In my previous article, I mentioned a concern that I share with many in our community. We are all concerned with our sense of security, both public and personal, but we may disagree fundamentally with how to react to the various factors that we feel contribute to this concern. What is even more disturbing is the fact that disagreement between individuals is often expressed in a way which is demeaning, insulting or sarcastic. At a time when it is vitally important to increase our understanding of the problems that beset us; to recognize the ways in which issues can be nuanced or seen from more than just one point of view, communication is breaking down. It is for this and other reasons that the Beth Ami Social Action Committee and I have developed a program which, we believe, addresses this concern. We are calling this program “Compassionate Conversations”.

Why should I come to the Compassionate Conversations?

Here at Beth Ami we hope to offer an opportunity to talk about our thoughts and feelings in safe and non-judgmental gatherings. We will share, heart to heart, about ourselves and our reactions to the dramatic changes in our country. We will listen in new ways that may help to relieve the burdens we carry and as a community we can support each other with caring, uninterrupted listening.

Our meetings will be based on principles of compassionate listening with an open heart. It will not be a time for finding solutions or problem solving, but rather a time to talk about thoughts and feelings and to experience growth and support through deep sharing. Each session will have a focus to consider, such as “Balance” or “Forgiveness”. We will share thought provoking readings and activities. In this safe environment we hope that by practicing and developing the skill of really speaking from our hearts that we will find strength and wisdom.

Our first gathering will be here at Beth Ami on Sunday, April 23 from 3:30 to 5:00. The focus of this meeting will be “Listening “. The sessions are based on a program developed by the Unitarian Fellowship of Albuquerque and the book Heart to Heart by Christine Robinson and Alicia Hawkins.

We encourage anyone to join us to learn and experience community in a safe environment.

If you have any questions please call or email (707) 526-7438 or Rabbi Miller at (707) 889-6905