A few months ago, I started doing a particular loving-kindness meditation in the morning. Previously, I had rotated through some different kinds of meditation each morning. But starting my day with love was just so calming and grounding. So I have just continued and most mornings, I start my day with this one lovingkindness meditation.
I think the neuroscientists would talk about how this kind of meditation releases oxytocin or some such thing– but what I know is that even in the mornings when I am feeling more on the anxious-side, starting the day with love calms and soothes. And given our Universalist heritage of proclaiming radical divine love, I find this particular spiritual practice quite fitting. Of course I should start my day with love!
Fear fuels fear. Despite our heartbroken and justifiably angry responses to the call of some of our political leaders to ban Muslims and build walls between the U.S. and Mexico, Dr. Omid Safi, Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center writes:
“We need something loftier, more difficult, more grounded, more luminous, more… love-based. We need the love that is gritty and tough, grounded, messy, and real. We need a love that starts out in tenderness, and moves outward until it manifests as justice.”
This Sunday at then end of worship, we will be putting out the “I Love My Muslim Neighbor” yard signs. The vast majority of folks I have heard from are very supportive– a few are not, mostly because of how it brings more attention to us. Putting out the sign is not without risk. Though, statistically speaking, the most dangerous thing most of us do is drive a car (as my insurance-man father always said) and we take that risk all the time. Still, it’s not without risk. “We have good insurance, right?” a sign-supporter asked me last Sunday. Yes, we have good insurance. But in this world so strangled with fear, I think that’s why so many of us want to put the sign up- we either live in fear or risk love. So let us see what happens when we risk expressing love in this small yet visible way.
I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday: Beyond Genies, Flying Carpets, and Terrorists. In a time of great anxiety about Muslim people, we explore the wisdom and celebrate what can be considered the the most pervasive Islamic influence on Western culture: Arabian Nights. Worship leaders: Rev. Darcy and Tina Godsey