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“The Wizard of Oz – Surrender Dorothy”

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!

“The Wizard of Oz – Surrender Dorothy”

This week we get to talk a little about our main character, Dorothy.

Joey Green tells us, “Your hearts’ desire is your destiny” but then he reminds us that we must first give up our attachment to the outcome.

It’s not giving up intention, just the attachment to the result. In this way we give over, we surrender to the creative intelligence of the cosmos. Go with the flow…allow it to unfold before you.

Dorothy certainly did surrender to the tornado! She got her dream of adventure, but certainly not what she thought it would be.

But she DID get to see things from a different perspective. We’ve discussed our perspective several times over the years. It’s important to remember that what you are seeing is most often NOT the whole picture.

Here’s an example from William Bausch’s book, “The Yellow Brick Road – A Storytellers Approach to the Spiritual Journey.”
Told from a missionary’s viewpoint…” At one time, myself and a family – a mother, a father and two children-were living in the same quarters in China, all under house arrest. We had been under house arrest for several years and we were living somewhat comfortably. One day a soldier came and told the family, “You can all return to America, but you may take only two hundred pounds of belongings with you, no more, no less.”
Well, we had been there for two years. Two hundred pounds. So, the family got a scale, and then the arguments started between the husband and the wife and the two children: “I must have this vase.” “I must take this typewriter; it’s almost new.” “I must have these books.” “I must take this…I must take that.”
And so, they weighed everything, took off, weighed it, put back on. Back and forth, back and forth, until finally they got it just precisely on the dot: two hundred pounds.
The soldier returned the next day and said, “ready to go?” The parents said, “Yes.” He said, “Did you weigh everything?” They said, “Yes.” “Did you weigh your kids?” “No, we didn’t.” He said, “Weigh the kids.”
And in a moment, off went the typewriter, off went the vase, off went the books, into the trash. All the things that they thought they could not do without-into the trash.
This family certainly saw things differently when faced with a tough but really simple choice.

When the Wicked Witch of the West writes; “Surrender Dorothy” across the sky, it’s obvious, Dorothy has attracted an enemy. But she doesn’t let the Wicked Witch deter her until her precious Toto is threatened. She will eventually face some choices and in the end, she choose to remain with her intent to return to Kansas and her Aunt Em.

Dorothy has attracted a serious enemy in the Wicked Witch of the West. But even our worst enemy has something to teach us. The Witch’s ruthless desire to gain the ruby slippers inadvertently teaches Dorothy how to detach from her own burning desire.

Can you recall lessons learned from people or situations that, at the time, you might have considered the enemy?
Were they permanent lessons or do you have to go through that situation one more time?

The tornado certainly seemed to be an answer to Dorothy’s dream for a life more than dreary Kansas. Now she has choices: she can stay in Technicolor Munchkinland and be a heroine. Her only threat is the Wicked Witch of the West who threatens her: “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too.”

Glinda lets Dorothy know that the ruby slippers will protect her. Remember, the slippers are our ‘inner spark.’
Why does Dorothy wish to return to drab Kansas? She could live as a hero in Munchkinland, protected by the ruby slippers and Glinda. It was her dream, after all, to go somewhere over the rainbow and now she’s in the colorful land of Oz, she wants to go back.

Isn’t that surrendering? Isn’t she forsaking her dream?

Does Dorothy really belong in Munchkinland? Under these circumstances, some would say she was a freak, a giant, and probably worse. She’d be a minority of one, forever out of step with the citizenry.

In a sense, these are the same reasons she had to leave Kansas – she was the only one to stand up to Miss Gulch, even though, Miss Gulch owned half the county.

Dorothy could also make Emerald City her home, after all, the citizens welcomed her with open arms. And when the Wizard finally agreed to see them and asked for the ‘very small task’ of the Wicked Witches broomstick, they could have said no and just stayed in the city.

Again, there’s no future for Dorothy in the Emerald City. The citizens just laugh all day, wake at noon, start work at one, take an hour for lunch and finish work by two.

Dorothy is much more ambitious – just look at all she’s done already to get to Emerald City.

And again, Dorothy could live in the Wicked Witch’s castle now that she is dead. The green faced Winkie Guards and blue faced Winged Monkeys were pleased that the witch was dead. “Hail to Dorothy! The Wicked Witch is Dead.”
Living there goes against Dorothy’s nature.

Ever feel like that…like you don’t belong? You searched for a Spiritual Family and you belong here.

When it looks as if her last chance to return to Kansas floats away with the balloon, she says, “But this could never be like Kansas,” insinuating that there are no dreams for her to dream in Oz.

DO you remember, she gave up on her dream to explore when she ran back to the farm after Professor Marvel tricked her into wanted to go back to Auntie EM.

There’s a difference between desire and intent. The Desire to return to Kansas includes attachment to the outcome. It becomes an obsession.

An intention has no attachment. Dorothy intends to return to Kansas but has no attachment to the outcome. There is no longer an obsession.

By letting go of our desire and by participating with detached involvement, you open up to infinite possibilities.
Dorothy never seems to give up her attachment of her goal. She never seems to put her life on the line for anyone. In fact, many would say she is nothing more than a self-centered child.

