Summaries of Previous Talks
The Science of Mind and Spirit provides tools and inspiration for living a fulfilled and empowered life. This teaching is a compilation of the best of spiritual teachings, science, and philosophy applied to human needs and aspirations. We are part of a movement known as New Thought and Ancient Wisdom.
Listed below are links to the talk titles, arranged by month and date. The theme of each month’s talks is also provided.
August: Monthly Thought – Spiritual Mind Treatment – The Form
- August 19, 2018 – Simple Acceptance (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- August 12, 2018 – Affirmations and Denials (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- August 5, 2018 – The Power of Prayer (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- July 29, 2018 – Thriving Through Uncertainty (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- July 22, 2018 – The Safe Path is Never About Staying Safe (speaker – Shamanic Healer, John Rozenberg)
- July 15, 2018 – You Must Listen to Spirit (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- July 8, 2018 – You Can’t Plan an Inspired Life (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- July 1, 2018 – Who You Think You Are is a Belief to be Undone (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- June 24, 2018 – Power and Faith (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- June 17, 2018 – Divine Masculine & Divine Feminine (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- June 10, 2018 – Beyond Happiness (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- June 3, 2018 – God’s Will (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- May 27, 2018 – Surprise! Transcending Facts, Revealing Truth (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- May 20, 2018 – Partnering with Your Chief Spiritual Officer for Success and Freedom (Guest Speaker – May McCarthy)
- May 13, 2018 – The Sequence of the Creative Order (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- May 6, 2018 – How Deep is Your Well? (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- April 29, 2018 – Building Your Tomorrow Today (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- April 22, 2018 – How Old Are You? (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- April 15, 2018 – God Talks to the Heart (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- April 8, 2018 – The Individual and the Universal (speaker – Dr. Rev. Kenn Gordon)
- April 1, 2018 – Easter (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- March 25, 2018 – Manifesting the “Great Big Things” (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- March 18, 2018 – Creating from Invisible Principle (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- March 11, 2018 – Words Create Worlds (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- March 4, 2018 – Infinite With the Infinite (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- February 25, 2018 – Stories of Transformation (Guest Speakers – Anton Mizerak and Laura Berryhill)
- February 18, 2018 – Karma and Choice (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- February 11, 2018 – Religion, Spirituality, Superstition and Common Sense (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- February 4, 2018 – What is the Science of Mind? (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- January 28, 2018 – How to Use It (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- January 21, 2018 – What It Does (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- January 14, 2018 – The Way It Works (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
- January 7, 2018 – The Thing Itself (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
This year, we celebrate 100 years of Science of Mind, our teaching. This past Sunday, we began with one of my favorite processes – going back to basics. If we are working on strengthening our bodies, the first thing we must do is strengthen our core – and keep it strengthened. As we expand in our ability to live lives we love, it’s good to go back to that core teaching every once in a while. Thus, we begin with Chapter 1 of the Science of Mind textbook – The Thing Itself.
Ernest Holmes wrote this to help us have a direct experience – and often a new experience – of an infinite Presence that was far different than the traditional idea of a god “up there” manipulating us “down here.” “The Thing Itself”, a term borrowed from the Greek philosopher Plotinus, was his way of speaking of this “Thing” that was far greater than more traditional ideas of God. Rather, it was that which exists prior to all sensory perception and from which all sensory perception, all expressions of Life flow. Further, each of us is a center in the Divine Mind, a point of God-conscious life, love, truth, and action, through which the invisible passes into the visible.
Ernest quotes Plotinus: “I do not argue, I contemplate, and as I contemplate, I let fall the seeds of thought into the mirror of mind, which becomes the mirror of matter.” Rather than arguing with or resisting current circumstances – which only adds power to and belief in those circumstances – we contemplate (create a template/mold in connection with the Infinite) that which we do want. The Infinite Substance, without agenda, conforms to our contemplated thought.
The nature of The Thing Itself is one of freedom – not bondage. But, humans are created with individuality, the ability to create. We must discover our power and freedom through the use of thought. The Universe is one of Love – infinite, beyond our comprehension, pure Love – and Law – the cause/effect that what we put out returns to us. Learning to work in harmony with the Law reveals more and more of the Love of the Universe. The Law is impersonal – it acts the same way for all, all the time. It has no agenda, nor plays any favorites.
Our mind is an individualization of the One Mind. We have two aspects – the conscious, choosing mind and the subjective/unconscious mind that moves those choices into form. We have limitless power to create, but we often create out of choices made long ago, without wisdom and set in motion in our subconscious mind. Ernest emphasizes that all this is simple and that we tend to overcomplicate the Universe, and tend to not apply this teaching, just learn about it and go on in our habitual ways.
Our spiritual practices this week:
- 1. Spend time contemplating The Thing Itself. As we contemplate the Highest and best, we align more and more with that.
- 2. Notice what your thinking has created. Take inventory of what’s working well and where you might want to create something new, different, more expanded.
- 3. Pick an area you’d to expand your experience of freedom and contemplate that freedom, let yourself align with and become that person who lives in that freedom.
“When we learn to trust the Universe, we shall be happy, prosperous and well. To learn to think is to learn how to live, for our thoughts go into a medium that is Infinite in Its ability to do and be.” ~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, p.29.5
Have – create – a fabulous week and new year!
January 14, 2018 – The Way It Works (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
Last week we explored The Thing Itself. This week, we look at how It works. If we want to work with electricity, we need to know how it works – not how we want it to work – in order to create results we want. We learn this through observation and experimentation. This is the same way we learn how Spirit – The Thing Itself – works. We’re all still engaged in experimentation. Since experiments don’t always turn out the way we want, we can be gentle with ourselves in this process.
The Infinite Intelligence of the Universe expresses through individualized centers of consciousness – i.e. you and me. Its nature is Good (that’s a Good beyond our human, limited perspective ideas of good/bad) and Life, Peace, Beauty, Power, Intelligence, all extravagantly expressing throughout everything. This One is all there is – only One! There is nothing opposed to it, no power working in a different direction. Only One.
We are always using It – creating conditions we love or don’t love. Conditions we don’t love are created out of ignorance of the Infinite Power of Good that we are. I told the story of sending a document to my printer and getting a message saying “printer not responding.” After rebooting the printer a couple of times, I realized it was the program not functioning correctly. So often, we say life is not responding when, in truth, we’re not sending a signal that Life can “print.”
The Infinite works for us by working through us. Our beliefs set the limit of our demonstration of an unlimited Principle. It’s a question of our receptivity. Think of it as having a massive electrical plant available to me. It’s useless to me if I don’t know it’s there, or if I don’t use it. And, if I do use it, I can send the current through a tiny, thin wire with lots of resistance, or a massive cable with no resistance. How much of The Infinite are we willing to let through?
This week, our threefold practice is:
- 1. Contemplate The Thing Itself. As I contemplate Truth, it shows up in my life.
- 2. Notice any experience of duality or not enough. Identify the underlying belief and begin to align with the Truth of the One Power of Good.
- 3. Choose an area to experience more of Spirit and open to the fullness of Good expressing through you in this area. There’s only One Mind. Ask: “What must I believe and/or belief I must let go of to allow this greater Good to be my experience?”
“God is Universal, and as much good as any individual is able to incorporate into their life is theirs to use. This is what constitutes the Science of Mind and Spirit.” ~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, p. 35
Have a power and love filled week!
January 21, 2018 – What It Does (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
In the third of our four-week revisiting of the Basics of Science of Mind, we look at what It does. We have explored what It is and Its processes. Now we look at how It expresses Its nature – and, on this plane of existence, it’s through us. We are, as Troward said, “centers of divine operation.” And, while we are immersed in an Infinite Intelligence, we can only draw from it what we “draw through the channel of our own minds.”
We can use as much of the Infinite Wisdom, Love, Power, Abundance as we are open to receive. And, our openness is at the level of real belief, not what we wish and hope for. We must align ourselves with the nature of the Infinite which we desire to express.
The Universe has no agenda except freedom of Its expression. Because of this, we are free individuals, free to use this Mind in any way. It doesn’t care. I used the example of the large number of people believing in a set of conditions known as the “end times.” This condition carries with it chaos, the breakdown of human and planetary (and cosmic) systems. It is based on an old prophecy which, in reality, was about the Romans and not about our times. But a massive number of people have held it as our potential reality and so, as the Law must do, it is manifesting. This is why our presence and willingness to stand as beacons of Light and Truth is so important.
We consciously tap into and use this Power by first becoming conscious of the Infinite AND the Good we want to manifest. This is different than, like many, focusing on what I don’t want or “problem solving.” We must have a clear picture of what we actually DO want. Then, we take time to be receptive to the Infinite Intelligence. It has a higher idea of how to manifest this Good than we do. Tap into It! Then, we boldly claim that Good as ours now. Finally, with gratitude and faith we release it into the Law – the creative process of the One Mind.
A painter can sit with the best paints and brushes and have the most perfect canvas on which to work. But, until she picks up the brush, mixes the colors and paints what she’s inspired to paint, nothing happens. We have a beautiful mind, perfect Law and a wonderful Life in which to paint. Let us do so. And trust, just as when the painter mixes red and yellow, she doesn’t hope it will make orange, she knows it will – every time because that is the law of color and pigment. We must know that these tools and this One Mind are constantly and consistently at work for us always.
- 1. Once again, spend time contemplating the Infinite One. Deepen your relationship with It.
- 2. Look at your life and ask – how receptive am I, based on results, to the Infinite Potential of the Universe? How much Good am I letting in?
- 3. Direct the energy of the Universe by vividly creating an image of yourself aligned with that Good. And, have fun and play with this process.
“Here and now, we are surrounded by, and immersed in, an Infinite Good. How much of this Infinite Good is ours? ALL OF IT! And how much of It may we have to use? AS MUCH OF IT AS WE CAN EMBODY.”
~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, p. 50.2
Have a joyous and powerful week. Let your Light shine!
January 28, 2018 – How to Use It (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
After looking at what It is, how It works and what It does, today we explore how to use It. Unless we actually USE the Law, USE the Infinite Presence that seeks to express Itself as us, it’s of no help in our lives. And, since we are ALWAYS using this Infinite Power – consciously or unconsciously – we might as well direct it with wisdom and consciousness. This is what Jesus meant in the Gospel of Thomas when he said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” The Infinite Presence within creates through us. As we align with Its nature of Harmony, we live fulfilled lives in every way.
To use It, we must understand that the Infinite Presence corresponds to who we ARE, rather than what we want. It co-responds to our true beliefs, not our whims or wishes. And, we must understand that the forms created through this Power are fluid. “It is forever taking form and forever deserting the form it has taken.” Forms are only temporary expressions, they don’t last. But, the nature of Spirit, always seeking fresh expression of Its Original Harmony, lasts.
Our work is to not be hypnotized by, nor attached to the forms, rather focus on the True Nature that is expressing the forms. This is why we don’t “resist evil.” It is not Truth, thus it has no power of its own, except what we give it by our belief in it. Instead, we focus on the Truth that must show through. Instead of fighting disease, we focus on health and wholeness. Instead of fighting poverty, we focus on abundance of Good for all everywhere. Instead of fighting hatred, we focus on the Truth of the ever-present Love of the Universe being manifest fully in that situation. As we practice doing this and see results, we gain confidence. We remember that “The Universe is not divided against itself.” Nothing and no one is against the Truth of who you are.
Finally, as we create, we must let go of our false belief in separation from the One Life. It isn’t “out there.” There is no “out there.” There’s only One. We are not parts or fragments of some Oneness, we are expressions of that One. We ARE Source. As we let go of the belief in separation, we let go of our beliefs in being not enough, flawed, wrong, unloved/unlovable and all the other core beliefs that have haunted humanity through the centuries. When Jesus said, “The Father and I are one” he wasn’t just talking about himself, but showing us what we need to know. We ARE the Life, Love, Light, Power, Peace, Beauty and Joy of the Universe – in human form. Celebrate and live from THAT!
- 1. APPLY the Law. USE this Infinite Presence for a definite and specific purpose in your life, expressed from your True Nature. Just as the painter chooses to create a specific painting, from all the infinite possibilities of paintings to create, we must choose a specific result we want to create. Like the painter, when we “complete” (manifest) that result, we can choose another of the infinite possibilities to create.
- 2. Notice any “not enough” type chatter that arises as you contemplate creating from your magnificence. If you hear it, tell Truth to it. “I AM one of the Infinite Presence. I AM Source.”
- 3. Trust the process of the Law manifesting the thought seed you have planted and watch it grow. Have fun!
Love & Blessings
February 4, 2018 – What is the Science of Mind? (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
What Is the Science of Mind?
Those who were present last Sunday remember that we had technical difficulties which prevented the planned “talk” by our “guest presenter” by video. So, you got me unscripted.
The first thing that our founder, Ernest Holmes, always stressed about this teaching is to APPLY IT! As he said, we can know about love, but we don’t know Love until we have our arms around someone. This is not a theory or idea to know about, but to apply. Use it to actually manifest the life and the world we desire – a world that works for all.
The core purpose of this teaching is to put us in touch with our divine nature. It’s not about dogma or rules. Rather, it’s to get us in touch with the Love that the Universe is and that there is nothing between us and the Universe. “I AM the Love of God in form.” “I AM Source.” God and our Good is not “out there” somewhere.
We celebrate and honor the sacredness of our humanity, rather than denying it, making it evil or not okay. We show God a good time as God in this form. There is no “sin” – just mistakes or getting off track. We get to forgive, which we do by not condemning. If we find we have condemned someone or something – including ourselves, we remove our condemnation and trust or see that it all works into the tapestry of Life, creating the fullness of we are. Ernest viewed guilt as our divine nature realigning Itself.
What I love about SOM is that we have a method – using the practice of affirmative prayer known as Spiritual Mind Treatment to put us in touch with the overarching, ever-present Spirit, with our unity with the one Spirit and our ability to create as and from that Spirit. Ours is only to be open to receive the Good we declare and claim.
Finally, we looked at the seven main aspects of God:
- Life – the vibrant aliveness of the Universe expressing through every cell, every aspect of our being;
- Light – the light of Consciousness that is aware of all that is and all that is possible;
- Love – the Infinite Love that is the nature of the One Life;
- Power – the Power to create from Itself, which we also embody – if we recognize and use it;
- Peace – the Peace that comes from creating within a Universe that isn’t divided against Itself, thereby knowing that nothing is against It/us;
- Beauty – the Beauty of ALL creation (yes, even the stuff that our human perspective judges as not so); and finally
- Joy – the end creation of Life – the Joy of experiencing this magnificent creation process, the beauty that comes out of it.
