​Serene Retreat in North Georgia

     NaMestoy Farm 

                 

 


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​  ​ ​Ongoing Mondays
​Sacred Circle 9:30 - 11:00 am









We are having Sacred Circle every Monday morning from 9:30 AM - 11:00AM.  We meet on the open air patio downstairs overlooking the pool. The door to the house is unlocked. Just come on in and walk down the stairs to the basement. You will see the door to the patio there. We observe social distancing and masks are optional. 

We are always listening for better ways to connect with one another and trust that the guidance will come as we go into the Silence and speak our truth. What stimulating conversations we have. We are interested in everyone's perspective. When we sit together in Circle, we wait for inspiration; and when it comes, we speak it as the enlightened beings we know ourselves to be.  
We follow the Council of Peace guidelines: 
"We agree to refrain from judging, persuading, defending or interrupting those with whom we are in dialogue. 
We agree to be curious and to be real. 
We agree to listen, in order to understand, regardless of whether our views are similar or different. 
We agree to hold this space as sacred and to be with one another here in openness and love."
Everyone is welcome to join us.
No reservations needed and there is no fee.


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Zoom Compassionate Listening & Nonviolent Communication
With Kim & Nancy
Every Tuesday 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Be sure to email Kim if you are going to join in our zoom sessions
kim.lemen@gmail.com 

 Compassionate Listening & Nondual, Nonviolent Communication With Kim
11:00AM - 1:00PM

Be sure to email Kim if you are going to join in our zoom session
kim.lemen@gmail.com 

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 Zoom Meditation With Bert 
1st & 3rd Sundays 
 11AM - 1PM










If you want to meditate with Bert on Zoom, be sure to email your email address to kim.lemen@gmail.com so she can hook you up on line. How thankful we are to Kim for her Zoom expertise and willingness to serve!!!

Bert has been meditating regularly since 1965, when I learned meditation techniques from a theosophist family in my home town. Over the years I have changed the way I meditate to fit whatever spiritual path I was pursuing, but the goal was always the same. Realization was what I was after. One definition of that would be to operate from a level of awareness that is based in direct perception of everything as identically arising from one nameless, and utterly mysterious ground that we are. I have not succeeded in stably living from that position, but I do enjoy it part of the time and that has made the other times easier, in that my perceived suffering is greatly diminished. Many people in this culture find meditating extremely difficult. One reason is feeling overwhelmed by near constant thoughts and another is difficulty with being still when constant action is their primary mode of being. Also, for many, meditation has remained mysterious, alien, and even scary. These difficulties can be, and have been overcome.  
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NF Ongoing Events
Directions to NaMestoy Farm (from south - Atlanta)

GA400N to Highway 369 west (left at light) 6.3 miles to right on Whitmire Road (Just past Wallace Tatum Road) 1.4 miles to property on right just past Matt's Landing. 7490 Whitmire Road, Cumming, 30028

Phone: 770-205-9358






Important Information From Peter Vajda
Insurrection 1-6-21- How We Got Here.

The root cause of the 1-6-21 insurrection at the Capitol in Washington DC was not the November 3rd election.
The election may have "triggered" the violence, but the "cause" is seated in the psycho/emotional foundation
in those perpetuating the violence, a makeup that was created many years ago in the form of childhood wounding..

https://youtu.be/riAkcPb9Ies

Peace,
Peter


"If we look down upon the planet, When cooler heads prevail, one common call is for folks to take a step back, to breathe and to engage in conversation, to communicate. My take is, and has always been, that to communicate effectively one needs to first engage in some deeper, honest, self-reflection (simple, not easy). Self-reflection is what supports us to discover what it is "about me" (my emotional reactivity) that contributes to the strife. Too, self-reflection goes beyond the cognitive, intellectual and mental constructs that "define me" - reified, calcified constructs that I use to make myself "right" and you, "wrong", the vicious cycle that never leads to resolution - i.e., peace, calm, harmony, acceptance, love and empathy that can help to reduce and eliminate strife.

See what I mean here:
In his book, Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis," Jeremy Rifkin, in one of the chapters, concludes, "...what is needed is a more transparent public debate around views of freedom, equality and democracy…a moratorium on the hyperbolic political rhetoric and incivility...and begin a civil conversation around our differing views on human nature. This would offer us a moment in time to listen to each other, share our feelings, thoughts, concerns and aspirations, with the goal of trying to better understand each others' perspectives, and hopefully find some emotional and cognitive common ground."

On the face of it, I believe most would agree - at least 99.9% of us would agree. It's like saying, no one in the world should be hungry. Most would agree. But... While Rifkin's book is a detailed explanation of , how we came to be a culture of incivility and how empathy is a "way out," his conclusion, for me, falls short of a real solution. Why? Rifkin essentially equates "cognition" with "consciousness" and assumes we can talk ourselves into being empathetic. Not so fast. Love and empathy are matters of the heart, not the mind, and I think here is where Rifkin, and so many others, who posit intellectual and cognitive solutions for social ills, and social change, come up short.

Cognition and consciousness are poles apart
Cognition and consciousness are not synonyms but polar ends of a continuum. Here's my take.
We live in challenging times - socially, politically, economically and spiritually. Incivility, disrespect, and out-and-out personal attacks are a consequence of this un-ease many are experiencing.
So, can I just "think" myself into being empathetic with those who push my buttons? I think not. At least not in any sustainable way.

Empathy is deeper stuff
Empathy is the ability and willingness to relate - not just cognitively or emotionally - but spiritually, from "within," to what another is thinking and feeling and thus behave in a more compassionate way towards others. As Psychology Today describes it, "Empathy stands in contrast to sympathy which is the ability to cognitively understand a person's point of view or experience, without the emotional overlay." As social policy analyst, Elizabeth Segal , writes, "Empathy is more than 'I hear you'."
Amy Copland, Ph.D., Philosophy Professor at Cal. State, Fullerton, says being empathetic means we take an "other-oriented" approach to another, rather than a "me-oriented" perspective towards another. She writes, "Other-oriented means that I imagine I am you in your situation, not me in your situation. And because we are different people, I may need help to understand how you are feeling because imagining what your life is like is not the same as actually experiencing what your life is like."

While empathy does certainly involve "brain stuff," i.e., thoughts, and cognitive functioning, etc., empathy does not "originate" in the brain. Wanting and choosing to imagine what it's like to be the other (or others), needs to come from deeper recesses, i.e, heart-driven, if it is to result in real, authentic and sustainable social change.

Being empathetic, then, means we do not express any egoistic need or intention (conscious or unconscious) to "fix," teach, tell, one-up, advise, sympathize, interrogate, explain or "set another straight." Empathy is a heart-felt choice to engage intimately with others, on a deepest level, by "be-ing" with another - providing a safe container for another to be vulnerable in our presence - feeling safe, secure, valued and heard. Simple, right? So, why is empathy so hard?

Why being empathetic is challenging
"Underneath the hood" of surface-level anger, distrust, incivility and disrespect between folks, there's an element that sources our incivility - FEAR. Fear of what? Fear of losing control. Control of what? Our "identity," our need to feel like a "somebody." Our need to be seen, heard, recognized. Our need for psycho-emotional safety and security.

When individuals or groups fear a loss of democracy or status, or feel terrorized about losing their jobs, their homes, their health care, their educational opportunities, their families and, most of all, their sense of self, they fear being relegated to the ranks of "nobodies."

Nobody wants to be a "nobody"
How am I dealing with these marginalized, fearful folks? Am I pushing them away? Do I see them as a threat to my identity, to my feeling like a "somebody?" Do status, ranking and "somebody-ness" depend on my doing, being and having more than them - a "zero-sum" approach to my living life, where I feel, "if you get yours, then I won't get mine?" Is life a "me. vs. you" proposition? Do I see folks as a means to end? This is where empathy comes into play.

I am you
One tenet of many spiritual traditions is the notion that "I am you" - a metaphysical (far from cognitive) concept that points to the interconnection of all of life. An "I/Thou" approach to others is not based on the another's packaging, i.e., looks, net worth, degrees, quality and quantity of material possessions, etc. The I/Thou personalness of relationships focuses on a heart-felt "we," rather than "me vs. you." How we are more alike than separate. I/Thou assumes a higher level of "consciousness" - how I orient to the planet and the people on the planet. This yearning, seeking is not simply "cognitive" stuff.

Four levels of consciousness:
Unconscious - instinctual, follower
Subconscious - habitual, robotic, drone-like, reactive
Conscious - aware, intelligent, conceptual
Higher Consciousness - intuitive, guiding, truthful, loving, universal

Empathy reflects a state where one interacts with another with (from) a higher consciousness. It's not about "deciding" to do so; it's about an "inner knowing" that I choose to connect. It's heart-felt, love-based. Empathy results from "going inside," asking our hearts if our unconscious, subconscious, or conscious "stories" about others are honest, sincere, and authentic or are really defense mechanisms to protect my "ego" self, suppress or repress my fears about others. Higher consciousness allows us to enter into communication and harmony with others from a place of a " universal mind" where we relate to others as "my brothers and sisters."
From a place of true and real empathy, i.e., higher consciousness, the energy of love and warmth fills the space between two people (or peoples), not the energy of coldness, resistance or resentment of a "me vs. you" ego-perspective. Empathy allows equality between and among individuals, all individuals.
Higher consciousness, not cognition, is the "secret sauce" of cooperation, collaboration, compassion and connection with others. Higher consciousness is a heart-based state that allows me to "feel your pain" - I am you.

Empathy is not thinking
What's needed is a shift from an unconscious, subconscious and even conscious state, and cognition, that puts a microscope on our emotional, psychological and spiritual orientation to the planet and the peoples inhabiting it. This internal exploration is quiet, slow, continuous and intentional. It's not "thinking about," it's not intellectual. Here we query our heart, not our mind.

Einstein said "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." My take here is that "thinking" is not the problem, but consciousness. While folks may be thinking differently, they are not moving in a sustainable way to a higher level of consciousness, of "be-ing" differently, of truly transforming (I'm no longer the person I was.). And this is the challenge - without transforming, we have old wine, new wine skins. Not sustainable.

The Indian Philosopher Krishnamurti said: "Thoughts are like furniture in a room with the windows and doors closed." I wrote about this recently . Much of the dialogue, books, articles and sharings of well-meaning folks who seek "solutions" to incivility, cross-cultural and social issues are in this room, with the doors and windows closed. Lots of listening, agreeing, disagreeing, and "solutions," but it's the same old furniture, only now with different colors and textures. Why? Discussions are mostly intellectual and cognitive. Only the heart will allow fresh air and lead to true and real change and transformation.

Empathy is co-relating
The solutions to our challenges are not about new (cognitive) flavors of democracy, freedom, economics and the like; they are about co--relating and co-creating on a spiritual (not religious or theological), deeper, heart-felt level. Our mean-spiritedness, anger, mistrust, and intolerance will not be reduced or eliminated by a cognitive understanding alone, but through the application of the salve of a higher consciousness produced by our hearts and souls. True empathy is not a matter of cognition. It's a matter of heart. The common ground we seek to find is not in the real estate of the brain; but in the fertile fields of our hearts.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  Have you engaged in uncivil, demeaning, or disrespectful behavior recently? Did you justify your behavior? How so?
  How do you generally interact with folks who think/believe/live differently from you? Truthfully.
  Do you live life from an "I need to be right" perspective? If so, why do you think that's so? Where/How did you learn to come from this perspective?
  Do you ever view compromise as a weakness? How about being empathetic?
  Do you ever rationalize or justify another's uncivil or disrespectful behavior? If so, how or why?
  Do you ever use "passion" as an excuse to behave inappropriately?
  Have others ever accused you of behaving in an uncivil manner? If so, how did you respond to their accusations?
  How did you, your family, deal with disagreement or the notion of being "different" as you were growing up?
  What do you notice if/when you think others on the planet are your brothers and sisters? What's your comfort level around this notion?
  Can you envision a world where it's possible folks respond to disagreement or differences without being uncivil, bullying, angry, enraged, fearful or otherwise disrespectful?

