Tag Archives: science of mind

Hello Everyone!

I am getting excited about going the annual Centers for Spiritual Living Convention in a couple of weeks! If you are going I would love to see you!

And, I would also love to see you at a book study I will be offering, beginning in March. It is based on the book called Trust: Mastering the Four Essential Elements of Trust, by Iyanla Vanzant. This book study will be a facilitated book study, meaning we won’t just be reading together but I will be guiding us into a deep dive of this great work. It will be held on Mondays, beginning March 4, for 5 weeks, from 2-4 PM Pacific time, via Zoom. Contact me to sign up.

And I’d like to share with you an insight I had simply by reading the Introduction in this book.

I think releasing needs to be added to the official list of spiritual practices in my latest book. So I’m going to add it. 

Now, you may be wondering why it wasn’t there in the first place. 

Well!

There’s the little question of what we are releasing to. Because in Science of Mind we teach that God isn’t something that is separate from us, so releasing gets a bit tricky. But stick with me!

So let me clarify a bit. And back up a bit as well. Releasing can also be called letting go or allowing. It’s the opposite of controlling. Go with the flow. Releasing is about faith and trust. Control is about fear.

And there is a happy medium there. One has to set boundaries, and take care of oneself. One can’t just willy nilly go along with whatever happens to come along, that just makes one a victim. 

I’ve learned all this stuff through personal experience. 

And to be honest, I’ve never been one to release. Mostly because my understanding of God is that It doesn’t do things, It doesn’t make decisions for us, It isn’t something that just takes care of things. God is an energy force that is a part of us, just as we are a part of It, that provides us with the power to do things, make our own decisions and take care of things. So if I release, I have nothing to release to.

Except I was experiencing some problems. Unpleasant ones. Stubborn ones. Unsolvable ones. I tried everything, and nothing worked. It was frustrating! I kept asking what these problems were wanting me to know, what they were trying to teach me, and I wasn’t getting any answers. I was just getting frustrated. 

And then, through a series of tiny little events, it occurred to me that I needed to release. In a whole bunch of areas of my life.

So I did. 

And I got instant relief.

But there’s still the whole question of what I’m releasing to. 

And I still don’t quite know. But here’s the deal: I don’t have to know. I just need to set the intention to release, and let it happen. I don’t need to worry about the how or the what. 

All I can tell you is that when I did that, I got instant relief. Instant. 

I took my blood pressure, and yep, instant relief. My veins are very grateful I did that releasing.

Yep. This spiritual stuff is powerful. 

So if you are experiencing problems, try releasing. Just letting go. Leave the question as to what you are releasing to. That is not the point here. The point is just to release. Let it go. Turn it in. Allow. 

Simply set the intention. Don’t worry about how to do it, or what to release to. Just release.

Today I release and feel the peace that results.

Thank you! Rev. Karen

Today I pay tribute to Dr. Ernest Holmes, the founder of Science of Mind, the teaching of Centers for Spiritual Living.  You know those questions that ask about the one person you would love to be able to speak with, or the one person who had the most effect on your life?  It’s this guy.  Dr. Ernest Holmes, and today was his birthday.  I was a child when I first became acquainted with the teaching he presented to the world in the form of a textbook in 1926, called the Science of Mind Textbook.  I had some other things to do in life, mainly drink, but when it came time to move to the next stage of my personal development when I was about ten years sober, I came home to that teaching and began seriously studying it and applying its principles in my life.  Each class I took, each workshop I attended changed me from the inside out and this teaching continues to do so as I live its principles.

I was unable to find out how many books Ernest Holmes wrote, but at one source I found 49 listings.  I own 21 of Ernest Holmes’ books and have read and continue to use every single one of them in my own studies and research, and for my own reminders of the truth when I need refreshers.  I read lots of other books, but I always begin and end with Ernest Holmes.  He called Science of Mind the study of spiritual psychology and that is where my heart is, in spiritual psychology.

There is a web site called the Science of Mind archives that has a wealth of information and this quote is in the bio of Ernest Holmes:  “Once, when asked to provide a concise definition of the Science of Mind teaching, he replied that it is a “correlation of laws of science, opinions of philosophy and revelations of religion applied to human needs and aspirations.”

