Got Relief?

How do you spell relief? R-o-l-a-i-d-s? How you spell relief tells me a lot about you, without possibly even knowing you. For those of you too young to know, many years ago there was a commercial for Rolaids on TV. In the commercial the question was asked, “How do you spell relief?” The answer was R-o-l-a-i-d-s.

This past month I struggled with what to write about for this week’s newsletter. I kept thinking the words and thoughts would come to me, so I kept putting it off. I wanted the feeling of relief, knowing it was done. Last night as the deadline was drawing near, I received a lovely text from one of my dear friends who happens to be a member of CSLT. I blabbered on about the frustrations I was dealing with and then said, “Right now my mind is bogged down… I’m just feeling slightly overwhelmed… feeling a bit worn out….. but I know this too shall pass and tomorrow will be better.” She replied, “(Big breath in…then out…ahhh) I center and relax in the peace that all is well.” I felt immediate gratitude and joy for her companionship and guidance AND I felt immediate relief.

My morning meditation practice also gives me the feeling of relief. How fortunate I am to be able to rely on my morning meditation to feel relief. Morning meditation is my participation in our daily morning practice of meditation. Often during our discussion, I’ll write down what someone has said so that I can remember it later. Here are some thoughts that have come up during discussion and are held on my refrigerator by my CSLT nametag:

  • Live life on purpose
  • Who am I without my stuff?
  • Help me to understand
  • Divine ideas guide us to the best solution
  • If problems arise, get help
  • What is your greatest worry? Why do you tolerate it?
  • Lead me into situations I desire
  • Leaders don’t have to be vocal
  • Train your thoughts so that your outcome is always good

I feel relief just reading them.
So how do you spell relief? I spell it C-S-L-T.

Madeline Pallanes

The Value of Meditation Practice

I am incredibly grateful that I have and use the spiritual tool of meditation on a daily basis. Since beginning my daily practice of Transcendental Meditation on June 10, 2016, I have experienced much change. I credit the opportunity and the courage to start and run my own business to this daily practice.

A change that occurred on July 7, 2016, was the transitioning of my father. Chris and I had visited him the previous November and I met his husband for the first time then also. I had separated myself from my father for many years and had reconnected in the 5 years before his passing. I consider his good energy and spiritual support as a component to my successful business also. He had been diagnosed with cancer only 6 weeks previously and I was to go to the oncologist with him on July 10. He was in Florida, and I was going to spend the week with him. When I received a phone call early Thursday morning on July 7, I knew as soon as I saw my sister’s face on my phone that he had passed. I still carry the notes I made when he told me his body was weak and his spirit was strong along with his obituary in my wallet. I am also listening to my Spotify playlist of Chopin. He used to play Chopin when I was in bed at night, and I have a special place in my heart for this music.

Back to meditation – it is one of the tools that CSL teaches for use in manifesting the Divine throughout our daily lives. Two of the others are affirmations and Spiritual Mind Treatments. I know that there are numerous ways to meditate and the best one to use is the one that you use. What is exciting for me about TM is that I can easily use it.

I am in a 12-step fellowship and the 11th step speaks to employing prayer and meditation. Before TM, meditation meant clearing my mind. Clearing my mind is actually physically painful for me. It is incredibly hard, and I shudder when I consider attempting to do it. I soft of copped-out on meditation considering it as listening to God which I did not do too often. And then in SOM, it was more like I am a manifestation of the Divine and I did not understand how to listen to something I am part of. Now I think of listening to the Divine as accessing my higher self. Which I am able to do at times and other times not.

The first time I took Foundations was with Reverend Donald Graves. He is a devout practitioner of TM. I shared with him that I had taken the classes when I was 19 and had been in a halfway house in Minneapolis. The director of the facility used TM and considered it the basis of her recovery. She arranged for the house to be offered TM classes. My parents paid for it as an investment in my recovery. I took the classes, received my mantra, and practiced for a short period of time. The classes actually felt a little bit like a cult, and I chose to not do continue practicing thinking that if I felt it was a cult, then by practicing TM, I was, in effect, participating in a cult. A little circuitous but I was 19. When I investigated TM in Tucson in 2016, I found out that once you have taken the classes, you have lifetime support. That was good because the classes were prohibitively expensive. I re-took the education part of the classes and resumed a daily practice during the Foundations class.

I happily explained to Donald in June that I had meditated 5 times that week and that the two days I had not done it were due to understandable circumstances. He confronted me! He said it was a daily practice and I either did it or I did not! I was surprised but began the daily practice.

