Class #2001

Spiritual Living Group - Weekly Class Plan




Welcome to the Spiritual Living Group!

The Spiritual Living Group is an innovative concept in applying the teachings and principles of The Urantia Book to everyday living. Spiritual living, based on Jesusonian ideals, is doing the will of God, and "is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God — with the very God who has made such a creature life of inner meaning-value possible. Sharing is Godlike — divine.” ( 111:5.1)

Dates:  Oct 7 - Nov 11, 2017  |  From 1:30-3:00 p.m. Mountain time USA

  • Saturday, October 7
  • Saturday, October 14
  • Saturday, October 21
  • Saturday, October 28
  • Saturday, November 4
  • Saturday, November 11

Weekly Class Plan



Part I: Spiritual Sustenance (Weeks 1-2)

Introductions


What are your hopes, goals and intentions for participating in this Spiritual Living Group? 

Share one significant experience on your spiritual journey.


Guiding Wisdom from The Urantia Book:

  • 110:6.4 When the development of the intellectual nature proceeds faster than that of the spiritual, such a situation renders communication with the Thought Adjuster both difficult and dangerous. Likewise, over spiritual development tends to produce a fanatical and perverted interpretation of the spirit leadings of the divine indweller. Lack of spiritual capacity makes it very difficult to transmit to such a material intellect the spiritual truths resident in the higher super consciousness. 
  • It is to the mind of perfect poise, housed in a body of clean habits, stabilized neural energies, and balanced chemical function—when the physical, mental, and spiritual powers are in triune harmony of development—that a maximum of light and truth can be imparted with a minimum of temporal danger or risk to the real welfare of such a being. By such a balanced growth does man ascend the circles of planetary progression one by one, from the seventh to the first.
  • 111:5.1) The doing of the will of God is nothing more or less than an exhibition of creature willingness to share the inner life with God—with the very God who has made such a creature life of inner meaning-value possible. Sharing is Godlike—divine. God shares all with the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit, while they, in turn, share all things with the divine Sons and spirit Daughters of the universes.
  • 156:5.10 Believers must increasingly learn how to step aside from the rush of life-escape the harassments of material existence-while they refresh the soul, inspire the mind, and renew the spirit by worshipful communion.
  • 103:4.1  The characteristic difference between a social occasion and a religious gathering is that in contrast with the secular the religious is pervaded by the atmosphere of communion. In this way human association generates a feeling of fellowship with the divine, and this is the beginning of group worship. Partaking of a common meal was the earliest type of social communion, and so did early religions provide that some portion of the ceremonial sacrifice should be eaten by the worshipers. Even in Christianity the Lord’s Supper retains this mode of communion. The atmosphere of the communion provides a refreshing and comforting period of truce in the conflict of the self-seeking ego with the altruistic urge of the indwelling spirit Monitor. And this is the prelude to true worship — the practice of the presence of God which eventuates in the emergence of the brotherhood of man.


  • 5:3.3. Worship is for its own sake; prayer embodies a self- or creature-interest element; that is the great difference between worship and prayer. There is absolutely no self-request or other element of personal interest in true worship; we simply worship God for what we comprehend him to be. Worship asks nothing and expects nothing for the worshiper. We do not worship the Father because of anything we may derive from such veneration; we render such devotion and engage in such worship as a natural and spontaneous reaction to the recognition of the Father's matchless personality and because of his lovable nature and adorable attributes.
  • 100:5.10 The more healthful attitude of spiritual meditation is to be found in reflective worship and in the prayer of thanksgiving. The direct communion with one’s Thought Adjuster, such as occurred in the later years of Jesus’ life in the flesh, should not be confused with these so-called mystical experiences.
  • Teachings about Prayer and Worship

    143:7.1 At the evening conferences on Mount Gerizim, Jesus taught many great truths, and in particular he laid emphasis on the following:

    143:7.2 True religion is the act of an individual soul in its self-conscious relations with the Creator; organized religion is man’s attempt to socialize the worship of individual religionists.

    143:7.3 Worship — contemplation of the spiritual — must alternate with service, contact with material reality. Work should alternate with play; religion should be balanced by humor. Profound philosophy should be relieved by rhythmic poetry. The strain of living — the time tension of personality — should be relaxed by the restfulness of worship. The feelings of insecurity arising from the fear of personality isolation in the universe should be antidoted by the faith contemplation of the Father and by the attempted realization of the Supreme.

    143:7.4 Prayer is designed to make man less thinking but more realizing; it is not designed to increase knowledge but rather to expand insight.

