There Is No Wizard In OzPosted: July 25, 2013
This is Kate’s first Asilomar and it will apparently be the last Religious Science Conference for all of us. It is kind of sad to move on, at the same time, I am especially glad to have this experience.
Even before we got the news about the end of an era, this year felt really, really new in a good way. Kate is with me and that is so special, It also seemed new because the two organizations, Religious Science International and United Religious Science have come together to be One. We are now called Centers For Spiritual Living (CSL).
Asilomar is a beautiful place and it holds many memories for me. I attended every year from 1988 until about eight years ago when health issues began to keep me away. I’m feeling pretty good now so,with Kate’s help, and their recent improvements on handicapped access, it will work.
Kate’s choice to study for the ministry is a true blessing. I have another wonderful student, Lori Mac, who will also be there. She is a former Rockette and she’s presenting her workshop on Spiritual Dance. I know that will be great.
These past two years, I’ve had the privilege of teaching Lori and Kate and that’s been on my gratitude list every morning. They are both outstanding candidates for the ministry – open hearted and good business people with a tremendous commitment to the teaching. These gifted, intelligent, and beautiful students are the frosting on my cake.
They are probably the last in a long line of wonderful ministerial students. Before we came together as one organization, I trained many people in church but from now on, the ministerial training will be through the Holmes Institute.
I’m glad I started under the previous system because it has been such a delightful part of my career. Many of my students went on to started new churches. Some took over existing works and some became assistant or staff ministers. Some folded their studies into their existing work in medicine, counseling, coaching or teaching.
At one time, I don’t know how many more I trained but I counted once and I had more than thirty people practicing the ministry.I am proud of them all and they seem proud to claim me. Teaching ministers has been the high point of my ministerial work. Teaching my daughter is special, but in heart, all my students are my sons and daughters.
When I see how my students have reached out and taught others, who will also be teachers, I see a beautiful picture. I envision an interlocking chain of wisdom teachers circling the planet. Religious Science grows exponentially and we are spreading much wider. Now that we are one organization, we are positioned to reach out to the world. It is a beautiful thing to contemplate.
My students bring me great joy and I am glad I was there when they needed to learn. I am also very glad my teacher, Dr. Nancy Anderson, was there for me. She has held the dream of a global network for a long time and Dr. Nancy has been instrumental in reaching out to many nations.
One wisdom teacher enabling another wisdom teacher who enables another, and so it goes…. One of my students calls this the lineage system and I’m not sure I like that. It makes me think of gurus which makes me think of the Pope. I am a teacher, not a guru, and I understand teaching as helping people find their own wisdom. I would be ashamed if my students were just like me and, believe me, they are not.
The glory of Science of Mind is that there are no hierarchical authority figures. There is only a teacher offering a process that enables people to turn within and find God. When you think about it, Religious Science is a very democratic spiritual teaching.
There was a time when I didn’t quite know that. In the beginning, I looked at my current leaders, including Dr. Kennedy Shultz and Dr. Earlene Castellaw, as though they had all the power. I felt less powerful because I was a beginner even though one of my favorite books was Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki . I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, I had been an independent seeker for years.
Even so, when I got into the church structure, I carried too much left-over fear and awe over from my childhood church. Religious Science was my church of choice, but I trembled inwardly when Kennedy frowned or Earlene scolded. That first year at Asilomar, I did a lot of reacting to everything I thought was wrong, including my room assignment. It was a long time ago and I have learned that I have my own power.
Have you ever felt cowed by authority? Have you ever felt as though you might not be up to the job? Have you ever felt as though you are not enough? Don’t know enough? Or are invisible?
Science of Mind doesn’t teach us to respect outer authority. It teaches us that there is a Power For Good in our lives and we can use it. We don’t look for outside ourselves for answers.We are the ultimate authority in our lives.
I learned self-reliance and self-trust a day at a time, mostly by taking and teaching classes. You can also. And if you are looking for instant lessons, you can find them at the movies. Remember the Wizard of Oz? Buy yourself the DVD and play it often.
If you feel like Dorothy, remember there is no wizard. If you feel you are out of your element (Kansas) entering strange territory (Oz) remember you are the only wizard in the picture. You are the writer, producer, director and star of your personal movie.
Dealing with threats or bullies at work or home can be simple. Grab hold of Truth. Dump your fear and remember there is no authority greater than your own self- direction.
Don’t let anyone or thing overwhelm you. No one knows more even if that is the message you hear. There is no great Oz – only human on the checkerboard of life. We are all on a learning curve.
When I remember how I felt at my first Asilomar, I see how much I had to learn. My students are wiser. They will make their own choices about what to attend and what to skip, about who they want to know, what to eat, and what to do. As for me, I’m going to have a wonderful trip filled with happiness, a day at a time. I have no plans beyond having fun and attending Lori’s Spiritual Dance workshop on Thursday afternoon at one. See you there?
Am I afraid of anyone?
Am I trying to please anyone?
Do I want to take more charge of my life?