I had one good run that lasted for 2 1⁄2 years not missing a day but have missed two handfuls in the five+ years.

I received guidance from the Tucson TM teacher, Denise Gerace, when she told me about a daily Zoom meditation practice led by Bob Roth of the David Lynch Foundation. Yes, that David Lynch! He practices, believes in, and supports TM. The Foundation provides TM free-of-charge to inner-city, at-risk youth, to veterans, to survivors of conflicts in Africa and to women in domestic violence shelters, among others. The Zoom is 177-174-913. Bob records live meditations at 8:30am EST and at 6:00pm EST. The meditations then repeat on the hour. Actually, there is a 9:15am EST meditation and then it repeats on the hour. Tuning into these twice-daily calls where Bob speaks for a few minutes on topics ranging from butterflies to neuroplasticity to algae followed by 20 minutes of meditation where he minds the time and concluding with a poem or word-of-the-day has become a favorite time of the day and something I look forward to with pleasure.

It feels great to have a practice that relaxes me and contributes to my well-being and that is fun to do in a peaceful sort of way. I encourage anyone that is interested in TM to contact me. I am open to sharing resources of which I am aware.

–Marya Wheeler

The Contagion of Fear, Or Not

It occurred to me that for the last 16 months, most of my focus has been on the Pandemic, which appeared to be under control, and now has reared its ugly head again with warnings about possible cardiac side affects from current vaccines for young people, and of course, the new highly contagious, Delta variant that has come front and center.

Thoughts of fear and dread that can easily accompany this information overload have a tendency to overwhelm me. I decided to open up Living the Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes and see what he had to say regarding FEAR. I share some of his quotes from pages 362-363, which gave me great comfort.

First of all, if you are filled with fears, do not harbor them as a great secret in your life, but find some close friend or confidant to whom you may unburden your whole soul. This will release the tension, which your fears have built up in your body. Just to talk with a calm, confident person, who can point out the reason why you need not entertain these fears is a great relief.

For the next thing, you must learn to face your fears. You should not be afraid to analyze them and you should explain to yourself just why you know there is nothing to be afraid of.

And the next thing to do is convince yourself that you would not be here were there not a Power greater than you are that put you here. Never be afraid to say to this Power and this Divine Presence: “I now lay down all my fears, doubts and anxieties. I pass them back into the great and perfect Life of which I know I am a part.”

We all need to resurrect this little child within us, who unfortunately has been so buried in our unhappy experiences that we have almost forgotten she was there. But we have not quite forgotten, have we? We all need to resurrect the confidence in life which we had in our youth.

Faith alone can heal this confusion and drive from our minds all thoughts of fear, and dissipate all anxiety. Love alone can bring harmony into our lives. So, say to yourself:

“I lay all fear aside, and in confidence and complete faith I turn to the one perfect Divine Presence, knowing that the light of Truth shines upon my path even as Divine Love guides me to the Secret Place of the Most High, where I dwell under the shadow of the Almighty.

I know there is nothing to be afraid of in God’s world. Fear cannot operate in me, nor can it go forth from me. At the very center of my being there is a consciousness of the protection of Divine Love, the guidance of Divine Wisdom, and the strength of Divine Power..

And I turn in to the great God, who knows all things and who can do all things, and say: “Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom; lead Thou me on.”

All of the above really enabled me to change my mind and my mood, and I pray that Ernest Holmes wise words help others who may suffer from fear of any kind.

Namaste, Janie

 

 

Experiencing the Father

Fatherhood often gets a bum rap. We are conditioned, almost from our earliest years, to have a limited or one-dimensional version of this person, this human who participated in our creation, and contributed in one way or another to our growth as an individual. In comedy, the father figure is often the brunt of jokes and in literature, he is frequently portrayed as the absent or distant winner-of-our-daily-bread, or some sort of dark and foreboding taskmaster. He can be the fixer of all things broken or the one who broke them.

One of my best early memories of my dad happened when I was about ten. We were living in southern California at the time, at the edge of chaparral country. All the kids walked to the elementary school that was a couple blocks down the street and most of us walked home for lunch. It was a pretty idyllic time and place. One of my two best friends lived next door on a family farm. I remember the climbing trees, the berry bushes and the chickens in the roost. My other best friend lived across the field behind the elementary school. I remember hurrying home across that field, more than once, so that I would be home by dark (my curfew). My major mode of transportation was my big, sturdy, hand-me-down, bicycle that took me everywhere.

