Monthly Highlights, Classes and Events
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The Silent Meditation Services will continue every Tuesday at 6:00pm, led by minister Greg Barrette.
“A Simple Reverent Prayer Circle”
Each Sunday at 10:20 am
“Forgiveness is an Inside Job”
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
“Unity Northwest Annual Picnic”
Sunday, August 20, 2017
“Ten Misconceptions About Feeling Your Feelings”
Thursday, August 24, 2017
“How to Let Things Go”
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
"Monday Morning Metaphysics"
|Gregory Barrette Articles|
DESIRE AND THE SOUL
You are a soul in evolution and every experience in your life is there
to move your soul forward.
When you are dealing with a difficult person, this means that you can
say "I am using this person to heal my soul". When you are dealing
with a difficult situation, you can say to yourself "This can only
bless me. This can only heal me". Everything in your life becomes the
stuff out of which you soul gets to evolve.
But what is your soul?
It's hard to talk about because it's not physical. You cannot measure it.
Maybe we have a wrong idea about the soul. Do you think that you have
a soul? Or do you think that you ARE a soul? That changes everything.
Then you share the experience of the Catholic mystic Pierre Teilhard
deChardin, who said "We are not human beings having a spiritual
experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Once
you identify yourself with the soul first, what Jesus called "the
kingdom", "the pearl of great price", "the treasure in the field", all
of which is really your soul consciousness and true essence, then you
begin to live your life from within out.
I used to think of my soul as bobbing way up above me, like a helium
balloon on a string. I thought that maybe through hard work or some
mystical experience, I might be able to pull that balloon down and
experience my soul, hugging it tightly. That is, until somebody pissed
me off and then I'd let go of it and it'd go flying back up into the
But that's not my soul. Because I don't have a soul. I AM my soul.
I might forget about that fact, but it is always true nonetheless. And
knowing this changes everything.
What does it take to generate this soul experience? The desire for it.
And it is worth every effort we make to gain it. The healing of the
soul, the unfoldment of the soul, the evolution and subsequent
enlightenment of the soul is worth whatever it takes. It truly is the
pearl of great price.
As the great Sufi mystic poet Rumi wrote, "Listen, o drop, give
yourself up without regret, and in exchange, gain the entire ocean.
Listen, o drop, bestow upon yourself this honor and in the arms of the
sea become secure. Who in the name of God could be so fortunate? An
ocean wooing a drop? In God's name, in God's name, sell and buy at
once! Give up a drop and take this sea full of pearls!"
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR SOUL
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”
So said the Persian mystic Rumi.
All of God, all of the essence of the whole universe, contained in
your very center, the soul of you. THAT is your true identity. THAT is
But you've got to get to know that soul.
If you wanted to become friends with someone, what would you do?
You'd hang out with them. You'd spend time with them. You would be
fully present with them, as much as you were capable. You'd listen to
Well, what are you doing with your soul?
Are you spending time hanging out with your soul awareness? What are
you doing every day to get to know your soul, to quicken and awaken
your soul evolution? Are you making friends with it?
This is a simple analogy. What are your spiritual practices, your
walks in the woods, your times that remind you that everything in your
life exists to grow you spiritually?
In a time of crisis, I posted two signs by my phone: "This can only
bless me" and "This can only heal me". They kept me on track in my
quest to connect with my soul. This got me in touch with the fact that
everything in my life was moving me forward.
Your soul evolution is always the most important thing. So, whatever
you think is going on in your life is secondary. The things you think
are important come second. The only thing is your soul evolution.
Pope Francis says that when he was exiled for two years, it was the
making of him. Did you know that, in 1986, his superiors thought that
he was too strict, too stern, too authoritarian? He was seen as
harsh, difficult and ultra-conservative. Uncompassionate and
uncompromising. Pope Francis!
So they sent him off to exile in a faraway province, restricting him
pretty much to one room for prayer and fasting. and told him to get
over himself. That would be the end of his career, right?
Except he changed. He says now that, sure, there were some things
about it that seemed unjust, but it didn't matter. He used it for
After two years, he was such a changed person when he returned that he
rose quickly to the top.
Where in your life are you finding experiences such that you go "Oh, I
don't like that. I don't want that."?
Maybe it is only there to bless you.
Did your dentist ever give you a red pill? When it dissolved, it
stained the plaque on your teeth, revealing what you had been missing
with your toothbrush.
If you want your "soul-smile" to be beautiful, you have to get rid of
the plaque. You've got to know where to brush. And these situations of
life are here to show you, as a soul in evolution, what it is that you
are supposed to work on.
It's just red dye. Smile in the mirror and start brushing!
That's what Francis did. He came out of it a changed person.
He got to know his soul.
IF YOU WANT TO ENOUGH
Unity minister Dr. Ernest Wilson used to qualify "all things are possible to the one who believes" with "IF YOU WANT TO ENOUGH".
It is often said that what you believe is what really brings about transformation.
That's just the start.
Beliefs are important, yes, but real change-at-depth can only occur when activated
by your desire, backed by your will.
Charles Fillmore wrote "Deep desire is essential for spiritual growth.
It is the onward impulse of the ever-evolving soul."
The question is: is your spiritual growth the most important thing to you? Is it your "treasure in the field", your "pearl
of great price"? Do you passionately "Seek first the kingdom?" Do you "Love God with
all your heart, soul, mind and strength"? Do you want the experience of your soul more than
It all starts with your desire--backed up by your focused will.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy asked physicist Werner von Braun what it would take to put someone on the moon by the end of the decade. "The will to do it" was his reply.
A few silently held affirmations, worked with in the secret laboratory of meditation, can drive that desire deeply into the soul. "Be still and know", "I am now in the presence of Pure Being", "I am that I am" are some suggestions for starting this activity of deep soul work.
But it takes time--and the persistence of your focused will.
Desire it! Then work with your will, patiently, over time, to drive that desire deep into your heart!
YOU ARE A CELL IN THE HEART OF HUMANITY
Separate heart cells in a lab dish beat with an irregular rhythm, but when even a few individual ones are clumped together, they beat as one. Each heart cell has its own unique function, but it cannot fulfill its purpose until it joins together as a whole heart.
Every one of us is like an individual cell. We each have our own rhythm, which cannot fully express unless we join together in the great heart of humanity. There, we beat as one.
Heart cells do not have walls, nor are they truly separate from one another. But they do have membranes, which allow the necessary nutrients to move through while the unnecessary things cannot pass. Good boundaries are permeable membranes, not walls. We are not separate, yet we are uniquely one.
Life is a dance between these two poles of expression. Each of us is a unique individual who is also connected in oneness with all of humanity.
Too often, our own soul membranes can become rigid and inflexible, like walls. At other times, we may seem to have no boundaries at all, and leave ourselves open to unhealthy inputs. When we remember the balance between our oneness and our uniqueness, we shift from unhealthy separateness or enmeshment to a healthy connectedness.
We each can only fulfill our individual role when we are part of a whole that is greater than any one of us, one with the whole heart of humanity. In this oneness, self-differentiation and togetherness go hand in hand.
FREE YOUR MIND
Do headlines and current events undermine your quality of life and affect your peace of mind? As long as the outer world can dictate your experience, your happiness will teeter precariously upon the shifting sands of circumstance.
When I was in my teens, I learned this lesson when family members joined political organizations with extreme views that did not reflect my values. To find some peace of mind, I began to practice meditation each day and spent regular time in nature. Even though I had to walk out of step with what was around me, I was able to follow the measure of what Thoreau called "a different drum". This liberated and prepared
me for a life of my own direction. Since then, inner practices and outer communities have been helped me to create a mindset that is somewhat independent of the headlines of the day.
The way to move from an outer-determined life to an inner-directed one is by turning off outer stimulus and taking the time to find your own center of peace. As you double down on your inner spiritual practices, you generate a protective bubble of self-identity and establish healthy boundaries of thoughts and feelings.
Shel Silverstein wrote:
There is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long,
'I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.'
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what's right for you - just listen to the voice that speaks inside.
Self-determination is both an internal and an external process. Recovery groups, therapy, mentoring, coaching, and the support of healthy friends can help initiate this kind of shift. Walks in nature, silent times of devotional prayer, reading, meditation and quietly unplugging from the outer world can also sustain your mental and
When Emerson wrote “Nothing external to you has any power over you” he was talking about establishing healthy self-differentiation and boundaries. Often, your opportunities for growth will come disguised as difficult environments that do not appear to support that kind of mental health at first, but ultimately will become your proving ground of spiritual freedom.