Lake Wauconda and Gumbo YaYa

There is a lake, and a town in northeastern Illinois named, Wauconda. So, before I saw the comic book and now the movie fictional country of Wakanda, my first reaction to hearing that name was, “they made a movie about Lake Wauconda?”
Don’t read comic books anymore, haven’t for a long, long time. So, the whole realm of Black Panther, and Wakanda, and mysterious space elements, and such was unknown to me.
Our family would go to Lake Wauconda in the summers, to spend a day messing about in water, to cool off, and for, “family time.” Nice place, a bit crowded, and as I recall we stopped going when the number of black folk, “got too much,” for my parents.
Like all Americans, I was raised with racism. Like a growing number of Americans, I learned a long time ago that it sucked. It took years to unlearn racism, and to learn to be an ally to people of color.
Not patting myself on the back for that. It’s just that I learned the hard way to be a better person, a decent human being, and to actively set aside privilege in order to try in any little way possible to make the world a better place for all of humanity.
Looking forward to finally get to see, “Black Panther.” As time goes on, it’s harder to avoid spoilers. We plan to see it in the few days. It’s running for three weeks here in our little mountain town, and we’re fortunate to have an affordable theater to watch first-run films here.
I’ve seen the news about people around the world getting tremendously excited and inspired by, “Black Panther.” My hopes are that this is more than just a, “black superhero movie.” My hopes are that more and more young people of color take up their cameras, write their stories, and film tales that show the world their lived truth, their actual experiences. Yes, this has been happening. We humans need more.
And, while I am very much aware of the realities of intersectionality, today I’m sticking with racism and how the myriad cracks in the wall of race-based bigotry keep widening even as the edifice of racism appears stronger than ever. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” said Mr. Lincoln. Today, we see just how fragile is our increasingly divided society and nation. Perhaps it does need to come crashing down so we can continue to build a healthier, human-based, earth-based, spirit-centered society that embraces every bit of its diversity, its intersectionality, its, “gumbo yaya,” reality.
Luccia Jalila Malika
Silver City, New Mexico
Feb. 22, 2018
-Gumbo yaya: a term used by a study group in my first doctoral program to describe a society in which there are many different ingredients, or types of people, but it is no homogenous. Each difference adds to the complexity and flavor. Each difference enhances the whole. This was offered by them vis-a-vis the, “melting pot,” that American society used to cherish; with everyone coming here from elsewhere losing their heritage to embrace a sameness. We are a gumbo yaya culture, and this is our strength, our beauty, and our future.
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Rebirth, Renewal, Renovation, n’ Stuff

Welcome, or welcome back to the online home of blog posts, commentary, original content, and other such information created by Luccia Jalila Malika Rogers. This site is dedicated to opinion, fact-based-facts and discussion of them, speculation, humor, thought, and supporting the activities of Rev. Dr. Rogers in her areas of specialization and passion: Spirituality, Coffee, and Social and Cultural Anthropology.

Part of my process has led me to greatly cut back on involvement in social media, especially Facebook. The design of social media sites is based upon manipulation of the human, “crave/reward,” cycle. Each click, share, like, etc., triggers a tiny endorphin release, making the use of social media an addictive experience. It is subtle, but powerful, and not desirable for this person, who has spent 26 years striving to overcome drug and alcohol addiction, and her own addictive personality.

So, articles, blog posts, and course material will be created and shared here, and shared on Facebook and LinkedIn as one has an established presence on those sites. But, they will be shared without Comments. Discussion can take place here, articles may be shared, but my participation will be limited to activity on this site.

Subjects planned for upcoming articles include:

Coffee roasting techniques and the effects on aroma and flavor

Coffee brewing techniques and the effects on aroma and flavor

Engaged spirituality

Deepening understanding of the ongoing ending of patriarchy

“Meditate on the subway,” aka, mediation anytime, anywhere

And so forth.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Blessings and Love,

Jalila Malika

 

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Celebrate Our First Ordination & Graduation!

Heartwing Education is pleased to announce our first Ordination and Graduation Celebration October 4, 2013 at Lost Dutchman State Park, Apache Junction, Arizona.
Stefanie Atchison, Kathryn Ortiz, and Rhonda Jackson will receive their Certificates in Practical Mysticism. Kathryn Ortiz and Rhonda Jackson will be ordained as Interfaith Ministers. The ceremonies will be followed by dinner.
These learners completed the 100-hour Certificate in Practical Mysticism, an intensive course of study including history, culture, religions, cosmology, and various esoteric practices from spiritual and mystical traditions including Shamanism, Kabbalah, Christianity, Sufism, Gnosticism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and others. Learners also engage in transformative coursework in integral and practical spirituality and mysticism which includes a service learning community project. Projects from this class include a community labyrinth located at the Superstition Mountain Campus of Central Arizona College, an Epona-based workshop engaging horses to encounter one’s shadow, and the Global Heart of Love meditation event.
Ortiz and Jackson also completed Heartwing Education’s Ordination Preparation Program for Interfaith Ministers. Coursework included Pastoral & Spiritual Direction, Creating Authentic Ritual, Serving the Community, Service to Various Specialized Groups and Persons, and Homiletics and the Message. A wide variety of lecturers and guest speakers included yoginis, astrologers, sound therapists, South American shamans, non-profit agency founders, various clergy, numerologists, drug and alcohol recovery professionals, and other consultants from a wide range of disciplines.
Certificates will be awarded and the ordinations performed by Heartwing Education Founder and Director Rev. Luccia Rogers, Ph.D. Dr. Luccia authored and facilitated both programs.
For more information, contact Dr. Luccia at heartwing@me.com.

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How may I serve?

How may I serve?

Through this medium, you can see some of what I offer as an educator for informing and deepening your knowledge and awareness. As a minister, I also offer life-event rituals (infant naming/blessing, marriages, end-of-life/transition, funerals, etc.), and serve as an anamchara (soul-friend) for spiritual direction/counseling.

How may I serve?

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Why Atheists are Forming “Churches”

(Adapted from my comment this morning on a LinkedIn group)

(Regarding the movement among atheists to form weekly gatherings that look and sound surprisingly like church)

First, they don’t call it worshipping as they worship nothing such as a deity or dogma. But, they are human and part of our DNA is the urge or need to be social with one another. People like to gather with those who share their likes and dislikes and activities and atheists are no different.

Culturally, most of us share the experience of gathering at a specific time and specific place on a regular, such as weekly basis to share stories, music, focused intention, mutual support, and guidance. Atheists share this cultural experience, so why wouldn’t they seek to meet this social/cultural/biological need in a manner that is familiar to them?

I was a co-founder of a spiritual community that first identified as a church, but moved away from using that word as it now carries far too much negative baggage. The form was recognizable, though as each week’s gathering had a consistent, but flexible agenda and provided the space for people to share their spiritual paths with one another.

As was earlier mentioned, many people today are losing trust in the traditions of the past for many reasons. Yet, as social creatures we all want and need to gather to share what’s important to us. In the past, churches, mosques, temples, etc., filled this need. However, these places have too often become symbols of intolerance, hatred, political power, and bigotry and do not represent gatherings of empowered, intelligent, people of equality but are places at which people are told what to think, what to believe, who to hate, who to love, who to vote for … If people are leaving the church or mosque or temple, it is perhaps time to consider whether the people are the servants of such places or such places are the servants of the people.

This is the ongoing question of the age begun with the teachings of Jesus ben Joseph. Is the individual soul/heart/being superior to the state/religion/corporation or is the individual subservient to mass organizations and dogmas?

One of the great promises of an interfaith approach to religions is that we find that the individual’s relationship with what they experience as sacred seems pretty much the same when we cut away the cultural practices such as religions. By finding ways to connect with one another at that place of sacredness, our individual and collective humanity increases and our differences become cherished for their variety and not feared for their, ‘otherness’.

As the Sufi saint Inayat Khan wrote, “Raise us above the distinctions and differences which divide us.” A timeless prayer that rings with, “that certain truth,” today, in my opinion.

Blessings, all.

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We are all Trayvon, We are all George

Dear ones,

One may only speak for oneself and offers this in response to a posting in a mail group about the silence surrounding the Not Guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial. Shock can silence us until it passes. Even though the verdict of not guilty was not fully unexpected, the reality of it and the meaning of it, respectively is still hard to believe and hard to discern.

We are all Trayvon Martin. We are all George Zimmerman. The former is no doubt easier to imagine as everyone has experienced feelings of powerlessness or fear or dread. The latter may well cause one to recoil in horror. Yet, the differences between good and bad we know are a false dichotomy, a product of accepting the limits of duality, limits teachers, sages, and prophets have told us for millennia are false as the universe is one, complete, whole entity of which we are an integral, unified part.

However, as we live in this world of duality, we find there are actions that grab at our hearts and pull us toward reactions of lower vibration. Injustice, death, illness, war … such things remind us that while we walk a path of heart, of peace, of love, and of unity we are indeed all one and harm to others can be perceived as harm to ourselves. It truth, harm to others is harm to ourselves.

Hzt. Inayat Khan wrote, and one paraphrases, that the mystic, the Sufi is at the crossroads of the horizontal realm, the physical world, and the vertical realm, the spiritual world and that what occurs in one affects the other. This can been seen in the various manifestations of the Sufi messages such as Ziraat, the Universal Worship, the DHO, etc. An imbalance or injustice perceived by one walking this path on the horizontal thus is motivated by the spiritual to seek to bring about healing, justice, or balance. Actions taken in the physical realm then inform one’s spiritual growth.

So, the recent verdict of not guilty for Mr. Zimmerman can deeply affect us as it reveals social and cultural imbalances that all of us possess and are included as part of the work of polishing our hearts, and remembering our essential unity and oneness. What to do, however, will vary from person to person. Some may want to take to the streets to join the crowds that thus far are showing hurt and disbelief. Some may want to redouble their efforts to bring awareness of race and gun violence to their communities. Some may also feel led to focus upon their own places of shadow, to increase the reflectivity of the heart to increase their own vibration and the vibration of the world around them. Some may feel led to do nothing.

As with all events and changes in our world, the response of each of us is exactly right for each of us. One feels led to continue to be an ally to people of color, to seek to increase one’s openness to the Light, and to pray for greater awareness in one’s society of the deep wounds of race and violence. One knows one may only truly change oneself, but one is also aware that this may result in actions taken in concert with others, in public, in the horizontal or physical realm, but this will not be known until the work within takes place.

A few thoughts which one hopes contributes to whatever conversation may occur.

Blessings, dear ones.
Luccia Jalila

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Must we be sad as we age?

An intriguing question came up in an online group today and I found there was much to be said. The question and my response follows:

What helps sustain faith and optimism in the world we are living in today. Do older Americans seem less happy than their global counterparts?

 I find this is not the case. It certainly may have been, but as the Baby Boomers now find ourselves in the second half of life, there isn’t the widespread doom and gloom that I do see among our parents who have been the second-half-of-life population for so long. This observation is borne out of actual observation of my neighbors and friends. 

Here in the Valley of the Sun (metro Phoenix) so much real estate has been devoted to, “age-controlled,” or, “active adult,” communities. In the past few years, many have had difficulty attracting new retirees for many reasons. First of all, people who are still actively employed or who are busy enjoying a full life with better health than their parents at the same age just aren’t interested in surrounding themselves with people who are so afraid of children or younger people that they lock themselves away from them. Secondly, when one is still able to easily access the wider world around them, a weekly bus trip to a casino just doesn’t appeal. Third, a generation whose socialization wasn’t built around cocktail hour doesn’t spend so much money on alcohol. This last point is borne out by the seasonal marketing in this area which sees store displays of alcohol moved up to the front door during, “Snowbird Season,” aka Fall and Winter. 

As far as this world in which we live today goes, we helped create it. Why are larger numbers of, “older Americans,” supportive of such social changes as marriage equality, and are surprisingly comfortable with the proliferation of technology? Simple demographics. A generation that questioned everything, stood for changes in the status quo, and rather consistently worked to create greater fairness and openness in society is now taking the place of the generation that was comfortable with the racial, sexual, and religious inequalities that made up that status quo. 

So, what is there to be unhappy about? Much, but it is also being addressed by young people and that is how it should be. Income, wealth, and political inequality has seen the birth of movements around the planet that may start with the young, but gain the support of elders (the recent, “line of mothers,” in Turkey, for example). 

The only constant in the universe is change. This particular generation of people in the, “second half of life,” has reached this time by embracing change instead of becoming afraid of it. However, those in the last quarter of life may well find contemporary life to be fear- and sadness-inducing. After all, the changes they feared that came with the 1960s and 70s have continued to expand. 

Optimism is a choice. This very concept was not one with which I was raised. However, moving through life showed me that each day is a gift to be savored and enjoyed. The plan was to, “live fast, die young, leave a beautiful corpse.” But, like so many of us in the, “second half,” I found sobriety and suddenly I wasn’t going to die young, at least not by anything drug- or alcohol-related. Eventually, optimism became a foundation, not an abstract idea. 

A strong and healthy spiritual path also became a foundation of life. Leaving behind the fear-based teachings of the church in which I was raised also helped me move toward a happier and positive outlook. 

Considering all this, what is there to be unhappy about?

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