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March 2022 E-News
“We can’t heal the world today but we can begin with a voice of compassion, a heart of love, an act of kindness.” 
– Mary Davis

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”
 —Ian McLaren

It's a good time to talk about compassion. A recent article in Harvard Business Review sums it up well: 

Have your customers been unusually irritable lately? Are people taking forever to respond to e-mails? Are friends and colleagues making surprising life changes? Have you lost focus during important conversations?
All of these behaviors, different as they may be, are responses to the overwhelming circumstances people are facing as we move into the third year of the pandemic. Nearly everyone has lost someone or something—a job, a relationship, their peace of mind. (HBR, March 25, 2022)
There have been times in the past few months when my tank has been on empty, and I know that has been true for my friends and colleagues as well. So yes, it is a good time to focus on compassion—for others and for ourselves. 

As always with any high ideal, the tricky part is figuring out how and where and when we practice compassion. For example, what does compassion look like when holding someone accountable? What is the best way to show compassion? 

That's where Lumunos comes in. We provide space to reflect on questions like these and connect with others doing the same. As we continue our yearlong theme on Loving our Neighbor, I hope you can join us for one or more of our upcoming LumZoom events on compassion. It's a topic that's always relevant to our lives. 

Doug sig
Compassion Roundtable with the Mystics: A Reverie

As I prepare for another Lumunos session on mysticism in everyday life, I find myself daydreaming about a few mystics sitting together at a table talking about compassion. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), John S. Dunne (1939-2013), and Catherine Meeks (present day) are sitting together at this round table. No one seems willing to speak until Saint Hildegard, the oldest of the mystics says, “All living creatures are sparks from the radiation of God’s brilliance, emerging from God like the rays of the sun.” She ponders that if this is so, compassion should be a natural response to any and all sparks—be they human, animal, plant or any other aspect of nature. Of course, Henry David Thoreau agrees with Hildegard saying, “The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring.” Thoreau knows so well that a contemplative life can bring awareness of and compassion for others.

Dr. Catherine Meeks, a midwife to the soul, responds with a lament on how we have gone astray from compassionate living to a world in which those who are different are seen as inferior and often treated with hatred, exclusivity, and even destruction of the human spirit. She calls for racial healing, for something new to be born in all of us as equals—all of us as beloveds. She exhorts us to do our inner work so we can know what the outer work should be!

John S. Dunne, beloved professor and theologian, offers the idea that compassion is a realization that one has within one’s own self everything any other person has—the good and the bad. This is what I call “passing over” to a full and complete empathy with others and God. Compassion in this way is not easy, John reminds us. It means letting go, shedding the “stuff” that hides us from our True Selves.

As I snap out of my reverie, I long to sit at the table with them, and I have an inkling that they would welcome me and you at the table. I feel blessed by their lives and words as I venture on my own path of seeking to live with a deeper sense of compassion for myself and others.

If you would like to sit at the table with a mystic, join us on April 13th. We will be experiencing the mystical path and wisdom of Dr. Catherine Meeks, Executive Director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing. She has spent many years sharing the insights gained from her pursuit of truth through her many great teachers including her sons, the Bible, her own experience with rheumatoid arthritis, Jungian psychology, cross cultural stories, and other books of wisdom. 

Betsy Perry
Reflection Question

"When have you felt compassion from another? When is compassion hard for you?"

Upcoming Events
Online Book Club
"Women Becoming"

Discussing Unbound by Tarana Burke
Led by Becca Perry-Hill
April 6th, 12-1pm ET

To learn more, click here.
Online Event
"Mystics for Everyday Living"

This month discussing Dr. Catherine Meeks
Led by Dan Quinlan & Betsy Perry
April 13th, 7-8:30pm ET

To learn more, click here.
PT for the Soul
"It's Friday, But Sunday is Coming:
A Holy Week Gathering for the Unholy"

Led by Doug Wysockey-Johnson
April 14th, 7:30-8:30pm ET

To learn more, click here.
Online Workshop
"Enneagram Spirituality"

A Sacred Map for Personal Transformation
Led by Amber Ayers
April 21st, 7:30-9pm ET

To learn more, click here.
Online Workshop
"Pathways to Connection"

Listening and Expressing from and to the Heart
Led by Paula Willoquet, PhD
May 10th, 7:30-9pm ET

To learn more, click here.
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Keep in Touch
Let us know what we can do for you.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson doug@lumunos.org    
Dan Quinlan dan@lumunos.org 
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org
Alice Barbera alice@lumunos.org