We are in mourning.  Shock, grief and anger wash over us in waves.  For many, the media (old and new) has become the place we turn in order to deal with such an event.  In traditional societies, we would have physically gathered together as a community to process our pain.  This week, Occupy Cafe will attempt this virtually on behalf of its members, including founding steward Ben Roberts, who is a Newtown resident.

A friend wrote Ben an email saying that she hoped that "we can use this as a catalyst for new ways of making sense together."  We would especially like to hear from one or more people who have gone through something like this and come out the other side with their spirit intact.  Perhaps they even discovered some sense of mission and purpose that is their own form of "making sense" of something that seems to defy the very notion with its randomness.  

Join the online conversation by posting below.  Our Cafe Calls are complete for 2012 and will resume on Jan. 7, 2013..  Perhaps we might all contemplate this question:

How do we respond to this tragedy in ways that serve life?

Podcast for Monday's call available here

Image: memorial display on Church Hill road in Sandy Hook, CT

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I imagine we're all holding our hearts in the wake one more unspeakable tragedy.  I shared this in a FB post and have been asked to share it more broadly.  I trust it will find your heart.

Much Love and Peace,


Just spoke with my brother, a Superintendent of Methodist churches in Connecticut. Sandy Hook is in his district. He was there last night supporting the community. On one hand, I'm at a complete loss for words. On the other hand, there's so much to say. 

It is unfortunate that it often takes a profound tragedy to crack the surface of one's emotional armor. Not that armor is wrong, it's just that our evolutional impulse is demanding a deeper level of sensitivity to how we might be, differently within ourselves and each other, in order to live into this vision of a compassionate world so many of us share and long for.

This event is not restricted to one town and 26 precious lives over the course of a few interminable minutes. This event recurs with unconscionable regularity across our planet on a daily basis without a minute's rest.

Someone shared:

"The rash of mass killings and angry suicides can be viewed as one of many alarming symptoms of a profoundly lost and injured male culture; tens of millions of disconnected, disillusioned, alienated male heart-minds permeated with unacknowledged anger, an unaccountable screaming rage and bristling hatred that burns so deeply we can’t even name it. We all carry it in one form or another; the weak ones snap under the weight."

This unnameable existential rage humanity carries is seemingly embedded in its DNA. But DNA is a servant of consciousness, it is mutable and responsive to conscious interaction. We are participating in a unique kind of evolution. A conscious evolution. "The weak ones snap under the weight." Those of us that deem ourselves strong are called to model reason, the conscious application of Love in the face of our basest survival instincts.

As we open our hearts to the fullest extent possible, to infuse the ethers with the healing balm of our most profound compassion, as we open our minds via our hearts to feebly grok the magnitude of suffering of those in the eye this unimaginable challenge, we might surrender any knowing of what might be best and open to the Unknowable as a source of rebirth of possibility. We can do this. We can be this. This Love that takes the most alien shapes to seize out attention.

Let's be ferocious with our understanding and unyielding with our compassion. Let's perform a mass collective vigil, each gazing into a mirror, plumbing the depths for clues to where Love might be needed most. And then look around— and share it where our heart calls.

Pray Peace

Call Harvest: What question if answered, might make the most difference in this situation?

  • Why do humans have a consciousness of separation?
  • How do I make this work?
  • Why shouldn't this ever happen?
  • How can our people's yearning hearts speak to our leaders and move them to tune into their true hearts and take right action?
  • How can we spearhead for citizens to be good neighbors around the world? And find the contract or declaration of interdependence and live by it?
  • Is it possible to suspend the self in daily life?
  • What is possible if we all wake up?
  • What is going on with me beyond my asking a question and yearning to fix something?
  • How can we come together as 'we' to structure the context of our society so we're helpful, creative and supportive of one another?
  • What does love call us to do?  How can we get better at looking at things from a broader sense of time ( the 7 generations) and connection?
  • Can we give the divisions that we're grouped in, in order to pursue peace together?
  • Is it possible to be without self interest and self protection?
  • How to get people at large interested in coming together and loving? What's the big fear that drives power and aggression?
  • How might we inspire people to be fascinated and compelled to love?
  • Why don't I love more than I do?
  • How do we respond to this tragedy in a way that serves life?

Pia, when you spoke so earnestly about love, this verse from Sparks popped up in me.

"My loves may be likened to one who admires lions so much that he keeps a lion in his own home.  But being afraid of the lion he keeps him in a cage...  I am treated like the lion.  There is love, there is admiration, I am fed by love of the lover.  But I am kept apart from the lover, who does not throw himself inside the cage to become food for the lion of love, to become totally consumed through his love for the Beloved."

Oh Dyck, what a beautiful and powerful quote.  True love is not a choice to surrender to love - it would be in the realm of the mind (the cage, as it where), and that is not love. True love is not about making the statement of being about love - if the statement needs to be made, well then ... you know.

True love compels us from deep within, without thought or choice or plan or words.  And suddenly finding our self there for someone else, or for our self,  possibly wondering, with a gentle smile 'how did I have the courage to get here?'

My wish for all humanity is to take on the prayer "May Joy and Innocence Prevail".  (from the ending of the movie Toys)

Thank you for being so loving, Dyck.

This is not so easy... to be loving for me, Pia.  I have pondered what it might mean 'to be consumed' in love.  e.g. Rumi... "And after a life as the hunter I finally let go and got hunted down and became free." 

... to many ancient & indigenous people it has been sacred to consume one's prey... the ultimate act of unity, of surrender, of love.

These are much more than simply metaphors or stories to me.

Another question we might all consider:

What can I do to teach and bring peace?

And what might YOU do, personally and specifically, Jerry?

 Love works for me three ways, love my God, love my neighbor and love myself. The last one is the hardest, there is so much about me that requires daily forgiveness and grace.

I love you too, Jerry.  So remarkable (and yet not) how the Occupy Cafe core community has bonded without most of us ever meeting in person. You touched me with the statement above. You are not alone.  We are all broken, we all require grace and forgiveness.  I can be very hard on myself too, and I will take your words to heart.

So I'm still wanting to go deeper on this question... 

I can not explain the inner fire except as a gift from God. It is mine now and I am responsible to walk in love and follow my fire (passion-purpose).

And that passion-purpose would be...?

I am still wanting to go deeper...

Pardon my butting in.  What a wonderful statement so full of energy and innocence... Surely this is the first step to something radically new to my presumed 'knowing'.... perhaps the start of a personal journey.

This is also my statement & journey.  Can I somehow make this into 'the' question of questions?  My question?  I want to state and hold that question open.... allowing it to attract what it will and I to watch.  I don't want to pull it down to make it fit my (or anyone elses) answers or small constructs of conditioning.  I want it to draw me up into it... to consume me within its newness and clear eye.

Thank you for this freshness, Ben... this innocence.  Surely we are as children in the Grand Scheme.

And you are Jerry... making a difference that is, to me, and to the Cafe collaboration.  Your light shines brightly and consistently, I imagine stoked by your richness of past battles, turmoil, pain, and a lot of living.  I only want more of you as our collaboration continues and deepens.  Your bedrock of sincerity and broad-shouldered love is so obvious.  But I'll say it anyway so you know I 'see' you and hold you in high regard.

Heart felt

Thank you Jerry.  I get that you are indeed passionate about making a difference and being an agent of change. Care to tell me more?!


Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

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