Divine Timing

I have always felt I have had my feet in two states, California where I was born, and Arizona where my brother Erik lives in Prescott Valley. Traveling back and forth for four decades I was as much at home in PV as I was in California. Now a resident of the great state 48, I often wonder why it took me so long to commit to something I knew in my heart was where I really wanted to be. All in Divine Timing.

One of several advantages I have learned living in the A-Z is not having to concern myself with time. I no longer must spend days, or even weeks adjusting all the digital clocks in my home, because there was always one, I would forget to reset. It all simply stays the same. Unlike our lives.

As the Spring Equinox approaches, I no longer think about “Springing Forward” but simply being still, and let time be. Spring Forward and Fall Back have now taken on more spiritual meanings. More of, “Divine time”, my time, our time with Spirit/God.

Spring has always represented a time where we spend our time cleaning out and sorting through things we no longer require. A time to create a fresh start. So, we simply spring forward in our actions to wipe our slates clean, moving forward into a new experience. Hopefully, not Falling Back into old habits, and collecting things that tend to anchor us.

Springtime is also when Passover and Easter are celebrated. Two holy-days in the metaphysical realm that often go unnoticed. Why? Because many metaphysicians consider themselves not to be Christian. However, there is more to these holy days than the Jewish tradition’s exit from Egypt, and a rabbit that hides colored eggs.

The current time we are in is referred to as Lent. Lent is an old English word meaning to “lengthen.” Our days during the Spring Equinox become longer. Usually with more daylight to enjoy our outdoor lifestyles. It often is associated with Jesus the Christ and his 40-day endurance and preparation for his trial, and crucifixion. We need not endure or prepare for Lent as a time where we are to give something up, as to suffer, as Jesus choose to do for himself.

Instead, let us reflect on the good, our highest good as Metaphysician’s we experience the time of longer days, as an opportunity of spiritual growth, and progressive unfoldment. It is not the experience of giving up. but having our minds firmly planted in the fertile soil of possibility.

It is a time of “rebirth”, to begin again. We roll away the stone on old ideas, and discover we walk into a new life. The garden of life is for us to enjoy through our human experiences. It speaks to us through restoration, rest, and taking our time, that being Divine time.

Ernest Holmes said, “There is something right within you and within me that is awaiting expression, and what we must learn to do is to get out of the way and let it express itself. Withdraw to ourselves, receive, and distribute this, Spirit.” Love and Law, pg. 95.2

When we understand this principle of Spirit working through us, as us, we realize we are one with the creative power. However, the second thing to understand is all things happen in Divine time. Our minds create in an instant, but it takes a little longer for matter to manifest. So, as we move forward, let us embrace all things new, working for us. Accepting love, and Spirit is our source from which all is created and, it’s not our time, but Divine time.

Namaste, Rev. Rhonda

Who, me?

“Self-acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself into the person you wish to be, long enough to find out who you really are.” Robert Holden

“Become intrigued with what you can be and forget what you were.” Raymond Charles Barker

Enter the “5-Second Rule” having nothing to do with cookies dropped on the floor, and everything to do with how quickly a mind/ego can identify something not “normal” not “habitual” not “known”. Therefore NOT acceptable – so mind switch. NOW!

Mel Robbins is an internationally known life coach and proponent of the “5-second rule”: We are constantly in a flow of good energy and ideas and change but unless we respond within 5-seconds the inertia of autopilot and the distraction of habit will shut down the idea the change and the growth. She labels the two sides of our brain: Inertia and Emergency Stop.

Have to admit I find it absolutely amazing how quickly my mind can drop a topic and flow back into the autopilot of normal. Like much of our teaching – the rule is simple and hard. So grab that idea, that thought, that what if and hang on – in fact do something with it right then.

“The mind is a tool. The question is, do you use the tool or does the tool use you?”              — Zen proverb

And here’s a reminder to myself and to all: every intelligent book I’ve read on working with my mind to do other than the habitual – pretty much insists on meditation in some form as a basic tool. (The less intelligent ones do to, but I try to forget reading them.)

Given the amount of time I’ve thought about it, I should be stellar with it. I’m not.

But reading Pema Chodron gives me hope and encouragement. She describes how she too can have trouble staying centered on breath. Though I am sure she returns to center more quickly than I – it helps to know that every one has to practice a lot.

For me the practice is to practice staying present in this moment and this one and this one. Though I’m not sure I’ve ever made it through three complete moments – I do better when I practice.

As David sings most Sundays – In the Peace I find God – I find myself.

And only by finding my self – spirit embodied and sourced- can I know what next …

–In Peace, Mariann

 

Celebrating Love

Happy Valentine’s Day. As we celebrate Love, love for that special someone, love for ourselves, I wanted to share these poems, taken from various faith traditions, that celebrate the Love of God, of Spirit, of Life.

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”        Mark 12:30-31

 

“May the Lord of Love protect us. / May the Lord of Love nourish us. May the Lord of Love strengthen us. / May we realize the Lord of Love. May we live with love for all; / May we live in peace with all.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

The Upanishads (God Makes the Rivers Flow, E. Easwaran)

 

“Love came out of the former Eternity, / Went away in to the Eternity to come, And didn’t see anyone in the eighteen-thousand worlds Worthy to eat even one spoonful of its sweet sherbet – And when Love reached Truth at last, only this word was left: He Loves them; They also love Him.”

~Rabi’a (Doorkeeper of the Heart; Versions of Rabi’a, C. Upton)

 

“Her heart is full of joy with love, / For in the Lord her mind is stilled, She has renounced every selfish attachment / And draws abiding joy and strength From the One within. She lives not for herself, but lives / To serve the Lord of Love in all, And swims across the sea of life / Breasting its rough waves joyfully.”

Saint Teresa of Avila (God Makes the Rivers Flow, E .Easwaran)

 

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

 

“To be united with the Lord of Love / Is to be freed from all conditioning. This is the state of Self-realization, / Far beyond the reach of words and thoughts. To be united with the Lord of Love. / Imperishable, changeless, beyond cause And effect, is to find infinite Joy.”

The Tejabindu Upanishad, The Shining Self. (God Makes the Rivers Flow, E. Easwaran)

 

“That one I love who is incapable of ill will, / And returns love for hatred. Living beyond the reach of I and mine / And of pleasure and pain, full of mercy, Contented, self-controlled, firm in faith, / With all their heart and all their mind given to me. With such people I am in Love”

The Way of Love (Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 12, E. Easwaran)

 

“The Circle of Love is complete. It comprehends all, includes all, and binds all together with cords of Everlasting Unity. I cannot depart from Its Presence nor wander from Its care. / My Love is complete within me. The Love of God binds me to Itself, / and will not let me go. I shall make a home for you, O my wonderful Love, and we shall journey through life hand in hand. I shall sit in your Presence and learn the wondrous things You will tell me; For you are God.              Love sits within me.

Science of Mind pg. 513. Ernest Holmes

–Love and Blessings to you, Sharon Whealy, RScP

Showing up as a Force of Inclusive Love

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The CSL 2024 Spiritual Living Convention will be held in Charleston, SC, February 19 – 22. There had been initial concern about holding the conference in South Carolina because of the state’s restrictive voting laws affecting African Americans and laws impacting treatment of transgender individuals.

Last November a case was heard by the US Supreme Court regarding gerrymandering of South Carolina districts. The decision has not yet been reported. Justices will decide whether the legislature subordinated traditional race neutral districting principles when it moved most of the Black population from a Charleston County district.

South Carolina does not have a statewide law that expressly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, leaving LGBT people vulnerable to harassment and discrimination in the state. Several localities, universities, and private corporations in the state have adopted local ordinances and internal policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Despite these policies, many LGBT South Carolina residents are not protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity absent a statewide non-discrimination law that includes these characteristics.

Posted under the Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement (SMSE) Council on the CSL website is a portion of a response to the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade: Centers for Spiritual Living’s North Star is our Global Vision, our organizational shared values, and our Science of Mind statement of belief, all of which speak directly to liberty, equality, equity, inclusion, human rights, compassion, safety, self-determination, and spiritual living. For that reason, we are unambiguously in support of the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; unambiguously in support of gender equity and equality; unambiguously in support of LGBTQ+ lives, and unambiguously in support of women being sole decision-makers about their lives, wellbeing, dignity, and choices.

A task force, including the CSL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEI) was formed to study the matter and determined that CSL would indeed hold the conference in Charleston and show up as a ‘force of inclusive love.’ They connected with the City of Charleston and received cooperation in planning an inclusive conference. The Convention’s motto is ‘Soul to Soul to Soul – Lighting the Way of Love.’

A new International African American Museum opened in 2023 in Charleston. Representatives from the museum are participating in opening Convention events. A bus will transport CSL attendees to the museum. (iaamuseum.org) CSL will emphasize that February is Black History Month. A Gullah Geechee choir from the Outer Banks will perform. A diverse group of musicians will be performing at events throughout the conference.

CSL will be supporting Trans and LGBTQ individuals. The committee partnered with the Pride Center, who will have a booth at CSL’s event. After CSL’s gathering, the Pride Center will host a Prom for transgender individuals. Pride is hoping that CSL participants will stop by their booth and leave affirmations of support for those attending the Prom.

I anticipate a lot of stories of participants’ experiences during their time in Charleston. Centers for Spiritual Living is contributing to Social Activism on a global basis. They stress that efforts are not political and do not endorse any candidates. The basis is that consciousness should lead to action; prayer should lead to movement; CSL principles should become reality.

Excerpt from Centers for Spiritual Living Global Vision:

● We envision all people, all beings, and all life as expressions of God.

● We envision a world where each and every person has enough food, a home, and a sense of belonging, a world of peace and harmony, enfranchisement and justice.

● We envision a world that works for everyone and for all of creation.

–Linda Bullock

 

Community Visioning

This past weekend, Reverend Rhonda led us in a community visioning. (In February, the theme for her talks will be Visioning, Visualization and Mental Equivalents.) About 20 people participated both Friday evening and Saturday morning. We gathered to see what would bubble up to be known for the highest vision for our beloved CSLT for this next year.

A wide variety of ideas and images emerged which were analyzed to discover recurring and similar themes. These are my take-aways from this process:

Community – We are a cohesive group. We are a welcoming center. We choose inclusivity and diversity. We are growing.

Fellowship – Many food and coffee references showed up. We want more opportunities to share conversation over meals, potlucks and coffee. We want a place to converge and linger after service. We enjoy each other’s company.

Expansion – We grow as individuals and as a Center. We don’t hide our light but shine it like a beacon for others to see, feel and experience. We want a place to call our own that allows for our increasing congregation.

Joy – There was much laughter in the room. We allow Spirit to express through us in delightful ways. Laughter>Joy>God.

Music – Many song titles were mentioned or alluded to, followed by brief bursts of singing. Music is important to us. We value our musicians. We realized that SOM also stands for Sound of Music.

Open to the Mystery… – The Mystery being the realm of possibilities. We don’t know exactly what the future looks like or how we will achieve it, but we remain open to all opportunities.

This was then all distilled into a theme for the year which is:

Open and expanding into the Mystery…

–Janet Salese

Stone Soup – The value of a spiritual community

A very long time ago, people wandered from village to village exchanging stories of their experiences, while at the same time enjoying the hospitality. As time passed resources in the villages became scarce, and those that enjoyed a nomadic life were discouraged and told there was no food that could be shared. So, one day, a traveler wandered into a village and set up a small encampment. It was on the side of the road not too far from the village marketplace. As they unpacked, they assembled wood and leaves under a large cooking pot. Once the fire was started and the water boiling, a clean stone from their pack was unwrapped from its bindings, and carefully, yet ceremoniously dropped in the pot of hot water. Curious villagers observing the actions of the traveler, began to gravitate towards the boiling pot. As a small crowd began to gather, one by one, each person would ask what was being made in the pot. The traveler would answer, “stone soup!” It is a delicious recipe, and the traveler would be willing to share, but the soup required just a few more garnishes to improve the taste. The villagers scattered, but returned with vegetables, a soup bone, herbs, onions, potatoes, etc., the boiling pot was filled to the brim with its hearty content. After boiling a little more, the soup was ready and plentiful enough for the entire village to enjoy a meal together.

What is illustrated here in the story is not a simple stone and boiling water, but a leap of faith for the traveler to believe in the villagers. For the villagers it is the investment of trust and generosity for the stone soup to become something more than a pot of hot water and a stone.

In the beginning, the traveler knew they lived in a world that was reciprocal and abundant. However, over time they experienced the villages slowly closing, shutting out others to keep themselves safe and only to themselves. There no longer existed, sharing, or caring for one another. The travelers in their experience knew the villagers, like we often do when we experience lack or change, were hoarding their good. What I would name energy, love, ideas, etc. The villagers thinking by holding back they were abundant, when they were poorer, because their energy was stagnant, and they were no longer connecting with one another.

In the Science of Mind, we understand when we are looking through a lens of lack, it is better to clean those lenses and shift our minds from problems to possibilities. We then move mentally from the root cause of “not enough” to abundance. When we create the shift, we refocus on our gifts and possibilities, reigniting connection. Stone Soup may be a parable about the value and significance of community (a village) sharing small parts of their pantries, but it continues to express how often we deprive ourselves and everyone else of a feast when we separate ourselves from the ONE source of all that is. We can have more together than we can separately, the abundance of the soup is the result of a village bringing their resources together to feed everyone. We are each making a significant contribution no matter what amount you bring to the table. It is a feast for all.

As a spiritual community, it is important for us to break bread together. To create a sense of belonging and demonstrate a mindset of connectedness. We invite others into our conversation to share ideas and offer them a dessert of safety and support. As a Center we are in a consciousness of caring for the whole. By sharing our gifts, we will inspire others to do the same. The reward is a banquet that can nourish many, and an abundance of new friends we create new experiences with!

I leave you with these words from Ernest Holmes our Founder:

“We should give of ourselves in love and in service to others, in a spirit of generosity and good-fellowship. To refuse to give is to refuse to receive, for everything moves in circles. Real giving is the givingness of the self. A kind word, a thoughtful act, perhaps just a smile, can help lighten the burdens of others.” (Ideas for Living, 1972, pg. 55)

I look forward to being with you this Sunday and moving forward as a spiritual community.

–In love, Rev. Rhonda

GOT INTENTIONS?

There once was a group of friends who were interested in the Science of Mind and the power of positive thinking. They formed a Mastermind group and were discussing the concept of manifestation and how they could use their thoughts to attract what they wanted in life. They agreed to do an experiment and wrote down what they wanted to see could happen in a month. A month later they gathered to share their results.

The first friend said, “I won the lottery and became a millionaire.”

The second friend said, “I found my soulmate and we’re madly in love.”

The third friend said, “I traveled the world and had incredible experiences.”

The fourth friend said, “I am happy and healthy. That’s it.”

The other three friends looked at him with confusion. They asked him, “Don’t you want anything else? Don’t you have any dreams or ambitions?”

The fourth friend smiled and said, “No, I don’t. I have everything I need. I’m content with what I have and grateful. I don’t compare myself to others.”

The other three friends were speechless. They realized that they had been chasing after illusions and that they had missed the point of the Science of Mind.”

They looked at the fourth friend with admiration and curiosity. They asked him, ” How did you do it? How did you manifest happiness and health so easily?

