Rev. Kathleen's Blog 2017
I returned Sunday from a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat with a deeper embodiment of what is so beautifully expressed in our spiritual teachings. We teach Universal Principles that are beyond any religion and yet encompass spirituality at its deepest level. Nearly 10 hours of meditation a day for 10 days (about 100 hours of meditation) took me to a level of knowing who I am as the unmanifest observer. I was able to witness with no attachment the rising and falling of thought and its impact on the energy field of the body. Constrictions, even pain, and expansive sensations came and went in response to thoughts that came and went. Thought-feeling patterns were easily observable.
Our teaching symbol that describes the process of creation - the Science of Mind symbol - so beautifully describes these patterns rising and falling from the subconscious mind and creating our experience of reality. The purpose of the meditation technique was to identify with the observer and to develop a non-reactive mind, an equanimous mind that remains clear and open to the flow of wisdom and compassion. A calm, clear mind that does not react to life circumstances with the stress response is so important if we are to meet the challenges that arise in our lives.
I invite you to make meditation a solid practice in your life. I also invite you to strengthen your understanding of the practices and principles that we teach to support you in creating lasting change within - the only true way to see healthy and prosperous change in your life.
Peace To You,
The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (SNV) campaign spans January 30 through April 4 , the memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. The annual 64-day campaign, launched by the United Nations in 1998, was co-founded by Dr. Arun Gandhi and The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT) and is chaired by Michael Bernard Beckwith, D.D. The purpose of the campaign is to focus educational and media attention on the philosophy of attaining peace through nonviolent action as demonstrated by legendary leaders Gandhi, King, Jr., Chavez, Mandela, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Hundreds of Season for Nonviolence task forces from around the USA and abroad are involved.
We ask you to make nonviolent principles a part of your daily life by downloading the attached: "64 Ways to Practice Nonviolence" that includes a quotation, affirmation, and action for each day of SNV. Also please join us for the launch on Monday, January 30, with a global meditation and communication at amplifield.com from 8-9 pm. Let's be the change we would like to see in the world!
In full Peace and Love,
We at Center for Joyful Living are soon to become Center for Spiritual Living Delaware. This new name is the result of the process of affiliating with the large and vital Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) whose centers span the globe and who publish the Science of Mind magazine.
Our decision to affiliate came through vision last spring and has been unfolding since. After our Board of Trustees voted to affiliate with CSL, our members met to co-create the new name. There have been calls, emails, paperwork, video conference meetings, and a minister's exam. Also, our newest practitioners (Donna, Lucinda, Peggy, and Marianne) are the first to receive their oral panels through the new organization - all successfully passed! Our longtime practitioners have met the requirements to be affiliated with CSL and are in the process of receiving a CSL license.
By the time you receive this newsletter, we will have completed Phase One of the process and begun Phase Two. Keep a lookout as our social media transitions to the Center for Spiritual Living Delaware branding. As we join this worldwide organization, we are blessed with new colleagues, new ideas, home office support, resources, curriculum, and conferences that we know will bless us all.
I have wonderful friendships from our original organization, Affiliated New Thought Network (ANTN), that I deeply cherish, including two prayer partners and a mentor. Now I am also enjoying the strengthening of CSL friendships while making many new ones.
This coming weekend is a sacred, uplifting, and glorious occasion for Lucinda, Marianne, Peggy, and Donna and for our center. Our four practitioner interns are taking their oral panels at Center of Peace Center for Spiritual Living in Philadelphia on Saturday. Your prayers of support are welcome knowing that they are all an expression of Divine Faith, Love, Peace, Joy, and Oneness Consciousness. We are so proud of each of them! We want to acknowledge that each of them has dedicated many hours of prayer, meditation, study, mentoring, and practice to become a licensed spiritual practitioner. They are the first ones at CJL to take their oral panels through the Centers for Spiritual Living. The rest of our ecclesiastical team is in the process of licensing with Centers for Spiritual Living as well.
