GOT RESENTMENT

Yeah, me too. I don’t like it. How about you?

In the Resilient book study class offered last year, I had mentioned that I often feel resentful and that I didn’t want to have those feelings in me. I didn’t like how I felt. Rev. Janis casually mentioned, ‘being resentful is a learned behavior.’ I almost didn’t hear what she said. Learned behavior? I thought who did I learn THAT from? Bam. I answered my own thought immediately. I can only begin to tell you the relief I felt just hearing those words, then. Knowing it was only a learned behavior, IT IS totally possible to UNLEARN that behavior! I felt instant relief.

Jump ahead to this year and I’m in the Atlas of the Heart book study class. We started to discuss the section on resentment, and I quickly announced, “I’m the Queen of resentment.” I said it as though it were a good thing! Ha! What? What am I thinking? Let me tell you, I’ve been thinking about this ever since I said that. Every thought we think and every word we speak, is creating our future (Louise Hay). I don’t want to be the Queen of resentment. I’m happy to let someone else wear that crown.

Why do we hang on to resentment? I don’t know but it’s obvious I do. Since I haven’t quite figured out how it serves me, I know it must, since I haven’t let it go. As I was walking past the 40′ shipping container on my property, the thought came to me that ‘hanging onto resentment is kind of like hoarding.’ The effects of one afflicted by it are basically the same since it is so difficult to let it go. I speak from experience in both areas.

Let me just clarify that a bit.

Resentment: a feeling of anger because you have been forced to accept something that you do not like. (Cambridge Dictionary)
Hoarding: a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. (Mayo Clinic)

Resentment is a thought; hoarding is an action. Both of which I don’t want. Neither serves me well.

What serves me well are thoughts and actions that bring me peace calm and order. That’s what I want to focus my attention on. Many years ago, I showed up at CSLT looking for a little bit of spiritual guidance. I got it, and a whole lot more than I ever bargained for. I love a good bargain. How about you?

Madeline Pallanes

Thoughts As My Sabbatical Ends

I’ve been physically away from you all for a month. I’ve done a bit of traveling and a lot of reading, writing, thinking and resting. I’ve had a doctor appointment — a follow-up from my hospital visit 3 months ago, a couple massages, and treatments for my back. I’ve finished one quilt top and started on another, planted some flowers, and done a tiny bit of work on my house.

I’ve watched the attendance numbers sag while I’ve been away, and the contributions are not keep up with what I know the basic monthly expenses are. I know it’s summer, our winter visitors have left for cooler climates, and more than a few folks have expressed displeasure with our continuing zoom services. I remember when Rev Donald took his sabbatical in summer 2016, our attendance dropped by 35%. Of course, that was also the summer the air conditioning was out at The Gregory (it was truly sweltering in that auditorium), so I’m sure that also had an impact. I’m grateful our Sunday attendance during May was only down 15%. Thank you to those who continued to participate in, and support, this spiritual community and those who chose to enjoy and support the speakers I deliberately picked for the Sundays I was elsewhere.

I devoured a bunch of books during the month I was away, both fiction and non-fiction, and I’ve thought a lot about what’s actually mine to do. Truthfully, the Visioning class I took in February jumpstarted the process for me. The final project for Visioning was to create a personal (life) vision statement. Mine: “I live as a lighthouse, a living sanctuary, involved and willing to be changed by the process. No matter what I do, I live as love.”

One of the books I’m still working my way through is Burnout, The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle (2019) by Emily and Amelia Nagoski. In the 2nd chapter, they wrote about reframing, and reconsidering the decisions we’ve made in the past, and how we might take another look at them. I’ll share my process with you, here.

The exercise is about redefining what success looks like for the reader, and it’s built around a goal that creates frustration instead of joy. I was stunned when I realized my answer to their question, which is what inspired me to share this with you all.

Frustrating Goal: Grow, support, and sustain CSLT, aka ‘Keep the wheels on the bus’. (I actually believed this was mine to do, and it’s not.)

Why is this frustrating? It’s not attainable for me to accomplish. I can’t make any of it happen.

