On New Year’s Eve afternoon, my group, the Jazz Guys, will be performing at Sierra Place Senior Living in Carson City. I play trumpet, Dan Lancaster will be on reeds, Mark Ashworth plays drums, sings and is an ad lib comic, and there’s Jim Vermillion on keyboard and vocals. This group is Ideal. I love playing with these guys. It really makes my heart happy! Then on New Year’s Day I get to officiate at a wedding! I start 2015 doing doing both my Minister and Musician gigs. This is the Ideal made real for me! When we retired as pulpit ministers, we did not retire from life, we retired into Love. “If it’s not love, it’s always fear and nothing else.” I know this lesson from A Course In Miracles is true. I also know The Ideal made real is available. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that I have made myself available to it. If you discover that something in your life is a little out of balance, try this centering thought “my little changes result in big benefits.” Stay happy, keep breathing and I’ll see you in 2015!
I commit to perfect… The rest of this centering thought is unlimited; it’s up to each of us to finish the sentence. One might ask, “Is the word ‘perfect’ a verb or an adjective?” In this instance, I am using “perfect” as an adjective. Perfect God, perfect man, perfect being – the Absolute! Everyone is created in the image and likeness of God, which is perfection, but our experiences and our lives do not always appear to us as perfect. This is subjective, incomplete, like a still photo extracted from a feature length movie. Some question the “perfection” of birth anomalies, war, pestilence, epidemics and catastrophic weather events. I understand that my answer of taking the long view, seeing a picture big enough to include the enormous challenges many of us face will not satisfy all, but I cannot compromise on this most basic premise. Others ask, “How long does it take for perfection, the Ideal, to appear in my life?” I say, “It requires as long as it takes you to release your fear and your resistance, your negative opinions!” It could take thirty, forty, or fifty years. Or maybe not even in this lifetime! Or it could be a week! It might take a day. It could be right NOW! Actually, it IS now! Absoluteness has no relatives! Some live their lives in fear with the accompanying predictable experiences. Some disagree with any claim of perfection, citing a plethora of “evidence” to the contrary. The issues of Life, however, are still from within out! I refuse to see a world in which I do not want to live! I refrain from predicting any ominous future. This is not a “spiritual bypass” or some sort of fantasy-land I live in. I have no intention of being reasonable or realistic if that means cooperating with anything less than the Divine intention and manifestation of Perfection – the Ideal made Real! So today, I commit to Perfect! I am calling forth the inherent Wholeness alive everywhere! It’s how I see myself. It’s how I see you. This is how I view the world and my life here and now! Guess what happens next. Yep, you’re right! It’s Perfect! Have a perfectly wonderful holiday season and a fabulous new year! Merry Everything and Happy You!
In the almost forty years have I have been a co-minister in in Science of Mind, with my wife Gail, I have taught and learned many things! When A Course In Miracles was first published, the three volume set was given to us as a gift. It sat on our bookcase a long time, unread. I heard about how it came to be written, channeled spiritual material which came through Helen Schucman. I remember how I dismissed ACIM as I was way too busy teaching SOM! Later on people in my SOM class requested it, no they demanded it! So, as there were no copies available at that time (our supplier was temporarily sold out), I called a lot of people and borrowed about 13 copies. That class grew to over thirty participants every Thursday night and ran for thirteen years. The main instigator, the lady who had requested the class initially, was healed of cancer. She recently died (almost thirty years later) of old age. That class and our SOM church flourished for years. It was a miracle in my life. One of the lessons from ACIM is “A healed mind does not plan.” The lesson still inspires me today.
Recently I read an article about Diane Keating in the monthly AARP magazine. She is sixty five or so. We saw her in a new movie with Michael Douglas last week, “And So It Goes”. She sings five or six beautiful standard classic tunes. I did not know she could sing; she brought me to tears, her voice was so beautiful and the familiar songs so poignant. In the article about her, she was quoted saying: “Take risks – do things you can’t imagine!”
Sometimes I need the spontaneity, the excitement, the intense interest of risk. This has worked for me my whole life. Is there an incongruence, a dichotomy here, two ideas in conflict? I don’t think so. While I refrain from outlining how my good comes about, there is in me a playful opening, a willingness for the unexpected, the serendipitous event, the magical moment! I welcome whatever the Universe has in store for me!
The older I get, the more I realize the truth of Henry David Thoreau’s assertion that: “OUR TRUEST LIFE IS WHEN WE ARE IN OUR DREAMS AWAKE”. My awake meditations bring me to various states of consciousness, visioning (distinct from visualization), sometimes an altered state of mind, in which I am actually intimate with my Source. It feels like this Source has visited with me, a miraculous experience, to be sure! In 1961 when I was first taught to meditate, I would habitually forget to practice. Then there would generally be some sort of unwelcome (negative) situation appear in my life, not Ideal. I learned over time to habitually meditate or visit with God. The Ideal Made Real has also become habitual in my life experience. From this lofty elevation, I can see that this Ideal IS what my life truly is while awake, not asleep, or unconscious from pills or liquor or tobacco, or constant negative input. We are all One. I pray that all people live “upstairs”…
My first teacher of Science Of Mind in 1958, Dr. HAP Polite reassured me when I protested that “I had no belief, no faith at all!” He calmly said, “Take all the the faith you want from me, I have plenty. Trust me, for now!” Trust and belief can be taught! We did affirm style prayer that he called Spiritual Mind Treatment. I was moved physically and spiritually within months to Lake Tahoe and a whole new experience of life opened up: a miracle! Then my teacher in Transcendental Meditation taught me the yogic process. I trusted him and had faith in it. I did not understand how, but it too worked!
There are some things I KNOW: Getting quiet, getting centered through meditation followed by a process of intentional affirmative prayer WORKS!!! If you need to, then trust me, just for now, have faith. I have plenty to share. “My peace I give unto you!” Join with me in this Dream, the Ideal Made Real, whatever that means to you…
“Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.” Indeed!