We are, like the Buddha who, when asked who he was, said, “I am awake” waking up to our Divine Nature. Let us continue to awaken. This teaching clearly and directly supports us on that journey.
A spiritual practice this week: find an aspect of the Divine from the seven above – and contemplate it. Let that quality fill your life more fully than before. Ask your intuition to reveal how and where to express that more fully and be willing to do so. You will bring more of the True Nature of God/Spirit into form by doing so.
“Let us have… the belief that somewhere in the spiritual evolution of the human race there …has arrived or can arrive a group of people who will have enough intelligence, respect and admiration for each other to cooperate in a spirit of freedom in the freeing of the mind from restrictions in growth – and trust God to do the rest.” ~ Ernest Holmes quoted in Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times by Fenwicke Holmes
Love & Blessings,
February 11, 2018 – Religion, Spirituality, Superstition and Common Sense (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
Ernest Holmes’ definition of religion was simply “our attitude toward God.” It wasn’t about organizations, structures, dogma or anything else – just how we view That which is greater than the surface of life on this plane. We can view God one of two ways – within and all around us, or apart from us.
If we view God as apart from us, as many popular religions do, we have to figure out how to reunite with that separate God. This can lead to all sorts of interesting practices and processes to cross a gap in an unknown direction to hopefully please or appease a God who seems to be capricious. At the same time, we must remember that each person’s religious path can be compared to inns on the road to awakening “where the weary soul rests overnight on its journey from the outer circumference of materialism to an inner consciousness of idealism.
If we view God as with and all around us, we recognize our unity with It and with each other – all IS God. God is not a sad, weeping figure, but the Wholeness of the Universe Itself. “God” is a synonym for Wholeness and out of that Wholeness, pure Love.
Spirituality is one’s recognition of the Universe as a living Presence of Good, Truth, Beauty, Peace, Power and Love, flowing through everything. It is a perception of the essence of everything – the heat in afire, the colors in a prism or the power flowing through a generator. We ARE spiritual! Spirituality is the practice of attempting to constantly and consistently feel the Presence of God in everything and everyone. It grounds us as we experience the flow and seasons of Life, recognizing that it and we are within something greater.
Superstition and common sense come into play as we question deeply embedded beliefs. The word “superstition” literally means “standing above” – an overarching, and thus often unquestioned – system of beliefs. It’s based on thinking external factors cause our pleasant or unpleasant experiences of life. Superstitions – practices to “please the gods” – are often deeply ingrained in many religions.
Whether we have our “good luck socks” or avoid black cats, or believe that “Mercury in retrograde” causes us to have good/bad experiences of life, or that God is more present in one place than another, we are engaged in superstition and not using common sense. I also discussed the effect the Book of Revelation has had on the collective consciousness, despite the author clearly stating that it was written to seven specific communities about his vision regarding events of his time – not 2,000 years in the future. Because of the superstition that the Bible is infallible (which is never stated in the Bible itself) people think this is still going to happen and, throughout the history of the last 2,000 years, have continued to hold that belief, providing us with concepts of apocalypse, Armageddon, all sorts of interpretations of various aspects of the book, our fear of “the mark of the Beast” the number 666, the anti-Christ, second coming, rapture, etc. It is time we came to our senses and no longer let superstitions run our individual and collective lives.
Our spiritual practices this week:
- 1. Be aware of/notice any places of superstition (placing your source outside of you) may lurk in your mind. Often, they’re so deeply ingrained that we accept them without question. Just pay attention.
- 2. Contemplate the Essence of Spirit – Life, Truth, Love, Power, Peace, Beauty, and Joy. Feed your spiritual nature. Holmes says, “One should not aspire to be spiritual as much as should contemplate in order to imbibe the Essence of Spirit, to speak from Its center.”
- 3. Be willing to see God in all.
An affirmation we practiced to say daily: “I am not bound by the superstitions of the race. I no longer fear God or the Universe in which I live. I have implicit confidence in the Supreme Good, and I permit It to flow through me and to bless everything I contact.”
Love & blessings
P.S. For who like to contemplate the Universe through the lens of physics, you may find this article interesting: https://aeon.co/essays/cosmopsychism-explains-why-the-universe-is-fine-tuned-for-life
February 18, 2018 – Karma & Choice (speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
“Karma” is a Hindu word that embodies the idea that what you put out returns. Ernest Holmes calls it “the subjective law of tendency set in motion by the individual.” Karma is the result of our choices. Despite John Lennon saying so, there really isn’t any “instant karma’s gonna get you.” It’s not “inevitable retribution”, rather it’s the outpicturing of our regularly held thoughts/beliefs.
In John 9:2, Jesus encounters a man blind from birth. His followers ask whose sin caused his blindness (a common belief at the time) his own or his parents. Jesus told them neither, rather he is this way so that “the works of God might be seen in him.” While this is often interpreted as so Jesus could heal him, there’s a more subtle understanding to be had. If we are focused on the sickness and the thought of sin, then we don’t see the God within the man and are perhaps more blind than he.
Fortunately, we have the ability to change our thinking and thus our Karma or outcome. Ernest challenges us that if we truly know there is a Power for Good in the Universe and that we can use It, why don’t we use it more often and more effectively.
Three steps to more effective use of this Power are first, to realize that we ARE surrounded by an Infinite, Creative Mind which reacts/responds to our thoughts as consistently as a mirror reflects what is placed before it. Philip Goff tells us “…the Universe is a conscious mind that responds to value….” We determine the value that it responds to in our lives by where we place attention with feeling. This Infinite Power can only show up as however much Good we can accept. The second step is to realize that we are thinking and acting centers within this One Mind and that the sum total of our thoughts – most of which are unconscious – is either attracting or repelling our Good. Which leads us to the third step – we CAN change our thinking!
What blocks us is our willingness to forget all of the above and give our power to externals – people, conditions, circumstances – or internal processes such as outdated beliefs, holding onto past experiences and patterns. To free ourselves, we must have a deep, underlying awareness of the Spiritual Universe, which we get by cultivating our relationship with it through contemplation of Its nature. Then, we must look past circumstances to the Reality behind – the Truth that, if it isn’t True about the Infinite, then it isn’t True about us. We must change focus from problem/circumstance to Truth and trust the Power of the Universe working through and as us to shift circumstances.
- 1. Become aware of your thought tendencies, especially in areas where you’d like to experience greater freedom. Where are these thought tendencies taking me?
- 2. Uncover what you really want underneath any unhealthy thinking. We always are going for some form of Good to fulfill a desire. Be aware what the real Good is.
- 3. Contemplate an aspect of Spirit you’d like to experience more of in your life. Focus on it, instead of circumstances or conditions in that area. Recognize that the whole Universe is behind you. Change the reflection in the mirror.
Alone with Truth, one person can pass from weakness into strength, from fear into faith, from defeat into success, and even while still living, from a state of continual death into a realization of everlasting life.
~ Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind
Have a powerful week!
February 25, 2018 – Stories of Transformation (Guest Speakers – Anton Mizerak and Laura Berryhill)
We were blessed this past Sunday with the musical team of Anton Mizerak and Laura Berryhill who interwove music and stories of transformation from three different cultures, illustrating three different paths to transformation.
In the first, from the Modoc Native American tradition, Coyote, seeking to pick up young girls, decides to go on a vision quest to Mt. Shasta to become younger. Like some who start on the path of transformation, his motives couldn’t be called the highest, and yet he started. At first, he did everything he was told not to do, but eventually, he began to get into the sacred practices. Even though he fell asleep, the Creator Spirit came to him in a dream to guide the transformation. It reminds me of the Prodigal Son who, when he “came to himself” started back home and the Father rushed out to greet him, even though he wasn’t home. Our willingness is often enough.
In the second story from the Scottish Highlands, a beautiful mermaid finds herself no longer fitting in either the human or mermaid world. After wandering for a long time, searching for a place to be, she finally looks into the deep waters below and sees the treasure she is looking for. The deep waters, of course, signify our own subconscious mind. Not until we are willing to pass through those cold depths, will we gain the treasures that lie within.
The third story came from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and involves consciously recreating the world (or own world) by visualizing our current world/life reduced down to a single point of light, then recreated as a world of compassion and harmony.
Each of us reenacts some aspects of these stories on our path of transformation. The Coyote can be considered the “accidental tourist” along the path – not really knowing what he is doing, not having the best of intentions, but eventually, the path works him. The mermaid illustrates the path driven by circumstance, where we no longer can live in our own world as we have been and must seek something new. Finally, the Tibetan Buddhist story illustrates conscious growth, where we are more spiritually mature with no desire other than a greater expression of Love in and as the world.
Our spiritual practice this week is to notice which path feels most like the one you’re on and to engage more fully in that path. If you’re feeling like the accidental tourist, get involved in the practices and let them take you deeper. If you’re pushed by circumstances, look deep within and be willing to go into the deeper waters. Finally, if you’re practicing conscious growth, allow yourself to go all the way into that path and create greater love in the world, by dissolving all within that is unlike Love.
Have a transformative week!
March 4, 2018 – Intimate with the Infinite (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
Intimate with the Infinite
This past Sunday, I spoke about my experiences at the CSL Leadership Conference from the previous week. On the first night, one of our young ministers kicked us off by talking about our Global Vision (see here) which fleshes out the idea of a world that works for everyone and for all of creation. She pointed out the vision was inspired by getting Intimate with the Infinite – making love with God. And, what happens when you make love with God? You get…knocked up! That idea turned into a repeating theme throughout the convention. (And, by the way, Spirit always knocks us UP – not down. It lifts and raises us.)
The world is changing. The old patriarchy – going kicking and screaming at the moment, is dying and something new is being revealed. James Baldwin said, “An old world is dying, and a new one, kicking in the belly of its mother, time, announces that it is ready to be born.” We are the ones who are both pregnant with the vision and midwives of the birth of that vision.
When we’re pregnant – including with a vision – a few changes happen. Things get messy. Hormones happen. You may have noticed that the world seems a bit “hormonal” lately. The Vision – like the pregnancy – does us, not vice versa. If we want to truly surrender to this new vision, we have to be willing to through the changes that this pregnancy brings.
First, there’s timing. Many people who get pregnant first react with, “Not now! It’s not convenient right now!” But, the baby comes when it’s ready. Our body begins to change. We get stretch marks as we grow to sustain a larger vision. Our pelvis begins to open and we feel more raw, vulnerable and open than we may be comfortable with. Our most intimate parts begin to change color and not look like “us” anymore, and yet we have to accept them as part of us – because they are. Our feet get bigger. Heck, everything gets bigger. The shoes and our clothing (outer trappings) don’t fit anymore.
Just as enlarged feet provide us with more grounding, it’s important to stay grounded in our spiritual practice and focused on the vision of the new birth that is coming. Otherwise, the hormones and morning sickness can overwhelm us. We need to remember that we are birthers of a new reality – something that has never been seen before. We don’t know how to do this at the intellectual, let’s “figure it out” level. And, we DO know how to do this at the deep, intuitive, connected with Source, level.
- 1. Contemplate the Vision of a world that works for all. Spirit creates by contemplation and so do we. Keep your focus on where you want to go.
- 2. Be willing to get a little uncomfortable; to get stretched. Let Spirit have Its way with you as you become a birther of new realities.
- 3. Allow it to “show.” Show up AS this vision in life. There is no limit to the manifestation of Spirit, except the limits we set. Expand how much good you can birth in this world.
“Hospice what is ready to die and midwife what is ready to be born.” ~ Rev. Dr. Roger Teel
Have an expansive week – and, congratulations, you’re knocked up!
March 11, 2018 – Words Create Worlds (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
There is only one Mind. We live, move and think within this one Mind. We are centers of creativity within this Mind, constantly creating through our thought. The Mind is latent – It awaits our thought to shape it. It has been said that our beliefs (emotionally charged thoughts) create pathways of expression for this Mind.
If we’re constantly creating, then it behooves us to look at what we’re creating. We are constantly creating our future. If we want a powerful, fulfilling, compelling future, we must constantly create that future from the future. That is, we can’t get “there” from “here.” Instead, we must imagine ourselves in the “there” which we want to create and allow it to manifest around us. Compelling futures can make our current circumstances obsolete or irrelevant.
We looked at the question of the future we want to create, both individually and as a community. If we want this to be a thriving community in 20-30 years, we must envision that future now and allow ourselves to move into it. One of the things we looked at was our WHY – our vision. Our current vision statement is internally focused – building a community. It was a great vision for this community when it was created years ago. But today we ARE that community and the question now is – what future do we – as that community – want to create.
We looked at the visions of a couple of other communities. Our global organization’s vision is of a world that works for all. It’s the kind of vision that is big and powerful enough to both stretch us and to appeal to the people who will be living in that world 20-30 years from now.
People have asked how to talk about this Center to others. What I know is that people don’t care about our WHAT until they can relate to our WHY. So, calling on my network marketing past, there are three important components of talking to people about our Center.
First, use the product! In network marketing, you can be excited and talk about your product unless you’re using it. It’s the same with our Center. Our “product” is tools for personal and global transformation. They are Meditation, Visioning, Prayer (Spiritual Mind Treatment), Study, Service, and Giving. In order to radiate the benefits of using these, we have to use them. And, we need to be using them for more than just coping with or getting by in life. Rather, use them to create lives we LOVE! I shared the story of the friend who got me into my first personal growth seminar. When I first saw him (after not seeing him for five years) there was something so changed about his presence that he “had me at hello.” Actually, before hello.
Second, when someone asks, tell them what you like about being part of this Center and this teaching. What does it mean to your life? It’s as easy as saying what you like about your favorite restaurant or movie.
Third, invite them to join you this Sunday. My friend first told me about her favorite Mexican restaurant (best in Olympia area) then invited me to join her. (And offered to buy.) How could I say no? 🙂
The Big Don’t – Don’t blather all the history, philosophy, classes and “stuff” (the WHAT) all over them. Instead, if they want information, direct them to our website. Give them a CD. If they’ve asked you about this place, they’re looking for something. By sharing your WHY and inviting them to join you, you’ve touched what they really want to know. Let the website cover the WHAT.
- 1. Discover or create your own personal WHY. What excites you enough to jump out of bed in the morning with motivation and excitement? If there isn’t anything currently, use visioning and prayer to get in touch with what is calling you as your next future.
- 2. Use the product! Meditate, Vision, Pray, Study, Be of Service, Give. Just do it!
- 3. Pay attention. Someone may be revealing something in their life that you can help them with. Be a friend. If appropriate, remember that someone invited you here and invite them.
