Our spiritual attribute for the month of June is Wisdom. I am so looking forward to discussing and learning more about wisdom! It seems to me that wisdom might just be one of those foundational things: if we have wisdom, we will have abundance, freedom, good health, and all that other stuff we ask for in treatments.
So the questions then become: Am I wise? Why or why not? If not, how do I gain wisdom? What is wisdom anyway? All good questions, and ones we will be exploring in our Sunday services. I look forward to seeing you!
And don’t forget that we are doing meditation at 9:50 am every Sunday before the service.
Sometimes I sit and wonder.
I wonder if I am on the right track.
I wonder why more people don’t come to Sundays at CSL, I wonder why
more people don’t take the workshops and the classes, when the message
is so inclusive and so freeing and so empowering.
And I do my spiritual work, and I know that yes, I am on the right
track. How do I know this?
The reasons for my knowing differ as much as the weather. The weather
is valid, and so are my reasons.
Some time ago I created a workshop called “Do What you Love for a
Living.” The basic premise of this workshop is that we should do what
we love and our good will show up. Sort of like the movie Field of
Dreams, in which the main character kept hearing “build it and they
will come.” The workshop addresses what I call the “yeah buts.”
“Yeah but you don’t have a family to support!” “Yeah but you don’t
understand!” “Yeah but this makes no sense to me!” And the people I
know who do what they love for a living get it, and have no need to
take the workshop, and the ones who do, won’t. So attendance is
disappointing. But I still know. I know with every fiber of my being
that I am on the right track. So I keep offering that workshop, and
others, because I think it is important. And if just one person gets
it, and emerges knowing that it isn’t God’s will that insures success,
but a connection with Spirit that is unshakeable that ensures success,
then I am satisfied. If just one person emerges with perhaps a different
idea of what success looks like, I am happy. But I still wonder why the workshop isn’t
packed, and why it isn’t standing room only on Sundays.
And then I get confirmation. Sometimes this comes in the form of a
book that has been recommended to me, not for any particular reason,
but because it seems the next indicated right thing. That book, right
now, is called, “It’s All God,” by Walter Starcke.
I could write reams about the confirmations I am receiving by reading
this book, but for now I will just include this one quote: “When the
Spirit in which you do something is more important to you than the
results you wish to achieve, you are spiritual. When the results are
more important to you than how you go about getting them, you are
I’m spiritual. I’ve got a mission statement of sorts in my life. It
reads like this: I do my inner work, my spiritual work. I have
awareness, and I know I am part of Spirit and It is part of me. I
keep doing this inner work and thus am confident that when the next
indicated right thing to do shows up in my life, I do it, even if it
doesn’t make sense to me or anyone else, because the spirit in which I
do it is more important than the results.
Yes, it is important to pay the bills and support our families. My
point here is not that it is an either/or. We aren’t spiritual at the
expense of those practical kinds of things. We are spiritual….and
that supports those practical kinds of things. There is no duality
And so I keep on keeping on, because I know that this is the right
thing to do. I keep creating the Sunday talks, and delivering them to
the handful of people who show up, ministering to those and honestly,
praying for the ones who do not show up. I keep wondering about this
Christian culture that I live in, and knowing that for this
Gnostically inclined spiritual-but-not-religious minister, what I am
being and doing makes sense, and I have to know that there are others
out there for whom it makes sense as well. I write, and publish
(exciting!) and speak, and I create workshops, and I do what comes up.
Because spirit is more important than the results. I do not know what
the results will be ultimately. Not because it is all in God’s hands.
I don’t believe in that sort of God. But because I know that when I
do the right thing, the right thing shows up. It’s a Law.
So I ask you today: why are you doing what you are doing? Does it
give you fulfillment? Is the Spirit in which you are doing it more
important? Or are the results more important? Examine this closely.
And if the answers to these questions disturb you a bit, perhaps it
might be time to get some different answers.
Can you believe it is almost May already? Wow. Spring! New life everywhere! I can’t help but think at this time of year about the process all that life needs to go through in order to burst forth at this time of year. There is a dying of sorts: leaves turn colors and fall off, animals hibernate, we humans are sometimes guided to be still and quiet, to not DO so much but to give up some things in order to BE. Then things lie dormant for a while, then the light begins to shift, and things begin to change, and viola! New life!
To me, this is indeed a divine process. And I began to wonder about the things that have happened in life. Things in my life, things in the lives of my congregants. And I also began reading a new book, titled “It’s All God,” by Walter Starcke. And it began to occur to me that perhaps EVERYTHING is a divine process! Maybe even the things we judge as bad! And then to take it a step further, it began to occur to me that if it really is ALL GOD like we teach in Centers for Spiritual Living all over the world, then whatever process we are going through is God as well.
This presents a different perspective, shines a whole new light on things. What if you considered that everything that is happening in your life, and that has happened, is all part of a divine process? What if you looked at that process as a synonym for God? I would love to hear your thoughts!
This is a big subject, so we’re gonna tackle it this month. All the talks will be about the divine process. I hope you will join us on Sundays for meditation at 9:50 and service at 10:30!
And don’t forget, Taize Services begin this month, being held the last Thursday of April, on the 30th, at One Studio in Gardnerville. We will hold Taize Services the second Thursday of every month at the Center in Carson City. Both begin at 6 pm, both are being offered for a Love Offering. Maggie Wattle, RSvP will be presenting these and you are sure to experience joy and beauty and leave inspired!
Are you busier than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs?
Hi, this is Rev. Karen writing to you to tell you about a wonderful new workshop I’ve created called “Action and Contemplation: A Beautiful Partnership.”
I’m really excited about this workshop! Somewhere along the line I learned that contemplation allows for more action, and action creates space for more contemplation. It is a beautiful symbiotic relationship that has allowed me to experience life full on!
I quite frequently hear from people that they think I am very busy. Some think I am too busy! Would you believe it if I told you I was able to enjoy one hour of contemplation every day? It’s true!
Would you like to be able to do the same? If so, join me on Friday night, April 17, from 6-8 pm. For a cost of $25, you can learn:
Call me at 530-906-9336 for more information, or to sign up.
Do you feel it? That energy in the air? The warmer temperatures, the stirring of growing things outdoors, the baby livestock…all of this signifies new beginnings, and I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling an increase in energy as well, and so is our community! Welcome to all our new members!
April is bringing with it some wonderful additions to our lineup of events.
First of all I am happy to announce that we are bringing back the before the service meditation! Maggie Wattle, RSvP will be leading anyone interested in a short meditation beginning at 9:50 every Sunday. We have had many requests for this and I am so happy to be able to provide this service for you!
Secondly, we are now doing a monthly Movie night! Come and join us on Sunday, April 12 at 5:30 for pot luck and a movie! This month’s movie will be “Lincoln.” Bring a potluck dish to share at 5:30, and popcorn will be served for the 6 pm movie.
For the busy summer months we will not be doing the Thursday night meditations in Gardnerville, but I am so excited to announce a twice monthly Taize service, one in Gardnerville and one in Carson City. The last Thursday features the Gardnerville Taize, the second Thursday will feature the Carson City Taize. If you aren’t aware, a Taize Service is a devotional time devoted to music, inspirational readings and meditation. There are about 5 rounds of music/reading/meditation during the hour of the service, and it is being served up to you on a love offering basis at both locations. The service will always be at 6 pm in both locations. We kick off this series with the Gardnerville Taize on April 30. Our Gardnerville outreach location is at 1452 Highway 395. The Carson City location is of course our Center, at 3579 Highway 50 East in Unit 301. The CSLCC Taize service will be May 14, also at 6 pm.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be offering a brand new workshop on April 17. That is a Friday, the workshop is from 6-8 pm. This new workshop is about integrating activity and contemplation. If you find yourself busier than a cat in a room full of wheelchairs, and feel like you just don’t have enough time in your world to do all the things you want to do, AND meditate every day, then this workshop is for you! There will be a sign up sheet at the Center, fee for the workshop is $25.
Maggie Wattle, RSvP is our guest speaker for April 12, and she will be speaking to our monthly theme of Life! Meditation at 9:50, service at 10:30.
Once again, welcome to all our new members, and I look forward to seeing you!
Join us for a very special guest speaker on Sunday, March 15! Rev. Barbara Leger, Spiritual Director of the Temenos Center for Self-Realization in Ukraine, will be speaking and doing a workshop!
Her talk is titled Leaping in Faith, and she says, “While leaping is great fun, we succeed when supported by practice and trust in God.”
After the talk she will present on workshop title Let Peace Begin with Me. During the workshop you will be presented with three questions designed to guide you out of limited thinking and into full potential.
In between we will have a potluck. I hope you will join us. The fun begins with the service at 10:30, the workshop is at 12:30.
In this teaching, we have a set of beliefs that are based upon a series of statements by our founder Ernest Holmes. You can find those statements here.
One of the things I love about this teaching is that we don’t have to believe what Holmes did, or what anyone else does. We are free to believe in such a way that allows us to live joyously.
If your beliefs allow you to live joyously, if you don’t question, if you are happy and comfortable in your own skin, then keep your beliefs. It is that simple. But if you aren’t, a look at what you believe is in order.
As a minister, I get to present options to people, so they can live better lives. I get to extend invitations to live differently if the way you are living isn’t working so well.
This morning I got to thinking about what I believe. I present it here. My invitation is to consider it, and see if anything resonates with you.
I believe that I don’t have to live an over medicated life of quiet desperation. I believe that I don’t have to be a blind follower of my mind and thoughts. I believe I don’t have to believe in a god that makes no sense to me. I believe that god is not some separate entity, out there somewhere pulling the puppet strings and judging yet somehow having my back.
I believe in a god that is a part of me. And because god is a part of me, I get to experience and be all those wonderful god qualities that make life worth living. Things like peace and joy and passion and enthusiasm!
I believe that through spiritual practices such as meditation that I can change my thinking. I can change my thoughts from those that do not serve to those that do. And I believe that since my thoughts become my reality, that it is incumbent upon me to meditate regularly and continue that training of my mind that allows me to change my thinking to change my life.
I believe that through the spiritual practice of introspection that I know my truth. I know who and what I am. And because I know who and what I am, I get to make intelligent decisions regarding my health care.
And I believe that through continued study I can enlarge and deepen my relationship with my godself, so that I continuously become more peaceful, more powerful, and more joyous than I ever dreamed possible.
Because of these beliefs, I know that it is my job as a minister to facilitate these wonderful awakenings in others, so as to allow them to know that they do not have to live over medicated lives of quiet desperation. They do not have to be blind followers of their minds and thoughts. And they don’t have to believe in a god that makes no sense to them.
This is my affirmation for you, dear reader. Come, join me on this journey of rich wonderfulness. Come and learn that conditions don’t dictate happiness. Come and learn just how beautiful life can be. Come and be joyous.
Lately I’ve been having a lot of discussions with a lot of people about God. I suppose that’s pretty normal, since I’m a minister and all. I’ve learned a few things. One is that we live in a predominately Christian society, where even if people don’t claim to be Christians, they still talk like Christians, in that God is still something outside and separate. Some people call it the Universe, as in, “The Universe provided for me.” Some people call it the Divine, as in, “The Divine One always loves me.” These are all nice, but something within me always cringes a bit when I hear it, because God for me has always been a part of me. It’s always been inside of me. It has never been separate. To think of the Universe doing something for me makes me feel like a victim, and to think of something loving me is nice, but that implies that there is a choice to not love me. And both statements imply, to me, a sense of separation that simply isn’t what I believe.
For me, God is so much more. I really like the way it is worded in the “We Believe” statements on the main Centers for Spiritual Living web site: “We believe in the individualization of the Spirit in Us, and that all people are individualizations of the One Spirit.” To me, that means God lives in me, and that I am an individual expressing as God. God is within me. I am a part of it, and it is a part of me. I guess that’s why I’m such a cheerleader for Centers for Spiritual Living huh?
I find it very comforting, and a source of power and joy, to know that I am a part of God and it is a part of me. It means that whatever I choose to call It (my current favorite is The Force, as in, “FEEL the Force Luke!” from Master Yoda in Star Wars), It isn’t something I pray to, It is something I pray from. I am responsible to enlarge and strengthen my Godness, my attributes of Spirit. I do this through spiritual practices like meditation, introspection and study, and through my own personal embodiment of God. God doesn’t do things to me or for me, God doesn’t have an opinion on how I choose to speak or dress, and God really doesn’t care. It simply is, and It experiences life through me, and through you, and through everyone else.
I realize a lot of people are very uncomfortable with this concept. I guess I can understand that, after a lifetime of training and conditioning that God is something outside of ourselves. I personally find this concept freeing, and it is the message I will repeat over and over again in my role as minister of the Center for Spiritual Living Carson City, while I also provide suggestions to find out what God is to you, and how it can better work in your life to make it happier, more rewarding and richer than you ever dreamed.
If you are having trouble with the God you grew up with, if somehow it just doesn’t feel right, you might want to come visit us and check it out. No one will tell you how to believe at a Center for Spiritual Living, but we will show you how to find out what you believe. We will give you tools to know and embody your own truth, and to be happy with that.
I look forward to seeing you!
Written with love from your minister, Rev. Karen
2015 promises to be a wonderful year, it will be our first year in our new location and our first year with our new minister (Rev. Karen)! The excitement is almost palpable, and we hope you will join us for Sunday services at 10:30, or for any or all of our self-improvement workshops now scheduled.
Rev. Karen will be teaching meditation classes on Thursday nights at OneStudio in Gardnerville. Why there, instead of at our own Center? Outreach! We are reaching out to involve more community members in CSLCC, and the folks who attend the classes at OneStudio love what we teach! I hope you will join us at 6 pm, beginning January 8. Rev. Karen will be teaching a different type of meditation each week. Classes are $10. Bring a meditation cushion, wear comfortable clothing, and come prepared to relax into the joy of meditation.
January 23 brings the first workshop of 2015: Status Quo or Status Go! This workshop will be held from 6-8 pm, cost is $35. Prepare to GO! when you emerge from this workshop.
The next workshop is on February 27, titled “Do what you love for a living.” And the one after that is all about staying in balance, on March 20.
All workshops held at CSLCC, all are $35, or pay for all three at once for $90 and save $15.
Call Karen for more information at 530-906-9336
Rituals are a wonderful way to cement and affirm an important moment in life. Wedding ceremonies are a ritual that simply confirms, at sometimes a very public level, what is already in the minds and hearts of the couple. Celebrations of life are a way to provide an avenue for closure and a grieving process. Blessings are a way to affirm the good, whether it be a blessing of a baby or of a new home or business.
We are taking advantage this Sunday of the Solstice to do a ritual designed to elevate your appreciation of this holiday season and also to celebrate the coming of the light on this shortest day of the year. From December 22 onward, until the summer solstice, each day will bring a few more minutes of daylight.
To complete our ritual, we will be following it up with a potluck and white elephant gift exchange. So come join us on Sunday, December 21, at 10:30. Bring a potluck offering and a wrapped gift worth no more than $20 and be prepared to sink into a sacred time of ritual and then have some fun!
Once again, here is our new address: Center for Spiritual Living Carson City, 3579 Highway 50 East, Unit 301. We are across the street from the Goodwill building in Carson City. Go past Connected after you enter the business park, and veer left. We are the third door on the left. I hope to see you there!