trying to do this work, I started to realize that I had spent the better part of my life putting together an image of myself that I could present both to myself and the world around me. Over time, the identification with that image of myself was complete. That’s who I was.  Or at least that’s what I wanted to think. In spiritual speak we call this the “acquired personality.”

In our Community, we have a system which includes silence, introspection, meditation, dialogue, feedback from others, and an attitude of openness to look at yourself and see what you have always tried to avoid looking at.  It isn’t a case of conventional good vs. bad.  Good, from this perspective, means becoming conscious of how you are and act, both “good” and “bad. Bad would mean not being open or accepting what you see, explaining things away or blaming others. Avoiding a truth that follows you around.

This process cracks open the myth that you’ve created, and allows you to gradually see yourself in a more open and less fearful and defensive way. Once you see clearly where you are, you can plot a course to where you would rather be.  Again, in spiritual speak, this is called “inner freedom.”

All this takes time and effort. It’s the metaphor of digging deep, loosening things up, breaking up the clumps, sifting out the rocks and other obstacles. It’s letting the air and looseness breathe life—and the ability to grow—back in. 

Maybe I’ll be able to develop these ideas a bit more in future entries but now I have weeds to pull.  But, you know, when the soil is healthy and the plants grow well, it seems that the weeds are fewer and easier to pull. . . .

Continue reading
363 Hits

What could I do?

I have been working with a wonderful person for two years—we co-teach a preschool classroom. I was all set to work with her again the following school year, and looking forward to it, but two weeks before the school year started, my assignment was changed. My co-teacher was needed somewhere else. My first reaction was shock.  “I don’t want this. We get along very well and build on each other’s strengths.” But there was another need. “What could I do?”

As I meditated on it, I began to see that the world doesn’t revolve around me. There’s a bigger picture and I can either contribute to it in the best way I can or rebel against it and become a burden. That is when I decided that I serve a bigger purpose and can put my comfort aside to explore new territory. I can answer to the need of the moment in a way that will benefit a larger context.

Continue reading
309 Hits
0 Comments

Seeking Silence

4:30 am… lights are flashing… sirens are blasting as I groggily emerge from a deep sleep. And here I thought my day was supposed to begin with a silent meditation.  It’s only the fire alarm. . . again! The fire trucks arrive and several very young men in full firefighting gear run up and down the stairs and halls, checking everything. The chief chuckles to himself and winks my way… it’s a false alarm, but dust in a smoke detector makes a great test run for trainees!

And so the day begins. Where can I find silence in today’s world surrounded by humming, beeping, ringing, honking, blaring, blasting relentless sound. . . where is the silence I yearn for? Where is the silence I think I need so that I can unfold spiritually?

After the dust settles and everyone has left, I realize that in the midst of it all, one place never moves. It is the inner temple born of my vocation that stills and silences all movement. It is the certainty of my place here in Community, accompanied by my spiritual companions, where I can embrace each day of this spiritual journey with joy and inner silence.

Continue reading
336 Hits
0 Comments

One Moment at a Time

It was late at night when my phone erupted with a burst of text messages.  The beeping of all those messages brought me down from whatever heavenly dream I was in, abruptly leaving me landed in my bed. There could only be one reason for those texts:  urgent trouble in our data center!  I reached for my laptop and started assessing the situation. Two servers were off-line -- and these were the last two I’d want to see having trouble!  Oh, no! -- the storage system for an important online auction taking place in Washington, D.C;  and our mail system’s main server, as well... This was a big problem, beyond anything  I could just quickly fix with  my remote laptop connection.  Fortunately enough, our data center isn’t far away -- it’s just across from our house, I only have to walk over...

As I walked, it was as if life remained suspended … while I started walking down a path of fear and anxiety. My heart was pounding faster, and I could feel the sweat in the palms of my hands.  Perhaps it is just a small problem? …Was I going to be able to fix it? …  Many thoughts raced through my mind -- they were like firewood thrown on the panic flames inside me, making those few minutes it took to walk up to our server room interminable and excruciating.

I finally got to the equipment, and took a quick look at those systems -- and uh-oh, this was not merely a small problem... Not at all. It was one of the worst issues you could face dealing with a computer system! Partitions were corrupted!  I’ll spare you the gory technical details  … just take note, the situation was Bad -- BAD, in uppercase!

At that moment, something switched inside of me. There was no more fear, no more anxiety. There was just time for action. All of a sudden, my mind was just present in that very moment. Past and future had gone, leaving me alone with the task at hand.

That night’s technical battle had a happy ending. After a fair amount of work, I was at last able to bring those systems back online.  But more to the point here, and above all, I got a really good introduction to being anxiety-free in the middle of a difficult situation, got a good taste of living just one moment at a time…

I’d like to tell you this state remained with me afterwards, I really would. But no, it didn’t, so very sorry to disappoint you… I see it isn’t so easy to align mind and heart with the moment’s flow -- but at least now I really do know it’s possible. Nevertheless, I so very much hope I won’t absolutely have to hit bottom in a crisis situation in order to once again bring this aliveness and intensity to all I do!

Continue reading
637 Hits
0 Comments

Happy ever after?

