Friday, March 23, 2018

Rituals Worth Keeping

A ritual as defined by Meriam Webster is...
 1. of or relating to rites or a ritual
 2. according to religious law
 3. done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol. 
 We have developed a ritual here whenever we have money to deposit. We, the ministers and the administrator, take a couple of minutes to be grateful for all the givers who are represented by that deposit. That includes our tenants, our members and friends who have given a donation, our friends who have purchased a book or piece of jewelry or any other way money has come to us. Together we hold the deposit bag as I offer a spontaneous  affirmative prayer or spiritual mind treatment. I go on to speak an intention that the money, being love in action, does good work for us in our spiritual Center as well as in our business. Almost always, I say that every dollar, given in love, returns to each giver increased, pressed down and running over. Then we put multiplication signs all over the outside of the bag. We have done this ritual for at least 14 years. Even when I am not here, we do this ritual. Sacred giving is one of our beliefs. In order to experience sacred giving we need to also experience sacred receiving.

Blessing the Bank Deposit
The Holy Hands of Dr. Heather, Rev. Pattie, Rev. Karyn and Diane
It made me wonder what people would think if they knew that we blessed all money that comes to us. Most people don't know we do it. My hope is that people will feel as if they are participating. Indeed, their dollars are very important for all our programs to continue.

I LIKE the ritual of blessing our money. When I am finished praying and we have all added our multiplication, there is a feeling of pure love in the room. It feels great! Gratitude is a multiplier of good. There is so much for which to be grateful -- our health, our friends, our families, our understanding of Divine Mind and our relationship with Spirit.

You could join us in this ritual if you are in the Center when Rev. Karyn is ready to take the deposit to the bank. But you could also participate by taking a moment of gratitude for all the good that you have given and received; and see yourself opening up to an expanded awareness of prosperity in all the forms it takes. You could see all the money, that you have given in love, returning to you "pressed down, multiplied and spilling over."

Remember the powerful words of Emma Curtis Hopkins, "There is good for me, and I ought to have it."

You ought to have more of every good thing. 

It has reminded me of one of my favorite videos about gratitude featuring the photography by Louie Schwartzberg and the narration of Brother David Steindl-Rast.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Sixteen Weeks to Transformation

I love the Science of Mind. It has changed my life for the better for over 35 years.

I love teaching the Science of Mind.  In 1994, as a fairly new minister, I was asked to join our organization's Board of Education. I was excited to sit in meetings with some very knowledgeable
colleagues, including Dr. David Walker, Dr. Arleen Bump, Dr. Jackie Belzano, and Dr. Sandy Jacob. Then I was further honored to be part of a small curriculum creation committee, consisting of Dr. David Walker, Dr. Kennedy Shultz and Rev. Chris Michaels. Both Dr. Walker and Dr. Shultz had served as president of our organization. I had become  a minister in 1992. To say that I was a little intimidated would be an understatement. The three men were friends and loved to snipe at each other but they were always respectful of me. We did some great work together. For many years, our organization offered the curriculum we wrote as the first year of studies. After a long hiatus of 6 years, I am going to offer it again this year, beginning April 3, 2018. We used to offer these courses as 8-week stand-alone courses, but in order to have equivalency with our new 10 to 12 week foundation curricula we needed to offer the first two courses, so this course will be 16 weeks. I am inviting you to consider it; you will be so grateful you did.

The first part of the course is "The Spiritual Path" and introduces the metaphysical student to the basics of spiritual study including affirmation, meditation, and prayer. In addition to the basics, there are some great activities and processes which anyone can incorporate into their daily practices. During that eight weeks, the students will learn spiritual mind treatment/affirmative prayer.

The next part of the course continues to emphasize prayer and is titled "The Nature of Effective Prayer." This is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. When we change the consciousness of a thing, we change the entire experience of it. For example, before studying Science of Mind I would often take a victim mind-set when it came to illnesses. Like many people I had two or three colds a year. I was subject to the race consciousness of a "flu" season. Since then, I have come to understand that nothing happens to me, everything happens through me, by means of me. This is a powerful idea.

If everything comes through me, I must allow or invite the idea of  "flu" into my life. As I mentioned  a couple of blogs ago, rarely is the thing we are experiencing a result of thinking about the illness. In other words, I didn't get a cold because I thought about "colds;" but rather, when we feel stressed and overextended, we can let a 'flu" or "cold" into our lives.

  • We will learn to pay attention to our thoughts, and make intelligent, self-supporting changes to our thoughts and feelings.
  • We will learn to write and use powerful affirmations which will start the creative process by planting a new idea.
  • And we will learn to meditate. By getting still and being comfortable with silence, we will more ably hear the voice for God within ourselves.

People's lives will be transformed. People who are senior students, those who have taken foundation courses many times before, will heighten their awareness of self. And those people who take the class as their very first step down the spiritual path will awaken to their own inner magnificence. People make life-long friendships in Science of Mind classes. You will learn to pray for other people as well as yourself. There is so much good for you... and you ought to have it!

I would love to see YOU at class. Tuesdays, beginning April 3rd at 6:30 pm. For credit: $240 or love offering.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Impersonal Nature of the Divine

It is great to be "Rooted in the Divine," and it is good to remember that the principle is infallible. It is working all the time for everyone. "The rain falls on the just and the unjust."

Some people might claim that this is very unfair of God, not to reward those who are good and nice for being good and nice. We might have held that cherished thought, when we were spiritually immature. We may have thought that we were dealing with a God that could be influenced by our prayers and petitions. Now we have come to find out that we are not punished for our sins but by them. God is not keeping score. Life is not a game in which someone wins and someone else loses.

Rather it is the nature of Principle to give and It is forever giving. Our job is to cooperate with the Divine Nature. We do that by being crystal clear about our beliefs. It is done to us, as we believe. In other words, if my belief is that the nature of my thought is that it is creative, then I will be meticulous about what I am believing to be true! I will not let doubt rob me of my good.

An example in my life is what I have been doing since March 1st! On March 1st, we entered into Escrow on our building. Being the spiritual director of the Center, I was the one who had to sign all the documents -- and now I am the one that is running madly toward all the deadlines! "Running madly" is not an intelligent way to approach anything in life, so in this moment, I take a deep breath, and "re-frame" that idea.

The whole idea is that we, the seller, would have all documents necessary for a smooth and easy escrow completion.

Perhaps I could say, "I am steadily and persistently handling each piece of paper when it gets to me." 

Perhaps I could further declare, "Divine Mind, in me, knows exactly how to complete all paperwork in a timely way." 

Perhaps I could add, "I have more than enough support to complete all tasks in a timely way." 

Perhaps I could even claim, "It is satisfying to complete all the paperwork on time." 

Maybe I could go so far as to say, "It is easy for me to do so. Change my thinking, changes my life!"

Aww!! Much better.

Dealing with an escrow of a commercial building feels like learning a new language, or maybe learning how to pray scientifically. One step at a time. I remind myself that I DID learn how to pray scientifically. And now, I do it so often, that I do not need to think about it at all.

Friday, March 2, 2018

A Person Develops a Cold

This year was the first time in years that I got a flu shot. I thought that getting a flu shot would be insurance to support the divine idea of health in me as me, but instead I came down with the flu. I just got out of my pajamas for the first time in several days. It felt delicious to have a shower and I am looking forward to fresh sheets on my bed tonight. I realize now that I needed more than the flu shot to ensure vibrant health.

I do pray and meditate daily.  I always include health and wholeness for myself in my morning prayers. So what happened? Did the law quit working for me?

The answer is simple. The law is always working. The answer is that on the subconscious level I must have had a greater belief in illness than health, a greater belief in stress than relaxation, and a greater belief in confusion than in clarity.

So what do I do? 

I often check out Louise Hay's guides to see if what she says rings true. 
Regarding colds, Hay writes the probable cause is, "Too much going on at once. Mental confusion, disorder. Small hurts."
Well, I have had a lot going on. We were at our annual convention last week from Monday night through Thursday night. Friday night was our Center's gala fiftieth anniversary party, which was wonderful. In addition to these events, we have had and accepted an offer on our building. Saturday I started coming down with something but I had no conscious idea of what it could turn into. I should have stayed home last Sunday. I could have. I even had an amazing guest speaker, Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon. But I didn't. I drove our guests back to their hotel and then I put on my pajamas. I slept and slept.
Louise Hay suggests the following affirmation for colds. "I allow my mind to relax and be at peace. Clarity and harmony are within me and around me."

First, analyze my thinking. Are there instances where I have a greater belief in illness than I do in God? Am I in agreement with disease or illness anywhere in my life? Have I made an agreement with limitation? Do I believe in another power, one that is greater than God? I do not. 

The next step is to speak the affirmation and be mindful about my life, then to pray from a greater awareness of God's grace and power.

In this holy moment of now, I recognize and know the Truth which frees me from any condition, consequence or effect. I recognize that the Power of Life Itself is within me and is responding to me always according to belief. I remind myself that this mighty moving power is the Power of Creation and there is none other greater than it. I remind myself that the nature of the Divine is perfect harmony, clarity, vitality and energy, God indwells me. God is at the Center of my being. 
Knowing this is so, I remind myself that I live in a harmonious Universe, in which there is sufficient time for living life fully, without undue stress or concern. I remind myself that I am made in the image and after the likeness of the Creator Itself.  I remind myself to choose to breathe and relax during all the events of my life.  I remind myself that God continuously and easily makes all things new. I remind myself that this power is moving through me -- my ideas, my beliefs, my body and my affairs. I choose perfect health. I breathe easily. I take everything in stride. My mind is relaxed and I am at peace. I clearly see what is mine to know and to do. 
With great gratitude for the Omni-active law of Mind and for the Spirit within that always guides, I place this Word in the action of Law. It is complete. 
And so it is.
Reverent Reverend