2004-06-06-Turning The Other Cheek
Topic: Turning the Other Cheek
Group: SE Idaho TeaM
Minearisa (Nancy): Greetings my students. I am Minearisa. I will offer this evening’s opening prayer.
Beloved Father, Upholder of the Universes, we thank You for your stupendous plan that extends from You to these children of the lowliest of material realms and brings them, through progress, to achievements unbelievable. We are in awe of You and your mighty wisdom. We ask that tonight Your Divine Presence and ever-abiding love for each of these individual children be known and revealed. Assist them as they take each step, drawing ever closer to You. Amen.
I am Minearisa, Instructor-in-Residence to this Southeast Idaho Teaching Group. I wish to begin this evening’s session with a stillness exercise.
Please lengthen your spine. Let your shoulders relax. Allow your hands to unclench. Experience a flow of energy entering the top of your head and flowing like a thick warm liquid down through your head, past your eyes, past your nasal cavities, past your mouth and into your chin, neck. As this golden, honey-like energy passes, relaxation follows. Feel this relaxation pour into your neck and shoulders. Feel the opening and lengthening in your chest. Let it pour down your arms opening your hands. Let it flow into your belly, hips, legs. Feel it enter your thighs, pour through your knees, pour down your calves and into your ankles, finally relaxing your feet and toes. Feel yourself grounded below and open above. Feel the weight of this energy as it ties you into Mother Earth yet stretches your column up. See yourselves receiving this golden energy.
And, now, recognize it as love, God’s love, continuously offered and available to each of you. Experience your personal column growing wider and merging with the columns of those sitting on either side of you. See it forming a larger column defined by your circle. And, now, extend the column. Let it grow ever wider.
In the center of your circle, envision a golden ball of energy rotating rapidly. Keep it focused, held there by the result of your attention. Now, collectively let that ball grow until it expands to the size of your column. Your column and the ball are now one, encompassing all of Urantia.
And now, bring the ball back to the center. Bring it down in size until it is focused one again between you. Notice how the speed of the revolutions increase as the ball is condensed down in size by your focus.
And, now, release it. Let your focus return to your body.
Thank you for your assistance in this exercise.
My dear friends, I will continue with the lesson/discussion this evening. I am Minearisa, continuing on. We your teachers and advisors are much impressed with the curriculum that was introduced earlier this evening in the concept of "turning the other cheek" and the interpretation provided.
For the benefit of readers who were not privy to the earlier discussion, I will briefly summarize. One of the group members shared a book he was reading in which the author suggested that "turning the other cheek" means that "the violence stops here." And this author had prefaced these comments by talking about her emotional reaction to verbal interactions that left her feeling a little ill whether or not she felt victorious, smug, or righteous. And, so she interpreted the escalation of words as violence, and, indeed, is it so!
As you know, the curriculum of the Teaching Mission is to assist you in taking those intellectual truths that you know and put them into practice. We are like a workbook that goes with your text, the Urantia Book. All off this is part of the Fifth Epochal Revelation of God’s love and plan.
And, so, I invite you each in your own minds to pause for a few minutes and search inward for times you have felt personally hurt by words. In your mind, survey possible responses that you might make. You will probably find the words that escalate a situation to be the easiest and fastest to discern in this role-playing in your mind. Next you will find the ability to bite your tongue, but you still feel the sting.
I wish to suggest that turning the other cheek goes still farther. It turns the hurt inside-out so that there is no hurt, and your response is kind. This works best when one can see the individual with whom you are interacting as a young child still incomplete, still immature, possibly with negative intent, possibly just unwitting. But if you can see this other as being of tender age, and you can see yourself filled with the wisdom and the love of the Father, then will it be easier to find the gentle response, the response that truly turns the other cheek and does not simply bite the lip.
And, so, I ask that you now take a few minutes. First think of an actual situation. When you have found the situation, next consider your actual response. Consider how you felt at the time of your response. And now ask the Father to hold your hand and assist you in experiencing the situation in a new way that you might respond intellectually and emotionally in a new manner.
I wish to share thoughts from PamElla’s mind. In her searching, PamElla read many books. One such book was about a woman named Peace Pilgrim. Peace Pilgrim had a strong desire to be of service to the Father and to actively seek His Will. She walked with connection in most moments in her later years.
I wish to draw a snippet from Peace Pilgrim’s philosophy; when someone was unhappy with something that she had done, Peace Pilgrim sought to respond with love. While she accepted responsibility for the situation, she accepted no blame, and therefore felt no offense. She was able to respond from a place of loving service in these situations, and therefore she is an example of turning the other cheek.
This is quite different from being a doormat or a masochist. A doormat is truly walked upon; a masochist experiences pain and asks for more. She did neither, for she did not experience the initial pain; she experienced an opportunity to be of loving service.
And, I would now tie this back to a previous lesson. She experienced gratitude in the encounter, and the gratitude became the lubricant for greater service.
And, so, my dear children, I give you an assignment this week. I ask that each morning as part of your spiritual routine, you think about this lesson, and you ask for guidance each day to practice this response. My desire is that three weeks hence, you will share your experience of the intervening weeks and will have a lively, productive, and successful discussion.
I am now open for questions or comments.
Virginia: This lesson is very interesting to me. All kinds of things popped into my head. And, I do like the point that Peace Pilgrim accepted no blame in the other person’s reaction. She probably said things very innocently, and so that was a very interesting thought because…well, I’ll speak for myself. I can feel guilty, when perhaps there should be no guilt, for someone else’s reaction. Even in this lesson we read tonight, you know your intentions. And, so that was very helpful.
I had another thought pop into my mind and that was a quote from Mother Theresa who said that if we were humble, neither criticism nor praise would affect us. Well, I think I would change it to "if we were perfect." Then that would not affect us. Just lots of pictures came through my mind. So, thank you, it certainly is something to think about.
Minearisa: Yes, my dear, and you are right on target with Mother Theresa’s quote. When you are perfect, you will take responsibility for changing a situation without taking on blame. But you can do this far before reaching perfection. The key here, as you have stated, is to recognize that people’s reactions to you may have nothing to do with you and does not [necessarily] imply that you did something wrong; their reaction may be simply a part of their history and the lenses, if you will, through which they see the situation.
Everyone, certainly, is responsible for learning to understand themselves better, to recognize that their lenses may be colored and causing distortions, and to learn to see situations more clearly.
But on the flip side, no-one should apply blame. And, so, even if it is the perceptions and reactions of the other in a situation that causes an initial difficulty, the difficulty is in the relationship of which both parties are a part.
And while you cannot take on blame, you can offer the loving response to be the balm to help heal the situation. And from a non-aggressive response, the other may be able to more clearly perceive the reality of the underlying dynamic, given time. Is this helpful?
Virginia: It really is, Minearisa, and it just reiterates [that it matters] whether we respond with love or respond with defensiveness, fear, anxiety—all those poisons of the Spirit. It’s just another way to hear the same lesson, I think is what I’m hearing. It’s nothing new, but I need to continue to try to be the loving response in all situations
Minearisa: Yes, my dear, you do well. Continue on your path.
Virginia: That reminds me of a silly commercial. It’s supposed to be what a drink of alcohol does, it’s like hitting you on the head with a bat…there’s one drink…there’s two drinks…there’s three drinks…and maybe it’s like being hit on the head over and over again—the same lesson. Oh dear.
Minearisa: The intellectual understanding comes much sooner than the ability to put these concepts into practice. And, so, yes, we try from many different angles to assist you in taking these lofty concepts and making them a real part of how you interact, a real part of your being, that you may have less anxiety and less stress and less fear.
Virginia: Thank you.
Minearisa: Are there other thoughts anyone would like to share? (Pause)
Please reform your circle of love.
Gracious Protector, be with these our students these next several weeks as they work to produce the results that will bring them joy and heal this planet. Be with us as we seek to serve You and to serve Michael in this incredible time of Correction. So be it.