Hampton Roads Center for Spiritual Living
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Spiritual Readings

Gratitude as a Bridge

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.   Helen Keller

I shall not fear, for the Hosts of Heaven are waiting upon me, and the Law of the Universe is my salvation.  The Science of Mind, page 521

Gratitude is perhaps the single most important relationship we can foster with the Universe.  It’s the bridge between where we are now and where we want to be.  In the middle of a mess, looking for something to be grateful for automatically uplifts us.  It’s impossible to be in the vibration of pessimism and gratitude at the same time.  Gratitude shifts our perspective from being mired in negativity to searching for the positive: I’m still breathing, God is here, I’m not alone.

Looking for something to be grateful for is like a drowning person swimming toward the surface of the water.  The way has been shown! Come up with one gratitude and then another!  The Universe senses the change in us, and a vast array of possibilities start to move into action.  The person who has loosened access to those solutions is the one who has changed their perspective.  The shift in consciousness has activated a loving Universe on their behalf.

Gratitude is an ongoing prayer, connecting us with the highest part of ourselves.  It puts us in touch with our own inner wisdom, that part of us that’s never been hurt, disappointed or afraid.  It allows us to sense our courage, intelligence and strength.  Gratitude is the bridge back to our truth, back to the life we choose for ourselves.


With every reason I find to be grateful, I access my own inner strength and ignite a loving Universe into action on my behalf!


Why Forgive?

Only my condemnation injures me.  Only my own forgiveness sets me free.

A Course in Miracles

And it is a law that the man who sees what he wants to see, regardless of what appears, will someday experience in the outer what he has so faithfully seen in the within.  The Science of Mind, page 299

You may have heard the story of the teacher who asked each of her students to bring a plastic bag and a sack of potatoes to school.  For every person they refused to forgive, they were to choose a potato, write the person’s name on it, and put it in the plastic bag.  Some of their bags became quite heavy!

They were then told to carry this bag everywhere they went for one week, putting it beside the bed at night and on the car seat when driving.  Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty, smelly slime.  This is a great metaphor for the price we pay for holding on to our pain and negativity.  Too often, we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, and clearly it is for ourselves.

What life does for us it must do through us.  Life is always at work and is limited only by our beliefs.  Ernest Holmes reminds us, “From selfish reasons alone, if from no loftier reason, we cannot afford to find fault, to hate, or even to hold in mind anything against any living soul!  The God of love cannot hear the prayer of the one who fails to love.”

Are you tired of carrying around that stinky sack of potatoes? Are you ready to create from forgiveness instead of resentment and hurt?  Are you ready to value yourself enough to forgive?

I value myself enough to let go of past hurts and resentments. In forgiveness, I am free to accept every good that life has to offer!

From Science of Mind Magazine

My Own Best Friend

No matter how much we give love, if we don’t give it to ourselves, nobody can love us enough.  Louise Hay

Love is the grandest healing and drawing power on earth.  “The Science of Mind,” page 298

The Beloved is teaching me to become my own best friend.
I’m not to say anything to myself that I wouldn’t let someone say about my best friend.  I’m reminded to acknowledge the things I do well, to speak words that are positive, to hang out with people who uplift me, to engage in activities that are fun and to be grateful for me.  I’m enthusiastically given permission to put myself first, to pay attention to what makes me happy and then gently instructed to take action toward owning my happiness.

Self-kindness heals.  When I’m kind to myself, I tend to be kind to others.  When I’m hurting, Love reminds me to be gentle with myself, just as I’ve been gentle with others.

When I make a mistake, I do my best to wrap myself in self-kindness, learn from the situation, make amends if needed and then let myself off the hook.  My sense of worthiness grows.

With each new understanding, my relationship with myself deepens.  Every time I treat myself gently, telling myself that I’m okay, self-compassion takes root.  Every time I choose a positive thought instead of falling back on my old negativity, I create a space for a change.  Love reminds me that I’m worth changing.  Becoming my own best friend has helped me see myself in a new light.  I’m not only worth changing, I’m worth every happiness.  Just ask my best friend!

I’m my own best friend, filled with self-kindness and self-compassion.  I treat myself gently as I learn and grow, knowing I’m worthy of every happiness!

From Science of Mind Magazine


Contemplation lifts our consciousness into an atmosphere of receptivity, into a consciousness where miracles can take place.
Joel Goldsmith 

The person who can throw himself with a complete abandon into that Limitless Sea of Receptivity, having cut loose from all apparent moorings, is the one who will always receive the greatest reward.

The Science of Mind, Page 283

Increasing receptivity

These days, it’s all about how many bars you have.  We are always trying to increase cell-phone activity by moving to a new location or switching cell-phone companies.  Receptivity is critical; without it, our cell phones are useless.

Receptivity is an extremely important part of our spiritual lives and experience of God.  God always stands ready to pour Itself out into us in grand and marvelous new ways, but we control the intake valve.  We have the choice about weather we let good trickle in one drop at a time, or whether we open it up and let it come gushing into our lives.  The tricky part is that the subconscious mind is usually in control of this process.  The beliefs about ourselves that reside in the subconscious, obscured from conscious awareness, play a huge role in our receptivity levels,  Belief about one’s worthiness to receive and one’s true divine nature deserve great attention.  To increase receptivity, we must take the time to think about and uncover what is limiting receptivity.  In addition, our spiritual practices are tools that we can use to add bars to receptivity to the Divine, taking the control of receptivity from an unconscious to a conscious mode.

Know that good and greater good are always available to me, I consciously open myself up in new and wonderful ways to receive my good.

From Science of Mind magazine

The Science of Mind

Never let anything cause you to doubt your ability to demonstrate the Truth.  Conceive of your word as being the Thing.  See the desire as an already accomplished fact and rest in perfect confidence, peace and certainty, never looking for results, never wondering, never becoming anxious, never being hurried nor worried.  Those who do not understand this attitude may think you are inactive but remember: “To him who can perfectly practice inaction, all things are possible.”

What we know about Subjective Mind proves that It is unconscious of time, knows neither time nor process.  It knows only the completion, the answer.  That is why it is written, “Before they call, I will answer.”  Cosmic Creation  is from ideal to object.  It does not know anything about process; process is involved in it but not consciously.  Correct practice should know that ultimate right action is now, today.  If we say, “Tomorrow it is going to be,” then according to the very law we are using we hold the answer in a state of FUTURITY WHICH CAN NEVER BECOME PRESENT.  If a gardener  holds his seed in his hand and says, “Tomorrow I am going to plant this seed,” his garden will never start growing.  Therefore, Jesus said: “When we pray, believe that ye have and ye shall receive.”  He did not say believe and you will immediately have.  He said, “Ye shall receive.”  He did not deny the natural law of evolution and growth.  Nature operates according to a law of logical sequence.

From The Science of Mind, page 289

The High Watch

If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.  Matthew 18:19-20 (NKJV)

The secret of prayer and its power in the outward life depends upon an unconditioned faith in, and reliance upon, this inner presence.  The Science of Mind, page 431

Holding the High Watch and Prayer Partnering, like having a relationship with God, are not concepts to be learned in a classroom or through a lecture; they are processes.  And processes can only be experienced.  We have to have the experience; no body can teach us; we have to walk that road for ourselves.

The High Watch is knowing that every experience is meant to further us in our Destiny.  How we view our life is how we do our life.

You keep the High Watch in your day for yourself and your Prayer Partner by seeing every experience that happens to you both by asking the question “How is this happening for us?”

Inevitably, you will begin to internalize the deep spiritual truth that everything is happening for you, and instead of feeling victimized, you will be able to see the gift of growth in each experience.


I nurture myself through my consistent, rich, and well-fueled prayer partner practice.

Excerpts from Prayer Partners by August Gold and Joel Fotinos

Which is Better: Praying Alone or Praying with a Prayer Partner?

Which is Better: Praying Alone or Praying with a Prayer Partner?

“ Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” Matthew 18:19-20 NRSV

Praying alone and praying with a partner are as different as night and day. The former helps you grow through the miraculous power of prayer, and the latter builds you beyond what you thought you could possible be or do by miraculous power of praying with another consciousness steeped in Spirit.

Eastern philosophy advises us that if we want to arrive at our dream we should travel with others who are going in that direction. When we associate with like-minded people, they can

  • See for us what we cannot see for ourselves
  • See our greater potential,
  • See where we are hiding our greatness even from ourselves,
  • Keep us motivated to move forward
  • Inspire us by their example,
  • Encourage us by their belief in us
    See the bigger picture of our talents, and
  • See the whole story of who we can be when we step out of our own way

A Prayer Partner can believe for us what we can’t yet believe for ourselves. And until the time when we can believe it for ourselves, our partner is there believing it for us. Not only are they praying our biggest prayer for us, sometimes they are even carrying us in consciousness until we catch up.

The Greek root of the “spiritual” means “to breathe.” A Prayer Partner is someone to pray with so that you can both breathe more deeply in your lives…into your lives.

From Prayer Partners…how praying with someone can multiply your blessings, by August Gold and Joel Fotinos

Ask and Stay the Course

Keep your faith in beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone.  Roy R. Gibson

A prayer is a movement of thought, within the mind of the one praying, along a definite line of meditation; that is, for a specific purpose.   The Science of Mind, page 28

We live in a world of immediate gratification.  Our communications system with world events and one another is instantaneous, and advertisements for self-improvement and personal gain always include speed and quantity.  Fast and easy are two of the adjectives that seem to appear most.  Is it any wonder that we can fall into the same expectancy with our personal prayer work and spiritual practice?

Listen to the prayers of children.  They most often sound like a shopping list.  As a child, I really didn’t understand any difference between my list to Santa Claus and my prayers to God.  Prayer work is a give-and-take relationship.

