Ultreia, Suseia, Santiago! 2024

“Beyond and higher, onto Santiago!”

“To feel the pull, the draw, the interior attraction, and to want to follow it, even if it has no name still, that is the “pilgrim spirit. The ‘why’ only becomes clear as time passes, only long after the walking is over.” 

Kevin A. Codd, Beyond Even the Stars: A Compostela Pilgrim in France

Ultreia – Suseia is a call and response between pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. A fellow pilgrim will call out “Ultreia!” inviting your reply, “Suseia!” “Go further!” the first is crying out while the second replies “Go upwards!” Now imagine 350,000 pilgrims a year from all walks of life and every part of the world experiencing this minimalist and arduous spiritual journey to go beyond the mind, beyond what is known. Ultreia! Suseia!

In preparation for the 2024 pilgrimage on the French Way of the Camino de Santiago we will gather for 40 days and 40 nights across 40 weeks (once/week) to learn and speak Spanish, meet inspiring Camino phrases, engage spiritual reflections and practical questions, share research, support and encourage physical training on local pilgrimages, listen to relevant history and folktales, and learn some thought provoking history! All this, to amplify our attunement to the gaze of our pilgrim hearts, opening portals of wisdom for growth and renewal.

Whether you plan to go or not, we know anyone can start their Camino from anywhere at anytime! It is a mindset that lives beyond time and space. Each stage of the French Way on the Camino, 33 in all, brings discipline challenges for finding and sustaining continuous equanimity- eating and living minimally and realistically; hydrating well; pacing to your own rhythm and need; meditating continuously while engaging others respectfully, graciously and mindfully; renouncing negativity, attaining ideas and expectations; introspecting; and releasing what once saved but no longer serves growth and realization.

See how sustained practice in a community of pilgrims helps us return home! For more information, reach out through the contact page at https://kairoscenter4change.com/contact/

“The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust

We are all just walking each other home.” – Ram Dass

“Songs Are The Soul Of A Movement” -Dr. MLK, Jr.

“What song am I singing and what is it contributing to the future?”

https://www.mlksaratoga.org/celebration-weekend

“What song am I singing and what is it contributing to the future?”

Photograph by Leonard Freed / Magnum

The theme of MLK Saratoga’s Dr. King Celebration united the community this past weekend, bringing together multiple generations from all ethnic backgrounds to remember and be moved by and toward Peace. With generosity of Spirit and hope, the rhythms gathered us into our collective heart beat to remember joys and face our sorrows, to understand, love, and envision heaven on earth, to embolden our taking one single step aligned with that vision of justice into the future. We imagine that step as a note in our song. To withstand our sorrow in and through the perspective of the One collective heart beat, if even for a moment, births visions such as the one Dr. MLK, Jr. continuously held up for a nation, timeless visions that breathe life back into our collective soul. With deepest gratitude and humility, I say Shanti, Shalom, Shalem, Peace. Peace, peace, peace.

1: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
2: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding.
3: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people.
4: Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.
5: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate.
6: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice.

Click here for more details

“Abandoning Hope”

Pema Chodron offers the timeless teaching that has been taught from many angles across all of time and space. May you hear the teachings of your own tradition shine through as she writes to us now:

“Turning your mind towards the dharma does not bring security or confirmation. Turning your mind towards the dharma does not bring any ground to stand on. In fact, when your mind turns toward the dharma, you fearlessly acknowledge impermanence and change and begin to get the knack of hopelessness.

The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God. It is an issue that applies to everyone, including Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Theism is a deeply seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. It means thinking there’s always going to be a babysitter available when we need one. We all are inclined to abdicate our responsibilities and delegate our authority to something outside ourselves. Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves. Nontheism is realizing that there’s no babysitter that you can count on. The whole of life is like that. That is the truth, and the truth is inconvenient.

As long as we’re addicted to hope, we feel that we can tone our experience down or liven it up or change it somehow, and we continue to suffer a lot. In a nontheistic state of mind, abandoning hope is an affirmation, the beginning of the beginning. You could even put “Abandon Hope” on your refrigerator door instead of more conventional aspirations like “Everyday in everyway, I’m getting better and better.” We hold onto hope and it robs us of the present moment. If hope and fear are two different sides of the same coin, so are hopelessness and confidence. If we’re willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation.

Death can be explained as not only the endings in life but all of the things in life that we don’t want. Our marriage isn’t working; our job isn’t coming together. Death and hopelessness provide proper motivation for living an insightful, compassionate life. But most of the time warding off death is our biggest motivation. Warding off any sense of problem, trying to deny that change is a natural occurrence, that sand is slipping through our fingers. Time is passing and its as natural as the seasons changing. But getting old, sick, losing love – we don’t see those events as natural. We want to ward them off, no matter what.

