Friday, November 28, 2008

Celebrate Native American Heritage Day in the United States!

Spiritual resource to share: our heritage

“For the first time, federal legislation has set aside the day after Thanksgiving — for this year only — to honor the contributions American Indians have made to the United States.”

This is the first year that National Heritage Day is being celebrated, having been passed into legislation by Congress and signed into existence by President Bush only one month ago. Although controversial, it brings out important points about what we honor and how we honor one another – specifically those tribes who first lived off this land that many of us call home now. It is purposely set for the day after Thanksgiving.

What I am honoring today is the noble and unselfish act of the Wampanoag Indians who kept the pilgrims from starving that first winter in 1621 – this act being referred to as our first Thanksgiving. Their ability to cross cultures, help at a basic humanitarian level, care for feed and teach a foreign group how to survive in an alien environment – is something we can work to achieve as our legacy to the world. It is a heritage to be proud of.

I am also honoring the work being done in my community. I’ve had occasion to participate in many community meetings about healing a divide that has come between the whites and the native tribes in my area. The call to understand one another has been made and a number of efforts have been underway – Ojibwe is taught at the high school, community groups have been educated about tribal customs, a church put on a workshop and talk about white privilege that was attended by an uncommonly large and diverse group, and much more.

I am also honoring a lesson learned about God and mankind. “Anishinaabe” is a word I learned that means “first or original peoples.” A tribal elder explained that in essence, we are all first people. I reasoned that we are all direct descendents from God. Diving below the surface of culture, traditions, history and character, we come to the purely primitive spirituality of who we all are: direct expressions of one God.

Looking at the world, we can claim our native heritage to Truth, to Love and to Life – all of which defines God. From the student at Oxford, to the hostage in Bombay, to the Ojibwe teacher in rural Wisconsin, to the grandparent in Buenos Aires – we share an amazing heritage under one God – from whom we are all directly connected.

This fundamental truth of our common heritage impelled the Wampanoag Indians to help another people to survive and thrive. It is the same fundamental truth that impels us all to prove our heritage and pray for one another, heal one another, and help one another. The outcome of this? Mary Baker Eddy explains it in terms most broad and practical:

One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, "Love thy neighbor as thyself;" annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.

photo copyrighted by swisshippo -

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, November 26, 2008

Conference call today! Share your healings and inspiration!

Spiritual resource to share: your spiritual journey - your healings, your inspirations, your joy

Hi All!

Every Wednesday at noon (time in Wisconsin), a group of Christian Scientists who manage the website, put on a conference call that is a combination of inspirational readings and a spontaneous time for sharing healing stories and inspiration from the study and pratice of Christian Science -- aka a testimony meeting. I have given the inspirational readings a few times and so appreciate that we have a way to join with others who don't have a church to go to or can't make it to a service!

I'm going to be reading on the topic "Humility: washing one another's feet" today and invite you all to come!

You can go to this website and get all the information you need. But in a nutshell, from the US, you call 1-201-793-9022 and then you'll be prompted to put in the access code of 7040344.

Hope to see you there!

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, November 17, 2008

the race towards compassion

Spiritual resource to share: educational channels that inspire, transform, predict and feed the demand for spirituality

Karen Armstrong explains the Charter of Compassion

For years, even decades (!) I have been keen on tracking the movement of thought - past, present and future. One similar thread I have seen is the broadening of the demand for spiritual answers and for spiritual responses to current challenges.

There are three new channels I would love to share with you. Each brings out the demand for compassion and spirituality, the expression of spiritual ideals and the unifying possibilities of spirituality and religion.

The demand for spirituality

I'm reading an horizon-opening book called The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream” by John Zogby Here's an excerpt from a review:

Book in a nutshell: Americans will face the challenges of the 21st century with creative approaches to consumerism, a cooperative worldview and an inclusive view of spirituality.

That's according to Zogby, president and CEO of Zogby International, a polling company that canvasses about half a million people every year to gauge public opinion ....

In survey after survey, he finds respondents more apt to be satisfied with less material wealth and more spiritual satisfaction.

Mr. Zogby also identifies four meta-movements that are redefining the American dream: living with limits, embracing diversity, looking inward, and demanding authenticity.

The expression and mainstreaming of spiritual ideals

What I am intrigued by is how well Zogby's identified movements coincide with a growing interest in becoming more accepting of diversity. One such example is with international youth exchanges. In the secular Rotary International Youth Exchange program that my family has been involved with, we have gotten an incredible education of what it means to be multi -cultural. This is a summary of a paragraph from a newsletter for students and families that are involved in the program.

"Successful culture-crossers who are able to build strong intercultural relationships tend to share the following traits: open-minded and accepting; tolerant; calm in ambiguous situations; empathetic; adaptable; perceptive of others and their environment; and they take time to reflect on their experiences and learn from them."

Tolerance, openness, empathy... wonderful qualities rooted in the spirit of good!

And these qualities are also front and center with another growing movement that is setting the groundwork for unifying diverse groups through the Golden Rule:

the unifying possibilities of spirituality and religion

In February 2008, Karen Armstrong, author, religious thinker and former nun "called for a council of Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders to draw up a “Charter of Compassion,” which would apply shared moral priorities to foster greater global understanding. Her interfaith initiative was awarded the $100,000 TED Prize." This effort recognizes the Golden Rule as the fundamental link to all world religions.

