Category Archives: education

moment by moment, choice by choice

I’ve been moving across towns, from Chapel Hill to Durham this past month. Moving offers on-going opportunities to make deliberate, conscious choice, if we chose to make it so. With every day of the move, with every challenge, (securing utilities, buying and selling on craigslist and obtaining mailbox keys,) I’ve had opportunities to be a deliberate creator of my experience, to be in the awareness of the divinity that I Am, to chose to show up as my Authentic Self. “Moment by moment, choice by choice.” That’s how we live this life of empowerment and effectiveness.

“Moment by moment, choice by choice.”  That’s the subtitle of How to Pray Without Talking to God, Unity Rev. Linda Martella-Whitset51ZE-tC04lL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_t’s recent book on Affirmative Prayer as taught by Unity and Science of Mind.
Unlike what I used to think, prayer has nothing to do with being religious or superstitious. Prayer is about tuning your mind to the Oneness, and claiming your essential thriving essence. That’s what I chose to do, claim Oneness: whenever I can get centered enough to remember to chose it!  Linda Martella-Whitsett teaches how to pray from a unity consciousness, step by step, shift by shift.  God is not a superhuman, God is Principle. Work with It, and shift your life into satisfaction and empowerment.

In our upcoming course “Unity Prayer,” SEE PR250, we’ll explore “what is prayer?” if we understand “GOD” to be Principle and Presence rather than a person. We’ll be creative ith names of “GOD” so we can release our childhood images of the Santa-God, and explore what it means to be spiritual beings having a human experience. We’ll consider very deliberately what words to use that reflect a sense of unity with/as The I Am. We’ll practice saying our own prayers together, aloud, in small groups, with partners. We’ll explore what it means to pray for and with others.

This course is a perfect introduction if you want to become a prayer partner or chaplain in your center. I offer weekend chaplain training as a followup to this course. The entire package is a perfect and thorough training experience for your center’s prayer team. To inquire about my weekend training, send a reply to this blog, and I’ll contact you personally to discuss the details. (a page is about to appear on this website that will provide the information)

Beginning March 31, Join us for this 5 week series of classes from your own comfortable desk or living room. 7-9pm Eastern Daylight time. Thursdays March 31-April 21.

“Sunday Spiritual Circles” in March

ANNOUNCING “Sunday Spiritual Circle”  a heart-conversation

Do you understand how it feels to be at church on Sunday morning and catch yourself yearning for  meaningful, personal interactions with others? The social hour is great. It provides fun, authentic fellowship: a good time to make new friends and welcome newcomers. But do you sometimes find yourself driving home wishing there had been a
deeper spiritual contact
with a few others?  … Using the power of video cameras, New Vista 20273040-teamwork-union-people-element-vectornow offers an opportunity for “heart-conversation” interaction online at New Vista’s “Sunday Spiritual Circle.” 

These conversation and meditation sessions will be less didactic, than our other courses, with few if any PowerPoint slides. There will be a lot of time for you to just enjoy the presence of the others in the circle, listen  and empathize with them, and stretch yourself into more expansive thinking.RAISEDD HANDS

We will begin in March with the study of  Eric Butterworth’s Discover The Power Within You    Engage in eye to eye heart-to-heart spiritual conversations on Eric Butterworth’s classic.  Unity basic teachings – through the lens of Jesus’ sayings.  Student preparation is essential to making this experiential rather than didactic. Join us! and invite your friends!

SEE MS804 “Discover The Power Within You”  Sundays March 13- April 3. 10 hrs: 4 pm – 6:20 pm Eastern (1pm Pacific) 

A Spiritual Mini–Retreat in September

Join us for 3 Sunday afternoons at a virtual mini-retreat in September!   4-7:20 pm (eastern time).

Take a close look at the hours of this session. Your first impression might be overwhelm: how can we sit around for three hours and just talk, or just listen? As a former professional teacher of pre-adolescents, I know the power of changing things up: Presenting ideas in a variety of ways; Engaging your active participation; Including everyone who wants to participate; Using pictures, video and cartoons; Guiding you to answer your own questions; Holding all contributions in confidentiality; Honoring your right to change your mind…. and I know how to facilitate and build in active learning so we can honor different learning styles.

