#4567 - Wednesday, April 12, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4567 - Wednesday, April 12, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlightsThe Center for Sacred Sciences is always worth catching up with. Here's their Spring newsletter:CSS is a structured teaching offering study and practice, as well as defined leaders, with Joel Morwood heading the cast of characters. Here's an article from the current letter which I think gives a sense of their organizational and social nature, as well as the measured kind of voice in which they like to speak. It's kind of "churchy" but in a good way. If CSS seems right for you, I can personally recommend it. Heck, I'd probably study with them if I lived in Oregon. Seems like they offer a very good discipline with nice people.
Long Journey to Here
CSS Practitioner Nancy Miller
If I try to establish a theme that runs through my life, it would be searching, exploring, trying to find a place I belong.
I grew up in Birmingham, Michigan, a conservative upper-middle-class community north of Detroit. My parents had a difficult time and escaped their pressures by drinking. I had little supervision and spent most of my time alone, exploring the lake near my grandparents' house, roaming in the woods, riding my bike for miles. As a very young girl, I experienced several dangerous and unsavory incidents with neighborhood boys and even a cousin.
Singing became my passion. It helped me establish ethics and behavior which kept me out of trouble. The Presbyterian church was my home, not because I felt any religious fervour (the church seemed hypocritical), but because I loved the music and singing in the beautiful sanctuary. When I wasn't singing, my nose was in a book.
In 1961, I went to Germany as an exchange student. I lived with a family that adored me, opening my eyes to the non-supportive situation in my own family. It was extremely difficult to return to the US.
In college I had my first exposure to non-dual thinking in a Comparative Religions course. It excited me, but there was no place to go with the ideas once the class ended. I dabbled in self-hypnosis and had several out-of-body experiences. I flirted with drugs and alcohol. With my college glee club, I traveled to Puerto Rico, and after graduation I returned there to teach 6th grade. I became very close to a Puerto Rican family; Mama, a devout Catholic, taught me about kindness and the potential power of religion in life. But I was too unsettled to embrace any such structure. I left Puerto Rico to pursue a master's degree and to teach English in New York City.
I then began three years of travelteaching in Spain, back to Puerto Rico, and then several years around the US with my first husband and baby, selling fine art out of the trunk of our car and playing tennis. For a while I studied self-hypnosis from a paperback, my first brush with meditation. After those three years we divorced.
More searching. I met my husband, Neal, in Chicago. We renovated Victorian buildings together as general contractors, which I then managed. At one point I managed 350 apartments in 8 separate buildings. I was too busy working and raising 3 daughters to think much about anything spiritual, although I did read the Seth books, studied extensively with the Jehovah's Witnesses, did the Course in Miracles, and had several deeply insightful and frightening self-hypnosis sessions.
It was only after we moved to Eugene in 1988 that my life began to turn around. I counseled with a wonderful man, Jerry Saltzman, and then became involved with the Re-Evaluation Counseling (peer counseling) community. I learned how to listen effectively and to encourage the expression and discharge of deep feelings. I love my peer Counselors and gained the understanding that I am not alone in my suffering. I thought I had found my place, but as usual, things changed.
I met Rich Marlatt through physical therapy, who suggested CSS and meditation. Two years ago I took the Foundations Studies course, taught by Todd Corbett. This was my first exposure to non-dual ideas and to meditation practice. All of this felt comfortable to me, natural, and took me to a deeper place. My experiences in Foundations Studies confirmed my interest in the Center.
This is my second year in the Practitioners Group. It‟s been helpful to see that meditation can be approached in different ways. I‟ve appreciated getting closer to people in the CSS community.
I find meditation to be grounding, and I know when I get confused there is a way back to equilibrium. The non-dual vision makes more and more sense, and I appreciate the guidance available to me. My whole perspective on everything has changed. It‟s been such a gift! Maybe I have found an answer. Whatever happens, there is no place to go anymore. My place is where I am at this moment.