Ten Rules for Realism

TenRulesForRealism

by Lauri Boyd

In his essay Ten Rules for Realism, 21st century theologian Gene Marshall offers a new take on the ancient 10 Commandments of Moses. Seen through Marshall’s lens, these rules are as relevant to our spiritual journey today as they were 3 centuries ago. They offer simple advice for grounding ourselves in Spirit and for living in relationship with each other and the world around us. Here are Marshall’s 10 rules with my commentary…

1. You shall not devote your life to any reality more than to Reality with a capital “R.”

In other words, always keep in mind that this little ‘r’ reality that we experience with our little ‘s’ self is only a small part of something much bigger. In the capital ‘R’ reality, there is only God – one presence, one power, absolute good. As we move through our daily experience, we must let our words and actions flow forth from Spirit, not ego.

2. You shall not mistake any names, thoughts, ideas, or symbols, for this unnamable Reality.

Human language is too limited to adequately describe God. Yet in our humanness, we must find ways to experience this capital ‘R’ Reality. And each of us is drawn to certain names, thoughts, ideas, and symbols that resonate with us. Yet we must never assume that our way is the one right way. When we do that, we mistake our spiritual practice for Spirit itself.

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Across The Universe – an experience of Meditation

AcrossTheUniverse

As part of my short series of metaphysical interpretations of Beatles songs, I had the opportunity to sing one of my favorites at a Sunday service at Unity of Columbia.

This song – Across the Universe – attempts to describe in words the experience of being in meditation.

Click here to listen:  Across the Universe performed by Lauri Boyd

Hey, Jude – A Metaphysical Interpretation

2016.07.24 Beatles - Hey Jude

By Rev.Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

 

 

Paul McCartney wrote this song in 1968 for Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s son. Five-year-old Julian was struggling with his parents impending divorce, and Paul wrote the song to comfort him.

This song speaks to all of us, because we’ve all had difficult experiences in life. It is about trying to move through such experiences while staying open-hearted.

The song begins…

“Hey Jude don’t make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better. Remember to let her into your heart. Then you can start to make it better.”

A fundamental spiritual principle says, “We create our experience through the thoughts we hold in our heart and mind.” We may not have control over the events and circumstances that happen in our life, but we get to decide how we will think about those events and circumstances and how we will respond to them.

Continue reading Hey, Jude – A Metaphysical Interpretation

All You Need Is Love – A Metaphysical Interpretation

2016.07.17 Beatles - All You Need Is Love

 

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

 

The song All You Need is Love was written by John Lennon in 1967 for a television special called Our World, which was the very first live international satellite television production ever. The broadcast took place at the height of the Vietnam War, and the Beatles wanted to use the opportunity to convey a positive message expressing a philosophy of love. John Lennon said, “I’m a revolutionary artist. My art is dedicated to change.”

The lyrics consist of 3 stanzas of 3 lines each, interspersed with a chorus. The first stanza is…

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.

Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game. It’s easy.

The first time I heard this song I was 10 or 11 years old, and I remember thinking basically, ‘What?’ I mean, I got whole ‘All you need is love’ thing. It was a fairly typical sentiment for songs of that era. But what did they mean by, There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done? Continue reading All You Need Is Love – A Metaphysical Interpretation

Let It Be – A Metaphysical Interpretation

2016.07.10 Beatles - Let It Be

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

 

 

 

The song Let It Be was written by Paul McCartney. The song is filled with words and images that appear in the Bible. It uses classic, archetypal imagery, though in a modern way.

“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to, me speaking words of wisdom. Let it be.

And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom. Let it be.”

Trouble refers to calamity, difficulty or disaster. Metaphysically, it is the result of being trapped in the illusion that this physical world, the world we can take in with our five senses, is all there is.

Darkness refers to those times when we feel lost, when we are struggling with the experiences of conflict, grief, depression, anger, fear, and loneliness that go along with this human life.

From the limited human perspective, life can be really difficult sometimes, and it’s easy to start believing that we are separated from God. The phrasing times of trouble and hour of darkness help to remind us that these experiences are not permanent. In the Hebrew Psalms, we read, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” I walk through that valley – I don’t build a home a live there. Everything in this human experience is transitory. Only God is Eternal, and in God is all well. Continue reading Let It Be – A Metaphysical Interpretation

The Art of Manifesting

Musing Logo

 

 

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

In this age of ever present violence in our nation and in our world, I find myself in search of a meaningful way to respond. It is important to me that I do not devolve into simplistic finger-pointing, but acknowledge the deeply complex nature of our present circumstances. I do not find it helpful to paint entire groups of people with a broad brush of judgment for the actions of a small number of people within those groups. I also do not find it helpful to deny the anger and pain I feel toward the actions of that small number of people. I am looking for a way to respond that promotes healing, rather than more violence. I am asking myself, ‘What can I personally do to create a better world?’

