Dharma Topic: Unconditional Love

Dharma Topic: Unconditional Love

Discussion date: Thu, Feb 09, 2006 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

This Thursday Evening, after our meditation period, membersof the Still Water community will have the opportunity to develop our UnconditionalLove. The program will be facilitated by Al Lingo, the Director ofthe Mindfulness Practice Center of Atlanta, Georgia.

Al learned about love and acceptance from Edith Stauffer,who in her book, “Unconditional Love and Forgiveness,” introduced herreaders to the Essene Code of Conduct. As explained by Al, unconditional loveis:

Love for self, others, the Source, and inanimate objectswhich is given without demand, expectations, or conditions as a requisite forreceiving the love.

The process of cancelling our expectation is the subject ofan except from Stauffer’s book which follows this note.

The best times to join us on this Thursday evening are:

  • Just before the first sitting at 7 pm;

  • At 7:25, at the beginning of walking meditation; or,

  • At 7:35, at the beginning of the second sitting.

I also wish to pass on several community updates:

  • Paul Flippin requests:
    Please send out your collective spiritual voices to my brother Wilton Randolph Flippin Jr. (Rendi) who transcended on to the after life on Jan. 27th. He lived in St. Thomas, VI, was a free spirit, was loved by many and had a love for humanity. He was 58. Again, send him some of them good voices we produce every week. He will hear!

  • Settling Into Silence, our first Still Water MPC Silent Retreat, will take place on February 24-26 at the Charter Hall Retreat Center near Perryville, Maryland. More information is available on our website under “Upcoming Events.” We are beginning to finalize arrangements, so if you have been thinking about attending and have not yet told anyone, please contact Lynda Martin-McCormick, the registrar (lyndamm@verizon.net).

  • Blessings tea for Sandy and Rita (and their soon to be arriving babies): March 4. RSVP to Mitchell at Mitchell@StillWaterMPC.org.

  • First Still Water Spiritual Cinema, March 10. See website and RSVP to Annie at annie@buddingyogis.com.

Additionally, there are two events of interest outside theStill Water community.

  • If you would like to learn more about Unconditional Love and Forgiveness, Al Lingo will be given a workshop in Washington this week-end, Feb 10-12, for the Emergence Community Arts Collective. For information go to http://ecacollective.org/images/UL&F_ecac.pdf

  • The Mindfulness Practice Center of Fairfax is offering a weekend retreat at the Claymount Court Retreat Center on February 17-19. For more information go to http://crpcv.org/mpcf/Retreat-2006-February.html.

Warm wishes,

Mitchell Ratner
Senior Teacher


From Unconditional Love and Forgiveness by Edith R.Stauffer
(Diamond Springs, CA: Triangle Publshers, 1987).

The concept of forgiveness . . . comes directly from theEssene Code of Conduct. Studying this formula carefully will help you forgiveall those who offend you-even yourself?

The Code states:

To forgive is to cancel all demands, conditions, and expectations held in your mind that block the Attitude of Love; that is to say, to cancel the conditions, demands, and expectations which prevent the mind from maintaining the Attitude of Love.

The Aramaic word for forgive is “cancel.” What isto be cancelled by an act of forgiveness? Answer: that factor in our mind whichblocks love. Forgiving is both mental and spiritual-it involves the will and themind. It does not depend on any external circumstances. The expectation, demand,or condition is cancelled in our own mind. Therefore, forgiveness requires thatwe be aware of the error of withdrawing love from another. There must be awillingness to correct this error in order to restore inner harmony. Requiringanother to do certain things-“he ought to do this;” “she shoulddo that”-in order to receive our love is conditional love and is in erroraccording to the Essene Code of Conduct.

Cancelling is not the same as pardoning, condoning, orapproving. It does not wipe out the wrong of another. We cannot cancel another’saction or another’s error. Forgetting or clearing the memory of the wrong is notcancelling. Cancelling is the dropping or removing of the requirement that theother person perform in any certain way in order to be loved.

Forgiveness is a natural, normal process when we hold theattitude of unconditional love. Unconditional love and forgiveness fit like handand glove. We cannot have unconditional love and be unforgiving. Forgiveness iscontingent upon a loving, totally accepting attitude.

in: Dharma Topics
Discussion Date: Thu, Feb 09, 2006


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