Caution – politics (sort of)

I’m an unabashed supporter of the left side of things in American politics. I believe that when we help the most vulnerable, we all do better.

I support strengthening Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and want to see accessible and affordable health care for all (citizens and others) – even if it means I pay higher taxes to support it.

I am appalled by the actions the US Government is taking pertaining to immigrants and I’m no fan of the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But what can I do that will change anything?

I think a lot of us have this same, helpless thought when the latest news story seems to up the ante as the party in charge continues to defy all manner of American values.

At the beach this week, with a lot of time to ponder what is “my work to do”, and to ponder it in the context of this political mess in the USA, I got a couple ideas in my morning, sea shore meditations.

Duck, NC 2019

The idea was sparked by something I read on Facebook that reminded me of a previous post I had written. In essence, spiritual people know the Truth about what happens when we put a lot of energy or attention on something. We need to use that in reverse of what we’ve been doing: we need to shift our focus to what we want to hear on the news, see on TV and know to be happening in our government.

To that end, I’ll be posting a series of focused topics as suggested daily meditations or visualizations. I recently read an article about the power of mass action that cited research indicating that all we need to initiate change in a culture is 3.5% of the population.

If only a quarter of “spiritual, not religious” individuals – which a recent Pew Forum estimated to be 27% of the U.S. population – began to focus on what most mainstream progressives would like to see, things would begin to change, and quickly. So what are we waiting for!?

There are few challenges with the current administration more heart wrenching than the issue of immigrants, and especially children, being housed in horrendous conditions at the border.

The first visualization exercise is to be focused on seeing those detention centers EMPTY; seeing feel-good reunion stories on the news; feeling relief and gratitude for reading headlines that announce that the family separation policy is now defunct.

Each and every time we hear a bad-news story, we can stop and SEE the reality we want in our mind – and know in our hearts that this is already true.

Some may say “this is as good as sending ‘thoughts & prayers’ for school shootings“.

While I get the general sentiment of that argument, most of us can’t physically do anything to stop what is happening at the border (except at the ballot box); but we can hold a new vision for these children and families; the immigrants that our country has welcomed since before its founding.

This can take the form of a brief visualization, or a longer and more intentional meditation focused on the positive outcomes. It can be long or short; on the fly or scheduled. The when, where and how don’t matter – what matters is that we commit to knowing the Truth and turn our attention away from the breaking news to hold a higher vision.

Remember – it only takes 3.5% of us to initiate change. This isn’t hard and costs nothing to undertake. And we can do it anywhere, at anytime.


Affirmative prayer for resolution of the crisis at the US Southern border:

Breathing into this present moment, I know that there is only one Power, and one Presence. This Power and Presence is the beginning and end – the alpha and omega. I know that this Power and Presence expresses in, as and through all of Life, and in, as and through me. And as I accept this for myself, I accept it for each and every person in custody at the US southern border.

I know that regardless of appearances, there is peace, there is hope, and there is resolution. In the midst of this circumstance, Divine Wisdom is at work; cells are opened, doors are unlocked, and detention centers are permanently closed. Families are reunited, and the wounds of separation begin to heal.

As the nation unites around a return to humane and ethical treatment of asylum seekers and immigrants, my heart swells with gratitude. From this perspective of thanksgiving, I release my word into the Law, knowing that it returns fulfilled. I speak it, I know it, I let it go – and so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

An Affirmation

(adapted from Ernest Holmes’ Science of Mind, IV: How to Use It)

I reside in the center of the Divine, a point of God-conscious life, truth and activity. I am always divinely guided in the direction of right action and optimal results.

My words have power; perfect flow and continuous right action is present in my life and my affairs; any/all negative beliefs are immediately neutralized.

Infinite Spirit animates everything that I do, say or think. Divine ideas come to me regularly; they direct and support me without effort. I am continuously guided and compelled to do the right thing at the right time, to say the right word at the right time, to follow the right course with the best motives at all times.