Getting sent to bed without supper to save Toto from Miss Gulch is hardly a self-sacrifice. And running away never thinking what it would do to Aunt Em & Uncle Henry is a cowardly act,

In Oz, the Scare Crow, Tin Man & Lion all risk their lives for Dorothy.

Only when she surrenders the ruby slippers to the Wicked Witch to save Toto does she sacrifice herself to the witch’s mercy. She also surrenders her desire to get back to Kansas, but not her intention.

Dorothy believed her chance to return to Kansas left with the balloon, so her desire left with it. But she still intended to go, but the obsession is gone.

Only when Glinda comes does she see things from a different perspective, in this case, from within, using her ‘inner spark’, her ruby slippers.

If only we all had a pair of ruby slippers…..but we do! We all have that inner spark that can guide us if we would just connect to it.

Let’s do that now in meditation.

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The Wizard of Oz – If I were king of the forest

Great Morning Beloved!
The Wizard of Oz – If I were king of the forest

We meet the third companion of Dorothy’s this week. So far, you have had opportunity to meet and possibly relate to: Dorothy, Toto, Miss Gulch, the Munchkins, Glinda, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Scare Crow and the Tin Man.
Each has had something to share with us. And it’s possible that we relate to more than one character.

This week we meet the Cowardly Lion. But is he really a coward?

Your true Self doesn’t fear any challenge. It is neither inferior nor superior to anyone. Pure consciousness, our True Self, is unencumbered by insecurities, apprehension or the need for approval or control.

Unfortunately, our thinking and behavior in the material world is generally based on fear. The Lion, trying to look fierce, attempts to intimidate the Tin Man and the Scare Crow. When that doesn’t work, he chases Toto, causing Dorothy to slap him on the nose causing the Lion to cry.

Dorothy meets two other cowards in Oz; the Wicked Witch of the West and the Wizard. They each pick on Dorothy and her companions, resorting to name calling and threats.

Cowards feel compelled to conquer others to compensate for the fact that they have not conquered themselves. Green tells us; “All relationships reflect your relationship with yourself.”

What the Lion craves is to be king of the forest, but really, he wishes to be king over himself. All the external things that the companions are asking for will not fill this void in our existence. Only discovering your true Self will start you on the path toward spiritual fulfillment.
pg. 80

Clearly, the Lion wishes to be king for the wrong reasons.

And, looking at ourselves, if we need to subjugate others to compensate for our insecurities, we become a cruel and selfish ruler – like the Witch and the Wizard.

When you become king over yourself, you become a compassionate and caring leader, like Glinda.

The Tao puts it this way: “He who has power over others cannot empower himself.”

True power stems from power over yourself.

The Lion confuses courage with intimidation, bullying. A courageous individual does not resort to either of these. Like the Wizard and the Wicked Witch, the Lion yearns for power merely to validate himself.

People with the talent for leadership express power to serve. They do not need to resort to intimidation or bullying.

To be the king of the forest the Lion must cast away his need for power and control. And we must do the same if we wish to get in touch with our spiritual essence. We must re-discover our higher Self and re-member our life’s purpose.

We are here, in this body for a unique cosmic purpose…what is it? What are your talents? We all have them. Then how can you use these talents to help others?

Courage flows when we use our talents for the benefit of others because we are being true to ourselves.
Lao-tsu wrote; “There is no greater illusion than fear.”

That is an amazing statement.

Think about it…. fear is an illusion.

What fears are holding you back from your true Self?

If they are illusions, what can you do to remove them from your beliefs?

One fear that the Lion may be struggling with is accepting himself. There’s several hints that the Lion may actually be gay, several times the stereotyped limp wrist is presented in the story, and he receives a perm and bow at the Wash & Brush Up Company; he calls himself a ‘dandelion’, and when the guard refuses to let them in to see the Wizard, he laments, ‘And I got a permanent just for the occasion.”

Maybe part of the Lion’s problem is his refusal to accept his sexual orientation. That IS an issue for many, and it is interesting that the issue is presented in a story from 1900.

And it doesn’t have to be a gay issue. Many of us have struggled with accepting a part of our selves.

The Lion overcomes his fears when his love for Dorothy is put to the test, when she is taken prisoner in the Witches castle.
Lao-tse again tells us, “Because of deep love, one is courageous.”

When the foursome return to the Wizard with the Witches broomstick, the Lion is awarded the Triple Cross ‘for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous bravery against wicked witches” the Wizard tells the Lion “he is under the unfortunate delusion that simply because you run away from danger, you have no courage. You’re confusing courage with wisdom.”

We must understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which the Lion does frequently.

The Scare Crow, the Tin Man, and the Lion are given positions in Oz, beyond what the Lion even dreamed.

And we too can access the infinite potential of the cosmos, freeing yourself to experience life as a miraculous expression of love.

We must link with the cosmos, connect with our true Self and share our gifts with others.

“The Wizard of Oz – Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!
“The Wizard of Oz – Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”

We start this weeks’ Lesson with a question: when the Wizard gives the Tin Man a heart-shaped watch on a chain (in the movie, not the book…the book it was a satin shaped heart), he tells the Tin Man; “a heart is judged not by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”
What does that mean? Do you agree?

Does it mean someone like Mother Theresa, who was always doing good didn’t really have a heart? What about the egotist who gives to charity only to have a building named after him? Is his heart big or small?

Is public opinion the judge for heart size? Because the people of Emerald City love the Wizard, is his heart bigger than the Tin Man’s who is loved by Dorothy, the Scare Crow and the Lion?

Here’s the real question: is the heart judged by how deeply you are loved by others? Or is the depth of your love the true measure of a heart?

How deeply you are loved by others reveals the depth and sincerity of your love for them.

No one loves the Wicked Witch because she has no love for anyone. She didn’t even morn her sister.

The Wizard is loved by the people of Emerald City, as long as he protects them. The Wizard’s love for the people is not genuine; it’s conditional. Only if he can remain in power. And he’ll ‘love’ Dorothy and her crew only if they can bring the Wicked Witches broomstick to him.

So, he has a heart only by virtue of the fact that he is loved by others.

How much you are loved by others is equal to how deeply you love.

If your love for others is selfless, you are much more deeply loved than a person whose love is selfish and motivated by greed.

Having a heart requires more than compassion. It is necessary to serve others with unselfish love.

Dorothy and the Scare Crow meet a Tin Woodman, who was once an ordinary being of flesh in love with a beautiful Munchkin maiden. Unfortunately, however, he was under a spell cast by the wicked Witch, so he kept chopping off parts of himself and being repaired by a tinsmith until he became the first fully bionic man, with a completely mechanical body. In the process, he lost his heart and thus is no longer able to love the Munchkin maiden; now he wants a heart so he can love again

When Dorothy and the Scare Crow find the Tin Man and get him oiled and moving again, he tells them to bang on his chest…it’s hollow!

A suggestion that many people never seek or heed their inner essence and consequently fail to grasp their true potential. WE here at Unity believe and strongly suggest that it is our own responsibility to work toward re-membering who and what we truly are…connected to Source, to the Divine Mind that we call God, Spirit, even Universe.

The Tin Man longs to be ‘tender,’ ‘gentle.’…”I could be kind-a-human, if I only had a heart”

He puts out the fire the Wicked Witch throws at the Scare Crow and then vows to help get Dorothy to the Wizard whether he gets a heart or not.

So, his altruism is already showing he has an enormous heart. He is showing if you want to be blessed with a heart, you must give with your heart.

“Give and you will receive.”

Helping others get what they want is the easiest way to get what you want.

“When you give from your heart, sympathetically, unconditionally, without expecting anything in return, you receive happiness in abundance.”

Love is a life force that must continue circulating; keep the energy flowing. Keep love in perpetual motion.

And our intention is vitally important. There must not be an ulterior motive. We cannot try to manipulate anyone or create indebtedness.

Only create happiness. The most precious gifts you can give are spiritual gifts: compassion, sympathy, affection, appreciation, and love.

Love, as we know, can hurt too. The heart can be broken, especially when you see someone you love being hurt.

The Tin Man cries when his friends fall for the poppy fields sleep effect. And again, when he sees where Dorothy is being held prisoner, the dark and terrible witch’s castle. And of course, then he rusts and must be oiled again.
Being overly sensitive, attached, can be paralyzing.

Love must be allowed to flow to empower you to serve others. Allowing love to bottle up, to become stagnant, interrupts the energy flow of the universe.

How can that happen? when we’re indulging in personal interests at the expense of ‘others’ … we realize that we’re sacrificing kindness to others (being a victimizer) or ourselves (being a martyr or victim); we need the oil of shared interests to loosen up our rigid thinking and find the real heart-felt comfort that transcends ego’s artificial comfort zones.

The Tin Man doesn’t realize how he gives so selfishly and instinctively. He touches the lives of nearly everyone he meets with genuine generosity and loving kindness.

Do you know anyone like that?

And that is what having a heart is all about the Wizard tells him as he is handed his ‘heart’.

As Dorothy prepares to leave, the Tin Man realize he will no longer be able to receive the joy of giving love to her.

He laments, “Now I know I have a heart because it’s breaking.”

How much you are loved by others is determined by how much you love.

Simply, ‘what goes around, comes around.’

“The Wizard of Oz Summer Series – Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking”

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!!
“The Wizard of Oz Summer Series – Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking”

Welcome back! Did you enjoy your journey on the Yellow Brick Road? Hopefully, yes.

And you are possibly learning something about yourself….maybe your life as your travel the road that is your True Nature.

I think something like this book and movie remind us of our true self…if only we could let go and travel that road to self-awareness. We use so many different excuses to not go within, to not look at who we truly are.

The Path to Enlightenment is a personal journey. No one can hand you the answer on a silver platter. So, the ego must grow up, maybe even fly away to who knows where for a little while until it learns how to handle all that hot air from the Wizard and in that balloon! This is letting go and taking advantage of the present moment.

This is exactly what Dorothy does – as soon as she realizes she can. As Lama Surya Das says, “If you cling to nothing, you can handle anything.”

Always we must tend to our own gardens. No one can do it for us. The best way to deal with another person’s out of control ego (As in the Wizard) is to get control of one’s own. Sometimes (but not always), getting control means just the opposite – letting go – seeing through – and smiling down on the little self that loves to make mountains out of molehills and who thinks it’s the king of all of them, including the forest.

