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Starving Childrenby Sequoia Elisabeth Carpenter

What is charity and why is it important, or more to the point – is it important? Buddha and Jesus practiced a form of charity that can only be described as generosity and agape. The dictionary defines charity as “generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless, as in something given to a person or persons in need”. The key words here to me are generous and given, which contrast with “in need”. So let’s look at this need closer. The dictionary defines need as a lack of something wanted or deemed necessary, or an urgent want, as of something requisite. Again words jump out and help to further understand this question. The words lack and want present themselves. Are you getting a clearer picture now? This can be very confusing, so let me go deeper for you. In order for me to do this, I need to share my cosmology or understanding of Universal Law with you.

There is but one mind, the mind of God and that mind is my mind now!” This quote by Ernest Holmes says it all. There is only one! One mind, one God, one Source, and in order for this one source of all to experience itself fully it chose to individuate or diversify as you. We are each an individual point or part of the whole. This being true, we are each “made in the image of our creator” or an extension of GOD! We are not separate, not some toy God made to amuse itself and not at God’s mercy. We are God’s Mercy! All we do is an extension of God. Sort of like agents for GOD. Of course this is merely the surface, but you get the point. Who and what we are can be taken much deeper, but that is beyond the scope of this article. Let’s get back to charity. Now that we know what it is, let’s look at why or if it is important. This question is much trickier.

How do we decide what is important? Does someone else tell us that or do we decide? For the sake of this article let us just say that whatever is important in this world is up to you. Bottom line, nothing is important lest you make it so! I reached this conclusion after much contemplation and meditation, not to mention real life trials and tribulations. So once again why is or is not charity important? This is something that only you can answer, so make up your own mind. (This is why we individuated!) My role here is to share my perspective and hopefully deepen our understanding of this concept, Charity.

The way I see it is we each make choices every day and as we do this one thing leads to another and we experience “that which we create” – our Lives! Life is made up of a combination of choices and fate (choices we made before we were born). Each experience we have is from a choice we made at some point in our eternal journey of Life. It is not up to us to judge these experiences as good or bad, but to simply experience them to the fullest of our capacity. So how does one decide who is “in need”? Who gets to choose your wants or desires? Who decides who is lacking and what they lack? Take your time here as these questions are pivotal to the future of mankind!

I feel it is an individual decision to make the choice of what we want or desire! Another important concept is the mirror principal, which states that what you see is a reflection of your thoughts! What you see is what you get! … Ouch! or … Ahh HA!

If you see LACK you are experiencing lack, therefore you are thinking and acting it also! You are creating the very thing you are trying to eliminate!!! NEED! (Because what you see is what you get) This is a paradox of our dualistic world, but it is Universal Law. By providing charity, you are creating the need for charity and thus is the paradox of all life activities here on earth. For example, when you meet a person on the street who is limping with a crutch(see the little Cratchit boy, Tiny Tim), what thoughts go thru your mind? Most use the ego mind which attempts to explain the condition of the person we meet (poor little tiny Tim – feel sorry for him), but I would suggest to you now that the truth is not evident to our human eyes! Consider the possibility that Tiny Tim chose his experience, just for the experience of it. Who are you to judge it as good or bad? The Spirit self or Christ within knows nothing of good or bad, it only is! Now when we go on a “Charity Trip to an impoverished country” what are we really doing? In my opinion we are attempting to rescue ourselves from false belief. Do we see Christ’s children being the best humans they can or do we see “a poor starved child”? Do we see lack? Or do we see Abundance of Spirit expressing as it chooses? When we see a homeless person sleeping under a tree or begging for money in the subway, what goes through our mind? Is that a choice? Of course a choice has been made, the deeper question is why? I still do not believe that it is up to me to decide for another their experiences. If a person is in harm’s way and I am able to assist them, I will, but only if they ask. If someone asks me for assistance, I will always do what I can! This is the tricky part, giving is receiving and we all enjoy receiving, so why not help everyone? Maybe not everyone needs our help. Maybe our need to be needed is the very problem to start with! Asking if they would like assistance is still assuming that they are needy. I am here to see them as happy, healthy, and vibrant; nothing less will do!

