Category Archives: Spiritual journey

Mindful Bridges

Well I must say, the newly repaired bridge over Wawayanda Creek in the Village of Warwick is pretty dandy. For the month of July, the bridge was closed off and vehicles detoured around the work area. When driving, I didn’t mind. The detour brought to my attention offices and businesses only a couple of blocks off the beaten path and are good to know.

Nice work on the bridge though. Smooth groove now. And safe I’m sure.

I think bridges are one answer to the dares of water. Water dares us to cross its mighty power or use its motion for power.

As for bridges, I was dazzled by the book, The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge, by David McCullough. The bridge’s design was conceived by John Roebling and built late 1800s. The suspension-cable bridge spans 1,595 feet and opened in 1883.

When riding my motorcycle across the United States a decade ago, I drove over the Mackinac Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the Americas, spanning 8,614 feet. Its total length is 5 miles and links Michigan’s Lower and Upper peninsulas. The Mackinac Bridge opened in 1957. Another tribute to competence and command.

I can still feel the grooved surface and movement of the bridge under my wheels. And the height? Two-hundred feet above the water.

The bridge was built to flux with temperature, winds, and weight. The deck can sway right or left as much as 35 feet in the center. You get the idea. It’s a feeling that impresses the soul when hovering over the bridge, with nothing but farm boots between the surface and my feet, six inches off the ground. Forget the facts I had no seatbelt and balanced on two wheels.

That soul impression of competence and command ranks up there with the type of humanity that leaves me humbled. Like when I make a stupid mistake and my husband quietly helps me fix it. Compassion is a bridge.

The bridge over Wawayanda Creek is one of about 17,450 highway bridges in New York State. How many times do you cross a bridge?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Advertisements

Fireflies, motorcycles, and Sacajawea

Eleven years ago, my husband and I rode our motorcycles into upstate New York. We’d driven about 3,000 miles from Washington state and were greeted by a species unseen in the desert region left behind, lightning bugs. Each year since, these fascinating fireflies gently, unknowingly, remind me that my motorcycle trip across the United States was amazing but not as amazing as Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s trek, more than two hundred years earlier.

In 1804, Lewis and Clark and company launched their mission to map out land west of the Mississippi River, the Louisiana Purchase. After making their way to North Dakota, Lewis and Clark had the foresight to hire an interpreter and his wife, Sacajawea, a Shoshone.

With baby in tow, Sacajawea and the others traversed a segment of the northern Rocky Mountains now known as the Bitterroot Range. For more than a week, they carried gear while wandering through thickets and snow, suffering terribly through hunger, fatigue, and severe freezing temperatures. They killed a horse to eat for survival.

In comparison, on my trip across the states, I drove my motorcycle north of the Bitterroot Range over the snow-covered Glacier Mountain National Forest, on clear paved marked roads, in decent weather, wearing heated gloves, and stopping to eat a doughnut, with coffee, for a snack at a café. A leisurely day.

While living in Washington, I frequently crisscrossed the Lewis and Clark trail. I grew up learning and wondering about the human attitude that yields to majestic possibilities, rather than self-loss. Oh sure, those pioneers weren’t perfect and had inner demons to fight off, but they did and accomplished a noteworthy task.

With this knowledge, it felt natural for me to employ admiration for Sacajawea. Our family picnicked and played in Sacajawea Park, a land parcel where the Snake River flows into the Columbia River, seemingly losing its identity.

But the Snake River’s comings and goings taught me that identity isn’t lost because it isn’t gained as something to keep. Identity exists as a verb.

I’m not talking about identifying people and trying to be like them. I’m not talking about identifying with a career as if it’s our life.

I’m talking about identifying with life-giving attitudes and meaningful characteristics.

Sacajawea teaches me to identify with, and mirror, mettle and might. To identify with solutions, not problems. I learn from Sacajawea to identify with ongoing spirit, instead of a fear of life and death.

Thankfully, in 1898, the 1.6 million-acre Bitterroot National Forest was established, and in 1910, about 1,500-square-miles of wilderness area was established as Glacier National Park, to intrigue millions of visitors with its grandeur, daring, and lessons of promise.

And here I sit, experiencing floating bioluminescent lightning bugs in upstate NY.

The 2020 Farmers Almanac says that some fireflies can synchronize their flashes. I’ve never seen the phenomenon but try to imagine a species identifying with and mirroring light and peaceful movement.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Reviewing Christian Science, Part 7

Christian Science Review, Part 7

Question: What is substance?

Answer: Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of disorder and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are substance as Scriptures use this word in Hebrews: “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”[1] Spirit, the synonym of Mind or God, is the only real substance. The spiritual universe, including individual persons, is a united idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit.

Think on this:

Because it’s difficult to wrap our heads around the substance of Spirit, we take it a step at a time. Or, I should say, we take it a thought at a time!

When I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts of substance would be my bed and the sunlight. After a few minutes, I may think hunger is substance.

But after eating breakfast, hunger is gone, and satisfaction feels substantial.

By then, I’ve fed and cuddled my cats.

When I sit for a few minutes of quiet time, I realize that all those thoughts are similar, not really new or different from one another. I wait for another thought.

A thought of Spirit.

As for my morning, I separate the thoughts of rest, satisfied desire (hunger), and love, from bed, food, and my cats. This doesn’t mean my bed, appetite, and cats are forgotten.

