Sunday, March 26, 2017

Aging As A Spiritual Practice, Sunday Service



My life is a full-on expression of the passion, potential and possibility of the wisdom and the life-givingness of Spirit.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Peace Be Unto Thee Stranger

Mural by Karen Meyer, RScP, and the first line from
Dr. Ernest Holmes' poem in the Science of Mind textbook.

Dr. Ernest Holmes' The Science of Mind begins with a dedication and  a poem:
"These lessons
are dedicated to that Truth
which frees man from himself
and sets him on a pathway of a new experience,
which enables him to see through the mist
to the Eternal and Changeless Reality."
It is an awe-inspiring idea that the Truth we discover is that we are one with that Changeless and Eternal Reality.

Then he writes:
Peace Be Unto Thee Stranger
"Peace be unto thee, stranger, enter and be not afraid.
I have left the gate open and thou art welcome to my home.
There is room in my house for all.
I have swept the hearth and lighted the fire.
The room is warm and cheerful and you will find comfort and rest within.
The table is laid and the fruits of Life are spread before thee.
The wine is here also, it sparkles in the light.
I have set a chair for you where the sunbeams dance through the shade.
Sit and rest and refresh your soul.
Eat of the fruit and drink the wine.
All, all is yours, and you are welcome." 
I love this poem because it clearly tells us that all the joys and pleasures of life are available to us. As the wonderful Emma Curtis Hopkins said,
There is good for me, and I ought to have it."
It is so true. All has been given. Our job is to embody more of it so we can receive.

On the feature wall in our sanctuary,  artist Karen Meyer, RScP hand-stenciled the first line of the poem when we bought this building 4.5 years ago. It is such a great reminder that our good is at hand right now.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Expanded Horizons, Sunday Service


I live in a friendly universe. God is for me and no one is against me. I make welcome my own vulnerability and let the healing take place. And So It Is!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Honoring the Students



I love teaching the principles of the Science of Mind. This week we completed ten weeks of study on a course entitled, "The Essential Ernest." This class is one of my favorites because it invites students to explore the ideas that excited and intrigued Ernest Holmes. It is based on a book compiled by Rev. Dr. Jesse Jennings of the same name. Dr. Jennings organizes the material into logical pieces and organizes it all around our Statement of Principles. I love seeing students have personal insights through committing to spiritual practices and awakening to being the directors of their own lives.Today I am going to share some of the amazing creativity that sprang from that class. Our class ranged from a college student to retired  people.

One of the assignments was to create a one-page paper on the distinction between a diagnosis and  a prognosis from both a medical and a metaphysical viewpoint, and how and why you would explain this to a friend suffering from an unwanted condition -- or otherwise communicate your sense through a musical, visual or poetic representation. We received some lovely answers including from Robert Welch:
"Medical works with appearance in the world; metaphysical works with spiritual world.
Medically a diagnosis is the art of identifying a disease from its signs, e.g. finding arthritis. A prognosis is a forecast of what will happen. Looking again at a person's arthritis, medically the prognosis is the forecast is going to be on the illness. This is the world of appearance. 
Ernest Holmes, (Page 134 of The Essential Ernest) relates diagnosis to facts or present situation. This is relating to the appearance of the condition arthritis.Now there is a great distinction between medical and metaphysical. Prognosis metaphysically means seeing the truth or anticipated reality coming from a field of external reality. 
The condition of arthritis can be explained to another person as a condition that does not have to be accepted but can be seen beyond the present. There instead is wholeness, wellness and love which are greater. The worlds of medicine and metaphysics work together to create wholeness and wellness. This is for a better vision of life."
College student, Kay Allen wrote this beautiful poem about her friend, Pamela. You will see by Kay's words that she paints a picture of wholeness and beauty, always the spiritual Truth.
"I picture your rosy smile when I hear the name Pamela. I see your tiny body wrapped in sepia braids and love awards. It is not the bandanna covering your forehead, or the hospital gown, or the Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It is simply the high, pink cheekbones, squinty blue eyes, and that wide smile that I see. I only wish you could see the golden dust on your fingers, the electricity pumping your blood, instead of the anger. Your diagnosis carries no gun. And, you are in no danger. Instead, you are branching out, growing leaves, reaching with your roots, and allowing yourself to be. With a prognosis in development, you are out there, lighting the fires for the stars to see, and dancing with the embers."
A person who decided to write a song to answer this question is the amazing Rick Dale, RScP. Rick demonstrates both his musical skill and his skillful use of language to encourage the person who is afraid of dying. "All Things Right," is a tender ballad  about fear, disease, God's love, and the power of faith.


