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

June 5, 2016 – Awakening the Power of Our Purpose

06/05/16 Rev. David McArthur
“Awakening The Power Of Our Purpose”

There are times when I really appreciate the fun part of our spiritual growth. I speak of the many aspects of ourselves found in the symbols in Snow White. The King and Queen are symbols of the divine. The male is our thinking nature and the female is our feeling nature. The birth of the Princess Snow White is our birth, the birth of our soul. But the Queen dies and the Dad disappears, off doing kingly things. (We lose our awareness of the Divine Mother along with the Father (wisdom and power)). The 2nd wife, the false or step mother is very vain (“mirror, mirror,” and all that). We end up serving a power “out there”, where we “have to do it THIS WAY”. If we don’t, we’ll be taken out into the woods and killed. This a real, but false, God-thought—do it that way or die. The divine self within us can be suppressed and put into the subconscious (the woods). But the truth remains within.

When Snow White reaches seven, the mirror tells the new Queen that Snow White is the fairest, which so angers the Queen that she orders the huntsman to take Snow White out into the woods and kill her. But he can’t do it.

So the Princess, at 7 years, goes over 7 hills to the house of the 7 dwarfs. (A subtle reference to the 7 chakras.) There she (we) begin to awaken to early spiritual growth (the dwarfs are not fully grown and show some of our aspects with names like Dopey, Happy, Sleepy, etc). But Snow White grows up. (We can no longer stay asleep. Our unconscious become conscious. Our spirituality awakens. Our brain grows up to the fact that we give our power away to the false perception of “out there”.) But the step mother and the poison apple cause Snow White to “die” (fall into a deep sleep, a “death”).

A man named Lloyd Glenn landed at the airport in DC where he was told that his 3 year old son had been in an accident and was near death. He was under the garage door when it closed on him right on his heart. His mother thought he was dead but at the hospital his heart was restarted. The staff called it a miracle. Unfortunately his brain had been deprived of oxygen, and when his father arrived he was told not to expect much. With his father at his side, the boy awakened and cried, “Daddy! Hold me!” The staff was amazed at this show of life. With care, he returned to the life of a 3 year old.

A month later he went to his mom and said, uncharacteristically, “Sit down Mommy. I have something to tell you. When I was trapped, the birdies came and made a swoosh and took care of me.” He called them birdies because they had wings. “They were so beautiful! White, and green and white. They told me the baby would be all right.” He was outside his body and could see the baby (himself) trapped under the garage door. He continued, “They went and got his mother and told the baby to stay and not leave. The bright light was so warm. There was someone really nice there who told me, ‘I love you but you have you go back, play baseball, and tell everyone about the birdies and everyone’s plans,’ because they love us so much.”

Emily Cady said to possess the secret of anything is to have power over it, and that knowledge of God within is power over all. In Unity we know I am the beloved child of God! But thinking it isn’t enough. It has to be felt. That’s the important part. Snow White shows us how: she is awakened when the Prince kisses her. So get kissed!

In Snow White there is the death of the old and the awakening of the adult (the mature spiritual self). That’s when the Prince and Snow White go to the castle to live. (The consciousness; the plan.) I am the beloved child of God! I am the beloved child of God! I am the beloved child of God! The amazing power which flows through you, not “out there” (center to circumference) actualizes your being. And on the way it’s ok to be kissed!

Play

June 5, 2016 – Awakening the Power of Our Purpose

06/05/16 Rev. David McArthur
“Awakening The Power Of Our Purpose”
 
There are times when I really appreciate the fun part of our spiritual growth. I speak of the many aspects of ourselves found in the symbols in Snow White. The King and Queen are symbols of the divine. The male is our thinking nature and the female is our feeling nature. The birth of the Princess Snow White is our birth, the birth of our soul. But the Queen dies and the Dad disappears, off doing kingly things. (We lose our awareness of the Divine Mother along with the Father (wisdom and power)). The 2nd wife, the false or step mother is very vain (“mirror, mirror,” and all that). We end up serving a power “out there”, where we “have to do it THIS WAY”. If we don’t, we’ll be taken out into the woods and killed. This a real, but false, God-thought—do it that way or die. The divine self within us can be suppressed and put into the subconscious (the woods). But the truth remains within.

When Snow White reaches seven, the mirror tells the new Queen that Snow White is the fairest, which so angers the Queen that she orders the huntsman to take Snow White out into the woods and kill her. But he can’t do it.

So the Princess, at 7 years, goes over 7 hills to the house of the 7 dwarfs. (A subtle reference to the 7 chakras.) There she (we) begin to awaken to early spiritual growth (the dwarfs are not fully grown and show some of our aspects with names like Dopey, Happy, Sleepy, etc). But Snow White grows up. (We can no longer stay asleep. Our unconscious become conscious. Our spirituality awakens. Our brain grows up to the fact that we give our power away to the false perception of “out there”.) But the step mother and the poison apple cause Snow White to “die” (fall into a deep sleep, a “death”).

A man named Lloyd Glenn landed at the airport in DC where he was told that his 3 year old son had been in an accident and was near death. He was under the garage door when it closed on him right on his heart. His mother thought he was dead but at the hospital his heart was restarted. The staff called it a miracle. Unfortunately his brain had been deprived of oxygen, and when his father arrived he was told not to expect much. With his father at his side, the boy awakened and cried, “Daddy! Hold me!” The staff was amazed at this show of life. With care, he returned to the life of a 3 year old.

A month later he went to his mom and said, uncharacteristically, “Sit down Mommy. I have something to tell you. When I was trapped, the birdies came and made a swoosh and took care of me.” He called them birdies because they had wings. “They were so beautiful! White, and green and white. They told me the baby would be all right.” He was outside his body and could see the baby (himself) trapped under the garage door. He continued, “They went and got his mother and told the baby to stay and not leave. The bright light was so warm. There was someone really nice there who told me, ‘I love you but you have you go back, play baseball, and tell everyone about the birdies and everyone’s plans,’ because they love us so much.”

Emily Cady said to possess the secret of anything is to have power over it, and that knowledge of God within is power over all. In Unity we know I am the beloved child of God! But thinking it isn’t enough. It has to be felt. That’s the important part. Snow White shows us how: she is awakened when the Prince kisses her. So get kissed!

In Snow White there is the death of the old and the awakening of the adult (the mature spiritual self). That’s when the Prince and Snow White go to the castle to live. (The consciousness; the plan.) I am the beloved child of God! I am the beloved child of God! I am the beloved child of God! The amazing power which flows through you, not “out there” (center to circumference) actualizes your being. And on the way it’s ok to be kissed!

May 15, 2016 – Science of the Heart

Dr. Rollin McCraty
“Science of the Heart”

Our research at the HeartMath Institute has found there is intuition of the head and of the heart, but that of the heart is by far the strongest. It responds first and then messages the brain which then leads to the body’s response, like the hair rising on the back of the neck, for example. It appears the heart has access to a field of information outside of time and space. That’s the terminology I used in publishing this information for my scientific peers. At the Institute of HeartMath we call it our large. But between us, if it’s something else outside of time and space, it is what you call the higher self, spiritual self, Spirit, soul, God. In the scientific exploration of the heart we have found awareness we are spiritual beings as well as physical.

We now know that we are connected in a way that is not just metaphorical. In exploring this capacity, we find we all have an ability to transfer information among us. There is electromagnetic energy which transmits information very much like your cell phone. The heart opens us to this and the heart deepens our capacity for it. It is the major player in this bio-electric field.

I’m told several people facing major challenges right here in your congregation have said they feel the prayers said for their healing. This is more than an intuitive connection. When we send intentions of healing and health to another, depending on our vibrational pitch, and the more we are attuned, the more powerfully the intention travels from the higher self through the heart. It literally lifts our consciousness and we become more aligned and have more power to change things in our world globally.

In science we measure things, like the magnetic energy of the Earth. We have placed 8 magnetometers around the world. We have found resonant frequencies just like those in the heart. We have found that when these frequencies are higher, so too are those of people. We adults perform better. It’s just the opposite for the young. They tend to do more stupid things and get hurt more. So we are all truly connected! It is becoming clear; it is real; it is measurable.

We collected data on about 800 people showing we are sync’d up around the world. These people fell into 3 groups. Some were connected with certain resonant frequencies of the planet. A second group with other planet frequencies. The third group was not connected. They were disconnected. It’s not good. Their energy is incoherent.

We are close to proving we are affecting this energy globally. This will lift global consciousness! The carrier wave has been measured. Being together as a group, especially if you like or love each other, as you do here, amplifies the signal and helps feed the global field. You are feeding the field constantly. So the question then is, “What are you feeding the field?” How much today was love and compassion, and how much was frustration and anger? What is your ratio?

Play

May 15, 2016 – Science of the Heart

Dr. Rollin McCraty
“Science Of The Heart”

Our research at the HeartMath Institute has found there is intuition of the head and of the heart, but that of the heart is by far the strongest. It responds first and then messages the brain which then leads to the body’s response, like the hair rising on the back of the neck, for example. It appears the heart has access to a field of information outside of time and space. That’s the terminology I used in publishing this information for my scientific peers. At the Institute of HeartMath we call it our large. But between us, if it’s something else outside of time and space, it is what you call the higher self, spiritual self, Spirit, soul, God. In the scientific exploration of the heart we have found awareness we are spiritual beings as well as physical.