So let me recap for you. Charity for the sake of “the poor, the sick, or downtrodden” is a self fulfilling prophecy. The giving of Charity to a person who asks is simply put, Agape. This is the Charity Jesus practiced. He saw each person he met as the Christ fully realized and in this was the gift! This is the gift we can give each person we meet! If we see a person as one way or the other that is what you get! So why not see them as the Christ? If they ask for something give it to them, but let’s not go looking for needy people, so that we can feel good about how good we are. The Buddha said that “If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of selfishness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared, if there were someone to receive their gift. But because beings do not know, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they eat without having given. The stain of selfishness overcomes their minds.” (Khuddaka Nikaya, Itivuttaka I.26) Life is so simple, easy is up to you! I think that this is what is meant by the quote, “Be the Peace you desire in this world”. Share of what you have, be kind to others, and see Peace everywhere you go (actually look for it). See beyond the apparent chaos, and the illusion of war. See Peace! Now this is Charity!

What If?

Emissary Wheel BalancedWhat if we taught our children the laws of the Universe along with the laws of this physical world?

What if we assumed our children’s brilliance and treated them appropriately?

What if we taught our children that Love is our nature and that war is obsolete?

What if we taught our children that we are One, and that we each as individuals add to the Greater Good?

What if we taught our children that diversity is what makes us strong, it is who we are?

What if we taught our children that we are infinite possibilities expressed in human form?

What if we taught our children that we are all equal in our Creator’s eyes?

What if we allowed our children to teach us their Love; the innocent Love of Oneness that flows through all of us, but we adults sometimes forget about?

What if we all let go of the limitations we were taught and listened to our inner voice instead?

What if we each realized that we create our world through the thoughts, words, and actions we take?

What if we each took the responsibility to share this Loving knowledge with every child in our lives?

What if we realized that things will not change till we do?

A Minister Is…

PaulatPulpitA minister is a person who is acting as the agent or instrument of another to administer or apply a service, care or aid, as in attending to the wants or necessities that contribute to the comfort and happiness of everyone. Now this is the dictionary definition and I would like to look at this from a spiritual perspective and how it affects each of us. We all play roles in our lives all the time and this includes the one you are playing right now as you read this. It is important to clarify the roles in each situation of your life so you may more fully experience life. Even more important is to realize that you are not the roles you play. It is easy to get caught up in your roles and indentify with them. The daily social roles are the easiest to get stuck on, such as mother, daughter, grandmother, spouse, partner, friend, and caregiver. The occupational roles are also something you may identify with and this can be just as stifling. “You” is a broad term and as we grow spiritually we realize that there is a lot more to “you” than realized. There is the individual you, the roles you play as you, the larger you connected through community and the Universal One you, which is the only “real” you there is.

Minister is a role we each play, but it is also a lot more. It is a title you can use to describe your daily activities. Each and every person is a “minister” to their lives! Yes, we each minister every day. Now think about this and review the definition offered at the top of this article. How does this apply to your daily life? You don’t have to be religious to be a spiritual minister. (Even atheists are ministers!) It is each of our responsibilities to minister consciously each day! Awaken to your inner being and allow your Loving soul to lead you.

Here are some pointers on what is involved in being a minister in your daily life.
1. See the good in every person you meet. As much as God is in and of everything, so too is God expressing thru each person you meet. They are God extended and there is nothing a person can do, say, or think that will change this.
2. Remember you are always teaching. Your very actions set an example to others as to what and how to think, speak, and act. Do unto others as you would have done unto you, because they will!
3. Comfort those who come to you in need without seeing them as needy. Your function is to be in the world, but not of it. Acknowledge what is presented without accepting it as so. Be the observer and judge not, acting with Love and never re-acting.
4. Be the Peace. As a minister of your life the amount and quality of peace you experience is up to you. The amount of drama does not matter because peace exists always and all ways. To the extent you center yourself in Peace by meditating (formally or not), by not re-acting to situations, and by focusing on the Peace that is present, you are the Peace!
5. Share your Joy with the world by shining your inner light on everyone you meet. Notice when you are happy and be grateful. Happiness is something that comes to us from within and is not dependant on outer circumstances, unless you make it so. Meaning that it is an inner choice to be happy. Be aware of your feelings and allow them to flow. If you are sad, that is fine, just relax, it will pass soon, all discomforts are temporary. Being a person of Peace and Joy is what ministry is all about!

Of course the reason I got ordained is to make this an official commitment in my everyday life for the rest of my life. It is sort of like getting permission to act in the role as a minister, but then we all know that is not necessary. Anyone and everyone is a minister of their own life. So do you have a message? Mine is simply to be the Peace you desire and be aware of that. Peace to you Beloved ones!

article by Sequoia Elisabeth Carpenter

The Art of Awareness

Dogwood RubeoA state of elementary or undifferentiated consciousness defines awareness in the dictionary but what does this really mean. To be conscious means that we are aware of our surroundings, what is happening to us so to speak, but to be more accurate it is what is happening through us! This is something that many people take for granted but I would suggest that it is very important to be aware of as much as possible. It is my goal here to examine awareness on several levels and maybe have you question your own awareness. Each person brings a different perspective of awareness to the world and that is what makes us all unique. We are each valuable for the views, experiences and opinions we bring to this world. Let me explain by offering this example. Three people walk up to an apple bin and pick up an apple and take a bite. What each person notices, feels and experiences will be different. In fact every time the same person does this same action their individual experience will be different! If you took only one bite out of the apple you might never realize that the apple has seeds. Can you remember the first apple you ever ate? Is it possible to experience eating an apple for the first time every time you eat an apple? The more we experience one particular thing the more we expect the experience to be the same, hence the expression “been there, done that”. Is it really possible to experience the exact same thing over? I don’t think so, but it is possible for us to imagine it so. The number of factors that make up our experiences in life boggle the mind. Take the apple scenario for instance, the elements that make up that experience include all the five senses and the details of the physical surroundings, the time of day, the location, the circumstances leading up to the experience, the type of apple, the condition of the apple, our expectations of the experience, our cognitive abilities, and on and on. I am sure you can add to this list, so just realize that for every experience you have the number of things to be aware of is endless. It is possible on the other hand to eat the apple and not remember doing so, we can all relate to this as well. So what if we are unaware of the experience? Well, If we go through life unaware then we are missing the point and some would say we are not even living.   We would be zombies in a divine world!

