President’s Letter

09-20-20 – Love and Power

Dear Friends,

Let every voice but God’s be still in me

ACIM Workbook 254

This week, I’m offering some of the same quotes I shared last week, with a slightly different focus.  My experience (and I’m guessing yours, too) is that the fear around us is intensifying, and it’s a growing challenge to not feel consumed by fear … politics, the pandemic and economy, plus whatever change is (or isn’t?) happening in your life … they’re all screaming for our fearful attention.  How can we not be fearful in the midst of all of this?  How can we move beyond fighting what we fear and, instead, experience and offer peace?

Fear is not justified in any form.

– ACIM Workbook 240

 … we are each a part of Love Itself.

I keep reminding myself, and you, that there’s really only one way.  We need to keep coming back to our spiritual principles and practices, turning to God within, and trusting that God is in charge. 

I rule my mind, which I alone must rule. – ACIM Workbook 236 I have a kingdom I must rule.  At times, it does not seem I am its king at all.  It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel.  And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it.  My mind can only serve.  Today I give its service to the Holy Spirit to employ as He sees fit.  I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule.  And thus I set it free to do the Will of God.

Father, my mind is open to Your Thoughts, and closed today to every thought but Yours.  I rule my mind and offer it to You.  Accept my gift, for it is Yours to me.

I can choose to believe fearful images, or I can consciously acknowledge my thoughts and choose to redirect them to the truth I want to practice.  That truth is not always my “emotional truth” — I may need to feel fearful for a bit before I wake up to what I’ve been telling myself and, thus, affirming.  Thankfully, through my readings, through my friends and associates, through “speaking” to me in my own mind, God reminds me to discipline my mind.  It’s my mind, and it’s my job to direct it. 

I’ve been joining Lynn Woodland’s Miracles Class on Wednesday evenings.  This past Wednesday, Lynn shared with us several examples of times when she moved from worry and fear about events in her extended community or our country and her process of focusing on positive images.  After every one of those times, there were definite changes in outer circumstances.  We have that same power. 

For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of good discipline. 

2 Timothy 1:7, Holy Bible (from the ancient eastern text, George M. Lamsa’s translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta)

Love is our only power … love is the only power.  The essence of everything that matters, that is real and lasting, is love.  The form of how we experience and extend that love may seem different for each of us.  Lynn mentioned focusing on a single subject like the DNA of a structure and effecting change.  I am almost always drawn to focus, not on individuals, but on the whole – groups, the entire planet, all Creation – as I affirm energetic shifts of light, love, and peace.  I believe that our highest service is to focus on the essence of what we want to increase.  Then, no matter what results from our thoughts, whether “good” or “ill”, God will use the resulting form to teach us Love.  Whatever the question or concern, love is always the answer. 

The Light of God surrounds us

The Love of God enfolds us

The Power of God protects us

The Presence of God watches over us

Wherever we are, God IS.

Unity Prayer for Protection, by James Dillet Freeman

With love,

Carol

President’s Letter

09-06-20 – THE PRESENCE OF GOD


Dear Friends,


The Light of God surrounds me/you/us
The Love of God enfolds me/you/us
The Power of God protects me/you/us
The Presence of God watches over me/you/us
Wherever I am/you are/we are, God IS.

Unity Prayer for Protection, by James Dillet Freeman


From time to time, we have either sung this prayer as one of our hymns or recited it in our closing circle. I’ve known for a few years that when I move into my heart/mind space, I feel something wonderful – a smile that flows from there through my entire body, a desire to giggle, a deep sense of
Love, and sometimes just pure bliss. Yet, I have been unwilling (or unready?) to practice this with any frequency or regularity, to be willing to surrender to Love.

FROM MARIANNE WILLIAMSON:
The ways of the Lord are the processes of energy by which life moves forward. We move into this power through silence and communion. In the presence of God, we learn from Him His ways.


Throughout my adult life, Spirit has occasionally spoken to me during that time between sleeping and waking; the tone of each message is relevant to where I am in my life at the time. (Please note that, while I experience these as “personal” messages of Love, I believe that each is a universal truth, to be
received and shared by each of us in our own perfect time and manner.) Several years ago, I heard “I’m here and I love you.” I think there was also something about “I’ve got your back.” For a few years after that, I often heard “I’m here and I love you” in my mind. It seemed like I heard this so often that I couldn’t tell, any more, who was “speaking” to whom – God to me, me to God, Self or Holy Spirit to me. So, one morning when I heard the words, I asked who was speaking. There was a pause … I waited and listened … and then heard this answer … “How about Love?” Perfect! – no matter who was speaking. (Of course. All is the same One. All is Love.)


