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Spiritual Psychology Today

the official newsletter of the university of santa monica

maY/june 2021

BLOOM WHERE YOU’RE PLANTED

Little did I know many years ago, when I was leaving the familiarity of my faculty post and releasing the identification of myself as Dr. Mary R. Prescott, that the tumultuous changes Spirit was orchestrating in my life were The Call to a new life. The great Spanish poet Antonio Machado said it this way:

“Last night as I was sleeping, I dreamt—blessed illusion!— that a spring was breaking out in my heart I said: Along which secret aqueduct, Oh water, are you coming to me, water of a new life that I have never drunk?”

It was a time of uncertainty … truly being in the Divine unknowing with no idea of what would unfold. Ron and I were newlyweds and surely the Power of Loving was the wind beneath our wings as we navigated uncertain seas. I was being provided wondrous opportunities for surrender and sacrificing the illusion of control, not knowing the “secret aqueduct” coming to me that would bring me into the water of a new life …

A group of students gifted me with a shirt covered with flower images and the moniker, “Bloom where you’re planted.” This became my mantra—a reminder that the Rose of Sharon blooms in the desert, and I also could flourish—no matter what!

Now, so many years later, I realize the extraordinary Grace of that period. I was given a year to rest, replenish, and deepen in my Spiritual Practice in preparation for the the next phase of the hero’s journey, which led to a new life. It was a time of releasing the misidentification that my worth and value derived from my doing or from my position and title. It was an extremely catalytic time requiring releasing the familiarity of form.

This past year has precipitated a similar undoing as we released the University’s Temple Home and in-person classes. What an opportunity to come to ground and experience Spirit’s artistry of Essence. I am very Grateful for the golden threads of Love and Kindness that continue to weave the tapestry of this life—and for the Grace of a home studio from which Ron and I continue broadcasting classes on channel K-LVE.

Change is the constant and yet the constancy of Loving brings “the new water that I have never drunk.” The opportunity continues to be: Bloom where you’re planted! As Mystic Angelus Silesius said, “Springtime is at hand. When will you blossom, if not here and now?”

I’m including a few photos of our garden—may a chorus of purple roses whisper in your Heart!

Love,

Mary signature

YOU JUST NEVER KNOW

One of the things I’ve learned over the past 40 years or so is that you never know when something learned in the past is going to emerge for use in the present. I recently had just such an experience when, a few weeks ago, one of the practitioners who comes to our home shared that her father had recently experienced a significant stroke paralyzing him to such a degree that he could not move and/or speak and the challenges this was presenting to their entire family, including her.

It immediately reminded me of a Sunday in July 1978 when I was arising and preparing to turn on the TV so that my spiritual teacher, Dr. Neva del Hunter, could watch her favorite Sunday morning services such as Rev. Oral Roberts. When I asked her if she was OK with me turning on the TV, there was no response. I asked again. No response. I went over to her bed and looked down at her and said, “Dr. Hunter, are you OK?” No response. I could see that she was breathing. She just couldn’t say or do anything else.

Needless to say, I was extremely concerned and did the first thing I could think of which was to phone her personal physician, Dr. Mary Kelly, who, after hearing the situation, said that she would be over as soon as possible, which, taking travel time into consideration, would likely be around 30 minutes. And so I sat and waited and every now and again asked Dr. Hunter if she could hear me. No response.

Dr. Kelly arrived and assessed that Dr. Hunter had indeed experienced a stroke that rendered her nearly totally paralyzed. The obvious response would be to transport her to the local hospital—a place Dr. Hunter disliked going to as she wasn’t fond of hospitals. What to do!? What would Dr. Hunter want us to do?

And then it dawned on me. I said, “I have an idea,” and went over to her bedside where I saw that both her hands were what I’d call semi-clenched. I could reach one of my fingers down onto the palm of her hand, which I did, and asked her, “Dr. Hunter, if you can hear me, squeeze my finger.” She responded immediately with the softest squeeze. Within myself, I cheered. “OK, we’ve got communication,” I said to Dr. Kelly.

And so I bent over and gently said, “Dr. Hunter, I’m going to ask you a question. Please squeeze once for yes or twice for no. Do you understand?” She squeezed once. I asked again, “Dr. Hunter, do you want us to take you to the hospital?” A relatively strong two squeezes followed.

