September 25, 2016 – What Matters Most

09/25/16 Rev. David McArthur
“What Matters Most”

Look at the ways we’ve touched the fabulous spiritual teachings in our world: the Bhagavad Gita, and Tao te Ching and the Hebrew scriptures and the Gospels—the beautiful presence of Jesus’ teachings. I want to complete by going to one of my favorite teachers, Winnie the Pooh.

Oh that Hundred Acre Woods! That beautiful place which shows us in such simple terms our own spiritual journeys. In the forest we see parts of us. Rabbit has to keep busy all the time, and there’s a part of you that is Eeyore. There’s Piglet—you know, eager, but then afraid of everything bigger than he is and everything is bigger. And then there’s Pooh, the picture of the soul unfolding, discovering and open to what life has. We’ve been going along, discovering.

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet discover their own tracks in the snow and believe they’re from woozles and wizzles. And there’s Christopher Robin, the Christ Bearer, that delightful symbol that in tradition we call the Christ, but also the Atman, the I Am, the Buddha Mind. We discovered the universal laws, that the woozles we are following and kind of afraid of are really ourselves! It is us that’s been creating our experience and our fear; it’s us who have been journeying. Wow! What beautiful understandings.

Then we had a heffalump experience here. You know how Pooh sets a trap for a heffalump. We set a heffalump trap—we decided to build a building. And what we heard were things that were kind of frightening and go bump in the night. The whole world had decided to be afraid of lack, and some of us did a very good job of making that deeper. And then we ran into this insane statement by this guy named Charles Fillmore, “Pour your living words of faith into the omnipresent substance and you will be prospered though all the banks in the world close their doors.” And they just had! And we decided, “well, wonder if he’s telling the truth.” So we took on our heffalump, and we discovered it was just our fear. And the building got built. And there was more than enough, because more than enough is the truth of that divine love for each of us.

I looked at these beautiful teachings and I thought, “Wow! What in these last few minutes do I get to share with you? What is most important?” The times we ventured into prayer and meditation? Prayer is so important, but it’s not most important. And meditation is tremendously valuable, but it’s not most important. And the great teachings that focus on God in magnificent ways are not most important. What is most important is so simple: in this moment, do I choose love? That’s it. That is what’s important. If you choose love and you don’t know anything about the great scriptures, it doesn’t matter. They were just there to say, “Choose love.” If you gave up prayer because you spend more time arguing with God than listening, but you choose love, then it didn’t matter. God is right there, because the truth is, God IS love. Choose God and suddenly this amazing thing happens. Instead of seeing this world through this brilliant mind that we developed, this fabulous brain that figured it all out, we see that it was lying to us. It was saying, “That’s separate, and that has control over you.” It’s still a wonderful tool. It’s just a lousy boss. So we learned, didn’t we? We learned how to go. We learned how to make the choice.

It was the reality that touched me when I was young and in that place of pain and not knowing, and suddenly I was overwhelmed by love, and then there was peace and forgiveness and understanding. What happens is we are suddenly experiencing life from the truth, from a greater reality. So I tried to figure, “How do I get back to that place?” When I first started in ministry, I knew choosing love was the answer. I just didn’t have a clue how to do it. I looked around at all the spiritual students I knew and realized they didn’t either. They could love real well all those folks that loved them, but it was not their response when someone got in their face.

So we have spent years learning how to choose love. You know how. You know where it is. You know how to make that connection and move this power, this energy out of the magnificent instrument in your head down into that place where we connect with that spiritual being we really are. You know how to turn on the love. It’s in feeling—not in thoughts. It’s in the feeling, when you can remember that moment when you felt love. Might have been that puppy dog when you came in the door, shaking so hard, wanting to lick your face. Or a granddaughter giving you a hug. Or looking out and seeing that sunset over the water and feeling that magnificence of this divine love that surrounds you. It doesn’t matter what it was. When you feel it, you hit the access code. You’re in that place of love. At that moment it’s different, isn’t it? All those things we were struggling with, we aren’t struggling anymore. The things that were overwhelming that we didn’t understand, we understand. The anxiety we carried looks a lot more like peace. So simple. God is love. We just chose God.

Last Sunday we had Patricia Grabow here for a workshop. She had had an interesting experience. She was driving her car and got hit head on by a truck and died. And she came back to life. And she remembered what she had experienced. The only way she could describe it was “Love to the millionth power.” It is what is true. It is who you are. It is the only true reality of being. I find I go back to the amazing experience of Anita Moorjani. She had died after four years of cancer, her body completely depleted. After a time her body awoke. She left her hospital just a few weeks later cancer free. But she remembered what had happened in between. “I understood that at the core our essence is made of pure love. We ARE pure love, every single one of us. How can we not be if we come from the whole and return to it? I know that realizing this meant never being afraid of who we are. Therefore, being love and being our true self is one and the same thing.” That’s all we’re doing, just learning how to be who we really are.