    143:7.5 Worship is intended to anticipate the better life ahead and then to reflect these new spiritual significances back onto the life which now is. Prayer is spiritually sustaining, but worship is divinely creative.

    143:7.6 Worship is the technique of looking to the One for the inspiration of service to the many. Worship is the yardstick which measures the extent of the soul’s detachment from the material universe and its simultaneous and secure attachment to the spiritual realities of all creation.

    143:7.7 Prayer is self-reminding — sublime thinking; worship is self-forgetting — superthinking. Worship is effortless attention, true and ideal soul rest, a form of restful spiritual exertion.

    143:7.8 Worship is the act of a part identifying itself with the Whole; the finite with the Infinite; the son with the Father; time in the act of striking step with eternity. Worship is the act of the son’s personal communion with the divine Father, the assumption of refreshing, creative, fraternal, and romantic attitudes by the human soul-spirit.

    143:7.9 Although the apostles grasped only a few of his teachings at the camp, other worlds did, and other generations on earth will.

    91:9.1 If you would engage in effective praying, you should bear in mind the laws of prevailing petitions:
  •  the evening conferences on Mount Gerizim, Jesus taught many great truths, and in particular he laid emphasis on the following:

1. You must qualify as a potent prayer by sincerely and courageously facing the problems of universe reality. You must possess cosmic stamina.

2. You must have honestly exhausted the human capacity for human adjustment. You must have been industrious.

3. You must surrender every wish of mind and every craving of soul to the transforming embrace of spiritual growth. You must have experienced an enhancement of meanings and an elevation of values.

4. You must make a wholehearted choice of the divine will. You must obliterate the dead center of indecision.

5. You not only recognize the Father’s will and choose to do it, but you have effected an unqualified consecration, and a dynamic dedication, to the actual doing of the Father’s will.

6. Your prayer will be directed exclusively for divine wisdom to solve the specific human problems encountered in the Paradise ascension — the attainment of divine perfection.

7. And you must have faith — living faith

  • 48:4.1  Joyful mirth and the smile-equivalent are as universal as music. There is a morontial and a spiritual equivalent of mirth and laughter. The ascendant life is about equally divided between work and play — freedom from assignment.


Suggested Growth Practices:

1. Fill out the Basic Needs Inventory (Click on document below). In which areas do you need to improve?  

             Spiritual Living Group_Basic Needs Inventory_R1.pdf

2. Read Paper 143: Section 7 on Teaching About Prayer and Worship and Paper 91: Section 9 on Effective Prayer. Choose one of the 7 aspects of effective prayer that you would like to make progress in and why. 

3. What would help you make progress in praying effectively?

4. Become thankful for at least 5 things a day, two of which you haven’t previously been thankful for.

5. Spend 20 minutes a day in a meditation practice of your choice. (Review the handout on The Method of Centering Prayer. Click on the document below.)

             Centering Prayer Class Handout.pdf

6. Share your most helpful spiritual practices.

7. Link to article: "The is Your Brain on Prayer and Meditation" 

                    https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/your-brain-prayer-meditation-ncna812376



Part II:  Self-Mastery (Weeks 3-4)

Definition

Self-mastery is the degree to which we as humans have self-control over our human/animal urges and emotions and act out of our higher spiritual nature in loving each other even as God loves us.

  • Self-Mastery is the measure of man’s moral nature and indicator of his spiritual development. 143:2:3
  • The Master was a perfected specimen of human self-control. When he was reviled, he reviled not; when he suffered, he uttered no threats against his tormentors; when he was denounced by his enemies, he simply committed himself to the righteous judgment of the Father in heaven. 143:2.1


How Do We Attain Self-Mastery?

1. Self-Understanding

  • In the ministry to so-called normal beings, seraphic assignments are made in accordance with the human attainment of the circles of intellectuality and spirituality. You start out in your mind of mortal investment in the seventh circle and journey inward in the task of self-understanding, self-conquest, and self-mastery; and circle by circle you advance until (if natural death does not terminate your career and transfer your struggles to the mansion worlds) you reach the first or inner circle of relative contact and communion with the indwelling Adjuster.” 113:1.6
  • It is the task of the mind planners to study the nature, experience, and status of the Adjuster souls in transit through the mansion worlds and to facilitate their grouping for assignment and advancement. But these mind planners do not scheme, manipulate, or otherwise take advantage of the ignorance or other limitations of mansion world students. They are wholly fair and eminently just. They respect your newborn morontia will; they regard you as independent volitional beings, and they seek to encourage your speedy development and advancement. Here you are face to face with true friends and understanding counselors, angels who are able to help you “to see yourself as others see you” and “to know yourself as angels know you.” 48:6.2
  • Self - compassion is a source of both personal and interpersonal strength. Research by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer show people with high self compassion are more motivated and productive; less self critical, anxious and depressed; more self confident; happier and more satisfied; more curious, creative and innovative; and more supportive of others. When we are experiencing guilt, shame, depression and anxiety it is difficult to be of loving selfless service.

