One World Family is an Interfaith Prayer Gathering on March 26th from 3-6 PM at Holiday Park/War Memorial Auditorium, Fort Lauderdale, FL. The event will feature only prayer and music as members of our community from across the religious spectrum come together to stand in unity and pray for our community, our nation, and our world. This is a non-political gathering, free of sermons or political rhetoric. The goal of this event is to show our neighbors and the world that we can come together as people of faith, regardless of how we express that faith and to pray as a community for the betterment of our society and our planet as a whole. We believe that we all pray to our creator and, in the eyes of that creator, we are all sisters and brothers in this One World Family.
Represented are many faiths and groups: Christians of all denominations, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, secular humanists, pagans, native and indigenous communities, individuals and groups of all persuasions, no persuasions, and more!
If you don’t live in Florida in the tri-county area (Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach) I hope you will gather up a group of people where you are and be there with us in prayer and song on March 26 from 3-6 PM ET ! I’d love to see a 1 million person event around the world.
Can you help make my vision manifest?! Thanks! I know we can do it with your help! Please share this information with your social media family and friends and with your help we can make the million person mark!
See us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/230824907379644/?active_tab=about
If you would like to help sponsor this event we would be very grateful for your help. Our costs to hold the event are over $6,000 so even a small donation would help defray the cost! Contact Jay Donnelly at 954-294-0332 or send your check to Rev. Patrick Rogers, One World Family C/O UCC, 2501 NE 30th St. Ft. Ltd, FL 33306. Thanks!
Individual: One Level available
Contributing Member (families and friends) $25 or any amount chosen by the contributor will have your name listed on our Web page as a sponsor, if desired.
Corporate: Two Levels available
- Gold Sponsorship: $500-$999 Logo on all printed media, Web site, and Facebook page, right to use our logo on corporate sponsor’s Web site and any media they generate.
- Platinum Sponsorship: $1000 or more will get your logo on all printed media, Web site, and Facebook page, right to use our logo on corporate sponsor’s Web site and any media they generate, name recognition in all press releases, banner provided by sponsor on display at the even near the state, promotional items to be distributed to attendees if desired.
All donations will be tax deductible and you will receive a letter from our lead 501C3 for tax purposes. Make check payable to One World Family c/o United Church of Christ Fort Lauderdale. Mail to: One World Family C/O UCC, 2501 NE 30th Street, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33306.
All proceeds above what is needed for event costs will be donated to the ACLU.
Posted in BUddhism, Business, Christianity, discrimination, diversity, education, enlightenment, Ethics, fears, happiness, hate speech, human race, love, meditation, Metta, Metta Prayer, Mindfulness, planet earth, prayer, religion, self-help, sickness, suffering, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen | Tagged Christians, Hindu, LGBTQ, meditation, music, Muslim, native and indigenous communities, One World Family, pagans, prayer, secular humanists | Leave a Comment »
For anything new to emerge there must first be a dream, an imaginative view of what might be. For something great to happen, there must be a great dream. Then venturesome persons with faith in that dream will persevere to bring it to reality.
Some ideas whose time has come will spread as in a forest fire. But most need the help of a teacher. I had the good fortune to have an extraordinary one. He dreamed a great dream of how servanthood could be nurtured in the young, and he spent his best years in bringing it to pass (page 9-10).
Where I work at Kaplan University they encourage not only the students to volunteer and make a difference in their communities but they encourage all faculty to do so as well through The Virtual Difference Makers. Here is a list of some of the things they did in 2016: ran a Spring Virtual Serve-A-Thon, hosted a Stress Management Series, a Virtual Celebration of Rio, sponsored their first annual Health and Wellness Fair, held a Fall Serve-A-Thon and more!.
I have been invited to Lynn University to participate in an interfaith dialog and will be back there again in April for another interfaith dialog. The hall was jammed with students! Standing room only! They asked wonderful questions of the panel.
These were the words on the Flyer for the event: Healing the Divide: Interfaith Dialogue.
In a world where religion so often is the cause of hate and intolerance, we stand together at Lynn to create a world where our religious differences are not simply tolerated but celebrated. This event is precisely that; where religious leaders from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Atheist traditions will come together in celebration of our diverse faith traditions. Come and be amazed!
Imagine the great education the students are receiving at both Kaplan and Lynn and many other colleges around our country when their faculty and administration support such events.
If you are able to create similar events on your campuses I encourage you to do so. Create a Virtual Difference Makers club for students and faculty, run interfaith dialogues, offer training for faculty on meditation and mindfulness. Be the change you want to see in our world! Be the catalyst for peace, love, and kindness spreading around your campus and beyond! The time has come to spread the message of servant leadership at all levels. Change has always come from the bottom up not from the top down! Be the change you want to see in the world!
