What’s Next?

In the blissful afterglow of completing 14-week runs of “Exploring the Roots of the Science of Mind” and “Foundations of the Science of Mind”, the question always arises. “What’s next?” The answer, “It depends…”

In one way, we are entering into a transition period — between winter and summer. Each one of us is beginning to look at our summer plans, and consider that we might actually have summer plans this year. Those winter visitors who actually made it down this year have left, or are leaving us soon for the summer, or thinking about when they will head north.

We’ve had a steady push of online classes since the lock-down began, completing 5 of the 6 major certificated classes in the last 15 months. That’s not entirely true, “Essential Ernest” completed the week before lock- down began, and last year’s “Foundations” class only finished online, after starting in person. The 6th of the primary certificated classes, “Visioning” will be offered on zoom beginning in mid-May by a practitioner and ministerial student from CSL Reno, Laura Arneson.

Keith Gorley has had a steady feed of classes and groups throughout this period too — Men’s group, Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (twice), Ernest Holmes’ Art of Life & Emerson’s Essays.

We have plans for some small book study groups starting later this month, one on zoom with Pat Masters hosting, & one in-person with Elaine Rockhill hosting for fully vaccinated (+2 weeks) individuals. The book is Julia Cameron’s The Prosperous Heart. It’s not too late to join, yet.

We’ve not skipped a beat with our Sunday Services and have enjoyed our own CSLT Orchestra, as they have figured out how to do great music, regardless of the constraints of zoom. We’ve enjoyed many guest speakers and musicians, almost one a month, that we would not have been able to celebrate with, had we been meeting in-person. Our next one is Faith Rivera on April 25th, joining us *live* from her home studio in Hawai’i. The week after that, Jan Garrett & JD Martin will be with us *live* from their Colorado home studio. We look forward to these talented guests.

Daily practice has continued daily without exception since mid-March of last year. Attendance continues to drop off slowly, after hitting a high of 14 persons/day on average back in December & January. On those days when I can’t facilitate because I have another commitment, practitioner/friend, Bev Holland from CSL Tacoma, has stepped up to lead. Maria Schuchardt runs the zoom platform for her. As things begin to open up more, there may be less need for this kind of connection. I dunno.

So what’s next? We have begun thinking about how we can live-stream, and video-record when we do return to in-person services, which could be as early as September.

We’ve begun thinking about new places we might advertise, so that people who don’t know about us can find us. In our last two community surveys, we asked individuals how they found us. In both the 2018 survey and the 2020 survey, the majority of the respondents told us they found us in one of three ways: word-of-mouth, online searches, or because they had attended another CSL and were looking for something similar in Tucson. The results were similar in earlier surveys. Two or three people find us through advertising. A few more find us ‘accidentally’ like I did back in early 2009, when I happened to see our sandwich board sign while driving on River Road. Or they happen to walk in to see what we are doing on a Sunday morning and decide they like what they see and hear, or stop by the office when they suddenly notice the sign that has been in front of our office on S Craycroft Rd since 2019.

What happens next for you? You get to decide. Isn’t that simply fabulous?

–Rev Janis Farmer

Got Unexpected Good?

As most of you know, I enjoy taking classes. I just completed the “Beyond Limits” class from CSL Reno (via Zoom). It was an enjoyable class studying the 10 principles of the Science of Mind in more detail. I learned a lot.

One of the exercises that was suggested but NOT required, was a simple practice that I chose to participate in. For 5 weeks I kept track of any unexpected income. This unexpected income could come from money saved from purchases that were on sale, a rebate check, money found on the ground or in a coat pocket, or anything like that.

As part of the exercise, I tithed 10% to CSL Reno from this unexpected income. (They use this money for expenses that are outside of their normal budget.) The idea behind this exercise was to increase our awareness that abundance flows to us easily and in unexpected ways. At the end of 5 weeks, I totaled up my list of unexpected income, which totally affirmed that abundance flows to me easily and in unexpected ways. My total was $3,150. $315 was happily tithed to CSL Reno.

Another practice from last week’s class has had an amazing effect on me this week. It’s called “Totally Possible.” When I recognized a thought, feeling, or experience I wanted to change, I said to myself with enthusiasm (usually in my mind and repeated like a mantra.) “It is totally possible for me to……..”

