Last Monday night in the 8-week Meditation class, the student-led meditation was a mantra meditation. The word that came to me to work with was ‘fruitfulness’. What an odd word. I haven’t really thought of that word since I read the Old Testament for Metaphysical Bible while I was in ministerial school. The phrase that came to my mind, “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” (Genesis 1:28, KJV).
So what other ways am I, and are we, fruitful or full of fruits? Well, there’s the fruit of the spirit. (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22, NIV)). Many of the students who completed the How of Happiness book study this past Wednesday night felt that their time and energy expenditure was fruitful, because they learned that they could increase their own personal experience of happiness and contentment within themselves by working from their strengths. Holmes talks about bearing much fruit when he writes (The Science of Mind 481.7), “When we express a greater livingness, then Life is more completely expressing Itself through us. A barren tree does not express the principle of abundance and production, so a life barren of good does not fully express the divine ideal.”
This past weekend, I had this joy of traveling to East Phoenix CSL with our practitioner students so they could take their oral panels and become licensed Religious Science Practitioners (that’s what RScP stands for). Two of them are now authorized to wear the purple stole of service. We will recognize them next Sunday. The third gets to continue to grow in her skills and consciousness and has the opportunity to re-panel next year. It was a sweet, and bittersweet, experience for me, and I think for them. It is easy to remember those days of nervousness and assessment; that feeling of being questioned and challenged about those important and seemingly intangible qualities that set practitioners apart from the gifted and talented lay practicers of our philosophy. For the two who completed their licenses, their spiritual consciousness was recognized and celebrated by the paneling ministers and practitioners who vetted their qualifications and skills. For the one who gets to continue her own personal deep inquiry, she was immersed in love, recognition and appreciation, and encouraged to stay the course. Each of these women, and I, experienced that sweet, and bitter, moment of fruitfulness that can come with certain experiences. I feel blessed and uplifted by these three powerful, prayerful women.
This past Sunday, I spoke about how we often choose to constrain our own experience of freedom, which is a secret code word for fruitfulness, when we unthinkingly or unwittingly accept the directives of others, and do not choose our own life experiences. We got to look at hidden beliefs around the necessity of struggle for the experience of success and the ever present critic, who lives in our own head and decides whether we are good enough, or not. Spoiler alert: The critic is mistaken. Societal pressures would prefer to keep us as compliant consumers, and that’s not what we are here for. (Lest you think, I am against consuming, that’s not what this is about. It is about you, and me, choosing intentionally and not being led by someone else’s ideas of who we need to be.) To quote Robert Heinlein, “Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite.” You get to decide what freedom, and fruitfulness looks like for you, and also to change your mind when that particular path no longer works for you and you realize you have a new and better idea. (The audio of this past Sunday’s talk should be uploaded onto the website within the week. Check the link, here.)
In August we are going to start a community wide book-study using Edward Viljoen’s Ordinary Goodness. A limited number of books are available at the book table. You can also read along on your e-reader if that is more your style. Books are not required, but if you desire to follow along, or read ahead, they are available. We will explore how each of us can experience our own greater fruitfulness, in simple powerful ways, through expressing and experiencing goodness, kindness, compassion and faith. Stay the course. Notice, experience, and enjoy your own fruitful life expression, as you.
Thank you for being part of our community.
By Rev Janis