Friday, August 17, 2018

Praying for the Sick -- the Principle and the Practice

Ernest Holmes wrote that if you see a sick person in a hospital room, you should turn around and walk out. It doesn't seem like a very compassionate and caring attitude for the founder of our organization to have, but its meaning is profound. If you see sickness, you can never perceive health.

It is the same idea as turning completely away from the issue.

When praying for someone to recover from an illness, you must learn to look with your spiritual eyes and see the perfection, wholeness, vitality and life in the person. As practitioners we train ourselves to see with God's eyes, then we can only see God or Good. Think of what happens when you love someone. You notice everything about them and you describe it as good.

A similar thing occurs when a practitioner visits someone in the hospital. We have taught ourselves to see the Divinity in the person, even though they may be struggling to catch their next breath. The principle states that we learn to see their wholeness, not their brokenness.

This is a relatively easy principle to grasp, but, when it comes to practicing the principle, it may prove a bit more difficult.

Recently, I have made several visits to the hospital and there have been times when I was challenged to see past the physical manifestation to the spiritual truth of the person. Eventually I get there. It helps me to remember that the physical body is an effect of consciousness. It helps me to remember that each one of us is eternal beings but that the physical body will wear out. Death is the Universal Way to slip out of the physical body. Death of the body is inevitable. As the Buddhists say, "Everything is impermanent."

Something that has helped me over the years is to see the beauty and truth of the person BEFORE they are making that last journey.

And when the loved one passes, it is more than acceptable to grieve, to feel sadness and all the possible feelings that accompany grief. It would be strange if you didn't feel sad when a friend leaves us.

When we did Wise Women weekend, we almost always did some processes for self-love. Until you love and accept yourself, you will have a hard time really loving and accepting others. We often did a process using the words of the song, "How Could Anyone" written in 1988 by Libby Roderick.  Each woman would sing the song to her partner, and then she would pick up a hand mirror and sing to herself. As I was searching for the perfect version to share with you, I found this one, the San Francisco Gay men's chorus. My hunch is that many of these gorgeous men were told hat they were anything but beautiful. I need a tissue to watch it.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Finishing With a Flair

Tuesday, August 8th was the last day of our 16-week course, On the Spiritual Path and The Nature of Effective Prayer. We actually took 19 weeks to complete due to the choir show and my personal schedule. We also grew the number of students attending the class during the weeks!  We completed  the course with a potluck celebration and presentations by the students of their insights during the course.

Three students had presented their projects in advance for various reasons but what we experienced as completion was magnificent, meaningful and fun. One student led us in a visualization practice. Another student brought a Reverie Harp as part of her project and strummed a bit for us. One explained the Science of Mind in terms of Enlightenment and another student created a huge mind map with inspiring pictures and words.  Someone shared her personal inspiration from the Science of Mind textbook. And one student, who had just returned from a 6-week trip to England, Kenya and Egypt, showed amazing photos of her trip, including some close-ups of lions. She shared that the weather in Egypt was so hot that they could barely hear their guide. She started her presentation by stating that these were the places she had seen God.  She also brought each of us a gift -- necklaces for the women and head-wear for the men. I want to acknowledge Marge Hobbs for her generosity and each student for their creativity and confidence. I also would like to acknowledge the men in the class for being good sports.

Seated: Paula Manos, Bonnie Charney, Marge Hobbs, Rev. Karyn Allen.
Standing: Aidan, Norm, Lee, Bob, Maureen Welch, Dr. Heather, Alejandro

Aidan Greaney, Norm Charney, Lee Van Slyke, Bob Welch, Alejandro Beas

Seated: Paula, Bonnie, Marge, Dena Van Slyke
Missing: Patrick Freeman, Anita Baroldi, Claudia Riley, Janie Holland

I love classes for so many reasons. I love to see the light of awareness go on as the students become awakened to their own magnificence. I love the connections we make with each other. I love the sharing and the personal insights.

My next class is coming up soon, beginning Tuesday, August 28th.  I am going to share my own prosperity practices and the agony and ecstasy of learning them.  These are now principles that I live by. It is not for credit but it will be valuable to everyone. I am presenting it on a love offering basis. There will be lots of discussion and opportunity for questions. You may sign up online or a sign up sheet on the kiosk.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Awakening Is Happening Wednesdays Wisdom

Case Parks Everyday Masters

Are you Awake? Wednesdays Wisdom with "Everyday Master" Case Parks

Where he will talk on the frequencies that are raising the vibration of everyone who attunes to them.  They are in essence, speeding up the awakening of everyone that is drawn to them.  They function outside of our concepts of space and time and defy our understanding of physics.   He believes they are our wake up call. 7-8pm child care is available,

Everyday People Waking Up To Their Own Mastery

Come early, 5:45pm  & join us prior to his talk for our monthly pot luck party!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What Affirmative Prayer Is and Is Not

Every Sunday Dr. Heather states, "The most powerful spiritual practice we know is Spiritual Mind Treatment or Affirmative Prayer." And, she invites the congregation to see a practitioner, either one in service on Sunday, or by contacting any of our enlightened practitioners. But what really is affirmative prayer? What can we expect from our time with a practitioner in communion with this mental science?

Here is a brief overview of what treatment is not and what it is taken from the Science of Mind 102 class 1 study guide.

