Surrender is Action

As 2021 draws to an end, we pause to reflect on the journey we have traveled together in the last year: our challenges, our victories, our inner growth, and the cherished memories along the way.  Just as the days grow shorter leading up to the Winter Solstice, we go within to consider who we are…

Read more

Gratitude Beyond Gifts

GRATITUDE BEYOND GIFTS Rev. Pam Cosby Brandman As I write this message, tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I am grateful that two of our adult sons, along with our daughter-in-law and soon to be daughter-law, are arriving soon to share Thanksgiving with me and my husband Michael.  I am grateful for the beautiful Tahoe landscape of towering…

Read more

CELEBRATING THE TRIUMPHANT JOURNEY

During the last year we have each made a journey through uncharted territory.  As the COVID pandemic went on and on, we learned to spend more time alone and listening to our own voice – and the voice of Spirit within.  We asked questions like:  What really is important in my life?  What possibilities are…

Read more

Seeing Beauty, Feeling Love

Last weekend about 25 of us attended the Center for Spiritual Living Tahoe-Truckee annual retreat at Ananda’s Expanding Light Retreat. It was truly a retreat that allowed us to let go of the everyday world and refocus our attention on the natural beauty that is everywhere around us. The fall leaves were at their peak.…

Read more

Breathe In the View

When I reach a mountaintop after a long, perhaps difficult climb, the magnificence of the view rewards me for making the journey.  With joy and gratitude, I celebrate reaching the summit!  Making it through the last few years with all the challenges and isolation related to the global COVID-19 pandemic is a victory to be…

Read more

I’ll Meet You There

When I spend time contemplating God as the One Infinite Reality, my understanding of the Infinite Oneness of Life always grows a little.  As human beings, our conscious awareness and understanding is finite.  Regardless of how much we stretch our hearts and minds trying to understand Infinity, we will only grasp a fraction of Infinite…

Read more

We > Me: Going Further Together

For many people, their determination to be independent and free of society’s directives is their highest goal.  In fact, they may be limiting themselves from creating something even greater through interdependence and cooperating with others. In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey described the Maturity Continuum.   He explains that we…

Read more

Sharing the Dream

The consciousness of Oneness comes alive for me when I realize that the One Life that is God is expressing Itself as me, as you, and as all people and all of creation.  When I take the time through prayer and meditation to align my heart with Spirit, the dreams that well up within me…

Read more

The Beloved Community

This month the Centers for Spiritual Living are exploring the concept from the African proverb “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  Both are important at different times, however one purpose of spiritual communities is to learn how to go further together. You have probably heard…

Read more

And Still We Rise

“Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.” (From And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Copyright © 1978.) In her poem, Still I Rise, American poet and activist writes of the indomitable spirit shown by the women involved in the civil rights movement of the…

Read more

When the Road Gets Rocky

Persistence begins with the courage to choose a destination and begin our journey. Ideally, we listen to the voice of God within, our Inner Guide, as we choose our path. In his book, This Thing Called Life, Ernest Holmes writes: “The Law of Life is a law of mind, of Spirit, or thought. You may…

Read more

Transcend and Include

One of my favorite words from ministerial school is “numinous.”  A numinous experience, or a numinous place, is filled with the presence of Divinity.  For me many things can trigger a numinous experience: Walking into a magnificent cathedral such as the Gothic Cologne cathedral or Notre Dame (so glad I saw it before the 2019…

Read more

The Winds of Change

Change is inevitable. Sometimes change comes with a rhythm. In the spring we wait until the snow melts and nighttime temperatures stay above freezing before we plant colorful flowers in our garden. We enjoy their beauty all spring and summer until the first frost heralds the coming fall and winter. Then we pull out our warm coats, hats and…

Read more

The Path Less Traveled

When we celebrate Easter, we think of spring and new life. New life is celebrated with bunnies and baby chicks. Easter baskets are filled with colorfully decorated eggs and jelly beans nestled in soft grass. We follow the tradition of dressing up in new Easter outfits with bright spring colors. In an earlier century we might have paraded down…

Read more

Release and Let Go

Have you ever prayed over and over for something and, seemingly, not had your prayer answered?  I mean what if you know exactly what you want, what you think is the perfect answer to your prayer; you ask God earnestly for what you want – and then nothing happens?  How could Spirit deny you this perfect outcome?    This experience…

Read more

Commit to Transformation

Over the past few weeks, we have looked closely at the practice of visioning.  Visioning involves stilling our minds, opening ourselves to divine inspiration and discerning what seeks to emerge into form, without any preconceived ideas or limitations.  Through visioning, we can access the infinite wisdom and intelligence of the Ultimate Reality and allow It to flow through us, as us, to the degree that we set aside our ego-based…

Read more

Visioning: Living in the Question

As spring approaches, I have found myself daydreaming about hiking through the mountains.  Decades ago I was always grateful to have a trail guide, USGS topographic map and compass so I could easily choose a destination, track my progress along the trail, and make the best decision at a fork in the trail.  When the trail seemed to follow an annoyingly long out-of-the way…

Read more

With Open Arms

This month we have been exploring the spiritual practice of Visioning.  Through Visioning, we open our hearts and minds to the Direct Revelation of Spiritual Truth.  We begin by being still, listening to the voice of Spirit within us and getting comfortable living with the question: “What is Spirit’s Highest Vision of Itself as Me?”  Note that the question is…

Read more