For example: I have been having difficulty falling asleep (as I did this week) I said to myself a few times over, “It is totally possible for me to fall asleep and rest well.” I easily and quickly fell asleep and slept well!

Here are some of the other thoughts I practiced with, and was able to shift or change this week:

  • ‘My’ Keith was the driver and I was the passenger driving on I-10, “It is totally possible for me to be relaxed when Keith is driving.”
  • “It is totally possible for Keith to not get grumpy with me.”
  • “It is totally possible to have the energy to complete my tasks today.”
  • “It is totally possible to buy the perfect home for me in Tucson.”
  • “It is totally possible for Sissy to behave around men.”
  • “It is totally possible for me to have blood drawn.”
  • “It is totally possible for me to write this week’s newsletter article.” ❤ And you know what? It totally works!

–Madeline Pallanes

Respecting an Individual’s Decision

Pilate asked, in John 18:38, “What is truth.”

My response has been to see truth as being in the eye of the beholder. It is my truth that there is one God and that Life is my life now. That is not necessarily another person’s truth. So what does this have to do with the pandemic?

Everything. Because if my life is indeed God’s life, then that life by its very nature is immune to sickness and disease. And, with that being the case, it does not need to be vaccinated. I thought that that was the end of the discussion until I was awakened at three o’clock in the morning and kept awake by the words of Ernest Holmes in The Science of Mind, page 282. “To desert the truth in the hour of need is to prove that we do not know the truth.” I lay in bed wanting to know if I would be deserting the truth if my body were to get vaccinated? My final answer was no, but the no did not mean I would be vaccinated. However, before denying my mortal body the vaccine, my soul and mind would have to consent and then convince my body consciousness that there is nothing to fear.

Thankfully, Ernest cleared up my confusion in the 1926 (original) Science of Mind text: On page 131, he states, “We have no objection to any form of healing. Anything that will help overcome suffering must be good, whether it takes the form of a pill [or shot] or of a prayer.” My faith has been placed in spiritual mind treatment. He continues, “We are glad when any one is healed or helped by any method. We believe in any and all methods and know that each has its place in the whole.” Holmes did not infringe upon the rights of others to choose their own way. Therefore, the decision to be or not to be vaccinated is a personal decision.

I am not making a case either for or against vaccination. The case I am making is that whatever an individual’s choice may be, within our community, it ought to be respected.

I had been contemplating the issue of vaccination for more than two months. Would I get the shot or not? The topic has been passionately discussed in our men’s group, with some getting the vaccination and others not. My issue was, what is truth to me? What is my truth towards vaccinations? Because that truth must guide my decision. As a point of emphasis, our individual choices have to be respected.

In Romans 7:23, Paul helped me to discern my truth. “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Sin for me is simply missing the mark, that is, falling short of one’s personal integrity. My personal integrity tells me that I am a whole, perfect and complete spiritual being. For me to act otherwise would contradict that and usher me into the law of sin.

To be, or not to be, vaccinated was reconciled and answered when I gained an understanding of one sentence in the Lord’s Prayer. “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Thus my will in heaven is to be perfect health in mind and thereby have perfect health in body.

–Keith Gorley

 

You Can’t Give Others What You Don’t Have

Saturday, I woke up feeling very humanly grumpy, no divinity in sight (or in my mindset). I know for me, meditation makes my “mind right” (reference to Cool Hand Luke movie). I lay down and was quickly joined by BuBu (pronounced Boo Boo, my cat). When I closed my eyes to aid my focus, there was a very old “friend” of mine – loneliness. I was missing people. I work from home, so my home has me, and BuBu.

I decided to call a dear friend that I owed a phone call. (I have 3 friends that live elsewhere in the US that I talk to by phone 4 times a year, the Equinoxes and Solstices). Since Spring Equinox happened last week, I needed to call. It was a great call to a dear friend that lives in San Francisco that I have known since I was a teenager. She and I have the Renaissance Faire connection, that’s where we met. It was great to talk with her, as the Bay Area is one of the places I call home. Anyhow, after the call, I felt the loneliness even more so!