And, if after reading this you are ready for your own prayer, visit our website prayer pages to read a prayer or request one personalized for you.

What Affirmative Payer Is and Is Not

Treatment is not...Manipulating or coercing people or events to bring about some personally desired change.

Treatment is...Consciously clearing away the grime of false beliefs from a condition to reveal the Truth that was always there.

Treatment is not...Attempting to "reach" God. God is already here, always, within and around me.

Treatment is...Being still and knowing that God is here, letting the Presence be so clearly felt that I can realize and declare the Spiritual Truth of any situation.

Treatment is not...Putting my own will power into changing a condition; trying to overcome God's "reluctance" to correct the apparent "wrong."

Treatment is...Allowing God's Power to flow through me into manifestation of the Truth, without hindrance from my false beliefs.

Treatment is not...Disallowing other forms of healing, such as medicine, surgery, psychiatry, diet, etc.

Treatment is...Accepting that every new discovery in medical fields is as much a revelation of Universal Wisdom as a new interpretation of life.

Treatment is not...Attempting to exert spiritual control of the material universe, as though they were separate entities.

Treatment is...Understanding that mind in essence and mind in form are one and the same; hence, there is no difference in essence between my thought and what it becomes.

Treatment is not...Thinking that the one treating is doing the healing, can be called a "healer."

Treatment is...Realizing that the words I speak in treatment are only channels for the flow of Spirit that is tapped by the consciousness back of my words.

Treatment is not...Denying that a person is sick. Illness and suffering do exist in human experience.

Treatment is...Realizing that since a human being is the Substance of Life, there is a perfect Spiritual idea within every individual, no matter what they are experiencing, and this Truth can be realized and declared.

Treatment is not...Persuading God to "change His mind" or suspend the Universal Laws on my behalf.

Treatment is...Allowing myself to realize and declare the Spiritual Truth about myself and the condition being treated.

Excerpt from SOM-102 Class Study Guide Class 1 page 3

Friday, July 20, 2018

What To Do When There is a Change Of Plans

Today I received the long-awaited letter from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services inviting me to appear for a Naturalization Oath Ceremony on July 25th at the Los Angeles Convention Center at 7:45 a.m.! I was very excited to receive this letter. It arrived approximately three weeks earlier than what the Immigration Officer who tested me on American civics had indicated last week at my test.

This is cause for great celebration!

Just to give you a quick review. When I applied for my resident alien card, the Immigration lawyer told me to make certain I was not out of the country when I was required to attend an interview. For over twenty years, I assumed that the same would go for citizenship. It was an incorrect assumption. I finally checked and I was free to come and go as I please (as long as I had my necessary documents with me.)

It has been a great lesson for me.

The one wrinkle in July 25 is that I had plans to leave for Canada to attend my nephew's 25th anniversary celebration that very same day. My flight was scheduled for late in the day, so it would almost work except I have to surrender my green card when I am at the swearing-in ceremony. What that means to all my American friends who have not had to deal with resident alien cards, I would be able to leave the United States, but I would not be able to legally return. So I immediately contacted the passport office to see how long it would take to get a passport.

Jason, a young man in the State Department travel office was very helpful. One cannot apply for a passport until you have PROOF of citizenship. I will get a certificate stating my citizenship at the ceremony but until I have that proof, I cannot get a passport. And without a passport, I cannot travel.

So with Jason's help, I got an appointment, in Los Angeles at a regional passport office to get an expedited passport in the afternoon of the ceremony at 2:30 p.m. It is too late to catch a flight to Saskatoon.

It feels like a very full day.

One of my students calls Spirit, the Divine Scheduler! I love that notion. I am responsible to do my part, be clear about what I want, and then the Universe does the rest. God decides when the "what" will happen. How interesting it is to note that I have been here in the United States for 25 years and there have been very few scheduling conflicts that couldn't be handled with grace and ease.

Another idea that occurs to me is to write a sacred oath for our spiritual well-being. The sacred oath is a long version of the pledge of allegiance. It is quite beautiful! But it did make me wonder if we ever think about our commitment to our spiritual growth and unfoldment. My colleague Rev. Dr. David Ault published one a few weeks ago. I am sharing it with you below.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Problem With Assumptions Is

This morning I got my August copy of the Science of Mind magazine. Because I had been asked for, and submitted  a column, I opened it excitedly, to see what my article looked like in print! I wonder if every contributor does the same thing. I  was shocked to find one of my older columns instead of the one I had submitted in May.

My first response was anger. How could they have done something like this to me? Why didn't they do the courtesy of letting me know that they had something else in mind? Maybe they didn't like what I had written. I was feeling very self-righteous and justified in my anger.  I quickly decided that if this was their response, I would not put myself through this again. I would just say no, next time. I began feeling resentful. (It was definitely NOT my spiritual best!) I remembered that I had shared the piece with my marketing and public relations expert. She had liked it! More anger!

I think the feeling of resentment was the turning point. "Feeling resentful is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die!"

I shifted gears. I decided to  contact  directly the editor of the magazine and inquire about what had happened.

In all honesty, my letter began in the same tone of self-righteous indignation as I had been feeling, but as I was composing, I realized that an inquiry would be best. I kept re-writing until it felt clear and less accusatory. I wanted to find out what had happened. Now I have moved out of anger and self-righteousness and into curiosity and willingness to hear feedback And I am breathing again.

The first response that came from the creative director was that she had never received my column. She went on to say that she had made the assumption that I was too busy to do it and now that it was past her deadline she didn't want to pressure me about it.

Then she did an internal search of her email and my original email to her did not appear. It is probably still in my outbox or stuck in cyber space somewhere.

The following lovely words of appreciation from Holli Sharp, Associate Editor and Creative Director of the Science of Mind Magazine say it all:
"I always love your work and wisdom, Dr. Heather, and my gut dropped when I saw your email this afternoon because I thought I had disappointed you. :-)
My intention is always to honor you, and thank you for understanding.
It’s always a bright spot for me when I get to communicate with you, and we love your voice in the magazine."
Imagine what kind of response I would have had if I had written from anger and resentment! It would have caused a big rift in our relationship. Spiritual maturity finally prevailed and I am so happy it did. I am very grateful for all the staff at our home office. I am grateful for all the issues that they handle every day. I am so grateful that I communicated with Holli, and that I had enough sense to do it respectfully.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Moving, Sorting, Packing, Releasing

Rev. Pattie, Rev. Karyn and I are moving our offices from upstairs to downstairs. As a matter of fact, as I am writing this blog, Revs. Pattie and Karyn have already moved downstairs. Because they are now sharing an office space, they have had to collaborate and combine. They make it look so easy.

We are moving for a good reason. As many of you know, we run an executive suites business upstairs. With our move downstairs, we have opened up three more suites for rent.

What a great opportunity to practice the prosperity principle of releasing the clutter. The reason we release the clutter is two-fold -- first to appreciate what we choose to keep, thereby giving it even more value. The second is to create a vacuum so that greater good can flow in. The universe abhors a vacuum. Change is necessary to growth.

One practical matter we considered in moving my office is what to do about the people who are late for meditation. They have always cut through that door which will be the entry to my new office. We discussed it as a board of trustees and decided to try having late-comers go through the kitchen to get to the meditation. We will soon see how it works.

 Eckhart Tolle wrote: "Some changes look negative on the surface, but then you realize that the space is being created for something new to emerge."
How important change is to spiritual growth. Each one of us is being called to change -- perhaps in small, subtle ways or perhaps in large ways.

How good are you with change? Do you seek it? Do you attempt to maneuver around it? What is attempting to express through you right now? What new idea is calling you? 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Revealing Wholeness with Barbara Klein-Robuck

When it comes to healing Ernest Holmes teaches that we are already whole, complete and perfect. By remembering our innate wholeness we come into a state of alignment with truth and live the life we were meant to live.

That’s a beautiful idea and sometimes we need help remembering or unraveling exactly what that means.

To learn a little more about how to live more completely from the energy level where wholeness resides, I checked in with Barbara Klein-Robuck MS, RN.

If you don’t know Barbara, she is one of the longest continuing members of our spiritual community. She started attending our center in 1977. Barbara immediately began taking classes, including all the practitioner training classes. She also took ministerial training but decided not to become a minister in the traditional sense. Instead, Barbara found her own way to minister within our community.

She is a registered nurse who has been studying energy healing for more than 30 years. Barbara offers Therapeutic Touch, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and Integrative Imagery in her healing room. In 1996, Barbara was named National Holistic Nurse of the Year by American Holistic Nurse's Association. As a self-employed business owner, she has found a way to merge Western medicine with metaphysical ideas of perfect wholeness and energy healing. Barbara offers counseling and energy sessions in her home.

When I asked her about energy she said, “We are all energy. It’s all there is. If you want to know how it works you need to ask God!” But thankfully our discussion didn’t end there.

She went on to give me her views on raising our consciousness and experience through full acceptance of the metaphysical teachings.

It’s an Inside Job

Barbara believes that healing  whether it’s healing the body or a life experience, comes from the inside. “All healing comes down to connecting to the wisdom within and getting out of our own way.”

She used an analogy I could totally relate to. “Remember Wonder Woman and how she had these magical bracelets that could deflect bullets? Our best defense against anything harmful is to be so grounded in knowing that God is all there is that things just bounce right off of us.” Barbara used the example of someone giving you the finger in traffic. You can let that sink in and disrupt your harmony or you can be so bullet proof in your self-knowingness that it just bounces right off.

“Acknowledging and claiming you are perfect, whole and complete is the best way to inoculate yourself from potentially disruptive encounters.”

Blended Healing

Barbara acknowledges that Western medicine and it’s prescriptions, therapies and surgeries have their place in keeping our bodies healthy, but we can co-create health  and healing by remembering who we are.

She considers herself a holistic healer, meaning she blends all the best things that western medicine and metaphysical healing has to offer. In her energy healing room, Barbara uses a process that asks questions to guide people to their own inner wisdom.

“I don’t like guided imagery because it puts ideas in people’s minds,” Barbara explains. “Instead I like to give a general suggestion, like ‘Go to a sacred space,’ and then ask questions like, ‘Where are you? What do you see?’ If we can create it, we can uncreate it. Sometimes we just need more clarity.”