When the critters found that Christopher Robin was leaving, Eeyore comprised a poem. As Christopher Robin was reading the poem all the critters seemed to fade away. As you’ve been doing this love thing, have you noticed how some of those “creatures” kind of fade away? There’s a little less Piglet/insecurity. There’s a little less Eeyore/grumpiness. So Winnie the Pooh, this beautiful unfolding soul, and Christopher Robin, this greater divine presence, go off. “By and by they go to this enchanted place on the very top of the forest. Sitting there they could see the whole world spread out until it reached the sky. And whatever there was all the world over was with them in Galleon’s Lap. (That enchanted place where they could see and understand it all.)”

There’s a teacher I love that talks about the same thing. She said, “…the secret place of the most high where each one of us may dwell and be safe from harm and fear of evil is the point of mystical union between man and Spirit, or God in us. Where we no longer believe but know that God in Christ abides always at the center of our being as our perfect health, deliverance, prosperity, power, ready to come forth into manifestation at any moment we claim it. We know it. We know it. We feel our oneness with the Father and we manifest that oneness.” —the wonderful Dr. Cady.

The access code to Spirit, to the “secret place of the most high”, is just love. The access code to Galleon’s Lap, just love. It’s very simple, that’s the only thing that matters. As we awaken we begin to step into who we are, that amazing experience of love. A wonderful man called me this week, a Unity minister who had had a brain aneurysm. His name is Gregory Guice. He was just calling to say, “Congratulations on your retirement.” I’d followed his recovery. He had spent three months in a coma. He said one of the beautiful things that happened during that time was that he got to connect with his daughter. She had died a number of years before. They got to be there in that heart to heart connection with each other. He told me it meant so much. He said he knew such peace! He knew that love. It’s who you are. That choice to choose love is the only real choice and all of you make that choice again and again. I know that because I’ve had the opportunity to see, to hear, to be aware of that, and how it touched those around us. What a difference it’s made in those who love you and struggle with you.

What a magnificent thing it is to see the light and the love that all of you are. I choose love. Again. I choose love. I choose love. This is when you might not have to be quite as attached to being right. I choose love. And this is for when you’re really really pissed off: I choose love. It’s for when you remember that you didn’t choose love and you start to do the guilt thing: I choose love.

You have made this world more filled with light, more filled with wholeness. The choice of your love has touched the fabric of humankind and it will never be the same. The power and the beauty of who you are is magnificent! There’s something that I like to remember. “Where ever they go, Pooh and Christopher Robin, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his bear will always be playing.” In that little place, secret place of the most high, your soul and the very light and power of God will always be playing. And did you notice it ends by having fun?!! I love you all!

Play

September 25, 2016 – What Matters Most

09/25/16 Rev. David McArthur
“What Matters Most”

 Look at the ways we’ve touched the fabulous spiritual teachings in our world: the Bhagavad Gita, and Tao te Ching and the Hebrew scriptures and the Gospels—the beautiful presence of Jesus’ teachings. I want to complete by going to one of my favorite teachers, Winnie the Pooh.

Oh that Hundred Acre Woods! That beautiful place which shows us in such simple terms our own spiritual journeys. In the forest we see parts of us. Rabbit has to keep busy all the time, and there’s a part of you that is Eeyore. There’s Piglet—you know, eager, but then afraid of everything bigger than he is and everything is bigger. And then there’s Pooh, the picture of the soul unfolding, discovering and open to what life has. We’ve been going along, discovering.

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet discover their own tracks in the snow and believe they’re from woozles and wizzles. And there’s Christopher Robin, the Christ Bearer, that delightful symbol that in tradition we call the Christ, but also the Atman, the I Am, the Buddha Mind. We discovered the universal laws, that the woozles we are following and kind of afraid of are really ourselves! It is us that’s been creating our experience and our fear; it’s us who have been journeying. Wow! What beautiful understandings.

Then we had a heffalump experience here. You know how Pooh sets a trap for a heffalump. We set a heffalump trap—we decided to build a building. And what we heard were things that were kind of frightening and go bump in the night. The whole world had decided to be afraid of lack, and some of us did a very good job of making that deeper. And then we ran into this insane statement by this guy named Charles Fillmore, “Pour your living words of faith into the omnipresent substance and you will be prospered though all the banks in the world close their doors.” And they just had! And we decided, “well, wonder if he’s telling the truth.” So we took on our heffalump, and we discovered it was just our fear. And the building got built. And there was more than enough, because more than enough is the truth of that divine love for each of us.

I looked at these beautiful teachings and I thought, “Wow! What in these last few minutes do I get to share with you? What is most important?” The times we ventured into prayer and meditation? Prayer is so important, but it’s not most important. And meditation is tremendously valuable, but it’s not most important. And the great teachings that focus on God in magnificent ways are not most important. What is most important is so simple: in this moment, do I choose love? That’s it. That is what’s important. If you choose love and you don’t know anything about the great scriptures, it doesn’t matter. They were just there to say, “Choose love.” If you gave up prayer because you spend more time arguing with God than listening, but you choose love, then it didn’t matter. God is right there, because the truth is, God IS love. Choose God and suddenly this amazing thing happens. Instead of seeing this world through this brilliant mind that we developed, this fabulous brain that figured it all out, we see that it was lying to us. It was saying, “That’s separate, and that has control over you.” It’s still a wonderful tool. It’s just a lousy boss. So we learned, didn’t we? We learned how to go. We learned how to make the choice.

It was the reality that touched me when I was young and in that place of pain and not knowing, and suddenly I was overwhelmed by love, and then there was peace and forgiveness and understanding. What happens is we are suddenly experiencing life from the truth, from a greater reality. So I tried to figure, “How do I get back to that place?” When I first started in ministry, I knew choosing love was the answer. I just didn’t have a clue how to do it. I looked around at all the spiritual students I knew and realized they didn’t either. They could love real well all those folks that loved them, but it was not their response when someone got in their face.

So we have spent years learning how to choose love. You know how. You know where it is. You know how to make that connection and move this power, this energy out of the magnificent instrument in your head down into that place where we connect with that spiritual being we really are. You know how to turn on the love. It’s in feeling—not in thoughts. It’s in the feeling, when you can remember that moment when you felt love. Might have been that puppy dog when you came in the door, shaking so hard, wanting to lick your face. Or a granddaughter giving you a hug. Or looking out and seeing that sunset over the water and feeling that magnificence of this divine love that surrounds you. It doesn’t matter what it was. When you feel it, you hit the access code. You’re in that place of love. At that moment it’s different, isn’t it? All those things we were struggling with, we aren’t struggling anymore. The things that were overwhelming that we didn’t understand, we understand. The anxiety we carried looks a lot more like peace. So simple. God is love. We just chose God.

Last Sunday we had Patricia Grabow here for a workshop. She had had an interesting experience. She was driving her car and got hit head on by a truck and died. And she came back to life. And she remembered what she had experienced. The only way she could describe it was “Love to the millionth power.” It is what is true. It is who you are. It is the only true reality of being. I find I go back to the amazing experience of Anita Moorjani. She had died after four years of cancer, her body completely depleted. After a time her body awoke. She left her hospital just a few weeks later cancer free. But she remembered what had happened in between. “I understood that at the core our essence is made of pure love. We ARE pure love, every single one of us. How can we not be if we come from the whole and return to it? I know that realizing this meant never being afraid of who we are. Therefore, being love and being our true self is one and the same thing.” That’s all we’re doing, just learning how to be who we really are.

When the critters found that Christopher Robin was leaving, Eeyore comprised a poem. As Christopher Robin was reading the poem all the critters seemed to fade away. As you’ve been doing this love thing, have you noticed how some of those “creatures” kind of fade away? There’s a little less Piglet/insecurity. There’s a little less Eeyore/grumpiness. So Winnie the Pooh, this beautiful unfolding soul, and Christopher Robin, this greater divine presence, go off. “By and by they go to this enchanted place on the very top of the forest. Sitting there they could see the whole world spread out until it reached the sky. And whatever there was all the world over was with them in Galleon’s Lap. (That enchanted place where they could see and understand it all.)”

There’s a teacher I love that talks about the same thing. She said, “…the secret place of the most high where each one of us may dwell and be safe from harm and fear of evil is the point of mystical union between man and Spirit, or God in us. Where we no longer believe but know that God in Christ abides always at the center of our being as our perfect health, deliverance, prosperity, power, ready to come forth into manifestation at any moment we claim it. We know it. We know it. We feel our oneness with the Father and we manifest that oneness.” —the wonderful Dr. Cady.

The access code to Spirit, to the “secret place of the most high”, is just love. The access code to Galleon’s Lap, just love. It’s very simple, that’s the only thing that matters. As we awaken we begin to step into who we are, that amazing experience of love. A wonderful man called me this week, a Unity minister who had had a brain aneurysm. His name is Gregory Guice. He was just calling to say, “Congratulations on your retirement.” I’d followed his recovery. He had spent three months in a coma. He said one of the beautiful things that happened during that time was that he got to connect with his daughter. She had died a number of years before. They got to be there in that heart to heart connection with each other. He told me it meant so much. He said he knew such peace! He knew that love. It’s who you are. That choice to choose love is the only real choice and all of you make that choice again and again. I know that because I’ve had the opportunity to see, to hear, to be aware of that, and how it touched those around us. What a difference it’s made in those who love you and struggle with you.

What a magnificent thing it is to see the light and the love that all of you are. I choose love. Again. I choose love. I choose love. This is when you might not have to be quite as attached to being right. I choose love. And this is for when you’re really really pissed off: I choose love. It’s for when you remember that you didn’t choose love and you start to do the guilt thing: I choose love.

You have made this world more filled with light, more filled with wholeness. The choice of your love has touched the fabric of humankind and it will never be the same. The power and the beauty of who you are is magnificent! There’s something that I like to remember. “Where ever they go, Pooh and Christopher Robin, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his bear will always be playing.” In that little place, secret place of the most high, your soul and the very light and power of God will always be playing. And did you notice it ends by having fun?!! I love you all!

August 14, 2016 – Outrageous Generosity

08/14/16 Rev. David McArthur
“Outrageous Generosity”

When we go into the deeper love, that which is not like that deeper love shows up to be healed. There is a secret: in dealing with this lower vibration which shows up to be healed, go to a higher vibration. Rise up to that level of consciousness which is the nature of the divine. Among those higher frequencies, higher vibrations, there is one which has meant more to me. It is generosity. It is the very nature of the divine, the expression of the divine. 

Remember when we talked about tithing and the experiment of a Quaker church in the thirties. Testing biblical law, they took a quarter inch of wheat and sewed it, then tithed on what was harvested from that one crop. Every year they planted 9/10ths of the harvest that had originated from that quarter inch measure, tithing the rest. By the 6th year they reaped 57,000 bushels, 13 times what would have normally been reaped! When we bring in that higher vibration, that love, that infinite power of abundance, it flows! So say with me, I am generous! I am generous! I am generous!

When people let go they naturally step into their generosity. A 14 year old boy wanted to do something for his mother who had breast cancer. He thought of shaving his head to show his solidarity with her. He hoped to raise a hundred dollars by going about his neighborhood and let people shave a bit of his head for a donation. Knowing the neighborhood, his father didn’t think his son would raise a hundred dollars. The boy came home with $1223.00!  Do you feel the heart? That natural abundance? It is our nature to be generous. It isn’t a struggle; it is a flow.

Are you ready for the next level? OUTRAGEOUS generosity? A nurse saw a starving little girl take a single piece of bread (all she had to eat for the whole day) and break it and give her brother the larger piece. Can you feel that generous heart? The world is filled with it. A teacher got laid off. One of her former students sent a $1000 check for her rent! Outrageous generosity! Isn’t that what we’re about? We’re the recipients of that infinite flow. The universe brings this to us.

Lately, here, we’ve had more outflow than income, so myself and my wife and Rev. Sheila and many board members have decided to tithe 20%. We understand this is an invitation. I’ve got six weeks left in this position. In that six weeks will you join me in the financial health of this church? Know there is more than enough!

Dan, a 25 year old, liked to bike to work in Wales. He was hit by a car and paralyzed from the chest down. He heard of a new stem cell treatment in China. His friends raised $30,000 for it. Then Dan heard of a five year old boy also in Wales who had cerebral palsy from birth and had never walked. This little lad could get a healing treatment in St. Louis for $100,000, but his family could only raise half of that. Dan gave him his $30,000. Outrageous generosity!

Let’s change that. I am generous, outrageously generous! I am generous, outrageously generous! I am generous, outrageously generous! Feel it within. Generosity. Outrageous generosity. What a state of consciousness to live in! All of us are instruments through which this world is transformed. And it’s fun! We are here to step into this flow.

I am generous, outrageously generous! I am generous, outrageously generous! I am generous, outrageously generous! You are because God is! Bless you!

Play

August 14, 2016 – Outrageous Generosity

08/14/16 Rev. David McArthur
“Outrageous Generosity”

When we go into the deeper love, that which is not like that deeper love shows up to be healed. There is a secret: in dealing with this lower vibration which shows up to be healed, go to a higher vibration. Rise up to that level of consciousness which is the nature of the divine. Among those higher frequencies, higher vibrations, there is one which has meant more to me. It is generosity. It is the very nature of the divine, the expression of the divine.
 
Remember when we talked about tithing and the experiment of a Quaker church in the thirties. Testing biblical law, they took a quarter inch of wheat and sewed it, then tithed on what was harvested from that one crop. Every year they planted 9/10ths of the harvest that had originated from that quarter inch measure, tithing the rest. By the 6th year they reaped 57,000 bushels, 13 times what would have normally been reaped! When we bring in that higher vibration, that love, that infinite power of abundance, it flows! So say with me, I am generous! I am generous! I am generous!

When people let go they naturally step into their generosity. A 14 year old boy wanted to do something for his mother who had breast cancer. He thought of shaving his head to show his solidarity with her. He hoped to raise a hundred dollars by going about his neighborhood and let people shave a bit of his head for a donation. Knowing the neighborhood, his father didn’t think his son would raise a hundred dollars. The boy came home with $1223.00!  Do you feel the heart? That natural abundance? It is our nature to be generous. It isn’t a struggle; it is a flow.

Are you ready for the next level? OUTRAGEOUS generosity? A nurse saw a starving little girl take a single piece of bread (all she had to eat for the whole day) and break it and give her brother the larger piece. Can you feel that generous heart? The world is filled with it. A teacher got laid off. One of her former students sent a $1000 check for her rent! Outrageous generosity! Isn’t that what we’re about? We’re the recipients of that infinite flow. The universe brings this to us.

Lately, here, we’ve had more outflow than income, so myself and my wife and Rev. Sheila and many board members have decided to tithe 20%. We understand this is an invitation. I’ve got six weeks left in this position. In that six weeks will you join me in the financial health of this church? Know there is more than enough!

Dan, a 25 year old, liked to bike to work in Wales. He was hit by a car and paralyzed from the chest down. He heard of a new stem cell treatment in China. His friends raised $30,000 for it. Then Dan heard of a five year old boy also in Wales who had cerebral palsy from birth and had never walked. This little lad could get a healing treatment in St. Louis for $100,000, but his family could only raise half of that. Dan gave him his $30,000. Outrageous generosity!

Let’s change that. I am generous, outrageously generous! I am generous, outrageously generous! I am generous, outrageously generous! Feel it within. Generosity. Outrageous generosity. What a state of consciousness to live in! All of us are instruments through which this world is transformed. And it’s fun! We are here to step into this flow.

I am generous, outrageously generous! I am generous, outrageously generous! I am generous, outrageously generous! You are because God is! Bless you!

July 24, 2016 – What Am I Contributing Now?

07/24/16 Rev. David McArthur
“What Am I Contributing Now?”

Doc Childre has said he believes the soul and the true self are aspects of our being that vibrate at a higher frequency or consciousness than our everyday awareness, until our everyday self merges with it. My perception is that humanity’s purpose is to raise that vibration. What are you contributing to this upleveling? What is our part?

Every time you feel an uplevel, a harmony, you feel good, don’t you? But often we feel we’re in an uncomfortable place. It’s an inner compass. How do we transform that discomfort into wholeness? We do have programs, but in just ordinary time we’re just hanging out, feeling blah, whatever. Wouldn’t it be different if we made that ordinary time an extraordinary contribution?

Make this difference by stepping into 2 frequencies/feelings/energies: ease and appreciation. I find they flow together in an amazing way. When we’re resting in ease/appreciation, our hearts are open and the spiritual consciousness flows through us. It’s a core, foundational energy of the soul when harmony, divine order, is felt as natural. It’s simple, easy, to get there. Appreciation is one of the easiest ones to get to—there’s so much to appreciate!

Kathryn and I were backpacking in Wyoming when suddenly there were snowcapped mountains in front of us and at our feet this beautiful mountain meadow full of flowers. It was a moment when my head forgot to do anything. What ease and appreciation in that beauty! It was just “Wow!” A moment to see the world differently. Day in and day out we can choose, “I am easing into appreciation.” Spirit is moving through us. We’ve opened that door. We’ve invited it in.

I spoke last week of Evelyn who was orphaned at 16. She had been a 4.0 student, joined all the clubs and looked forward to going to a prestigious university. After her mother died she dropped out of the clubs, neglected her studies. She went to the local college. It was easier. Her older sister, who had become her guardian, insisted she enter the Miss Teen America pageant, and it was easier to go than to argue with her sister. But the says she felt a different energy there. Although she was eliminated in the first round, she and her sister stayed. She says she appreciated the girls’ poise. She remembered when she had felt that confidence. I believe the pressure was off and she entered into a state of ease. Spirit showed her how far her depression had taken her. She had been depressed for years. But this time she ‘got it’.