But seriously, the topics are so engaging that we’ll have to watch our discussion times so we can cover everything that is offered! I have always enjoyed the great discussions this course brings!  The topics in this course are what your Unity minister might incorporate into a Sunday talk, and this will be your opportunity to dish them onto your plate, cut them into pieces, munch on them, digest them and truly make them your own. And speaking of food, yes, you are allowed to eat during class! I build in generous breaks for you to stretch, prepare a snack, and even take a short walk outside. And all from the comfort of your own home through our virtual classroom!

Thanks to the 21st century Unity textbook  “Heart Centered Metaphysics,” this mini-retreat will present a new way to hear 19th and 20th century New Thought teachings. In our first session, we will explore through readings and conversations the idea of “God” and “humanHeart Centered Metaphysicsn” as Oneness. We will play with Plato’s idea (foundational to New Thought) regarding the Absolute and the Relative, the “spiritual universe” and the “physical universe’. And we’ll face the paradoxes that come with trying to define The Divine.

The second session helps us define traditional Christian terms in a New Thought viewpoint: the trinity, sin, evil and the devil and Jesus Christ.  Our final session explores, through head and heart, discussion and meditation, the nature of humankind; what it means to be a spiritual being in a physical world; and how to differentiate your Inner Voice from your egoic voice.

As you deepen your understanding of Unity’s teachings, and apply them in a practical way, which discuss in every session, you will realize your spiritual potential, witness your live becoming more satisfying, more vital and meaningful. You understanding shifts from head-knowledge to heart-“knowing,” where true transformation takes place!  (more details and register)

Thank you, Barbara!

Our maiden voyage of Unity New Vista Learning Center has concluded and was a smash hit!. Tonight I said “goodbye for now” to five wonderful New Thought students who attended my very first Unity New Vista Learning Center virtual classroom. Throughout the five weeks, we continually expressed avid appreciation for technology’s ability to connect us over thousands of miles. For five summer nights (winter nights for one of our students), a small group of excited, alert, dedicated, welcoming people in PA, GA, NC, KY and Australia sat comfortably in our respective homes, wearing our bunny slippers, drinking our teas, developing a spiritual connection, and enjoying  intellectual and compassionate conversation.  The technology served us well, with great video and audio!

I am reminded of  Barbara Marx Hubbard‘s lifelong question, which she asked Pres, Eisenhower many years ago, in response to nuclear weapons testing: “What is the meaning of our power that is good?”  As I listened to her repeat this question to an audience which I attended a few years ago, I internalized the question, “How can we use technology for humankind’s good?”  Barbara asks each of us to be ambassadors for conscious co-creative evolution in the world, to contribute in whatever realm we are called to serve. I felt called by this amazingly vital,  radiant, wise octogenarian woman to reply in my authentic style, with my individual talents.  I’ve always felt called to be a teacher, and I continue to be one now, as a minister. So, Barbara, I’m doing my part: using teaching and technology to serve the greater good. I appreciate your challenge and your loving reminder that it’s up to us to do our part, whatever it is, to bring about a new earth.

All of my students are returning for at least one of my upcoming classes. Unity SEE Classes I am currently planning September – December’s schedule. Metaphysics 1, 2 and 4 are on the list, as is Twelve Powers, Overview of Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Scriptures… The list goes on. ..  Follow this blog to get updates and stay in touch through Facebook.

My nerdy questions

Maybe I’m a theology/anthropology nerd, because I’ve been asking myself some unusual questions since I found New Thought. Questions that others might never dream of asking. And as I prepare to teach “Background of New Thought,” I’ve explored them further: How could the Puritans and Calvinists, (think “The Scarlet Letter,” and Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”) ever make way for New Thought and Transcendentalists? (think Emma Curtis Hopkins, Emerson and Thoreau)*   How did the strict religious environment of New England eventually birth New Thought?  How could Trinitarians birth Unitarians? How could Theists birth Panentheists?

This might not be a common set of questions in the minds of most Americans! But it has tickled my interest for years, ever since I found the New Thought philosophy through the Unity movement. Because my childhood identity was Calvinist and rather Puritanical, as I saw it from the perspective of society in the 1960-70’s!   (A full color, framed copy of this painting hung above the mantel in my childhood home.)  I went to Calvinist church, catechism, K-12 school and college. For a while, I considered attending Calvin Seminary after I finished my undergraduate degree at Calvin College!

But then I ventured into many other types of faith communities: for a while I worshiped with Charismatic Catholics, and considered myself a Jesus Freak. I taught Sunday School at an Appalachian Methodist church, attended various Bible churches and a break-the-rules Presbyterian church, joined Quaker activists, pledged to the UCC, and occasionally visited a Unitarian Universalist fellowship.  Oh, and there was a short stent with a Metaphysical Spiritualist church! I’m glad I wandered because I got to see that everyone at each stage of faith was sincerely seeking their God, by whatever design and temperament this God showed up.  I’m also glad because I got to raise my kids in the Quaker and UCC communities, so they did not adopt that awful sense of unworthiness that I learned as a Calvinist kid.

And through these stages of exposure to American interpretation of Jesus’ teachings, I stretched  further and further toward a progressive, inclusive, evolutionary, universal perspective of God and humanity. The Quakers taught me there is “that of God” within me. And by the time I stepped into Unity, I was (somewhat) ready for the concept that “I am one with/as the Divine.” Perhaps I needed such a gradual evolution over decades, after such a complete indoctrination into Calvinism. My personal evolution of thought is not unlike that of European and American evolution of thought since the reformation. From Trinitarian to Unitarian, from Theist to Panentheist is the path I walked, not unlike the path of the deliberate thinkers of the early American settlers……  (From this point on in the writing of this blog, I have done more ranting, editing and deleting than any other blog I’ve written!   Frankly, it’s been good therapy for me, as I continue to reconcile with my past, my embedded theology. That’s good stuff. but not necessary to put in a public blog! …)

As I prepare for my upcoming course “Background of New Thought,” I’ve studied early New Thought dynamics and have come up with fascinating insights, clarity, acceptance and of course, more questions to lead me deeper into the subject.

If you are interested in exploring with me, if you’re ready to process your own embedded theology, if this interests you for any reason, do join the conversation for the next 5 Monday evenings in our virtual classroom.  “Background of New Thought” is a class for anyone: brand new Unity students, and people who have been with Unity for decades, and people who are just curious about some of the terms I’ve used in this blog!

* And if you’d like to know who these people are, please join us!

Register today at Unity SEE classes

What Did Jesus Really Teach?

Are you planning your late Summer calendar already? Set aside 5 Monday evenings to join an exciting intellectually and spiritually expanding experience!  Lecture, video, dialogue, and meditation mix into Pat’s classes to make them engaging and satisfying!

A completely revamped and revitalized Unity SEE “Jesus’ Teachings” is now available from your own home!

Sign up now for this exciting revised and updated course, compiled by Rev. Pat from her M, Div. studies at Unity Institute & Seminary and further self-directed study.

This course incorporates updates on the modern scholarly search for the historical Jesus. We’ll get to know The Jesus Seminar and its tireless work, the significance of the Nag Hammadi discovery, and the valuable insight these documents bring to the study. We’ll deconstruct the Jesus myth found in the Synoptic Gospels,  and learn about the historical events and cultural influences that inspJesusMMagdaleneFrankThomasired the myth.  Why was 70 AD a critical year?  How did it impact the development of Christianity?

We’ll take a frank and heart-centered look at what Jesus might have actually said, and gain insights about his message.  We will also read and explore Jesus’ parables at the heart-level. Students will feel a balance in this class: balancing the head-centered and the heart-centered approach to Jesus’ teachings.

Finally, after the debunking the myth and making a heart-connection, we’ll ask reflective questions about the implications of the new findings upon Christianity and its future, seeing it through the lens of the evolution of consciousness.

This and every course offered by New Vista is in full compliance with Unity Institute’s SEE requirements and standards. Rev. Pat has offered this ground-breaking course to two groups of Unity students in Greensboro and Chapel Hill, NC. With their feedback, she has refined this course to be well worth your valuable time!

 “very informative and enlightening”

“I loved the combination of readings, videos, conversation and meditation!”

“great energy, enthusiasm, teaching and facilitating!”

Go to “Unity SEE classes” tab to register or send questions to Rev. Pat