What can I do instead? (Brainstorming, not all ideas captured are good ideas)

  • Share what I know, and continue to explore with individuals who engage
  • Speak, teach, facilitate, write
  • Support, encourage, guide (lighthouse)
  • Continue to explore my own spiritual (includes physical, mental, emotional) wellbeing, share what I learn
  • Encourage others to do the same
  • Fret over people who choose not to show up, or quit supporting this center (presumably because they feel it doesn’t support them the way they want to be supported.) Chase anybody, ever.
  • Express gratitude for those who do show up and participate.
  • Express gratitude for those continuing to connect with each other and this center.
  • Express gratitude for those engaging in their own spiritual (physical, mental, emotional) work.
  • Discover what self-care really looks like and do that.

Next, I get to choose a couple of these ideas and decide how to implement them most efficiently, keeping my vision for my life purpose firmly in mind. And remembering that if I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, I might want to think about that some more, and pick differently.

I look forward to being back with you soon. Big hugs. — Rev J

The Body Divine

That is the topic title of June’s Science of Mind magazine. Usually I “savor” the magazine, reading the Daily Guides each day and articles in my spare time throughout the month. After seeing Live Theater Workshop’s production of Body Awareness (playing through June 4th), hearing Joseph Gabrielson RScP speak about how his attitude towards his body changed while studying SOM principles, then seeing this month’s topic, I dove right in. If you don’t subscribe to the magazine, copies are available at the office.

Here are some of the highlights:

Pg. 11 – Dr. Edward Viljoen gives a simple exercise to come to love your body, or at least various parts of it.

Pg. 24 – At the end of Kelly Robbins’ article is a nice affirmation, “My body is the temple holding my soul. And it’s up to me to take care of it and love it as it is.”

Pg. 100 – Rev. Sally Robbins offers A Whole-Body Treatment.

Pg. 97 – Rev. Karen Russo eloquently states what I have come to realize: “We discover that choosing to build a robust, healthy physicality provides us with a more receptive, aware, capable vehicle for expressing our Spirit in this world.”

Pg. 26 – “Your Body Is Trying to Get Your Attention…Are You Listening?” by Dennis Merritt Jones spoke the most to me.

For many years, I did not listen to my body. I made it do what my mind thought it should regardless of any signals it was sending to the contrary. A cold wasn’t going to keep me from going to work. Feeling tired? Just push through it…and collapse later. And actually, that’s exactly what did happen. Diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I went from working 16-hour days to sleeping 16 hours a day. My body took drastic measures to make me slow down and listen. I reluctantly made many lifestyle changes-work, diet, exercise, yoga and meditation, etc.-which eventually led me to New Thought teachings and CSLT.

Many I know view this diagnosis as a disability and burden. I came to appreciate it as a way of learning lessons I would never have otherwise learned. I learned to stop and smell the roses. I learned that, even though I couldn’t do everything, I found ways to do what I was meant to do. I learned ways of doing things that were right for me, not necessarily anyone else. I learned what it meant to be a human being rather than a human doing. I learned I have value and worth in just being. I learned that I’m not like everyone else and that’s ok, even marvelous.

As Jones puts it, “…your body-in its current condition-may be a teacher with a message for you, especially if that condition is one of illness, malady, or disability of some sort. What message does your teacher have for you?”

–Janet Salese

GOT SHADES

On a recommendation I went to see her through a Catholic charity. She may have been a nun although she wasn’t dressed as one. She was old, probably the age I am now. I was young, in my early 20’s. She peered at me over her eyeglasses, head tipped down, eyebrows raised, lips perched in a stern wrinkled face. She sat behind a big wooden desk; arms folded in front of her. She stared at me as I sat on the hard wooden chair facing her, although I was ready for a couch. There was no couch. This was low budget counseling. I thought what the heck, I may even get some spiritual guidance here.

I spilled my guts to her.

I was wrong.

In a real annoyed tone, as if I were wasting her time, she said, “Madeline, you see life through rose colored glasses!” I sat there bewildered and quiet. She went on and on about how I was viewing life wrong. When I finally spoke, I said, “You make that sound like that’s a bad thing?!” Honestly, I couldn’t see what was so wrong with seeing life through rose colored glasses. Nearly 40 years later, I still can’t see what’s so bad about it. For this article I asked Google to define seeing through rose colored glasses: “to see things in an overly optimistic, often unrealistic way.” Again, I still can’t see what’s so wrong with that considering the alternative.

Nowadays though, ‘the future’s so bright I got to wear shades!” Love shades. I now see life through the eyes of love. It’s so much easier. It’s so much more beneficial. There’s no longer a need for low budget counseling. I simply soak up all the teachings CSLT has to offer. As a bonus, I do get some spiritual guidance. This is priceless and for this I share my love and remain grateful.

“In an intelligent study of the teachings of the Science of Mind, we come to understand that all is Love and yet all is Law. Love rules through Law. Love is the Divine Givingness; Law is the Way.”

Ernest Holmes – Science of Mind – Page 43.1

–Madeline Pallanes

Visioning

Of the four spiritual practices used in Science of Mind (Affirmations, Spiritual Mind Treatment, Meditation, Visioning), Visioning was the one I had worked with and understood the least. I was delighted that enough people joined me in making this class, which recently concluded, happen.

I had in the past used visualization, such as making a vision board or seeing myself succeed at a task. Maybe even wanting this class to occur now, I helped to manifest it. This is different from Visioning. As the class’ student guide puts it, “It is the difference between directing Spirit to have our way (visualization) and allowing Spirit to have Its way (visioning).”

I had practiced visioning a little as part of a class or in a group visioning for the highest for CSLT. The practice has usually been to center in Oneness, then open to the vision by asking a series of questions: 1-What is your highest vision or ideal for ____? 2- What changes, evolves or becomes as this highest vision comes into existence?

3-Is there anything else which wants to be known, understood or realized? We write down any images, feelings, sounds, etc. that come to/through mind. The leader will then gather these from all the individuals and compile a list, which is then distributed back to the individuals. This has been where I have usually stopped with the practice.

This class taught and allowed me to practice the next step which is that, in identifying themes, you articulate the vision through spiritual discernment. It is fascinating to see what comes through during the visioning process, but what do all these seemingly random ideas mean? What could Spirit be trying to tell me through images of: Dogs barking happily, blue jeans, plaid shirt, playful winged insects, beach, chair on a cloud? Could it be, as one of my classmates suggested, to loosen up, dress down, be happy and relax?

The full title of the class was Visioning: A Way of Life! So, after we figured out what our visioning session was telling us, we were asked to develop a Vision Statement which we make a commitment to become. When you embody the vision, you attune to Spirit and allow Spirit to show you how it wants to express itself through you to bring forth your highest and best experience of life. Bring on the happy, relaxed, casual Life!

Now that I have finally taken this class, I look forward to joining the Vision Core which meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30pm on the Sunday Zoom channel. If you have taken the Visioning class, recently or before, you are welcomed to join in also.

–Janet Salese

Not a Muggle

Sometimes it would seem to be so much easier to just be a ‘muggle’ (JK Rowling’s word for non-wizards), and have life happen to us, and just react blindly and unthinkingly to whatever comes our way. We wouldn’t be aware we were responsible for what we thought, how we chose to carry ourselves in the world or engage with others. We could just let ourselves be carried away by our emotions in this second. We see this happen all around us all the time. It happens to famous people and normal people.

I was in line at the main Tucson Post Office mailing a package just before the holidays in December last year. The line was long and moving very slowly. People were tired of masks, and lines, and just worn out and fed up. A man came in the alternate entrance and cut in line. He had a huge box which was poorly labeled, and poorly taped together for shipping. The post office workers ignored him. They were helping the customers who had been standing in line. He got more and more blustery, without anybody noticing him. After several minutes of complaining loudly about not being served, he left in a huff, taking his big box with him. The man standing in front of me started talking about how that guy made him so mad, and he wanted to just go punch him for being so rude. I smiled at him under my mask, and said “Some people make us happy when they come, and some people make us happy when they go.” My statement caught the guy standing next to me off-guard, and he looked at me really strangely. Eventually his eyes crinkled like he was smiling, he stopped imagining the harm he would do to that guy, and said, “Yeah, you’re right.”

Of course, it’s not really better to be a muggle, and not really possible once we’ve become aware of our accountability for our experience. Sometimes it would feel so consoling to think that I have nothing to do with what I experience – especially when my body hurts, or my heart hurts over some perceived injustice, or I feel angry, or something seems particularly hard or unfair.

Those of us who have been around the Science of Mind teachings have been made aware that we have ultimate responsibility for how we perceive our life experiences. We also know that we have some control over the conditions which pop up in our lives, depending on how much authority we believe we have, and how much we agree with the collective beliefs of our society. It’s hard to stay a muggle when you know you have power. We don’t have ultimate power, partly because we don’t believe that we can, or should be allowed to have it. Master Teacher Jesus is believed to have said (In John 14) “…greater works than these shall he do”. We don’t truly and profoundly know that we live in the Divine, and are of the Divine Nature, and this gets in our way of creating the goodness we imagine for ourselves.

From Ernest Holmes in Ten Ideas that Make a Difference 62.2 (1966): “… the invisible Principle — God, the universal Essence of Reality, the “I am that I am” — is incarnated in us as the “I” which we are. There is the Universal I Am and the individual I. Each one of us is an individual rooted in the Universal I Am — a personification at the level of our conscious perception of that invisible Presence which is both God and man.”

Some of us participated in, or observed, Keith Gorley’s Celebration of Life this past weekend. Keith was very clear on this in his own life. He knew he was of God, at least most of the time, and he loved encouraging others to look within themselves for guidance, and to recognize that that internal guidance, when it was clear and not self-serving (only), was divine in origin.

It’s a practice. We never arrive. We are always, in every moment, part of the divine expression as ourselves and we are always growing and changing, exploring and expressing this Divine Nature as us. Isn’t Life grand?

“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever,
give anyone else the responsibility for your life.” — Mary Oliver, Upstream: selected essays

–Rev Janis Farmer

GOT AMEN

I have always thought saying the word ‘Amen’ at the end of a prayer, was how a prayer was ended. The same as saying, ‘The End’. It ends the prayer, everything is taken care of now, so let’s continue on with our day. It is something I never gave much thought to. I don’t know where I gained that belief but it definitely was my belief.

Science of Mind ends prayers with “And so it is.” I wondered why Amen wasn’t used. I knew I needed more clarification so I searched my Science of Mind library, did some on-line searches trying to find the answer. Why isn’t Amen used? So when the answer couldn’t be found, I did what just about everyone else does. I reached for my phone and asked Google.

“Google, what is the definition of Amen?” Google quickly replied, “uttered at the end of a prayer or hymn, meaning ‘so be it.’ ”

Ahh, so it was starting to make sense. And so it is. So be it. Same thing.

As a child, I learned the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Now I lay me down to sleep, all ending with Amen. These prayers have served me well over the years. They have guided me to where I am now. It was (is) the power of prayer.

“Google, what is the definition of prayer?” Google quickly replied, “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.”

“Google, what is the definition of affirmative prayer?” Google still answered me, “affirmative prayer is a form of prayer or a metaphysical technique that is focused on a positive outcome rather than a negative situation.”

Spiritual Mind Treatment aka Affirmative Prayer, is one of the most powerful resources I can
use. It is the power of prayer. I don’t have to ask Google.

And so it is.

–Madeline Pallanes

Teaching Symbols

The shamrock, a small clover-like plant with three-lobed leaves, grows wild throughout Ireland and is synonymous with Saint Patrick’s Day. Legend has it that Saint Patrick, a Catholic priest and missionary, used this common plant as a teaching symbol to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to Irish converts. The Holy Trinity defines God as being three divine persons (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) sharing one essence. The shamrock was used to illustrate how three unique parts are required and contained to make a whole.

Ernest Holmes also teaches about the triune nature of God: God is threefold in His Nature, i.e., that God is Spirit, or Self Knowingness; God is Law and action; God is result or Body. This is the inner teaching of “The Trinity.” SOM 80.1 He also devised a teaching symbol to illustrate this concept which has become synonymous with Science of Mind.

The upper third represents Spirit or Conscious Mind. It is the cause. This is the idea or thought that wants to be made manifest. How it does this is through Law or Subjective Mind represented in the midsection. This is the creative medium through which the thought becomes reality. It is subjective to and compelled to act upon what it is given through Spirit. The lower third represents Body or Form. This is the manifestation. It is the result of the subjective mind producing what the conscious mind intends.

The left side of the V shows how the process works. The idea created in Mind passes through the Law which must respond by producing the Result. The right side of the V alludes that once this is complete, you return to Conscious Mind to start the process again with a new thought.

The right side of the V is curved to indicate that this entire process is ongoing. We are always in choice and Law is always in action, the result of which is our reality.

As a gardener, another illustration that has been meaningful to me is how a plant comes into being. It starts with a seed, the idea (Spirit). The seed is planted in a creative medium of soil (Law). Here it is acted upon by sun, water, temperature, etc. This results in a plant, the form (Body). You reap what you sow, so sow your thoughts wisely.

For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. ~ Galatians 6.7

Janet Salese

Form is as Real as It’s Supposed to Be

This past week the daily reading in The Science of Mind text has been about ‘Body’. So,
what’s ‘body’? If you’ll refresh your memory from ‘Foundations of The Science of Mind’,
you’ll remember that body is the name for that bottom section of the teaching symbol.
Some other words associated with that bottom section are form, effect, experience, affairs, conditions, riches, poverty, day job, things, results, time, space, illusion, reflection… I’m sure I missed a couple.

This is fine in theory. I mean, we know how it works, right? We have an idea that arises in our minds from the realm of infinite possibilities – that happens in the top section of the teaching symbol. Then we decide to experience that idea, and so we claim it. Once we claim it, actually believe that it will appear, and had the felt, emotional or embodied, experience of it, we’ve expressed our decision to the middle section, the Law, which is subject to our intentional claiming. Law has no choice but to give us what we have claimed, unless we negate our thought before it has time to move into form. If we are clear and consistent, and there is nothing in us to argue with the good we’ve claimed, the Law must deliver it to our experience. This form we’ve called into being must show up. This is the basic teaching as used in the Law of Attraction.

Most of us have noticed that some things, or experiences, manifest easily for us, and others are more challenging. Some people are great with clearing up experiences of ill health, others with sticky financial stuff and some with apparent relationship troubles. Occasionally, you’ll find someone who is exceptionally clear in a couple of areas. It’s my opinion that we have fewer ‘yeah-buts’ in the areas that are easiest for us.

From Dr Holmes, The Science of Mind 86.4, “Another principle which is fundamental to our practice is, that not only what is set in motion can be changed; but that the Truth known is demonstrated. The knowledge of Truth and its demonstration is both simultaneous and instantaneous. Since we are dealing with that which is Limitless, knowing no big and no little, the possibility of our demonstration rests not in the Principle, but in our acknowledgement of, and embodiment in it, of the ideas we desire experienced! … So, in the simplicity of our own language, we try to convince ourselves of the reality of that for which we are treating, knowing that in such degree as we have an embodiment of an idea, it is thrown into a mechanical field and must operate.”

But if we create our experience out of our thought, and we can change it by changing what we think and embody, then how real is it? It’s “as real as it’s supposed to be” (SOM 101.1) What does that mean?

The next sentence of The Science of Mind 101.1 reads, “If the formless did not take form, Spirit would never arrive at self-realization.” Spirit creates to explore its own life experience, and so do we. We cause ideas and experiences to be created on our behalf because we are exploring who we are and who we wish to become. In the next paragraph, “Form is real as form, but it is not self-conscious, it is subject to the power that created it. Forms come and go, but the Power back of them is Changeless. Form is temporary, but Mind is eternal.”

When we believe the experiences in our lives, whether we think of them as favorable or not, have power to rule our lives, it is because we’ve created a story in our minds and we’ve given them power they don’t have.

I’m sure you have changed your mind about an experience, and had the experience change. Right? And I’m sure you’ve called an experience, or a thing, into your reality. And you’ve probably had a few things, and experiences come in and what you experienced wasn’t what you thought you meant. I know I have. This practice of manifestation, causing ideas to come into form is how we continue to learn and grow as spiritual beings. And it’s as real as it’s supposed to be.

–Rev Janis Farmer

Profound Questions

What am I doing here?

Inside star cluster NGC 602

Astronomy includes Cosmology and these studies add to my appreciation of the vast expanse we can see best in a truly dark night sky. It is the night sky that feeds my sense of wonder. It is that sense of wonder that carries my being along on the search for greater meaning.

The search for greater Truth seems inherent in my being.

My search has caused me, and others, distress and frustration on occasion. Also, depression and apathy on occasion. Anger and resentment as well.

My quests have involving medicine, religion and psychiatry. My journey has taken twists and turns yet here I am and could not have gotten here without all the events of the past.

Apparently, I have been gathering evidence that everything is happening for my good. And I can let go of the confining past. I continue to learn from it accept it and move ahead.

Today as I continue seeking, it has become life as I know it. As our cosmos expands, life as I experience it expands in creative consciousness. I now see myself as a continual student, and receiver.

Science of Mind has given me a framework to test ideas, expand my consciousness and practice my experience of connection with the Divine. That Divine includes each of you. Without you I would have remained in the dark. Or asleep without lights to guide me.

–Chris Wheeler

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