Words create worlds. We exist inside of language. Language has us see things that aren’t there. People and conversations transform the world. ~ Treya Klassen
Have a blessed week!
March 18, 2018 – Demonstrating from Invisible Principle (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
You can draw from an invisible principle which receives your thought and acts upon it. Just what you believe you will get.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Love & Law
Last Sunday, as we continue to celebrate 100 years of Science of Mind, we looked at ideas from the book Love & Law. As we know, everything is first created in thought. Science of Mind itself is the study and growing a deeper relationship with First Cause, the invisible Essence from which everything comes. Rather than trying to manipulate the world “out there” – the world of effects – we deal with Cause and seek to align ourselves with It.
In order to work with It, we need to first know It exists and is Source. But, that alone is not enough. We must also recognize that we are centers of creation within that Cause, constantly creating. So, we must apply and use the principle that we create our lives from our own thinking within this One Mind. We must create the future from the future. This doesn’t mean we aren’t present with what is now, rather that we are also holding the vision of that which we want to experience, and letting that vision pull us forward, while we are present with what is. I used the example of driving a car to dinner with friends. We hold in mind the future event – we don’t just get in our car and be present with it in the garage, we actually drive it. At the same time we’re thinking of the nice time and good food we’re going to have, we also remain present with where we are on the road, as we operate the car.
We are constantly entertaining mental concepts about ourselves and the world around us. And Mind is constantly forming Itself into those concepts for us to experience. What concepts are you holding? Look at your life and you will see them.
Ernest Holmes gives an example in this book, about expanding a person’s business. (Use a Good you would like to experience in your life.) First, we must realize that we are not dealing with conditions, which are always fluid effects, forms created out of past thinking. We can change our thinking, thus creating new forms. So, if we feel sick, we don’t fight the sickness, we focus on the Truth of Health and vibrant Life Energy fully manifesting in our body now.
In the example, first recognize that there is One Power – not two. Nothing stands in opposition to this One. Then, recognize that you are in It and It is in you. You are one with this One. Then, you have to speak your words about what you want to manifest, and he recommends they be spoken out loud. This is creating the “form” into which Mind pours Itself. Having a clear, specific idea of what that form looks, feels, sounds like, is important. If we are vague here, we get vague results.
The next step is to clear away what has been “occupying” this space. Just as we have to clear out the old for the new in the “outer world” we must, even more so, clean out our inner landscape. The first thing he recommends is to clear away the idea that all is matter. (All is consciousness formed into matter.) He is very clear that we must “destroy” that idea and until we do, it will hold us in bondage. Then he gives a definite “clearing away” statement: “This word, which I speak, destroys every man-made belief, it destroys the thought of non-activity, it annuls the thought of lack, it destroys the thought that there is not plenty.” If race thoughts hold you, you have got to destroy them.
As we go forward, he reminds us that it is not enough to say, “God is good and all is lovely.” We must apply the principle into our lives. So, next we declare again, there is One Power, greater than anything, right here and now and the word I speak right now creates a manifestation of this One Power. Thus, we remind ourselves of the Power within us and our ability to direct It. Next, create in your consciousness a sense of unity with the thing you want. This is where we create the future from the future. We have to expand our current idea of “normal.”
Our practice for this week is to take something we would like to experience more of in our life – Love, Health, Joy, Order, Wealth, Beauty, Ease, Power, Peace – and apply this practice towards it. Only One, I am in It, It is in me; I speak my word out loud, I destroy any old beliefs which have kept me from experiencing this (you’ll hear them as your mind chattering with reasons why you can’t experience more of the Good you desire); then bringing yourself into alignment – unity – with what you desire. One more thing – spend an hour a day doing this! Love yourself enough to commit to doing this practice and watch the results.
“People who expect to demonstrate this principle must be very constant, very determined, very positive, very sure and faithful and patient with themselves. The day will come when you no longer say, ‘I hope, I desire, I pray,’ but you will say, ‘I know!’”
Have a fabulous and powerful week!
March 25, 2018 – Manifesting the “Really Big Things” (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
“It is just as easy to demonstrate a big thing as a little one. Spirit does not struggle; Spirit just knows.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Love & Law, p. 68
Luke Skywalker – “I don’t believe it.” Yoda – “That is why you fail.”
This week, we looked at a Bible story – with fresh eyes – for an illustration of manifesting the Really Big Things. The book of Jonah was written as a protest story. The priests and scribes had created a country where only “pure blood” Jews could live. Their teaching was not to be shared with others (Gentiles). But there was also an argument that they were to share the teaching of the one God with everyone, not just Jews. Jonah, the reluctant prophet, is the metaphor for the conservative, keep-it-to-ourselves mindset.
The story begins by stating that this is a vision – a dream – which Jonah has. The story is written in a form that is a children’s story – with a message. In this vision, God calls Jonah UP to go to Nineveh and preach. Instead, Jonah goes DOWN to the docks, books passage on a ship bound for Tarshish and goes DOWN into the hold (the bottom of the ship) and falls asleep. Nineveh symbolizes the call to go into that place that is uncomfortable (it was a “bad place”) but to which we are called to express more of our God nature. Tarshish symbolizes the place of avoidance. In effect, Jonah goes shopping at the mall. (Tarshish was the fabled city of Solomon’s wealth.)
Of course, you don’t mess with The Almighty, so a great storm comes up. Eventually, the sailors figure it is because of Jonah and toss him overboard, so he’s now DOWN into the water. And, as the story goes, he ends up DOWN in “the belly of a great fish.” It’s important to know the “being in the belly of a fish” was an Aramaic idiom for being in a troubled state of mind. Today we would say “in a pickle” or “between a rock and a hard place.” And, if it’s a big dilemma, it’s a big pickle of fish. There is no actual fish involved. This is a dream story.
Eventually, Jonah turns to prayer (with a great prayer about going DOWN to the bottom of the sea and DOWN to the bottoms of the mountains, to continue to the theme of going DOWN.) He is finally willing to go to Nineveh and the “fish” spits him out. He enters Nineveh, walks around for a day and then cries out, “In 40 days this city will be overthrown!” Now, if someone walked into Olympia and shouted that, we might ignore them, seek help for them – which is just what the Ninevites did NOT do. Instead, they heard the message and completely repented. The king ordered that every man, woman, child and best be covered in sackcloth and fast from food and water.
In the story, God sees this and turns away from His plan to destroy Nineveh. And Jonah is…ticked off!! He shouts to God, “This is why I didn’t want to do this because I knew you were kind and merciful and would forgive them!” A little judgmental? It’s more important to Jonah to be right. Not that any of us have ever felt that way.
So, Jonah goes and sits outside the city, puts up a tent for shade and waits to see what will happen. He’s still expecting the city to be destroyed. There’s a funny moment (actually, lots of them in this story) where after Jonah goes on a rant concluding that he doesn’t even want to live, God asks Jonah, “Are you very sorrowful?” In the story, God then causes a lovely vine to grow up around Jonah’s tent to give him more shade. Jonah is happy (for the only time in this story.) The next day, God kills off the vine, which prompts another “take my life from me” rant from Jonah. God then asks, “Are you exceedingly grieved over the vine?”
Finally, God delivers the chastening – you care so much about this little vine, which you did nothing to cause. Should I not care about this city of 120,000 people (“and much cattle”)?
This story is about getting out of our old, stuck mindset, which is self-absorbed, and a consciousness that would rather be right than in harmony with Truth and the Universe. If we want to manifest the “Really Big Things” – a world that works for all, a new home for our community, a new experience of “living fully, loving wastefully and being all we can be” to quote John Shelby Spong – we need to go to our personal Nineveh’s, our places of discomfort. We can’t go DOWN to our places of avoidance and escape, we must rise UP to places we haven’t been before. And, we must go without attachment to the outcome.
This week, our spiritual practice is twofold:
- 1. Listen to and answer what we are being called UP to in our lives right now. And, say YES!
- 2. Let go of small thinking, of “knowing” it won’t work, of not believing.
Ernest Holmes suggests that we daily take time to unify with the flow of life in the whole world and with the infinite stars of the heavens; to move beyond our limited, personal belief about ourselves and expand into a greater awareness of who and what we Truly are – God in form.
Have a powerful week!
April 1, 2018 – Easter (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
Someone asked how the Easter bunny got mixed up into a holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. I replied that the better question is how Jesus got mixed up in a holiday celebrating the Easter bunny.
Easter was first celebrated in Europe, pre-Christianity. It was named after the goddess known as Ostara or Eostre – who not only gives us the name “Easter, but also the root for the word estrogen. Eostre was a fertility goddess, an earth mother goddess. Thus all the rabbits, chicks, eggs and other symbols of fertility.”
As Christianity entered Europe, the celebration of the Resurrection, tied to the Jewish Passover celebration, was at the same time. Like Christmas/Yule/Winter Solstice, this is a “mashup” of two holidays from two cultures. While they can be seen in opposition to each other, there is, in Truth, a commonality to each.
Just as Yule/Solstice celebrates the “rebirth” of the sun, with the actual shift of returning light in its infancy, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. (Which more likely actually took place in Spring, according to many scholars.) By this time of year, the return of the light is in full expression. Hibernation (the sleep of death) is over. Days are clearly longer, the earth is warmer, snows have usually turned to rain (or sun) and new growth is happening in plants and animals.
Likewise, the infancy of Jesus’ ministry has come into its full flowering. We celebrate the full flowering of the earth mother and the sky god – the Earth and Sky energy are merged within us, within our hearts, if we take the time to feel the Life flowing through the Earth, and the rising into Divinity represented by the sky. This is the ongoing dance of human and divine, masculine and feminine, inner and outer – the yin/yang dance of Life.
Feel the fertility of the Earth and the rising into the Sky and let both energies enrich your life.
What can we learn from these two celebrations? The “good news/bad news” is that we must go through Winter to get to Spring and we must go through death to get to resurrection. Both holy days celebrate the rising of Life from seeming death. It also reminds us that, just as things in winter only appear dead, human death is only an appearance on the human level – not the Truth of the divinity of us. As Jesus’ stated mission was that we have Life and have it more abundantly, he had to walk through the biggest fear of his time – death. Jesus didn’t “die for our sins” in the way many of us have been taught – our “wicked deeds.” No, he died AND resurrected to release the mistaken belief (sin) in the finality of death. “My God is not a god of the dead, but of the living, for in His sight, all are alive.”
At this time of year, we align with the energy all around us to “resurrect” our consciousness that we have a greater flow of Life. We ask what wants to come forth in our life now, and also ask, “What do I need to become and what do I need to release?” that this new life can come forth. What do I need to grow into and what is to grow out of/let go. Depending on how attached we are to our old ways of thinking and being, the letting go may feel like torture and crucifixion. But, the model of “Not my will (old, small self, stuck thinking) but Thine (my True Self, Inner Wisdom, higher vision) be done” gives us the insight into how to move through any releasing to get to the new Life.
- 1. Catch the Easter spirit and harmonize the Earth & Sky, Divine and Human within.
- 2. Take time to sit quietly and ask – “Where is Life seeking to express more abundantly through and as me?” It may be an area you thought was dead, but was only in hibernation. Let your Spring be here!
- 3. Walk through the fear of death – let old beliefs, habits, patterns die and be renewed in and by Life!
“The Easter experience is not about bodies walking out of graves. It is about God being seen in human life. God is not a noun to be defined; God is a verb we are invited to live! That is what resurrection is all about.”
~ John Shelby Spong – Unbelievable
Have a wonderful Easter/Spring season!
April 8, 2018 – The Individual and the Universal (Speaker – Dr. Rev. Kenn Gordon)
Last Sunday, Community Spiritual Leader for Centers for Spiritual Living, Dr. Kenn Gordon, delivered a wonderful look at the dance of the human and divine – the individual and the universal.
If we are on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean, we can see for five miles in any direction – a total visual field of 20 square miles. But, if we climb a 25-foot mast, our field of view increases to 50 miles in any direction, a field of 200 square miles. The metaphor is to help us move from seeing the forest, instead of getting our focus stuck on an individual tree. For another experience, place your hand right in front of your face. This is the personal, the individual. When we move it aside, we can see the bigger – universal – picture.
When we are born, we have a deep awareness of our oneness with all. As we become aware of – and learn how to function in – our human surroundings, our sense of oneness diminishes and our sense of being a separate, personality-based ego grows. Eventually, the personalized ego becomes our “god” – our primary focus – and the divine oneness becomes less and less important.
Eventually, the sense of separation becomes too great and we begin our spiritual journey to reunite the ego and the oneness. When we can integrate those two – in a healthy, free form – we have a holistically based life that is a joyous expression of the dance of the human and divine – the individual and the universal.
To get there, 19th century New Thought teacher Emma Curtis Hopkins tells us it takes releasing three things. First, willfulness – the desire to have things be my way. Yeah, I know … This is where that personalized view of the world kicks in. We each see things from our individual perspective unless we consciously step back (or rise up) and are willing to see a larger view.
Second, we must let go of the idea that things are hard. We have a collective consciousness that values hard work and suffering I remember as a Catholic boy, the saints that were tortured and martyred for their faith were somehow the better ones. We sill use the “no pain, no gain” motto, even though, in sports training it’s been proven to not be the best way to train. And, we value things more if they’re harder to get. But, to paraphrase Yoda, in the Force there is no hard and easy. We create that sense of struggle within and then project it out. And the Universe, always in total agreement with us, says “Yes” to our belief that things are hard.
Third, we must let go of the need for recognition. (Dang!!) This is the personality based ego wanting to validate its importance. And, of course, since we have struggled and sacrificed (because we believe things are hard) we want to be recognized for our struggle and sacrifice. When, instead, we recognize that we are within a Divine Flow, allowing ourselves to easily be guided through taking the time to listen to our intuition, we can detach from the needy, personally driven ego and celebrate our place in the wholeness of life.
- 1. Notice where you might be caught up in the personality-based ego. (Which isn’t bad, unless we get caught in believing it’s the driving force of our life.) Notice if you’re stuck with willfulness, struggle or needing recognition.
- 2. Spend time hanging out in a higher vision of life, getting to know your Higher Perspective through meditation and visioning. Climb the mast of consciousness and see further.
Have a sacred and wonderful week!
April 15, 2018 – God Talks to the Heart by (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
This week, we turn our attention to listening with heart. But if we’re going to say “God talks to the heart”, we might want to look at what these words mean.
Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong says, “God is not a noun to be defined, but a verb to be lived.” God is the very Beingness itself. It is eternal – not “forever” but beyond time. It is infinite – not a vast space, but beyond space. Time and space are constructs in the human mind – necessary for living as humans, but limiting when we’re thinking beyond human. The Tao te Ching reminds us that “The Tao that can be named is not the Eternal Tao.” Any name we can put on that which is infinite and eternal immediately tries to fit it into our perception. Greek philosopher Xenophanes said, “If horses had gods, they would look like horses.” We try to fit God into our perception, rather than expanding ourselves into Its idea. God is the process of Beingness unfolding.
So, who are we? Last week, I went to hear Deepak Chopra speak in Tacoma. Over dinner, I was reading Spong’s book “Unbelievable” in which he refers to God being a verb, rather than a noun. Then, Deepak walks out on stage and, with his deep Indian accent says, “Body is not a noun, body is a verb.” He went on to talk about our bodies being constantly in process – our bodies are in process of becoming.
So, God is the process of becoming – and we are the process of becoming. We are within AND one of God. We are It becoming as us. To which we might ask – so if I AM That, why don’t I always feel like I’m That? This is where understanding the “language” of this Process becomes important. The “God-process” is in constant expression, expressing Its Nature of Life, Love, Intelligence, Power, Peace, Beauty, and Joy. But we must tune in to this broadcast, just like we tune in to the TV and radio waves constantly being broadcast around us. If I want to hear the local jazz station (KNKX 90.1 here in Olympia) I have to tune to its frequency, it doesn’t adjust to the frequency I want it to. Our musician last Sunday, Heidi Muller, wrote a lyric, “It’ll call your name, ‘til you turn to hear it.” The Infinite is always calling our name, but we have to turn, in consciousness, to hear it.
Our intellect is the tuner – it chooses to align with the frequency of the God-process. The heart – with its different kind of wisdom – is the receiver, that which experiences the broadcast of the Divine directly. Yet, it’s not enough to just tune into the Divine, because our intellect, based on previous programming, re-engages with the broadcast and interprets it through its own filters.
We don’t perceive directly, through the intellect. I used the example of our new lectern and what people saw in the shape of it – a heart, angel wings, an open book (which was the intent of Rob, who made it) or an ample bosom. It’s just a piece of wood, but we apply our perceptions through our filters. We do the same with the heart-experienced broadcast. We filter it – perhaps with “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not lovable, I’m an unwanted burden, people abandon/betray me”, etc. – the learned patterns of the intellect. Perhaps we don’t even believe we can hear the broadcast, so we don’t even tune in.
If we, as much of the Western culture does, overvalue our intellect and undervalue our heart, we will try to fit this infinitely expansive Process into our already known ideas and beliefs, instead of listening more deeply for understanding. Some of the biggest questions of the heart unfold as a path, not an answer. The intellect seeks nice pat answers. The heart experiences a deeper Wisdom and knowing that is about expression, rather than answers.
- 1. Practice focusing on your heart. We did a heart activation exercise during the service and CD’s are available of that. Take the time to listen to the Broadcast of the God-process with your heart, not trying to fit it into any categories.
- 2. During each day, experience being aware of both what is happening around you – ask, “What am I aware of right now?” – and, see if you can experience what it is that is being aware through and as you.
Have a sacred, tuned in week.
“While we admire the intellect, we must realize that the intellect is not the creative factor in the Universe. Rather, it is feeling that is creative. Let the heart and the intellect – feeling and thinking – fuse into one. Then, the head will speak through the heart and the heart will feel through the intellect.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind
April 22, 2018 – How Old Are You? (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
Last Sunday we look at our “oldness” and how we choose it. Since we are expressions of an Infinite God-Process, which is ageless and timeless, and living in a Universe whose only agenda is freedom, we must, at some level, in some way, create the experience of “aging.” When I say “aging,” I’m not referring to the passage of time, but to how we experience life as that time passes. If today we are not living in the full youthfulness of earlier years, it is because we have – again, at an often deeply unconscious level – chosen to live as we do now. If we have choice, then we are always choosing.
In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz refers to “Domestication and the Dream of the Planet.” We are caught up in a millennially old believe in aging as a growing decrepitude followed by death. We are hooked into this dream, virtually at the cellular level, from infancy (perhaps in utero) on. We have few if any examples of people living vibrant, healthy, joy-filled lives in their “later years” (a term defined by people) and thus receive no other options. David Bowie asks the question, “We live for just these twenty years, do we have to die for the fifty more?” (Young Americans.)
So let’s look at the idea of “growing old.” Two bits of science first – 1. The longest life in recent times was a 122-year-old woman in France. That’s a potential for all of us. 2. We recycle all the cells of our body every fourteen months. In effect, none of us is more than 14 months old. The cells duplicate/replicate based on information from the previous generation of cells and some believe we can change that information.
Looking at the mindset of “growing old” – when “young” we tend to look forward. A child is always moving on to the next thing. As adults, in the middle portion of our lives, we also look forward to what is involved in raising our family, our careers, our homes and such. It’s only later that we start looking back – reminiscing about “the good old days” (which are always in the past) and paying more attention to “who died today.” In other words, as we look backward – more consistently – we “grow old.”
It’s important to notice our conditioning about aging. When we tell a person they don’t look whatever age they are, we are revealing our own conditioning/beliefs about what that age should look like – and what we will tend to manifest. Another belief is that we don’t want to live a long time because we associate later years with sickness, incapacity, and pain. What if we could live in vibrant healthy bodies for a long time? Would we take that option?
People can be old at 30 and young at 80. It’s all about the Life energy being expressed. Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead; my God is a God of the living.” The Bible (and other spiritual texts) contains many references to the perils of looking back, focused on the path (think of Lot’s wife.) Spirit is always expressing Life energy; evolution is always forward. When we start turning that energy around, we mess up the flow of life and experience a less alive life.
When we flow with the Life energy of Spirit – looking and moving forward in greater expression of this Life – we are “youthing” not aging. When we follow the ageless (not bound by time) wisdom and passion of our “hearts” (intuition/connection with our Divine Nature) we bypass old conditioning and become not bound by the passage of time ourselves. Then, the passage of time simply becomes an ongoing accumulation of life experiences on an infinite trajectory of exploring Life. How old are you? As old as you decide to be.
Our spiritual practice this week:
- 1. Pay attention to your mental talk about how old you are. Notice what you’re expecting. Ask how long you honestly expect to live and notice the answer (and the reasons). Notice how far in the future you’re making plans.
- 2. Notice what you’re passionate about – what brings you joy and a sense of being outside of time – and engage in that more. If you’re not feeling passionate about anything, ask your Inner Wisdom to reveal a path of greater passion to you. Engage your “heart energy.”
- 3. Consciously choose “youthing.” Daily affirm: “Every day in every way I’m growing younger and younger.” Remember, you’re less than 1 ½ years old. And, you live in a body that is, in Truth, a body of Light and Love, not a bunch of aging tissue. Create new, empowering beliefs about your life!
“You are young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind
Have a lively week!
April 29, 2018 – Building Your Tomorrow Today (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
This service was an experiential process of looking at what we want to create, what’s holding us back and what we need to step forward into the tomorrow we desire.
We can’t build a new tomorrow using the tools of yesterday, which created today. We’ll need new tools (beliefs/ideas/processes) if we want to create something truly new and not just a variation on yesterday. We all know people who live the same day 365 times a year, instead of living fully 365 days a year. We want to be in the latter category – or at least heading there. As Rev. Sunshine Daye says, “Too many times, people promise themselves that tomorrow will be better/different – yet because they don’t prepare themselves today – tomorrow is a repeat of yesterday!”
Many people use the comfort of known routines and beliefs to avoid experiencing discomfort. But the desire for change comes from the felt experience of less than ideal conditions. Most of us won’t change until the discomfort of staying as we are becomes greater than the discomfort of changing. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” (Anais Ninn)
We began by looking at what wanted to be created through us – painting a picture in our mind, giving it a word or phrase to describe it, feeling how we would feel in that new creation and asking what wonderful thing will we build today? Then, we looked at our “baggage” that prevents us from truly experiencing that new creation. We observed how most of us truly interact with others – pushing a suitcase full of our old beliefs which no longer serve us, in front of us, blocking real interaction and interconnection. (Anais Ninn also said, “We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.”)
Each group had a suitcase with some probable negative beliefs that were in our way. We claimed the one that most resonated with us, shared it with the group, then changed it into an affirmation that was the real Truth of us. Finally, our youth pulled the suitcases out and discarded them, so we could be free. We completed the time with a three breath hug.
- 1. Continue to contemplate/be with the question – what wonderful thing do I want to build today for tomorrow? Listen to the Inner guidance that knows this and is seeking to move it out through you.
- 2. Notice what’s in the way. Old beliefs such as “I’m not good enough; I can never have/do/be enough; I’m not loveable; I’m a burden/in the way; there’s something wrong with me” no longer serve us and must be discarded if we are to truly create the future our heart desires.
- 3. As you become aware of what’s holding you back, turn it around and speak the real Truth – I AM enough; I am Love in form, etc. Remember, if it’s not True of God, it’s not True of you, because each of us IS that Infinite Presence in form.
Have a fabulous and creative week!
May 6, 2018 – How Deep is Your Well? (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
The question refers to how deep (and in what direction?) are we digging our well to the awareness of our oneness with The One. We all want to be “intimate with the Infinite” and our souls long for this intimacy. Beneath all our other longings is this longing. Until we satisfy it, nothing else will. “Seek first the Kingdom of God (which is within) and all else shall be added unto you.”
However, like all forms of intimacy, baggage can get in the way. Many of us carry old and deep baggage about this Thing called “God” and, unless we face and deal with it/heal it, we will never feel safe enough to truly surrender to The One Infinite Presence. Let’s look at three old myths that often still affect us, often at an unconscious level.
First are the old myths about the nature of the universe. Although most of us grew up being taught that the Earth was a sphere, orbiting the sun, many of our traditional religions don’t teach this view. Instead, they are based on a three-tier model of the universe. This model was held, in various forms, throughout the near and Middle East, India, China, Greece and beyond. This viewpoint still pervades our language, and thus our thought, today. At the center of this model is Earth. Earth is THE Center around which everything else moves. Even latter period Greeks, who perceived the spherical (instead of flat) shape of the Earth, still had everything else revolving around it. The entire Bible has this model as its core.
Above the Earth are the “heavens” or high places of the god(s). The Judeo/Christian/Islamic god sits above the world (presumably above the dome above the earth, referenced in Genesis) and looks down on Its creation. Other models were Mt. Olympus in Greek mythology and Mt. Kailash (home of Shiva and Parvati) in Indian/Hindu mythology. Attempts to reach the realm of the gods usually met with punishment, failure and sometimes death. Think Icarus and Phaethon in Greece, the Tower of Babel in Judeo mythology. And, the whole idea of blasphemy – declaring oneself one with the gods – is based on this same idea that we should not reach for the heavens.
The third level of this model was the underworld, referred to as Hades, Sheol or Hell throughout myth stories. The underworld was simply the place where ALL the dead went, to live under the earth. While some mythologies had areas for good and bad people, ALL went there. When the Greek philosopher Socrates was facing death, he said he wasn’t worried. He would either just go to sleep and there would be nothing more, or he would go to Hades where he could spend eternity wandering around, interviewing all the great people who ever lived. The idea of this realm as punishment, at least in the Roman Catholic (and this Western Christian tradition) was first introduced or popularized in the 4th century by Augustine and later expanded, not by a theologian, but a poet – Dante Alighieri – in his Comedy (later renamed Divine Comedy long after his death.) His images of the afterlife worked themselves into Catholic Church mythology and have been the modern idea of Hell ever since. This was not the idea of “hell” of Jesus’ time.
The second piece of baggage that many of us carry around is about the nature of God. Most of us grew up being taught of a manipulative and punishing/judging God. Again, not the idea Jesus had when he called him “Abba” which literally means “daddy.” (He was trying to move the ideas of people of his time away from the angry, judgmental god to one with whom we could – and did – have a close relationship.) The ideas of God “letting” or “causing” things to happen (or not happen) along with the whole “Jesus died for our sins” are ideas from this baggage of God as Santa Claus (making a list, checking it twice…) or God as avenger.
The third piece of baggage we carry is about ourselves – that we are “damaged goods” – original sin, people as basically sinners, being “only human” and the belief that the human/material level of being is somehow less than the “spiritual’ (i.e. non-corporeal) level of being, when in Truth, they are one and the same. All this stems from the core belief that we are separate from God, that we “fell” and now need a “savior” (rather than that we are arising through evolution as ever-expanding expressions of the Divine Process.) If we buy into this belief, we tend towards a “why bother” attitude, since we’ll never make it.
When we understand the ALL of the above views are human constructs and not Truth, we can approach the Infinite with greater trust, willingness to surrender and an open and curious mindset. We have to let go of the “human-centric” model of existence – everything revolves around me/us, which echoes the old Earth-centric model. God doesn’t have to “come down” and manipulate life for my benefit, nor does It have to explain Its actions to me.
This week, our practice is to contemplate Spirit with an openness and curiosity about Its Nature. We open to experiencing Its Nature, not our or others, ideas about It. We spend time opening our hearts to the Divine, to know It more, through clear, baggage free minds. Enjoy being Intimate with the Infinite.
If I ascend into heaven, thou art there; if I descend into Sheol, behold, thou art there also. If I lift up my wings like those of an eagle and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there also shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall be as light upon me; even the night shall be light before my face.” The darkness shall not be dark to thee; but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. ~ Psalm 139, 8-12
May 13, 2018 – The Sequence of the Creative Order (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
The title is a bit dry, but the topic isn’t! We take a look at the process of creating what we want. We remember that “God” is a process – a verb to be lived, rather than a noun to be defined – and that we are also a process – the Infinite expressing Itself as us. If we want to use this creative process consciously, we must understand it. Just as electricity is a process, but we can only use it, direct it, if we understand it; just as the processes of the earth and the universe need to be understood if we are to shed the old ideas of things “just happening” or gods making them happen, we need to understand the process of creating consciously in the Universe if we are to live fulfilling lives in a healthy world.
The creation process was understood and taught to a select few throughout history. The mystery schools of ancient Egypt and other cultures, the first chapter of Genesis, the opening passages of the gospel of John, the Tao te Ching, Vedic scriptures and Jesus all taught the process of conscious creation. But, as Jesus observed, only those who had eyes to see and ears to hear actually understood it.
