Archive for the ‘spiritual healing’ Tag

What it Means to Me to be a Christian Scientist   Leave a comment

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

Playing GuitarMy name is Jen and I am a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  I love learning about other people’s religions – I hope that some of you will love learning about mine.

Although Christian Science is very much based on what Jesus taught us, I often describe it to atheist and agnostic friends as a blend of Buddhism and Quantum Physics.  This is because it has a focus on overcoming a material view of the world, and understanding God as a spiritual life force.  It also presents us with a set of rules that we can use to understand God and His relation to man:  spiritual laws that are the basis of reality.

So what does this mean for me, as a Christian Scientist?  It means that I work every day to bring spirituality into my experience, and have seen healing as a result.  I lived in Indonesia for a year and attracted a lot of attention as a fair-haired, blue-eyed foreigner.  I developed anxiety during my time there due to the constant staring, catcalling and sexual harassment.  When I came home to Australia, I struggled to shake the anxiety, which made me incredibly tense, neurotic and irritable.  It took me a couple of years of prayer to overcome my anxiety:  it was clear that I was safe, but I was facing mental suggestions that I should hold onto fear to protect myself.

I had the choice of turning to a powerful God who created me free of fear, to a God who made me feel unsafe and fearful, or to no God at all.  I chose the first, as praying to know that I am the spiritual creation of a loving God has brought me healing in the past.  I had a major light-bulb moment in this case when I realized that the opposite of anxiety is expecting good.  I replaced thoughts of fear and anxiety with thoughts of safety and optimism, knowing that an All-Powerful God would always protect His creation.  This allowed me to free my thought from fear, and I have felt relaxed and protected ever since.

This is a testimony of how I understand God and myself, and also of how I use Christian Science prayer in facing the challenges in my life.  I use the laws that Jesus taught us to overcome limited views of myself, and rid myself of fear in living a peaceful life.

Gratitude for Healing – Headaches No More   Leave a comment

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

shutterstock_171402770This article, Gratitude for Healing – Headaches No More, is by Barbara who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She relates how she has found permanent freedom from headaches through prayer and spiritualisation of thought.

Recently I read a beautiful expression of gratitude from a student of Christian Science who related how he had been healed of headaches.

It reminded me that I too had been healed of headaches so many years ago that I had really almost forgotten about it, and that healing has been permanent.

I was a fairly new student of this Divine Science at the time, and had never before experienced an instantaneous healing.  My job was such that I was continually dealing with the public, and it was important to be pleasant and attentive at all times.  That is not easy with a throbbing head.

I thought about God, the one and only power, and asked myself if I thought that He could have a headache.  The answer was no, I did not believe He could.  So then I asked myself again if I could possibly have something that God did not have, and certainly could not give me, and remain pure and loving.  The answer was still no, and at that moment I was entirely free of any pain.  That freedom has been mine for more than fifty years now.

Having said that, I cannot claim that the feeling of a headache coming on has not knocked at the door of my consciousness, but it has gained no admittance.  I have confronted it in various ways, such as “get thee hence, Satan”, to use the words of Jesus (Matt 4:10).  Satan is a Hebrew word signifying an adversary, an enemy, an accuser; or simply I would say, “I don’t do headaches” which is not very scientific, but I know that I do not have to cover the same ground again, and what God has done is done forever.

In obedience to the teachings of Christian Science I take the advice given in the textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy where Mrs Eddy says, “Stand porter at the door of thought.  Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realised in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously” p392: 24-27.  Similarly, to quote the Bible again, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).

Through the study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook I am assured that ‘with God, all things are possible’.

How I Came to Christian Science   Leave a comment

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

shutterstock_167122277This article, How I Came to Christian Science, is by Fran who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She shares the events that led her to the study of Christian Science.

Just over 25 years ago I experienced the worst day of my life.  Up till then I had always been a pretty obedient, happy, traditional church goer.   I was even a Sunday School teacher.   This day left me with only shock, horror and such immense grief.  These all combined to make me decide, “Well if that’s God, I don’t want any more to do with any of it”.  A bit later from somewhere I dredged up enough humility to question was it me or God that had led me to this point?