Why do I like movies like Mission Impossible? Well, the impossibility of it all, the thrill, the struggle between good and evil, and the fact that, in the end, all ends well.

In my own life, my Mission Impossible is to attain happiness. And don’t we all take this as our very secret, special mission? In this case, I wouldn’t call it impossible, because some people, and I count myself among them, are happy. But on the other hand, true happiness is not easy to attain since, although we are all at the same starting line of the search for happiness when we begin life, nobody makes it to the finish line without any scratches. . . . For some, to attain happiness is a greater effort than for others. For example: When you weren’t expecting your baby to be born with Down syndrome, or when a four-year-old learns too soon that some people (his parents) can stop loving each other. A 17-year-old can soon know that the world is not an easy place. A bomb maims people, changing their lives forever. And where is happiness? Was it an impossible?

I don’t think happiness is impossible but it does not always express itself as I want it or as I imagine it.  For me, happiness is to make peace with myself and what life gives me: with the dreams I had and could not fulfill, with the people I love who cannot always be like I want them to be, with loss and sickness. When I don’t feel happy because of the things that happen to me, I look at all the good things I have in my life, and at the people who have it worse than me and at all the good I can still do in the world and how much I can love, even if my life is not all I wanted it to be.

And then, I become weightless like a bird. I soar and I am free. Not because life is easy for me but because I am learning as I go--learning how to use the sorrows and the difficulties and to be happy in spite of them.   Happiness is not an impossible. It is just a Mission. It might not come free but is worth the effort.

Continue reading
864 Hits
0 Comments

A jump into space

On October 14th 2012, Felix Baumgartner jumped to earth from an altitude of 24 miles, breaking the speed of sound (Mach 1.24) during free fall.

He said after his successful landing: "Let me tell you - when I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble. You don't think about breaking records anymore, you don't think about gaining scientific data…”

Starting a life of renunciation feels – as I have experienced it (and still do) – very much the same. Naturally, the similarities between the two may not seem very great. But the inner space one confronts from the very moment of a vocational decision feels as vast and deep as outer space. The field ahead is of numberless possibilities and the speed … well, it’s one’s life.

Answering the question, “How am I going to live?” is one more choice that I will make every day; it includes the integrity and plenitude of all that I’ll do. I may not feel the thrill and excitement of a free jump from 25 miles above earth, but the feeling of living with meaning and moving in a space of continuous spiritual unfolding is a permanent one.

Continue reading
901 Hits
0 Comments

Change

How often do we want change, yearn for change, desperately see the need to change, but it doesn’t happen. There seem to be unbeatable resistances that go along with this yearning. How many times have Great Beings instructed us to learn to love and respect each other, yet we still have great difficulty in this area.

Why?

I came to community because I thought it would help me to change—to learn to love and to stop producing suffering. Let me tell you it was not a quick fix but I feel I’m definitely on the right track. I found the following quote, from The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community by David Korten, a helpful way of looking at the challenges and rewards of deep change.

 

"The story of the metamorphosis of the monarch caterpillar into the monarch butterfly, popularized by evolution biologist Elisabet Sahtouris is a great metaphor. The caterpillar is a voracious consumer that devotes its life to gorging itself on nature's bounty. When it has had its fill, it fastens itself to a convenient twig and encloses itself in a chrysalis. Once snug inside, it undergoes a crisis as the structures of its cellular tissue begin to dissolve into an organic soup.

Yet guided by some deep inner wisdom, a number of organizer cells begin to rush around gathering other cells to form imaginal buds, initially independent multicellular structures that begin to give form to the organs of a new creature. Correctly perceiving a threat to the old order, but misdiagnosing the source, the caterpillar's still intact immune system attributes the threat to the imaginal buds and attacks them as alien intruders.

The imaginal buds prevail by linking up with one another in a cooperative effort that brings forth a new being of great beauty, wondrous possibilities, and little identifiable resemblance to its progenitor. In its rebirth, the monarch butterfly lives lightly on Earth, serves the regeneration of life as a pollinator, and migrates thousands of miles to experience life's possibilities in ways the earthbound caterpillar could not imagine." 

            Community life connects to this metaphor. The work is mine but the environment is favorable for the transformation. I work together with my companions and we are in a larger group of souls working for the change as well. We are together to help us overcome the “immune system” of the old way of operating that tries to destroy our efforts to change. We inspire each other. For me, at least, that has led to some of the real and lasting changes I was yearning for.

Continue reading
768 Hits
0 Comments

Joy of the Mountain – A day in the Community

Mother, Mother,

Divine Mother of the Universe…

One finds at the root of the mountain

That joy, that joy, that indescribable joy

Raising as another sun from the horizon

Behind the golden canopies of other giant trees,

And thought, mind waves cascading down the slope

Majestic graceful mist and light

Ethereal veil of the early morning.

When my eyes open at six AM

And a day of hard work lies ahead,

Long silence, mono-tone prayer,

And solitude

Mountaineer of the spirit I ponder the mountain:

DO I REMEMBER WHY I AM HERE?

          It is because of the slope; today I’ll try the hardest side.