    Suggested Growth Practices:

    1. Personality Inventory:  Go to VIA Institute of Character and take the free online 15-minute Character Strengths Survey.  This is a safe and trustworthy website used by some of the UUI instructors. 

    2. Rate yourself on the Self Compassion Assessment Scale by K139:8.7 The other apostles held Jesus in reverence because of some special and outstanding trait of his replete personality, but Thomas revered his Master because of his superbly balanced character. Increasingly Thomas admired and honored one who was so lovingly merciful yet so inflexibly just and fair; so firm but never obstinate; so calm but never indifferent; so helpful and so sympathetic but never meddlesome or dictatorial; so strong but at the same time so gentle; so positive but never rough or rude; so tender but never vacillating; so pure and innocent but at the same time so virile, aggressive, and forceful; so truly courageous but never rash or foolhardy; such a lover of nature but so free from all tendency to revere nature; so humorous and so playful, but so free from levity and frivolity. It was this matchless symmetry of personality that so charmed Thomas. He probably enjoyed the highest intellectual understanding and personality appreciation of Jesus of any of the twelve.ristin D. Neff and Chris Germer.

    3. Study Jesus balanced personality:  Read Paper 100, Section 2.  

    139:8.7 The other apostles held Jesus in reverence because of some special and outstanding trait of his replete personality, but Thomas revered his Master because of his superbly balanced character. Increasingly Thomas admired and honored one who was so lovingly merciful yet so inflexibly just and fair; so firm but never obstinate; so calm but never indifferent; so helpful and so sympathetic but never meddlesome or dictatorial; so strong but at the same time so gentle; so positive but never rough or rude; so tender but never vacillating; so pure and innocent but at the same time so virile, aggressive, and forceful; so truly courageous but never rash or foolhardy; such a lover of nature but so free from all tendency to revere nature; so humorous and so playful, but so free from levity and frivolity. It was this matchless symmetry of personality that so charmed Thomas. He probably enjoyed the highest intellectual understanding and personality appreciation of Jesus of any of the twelve.

    4.  List your strengths that support you in doing God’s will. List your weaknesses that get in the way of doing God's will



    2. FAITH

    • 143:2.7 “Your sonship is grounded in faith, and you are to remain unmoved by fear. Your joy is born of trust in the divine word, and you shall not therefore be led to doubt the reality of the Father’s love and mercy. It is the very goodness of God that leads men into true and genuine repentance. Your secret of the mastery of self is bound up with your faith in the indwelling spirit, which ever works by love. Even this saving faith you have not of yourselves; it also is the gift of God. And if you are the children of this living faith, you are no longer the bond slaves of self but rather the triumphant masters of yourselves, the liberated sons of God.
    • 143:2.8 “If, then, my children, you are born of the spirit, you are forever delivered from the self-conscious bondage of a life of self-denial and watch care over the desires of the flesh, and you are translated into the joyous kingdom of the spirit, whence you spontaneously show forth the fruits of the spirit in your daily lives; and the fruits of the spirit are the essence of the highest type of enjoyable and ennobling self-control, even the heights of terrestrial mortal attainment — true self-mastery.”143:2.6.7.8.

    When we act out of self-mastery it is selfless and without expectation. It is wise, loving, and motivated by doing the highest good for the greatest number of people for the longest period of time; while affirming, ” It is my will that thy will be done.”

    • 159:3.8 The world is filled with hungry souls who famish in the very presence of the bread of life; men die searching for the very God who lives within them. Men seek for the treasures of the kingdom with yearning hearts and weary feet when they are all within the immediate grasp of living faith. Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. There is but one struggle for those who enter the kingdom, and that is to fight the good fight of faith. The believer has only one battle, and that is against doubt — unbelief.

