Rev. James Stewart Ehrhart, NST Golden Gate Spiritualist Church, San Francisco, CA
Delivered March 15, 2009, Evening Service, Memorial Spiritualist Church, Norfolk, Virginia
I’d like to speak about our Spiritual health and how we can move from being unhappy, dissatisfied, to happiness and calm.
Declaration of Principles number seven: We affirm the moral responsibility of individuals and that we make our happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey nature’s physical and spiritual laws.
Let us come to know and attune ourselves to guidance from Spirit in everyday life.
We can then reduce feelings of fear: anxiety, uncertainty, loss of material possessions, financial loss, stress, family difficulties: unable to provide for family in way they have been accustomed. God always takes care of us and working with Spirit and each other we can get through any difficulty.
Suggestions for becoming spiritually healthy:
A support group, i.e. church, a Spiritualist church (healing of mind, spirit and body); messages that bring advice, reassurance, etc.
A Spiritualist church brings about friendships, creating spiritual energy by being together… an issue of Newsweek magazine a few months ago had an article in their Belief Watch column, about how some churches are trying to use the Internet as a substitute church—for being there in person
The author, Anne Forest, a professor of computer science at St. Bonaventure University in western New York, and a Lutheran, said: “The whole point of religion, is embodiment—being together, physically with others and with God. If you can’t make the time to experience the community then try to listen/read a few words from your computer but church cannot be simulated. We need the social/physical connection… it’s human nature and we want to follow the natural laws.”
Four things that can create spiritual health: prayer, meditation, gratitude, spend time in nature, including near fire and water.
Prayer—a majority of people who pray experience a greater sense of well-being than people who don’t; examples of “spontaneous” prayer (which is the best kind as opposed to prayer by rote): calling on Spirit and those loved ones in Spirit to assist you, always works. Remember to pray for others too
Meditation has been scientifically proven to have physiological benefits for each one of us… besides stress relief, improved immune and cardiovascular function, relaxation and decreased pain… regular meditation can lead to new insights and provide better inner guidance…. the God within speaking to you.
Gratitude—doctors say being grateful for what you have, instead of worrying about what you lack, enables you to let go of negative thoughts and attitudes more easily… especially during difficult times and when you are feeling a great deal of fear or anger.
One method is to keep a gratitude journal. Take some time at the end of each day and take an inventory of all the things that you have experienced for which you are grateful, silently giving thanks. Write down in your journal as many as you can recall. You’ll amaze yourself when you look back at the list in a few days, weeks, or months.
Spending time in nature: earth, water, fire, and air.
Earth: walking barefoot on a smooth debris-free path, or on a beach. Just walking in a park, finding a comfortable place to sit and observe all the variations of nature around you: greenery, flowers, earth, rocks, the sound of birds singing or flitting about, the sound of animal in the brush, etc. Watching the change of light as the sun moves across the heavens, looking at the variations of cloud formations and movement.
Water: swimming in the ocean or a fresh-water lake, or walking along the shore of the same getting your feet wet—or if all else fails, a swimming pool. A walk in a warm rain is a unique experience because we all have the tendency to run in and protect ourselves from the rain. Try it; you’ll like it. Don’t overdo though and set yourself up for a cold. Water has a high concentration of negative ions which contribute to feelings of well being
Fire: how many of you have a usable fireplace and can spend time sitting in the glow of it? It’s rare nowadays to be able to build a bonfire…but if you have the opportunity…do so, especially with a group of friends…you will, in effect, emulate our Native American brothers and sisters who found great spiritual power in doing so. Fire cleanses the bio-energy field of negative energies as well as being a powerful aid in healing physical disease.
Air: appreciate the fresh air…get out of the house…walk and do some breathing exercises…or just sit near an open door or window and do some deep breathing.
All of these assist us in connecting with Spirit. Regular exposure to the four elements can help us become a little more conscious of Spirit’s loving intelligence in sustaining our world while we recognize, in a deeper sense, our place within the world.
Some suggestions from Spirit that I’ve received over the years from writings and teachers:
Be ready, accept that which is put before you.
Do your best and turn all over to the wisdom and love of Spirit.
We can do just so much by ourselves, but through prayer and meditation, our angels, our spirit friends, gather and help us. It may not be the answer you want but you will be answered.
Live patiently and with confidence that with Spirit, God’s messengers, the angels are all around you and working with you. Be as tranquil as you can.
Sometimes we just have to surrender (such as a healer does when Spirit healers use their body to bring through Spiritual healing). Never doubt!
Infinite Intelligence is omniscient—all knowing. God knows and will get the work done
Remember that God is love, love is God…love is that divine law operating in your own life and in the life of the whole of humanity. Look always for the good, look for God. We do progress and love is the energy that helps.
There are hidden blessings behind every dark cloud. Think of the dark skies and pounding rain and thunder, the clouds part and a ray of sunlight beams through, sometimes producing a rainbow…one of the most beautiful displays of nature. A visual blessing!
Difficulties and hardships and fears are but tests for us…do your very best to follow the light within you to look beyond the present. We do progress. The Spiritual light within each one of us will be our guide.
Laugh—when all seems going the wrong way, Spirit wants you to kick up your heels and turn a somersault; read a funny book; watch a video that’s filled with pratfalls and clowning; aim for the deep belly laugh. All will come out right and you’ll begin to realize that if you can laugh at yourself, the world laughs with you.
All things do work together for good; walk with each other and with Spirit, and then all will become better…all will become good!
Peace will come if we can make a home for it in ourselves. If we can walk in peace, knowing that things have worked out in the past. The compassion of Infinite Intelligence is just that—“Infinite.” This is available to us any minute, any hour, any day, or night; just open your heart to its presence.
Joy: don’t be pessimistic. We are all called to be bearers of good news and the good news is joy. We do continue to move forward to progress. See the beauty, the good works; know that God knows what you need.
Never fear: look fear in the face and it will disappear. Spirit will take you through the darkest valley into the light. No regrets. We are humans traveling life’s path on our way to happiness. There is a purpose. We are governed by divine law, working out the zigzags, clearing the rocky path, smoothing out the ground beneath our feet.
Be grateful for gratefulness also casts out all fear.
God is not only love…God is happiness.
Just let God do what we cannot do…let it be. Let us just be!
Take these words from the Beatles to heart:
Let It Be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see,
There will be answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me (within me),
Shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary (and all my loved ones in Spirit) comes to me,
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.