The Consecration of the Moment

 

“The joy of life is not in the grand gesture but in the consecration of the moment.””The joy of life is not in the grand gesture but in the consecration of the moment.”

— Kent Nerburn

We’ve made it to Thanksgiving week, in the most bizarre, unexpected, absurd year I have experienced in my life… so far. I won’t add importance to how weird, strange, or whatever, this year has been. I’m just grateful most of us have made it this far, mostly intact.

So what can we do to appreciate, or consecrate (make sacred), this moment?

First, we can acknowledge our experience, know what we don’t feel we have, and what we do have.

Marcus Aurelius was the most powerful man in the world from 161-180 CE, one of the ‘Five Good Emperors’ of the Roman Empire and served as the last emperor during Pax Romana, a relatively peaceful era of roman history. And his legions were at war continuously; he often battled with them. Floods, famine and the Antonine plague, which lasted 15 years, dominated his reign.

And yet, in his Meditations, he wrote:
“If you’ve seen the present, you’ve seen all things, from time immemorial into all of eternity. For everything that happens is related and the same.”

Life happens. In some ways, it’s quite predictable. The sun rises and sets. The moon waxes and wanes. It rises and sets, though sometimes that happens during daylight hours, which confuses some people. Seasons change. If rain is predicted in southern Arizona, it may rain, or it might not. People get uneasy and they try to control something, anything, and the stores run out of paper products. Politicians pose. Newscasters talk. Neighbors help each other. Friends check on one another. Strangers change other people’s tires when they have a flat on the side of the road. CSLT identifies potential 2021 charities.

Things happen in our lives that we don’t like, we don’t want to have to deal with them, and yet…

J.R.R.Tolkien created the perfect reminder for us in this exchange between Frodo and Gandalf:
Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”

What if we all meant to be here? What if it’s an encouraging thought that we are the ones who have either been called, or we chose (depending on your frame of reference), to be here at this time to work out how to live in these most unusual times? It’s both an honor and a challenge, right?

How can we honor, celebrate, commemorate, even consecrate, these remaining days of 2020? In a previous year, these days would have been filled with parties and travel and gatherings of all sorts. We can bemoan what we don’t have, or don’t have right now, or we can look at what we do have to work with, and decide to make the best use we can of what we do have. We can find joy in consecrating this moment.

Master Teacher Jesus said it best, “Love one another.” We know how to do that, even if we are apart. We’ve known how since we were very small children. And that is an encouraging thought.

–Rev Janis Farmer

Got Class?

I’ve turned into a classaholic. Yep, that’s me.

Have you ever taken a class, book study or workshop through CSLT? You too can easily become a classaholic and I highly recommend that you do.

Let me tell you a little bit on how I got here.

Many years ago I found our Center for Spiritual Living. Every so often I would bop into service, usually late. Every so often meant my life was in complete turmoil and I didn’t know how to handle my life. I showed up, sat down and listened up. Often I silently would leave my problems there. I always left service feeling better. I did this for years.

In more recent years, our phenomenal band was now playing music I knew.
Let the show begin. Service now included a concert each week. I’d sing along watching the dancers dance in the aisles or in front of the stage. What great entertainment along with the spiritual guidance I so sought. Going to service started becoming a habit. Hearing the message was helping me to heal my life, while I still silently left my problems there. Answers would appear. The weekly programs held all sorts of info including upcoming classes, book studies & workshops.

Life always gets better. I retired. I took a class, and you know what happened? It wasn’t what I thought it would be. It was different from what I expected. It was what I needed to learn…. class after class after class. I had homework and I had projects. I had (and still continue to have) tremendous inner spiritual & mental growth because of these classes. I got hooked.

Yeah, I’ve got class. Take a class or two and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a classaholic, like me. The rewards are truly immeasurable. I am grateful that I’m a part of CSLT. Looking forward to spending time with you (yes you) in our next class.