    Suggested Growth Practices: 

    1.  Give examples of how you use your faith in mastering yourself.

    3. Self-Forgetfulness:

    • At one of the evening conferences, Andrew asked Jesus: “Master, are we to practice self-denial as John taught us, or are we to strive for the self-control of your teaching? Wherein does your teaching differ from that of John?” Jesus answered: “John indeed taught you the way of righteousness in accordance with the light and laws of his fathers, and that was the religion of self-examination and self-denial. But I come with a new message of self-forgetfulness and self-control. I show to you the way of life as revealed to me by my Father in heaven. 143:2:2

    When we examine our self, we have a limited subjective perspective and it can be an act of self-absorption with strong emotions. How can we look at our self through a microscope? However when we suppress or repress our human feelings there is little self-understanding. It's like putting a dam up to stop ocean waves, eventually we have a tsunami of thoughts and uncontrollable feelings. At that point, we use denial to force ourselves to be loving when we are feeling fear, hurt  anger, shame and guilt. (etc.) With self understanding our perspective is more objective, compassionate and forgiving.

    It is hard to use our wisdom and rational thinking when we are emotional. However, when we suppress or repress our feelings there is little self-understanding. It’s like putting up a dam to stop ocean waves. Eventually the dam breaks and we are overwhelmed with a tsunami of thoughts and feelings that are very hard to control. At that point, we must use self-denial to force ourselves to be loving when we are really feeling fear, anger, shame and guilt. 

    With self-understanding, we are aware and acknowledge our thoughts and feelings, and see ourselves as others see us, and know ourselves as the angels know us. Our perspective is more objective, compassionate, and forgiving.

    Suggested Growth Practices:

    1. 48:5.8 One of the purposes of the morontia career is to effect the permanent eradication from the mortal survivors of such animal vestigial traits as procrastination, equivocation, insincerity, problem avoidance, unfairness, and ease seeking.

    • Look up the definitions of each of the 6 traits. Rate yourself on each of the above 6 traits on a 5 point scale with '1' being the least problematic and '5' being the most problematic.
    • Meditate on the trait you choose to make progress in, and seek direction. Associate the intention with a strong emotion to aid in making progress. Recognize when you are eradicating any of these traits during the day.

    2. Write a vision of yourself as a balanced personality.



    Part III:  Loving Service (Weeks 5-6)

    • 5:4.3 God is not only the determiner of destiny; he is man’s eternal destination. All nonreligious human activities seek to bend the universe to the distorting service of self; the truly religious individual seeks to identify the self with the universe and then to dedicate the activities of this unified self to the service of the universe family of fellow beings, human and superhuman.
    • 28:6.17 Service — purposeful service, not slavery — is productive of the highest satisfaction and is expressive of the divinest dignity. Service — more service, increased service, difficult service, adventurous service, and at last divine and perfect service — is the goal of time and the destination of space. But ever will the play cycles of time alternate with the service cycles of progress. And after the service of time there follows the super service of eternity. During the play of time you should envision the work of eternity, even as you will, during the service of eternity, reminisce the play of time. 
    • 28:6.18 The universal economy is based on intake and output; throughout the eternal career you will never encounter monotony of inaction or stagnation of personality. Progress is made possible by inherent motion, advancement grows out of the divine capacity for action, and achievement is the child of imaginative adventure. But inherent in this capacity for achievement is the responsibility of ethics, the necessity for recognizing that the world and the universe are filled with a multitude of differing types of beings. All of this magnificent creation, including yourself, was not made just for you. This is not an egocentric universe. The Gods have decreed, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” and said your Master Son, “He who would be greatest among you let him be server of all.”