Any suggestion of age, poverty, limitation or unhappiness is eliminated from my thinking. I am happy, well and overflowing with Life. I live in the Spirit of Truth and know that the Spirit of Truth lives in me. My word manifests according to the Law, and there is no unbelief, no doubt, no uncertainty. Every thought of doubt vanishes from my mind – I know the Truth and I am free.

And so it is.

What about Newton?

SirIsaacNewtonIn spiritual circles the Law of Cause & Effect is defined as: every action has a consequence — creative, destructive, or neutral.  Once you understand this it is not hard to spot in everyday life and I’ve written about this particular spiritual principle using the example of rush hour traffic. It is also one of those spiritual Laws that has always made me think of the scientific laws that I learned in Science classrooms many years ago. If you think about it, the scientific laws are universal, just as are the spiritual laws (though Scientists would argue that scientific laws have been vetted with mathematical formulas and laboratory experiments that “prove” them).

All I can say to that is there were some scientists (Physicists) who believed that everything that could be discovered had been discovered once the atom was identified,…and now we have Quarks, Higgs-Boson particles, and more. Similarly, once Small Pox and Polio were controllable by man, many scientists (Biological Scientists and Physicians) proclaimed the end to disease, and then came HIV, H1N1, Ebola and more.

Let’s keep an open mind that we don’t “know it all” even yet, and examine some other universal laws and how they might correspond or relate to some of the spiritual laws we know and use. Today we’ll consider Newton’s Laws of Motion.

Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity (V = d/t) unless it is acted upon by some external force. Simply stated, if you are pedaling your bicycle along a road at 3 mph (let’s assume a perfectly flat horizontal plane for this road), you will continue to move along at that same pace unless you a) apply the brakes to slow down or b) pedal faster, to speed up. In both instances, your action (braking or faster pedaling) is that external force that changes your velocity.

Newton’s Second Law of Motion states that the rate of change in the velocity of an object is proportional to the force acting upon it. In the example above, the rate of change in your bicycle’s speed is proportional to how hard you brake or how much faster you pedal.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that “in a system where no external forces are present, every action force is always opposed by an equal and opposite reaction force“.  I like to use the example of the solid metal spheres that hang from fishing line in a row where you can pull 1, 2 or more to one side, let go and then the same number will be displaced at the other end when these hit the line of spheres.

momentum_thumb

Now let’s look at how Newton’s Laws of Motion may relate to spiritual truths.

The 1st Law of Motion has to do with where we want to go and how fast. If we are hoping to grow a church or a Center, and we continue to do the same thing all the time, hoping for different results; Einstein is quoted as calling that the definition of insanity, but I think Newton would call it futile, based on this 1st Law. Until we put MORE energy; indeed different energy and action into the mix, we will continue on at the same velocity. Some will say that Spiritual Mind Treatment is enough, but I disagree and the Laws of Motion support the requirements for an increase in physical activity needed to generate additional physical activity (i.e. velocity). In other words, consciousness alone (without consistent forward action) is not enough.

Similarly, the 2nd Law of Motion speaks to change. The rate of change is proportional to the force acting upon it. I’ll use a traditional religious example this time. I have mentioned before that I once worked as an Organist in a number of churches. In 1 church, located in a rough section of town where crime and poverty outpaced hope and renewal, I worked for a thriving church where new members – new TITHING and generous members – showed up and stayed on a consistent basis. I later worked for another church, not too far from this one. It was a suburban church situated between 3 affluent and stable communities. This church struggled to maintain members, support repairs on its building, and pay the minister. This church lost more members in a year than it kept. It was a dying church.