During this time of social distancing, like so many people, I’ve had almost no direct contact with others, and the only touch I’ve experienced – other than during a medical appointment – has been with my cat, Comfort, and I’m so blessed to have his companionship. I continue to remind myself that
our bodies are not real and, therefore, that love is not really a physical body experience. Nevertheless, I’ve been missing hugs and face-to-face connection beyond emails and phone calls. A little over a week ago, in my pre-waking time, I heard “I’m here. I love you. I’m holding you. And
that’s that.” I especially love the “and that’s that”  as in, “This is a given, Carol  ordinary, nothing to change, no need to fuss. It has always been and will always be.” I also love that Spirit keeps expanding on the original message, deepening it each time.


I RULE MY MIND, WHICH I ALONE MUST RULE. –

I have a kingdom I must rule. At times, it does not seem I am its king at all. It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel. And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it. My mind can only serve. Today I give its service to the Holy Spirit to employ as He sees fit. I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule. And thus I set it free to do the Will of God.
Father, my mind is open to Your Thoughts, and closed today to every thought but Yours. I rule my mind and offer it to You. Accept my gift, for it is Yours to me.

ACIM Workbook 236


This past week, lacking library books for a few days, I pulled “Spiritual Economics, the prosperity process” by Eric Butterworth off of my bookshelf and have been reading and absorbing little bits throughout each day. As have so many of my other learning tools, especially this past year, this book
stresses that our thoughts create our experience, and it is our responsibility to choose them. The first chapter of Butterworth’s book focuses on the Presence of God as the allness, the substance (meaning “standing under”, the foundation or base) of all creation. We are within the Presence, and the
Presence is within us. He wrote “the practice of the presence means continually reminding yourself of the activity of God ever working in you.”

For the past few months, one of my aims has been to consciously experience and join with the Presence of God. I’m being guided in this journey  from Mike Dooley (www.tut.com) and my other daily readings (ACIM and Marianne Williamson) , through conversations with both like-minded and “unlike-minded” people, to this Butterworth book sitting on my shelf for 30-some years  I am being led to new awarenesses and encouraged to check into my heart/mind more frequently, with the goal
of living outward from that consciousness. As I push past my need for words, past my innate fear of being out of control, I am growing in trust and in comfort with my silent center. I’m checking in a lot more often, knowing that as I deepen my practice in the Presence of God, I am being led to knowing and living, from the inside out, that:

FEAR IS NOT JUSTIFIED IN ANY FORM.
we are each a part of Love Itself.

ACIM Workbook 240


Love, light and peace, always
Carol

President’s Letter

8-30-20 Peace & Justice

Greetings, all

My attention has been caught by yard signs that say, “Without justice, there can be no peace.”  In my  google search for the origination of the quote, most of the references were about individuals and groups who used this (or a similar) phrase as a rallying cry for racial justice, beginning with “no justice, no peace” in 1986.  The phrase often carries a real or perceived threat, an “if-then” statement.  A little more reading found that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., made the original (?) statement in a speech outside a California prison where Vietnam war protesters were being held on December 14, 1967.  He was aligning protests claiming that the Vietnam war as violating the rights of the Vietnamese people for self-determination with protests against racial injustice in the USA.  Quoting Dr. King from that speech:

There can be no justice without peace and there can be no peace without justice.

Quoting an article titled “There Can Be No Peace without Justice” from The Overcast – Newfoundland’s Alternative Newspaper, May 19, 2017, by “Public Post”:

There; is a beautiful elegance to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, words … What can be difficult to put into action is how we actually own our responsibility for the social justice and change we purport to champion and support. Not just for the few, but for the many. Sometimes the solutions have to be hard-won, other times, they can be beautifully simple.

As Dr. King pointed out – and to quote a line from one old song – “You can’t have one without the other.”  I believe that everything that matters is an internal matter … it’s all an “inside job”.  What could be more “beautifully simple” than that? 

From Marianne Williamson:

The experience of peace comes only from the mind.  “Peace of mind,” says A Course In Miracles, “ is clearly an internal matter. 