Dr. Ernest Holmes wrote: “ The answer to the prayer is in the prayer.”  Our participation is to align our thinking, feeling and actions to what our prayer work intents.  If I desire more love in my life, how can I be more loving?  If I desire more prosperity, where can I demonstrate greater prosperity with things already in my experience.  Prayer opens us to new insights, awareness and actions aligned with the desired results.  Prayer clarifies intention and longing, which then requires that we:

  1. Nurture the highest thoughts possible.
  2. Cultivate the feeling tone of the desired outcome
  3. Take action consistent with supporting the intention.
  4. Remain aware that prayer is always activating transformation and is most often gradual, sequential and inevitable, provided we stay the course.


I am guided and supported in every way to a greater experience of Life and of God.

From Science of Mind Magazine 

The Vibration of Love

Ernest HolmesIn order to have this friendship enduring, true, really worth while and a thing of beauty, we should cultivate an attitude of friendship toward everybody and everything. The one who has learned to love all people will find plenty of people who will return that love. This is not mere sentiment, and it is more than a religious attitude of mind. It is a deep, scientific fact, and one to which we should pay attention. The reason is this:

As all is Mind, and as we attract to us what we first become, until we learn to love we are not sending out love vibrations and not until we send out those vibrations can we receive love in return.

When we find we are without friends, the thing to do is at once to send our thought out to the whole world; send it full of love and affection. Know that this thought will meet the desires of some other person who is wanting the same thing, and in some way the two will be drawn together. Think of the whole world as your friend, but you must also be the friend of the whole world. In this way, and with this simple practice, you will draw to you so many friends that the time will be too short to enjoy them all. Refuse to see the negative side of anyone. Refuse to let yourself misunderstand or be misunderstood. Know that everyone wants you to have the best. Affirm this wherever you go, and you will find things just as you wish them to be.

One of the first things to do, is to love everybody. If you have not done this, begin to do so at once. There is always more good than bad in people, and seeing the good tends to bring it forth. Love is the grandest healing and drawing power on earth. It is the very reason for our being, and that explains why it is that people should have something or someone to love. The life that has not loved has not lived, it is still dead. Love is the sole impulse for creation, and the man who does not have love as the greatest incentive in his life, has never developed the real creative instinct. No one can swing out into the Universal without love, for the whole Universe is based upon it.

Ernest Holmes

Holmes, Ernest (1998-08-24). The Science of Mind: The Definitive Edition (pp. 297-298). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

A Prayer For World Peace by Ernest Holmes

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof….” I know there is but One Mind, which is the Mind of God, in which all people live and move and have their being.I know there is a Divine Pattern for humanity and within this Pattern there is infinite harmony and peace, cooperation, unity, and mutual helpfulness.I know that the mind of man, being one with the Mind of God, shall discover the method, the way, and the means best fitted to permit the flow of Divine Love between individuals and nations.Thus harmony, peace, cooperation, unity, and mutual helpfulness will be experienced by all.I know there shall be a free interchange of ideas, of cultures, of spiritual concepts, of ethics, of educational systems, and of scientific discoveries–for all good belongs to all alike.I know that, because the Divine Mind has created us all, we are bound together in one infinite and perfect unity.In bringing about World Peace, I know that all people and all nations will remain individual, but unified for the common purpose of promoting peace, happiness, harmony, and prosperity.

I know that deep within every person the Divine Pattern of perfect peace is already implanted.

I now declare that in each person and in leaders of thought everywhere this Divine Pattern moves into action and form, to the end that all nations and all people shall live together in peace, harmony and prosperity forever. So it is–now.

I am peace, and I embrace all life in peace.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.
But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.
But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.

Celebrated poet and Author, Maya Angelou transitioned/died on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. We honor her this morning with this reading.

 Turn Inward

Always be grateful for the good things that have already happened to you, and the goodness will grow within you and around you.  —Yogi Amrit DesaiIn our greatest moments…we know that we are made of eternal stuff, fashioned after a Divine pattern….The Science of Mind, page 370When things are hard, we have a tendency to turn on ourselves.  Capable, skilled, and brilliant people deal with the frustration of failures by angrily spewing out obscenities.  We call ourselves names, put ourselves down, and like many people who are similar to my father, we trust a primal instinct that tells us that any problem can be solved with a hammer.Each of us has a version of what I call topsoil, a place where we’ve planted love, principles, and affirmations for living.  Beneath this topsoil is another layer of soil I call “the land of uncertainty, self-doubt, and primal worry.”  This is a place of generalized fearfulness where many of us spend too much time.  When we are scared, we ignore all that we have planted, and we retreat to this place of fear and worry and easily become stuck there.  One of my life missions is to go to this place less often, to stay for shorter and shorter periods, and to experience it with less and less intensity.With practice and self-discipline, you can train yourself to go quickly to a place deep within—a place where creativity, imagination, knowledge, inspiration, love, and great wisdom abound.  Call it your God center.  Each day, prepare yourself for your journey with affirmative prayer, music, nature, and love.  Open the door with meditation.  The more you meditate, the more deeply you will come to understand this place and the God within you.Affirmation
The God that is in me, is me, and It is everywhere present.  I celebrate the life I am living and all living things.From Science of Mind Magazine



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