Big City Memories

open005Thirty-five years ago, I attended Religious Science noon meetings in New York City quite regularly. They were open-agenda, drop-in events.  Julia Coleman, who is a student practitioner, and I are now starting a similar noon meeting on Tuesdays from 12:30 to 2 PM. We begin on Tuesday, March 19th.

I loved those noon meetings because they helped me figure out how to use Science of Mind in my personal life. At the time I was having relationship trouble and I thought it was because he wouldn’t  “behave”. I was also scared about money and very anxious to make it to the top of the Big Apple by writing for teens. I was doing well and Science of Mind was helping although I didn’t know as much as I wanted to.

In my beginning studies, I found Science of Mind very abstract. It seemed impossible to incorporate the beliefs into my ordinary life. The idea that I could be perfect, whole or complete seemed ridiculous, yet I yearned to believe it. Those SOM noon meetings I attended were a Godsend because they helped me bring the ideas into my day-to-day existence.

I started by attending noon meetings at the RSI building in mid-town Manhattan. They were led by a practitioner who read questions from the floor and made comments before she treated. They were rather formal but they helped me.

I soon switched to the meetings Rev. Valerie Seyffert led. I liked those better because we conversed about regular situations in regular lives. Rev. Valerie led her meetings at Quest Bookstore in the Fifties block. Quest was a fabulous metaphysical bookstore. I think there were only two spiritual bookstores in the City. I loved the Quest meetings because anyone could ask a question. They  felt real.

Since it was midtown Manhattan, most of the issues revolved around ambition. I heard some fabulous stories about winning acting roles, selling books, landing singing gigs and achieving amazing corporate promotions. Since I was frantically,writing and selling  it was the perfect  place for me.

Rev. Valerie was also the perfect teacher for me. She had been Staff Minister for Dr. Raymond Charles Barker and when he retired, she started her own work in the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park. Independent churches were rare in those days but she had nerve and a deep belief in the Infinite Possibility of Infinite Mind. Dr. Erwin Seale ordained her.

When I lived in New York City, I was just recovering from alcoholism and on the fast track to writing success. I’ve always been grateful for Rev. Valerie’s ability to help me incorporate theory. She also helped me with my questions about how my 12 Step work could fit in.

She made it all sound ordinary. On the other hand, her life wasn’t exactly ordinary. She’d inherited the permission to rent her studio apartment in the National Arts Club Building from her deceased artist husband. We met there on Sundays and she taught also held classes in that studio. We were usually around thirty or forty. Fabulous space.

The apartment was like something out of the movies. It was one very big studio room, a tiny kitchen and small bedroom with this amazing second floor library terrace that ran around three walls.  Nothing up there but the aisle for walking and rows and rows of books. The fourth side was tall glass open to full Northern light. People said, “I would kill for this space.” It made me wonder…

I was impressed by her apartment as well as her wisdom. I was a bit of a snob so I was also impressed that she a Baroness and a Countess on her Board of Trustees. Another prominent church member was a descendent of the Noble Prize family who spent her days giving away money to deserving causes. All that was heady stuff for this middle-aged girl who grew up in a housing project.

Rev. Valerie was articulate and logical and, after all those years with my hero, RC Barker, she knew her stuff. I also found the space quite inspirational. All that light triggered visions for my future. One day, I had a moment when the light actually seemed to be within me as well as outside in the space around me. That day the world stood still long enough for me to “get it.”

What I “got” was that I was a wisdom teacher in my own right. I “got it” that I might not be original but I valuable.  I was a skilled teacher and writer and that made useful to the world of Science of Mind. I understood I had a brilliant future. The moment passed and I was  back to sharpening pencils and pounding typewriter keys but I was changed. I have tried to live up to that vision. That is why I  continue teaching, writing books, and sending out this blog.

I know now that everyone is uniquely gifted and has something special to give the world. I am so grateful for my teachers. I do my work because people like Rev. Valerie Seyffert were there for me, as Dr. Barker was there for her. Religious Science has grown so much during my term of service because we all reach out and touch so many others.

One of the things life has taught me is that simple ideas are powerful. Our noon meetings will be based on simple but powerful ideas. Everyone is welcome, whether a beginner or experienced in the teaching.

The seed idea for our group came from Carlsbad’s Julia Coleman, who brought up the idea of having conversations about Science of Mind. I agreed if she would be the co-leader. That means, among other things, that at least one of us will be there every Tuesday. Julia, is a brilliant student and she asks great questions, so I know we can keep the conversation rolling.

I have made a definite, penciled-in commitment, beginning 3/19. That’s a big week for me. I am speaking on Sunday, March 17, starting the Conversations on Tuesday, March 19, and giving a workshop with Lynn Guilfoyle on Science of Mind and Twelve Step recovery on Saturday, March 23 from 9 to 12:30. You are all invited to everything.

For the Tuesday noon meeting, bring your topics or questions and a brown bag lunch. You can participate as you like. You can talk or listen. You can skip lunch and  watch others eat. We will  serve tea only. The meeting  is offered on a free will offering. I hope to see you there.

Ask Yourself

Who were my first teachers?

What did I like about my first experiences?

Would I like to check this group out?

If I am unable to attend, because I am out of the area, would I like to start a similar group? (I can help you).

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7 Comments on “Big City Memories”

  1. Carol Madle says:

    Hello Rev. Jane,

    The noon meetings sound like a wonderful opportunity. I live in Lake Forest, am a member of the Gabrielson’s church here. I’ve have attended CSL in Carlsbad a couple times. Is that the location of your noon meeting? Could you please send me the address and I’ll put this on my calendar.

    Thank you so much.

    Namaste,

    Carol Ann Madle

    carol.madle2@cox.net

    Mobile: 949-922-2527

    _____

    • janeclaypool says:

      Hi Carol,

      The workshop is Sat. March 23 from 9 to 12:30 at the Center For Positive Living in Carlsbad. That address and phone number are: 390 Oak Ave / Carlsbad, CA 92008 760.434.9579 I hope to see you there and if not, I will be happy to send you materials in case you want to do one in Lake Forest.
      Love,
      Jane

  2. Dear Jane,
    We still hold Noon Meetings at First Church New York and we have regulars who come each week and those who drop in. It is a wonderful way to put the teaching in practice and help others demonstrate jobs, better health, relationships etc. Thank you for writing about this and I am glad to hear you are starting them. We hold them every day of the week and I do Wednesday.
    Rev.Carol Lynch

  3. Lily Sabuni says:

    My girlfriend and I were discussing the possibility of “something” yesterday…she is a Practitioner and we are both 12 Steppers.
    Re: workshop with Lynn Guilfoyle on Science of Mind and Twelve Step recovery on Saturday, March 23 from 9 to 12:30. Will this be held at the Center?
    Thank you Dr. Jane for being one of my bestest teachers.

    • janeclaypool says:

      Hi Lily,

      Yes, it will be at the Center on Sat from 9 to 12:30. I’d love to see you there! However, if “Something” mans you want to do one yourself, I’d happy to send you the handouts from an old workshop and anything else we put together. You could use those to prepare your own event. I think it is a very needed subject. Love, Jane

      • janeclaypool says:

        Dear Rev. Carol,
        I’m delighted that the practice continues.It seems that a good idea never grows old. I certainly wish you well with all your endeavors.Your Center has a proud history.
        Love,
        Jane

    • janeclaypool says:

      Yes Lily,
      The 12 Step, SOM workshop will be held at the Center from 9 to 12:30 on Sat. March 23.. Free will offering. Lots of great sobriety will be in that room, I’m certain. Hope to see you there and if not, I hope you’ll do one in your area. I’ll be happy to help by sending my materials.
      Love,
      Jane


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