Dear Universal Heart Network friends
Retreats: NZ & Bhutan * Spiritual service this Sunday, 18 May * Guided Meditation CDs * A Universal Heart call to love * Links for Universal Heart Book Club & Universal Heart Music
My thoughts have been very much with you over these recent days. Since I last wrote, we have had two retreats, the Retreat at Easter at Mana Retreat Centre, the place I regard as my spiritual home in New Zealand, and the NSW retreat last weekend at the beautiful BK Centre for Spiritual Learning in Wilton. It’s been wonderful to see participants gaining and giving so much support. I am ever more aware how we need such spiritual companionship to live lovingly and thoughtfully in a complex, sometimes divided world. And that, of course, is what this Network is all about. Even though we may never meet in person you can trust that in many small ways we are collectively cherishing and living the values we care about most – and which the world most needs.
The next retreat on the horizon – and the months will pass quickly – is the Spring Retreat at Mana, starting 25 September, with the opportunity to choose between 3 or 6 days to deepen your experience of inner peace, guiding wiser and more joyful outer action. Rather soon after that I will leave for Bhutan! This year my good friend William Suganda and I are leading a travel adventure called Happiness in the Land of Happiness from 19 October. Just for 2014 this will take the place of what’s become our “usual” (unusually delightful) Japan trip. It’s a one-off, once-in-a-lifetime journey, so do please contact William via this website link without delay if the idea of Bhutan sings to you, with its explicit emphasis on living peacefully and valuing the currency of happiness rather than greed. That’s much more an outwardly focused, social and physical journey than the Mana Retreats. And for Bhutan, there are only three places left. I also treasure the deep quiet of a spiritual retreat, such as we experience at Mana, and truly feel fortunate that this year we can offer such different opportunities.
Meanwhile, the spiritually inclusive services that I offer in Sydney continue – and flourish. We will gather as usual at Pitt Street (264) Uniting Church THIS SUNDAY, 18 May. (It’s always the third Sunday of the month at 3pm. We are just one block from Town Hall. Nearest cross street is Park. Services must start promptly and the music is always exquisite.) Whether you attend occasionally or are still waiting for the right moment to join us, please know how welcome you would be. And if you live far away, please, please take advantage of the talks on the InterfaithinSydney YouTube website . You can also find audio retreat talks via “Talks” on my website. And if you would like meditation guidance I’m so pleased to say, that’s easy! You can buy copies of all of the meditation CDs from Millthorpe Blue, plus the updated local edition of Intimacy and Solitude.
To finish, some lines adapted from my book The Universal Heart and, in this meditative form, now in Heaven on Earth. I hope they will inspire and bless you. My kindest wishes to each and every one of you, as always, Stephanie Dowrick
There is no other way to love but generously.
Love treasures who you are.
Love opens you to all that you can do and be.
Love makes it easy to receive.
Love lives through acts and actions:
kindness, respect, delight, trust, safety.
Love finds what’s good and speaks of it.
Love knows what to overlook. And the value of silence.
Love thinks easily of others.
Love listens with an open mind.
Love is loyal and respectful.
Love gives thanks, and is thankful.
Love honors freedom.
Love does not cling.
Love seeks to understand.
Love wishes the best for the other, always.
Love asks what that best might be.
Love brings quiet patience.
Love makes things right.
Love affirms difference and diversity.
Love makes you vulnerable.
Love mends wounded hearts.
Love belongs to no one and to everyone.
Love lets bad times fade and treasures good times.
Love brings you into the present moment.
Love is a commitment and a calling.
Love calls to all. Unconditionally.
Love never dies.
(Adapted from Stephanie Dowrick’s The Universal Heart)