Category Archives: Sunday Talks

Follow Up Thoughts on Liberation

by Rev. Lauren Tatarsky, Senior Minister

Hello Interfaith Family,

This is a follow up on our lively talk about liberation this past Sunday in response to a request for more information about Lilith.

I have an oracle deck that I love called Goddesses: Knowledge Cards. It shares stories of Goddesses from Greek, Roman, Celtic, Native American, Egyptian, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian mythologies.

Lilith, in Goddesses, Knowledge Cards by Michael BabcockHere’s what it has to say about Lilith:

“Lilith is a Middle Eastern goddess of abundance, fertility, and fecundity, the giver of agriculture to humans. The first woman created and the first wife of Adam, she refused to be subordinate to Adam in any way.

“Lilith is associated with the owl, a figure of darkness and deep wisdom, for she is also a goddess of death and transformation. She is sometimes represented as a demonic figure, for her dark wisdom can her sexual energy can be very threatening. She is known to appear as a frightening figure in dreams.

“Lilith is associated with the lotus, and the symbolism of that flower tells us much about her. The lotus, an exquisite flower that grows out of dark, rank, decaying earth, represents spiritual unfolding and the blossoming of the heart of wisdom. Like the lotus, Lilith challenges us to look upon our dark side and incorporate it into our wholeness so that our great beauty can blossom forth.”

~Michael Babcock

As I mentioned, the Wikipedia information about Lilith calls her a “dangerous demon of the night” who was “sexually wanton” and thankfully banished from Eden.

But the information from more spiritual and perhaps less culturally influenced perspectives, like the one above, suggests to me that her power was only threatening in that it was a liberating force, unafraid of the darkness, and challenging to the status quo.

There are many stories like Lilith, of indigenous women, black women, and members of marginalized groups far and wide who have been demonized or forgotten in our cultural mythological and religious paradigm. There is a book, for instance, called Passionate Enlightenment by Miranda Shaw that brings to light stories of female Tantric Buddhist teachers who were powerful spiritual teachers and equally transformational in their approach. Bringing their voices back is, to me, a powerful energetic intervention in this important time.

As a side note, anyone remember the Lilith Fair? This was a great effort of female musicians to increase the recognition and power of women in music. Very aptly named.

And I wanted to leave you with one final quote, which has stuck with me after our time together on Sunday.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”

~Helen Keller

If you weren’t here Sunday, you can click here for my talk, entitled Liberation, Inside and Out.

Much Love and Many Blessings,

Lauren

This is the Time

Here is challenge as well as some words of encouragement for everyone in the turbulence following the presidential election. May the challenges facing us all serve our collective awakening.

There are three parts to this post:

1) A video of the Sunday service with guest speaker Rev. Holly Makimaa.

2) A copy of the text Rev. Holly quoted at the end of her talk, “Now is Your Time” by L’Erin Alta.

3) A spiritual reading given by member Carol Bardenstein, “We Were Made for These Times” by Dr.  Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

Sunday Service with Interfaith Minister Holly Makimaa

“Now is Your Time,” by L’Erin Alta

If you ever felt called to be a healer, a teacher, a salve for the people, now is your time to come forward.

If you are a word weaver, or a light worker, or a lender of ears, now is your time to come forward.

If you have been hiding medicine in your pockets, behind your eyes, beneath your tongue, waiting for the ‘right’ time to share it, now is your time to come forward. Continue reading This is the Time

A World in Turmoil

Painted by Sara, 10, Zehra, 12, and Ayla, 11, students at Funkor Childart Centre for disadvantaged students in Islamabad, Pakistan. The children there are like a beacon in a troubled word, with their desire for friendship and goodwill among the world’s races and religions.
Painted by Sara, 10, Zehra, 12, and Ayla, 11, students at Funkor Childart Centre for disadvantaged students in Islamabad, Pakistan. The children there are a beacon of light in a troubled world, with their desire for friendship and goodwill among the world’s races and religions.

At the first Sunday service of 2016, senior minister Dave Bell encouraged us all to see the turmoil in the world in a hopeful light. Rather than getting stuck in grief over expressions of violence and hatred — from the Paris shootings to widespread U.S. rejection of Syrian refugees — we can see these events as catalysts that are dissolving unsustainable ways of living on planet Earth.

Fear-based ways of relating to the world must pass away for humanity to make a leap into higher consciousness. The actions of terrorists, or the words of politicians who demonize those who seem “different,” provide fuel that can catapult humanity into embracing a higher path. In our outrage, we can be moved into action and make the world a better place.

As an example, Dave shared his experience at an Open House and Prayer Service two weeks ago at the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor. There, hundreds of people gathered to show support for our local Muslim community. To Dave’s amazement, when addressing the group, one of the imams there actually thanked Donald Trump for suggesting that U.S. mosques be closed. Why would he express gratitude for such a hostile expression of intolerance? Because those very remarks have galvanized so many members from Christian and other faith communities to stand up for their Muslim brothers and sisters. It is providing opportunities for people everywhere to move into a deeper expression of oneness.

Continue reading A World in Turmoil

How the Worst Moments in Our Lives Make Us Who We Are

How can we deal with devastating disappointments without losing faith?

Yesterday, Associate Minister Annie Kopko shared how she was able to reframe a crippling childhood pattern to transform the pain and insecurity it spawned.

“At any moment, you can change your perspective,” she told us. But how?

The video below teaches us with inspired and uplifting examples. Reframing pain and disappointment is a characteristic of resilient people. This capacity honors our experience while reconnecting us to our innate divinity and restoring trust in the Creation.

Enjoy this profoundly uplifiting TED Talk by Andrew Solomon on “meaning making.” Then let us know what you think in the comment section.

 

May is for Manifesting

Maypole with streamersThis month we kick off with a visit from Scott Grace.  Scott is the author of Teach Me How to Love: A True Story That Touches Hearts and Helps with the Laundry.  He is also a transformational musician who has performed at events for the likes of Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Alan Cohen, and Byron Katie.

Come let go of old beliefs about scarcity and struggle, and give a hug to senior minister Dave Bell who returns from Florida on Sunday too!

Topics for the Month:

May 3 – Manifesting With Ease (Scott Grace, Guest Speaker)

May 10 – The Future of God (Dave Bell)

May 17 – Why We Don’t Forgive (Delyth Balmer)

May 24 – Surrender – A Practice (Dave Bell)

May 31 – Joy Is Yours (Dave Bell)

Continue reading May is for Manifesting