Grateful … For This?

An attitude of gratitude is most salutary, and bespeaks the realization that we are now in heaven. (Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 497.2)

Wednesday night following the elections, we had a regularly scheduled Journey class. It was supposed to be about “The Hero’s Journey” and how archetypes color our lives. In a way it was. This election moved each of us through our own personal hero’s journey, or as I like to think of it, the agitation and spin cycles of a washing machine. Ultimately, we come out cleaner, clearer and more focused, and the process tends to be disorienting and generally unpleasant.

Obviously, we talked at length about the election results and our impressions of the particular candidates and our feelings and fears about them, recognizing that we each carry a biased caricature in our individual minds about who these two individuals are, and what they represent. By the end of the evening, most of the individuals present felt less at the effect of the election results, and recognized that this election calls each of us to shift from a sense of complacency into engagement and involvement in some fashion and at some level that is unique to each individual.

Each of us has had experiences, or have read about, or heard about experiences, that reinforce our viewpoint of the state of our country. I know it has been true for me; suddenly, random people seem more rude and pushy and arrogant and unkind. And we know, at least hypothetically, that we can only see what we believe. Is it time to pull out some elbow grease and scrub our pet points-of-view and see what we discover? When we remember, we know we are at liberty to think the kinds of thoughts we choose, and work towards the kind of world that we desire to live in.

No democracy, or organization, works long or well if participants willingly allow others to do all their thinking and deciding for them. Each one of us has to do our own heavy lifting. In this instantaneous information, misinformation and disinformation, age in which we find ourselves, sifting through the noise to find accurate, pertinent and meaningful input to allow conscious, intentional decisions can be challenging, and time-consuming. It’s not a whole lot of fun, unless you really enjoy detective work.

You have heard the quote, “Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves.” It is attributed to Gene Fowler, a journalist, author and dramatist. I think it is fair to say that he was an observer of the human condition. Whether he is a cynic or a realist, I’ll leave that to your interpretation. He is also quoted as saying, “Everyone needs a warm personal enemy or two to keep him free from rust in the movable parts of his mind.”

So now, how do we move from disgust and distrust to that salutary (i.e. favorable, healthful, beneficial, wholesome) attitude of gratitude? How much personal work will it take so that we can find gratitude for the individuals who wake us up from our slumber, and move us back into our active, participative adulthood as members of our lives, and our society?

In The Hidden Power of the Bible, Ernest Holmes reframed the story of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden as the necessary waking up that humanity had to do once they collectively chose to experience a world view that contained duality – good and bad, light and dark – and in that choosing, realized that each was always at liberty to choose, and choose again. Maybe this election has created the necessary momentum for each of us to remember to choose the biggest, boldest, brightest life expression we can imagine, and to step on to a bigger stage than we ever imagined. And maybe it has served as a bold reminder that we are in charge of our life experience, and not be at the effect of something or someone outside of ourselves. I can find gratitude for that reminder, and step boldly into my life.

Best, Rev Janis Farmer

Double Down and Flip

by Holly Baker

Double Down – to become more tenacious, zealous, or resolute in a position or undertaking

By the time you are reading this article, without any threatened delays and, fingers double crossed, we’ll finally know the outcome of the 2016 presidential race.

Jangled nerves, a neck and back achy with complaint, my body, mind and spirit hunger to end my election year bender, a self-imposed bonafide media binge. Like a gawker passing a horrifying car accident, I couldn’t stop slowing down to look again and again.

No matter how repulsed, I’ve been fixated by this year’s election cycle – following all major newspaper coverage, missing not one minute of all three debates. To my glee, the latest IOS update for iPhone displays “Breaking News” on the opening screen. The words “double down” entered my awareness and vocabulary for the first time.

In this season of an in-your-face, all-persuasive feeling of separateness, even vitriolic hate – an us-versus-them atmosphere on steroids, how do we embrace our Oneness? How do we “double down” on our Truth?

In CSL’s “The Power of your Word”, an 8-week certificated course, weekly homework starts with the popular news – each student picks a current news story that triggers them, pushes their buttons, or repulses them.

The initial task in this course designed to teach students to formulate and use Spiritual Mind Treatment for themselves and others is to identify the God Quality in any situation, and then “flip” the perceived condition to a positive, an expression of Wholeness.

We learn everything we experience demonstrates a God quality. Behind every fear is a God quality. Knowing Wholeness, knowing Perfection, knowing it’s all God is the first step. There is no evil just a misuse of good. Science of Mind does not deny any circumstance; we deny it has power over us. Pain lets us know we are alive. We’re not supposed to put up with it, but change our mind about it and then it can change. We choose our consciousness. We bring every trigger to ourselves in order to develop mastery.

During this divisive time as we begin our lives under new controversial leadership, how do we remember and apply the principle that we are ONE? What are the God qualities you can see?

Double down on knowing Oneness, double down on knowing Perfection, double down on knowing Love. Flip whatever angst you are feeling and “double down”. The source of peace lies within us.

My eyes behold the complete and perfect in all Creation, “In all, over all and through all.” I see the perfect; there is nothing else to see, and no suggestion of otherness can enter my thought. I know only the perfect and the complete. I am perfect and whole, now. I see the Good.
–Ernest Holmes

Don’t Go There!

The theme for June was “imagination” and its power to manifest our experience in life. Like all of us, I have a vivid imagination which likes nothing more than to run hither and yon, unchecked, conjuring up all sorts of vivid images, scenarios, and outcomes, often the worst possible outcomes. The Science of Mind teaches that what you focus on or give constant attention to increases or manifests as our experience. Our imagination gives power to and solidifies what we believe, think and say, by giving them a strong visual and experiential component in our mind. When we strongly imagine something, do we not only visualize it, but experience as well as feel it? The Universe, or Divine Mind, which always says “Yes!” will always respond to the imagined scenario and reflect it back to us and manifest it as our reality.

In his book The Power of Awareness, Neville Goddard writes “…to become the master of your assumptions [beliefs, thoughts] is the key to undreamed-of freedom and happiness. You can attain this mastery by deliberate conscious control of your imagination. The great secret is a controlled imagination and a well-sustained attention firmly and repeatedly focused on the object to be accomplished.”

But how do you consciously control your imagination, which by its very nature seems impossible to direct, especially when it comes to thinking about the worst (which your mind seems so willing to do)? One way is to notice when your imagination is going in a negative direction and stop that train of thought. Thank your mind for sharing, then turn to its polar positive opposite and contemplate a higher idea. A phrase I’ve been using of late whenever my imagination starts down a negative free-for-all slide is “Don’t go there!” I’ve found that this puts on the brakes, so to speak, and sets my train of thought on to another track, in another direction, where I am free to choose a more positive idea. It works!!

Another process you can use (which I’ve shared in a previous article, but it bears repeating), is the following: after a treatment, while still in an expanded, high state of consciousness, indulge in an imaginary visualization voyage where you vividly see, experience and feel what it would be like if what you’ve just treated for were actually real in your life right now. It’s your trip, your imagination is infinite, and nothing is impossible. Should your logical mind want to step in with all its negative reasons and “yeah, buts” why your good cannot happen, DON’T GO THERE and continue imagining your good as vividly and thoroughly as you can. This is your time and this is a gift you are giving yourself! Immerse yourself fully in its “reality” and when you feel whole, complete, happy, and at peace, release it into the Universe, knowing it’s a done deal!

You CAN pro-actively direct your imagination to manifest the kind of life you want. Just get into the habit of noticing where it’s going, and if it’s not in the direction you want it to go, Don’t Go There!!

And so it is! Namaste. By Jon William Lopez, RScP

The Universe is Prosperous

Prosperity is the nature of the Universe and abundance is the expression and experience of that prosperity. More leaves grow on trees this year than last, and anyone who rakes them notices this fact.

Even with evidence from Nature, some people have difficulty experiencing the natural abundance of life. If someone is unaware that abundance is natural, that lack of awareness can keep the abundance away. Using the same logic, if someone accepts the natural abundant state, their acceptance would make space for greater abundance into that person’s life.

Cultural consciousness, the collective and accumulated viewpoint that any society has believed and promoted, can hinder the experience of abundance by focusing on lack, deprivation, the “have’s” and the “have-not’s”. Everyone lives in the sea of his or her collective viewpoint, and those who are receptive to its siren song, or who are unconscious of it, are controlled or at least influenced by it.

Just like a river, thought flows along the lines of least resistance, and culture-consciousness can shift focus from the prosperity-is-natural viewpoint toward lack and limitation. There are plenty of examples of people focusing on this latter reality.

If you live in a lack-and-limitation culture and want to experience greater abundance, you must consciously direct your thinking away from the culture-consciousness of scarcity and redirect your attention toward abundance. You must consciously change your point of view about life and its possibilities. This can seem challenging or downright difficult at first; however, persistence really pays off … literally.

Even as prosperity is the Universe’s nature, it is also the Universe’s nature to say, “Yes” to our directives, our commands, especially when the command is sustained with strong feeling and/or emotion. Fortunately, or unfortunately the Universe only says “Yes” to true commands and not to every random thought that passes through our mind. Emotion and feeling holds attention, and this is what makes the directive a true command.

When you put regular attention on the wonder and possibility of your personal experience of an abundant life, that decision brings the opportunity to experience these things into view. By focusing on the abundance of life and living in accord with that intention, you can have more abundant experiences. Life eagerly says, “Yes!” by affirming the presence of supply, and it willingly becomes a more joyful adventure. More good then begins to come naturally and effortlessly.

By affirming “All I desire comes to me,” and accepting the truth of this statement for just five minutes, four times daily, the Universe says, “Yes” to greater joy and abundance.

Join others in The Experiment here at the Center, by affirming your abundant nature, and by living, loving and giving from that awareness. Watch the gentle explosion of good, as it overflows in your life.

“Divine Love, as me, blesses and multiplies all that I am, all that I give, and all that I receive.”
And So It Is.
Rev Donald

Envisioning – It’s Your Right to Invoke The Law

By Lynden Kidd, Chairman, CSLT

In this great country of ours we are invited to participate in our government; to vote for those who shape our laws and policies.  I’ve often been surprised when someone who holds a particularly deep belief about a ‘right or wrong’ also tells me that they’ve decided not to vote in an election for some reason. In my mind, that is an abdication of an essential and defining right of citizenship. That individual has dropped the ball on their role in improving the country by opting out of voting. They may have excuses or stories as to why, but in this era of mail in ballots and election-day transportation; there is no good reason not to have your choices be counted.

Clearly, Center for Spiritual Living Tucson is not a governmental entity. We aren’t a democracy either. The Board of Trustees makes decisions based on consensus: We all agree, by working to see the others’ points of view and come to agreement about the highest and best for all.

COMMUNITY ENVISIONING – This is one of our Center’s ways of inviting YOU to have a significant say about who we are and who we become and to be an active part of creating the future of our sacred Center. You may have joined us for one of our new classes in the yearlong series called, “The Journey”, or you may have a heard in one of Reverend Donald’s recent Sunday talks and know that we transform ourselves while we transform our community! This is an opportunity to participate in conscious transformation, by joining other community members for a few hours dedicated to envisioning our Center the way we want it to be.

We have the benefit of one of the brightest and most motivational leaders within Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) – Reverend Dr. John Waterhouse, President of CSL, who is the senior co-minister at the Center for Spiritual Living Asheville, North Carolina. As CSL’s President, Dr. John coordinates communications and services between our centers and ministries and the rest of the global organization. We benefit from his wonder and wisdom for a full weekend, and you won’t want to miss a moment.  Starting at 6:30pm on Friday, April 17th, he will coax and cajole the best from each of us about our vision for our sacred community – our CSLT. Then on Saturday, from 9am to ‘at the latest’ 5pm, he will help us clarify our vision for the future of our spiritual home and assist us in articulating our objectives in reaching the big stretch goals for our Center.

So, please join us. Take ownership in what this Center has done for you and to you, as you’ve transformed. Help us reach a bigger audience. Help us accomplish our mission of moving more fully forward as THE premier hub for transformational teaching and growth in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

Thanks for joining me, the Center’s leadership team and the other champions, as we envision the highest and best for our community.  I trust I will see you on Friday and Saturday, as we invest with you in the growth, well-being and vision of our sacred Center for Spiritual Living Tucson.

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