Those who are seeking racial (or any other) justice in the world appear to be focusing on the second part of King’s quote:  “There can be no peace without justice”, believing that justice must be won on the outside, whether by fighting or, as Dr. King taught, some more peaceful external means.  In my view, those of us on a committed spiritual path will be best served – and will serve best – by following the first part of King’s quote:  “There can be no justice without peace.”  Our “inside job” requires us to turn within, to our spiritual Source. 

Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still.

ACIM Workbook 221

Father, I come to You today to seek the peace that You alone can give.  I come in silence.  In the quiet of my heart, the deep recesses of my mind, I wait and listen for Your Voice.  My Father, speak to me today.  I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love, sure You will hear my call and answer me.

Now do we wait in quiet.  God is here, because we wait together.  I am sure that He will speak to you, and you will hear.  Accept my confidence, for it is yours.  Our minds are joined.  We wait with one intent; to hear our Father’s answer to our call, to let our thoughts be still and find His peace, to hear Him speak to us of what we are, and to reveal Himself unto His Son.


God has condemned me not. No more do I.

My Father knows my holiness.  Shall I deny His knowledge, and believe in what His knowledge makes impossible?  Shall I accept as true what He proclaims as false?  Or shall I take His Word for what I am, since He is my Creator, and the One Who knows the true condition of His Son?

Father, I was mistaken in myself, because I failed to realize the Source from which I came.  I have not left that Source to enter in a body and to die.  My holiness remains a part of me, as I am part of You.  And my mistakes about myself are dreams.  I let them go today.  And I stand ready to receive Your Word alone for what I really am.

The Course says that forgiveness, which is our only function here, is the key to peace, our only goal.  And forgiveness, as the Course explains it, means recognizing that there is no guilt … not in me, not in you, not in anyone.  We cannot change what God created.

Love, which created me, is what I am.

ACIM Workbook 229

I seek my own Identity, and find It in these words: “Love, which created me, is what I am.”  Now need I seek no more.  Love has prevailed.  So still It waited for my coming home, that I will turn away no longer from the holy face of Christ.  And what I look upon attests the truth of the Identity I sought to lose, but which my Father has kept safe for me.

Father, my thanks to You for what I am; for keeping my Identity untouched and sinless, in the midst of all the thoughts of sin my foolish mind made up.  And thanks to You for saving me from them.  Amen

Now will I seek and find the peace of God.

  ACIM Workbook 230

In peace I was created.  And in peace do I remain.  It is not given me to change my Self.  How merciful is God my Father, that when He created me He gave me peace forever.  Now I ask but to be what I am.  And can this be denied me, when it is forever true?

Father, I seek the peace You gave as mine in my creation.  What was given then must be here now, for my creation was apart from time, and still remains beyond all change.  The peace in which Your Son was born into Your Mind is shining there unchanged.  I am as You created me.  I need but call on You to find the peace You gave.  It is Your Will that gave it to Your Son.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

As children of our Creator, forgiveness (letting go of our illusions of guilt) is our only function, and peace/love/oneness (the kingdom of God) is our only goal.  When we commit to peace (or any other of the qualities of God) as our one goal, we open to experiencing all of the qualities of God, all of our inheritance as God’s children.  As we become more rooted in our own inner peace and innocence, our words and actions, even our very presence, extend them into our outer world.  When we no longer see guilt in anyone, there will be no need to seek justice.  We will be just. 

Peace and love to you always,

Carol

President’s Letter

Sunday, 08-23-20

Dear Friends,

I have spent this past week processing the craziness of our outer world and the fact that it is all a trick the ego is playing to keep us distracted from the truth that love is all there is.  As with last Sunday, Jon Mundy has addressed the topic about which I was writing.  And, as with last Sunday, I’m choosing to forward his message (and save mine for another day?).

Love Longing for Itself

Love can easily get covered over with ego emissions and all the judgments we so easily throw out upon the world.  Thus, it is that. . .

Projection will always hurt you.

It reinforces your belief in your own split mind,

and its only purpose is to keep the separation going.

It is solely a device of the ego to make you feel

different from your brothers and separated from them.

Projection and attack are inevitably related,

because projection is always a means of justifying attack.

Anger without projection is impossible.

The ego uses projection only to destroy your perception

of both yourself and your brothers.