For our last project, students were asked to write about what they thought Ernest's  Cosmic Illumination experience was about. We had a wide range of answers. Two people wrote about having a felt  sense of Presence. Both examples were about the Peace that accompanied the confirmation that life is eternal.Both about their own parents who had made their transitions. It was very sacred as they both revisited a special time in their lives. Three people wrote stories which were accompanied by their own photography. Toni Sparks made a beautiful key to consciousness, based on Holmes' idea that the whole key to consciousness is "It is done unto you as you believe." Kathy Storey shared the dramatic effects from the question, "Am I Seeing Rightly?" Kathy showed us a large poster board that seemed to be blank except for a large pair of glasses. When illumined with black light we saw all the qualities of the Divine. Her point was simply, when we see with the heart we see rightly.
Dena Hart Van Slyke wrote a long narrative poem titled "Cosmic Illumination"  It follows:
While on a recent mountain vacation/ I took some time for relaxation
And sat in silent meditation/ Observing creek side animation.
Sometimes I kept a gaze fixation, / Then watched as bubbles in formation
Created foam in swift flotation/ Which slid to the next elevation.
I sat in deepest contemplation/ Of all the breadth of God's creation.
I sensed a head to toe vibration. / Then came a bright illumination!
My heart and body felt elation/ While hearing my heart's palpitation -
I felt a cosmic inspiration.
I don't recall the time duration/ But, when it came to culmination
I had a really strange sensation/ Of shelter and emancipation.
And thought I heard, a congregation/Of all the souls in Syncopation
The sang a song of sweet flirtation...Was All this just hallucination?
I prayed in full anticipation/ While standing on my God's foundation
I said, "Right now, here in our nation,? We see an increased circulation,
We end all hunger and starvation, / No victims of discrimination." 
Then just as if taking dictation, / I channeled cosmic conversation/
(I swear this is no fabrication.)/ Or was it my imagination?
InSpired by that Holmes' quotation/ About his cosmic revelation? 
So then, fluid fascination, / I wrote, "God, should we seek salvation?"
Before I reach my destination/ What is my real motivation? 
God answered with this declaration,/ There's no such thing as termination.
When you let go of 'separation' / You are assured a transformation.
You'll be reborn at full gestation. 
I asked "Can we have visitation/ Is death our final limitation?
Or is there life's reincarnation?".../ My hand wrote without hestitation,
"Though some may have the inclination/ Upon further examination
You'll find, it's mostly simulation / or, just a good impersonation. 
Well, I was filled with exaltation!/ Then after further rumination,
The writing seemed an ordination:/ "There's no such thing like pre-destination.
Your life comes from your orchestration,/(with focus and determination)
and your assertive integration/ Of your thinking's cogitation
With your loving heart's pulsation. 
Then I asked for an explanation/ "Are we equipped for transmigration?"
Or multiple space incarnation?" / Or is that future speculation?
The answer came without flirtation/ "I'll give you this one confirmation
there's no such thing as your damnation/ Or burning in hell and conflagration
Or even 'death as termination. / I'll make this simple proclamation:
"Reliable as gravitation,/ Just one thing's sure, -- and that's Taxation." 
So class, I offer this summation, / and say, without humiliation
This is my final class's obligation. I thank you for your concentration.
And take my bow at your ovation. 

Kay Allen wrote an experimental prose piece titled "THE POWER OF I IN A LAND CALLED HOME." Until she read it to us, I had never heard of an experimental prose piece. It reminds me of the genius of Jason Silva's "Shots of Awe."Enjoy:
"There's a globe around my head, spinning on a fixed axis of generous proportion. I drift with the seasons, alive with the warm breeze, a recluse in the snow. I memorize the ebb and tidal splay of my inner volume and reel in nets full of both useful and dull thoughts carrying silver moon water and flashing eels. This planet of a head, still showered in whispers of passersby, hotdog stand vendors, or crying infants, can still manage to hear the ballad of Pluto, ringing Saturn, and swiveling comets slicing up the dark blue. Inside my head, there's boiling magma which churns and folds, neon and flamboyant. It circles around like koi in a pond, rippling outwards a magnetic field and setting off lights in my atmosphere. The glory in my world is something I wish to share, with cousins, godfathers, professors, and ministers. And as I make my revolution around the home star, I see the faces of other globes, other hemispheres and continents of intricate blueprint, glowing cloud-forests, glittering leaves, and a chameleon river.Each, uniquely designed by the individual globe. And, I see there are more constellations still to discover with all of them, a one-on-one show-and-tell of each thriving and radiating light. Still, I sometimes envy the moon, for its gray quietness, the lack of voices murmuring about kitchen appliances and Machiavelli's The Prince. But, I find that my breath slows when I see my northern lights, and know that the gravity of my spinning is the same force which makes those other globes spin. It is a force of nature which allows stars to implode and sprouts to surface, and it is a force that I nor anyone has ever parted with."
I feel honored, privileged and blessed by every person who studies these principles.