Coming Sunday Services
* Messages from Rev. David
Monthly messages from Rev David
“All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
round every living thing.”
“No matter how long a room may have been darkened, the entrance of light instantly illuminates it.” SOM 468.1
This month, we enter that season where light and dark equalize, come into balance and harmony, before the light begins, ever so slowly, to return to dominance.
Often, in metaphysics, we refer to the dark as that which is undesirable or even evil. But, the dark can also be rich and fertile. It has been said that we couldn’t see the beauty of the stars, if not for the dark of the night sky.
Darkness can be the rich fertile ground, the womb of new birth and life. Darkness can be the old, once so precious, but now no longer wanted or needed, falling away. Darkness can be the state we temporarily find ourselves in when we’ve been blinded by more light than we can handle and our eyes rebalance.
In the Taoist yin/yang symbol, darkness is the deep, feminine creative energy. It operates in harmony and balance with the light, the yang energy and out of that interaction is born all life.
Within ourselves, we have that which we may judge to be “not light” – that which we would rather not have brought to light. Yet, if we understand that ALL is God, all is the One Life, then even this, too is Divine. The poet David Whyte, in his lovely poem “The Winter of Listening” says: “What we strive for in perfection is not what turns us into the lit angel we desire, what disturbs and then nourishes has everything we need.”
During this time, as the earth moves into quiet, take the time to listen within. Become aware – without judging – of that which disturbs and nourishes you. It doesn’t have to be “fixed”, just noticed. As we gaze with the warmth and light of love and compassion, the gift of the darkness, previously hidden behind our walls, will be revealed and our soul will be nourished. Deep peace and joy to you during this holiday season.
“Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born.”
“Principle is not bound by precedent.” SOM 275.2
Happy New Year!
This is a time when the consciousness around us focuses on new beginnings, new practices and creating a new life. For many, that focus lasts a few weeks, then tapers off.
For us, as Religious Scientists, that consciousness is, ideally, our ongoing approach to life. Our motto is “Change your thinking, change your life.” The two repeated words are “Change” and “Your.” It’s been said that change is the only constant in the Universe. Hinduism points out that all that has a beginning has an ending and all that ends is born again. The One Life never changes, but Its expressions of Itself do, constantly.
So, we live in a Universe that is constantly calling us to the new. Our physical universe is expanding. If we don’t change, we will be left behind as Life moves on.
Change is uncomfortable for many – we get to a place we like and want to stay. But, that’s not the way Life works. We can try to make Life conform to our expectations – but that’s a losing strategy, in the long run. (The old song, “I Fought the Law and the Law Won” comes to mind.)
We change our thinking as we understand more of Life, as we open to more of Spirit’s expression. That expression, by the way, is ALWAYS for greater Good. It could not be otherwise.
The other word in our motto – “Your” – is another challenge for many people. We’d much rather someone else change their thinking than that we change ours. We engage in blame, finger pointing, defensiveness, guilt tripping and all sorts of controlling patterns to avoid the fact that the only thinking that needs to change is our own.
As we move into 2014, our community faces some deep challenges. What I know is that Spirit is greater than the challenges. What I also know is that it will take all of us, working together in a consciousness of being open to Spirit, open to solution, releasing fear, blame, controlling patterns, self righteousness, “lone ranger”-ism and all those other things, that don’t work and have, in fact, created the very challenges we face. Are you willing to let Spirit have ITS way? I am. Come play with Spirit.
“‘In everything, give thanks.’ An attitude of gratitude is most salutary, and bespeaks the realization that we are now in heaven.”
Thanksgiving – Gratitude. It’s the time of year that we celebrate and give thanks for our abundance, the harvest of the year. It’s the time when we find our table piled high with good – whether it’s food on the Thanksgiving table or the table of your consciousness.
Interestingly, at Thanksgiving, we share. The first Thanksgiving was the Pilgrim’s gratitude for a good harvest in their new home and the sharing of that harvest with all.
It is natural to share our good. Spiritually, we can look at this as a recognition that we are all one and the good of one is the good of all. The good is God. Hoarding or refusing to share our good demonstrates a lack of understanding of this basic spiritual principle and, instead, a belief in separation and living in fear of not enough.
When we live in an awareness and recognition that “our” good really isn’t just ours, individually, but ours as a whole, and that this Good is in constant flow, ever emerging in new and wonderful ways, and that we need not “earn” it, but simply accept and receive it, we relax and play in greater and greater joy in the field of abundance. And, then our harvest grows and we celebrate. Hurray!
This does not mean, of course, that we sit on our meditation pillow, praying to win the lottery and do nothing else. The basic law of life is still the law of giving-and-receiving. I write it that way because you can’t, in a healthy application of the law, have one without the other. Giving and receiving are completely tied together as the yin and the yang, the day and the night. You can’t have one without the other and, in truth, they are a whole.
The farmer “gives” seed into the growing process and “receives” a harvest. Each of us have our “seeds” – our unique gifts and talents – to give. From these, we receive our harvest. As we give abundantly, we receive abundantly. That’s the flow of the Law. Unless we muck with it – throw roadblocks of beliefs in not enough, unworthiness to receive and such – into the process, it is an ongoing and totally reliable law into which we can lean. Let’s celebrate! Rev. David
Last week, I came across something I had written at the end of Ester Nicholson’s workshop last May 5th. At the close of the workshop, she invited us to write out what we expected as a result of her workshop as an already completed experience. I wrote that I had received the money I needed for my eye surgery and could now see fabulously well. Additionally, my ex and I sold our condo quickly, for more money that we expected. Finally, I wrote that the Center was now thriving, and that I was being paid to do workshops and guest speak at other centers.
At the time, all of this was a hoped for future. Today, 5 months later, that is a completed reality. Last month, I traveled to Seattle for the eye surgery (I now see 20/20 and 20/40) our condo sold in June, closing in July for more than we expected. I have already traveled to Eugene to deliver my Lessons from Hogwarts workshop and will be guest speaking and leading a workshop in Bellingham this month.
Today, as I was watching the Seahawks playing, the announcers described a defensive player as looking past the blocker, towards his target – the quarterback or running back. He was a very successful defensive player.
So often, we get caught up in looking at what’s happening now, instead of where we want to go. It’s not that what’s happening now isn’t happening, it’s just not where we want to place our attention.
Back when I wrote that description, I didn’t have the money for that surgery, nor any idea of how I would get it. My eyesight was deteriorating rapidly, due to thickening scar tissue from my cataract surgery. There were a number of condos that were for sale at the same time as ours, for lower prices. And, no one was asking me to speak elsewhere. (Truth: I had already been asked to do the Eugene workshop, but not for pay. The money came after.) Yet, I kept my vision on the direction I wanted, not the current circumstances.
Where do you want to go? What’s your target? You are the individualization of an Infinite Power, Presence and Love. Place your vision & attention there, not the present circumstances, begin to do your spiritual work and watch what happens! Touchdown!
“The lily in the night looks a different object from the same lily in the sunlight, yet it is the same lily. So this world in which we walk looks so different by the nighttime of thought. It will be the same world when the sunshine of pure Truth strikes through our minds in its glory.” Emma Curtis Hopkins, SCMP p. 126.2
As the weather begins to change and the leaves begin to fall, we experience feelings based on our beliefs about what this means. For some, it is sadness at the end of the warm summer days, For others, it is grateful relief from the heat of summer and a cool respite. Others still may look forward to the season of Fall – the brightly colored trees, favorite holidays, warm comfort foods. Still others know this signals the approach of ski season and excitedly shop the latest gear catalogs.
We can let external things create results within us or we can let the Truth within us flow outward into external things. Back in Seattle, I have several friends who begin to get depressed around this time of year, claiming the fewer sunny days will cause something literally called SADS. Yet, I have other friends in the same city, who live in the constant Light of Truth, who find no such phenomena in their lives.
How about you? Do you let the Light within shine, no matter what’s happening externally? Or do you look at circumstances to decide how to feel?
This month is considered a “transition” month – transitioning between Summer & Fall. I always find transitional months energizing – something is happening! How about you?
At the Center, much is happening. Whether you want to dig in the garden, explore your intuition and play with your creativity, and/or if you’re ready to dig further into this powerful teaching with classes like the introductory Quick Start, the core class of Self Mastery or Prosperity Wednesday Nights there is a plethora of opportunities to get involved with your Light.
Take these opportunities to not only connect with others, but with your inner Light – to walk in your own “sunshine of pure Truth.” Blessings.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller
“To overcome fear is the greatest adventure of the mind of man.” Ernest Holmes SOM 404.4
Last week, I was taking the back road that runs from Uniontown over to I95 just south of Moscow. Partway along, it was closed and a detour was provided along a gravel road that ran for several miles through the rolling wheat fields.
As I was driving along this road, singing with Eddie Watkins on the CD player, I suddenly realized that I was flying into a sharp gravel turn too fast. I instinctively hit the brakes, which caused the nose of the car to turn in and the back end to break loose. For a moment, my accident free insurance, my responsible minister and driver and all of that kind of life passed before my eyes – a moment of fear of doing it wrong. All I could see was my crumpled car in the ditch.
And then, another aspect of my mind kicked in. It was the part that remembered sliding along gravel roads growing up in Oregon. It was the part that had been a slalom racer and rally driver in my mid 20’s with my little X1/9 sports car. It was the mind that blasted through Mandeville Canyon in LA in a friend’s Ferrari 308 GT at 90 miles an hour and left the normally unflappable friend insisting that I should train as a race driver, because I was a natural at it. It was the part of me that, following the age old adage outlined in the movie Cars, knew to turn left to go right.
I cranked that steering wheel left, hit the gas and power slid through that turn and out onto the straight road again with a huge cloud of flying gravel and not a dent in the car. It was that part of my mind that went “YAHOO!” and had the exhilarated feeling of a kid that I had long since forgotten, living a good, proper, responsible life. I felt ALIVE!
How about you? Where have you been living “properly” when you know the kid inside you wants to be alive! Will you come out & play? Take a risk or two? Jump in. The aliveness is fine!
“The Divine Plan is one of Freedom; bondage is not God-ordained.” Ernest Holmes, SOM p25.3
This month, in the United States, we celebrate the anniversary of the creation of the Declaration of Independence, that great document proclaiming our freedom from any bondage or allegiance to another country.
Like most things in life, that declaration was a starting point – and took a lot of work to bring it about. Today, we are still wrestling with the ideas of what exactly freedom is and how to be free without treading on others’ freedoms.
Freedom is at the core of the Science of Mind teachings. In the opening three paragraphs of the Science of Mind textbook, Ernest Holmes mentions Freedom, as a God quality, four times. He sees it as the core of the relationship between God and man the quality “which the soul craves.”
“To suppose that the creative Intelligence of the Universe would create man in bondage and leave him bound, would be to dishonor the Creative Power we call God. The seed of freedom must be planted in the innermost being of man, but…man must make the great discovery for himself.” SOM p. 25.2
This teaching is all about freedom – freedom from dogma and superstition and freedom to create the lives we choose. As with all freedom, comes responsibility – the responsibility to choose wisely.
As we come to understand that we create our lives, often comes the sinking feeling as we recognize the messes we experience are our own and not someone else’s creation.
But, as the teacher known as Jesus said, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” The great spiritual teachers – Lao Tze, Buddha, Jesus, Moses and others have always taught a Way to live in freedom. As Ernest says, “The road to freedom is not mysterious. The road to freedom lies …through the intelligent use of Nature’s forces and laws.” Join us this month as we explore that road.
“All you need is love” John Lennon
“Love is the central flame of the universe, nay, the very fire itself.” Ernest Holmes
February is when we celebrate falling in love, but June is when many people get married. So, let’s take a look at the Divine Marriage – one which all of us have been engaged in one way or another.
Along the way, we’ll look at how engaged we are in this relationship. Do you share and listen? Do you do all the talking? Or do you give your Partner the silent treatment? Do you even know you’re in a relationship with the Divine?
When we truly participate in the Divine Marriage, we open to the full experience of Divine Love. And, since God IS Love, and God is all there is, then Love is all there is.
We say that we believe in an Infinite Presence that is abundant, opulent Good. What if the substance of all that Good – the very core of it all – is Love? Not the mushy, romantic love of romantic
movies & novels. Not the love of, oh say, chocolate or similar things that some of us talk about. No, we’re talking about the Infinite, unfailing Love that is the core of Spirit, the underlying Essence of all. And, the good news is: we’re already married to It!
So, open up to Divine Love all the way and allow It to bless and expand your experience of Good in life.
Helping this expansion of Good, we have the wonderful Karen Ramsey, CSL Seattle Practitioner and Certified Financial Planner coming June 22nd to present her powerful workshop Caring For Your Soul in Matters of Money. You WILL want to be there/ She will also be our guest speaker the next day.
April Rubino returns with her wonderful chanting and music on Sunday, June 16th and we will deepen in satsang with chanting, readings and meditation after.
As we move into the warmth of summer, move into the warmth of Infinite Love!
“The kingdom of heaven is like the leaven, which a woman took and buried in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.” Matt 13:33
The first century Jews to whom Jesus was speaking must have found this a strange analogy. Leavening, called “chametz” in the Hebrew, was considered analogous to corruption. Prior to and during Passover, all traditional Jews still find and burn all chametz to make sure that none affects the unleavened bread. It would be today’s equivalent to rust or mold.
So, how is the kingdom of heaven like this undesirable thing? Is Jesus saying the kingdom of heaven is undesirable? NO! A couple of chapters later, he warns his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. What he IS saying is that whatever we plant, will take over. “We know that thoughts planted in mind have the power to chemicalize opposing ideas, and leaven the whole lump of subjectivity. Ideas gradually permeate the mind and influence all thought and action. If the idea is of heaven, it will certainly bring about a heavenly state.” SOM 451.5
Three measures of flour is a huge amount of flour – enough to make 30 or more loaves of bread. The caution here is that whatever is hidden in our consciousness, or as we might say today – whatever we put our attention on – will take over and manifest throughout the whole of our thinking. What is also being said is that, if we just open the door to the ‘kingdom of heaven” – Spirit – a little bit, it will transform our whole lives. Conversely, if we associate with the “leaven of the Pharisees” sticking to the letter of the law, or how things have always been done, that will also take over our whole lives.
What is the nature of the leaven in your consciousness? Are you opening to the kingdom of heaven? All it takes is the willingness to open up a little. Take a class or workshop (a couple of great ones are available this month.) Start a new or deeper spiritual practice. Be willing to say “YES” to the leaven of Spirit and watch your life rise!
“Transmute…Transmutation – To change from one nature, form or substance to another. To transform.” SOM Glossary, p. 638
“The whole purpose of the Science of Mind is to reconcile the apparent separation of the spiritual world, which must be perfect, with the material world, which appears imperfect. ONLY THAT WORLD CAN APPEAR TO US WHICH WE MENTALLY PERCEIVE. This is why we are taught to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” SOM p/ 448.1
We have just celebrated Easter – the transformational experience of one of the greatest spiritual teachers ever. We have noted that transformation is not just an improvement of what exists, rather a change – a complete change! – from one form to another. The caterpillar does not just become a better caterpillar. 2 molecules of hydrogen, combine with one molecule of oxygen – both gases – and become more than a better gas. Something brand new is created, something that has never existed before.
This month, with the rebirth energy of Spring bursting forth all around us, let us open to the idea of our own personal transformation. And, what does this transformation take? A focus on the Divine. Meditation, prayer, study – all of these practices bring us into a focus on the Perfect Nature of Spirit and less on the imperfect nature of the material world.
As Jesus reminds us, we cannot serve two masters. Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven – within and all around – and all else will be added. In Spirit, the two worlds are one – only in our mistaken perception are they separate. In Spirit, all is perfect.
Take time this month to renew your mind. You have the chance to study the renewing of mind, and more effective prayer with two classes this month. You have the opportunity to sit and profoundly listen with Tigmonk, as well as your daily meditation.
Renew! Transform! Be made new!
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