I take the thoughts of rest, satisfied desire, and love and attach them to God, Spirit. To give Spirit substance. And because God created everything, even if I don’t completely understand all that God created, I’m then able to circle around and apply the rest, satisfied desire, and love to not only the bed, appetite, and cats, but also the rest of my day involving my job, expectations, and family.

[1] Heb. 11:1 (NKJV)

Reviewing Christian Science, 4

Q. What are spirits and souls?

A. To human belief, they are personalities composed of consciousness and unconsciousness, life and death, truth and error, good and evil. Divine Science reveals how those contrasting terms don’t agree or conform to one another. Truth is indivisible; error is divisible. Truth is limitless; error is limited. Truth is intelligent; error is non-intelligent. Moreover, Truth is real, and error is unreal. This last statement contains the point you will most reluctantly admit, although first and last it is the most important to understand.

The terms souls, spirits, or human beings are as unsustainable as the term gods. Soul or Spirit signifies infinite Being and nothing else. There are not finite souls, spirits, or beings. Soul or Spirit means only one Mind and cannot be rendered in the plural. Mythology and human philosophies have perpetuated the fallacy that intelligence, soul, and life can be divided and confined, and thereby materialized. Idolatry and ritualism are the outcome of all human-made beliefs. The Science of spirituality comes with tool in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat. Science will declare God aright, and Christianity will demonstrate this declaration and its divine Principle, making humankind better physically, morally, and spiritually.

Think about this…On one side of the coin we have individual people. Everyone should have their own rights and life. On the other side of the coin we have humanity, the collection of all individuals. Getting along challenges individuals to act as a whole unit. But of course, we bump into problems because our diversity overwhelms unity.

For other solutions, let’s back up.

If we back up to the sides of the coins, it’s apparent each individual is assigned a different spirit or soul to make up the diversity and thereby make unity a super-challenge.

So, back up farther. Don’t focus on the sides of the coin.

Let’s keep the coin but start thinking with the coin itself. The coin is one Spirit. Now, move to the coins sides. Each individual reflects the one Spirit in their own way, plus as a whole unit.

Diversity isn’t different/separate persons or spirits, but diversity signifies the ever-expansion of one Spirit, the multi-color of one Soul, the ongoing proliferation of beauty.

Bing pink bush

Ecumenical Women meet

On a whim, I attended an orientation for Ecumenical Women at the United Nations, last Saturday.What impressed me most?

  1. That I was unaware of this infrastructure to helping women and girls.
  2. That I am now aware of large scope of Ecumenical Women at the United Nations.
  3. Our need to reach the potential of women and children.

During a panel discussion, a woman from Sweden spoke. I couldn’t help but notice the contrast yet similarities between her dialogue and the woman next to her, from Brazil. Sweden is pro-women and equality. Brazil lags behind in women’s rights and equality yet women know the power of connecting and reaching for greater possibilities.

Lopa Banerjee, Director of Civil Society Division of United Nations Women spoke. In the photo below, courtesy of Ecumenical Women of the U.N., the Reverend Dionne Boissiere thanks Banerjee for speaking. I liked when Banerjee showed how policies insisting on equality and better care for women and girls is an investment, not expenditure. (I am the person in the background, wearing a white shirt and holding a blue book. Clapping)

at ecumenical women

Unraveling mysteries

The mystery of life unravels when I keep admitting it’s a mystery. Otherwise, I’m tempted to assume I have it all figured out.

“Mortal existence is a fantastic mystery. Science and religion make great efforts to explain the mystery, but it is soon learned that for every answer found there are at least two more questions.”—from science & religion to God

The trick is entertaining imaginative answers. Instead of assuming cellphones benefit society by providing access to immediate calls for help or contact with others, entertain the answer that cellphones divide the physical senses of sight, hearing, and tactile feeling.

In the past, we needed to be physically present with others to communicate. The invention of phones separated sight from hearing. We could hear others but not see them.

Cellphones, with the ability to convey images, separate sight and feeling. We can see others but not feel them physically.

It’s interesting. The physical senses are a mystery yet show us their limitations and divisibility.

“Mysteries disappear through discovery and revelation. Scientists, meteorologists, physicians, and computer programmers remove mystery from weather, the body, or electronics. Old-time restraints become extinct when science modifies theories such as when absolutes were replaced with the theory of relativity. Time and space have wrinkled as we fly around the earth in jets. Matter particles are dodged or switched out, no longer seen as solid mass. We can likewise remove mystery from the study of nature and life through spiritual knowledge and divine consciousness.”—from science & religion to God

So, why trust the physical senses when it comes to our spirituality? Why not keep building our relationship with spiritual sense?

“Even if we believe the physical senses are necessary for our existence, hope shows us that we still can change the human concept of life. Our ideals have changed for the better in the past and it can continue. If not, we can start now with a better ideal. We can know Spirit. We can know our self spiritually and practically and act on the higher ideal. We can detect the evidence of the reality of Spirit through our spiritual senses.

“No matter where we are, we can use our spiritual senses to commune with God and be governed by Love.

“To be controlled by divine Mind is not to be controlled by hypnotism, human cultures, theories, crime, drugs, or fantasies. We learn to utilize spiritual sense—the constant conscious capacity to understand the all-acting infinite Spirit.” —from science & religion to God

 

 

Reading from my book

%d bloggers like this: