Sunday Audio & Video Files

Sunday Audio & Video Files

Listen here to previous Sunday talks or download and take them with you on your phone or tablet. Rev. Pat Bessey’s follow-up messages, published with the audio files, provide additional insights and news about Unity Center for Spiritual Growth. Just click or tap on a title to reveal the audio player and message.

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August 16 Sunday Service: Non-Resistance

Sunday Service with Rev. Matt Purinton, guest speaker


Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:

As I continue my vacation, I am grateful for another mystical experience for you to read about. This came from Don Labbe; thank you Don for sharing.

Don wrote this to me: I am not sure if this qualifies for a mystical experience, but here goes.

On Monday I woke up at 5 a.m. feeling a lot of fear, I was worried that the muscles of my right knee were not healing properly, I was worried that I would be in pain forever, that I would not ever walk properly again, that I could not be happy if I was in pain all the time. I was in a pretty dark place. I understood that most of what I was feeling was a response to limiting beliefs; while that helped some, I still did not FEEL much better.

I drifted off to sleep and had a dream that I was confronting someone trying to threaten me. He tried to punch me and tried to hit me with various objects or threw them at me. I very quickly came to the conclusion that he was a bully and did not pose a real threat. While I never struck him, I did neutralize him by not backing down, deflecting his blows and asserting myself. When I awoke, my feelings had changed. I felt my healing process was on track and I could handle whatever came my way. I was sent a message that I could relate to i.e. my martial arts training.

You can share this with others if it would be helpful.

I will be back with you on Sunday sharing about the life of the Middle Age mystic, Hildegard of Bingen.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

August 9 Sunday Service: What is Mine to Do

Rosie Deer Heart

Sunday service with Rosalie Deer Heart, guest speaker

Bio: My name is Rosalie Deer Heart. I was born intuitive. Love, intuition, communication, creativity, joy, healing and service are woven into my soul purpose. Energy is my first language. For me, energy is information. Love is the energy that connects dimensions. I see, feel, hear, and know as I interpret and channel energy. When I dedicated my life to serve as a resource to the Source, God took me seriously.

Rosalie’s latest book is Joy Re-Awakened, recently published.


Message from Rev. Pat Bessey:

As you read this know that I am enjoying vacation! A special thank you to Rosie Deer Heart for speaking on Sunday.

The previous Sunday I spoke on mysticism and mystics and asked you to send me your mystical experiences. Here is one I received from Carol Holt. This is the email I received: 

As I have been reading Rosie’s book I have been prompted to write about what I remember of my mystical experiences. I’m sure I’m not the only one but everyone has their own unique experience.

What I have attached is a second draft.

You are the first person to ever ask, so thank you for your indulgence.

Carol

Per Pat Bessey’s request I’m writing about some more profound mystical experiences. There have been too many to count but three stand out as having sustained me in dark times.

The first encounter frightened me as it was totally unexpected and outside my frame of reference. I was in bed in a front second-floor room of my in-laws’ home in Lamoine. I think I was alone. The first sensation was the bed was spinning in a large room that on reflection resembled a Turkish Mosque, with mosaic tile walls, floor, and ceiling although what was up or down was unclear. I think I ended up on the floor. The room was filled with overwhelming power and I felt very vulnerable.

The message or demand was to take my place in the world. I was married to a minister and had been taking my cues from him. It was as if I was being told to honor my own thoughts and experiences and not be looking for truth from another person but from spirit within. I was frightened pleading for the spirit to leave as I crawled back into bed covering my head.

In this period of my life we were living in Becket, MA. The local library provided me with books by request. I chose books from various reading/bibliographies that I found in Christian Century. The ones that stand out are Pilgrims Progress, The Confessions of Saint Augustine, Pascal’s Penses, and William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience.

A second mystical experience happened again in an upstairs front bedroom of my in-laws’ home, this time in Pittsfield, MA. My husband was asleep to my left. I awoke to see a transparent figure of light at the foot of the bed. My intuition told me it was Jesus looking much like the image on the Shroud of Turin. Communication was telepathic. I wanted to wake my husband but was told no, that he was there for me. The rest is vague as I felt as if I was either picked up like a lost sheep or that the spirit passed through my body filling me with peace and going back to sleep. It was so vivid and memorable it was more than a dream. I remember being joyful that it was all true.

My experiences and reading led me to start reading my Bible by trying to get inside the head of the author, to see through the writer’s eyes and heart. It was in this mindset that I was reading Romans 3:28 and I was stopped in my tracks. As I read the words that essentially told me God’s love for me was unconditional and “quite apart” from my ability to keep the law, I was filled with the presence of unconditional love, like fire. I was speechless but remembered uttering something unintelligible. There were no adequate words.