When we’re just hanging out in ease, Spirit shows up. One day, from our cabin in Montana I was gazing at the incredible beauty. I was not thinking about the legal practice I just started, or about my application to teach environmental law at the college. I was in ease. And I got the idea I should apply to Unity ministerial school—without any good reason why I should. In ease, you have a time when Spirit says, “Now that I have your attention…!”

Jesus told us in Matthew 11:28, “All you who are weary and burdened… Take my yoke upon you and …you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” That’s the experience of ease.

Say with me, I am easing into appreciation. I am easing into appreciation. I am easing into appreciation. Isn’t that a beautiful place to hang out? Journey each day easing into appreciation!


Play

July 24, 2016 – What Am I Contributing Now?

07/24/16 Rev. David McArthur
“What Am I Contributing Now?”

 
Doc Childre has said he believes the soul and the true self are aspects of our being that vibrate at a higher frequency or consciousness than our everyday awareness, until our everyday self merges with it. My perception is that humanity’s purpose is to raise that vibration. What are you contributing to this upleveling? What is our part?

Every time you feel an uplevel, a harmony, you feel good, don’t you? But often we feel we’re in an uncomfortable place. It’s an inner compass. How do we transform that discomfort into wholeness? We do have programs, but in just ordinary time we’re just hanging out, feeling blah, whatever. Wouldn’t it be different if we made that ordinary time an extraordinary contribution?

Make this difference by stepping into 2 frequencies/feelings/energies: ease and appreciation. I find they flow together in an amazing way. When we’re resting in ease/appreciation, our hearts are open and the spiritual consciousness flows through us. It’s a core, foundational energy of the soul when harmony, divine order, is felt as natural. It’s simple, easy, to get there. Appreciation is one of the easiest ones to get to—there’s so much to appreciate!

Kathryn and I were backpacking in Wyoming when suddenly there were snowcapped mountains in front of us and at our feet this beautiful mountain meadow full of flowers. It was a moment when my head forgot to do anything. What ease and appreciation in that beauty! It was just “Wow!” A moment to see the world differently. Day in and day out we can choose, “I am easing into appreciation.” Spirit is moving through us. We’ve opened that door. We’ve invited it in.

I spoke last week of Evelyn who was orphaned at 16. She had been a 4.0 student, joined all the clubs and looked forward to going to a prestigious university. After her mother died she dropped out of the clubs, neglected her studies. She went to the local college. It was easier. Her older sister, who had become her guardian, insisted she enter the Miss Teen America pageant, and it was easier to go than to argue with her sister. But the says she felt a different energy there. Although she was eliminated in the first round, she and her sister stayed. She says she appreciated the girls’ poise. She remembered when she had felt that confidence. I believe the pressure was off and she entered into a state of ease. Spirit showed her how far her depression had taken her. She had been depressed for years. But this time she ‘got it’.

When we’re just hanging out in ease, Spirit shows up. One day, from our cabin in Montana I was gazing at the incredible beauty. I was not thinking about the legal practice I just started, or about my application to teach environmental law at the college. I was in ease. And I got the idea I should apply to Unity ministerial school—without any good reason why I should. In ease, you have a time when Spirit says, “Now that I have your attention…!”
Jesus told us in Matthew 11:28, “All you who are weary and burdened… Take my yoke upon you and …you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” That’s the experience of ease.

Say with me, I am easing into appreciation. I am easing into appreciation. I am easing into appreciation. Isn’t that a beautiful place to hang out? Journey each day easing into appreciation!


June 19, 2016 – Brain Health and Compassionate Communication

Garrett Riegg, J.D.
Brain Health and Compassionate Communication

Happy Father’s Day! I found recently that I am a father figure at a fraternity I advise at Sonoma State. It was very important to a young man there. His father was absent from his life, and he had no brothers or sisters. He told me recently about his wonderful girl friend and the great job he had as a camera man with the Forty Niners. He was so excited. Over break, though, he was binge drinking and took some pills. I got a call that he was found face down on the floor outside his room, dead.

It is believed that over 50% of students engage in this dangerous behavior. We do know more people are now dying from illegal and legal use of anti-depressants and opioids than from handguns or auto accidents. Among white middle-class women, up to 40% are using 1 or more anti-depressants. Medicine didn’t believe how dangerous these drugs are.

The answer to depression is not drugs. After researching thousands of studies, it has been determined that there are 8 ways to calm the brain.

From the last to the first:

8) Smile. Mean it or not, it releases endorphins. And little things count. It has been found that if a patient about to get a bad diagnosis were to give their doctor a small bag of jelly beans before the diagnosis, the doctor is 20% more accurate!

7) Think. Chess can reverse some dementia. Games and puzzles improve mental ability in the short run, but for the long run the mind needs big intellectual ideas and challenges, like philosophy, metaphysics, or world peace.

