Sunday, September 15, 2013

Parting Ways with the MTP

 The letter I sent to my MTP community tonight:
To my kind, wise instructors and classmates in this MTP adventure, I offer sincere gratitude and appreciation for the short time we have traveled alongside each other. It has become clear to me that my priest/ess training with a coven in my area must be the focus of my attentions for the next couple of years, and so I am hopping out of this alchemical broth we have shared with such open hearts. I hope that I have contributed a bit of zest to the flavor.
Bright blessings to Jyoti for holding space for this work and for showing by your actions and words how to be a loving witness and a graceful facilitator in the world. Big, shimmering thanks to my mentor, Marisa, for her cheerful reflections as I've wandered and pondered the many lessons and practices in which we've delved. An especially warm embrace for Mary, a sort of superhero in my eyes, who keeps things rolling with such heart and spirit. Thanks also to Erin, my BigSibling. We never did make a connection yet, so perhaps a starry future holds a possibility that we may enjoy together.
I have been and will continue to offer prayers daily for the entire CSS community, that our hearts continue to open to the unconditional love and compassion that flows so generously through this beautiful universe. This is not as much of a goodbye as it is an au revoir.
Namaste and Blessed Be, Jaina Bee

Friday, September 6, 2013

Reflection Paper #4: Re-re-re-evaluating

In the past few weeks, I have been considering dropping the MTP program. I wrote the following letter to the registrar, and realized it also served as my "Reflection Paper" for August.

I am writing to you to let you know I've been seriously questioning whether it is beneficial for me to continue with my participation in the MTP program. I haven't discussed this with my mentor, big sibling or any other MTP or CSS folks yet, though I have a call with my mentor on Wednesday, and will certainly discuss it with her.
     My chief issue seems to be a certain psychic space and energy I cannot spare for this program and my fellow classmates while I am in deep training with my coven in the Bay Area. I know it is early in the MTP, yet I do not feel any significant connection with the community. I participate on an active listserv with the 30+ ordains of CAYA coven, plus five Initiates and another listserv with the ten Aspirants. When several of my MTP classmates recently shared about emotionally intense events in their lives, I realized I do not have the bandwidth at this time to open my energies to another large community, especially one that is almost entirely "virtual." Neither group would benefit from this, and I would end up feeling stretched out, drained and cranky.
     I thought of deferring or auditing, and I haven't entirely ruled those out yet. However, I am not convinced this remote, online, virtual style of training works for me at all. Especially with a class of 40 or so, where there are many classmates I never hear from. I spoke with Susie T, class of 2012, about this aspect. She said, "as an introvert, that characteristic did not bother me." I am learning a lot about what works for me and what doesn't. Apparently, I am more of a kinesthetic learner than I thought, and I am grateful to realize this now.
    Other notes, while I'm mulling it over; the instructors have been amazing, and the Grandmothers Corner is a treasure. I haven't been very impressed by the reading materials so far. And I confess I haven't incorporated much of the "assigned" practices into my own, as my daily practice is already filled with CAYA coven prayers and rituals.
     I'm chagrinned to admit this, especially after you so kindly called me a "model student." Perhaps a model student is one that discerns one's motives and intentions honestly, and makes sacrifices in order to devote one's energies in a responsible way. I feel like a greedy child who had a toy in her arms and saw another and wanted to grab it, too. ;) (Except that I do not in any way consider either MTP or my coven "toys." But that's the image that came to mind)

     And I suppose this IS my reflection paper. :)
With deep appreciation and love, Jaina Bee

Module 4: Walking Your Prayer

Instructor: Ryan Brandenburg

Grandmother: Flordemayo

Required Reading:  The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz