Centers for Spiritual Living
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A Call to Prayer
We are struck and saddened by the realization that during the celebration of the Season for Nonviolence¹, our world is experiencing armed conflict in more than 70 locations on the planet. We are saddened, too, by what appears to be an overarching concern about the impact of war on the economy.
We are concerned about war’s impact on life, families, children, the environment, habitats and ecosystems on which we all depend. The current war in Europe brings to our attention the recent daily themes of the Season for Nonviolence — harmony, friendliness, respect and generosity — and rightly causes us to question if our spiritual work is having any beneficial impact on the world.
We believe it does, based on our teaching that consciousness is cause. Therefore, in light of what is happening, we feel called to reinforce our spiritual practices and affirm our support of and advocacy for peace everywhere².
We invite you to join Centers for Spiritual Living’s Spiritual Leader Dr. Edward Viljoen in a daily devotional at 6 a.m. PT³ (or whenever you feel called to participate), to light a candle as a symbol of our commitment to keeping our hearts open to love, our trust open to peaceful resolution of conflict and our minds open to the guidance from a Power greater than we are.
- Join Dr. Edward on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CSLSpiritualLeader
- The daily devotional is also available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CentersforSpiritualLiving
We stand with people everywhere who are standing for peace and protesting violence. We stand with people everywhere who are praying for all leaders and all governments. We stand with people everywhere who dare to grieve the use of violence as a means to attain dominance and economic security.
We stand humbly with people everywhere who can look to their personal and national history of complicity in violent means without losing courage or hope for a better world. We stand with people everywhere who help in times of crisis and who refuse to celebrate death, innocent or otherwise.
In our spiritual work of embodying oneness, we feel called to embrace:
- Haiti and the threat of further instability in that country
- Myanmar and the escalating fighting there
- Kazakhstan and the loss of lives during the fuel price-related nationwide riots
- Colombia and Venezuela, whose people are enduring armed clashes on the countries’ borders
- Burkina Faso and the widespread political anger there
- Syria and the thousands of displaced Syrians
- Ukraine and the hundreds of thousands of displaced Ukrainians fleeing the invasion of their country
- Everyone, everywhere violence touches our planet
We call you to join us in teaching strategies for peace(4) and what it means to engage in peace consciously. We call you to share your views and concerns with family, community members and congregations, considering the question, “What can be done to end conflict?” We call you to connect with other spiritual and religious communities to discuss these issues and take collective action.
We call you to join us with affirmative prayers, vigils, meditations and hymns of peacemaking. And we call you to reaffirm your trust in the power that these tools have to help mend feelings of helplessness and contribute to peace.
Spiritual Leader, Centers for Spiritual Living
Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee
“We are now seeing the necessity of a world law, to the maintenance of which all nations, great or small, shall contribute the best they have that the strong shall protect the weak without overpowering them; that the great shall live with the small without subduing them; that cooperation shall take the place of aggression; that government shall rule without tyranny through the common consent of the governed and that individual freedom shall unfurl its flag of liberty on the ramparts…”
~ The Essential Ernest Holmes, pages 178-179
- 64DaysLenEllis (agnt.today)
- Join CSL’s Spiritual Leader Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen in a daily devotional practice at 6 a.m. Pacific Time. You can watch a recording of it and previous devotionals at any time afterward. Go to https://www.facebook.com/CSLSpiritualLeader. You can also watch the daily devotionals on the spiritual leader’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/CentersforSpiritualLiving
- Thich Nhat Hanh: “Order of Interbeing” | Tiep Hien
To our communities in the United States of America, we extend our compassion as many take in the meaning, relief, and complex emotions that follow on the Derek Chauvin trial verdict. As a result of worldwide protests following George Floyd’s death, this moment is significant beyond one nation, touching on the common hope from countries across the globe for accountability and meaningful steps toward healing. And we grieve with the Floyd family, understanding that a verdict does not take away the pain of their loss.
Tuesday’s verdict represents a small but significant step in healing the consciousness that has brought us to where we are, and it points to the work ahead of us to dissolve bias, inequity, and injustice so that our world may indeed work for all.
We know that love is still the most powerful energy in the universe. As one of the many names of the Divine, we invoke Divine Love to keep our thoughts, actions, and words rooted in our Oneness so that as a human race, we come to embrace a new reality where racial equity and social justice are the operating norms in society.
We understand that when we stand for the dignity and safety of others, we ourselves come to a deeper understanding of our Oneness and shared sacred heritage. We have faith that the consciousness of Oneness we are calling in is what transforms the unjust into the just, separation into unity, and empowers each of us to co-create safe and healthy communities for all.
Rev. Edward Viljoen, DD (hon.), Spiritual Leader, CSL
Rev. Masando Hiraoka, Chair, Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Cmte.
