I attended “Lunch Bunch” last Sunday. One of the conversations started with “Googling” something and moved to AI. At some point that is not always predictable to me. I am compelled to defend “AI” really the Large Language Model (LLM ) as a practical technology even with its occasional flawed results. Which includes citing the training models and humans’ inability to comprehend how exponential events suddenly move in incomprehensible ways. We do not deal well with the unexpected.

There I go again, getting excited. Once again time to step aside and let the conversation take its course.

Again for me some of the principles of SOM arrive front and center. OK so I’ve read a couple of books about this revolution both upbeat and apocalyptical. The book Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and How You Can Save Our World by Mo Gawdat was one such book. Of all the ideas I have been exposed to so far this statement about the AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) really gave me pause for reflection.

“Instead of containing them or enslaving them, we should be aiming higher: we should aim not to need to contain them at all. The best way to raise wonderful children is to be a wonderful parent.” ― Mo Gawdat

The end of that quote “The best way to raise wonderful children is to be a wonderful parent.” I really love that approach. Will it work with AGI I really hope that will be the case. Either way, applying spiritual values in my life like being a good parent, good employee, husband — this is a good reminder.

I have recently revisited the Silver Rule because it makes a bit more practical sense to me. The Silver Rule is an ethical principle that advises individuals to avoid treating others in ways they themselves would not want to be treated. It is essentially an inverse form of the Golden Rule, which states, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” In other words don’t hurt people. This sentiment has been repeated throughout history. I kind of like this one…

Confucius (551-479 B.C.), a Chinese philosopher, also taught the silver rule. Tuan-mu Tz’u inquired of him: “Is there one word that will keep us on the path to the end of our days?”

The teacher replied: “Yes. Reciprocity! What you do not wish yourself, do not unto others”

Another interesting idea I discovered while investigating Mo Gawdat was a movement he calls “One Billion Happy

Mo Gawdat says three things in the video:

1) Happiness is Your priority

2) Invest in Your Happiness

3) Share It

Thoughts are things. It feels pretty bold to state Happiness is a decision. My truth is I may not like results or circumstances. Personal happiness is a decision; sometimes not an easy one but it is possible.

Practices To Apply Science Of Mind Principles from our webpage.

I ~ Other Methods To Further Embody Science Of Mind Principles The purpose of these practices is to embody our spiritual principles. This embodiment is a natural and spontaneous response to life, which is in alignment with Science of Mind Principles.

There are many methods to practice and apply the Spiritual Principles in everyday life. Ongoing proficiency and expansion of spiritual practices nurtures the application and embodiment of our Spiritual Principles. Exploring additional methods to deepen our understanding and practice that are in alignment with our Spiritual Principles, is valued and encouraged.

Live, learn and grow in Spirit.

–Chris Wheeler

Moving Out of Our Comfort Zones

Earlier this week in meditation, I asked Spirit, “What is my topic for this blog?” Spirit’s immediate reply was, “Comfort Zones,” or, as I consider them, no growth zones.

We recently celebrated Memorial Day, the weekend of my last two major moves. The first was in 2015, when in July 2014 I told the Universe/Spirit I was ready for something new. Sure, I LOVED my life in Sonoma County, my work, spiritual fellowships, friends, the music, the redwoods, and the Russian River. In answer to my prayer for something new, I found out Sonoma State was not accepting new Sociology students as they were full. So, I began searching online for my first love, Religious Studies. I looked at Humbolt and Chico State, no and no; Bakersfield – Oh heck no! But under the fear and resistance, my heart said a quiet yes, this is where you are to go next – Bakersfield. The night before I left Sonoma County, I was shaking in my bed like a cartoon character. And the next morning, I drove into my new life.

As soon as I arrived the affirmations began. People I had never met “recognized” me. The companion cat I had wanted to get for my Maggie moved in within the first few weeks. Eventually, all the school details got worked out and my work expanded to support me comfortably. I completed my BA with honors in Sociology and Religious Studies. It wasn’t long before I began practitioner training—another opportunity for growth and expansion.

While Bakersfield was never supposed to be my forever home, I had gotten comfortable and made many good friends. But, after 2020, I began wanting to be nearer family. At the beginning of 2021, my landlady told me she was selling my house. Where to go? I wanted to be nearer family, which meant Arizona. I am a California girl, born and raised and the thought of moving to another state was way outside my comfort zone. I had to remind myself people move to new states all the time, it’s no big deal, even while honoring the huge leap I was again making in my life.

Ernest Holmes writes in The Science of Mind (p.385) “Nature will not let us stay in any one place too long. She will let us stay just long enough to gather the experience necessary to the unfolding and advancement of the soul. This is a wise provision, for should we stay here too long, we would become too set, too rigid, too inflexible. Nature demands the change in order that we may advance. When change comes, we should welcome it with a smile on the lips and a song in the heart.”

This past weekend, our order of service was new and yes, it made me uncomfortable. And that’s a good thing! We also began our summer series with the introduction to Jean Houston’s The Wizard of Us. The invitation is to join Dorothy and Toto, and their new companions, into the world of magic and transformation. We don’t have to make big moves or get flung over the rainbow to experience change, we just have to be willing to step out of our black and white predictable life into the technicolor Life that is waiting just outside our comfort zone.

We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Us!

–Sharon Whealy, RScP

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…….

Say: “I am filled with the peace, strength, power and decision of Sprit…. The all-powerful Mind of the Indwelling Christ in me dissolves and dissipates from my mind  all belief in indecision, anxiety.” Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, page 245.

We all make decisions every day; some major, some minor. Do I put this old shirt in the Keep, Donate, or Toss bin? Or should I cut it up to use as cleaning rags? Should we sell our house and if we do, where will we move? Should we rent or should we buy a new place? What decision will yield the best outcome?

Some people have a harder time than others in making decisions. I learned to not ask someone with ADD (attention deficit disorder) an open-ended question such as ‘What do you want to eat?’ They function better with a clear choice – ‘Do you want chicken or spaghetti for dinner?’

Dr. Raymond Charles Barker was a long-time leader in the Religious Science spiritual movement. He wrote many books, including The Power of Decision, which provides a step-by-step program to overcome indecision. Its 270 pages are filled with spiritual mind treatments and affirmative messages to say to oneself. Dr. Barker thoroughly details how we use creative intelligence to effect positive changes. He writes, “A decision alerts the subconscious energies that a sound and solid idea is being accepted by the conscious mind. Upon that acceptance, the law of consciousness acts and a new event or situation is born….. A correct definition of a spiritually acclimated individual is one whose conscious mind, operating in the field of subconscious creative intelligence gives it creative decisions which it then produces as experience.”

His program relies on intention as he encourages that we:

• Make a depth decision to be happy

• Decide to live richly

• Decide to be healthy

• Decide to be creative

I found this book to be full of wisdom. It is clear that indecision is actually a decision. He points out that worry always begets indecision. How we think and feel determines our place in life. All intelligence exists in our consciousness and awaits our call upon it. At the center of our mind is the clear decision we should make. His most popular book, God is Money, states “Money is God in action, and it takes money to put God into action.”

One of his spiritual mind treatments:

There is one originating Intelligence, Mind, and Spirit, and I am Its action, Its outlet, and Its process of revealing Itself. It knows me as Itself, and I know myself as It. Therefore, I am never indecisive. I always have the right idea at the right time. Infinite Intelligence in me knows what to do, and this knowledge is mine at every instant. Original thinking pervades my consciousness, and I am correctly decisive regarding all matters. I know what I need to know at the instant I need to know it. The results of this correct knowing of original ideas bring forth new and improved situations in my life. For this I am glad.

–Linda Bullock


Well, I’ve done it again. Here it is, the late night of the day this article is due. I’ve had plenty of time to think about something really cool, profound or witty to write about but nothing much has come to mind. I do it every time as this isn’t my first newsletter article. I don’t know why I do this over and over (and expect different results), but I do it in all areas of my life. I am quite skilled at it. Is this something I desire to be skilled at? Not really. I procrastinate.

Why do we procrastinate? I say “we” because the likelihood is you too, procrastinate. If I have to be up late writing this, I’m going to keep you up too. Let’s discuss procrastination….

Google experts define procrastination as a self-defeating behavior pattern marked by short-term benefits and long-term costs. Many of us know it as putting off things that we need to get done, no matter the level of difficulty behind the task. Procrastination is caused by the same things it creates: stress and anxiety. We avoid tasks because they overwhelm us in the moment. This feels good momentarily-we get to do something we want instead, and we don’t need to address any obligations. As good as those sound, that’s the bad news.

The good news is there are solutions to procrastinating that takes some practice and perseverance:

• Reduce the number of decisions we need to make throughout the day. Every decision we make has an energy consequence.

• Develop a practice of using the Science of Mind Affirmative Prayers.

In our Science of Mind philosophy, affirmative prayer is a powerful practice that aligns our thoughts with the all-good of God. It helps shift our consciousness, making us open and receptive to the good that already exists in our lives. Let’s create an affirmative prayer specifically addressing procrastination-with a little help from Bing experts.

1. Recognition:

• Know that God is all there is.

• Recognize that the Divine Presence is within you, guiding and supporting you.

2. Unification:

• Know that you are one with God.

• Understand that your true nature is connected to the infinite wisdom and creativity of the Universe

3. Declaration:

• State your word for the circumstance you want to manifest.

• Declare your intention to overcome procrastination.

• Affirm that you are taking inspired action now.

4. Thanksgiving:

• Give thanks for your good as though it’s already yours.

• Express gratitude for the motivation, focus, and discipline that are flowing through you.

• Thank the Universe for supporting your efforts.

5. Release:

• Let go of any resistance or doubt.

• Release any thought of delay or hesitation.

• Trust the Divine Intelligence is guiding you toward productivity and success.

Remember, affirmative prayer is not about repetition; it’s about belief, acceptance, and direct communication with the Divine Presence with in you.

–Madeline Pallanes

Sagebrush Sam

I have been reading a copy of “Your Aladdin’s Lamp” by Hornaday and Ware. An account of an “unsavory” cowboy type chewing large chaws of tobacco and smelling like the cattle he had been tending studying at the Institute.

Sagebrush Sam, as he was referred to, came to the Institute to learn how to speak   the word so he could go home to heal his cattle because the doctors were not accomplishing the task.

Sam had gotten hold of a Science of Mind magazine and understood the practice of Science of Mind to show practical results. As it turned out Sam was an excellent student with a pleasant demeanor. At one point he asked a woman who was suffering from a chest cold if she would like him to speak the word for her. The woman agreed to accept his help. Speaking a brief treatment to relieve a woman of the cold. To the woman’s amazement (and the entire class) the cold disappeared.

Sagebrush Sam received a communication right before he was to be officially a graduate and announced he was going home. Sam was approached and encouraged to stay for graduation.

Sam responded with I didn’t come here to get a certificate; I came here to learn the process. I got what I came for and he left and was never heard from again.

Sam’s statement about learning the process is very relatable. To me it makes it seem that the process can be simple. And my understanding can be general. I believe treatments can be simple and direct. I am grateful that there is a system to follow. But for me this is where the work begins.

Currently, I am auditing Foundations to continue to expand my abilities knowing the Truth. I was jumping around in my appendix and came across Concept 6

“This is a Universe of infinite abundance, spiritual, mental, and physical. This bounty of Spirit, this allness of God is limitless and can never be exhausted or depleted.”

As a human being I will never have the ability to completely understand the Law, I need only know that it works.

So as I learn more and more about God the multiverse and abundance in practice all I really have to do is increase my ability to know the Truth.

–Chris Wheeler

Showing up as a Force of Inclusive Love

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The CSL 2024 Spiritual Living Convention will be held in Charleston, SC, February 19 – 22. There had been initial concern about holding the conference in South Carolina because of the state’s restrictive voting laws affecting African Americans and laws impacting treatment of transgender individuals.

Last November a case was heard by the US Supreme Court regarding gerrymandering of South Carolina districts. The decision has not yet been reported. Justices will decide whether the legislature subordinated traditional race neutral districting principles when it moved most of the Black population from a Charleston County district.

South Carolina does not have a statewide law that expressly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, leaving LGBT people vulnerable to harassment and discrimination in the state. Several localities, universities, and private corporations in the state have adopted local ordinances and internal policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Despite these policies, many LGBT South Carolina residents are not protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity absent a statewide non-discrimination law that includes these characteristics.

Posted under the Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement (SMSE) Council on the CSL website is a portion of a response to the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade: Centers for Spiritual Living’s North Star is our Global Vision, our organizational shared values, and our Science of Mind statement of belief, all of which speak directly to liberty, equality, equity, inclusion, human rights, compassion, safety, self-determination, and spiritual living. For that reason, we are unambiguously in support of the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; unambiguously in support of gender equity and equality; unambiguously in support of LGBTQ+ lives, and unambiguously in support of women being sole decision-makers about their lives, wellbeing, dignity, and choices.

A task force, including the CSL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEI) was formed to study the matter and determined that CSL would indeed hold the conference in Charleston and show up as a ‘force of inclusive love.’ They connected with the City of Charleston and received cooperation in planning an inclusive conference. The Convention’s motto is ‘Soul to Soul to Soul – Lighting the Way of Love.’

A new International African American Museum opened in 2023 in Charleston. Representatives from the museum are participating in opening Convention events. A bus will transport CSL attendees to the museum. ( CSL will emphasize that February is Black History Month. A Gullah Geechee choir from the Outer Banks will perform. A diverse group of musicians will be performing at events throughout the conference.

CSL will be supporting Trans and LGBTQ individuals. The committee partnered with the Pride Center, who will have a booth at CSL’s event. After CSL’s gathering, the Pride Center will host a Prom for transgender individuals. Pride is hoping that CSL participants will stop by their booth and leave affirmations of support for those attending the Prom.

I anticipate a lot of stories of participants’ experiences during their time in Charleston. Centers for Spiritual Living is contributing to Social Activism on a global basis. They stress that efforts are not political and do not endorse any candidates. The basis is that consciousness should lead to action; prayer should lead to movement; CSL principles should become reality.

Excerpt from Centers for Spiritual Living Global Vision:

● We envision all people, all beings, and all life as expressions of God.

● We envision a world where each and every person has enough food, a home, and a sense of belonging, a world of peace and harmony, enfranchisement and justice.

● We envision a world that works for everyone and for all of creation.

–Linda Bullock


Community Visioning

This past weekend, Reverend Rhonda led us in a community visioning. (In February, the theme for her talks will be Visioning, Visualization and Mental Equivalents.) About 20 people participated both Friday evening and Saturday morning. We gathered to see what would bubble up to be known for the highest vision for our beloved CSLT for this next year.

A wide variety of ideas and images emerged which were analyzed to discover recurring and similar themes. These are my take-aways from this process:

Community – We are a cohesive group. We are a welcoming center. We choose inclusivity and diversity. We are growing.

Fellowship – Many food and coffee references showed up. We want more opportunities to share conversation over meals, potlucks and coffee. We want a place to converge and linger after service. We enjoy each other’s company.

Expansion – We grow as individuals and as a Center. We don’t hide our light but shine it like a beacon for others to see, feel and experience. We want a place to call our own that allows for our increasing congregation.

Joy – There was much laughter in the room. We allow Spirit to express through us in delightful ways. Laughter>Joy>God.

Music – Many song titles were mentioned or alluded to, followed by brief bursts of singing. Music is important to us. We value our musicians. We realized that SOM also stands for Sound of Music.

Open to the Mystery… – The Mystery being the realm of possibilities. We don’t know exactly what the future looks like or how we will achieve it, but we remain open to all opportunities.

This was then all distilled into a theme for the year which is:

Open and expanding into the Mystery…

–Janet Salese

Stone Soup – The value of a spiritual community

A very long time ago, people wandered from village to village exchanging stories of their experiences, while at the same time enjoying the hospitality. As time passed resources in the villages became scarce, and those that enjoyed a nomadic life were discouraged and told there was no food that could be shared. So, one day, a traveler wandered into a village and set up a small encampment. It was on the side of the road not too far from the village marketplace. As they unpacked, they assembled wood and leaves under a large cooking pot. Once the fire was started and the water boiling, a clean stone from their pack was unwrapped from its bindings, and carefully, yet ceremoniously dropped in the pot of hot water. Curious villagers observing the actions of the traveler, began to gravitate towards the boiling pot. As a small crowd began to gather, one by one, each person would ask what was being made in the pot. The traveler would answer, “stone soup!” It is a delicious recipe, and the traveler would be willing to share, but the soup required just a few more garnishes to improve the taste. The villagers scattered, but returned with vegetables, a soup bone, herbs, onions, potatoes, etc., the boiling pot was filled to the brim with its hearty content. After boiling a little more, the soup was ready and plentiful enough for the entire village to enjoy a meal together.

What is illustrated here in the story is not a simple stone and boiling water, but a leap of faith for the traveler to believe in the villagers. For the villagers it is the investment of trust and generosity for the stone soup to become something more than a pot of hot water and a stone.

In the beginning, the traveler knew they lived in a world that was reciprocal and abundant. However, over time they experienced the villages slowly closing, shutting out others to keep themselves safe and only to themselves. There no longer existed, sharing, or caring for one another. The travelers in their experience knew the villagers, like we often do when we experience lack or change, were hoarding their good. What I would name energy, love, ideas, etc. The villagers thinking by holding back they were abundant, when they were poorer, because their energy was stagnant, and they were no longer connecting with one another.

In the Science of Mind, we understand when we are looking through a lens of lack, it is better to clean those lenses and shift our minds from problems to possibilities. We then move mentally from the root cause of “not enough” to abundance. When we create the shift, we refocus on our gifts and possibilities, reigniting connection. Stone Soup may be a parable about the value and significance of community (a village) sharing small parts of their pantries, but it continues to express how often we deprive ourselves and everyone else of a feast when we separate ourselves from the ONE source of all that is. We can have more together than we can separately, the abundance of the soup is the result of a village bringing their resources together to feed everyone. We are each making a significant contribution no matter what amount you bring to the table. It is a feast for all.

As a spiritual community, it is important for us to break bread together. To create a sense of belonging and demonstrate a mindset of connectedness. We invite others into our conversation to share ideas and offer them a dessert of safety and support. As a Center we are in a consciousness of caring for the whole. By sharing our gifts, we will inspire others to do the same. The reward is a banquet that can nourish many, and an abundance of new friends we create new experiences with!

I leave you with these words from Ernest Holmes our Founder:

“We should give of ourselves in love and in service to others, in a spirit of generosity and good-fellowship. To refuse to give is to refuse to receive, for everything moves in circles. Real giving is the givingness of the self. A kind word, a thoughtful act, perhaps just a smile, can help lighten the burdens of others.” (Ideas for Living, 1972, pg. 55)

I look forward to being with you this Sunday and moving forward as a spiritual community.

–In love, Rev. Rhonda

Visioning 2.0

It has been an incredible year of manifesting a new minister. I know of a few CSL Centers that have been searching for a new minister for a few years. I feel blessed that Rev. Rhonda is our new minister.

In March of 2023 our CSLT community got together on a Friday night and went through a co-creation process with Dr. Kathy Hern. The outcome of the evening’s work was choosing the main spiritual quality of “wholeness” as we moved forward in finding a new minister. And it made sense to me as I realized that without a minister, there was a piece of our community missing. And I also love the fact that the CSL December theme was wholeness. Everything was in alignment.

Everyone who comes to service, in-person and online is a valuable voice in our community. When we voted to accept Rev Rhonda as our minister, we asked members and non-members for their vote. It mattered. We found 100% of our community wanted Rev Rhonda to become CSLT’s new minister.

Taking advantage of our momentum, we are ready to move on to the next step, I invite you to participate in our Community Visioning for the upcoming year. It will be held on Friday, January 26th from 6:00 – 8:00pm, on Zoom and in-person at the office, 911 S. Craycroft Road and on Saturday, January 27th from 9:00am – 1:00pm in-person at the office.


Names of God

As we head into the busy holiday season, I’ve been leaning into Spirit and all its Divine aspects. Troward says God/Spirit is Life, Light, Joy, Love, Peace, Beauty, and Power. One of my favorite meditations is to repeat the phrase, “There is only one Life, that Life is God’s Life, that Life is perfect, that Life is my Life now.” I then repeat the phrase replacing Life with Light, Joy, Love, Peace, Beauty, and finally, Power. I will also insert Mind, Body, and Source; “There is only one Mind, that Mind is God’s Mind, that Mind is perfect, that Mind is my Mind now.” This chant always brings me calm and is a great reminder that I am one with Source (God is my Peace, my Source, my Power Now!).

In our recent membership class, we were asked to bring five names for God to class. Some people had two or three names; others had a long list of names they use for God. I have often heard it said that Ernest Holmes said we can call God “Potato” if that is what works for us (as God created potatoes, Spirit is there, too!). Below is the combined list of names for God our group came up with:

Every faith tradition has multiple names for God. In Islam, it is a practice to meditate and recite the 99 names of God. Several years ago, Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen compiled 99 names for God out of the Science of Mind text.

This holiday season, and into the new year, I invite you into the practice of meditating on the names of God. Pick one that resonates with you and sit with it for a while; recognizing you are that. Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Blessed New Year.

–Sharon Whealy, RScP

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