Tuesday, September 21, 2010

neutralizing acidic thinking

Spiritual resource to share: the alterative of Truth

When we talk about power, we are talking about a big concept.
When we read (from Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy)
"The three great verities of Spirit, omnipotence, omni-presence, omniscience, -
Spirit possessing all power, filling all space, constituting all Science, --contradict forever the belief that matter can be actual"

we are talking about a concept so huge and all encompassing that there is not room in thought for anything but Spirit, God.

And I think that is the point. And I think that that is how we can neutralize acidic thinking.

Acidic thinking is that type of thought that agitates and irritates, that denigrates and weakens and finally pulverizes itself into nothingness.

Acidic thinking may include a whole host of self-destructive elements that can be replaced with the truth of being:
  • disgust - a failure to see the Christ; replaced with God's true image and likeness
  • anger - a sense of powerlessness and reaction - replaced with understanding God's omnipotence
  • sarcasm - trying to undermine the natural sweetness and goodness of life - replaced by perfect Love
  • distrust - doubting the power of God, good replaced withthe fact that good is not helpless and that all things function under the impulse of purity and Love
  • envy - a belief in limitations replaced by an understanding of infinite possibilities to do good and to be good
  • revenge - a belief of chaos and many small egos replaced by knowing one God, trusting one Truth
  • disdain - a form of hatred replaced by selflessness and yielding to Love's government

Life, God is a self-sustaining force that only knows itself. It is omniscience. God knows all.
We are under God's government as readily - similar to how we see that we live under the law of gravity.

For Life to be self-sustained, there can be no element of limitation, weakening, conflict or chaos. If it were so, Life would self-destruct, and thus would not be life.

But Life, God is omnipotent , always present. So these elements of limitation and dis-ease have no room to become a reality. In reality - disease and any type of destruction do not exist. They cannot, because they are ultimately self-destructive. SO why do they seem to exist? These are fabrications. These fabrications seem to exist because thought is giving its consent to an entity that has no reality - similar to believing in ghosts. There are no ghosts, but it is a fearful thing if you believe there are.

God's all power, all presence, omniscience lead us to the ultimate conclusion that matter (anything born of limitation, destruction, separation from good, divisiveness) cannot be actual.

The all pervasive love of the all-powerful God as Truth neutralizes acidic thinking whose pretensions may seem to govern one's body, one's family or one's organzitions.

Health is restored to bodily functions, and harmony is restored to families and organziations when we understand that this perfect Love maintains itself in perfect balance -- and we are evidence of that all encompassing fact.

La Silla de Familia --- The Family Chair

Recurso espiritual de compartir: el consuelo y paz de Dios

Tengo un recordatorio dulce de ternura de Dios y todo-presencia que me gustaría compartir con ustedes.

Cuando mi más joven (Gabe) era un niño y bebía su leche, mi más viejo (Micah) tenía tres años. Cuando esto vino el tiempo para una alimentación, Micah y yo nos sentaríamos en una silla de gran tamaño cuando sostuve a Gabe. Mi hijo mayor se sentó silenciosamente y sostuvo los pies de su hermano y hablaríamos. A veces éramos tranquilos. La silla consiguió ser conocida como la Silla de Familia..

La tranquilidad y la satisfacción entonces me recuerdan de las mismas calidades espirituales que están disponibles a cada uno de nosotros cuando rezamos.

Cuando rezamos, nos sentamos en un espacio con el cuarto en el pensamiento para cada uno amamos. Estamos en las armas de Amor. Somos seguros. Escuchamos y aprendemos de paz de Dios, gracia y permanencia. Aprendemos que Dios es Todo. Confiadamente recibimos aquel alimento de Dios que nos refuerza y hace que nosotros crezcamos. A veces nos hablamos a Dios. A veces somos tranquilos y sólo escuchamos. Somos colocados y en nuestro lugar derecho.

'Tome de nosotros ahora la tensión y la tensión, y deje a nuestras vidas pedidas admitir la belleza de Su paz.' - John Greenleaf Whittier
English version.........................................................................................
Spiritual resource to share: God's comfort

I have a sweet reminder of God's tenderness and ever-presence that I would like to share with you.

When my youngest (Gabe) was an infant and still nursing, my oldest (Micah) was three. When it came time for a feeding, Micah and I would sit on an oversized chair as I held Gabe. My older son would sit quietly and hold his brother's feet and we would talk. Sometimes we would just be quiet. The chair got to be known as the Family Chair.

The quietness and nourishment being given at that time stays with me. I see in it the same spiritual qualities that are available to each of us when we pray.