In other words, sometimes we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously.

Instead of looking at the obstacles that we find on the path as a learning opportunity, we look at it as a struggle…. just something to get by. We say; ‘there’s always something.’ My Mom used to say that, and I would turn it around for her.

And we can do that too. It doesn’t have to be ‘always something’. We can find a way to keep moving.

This week we look at ourselves. Our spiritual essence is pure consciousness. We have a responsibility to delve into our selves and know our True Self so we are able to align with the pure potential and total Oneness of the universe.

The scarecrow does a lot of thinking for someone who claims to not have a brain. “I’d think of things I never thunk before and then I’d sit and think some more.”

AS a conscious being, the only thing you need to find happiness is to perceive clearly who you are. Being upset about what you don’t have wastes what you do have.

Morya, one of the “Masters of the Ancient Wisdom”, says, “A man depressed by circumstances, becomes immobile and dull. Dullness LIKE RUST corrodes a portion of the fundamental substance. Sympathy draws men’s energy downwards. When we sympathize with someone, we prevent them from learning their lessons in life that intend to teach them and we get pulled down into their misery. Sympathy is delusion but compassion means understanding.”

What the Scarecrow really yearns for is higher consciousness, enlightenment. His head may be filled with straw but he echos a profound metaphysical insight when he states “I’d face a whole box of matches for the chance of getting some brains”, proclaiming Sarte’s philosophy: ‘existence preceded essence’.

In other words, you exist whether or not you have discovered your true Self, your cosmic purpose.

The Scarecrow is saying he is willing to risk his existence to discover his essence.

Plato urged his students to “Know thyself” believing ‘a life unexamined is not worth living’

The Tao Te Ching says it this way:
Knowing others is intelligence;
Knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
Mastering yourself is true power.

AS Dorothy & the Scarecrow travel the Yellow Brick Road, they must travel through a dark and rather creepy forest. The Scarecrow says, “Of course, I don’t know, but I think it’ll get darker before it gets lighter.”

Pretty keen philosophical insight for a brainless straw man! The Tao states “The path into light seems dark.”
How could this brainless man of straw be on the same wavelength as some of the greatest Zen masters? Natures intelligence flows freely and effortlessly. When you are in harmony with the creative intelligence of the cosmos, when you know your True Self, you can harness the pure potential of the universe.

I’ve experienced that myself and I bet you have also. Many times, in class or discussing something with someone, some words will flow from me and I have no idea where they come from. Have you experienced that?

Of course, we all know that to get to that True Self, we must get past those obstacles that can block us…the insecurities, the past conditioning, the domestication, the guilt, compulsions and need for approval.

All this old baggage wastes your energy. Get off that pole stuck in the middle of the corn field and let go. Free that energy and accept things as they are right now.

By doing nothing, letting go and being in the here and now, you let your talents flow, you’re connected to the abundant universe. The Tao say to acquire anything, simply give up your attachment to the outcome.

When the Scarecrow accepts the here and now, every obstacle he encounters becomes an opportunity in disguise: pgs. 62-63 of Zen

When the Scarecrow is bestowed with a Doctor of Thinkology, he tries to impress the others by forcing to use his brain. He forced himself out of sync with the Tao, the universe.

The Scarecrow is like a very intelligent person who cannot afford college and therefore feels inferior. You are always smarter than you think. Trust the power of your True Self and you will have no need to try to impress others seeking approval. “No need to do an awful lot of talking”

Be yourself.

“The Wizard of Oz – Follow the Yellow Brick Road”

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!!
“The Wizard of Oz Summer Series” – ‘Follow the yellow brick road’

Here we are, week three in on our Journey following the Yellow Brick Road into Oz. What are your thoughts so far? Is it a comfortable journey for you? Or have you struggled a bit like Dorothy? Maybe you relate to Glinda, the Good Witch of the North? Or one of the Munchkins? Hopefully not Miss Gulch!! Though even SHE has some lessons for us, right?
The Munchkins lead us onto the Yellow Brick Road to follow Dorothy’s and OUR True Nature, to embrace our True Self.
Their mantra, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” is easy for us to chant along with Dorothy.

And why are we looking at this old book and movie for inspiration? William Bausch tells us in his book, “The Yellow Brick Road; A Storytellers Approach to the Spiritual Journey” that ‘stories try to make sense of the journey itself.’

Stories help to explain some of the ‘wonderful and terrible things’ that happen in life.

Think about your own stories….don’t they tell about your life? Maybe it’s time to write a new story….just saying.
The journey itself has a goal, a story says more than words, helping that journey along.
Pg 5-6

We know the Universe is composed of pure energy. When we are in harmony with the infinite creative intelligence of this Universe, we have connected with the Oneness of the cosmos.

The Munchkin’s mantra, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” lead Dorothy & Toto on their way to connect with the Tao, that creative force we know as Spirit, God, Universe, Cosmos…the WAY, the Path, the way to creative intelligence.
Our one intention doesn’t change: to be a light of God expressing. This light encompasses love, joy, peace, compassion, and generosity of spirit—all present within all of us.

“When you align yourself with the Tao, you align yourself with the infinite potential of the universe.”

And the nice thing is, this is something you don’t have to work at, you already ARE aligned when you ALLOW your mind to function freely and naturally….you go with the flow.

As the Zen poem by Seng-ts states:
‘Follow your nature and accord with the Tao;
Saunter along and stop worrying.’

The question about whether Dorothy is a good witch, or a bad witch comes with some discriminatory language – are all witches ugly? And by who’s standard?

The fact that Glinda asks Dorothy if she is a good or bad witch, I think, questions Glinda’s integrity. Do the people of Oz base everyone’s character on beauty?

Or is Glinda planting seeds in Dorothy’s young mind about HER integrity?

It’s like we have heard people say, ‘get ‘em while they are young’ meaning that’s when their minds are ready for seeds of wisdom to rely on later in life.

If you have those opportunities with young people, tread wisely.

Dorothy is traveling the yellow brick road searching for something she never lost – her True Self.

And we all have done that too: we’ve gone here & there looking for something to give us peace….yet we didn’t think to look within, maybe until recently, unless you found the wisdom early on…lucky you!

All Dorothy needs is the brains, the heart, and the courage to let go and trust her natural instincts. And we know that choosing which way to go doesn’t matter, because all roads lead to self-actualization, to God, to Spirit.

Our choices aren’t as important as we make them…Green tells us, ‘what matters is that we make the choice, that we have the courage to move forward’. If we are paralyzed with indecision, we are like the scarecrow, stagnant, lifeless.

If we turn around, back to Munchkinland, we regress, deteriorate.

Only moving forward, facing the unknown, experiencing uncertainty are we opening ourselves up to the infinite possibilities, realize our dreams and find our hearts desire. Only when we dare to step out of our comfort zone do we find freedom and fulfillment.
Green reminds us that when we step into the unknown, the road less traveled, we are on the right path.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.”

And so, our Dorothy travels hopefully on the yellow brick road, her true nature toward self-discovery.

We’ve discussed many times here on Sunday’s and in our various classes the importance of self-discovery in our quest to re-member our innate divinity. And it’s linked to Unity’s belief…

Self-responsibility….it is your responsibility to do the work, to ask the questions of yourself, to search for the answers. To knock three times and more to receive. To be open and accepting….to be willing.

And of course, our travels are never alone.

Dorothy travels with her very wise Toto. Remember, Toto is our wise inner Self.

And her passion to self-discovery inspires the scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and even the Wizard himself to make a change.

Have you found yourself, like the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, hanging about by the sidelines of life, not knowing what to do to move forward and then someone or something comes along to motivate you to move forward, just a step first, and then maybe more.

Maybe someone shares a book with you that moves you off that domestication that was holding you down like the Scarecrow, maybe someone actually listened to you about that hurt had you frozen in time like the Tin Man, or maybe you finally faced the fear that had you afraid to move out of your safe place like the Lion?

Did you give that inspiration the time and effort it needed to get you started on your yellow brick road to self-knowledge? To self-actualization?

Or did you give in to domestication? To the fear of something new, something maybe better?

The Scarecrow, nailed to the post, cannot go anywhere. He represents those people who let others hold them back from realizing their dreams and aspirations.

The Tin Man was also immobilized, was rusted in place for a year. Frozen in place because of indecision. Did he need a whole year to ponder his troubled soul and realized that ‘he is all hollow’? He represents people paralyzed by their indecisiveness.

The Cowardly Lion, who, like others, lacks the courage to make the spiritual journey.

Does any of this resonate with any of you? Are you indecisive or fearful? Do you let others dictate your actions?

Each of these characters, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion have nothing to lose but their unhappiness. YOU have nothing to lose but unhappiness by stepping on your yellow brick road; your path to actualization’.

Dorothy states they would be no worse off than they are right now.

In our own discontent, we could wallow in self-pity or we could set forward. We could:
Set a goal
Use our imagination seeing us reaching that goal
Picture it often
Give it lots of positive energy
Clear our mind of all negative thoughts and let our energy flow

Dorothy visualizes a Wizard at the end of the Yellow Brick Road who will send her back to Kansas; she gives that idea positive energy, never stopping to see herself being sent home by the Wizard.

We attract into our lives whatever we picture most vividly, what we put energy to.

“Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind”

Get it!?! Get what that means?

So where are your thoughts? Are they traveling down your true nature singing; “Follow the Yellow Brick Road?”

Or have you let yourself fall into maybe victimhood? Or negativity? Are you seeing the bad in the world or are you counting your blessings? Your blessings of friends to travel with, wisdom and brains and heart and courage to make conscious choices. You have your inner spark, your passion, your individuality, your uniqueness, your spirit.

And no one can take that from you without your consent….so don’t let them! Be strong.

The universe works through the dynamic exchange of energy. The more you give, the more you receive. The love Dorothy gave to the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion came back to her many time as they try to rescue her from the Wicked Witch of the West.

And though you may encounter some smarty trees throwing apples at you, or you may travel through the dark and scary forest or you may sleep for a bit in the poppy fields, when you go with the flow and travel the path of least resistance, the universe will unfold perfectly.

A Zen Proverb says: “Obstacles do not block the path…the obstacle is the path”

Green reminds us to not hold onto our goal too tightly, for when the Wizard accidently takes off without you in his balloon, there may be something better waiting for you.

In this case, when Dorothy lets go and connects with her inner essence, she ultimately realizes she has all the love she needs within her own heart to be at home with herself.

Dorothy “journeys down the Yellow Brick Road while staying open to the harmonious forces in the universe that will unfold before her. No matter which fork she takes, no matter who her companions are, no matter what obstacles are placed in her path, she will ultimately be returned to Kansas once she puts herself in tune with the creative energy of the universe.”

All we need to do is listen to that mantra: Follow the Yellow Brick Road, one brick at a time.

Zen saying: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

And Martin Luther King, Jr. told us; “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

“The Wizard of Oz ‘Never let those ruby slippers off your feet”

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!

“The Wizard of Oz”
‘Never let those ruby slippers off your feet”

Welcome back to Oz…..does your life sometimes look like Oz? Either very colorful which is good or very confusing which may not be very good….
Either way, I hope you are looking at how these characters, and some ARE characters(!) are a part of you as you have traveled the Yellow Brick Road of your Spiritual Journey.

Today we enter the colorful world of Oz. If you recall, Kansas was pictured as a drab and dreary world with no one to love or care for Dorothy. She only had the wise Toto (kind of like the wise Yoda!) to give her help as she traveled her own Yellow Brick Road.

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” These are Dorothy’s first words after she steps out into Munchkinland. Many of us have had that feeling, haven’t we? Perhaps we’ve experienced the tornados or twisters of our lives and as we move through a new landscape, we realize that our life will never be the same.

Indeed, Dorothy and Toto are not in Kansas anymore. At this point in the story Dorothy may think all her problems are solved. After all, she’s escaped Elmira Gulch, Toto is safe in her arms and she’s in this beautiful place. What could possibly go wrong?

She has yet to realize that she will face the same and bigger trials in this new life as she faced in the old life.

It’s like the story of a traveler coming to a village and finds a man standing by the gate. The traveler asks the man what kind of people live here. The man asks what kind of people lived where you came from?

The traveler replied, “they were mean and unhelpful, gossips.”

Well, the man said, you find the same kind of people here.

Later, another traveler came by the village and asked the man the same question. The man replied with his same question, “what kind of people lived where you came from?”

The traveler replied, ‘Oh they were great, really friendly, always wanting to help each other.”

The man said, “you find the same kind of people here.”

Some of us can identify with this. We want a different sort of life, a life filled with love, ease and grace and yet we go through life, making unconscious choices – like Dorothy, unnecessarily walking past Miss Gulch’s house, running away from her problems and getting catapulted over the rainbow to face those same problems in another form.

The good news is that we can make other, conscious, enlightened choices as we move along the Yellow Brick Road. The yellow brick road is following our true nature – our divine essence. And where do we begin?
At the beginning. Right where we are – right now – this breath, this moment.
(BREATHE DEEP)

Dorothy says, “I Can’t Go the Way I Came” by house! – And we cannot begin again with the same consciousness we used to get here. When we begin again, we are called to go a new way, to take a different path.

We can wake up to our innate divinity and use our Spirit given power to co-create our lives with heart, with wisdom and with courage.

Today’s trip reminds us that we carry within us an inner spark. That spark gives us a “potentially radiant character and the capability of knowing, loving, and spiritually communing with the creative intelligence of the universe.”

We are endowed with infinite potential for goodness and greatness. We all have free will to discover this inner spark and our cosmic purpose.

Our Tuesday Group is studying “Living Between Two Worlds” by Joel Goldsmith. He calls it our God given destiny.

In our story, our author, Joey Green has the Ruby Slippers representing that inner spark within all of us. One of my mentors called it Gods urge. These slippers are made from the rarest of gems, reminding us of the value of that inner spark.

And he sees Glinda as Dorothy’s Mother. When she tells Dorothy, “Never let those ruby slippers off your feet,” she’s telling Dorothy to never give up her passion, her individuality, her uniqueness, her spirit….her inner spark.

Think about that. Have you ever given up your inner spark? Your passion? Your individuality? And why did you do that? I venture to guess that many of us have to some degree. There’s one of your Questions for meditation and contemplation. “What have I given up and why?

The Wicked Witch of the West isn’t very happy to see her sister dead, under Dorothy’s house. And she’s even more upset as she watches her sister’s body wither away as the slippers, her inner spark, are removed magically and placed on Dorothy’s feet.

“Their magic must be very powerful, or she wouldn’t want them so badly,” Glinda tells Dorothy of the Wicket Witch of the West’s protests in losing her sister’s slippers. Glinda leaves Dorothy to figure out the power of the ruby slippers on her own.

The Wicked Witch of the West extinguished her inner spark long before this, which explains why she is much worse off than her late sister. Even her sister wasn’t as cruel to the Munchkins as the Witch from the West is to the Winged-Monkeys and the castle guards, the Winkies.

She wants to ruby slippers to increase her power, ‘my power will be the greatest in Oz!” Her hunger for power is a sign of insecurity. Remind you of anyone in your life? I think we all know someone who fits this description.

We all know that security does not come with power; it comes from “self-love, knowing your true essence, your cosmic purpose. When we choose a life of righteousness, we come closer to the creative force of the universe.”

