Universal Heart Newsletter February 2013

Book now for the 2013 Easter Retreat  * Interfaith service, Sydney, this Sunday 17 February 2013, 3pm  * Universal Heart Book Club – keep reading! * Visit Stephanie on FACEBOOK  *  Two practical reminders of kindness * Visit on-line discounted Bookstore

Dear friends

Welcome back to the Universal Heart Newsletter.  Some of you have been receiving these letters for many years now and I want to thank you so much for continuing with them…and caring for the values they affirm. At the end of this email are some lines that offer the most gentle reminder of powerful ways to be kinder to ourselves, an essential pre-requisite to playing our part in making this a kinder world.

Kindness, consideration, concern, respect: these are all familiar expressions of love. And if a deepened experience of these qualities  – as well as courage and appreciation – calls to you, then I’d love you to consider the Easter Retreat for 2013 at Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel, New Zealand (28 March – 1 April). The Easter Retreat is a highlight of my year and Mana are taking bookings now. We do expect it to be particularly beautiful this year. Mana itself is such a tonic and I will be teaching on the theme “Messages of love”, and how we can effectively take the universal messages or timeless teachings on love into our minds, hearts and lives and allow them to heal and strengthen us. Body treatments are also available at Mana, and the physical setting and kindness shown there are exceptional. This is a fine, welcoming retreat for those who haven’t been to a retreat before, as well as for those who return most years. Shuttles or ferry available from Auckland. Mana can help organise that. You can also stay for days on either side of the retreat for a modest cost – and have treatments during that time.  Retreat details and booking at their website:  web address is http://www.manaretreat.com  Telephone: NZ 07 866 8972.  I would love to see Universal Heart Networkers there!

Kindness in everyday life is of course also one of the constant themes in my own writing – and life (Everyday Kindness, The Universal Heart). It’s also the theme of an exceptionally accessible book called Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. Walter Mason reviews it this month for the Universal Heart Book Club. I think many of you will find lots of practical new ideas -and, again, it is a gentle book.  We all know that kindness and happiness grow back to back. And kindness must begin at home…though it cannot end there, either!

My own Book Club choice for the month is the intriguing, provocative Proof of Heaven. I’d love to hear your comments on this one – written by Dr Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who survives a catastrophic infection to his brain and during his days in a coma experiences what he describes as eternal consciousness (or “heaven”!). Some of you will love it; some of you will argue with or about it. But do read it. You can comment at the Book Club site or, of course, on my Facebook page. There are more than 50 articles posted now at the Book Club, including monthly video discussions. Enjoy!

I hope this reaches you in time also to remind you that our spiritually inclusive INTERFAITH service is this Sunday, 17 February, 2013, at 3pm. All details below. And if you cannot join us in Sydney then at least catch up with the talks that are on interfaithinsydney YouTube channel. For more support please visit my website or Facebook. Your interest and thoughtfulness in using and sharing these resources makes them so worthwhile – and I truly value your visits to the dull-looking but very efficient “Stephanie Dowrick Bookstore” which is actually run by major booksellers Collins/Seek. Each book sold returns a small % which is the sole support for this Network. So MUCH much appreciated when you use it.

Details follow in full for the interfaith services in Sydney. If you can join us – and I hope you will – please let me know you are from this Network! And do always take a moment to think who might benefit from your sharing of any part of this email.  Finally, the promised lines from Loy Ching Yuen, plus a deceptively simple practice that has been part of my own life for many years. Is it meditation or a prayer? Who knows. What I do know, is that it restores a vital sense of peace.

I wish you joy and gentleness in the month ahead,

Stephanie

 Interfaith Service, this Sunday 17 February 2013, 3pm 

 These services are genuinely inclusive and may meet your needs for a time of peace and renewal. We offer readings and reflections from different traditions, shared prayers and brief meditations, a short inspirational talk and always beautiful music. Please send this information to anyone who may benefit.

Interfaith services. 3rd Sundays, 3pm. Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney 2000. Nearest cross Street is Park. Some street parking available.  Excellent public transport (nr Town Hall). Reduced Sunday prices in nearby parking buildings.  We do ask you to arrive a little before 3pm if possible as we must start promptly. The service is about 75 minutes. You can also join the community singing with Sydney Sings director Liz Lecoanet at 1-15-2.15pm (before the service). A lovely treat.

Similar services are offered at the Subud Centre, 19 Formby Ave, Pt Chevalier, Auckland, NZ, each 2nd Sunday at 6pm, with Rev Hilary Star. To join the mailing list contact Patsy Sim psim@orcon.net.nz

I leave you with lines from Taoist poet Loy Ching Yuen, plus a brief spiritual practice.  Blessings to all.

In difficult moments.

remember that everything passes.

Sit quietly inside your home.

Spring will come again.

 Loy Ching Yuen (1873-1960)

 *

If today is, for any reason, a day of heartache, 

then please take a few precious minutes to still your mind, 

go inward, 

and send love and light to all who need it. 

As you generate those thoughts, 

and as they flow through you, 

they will also be healing FOR you. 

“Love and light to all who need it.”

Stephanie Dowrick