Madeline Pallanes

Playfully Connected

Getting out of the car on my way into the gym, I see a lone stone on the curb that has been hand painted. It has the word “wish” with a design that reminds me of dandelions. I pick it up and take it with me and think about what I would wish for. It didn’t take me long to realize what I wished for was a closer relationship to God. I had always had a relationship to the creator, a force and essence outside of myself, many times walking by my side. We are playful on my walks. I will see something on the ground during my walks and I’ll say, “so, I’m suppose to pick that up.” Once I was walking near a school around Valentine’s day. I picked up a valentine, the to and from had no names, but on the other side said “You can do anything, Valentine. It is one of those cards that when you move it, the image changes. This card had a caterpillar that became a butterfly. I still have it on my desk.

             

 

One Saturday evening after picking up the stone, I was surfing the net and came upon Oprah talking about The Secret with Michael Beckwith. I decided to get the book. The next day at work a colleague of mine said, “I think you loaned me one of these books and I’d like to get it back to you.” Indeed, one of the books was one I had loaned her, the other was The Secret. And she let me borrow it.

I started listening to Michael Beckwith’s services, then looked for a group in Tucson, and listened to Rev. Janis’ reminders. I made the big step to come to a service two years ago. The two messages that stick in my head were, “Time is my ally” and the importance of engaging with life. It is my usual standard operating system that I be invisible, however, I made the commitment to talk to three people and I did. I remember wishing Rev. Janis a groovy week.

One day Donna showed me the affirmation cards. “Wait a minute” I pulled out my wallet to the little “I delight in my life” paper in my wallet that someone had given me at the Tucson Festival of books a few years ago. I took it out looked on the back and there was the CSLT logo.

And I keep coming back with a naturalness and ease. I’ve been taking classes that give a depth of conversation, connection and learning that I’ve longed for. It is great to have words for the way of being I’ve embraced.

Gratitude At All Times

This newsletter will be received on Wednesday. (This post was written on Monday evening.) The Tuesday election will be over. At this point, I am not sure if we will know who won the Presidency or not. I know who I prefer to win but I am willing to recognize that the All Good does not always appear to me as I would like.

And I am willing to, after an initial adjustment, accept the results without railing against what I perceive as wrong, if that occurs. I experience the gift of a noble friend (noble friend = someone who helps me push my buttons and shows me where I am not seeing clearly) when I find myself distressed around political events. Oftentimes, in the morning meditation, I discuss how to re- align my sense of myself and how to recognize, again, that my well-being is not based on events outside of myself but on my inner experience and that my energy manifests my reality. Falling into a sense of victimhood is such an easy experience, and such a bummer!

Being a victim does not service me anymore! I wholeheartedly believe in the Science of Mind philosophy and practice – I have experienced results in my life based on the energy and focus I have put out into the Law through Spiritual Mind Treatments and by maintaining my vision. Attending the Prosperity Plus classes, in 2015 for PP2 and again for PP3 in 2019 and 2020, I have followed the practice of tithing on my income. I joke that it is my retirement planning although I have other income sources for retirement. The Mastermind group that meets twice a month, provides continuing support by holding for each person a phrase or a realized healing that we then manifest. Mine for November 1 was “I claim the peace, joy, love & order within my reach. Including continuous positive cash flow”.

My experience of joy is an intense stab of feeling so the prospect of feeling joy on a daily basis does not fit. Reverend Janis’ addition of that which is “within reach” made all the difference. A Mastermind member yesterday talked about contentment being happy peacefulness. That is lovely and I can see it working for me!

I say that I welcome contentment into my life, but I still obsessively read my CNN app after my meditation this evening! I had put a 10-minute timer on the app (oh-the wonders of my watch!) and I bypassed it to add one more minute.

I am quite excited about the election – I regularly emit a vision of my candidate winning and I expect that I will experience some anxiety about it tomorrow.

But then I breathe deeply and remember that the kingdom of love is at hand. I read again today’s meditation from 365 Days of Richer Living, The Infinite Law of Good Brings Me Complete Satisfaction, and know that I live in All-Good, I manifest All-Good and Spirit expresses All-Good through me at all times, even when I forget. For this, I feel great gratitude.

–Marya Wheeler

Divine Inspiration

As a new board member, I was told that I needed to write an article for our newsletter every so often. And I wondered whatever should I write about? After some thought, I decided that given the current events of this year… covid, riots, politics, excessive heat, no monsoons, isolation, etc., I would share about what helps me get through my days and weeks with joy, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude toward life in general. It is Divine Inspiration.

I understand God, Spirit or whatever you call It, is a power that created me in eternal life and loves me very much. So, I look to God, who I know is everywhere present, as my constant companion throughout my day and as we walk hand in hand together and I look for Divine Inspiration everywhere. For me, this is not defined as the “Big Stuff”, that happens in my day, but rather all the little gifts I am given and recognize as I go about living my life. For example, a penny I spy in the parking lot and pick up, a beautiful cloud I notice in the sky, a soft breeze caressing my skin, a tender kitty kiss when I least expect it. So many little things that make me smile in joy and gratitude. I am always humbled by Spirit’s love and my given awareness.

What about the light that turns green right when I am ready to slow down at an intersection, or the piece of pie that falls off of my fork and lands on my wrist and not on my new blouse? The phone that rings when I am just thinking about that person and it is them, thinking about me! Even a task that I was dreading and as I am completing it, turns into something not so bad after all. God is always offering Divine Inspiration and I am always at choice, to see, acknowledge and build on it as a part of the All Good in my life. These are the little blessings that add so much meaning to everyday living.

“Big Stuff” happens. Some great, some maybe not so much. But recognizing beautiful miracles in the small things constantly through out the day create an attitude of gratitude that fills me with……you guessed it, Divine Inspiration. Pulling me up, leading me forward into a greater expression of Love and joy. It is seeing God in Life. Spirit, my constant companion.

Wendie Arison

Yet is a power filled word!

This spring, I began to have my account run out of money that I had been living very frugally from for the past 2 years due to an accident that I can now say I am grateful for. So, with love and grace Pat Masters (I call her Miss Pat) invited me to live with her and her sweet pup Trek in the gorgeous foothills of Tucson for the summer. Huge blessing! I had such fun being part of her summer plans of friends and family visits as well as a trip to Payson, AZ into the forest! All too quickly there was 2 weeks left until I needed to move. I had looked a bit for a job but those I applied for I didn’t hear anything. I started arguing with the Universe about why did the pandemic lock down have to happen? I was just 3 days shy of passing my last State Board test and getting my Aesthetician license, working at a resort, and soon to be on a cruise ship giving facials to people in beautiful places all over the world that I would get to see! I felt totally ripped off! WHY!!!!

With the 2 week mark for needing to move somewhere paid somehow I got focused about what I wanted. I told Miss Pat and happily she knew for me the choices I wanted for employment and a place to live. I had the money to get a place but needed to have the job pretty ASAP to make everything sail smoothly. I started looking in the northwest area of Tucson which I had lived in before online at apartments. All that I like and were open just cost a bit too much for my comfort. I decided to call my old apartments I had just moved out of 3 months prior. They had 1 apartment left that suited my needs so I went straight over to check it out, it was the late hot afternoon. After inquiring I was given a gate key to go look at where the apartment was located. I need to interject here that I love trees, they make me feel at home. Also green grass too. So I found the apartment front door and facing the front door were (and still are) 3 huge green broadleaf trees that I don’t know what kind they are however they are healthy and big! As if that didn’t seal the deal of this is SO where I am moving to – an owl flew above me and landed in the tree nearest to me! (I love birds and was thrilled!) The owl looked at me and I told it I got the message. I headed to the apartment offices and signed the papers and gave them almost all the money I had. So great, a place to live! Next, job.

I started the next day looking online (did I mention I am not all warm and cozy with computers) and things were looking pretty bleak. I remembered Mary Morrissey, Ernest Holmes, and my Kung Fu teacher all telling me not to let circumstances dictate my choices.

I had Miss Pat, my Prosperity Plus Mastermind Group, and my Practitioner Prayer Partner hold for me the specifics I chose about my new job. I felt so much stronger in my belief due to all these people saying that they would know this for me! I continued to do my spiritual mind treatments and within 3 days out of the blue (ha ha wink wink) I got a text from a recruiter looking for someone with my background for an online position as an elementary school counselor. This had been my previous career for many years. The offer fit my requirements I had been treating for. I accepted the position and I am still continuing to follow my dream for being an Aesthetician knowing what is coming is even better still then what I had dreamt.

–Shelly Dunn RScP

Mine To Do?

One of the biggest ‘worries’ that new Board Members have is what to write for their blog posts. Sometimes I puzzle about that too. Usually, though, if I think about it a minute, I realize I’m swimming in an ocean of possibilities and have to narrow my focus down to pick just one or two things.

Some of you know I’ve been taking a Story Skills Improvement Workshop for the past several months. We all know that we remember stories better than we remember bare facts, especially if the stories are well told. As it turns out, there are a couple formulas that anyone can use to tell better, more memorable, stories. There are books too, that provide insight into writing better. My current favorite is by William Zinsser. It’s called On Writing Well. (I’m breaking most of the rules and the suggestions in both the writing class and the book, so far, in writing this post.) Whatever.

First, I want to reiterate part of Monday’s reading during our Daily Morning Meditation Practice. Ernest Holmes and Raymond Charles Barker, in 365 Days of Richer Living (p.286) wrote, The assets of a spiritually minded person include their ability to remain untouched by the confusion of the world around them, and to instigate a creative process which will bring order out of chaos. It may seem easier to exist in a panicky state of mind, telling all whom we meet how difficult life is, than to remain poised and say nothing at all. Yet, we are assured that there is a way of thinking wherein we can handle every situation with ease, stability and poise, by becoming still, and from a center within ourselves, find a peace that has never been disturbed.

Easier said than done, right? How do we live in our world, and engage meaningfully while staying poised and centered? The first thing I think we would all benefit from doing is to look at the stories we tell ourselves, and the expectation that we have that everyone we come across will share our stories, or if they don’t, that we’ll be able to change their minds because “our position is so much better than theirs.” We know a priori that this is not true. We always come across people who think differently than we do. Is it possible to engage with another person who disagrees with us on fundamental issues without becoming reactive? I think it is, and it takes intentional work on our part to be still and stay centered (as Holmes and Barker wrote, above). It is far from easy. I do think for us to participate in creating meaningful change, we have to figure out how to stay poised, centered and speak Truth calmly, without irritation, aggravation or animosity.

The second thought I want to plant today is that perhaps our best way of inspiring change is to walk our talk, or live what we say we believe. This is also far from easy. And I believe it is the way we can make the most impact. By demonstrating what we believe in how we live, we prove to ourselves, and others, what is true for us. One of my adopted nephews posted this cartoon, which I think is totally brilliant.

I assume the little green guy eventually does quit trying to encourage the little blue guy to take action and just jumps, showing him that the spikes are not too high and that the next step is doable. Once we give up the idea that whatever our dream or goal might be is too hard or too scary, we take the action in that direction, we take the stand, we hold the position in Truth. We move. We let others come along when they are ready.

–Rev Janis

Letting Go To Discover

Let It Go – is a favorite poem by e e cummings. And now it’s my time to let go of membership on the CSLT Board. It seems appropriate to include the words from Dr. Holmes that currently guide me in my growth. I’ve changed the message to personal pronouns because that’s how it is for me.

The Universe holds nothing against me; It can hold nothing against me, because It can know nothing unlike Itself. Therefore, It only knows me as Perfection. — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 561.4

Since there is no great and no small to the Infinite, all that seems of little consequence in my life has the Divine Guidance just as perfectly and completely as that which I think of as being tremendously important.
— Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 562.2

Which for me is practicing all the time every day to live from that space within which is “wholly holy”, congruent and serene — as I acknowledge and claim – I am always at choice.

There is nothing I have done, said or thought which rises up against me, which has power over me or which limits me; there is no memory of fear, no condemnation for previous mistakes. With the desire to free myself from further indulgence in the mistake, the effect of the previous mistake is wiped out, just as light dissipates the darkness. — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 561.4

Freedom from guilt for past, present and future errors in judgment, moments of inattention and laziness. Only the necessity to learn better, to do better as the unique expression that I am.

The higher the sense of Truth, the greater will be the realization of the uniqueness of individual character and personality.

Individuality means self-choice, volition, conscious mind, personified Spirit, complete freedom and a Power to back it up. (Emphasis is mine MM) — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 332.4-5

In my Foundations class we created what I journal as P5: Peace, Poise, Presence, Power & Prosperity.

It has taken me till now to realize a proper meaning for Power – as the internal, singular power of Spirit in me allowing unique personal beingness. It allows me to let go of any person, place, memory or object that attempts to limit or to guilt me. It is very good, very important: my personal Power. It must be claimed and treasured as it is basic to personal freedom. And essential to live as whole.


I am one with the body of the physical world;
One with the Creative Law of the Universe in the mental world; and One with the Spirit of God in the conscious world. Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 333.2


For me the operative word in the above trifecta is “conscious”, to be consciously aware that I am One with the world, the Law and the Spirit. As much of the time as I can live there….it varies day-to-day.

Let me now let go of everything and enter into the consciousness of that which I believe. The Spirit within me is God, and It is perfect, It is love, reason, life, truth and beauty. It is limitless and perfect and complete and whole. It knows no lack and no limitation. — Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 561.3

Continuing as a permanent work-in-progress, I wish you and yours the claiming of more good each day and…


–Peace, Mariann

 

Thoughts-Words-Actions

Thoughts-words-actions. A simple formula for success. It’s the recipe for…everything.

I look in the fridge. There is no milk. I think a thought, “I need milk”. I say the words either out loud or in my head, “I’m going to the store to get milk.” I grab my keys and head off to the store.

I don’t have enough money. I think, “I need to start a business”. I say to friends, family and anyone who will listen, “I am starting a business”. The universe begins to deliver resources and I start building.

Thoughts-words-actions. Try to come up with a situation that doesn’t follow this path…you can’t…go ahead…I’ll wait while you try…

So, since this is true and since you now understand the formula behind all creation…what should you do? Protect your thoughts! Manage your thoughts! Curate your thoughts!

“But Dave, how do I do that?” I’m glad you asked…


Imagine yourself on the top of a beautiful Alpine mountain. The air is crisp and clear. You have a gorgeous view of the valley and villages below. It’s as if you were standing at the gates of heaven looking down on the wonders of creation.

What thoughts would you have?

Imagine yourself living on the street in the most crime-infested ghetto in the world. Danger everywhere. You, hiding in the shadows, trying to avoid the predators lurking all around you.

What thoughts would you have?

Imagine yourself sitting with the most positive, successful proactive person you know. The conversation is all about possibilities, success, overcoming obstacles, celebrating life.

What thoughts would you have?

Imagine yourself sitting with the most negative person you know. A dark cloud. A crushing problem found in every opportunity. Defeat and despair around every turn of the conversation.

What thoughts would you have?

Your thoughts determine your words and ultimately your actions…protect and enhance your thoughts at all cost.


Maybe you can’t afford a trip to an Alpine mountain right now…but I bet there is an idyllic meditative space somewhere near you…probably right where you live.

Go there…think positive, happy, productive thoughts…and by doing so create positive, happy, productive words and actions.


What about people? This is the hardest part for people who say they want to be successful…get all of the unsuccessful, failure-oriented people out of your life.

They are drowning…and you can’t save them. Occasionally you might keep them afloat for a few minutes longer…but until they are ready to swim on their own they will ultimately drag you down with them.

Harsh…you tell me…what thoughts do you have when you get a steady diet of negative people in your life?

I’m not saying excommunicate all negative people from your life (some are probably relatives). I’m not saying don’t be compassionate.

I am saying find ways to protect your thoughts above all else because your thoughts will determine your words, your actions and ultimately your results!


–Guest Blogger David Dickson


David describes himself as a serial entrepreneur, teacher, student, seeker of truth and wisdom that works in the real world. We met in a story skills improvement workshop. — Rev Janis

Communing with Your Essential Self

Ernest Holmes (The Art of Life 115.2) wrote, Just as, when we are tired physically, a bath in fresh running water invigorates us, so when we are tired or discomforted mentally, spiritual communion, bathing in the ocean of the Infinite, invigorates the mind and clarifies the thinking. Every person should take time for this inner communion, time when they separate themselves from all that appears evil or negative, time to plunge into the living waters of their Being. Just as we take a sunbath, so there is an inner light into which we may plunge, an inner consciousness in which we may bathe. The rays of the invisible Sun penetrate the soul just as the rays of the physical sun penetrate the body, renewing and rejuvenating.

That’s a dandy idea, but how do we do it?

In the same way that David Richo (Triggers 69.3) wrote about deepening, expanding our psychic dimensions, and activating our potential, inner central resource, and the Zanders (The Art of Possibility 96.2) wrote about shifting away from the controlling, calculating self toward the central self which remembers that life moves fluidly like a constantly varying river, and so do we, Barbara Marx Hubbard (Emergence) reminds us again and again that we are more than our physical, externalized life, and she suggests one pathway whereby we can become more aware of, and open a dialog with, our Essential Self.

For herself, she has named this Essential Self, the Beloved. That name may not work for you, and it may work just fine. If you may need a different name, figure out what it would be and use that, or have your first question in your dialog with it, “What shall I call you?” But I get ahead of myself.

How do we commune with this part of ourselves that is already one within the Divine Nature? We get still, we open our minds, and we listen. We pose a question, and we wait for a reply. It often helps to do this as a journaling exercise, because then we have a record of our exploration and we can go back and look at it later, if we need to prove to ourselves that it did indeed happen.

Barbara suggests (Emergence 40.5-41.1) that a good place to start is to write and describe from memory those key experiences you had of inner guidance. This will help you get acquainted with the Essential Self by bringing it to your conscious attention. What did the voice, or inspired thought, tell you? What did it feel like? Describe any experiences you have had of your Essential Self, any messages or guidance you have received, any qualities you have noted that characterize the inner guide.

She then continues, Once you have done this, try this exercise: Write a letter address to ‘Dearly Beloved” or whatever name you choose for your Essential Self. Describe your current situation as precisely as you can, the good and the apparently difficult. Ask the most important questions you may have, as clearly as you can; then release all thought, have no preconceptions. Develop the habit of a poised mind, like a sailboat on a calm sea waiting for the wind.

Our purpose here is precise. It is to establish direct contact with the inner voice, the still, small voice of God expressing as your Essential Self. Start writing any sentence as the inner voice, and see what unfolds. Do not edit, judge or correct anything. If nothing comes, that is fine. Continue to be (mentally and physically) still.

If you have been hearing an inner voice and writing in your journal before, this process will be relatively easy. If you have not yet tried this, simply follow the steps with no expectations. Whatever happens will be helpful, this much I know for sure. Everyone has within a deeper, wiser, all-knowing self.

The Essential Self desires to commune with each and every one of us. It is the living water of our individual and collective Being. It wishes only good and greater good for each of us, and all of Life.

Take the plunge, the water’s fine.


–compiled by Rev Janis

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