Good luck with that! Let me know how it goes!
 Greenleaf, R.K. (1987) Teacher as Servant: A Parable. The Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership: Indianapolis, IN
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In the book The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal the authors write about this idea of connectedness or lack thereof in our lives, schools, and communities.
Many of us bear the wound of invisibility, believing, not without reason, that no matter how hard or how well we work, no one really sees us. When we invite each other to tell our stories, we have a chance to create community in the simple act of saying “I see you.”
Storytelling can create community at an even deeper level: the more one knows about another person’s story, the less one is able to dislike or distrust, let alone despise, that person. This is a good thing in and of itself, but it serves a larger purpose as well by helping us weave a more resourceful and resilient collegiality. At some point down the road, when we need to solve a problem or deal with a difficult conflict, we are more likely to have woven the fabric of relationships required to do it well (page 139).
As teachers we can offer this opportunity to our students to come out from the shadows, to be really seen and heard with some simple exercises in our classes. By dividing your class in to groups you can help them get to know each other better and become more familiar with the way they may live, their hobbies, their family vacations, favorite books, sports, or movies. They might share stories about their religious and spiritual beliefs. Depending on the age of the groups the topics should be appropriate for them.
After they have shared in the small groups you can invite them to share with the entire class by sharing some of the topics that came up. They might even want to have a member share their story with the entire class. This exercise helps the participants learn to be connected with each other in a personal and emotional way. The students become not just someone they see in class but a real person with feelings and likes and dislikes.
We live a world that is so disconnected any time we are given the opportunity to share in this way as children or adults it opens our hearts and minds to others and we often find that we are more alike than different! We all have a favorite food and a food we hate! I sometimes start the first day in class by getting everyone to share the food they love to hate the most! Then we can divide the class up for group exercises in okra, broccoli, and cabbage haters. This gives them just another way to be connected!
Even though as a Buddhist I am not supposed to pick and choose I’m still NOT going to choose okra! I don’t mind being in the okra haters group! You’re welcome to join me! See you there…
In gassho, Shokai
 Palmer, Parker J.; Zajonc, Arthur; Scribner, Megan; Mark Nepo (2010-06-17). The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal (Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education) (p. 139). Jossey-Bass. Kindle Edition
Posted in birth, BUddhism, cause and effect, diversity, education, Ethics, fears, happiness, hate speech, human race, love, oppression, prayer, religion, self-help, suffering, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen | Tagged adults, art, Arthur Zajonc, Buddhism, children, Christianity, creativity, education, environment, feelings, focus, friends, fun, group exercises, humanity, inspiration, learning, life, Megan Scribner, Parker J. Palmer, questions, relationships, religion, school, science, sharing, students, The Heart of Higher A Call to Renewal, thoughts | Leave a Comment »
Teaching students about simplicity is very difficult in a world where there is no example of it in their lives. We live in a society that is complex, busy, noisy, and filled with to-do lists and projects and school, studying, and working toward promotions and more. And this is all happening today!
But to live a life of peace, joy, and contentment we will need to slow down, increase our ability to focus on one thing at a time, and find time to meditate and be mindful about each word, thought, and step we take. When we accomplish this we will be living in a world that is full and complete and filled with peace, love, and compassion. Fears and frustrations will diminish and laughter will appear in their place.
When was the last time you heard yourself or your children or students or co-workers actually laugh with a loud squeal, saw them roll on the floor, and hold their tummy because it hurt so much from laughing? When was the last time you laughed so hard tears rolled down your face like the picture you see here?
Below is an exercise for you to share with them to help them think about simplicity and how it appears in their lives. You may not be able to use it with very young students so you may have to revise it a little bit to show them how to work on one thing at a time and finish it before they go on to the next thing. You might illustrate that idea with two pictures, one that is a very simple picture of something i.e. a glass of milk, and the other that is a very busy and complex picture such as a table full of dishes and food with a glass of milk among the items on the table.
Script for Exercise:
Pretend that you have a magic wand and that magic wand allows you to recreate your life and yourself– to invent a new you. I am going to give you a few minutes to meditate on a word and think about what it means to you and how it appears in your life, or doesn’t appear in your life. The word is simplicity. (short pause)
When I ring the bell I am going to give you several minutes to create something with the art supplies that you have gathered that will illustrate what you discovered about yourself during the meditation. Be as creative as possible in expressing what you discovered and even what the new you, both internally and externally, can look like. Feel free to draw, write, color, express yourself in your own unique way.
Keep track of the time. Give the students 3-5 minutes, longer if they have experience meditating, before ringing the bell. After ringing the bell remind them what they are to be doing for the next 10-15 minutes. Keep track of the time because you will want to save time for debriefing the activity.
You might even try this exercise yourself. Reflecting on simplicity might lighten up your day and brighten up your life! Try it I think you’ll like it…
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“In The Wisdom of No Escape, Pema Chodron, one of the foremost American teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, writes…Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already (page 67-8).
When I write about the MASCC in teaching one of the letters stands for mindfulness/meditation. It is ironic that although we sit frequently in order to be different, to change who we think we are, or to find our “higher” self, or achieve enlightenment it is a false assumption. We are already each of those things without spending one minute on the “cushion” as they say in Zen Buddhism.
It is about “befriending who you are, loving ourselves with all the patience we can muster, with all the love we can imagine, and with no criticism. We sit simply to sit. We quiet our minds simply to help shut down the chatter of the “monkeys” as we talked about before. When we do that the rest comes naturally. The divine being that we are simply shows up. Our words become kinder and gentler, our compassion grows for all people and things, and we begin to live a life of peace, love, and compassion.
We don’t have to “throw ourselves” away because the parts of us that are hindering us in life will quietly leave and go bother someone else! We will suddenly be living in a kinder gentler world.
So when you offer your students a few moments in each class to simply do that 60 second 3 Breath Exercise I wrote about before you are helping them discover their true self, to expand their self-esteem, to believe in themselves, and to know that with time, effort, and love, they can succeed at any goal that they genuinely want to attain.
If you are working with children and using the 3 Breath Exercise you might want to take another tip from Susan Greenland from her Mindful Games book. She gives us two great tips.
Lying down is often children’s favorite meditation posture, but Mindful Breathing can also be practiced sitting or standing.
“If it’s difficult for kids to stay still when they practice Mindful Breathing while sitting or standing, they often find it helpful to sway from side to side slowly and with control (page 70). 
You may not be a teacher or a kid but if you too feel sitting practice is difficult try her other two techniques and let me know how it goes! Wear your MASCC every day and watch what happens!
 Greenland, S. K. (2016) Mindful Games. Shambhala: Boulder, CO.
Posted in BUddhism, cause and effect, education, enlightenment, love, meditation, prayer, religion, self-help, training, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen | Tagged Buddhism, Daniel Goleman, feelings, fun, health, learning, life, MASCC, Mindful Games, Pema Chodron, questions, religion, school, Susan Kaiser Greenland, The Mindful Child, The Wisdom of No Escape, Truth | Leave a Comment »
I can’t say I am very talented in the area of art in any way from drawing, to painting, to music, or dance. However, I love to look at great art, listen to great music, and watch people dance from classical to Hip Hop. But to help your students grow in all areas of their lives it is important for us as parents, teachers, and coaches to expose them to art in all its forms.
Here is another great tidbit for you from Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything by Deborah Schoeberlein (with Suki Sheth, PH.D.). This exercise gives the students time to discover the artistic talents that they have hidden away in the recesses of their minds. She calls this exercise “Drawing the Mind: Enhancement for Take 1 (For Students) (pages 93-94).
Part 1: Current Mental State
- Sit quietly. (Give students about thirty seconds before giving the next instruction.)
- Notice what’s happening in your mind: are there thoughts, feelings, or sensations? None, some, or many? Do they remain the same or change?
- Draw a picture of your mental state right now in the left-hand corner of your paper. (Give students a minute or so to complete their drawings.)
- Return to sitting quietly.
- Fold the left-hand third of the paper (with the drawing) face-down, so the two remaining blank sections remain face-up covering it .
Upon completion of the three sections of this exercise she invites the students to share their drawings and reflect on their experiences.
I have an exercise that I do in my classes with my adults and it helps them learn how to use a mind map when asked to write a report, essay, or article. I read a one page mini autobiographical blog post that I wrote entitled “Sometimes a horse looks like a cow.” Next, we take our three breaths and then I invite them to think of a time in their life that they could write about. Some write about something that happened when they were young, others about high school or college or marriage, or the day their first child was born. Once they have created the mind map I have them write the story.
They are all shocked about how much fun they had remembering this event, how easy it was to write the story after they took their three breaths and wrote their mind map out. They discover that artfulness and creativity are in everyone if they just take the time to foster them, to let them appear, and to be free to grow!
Let me know how it works for you and your students!
 Schoeberlein, D., Sheth, S. (2009) Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness A Guide for anyone Who teaches Anything Somerville, MA:Wisdom Publications
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