Why We Are Here – Briefly – Simply

“We should move beyond a commitment to survive into a commitment to prosper. Then, beyond that, we must make a commitment to make this a be;er world. That’s why we’re really here. You might want to start with a prosperity commitment, and then graduate to a commitment to doing good in the world in a real and concrete way. – Edwene Gaines Four Spiritual Laws of Success p 157.

It’s hard enough getting myself to a place that feels like thriving – and now I am supposed to take that commitment into the world….let alone make it a better place. That would be an affirmative. (Note to self: Remember this does not mean trying to change people into what/how I think they should be.)

Then what does it mean for me….

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him – it cannot fail.” — Walt Whitman

“Every right recognition you give to this Life will increase your own livingness. Every time you use It in a dynamic way you will be cultivating the ability to use It in an even more effective manner, and this will go forever. There will never come a time when unfoldment will cease.” Ernest Holmes The Art of Life p 87.2

I know when I’m in Flow with Life, when my thoughts are alive and vibrant rather than cautious, judgmental, defensive. Convoluted thinking is the big sign flashing stop now. Even though I do it so well.

So much of the world around us provides ongoing opportunities and invitations to live otherwise: crabby, critical, self-defeating and angry, the reason to read and re-read books like The Art of Life or A New Design for Living and firecracker Edwene is they provide the reminders and road signs to a better way of thinking.

And if thinking makes it so, and it does, then these guides to better thinking/living are one of the greatest assets we have available. I can use that help every day.

“We conscientiously move forward step by step, idea by idea, and as we do so we find we are able to remove limitations which may now exist and make certain no new ones are established.” – Ernest Holmes. A New Design for Living p 71.3

–In peace, Mariann

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…….

Say: “I am filled with the peace, strength, power and decision of Sprit…. The all-powerful Mind of the Indwelling Christ in me dissolves and dissipates from my mind  all belief in indecision, anxiety.” Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, page 245.

We all make decisions every day; some major, some minor. Do I put this old shirt in the Keep, Donate, or Toss bin? Or should I cut it up to use as cleaning rags? Should we sell our house and if we do, where will we move? Should we rent or should we buy a new place? What decision will yield the best outcome?

Some people have a harder time than others in making decisions. I learned to not ask someone with ADD (attention deficit disorder) an open-ended question such as ‘What do you want to eat?’ They function better with a clear choice – ‘Do you want chicken or spaghetti for dinner?’

Dr. Raymond Charles Barker was a long-time leader in the Religious Science spiritual movement. He wrote many books, including The Power of Decision, which provides a step-by-step program to overcome indecision. Its 270 pages are filled with spiritual mind treatments and affirmative messages to say to oneself. Dr. Barker thoroughly details how we use creative intelligence to effect positive changes. He writes, “A decision alerts the subconscious energies that a sound and solid idea is being accepted by the conscious mind. Upon that acceptance, the law of consciousness acts and a new event or situation is born….. A correct definition of a spiritually acclimated individual is one whose conscious mind, operating in the field of subconscious creative intelligence gives it creative decisions which it then produces as experience.”

His program relies on intention as he encourages that we:

• Make a depth decision to be happy

• Decide to live richly

• Decide to be healthy

• Decide to be creative

I found this book to be full of wisdom. It is clear that indecision is actually a decision. He points out that worry always begets indecision. How we think and feel determines our place in life. All intelligence exists in our consciousness and awaits our call upon it. At the center of our mind is the clear decision we should make. His most popular book, God is Money, states “Money is God in action, and it takes money to put God into action.”

One of his spiritual mind treatments:

There is one originating Intelligence, Mind, and Spirit, and I am Its action, Its outlet, and Its process of revealing Itself. It knows me as Itself, and I know myself as It. Therefore, I am never indecisive. I always have the right idea at the right time. Infinite Intelligence in me knows what to do, and this knowledge is mine at every instant. Original thinking pervades my consciousness, and I am correctly decisive regarding all matters. I know what I need to know at the instant I need to know it. The results of this correct knowing of original ideas bring forth new and improved situations in my life. For this I am glad.

–Linda Bullock

Out With The Old

Order: I organize my life to carry out my purpose. (Rise Into Your Power, Unity Books)

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore, but I do set goals for the year. This year mine was to do a deep clean of my home and purge some of the “too much stuff” that was cluttering it. I had been making progress working on one closet, room, or cabinet on a weekly basis. I was amassing quite a pile of items that I considered better than a Goodwill donation.