The fourth friend said, “I didn’t do anything. I just let go and let God. I trusted the Universe and followed my intuition. I didn’t write down what I wanted. I wrote down what I am.

He showed him his paper. It read: “I AM HAPPY AND HEALTHY.” —(Story courtesy of Bing)

Q) What do you call a group of people who use their minds to create their reality?

A) Science of Mind Mastermind group.

Courtesy of CSLT is our very own Mastermind group. We are a group who meet on Zoom and share ideas, insights, goals, challenges, and feedback. Most important, we hold intentions for each other. We help each other grow and achieve success in our personal and professional lives. Let us know if you’d like to join our group, we are welcoming to all!

Q) How many mastermind group members does it take to change a light bulb?

A) None. We just affirm the light is on.

–Madeline Pallanes

Visioning 2.0

It has been an incredible year of manifesting a new minister. I know of a few CSL Centers that have been searching for a new minister for a few years. I feel blessed that Rev. Rhonda is our new minister.

In March of 2023 our CSLT community got together on a Friday night and went through a co-creation process with Dr. Kathy Hern. The outcome of the evening’s work was choosing the main spiritual quality of “wholeness” as we moved forward in finding a new minister. And it made sense to me as I realized that without a minister, there was a piece of our community missing. And I also love the fact that the CSL December theme was wholeness. Everything was in alignment.

Everyone who comes to service, in-person and online is a valuable voice in our community. When we voted to accept Rev Rhonda as our minister, we asked members and non-members for their vote. It mattered. We found 100% of our community wanted Rev Rhonda to become CSLT’s new minister.

Taking advantage of our momentum, we are ready to move on to the next step, I invite you to participate in our Community Visioning for the upcoming year. It will be held on Friday, January 26th from 6:00 – 8:00pm, on Zoom and in-person at the office, 911 S. Craycroft Road and on Saturday, January 27th from 9:00am – 1:00pm in-person at the office.

–Maria

Happy New Year!

After powering through the holidays. Celebrating with all sorts of foods. Then starting a new year, it feels like it is time to change something or other.

What is a reasonable change? Part of me wants to continue with uncontrolled eating and resting. But this is in direct conflict with wanting to feel healthy.

Part of me feels like wow it is time to really change things up and initiate some sort of paradigm shift change. Really shake things up and rise to the dreams that inspire fear and awe because things would be very different.

What are reasonable limitations? And what are my real authentic beliefs?

I know my life is reflecting my beliefs because that is what shows up. Change needs to align with who I am. Fortunately Science of Mind has given me unlimited resources to cope with and advance my future. Even if I experience fear, loss of focus, change my belief, lose steam, or experience cycles of old recurring ideas. I have an exceptional tool called Spiritual Mind Treatment.

With this tool alone my life can change in a way that aligns with those authentic beliefs. One understanding of the Mulitiverse that I adhere to is that Everything Everywhere is in constant eternal vibration. The Multiverse cannot ever be static.

So even when or if I feel off course. I can apply five simple steps and start a realignment.

Life is good and so it is.

–Chris Wheeler

Next Year

It’s an odd bit of time, this week between Christmas and New Year’s. Some spend it cleaning house, some planning for next year (resolu1ons to be prepared), some just letting go of what has been a year which disappeared even faster than the one before. And so it goes.

But what if we stopped and took these precious hours to recognize that as the Stoics have it, every morning we wake up is a gift and we once again are playing on the house. Because no new day is promised it is gifted.

That, for me, can be very hard to remember as the events of the day, the headlines and the promises made all push/pull me in their different, demanding ways.

And so the only resolution I am making this year is to travel the path to that place of gratitude and trust that frees me from the self-created fraught and to simply be who I am. And so I leave you with this prayer/blessing to carry us into the New Year.

In Peace, Mariann

FOR EQUILIBRIUM

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough,
To hear in the depths the laughter of God.

John O’Donohue from To Bless the Space Between

 

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