I didn’t have much experience with my dad. He had been overseas a lot on remote duty with the Air Force. I knew him from the daily letters our mom would get in the mail while he was away, and the short visits between foreign tours, and when he would come home for extended holidays. This time he had gotten posted at an air base in southern California where we could be all together as a family. While he was on these remote assignments, he spent a lot of time building things at the Hobby Shop, a place on the base where the airmen could go, hang out, and make stuff. It was the safest and sanest thing that these young men could do when they were away from their homes and their families. And yes, I realize I am making up this story.

In any case, when we were in southern California, he built a large balsa wood glider. It had at least a four-foot wingspan and he worked on it in the evenings for months and months. When it was finally finished, he needed help to fly it. We went out to the cow pasture behind our house and I held it, his masterpiece up over my head. He had glued what looked like drapery hooks under the fuselage. The rope that he used to launch it was draped over these hooks only for launch. He ran, tugging on the rope, pulling the plane out of my grasp. When the plane became airborne the rope fell away and the glider moved freely, untethered. Most of the time it flew. Sometimes it was only a short glide and a hop as it skidded along the grass, sometimes it caught the wind and rode the currents of air, up and up and up. We flew his glider for a number of months, getting a little braver and more adventurous each time. One day we took it to a new place by a road. It lifted brilliantly, caught the drafts and rose and glided just like the buzzards that rode the currents of air. It was breathtaking. Then suddenly as if it had run out of air, it plummeted to the ground, nose first onto the road. We both ran over to it, a pile of splinters and fragments, nothing to salvage. Heartbroken, I asked if he could fix it. He shook his head sadly and said no. Dejectedly, we both walked back to the car. I am sure he mourned the loss of his creation, though I was not aware of it. He put his model building tools away and took up other hobbies. Mostly he did the typical family things with all of us, visiting picnics and playgrounds, playing with frisbees and balls, taking hikes and drives. He didn’t return to building models until our brother was old enough to want his help in building model airplanes or star fighters from pre-cut kits of plastic bits.

So what is the Fathering Principle? According to Fillmore’s Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, it is the “exact and immutable Principle of Being, lying back of all existence as cause, and approachable only along lines of perfect law. It is omnipresent and not subject to change or open to argument.” Holmes calls it the “Assertive Principle of Being; the Self-Conscious, Self-Propelling Power of Spirit; the Projective Principle of Life, impregnating the Universal Soul with its Ideas and concepts; the Self-Assertive Spirit in either God or humanity.”

How does this show up for each of us? We father ourselves, encourage, assert and support our own sense of being and purpose. Is it hard? It seems hard sometimes; sometimes we seem to fail. What then? We gather ourselves together, regroup and get back up. It is worthwhile? You bet. It’s the best game on the planet.

–Rev Janis

Got Fear?

Most recently, I have noticed more fear conversations inside my head. These fear conversations have probably been going on all along, I just hadn’t noticed them much. Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Fear is part of (almost) everyone’s life experience. Sometimes we use fear to our advantage and sometimes we use it to our disadvantage. Sometimes fear is valid, sometimes it’s not. But it’s there none-the-less. It’s used in all of us in different situations, surfacing one thought at a time. Fear. Fear is an “F” word.

But what about the other “F” word? You know what word I’m talking about. It is in each and every one of us, too. Sometimes we use it to our advantage sometimes we don’t remember to. But it’s there none-the-less. We remember to use, sometimes, in different situations, surfacing one thought at a time. Faith. Faith is an “F” word.

In The Science of Mind glossary (page 591), Faith is defined as ‘“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is a mental attitude, so inwardly embodied that the mind can no longer deny it. Faith is complete when it is both a conscious and subjective acceptance. Faith may be consciously generated. In spiritual terminology, faith means a belief in the presence of invisible principle and law which directly and specifically responds to us. “Thy faith has made thee whole.”’

Which “F” word is more prevalent in your thoughts? I have consciously generated many fear thoughts throughout my years. Most of these fear thoughts were only a thought. Any thought can be changed. I’m letting go of the thoughts that no longer serve me. I am changing so that my faith is complete with a conscious and subjective acceptance, one thought at a time. I am living a life I love though the teachings, practices and faith of CSLT.

Madeline Pallanes

It’s OK to Feel OK!

It is okay to feel okay! In fact, it is even okay to be happy! My 89-year-old mother says that we feel guilty feeling happy when so many people are sad and when there are so many problems in the world. It is like a survivor’s guilt. If I am happy, does it mean that I do not care about global warming? Does it mean that I do not think it is important if the school kidnappings in Africa have included children as young as 4? Do I not express my concern through my feelings of distress?