These are such encouraging signs of the blossoming of spiritual ideals!

Can you add to this list? What are you seeing in your life that gives evidence of the demand for spiritual answers and responses to current challenges?

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.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Spiritual resource to share: harmony in all things

Photo by Joseph Kamenju

Mary Baker Eddy was radical enough in the mid-1800's to put forth the idea of God as Father- Mother in her spiritual interpretation of The Lord's Prayer, and I love her for expanding the idea of God as feminine and masculine.

Our Father which art in heaven
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious.

It is interesting to me that the spiritual interpretation of this line (in italics) includes “all-harmonious.” Walk with me on this one while I break down the all in all-harmonious:

  • Harmony is the governing force that causes all details, daily demands and noble works to conform to the foundation of harmony: Love.

  • Harmony is the discerning force that divides all opposition from the good and right endeavors and dissolves the opposition; beliefs in limitation, the pride of power and the power of pride, envy, etc., all fade before the radiance of harmony.

  • Harmony is the attractive force that makes room for the joyous and happy work of blessing one another. Others naturally want to be a part of what is inherently theirs: goodness, productivity and purity.

  • Harmony is the balancing force that blends right timing, right work, right resources and right energy together in actions that show us that all good is possible, right here and right now.
Your thoughts on harmony?

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, November 07, 2008

honest achievement

Spiritual resource to share: commitment to good works

The Urban Nutcracker from Skillimon on Vimeo.

"The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible."

I'm inspired to see others' commitments to excellence, good works and progress. It's an affirmation that good is possible. It inspires me to become even more steady in my own commitment to grow in grace and in the practice of Christian Science. MBEddy offers some helpful guidance for those committing themselves to do good works:

... self-denial, sincerity, Christianity, and persistence alone win the prize, as they usually do in every department of life.

I have one such friend who has made an incredible commitment to use dance as a tool to inspire and empower youth and communities. Not only is this friend, Tony Williams, talented and experienced, but he has the humility and sincerity that one sees in leaders of many progressive institutions.

His company and school, Ballet Rox, puts on an annual show the "Urban Nutcracker." My older son got in at the ground floor and performed in its first and second years. Every year, there has been more growth and progress and it has expanded its audiences and shared its inspiration.

Enjoy the clip above and take in the celebration that encourages us all to deeply commit to our own paths of blessing others and see where it takes you!

More information about the Urban Nutcracker and how you can support it:
Press release on the making of a documentary about the Urban Nutcracker
Get involved

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"It's about hope"

Spiritual resource to share: hope = positive reassurance

I had one of the landmark experiences in my life when I was working internationally for a publisher. I was involved in a nation-wide effort to restore hope to a country whose economy bottomed out around the year 2000. I won't go into too many details here, but I helped to set up a nation-wide tour of public lectures and member workshops throughout this country. The whole process of identifying where and when to go, what messages to use, who would we be talking to, etc. involved deep prayer and listening.

The results were profound and inspiring. It certainly wasn't a one time fix, as all realized the need for consistent prayer to persistently break through the fear and uncertainty that threatened. But it was a way to firmly put our stake in the ground that said fear and uncertainity cannot reign over any of God's children. It was a way to share with the public ideas that strengthened the nobility of our neighbors and opened up possibilities for solutions. Soon after the second string of lectures, we got reports of hope restored, a higher sense of expectation for good results, and thrilling accounts of people finding their way to security for themselves , their families and their communities. I am still in awe of how powerful these ideas were and are.

We worked with many ideas, such as:

Under a paragraph heading of "Positive reassurance" Mary Baker Eddy wrote: "The fact that Truth overcomes both disease and sin reassures depressed hope." Depression comes from a false belief that there is something more powerful than good. The opposite of depression is the expression of that good! Truth - that God is infinite and that good is infinite - reassures us with what our spiritual roots have always claimed.

She goes on to explain: "It (Truth) imparts a healthy stimulus to the body, and regulates the system." Infinite channels for good, for unity, for peace thrive and when we give our consent to this possibility, thought is drawn to its healthier expressions. Truth regulates our body, our community, our world. Truth systematizes action, governs with balance and grace.

Simply put, good is possible, NOW.

Our family had a precious relationship with an older woman who lived with us for well over a year. Her great-grandfather was a slave. I can only imagine her great wonder at this election and pride at the rapid strides that have been made in this country due to high expectations and giving our consent to progress.

But regardless of the outcome of this election (it is midmorning on Election Day), there has been a deep-seated hope stirred up. Why? because more people are giving their consent to the fact that all good is possible now and that we are capable of far more good than has ever been required of us. We have a choice to take that higher road that recognizes the highest good: that God (as Mind, intelligence) governs every system and governs every action. "The real jurisdiction of the world is in Mind, controlling every effect and recognizing all causation as vested in divine Mind." We can expect progressive change that blesses us all.

For another inspiring account of hope from a "swing-voter", click here.

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.