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Message From The Minister November 2023

Taking Time for Reflection

In the cycles of hours and days and seasons of this adventure we call life, we must find the time to stop and reflect upon what it all means, where are we in the greater scope of things and what is our mission here on Earth. These are the deeper questions which many of us are afraid to ask. Whether we are unwilling to look within or unaware of the importance of self-reflection, the result is the same. We stagnate in our life, we repeat the same old patterns, we blame others for our troubles, and we experience a host of negative emotions, including sadness, anger, depression, confusion, frustration and even rage.

Each and every one of these experiences is happening within us, but we refuse to go within, and this is the only place where the problem can be solved. What we feel within inevitably gets projected onto the world. When we feel healed and whole, that is also extended out into the world through love. The wonderful news is that you get to choose what you experience, and you decide if you want to project anger or extend love. This, I tell people, is the way to peace in the world. Inner and outer peace are ultimately one and the same.

Recently, I read a wonderful quote from Taoist master, Mantak Chia, regarding something called the inner smile. He says, “ In ancient China the Taoists taught that a constant inner smile to oneself insured health, happiness and longevity. Smiling to yourself is like basking in love; you become your own best friend. Living with an inner smile is to live in harmony with yourself.” And we all know that living in harmony within our own being will be reflected in the world around us.

So, reflection works in two ways. It is a moment when we look into the mirror of our minds and take an honest view of how we feel, what we are thinking and how we project our fears or extend our love. The second part is to find and follow a clear reflection of the Truth in us, enlightened teachers and guiding principles of spiritual Truth which can keep us focused on the good and the absolute. This was the direction given to the Philippians by Paul: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
This direction is not meant to deny the pain and suffering we see in the world but to deny its hold on us, to see it as a temporary reflection of separation and acknowledge the eternal nature of goodness. To focus on the good is to focus on God. The old god of vengeance was clearly demonstrated to be limited human construct which had no value or validity in the presence of the Truth. The god of vengeance, the justification of war through religion, and the mistaken idea that some beings deserve to suffer is the root cause of all the horror going on in the world today.

The only way out of this unbearable scourge of violence and hatred will be the way of forgiveness, reconciliation and love. Like everything else, the answers needed in the outer world will come from going within. Finding that clear path to oneness in the world will be through the experience of oneness we find within ourselves. To have that inner smile, the inner love and the inner strength to forgive can only come from the God of Love which resides in every single one of us. It may not appear to be reflected in the world you see right away, but my experience tells me that it is there waiting for me to find, and deep in the heart of every human being is the longing for peace.

If we each take the time to go within, reflect on what we find there, honestly ask for the truth of love to be revealed in us, the answers will come. Rather than looking for your answers in the outer world which reflects separation and death, give yourself the gift of time spent with the Spirit of Truth and Love. Give yourself a true reflection.
Peace be with you; peace be in you…
Rev. Tony