Friday, April 5, 2013

What's Next?

Today is the culmination of the 40 day season of Lent. This was also around the same time as the Lunar New Year. A gift was brought for everyone –a little red envelope with fava beans inside. Some people went right home and planted them. Some grew so quickly that they are already in the garden. What an amazing symbol of LIFE. Within that little seed is the POWER and the LIFE force that can create something so remarkable. Not only can this one seed produce food for us – it will also create…………..more seeds! A few days ago we had a Good Friday service but the story doesn’t stop there. We do not stay – remain - in Good Friday - the symbol of fear and suffering. We move ahead to Easter – symbolising resurrection, new life, freedom. Easter IS an eternal perpetual experience – not limited by time or form. Listen to what two Unity writers say about ‘resurrection”: Martha Smock was one of the earlier editors of the Daily Word in the 1940s. As well as the books she wrote she also contributed articles to the Daily Word. I found an article she wrote about Easter in the Unity archives – and the title caught my eye: You Are Unfettered, Unbound, Triumphant, Glorious, Free. And this is what she says: The beginning of your freedom lies in your own mind. The freedom to be, to be all that God created you to be, is yours, not someday but now. Do not put off your freedom. You have the power through the Spirit of God in you, to be all that you have longed to be. You have freedom to grow, to unfold, to express the God-qualities within you. Emmet Fox says: “The resurrection is a practical step for you and me to take today. It is not just a theological belief. It is a fact of nature. It is the Truth of Being. It means a perfect and integrated soul. It means reunion with God in thought, understanding and realization.” How can we embody the resurrection experience: Unfettered, Unbound, Triumphant, Glorious? Perfect & Integrated? Remember the fava beans? Mine have remained in their packet, unplanted. Yes they have potential….. but what happens if I do not plant them? Nothing. In the same way – we each have potential within us for greatness. And yet, it requires some movement on our part – it does not happened by itself. If we leave our potential untouched – for whatever reason: ignorance, fear, - nothing happens – it lies dormant like the seed. How we will ever experience the fullness of life – the kingdom of heaven – if we never plant the seed? How could we possibly enjoy the fruit? Or in this case – the vegetable? Rumi said: If you want to witness the resurrection, then be it. For this is the condition for witnessing anything. So how do we ‘be it’? And this is where some of our Unity teachings are valuable and practice. We have many tools to help us and support us in growing into the fullness of life. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, felt there was deep significance in the 12 disciples. He researched their actions, what they said, where they fell short and where they expressed the fullness of their spiritual nature. He attributed a power to each one and also a colour. The three colours that are associated with Easter are: pink, yellow and purple. Let’s start with pink. This colour is associated with the disciple John and the power is DIVINE LOVE. Charles Fillmore says that in Spirit, “love is the pure essence of Being that binds together the whole human family.” And this power of Divine Love is closely linked with the power of DIVINE WISDOM. What we know is that love without wisdom is blind, foolish, easily mislead. It can easily lead us into difficulty without its brother power wisdom - represented by the colour yellow. Divine Wisdom is our intuitive knowing, not reasoning or intellect, but light the brilliant flash of illumination. It is the ability to look beyond appearances, to see the higher way. It shines its light on all situations so we can see them rightly. And then there is PURPLE, matched with the power of….. DIVINE POWER. The power we are talking about is not the power over others. It is not the power that controls, forces. We are talking about the Power over ourselves. Our ability to monitor and reflect on our actions. Our ability to make changes in our thoughts and words. Our ability to receive and use God energy. The integration of these divine three powers – love, wisdom and power - into our everyday lives is a way to begin living the life of unfettered freedom and creation. Even though we celebrate Easter one Sunday of the year – it is important to remember that this one day symbolizes – is an example of - what is possible EVERY day. When we miss the mark & then bring ourselves back to center, we have experienced a resurrection. When we release a belief that has held us back from experiencing the fullness of life, we have made a resurrection. Do not minimize these small resurrections. Use your divine powers of love, wisdom and power to transform your life. How do we learn to master a craft or an art? By practicing daily, by little steps. MEDITATION Meditate on the idea that there is a Spirit in you that is unfettered, unbound, triumphant, splendid, glorious, free. You cannot help but respond to this transcendent vision. You will feel an inner freedom that has nothing to do with circumstances, with conditions, past or present, with what you have thought of yourself, or what others have thought of you. You gain dominion over your thoughts, over your feelings, over the circumstances and conditions of your life as you hold to the realization that there is a Spirit in you that transcends all things. The inner freedom you feel will sustain and uphold you as you go about the activities of daily living. You will feel free; you will be free, for you are Spirit: unbound, unlimited, unaffected by circumstances, all-wise, all-loving, all-powerful. You are not bound by anything, any person, any situation. You are freer than you think. Let go the thoughts and beliefs that have kept you in bondage, that have made you fearful of trying. If you long to be free, think about the idea of having freedom to be. What do you want to be? What do you want to express? What do you envision for yourself and your life? You have freedom to be. "Perfect love casts out fear." God is with you as perfect love. You cannot be afraid in the presence of God; you cannot be doubtful or anxious; you cannot be bound by what you have been in the past; you cannot be limited by what you have thought of yourself or what others have thought of you. Here in this present moment you are free; you are a child of God; you are standing on holy ground. Lift your thoughts above the limitations of your life. Let them transcend, for the moment at least, all that has seemed to bind you, to stand in your way, all that has frustrated you or made you unhappy. When you let go limiting and binding thoughts, you find that conditions, persons, or circumstances no longer have power over you.