“Heaven is merely an awareness of perfect oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this oneness, and nothing else within (text, p. 359; T-18.VI.1:6). This fact alone is true, and only this truth is Reality.” Gloria and Kenneth Wapnick discussing A Course in Miracles
Awareness is about consciousness and being aware that we are aware. Try this little exercise. Imagine you are a person on the other side of the room and you are watching yourself sitting at your computer reading this article. Just relax and close your eyes if this helps and let your mind go. It may take a few minutes or just seconds, but with practice anyone can do this.  How you may ask? It is simple; consciousness is more than your body and as you become aware that you are aware your consciousness grows. Most of us are aware of the world seen through the eyes, but what I am suggesting is that there is far more to it than that. Spirit is another word we use to describe this universal consciousness and we are individuations of this one Spirit. This is how a psychic can see things that some people cannot. In the words of Ernest Holmes, “there is but one mind, the mind of God, and that mind is my mind now”. What we believe we experience, so if we do not believe in ghosts for instance then we will not see ghosts. If someone swears to you that ghosts exist and shows you enough “proof” then you can choose to believe and thus see ghosts, but that choice is always yours. What we are aware of in this world is largely due to our perspective which is based on cultural and personal beliefs. It can also be due to our experiences and work in just the opposite fashion. Say you have the experience of seeing a ghost but have never really thought about them and so had no opinion, but now you are a believer due to your experience. This is because you did not make the choice to not believe in them in the first place, and this lead to your awareness of ghosts.  If you were to say that you did not believe in ghosts and yet you saw one, then the evidence is proving otherwise.
Awareness is possible on several levels and by this I mean levels of consciousness. We are aware of our bodies and the bodies of others, we are aware of our thoughts, we can be aware of the thoughts of others, and we can be aware of the Great Spirit/Universal Mind/God. From a more complex point of view science is expanding our understanding of consciousness all the time. Many good books exist on this subject, and I invite you to explore just how far down the rabbit hole goes.
A good example of shared thought is the parallel development of inventions. Take the radio for example, both Nikola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi both developed radios at basically the same time in an era where communication took a long time and they did it from different continents. There were others too that were involved in this process and they were all working with the same mind. Remember “there is but one Mind”, Ernest Holmes. This same parallel thought can be seen in plants that evolve very similarly on different continents, the agave and aloe plants are a good example. When we start to look for similarities in the world we find them everywhere. The beauty of the process is no two things are identical, and yet similarity exists everywhere! Snowflakes are the classic example and this can be found in many things in our world. Whether we see the similarity or the differences is our choice. Try looking for the similarities in the world for a whole day while being aware of your feelings along the way. At the end of the day write down your thoughts and the next day look for the differences and do the same at the end of the day by writing down your thoughts.  What you discover is not only is there a whole world out there you were unaware of, but you will have gotten to know yourself better in the process.
Life is a journey of discovery and holds many wondrous gifts that we need only be aware of. The best advice I ever heard was to make everything OK. When we do this we exist on a whole new level which I call Peace. Consider this quote from A Course in Miracles,
                                          Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
by Sequoia Elisabeth Carpenter

A Perfect Society ?

Our society is based on centuries of tradition and as the years go by the structure of that society adjusts to the prevalent thoughts and ideas of the day. Open any history book and you will see that each society of the world has trends expressed in the thoughts of the masses. For example, take Europe of the 1920’s, the thought of lack and control gripped the region, while in the United States we were going thru a period of great growth and prosperity. Socially though the USA has always been the product of European expansion with a sprinkling of other societies. The Far East has its own history and social trends as do the southern continents. Over all society as a whole is attempting to create the ideal or perfect world. I think most of us would agree that the perfect world has yet to be created here on earth. Many visions of the perfect world have been presented over the years, from Atlantis and Lemuria to the Egyptians and Romans. Some would say that the Roman Empire was the closest we have come and others would say today’s society is the closest we have come to an ideal society. We are not here to debate the past, but to visualize an ideal.

What does a perfect Society look like? Would you know one if you saw one? Is perfection attainable or desirable? What I am attempting to do here is to present my version of a perfect society and get you to envision your perfect society as well, because what we focus on grows and the more you focus on your dreams the closer you are to experiencing them. The future is in your hands!

City SystemFirst of all basic human needs and rights are to be considered in any discussion of a perfect society. Such things as personal security, love, self esteem, personal fulfillment, cultural security, and participation, plus a right to life, liberty, freedom of thought, expression and identity, and equal treatment before the law. Each of these elements effects society on both an individual basis as well as on the organizational level. To me it is pretty straight forward and common sense. It is also something that deserves attention because what you focus on grows. We all desire a better world and my outlook is simple. The simpler we make our lives the easier it is to meet those above mentioned needs and rights. So here is my vision of a perfect society.

Society is based on unity in diversity, where individuals are as important as organizations and where everyone’s needs are met. We need not be so concerned with the how’s and why’s but on the what’s, when’s and where’s. What would a perfect society look like? When and where is this possible?

War is obsolete in the perfect society because the individuals understand that no one person or organization is better or above another. It is a world where we each as individuals respect and love one another seeing the oneness in each person they meet. Despite the apparent differences we all know that we are connected through the One. We are extensions of Great Spirit who are here to bring Peace and Love to every being, place and thing in our earthly world.

Since we realize that thought creates, we use the power of imagination to teleport our bodies anywhere we want to go simply by thinking of the place and giving it a Loving Thought. Everyone who lives here is healthy and productive each playing an important role in the operation and events of life here. The environment is a comfortable temperature at all times and if one desires something different, then there are different climates all around the world to teleport to and enjoy. We all realize that there is infinite abundance, so no one wants or has more than they need at that time. If something is desired it is easily available thru the object library replicator.

All land is community land so we can live and work any place we choose. Ownership is a concept that is no longer necessary since we all realize that we are One and that which benefit’s the One benefits all. In this state of oneness we realize that another’s discomfort is the same as our own so we happily share all our resources with anyone who asks. Meaning that if you need shelter you stay where ever you are with whomever you desire in whatever accommodation there is.

Communication is easy too, since we all understand the universal language and our thoughts are shared through a sort of mental web that covers the whole world. Telepathy is common place and is encouraged. There is no need for privacy since we are of one mind. Our mind is much more capable of handling all the communications we receive, because our DNA has evolved to 12 strands and our brains are developed with millions more neural fiber connections which is fully utilized.

Since we all have infinite abundance we only work when we choose to and it is doing that which we enjoy making all work voluntary. There are no requirements, laws or limitations in a perfect society because we all realize and respect that we are each a part of the whole and to harm another is to harm the self. Gender, sexual orientation and race are seen as enhancing diversity. Every person is healthy and would not consider being otherwise since there simply is no reason to be unhealthy. Plus since we all have everything we could desire there is nothing to fight over and no need to take things that are being used by another. Synchronicity is the rule here and as we move about and interact events occur in a convenient manner for all concerned. If you have the thought to visit your friend across town your thoughts connect and you instantly know if it is a good time, what to wear, if you need to bring anything, and any pertinent information. As the Joy between you grows you are teleported there.

Many would consider this place Heaven and it is where we all can live right now if we so choose. What you see around you is what you have chosen in this moment of now for whatever reasons. As our thoughts change so does our experience. As our experience changes so does awareness. Enlightenment is simply awareness of our oneness of being. It is a shift in consciousness! Not only is a perfect society possible it is inevitable as each person on earth realizes that they are the perfection they seek. It is simply a matter of choosing to see the perfection that already exists.

I challenge you to be creative and follow your heart. Let your mind go, move beyond any limits you perceive, and see the perfection. As we learn to accept the world as it is, then our awareness will grow to the point where our desires are met instantly. Share your vision of a perfect society with everyone. Talk about it like it is already true, it is!

By Sequoia Elisabeth, Last updated November 14, 2010

Top Ten Quotes



“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Unknown

sequoia-bierstadt2“I’ve heard people say that they cling to their painful thoughts
because they’re afraid that without them they wouldn’t be activists for peace. “If I feel peaceful,” they say, “why would I bother taking action at all?” My answer is “Because that’s what love does.” To think that we need sadness or outrage to motivate us to do what’s right is insane. As if the clearer and happier you get, the less kind you become. As if when someone finds freedom, she just sits around all day with drool running down her chin. My experience is the opposite. Love is action.” Byron Katie

HanginOut“If you judge them, you don’t have time to Love them” Mother Teresa

Fireweed Yukon Mtns scenic best Juanita“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace” St. Francis

Winding path - good“The journey is the reward.” Taoist Saying

Maui Stream“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” Dalai Lama

Rainbow whale“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.” Kahlil Gibran

Mt. Denali over wonder lake best“A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.” Ken Keyes

Blue Iris on Hill“There is no way to peace; peace is the way.” A.J. Muste

Conifer Snowy movin day“It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Budha SFBG

“When you change the way you look at things,

the things you look at change!” Wayne Dyer