Rev. D. Jaqueline Edwards SMSE
Rev. Cindy Grimes, SMSE
Ayodele Mcclenney, RScP. Leadership Council
Rev. Martha Quintana, Global Services CSL
CSL Statement of Solidarity with Asian and Pacific Islanders Communities Worldwide
The more the world arms for war, the more certain it is that there will be war. Eventually we shall understand that all human bondage is an invention of ignorance.
Science of Mind p. 107 as quoted in Essential Ernest Holmes, p.167
We acknowledge that violence against Asian and Pacific Islander communities has risen worldwide. We acknowledge the pain, trauma, and fear other communities worldwide may be experiencing as they become aware of the violence occurring in the Asian and Pacific Island communities. For this reason, we offer a call to spiritually motivated social action and invite you to join in solidarity with these communities. To promote understanding, tolerance, and compassion, we offer the resources below as starting points for all who seek to learn more. Furthermore, we offer this statement and spiritual mind treatment written by Rev. Masando Hiraoka. We are grateful for all the hearts who are called to read and share this statement and recognize that, at the very least, the simple act of reading this statement and prayer is an act of resilience, love, and hope. Those who feel called to add their voice are invited to do so with a prayer of their own or request prayer from our World Ministry of Prayer.
From our colleague, Rev. Masando Hiraoka:
On Wednesday morning, we awoke to news of the largest mass shooting in the United States since the pandemic began. Eight people were shot and killed in three different locations, with seven of those being women and six of those seven being AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander).
While the shooter’s full motive is still being investigated, we recognize the intersectionality of sexism, misogyny, and racism present in these murders. It must also be noted that this tragedy occurred on the same day that a report was released showing a 150% rise in hate crimes against AAPI, and more than 3800 incidents in the past year alone. Fear and trauma in the AAPI community are very present right now and as an organization that believes in Oneness and holds a vision of peace and human dignity for all, we stand in solidarity with the AAPI community and speak this prayer for the families that are mourning, and more healing of the racism and violence that create suffering in our world.
Spiritual Mind Treatment by Rev. Masando Hiraoka
We come to the present moment in a place of sadness and mourning, of confusion and anger, and come to know that in the midst of tragedy, in the midst of these natural responses to tragedy and violence, the presence of the Living Spirit, the Divine is still fully here, at the center of our being, providing a healing balm and a place where both grief and the healing that comes with that grief lives, moves and has its being. We know this same healing energy is present for the families that have been directly affected by this tragedy, and we too know that the love we feel for our fellow AAPI brothers and sisters that are experiencing the collective trauma of this incident permeates out and surrounds and enfolds their hearts and minds. It is through this love and through the recognition of our Oneness, that we also stand and mourn in solidarity with the AAPI community and the trauma they’ve experienced in the past year since the pandemic began. We hold a place of safety, of strength, and of commitment to ensuring and upholding the safety and peace of all, giving special attention to our AAPI friends right now.
And as we rest into that space, where grief, healing, and coming together can all take place at once, we give thanks for the heart-breaking that eventually settles into heart-opening, we give thanks for the ways in which our own hearts are able to be moved, and moved into an active inspiration to stand for one another.
With love, with heartbreak, with togetherness, we say, Amen, And so it is.
- A coalition of nonprofits, organizers, and educators committed to addressing this issue. Resources to learn, take action, and join the cause to #StopAsianHate
- Create your own prayer through the World Ministry of Prayer online prayer builder
- 61 Ways to Donate in Support of Asian Communities
- To sign up for a Bystander Intervention training to stop anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment
- Worldwide Human Rights Watch
- To learn more about the impacts of Asian female stereotypes that lead to dehumanization and violence
- Time’s article about the worldwide rise of violence toward Asian communities
Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee
Dr. Edward Viljoen, Spiritual Leader
Rev. Masando Hiraoka
Rev. D. Jaqueline Edwards
Rev. Cindy Grimes
Rev. Martha Quintana, Global Services Committee
Ayodele Mcclenney, RScP, Leadership Council
A Moment of Peace for Our Nation and Our World
Peace Is the Power at the Heart of God
My peace is found at the heart of God. The heart of God, for me, is found at the very center of my being. It does not matter how closely the confusion of the outer world presses against me, I am not even disturbed by the confusion in my immediate environment. I know that the only way to counteract confusion is to bring peace into play. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” These words of assurance stay with me, and I hear them re-echoing in the depths of my being.
I surrender all of my fears-those nameless fears which have beset me for such a long time, dulling my pleasure and clouding with misery and apprehension all of my days. I am now through with fear. What, indeed, is there for a divine and immortal being to fear. Certainly not people, for as I am a divine and immortal being, so is every person, and every person is my family. I recognize the one Life Principle, working in and through and inspiring the motives of everyone I contact.