Press Release from CSL Home Office

January 30, 2017

Centers for Spiritual Living Standing with Religious Leaders of Faith Toward ‘A World That Works For Everyone.’ (Golden, Colo.)

 

Centers for Spiritual Living stands in solidarity with leaders and faith organizations who have spoken out about the Executive Order from the President of the United States of America that bans immigrants from seven majority Muslim nations, including Syria, whose residents have been subject to ongoing deadly civil war.

Centers for Spiritual Living embraces the United States of America’s values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which to us means the inclusion of all people. Therefore, we affirm what is written at the base of the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me; I lift my lamp beside the golden door! 

We stand in solidarity with religious faith leaders who believe that it is possible to create a world that works for everyone without loss of human rights or national security.  In following the example set by Jesus, who in Matthew 12:13 said, “Stretch forth thine hand,” our organization extends our hand out to others to promote good will, love, and compassion in the form of this affirmation of our solidarity.

In the spirit of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, who stated that our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter, we choose not to be silent and instead, we appeal to our leaders to work toward human dignity and compassion for those who turn to our nation for help.

Centers for Spiritual Living values and celebrates the individual uniqueness and contribution of all people as they express through differences of gender, ethnicity, culture, history, experience, talents, and sexual orientation.  Therefore we commit to speak for, and stand with, those who are working diligently to uphold our constitution and our bill of rights by protecting human rights and the dignity of al people. We commit to standing with those who refuse to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation.

 

Centers for Spiritual Living

Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon – Spiritual Leader

Rev. Dr. John Waterhouse – Field Leader

Rev Dr. David Alexander – Leadership Council Chair

Steve Burton – Executive Director

Open Your Heart

by Christy Semple, RScP

apple-frankies-holiday-01I recently saw the holiday ad from Apple and was both intrigued and inspired. The ad starts out with a feeble and melancholy Frankenstein sitting alone in his home high in the hills. He wistfully hums the carol, “There’s no place like home for the holidays” as he looks around at the pictures of family members who are no longer with him. Next, we see Frankenstein recording the music to accompany his carol from an old music box onto his iPhone.

After a bit he ventures out into the cold, embarking on a journey arriving in the middle of a present day European-style village, bustling with people. He stops in the middle of the square, looks around and then bravely, but falteringly begins to sing, “There’s no place like home for the holidays,” accompanied by the recorded music box song on his iPhone.

He is met initially with looks of shock, disbelief and judgment from the crowd that has gathered to stare and he almost stops singing, until something beautiful happens.

A young girl in the crowd looks kindly on him, approaches him and begins to sing the song too. Slowly, others in the crowd join with her and ultimately the whole crowd is singing a beautiful, heartfelt rendition of “There’s no place like home for the holidays.”

Frankenstein’s demeanor has changed. His face reflects profound appreciation and his eyes well-up with tears. As the video ends, the words of a powerful message are displayed: Open Your Heart to Everyone.

This is a beautiful ad, exquisitely produced and superbly cast. I was genuinely moved and profoundly impressed that Apple chose to express this message. It goes deeper than the traditional wishes for Peace on Earth, getting to the heart of achieving such peace, which begins with each of us expressing the kindness, acceptance and compassion which are the essence of Peace. In the days following when I first saw the ad, I have mindfully been remembering the message of “Open Your Heart to Everyone” as I go about my daily activities and interactions out in the world. I have shared a smile with someone on the elevator who appeared gruff and mad and have engaged in conversation with someone in the checkout line at the grocery store who seemed lonely and upset, even when I felt preoccupied with pondering over a to-do list in my head. These are the actions of peace, real and powerful in their seeming simplicity.

Ernest Holmes, with his understanding of the power and beauty of this idea shared the affirmation:

“Gratefully I accept the Divine Love and Givingness (that are my true nature) and gladly extend them to everyone I meet.”

At this holiday season, when we celebrate the meaning of Christmas from a metaphysical standpoint, celebrating the birth of the Christ consciousness in us by honoring and practicing the qualities of Infinite Love and Peace that are our true nature, the practice of Opening Your Heart to Everyone is something we can begin doing right here and right now and continue as we move forward into the New Year.

The anchor of our beliefs

by Rebecca Harmon* (summarized from her Sunday talk on July 17, 2016)

anchor-USNI spent the first 6 years of “official” adulthood on Active Duty with the United States Navy where I trained as a Hospital Corpsman. I think back to those years with an awe and respect for myself and the men and women I served beside. In one of these moments of nostalgia, I began to think about the large Naval vessels that patrol the open seas across the globe.

As I walked down memory lane I began to think about the ships and their anchors and an idea came to me, so I dug out my old “Bluejacket’s Manual”, a dog-eared paperback book I had since Boot Camp. The Bluejacket’s Manual is a handbook that is issued to all United States Navy enlisted personnel and it covers basic naval procedures (and a lot more).

I was amazed at how much I had remembered from so long ago, and I soon found what I was seeking: Navy parlance on a ship’s chain and anchor. Although I could not have recalled this from cold memory, I quickly reacquainted myself with the statistics on links (each one weighs 350 lbs), fathoms (a fathom is ~6 feet long) and shots (a shot is comprised of 57 links and is ~15 fathoms long).

Each shot is stamped with an identifying serial number – it “belongs” to a specific anchor chain on a specified ship. Anchors on larger ships weigh 60,000 lbs and despite popular belief, it is the the length of the anchor chain lying on the seabed that anchors the ship, and not the anchor device itself. How much chain needs to be laid out to anchor a ship? This is determined based on the depth of the water you’re in: the amount of chain to put down should be equivalent to around 5-times the depth of the water.

A ship that is anchored is not underway; it’s not moving forward (or backward). It is staying where that anchor chain has been laid. The sea is constantly moving, and a ship will circle the anchor if only 1 is laid, so depending on the captain’s preference and other factors, 2 anchors may be dropped – 1 from each side of the foc’sle to prevent this rotation.

The engineering and design of modern day anchors and chains make it rare that one would get stuck under something at the bottom of the sea and need to be cut loose, but there’s even a contingency for those circumstances:  the chain is dropped from the ship and a buoy is set with the coordinates so that a salvage team can come pick it up at a later time.

So what does any of this have to do with spirituality?

How often have you felt “stuck” in your life – not moving backwards, necessarily, but also not making the progress you had hoped would be yours at this point in time? I’ve been there, and I suspect that many of you have, too – anchored somewhere that we don’t want to be, and while we can feel the sea of life moving around us, we’re  rotating around stuck to our chain. What we need to remember is that like these US Navy links in a ship’s anchor chain, we “own” the links in those long anchor chains that are keeping us stuck.

We have forged the chains with our beliefs in lack and limitation; in what we see as evidence (the “what is”) instead of our desired state. Many of us have fathom after fathom of chain links; beliefs that are keeping us anchored in place, unable to move forward. If we catch ourselves soon enough we can sometimes pull up the chain and anchor by refining our perspective, and redirecting our thoughts. At other times, we need to let the entire anchor and chain loose. Interestingly, on a US Navy ship, letting this go can be very dangerous if unchecked as the large chain can gain momentum and become an uncontrolled heavy weapon, whipping around on the inside of the foc’sle, causing serious damage and injury to the sailors in the vicinity. Doesn’t it feel dangerous when we’re letting go of thought patterns, and paradigms that we’ve held on to for years, perhaps even decades?

Regular spiritual practice, including meditation, visioning and spiritual mind treatment, along with examination of our strongly-held beliefs is the best preventive maintenance we can do on our spiritual lives to make sure that we’re not forging chains stamped with our serial number to lay heavy on the seabed of life, keeping us stuck where we are, unable to move forward.

When we recognize the links of thoughts and belief that we have forged, we must be willing to do the heavy lifting and pull up that anchor and heavy chain; reexamining those beliefs and perpetual, habitual thought patterns that are keeping us stuck. We may even need to make the hard decision to let go of this anchor chain, and move on. We’ll need to replace it since a ship cannot go underway without anchoring equipment, but with new knowledge and a more enlightened perspective we can forge a new anchor and chain with thought patterns and beliefs that support us, and allow us to move forward in life, accepting our Good and growing in new ways.

We need to be patient with ourselves, too. In the same way that the depth of the sea determines how much chain is needed to anchor a US Navy ship, if we’ve been thinking one way for many years, we’re going to need to give ourselves some time to replace old thought patterns with new ones. Wayne Dyer’s “change your thinking, change your life” is a simple statement, but the process is not easy. There’s no magic wand or special pill that can immediately reverse years of thinking and thought patterns. And like those large US Navy vessels that can’t turn on a dime in the middle of the sea, and charge full-speed ahead on a moment’s notice, our transformation is a process and not a point in time.

The good news is that once we pull up or cut loose the chains of limited beliefs, replacing them with the foundations of right thought, we can chart our course forward into better seas, choosing when and where to anchor with our new foundations of belief – forged in possibility, potential and positive thought.

If you feel stuck, examine your beliefs, your thought patterns and behaviors. Make the decision to start pulling up that chain, and Anchors Aweigh – new adventures are waiting on the open sea of life!

*originally blogged on the author’s site

Anchors

 

Those in attendance at the Sunday, July 17th service each received a small colorful anchor as a reminder of the power of our beliefs as anchors in life.