Ernest Holmes breaks down this process into four steps. First, there is an Absolute Intelligence – what quantum physicists might call the field of infinite potential/possibility; the Taoists call the Tao (that which is beyond naming) and the Genesis story refers to as “in the beginning, God…” (What if “in the beginning” referred not to a time, but to the beginning of the creative process?)
The second aspect of the creative process is the Word or thought of this Absolute intelligence. Again, the physicist would refer to this as the choosing of the observer; the Taoist as the unity forming the duality of yin/yang through the process of Taiji; Genesis refers to it as “the Spirit of God moved upon the deep” – “the deep” being unformed substance; and John refers to it as “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
The third step is that a Law of creativity is set in motion by this Word/thought. This happens behind the scenes. Just as we can’t see what the process is that turns a seed into a plant – but we know there is a process; just as a quantum physicist can’t see quantum tunneling (the process by which an electron shows up in one place, then another with no observable path of travel) we can’t see the Law. But we see its effects and know it’s working. (This is the part that drives analytical minds that want to be able to see everything crazy. Just as Jesus observed that we can’t see the wind, but we can see its effects, we can’t “see” the Law, but we can see its effects.)
The fourth step is there is creation, or the forming of the Word/thought into definite and specific outcomes. Energy shows up as wave or particle; out of yin/yang the “10,000 things” are made; there was light (let there be…) and “the Word was made flesh.” This is the creative process. We are always working this process, consciously or unconsciously. Always!
Attached is a chart that expands this and perhaps helps us see what happens when we don’t get the desired/expected results. For those who are students of the Science of Mind, you’ll recognize this as an expanded version of the “teaching symbol” (the circle with three layers and the V.)
In the beginning, at the top, is the Spiritual Plane – the realm of infinite potential. Some of the qualities of this plane are listed across the top. This is the realm of the ideal – the starting point of all else. Often, people who don’t get what they want don’t take the time to connect with this realm, to understand the ideal of what is wanting to manifest in their particular situation. They get stuck in the mental plane and just recycle the same old ideas.
From this realm of the spiritual plane, intuition communicates the idea that wants to be manifest. The communication is always clear, but our listening/hearing isn’t. We must remember that there is only one Mind and that we are all using It. The idea that we are individual, separate and disconnected minds is as out of date as the geocentric view that the earth is the center of the universe and everything revolves around it. That’s how an earth-based observer may experience it, but it’s not true.
As the Ideal is communicated through intuition, it merges in the Mental Plane with the individualized mind (ours) and forms into an idea. If we have taken the time and been open in our listening, this idea is communicated clearly. The Mental and Emotional Planes make up what are called in Science of mind the Subjective Mind. It is here the ideal into a result that is expressed through the Law. The idea becomes our Law. As the idea moves through the Mental Plane to the Emotional Plane, we can either be inspired into action or run into emotional conflicts (fear, hurt, anger, sadness, regret, etc.) that are the result of beliefs that were either taught to us or that we created based on meanings we created from past experiences.
As the ideal/idea completes its movement through the Subjective Mind, we experience the outcome in the world as a specific result. If the ideal of love moves clearly through the Subjective Mind, we’ll have an experience of love. If, however, it encounters beliefs of not being loveable or being hurt by love, along with the associated emotional pain, it will result in an experience that matches those beliefs/filters.
We can follow what happens next up the other side. We have a reaction – happy or sad – to the experience, we generate feelings and add meaning about it – often influenced by the set of beliefs we already had. Through the knowledge gained by this experience, we can recognize it as an experience that reinforces existing beliefs or as an opportunity to change those beliefs. Out of all this, we (hopefully) gain wisdom about ourselves and the process of the Universe.
Our practice this week is:
- 1. Consider an area of your life where you’d like to improve/express more of your Divine Nature.
- 2. Take time to listen to Spirit/the Ideal about this condition. Match your mind with the Creative Intelligence – the One Mind of the Universe.
- 3. When you feel this match/movement of the Divine Intelligence within you, clearly and powerfully speak your word for the specific outcome desired. Don’t play small here! Activate the Law, trusting its operation to produce the outcome in ways and timing that are greater than you might believe.
Most of all, have fun with this process! Turn on your creative nature and let it play.
“There’s a power within you that’s giving you life, that wants to leak out. When your will matches Its Will, when your mind matches Its Mind, when your love for life matches Its Love for you, it always responds.” ~ Dr. Joe Dispenza
“We are inlets and may become outlets for the Divine.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“My mind is a center of Divine operation…always for expansion and fuller expression….” ~ Thomas Troward
Have a fabulous week!
May 20, 2018 – Partnering with Your Chief Spiritual Officer for Success and Freedom! (Guest Speaker – May McCarthy)
This past Sunday, the wonderful May McCarthy shared her “Path to Wealth” ideas and process with us. May told us that, just as she has a Chief Operations Officer (COO), a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and others, she has a Chief Spiritual Officer. In their organizational chart, the CSO is at the top. (Center for Spiritual Living – Olympia has an organizational chart that begins at the center and radiates out. I was so happy when I first saw that chart because at the center is Spirit.)
The CSO is Spirit, God, Infinite Presence – whatever your name for It is. Every morning and evening, May sets a meeting time with her CSO, getting centered, open and receptive; listening to her intuition, the way that the CSO communicates; clearly stating goals or outcomes desired, and spending time in gratitude for both what is already current and for the outcomes as already done.
The outcomes must be stated specifically for what we truly desire. Vague “wishes” produce vague, wishy-washy results. Our role in this relationship is to state “what” we want to happen. The CSO’s is to handle the “how” it happens. The CSO reveals the path in a step by step method, so we can easily follow it. Some of us want to see the whole path before we begin, but that is not the way it works.
As we go along the path and we aren’t sure if it’s our own voice or the voice of the CSO, we can ask for a clear signal to know which way to go. And, if we’re stuck and not sure what to do next, we can ask for another “lead” (option/idea.) The CSO is highly responsive, we just need to be clear in our listening.
May’s book, The Path to Wealth (Amazon – https://smile.amazon.com/Path-Wealth-Spiritual-Financial-Abundance/dp/1938289595/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527025846&sr=8-1&keywords=the+path+to+wealth ) presents a clear process and action plan, along with many stories and illustrations of how this process works. I’ve been meeting with my CSO for years. I hope you start doing so every morning, too. The handout from the service is attached to this talk. Click here for the link.
“I know that I am in partnership with the infinite. I identify myself with this partnership knowing that it always leads to success. I accept that the action of infinite intelligence is back of everything. It is always manifesting itself, and it now does so through the thought pattern of success I am establishing for myself. Conditions and situations about me now start to correspond to my new ideas about them. The invisible presence and power indwelling and surrounding me, which is forever making manifest my thought, now creates for me the success with which I have identified my thought.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Creative Ideas
Have a blessed week!
May 27, 2018 – Surprise! Transcending Facts, Revealing Truth (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
As we are all learning lately, “facts” can be interesting things. I began by telling a factual story of being pulled over by a State Trooper several years ago, ordered out of my car and finding myself being questioned by the trooper. Most of us will have a concerned reaction to this, based on these facts. What I revealed afterward was that the trooper was a bicycling buddy who had recognized me and, as he said, I had made his heart rate go up because of my love for climbing hills, so he made mine climb. The questioning? He was asking about my next couple of rides as we sat having a fun chat on the side of the freeway.
We also know that “facts” can be altered, doctored, taken out of context (as was the above) – AND…we then add our own meaning to facts and think our meaning is true and accurate. We also see what we expect to see. An example of that is this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTv4yD6BKlA. We see life through our filters and think we have a clear and accurate view.
Let’s take a look at another example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jHsq36_NTU&feature=youtu.be. This one may rearrange your thinking about the interrelationship of our planet, solar system, and galaxy. And, life itself. Until very recently, humankind believed we were living on a flat (a few realized it was spherical) earth which was the center of the universe, with everything revolving around it. The “fact” was, we were stationary and everything else was in motion. That “fact” isn’t viewed as true anymore.
Why is this important to us? Something called the Law of Mental Equivalents. “The Law of Mental Equivalents means that everything that is consciously and subjectively embodied in our thinking tends to radiate an atmosphere, a vibration, a current of thought, an inward acceptance which automatically attracts to itself that which is like itself.” Ernest Holmes from Living the Science of Mind. Our belief about what life is tends to create what our life is. Then, we create experiences that reinforce our belief of what life is – even if it’s completely wrong, it will appear “factual.”
When New Thought lecturer Thomas Troward said, “My mind is a center of Divine operation” he didn’t mean sometimes or when I consciously think about it. We operate within a system of thought based on what we already “know.” If we want to change an outer condition, we must first change the inner beliefs that form the nucleus or seed which then shows up as outer experience. This is true for our individual lives and for the world as a whole.
If we want to create a new and truly fresh future, we must move into – embody – that future until we become the kind of person for whom that future would be normal. We have to change our expectations about Life and about ourselves in order to create something truly new. And, since we usually don’t know what we don’t know, it often takes a “coach”, or someone who can help us see our own blind spots, such as a Religious Science Practitioner. That’s why I work with practitioners and ministers to continually expand and to remove stuck beliefs sitting in my “blind spots.”
As uncomfortable as it is, I think the breakdown of our “factual” world – fake news, hacks, digitally altered photos – are a good thing. Our culture has longed based too much on facts, on the intellect and keeping it fed. But information is not and never has been Wisdom. If we are to evolve, we must move towards Wisdom – become Wisdom-keepers and sharers; become shamans, mystics, visionaries. We are being called to not “know about” but to truly know Truth – the deeper Truths that are beyond “facts.”
We access this through our intuition which brings us into awareness of our Wisdom Self/Spirit/Higher Power. The “bad news” is that shamans/visionaries deal with the “messy.” There isn’t a neat, clean, always comfortable set of proper steps that will lead us to neatly, primly and properly arrive at a new future. We must leap, not step. We must be willing to look at our own and the world’s “cracks.” Leonard Cohen said, “There’s a crack in everything; that how the light gets in.” Are we willing to move out of being “comfortably numb” and into vibrant aliveness?
If yes, then I invite you to participate in three practices to help with this:
- 1. Be willing to be surprised. Be open to things beyond your current thinking/beliefs. Notice the moonwalking bears in life.
- 2. Practice “quantum thinking” – thinking into the future you want, even if you have no idea how. Practice visioning – getting in touch with your Higher Wisdom through your intuition. Ask yourself what would be a life you LOVE!?
Begin to build a “mental equivalent” that includes that life. Think about it, feel it, envision it and become aware of how you would feel and what that life would mean for you. Do this often enough and consistently enough to move it from a conscious idea into your subjective mind. Then it becomes the nucleus of a seed that will sprout and bloom.
Have a Wisdom – and fun-filled week.
June 3, 2018 – God’s Will (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
“Creative mind of Itself has no specific intention as far as we as individuals are concerned. We give It the only intention It has for us.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind
Last Sunday, we took a look at the simple, small subject of “God’s Will.” The question, “What is God’s Will?” is as old as human life, with many, many answers. As we release our belief in The Big Guy in the Sky god and become aware that the real “God” is far greater – the infinite Reality/Oneness/Unity behind, beyond and as all things – we let go of the belief in a manipulative god that has individual agendas and tests for us. We begin to realize that we, as humans, are not the center of everything and begin to contemplate who we really are and how we fit into this vast universe of Life.
From our finite minds, we can’t know all of God – we can only learn about it. Bishop Spong’s reminder that “God is not a noun to be defined but a verb to be lived” is helpful here. We can observe It’s Nature by observing the nature of the universe around us. And, we can be aware of that “sense” within that knows Truth from beliefs. Additionally, we can have experiences that are called “numinous”, “mystical”, “out of body” where we find ourselves in a direct experience of that Nature of the Divine.
God’s “will” must be an expression of God’s Nature. We know there is “will” because this universe/multiverse, with all its stars, planets, galaxies had to come into existence through some “will”. And, we have will. If there wasn’t a “Will” there wouldn’t be the experience of will within us, just as if there wasn’t Love, we couldn’t experience love.
The Infinite Will is always for ever greater expression of Life. But, if we believe God’s Will is for suffering, unhappiness, punishment, lack, and limitation, that is how we’ll experience God. We perceive it through our pre-conditioned filters. “As you see, so shall you be.” Struggle isn’t God’s Will; it’s our misunderstanding and misuse of the infinite expression of Life and our ability/power to create within that Life. In the human experience, we seem to have a “personal will” and a “superior or higher will.” We are called to align our personal will with the Higher Will – the higher flow of Life. That Higher Will is always expressing Wholeness, Peace, Poise, Power, and Joy. As we align more completely with It – and leave behind old ideas of suffering and limitation – our individual lives become a clearer expression of the Nature of that One Life.
The Infinite individualizes as us. Life, Wholeness, Beauty, Love – these qualities are all expressed uniquely and individually as us. Your idea of manifesting the ideal of Beauty may be different than mine. Yet, we both manifest Beauty, each in our unique ways, thus expressing the “Will” of the Infinite.
This week, put this into practice and experience by taking time for two practices:
- 1. Take time to just sit and listen – pay attention to the Nature of the one within and all around. Listen with your heart and not your intellect. Spend time without any agenda, without any goal to reach – just being. Perhaps sitting in and watching nature will help. Or just being aware of your breath and heartbeat.
- 2. After spending time in that state – without agenda – ask (from the heart, again) what is it that Spirit – that Infinite Whatever-you-call-It – wants to express through me now? Then just sit and listen, again without any agenda. Just pay gentle attention.
The Will of God – expressing through and as Life – is happening. Let yourself align with that flow, in body, mind, and heart and watch it show up in and as your life.
“I believe that every person is on the pathway of an eternal progress. There is within us that seed of Perfection, that Divine Spark.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Ideas of Power
Have a beautiful week!
June 10, 2018 – Beyond Happiness (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
“We live under the impression that in order for something to be divine, it has to be “perfect.” We are mistaken. In fact, the exact opposite is true. To be divine is to be whole and to be whole is to be everything; the positive and the negative, the good and the bad, the holy one and the devil.” ~ Debbie Ford, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers
Are you happy? Many – particularly in this teaching where we recognize that our thoughts are creative and thus we are responsible for our own happiness – would say yes. We might even be a little embarrassed or afraid to say we’re not, even to ourselves. But the question itself brings to awareness and invites us to look at the places of unhappiness. It asks us to assess or balance whether we feel we have more on the side of happiness than unhappiness.
The truth is we are all a combination of happiness and unhappiness at any given time. Think of the Taijitsu – the yin/yang symbol – with its balance of dark and light, with a little of the opposite within the other. Think of the balance of night and day. In this teaching, we learn that what we give our attention to increases. As the Native American legend says, whichever wolf we feed, grows.
