Friday, July 27, 2007

prayer at the airport

Spiritual resource to share: love and connection

It's been an airport kind of week. We saw our very fun and much loved Korean "son" off on his flight back home to South Korea. I dropped another son off on his way to see his best friend and then went on to pick up my other son who was coming back from Germany.

I have to say that one of my favorite places to be and to pray is right in the middle of the bustle of the international arrivals part of the airport. It is such a hopeful place.

For all of the variety of races, languages, dress and greetings - there is the undercurrent of energy that fuels the reason for all of this activity. And it is happiness. "Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it."

I get to the arrivals section a little early. I like to do this when possible. I watch people as they wait for others, then see their faces light up when they find who they are looking for.

We (those who are waiting) are supposed to stay in a designated area behind a rope, so that when they (the passengers) arrive, they have an unblocked walkway. This all makes sense. Except when some people have been waiting so long for the people that they love so much, that no barrier is going to effectively hold them back one second longer from hugging the ones they have been waiting for as soon as their faces clear the doors of the entry.

So, I watch and wait and feel a little of what MBEddy talks about in Science and Health: "Hence the eternal wonder, — that infinite space is peopled with God's ideas, reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms."

More faces, some tired, happy, searching the sea of faces. I think: we are all so connected. We are all children of God, who is Truth and Love. One Truth. One Love. One family. I feel such hope. So, I ask myself: Can I reflect in some degree the infinite depths of God's love to embrace all of humanity? Can I echo Jacob's humbled response to his brother "I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God." I am so engaged in this life lesson of love and connection. I know I'll be spending my life finding ways to answer yes over and over again.

My questions are interrupted as I see a tall young man who is looking over the crowd gathered behind the rope at the arrivals gate. It is my son. He seems taller, more confident. I wave, we hug and so begins the long ride home and hearing of adventures, new perspectives and the plans for bringing this all back home.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How big is God?

Spiritual resource to share: expansion

I have been reading this verse from the book of Hebrews over and over again this week.

"...the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than eny two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Wow. Does God get any edgier than this? Not only does this sentence cover the speed and power of God's word, but also God's expansive scope from soul and spirit to the intents of the heart.

When I am dealing with my own problems, there is a moment when I am caught up in it and it feels like I can't get out of a cloud of pain or fear. It is this moment that I pray to commune with God. Knowing that God's word is quick and powerful and that God knows the most intimate thoughts in my heart breaks that mesmerism and healing follows. And not only healing, but an increasing joy to know, once again in a new way, that God is all. And I am assured that there will be an infinite number of opportunties to understand and experience the infinite God.

When confronted with a situation in healing, we may be impressed with trying to find out how big the problem is. The better approach may be to ask the question is How big is God?

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Zwischenraum. The space between things.

Spiritual resource to share: open space

This is a neat word shared with us by our German "son" who stayed with us the month of June. Zwischenraum. The space between things.

I think it explains a feeling I have had in a wide variety of circumstances. Sometimes, I am extremely busy and mentally occupied with various tasks, I'll have a feeling of space between activity. More than just the absence of action, these spaces have felt very free and open. I sometimes have these feelings when I am not terribly occupied as well. In short, these are very non-discriminatory open feelings - capable of showing up uninvited and unannounced at any time.

In this space, I ask the question "What is this all for?" "Does it matter if I take this course of action or not?" Does it make a difference? And if so, to whom and for what reason?" These questions make me want to take a deep dive into how I am living my life and swim around in the fountainhead for awhile.

It leads me to look at Jesus' life. It is remarkable that his mission lasted just three years. The Bible records about 34 of his physical healings, a variety of healing accounts involving nature, his major sermon, parables, his notable birth, crucifixion and resurrection. Of the multitudes of people he healed, only 70 left a record as followers.

So what did Jesus think of in the space between his activity. Did he, too, ask questions about what and why he was there and doing what he was doing? I can only assume that he must have been a profoundly compassionate man, with a clear sense of his mission of Love. He must have known as well as he knew he could breathe that Love would save us all.

What is the nature of this Love? Love saves and nourishes. It cannot exist alone. It must have expression. It is self-regenerative. So Love has its own reflection and expression. Jesus must have understood that Love must have expression as well as reflection. It must come to us in a form that we can understand.