The major difference between the 2? The physical activities invested by the minister and the members. In the thriving church, the congregation was not just located “in” the community, they were “of” the community. The minister (and members) attended community events, reached out to people who experienced loss, whether they were members or not, established neighborhood ministries (Homework Helpers, for example – a safe place for the kids in the neighborhood to come after school to get tutoring and a snack) and more. In other words, the rate of the change in that church’s velocity was directly proportional to the amount of active participation (force) that the minister and congregation put into their ministry. They prayed, yes – but they got out there and moved into action to support their prayer work. They exerted a force for change that was stronger than the inertia of their current state and the energy and enthusiasm and love they infused into their actions made the difference; it changed the trajectory of defeat and descent into one of hope and growth.

And in considering the 3rd Law of Motion we again are reminded of the equality in universal laws. What we put out, returns to us in direct proportion unless an external force is present. We all know that “treatment works” but if all we are willing to do is meditate and do treatment, I believe that this limits our ability to grow and expand, whether as individuals or organizations. Peace of mind, a state of calm, happiness and feelings that all is well are easily achieved with treatment, meditation and other less physical activities. If we want to encourage more people to walk into our Center, we have to move from the treating-from-the-couch position to moving our feet.  In other words, consciousness and mental work (treatment) is critical, but action is necessary to fully express in our lives. We live in a physical world, after all.

In light of my loose application of the serious laws of Physics (and I only know enough to be dangerous!), I have created a formula for using consciousness in our quests to demonstrate that acknowledges the Laws of Motion for this physical Universe that we inhabit:

D = (C) + p (A)

where

  • D = the demonstration
  • p = persistence
  • C = consciousness
  • A = action

Prayer work, spiritual mind treatment and affirmations are wonderful tools to align our consciousness toward our goals, but – without persistent ACTION, we can spend years treating for things that will continue to elude us until we get up off our backsides and start putting one foot in front of the other in pursuit of our goal.

If we want to lose weight, we have to put down the sugary sodas and start drinking water; turn off the TV and go for a walk, etc. If we want a new job we need to revise our resume, line up our professional references, search the online job boards and maybe even reach out to a recruiter. No one is going to come knock on our door and offer us a job out of the ethers and no one is going to show up at our Centers and hand us a check so large that we never again have to think about our budgets.

Life doesn’t work that way and I feel comfortable saying this because I have watched many very spiritual people treat and treat and treat and vision and vision and vision,…with no results (or worse! – results that went in the other direction). The missing link? They weren’t able (or willing) to move from establishing the goal in their consciousness to taking a forward step in the direction of those desires.

Consciousness and the Law of Cause and Effect (as taught in spiritual circles) are powerful allies, but they don’t have the ability to circumvent other Universal laws. If the Bible can be seen as one of the great metaphorical guides to life, can we really discount similar metaphoric meanings in the great discoveries of science? I’m not sure that Newton’s Laws of Motion apply exclusively to heavenly bodies or physical objects any more than the story of Jonah and the Whale is only about a man swallowed by a great fish.

The wisdom of the Universe is all around us; in holy books, in nature, within the writings of sages and in scientific principles. We cheat ourselves out of experiencing all that life has to offer if we ignore the role that each has to play in informing our earthly journey.

So, the next time you want to manifest something new in your life, get your head straight and make sure you are aligned with the consciousness of your goal; and then start taking planned and intentional steps in the direction of that which you desire. When we do this, the Universe has no choice but to respond.

(C) 2016 Practitioner's Path

Jesus: the great example

unto_the_least_of_these_colorpgIn New Thought Jesus is seen as the Great Example – not the Great Exception, and this term is often used to distinguish New Thought from Christianity. In fact, affirmative scientific prayer (spiritual mind treatment) is based largely on Jesus’ life and healing miracles. He spoke his word, and it was so. Other variances from Christianity (and other people of the Book) include the definition of Heaven.

For Christians, some Jews and Muslims, heaven is that place “somewhere else” of infinite rewards for tasks completed on earth. In New Thought context, the Kingdom of heaven is within; it is what we create right here and right now as expressions of God on this physical plane. Today I would like to highlight this “kingdom of heaven” statement from New Thought perspective as it applies to giving, which in some New Thought circles, is seen as a “no-no”.

