Welcome to our new study year! Beginning on Sunday, October 1, 2017, the Phoenix Study Group of the Theosophical Society will be studying Karma. See the information below and mark your calendars!
Theosophical Society Phoenix Study Group
August 4, 2017 Newsletter e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
News of the Phoenix Study Group:
Advanced Notice of Special Guest & Public Meeting:
Lucky us! We’ve booked Richard Smoley to come to the Valley. Richard is prolific author and editor of the Quest magazine. He will be speaking to members on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Peltons, who are always gracious enough to host this annual event, and giving a public lecture on Sunday, Feb. 18 at New Vision Center for Spiritual Living. He will give his talk based on his book, The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe. You won’t want to miss this great talk. His book by the same title will be available to us in advance so that we can begin studying it on our first meeting in January. Richard will be sending 10 books to us in advance – the price is $15. Please call Clare if you’d like a copy. 602-751-2086 or e-mail email@example.com. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
We’ve had a quiet summer so far but we’re now getting busy with planning for the Fall Quarter of our Phoenix Study Group. Sherry and Clare have been getting things set up for the class. The following is some information that you might like to put on your calendar:
FALL QUARTER: Bi-monthly Classes Begin October 1 – December 17: First and third Sundays each month beginning at 1:30 until 3:15 – Meetings held at New Vision Center for Spiritual Living, 18010 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix, unless otherwise indicated.
Class Topic: The Universal Law of Cause & Effect: Karma
Text: We will be using several papers from the National Lodge that they produced in their year-long study, each paper by a different author covering various aspects of Karma.
Meeting Place: New Vision Center for Spiritual Living, 18010 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix (Between Bell and Union Hills on the West side of the street)
Cost: Free for Members who belong to the National Theosophical Society; for non-members meetings are $10. All Are Welcome to attend!!
October 1: The Law of Karma – Study Paper # 7 a TS paper (facilitated by Clare Goldsberry) NOTE: First Meeting is FREE for non-members!
October 15: Cyclic Evolution & Karma by H.P. Blavatsky (National Lodge) (facilitated by Sherry Pelton)
November 5: Karma & Social Improvement by Annie Besant (National Lodge)
November 19: Public Lecture – “There is No Religion Higher than Truth” by Clare Goldsberry – Looking at this deeply important statement by H.P. Blavatsky and what it means for us in our search for Truth.
December 3: Karma & Free Will by Arthur Jacoby & Free Will & Karma by William Kingsland (National Lodge)
December 17: Comments on Karma by Charles W. Leadbeater (National Lodge)
Winter Solstice Celebration – After a brief class time to wrap up our Quarter studying Karma, we’ll have a beautiful Winter Solstice Celebration followed by wonderful holiday goodies. This event will be graciously hosted by the Peltons at their home, as they do every year for this special time.
What is karma and why should we care about this concept as we travel the spiritual path? I’ve had some people say to me that they don’t believe in karma, which is kind of like saying “I don’t believe in gravity.” Gravity just IS! It’s a part of the universe; it’s what holds planets in their orbits around the sun and what keeps us “grounded” to earth so to speak. It’s a combination of a push and a pull, but the fact is that gravity exists even if people refuse to believe in gravity.
Karma is much like that. It is a Universal Law that is always in force whether or not we believe in it. Every day, through all of our actions of body, speech and mind, we are engaging karma, which simply means “action.” There really isn’t any “bad” karma or “good” karma. Karma isn’t as simple as we might think it is. In fact, there are a lot of complexities when dealing with the topic of karma. In fact, Judy Lief, a Buddhist teacher and editor of many of Chogyam Trungpa’s books, said in answer to a reader’s question in Lion’s Roar (March 2017), “Karma is actually an intricate web of interconnection among all beings – in fact, all phenomena. It’s the impersonal play of cause and effect, which is ongoing, inexorable, and completely dispassionate.”
And like gravity, Lief reminds us that the “reality of karma cannot be escaped.” Everything we do – and I might add, say and even think – has consequences or effects of those actions or causes. That is why karma is often called the Law of Cause and Effect. We are each responsible for our actions and for the resulting consequences.
As Judy Lief notes in her article, “Karma isn’t based on blame and punishment, and it’s not fatalistic. By understanding karma, we can free ourselves from its entrapment. We can find a way forward that’s grounded in the reality of our personal situation.”
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