“One time I asked a patient what she saw and she said a bed of violets. I asked God, ‘What do I do with a bed of violets?’ I got the guidance to have the patient  ask a violet to stand up and speak for the group.  When I did, the patient began to laugh. I asked her what the violet said. She responded, ‘Stop being a shrinking violet’ and that made so much sense to her and guided us to next steps in the healing process.”

It’s all Good and It’s All God

It’s true that Barbara can see energy and she believes that we are all energetic beings, but she doesn’t call herself an energy healer because there really is nothing to heal.

“There is no negative energy,” Barbara tells me. “It’s all just energy.”

In her practice, Barbara reads energy centers called chakras but believes the chakras can self-regulate. “It’s not for me to open or close someone else’s chakras. The chakras do what they do in order to protect and sustain the energetic balance in the body.”

So what do you do if you are walking into a situation where you feel overwhelmed or uncertain? “Tell your energy centers to keep you safe and do a quick prayer treatment. Remind yourself that God is all there is and claim the good you want in that situation.”

If you have the opportunity to spend time with Barbara, I recommend it. She is so clear in her understanding of the principle and completely committed to helping you claim it for yourself. To learn more about Barbara, visit her

Friday, June 29, 2018

25 Years of Harmony

July 4th, will mark my twenty-fifth anniversary as a senior minister. Aside from relationships with my family, my ministry as a spiritual director represents the longest relationship I have had. Did you know that the 25th wedding anniversary represents harmony? I am borrowing the idea that my ministry represents harmony.

 I remember so well my first service. Unbeknownst to my new congregation, I had always loved American patriotic music. I could sing along with all of the anthems but America the Beautiful was always my favorite. I also knew most of the military marches and could sing along to them as well. My cousins were from California. Of course most of the movies that I would have seen as a kid were made in Hollywood. I was very excited that my first Sunday would be on America's birthday. I was especially looking forward to the music.  We have always had some patriotic songs in the service that was closest to Independence Day.

The irony was Canada's birthday is July 1. On that first Sunday, the wonderful music director of the Bonita Center, my new spiritual home, played  a medley of Canadian songs in my honor. It was so kind and thoughtful and the truth was that I had a greater emotional attachment to the American music than I did to Canadian. Nevertheless,  it was a very special day. We had a church picnic after service and I got to socialize with my new friends.

Now here we are, twenty-five years later. Over the years, I have learned so many things for which I am grateful.I have learned that some words have a political connotation -- even if they were not meant to signify something  right or  left.

I have also learned that I cannot self-describe as any words that would imply my political leanings. For instance, I used to say quite often that I was a conservative person. I meant I was the kind of person who would likely not start a rebellion, the kind of person who would obey the law, and respect the rights of others. At some point I realized that people thought I was politically conservative. It is always my intention to keep my politics off the platform.

Not all of my learning has been easy. I have made  my fair share of mistakes. Some of these mistakes have hurt others and I am sorry for that. Some mistakes have hurt our community. And I am even sorrier for that.

When I first came to the United States, I listened closely to American speech. I so wanted to fit in, to be liked. I kept practicing until  all my "pro-cesses" became "prawcesses." Little did I know that most Americans love an accent, and would have preferred me to speak proper Canadian English.

I have a great respect for American patriotism. I have great respect for the tradition of honoring the office of the president, even if you did not vote for him or agree with his policies. The idea of a first lady is new to me. I like the role she is encouraged to take. In Canada, one does not directly vote for the leader. The leader of the party with the most votes becomes the Prime Minister.

It is a difficult time for America. It is difficult to see  a country that is polarized to such an extent that one side cannot see the other side's point of view at all.  In my daily prayers I have an intention to heal that sense of "them" and "us."  I pray that we are able to have civil dialogue and listen to differing points of view, without defensiveness or blame.

One of the greatest healing techniques I have come across is the Ho'oponopono prayer. It is  a simple prayer of repentance, forgiveness, gratitude, and love. Dr Hew Len practiced this prayer and healed an entire mental institution.  I offer it to us all because I know that we all make mistakes and we do care for each other:
I'm sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you.

I am so grateful for the generosity and love of all the people who have come to the two Centers in which I have served. Someone asked me recently why I would choose to become an American citizen at this time. I replied that I want to be able to vote, but it is really more than that. I want to be able to be part of what is good about this country.

May your Independence Day be a safe celebration of all that is good in America and in each other.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Love Experiment

Can love truly heal all? All the great masters, including Jesus, believed that love is the greatest power in Universe. We’ve all experienced love, but have we accessed it’s power to create physical change in our circumstances?

Aidan Greaney, RScP and a trustee for our Center, found a common thread of wisdom in his spiritual studies that led him to test the power of love.

I sat down with him to find out more about this great experiment and how we can all test it for ourselves.

Q: How did you come up with the idea to affirm love to change your experience?

A: Well, a couple of years ago, I was sitting in a Prosperity Plus 2 class and remember watching Mary Morrissey tell the story about Raymond Charles Barker. She explained that Barker walked on stage and pulled out a huge wad of cash and began kissing it. He kissed it and said “I love you” to it. Then he told the crowd, “Whatever reaction you had to watching me is the attitude you have about money.” That made an impression on me and I realized the power in loving money.

Fast forward to December of last year. I was in a book study of Catherine Ponder’s Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. She too talks about loving money. I started to see a thread of wisdom and it related to love.

In mid-December I was having a challenge at work. I thought, “If Barker is right and Ponder is right, then maybe I could start affirming love for the things that are lacking in my life.” So, I started saying “I love…” affirmations for 10 minutes a day. By February, I had demonstrated exactly what I was affirming.

By saying “I love…” I was using spirit and law to change my experience.

Q: Did you change anything else in your experience to bring forth your demonstration?
A: No. I just used the “I love…” statements daily.

Q: If someone wanted to try this experiment for him or herself, what would you recommend?
A: To demonstrate  prosperity one might say:

I love money. I love prosperity. I love my finances. I love my customers, clients and financial partners.

To demonstrate health one might say:
I love my body. I love my health. I love my wholeness. I love my life.

To demonstrate connection one might say:
I love my friends. I love the people in my life. I love connecting with others.

“I love…” statements repeatedly impress on the mind what we want to manifest and there is no resistance to our good when we say “I love…” The God of love hears the words of love.

Are you intrigued? I know I am. Aidan and I would like to invite you to join us in The Love Experiment. Identify something you want to heal or manifest in your life. Come up with some “I love…” statement and say them for 10 minutes a day, then report your results. I would love to share them in our August or September Good News, so email me the story of your own love experiment.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Putting Common Sense on the Shelf

Experience is a great teacher. How quickly one learns life's lessons is up to us.

Last Sunday afternoon, immediately after the service,  I joined friends for brunch at a local golf course. We had an umbrella but I chose the side of the table that had a mixture of sun and shade. I was really enjoying our conversation and the warmth of the sun on my back. Several times my friends asked if I was okay in that location. I did notice my left arm was getting a little warm, but I felt perfectly fine. So I stayed where I was.

Sunday night, I noticed that I was a little flushed, but determined that all was well. I didn't even look at my back. Monday morning my step-aerobic friends asked about the sunburn that I had on my back. By then, I was starting to feel it.

For the rest of the week I felt it.

The funny thing is that I did a similar thing last year. It was a much cooler day and earlier in the season, but a friend and I sat outside in the bright spring sunshine and I got burned.

I have been here in southern California for 25 years and have had very little over-exposure to the sun. If I know I am going to the beach, or even out for a walk, I put on sunscreen and a sunhat.

So why didn't i learn from my last experience?

I believe that both instances had a similar reason: I was enjoying the conversation and company so much, I put my common sense on the shelf.

I think that spiritually there is a similar reason when I misuse the law of mind. I get so involved in the situation I fail to remember that all thought is creative. And thought plus feeling equals faster results.  An example that comes to mind is when I am first made aware of a healing that is calling to be revealed. For instance, someone I love is abandoned, or loses their job, or is diagnosed with a catastrophic illness, like many empathetic people, I feel for them. I relate to them. I can literally feel their pain in my body and emotions. (This is spiritually incorrect, but in relationships it is understandable.)

We want our friends and family to be empathetic, because empathy usually results in kindness and deep listening. Empathy helps us bond with each other. But on the other hand, it is absolutely imperative that as a practitioner I see any issues as an effect and remember that effects can be changed. I have been trained to see all disease and unhappiness and loss as effects. When I see life with God's perfect vision, I am helping. When I worry, gossip or fret, I have added my emotion to the situation in a negative way.

The good news is that it is never too late to learn from our mistakes. It doesn't matter if you slipped once or twice and it doesn't make you a "bad" practitioner. It simply means that you had temporary amnesia about the spiritual truth. Next time when you hear discouraging news, hold the high ground, see the situation in God's pure light.

Let's practice together. I will wear sunscreen when I am going to be outside for the rest of the summer, and next spring I will remember that my skin is fair and tends to burn when exposed to direct sunlight. I will take appropriate action. Even more importantly, I will remember to see Good everywhere, in every situation. I will first do the work in consciousness then we are certain to see and experience a world that works for everyone.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Frustrations With Technology

I am exceedingly glad that I arrived on the planet when I did. I love all the toys! My cell phone contains a computer more powerful than the ones in the computer labs when I went to college. (I will admit that was around the time of the dinosaurs.) It is so easy to access information. I have immediate access to all the music I want. I have immediate information about everything, thanks to Google. Many of us have become conditioned to type in a word and Google will find out everything about it in a fraction of a second.

So unlike my heading, it appears that technology makes my life much easier and manageable in addition to happier and more enjoyable.  I should be blessing, not cursing, my equipment.

But when something used to work, and now it has stopped working, it does frustrate me.

I know. It is likely "operator error." I have  a sneaking suspicion that it might be related to those annoying upgrade demands I keep seeing come across my screen, interrupting whatever task was at hand. I readily admit that I often put them off.

I may be suffering the consequences.

My issue is with the camera on my PC. It worked fine until a few months ago.

Two weeks ago, I tried to connect with a new colleague at Headquarters and could not get my camera to work, but I haven't thought about it since. Instead of paying attention to what wasn't working in that moment and making a conscious effort to take a closer look, I chose to ignore it. In two weeks, I am scheduled for another meeting involving colleagues from all over the world and my camera needs to work.

It does remind me about life though.

I have a tendency to minimize issues when they first occur. Honestly, if it doesn't feel like that big a deal, I may just ignore it. I am not recommending this strategy, unless you want a strategy for frustration and failure.

As far as technology goes, it is not going to magically correct itself. That is true of life as well. It is one of the many reasons to do all our spiritual practices. Often during a silent mediation, an answer will just appear. Sometimes, when journaling about my day, I will stumble across the idea that I needed to help me see things clearly. Then one could follow-up and use our most powerful tool, affirmative prayer to create what one does want.

But if I am "too busy" to journal or meditate, life will have to go the extra mile to get my attention. My health may be challenged, or my bank account may be compromised or my relationship may fall apart. It is likely that none of these things happened in a vacuum. It is quite likely that life left clues about my false beliefs long before anyone could see a measurable result.

The good news is that it is never too late. I can pay attention to the clues and the messages to up-date my computer and  myself.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Dealing With Disappointment

I am disappointed. Our Roots of the Science of Mind tour has been cancelled by the organizer, Spirit Tours. I was really looking forward to the trip for many reasons. Those of us who would have traveled together would have made lasting friendships and memories. We would have visited the place where Ernest Holmes lived as a child.  We would have experienced the home in which Emerson had held discussion groups of the greatest thinkers of the time, men and women who later became known as the transcendentalists. We would have visited Walden Pond, where Thoreau wrote his amazing essay. But only one person signed up and Spirit Tours needed more commitment than that.
Dr. Heather in New Zealand

In 2009, our Center hosted  a group trip to New Zealand and Australia. There were over 25 of us traveling together. It was organized by the amazing Bunty Peterson, RScP. Sadly, Bunty made her transition the following year. She did us proud for the travel.  It was an amazing adventure. She booked all the tour buses and the hotels. She knew what excursions were a "must see" and what we could do without. While on our trip, we prayed and meditated together every morning and had most of our meals together. Bunty kept our costs manageable. Some "wise owls" upgraded their flights and arrived in Auckland in much better shape than the rest of us. We had so much fun together. It was much colder in New Zealand than we were anticipating so the sheep farmer in Dunedin benefited from our situation -- most of us bought a lot of warm woolen clothes from the wool boutique. I know I still wear my black sheepskin vest when it is cold here.

We saw Kiwi signs (the bird not the fruit.) We sang together. We laughed. Some of us drank martinis in the deep freeze of the bar "Twenty Below Zero." We applauded the show of the Maori and the only man, a friend from Baltimore, who volunteered to "play" with them. We sang. We laughed. We
giggled. We were awe-struck in the Sydney Opera House and the beautiful bridge. Then during the Parliament of the World's Religions, we watched the Buddhists patiently creating the most amazing and intricate design that took the entire 7 days of the conference to create, and we joined them as they scooped up all the colored sand to take to the river, signifying the impermanence of everything (on the physical plane.) We proudly performed with and listened to the Agape choir singing gloriously up-beat, positive songs and got the whole auditorium clapping along.

It was a life-changing time.

I was disappointed about our trip being cancelled but I will get over it.  I am still feeling nostalgic about our past experience. I do realize that going on a Roots Tour is a completely different experience than going to New Zealand and Australia.

There were many people who expressed interest in this trip but they didn't sign up. I want to know why. Was there not enough value? Was it too expensive?  Was it too short? Was it the wrong time of year? Are you uninterested in our spiritual roots?

But I will get over this cancellation. We will make new plans and new trips together.
Always there is more life to live and more community to get to know. I am optimistic about our future. I believe in us. We will create new memories and experiences. I need to remind myself that we are creating memories right now, right here.

You could help, especially if you were one of the people who expressed interest in this trip. Let me know. Give us feedback. Where in the world would you like to visit with your spiritual family?

Friday, June 1, 2018

To Tell the Truth

I love teaching the Science of Mind classes. I have been studying the Science of Mind since 1985. I must say that when I first read the textbook, I did not "get" it. The writing seemed redundant and even nonsensical. I probably wasn't ready to understand it. Since that time, I have become a much better student of the Science of Mind and I am still learning. I have come to treasure Dr. Holmes' words and appreciate the wisdom behind them.

I also learn from my students. I learn from the brand new students..from their honesty, their persistence and their passion to fully learn to use this science. I learn from their frustration and remember my own frustration when I was a beginning student. I also learn from the more-experienced students, who bring wisdom and love for the teaching to the classes.

In my current class, there are twice as many students who have taken this course before than there are beginners. It is a wonderful opportunity for everyone. The beginners benefit form the insights of the experienced students. The experienced students benefit from the joy and enthusiasm of the beginners.

One of the things I was surprised to find was the hesitancy of some of our mature students to tell the truth about the process of accessing their wisdom. Last night we were looking at our difficulties in relationships, and how we could make different choices about how to think, feel and act. My observation is that some of the experienced students didn't want to tell the beginners about their natural tendencies to react in anger, blame and gossip. They wanted to show that they knew they had choices of wisdom, kindness and compassion.

I am grateful for the wisdom in everyone. And I have a bias toward telling the truth even if it makes one appear petty, small-minded or weak. There is so much to be said for the willingness to be vulnerable and authentic.

Most of us have had an ethical upbringing. We KNOW what is the right thing to do, but we don't always choose it. If we were not free to choose all kinds of reactions including unskillful behaviors, we wouldn't be free at all.

I will agree that it is uncomfortable to confess to small-mindedness, to becoming emotional, to reacting to a situation.  But even the Master Teacher Jesus, lost his temper, and kicked over the money-changers tables in the temple!

I love Google! I love the quick access that the internet brings. A moment ago one line of a lyric came to my mind. Within seconds, I had found the whole song and the musical from which it came. The line was, "...much too high a cost." From the song, "Defying Gravity" in the musical Wicked, the whole line is:
"Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well if that's love 
It comes at much too high a cost." 
I believe that when we do not tell the truth, we have paid much too high a cost. The cost is to our own integrity and self-esteem.

For me, telling the truth is NOT about making someone else wrong. It is not about blaming anyone for my situation or circumstances. It is about taking complete responsibility for  my life and the freedom that brings does let me "try defying gravity.".

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Spiritual Wisdom: See the Truth in Yourself Too

When I asked Dr. Heather for some insight into this month's 100 Years of Science of Mind theme, Spiritual Wisdom and How to Follow It, she shared with me this beautiful story of enlightenment during her spiritual journey. It reminds us to give ourselves the same grace we give others and offers a simple question Dr. Heather asks herself when she needs a little more clarity.

From Dr. Heather:

The greatest piece of spiritual wisdom I can offer is that every person is a valued and a valuable expression of the Divine, starting with myself. 

It has always been easy for me to see the Divine potential in other people. I can easily forgive others who have made mistakes and still see their spiritual magnificence. It has not always been so easy to remember for myself.

The first time I became aware of the fact that I often leave myself out of the equation was in the 80’s at a spiritual class called “On Course” given by Michael and Paulette Sun. There were about fifty people in the course. We had been expressing our goals and the beliefs that were getting in the way of achieving those goals. 

I remember being deeply moved by each person’s sharing. I saw the light in each one of them. When it came to my turn to share, I could not see any of the beliefs I had about myself that had gotten in my way. I had lots of guilt about my mistakes and lots of blame about it too. 

Michael Sun said he had noticed how engaged I was in every person’s sharing. He said, “You really see the spiritual truth in all these people don’t you, Heather?” I readily agreed. Then he said, “But you don’t see it in yourself, do you?” Again I agreed. The next thing he said shocked me. 

He said, ”Do you have any idea how arrogant it is?” 

I was puzzled. He went on to say, “You believe that God is everywhere present except in you! That means that you believe that you are more powerful than God!” 

I wanted to hide, to run away or at least to protest, but after thinking about it, I realized it is exactly what I had been doing. I was awash with tears, good tears, the tears of awakening.

The technique I use to remind myself is simply to ask myself, “Could this belief  or behavior be true about God?” Almost always the answer is, “Of course not.”  So I adjust my thinking which puts me in alignment with spiritual wisdom

Spiritual Wisdom: My Answer Is Not Your Answer

When asked for some insight into spiritual wisdom for this month's 100 Years of Science of Mind theme, Rev. Pattie Mercado, the youth and family minister for our Center, responded with some wisdom that she received when her children were small. The wisdom works in all situations because we live our authentic life when guidance comes from within.

From Rev. Pattie:

The Spiritual Wisdom I want to share with everyone I received close to 25 years ago and I still use it today. I was married with two children and we really wanted to do a good job raising our kids. I took classes, read books and talked to other moms and teachers. The wisdom I got came during a parenting class from one of my amazing mentors.  The wisdom is, “I don’t have your answer, but I know you do.” 

The answer was completely dissatisfying at the time. I really wanted someone to tell me how and what, but this wise woman reminded me repeatedly: “my answer is not your answer and your answer is not my answer”. The faith to look within for my answer, no matter what the question has been a powerful tool for my growth. Over the years, I have relied upon this truth, dug in to find and know my answer, and stood witness to children and adults reminding them that their answer is within them.

Spiritual Wisdom: Everyone Is Playing Their Part Perfectly

This month's 100 Years of Science of Mind theme is Spiritual Wisdom and How to Follow It. I took this opportunity to check in with our ministers and get a little insight into Spiritual Wisdom. 

Rev. Karyn Allen is our creative arts minister. She shares her beautiful musical gifts with us often and finds herself not only on our platform, but also travels to other Center's sharing her wisdom in song. It's not surprising then that she found spiritual wisdom in Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage" dialogue.  

From Rev. Karyn:

One of the greatest pieces of spiritual wisdom I have received lately was from a ministerial colleague who recently made his transition.  His words forever resonate with me... "everyone is playing their part perfectly!"  To me, it brings up, and is so reminiscent of, Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage" dialogue from As You Like It

 All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
To remind myself and others of this wisdom is freeing.  It allows me to recognize that I need not judge the action of others.  I am to love them for their part in this world.

Spiritual Wisdom: Kindness Can Change the World

For this month's 100 Years of Science of Mind theme, Spiritual Wisdom, Rev. Carla shares how acts of kindness and caring in some of life's most uncertain moments gave her courage. It was in the kindness of others that she found Spirits universal wisdom showing up for her in moments of need.

From Rev. Carla:

What has been the greatest piece of spiritual wisdom given to me was by the people that have touched my life through the power of Kindness.  All these people still stand out in my mind today because of their beautiful acts of kind-heartedness.  

I recall traveling in Italy and trying to purchase a train ticket with a teller that spoke no English or attempting to figure out where to get off the train because the names of the cities were different than the ones in my travel book. In those moments, some lovely person stopped what they were doing just to help me out and gave me encouragement, making me feel safe. Then, there was the nurse in the operating room that took my hand while delivering my first born, and she said “you’re doing great, you got this” as she gently stroked my head.  I also recall that there were a special handful of people that stood by me after a serious operation showing me their care, their hearts and their love. Kind acts have taught me to be more present to how I show up in this world. 

What I know for sure is that Kindness can change this world and that kind people can be our greatest teachers.  

Spiritual Wisdom: Practice What We Preach

Rev. Judee Chapman, an assistant minister at our Center, is one of the most centered, confidant practitioners of the Science of Mind that I know. When I asked her about our 100 Years of Science of Mind theme for this month, Spiritual Wisdom, she went right back to the foundation of it all and reminds us that daily spiritual practices fill us up and then causes a ripple effect in the world.

From Rev. Judee:

Spiritual Wisdom is when we 'practice what we preach' and it shows up in our lives on a daily basis.

When we squeeze an orange, what comes out? Orange juice!

When WE are squeezed, what show's up? Understanding? Forgiveness? Compassion? Peace? Kindness?

Just like the old saying "You are what you eat," the same rule applies to your beingness. You are what you think about and what you allow into your consciousness.

Our world is one of incredible beauty and energy. As we increase our connection with this energy, the more beauty we see and the more we evolve as spiritual beings.

I receive "wisdom" from many places: Dr. Heather's Sunday talks, classes, music, reading inspiring books, gatherings with like-minded people, the Science of Mind textbook, etc.

Dr. Ernest Holmes captures in this quote what Spiritual Wisdom truly is...
"Come, Thou Great and Infinite Mind and inspire me to do great deeds. Acquaint me with Thy knowledge and in Thy wisdom make me wise. I would be taught of Thee, Inner Light, and inspired by Thy presence. I will listen for Thy Voice and it will tell me of great things to be done. I will be inspired from On High. O Wonderful Presence, flooding me, filling me with Thy Light, Thou dost inspired me! I feel the inspiration of Spirit."

Insight into Our Roots with Rev. Carla

This October, our Center is offering a field study into the Science of Mind roots. It's a five-day excursion to the New England coast, led by Dr. Heather and organized by Spirit Tours, to explore the place where Science of Mind all began. It's the place where Ernest Holmes grew up; where Emerson discovered his truths; and Thoreau found inspiration on Walden Pond.

I asked our own Rev. Carla, a frequent traveler with Spirit Tours and our Center's trip coordinator, a few questions to get some insight into this adventure. 

Q: The Roots tour is really an historic look at our Science of Mind history. As a SOM student and minister, what do you think or hope people who take the tour will come away with? How might it benefit them spiritually?

Rev. Carla:Traveling is a sensory experience that you can't get from a class, a book, or a teacher.  It is an opportunity to explore one's own soul on deeper and more reflective levels. As a serious student of Religious Science, the idea of steeping myself deeply into the time and life of Ernest Holmes is a treasured prospect and my hope is that it will bring yet another layer of understanding and insightfulness to my awareness of this philosophy. In my experience, I’ve witnessed that making discoveries in a group can be so impactful; it’s like setting an intention with the power of multiplication. Something special was unfolding in the consciousness of Holmes, Emerson, Thoreau, and Hopkins and I want to ride on the wings of that realization.  (special note: Dr. Heather will offer CSL Roots class credit to anyone who takes the tour.)

 Q: The transcendentalists movement and Emerson really inspired Ernest Holmes. What do you think travelers will discover by walking the same streets or visiting the same Walden Pond?

Rev. Carla: Thoreau built his cabin in 1845, on Walden Pond, as a place to write and reflect. He wrote in a continuing stream of consciousness there for 17 years.  I believe that energy is still there for all of us to experience, explore and practice by walking and breathing in the same places as our powerful teachers/mystics of New Thought did.  

Q: You have been a frequent traveler with Spirit Tours; what makes it different than another tour company?

Rev. Carla on a Spirit Tours trip to Bali
Rev. Carla: Yes, I have travel twice to Bali and once to Ireland with Spirit Tours.  Before Spirit Tours I had never traveled with a group.  The experience was truly a pleasant surprise as I did not travel the first time with my own CSL to Bali; it was with the Santa Rosa CSL and Dr. Edward Vijion.  We traveled with a large group of 32 persons, all uniquely individual, all interested in their spiritual growth and all eager to have a new experience together with other like-minded people.  What made the trip so satisfying was that we were in spiritual practice and mindfulness throughout our time there. Waking up every morning to a spiritual practice of chanting meditation, yoga, and then an informative meeting of what the day entail and what it may hold for us.  

Also, I think it's important to note that Spirit Tours offers a unique experience for those seeking a different kind of travel. They are founded on SOM Principles and practice the teachings of Religious Science, bringing a rich and diverse background with the ability to touch a traveler’s life in a profound and lasting manner.