A sublimely musical sacred service Sunday, 20 September


Dear Universal Heart Network friends

This Sunday in Sydney, we are offering a somewhat different spiritual service – though at our usual home: Pitt Street (264) Uniting Church, Sydney (just one block from Town Hall station). And at our usual time: 3pm. We will be bringing you some of the beautiful, utterly calming music and meditations from Kim Cunio’s new CD: In a Day of Silence. Kim has worked on this for many months, firmly believing that in the midst of busy lives…or lives that seem more challenging than we may like…it is possible to find an inner steadiness and depth through music and guided contemplation. On a once-only basis, we will bring you that experience of the “Day of Silence” music and meditations in the calm context of our service. Visionary soprano Heather Lee, instrumentalist Nicholas Ng and Kim himself will all be there (they all play on the disc). I will give a short talk on the power of silence, will lead a guided a meditation, and will be there to meet all of you able to stay after the service for tea or coffee. Heather, Nicholas and I were delighted collaborators on the disc.

If you are able to be with us, know how very welcome you will be. And if you have in mind others who might benefit from this service, or would simply love to experience an oasis of music and peace, please do forward our invitation to them. We recently celebrated nine years of these truly inclusive sacred services, yet there are some who would love to be with us who don’t yet know we are there (every month, 3rd Sunday, 3pm). We can only rely upon one another to spread the word.

In a day of silence

We will be selling the CDs after the service. Also a gorgeous new edition of our classic Peaceful Mind. I will be attempting to organise – after Sunday – a way for you to get the discs by mail (alas, with postage costs) if Sydney isn’t possible for you, probably again via Millthorpe Blue where you can also buy Heavenly and, I hope still, Grace and Courage.

The next big teaching event on my agenda is the October retreat at Mana. Our theme is Finding Peace…and sustaining it. It’s sustaining our peace that is usually the challenge. And letting far less disrupt our peace…not making any kind of fuss at all about what’s unimportant; paying closer attention still to what’s going well…enthusing, comforting, praising, giving thanks.

However, we might also see that every disruption to our inner stability and resoluteness is a chance to know peace better. When things are going “our way”, there is no challenge to our equilibrium, and no chance to discover what deepening resources we need now, today.  In my own life, regular prayer and study are essential: I literally can’t manage without them. And by “study”, I mean reading the books that most directly speak to me and – to use a Quaker phrase – that also “speak to my condition”. That means the interests, concerns, inspirations coming my way and pushing me forward. That includes what I am reading for my writing and teaching, and my own deepest wellbeing.

I do so hope that you are finding all the inspiration that you need in your life.Some of you “meet” me often on my public Facebook page – or use other social media for immediate support. For those of you who enjoy talks there are many on YouTube, including my own on interfaithinsydney YouTube. (There’s a little arrow on the far right of the images that takes you to many, many talks.) A recent talk on regaining trust (in life, in ourselves) may be timely for some of you. Here is the link to that recent talk.  Today I also feel called to remind you that Heaven on Earth is nothing but inspiration (as well as “how to pray”). I’d love to hear how that is useful for you or, not “useful” but truly enriching! It contains many of the most beautiful words ever given to our human family.

A reminder too that next Monday, 21 September, is International Day of Peace. I will leave you with a profound wish that you will find increasing peace in your hearts – and that you will feel increasingly free to bring peace to our troubled world. With so many losing homes, countries, safety, the need for peace is urgent and very real. “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”

Blessings of peace, consolation and joy to all,

Stephanie Dowrick