We’re Already There…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful
beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”  — Marianne Williamson

As Rev. Janis reminded us during morning meditation:
“The limit of our ability to demonstrate depends upon our ability to provide a mental equivalent.”  — Ernest Holmes (The Science of Mind 306.2)

For me it’s the practice of remembering that it is my responsibility, my choice to hold to knowing the right outcome. If I want a different world experience – then I am in charge of naming it, seeing it, knowing it as “Reality”. Not just – even now, BUT especially now.

I have long been a “political” person. Even during my most adamant Good-bye, so-long, farewell, I’m withdrawing-from-politics-now stages, there are always surreptitious peeks sneaked at the NYTimes to see what’s going on. Blame it on my parents, they were avidly involved in local and state politics, or being in college during those 60’s. One of my true coming of age actions, was to understand myself as what Erich Fromm labeled a “true believer”. It only took a couple of decades for me to give up most of the narrow holding to what I knew to be “THE RIGHT WAY.” I still visit on occasion just to remind myself of how truly narrow and limiting my-way or the-highway truly is. No matter whose ‘way’ it is.

“Never depend upon people or say that things must come from this or that source. It makes no difference where things come from. SAY THAT THEY ARE, and let them come from where they may, and if something occurs which points to a place for them to come from, it is correct to say: ‘If this is the place, then there is nothing which can hinder.’” — Ernest Holmes (The Science of Mind 304.4)

Back to the Williamson quote. I am, you are, everyone is “powerful beyond measure” because we have available the support of the Universal Spirit.

Remembering as much of the time as we can …
“There is a place in us which lies open to the Infinite; but when the Spirit brings Its gift, by pouring Itself through us, It can give to us only what we take. This taking is mental. If we persist in saying that Life will not give us that which is good… It cannot, for life must reveal Itself to us through our intelligence. The pent-up energy of life, and the possibility of further human evolution, work through man’s imagination and will. The time is now; the place is where we are, and it is done unto us as we believe.” — Ernest Holmes (The Science of Mind 151.4-152.1)

Not as we “want” or “wistfully contemplate” but as we truly, deeply, awake-at-midnight believe. So join me in learning to see the perfect and rejecting all the world’s attempts to disrupt our knowing. The less attention we give those distractions, the faster they will be replaced.

Here’s to the beautiful world we reveal.


–Peace to you and yours, Mariann

What are Your Standing Stones?

I love mysteries. Actually that’s not really true. I love figuring out mysteries.

A little over 15 years ago, some friends and I had the pleasure of visiting a number of the ancient Neolithic sites in Ireland as part of a tour group. We had a fabulous local tour guide who was chock-full of stories about what everything meant, what it was for, and what it did.

This stunning image is of the Stones of Stennes (in Scotland), taken by photographer Jim Richardson.


When it came to the standing stones though, he didn’t have a lot to say. Not a lot is known with confidence. There are loads of theories. The most likely theory was that they were connected with acknowledging the changing seasons, and the movement of the sun and the moon, so that the groups of people who had settled in the area would feel some certainty about when to plant their crops. Another theory that seems to make sense to those who study the prehistory and archaeology of the sites is that they were spirit houses, for some form of ancestor worship. A theory that I learned about as I was writing this blogpost is that they were also for showing off power and technical prowess; neighboring villages built bigger and more expansive arrays than their neighbors simply to show off. As much effort as I am sure it took to construct these monuments, I have a little trouble imagining that a little gamesmanship was going on.

What I do know with some clarity is that these stones were important to the locals and the life of their community. Which brings me to the question I’m asking today. What are Your Standing Stones? What are the ideals and tenets that you live by? What is important to you and worth expending time and energy toward manifesting or supporting in your life? I’m not asking necessarily for anyone to share their answers to these questions, and I’ll ask you to spend some time looking at the questions and seeing what arises for you. Once you have a working answer to these questions, please contemplate what you do in your daily life and how it is at least aligned on some level with those intentions.

One of the realizations I’ve had as I’m working my way through learning to tell better stories in the Story Skills Workshop (that I’m still in the middle of) is that we, and I’m including myself in that ‘we’, don’t necessarily spend a lot of time contemplating what we do on a routine basis and why it is important to us. I think it is useful to know what we each do, and why. I also think it is important to know why we do what we do together as a community. Please spend a little time and discover this for yourself, and for your own sense of satisfaction and well-being, embody what you find.


