I have been thinking of Centipedes and their hundred feet as I have struggled to take the next step towards opening this website. Already a division of labour is emerging between Rev. Alicia and I. Since I’ve been involved with writing for the Internet and running a website for some years I’ve tended to tinker with the website and newsletter configurations. But it’s not been my job exclusively. There have been moments of joyous satisfaction, such as successfully placing the OBC logo at the bottom of this page. With help. Moments of surprise as the contact form almost miraculously became live and functional up there on the top navigation tabs. Oh yes, and there have been the long hours configuring the newsletter using the wonderful free service called Mail Chimp. Sometimes the Centipede has become destabilised as I’ve attempted to do too many things all at the same time!
Alicia: Must admit I’m on a learning curve with the communication media side of things, so I am very glad that Rev. Mugo is more au fait with all that. And I just have to plunge in and have a go – I’m currently working on registering with an online donation service so we can have one of those wonderful ‘Donate Now’ buttons on the website.
There have been so many tiny steps and taking them in the right sequence is critical to moving forward! A Centipede must have a rhythm to its walking forward and I expect we will find our rhythm for writing weekly posts and getting out the monthly newsletter published on time. Our basic commitment right at this moment is to make a regular offering via Field of Merit. That’s to inform, inspire and encourage readers to keep walking as we are. You will see how things are developing in practical terms such as how we intend to raise funds, you will look in on our pondering on daily life practice, the Precepts, compassion. And the encouragement? Well perhaps if you see two people hurling themselves at a seemingly impossible task with nothing much more than faith and a wish to offer something worthwhile you might follow through on doing the seeming impossible in your life!
Alicia: And isn’t there a story about a centipede who was asked how he walked with all those legs, and when he tried to think about it he was so discombobulated that he couldn’t move. Some things need thinking about and paying attention to, but other things you just trust and move forward. If I think about how to get from here (nothing) to there (flourishing retreat centre) I just stall. But if I point myself in a direction and trust that I can walk, and also trust in the universe to adjust my trajectory when needed (and trust my willingness to be adjusted), I can do it.
I researched the Centipede on Wikipedia and find that while its name means one hundred feet they can have anything from 20 to 300 of them! Those Centipedes are different in capacity, as are we. Does having more feet mean walking further, faster? Or not. Can two people together achieve more faster than one person? Who knows how that pans out in practice. One thing is sure, good coordination and communication is crucial if a forward movement is to be maintained.
Alicia: The Zen tradition puts a lot of emphasis on training with others because it is in the living and working together, practising communication and cooperation, that we can see the self in operation and get a chance to work through our fears and insecurities, our grasping and rejecting. And one also benefits from the encouragement, support and friendship of others who are practising the same thing. Companions on the Way. That is you, and I look forward to walking with you!
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