All posts by stillpointstillpointaolcom

COURAGE TO RISE ABOVE

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

In 1984, I resigned my job of 29 years; said good-bye to friends and family; and, with great aspirations and expectations, moved from Cleveland, OH, my home since birth, to Los Angeles, CA.  My sole purpose for this major move was, to surround myself with those who would support my further growth in spiritual understanding, to the end that I would eventually support others on their path.  However noble these undertakings were; nonetheless, my faith and conviction were challenged as I moved forward in this endeavor. 

The mind chatter that taunted me went something like, “if it doesn’t work out, you can always…;” while another aspect of myself, affirmed, “The Presence of Perfection, Love, and Wisdom guides the direction of my life.” This inner conflict between old thought patterns and my conscious awareness continued until there was no longer any power given to thoughts of limitation. 

I have discovered and proved, to myself, that whenever I am awake and aware of my true nature, my self-talk shifts from “prepare for the worse and hope for the best” to describing “the best-case scenario.”  I notice that whenever I am determined to stay awake and anchored in truth principles, the vision that pulls me is always greater than the shadows that taunt me. 

I am called time and time again to wrestle the angel of light until I see through the fog of erroneous beliefs and once again gain the clarity of a clear day. The philosophy of the Science of Mind has taught me that while I may not be responsible for what is happening in the world, I am, however, responsible for my response to world events.  Not only am I called to embrace the high prerogative of spiritual insight, but I am called to act upon that which I know is mine to do.

Rising above the shadows of homelessness; the shadows of hunger and starvation; the shadows of poverty; the shadows of sickness, disease and death; and the shadows of hatred and bigotry require the strength and courage to acknowledge that, yes, I walk among the shadows of the world; and, at the same time, I do not perpetuate and give substance to them by considering the worst-case scenario. Instead, I affirm God’s Wholeness and Sufficiency impart peace on earth and good will toward all beings. 

In other words, I envision a world that works for everyone. Then I contemplate that which is mine to do.

Although, “just like Martin, I have a dream; and just like Gandhi I want peace; and just like Mother Theresa I want love; 1 the songstress goes on to pray for our courage to rise above.  For me, rising above means piercing the veil of materiality, and through the portal of meditation, hang out in the realm of the enlightened ones until I, too, may bring back to earth-consciousness a gift that supports all of humanity. 


This Week’s Affirmation

“There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.” 

By Amanda Gorman

A LONG WAY FROM ENSIGN AVENUE

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

It was like a dream. There I was, sitting on the edge of a cliff with legs dangling over, gazing at the ocean that stretched before me. It was mesmerizing.  And, “just think,” I told myself, “this awesome scene is less than a five-minute walk from my front door.”

My thoughts continued to drift to the surface of my consciousness, saying, “this is a long way from Ensign Avenue.” Ensign Avenue is the street where I resided the first 12 years of my life. A child does a lot of imagining in their first 12 years, or at least I did. 

I unconsciously gave Creative Mind a very
clear picture of what I imagined for my life.

I was in the first or second grade when I read, “If I Were Going.” I traveled to different countries and learned about other cultures through the pages of this primer. My young mind carved lasting impressions about a more expanded world; one far beyond the short block that made up Ensign Avenue.

My best friend and I spent our summer days playing “house;” playing “school;” and playing “office.”  The only unspoken rule for these games was to use our imagination and “act out” those unlimited possibilities. Now, as I reflect back to those days; I clearly see how certain values and beliefs were established about family, education and career during this play time.

Unconscious opinions, beliefs and expectations,
both positive and negative, were born.

Death, dying, war, peace, sickness, accidents and the Cleveland Indians winning the world series 😊 were all part of my formative years. All this took place while under the influence of parents who were part of the great migration of the early 1900’s; a time when many African Americans fled the deep south and moved north, seeking the warmth of other suns.” 1

It was my last year on Ensign Avenue when everything changed.  Most of all I remember my best friend’s birthday party. I was not invited. She and I acknowledged we would go to different schools in the fall, even though we lived on the same street.  We never spoke about why this was happening, although we knew.  The thoughts, feelings, beliefs and the imaginings of people, long before either of us were born, had a direct impact on our lives. We inherited those tendencies. We suppressed them.

If this is my day of harvest, in what fields have I sowed the seed
and in what unremembered seasons 2

That which I identify as “this present moment” has shown up in different guises. Sometimes the present moment is clothed in nature’s beauty and love. Sometimes “the present moment” looks like storms of fear and doubt. Sometimes “the present moment” appears as a geographic change.  Whatever my experience, it is the movement in consciousness, made manifest as the eternal now, expressing as I believed it would.  