Choosing wickedness distances us from the creative force of the universe, extinguishing the inner spark.

Embittered people who have extinguished their own inner spark justify their miserable existence by trying to extinguish the inner spark in others. The Wicked Witch of the West tries to do this by placing Toto in a basket much like the one Miss Gulch did in Kansas. Didn’t last long that time either!

There are ‘Wicked Witches of the West’ in our lives. They try to get us down the same hole that they are in. Bosses, politicians, teachers, even parents and friends and family. They try to rob our integrity, our passions, our spirit, our reputation, even our cosmic purpose. But they cannot unless we let them.
We just need to heed Glinda’s words, “Never let those ruby slippers off your feet.” Never give in to others negativity.

After Dorothy accidently liquidates the Wicked Witch, we forget about the ruby slippers until Glinda tells Dorothy she always had the power to return to Kansas.

The Scarecrow asks Glinda why she didn’t tell her sooner?
Glinda replies, “Because she wouldn’t have believed me, she had to learn it for herself.”

Dorothy has to discover her cosmic purpose on her own. Sound familiar? There are many things we must discover on our own, hopefully they ‘sink in’ the first time around!

Dorothy agreed, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

Simply, the answers are within, not handed to you by a wizard, in any form.

Discovering our cosmic purpose brings us home to our true nature. And we discover that true purpose by becoming One with our Spiritual Essence.

After Glinda tells Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road in the beginning of our story, Dorothy says, “What happens if…….? I imagine completing Dorothy’s sentence… What happens if I get lost? What happens if the Wizard won’t see me? What happens if the witch confronts me?”

For us it might be – What happens if I lose my job or if I get sick or if my relationship ends?
Just follow the yellow brick road. Follow our Divine Nature
Even as we follow our divine nature, there is no guarantee that we will not sometimes get confused or afraid. We will come up to forks where a choice must be made as to which direction we need to go.
When Dorothy meets the scarecrow at the fork in the road, Dorothy called upon wisdom in the guise of the scarecrow and then the choice was easy to make. In fact, she never referred to it again, she made a choice and took the steps.
It doesn’t really matter anyway, as we follow our Divine Nature, all roads lead to Illumination if we let them.

From the book, “The Zen of Oz”: “Choosing is absurd. It doesn’t really matter which fork in the road Dorothy takes. As long as she follows the Yellow Brick Road, our inner divine guidance, all the roads lead to self-actualization. If Dorothy, Toto, and the Scarecrow go one way, they will meet the Tin Man and the Lion. If they take the other route, they will undoubtedly affect the lives of others as they go with the flow, enjoy the here and now and guide themselves consciously toward the Emerald City.”

And truth is, we never travel alone. Remember that!
Just like Dorothy, our passion for our spiritual journey is contagious. Look around, you’ve attracted all of these like-minded people. And I bet you have attracted and inspired other people in your life just by shining your light.
And you DO shine!

The Summer Series – “The Wizard of Oz” We’re not in Kansas anymore

GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!!

The Summer Series – “The Wizard of Oz” We’re not in Kansas anymore

This summer we are taking a trip to Oz! This is the 50th anniversary of the movie, “The Wizard of Oz”! The movie was based on the book written by L. Frank Baum in 1900. It was possibly about a strong and adventurous heroine at a time when women were finding their voices after being repressed for so long. Remember, we finally got the right to vote in 1920.
L. Frank Baum, was a member of the Theosophical Society. Few have recognized that his great American fairy tale is also a Theosophical allegory.

Theosophical Society calls themselves “an unsectarian body of seekers after Truth, who endeavor to promote Brotherhood and strive to serve humanity.”
the Society’s objectives evolved to be:
1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science.
3. To investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.

I wonder if Charles studied this group when he was researching Unity?

Some things you might not have known about the movie’s making…the suit for the ‘cowardly lion’ was actually made from real lion skin….yuck…it was very heavy, weighing almost 100 pounds!
The snow in the poppy scene was made of asbestos, a bit dangerous by today’s standards. Toto’s real name was Terry and Judy Garland wanted to adopt him because she fell in love with him, but his owner wouldn’t permit it.
And Terry aka, Toto was paid more than the Munchkins! $50 vs $125.
In the book, the color of the now Ruby slippers was ——- silver!

In the weeks that follow, I invite you to be open to the story and make it yours. The Big Unity theme for this year is One Humanity, Many Stories. This story is our story….yours and mine. And just like the Bible, every character in this story represents an aspect of ourselves.

Yes, this is our story. Yours and mine. The story of our spiritual journey, as we adopt the yellow brick road as the road to our innate divinity, our Christ Consciousness, God.

Most of us have watched this film throughout our childhood. And watching it again in preparing for this series, I have different eyes as I watch the characters go from Kansas to Oz and back to Kansas.
I was keeping the image of Dorothy and Toto in my mind as I traveled to Kansas last week and back. I kept looking over my shoulder for a tornado to strike!

The storyline of The Wizard of Oz is as old as time. It is the story of one on the quest to find a treasure, of sorts. The Wizard of Oz fits into what mythologist Joseph Campbell called a hero’s journey. The hero’s journey begins with divine discontent and ends with the return home. Along the way there are lessons to be learned, challenges to overcome, friends to be made, enemies to be vanquished, and a remembering to be achieved.