6) Relax. Relaxing your muscles and breathing deeply is good for the brain, as is playing relaxing music or repetitive activity like knitting or using rosary beads.

5) Yawn! It also relaxes the muscles in the neck and causes you to breathe deeply. Students who yawned 5 times before a test consistently made higher scores. 5 yawns, too, are as good as a cup of coffee.

4) Meditating. It’s a treat for the brain. MRIs show significant differences between monks and regular people. And they show negative emotions kill brain cells, while positive emotions grow brain cells.

3) Aerobic exercise is definitely good because it brings more oxygen to the brain.

2) Dialogue. Talking, especially talking about big concepts like God or evolution.

1) Faith. The most important. Not necessarily faith in God, but focusing on affirming, positive beliefs, like faith in humanity or the individual’s faith that he or she can overcome. Optimists have better health overall; pessimists die earlier.

I was lucky as a college student to not only have a good father, but over summer vacations I also had a good father figure in my boss at Beacon Moving in Oakland. He was African American, and this was 1963, before the Civil Rights movement had accomplished anything. But Bill had faith. His work was of the highest quality. He was the first black driver for Beacon in Oakland. He had zero customer complaints filed when the average was 20 to 30 a year. He was elected to union shop steward at Beacon, even when the union still didn’t want to integrate! I found out Bill had pulled himself out of poverty and alcoholism, gotten married, and at 50 started a family by adopting a little girl. They adopted 2 more girls, and all were good students. I know at least the oldest went to college. Bill had never even graduated high school! I so appreciate the fathers I had!

June 19, 2016 – Brain Health and Compassionate Communication

Garrett Riegg, J.D.
Brain Health and Compassionate Communication

Happy Father’s Day! I found recently that I am a father figure at a fraternity I advise at Sonoma State. It was very important to a young man there. His father was absent from his life, and he had no brothers or sisters. He told me recently about his wonderful girl friend and the great job he had as a camera man with the Forty Niners. He was so excited. Over break, though, he was binge drinking and took some pills. I got a call that he was found face down on the floor outside his room, dead.

It is believed that over 50% of students engage in this dangerous behavior. We do know more people are now dying from illegal and legal use of anti-depressants and opioids than from handguns or auto accidents. Among white middle-class women, up to 40% are using 1 or more anti-depressants. Medicine didn’t believe how dangerous these drugs are.

The answer to depression is not drugs. After researching thousands of studies, it has been determined that there are 8 ways to calm the brain.

From the last to the first:

8) Smile. Mean it or not, it releases endorphins. And little things count. It has been found that if a patient about to get a bad diagnosis were to give their doctor a small bag of jelly beans before the diagnosis, the doctor is 20% more accurate!

7) Think. Chess can reverse some dementia. Games and puzzles improve mental ability in the short run, but for the long run the mind needs big intellectual ideas and challenges, like philosophy, metaphysics, or world peace.

6) Relax. Relaxing your muscles and breathing deeply is good for the brain, as is playing relaxing music or repetitive activity like knitting or using rosary beads.

5) Yawn! It also relaxes the muscles in the neck and causes you to breathe deeply. Students who yawned 5 times before a test consistently made higher scores. 5 yawns, too, are as good as a cup of coffee.

4) Meditating. It’s a treat for the brain. MRIs show significant differences between monks and regular people. And they show negative emotions kill brain cells, while positive emotions grow brain cells.

3) Aerobic exercise is definitely good because it brings more oxygen to the brain.

2) Dialogue. Talking, especially talking about big concepts like God or evolution.

1) Faith. The most important. Not necessarily faith in God, but focusing on affirming, positive beliefs, like faith in humanity or the individual’s faith that he or she can overcome. Optimists have better health overall; pessimists die earlier.

I was lucky as a college student to not only have a good father, but over summer vacations I also had a good father figure in my boss at Beacon Moving in Oakland. He was African American, and this was 1963, before the Civil Rights movement had accomplished anything. But Bill had faith. His work was of the highest quality. He was the first black driver for Beacon in Oakland. He had zero customer complaints filed when the average was 20 to 30 a year. He was elected to union shop steward at Beacon, even when the union still didn’t want to integrate! I found out Bill had pulled himself out of poverty and alcoholism, gotten married, and at 50 started a family by adopting a little girl. They adopted 2 more girls, and all were good students. I know at least the oldest went to college. Bill had never even graduated high school! I so appreciate the fathers I had!