So for his birthday I want to present to you some of my favorite Ernest Holmes quotes.  This is by no means all of them.  There are far too many to include.  And these are just from the Science of Mind textbook, and more specifically, the Introduction.  The text book itself is almost 600 pages long, and mine is filled with highlights and notes.  I didn’t include any quotes from his other books.

“To learn how to think is to learn how to live…”

“… trained thought is far more powerful than untrained,….”

“… the very air is vibrant with power.”

“The answer to prayer is in the prayer. But what is a prayer? A prayer is a movement of thought, within the mind of the one praying, along a definite line of meditation; that is, for a specific purpose.”

“We do not will things to be done; things are brought into being, not by will, but by the power of the self-assertive Truth.”

“It has been said that we can know God only in so far as we can become God.”  (See my podcast episode titled What It Does for my take on this quote.  You can find my Fearlessly Feral Living podcast wherever you listen to podcasts) 

“One of the great difficulties in the new order of thought is that we are likely to indulge in too much theory and too little practice.”  (This one quote is why, if you work with me, I tend to nag a bit about spiritual practice.)

“ We should learn to control our thought processes…”

“ A new light is coming into the world. We are on the borderland of a new experience.”

Happy Birthday Ernest Holmes!  I am so grateful for your contribution to the world, and to my life.

And so it is the end of the month.  A momentous month! If you are just tuning in, November is the month during which I do a deepened gratitude practice. This practice consists of, every day, making a list of ten items for which I am grateful. Without repeating anything on the list. Which means at the end of the month I have a list of 300 things for which I am grateful.  Doing the deepened gratitude practice this month was a bit different than in previous years.  I remember my first few years of doing this practice, my gratitude lists all consisted of things:  I was grateful for items in my life that either gave me joy or made my life easier.  Things like kitchen appliances and vehicles, coffee pots and Instantpots and slow cookers.  Hay, delivered and stacked for me.  This year was different.  Yes, I did list the things.  But more importantly, I also listed inner awarenesses and shifts.  Things like my confidence and inner peace and communications skills.  Things like compassion and courage. This is important because when you believe in a teaching that says it all begins within, all those things are inner things, and I am happy to say that if I were to count the items there would be more inner than outer.  And for that I am very grateful. Spiritual practices such as this are powerful, and when one takes the time to do the same practice each day for an entire month, it shows.

I’m working on a book about spiritual practices and principles. It’s called How to Live Fearlessly Feral. It’s going to be a bit like a daily reader, only instead of daily, it will be monthly. There’s a description of spiritual principles, and also of spiritual practices, and then for each month there will be a combo pack of practice(s) and principle to concentrate on for the month. A deep dive.

In anticipation of that, I’ve decided to start that right now. Tomorrow will be December 1. I hope you will join me in the spiritual practices of mindfulness and contemplation, all based on the spiritual principle of love. With a practical twist: clearing the clutter.

As you go through the month, pay attention to what occupies your day. This is basically what mindfulness is. As you pay attention, you may discern that there are some things that you wish occupied less of your day, and some things you wish occupied more of your day. You may see things in your home that seem like they are in the way, or that seem like they give you more joy than others. The key to this is to move towards having more things and activities that bring you joy, and less of the things and activities that don’t.

There are two things to consider here: there may be some activities that you don’t enjoy but can’t get rid of. Like a job. The key here is to change your perception. Surely you can find something about that job you enjoy, like perhaps the paycheck? If you have to be doing something you don’t enjoy but you have to do it, there is no sense in just putting up with it. You can change your perception of it by finding things to be grateful for about it. And if you can’t do that, perhaps it might be time to consider a different job.

The other thing to consider is that if you release things you don’t enjoy, there is a void. As they say, nature abhors a void. Which means that void is going to be filled. Here is the beautiful part: you can fill it, or let nature do it. It’s up to you. Personally, I like filling voids myself. I’m at choice as to what I want to fill it with. And here is where daydreaming comes in. I like to play a game I call “what if?” when it comes to daydreaming. I dream of possibilities, and then I fill voids with things that make it possible for good things to manifest.

So, for December: mindfulness and daydreaming. Based upon a foundation of love. Love what is happening now in your life, and find ways to love it all. Love the possibilities. And because it is holiday season, love everything and everyone. Find things to love!

In this way, you will set yourself up for a wonderful new year and enjoy the holiday season!

Quotes for today that are tickling my fancy:

Alan Watts: “If we cling to a belief in god, we cannot likewise have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting go.”

