Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dealing With Conditions, Sunday Service

There is One Power, One God, One All, One Life, and that life is in me now. I am a manifestation of that One. And So It Is!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Being in Glorious Community

On Easter Sunday, Wade Wooldridge sang a song that I had come across on the internet several months ago, "Glorious" by David Archuletta. I love this song: it has meaningful lyrics and a beautiful melody. I was grateful that Wade learned it. It reminds me of the value of community, of being part of something greater than our individual selves, part of the tapestry of all creation.

It reminds me of our connectedness, our oneness. The saying that "when a butterfly flaps its wings in New York, it can cause a hurricane in Tokyo." It speaks of the interconnectedness of all life.

What it means to each one of us is that our lives matter. No matter what our actions are, whether big or small, what we do matters. Because we think the way we do, it also means what we think about matters.

Paul gave great advice to the Phillipians 4:8 with these words: " Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue,and if there be any praise, think on these things."
It is great advice for maintaining healthy-mindedness because it helps us to stay focused on positive thoughts. 

Another reason for staying positive is to keep the thought atmosphere around you wholesome. Dr. Ernest Holmes writes about how unhappy people can influence a whole room without ever saying a thing. Just imagine what happens if Debbie Downer happens to come into the conversation. 

But you and I can decide to be difference-makers. We can decide to take the high road with our thoughts, words and actions thereby creating an atmosphere of love and possibility. A smile can make the difference.

The administrator  in my first Center in Bonita was a difference-maker. She noticed that one of the tellers at our bank was usually cranky and wore a scowl everyday. She came back to the office one day and told me that she had a project which was to prove that like attracts like. She purposely chose the cranky teller and while she was making her deposit, she would ask how the teller was, give small compliments and be "nice" no matter what response she got or didn't get. It only took a few weeks until she was getting smiles in return. 

All of us can make a difference like that.

The song that Wade sang contains these lyrics:
There are times when/ You might feel aimless/ And you can't see the places/ Where you belong. But you will find that there is a purpose. It's been in you, all along/ And when you're near it/ You can almost hear it/ It's like  a symphony/ Just keep listening/ And pretty soon you'll start to figure out your part./ Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies in each one of us! Ooohh it is glorious! And you will know how to let it ring out, as you discover who you are. Others around you will start to wake up/ to the sounds that are in their hearts/It's so amazing, what we're creating..."
I am including a video of  the children's choir singing "glorious" for the movie Meet the Mormons. From this video and song, it appears as if there is a golden thread of truth between our spiritual beliefs.

It is glorious! We are glorious! You are glorious! And so am I!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

'Awaken to the Christ Within', Sunday Service

Today I am transparent to transcendence. I am willing to be new and to love new life. I am open to the possibilities of renewal and rebirth because my life is God's life in me. And So It Is!

Friday, April 14, 2017

There is a Tide

One of Diane Hennessy's Roses

Something exciting is happening! Roses are blooming! Beauty is everywhere. I can feel it! Can you? There are so many things it could be. Last week I wrote about spring fever. It could be spring fever but it feels more definite and concrete. It could be Easter which is around the corner and all of Christianity is focused on new beginnings. It could be the energy that came from our town hall meeting last week in which we discussed the pro's and con's of selling our building and buying something with cash!  I am feeling the opening to greater and greater possibilities.
In the play, Julius Caesar, Brutus is speaking with Cassius and utters these immortal words: 
"There is a tide in the affairs of men, / Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;/ Omitted, all the voyage of their life/ Is bound in shallows and in miseries. /On such a sea are we now afloat, /And we must take the current as it serves, /Or lose our ventures."
Spiritually, it is partially true. We are always surrounded by that tide. When we know we are in the flow of Divine Energy we know good things happen because we are corresponding to the divine nature.  We are reminded that when we trust that divine mind, good is at hand. We don't need to make anything happen. We need to be available and willing for it to happen. 

The second part of the quote which could be fiscally true, is spiritually false. It is incorrect because it elicits fear. When we experience fear, we cannot feel the truth of our faith. It is either fear or faith; it is never both fear and faith.

So as mindful spiritual beings, we do our work. We examine our own motivations, actions, thoughts and beliefs. We look to see if we are making decisions from a sense of our history and lack or from a place of possibility and empowerment.

Are you a possibility thinker? Are you bold and certain? Or are you hesitant and cautious? Are you too quick to react?

The second part of the quote says that if you don't act now, you will struggle forever. As students of the Science of Mind, we know that is no way to think. Creative Mind is forever providing new possibilities. If there were only one tide, what a mean-spirited God that would be. "Oops, you missed it! better luck next life!"

I believe in a loving creative power that had so much faith in each one of us, that it set us free to discover our divine nature for ourselves. Every moment that One is making all things new. There is a new venture. We are encouraged to take action.

So we come to a Center such as this one. We grow in awareness. We listen to that voice for God within and we take action.

Sometimes we can only see part-way to our goal. But keeping the faith, and doing our work, the path is certain to unfold in perfect order. 

Let's trust in the wisdom of divine mind in each one of us to guide us to the right and perfect answer regarding our building and in all other decisions.

Friday, April 7, 2017

It is April and I am experiencing a little bit of spring fever, defined as  a feeling of restlessness. I have been researching short pieces for a wedding I will help officiate in August. Part of my research led me  to a website for on-religious weddings. On it I found a quote which I will share with you in a few minutes. 

First let me tell you that in 1968 in order to complete my Bachelor of Education degree, I needed one last undergraduate class. I chose an introduction to Philosophy -- Philosophy 101. It wasn't exactly Philosophy for Dummies but it was a course that touched upon the well-known philosophers from Plato to Kant. I was young and found most of it exceedingly ponderous. (By that time in my education, I had decided that most so-called intellectuals were neither scholarly nor bright. I was a jaded twenty-year-old!) Then our professor added to the prescribed reading list the book, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I adored the book. It helped me change my mind about the course.  It spoke to the larger concepts that the other philosophers were writing about but in the form of a timeless allegory about love and innocence. It spoke to my heart. It is about a prince from another planet who learned about life from the people and creatures he met on Earth.

By the time I got to this course, I was burnt-out. I had been taking classes without  a break for three years. No summer break. No spring break... just the next class. I was trudging through my higher education. I wanted to be finished with it so I could get to the real work of changing the lives and hearts of teenagers. I had sailed through high school but my grades in University were disastrous; the only "A" I got in University was in Philosophy 101.My enthusiasm for the philosophy class had a great deal to do with the book.  I hope you enjoy this excerpt from The Little Prince.
"'To establish ties'?"
"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . ."
"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . ."
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
 "One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . .""What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.
"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . ."
The next day the little prince came back... 
So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near--
"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."
"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . ."
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"Then it has done you no good at all!"
"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added:
 "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
Perhaps the solution to my spring fever is to find a friend that I can tame.According to Saint-Expurey, I will need to be patient. It will be much more important to be myself  rather  than to speak or do anything in particular.  "Only with the heart can one see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

Sunday, April 2, 2017

'99 Years of Private Lessons' Sunday Service

I choose Love this day. I know that Love always points me in the best direction and my conviction swells as I absolutely know this to be true. And So It Is!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Transformation and Evolution

Bhaksar & Sudha: Oneness Blessing Trainers 

Our theme for the month of April is "Spiritual Living Through Evolution and Transformation."
"We do deep inner personal work of self-discovery and healing to reveal the greater truth of our divinity, wholeness and freedom."

Coincidentally, I was approached by a woman last week to see if we would be interested in hosting a Oneness Blessing. Since I was introduced to the Oneness Blessing years ago, I was happy to give up my normal Sunday morning 20 minutes meditation time for them.

The Oneness Meditation is designed to give participants a deep experience of the Divine. The meditation originated in India but does not belong to any religion, faith or doctrine.

When I Googled Oneness Blessing the first article I acme to was on the website of Deborah Lindeman, a hypnotist from Fort Collins, Colorado.
"The Oneness Blessing is a process by which we are re-connected with this quiet, intelligent center of ourselves."

That sounded great to me and exactly the theme of our focus for the month of April.

Later in my research, I found some very negative articles about the founders and their character and motives. However, when you Google "Centers for Spiritual Living" the second item that comes up is "Centers for Spiritual Living Cult."

From my experience we are less like a cult than anything. We help people understand how their thinking has a direct influence on their lives. I leave it to the individual what it is they want to think.

If you intend to come to receive the Oneness Blessing on April 9th at 10 AM, please come a little early so you can be seated by 10 AM.

Here is another coincidence. This week in our history of the Science of Mind class, we are studying Ernest Holmes' book The Holmes Papers: The Philosophy of Ernest Holmes. 
On page 4, Dr. Holmes writes:
"In looking over these generations of teachings of India, we find a very great concept of unity of all life.  They believed in one god and only One; they didn't call it God; they called it the Absolute, or Brahma, but it doesn't matter what you call it. They believed in one Presence and one Power, and only One in the Universe. They believed (which later came out as a theosophical teaching) in the mind that sleeps in the mineral, waves in the grass, wakes to simple consciousness in the animal, to self-consciousness in the human and to cosmic consciousness in what they call the upper hierarchies, or ascending scale of evolution, ad infinitum."
I am very curious if my own experience will be different than it was the first one. Since I know that one cannot step in the same river twice I know it will be different, I am curious about how it will be.

By the way, I do not believe in coincidences! Everything is always perfectly unfolding as it should.

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.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Webs and Boxes, Sunday Service

All that I am and all I will ever be is an expression of God. Therefore I am enough and my life matters. And So It Is!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Are You Willing to Tell the Truth?

"Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor -- the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant 'To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart.' Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about our experiences -- good or bad. Speaking form the heart is what I think of as 'ordinary courage.'"  Brene Brown
This idea moves me to tears. Why? I feel that I have not been speaking from my heart and I want to but am scared to do so at the same time.

This week I was disappointed and discouraged. Discouraged means to be disheartened.We had a relatively small crowd on Sunday. I judged myself as being not good enough. My story is that if I were really doing my job as a Sunday speaker, the room would be packed.

Am I feeling sorry for myself?  Am I blaming the lack of attendance on something other than consciousness? But consciousness is all there is. Whose consciousness? Mine of course. The only thing I ever see is my own consciousness.

Am I measuring my worth by the number of chairs that are filled?  Somewhat.

What do I want?  I want a sanctuary full of life-long learners who are excited about the Truth of their being, who love to be with their spiritual community and who practice and depend upon the Science of Mind principles and the Presence of Love in their lives; I want to know that I make  a difference. 

Now I remember the starfish story: A man was out walking and came across a stretch of beach that was littered with thousands of starfish.The tide was receding and the starfish were beached on the vast expanse of sand. A boy was racing around the beach picking up a starfish and then throwing them into the deep water. The man shook his head at the uselessness of it all asked the boy what he was doing. The boy answered that he was throwing the starfish back into the water so they wouldn't die. The man tried to dissuade the boy, by saying that there were thousands of starfish and only one of him. He could not hope to make a difference. The boy kept doing what he was doing, threw the next starfish into the ocean and and replied, "It made  a difference to that one."
Make a Difference to that One

I want to know that my ministry is making  a difference to the people who participate. I want to know that I am enough. I am enough to inspire, enough to support, enough to enlighten. That my own practice inspires others. My health and vitality inspire others. My stories inspire others. My consciousness inspires others. I want others to be healed of false beliefs simply by being in the same room I am in. (Okay, that may be a fantasy!) I want to glow with Spirit's love, confidence and energy. I want to feel supported even when I make mistakes. I want to feel supported when everything looks good and also to remember I am doing my best when the "ship is sinking." I want to be open and available to connect with others. I want to know that my innermost fears are safe with the ones with whom I share them. I want to love myself no matter what.

I want to remember the times when one person's life was changed because I could see and speak the Truth for them. Honestly, there are many such times to remember. I want to remember that others have also felt discouraged, that I am not alone in my human experience. And I want to remember that the One Source is immediately available,"nearer than breathing closer than hands and feet." 

I want to know that I am contributing to life, that I am a giver and life responds to me through that givingness. I want to be fully engaged in my life not a spectator of it. I want to live whole-heartedly. I want to know that as a human being I have imperfections as well as strengths.

When I started writing, I thought that a person with courage would not be discouraged. A person with heart would never be disheartened. But now I am thinking that a person with courage would be willing to tell the truth. Admit the pain. And then she would get back up, dust herself off and start all over again.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reachable and Teachable, Sunday Service

I am open to the transformational process at work through my relationships, my work, and my life. I step boldly into my day sharing the magnificent gift that is my life. And So It Is!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Every life is Sacred Starting With Mine

When I know that every life is sacred, I act in ways that are respectful, kind and loving. I begin with myself.

Ernest Holmes is very clear that God is everywhere present. He is clear that the Absolute, indestructible Power of Life Itself resides within each one of us. Since God is taking up residence in me as me, my life is sacred. Since God is residing in every being, all beings are sacred.

It follows that we would not want to harm with words, actions or inaction any other being.

What a difference that would make in our world. If we could embrace and embody this idea, our individual lives would change. We would become transcendent. I love the phrase that we would be transparent to transcendence. It would be God AS us .

I think of my personal habits and realize that some of them that do not honor the Divine presence within me. I sometimes set an intention to change those habits... and often find myself mindlessly breaking them the very same day. Then an even more odious thing happens... I criticize and judge myself. I certainly would not be silent if someone was saying those things to a good friend. Yet, part of our spiritual practice  is to form new habits while being as kind, generous and loving as we can. I can practice self-forgiveness in honor of the Divine in me. And I can begin again. A powerful practice is to write good thoughts about your life. If you can't find any, borrow from someone like Ernest Holmes.

The twentieth Season for Non-Violence began on January 30 and will end on April 6. It is a great time to practice.

If you would like to know more, the following is a beautiful video about the purpose of non-violent communication.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Active Listening, Sunday Service

I hear Spirit's voice through my listening heart and I answer through my compassionate action! And So It Is!

Friday, February 24, 2017

What Lion Taught Me

I love the movies! Currently, I am preparing for the Oscar Party I will be attending Sunday afternoon by seeing some of the nominated movies.

Often movies allow us a peek into the psyche, motivation and beliefs of the characters. which in turn gives us an opportunity to examine our own beliefs and motivations. "Sad movies always make me cry." Happy movies make me cry too. I like going by myself because I am  not a "pretty cryer." In fact, I experience swollen red eyes and a lot of snot. There is not a pretty way to say that. I am a person who easily suspends disbelief and I welcome the characters into my heart. Then, if the movie has tender parts,  I am a blubbering mess by the end of the film.

No matter how many times I watch "A Wonderful Life," I cry, when people are praying for George Bailey,  when George is presented with a bucket of money, and when Zuzu explains that another angel got his wings, I weep. 

If you haven't seen the movie Lion, I invite you to watch it when you can. It is a true story of Saroo, an adorable five-year old boy from a small village in India who finds himself thousands of miles away from home, lost and alone in Calcutta, unable to communicate with the people he meets because they don't speak his native Hindi. He lives on the streets, sleeping on cardboard boxes, scavenging food from dumpsters and almost being sold for nefarious purposes. He finds himself in an over-crowded orphanage, where he is adopted by an Australian couple. He was a sweet child and his new parents were loving and kind. He seemed to have a happy, well cared-for childhood, and then as a young adult, triggered by some candy at an Indian party, he starts to reflect on his mother, brother and baby sister. He knows that his mother has been worried about him.he imagines that is brother has been looking for him every day for 25 years. He is homesick for his roots. 

Saroo had a deep love for both his biological mother  and his adoptive mother. He cared for his siblings both in Australia and in India. 

Against all odds, he was reunited with his Indian mother who expressed her deep gratitude to his Australian mother. It was  a happy ending.

So what moved within me that I was awash with tears for most of the movie? I empathized with the human condition. Saroo was so small in such a large city.  He was cold, hungry and alone, completely vulnerable and living on his instincts.

I have never been completely alone. I have never had to live on instinct. But I think I tap into a universal fear of "There isn't enough." Or what if there isn't enough?

I was counselling with someone recently and we together determined that old fears were driving this person, not to make bad decisions, but to torture himself with the possibilities of what could go wrong.These fears were irrational but were keeping my client awake at night. When he saw the benefit of acknowledging the fear and thanking it for the gifts it brought, he was able to let it be, to let it become something he noticed, no longer something he ran away from.

Going to movies by myself, helps me feel my feelings safely without being seen. Without being vulnerable. But what if being vulnerable is a way of being strong. What if what I was responding to was the courage and vulnerability of a small child. Maybe the small child within me needs to know she is safe to be herself. She is neither alone nor starving. If a five-year-old child could wander the streets of Calcutta and survive, I am certain that a mature woman can be vulnerable and even thrive.

What do you learn about yourself from the movies?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Thin Slicing, Sunday Service

Today I keep my mind stayed on the Spirit. All of my thoughts lead to my greatest good and to the greatest good for this planet. There is no limit to the good which is mine. And So It Is!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Losing My Peace

Recently, I was nudged backwards in time to my mid-twenties. Although I treasured how smart I was, I was undoubtedly very unenlightened. I have never been much of an athlete, but I was exceptionally good at jumping to conclusions. Many of them were false, some were potentially harmful, and for some of those opinions, the harm was done fifty years ago and is still perpetuating all manner of negativity. I may have worked through the stuff personally, but what happens when strong words affect someone else? Those ideas may still be in someone's subconscious mind.

Let me try to explain.

The other night my younger sister called, very happy that she had finally seen a psychologist for counselling. She sounded so hopeful and free. She said that she had spilled her guts, revealing secrets that she had never told anyone.

She did have some terrible secrets. She had some heart-breaking experiences. 

So she wrote about the two major secrets she had been keeping and sent them to her four siblings. She began the letter by saying that we all had had different parents and she knew that we would not have seen our family the way she saw it. Metaphysically this is true for all families. We each have our own experiences and our memories will reflect our world-view.

I thought I knew about the secrets but was shocked to see that I had played a big part in one of them!  Me--her biggest supporter!         

Right when she needed my love and compassion the most, I made assumptions about the situation that were only partly correct. I judged her.  I scolded her. I belittled her. I probably made her feel worthless. (Hold on a minute, no one can make you feel anything.) My self-righteous words acerbated her feelings of low self-esteem. They helped her feel ashamed and guilty.

It reminded me of one of our core concepts that we can use by examining our motives with the question: "Would you rather be right or would you rather be  healed?" Now I know I would rather be healed.  I know I was not completely heartless. If I had known her whole story, I would have been kinder and more compassionate. But at the time, I was pretending to be Don Quixote, wanting everyone to be respectful and wise. These qualities are great qualities,but maybe disrespect was the perfect way to be in  those circumstances.

This is not the first time I have had to look at how my judgmental, critical self has gotten in the way of deeper intimacy.  However, seeing my actions through the eyes of an injured heart-broken child has given me a gift of self-reflection.

There are three questions you could ask yourself before saying anything. These questions have been attributed to Rumi, Sai Baba, the Quakers, poets and many others. I could not determine who said them originally but they are: "Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?"

In my case, I was not yet self-reflective. The world seemed pretty black or white to me then. I could only have answered yes to the first question and then I only had part of the facts.

When I read her email, I lost my peace. I felt regret and sadness. Then I remembered the power of self-love and self-forgiveness. I remembered that given who I was at the time and what I knew, I did the things that would have been typical for me. If I had known better, I would have done better. 

Now is the time to accept what is. Now is the time to forgive myself. Now is the time to choose to see through a peaceful heart and a quiet mind. Right now I choose to feel hopeful and filled with Divine Guidance.

This was a perfect week to begin our Peace Meditations. I needed it.

This is what I know for certain. It is never too late to make a new decision. Consciousness is always demonstrating itself. Life is good. The Universe is for us, even when we don't know it. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Part of our Peace Garden

Sunday, February 12, 2017

God Comes Through the Wound, Sunday Service

Today I hold myself in unconditional loving arms. Everything on my path has served me. And So It Is!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Heart of Peace

Do you realize that your thoughts are impressing Divine Mind at all times?

When your thoughts are focused on Peace, Love, Harmony, Beauty and Joy as being true for you, they emit the atmosphere of those qualities.

We have all felt this. Imagine walking into a room and you immediately feel uncomfortable. Then you notice that conversations are loaded with fear and suspicion. You see the people are frowning, bodies are rigid and lips are pursed. Most of us would leave that place as quickly as we could.

Now imagine walking into a different room-- this one looks different. All the colors seem to enhance the room. People are chatting happily or smiling enjoying the ambiance. the music is up-lifting and inviting. You are comfortable and decide to stay for awhile.
Ernest Holmes describes Thought Atmosphere as: "An influence or condition surrounding a place, person or thing. A person whose atmosphere is always of love and cheerfulness, will always attract friends."
I love the words of St. Francis, "Let me be an instrument of Thy Peace."  I know that many people resonate with the idea of being peace-keepers and difference-makers.
We began the Season For Non-Violence on January 30th. Recently,  I have noticed that many people were feeling fearful about the changes in the nation and what those changes could mean for them. The antidote for Fear is always Love. 

Coincidentally, Centers for Spiritual Living has been working on a Peace Initiative in which all communities would commit to participate in some way. Rev. Pattie Mercado has been part of that team. They have done great work. Their initiative is based on the principles of oneness, and the inherent nature of Peace. 
Dr. Nancy Anderson states: "We can help change the consciousness of people from fear and chaos which may be caused by ignorance of our inherent creative power as direct expressions of God. The force or influence of beliefs and emotions fostered by ignorance is dissipated by the power of spiritually trained minds and hearts of love. We learn through the practice of collective meditation to more deeply embody or BE PEACE and then Peace is automatically amplified and resonates through humanity."
Those of us who have been meditating for awhile know that the atmosphere in a group meditation is Deep Peace. 

With that in mind, we are initiating several Group Peace Meditations for our community.Please let everyone know that they are welcome to attend. They do not need to be part of our community. They don't need to be Religious Scientists. They don't need to be aware of their spirituality. The only requirement is to being a safe place where Peace can be known. Some meditations will be guided. Some will be more free flow. We will hold them in the sanctuary because it has the thought atmosphere of prayer and loving kindness.You can start the meditation before you enter the sanctuary by mentally taking your concerns and setting them down in the peace garden until you come back out. We are starting with three meditations:
      Monday: 12:15 to 12:45 PM  I will lead this one. I will lead this meditation.
      Tuesday:   6:15 to 6:45 pm. Kathy Storey, RScP and Toni Sparks, RScP will lead this one.
      Thursday  10:00 to 10:30 AM. Rev. Pattie will lead this meditation.
More times an dates may come available. Check our website.

Remember you are the one who makes a difference! Choose Peace.
Ernest Holmes wrote: " Peace is the Power at the Heart of God."

A Portion of Our Peace Garden

Friday, February 3, 2017

Consciously Planting Your Spiritual Seeds

Many New Thought teachers have used the metaphor of a garden for the creative process. Sometimes, the preparation for the planting is omitted in the process.  When we omit preparing the soil, we will end up with a garden that is sparse and looks neglected. For we find that we rarely stumble across soil that is tilled, fertilized and weed-free. We often find in our garden plot: stones, clumps of dirt, and unlimited weeds.

The same is true for metaphysical planting. We are always experiencing the sum total of our consciousness, known and unknown. This is one of the reasons for being in the habit of keeping a personal journal. It will help you discover what are your deep thoughts, known and unknown, and beliefs. It will show you where you are repeating the same experiences for years despite the conscious, stated intention to have a new experience.
Socrates lived by the words: "An unexamined life is not worth living."
Someone quipped: "An unlived life is not worth examining!" 
The second statement brings some humor but it is equally false. An unlived life is the result of thinking the same monotonous, false beliefs as ever.  

Thee beliefs include: "There is never enough to go around." or "There is never enough for me." Or the terrible too's can set in, "I am too old...too fat...too short...too tall...too uneducated...too over-educated." or "Why did I lose that position? or husband? or friend?"

When we discover that we have been abusing ourselves with these false beliefs, we must begin at once to reverse our thinking. (This is akin to pulling up weeds.) It helps me to remind myself that I am made in the image of Divine Mind, Infinite Presence. Then I simply ask myself if what I have been declaring could be the case for God. Could it be true that God is too old? Could Divine Mind be too poorly educated? Could First Cause be limited by any negativity?

Clearly the answer is, " No, It could not."

Then what? Get some vital seeds and plant them. You will know the seed's vitality by your confidence that what you are planting you shall surely harvest.  Having a vision of your manifest good, is helpful.

Years ago I saw my eventual ministry in a visioning. I saw myself in a place with palm trees by the ocean. At the time I lived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. There is not a single palm tree and the ocean with palm trees is 1450 miles distant.  Now I live by the ocean and there are palm trees everywhere.

I offer the following Affirmative prayer for each one to expand his or her consciousness:

Divine Mind is all-knowing, everywhere present, Infinite Peace and Infinite Love. Its Nature is Love and It operates through Its own impeccable Law. Knowing that this One is everywhere present, i know It is right where I am. it is in me, for me and as me now.  I know that Divine Love opens my heart to all people. I see Grace, Beauty, Joy and Light in all others. I see myself as a peace-maker and peace keeper. I let go of my ego and undefended go about the business of seeing Good everywhere. I joyously accept this as the Truth. With gratitude, aware that my word has already been acted upon, I place this word in God's perfect law. It is complete. And so it is.
Palm Trees Everywhere

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Season for Nonviolence Week 1: Self-Care Brings Compassion

I do yoga for fitness, mental, spiritual and physical. Most often I take a power yoga class to get my blood flowing, but after my busy weekend I was called to take a slower paced yin yoga class. It felt good to listen to my heart and my body. The yin class ended up being the perfect restoration for my body and my soul. It reminded me that we just entered the Season for Nonviolence and what a perfect way to begin by caring for myself. 

The Season for Nonviolence, sponsored by the Association for Global New Thought, is an educational, media and grassroots awareness campaign spanning the 64 days between the January 30th and April 4th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The purpose of the Season for Nonviolence is to focus educational and public attention on the philosophy of attaining peace through nonviolent action, as demonstrated by legendary leaders including Gandhi, King, Cesar E. Chavez, Nelson Mandela, and His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. 

