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Love as Community Service with Edward Viljoen

Photo by Evan Karageorgos on Unsplash
September’s value is Love as Community Service.

Spiritual Living, while focusing on inner personal growth, leads each individual to the realization that they are not only one with the Universal Mind of Creation, but also with everything and everyone. Out of this sense of kinship rises a natural desire to share, help, and nurture, and the understanding that none of us is free if one of us is not free.

Our founder, Ernest Holmes, wrote that we must learn to live by inspiration. That means that we should let the spiritual depths of our being flow through our conversation and into our acts. This month provides the opportunity to explore the balance between inner personal work and contribution to the world through service.

He also wrote that a burden is lifted “when we realize that we do not have to move the world – it is going to move anyway. This realization does not lessen our duty or social obligation. It clarifies it. It enables us to do joyously, and free from morbidity, that which we should do in the social state.”
What do you think your duty or social obligation is?
Warm regards,
Edward Viljoen
Author of Ordinary Goodness, and The Power of Meditation


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Being Kind in a Cruel World: Ordinary Goodness with Edward Viljoen

Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash
Video:  https://youtu.be/vSW6dZXxtz8

I’ve asked friends why they don’t step boldly in the direction of their dreams. Some say that sometimes it is because they don’t feel competent doing so, and sometimes it is because of a wounding, either long past or recent.

For example:
  • Did somebody once tell you that you were no good, and you’re still trying on that evaluation?
  • Did somebody desert you, and you’re wondering whether that will be the standard for your relationships from now on?
  • Did somebody betray you in love, and you are feeling cautious with your heart?
  • Did a boss fire you and you’re wondering about the future?
  • Did a parent, friend, or loved one speak to you harshly and you still feel the sting of those words?
Or, did you experience something far worse than any of these?

Maybe you did something that you now regret, something that you were not able to set right, that you now wish you did? Risk does not deny that any of these events took place, yet it steps out into life anyway, if not boldly at first, then timidly, but it steps out.

This month we are exploring your innate ability to access and express kindness, goodness, and trust. It is my dream that through our Sunday services you will be reacquainted with just how much courage lives inside your heart.

Warm regards,
Edward Viljoen
Author of Ordinary Goodness

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When I'm Afraid, I Find Courage in Good-Hearted People

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash
I recently read a post by a colleague which touched me deeply.  She wrote that these are chaotic times, and the temptation during chaotic times is to abandon spiritual practices.  
I resonate with that thought, and I remember how numb I felt when the President's recent statement created an equivalency between white supremacist and counter-protestors.  I felt afraid and frozen and my attention strayed from my practice.

I know that when I abandon my practice, I become less effective in creating the change I want to see.  I know that I cannot trust the voice of anger in me, as tempting as it may be.  So I'm doing what I can to acknowledge my feelings, and to stay close to my practice. I do this not to become numb or to hide from the world, but so that I can be filled up, and useful.

Another colleague wrote that when a person professes to believe in oneness, that person becomes a spiritual sentinel, and as such must guard the light, in the sense of not letting it go out inside, and that we are to keep watch and protect kindness and offer support to those long denied it.  That's what I'm doing, keeping watch, speaking up, educating myself, and supporting those who are afraid for their safety.  I have been feeling afraid too, especially for the minorities in my community.  Sometimes it takes moment-by-moment mindfulness to return to an attitude of loving kindness when I feel afraid - so that I don't freeze up.  And, I because I take my courage from good-hearted people who refuse to surrender to hatred, and who inspire me to keep believing in humanity, I am making sure that I keep company with those who lift me up into hope and action.

Once we prepared stamped envelopes, addressed them to leaders in government, and handed them out to our spiritual community to encourage people to express their thoughts in writing about civil rights in our country.   We did that so that we could channel our loving-kindness into productive activities and thwart feelings of helplessness, without telling people what they should write.  We also partner with other organizations which are doing work in the world that gives us hope.  In other words, we are doing our best to stay active, and engaged,  at the same time be true to our spiritual practice.

Ernest Holmes wrote that "my world is recreated by my inner spiritual awareness of the action of Spirit in my life."  He advised us to acknowledge chaotic times for what they are, but at the same time to affirm that there is no necessity for their continuation.  To me, that means keeping my eye on Good and being determined not to succumb to destructive emotions.

Edward Viljoen
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Video: Ordinary Kindness with Edward Viljoen, author of the new book, Ordinary Goodness

Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash
To see the video bellow on YouTube, click here.

Imagine a world that works for everyone. This month’s theme, “Spiritual Living through Love, Compassion, and Caring,” would surely feature in what you imagine. How else would it even be possible for the world to work without mindfully embracing Love as a Divine power, moving through us, seeking expression as compassion, caring, mutual respect, and kindness?

In a world that works for everyone, surely we would each express interest in and support for the wellbeing of ourselves and others. We would surely express unconditional love when observing the suffering of others and do what we can to give aid and show compassion.

Spiritual living may be thought of as the practice of duplicating the nature of the Divine in our human experience. This month’s focus is on the Divine as unconditional love.

Our founder, Ernest Holmes, wrote, “Love is the central flame of the universe, nay, the very fire itself. It is written that God is love, and that we are [God’s] expressed likeness, the image of the Eternal Being. Love is self-givingness through creation, the impartation of the Divine through the human.”

What does Divine Love mean to you?

Warm regards

Edward Viljoen
Author of Ordinary Goodness, and The Power of Meditation

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