No orientation this week, but you can register for a December 4th call.
A few days ago I thought, “I don’t wanna do a thematic US Thanksgiving letter, no way.” Yet here in it, full of traditional food, family visitors just departed, and social feeds full of expressions of gratitude… it’s alive in this moment, and I’ve found myself with a wish to share today.
My wish for you is, inner freedom – and the contentedness that comes from making peace with the way things truly are while also not ceasing to care for what may yet be.
This is another spiral around the acceptance-and-desire polarity for me: Thanksgiving for the both-attached-and-non-attached. My childhood conception of Thanksgiving was “grateful for this list of good things we have.” The next level is “grateful for unpleasant things too, for the good mixed in with (or because of) the bad.” And the next is “grump, all that gratefulness just increases suffering - either attaching satisfaction to things that can be taken away, or a way to be in denial.”
I’m still “in” all of the above to different degrees, and today I’m looking at what seems to be the galaxy-brain midwit horseshoe perspective of “gratefulness is good because it helps us feel good” but in conjunction with “AND it doesn’t need to diminish anything else.”
Thanksgiving can be for those grieving the loss of loved ones, reflected in empty seats at their table. All emotions can be welcome at that table, no matter how they seem to conflict. And I can practice gratefulness without using it as a numbing agent against attachments.
Reality is what is real. Emotions are happening, are real. I can be bigger still in perspective, make friends with reality including all those feelings, and still care to feel them, live them, make space for them, including gratitude. Peace be with you.
Other practical stuff this week:
We got our feet wet, so to speak, with Circling last Sunday and will probably do some more this week. We haven’t done much meta-reflection yet, so I’ll save the experience report for later.
I’m reorganizing some mailing lists imminently, trying to upgrade the more ad-hoc parts of my infrastructure and also improve our communication channels. This list isn’t changing! Anything new should explain what it is clearly, and if anything you’d expect doesn’t happen (i.e. the weekly meeting invites), please let me know.