–Rev Janis Farmer

Having Compassion for the Frustrated and Frustrating

Be kind to yourself, and then let your kindness flood the world — Pema Chodron

How can it be possible to practice compassion toward people who frustrate you, or to those who do so much harm in the world?

Our experiences in the world do not support practicing compassion with people like this. First a global pandemic has turned the world completely upside down, with unclear messages from our leaders. We bore witness to George Floyd’s murder, which was traumatizing enough, even though it has become a catalyst to action for the Black Community and allies who have reached a tipping point with blatant racism so prevalent and pervasive in our nation and society. We see peaceful protests, and we also see rubber bullets, tear gas, looting, violence and the latest nebulous activity and arrests in Portland, OR.

While my external experience of the greater world at this moment is disturbing and unpleasant, I have to stop and remember that I can affect only what’s in my area of influence. Directly within my area of influence (at least sometimes) is my life and, to a lesser degree, the lives of my Renee and her children and grandchildren. Yes, it is hard to remember I am a great-grandmother to an 11-year old!

I recently had my granddaughter and 11-year old great granddaughter here from Texas for a visit. Oh my goodness, what an experience. Her Mother returned to Texas because she needed to go back to work and my great granddaughter stayed for another week. She was a handful, misbehaving constantly and continuously. She argued with both me, and her grandmother Renee, at every opportunity. She went through all the makeup she could find in the apartment and mixed a lot of it up together. She also went through every drawer in the house, looking for what, I’ll never know, but some things are now missing. She even brought Renee to tears several times. I managed to suppress my anger, but it was difficult! When Renee, my daughter, asked me what could we do about this, I told her the only thing I knew to do. Since we couldn’t possibly remedy her reasons for misbehaving in 1 week, was to just be firm, but let her know she was loved, in spite of whatever she did.

To be honest, participating in the 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life book study group for the second time(!) helped me through this difficult and awkward situation.

I truly believe when you practice compassion for others, you benefit as well, reaping better health, your overall wellbeing improves, and your relationships are better.

Here are some tips we can use to move ourselves towards a practice of greater compassion:

1. Separate the person from their behavior
2. Imagine whirled peas, when you see people whose actions don’t align with your values, imagine
that person enjoying a particular tasty vegetable you also like, to create commonality,
communion, and at least the possibility of collaboration.
3. Try a loving kindness meditation for that person. Keep working at it!
4. Don’t forget yourself. You can’t give what you don’t have!

Every single person on the planet deserves compassion, including each of us. No matter what.


–Janie Hooper

Yay for Boats in the Desert!

Reverend Janis described using a boat. She loves her boats. I love my boats. What we are referring to is the joke about the man stuck on his roof during a devastating flood. When a boat approaches, he declines help, saying that God will rescue him. A helicopter comes by to rescue him and he declines their help, explaining that God will rescue him. Then he drowns. When he gets to heaven, he asks God why God didn’t rescue him. God replies, “I sent a boat and a helicopter!” A boat refers to receiving help recognizing that, in unity, we are all one and that help received is the same as help given. And the awareness that the Divine will provide help to me through people.

My two most recent experiences of receiving help were from two of my coaches. I have a business coach and a Health and Wellness (H&W) coach. I also have a sponsor in the 12-step program to which I belong.

My H&W coach meets with me every 2-3 weeks. She is wonderful and helps me establish good health habits. We work on ways to deal with my feeling of panic that causes me to overeat. She helps me devise strategies that help me get to sleep as it often takes me 45-60 minutes to power down enough to fall asleep. I was explaining that I had stopped walking with my girlfriends because I was focusing on completing tax returns before the deadline. The problem was that I was not finding that I had any extra time as I gave up my movement. She advised me to start moving again. She has been working with me for about 1 year and commented on how important exercise is to me. And reminding me that I do better when I have a hard work out. That was on July 2. The next day I walked 21⁄2 miles with my friends. On July 4, I got up early and walked around Randolph Park from my house and back, a distance of 4.5+ miles. I have been doing that daily since and feel so much better. On rest days, I walk 3 miles because I need movement every day. My body expects it.