About a month ago, a neighbor mentioned she wanted to have a yard sale. Great! Now I had a means to move the no longer needed items out of the house. I told her I could help out and would have some items I could contribute.

I looked around for other things to add and realized there were some areas, such as the garage, where we were just “storing” stuff, items neither Mike nor I needed, wanted nor could remember why we had them in the first place. Why do we have 10 inflatable rafts for the pool? We had at least 40 keys we couldn’t match to a lock!

I kicked it into high gear. At the end of two weeks I now had too much to take over to my neighbor’s sale and told her I was going to have one on my own the day before, then I could bring what didn’t sell to hers.

This past weekend was our sale. The items that didn’t sell were immediately boxed up and taken to be donated to a thrift store. It feels good to know items that were just collecting dust were now back in circulation. I actually have some empty spaces that were once packed to overflowing. I have a sense of calmness rather than feeling encumbered.

It just so happens that for today’s date, May 22, in 365 Days of Inspiration: Joyous Living Journal by Petra Weldes and Christian Sorensen, the title is “Out with the Old and In with the New”. The reflection for the day is: Look around your house. Is there something that is outdated that you would like to replace? Look at your life and see if there are some old patterns you are dragging forward into your behaviors that it’s time to dump.

I just completed clearing out my physical house of outdated items. Now it’s time to do a spiritual housecleaning. How much happier and lighter I will feel to release some of the emotional “stuff” I’ve been carrying around that is no longer needed. I will clear out old thoughts that have been being stored and make space in my mind for new thoughts that serve me now and allow me to grow, not stay stuck in old patterns. I’ll make room for Spirit to fill me with inspiration and purpose.

In the new order of thought, we are likely to fall into as great an error as in the old thought, unless we go much deeper than thinking of God as merely Principle. GOD IS MORE THAN LAW OR PRINCIPLE. God is the Infinite Spirit. Ernest Holmes, SCIENCE OF MIND page 365.4

–Janet Salese

Spiritual Bank Accounts

How would it be if we all opened a spiritual account with the Bank of Life and, realizing that we drawing on the Infinite, each day deposited enough hope and happiness and faith to more than meet any emergency that might possibly arise? The wonderful part about this is that we know Life contains all these things and it wants to give them to us. – Ernest Holmes 365 Science of Mind page 121

Once upon a time I walked into CSLT and opened a spiritual bank account. Unlike my other bank accounts, this one wasn’t about money or investments. Instead, it focused on enriching my spiritual life. I realized that my account balance was initially zero and decided to make regular deposits to build a substantial balance over time. It is an investment in myself and a way to accumulate spiritual wealth.

You might wonder how I make deposits into this spiritual bank account. Naturally, I have my own unique approach:

Tithe: I tithe 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance.

Service: I attend service each week either in person or on Zoom.

Acts of Kindness: With every act of kindness, I make a deposit. It can be helping others, volunteering, or simply smiling at someone. I know these are valuable contributions to my account.

Prayer and Meditation: Our morning meditation group is welcoming to all and a Divine part of my day. Each moment and connection, along with the daily spiritual guidance and prayer, is a deposit to my account.

Gratitude: I practice it daily. Whenever I count my blessings, my account balance grows. Gratitude is my currency. It represents the accumulation of spiritual wealth and blessings.

Forgiveness: Forgiving others–even when it is difficult–is another way I add to my account.

Acts of Love: Acts of love are like gold bars in my spiritual vault. Whether I am loving my family, friends, or even strangers, I know that love is the ultimate currency.

As the days go by, my spiritual bank account grows. My spiritual bank account affects my overall well-being. I feel richer in ways that cannot be measured. When I am faced with challenges, I withdraw from my account—drawing strength, wisdom, spiritual guidance, and love.

Life isn’t just about material wealth. Our spiritual investments matter too. I invest wisely.

I hope you consider opening your own spiritual bank account at CSLT and make these valuable deposits every day.

–Madeline Pallanes

Spirit Is Allness

Spiral galaxy UGC 12295

Recognizing Spirit as the Infinite Intelligence of the universe, knowing It is the creative force behind all that exists. From the limitless galaxies surrounding us to the boundlessness of the tiniest vibration within, Spirit is the source of all things and is behind all creation.

With purpose and all-knowing good, there is nothing not made from this loving, intelligent Substance. What I Love is that the statement carries a profound sense of spiritual awareness and recognition of the interconnectedness of all existence.

