Minding our thoughts and protecting the world around us from their darker shades of grey is an essential tool in bringing peace to our world, person by person, family by family, team by team and church by church.
As we continue the work we have begun in the recent Dream Together Conference, we will next be inviting about 50 people to become part of an intensive three-day training March 5-8, 2015, in which the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversation, and the work around what we do with our thoughts, will be drilled deep in an incredible experience of learning which will transform the life of our cathedral and the personal lives of those trained. The technologies which will be taught will be as useful with a parent and child, a husband and wife, a board member and the board of directors in a favorite charity, and a member of our congregation and their peers. Examining how we relate to each other and with what emotional intelligence we do that relating is very powerful. Add to that the consideration of how we relate to our own thoughts and you have a tool which can, when wielded well, change entire systems.
Epicletus, the Greek stoic philosopher said that a key to successful living is in paying attention not to what happens to us, but rather, in paying attention to our thoughts about what happens to us. If you sit down and think about it, people will come to mind whose actions are taken quickly and without much thought. They are reacting, in a deep soup of anxiety, t what is happening around them because they are not taking the time to examine what they are thinking and how those thoughts are spiraling up or down, unexamined.
In church we pray for peace. But I wonder if peace might come if we all simple became peaceful in our thoughts. If we took the terrible and simply annoying things that happen to us and look at how we are thinking about them, we might respond to life and to those we love (including ourselves) with deeper awareness and compassion.
Like these flowers, we stand together -two people (“..when two or three are gathered in my name…”) and as we stand together, helping each other to detoxify our responses to what happens to us, we step ever deeper into the peace about which Jesus was so constantly and relentlessly speaking.
(For more about the work of examining our thoughts, this book, which I read at least twice annually and have now read more than 15 times (says my iPod), can provide more information: