Archive for the ‘spiritual identity’ Category

Horse Riding – Not a Problem   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

A few years ago my husband wanted to give me a surprise for our anniversary.  He knew I loved horses and that in my youth I had gone on a few short trail rides which I loved.  This year he had the romantic idea that escaping our city life for a weekend of riding horses through the bushland in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney would be a good plan.  My husband has never been a horse rider and knows very little about horses.

When he presented me with the gift vouchers I was filled with some very mixed emotions.  I could see that he was trying hard to please me – that was nice.  But, an eight-hour ride through very rugged territory, when I hadn’t been on a horse for about twenty years, seemed daunting in ways he couldn’t imagine.  I prayed about this.  I reasoned that all good ideas come from God and God’s ideas don’t have a downside.  I also know that the beliefs I hold about life determine the nature of this material experience.  I tried to stay focused on a conviction that my true nature is spiritual, not material.  Only matter feels pain, not spirit.

My husband, as a novice rider, was given Fred, an elderly plodder.  However, he had told the stables that I could ride well and I was given Jeda, a young thoroughbred-cross who really wanted to turn everything into a race.   I’d been on the horse for about fifteen minutes when I realised that the saddle was horribly uncomfortable; it had two hard ridges that dug into the bones in my bottom.

During the eight-hour outing we spent nearly seven hours in the saddle.  The countryside was amazing.  We rode across green paddocks with cows, through mountain streams, up and down steep hillsides and along winding forest trails.  It was truly beautiful.  At every point in the day my Jeda wanted to race ahead and I spent the whole day calming her and reining her in.  Even when we were waiting for slow Fred to catch up she pulled and pranced.  She was exhausting! 

It was late afternoon when we arrived back at our accommodation.  I was so sore I felt physically sick.  I fell on the bed and thought I would never be able to move again.  Every muscle in my body screamed and protested.  I thought I had mentally protected myself before the ride but I realised that I hadn’t really given up the idea that this activity could be punishing.  In Christian Science, we are taught that what we let into consciousness, is what we experience.  So while I lay there on the bed I had a mental reassessment. 

A passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy helped me to gain some peace.  She asks:  Without mind, could the muscles be tired?  Do the muscles talk, or do you talk for them?  Matter is non‐intelligent.  Mortal mind does the false talking, and that which affirms weariness, made that weariness (p217:31).  I realized that I had given myself permission to be affected by this ride, so mentally I took back that permission.

Within a very short time I was up and getting cleaned up to go out to dinner.  There was not a single twinge anywhere – I walked straight and tall and pain free.  We had a happy night and the rest of the weekend was active and harmonious.  There were absolutely no after-effects.

I am continually grateful to Christian Science which teaches me that I don’t have to give in to material laws.  All right activity can be undertaken without penalty.

The Impact of Thought on the Body   Leave a comment

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You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness.

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p208: 29)

Walking the Talk – on a Walk   Leave a comment

A Daily Lift by Joy Booth

In this 3 minute talk Joy talks about how she quickly overcame aches and pain while exercising by reminding herself of her true spiritual identity.

A new 3 minute inspirational talk is shared each day Monday-Friday. To listen to more click on the Daily Lift tab in the menu above.

Be a Circuit Breaker   Leave a comment

A Daily Lift by Jutter Hudson, a Christian Science nurse

In this 3 minute talk Jutter describes how she used the idea of a circuit breaker to interrupt the constant flow of disturbing news regarding the pandemic and other world events. This helped her handle these ideas calmly and enabled her to feel she could be a force for good in the world. She gives an example of a healing of a family member that resulted from this circuit-breaking thinking.

A new 3 minute inspirational talk is shared each day Monday-Friday. To listen to more click on the Daily Lift tab in the menu above.

Sexism in the Workplace Overcome   3 comments

Whole-souled and Unstoppable

An article by Virginia Anders from the Christian Science Sentinel

In one of my earliest jobs, I worked in a department where I was the only woman, and my colleagues took great delight in telling off-color jokes and making sexist remarks in my presence at staff meetings. My boss thought this was funny and joined in. I didn’t find any of it funny and became increasingly uncomfortable. 

When I applied for a promotion in my department, I was not even interviewed, although I was very well qualified for the position. …

In this article Virginia describes how, by gaining a better understanding of her true spiritual nature she was able to rise above a toxic workplace environment and eventually to say, …

My career went forward, and I eventually became the director of a large department with over a billion dollars of work. I never tried to become more like a man in order to express leadership, and I never felt I needed to compete for anything …

Click here to read the complete article originally published in the Christian Science Sentinel.

The Easter Story   Leave a comment

Wednesday Testimony Meeting Readings

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The garden of Gethsemane – as it is today.

Resurrection: Spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding. (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy 593: 9)

We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.

And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure. (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy 497: 20-27)

Every Wednesday at 6.15pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science church in Canberra (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton). At these meetings short readings on a particular topic are followed by time for members of the congregation to share how they have been helped and healed through prayer.

Everyone is welcome. If you are in Canberra on any Wednesday, please join us.

This recording is of Wednesday Testimony Meeting Readings on the Easter Story.

Spirituality and Physical Fitness   Leave a comment

A satisfying approach to physical fitness

by Alexander Workman

While at school, I developed a love for sport—running, mountain biking, circuit training (calisthenics). I appreciated the mental refreshment, stimulation, and inspiration these activities gave me, which were especially useful at exam time. Although I didn’t realize this until much later, the generally acknowledged benefits of exercise—reshaping one’s body, and muscle conditioning in particular—became a god to me as time went on. The desire for an improved body was only accentuated when, during my first months at university in 1993, my eating habits caused my weight to jump 20 percent. Dissatisfied with my appearance, I found my self-confidence beginning to erode. …

In this article, first published in the Christian Science Sentinel, Alexander describes how he learned to develop a more spiritual concept of himself – a concept that resulted in a sense of freedom from continual worry about weight and about whether he was getting enough exercise. Even when his life and work commitments necessitated a more sedentary life-style he found he could say:

… I was free! A mental sentence was lifted—I no longer feared the adverse effects of not exercising, and my zeal for it faded. I suddenly realised that over the last couple of years I’d lost all the weight I needed to. 

Click here to read the full text of this article, a Satisfying Approach to Physical Fitness by Alexander Workman from the Christian Science Sentinel.

Free from Anxiety   Leave a comment

Young Woman Reading and Studying.The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

This article, Free from Anxiety, is by Jen who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She describes how a change of thinking freed her from constant anxiety and gave her a sense of peace and harmony.

I love being a Christian Scientist, and diving deep into health, spirituality and identity, but it can be hard challenging ideas that are accepted as fact by the wider community.  Spiritual healing is seen as impractical and ineffective, and it is rare that I tell people that I rely on prayer when I am ill or injured. This is because it is assumed that I pray to a God who would create me capable of being in pain and then sometimes decides to award me a miracle and heal me.

For me, God is a creative, spiritual force that is completely good.   As Christian Scientists, we strive to look past sin, suffering and disease, and understand ourselves as primarily spiritual- as the representation of a higher creative power.  In asserting our spiritual identities, and understanding a higher creation, we unburden ourselves of thoughts that limit us to be inherently flawed and suffering.  As Mary Baker Eddy puts it, ‘Christian Science is the law of Truth, that heals the sick on the basis of the One Mind, Or God’ (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 482).  Instead of accepting that there is something ‘wrong’ with me, I turn my mind to spiritual truths, namely that I am primarily spiritual and free from ideas of pain or suffering.

I was healed from anxiety this year, and have felt a lightness and freedom.  I had accepted a very limited view of myself – I focused on the negatives in my life, and tried to physically control the environment around me to feel safe and secure in myself.  This started with my tendency to hide parts of myself that I feared other people would reject, and did everything I could to meet the expectations of those around me in school, during my gap year and later at university.  This obsession with control intensified when I lived in Indonesia, where I was constantly harassed by men in the streets and was actually assaulted at one point during my time there.  I learned to prepare for the worst case scenario, and was uptight and fearful.  This affected my personal life – I was scared that people would find out things about me that they might disapprove of, and I was very distrustful of new people, especially men.

I had a healing when I realised that the opposite of anxiety is to expect good.  This did not mean putting my head in the sand and pretending that nothing was wrong, but rather turning away from a limited understanding of myself and the world and focusing on spiritual facts.  A God that is all good could not create me fearful and vulnerable, and has not assigned me a future of fear and negativity in order to ‘test’ me.  Slowly, I concentrated on correcting fearful thoughts with an expectation of good, and gauging whether ideas coming to me were affirming my identity as a spiritual being or sending me into a negative spiral.  The strength I gained by trusting God has led me to be more open with friends and family, to forgive the men in Indonesia who seemed to threaten my safety, and to be relaxed in accepting opportunities that have opened up a whole new world for me.  I am so grateful for my background in Christian Science, and have used it as a practical tool in gaining peace and harmony in my everyday life.

To read more testimonies of healing shared by members of the Christian Science Church in Canberra click on the archive headings on the left for May and June 2016.

Step Out of Your Story and into Healing   Leave a comment

shutterstock_169648079Step Out of Your Story and into Healing a lecture by Jon Benson. 

Jon is a full-time Christian Science healer and an international speaker.  In this lecture he shares his understanding of this reliable method of spiritual healing.

In Step Out of Your Story and into Healing  Jon discusses the necessity of letting go of a sense of our own personal history – our sense of ourselves as flawed mortals – to find our true spiritual identities and in doing this healing is realised.  His explanations are clear and logical and his presentation dynamic and engaging.  Click here to listen.

 

Why We Need to Rethink Ageing   Leave a comment

shutterstock_174024581Today’s shift in thought concerning seniors’ capabilities was pre-empted by spiritual thinker, Mary Baker Eddy, who wrote more than a century ago about “the everlasting grandeur and immortality of development, power, and prestige” which are part of our spiritual being.

These days we hear of Australians in their 80s and older, who compete in major sports events.  And many who are still working into their 70s, 80s and 90s, their occupations varying from cloakroom attendant to running a cancer research centre.

It’s almost as if they think they might live forever!

And why not!  Laugh if you will, but this idea of the impact of what we expect bears a little more consideration It was found in a study that “how we think about ageing” has a greater impact on our longevity than do gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness or how healthy we are.

It couldn’t be a better time for all generations to think more deeply about how perceptions of ageing can have an impact on their health and longevity.  Too many jokes about granny and her walker might just shorten your own life span.

Perhaps we should instead celebrate senior achievers and champion both their accomplishments and the qualities they express.  This may lengthen our lives by planting the idea that their victories over age will be just as attainable for ourselves!

A Journal of Physiology study found, “positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy.  Expectations about the inevitability of physical decline with advancing years may be incorrect and that how we age is, to a large degree, up to us.”

If it’s up to us, why not envisage for your older self a life of volunteering or enthusiastic service, increased tolerance and humour, a wealth of experience and the wisdom to tackle any problem.  Cherishing this hope at all ages will tend to lessen any inclination to belittle the elderly.

And understanding why we have grounds for such hope can help avert the wave of panic that might otherwise threaten to wash over us in our 40s or 50s in response to the threat of ageing, or when we come face to face with our own mortality as a result of the loss of a close loved one.

Neurologist Dr Peter Whitehouse, author of the thought-provoking book The Myth of Alzheimer’s,” adds a frequently overlooked aspect to successful ageing.  He describes ageing as our “unique ability to grow spiritually and mentally.”

The way I see it, such spiritual growth is key.  I’ve found that a developing consciousness of our present spiritual nature – made in the “image and likeness of God”, as the Bible puts it – helps to extinguish fears about ageing that grow out of a more material sense of ourselves.

I like how the Bible corroborates the scientific approach of needing to change our expectations, but points to a deeper means for doing so than positive thinking.  It says, “The Spirit alone gives eternal life.  Human effort accomplishes nothing.” (John 6:63)

As we understand this, we might be less enticed by the latest body-focussed fads to reverse the ageing process.

Eddy’s summation in Science and Health gives practical advice, “Life and goodness are immortal.  Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.”

Time to review your expectations for the future?

This article was submitted by Kay Stroud who is a life-long Christian Scientist and a writer drawing connections between consciousness, spirituality and health, and trends in that field. 

Follow her blog at www.health4thinkers.com

or follow her on twitter at:  www.twitter.com/KayJStroud

 

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