The spaces between the moments of activity (our expression) are our pause, our rest, a time filled with openness to meditate on being (our reflection). It is the self-regenerative nature of Life, Love, which is God.

Love continues to come to us in a form we can understand. Sometimes it is a person, a comment, an inspiration out of the blue, sometimes it is a sunset; but love continues to do what Love does: rejuvenate, nourish and cause to grow. That is its nature.

And our nature, as children of Love, is to express this and reflect this. Between our moments of activity and our moments of rest, we have space to experience the openness and freedom to feel just how multifaceted love is and just how primitive and radical Love is to our very being. Wonderful, yes?

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the highest praise for a teacher

Spiritual resource to share: ask questions

"Never lose a holy curiosity" - Albert Einstein

At a recent memorial, a college student stood up and shared what he had learned from his Sunday School teacher, who had recently passed on.

"I always used to ask questions in class and apologized for having so many questions. My Sunday School teacher said not only did he expect me to ask questions, but that he felt that it is vital if we are to move beyond faith to understanding."

Some of my best teachers are the ones that challenged me the most. In these classes, I didn't always get the best grade, but what I learned was pure gold. They sparked a curiosity in me that I just had to get the answers. And, having committed myself to finding the answers, I did!

It probably isn't a surprise that early on, I became really curious about how Jesus healed. Some of the teachers along my path have helped me answer this question and probed for more questions --- which just feed my desire to know more!

Even now, I feel that my main activity in my Christian Science practice is fueled by being spiritually curious about the inevitable goodness of our lives. (It was another teacher who helped me see this and articulate it in my life!!)

Please feel free to share the dynamic qualities of teachers in your life!

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, July 16, 2007

what is thought made of?

Spiritual resource to share: a little something to think about

I've picked up some interesting things from talking with people about thinking.

One friend commented that she read that someone said (okay, so much for credible sources) that a person schooled in the study of human behaviour said that 90 to 95% of our thoughts are what we have thought the day before.

Another friend commented that she heard we spend the majority of our thoughts and efforts on trying to get people to change their minds.

And another young friend recently heard on a talk show that the majority of people polled were convinced that they heard voices in their heads.

So what we have here is not necessarily credible sources on the science of thought, but an interesting question of what constitutes thought.

Are we mainly involved in habitual thinking? Preoccupied with trying to control or convince other minds to accept what our mind is telling us? Trying to figure out what voices we are hearing? Is this what we are spending the majority of our day doing? Bla. It makes me tired just thinking of it.

MBEddy shares some insights when she writes:

When the mechanism of the human mind gives place to the divine mind, selfishness and sin, disease and death will lose their foothold.
It makes sense to me that the human mind, in and of itself, is not creative, is not a Creator. So if we rise no higher than thinking that we are the creator, originator and supervisor of all that we see, that we quickly lose our juice, our inspiration, and thought falls into the ruts of habitual thinking. Limited thinking results in limited health, limited ideas and limited goodness.

But when we understand that there is one Mind, one creative source - we open up our thought to infinite ideas, brilliant originality, and startingly new ways of doing/seeing and thinking about things.

So, when we give our consent to reflecting the divine mind (God) the limited habitual ways of thinking make way for infinite possibilities.

It certainly is something to think about.

Have a great week thinking original and expansive thoughts!

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Why does a practitioner charge for treatment?

Spiritual resource to share: value

I have been asked this question a couple of times and thought it would be good to post my response. It has been a surprising issue since starting up my public practice and I've been inspired by what I have found out.

In short, I have come to realize that payment is all about both parties valuing the work, and it also gives the patient an opportunity to truly own the treatment and be grateful.

Also, to be listed in The Christian Science Journal - an authorized publication of The Christian Science Publishing Society - one must devote one's full time to the practice and not pursue other vocations. Also, the services of the practitioner are not paid for by the church.

But here's the fun part about how I came up with my charges and fees.

Mary Baker Eddy writes in her book The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany (p. 237) “Christian Science practitioners should make their charges for treatment equal to those of reputable physicians in their respective localities.”

This was a challenge to me at first. With reputable physicians being paid via insurance and co-payments, what is fair? Also, I was getting a share of patients from different parts of the US and different parts of the world. How to determine fees for them?