I still struggle with this ingrained belief, but continue to focus on living in the belief of “All As Spirit” helps me feel some relief. I work hard at feeling good. The decision to feel good that does not always translate into the emotion. However, I also decide to act in ways that promote happiness.

During a recent “Roots of the Science of Mind” class, Rev. Janis began the session with a video in which there was a regular recitation of Neville Goddard’s meditation, “Isn’t it wonderful?” The goal was to experience a feeling of wonder and joy. In Resilient, the book we’re using in the June book study, there are short experiential exercises on grabbing hold of a happy feeling and basking in it. With both of those examples, I was not able to translate the feeling into a happy feeling or even a pleasant experience. It is like I tamp down those feelings.

Two weeks ago, I talked to my therapist about those experiences. I practice EMDR with her which is a treatment modality designed to free one of stuck emotional reactions by processing traumatic experiences that, in effect, get stuck in our psyche. I have found the process extremely helpful. My therapist talked to me about asking the Universe for help in feeling good and being willing to surrender fear. I wrote that on the back of the index card that I have by my PC with Emma Curtis Hopkins’ quote from page 96 of Scientific Christian Mental Practice, “I do believe that my God now works with, through, by and as me, to make me omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. I have faith in God. I have the faith of God.”

Daily, I have been asking the Divine for a sense of connection. This is also where I allow myself to recognize myself as the Divine and then surrender fear. What surrendering fear looks like to me is to relax and spend money that I used to hoard. We tithe on our personal income, and I pay the handful of medical bills that accumulate every few months. I allow myself to take money from an account where I have stashed it. My fear is often around financial lack which I imagine and then pull into me. For the last two weeks, I have been happier and have relaxed more. I repeat to myself when challenges arise that it is okay to feel okay. It is even okay to feel happy. I plan on reading the book and attending Rev. Janis’s class on resilience. Perhaps I will have a different experience this time.

–Marya Wheeler

The Magic of Words

Love casts out all fear, removes all doubt and sets the captive free.

Ernest Holmes

These words are found in many places in the writings of Dr. Holmes. Words do have a magical power of words, like casting a spell. Words that I believe, take to heart, do affect my behavior, most of the time unconsciously. It takes a conscious effort to look at my thoughts to see where the thought obstacles are keeping me stuck.

In a recent Sunday reminder, Rev. Janis read from Frederick Bailes book Hidden Power for Human Problems.

Therefore, I now declare that it is a vestige of my former destructive thinking. I emphatically state that it is completely out of line with the Infinite Thinker’s thoughts, which are trying to manifest perfectly through me. It is a squatter living on territory where it has no rights of any sort. I call in the Law to evict, dissolve it, and negate it right now. I wash my hands of it. I don’t have to fight it, worry about it, or pay any attention to it. It is nothing trying to be something. It is no more real than the bogeyman that scared me as a boy. I turn every last thread of my thought to the contemplation of God in me, through every single cell of my body…

Bailes did a spiritual mind treatment (a reverse spell) on beliefs he had held to be true about his diabetes. I too can reverse my beliefs that are stuck in my memory, no longer to be relived, but relieved by casting a new spell, making a new claim. I choose these words joyously, by finding a wand, and playfully touching my shoulders and claim, “I now am free from all doubt, I open myself to my Divine Inheritance of a life filled with joy, wonder, love and light.” And so it is.

–Maria

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Bev Holland (RScP, with the CSL in Tacoma WA) led the morning meditation practice today, and I got to join because my 4-month (zoom) class in Spiral Dynamics ended last Tuesday. It was a treat for me to just hang out as a participant for a change, instead of lead.

The reading that Bev chose for this morning was from Ernest Holmes’ 365 Science of Mind. As always there were certain phrases that jumped out for different people. Some of the big ideas presented in this reading:

“spiritual laws execute themselves, just as do other laws of nature”

“my word penetrates every unbelief in my mind, casts out all fear, removes all doubt, clears away every obstacle, and permits that which is enduring, perfect
and true to be perceived by my mind.”

“all the statements I make … will be carried out as I have spoken.”

We get to remember the power that lives as us delivers on our commands every time. This is wonderful, and sometimes horrible news, because it means we have built-in accountability. It’s not ever punishment, but simply a recognition that our words, and the thoughts behind them, already have the power to create our experience, whether we are conscious of this fact, or not.

We also get to remember that we seldom understand the whole picture of our experience until well after the fact. It was Danish philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard who said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forward.”

And from the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – “Everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, then it’s not yet the end.”