    1. Respect an Individual's Personality and Free Will

    • 159:3.1 Always respect the personality of man. Never should a righteous cause be promoted by force; spiritual victories can be won only by spiritual power. This injunction against the employment of material influences refers to psychic force as well as to physical force. Overpowering arguments and mental superiority are not to be employed to coerce men and women into the kingdom. Man’s mind is not to be crushed by the mere weight of logic or overawed by shrewd eloquence. While emotion as a factor in human decisions cannot be wholly eliminated, it should not be directly appealed to in the teachings of those who would advance the cause of the kingdom. Make your appeals directly to the divine spirit that dwells within the minds of men. Do not appeal to fear, pity, or mere sentiment. In appealing to men, be fair; exercise self-control and exhibit due restraint; show proper respect for the personalities of your pupils. Remember that I have said: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, and if any man will open, I will come in.”
    • 159:3.3 In bringing men into the kingdom, do not lessen or destroy their self-respect. While overmuch self-respect may destroy proper humility and end in pride, conceit, and arrogance, the loss of self-respect often ends in paralysis of the will. It is the purpose of this gospel to restore self-respect to those who have lost it and to restrain it in those who have it. Make not the mistake of only condemning the wrongs in the lives of your pupils; remember also to accord generous recognition for the most praiseworthy things in their lives. Forget not that I will stop at nothing to restore self-respect to those who have lost it, and who really desire to regain it.
    • 159:3.4 Take care that you do not wound the self-respect of timid and fearful souls. Do not indulge in sarcasm at the expense of my simple-minded brethren. Be not cynical with my fear-ridden children. Idleness is destructive of self-respect; therefore, admonish your brethren ever to keep busy at their chosen tasks, and put forth every effort to secure work for those who find themselves without employment.
    • 159:3.5 Never be guilty of such unworthy tactics as endeavoring to frighten men and women into the kingdom. A loving father does not frighten his children into yielding obedience to his just requirements.
    • 159:3.6 Sometime the children of the kingdom will realize that strong feelings of emotion are not equivalent to the leadings of the divine spirit. To be strongly and strangely impressed to do something or to go to a certain place, does not necessarily mean that such impulses are the leadings of the indwelling spirit.
    • 159:3.9 In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God. And this fellowship will appeal alike to men and women in that both will find that which most truly satisfies their characteristic longings and ideals. Tell my children that I am not only tender of their feelings and patient with their frailties, but that I am also ruthless with sin and intolerant of iniquity. I am indeed meek and humble in the presence of my Father, but I am equally and relentlessly inexorable where there is deliberate evil-doing and sinful rebellion against the will of my Father in heaven.
    • 159:3.11 Teach all believers to avoid leaning upon the insecure props of false sympathy. You cannot develop strong characters out of the indulgence of self-pity; honestly endeavor to avoid the deceptive influence of mere fellowship in misery.

    Suggested Growth Practices:

    1. Read Instructions to Teachers and Believers in Paper 159:3.1.

    2. Give examples in your daily life of ways you respect others. Become aware of and write ways you need to grow in respecting others.

    3. What is the difference between false sympathy and helpful sympathy?


    2. Trustworthiness

    • 28:6.16 5. The Sanctity of Service. The privilege of service immediately follows the discovery of trustworthiness. Nothing can stand between you and opportunity for increased service except your own untrustworthiness, your lack of capacity for appreciation of the solemnity of trust.
    • 28:6.13 4. The Solemnity of Trust. Trust is the crucial test of will creatures. Trustworthiness is the true measure of self-mastery, character. These seconaphim accomplish a double purpose in the economy of the superuniverses: They portray to all will creatures the sense of the obligation, sacredness, and solemnity of trust. At the same time they unerringly reflect to the governing authorities the exact trustworthiness of any candidate for confidence or trust.
    • 28:6.14 On Urantia, you grotesquely essay to read character and to estimate specific abilities, but on Uversa we actually do these things in perfection. These seconaphim weigh trustworthiness in the living scales of unerring character appraisal, and when they have looked at you, we have only to look at them to know the limitations of your ability to discharge responsibility, execute trust, and fulfill missions. Your assets of trustworthiness are clearly set forth alongside your liabilities of possible default or betrayal.
    • 28:6.15 It is the plan of your superiors to advance you by augmented trusts just as fast as your character is sufficiently developed to gracefully bear these added responsibilities, but to overload the individual only courts disaster and insures disappointment. And the mistake of placing responsibility prematurely upon either man or angel may be avoided by utilizing the ministry of these infallible estimators of the trust capacity of the individuals of time and space.

    Suggested Growth Practices:   

    1. Two qualities of trust are consistent behavior over time and being emotionally dependable and responsive to other people needs. Evaluate yourself on consistency and dependability on a 5-point scale '1' being the least and '5' being the most.

    2. What can you do to make progress in your trustworthiness?


    3. Attitudes of Brotherly Love and Reactions of Fatherly Love

    • 100:4.4  In physical life the senses tell of the existence of things; mind discovers the reality of meanings; but the spiritual experience reveals to the individual the true values of life. These high levels of human living are attained in the supreme love of God and in the unselfish love of man. If you love your fellow men, you must have discovered their values. Jesus loved men so much because he placed such a high value upon them. You can best discover values in your associates by discovering their motivation. If someone irritates you, causes feelings of resentment, you should sympathetically seek to discern his viewpoint, his reasons for such objectionable conduct. If once you understand your neighbor, you will become tolerant, and this tolerance will grow into friendship and ripen into love.
    • 140:5.5  He first talked about those who were poor in spirit, hungered after righteousness, endured meekness, and who were pure in heart. Such spirit-discerning mortals could be expected to attain such levels of divine selflessness as to be able to attempt the amazing exercise of fatherly affection; that even as mourners they would be empowered to show mercy, promote peace, and endure persecutions, and throughout all of these trying situations to love even unlovely mankind with a fatherly love. A father’s affection can attain levels of devotion that immeasurably transcend a brother’s affection.”