Sadly, I was in a circumstance where it didn’t feel safe at the time to talk about it. My first foray into going public was sharing the Psalm I wrote during a time of conflict that felt like it was given from outside myself.

Since then my life has been turned inside out as I had need to reinvent myself more than once. Underneath it all I knew something that appeared to be lost on much of the world; not that I am better but that I have a resource that keeps me sane in turbulent times. At bottom I know that I don’t need all the answers, but that I can trust the process. I’m done with hand wringing and look forward to seeing what happens next.

Thank you, Carol! If you have an experience you are willing to share, please send to me.

FYI…if you are planning to take the Spiritual Exploration class please register, even though you have let me know you’re taking the course…this is important for easy administration going forward.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

August 2 Sunday Service: Mystics and Mysticism

Summer is vacation time for many, and it is for me as well…starting tomorrow I will be on vacation. This is a first for me in many years…when I am taking the full two weeks as vacation instead of tagging a few days off when traveling to a conference or a training which is work-related. I am looking forward to the rest and relaxation. We have decided to take day trips and when we feel like just staying home, we will.

I am leaving you in good hands however, we have two awesome guest speakers, Rosie Deer Heart and Rev. Matt Purinton for Sunday the 9th and 16th. Coffee Hour will continue as usual following the service. The Wednesday evening meditation will be with Rev. Elizabeth Peterson. Prayer needs will be handled by Rev. Airin Wolf and Rev. Barbara Kowalska.

The message this past Sunday was titled “Mysticism and Mystics. When I return, I will be doing a three-part series on the 14th Century mystics, Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, and Teresa of Avila. I just completed a twelve-week class with Mirabai Starr on Women Mystics and Goddesses and a workshop with Marjory Zoet Bankson on Hildegard of Bingen so this is how this series came into existence.

So, what is mysticism? Merriam Webster defines it as “the experience of mystical union or direct communion with ultimate reality reported by mystics”.

Unity’s Metaphysical definition of mysticism, “the practice of the presence of God; the life of prayer that results in intuitive knowledge and experience of God.

The body of my talk came from an article I read written by Dr. Jean Houston titled “The Meaning of Mysticism for our Time”.

I found it interesting that Jean has found that mysticism and spirituality is on the rise during times such as we are experiencing, specifically change and stress.

She expounds on the work of Evelyn Underhill, an early 20th-Century writer of mysticism. There are stages of awakening to the mystic’s path. I will share them briefly here, but I encourage you to watch the service for a more in-depth understanding.

Stage 1 – Awakening: one wakes up…. an awareness that everything is connected to everything else
Stage 2 – Purification: release old ways of being and recover our innocence
Stage 3 – Illumination: one is illumined in the light… everything has meaning and a pattern
Stage 4 – Visions and Voices: One sees, hears, senses with more than five senses —
Stage 5 – Introversion: Entering the silence in prayer and contemplation. It is in the journey inward.
Stage 6 – Ecstasy and Rapture: The Divine Presence meets the prepared body, mind, emotions, and psyche of the mystic
Stage 7 – Dark Night of the Soul: Face that which remains of the shadows of your old forms and habits that was your lesser self
Stage 8 – Unitive Life: Here one exists in the state of union with the One Reality

There you have them.

Both light and shadow are the dance of love
Love has no cause
It is the astrolabe of God’s secrets
Lover and loving are inseparable and timeless
Although I may try to describe Love
When I experience it, I am speechless
Although I may try to write about Love
I am rendered helpless
My pen breaks and the paper slips away
at the ineffable place
where Lover, Loving and Loved are one
Every moment is made glorious
by the light of Love
~ Rumi

Here Rumi is also describing the mystical experience and if you have had a mystical experience, I would love to hear from you…

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

July 26 Sunday Service: Awakening for Life

What an amazing community you are… last week I shared that I was starting a fundraiser for Rev. LeRoy’s 78th birthday for $780. I am happy to say that in that short amount of time the goal was met and exceeded. YOU ARE THE BEST!!!

What’s in the Way IS the Way has been put on the shelf; however, the lessons from it are long-lasting. Catching ourselves when we are in the clouds, in our story and knowing what to do to return to the meadow.

You learned two key tools to use to return to the meadow…

Tool No. 1 is Going into the Heart. Your Heart is an energy center that “fills your whole being with its wisdom energy.”

Tool No. 2 is Compassionate Curiosity… allows you to watch your thoughts rather than get caught up in them, so you have a choice to unhook from them by turning your attention to what is actually happening not your ideas about it. You can also then move into the wisdom of your heart.

We reviewed the Four Lets from the previous week’s talk…
• Let Life
• Let It Be
• Let It Go
• Let Go

When we Let Life, we are acknowledging we are caught and feeling powerless in the face of the reactions inside of us and willing to ask Life for clarity.

Let it be takes us out of the victim mode of unconsciousness… where the veil parts and we are then able to open into the power of consciously looking at what we are experiencing, which is what Let it be is all about.

Let it go is recognizing when we have been seduced by a spell and softening around the spell and letting it pass through us.

Let go is when we cease trying to control everything and letting it flow.

Mary says, “The greatest mission you can undertake is to initiate yourself back into Life, to see what is before you, to live from the unfurnished eye. This means your awareness is no longer cluttered with the stories of struggle that make up the clouds in your head, obscuring the meadow of your being. When your urge to struggle with Life has calmed down and instead you are willing to show up for the life you have been given, you become a force of healing in the world. Wherever you go, you are here, and a person who is truly here is a focal point of consciousness in this unconscious world.”

This Sunday will start a new series on Mysticism and Mystics. I am excited to see where this leads us.

A few things coming in the next few weeks…
• August 9 – our guest speaker will be Rosie Deer Heart
• August 16 – our guest speaker will be Matt Purinton
• August 30 – Julie Thompson will be sharing special music with us.

Taking a little longer view for what is ahead… the Board met tonight (Tuesday) and had a robust discussion on when we feel it is safe to reopen. We were unanimous that it would be a minimum of eight weeks before it could happen. This is a measure we are taking to keep the community and all of us safe. You and your health is our No. 1 priority. In the meantime, we will take steps to start the planning process of reopening. The first is to evaluate what our audio-visual equipment needs are so that we can continue live-streaming the service as we are now. This is very important. A protocol of what will be required to meet in person including mask-wearing, physical distancing, sanitizing and cleaning will be developed. We will keep you informed as information is available.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

July 19 Sunday Service: The Song of the Heart

There are some things that never get old or feel burdensome, and writing Heart Thoughts each week is one of those things. I look forward to sharing with you the awesomeness of this community and often-times singling out an individual who has made a difference in our community.

This week that person is near and dear to me… it is our beloved, Rev. LeRoy. On Friday, July 24 he celebrates his 78th birthday. That is special in and of itself; however, it has even more meaningful for us personally as it was on July 24, 1990 that we had our first official date. We met at Unity of Greater Portland in early 1990 and spent many a morning during Lent in meditation with others in the community from 7 to 7:30 a.m. We would then share a cup of coffee with Rev. Audrey McGinnis before I would head off to work.

Our history with this community, now Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, has been a long one and very fulfilling. Although his visibility in the community has diminished somewhat, he still is my confidant and advisor when it comes to church affairs. He holds the long view when I am thinking immediate…  he helps expand my vision and will support me in whatever the endeavor might be.

I had hoped to set up a fundraiser on Facebook for his birthday; however, for some reason, I can’t get the church’s name as the non-profit, even though I have submitted the paperwork required. So, this is the second-best way to do it… I am hoping to raise $780 in his name for Unity Center for Spiritual Growth. If you would like to give a gift, please donate and indicate for Rev. LeRoy during checkout.

We are in the home stretch with the book What’s in the Way IS the Way that has taken us through 10 weeks of great material. On Sunday the lesson was the Song of the Heart. I shared a personal experience that I had during the week, of which I was not proud in how I handled it… however, when I read the opening paragraph of the chapter, I could give myself a mulligan. Author, Mary O’Malley wrote: “Will your clouds of struggle dissolve all of a sudden when you recognize what is being offered in this book? That has not been my experience or the experience of 99.9 percent of the people I have known over the years. It is as Stephen Levine once described it, a gradual awakening. When asked by someone how long it would take, he responded by saying, “This is the work of a lifetime.”

This chapter is condensed into “Four Lets”…
• Let Life
• Let it be
• Let it go
• Let go

O’Malley says: “Through the Four Lets, we have been exploring the most important choice a human being has: the choice to use the mind to control or to connect. In fact, this is the only true choice you have. It is either mind or moment. You either give attention to all the stories and spells in your head that make up your clouds of struggle, or you allow your life to unfold, giving it your passionate and compassionate attention, interacting with it in a natural way. There will always be challenges, but Life is a lot easier when you relax into it enough to dance with Life, rather than living from your spells.”

The song of our heart is when we allow our heart to be our guiding force. When we allow ourselves to drop into our heart and live from there, we:

• value being real
• speak our truth
• respond instead of react
• are curious about what is
• seek more time for quiet and stillness
• are present for others and listen
• are not asserting our position

The more our mind gets enfolded in our heart, the more we experience the life we have been longing for. Loving and being loved comes with ease… the joy of seeing Love everywhere. 

Next week we finish up with “Awakening for Life.”

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey