Stained Glass Window in Unity Chapel
There is a calmness on the expansive grounds of the Unity Village which one would expect to encounter. What is surprisingly interesting is the architecture which is a mix of cottage style structures and Mediterranean architecture. One such cottage style building, evidently used now as a potting shed of sorts, could easily serve to be a model for my dreamy witch’s cottage in the mountains one day.
Easy to find and right off interstate 470 southeast of Kansas City, Unity Village is the complex consisting of chapels, prayer tower, gardens, motels, conference centers, golf course, book store and many buildings associated with the business side of the Unity Church.
Driving onto the grounds I was pleased by the familiarity of several of the buildings which I had often seen in the monthly Unity magazine I received years ago. Always a source of peace and often enlightening, the magazine was my first introduction to the Unity Church’s unique brand of spirituality. At that time Dr. Marcus Bach was still writing a monthly column for the magazine. Dr. Bach, an author and minister, had been a friend of my Father’s for years and had traveled the world, writing of the similarities in the world’s religions as opposed to their differences. He was a fascinating friend and an amazing man.
Unity Tower Dr. Marcus Bach
This evening was to be a first for me: my first time visiting Unity Village and the first (hopefully of many) times I would meet and learn from Deepak Chopra. Dr. Chopra is, arguably I imagine, one of the leading spiritual teachers of our time. As most of you will know he has written many books. At this time he is on a book tour for his most recent book, “Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment.”
I was thrilled ...... nearly overwhelmed, really ....... to be at his private reception prior to the lecture and book signing. The new friends I had made while sitting around the fire in the hotel lobby were first in line with me to meet Dr. Chopra. In person he is as kind and soft spoken as you would expect after seeing him interviewed and lecturing on television. There was one surprise, however. This evening he was wearing bright red, glitter encrusted glasses which prompted me to wonder if he was a distant cousin to Liberace.
Great glasses, eh? Yes, I can be a dork even around Deepak Chopra
The reception afforded an opportunity to meet many people associated with Unity Village. Some who work behind the scenes and others with their own Unity radio programs which you can find online at www.unityfm.ning.com. Once again I was struck by the universe’s ability to link me with people of commonality. This time it was with two sisters who had lived in the city where I had spent most of my adult life previous to moving to the countryside of Missouri.
Wall painting and mosaics in Silent Unity Chapel and Unity Buildings
We moved to the Unity Village Chapel for Dr. Chopra’s two hour lecture. Here I was pleased once again that I had reserved seating so that I could see Dr. Chopra close enough to interpret facial expression. Finding that his red tennis shoes were a perfect compliment to the glittery glasses was an extra added treat.
Brass sculpture in the lobby of the Unity Chapel
Anyone who has listened to Dr. Chopra speak knows that a two hour lecture would be impossible to summarize in one brief article. His lecture centered more around his recent DVD lecture series entitled “Jesus and The Awakening to God Consciousness” which is based on his book “The third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore.”
You may be wondering how all of this information which centers around Jesus Christ has relevance for me, a believer of the "old ways", a person most disinterested in modern organized religion and its hypocricies. However, to listen to Dr. Chopra is to learn that all spirituality is intertwined. As an organization which focuses on spirituality rather than religion, Unity Village is the perfect setting for increasing one’s knowledge of the Godliness within all of us.
One of the thoughts presented by Dr. Chopra was the “fight or flight” level of consciousness. This is our lowest, least spiritual reaction to any event. It is our immediate instinct to either run away or lash out at any perceived injustice. It is the reaction of those who are full of self-importance, not of a more evolved spirit. This is the reactive level which is the basis of fundamental religions. Hence our world is home to terrorists on a global framework, and even those small time terrorists we find lashing out in our personal lives.
There may be drawn certain parallels between politics and this spiritual theory. Do we take the time and effort involved to discover the right path to take, or do we simply react? Do we commence a discussion with our global neighbors, or do we simply strike out? We need to progress from our win-lose alignment to one of win-win mindset not only in global politics but in our own lives as well. It is from our changes within that the global creative leap will occur.
Dr. Chopra went on to explain that evil is not our enemy. Evil is the personal and collective shadow. It is easy to understand how this is our learning experience from which much is gained. We learn not only from experiencing, but hopefully from watching also.
“The universe does not exist unless someone is looking at it.” Now there is a thought provoking statement, is it not? Because I am far too inexperienced at Dr. Chopra’s level of consciousness I can only offer that which I understand of this concept. As Dr. Chopra explains, we are all made up of light. Our universe is formed from that which we see, which is light transmission. If we don’t see it, does it exist? This brings to mind the age old question, “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Previous to this lecture I thought, “well, of course it does!” Now I am not so sure.
Dr. Chopra tell us to look within. Look within our mind/body and our egos. For within is our “inner self awareness” which is the co-creator, along with the larger mystery of the universal being. Ultimately we are immortal beings. “Death is quantum creativity.” This and so much more was squeezed into two hours of rather mind boggling ideas which to this day have left me pondering and altered. There is a mood which is created by one who has such intense knowledge to share. When shared in person and kept alive by conscious thought it transforms the listener more quickly than is possible by the written word alone.
Dr. Chopra left the crowd of approximately 350 attendees with a challenge. A challenge of how to change the world as quickly as possible to that of a world of non-violence. He had recently attended an international conference made up of 500 people from 35 countries. As he rose to the lectern a thought occurred to him. He asked this group of esteemed politicians, “movers and shakers”, to stand if they would be willing to take a vow of non-violence. This means non-violence not only in action but in words and thoughts. Not an easy task.
One by one, all 500 people finally stood up. He asked our lecture group to consider doing the same after giving his request the concentration it deserves. He asks all who will take the vow to go to his website at http://deepakchopra.com/ and sign that you, also, will take this vow and then will ask two other people to agree to do the same. Three by three we shall conquer violence and become a peaceful world. Perhaps the new age has begun.
~This article was previously printed in "Ye Olde Witches' Brew" Magazine, which you can find here: http://www.yeoldewitchesbrew.com/
The labyrinth I walked at sunrise ...... not far from my room at the Inn
Wall painting and stained glass window in the tiny 6 person meditation chapel