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!

September 20, 2015 – Pooh’s Path to Peace

09/20/15  Rev. David McArthur
Pooh’s Path to Peace

Monday is the International Day of Peace organized by the UN. Please hold the consciousness of peace with everyone. But how do we do that? One way is meditation, but it’s not always a regular practice. And I do have to get out of my meditation chair and be in the world, a world which is not trying to meditate with me. How do I bring peace into that part of my world?

Charles Fillmore said that to get to peace, to that in-depth experience in prayer which is beyond the challenges we face, get still. Let the body relax and the mind quiet. Silently say over and over to yourself, “Peace. Be still.” A great stillness will pervade your whole being.

In A. A. Milne’s first story Pooh hears a buzzing noise—a bee! Honey! To eat! So Pooh began climbing the tree. But a branch broke and he fell onto another branch which broke and he landed in the bushes. O help! He goes to Christopher Robin, who represents the Christ bearer, our spiritual self connected to the oneness, the fullness.

Christopher Robin gives Pooh a blue balloon. When Pooh grabs it, Christopher Robin lets go, and Pooh drifts up as high as the bee’s in the tree. Pooh could see them and he could smell the honey, but the wind didn’t blow him any closer. Pooh consoled himself, saying, “These are the wrong sort of bees.” So Christopher Robin told him to let go of the balloon. Pooh objected that he’d fall too fast and get hurt. So Christopher Robin shot a small hole in the balloon and the air let out slowly. Pooh floated down to the ground and back to Christopher Robin. If you’re involved with your “bees” and are trying to get your honey, Christopher Robin (the Christ connection) will help you float down. Our fulfillment is not with our bees but down on the ground with Christopher Robin. Just because it is simple don’t mistake it as not profound. In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

At the heart of each great religion is a prayer to go to the deep peace. One in particular calls to me. It is the Prayer of Saint Francis, Make me an instrument of your peace. Make me an instrument of your peace. Make me an instrument of your peace. When you are dealing with your bees: Make me an instrument of your peace. Take that deep breath. Our power here is the sincerity of our heart. If we want to move away from the bees: Make me an instrument of your peace. It draws us to our hearts and that beautiful consciousness. Feel that beautiful shift! Make me an instrument of your peace.

Right in the midst of all the bees there is an alternative. It’s called “peace”.

Play

September 28, 2014 – Eeyore’s New Consciousness

9/28/14 Rev. David McArthur
Eeyore’s New Consciousness

Growing spiritually, you notice that “something is unfolding in me.” Questions come up as we’re drawn on the journey. So I looked at all kinds of scripture and ended up in the Hundred Acre Woods, and it’s Eeyore’s birthday.

Pooh walked up. “Good morning!” Eeyore answered, “If it is a good morning.” He commented about all the presents and cake he didn’t get. Some of us do Eeyore very well (“Ain’t it awful!” “Life’s so hard!”). Pooh realized everybody forgot Eeyore’s birthday, and tore off to his house to find Eeyore a present. He’d give him honey! He passed by Piglet and told him what he was going to do. Piglet had a balloon he could give Eeyore and he ran home to get it. He wanted to get to Eeyore before Pooh got back so Eeyore would think he had thought of Eeyore’s birthday himself, so he held the balloon very tightly and ran fast. He tripped, and BANG!, the balloon popped! Pooh was hurrying, too, but realized with a tingle that he was hungry, and look!—there’s a pot of honey under his arm! Yes, soon it was all gone. Then he realized he had no honey to give Eeyore, just an empty pot—Oh! He could give Eeyore the pot! When we start toward that new state of consciousness it doesn’t mean the old consciousness is gone. The old consciousness still affects our creation. Our balloons pop and honey is eaten.

Pooh gave Eeyore the pot without any honey in it, and told him he could put things in it and also take them out. Piglet dropped the piece of balloon in the pot, and Eeyore took it out and put it in, and took it out and put it in, quite delighted to have a pot to put things in and take things out of, and delighted too to have something to put in it and take from it. He was as happy as can be, in a new state of consciousness.

The truth is they thought they wanted Eeyore to have balloons and honey, but they really wanted to change his unhappy state to a happy one. They brought connection, care, and love. A new consciousness was born.

From Corinthians, “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Take care of yourself in your growth, with patience and kindness. We’re good at giving these to others, but how do we treat ourselves? Instead of looking at yourself harshly, do it with patience and kindness.
I grow with patience and kindness. I grow with patience and kindness. I grow with patience and kindness.

Eeyore figured it out. It was his choice to accept love and care on his journey. The love and care lets us choose for ourselves to go where our heart is telling us to go—where that amazing state of consciousness calls us to grow.

Play

September 28, 2014 – Eeyore’s New Consciousness


9/28/14 Rev. David McArthur
Eeyore’s New Consciousness

Growing spiritually, you notice that “something is unfolding in me.” Questions come up as we’re drawn on the journey. So I looked at all kinds of scripture and ended up in the Hundred Acre Woods, and it’s Eeyore’s birthday.

Pooh walked up. “Good morning!” Eeyore answered, “If it is a good morning.” He commented about all the presents and cake he didn’t get. Some of us do Eeyore very well (“Ain’t it awful!” “Life’s so hard!”). Pooh realized everybody forgot Eeyore’s birthday, and tore off to his house to find Eeyore a present. He’d give him honey! He passed by Piglet and told him what he was going to do. Piglet had a balloon he could give Eeyore and he ran home to get it. He wanted to get to Eeyore before Pooh got back so Eeyore would think he had thought of Eeyore’s birthday himself, so he held the balloon very tightly and ran fast. He tripped, and BANG!, the balloon popped! Pooh was hurrying, too, but realized with a tingle that he was hungry, and look!—there’s a pot of honey under his arm! Yes, soon it was all gone. Then he realized he had no honey to give Eeyore, just an empty pot—Oh! He could give Eeyore the pot! When we start toward that new state of consciousness it doesn’t mean the old consciousness is gone. The old consciousness still affects our creation. Our balloons pop and honey is eaten.

Pooh gave Eeyore the pot without any honey in it, and told him he could put things in it and also take them out. Piglet dropped the piece of balloon in the pot, and Eeyore took it out and put it in, and took it out and put it in, quite delighted to have a pot to put things in and take things out of, and delighted too to have something to put in it and take from it. He was as happy as can be, in a new state of consciousness.

The truth is they thought they wanted Eeyore to have balloons and honey, but they really wanted to change his unhappy state to a happy one. They brought connection, care, and love. A new consciousness was born.

From Corinthians, “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Take care of yourself in your growth, with patience and kindness. We’re good at giving these to others, but how do we treat ourselves? Instead of looking at yourself harshly, do it with patience and kindness.
I grow with patience and kindness. I grow with patience and kindness. I grow with patience and kindness.

Eeyore figured it out. It was his choice to accept love and care on his journey. The love and care lets us choose for ourselves to go where our heart is telling us to go—where that amazing state of consciousness calls us to grow.

June 8, 2014 – Kindness for Piglet

6/08/14 Rev. David McArthur
Kindness for Piglet 

One of the very powerful energies now coming into our 3D experience is the powerful attitude of kindness, to choose love instead of fear. We know what to do. The problem isn’t knowing what to do, the problem is remembering to do it.

Often when I want to move from fear to love, an image pops up from the gospel of Pooh which eases this for me: It had rained for some time. Piglet was afraid that he needed to be rescued. Pooh and Christopher Robin felt he needed to be rescued too. So they turned Christopher’s umbrella upside down to use as a boat. It worked. Can you imagine Piglet’s joy when he spied them coming into view, to his rescue?! This is the image that pops into my mind when someone needs reminding that things will be ok. It’s an extending of kindness.

When there is a fearful experience, what is asked of us? Could we choose to send kindness? Send, “You are a child of God. You are loved,” gently holding that connection for someone in their struggle. We aren’t their answer, but we are a presence in their world.

I went to a refugee camp on the West Bank. I went into a house with a family who had lost the father, the husband, because of the struggle there. Aware that we lived in two different worlds, I shared with the mother in the house that I had also experienced the death of a spouse. Almost as a challenge, the woman asked, “Was it by a gun?” I said, yes. When she heard that, she looked into my eyes—women do not normally look into a man’s eyes in that culture. I saw into her soul—the pain, the fear, struggle, loneliness, the fear she had for her 16 year old son who was slipping from her control. I saw the exhaustion, but also the beauty and the strength of that amazing woman. And she saw into me. Later I realized that we had been surrounded by a love which cared for both of us. What had happened was that we had given up separation, that feeling of difference. We were just two people. It touched us both. Somewhere in that connection there was a care and an acknowledgment of who we were.
That’s what we send when we send out kindness to another. It doesn’t change the outer, but the more we do it, the more we invite change. “Child of God, you are loved.”