In a split second I made a decision. After recognizing that my body felt tired and some aches and pains, I decided not to spend my Saturday wallowing in the ocean depths of loneliness and thinking about the past pulling me into a depressive funk for the day – no not on what I call Sacred Saturday! It is a fun day where Shelly gets to play! Even though my body was arguing for me to just feel sorry for myself, I turned on a brand new guided mediation under the subject of “Happiness” on my Insight Timer app. When I started focusing on my breath as I was instructed to do from the guided mediation, I reminded myself that it was Sacred Saturday and it was time for fun!

During this particular guided meditation it talked about smiling and I don’t even remember how it happened but I got out of my own way and at the end of the guided meditation I was smiling and Peace was in me! After the guided meditation was over, I said a treatment with the intention of keeping the peace within and happiness filling my here and now always and in all ways.

Later in the day, I was driving around town and there was an elderly man with an old Rottweiler dog with him standing on the intersection median panhandling. As soon as I saw him I broke out in a smile and tears went down my face! I remembered the $5 I keep in my car for emergencies. There was lots of traffic but my heart was overflowing with joy to give this man the $5. This kind of thing has never happened to me before. Yes, my heart has overflowed with love for dogs, but this joy and compassionate love was for the man! I quickly rolled down my window and gave him the $5. He quickly said “God Bless You! I am a preacher!” I just smiled. My heart felt ablaze of energy! That heart chakra was wide open!!!!

I cried happy tears home and felt very happy inside like an explosion of glitter twinkling all around me!

Sunday. Sundays I don’t wake up to an electronic alarm. I have a different alarm named BuBu. Despite having blackout curtains, she knows when it’s 6 am (that’s sleeping in because on weekdays/workdays I get up at 5 am.) I’m up early to do my laundry because it is usually quiet in the apartment complex’s laundry room and no one else is there. This was not so true this morning.

Inside the laundry room there was a fellow with a dog. He was struggling to put his laundry into a washer. Kona, his dog, found me very interesting. I noticed the fellow was having difficulty putting his laundry in the machine while hold onto the dog’s leash. I offered to hold the leash. The fellow agreed. So Kona and I had a few moments of happy interaction and I did my usual “good girl” talk to her. The fellow started chatting with me about his plans for the day as I put my laundry in the dryers. He thanked me for taking care of Kona and I said no worries. As I came out the same fellow was there filling up his water jugs at the filtered water machine. I can’t remember how it started but what stayed with me as I write this is that he talked about being tired of caring and taking care of others and he is now taking care of himself! I responded with “You can’t give others what you don’t have.” The fellow stopped and looked at me shaking his head in total agreement! At that moment I had a big “hit” of feeling of connected to this fellow and being thoroughly awake vibrating with energy! I’d never seen him before this morning. He introduced himself and I told him my name. We waved goodbye to each other. I felt so good inside!

I made a difference in that moment and I knew it on a level I haven’t felt in a while! This wasn’t romance or anything like that. It was just full present knowing what I said made a HUGE impact on the fellow! In my mind, I connect the dots that all this good happened because I made the decision to not let my aches and pains and loneliness win!

Here’s to more EXTRAORDINARY moments of awareness! YESSS!!!

–Shelly Dunn

It’s Been A Year…

And what a year it has been. When Marya asked for someone else to cover her board article this rotation (because she’s in the middle of tax season), I said I’d take it. It was only after the fact that I realized we are at our one year anniversary of being virtual for all things. What a perfect time for a little reflection on where we have been, and what we have accomplished in a time period with so much uncertainty flying around us.

I began by looking at the pandemics of history. Most lasted at least two years, and some last decades. In our present era, I think because of our interconnectedness, and the intensity with which information sharing has happened in scientific communities, we have a potential or partial solution to this worldwide experience in less than two years. Most impressive.

Religious Scientists (of which I am one, and most of us are) claim that physical experiences do not create our reality, unless we allow them to. I also know that unless someone has a highly trained consciousness, they are strongly biased toward reacting in default, or ‘common hour’, thinking. While I do not see the coronavirus as harmful to me, I do know that many people do. Some have had the experience of the virus, some have gotten seriously ill. Many have died. In the Christian Bible, Paul wrote to the church at Rome (Romans 14), cautioning them not to intentionally do things that they knew would cause ‘their brother’ to stumble, or act in sinful (harmful, hurtful) ways. Master Teacher Jesus also reminded his listeners, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12). In my regard for consciousness of the whole, I continue to practice safe distancing, wear a facemask in public spaces, and maintain better-than-my-usual hand hygiene.

Today, I want to write about the benefits that I can presently see that have developed or evolved from our experience during this most unusual year:

  • We’ve been online on Sundays for an entire year. We’ve talked about having a true video presence for almost as long as I’ve been part of this Center, but have never actually had a compelling reason to do it. Now we’re beginning to think about how to continue this inclusive activity when we return to having in-person services.
  • We’ve attracted, and gotten to know, some really cool people from outside of Tucson, too. Our winter visitors have been able to remain active participants even if they have gone elsewhere for part of the year.
  • We’ve discovered the joy of being able to have and take classes without having to drive at night, or limit our participation to only those people who live in Tucson. We’ve had guest facilitators from other CSLs in classes, and there’s more of this shared learning coming. We’ve also had students from other Centers join us for classes.
  • Morning practice has been going continuously, daily (except Sundays) for over a year. Attendance fluctuates, as participants have other things they prefer, or need, to do. Morning practice has provided a source of individual connection and community for folks from all over North America.
  • We’ve discovered that the zoom squares don’t actually inhibit deeply shared personal, inter-personal and community experience, unless we decide they do.
  • Since we’ve been completely online we’ve been able to hear from speakers and musicians who would normally be unavailable by time, distance or our budget. Robin Hackett joined us from her living room in Evergreen Colorado this past Sunday. Faith Rivera will join us from her home in Hawai’I in late April. Jan Garrett & JD Martin join us live in early May, and Gary Lynn Floyd in mid-June. Life is good.It is done to us as we believe. Our opportunity, as Religious Scientists, is to consciously observe our own erroneous default thinking and upgrade it with a new level of default thinking that supports the life we want individually and collectively. This past year has either the worst possible thing that could have happened to us, or the best year ever (yet). We get to choose.

–Rev Janis

Work-Around(s) for Feeling Unworthy?

In many belief systems or teachings, the one who delivers the message or facilitates the healing isn’t as important as the message, or the healing. In many of the native cultures, the speaker or healer often describes themselves as a hollow bone or a hollow tube, and offers their gift with as little of their own personal spin as possible, and takes virtually no credit.

In one of last week’s daily practices (Guidance for a Spiritual Journey), Dr. Daniel Lee Morgan wrote about the inter-connectedness of life. We are part of God’s self-expression. God sings a song, and that song is us. We are the song of the Divine Singer, and celestial harmony is our nature.

Participating in that morning’s daily practice, Gregg Molzon interpreted Dr. Daniel’s words in his own unique voice, The Divine Singer performs its solo, the magical notes and vocals carry outwards throughout the Cosmos at warp speed, creating individualized souls to join together in unison.

One of the challenges of spiritual maturity is honoring and exploring that continuously moving and ever-shifting balance ‘point’ between feeling like a hollow bone which is individually unimportant, and recognizing because we are each, and all, ‘part of God’s self-expression’ we do individually matter and have worth. How do we do that?

How do we see ourselves as intrinsically worthy as we are, flaws and all, and not just how we look, or because we serve some function, while at the same time not seeing ourselves as more special, or more valuable, than the next person?

Emma Curtis Hopkins (Scientific Christian Mental Practice, p 96) offers us some clues. “I do believe that my God is now working with me, through me, and by me to make me omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. I have faith in God. I have the faith of God.”

One of the constant practices that Emma strongly encouraged was to speak out loud what was true for you, and to admit, acknowledge and truly embody and know it. Many of the students in the “Exploring the Roots of the Science of Mind” class took on the practice of repeating this affirmation for a week. Two things happened for many of the individuals who honestly engaged in this practice, and certainly happened for me, were that the words of this affirmation shifted and morphed over the week, and I began to experience what it would feel like for a human to ‘grok’, and experience, the three omni’s.

I want to dig into these two ideas a little more.

How did the words of Emma’s affirmation shift (for me)? Here’s what the affirmation became for me as I worked with it over the week. “I do believe (declare/claim/recognize/know) that my God now works with me, through me, (as me) and by me … to make me (aware that I am already) omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. I have faith in God. I have the faith of God.”

Just breathing into those words and repeating them hundreds of times over the course of a week, I recognized I felt/feel more powerful (to accomplish my goals and intentions, not power over anyone else, or even anything else, empowered by the Divine operating in me, and as me), more grounded and centered in my beingness (rather than centered in my doingness or my accomplishments). I also feel like I have greater comprehension and understanding of what I think, how I think, and to a greater degree, why I think what I do. This gives me a window into seeing the situations and times where I have believed common hour, or default, thinking was the Truth (and it seldom is), and being able to see myself more clearly (as God sees me) and a window into seeing other people as God sees them.

Pretty cool, huh? More to be revealed, I’m sure. Yes, I’m continuing to practice this practice. I like what I’m seeing, and feeling, as a more conscious, participating, and empowered ‘part of God’s self-expression’. The Divine sings its song through me. I love the song I’m part of, and I sing my part in the celestial harmony.

–Rev Janis

Help! I Broke My Internet!

We were in the middle of morning practice. I had spoken about feeling challenged by the necessity of showing up every single day to make sure we had the forum, and the structure, for morning practice. I had asked those in attendance to consider being the responsible person for hosting and/or leading the practice, once a week or so, on a regular basis. I did get a volunteer, sort of, and a suggestion they could all perhaps take turns leading the practice.

My internet connection, which normally is as solid as the rock of Gibraltar, began behaving unevenly. Someone else spoke about feeling challenged by technology, and unable to ‘get it to work right’, no matter what they did.

That day’s reading, from 365 Days of Richer Living, reminded us to give thanks for the blessings of the Divine in our lives. “…blessing what we have, recognizing that it flows from a limitless resource…” and reminding us “we are merely using it and distributing it. There is always more. The limitless resources of Spirit are at our command.”

During the silent meditation portion of the practice, my internet quit. Completely. The little icon that showed how good my connection was, said my connection was solidly there, but it wasn’t. Zoom couldn’t connect. My web browser couldn’t connect. Dropbox kept trying to sync. I rebooted my computer. Nothing helped. Finally I accessed a little sliver of connection (I don’t exactly know how), enough to touch base with my internet provider, who reported a system-wide outage, that should be back up … in three or four hours.

It wasn’t lost on me (for more than a minute) that I was fully ensconced in the mental model of ‘this doesn’t work for me.’ It also wasn’t lost on me that the “Foundations” class was discussing how we talk to ourselves, and the reminder that the Universe must return to us evidence of how we think, and how we talk to ourselves. It doesn’t matter whether we know about this rule of ‘as within, so without’ (or ‘as we think, so it is for us’), or not. The Universe is not being mean, harsh or cruel by showing us what we are thinking. It simply demonstrates something that works automatically, impersonally, implicitly, all the time, for everyone.

When we have the awareness that this law operates, and must operate, we have the option of choosing to use it for our benefit. This does not means we don’t ask for what we want, but we get to pay attention to how we are thinking about what we want or need. If we are coming from any place of lack, like I was this morning, then what we must get back is an experience of lack.

Something shifts internally, when I remember (again) that the experiences of my life show me my thoughts. It’s not that anyone or anything is against me, except possibly myself, and my old stories that I haven’t (apparently) quite shed yet. Remembering I have more control of my mind, and my thinking, than I do of anything else, I can always choose again.

Here’s to greater, and more consistent, awareness!

 

–Rev Janis

Got Shot?

“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” –Ernest Holmes

What role do you play in making yourself sick? As easy as we unconsciously speak sickness into our lives, we can also speak good health into our lives. What sickness have others helped you to create just by the words they speak to you? What conversations are you having?

(My) Keith returned home after receiving his second shot (vaccination), sat down and sighed.

“How did it go?” I asked.

“9 out of 10 will get sick tomorrow.” He was unconsciously preparing himself to be sick. By already preparing his mind to welcome in the sickness, the seed was already planted.

“They told you that?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“Yes, they’re telling everybody that. They want everybody to be informed!” He was unconsciously affirming he will be sick tomorrow.

I was in disbelief. I imagined all the sick people tomorrow. I thought to myself, how can I change his thought on this? I don’t want him sick.

“Remember Keith, YOU ARE A 10!”

I said it a couple times and he got it. He didn’t get sick.

“It is done to you as you believe.”
— Ernest Holmes

Letters, Words, Thoughts, & Discussions

The sun is a shining, radiant being, and that is the meaning of the word sun when we are said to be the sons of God. In our sonship to God we are truly radiant with the light of the father.     — H. B. Jeffrey, The Principles of Healing 10.2

Letters are so important, the simple change from “o” to “u”, from “son” to “sun,” to be a radiant being of God, which includes all of us. Words are so important, the change from “the” to “a.” Yes, I can be “a” radiant being of God, a light of God, not “the” light of God, for we all have the potential to be a light. I love playing with the multiple meanings of words, such as to be a light and to be light. Light is not only to radiant energy, but also not heavy, to not be burdened, or limited.

The word “scared” becomes “sacred” by switching the order of the “a” and “c”. It is a subtle shift in letters and larger shift in life. Understanding that there “is a Power of Good in the Universe, greater than I, and I can use it” has allowed me to reduce my fears and doubts. I am reminded every Sunday:

Wherever we are, we are in sacred space. Each individual IS a unique expression of The One Life. That Life is God’s Life, That Life is Perfect, That Life is Our Life Now.

I edit some passages in my readings by changing the “you,” “him” into “I” and “my.” I think Dr. Holmes wouldn’t mind. He would want me to embody the teachings. The difference between “The light he throws on others is generated in his own soul” and “The light I throw on others is generated in my own soul” (Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 281.4) makes me personally engaged and responsible.

Then there is the task of putting the letters into words, and the words into thoughts, and ideas. I feel blessed to have found Science of Mind, and a community which believes in living affirmatively, lifts my spirit and fuels my light.

Most importantly is understanding the thoughts and ideas that lift our lives. Recently, I took a discussion class on Emerson with Keith Gorley. It was wonderful to go over the writings which influenced Holmes, and apply them to my life. The discussions were deep and rich. If you haven’t taken a class from Keith, I highly recommend it.

–Maria

Got Thoughts?

“Every thought you think and every word you speak is creating your future.”– Louise Hay

What thoughts do you hold? What words do you speak? Many thoughts we think and many words we speak do not serve us well. At any moment, we can change our thoughts and we can change your words. I admit sometimes it’s not easy to do, yet when I do my life gets easier. Like anything else, mastering our thoughts takes practice. Change your thought, change your life.

Science of Mind offers us many spiritual practices including affirmative prayer and meditation. Affirmative prayer focuses on the positive outcome rather than a negative solution. Meditation is a practice we use to achieve a calm state of being. Both practices help us to achieve all we desire.

Like affirmative prayer, personally I love using affirmations and repeat them like a mantra silently in my mind when needed. I have found the shorter the positive affirmation the easier to remember and use when I need it. My favorite and used most often, “_____ flows to me easily and freely.” Just fill in the blank (money, peace, calm, order, love, discipline etc.)

Here are some affirmations for abundance & forgiveness from CSL.org:

  • I experience abundance in every area of my life.
  • I have an abundance of money, time, friends and opportunity.
  • I am grateful for my prosperous life.
  • I am willing to forgive myself for all past mistakes.
  • I forgive friends and family that may have caused me discomfort and harm.

Rev Janis would likely encourage me to change the “I am” statements to something more active, so I’ll change the two “I am” statements, above:

  • I feel so very grateful for my prosperous life.
  • I willingly forgive myself for all past mistakes.

There. That wasn’t so hard.

Meditation has become a daily practice for me. I most enjoy the participation in our daily morning meditation practice with CSLT. During this time I quiet my mind and use the 10 minutes of silence to start my day. Often I visualize my desired outcome for the day. I see (visualize) in my minds eye what I would like to have happen for me, or anyone I desire to help. It’s an easy practice with lovely results.

I once heard someone say, “Science of Mind is like a blanket that covers your back.” I’ve held that thought ever since. What thoughts are you holding? Do they serve you?

–Madeline Pallanes

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