          It is because of the summit, the magic one

          That slowly rises within

As the adoration hours slide

Under these determined feet.

Mental energy,

Vital strength facing all the impossibilities of life,

And a love that overflows far beyond

The reaches of one’s arms

Stretched in blessing for all souls

When I remember why I am here

The somber shadows of depression flee:

Let’s go forth, let’s make the mountain true

And as the day goes by

The dream materializes from a golden mist

The Temple is no longer a vision, or a building,

It is all there is.

I stand in the joyful mountaintop of the daily chores

          Ready for whatever,

Let’s see what will come next.

          In prayer, silence, offering of life.

Continue reading
702 Hits
0 Comments

The mission: part 3

How many times I have seen the sun rise and set? How many times has the moon illumined a quiet and lonely night when I faced the challenge and the glory of being human? Take any human life, my life. I am born, a little lump of matter with a consciousness that is a spark of the universe and then, there begins my life: an effort to learn, to understand the “whys” and the “what fors”. And as I grow, I experiment, I make mistakes and try again and I get a few bruises on the way, and sometimes I understand and learn, and sometimes I have to repeat the same mistake over and over again (sort of like a rerun of the movie Groundhog Day) until finally I “get it” and move on .

And then, this little piece of matter (myself) arrives at the end, and it is time to gather all the laughter and tears that accompanied the journey, and take that spark of consciousness somewhere else. And, poof! My life is over. In short, this is the whole picture, bold, bittersweet and darn scary. Why? Well, because there is an end and an unknown that has to be taken with faith. And because, seeing it this way, life is so short!

Life and death take away but also give. For example, remembering that my life has a beginning and an end does not leave room for the … “who cares?”, or “I’ll do it… someday”, or…”this will never end”. I have always felt a jolt when a child or a friend younger than myself died. It has shaken the feeling that life goes on forever. Life and death are unpredictable, sometimes messy, and intimidating.   But, on the sunny side, the good news is that we human beings don’t go down without a fight. And in fighting we learn and discover better ways of dealing with these great, scary, and sometimes painful mysteries of human existence.

So, yes, life is short, and unpredictable. It is also sweet, beautiful, and who would not like it to last forever? If life will not bend to my wishes, what about trying to concentrate on the present? The ice cream cone I enjoy at this moment tastes as no other has ever tasted or will taste. The mistakes I made yesterday can only be fixed today. And only today I can set the foundation for a happy tomorrow. And this is all I have: that little space between yesterday and tomorrow, which is TODAY. Today, which lived fully, intensely, and with love, becomes ETERNITY.  

Continue reading
920 Hits
0 Comments

Community life, resilience and inner peace

The work and mission of Cafh is to unfold consciousness in individual human beings by using the Method of Cafh. It helps a person to gradually keep uppermost in mind union with Divine Mother and love for all souls; it helps them to place individual problems in the context of human problems; it helps them to live their yearnings and bring them to the world, in other words the Method gradually makes a person consistent and able to solve human difficulties. 

This mission made sense to me in the depths of my heart and I decided to work for it in my life. I entered a Cafh community and have been there for 34 years. For me this mission was not a natural way of being but I can validate the wisdom of the method. It has helped me to pay attention more and be courageous to look inside and see the limits I put on myself to protect me and my personal way of looking at life. Gradually I have learned to be more vulnerable to life and other people and circumstances. 

It is an ongoing work and I see now that relating harmoniously is cutting edge work for human beings. The flow of life requires so much openness and flexibility to be able to “dance” with it and not end in anger, resentment or discontent.  

Community life gives me a container for daily life in a schedule, spiritual companions who have similar yearnings, a safe and loving environment in which I have developed habits of work, using time well, prayer, reflection, study, etc., that support and strengthen me in the work of fulfilling my mission. Going beyond my limits of defensiveness in this environment is possible—not easy—but possible. Daily I need to do real inner work for unfolding to happen, even in this loving environment. I have learned to make the effort without bargaining with life so much.  

This feel to me like inner freedom. Some call it renouncement to oneself. Solving problems of relationship and fulfilling the needs of everyone to live harmoniously requires this work and offering.  

Through personal guidance, living with established parameters, practicing exercises, healthy living and a stable lifelong practice with like-minded companions Community life fosters inner freedom. Miraculously an awareness of being an integral part of a greater whole awakens.  

Now I can see that Community life is a container for actually offering one’s whole life for the common good but one has to be attentive to use it for that purpose and not for a personal life, since living for myself seems to be the default setting for most of us human beings. 

This work and attention—will and consciousness—makes resilience possible. Whatever experience comes in my life, I have the tools and the strength to work with it and learn to love more and learn more about myself. I have learned to accept the good times and hard times as opportunities to live my mission. I have been able to more frequently not look back toward regret or shame but to offer myself to the present, changing my thoughts, expanding my feelings and doing actions that solve the situation instead of making it worse. 

I have my pace of learning and others have theirs. Community life respects everyone. This has brought a great peace both inwardly and outwardly to my heart. I am gradually uniting integrally with my mission in body, mind and spirit.

 

Continue reading
780 Hits
0 Comments