Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I have to be on my way to the airport to catch a 6am flight to Salt Lake City as I’m going to volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival for the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been working a lot and really enjoyed recruiting at the libraries and at the League of Women Voters where I met some very active, smart women. We had a talk by our local state Senator Laura Fine about the juvenile prison system in Germany. 

Perhaps even bigger news is that the Executive Director at the library where I worked is no longer there. It’s quite vague, but here’s a news article.

Finally, I thoroughly enjoyed Greta Garbo in Queen Christina. Such gravitas.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I tried Balinese Gong Meditation, which was definitely different, and I was mesmerized by Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire. 

For the last day of the official Christmas season, I went to mass at another church from the list of the “Eleven Churches Not to Miss When You Visit  Chicago” I attended mass at St. John Cantius and stopped in to take some photos of St. Stanislaus Koska, which is also featured in this article. I’m still blown away by both churches.

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St. John Cantius

Christmas actually lasts until the Sunday following January 6th. The reading is about Jesus entering public life.

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St. Stanislaus Koska, Chicago

I’m half way through a “cosy mystery” called Duck the Halls. I’m not that impressed as I’m on page 80 and so far there’s no real mystery. I think I can guess who’ll get murdered, but let’s get on with it.

Balinese Gong Meditation

Last week I attended a program at my library on Balinese Gong Meditation. Though I lived in Indonesia and went to Bali several times, I knew nothing about this.

The presenter briefly spoke about how sound healing was becoming better known for its effectiveness and how she’s been using gongs from Bali for a few years at various retreats and library programs. She explained that the gong’s sounds often “bring up” a lot of toxins and emotions.

The lights were dimmed and we were urged to get comfortable. I closed my eyes, but I don’t think that was necessary. The “gongist” began by striking the gong to get deep, long tones, which was rather pleasant to hear. After an interval, she’d make a series of quicker higher pitched sounds. These made me feel like someone was chasing me.  She alternated between these kinds of sounds. The quick sounds always made me a little nervous, while the deep, slow ones calmed me. Perhaps that was the point.

She played for about 40 minutes and some people fell asleep which was fine. The leader did say that 40 minutes of listening to gongs was like 4 hours of sleep as far as relaxation goes. Hmm.

In the end, I thought it was fun to explore this kind of meditation, but yoga or meditation by repeating a mantra was more my style. I tried to find a picture of the sort of gong she used, but no Balinese gong looked like hers. This is in line with my memory of what I’d seen in Bali. It was fun to try, but I’m glad I didn’t pay for the experience.