It reflects themes found in various spiritual and philosophical traditions, emphasizing the idea of a universal creative force or intelligence underlying all reality.

Better known to us as The Law.

Werner Heisenberg* quantum pioneer said, “Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.”

Deepak Chopra* cites the term “Qualia” as referring to the subjective, conscious experiences that individuals have. These are the raw feelings, sensations, and perceptions that make up our internal mental states.

“Examples of qualia include the redness of an apple, the taste of chocolate, the feeling of warmth from sunlight, or the pain of a headache. They are often considered to be ineffable, meaning they cannot be fully described or communicated to others in their entirety.

In my mind it is quite possible the explanation of these differences and interpretations are the results realized in our mind as we actually create individualized reality from the Infinite.

The Law underpins the Quantum Field; our collective and individualized realities make up a part of the Multiverse.

Discovery is infinite; we will never stop discovering as we move through our lives.

That’s pretty incredible.

*Heisenberg and Chopra quotes from: Quantum Body by Deepak Chopra

–Chris Wheeler

The Song of Life

Tamara Morrison illustration

Ernest Holmes Nature will not let us stay in any one place too long. She will let us stay just long enough to gather the experience necessary to the unfolding and advancement of the soul. This is a wise provision, for should we stay here too long, we would become too set, too rigid, too inflexible. Nature demands change in order that we may advance. When the change comes, we should welcome it with a smile on the lips and a song in the heart.

Over the last three years I have experienced a lot of shifts and changes. Mainly, where I have called home. Southern California, up until a couple of years ago, was where I was born and raised. In 2021 Tempe, Arizona, became a soft place to land until Tucson called my heart, and I now claim Rio Rico as my forever home. It is in this beautiful, rural, green, and hilly place I find Spirit in new niches of my re-established life. One of my favorite “new” daily spiritual practices is to sit on my patio in the early morning, with a cup of tea, looking at the mountains, noticing the light of the rising sun in the east, and how it begins to touch everything and awaken it into the new day. Taking a deep breath, and listening to the environment in which I live, there appears a slight breeze, along with the local wildlife emerging from their places of overnight rest. It is different living in a very rural area where I hear cows mooing, and birds singing, where once sirens were blaring, and the sound of cars going up and down a busy street just a few blocks away.

I would describe it as a different type of rhythm and music I now experience. All of it, I am grateful for. As I write this article, I reflected on the question of, “How many of us have a shift in our environment and recognize only the loss of an old way of being, instead of embracing the new?” As we shift, and settle in, the invitation is to release what was and rediscover the now present surroundings. This is applicable not just to our home but work, our spiritual home, eateries, or other places we visit as a routine. We can experience it as an opportunity to learn something new about what the new space has to offer. New friends, new outside resources, it is all inFinite possibilities.

Infinite possibilities is the invitation created by the shifts and changes in our lives. It is an opening for growth both spiritually and personally. So then why do we decline the ability to receive or do something different? Perhaps it is our comfort level, the routine we find safety in? Or maybe we just don’t want to put the effort into something that would push us into redirecting our lives? Whatever our case for defending our limitation, Spirit will eventually nudge us into submission. The submission part is Spirit opening our eyes to what will support us and create a better living experience.

Spirit is leading and loving us, singing to us a new song of joy and an abundant life daily. It is ours to listen to the rhythm of the universe. To step into a new beat and dance and celebrate all the good we can receive. It is accepting and knowing with a full and grateful heart we are loved. Eleanor Ratcliffe says that listening to a birdsong can lower stress and have positive impacts on mental health. “Birdsong is often a sign that there are no predators around. It’s a sign of safety. And way back in our primordial brain, we may recognize it as such, and relax a little.” How many of us listen to the birds sing? I challenge you to take a moment, stop, allow the air to Flow around and through you. Then listen to the sweet language of all that surrounds you. Yes, take time this week to feel and listen. Feel your heart strings of what your soul wants to sing and listen to that still and small voice of Spirit, singing you a love song of all that is, and all that will be, designed for your highest good. Namaste.

Affirmative prayer: Infinite Presence, I listen to the song of life, of my heart, resonating with the peace, beauty, and harmony that restores my soul. Thank you, God, and so it is. Amen.

–Rev Rhoni Tretsven

What is a Pracitioner?

My first experience with Science of mind Practitioners was at CSL-Santa Rosa. Between services, there would be a dozen or so practitioners in a room and often times a line of people waiting for a “one minute miracle,” a chance to meet briefly with a practitioner and receive a Spiritual Mind Treatment. These brief times of prayer helped get me through some hard decisions, such as ending a relationship and eventually deciding to move to Bakersfield, CA.

At CSL-Bakersfield the practitioners would line up at the front of the room after service and offer SMT or prayer. I found this a valuable opportunity not only in stressful times to have someone know the truth of whatever condition I was in at the moment, but also to affirm Life’s good. Some of my favorite prayers were asking to affirm all is well and good and only getting better – the practitioners loved it!

What is a practitioner? Well, technically anyone who studies and practices this philosophy and teaching is a practitioner. Ernest Holmes writes, “The one who attempts to heal himself or another through recognition of the creative power of Mind and the ever availability of Good, is a mental or spiritual practitioner” (SOM 167). A licensed Religious Science Practitioner (RScP) is someone who has taken classes, completed the practitioner training program, passed a written test and an oral panel.

But beyond the training, an RScP has been called into higher service to their community, themselves, and the world. In her article, “The Consciousness that HEALs, A Practitioner’s Calling” (SOM Magazine Nov. 2004), practitioner Linda Watson says, Religious Science practitioners are loving, healing presences who dedicate their lives to demonstrating the power of spiritual realization and helping others to do so through affirmative prayer and spiritual principles.”

When I started the Practitioner Training program it was as a stepping stone to CSL Ministry, but along the way I found the joy of being of service as a practitioner. I love our form of prayer and the deep connection I feel with Spirit and those I have the opportunity to pray with. During Practitioner Training, I found the value of meeting one on one with a practitioner. A practitioner session is a time to be with a professional practitioner who “uses spiritual principles as the basis for their guidance, teaching and healing work” (Linda Watson).

I continue to meet with my practitioner monthly and it is always a great space to work out whatever is going on in my life.

“It is a practitioner’s business to uncover God in every [person]. God is not sick. God is not poor. God is not unhappy. God is never afraid God is never confused. God is never out of His place. The premise upon which all mental work is based is perfect God, perfect man, perfect being” (SOM 168). The CSLTucson practitioners welcome you to know this Truth with us: God is, I am, All is well, I am grateful, and so it is.

SOM = Science of Mind Text – Ernest Holmes

–Sharon Whealy, RScP


“That which is back of everything must be good, must be complete, must be love and harmony. When we are out of harmony with some special good, it is because we are off the track along that particular line of the activity of Spirit. But how are we to regain the lost Paradise? Only through soul culture and careful self-analysis….A change of consciousness does not come by simply willing or wishing….but a gradual unfoldment of the inner self.” (Science of Mind page 446)

We are driven to learn more about ourselves, especially how we’re special. On social media there are quizzes to reveal a number of aspects of our personality – for example, which fairy princess am I? or which of the 7 Dwarfs best describes me? Of course these are silly.

More than entertainment value, self-awareness is an avenue to spiritual growth. According to Yung Pueblo, “the cultivation of self-awareness is critical not only for those seeking a fulfilling life, but also for anyone who understands the value of appreciating the perspective of another…Self-awareness opens the door to compassion.” Some people develop self-awareness through journaling, others through meditation, and some by paying attention to their emotions when they feel upset or threatened.

Numerous personality tests have appeared over time, the most familiar being the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The test helps people assess their personality using four specific dichotomies, or scales: introversion-extraversion, sensing-intuition, thinking-feeling, and judging-perceiving. Yet what use can we make of this knowledge?

The Enneagram has been introduced as a precise, powerful tool for spiritual growth. Richard Rohr writes, “With the Enneagram, the question is: Why in our encounter with life do we human beings keep running up against ourselves, instead of making a breakthrough to God? …In the Enneagram, God is calling us all to let go of our false self because we don’t need it anymore.” (Richard Rohr, Discovering the Enneagram, pages 10 and 13)

The Enneagram is not an ego-enhancing tool; it calls us to be unsparingly honest with ourselves and to better discern when we are hearing only our own inner voices and impressions and possibly reacting from our prejudices. We must ask whether we can be open to new ways of seeing the world. Of course, personal attitudes were developed as a means of protection in our childhood. We may learn that we are doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

The spiritual growth occurs as we discern where we are off track; recognize the origin and use of the specific thoughts and behaviors; make a judgment as to whether these characteristics lead constructively to our relationship to Spirit or destructively leads away from it; and to decide whether to accept or reject the knowledge revealed and to utilize the wisdom in our lives. This means the Enneagram can show us where change may be beneficial. Of course, we have self-determination and can choose our actions.

