Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 10th buildings and grounds workday reflections

We had a great workday! There were nine of us who answered the call and shared the care of the grounds and each other on that really hot day.

Mowing the entire property was accomplished, weed-wacking the details was taken care of, the branches from the downed tree were chipped, and last but not least, a good dent was put in cleaning the walkways from weeds and other debris. Just the weeding took 15 women/hours to do. Seeing them at their task reminded me of the monks I saw in Japan, hand picking dropped leaves on acres of Zen garden moss, truly a meditative activity if you care to approach it that way.

For most of my 12 years at PUUC, I successfully avoided being in a leadership position. Volunteering for this or that, pitching in at all kinds of events was really as much as I wanted to give. Being in a responsible position was way beyond my comfort level, but in 2012 I reluctantly agreed to co-chair buildings and grounds with Lee Carnes. I soon remembered how I have always found group work projects interesting and rewarding.

Last year under Lee Carne’s leadership, I took on projects I felt comfortable with, sometimes alone, sometimes in a group.

This year, in a leadership position I became aware of the bigger picture of buildings and grounds, and came to understand more of the meaning of responsibility and the feelings it engendered in me. I feel so much more the commitment I made to the goals not only of buildings and grounds but to PUUC as a community.

This past Saturday morning, the 10th, I also realized the value of group work on a different level.

I would have preferred we all work together at the same task, but we had to split off to accomplish more than just attending to the most necessary tasks. Nevertheless, I completely felt supported by and in relationship with others as I attended to tasks by myself. I would even dare say that if I had stayed at home, I would surely have found some excuse to postpone those same tasks I'd have to get done sooner or later.

As I went about doing my tasks, I would catch glimpses of others, working alone or in small groups, attending to their chosen tasks and it brought me feelings of joy and gratefulness.

It is clear to me that these feelings were not egoic feelings or some kind of sentimental state.
These feelings are the inner experience of being part of something greater, a kind of subtle impression of “we are one," and “I am that."

I found that it is akin to what you experience when you do extended periods of group meditation (intensives) in the sense that the group changes, supports, enhance the personal experience because of shared intentions and goals.

I am clear that each and everyone there on Saturday had an impact not only on the grounds but on me as well on that day.

It may be that it is as simple as that I just simply enjoyed everyone’s company, and I did, but I like to think it went beyond that.

I would like to extend an invitation to all who can, to join us on second and fourth Saturday of the months to engage in intentional ground work and see if you can find something or someway to contribute to the effort.

In Consciousness and Faith,
Pierre Fraser
B&G Chairperson.

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