I meet with my business coach monthly. She is an integrative coach who believes that personal and business are the same. I receive guidance of a practical sense – she transformed my time management by helping me set up a hybrid system using a Google sheets list of tasks and a daily planner because she says that I have my long list and then every day I tend to work off a separate agenda. That is totally true. When I talked to her about needing to trust my ability to complete my work on time and relaxing instead of living in stress based on deadlines, she later said that she knew that I needed to increase my connection to Spirit.

Through her skillful questioning I was able to come back into knowing that my business success is Spirit-based and that I can rely on the Divine to ease my way with regard to deadlines and tasks that appear challenging. This is extra important as I am preparing for an audit with my largest client. Last year’s audit was very difficult and so my “triggers” are in full force. Using our Science of Mind philosophy, I remember I need to see through appearances to know the reality that all is perfect and whole. Applying SOM to my work means that even though I experience stress dealing with strong personalities and the appearance of authority, it is my job to look beyond appearances and know that my tasks are manageable and that I have the resources I need to complete the task. Talking with her re- centered me and I was able to discuss strategies to remind me of my connection with Spirit throughout my day. And like Science of Mind, I looked over at my windowsill and saw my little altar full of keepsakes that I created several years ago with friends. It’s in a repurposed Altoids tin. I closed it up and put it in my desk drawer and I intend to look at it daily.

I also poured pink Himalayan salt that my coach, Tabitha, said is very clearing spiritually into a singing bowl to keep by my computer screen. I can play with it while on Zoom calls. She suggested I purchase some palo santos sticks, which I did, to burn daily to spread peace and positivity. I grabbed my Angel Therapy oracle cards and fired up my essential oils diffuser. I feel totally blessed to receive help, guidance and support from my friends. Ha!

I do pay both of them and they are also clients of mine so we totally help each other out! And the fact that Tabitha supports my spirituality is an added bonus. It reminds me that I am loved and that the Divine does indeed provide what I need by giving me boats in the desert.

-Marya Wheeler

Jaded

“Who are you – When you are NOT a problem to be solved?” Bryan Stevenson

And it doesn’t count as a solution when we project all our personal problems onto one or more “outside” entities. It doesn’t count as a solution, because we still own the problem of living surrounded by problems.

Having gained enough distance from my time in NYC and learned enough Science of Mind, I am beginning to understand that too much of my time was spent with unhappy, jaded people. They believed they had seen too much, been overlooked too many times, were not valued highly enough …. if only things were different: boss, money, job, family.

The solution, as Rev. Janis reminds us frequently, is not in the stars or even in the whatever we identify as “the problem.” That unhappiness, those choices are our very own, in fact our only, responsibility to own and improve.

Though this idea runs rampant in our world, allowing the common hour jaded cynicism to enfold us is choosing that as our reality. Yes, our current environment burgeons with challenges – oh you bet. And every time we, meaning you and I, sigh and say I wish it weren’t so – we make it more real. Every time, we contribute more energy to the overflowing sense of a world in chaos.

My personal challenge, one of them, is to hold and cherish both of these:
“Disregarding all evidence to the contrary, the student of Truth will maintain he lives in a Perfect Universe and among people potentially perfect…..At first he may be influenced by conditions, and he may appear to be weak, but as time goes on he will prove to himself that his position is a correct one…” Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 184.5-185.1

And along with knowing and living that –
“There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things you can’t otherwise see; you hear things you can’t otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.” Bryan Stevenson

The challenge for each of us is to know both the Truth and the brokenness – those things that need, in fact, must change. Move them away from our emotions, and into our vision of a perfect world. Only when we know Perfect as capital ”R” Reality, can we act not with despair or anger, but with the knowing it as already here – then we embody the Perfect not the pain.

Because finally:
“What we demonstrate today, tomorrow and the next day is not as important as the TENDENCY WHICH OUR THOUGHT IS TAKING…the dominant attitude of our mind…, if every day we are expressing more life, we are going in the right direction.” (Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 306.3)

Yes, that was Dr. Holmes YELLING. Consistent persistence in knowing and choosing our own thoughts and behaviors – we build the trend line to that Perfect that is Reality.

–Take care of yourself and your loved ones, peace to all everywhere. Mariann

Guard The Gate

All thought is creative and how I choose to think creates my own personal experience.

With all that is happening around us, it is especially important to be in charge of our thoughts. We are thinking all the time and we are creating all the time. So knowing this, we need to be vigilant about what we are allowing into our minds.

There are times when balancing being informed about what we need to know vs. how it is being presented can be challenging. We need to be watchful and not allow anything that has “hateful” or “negative conclusions” into our minds. This can be difficult when we find ourselves agreeing with a point of view or thinking someone or some group deserves it. In order to filter these thoughts, I created my “guard at the gate” of my mind, not letting these thoughts and judgments in.

Sometimes the thoughts can be presented in a seemingly innocuous way. How many love songs are about heartbreak vs. happy endings? Right? Think of the plethora of television shows based on dysfunctional lives or movies with conniving and despicable characters. What messages are we letting in?

It helps to remind ourselves that there is a better way to think when we are being bombarded with difficult news. We can tell ourselves that, more often than not, positive outcomes happen, even if we can’t see it right then. Think of a time in your life when you thought that something was the worst thing that could happen. Looking back on it, what was the longer-term result?

We know that if we take charge of our minds, we take charge of our lives. No one else can do this for us. Recently I spoke with two friends. One records every Sunday morning news program with multiple opinions about the current events. As we know, these tend to be contentious and not positive. Every program is then watched. Same stuff over and over again. The second person just finished watching the entire Dick Van Dyke series. Who do you think is happier today?

We know that it can be challenging when you are in a conversation and someone says something negative, judgmental or even cruel. What do you do? Arguing, as a rule, does not help. Instead, we reply can be “Interesting” or “You don’t say” or some other innocuous comment that is essentially meaningless. And then if possible, stepping away from the conversation and returning to thoughts that have more value.

The guard at the gate of our minds has a full time job. It is constant awareness of what is being allowed into our minds. We can find ourselves exhausted and wondering why, if we are not vigilant about it.

The greatest power available to us as individuals is the power of our own minds, the power of our own thoughts. In the creation of a personal life worth living, the action— the essential action — must be mental. Remember, all thought is creative, even goofy thought. — J. Kennedy Shultz in You Are the Power


–Susan Seid

The Long Haul

There’s so much I want to say, so I’ll see if I can get the words to come out in any sensible order. Perhaps I should have entitled this post, The Heavy Lift. Both titles would apply equally. I’ll start with Dr Ernest Holmes, from The Science of Mind 51.1. “One of the great difficulties in this new order of thought is that we are likely to indulge in too much theory and too little practice. As a matter of fact, we only know as much as we can prove by actual demonstration.”

It is too easy to look at the abundance of upset and disarray that surround us in the world of form right now and look for someone to be at fault, or at least someone we can blame, or for us to feel guilty, ashamed or embarrassed by something we, or people like us, have done in the past. Pointing fingers, damning, discrediting or demeaning someone, and looking for some statue to tear down, or somebody to fire or send to jail, doesn’t get to the root of the apparent issue, or lead to any sort of solution with lasting effect. Those actions do create a brief feeling of satisfaction; we did something and made some noise. Yay, us. These are not short-term blips that we can put a splint on (like a broken finger) so they can heal ‘enough’ and we can get back to business as usual. At least I hope they’re not.

The Stage Is Set
The Bighorn Fire (18+ days, started by lightning, 65,500+ acres burned (as of June 23 @ 3:51am), remarkably only 4 minor heat-related injuries). The Incident Management Teams (and the 900+ firefighters that have been involved in the response so far) have masterfully handled the Bighorn fire. The smoke that hangs over much of southeast Arizona like a shroud, and the fires that light up the night (in a bad way), leave us all a little on edge and more than a little uneasy. This just adds to the general malaise and discomfort.

Covid-19. Our experience of the physical world has changed drastically in the last 3 months. Who would have guessed, besides some dystopian science (fiction) writers, that a novel virus would send all of us to our rooms for an indeterminate period of time? And that the very human desire to gather together, for companionship and comfort is the most dangerous thing we can do for the protection of our most vulnerable members of our society. And the feebleness of our food supply, and our health care system. And, and, and (I could go on)…

Political divisiveness, extremism (on all sides) and groundless ‘haterade’. I’m just going to leave this right here.

The Main Event
I’ve been listening to E.O. Wilson’s audiobook, The Meaning of Human Existence. He writes about the strong tribal need for belonging, and the primitive/primal need to have an other, so that we have some made-up reason to band together, separate ourselves and protect our group. He goes on to say that we create enemies to make ourselves feel stronger, and safer, as long as we are in the ‘in crowd’. The idea of us-versus-them is embedded in human consciousness, and of primary importance in default thinking, or the collective unconscious, or race tendency. A bias toward or against any particular ethnicity is not implied by that unfortunate word choice. These phrases represent a way to describe thoughts and beliefs that are commonly held by many/most people. They do not include only ‘bad’ thoughts or beliefs; they include all shared thoughts and beliefs. If we don’t intentionally choose a thought or belief, we choose default thinking, by default.

Remember Jane Elliott’s blue eyes-brown eyes exercise with her third grade class in 1968? (read more @ janeelliott.com) She wanted her students to see the embedded irrationality of people with one eye color being superior to people of another eye color. The kids bought into it hook, line and sinker. When they were the favored ones, they treated the other children badly. When they fell out of favor (for no apparent reason), the felt crushed by what seemed like the entire weight of the world on their backs, and the opposite group repeated the pattern of assumed superiority. There’s something very primitive about being favored and on top. It wasn’t until later, when they were discussing the exercise that they could begin to see that they had done anything irrational. On one level, it seems that tribalism is an innate human condition.

In Cynthia James’ ‘Conversations of the Heart’ call last Friday night that I spoke about last Sunday, one of the participants rather dejectedly asked, “Why would the people in power give up their superior position?” None of us had a good answer to her question. Why would they?

E.O. Wilson also wrote about the differences that had been observed by scientists in studying animal behavior between success of individuals within groups and the success of groups as wholes. Within a group, selfish individuals tend to do better than the remainder of the group, but between groups the groups with more altruistic individuals tend to do better than groups with lots of selfish individuals. This doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who thinks about human dynamics either.

In game theory, there is a strategy called tit-for-tat. Essentially, if a player is provoked, they retaliate. If they are not provoked, they cooperate. In long-term games, those who cooperate have greater success. Earlier this month, I read a report (theconversation.com/nondiscrimination-against-lgbt-individuals-isnt-just-the-law-it- helps-organizations-succeed-140810) that gives me hope that altruistic (nondiscriminatory) behaviors can be seen as benefitting individuals as well as the whole.

The Goal, and One Possible Route
Futurist Buckminster Fuller wrote, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Some of us are just becoming aware of how biased existing systems have been, and are looking for new models that value everyone’s contribution, while dismantling the old systems one interaction at a time. It’s a slow process, an uncovering of old stories that are so old, and so buried, we don’t even know they are there.

We are starting down a path that could lead to a new world, one that works for everyone. We won’t succeed using the same rules and playing the same game. We won’t get there by discarding what presently exists, and disenfranchising participants in the process. We need a new model that makes the old model obsolete.

In the next three months, CSLT will be exploring this new territory. We start with a guest speaker on Sunday July 5th, Dr Karmen Smith speaking about how “Love Changes America”. I hope you’ll plan to attend our zoom service that Sunday. She is a powerful speaker.

Then we’ll move through a series of three quick book studies in July (David Richo’s Triggers (How We Can Stop Reacting and Start Healing)), August (Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander’s The Art of Possibility, which is about the importance of relationship and connection, and how our small separate, calculating, selves inhibit our progress and get in our way) and September (Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Emergence, The Shift from Ego to Essence (10 steps to the Universal Human)). [The book links will lead you to Amazon. However, if you log in to smile.amazon.com and choose “Center for Spiritual Living Location: Tucson, AZ”, our Center will receive donations, which will be greatly appreciated]

The path of the Universal Human may be a new model that moves us in the direction we long for and desire.

Ernest Holmes wrote in 365 Science of Mind 186.1, “We are made perfect when we enter into the communion of love with one another and with the invisible essence of Life. Love is the fulfillment of the Law, that is, we do not make the highest use of the Law unless that use is motivated by Love, by a sincere desire to express unity, harmony, and peace.”

Join me in envisioning and embodying this new world, the world that works for everyone.

–Rev Janis

C-O-V-I-D

For me, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented an urgent message to every human. I believe this virus’ message is that “We are ALL in this together” — in life, in how we get sick, how we heal, and in how we live together and look after ourselves, and one another. No one has been totally excluded from impact by this virus, either from one of the many ways the virus expresses, or not being able to get medical care for other ailments, or an increased sense of isolation, fear and separation, or an elevated sense of general or specific worry and anxiousness, or simply disturbed sleep interrupted by difficult dreams, or any number of other manifestations.

This virus became very, very real to me when the doctors thought my beloved daughter, who is recovering from Valley Fever and therefore immuno-compromised, might have gotten it. She exhibited many worrisome symptoms. Thankfully, her test came back negative.

While I was walking in a very lush, beautiful neighborhood last week by myself, I couldn’t help but notice the sounds of all the different birds, look at the Palo Verde trees in bloom, cactus flowering, hummingbirds, rabbits, quail and even a red bird I didn’t recognize! The connection of all of this hit me right between the eyes; ALL of it, every single bit of it, is interconnected.

Couldn’t this same principle include every sentient being? Food for thought for me, for sure. I am reminded of the 12 steps in Karen Armstrong’s book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and am looking forward to taking the class with Keith again when it starts in early June.

1. Learn about compassion for all
2. Look at your own world
3. Compassion for yourself
4. Empathy
5. Mindfulness
6. Action
7. Know how little we know
8. How should we speak to one another?
9. Concern for everybody
10. Knowledge
11. Recognition
12. Love your enemies

If I only manage to apply some of these principles into most of my interactions, I become part of a positive solution and balm to myself, and others. I reduce the fear and panic my small self wants to focus on. Yes, I know we are looking at a very different ‘new normal’. This refocusing of my thought and attention helps me so much to look for the positive that has come about in my own life, and the lives of those I love and people I know.

While I was walking outside in nature, and observing its orderly beauty, the word COVID became redefined to me:
C- Compassionate
O – Opening
V – Vector
I – Into
D – Divine Order
assuring me that ALL is in divine order.


–Namaste, Janie

What Do I Do Today?

Greetings from social isolation and socially distanced San Manuel!

I have found this “down time” to be far less troubling and disconcerting than a lot of people. One of the blessings of being an introvert and apparently able to entertain myself with a variety of activities not found on my “to do” list. That list is still way too long and uninviting. I’m also retired and not facing any of the myriad problems many people are. Truly, a blessing too large to measure.

What I have been doing is continuing to write every morning and expanding my daily reading of CSL teachings. The time to sit and be still — as still as is possible for me — is a gift of amazing grace and joy.

“All the ideas of infinite Mind are being offered to me now. These nourish and sustain me; I accept and assimilate them. They are inspiration to my mind. They are wisdom in handling my emotions. They are beauty and peace to my soul. Joyously, I accept the good which God is distributing in my life.”
— Ernest Holmes and Raymond Charles Barker, 365 Days of Richer Living 103.2


One of the ideas I’ve been thinking about is the question of enough. Not all the hoarding memes that have blasted through social media, but the basic enough of contentment and ease. When does all my activity and needing to juggle a calendar reflect not the good times of retirement, but more my inability to simply be and to listen.


“The Intelligence within me is constantly guiding me. Clearly I see the right thing for me to do; I know the right thing for me to say in every circumstance. This Intelligence within me deals with every situation harmoniously. I find life thrilling, stimulating.”
— Ernest Holmes, 365 Science of Mind 138.3


Except that, of course, being well-practiced in and habituated to doing and distraction, I don’t find practicing this beautiful listening in stillness all that easy. When I do allow it, it is an experience of beauty and joy and such an inner peace that one could crave it. Yet that is as aspect of wanting more. That really isn’t the way either. Working hard for it, striving toward it essentially hides it elsewhere.