I put away childish things.3

Ensign Avenue is my metaphor for a state of consciousness that is unaware of its own power of thoughts, feelings, and imaginings. In its innocence it embraces whatever comes to mind. It plays the same game tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.  

I now know The Creative Law of Mind does not make distinctions between race, age or gender, any more than it does the past, present or future. It simply responds to that which is believed and deeply felt.

I now consciously direct the energy of my intentions by letting my words, silent and audible, match my soul’s sincere desire. I have moved a long way from Ensign Avenue. 


This Week’s Affirmation

I am one with Spirit.  I direct the Law of Creative Mind to manifest my desired experience for good, ignited by my faith and emotion.

By Angela “Chris” Beam

THINKING MAKES IT SO

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

One of the many things that I love about the philosophy of the Science of Mind is, it is a teaching of how to think, not what to think.  The whole premise is, as creatures of thought, we are always thinking; and as a result, our thoughts are forever manifesting as our experiences. The more proficient we become in the “how to” the more fulfilled we become with the “what is.”

As I reminisce about these familiar ideas, I am reminded that the individual power contained in these simple – yet profound concepts have always been known. Ancient wisdom concurs with the point being made here. 

For example, …. things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 1 tells us there is an invisible cause behind every apparent condition. The Cause as evidenced by the Cosmos or Macrocosm, is the consciousness of the Creator and Source of All.   The “cause” as evidenced by the myriad of conditions or microcosm, is the individual consciousness and/or the collective belief of humanity. 

The Hermetic teachings simplified the principle by saying, “as within, so without.” On the one hand the SOM recognizes that “what” you think is yours alone to choose; and at the same time, it teaches that it is your beliefs (your thinking) that is the substance out of which your experiences are created. Therefore, Holmes says, “change your thinking – change your life.”

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. 2 These words suggest that I, experience myself, according to what I believe about who I am, as evidenced by the conditions in my life. 

What I hear from these wise ones is: What we think about is the specific thing we desire to experience in life; i.e., health, wealth, wisdom, love, joy showing up as our bodies, our finances, our relationships, and our careers, etc.  The effective way to think about these things, or How, is to realize your true nature expressing as those things. Your true nature is the image and likeness of God, The Source. Your nature is health, wealth, wisdom, love, joy. Jesus explained “the how” when saying: Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and these things will be added unto you. 3

As a serious seeker of Truth, I have found that it is not enough for me to agree that the inherent nature of all things is spiritual; created out of an invisible cause. It is not enough for me to agree that any apparent condition to the contrary, is a false belief manifesting.  

Like all sciences, a theory lies dormant until it is successfully proven, just like faith without works is dead. 4 In my awakened state of consciousness, I test my belief by rising above any negative situation I may be experiencing. I consciously apply Principles of Truth.

Albert Einstein tells us, We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”  With that said, I tell myself, no matter what words I may voice/or say regarding any adverse situation I may face; it is my thinking, more specifically, my belief, that must be changed. When that happens, my words will be the law that brings about new conditions. 

While diving deeply into my True Self, I somehow know that my action contributes to the consciousness of humanity. 


This Weeks Affirmation

“My thought is a law of creative action known as life.”

By Keith Childers

LIVING INSIDE-OUT

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

Artificial Intelligence (AI) speaks to the phenomenal advancement humanity has made through the science of technology.  For example, I have easy access to information on any subject by simply entering a key word into my computer’s web browser. I may connect with people I have not seen in many years. I may play games, read books, go shopping, attend classes, earn a living, attend church and, you name it, in the comfort of home.

Just think, I tell myself, all of this evolved out of the Infinite Mind of God, the Inexhaustible Source of all human existence. The Great Causation is Divine Energy, for which I am inseparable. I am one with Omniscience. 

Yes, my life is centered in Unlimited Wisdom. It is here, within my own being that I feel, sense and know I am in the presence of God. In the sacred silence of my soul, I travel to dimensions in consciousness where I see my highest dreams as absolute reality.  When I return to my daily living, with an awakened consciousness, I am like that seed upon the wind that Thurman describes as the man with God.

While “surfing the net,” I know I am divinely guided by Pure Spirit. I respond to the intuitive impressions I receive, for I now know my Higher Self speaks through my feelings and emotions. I am endowed with clear insight, agreeing only to that which is for my highest good.

~ ~ ~ ~

This has not always been my experience. A portion of my life was spent living outside-in.  I was unaware that what I saw with my eyes; heard with my ears; touched with my hands; spoke from my mouth; and, smelled through my nose was actually the manifestation of my beliefs.

 One might say, I was like that seed upon the wind that Howard Thurman talks about when referring to a man without God. In this unenlightened state, all of life seemed like one of chance; one of hit and miss; unaware of my freedom to choose my good.

Stand porter at the door of thought.1

“The wise person sees the need to watch his thoughts and accept only those that are good and constructive.” (John H. Williams) In other words, living from inside-out instead of outside-in yield a greater expression of my core values and beliefs, my dreams and aspirations.

My dreams are my personal values. My personal values are those ideals that matter to the degree that they are never compromised, no matter what.  It was Alexander Hamilton who said, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” I begin to notice that the more attention I give to my core values and personal beliefs, the more beauty and joy I experience in life. 

With my attention focused on the inner vision of my heart’s desire, I harness the energy of unconditional love, which in turn, becomes the more abundant life, in full view. My physical senses now express my conscious beliefs.

When I look out upon the world stage and see the cross-currents of collective beliefs and hear the opinions of opposing viewpoints that out-picture as the good, the bad, and the ugly; I turn inside and ask my Higher Self, what is mine to do?

Soon I see the wheat separating from the chaff. I choose the direction of my energy. My core values and beliefs begin to flood my mind. I slip into meditation and align myself with the nature of Peace, Harmony, Love, Wisdom, Beauty, Joy, and Wholeness. I recognize my Self living in the celestial dimensions of God-consciousness. 


This Weeks Affirmation

I see the perfection of God in all there is and speak my word in unyielding faith and conviction, that God within me expresses through me for good.

by Angela “Chris” Beam

DANCE LESSONS

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” The entire month of February teaches me the divine dance between these two aspects of my nature.  One aspect is Invisible. It is the Source of my visible self, The Lead. It is The Presence, The Force, The Intelligence, The Living Spirit.  It is that which powers my every thought and action that shows up in the world.  I allow the events of the month to become lessons that support me in becoming a great dancer, that is, the best version of who I am. 

Black History Month

Dr. Martin Luther King taught, “Number one in your life’s blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own “somebody-ness.” Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you’re nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.”   American history includes black women, from Harriet Tubman to VP Kamala Harris, and many in between, lest we forget Cicely Tyson. It includes black men, from Frederick Douglas to President Barack Obama, and many in between, lest we forget Hank Aaron. Their self-esteem transcended systemic racism. What A Lesson!

Valentine’s Day

 Love, is indeed the greatest power in the world. Lovers set aside this day to celebrate the phenomena of unyielding unity, oneness, and self-giving-ness.  Awakened beings know that Love is not limited in its expression.   It is the Namaste’ consciousness. It is the Madonna and Child. It is the Good Samaritan. It is the Patriot.  Love is God loving Itself. Yes, Love is a many splendored thing. I incline my ear and hear the Presence whisper, “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. 1 Then, I dance.

Presidents Day

This is a day we pay tribute and give equal recognition to two of America’s most famous statesmen, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. I am reminded that it takes courage to step into unchartered territory while fully aware that the foundation you are laying depends on future generations to fulfill the dream. The lesson I glean is, I am that future generation who propel the vision of “a more perfect union.” I do my part in the further evolution of humanity.

Lent

 This tradition, most common with Catholicism, is described as a practice that commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, before beginning his public ministry. I see the value in preparation. In order to be a clear, conscious conduit for my greater expression of being, I give up the lesser for the greater. I abstain from that which no longer serves. I cleanse my consciousness of any sense of lack or limitation.

Season For Nonviolence 2

The Sanskrit translation of the word nonviolence, is “absence of injury.”  Through this initiative I am reminded that it is my nature to practice loving-kindness as a way of life. I am reminded of the divine kinship I have with every living being. I am reminded to focus my energy on that for which I am “for” versus what I am “against.” I am reminded that I live, move, and have my existence in a spiritual universe, inhabited by spiritual beings, and governed by spiritual laws. My goal is to choose peace and harmony in everything I think, say, and do.

~ ~ ~

Self-Esteem, The Power of Love, Courage, Preparation, and Loving-Kindness support me in being a greater version of myself. These lessons from the month of February become my lodestar, guiding me along life’s way. I let go of my need to control. I let go and let My divine nature, the Indwelling Presence lead the dance.  


This Weeks Affirmation

Today I court the Divine and allow all of life to dance with me.
By Judy Hilley