Showing posts from April, 2022

Zoom Meeting Sermon May 1 2022

  Topic: Effort All reward requires initial toil. Put in the work to improve the world we all live in, and look for new ways to improve yourself.    Mantra: “A better world begins with me.” -Reverend CJ Carlin (It is important to note at this point that the mantras are suggestions. You are free to formulate your own meditation mantras for the Virtues that work for you.)   It’s not enough to commit to being a better person; that’s just step one. You have to be willing to do the work - most of it mental - to become the best version of yourself that you can be. Effort requires Self-Control, Mindfulness, and Patience. It also takes Effort to recognize your weaknesses as opportunities for self-improvement. When you fail, be willing to pick yourself back up and try something else. Learn from your experiences and know where to focus your energies.    If you look around, you’ll see that the world is a huge mess right now: plague, war, famine, economic uncertainty, climate change and all its

Zoom Meeting Sermon April 24 2022

  Topic: Integrity Be honest, with others and with yourself. Keep your promises, even those never spoken aloud; your word is your bond. Do not misrepresent yourself or mislead others. Mantra: “Know thyself,” -Socrates & “To thine own Self be true.” -W. Shakespeare. Integrity means a lot of things. It means doing the right thing, even when nobody is looking, which also requires Self-Control. It means being true to your word and following through with right action. It also means being true to yourself and following your own star. True Integrity requires Effort. You must take the time to analyze yourself: your wants and needs, your strengths and weaknesses. Really get to know who you are as a person so that you may present yourself with as much honesty as possible. Then you can communicate clearly and openly and give others a chance to like you for who you really are. (This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I had been somebody’s wife for my entire adult life, and that

Zoom Meeting Sermon April 17 2022

Topic: Balance Maintain a balance between work and life, social interaction and solitary contemplation, caring for yourself and caring for others.    Mantra: “Moderation is best in all things.” -Hesiod Balance requires Mindfulness as well as Self-Control. Be aware of what you are doing and, more importantly, why you are doing it. Don’t allow any one thing to completely dominate your life. If you’re doing something productive, whether you work or otherwise contribute to society, give yourself time off if you can. It’s important to have down time, to relax and reflect. It’s also important to reconnect with the outside world sometimes. Although the pandemic makes this more challenging, even a brief walk or phone call to a friend can help restore your spirit after working all day.    Balance also means serving our own needs as well as helping others who are struggling. For example, it is an act of Compassion to give or loan someone money, but you should Balance that out by making sure your

Zoom Meeting Sermon April 10 2022

  Topic: Self-Control Control of one’s words, thoughts, and actions, with the intention to do maximum good and minimal harm. As thinking beings, we have a responsibility to use our minds to improve the world we live in as best we can.   Mantra: “I can only control me. Only I can control me.” -Reverend CJ Carlin Both statements in this dual Mantra are of equal importance. The first statement reminds us that we cannot control others, and shouldn’t even try, as it is a violation of their free will. The second statement means you cannot forfeit control of yourself to another, absolving yourself of personal responsibility. You are solely accountable for your own choices, words, and actions, and their consequences.   Self-Control is integral to all aspects of the Path. It is the first step towards Enlightenment, and Self-Control is required to some extent to practice the other Virtues.    The Blessing of Self-Control is Restraint, which also requires Balance and Mindfulness. Moderate your c

Zoom Meeting Sermon April 3 2022

Topic: Core Tenet #8:   The only real sin is to treat people like things, including yourself. (The original quote may be found in the Discworld novel Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett.)   Zelda Fitzgerald says : "What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things.”   The first Core Tenet of the Path teaches us to do no harm. And harm begins when we think of people as things to be used or obstacles to be overcome rather than fellow minds to be respected.    On an individual level, this means recognizing the humanity in others, even those with whom we disagree or who might wish us harm. It is easy and often tempting to dehumanize people with vastly different views or philosophies, or people who have hurt us somehow. But it’s important to remember that we are all human. Utilize Self-Control to set aside your personal feelings and exercise Compassion and Patience when you find yourself thinking of another person as a