T-6.II.3:1-3,5-7

I knew a man whose father was rough, difficult, and demanding. The son had a lot of trouble dealing with his father and often felt as though he hated him. Then one day the father, who was getting older, was hit by a car while crossing the street in New York City. He broke his hip, some blood clots formed, and then, he suffered a stroke. He never fully recovered. After that, he became childlike, innocent — and loving. The love was in him all along longing for expression.

Now the man whom the son hated was altogether different and he was dependent upon his son to care for him. What a dilemma! The old man, whom the son had hated, was no longer hateful. Now, he was uncomplicated, trusting. He smiled frequently and looked to his son for support. As the son was willing to let go of the past, healing occurred. All that was left, all that was real between them, was love. Life is like that: buried within, sometimes not even too deeply, love is trying to find a way out, and an opportunity for expression. Thus, our only job is one of “removing the blocks to an awareness of love’s presence.”

Unforgiveness means holding onto something we reinforce in our minds and make real because we do not want to look at ourselves and how it is that we have contributed to what we see as someone else’s problem. If anyone attacks you, for any reason — remember they are hurting. And because they are hurting — the healing can come only by extending the gentle balm of love. Once, when I was dealing with someone who was suffering from a deep depression, I asked Jesus how was I supposed to help this person? And I heard: “Just keep loving him.” What a simple answer — and it is true — it is how miracles work. 

Principle No. 6 of the 50 Miracle Principles says,

Miracles are natural. 

When they do not occur, something has gone wrong

Everything that comes from love is natural. The ego is not natural. When we’re in the ego we feel uneasy, uncomfortable. Something is missing. Relaxing into love, it is possible to love everything – all those around you, your pets and every experience that comes your way.

Love always leads to love.

The sick, who ask for love, are grateful for it,

and in their joy they shine with holy thanks.

T-13.VI.10:4

Let the past go — all of it — all the negative feelings
you may have had about anyone, and remember:

Underneath it all, we really do love one another.

Happy Birthday to Jerry Kwako on Tuesday!

With love and gratitude,

Carol

President’s Letter

Sunday, 08-16-20 – Now and Zen

Dear Friends,

This week, I am − once again − sharing Jon Mundy’s entire message for the week.  It’s so very apt regarding the message I had actually prepared for today − our challenges to find our way in this world and beyond.

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Now and Zen

When there are no unnecessary thoughts in your mind every day is a good day. -Zen saying

A minister was conducting religious services in an asylum for the insane in England. His discourse was suddenly interrupted by one of the inmates crying out, “I say! Have we got to listen to this tommyrot?” The minister, surprised and confused looked to the supervisor and said, “Shall I stop speaking?” The supervisor replied, “Keep right on. That won’t happen again. That man has only one sane moment every seven years.”

What is so attractive about Zen and the Course is the appeal they both make to reason and sanity in an otherwise insane world. Both schools of thought encourage us to look to the quiet, receptive mind where we can see without adding any interpretation to what is seen. The ego analyzes; the Holy Spirit accepts (T-11.V.13:1). Notice the Zen-like qualities of the following passage from the Course.

The Voice of the Holy Spirit does not command, because It is incapable of arrogance. It does not demand, because It does not seek control. It does not overcome, because It does not attack. It merely reminds. It is compelling only because of what It reminds you of. It brings to your mind the other way, remaining quiet even in the midst of the turmoil you may make. The Voice for God is always quiet, because It speaks of peace.T-5.II 7:1-7 

Zen says observe without comment, criticism, or commentary; observe without judgment.

The Course says, “words are but symbols of symbols and thus twice removed from reality. (M-211:9-10).” The word starts the world. The moment we enter the world of words, the world begins. So it is that an infant lives in the void until they begin to develop words, labels, identities − especially the identity of me and mine Everyone is born a mystic, then we draw the child toward the school and the church and the mystical fades away in face of the material – the social – the personality — the world.

A Christian philosopher attending a conference on World Religions in Tokyo said to a Shinto master, “I don’t think I get your ideology. I don’t understand your theology.” The Shinto master looked at him for a moment and then said, “We don’t have a theology. We do not have an ideology. We dance.”

A universal theology is impossible. But, a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. C- In. 2:5 

Zen is not a theology. Zen is a pure, absolute, inculpable religion. Theology contaminates and pollutes. Theology is something about which we may have “debates.” People have been arguing for centuries because of “dogmas,” ideologies, geocentricism, egocentricism, nationalism – “anyism” will do. Anyism is an illusion. Only knowledge of the pure heart of God brings us to the truth.

In Love and Peace,

Carol