Exploring the Depths

  Meditation and concentration are techniques we use in prayer to help us attain the realization of God expressing as us. There are many types of meditation and concentration methods used in the various spiritual disciplines of the world. In Unity, the purpose of these techniques is primarily to focus the attention on the Source/God of our being. The divine life and light at the center of our being and all around us. Much of what we call prayer and meditation involves practices of working with our mind. Grounding in the breath and engaging the fullness of the senses can help steady and regulate our nervous system,  supporting our ability to respond to life from a more centered place, rather than simply reacting. Just taking a moment to pause—to check in—using the breath as a focal point, and then to notice the variety of physical sensations occurring in the moment. This alone can feel foreign at first because we are more accustomed to THINKING about experiences; we are not sure ho

The Great Epiphany!

We are concluding our Summer of Awe series this Sunday with the grandeur of epiphany! Who doesn't love a good epiphany? Epiphanies are those big ‘aha’ moments whereby our current understanding of life gets rearranged in such a way that a whole new perspective suddenly becomes known. In his book Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life , the author Dasher Keltner summarizes the experiences of epiphany from the participants in his study of awe as follows: “Around the world, people were awe struck by philosophical insights, scientific discoveries, metaphysical ideas, personal realizations, mathematical equations, and sudden disclosures that transform life in an instant. In each instance, the epiphany united facts, beliefs, values, intuitions, and images into a new system of understanding” (pg. 18). I have come to consider that we are in an experience of collective epiphany. Of course our individual experience of a new understanding depends on where w

Mystical Awe

Summer of Awe Series  I hope that you have been taking time to notice the plethora of opportunities for awe and wonder that life so freely affords us.   This Sunday we will consider the power and purpose of Mystical/Spiritual Awe. The term mystical here simply means a direct, personal experience of the Divine. There are a plethora of these opportunities to connect. As we discussed last week, many of us feel this powerful connection while “walking in the Cathedral of nature” as Dr. Lisa Miller puts it. In his book Awe , author Dasher Keltner explores how our spiritual life actually grows out of experiences of awe.   Keltner refers to mystical awe as “…the feelings of encountering what we call the Divine, {meaning} what we feel to be primary, true, good and omnipresent” (pg. 195). Such experiences draw us closer to the power and presence of the Divine within and all around us. They also fulfill a deep and fundamental human need. The awe-inspiring body of work recently published

Wild Awe

  Wild Awe Last weekend while camping, I experienced firsthand the reprieve that time in nature  offers.  This was no doubt magnified by my concurrent reading of the book, Awe by Dacher Keltner. As the Universe would have it,I was literally reading the chapter on Wild Awe which speaks to the emerging science behind what so many of us have experienced in nature! Not surprisingly, a growing number of Americans report feeling the greatest connection with the Divine while in nature. I have long appreciated that experience myself without the need for scientific data, but it is truly awe inspiring to consider why that is and how it works. It seems to affirm the fullness of divine intelligence imbued in every aspect of life – including the energetic power of nature itself to calm our nervous systems and put us in touch with the majestic vastness of the cosmos, and our small, but powerful place within it. Keltner’s explanation for why he decided to embark on this study of awe is tell

Living the Good Life

How can we live “the good life” has long been the perennial question. “Find awe,” was the simple answer that inspired UC Berkley psychology professor and author, Dacher Keltner to study the emotional state of awe. His book entitled, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How it Can Transform Your Life, offers inspirational stories and insights on the evolution of the experience, and the spiritual component that often imbues this emotion.  I can't think of anything more awe inspiring than realizing the depth of Spirit within us, as well as the basis of all of creation! That has absolutely been a source of good in my life, and I hope the same is true for you. Awe connects us with something larger than our self and expands what Philosopher Peter Singer called “the circle of care; the network of people we feel kindness toward” (Keltner, D. Awe , 2023, pg. 81). Expanding our circle of care is a key aspect of what ‘living the good life’ really means. It goes beyond the more self- s

Greater Freedom

  Hi Friends! I am currently in the airport preparing to fly home from Kansas City after spending the week at my first Unity World Wide Ministries conference! "Back to the Future" is this year's theme, offering a nod to the confusion we feel in knowing which way to go in our rapidly changing world. The future is always before us and yet; we often find ourselves looking backward.  Our human nature seeks to find comfort in the seeming stability of what has been. Of course, there is always good to be found in what has been- in all that we have learned and experienced and celebrated along the way- in our personal lives, our Unity Ministries, and in our shared, collective human experience. Accompanying that good are also the limitations, misunderstandings and seeming failures along the way. We often label these as 'bad' but they are only really ''bad' if we don't learn and grow from them. We don't know what we don't know, until we do!  In my und

Judgement Day

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged…” Our lesson this week will consider the practical implications of that infamous saying offered in Matthew 7:1-2. Like most of us, I came to understand this to mean that as I judged others harshly, GOD would judge me harshly in return. This stems from the teaching of a literal ‘judgement day’ whereby our eternal future will be decided, for better or worse.. What many of us love about Unity is that it offers us access to be able to apply spiritual understanding in the here and now. Consider the metaphysical interpretation of the 'Last Judgement" as described in The Metaphysical Bible Dictionary by Unity Co-Founder, Charles Fillmore: “The description of the Last Judgment, as given in the Gospels, has been used to terrify men and women and thus compel them to unite with the church; but in this day of enlightenment people are not so easily led or driven by fear. They ask for understanding. Wh