“Without effort or strain, and in a relaxed receptivity, let us know that the Law of Mind acts upon our word. Not asking how or why, but with simple acceptance and complete belief, let us permit this good to be established in our experience.”
— Ernest Holmes, 365 Science of Mind 76.2

“The one Mind is working in and through us now, not as big or little, or hard or easy, but merely as spontaneous self-expression. Back of our smallest act is the strength of the universe. Behind all our thoughts is the Infinite Thinker. Diffused through every human activity is the Divine Presence.
— Ernest Holmes, 365 Science of Mind 218.1

And that is my goal during this time — “Be Still and Know” – Psalm 46.10.

Wishing you and yours a safe and peaceful journey through this time.


–Peace, Mariann

To Mask, or Not to Mask

I went to town to do some scanning and returning of final exams from the Foundations Class that finished this week. (Yes, the class ‘Foundations of the Science of Mind’ still has a final exam, and everybody who took it passed with flying colors.) We’ve been meeting online, on Zoom, for about a month; it’s worked fairly well. Those of you who have taken Foundations remember that sweet feeling of camaraderie and community that arises when you spend weeks and weeks sharing with other people, and you discover we’re all pretty much the same. We have similar sorts of worries, struggles, doubts and fears, so we can relate to each other, and feel strong family-like connections with this unique and special subset of humanity. The students were sad the class was ending because they’ve gotten so close with each other over these many weeks.

While I was in town, I figured I’d stop at the Trader Joe’s closest to the office to pick up some supplies I’d run out of, and some fresh daffodils. Trader Joe’s instituted the wait-outside-the-store-line earlier than most of the other retail spaces in town, and so I wasn’t surprised to see a line. I was a little surprised to see such a long line. The TJ’s crewmember who had been tasked with managing the line was in conversation with an older fellow who was belligerently not wanting to stand exactly on the blue line which demarcated the 6-ft distance between prospective customers. Eventually the older man complied, because (I’m guessing here) he decided he wanted access to the store more than he wanted to argue with ‘the kid’. So we stood there a while, not too terribly long. Being my mother’s daughter (We used to tease her, saying that she could have a delightful conversation with a fencepost), I attempted to strike up a conversation with the fellow behind me in line. His face, what I could see of it behind his mask, was dour. I said something innocuous and bright, like how nice it was to be standing in the shade on this warm, sunny day. His reply, ‘Why are we doing this?’, left me nearly speechless and I responded with, ‘There are so many answers to that question running through my mind.’

Last week, I was again standing in a line, waiting to go into JoAnn’s. I needed thread to finish some projects. Many of the people who were in line were buying supplies to make masks for friends, family members or to give away to medical or care facilities. The camaraderie of this line was quite different from the one at TJ’s. Even though we were primarily standing in the sun, the mostly older crowd was quite chatty, sharing bits and pieces of their lives. The workers who came out of the store to talk with line-standers-like-me were answering questions about the availability of elastic, bias tape, Velcro and interfacing. Eventually, after about 80 minutes, I got my turn in the store, picked up my half dozen spools of thread and was out again double-quick, freeing up the space for the mask-makers in line/behind me to gain access. While this was a much longer and slower moving line, it was much more enjoyable.

During one of the daily spiritual practices last week, I read a paragraph from Ernest Holmes’ 365 Science of Mind (p.116) that was impactful to several individuals on the video-call. It read, ‘Our lives and experiences may well be likened to a river. If we stand on the bank of a river and watch it flow by, we become aware that the river never changes, but that its content is always new. By analogy, we might say the purposeful dynamic quality of life within us never changes, but the content of our experience of living never remains the same.’

‘The purposeful dynamic quality of life’, our point of view in how we see ourselves, the Divine, and others, is completely under our control. Our Essence, as the Foundations students learned, is Divine. We are made of, and for, Life, Love, Light, Peace, Poise, Power, Joy…. Whether we choose to remember that, and act from that place of wholeness, and holiness, is entirely up to us. The content of our experiences, how we engage with individuals, big ideas, situations or circumstances will vary moment-to-moment. Each one of us is always at choice how we see ourselves, our situations and others, and how we respond to, and engage with, life.

–Rev Janis

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