Dorothy certainly was experiencing some divine discontent! She was about to lose her precious dog, Toto. Throughout the movie, Dorothy has conversations with Toto, who symbolizes her inner intuitive self.
In this movie, Toto was never wrong. When he barks at the scarecrow, Dorothy ignores the warning. “Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.” But scarecrows do talk in Oz. Toto also barks at the little man behind the curtain and reveals that the Wizard is a fraud. At the Gale Farm and again at the castle, the Witch tries to put Toto into a basket. In both cases, Toto jumps out of the basket and escapes. The lesson here is to listen to the Toto within.

Dorothy is wondering if there is something over the Rainbow. Somewhere over the rainbow is our yearning to move out of where we are to a “perceived” better place. For us the question might be, Is there something more? Can I be something more? How to I attain fulfillment? This is our Divine Discontent.

Rainbows symbolize hope and renewal, and as Dorothy sings, she wants to go way up high above the chimney tops – indicating her unconscious desire to rise up in consciousness to the place where the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.

Dorothy and Toto are whisked away on the winds of a tornado and land in the land of Oz.
The Twister represents those unbidden, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes frightening events in our lives that move us to seek a higher consciousness.

When she returns by the magic of her now Ruby Slippers, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry try to tell her that it was all in her head. She insists that it’s not, “It’s a place!”
Remember Harry asking Professor Dumbledore if his experience of death was all in his head, and Dumbledore responded, “Of course it’s all in your head, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.”
Is it possible that Oz is much like our idea of Heaven, a state of mind?

I’m using the book, “The Zen of Oz, Spiritual Lessons from Over the Rainbow” by Joey Green for some ideas for these Lessons, but also looking from a metaphysical point of view too.
We start out with Dorothy making some questionable choices as she is reacting instead of responding to the crisis of Miss Gulch threatening to have Toto removed and put down for running in her garden and biting her on the leg.
But Auntie EM and Uncle Henry aren’t interested, they have chicks to save from a broken incubator to worry about. Dorothy is ignored and we see very little love there.
The film starts out, not in bright and clear black and white, but rather a grayscale, making Kansas even more bleak looking.
She dreams of flying over a rainbow to escape her troubles like a little bird. The rainbow can represent that “love she seeks to color her world.”
The only love and companionship she has, is with Toto, who she chats with all the time. And trying to get the love and attention she craves by letting Toto run through the garden belonging to mean-spirited, power-hungry old maid Miss Gulch, who carries her emotional baggage in a basket strapped to the back of her bicycle is a question we all must ask?
Dorothy certainly makes some questionable choices, but how often do we do the very same?
According to Green, these actions affect our karma and “when we choose to take actions that torment others and sow the seeds of unhappiness, the consequences of our karma is our own misery and failure. But, when we choose to take actions that nourish joy and love, then the fruit of our karma is your own fulfillment and happiness.”

He states the only way to rise above karma is to become aware of our unconscious choices. Whenever we impulsively react to something, we are actually choosing to respond that way. “Our decision to react impulsively is simply an unconscious choice.”

Green asks, “If you get caught in a cyclone because you ran away from home to save your dog from being destroyed because you let the dog run through a mean old maid’s garden, you might want to stop and ask yourself, ‘what is the universe trying to tell me?’”
Some questions for Dorothy might be:
• why are you letting your dog, that you love so much, run through a mean old maid’s garden in the first place?
• Are you subconsciously afraid that your own loveless environment will turn you into a bitter old maid?
• Why is she so desperate for Auntie Em’s love?
• Is she setting herself up for rejection to punish herself for her parent’s death? (we do not know how they died)
The cyclone becomes a physical manifestation of Dorothy’s inner struggles for self-awareness. Her last name “Gale” after all!
The famous statement: “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” introduces us to Oz, but also Dorothy is again to experience another angry wicked individual. To break this pattern of trusting “wizards” whether in the guise of a fake carnival Professor Marvel or a fake Wizard of Oz; she must rise above her karma, and understand why she is obsessively seeking Auntie Em’s love and resolve the subconscious conflict that prompted her to risk Toto’s life.
She, like each one of us, need to align ourselves with our true Self. Then we can reach the Zen experience of awakening.
The lesson for us all: you can avoid a nightmarish trip over the rainbow if you are consciously aware of your choices in Kansas. All you have to do is step back and observe the choices you make every moment.
Your choices mirror how deeply you know your true Self. Dorothy’s choices are stemming from her insecurities with her Auntie Em. An abundance of love from Auntie Em will not make her whole. Only an intimate understanding of her true Self will align her with Oneness and the infinite creative power of the universe.

The moral for this week is: when making a choice, consider the consequences: does it nourish happiness, create good karma?
Dorothy has been functioning within the law of mind action – as we all do –
The law of mind action is the third principle in our five basic Unity principles, which says that we create our lives and our world by what we hold in mind. Dorothy is reaping the fruit of her chaotic thoughts and her choices. Up to this point she’s been impulsive and reactive and has now found herself in greater trouble.

So, Dorothy could have made better choices like: not unnecessarily walking past Miss Gulch’s house, not refusing to cope with Kansas, and not running away from her problems.