When we pray, we sit in a space with room in thought for everyone we love. We are in the arms of Love. We are safe. We listen and learn of God's peace, grace and permanence. We learn that God is All. We trustingly receive that nourishment from God that strengthens us and causes us to grow. Sometimes we talk to God. Sometimes we are quiet and just listen. We are settled and in our right place.  God is holding our feet.

"Take from us now the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of Thy peace." - John Greenleaf Whittier

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, September 15, 2010

How forgiveness oils the mechanism of work

Spiritual resource to share: forgiveness

Any work project needs a strong clear sense of vision and direction to be successful so that whatever mishaps occured can be absorbed in the strength of that vision. It works kind of like the old adage "the unity of the cause erases all flaws."

In looking at one of my work groups, I was surprised to see how much a role forgiveness had in making it all work. Forgiveness added the oil to the mix. It made all the parts of the project hum. Humility also was important, with humility kind of opening the door to humor and apology.

I was in one work group in which all four of us had distinctive functions with counterparts we were supervising in the field. In some cases, we had the same person in the field doing two or more functions and thus reporting to two different people in our work group.

The need for collaboration is important for any project to work. And so it was with ours.
We were all ( in the office and in the field) very clear on the vision. But there were times when I, or someone else, either forgot to do a needed task, or did someone else’s task. It was those times, that I greatly appreciated the freedom to address these mishaps in a way that felt safe, and not threatening. I forgave my fellow workers as they would forgive me. In humilty, we recognized that what we wanted to accomplish was still in front of our thoughts and we could move forward and make any needed adjustments.

In addition, the work that we were doing was pioneering work. It had never been done before. There were a lot of unknowns as we moved forward. What moves me more than words can say is the ability to forgive that came from all of us. And there was ample opportunity for that as some of the steps were delayed, postponed, questionable or needed to be changed. We buoyed ourselves up with gratitude for the good achieved and heart felt appreciation for the talents and the incredible amounts of time each one of us brought to the project.

It is interesting to note Mary Baker Eddy's request for each of the members of The Mother Church that she gives in her Church Manual. Surprisingly, this is good counsel for anyone involved in a group endeavor:

A Rule for Motives and Acts (Church Manual p.40)
Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true
brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness.

With this group, I felt free to explore new methods and means of doing things. Not that I felt that if I screwed up I could just be forgiven and then go and do something foolish again! But this kind and adventurous atmosphere removed a subtle sense of being judged and criticized behind one’s back. That type of thinking can paralyze action.

In an atmosphere of love, forgiveness and good-hearted give and take, we were able to accomplish some downright wonderful stuff. Forgiveness added grace to our endeavors and kept the vision for our work in sharp focus.

Please add your own comments or email this article to a friend.

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Purity - a fixed fact

Spiritual resource to share: permanence

“I felt like I was coming home,” Barbara says. “I felt like everything would be okay.”
This comment is from an article written by a woman who commented on her first thought when starting to read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy in an effort to re-gain her peace and equilibrium after a rape incident. (See article here.)

Her triumph reminded me of an incredible friendship I had with a friend who was going through therapy due to incest. During our friendship, I learned more about the power and fixity of purity that has stayed with me ever since.

When I first heard of the situations my friend had endured, I was shocked and furious. She was getting help through the therapy and was a determined young woman. I so wanted to help her.

I remember researching what I could do legally to help her. I got acquainted with many of the local resources dealing with women, sexuality and abuse. I worked in the school system at the time and even produced a cable television program on this issue that included interviews with area social service agencies, call-ins and production staff. The issue exhausted me, angered me, while at the same time I wanted to be strong for my friend.

I knew that all of these human footsteps were important and helpful. But what I needed, and my friend needed, was something much more deeply spiritual.

We must have talked and walked around a nearby lakes dozens of times. I prayed throughout our friendship and on one of our walks, I started sharing some of the spiritual ideas that I was learning:

1. Our very being is spiritual - it is the spiritual elements in life that move us, give us our identity, cause us to grow.
2. Our very being is pure - undefiled, untouched. This is a fixed fact and is unalterable.
3. Nobody can touch our spiritual being - our spiritual identity. Just as no one can change the idea of the numeral nine, no one can change the idea or spiritual being that is you and me.
4. Our identity is not that of a victim, of a vulnerable person who lacks strength, intelligence, courage. These suggestions are shadows that fluctuate and flee in light of the purity that is ours.
5. Violence, perversion, coercion -- these are not our fault. It is not brought about by some perceived lack in ourselves. It is born of ignorance and dies of ignorance. It has no power, presence, influence or reason unless we give it to them.
6. The most loving thing we can do for one another is to not believe in the shadows, but affirm one another's light -- one's primitive purity.

I also relied heavily on some tried and proven foundation stones for my life.