We now know that we are connected in a way that is not just metaphorical. In exploring this capacity, we find we all have an ability to transfer information among us. There is electromagnetic energy which transmits information very much like your cell phone. The heart opens us to this and the heart deepens our capacity for it. It is the major player in this bio-electric field.

I’m told several people facing major challenges right here in your congregation have said they feel the prayers said for their healing. This is more than an intuitive connection. When we send intentions of healing and health to another, depending on our vibrational pitch, and the more we are attuned, the more powerfully the intention travels from the higher self through the heart. It literally lifts our consciousness and we become more aligned and have more power to change things in our world globally.

In science we measure things, like the magnetic energy of the Earth. We have placed 8 magnetometers around the world. We have found resonant frequencies just like those in the heart. We have found that when these frequencies are higher, so too are those of people. We adults perform better. It’s just the opposite for the young. They tend to do more stupid things and get hurt more. So we are all truly connected! It is becoming clear; it is real; it is measurable.

We collected data on about 800 people showing we are sync’d up around the world. These people fell into 3 groups. Some were connected with certain resonant frequencies of the planet. A second group with other planet frequencies. The third group was not connected. They were disconnected. It’s not good. Their energy is incoherent.

We are close to proving we are affecting this energy globally. This will lift global consciousness! The carrier wave has been measured. Being together as a group, especially if you like or love each other, as you do here, amplifies the signal and helps feed the global field. You are feeding the field constantly. So the question then is, “What are you feeding the field?” How much today was love and compassion, and how much was frustration and anger? What is your ratio?

December 6, 2015 – How Adored You Are

12/06/15  Stowe Dailey & Karen Taylor Good
How Adored You Are

 
From the original Aramaic, “Our father from whom the breath of life comes, who is not separate from us, may we feel you in our hearts. Thanks for your forgiveness. May we forgive ourselves and others, too. May we walk in love, not fear. The kingdom of heaven is here.”

Peace is all I know. What if prayer is not a tearful plea of desperation, but breathing in and out God? What if your life is a prayer that God is praying? What if your thoughts are words that God is saying? What if you knew without a doubt that God is within and without?

Stowe Dailey: A few years ago, near death with cancer, I was advised to move into hospice! With my body, my spirit also needed healing. I visited a friend, a spiritual healer. She asked, “Do you love yourself Stowe? Your mother died when you were 9. You were abused emotionally and sexually. You must have felt abandoned and unloved, maybe that you didn’t deserve to be loved? Picture your beautiful daughter; imagine that she experienced the abuse you experienced.” I was horrified. My friend continued, “Now picture the beautiful child you are. Love her like you love your daughter.”

With my healing, I got a second chance to live, a second chance to laugh, to love, to sing, to dance. A sweet and precious gift. I had allowed my fear to sabotage my dreams, but I learned fear doesn’t stop you from dying, it stops you from living.

Everything happens for a reason; there is perfection in everything! Karen Taylor Good: My mother always had the answer. She was a Leo and a member of Mensa. But the last 8 years of her life she faded away with dementia. The woman that never forgot a grandchild’s birthday couldn’t remember my name. I went to some very dark places, very angry places. “If there is perfection in this, God, then show me! Why would you play such a cold-hearted trick? I thought your job was to love! It’s not fair!” But I got an answer, “she’s going to fly. She’ll have to let go of the things she can’t use. Memories and faces, people and places are just too heavy to carry on angel’s wings. When her time here is through, she’s going to fly.” It’s not easy, but it’s perfect.

Know you are a gift, God’s precious child, perfect, whole, and enough. “I am a gift!” Take a breath. Hear the voice of God, “Child of mine, do you know how adored you are? You’ve never been alone. In my heart you’re always home. I’m you’re greatest fan. You are enough. Do you know how adored you are?! Because you are! You are loved; all is well. So be it.

December 6, 2015 – How Adored You Are

12/06/15  Stowe Dailey & Karen Taylor Good
How Adored You Are

From the original Aramaic, “Our father from whom the breath of life comes, who is not separate from us, may we feel you in our hearts. Thanks for your forgiveness. May we forgive ourselves and others, too. May we walk in love, not fear. The kingdom of heaven is here.”

Peace is all I know. What if prayer is not a tearful plea of desperation, but breathing in and out God? What if your life is a prayer that God is praying? What if your thoughts are words that God is saying? What if you knew without a doubt that God is within and without?

Stowe Dailey: A few years ago, near death with cancer, I was advised to move into hospice! With my body, my spirit also needed healing. I visited a friend, a spiritual healer. She asked, “Do you love yourself Stowe? Your mother died when you were 9. You were abused emotionally and sexually. You must have felt abandoned and unloved, maybe that you didn’t deserve to be loved? Picture your beautiful daughter; imagine that she experienced the abuse you experienced.” I was horrified. My friend continued, “Now picture the beautiful child you are. Love her like you love your daughter.”

With my healing, I got a second chance to live, a second chance to laugh, to love, to sing, to dance. A sweet and precious gift. I had allowed my fear to sabotage my dreams, but I learned fear doesn’t stop you from dying, it stops you from living.

Everything happens for a reason; there is perfection in everything! Karen Taylor Good: My mother always had the answer. She was a Leo and a member of Mensa. But the last 8 years of her life she faded away with dementia. The woman that never forgot a grandchild’s birthday couldn’t remember my name. I went to some very dark places, very angry places. “If there is perfection in this, God, then show me! Why would you play such a cold-hearted trick? I thought your job was to love! It’s not fair!” But I got an answer, “she’s going to fly. She’ll have to let go of the things she can’t use. Memories and faces, people and places are just too heavy to carry on angel’s wings. When her time here is through, she’s going to fly.” It’s not easy, but it’s perfect.

Know you are a gift, God’s precious child, perfect, whole, and enough. “I am a gift!” Take a breath. Hear the voice of God, “Child of mine, do you know how adored you are? You’ve never been alone. In my heart you’re always home. I’m you’re greatest fan. You are enough. Do you know how adored you are?! Because you are! You are loved; all is well. So be it.

Play

August 9, 2015 – No More Guilt


08/09/15 Rev. David McArthur
No More Guilt
 
It’s time for guilt to end! When we were kids learning good/bad, right/wrong, guilt was helpful. Then as we grow spiritually and awaken to who we really are, we learn of God the Compassionate, of God the Merciful (the Q’ran). What if we were compassionate and merciful to ourselves?! Rumi: “But listen to me for one moment. Quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.”

From the Book of John: “The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought in a woman… ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.’ Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger…and said to them, ‘Let anyone one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Those who heard began to go away one at a time…until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus …asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one accused you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I…”

In our awakening, our journey, the woman symbolizes our feeling nature, the part of us feeling guilty; the Pharisees, head thinking (polarized, dualistic perception) rather than oneness. Jesus is the Christ Self, the Atman, Buddhist Mind, the I Am, our capacity within us which puts us in touch with the One Mind. “Stooping to write” shows the highest touches the ground when we have our life challenges. Jesus then sends us into self honesty, (“those without sin”), into our capacity to perceive and understand ourselves, the compassion of understanding. We gain wisdom, what life’s about. It is not pass/fail.

Sometimes we gain the most when we really blow it badly. For years we can be “weighed down with the knowledge that it was my fault.” Wisdom is the result of compassion because love always contains intelligence because love is God. That brings wisdom, and that brings peace.

Peace. Guilt. There’s always someone who will invite you into guilt, or something past will come up. In that moment we can choose compassion. Sometimes it’s easier to start with compassion for someone out there. Then we can bring it to ourselves. Compassion to understanding to peace. I choose compassion. I choose compassion. I choose compassion.

“But listen to me for one moment. Quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.” And you will!

August 9, 2015 – No More Guilt

08/09/15 Rev. David McArthur
No More Guilt

It’s time for guilt to end! When we were kids learning good/bad, right/wrong, guilt was helpful. Then as we grow spiritually and awaken to who we really are, we learn of God the Compassionate, of God the Merciful (the Q’ran). What if we were compassionate and merciful to ourselves?! Rumi: “But listen to me for one moment. Quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.”

From the Book of John: “The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought in a woman… ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.’ Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger…and said to them, ‘Let anyone one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Those who heard began to go away one at a time…until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus …asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one accused you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I…”

In our awakening, our journey, the woman symbolizes our feeling nature, the part of us feeling guilty; the Pharisees, head thinking (polarized, dualistic perception) rather than oneness. Jesus is the Christ Self, the Atman, Buddhist Mind, the I Am, our capacity within us which puts us in touch with the One Mind. “Stooping to write” shows the highest touches the ground when we have our life challenges. Jesus then sends us into self honesty, (“those without sin”), into our capacity to perceive and understand ourselves, the compassion of understanding. We gain wisdom, what life’s about. It is not pass/fail.
Sometimes we gain the most when we really blow it badly. For years we can be “weighed down with the knowledge that it was my fault.” Wisdom is the result of compassion because love always contains intelligence because love is God. That brings wisdom, and that brings peace.

Peace. Guilt. There’s always someone who will invite you into guilt, or something past will come up. In that moment we can choose compassion. Sometimes it’s easier to start with compassion for someone out there. Then we can bring it to ourselves. Compassion to understanding to peace. I choose compassion. I choose compassion. I choose compassion.

“But listen to me for one moment. Quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.” And you will!

Play