We have lived through an ‘unprecedented, and historic’ (not really, but it sure feels like it) challenging 15-months. For some the individuals and groups, difficult and confronting times continue. None of these experiences are the truth of our being, they are just experiences we have had, and some continue to have.

One way to improve your ability to deal with life as it presents itself is to have a spiritual practice. If you don’t already have a daily morning practice of stopping for spiritual nourishment, I truly encourage you to start. If you don’t know what to do: read some spiritually uplifting writings or bask in some uplifting music or just simply lift your eyes to appreciate the beauty of where you live, followed by spending a few moments considering the wonder and beauty of whatever you’d stopped to notice, and then express gratitude to yourself, and to the greater whole, however you experience it. That’s a great place to start building a spiritual practice.

Further, each one of us can strengthen our resilience muscles, which increase our ability to engage with life and not lose our spiritual center. Get the book (Rick Hanson’s Resilient), read and consider the ideas, join the exploration on Sundays, and/or Tuesdays 5:30-7:30pm, and practice being more of that divine being that I know you already are.

–Rev Janis

Welcoming The Divine Feminine

The Valley Spirit never dies.
It is the woman, primal Mother,
Her gateway is the root of Heaven and Earth.
It is like a veil, barely seen,
Use it, it will never fail.
— Lao Tzu

I have been participating in a 21-day Meditation practice with Alicia Keys & Deepak Chopra that has made me aware of the Divine Feminine, which is a part of every being, and has often been pushed aside by a more Patriarchal view of many religions.

The Divine Feminine is grounded in spirituality and represents the connection to that part of our consciousness that is responsible for nurturing, intuition and empathy, regardless of our gender.

It is the aspect of ourselves that is associated with creation, community, and sensuality (in a experiential or felt sense rather than in a thinking sense) and collaboration.

The Sacred Feminine is the aspect of the Divine that brings the spark into being through the currents of love that reveal an ocean of Oneness into the multiplicity of all creation.

Through honoring the Sacred Feminine we can find a natural access to spiritual qualities like receptivity, patience, the ability to enter and to care for all of life.

I need to tap into this Divine aspect of my own being and am studying how to do it.

Isn’t it something that we all need to tap into in order to become more balanced and centered in this ongoing Pandemic?

I don’t know about you, but I need all of the above.

–Namaste, Janie

 

Gardening with Ernest

Guard well this garden of your mind. It is God’s garden of your soul. It is your Garden of Eden wherein may grow your fondest desires and hopes, blossoming into fulfillment.
— Ernest Holmes, This Thing Called You Chapter V

When I go out into the yard to plant flowers or pull weeds Ernest Holmes is with me. I think of his using the metaphor of planting ideas like seeds into the fertile soil of the Creative Medium. Seeds are put into the ground, the claim is made, and things grow in “thy time not my time” as Elizabeth Kubler-Ross used to say. Each type of seed has their own germination time. Sunflowers germinate in a week or so, and other plants may take many weeks to germinate.

Sometimes I buy plants from the nursery and when I remove them from the container, and they are root bound. This causes the plant to have stunted growth and it is time to put them in a larger container or in the ground. This is true with human life as well, roots need to spread to become stronger and healthier.

It may be necessary to cultivate your garden, to uproot the weeds and straighten out the rows, planting new seeds – new ideas, broader visions and deeper realizations of life. New aspirations must be bedded here, fertilized with the fervor hope, the conviction of faith, the beauty of wholeness and quietness of peace. Watch your garden carefully, guarded patiently, waiting for a new harvest –
for you shall reap what you have sown.
— Ernest Holmes, This Thing Called You Chapter V

When I pull weeds, my mother joins Ernest and me. She would say, “You have to pull out all the quackies,” which meant all of the roots needed to be pulled out. I get my weed digger and loosen the soil around the roots and gently pull. Most roots are surprising long. It makes me think of my doubts and fears, how they seem to resurface even though I thought I had dealt with them. By nurturing my connection with God, and tending to my thoughts, the doubts and fears seem to pop up less and less.

Go often, into your garden. Sitting under the tree of life in cool, quiet communion, you will find fresh inspiration. God will go forth anew too into creation through you.
— Ernest Holmes, This Thing Called You Chapter V

I have planted the front yard with sunflowers, hollyhocks and snapdragons. They bring me much joy. And I see my neighbors stop and look at the flowers, which also brings me great joy.

Watch carefully, then, this garden of your soul. Plant there only seeds of happiness, of joy, of peace and of — Ernest Holmes, This Thing Called You Chapter V

–Maria

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