The upside of this is that we learn to grow our happiness. But we must also face our shadow or it will hold us hostage, and show up at the most inconvenient times. Carl Jung said, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” Love (or whatever high quality we are going for) brings up anything unlike itself, for the purpose of healing and release. And, the release we do is not to somehow release it from us, rather to release us from feeling ashamed or having to hid “it” – whatever the “it” is.
So, we ask – will we move forward and face our shadow? Tama Kieves, in her book “Thriving Through Uncertainty”, tells the story of a hiking trip where, while trying to get back to the car, on the Oregon coast, with failing light, she and a friend encountered a bear. While she sensibly took a few steps back (as one wisely does, when facing a scary shadow) she realized that her choices involved staying in place, where the coastal fog would soon soak through their t-shirts and jeans and the falling temperatures might result in death by hypothermia, or mustering the courage to move past where the bear was. She recalled considering that death by getting chilled and going numb might be preferable to claws and teeth. But, eventually, they faced their fear and moved past the area where the bear was, gratefully returning to their car.
Each of us sometimes encounters points in our life where we decide we’re “happy enough.” Things are “pretty good.” That’s when the “coastal fog” sets in, soaks into our clothing (of consciousness) and we become, as Pink Floyd put it, “comfortably numb” and our real, warm, alive passion dies of hypothermia.
We move past our shadow by actually facing it – not avoiding, running away or pretending it’s not there. And, we face it, not to fight/battle, but with love and compassion. Our shadow is just a disowned, unloved part of ourselves. It has gifts for us. But we must meet it and ask for and receive the gifts. Like Jacob in the Bible, we may have to “wrestle with the angel” all night to receive the blessing. But, if we’re willing to wrestle, we will eventually receive the blessing and free both the unloved aspect of ourselves and free ourselves from what held us in check.
We can become aware of our shadow by noticing what we judge in others and ourselves. We can ask what we don’t or wouldn’t want people to say about us if they were describing us. And we can become aware of the person we think we might be and are afraid that others will see. (Which they do anyway. We’re the only ones we’re fooling by hiding.) As you become aware of these aspects, get to know them. Befriend them. Ask them where they came from and, eventually, what gift do they have for you.
Beyond happiness is the True Joy of authentic wholeness; of truly being comfortable with all aspects of ourselves. To know light, we must know dark. To know love, we must know lack of love. When Adam & Eve become aware of good/evil, they try to hide themselves from God. We do the same – hiding the parts of us of which we’re ashamed from the very Source of Love and Wholeness. Spirit IS Love – we just have to let It in.
This week’s spiritual practices:
- 1. Pay attention to your judgments of others and yourself. (And notice if you judge yourself for judging. Let’s get honest – we all judge.)
- 2. Identify the actual traits that trigger those judgments. Another way of doing this is to create a list of 3-4 people you hate/strongly dislike and then list 2-3 qualities about each that you dislike. Identify the core traits they represent.
- 3. Recognize and own where these traits live within you. (And they do!) Then love the part of you that expresses these traits and notice the gifts they bring. Be willing to live in and as your Authentic Wholeness.
In her book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers (which is a great book to help with shadow work) Debbie Ford describes a man who spent all his life trying to prove he wasn’t a “wimp” – a charge leveled at him as a young boy by his father. He had to face down where that came from – and notice where being a “wimp” had actually worked for him at certain points of his life. When he could do that, he could incorporate both his strong macho side and his wimpy side to be a more whole man.
Two books with excellent exercises to help with this are the aforementioned Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford and Undefended Love by Jett Psarsis and Marlena Lyons.
And, our upcoming “Loving What Is” class, based on Byron Katie’s work, is another great way to be lovingly supported in reconnecting with the disowned aspects of yourself.
Have a wholly authentic week! Love yourself. All of yourself.
“Joy doesn’t just come from the material or from warm fuzzies or sweet emotions; it comes from living full-on, tapped into Presence.” ~ Shelley Arenas
June 17, 2018 – Divine Masculine & Divine Feminine (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
“Spirit is the Father-Mother God, because It is the Principle of Unity back of all things. The masculine and the feminine principles both come from the One.” ~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, p. 82.1
As we honored fathers last Sunday, we looked at both aspects of the One, expressing as the masculine/feminine principles of the Universe. These principles are paired – we can’t have one without the other. It is important to remember that these are not gender identified principles, rather they are aspects of the One that lives in us all. We all have the masculine & feminine principles living within us, no matter our gender.
Both the yin-yang symbol (Taijitu) and the Science of Mind teaching symbol illustrate these principles. The Tao te Ching tells that the unnamed, non-being, infinite potential enables us to experience the True Essence, while the Tao that can be named – the beingness – is the Mother of all things and enables us to see the outward manifestation.
In the SOM teaching symbol, the masculine principle is at the top and is the place of the potential Ideal. That Ideal, such as Beauty, must be received by the feminine principle if it is to be moved from pure potential into an actual form where we can see and experience it – the “real-ization” of Infinite Potential.
Both of these symbols tend to be seen as static, but they are actually dynamic, flowing, spiraling, and interchanging. This process is a dynamic interplay – a dance – of the Universe as It expresses Its Nature through this creative process. If we are to consciously participate in this process, we must honor both aspects within ourselves. We embody the masculine – the doing, initiating, ordering, intellectual and outward driven principle; and the feminine – the being, receptive, “messy” and seemingly chaotic, emotional, intuitive and inner-directed principle.
In the past, we have created rigid cultural rules for these natures and associated them with gender. (Each of these principles contains a “shadow” or dysfunctional side. The shadow masculine takes over and turns it into control and rigid rules.) But, these rules are dissolving (albeit not without resistance!) Much of the work of the women’s and men’s movements over the past few decades has been to dissolve these rules and rules; to awaken and make respectable the masculine principle being expressed by women and the feminine principle being expressed by men.
The current expansion of the LGBTQ community is an outpicturing of that shift in consciousness, making expressions of love and gender identity far more fluid. All of this is a more open expression of Life and Love, neither of which can ultimately be boxed in. And, it is an expression of the long-repressed Divine Feminine which doesn’t need rigid rules and roles, being far more comfortable with the fluidity of the creative process.
When we work with the SOM teaching symbol which symbolizes the creative process, it’s important to remember that the objective (top) and subjective (middle) co-create – both bring important gifts to the table – to manifest the “child” that is to be created. For much of human history, many cultures believed that the man provided all of the “seed” and the woman just incubated that seed. It wasn’t until the 1600’s that the idea that all living creatures are born from an egg was put forward and it wasn’t until the 1800’s that the mammalian ovum was discovered and until 1928 that the human ovum was identified. (Thus doing away with all myths of virgin births, since it was just the god inseminating the woman, who incubated the god’s seed.)
The universal subjective mind and our individual subjective mind – the middle section of the symbol – contribute “eggs” of ideas of how the Ideal of the Infinite Potential will be expressed. Some of those eggs support healthy growth and birth of the Ideal and some are tainted with past traumas, limited thinking, fears, etc. and produce something less than the full expression. Our work is to increase the health of our “eggs.” We can do this by spending more time listening to the Infinite Wisdom within and by releasing our places of resistance and being open to our full selves and each other.
Our spiritual practices this week:
- 1. Notice how balanced you are between the masculine and feminine (you might need to ask a couple of close and honest friends.) Do you tend to relate to the world more through one than the other?
- 2. Practice either being a little more with the energy of the one you feel less comfortable with or contemplating how to express your balanced masculine feminine even more fully.
I join with Richard Rohr who invites us to become a combination of “lightness of heart and firmness of foot at the same time.”
Have a joyous week.
Please join me in knowing the highest and best to resolve the situation with our immigrant children (we’re all one, so these are “our” children.)
June 24, 2018 – Divine Masculine & Divine Feminine (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
“There is a Power greater than we are that we use. Our own thinking utilizes a Mind principle which creatively acts upon it; therefore we tend to become like what we think.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Ideas of Power
This past Sunday, I began by talking about the current situation surrounding immigrants, including the separation of children from their parents. I don’t have an “answer.” There are many different viewpoints even within our CSL community.
What I do know is that we are watching a drama played out by the shadow side of the masculine/feminine energies we spoke about last week. The shadow masculine is rigid and rule-bound, looking at the world from an either/or and friend/foe perspective. The shadow feminine tends toward what is called the “bleeding heart”, with total acceptance, no rules or guidelines. As each polarizes, each views the other as dangerous and wrong. Neither embodies our ideal from last week of being a combination of a lightness of heart and firmness of foot at the same time.
When I hit that “I don’t know” point in life, I set aside my own trying to “figure it out” and turn to Spirit and the deepest, most core Truth I can know. I know there is only One and I know that there is an Infinite Intelligence back of all this that knows what It is doing. I trust That. Emerson reminds us “We see the universe as solid fact, but God sees it as liquid law.”
From that awareness of the oneness of all, I can begin to see what initiating cause /belief has shown up as this result. All the ideas of countries and nationalities (from which comes the idea of “immigrants”), as well as political parties and the idea of one group being better or worse than another – all this has been made up by humans – us – from the belief in separation and not recognizing the inherent oneness of all. We’ve been doing this for millennia.
When we start working from a belief in separation, it becomes easy to objectify people – to treat people as things. (And things – like corporations – as people.) Generations have been conditioned to perceive separation, along with a belief in the superiority or inferiority of “my kind.” Don Miguel Ruiz devotes the first chapter of his Four Agreements to the awareness of the “mitote” – the dream state created by what he calls the “domestication of humans.” We are taught to see “the other” as objects, often to be feared. A whole generation has been taught to fear strangers and now we wonder why that generation doesn’t connect and instead chooses electronic devices to relate with. This separation, objectification, and fear create so much of the pain in the world in which we live. Even the planet is treated as an object to be used. What we all really want is love. Instead of seeing our common humanity and our shared divinity, out of fear and habit we create more separation and pain.
I don’t know all the steps out of the current situation. I’m neither a lawyer nor a legislator. There are certainly steps we must take as we are called to respond. We are, as the Karen Drucker song says, the heart, hands, and voice of Spirit on earth. Avoiding it all is NOT the solution. But we must take whatever steps we take from the perhaps difficult but necessary mindset of a “Namaste” consciousness – the divinity within me recognizes the divinity within you – for ALL people and for ALL the circumstances. If we objectify, dehumanize and vilify anyone (yup, even that one) we just continue the same consciousness that brought us to this point. Yes, breathe.
And, in order for the divinity within us to see the divinity within others, we must first know the divinity that we are – which is easier said than done – because we have also been conditioned to objectify, fear and vilify ourselves. Many of us have greater faith in our brokenness than in our divinity.
This is where we incorporate Power and Faith. We ALL have access to an Infinite Power and are creating with It all the time. Our thought is the tool for using this Power and our faith provides the direction. By “faith” I mean what we truly expect or believe – not what we say or wish we believed. Thus it is tremendously important to be clear about what we really believe, which we can see by looking at our current life. Where do we feel free to move forward and where do we hold ourselves back?
At this point, we can be tempted to focus on what other people may be believing that allows them to take certain actions. But, we can’t control another’s belief, only our own. Byron Katie invites us to stay in “our business” and not others’ or God’s business. The only life we have to live is our own. Getting into others’ business is an excellent – but unproductive – way of avoiding our own “stuff.”
So, even when we look at the national scene “out there”, we must remember that there is only ONE Life, Whole, Perfect and Complete. Which means that It is operating according to Its own nature and laws (what we put in is what comes out.) If I fall off the top of a tall building, gravity will operate perfectly, even though not necessarily the way I would like or wish it to. Gravity is whole, perfect and complete in its operation.
The Great News is that, since there is only One Life, totally and completely interconnected, and It puts out what is put in, we can change the input. Notice if a little voice expresses the belief that sounds like “But I’m just one person, in the face of all these other people.” Ernest Holmes reminds us several times that “one with God is a majority.” Trained thought that is aligned with Truth – and Truth is the ever greater expression of Life, Love, Freedom, Peace, Beauty, and Joy – is far more powerful than untrained, fear-based thought.
Our spiritual practice this week is three-fold:
- 1. Pay attention to who/what you objectify, both externally and internally.
- 2. Practice “Namaste” consciousness with everyone including yourself this week. Rumi reminds us, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
- 3. Use your faith and trained, focused thought to direct the Infinite Power that moves through you. As Emma Curtis Hopkins says, “Have faith in God and the faith of God.” One with God is a majority. We have the ability to awaken from the dream and create a reality of loving harmony. If that seems far away right now, recognize that it is, in Truth, already present. We’re just waking up to it.
“If all the people in the world believed what is not so (the illusion) and only one person knew the Truth (Wholeness, Oneness) that one person would repudiate the belief of all the rest.” ~ Ernest Holmes, Ideas of Power
Much Love this week.
I closed last Sunday’s talk with a prayer written by Ernest Holmes in April of 1942, during a very dark period of World War II. It seemed appropriate for what we are currently feeling. You can access it here.
July 1, 2018 – Who You Think Are Is a Belief to be Undone (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
“We see the universe as solid fact, but God sees it as liquid law.” ~ Emerson
This month, we are working with Tama Kieves’ book Thriving Through Uncertainty. Life is constantly expanding, evolving, expressing more of Its Nature. As we flow with it, we experience an ease and grace in living – moving with Spirit. If we try to cling to our ideas of how things are “supposed to be”, we create suffering and spiritual constipation.
We have created “realities” – or, more correctly, adopted “realities” created for us by others and passed along – and we live from these “realities.” But, like the 5 blind men exploring an elephant, “reality” is context-dependent. None of us have an overarching view of True Reality, yet we live from what we think is “reality” and that affects everything we think, do and create.
Some of the realities we live from may be about our age, our gender, race, financial status, education and so on. Many of these “realities” are formed based upon past experiences and the meanings we have assigned to and self-images we assume from those experiences. When we begin to question our ideas of “reality” – “Can I absolutely know this is true?” as Byron Katie invites us to ask, we can begin to free ourselves from old ideas that hold us back. What if NONE of our ideas are True?
Most of us are afraid to let go of some of our cherished perceptions because we’re afraid of being hurt or having no idea how to relate if we don’t surround ourselves with our “stories” of “who we are.” An old blues song says, “Everybody wants to get to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” If we are to flow with Life, to become more than we are now (which is our true spiritual process) we must, as Nietzsche said, “Become a chaos before giving birth to a shining star.”