Hold that awareness of kindness, of love, for three people and for their peoples. Today, President Peres of Israel; and President of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas; and Pope Francis meet to pray in a garden at the Vatican. Send your heart to them. It is a power greater than fear. It dissolves the feeling of difference. Breath that kindness for the people of the world. “Children of God, you are loved!” So when you’re driving down a California freeway, breathe kindness! Enjoy the journey!

Play

June 8, 2014 – Kindness for Piglet


Rev. David McArthur
Kindness for Piglet 

One of the very powerful energies now coming into our 3D experience is the powerful attitude of kindness, to choose love instead of fear. We know what to do. The problem isn’t knowing what to do, the problem is remembering to do it.

Often when I want to move from fear to love, an image pops up from the gospel of Pooh which eases this for me: It had rained for some time. Piglet was afraid that he needed to be rescued. Pooh and Christopher Robin felt he needed to be rescued too. So they turned Christopher’s umbrella upside down to use as a boat. It worked. Can you imagine Piglet’s joy when he spied them coming into view, to his rescue?! This is the image that pops into my mind when someone needs reminding that things will be ok. It’s an extending of kindness.

When there is a fearful experience, what is asked of us? Could we choose to send kindness? Send, “You are a child of God. You are loved,” gently holding that connection for someone in their struggle. We aren’t their answer, but we are a presence in their world.

I went to a refugee camp on the West Bank. I went into a house with a family who had lost the father, the husband, because of the struggle there. Aware that we lived in two different worlds, I shared with the mother in the house that I had also experienced the death of a spouse. Almost as a challenge, the woman asked, “Was it by a gun?” I said, yes. When she heard that, she looked into my eyes—women do not normally look into a man’s eyes in that culture. I saw into her soul—the pain, the fear, struggle, loneliness, the fear she had for her 16 year old son who was slipping from her control. I saw the exhaustion, but also the beauty and the strength of that amazing woman. And she saw into me. Later I realized that we had been surrounded by a love which cared for both of us. What had happened was that we had given up separation, that feeling of difference. We were just two people. It touched us both. Somewhere in that connection there was a care and an acknowledgment of who we were.
That’s what we send when we send out kindness to another. It doesn’t change the outer, but the more we do it, the more we invite change. “Child of God, you are loved.”

Hold that awareness of kindness, of love, for three people and for their peoples. Today, President Peres of Israel; and President of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas; and Pope Francis meet to pray in a garden at the Vatican. Send your heart to them. It is a power greater than fear. It dissolves the feeling of difference. Breath that kindness for the people of the world. “Children of God, you are loved!” So when you’re driving down a California freeway, breathe kindness! Enjoy the journey!

September 1, 2013 – From Beauty to Christopher Robin to Presence

9/1/13 Rev. David McArthur
From Beauty to Christopher Robin to Presence

One morning on my back deck I stopped and observed the beauty of the early sun and of shadow, colors, and textures all around me, and I felt something more, something greater. In prayer, I call this The Presence. At times it is so alive, but it is not seen “out there”, it is in here, inside. Then I got it: the questions and thoughts in my mind from years of exploring great teachers and scriptures are about going through an experience but are not the experience itself. This experience that we call “God”, which makes us all misunderstand but which we’ve all felt—this beautiful sacred presence in us which lives through us, is us. Beauty opens us and is part of the journey.

In Winnie the Pooh the images are so pure. One morning Pooh is singing a rhyme and sees a hole in a bank. Could it be Rabbit’s hole? “Is there anybody home?” he asks. “Nobody home!” is the reply. Rabbit is a great picture of mind, always asking “What if…?” and when he lets Pooh in he says, “You can’t be too careful.” He offers Pooh bread and honey. When all the honey is gone, Pooh makes his goodbyes, but cannot get back out through the rabbit hole. He is stuck. Pooh is an excellent image of the soul’s journey—entering into the world and then getting stuck. Christopher Robin is the Christ Self; it’s his Hundred Acre Wood and all the animals are under his care. He said Pooh had to stay stuck until he got thinner. So he reads to Pooh every day until he’s thin enough to get out of the hole. It’s like that moment for us of being with the One, conscious of the relationship with that Presence in our lives. This is a picture of life, with all the things that go down, all the struggles and conflict; there is the intelligence and care there right in the middle of life, which responds. Knowledge supports us in our journey, but it’s not important. What is important is the relationship with the divine.

In the experience on the deck I became aware that I was grateful. “Thank you Father!” for the beauty, for the experience of being in it, of it. My response was “I am grateful!”—one with the gratitude and tremendous beauty that unfolds. I am grateful! I am grateful! I am grateful! In this moment you are immersed in beauty! It is in the people all around you (although sometimes very cleverly disguised). I am grateful for all that’s there! You are beautiful, and for that I am grateful!

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September 1, 2013 – From Beauty to Christopher Robin to Presence

9/1/13 Rev. David McArthur
From Beauty to Christopher Robin to Presence

One morning on my back deck I stopped and observed the beauty of the early sun and of shadow, colors, and textures all around me, and I felt something more, something greater. In prayer, I call this The Presence. At times it is so alive, but it is not seen “out there”, it is in here, inside. Then I got it: the questions and thoughts in my mind from years of exploring great teachers and scriptures are about going through an experience but are not the experience itself. This experience that we call “God”, which makes us all misunderstand but which we’ve all felt—this beautiful sacred presence in us which lives through us, is us. Beauty opens us and is part of the journey.

In Winnie the Pooh the images are so pure. One morning Pooh is singing a rhyme and sees a hole in a bank. Could it be Rabbit’s hole? “Is there anybody home?” he asks. “Nobody home!” is the reply. Rabbit is a great picture of mind, always asking “What if…?” and when he lets Pooh in he says, “You can’t be too careful.” He offers Pooh bread and honey. When all the honey is gone, Pooh makes his goodbyes, but cannot get back out through the rabbit hole. He is stuck. Pooh is an excellent image of the soul’s journey—entering into the world and then getting stuck. Christopher Robin is the Christ Self; it’s his Hundred Acre Wood and all the animals are under his care. He said Pooh had to stay stuck until he got thinner. So he reads to Pooh every day until he’s thin enough to get out of the hole. It’s like that moment for us of being with the One, conscious of the relationship with that Presence in our lives. This is a picture of life, with all the things that go down, all the struggles and conflict; there is the intelligence and care there right in the middle of life, which responds. Knowledge supports us in our journey, but it’s not important. What is important is the relationship with the divine.

In the experience on the deck I became aware that I was grateful. “Thank you Father!” for the beauty, for the experience of being in it, of it. My response was “I am grateful!”—one with the gratitude and tremendous beauty that unfolds. I am grateful! I am grateful! I am grateful! In this moment you are immersed in beauty! It is in the people all around you (although sometimes very cleverly disguised). I am grateful for all that’s there! You are beautiful, and for that I am grateful!

April 7, 2013 – Pooh and the North Pole – The Knowing Place

4/7/13 Rev. David McArthur
Pooh and the North Pole—The Knowing Place

Pooh and I, Jesus, Lao Tzu and Krishna, share an amazing place. It’s a place all of us want, but we’re not sure where it is or even if we’ve gotten there! It always seems out of reach, not for ordinary people, but we’ve all gotten there many times. It’s The Place Of Knowing—the amazing experience where we actually know—we experience—the presence of the divine. But after we’ve been there we aren’t sure where we’ve been because the mind forgets. It doesn’t know what to do with the experience.

Winnie the Pooh called it the North Pole. (In stories, each character is part of ourselves, and speaks to our journey.) Pooh is the seeker. He is open. The whole gang goes off with him to find the North Pole. They sit by a beautiful stream to eat lunch. Roo falls in the water, and after much excitement, Pooh and Kanga hold a pole for Roo to grab and crawl out. Christopher Robin declares it is the North Pole. He represents the divine self that you are which, even though you didn’t know what you were looking for, has the full capacity to know when you have found it. That beautiful capacity to say, “This is what it is.” So they put a sign on it that says, “This is the North Pole.”

You probably do not find it in meditation or prayer, but in the middle of the dishes or doing something that needed to be done, like helping Roo. Suddenly you experience, you know, the goodness of God. You feel it is true. You’ve touched that very fabric of the Presence Itself. It is freeing. You can’t think it, but you can be it. You’ve been there, and you’ve forgotten, but a sweetness and gentleness lingers.

Eventually we do forget and think this stuff down here is what’s real. That’s where Christopher Robin has such a wonderful message—when you have found it, stop and put a sign on it. “This is my place of knowing. I feel all-loving goodness.” When you remember that feeling you remember that you know what is real. I Feel the All-loving Goodness. I Feel the All-loving Goodness. I Feel the All-loving Goodness. You do. You know it. Put that sign on it. You’ve found it, The Place Of Knowing, in you. You’ll be there again. You feel it because you are loved; you are that love!

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