Reflections - Carrie Sherman

Phoenix, Arizona has several beautiful mountain preserves right in the heart of the city so one can be “on the trail” within minutes from home or work, or even church! On February 23, 2013, Creative Living Fellowship congregants carpooled the short distance to the trail-head at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Mother Nature beckoned with cool morning air, intriguing rock formations and sightings of Divine Beings from the Animal Kingdom. After hiking for some time into the preserve, we perched ourselves on a small hill and soaked in the magnificent surroundings. We prayed. We meditated. We journaled. And we were so grateful not only for the opportunity of this experience, but for the deepening into the realization that there is a perfect tapestry of Life and we must honor and respect what has been gifted.

I would like to share some of the profound details and thoughts of this wonderful day:

All is God; Oneness; the entire natural world is sacred and one whole.
Native American Spirituality teaches that Spirit is alive in nature and that we are intimately a part of this grand matrix of life. The seasons teach us about changes in our inner and outer worlds.We can reclaim a connection with a natural world while still living in a technological modern world.

As in many spiritual traditions, we accepted blessings of the seven directions, affirming and knowing that there is one Divine Power, supreme in all the directions.

Beginning in the East, we accepted blessings from the direction of new beginnings, inspiration, and sunrises. Turning to the South we accepted blessings from the direction of passion, warmth, and enthusiasm. Turning to the West we accepted blessings from the direction of intuition and inner knowing. Turning to the North we accepted blessings from the direction of communication and community. We accepted blessings from below and took a moment to send loving energy deep into our mother Earth. We accepted blessings from above affirming and remembering that we are connected to all there is, to the edges of the universe and beyond. Finally we accepted blessings from the Divine deep within us, knowing that as it is within so it is without. We are connected to Spirit at the Source and we affirm our oneness with all creation.

We prayed:
Divine Spirit, Mother/Father God, we accept awareness of your presence in, through and as us in this beautiful place. We affirm that as we walk and sit in nature today the path is illuminated with our Divine light, love, peace and energy and that this experience is a place of enlightenment for each of us. We affirm that Spirit now reveals how each of us manifests as good stewards of Mother Earth, expressing as the congregation of Creative Living Fellowship, as a Green Faith-certified community, and how each of us plays a role in this evolution. We gratefully accept blessings on each of us gathered here and on those who are yet to come... And so it is!

Science of Mind Founder Dr. Ernest Holmes wrote in The Science of Mind, p. 410:
“When we live in obedience to the Power which is over us we shall be able to consciously direct the lesser conditions that are around us. Adam was permitted to name all creation and man was supposed to exercise an authority over all that is below him. This means his whole physical environment, of course. But his power was abused and the experience of lack, sickness and limitation fell upon humanity. Adam symbolizes every man’s experience. The allegory of Eden is the story of human evolution.”

We then had a long meditation, pondering the following statements and questions, and wrote down our "divine downloads":
• Balancing act of having dominion over our environment and honoring it.
• Write down the ways in which you are already honoring Mother Earth.
• Be open to Divine Wisdom. Allow new ideas to come forth about how you might be an even better steward of the environment.
• This is also an opportunity to reveal how CLF can be big for God in this area. Are there areas within our spiritual home that can be modified to save energy, resources, time?
• What does this initiative look like? Describe it in as much detail as is you are seeing it now.
• How would this initiative change CLF?
• Can this initiative be replicated? Would it serve other spiritual centers? How could it be introduced to others?

CLF is a teaching center in so many areas.
• In what way are you being called to be big for God in this area? What commitment are you willing to make to advance this initiative? Help in planning? Your time? Materials? Ongoing oversight?

After the meditation, we were introduced to the following beautiful poem:

Poem – Ute, North America

Earth, teach me stillness as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth, teach me suffering as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth, teach me humility as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth, teach me caring as the mother who secures her young.
Earth, teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth, teach me limitation as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth, teach me freedom as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth, teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth, teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth, teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth, teach me to remember kindness as dry fields weep with rain.

I feel so blessed and honored to have been part of this wonderful day and the deeply spiritual experience in the Sonoran Dersert.