These great leaders represent people and faiths that span beyond borders and doctrine, limited only by the willingness of the individual. 

The organizers of this beautiful season offer suggestions for embodying the ideas of peace, compassion and kindness in daily life. In this first week, organizers suggest focusing on being more compassionate to ourselves. Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Do what's in your heart. Really listen to what is in your heart and take action.
  • Smiling is a way to establish a heart connection and a peaceful outlook. Smile and make eye contact with 5 people.
  • Focus on the good qualities in yourself and others
  • Think of ways you can better care for yourself. Put it into practice.
  • Believe that peace is a possibility. Offer a prayer or focus on peace in meditation.
  • Think of ways to free yourself from drama. Turn off the news or refrain from complaining.
  • War is born from ignorance. Try to learn something new. 

Or...maybe you just take a slower pace, stopping to smell the roses. Whatever you choose, I know it honors the Season for Nonviolence and spreads peace like wildflowers. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

How To Use It, Sunday Service

I use my mind-thoughts and feelings to create a vision of what I desire and then I move toward that vision's manifestation.
And So It Is!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Now Is the Time

As I was sitting contemplating how grateful I am, the first words of this poem by Rabindranath Tagore came to me.Tagore wrote it in 1900 before India's Independence. He originally wrote it in his native tongue. It was published in English in 1912.
"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high 
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments 
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms from the depth of truth
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake."
I envision living free from fear, fully confident about my right to be here, knowing that I am making  a difference because I live in the wholeness and unity of the One Life.

When I remember who I am, my mind is free of fear.

When I remember to practice what I know, I am vitally alive.

And when I forget that we are all one, that Divine Life is within each one of us, I am tempted to live as if the effects in my life were causes. When I do that, I react. I do not consciously choose what I want.

As a minister of the Science of Mind, I want to minister to all beings -- not just one group or another.

Yet as a human being, I have opinions and concerns. Some of those opinions may upset some of my congregation. I have been blessed to live here in the United States since 1993. I prayed wholeheartedly for Peace for months after the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on 9-11 and for the first several years when we started fighting. I have kept my opinions to myself for the most part. (I did support marriage equality and some people didn't like it. They left our Center.)

Now I am concerned about our climate change. How shocked I was to find out that here in the United States, Climate Change is a political issue! In my heart it is a scientific fact and a global concern.

Although I applied for citizenship last May, I am not yet a citizen. As a non-citizen, I felt I should not speak out about my concerns, but when I saw that Climate Change disappeared from the Government Website, I was deeply troubled. 

For those of you who are students of metaphysics, you know that doing anything from a place of concern or anxiety, is going to produce exactly what you are anxious about. It will have the opposite effect from what you want. So what is the spiritual solution?

First, the master teacher Jesus said, "Let not your hearts be troubled." So first become aware of the peace that passes understanding that is the nature of Divine Mind and It is everywhere. In that peaceful place of unity, envision what you do want. I see people caring for their environment and using resources wisely. I remember the idea of thinking globally and acting locally. 

So first I meditate and pray. First, I remember that the nature of life is unity and that I live in a perfect universe. I remember that Divine Intelligence is everywhere present, even when I can't see it.

Then I take the action that I can take. I begin locally with myself and my home environment. I unplug appliances. I turn off lights. I lower the temperature. I reduce the number of things I buy that are packaged. And I pray!

In the 70's and 80's, John Denver wrote music that spoke to my heart. He performed this one in Russia on his world tour. I think it is just as relevant today as it was when the album was released in 1983.

It's about time...and the time is now!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What It Does, Sunday Service

The Power is within me to create the life I want! And So It Is

Friday, January 20, 2017


Today I turn 70. For all the young people reading this, in many ways I still feel like the young woman I was at 21 or 32, but time marches on. I am just as idealistic but thankfully not as cynical! I am still moved by beauty, truth and love. I am still optimistic about my future!

There are so many things I still want to experience, so many places I still want to see, so much more to give back to life. Over the Christmas break, my sisters, niece and I enjoyed a vacation in Cozumel, Mexico. There I did something I had never done before, I had a foot massage from  hundreds of Garra Rufa fish. It felt strange; it sort of tickled, but I did it.

Garra Fish Nibbling my Feet in Cozumel

Of course there have been many changes in my life and every up or down has left an imprint on my personality, my choices, my sense of self. 

So as I am beginning a brand new decade, I want to LIVE my values! I want to start right with generosity and love. I want to "walk confidently" and generously toward my dreams. I want to live without regret. 

I want to speak up when I see injustice. I want to be bold and full of confidence, choosing only the path that will bring me happiness and satisfaction. 

This past decade has flown by. I remember clearly my 60th birthday and some of the hopes and dreams I had then. Some things I have accomplished, others are still on my list.

I want to be forgiving and generous to myself and others. I want to stop criticizing any aspect of physical self, including my body, weight, size, wrinkles and shape. I want to perceive and accept my unique beauty. I want to be grateful for "looking like my mother" rather than seeing it as a kind of curse. I want to be less judgmental of myself.

I want my default setting to be generosity of spirit.

I want to see good everywhere. I want to demonstrate the Law of Mind and Spirit as Ernest Holmes called it. I want to see Love in action in my body, my life, my work, my ministry, my finances, and my friendships. I want to know that I have made people's lives better. And from this moment on, to trust Divine Mind, through me to guide me to my highest and best GOOD!

My Sisters and Niece at Chichen Itza

My Sister Taking a Picture

Me Still Trying to Get a Good Selfie!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Are You Pretending to Believe

"If you will only believe, and not just pretend to believe, that Infinite Intelligence is guiding you in all your ways  -- in your thoughts, words and deeds, you will be led along the right road. Artists, poets, writers, and inventors listen to their voice of intuition. As a result, they are able to astonish the world by their beauties and glories drawn from the storehouse of knowledge within themselves."  Dr. Joseph Murphy, The Psychic Perception: the Magic of Extra Sensory Power
"Then Jesus said to the centurion, 'Go! Let it be done just as you have believed it would! And his servant was healed at that moment."  Matthew 8:13
Rev. Dr. Lisa Laurie Stewart wrote these words to begin  her monthly letter to ANTN, our sister organization of which she serves as President. She continues:
 "Are you pretending to believe? Or do you believe that your thoughts create your reality, no matter what. 
If you are blaming someone else for your experience, you are a pretender.
... If you think you need your job because you need the money, you are a pretender. 
 If you blame the government, the President, the President-elect, the candidate, the congress FOR ANYTHING, you are a pretender.
Are you living from the mystical where ALL things are possible, or are you living from an experience and a belief in lack and just pretending to love and live New Thought? Which is it? A house divided cannot stand. If you are pretending, in any area, get a teacher, study a book, not just flip through it or speed read, but STUDY it, intend to grow in wisdom and awareness."
I love this idea from Dr. Murphy.

If I am  caught up in fear, blame, excuses, old habits, or anything else that is not befitting for a person immersed in Infinite Intelligence, I am being a pretender.

One of the ways to make welcome Infinite Intelligence and break the cycle of pretending is to take a class. Right now there are two fantastic classes that are being offered at our Center. Rev. Arpad Petrass is offering a class he created "Writing to Heal While Learning to Dance."  I just began a class called "The Essential Ernest" which is a class about Ernest's ideas and how they fit into your life! My class begins with the Declaration of Principles and continues by exploring the first four chapters of the textbook, The Science of Mind. It mirrors what is happening on Sundays, in that we began our exploration of values by going back to the basics.

It is done unto us as we believe. Do we make excuses and look outside ourselves for causation? Or do we take full responsibility, change our thinking and change our lives? It is fully up to you.

Are you confident in the spiritual truth?  Or are you just a big pretender?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Values-Based Spiritual Living

It's a brand new year filled with possibility. Many people set intentions and goals for the year. Some make vision boards. Others set off following a yearly journal or a program.

This year, to guide our Sunday Services and collective awakening, our Center has chosen an interactive journal called Values-Based Spiritual Living, inspired and created by Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen, senior minister at the Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living. In the introduction Edward writes:

"This interactive journal offers you weekly opportunities to reflect on the values of our community and how they relate to your spiritual life."

Each month, the journal focuses on a spiritual value, offering writings and journal prompts designed to explore the value more deeply each week. Dr. Heather will be basing many of her talks this year on the ideas presented in the journal, sharing her perspective as we move through the year. The journal is a wonderful tool designed to empower the weekly message within each individual's life, providing a pathway to incorporating it into our own life and experiences.

Edward continues in the introduction:

"As we explore the values of our spiritual organization together in 2017 and write about them in this journal, it is my hope that you will get clarity on your own values, integrate them more strongly into your thoughts, and allow them to shape your words and deeds."

We invite you all to join us in this journey and exploration of spiritual values. The Interactive Journal is available to you...FREE..simply click here. We ask that you reproduce it only for your own use. Also printed copies of the monthly writings will be available in the Sanctuary every month.