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Denise’s Daring Daydreams for 01/19/17

I have spent a lifetime working with children of all ages – literally.  And what I love about working with children is that I constantly get invited into an enchanted world of dreams and ideas and curiosity and . . . . . Well, you know what I mean.  When I say something is enchanting it means I feel pleasure or delight.  Quite interestingly, as each of us grows and matures, at times that pleasure and delight seems to either diminish or go away. 

I’m here today to ask you, “why”?  Why would we as human beings choose to go day after day living lives that are so devoid of sweetness and delight? 

My answer:  We grow up!  It’s what we were told to do.  It’s what we think we are supposed to do.

When we step into that grown up world, we are applauded and rewarded by acting a certain way and to think certain thoughts to fit in.  The world of curiosity and enchantment slowly begins to fade away.  We slowly begin to lose who we are as light beings having a human experience.    

I was sitting with someone yesterday who said to me, “Denise, I just don’t feel it anymore.  I used to feel so connected to life and now I don’t feel it.”  There was a deep sadness in her words.  I pondered them all day until I sat with the folks during Winter Feast for the Soul and watched Part II of the Belief Series.  A thought just kept running through my mind.  I have no idea if it will resonate with you but here goes. 

Christianity, in which many of us were raised, has somehow lost along the way the sense of mysticism and ritual that many of the other religions have kept over the years.  I realize in this moment that some of you reading this will say ‘I don’t like ritual’ (even though we practice them here every Sunday  at Unity of Music City). What I am speaking of are the deeper dives into who we are as spiritual beings – something you connect to and with every day.    

As Jesus the Master Teacher, he taught his disciples “The Way”, a part of Gnosticism which was a mystical and truly magical way of living and connecting with the spirit of all things.  Mystics, of whom I know some of you reading this are, seem to have an innate and natural understanding of the cosmos and their place in it.  Being a Mystic himself, Jesus shared many of his thoughts about staying in the flow and enchantment of the world we live in. Many of those statements were captured in books that were left out of the Bible.  One such statement is: 

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.  If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” From the Gospel of Thomas

I hope you will join me on Sunday  morning for “The Re-Enchantment of the Cosmos.”  A true journey from the head to the heart. 

 

“I go to my higher power
There for me in any hour
I go to my higher power
Everything will be ok
God’s the only way for me” 
Dr. Judy

 

Namaste’,
Rev. D


Denise’s Daring Daydreams for 01/12/2017

“I should not make any promises right now,
But I know if you pray
Somewhere in the world –
Something good will happen.”

Hafiz

In many of the world’s religions there is a base line knowledge that practices like meditation, prayer, and ritual, in addition to their positive effect on individuals, play a subtle role in supporting change in the world.  This benefit can be understood as subtle activism. 

When I began my journey on the Unity path, meditation was a new experience for this “born again Christian.”  My prayer life had been one of either memorized prayers for certain occasions or prayers for certain times of day – “Now I lay me down to sleep.”  Other prayers were for me to confess my sins to this being that was “somewhere out there,” in hopes that “he” would hear me and have compassion on me “a sinner.” 

When I began to practice meditation – and believe me 30+ years later, it is still a practice that I do every day – I realized that sitting in the silence made me feel better.  But, I wasn’t sure why. I was working towards my Master’s Degree in Psychology, so I was a part of a Vanderbilt study about the benefits of such things as Bio Feedback and practices that included Mindfulness.  (Bio Feedback is a technique that trains people to improve their health by controlling certain bodily processes that normally happen involuntarily)  All of a sudden I was blowing my own mind.  I literally had the ability to lower my heart rate just by sitting in the silence.  Who Knew?

One of the highlights of my training was being in the presence of Jon Kabat Zinn, a professor of Medicine who created a Stress Reduction Clinic and a Center for Mindfulness. One of the quotes I remember him stating at a conference I attended was, “Be careful.  You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness.  Remember – you came here to experience it all.  And you came with an intention to have an effect on it all.”   

The statement, “You came here to experience it all” was much easier for me to take in, although that was difficult enough.  Surely I didn’t come here to experience some of the things I had experienced.  Don’t try to tell me I signed up for this!  

The second part of that statement still sends chills up and down my spine, “You came with an intention to have an effect on it all.”   That statement has run through my mind many times when I wanted to run away – and even as I was running away.  That same belief has served me well at times and taken me into many situations that otherwise I would have been scared and powerless to step into. 

As I remind the Prayer Chaplains, when I stay “prayed up” I can then step into any situation and have a positive effect.  And the magic is that sometimes I don’t even know I’m choosing.  They appear right in front of me. It is as if stepping on this path that I have been on for over 30 years has led me to the right and perfect next step. 

Sunday  we will begin our study of Sacred Activism – what it is and how to begin to experience it.  I hope you choose to join me “At the Beginning.”  The amazing Sherri Phillips will be joining me as we weave this sacred web of intrigue and mystery. 

I am light, I am light
I am divinity defined
I am the God on the inside
I am a star, a piece of it all
I am light. 

 

See you Sunday!
Rev. D