Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey
What a beautiful 4th of July weekend. I trust you had some downtime and fun!
At our community meeting on the 30th one of the suggestions we received was to add a response to the Prayer for Protection. We implemented that this past Sunday. Here is the new version we are experimenting with (responses in italic):
The Light of God surrounds us!
We are the Light of God!
The Love of God enfolds us!
We are the Love of God!
The Power of God protects us!
We are the Power of God!
The Presence of God watches over us!
We are the Presence of God!
Wherever we are God is and all is well!
We are the Divine of God!
I would love to hear how it resonates with you.
The message this Sunday was the last in the series Minding the Mind. It was a series that was well received. The talk this week was “If You Don’t Mind, It Doesn’t Matter.” In a nutshell, what it was focused on is how our minds are liked crazed monkeys, jumping from one thought to another. If we are not vigilant and standing at the portal of our minds paying attention to the thoughts we are entertaining, we are on a downhill slope into the awfulizing of whatever is up in our lives.
Houston Smith, the author of World Religions, gives a very graphic description of what the mind is like. In this context, he is discussing the practices of the Hindu religion, particularly meditation.
“The motions of the average mind, say the Hindus, are about as orderly as those of a crazed monkey cavorting about its cage. Nay, more; like the prancing of a drunk, crazed monkey. Even so we have not conveyed its restlessness; the mind is like a drunken, crazed monkey that has St. Vitus’ Dance.”
He continues: “The mind is like a drunken crazed monkey with St. Vitus’ Dance who has just been stung by a wasp.
“Few who have seriously tried to meditate will find this metaphor extreme. The trouble with the advice to ‘leave your mind alone’ is the unimpressive spectacle that remains.
“I tell my hand to rise and it obeys. I tell my mind to be still and it mocks my command. How long can the average mind think about one thing – one thing only, without slipping first into thinking about that thing and taking off from there on a senseless chain of irrelevancies?
“About three and a half seconds, psychologists tell us. Like a ping-pong ball, the mind will alight where its owner directs it, but only to take off immediately on a jittery flight of staccato bounces that are completely out of hand.
“What if the mind could be turned from a ping-pong ball into a lump of dough, which when thrown sticks to a wall until deliberately removed? Would not its power increase if it could be thus held in focus? Would not its strength be compounded, like the strength of a light bulb when ringed by reflectors?…
“[and now quoting from the Upanishad, Smith says] ‘When all senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not – that, say the wise, is the highest state.’”
And that entire treatise by Smith was about meditation, which of course is a powerful, powerful tool for strengthening the mind.
However, in the moment when we can’t take the time to meditate on a particular challenge that we are experiencing, we can implement this tool.
Ask the question, “What would I love here?” I am going to leave you to listen to the message to find out why this question is so important. By the way, you will also want to hear the story of Jerry in the audio of today’s message.
Have a blessed week and join us next Sunday at the 10 a.m. service with our guest speaker and musician, Dennis Warner.
You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey