by Nick Andrea
Establishing congregational themes allows us to share spiritual lessons across the generations in our congregation. To that end, I have structured the YRUU curriculum to follow the monthly theme schedule; that parents, grandparents, and youth may walk the spiritual path in tandem, sharing lessons along the way. As the Children and Youth Coordinator, I intend to write a column every month about how we’re doing that in YRUU.
September’s monthly theme was, “Awareness – to what do we need to become aware and how are we doing it?” We practiced internal awareness through mindfully contemplating a fresh fig using all our senses – seeing, smelling, feeling, hearing, tasting. The goal was to experience this fruit with full presence. As expected, the group’s willingness to engage this intimately with a fig was varied, so I encouraged them to pay attention to their likes and dislikes without getting caught up in them.
How do our preferences prevent us from fully being in this moment? How does attachment to our preferences prevent us from experiencing a reality beyond them?
Next, the group practiced outer awareness by serving breakfast to the homeless, after which we drank tea and reflected on our experiences with the people we served.
How are we like them? How are we connected? And, how does awareness of our interconnectedness inform our action in the world?