Unity Service notes May 15

>> Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm starting this new thing where I type up some of my notes/thoughts on interesting Unity services.  I hope somebody on here finds it interesting (!)...

This Sunday's service was titled "Walking the Talk of Faith" with guest speaker Rev. Sue Oliver.  It was FANTASTIC. 

She spoke about faith being something that we never lack, we just often have faith in the wrong things (this is apparently based on a Charles Fillmore quote).  She used the allegory of a window.  She noted that reality   is like what's outside.  The window gets dusty, smudged, and otherwise altered, based on our sense-perception (the 5 senses), our self-talk, and what others tell us.  Over time, we come to believe that reality looks like what we see through the smudged window.  We forget that our perception is superimposed on the unchanged reality.  Be start to buy-in to our perception of reality as if it's the real thing.  This is an example of having faith in the wrong thing; that we put our faith in our perceptions (the stories we tell ourselves) rather than seeing the Truth.

Fear is faith, misplaced.

Rev. Sue talks about how to move from fear to faith in  the following stages.

Stage 1:  Have Courage.  Have the courage to recognize that you're living in fear.  Have courage to sit there--in the face of fear--without immediately trying to create stories to soften reality.

Stage 2:  Have Awareness.

  • Think of one instance, she says, that you feel fearful about.  One instance/event/thing that personally makes you tense up.  We all have these; for me it's some physical health challenges.  Rev. Sue's example was turning 50 (aging).  
  • Next, look at the reality that exists in that moment.  Ask yourself, 'what stories am I telling myself about this event?'   For example, that when you're 50 your life is somehow over.  Or you're no longer sexually attractive.  Or you're about to die any time now.  Or you can no longer have a successful career.  Etc.  
  • Now ask yourself, "What is it [my story] costing me?"  What are you losing by believing the false reality over real life?
  • And finally, ask yourself, "What becomes possible if I let it go?"  What areas open up because you're no longer attached to your stories?
Stage 3:  Surrender.  This is hinted at above.  To let go of our attachment to the stories we create about our lives is difficult.  Especially when we benefit from our stories, when they comfort us.  But surrendering to the Truth is always, always infinitely more rewarding than we'd ever imagined.

Stage 4:  Spiritual GPS:  A Gentle, Persistant, Spiritual practice is paramount.  This brings us--on a daily basis--back to our Source, back to the Truth of reality.  Being grounded in this way reminds us what we're looking to achieve; union with the Truth, with God.  This quiet reminder is always and immediately available to us.  We just need to make the commitment and give up the time.  

It really was quite a moving service.

If you want to listen to the service, click here.  It'll also give you a list of other audio tracks from recent Unity services.

When I tried to find a website for her, I learned that she is also involved in some interesting(?) website that I haven't gotten a chance to look through.  It's [I think] about 'conscious entrepreneurship'  or something.  To learn more, visit the website.  She's the 'Chief Passionier,' apparently :)

Rev. Sue Oliver


Anyways.  The end.

4 comments:

impossibleprincess May 18, 2011 at 11:13 PM  

several things. first, i'm so tired i'm not sure i'm going to make any sense at all, so i'm sorry about that. but i love this post. first because it reminds me of fiona apple ("I was starin' out the window" etc), and second because (as you know) i've been reading about the use of plot (story)as a way to comfort ourselves in the face of this huge unknown everything. i wish i could say anything about it, other than i just really think it's fascinating...i'll try to think and write more later. i love that you're writing these. so i can understand what you're thinking about w/out having to go to your creepy cult church (: (J/K, J/K,) (I <3 U)

Brant May 19, 2011 at 8:43 AM  

Sue certainly seems to have quite the web of affirmation base lifestyle groups in her world, I wonder how she and Unity hooked up exactly?

Anywho, I am glad to have gotten a little more depth from your experience the other day I think you come out of church breathless sometimes and then we get caught up in baby goings ons and so I only get a rough sketch of what you experienced. It seems like she really touched you and I think that is wonderful.

I AM May 19, 2011 at 9:18 PM  

I love you guys. Thanks for commenting <3

I'm glad I can share this with you, even if you don't go. Sometimes it feels a bit lonely to be there by myself (which I know you guys know). I'm happy that you want to read/know about it, so you can know what's going on in my heart.

Colleen, it reminds me of when you are sad that I'm not taking your classes with you/reading your books because we can't talk about it on the same page. But even when I listen to you talk about it, or listen to you read some poetry, etc., you feel less lonely because I get it <3

Brant, I love that you always let me go off about this stuff, time & time again. Love!

orphansparrow May 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM  

hey brandy. :)

i like thinking about this too. we always say how it's like, when you turn on your light switch, if the light doesn't come on, you're surprised. it shows how much faith we are capable of having even without being totally aware of it. we have complete faith that the light will turn on when we flip the switch. so much so, that we never pause before flipping the switch, and say hmm...i wonder if it will turn on this time. :)

it's good to be reminded how much we are capable of, and if we were more aware, we could help ourselves have faith in the things that would make us happy. <3

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