I turned to Dr. Kelly and said, “OK, now what?” She thought for a moment and said, “You know what? There’s nothing they’re going to do at the hospital that we can’t do right here. We’ll turn this room into a hospital room,” which we immediately did, including a 24-hours-a-day IV drip, three nurses each on eight-hour shifts, etc. And of course, I would commute as much as possible from my job as an Assistant Professor in the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, about 65 miles away.

Dr. Hunter slowly recovered to the point where she could sit upright in a wheelchair and be understood if she spoke slowly. And it was all as if it happened yesterday rather than some 50 years ago.

Now, back in the present, I asked the lady who was sitting before me, “Are you in communication with your father?” She said, “No, he can’t speak.”

I shared with her the technique I had used with Dr. Hunter—that of placing one of her fingers into his hand and asking him to squeeze if he could hear her. I then shared with her that if she got a squeeze, communication would be established and she could begin asking him yes/no questions.

About a week later, she returned and reported that by using this method, communication had been established and how grateful she was as it had changed everything.

My takeaway from all this is simple: Maintain a “learning orientation” to life and use everything for the highest good of all concerned. After all, “You just never know” what you are learning and for when you are learning it.

May the Force Be With You,

Ron signature

GRADS & STUDENTS OF USM—

As we proceed ever more deeply into the greater Awakening taking place on the planet at this time, we are being challenged to learn and utilize perspectives, processes, and Ways of Being that have previously been considered “interesting” or relevant primarily to those choosing to live a cloistered life. The irony is that reality has arranged our lives such that we are all, to some degree, living a much more “cloistered” life.

The word “cloistered” literally means “kept away from the outside world.” Most of us have no doubt chafed at conditions and practices we’ve endured throughout the pandemic, which have seemed restrictive and limiting. What a powerful metaphor or mirror for the longing of the human Spirit for Freedom—Wholeness and Holiness. Living in Peace … Living in the Grace of Original Innocence …

What if there are ways to engage this process of Awakening that support you in sacrificing the inner restrictions and limitations that have held you hostage—prisoner in a house of mirrors?  And what you sacrifice are cobwebs … clouds … illusions … that distort the lens of your perception? The good news is that there really is just such a commodity, and even better, it’s available to anyone, costs nothing, and offers endless untold Blessings.

During the last Worldwide Community Gathering, a powerful theme emerged spontaneously during the sharing: “wiping the slate clean.” During the next Gathering, we’ll be continuing this inquiry through exploring the process of Compassionate Self-Forgiveness in depth and determining if and how each of us can utilize this powerful tool in ways we may never have previously considered. Intrigued? Let’s gather and receive the Blessings and revelations Spirit has for us.

You’re invited to join us for what we believe will be a very powerful evening.

With Blessings of Loving & Light,

Ron & Mary signature

USM Worldwide Community Gathering
for USM Grads & Students 

Compassionate Self-Forgiveness:
More Important Now Than Ever

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 | 6–8 p.m. PDT 

For those of you who are not USM grads or current students, we look forward to seeing you again in the future. In the meantime, please watch any of the replays from previous Gatherings at the link below.  

USM Grad Douglas Teiger’s most recent art show is a reflection of the journey of the human experience played out within a spectrum of energies and colors. Entitled Spectrum, the show consists of a collection of large abstract oil paintings—each of which represents a color on the spectrum with a unique energetic vibration—all of which emerged through meditation and the constant pursuit of inspiration. They reflect a sense of joy and serenity.

As Douglas shares, “The spectrum just is, but as humans, we have defined and polarized it, creating the concept of opposites. These man-made constructs have caused a separation between ourselves and Spirit as well as amongst one another. There can be a benefit to opposites in that through them one appreciates joy, health, success, beauty, enthusiasm after experiencing sadness, sickness, ugliness, boredom, etc. A spectrum does not exist as opposite ends of a line but forms a circle that ties humanity together. Love is what holds it all, no matter what.”

Douglas’s Spectrum as a whole can be viewed as a representation of the awe, miracle, and beauty of the universe that exists throughout that spectrum. The series also invites the viewer to hone in on a particular panel they are called to in the moment, to respond or react to the vibration of that color and energetic frequency, to come present to themselves from that space, and in doing so, to awaken more deeply to the Love that they are.

“My journey is awakening to the possibility of living each day without judgment and in the present moment. My intention is to see the beauty in everyone, giving them the dignity of their own experience.”

To learn more about Douglas Teiger’s work, visit his website at douglasteiger.com/artwork

Douglas graduated with an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology in 2009 and then CHH in 2012.

Beloved Angela Bell, one of USM’s most dedicated students for almost 40 years and counting, has been utilizing the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology throughout all that time. Now at 90, Angela is participating in the Consciousness, Radiant Health & Healing Program. 

Watch the below 14-minute share as Angela discusses the Joy of being engaged in the classroom again and the touching process of discovering her Healing Symbol and affirmation. Additionally, Angela shares about having bought into a long-held family pattern of identifying as anything but beautiful, and then she shares about the heartwarming discovery and celebration of choosing to awaken to her inherent beauty for the first time in her life. One can only grin ear to ear as Angela exclaims with delight, “I could be beautiful!” 

Angela also shares that she’s been working on her self for 40 years, ever since she met Ron & Mary. “You have always been my mother,” she tells Mary, “the mother that I wanted. And you continue to be that in my life. I just tuned in [to a Worldwide Community Gathering], and there you were giving me another key to heal. … You always are such an instrument in my healing.”

SCLI AssistantsWhat an incredibly robust team of Assistants we have to support the magnificent work of these glorious classes. Both the Soul-Centered Living I Assisting Team led by Team Captains Elyssa Nelson, Eric Nelson, and David Bransky and Assistant Team Captain Maggie Munts and the Consciousness, Radiant Health & Healing Team led by Team Captains Eileen Piersa and Arlene Stepputat and Assistant Team Captain Trisha Schaefer are helping make magic happen in the classroom with their warrior spirits of Loving Service, Willingness, and Impeccability.

CHH Assistants

We are deeply Grateful for the steadfast support we have received from the community over all these many years and are profoundly moved by the extraordinary way in which Grads continue to come forward to serve with such Willingness and Love. What a beautiful testament to the USM Education and how it can continue to unfold in a USM graduate’s life.

Not surprisingly, the gifts of serving in this way are every bit as powerful in the Online Classroom as they are in person. The camaraderie on the teams is extraordinary, Loving connections are made and maintained, and the healing opportunities that arise from serving in the classroom and with a team of like-hearted Souls is exceptional. At USM, both being a student and Assisting truly are the gifts that keep on giving.

From time to time, for various reasons, spaces do open up on the teams. There is also the possibility of a longer-term position on the Sound Team becoming available in the future. If you have ever heard the call to serve in this way and would like to talk about what this might look like for you, please reach out to Eliza Swords. She would love to talk with you!

“Just as in the brick and mortar classroom, the essential ingredients as a USM Assistant are to show up, to continue to reside in the Loving and be a Light Battery throughout the day, be oh-so flexible, and stay in our impeccability! I find that the camaraderie I’ve felt serving on in-person teams is still very much alive in the Zoom USM Assistant experience! I feel even closer to the students in the Online Classroom because I can actually see their faces instead of their backs. I find that this technology acts as a beautiful connector, allowing us all to show up on screen in our Loving, just as we do in person. This assisting experience has been truly a blessing for me! I am so grateful! (As an added plus, you don't have to worry about traffic or finding a parking spot!)”
Unity Imani-ImoJa
Veteran USM Assistant and
Consciousness, Radiant Health & Healing Online Assistant, 2021

Angela Bell shares with us which Principles have been most present for her recently in her inspired journey of healing and Awakening.  

PRINCIPLES:
  1. God is everything in existence both seen and unseen.
  2. The nature of God is Love.
  3. Since we are all part of God, our essential nature is also love—and we have the opportunity of knowing our Loving nature experientially, Here and Now.

Angela BellAs I am now in my 90th year, I participated in USM at its inception and continued in service to it for many years of its growth. As I have had the good fortune to experience and use all of the 33 Principles at one time or another in an “on-growing” awareness, it is the first three Principles (see above) at this time that are impacting the quality of my life.

My intention for the past few years is to become Living Love and live my life inwardly and outwardly in the essence of loving. It is not always easy, but I find myself growing in the ability to maintain as I have acquired a very large toolbox that I use when needed. I am eternally grateful for USM.

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The Soul-Centered Living I Program information is the registered property of the University of Santa Monica and Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick and may not be used or reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the University of Santa Monica.

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