Play

May 8, 2016 – Mothers as God

Rev. David McArthur
“Mothers as God”

Happy Mother’s Day! Some of the greatest spiritual learning is given to mothers. Some of our greatest spiritual learning comes from our mothers. To those who are new mothers this year, we celebrate you. To those who have lost a child, we mourn with you. To those who are in the trenches with little ones everyday, we celebrate you. To those who have miscarried or had abortions, or run-aways, we mourn your loss with you. For those who suffered abuse by their mothers, we grieve with you. For step mothers who walk that complex path, we walk with you. And for those who lost a mother this year, we grieve with you. Mothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, spiritual mothers, we need you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart.

When my younger brother was just 4 years old, our back yard backed right up to the school grounds. He was out there one day with our mother when she saw a look in his eye which told her to grab him before he took off, but she wasn’t fast enough. With my mother chasing behind, he ran around the schoolhouse, pausing long enough at each corner for her to appear around the previous corner. Then he’d disappear around the next one. The school’s windows filled with happy faces. As she rounded the last corner he was standing at the edge of our yard waiting with his hand up, so when our mother reached him and took his hand in hers, they walked calmly into the house. Mothers can read those looks and they don’t rest until they know we’re safe.

I’m often like my younger brother that day—running around, tiring myself out, then giving up and holding out my hand for that mother’s love to take me home. And I know I am loved by that feeling, loving God.

I see my daughter Anna with my 5 year old granddaughter Kira, and I get to see that love. Even in the midst of a temper tantrum, Kira is always able to run and be enfolded in those arms of love. You are the child of this infinite love. Accept this love. I am loved right now. It’s all around us.

Some of you know my older daughter Lisa was only 11 months old when we lost her mother. At this age, Mother was her world! And then she was gone. 14 years later we were looking at pictures at Grandma’s house. One of them showed Lisa in her mother’s arms just a month before she lost her mother. Lisa looked at it and said it was the last time she was happy. Now we had had many happy times since. Kathryn deeply loved her. But I understood that the loss, the hole in her, was still there. When Lisa gave birth to her first child, she had some cloths that she would just float down on him, which he loved. We stood around watching this in awe. I looked at Lisa and there was complete happiness. The hole had been filled.

There is a part of our wholeness that only takes hold when mothers get to do that part of love. It flows through us all. It is important that we let it in. I am loved right now. Feel it! I am loved right now. Let it in right now. I am loved right now.

Play

May 8, 2016 – Mothers as God

Rev. David McArthur
“Mothers as God”

Happy Mother’s Day! Some of the greatest spiritual learning is given to mothers. Some of our greatest spiritual learning comes from our mothers. To those who are new mothers this year, we celebrate you. To those who have lost a child, we mourn with you. To those who are in the trenches with little ones everyday, we celebrate you. To those who have miscarried or had abortions, or run-aways, we mourn your loss with you. For those who suffered abuse by their mothers, we grieve with you. For step mothers who walk that complex path, we walk with you. And for those who lost a mother this year, we grieve with you. Mothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, spiritual mothers, we need you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart.

When my younger brother was just 4 years old, our back yard backed right up to the school grounds. He was out there one day with our mother when she saw a look in his eye which told her to grab him before he took off, but she wasn’t fast enough. With my mother chasing behind, he ran around the schoolhouse, pausing long enough at each corner for her to appear around the previous corner. Then he’d disappear around the next one. The school’s windows filled with happy faces. As she rounded the last corner he was standing at the edge of our yard waiting with his hand up, so when our mother reached him and took his hand in hers, they walked calmly into the house. Mothers can read those looks and they don’t rest until they know we’re safe.

I’m often like my younger brother that day—running around, tiring myself out, then giving up and holding out my hand for that mother’s love to take me home. And I know I am loved by that feeling, loving God.

I see my daughter Anna with my 5 year old granddaughter Kira, and I get to see that love. Even in the midst of a temper tantrum, Kira is always able to run and be enfolded in those arms of love. You are the child of this infinite love. Accept this love. I am loved right now. It’s all around us.

Some of you know my older daughter Lisa was only 11 months old when we lost her mother. At this age, Mother was her world! And then she was gone. 14 years later we were looking at pictures at Grandma’s house. One of them showed Lisa in her mother’s arms just a month before she lost her mother. Lisa looked at it and said it was the last time she was happy. Now we had had many happy times since. Kathryn deeply loved her. But I understood that the loss, the hole in her, was still there. When Lisa gave birth to her first child, she had some cloths that she would just float down on him, which he loved. We stood around watching this in awe. I looked at Lisa and there was complete happiness. The hole had been filled.

There is a part of our wholeness that only takes hold when mothers get to do that part of love. It flows through us all. It is important that we let it in. I am loved right now. Feel it! I am loved right now. Let it in right now. I am loved right now.