November 2, 2014 – Beauty and the Beast – Loving Ourselves

11/2/14 Rev. David McArthur
Beauty and the Beast – Loving Ourselves

When we look at this experience of love we call God, how hard it is to let it be directed at ourselves!
Once very successful, but now in poverty, a merchant was riding home one night but got lost in a terrible storm. He rode toward a distant light, which grew brighter. The air got warmer and the forest, green. There was a large manor with beautiful gardens. The front door was standing open. No one ever appeared, but his every need was met. In the morning he left to return home, but first he picked a rose for his daughter, Beauty. Then the Beast did appear, “I have warmed, fed and housed you and have asked nothing in return, yet you steal from me. Your life is forfeit!” The merchant pleaded for his life, explaining he took the rose for his daughter, Beauty. The Beast relents, but only if Beauty comes to live with him. When she arrives, the Beast asks Beauty if she is there of her free will, and she answers that she is (to save her father). 
We are all these people, including the Beast. The criminal, angry, animal things we do to others! The difficulty is we still carry the Beast inside and must deal with it in order to expand into the spiritual awakening. We can feel lost in the storm and seek the light. There it is warm and comfortable with all that we need. It is another state of consciousness. But there too is forfeiting of life. To go back to what is not real is the death. We try to deny and control our beast, but love transforms. We must bring beauty (the developing feminine self, our feeling nature) into our experience with the Divine to fully experience it.
Beauty declined the Beast’s many offers of marriage. She remained true to her integrity, as she saw the Beast as an angry, violent being. In time, she began to see and appreciate his caring way. She began to see his heart. However, she wanted to marry the handsome Prince (the mind) in her dreams, so how could she marry the Beast? She goes home for a while (a spiritual vacation), where she wakes up to her appreciation and love for the Beast. So she returns only to find he is dying. She holds him in her arms, and her tears bring life back to him.
The Beast again asks her to wed, and this time she says “Yes!” because now she knows she loves him. His beastly facade fades away. He is the handsome Prince she had dreamed of. It is by love that we create true harmony. It’s about loving ourselves—not about anything else but letting ourselves have the feeling of loving. Give yourself the hug that lets the Divine fill you and bring you into fulfillment. Beauty’s dreams told her that beauty is within all the time because God is good all the time! God is good all the time! All the time God is good!
Let this lead you to the consciousness of Happily Ever After!

January 12, 2014 – The Second Step to the Heart: Heart Focus

1/12/14 Rev. David McArthur
The Second Step to the Heart: Heart Focus

This is the Year of the Heart, both individually and also for a community of consciousness that touches the world. How do we get there? The first step is self awareness: stop, check, what do I feel—happiness? stress? unlimited anger? peace? Self awareness puts us at a moment of choice. Self awareness is in the brain, but this is the year of the heart. To experience San Francisco, you have to leave Walnut Creek. You can’t experience the heart in the head, you have to leave the head.

The next step is to shift from the head to the heart. Focus your attention on the area around your heart. Sense this part of your being—the energy there, the movement, the warmth. It is easier if you place your hand over your heart. One of the most powerful ways to focus attention on the area around your heart is to pretend to breathe through your heart.

So we got there. Our attention is now on our hearts. Why do we want this? The Koran says that whosoever believes, God guides from the heart. From the Hindu scripture, “I, the supreme Lord, the super-soul in every embodied being…you should meditate upon me within the heart and maketh me the God of life.” In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tsu says, “The great Tao flows everywhere…since it is merged with all things and hidden in their hearts.”

To find it we have to go find it in the heart. It’s the way we are designed. The brain interprets life. That’s wonderful, but it separates. The capacity to understand our oneness is in the heart. We have to choose to focus on the heart.

A nun who managed multiple half-way houses told David that this alone had changed everything. She asked everyone who came in suffering to place their hand over their heart and breath through the heart.

The first step is self awareness. The second step is heart focus. Keep checking in: self awareness—what am I feeling? Whatever, take a deep breath “through” your heart. It’s a beautiful feeling—breathe through your heart—our freeway. Breathe through the heart. “Whatever I am feeling, I take a deep breath through my heart.” Anchor there and bring the energy through the heart. In stress, pain, difficulty, or worry, put your hand on your heart. Take a deep breath through your heart. Watch the shift to the place where you connect with the divine, with greater balance, intelligence, peace. It is profound—it takes us to the heart, the place of connection. It’s gift is peace. Whatever I am feeling, I take a deep breath through my heart. Welcome to peace!