If you have not viewed my video, Overcoming Racism, What Stands in the Way, it's here: https://youtu.be/nJ3rRSSCnus













Non-Duality Zoom Meeting 
with Kim Lemen
on 1st & 3rd Sunday


Be sure to email Kim if you are going to join in our zoom session
kim.lemen@gmail.com 

Be sure to email Kim if you are going to join in our zoom session
kim.lemen@gmail.com 

Kim Lemen will be hosting a zoom meeting on Non-Duality. This will be from
Kim LOVES to share the joy and peace that comes from exploring this path. Non Duality is the Western translation for Advaita Vedanta, an ancient Eastern Philosophy. I’ve been studying Eastern Philosophy for 48 years, but when I found Non Dual teachings seven years ago, I made more progress than in the previous 41 years!
Non Duality is the Western translation for Advaita Vedanta, an ancient Eastern Philosophy. The term, Advaita, refers to the idea that the true self, Atman, and the highest metaphysical reality of the universe, Brahman, are identical, and the phenomenal world is not ultimately real.
The term Vedanta is a philosophy taught by the Vedas, the most ancient scriptures of India. Its basic teaching is that our real nature is divine. God, the underlying reality,
exists in every being. Religion is therefore a search for self-knowledge, a search to
discover what has always been - the God within.
Non Duality is a wisdom path, in that we use the mind to look deeply into what is called “mind.” It doesn’t involve worshiping a God or Goddess, although of course anyone studying Non Duality is free to continue their devotional practices. There is no dogma, rules, or regulations in Non Duality. It is referred to as the Direct Path, or the Pathless Path, because no strenuous practices are necessary to recognize our true nature. Our true nature is that we are one with Consciousness or God or all that is. Being this, we see that we never could leave our true nature, which is happiness, freedom, and peace.
The ego (separate self) is an illusion we create to survive in this seemingly threatening world. All one need do on this path is to see through the illusion. By learning to pay attention to the awareness, we relax our attention away from the illusory separate self and become aware of awareness itself. By questioning through self-inquiry our assumptions, the false beliefs and mind habits gradually (or in rare cases suddenly) fall away, revealing our true nature, indeed the true nature and oneness of everything.
I will conduct the Non Dual meetings with a guided meditation followed by the Socratic method utilized by J. Krishnamurti, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, Rupert Spira et al. Attendees ask questions and I’ll answer. After this is portion is concluded,
we can have free discussion and socialize, because we have no other way to socialize right now. Connection is good. So, if you are interested in exploring this path to peace and happiness you can email me at Kim.lemen@gmail.com and I’ll put you on the meeting list.
No donations necessary.

I hope to see you tomorrow, Sunday. Connection is so important these days.
Below I've included links to some of my favorite nondual teachers and some I don't really listen to often, but others may like their approaches. 

 Aydiashanti
Ghangaji
Ramana Maharshi
Ramana Maharshi- Core of his Teachings.
Mooji
Rupert Spria



Karen is our beloved energy healer who is with us the last Sunday of each month! She has so many modalities of proficiency. She is certified in yoga, Aruvedic medicine and naturopathy so she does more than just reiki healing while she focuses on each indiviidual who enters the sacred healing space in our meditation room. Having such a comprehensive approach to healing and wellness, she can always suggest a natural way for us to heal and maintain our body, mind and spirit. The minute we enter the room we can sense the holy Presence of Spirit. Karen becomes the conduit through which blocks in our mind, body, and spirit are removed so that our natural ability to heal ourselves is released. This Sunday Karen will be working with individuals in the meditation room while the rest of us will be receiving healing from the Gongs and group healing from one another.

Love offerings accepted


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