In his book Illusions, Richard Bach tells the story of river creatures who live clinging to their rocks. One of the creatures decides that he can no longer do this without dying of boredom. Despite the warnings of his compatriots about how he will be smashed to death on the rocks, he lets go. At first, he is bounced around on the rocks – as many of us are, when we first try something new. But, eventually, he learns to float along the river. When asked, farther downstream, how he does it, he replies, “The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare to let go.”
Only when we let go of our cherished beliefs and perceptions of “reality” can new ideas and perceptions come in. Growth can make us feel helpless, at first. We have to admit we don’t know everything! (I hate that part!) Like the caterpillar dissolving in the cocoon, the “me” identity that was must dissolve to become the “me” that is evolving. We can’t cling to the old. The limited self will insist on a limited desire.
How do we find this next evolution of our True Self? By paying attention to our True Desires. They may defy logic (how it has always worked) but they will lift us into our radical spiritual power. Life isn’t about finding solutions that fit our present circumstances – it’s about finding answers/directions that change our existing circumstances. Yet, as we lift up and let Spirit carry us along, we find that which we were seeking has always been here – within us. Even if previous experiences have caused us to close our hearts, the Life Force is always present. Just as, if you break a lamp, you don’t sit in the dark and say, “well, that was the only lamp I’ll ever have.” No, you recognize that you still have electricity (spiritual Lifeforce) and go buy a new lamp.
- 1. Take time to listen to your True Desires. What does Spirit as me want to be/express now?
- 2. Write a letter from your future self to your current fearful self. Let this future self lift up and show you your expanded life 5, 10, 20 years down the road. Begin the letter with, “Dear one, you are being given the chance of a lifetime!….” (If you’re not sure what a future self sounds like or would say, make it up!)
- 3. Take an action toward your inspired life! As Tama says, “Take a damn chance! Chase goosebumps, visions, mala beads or hawk feathers. Don’t be so smart; it will make you stupid. This life is bigger than your brain.”
Have an inspired week of breaking through and out of old, stuck patterns into the free flow of Life you deserve!
“You didn’t come here to be static. You came to be ecstatic!”
July 8, 2018 – You Can’t Plan an Inspired Life (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I once had a young MBA graduate friend who shared with me his completely planned out life for the next 20 years. It was all I could do to keep from laughing, as I knew life would throw him curves, twists and a land mine or two. It’s good to have plans – they give direction and structure to creating an outcome we desire. But plans need room to breathe. The word “inspire” comes from the Latin root inspirare’ which means “to breathe.”
An inspired life is a life you LOVE! As Joseph Campbell said, “Not a quick little excitement, but a deep, life-filling bliss.” Last week we talked about that we didn’t come here to be static, but ecstatic – to live lives of ecstasy! Now, that all sounds great, but it sometimes means we have to go against the very thing that made us “successful” in the past. It’s not a life filled with lovely sandalwood incense, but more of a drunken mule, braying insistently to make you pay attention to a direction or suggestion you don’t want to hear! That is your Authentic Self calling you out of the small box of the life you created out of old patterns and conditioning into something new. And, it can be scary! Especially if we don’t really know and trust our Authentic Self.
Gay Hendricks, in his outstanding book The Big Leap says we operate in four “zones.” They are the Zone of Incompetence (yeah, you know that one) the Zone of Competence, the Zone of Excellence – where we often make our money, reputation and “successful life”, but lack that deep joy, and the Zone of Genius, where we create the life that truly speaks to and from our Soul – our Authentic Self. Often, we have to leave behind the Zone of Excellence to move into the Zone of Genius.
And, our “do what we’re supposed to” mind tries to fit our wild, imaginative authenticity into the confining box of what it “should” look like and what we’re already familiar with. The inspired life isn’t always a “credible” life – the kind you can explain to your parents and peers – but an incredible life.
How do we tap into this? By paying attention to our inner voice and noticing what we love and are passionate about. God/Spirit/the Universe IS Love – and we are one of That – so we are Love in motion and form. If we keep listening to that True Voice of Love, despite all our ideas of limitation, unworthiness and anything else we feel holds us back, we start to experience our own real possibility. We see we are not stuck in old paradigms, doomed to forever repeat patterns.
Once we hear that Voice, we must support it. Emerson reminded us, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” We have to give ourselves permission to not “accomplish” and “achieve” but to BE and to Love.
And, we must have patience. The inspired life doesn’t happen instantly. We allow the seed to be planted within us, then allow it to grow at its pace. I know, I know!! But, know that the Universe doesn’t give you the inspiration without also giving you everything to express that inspiration. It just doesn’t always look the way we thought or happen in the time and way we thought. That’s the “letting go” and trusting something greater than our finite minds.
Take some time to “do nothing.” And, notice how your mind will want to fill up the time of doing nothing with doing things. Thoreau would sit for hours in his front door, gazing at the trees and lost in reverie. Try it!
Pay attention to what you do and notice if it’s because you “should” or because you truly want to. Yes, we have to pay bills, but notice the payoff for doing so – like having lights and running water – and notice if the “have to” becomes a “want to.”
Pay attention to what you LOVE and feel passionate about. It doesn’t have to be practical or logical. And, you don’t have to make something out of it or figure out how. Just notice.
Have an inspired, playful and blissful week!
“The spark of creation, may it burn forever
The spark of creation, I’m a keeper of the flame.
We think all we want is a lifetime of leisure,
Each perfect day the same
Well that’s alright if you’re a kind of crustacean,
But when you’re born with an imagination
Sooner or later you’re feeling the fire get higher and higher –
The spark of creation!” ~ Lyrics from “Spark of Creation” from the musical Children of Eden by Stephen Schwartz.
July 15, 2018 – You Must Listen to Spirit (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
This is the “You Must…!” that your parents or an ex-spouse might have screamed at you. No, it’s a more gentle, yet still very clear reminder that if we want lives that flow more gracefully, listening to Spirit is a Really Good Idea!
The broadcast of Spirit is ever present, but we have to tune in. We have to interrupt the equally constant, but not as helpful, broadcast of both the external world and our inner chatter. As the song “Listen” by Tom Kimmel, from Sunday said, “The world runs fast, the Spirit slow.” When we are caught up in the rush of the world, or our old stories or being “safely busy” – a great way to avoid deep listening – we don’t hear or feel our Authentic Self. As Tama Kieves says, “In order to find a mission, we need an intermission.”
If we want to shift an aspect of our life – health, relationship, wealth, creative expression – into something new – something “unpredictable and unprecedented”, we must spend time grounded in love, space to breathe and listen, time, meandering and permission to step away from the busy-ness.
True peace of mind – not the zone out, la-la-la mindset – but real peace of mind, is an act of heroic self-compassion and dedicated concentration. If we want to make a difference we need to be different than we have been and often from our “supposed to be’s.”
Most of us have spent a great deal of our lives trying to fit in, to be accepted. We have been conditioned to be “good people”, to meet certain norms of society, whether the society of our family, town, country or world. But, as Laurel Thatcher Ulrich observed, “Well behaved women seldom make history.” The same is true for men. We have to let go of our ego’s voice and plans so we can hear our Soul’s Voice and plans.
Even our “high expectations” – yes, the very thing you’re encouraged to have – can get in the way of truly listening to Spirit. I sometimes hear my inner dialogue about the “minister I’m supposed to be” – especially when I see another minister doing “big, wonderful things” in the world. We have the parents we “should be”, the children we “should be” (and they those siblings and people over there) should be. And, of course, we have the list of all the ways we’ve “failed” and haven’t lived up to those high expectations.
But if we want to create lives we love we must love the lives we’ve created – now. So often the expectations come from fear of not being “good enough” or scarcity. We run on the belief that if we don’t feel like we’re enough, we can compensate by doing “enough.” But, we can never take enough actions to ever feel enough, to feel safe. We can only know we’re safe, whole, enough as we focus on our innate wholeness and enoughness – that we already are and always have been. We’re the Divine in form. And, we can only begin to truly know that when we take time to listen to that deep, quiet voice within.
Our inner chatter (and often outer lives) will tell us that’s not important, we don’t have time, we need to do more!! Now. We can multi-task. We have greater faith in our doing as our source than in the Infinite Source. There’s a saying that if you feel you’re too busy to meditate for 10 minutes a day, meditate for 30 minutes.
I invite you to take a few minutes now – yes, right now – to listen within. Take a deep breath, just notice your heart beating, the sounds around you, without becoming attached to them. Perhaps imagine being in a sacred temple somewhere. Feel a gentle breeze blowing and imagine it blows through you and you release all your cares and concerns to it and let them be blown away. As they are carried away, be willing to listen more deeply. Perhaps there’s a Voice there. Perhaps It speaks your name and says “You are beloved.” Just listen.
Even if “nothing happened” – and we are so full of expectations that “something” must happen – trust that you’ve opened a door, a channel. The broadcast is always on – and you are always in communion with that broadcast. You will hear it – probably when you least expect.
This week for our spiritual practices;
- 1. Take time to just listen. If you already do, try taking a little more time.
- 2. Take time to love your life, exactly as it is now and has been.
- 3. Let go of judgments, shame, blame and all that garbage that takes you away from true Joy, true Peace of mind. Just let the wind of a Love that is bigger, deeper and more infinite than we can imagine, carry those thoughts away. Just be.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.” – Jalaluddin Rumi, from “A Great Wagon”
Have a deep, peaceful week.
July 22, 2018 – The Safe Path is Never About Staying Safe (Guest Speaker – Shamanic Healer, John Rozenberg)
Shamanic Healer John Rozenberg was our guest speaker. He reminded us that, as we step into the Life to which we are truly called, and commit to it, we may find that everything that’s not in alignment with that commitment will show up. And, we will have a tendency to listen to that – old programming, fears, and conditioning of society – that if we do, we stop listening to our intuition. Often, we’ll keep going in the same direction, even though we know better, like standing in line to get on a roller coaster, when we don’t like roller coasters and know we’ll probably puke. But, because we’ve “bought the ticket”, because we’ve been standing in that line, and because everyone around us is excited about getting on that roller coaster, we ignore our intuition and get on the roller coaster – and puke.
Instead, we have to step out on the “skinny branch” of life and take the chance we’re being called toward. And, sometimes, like John experienced, the skinny branch breaks. It did so literally, in his case, while cutting out the mistletoe that was slowly sucking the life out of trees – kind of like things do in our own life. But, after the branch broke – and he landed safely, as the tree slowed the fall and the branch cushioned his fall – he noticed that he could now see mountains that he didn’t know were available. Often, it takes our “branch” breaking to provide a new perspective. God reveals Itself when we pay attention. Be willing to pay attention, to step out on the skinny branch (test it) and trust that, if the branch breaks, we can ride it all the way down and land – perhaps not where we expected, but where we need to be to gain a clearer perspective. This week:
- 1. Listen to your intuition. Notice what you might have been not wanting to hear, because you already bought the ticket to a roller coaster you don’t really want to ride, but think you should because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
- 2. Be willing to take some steps out onto that skinny branch. You don’t have to throw your whole current life away, but you can start stepping towards your heart’s desire.
Have a fun and blessed week – and stay cool! “Security is mostly a superstition. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” Helen Keller
July 29, 2018 – Thriving Through Uncertainty (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
Uncertainty – aka “life” – is the only certainty. Many of us have learned to survive uncertainty, but not necessarily how to thrive – or realize that we even could. We’re here to, as “someone” once said, have life and have it more abundantly. We’re here to have a spectacularly great time, not just survive the journey.
Life – human perspective life – seems uncertain because we are trying to experience it from our intellect, with all its conditioning about how life “should be” and its finite perspective. LIFE – the Big “L” Life – must be experienced from the heart and intuition. That Life isn’t uncertain – It knows how to unfold and is doing so perfectly, Its own Way. We have conflict because we insist it should be another way – “our way.” We tend to look with the mind for answers of the heart.
Often, we have been taught to approach life backwards, to have all the answers ready before we proceed. Follow the “safe” way. But, as Kelly Corsino sang here last week, “20 Feet down the road is all I can see.” This past week, I drove over to Ocean Shores for a couple of cool days at the ocean. I couldn’t see the whole trip when I left – not the whole road, the house I was staying at (was even given the wrong address) or the experiences I was going to have. All I had to deal with was the next step.
Our teens shared some experiences of moving through uncertainty at the recent Teen Camp in CA. Ziya tried making friends in a way that, at first, didn’t work. But she kept exploring new ways and people and eventually made some great connections. Her brother Ocean found ways to connect with his “family” and friends after camp.
Here are three ways to support you thriving through uncertainty:
- Find peace, then you will find answers. We’re trained to think we can’t be at peace until we have “solved the problem.” But real, authentic answers come when we’re in a state of peace. They live below the choppy surface of the mind, the same as the beauty of the ocean lives beneath the choppy surface of the water – something we discover in snorkeling. If we seek answers with a sense of desperation, we will get more desperation. If we take time to be at peace first, our answers will reflect that peace and the Deeper Wisdom we can hear in that state.
- Forget “answers” – uncover desires. Instead of “What will I do with the rest of my life?”, ask “What do I truly want to do in this moment?” Our desires are doorways to a deeper sense of Self; breadcrumbs on the path of our life. If we can tap into that juicy, hot, joyous desire – before we talk ourselves into “practicality” and “how are YOU ever gonna do THAT”? – we will tap into the energy that will propel us forward, past our limiting beliefs. When I finally got clear that I truly desired a Miata (which I had been for 25 years, but kept letting myself be talked out of) everything that seemed to be in the way suddenly was “the Way.” Follow your breadcrumbs.
- Trust the process. Our teen, Sophie, told the story of a giant clay Buddha statue that was being moved. While moving, it got dropped and a piece broke off. Under the break, people noticed the gleam of gold. Eventually, they realized that the entire Buddha statue was made of gold, covered in clay hundreds of years ago to hide it from an invading army. The “mistake” of the movers revealed the hidden value. When we can use even our “mistakes” to reveal the True Spirit that is always present, we will be less attached to how things are “supposed to be” and open to seeing and flowing with the process of Life.
Our desires will take us into new and unfamiliar territory. We will learn a new language – the language of our own Spirit. The heart may seem silly to the mind – but the mind is ineffective on the path of heart – and Life is a path of the heart.
- Find peace. Spend some time just being still. When I went to Ocean Shores, I took along a book to “work on myself.” I never opened it. I didn’t even take time for formal “meditation.” Instead, I slept in, watched the bay empty and fill, explored the marshland, ocean, gift shops, and restaurants – and had a tremendous “aha” from an offhand comment in another book that I was reading “for fun.”
