April 2

The K-2 class explored our transforming world on Sunday. We talked about what a transformation is and ways that the world is constantly transforming around us. We are sprouting some wildflower seeds with the hopes we can see them grow and transform this month along with us! We observed new growth around the fellowship and made predictions on how it will transform in the coming weeks.

The 3-6 class…This week, among other topics, we talked about why elephants don’t wear monocles, the practicalities of space station construction, superstitious behavior in general and sports in particular, why some religious groups might be opposed to the education of women, and the use of gold in both electronics and dentistry.  We had a rather freewheeling discussion on mysticism, and the desire to perceive and apprehend the world in different ways.  We talked about shamans, and their role as intercessors into supernatural realms, and three broad categories of such realms: the gods, the land, and the dead, and why communities might seek to reach such entities.  We spoke of Greek mystery cults and oracles, why hermits isolate themselves, and the use of techniques and paraphernalia to reach an altered state of perception and find a sublime truth.  Our playlist this week included: “Abyss of the Farplane” – Noriko Matsueda and Takahito Eguchi; “Be Thou My Vision” – Jennifer Haines; “Chop Suey!” – System of A Down; “Euphoria” – Cirque de Soleil; “Heaven” – Shoju Meguro; “Living With God” – Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Dream Circus; “One Vision” – Queen; “Prayer of St. Francis” – Sarah McLachlan; “Sufi Medley” – Ali Jihad Racy; “Way of the Shaman” – Steve Gordon.

The 7 and Up class… continued Peace Experiments with a focus on interpersonal conflict. We started with the assumption that in any given situation one person’s hopes, wishes and expectations would not match another person’s hopes wishes and expectations.  That means that interpersonal conflict is natural! We each took a scenario (dating, teasing, jokes taken too far) and then escalated the conflict step by step. Using the same scenarios we took a downward path of ignoring the issue to an unhealthy outcome.  And then we talked about a middle way. We discussed the STABEN method of talking through an issue (example website here: http://crumpet-thinking.blogspot.com/2012/06/calm-down-and-staben-on.html). As we ran out of time we did a quick self-inventory about how frequently we use different strategies when faced with conflict.

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