Come celebrate the practitioners' graduation this Sunday, January 15. There is a short ceremony during the service and an informal celebration with finger foods after service at which you can congratulate them individually.
Why not streamline your New Year's resolutions into one? Begin by deciding what you really want ultimately. Let me propose that all that you think you want is really what you think will make you happy. Why do you want more money, a successful career, more friends, a deeper connection with Source, better health, peace of mind? So that you can feel joy, happiness, fun - all interchangeable.
The Dalai Lama wrote a book called The Art of Happiness. What if you decided to choose happiness as your focus for the New Year? What if you envisioned yourself smiling, laughing out loud with others, hugging friends and family, feeling joy and excited anticipation about what each day holds? What if you simply chose to be happy since it is a choice that is not contingent on circumstances? If like attracts like and the Universe is designed to come up with the "hows" that reinforce the happiness we practice and envision, then the Universe brings all into our lives that leads to more and more happiness.
For the New Year I intend that I am choosing happiness, envisioning happiness, and opening my heart to being one who inspires other to be happy.
Rev. Kathleen's Blog 2016
Would you like to make a profound difference in the consciousness of humanity? I invite you to join us Saturday morning at 7 am for the planet-wide World Healing Service. Potluck breakfast follows.
More about this annual event: At 12 noon Greenwich time (which is 7 am EST), December 31, 1986, men, women, and children around the world gathered for the first time to participate in the most comprehensive prayer activity in history - a planetary affirmation of peace, love, forgiveness, and understanding involving millions of people in a simultaneous global affirmative prayer. The purpose: to reverse the polarity of the negative force field in the race of mind, achieve a critical mass of spiritual consciousness, and usher in a new era of Peace on Earth.
It was called World Healing Day, the World Instant of Cooperation, World Peace Day - a moment of Oneness to dissolve the sense of separation - restoring this world to sanity. When that moment in time arrived on December 31, 1986, those participating totaled more than 500 million people representing all religious faiths on seven continents, in more than seventy countries, and in every state in the U.S. Over 500 spiritual and peace-related organizations around the world participated. Many have continued to gather each December 31 since then.
This is your "Wake Up" call. Together we are making a difference. See you Saturday Dec 31 at 7 am!
Peace, Peace, Peace,
How perfect that Christmas Eve and the first day of Hanukkah fall on the same date this year! In the process of visioning for this special service, it became clear that this is yet another opportunity for us to experience our oneness with people of different spiritual traditions, deepening our sense of commonality, connection, care, and community. Come to be inspired and uplifted by the beauty of the music and the message as we celebrate in the spirit of Love and Light, Peace and Joy.
See you Saturday night at 8:30 pm for a Christmas Eve and Hanukkah Candle Lighting service. Fellowship follows the service with scones, hot drinks, and gifts for all.
Expanding in Light and Love,
Two Sundays ago I talked about those who are gathered in North Dakota to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux for clean water. Being in service to something beyond ourselves is a characteristic of the Cosmic Christ Consciousness, or Love. Let us remember that when we offer prayers of Love that Love has the healing power to do the seemingly impossible.
A beautiful demonstration of love took place at Standing Rock when hundreds of U.S. veterans asked Native American elders for forgiveness. Click here to watch the video.
With You in Love and Oneness,
Last Sunday I spoke of standing in the Power of the One Source with others, giving ourselves in service to a purpose beyond ourselves. Being in service to something beyond ourselves is a characteristic of what Abraham Maslow called Self-Transcendence (a level above Self-Actualization) and what those of us who follow the teachings of Jesus call Cosmic Christ Consciousness. The Universal Word for it is Love. We extend ourselves in Love, All-Inclusive Love, to others who are calling for our support. A living example of this is those who are gathered in North Dakota to STAND with the STANDing Rock Sioux FOR clean water.
Our ministers and practitioners prayed about this on Sunday during service knowing the Highest and Best for all. As many of you know, our prayers were answered that very afternoon as we received word that President Obama halted construction until another route for the pipeline could be found.
Let us never underestimate the power of prayer. Let us remember that when we offer prayers of Love that Love has the healing power to do the seemingly impossible.
Keep the prayers going - that all protesters and all other people in the North Dakota area are safe and warm despite the blizzard conditions.
Doing Amazing Things With You,
Spiritual community is a blessing. Tomorrow night - Friday, December 2 at 6:30 pm - join your spiritual friends for a Holiday Party that is new and different this year. For one, the admission is free! Also new - a bingo game provided by DuWayne Preston and led by Nancy Paist-Riches. Brett Taylor is the emcee for the silent auction, a great way to purchase holiday gifts. Bring a dish to share for a delicious CJL-style dinner!
Your Board of Trustees members are the hosts. The decorating team and other helpers transformed the Center for the holiday season.
Come enjoy your spiritual friends, great food, music, bingo, silent auction, and the festive atmosphere! You will be so happy you did!
Some of the most inspiring stories told are those about people who have endured great trials (illness, persecution, or deprivation). They tell us how grateful they are for these ordeals which brought them closer to God, deepened their faith, and cultivated strength and virtue. Their lives are now illumined with purpose.
May this Thanksgiving be a time to feel the energy of gratitude for all aspects of life, realizing that everything we have been through has made us the amazing purpose-filled people we are today.
My deepest appreciation and gratitude to all of you for who you are and the way you contribute to my life, the CJL community, and the well-being of the planet.
When things don't turn out the way we had expected, we must not give in to despair. Despair comes from feeling that our prayers are not being answered, a feeling of disconnection from the Source of Good. Now more than ever, it is time to practice optimism and to use our God-given power as an agent for change.
Optimism is confidence that everything will turn out right. Since we are centers of Divine operation, that attitude of optimism opens us to a bigger vision of a better world. That vision attracts the ways and the means for its fulfillment. Alex Steffen writes in The Politics of Optimism, "Introduce intelligent reasons for believing that action is possible, that better solutions are available, and that a better future can be built, and you unleash the power of people to act out of their highest principles. Great movements for social change always begin with statements of great optimism." Ernest Holmes says, "There is a Power for Good in the Universe and we can use it."
Let's be optimistic! Know that all the seeds that we have planted for a better life for everyone are still growing and that everything is working together for the Highest Good. Then let's act out of our highest principles!
What do we do to tame the overactive mind, so full of irrational, limited thinking that generates fear, anxiety, and the experience of "not enough?" You already know what I am going to say - meditate, pray, vision, and do so daily. Are you hearing yourself saying "But I don't have time!" You are not alone. Lack of time is one of the biggest excuses that people give as to why they don't do their spiritual practice - even though there is more than adequate scientific evidence of meditation's value for peace of mind, health, evolution of consciousness, and abundant living.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states: "Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for about half of leisure time, on average, for those age 15 and over. Connecting with others was the next most common leisure activity, accounting for nearly 45 minutes per day."
Do you know that a lot of TV programming reinforces irrational, limited, false thinking? Advertisements program our minds to buy products by convincing us that we are lacking. We begin to feel fearful and anxious and are motivated to buy. All the while, we can attain a greater and more permanent sense of well-being by dedicating our precious time to turning within, studying higher truth, and practicing affirmative prayer. Spiritual practice leads us to the awareness that all is well in our world. This "all is well" attitude is the calm in which we can receive divine guidance for the Highest Good for us, for all life.
So what will it be...TV or spiritual practice?
Knowing Your Highest Good,
How do we who are steeped in the mystical spiritual traditions approach the emotionally charged election that will be decided next Tuesday November 8? My take on it - we turn to inner vision, the capacity to perceive the activity of Spirit in every situation, including the election process. Since we believe that everything is working together for the Highest Good of all, we know that the Highest Good is taking place in this election as well. This deep knowing could include the awareness that the old is falling apart so that the new can be birthed.
The new that is being birthed is a humanity that values and practices trust, kindness, compassion, and wisdom and understands that we are active participants in creation. We (this new humanity) take responsibility for our thoughts and beliefs by focusing on what we want instead of what we don't want. As more and more of us align with the vision of life more abundant on earth, we get to witness it showing up all around us.
Seeing Beyond the Appearance to a Higher Vision,
Change is simply a part of life. The Universe, the creation of the One Source, is designed to change, expand, and produce new life forms from the Heart of Divine Love. We too are changed by the impulse of Divine Love that lives in us and propels us to express more of who we are in Truth. We sometimes forget though that true lasting change happens on the inside, not from changing things in the external world. When we cooperate with this inner urge of love to express itself, we feel more in the flow. When we resist it, we feel increasingly uncomfortable.
We intend that our spiritual community is that atmosphere of Divine Love in which we all thrive. Divine Love supports us in unfolding our indwelling perfection. As we let each other in the CJL community support our process of change through Sunday celebration services, fellowship, classes, workshops, and practitioner sessions, we allow Infinite Love to do its work of alchemy in our lives. As we intend that we are transforming our inner world of belief in the arms of spiritual community, our Indwelling Essential Self does a happy dance!
Living as the Flow,
Despite my intention to remain a peaceful presence, I've had some negative reactions to events of the Presidential election. Last night I received some clarity.
What is happening in terms of name-calling, drama, and slander is in conflict with a higher vision I have of our world leaders. This tension between my higher vision and how things appear to my five senses is part of the experience of being pulled by my higher vision into a greater becoming. This tension lets me know that I have some inner work to do. We live in a Spiritual Universe governed by Spiritual Law. We actively participate in it with our thoughts, beliefs, and visions. I pray knowing that all is working together for the Highest Good.
I also reinterpret what is happening in a way that inspires me. I am knowing that this is the last stand of the human ego coming to the surface to be healed so that a higher consciousness may emerge in humanity. I know that the one elected President and the one who is not are both playing their parts so that the rest of us may become inspired to let go of our egoic tendencies to complain, whine, and see others as the enemy. Instead we can choose to treat each other more humanely and with compassion. Since it is done unto us as we believe, I choose to believe this or something better... whatever is for the Highest Good.
Peace To All,
The mystic Meister Eckhart wrote, "God is not found in the soul by adding, but by a process of subtraction." In the Beyond Limits class, we have been practicing letting go of all negation in the subconscious mind to free it to be fertile soil for the "Great Work" of the Indwelling Divine Self. We are using intention to cleanse the subconscious in the form of affirmative prayer and meditation. This process of clearing and cleansing is also called chemicalization in New Thought/Ancient Wisdom teachings because of the experience of the patterns coming to the surface to be released.
The keys for us are to stay conscious, to witness the pattern in our thinking, feelings, and behaviors, and to remind ourselves that they are on their way out. We also turn to the Spiritual Truth and listen for guidance as to what actions to take if any. In doing so, we are breaking the patterns of belief that sponsor the thinking, emotions, and behaviors that do not serve us.
Letting Go, Letting God,
Do you want to change something about your life? Begin with the contemplation of the All in All, the One Source and the vastness of Its creation. Look at photos of the universe. I encourage folks to consider putting one on their computers. The mystics of all time and the great spiritual teachers as well as modern day scientists speak of the power of Awe and Wonder, of total Amazement.
Focusing in this way to cultivate the feeling of expansiveness is the first step to breaking out of the patterns of the past. From this place, it is so much easier to then let go of unhappy stories of childhood, teen, and adult years that drag you down. You don't have to have them in your story any longer. Fill your life with love and the other feelings will soon leave you. And keep that expansive state of Awe and Wonder and total Amazement with Life going.
In Awe of Our Life!
The Center for Joyful Living is celebrating its 6th Anniversary this month surrounded by the Beauty and Wonder of nature. We are taking our beloved potluck to Brandywine Creek State Park, Friday October 7th. The Potluck starts at 6 pm and the Hayride at 7 pm followed by the Bonfire. See the flyer below for details.
Thank you for your part in the flourishing of our beloved spiritual community.
We at CJL are committed to BEING the change we wish to see in the world. On Monday September 19, we hosted our first Peace Week Delaware event. Thirty people gathered at the Center for Joyful Living to practice yoga, meditation, and visioning FOR PEACE - to be the peace we wish to see.
Our spiritual practice that evening took us deep within where we could hear the voice of God reveal to us the newly emerging vision of Peace in Delaware and how we are to grow to be the place in consciousness where this vision is realized. Click here to read the result of visioning "What is the Highest Vision for Peace in Delaware?"
In Peace and Joy,
When we accept our Divine Self, we are transformed into the awareness that we are a superbeing. The qualities that those who have awakened share in common are: unassailable joy, love without end, freedom, remarkable wisdom, intuitive knowing, ability to take effective action spontaneously, a dynamic force of energy to do what needs to be done, an accessible well of creativity, deep inner strength, calmness in the face of any circumstance, clarity of purpose, ability to be fully present, adaptability - loves change, compassion - can sense the needs of others, a grateful heart.
Research as presented by evolutionary pioneer Craig Hamilton shows that we can cultivate these qualities of awakening and make room for the awakening to take place.
We at the Center for Joyful Living do just that. The practices and principles that we teach, i.e. meditation, visioning, and spiritual mind treatment (affirmative prayer), are powerful tools for awakening. The way we pray (spiritual mind treatment) is from the perspective of awakened consciousness. Every time we pray and use spiritual law in this way, we are practicing being spiritually awake by transforming consciousness. Each Sunday this month we are learning the secrets of effective prayer. Next week we are starting classes that also further awakening.
Choose a class, connect with those of like mind, develop an awakened, enlightened consciousness, and discover the boundless nature living within your very being, the Presence of God in your very midst.
To Your Awakening,
This month we deepen our understanding and use of prayer based on the work of Gregg Braden's book The Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer. Gregg is a contemporary mystic and scientist who has searched the world for the secrets to effective prayer, our personal use of the All-Power of Spirit. In service September 4th, I introduced the first secret. I told the story of Gregg and 20 fellow travelers who went great distances through hardships to reach a remote Buddhist temple in Tibet. Gregg asked the abbot there, "When we see your prayers...when you tone for 14 to 16 hours a day, when we see or hear the bells, bowls, gongs, chimes, mudras, and mantras, what is happening inside of you?" The abbot answered, "What you have seen is what we do to create the feelings in our body. Feeling is the prayer!"
Ernest Holmes echoes this when he writes, "Feeling is at the center of the Universe and when reflected through consciousness, it sheds its glow wherever the thought travels. Law governs its action and God Himself fulfills its promise." When we look at the teachings of the mystics of many other spiritual traditions, we find that one key to effective prayer is feeling grateful and full of joy that what we desire is already happening.
The native Americans talk about "praying rain": feeling it, smelling it, seeing the results of it. This is the same idea. Pick something you choose to experience in your life. Use your imagination to see it, feel it, hear it. Use all of your senses. Then feel gratitude and give thanks that the Divine has answered!
When I find myself feeling unsettled about things I hear in the news, I lift my mind to see things from a higher perspective. We are living in an amazing Universe so intricately designed, and I am reminded that there are also many dimensions, many realities, that all exist at once. We came to this life to discover the mysteries of our divinity and to practice being our Divine Selves by transcending seemingly impossible situations.
As I reread Jack Addington's The Secret of Healing, a book I read in the early days of my spiritual learning, I am reignited with passion to share the power of Spiritual Mind Treatment to transcend and transform any situation or issue by transforming the mind. I love the real-life stories of dramatic healing that many would call miracles, yet we know is the out-working of Spiritual Law that trumps our physical laws.
Come this month as we realize that miracles are available to each one of us because of Who We Are.
Knowing Your Spiritual Truth,
I recently read an article on mercy and realized that this form of love is the out-picturing of the safety that we all desire to experience. As we provide safety to others by being merciful, we may have an impact on them to be more merciful in their own lives. This human expression of Divine Love is the opposite of revenge or getting even. It is the child screaming at her parent to stop hitting to which the parent wakes up, chooses mercy, and stops. It is the soldier assisting a wounded enemy and letting him escape to live out his life (as happened in one of the CJL spiritual cinema movies we saw in the spring). As we turn from vengeance or getting even and respond with mercy (seeing all as a call for love and that love or mercy is our answer), we are being the change we wish to see in the world - peacemakers. We are doing our part to create a world of safety in which peace can flourish.
Peace and Mercy,
We have not come here just to exist. You and I have each come here to be a living manifestation of the Light of Spirit. Our minds are a great asset if they are used by the True Self to be a beneficial presence. Yet much of the time the mind can be full of chatter based on fears that, to a certain extent, we all share as spirit beings having a human experience.
At the annual Spiritual Living Conference last weekend, Rev. Silvia Sumpter of Unity in Washington, DC, shared her experiences at Oneness University in India. The essence of what she learned is that we must not be so into "Oneness" talk - characterized by platitudes - that we do a "spiritual bypass." In other words, part of Inner Integrity (honesty, wholeness, being undivided) is that we must be willing to explore our inner world, notice what does not serve us, and feel it fully until it dissipates. Then we are ready to allow Divine Grace to replace that false belief in the subconscious mind with Spiritual Truth.
This is what we do when we meditate regularly and honestly look at the patterns of thinking that cause inner suffering. That is what our practitioners are trained to help clients explore. The purpose is to be our Authentic Selves in the process of ever increasing liberation and transcendence. I was touched by Rev. Silvia's willingness to share her personal journey of Authenticity and her reminder to be gentle and compassionate with ourselves along the way. We are all in this together!
As I continue to open to a higher awareness of life, I realize that it does not serve me to try to control things in my life in order to be comfortable (i.e. to avoid pain). If I live this way, I am driven by fear that takes its toll mentally, emotionally, and physically. I would rather have love be the motivation. When love leads, it moves me beyond my comfort zone into the unknown with its new experiences that can feel uncomfortable. Yet I would rather be uncomfortable and growing than be comfortable and stagnating. Letting love lead is letting the True Self lead, and that is guaranteed to be an adventure!
Into the Adventure of Life,
The Master Teacher, Jesus, taught "You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free." As I meditated Sunday night, I was inspired to contemplate a Truth statement I had heard that afternoon spoken by Joel Goldsmith in an audio clip from Charlie Curtis' workshop. "God is the only Power." Out of the silence, a spiritual mind treatment (contemplative prayer) unfolded in my awareness, arguing for the Ultimate Reality of "One Power."
"God is the only Power. That Power lives in me, through me, as me. So, there is no power in anything in the world of effects. There is no power in disease, in fear, in false ideas, in the weather, in the economy. God is the only Power in my life. It is the Power of Good, of Well-being, of Supply, of Love, of Peace, of Wisdom..."
I began to feel the effects of the words of Truth on my body. The more I contemplated "God is the only Power," the more my body vibrated - until it felt like pure energy. It was so blissful that I continued in this way for quite some time. What is most important to me is that it re-emphasizes the freedom that we have in any moment to change our life experience simply by contemplating Higher Truth! "Know the Truth, and it shall set you free!"
What can we do about the divisiveness within and between the political parties that is also being played out in the citizens of our country and even between countries: When I notice something "out there" that I am reacting to or judging, it is "a sign of an unenlightened mind," according to New Thought writer Byron Katie. Any emotional reaction is a signal that I am using my creative nature to create what I do not want.
The solution is to stop that line of thought and look for a spiritual principle to apply. One possibility is "Everything is working together for good" because Universal Love Intelligence is the overarching Presence in all people and all situations. The veil begins to lift, and I can see that all that is happening is the contrast that gives birth to new desires and the evolution of my consciousness and the consciousness of humanity. This not only feels better, it is a good use of the God-given gift of creative thought that affects us all.
Choosing the Higher Path,
WHY ENGAGE IN SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY?
As a spiritual being having a human experience, intimate, healthy relationships are vital to our well-being. While our relationships with family and friends serve part of that need, spiritual community is designed to fulfill a different need.
Spiritual community has opened me to a whole new realm of spiritual experience. The combination of the Sunday messages with the classes helped me to gain insights and integrate them into my life. I have formed a deep and personal relationship with the Divine. With the guidance of practitioners and ministers in the teaching who devote their lives to spiritual realization, I have experienced some major changes in my life that have made me a happier and more fulfilled person.
What do I love about this teaching? It is open at the top. There is always new territory to explore on the inner landscape. Sharing deeply with others has helped me be a better listener and communicator. It has led to awakenings, to the shedding of patterns that don't serve me, and has paved the way for my heart to open to experience God's Love.
My calling to be a practitioner and then a minister came as a deep desire to see that this teaching - that has helped me so much - is passed on. I want others to have the opportunity to experience loving, conscious spiritual community. I want to give back to others what I have received so generously from others who came before me, "that YOU may have life and have it more abundantly," as the great Master Teacher once said.
Here at CJL, we have so many fine opportunities to awaken, deepen, grow, and serve. Join us each Sunday for service, or in a spiritual growth circle, or in a class. It is so much more fun to journey with others!
Enjoying the Journey Together,
I have learned first-hand that opposing or being against others in thought, word, or deed is destructive. My intention is to place my attention on what I am for and to allow others to have their own experiences. It helps me to remember that each of us is the face of God, each guided, supported, and directed by Universal Intelligence. How much more supported and safe can we be? How good it is to know that Life is for us.
And "what we resist (oppose) persists." Our thoughts impress the Creative Substance of Spirit, thereby becoming things and experiences. If we complain about a candidate, coworker, neighbor, institution, a situation, or even a part of ourselves, we are using the power of creation to create more of the characteristic that we complain about. Our complaining reinforces what we don't like in ourselves and in others. A thought of what we oppose manifests just like any other thought.
As spiritual beings, one of our life lessons is to see the Divine (the good) behind every disguise. In that way we call forth the best in everyone. Great teachers know this. Affirm this Truth statement, "I look past the disguise and see that indeed the Light of God is there."
Seeing the Light in You,
I just watched the documentary AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda on Netflix. (You can watch it too on July 22 at CJL's Spiritual Cinema night.) Yogananda taught Universal Spiritual Principles (echoed in our New Thought teachings) that appealed to people of many faiths around the world. To achieve Self-Realization, he taught meditation as a foundational practice. I am always touched by similar teachings of the great mystics, revealers of Truth. Have you noticed that meditation is the foundation upon which the other spiritual practices rest? We go within to connect with Universal Source. From this state of connection with the Divine, we are supported and guided into right action to achieve our intentions for the Highest Good.
This month I am using a beautiful little book called The Path to Wealth by New Thought author May McCarthy. In it she clearly states that any successful person like herself has a CONSISTENT DAILY SPIRITUAL PRACTICE OF PARTNERING WITH THE DIVINE. Since 1982, May has built several large multi-million dollar companies using these practices. Come each Sunday as we look at the elements of a fruitful spiritual practice.
I am feeling renewed and so grateful after my 3-day meditation and yoga retreat at the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. My teachers for the weekend were Stephen Cope (on the yogic path for 27 years) and Sharon Salzberg (on the Buddhist path for 45 years). Sharon caught my attention when she said, "You can always begin again" - a gentle reminder to not judge ourselves when we get lost in thought during meditation. Instead, we can simply return to the breath and remember that we are the Witness of the thought.
What if that were our practice throughout the day? When we get caught in thoughts that cause suffering like fear, doubt, anger, guilt, resentment - we can take a deep breath and return to the present moment. BEGIN AGAIN. This is a fresh new moment of creation.
There is only One Life, One Source, and you are that Life individualized. You have the power of creation coursing through you. This moment is a new opportunity to create a new experience of happiness by thinking a new thought. The Buddhist prayer of compassion is a possible new thought that opens the heart to Love. How about using it when you are walking the dog or waiting in line? Use I, You, We, All beings, etc. as you are guided.
"May you ( I, we, all beings) be filled with loving-kindness, mayyou be well, may you be peaceful and at ease, and may you be happy!" (You can also "I am," "We are," "All beings are," etc.) Click on the links below for more information.
Loving Kindness Meditation (handout)
Loving Kindness Meditation (mp3 audio file), UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
At CJL, we encourage a wholistic approach to life that is called radical self-care. It includes cultivating a rich relationship with Spirit, studying spiritual teachings based on love, engaging in physical exercise, getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy food, enjoying nature, maintaining healthy relationships, doing work that is fulfilling, etc. As part of my personal radical self-care, I am attending a meditation retreat this weekend at the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts.
You too can give yourself the gift of radical self-care. We train professional practitioners who complete over two years of training in spiritual study, spiritual practice, spiritual coaching, and teaching the technologies of spiritual transformation.
FREE SPIRITUAL COACHING THROUGH OCTOBER. Our practitioner interns have just completed two years of professional practitioner training. For practitioner certification through Emerson Theological Institute, they are to complete five case studies and attain five verification of demonstration letters from their clients. You can be one of them! There is no fee for the coaching/prayer sessions during the internship period which ends when they graduate on November 6. The practitioner interns partner with you in spiritual realization. They are trained in the uncovering and transformation of hidden beliefs that limit your ability to move forward with your life and realize your dreams. (See the SEVA article below.)
If you prefer a more seasoned licensed professional practitioner, you can arrange to do spiritual coaching with one of them for a fee. A list and contact information is available here. Opportunity abounds!
In Love and Light,
Considering what happened Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it might be tempting to allow rage, fear, and discontent to take over. But we know that the only thing that ultimately heals all challenging situations is the power of prayer, prayers of peace to the situation as well as any actions of kindness that we are guided to take.
We are aware that an act of violence like this can easily add to the trends of hatred and fear that many in our country are engaged in. Yet it is important to realize that the cycle of violence and hatred does not stop by adding more of the same. I am inviting you to open your hearts and join me in a collective prayer of peace and healing. Let's begin with the consciousness of being the change we wish to see, so beautifully put forth by St. Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
We know that God is all there is and that all that God is in Essence, we are. We are the Peace, Love, and Healing Power of God and the instruments of these energies. Let us extend this healing to those who were killed, knowing they are safe, secure, and well cared for on their eternal journeys. Let us know that those injured are under the benevolent care of the Spirit which is pouring the healing power of Love in, through, and as them. Let us know that those who witnessed the shootings and the loved ones of all those affected are filled with peace of mind and strength to move forward with their lives.
And for the shooter Omar Mateen, we look beyond the darkness of the tortured mind and know that even there the Truth of God lives as peace and harmony. May his family also be surrounded in understanding and in peace. It is in challenging situations such as this that we are called upon to draw from that deep well of the Divine within and play our part in being the solution in consciousness. We do so in courage, in sincerity, and in strength, opening to the healing power of love and extending that to all of humanity, knowing that this is another opportunity to turn the tide of human consciousness in the direction of peace, harmony, and love. I give thanks for this shift in awareness and let the Power of God as Love and Law bring this into manifestation. And so it is.
Remember that your ministers and practitioners are available to support you.
Resting in the Arms of Infinite Peace,