Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

Silencing Chronic Pain   Leave a comment

shutterstock_69214975The four-hourly doses of morphine were such a welcome relief to the intense pain I was experiencing following major surgery.  What could possibly make me give them up?

I found there was something that could persuade me to do so.  And that’s why, I want to share my experience with sufferers of chronic pain.

In Australia, one in five people live with chronic pain, including adolescents and children.  This prevalence rises to one in three people over the age of 65.  Chronic pain is linked to depression and suicide and is Australia’s third most costly health condition.

To manage it, a range of treatments such physio and physical therapy, medical acupuncture, thinking strategies, lifestyle changes, nutrition and traditional prescription opioids, are employed.

Despite this, pain is often long-lasting and continues for years with no foreseeable end.

However, I’ve joined a groundswell of people that believe it’s time to do more than simply manage pain.  We are convinced it can be reduced, and even healed.

According to a 2011 report, “one reason pain is so hard to treat is that it isn’t just physical.”  Our thinking can actually have an impact on the amount of pain we feel.

The power of our expectations is illustrated in a series of trials into the relationship between pain and the placebo effect.  Hundreds of patients treating irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and back pain experienced similar or better results from placebos than from strong pain killers.

While it’s agreed that placebos are not a universal panacea, placebo research leads us to think about how much influence thought actually has on our health.

Reasoning from a more spiritual perspective, author Mary Baker Eddy, reached a similar conclusion, explaining that pain is always a mental image or state.

“… the human mind is all that can produce pain,” she wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

But can pain really be relieved just by thinking differently?

Yes, but in my experience I have found that it needs more than just positive thinking to free us from pain.

So, back to my stay in hospital.  In my late-teens I was “on fire” with enthusiasm about a couple of unique books which I had recently revisited.  They answered so many of the questions I had about why we are here and whether what our senses perceive is all there is to existence.

The Bible, so comforting to so many people, didn’t seem all that relevant to me until I started reading Science and Health, which brings out its spiritual meaning and explains how and why not only Jesus, but also his early disciples and many of the Old Testament prophets, were able to heal all kinds of physical needs.

I learned that there was a spiritual science in place based on a divine consciousness of being.

My studies had shown the importance of addressing the spiritual need as an aid to recovery, a standpoint now supported by medical research.

I started reading the thought-changing book again right there in hospital, and called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me by helping me to understand more consistently my real, spiritual nature.

I can still remember the feeling of love and wholeness that engulfed me soon after.  No more drugs were needed, and worrying digestive difficulties painlessly dissipated that day.

On this basis, many have been healed of acute and chronic pain, and demonstrated that such pain need not last forever.  Peace and health are a present possibility for those willing to dig deeper into the understanding of their spiritual identity.

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud, a life-long Christian Scientist, who is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our experience including our health.  She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion, and the APN regional network in Northern NSW and Queensland.

You can follow her blog at www.health4thinkers.com

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

The Easter Message   Leave a comment

Dramatic sky scenery with a mountain cross and a thinking person. A symbol of heavy inner struggles. Where to go? What do you say?You probably know this story: A few discouraged followers of a beloved rabbi went to his tomb at first light to tend to his remains and discovered the stone at the entrance rolled away. Instead of his body, they found two angels, who, according to the Biblical account of St. Luke, said to them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:”

Yes, the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is familiar to most of us. What is not so well known is that the Easter story predates Christianity and has appeared in many cultures in many forms throughout history. (Even the name “Easter”, which derives from the name of a dawn goddess, Eastre, and the vernal festival celebrated in her honour, is a relic pointing to its primordial roots.) What this tells us is that the Easter message resonates deeply in the human consciousness, and it speaks to us now as it has for millennia—of light dispelling darkness, of despair turned to hope, and ultimately of life overcoming death.

Reflecting on the symbolic meaning of this story, Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, wrote, “My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human belief has buried its fondest earthly hopes. With white fingers they point upward to a new and glorified trust, to higher ideals of life and its joys.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 299).

Perhaps this Easter we should ask ourselves, what hope have we buried that needs resurrecting. Is it a relationship we have given up on? A friendship? A marriage? Or is it something we believe beyond our reach? A better education? A meaningful job? A home? And what sort of stone must be moved out of the way? Weariness? Pride? Fear? Something outside our own thinking?

Easter reminds us that countless generations have struggled with life’s questions before us and have found comfort in its message. The wisdom they have gleaned is that we won’t find anything by fixating on the tomb. “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” But by gaining a deeper sense of and trust in life—by looking upwards to its higher ideals and, most of all, to its joys—we can find renewal.

This article was contributed by GG of Canberra.

Choosing Life   Leave a comment

shutterstock_164195771 - Copy (2)For some of us it’s a big jump to conceptualize that changes we want to make don’t start “out there” but in our own thought.  This is clear to me as I listen to my diverse range of friends, many of them of retiree age, over catch-up coffees and lunches.

All of my friends are beautiful people but there are marked differences in their attitudes towards ageing, and in particular how they talk about themselves.  For some the state of their body is front and centre of their thinking and their conversation is peppered with comments such as: “Oh well, what can you expect at our age.”

While other friends never mention health or age.  They are full of the adventure of life – of the joys of retirement or the fulfilment and challenges of a long working career.  Listening to these friends it’s clear they are less impressed with how their body is doing and more engaged with expressing the continuity of activity, progress, growth, energy, renewal, vigour, buoyancy.

These qualities start in our thought, and could be described as coming from a universal Mind.  Mary Baker Eddy, one of my favourite authors on ageing, wrote in her primary text, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness (p208).

She goes on to say:  Man is more than a material form with a mind inside, which must escape from its environments in order to be immortal. Man reflects infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God.

God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis (p258).

Her premise is that our life reflects our thinking. In Science and Health again she writes: Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take. … Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously (p392).

Choices are important in shaping our experience and so my personal challenge moment by moment is to choose these qualities of life, and then look for them in experience.  It certainly makes for livelier catch-up coffees with friends!

This article was submitted by Deborah Packer of Canberra.

Readings on the Topic: Heal the Sick   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_4575900Heal the Sick – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matthew 10: 8)

Every Wednesday at 6.00 pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science Church in Canberra. Each meeting begins with readings selected from the two books designated as the Pastor of Christian Science: The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  A new topic for the readings is selected each week.

At the conclusion of the short readings the congregation is invited to share thoughts on this topic and relate how they have used the principles of Christian Science to solve life’s problems and bring physical healing.

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

This recording represents the readings on the topic: Heal the Sick.

Prayer for the Neighbour’s Dogs Brings a Harmonious Solution   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_6562165About three years ago a young mum moved into the house next door to us. She had a couple of children, a cat and a dog. Soon her friend moved in too and he brought with him a tiny pup. These were both outside dogs but they had provided no shelter for them. They lived largely without human interaction in the bare backyard and it was the middle of a fierce and wet Canberra winter. In the mornings this tiny short-haired puppy could be seen sleeping curled and shivering in the long frosty grass. During the blustery winter days he cried and cried. When it rained he tried to stand under the larger dog for shelter and together they looked soaked and miserable.

I found this very difficult to witness day after day and I became incensed with indignation.

I succumbed to the error of believing that evil existed – in the form of my neighbours and that there were places where Love – another name for God – did not exist. If I believed that the neighbours were cruel and unloving then I was believing that God wasn’t all. I had to choose which idea I believed.

But, I didn’t want to let go of that indignation – I found it very difficult. But Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, tells us in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good (p393).

It was Spirit, God, who gave me the strength to resist this faulty thinking. I knew that there was no place where God was not. The Bible tells us that man is made in the image and likeness of God … of Love. The real man could not be unloving. So I held to this truth about man and acknowledged God’s love for all His creation. This dissolved the indignation. Within a day of this turn around in thinking the dogs were being invited inside and for the rest of the winter they were given shelter and companionship.

I have learned never to underestimate the power of practical applied scientific prayer!

This post was submitted by Deborah Packer of Canberra, Australia.

Who Am I Really?   Leave a comment

shutterstock_71074087Who Am I Really – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Every Wednesday at 6.00 pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science Church in Canberra. Each meeting begins with readings selected from the two books designated as the Pastor of Christian Science: The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  A new topic for the readings is selected each week.

At the conclusion of the short readings the congregation is invited to share thoughts on this topic and relate how they have used the principles of Christian Science to solve life’s problems and bring physical healing.

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

This recording represents the readings on the topic: Who Am I Really?

Understanding Easter is Significant to our Health!   Leave a comment

@Glowimages 171110.Feeling privileged to have time to amble through the cemetery on one of those picture perfect mornings recently, I became intrigued with the headstones, the groupings of graves by religion or none, and the lawn cemetery that has gained in popularity recently.

In the early days people believed that our wealth needed to be displayed on tombstones or in pyramids, and believed that a man-like god would decide where we fitted into a matter-based heaven.

Growing numbers of thinkers have a much better understanding of our relation to the divine these days …. that we are spiritual beings, all equal(-ly loved) and unfettered by religious differences. That 55% of people now have no fear to cremate speaks volumes about how we view ourselves as not just a material organism, but (for many) as very much a spiritual, eternal being.

Consider Easter and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead after his crucifixion. This event in history is a beacon of hope that we need not fear the change called death and that there really is such a thing as life after death … maybe even life instead of death.

A 19th century thought-leader and researcher into how our thoughts affect our health, Mary Baker Eddy, stated in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “The universal belief in death is of no advantage.” She suggests that our expectation about our ultimate future has a very real impact on what’s happening here and now in terms of both mind and body.

The evidence today is adding weight to her stance that our beliefs about death influence our health. Fear of the future can affect everything from blood pressure, to heart rate, to mental stability. By some estimates, the stress underlying these conditions accounts for more than 60% of all doctor visits.

Jesus said and significantly demonstrated that it was love and forgiveness that brought peace, health and joy in societies and individuals, and that led to change for the better, both here and hereafter. He also showed us the way to think and act, and he demonstrated the illusory nature of death.

If considering the possibilities of eternal life challenges your common assumptions about Easter’s significance, the potential payoff of better mental and physical health will be profound and enduring.

This article was shared by Kay Stroud who writes about consciousness, health and spirituality and practices Christian Science healing.  Her blog can be found at www.health4thinkers.com.

Age Doesn’t Necessitate Decline   Leave a comment

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We grow in wisdom and understanding of ourselves and the world around us as we age, and why should this be under-valued?  Wouldn’t the world benefit from our knowledge? So why not share it?  By opening your thought to others, they will see and be drawn to you and the qualities you express.

Should we accept that we must slow down as we get older?  There is a woman who published her first book in her 50s and went on to publish others, along with three magazines, and a newspaper that she started in he 80s.  Her name was Mary Bake Eddy, and the first sentence in her first book is “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures).  Eddy showed that qualities such as kindness, intelligence, practicality and joy come from the “sustaining infinite” and so are timeless and available whatever your age.

To realize how active you truly are, and how vitally active your contribution to the world is, think about the qualities and unique gifts you have; and search for ways of sharing these with others.  By more actively expressing these qualities at home, with family, or at work, you are leaning on the “sustaining infinite” and will see more harmony in the workplace and home, and the stimulation this brings to try new ideas.

The qualities we share by “leaning on the sustaining infinite” do not slow down, or diminish; they are ever-present and always active.  Because they never slow down, how can you?  The ever-active thought of kindness continually seeks ways to improve its environment, and this flows out to embrace the rest of the world.

 

This article was submitted by Jane Keogh.  Jane writes on the connection between consciousness, spirituality and health.

Make a Game-Changing New Year’s Resolution   Leave a comment

 

FireworksWhile some of us are still dealing with the influx of visitors, festivities and sun-soaked holidays, in the back of our minds is the niggling thought that 2015 has already begun and now is the time to make our New Year’s resolutions, before it’s too late.

Some are choosing to eat healthier and exercise more. That certainly can make us feel better.

Two other resolutions that go hand-in-hand will not only increase your health but be game-changers in your life: always opt for the positive viewpoint over the negative and choose to be kinder to others.

A friend related how his acquaintance was in hospital recently, suffering from a life-threatening illness.

Things were looking pretty grim and it seemed that he was hanging on by a thread. Then his heart stopped and he ceased breathing.

At that moment, the medical staff on duty in that area of the hospital noticed that he was passing on and began to congregate around his bed …. not rushing to him with defibrillator or drip, but unexpectedly telling jokes, laughing and talking loudly and animatedly about everyday things.

They continued by his bedside including everyone in the ward in the jovial conversation until he began to regain consciousness. The man made a full recovery.

What happened? Did the nurses and doctors know that their confident and caring presence was more effective than apparatus or medication? Yes.

Something similar is at play when a teacher disregards the negative ‘label’ attached to the child and responds with love and recognition of that child’s higher nature and abilities, bringing a turnaround in attitude at school.

Or when a brick wall tumbles down between two people who haven’t spoken to each other for years as one reaches out with forgiveness.

The reasons for such changes for the better spring from (1) choosing a positive, solution-based approach, and (2) trusting our instinct to be warm and caring, despite a temptation to take an impersonal, defeatist or hard-line approach.

Lissa Rankin MD, sought-after TEDx presenter and one of the keynote speakers at the Byron Bay Uplift Festival  a few weeks ago, urges us to strip back everything that isn’t really us that we’ve learned in the world of hard knocks, to find that inner pilot light or divine spark of love within.

Research results from studies on cancer recovery and remission support her claim to the beneficial effects of this practice.

Rankin also cites conclusive evidence that an essential part of any successful treatment is engaging a health practitioner who is reassuring, gentle and kind, and treats patients with compassion.

Did Jesus mean in his well-known parable, that the warmth and care that the Good Samaritan showed had as much to do with the traveller’s recovery (who was robbed and beaten by thieves) as the bandages, oil and wine provided?

Mary Baker Eddy believed so and based her scientific, healing method on this premise. An important researcher into how consciousness affects health, she discovered in her investigations and successful treatments through prayer that…

“Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)

Forgetting ourselves and putting others first really FEELS divine and invariably makes us glow with happiness.

I hope your 2015 takes wings. Seems it’s sure to do so if you choose to take this two-pronged approach to a happier, healthier year ahead – adopting a positive, solution-based viewpoint, and actively and warmly caring for yourself and others.

This article by Kay Stroud was published on 32 APN news sites, including these dailies:  Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, Sunshine Coast Daily, Bundaberg News Mail, Tweed Daily News, Toowoomba Chronicle, Mackay Daily Mercury, Fraser Coast Chronicle, Coffs Coast Advocate, Clarence Valley Examiner, Lismore Northern Star, Gladstone Observer, Gympie Times, Ipswich Queensland Times, Warwick Daily News

Kay is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our health. She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion.

God – Weekly Bible Lesson   Leave a comment

Weekly Bible Lesson:  29 December 2014 – 4 January 2015

Subject:  God

God title JPEGThe Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, have been designated the Pastors of Christian Science.  They are our only preachers.

Each Sunday Christian Science churches around the world share the same sermon on one of 26 topics. The sermon consists of readings from the Bible followed by passages from the textbook that explain and corroborate the Bible texts.  The world-wide community of Christian Scientists study these passages during the week prior to each Sunday and endeavor to use the spiritual truths contained therein to enrich and heal their lives.

This recording represents the Lesson for the week 29 December – 4 January on the subject:  God.

 

 

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