Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

A Course in Miracles is Studied

posted by Cheryl Petersen

“I come here because we respect one another,” said Sabina, a participant in A Course in Miracles gathering in upstate New York. The group meets once a week to support and encourage one another on their spiritual journey to find inner peace. They’ve been meeting since 2005 and take the time to read one paragraph at a time out loud from Dr. Helen Schucman’s,  A Course in Miracles book. Each reading is then followed by a brief silence and a sharing of thoughts on what was just read.

The backgrounds of the participants are varied yet they find in common the ability to take personal responsibility and stop blaming the world and other people for the problems that crop up in life.

Alice thinks of the dedicated time as, “a time to remember what my spiritual self knows.” All members of the group are seen as equal. Although Chris guides the group, she respects teaching and learning as a relationship.

Teaching and learning coincide.

“I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.” (Prov. 4:2)

From Science and Health, “We become more respectful and caring as we get to know the divine nature better and love Soul understandingly. The struggle over physicality will be replaced by a rejoicing in the affluence of our God. Religion will then be of the heart and not of the head.”

 

Archaeologist Discover Overload of Data

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Archaeologists, 500 years from now will be unearthing data.

“Hey Digger, look here, I just found data for weather. Oh more, here is data on traffic, agriculture, aviation, crime, demographics, education, energy, people, health, immigration, investing, law, military, nonprofits, and politics.”

Digger goes into brain-lock when he sees the stacks of paper loaded with numbers, spreadsheets and graphs. A question will then arise in the young minds of the archaeologists.

What on earth did people in the year 2011 do with all this data? Fortunately, Digger and his buddy could not read the gargantuan lists of data stored on the archaic computers they disinterred the previous week because it would be an overload.

Data may be useful in the search for truth, however data is not truth. Data is only limited fluctuating information. It takes a shrewd person to analyze data in a meaningful way and avoid the common mistake of using only data that supports our chosen beliefs. A professional who analyzes data must be able to stop the filter mechanism of the human mind that sorts through the infinite ocean of information to find the few fish that fuel beloved beliefs.

In scientific research, data can’t be overestimated or underestimated. It is also important to integrate data. Integrated data captures unseen insights and initiates new interactions that promote nonhierarchical collaboration.

Here is a simple yet sober practical example:

My husband and I farmed an apple/cherry orchard while our children were growing up. Farming can come with a lot of ups and downs. One year we lost the entire crop because of weather damage. My mind went blank. And, I tried to analyze facts and figures to figure out our next step.

Our children, unattached to my belief of what kind of lifestyle we should be living, would make comments like, “We can get a smaller car,” or “Aren’t these clothes our cousin use to wear great?” I integrated their collection of information with mine and found out I could live happily and creatively without buying new things or socializing. I set to work at a temporary job that required no overhead. Those lean years weren’t easy, but as they passed by they offered me the opportunity to practice integrating data to push myself further to discover the truth that God really is taking care of us all by supplying us with resourcefulness, innovation, productivity, joy, wellbeing, and hope.

Thanking Vets is to Learn From Vets

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Veterans were first collectively remembered on November 11, 1919, set as Armistice Day. Celebration originally centered on suspension of business for a 2 minute period beginning at 11 a.m. with the day also filled by public meetings and parades. On June 1, 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day.

Most of us know a veteran. One veteran in particular, who I know personally, Mr. Fischer, has taught me valuable lessons. I have to fight for independence. And, that fight involves sacrifice. But, the sacrifice is not to be bemoaned. No whining. When a job needs to be done, do it with courage and humility.

Mr. Fischer, who served in the Army for 20 years, has views that coincide with what I just read in November 6 Parade Magazine. An Unbreakable Bond interviewed 6 wars, 6 vets. Yenas Hagos, who served in Iraq responded to the question as to whether or not he sees himself as a hero. Hagos answered, “No. I went and served my country. I did my part.”

Colin L. Powell, retired U.S. Army General, also provided his insights, pointing out that men and women are motivated for different reasons to serve but after joining they give their all for our country.

Veteran’s Day is every day. To maintain the spirit of gratitude for those who fight for our country, I read books such as Colin Powell’s autobiography, My American Journey. Words from veterans unlock the naïvety that tempts me to take things for granted. I have to work for my freedom to understand, be spiritually minded, be healthy, and have the ability to have good-will toward all people.

 

From 21st Century Science and Health, “If Truth is overcoming error in your daily walk and talk, you are a better person and can finally say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” This is having our part in the at-one-ment with Truth and Love. Don’t continue working and praying, expecting a surrogate savior, expecting that because of another person’s goodness, suffering, and triumph, that you will reach that person’s harmony and reward.”

Zen Kitty and Calvin and Hobbes

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Look who Cheryl brought home. Calvin and Hobbes.

At first, I was very skeptical about Calvin and Hobbes. They would playfully bounce and chase each other in the lawn and garden, and I was afraid they would hurt themselves by falling off the rock wall. They tried to include me but they made me nervous and I could only watch. Sometimes their spirited activity was too much for me so I’d go off and do what I’ve done my whole life.

Then finally, I realized Calvin and Hobbes were okay. I could see how Cheryl loves them just as much as she loves me. I made the effort to respond to the times they try to connect with me. I started to participate in their escapades and discovered it was a glorious time. I still do my own thing, but I also share time and happy energy with Calvin and Hobbes. I now understand when Cheryl reminds me that we all are helping and watching out for one another while discovering the newness of love and life.

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