S O U R C E S Week One Prompt
At our seminar in the Santa Cruz Mountains, I passed around a dandelion flower, who’d graciously permitted being plucked, for our course. For some passersby, that dandelion flower might be ignored as a common weed; for us, that dandelion flower could be considered a source.
If I may, I’d like to return to that moment, as a point of departure, as we begin our course together. As we bow in to our circle. Doing so, we might consider the topic of Sources, in our calling, our career of healing. Returning to the source
On that afternoon, the wild flower did duty as a “source” on multiple levels. As a primary source (immediate, present-moment), we all experienced it directly — returning each of us to Source, together. As a secondary source, I invoked its being referred to source material by Jesus and Buddha. Jesus invites us to see and consider just such a flower, in his sermon on the mount (Luke 12:27). Translated as lilies in the King James Bible, the New International Version (NIV) has it :
Consider how the wild flowers grow
Legend has it, the Buddha took his seat, one fine day, before a large gathering assembled to hear his latest sermon. There were some flowers on the platform, and he reached over and held one up, twirling it in his fingers. Saying nothing. He looked at the flower and into the crowd. Suddenly, he smiled to see Mahakasypa smiling back. He could tell Mahakasypa got it, fully awakening in that instant. He put the flower back in the bouequet, bowed, and left the platform.
The story is a common topic of contemplation in Zen:
- What did Buddha say?
- Why did Mahakasypa smile?
We could consider the dandelion flower, next, from a third level. How does Jesus present the flower? How does Buddha? How are they similar? How are they different?
Jesus, speaking from the point of view of the divine, made mortal, asking us to witness, for ourselves, the divinity of creation. Buddha, not speaking, but saying something kindred. Both, creative actions. Both, critical — asking us to consider, evaluate our thoughts and deeds. Both, reflective — pausing, for us to connect with Source.* Return to Source.
This week, let’s pause, reflect, and consider — what are some of the sources of our coming to be here, together, as scholar-visionaries, as soul-workers, as miracle makers. What has brought us here, today ? What in-forms us, in a deep, seminal way ? What are our abiding sources ? How do we relate to them ? How do they influence our lives & careers ?
Week’s Assignment: I’d brought a dandelion to the table, in person, to the winter seminar. For my response to this week’s topic, online — I’m offering us a text that’s a seminal influence on me, always. Please reflect and select a source to share :
… a text … an image … a comic strip, or a quotation … a prayer, or a koan ….
… whatever might contribute to our mutually sharing our sources ( our authentic influences ) — and sharing too our capacity for reflecting upon them, using them creatively, and being discerning about them.
As you make your selection, and frame your presentation of it to us, you might consider :
- Do these sources provide a source of reflection, contemplation ?
- Do they fuel our creativity ?
- Are they critical ( crucial ) to us? In addition to inspiring, do they furnish insight, for wise discernment ?
—> How so? <—
* My own chosen method of presentation here, if you haven’t picked up on it yet, is that of “variations on a theme” — in this case, Source, primary source, secondary source, tertiary source, etc. That pattern could carry further into a fourth level — or one in between #3 and #4 — comparing/contrasting how each story comes down to us. Maybe Jesus just pointed at the wildflowers and spoke, “See! They neither toil, nor do they spin!” And the holy commentator, preserving the moment for posterity, wrote down, “And Jesus said, ‘Consider the wildflower — ‘.” And — how do we know Buddha really did give a silent sermon: on whose authority is that story told ?
Reminder: to tweet to the course, use #CCreflection as a hashtag
Extra options: There are three more applications available online which furnish reflective, creative, critical options — in addition to our central coursework here, in our inter-blogging.
- A quick, easy, and an effective tool for building community, and brainstorming, is open at this week’s word cloud at AnswerGarden, where you can add your word(s), related to your sense of sources. Ongoingly, there’s another one for creative critical reflection … and one for transpersonal psychology.
- If inspired, this week, or throughout the course, or any time, please feel free to share quotes that pertain: at Quotabl.es (please use the tag “CCR” there, for our reference; and, in this case, “sources”); I’ve begun some, already.
- I’ve also begun reflecting on books related to our course in the private group I’ve set up for us, as a kind of library lounge: so far, I’ve selected works by Terry Eagleton, and Johann Goethe; Thich Nhat Hanh’s next ( who also furnishes my selection for sources ); students can create and share their own lists. There’s also a public Transpersonal Psychology hangout at the site, as well.