I had a peripheral knowledge of Christian Science gathered from watching, and often arguing with, a few family members.  At this stage I felt lost and desperate enough to try attending a Christian Science church service here in Canberra (which was not my home city at the time).  My first visit didn’t last very long as I knew I was about to break down; I quietly left. However, a vigilant usher noticed me and whispered to a practitioner in the congregation – a Christian Science practitioner is someone who supports others through prayer.  I was sitting in my car hunched over the steering wheel howling when I became aware of this lady sliding into the seat beside me.  Hers was an unforgettably special and loving presence.

After talking for while she extracted a promise from me to visit her home.  However, I had to cancel because of the onset of severe migraine.  She offered to pray for me for this.  Not only was the relief immediate but now some 25 years later I can declare with joy and gratitude I have never had another.  My following visits to her were instructive, up-lifting and above all filled with love, and gently led me into serious study of this practical Christianity.

Through my study of Christian Science I now understand God as Love and I know that He is not the cause of tragedy, or inharmony of any kind.  He is in fact the force that protects and saves us.  How immensely grateful I am to God for what I now know I have within me to share.

Beating the Winter Blues   Leave a comment

DSCN0134Here in Canberra winter is now upon us. The yellow and gold trees have given way to bare branches and we have already had our first frosty mornings.

Many of us who have lived in Canberra for a while have come to love this climate and its four distinct seasons. With each there are certain expectations: the regenerating bloom of the spring heralded by the brilliance of the wattle; the long dry heat of the summer and trips to the coast; the vivid colours of the autumn and the swirling brown leaves.

The crispness of winter, the clear blue skies and trips to the snow are often accompanied by calls to be wary of colds and flu. TV commercials remind us of the available remedies and we are sometimes tempted to wonder whether we will ‘go down’ with something this year, or will we be lucky?

Nowadays there is a strong body of evidence that attests to the influence of one’s thought on health. For over 100 years now we have been aware of the placebo effect: the apparent strong positive effect of sugar pills and non-medicated treatments on patients who believed them to be remedial agents. These experiments alone must ask us to question the nature of the effect of thought on the body. To question how the quality of our consciousness and our belief systems can affect our wellbeing? There is also growing evidence to suggest that spirituality, our natural attraction to the good and the true, has a positive impact on physical resilience and recuperation.

About 150 years ago Mary Baker Eddy investigated this link between spirituality and health. Her experiments and study culminated in her textbook: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In it she states (p208): Mind, not matter, is causation. A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind. … You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness.

New SH (2)She goes on to say (p392): The physical affirmation of disease should always be met with the mental negation. Whatever benefit is produced on the body, must be expressed mentally, and thought should be held fast to this ideal. If you believe in inflamed and weak nerves, you are liable to an attack from that source. … If you decide that climate or atmosphere is unhealthy, it will be so to you. Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take.

Reverse the case. Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them. The issues of pain or pleasure must come through mind, and like a watchman forsaking his post, we admit the intruding belief, forgetting that through divine help we can forbid this entrance.

Let’s determine this winter to hold thought to the higher qualities of Truth and Love, of wholeness and harmony and turn away from contemplation of disease, and so build our spiritual immunity.

This article was contributed by Deborah Packer of Canberra.

To purchase a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy click here.

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.

Can We Heal the Culture of Violence?   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_6602712 - CopyThe issue of violence is prominent in our community conversations at the moment. Terrorism, drug-related violence, domestic and institutional abuse, and even road rage are insistently crying out for our attention and solutions.

Despite serious efforts over many years to prevent violence, to deal with its effects and to punish the perpetrators, there’s now general agreement that violence will continue to escalate and to propagate fear in the community until we find and treat the real causes.

Fundamental beliefs that underlie and perpetuate all kinds of violence are: that humans have an animal nature prone to competition, self-preservation and aggression; that certain brain-based dysfunctions may be the root of addiction and violence, aggravated by abuse or neglect during childhood; and that there are deeply rooted social and cultural patterns, leading to a distorted sense of manhood and womanhood, that may take generations to change.

However, there’s evidence that these beliefs may be just that …. either long-held or fairly recent beliefs that need to be revised.

Drugs and alcohol are often associated with violence. People working in the police and community services speak of how addiction and abuse reoccur from generation to generation, and there is now general realisation that special attention needs to be given to the families involved.

However, there is some progress as communities work together to fight apathy and educate each other that this cycle can indeed be broken.

A retired commanding officer in the police force shared one such approach: “…anytime I knew I was going to a call related to domestic conflict or violence I would pick up the local pastor.” Often they were able to provide a spiritual viewpoint and connection that would later solve the problem.

It is often acknowledged that recognising a man’s spiritual nature has a healing effect.

Significant psychological research studies find that spirituality is not only helpful to, but integral to mental health. This is an important point in considering individual and whole-society wellbeing.

We may need to adjust our thinking about our real nature.

Another long-held false belief will be overturned by realising that the spiritual qualities generally attributed to women – such as care for others, gentleness, forgiveness and patience – and those qualities attributed to men – such as wisdom, truthfulness, tenaciousness and strength – are innate in both men and women.

Jesus’ ability to express both the fatherhood and motherhood of the divine set the benchmark for us. And like him, we’re actually “tuned in” to hear spiritual intuitions that will prompt, direct and uplift thought, although we may choose not to listen.

Knowing that no-one can be excluded from hearing and acting on divine thoughts can help to overcome violent impulses and begin to heal the culture of violence.

A pioneer in investigating the effects of our thoughts on our health, Mary Baker Eddy, recognised this voice as the ever-appearing of “the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)

When Susannah (not her real name) moved out of home and obtained a copy of that book, she just loved the way the author described the divine power that governs the universe as Father-Mother.

Her family had suffered violence at the hand of her father for many years. To think her father could be capable of reflecting the gentle motherhood of God seemed absolutely impossible. However, she decided to stop wrestling with this idea and worked hard to try to see him as reflecting this tender divine nature; learning that he was meant to be nurturing, gentle, tender.

Susannah was listening for the divine message, which replaced the macho view of her father and other men, with this new view of men. Her thought and experiences gradually began to change.

As the weeks went by, she learned that her parents had not had a fight in months and her father was treating her mother and sister with new tenderness. Eight years on, this is still the case.

A scientific approach to thought and prayer in this way does not whitewash evil deeds; rather it exposes the mistaken beliefs and causes them to be discarded.

Further changes in thinking about her own spiritual nature, meant that Susannah no longer saw herself or her mother as survivors of mental, verbal or physical intimidation, but as well-adjusted and balanced individuals.

She had no lingering emotional scars, but had learned truly to love and see the undamageable good in herself and her mother.

As Australian of the Year and domestic violence survivor, Rosie Batty, advocates, Susannah truly took responsibility for her own life, bringing vital change to those around her in the process.

Such approaches hint at the possibilities for healing the culture of violence in ourselves and in the community.

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud, of Queensland.  Kay writes on the connection between spirituality and health.  This article has been published on 40 APN news sites, including: Sunshine Coast Daily, Toowoomba Chronicle, Lismore Northern Star, Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, Mackay Daily Mercury,Tweed Daily News, Bundaberg News Mail, Coffs Coast Advocate, Grafton Daily Examiner,Gladstone Observer, Fraser Coast Chronicle, Gympie Times, Caboolture News, Stanthorpe Border Post

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.

Ben’s Story   Leave a comment

shutterstock_123957178Sometimes life throws up situations where you have to stick to what you understand to be true, even if the physical evidence is saying something else.  I suppose that’s a bit like Copernicus, when he was starting to realize that the earth rotated around the sun, and not what was commonly thought, he had to use his scientific understanding and not the popular opinion or even his physical senses.

I’ve had experiences, simpler, humbler ones, where I’ve had to stick to a spiritual understanding of what was going on and not just accept the outward sense of things.  One of these times was when my dog, Ben, was hit by a car.

Ben had suddenly spotted by husband across the road and run straight out into the path of a car.  The car, a huge four-wheel drive, had hit him, spearing him into the ground, the full force being taken by his head.  And although there were only a few external abrasions, it was obvious something serious had happened to his skull. We took him home and I began to pray immediately.

Now my younger daughter was, at that stage, growing up and she was making her own mind up about things, and we’ve always respected our girls’ rights to think differently to us.  And she felt very strongly that we should take him to the vet.  She was actually shouting at me, and it was not easy, but I over rode her objections, and I did this for several reasons.  I had more faith in God than in man.  I had seen so many healings in my life, particularly of animals, that I had absolute confidence that the dog could be healed, but also I actually did not think that he would survive through any other means.  So I just went to God for help.

I prayed through the night to know only what God would know about the situation, to know that His divine care was ever present and all powerful, that divine Love did not cause this accident so it had no divine authority, that His almighty care surrounded us and governed the scene with harmony.  And as the day dawned, it suddenly became clear that I absolutely believed, and understood, God’s unwavering, unchanging love for all of His creation; that the Ben’s life was safe because he had always been in God’s care, and I knew it and I believed it and understood it more than what the physical senses were telling me.

Shortly after, my daughter came in to check on him and he leapt straight up into her arms perfectly well and happy, with all symptoms and pain completely gone.  And within two days even all evidence of the abrasions was gone.  But, as importantly, my daughter received the evidence that she needed as well.

This article was submitted by Beth Packer, a Christian Science healer from the South Coast of NSW, Australia.

Is there a daily diet that curbs perfectionism, eating disorders?   Leave a comment

 

shutterstock_125748860Four ‘trick or treaters’ knocked on our door on Halloween evening. Somewhat unprepared and surprised to experience this novelty in Australia I managed to locate a few sweet treats for each of them, and they left happily bubbling with excitement.

Was I frightened of their costumes or weird masks? Of course not. And I’m sure they didn’t believe for a moment that they’d suddenly morphed into ugly, wicked or ghoulish creatures, either.

Sometimes, though, people do put on an emotionally draining mask as they strive to feel accepted and loved. Over time they may come to accept the charade as part of themselves.

For instance, they may act out the role where they have to be the best … at everything. They can’t abide mistakes and feel it’s a badge of honour to say they’re a perfectionist. Ever in fear of failing, they may be chronic procrastinators. They don’t like themselves very much either, because they rarely live up to their own expectations.

They may be caught up in a warped view of the world that is commonly known as perfectionism.

Like many psychologists, Thomas Greenspon believes that perfectionism is more than pushing yourself to do your best to achieve a goal; it’s a reflection of an inner self mired in anxiety, where you constantly feel like an imposter. “Perfectionist people typically believe that they can never be good enough, that mistakes are signs of personal flaws, and that the only route to acceptability as a person is to be perfect,” he said.

Whatever the reason may be for that belief, at the heart of the often life-long anxiety to appear perfect is our adoption of the general belief that the human mind is full of good and bad emotions and beliefs, some of which are detrimental to mental and physical health.

However, what’s gaining wider acceptance in health research today is the degree to which the body is the servant of the mind.

Sometimes a simple shift in thought enables us to take off the imposter’s mask we may have been wearing and lift the mental weight.

Accepting a less human mind for a diviner nature that is more attuned to understanding, compassion and humility, brings with it greater confidence, better relationships and a selfless desire to contribute to the greater good.

It’s the daily diet of serene, spiritual thoughts that transforms our experience, gives us grace for each day and best feeds our famished affections, Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, explains in a very practical elucidation of the Lord’s Prayer.

It’s interesting that current treatments for perfectionism are also moving to thought-based approaches such as acceptance and commitment therapy, meditation and mindfulness, even in the treatment of serious eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa that develop alongside the obsessive quest for the perfect body.

Reports estimate that 15% of Australian women between 12 and 30 years of age suffer from eating disorders at some stage in their lives. These young women (and men) who are crying out for love, acceptance and a better view of themselves, often cause untold anguish for themselves and their families, and sometimes even end their lives in the quest for the perfect body.

Julie Bell reached the point where hospitalisation for malnutrition seemed the only answer when the application of a distinctive thought-based, prayer-based approach, founded on recognition of her flawless, spiritual nature, proved “a glorious turning point”.

She experienced a shift in thought. She realised that she could take control of her own thinking, that her body was the servant and that “food did not have power to govern (her) life or (her) sense of a physical body”.

Not only healed of the eating disorder, she found that other obsessive habits that she hadn’t realised were abnormal completely fell away, as did her fear of going forward in the world.

If you’re tiring of the relentless obsessive or perfectionistic thinking about your body or successes, you may also be more than ready to focus less attention on what you eat or on your limited achievements and more on thinking outside the sensory box. Instead, pondering ideas that tenderly reassure you of your intrinsic value.

The mask of a limited, biophysical viewpoint can be frightening, but its removal will enable you to replace a daily diet of fear and anxiety with a moment-by-moment health-giving intake of love and respect for your perfect, beautiful, spiritual self. The difference will be remarkable.

This post was written by Kay Stroud who 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

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.

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