I have recently been contemplating the art of manifesting. The word ‘manifesting’ refers to the process by which an idea is brought forth into tangible reality. The theory suggests that everything in our human experience begins as an idea held in mind, and then is brought into tangible expression by our efforts. It is easy to see this process at work with tangible objects. I imagine a quilt and sew it. I imagine a house and build it.

This process is equally valid, though harder to observe, with intangible creations. The art of manifesting is also the process we use to bring ideas of ultimate truth into expression in our daily experience. These ideas include universal human values such as love, wisdom, and compassion. Continue reading The Art of Manifesting

When I Pray

Musing Logo

 

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

The experience that we call prayer is a universal human experience. Whether we are burdened with fear or sorrow, or our hearts are overflowing with joy, we have this instinct, when things go beyond our human capacity to process, that there is ‘a something more’ that we can turn to. It matters not whether we conceive of this ‘something more’ as a being, a living energy, the force of nature, or the Infinite Unknowable Source of all that is. In our times of greatest joy or pain, we have an overwhelming desire to commune with it – to become consciously aware of our Oneness with it. And we call this experience of communion and Oneness “Prayer”.

In my experience, I pray in different ways depending on how grounded I am feeling in a particular moment and on the deeper need motivating the encounter. In my study of prayer, I learned about a model in which there are four levels of consciousness which influence how and why we pray. I will call these levels “Praying to God”, “Praying for God”, “Praying with God” and “Praying from God”. Continue reading When I Pray

Compassionate Communication

2016.06.12 Compassionate Communication
By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

“Love is not directional; it always flows inward and outward simultaneously. Transforming our self and transforming our relationships are simply two dimensions of the same process. Compassion is the key: Compassion for self, as well as for others. Compassionate Communication is love in expression.”

Living Originally: Ten Spiritual Practices to Transform Your Life by Rev. Robert Brumet

Based on the Buddhist practice of Right Speech, compassionate communication is defined as speech which supports spiritual practice and leads to transformation. The practice incorporates both speech and deep listening.

According to the Buddha, right speech always has five characteristics: Continue reading Compassionate Communication

Universal Benevolence

2016.06.05 Universal Benevolence

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

“In the simplest language, this practice [of Universal Benevolence] is about keeping your heart open as often as possible.”

Living Originally: Ten Spiritual Practices to Transform Your Life by Rev. Robert Brumet

Universal Benevolence means practicing goodwill and kindness to all persons, and ultimately to all beings. Jesus taught the practice of Universal Benevolence this way – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12)

The practice consists of three specific intentions: appreciation, kindness and generosity. When we practice appreciation, we choose to consciously recognize the value of the people and things around us. This recognition leads us naturally to the practice of kindness, blessing those around us through our words and actions. Generosity is kindness taken to the next level. It is grounded in the intention to give abundantly at every opportunity.

So what makes this practice transformational? Continue reading Universal Benevolence

Unlimited Forgiveness

2016.05.29 Unlimited Forgiveness

 

By Rev. Lauri Boyd, Minister, Unity of Columbia, MO

“Forgiveness means feeling all your feelings for as long as they are present, and doing this without creating a story of martyrdom, victimhood, or self-righteousness. Just feel it directly without adding anything to it.”

Living Originally: Ten Spiritual Practices to Transform Your Life by Rev. Robert Brumet

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful spiritual practices in which we can engage. It is a cornerstone in many of the world’s great religions and philosophies. It was a deeply important practice to our teacher and wayshower, Jesus. The concept of forgiveness is mentioned over 50 times in the Christian testament. The author of the Gospel of Mark records that Jesus taught, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you.” (Mk 11:25-26 NRSV)

In other words, if Iwant release from anger and unforgiveness, Imust first make the choice to forgive. Consider that Jesus uses the term ‘Father’, not in a literal sense, but as a metaphor for the divine principle of wholeness, the mystical source of all that is. When I am holding onto unforgiveness, I cut myself off from experiencing that wholeness.

Forgiveness is both a choice and a process of healing. Continue reading Unlimited Forgiveness