If you’re not familiar with New Thought spirituality, you may be surprised that the Bible can be heard quoted on Sunday mornings just as it is in other churches. With the belief that Jesus was the great example, it makes sense to read and study what his life modeled. On giving, I like to start with the portion in Matthew where Jesus is explaining how humankind is divided into “Sheep & Goats” (I particularly love this term because when my daughter was a toddler, whenever she saw any farm animals in the fields (we lived a rural life when my kids were young), she would gleefully proclaim, SHEEP & GOATS!, which in toddler-speak, sounded more like “sheepungoats”. Back to my point: here’s what Jesus has to say about how we treat each other and the impact it has on “the Kingdom of heaven” (which again, New Thought adherents believe is the here and now):

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The lesson here is clear; giving to those who are in need is a staple of a spiritual life, and NOT giving is a sure way to live in poverty – of mind, body and Spirit. Remember, Jesus spoke in parable, or metaphor form. If you are living on what you believe to be a spiritual path and you are continually living in “not enough”, look at your giving track record, and look in your heart. This is one of the more clear guidance points Jesus lays out in his short years of teaching.

Another New Thought principle is that we are all One, in Spirit. One. This means that the hungry person is One with us, as is the thirsty, naked, sick and imprisoned one. You might say that as long as there are people who are hungry (or sick, thirsty etc.) and I am not reaching out, part of me will remain hungry, sick, and imprisoned, but when we give back, we are not only feeding the hungry family – we are feeding ourselves, spiritually.

I’ve often been told “I don’t give to need; I pray for people so they can help themselves.

I’m always glad to hear that people are willing to take time to do spiritual work for others. As I have written in a previous blog, spiritual work is hard work and takes time! However, I would also like to point out that most of us aren’t demonstrating like Jesus did (immediately). So when you are asked to donate food stuffs to feed the hungry and your answer  is that you don’t give to need, but teach people how to take care of themselves, I have to ask how long you would like small children to be hungry while you’re “teaching them to take care of themselves”? How many of your own treatments (prayers) remain unrealized, or un-demonstrated, and as you sit there in a warm (or cool) home, with a cupboard of groceries, plenty of clothing, clean water and access to health care, isn’t it convenient to decide that your prayers and treatment are more important to those without, than that which will feed them right here, and right now.

If your treatment (prayer) work is consistently demonstrating in the immediate term, so that as you pray for more opportunities, more abundance, a new house, a new car, a better job or whatever it is; then by all means, get out into the poor communities and teach people how to demonstrate food on their tables and in their cupboards at the time their children are cold and hungry. If you’re not, however, a modern demonstration of speaking your word and seeing it materialize before you, then you might want to re-read verses 41 – 46, especially this portion: “as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

If your life isn’t working, you own that malfunction – we all do! But if your life isn’t working and your heart is loving but your hands and feet are selfish, you are living the eternal punishment because the kingdom of heaven is here, right now.

I’m always humbled by the Centers for Spiritual Living that I see on the internet who are thriving, active, vibrant and energized. They all share something pretty basic: they give back to their communities. They “get it” and they are demonstrating the Truth that Jesus taught in Matthew 25: 31 – 46.

Hungry people (and especially children) can’t wait to find you, take classes and learn how to do treatment before they eat. If we believe we are One, we feed, clothe, house,…and then teach and in doing, we “ are blessed by [the] Father, [and] inherit the kingdom prepared for [us]…” And so it is.

(C) 2015 Practitioner's Path

By right of consciousness

CameoI’ve written before about finding things using the Golden Thread technique. Here’s another episode in this same theme.

Last week I wore a cameo pin that my parents had purchased for me as a birthday gift several years back. I had mentioned once that I loved old Cameo pins and they remembered, and made a special trip down to the diamond & gold district in the city and found one in an upscale estate jeweler’s store.

It is beautiful, set in 14k gold, and simply elegant – perfectly suited to my style.

