Fall 2019 Small Group Discussion Guide
Many of you have been involved with our fall and winter book studies and some of you have permanent groups that meet regularly throughout the year. To you, the main difference is that this fall we will be using videos instead of a book to spark the discussions. The theme of the videos is our declaration of who we are:
“We are a spiritual community, awakening to our divine nature through love, service and personal transformation.”
So our topics for the 4 weeks will be:
4. Personal Transformation
For those of you who are new to these discussion groups, let me give you a brief outline of a way to organize the discussion. After everyone has gathered in comfortable seating and tea has been made or not made, consider having a brief prayer, a short meditation, and/or a sacred reading. I am hoping that most people will have seen the video for the week ahead of time, but with most of them being in the 20 minute range, it is possible you may watch it together. Let the discussion begin organically or start with the questions in this guide. Please participate in the discussion, and yet please do not hog the air time. One of my hopes is that these discussion will not only deepen our understanding , but build connections between us. Honesty, acceptance and vulnerability are hallmarks to a meaningful group discussion. I hope you meet friends for life in your group.
Week 1: We begin with exploring ideas about expanding community
In this entertaining video Pastor John Gray invites us to bridge differences to expand our love and community.
Questions: Who is it that you are not accepting now? What is the cost? What do you think about taking our own point of view more lightly? With all the “political correctness” in play today, what role do you think shame played in the last election?
Always a favorite, Brene Brown discusses how to trust and be trustworthy. She coins the acronym “braving.”
Questions: Do you find people easy or hard to trust? What allows you to trust somebody? What makes you trustworthy? Where are you not as trustworthy as you would like?
Week 2. We will be exploring self-love this week
This is audio only. Ram Das is talking about “self-acceptance” as the basis for self love.
Questions: What is the source of not accepting yourself. Can you remember when you decided to not accept yourself. How has that decision affected your life?
This is audio only. Ram Das is talking about your perfection and enlightenment at this moment.
Questions: Do you sense the picture he is painting is true, when we are beyond time that all your lives are existing at the same time? Can you sense or feel your awakened state right now?
In this video Teal Swan proposes a practice of asking, “What would a person who loves themself do in this situation?”
Questions: Does this practice sound challenging to you? Could you try it for at least a week?
Week 3. This week we are exploring service
In this video Oprah Winfree addresses the graduating class of Spellman College. One of her three must do’s is service. Her speech is so Unity, I hope you don’t mind that this is not just about service.
Questions: Where in your life do you feel like you are doing the best service to others? When you are doing that service, and what is your intention? How have you learned to make your service significant? How does your service reflect the statement “you are a child of God”?
Week 4. This week we explore personal transformation
This video has Joe Dispenza explaining how to transform yourself by leaving the past and creating a new future. He talks about meditation, having a vision, living in the present, and managing your thoughts. While this is a longer video, you might be able to listen to it at a faster speed if you are short on time. (Speed is found in Settings in the bottom right of the screen -the Settings symbol looks like a sprocket)
Questions: Even without attending a workshop, do you have examples of transformation by yourself or in your circle of acquaintances? How does one escape repeating the same thoughts over each day? Do you have a vision for your life? Have you ever tried Joe’s suggestion for meditation, becoming aware of the darkness behind your closed eyes? How might you take the next step in creating yourself the way you want to be?