Friday, February 21, 2014

Unity Today

Unity: the Healing Movement What is Unity? (from unity.org website) Unity is positive, practical Christianity. We promote a way of life that leads to health, prosperity, happiness, and peace of mind. We believe that all people are created with sacred worth, and we strive to reach out to all who seek support and spiritual growth. When I started looking at all the opportunities that the Unity movement offers in 2014, I saw an overarching theme: healing. And as I explored this more deeply I could see that all healing takes place in the field of relationship. We do not exist in isolation. Each of us is connected with other people, with our communities, with our environment. No one acts without affecting themselves, the people and environment around them. Acknowledging that, we understand that even in small ways, we can be a healing force in our own lives and in the world and we will be contributing to the wellbeing of all life on this planet. I could think of 3 areas of healing: healing ourselves: mind, body and soul, healing our relationships with each other - with our human family and healing our relationship with this unique and precious planet we all live on. Let’s start with ourselves. Focusing on our own wellbeing is not a selfish act, and quite frankly, I am not interested in something that isn’t going change my life. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I was attracted to Unity – an educational movement with practical application. I wanted my life to be different - to have more meaning, to have more joy. Physical healing is how Unity ‘got started’ when Myrtle Fillmore heard she had 6 months to live and healed herself of tuberculosis. Have you noticed how sometimes it takes something really big to get our attention? Being close to dying is one of those ‘big things’. It brings everything into perspective. It is a great tool for focus. And that’s what it did for Myrtle. Here are some of her words when she talks about her physical healing. Life has to be guided by intelligence. Life is simply a form of energy, and how do we communicate intelligence? By thinking and talking, of course. I went to all the life centers of my body and spoke words of Truth to them, words of strength and power. I asked their forgiveness for the foolish, ignorant course that I had pursued in the past, when I condemned them and called them weak, inefficient, and diseased. I did not become discouraged at their being slow to wake up, but kept right on, both silently and aloud, declaring the words of Truth, until the organs responded. Physical healing was the starting place of Unity but as we know – noting acts in isolation and these same principles can be applied to everything else in life. What does that look like 130 years later? The very latest from Unity Village is the renovation of the Tower. It has been out of use for a long time and last September on World Day of Prayer it reopened as the Awaken Whole Life Center “In seeking to integrate and balance body, mind and spirit we at the Center truly believe in holistically healing ourselves so that together we may begin to heal our world. Expand yourself with spiritual mentoring and dialogue, affirmative prayer, ritual and ceremony, energy medicine, creative expression, music and meditation. We are at a landmark moment in western medicine in which compassion and empathy are being recognized as a complement to material interventions such as pharmaceuticals and medical procedures. The result is a form of healing that is more effective than when either approach is used alone. From (unity.org) Dr. Larry Dossey gave the keynote address of the opening of the Awaken Whole Life Center . He is a physician of internal medicine and the author of 12 books on the role of consciousness and spirituality in healing. Why Dr. Dossey? When he wrote the book Healing Words in 1993 there were only 3 medical schools acknowledged there might be some correlation between prayer and healing. Now most medical schools offer these courses, many of them using Dr Dossey’s book as the text. I was familiar with some of his books but I looked him up online and found this interesting perspective he has. Dr. Dossey defines the major periods in the history of medicine: Era I (mechanical medicine), Era II (psychosomatic medicine), and Era III (nonlocal medicine). He lays out a compelling argument for merging awareness of consciousness into the practice of modern medicine. By perceiving the boundlessness of the mind, Dr. Dossey says, we discern our own interconnectedness - with extraordinarily practical implications - the Golden Rule of Era III: "Do good unto others because they are you!" Unity is deeply committed to and immersed in all the modalities that support the role of consciousness in healing. Another way we heal ourselves is by widening our own perspective by listening to other people who have dedicated their lives to study in various fields. Unity brings worldwide renowned speakers to its conventions and retreats. Barbara Marx Hubbard, Jean Huston, Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz, Two years ago Deepak Chopra did a 6 weeks series with a Unity minister talking about Awakening to Christ-Consciousness. Anyone listen to Unity online radio? A few of the prgrams are: Main Street Vegan, How to be a Holy Rascal, World Spirituality, Music Speaks Louder Than Words, From Grief to Grace. These are some of the resources offered in the area of self healing and transformation. HEALING OUR RELATIONSHIPS Everything we do and say affects everything around us. As long as we think that we can act in isolation, we continue to damage our world. You remember Unity’s statement that all life is created with sacred worth? There are many groups of people who are finding their voice in the last 20 years or so – those who have been ostracized and marginalized and excluded from participating in society. The LGBT community is one. Unity has a resource center for LGBT members. Our walking the talk that all life is created with sacred worth has been a precious gift to so many who have not been welcome in society and particularly in churches. At every annual convention there is time set aside for specialized groups to meet with their spiritual partners around the world. LGBT is one of them, gay & lesbian ministers is another, and friends of Bill W. meets every night. And there are other relationships. This year at the international convention there is a workshop choice: Animals as Spiritual Companions. There is a “Unity & Animal Ministry” and the leaders will be presenting a workshop along with a renowned Animal Communicator. From the course description: to explore the depth of the spiritual contributions non-human animals make to our world. One last branch of Unity I want to bring to your awareness in the area of healing our relationships with others is a ministry called Spiritually Inspired Social Action. This is what we call our community outreach. Hundreds of Unity churches and centers all over the world are involved in this ministry. From supporting growing Unity centers around the world, to working with a village in South Africa supporting children orphaned by AIDS, to collecting 1,000s of shoes to give away to those in need in some of our big cities. And the third area: HEALING OUR PLANET When the construction of Unity Village began, Charles Fillmore’s son travelled to Europe to learn about the latest in building and architecture. In the 30 and 40s he constructed buildings, patios, walkways and roads around the natural features of the 1500 acres. There is a 300 foot long reflection pool and 10 fountains holding 14,000 sq ft of water. And you know what this water does as well as looking absolutely beautiful? It circulates water to thousands of sq feet of classrooms and offices in the hot summer months to run the air conditioning system. The outdoor swimming pool follows the natural contours of the land, set among the trees and grass. The Spiritual Life Center, located in Unity Village, is a hotel was built in 2007 - one of the first LEED-certified green hotels in north America. How else does Unity contribute to protecting our natural environment? Earthcare Ministry -ispart of a global movement in consciousness that recognizes our oneness with the environment and the need to protect it. What we do to the environment we do to ourselves. Since its inception, they have sponsored or participated in hundreds of activities or events in the areas of Sustainable Living, Recycling, Energy Conservation, Waste Minimization, Natural Resources, and Respect for the Interdependence of the Universe. Know that by participating in this spiritual community you are contributing to the programs of our Unity movement and what it has to offer in the field of consciousness, energy, healing and co-creating a world that works for all.