September 29, 2013 – Handle What Is Important With Prayer

9/29/13 Rev. David McArthur
Handle What Is Important With Prayer

Usually when we go into prayer we don’t know what’s really going on. Melissa’s mother had a stroke. The only thing to do was a surgical procedure with only a 1% chance of success, likely leaving her a vegetable. With a tradition of prayer, the family asked their spiritual community to join them in prayer during surgery. It was an 8 hour ordeal. That night, exhausted, Melissa prayed before falling asleep. She dreamed she was in a courtroom, and her mother was asking the judge, God, to let her return to health so that she could continue to aid her family. Upon awakening, Melissa felt a deep sense of peace. At the hospital Melissa found her mother conscious and lucid! Some of the equipment had already been removed because of her mother’s returning vitality. We have a difficult time understanding the spiritual experience, and so we use symbols. I believe that dream was an expression of a real spiritual experience. Melissa witnessed her mom having the experience of choosing to return to her family. I do not imply that every time we pray for someone that they get well. Sometimes they choose to let go of the body.

My belief is different from tradition. I do not try to remind an infinite being out there that they forgot something. Instead I believe we connect in our spirit to the spirit of the other person to support them in their spiritual choice. We never get spiritual control, but we do link to them. Our day to day experience of prayer is not as intense, but as our experience grows, our view of how we see others changes. We begin to see how beautiful and powerful others are spiritually—even our loved ones when they are lost in their pain or how weak they think they are. That’s prayer and it happens every day all the time. Those beings most dear in our lives are important because they keep growing our awareness. See the truth; tell them You are a magnificent spiritual being! You are a magnificent spiritual being! You are a magnificent spiritual being! What a joy to know that! And do you notice how it grows? One or two beings show up at the office—and one over there in line. And even yourself—I am a magnificent spiritual being! –no matter how hard you try to cover it up! I am a magnificent spiritual being! Yes you are!

September 22, 2013 – Evolving the Consciousness of Peace

9/22/13 Rev. David McArthur
Evolving the Consciousness of Peace

This moment has the lowest level of violence, war and destruction that humankind has ever had! In other times, we burned women as witches and maintained slavery by constant violence. Repulsive! What kind of people can do that?! But human consciousness has been evolving.

In our lifetime there were many peaceful transitions: the dissolution of the Soviet Union, new democracies, the destruction of the Iron Curtain, and the Berlin Wall was hacked to pieces by students. The cold war ended without a shot, and China went from threat to economic partner. Look at the Arab Spring. In 1989 and 1990 there were 14 nonviolent peaceful revolutions. We are living at a time when peace is present on our Earth as never before! What has happened?

2000 years ago, Jesus said to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. From this consciousness began a transformation of humankind and great teachers have called others to join them. Like Mahatma Gandhi. He threw off his country’s oppressors without killing a single Englishman. He didn’t really teach non-violence, but love. You have to care more for the other person’s safety than your own. The ensuing partitioning of India caused great violence, so Gandhi went into fasting—not a practice of starvation, but a spiritual practice of prayer. It involved accepting 100% of the responsibility for what was happening. In 3 days the violence in Calcutta stopped. In Delhi, the violence stopped in 5 days.

We are changing, beginning to find other ways. It happens with the power of prayer and it comes from forgiveness. It happens every Friday in the Muslim community, every Saturday in the Jewish community, and every Sunday for the Christians who meet and pray for peace. We do it here every week. The work is to send out our love to all people. It starts here. Send out that love. Send healing to all those in pain. “Divine love flows through my heart, enfolding and blessing the world!” In the morning. In the middle of the day when someone really pisses you off. “Divine love flows through my heart, enfolding and blessing the world!” At night, “Divine love flows through my heart, enfolding and blessing the world!” You are not just sending it out, you are the divine presence of peace in the world!

September 15, 2013 – Peace Through Compassion

9/15/13 Rev. David McArthur
Peace Through Compassion

In the story of the Tower of Babel, mankind built a great tower to get “up there” close to God. This is a symbol of seeking vertical transformation, or higher understanding. Cinderella is another symbol of our vertical transformation, of acknowledging the presence of God within. With compassion, we can heal and go through transformation. More recently we talked of the Now Moment. It is another vertical experience of connection with the divine.

But in the story of the Tower of Babel, God sent the people out [horizontally]. In the second chapter of Isaiah it is written that in the last days (days when we near completion) the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be chief of all the mountains and all peoples will stream to it. They will beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks, and they won’t train for war anymore. It is the mountain (the Earth) which is lifted up. The work we have been doing with each other lifts our consciousness and we are brought to the house of God (your heart) where we experience the direct connection, divine intelligence, love and understanding. From there flows out harmony among nations and heals our feelings. No need for war, but understanding for each other. All traditions teach that loves flows out from the heart.

Lately when I turn on the TV, I identify with the people who are being wronged by others. But to feel compassion is to feel for the ones who are wrong, too. And feel it for the decision makers, and for the ones fleeing their homes. I even felt compassion for the Russians. It was harder to feel compassion for the people who were bringing the pain. But I remember times when I was out of control in my world, when I was not compassionate.

The people who are figuring out what to do—that’s their job. Our job is to feel the compassion and to send it out to all of them. You can see them in your compassion, even in their lowest times. My belief is that the time is coming when conflict is resolved with compassion. We can start now, when we turn on our TVs, to watch the world with the compassion of our hearts. Affirm, I will watch the world with the compassion of my heart. I will watch the world with the compassion of my heart. I will watch the world with the compassion of my heart. This is the time!

September 8, 2013 – The Teaching of Acceptance from Carol Ruth

September 8, 2013 – The Teaching of Acceptance from Carol Ruth

9/8/13 Coy Cross with Rev. David McArthur
The Teaching of Acceptance from Carol Ruth

Of the many wonderful ministers over the years here at Unity of Walnut Creek, Carol Ruth Knox stands out for me because of her teachings of non-duality and acceptance. She taught that life was a dance with the divine. Acceptance is not laying down and giving up, but like St. George, it’s knowing the dragon can knock you down, but you get back up—that’s acceptance. My favorite affirmation is “I let everything be as it is.” It lets my mind be clear so I can decide my course of action. There are tremendous gifts in confronting a major challenge in life with acceptance. When you can’t change or fix the challenge, what you can do is be consciously present. It means to take it all in, to accept it as it is. To be totally present with someone. Bring your best self. How it turns out is none of your business. There are things you can’t change. Part of your commitment is to listen consciously. Be totally honest, authentic, grounded. Focus on what you know to be sure at the time. Create a new normal. For those things you can’t do, especially men—ask for help. Even in the worst challenge, acceptance allows your relationships to deepen.

Non duality: In my Fundamentalist upbringing, I always tried to please God but ended up filled with guilt. When I heard Carol Ruth, I heard, for the first time in my life, TRUTH! When you look back over your life you see the “coincidences” are like the dots in a child’s dot-to-dot, and when they are connected, your picture emerges. You have your Dark Night but sharing it in acceptance makes you stronger. God is in this too, and you will find courage through prayer, meditation, and acceptance.

From Rev. David: There is only one presence, not two. It is not good and bad. It may be difficult, but it’s all part of our journey. Acceptance opens us to be able to be in and open to this beautiful power that guides us. Whenever our challenges arise, we remember God Is Good All The Time! It doesn’t mean it’s always comfortable or easy all the time. But is does mean that you are able to be present and experience the challenge which is worthy of the being that you are!

September 1, 2013 – From Beauty to Christopher Robin to Presence

9/1/13 Rev. David McArthur
From Beauty to Christopher Robin to Presence

One morning on my back deck I stopped and observed the beauty of the early sun and of shadow, colors, and textures all around me, and I felt something more, something greater. In prayer, I call this The Presence. At times it is so alive, but it is not seen “out there”, it is in here, inside. Then I got it: the questions and thoughts in my mind from years of exploring great teachers and scriptures are about going through an experience but are not the experience itself. This experience that we call “God”, which makes us all misunderstand but which we’ve all felt—this beautiful sacred presence in us which lives through us, is us. Beauty opens us and is part of the journey.

In Winnie the Pooh the images are so pure. One morning Pooh is singing a rhyme and sees a hole in a bank. Could it be Rabbit’s hole? “Is there anybody home?” he asks. “Nobody home!” is the reply. Rabbit is a great picture of mind, always asking “What if…?” and when he lets Pooh in he says, “You can’t be too careful.” He offers Pooh bread and honey. When all the honey is gone, Pooh makes his goodbyes, but cannot get back out through the rabbit hole. He is stuck. Pooh is an excellent image of the soul’s journey—entering into the world and then getting stuck. Christopher Robin is the Christ Self; it’s his Hundred Acre Wood and all the animals are under his care. He said Pooh had to stay stuck until he got thinner. So he reads to Pooh every day until he’s thin enough to get out of the hole. It’s like that moment for us of being with the One, conscious of the relationship with that Presence in our lives. This is a picture of life, with all the things that go down, all the struggles and conflict; there is the intelligence and care there right in the middle of life, which responds. Knowledge supports us in our journey, but it’s not important. What is important is the relationship with the divine.

In the experience on the deck I became aware that I was grateful. “Thank you Father!” for the beauty, for the experience of being in it, of it. My response was “I am grateful!”—one with the gratitude and tremendous beauty that unfolds. I am grateful! I am grateful! I am grateful! In this moment you are immersed in beauty! It is in the people all around you (although sometimes very cleverly disguised). I am grateful for all that’s there! You are beautiful, and for that I am grateful!

August 25, 2013 – Compassion for our Cinderella

8/25/13 Rev. David McArthur
Compassion for our Cinderella

We bring into life that which is helpful within us. All the beauty you see is a reflection of the beauty and harmony and power within the self. All the junk out there—those problems that show up—that’s within you too! Remember when you could blame other people? But for every challenge you’ve got the wisdom and love flowing through you.

It’s the feelings. Ask: what are the feelings that have been showing up? Remember, the story of Cinderella deals with our feelings. She’s a symbol of when the soul enters the earth. She has no parents. She feels unwanted. We, too, let our feelings of powerlessness, hurt, and rejection keep us from what we want. But in the present moment when we enter into the now we have the ability to see that amazing divine power that responds to that Cinderella part of us.

Yes, we are Cinderella in rags, but we are the Fairy Godmother, too! Take the wand: it’s the focus of your intention. The Fairy Godmother doesn’t focus the wand on the step mother or the step sisters, but on the place where we feel helpless (our Cinderella). She focuses it on the place of love. That’s hard—to focus on love when we feel helpless and under attack. Love them? We don’t even like them! It’s hard!

What can we do? Change comes when I focus on the understanding of my Cinderella in rags. I focus on those feelings with deep compassion that flows from the heart of the divine to the self which is carrying the pain. We are one with this divine love. Send it to that part within in pain. Breathe the feeling of compassion, that tenderness, care, and understanding from your heart to the hurt one inside. Notice you’re not trying to change that one inside, but loving that beloved child of God. Tell it, “I love you just the way you are!” “I love you just the way you are!” “I love you just the way you are!”

Feel that beautiful flow of compassion from your heart. In the days ahead, go back for just a moment to send that compassion to your Cinderella. The rags of unworthiness disappear and you radiate the beauty that you are! It’s the power of your love and compassion that makes the difference and the change. You are the awesome Fairy Godmother!

August 18, 2013 – Cinderella and the Now Moment

8/18/13 Rev. David McArthur
Cinderella and the Now Moment

Cinderella, in the story, reflects our feeling (a feminine) aspect and shows us our feelings in the unfoldment of our souls. An orphan, Cinderella doesn’t really know who she is, or see herself as loved, as having value. This is one of the great challenges of the soul—we see the world “out there” as having value, but not ourselves.

The invitation to the ball, to step into something wonderful, comes from the King (a God symbol). But she feels she can’t go until everyone else is served first. Do you seek your identity by constantly serving every one else? Finally she puts on the beautiful gown she had made for herself but her step mother and step sisters tear it to shreds. How we let our lack of self worth tear our dreams to shreds! She goes to the garden, an ancient symbol of the heart. She finds the Fairy Godmother (the feminine aspect of God), and finds love and acceptance.

The horses (the ability to move through space and time to the fulfillment of self) take Cinderella to abundance, to the banquet with the King. This experience illustrates the “now moment” , when we are able to experience both the feminine and masculine aspects of God (the Fairy Godmother and the King), and it ends for Cinderella at the last stroke of midnight. So too does our experience of the now moment have an end. But we still have the beauty, the knowledge, that we are magnificent spiritual beings. Affirm, “I am a magnificent spiritual being!” “I am a magnificent spiritual being!” “I am a magnificent spiritual being!”

Pat Grabow, in The Immortal Now, says, “The transcendence is in the now. It is always occurring in the now.” You can’t get there “someday”. And you can’t stay in the now. It’s not about staying but entering in, about accepting the magnificence as the real and beautiful knowledge of self, and more: of an illumination of the moment.

The Prince (the male, the thought, the mind), knows his identity, but cannot feel it. The now moment is not found in the head, but has to be entered through the heart and the feelings (Cinderella). The glass slipper (the understanding of who we are, feeling and thought, embracing and experiencing) lets Cinderella return to the palace, to her abundance.

You are the child of a loving God, a magnificent spiritual being. And when you know it you can return to your abundance, you can go to the ball!

August 11, 2013 – You Spot It! You Got It!

8/18/13 Sheila Gautreaux, L.U.T.
You Spot It! You Got It!

We so want to judge, to criticize! We live in the present as if it were the past and project it into the future, creating our continuous experience (A Course in Miracles). You have enough life energy to heal any need every day. But each day we spend 60-70 % of our energy in our victim/perpetrator minds, and 20-30 % in our “what if” and worry stories. That leaves precious little for living in the present. We are very rarely in the present. Our perception of past events is projected onto what’s happening at any moment, and we are then missing that moment.

My friend Tra Boxer told me every time she has “something big” to do, she is almost stymied by fearful, negative feelings. She now knows this stems from when she won a scholarship to study in Paris, but was too afraid to go through with it. Over the years guilt, disappointment, even shame have been attached, and it all comes up now, every time. This is projection. We even project our pain on others, hoping get rid of it, but it comes back even stronger. Perception is pain, then projection, then suffering.

As a paralegal, I got a two month assignment to work with the notorious ‘itches in the office. Just as I expected, they were ‘itches in every way. I decided to pray, “What do I do? How would You have me handle it?” I remembered God has only one begotten son/daughter. I am that daughter, and the ‘itches are that daughter, too. We are all one. So I decided to see them as beautiful loving lights, and over the weekend, I affirmed constantly, “I love the work I do and the people I work with. I am loving and they are loving too.” Monday morning they greeted me cheerily and things were totally different. Had they changed over the weekend, or had I? We can change our lives by changing our minds! If you look for ‘itches, you will find ‘itches. So shift your perception. See the perfection in everyone, in every situation. When that is too difficult, just offer your little willingness to do it to the universe, to the Holy Spirit—or just your willingness to be willing to be willing—and the rest will be done for you. If you spot it, you got it!

And do the forgiveness work on all that stuff in your past. Say, “I withdraw any and all projections on my erroneous perceptions and I free you and myself to be who and what we were created to be: Whole and Perfect.” When in pain and suffering, look to see where your perception about someone or something might be at cause. Make the commitment to heal it. Repeat, “I am whole and perfect!” “I am whole and perfect!” “I am whole and perfect!”

August 4, 2013 – Care Awakens Bre’r Rabbit Wisdom

8/4/13 Rev. David McArthur
Care Awakens Bre’r Rabbit Wisdom
I have been very frustrated trying to make peace, harmony and plenty in the Earth happen. Then I was given the way in which it can be done. The way is care. The mind sees so many problems which we don’t think we can do anything about. But care is not in our minds, but a feeling in our hearts, and when we respond to it, there is a flow of greater wisdom into our lives.

Uncle Remus tells of one hot ole summer when all the water holes dried up ‘cept for a spring in the woods. King Lion took it over for hisself and kept all the others away. Br’er Rabbit got an idea [care]. He ran to the hole panting, out of breath, and hollered that the lion better run for cover to save hisself from the coming “hurry-cane” [care]. Br’er Rabbit said he was going to tie himself to a tree till the hurry-cane blew over, and offered to tie up Lion first. Br’er Rabbit tied him very tightly. Then all the others came to the spring and drank [care]! When we feel we don’t have enough, the problem is we have King Lions (our fears)! There’s no care in fear. Through care, Br’er Rabbit got an idea, an answer. There is a way we can get to that place of answers. Care is a movement of the power of love within us. Get a new kind of wisdom and tie up that King Lion of fear.

Harriet Tubman, born a slave, was told there were things she couldn’t change. Her father would point to the North Star and tell her it was a place where there was no slavery. She fled one night, following the North Star. Night after night she followed it until she crossed into where she was free. Then, because she cared, she risked her new freedom and her life to go back 15 times to lead others to freedom. Did she end all slavery? No. But she freed over 300 people! Care causes us to act. It’s a core way we experience and grow in our oneness.

Care is a powerful ability to access the wisdom within ourselves. There are things that our minds tell us we can’t do anything about. But in your heart let yourself feel the care about those things. Acknowledge “I do care and my heart knows the answer.” “I do care and my heart knows the answer.” “I do care and my heart knows the answer.” The time has come for humankind to wake up. Our care will move us to that deep place of wisdom because we all have that beautiful Br’er Rabbit wisdom!

July 28, 2013 – The Light and Love at the Core of Your Being

7/28/13 Rev. David McArthur
The Light and Love at the Core of Your Being

Dr. Peter Russell, PHD in physics, is looking into how the universe really is and the way we actually perceive things. How does our consciousness do it? Reaching a state of pure consciousness by meditating, he “transcended thinking… It was different from waking, sleeping, or dreaming.” He explained that perception is like light moving through film to project out our reality, and when he meditated, he was turning his attention to the light of the projector. But then he knew his was the same light which shines in every sentient being.

In the Upanishads it is said, “Those wise ones, seeing the consciousness is the same in all, is to see it is one; we are one.” From the Koran, “God is the light of heaven and earth. The light that arises into the experience of the mind is where we touch the divine.” Jesus said, “You are the light of the world”. It is from the Christ consciousness that we experience the light, the source. Dr. Russell said unconditional love is always there at our core, that pure consciousness is pure love. “I, in my true essence, am love.” It is the truth of your being.

Dr. Eben Alexander, a Harvard educated neurosurgeon, in his Proof of Heaven, wrote that even though all the electronic sensors showed his neocortex was not functioning, that he was fully conscious throughout his near-death experience, and the he knew instinctively that everything he experienced was true. He relayed the beauty and meaning of his experience this way, “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do that is wrong.” Say, I am loved and cherished, dearly, forever. Dr. Alexander went on to say that modern physics tells us the universe is a unity in which every particle is weaved with all. There is no separation. He said both Einstein and Jesus spoke of it in their different ways.

These scientists and teachings confirm there is a place where there is power to transform whatever situation we might find ourselves in—where there is the power to transform the self. To do it, journey within, and take attention away from the situation. Move your attention to that place of power. You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever. Say I am loved and cherished, dearly, forever, (no matter how badly I screw up; no matter how everyone around me screws up). It is true, because love is who you are!