- Pay attention to your desires. Listen deeply, with a “sacred neutrality” – not trying to figure out the practicality. View your desires as luminous bread crumbs on the path.
- Trust the process. Life IS expressing through you – always and just as you are. Let it flow. Learn to surf. Actually follow a breadcrumb.
Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, had to go through the whole yellow brick road following process with munchkins, witches, flying monkeys and a wizard who wasn’t, to get to the place she could have gotten to at any time. But, without the journey, she might have returned home, but not truly arrived home. The Greek hero Odysseus had to go through the whole journey – which should have only taken two weeks – to become the man he needed to be when he returned home. A meaningful life can pick up our house and drop it into a completely new, unfamiliar land – and we are still right where we need to be.
Happy surfing of the waves of Life. Enjoy the journey.
“Give yourself permission to be led by your light. We live in a world that asks you for a five-year plan. But when you’re in transition, which is always, I suggest a five-minute plan. Follow the breadcrumbs. Follow love. Always follow love. Love takes you places you wouldn’t believe.” ~ Tama Kieves, Thriving Through Uncertainty
August 5, 2018 – The Power of Prayer (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
This month, we take a look at prayer – specifically the 5 step affirmative prayer process known as Spiritual Mind Treatment. There are many kinds of prayer – all have their time, place and usefulness. There is the “beseeching” prayer that many of us learned growing up, as well as “bargaining” prayer. Both are usually sent to an external Source (God above) – “out there” – to do something for us “down here.” (Beseeching is asking, begging – please do this. Bargaining is, I’ll do something for you if you do something for me. Once, while flying over the hood of a car that had just collided with me on my bicycle, I had the thought – in that slow motion “accident time” – “God, if you let me live, I promise I’ll wear a helmet from now on.” That’s bargaining.) (Oh, and I lived – no major damage – and wore a helmet from then on.) J
Spiritual Mind Treatment takes a basic premise that God (the Infinite Presence everywhere in and as the Universe) doesn’t need to change – we do. As we become more in alignment with the True Nature of the Infinite, our external conditions begin to more resemble the health, joy, peace, and such which are the nature of the Universe.
It is also based on the premise that thought is creative; that the Infinite creates by Self-contemplation and so do we. Images become thoughts; thoughts become words; words become our experience. We are creative expression within the Infinite Creation that is always ongoing. The Universe is taking the time and energy to contemplate Itself into existence as you! Remember that the next time you’re feeling separate.
Spiritual Mind Treatment is a process – a method – of directing the creativity of the Universe. As such, it deals only with thought, not with people or conditions. It opens our subjective mind to align with the flow of the Universe, thus allowing that Infinite Nature to manifest in form. This process just focuses our mind, much like a laser focuses scattered light.
The next thing is to understand the consciousness in which we do a treatment. Ernest Holmes says that effective treatment is propelled by Love and by a realization that the Creative Spirit is always at work. The Hawaiian term “Ha’oli” – meaning “without breath” – was applied to early Christian missionaries who said their rote prayers without ever breathing life into them. We are most effective when we take time to prepare, to breathe, to center ourselves in the Love which is the nature of the Universe, and to be aware that we are just opening to and directing a Universal Energy which is always flowing.
Prior to beginning a treatment, we must know the purpose. What is the specific result we want to create? What is the specific nature of the Infinite we want to experience – Love, Wisdom, Creativity, Joy, Freedom, Wealth, Health?
Too often, when we try to establish a purpose, a few things get in the way. Let’s look at three of those:
1. Not thinking big enough. We tend to forget that the Infinite is not bound by what came before; it isn’t limited to the kinds of things that we have already experienced. But, our limited intellect can’t see outside that box, so it tries to “figure out” what (and how) it can make sense of, instead of letting a larger Mind work through us. A way through this is a process called “visioning,” which gets us out of our head and into our heart and intuition, to ask questions like, “What is the highest idea here? What does the Infinite want to manifest through me?” When I manifested my latest house (which is way nicer than my intellect thought I could have), I asked the question, “What kind of a house does God, as me, want to live in to support my life and ministry?” Another question to ask is, “What would I LOVE in this situation?”
Blockage #2 – creating a “sub-purpose” instead of what we really want. A classic example of this is wanting money. Money is simply a means to an end. The deeper question is, “What would I be experiencing if I had the money I want?” Then we find things like safety & security, freedom, joy, creativity, the ability to buy something – whether specific or more general. These are the things we really want. We just think money will provide them. Another example is wanting a certain healing process when what we really want is health, wellness, a body we love being in. And another might be a great dating service when what we really want is a great relationship. The mind can trick us into an eternal pattern of getting ready to get ready by focusing on the mechanisms, instead of the real desire.
And blockage #3 rolls right out of that – focusing on the how instead of the what. My favorite example of this is people praying to win the lottery. What they really want is greater wealth – and then the deeper things that they really want. But they focus on a single mechanism – winning the lottery – instead of allowing the Universe to do what It does naturally – express abundantly. So, in your purpose, be clear on what you really want, what you would love to experience.
Three practices this week:
- 1. Pick an area of your life where you’d like to experience a greater flow of Spirit. “Big” or “small” – it doesn’t matter; it’s just an area to practice with.
- 2. Take some time to vision, to ask what would I really love in this circumstance. Open up to your intuition. Turn off the intellect’s “yeah, but’s.”
- 3. Identify one or two “God qualities” (such as Love, Freedom, Joy, Peace, Harmony, Power, Abundance) and state them as your purpose. An example: I now choose to manifest a greater experience of God’s love in my relationship with ___.
Have fun and play with this. Next week we’ll start to focus that purpose, to direct this energy into manifestation.
“Unless the one studying spiritual mind treatment practices this Principle, he will neither understand its nature nor appreciate its value.” ~ Ernest Holmes
August 12, 2018 – Affirmation and Denials (Speaker – Rev. David Robinson)
Continuing our look at affirmative prayer, which we began this month, this week we looked at the first 3 steps of the affirmative prayer/spiritual mind treatment process. Why steps? Well, as is said in the 12-step program, you can’t take the elevator, you have to take the steps. These five steps give a structure to support us in the process of powerfully shifting our consciousness, thus powerfully shifting our results. We can get caught up in the drama of conditions. Affirmative prayer gives us a way to redirect our attention to Truth, to remembering who we are and what the true Source of Life is.
A metaphor for how the mind can get caught up is that we see fire or water on a movie screen and feel it as real. But, in truth, the screen doesn’t burn or get wet. We are not our conditions or circumstances – we are not our financial state, health state, relationships – we project our thinking onto the screen of Life and then experience our own projections. If we want to change what’s showing up onscreen, we change the projection, not the screen. Spiritual mind treatment/affirmative prayer helps us wake up and remember that we can change the projections.
The first step is to pull away from thinking about the condition and recognize that God/Spirit/Tao/Infinite Oneness (fill in the blank with your favorite name for That which is greater) is ALL there is. There is a Oneness, a Life energy, an Infinite unconditional Love abundantly and extravagantly expressing throughout the Universe always and everywhere. Some of the qualities of This One are: Life, Love, Light/Wisdom/Intelligence, Power, Peace, Beauty, joy – fully expressing.
Last week, when we established the specific purpose for our treatment, we identified a “God quality” or two that would be expressing as the outcome we wanted. Some examples are: Love for more loving relationships or just feeling safe in the world (perhaps combined with peace); Life and Wholeness if we want to experience greater health; perhaps Peace, Power (the ability to create and accomplish) or Joy in abundance if we want more wealth.
So, even though God (and I’m just going to use that word – not for the old “big guy in the sky” but for the Infinite Oneness) is all of these qualities, we’re focusing on what we want to experience at this moment, in this specific area of life.
Most importantly, we stay with this step (and all the steps) until we really feel it! This isn’t an intellectual exercise, it’s an establishment of an unshakeable faith in the outcome we’re creating. If we say, “God is all there is and is guiding me now…” but in our mind we’re saying, “Well, I hope so”, we’re not really fully in the faith and mindset of making the definite statement to create our Good.
Once we know and feel this first step – “God is…” – then we move to the second step of Unification – I am one of That. Since the Infinite Oneness is all there is, nothing and no one can exist outside of an infinite. Therefore, we are within the Infinite and must possess the same qualities as It. Thus, we are Life, Love, Light/Wisdom/Intelligence, Power, Peace, Beauty, and Joy – NOW! Always have been, always will be and are now. We don’t have to earn it, become it, bargain for it – we just are. We may have forgotten, but we still are. Again, we stay with this step until we really feel it! We are building the foundation of a faith in and of God that will produce real, tangible results in our life and can permanently shift our thinking.
These first two steps pull our heads out of focusing on the circumstances and situations in which we find ourselves and into remembering who we really are – breathing the fresh air of Truth that has been let into a room filled with the stale air of the past. If we’re in a really centered state already, this may only take a few moments. If we’re in a less than centered state – and who hasn’t been – it may take longer. Sometimes a lot longer.
Now that we have reminded ourselves of this Truth, we are ready to start painting the specific picture; declaring what it is that we choose to have show up through us. This third step is called “realization” and I like that word, because this is where we take the above God qualities and make them real in human form. We don’t want to just experience love as a God quality, we want to experience it in our relationships. We don’t want to just hold the thought of chocolate; we want to actually experience the chocolate. (I’ll speak for myself here.)
This is also the step in which we tackle any naysayers living in our mind. Emma Curtis Hopkins, a New Thought teacher from the late 1800’s, said, “Between you and your Good, which belongs to you and which you ought to have, is your idea of the absence of Good.” We have what we have (and don’t have) in our lives because we believe in the reality of it. If we want something different, we must change our minds to a new reality. We call this process “denials and affirmations.” (This is not the psychological form of denial in which we try to pretend that something that exists doesn’t. It’s a denial that “false evidence appearing real” – FEAR, lack, limitation, sickness, etc. has any spiritual reality and must continue in our lives.)
Using denials and affirmations is the process of pulling out the weeds and planting the plants we desire in our consciousness. A denial refutes the old story/belief/conditioning that has run our lives in the past. Examples: there is no lack in the Infinite, therefore there is no lack in my life. (Substitute sickness, lack of love, confusion, etc.) As one of my teachers used to say, “If it ain’t true of God, it ain’t true of you.”
Denials are always followed by affirmations. (Think of pulling out weeds, then just leaving the open soil. Whatever is blowing around – probably more weeds – lands and grows.) It’s important, after saying what isn’t so, to remind ourselves of the Truth that is so. “There is no lack in the Infinite, therefore there is no lack in my life. The Infinite is the abundant flow of Good, the full-flowing prosperity and thriving nature of Life Itself and I am one of that, thus my finances express this Truth right now in every wonderful way.” And, yes, do this step until you truly feel it at your gut level.
Next week, we’ll look at the final two steps to seal and deliver this in our minds. The final week of the month will be an experiential prayer service, where we put this all together with words and music.
This week for practice:
Get clear on your purpose (see last week’s talk summary) and take a little preparation time to be open and receptive to the Truth you are about to speak.
Practice these three steps: God is…; I am That…; Therefore, I know that any old “yeah but’s” are now kicked out of my consciousness and the Truth is established as so and is now operating in my life.
Feel these steps. Get that feeling of knowing it as true for you.
Have fun with this. You’re an artist creating.
“How much can one demonstrate? Just what one can believe. How much can we see, how much can we accept, how much can we find in consciousness that is no longer repudiated by our own denials? Whatever that is, THAT MUCH WE CAN HAVE.” ~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, p. 39.2
In this, our third week of looking at the powerful process known as Spiritual Mind Treatment, we look at how to “seal the deal” within our minds. In review, we remembered that the purpose of a treatment is to change our consciousness, not to try to change something or someone “out there.” Instead, we remember that, because we are one with the Infinite One, we embody all the traits of that One. So, as God/Spirit is Life, Love, Wisdom/Intelligence, Power, Beauty, Peace, Joy expressing that nature extravagantly, so are we. At least, that’s our True Nature.
Of course, we have, in some cases, forgotten that and Spiritual Mind Treatment helps clean the glasses of our perception. So, we get clear on our purpose (see the August 5 talk summary), then move forward through the first three steps of this five step process. (See last week for the first three steps.)
Once we have recognized that God is all there is and become aware of our unity with It, and declared this Truth as so in the specific condition we want to shift our consciousness around, we move into gratitude. This is not a gratitude to something or someone, not “to”, but “for” – grateful for the specific purpose we’re treating for as though it’s already so. And, because there is nothing in our mind that can be outside the One Mind, it is so in that Mind already. We are just aligning with it. Our treatment, including our gratitude is always in the now because that’s the only time in Spirit.
Finally, we release this word – this seed – which we have created. Thoughts are things and we have created a powerful, conscious “thought seed” and now we plant it into the Law of the Universe – that process which moves thoughts into things, as surely as it moves acorns into oak trees. This is where we let go and trust the Universe. For some of us, this is the most difficult step, as we want to manipulate the outcome, instead of trusting. We must release to let something greater than ourselves and our limited perspectives to show up.
Before we move on, a couple of follow-up thoughts: People often ask how often to do treatment. Ernest Holmes says simply, “Until it manifests.” Treatment should produce definite, tangible results. Sometimes instantaneously, other times with a little more time needed. We keep knowing the Truth of any situation until that Truth shows up. Also, pay attention to your thinking and notice if any new doubts surface and treat to clear those out and remind yourself of the Truth. This is watering and fertilizing the seed of Truth within your mind.
Finally, there is a phrase, “Treat and move your feet.” Treatment isn’t about sitting our meditation cushion, “om-ing” and expecting life to shift. We must follow our intuition in the direction of opening ourselves to what we’re treating about. This isn’t the fear-based need to control that keeps people from letting go. This is listening to the love and freedom based intuition that guides us to do things, go places, talk with someone. As the old story goes, if you want to win the lottery, at least buy a ticket.
This week’s spiritual practice is simply to practice putting this all together. Choose a purpose, identify what the God-quality(-ies) are that this purpose embodies, take a few minutes to get centered, then move through the five steps, being sure to feel each one thoroughly before moving on to the next. Play with it and see what happens. The separation based mind may say things like “it won’t work” or “I don’t know how to do this” but it’s just trying to keep you in the safe zone of current circumstances instead of stepping into the newness of freedom, love and joy. Thank it for trying to protect you, and then play with it anyway.
Oh, by the way, you’ve been using at least some of this process all your life. It’s the Creative Process – moving our thoughts into our life experience. We’re just getting more conscious and less based on past, limited beliefs. Have fun!