    Suggested Growth Practices:   

    1. Read the beatitudes on both brotherly and fatherly love in Paper 140.

    2. Why are the first four faith attitudes of brotherly love a prerequisite for fatherly love?

    3. Take each of the four attitudes and give examples in your life of manifesting these attitudes.

    4. Meditate on the one attitude of brotherly love you choose to make progress in while listening for guidance. Associate the intention with a strong emotion to aid in making progress.

    5. Take each of the four reactions of Fatherly Love and give examples of how you manifest them in your life.

    6. Meditate on one reaction of fatherly love you choose to make progress in while listening for guidance. Associate the intention with a strong emotion to aid in making progress.


    4. Practice Living the Fruits of the Divine Spirit

    • 193:2.2 “Peace be upon you. You rejoice to know that the Son of Man has risen from the dead because you thereby know that you and your brethren shall also survive mortal death. But such survival is dependent on your having been previously born of the spirit of truth-seeking and God-finding. The bread of life and the water thereof are given only to those who hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness — for God. The fact that the dead rise is not the gospel of the kingdom. These great truths and these universe facts are all related to this gospel in that they are a part of the result of believing the good news and are embraced in the subsequent experience of those who, by faith, become, in deed and in truth, the everlasting sons of the eternal God. 
    • My Father sent me into the world to proclaim this salvation of sonship to all men. And so send I you abroad to preach this salvation of sonship. Salvation is the free gift of God, but those who are born of the spirit will immediately begin to show forth the fruits of the spirit in loving service to their fellow creatures. And the fruits of the divine spirit which are yielded in the lives of spirit-born and God-knowing mortals are: loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance, and enduring peace.
    • If professed believers bear not these fruits of the divine spirit in their lives, they are dead; the Spirit of Truth is not in them; they are useless branches on the living vine, and they soon will be taken away. My Father requires of the children of faith that they bear much spirit fruit. If, therefore, you are not fruitful, he will dig about your roots and cut away your unfruitful branches. Increasingly, must you yield the fruits of the spirit as you progress heavenward in the kingdom of God. You may enter the kingdom as a child, but the Father requires that you grow up, by grace, to the full stature of spiritual adulthood. And when you go abroad to tell all nations the good news of this gospel, I will go before you, and my Spirit of Truth shall abide in your hearts. My peace I leave with you.”

    Suggested Growth Practices: 

    1. Which dual fruits of the spirit do you regularly manifest in your relationships?

    2. Choose one of the dual fruits of the spirit in which you need to make progress. In your morning meditation have the intention with a strong emotion of making decisions and actions based on manifesting that particular fruit of the spirit.


       CONCLUSION

     Spiritual Growth

    100:2.1 Spiritual development depends, first, on the maintenance of a living spiritual connection with true spiritual forces and, second, on the continuous bearing of spiritual fruit: yielding the ministry to one’s fellows of that which has been received from one’s spiritual benefactors. Spiritual progress is predicated on intellectual recognition of spiritual poverty coupled with the self-consciousness of perfection-hunger, the desire to know God and be like him, the wholehearted purpose to do the will of the Father in heaven.

    100:2.2 Spiritual growth is first an awakening to needs, next a discernment of meanings, and then a discovery of values. The evidence of true spiritual development consists in the exhibition of a human personality motivated by love, activated by unselfish ministry, and dominated by the wholehearted worship of the perfection ideals of divinity. And this entire experience constitutes the reality of religion as contrasted with mere theological beliefs.

    100:2.4 Spirituality becomes at once the indicator of one’s nearness to God and the measure of one’s usefulness to fellow beings. Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values. Spiritual development is determined by capacity therefor and is directly proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love.




    Commitment


    A successful group is built on trust and continuity. Therefore, we request participants to make a sincere commitment to the group by agreeing to the following Group Guidelines and living up to them to the best of their ability: 

    1. I will attend all six meetings. (In the event of an emergency absence, please contact the group leader.)
    2. I will maintain confidentiality.
    3. I will listen with understanding compassion.
    4. I will give advice only when asked.
    5. I will be mindful of time spent sharing, allowing everyone adequate time to share.


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