  • We are safe.
  • We are loved.
  • We are pure.
  • The battle between good and evil is not ours, but God's.
  • God is good and good is ALL-powerful, and we are His loved children, Her cherished offspring.

My friend and I exchanged many spiritual ideas for months. She remained strong and significant and healthy changes were made in her life.

Key to the healing was forgiveness - the ability to see the power of Love and the powerlessness of errant actions to take anything of substance away from what God has given us. Later, we both went on to graduate school and lost touch. But what remained is that unshakeable truth that I can now come home to -

  • Our purity is a fixed fact.

Monday, September 13, 2010

walking the talk - loving one another

Spiritual resource to share: long term thinking with love

Farmer's Market in Monteverde

This question was posed to me by a friend: If there was one thing your prayers for the environment could change in people's attitude to how they lived their... lives, what would it be?

Answer: would be to pray that we learn to love one another. This covers a lot of ground.

If we loved one another.....

...we would be more aware of our actions’ impact on the future.

...we would think in terms of us, not me.
...we would think in terms of what is good for the future, not immediate gratification for right now.
...we would be more thoughtful about the things we buy and how they are made, supporting fair trade practices.
...we would develop compassion as a way to see the world.
...we would be more patient with ideas and processes that take more time, but are more environmentally friendly.
...we would use kindness as a currency - perhaps buying less, saving more and sharing more frequently.
...we would understand that everyone has a backyard, and be careful where we throw our garbage.
...we would lose a sense of pride in possessions, and find more joy in teamwork.

I have seen this compassionate stewardship at work - loving one's neighbor as oneself - and it works beautifully! I have been impresed by a small mountain town in Costa Rica that attracts a surprsing number of visitors every year – Monteverde.

It was founded by Quakers in the 50s and is home to many Costa Ricans, educators and scientists, Quakers, and a steady stream of eco-tourists. The Quakers established several industries and institutions with a shared community aproach. As they developed their community, they probably asked questions like “Is this action good for the community?” “Does this enhance or detract from the natural resources already here? Are we giving credit and honor to those who have lived here before us?" The answers to those types of questions have helped to form the groups and industries that are running today.

I talked with one of the local residents who is one of the founding women of a rural women’s cooperative and there I found the same kind of spirit – putting the community’s well being above personal gain. Those who founded the cooperative started out by looking at how they could better empower women – many of whom had to stay at home.

Their leading questions may have been "How can we empower the women here – thus strengthen the famlies and the community?" "What skills do they have that can benefit them and benefit the communty?" The answers to those questions resulted in teh development of the cooperative in which making a profit is subservient to the larger goal of the community's well –being.

Loving your neighbor as yourself. It works here on a large scale. The individual is not absorbed, but is empowered. The community is strengthened by the long term commitment of caring for one another and caring for the earth.

In short, the equation is: love for one another in the short term + care and compassion = empowered people and strong communities and love in the long term.

Friday, September 10, 2010

what can 50 people do?

Spiritual resource to share: spiritual response to aggression

The numerous media reports on the small church of 50 people who proposed burning the Koran and the groundswell of the reaction against this protest have made me ask the question - what better thing could 50 people do?

Today's report says that the Koran burning protest is now called off. But to me, it is a call to affirm what is powerful and what is good.

Much has been written in the above mentioned reports about this small group of 50 people. This reminded me of something Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer and founder of Christian Science, said to her class of 65 students of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in 1889:

"We, today, in this class room, are enough to convert the world if we are of one Mind, for then the whole world will feel the influence of this Mind; as when the earth was without form, and Mind spake and form appeared." (Miscellaneous Writings p. 279)

Now to those of you who are new to this blog, I'll have to say that when Mary Baker Eddy talks about converting the world, she is not talking in terms of getting all people to change their denomination and become card carrying members of the Christian Science church. She speaks in far greater terms than those. She is speaking about converting the world from a material basis to a spiritual basis in which all can experience harmony, health and well-being - the influence of Mind.

One Mind is a concept Mary Baker Eddy describes often in her writings. She explains the power behind this idea:
"When we realize there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbors as ourselves is unfolded..." (Science and Health p 205)
"Having one God, one Mind, unfolds the power that heals the sick..... " (Science and Health p 276)
"It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease, and the true brotherhood of man will be established." (Science and Health p 467)

Because we are of one Mind, we are brothers and sisters, we can heal, and we can end conflict.

In the US, tomorrow, September 11th, has been declared a day of service and remembrance. It is a helpful act that affirms what 50 people, and 500,000 people and even one person can do to demonstrate peace, harmony and well-being when we do it for one another.

Aggressive reactions and thoughtless acts stand to be corrected. They will either be forgettable or regrettable. They will have their flare of attention and then disappear. But those actions based on one God, one Mind, are what moves us all forward toward sustainable peace.

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.