Our new class on Enneagrams begins April 21 and runs for 11 weeks.

–Linda Bullock


Well, I’ve done it again. Here it is, the late night of the day this article is due. I’ve had plenty of time to think about something really cool, profound or witty to write about but nothing much has come to mind. I do it every time as this isn’t my first newsletter article. I don’t know why I do this over and over (and expect different results), but I do it in all areas of my life. I am quite skilled at it. Is this something I desire to be skilled at? Not really. I procrastinate.

Why do we procrastinate? I say “we” because the likelihood is you too, procrastinate. If I have to be up late writing this, I’m going to keep you up too. Let’s discuss procrastination….

Google experts define procrastination as a self-defeating behavior pattern marked by short-term benefits and long-term costs. Many of us know it as putting off things that we need to get done, no matter the level of difficulty behind the task. Procrastination is caused by the same things it creates: stress and anxiety. We avoid tasks because they overwhelm us in the moment. This feels good momentarily-we get to do something we want instead, and we don’t need to address any obligations. As good as those sound, that’s the bad news.

The good news is there are solutions to procrastinating that takes some practice and perseverance:

• Reduce the number of decisions we need to make throughout the day. Every decision we make has an energy consequence.

• Develop a practice of using the Science of Mind Affirmative Prayers.

In our Science of Mind philosophy, affirmative prayer is a powerful practice that aligns our thoughts with the all-good of God. It helps shift our consciousness, making us open and receptive to the good that already exists in our lives. Let’s create an affirmative prayer specifically addressing procrastination-with a little help from Bing experts.

1. Recognition:

• Know that God is all there is.

• Recognize that the Divine Presence is within you, guiding and supporting you.

2. Unification:

• Know that you are one with God.

• Understand that your true nature is connected to the infinite wisdom and creativity of the Universe

3. Declaration:

• State your word for the circumstance you want to manifest.

• Declare your intention to overcome procrastination.

• Affirm that you are taking inspired action now.

4. Thanksgiving:

• Give thanks for your good as though it’s already yours.

• Express gratitude for the motivation, focus, and discipline that are flowing through you.

• Thank the Universe for supporting your efforts.

5. Release:

• Let go of any resistance or doubt.

• Release any thought of delay or hesitation.

• Trust the Divine Intelligence is guiding you toward productivity and success.

Remember, affirmative prayer is not about repetition; it’s about belief, acceptance, and direct communication with the Divine Presence with in you.

–Madeline Pallanes

Sagebrush Sam

I have been reading a copy of “Your Aladdin’s Lamp” by Hornaday and Ware. An account of an “unsavory” cowboy type chewing large chaws of tobacco and smelling like the cattle he had been tending studying at the Institute.

Sagebrush Sam, as he was referred to, came to the Institute to learn how to speak   the word so he could go home to heal his cattle because the doctors were not accomplishing the task.

Sam had gotten hold of a Science of Mind magazine and understood the practice of Science of Mind to show practical results. As it turned out Sam was an excellent student with a pleasant demeanor. At one point he asked a woman who was suffering from a chest cold if she would like him to speak the word for her. The woman agreed to accept his help. Speaking a brief treatment to relieve a woman of the cold. To the woman’s amazement (and the entire class) the cold disappeared.

Sagebrush Sam received a communication right before he was to be officially a graduate and announced he was going home. Sam was approached and encouraged to stay for graduation.

Sam responded with I didn’t come here to get a certificate; I came here to learn the process. I got what I came for and he left and was never heard from again.

Sam’s statement about learning the process is very relatable. To me it makes it seem that the process can be simple. And my understanding can be general. I believe treatments can be simple and direct. I am grateful that there is a system to follow. But for me this is where the work begins.

Currently, I am auditing Foundations to continue to expand my abilities knowing the Truth. I was jumping around in my appendix and came across Concept 6

“This is a Universe of infinite abundance, spiritual, mental, and physical. This bounty of Spirit, this allness of God is limitless and can never be exhausted or depleted.”

As a human being I will never have the ability to completely understand the Law, I need only know that it works.

So as I learn more and more about God the multiverse and abundance in practice all I really have to do is increase my ability to know the Truth.

–Chris Wheeler

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