When we talk about hopelessness and death, we’re talking about facing facts. No escapism. Giving up hope is encouragement to stick with yourself, not to run away, to return to the bare bones, no matter whats going on. If we totally experience hopelessness, giving up all hope of alternatives to the present moment, we can have a joyful relationship with our lives, an honest, direct relationship that no longer ignores the reality of impermanence and death.

Excerpted from When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

Beyond Opinion

“Beloved, tell me, how do I enter more deeply into the reality of the universe?

Response 123:

All this talk of purity and

impurity,

These are just opinions. Beyond

them

Are the miraculous energies of

creation.

Rays of light from a trillion suns

Illumine the altar of your sky.

Rolling blue-green oceans

Sanctify the air you breathe.

In this moment, you are inhal-

ing their blessing,

Who are you to call any of this

pure or impure?

Find the center around which

everything revolves –

Stand here and be flooded with

joy.

#123 from the Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche

Small Kindnesses

by Danusha Lameris

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk

down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs

to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”

when someone sneezes, a leftover

from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.

And sometimes, when you spill lemons

from your grocery bag, someone else will help you

pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.

We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,

and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile

at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress

to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,

and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.l

We have so little of each other, now. So far

from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.

What if they are the true dwelling of hte holy, these

fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,

have my seat,” “Go ahead – you first,” “I like your hat.”

from Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection from Green Writers Press (2019)

Vivaldi Four Seasons

Vivaldi Four Seasons: complete, original version. Voices of Music, Freivogel, Moore, Youssefian 4K

“It’s an interesting question as to how to interpret Vivaldi’s design, and part of the charm of the works is that the program is very clear, yet the possibilities are endless: the main challenge is to choose between a mimetic and allegorical interpretation.

In a mimetic interpretation, the performers would use extended techniques on their instruments to imitate as directly as possible the sounds of the program, including chattering teeth, raindrops, wind and stamping feet.

In an allegorical performance, the players would play in such a way as to allow the listeners to use their imaginations to freely recreate the program: each musical line could convey a different layer of meaning…..”

Voices of Music (https://www.youtube.com/@VoicesofMusic)

Out Of The Mouth of A Thousand Birds

Listen—listen more carefully to what is around
you, right now.
In my world there are the bells from the clanks
of the morning milk drums,
and a wagon wheel outside my window just hit
a bump which turned into an ecstatic chorus
of the Beloved’s Name.


There is the Prayer Call, rising up like the sun
out of the mouths of a thousand birds.

There is an astonishing vastness of movement
and life emanating sound and light from my
folded hands, and my even quieter simple being
and heart.

My dear, is it true that your mind is sometimes
like a battering ram, running all through the city
shouting so madly inside and out about the ten
thousand things that do not matter?

Hafiz, too, for many years beat his head in
youth and thought himself at a great distance,
far from and armistice with God.

But that is why this scarred old pilgrim has
become such a sweet rare vintage who weeps
and sings for you.

That is why Hafiz will forever in his verse play
his cymbal and call to you.

O listen—listen more carefully to what is inside
of you right now.

In my world all that remains is the wondrous
call to dance and prayer rising up like a thousand
suns … out of the mouth of a single bird.

from RUMI & HAFIZ: The Mountains Hint at Our Beauty

Spontaneity of the Third Act

Alan Watts, Don’t Force Anything

“Wu wei is based on knowledge…. at the time.

Wu wei is the art of sailing rather than the art of rowing.

So, one of the most famous sayings in the Lao Tzu book is:

‘Superior virtue has no intention to be virtuous, thus is virtuous.

Inferior virtue cannot let go of virtuosity, and thus is not virtuous.

So one could also say, the real wu wei is not intentionally wu wei and so is wu wei.

But, inferior wu wei so tries to be wu wei that it isn’t.

In other words, Wu wei is not a matter of cultivated passivity or of cultivated spontaneity because there are people who think that they are released, that they have realized that they are the Tao, as all of us in fact are, or in Vedanta terms, every one of us is the Brahman, the eternal self of the universe, beyond all description or classification or form.

And say, “Okay baby I’m that. Now I’m gonna have a ball!”

“Well, what kind of a ball do they have?

Well what they do is they look up the rules on which society runs and do the opposite. Well, that’s still running by the rules of society. It’s the mirror image in reverse. That’s not spontaneity.

You have to be able to realize that you don’t know what you really want to… until you are very quiet and it tells you.

It tells you….that you don’t know what you really want to.

It tells you….that you don’t know what you really want to.

It tells you…that you don’t know what you really want to.

Alan Watts

To know that you do not know … the verb that is the Holy Maybe,

relevant only in its’ particular time and place,

leaving only an impression of what is already passed,

leaving a longing for what is to come,

to sail again the Nameless – “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh”

“I shall become what I shall become”

A gift bestowed or not bestowed on the movements of each breath,

In time.

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