My manager saw it that day and complimented me on it. We were meeting right before lunch, and uncharacteristically for me, that day when I left the meeting, I went out to get some lunch in the local business district.

When I returned from Subway with my lunch, I went to sit down at my desk, and realized that the cameo was missing. I frantically began to look for it on the floor in my office, under my lapel, in the hallway, the stairwell, and on the trajectory I took across the parking lot to my Jeep. Nothing.

I opened my Jeep and pulled back carpet, swept my hand under all the seats, and cleaned out every conceivable nook and cranny where it may have fallen. I looked again around the parking lot where I had been parked BEFORE I went down the hill to Subway and where I was now parked. Still nothing.

Determined to find my lost piece of jewelry, I quickly drove back down to the shopping center where I had picked up my lunch. I went in to Subway and asked if anyone  had turned in a pin. I’ve had great experiences in Pittsburgh when losing things of value and having people turn them in. In fact, on New Year’s Eve downtown in 1985 I was home on leave from the US Navy and had more than $900 cash in my wallet (I’m not a fan of purses, and back then I didn’t carry one). I was at Houlihan’s and discovered that my wallet was missing. When I asked about it, the hostess handed me my wallet with every dollar of the $900 still there, along with my military ID, driver’s license and a credit card or two.

I believed that if someone had found my pin, they’d turn it in, but no one had turned anything in, and my stomach began to turn. It was not the cost of the pin that upset me, but the meaning that it held for me that was causing my growing distress. I remember driving through the ATM Lane at the bank before returning to work so I got back into my Jeep and drove there, recalling that I had to lean out to grab the cash, but found nothing there, either.

Finally, a little late into this episode, I remembered the Golden Thread and the principle of this pin being mine by right of consciousness. I calmed myself down and did a quick treatment, invoking the process of the Golden Thread.

I drove back to my work place, and went back upstairs into my office. I was about to look up the phone number for the campus lost and found when someone popped their head in my door and asked me a question. I stood up to hand them something and when I smoothed my scarf down the front of me, I felt something small, oval and hard: it was my cameo pin, captured in the vertical fold of my scarf.

I cannot explain how this pin moved from an outer lapel to the center where a loose scarf hung around my neck; I cannot explain how this pin remained hanging between my body, the loose scarf and inside of my jacket while I tromped up and down 2 flights of stairs, twice; around 2 parking lots and in and out of a strip mall storefront,…without falling out, but there it was, intact and unfastened.

One of my mentors explains that spiritual laws are more powerful than physical laws. Since the cameo pin was truly mine by right of consciousness, that principle trumped the physical law of gravity which surely would have had this pin on the ground somewhere long before I returned to my office had it NOT been rightfully mine. I think back too to the return (after more than a month) of my grandchildren’s cat. He was and is most definitely their pet, by right of consciousness.

Although I have now experienced this principle in action twice; once with almost immediate results and another time with a significant time delay, I continue to be in awe of it as a spiritual tool and technique, and so it is.

 

Have you lost something of significance to you? Email me and I’ll help you craft a spiritual mind treatment that incorporates the Golden Thread technique to bring that which is lost, back home to you.

 

 

I Am Provided – no matter what it LOOKS like!

Check imageWhen I first began this blog, I wrote several posts about Spiritual Mind Treatment, demonstrations and money. Tonight I’m sharing another in that series.

Being a child of technology, I rarely reconcile my checkbook. I have a general awareness of the balance and the input/output balance and occasionally need to shuffle funds from here or there, but in terms of a complete reconciliation – it’s been years.

One Sunday afternoon after a perfunctory “quick review” of my checking account online I realized that while I had $62 in the account, I also had a check still outstanding for $96 – and it had been out there long enough that I was expecting it to hit any time.

At this particular time, I did not have any ready cash available to transfer over to cover the potential overdraft, and payday was a full 6 days away. I grew even MORE anxious as I realized that the $37 overdraft that would kick in when that $96 check hit would put me further in the hole. I was running out of options, other than taking an expensive cash advance from a credit card, taking money out of my credit union account (which I intentionally have set up to be hard to access, both physically and in terms of money access), or asking my family for money. None of these options was very appealing to me, but it was Sunday. I knew that while the $96 check could electronically present itself into my account and generate an overdraft charge, I was unable to do anything about it – even if I wanted to take one of the aforementioned undesirable options.

I had recently listened to Edwene Gaines’ audio book version of “The 4 Spiritual Laws of Prosperity“, so I took a cue from her and “went immediately into prayer.” Then I let it go, and stopped worrying about it. When a thought came into my mind about the issue, I would wave my hand as if shooing a fly away from my head, and say, “All is well – I Am provided!”

At that time I was working from home, and Monday  morning I was booked solid in meetings/conference calls. The EARLIEST I was going to be able to take care of anything bank-related was going to be 12-noon and while that time frame was scary in the real world of space and time, I had tucked this issue into Spiritual Mind Treatment, and let it be as it would be. Besides –  I was SURE that my treatment was going to manifest a check in just the right amount in the Monday mail that would resolve this issue once and for all.

The mail came and my countenance quickly fell as I saw no envelopes that held any promise of being a check or even a belated birthday card with money. To make matters WORSE, the tax agency that I had written that $96 check to had sent me what was surely another BILL, and I worked hard not to believe that the check had already BOUNCED, resulting in a nasty-gram, and some more charges.

“No, no – I treated for this and ALL IS WELL,” I worked hard at convincing myself of this truth as I slid my finger under the envelope flap and pulled out a form letter with a sticky note and several other items.

The form letter indicated that the $96 payment I had submitted could not be processed because I had neglected to sign the check. They had returned the check for me to sign along with an addressed envelope for ease of return.

Relief and GRATITUDE poured over me as I realized the demonstration of my treatment.

I was able to sign the check, stamp the envelope and mail it out so that it would arrive on payday – negating any need for money-moving or borrowing from family.

This was such a powerful lesson for me. I *AM* provided – always, and in all ways.

Never doubt it; do not fret.  “The inexhaustible Resource of Spirit is equal to every demand.” (Charles Fillmore),… even when banks are closed, mornings are booked with conference calls and your purse is empty.

And so It is.

 

 

Pets as teachers

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In the movie, “The Secret”, manifesting is discussed by some of the teachers as a process best learned by “starting small”. In fact, I think Bob Doyle recommends manifesting a cup of coffee initially.

“Manifesting” is the mainstream word for “demonstrating after spiritual mind treatment”. I understand why it was presented this way in more secular media, and have no issue with its presentation as such. The movie reached a LOT of people and opened them to think about their lives differently. Many of these were likely people who would have turned away if it had been presented any other way.

I happen to agree with the advice given in the movie to “begin with a cup of coffee”, or in other words, start with something you can believe is possible, and I think our pets are perfect partners for this kind of spiritual workout.

Treating for harmony between pets, better pet behavior or to get a restless dog or cat to sleep at night are wonderful ways to flex your “spiritual chops” and if your experience is anything similar to mine, you’ll find the animals very receptive to it.

If you’re new to Spiritual Mind Treatment, or affirmative scientific prayer and you’re struggling to “get it right”, consider some gentle work by “knowing the truth” about your pet(s) or someone else’s (your neighbor’s barking dog, perhaps). Keep it simple, and be sure to affirm that your Good is the highest Good for all.

Why?

If the neighbor’s dog is barking due to an intruder, you would want to make sure his eventual silence is due to the police slipping him a treat as they apprehend the perp and not because he went to sleep and ignored the burglar. Remember, the highest Good for everyone involved may look different than you’re expecting it to look.

The next time you feel Spiritually “out of practice”, look around for a furry friend who can use some spiritual TLC. They’ll be grateful, and – you never know how much you will learn in the process.