The Power of Visioning

Somseva™

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What would it be like if you could have absolute clarity on the highest path for your life, know exactly what you need to do to fulfill it, and be empowered to bring it to fruition? This is what the Life Visioning Process offers.

This powerful spiritual tool was developed by Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, Founder and Spiritual Director of Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, California.

This tool enabled him to clearly see his purpose and to build a trans-denominational movement and community of 9,000 local members and 1,000,000 friends worldwide. It opened the way for him to be one of the featured teachers in the movie, The Secret, to be a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show as well as on Larry King Live on CNN, in addition to a multitude of other public appearances around the world.

The purpose of this spiritual tool is not to…

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Service to the World

Somseva™

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In honor of the Centers for Spiritual Living theme for this month, I am writing on service to the world. Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

Truly being of service to others is one of the greatest joys. It is why we really enjoy our work when we find we are making a meaningful contribution. Selfless service, known as Seva in the Sanskrit language, is the greatest joy of all. When we’re engaged in service to others purely for the sake of being of help and from our own love and good will, there is something that comes alive in us.

Recently, I took a group from the Somseva spiritual community to a local rescue mission where we spent two and a half hours preparing and then serving over 500…

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As Good as It Gets

Somseva™

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In the 1997 movie, As Good as It Gets, Jack Nicholson plays an obsessive-compulsive character who is also lacking in social skills. The movie title refers to the character’s coming to terms with his OCD and making peace with the possibility that some things about his situation might not change.

As practitioners of the Science of Mind philosophy, we are strong believers in our ability to change our conditions in life by changing our thinking and way of being.

It’s a paradox, because life is always evolving and yet there is never a time that is better than now.

When I was in Ukraine in 2009, our host, an American woman who established a Science of Mind spiritual community there, shared with us that the people in Ukraine live more in the present than we do in the United States, partly as a result of the uncertainties that existed when…

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What Is Your Big “YES?”

Somseva™

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We cannot overestimate the power of our “YES.” As life constantly presses out against us from within, ever wanting to express in some greater way, our most powerful response to that divine impulse is “YES.”

In their book, Thoughts Are Things, Ernest Holmes and Willis Kinnear write, “One of the greatest vitality tonics is a mental attitude that is interested and enthused about doing something that is productive and allows an opportunity for self-expression.”

Some years ago when I was in ministerial school, in a quiet moment of meditation, the words “on Sundays I speak” came forth in my mind. It was a clear exhortation regarding me engaging in public speaking. It was such a clear statement, although it startled me a bit because, at the time, I had done very few speaking engagements and had none scheduled on my calendar.

It was so clear, however, and it awaited my…

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Staying Centered in an Election Year

Somseva™

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Current events surely have the potential to throw us off our center, and presidential elections in the modern era often push our buttons like nothing else does. The presidential election this year in the United States is like none in our modern era in that regard. Not only are the candidates in the two major parties polarizing, but even the primary elections generated a lot of passion.

In such an election where we have a strong draw to a particular candidate or great angst about a candidate, how do we keep our center? How do we deal with anxieties about a candidate that we feel would be harmful to the country and its people?

It provides us an opportunity to look at where real power comes from. In the Science of Mind philosophy, we teach that there is only one power that we all have access to in infinite measure…

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The Gift of Renunciation

Somseva™

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The focus of today’s blog is a subject I never considered writing about until several recent books I read and am reading referred to the essentialness of it. That topic is renunciation. Typically, we think of the path of renunciation as one where we reject all worldly pleasures, including sexual activity, drinking alcohol, and even culinary pleasures.

The books from these spiritual teachers were speaking to the importance of renunciation from a different perspective. For example, Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite Monk from the 17th century who authored a book entitled Practicing the Presence of God, stated “…the most important part resides in renouncing, once and for all, whatever does not lead to God.”

Looking at it from Brother Lawrence’s perspective, we can likely see the value of renunciation on our spiritual journey. If an activity or way of being does not bring us closer to God, or in other…

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Vacation as Spiritual Practice

Somseva™

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Most of us are conditioned to look forward to our vacations. For some it’s an opportunity to travel to a new or favorite destination, for others it’s a chance to spend time at home, perhaps with family or on a hobby, and still for others, a chance to tune out. Generally speaking, vacations are about rest and relaxation, or for those who are more active, about play and adventure.

None of these reasons is inherently better than any other. However, vacation is also a great time to reconnect to our center and to get back on track with our spiritual practices, like meditation. When we get away from the busyness of our daily lives, there is time for reflection, contemplation, and stepping back to see where we are.

Many will go to a spiritual retreat for this purpose, and while those are great (I love them), for many this would…

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Seeing the World as Sacred

Somseva™

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Today I was on an online radio program hosted by Rev. Mark Gilbert. The episode will air in a couple weeks and I will post the link here so you may listen. The theme for the episode was the same as the topic for this blog, Seeing the World as Sacred, so you’ll get a preview here.

My notion of sacredness is best captured with the word, value. When see something as sacred we see it as valuable and worthy of our care and attention.

In order to see the world as sacred, first we must see ourselves as valuable and intrinsically good. If we don’t see this in ourselves it will be difficult or impossible to see it in others or in the world.

I have often said that a person who doesn’t know who I am (see my value) doesn’t know who they are. So my goal is…

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Be of Service, Change the World

Somseva™

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Bengali writer, Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

The Bible, Matthew 23:11, says “The greatest among you will be your servant.”

Most of us have likely had the experience of what joy it is to serve others, and have felt the intangible, but very real sense of fulfillment from being in service. Whether it is in our work that we do for compensation or in volunteering, there is something in us that wants to serve, that knows this is our greatest purpose.

Mother Teresa is quoted as having said, “Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service.”

We are meant to serve. And I would say the greatest service is selfless service, known as Seva (pronounced say-vuh) in Sanskrit. There is something about serving just for the…

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When Is Right Timing?

Somseva™

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It is common to speak of right timing, but how do we know when it is right timing? Certainly, we can look at our lives and see that we are busy and perhaps based on that say that the time is not right to add something else. Or we could look at our own sense of whether we are equipped, either with skills or mental bandwidth for a new activity.

These are all good and have their value. However, there is another aspect of timing that I would call divine right timing. The things mentioned so far consist of human timing. That is, what seems convenient based on our human perception of the situation.

I describe divine timing as when something lands in our laps such that it is now fully available to us. This is particularly important when it is something we have been saying we want in our…

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