Mental Terrain and Climate

earth terrainThe earth’s terrain and climates vary tremendously. When driving my motorcycle across the United States five years ago, I watched the unfoldment of a contiguous wasteland, mountains, high desert, and woods. Driving Highway 2 in a rain suit, I was protected somewhat from the high winds, cold, and rain. When the sunshine came out, the rain suit came off. Needless to say, the adventure left an impression on me, mixed with amazement and humility.

The terrain of the earth’s landscape depicts the terrain of human minds. Due to our varied backgrounds and experiences, we each have very different needs. When searching for what we need, we can find exactly what we need, not what someone else needs. If I live in the desert, I don’t need to acquire a rain suit. There are other things more needful.

When searching for spirituality, we can be assured that spirituality is fitted for our particular situation. We can discover the spirit that best fits our need.

Our spiritual practices will be unique to our mental terrain and climate. I believe, that as I pursue love and truth, the Holy Spirit will meet my human need.

Springtime Cleaning

Many of you have already entered the spring season. Here in upstate New York, the snow finally melted last week. Needless to say, we all are pretty antsy about the slowly emerging flowers and leaves.

To be able to put a shovel in unfrozen ground, and to open the windows, and to clean the house is always a favorite springtime activity. It also becomes a time to wash the heavy blankets and put away the winter clothes.

courtesy of

courtesy of

While packing or unpacking seasonal clothing, I separate out the clothes that received little attention. The clothes are then donated to a local cause, or taken to a consignment shop.

When in that thought frame, I go through the house and select kitchenware, toys, and knick-knacks that I’ve outgrown and add them to the donation box. Some people have a garage sale.

It makes for lighter work when I contemplate a Bible verse such as, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness form the God of his salvation.” (Ps. 24, ESV)

I honestly ask myself when going through my stuff, do I really need this? Or, will it be better used by someone else?

Letting God Invade our Minds

An invasion is usually associated with armed forces, or the infiltration of a large number of people or things.

When we hear the word, “invasion,” our brains are quick to picture armed forces, or an infiltration of a large number of people or things.

We read in the news, or remember typical headlines such as:

January, 2013, France deploys thousands of ground troops to Mali, a former colony in Africa, to reinforce aerial strikes, in an attempt to quell a coalition of disparate extremist groups.

Ten years ago, President Bush announced military operations to disarm Iraq.

In 1935, venomous cane toads were released into the Australian ecology with the hope they’d control the destructive can beetle population. A total failure. There are now millions of poisonous toads hopping around northeastern Australia. When visiting Australia in year 2007, I remember walking at night on the sidewalk, trying not to step on the pests.

Then of course, there are stories galore in the Bible relating to invasions. A few examples are, grasshoppers, bands of Moabites, or the Israelites invading the land of Canaan.

Invasions generally assume there is an outside force, however, do we ever self-invade?

Do we ever self-assault our humility with pride?

Does hate raid and occupy our love?

Does revenge infect our forgiveness?

Do we ever self-attack our divine purpose in life?

Invasions are real to the human mind. The determination to let go of the human mind’s reality and take on a new spiritual reality, causes us to think along new lines. Here is a statement from 21st Century Science and Health worth contemplating, “Computer software can’t inform the programmer. The stomach, heart, colon, and lymph nodes don’t inform us that they are nauseous, diseased, cancerous, or invaded by malignant tumors. If this information is conveyed, human mind conveys it. Negative information certainly doesn’t come from immortal Mind and it can’t come from inanimate matter/energy. God’s “eyes are too pure to look on evil,”[1] and physicality has neither intelligence nor sensation.”

[1] Hab. 1:13

Easter Reflection

So, the method of determining Easter Day has been modified over the millennium. In the third century, the Council of Nicea directed the celebration to occur the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the spring (vernal) equinox. But, times and thoughts have changed, and Easter now occurs the fourteenth day of a lunar month occurring on or next after March 21, without regard to the real moon. Basically, Easter is determined according to a fixed set of ecclesiastical calendar rules.

moon and snowBut, I’ve been watching the moon at night. It is very full right now. It lights up the night. And, because we still have snow on the ground here in upstate New York, the night is not dark. Curiously, all the light is reflected light, since there is no sun to be seen.

The moon reflects the sun light to earth. The snow reflects the light upward.

We are the reflection of God, Love, Life.

Christ Jesus proved eternal life is ours by means of reflection. It isn’t something we own or need “to get.” God is Life and we reflect life.


Mind Medicine

The medicine of divine Mind is divine Mind. The nature and the character of Mind, Truth, is the remedy for error of every kind. The medicine of divine Mind is unlike the temporal medicines of human minds and their inventions. In divine science, the human mind yields to divine Mind and relies on God for healing.

Sitting Amidst Piety and Pot

My part-time reporting job presents scenes that inevitably give me something to think about. I gather local news. Last Saturday evening, I went to an Open Mic night at an Art Gallery. The performers were older and to give you a quick idea of what type of characters they were, we called them “Hoods” when I was in high school. No biggie, I got along with the hoods in school and it was easy for me to interview the Gallery owner and the musicians, who by the way, were quite talented.

trumpet-close-upAs I sat there listening to the variety of music, I almost broke out in a laugh. I thought, “These people should move to Washington State (my hometown where marijuana was legalized)” because the smell of marijuana was thick. I soon wrapped up the interview and returned home.

The next day, I covered the Community Chorale of the Catskills, presenting a Holiday Concert at the fabulous Jay Gould Church in Roxbury, New York. Sitting there, again I wanted to laugh. Yes, I thought, I definitely fit in this place better than the Gallery of last night.

But, that is all the further I went with that thought. There was no other comparison made other than the fact that gratitude, joy, and friendliness were expressed in both places. No group of people was better or more holy than the other.

Humanity habitually classifies people as, the hoods, the jocks, the church goers but in reality we are all children of God. Oddly, we can’t count on some human lifestyle to get us to a quicker understanding of heaven on earth.

Recall the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus is hanging next to 2 criminals. One of the criminals railed Jesus, “Hey save yourself. Save us.” But, the other criminal told [the first criminal] to be quiet. The sentence was earned by them but not Jesus, who did nothing wrong.

Jesus looked at the second honest humble criminal and said, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43, ESV) The only thing Jesus said to the church people was, “forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Criminals come in many forms. There are the typical criminals found smoking pot (in New York anyway), however isn’t it a form of crime to be judging others as if they are not as good as we are? And, then demand them to do what we want, instead of God’s will?

A House of Poinsettias

poinsetta red and white smallLast week, Doug and I drove to Mount Vision Garden Center, in upstate New York. We walked into a greenhouse radiant with red, white, pink, and mottled poinsettias. This plant, a native to Mexico, became an American holiday plant in the 20th century. And, I was going to be one of millions who bring poinsettia plants home for the holidays.

Selecting the plants of choice was fun. They were amazingly beautiful. Of course, I took some time to admire the Mt. Vision Garden Center for coaxing hundreds of plants to perfection in the cold of upstate New York. A heater was running at one end wheres dad in poinsettas 1 smallof the green house and we discovered warm water was transported in tubes that ran under the plant pots.

Because we have 3 cats at home, I was glad to learn that poinsettia leaves are not poisonous. Although they aren’t something you want to eat on a salad, because they can cause diarrhea, poinsettia plants are okay in the house.

It was a great Sunday afternoon. The experience reminded me of what we read in 21st Century Science and Health, “The seasons will come and go with changes of time and tide, cold and heat, latitude and longitude. Farmers will find that these changes can’t affect the crops. “Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.”[1] The navigator can have dominion over the weather, over the great deep, over the fish of the sea poinsetta variegated and hanging condensedand the fowls of the air. Time will not affect life.”

FYI: December 12 is National Poinsettia Day!

[1] Ps. 102:26 (NASB)

Thanksgiving Tater-tots and Laughter

A ludicrous series of incidents played out the “blind leading the blind” a few years ago.

Nothing was planned, it just happened, and to no one particular reason.

Thanksgiving was coming up and we didn’t have any plans. The foster child who had been living with us for over a year had just moved forward in her life and that took precedence of our time and energy.

School was out for our daughters and we were home taking a breather. Finally it was suggested we go to the cabin. My parents had a small cabin in the Blue Mountains. No telephone. Fire crackling in the woodstove. We acted on the idea. We threw some clothes in a bag and headed to the car for the hour and half drive.

Someone finally asked, What about food?

None of us expected the others to whip up a Thanksgiving feast. So, we stopped at the grocery store and laughed our way through the isles picking up things like chicken nuggets, heat-n-serve tater-tots, and fresh fruit.

Once in the Mountains, we parked the car and prepared to carry all the stuff down the snowy hill to the cabin. The driveway is closed when there is snow.

Car lights kept us going, or rather I should say, kept us in the dark because we were oblivious to the fact that it was pitch black outside with no light whatsoever. Our delight in the snow blinded us further. Once all the lights were off, we stood there unable to see one another. No moon. No stars. No flashlight. We forgot the flashlights.

Stumbling and bumbling down the hill we eventually arrived at the cabin. It was freezing cold inside but within a few hours, after starting up the fire, it warmed up. We cooked our Thanksgiving dinner in a toaster oven and ate in the light of candles. A peace ran strong through our giving of thanks.

We spent the night and went home ready for the world. Ironically a few weeks later we were again able to go to the cabin. But, we remembered flashlights this time. The result was getting a good laugh at ourselves—again. We definitely were impressed with the pitch black dark of our last trip, but acting on brain imprints was a joke. The moon was so bright it felt like daytime.

Following brain imprints is the blind leading the blind. What worked yesterday is not meant for today usually. But, following the spirit of thanksgiving is love leading love.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Discovering Balance

“The Board wants to sell more electricity, however we want to teach conservation also,” said a Board member of a rural electric cooperative in upstate New York. When listening to his statement I could only shake my head in agreement. The common conundrum of finding a balance between too little and too much is so thin in many aspects of daily life. I ask myself, How do I heat my home without exploiting the environment? How much time do I spend with my husband to keep our marriage strong yet not become dependent on one another? How do I purchase an item without becoming a consumer for clutter? How do I eat healthy without making food the major topic of thought and conversation?

I’ve spent years wobbling to keep balanced. Not only did I seek a balance within family, making sure I loved everyone equally yet uniquely, but I also worked hard to have balance between family, religion, economy, and my social life.

Every day, I’d weigh my options. If I needed to let go of something because it was throwing me off kilter, I would let go. The letting go only felt weird for a short period of time, for example, when I deleted my account on Facebook. But, my mind was better able to focus on a new direction in life without compromising my attention to health and wellbeing. And, I can always rejoin Facebook.

But one day, I realized there was a better approach to finding a balance in life. Living a balanced life is not so arduous. As I simply nurture spiritual attributes, balance inevitably comes about. I don’t necessarily have to hunt and peck for a balance in my relationships, body weight, or economic situation if I am honestly increasing in my practice of trustworthiness, spiritual courage, receptivity, and so on.

As I am receptive to Life, Truth, and Love, balance is a natural consequence.

I still balance my checkbook and know what a balanced diet is however I see these actions are the result of an attitude that puts its weight on the side of Truth. In all truthfulness, I do know when to help a neighbor, when to stop eating or buying things, when to exercise, and when to be quiet, the trick is following through on the honesty.

Ironically, being imbalanced produces a hyped up attitude—addictive to human beings. They feel alive when everything in life is disturbed, unfair, or unbalanced. But the day comes when balance is searched for. And, it can be discovered as in place, the key is Life, Truth, and Love. Spirituality may appear boring or obscure at first but that is only because imbalance was accepted as normal for so long. But, a balanced, stable, steady family, economy, and purpose are alive and well—open to entrance.