The other factor was that some of my patients are long time Christian Scientists, very used to paying a very modest fee for services; whereas others are used to paying bills for medical, therapeutic and alternative health care. What seemed to be a very high charge to some, seemed to be very inexpensive to others.

Mary Baker Eddy’s Church Manual's provisions for the public practice of Christian Science brings with it the understanding that it is highly valued. In fact she says that healing is better than teaching. "Healing the sick and the sinner with Truth demonstrates what we affirm of Christian Science, and nothing can substitute this demonstration. "

This gave me a lot to think about.......... So, in charging for the practice I wanted to include all the following ideas:

1. Fees for service values the practice from the patient's view – who pays and from the practitioner's view - who charges
2. It enables the patient to “own” the treatment – and to seal the deal, so to speak
3. Requiring payment comes from the expectation that the patient recognizes value and HAS VALUE to give
4. Giving and receiving are part of the same exchange - there is an equal blessing
5. "A Christian Scientist is a humanitarian; he is benevolent, forgiving, long-suffering, and seeks to overcome evil with good." Charging fees should have a compassionate flexibility needed in certain cases.

Another question factored in: What is wrong with a practitioner who give themselves wholly to this work and never charges? What does it mean to be unselfish? Always giving? And what if others try to take advantage of a practitioner’s kindness?

There is something indomitable about the exercise of Truth. It cannot be taken advantage of. The protection is in the treatment. The treatment is complete and carries with it all the right resources. This includes supply, protection, and ongoing progress. If someone's donation or payment is modest, another's payment exceeds the standard charge. God truly supplies us in this work and I have come to see that my boss is God. And She pays well!

Here is what I finally came up with ( This is now on my website

Charges and Fees

Paying for services rendered is a natural way for the patient to own the treatment and complete the treatment or consultation with gratitude. It also enables the practitioner to pursue this line of work exclusively and full time.

Kim's patients come from a variety of countries and economic circumstances, therefore, on completion of the work together, the patient will receive an invoice that lists the dates and services only. Patients determine their fees based on the guidelines below and their own circumstances. No one is limited in their expression of gratitude – the “widow’s mite,” donations, straight payment and overflow are all accepted.

Guidelines for Billing

“Christian Science practitioners should make their charges for treatment equal to those of reputable physicians in their respective localities.” from The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, by Mary Baker Eddy p. 237

Suggested rates for Midwest, USA:

  • Christian Science Treatment: First treatment $35; subsequent treatments $20 (reduced per Church Manual p.46)
  • Visits and Consultation: First consultation free; follow up consultations and visits $40/hour; phone visits under five minutes are always free
  • Travel time: $15 per hour

Would love to hear your comments!

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, July 09, 2007

God sees us as the complete package

Spiritual resource to share: our purpose

scene from the Keweenaw Peninsula

When I get involved in another's life, even for a short time, I get inspired for all the good God has for us to do - and the infinite ways in which each of our life's purposes play out.

My family and I traveled to the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan to help my cousin prepare for her gallery/Open house this last weekend. In thinking about those two days, I am happy and in awe of how complete a picture her life is. And in thinking about this, it reminds me of how God must see all of us - complete, whole and entire - wanting for nothing, and capable of expressing the full spectrum of what is wonderful and good.

J's life
is expansive and cutting edge: she has authored a few books on technology and culture, given talks in different parts of the world, and is a university professor and an artist.

Her husband, K, is an amazing craftsman and natural builder - having built the family house from a plan he drew on a piece of board. The entire house is beautiful, makes efficient use of space, light and energy, was made by friends from local materials. K can tell you the history and qualities of the ceiling's beams, how he found the knotted woods on the stairs.

The home is full of K's furniture, J's artwork and books, piles and shelves of books, everywhere. And then there's the herb garden, the draft horses, the chickens, the acreage...... a complete package of sustainability, balance and fun. These two have committed their lives to have a balance of high tech and no tech/ to be sustainable/to celebrate what is beautiful and functional in life/to celebrate community. It is so very cool!!

When we got to their house, we were immediately woven into their preparations for the big event. I got scooped up to help prepare the yard and some of the food. The boys were called on to help bale hay with the promise of a short swim in the river afterwards. We all worked hard, ate well and had a very successful Open house.

I'm inspired again to see how complete each of us are. I believe in God that is universal. I don't try to fit what little I understand into a definition of God that I can carry around with me and drop into terse little conversations. I believe in God who is Love and is all-powerful and includes all. So my understanding of God is constantly growing. And as God is eternal, I expect my understanding will just keep growing - forever.

Because I believe we are made in the image and likeness of God - my understanding of myself and others will keep pace with what I understand about God, and so it will keep growing. And I suppose I will continue to be in awe of other's lives who play out their theme - their complete package - of what the infinite God has created us all to be infinitely.
In a letter to a student, MBEddy wrote

We must rejoice that our God is good, universal and eternal. This God can sustain you, qualify you and direct you in this great undertaking.

We are all made for great "undertakings." And it just makes me want to dance when I can see that in myself and see it in others.

picture taken from Michigan Tech website

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, July 06, 2007

the nothingness of nothing

Spiritual resource to share: the allness of God's being

OK - walk with me on this one. I have always been intrigued by MBEddy's comments about the nothingness of matter; and that simply by understanding this, we prove the allness of God:

The nothingness of nothing is plain; but we need to understand that error is nothing, and that its nothingness is not saved, but must be demonstrated in order to prove the somethingness — yea, the allness — of Truth.

So, recently I heard an interesting and fun fact: that darkness is measured by its degree of light and that cold is measured by degrees of heat. Hmmmm. So - darkness actually does not have its own entity. It can only be seen by definition of light. Likewise, cold is defined by degrees of heat, so cold really is not a thing in and of itself. This has some pretty cool metaphysical parallels.

Let's look at doubt, despair, shame, guilt, sickness, pain and envy. They are not really a thing - having an entity. They are no-thing, recognizable only by their degree of the somethingness of Truth. Are you with me?
  • Doubt is measured by the degree of confidence.
  • Despair, by the degree of fulfillment.
  • Shame, by the degree of purity.
  • Guilt, by integrity.
  • Sickness, by health.
  • Pain, by harmony.
  • Revenge, envy or rivalry, by love.
So, when MBEddy says:
Disbelief in error destroys error, and leads to the discernment of Truth. There are no vacuums.

.... it makes sense that we don't believe in the reality of error: darkness, doubt, etc. Its very nature is nothingness. And since there are no vacuums, it follows that all is divine Love.

What is wonderful is that if we are dealing with, let's say, pain or shame, we are already dealing with a degree of harmony and purity. We are already on the right track to gain more of an understanding of harmony and purity.

"The nothingness of nothing is plain" and by understanding this, we see the allness or "somethingness" of God, Truth.

I get it! But I could not think of an appropriate picture to put with this post. So, I put what seemed obvious.......nothing! Comments?

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

the spirituality of sex

Spiritual resource to share: insight

Walking along Milwaukee's stretch of Lake Michigan, an old friend and I met and walked and talked and walked and talked for hours. We covered our lives, our children’s lives, the scope of our healing practices and our global responsibilities for prayer. It was great. Every now and then we would punctuate our conversations with “Wow!” and have to take notes on what the other just said.

One of my “Wow!” notes was when we talked about sex. Here are some of the ideas from that discussion:

I always thought that Gandhi had the healthiest view on sex – that it is sacred and based on commitment, responsibility, celebration and joy. My friend, however, commented that she found the best definition of good sex from Science and Health, from the chapter on Marriage.

Matrimony should never be entered into without a full recognition of its enduring obligations on both sides. There should be the most tender solicitude for each other's happiness, and mutual attention and approbation should wait on all the years of married life.

I paid particular attention to tender solicitude, mutual attention, and approbation. Tender solicitude is extreme care or concern for the well-being of another. Mutual attention is self explanatory - but it is interesting she says mutual attention and not mutual afffection. Approbation means official approval. Approbation and approval have the same general meaning, assenting to or declaring as good; and also means sanction, commendation; but approbation is stronger and more positive.

I found that these ideas: tender solicitude, mutual attention, approval/praise/wholehearted acceptance, offer the highest ingredients to the act of sex. Any expression of love has a spiritual foundation. And the unselfishness and acceptance that can accompany sex can make it a true act of love.

But I have found that anything done without a right sense of its spiritual nature loses meaning. This definitely applies to sex. Without a spiritual basis for sex, it can be used as a way to manipulate which leads to humiliation. If it is used as a way to compensate a perceived lack, it can also lead to co-dependence and further dissatisfaction.

When questioning the rightness of sex, it is helpful - even important - to examine the heart and see how much you are being motivated by unselfishness, tender solicitude, mutual attention and approbation. This can be a protection as well as a way to provide guidance.

Ask yourself, Am I doing this to be accepted, to be acknowledged as loved? Is this coming from mutual attraction, mutual respect, mutual and whole-hearted acceptance/approval?

Lust is about getting or taking. Love is about giving. Is this act about getting, or about giving? Is it being treated with the sacredness and tenderness for the most intimate expression of physical love, an act that can produce offspring? Am I treating this carelessly, casually or with a sense of solicitous care and protection? Does the person I am thinking of feel the same way or is there a sense of imbalance in the relationship? Does either of us feel the other is lacking - thus is not complete? Or is there joy in the sweet confidence you have in each other?

For the couple who have been married many years, these ideas can help renew the affections. You can ask yourself: Am I treating the act of sex as an obligation or as a celebration? Am I being careless or thoughtless about sex or am I feeling the tender solicitude and care toward my spouse? Am I just trying to get a sense of relief for myself, or am I trying to give of myself unselfishly?

Fulfillment, celebration, acceptance are not limited to the expression of sex, and a couple cannot lack any spiritual quality that will deepen and solidify their affections.

Any decisions regarding sex can lead to a fulfilling conclusion when it is based on spirituality. MBEddy writes "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." And this includes the need for belonging, loving, giving and even sex. When Love guides our actions, we are satisfied.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, July 02, 2007

(con't.) what really happened at the Passport Agency

Spiritual resource to share: patient waiting

I mentioned in my last blog that my son and I needed to do a lot of waiting to get what we needed for him to travel overseas - a dozen or so lines and an all day kind of waiting. I thought this was good practice for my son. You see, to become masters of international travel, I said - coaching him in the larger lessons of life - you need to become masters of waiting. And we were getting some prime experience with it last week.

Now, at the Passport Agency, we were waiting with others, in close quarters. We all had our stories and were all in relatively urgent situations in acquiring some type of alteration or new passports so we could continue with our planned trips. One might think that the room was only full of people wringing their hands about the anxious unknown. But it wasn't.

I don't think I have ever experienced anything quite like that day at the Passport Agency. I knew that the agency was swamped with "historically record breaking demands" (from their voicemail) on passports due to regulations in immigration and homeland security. But what I saw was a slice of humanity that was so kind, helpful, encouraging and thorough - it was so heartening.

My son and I got to talk to a number of people and hear their stories. Some just complained and were frustrated. But sometimes when we talked together, that frustration would lift and something inspiring or hopeful or joyful would appear.

  • One woman took it on herself to ask the 50 or so people in front of her, if a man - with limited English who was trying to get home to his father's funeral that day - could cut in front of them. We all said yes. She explained this to the man who then went to the front of the line with tears in his eyes. She then returned to her space in the back.
  • Two young Spanish speaking women from Mexico helped another woman and her family from Guatemala fill out some important papers while standing in line.
  • My son and I agreed that we would give our place up to another small family who had to meet a plane in 12 hours and still did not have their passports. They went to the front of the line and we went to the back. They were able to speed up the process and we soon saw them leaving. They quickly shared a "Thank you so, so much" a few times with us and then took off. (That felt so good.)
We sat waiting the longest time near an American woman, her one year old daughter and her aunt from Mexico. Her husband had died just days ago, and they needed to take care of funeral arangements and get their daughter a passport. There was such love between the daughter and aunt, and their little girl was sweet. We shared our stories, our love for Mexico and the most hilarious ideas for how they should spruce up these Passport waiting areas with inspiring, outlandish, and interactive art pieces. (Think of it -- this is where we NEED good art!)

So our waiting time was full - good stuff was going on right where we were. People helping, comforting and supporting each other. And to think that this good is always going on! This is the omni-action of Love! In Miscellaneous Writings, on page 307, MBEddy explains this:

“What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the ‘Peace be still’ to all human fears, to suffering of every sort.”
Sandi has left a new comment on your post "(con't.) what really happened at the Passport Agen...": so, will there be a part III, where Micah gets his passport?

Kim: Oh yes. Everyone we talked to got their passport that day, including Micah!

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.