Joseph Campbell: “… to worship a god, you must become that god. No matter what you call the god or think it is, the god you worship is the one you are capable of becoming. The power of a deity is that it personifies a power that is in Nature and in your nature. When you find that level, then you are in play. That is the work of art in general, because art really is a worship.”

Me, yesterday, in conversation with a friend: “instead of going with the flow, I want to take it deeper. I want to TRUST the flow.” Because trusting the flow means I can truly let go. Sometimes, when I’m just going with the flow, I’m still attempting to control or manipulate it. Truly letting go takes trust. Which then means I must explore what it is I am trusting.

Then there is this, from Obi Wan Kenobi: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.”

The Force is, for me, what god is.

And lest you scoff at me quoting fictional movie characters, I’ll just say that the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, studied Science of Mind. It is my personal opinion that the concepts in the Star Wars movies are great illustrations of this wonderful teaching that has so effectively allowed me to live an even greater life than I ever imagined.

So here I am, trusting, embodying, having faith instead of belief. Asking myself, what does that look like in every day life? It is an interesting exercise in self reflection. If I trust, then I must also accept. Oh, and here’s another comment, made by me when asked by my horse trainer/equine therapist, as she does after every lesson “what did you learn today?”: “allow but continue on.”

This means I must allow what is happening (which for me means I don’t resist it, judge it, try to manipulate it, or attempt to control it) but also continue on with my mission in life. Whether that mission is to continue the horse back ride or to continue doing my minister work in the world or continue doing the laundry or continue to know the good for myself and others. I must allow but also continue on. And that takes trust, and embodying, and having faith.

Such are my thoughts today as I move out into the world to get a massage and do a wedding. And see the completion of the derockifying of my riding trail. WEEHAW! Can’t wait to ride on it!

Today I trust, embody the good, and have faith. Oh, and I play today. And because I also want to play a bit, because play is always a part of things in my life, I’m going to include an oldie but a goodie meme I made three years ago. Because it takes trust, embodiment and faith to do things that are considered crazy, delusional and ambitious. And that, my friends, is what a life looks like when one lives in trust, embodiment and faith.

I found the turkey wishbone this morning. 

Which immediately reminded me of that old saying, something about if wishes were fishes. So I googled it. (Don’t you just love google?). Here’s what came up: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride" is a proverb and nursery rhyme, first recorded about 1628 in a collection of Scottish proverbs, which suggests if wishing could make things happen, then even the most destitute people would have everything they wanted.” And then this was also there: “K.C. Jones says when someone would wish for something, it used to be cute to reply: ‘And if wishes were fishes we'd have some fried; And if wishes were horses, beggars might ride.’ "

And this led me to a story I would like to share with you.

First of all, a bit of history:  my mom was the one who taught me about the wishbone in the turkey.  She would clean those wishbones and stash them someplace until they dried out, then proudly produce one, ask me to pull one end while she held the other end, and if it broke off in my favor, I got to make a wish.  Somehow she managed to arrange it so that it always broke off in my favor.  At least that’s the way I remember it.

Anyway, today is the day after thanksgiving and I am now prepping for annual round of turkey soup and turkey noodle casserole and of course, turkey sandwiches.  And I found the wishbone.

I also had a question posed to me a few days ago by a wise friend, upon learning that it was my birthday.  He asked, “so what are your intentions for this next trip around the sun?”

Now, my wise friend is a Science of Mind minister, like me, so I knew precisely what he was asking.  Because in our world, we know that a setting of an intention is actually an affirmative prayer.  And as I voiced to him my intentions, which I had previously voiced to no one else, I asked myself if I was really ready for this?  Because in my world, this setting of intentions stuff is powerful.  And the answer came back, yeah, I’m ready.  Also in our world:  our prayers tend to be of the affirmation type, not the beseeching type.  In other words, we don’t ask a god or the universe or whatever outside of ourselves to please do this for us.  We instead know that as we are, as Ernest Holmes put it, unique and individualized manifestations of god, we can simply speak our word and know.

We actually have a formulaic 5 step prayer for this stuff.  Yep, an affirmative prayer.  

Not a wish.  Not a goal.  Not a resolution.  But an intention.  There are very real differences between these things, which, by the way, is why I don’t do new year’s resolutions.

Back to the prayer:  

Here’s that 5 step affirmative prayer in a nutshell:  God is, I Am, It is done, Thanks, Bye!

Now, because I’ve been doing affirmative prayer since god was a child, I can do the shortened version of this thing and put feeling behind it and know.  

But let me break it down a bit.

In Science of Mind classes, we are given an acronym for this formula.  By the way, this is basic foundational Science of Mind stuff and it is taught in all beginning classes, because everything else basically builds upon affirmative prayer. Oh, and while I’m here, we sometimes call affirmative prayer “treatment.” So if you ever experience a Science of Mind person asking you if you have a treatment request, what they are really asking you is if you have an affirmative prayer request.

So here we go:  

R U R T R?

Are You Ready to Receive?

Five steps.

The first one is Recognition.  I recognize God.  Now, you can flesh out this step in whatever way appeals to you.  The key here is to move into a feeling space with it. This isn’t just intellectual heady stuff.  Thought plus feeling equals power and when we do an affirmative prayer, we begin with this first step recognizing the existence of a god in whatever form, and we begin to feel stuff by doing that.  I tend to flesh out this step with things like God is all good, all the time.  I might add some qualities of spirit as we like to call them.  God is love, god is power, god is peace, god is joy.  And for good measure, I usually add that god is everywhere present.

Which leads me to the next step:  Unification.  God and I, we are one.  Oneness.  No separation between me and god.  I usually have some fun with this step.  I am a godling.  A little godling running around on this earth. Notice the first person singular by the way.  And if you don’t know what that is, review your grammar class but basically we do this stuff in I statements. Not you and not we.  There’s reasons for this which could get me way off track so I won’t go into them now.  Just speak in I statements.  If you are curious and want more, take the Foundations class.  Let me know.  I can offer that one.  Anyway, back to the unification:  I am a unique and individualized manifestation of spirit.  (That’s from Ernest Holmes by the way).  God is living and moving and breathing as and in and through me.  And one of my other favorites, I am a drop in the ocean, god is the ocean.  The key is to realize here that there is no separation between us.  There isn’t a god out there.  Only in here.

Next step:  Realization.  This is a fun one.  I love love love this step.  Because in this step I get to affirm and know and feel as if it is already true.  So we state this step in the present tense (see comment about grammar), as if it is already happening.  And we get to state how we are feeling about this event.  So we don’t necessarily affirm the event, we affirm the feelings we will have when the event comes true.  As an example, I’m going to out myself here and give you one of the intentions I stated to my friend when he asked.  You are the second to hear my intention for this next year.  My intention this year is to manifest a healthy, equal, romantic relationship with a wonderful partner who is open, loving, kind and has similar beliefs to me.  Now, that’s pretty specific.  And no, I don’t and won’t outline that in my prayer.  But I do have it mind because those things lead me to the feelings I will get when this comes true:  peace, joy, a sense of companionship, intimacy.  So in reality I am affirming those feelings. My prayer is for those feelings to manifest within me. The rest of it, the manifestation of the perfect guy in my life at the perfect time, well let’s just say I am now in partnership with a Law that always says yes to my word.  How I get there isn’t entirely up to me, although I do have some footwork to do.  Like BE the partner I wish to attract. Which means I get to also BE open, loving, kind.  And I get to really know what my beliefs are.  So when I BE these things, I activate the law of attraction that Ernest Holmes speaks of in an ENTIRE CHAPTER in the Science of Mind textbook.  So, I affirm the feelings.  I BE the qualities.  Notice there is no other action that needs to be taken. Although I will freely admit that sometimes I do find it necessary to do some footwork.  For example, I need to work on just how open and loving I really am.  Yeah, when we affirm this stuff, the first thing that usually happens is that opportunities will arise for us to take care of our own shit.  Which is why I asked myself if I was truly ready to affirm this intention.  I knew what I was setting myself up for.  It’s good.  It’s ok.  I’m ready.

Then I give thanks.  Express my gratitude.  Because it is already done in the Law, that delights in doing precisely what I affirm, every single time.  

Then I release into that Law, which basically means I let it go.  It is done.  I need do nothing more with it.  As Eddie Watkins Jr. sings in one of his songs, you don’t bury a seed then dig it up again to see if it is sprouting.   I leave it be.

And anchor:  and so it is!

That’s it!  

That’s the story of how I got from a wishbone to an affirmative prayer.